Looking Past The Diamonds

If you know me well, you know that I absolutely love jewelry. I always have a ton of jewelry on, and I’m always buying something new to add to my collection. With that being said, I follow a lot of jewelry accounts on Twitter, because I’m going to be honest — I just really like shiny things.

A few days ago, I was scrolling through Twitter and saw the picture below. Basically, it was someone who posted a picture of a huge engagement ring, and the caption was ‘I can’t wait for this’ with the heart emoji.

ring

I don’t know why, but that made me angry.

To be honest, I think that if someone is looking for her boyfriend to give her something — whether it’s a huge rock or even a huge thing of flowers — then they are dating or even marrying for the wrong reasons. When you’re dating someone, you’re dating because they love you. You are dating them because they are making you laugh. You are not dating someone because they can provide you with a huge diamond ring. You are not dating someone because they can buy you things.

If you are, then you are dating with the wrong intentions and the wrong reasons. You are looking for a bank account — not a boyfriend. If that’s what you’re looking for, then hey, more power to you. 

But, for me, if it were the right person, then the ring that they gave me really wouldn’t have mattered (just as long as I can wear it — I am actually allergic to nickel!). It’s sad that I feel like we look past that into what someone can give us to wear. And, while rings are pretty, nothing is quite as sparkly as one’s smile from being happy.

At the end of the day, though, love has no cost. Love shouldn’t be based on a dollar sign, or how much someone has in the bank. It should be based on their personality and the way that you make you feel. It bothers me to no end that there are still women out there that see it, because they are buying into the consumerism that has plagued the millennial culture.

After all, we’ve seen so many millennials post pictures and tweets about their ‘goals.’ I’ve noticed many of them are about having a significant other that just brings them things.

Now before you describe me as pessimistic, please hear me out. I am all about giving your significant other things — especially if you’re coming from a place where you’re just trying to make them smile. However, it shouldn’t be a thing where we’ve come to expect it from them — or that we have to have a certain thing that’s expensive.

Are we just a material world now?

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Give Yourself A Break: The Importance Of Self Care

Hi there, readers. If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been really writing here lately. Why? Well, it’s been a busy month, and suffice to say, whenever I did have the time to write a post, I would often choose watching tv.

Whoops.

It’s safe to say I needed a break. I need time to self care and recharge my batteries. This often cut into my blogging time. I write a lot about the importance of mental health and giving yourself a break, therefore, I think that’s important that I execute that. 

In my humble opinion we as a society don’t really do well with breaks. I mean, think about it for a second. We are so busy throughout the day and balance so much. For some of us, this means going to school and juggling a few jobs. For others, it means juggling around chores, a couple of jobs, and other various things. And, more and more of us are eating our lunches while we are doing work. 

And, depending on your to-do lists, it can be easily to overload it for whatever reason. I don’t know about you, but that happens to me a lot. There are a lot of reasons why this happens — we want to be able to help out the people that we care about, we want to work extra hours and make extra money, or for whatever reason, we feel guilty when we remain idle. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to remember that despite what we feel like we should do, we should focus more on what’s right for us.

So, with that being said, if we are feeling overwhelmed, instead of continuing to take on more, let’s take a step back. Sure, it might not be well received, but at the end of the day, our sanity and stress levels will thank us. That is something that I continue to struggle with, but am hopefully getting better at it.

For me, whenever I put self care and giving myself a break first, I often feel terrible about it. For example, if someone asks me to do something, I often put my needs to the side. Sometimes, this can cause me to lose sight of what’s important — my physical and/or my mental health. And while I feel good about being there for that person or helping out, I can not help but notice that I begin to feel drained myself.

At the end of every day, it’s important to remember one thing: we need to do what’s best for us. No one can tell us how to feel or what is best for us. And, if they try to, then it’s simply white noise.

My take home message here? You can’t be everyone and you can’t be everywhere. Therefore, it’s healthy and crucial that you be the best you that you can be. And, that means learning to take care of you.

Those are cliche and you probably heard it before, but hey, it’s true.

. . . Are You Asking For It?

Have you ever heard of the phrase “well she asked for it”? You know, when someone was talking about a guy grabbing or hitting on a woman that is clearly not interested in them. Then, when she turns around and complains, someone says “oh well, she was dressed a certain way. She clearly was asking for it.”

Well. . .

That’s not how it works.

So, for those who are confused, I have a little public service announcement for you:

Just because a woman dresses a certain way — whether it’s a revealing skirt or outfit — does not mean it’s an automatic yes. It does not mean that she wants to sleep with you, and that you shouldn’t ask permission before you put your hands on her.

