Each new school year, I make myself a goal list. My overly ambitious self assumes that (based on the laws of attraction, of course) if I write down my wishes, they will come true. Unfortunately,… More
I thought about you everyday.
You were the first thought I had when I woke up in the morning. You were the last thought I had before I went to sleep.
Wherever I went, you were on my mind. I would walk through a store and imagine outfits I might wear when we are together. I would plan what club, restaurant, or bar I went to in hopes that I would run into you there.
I would imagine scenarios of us in my head. You in bed with me. You at this party. You having dinner with my family. None of these scenarios ever played out.
When you would message me, I would get butterflies. When we would hang out, I lived in the moment with you. And when you would leave, I would think about the next time we would be together.
I thought about you everyday. Until one day, I didn’t.
I was out living my life. Out, thinking about me. Then, I felt as if I was missing something. I felt so whole. I felt so clear-headed.
Then it hit me, I stopped thinking about you. I wasn’t missing you anymore. You were no longer part of my everyday thoughts and routines.
I felt a little uneasy about this new feeling. This new life, which you were not apart of.
And then, I started thinking about you again. But this time, it was because I knew it would be the last.
I’m a hoarder, collector, and a compulsive buyer.
I buy things for temporary happiness. I keep things because of an emotional attachment to them. I keep buying, buying, and buying because I can never find true happiness in my purchases.
I have an obsession. Not only with the act of shopping itself, but with purchasing things that make me feel prettier, richer, and more stylish than others. Fuck, saying that out loud makes me feel like a bitch. But, it’s true. I would receive an immediate satisfaction upon purchasing things I really didn’t need. That satisfaction quickly fades after I use the products. If I even use the products. I have countless amounts of purchases that are still in the original packaging, still containing the price tags.
I now feel claustrophobic surrounded by all this stuff. I have thousands of articles of clothing on hangers, in drawers, on the floor, and in my luggage, because I have run out of space in my room to put them. I feel overwhelmed being in my own home, looking at all these things.
And I feel sad, sadder than ever, that 21 years and millions of purchases later, I’m still not happy. Materialism has done nothing for me other than put me in extreme debt at such a young age.
I think I’m in that rebellion, fuck normativity phase of my life. Or, I might just be realizing what is actually important to me. Something that very few people can accomplish. I’m realizing that material goods have and can never help me achieve true happiness. I feel the most happy when I’m merely just surrounded with the people I love. I feel the most satisfied when I’m strolling through nature, taking in the beauty and alignment of an all natural environment.
I’ve decided to make the shift to a minimal life. It will definitely take time to completely change my lifestyle, but this is a challenge I’m ready and willing to take!
Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers from Season 4 of Orange is The New Black
Season 5 of Netflix’s hit series Orange is The New Black (OITNB) will be released this Friday, June 9th. YAY! If you aren’t obsessed with series yet, this upcoming season will definitely hook you in.
I decided to re-watch the whole series to prepare for the new season. Unlike some other shows I watch, OITNB does not centre solely around a comical and/or purely entertainment theme. The series has tackled important social issues, like mental illness, LGBTQ+ rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the American Prison system. Not to mention, it has shed light into a variety of crimes, the intent and cause behind the crimes, racial issues, class divides, and sexual orientation and preference.
Even though OITNB does an incredible job combining both drama and social justice into the series, it is still only a TV show. That means that any conflicts within the show might be exaggerated or even made up. Just to attract a larger viewer rating. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean the topics discussed should be taken lightly either. OITNB may be a fictional show, but the social issues that they focus on are very real.
Here are some things we might see in Season 5:
1. RIP Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley)
Am I the only one still mourning the loss of Poussey????? Not only was she sweet, sensitive, funny, passionate, supportive, cute, the list can go on… BUT, she cared. She cared about her friends, family, strangers, goals, and social issues. AND, her death hit so close to some of the racial inequalities our world is still experiencing. She WAS the symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement on the show. Her final words, “I can’t breathe,” mimicked the exact words of Eric Garner, before he was murdered by police. Garner was racially profiled, suspected of selling single cigarettes (Is this even a crime wtf?), and put into a chokehold until he died by American officers. It was almost unbearable to watch this exact re-occurance take place on OITNB with Poussey.
Based on how Season 4 ended, I think the inmates will finally revolt against the correctional officers!! How this story line will play out, I have no idea.
2. Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Dogget and Charlie Coates
Pennsatucky is a character I grew to love throughout the seasons. So, it broke my heart to see her sexually assaulted this season by Charlie Coates (The officer seen above). The whole situation was so disheartening and complicated. First, both parties claimed to have liked each other. Coates admitted that he loved Dogget right before he committed the crime. What makes everything worse is that he holds a position of power. The only reason Dogget did not report Coates was because she knew no one would believe her, since she is a prisoner. This misuse of power is absolutely devastating to watch. Dogget might be a prisoner, but she is still a human and should have been treated as such.
Season 4 ended with a passionate kiss between the two (Ugh). Coates told Dogget that he wanted to quit his job, so that he can be romantically involved with her. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what exactly happens with this relationship.
3. Suzanne Warren “Crazy Eyes” and Maureen Kukudio
Suzanne represents a slew of mentally ill inmates on OITNB. She is an extremely important character because through her, we can see the lack of aid, acceptance, and tolerance given to people with disabilities and illnesses in correctional facilities. How Crazy Eyes and other mentally ill characters are treated by officers is beyond disappointing. When these characters are seen as a liability, they are granted “compassionate releases,” thrown in the psych ward for “their own protection,” or forced upon their friends to take care of them. Poussey was trying to defend Suzanne when she was murdered. If the system had more compassion, knowledge, and programs for mentally ill inmates, like Suzanne, murders like that of Poussey’s could be prevented.
