Focusing On Yourself Once In A While Doesn't Mean You're Selfish

Focusing On Yourself Once In A While Doesn't Mean You're Selfish

Doing more for me than ever before.
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Throughout my whole life I have always been the "yes man."

If someone asked me to do something, I would do it even if I had fifteen other things to do that week. I have always tried to make other people happy.

If my sister had a cheerleading competition, I would miss hanging out with my friends to go to it. If my friend wanted to go one place and I wanted to go another place, we would go where they wanted to go. If someone needed a paper edited and I had three papers of my own to write, I would put their needs first. And I do not regret one single bit of any of that. Yes, it made my life stressful at times, but it was worth seeing them happy.

But now it is time for me to be selfish.

This is my last year of college and I have a lot to do. The fact of the matter is my life is unfolding before my eyes and I can't miss out on it. I have to do what I need to do in order to better myself. If you don't put forth the effort to talk to me or try to see me, you probably won't see me.

It's not because I don't care, it's just because I'm busy. I don't have time to worry about whose feelings will get hurt if I don't check in on them every few days. I keep up with most of y'all on Facebook and that is the beauty of social media. When I get five minutes out of my day, I check to see what my long lest friends are up to. I still see y'all out there slaying life.

I have had to learn to say no when I really don't have time to do something. This has stepped on a lot of toes and made a lot of people upset, but I can't help it. If I have 17 assignments due this week, I'm sorry, but I really don't have time to go out with you. Don't get mad at me when I put school before your need for adventure.

You know how if a plane is crashing you're supposed to put on your oxygen mask before you try to help other people? That's what I'm doing. If I don't finish school and get my life sorted out, then I'm not going to be any help to anyone. I have to make sure my priorities are straight and right now school is my number one.

If you're mad at me because I don't talk to you every day or because I just haven't called you in a while, sorry but I'm really not sorry. Right now my priorities are on other things, but once my life calms down, I'll be sure to get to you. Just please be patient with me while I stumble through my last year of college.

This is my last year to be selfish before I start a real job and begin thinking about starting a family. So please understand that I need to do me right now. Once I get those degrees, I'll help you with whatever you need. But for now, I need you to be okay with the fact that I am focusing on me.
Cover Image Credit: http://iancleary.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/relaxing.jpg

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Bailey Posted A Racist Tweet, But That Does NOT Mean She Deserves To Be Fat Shamed

As a certified racist, does she deserve to be fat shamed?
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This morning, I was scrolling though my phone, rotating between Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Snapchat again, ignoring everyone's snaps but going through all the Snapchat subscription stories before stumbling on a Daily Mail article that piqued my interest. The article was one about a teen, Bailey, who was bullied for her figure, as seen on the snap below and the text exchange between Bailey and her mother, in which she begged for a change of clothes because people were making fun of her and taking pictures.

Like all viral things, quickly after her text pictures and harassing snaps surfaced, people internet stalked her social media. But, after some digging, it was found that Bailey had tweeted some racist remark.

Now, some are saying that because Bailey was clearly racist, she is undeserving of empathy and deserves to be fat-shamed. But does she? All humans, no matter how we try, are prejudiced in one way or another. If you can honestly tell me that you treat everyone with an equal amount of respect after a brief first impression, regardless of the state of their physical hygiene or the words that come out of their mouth, either you're a liar, or you're actually God. Yes, she tweeted some racist stuff. But does that mean that all hate she receives in all aspects of her life are justified?

On the other hand, Bailey was racist. And what comes around goes around. There was one user on Twitter who pointed out that as a racist, Bailey was a bully herself. And, quite honestly, everyone loves the downfall of the bully. The moment the bullies' victims stop cowering from fear and discover that they, too, have claws is the moment when the onlookers turn the tables and start jeering the bully instead. This is the moment the bully completely and utterly breaks, feeling the pain of their victims for the first time, and for the victims, the bully's demise is satisfying to watch.

While we'd all like to believe that the ideal is somewhere in between, in a happy medium where her racism is penalized but she also gets sympathy for being fat shamed, the reality is that the ideal is to be entirely empathetic. Help her through her tough time, with no backlash.

Bullies bully to dominate and to feel powerful. If we tell her that she's undeserving of any good in life because she tweeted some racist stuff, she will feel stifled and insignificant and awful. Maybe she'll also want to make someone else to feel as awful as she did for some random physical characteristic she has. Maybe, we might dehumanize her to the point where we feel that she's undeserving of anything, and she might forget the preciousness of life. Either one of the outcomes is unpleasant and disturbing and will not promote healthy tendencies within a person.

Instead, we should make her feel supported. We all have bad traits about ourselves, but they shouldn't define us. Maybe, through this experience, she'll realize how it feels to be prejudiced against based off physical characteristics. After all, it is our lowest points, our most desperate points in life, that provide us with another perspective to use while evaluating the world and everyone in it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter / Bailey

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Cross-Country Running Turned Me Into Superwoman

Running pulled me out of my everyday funk.

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Before I found the key to my personal success, waking up each morning was a drag. I did not know how to change my negativity. Early every morning my alarm clock would scream at its highest pitch and loudest volume to scold me for existing.

Breakfast (the most important meal of the day) was bland, lifeless, or even just skipped completely. There seemed no point in fueling a broken, run-down engine.

Packing up my heavy, oversized backpack was an everyday annoyance. I would swing my worthless school textbooks over my shoulder, beginning another exhausting day.

I destroyed this negative mindset when I found cross-country running. Introduced to me by a close friend, I had no idea that the sport would soon ameliorate my life.

Today, I wake up before my alarm clock even needs to tell me that it is time to start a new and exciting day of learning and improvement.

Breakfast is of utmost importance. A vigorous, motivated running machine needs nutrients for fuel. I look at myself in the mirror as I tie my hair back; I feel beautiful and capable. Most importantly, I know I can take on anything.

With my running shoes tied tight and my muscles thoroughly stretched and warmed up, I burst out of the door. I hold my head up high and roll my shoulders back, assuming the posture of a powerful superhero. With each stride I beat down upon the ground, leaving clouds of dust behind. My heartbeat is jolted as my legs push forward with power; straining my body. Cramps crawl up my sides, begging me to slow down or stop. They tighten their grip when I refuse to abandon my mission. I feel my overexerted heartbeat burst through my clenching ribcage while my laboring lungs wheeze.

When I put all my energy into keeping the steady rhythm of my feet launching off from the ground, when my breath flows deeply and steadily, then and only then am I able to become greater than any issue or shortcoming. I no longer need to rely on anyone; I just need my running shoes, my body, and my motivation.

This endorphin and adrenaline releasing exercise put me in a positive mindset, motivating me to make other self-improvements. I know I can focus all my energy into running dexterously; holding my pace for over an hour with great confidence. Therefore, I know I must have the ability to sit down for an hour and focus on understanding my calculus homework, on discovering the meaning of life, on writing a book powerful enough to change the world, on finding the answer to world peace or writing my first article for Odyssey.

I hold the same mantra: just keep going, focus your energy, you can and will achieve.

Running has taught me how to focus the entirety of my energy into one task - to not worry how long it takes to accomplish, but rather how well the task is being done. Being proficient in this skill helps me absorb more knowledge from everyday classes.

This life-enhancing sport has truly changed my overall mood and feeling towards the world around me. I look forward to finding myself completely immersed in challenging college courses, discovering fields that captivate me, and continuing to write for Odyssey. Running has taught me that this goal will be achievable.

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