Mirror Image

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Sometimes we don’t take the time to look outside of ourselves. Half the time we’re only focused on what’s right in front of us, and the other half of time we’re focused on things that don’t matter like what we’re wearing, and what we look like. We’re too busy focusing on impressing others, all while those same people we’re trying to impress are trying to impress someone else.

00:00 Time Starts Now

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We’re living off borrowed time, stop putting things off and do them now. I think we get hung up on the fact that there’s a tomorrow, when in reality there might not be one. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll be heartbroken, you’ll forget to do important things, but it’s apart of living and growing. Embrace the things that make you imperfect, because it makes you, you. Stop worrying about the opinions of others, people will have something to say whether you’re doing bad or good. We have to appreciate what we have while it’s in front of us, before it’s too late. Appreciate all the small things that make our lives amazing, it’ll be no time before it’s all gone. Appreciate the things that you don’t even notice keep you functioning and mobile, like you’re knees; you’ll miss them when they’re gone. In this modern society we get hung up on the material things that make us “happy” but what happens when that fades away? What are you left with? Take away the cars, the phones, the designer brands and who are you really? We buy these things to earn recognition from others, whether it’s bad or good. Without noticing we label ourselves, but get upset when other people judge or label us. We’re asking for attention but don’t want it once it’s in front of us. See, I think life’s about doing right for yourself and for others. I think life’s about the appreciation of the simple things like nature, and the love someone has for you. I think life’s about happiness and living in the moment. We’re forced to think long term but in reality we may not see that chance to live out those dreams. Life’s about NOW. We can’t change the past but we can fix what was done wrong by making things right NOW. We don’t know what the future holds, but we can take steps into building a bright one by doing the small things NOW. At the end of the day when you lay your head down to go to sleep, ask yourself “if today were my last day, would I be satisfied with how I’ve lived it”
You never know when things will be taken away from you. It’s only a matter of time before that timer is up and you have nothing left. Clocks are every where, reminding us that we’re living off borrowed time. When your clock strikes your time, will you be happy?

I’m the captain of this boat

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I’m entering my senior year of college with big decisions to make in a couple of months. I was told that college was a way to network and a time to make decisions that can have an impact on my future. So I’m guessing high school was a time to make stupid decisions and a great time to learn from your mistakes. With that being said there’s so much pressure on me to be make the right choices, “your next job could be your career for the rest of your life.” At my age now I thought I was suppose to have it all figured out – my career and everything else; but I don’t. At 21-25 you’re suppose to be building the stepping grounds for the rest of your life, is this really true? Do I really have to make these big decisions at such a young age or am I just old and denying the fact that I’m getting older? Who’s to decide when my life starts anyway, isn’t it my life? I then realized that expecting all these things would mean that I would be living a life that someone else planned. Lets face it all these things will happen on my time because it is in fact MY LIFE. I emphasize the my life because that’s exactly what it is, MY choices, MY mistakes, etc. (I think you get the point) Here I stand at a young but wise age and I have realized that my life has already started a very long time ago. I have realized that the things I want in life will not be given to me but earned. So as far as having my life together, I do. I have an idea of what I want to do and where I want to go. I know that some things will just fall into place while others have to be worked hard to achieve. Now will unexpected surprises happen that leave me unsure – yes! In all I know that my life will be everything I want it to be because in the end I make the decisions for me and no one else is in control of my life but me. I know that there will be a series of unfortunate events, but I believe that I am stronger than obstacle that is thrown in front of me. So you may all be wondering why you’re reading this and why you should care about my life and who I am as a person. I wrote this because there’s a lot of people out there trying to live the life that someone else expects. There are people out there that believe that they have to be doing something by a certain age, when in reality they are in control and decide when these things happen. In life there are times when we are uncertain and confused. We’re so use to having the answers right at our fingertips that when we don’t have the answers right away we start doubting ourselves. We start thinking that we’re doing something wrong or not going about it in the right way. Sometimes that’s not the case at all, in fact sometimes we’re on the right path just looking in the wrong direction. Moral of the story here is don’t be afraid if you don’t have it all figured out yet, I know people twice my age that have no idea what they want to do. You have to learn from your mistakes in order to succeed in life. Let things happen, don’t be afraid to take chances, and realize that you will fail at things your good but don’t let it stop you from trying it again.

As seen on TV

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Have you ever stopped to think that the media sometimes can misinform people or that sometimes people are not literate enough to separate what’s real and what’s not? We get so used to seeing things a certain way so when we don’t see them that exact way we get a little upset. For example, television series representing people/couples. We except people to look this way and act as these families do on television. When I started to think about the television series that are out now about same sex couples I automatically thought about the Fosters. A beautiful series on ABC family that goes into the life of a lesbian couple with adopted children. In fact one of the mothers was married before and had a child of her own with her husband. I first started watching the show because I heard so many good reviews on it. I actually loved the show and how it portrayed a same sex couple. To the contrary I think some people except ALL same sex couples to look this way, which they will not. I then thought about Orange is the New Black the hit series on Netflix that goes into the life of a lesbian prisoner and her struggles with being incarcerated with her ex-girlfriend while being engaged to her future husband. Bizarre plot twist but it happens. By “it happens” I mean, people are bi-sexual and they like both genders. It’s perfectly okay, but once again not every bi-sexual person is how Piper is portrayed in the Netflix series. I didn’t even stop to think about the series that dates back. Before being openly homosexual was popular and that’s the television series Will and Grace. If you know what show I’m talking about then you know about the characters I’m about to name, Jack, Will, Grace, and the ever so funny Karen. If you don’t know the show I’m talking it’s the 20th century go look it up. (kidding) Again not every gay male is as flamboyant as Jack and not every gay male is like Will. Sometimes it’s hard for people who don’t understand the media and how entertainment works, to dissect what’s real and what’s not. The media is just trying to show a representation of a large body of people. They do the same thing with white families, black families, Asian.. etc. Lets face it, growing up we all thought Caucasian families were made up of a husband, a wife, and two children preferably a son and a daughter. A lot of people grew up excepting all families to look the ones that resembled that type of family on television. It’s sad but true. Same thing goes for same sex couples. A lot of people expect for these couples to look like the couples on television or the ones that are in movies They grow accepting of a certain type of couple, so when they see anything different they are not accepting because it’s out of the norm. The media is there to give us a resemblance, something that we can relate back to – but not compare. We have to realize that people come in all different shapes, colors, races, etc. So not every person is going to look identical to the ones we see on television. We have to accept everyone as they are, and not except to see what we see on television all the time.. because it’s simply not realistic. I found this an interesting read and invite anyone reading this blog to check it out, we get influenced by our peers with social media, check it out http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-powerful-social-media-persuasion-techniques/

Serial number NP-215

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Are you a product of your neighborhood? This goes past the average stereotypes. Ethically is it right to judge people on where they’re from or based on race and gender? I come from a tough part of the city of Philadelphia, granted where I grew up isn’t the worse place to live but it isn’t the safest. Who am I kidding now and day’s you really aren’t safe anywhere. Anyway, I digress. Here’s my thoughts on stereotypes and how I would define being a product of your “neighborhood.” For example where I am from it is very normal for families to live off the support of the government assistance. By government assistance I mean food stamps, healthcare, social security checks for mental/disabled children, etc. Now I know many families that actually NEED this government assistance to live, but I know too many families who abuse this system. In my household as in many was a single mother raising three children living off minimum wage, working two to three jobs at a time just to keep up with the bills. Not too many kids in my neighborhood had the type of mother I did, in fact I only knew a handful of kids who’s parents were not as active in their live as my mother was in mine. As I stated before there were a lot of single parents raising their children. To say the least I knew many kids who were incarcerated at young ages, always getting into trouble, dropped out of school, disrespected their elders, the list goes on. These kids grew up in the same environment I did, and they fell into the pressure of the stereotype that was set for my neighborhood. These stereotypes being either a drug dealer or a low life who lives off government assistance with little to no education and no promise for a successful future. Without having to say I knew a lot of people who dropped out of school, got involved with the wrong people and forgot what life was really about. They got really comfortable with how they were living and saw that almost everyone around them was living like this. Therefore, they felt no need to change because they did not want to be called weird for trying to do something different with their life. People like this are what I would call a product of their neighborhood. The people who fall into the pressure around them and get comfortable living the way they do. The people who drop out of school and do nothing with their lives. Honestly, it’s sad to see people with so much potential just give up on themselves. That’s what I grew up around. I grew up around a bunch of nobody’s who think a job is standing at the corner hanging out. But lucky enough I beat the odds that my neighborhood expected of me. I was lucky enough to have a mother who cared about my safety, my education, and my success later on in life. My mother used my broken neighborhood as an example of how NOT to live. I was taught that I could be nothing without education and I would get no where if I did not do well in school. Therefore, I am NOT a product of my neighborhood but I know where I come from and am true to myself. Sometimes I am judged because of where I am from, or I get the typical “wow, you must’ve had a hard life.” Actually I didn’t I used everything I had around me as motivation. My neighborhood made me who I am but I am not who it wanted me to be.

Privileged to take a step back and look forward

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So I had a great experience yesterday, please allow me to bore you with some background information before I strike your attention. I’m a college student studying communications finishing up my junior year in a couple of weeks. I go to a small but beautiful campus filled with some amazing people that I’ve encountered along the way. Anyway I’m in a Media Ethics class and I have to say it’s one of my favorite classes. I’m a thinker and I love being challenged beyond what I believe and what I think is right. My class is rather small and there’s only two colored people in it including myself, by colored I mean non-Caucasian (by no means am I a racist) and we both happen to be women. So anyway yesterday my professor had us do the “privilege walk.” You know that scene from Freedom Writers when everyone lines up on a line and after answering questions you either take a step forward or a step back? Well yeah that’s what we did. I must say I was surprised by where some people were after all was said and done. The first surprise came when I noticed my professor was a step or two behind me, I knew I had a rough life growing up but didn’t think she of all people a Caucasian female with a degree would be behind me. My next surprise came when I noticed another female two to three steps ahead of me. I thought to myself, “she must’ve had her fair share of difficulties but none like mine.” The biggest surprise came when I noticed my other colored friend about four to five steps a head of me, I expected her to be in front or behind me. This exercise was the biggest eye opener to me for many reason. (If I bored you here’s where it gets good.)

I didn’t grow up in the best of neighborhoods but mine sure wasn’t the worse. My position on the line after my professor was done reading the questions was no surprise to me. First and foremost let me say it is a blessing for me to be standing where I am today. I have not reached my peak yet but I know that I will be successful. I have to stay dedicated and work hard as I have always done throughout my life. I knew growing up knowing that nothing would be easy and I was not privileged to have anything handed to me or given to me. In fact, I had many odds against me. At first when I looked around the classroom I was embarrassed to be as far back as I was. I then realized that I was something special. I was special, because, unlike the people standing in the front of the class I was never expected to be where I am today. I then looked at my humble professor and it filled my heart with pride and hope. It filled me with joy to know that despite the odds against me I can too be successful and make a difference in this world. It made me happy.

This exercise taught me that no matter what society says you can’t do whether, it’s because your color, race, sex, or sexual orientation, you can make a difference. It taught me that I shouldn’t judge someone because of how they look or have pre-notations of someone without knowing them personally. It taught me that just because they’re white doesn’t mean they have money or just because they’re black doesn’t mean their poor. We don’t have to be a product of where we come from. We can go against the limits society and our families set for us.

I challenge you to do a privilege walk and see how you feel after it. You’ll be surprised and shocked at where some of your friends end up on the line I guarantee it. It teaches you to think outside the box and that not everything is what it seems to be. Not everyone has worked as hard as you and some people have had the honor to be given a lot of things. The biggest lesson it should teach you is, not to judge a book by it’s cover.

I wasn’t “privileged” to anything yet I feel like I have everything; and that’s because of all the no’s I received along the way. After doing this exercise I am thankful and blessed.

If you want to do a privilege walk activity of your own or want to understand what it is in further detail click the link: https://indypendent.org/2013/08/17/take-privilege-walk