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Why I’m a Feminist

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I am a feminist because I want to end unrealistic expectations for both men and women, there should not be some expectation to look like someone else to feel appreciated, to feel loved, to feel like we belong in some sort of “group”, this is not high school where they are focused on cliques, this is the real world that we live in, no two people look alike.

I am a feminist because I am tired of hearing, “Cool story, now go make me a sandwich” or “Real men don’t cry”, because these stereotypes are harmful to everyone around the world. Real men do cry, they have emotions just like the rest of us. And no one is your personal maid or slave, they are not obligated to make you a ‘sandwich’, you can go make it yourself.

I am a feminist because I want to end this horrible rape culture that we live in. Both men and women get raped, it is a proven fact. The problem is that not everyone realizes that men are also the victims to such abuse just like any other woman out there who gets raped and abused, they are terrified just like everyone else who endures physical, emotional, and mental abuse. To say that they don’t, is just down right ignorant.

I am a feminist because I want to end gender roles. In the past, roles to each gender were assigned, for men, they had to play with trucks, play in the dirt, get “manly” jobs, for women, they were told to play with dolls and have an easy bake oven, while dressing up in dresses and looking pretty. Young girls are allowed to play with toy trucks, and young boys are allowed to play with dolls that they find fun. There should be no roles assigned to anyone. If you like something, then by all means, do that hobby or get that outfit, just be you. I know several women who are welders, and they are badasses at their jobs, proving that they can do anything. I know a man who is a manicurist and he is phenomenal at his job, he chose that job because he loves it, he isn’t at a job that doesn’t love.

I am a feminist because I am sick and tired of people judging women based on their clothing, yet they gawk at a woman who wears a mini skirt and tank top, then catcall her. One, women are not objects to stare at, they are hardworking, intelligent, compassionate people, just like you. They are not meant to be stared down and made to feel inferior. Second, you have no say over what a woman wears, she wears what she wants to wear. It is her body, and you have no say over what she wears on her body. If she wants to wear a hijab, don’t you dare try to take it off to offend her. If she wants to wear a mini skirt, then let her wear that mini skirt. She wears articles of clothing because she is drawn to them and likes them. Same goes for men as well, if a man wants to wear a pink shirt, then don’t criticize him for it. If a man wears his pants saggy, let him, it is his body and he can wear whatever he wants just like women can.

I am a feminist because I am sick and tired of people comparing everyone to others and degrading others. Stop with the signs and memes that roam around Pinterest, Google, and other parts of the internet that say, “In a World of Kardashians, be a …..”.  Honestly, I don’t know much about the Kardashians, but to degrade them like that is wrong on many levels, you may not agree with their lifestyle, fashion sense, or moral compass, however you shouldn’t be degrading them and trying to raise another person up. Degrading others to feel better about yourself is just plain wrong and it shouldn’t be happening whatsoever. Comparing one person to another also needs to be put to an end, due to the fact that no two people are alike, it is nearly impossible, even twins are not alike on many levels.

I am a feminist because I believe in equal pay between men and women, based on education and experience, not based on what is between your legs. It shouldn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, it should matter on your education and experience. If a man and a woman both have a bachelor’s degree and also have ten years of experience, then they should get paid equally. Currently, women get paid $.75 to a man who gets paid $1.00.

I am a feminist because my feminine needs are not a luxury. Every woman since the dawn of time has had their premenstrual cycles, and they bleed for 5 to 7 days every 28 days. Tampons, pads, cups, whatever else is used out there, is viewed as a luxury. It is not a luxury. Stop hiking the percentage price to %40 tax.

I am a feminist because I want to protect all of those who are being forced to become child’s brides as 10 years old. I don’t believe in becoming a bride at such a young age. Back in the 1500’s men and women were betrothed at the age of birth, and were made to get married at once they were to be perceived as a man or woman. We live in the 21st century, and things need to change today.

This is just the icing on the cake as to why I am a feminist. This is extremely important to me, and should be important to everyone around the world. Why are you a feminist?

 

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Standing With Mother Earth

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Here we are, in 2017, with a brand new president and vice president to run the United States, while also bringing new presidents around the world to their first terms as presidents (congratulations to Tsai Ing-wen for becoming the first female president of Taiwan!). While here in America, a good majority of us (including myself) are preparing for things to even get worse (it already hit the fan with the temporary ban on Muslims from entering our country), our new elected president Donald Trump has recently signed a document letting the Dakota Access Pipeline to go ahead and destroy the earth with its pipeline that is running through the Dakota’s.

