Be a Girl Who Runs

Be a Girl Who Runs

Be a girl who lives for the finish line.

Be a girl who runs because she’ll venture out in the world. Five blocks, 10 miles, or marathons of adventures. Be a girl who plans road trips for races and soaks in her environment and the nature and gorgeousness around you.

Be a girl who runs because a girl who runs can be difficult to keep up with, but it’s ok because anybody worth loving will want a girl who keeps them on their toes.

Be a girl who runs because a girl who runs knows how to get her own heart racing. Be a girl who will do the same for her lover, if they're lucky.

Be a girl who looks at food as fuel, not an enemy. A girl who runs knows her body is a gladiator, a warrior that needs energy, but who also deserves that piece of chocolate cake the night after kicking ass in a big race. Be a girl who eats bowls of pasta and stacks of pancakes and sees them not as calories, but as inches in miles.

Be a girl who runs because a girl who runs knows how to be alone. Even if before you started running, you were afraid to eat alone or shop alone or go to the movies alone, that all changes when you're not afraid to race down the pavement alone. You get lost on trails and in your own head and discover something new about yourself with every mile you go. You're not afraid to be your own company; in fact, you love it. And because you know how to be alone with yourself, you're that much more amazing around others.

Be a girl who challenges herself. Be a girl too worried about beating her mile time to worry about keeping up with gossip or drama or trends. Be a girl more interested in improving herself.

Be a girl who runs because a girl who runs knows how to adapt. Sometimes you need to sprint, and sometimes life takes endurance and long strides and slow breathing for hours. A girl who runs knows the difference.

Be a girl who runs because there aren't a lot of better highs than feeling your feet fall to the beat of your running playlist. Be a girl who would rather feel that than sit on the couch. Be a girl who would rather heal herself that way, with miles rather than the million other masochistic ways possible to deal with pain.

Be a girl who knows how to walk it off when you get hurt.

Be a girl who knows how to work. Be a girl who knows how to plan for marathons, and knows that off days are ok. Be a girl who knows that even one second off your record means progress when you're working towards cutting a whole minute. Be a girl who knows how to translate that mindset into every goal you set for yourself. Know how to translate it to relationships, too, because a girl who runs is also the best kind of patient. A girl who runs knows how hard it is to improve herself, and will be that much more forgiving when her lover is trying, too.

Be a girl who runs because it's gonna give you legs for days and an amazing ass.

Be a girl who runs because you live for the finish line. Doing things half ass isn't something you'd ever even consider. A girl who runs sees things through and gets shit done.

Be a girl who runs because she practically embodies the word “trail blazer” and that's the best thing in the world to be.

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My Constant Dilemma, Seeking Out Positive Artistic Communities

How can I find a balance between comfort and visibility?

When it comes to art and expression, I’ve always subscribed to the mindset that it’s important to practice what you love in communities that are positive and uplifting, as opposed to competitive and cutthroat, even if it means sacrificing visibility at times. Through my background in theatre, music, and writing, I’ve encountered many types of artistic organizations and communities––some have been healthy and beneficial to me, and others have been toxic. I’ve spent a good amount of time floundering with this––I’ve had to learn to navigate where I feel most comfortable creating, and when to reevaluate the situation.

As someone who went to a performing arts high school for theatre, I spent a lot of time weighing out whether or not I would thrive or completely flop in a college conservatory program. After contemplating where I saw myself and what I wanted for my education for a very long time, I settled on Pitt, a larger university that would allow me to pursue a healthy balance of artistic and academic opportunities. Although this is glaringly obvious to me now, since spending almost two years here, it’s become clear that the answer isn’t so transparent; avoiding a conservatory didn’t solve all of my problems. In fact, in some ways, it might have made things more confusing.

Since transitioning from theatre to writing, I’ve entered some spaces that have been friendlier and more supportive than others. Since writing fields are inherently cutthroat in a lot of ways, it’s easy to get roped into an unhappy and uncomfortable situation if you settle for the mentality that experience is experience, and you should take whatever you can get. While this is unfortunately true in a lot of ways, and finding your voice and gaining visibility means working your way through the ranks, I still believe that you shouldn’t always have to compromise your health and happiness in order to get your work out there. When it comes to writing, or producing any kind of work that you’re passionate about, being surrounded by constant negativity can really take a toll on your mental health, and maybe even cause you to start harboring hatred for an art that you’ve always loved.

Of course, only seeking out one or the other, comfort or visibility, can be a double-edged sword. I’m still trying to find that balance for myself, and it’s definitely not proving to be very easy. I think that most creatives go through an artistic block or take a hiatus from time to time, but I’ve found that the periods where I’m lacking the most inspiration and drained of energy come when I’m surrounded by people who aren’t comfortable building other people up, or acknowledging others’ accomplishments and ideas. I’m still working to surround myself with individuals that respect me and aren’t solely committed to seeing their own name in lights, but I know that I can’t have my cake and eat it too; sometimes pursuing what I love means sacrificing that comfort and positivity. It may not be painless, but it’s definitely necessary.

Cover Image Credit: Lolaperl Maria

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No, You Aren't 'Crazy,' And We Need To Stop Using That Word Altogether

You may have been called crazy, and you may even believe it. But, don't.

Crazy. It's a word that has become integrated into our daily language.

If you ask the guy you like why he double tapped a girl's picture, he calls you crazy.

If you have an opinion that is different than everyone else, then you're crazy.

If you are getting married too young, or too old, then you're crazy.

Pretty much no matter what, you're crazy.

But, the truth is: you're not crazy.

Crazy is an all-encompassing word used to describe something that is undesirable. It is a word that that mocks mental health. A word that convinces you that you're the problem, that you're feelings are the problem.

You aren't crazy, you're human.

It's normal to feel. It is okay to wake up one day and feel one emotion, just to wake up the next day and feel different. It's okay to wake up each day and feel the same. It's okay that you don't know how to describe your feelings, and that you don't really know why you feel the way you feel.

It isn't okay to make someone feel less because they having feelings that you don't understand.

Mental health is becoming an everyday topic. College campuses focus on improving mental health for students, and people are taking the initiative to work on their mental health individually. It is becoming more common to see people working in the best interest of their mental health because it's finally being recognized the way it should be.

Mental health should be talked about, because mental health changes so frequently. The condition of your mental health can be different from day-to-day, and it is okay to not completely understand these feelings.

Mental illness is common. About 18 percent of the adult population in the United States suffer from mental illness every year. Mental illnesses refer to mental health conditions that may impacts your mood, thinking, or behavior. Mental illnesses range from depression to schizophrenia, and everything in-between. The stigma around mental illness creates an isolation of those impacted.

Once it is revealed that someone has a mental illness, they are seen differently, treated differently. They are ostracized, and it creates a stereotype that cause both average people and professionals to be wary or nervous about them.

The word "crazy" is demeaning.

It makes it seem that feelings and emotions and conditions are out of the ordinary, that they are "wrong" and that you are the problem. It creates the basis for the stereotypes that lead to the stigma surrounding mental illness.

However, you aren't the problem. You are a human that has a real life and real struggles.

No one can judge how you feel, and how that impacts your everyday life.

You aren't crazy, you're strong.

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