An Open Letter To My Cancer

An Open Letter To My Cancer

I forgive you.
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Dear Ricky,

It’s over. We are officially breaking up. I am ready to oust you from my life and move on. This is the last time I will be writing you, but before I say good-bye, I want to put everything out on the table. Firstly,

Thanks for ruining my life. I had an amazing life before you filled with friends, a swimming career, straight A’s, nights out, dates. Then you came along. You seemed harmless at first, but after a while, I realized you were no good. Pure evil, a crime against humanity. You, single-handedly, ruined my senior year. Because of you, I didn’t go to prom, football games, graduation, senior assassin, or college. You ruined my parent’s relationship. You are the reason my parents cry themselves to sleep every night from the torture you put me through. You don’t care about my happiness or my feelings. You only care about yourself. You are a tumor, literally. You are the cancerous tumor that lay dormant on my heart, slowly spreading through my body. With you, I felt true loneliness that could only be described as a prison. You can only sit and contemplate life and the unfair hand its dealt you. You took advantage of me when I was at my weakest and for that, I will never forgive you.

On the other hand, I would be lying if I didn’t say you were the best thing that could have happened to me. Before we met, I was depressed. Life was monotonous, sad, and honestly, not worth living. I don’t know if it was the pressure to succeed in academics or the abandonment from my friends and family, but the anxiety made me hate life. Then you came along. You made me realize that you get one chance to make an impression and that I still could make my life better. When we met, I realized that I didn’t want to work a “safe and boring” job. I decided I was going to take a risk and pursue what I love the most: fashion. You taught me to take risks and own the present. You showed me who my real friends are and that some people are not worth your time, even if they are your family. I met some amazing new friends that I will cherish forever. You made me not only appreciate life, but also death. How at any moment, we can die and that your final seconds could be filled with regret of what you didn’t do or how you could have done things differently. I’m not going to live my life like that. I refuse to let you fill me with regret and sorrow. I choose peace.

We have a history, memories that I will never forget. I hope to never see you again, but if your paths cross again, I will accept it. I will not be angry or sad or hateful or depressed. However, I will fight my hardest to make sure you leave my life, for good. I know this because I am stronger than you. You are not a person; you don’t have feelings, or attachments, or hatred, or love, or interests, which is why I don’t hate you. I can’t hate something or put energy into something that isn’t human. You didn’t target me or hurt me on purpose because you are what you are: a tumor. Nothing more, nothing less. However, if one day you are the death of me, just remember: if I go, you go with me; you can’t hurt anyone else. I will know that I died as a person who was loved and remembered. I will die someone that made a difference and meant something to people. You…you will be nothing because you are nothing. You will never be anything to me.

Despite all you ever did to me, I will never forget you because you made me the person I am right now. I am alive. I am a survivor. I am not afraid of you. I will never be afraid.

Sincerely,

The girl who will never stop fighting

Cover Image Credit: pintrest

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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If You Think Belly Dancing Is Sexual, You're Missing The Whole Point

Believe it or not, exposed stomachs aren't inherently sexual.

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What we know as belly dancing here in America started in the middle east as a way for mothers to teach their daughters how to isolate certain muscles that they would use in childbirth, thus making the process an easier one when it was their time to go through it.

This cultural dance began with mothers teaching daughters behind closed doors where men weren't allowed to watch. It's possible that this fact helped cause some of the negative stigmas behind it by people who do not know its true origin.

Long story short (because I'm not looking to place false facts in this article), belly dancing moved over to America after a while and it wasn't necessarily accepted at first. Today, there is a multitude of belly dancing styles, including belly dance fusion which combines more traditional dancing with modern takes on it by blending multiple cultures or dancing styles.

You're probably wondering why a white girl such as myself is trying to educate you on something that clearly isn't a part of my own culture. Well, for those of you who don't know (or who couldn't recognize me from the cover photo), I belly dance at my university as part of an extracurricular club.

This club is easily one that I am most passionate about. I joined the club in my first semester as a freshman and have stuck with it for the past six semesters, and plan to stick with it for my last two. I came into the club with little previous dance experience and no previous belly dance experience, much like almost everyone else I've seen come and go.

I've heard of professors at my school who said they wouldn't go to our shows because it "made him uncomfortable." Why? Because our stomachs are out and we're moving our hips? That doesn't make our dancing inherently sexual.

We have a rule within our club that if any of us go out to parties, we cannot use belly dancing moves to try to woo guys or girls. Because guess what? That's not the point of belly dancing.

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