5 Times Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Was An Inspiration To Young Influential Women

5 Times Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Was An Inspiration To Young Influential Women

She is everything our younger generation needs

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It's been a long long time since I've seen an iconic woman in a position of power, teaching me that it's okay to be me and I can still be a powerful woman while embracing who I am.

1. She gets in touch with her roots.

"What can I possibly say except thank you? So many people sacrificed so much for this to happen - my mother most of all.

My mama was born + raised in Puerto Rico. She practically raised her siblings in poverty while her own mother worked nonstop to provide food and shelter. She met my father, a Bronx boy visiting Isla family, at a young age. They married + moved to NYC - she didn't even speak English. My parents started from scratch: new languages, new life, new everything. Then came me, and they moved to start over again so I could have an education. Mami mopped floors, drove school buses, + answered phones. She did whatever she needed to do, for me. When my father died, she was left a single mother of 2, and again she had to start over. After he passed we almost lost our home, so we sold it and started over. & over. & over.

It wasn't long ago that we felt our lives were over; that there were only so many do-overs until it was just too late, or too much to take, or we were too spiritually spent. I was scrubbing tables + scooping candle wax after restaurant shifts & falling asleep on the subway ride home. I once got pickpocketed, & everything I earned that day was stolen. That day I locked myself in a room and cried deep: I had nothing left to give, or to be. And that's when I started over. I honestly thought as a 28-year-old waitress I was too late; that the train of my fulfilled potential had left the station.

This week I was sworn in as the youngest woman in American history to serve in the United States Congress. I hope that record is broken again soon. As I raised my hand for the oath, my mother held the holy book & looked into @SpeakerPelosi's eyes. Afterward, the Speaker said to her "you must be so proud," and my mother began to cry.

It was not long ago that our family's hope was so dim it was barely an ember. Darkness taught me transformation cannot solely be an individual pursuit, but also a community of trust. We must learn on others to strive on our own.

Thank you all. Whether it was late nights, hard days, pocket change, emotional investment, hard & soft skills, door knocking in the heat or petitioning in the bitter cold - we did this together."

2. When she was caught air-fiving Rosa DeLauro.

3. Participate in wearing white to the State of the Union

Not to mention the fact that it wasn't just white, but a white blazer cape.

4. Red lip & gold hoops, do I need to say any more?

Everyone will tell you red lips and gold hoops don't belong in Congress, but AOC will beg to differ.

5. Her representation of Jakelin Caal Maquin

AOC wore a button of Jakelin who was a seven-year-old Guatemalan child that died in Border Patrol custody last year.

6. She embraces the fiasco around her dancing video

You can find a video of AOC dancing to her old dancing video from her time in college.

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The 5 Most Influential Albums I've Ever Listened To

The music that has moved me to and through tears

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I begin this article by thanking everyone for opening up and sharing their personal experiences with music for my previous article. Because of all your personal responses I've felt inspired to compile my own list of music that has moved me throughout my years of existence.

1. "Antisocialites" -Alvvays

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This is an album I've recently come to appreciate and love. After coping with my first major breakup, I used a lot of my extra time trying to find music I could relate to my situation. I had listened to "Antisocialites" before, but it wasn't until this time in my life when I truly related to every word in this album. I always loved how this album sounded and the groove of each of the songs; the added attention to lyrics helped me appreciate this album in whole. This has also become one of my favorites to put on in the car driving around. It's easy listening with a lighthearted feel and some special lyrics.

2. "1989" -Taylor Swift

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No one can deny that Taylor Swift has come out with some of the biggest pop jams in contemporary music and this album is probably the ultimate proof. I got "1989" for Christmas the year it released and the cd has been in my mom's car cd player ever since. I think this album is so important to me because of all the good memories linked with it. This album reminds me of easier times, but I feel that as I grow I'm able to relate to this album more and appreciate Taylor Swift's ability to tell a story that is universally relatable. She's absolutely my pop queen and I will forever be a Swiftie with no shame.

3. "After Laughter" -Paramore

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"After Laughter" quickly became one of the most important albums I ever listened to because of its musical approach to heavier emotions. This album tackles themes like depression, loneliness, and forgiveness with easy-to-dance-to songs with amazing instrumentation. There is something so uplifting about happy-sounding music with sad lyrics. This album reminded me in some of the darker times in my life, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

4. "Hounds Of Love" -Kate Bush

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This is the album that helped me appreciate storytelling in music. The B side of this album is absolutely breathtaking and it is unlike anything I've heard before. Between Kate Bush's beautiful voice, production choices, and the story, this album is so unforgettable and special. Every time I hear "Hounds of Love", it's a new experience and that is what has made it one of my all-time favorite albums. The mixing on this album is theatrical and unique, truly unlike anything I've ever heard before. "Hounds of Love" has gifted me with a whole new perspective regarding how an album is created and I'm so appreciative of that.

5. "Blue" -Joni Mitchell

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"Blue" is the album that has always been there for me. From the time I was first introduced to it, all the way to now this album has and continues to affect me in many ways. Because of all these factors, I made sure to keep this album as sacred as possible. I only listen to "Blue" in solidarity and find it to be one of the most vital albums to healing. I'm so influenced by Joni Mitchell's words and I find her vulnerability so empowering. It was the first album I listened to where a woman was so exposed emotionally and still so strong. It taught me that releasing emotions doesn't make you weak and that by exposing feelings of depression, sadness, and fear you could expedite the healing process. I cannot thank Joni Mitchell enough for creating one of the most important albums I've ever listened to.

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