Eva Jean

Eva Jean

Wife·friend·aspiring European·fur mom·aunt·friend·Christian

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  • Eva Jean
    Published 6 months ago
    Pride, Prejudice, and Equality

    Pride, Prejudice, and Equality

    It's Pride month—everywhere we turn, we see it. Google, social media outlets, small and large businesses, we're all reminded with bright, vibrant colors. Now, I'm sure you have your own opinions on it, and more power to you! I believe one of the beautiful things about this country is that we have freedom,to believe what we want, practice what we want, and the right to pursue happiness! But over the years, I've noticed something a little concerning and disturbing. I've noticed some hypocrisy in our society, and it's time to bring it to light.This is not an article specifically about my personal and religious beliefs, but I'd like to give some context, as well as make some things clear before I delve into what's on my heart right now. I am a Christian, and I've watched as Pride has grown and become a very large thing over the past couple decades. While my personal beliefs are unique and not exactly popular in society, I also believe in loving, respecting, and being kind to everybody, even when our beliefs are strongly different. Hence, even though my religious views do not line up with the theme of the month, I still have friends who live the Pride lifestyle in their own ways, and I'm not ashamed to have them as my friends. We disagree, but we are all open and honest, and we respect each other. And on a political level, I definitely believe consensual LGBTQ+ lifestyles should be legal—it is not the place of the government to tell us what is right or wrong in that area. It is a very personal decision. I don't believe in a government controlled by a certain religion or a belief system. Therefore, I don't expect or want the government to align the laws with my (or anybody else's) personal beliefs.But what I'd like to talk about today is society and equality. Guys, I am a HUGE advocate of equality. Equality for all—for men and women, for heterosexuals and the LGTBQ+ community, for the old and the young, for the born and the unborn, for all the many, beautiful shades of skin, for all the extraordinary, broadly different and yet similar ways of living, for country and city, for cold and heat, for everything! I'm a supporter of both women and of men, and I wish amazing opportunities for us all. One of my favorite makeup artists is gay, and some of my other favorite artists and creators are in the LGBTQ+ community, while others still are straight. I have both straight and homosexual friends, friends who are more liberal or conservative politically, friends in various religions, and I love them equally. If you feel belittled in some way, I'm the one to come to for a pep talk and an equality boost. And in a nutshell, I just really want the best for everybody, everywhere. So when I see people in the world being hated and stereotyped and discriminated against, I don't care who you are, I don't care if our beliefs align or not, I'm definitely going to be your friend, and I will be there, standing for your rights and equality. Because we all deserve respect, kindness, and courtesy as fellow human beings. We all have a voice and need to be allowed to use it. We all have the right to decide and choose what we wish. We all have the right to speak out or stay silent as we see fit. And so when I look around society and see people being disrespected, hated against, and treated as lesser than others, I'm not okay with it. Who are these people who are being discriminated against? Who are getting death threats? Who are being shut down and silenced on social media? Well, actually, it's people like... you and me.It's some of the Christians and Mormons and Muslims and Atheists and people of other religious and personal beliefs who do not agree with some of the views being talked about in society today, whether that's Pride/LGBTQ+ topics, or abortion, or religion, or something different all together. It is absolutely ridiculous that people of various beliefs feel the need to either apologize or follow up even the most gentle of