Can We Please Stop Talking About Taylor Swift?

As many of you know, I’ve become slightly turned off of Taylor Swift. The one of the reasons is because I am really not a fan of her latest album Reputation. Sure, there’s a couple of awesome songs such as Call It What You Want To, New Year’s Day, and . . . Ready For It? However, this album didn’t measure up for me.

But, there’s one other thing that really bothers me about her. It’s the fact that whenever she does something, it becomes a leading news headline. Or, if she releases anything — music videos or music — everyone seems to be going insane.

Now, I’m going to say this — if you’re a fan of Taylor Swift I’m not going to say that you’re wrong for it. It’s America, you can like what you like, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for it. I am certainly trying to not make any feel guilty for liking her, because you’re not doing anything wrong for liking music.

With that being said, I also want to vocalize my own opinion. And, that is I’m tired of all of the hype that Taylor Swift’s music videos get. I just googled the words Delicate and nearly 2 million results popped up. Some of those articles were to report that the video had premiered. Others reported the missing Easter eggs that the video had.

My reaction? Who the hell cares?

Sure, it’s news. It’s music news. But, do people go this insane when another artist (with the exception of Beyonce) have a music video? No. Do people dissect it for a million different clues when they come out? Absolutely not.
Therefore, I must ask why are we doing so for Swift? I get it, her fanbase is huge and a lot of people like her. But, does it need to be constantly discussed? No.

At the end of the day, it’s just a music video. It’s not something more than that, so therefore, can we please stop analyzing and discussing it?


Lent 2018 Update 1

Lent is almost halfway over, and I figured it would be a good time for me to give you all an update of how I’m doing with my challenge.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve given up buying books for Lent. I’ve actually done this last year, with much success. Last year, I’ve read 11 books. However, I don’t think that I’ll be as successful.  So far, I’ve read two Jodi Picoult books — Perfect Match and Keeping Faith. Currently, I’m reading Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige. I’m hopeful that I finish that book over the weekend!

My goal this year is to read six books this year, which I’m certain I can easily do considering that I’m on number three. After I finish Stealing Snow, I plan to either read Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind Of Girl, or Khaled Hosseini’s And The Mountains Echoed. I also have some Stephen King books that I’m dying to dive into!

Before Lent ends, I plan to do an additional update. Hopefully then, I’ll be much closer to my goal! And, while I am a little disappointed that I didn’t knock out several titles like I did last year, I am proud to say that I didn’t have any ‘cheat days!’ 

Let’s Hear It For The Women

In case you already haven’t heard through social media, today is the 43rd International Women’s Day. Today is a day that we celebrate all women, all that we’ve accomplished, and all that they aspire to day. Furthermore, I think it’s so important that we acknowledge women and the crucial role they play in our society.


I’m a tiny bit biased when I say this, but we would be nothing without women. However, we fail to acknowledge their worth, for whatever reason. And, that’s unfair. Women are just as valuable as men.

So, why do we continue to belittle them? Why does a woman make less than a man? Why do women continue to struggle to be taken seriously? And, why do the rules continue to be written differently according to gender?

Beats me.

Therefore, today’s let’s hear it for all of the women out there. Because, let’s face it, we’re pretty badass. Women can accomplish anything that men can do. But, what makes them different is that we do it while wearing dresses, and wearing high heels. We do it while dealing with the mind numbing cramps of menstruation, the pain of childbirth, and the craziness of pregnancy.

This is why they deserve a voice. What’s awesome about it, is that in the past year, they have been using it. Women have been speaking up in movements such as #MeToo and marching in Washington. We almost had a woman president. They have been getting louder, and getting things done.

And, I think that it’s awesome — despite the fact that we still have a long way to go. But, we’ve made progress from over 50 years ago. And, today we should applaud that.

Let’s be honest, women have the ability to rule the world — no matter what their rule is. So, today, let’s hear it for all of the ladies out there. Let’s hear it for the single mothers who work hard to be both mom and dad while maintaining a full time job. Let’s hear it for the millennials that are working hard just to find a place in this world as a young professional. Let’s hear it for the stay at home mothers who make sure their house is a happy home for their families. Let’s hear it for the single career women who work hard everyday to make an impact. Let’s hear it for the social workers who are impacting their patients, one by one.

