A Strong Urge For Ice-Cream Forced Me Out Of My Comfort Zone

A Strong Urge For Ice-Cream Forced Me Out Of My Comfort Zone

Walking out of your comfort zone... Literally.
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I had spent the good part of my first quarter within the confines of my apartment. Between the time I spent in my classes and the trek I made back and forth, each morning and evening, I stayed within the relatively restrictive boundaries of my bedroom or my desk. The unconscious effects of my own limitations prevented a healthy, efficient work ethic for both my analytical and creative work.

After transferring from another college, from another part of the state to UCLA this past fall, my initial reaction was to stay within my comfort zone. This meant that I spent a significant amount of time in my apartment. And if I convinced myself otherwise, within the bounds of Westwood Village. Fear of my surroundings and fear of change prevented me from learning more about where I would be residing for at least the next two years, if not more.

It took me my first quarter to finally venture beyond my usual route of class, apartment and the occasional grocery shopping.

I picked a Monday. For no other reason than that I really craved Diddy Riese ice-cream. I’d never gone before, and I finally admit to myself, I had no idea about what else there was in the village besides Trader Joe’s and Target. In reality, I just went down the elevator and walked towards Fox Theaters. But I felt an almost comical freedom at the thought of exploring the littlest part of Los Angeles on my own. I got my mint chocolate chip ice cream, even wandered through Whole Foods (that I had forgotten existed) and even mapped out the streets of Westwood Village.

Even understanding the basic layout of the little neighborhood I was a part of gave me the confidence to find coffee shops to work at, and restaurants to meet with friends at. My work ethic changed significantly. Instead of burrowing myself in work at the same desk, in the same living room, I walked downstairs to finish a paper or annotate a book. I even finished short stories I had placed on hold. I don’t believe I had a particularly unique experience with my exploration. But the one day I decided that I desperately needed ice-cream allowed me to feel more comfortable with where I was going to study and learn to live alone.

The clichéd statement wise people dole out, “step outside of your comfort zone,” contains some truth. Literally stepping outside of one’s comfort zone and expanding on one’s familiarity can change the way one works, the way one thinks and can even help one learn to love their new home.

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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Better Not Bitter

"Let your past make you better, not bitter."

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After completing my junior year at Iowa State, I have found myself reflecting on a lot of the experiences and people who have helped me get to the point I am at today. Family obviously comes to mind, followed by my friends, my sorority sisters, my boyfriend, my professors, and my mentors. I am able to contribute a lot of my success to their support and compassion that they have shown me throughout my past three years. I am also able to contribute my success to the woman I have grown to be and to the woman I have always wanted to be. You see, three years ago, the woman I was was buried in a toxic relationship that didn't allow me to flourish into the woman I was striving to be.

Let me take a step back, this article is not meant to bash the person who it is about. In fact, it's more of a thank you. Because you see, without him letting go of me, I would have never taken the leaps and bounds out of my comfort zone to become the woman I am so damn proud to be today. This is also not meant to say that I am I glad I was in such a toxic relationship, it was honestly so terrible that I wouldn't wish it upon anyone but I am in fact, thankful. I learned more from that relationship that I have in anything else in my life.

First, I learned to be a fighter, and not in a bad way. I learned to stand up for myself and what I believe in. I have become vocal about my passions and stand up for people when they are treated wrong. I no longer let people walk all over me, but rather I stand my ground firmly and confidently. Thank you.

Second, I learned to be fierce. Fierce in love, kindness, compassion, and willpower. I believe in my abilities and the things I am able to accomplish if I set my mind to something. I have learned that in being fierce, there is absolutely no time to doubt myself which has worked greatly in my favor. I learned that demanding respect in all relationships I have formed has been about me making the decision to make myself a priority and learning to never settle for any less than I deserve, ever again. Thank you.

Third, I learned compassion. I learned to be kind to the other woman, and mostly, to the person who chose to hurt me. It took everything in me to remain kind while I was being hurt, but I am so thankful that I stayed true to the values and morals I was raised on. I have carried this with me throughout the past three years by choosing to show compassion to all people around me, and looking deeper into the reasons behind the actions and decisions that people make. Often times there is something going on behind closed doors and because of that, it is important to always, always radiate kindness. Thank you.

I wanted to extend my gratitude to the person who hurt me because if you hadn't, I wouldn't be the badass, boss girl, powerful woman that I am today. I am confident, smart, loving, and fully capable of giving and receiving the kindest, most sincere kind of love. My life has changed for the better, and I wouldn't change a single thing. I wish you the best, because let me tell ya, it feels great.

By the way, if you ever feel like you deserve better than what you're receiving in a relationship, trust your gut & walk the hell away. It's worth it.

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Internet outraged at Delhi Aunty for Sl*t Shaming

Public outrage - justified or an overreaction?

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When the topic of sexual violence against women arises, women are often held responsible - because of how they dress, or how they behave, or even if they have a voice. A recent incident in Delhi showed that the mindset of people has not changed. In a video posted by Shivani Gupta, a middle-aged woman is seen defending her claim, "Women wearing short dresses deserve to be raped."

This backward mentality surrounding rape and rape culture is horrifying to see. The middle-aged woman first shamed them for wearing short clothes and when she was confronted, she told them "they deserved to get raped." She made things worse when she told other men in the restaurant to rape such women who wear short clothes.

Shivani and her friends later confronted this woman while taking the video. They wanted a public apology for her statement and followed her around. The older woman stood by her statement. Fair enough. They felt threatened by her statements and wanted an apology for her actions. The older lady, however, was brazen about her ideologies and refused to apologize. In fact, she threatened to call the cops for harassment.

The woman who made the regressive statements. Shivani Gupta

While the anger and outrage by the women who uploaded this video are justified, several questions are being raised on whether the older woman was later harassed for her statements. Public shaming is not the way to solve this issue.

"We cannot dismantle a culture of shaming by participating in it." - Rega Jha.

Now, I believe that nobody must engage in victim shaming. Nobody has the right to police the outfit one wishes to wear. It is astonishing to believe that even in the 21st century, people still believe that an outfit determines the morality and character of a person. That older woman was wrong to sl*t-shame the girls for wearing what they want. That being said, even though what that woman did was horrible, public shaming will not work. It will not change the mindset behind these ideologies. What that older woman did was akin to bullying. Publicly shaming her, stalking her facebook account or posting comments or by coercing her, you are also behaving in the same manner of bullying.

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