I'm Grateful I Wasn't Famous as a Teenager

I'm Grateful I Wasn't Famous as a Teenager

I avoided being a child star train wreck.

Since I can remember, I've always had aspirations to be famous. From performing shows in my living room, singing along to the radio and to the Land Before Time series, playing dress up, copying choreography I saw on television. I had performing in my soul long before I was aware of what I was doing.

I was convinced in my wishful young mind I was going to be an award winning star before I was 18. But life handed me many heavy blows before I was 18. I was sexually abused during my childhood and it wasn't until I was 15 when I started dealing with the aftermath. Anxious, traumatized, depressed, Hollywood was still on my mind, but I felt so vulnerable that my dreams of stardom were put on the back burner.

My anxiety got so increasingly bad that it seemed every little thing would set me off: somebody being rude to me, somebody cancelling on me, everything would either have me in tears or holding onto it forever. I didn't leave the house, staying safe in my room. The Industry requires thick skin, thick skin I had yet to gain. I was ultra sensitive, fragile.

I was painfully insecure: I had braces, glasses, bangs, acne, and my body slowly started developing its womanly curves. I always thought I was ugly, cursing out my reflection, always thinking I was fat, obsessing over wearing makeup outside of the house. I was awkward and just couldn't get comfortable in my body. Hollywood is obsessed with appearances and pictures will always be taken of you, whether you want it or not. Magazines photoshopping gorgeous women, then criticizing them for gaining weight, the mean comments on YouTube and social media calling them ugly and wishing they would die. Now that I'm older and more secure and comfortable with myself, I believe I can tune out most of the negativity. As an insecure teenager, the bullying and criticism would've eventually gotten to me and I hate to think what would've happened to the impressionable me.

If I had been famous then, I most likely would've ended up an out of control child star: partying with celebrities I admired, having public meltdowns, letting my anxieties cancel appearances, my insecurity leading to me compromising my image. I probably would've walked out during concerts (Axl Rose style), go on unapologetic, scandalous rants on Twitter. It's safe to say God was doing me a favor not making me a celebrity that young.

At my 16th birthday party, I was incredibly anxious, sensitive to every little thing. From people leaving early, people being rude, people not showing up, my sweet 16 was such a big deal to a dramatic teenager. I was singing at the party, and ended up kicking two people out of the party for being rude and trying to upstage me during my performance (drama queen, I know). I ended up pulling an Axl Rose and dropping the mic, storming off in tears. My friends comforted me and told me to sing again, don't worry about stupid boys being mean. After that pep talk, back up I went, singing through my glittery tears. Looking back, if I had been a celebrity at this point, the meltdowns like this would've occurred more often, way more publicly. I'm grateful now that this was my worst on-stage moment, hopefully it remains my worst (knock on wood).

I'm now 24, on medication to help my anxiety, comfortable with myself and my past, and have a much clearer mind. I still dream of being famous, and I'm worker harder than I ever have to make that happen. I want to be a bestselling writer, actor, rock pop singer/songwriter, and advocate for mental health awareness and bring awareness to sexual violence and domestic violence. Maybe all the turmoil I went through was to prepare me for the limelight, and if that's the case, then it was all worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Lindsey Daggett

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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