with a grain of rye
flights. fears. dreams.
you. us. me.
bills. tuition. scholarships.
travel blogs. newfound trips.
life. death. illness.
joy. family. sadness.
depression. anxiety. time
all these things on my mind.
I'd rather live a risky life, full of both adventures and mistakes, instead of living in fear of the unknown. -me
Feminists. The F word society throws around as a stereotype versus a word illustrating equality. Society has given the notion feminists are all radical, pro-abortion, liberal, alternative, non-conformists, LBGTQ, females, or other non-traditional "stigmas." I am here to say that is a lie. A feminist is someone who fights and continues to advocate for equal rights among the sexes, particularly for females. The goal is for equality, not for benefits. Being equal involves equal pay, fair treatment, and a multitude of things regarding respect. I believe there are those individuals who seek benefits because they have a confused idea of equality. While there is still unfair treatment in the US and other countries for females, I am advocating for a better understanding of what it means to be feminist. I am female, but I do not fall into any of the categories listed above for what society sees feminists to be. Most people, all genders, are actually indeed feminists, as the majority can agree that equal rights for all genders, races, and ethnicities are good things. While society either choses to shy away from using the F word (feminist), or over uses it in contexts that are more controversial, society has given feminists all around a bad name. I believe the nature of the word 'feminist' and who a feminist is is actually a matter of justice versus belief. Females have sought and are seeking justice for equal rights. Equal rights are not just a belief. Equal rights will provide justice. Equal rights are justice. Because of these statements, I am unquestionably a feminist, and while I do not support various claims made by feministic organizations, I attest I am an advocate for equal rights and justice, as all men are created equal; therefore, yes, I do use the F word. I use it because I am the third-wave of feminism, I am the voice for 21st century equality and feminism, just like each of you. We can all reshape the negative connotations or confused stigmas on what it means to be a feminist. So don't be afraid to use the F word.
W. why do I give more of myself to those who don't appreciate me
T. too many times I've been hurt, yet I keep letting my guard down
F. for all the times I've heard fake "i love you"s
Never in my life did I think I would be in the situation I am now. Having dreams crushed, reshaped, and life's unknowns shake up my world, I have realized that I am on the path to true self-discovery. Who am I without the clubs, jobs, ad extracurriculars? What does it mean to be me? As these questions are running through my head, mixed emotions also circulate--self-doubt, anxiety, fear--who am I? After realizing not one group or activity define me as a person, not my friends or others define me as a person, but I define me as a person. I have the say in how my life will be, on how my life is, and on who I am in it. With the new self revelations of independence and freedom, of which I am not ashamed of the person I was before who was trying to fit into the society identity of those around her, I am stronger for learning these lessons the hard way, and for strengthening my character, so I can be a stronger and more genuine version of myself.
It is a miracle and a tragedy that life moves so quickly that I seem to effortlessly forget my age. Realizing I am now 20 years old, not a high school senior or college freshman, I begin to feel the overwhelming joys and triumphs, obstacles and struggles, one faces when they enter their journey of adulthood and independence. Waiting tables to pay for bar covers, groceries, gas and insurance; 5 am work outs to make me a leader and proud American in the military; College classes that not only academically challenged me, but brought out my true strengths under pressure; Sorority events and having a "little" that made me get more involved; All of these new challenges and opportunities have impacted me in ways that are truly phenomenal as a person and have helped prepare me for future experiences. While there have been many positives this semester, my friends and I have faced many setbacks this year as well, especially when one of our good friends from Alabama died in an accidental suicidal shooting 3 weeks ago. We have all been challenged to overcome and thrive despite our loss and sadness, as we have realized we only have one life to live and we need to live ours in a way that brings not only honor to those that have gone before us, but live in a way that brings honor and love to those around us. My friend group at Alabama has only grown and expanded as I have centered myself around people who are genuine and accepting, and love me for who I am. I have never felt such peace with myself than this past year in my social connections as I have truly met some of the realest and truest gems of this earth and have had the opportunity to call them a friend, even best friends. I have been blessed to have the opportunity of having these people in my life, from going to Imagine Music Festival to us all going to Odesza, to Alabama game days, to the amazing birthday celebration they threw for me, to our Christmas goodbye, I have been so lucky and honored to be a friend to these individuals. While my friend circle became closer, so