Tag Archives: love

Why You Shouldn’t Be Dreading Valentine’s Day

On a college campus, attitudes towards Valentine’s Day can range from gleeful to bitter and everything in between. The annual holiday, affectionately dubbed “Singles Awareness Day” by some, tends to harshly divide college students into two groups of people: those who have a significant other and those who do not. But romantic love isn’t the only type of love that exists; if you are spending the day without a significant other, that does not mean you are unloved in the world.

valentines candy
“Romantic love isn’t the only type of love that exists.” Photo from: www.theinvictusgroupinc.files.wordpress.com

Unfortunately for us native English speakers, we only have one word for love which leads to its cheapening and overuse. The Ancient Greeks had many different words to describe the various types of love that can exist.  One of these types that the Greeks valued most is philia, or the love that stems from a deep friendship. In the understanding of the Ancient Greeks, this word referred to the love shared between brothers in arms on the battlefield. While the majority of us have not experienced literal warfare, we still understand the importance of someone who is there for you when you need them the most.

By that definition, your best friend or friends can be your valentine. Your pet can be your valentine. Your favorite family member can be your valentine.  You can be your own valentine. All of the above can be your valentines! And while romantic love can be an incredible experience, it is not the end-all achievement for the various types of love that life has to offer.

Regardless of how you spend it, I hope that you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day this Tuesday, and you know that you are loved.

“There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.”

― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Society’s Robot-Part 1

“Remember, Cassie, don’t say anything out of line and keep your head up or you may just be pushed down.” I listened to Mother Esther as she packed up my new clothes in my suitcase. I don’t remember ever doing anything on my own until I turned thirteen and was taught how to serve the wealthy. I was sent to my first house at fifteen. They were a nice, old couple. They needed help with little things. They treated me well, somewhat like a daughter. Mother Esther told me this was not so unusual with older couples.

“Now tell me the five rules.”

I took a deep breath and messed with my heart locket. “One: Never talk back or when not spoken to. Two: always smile but never laugh; make yourself look gentle. Three: Always be prepared for anything, even if it’s a beating. Four: Do not allow the men to touch you like you’re a pay girl, not until twenty-one. And five is um…”

“Never feel.”  

I nodded my head.

These are rules I’ve had to follow for the last seven years. I’m once again being sent to a new home in New York. Rule four will no longer apply and I will not be safe from men with wandering hands and lustful eyes. I must serve every need of my new ‘owner’ and tend to his every wish.

Watching as a tree goes by my car window, I remember reading about the trees constantly being cut down to make room for new housing. Most of the deforestation was for people who didn’t have homes. Everyone has a home now, but not everyone is free. I, like many others, must serve the wealthy and elegant. I eat two meals a day, if not less. We all evolve and adjust to survive.

Most servants are girls and are met with disrespect. The few boys who end up with a job like mine are treated as nothing but trash. We are treated this way because we are orphans, unloved and unwanted. Either our parents were rich people who didn’t want a child, or we were a mistake between two lonely servants, forbidden. I’ve learned the only children raised wealthy are those who have one or more affluent parents wanting a child. Otherwise, you end up… like me.

We were taught no differently than wealthy kids, with only a few extra things to learn. About twenty percent of servant girls end up as wives to the men that ‘own’ them, so it’s not that bad.

“Miss Richards, we’re here.” The driver speaks as I look up at the towering house. Climbing out of the car to grab my bag from the trunk, the driver removes my hand and says, “Allow me, miss.” I nod and admire the area around the house. Mr. Addison seems to enjoy all types of roses; I don’t think I’ve seen so many in one place. I grab my backpack and start walking, pulling my suitcase behind me.

Zachary Addison’s would be my third home in the last seven years, although he is my first young bachelor. As I shake, I remember to keep my head up and my feelings locked away, as always. I walk up to the door and ring the bell. The outside gives an impression that the home could hold a hundred or more people, all at once.

mansion
“The driver speaks as I look up at the towering house.” Photo from: www.fm.cnbc.com

The door opens slowly. Eyes wide, I look at a man probably in his late 50’s. He has graying hair but gentle eyes. It’s normal for butlers to open doors when I arrive at new places.

“Miss Richards, I presume?”

Nodding my head, I step in when he moves out of the way. The enunciation of his vowels gave away his accent, almost Yorkshire-like. He is a foreigner, and that relaxes me. “Mr. Addison is away on business until later this evening, but he has requested for you to have dinner with him when he returns.”

“Of course,” I reply.

This is usual. Employers want to look over their new servants, confirm they are healthy and fit.

“May I know your name?” I direct my attention towards the butler.

The three servants of the home talk to each other. We all find ways to talk, release our anger, or help hide each other’s sadness. Showing either emotion is not okay.

“I am Philip, Miss. Now let me show you to your room.”