statements with "I hope that's not offensive to you." You should not have to feel the need to hide your beliefs (I would encourage you to not hide your beliefs, no matter how much you may feel you "need" to—stand up for what you believe! It's my goal to do the same, even though it can be hard). I was recently in a discussion with a neighbor, we'll call him Drew, and we were sharing with each other books that have really moved us and motivated us to step up or make a change. One of my very favorite books to this day is Love Does by Bob Goff, and it's about life and Christ and, well, love. I was telling my neighbor about it, my eyes gleaming, and voice eager to express how much it helped me to take another look at the love of Christ and apply it to my life, when suddenly I stopped, my heart skipped a beat, and I found myself saying shyly, "Oh, it's a Christian book, I hope that's not offensive to you. I don't mean anything by it." Now, Drew is not a Christian, and we have very different religious, personal, and political beliefs, so his response surprised me strongly, and I'll never forget it—he rolled his eyes and chuckled, saying, "Oh man, don't worry about it! I think it's great, and that sounds like an amazing book! Isn't it crazy and dumb that we live in a day and age where people feel afraid to share their opinions and religious views? I think everybody just ought to be nice and willing to listen to everybody, just as long as people are polite and kind and all." Since then, he and my husband and I have chatted and shared opinions about religion, politics, personal struggles, thoughts about the world, life, and society, not infrequently disagreeing, and we always leave each other more built up and edified than when we started talking, often even complimenting each other as we open the door to our own apartments. But once we've gotten settled inside our dwellings, I see a very different world on social media, a much more unfeeling one, much harsher and unforgiving. I see people yelling at each other, slinging the strongest and meanest of vocabulary that I've ever seen, saying the most hateful, inhuman things to their fellow man. I walk into my workplace the next day, and realize that most of my coworkers don't agree with some of my views, and I don't know if I would be able to have a peaceful conversation with them, or if our differences would offend or trigger them. I look around me at the world, and I wonder if it'll be friendly today or not. I wonder if we'll be good to each other, or if more damage will be done.I'd like to live in a world where open and honest friendships with people of different beliefs and lifestyles were common and the norm. Where somebody could kindly express an opinion online without getting called horrific names. Where people could share their beliefs that they hold dear without fear of persecution. Where people could practice their freedoms without receiving death threats later. Where people could have healthy, positive debates and discussions. Where sharing your religion and belief systems with others was respected and treated kindly instead of seen as an intrusion and problematic. Let's turn our world around—be kind and respectful to everybody, see all people as equal to you, nobody is more of a person or less of a person. And treat others as you'd want to be treated—that phrase is an oldie, but a goodie! If you want to tell your opinion, be willing to genuinely listen to other's opinions too. Be kind! Be like Drew!Regardless of your thoughts and opinions about Pride month, let's take the opportunity to reflect on how we treat each other, how we listen, how we love our fellow man. Let's look inside and find areas within ourselves that we could improve—we all have them! Let's take a deep breath, start fresh, and carefully think before we react to people, especially if it's emotional for us. I know it's June and summer is in full force here in America, but let's all try to stay cool, and be that refreshing breath of air in society that we all need. Be what you want to see in the world—you won't regret it!
  • Eva Jean
    Published 6 months ago
    A Few of My Favorite Eyeshadow Palettes (High-end and Drugstore)

    A Few of My Favorite Eyeshadow Palettes (High-end and Drugstore)

    I started incorporating eyeshadow into my makeup regimen in early 2015, and let me tell you, I was horrible at first. I've never been one to ease into something... no, I go head-on. So when I started doing eyeshadow, I didn't start with a subtle or easy look, I tried a purple smokey eye about an hour before I had to leave for church on a Sunday morning. To date, this was one of my biggest makeup mistakes! I was determined though, and before long, and after numerous YouTube videos, I could do a very not-bruise-looking purple smokey eye, as well as many other eyeshadow looks. I did my sister's makeup for her wedding, and then the next year my friend's sister's wedding makeup as well! Over the years, I've had lots of fun trying out various eyeshadow palettes, some high-end, some drugstore, budget friendly palettes, and a few in between. I'd love to share with you my favorites today, as well as tips and tricks!
  • Eva Jean
    Published 6 months ago
    The Journey

    The Journey

    I have reached a very interesting point in my life. It's not the most fun, nor the most productive in the moment (perhaps in the future I'll look back and disagree with myself), but I think it'll be for the best in the long run. In fact, currently, it's very painful a large portion of the time, and often I'd much rather distract myself and not deal with it. But it is time to face and accept it, and I know that distractions, and pretending it's not there will just make it harder, and prolong the inevitable. What is this thing I speak of? It's my search for self.No, I'm not going through a mid-life crisis, I'm a few years too young for that. I'm truly just on a search to find myself. Or maybe a better way to describe it would be, "I'm on a quest to build myself." I do know who I am. But at the same time, I'm striving to find who I will decide to be. I have lots of aspirations, lots of abilities, lots of weaknesses, lots I want to learn, lots I want to be. My personality is such that I want to do everything, and go everywhere, and be everything for everybody. And I've come to the harsh reality that it's physically impossible to do that. I've realized two words to be true that I hate saying more than anything: I can't.I suffer from an ailment that is specifically created to both cause me the most torture, and yet mold and chisel me into the best I can be (I'm a type 5 on the enneagram chart—but that's a story for another day). And actually, you have it too. It's the inability to do everything. My mother expertly expressed it by teaching my sister and I this little nugget of wisdom: When you say yes to one thing, you're saying no to something else. This can be seen in situations where you already have a fully booked day, but somebody reaches out and wants/needs you, and you now have to decide between declining them, or cancelling a previously decided commitment. Or on the other side of the spectrum, it can be seen when you're very spent physically, mentally, emotionally, and are in the midst of resting when you suddenly think of something that could, should, *needs* to be done, and you have to decide between taking care of your needs, or doing the thing that randomly popped into your head, threatening to destroy any hope of self-recovery in the near future. I can't tell you the number of times when I've mourned the fact that I don't have a personal assistant telling me I'm overbooked, or who can tell others that I'm unavailable, or someone who can basically just solve my problems, or who can be a buffer and hide me from the fact that I can't do everything. Which would definitely be just running from my problems at this point (nothing against personal assistants—absolutely invaluable in many cases, and if I truly needed one, and had the financial margin for it, I wouldn't be against hiring one!).I considered (and even typed up) a sampling of the cycles of thoughts that go through my brain 24/7 to share with you, but decided against it, as it would be too long, and probably lose the interest of most readers. Suffice to say, I have a lot of thoughts, and things I'm thinking through with various levels of importance and urgency, and I'm often overwhelmed, and left at a loss to know what I need to focus on at one point of time versus another point in time, and what needs to get done or addressed first. If only everything could be done and worked through, all at the same time. If only the YouTube channel could be established, the camera chosen and purchased, and the sound equipment figured out. If only the puppy could be in the new apartment, and working on potty and crate training. If only all family and friends could have attention already given, and would be the happiest and most satisfied that they could possibly be. If only I could say yes to everything, and never say no. If only... I could do and be everything.I am on a journey. A journey to accept. A journey to learn. A journey to discover. A journey to build. A journey to become. Because I am not all-powerful. I am not omniscient. I am not very far in my journey—I still struggle to be okay with the things I cannot do. I still don't know what my balance in life will be. I don't know who I'll decide to be tomorrow, or next week, next month, next year. But I know who I am. I know that I love people. I love my husband, my friends, my families. I love my puppy (who I haven't even met yet!). I love makeup, and writing, and making videos. I love helping others, and being involved. I like being social and active in society, and yet, I also like that I'm introverted. I like calmness, and being quiet. I like passion, and loudness, and seeing. I love dark colors, and I love light colors. I love to be the tortoise, and I love to be the hare. And honestly, I love variety. And I know that one day, someday I will find my balance, and I will decide what parts of myself I will chose to be more, and what parts of me I will chose to be less. But I also know that even when I find my balance, I will still be on my journey. Because this is also a journey of life. New obstacles come into the road all the time, and new factors, new developments, new advances, and new opportunities, new victories, and new mountains. The journey never ends... but honestly, that's the beauty of it. Just because now I'm in a bit of pain, fighting to accept my limitations, while simultaneously trying to fight to do everything I possibly can, I know that this journey has joyful and peaceful parts, just as much as it has hard times like now. It has plenty of twists and turns, and I'm sure there will be parts harder than this, as well as times that will be happier than I've ever experienced before! So right now, the thought that I'm going to chose to focus on today, is to accept the journey, enjoy the journey, and savor the journey. And to realize that tomorrow I'll be further along in my journey than I am today—I am making progress, and I strive to always make progress, and to keep learning. Tomorrow will be a beautiful day, and I can't wait to continue my journey.