Never Forget

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Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while. Once my class ended I sort of let this fall to the back burner. I feel compelled to blog today because its 9/11. Today, many in our country will think back on where they were when they saw those 2 towers fall. Many will remember how they felt, and many will remember those lost in the attack. Personally, I was sitting in 8th grade Algebra and was in the midst of writing a note to my best friend about how the boy I liked and I had a fight on AOL instant messenger. I woke up that morning thinking how I was going to have such an awful day because he was mad at me and I couldn’t talk to him until after school. I couldn’t wait to get into Algebra and tell my best friend all about it. Needless to say the moment someone ran into the classroom with the announcement that the World Trade Center had been hit by 2 planes was a moment that shattered my innocence. I realized in that moment that there were problems way beyond the magnitude that my little sheltered world could imagine. The time following that was a scary one. Everyone in the nation watched with horror as the towers fell, as people leapt to their deaths to escape the buildings. We then held our breath as we heard more terrorists had taken over planes headed for Washington D.C. Suddenly, my little disagreement with a crush was extremely trivial.
I bring all this up because I feel that is important not only today, but every day, to remember the magnitude of the attack. I worry that those young people born after the attack or in the few years prior will never understand how this made our nation feel. This horrendous attack will simply be something read about in history books. This disgusting act by an evil group of people will merely be an event students memorize facts about for a quiz. As those who lived through the time, it is vital that we constantly remember and honor those lost in this senseless act of terrorism. Let’s take today, and every day to remember honor the memory of the Americans lost in the attack as well as those who continue to put their lives on the line for our nation.

Fear of Change

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Last night, while hanging out with a friend, we began talking about our shared fear of change. She and I both hate the thought of change. We are creatures of habit. When a curveball is thrown into our world, instead of rolling with the punches, we immediately freak out. The move from undergrad to graduate school was seriously life altering. It probably wasn’t near as rough for everyone else as it was for me–simply because change scares the bejeezus out of me. But then again, I look back on all the best times in my life and they were a result of a major change. For example, college was a wonderful time in life and I was saddened and scared to death to leave high school. After a long term college relationship ended I was terrified of how to live life on my own and it has turned out to be one of the biggest blessings I’ve ever experienced. And as I finish one of my last assignments of the semester, thus marking the end of my first year of graduate school, I can’t help but think the big change I was dreading a year ago has opened doors to another blessing in life. I’ve met wonderful people and made lasting friendships within this year. These are friendships that I know will last far after graduation. So in short, I encourage all of you to embrace the changes and the curve balls life throws your way. You’re likely being set up for something better than you could ever imagine. This time next year as I’m receiving my master’s degree, leaving this beautiful town and all the memories and friends I’ve made, I’m sure I’ll need to be reminded of these words. But with that change will bring many more blessings just like the last.

I hope you all have enjoyed reading the blog. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it after this class, but I appreciate you all reading and commenting on my posts. Have a wonderful summer 🙂

From Princesses to Prostitutes

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Yesterday, I talked about how we, as a society, glorify talentless people and make them famous because we are obsessed with their wealth. Because of this obsession with watching others’ lives, reality television is a huge hit in the U.S.  Much of television programs now are of a “reality” base. But of course millions wouldn’t tune in to see well behaved people living their day to day lives. We expect to see outrageous behavior set in an unrealistic, no consequences setting. As a result of this, so much female behavior seen on television is downright disgusting. From a dance mom fighting and cursing another mom, to Snooki flashing her crotch and passing out drunk on a street corner, this female behavior is glorified. It’s either laughed at, or replayed multiple times. Either way, young girls are becoming immune to this behavior. Once someone sees something over and over they become immune to it–it completely loses its effect and shock value. If behavior like this is not only not shocking and unsettling to young girls, but also glorified, why wouldn’t young girls accept this behavior as a norm? Reality television and behavior put forth by the women featured in these programs has the potential to ruin a generation of young women. What are your thoughts on the future of young girls? Do you feel reality television could have such an effect?

Such a great role model

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

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Recently, I’ve been thinking about why some people are famous. This thought was especially running through my head as I (embarrassingly) was tuned into Don’t be Tardy for the Wedding on Bravo. Kim Zolciak, a Bravo reality star, is planning her wedding to an Atlanta Falcons player. However, I’m not really sure how Kim became so wealthy. Except for her 4 year relationship with an extremely wealthy, married man she calls “Big Papi,” I’m not sure where she acquired her wealth. To my knowledge, she doesn’t have a job and it seems that she has made her money by hooking up with men that have money and by starring in Bravo’s reality show Real Housewives of Atlanta. On the show, she released a song “Don’t be Tardy for the Party.” But it was obvious she couldn’t sing and her voice sounds completely computer edited and generated. So my point with all this is–why is she famous? The answer is simple…because we made her famous. The American public seems to be obsessed with wealth and how the wealthy live their lives. Just glancing at some of the most popular television shows out there is a testament to this point. From Keeping up with the Kardashians, to My Super Sweet 16 where extremely wealthy families throw outrageous parties for their children’s sixteenth birthdays. Americans have become obsessed with reality television shows and watching how the rich live their lives. For this reason, people with absolutely no talent, who are making no major contributions to society, are extremely famous. I’m just as guilty as the next person for falling victim to this trash tv.

