Living With a Significant Other

Hey, y’all! So bae & I have officially lived together for 3 months now but really 1 year (unofficially) so thought I’d answer some questions in full disclosure (because you know ya girl don’t lie) and just simply share my experience with it all!

So with the craziness of our 9-5s, we’ve taken a bit longer than expected to decorate our apartment but thankfully, we have just finished!!!! Yass, honey and we are obsessed! We originally were going for Scandinavian Monochrome with green accents, but somehow made our way to like a boho chic vibe!! Regardless, we finally feel like this is our HOME!

So gathering the decor is the fun part, y’all! We’ve turned so many trips to Homegoods and Hobby Lobby as day-dates, grabbed some hot chocolate beforehand, and literally shared the excitement of what each new piece would bring to our space.

I think this was such bonding experience for us because we both had ideas of what we wanted for the place and worked together to blend those visions into a reality.

But, its not always this fun! HA

Sooo let’s get down to the nitty gritty, shall we?!

1) Q: Are there more arguments now that you live together? And if so, is it normal roommate-type fights? 

A: Hmm! I wouldn’t say there are more than before, but what I can say is that some have become more petty! HA.

Example: “Babe! You took the last meal prep! Now I will have to eat out for lunch tomorrow!”

Example: “Babe! You forgot to leave on the lights for Baby Troy” (our pup)

Example: “Babe! When will you be finished playing your video games?” (You can probably guess who says this :P)

TBH, I’ve had some really BAD roommates in my day so our living situation is a piece of cake in comparison to those people LOL. But I think what is key, is understanding that healthy cohabitation is literally a TEAM EFFORT. If even one person slacks off, the once cohesive environment can and will eventually turn toxic.

2) Q: When you guys do fight, how do you deal with it? Do you give space or deal with it immediately? 

A:  Well, it really depends. In many of my past experiences, living with roommates = one big, fat passive-aggressive mess! Luckily, with us, we address any tension on the spot! I hate awkwardness more than anything so we try our best to address it ASAP. There have been a couple nights when we just rather sleep than talk things through, but generally, we like to avoid going to sleep upset.

3) Q: Is moving together something your parents approved of? Also, how did you tell your parents? 

A: My mom was on-board from the beginning. Although my dad died before he had the opportunity to meet bae, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have been opposed to it. And I say this because my parents moved in before marriage as well, ha! From the beginning, bae made his intentions clear…marriage! But as he knows that whole idea scares me (for now), he proposed us moving in together as the next logical step. Initially, I shared bae’s proposal to my mom about 6 months prior to moving. I toyed with the idea for a while and I think she was pleased with how I took my time in processing it all. She was also really fond of him at that point so we had that on our side. I think a parent will only be on-guard with cohabitation, if they sense a faulty relationship from the beginning or if one person has to sacrifice their quality of life for the move.

4) Q: How does your man feel when you have to dedicate more time to your blog/Instagram vs the relationship at any given point?

A: I feel so blessed to have a partner who truly understands this hustle. He was a food blogger prior to us getting together, so he had an idea of just how much time this crazy industry demands. But, what has taken time for both of us to learn is how to balance being roommates, significant others, and business partners. There are times, when one of the three areas suffer, but we have really fine tuned it in a way that works and fulfills us. I truly believe if he did not live with me and/or share similar passions, he would not understand the ins and outs and sacrifices us bloggers make to continue to do what we love.

But when we notice one area is slacking, we sit down and discuss and come up with a game plan on how we can rebalance it all. But it is A LOT of work! Especially when your boo, is your photographer, location scouter, editor, etc. I am very lucky to have found someone who just gets it!

5) Do you still feel the same giddiness you did when you would have sleepovers? 

A: Yes! I still get those butterflies in my stomach when I’m walking in the door and vice versa. I think the nights I feel it the most are when we have plans of doing absolutely nothing but Netflix and chill! Those little moments are the moments I live for.

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So far, we’ve had a really positive cohabitation experience. We share similar tastes which help in many areas of our living situation, but as everything in life, it is not always rainbows and sunshine. There are days where the vibe seems completely off and others where everything feels just perfect. I think the most important thing is learning from every experience/day you share together as a couple. We have strived to make each month better and better and I am blessed to have found a partner willing to give me that 100% effort. So, I’d say the two key pieces of advice I’d give to anyone on the fence of moving in with their partner is 1) make sure you’ve taken the time to really get to know each other & 2) be sure you’ve chosen a partner who shares similar interests. Because ain’t nobody got time for a toxic and distant living environment. XO 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Being With the Right Partner Should Boost Your Confidence

Recently I had a conversation with an old friend which compelled me to write this piece.