I follow him up the staircase, trailing my suitcase behind me. The house was clearly made for many servants or a big family. From what I see and hear, there are only three male servants; two were cleaning the house. “Now, you will be the cook and waitress when Mr. Addison has parties. How old are you?” Phillip inquires.

“I’m twenty-one,” I look away, careful to use only my eyes.

His eyes speak more than his mouth ever could. I will have more work than he mentioned if Mr. Addison wants to have his needs fulfilled. He opens a door but doesn’t step inside. The room looks designed for a wealthy daughter, not a servant. “This will be your room till Mr. Addison says otherwise.”

I nod, place my suitcase on the silk sheets, and look around the room.

With cream carpets and little designs running along the floor, up the wall to the edge of the ceiling, I feel out of place. One window sits opposite of the bed,  to the right of the door. Looking back to ask Philip where Mr. Addison’s room is, I see I am all alone.

Closing the door, I sit on a small seat at the end of the bed. “New home, different rules.” Gripping my heart locket a little tighter, I close my eyes and breathe. I will be safe as I always am. I will not fall or break. I will not be human.

Sunny Day

I am hiding outside

In the sun.

 

My black flats are worn –

The heels torn to the sole.

I am wearing the shirt

Your mother bought me –

The blue floral print

That falls off the shoulders

And exposes my bare back

Beneath crisscross strips of thin fabric.

 

I don’t like it –

It reveals the freckled maps

On each shoulder –

My essence.

 

girl
“It reveals the freckled maps On each shoulder.” Photo from: thenletitbe.tumblr.com

 

People glance at me

As they pass on the sidewalk.

 

I could be an Armadillo

Or a Turtle

Or poke my head out

Of this hardened shell.

I can choose to be an Emu

Or a Donkey

Or keep my mouth shut firm

In solitary silence.

 

You would be angry –

I did not wear my jacket.

My back is ice

And I don’t care.

I am a rebel without

A flag to wave –

All eyes on me

And mine on them.

Life-Drawing

Behind a locked door,

I can only think about

Simple compass circles,

And I am forced to steady my mind.

 

Your forest eyes follow me –

Will she? Will she really do this?

Slowly, I pull off one sleeve and then another.

You take me at my word,

Settling on a pose.

“Are you sure you can stay still?”

Are you sure? Are you sure you want this?

I nod, lounging across your pillow.

 

Every curve and crease

Drifts onto blank paper.

It’s the first you’ve worked me out

In pencil lines and ebony charcoal –

I couldn’t draw as you do.

You’d laugh at my sloppy lines

And squiggled fingers.

Artists scrutinize every motion,

But it’s better to lie here, still,

Soaking in sun through the cracks in your blinds.

IMG_20170129_154933_processed
The Burial, Photo from http://alexandra-sophie.fr/the-burial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You capture the feel of my skin,

The light that strikes my eyes,

And the thump of my heart.

I am merely lines and shadows

To a cross-hatched world in your mind.

 

Finally, work ceases.

You move to me

With shaking hands.

I grasp hold of each,

Pulling you to me,

And close my eyes to feeling.

Hazel Eyes

The touch, the feel,

The heat, the sweat.

A hand running along the hip,

Feeling of rose petal lips against the heart.

 

Dark, spiraled hair of ebony,

The golden-green hazel eyes framed so well.

The soft, pale pink lips,

Often mistaken for a cloud.

hazel-eyes
“Those hazel eyes see horror and pain.” Photo from: www.muscledudelife.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those hazel eyes see horror and pain.

Her pale lips are lowered.

These curls hide the face of a girl.

 

Those who passed her over,

Who didn’t bother to look beyond her skin,

Far too self-centered to see the damage,

Unable to see the women she would become.

Being a single hopeless romantic

I’ve always been a huge hopeless romantic. I get butterflies in my stomach when I watch romantic comedies and dream of the day I look out my window and see the man of my dreams holding a boombox over his head, or the day when I wake up married for the first time to someone who’s my best friend.

Maybe I have a terribly unrealistic idea of what romance and true love are supposed to be like. Every relationship I’ve ever been in has had moments that Nicolas Sparks couldn’t even write up, but they definitely don’t fit into that perfect romance novel.

Someone like me, who dreams of romance and the idea of spoiling and being spoiled by someone I love, you’d think that romance would be my specialty. However, you couldn’t be more wrong. I’m actually terrible at relationships, or at least at getting them started and off the ground. Sometimes when I’m attracted to someone, I have a difficult time gauging their intentions. As a result, some guys are scared off by me because I’m more committal than they’re ready for.

reading
“In the mean time, she’s going to have to be patient because being single doesn’t mean my life is on hold while I search for Mr. Right.”

I’ve been single for about a year now, and it’s been weird. I still miss having someone to text me in the morning and wish me a good day, I miss fun adventures and spontaneous kisses and affection in general. I miss having someone who knows me better than anyone and who I share my dreams and deepest, darkest secrets with. Relationships can be so fun and rewarding when they’re happy and healthy.