did my military connections. My mentor in the program has not only challenged me to be a better cadet, but also to become a better leader and to learn to love myself. Stressing confidence, she opened my eyes to my underlying potential no one has seen or tried to pull out in me, not even myself. She has molded me into a better person and has helped me set goals I know I will achieve and those I am going to keep persistently trying to achieve. While I found out I have had a fractured elbow for 8 months, unbeknownst to me, I have faced many obstacles and struggles within the military that I never thought would come about, yet they will all be fixed shortly or have been already. While I am balancing what seems to be 5 different lives, this semester brought clarity to my eyes by merging many of my activities and hobbies into one, making myself a better and more well-rounded individual. Still searching for myself and my true purpose, this semester has brought me so much closer to my truest version of myself, as I have not only loved and lost, I have also sacrificed and received. Looking back on the semester as a whole, it becomes evidently clear that it can be described in one word--Love. Love is about sacrifice, despite the joys and success, one cannot give love without giving of themselves, as it is a selfless act. Self-sacrifice is a key part of being a true lover and friend, a daughter and sister, a mentee and cadet, and a student and server. Spreading love this semester has been my main goal as I have vowed to live a positive and encouraging life, not only to my friends and family, but also to strangers and individuals who have truly hurt me in the past. As this semester marks the true beginning into my adulthood journey, one without the comforts of home or financial security of my parents, I eagerly look upon next semester, awaiting the joys and triumphs, obstacles and struggles, still yet to come as a sophomore at the University of Alabama. In hopes to continue my self-exploration to find my true calling and purpose in this life, I have shared my experience to encourage anyone reading this to find their purpose as well. Peace be with you all, as I genuinely hope everyone is able to reflect on their own joys and struggles from this past semester to further better themselves to become the best version of themselves. -Gabe
You know they are coming
You try to
Yet, here they are
You caught them
I do not know if it's my eyes wondering for something more or my heart.
Have you ever wondered why we are here, what the human purpose is, or what constitutes what is good and what is evil? I believe these universal and controversial questions, based on how we answer them, are the core fundamentals to uncovering the truest version of ourselves and our true moral character. Recently, I attended the Imagine Music and Arts Festival in Atlanta, GA to break away from personal struggles and emotions I was dealing with back in Tuscaloosa. This spontaneous trip opened my eyes to the positive energy I needed in my life, of which these moral fundamentals began circulating through my inner thoughts, helping me discover my own moral character.
My goal for the trip was to find clarity through the music to heal my soul from the negativity and the rejection I faced with regard to relationships, classes, work, and other campus organizations. Upon arriving, my mood was immediately elevated and I felt more in tune with myself and my emotions than ever before. Being a big fashion, trend-setter/follower, I sported the festival girl look, which featured the basic black fishnets, comet one piece with a black long sleeve mesh covering, and the Gucci fanny pack (of which I got in Rome for festivals). I felt liberated wearing this outfit, as I was expressing my own interests and being true to myself in what I was wearing, as no one cared or was judging anyone for anything that was going. The environment and atmosphere of Imagine is one I cannot fully express in words, but it was as if I was in a Holy Garden or a mystical paradise, as the lights, dancers, effects, and design of the entertainment space radiated such positive vibes. With such positive vibes, however, one must acknowledge the absence of the negativity.
In a fast-paced society filled with immediate access to technology, it is hard to find yourself isolated from the media and outer influences, which usually bring negativity in the form of stress or social pressure. This spontaneous road trip to ATL opened my eyes, my heart, and my soul to my inner voice and conscience, allowing me to further find myself and my own beliefs on the nature of good and evil.
While the line between what is good and what is evil is extremely fuzzy with new laws, insight, experiences, and testimonies being voiced in our modern society, one thing remains certain: We have the opportunity to feel the good and choose it. Positive vibes radiate and attract positivity, they even uplift those people in a time of need to inspire them to share the light and radiate it. After the festival, I decided to re-dedicate my life to be a vessel of positivity, illustrating the good in the world. With such a personal reflection, I challenge anyone reading this to also take my stance on this subject and vow to radiate positive energy and uplift the world instead of having the world weigh you down.
my walls being torn down.
shut out once again.
your eyes were cold.
yet i felt warm with you.
i gave my time to you.
needing the high once again.
-the unspoken thoughts of a college student