As we were catching up, she was expressing how happy she was to see me happy. And not the fake illusion of happiness some of us display on social media, but the recent genuine confidence she saw in my smile the few times I’ve posted with my man. She explained that before in my past relationship, she sensed “something was just off.” And she was right. As I mentioned in previous posts, I was not in a healthy relationship. In simple terms, we just were not the right fit for each other, and to almost overcompensate for what we lacked, I guess, I tried to convince myself and others (through my posts) that things were alright. And this is something, I think that many of us have unknowingly done at one point or another. It’s just that some people are able to call “BS” on this illusion we put out. Back then, I felt as if my passions were not important. My ambitions were knocked down at times and hence, the value I thought I brought to this world was suppressed. I began to analyze myself differently and double think on essentially anything I stood for.

I was not only lacking confidence on an individual and creative level, but also on a relational level. When there is instability and uncertainty in the relationship, it is hard to  maintain confidence in the relationship. You wonder how much longer either one of you can take.

I think it is not only important to be with someone who is supportive in all of your ventures, but also with someone who shares the same interests and morals as you. In this way, your partner can appreciate the avenues you decide to take on and even find enthusiasm in joining you in some of them! In addition, finding a partner whom you have built stability and cohesiveness with, enables an environment where both partners can feel fulfilled and assured. When your thoughts and feelings are validated, you are reminded that you are important and cared for, thus your partner is helping nurture the relationship.

In short, my friend was right! In retrospect, I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin than ever before. And although, this process begins within, meeting the right person can most definitely compliment and boost your overall morale.

Knowing You Are Enough

“Am I enough?”

A notoriously toxic question yet one that is often still asked.

Recently I went through an experience that made me come so close to question, if I was enough.

Unfortunately, many of us at one point or another, have had the tendency to focus on what we lack versus taking inventory of what we already possess. It can be extremely easy to do so, especially, when we use social comparisons to determine our own worth based on our perceptions of how we stack up against our peers.

I felt compelled to share this experience because we all need a little reminder every now and again.

About a week or so ago, I was a runner-up for an opportunity I was anxiously awaiting for quite some time! I literally put forth (what seemed like) my blood, sweat, and tears into this as I knew just how many doors this would have opened up for me. I prayed, manifested, and worked my butt off to make this potential opportunity a reality. Even though I had the green light throughout the entire process, I was told last minute that they decided to go with the other individual. Now initially, I was in shock. And for a brief moment, the insecurities set in. I had to stop myself from asking “So what was wrong with ME? Why wasn’t I eno…?” But then I had to quickly remind myself that I gave this my all. No matter their decision, I’m still very much enough.

I think many of us gauge our worth based on certain situations but we must remember that regardless of others’ perspectives of us, regardless of where we are in our lives, and regardless of the way relationships unfold, we must give ourselves internal validation that we are more than enough, as is. When we give life our very best, I am certain it is recycled back to us tenfold later down the line.

Even though, this other person was a “better fit” for this opportunity, it by no means meant I was lacking. We have to realize we hold all that we ever will need, within ourselves. My worth should not be and is not contingent on this opportunity. Knowing we are enough is the first conversation we should be having with ourselves every morning. If we allow ourselves to look outward for qualities that can only be found within, we will be searching for a lifetime. I think situations like this one, are designed to mentally strengthen our perceptions of our inner-selves. They are reminders that no matter what disappointments come our way, we should have no other option but to love and accept who we are, for all that we are and for all what we have and know. By doing this, we will be able to find inner peace.

Tips that have helped me:

  1. Love yourself always, always, always!
  2. Have daily conversations/positive affirmations with yourself
  3. Learn/appreciate the value you bring to this earth
  4. Let go of toxic relationships/situations that make you doubt yourself
  5. Spend more time with yourself- be mindful of who you really are

XO

How to Tell if He’s Really That Into you

It usually starts out something like this: *Screenshots convo* and attaches it to the group thread along with this question, “sooo this means, he’s into me, right?” Hoping for validation… us girls, love to analyze. 