However, my inner hopeless romantic is still somewhere deep in me with flowers in her hand patiently waiting for someone else’s inner hopeless romantic to stop by and fulfill all she’s dreamed of. In the mean time, she’s going to have to be patient because being single doesn’t mean my life is on hold while I search for Mr. Right.

When you’re a single hopeless romantic it can be frustrating trying to date and shop around to find someone who fits you. From my experience, going out and actively looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right never works and it can affect the rest of your life. Being in a relationship isn’t the most important thing, even when that inner hopeless romantic is screaming for love and affection. The one great thing about being single is that you have a lot of extra time on your hands. If you’re fresh out of a relationship, it can feel odd not spending your time texting or communicating with your significant other. This may be depressing initially but once you start filling that time with things that make you happy, such as exercise or creating something amazing, you’ll fill the hole left by your ex-lover in no time.

I’ve found that many times, great relationships come when you least expect them. So rather than picking petals off of daisies and waiting around for someone who fits you, work on yourself. Flowers bloom when you water them, so keep taking care of yourself and enjoy the blossoms that come out of it. If someone happens to like them, they’ll come to you. If someone comes along and wants to change your blossoms, have enough strength and confidence to not change your “flowers” for someone else, or else you’ll never be happy with yourself or your relationships.

Don’t put a price on your love

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate your love for the people in your life. It’s a day, specifically for your significant other, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Valentine’s Day is a day that can either be fun or miserable and it’s up to you which road you want to take.

I know all of the single people out there get lectured by their friends in relationships about how it doesn’t have to be a sad day, how it can be cute and fun to hang out with your other single friends, but I know you’re thinking “well of course you can say that. You have a boyfriend/girlfriend. You have someone to love and be with on the most romantic day of the year.” But Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be strictly romantic. It can be about showing your love for the people who stick by you through all of your ups and downs, who love you when you think no one else can. Those are the people who should be celebrated on this Valentine’s Day.

You can share tots with anyone, not just a romantic interest. Photo from Pinterest
You can share tots with anyone, not just a romantic interest. Photo from Pinterest

Valentine’s Day is the type of holiday that is simply made to get people to buy things. The consumer industry made this day up so people in relationships will buy the flowers and the chocolates and the giant stuffed teddy bears in order to show the one they love that they care. It’s designed to put a price on love, to show that if I buy you 12 dozen roses it means that you love your significant other more than the person who could only afford one.

But what happens when you love someone so much, more than you could even describe, but unfortunately, your wallet isn’t as big as your love is? You begin to feel inferior and insecure because you can’t buy the one you love all the things on Valentine’s Day that you think they deserve. Your significant other sees all of their friends whose boyfriends or girlfriends were able to buy them the big bouquets and giant stuffed animals while you’re left sitting at home feeling guilty for not being able to do those things for the person you love. That’s what Valentine’s Day does to people.

On this Valentine’s Day, don’t put a price on your love. You and your significant other deserve better than that. Spend quality time together, watch a movie. You can celebrate your love without spending money. Be happy. Be in love. Don’t worry about the rest of it.

What do you do when the person you love breaks up with you and then wants to get back together?

What do you do when the person you love breaks up with you and then wants to get back together? Two very close friends of mine started dating senior year of high school. They were friends for a while before they took their relationship to the next level. I would say that they fell in love. They were basically the same person but in different gendered bodies. They were both hippies, had the same political views, same interests, and were both very free spirited. The problem came when, let’s say Fred, started realizing he didn’t really know who he was as a person. He started questioning everything he knew and everything he was, whether it came to sexuality or what all of his feelings meant in general. He lost sight of why he fell in love with, let’s say Velma, and started becoming very depressed. Long story short, Fred broke up with Velma, leaving Velma very confused and heart broken.

Does Fred deserve a second chance? Photo from youtube
Does Fred deserve a second chance? Photo from youtube.com

I think, in this situation, it all comes down to bad timing. In high school, everything is confusing and nothing make sense. It’s a time for discovering who you are, what you like and dislike, and what you look for in another person. Fred had no idea what he wanted and didn’t want to lead Velma on if she wasn’t it. Velma was very confused and just wanted to talk it out with Fred, but Fred just couldn’t do it. He wanted to be alone, to have time to think about everything he’s been questioning. After some time, Fred and Velma started talking again and started being friend.

Six months later, Fred realized that the thought of Velma being with someone else made him sick. He wanted to give their relationship another chance and be with Velma again. Velma, of course, agreed because she loves him and has always wanted to be with him. They were highschool sweethearts, so to speak. Would have you done the same? I know I would have, and I did. No one can say truly say they would have done this or that differently because when it comes to love, no one can honestly decide what best. Love overtakes all the senses and makes us crazy. I believe they should give it a shot because taking risks is what creates the most amazing outcomes. Life is too short to give up people who deserve second chances.

