We all know about football players kneeling during the national anthem. Months ago it was all over the news, CNN was debating over it, and even Trump had some words to say about it during one of his rallies. After that, it all blew up in a negative light. A simple protest got twisted into something it wasn’t about. The more I saw people complaining about it the madder I got. Trump put something out there and suddenly people were eating it up and reciting his words without wanting to understand.

For one, Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during preseason and even explained it had to do with police brutality and systematic barriers. The flag is supposed to represent justice and liberty, the land of the free, but that is not the reality for people of color living in America, for those who are oppressed and find themselves in various systematic traps. All over social media and all over the news, I saw people calling everyone who took the knee to protest these injustices disrespectful.  Kneeling during the national anthem, though it had to do with the symbolism of the flag, was never about disrespecting the American Flag and had absolutely nothing to do with troops who fight for our country. Instead, it was a criticism and a peaceful, silent protest about how our country operates by someone with a platform to reach millions of people. I refuse to believe Trump was clever enough to purposefully misdirect the conversation, but I wouldn’t put it past him to silence those speaking out. That’s something white nationalist and supremacists do well. I will confidentially say he did a damn good job of misinterpreting the conversation and spreading false information.

What really got to me was the hypocrisy and irony of it all. If we want to talk about disrespecting the flag, we should probably have a discussion about the way it is capitalized. If we want to talk about disrespecting our troops, we should probably have a discussion about the way America treats them after they’ve completed their service and returned back home. It is so ironic to me that as a country we preach freedom but essentially refuse those the right to protest by making it unnecessarily difficult to do so, even when it’s done quietly. Kaepernick had something to say, a conversation to start, and he used his voice to do so. It’s ridiculous that the conversation turned the way it did. After reading this, if you have a problem with kneeling during the national anthem, I hope you understand why. I’ve got a couple guesses.

Let’s Get Serious

Discrimination and oppression are serious problems in America’s history. With Trump being your president, others are made to feel safe in promoting these ideologies of hate and intolerance, supporting Confederate propaganda as if that’s a part of our history that we should be proud of. America is a society that consistently covers up any faults. It appears like the only people who seem to remember America’s shortcomings are the same ones who were and still are oppressed and discriminated against as a consequence of those faults. When people try to have a conversation about how they were and are being mistreated, about America’s problems in the past and present, others start to get hyper-reactive, shutting it down in a way where no one is allowed to have an open and honest conversation. People are so busy trying to distance themselves from wrongdoings and our history, as if that’ll give them some sort of deniable accountability, that they stop listening, walk away, and react without even being educated on the topic in the first place. They spout things they’ve only heard, that they cannot exactly back up or defend.

I used to hate talking about politics and social justice. At first discussing it made me uncomfortable, partly because I worried about learning people in my life, whether acquaintances or friends, discriminate through their beliefs and actions. If you’re for or against tax cuts, it doesn’t really matter to me. Yes I have my opinions but if yours are different that’s your prerogative. However, building a wall to keep people out, telling those immigrants to go home as if someone in your family wasn’t once an immigrant, attempting to control woman, killing black people unarmed in the streets, chanting All Lives Matter, and overall white supremacy; that shit affects people’s lives in an extreme way. Condoning and defending it is something I truly don’t and never will understand, no matter how hard I try.

Some of the most common explanations I have seen for the amount of racism, sexism and other discrimination cases are as follows:

  • It’s just increased as time goes on.
    • False. Because of technology we are able to record things and spread them online. We also live in a time where people seem to be more brave in making their stories known because in some cases people are starting to take action.
  • You can have your beliefs and I can have mine.
    • True, but saying you think apple pie is better than pumpkin pie or your belief or lack thereof in God are way less detrimental than saying you think an entire group of people is harmful for the country. By thinking this way, or supporting someone who does, you are ruining a countless number of lives physically, mentally, and emotionally solely based upon stereotypes and fear. That’s not okay and by thinking it is further proves you are in a place of privilege. Please re-evaluate your beliefs.
  • I’m just being honest.
    • If your beliefs surround the practicing of racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination you have some serious self evaluation to do. Also, please educate yourself. I despise living in a world where I have to deal with others’ consequences of their own ignorance. Just saying.
  • You took it the wrong way.
    • Or, you said something out of pocket. Just because it was acceptable back in the day doesn’t mean and is actually more likely a testament to the fact it’s not okay to say now. If you don’t know, back in the day women couldn’t vote, Japanese people were forced into internment camps, and black people were property. I’d say some traditions and sayings aren’t meant to last.
  • This has nothing to do with race, sex, etc.
    • Maybe it does. Especially if it seems like an exception, especially if it has a history of repeating itself. People point these things out for a reason. Society does a brilliant job of taking jabs at groups and painting them in a certain light in a way you wouldn’t realize until you open your eyes to actually see it.

