Bad At Love

When looking at my blog from a far it is really tough to understand the overall theme or natural flow that exists. For many people who read and follow along, it seems a little disconnected. Like random thoughts or ideas placed into one place.

Well unfortunately  it is random thoughts and ideas that some how end up typed out and published, but more importantly there is a defined themed throughout. Each piece explores human nature and the norms in society. From stereotyping, to being introverted, suicide, being happy, struggles, and my newest series being human; each post explores aspects of society and human nature.

I typically write from a place of knowledge, wisdom, research, or my soul. One topic that is not often discussed or highly talked about it romantic relationships and love.

It is not that I do not feel like it is not a topic for discussion in regards to norms in society and human nature because it is usually a topic that plagues our society and is in fact a large aspect of being human.

Of course I will explore this topic from a specific angle within the series of Being Human at a later date (If you have not read the first two than 1. go read them because the series is bound to get interesting and the more thoughts and opinions will shape the future of the series and 2. you will not understand the difference of this post to the one in the future in the series of being human), but I often do not speak on the topic because I am one of many who cannot figure out this love thing. (or so society thinks)

It is not that I am an emotionless corporate climber without work life balance, or the opposite a hopeless romantic that jumps in and out of relationships in hopes of finding the love of my life.

I am simply bad at love.

Writing that is both a relief and also really tough for me. I am person that prides myself in becoming successful in anything and everything that I truly put effort into. I believe the more effort and time you spend, you will soon reap the rewards of your effort. Regardless of the time I put into love and finding love or the time I allow escape and let nature takes its course the more I come back empty handed.

We as Americans are engrained in the belief that if you hit 30 and you are still single and on the market that you ultimately are one of two thing. First is that you placed importance on your career over finding love or you are not lovable. We live in a society where relationship goals is a hashtag and oversharing everything in life including your love for another is normal.

As I slowly creep towards the age where I am unable to donate my eggs due to my age, and having more than one pet makes you a _______ mom or lady. I have had to stop and really think about love.

Have I found romantic love. No not within a life long person, but I have found love. Love in my career. Love in who I am. Love in my confidence. Love in laughing. Love within my family. Love in my purpose. Love in my faith. Love in my sweet pups that deal with my craziness. Love in the daily joys.

I am not bad at love, I am bad at the image of romantic love in society. I have so much love to give and have not found the person to share it with. I do not know if I believe in soul mates or a defined love of my life. But I know when it is my time to explore romantic love, it will not be the idealized image that society has engrained in me to have and strive for. It will be this true and honest love that I have been learning exists in my daily routine.

Kindness does not need Validation

So I recently discovered a pet peeve of my own, and decided to share. My older sister lives in a secured building. The building is an income based apartment complex.  The guards that are employed are all there regularly, and start to build relationships with the tenants and regular guests. Although I could probably give a thousand stories about these wonderful guards, this will probably be the first and last.  One of the regulars always bring in extra snacks and food for the kids that live in the building.  Honestly he gave me more hope in humanity. As I was leaving one day, we happened to start talking because after I cleaned snow off my car, a little kid came over to my car and offered to help clean it off for a small fee.  Although the kid asked for two bucks and could not even reach halfway up my car, I allowed him to help me clean off the car and in reward I bought him a hot chocolate and gave him the change from a twenty dollar bill.  Before I left that guard asked if I was going to take a picture with the kid or post about the occurrence on social media. After talking with this guard for a while, I found out that he takes pictures of his “good deeds”, and has gained followers and recognition from his actions.

This man openly said that he loves all the positive feedback and it pushes him to do “more”. I love that he is helping others, but I could not help but question his motives. Does he perform random acts of kindness just to gain more followers and more likes?

The sad part is that the more that I think about the subject, I have realized that it has became a trend. People perform these great acts of kindness, but seem to post about the occurrence, video the “random act”, or take pictures with the people they helped. Why do people need others to validate their actions? Why has this become a trend?

