It is our first president, George Washington, who claimed that political parties would help solve some political issues. However, they will also serve as a means of division and destroy our country. In 2017, we see daily how the country is being destroyed because of the bipartisan system. Instead of working together, people in both parties are tearing each other down by invalidating the other. As a liberal, the divide between political parties is upsetting to me and harmful to the entire country.

Here are two memes attacking the other side. As a Liberal, I can tell you none of these make me cry. I understand this is supposed to be funny, but the constant portrayal of Liberals being weak and sensitive needs to stop. I personally do not care if you have a gun. If you went through the classes and licensing, it is your choice to have one. As a woman, I believe single women should always carry mace or a small knife for protection. If a woman lives alone, she absolutely should have means of protection. The thing on this list that offends me the most is number 9, Patriotism. I am proud of where I grew up. Is it the best country in the world? No, but I am not worried every day about having a water or running out of food. Anytime I am hungry, I walk to the kitchen or drive to one of the several restaurants within miles of my house.

As for the list of things that make conservatives cry, no. It is true that religion and Conservative ideals go hand in hand, but there are MANY strong Conservative women and people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. These people are the largest targets because other women and LGBTQ+ individuals feel betrayed. It is possible for someone who identifies as a Republican to agree with ideas of the opposing party, which many do. Something people often forget is that the parties are not black and white. It is a spectrum.

The constant belittling of each other needs to stop. Americans, Liberal or Conservative, need to understand the other person’s point of view. There is no need to accept it as your own, but instead accept that people have different views. There are a variety of influences on one’s perspective. To be the wonderful country we claim to be, we must learn to be united and respectful of our own neighbors.

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The World We Live In

dark flowers

The thought of one day having a child makes me excited. I want to have a Rory-Lorelei relationship with my child, whether it is my son and/or daughter, where we are best friends. I want my child to know they can come to me with anything and I will accept and listen to what they have to say. Today, this thought has changed.

I was leaving my first class and walking to my next and I see this woman on the ground sobbing into her phone. Being the person I am, I stopped to help. She looks at me and says, “my twelve year daughter has been raped,” and proceeded to sob. After walking her to her car and reassuring her that this is absolutely not her fault and that her being supportive and caring for her daughter makes her the best mom. I stopped. I was just taken back for a second because for some reason it is not what I expected he to say. This is the world we live in and it is not the world I want to have a family in.

As a 21 year old, my priority will be school until I graduate, but I cannot prevent myself from thinking about the future. Knowing this woman was sitting in her class when she got a call from her child’s school about her daughter frightens me. Just before I left my fist class, my teacher was talking about a shooting where two woman and a child were injured in their own home. Who would want to bring a family into a world where violent crimes and rape happen so casually?

As a parent, you can only do so much protecting of your children. You can teach them that no means no and teach them to not talk to strangers, but what if the perpetrator is not a stranger? What no does not matter to them? What if it was someone you both know and who is also in the house? What are parents supposed to do: lock their kids in a room until they are old enough and strong enough to get out of these situations? These things can happen anywhere and it is petrifying. I do not want to get the call this woman got. I do not want to drop what I am doing because my child is at school with the police because they were attacked. I do not want to bring a child into this world knowing that the chances of them being a victim are incredibly high.

I know this world is not perfect. I know there are good people who take care of others, but there are also people who intentionally harm others physically, mentally and emotionally. This young girl is twelve years old. She is aware of the malice acts of this world, but she did not know that the malice behavior was so close to her. Now, she will live the rest of he life with this pain of being stripped off her innocence and being introduced to cruelty so early in her life.

Why do I want to be a teacher?

As a college student, I am constantly asked what I am studying or what I want to do with my life. The answer never changes: Secondary Education and English, I want to teach high school English. People are baffled by this because ‘who wants to work with older kids’ and ‘who wants to read for the rest of their lives?’ Being a teacher, in general, holds so much more power and significance than just reading and grading for the rest of my working life. Teachers have the ability to spark creativity within their students and can even change their lives.

Throughout my years in school, I found safety within the pages of novels, such as The Outsiders, The Great Gatsby, and The Bell Jar. However, I found the most beneficial aspect of my English classes is having a teacher who loves what they do. From my sophomore to my senior year, I had teachers who loved every part of their job. They were passionate about what they taught us. It was not about curriculum to them, but picking pieces for us to read that would have some type of impact on the teenage mind that also fit into the curriculum.

The best part about one of my English teacher was the bond she developed with me. She knew and understood the fact that each student has a personal life outside of their academic lives. She knew that sometimes the personal life would fall apart and affect the academic life, but she was never bitter about the inconveniences. She has the biggest heart and is the reason I want to pursue this career. Every student needs someone they can trust in. She was that person for me, and I want to be that person for someone else. My goal for the future has always been to help people. Becoming a teacher will help me do that.