A while back I wrote a piece on why it is okay to be single. I shared my transition into singlehood and openly discussed how that decision facilitated self-love. The purpose of the piece was to encourage any person who was in an unfulfilling situation, to embrace the idea of being alone.

I truly believe once you free yourself from the wrong kind of people, you will simultaneously be creating room for the good kind. Ironically, SOON after that piece was written, I began seeing a special someone.

Can you imagine, having made plans one week ahead with a girl who literally posts such a piece just days before your first date?

Today, I can honestly say, the past number of months have felt like a dream! Never did I think that I’d 1) be in a relationship at this point and 2) that that relationship would be the best relationship I have ever known.

From the get-go, he laid his intentions with me out of the table. I was not left questioning or guessing what he felt towards me. I did not experience that limbo, I had usually felt with every situation I was previously involved in.

Dating will show you many things but especially the great lengths someone will go when they are interested in you and of course the contrary. Navigating through this time can be tough! The question narrows down to: Who is a waste of time and who is an investment? And although I am an advocate of singlehood, I also want to express how it is okay to date and give your time and energy to a person, BUT only if he is showing you the listed behaviors below!

Maybe you’re enjoying his company, but his lack of effort or consistency, is concerning.

Maybe you’re opening up to the idea of being with him, but you’re worried about getting your heart broken, so you need the signs or reassurance that this has serious potential.

Or maybe you just don’t know what to call the current situation you are in, and would like to know once and for all: Are you casually dating or exclusive?

I can truly say this was the most seamless and genuine dating experience I’ve ever had. This being the case, I will list the main signs that a guy gives, when he is serious about you. 

 

  1. He will tell you.
    • Simple. And I don’t mean subtly, either. He will be clear and direct. Somewhere along the lines of: “Hey, these are my intentions with you…” xyz.
  2. He will take the initiative to make plans with you IN ADVANCE. 
    • And I don’t mean Netflix and Chill or “what do you want to do tonight?” We deserve much better than this! I’m talking about days, or even weeks out! Oh, and none of this “lets meet there,” crap. If he offers to pick you up, do that! Let him treat you like the lady you are!
  3. He will give you attention & lots of it!
    • You won’t have to worry about sending those double texts, or not hearing back from him for hours on end. He will continue to add to the conversation. Why? Because he enjoys talking with you. And for the times he’s tied-up, he will communicate that with you!
  4. He will surprise you. 
    • Whether it be with a date night, your favorite candy, a visit to your work, etc…he will go out of his way to put a smile on your face.
  5. He will be mindful.
    • He will be delicate with how he talks with you. He will be self-aware of his tone, jokes, and attitude.
  6. He will stimulate you…
    • And not just sexually! I’m talking about stimulating your mind and soul. Sharing ideas, jokes, dreams, aspirations, etc. Basically he will share his most intimate thoughts, beyond the surface level.

*Whew! Now, although this list is not all inclusive and arguably subjective, my hopes are to help steer women into the right direction. If he is not showing you any of these signs, I’d say you can’t afford it. Our energies should be on strict budgets! If it is not serving you at the highest potential, you don’t have that time to waste. All this to say, dating can be all too complicated, but if it is a genuine match, it won’t be. It will feel easy and develop organically!

Xo!

Lake Tahoe | Snowglobe Recap 

Revel in Wintertime bliss in the Rustic charm of Lake Tahoe!

Maybe its just me but 2017 was one hell of a year. With that in mind, we decided to head up to Tahoe and dance into the new year at the Snowglobe Music Festival!

Ever since I was young, Tahoe has been a favorite winter getaway of mine.

tahoed.jpegDad & I, circa 2000

The girls and I stayed in a tiny condo in the heart of South Lake Tahoe. Just steps away from our complex, we had sweeping views of the lake as well as the desert valley and mountains!

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SN12Balcony views.

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About 15 minutes down the mountain, we reached The Shops at Heavenly Village.

For a hearty meal, I’d definitely recommend Azul Latin Kitchen. Many of the other restaurants in the center had hour waits, whereas Azul sat us instantly, handing each of us warm blankets while we ate.

Another yummy eatery to try is Orchid’s Authentic Thai Cuisine. Service was great and the portion size was pretty massive!

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Not sure if its apparent in the photos above, but to our surprise – there was no snow! This time last year, Tahoe endured heavy snow fall. In fact, Tahoe is not expecting snow for another two weeks or so! So all this to say, plan accordingly! The warmer afternoons across ski country make it ideal to hike, boat or fish.

