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Thoughts on Boston

These are my thoughts on Boston. I don’t really have any recollection of what I was writing, and what I was trying to say while writing. Hopefully you will still understand.

Bad things happened in the world when I was a child. There were school shootings, robberies, murders, and acts of terrorism.

I could separate myself from these events, there was no need to care about war or evil when you are so little. I’m sure I was aware that there were “bad things” going on in my world. I was still warned that bad people lurked in dark corners, alleys, vacant parking lots. Bad things happened because bad people existed. Guns are bad. Knives are bad. Killing people is bad.

Now that I’m almost 20, I can’t begin to grasp this “bad” world that I live in. It’s no longer acceptable for me to go into my room and play with dolls, entering a fantasy world where there is peace for everyone. When I was little, this could be my escape. I could enter a different world and pretend that the things I didn’t want to exist, didn’t.

I can no longer do that. I can’t hide in my room pretending like these things don’t exist. They do, and how do I live knowing this?

After the Sandy Hook shooting, I thought of all the people I know who have kids in elementary schools. I thought of how the school district of my town cut down on security guards due to the budget. I thought of how my mom works as an aide in an elementary school, and how if there was a “Code Red” that wasn’t a drill, she would be responsible for protecting the children. I thought of what I am supposed to do when I have kids, and need to send them off the school. I don’t want them to go.

I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to stay inside, and pretend that the world is a place of peace. Where are my dolls when I need them?

I’ve been following the updates on the Boston explosion for days now. I don’t know what it is about this event that has made me so drained, so angered and sad. I don’t even know anyone who was at the marathon, not anyone who was hurt at least. Why should I care? I don’t live in Boston. I don’t know anyone there.

I care because I am no longer a little girl in her room. I go outside, to class, school, the store—I walk the streets alone. I am aware of the world. I am aware of these happenings. I can never forget.

I can see myself years later. I can see myself remembering that I was a young girl, too young, to witness 9/11.I will talk about Iraq, Libya, Egypt. I will talk about Sandy Hook. I will talk about Boston. What else will I talk about?

We can’t predict the future. But we are supposed to move on regardless. You live and you learn. I don’t want to live, at least not in a world like this. But what choice do I have? What choice do any of us have?

I listened to a talk show yesterday, my favorite talk show (Elvis Duran and the Morning Show), and Elvis talked about how even though it’s necessary to listen to every detail of an event like Boston’s, at some point you just need to get off the computer and pull yourself away. I can’t pull myself away.

I’m drawn to news like a moth to a light. When the light is cut off, I’m fluttering around unsure of what to do. It drives me crazy. I need that light. I need the news.

I get so angered when people sit and pick apart the media, telling me they are too involved. They are too involved, reporters are annoying, they don’t know anything, the news is bias, they cover what they want to cover (shut up shut up shut up shut up)

My professor told me I need to have a thick skin to be a reporter. I am getting there.

I used to play Call of Duty with my brother. I got pretty good at it. I liked using the machine guns that would shoot a lot of bullets in a second. I thought it was cool to scope out an enemy, the shoot them in the head from so many miles away. I could plant bombs, playing “capture the flag” in the meantime. I threw grenades hoping I would get more kills than my brother.

What the hell is wrong with me?

What’s wrong with the world we live in? Why do people target schools or malls or marathons? I will never know this answer.

Hash tags on Twitter suggest I #PrayforBoston. I don’t include this tag. I keep Boston and their people in my thoughts. The runners run through my minds, make laps in my brain. The eight-year-old is someone I can’t get out of my mind. I cried so hard when I read that article. I still cry. I will never stop crying. I don’t even know him.

I think my breaking point was this event. I just want so badly for me to walk the streets without fear. I want to walk down dark alleys in a short skirt and be safe. I want to send my kids off with no thoughts in the back of my mind (is this is the last time I will see them?!). I want to not be worried when my boyfriend walks at night with his laptop. I want to go to big parades, concerts, marathons, and be unafraid.

I have to have a thick skin. What if my writing is recognized by a big newspaper, and they send me off the a story like Boston? What if I am one of the reporters that writes a story that lets a parent know their son/daughter in Boston is okay? What if I honored Martin Richard with a moving story? What if I was at the scene, tweeting away, letting people know what was going on?

That’s what I want to do, to write and let people know what is going on. This girl is grown up. I still choose to go into my fantasy world where everyone is safe, but I am aware of the real world I live in. I want to become fearless, but I think that is something that doesn’t happen overnight. Maybe you’ll read my byline one day, and remember what I wrote here, on this day. I want to show people that we can get over our fears. That despite all the “bad things” that will not change, there are the “good things” to recognize. Good people reside in hospitals, fire stations, police stations, (and news rooms). Good things happen because good people exist. Helping hands are good. Hugs are good. Helping people is good.

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The Paper Problem

I recently discovered how sacred printer paper is to college students.

If we held a modern gladiatorial combat with college students, it would be for printer paper.  College students would arm themselves and head into the arena to battle to the death.

I am not sure about other colleges or universities, but at my school printer paper does not come free. Most lounges are supply-your-own-paper printers. Only the commuter lounge, which is really supposed to be used by commuters-only, resources are free of charge. That is, they are free if you know where to look. You still have to walk to a different room to pick up printer paper, and even then it is hard to get. I have gotten many looks from whoever is working there, almost to say, “are you REALLY a commuter.” When you finally get a hold of some paper, you bring back the paper and quickly shove it into the printer.  As you quickly select print, you realize someone else is headed to the printer.  And shooting out of the device comes their notes.  Of course, the paper they just used up was not their own, but they don’t care.  They are in the same rush as you are.  It’s every man for himself!

I’ve never actually gotten mad at someone for using up the paper that I have brought back because I know I can get it for free.  I would be frustrated however, if I brought in stacks of my own paper, and then other students use it all up.  I have seen people literally argue with each other over printer paper.  It’s so ridiculous but at the same time, if people would just respect each others materials we wouldn’t have any issue.

Finals week makes kids go insane. I have seen people hurrying to print out their 50 pages of slides just so they can study.  So it is no wonder students get upset when some lazy student comes in and just prints their papers without bringing any paper.  Some students will have no problem voicing their opinions, and you really see how rude people are on your campus. I had a girl yell at me for using her paper, when I had counted out exactly how many pages I needed and placed them in the printer. She ran over to the printer and whipped out her paper so I wouldn’t use it.  She left some behind, and instead of keeping it, I gave it back to her (although I really think I should have kept it).

Which reminds me, whenever you see printing paper without an owner, snatch it up! I have found many piles of paper that have yet to be used, and hey, if you don’t protect it someone else will!  I have also found that printing your papers at the last minute are never a good idea.  This is just increasing your chances of things to go wrong, which will only leave you stressed and angry.  I also have decided to bring only the amount of paper that is necessary to print my document(s).  This way you aren’t putting extra paper in the printer for someone else to use.  Also, put the paper in the printer right before you go to print something.

I never would have suspected that college students would go so crazy over paper, but I am starting to see it makes sense.  We need so much paper every day, and when people try to take the little resources you have, it can be stressful. Sharpen your elbows students, you may need them!

The Detox Diaries: A Belated Final Entry

Although I have been bad about blogging everyday, I am attempting to redeem myself with one final entry (about the detox).  This past Saturday had it’s ups and downs.  I have to admit, Saturday morning I semi-broke my good streak.  I am so sorry fellow readers, I hope you all are not too upset with me.

I broke it with a cup of coffee.

My famous smoothies

However, I felt no guilt  I’ll get into that in a bit.  After my cup of sins, I headed to my boyfriends house for the day.  It was a beautiful day, and I decided I should make us some delicious smoothies.  It contained a mango, strawberries, oranges, and of course, spinach leaves for nutrients.  What’s even better, we enjoyed them in a hammock!

Stir-fry, sweet potato french fries, brown rice

For dinner, I decided to make us a heaping amount of vegetable stir-fry.  I cut up carrots, colorful peppers, water chestnuts, broccoli, and onion.  I also cut up some sweet potatoes, mixed them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and made french fries.

I made a “sauce” for the stir-fry, which I found to be the secret into making perfect stir-fry.  When you are making a huge amount of stir-fry, I either like a decent amount of oil, or a sauce.  The sauce really isn’t a sauce.  All I used was a little bit of water, little bit of soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper.  I added this sauce when the stir fry was about two-thirds done, and it simmered along with the vegetables, flavoring them all.