Suzanne and Kukudio are another prison couple that ended on complicated terms in Season 4. Suzanne, after being forced by officers, bet up Maureen to the point where she had to be taken to the medical ward. After trying to suffocate herself, so that she could feel what it’s like “not to breathe,” Suzanne ended up in medical right next to her ex-girlfriend. Will they rekindle their love in the medical ward? Will it be an awkward recovery for the both of them? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Only a few more days until season 5 of Orange Is The New Black is Released on Netflix!
While decluttering my laptop the other day, I stumbled upon this passage I wrote. I have no idea when or why I wrote it. Whenever I’m in a deep state of anxiety or depression, I have absolutely no recollection of that moment. I must’ve written this passage when I was in one of those states. I read The Bell Jar 3 years ago, at a time when my anxiety was at its worst. This book changed my life – as you can see from the passage below.
Mental illness is a touchy subject. No one wants to acknowledge having any type of illness because of the implications and stigmas that come with it. Many people, including myself, are often in denial when symptoms of certain mental illnesses arise. I do not want to be classified as “sick” and neither does anyone else. Since socially constructed ideas of sickness often depict individuals requiring treatment, mental illnesses are perceived as such. Yet, the only treatment most people suffering from a mental illness needs is the acknowledgement that they are suffering and that it is okay and perfectly normal. After much research and openness of my anxiety, I have realized I am not alone. I feel comfort knowing that many individuals, including some of my best friends, experience and understand the same difficulties I face. I do not wish mental illness on anyone, but the bond that I feel with others who have mental health conditions is indescribable.
Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar,” spoke to me like no other book I have read. I receiving the same university degree as her and have the same career goals as she did. I hope that I can impact and help those suffering, like she was able to help me. Her suicide touched me as if it were my own. The realization of the valuably of human life made me understand the importance of fighting through, no matter how hard the battles may become. One life does not just impact that life. When Sylvia Plath took her life, she did not know that almost 50 years later, someone would be impacted by it. I was impacted because I understand her pain. We all understand each others’ pain. When one battle with mental illness is lost, we are all affected. We must get through it together and support each other regardless of the illness that is being fought. We live in an age where mental illness is so widely acknowledged that almost everyone knows someone who is affected. Mental illness impacts us all. Yet, there is still a stigma associated with it. I have acknowledged my fear of illness so that others can as well.
Together, we can end the stigma. Together, we can help each other get through.
I recently celebrated my twenty-first birthday. Twenty-one is an age that seemed so far away. It feels so weird how quickly time flew. I always dreamed of this milestone as a kid. I envisioned so much for myself by this age. I wanted a boyfriend, one that I would eventually marry, I wanted to have a book published by now, I wanted to be moving out of my parents house, applying to ivy league graduate schools, be CEO of some company, any company, and attend Upper West Side cocktail parties. None of these goals have been accomplished… yet. And I’m totally okay with it!
Because as a twenty-one year old, I’ve realized that it is okay to have not accomplished the goals I thought I wanted as a kid. Instead, I am grateful for everything I have learned thus far.
Here are the 21 realizations I’ve had in my twenty-one years of life:
- This is your time to be selfish
- Some people will just never like you. It’s not you, it’s them. So stop wasting your time trying to fucking please them
- Never settle for less than what you deserve
- Stop measuring your worth through how many likes you get on your social media photos
- Other people’s energies rub off on you. Start surrounding yourself with positive people
- The most unexpected, unplanned nights are always the best nights
- Don’t mask your feelings. If something unfortunate happens, you are allowed to be sad, angry, upset, anxious, etc. Make sure you set aside time for yourself to grieve
- It’s better to have a few, good friends instead of a lot of fake friends
- It’s okay to change your life goals
- It’s okay to not have any goals. Enjoy the silence and routine of your everyday life
- When one door closes, another one ALWAYS opens
- Do not change yourself for anyone
- You have to first love yourself before you can fully love someone else
- True happiness can be found in the simplest and smallest things
- It’s important to accept and embrace failure
- Learn to trust your intuition
- Set up boundaries for yourself. It’s the only way to avoid people taking advantage of you
- Stop comparing yourself to others. Be grateful for what you have
- Let go of the past. Holding onto grudges is never a good idea
- Take every experience as a life lesson
- What others think of you really doesn’t matter
Upon finishing three full years at Western University, I decided to write a letter to the school itself. Three years ago, this was my dream school. I was an excited, ambitious, and courageous 18-year old, ready to start my new life at a university I was already in love with. I experienced such difficulties and regrets throughout my three years attending Western. But, none of these ever had to do with the school itself. I often thought how great it would be if I could drag the school, and my wonderful program back to my hometown, Toronto, with me. I can’t believe my journey at Western has already ended. And how it ended way too soon. Maybe I’ll go back and write a thesis, maybe I’ll go back and take a few easy and interesting classes I never got to enrol in while I was a student there. But for now, Here is a thank you letter to the University of Western Ontario.
Thank you Western for opening up my eyes. For showing me that identities can be questioned, changed, and shattered. My white-washed, heteronormative, patriarchal lens has been broken. I thank you. I thank you for showing me the people I knew existed, but never got to see. I thank you for making me even question me. For showing me that life doesn’t exist in binaries and that conforming is totally lame. For showing me love, and challenging me with hate. For giving me fake friends, and a few real ones. For making me cry. Oh, how you made me cry. I don’t think I ever shed a tear before university. My highest highs and my lowest lows were spent here. Because of you Western, I am the person I am today. Because of you Western, I will be able to face any challenge that comes my way.