Although the city is beautiful, we primarily spent our time at the Snowglobe grounds.

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At night the temperatures dropped close to 20°F so we layered up like crazy! For each day, I wore up to five top layers and three bottom layers! As warm as I dressed, I still managed to feel cold by the end of the night!

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I usually rave about my festival experiences, but unfortunately Snowglobe was my least favorite. The line up was amazing but the venue was troublesome. There were two shuttle locations: The closest to us, (about 15 minutes away), was an $80 uber ride one way! Once we arrived to the venue, there was a solid 10 minute walk through essentially the woods. At first I thought, “whoa this is pretty cool,” but after almost rolling my ankle several times, (as there were no added lights) I began to think what a hazard this entrance was. Once inside, I was pretty shocked with how small the grounds were. There were two main stages a short distance from each other. The distance was nice because you did not have to walk far to get to the next stage but on the same token you could hear the other stages’ music. Weirdly enough, I thought the music projection in general  was pretty low for a festival.

The most difficult aspect of the venue was the muddy grounds. There was no escaping this! Everyone had mud up to their knees! My snow boots were completely ruined and there were moments that crowds of people slipped. And to my surprise, there were no designated seating areas. At Coachella and EDC for example, you could sit down essentially anywhere you turned. But as for Snowglobe, there was literally one tent which had maybe 15 chairs! There were also no tables (even in the food tents) and if you wanted to sit on the ground you’d be covered in thick mud.

Turns out, after spending some time talking with the locals while out to dinner, 2018 will be the last year this festival will be held at the Lake Tahoe Community College. This is because the large attendance has almost completely ruined its’ Athletics Field. Hence, all the mud!! AND due to the amount of noise complaints the city received in previous years, there was a noise ordinance in place. Hence, the lower sound projection.

All this to say, I don’t think Tahoe, but specifically this venue, was the best location for this large of a production.

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Overall, this girls’ trip was still successful and I’m glad I was able to check Snowglobe off of my list! But will I return for Snowglobe 18′? Probs not, ha! Xoxo

How to Fight the Fear of Missing Out

Whether it’s a Snapchat story of one of our favorite influencers at a trendy lounge or a friend’s latest Instagram post of an adventure abroad, this constant exposure to things that are happening fuels our anxieties.

This desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing is a phenomenon known as FOMO: the fear of missing out. Here lies the threat that if we don’t participate in a certain activity, we will then miss out on some vital point of living.

Many of us have this erroneous belief that these plans will satisfy us, when in fact, FOMO is illusive.

Scrolling through happy status updates and scenic vacation shots often times leaves us with comparing our lives with those of our social media followers. The internet can show us all of the things we are not, what we have not accomplished and where we have not been.

Those social comparisons lead us to assume that these people MUST live more exciting lives than us. And those feelings of envy, ultimately, poses the question as to whether we will ever settle for what we have.

And this disturbs me in a way as I am absolutely guilty of this too.

Recently, my pastor touched on the subject.

He mentioned how our social anxieties and itch for inclusion, shifts our focus on looking outwards instead of inward.

If only we feared the void of a spiritual adventure vs one overseas…what if we were in as much of a pursuit of God as we are with our next adventure?

This question left me shook, as spirituality means something different to everyone: for some, it involves participating in organized religion and for others, it’s more personal.

But whatever it may mean to you, spirituality, includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves.

So I beg the question, what if we stopped seeking meaning and value through Instagram and it’s trendy photo opps and instead find purpose through our personal definition of spirituality.

Maybe if we practiced mindfulness and spiritual connectivity, will we then find that satisfaction that FOMO never quenches.

With an awakened sense of spirituality, we will never miss out. 

Just some food for thought! -Xo

No such thing as Chaos?!

Chaos is a word we attribute to situations which are beyond our grasp or comprehension.

I’m sure we’ve all had a time in your lives, when simply put, just felt like a series of unfortunate events.

In these times of disruption, we tend to ask ourselves, “Why did this have to happen?!”

We like continuity in our lives. We like order, it’s almost as if we demand it.

Just when we think we have grabbed life by the horns, BOOM! Blind sighted and all, “chaos” derails our personal expectations and normalcy.

And, while continuity in life is an illusion, we still tend to believe that when things go awry…we are truly in the midst of pure chaos.

I, out of all people, must constantly be reminded that, everything happens for a reason…in its own timing.

