Sunday, March 27, 2016

Freshman year of College: Overview

Fall Quarter: 2015
Realized love of environment,  planet Earth,  nature,  Psychology and activism.
Major/career ideas: Environmental psychologist
Winter Quarter: 2016
Realized love of making music; classical and choral, love of computers, game-making and decisions to push self to become a leader with religious club/summer camp (terrifying as fuck)
Major/career ideas: Computer Science with minor in music
Spring Quarter: 2016
Signed up for fancy dancy audition into the music department at Western. Super stoked! Planned voice-lessons for the summer and lots of work.
Plan for Computer science major and music minor.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Sustainability! Celebrate the baby steps! Get Pumped!

This kind of stuff is what keeps my hopes up about the world! I can't wait for sustainability to take action. Every little baby step means worlds to me! In some cities, they make you sort your recycling and have compost and recycling bins all around. I LOVE it. This is the kind of world I want to live in. Where I know that taking that extra 5 minutes will save animals homes and using a little less paper towel will save entire trees. Baby steps are huge steps!

https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1023251154431675/

Political Discourse: Unition or Division. My American Dream

Yes, I am new to this. I am turning 19 shortly. I am young. I lack life experience, and I don't know everything. But that does not mean I am not smart. I love learning and I especially love talking with people who have differing views from me because it pays off to be able to expand your perspective on anything. I haven't met many people who are willing to talk with me about their differing views, but those who I have really taught me a lot. 
To an extent I really do get the conservative perspective on things. I despise how divided our country is. I think in many ways we truly do need to unite and start listening to the other side of things (left vs right). There are things that we can agree on, and these are what we should focus on. For example, we both want some kind of gun regulations. We don't want people to be dying all the time in schools or in public places. Both parties want good for our country. I believe that generally, people are good. People are good. Human beings have good intentions.

Where we frequently fall short is in realizing that everyone has different ideas of how to fix these problems and people often refuse to compromise. Instead what happens is nothing, and often, nothing is actually something, and that something is actually significantly farther away from the desired outcome for both parties. This is a problem. This is where we need to stop, take a few steps back, reassess the situation and prioritize. Please.

We live in a beautiful country on a beautiful planet; Earth. And I believe we are blessed with the opportunity to live in a democracy, a place where we can talk, express and learn about our opinions and come to consensus for the good of the people. No one person is going to be right about everything; Ever, and it is painful for me to watch when people fight for one person as if they are our one and only savior and they alone will make everything right again. That is not how this works. It is not that simple and it never will be.

It saddens me that it seems many people have forgotten what it means to be an American. What it truly means. Freedom, equality. We can not have those things if we have such a strong government; if we feel the need to correct everyone who has an opinion or ideal different from ours. That is not the purpose of our government. Our government was made to keep us safe. To give us the tools and resources we need to survive and live in harmony and to take care of ourselves. That is all. It should not be controlling our views, our opinions or our options. This is our life and our Earth. We should be working to help ourselves, each other and live a sustainable life on this beautiful planet which is our home. 

What we need to remember is respect. Stop trying to fix other people. Fix yourselves and fix the government so that it is not trying to fix other people. That is not it's job. We need to get out of our heads and start learning to respect other people and respect differences.
That is what this country is about. Respecting differences and learning to coexist in harmony and peace. Wars, riots, lying, people with the most money controlling everyone else's fate. That is not what this is about, and yet, that is where it appears our country has gone.

I wish that I could call out to you, anyone who chose to take the time to read this, to think: What kind of country do you want to live in? What is the best way that you think we can do this? With an open mind, an open heart, and thinking not just about yourself; please. How?

Why should we have to keep "playing the system" with the games and the media and the lies when we can just unite with honesty and integrity. This is what we should do. A political revolution. Where everyone has a say and our politics aren't about fixing or controlling everyone's opinion. That is not peace because all humans are imperfect and all humans are hypocrites. No human should have more power over any other human. There is only responsibility and teamwork. With those two things we should be able to step up and make the world a better place again.

Stop making everything black and white, all or nothing. It is not. Start thinking outside your own life and consider the big picture. The government does not have infinite money or time. The people who make it up are ordinary people just like yourself (at least they should be) and we need to start choosing our battles. What is most important right now. The people of this country, or your own personal hang ups? This is what makes me angry. We need to stop being selfish and start working together again.
This is my dream.

PS:

I want to tell you a bit about myself if you are interested. Yes, I am a christian, but I do tend to side more towards democratic candidates in politics. Yes, I am new to this, so I totally would be willing to vote for someone "on the other team" someday, if I felt that it was right.

When I think about a person in our political government. This is what I look for. It is not about whether I think they personally will fix everything. That is not what I think it should ever be about because I think that is extremely unreasonable.
A person representing me in politics should be a respectable person. 

They should have integrity and honesty. I don't want you to sugar coat things. Life isn't that simple. I want to hear the truth. Even if it is not something I "want to hear", as a member of the country they represent, I deserve to hear the truth and not be lied to, about anything. No half-truths. This is a relationship, like any other. I put my trust in this candidate to represent my ideas, and my country in a way that is honest. How can you trust someone who lies to you or plays both sides behind your back. This is not a trustworthy person. 
A candidate should not have a secret agenda. A candidate should not be lying or changing their opinions in order to get votes. Why should I trust someone who is only acting out of self-interest and not for the best interest of the country. I should not.

