Thursday, December 4, 2014

Welcome to the world of DIY success: Life beyond your degree


In a manner totally unprecedented for undeclared college sophomores, today I questioned what I am doing with my life. While meeting with a teacher about a research paper I had written for a class, my professor, who I respect greatly, asked me what I want to do after graduation.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A blog post about blog posts

Things are about to get really meta.

By meta, I sort of mean boring.

Because today I am writing a blog post about blog posts (yes, I know you can read the titles of these pages, stahppppp).

I looveee blogging but as you may have noticed, recently my posts have been pretty infrequent. As I start making some decisions about what this blog will look like during the year, I've been struggling with writing content.

Do I binge post the last few recipes of summer before going on a recipe dry-spell all year or should I gradually ease myself into "musings" posts, which is all I will probably be able to post during the year. Or should I consider adding new content to my blog?

So many questions.

The point is, running a blog is really difficult sometimes. Sometimes you're not in the mood to write, sometimes you have nothing interesting to write about, and sometimes you realize that anything you write would be boring (aka, this post).

So today I am forcing myself to post because that's what blogging is about.

More than anything, this post is just a tip (to all you bloggers or wanna-be bloggers out there).

Keep writing. Even when you're bored. Even when you have nothing interesting to say. Even when all you can write about is how you don't know what to blog about.

Today I don't know what to blog about, but thank you for everyone who reads this blog anyways.

Coming back at cha with content soon.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Some healthy advice


I recently mentioned in a post that I was trying to lose weight/eat cleaner/be healthier, and since then several people have asked me about that process. You guys have had questions about what I eat, what I do to exercise, and just about general tips for being healthier so today I thought I'd share some thoughts.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day


I've written a post about my father before, so I'm not going to rant endlessly about how awesome he is today. In fact, I'm sort of selfishly taking this opportunity to share something I have learned over the past few years.

You will never appreciate your parents early enough. That's sad, and I wish it weren't true, but almost all of my colleagues have expressed the same sentiment.

When you're living at home it can be easy to overlook how much your parents do for you. Not just by making you food, driving you to school, and paying for your expenses, but by making the choice to live a life that is focused around you.

Your parents don't have to choice to not care about you for a day. If they're tired, or sad, or angry, they have already surrendered their ability to just disregard you. If they want to leave for a few days, for most people it's just not that easy. More importantly than that, your parents give up 18 years of their own dreams to make yours come true.

Recently I have been overwhelmed by how horrifying this idea is. That my parents, smart, charismatic, accomplished, and driven people could have taken all the time I've been alive to pursue their dreams, travel without worrying about my sister and I fighting, and just generally do the things that make them happy.

For all of you who don't like your parents, who don't think they do enough for you, I hope you realize how much they've done just by virtue of you existing. Someone gave up their independence and a piece of their life to make yours happen.

That is mind blowing.


I don't want to rant forever, but today's post is dedicated to my dad. My dad is one of the most capable people I've ever met, if not the single most capable. Career success aside, my dad's personal accomplishments range from being an incredible musician to acquiring several levels of both fixed wing and helicopter certification. My dad is driven, multi-talented, and never boring.

He's also done more for me than I will probably ever be able to understand or thank him for. My dad has supported me in so many ways and given up more for me than I will ever be able to give him in return.

I am so deeply saddened that I can't be with him on father's day, but I can smile knowing that he is somewhere thousands of feet above the ground looking down at a world that he opened himself whenever it didn't open for him.

If you are lucky enough to be with your dad today, I envy you. Tell him you love him and try at least for just today to show him the gratitude he deserves. I hope my dad knows how much I appreciate him, and can feel how much I love him every day, but today especially.

Happy father's day.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

A letter to my future little: A reflection on my first semester in a sorority


To my future little,

I hope this finds you well. I know we don't know each other yet, and we're not going to meet each other for quite some time, but there are some things I think you ought to know and things I want to tell you before you embark on your adventure as a member of Gamma Phi.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sisters, love, national sibling day, I hate titling posts






Anyone who has known me and my sister for an extended period of time can tell you we haven't exactly been the best of friends. Between the ages of about eleven and seventeen, my sister and I fought frequently, bickered even more frequently, and generally caused each other a lot of pain. This knowledge is something I not only constantly carry, but something that I am persistently haunted by. I was not the friend my sister deserved, and neither was she.



But she was also still my sister, and for that I always loved her. Today is national sibling day, and I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a good sister. Though I know I wasn't always that to my sister, I do believe the past year has taught me a lot about what it means to be a good sister, or a good sibling in general.