In fact, if she looks uninterested and you continue to do so, then you not only look like a terrible person, but you also are assaulting her. And, being really creepy.

There is a sense of entitlement that pulses through those out there — and believe me, there are quite a few guys out there that think that way — that a guy can have any girl that they please. Some even go as far as proclaiming that they can have any girl that they want. Those are the guys that are responsible for the catcalling, who live on Tinder looking for the one thing, and the guys who honestly don’t care about much else other than to get what they want and need. Those men expect women to just deliver that just because they want it.

And, that is completely wrong — and you’re forcing someone into something they don’t want to do.

For those who think that way, let me introduce you to my friend. His name is respect. Respect a woman and her rejection if she does reject you. Respect her decision. Respect her body. Respect her.

I think there should be a golden rule when it comes to dating. That rule should be this: think about your sister/daughters. How would you want them to be treated by a guy? Would you want someone to talk to them in the same way you are talking to that girl in the short skirt?

If not, then here’s a word of advice — don’t do it. That woman that you’re hitting on is someone’s daughter. She is someone’s sister. She is someone’s friend. But most importantly, she is human, and she deserves the same amount of respect that you think you do as well.

The take home message here — treat a woman with respect and don’t be rude. End of story.

Why You Need To Vote Every Year, Not Just in a Presidential Year

The year 2017 is not a special one when it comes to elections. Wait. What do I mean by special? Special meaning that it’s not a presidential one. In the state of CT, it’s the municipal one.

However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not an unworthy election.

In my one of my journalism classes back in college, my professor told us that the turnout during those off elections is extremely low. I remember seeing a turnout in the teens.

But, it shouldn’t be.

If you’ve met me personally, you’ve heard me talk about all of the work that I’ve done as a journalist in my hometown of Hamden, Connecticut. My work put me in the front lines with some great people in town. Meeting those great people have helped me realize the importance of getting involved in the town, and is the source of my inspiration in doing so.

Why?

Because it truly makes a difference.

Government at both the national and state level is, well let’s face it, a mess. However, with that being said, chances are the things that affect you the most are things that could be changed when you raise your voice to your mayor or first selectman.

I’m talking about potholes. I’m talking about stepping up police patrols. I’m talking about improving parks.

Sure, things are important at the national level. But, they are important at home too.

This is why I am asking you to do me a favor. And, that is on Nov. 7, to get out there and vote.

Since registering to vote in 2012 (ironically during a presidential election), I have made it a point to head out to the polls each and every year. For a couple of years it was hard, considering that I didn’t have a license and had to get my grandmother to take me to polls by bribing her with a cookie.  The only exception was one year when I had a crippling migraine and couldn’t really do much.

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My first ‘I Voted’ sticker! Picture was taken with an iPod touch, how 2012 of me.

Last year, we saw a record turnout for the polls. And, that’s awesome. I am so happy to see the passion that our country had when it came to supporting their candidate of choice.

But, we need to continue that passion when it comes to all elections. We need to elect our mayors and be aware of the issues. Otherwise, by not coming to the polls, your forfeit the right to complain about something, because you could have gotten out there to vote. But, you didn’t.

I’m a journalist, and part of my job is to remain impartial to political parties. However, I am passionate about one thing. And, that is the importance of voting. I will never tell you who to support and vote for. But, I will tell you to vote until I am blue in the face.

So, on Nov. 7, let’s head to the polls once again. You may not be voting for the next president. But you’re going to be voting for the people who control your taxes, the people that control the quality of your roads, and the education that your children receive.

You Don’t Get It

Why aren’t you getting back out there?

Why can’t you just get over it?

It’s not a big deal — just go on a date.

Do you still love him?

 

Everyone seems to have an opinion —

it is something they insert in when not wanted.

But, they didn’t know. . .

 

They didn’t know what it was like —

to have lie about why he couldn’t go there,

to have someone think that they are entitled to your body,

or to have to explain why you’re not ready.

They didn’t see you throw up as he forced your hand.

They didn’t hear you cry as he gave you that ultimatum.

 

You see, no one understands that.

 

Maybe it’s my fault.

Maybe I should have opened my mouth.

Maybe I should have told someone.

 

But, what if they didn’t believe me?

What if I was the weird one, and he was normal?

 

You see why I carried my secret on my back.

 

Years later, I’ve turned into a beast —

locked up in my tower of isolation,

waiting for someone to touch my rose.

 

Despite my longing for light,

I still felt like it would happen —

my body a currency to keep the relationship afloat.