Regardless of what ideas I think will work for fixing the economy (as an example), this candidate should be flexible and show that they can work on a team and discuss things with other people in order to come to a consensus. Things are not black and white and it is really arrogant and naive for anyone to think there is only one real solution to any problem. This is not the case and things should be worked out and talked about.

International Relations. Wow, this is important and I think that a lot of people overlook this. The candidate to represent my country should be able and willing to not only respect the people of their country (all of them), but respect the differences of people in other countries because if they don't, expect to be blown up. That is literally what you deserve, except that you probably won't be blown up; we will, the people of your country.
In layman's terms, the candidate to represent me or my country in politics needs to be able to be trusted not just by their own country (me) but by people of other countries. There are still people in the world who are not afraid to start wars and take over other countries. Don't be a dick. There is so much bad that can come with this. International relations are important.

The ability to prioritize. What is the most important thing for the federal government to be spending their money on right now? Wars? Hell no. Especially now if your country is in debt and there are homeless, unemployed and crime rates skyrocketing. No.
What should be left up to the state governments and what should be a federal issue? Once again, there are many people in this country with many different religions and personal morals and beliefs. We all have a different way of looking at the world but that difference is only that; a difference. Humans are humans. We all make mistakes and can be horrible people, but in the end I believe we have good intentions. Please keep this in mind. It is not productive to impose all of your views on everyone in the country. Federal governments should not have so much control. When you get to that point, you start crossing the line and losing your freedom.

Please consider these things.
Think with your head, not your self-centered, narrow-minded egotism (which we all have)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tanning salons and Racism: rant

Maybe our country's insecurity about difference in race and the color of your skin and how so many of us are still racist assholes has something to do with the fact that we can't even love the color of  our own skin enough to not have,  "Desert Sun tanning salon",  "unlimited tanning only  $18.88 a month".
Do you really know what it's like to be in a desert sun; American woman?  Really?
Are you doing this to feel good about yourself, to appeal to the unrealistic standards that Hollywood and certain media have imposed? Is this really a good use of your money?

This world can be so unbearably stupid. Tanning is a waste of money and I am sure that normalizing it is just the same as normalizing a mental illness. Get your shit together and be thankful for the skin color you have! Please! God made you beautiful the way you are and if you never learn to love yourself for how you are, I pity you because I imagine the struggle it must be to love someone else.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Topic of Transgender people and Transitioning

It occurred to me, tonight, as I was sharing yet another post on facebook related to transgender awareness, that this is a reoccurring topic of personal growth/understanding and realization that I think is worth sharing on my blog here.

It all started one day when I stumbled upon this youtuber: Stef Sanjati.
I happen to know a number of transgender people, although I was never very close to them. And over the years, despite feeling like I had respect for them and their decisions to identify as the opposite gender, I kept getting stuck. I did not get it. Why? How? And so, when I stumbled across this youtuber, and I saw this video. I decided to watch it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ynvhmk_zgA

I was blown away. This person, Stef, come across to me, quite clearly, as an extremely genuine, honest and emotionally mature person. Although, I will never know her, and I don't even do a whole lot with makeup or makeup tutorial videos, it was clearly fate that I came across this video in particular.
Learning how to understand something is the best way to learning how to accept, love, appreciate, or even in some cases, reject something with true sincerity.

In this case, however. My eyes were truly, simply opened. The way she told her story and described her feelings and expressed the differences between her feelings and other explanations really helped me to dive deep into the understanding, and accepting of transgender people in a way that I never felt that I could before.

Since then, I have done a bit of research on my free time (mostly out of mere curiosity) and I stumbled upon this article. Which I shared to facebook.

http://brainspongeblog.com/2015/10/29/boy-or-girl/?utm_source=facebook

And today, I saw this video, and it also stuck out to me and I shared it too:

https://www.facebook.com/Upworthy/videos/1202345336472989/

I hope these resources can give you some perspective and insight on the topic of transgender people. I think learning to understand and accept people is the key to start learning how to be kind and respectful to them.

The bottom line I want to say about what I learned is this: being transgender is not having a mental illness. This is not a body-image issue or an issue with gender as Stef pointed out. Rather, this is a biological affect and difference. It's not a choice. A male to female trans person really is a female always has been and vice versa.  Gender is more complicated than just sex organs. Male and female brains form differently. What's to say that there isn't a female brain in a male body for example. Or,  for those religious folk,  the energy that runs through us; our soul or spirit, who we were intended to be. It appears that for some people it just doesn't line up the way it was supposed to. It was a birth-defect like any other. This is a kind of awareness I hope to bring to the topic. Every person deserves respect. In  the car of Transgender people, it is  a bit more complicated  because I  believe it would be disrespectful to say that who they know they are is  a mental illness or am illusion. I think these are all very different things.  We will always have more to learn as humans. We can not act arrogant like we know how the world or people work. It  is  not  black and white and this is a topic which clearly needs an open mind to truly understand.


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Update:
I ran across two interesting articles on this topic from the perspective of both the orthodox church and the catholic church and I want to link them below just to add something for thought.

http://www.patristics.co/2016/05/19/st-basil-and-the-gnostic-philosophy-of-transgenderism/

http://catholic-link.org/2016/04/27/catholic-teaching-on-transgender/?utm_content=bufferb76b2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer