Proud To Be An American

Growing up, I didn’t understand that “American” was an acceptable cultural identity. Sure, I was born here, and my mom was born here, and her mom was born here, and so on and so forth, but it never occurred to me that when asked about my background or heritage, I could reply “American.”

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Even though my family has been in this country for at least eight generations, I’d claim the most ambiguous aspects of my lineage before describing myself as American simply because I was never taught that America had a culture of its own; one outside of the greed and obesity constantly emphasized in popular culture.

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How many times has it been suggested that anything great about the United States can be attributed to our history of immigration? How often have you heard this country referred to as solely a nation of immigrants? These kinds of statements erase the traditional American identity by implying that it doesn’t exist. Technically, yes, we’re all immigrants and technically, yes, we’re all animals but the same way that common sense tells you not to have sex with a sea turtle, common sense should tell you that after four hundred years, the American identity is completely separate from its European origins. 

As much as I appreciate the diversity of this great nation and the contributions of immigrants, America, like any other country, has values and traditions of its own. Traditional America isn’t gross consumerism or excessive materialism; it’s making the best of what you have and living within your means. It’s not spending your weekends at work; it’s enjoying a weekend of fishing on the lake. It’s not a ridiculous preoccupation with the Kardashian family; it’s supporting our troops even if you don’t support the war.

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My Grandaddy Garfield shot off his own toe hunting. He had rifles mounted on the walls of almost every room of his house. Born in the 1920s, he was self made, and earned respect from blacks and whites alike in a small, segregated town in Georgia. He was a World War II vet that drove a pickup truck even though he could afford a Cadillac. While he had a business mind, he had no desire to live an indulgent lifestyle. As long as he owned his property and could fish as he pleased, he was a happy man, and an American if there ever was one.

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We live in a nation of variety, and while I think that immigrants have a right to preserve their native cultures and share it with others, the American culture is not a junction of every immigration wave it has seen. It has an identity of its own that deserves to be acknowledged, respected and celebrated.

midwesternpreppy asked:

Can you make a post about your sorority? I think it's so fascinating and bold(in a really, really good way) that you've started your own sorority! I would really love to hear more about it, just out of pure curiosity. You have a very lovely blog, by the way!

Thank you! It’s really still a work in progress. There’s always a new obstacle and it’s sooo difficult getting girls to actually participate. All of my sorority related posts so far can be found here but I can definitely do a new post. Did you just want basic information like symbolism and stuff like that or something else?

I actually planned on wearing an entirely different dress this morning, but after a tragic zipper malfunction that will result in a trip to the tailor and barely waking up in time for my class, I ended up throwing on this dress that I ended up buying after my “At A Loss For Lilly” post.

The dress is from eBay, the shoes are from Payless and the bracelet is Louis Vuitton (it was a gift). To read my College Girl Guide to eBay, click here.

Life Is A Beautiful Sport

I haven’t blogged in a week, and I apologize. I’m as tired of giving the “busy, emotionally drained” excuse as you are of hearing it. 

Now that that’s out of the way, I love a good advertisement. Granted, it’s a little disheartening that an ad that can touch you in such a spiritual way is ultimately a marketing team’s ploy to get in your pockets. But that doesn’t change what a good ad is capable of.

Lacoste’s Big Leap Commercial may be my new favorite ad of all time.

It’s so incredibly easy to forget what life is really about. It’s about taking chances. No one likes rejection or disappointment, but we all too often let the fear of not succeeding cripple us from reaching our full potential. Whether that’s not applying for a job because we think we won’t get it or not talking to a hot stranger because we assume they won’t be interested, we are our own worst enemies.

Failure is very possible, but that makes success all the sweeter. Be smart, but be spontaneous. Be fearless. Embrace the fact that life will rarely go the way that you want it to, and learn to take risks. Do what your heart is telling you to do, even if there’s a chance you’ll end up hurt. Most of the pain life brings us ultimately makes us better people, anyway. 

You have no idea what you’re cheating yourself of by refusing to swallow your fear. Life isn’t a spectator sport, or a sport that can be won without a gamble. 

Usually, the worst that could happen is “no.” Stop letting two measly letters stand between you and life’s infinite possibilities.

A Bostonian’s Thoughts On The Boston Bombings

Marathon Monday is a drinking holiday for college students in the Boston area, because the route of the Marathon makes it impossible for commuters and professors to get to campus. Last year, I remember walking into the Campus Center and seeing all of these people crowded around a TV, thinking ‘what are these nerds doing watching the news on Marathon Monday?!’, only to realize that this Marathon Monday would go down in history for all of the wrong reasons.

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Those terrorists claimed to be acting on behalf of the innocent lives taken by the U.S. military in Muslim countries.

If you know me, you know I’m a patriot. You know that I love this country with every fiber of my being, with all of her flaws and all of her imperfections. As much as I support and love our troops, I don’t doubt for a second that while they’re overseas they may be forced to do things that they aren’t proud of. And as much as I grieve for any innocent life taken, regardless of origin, the solution to evil is never more evil. I’d bet my next paycheck that not a single life was spared overseas as a result of violence against the U.S. 

I was forced to watch in horror during the longest week of my life as Boston locked down, and watch with pride as Boston emancipated itself from the clutches of terrorism. I was able to appreciate the miraculous world we live in to an extent that I never had, as everyone, everywhere stood with Boston.