His words still repeating,

why can’t we just have sex,

again and again until I can’t take it anymore.

When I cover my ears,

I can still see those moments in high definition.

I can never escape.

 

Not that I had to explain it to you,

but that’s why I am not going out on dates.

If it were you, you would do the same.

 

Ladies, You Deserve Better

You stare at your phone, clicking the home button a thousand times. You’re waiting for a text — from him.

Who is this, you may ask? He’s the boy that makes you smile — the person that you need almost as if he was your drug, your nicotine. You need him to breathe, to function properly, to do anything without bursting into tears.

However, he holds out on you — he doesn’t call as often as he should, nor does he reply. So, you stare at your phone, and you wonder why. Why isn’t he texting you? Why isn’t he making an effort?

Meanwhile, he’s out there. He’s talking to other girls, maybe he’s with one of those girls right now as you tearfully await his reply. You like him. You want him. You want to be with him. However, he doesn’t — but he doesn’t admit it. So, you’re stuck in this cycle.

Does this sound familiar? Is this a description of your current love life and your current partner?

If you answered yes, then run — as fast as you can.

I went on a Twitter rant the other day about relationships and the toxic cycle that people often head down. I’ve included it below for you all to gain some insight.

Twitter

I’ve seen so many friends fall down this rabbit hole. One friend in high school would be that friend who always had to be with her boyfriend, had her wedding planned out to the T, and you had to schedule girl time months in advance when you see her. And, when she’s not with that guy, then she’s glued to her phone, texting him constantly.

Or, you have that friend that is in an inbetweenship — the kind of relationship that has no labels for whatever reason (not ready for commitment, doesn’t want the label).

Basically, girls in this relationship are not seeing the light — and their worth.

The bottom line?

Everyone deserves someone that will treat them fairly. Everyone deserves someone who brings a smile on their face every time they walk in the room. Everyone deserves someone who treats them like they are royalty.

And, if you have to beg, chances are, this is not the relationship that you are meant to be in. You shouldn’t have to lower yourself to those standards and beg a guy to stay. He should want to on his own. 

Every damn human on this planet deserves that. And, it bothers me to no end that no one sees that deserve more than what they are getting — and are afraid to demand that they get it. And, if you ask me, that’s quite upsetting.

So, the next time anyone that you’re dating — no matter what gender you may be — treats you like this, know that you are worth more than that. And, don’t be afraid to walk. Chances are, when you do, you’ll find the perfect person that you rightfully deserve.

Coming Forward and Speaking Out

The Harvey Weinstein scandal caused many women – from actresses to screen writers – to come forward and accuse him of misconduct. As I write this, I am watching CNN, and listening to audio between Weinstein and one of these victims. The audio, just to sum it up, is of a woman stating that she was uncomfortable. Weinstein’s response? ‘Don’t embarrass me, honey.’

Hearing this audio sickens me. Hearing about how many women he did this to sickens me. And, hearing their stories sends chills up my spine.

It is sad that we live in a world where men feel it is okay to grab whomever and whatever they please, and not feel like they did anything wrong. That sense of entitlement further ensures that men could get away with it, as boys will be boys, and women have to deal with that. That mentality is destructive, and leads all involved down a dangerous and lethal path. And, it really needs to end. 

One can never understand the effects that this can have on a victim, that is until you become one. There is still a mentality that women ‘ask’ for it by the clothes they were and the way that they present themselves. That mentality is comical. I mean, do women ask for a man to come up and grab them, just because they are wearing a short skirt? Is an outfit like that basically an open invitation for that?

No.

The only way that it is okay is if a woman had said yes. Anything else? Then it is certainly not okay.

I applaud all of the women that are coming forward to say hey, I’m a victim. Hey, he did this to me. Some of these women include Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rosanna Arquette. When having this happen to you, women should scream on the top of their damn lungs. Instead, their voices are silenced. 

By those women stepping forward it is a positive step in the right direction to justice. Men like Weinstein deserve their plate of karma for all of his wrongdoings towards all of those women. And, by this scandal making headlines and all of those women coming forward, it helps victims of this feel confident enough to get the justice that they rightfully deserve.

With that being said, coming forward is one step further in getting awareness in regards to assault and rape. Having that in your back pocket will be one step closer to having men like Weinstein punished. We may never live in a world with out assault or rape. But, we will one day live in a world (hopefully) where all who were affected by this wrongdoing will be able to step forward and get justice. I know so — I feel it pulsing through my veins. 

Note: If you are a victim, please raise your voice. Tell someone so they could connect you to all the resources you rightfully need — police, doctors, hospital, etc.