First let me preface this story by saying, this was not my first time out of the country. I had been to Europe and Costa Rica prior, but under supervision with structured timelines and rules. I was excited yet nervous to say the least. I decided to trek back to Europe again -- my dream destination! I bought my tickets and planned my trip and realized, with excitement and nerves that I would be doing this all by myself. Tips and tricks I can give to the person reading this who might want to be brave and try a trek like this by themselves too is, PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! Just because you are going on your own does not mean it is easier to just do whatever you want to do and go with the flow. Yes, you can have a little of that, but if you truly want to make the most out of your experience, plan out your goals. Where do you want to go while you’re there? How much time do you have for your trip? How much money do you have?, etc. It is important to ask yourself these questions so you can have the most optimal trip as possible. Personally, I really wanted to go to Paris and see the Eiffel Tower which I so recommend and I wanted to go into a country I had not been to before, which happened to be Luxembourg. I decided to spend two weeks in Germany, see some friends and family living there and immerse myself in the culture as best as I could. If I could recommend a packing list, here it would be:
Living life with chronic anxiety feels like an uphill battle that you will never win. It feels so out of your control and like you will never win. Even when everything seems to be going as planned, your brain finds more to worry about and hones in on it. It is life filled with coping mechanisms, both good and poor, and pretending that life is good when in reality it feels like a water balloon with a leak that is slowly losing all of its contents. Anxiety comes in the form of needing to control people and things, setting high standards for yourself and becoming your worst critic, being scared to go out with people, being scared to go anywhere for that matter, having even the best things ruined by the little voice in your head, and constantly worrying.
The definition of a person, let alone a gender, is fluid—who you love, what you were, what you stand for, and the life you choose to lead. Yet society seeks to oppress and silence the masses of women, young people, lesbians, gays, and transgender people. I read/watched three pieces that were all founded upon the central idea of gender and gender roles. The first piece is a spoken performance by Chimamanda Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists; the second piece is Bros Before Hos: The Guy Code by Michael Kimmel; and the last piece was A Powerful Poem About What It Feels Like to Be Transgender by Lee Mokobe. These three pieces all assemble into a puzzle that connect in order to highlight the gender and gender roles struggle in current day America.
Let’s face it, Christmas is beloved time of year by many people, and no matter who you are, the first snowfall is always pure bliss. Of course, it is a bugger to have to drive on the roads and sometimes Christmas seems to commercialized, but hey! The time with family and the love shared around a yule log or singing carols at the top of your lungs defeats all, right? There is so much to do and such little time, where do you start? Here are 25 things to do during the Christmas time while we wait for those reindeer to come clicking and the holy jolly man to say, “”Ho, ho, ho!”
Take a step back, look at the bigger picture. Are things as they seem? On the outside, they look like they are happy, healthy, and what every person could want, but are they really? It takes a good long hard look and some digging for anyone to find out otherwise, except you. You know that it is not good for you and you know that you’d be happier without them, so what is stopping you? Time. Commitment. Effort. So many things are stopping you from pulling the plug that you have known for so long should be pulled. What if they change? What if you can make it better? You just want to make a big band-aid and fix it to make it be how it was when things first started. Back when it was new, fresh, loving and happy. When you could look them in the eye and see all of the fun and all of the light that your relationship could make. You probably wonder to yourself, what changed? Did I do something? Did they do something? The answer to both questions is usually yes. You both changed. New opportunities came along, “better” things came into your lives, you found joy in other people and things, and within the blink of an eye, your relationship began to unfold before you.
Want to hear a scary story? Two words. Nursing school.