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As much as the rest of Boston and I appreciate the support and love we’ve received nationally as well as internationally, I don’t believe an outsider has any real perspective on what Boston really means. Boston is so much more than an attraction. Boston is more than Newbury Street or Faneuil Hall. Boston is a city of proud, hard working people, from the hippies in JP to the townies in Southie. As diverse as it’s population may be, the spirit of Boston is very much distinct. It’s more than an unwavering loyalty to your teams, choosing Dunkies over Starbucks because Starbucks is for yuppies, and an inherited obsession with Mahhhky Mahhk. It’s knowing who you are and what you stand for. It’s brave, and unapologetic. Boston is where the American dream comes true every day. Boston was strong before it was a hashtag, and it always will be.

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Put Away The Ice Cream, You Are Not A Victim

Growing up means learning to take responsibility for your actions. A lot of bad things happen for no reason at all, a lot of bad things happen because life is unfair, and a lot of bad things happen because you’re stupid. It’s okay to be stupid; this is your first time at life. It takes stupidity to make wisdom. But you won’t grow wise by pretending that you aren’t at fault when you are.

When I was 17, I was head over heels in lust with a football player named Ainsley. We went to different schools, and talked on the phone every day for months on end. We’d been talking for about three or four months, and he told me that he “wasn’t a relationship person.” We stopped talking, but of course I fell for the “I miss you” text in classic naive teenager fashion. We decided that I’d give him my virginity and be exclusive friends with benefits, and I accepted that because I thought it would turn into a relationship.

The day after I lost my virginity to him, I ended things. I finally saw the situation for what it was. One day, he would proudly call someone his girlfriend, but it wouldn’t be me. That day was actually a month or two later, and it broke my heart. I spent an entire weekend listening to “Somebody I Used To Know” on repeat and drowning myself in wine coolers, like the 17 year old bad ass I was.

But the point is, I had no one to blame but myself. When we started talking, I was too forward. I didn’t present myself like a lady or give him anything to work for. You know how they tell you to dress for the job you want? You should present yourself like a girlfriend if you want to be one.

I want to be clear: a woman’s sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of. But it also doesn’t need to be broadcasted. And if the conversations are of a risky nature too early, it will be difficult for a man to see you as more than your sexuality.

When he said he “wasn’t a relationship person” I should have listened. We had been talking for months; he had a pretty decent understanding of who I was and had decided that he didn’t want a relationship with me. I could’ve saved myself a great deal of emotional turmoil by just taking his words at face value.

A lot of times I’ve found that people aren’t victims of circumstances or other people; they’re victims of their own naïveté. They’re victims of their unwillingness to accept reality. So before you label him an asshole, or her a heartless bitch, analyze the situation. See if you had any part to play, because you probably did, and learn from it. There is no room for progress in a cycle of self pity and ignorance.

State House Adventures

These are some photos from my visit to the State House earlier this week. I’ve been there before, but this was the first time I’d been there since graduating high school (and since taking art history) so I appreciated it a lot more. The first picture is with Senator Chang Diaz. The third picture is from the State House balcony, which is rarely open, so I was feeling extra hashtag blessed to gaze at my gorgeous city from the building where it all began. Life has been hectic, annoying, and exhausting, and this was a real treat for someone as patriotic and Bostonian to the bone as I am.

Today I went to the State House, and wanted to keep it pretty but professional. I wore a button down from Forever 21, a Tommy Hilfiger sweater (gift), and pants from White House | Black Market. My hair bow is from Claire’s, my necklace is from Charlotte Russe, and my flats are from Rainbow. I was dressed femininely enough to stand out but appropriately enough to make a good impression on all of the politicians I met today.

Today I went to the State House, and wanted to keep it pretty but professional. I wore a button down from Forever 21, a Tommy Hilfiger sweater (gift), and pants from White House | Black Market. My hair bow is from Claire’s, my necklace is from Charlotte Russe, and my flats are from Rainbow. I was dressed femininely enough to stand out but appropriately enough to make a good impression on all of the politicians I met today.

Everyone Isn’t Beautiful

I know my title already has you thinking, “Woah, what kind of heartless bitch am I dealing with, here?” I am, indeed, a bit sentimentally challenged, but bear with me.

Dove’s ad campaigns don’t impress me. Aerie ad campaigns don’t impress me. No ad campaign advertising that “everyone is beautiful” or that we are all “perfectly imperfect” appeals to me or impresses me. Why?

1) Your ego is not the media’s responsibility. After a certain age, the media/society card becomes invalid. You are in charge of your self esteem.

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2) Not everyone is beautiful. Not everyone will think you’re beautiful. Do you think you’re beautiful? Because that’s literally all you’re in control of. Welcome to Earth. Have a beer.

3) Claiming the media perpetuates “unrealistic beauty ideals” is probably the cheapest argument you could make. The rarity of the features of most models is what sets them apart. Of course not everyone looks like that. That’s like claiming that the NBA and NFL set unrealistic standards for athletic ability. 

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4) It shouldn’t matter that you’re not beautiful. If there’s a message that needs to be sent, it’s that beauty shouldn’t be the end all be all of a girl’s existence. 

5) Call me a cynic, but I see these ads as a sleazy appeal to the broken psyches of the insecure. It’s a public relations stunt. They’re just trying to make themselves look good.

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Basically, we, as women, are all being patronized. We aren’t expected to push ourselves to think independently. We’re too fragile to accept reality, so we’re being fed these absurd campaigns to coddle our egos. It’s pathetic.

As harsh as this may have sounded, it’s not coming from a hateful place or from ignorance. I used to have extremely low self esteem. I would constantly imagine myself with lighter skin and longer hair and light green eyes. Then I grew up, got an education, and realized I was, indeed, a bad bitch and that it didn’t matter who agreed or disagreed with me. We’re all much more capable than we give ourselves credit for. 

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