I Don’t Owe You

As I mentioned in my last post, I am an avid user of several dating apps, such as Tinder and Ok Cupid. And, before I continue, these apps have put me in touch with some amazing people that I would not have met otherwise, something that I will forever be grateful for.

However, it has also put me in touch, as expected, with some pretty creepy ones as well.

Like recently.

A little while ago, I met (using the term loosely, as we never met in person) this guy named Harold (name has been changed to protect his privacy) on Ok Cupid. He seemed semi cute, so I figured I should at least talk to the guy. And, at first, he seemed halfway decent. I try to remain an optimist, and believe that there is good in everyone. Therefore, I give a lot of guys chances.

Soon, we switched to texting. And once we started to text, he would text me continuously, and I just was not feeling like I was attracted to him, which is my choice to make. Therefore, I stopped responding, and blocked his number because I did not want to talk to him.

And I had not heard from him, up until yesterday. I had woken up to a message saying “hey why haven’t you replied to my text?” While this is in fact a valid question to ask, I will give him that, I saw red. I want to hastily reply to him saying “well, I just didn’t want to.”

But, in the interest of being mature and all, I did not reply at all. Instead, I decided to express my feelings in a strongly worded blog post.

One thing that I really hate about the dating world is how some guys expect you to text them just because they texted you, just as some guys expect you to sleep with them just because they are nice to you. Uh, no thank you honey. If I am busy with school or writing a blog post, I am not going to drop what I am doing just to text you back the minute that you texted me. If do not want to continue a conversation with you, I am not going to waste my time buttering your ego to text you back. If I do not feel that I am ready to sleep with you, I am not going to just because you want that.

Yes, I am a bitch. But, I also request that I am treated like someone’s equal when I am dating someone. And guys, just because you are single and want to meet someone, does not mean that you should demand that a girl does whatever you want her to. I do not owe you anything, especially if we have not met or dated that long. I do not owe you a certain thing just because you want it.

I am tired of those expectations of the dating world. I am tired of guys thinking that they are God’s gift to women, and thus, think that they are entitled to anything that they desire. If I do not want to talk to you, date you, or sleep with you, it is my choice. And, you have to respect that. Do not demand things, that is not going to go over well with me. I don’t owe you anything. If I did, that would not be the type of relationship I want to be in, and the more you demand things from me, the less I am going to want to be with you.

Learning to Love

Fear comes from many aspects in life. One of those aspects is from past experiences, whether they may be from trauma, heartbreak or anything that causes anxiety or fear to rule over your body. One of those fears is learning to let someone in after heartbreak.

I have been broken up from my former boyfriend for almost three months now. I can safely say that I am over him, and hold no interest in ever dating him again. However, his ghost still lingers in my head and heart, a reminder every day of what happened between us and how hurt I still am.

We have only dated for a few months, and yes, I should not have this person cross my mind. However, I believe that there should not be a timeline of getting over someone, especially someone who was my first kiss, and my first real relationship. I am in no rush, as I want to feel everything before moving onto the next.

However, I am beginning to go out on dates and talking to new guys. And, for the first time, I am noticing that fear evident as I make dates and even consider entering a relationship with guys that I would otherwise go into with no qualms. I am scared of having to deal with the same problems that our relationship had, whether it may be you wanting too much or not having enough patience to deal with me. I am scared of opening myself up too much, only too get hurt again. That was a fear that I had when I was with my relationship with my former boyfriend, and is something I deal with today.

I think I need to re-learn to love. That love starts from within, which is something that I work on. As I work on becoming a person who loves herself, I am realizing what I will and will not stand for. Learning to love comes from learning to love you, and that is something that I am learning to do better on the daily.

In the efforts to learn to love, you also have to learn to trust. You have to be honest, when the time is right, when you are dating someone and are afraid. You have to trust that person, even though your trust is broken in the past. I also think in order to learn how to love, you need to put to bed the past before moving on.

Every day, I am getting better at learning how to love. I am allowing myself to feel every emotion that I am feeling, writing it down in a journal. I am getting out there by surrounding myself with supportive friends and meeting new people. I am learning to love, love me for my flaws, which will lead me to learning to love someone else when the time is right. I am a work in progress, however, one day, I will eventually be less cracked. Like Michael Bolton says, it takes time, love and tenderness, which is the tools needed for learning how to love. And, with those tools, I will get an A in learning to Love 101, leaving the anxieties of what happened in the past.

