To The Little Girl I Heard Crying On The Flight

To The Little Girl I Heard Crying On The Flight

I'm sorry I can't make it easier for you.


Recently I was fortunate enough to reconnect with a friend while on a trip to Mexico. I was traveling by myself, and on the flight returning home, I was seated next to a mother and an eight or nine-year-old daughter. As the flight began to take off, the little girl laughed and talked with excitement about how she was going to watch Disney Channel on the plane. Before too long I realized that both the mother and daughter were bilingual as they spoke both English and Spanish during the flight.

When the pilot said we were landing I realized the girl who was giggling hours ago as we took off was now sobbing and hyperventilating in what appeared to be a panic attack. I tried to mind my own business and just assumed she was afraid of the plane to land. Because she was speaking both English and Spanish I couldn't fully understand what the issue was. Eventually, I decided these tears would've stopped by now had they been about landing.

I overheard the girl cry out to her mom that she didn't want to go back to school because she didn't want to be bullied. She knew that as the plane landed she would have to go back to everyday life and that included going to school. As I heard her sobs, and then heard why they were occurring my heart broke in two. I cannot imagine the heartbreak that mother was feeling for her daughter. The little girl said, "They make fun of me because I'm different". Presumably, they make fun of her because she's Mexican.

The plane landed, and I had to leave the plane, but that little girl's tears stuck with me. Her adamancy on not getting off that plane and her mother's pleas on how "This year will be different" was not lost on me.

I think that often we take for granted just the ability to be able to attend school because there are so many girls that aren't able to. But once we appreciate the fact that young girls in this country are able to go to school, we need to recognize that the children in these school systems can suffer too. As a white female, I have a level of privilege to where I've never experienced being bullied because of my ethnicity or race. I've never been the "different" person. I felt ashamed that I couldn't relate to what that little girl must've been feeling.

All I knew was that I was sorry. Sorry that this girl was growing up in a country where all the anger and hatred involved in politics was being passed down to the children. Sorry that she was going to school where children recognized their differences but instead of celebrating them, put them down. Most of all I was sorry that this little girl had no way of seeing how much better her life would get. She couldn't see in that moment that in 10 years she will be away from those cruel children and be looking at such a bright future.

I wanted to tell her that the very thing that makes her different will be the number one thing she flaunts. That once high school comes around those kids are going to need help with the language they laugh at you for speaking. That just because she is "different" than the other children, that difference is what will take her further.

I was ultimately left with an uneasy and sad feeling after that flight. As members of this society, I think it is so important we realize that children are sponges. When they see their parents display such anger and hatred towards one group of people their children replicate that behavior. This isn't a political statement because there's hatred on both sides, just in different forms. My point is that instead of constantly pointing out all the differences among us in a negative way, let's teach children empathy, and to look past the differences we first see. In the end, we are all human, so let's teach them that.

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9 Reasons Why Topsail Island is the Best Beach in NC

North Topsail, Surf City, South Topsail, it’s all part of the best beach in North Carolina.

1. The sunsets.

Topsail has the best sunsets out of any beach in North Carolina. Hands down.

2. The shark’s teeth and seashells.

You can always find a large amount of cool shells and shark’s teeth every beach trip. I have found that it is not like this at every beach, only at Topsail. Shell hunting tip: check out the point on the south end of the island every morning for the best shell selection. You might even come across a hidden mailbox with notes in it while shell hunting down there.

3. The food.

From Max’s pizza with the pepperoni under the cheese to the seafood at Breezeway and even having the experience of eating outside at Sears Landing, Topsail has some of the greatest restaurants any beach in NC has to offer. The best part about the food in Topsail is that the restaurants are all local. Also, there is a brand new doughnut shop in the Surf City part of the island...what could be better than doughnuts and the beach?

4. The Fourth of July.

Every year Topsail and neighboring town, Holly Ridge, rotate between who does fireworks on the fourth and who gets to do them on the fifth. Basically this means two whole days of celebrating our great nation at the beach. The Fourth is also fun in Topsail because the beach is full of people decked out in red, white, and blue, blaring country music, and playing cornhole and swimming all day. Some parts of the town even have mini Fourth of July block parties (okay maybe that's just my family and our neighbors but it’s still pretty fun).

5. The small town atmosphere.

Topsail is a small island which gives it a small town, everybody knows everybody kind of feel. It’s really easy to make life long beach friends here because you have the opportunity to see the same people out on the beach every summer.

6. The ice cream.

Growing up, we went out to get ice cream EVERY single night and admittedly we still do. It often feels like the whole island has the same idea because the lines are always out the door at every ice cream place on the island. Don’t let this discourage you though. It’s an unspoken rule to wait in the line no matter how long it may be because ice cream always tastes better at Topsail.

7. The best of both worlds.

Because Topsail is an island, in most cases you can see both the ocean and the sound from wherever you are staying. This is pretty awesome because you can watch the sunrise over the beach and the sunset over the sound without having to go too far. You also can go from playing cornhole on the beach to jet skiing in the sound without having to walk too far so you really do get the experience the best of both worlds.

8. Outdoor movies.

On certain nights of the week Topsail this has cool thing called “Summer Movies in the Park” where they play movies on a big blow up screen at a park that sits on the sound. The best part about this is that the movies are FREE. Tip: if you are vacationing at Topsail with bae, I highly suggest going to an outdoor movie together, even if it is Cinderella and even if you have seen it 100 times already you should still go. But, if outdoor movies aren’t your thing then I suggest going roller skating or playing a game of putt-putt.

9. The memories.

Whether you go for a week or a weekend, I promise that you will make some great memories with the people you love at Topsail Island. After spending 19 summers on the island, I know I sure have. From Fourth of July block parties, running into friends from all over NC, adventuring with cousins and swimming during hurricanes, I can honestly say that spending my summers at Topsail Island has been one of the best things ever.

North Topsail, Surf City, South Topsail, it’s all part of the best beach in NC and I highly recommend planning your next beach vacation to Topsail Island.

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Celebrating The Grand Canyon's 100th Birthday

Cheers to 100 years of climbing, camping, and boat trips down the Colorado River.


100 years ago last week, the Grand Canyon was established as the 17th National Park. Covering nearly 2,000 square miles of incredible desert wilderness, the Grand Canyon is consistently among the most visited parks and is recognized globally as a true wonder of the world.

While the canyon layers were formed long before dinosaurs roamed, fossils of ancient marine animals are often uncovered – some dating back 1.2 billion years.

The Great Unconformity refers to a gap in the rock record between Cambrian times (~550 m.y. ago) and the pre-Cambrian (anything earlier). An unconformity is a surface in the rock record, in the stratigraphic column, representing a time from which no rocks are preserved — a geological mystery of epic proportions.

Meaning 250 million-year-old sediment layers can be found right on top of layers holding those very same billion-year-old fossils. What happened to the millions of years in between? Nobody knows yet.

Of the many unconformities observed in geological strata, the term Great Unconformity is frequently applied to either the unconformity observed by James Hutton in 1787 at Siccar Point in Scotland or that observed by John Wesley Powell in the Grand Canyon in 1869.

These are both exceptional examples of instances where the contacts between sedimentary strata and either sedimentary or crystalline strata of greatly different ages, origins, and structure represent periods of geologic time sufficiently long to raise great mountains and then erode them away.

Carved over hundreds of millions of years by the Colorado River and measuring 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, the Grand Canyon is a major natural phenomenon, but it is also a place of deep historical mysteries and oddities as well.

It's days like today when I feel the most grateful to live where I do and to be able to appreciate so much of the great outdoors. To be able to climb and hike rocks that have existed for hundreds of millions of years.

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