5 Times Leslie Knope Gave Me Hope

5 Times Leslie Knope Gave Me Hope

Because we can't not Knope.

If I'm being quite honest, the only reason I started watching "Parks and Recreation" was because I had this period where I had a weird and unexplainable crush on Aziz Ansari. I also thought it was trendy and cool to watch because it wasn't as predictable and mainstream as "The Office," but still had a similar enough storyline. However, as I watched more and more episodes, my crush slowly progressed from Aziz to Amy Poehler. If you've never seen the show, Amy plays Leslie, an employee of the Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Pawnee, with future plans to become the first female President of the United States. Leslie taught me a lot throughout the progression of the show. As a viewer, I witnessed the progression of Leslie. From Season 1 Leslie, who was pushed around by her boss Ron as well as her own mother--to Season 7 Leslie, head of the Midwest branch of the National Parks service and happily married to city manager Ben Wyatt. I almost felt as though I grew alongside her. She taught me many things about life, love, friends, ambitions, and dreams. She taught me how to deal with boys, how to be a friend, and how to love myself. Her constant positivity gave me a sense of hope that was relatable to me in my own personal life. Although her positivity and wisdom are pretty much constant, there are a five times in particular that I identified with Leslie a little too much.

1. In regards to feminism.

Leslie's own ambitions and goals for herself represent the ideal behavior for any woman. She knows what she wants and she has a perfect plan as to how to ensure that she gets it. She believes in women fully and completely and is never afraid to tell it like it is. As a successful woman in government, Leslie inspires us to fight against the odds--because women can and will do what they aspire to do.

2. In regards to staying strong.

Even when Leslie's life seemingly couldn't get any worse, she always manages to remind herself of all the positives in her life that still remain. She reminds us that things have to get worse before they can get better. She helps us remember that just because we lose something/someone, does not mean we have to lose ourselves as well. Leslie's perseverance becomes contagious to a point where it's impossible to not want to go out and do good after watching an episode.

3. In regards to accepting yourself.

Leslie knows herself very well and is proud of who is she and who she has become. She inspires us all to be in love with ourselves--to accept ourselves no matter what. She taught us that it's okay to be two different things, as long as you're not being two-faced. Leslie reminds us that it doesn't matter what others think, as long as you are proud of and satisfied with who you are.

4. In regards to the importance of friendship.

Leslie Knope is best-friend goals, basically. She values her friendships so much and is not afraid to show her love. Her constant acts of kindness toward her friends only serve to show her caring and genuine personality. She reminds us that sometimes you have to put your friends first because they're that important to you. She instills in us the idea that most people are temporary, but friends will always, always, always be there.

5. In regards to the power of a good waffle.

It is Leslie's love for all things breakfast that reminds us that there is absolutely nothing in this world that a good waffle cannot fix.

In a way, I see Leslie as a life coach of sorts. I know that sounds silly, considering she is a fictional television character. But honestly, she's such an inspiration to me in all aspects of life that it would seem absurd to not consider her to be a role model of mine. Her individuality and intelligence only further motivate me to have confidence, be kind, find a friend half as good as Ann Perkins, and to be the Leslie Knope of whatever I do.

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A Collection Of Poems

A collection of poems that I have written.

I have always liked writing poetry, so I have decided to share a couple of my favorite poems that I have written. They are pretty short, but I hope you all enjoy!

A simple touch

A kind word

Is all someone might need

To feel alive, to feel anything at all

The feeling that lingers

Always in the back of your mind

Rides through the day with you unaware

Until night when it flies into your dreams

Sometimes the unknown is the scariest of all

You know the past and you know the present

But the future, the unknown, continues to loom in your path

Until one day you walk right into it

And realize you still don’t know what you want

Truth flies in the wind,

Eager to set the story straight

While lies come swooping in like vultures,

Determined to seize those want to be free.

The petals on a flower,

Delicate like the mind.

People insist on picking those flowers and picking on your mind.

Why can’t people believe that the mind is beautiful like flowers?

Why do we have so much hate?

Cover Image Credit: Leah Perrino

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My Winter Break Awarded Me The Opportunity Of A Lifetime

How one video led me to creating content for two great organizations.

Sometimes things work out for you even when you didn’t plan for them to happen. Over the Christmas break, I got a chance to do some amazing things and promote my work in a big way, all out of coincidence.

Christmas was fast approaching and my mom and I were getting ready to head to the airport to pick up my sister who was coming home from Washington D.C. I was trying to decide if I should bring my camera or not; usually I wouldn’t but my sister always begs me to make videos of her and take her picture so I thought this time I guess I’ll indulge. I figured a nice arriving home clip would be nice to have and something cool to capture on my camera.

Her plane had been delayed and sort of shuffled everywhere because of the bad storm all over the country, so we weren’t really sure when or where she was coming from. As we waited patiently for her to arrive, my mom and I noticed more and more people gathering into the airport and setting up camp on the other side of the terminal.

The El Paso Sun Court arrived, then Mariachis, even the El Paso mascot. Finally, our questions were answered when someone my mom knew from the group came up to say hi to her. He said that this was part of a basketball tournament happening as part of the Sun Bowl. The Sun Bowl is the bowl game we have in El Paso at the football stadium where the UTEP Miners play, and they have many other events that lead up to it, including a basketball tournament.

We learned that one of the teams was coming into town that day and all the theatrics was a part of their arrival. Luckily I had had my camera and a very versatile 50mm lens.

So, I decided to stay a little while after my sister finally arrived to film the event. (I had learned last summer that you can pretty much get anywhere in El Paso with a camera and if you look like you know what you’re doing).

The team arrived and danced to music and had a great time. I later took that footage and made a short little video, which is what I usually do when I film something random that I see, and I posted it on my social media. The post got a good audience and eventually attracted the attention of the head media representative from the Sun Bowl Association. He contacted me and said he loved the video and wanted to know if I wanted to do any more videos for him, gratis of course. It didn’t take me too long to think about it and told him, of course, I would.

I became the sole provider of video content for the Sun Bowl Association. This small airport video led me to create eight videos for the Sun Bowl Association, including hanging out with the NC State and ASU football players at Fort Bliss Military Base.

I also got to create videos for all of their events leading up to the Sun Bowl:

Finally, I had the amazing opportunity to create two sports recap videos for both the basketball tournament and Hyundai Sun Bowl:

It was an amazing experience to represent a company visually and have my content spread across not only El Paso, but also Arizona and North Carolina. It was also incredibly gratifying to be a very young 21-year-old content creator among so many older and recognized photographers from the El Paso Times, Herald Post, etc.

This opportunity eventually led to another freelance video project with the UTEP Tennis team. To get not only one but two organizations wanting me to create content for them was such a great honor.

And to think all of this came from one decision to bring my camera to the airport to pick up my sister. I could not have brought my camera that day or had the wrong lens. My sister’s flight could have arrived on time and we would’ve missed the arrival. I could not have had the confidence to step into the crowd and press the record button. But luckily life had its way of putting me in the right place at the right time.

I had the confidence to step in the crown and press the record button. But luckily life had its way of putting me in the right place at the right time.

Cover Image Credit: Ryan Ortegon

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