Before anyone decides to dismiss the article because I’ve chosen to center it around a quote from Frozen II, allow me to start with a little story time. I remember sitting in the darkened theatre in November sobbing after hearing those very words because it was such a simple, yet evocative way to say that failure is giving up. I also remember thinking “wow, I need to write about this eventually.” And naturally time slipped by me then the world kind of, sort of essentially started falling apart. Here we are, seven months later, and I suppose there’s a reason I didn’t write something then.
I can’t remember a time in history where something bad happened every single day the way it has in 2020. The brutal and blatantly racist killings of Black men and women in the hands of police offers. Famines, an epidemic, and genocide in Yemen. The constant and horrific threats Filipinos are facing in their own country Further attacks from Azerbaijan towards Artsakh/Armenia. If I list everything, this wouldn’t end. Oh, and let’s not forget the ongoing pandemic that’s causing incessant arguments on scientific legitimacy and face coverings invading human freedom. I’m an optimist, I can often find the silver lining in almost anything but accepting that things won’t get better any time soon has been my new normal. But that’s where “do the next right thing” comes in.
James 2:8 states “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.”
Song: “American Secrets”
Album: The Way It Was
We all have a few songs that have been there for us in our darkest hours. Songs that have made us feel less alone, less anxious, less overwhelmed, less shattered. Songs that have somehow made us forget why we were upset in the first place. The funny thing about music is that it doesn’t always make sense why something means so much to us. The lyrics don’t always have to match our life to the t. And that’s the case with Parachute’s “American Secrets”.
“American Secrets” is the song that’d manage to put my stressed, overwhelmed with finals self to sleep at nights. And today, as silly as it sounds, it’s still the song I immediately put on when a full moon has snuck its way right outside the window of my bed. It wasn’t always easy to enjoy pretty scenery for me when I was stressed with school, but “American Secrets” made it easier. I wish I could explain why, but it’s simply one of those things that I have yet to figure out. “American Secrets” is the song that effortlessly reminds me that ‘this too shall pass’ and for that, I’m grateful. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of the beautiful seemingly endless summers I spent back home in our small town. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of the dreams that I’ll never give up on no matter how far I run from them. I don’t know. All I know is that it’s a song I will cherish til I’m old and grey.
We are wholeheartedly thankful everyday, but it’s nice to dedicate an entire day solely to gratitude.
There has been a lot going on in the world — many terrorist attacks, deaths, bombing of cities where kids used to play. But we must not forget all the good there still is, and all those who give a helping hand. That’s what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving day. I’m thankful for those who have sacrificed their safety to help families have shelter for the night. I’m thankful for countries who unite together to give people new homes. I’m thankful for all the individuals who have made their voices heard somehow. Whether they’ve helped thousands, or one individual, I’m thankful for them. It’s those stories, that let me hold on to hope that humanity still exists. A few bad seeds do not ruin the garden we create, as long as we hold on to our beliefs, hopes and dreams for world peace.
Marian has already spoken beautifully about the selfless people who’ve played a part in healing this broken world, so I’d like to offer my thanks to my dearest family and friends who’ve been my strength through the most difficult and frustrating time of my life. It’s been difficult writing and sometimes it’s been even more difficult to feel like myself when I’ve not been feeling my best physically. But now that all the pain is a distant memory and I’m free from medication, I wish thank you was enough to show that I truly couldn’t have conquered this without those who’ve been my side — near, far, new, or old. Anyone who’s shown even an ounce of kindness to me has been a great light in my world. I wish I had better words, but hopefully this is enough.
November 2, 2015
“Clean” — Taylor Swift
On Saturday (10/31/15) in Tampa, Florida, Taylor Swift made a beautifully inspirational speech about online bullies before this particular song, and if something moves us to tears, we need to share it with all of you.
“It’s hard to get those voices out of your head once they’re in there but the last couple of years, I’d say my favorite thing I’ve learned is that we are not the opinion of people who don’t know us or care about us. And you know when people say something to us it might stick in our minds, it’s almost like we’ve got these insecurities painted all over us because now we carry them everywhere we go, but the minute that you can learn to block out what people who don’t care about say to or about you, in front of you or behind your back, is the moment you look in the mirror is the moment you don’t see those things written all over you anymore. And you don’t feel like other people think that about you anymore. And in that moment, you’re clean.”