My biggest pet peeve when it comes to politics and social justice is the “sensitive” copout. People always complain “Those millennials are sensitive. People are so sensitive nowadays. Political correctness ruins jokes. Political correctness sucks.” etc. etc. It’s as if people put blame on other people rather than taking responsibility for their own actions. When stories come out of people’s lives being ruined for saying something racist, homophobic, sexist, etc. people continue to paint them as the victim instead of the perpetrator. Call me heartless, but I don’t feel bad that you received consequences for your actions. By turning a blind eye, you’re essentially telling them what they did is okay. If you see a little kid writing on the the wall with a crayon they’re going to keep writing until you tell them to stop and make it known that it’s not acceptable.

Social justice is something I am passionate about. In daily conversations, partly due to my shyness and partly to avoid being that loud, angry, political black girl, I’ve been known to hold my tongue. Plus, during the times I have pointed something out or given my own opinion, it is often overlooked. Because I started this blog and because it is something I think is super important, if I don’t discuss the injustices I have witnessed, heard about, or experienced I’ll be another person turning a blind eye. This is just my way of saying that I’ll be sharing my viewpoint on controversial topics. My goal is not to alienate and not to persuade, necessarily, but to educate on my perspective, whether different and similar to yours. In that way it will cause you to think about your own beliefs. I like debating  and I like to be educated so if I say something wrong or something you disagree with, let me know and we can discuss. It’s easy to use ignorance as an excuse so I’m here in the hopes to decrease my and other people’s ignorance. Politics and social justice affect everyone. If it is something that makes you uncomfortable, it is proof that it is not discussed openly enough. It serves as more of a reason to have a discussion about it; avoidance is never a beneficial solution.


What are you so afraid of?

My biggest fear is the unknown. Yea, yea, that sounds fake deep but when I looked at all the things that scared me, that made me a little bit uncomfortable, I realized that was the common denominator. I like to have an idea of what I am getting myself into before I dive into it.  I analyze all my big decisions, from every angle I can think of. Yea, I’ll wake up at three in the morning and take a spontaneous trip to LA, but no, I won’t get that tattooed on me until I’m sure I’ll want it forever.

It doesn’t help that I’m a big believer that every choice you have made so far has inevitably led you to where you are now, from the people you associate yourself with, to the job you take, to where you live. This is one of my favorite theories: the butterfly effect. It states, “small things have greater effects.” I interpret this to mean that a decision made in the past has probably led to the present. Decisions made now have the potential to eventually lead to some moment in the future. The people you meet and the opportunities you take shape who you are, how you think, and may even connect you to future opportunities. Every once in a while it makes me wonder how my life would be different if I made different decisions earlier. It scares me not knowing if my choices will lead me to where I want to go. Not only that, change terrifies me because I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy the situation I’ve put myself in and the feelings that come with it. If I can’t cope with where I am, I’m stuck until I figure out my next step.

This mindset has tricked me to stick to what I’m familiar with. It’s helpful in some ways. Generally I know what I can tolerate and what will drive me crazy so if I know I won’t like something I can avoid the bad taste in my mouth. However, this way of thinking keeps me hesitant about doing new things, even if there is a chance that I’ll love it. Staying within the safety of my comfort zone, afraid of change, makes it difficult to let things go. It keeps me stuck in amazing memories and toxic and meaningless relationships, desperately trying to recreate the feelings I associate with them. My subconscious nature of holding on to things has even led me to keep a lot of pictures, memes, sayings, and songs, so many that I forget they even exist until I finally go to delete them.

My comfort zone is a warm and fuzzy place that never fails to make me happy. Still, a point in my life came where I was annoyed with how it was going. My comfort zone got old and I needed to face what I was afraid to, something new, something I hadn’t experienced before. The easiest way to get over your fear is also the most intimidating one; just get through it. Making changes is making me better off. It made me think about how much I put up with and how much I cling to that I don’t want or deserve just because I was too scared to change something. I still love being nostalgic but I stopped letting the nostalgia keep me tied down. I stopped holding on to relationships that served my life no purpose other than happy memories, let go of grudges that were stupid in the first place, and started clearing out contacts and pictures I didn’t need anymore.