What I Hate About Dating

Ever since I got a Tinder, OK Cupid and a Bumble a few months ago, I have met a smorgasbord of eligible guys, aged 20-26 who are looking for Mrs. Right, or in some cases, Mrs. Right Now. So far, I have met two guys offline, dating one of them for an extended period of time, and am aspiring to meet more of them as time goes on.

As a continue to use these apps to find a partner, I am beginning to notice the many pressures that come with dating. There is a certain expectation that at a certain point, you are going to date that person. There is the expectation that you are going into a relationship, knowing exactly what you want.

My question is why?

I understand that part of dating is to find a potential mate for life. However, what I do in fact hate is how much pressure comes with dating. You have to look a certain way, and try to come off as pleasing for your partner. It is almost like a job interview, which is not in the least bit fun, because you are interviewing to find a partner of some sort. You go into a date with one end result in mind-to find a partner. Not to have a good time, and to focus on getting to know the person. And, I think that is crazy.

I think the point of dating is to have lots of fun and meeting people that you may or may not be compatible with . And, that is what I want to have whenever I go out with someone right now. I want to get to know someone, without the pressure of needing to define the relationship. I want to do fun things with them, like go out on coffee dates or hockey games, without worrying about the future.

I think we need to stop thinking about tomorrow, and putting too much pressure on something to work out. The more that you do, the less you are focused on getting to know that person. I think we as a society are focused more on coupling up, and less on the quality of the person that you are coupling up with. And, that is okay. But, racing to get to that point, just because you are anxious to avoid spending time alone? That is not okay.

Let us slow down, and focus more on the ride, and less on the race to the aisle. Breathe. The less you focus on getting a boyfriend, the higher the chances will be that you will get one. So, on your next date, have fun and leave the pressures at home.

Spread Love Not Hate

Ever since Donald Trump’s election on Tuesday, my social media newsfeed has become a combination of posts of friends who were either outraged about the election or friends that are happy about Donald Trump becoming president. On the news, I have seen so many protests around the country.

Before I continue, let me say this: I am not happy with the results of the election either. I expressed my frustrations in a post on Wednesday entitled “The Fear Of What’s Next.” However, it makes me so upset to watch the protests going on. It makes me so upset to see people tearing each other apart, and blaming each other for what the results were.

As Americans, we have all of the rights that come with the First Amendment. We have the the freedom of speech. We have the freedom to peacefully assemble. And, if you do it in a way that is geared towards spreading love, not hate, then I think that is perfectly fine. I have seen countless Facebook statuses about someone’s upset feelings towards Donald Trump’s win, about their fear of losing Obamacare, birth control, and even the rights of those who are a minority, such as women, latinos, LGBTQIAA and African Americans as they are in jeopardy currently. I have seen rallies of many people coming together as they struggle with the anxieties of what the Trump administration might bring as well. Seeing this outburst has not only helped me learn so much about my friends on social media, but also helped grow a strong, tight knit community. And that is amazing.

With that being said, I have also seen so many articles about people who are criticizing the choice voters made to vote for Trump. I have seen fights breaking out online, statuses stating ‘if you vote for Donald Trump, then unfriend me’ and videos of violent protests breaking out. And, this makes me upset.

As Americans, we have the right to vote for who we think is best to rule our country. That choice can differ from person to person. For example, I may think Hillary Clinton is the most fit to lead this country. However, a classmate may see things differently, and think that a third party candidate or even Donald Trump may be the best fit for the them. They have the same rights as you do to vote for the candidate that they think will shape our country better and mold it into a better tomorrow.

And, we should not yell at them for that choice. We should not make them feel like they have to defend their decision. We live in a democracy, a world where there is a melting pot of ideas melding together to create a more diverse front. Every American has that right, no matter who they voted for. Everyone has a different point of view, based on their roots, their education and their background. And, we need to respect that.