Oftentimes, when an unexpected outcome is presented to us, our immediate reaction is to respond. To sit idly and not “do” is something many of us are not comfortable with. But our tendency in wanting to know everything that’s going on is detrimental to our mental health. We grow impatient and forget to merely experience this unknown state. Sometimes we have to learn to leave things alone and let whatever “that reason” is, manifest higher order in our lives.

If it were not for the bad, we would not know its contrast.

For us Millennials, I think the most prevalent example of this is in our post grad careers. Many of us are still trying to climb the totem pole. Sometimes a killer opportunity seems to knock at our door and… suddenly, it’s gone. We question it. We then self doubt. And more likely than not, we begin to panic.

But as we all know, there is an ebb and flow of life. We will never remain in this stagnant state. As much as we’d like to know everything that life will throw at us, it is simply not realistic. We have to trust in the process. Once we learn how to put forth trust in these trying time, I think ultimately, we will begin to see that all things work together for the better good…BUT only to those who work with them.

Once we learn how to truly go with the flow, we will begin to understand life’s rhythm, working and resting along side of it. When things seem chaotic and out of control, we have to remember that God or whatever higher power you believe in, is still in charge. We sometimes worry about what’s happening to us because we genuinely do not know what is best. But God (or whoever) does.

And although, I am still struggling with this understanding, I think ultimately, once attained, we see the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, each unfolding into a meaningful future.

We have to take the good with the bad. Our victories and struggles are essentially building blocks into a destined life.

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Once we accept and reflect upon this “chaos” we will usually see why it had to happen the way it did!

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life”- Steve Jobs

 

 

 

 

Why it is Okay to be Single

 Dating…oh the joys! As many of us singles are navigating through our 20’s, we are bound to face the inevitable question of, “why are you still single?” I believe that this societal pressure to find a mate has inadvertently pushed the idea that being single is unfavorable, so it’s easy for us to fall into that habitual line of thinking.
 
But aside from outside influences, there is the fundamental human need of companionship. The idea of being alone, can seem like an uncomfortable thought.
 
During the demise of my past relationship, the thought of being alone scared the hell out of me. I had shared every moment with that person; the good, the bad, and the ugly…how would I be able to manage all that life throws at us, without him?
 
The thought of starting over again, almost scared me into staying in an unfulfilling/toxic situation. And as ridiculous as that sounds, I know I am not the only one who has considered this. I’ve met countless of individuals who have admitted to staying with their partner for convenience and emotional security.
 
I mean, there are so many benefits of having a companion in life. A true partnership can enhance quality of life, giving more meaning to one’s existence. One of the best feelings in the world is knowing that you have someone you can rely on, someone with a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on. But what happens when that partnership is no longer fulfilling or compatible?
 
I went into singlehood extremely reluctant and bitter. I loved being in a relationship. But I made a decision early on. I could a) feel bad for myself or b) use this time to discover who I am as an individual and figure out what gives my life meaning and purpose. I decided on the latter.
 
And it was in that moment that my perspective on singlehood shifted. This is where the quote, “Don’t be bitter, be better,” applied to my life. I began to embrace and enjoy my solitude, realizing that in doing so, I was more likely to make better choices about who I decided to spend my time with.
 
I now had the time and energy to invest solely on myself. Over a year later, I can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed being single. I am a much more fulfilled person today, than I was a year ago. I think in order to sustain a healthy relationship with another person, you must first, create one with yourself.
 
I also think it is important to remember that we can also find companionship outside of romantic means; whether that may be in relationships with friends, family, pets, and most importantly, yourself. Learn to be your own bestfriend. Learn to love your time with yourself.
 
So next time someone asks you, “why are you still single?”… I say to embrace that freedom. Personally, I’ve responded with, “because I can be and it is actually a lot of fun.” IT IS OKAY TO BE SINGLE. In fact, I encourage it! 
 
This is our time to be selfish. Make yourself a priority! Nurture yourself and your energy, explore your interest and passions.
Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe in soul mates and in time, we will all find our person – but until then, learn to fall in love with yourself! 

Uncensored Guide to Understanding Women

With the surge of mobile dating apps, looking for love in this digital age, can seem utterly impossible. I mean, when there are a plethora of options just waiting at your fingertips, it’s no wonder that we encounter so many individuals who make a piss poor effort in creating real relationships. And although there are plenty of us who aren’t on dating apps, I argue this culture of convenience and the paradox of choice has influenced our dating experiences in some adverse way. On the contrary, when we meet someone who puts forth the effort and time, it likely feels like a breath of fresh air.

