I'm From California And Proud Of It

I'm From California And Proud Of It

Summer Chronicles: Vol. 2
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I got back home from my school in Oregon last week and decided to share my thoughts with you over summer. If you would like to read the first volume of my Summer Chronicles click here.

Heck yeah, I'm from California! And before you start asking about what life is like "in Cali" let me stop you right there - only out-of-staters call it "Cali". Now we can continue: What is life like in California? Well first of all, on the same day you could go to a sunny beach and a wooded trail. This means that while it may not be expected, many of us Californians surf and hike.

We also have an obsession with avocados and whatever the new health craze is. If the sun is out (which is most of the time) you will catch family bike rides and friends on their group workouts.

In our (not so) humble opinions, the only Mexican food that rivals our own is from Mexico. It hurts our hearts when others call "Taco Bell," "Del Taco" and "Chipotle" Mexican food. While those are dining establishments, they are not authentic Mexican food.

Contrary to how movies portray us, we are not all tan and blonde. Some of us still burn, very badly. Others have the darkest hair you can think of. While there is always some truth stereotypes are based on, this one seems the most absurd. Although I suppose I understand where it came from, seeing as the sun shines the most here.

Not all of us have gone to Disneyland, but those who have cannot stop talking about it. We know how to navigate the parks and if we are being honest, we would live there if we had the chance!

Despite popular belief, the majority of Californian females do not have a "Valley Girl" accent and most males do not sound like "Surfer Dudes." Although we do have some... unique phrases lovingly named "California English". To use the phrase "Heck yeah!" is completely acceptable and not at all weird. Also, "No yeah" means yes, "yeah no" means no, and "yeah no, for sure" means definitely. And if you live on the coast you know exactly what the oxymoronic-sounding phrase "June Gloom" means. We also communicate distance with minutes or hours rather than miles. For instance, it takes about 2 hours to get to San Francisco from my small town. And speaking of small towns, California's are more populated than the average city in most midwestern states.

Heck yeah, I'm from California! It is where my heart belongs. My soul is happy just to feel the sun's rays on my skin. The strength of the ocean instills fear and the protection of the woods bestows comfort. To Californians, the West Coast is truly the best coast.

If you would like to hear the soundtrack to my home-state click on the Spotify widget below. Californians, please let me know if there was a description or song that I missed! Much love to you all.


Cover Image Credit: rawpixel

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend

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Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

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