I also made brown rice to go alongside of the stir-fry.  Brown rice is very tricky to make, in my opinion.  It cooks differently than white rice, probably because it is healthier for you.  I seasoned the rice with some basil, and served with the fries, and stir-fry.

Needless to say, there were no leftovers.

As for Sunday, technically I should have kept the detox going all day.  However, my family had a big dinner planned that I really wanted to be a part of.  I did make sure I ate some fruit during Sunday, so I did maintain a healthy day.  We also had a salad with dinner, so that made me feel better.

While some may look at me with disappointment, and say how could I not stick with it, I must say several things.  I am content with everything I accomplished during this 5-6 day period.  If you know me, I am not the kind of person to diet, or be overly concerned with eating habits.  I am also not the kind of person to give up the foods I love, because I treat my food like friends.  I respect the way food tastes, looks, and smells.  I appreciate good food.  I am also not the kind of person to give up coffee.  Especially not for that long of a time span (I know it’s only a week….but still).  I have friends whose parents always invite me over for dinner because they know I can devour a huge amount of food.  As a tween, I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain a pound.

As I get older, I realize not only can I not eat whatever I want, but it is not healthy to eat whatever I want.  Yes, a slice of cake and ice cream is wonderful, but not everyday.  Yes, sometimes vegetables and fruits are not as tasty as a burger and fries, but they are good for your body.

For all the skeptical folks out there, the detox was not a bunch of “hooey.”  I felt more energized, awake, and experienced no ongoing severe headaches (except the one towards the beginning).  I also felt no pains in my back.  I found getting a decent amount of sleep and exercise greatly added to the effects of the detox.

Overall I can say, this experience may not be for everyone.  It is hard not to fall back into your old habits after the detox.  I thought, “Well I haven’t had cake in four days….one slice won’t hurt.”  This is true, maybe one slice of cake won’t hurt.  But if I say that every time I want something “naughty,” I will fall right back into my old habits.

Throughout this detox, I realized that our bodies should be treated like a fine piece of china.  We are all beautiful and unique in our own ways, but we are not as strong as we think.  If we keep putting processed foods, artificial sweeteners, high amounts of sugar and sodium, and fast food into our bodies, we will break.

Cheers to a healthy life!

So, try a body detox if you wish, but just remember a detox will not solve all of your problems.  The body detox can help you realize what you need to do for yourself in the future, and that is all that matters.  Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle is truly the key to success.

The Detox Diaries: A Preamble

Well, finals are finally done, and I have officially survived my freshman year of college (hallelujah!).  However, I can say my body has not survived the long nights of studying, excess amounts of caffeine, and poor choices in what to eat.  Towards the end of the semester I was experiencing headaches, aches and pains, and I was exhausted for no reason.  My theory is that it was the drinks and foods I was consuming.  The foods we eat play a big role in how we feel both mentally and physically.  Most of the food we consume now are processed and contain little nutrients that are beneficial to our body.  That’s when I came to the conclusion; it is time for a body detox.

This is my first body detox, and I am both excited and nervous.  My biggest worry is that I will break down and not be able to complete the detox.  Especially because I am am a huge coffee drinker, and I rarely go a day without it (hint: coffee is on the do not consume list when doing a body detox).  I must have faith in myself!  However, I have done my research so I am fully aware as to what I am getting myself into.  I have spoken to some friends who have done the body detox in the past.  They both had great things to say!

The whole point of a body detox is to cleanse yourself, and get rid of all of the toxins that have built up in your system.  By eliminating saturated fats, processed foods, and drinks like alcohol and coffee, you are essentially “recharging your batteries.”

During the detox, studies suggest that you exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, meditate and practice yoga.  All of this is a way to relieve yourself of stress, and to feel your very best.  There are several ways to detox your body.  There is the all juice detox which helps give your digestive system a break, or stick with the seven day schedule like me.  It all depends on who you are, and what your body is like.  Some should ask a doctor or nutritionist first before proceeding with a body detox.

I think that this will be a great experience, challenge, and life-changing event for me.  I hope that after this detox and I can choose a healthier way to live, and to regularly keep up with exercise and yoga.  Stay tuned as to how my week goes.  I plan to concoct some interesting detox meals!

Also, if you are interested in more information I found Whole Living  to be extremely helpful!  Thanks for reading.