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Philippians 3:13-14

May 8, 2016: My grandpa died.

May 16, 2016: I attended the funeral of someone I loved for the first time.

My grandpa and I talked regularly to catch up on our lives, or that’s what he led me to believe– he really just wanted to check in on his granddaughter.

On that Monday, I checked in with him one last time with a group of strangers I call family.  One by one we reflected on what he had done for each of us and, as these strangers expressed their grief in his passing and joy in knowing him, we bonded over his memory. Tears were shed, but you could feel the love he had imparted on his community and family during his lifetime. I couldn’t help but wonder if my death would bring the same reaction. It was evident that in his church, marriage and overall life he worked to make an impact on each person he came in contact with– even if it was just through a smile or “how are you?” I know I try to be as nice as possible and I’m almost always respectful, but would it matter if I left today? So as his niece, my cousin, expressed how wonderful he and his siblings were, I decided to make a genuine effort to leave my best, positive impact on this world.

I resolved to be kinder and more loving, to walk like a real Christian and read my Bible as often as possible because there wasn’t a day when my grandpa wasn’t enjoying the Word. They say people change people, and if ever there was a man who could do it it was Jesus, but my grandpa was His servant so I guess he could too. He sure changed me. My grandpa showed me that even when you’re sick and can’t do what you use to, you can still do what you can do. And, if he can be that example, I can do what I can do now without waiting.

My grandpa always encouraged me to go after my dreams. If there was an opportunity, he wanted me to take it and make the most of it. He taught me that you have to work for what you want, and that while you’re working– if you work hard enough– something extra may come through. My grandpa’s mission wasn’t to be the example he was, but his work led him to be just that.

Peace, love and fairy dust,

His Privy Princess

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2016 in Be Encouraged

 

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Society’s fork

Eating is the foundation of civilization– well it’s the foundation of my civilization– and the fork is the cornerstone.

The fork allows us to indulge in foods like spaghetti, salads, pastas, pizzas ( for those who prefer not to get their hands dirty) and a number of other family dinner specialties. But is that the only thing we use our forks for? Stories show that pitchforks have also been commonly used in the history of the human species. They were used as weapons by individuals who weren’t wealthy enough to afford better forms of defense, grasped by Satan in cartoon images and held high by mobs rallying to go burn a witch or other unwanted individual. And it seems we still haven’t put our pitchforks to rest.

The National Center for Educational Statistics states that, in 2015, 22% of students reported being bullied during the school year. Now we know the stories of a group of adolescents teasing and torturing one of their classmates out of boredom or hatred only for it to result in a tragic loss of some kind. However, what we don’t know are the stories that veer off the traditional name calling path. These stories are created through memes and other such posts, and are the societal pitchforks we call humor. They seem innocent and harmless, but behind them is a source of humiliation unknown to its audience.

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I ran across this photo the other day. At first glance, it may seem humorous, but ever considered who the person was? Or what they might feel when they saw the photo? Maybe even placed yourself in their shoes? I mean saying “we need to find it and kill it” is pretty strong language. This photo appeared in a Twitter post on June 2014 and ran across my Instagram feed May 2016. If this kid had dreams of stardom, I’m sure this wasn’t his idea of rising to the top.

With an increased population, larger communities and fast-paced lifestyle it’s easy to forget to “love thy neighbor”– let alone defend them– so viral bullying seems like a logical result. But with an increase in all those things, a lack of sympathy for a fellow human doesn’t seem to go along with the scenario. But apparently not everyone thinks the same, as one young lady chose to take it a step further and find the source of the ridicule and share it with friends.

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These kind of photos are passed around daily by teens,preteens and adults without the slightest regard for human emotions. The likes, lols (laugh out louds), omgs (oh my goshs) and emojis encourage their distribution in an effort to gain likes, followers, and advance one’s status by belittling someone else. We can’t allow this to happen. That lol comes at the price of someone’s parent, cousin, sibling and child. You wouldn’t lmbo (laugh my butt off) if it was you, so don’t lol because it’s not. By reporting these kind of derogatory posts, we can begin to eliminate them from our social media and put down our pitchforks.