A special review, for an immaculately special TV episode.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I wasn’t expecting to like Girl Meets World. I wasn’t even going to give it a chance because how could it possibly measure up to the greatness we’ve been exposed to in Boy Meets World? How could it come close to the series so many of us have grown up with? I’m proud to have looked past my ridiculous expectations because giving this series a try was one of the most wonderful decisions I’ve made. We could all use a little happy and cheesy fun from time to time. There will never be a series that could possibly top or come close to Boy Meets World, everyone knows this; however, “Girl Meets Rileytown” is an episode unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Whether you’re a fan of the series or not, I fervently encourage you to give this episode the chance to bring a little light into your life.
Riley Matthews, like all of us is a tiny little weirdo with a world inside her head. And when we’re younger, it’s not always easy to love each and every one of our quirks — especially when we’re mocked because of them. Girl Meets World is full of incredibly gifted stars and this episode gave each of them the opportunity to exhibit a wide range of emotions. I was and still am completely speechless.
We live in a frighteningly negative world where it’s somehow “cool” to be careless and mean. Passionate people are perceived as bizarre and differences aren’t celebrated enough. I hope those who’ve watched this episode allow themselves to be inspired because if we don’t take care of each other and ourselves, we’ll all fall apart.
September 10, 2015
We’d like to take a moment to send our love and prayers to those who’ve lost someone.
There aren’t many things we can say that’ll ever take another person’s excruciating pain away, but we can be there and we can encourage everyone else to do the same. Unfortunately we live in a world where kindness is somehow perceived as weakness and people have a tendency to judge others as opposed to focusing on their own lives. However, at this point, there’s sadly nothing we can do about it, bullies exist and troubles are all around us, but for those who want to make a difference, all we can do is spread love. We can choose to live our lives reminding others that even in times of adversary, good still remains. Whatever you’re facing that has you wanting to end your life, remember that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not just a cliche saying, it is the truth. You weren’t brought this far to be engulfed by the darkness, you are meant to prosper.
Please listen to your loved ones and ceaselessly show them kindness. As much as you can, remind them of how special they are, help them in whatever way you can, be the light in their lives when darkness is all they can see. One person has immense power — your kindness can save a life.
It’s not just our loved ones, but remember to extend that kindness to strangers, smile at them in public or perhaps pay for their drink at a coffee shop. Online communities are filled with bullies, take a moment to tell someone you love their blog as opposed to harassing them for different opinions. Use your words to spread love because once an act is done, it cannot be undone. You never know what a person may be facing at that moment you reach out to them — your love may just restore their faith in humanity and give them the hope to believe that there’s still light in the world.
Hopefully, every one reading this has already seen the captivating commercial which aired during this year’s SuperBowl. It’s important that we all take our words into consideration and use them to uplift. It’s important that we do everything in our power to show the younger generation that they’re capable of doing great things. It’s important that we teach young girls that the heartbreaking words on the playground don’t mean a thing – what matters is how we reach the finish line. What matters is how much heart we put into everything we do. And what matters is how often we help others become better versions of themselves.
Don’t ignore your dreams.
The road to success will never be easy. The biggest tragedy in life is when someone neglects the dreams within their heart because of the crippling self doubt that comes along with the fight. As human beings we need to get it through our heads that we aren’t perfect. We never ever ever will be. It’s the only thing in life that’s impossible. If we learn to let go of the voice that tells us imperfection is the worst thing in the world, then we’ll succeed. It’ll be easier to chase our dreams. It’ll be easier to go for what you want because deep in your heart you know that it’s okay to fall.
Speaking from personal experience, being a writer isn’t easy. A special thank you to Amy Poehler for blatantly pointing that out in her epic novel “Yes Please” because so often I felt as though I was just awful at it when it got hard.Sometimes it’s fun to sit around with coffee as we brainstorm things with the California sun shining in our faces in 80 degree weather, and other times, it’s scary how quickly I can go from writing an awesome sentence to crying about how I hate everything and don’t know what I’m doing. It’s easiest to give up when those moments hit, but we can’t. The thing is, if we give up on our dreams, we give up on ourselves. “Remember yourself as a little girl (or boy), she is counting on you to protect her.” As much as our parents tried to protect us as children, they didn’t know everything that went on in our lives. As kids, we’ve all lived through certain tragedies that we could now handle as an adult – some made us stronger, but others have damaged us. For the sake of the child within you, fight your hardest to reach the pinnacle of success. It’s possible. You owe it to yourself to make everything worth it. If you have a dream in your heart, it’s there for a reason. If you can’t let it go, it’s your calling. And in the midst of the hard times, remember where you’ve been, but keep your eye on where you want to be. And whatever you do, keep telling yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes. As long as you do your best, it’s all that matters. We’re allowed to have bad days and we’re allowed to have great days.
The strongest saying in my opinion has always been – “be someone your 8-year-old self would be proud of.” Be good to others and be good to yourself as you fight for your dreams.