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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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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