I do not want to be a teacher to read and write all day or because I would get the summers ‘off.’ I want to be a teacher to help and inspire, like my teachers have done for me.

2,901 miles

When I first started telling people I was dating Kylee, the question of how we are going to make this work was asked multiple times. With 2,901 miles between us, our relationship should not be the easiest one I have had, but somehow it is. We are young, but we are willing to work out the kinks and figure this out because having each other is better than not. Of course I would love to come home every night after work and be able to talk about our days, laugh, have dinner and watch television. At this time, it is not an option, but that is okay.

Every single day is a challenge, but it always gives me time to continue on with being Alanna. I am a person who does too much, but is always happy to do it. I currently work three jobs and go to school full time. Just because I am busy does not mean my heart should be empty. I always say that if Kylee lived here or I lived there, I would not be able to be the best girlfriend I can be right now because I barely have time for my friends at times. Aside from being one of the most intelligent people I know, Kylee is beautiful, funny, sentimental, loving, kind and caring. She deserves the best that someone can give her and that would not be me if she lived here while I am this busy. I could write a million pages on how much I hate the distance, but can write another million on why it is okay and on how the distance does not harm our relationship.

We miss each other all day, but lately I have found a love and appreciation for technology. I am able to talk to her from when she wakes up and until I go to sleep. I can send her endless selfies and we can video chat if we both have the time. The absolute best part about the distance is it allows me to travel to places I never been. I am able to see this whole, new beautiful world with her.

There’s a song that say, “You’re so worth all this torture,” and she really is. She is worth the heart ache and being alone. She is who I want to be with and I will continue to do the long distance relationship with her until I no longer have to because she is so worth all the torture.She is worth the plane tickets. She is worth it all to me.

 

“So, are you gay now?”

Take a second to think about someone you want, something you have been wanting for a long time. Now, picture the feeling you get when you finally get it. Are you excited, happy, elated? Now, whatever it is you have been wanting is not exactly what you expected, but it does not change how you feel. This is what it was like to find out the person I spent years falling for was not Marc, but instead Kylee. Now that I am dating a trans* girl, I am constantly asked whether or not I am gay. The answer is simple: no.

When I was 13 I met Marc and there was an instant connection. It was like a magnetic pull and neither of us could break it, but it is not like either of us tried to break it. Looking at him I knew that this was someone I wanted in my life for as long as possible. The friendship came so naturally to both of us. Even when he went home to California and came back a year later, all the emotions that were there a year prior remained and managed to grow over the course of the year of separation. The connection and feelings were intensifying without us even trying or talking for a year at a time.

All of these emotions came out of genuinely liking the person for who they are, what they stand for and all the things that make their eye glimmer when they discuss it. It was the fact that we could talk about books, drugs, music, who we were dating, school, life, goals or anything else with such ease. Falling in love with Marc was just the easiest thing I have ever done, but so is continuing to love Kylee. After years of giving excuses of why we could not possibly be together we are now trying and succeeding because it is what we both want and needed for so long.

Us being open about our relationship brings up the concreteness of my own sexuality. I spent many years in exclusive relationships with cisgender men. Now, I am dating a trans* woman, but this one relationship does not define my sexuality. I fell in love with Marc, but not because he was a male, but because I saw him as a person who could make me smile when it was the last thing I wanted to do and who continuously saw beyond my terrible acne and large rack. These parts of me are not the reason he wanted to be with me.

I told my mother, “I am generally attracted to men and masculinity as a whole. It just so happens that this guy I fell in love with is a girl and I just accept it because her happiness is what is important.” That is what it is. I want the person I love to love themselves and be happy when they look in the mirror. In a relationship, you build each other up, not tear each other down.

Each time I am asked if I am gay, my immediate thought is ‘do these people know and understand how sexuality works?’ I have always defended the fact that a person does not choose to be gay or straight. I did not wake up in the morning and decide to be a lesbian. I do not wake up every morning and decide that I love Kylee today. It was something I had no control over and I still don’t. When she told me she was trans* I could have said no to her, but that was be depriving myself of experiencing such joy and happiness that she brings to my life.

Am I gay? No, that implies being a homosexual, or being attracted to one gender. I am not attracted to one gender by any means. I am a woman who loves another woman and that is all. There might be a label you can place on me, but it is not your place to do so. It is not your job to define every aspect of my life, it is mine. I am not gay, a homosexual, a lesbian, a bisexual or any other title you want to throw at me. I am happy. I am loved. I am whatever the hell I want to be.