  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On the road to "recovery": Reflections on depression

https://www.facebook.com/KristenLowePhotography
Sipping at green tea and reflecting on how quickly the end of my freshman year of college is approaching, I recently decided to read back through the blog I kept during high school. I'm a big advocate of blogging, journaling, or in some way documenting your thoughts and goals. For me, having undergone a dramatic transformation since high school, having a record of my growth has been an inspiring, motivating, and uplifting aspect of my life, as it has served as a reminder of how things can get better, and of how malleable the future is.

However, as I read through my (often stupid, and almost always over-dramatic) accounts of my junior and senior years of high school, I was taken aback by a number of posts. Not only because of their content, but also their quantity. Beginning in the Spring of 2011, my blog was updated with posts like the following on an almost biweekly basis:

How I feel about life: A rant.
I’m a failure. Please note choice of words — I haven’t failed. I’m a failure. The noun. The type of person who doesn’t deserve to interact with other people. Or eat. Or even breathe. I don't deserve to exist.
And I know that other people think it’s okay, and will be my friend anyways, and won’t hate me because of it. But it’s not about what other people think. I want to think it’s okay, and not hate myself because of it.
I don’t deserve anything. I don’t deserve friends, I don’t deserve anything I have, I don’t deserve to eat. And right now I don’t feel like I deserve to live. I'm sorry to everyone who has supported me for letting you down. I don't deserve your support, and I'm sorry. I'm sorry for taking up space in the universe.
I don't deserve all the good things and people in my life, I don't deserve to be alive, and I don't want to be anymore.
I'm done.
             

Friday, February 28, 2014

Honesty and eating disorders: Stop lying to yourself



It's National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and you know what that means?

It's time to be honest... really honest.

I'm going to say something here because I need to acknowledge that it's the truth. After years of struggling with restrictive eating, binge purge eating, and a blend of multiple disordered eating behaviors, I have relapsed into a stage of eating that I'm really struggling with. So here's the truth:

I have a binge eating disorder.


There. I said it. That wasn't so bad.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy Thursday: Some things to love today

It's FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY Thursday.

The key word there was "finally."

...If you couldn't tell.

In all seriousness though, this work has been the worst. After the wonderful break from reality that was Atlanta's snowpocaylpse 2.0, we Emory students have been overwhelmed by the horrendous amounts of work we all put off or have to do to catch up. Not only did I fail the hardest test I've ever taken this morning (brought to you by Chinese 201), but I also have been prepping intensely for my debate district tournament that determines whether I qualify for nationals. It's been a little hectic.

So if you're busy, tired, bored, or just in need of something to make your smile. Here are some things to get excited about.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day and relationships: On Facebook vs. In Reality (And a rant about self love, food, etc)


Last night when I came home from my (sort of) Valentine's day celebration with my boyfriend and two friends, I found myself bombarded with facebook notifications and messages about "how perfect" we are, how cute our relationship is, and even messages saying "all I want is a relationship like yours."

These messages are very flattering. In high school, girls said these sorts of things to me often. I was in a very successful long distance relationship with the high school sweetheart I would be attending college with, and it didn't hurt that in our circle Nate was sort of a celebrity to younger kids. I got messages from girls I've never met saying "I just want to be like you" sometimes multiple times a month.

I'm not writing this post to brag. I'm also not trying to suggest that my relationship isn't wonderful. It is. It is absolutely full of love, respect, romance, and gratitude for each other. I'm also not writing this to suggest that my life is a terrible struggle. I've very fortunate and I'm very grateful for the people, things, and privileges I have in my life.

But as I once experienced, when you're single or in a bad relationship, sometimes it's easy to think that a good relationship can fix all your problems. I'm here to tell you it can't. Being loved by someone else only works if you love yourself, and that is quite the challenge.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Start saying "no": Why rape culture isn't just about rape



Dear society,

This rant is not addressed to men. It is not addressed to "frat dudes," the guys sitting in bars making remarks about women who enter, or to the pervert who raped a girl on my college campus last night. It is not to the ignorant people who sit around and say girls deserved to be raped because of things they did, and it is certainly not just to the men who rape girls and boys.

This is to all of you, myself included:

No means no.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Note to self (and anyone else who needs to hear this... which I honestly believe is everyone)

Your value cannot be explained by your weight, and your happiness cannot be measured in the same way you measure the circumference of your thighs. You are not loved because you have the self-control to not eat for two days, and you are not admired because you can hide that you have not eaten.

There are things that matter more than being admired. Being loved is not something you earn.

I know things have been tough lately, and you've been not eating, then binge eating, then not eating, then not feeling so good, but things are going to be okay. Eat food, eat good foods, eat all foods. Rules are more like guidelines anyways. If you make rules for yourself break them.

You are allowed to eat on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
You are allowed to eat after 4pm.
You are allowed to eat white foods.
You are allowed to do whatever the hell you want.