But, most importantly, let’s hear it for the girls. You know, the little women who will inherit the world. Let’s give them hope and a better world than what we had. Let’s remind them that they can do anything that they set their mind to. Let’s remind them that while they can be princesses, they also can be superheroes. 

Today we celebrate all of them. Today we celebrate progress. Today we celebrate women.


Oh Father

Honor thy Father and thy Mother,

but God didn’t think of you when

writing the commandment.


Oh, Father.

How I prayed for you to call,

and how I would cry when

there was no messages from you.


Oh, Father.

I always questioned what I did

to make you not love me, and

what I did to make you treat me

this way. You said your neglect

was what’s best — was it for me or you?


Oh, Father.

Why couldn’t you stick up for me when

your wife tore into me, and stirred up

the pot. She said she did it for you,

for us. But, she ended up ripping the

bread and dipping it into acid instead of wine.


Oh, Father.

Does it bother you that you never saw me grow up?

Does the amount you’ve missed ever

hurt you like it did me? No rites of passage —

no prom nights or high school graduations.

No elementary school finger paintings or

middle school angst. You walked away

from it all. And now, you’ll miss walking

down the aisle with me, or a father’s

first dance. You missed the chance

of knowing me. You may blame others,

but it’s no one’s fault but your own.


Oh, Father.

I must confess.

It bothers me.


NEDA Awareness Week Reminds Us To Take A Real Look At Body Image

February 26 — March 4 is National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDA) Week. The theme for this year’s NEDA awareness week is “Let’s Get Real,” which has a goal of one thing — to “expand” the conversation we have. By expanding this conversation, I think it will help create awareness in our society about the impact that eating disorders have on us, as well as our perception of body image.


In case you didn’t know, eating disorders span further than just anorexia and bulimia. According to the NEDA website, there are eleven eating disorders. This includes lesser known ones including: binge eating disorder, laxative abuse, and orthoxia (an obsession with proper eating).

Wow, who knew there were so many?

Therefore, what’s really frightening in my opinion is that according to the NEDA awareness page, nearly 30 million Americans will suffer from a “full blown” eating disorder. Many more, the site says, will struggle with a “battle food and negative body image issues,” which can have a permanent impact on our lives without a doubt.

And, despite the magnitude of the problem, there’s still a stigma that exists. Our society is based on appearance and image. This comes from the images coming from magazines and Hollywood — that anyone above a size two is considered to be “fat.”

Well, not everyone can be a size two.

And, you know what? That’s perfectly okay. I am not a size two — I’m a ten. Which is, pretty average. I also am pretty healthy, despite a pretty intense sweet tooth and a love for sugary coffee drinks.

However, I always didn’t feel this way. In high school, it’s safe to say that I was a little heavy. But, back then, I really didn’t eat that healthy nor did I exercise outside of gym class. Bad combo there. Needless to say, I was the subject of ridicule for many of my peers since I was a tiny bit overweight.

In my sophomore year, I decided that was the year I was going to get “skinny.” So, I began to eat lots of salads and worked out for about a half of an hour a day. I soon lost 20 pounds and managed to get down to a pair of size six jeans.

In the process of doing so though, I became obsessed with getting skinny and losing weight — so obsessed that it was unhealthy. And, I wasn’t happy, because every time I weighed myself, it just wasn’t good enough.

One day, I stopped “dieting.” And, I never looked back. And, I’m happy, because I’m healthy and enjoying food rather than being afraid of it.

Now, I want to make one thing clear — while I don’t have an eating disorder nor did I ever — I still think it’s important to recognize that we all have tricky images with body image and relationships with food. I think it’s also important to recognize that we’re all of different sizes and shapes, and as long as we’re healthy and happy, than that’s all that matters.

Therefore, it’s important to learn and become more aware of all eating disorders that exist. It’s also important to recognize that everyone may have a strange relationship with food. We should do this outside of this week, because healthy body image is something that we should celebrate all year long. And, on top of that, we should also aspire to learn the stories of those who struggle with these disorders, and empathize with that they went through and struggle with on a daily basis.