Let me just say this, I am disappointed about Hillary’s defeat. I am scared about what the Trump administration is going to lead. I am scared for the women who will no longer have access to the many health services Planned Parenthood offers when Trump defunds it. I am scared for the children, whose parents who came into this country without documentation, and may have to face being apart from them. I am scared for my genderqueer best friend, whose marriage may no longer be legal by Trump’s standards because it is not the standard American family. I am scared, because the new POTUS is someone who calls women “dogs.”

Without a doubt, this campaign has been ugly. Donald Trump has said so many awful things about Hillary, and vice versa. In the aftermath of the election, I have seen that same amount of ugliness. However, this was not from the candidates, or Mrs. Clinton. This was from us.

Currently, half of the country is divided. In this time of turbulence, instead of dividing, let us unite. Instead of yelling at each other, let us listen. Instead of coming with an approach of hatred, let us instead express our emotions in a way that lets everyone’s frustration be heard, instead of ignore. Let us help those who are different, or a victim of Trump’s insults, whether they may be a woman, a gay male or a Latino immigrant.  Let us love each other, no matter what candidate they voted for. Let us listen to why they thought that person was the best choice, rather then scream at them for picking the wrong one. Let us unite together, instead of divide apart.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan was “love trumps hate.” And, I believe that she was right.  Love trumps hate, no matter what side you are in, and we need to love each other now more then ever.

Please, spread love not hate.

The Fear of What’s Next

As a journalist, I do not talk about politics often as I try to avoid speaking about what my views are on a regular basis in the effort to remain unbiased. When I do talk about politics, I try to be attentive and listen to the other side of the spectrum, as everyone has the right to their opinion. After all, this is America and we have right for the freedom of speech amendment to back us up, and I feel it is important to respect and listen to all points of view without trying to convert someone to your side of the argument.

With that being said, last night was the disastrous conclusion to a long and exhausting election. And, like many other Americans, I am unhappy with the results.

I consider myself to be a liberal, and yesterday, I proudly displayed my “I voted” sticker in a selfie, proudly proclaiming that I was “with her.” When I posted that selfie, I was fairly certain that she was going to be the commander in chief.

Me with my “I voted” sticker, as I displayed it proudly with a selfie!

That certainty lasted until about 8 p.m. Tuesday night when the election results came in, and I was shocked to discover that Donald Trump was in the lead. But, still my hopes were with Hillary. They  shattered around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, when I woke up to find out that he would be the 45th president.

I could not sleep for the rest of the night. I was worried about our country, the progress that has been made during the Obama administration that would soon be lost and the rights of many minorities in our country, which Trump promised to shatter. Here was a man who once said that we should ban all Muslims from entering this country, and now he is going to be President? What kind of world do we live in?

To all of the Americans who voted for Trump, you do not need to defend your choice for President, nor should you have to. To all of the Americans who voted for Clinton, I want to offer my condolences, as I too am in mourning for her loss. For 40 years, Hillary worked her way to the top. She was certainly the most qualified in the race, as she has dealt with many different aspects of politics, whether it may be on a state or national level. It saddens me that Trump, someone who I feel does not have that much experience, is going to get the position that she so rightfully deserves.

However, to my fellow liberals, this is not the time to riot or react with violence. After all, Hillary said it best-love trumps hate. And that is the mentality that we all should have entering the Trump administration. Instead, we should stand united, and never give up. Even though the candidate that we picked did not get the office she deserved, it does not mean that we should stop voicing our opinions. All throughout the morning, I have seen many of the reactions of my peers on social media, all of which questioning the type of country that we live in.

As I write this, I do not understand how Donald Trump won this election. I am currently worried about what is next for our country, as he comes into office. And while I am saddened about the loss of Hillary Clinton, just like many of my 1,484 Facebook friends, I look to the Trump administration with optimism, hoping for the best in our country and in the world.

Hillary Clinton stated in her concession speech on Wednesday morning that “so now, our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek.” Hillary, you are absolutely right. Yesterday, many of us went out and voted. This election even prompted my mother, who hardly ever heads to the polls, to vote for the first time in years. This is the first Presidential election many of my peers were able to vote in, each vote coming with a mixture of optimism and passion for change so that tomorrow will be better than today.

Despite the results of this election, let us keep that same fire, even if the world seems dark and dismal right now. Keep on watching the news to learn about the issues, keep on discussing them in your daily interactions and keep on going into your polling places every year, as every vote does count. And, most importantly, keep together as we as a country can weather through whatever comes next.

Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst

For the past year, all I have been talking about and thinking about is my graduation. In my phone, there is a countdown to the big day, which is now only about a month away. Now, I am looking at that day with a sense of dread, because for the first time, I am realizing that I have no idea what I am doing next.

Every day, I send out countless applications to jobs. When I graduate, I lose both of my jobs that I hold on campus. My biggest fear, especially as of late, is that when I walk the stage on December 16, that there will be no job waiting for me on the other side. I have experience. I have a decent GPA, making Dean’s List three times in the last few semesters.  I’ve worked hard, and I have over 1,000 clips to prove it. I know I sound like a whiny two year old, when I ask: what gives?

The thing about the future is that we do not know what it holds, therefore it produces anxiety. We worry about the worst, such as when we bring our car to the mechanic for an oil leak, and worry that it may be the end for the car. The question of what if this happens is something that continues to cloud my mind: what if I can not find a job? What if I can not pay my bills?

We have no control in the future, although we can do everything in our power to create a positive outcome, and that starts with a positive attitude. While it is good to be practical, it is also important to remember to be optimistic. It is like when the weatherman tells you during a hurricane-hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

And, at the end of the day, it is about all you can do to get to the future that you crave.

A Note For Those Looking For A Relationship..

To Those Looking For A Relationship,

Don’t. Stop looking. Now.

Okay, so before you all label me as a crazy single lady, please just hear me out. I do not mean stop looking and close up shop to buy cats. I mean stop looking as making it your constant obsession that you need to obtain. Stop looking for it as in stop treating dating as a hunting game, where you are treating the person that you wish to get like a piece of meat, only something to satisfy your desire for a plus one.

Instead, stop looking for a relationship. Stop focusing on why you do not have a bae, and stop complaining about it. Stop dwelling on what you don’t have, and instead, start on something new. After all, there is nothing worse than hearing someone complain about their lack of relationship, or having someone that you are dating by more desperately seeking you. Definitely not attractive.

Start focusing on you. Start doing things that make you happy, whether it may be to go to a ceramics class, or spending time hiking. Start spending time meeting people and getting to know them. By the more people you meet, the more chances you’ll get into being a relationship because you are meeting people that are probably sharing the same interests as you.

Basically, stop looking. It will come. It is just not your time yet to have someone special in your life. Haven’t you ever heard the saying “it comes when you least expect it?” It is true-whether you are taking about relationships or finding that ring that you thought you lost. You are awesome, and it will happen for you. So stop searching!



Why We Need To Change The Double Standards of Dating

Dating has come a long way since the days of courtship. Now, couples are meeting online, or on apps such as Tinder or Ok Cupid. Women pay their own way when it comes to meals. However, despite the progress that we have made as a society, I would like to talk about the double standards in the dating world today that still exist, as there are several.

One of the things I hate most about being a woman is the lack of inequality compared to men. This happens in many ways, shapes or forms.

The first is the perception that women are the objects that need to be chased, versus the ones that do the chasing. And, in some ways, I agree. I think that a guy should pursue the woman at the beginning and feel like he has to impress her. However, I do not think that a guy should be the only one who bears the responsibility to do the asking out. Let’s face it, guys are shy, and asking a woman out is a lot of pressure. With that being said, women should shoulder some of the responsibility of asking a guy out, if they like a guy. It’s not desperate. It’s asking for what you want and taking control of the situation, instead of waiting for something to pop out of the sky.

Secondly, we need to change the standards that we bear towards women when it comes to dating. If a guy has multiple partners or dates, it’s considered to be fine. If a woman goes out on dates with multiple guys, that means she’s a slut or a whore. And, that’s pretty dumb. If exclusivity has not been discussed, than both parties have the right to go out and date whoever they want to no matter what their gender is. If exclusivity has been discussed and the person still goes out on a date with someone else, than yeah that’s bad. Women have the right to date around just as much as men do, if they are free to do so. There’s nothing wrong with trying other people on, because when you’re young and unattached, it’s okay to experience many different things.