God bless the child that had to deal with crazy churches

I didn’t grow up in the church, and for that I’m thankful. My girlfriend grew up going to the Pentecostal church– the fire and brimstone church. She woke up every sunday, put on her best church clothes and sat through Sunday school. She was forced to listen to a man who told her she was going to Hell for being herself or for making the same mistakes that everyone did.

After Sunday school, she absorbed all of the Christian extremist crap from the zealots who made her believe their interpretation of the Bible was the correct one, and anyone who believes differently is anti-Christian and will go to Hell.

She started getting panic attacks around age 12, whether or not it was just from the Church we don’t really know, but I know that the Church definitely had a part in it. When you grow up in an environment that tells you you’re going to Hell for being true to yourself, what do you do? You hide who you really are. You live with secrets and you let them eat you alive until there’s nothing left. You live in fear everyday and hope that sometime in the future you can fall in love with yourself again. You’re lucky if that time ever comes.

Now, when my girlfriend and I go to church (one that accepts everyone, no matter any differences we might have, no matter what the Bible can be interpreted as) she can’t sit through a sermon without having a panic attack and having to leave.

All those memories of her old church come back to her. She thinks of all the times she’s felt claustrophobic and suffocated even in a big church building. She remembers the preacher telling her she’s a pervert and a sinner and that all the feelings she has are wrong in the eyes of God. What do you do when someone tells you that God hates you, the man who is suppose to love you unconditionally and who decided your fate, for loving someone else?

These words are all she ever knew, all she was ever taught; they were ingrained in her brain for years and she’s worked so hard to forget them, to not believe them anymore. Even though the church we go to now doesn’t believe that love is a sin, she still can’t help be feel scared and unprotected in a church and that is the saddest part of all.

The snow was really deep so.  Photo from twentytwowords
The snow was really deep so.
Photo from twentytwowords

From what I understand, God is about love. That is the main message He strives to send out to all of his children. So why would a preacher speak hate and uncompromising rules that one must follow in order to be granted into Heaven? I will never understand that point of view on God’s words. Christianity and religion should be about respect, love, compassion, and generosity, as far as I’m concerned, and not about hate, exclusion, or isolation.

What to get your girlfriend for Christmas

Do you have trouble picking out the perfect present for your girlfriend? Does it make you nervous? Scared? Confused? Me too. Girls can be very hard to shop for, especially when they already have tons of clothes, jewelry, and things in general.

My girlfriend is very picking about presents and things she buys and she hates it when people buy her things that she doesn’t need. Does that sound familiar? It makes it so much harder to get her something good for Christmas. Here are some tips to get her the perfect Christmas present.

Just listen to your girlfriend! Photo from twoology
Just listen to your girlfriend! Photo from twoology

     

1. Listen

Believe it or not, if you listen to your girlfriend, she’ll most likely give you hints to what she wants, whether purposefully or not. You might be having a simple conversation when she brings up this thing she saw earlier today and she thought it was cute or pretty or just that she really liked it. She might drop more subtle, unconscious hints such as saying she really needs a new alarm clock or a new watch but doesn’t have the time to get one. Those are the subtle hints that you need to pick up on. Listening can really help when trying to figure out what to get her.

2. Pay Attention

Pay attention to what she likes to do. If she likes yoga, get her a new yoga mat. If she likes sports or music, get her tickets to a sporting event or a concert. Concert tickets are always a good idea. Nobody hates concerts. Does she like to hike or ride bikes? Does she like to draw or write? Then take her to a nice hiking trail, ride bikes up to a beautiful views, buy her a sketch pad or a journal. Most of the gifts or presents your girlfriend wants will be said within a month or two before Christmas. All you have to do is know your girlfriend, pay attention.

A girlfriend is a girlfriend. Photo from stephgrantphotography
A girlfriend is a girlfriend.
Photo from stephgrantphotography

 

These are the two tips for getting your girlfriend the perfect present. It really isn’t that hard. All you have to do is have a conversation with her and actually listen. A concept that is new to many but isn’t new to your girls. Be respectful and get her the gift she deserves.

Thanksgiving: Love it or hate it?

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and for some people it’s an exciting holiday, one of nice family get togethers and the sharing of love and great food. For others, it’s a holiday to be dreaded, dealing with racist and homophobic extended relatives and having to answer the same damn questions over and over again. No matter what your circumstance is, Thanksgiving is happening and you’re going to have to deal with people that you don’t like. However, here are some tips to deal with awkward and uncomfortable family encounters.

  1. Force your way through small talk

Dealing with relatives can be easy or hard. It all depends on how you approach the situation. Small talk is something that I, personally, can’t stand. It’s superficial and boring. I don’t really care how your job has been or how your snot-nosed child is doing. I know that they really don’t care about the classes I’m taking in college or what I hope to do in the future, but for some reason, society says it’s what people do to be polite, to be conversational.