Rest In Peace, Grandma


My grandmother, Joanne, passed away last Friday. Therefore, I would like to dedicate today’s post to both remember and pay tribute to her.

When I think about my grandmother, one of the first things that comes to mind is her ability to overcome obstacles. My grandmother was 21167183_10214128900644899_7406489053310996333_odiagnosed with Polio Disease when she was younger. Although she made a full recovery, she still had roadblocks. Despite them, she still had two children — something she was told she couldn’t do — as well as had a long lasting career.

You go, grandma.

But, what I remember most about her, is the pride that she had for each and every one of her grandchildren. She wanted to be there for all of the big moments — birthdays, holidays, high school graduations, college graduations and proms.

One thing I will never forget is when I graduated college. She — along with my grandfather — watched the livestream on her home computer since she couldn’t make the commencement. I remember as I was walking onto the stage, she tried to Facebook Message me to tell me that she was watching. She instead video-called me instead, which I did decline. Later on, she shared every post that I had, just to tell her friends that her granddaughter had graduated.

But, while the big moments are great, she was also there for the little ones — conversations on the phone, her picking me up from class or bringing me to driver’s ed, and Sunday dinners. While I can’t remember the date of those little moments, they are woven into the fabric of our relationship.

While my grandmother loved her human children and grandchildren, she also had a special place in her heart for her furry children. I can never remember my grandparents without a dog — Callie, Max, and Bandit. She loved all of her dogs, and showered them with love, as well as treats and toys. She had even bought Bandit a Coach collar and a raincoat.

What’s devastating to me about the loss of my grandmother, is that there will be no more little moments and even the big moments. I will never again hear her voice say “hey Nat” at the other end of the phone. I will never again visit her with flowers and eat cookies with her after Christmas. I never really visited my grandmother towards the end of her life, and that’s something that I will always regret. I would give anything just to tell her one more time that I love her one more time, or for one more text message on my birthday.21105547_10214128900444894_873189239676249748_n

While I will miss my grandmother, I know that wherever she is now, she is in peace, and watching QVC in heaven with her dogs by her side. And, she’s probably wearing the high heels that she always wanted to wear.


Rest in Peace, Grandma. I love you.


The Importance Of Being Your Own Advocate

One of the hardest things for me is to speak up for myself. Meaning that, whenever I am faced with a conflict, I always find it hard to say that I am in fact not okay with the current situation, and instead just go with the flow.

This happens so many times to me, leading me down a path where my feelings are pushed aside. I don’t know why I do this — maybe it’s fear of conflict? Or, maybe it’s because I am worried that some negative consequence would happen to me if I spoke my mind. Whatever the case may be, I’ve decided that I need to be my own advocate.

While I don’t know the source of how this became a habit, I do know what I can do to break it. First, I can try to say how I feel. This was always a struggle for me. I often worry that when I say that I’m not okay with the situation, it comes off as complaining. However, it’s not the case if you do it right. For instance, if you use words such as “I feel” or “I am not comfortable” versus exploding and yelling tends to get you somewhere. Additionally, making sure you don’t use accusatory statements when trying to get your point across. Those always tend to end badly, because it quickly makes the other person more defensive — which is never productive.

Furthermore, it’s important to use the word “no” and create boundaries. There are many ways that this could be done. For example, if you are working on a group project — whether you are in school or at work — and someone is making you do more than your fair share, speak up. Or, if you have someone in your life who constantly wants you to go above and beyond for them — but whenever you need them they are nowhere to be found. You want to say no — but you feel bad. Therefore, you say yes — no matter what the reasoning may be. And, when you say yes, in some cases you become unhappy.

In this situation, I’m learning the importance of standing my ground — and sticking to it. Why? Well, if you’re not seeing yourself as important, then no one else well. And, if you’re not listening to what you want, chances are at a certain point, you’ll become miserable.
And, you don’t deserve that.

Remember when you were in elementary school, and you were bullied on the playground? Well, if it was important to stick up for yourself then, then it’s even more important to stick up for yourself now as an adult.

So, the moral of all of this?

Learn to listen to yourself — and stick to your guns. Believe in yourself, and become your own advocate.