However, it’s important to remember we can’t complain about how dumb and talentless these people are because they remain famous because we tune in. Just some thoughts for the day…Happy Monday everyone! 🙂 

Downtown Athens Shopping

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Last week I talked about some of the best places to eat downtown, but Athens has GREAT shopping too! 

1-Encore-Encore is on Clayton street and has such a wide variety of clothing! Prices aren’t bad at all either. SO many options for going out clothing and modest items for work and class also. 

2-Private Gallery-This is just a few doors down from Encore and has a really good selection of accessories! A great purse and jewelry selection at really good prices! 

3-Cheeky Peach-Sometimes slim pickings, but I’ve found some good finds there! And their prices are always low. 

4-Heery’s-A MUST!!! But only when mom is in town because it can be very pricey! This place is a downtown Athens landmark. Heery’s has the best selection of designer clothing, shoes, and accessories in Athens! The store is filled with beautiful, quality clothing! 

There are many more options and a few vintage clothing shops, but these are just a few of my faves! Anyone visiting Athens should definitely check out the shopping downtown! 

The Fun Stuff

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Ok, I promised some info about life in Athens in this blog and all I’ve talked about is deep self reflection. Enough of that for now!

Athens, GA is home to a rich variety of lifestyles. Athens is known for its art scene, music scene, and of course, bar scene. But another quality Athens has is its restaurants. Not only is there a wide variety of food offered, but the atmosphere of most restaurants downtown is hard to beat. So in this post, I’ll talk about some of my favorites! 🙂 This isn’t an extensive list–I only get to go to the good places when the parents come to visit…obviously still not an adult. Ha ha!

Amici’s is great, and cheap! Good for a college student’s budget! They’re pizza and calzones are so good but they also offer wings, sandwiches and chicken fingers. Sunday nights there are so much fun! They have trivia and even the losers get a free pitcher of beer!

Your Pie is probably my favorite pizza in the whole world though! The Nat is unlike any other!

I recently ate at Square One for the first time. The atmosphere and staff were wonderful. We sat out on the deck that overlooks the street, it was such a nice environment. The alomond crusted snapper was delish! Their key lime pie is probably the best I have ever tasted!

Depalma’s has several locations but their downtown location has the best atmosphere. The staff is great and the pork tenderloin is out of this world!

A MUST when in Athens is Last Resort Grill. Its absolutely my favorite place here. The praline chicken is basically an Athens tradition–and if its not, it definitely should be! It is downright delicious!!!

So there ya go, like I said its not an extensive list. But you pretty much won’t go wrong at any of these restaurants! Happy dining y’all! 🙂

Commitment Issues

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While talking to my grandmother recently, she said something that really stuck with me. “Young men just aren’t what they used to be. They don’t want to settle down, they just want to date around.” It surprised me that even she, someone totally removed from situations with men in their mid twenties, could pick up on that. She was just as perplexed as I am. Since this conversation, I’ve thought a lot about the reason behind this. Honestly, since its a subject of the opposite sex, I’m quite stumped. However, I do realize there are many women who feel this way. I’m in no way against commitment, but it is a scary situation for me. Personally, I’m scared of commitment because I don’t know how one can truly ever know another person. And who hasn’t seen those couples in their mid-forties out in public who literally can’t stand each other? I’d rather be content alone than stuck in a miserable situation like that. But lately, I have been thinking…have we raised a culture of young people who are constantly seeking instant gratification with an “on to the next” mentality? Is it because we have a mindset of there is always something better out there? As kids we were happy with a toy until we saw the ad for the newer, shinier, prettier, faster toy. Sure, the toy we had was great and still worked perfectly but that new one was pretty darn exciting, so on to the next. From personal experience and from the experience of numerous friends, I would say that this is the mindset we have developed in many areas of our life. I mean who wants to sign a 2 year contract on the iPhone4 when we know the 5 will be out within a few months? 2 years! Are you kidding me? I can’t have the same phone for that long, there will be so many cool updates and things I’ve never thought of on that new one! Now, maybe it seems a little foolish and a bit heartless to compare a significant other to a gadget or toy, but trust me, you likely wouldn’t question this comparison if you had some of the experiences I’ve had (ha ha). So, what is it? Why are we afraid of commitment? Is it because we are afraid we’ll tire of the other person at some point? Is it because we want to remain guarded? Or simply, do we have a mindset that there is always something better out there? All thoughts and comments are welcomed! 🙂 Hope you all have a great Tuesday!  

The Not-So Roaring 20s…

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As you can probably tell from my previous post, I feel that this time in a person’s life can be one of the most confusing times ever. Those of us in our mid-twenties are at a difficult time. We are not teenagers anymore, we’re not wild partying undergrads who can call mom and dad for some extra monthly money because we’ve went out a little too much in the past weeks (I’ve heard friends used to do it, I of course didn’t experience this…ha). On the other hand, most of us do not feel like adults. I saw an E-card the other day that said “I believe everyone else my age is an adult while I am merely pretending.” That’s exactly how I feel. Most of us are not sure where we want to go with our lives, we may know some sort of a career path but it’s usually not what we imagined ourselves doing 5 years ago. Even if we are comfortable with our career path, there are so many other things that plague us…gray hair!!! Yes, embarrassingly enough, I have had to start plucking grays. Then there is the whole issue of a slowing metabolism and wrinkling skin. Suddenly we begin to regret those days of laying out in the sun and the nights of eating pizza at 3 am. As if all this isn’t enough, theres the whole relationship issue. Most of our parents were married with a kid on the way by the time they were our age. So its of no fault of their own that they badger us about when we are going to settle down. Truth is, commitment scares the heck out of most of us, but thats a whole other post I’ll address at another time. So, after being faced with all this, what’s the solution? How do we battle these not so roaring 20s? The only answer I can come up with is self reflection. We should all dig down deep and really get to know ourselves. If we learn what makes us tick, and why, we’ll surely be happier. As for the other stuff…healthier eating habits, a gym membership, and a bottle of Clairol should help with that. Any thoughts or advice on handling this Quarter life Crisis?

Not a Girl…Not Yet a Woman

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First of all, let me start off by offering you my apologies…first for the Britney reference in the title and secondly for not blogging in so long! The Britney reference will make more sense in a minute. But I have gotten so caught up with school work I have neglected the blog…again I apologize.

Lately, all of my sorority sisters and college friends from undergrad have been getting their “big girl jobs.” While I am extremely happy for them as they are finding their place in the world, I often wonder where do I fit in? As a graduate student, I’m not in the 8-5 grind; I don’t have any commute or annoying coworker to talk about. I can’t talk about all the cool things my company is doing and how I’m helping them to achieve all this. I’m just in school, just a student. Yet, I can’t really relate with my undergrad friends when they complain about a 5 page paper or 10 minute speech when I’m writing 30 page research papers and giving speeches up to 45 minutes. I’m certainly not able to go out on a Wednesday night and lay out of classes all day Thursday anytime I take notion to, like my lucky undergrad friends. I’m not a girl having the time of her life in college, but I’m not a woman in the corporate world either. So, fellow graduate students, where do we fit in? While earning a Master’s degree will certainly help us in the long run, I often wonder: are we missing out on something by continuing our education? Any thoughts and opinions are welcome on this issue! Happy Thursday everyone!

A Letter To 15 Year Old Me

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A few days ago I saw an e-card that said something along the lines of “I miss the days when I thought I would have my sh*t together by this age.” That got me thinking and reflecting upon my life. Dangerous, I know. Its almost comical to compare the woman I pictured myself to be at 24 and the woman I actually am. When I was 15 or 16 and began thinking of my future, I often saw 24 year old me engaged to Prince Charming and planning a fabulous elaborate wedding all while holding down a fast-paced, rewarding career in Atlanta and living in a loft apartment with a great view of the city. Fast forward to present day…24 year old me is single, with a cat, living alone in Athens, attending Graduate school and creating a huge pile of debt for 26 year old me. Needless to say, this is NOT how I pictured my life turning out. And honestly, that’s ok. I  may not be where I thought I was going to be, but I do believe I’m exactly where I need to be. I just wish I could go back and tell 15 year old me some really important things. So I have compiled a list of things I wish I knew at 15 and I plan to share this with my little cousins who are (unbelievably!) nearing this age. So here goes….

1-Life is not about finding Prince Charming…its about creating YOU. You’re given many talents, abilities, and passions. Find them, hone them, create the best you that you can!

2-When you think you have found Prince Charming at 17…that ain’t him! DO NOT let his decisions for his life affect your decisions for your future. On second thought, you end up right where you need to be, just have to learn some tough lessons along the way.

3-Quit with all the plans! Something will usually alter all those plans…and that something is always called LIFE. You set yourself up for so much more disappointment when you think you can create a blueprint for your future. Roll with the punches!

4-Never let someone make you feel inferior. You are who you are. Don’t make any apologies for that. Maybe you aren’t wearing the most expensive clothes, maybe your parents didn’t buy you the best car, maybe you aren’t really into cheerleading. THAT’S OK! These are all the things that make you, YOU. Don’t ever pretend to be someone you’re not because some mean girl has made you feel lowly. Sidenote–those mean girls will end up knocked up and married shortly after their 21st birthday…HA HA jokes on them!

5-You will have NO idea who you are when you graduate high school. Even if you give the Salutatorian speech at graduation urging your peers to get out there and conquer the world. You are doing this blindly because in reality, you don’t have a clue who are you and where you want to go. Again, that’s ok! College creates and transforms you into the person you are meant to be. However, you get out what you put into college. Go to class, meet new people, don’t hang with Prince NOT-SO Charming all the time but rather put yourself out there and discover new things–about the world and yourself. You will meet the best friends you will ever have in college. These girls will pick you up when that aforementioned guy throws you off his white horse. They will make you laugh until you cry, you will have the best times of your life with them. Embrace this time because it is short but sweet for certain.

So there you go, 15 year old me. Here is the outline to get you through the next nine years. I just wish 30 year old me could give 24 year old me some advice.