Peace, love and fairy dust,

Privy Princess

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Be Encouraged, Be Pensive

 

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Where Cosmo got it wrong…2015 Trends that need to R.I.P

Where Cosmo got it wrong…2015 Trends that need to R.I.P

Twitter has erupted with the new discovery of Cosmopolitan’s “21 Beauty Trends That Need to Die in 2015”  due to the fact that all the black women included in the article are featured in the “R.I.P.” category or  trends that need to go.  Such categorization has some publicly encouraging the boycotting of the magazine, while others have taken to the social media site with hashtags like #whatitsliketobeablackgirl. Yet my problem isn’t with the topic of categorization but why it exists to begin with, so in response to Cosmopolitan and all those crying wolf over this “problem” here’s my list of Attitudes That Need to Die in 2015.

1. Playing the victim: While racism in this world does still exist, it is important to know how to choose your battles. Sure there are 4 women in this article who are black, and all of them are in the “R.I.P.” category, but what about the remaining 17 who are either White or Hispanic who are also in this category? They aren’t taking to social media and hashtagging their lives away because it doesn’t matter. Sure as a community we have been dealt some dirty hands, but does this article really compare to the Trayvon Martins of this world? I think not. I mean sure Cosmopolitan has apologized, wonderful, but what about the apologies for all the deaths and injustice? Hmmm…crickets. So take a step back, reevaluate the seriousness of situations, and wonder why you’re worrying about the opinions of shrimp if you consider yourself a shark.

2. Discounting people because of race, features, etc.: One important thing I noticed about the Huffington Post article– which brought my attention to this outrage in the first place– is that they continually discount Nicole Richie’s inclusion in the Cosmo list because she is mixed. The same thing occurred when President Obama first took office as the world continually referred to his Hawaiian/White descent and began to discount him as a black man. However this isn’t just a problem in the media but also in our everyday lives. Just look on social media and you’ll see team light skins and team dark skins, team relaxed, natural, texlaxed, Hatian, Jamaican and everything in between. The constant segregation of our community from the inside needs to stop, and we need to learn to embrace and learn from each others strengths and weaknesses.

3. Instigating: Along with those who play the victim every time a horn sounds are those who add flame to the fire by supporting the ignorance whether knowledgeable or not. Take for instance all those who have retweeted others post on the Cosmo article, and of all those retweets all the incorrect information that was spread. Think of all the individuals who may not have taken the time to view the article themselves, but still tweeted about it just because it was trending.

4. Boxing: Now I don’t mean boxing as in self-defense. By all means if you feel the need to learn to protect yourself, as I feel we all should, do so and have fun while doing it. Feel empowered by doing it, but when you’re boxing people into a stereotype, look or any other aspect of someone’s life just because you think it’s not okay I have to stop you. The whole article is based on styles that some secluded group of people says is out of style. Changing my hair color from ombre to some fancy new dying trick should not be something I’m told needs to “R.I.P.” and it definitely shouldn’t be something I’m put down for. Last time I checked, my capability to shave one side of my head did not become more difficult just because a new year rolled around. Therefore I’d appreciate it if Cosmo and everyone other “fashion magazine” could learn that they have no right to tell me how to dress or do my hair. I understand that it’s all a part of the game, but if that’s the case then change the rules because you have a big enough audience to do so. If you refuse to change the rules, then stop acting like you’re trying to help empower women when every other season you’re telling them that they’re doing “it” wrong: from hair, to love, to smiling, to friending, to posting, to moisturizing, to sex, to family…how is you discounting my judgment suppose to empower me? It’s simply going to conform and destroy me.

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2015 in Be Pensive

 

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Finding Me

Finding Me

Since beginning college I’ve learned a lot about myself. How I act, what I like, who I like, why I act the way I do, etc. These realizations have helped me become a better person towards others and myself, and I’ve grown tremendously. But as of late I haven’t been feeling that such growth has translated into my wardrobe. I have some tunics, a lot of heels, some dresses, skirts and such but nothing that yells “THIS IS ME!”