By allowing myself to move on, I allowed myself to grow. Doing things outside of your comfort zone, outside of your routine, pushes the boundaries of what you think you can and can’t do, what you think you like, and what you think you’ll hate. Doing something different and uncomfortable is scary. The future is frightening, especially with the state of our country right now, especially if you feel like you’re on the wrong path or in the wrong major. However, dwelling in the past has never and will never affect your current situation. Staying in a hostile environment and surrounding yourself with people who make you feel less than you are, just because it’s what you’re used to, will only add more stress to your life. Living with aspects of your routine that no longer satisfy you will wear you out until you forget what it is like to be excited about life instead of tired, annoyed, and afraid.

This being said, shake things up in your routine and allow yourself to move forward. Figure out, what’s hindering you. What are you so afraid of? Don’t feel bad for getting rid of wasted space by letting go of things in your life that no longer make you happy and serve a purpose. Don’t worry so much about the future that you stick with what you know instead of going after what you want. Whatever you don’t know now, eventually you’ll figure out, but it may mean taking a chance and making a change.

Insecure as Hell

Once upon a time I was the most insecure person I knew. I saw people around me who appeared to say and do whatever they wanted without a second thought. I dreamed of that, that no matter where I was or who I was with I could speak up when I had something to say. I could go out and dance and not care about how people perceived me. I could wear clothes that I loved and do my make up how I wanted and not care because I liked it.  I thought that one day I would wake up and be confident but nothing in life works like that. Like everything else, you have to put in effort in order to see results because nothing changes unless you change it. So I did. I’m not saying I’m not insecure anymore but my confidence and self love has boosted in ways I never thought they would.

It sounds simple but nothing in life is that easy. I had to figure out what my insecurity was linked to. What I found were things I could remember from my past that manifested their way into my present, from thinking I was a cute kid to thinking I wasn’t because of my weight and never really recovering, to being told I was being too loud by my friends one too many times. This turned me into a quiet little girl with a lack of confidence. Not only did I discover this but I constantly found myself comparing myself to others, wondering what it would be like if I had a different body, if I had different personality traits, if I wore my hair a different way, if my skin looked different, etc. etc.

A lesson I learned was that I am so used to myself I never recognized the things that make me unique. I got so used to who I am, I underappreciated myself. I considered that something I hated about myself someone else wish they had. The things about myself I was used to other people may find new and beautiful. I never thought about why I did the things I did; it was just who I was. It took a while for me to understand that things I did others wouldn’t and vice versa. When people would compliment me or tell me things about myself it always made me smile but I thought they were just saying something to be nice and I couldn’t understand why in the world they would think that. People tell you a lot of positive things about yourself you can learn from you just have to take it to heart.

It’s important to know that a lot of people are insecure about themselves, some of whom you never would’ve never guessed. You can’t always tell someone’s insecure just by looking at them. That being said it never hurts to hype people up, to compliment them on something about themselves or reach out when they make you feel a certain way. Like people say, something that doesn’t require a second thought may turn someone’s mood around, give them something beneficial to think about.

Your thoughts and your mindset can be your biggest strength or your biggest weakness. You have to catch yourself when you think something bad about yourself. You’re the only inside your head; you’re the only one who can stop yourself and turn the thought around before you start to take it seriously. Learn to compliment yourself on a daily basis. At first you may not believe it but one day you’ll realize you are right. Don’t be afraid to vent to others when you feel like you’re not enough. Holding everything in was my favorite coping mechanism until I realized it was ruining my life and my confidence. Your true friends will knock some damn sense into you. I guarantee you are selling yourself short and you are more stunning than you think. Anyone who thinks otherwise isn’t worth your time.

What’s Goin’ On?

One of the main reasons I wanted to start a blog is because, for those who know me, I left Las Vegas and gave half-assed answers to why. It’s kind of a long story and I gave the simplified, underexaggerated version of the truth. I’m ready to tell the whole story to anyone who wants to know in a place I can refer people to. This will not be the focus of what I write about, though I may refer to it.

To start from the very beginning my sophomore year of college was not what I was expecting at all. Truth be told I had so much going on that I became depressed. The storm cloud that would keep me in bed majority of the time, kept me from doing anything including cleaning my room, only lightened when I came back to the Bay. The depression fueled by the stress of 21 credits turned to 19 when I dropped a class, 20-30 minutes hour weeks in a job I didn’t want but kept from my fear of change and love of my coworkers, sorority requirements, due dates, and lack of sleep kept me missing in action a lot of time. To those who know me and then wondered why I rarely went out anymore, why I stayed even more quiet than I normally am, this is why. Something good came out of that though, I started watching and caught up with Game of Thrones. I swear to you, you’re missing out if you don’t watch it.