Seeing our precious earth becoming more and more of a landfill, than what it is supposed to be (an ecological, sustainable, graced with hills of luscious green grass, trees, and wildlife). Turning this planet into a waste dump is not what it is meant for. It is not used for greedy corporations to make their “mark” on this land, it is not for chemical induced products to be placed into the grounds, the very grounds that we walk on, grow food, and raise our own families on, is for us to have a healthy and long living life; all the while following our passions and dreams.

More and more pipelines being produced and being forced into the ground, we will see the earth dwindle away to nothing but a concrete jungle of skyscrapers and mansions. All the trees that provide us with warmth, shelter, and oxygen are being taken down and thrown away as if they were garbage, the food that we tend to grow into the soil of the earth is being contaminated by the chemicals that everyone is dumping into the lands below our feet, and the wild animals that roam the planes and mountains are disappearing due to greedy poachers who only care about making a quick dollar. We are living in a time where we are giving the future generations absolutely nothing, we are living in a time where we are allowing corporations destroy the earth and its inhabitants one day at a time.

So, instead of giving them a concrete jungle and no world to play in, we need to be making this place we call home healthier, more sustainable, and capable of having humans and the entire animal kingdom living on it for thousands of years to come.

 

Photo Credit: Unknown

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What ‘Anne of Green Gables’ Taught me about Love and Relationships

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Ever since I was a little child I always had a book in my hand, I would take that book with me everywhere I went and read it while other kids were socializing with one another, don’t get me wrong, I would jump in mud puddles and play in the dirt just like any other child, I just preferred books more. The books I read as a child helped shape me to become the woman that I am today, and I am grateful for it. Most of the books were of romance, you know the old fashioned romance novels that still grace the bookshelves around the world, but are now in the back due to the recent BDSM novels 5o Shades of Grey taking the limelight.

Anne of Green Gables series is a perfect example of one of the romance-coming of age novels that I grew up reading as a child, and during the time that I had discovered about love, friendships, relationships, and learning about myself as well by reading these novels. And oh what a ride it was at such a young age to learn about that. And now, as a woman in my mid-20’s, I can look back on those novels when I need some reminding about what it is that I learned about love and relationships.

                                          Find someone who challenges you:

When it comes to academics, and some sports, I can get pretty competitive, that is just who I am by nature. However, I, just like everyone else, feel like I have to dumb myself down to just stroke a guys ego, but just like Anne Shirley, I will have none of that. At first Anne tries to best Gilbert, who is also very competitive, but in reality this whole competitive streak in the both of them, it just makes them both better, not only for themselves, but for each other.

Forget about your ideal suitor/dream person:

Just like everyone else out there, we all are attracted to specific types of people. For Anne, her ideal person was “tall and distinguished looking, with melancholy, inscrutable eyes and a melting, sympathetic voice”. That description is nowhere near Gilbert Blythe, even though he is her soul mate and one true love. For myself, my ideal person was, tall, rugged, tattooed, with soulful eyes and a deep, penetrating voice. I’m not saying you should settle, by heavens, no. Just remember, that your soul mate will look different from your ideal suitor, and that is okay. In the words of Anne Shirley, “I don’t want sunbursts or marble halls, I just want you.” Keep that in mind when you have finally met your soulmate/twinflame.

Relationship with your own bosom friend (best friend):

Everyone has a best friend (s), the one that we can go to for anything, and know that they will be your support system, while at the same time, make you stay grounded. Anne Shirley’s best friend is Diana Barry, whom she refers to “bosom friend”, they are inseparable and their friendships stays strong throughout the remainder of their lives. Having your very own best friend is one of the best feelings in the world, because you have found someone who understands your quirks, and loves spending time with you.

Letting Yourself Be Rescued:

For many modern women, they do not want to be rescued by a prince/princess on a shining horse, it is basically against everything that the modern woman stands for. But if you are like Anne Shirley, holding onto the bottom of the bridge in The Lake of Shining Waters, and your rival comes along wanting to help you get out….take it. There is nothing wrong with being saved once in a while.

Don’t be afraid to feel all of the emotions:

Being an emotional person is nothing to be afraid of, in fact, I am highly emotional, and perfectly okay with that. Because I feel for everything around me and in me. Anne’s emotions are well read between the lines, and to see the things she finds joy in and see how much Gilbert had hurt her, is truly remarkable. Because she is a human, she is allowed to feel these emotions.

Never take shit from boys:

When Anne arrives to the school on her first day, Gilbert is taken by her and wants to get her attention, so what does he do? He calls her “carrots” and pulls on her braids. And Anne’s response, she got up, cursed him, took a slate and smashed it over Gilbert’s head. It is humorous when you first read it, and still hilarious when you read it again, or even when you watch it happen when Megan Follows (as Anne Shirley) busts the slate over Jonathan Crombie’s (as Gilbert Blythe) head.