Now I’m changing that one step at a time. I recently took part in Hollister’s $25 Jeans Sale to expand my “wearable” jeans collection from four to six. (In reality I currently have 10 pairs of jeans from eight, but like all women I have my faves. These Hollister jeans have just joined the pack.) I also brought a new pair of heels and flats to match them and some flats to match my older heels from Charlotte Russe. Target and Ross are also particularly close, so I’ve brought a skirt or two and some blouses from them, but before this closet conquest began I had to plan.

First I needed to figure out where I was going– like I do before I take on any major task. I looked at my lifestyle and decided what I wanted my wardrobe to look like. Now part one is a bit harder on revamping your wardrobe because you discover a lot of new styles, and you want them all. The key here is to be practical. Take a good look at your life and be honest– if you don’t go to an abundance of weddings or the likes and you prefer your time with your children, than you probably don’t need an abundance of dresses. Believe me it’s hard when you see all the “A-line this” and “pencil that’s” that would look terrific for that one time you had to go to that one thing, but take it from me it’s a waste of money. I had already started a board on Pinterest with styles and full outfits I admired on other ladies, so when I reviewed those I just looked for what style filled the majority of my board. (If you don’t own a Pinterest 1) get one because it’ll change your life and 2) don’t fret because you can easily use magazines and blogs to find styles you like.) I found that the majority of my board consisted of everything pencil dress/skirt related for work/formal attire and a simple jean, top and shoes look for my more casual lifestyle. My board also included quite a bit of gowns and A-line vintage dresses, but again we have to remember to be practical when revamping our closets, so those won’t be on the purchase list just yet.

Once I had settled on what I wanted my closet to look like I began purchasing the required items for said project. I started at Ross, Charlotte Russe and of course Victoria Secret– you can’t revive your wardrobe and leave your undies out to dry…they needed a makeover too. I chose Ross because it’s really easy to find cute tops for really cheap and as a college student this is a must. However, everything that glitters ain’t gold, so Charlotte Russe was my store for the more naturally fragile things like scarfs and heels because quality ALWAYS beats quantity. Victoria Secret has been my go to for all things “unmentionable” for a while now, I just hadn’t acquired the amount of undergarments I’d like (i.e. my bra game needed some help.) I went to other stores too like JustFab, Amazon and Target; but those were my staple stores.

Now I found that the best way to shop is in pairs, that is in outfits. When I was younger I would go into a store and pick a top from here, a bottom from there, those cute shoes over there, or maybe that sweater/hoodie there and be on my way. (Mind you none of these things matched, and I often had to go home and play the memory game with my closet to make outfits out of new and “gently used” clothes.) This fiasco went on for a while until my friend’s mom sat us down to chat about shopping:

“When you buy clothes, always pay for what you get. If you buy cheap and get bad quality it’s your own fault… Always buy outfits together. Get the top, the bottom and the shoes together– if you don’t already have something at home– that way you know what you can wear it with.”

This tidbit of information stuck with me all these years, so when it was time to shop I brought outfits just how she had taught me. It would seem like a simple resolve to buy whole outfits instead of just pieces, but common sense isn’t so common.

My wardrobe is now slowly coming together– I have a minor shopping problem, so maybe slowly isn’t the word– but I’m starting to wake up and put together fabulous outfits with little to no effort. I just received three packages today; one with shoes, one with a jacket and another with a DVD. (That last one is for my midterm I promise.) The heels are cobalt blue and the flats are blue, blush and a hot pink. I’ve been waiting for them for a week, so I’m really excited to finally be able to wear them. It’s kind of hard to explain, but there’s this exhilarating feeling I get from turning my purchases into fab outfits that scream “THIS IS ME!”

 

Note: Some blogs I’ve read say that you also need to find your color scheme. That means that you choose a family, or families, of colors and purchase according to that group. I’m all for having the staple nude colors, but I don’t know if I’d say I have go to colors. I have a lot of corals and blues, but not on purpose, and I barely wear either of them. I just buy what I like when I see it. I feel that if you’re purchasing individual items, than having a color scheme for your closet is good so you know that you have something at home to match it. However, if you have an abundance of neutral clothes and/or you buy your clothes as outfits (and not individual pieces) you should have no problem. 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in Be Yourself

 