In fact, I’d go as far as saying there is this general lackadaisical dating ideology. Why put forth true effort into a person when there will always be more options? It’s almost as if this burden of choice has taught us to treat each other like disposable objects, rather than beings who feel.

My girlfriends and I are constantly sharing our experiences, discussing what we like and don’t like when it comes to dating and often times we find ourselves saying, “If only we could make a PSA about this!”

Well….this post is by no means intended to bash on men, but rather a guide into women’s dating preferences.

I can’t even count the amount of times, I’ve heard men say, “Women are so complicated, what even pleases you guys?”

So, I conducted a small survey to gather varied responses from ladies my age.

The question posed: Based off of your dating experiences, what male behaviors do you appreciate/can do without?”

Appreciated behavior:

  1. When plans are made 
    • Whether it be a formal dinner date or even a casual hang out, taking the initiative – shows us that there is interest and direction in the “relationship”
  2.  Manners, chivalry, compliments
    • “Please” and “thank yous”  – aka basic etiquette can go a longgg way.
    • It’s actually quite refreshing when doors are opened, the meal is paid for, and when pleasant comments are given.
  3. Tons of eye contact/ not easily distracted
    • It is especially appreciated when phones are kept tucked away during the date
  4. Remembering the little things 
    • This is just a simple indicator that you’ve taken the time to listen.
  5. Reciprocity 
    • Returning the kindness in any capacity is so attractive!
  6. Common courtesy/open communication
    • MAJOR KEY!!!
    • Letting us know if you can’t make it out for dinner or whatever the plans are, totally okay!
    • Expressing your feelings and intentions towards the “relationship”…yaaas!
    • Being vulnerable and open in sharing personal details/struggles

Behavior we can do without:

  1. Surface level conversations
    • Regardless of the extent of the “relationship,” this is a huge red flag. If you’re not concerned with getting to know who your “partner” is on a deeper level, then that’s a clear indicator of your intentions.
  2. Flakiness
    • Don’t be that person who commits to something, then changes plans last minute. What is especially infuriating is when it is done without notice. If you can’t make it, don’t commit.
  3. Not responding in a timely manner 
    • THIS! THIS! THIS! The way you communicate with someone is very indicative of how you prioritize them in your life. If you’re into someone, you’ll find the time to respond to them, appropriately.
    • And if you’re going to be tied up throughout the day, a simple text will suffice.
  4. Lack of self-awareness 
    • This can be so apparent in literally the first minute of a conversation.
      • (e.g.) Mentioning your ex on the first date
        • Taking up the entire conversation
        • Speaking as if you’re hanging out with the boys
  5. Insecurities
    • We all know that people who are insecure tend to sabotage a healthy relationship…
    • I’ve met multiple men who have openly admitted to suddenly ending a “relationship,” solely because “it was going toooo well.”
  6. Social media etiquette
    • If you are single and dating, there is no reason why you should still have posted pictures with your ex…not cute
    • Liking and commenting on other girls’ photos while actively seeing someone else

Whoo! Fellas! Now that you’ve heard the ladies’ input, my hopes are that you’ve somehow been enlightened. You may disagree with some of the points listed, and that’s totally fine, but the aim of this post was to visualize the dichotomy of dating behaviors. Hope this helps 🙂

Keeping Memories Alive: The Value of a Photo

Us, Millennials easily receive the most flack over our digital media consumption; You know, our desires in taking selfies, posting pictures of our food on Instagram, and snapping aspects of our day-to-day…just to name a few. But I say, there’s nothing wrong in doing so!

Ever since I can remember, I have always been in love (or to some, obsessed) with both being the photographer AND subject of a photo. At the end of every school year, I would find myself piecing together scrapbooks, making space for even more photos in my giant albums and handing out those ridiculous classic mall glamour shots.

 I truly enjoyed looking through my albums from time and time and recounting all of my childhood shenanigans.

Once I discovered Photobucket, I was livingg. A digital photo album? Yaaas.

But it obviously didn’t stop there. When Myspace came about, I was shoooook. You know the standard duck lips and peace sign, angled selfies? Well, those were kind of my thing. Updating my profile with photos of my summer, after school activities, etc. was literally a pastime.