The first meeting:

The moment Gilbert Blythe lays eyes on Anne Shirley, he is smitten, as if it were truly love at first sight. But then his obnoxious behavior turns Anne away for some time, and he tries to get her attention again. Love at first sight is something that pretty much everyone dreams of, and I will admit that I have always been fascinated with the thought of love at first sight. For myself, I have never actually experienced it, but I don’t let that get me down. The first meeting can be over the top like Anne’s and Gilbert’s, or it can be something that you have only read or seen in movies, or even just by a chance encounter.

Sometimes it’s best to apologize:

Anne realizes that her actions against Gilbert were uncalled for, and that is when she gives him the sweetest and dearest apology ever to be written: “What a stubborn little goose I was…”, finally opening up that door that led to a beautiful friendship and romance.

 

Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of the Anne of Green Gables series, created the characters of Anne and Gilbert to show the entire world about true romance and show that even Anne goes through the entire cycle of emotions as she learns her place in the world, in herself, and as a wonderful yet spunky daughter, friend, wife, and mother. Not only that, but Lucy Maud Montgomery created a man (Gilbert) that millions of women (and some men) had fallen for, and I was one of those women who had fallen for Gilbert Blythe. And if Mrs. Montgomery were here, I would give her a hug and thank her for creating such beautiful novels that I could relate to.

 

 

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Paint me in Orange: Art Therapy

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Many of you know that Mental Health Awareness Month is not until October, however, we shouldn’t be discussing it only during one month. It should be a topic that should be discussed frequently, and not just only during a designated month. Mental Health is one of the few topics that most people do not want to discuss, due to the fact that they are afraid of the topic, afraid of the reality of illnesses that plague nearly 43 Million Americans alone.

When it comes to mental health, the most common treatment is either prescription or seeing a therapist. Personally, I go to see a therapist once a week to help with my own health problems, and it is nice to have a conversation with an outsider (3rd party) that is a professional and that could help me cope with things. Besides seeing a therapist, I participate in what is called, “Art Therapy”. I’ve been doing art therapy for years now, with my poems and novels to my paintings, and it is truly a great therapeutic approach to helping oneself.

Art therapy comes in so many different ways: painting, writing, drawing, knitting, sewing, playing instruments, singing. Just about anything in the art community can be turned into a therapy session for someone. Art therapy is usually overlooked by most people, because they seem to call it hogwash, which it isn’t. It is highly effective, especially for those who wish to put their thoughts and emotions onto something that is pure white with no speck of any word or color splashed on it. Art therapy gives the person a chance to show their inner self, the emotions and thoughts that they currently having, and put them onto a canvas or on paper. Having this ability to throw your emotions and thoughts onto paper can help relieve you from the weight that has been placed on you, giving you a chance to breathe, and letting you be able to, in that moment, feel stress free.

If you ever feel that you are overwhelmed by the emotions and thoughts that have been plaguing you, grab a paintbrush, a pen, or knitting needles; because you can help get rid of those unwanted thoughts while concentrating on something that you enjoy.

 

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Shores of Alaska (Poem)

7f369970a12a095219050ce4144a3438The snow falls down,
Gently placing itself on the pier beneath my feet,
While it melts from the instant touch of the sea.
The clouds hug the night sky,
While all of the stars say goodbye,
As I stare blankly into the dark sight before me.
It is always like this,
Every winter since the dawn of time,
Yet it does not faze me,
For I welcome it into my life.

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Those we Admire

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Some months ago I wrote about everyone having role models, those that we look up to in our everyday lives. And yes, it is true, we all have role models, those are the ones that we admire, the ones we wish to be like, and the ones who shape us to be who we are meant to be in our later years in life.

For the most part, one person might say that their mom or dad are their role models, another might point out a teacher or colleague, it doesn’t matter who it might be, it is just a well known fact that we all have role models.

Months ago, I had pointed out that my mother and my granny were my biggest role models, they are type of women that are strong, kind hearted, intelligent, and just two of the most amazing women in the world. Sadly though, my granny passed away when I was about to be 8 years old, however, she influenced me greatly in my early years, and I am honored by that. Another person I had mentioned was Laki Penan, a man who has been gone for nearly seventeen years after he disappeared while helping out a local tribe in Malaysia. He instilled the sense of humanity in me, his selflessness that he portrayed showed me that there are others out there that need help and need us all to help them.

One person that I failed to mention was a man by the name of  Ryōkan, a Zen Buddhist monk who lived most of his life as a hermit. He was known for his beautiful poetry and also for his calligraphy. Ryōkan, in many ways, instilled the lifestyle of Zen into my life, influenced my own sense of style of writing poetry, and showed me that being a bit of a hermit is not a bad thing. This man has influenced me greatly, with his quirky, eccentric way of life and poetry, and because of him, I’ve been molded in such a way.

Those we admire, are the ones we hold up with such high regards, the ones that we look to for guidance and are slowly molded in such a manner to which they’ve helped shaped us to be. Look at those who you admire, you will start to see the likeness between you and them, and then you see that you are molded in the ways of your role models.

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Simple Life, Simple You: Minimalist Lifestyle

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We live in a society where all the ads on television and in the newspapers telling us that we need this item right now, telling us that we will be complete once we have obtained that said item. That being said, you will not be complete with whatever item the ad is trying to sell to you. Instead, you will be spending more money on something that you probably didn’t need anyway. The society that we currently live in is all about more; more food, more clothes, more toys, just more of anything, and for a few minutes there will be a glimmer in your eyes telling the rest of us and yourself that you are happy, but in reality you are not. So instead of coping with your hoarding hobby, you make your way over to the nearest strip mall and you start roaming through the aisles, looking for something to make you feel that “happiness” once again. But then you don’t find it.

As a traveler, blogger, and coach, I find myself in the same boat but only with books. Being a bookworm, I am always wanting more books, to fill some sort of emptiness that I have deep inside. But I know for a fact that even though I love books and that they make me happy for a period of time when I am reading them, I know that they will not fill that void. So I tell myself that I should only keep a certain amount of books for the next six months, and once I am done; I will get rid of the ones that I do not want to continue reading. It makes it easier for me, and not only that, it makes it easier for when I travel to my next destination.

Creating a minimalist lifestyle might seem daunting, but in reality, it isn’t that hard. It is just creating piles of things to figure out what it is you are going to keep and what you are going to throw away or donate.

Wardrobe: The wardrobe is the most common place for many people to hoard clothes. Most people will buy articles of clothing and never wear them, just to only sit in the closet or drawer to gather dust. Creating a minimalist wardrobe is easy, and you can still have your own style and flair to go along with it. Only having 25 to 30 articles of clothing (not including intimates: boxers, underwear, bras, swimsuits), makes it easy on you to have some fun to mix and match your clothes, and makes it easy for when you are traveling to go to weddings, visit relatives, or even go overseas. **If you haven’t worn the article of clothing within the past 6 months, then donate it, because in reality you might never wear it again.

Books: I know, all of you bookworms out there that are just like me are gasping for air because I have put this into this post. However, let’s be realistic, traveling and lugging around two or three suitcases of books is not ideal in any situation. Because I’ve attempted that once, it was a horrible mistake. Now, I keep only 15 to 20 books with me at all times, then twice a year I go through them and look over them to see which ones I don’t want to keep, then replace them with different books for the next year.

Food: Yes, food is going to be on here. The reason why it is, is due to the fact that people eat way more than they used to, it is all about bigger and fuller plates, than actually enjoying what is in front of you. And for the most part, people don’t even eat half of what is in front of them, then they just toss the rest into the garbage can. The food we put into our stomach is for us to enjoy and savor the aroma and delicious herbs and spices that are placed upon the food. It is also to keep us nourished and keep us healthy. Food isn’t meant to be wasted in the landfills, while there are millions of children in third world countries are looking for a meal on the streets. If you are single, and enjoy making big batches of food for the work week, there is nothing wrong with that, just make sure that you don’t waste it by chucking it out, and don’t gorge out on it either, use proportions.

Email: We live in the digital age where everyone has an email account that is linked to their social media accounts, and also linked to their work. However, sometimes, the inbox can become cluttered with unwanted messages and scams. Cleaning out your inbox at least three times a month will help your digital side of life, minimalist as well.

Quality over quantity: When it comes to clothes, toys, and electronics, most people think that more is always better, but you don’t need to have more in order to have those things. Invest wisely in those things, find things that you know that you can wear over and over again for a while, until they are torn down; or those electronic devices that can last a long time. Because being able to use an object for a long time is a great thing, because you can create different outfits or you can still surf the web and create amazing documents on that computer, or your child can still play with the toy without it breaking down on them after only a few months. *I had a backpack that I had kept for four years and it finally fell apart, so I invested in a new one. I do the same thing with shoes, clothes, and electronic devices.

Living a minimalistic life is not daunting, you are only making it appear that way because you are unsure of how to start, and you are afraid to let go of the things that you truly do not need. Simplifying life creates more room to breathe, more room to be creative, and give your space some breath of fresh air so to speak.