To get through introductions and small talk with your family, answer one of their questions as quickly as you can and then excuse yourself to the bathroom. Trust me, it works every time. If they attempt to approach you again, excuse yourself once more by saying, “I have to help my mom in the kitchen.” Not only do you get away from their stupid questions, you also are perceived as helpful and kind to your mother. What more could you ask for?

  1. Ignore or call out you bigot relatives

Depending on your relatives and your personality, these two options are up to you. If you’re shy, don’t feel like starting a fight, or you know your relatives would react badly to any sort of argument to their dumb comments, simply ignore them. Depending on how old they are, trying to change the mind of your 92-year-old grandma on why you dating a black person is okay is a pointless argument. She’s old and was brought up in a certain way of thinking, just like you were. At this point, it doesn’t really matter.

On the other hand, if you are sick and tired of hearing the same bigotry that you do every year, stand up to them. Make them understand why they are wrong and why it needs to stop. Even if you simply say that their comments make you uncomfortable, without saying why or how it affects you directly, it should be enough to shut them up. Do whatever feels right to you.

Do you have a crazy family? Photo from pinterest
Do you have a crazy family? Photo from pinterest

Thanksgiving is a holiday you either love or hate. You can choose to love it if you pick your battles and know when enough is enough. The point of Thanksgiving is to be love and give love, be thankful for what you have and who you have it with. Stupid relatives with dumb views shouldn’t affect the meaning of the holiday. Have fun and tell those bigots where to stick it.

Most aggravating on screen couples

Is anything worse than watching your favorite show and your dream pairing keeps playing the “Will they, won’t they” game? For every great show there is at least one couple that makes you want to rip your hair out with how complicated they make their relationship. Here are just a few of those couples:

1) Ross and Rachel from “Friends”

Everyone knows this one, but every time I re-watch this show I get mad again. I mean, come on, THEY WERE ON A BREAK!

2) Matty and Jenna from “Awkward”

awkward
“For every great show there is at least one couple that makes you want to rip your hair out.”

They hook up, they don’t get together, they get together, they break up over something dumb, someone else gets involved in the relationship and complicates things, repeat, repeat, repeat. There have been at least 10 moments in which the couple “realized” they were meant to be only to have some insignificant high school drama ruin it again. The show is entertaining but this relationship makes you think that no one in high school should ever be allowed to date.

3) Chuck and Blair from “Gossip Girl”

Yes, they ended up together but along the way you have to wonder, why they’re so hell bent on constantly screwing up their relationship? My biggest thing with this dream team is the fact that they constantly pretend to be in love with other people while cheating on those people with each other…

4) Danny and Riley from “Baby Daddy”

These best friends were obviously meant to be. Danny is completely hot and has loved Riley his whole life, even back when she was hefty and yet she is nuts about his brother. Watching this show is beyond frustrating.

5) Every relationship in “Pretty Little Liars”

When is breaking up with someone “for their own good” ever the answer? If a crazed murderer is stalking you then leave town, don’t dump the person you’re in love with!

6) Jane and Michael in “Jane the Virgin”

“Jane the Virgin” is an aggravating show for a multitude of reasons, but the worst part is the relationship between Jane and Michael. They’ve been together for over two years and are planning on getting married when the show first starts and Jane finds out she’s been accidently artificially inseminated. Despite Jane deciding to keep the random baby that got put inside her, Michael still wants to marry her and is even willing to raise the kid. This doesn’t stop Jane from dumping him for the guy whose sample was used to impregnate her even though she barely knows him.

I get the need for drama in TV shows, but it’s too frustrating when good couples are constantly on the rocks for the sake of ratings. Maybe I just shouldn’t be allowed to watch television anymore.

Misconceptions about love

Love can mean so many things to so many people. It has a different definition for every situation. It can mean “I care about you, deeply” or “You are my one and only” or even “You are my best friend and I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

However, many people think love is the almighty power, that it can heal a broken heart and cure all pain in the world. This is a misconception. Love isn’t suppose to complete you or fill the void of self-loathing. It isn’t suppose to tell you your worth or how you value yourself.

Love is suppose to be something extra to enhance your life, not be the sole reason for your happiness. It allows you to share your life with another person, to tell them about the success you are having or even the hardship you are dealing with. Love should be the icing on the cake, not the ingredients.

One of the most common things I hear among my friends is “why can’t someone just love me? Everything would be so much better if I had someone to love me.”

First of all, one person cannot be the solution to all of life’s problems. Why would the love of somebody else make everything in life better? I feel as though if you need to love and affection of someone else to make you happy, then you are lacking in self-love and need to take a step back and find the strength in you to love yourself.

No one should feel like they need to depend on someone else to feel love because who knows how long that person will be in your life and when they’re gone, what will you be left with?

"[Y]ou don’t need to find your other half because you aren’t a half to begin with." Image from someecards.com
“[Y]ou don’t need to find your other half because you aren’t a half to begin with.” Image from someecards.com
Another phrase I hear frequently from my friends is “I want to find my other half, someone to complete me.” What I have to say to this is, you don’t need to find your other half because you aren’t a half to begin with. You are a whole person who can depend on yourself and love yourself. You are a complete person. You are not broken. There is nothing wrong with wanting another person to share your life with, to come home to and love with all that you are. But making another person your sole person in life and the only reason you can find your self-worth isn’t healthy.

Self-love should come first before you find another person to share your love with. There needs to be enough to go around.

Love can be life-changing, miraculous, and beautiful all at the same time. It can make you a better person, a happier person, but love should come from everywhere, not from one single person. Remember who you are and what you stand for before allowing yourself to share that with someone else.

Update on Camren

My shipper heart is dead. Not just dead, crushed and ripped to pieces. Trampled all over and then thrown into a burning hot fire never to be seen again. My OTP, my forever kind of love, my heart’s one true desire has finally crashed and burned and the worst part about it is I can’t do anything about it.

The two girls from Fifth Harmony, Camila Cabello and Lauren Jauregui, have finally called it quits on their fictional relationship. Well, it was as real as the grass is green for me but it’s much too soon for my broken heart to talk about it. These girls have been shipped together since the very beginning of their career, their auditions for X Factor three years ago and the love and shipping has only become more intense since.

Camila and Lauren have been best friends for three years, “instantly clicking the moment they saw each other” said Camila in a birthday post to Lauren.

At first the shipping was innocent. Lauren herself coined the ship name “Camren” to her twitter followers a few years ago. However, when their fans started to become very, let’s say, creative with the ship by creating fanfiction, fan art, Camren videos, etc., the girls started to become distant and awkward around each other. I think this was because the girls began to see those pictures and those videos and wondered themselves if there was something stronger than friendship between them. They were confused by the way that they looked at each other, unconsciously sneaking glances and attempting to discreetly touch each other when they thought nobody was looking. They weren’t ready to see what the fans were seeing so they distanced themselves from each other to prevent rumors.

I think management also had a part in their sudden end to their friendship in public eye. They have said before that “they aren’t allowed to talk about Camren” said Camila in an interview. That makes us Camren shippers curious about what else the management doesn’t want them doing or saying because of whatever reasons they have up their sleeves. The bottom line is, Lauren and Camila were fine with the ship, that is, until the truth started to surface itself with proof of lovestruck eyes and subtle hand holding behind their backs, until management saw it too and put it stop to as fast as they could.

Can you feel the love tonight? Do they look like just friends to you? Photo from tumblr
Can you feel the love tonight? Do they look like just friends to you? Photo from tumblr

Recently, Fifth Harmony have been touring in Europe. This tour brought Camren back to life like you wouldn’t believe. Camila and Lauren are the only girls in the group that can speak Spanish, other reason they are so close.

The girls had been interacting immensely and were giggling, laughing, and touching just like they use to. There was a video on one of the other members of Fifth Harmony snapchat’s that had Lauren speaking in the background, saying “I’m sitting next to Camila” in a loving tone. Something, which I’m sure just like every other Camren interaction, wasn’t meant to be recorded, but it was.

They were getting along great and becoming the girls they use to be. However, this honeymoon phase ended as quickly as it began. Lauren and Camila began to see the comments from the fans again, stating that Camren is alive and other Camren related topics that quickly ended their cute encounters and any chance of them sitting next to each other.

The final twist of the knife came yesterday when a snippet of their newest interview came out. Camila states that she gets upset when people that they are “linked to” romantically get hate from the fans because they say “Ugh, so gross. She belongs to Lauren.”

Yep. She said it. She actually brought up Camren and killed it brutally with the sharpest knife she could find. However, I still have some theories about this event. Camila is releasing a song with her rumored lover Shawn Mendes in three days. It’s a little convenient that three days before a new song is released she brings up Camren, which she never does. She has to promote this new song with her “boyfriend” and what better way to do that than to smash all rumors of another relationship, especially one that is within her own girl band.

Another point to make is the interview, in its entirety, hasn’t been released yet and there is still more to the story than what they gave way so my delusional shipper heart still has hope for what the girls are going to do and say next.

I don’t know about you but everything revolving around Camren has always been a bit suspicious and mysterious. Why would the girls feel they need to hide their affection if it was strictly platonic? Why would they address Camren and not the other ships within in the group?

There are so many questions that I, as Camren shipper, and all the other Camren shippers have, but I don’t think we’ll ever receive the answers to them and we’ll just have to deal with it. We will continue to ship these girls for what they show us and for what we see in their eyes when they look at each other. Nothing can change that.

If only our ships would sail

Have you ever loved a couple from a TV show, a movie, a book, or any other media so much that it’s literally all you can think about? Have you ever thought “Oh my god, these two people would be so cute together! Why don’t they fall in love already?” because I definitely have. If you don’t know, this feeling you are having is called shipping. Shipping by definition is “A term used to describe fan fictions that take previously created characters and put them as a pair. It usually refers to romantic relationships, but it can refer platonic ones as well.”

This definition states that shipping is only related to fan fictions but nowadays it has expanded to real people as well.

Some very popular ships include Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie), and Kimye (Kim Kardashian and Kanye West). People love to ship celebrities because it gives them a sense of hope when it comes to love. Celebrities are always under the microscope allowing fans to create their own love story, whether it has any truth to it or not, as to why and how two people became one couple.

Shipping allows a connection to be created between celebrities and their fans because it makes the fans think that they know what’s going on in the celebrity’s life and feel as though they’ve become friends.

Lauren Jauregui and Camilla Cabello make up the shipping nickname "Camren." Graphic from I Heart It
Lauren Jauregui and Camilla Cabello make up the shipping nickname “Camren.” Graphic from We Heart It

My favorite ship that has recently gotten way out of hand is a Camren. Camren is the combination of the names Camila and Lauren from the band Fifth Harmony.

Fifth Harmony is my all-time favorite band at the moment, meaning I know everything about them, what they like, what they don’t like, and who they are in relationships with. Because I have an obsessive personality, I have seen basically every interview, radio interview, and live performance they have ever done and each time Camren is alive and more obvious than they think.

I genuinely believe that they are in love or have been in love and are hiding it from the public. If you watch one of the most famous Camren videos, you can see for yourself the way that they look at each other and how one touch can make them happy.

However, because Camila and Lauren heard about the Camren ship, they have stopped interacting as much and don’t even have the strong friendship they use to have. This is where shipping can go too far. If you directly tell them that they are in love or tell them what their sexuality is, that is going too far.

Trying to force a label on somebody is wrong to begin with, making them uncomfortable within themselves as well as affecting their relationship with each other. I’m not sure why it has made them uncomfortable, unless there is some truth to it that they’re not allowed to talk about.

Bottom line, however, is if it makes someone uncomfortable, stop. Simple as that.

Shipping is something that I enjoy doing, no matter how painful and heart breaking it can be. Love is such a strong emotion and one of the only emotions that can’t be controlled. You can ship and be in love with two people all you want, just don’t cross that line.

Calling it quits

It’s no secret that Hollywood seems to be the spot where on screen romances are born and real-life love stories go to die. From Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston to Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds, seemingly perfect relationships are crashing and burning all the time.

A few days ago, “The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco and her tennis star husband, Ryan Sweeting added their names to the ever growing list of failed celebrity marriages. While sources have claimed that the couple had been unhappy for a while, most information regarding the divorce is being kept under wraps with both Cuoco and Sweeting asking for privacy.

This news has left one burning question on many people’s minds: what goes so horribly wrong in celebrity marriages?

While examining her failed marriage with fellow actor, Ryan Reynolds, Scarlett Johansson explained to Parade magazine, “Acting is a very strange world to be co-existing in. It’s very volatile. There’s always going to be the more successful person. It’s related to rejection. Because actors, if they’re not having success, connect it directly to unpopularity — to the fact that nobody wants them. It’s not necessarily true. I’m constantly rejected.” Johansson when on to say that she found true happiness with her new husband, a journalist, because they are both in very different fields which takes away the competition and by extension the resentment and jealousy.

Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting before they called it quits. Graphic from People
Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting before they called it quits. Graphic from People

Psychotherapist M. Gary Newman has another perspective. In his article, “Why Do Celeb Marriages fail?” Newman referred to some research he had conducted earlier on women’s happiness in their marriages. He explained that he had discovered that “Women who were happily married reported spending a daily average of over 30 minutes of uninterrupted time talking to their husbands. Unhappy women reported a daily average of less than 30 minutes, and 24 percent of those unhappy reported that they spent less than five minutes a day talking to their spouses.”

Of course, being married to celebrity practically guarantees that little time will be shared solely among spouses. Newman also suggests that the personal fulfillment that fame brings alleviates the need for couples to care for each other because they can create their own happiness by themselves:

“The individuals no longer truly need the other to live happily. Instead, they just like being together. Yet a couple needs to feel that life without the other is quite impossible. If a spouse does not feel a need to have the other in his or her life on a daily basis, that is a short step away from separation.”

Of course, while Johansson and Newman’s theories hold a lot of weight, there are also more obvious reasons for divorce such as cheating. High profile cheating scandals such as Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s back in 2005 and more recently, golf legend, Tiger Woods’ are usually what the public jump straight to when word of a new celebrity divorce surfaces. For Aniston and Pitt, their relationship ended when Pitt cheated on Aniston with his “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” co-star, Angelina Jolie.

While rumors swirled about Aniston and Jolie’s rivalry due to Pitt’s infidelity back in the day, recently Aniston has spoken out saying, “Nobody did anything wrong. You know what I mean? It was just like, sometimes things [happen]. If the world only could just stop with the stupid, soap-opera bulls–t. There’s no story. I mean, at this point it’s starting to become—please, give more credit to these human beings.”

There are so many reasons why a marriage can fail- add adoring fans, crazy work schedules, and insane amounts of money and these reasons seem even more evident. Hopefully as Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting move forward with their divorce, they find the closure that so many of their fellow stars have found.

Hate breeds hate and we can make a change

As many of you may have noticed, Radford had a very vocal visitor this past week. This visitor has said a lot of hateful things to anyway unlucky enough to walk past him. He’s made students cry, he’s made them shout, he’s made some of them laugh, and made a few so angry they become incapable of moving, because the only move they’d make would be to run up and punch him. It’s true that the crowd formed around him may seem jovial, mostly because of the signs held by those who stand next to him, but if you look more closely you can see the tension his hurtful words cause.

Protesters preaching hate on Radford campus
Protesters preaching hate on Radford campus. Graphic from WN

Hate breeds hate, and from what I saw on Wednesday those rallies were one wrong word away from becoming full blown riots. But where does all that hate come from? What could possibly drive someone to shout out racial slurs and condemn whole groups of people to Hell because of the color of their skin? Or to insult a student’s deceased father? It’s not something that you decide to do overnight. Hate must be taught, and unfortunately it’s a very difficult thing to forget.

So what can we do? Not just at Radford, but in our lives and in our futures, what can we do? The answer is simple, we stop teaching hate. We can’t help the generations that came before us, but we can protect those that will follow. Instead of practicing hate we can practice love and compassion. Leave the hateful be, because they have nothing to say that’s worth listening to. When we react out of anger, the hatred only grows.

So next time you see someone preaching hate, do your best to ignore them and walk on by. It won’t be easy, but if you can let your anger go, that hatred will die. Eventually, and I mean in the very distant future, there may even come a time when the idea of someone spending five hours telling college students that their choice in clothing will send them to Hell will be nothing more than a weird story grandparents like to tell. Something on par with “I used to walk ten miles up a hill in the snow every day to get to class.”

So stand strong, and stand together, because we are a powerful generation, and we can end hatred.

American Sniper: Remembering our heroes

If you haven’t seen “American Sniper” yet, then go out right this moment and watch it.“But I have homework to do and a paper due tomorrow!” Excuses! Homework can wait. This movie is directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Bradley Cooper as Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. The film received a 7.6 out of 10 rating on IMDb and we all know how harsh their rating system is! “

Chris Kyle takes up arms after seeing a terrorist attack on TV and heads overseas with only one mission in mind: to protect the brothers that stand beside him. As time goes by, Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy with his sniper rifle brings him recognition and praise from the countless soldiers he saved. He earns not only the nickname “Legend” but also notoriety from a growing number of Iraqi enemies in the shadows. Kyle not only has to deal with the enemies trying to cash in on the price on his head but also the demons that plague his mind. Upon returning home, Kyle’s military experiences and his duties as husband and father clash because he’s unable to find a balance between the two. The movie gives a beautifully realistic view of the struggles Kyle faced during and after each of his four tours. From suspenseful action scenes to humorous ones, this film has all the components to keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle in American Sniper. Graphic from IMDb
Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle in American Sniper. Graphic from IMDb

The action scenes all take place overseas, naturally. The first scene opens up with Kyle perched on a housetop looking for abnormal individuals. A young boy and woman step out into the street and the woman gives the young boy (no more than 13-14 years old) what looks to be a pipe bomb. There is no visual confirmation of the pipe bomb, so Kyle must choose whether to shoot the boy or not. If that’s not a stressful situation, then I don’t know what is. The action scenes are so intense, you’ll feel more overwhelmed than disappointed.  So, to all my action movie lovers, I suggest you bump “American Sniper” to the top of your need-to-watchlist.

The scenes where Kyle is stateside hold the audience’s attention much like the action scenes do. Bradley Cooper perfectly depicted Kyle’s feelings of uselessness and failure when he’s home. As I mentioned earlier, Kyle’s one mission is to save the lives of his brothers-in-arms, and he feels he can’t do that if he’s not out there fighting the enemy. Watching his friends die around him only strengthens his resolve and as a result pulls him farther away from his family. The struggle between family and duty have been romanticized (cough, cough Love and Honor) in countless movies. However, Clint Eastwood finally put his foot down and showed the real pain that is embedded in the conflict.

“American Sniper” is a movie that every U.S. citizen needs to watch. It’s easy to go through life forgetting the men and woman laying down their lives in order to keep our country safe. This movie serves as a reminder that war is not an easy thing to carry on your shoulders and those who carry this burden deserve not only our respect but also our remembrance. Wow, that got deep. “Yeah it did but it was a good deep.” The moral of the story is to go and watch the movie based on Chris Kyle’s biography! “Buying my ticket now! Thank you Fandango!” SPOILER: As the movie ends, take notice that no one will be saying a word as they leave.