People will think you're beautiful even if you don't look thin.
It's okay if today you don't look thin. It's okay if people don't think you're beautiful.
It's going to be okay.

Just because you're not underweight doesn't mean you don't deserve to acknowledge that something is wrong. Just because other people don't see you and think you're sick doesn't mean you shouldn't acknowledge that you are.

You can acknowledge that someone with schizophrenia, or diabetes, or cancer is sick without knowing what they feel like. People will not know what you feel like. That doesn't mean you aren't sick.

You will make mistakes. You will eat way too much or way too little some days. You are going to weigh more some days, you are going to weigh less some days. Your stomach will be round, and flat, and all different shapes. Your thighs will touch.

It will be okay though.
I promise.
You will be okay.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Family.

Hello, world!

I know.... It's been a while. 

Sparing you the details, I am just now emerging from the whirlwind that has been formal sorority recruitment, the first two weeks of class, the Barkley Forum for High Schoolers, a very persistent and stubborn cold, and figuring my life out. 

Whew! I'm tired just thinking about how busy the last two weeks of my life have been. 

I'm admittedly struggling as I try to write this post because I don't know how to express all of the things I am feeling and thinking. I feel loved, confused, happy, tired, introverted, depressed, accepted, judged, and a thousand things all at the same time, and I'm not sure how to untangle any of those things for each other. 

But the one word that keeps peeking out from the mess of my emotions right now is "family."

After the sometimes awful/sometimes blissful experience of trying to manage sorority recruitment and the Barkley Forum debate tournament at the same time, I have come to feel that "family" is a feeling, a sort of warmth you can feel inside of you. This weekend, I felt family glowing inside of me in more senses than I thought possible. 

Family is the Barkley Forum.
It is the men and women who love debate and the debate community as much as I do. It is the silence that never exists between two debaters because there is always something to be said about Wilderson or the politics disadvantage, regardless of which one of those arguments you fancy. It is the way hugs are accepted and exchanged with sincerity between people who may not have more in common than just believing that for some reason debate is worthwhile. It is our coaching staff staying up until the late hours of the night to run a tournament that shows the rest of the country how strong the Barkley Forum is. It is Christy Bradley's resilience. It is the strength that holds us together when the integrity and open-mindedness of our activity is questioned and attacked. It is late night dinner runs after double-octafinals with my closest friends (and future roommates!). It is the unconditional love that fills the tab room, and the smell of Mellow Mushroom. Family is the knowledge that these people accepted me, wanted me, and believed in me when I didn't, and that they will continue to commit to me, support me, and cherish me long past when my final debate round is. It is not a feeling I can describe other than to say that the Barkley Forum is a family, and one I am so happy to be a part of. 

Family is my new sisters (and I can't believe I just said the word "sisters").
It is the girls I don't yet know at Gamma Phi Beta who are so excited to meet me and accept me without knowing anything about me. It is the way they sacrificed sleep, time, and their voices so that I (and the rest of my pledge class) could find them. It is their desire to share with me something that has brought them joy. Family is the way they dance, and laugh, and speak in front of each other without inhibition or fear of judgement. You are loved because you are a sister and because you are you. Nothing else matters. It is weird hand motions, and chants, and letters, and tote bags, and sweatshirts, and all these things I never imagined I would love. Family is the love I feel towards a group of women I don't even know, and the love I feel in return from a family that already loves me. 

I don't know where the next three years of college will take me. I don't know if I'll quit debate, if I'll deactivate from my sorority, or if I'll find something new. All I know is that right now I feel like I belong in not just one, but multiple families. 

I am so grateful and excited.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Back to school: My January goals

So maybe I'm just a little late to the -it's-a-new-year-ohmygod goal setting party,but with my second semester of college starting in two days, I've been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish in the next few months.

All things considered, my first semester of college went pretty well. I got good grades (One B+ never killed anyone, right?), met some new people, and managed not to spiral into an emotional tornado. If I could do it again, I don't necessarily know if there's anything I would do differently, but that doesn't mean there aren't things to work on this semester.

College is supposed to pull you out of your shell, but five months into my freshman year, I feel like I'm still safely and comfortably tucked into mine. Last semester was not without its challenges, but I'm ready to really push myself for the next four months.

I admittedly have a habit for losing sight of long term goals, so we're going to keep it short term this semester: a few attainable monthly goals each month.

With my resolutions and long term goals in mind, we're going to kick of January with a few easy goals that will hopefully keep me constantly moving forward on my self improvement journey.

January Goals
1. Enter a competition
2. Initiate social plans with others once a week
3. Work with debate coaches twice a week
4. Actively try to say "yes" to more opportunities, and don't stay home out of fear