One day a light switched in my brain and I finally built the courage to reduce my hours at my job. When that led others to quit and when I got a new job, I quit too. By the time school was over a weight was lifted off my shoulders although I still had four classes waiting for me in summer. Music sounded different, days were brighter, but then there was a pain in my foot. I used RICE, tried to continue with the new job that I was excited about. I went out when I could. Day by day walking got harder, the pain got worse, and I started limping. At some point I needed crutches to walk. I had just gotten myself out of depression; I wasn’t gonna let that stop me!

I went to a specialized doctor, but they were only there two times a week. Maybe a month into my job I had to get my shifts covered because standing and walking were becoming more and more unbearable. Eventually I lost the job because I couldn’t work on crutches; my doctor highly suggested I stayed off of it, writing me a note.

Side note: Here’s a huge thank you to my manager, Erin and my coworkers, especially Alex and Tyler. I don’t know if you guys are reading this but you guys held onto me and tried to help me out for as long as you could. Not a lot of people would do that and I am forever grateful.

I started only leaving my room for the doctor appointments, food, and to go to the airport if I was going home. Regardless, my mental health remained intact. About a month and a half from my first appointment, after X-Rays and MRIs, they diagnosed me, gave me steroids, and sent me to physical therapy. A month and a half after that my physical therapist suggested I go to the emergency room after suggesting an orthopedic. Even though my appointment was in two days he really believed I should go to the hospital.

I drove and limped my way inside, waited for my dad who was coming down anyway, got my 100th X-Ray and got the results. This whole process took about six hours, no exaggeration, wasting money and time especially since the X-Ray showed nothing. Of course I cried; I was annoyed and bitter as hell. My dad left the next day and the day after that I went to my orthopedic appointment. Imagine my surprise when he told me I broke my heel and I got a cast slapped on my foot. And you know how he discovered this? From the MRI I got a month and a half before. I was the most shook person on the planet.

By this point it was my third month not being able to walk correctly, and my second month needing crutches. I had worked on broken heel. I saw J Cole on a broken heel. I almost saw Kendrick on a broken heel. I went to physical therapy on a broken heel. I walked all over my damn broken heel! Like!!!! Hello??? I was made to feel like I was being dramatic, like it was all in my head and I was at fault. I could sense how me staying in, even walking so slow, rubbed my friends the wrong way and after that cast got slapped on it felt like I respectively flipped them all off, like yea ya’ll thought I was playin’ around, jokes on you.

The problem was this happened a week before school started and I lived off campus, up a flight of steps. It was hard enough getting up and down the stairs on two feet and crutches and suddenly I was forced to walk up with one foot and crutches? Even worse I felt the same pain happening in my right foot. I had been overcompensating for months and I was deeply concerned I had broken my other foot through it all. The next morning I couldn’t put weight on it without being in an extreme amount of pain. It was then I decided to sit the semester out to get better. I only had a couple days to figure out how I’d get to and around campus and how’d I’d get up and down the steps into my apartment. After still being in four classes, doing online counselor training, and working until I couldn’t, it was time to rest. My family invested in a wheelchair and after attempting to find the cause of it all, and failing, I returned home.

Fast forward about two months later here we are. I haven’t walked since; I’ve basically been on bed rest, especially since my muscles atrophied and my family works. I was going to take online classes but I honestly wasn’t feeling them. Instead I write, read, cling to my social media, think a little too much, and binge TV. I went from a cast to a boot and back to a cast. I just got it off for good, hopefully, two weeks ago. I learned that the heel fracture was actually, maybe also, a slight Achilles tear as well as bone erosion. I start physical therapy in a week and hopefully will get to the cause of the problem sometime this week. I miss Vegas and my friends there so much. I miss my new apartment and my roommate and believe it or not I miss working. As of now my goal is to be back in January.

This experience has been a rollercoaster on my emotions. It has been the most challenging five months of my life. I had been so positive up until I got diagnosed. I was made to believe nothing was wrong even though in my gut I knew something wasn’t right. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have doubt that everything is okay every now and then but this feeling is usually accompanied with pain. Still, I’m doing well. It’s just a moment in my life and with time and action it will pass. This experience has taught me so much about myself and others and for that I’m grateful. Everything happens for a reason, right?