Finally, I would also like to address how women are sometimes perceived to men-sexual pieces of meats, never their equal that they respect. I’ve seen and experienced some men who demand things from their girlfriends or ask them to change who they are/something about their appearance. I’ve seen others treat their girlfriends like crap by demanding they stay home and tend to them, while the guy is out cheating on her with some other broad. However, what happens if a woman asks her boyfriend for something, or even reacting to the way that he’s treating her? Yup, you’ve got it-a slut, a crazy bitch, etc. And, that’s really unfair. While it’s okay to talk to a woman about how you’re feeling, it’s not okay for you to demand it. In 2016, women are no longer dependent on men, so she really doesn’t need you. So, treat her with respect, or at least don’t make her sit around at home while out with the boys. Furthermore, you also can not tell someone how they should dress/act/look, etc. In a relationship, it is not the job of the woman to just take care of the guy and morph to whoever he wants her to be. If a guy wants a woman to be a certain something, then he should just buy a Barbie doll.

Now that I’m done with my feminist rant, I want you all to think about your relationships, past and present. It’s 2016. We’re done with the days of women aspiring to be housewives, as there’s even a woman becoming president. I think it’s time we treat women with the same respect as men do, to allow them to date around without worrying about slut shaming, and to let them taking the damn wheel without worrying about being perceived as desperate.

All’s fair in love and war, but let’s make it even more fair.

Why Vote

I’ve decided to take a break from my usual topics of mindfulness and mental health issues to talk about something that I view to be extremely important-voting. The election is less than three weeks away and unless you’ve been living under a rock, I don’t doubt you haven’t heard about both candidates and have formulated an opinion about them. With that being said, the election has also become a hot topic of discussion. Many classmates, coworkers, professors and friends have discussed the election to an extent, all proclaiming different opinions and perspectives on the topic.

Myself with an “I voted” sticker in April 2016.

With that being said, there is one comment in particular that irks me. And that is, I am not going to vote.

While some may say that either candidate may not be the most ideal fit for president, as many of the people I’ve talked to often classify it as being the “lesser of the two evils,” it is not an excuse to not vote.

As a journalist, I am trained to not show bias towards a certain candidate, and I don’t normally discuss politics unless it has reached an extreme point of absurdity. However, with that being said, I have voted in every election (with the exception of one) since I’ve turned 18. I think that voting is something that is a civic duty, something that each and every one of us should take seriously.

With that being said, as Americans, we are given the freedom to vote. It bothers me that some people don’t take full advantage of that right, and it further bothers me that some don’t vote and then complain about who is running the show. If you have a problem with a certain candidate, vote so that they don’t come into office. By having the right to vote, you have the right to go out there and make a small difference in the country and in the future.

The goal of my blog is to make a difference in the world. Part of doing that is to vote. And I encourage you all, whoever is reading this blog, to go out there and vote on Nov. 8 for someone, whether they may Democratic, Republican or Independent. I don’t care who you want to be in the oval office, all I care about is you do your civic duty by going out and voting.

Why Mental Health Days Need To Be An Actual Thing

Whenever someone utters the phrase “I need a mental health day,” it often comes follow by an eye roll, and the concept that the person is just trying to get out of work. However, I would like to beg to differ, as the need for a mental health day stems from something that’s more than just wanting a day to watch Netflix and read a chic lit novel. It comes from needing it.

Whenever I think about my anxiety and how bad it got in the past year, I can not help but think that if I had taken more time for myself then it wouldn’t have gotten that bad. 

Sometimes, taking a day off to enjoy a cake pop and a cup of Starbucks can be good for you.
While I could never truly know the answer, I believe that taking a mental health day from one of my jobs would have helped me not let it get as bad as it did.

However, let me be the first to admit–it’s not easy to admit that you need a day off or a break. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult things that I have ever done. I often wonder if it makes  me look weak when I say “I need to take a day off to do things.” I also feel guilty, because I often worry about leaving the work that I would have been doing for someone else to do.

But, at the same time, I can’t do everything, and that’s perfectly okay.

The take home message here? Every now and then, it’s okay to call out sick when you’re feeling overwhelmed, or just need a day to veg out on the couch and write. It’s okay to take a day to just take care of yourself, to go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather, and it’s okay to just relax. Why? Because to live a life solely made out of work isn’t a life, it’s just a calendar and a bunch of tasks. Take care of you, because you are more important than those lists.

And that is why we should make mental health days a thing.