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In a Trance

In a Trance

Twenty-one. It’s an age of joy, laughter, freedom and inadequacy. You either don’t drink enough or you drink too much. There’s too much business and not enough “business ;).” It’s the age where everyone’s married, has kids, is successful, just came back from Europe and felt the need to post it to the latest social site… and then there’s whatever you’re doing with your life for the day. It’s the age when you want to crawl under your blanky, hold on to the plushy of your choice, close your eyes and wake up 30, flirty and the thriv– Stop! You’re too old for that. Is it just me or have I made a U-turn into high school, where chicks have cliques and over powdered faces slice into you like ham at the deli– STOP! Open your eyes. Everything’s gone and it’s just you and the noise, but this noise is different. It’s calmer. You’re at the oasis. The place where bodies of water stretch before you, seagulls fly ahead, bikinis hug your confidence and nothing else matters. It’s the warm blanket and plushy of the universe. Lay on a towel, sit in your chair or immerse yourself in the serenity of tranquility, either way nothing else matters.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Oasis.”

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2015 in Be Encouraged

 

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Shape Up or Ship Out: How Christina Walsh Survived College

One of the hardest things to do in college is stay grounded; there are parties, relationships, classes and all of the university events to worry about in addition to keeping your sanity. It can be overwhelming for anyone — whether you’re a freshman or a super senior. So how do you tackle all the worries without all the drama? Simple … you ask alumni. I’ve asked Christina Walsh to give me a little insight on how to get through college.

Like many of us, Walsh didn’t come to Florida Gulf Coast University with the ideas of balance and organization. Originally, she was the typical student who thought that her high school study habits were going to fly in college, but when she found out she wasn’t meeting her expectations she resolved to reflect on her regular day to day activities and go from there. This is how she balanced her academic and social life: she looked at when most of her socializing took place and designated the opposite time to study. So let’s say you like to go out at night, then you’d wake up either in the afternoon or in the morning to study. It may take a while to get use to, but by setting a routine for your social life and academic life, you’ll allow both to coexist without the fear of self-destruction.

To start the year off right, Walsh advises to choose the gym over Netflix — and not just so she could look good. She found that by squeezing in a couple squats and laying down the clicker she had more energy to get back to work and finish studying. She also suggests making a checklist and rewarding yourself when you accomplish a goal with either a movie night, a nail day/night, or whatever floats your boat.

Now we all know that academics are only half of the college experience, and your social life is another 25 percent, but what about the remaining quarter? They consist of the catfights, peer pressures and self-esteem roller coasters. During the first two years of college, Walsh struggled with her confidence. Instead of focusing on how pretty other women looked she decided to combat low self-esteem by looking in the mirror to find things she liked about herself. “I like my eyes, my hair, and my smile.”

Walsh is a 21-year-old FGCU graduate from Sarasota, Florida. She is attending Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Tampa. Her hobbies include watching Netflix and more Netflix.  While attending FGCU she was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and worked hard to balance her social life with her academics.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2014 in Articles

 

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#BringBackOurGirls

Trying to save these girls from NIGERIA, but what about the ones back home? Ted Bundy slid knives into his aunt’s bed, and they left him alone. This new guy killed women cause he couldn’t get none, and they listened to his words like lyrics to a song. Like round and round she go, and these hoes aint loyal. Forgive me if I’m on my own, if I seem weird or a little bit snobby because I think I was made for more: to love Him and praise Him, and one day raise him, the son that He leaves at my door. See I’m not saying we shouldn’t save them, but let’s speak the truth. We’re killing the darlings at our feet. Watching them curse, and abuse, be tormented and misused, all while shaking their bones to be seen. See there’s a past, and a present, and maybe even a future, so please go live your lives. But remember that one day all these paths will meet to give an account of who you are deep inside. So when you’re done over there, rescuing and saving those girls tragically taken from their homes, come back over here and maybe together we can show these young girls their not alone. That they’re not queens yet, but they’re certainly not vendors: selling their mind and body to the streets. Continuing an endless cycle, and it’s gone viral, cause it’s spreading to the churches and even P.E. So let’s raise them up, and dust them off, because— yes— they’ve been stolen too; from our hearts and homes; and they didn’t leave alone, but once they’re gone they can’t be brought back to you

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2014 in Be Pensive

 

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