Personally, I probably will never understand the need for validation. On a daily basis, I perform tasks that are thankless and goes without ever being noticed by anyone.  Being a good person does not need validation. Being a kind human and treating everyone like they are important does not need others approval or acknowledgment.  My satisfaction is knowing that each day I make a difference in this big world, no matter how small!

So I have a challenge to anyone willing to hear my rants. Go out and perform random acts of kindness, even if it is as small as giving a compliment to a stranger. Just one small random act of kindness can improve your day and your overall attitude as well as will help others.

Make today great for your self and others. Put out good vibes and always remember everyone is fighting their own battles.

Until next time!

 

What is being “too white”?

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In American society, if one has an ounce of African-American blood running through their veins, other Americans instantly consider the person “black”.  Do not get me wrong, I embrace the fact that people call me “black”, and I encourage people to realize that in fact my father is African-American and North American Indian.  “.

Although at large people only consider my African-American heritage, there is one thing the drives me insane. When someone state that I act “too white”.  People from both the African-American community and White American community have both stated this comment.  I will not argue with someone who states that I have “white” mannerisms, I dress preppy, I engage in “white” conversation, or any other “white” attribute that I seem to obtain.  I guess what I am trying to say is what makes what I am doing “white”, how am I “too white”? (besides the obviously fact that my mother is in fact white). Many educated people of color that I have had the pleasure of knowing find it highly offensive and demeaning to categorize their mannerisms as “white”.  If you look at some of the most inspirational advancements within the African-American community it was by these amazing people who seem to have a lot of  “white” mannerisms.

What this all boils down to is: when in American culture have we substituted having diction and speaking American English language as it is taught categorized as white?    Why is wearing a certain brand of clothing considered “white”?   On that same note “why are so many white people acting black?”  Why do we categorize mannerisms, personal style, and speech by race.

Our major issue in American society is not police brutality against people of color, the major issue is separating everything between what is “black” and what is “white”.  We separate and distinguish between our differences rather than coming together as a whole society to celebrate our similarities. Unfortunately our society is constantly reinforcing stereotypes and categorizing certain negative characteristics as “black” instead of listing it as it truly is.  Such as aspects that people consider “hill billy” or “country” is a negative connotation that does not necessary stem directly to one race or another.  Can we list a style as hip-hop and speech simply as “slang”?  By eliminating certain stereotypes (Not just white or black but all cultures) that cause negative view of a culture as a whole can allow American to be great nation that we pretend it to be.

Finally Weighing In: “Black Lives Matter”

It is not often that I write, discuss, or share my personal beliefs on politics or current events, but in the recent weeks I have been pondering about the controversial civil rights issues that have been present within the media and political debate within the past few months. I abstain from many politically charged debates mainly, which lead many to believe that I have few opinions. This is far from the truth noting that I am a political science major, and have a strong stance on most issues, but often view situations quite differently due to my extensive political background. I refrain from debate due to my twisted unusual views and the fact that I hate debating people who are emotionally attached to a subject that they have little to no accurate knowledge about. With that said, I warn those who decide to continue to read that this is purely my opinion and up for debate, and I will not give you a simple response.

Within the media, I have seen to spectrums of the argument. One stating that the incidents are not civil rights issues, but actions of the officer were caused by these individuals violating the law. On the opposite end, people state that police brutality is a persistent problem that plagues black communities. These two sides are blaming one another for what occurred and for the outcome and results of these incidents. As an educated woman of color, I can appreciate both of the arguments and relate to both sides, but there are some many underlying issues that are never addressed by both sides.

Yes, I agree if these individuals did not commit a crime or show aggression towards officers there could have been a different outcome. (the key word is could because no one truly knows) There was so much controversy when Pharrell Williams stated that Michael Brown committed a crime and was pursued by the cops for his actions. Williams was correct, he was being pursued because there was a crime committed. His death was a result of his mistake. No matter how smart he was or the bright future that he may have had, the facts are he committed a crime, and the officer was in the right to pursue him. No one can dispute this, regardless if there was the end result of the situation. I understand that this outcome probably would have ended differently if this was a white male versus a black male, but the reality is that we will never know because that is not what happened. To put it quite frankly there would have been little to know media coverage of the incident if it was a white male and there would be less controversy and interest in the case. Would society be blaming police brutality if it was a black cop and a white suspect? Would the black cop be charged with a crime? We simply cannot say with certainty the outcome if the roles were reversed. One fact is for sure; there would not be riots and protests on the scale of this event if circumstances were a bit or radically different.

With the being said, I also agree that there is a sense of racial profiling within the American society that has existed for years, and are targeted towards black individuals being criminals or law breakers. I agree that on a daily basis, black individuals get stopped and pulled over by the police at a higher rate than white individuals. We are accused of crimes that we did not commit and people look at us more suspiciously. Recently, I was shopping at a store and went to leave at the same time as two white individuals. The security alarm went off, yet I was the only one stopped. I was asked to verify my purchases, and ask to search my personal belongings. I willing obeyed knowing that I did not take any un-purchased items. I was released shortly after with an apology. The worse part of the situation was that one of those other individuals could have easily taken an item, but I was automatically the target. Someone dressed properly and with proper grammar is still defined by the color of their skin. The high rate of racial profiling within America continues, and it seems impossible for African Americans to break these stereotypes that many people place on them.

Putting both arguments aside the problems lies within the great divide that still exists within society. The struggle and hardships that are faced by African Americans is the true problem in society, and is greater than just police brutality and the death of one or two individuals. This is not to say that White Americans have not embraced some the black culture such as music, dance, style, and the outrageous slang but simply realizing that there are still misconceptions and stereotypes still placed on African Americans. Many people who are posting on social media about police brutality and the terrible nature of the police department need to realize that the protests and riots are not due to a single incident, but rather linked to deeper underlying issues and frustrations rooted within many communities of color. We need to unite not as African Americans and people of color, but as a human race to stop stereotyping and to become as one. I am not saying to hold hands and sing Cumbyeya, but to simply recognize that there is a problem in our society that stems from our own misconception and beliefs that is deeply rooted within society and to move on to become a stronger society. At the end of the day I just want everyone to remember not every black person is a criminal or thug and not every cop is militant jerk ready to kill. We are all human beings that make mistakes that should take responsibility for our actions.

To simply put my opinion for all those who have trouble following my endless rant. Michael Brown was in the wrong, and that cop had every right to pursue him, but did he have the right to shot him…. I simply do not have a definitive answer, but at some point will he realize that regardless if it was right or wrong he took a life of a young boy who made a mistake. No human is perfect. We cannot blame him entirely for firing upon him, and it was up to our judicial system to discover an appropriate decision for the case regardless if we agree with the decision or not.

Simply keep in mind regardless of your race, ethnicity, or family background next time you pass someone rethink that stereotype you just placed upon them because there is a ninety-five percent chance that you have already created one for them. Stop judging a book by the color of the cover and move pass the preconceived notions that you may already have. Lastly, stop judging me as you read this last sentence. Peace and love to you all!

Why Model UN is the Ultimate Club to Join in College

Becoming a Model UN nerd was most likely the second best decision that I have made in college. As ludicrous as it may seem, it has really impacted my life more than most people would imagine. There is so much room for growth and understanding that you cannot gain through other groups and organization. Here are just a few reasons that everyone should try Model UN regardless of you major.

1. Public speaking becomes your best friend.

Some of the quietest people I have ever met are in the club and are some the most eloquent speakers that you would ever meet. One learn how to give an educated and through speech in front of hundreds of strangers that you will spend only a few days with. You speak about the most mundane items such increasing speaking times and how many questions people should ask you. It allows one to gain confidence in speaking in front an educated group of peers. This is a skill that will extend into many aspects of the future. It is a lesson that anyone entering the work force should be able to do. Gaining the confidence to speak without stuttering and nervous ticks is one of the amazing advantages of joining model un.

2. Becoming worldly.

Model UN students and club members are able to step outside of their shoes of being an American citizen and embrace a new history and culture that is not always familiar to your life. Within varies conferences, I have been able to represent the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Russia. All of these countries have different perspectives and policies on many issues that are available within the work of the United Nations. By representing these countries, one is able to learn about the culture and the areas that they need to improve. It allows one to understand the culture and the struggles, and recognize the importance of small growths and improvements in developing countries. It allows one to see the problems faced globally, and the issues that is affecting the world today.

3. Meeting amazing people at conferences

Since I have started participating in Model UN, I have attended four big conferences. Each conference I was able to meet people from all across the United States. These people have become friends and connections that span globally. These people become some of the people that you may work with in the future. It is expanding your network, and opening doors you have not arrived at yet. It is probably one of the perks of conference. Not only do you meet these people, most have common interest and majors.

4. Experience dressing in Business attire

At the beginning of my experience as a Model UNer, the worst part was the dress code for conference. Most conference requires western business attire. This usually includes a professional look and the need for a lot of black, gray, and navy. The silver lining of the situation is that it is practice for the real world, and the expectation of most modern employers. They expect you to have class and dress well for any occasion. Although it is not the greatest waking up an hour and half earlier to make sure that your clothes have no wrinkles and you look the part, one is able to know the feeling of being in business attire for more than eight hours. Now as I am about to experience my last couple of conferences, I have come to enjoy dressing the part and have incorporated many of the items into my daily wardrobe such as my blazer and pencil skirt.

5. Learn to properly Research

Research is one of the most valuable lessons that can be taught during the experience. Finding out other nations foreign policy is not always a simply task. It is analyzing speeches, actions taken about the countries, treaty agreements, and press releases. Sometimes in a different language. Researching can be rather difficult especially when a country does not have much on the topic. There is finding concrete information and there is trying to figure out an appropriate position based on the research that you have found.

6. Writing ability maximized

The entire conference has two main components or skills that used throughout the entire time, speaking and writing. There is so much writing involved within the conference. From position papers, to resolutions, and even reports, there is no escaping at least some writing during the process. It shows a new form of writing that is not common within the academic setting. It is creative and unique but also straight to the point. It includes things minimizing an entire foreign policy to fit on one sheet of paper, resolutions with perambulatory clauses and operative clauses, and reports that are similar to those made in a business setting. Needless to say, you either learn to write or adapt to a new writing style.

7. Model UN family

One of my favorite aspects of the whole experience would be your fellow students becoming your family. We all travel together, share beds, and create memories that will last a lifetime. These people will always have those inside jokes that no one will understand, and a connection that can never be described. In the process of fixing the problems that face the world you are bonding, making inside jokes, living life to the fullest with people that may not have been your best friend before the conference. We all become one dysfunctional family that has contains the serious one, the inappropriate one, the know-it all, the person who stays in character, the social butterfly, the resident alcoholic, the comedian, the “leader”, the outspoken one, the newbie, and so many more personalities. As you get back to campus, you realize that you have friends outside of the your “usual” group, and people that you created some of the greatest college memories with, the memories and stories that you will talk about for years to come.

8. Traveling

The aspect of traveling to big cities across the world is another highlight of the conference. Traveling from Toronto, New York, Chicago, among many other cities is another great perk of being a part of the club. You are able to explore cities in a way that you will never be able to again. Eat amazing food. During one conference there was a major protest within the city only a block away from the hotel that we were staying at. We were able to be a part of history and experience what the real world is really like.