But wait! Come social media and iPhones….O  M  G!!!

Finally, there was a forum for photo taking lovers to share and connect with others. With the explosion of social media, there is of course the critique/truth that it has the ability to disconnect us from the real world. But in moderation, I think capturing the moments we experience, is quite incredible! Like yeah, sure, memories do last a life time but sometimes yo’ girls memory is not that good.

To this day, I find myself constantly looking through my feed/photo library. I get super nostalgic, looking back at the different phases of my past, the changing trends, friends, and life events. And more often than not, I think, “OMG, I totally forgot about that!” Like you know, those crazy nights, sleepovers, travel adventures- that you reallly can’t remember (b/c of the bubbly) or even try to forget (again, b/c the bubbly).

Like guys! I truly truly believe in the power of a photograph. Photos do much more than document. They have the ability to heal, capture raw emotion, and transcend us into unseen worlds.

Speaking of healing, photos really helped my family cope during the passing of my dad. Obviously, his generation did not grow up on smart phones or social media, so finding photos of him throughout his life was tough. My dad was in his mid-forties when I was born, so I had hardly seen photos of him prior to that. Luckily, his aunts and siblings dug up a handful of Polaroids they kept in albums over the years.

We pieced together all of his photos and created a video montage for his funeral. As heartbreaking as it was to watch it all come together… it was equally as cathartic and beautiful. We all got a glimpse into his sense of style, (which included: wacky 70’s & 80’s outfits – and lets not forget- those infamous 90’s dad jeans), his groups of friends throughout the years, his hobbies, and of course his everlasting smile!

I’m also equally as grateful of social media for allowing me to document some of the final memories between my dad and I. We would play around with the different Snapchat filters and laugh over the ridiculous ones. Whenever I would ask him to take a picture with me, he would always preface with, “Now, Jas, I’m only taking a couple, alright?!” And that statement made me laugh every time because even with his illness, he still remembered how annoying I could be with pictures.

Every now and again, when I feel down, I look through our photos and they instantly bring a smile to my face. And… I’d like to think that is the beauty of pictures… they literally bring memories to life.

I know of a lot of people who hate having their picture taken or who are opposed to posting much of their personal life. But in 20 years, their kids may be interested in who they were as youths and not to mention memory worsens over time. Photos provide that instant recollection of some of the best moments of our life. I say, SNAP AWAY, PEOPLE!

Why We Should NOT ‘Stay Out of Politics’

Let’s face it, we are in the midst of political polarization and divisiveness in America. During the presidential election, I noticed a rise in political consciousness/involvement amongst my generation. The election was far more than who would take office; instead, it would become the forerunner of the future state of our society.

Since then, there has been a media frenzy! TV coverage seems to be virtually continuous, social media posts are endless, and in short, it is nearly impossible to ignore our nation’s climate. Every few weeks or so we hear yet another news report of racist bigotry and hate crimes committed throughout the U.S. We are alerted when the President tweets his latest thought, when he fires a member of his administration, or when he denigrates a certain group of people… it’s EXHAUSTING to say the least.

I know a lot of us have stopped checking the news, purposefully avoided social media, or shut down when politics are mentioned. And although it may seem easiest and most comfortable to do this, we CAN NOT turn the other cheek to what is going on!! This everyday negligence is dangerous! We CAN NOT afford to “stay out of politics” because this is OUR future on the line.

Most of us are so fortunate to have the choice to not get involved, but this disinterest needs to be shifted. This past weekend, many Millennials were marching with tiki torches in hand at the White Nationalists rally. This hateful ideology was shared among individuals our age!

So don’t think for a minute, that we are powerless to what has transpired. It is our duty and responsibility as Millennials to speak up, stand up, and show up, in opposition to such hate and backwardness. As Obama quoted on his final address to Armed Forces:

“Remember what that flag stands for. For we depend on you, the heirs to that legacy, our men and women in uniform, and the citizens who support you, to carry forward what is best in us. That commitment to a common creed. The confidence that right makes might. Not the other way around. That’s how we can sustain this long struggle.”

Talking politics should no longer be taboo. This is the time you and I should be talking about our sentiments toward the current state of our nation. If you don’t know about something, ask. Educate yourself. Acknowledge what is happening. Engage with your peers. Share videos/spark discussion on social media. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP! Remember, silence and ignorance is complacency. We have the ability to use our voice and platform to bring the better good of society to the forefront.