Being a Model UN nerd has changed my college experience in so many ways. It has opened up so many opportunities that range from meeting new people, seeing new places, and experiencing life around the country. It has helped decide and change my path in the future and learn so many new skills that will carry with me into the real world. Model UN may not be for everyone, but it is worth given a try. It will be an unforgettable experience that will be discussed in the years to come.

Stereotypes: Who is to blame

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As one scrolls through social media one gets a snapshot into the lives of all those people that we call friends or acquaintances. Over the past few months I have noticed a handful of my African American friends make posts or comments such as the following statement:

“As a black man, I feel as though I have to work twice as hard and present myself twice as well in whatever I’m doing, because whether someone believes misconceptions and stereotypes or not, I can’t afford to let any of them enter their mind.”

I found myself guilty of liking and emphasizing with those friends who would post these status and updates. Although I am biracial, I could understand the motive behind these statuses and comments. I am constantly telling people about how I have to work twice as hard and seem to be prove a point every step of the way. In the same instant I have thought about how each person has to deal with stereotypes on a daily basis. Society has engrained within each of us a set of rules that we seem to guide our very existence upon.

How Asian’s are deemed as the mathematical and scientific intellects of society, white males the leaders, African Americans as underclass, Latinos as trespassers or illegal aliens, women as the weaker sex. No matter where ones turn there is another stereotype that we as a society continue to reinforce. We constantly talk about the dislike of others or outsiders placing us in a box but continue to endorse society to place us in the box.

We continue to allow stereotypes to exist by filming and producing shows and movies such as “Basketball Wives” and the Madea movies that only help to reinforce the negative images and actions of African Americans. In the instance of Latino the “George Lopez Show”, and for women almost any film which the woman is the madam in distress (which is about 85% of movies out there). Not only do we film and produce these types of shows, but we also become a captivated audience to these productions. How can we argue that society puts these negative stereotypes onto us when we are willing to sit back and laugh at this debauchery within our homes?

Not only do we watch this madness on television and in movies, but we are all guilty of placing ourselves in this box. By referring to ourselves or allowing others to refer to us as the “black friend” or the “white girl of the group”. We also soften the atmosphere by creating a joke like “hey don’t worry I am not going to steal anything”. And let’s not forget about apologizing or needing to explain being that black person who loves country music. Why do I need to apologize or explain my preferences?

I am going to leave all of you with something to think about. Next time you are tempted to post a status about needing to prove yourself to others, or working twice as hard to keep stereotypes out of their minds think about white men for one second. While most people think they have the easiest stereotypes to live under, they indeed are one of the hardest stereotypes to have. Because instead of being able to be the first woman to complete an obstacle on American Ninja Warrior, the first African American President, or the first Latino Court Justice, they are expected to become all of these things. When they have scandals and make mistakes, they are scrutinized heavier because they are expected to “know better”. When someone becomes the CEO or gets promoted over the “white men” they do not see the other person as the more qualified, but sees the fact that the “white man” is a disappointment for not gaining a position that is was destined for. Or if the son of a prominent attorney decides to become an artist it is looked upon with shame. The stereotypes when one has to live up to a high standard are much more difficult than those when people think lowly of you. It is easier to prove someone wrong than to try to prove someone right. It is more satisfying to do something someone sees as impossible or unlikely than to become someone people expect you to already to become.

Now I am well aware that stereotypes will not disappear overnight, but it is nice to be aware that although we complain about these stereotypes we also help to enable people to continue to solidify these misconceptions through our actions. I am not saying to give up your favorite television shows (it is also one of my guilty pleasure), but I am simply trying to soften the blow when someone decides to place a stereotype upon you or others you may know. Although I will still continue to like those status updates about the unfairness that stereotypes place on a race that I feel a part of, and share feminist articles on Facebook I do understand that I not only endorse stereotypes but help to create them. Simply live your life to the greatest and do not ever compare your struggle to another’s because everyone is fighting a different battle.