Leave It On Read

Leave It On Read

Surround yourself with moments that make you forget to check you phone.
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We live in a crazy world where constant communication is almost expected. You send a text and you expect a response within minutes. If we don’t get this message right away, we send another hoping for a response. Our phones also have this “wonderful” thing that tells us when someone reads a message or has opened a snap. This is the way we are living our lives. Somehow the person leaving you on read is the “problem”, but in reality, that’s not the problem. Look up out of your device and see the world. Here are some reasons to give it sometime before you respond.

Live in the moment

Chances are when you go somewhere special, you are so glued to your phone,=that you forget to look around you. That message will still be there when you look back down, but that beautiful mountain range might not be. It’s okay to open the message if you want to know what it says, but you can leave it unanswered in order to look around. You could see something that makes you laugh harder than you’ve ever laughed. Truly living in every second allows you to deeply enjoy life and find yourself!

Dead Conversation

When the conversation dies, open and don’t respond. No need to keep sending emojis back and forth. You don’t need to have constant contact with someone to stay friends when them. When the conversation dies, leave the message and come back to it later! It’s okay to take a break from talking. If you take a break from talking, maybe you’ll find something to talk about! This makes for more meaningful conversations and less pointless conversations.

Become unattached

Think about how much time you are spending on your cell phone in a day. If you spend this much time doing anything else you'd be called an addict.... well the truth is... You are addicted! We constantly look towards our phone for comfort. The idea of being lost in this virtual world rules our lives. Learn to become unattached from that pocket size device. I am by no means saying ditch it all together, but you are allowed to open a text and not respond. Life isn’t about immediately giving peoples' responses. If you learn to not touch your phone as much, you will find more time in your day. When you become unattached from your phone, your life becomes more important. You learn to communicate more with the people you see because you didn’t tell them everything over text. Becoming unattached and leaving that time stamp on a message is hard, but you'll become happier with your life.

Keep yourself busy

This world is always moving and going and sometimes it gets super busy. When life gets busy, these are the moments we need to put our phones down and be okay with the little red circles on our phones. Every message you share with someone is important in some way, but when life gets busy, it’s okay to text back later. If the person truly cares about you, they will be okay with getting a text later. Keeping yourself busy in life is good. It means you're experiencing things and doing things with your life.

Don't wait around for messages. That person might be out enjoying their life and you should be too. Follow the read and go rule. Read the message and go on about your business. Respond later when you have really thought about what to say, and when you've really enjoyed life for yourself.

Also, learn to be okay with being left on read. Not getting a text back right away is nothing against you! It simply means that person has other things going on. We need to learn that in this world if we don’t get an immediate response, we wait. Waiting for a period of time is okay. Don’t ask the person for an explanation of why they didn’t text back when they come back, don’t assume what they were doing.

Just allow them to tell you if you want. Learn to be patient, let this idea teach you patience. When you get a response back from being left on read, pick it up and read it, but then put it right back down and continue what you were doing. Also, life keeps going even if you never get a response.

If you learn to put your phone down, more your life becomes more joyous. People will learn to be okay with not getting a text back from you right away, and when they do, it makes them happy. Be okay with not sending the blue message back, or seeing a box on the screen. Leaving someone on read isn’t rude, it’s just simply choosing to enjoy life over staring at a screen.

“Make yourself a priority, because at the end of the day you are your longest commitment.”

Cover Image Credit: Kendall Gatewood

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10 Things You Need To Stop Saying To Girls With Tattoos

Mind your own business and life will be gravy.
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What is it about other people that make them feel entitled to tell you how to live your life or what to put on your body. If it's parents or another close family member and you aren't in a state to make the rational decisions for yourself, that is one thing... But if you are perfectly capable to think and act on your own, who are they to stop you?

I have four tattoos right now, do I want more? Yes. Will I get more in the future? More than likely. Should you tell me that I shouldn't? No.

1. But you're so pretty...

Is this a roundabout way to insult me? Because I wouldn't look the same with or without the tattoos? Because having tattoos somehow makes women less pretty? Whatever you're getting at, please stop.

2. I don't understand the meaning of your tattoo.

That's okay because it isn't for you to understand. That is why it is on my body. I understand the meaning, and the ones I care enough about to explain it to also understand the meaning, therefore, you don't need to.

3. Aren't you worried about them sagging or running together or becoming unrecognizable when you are older?

No, no I am not. They do and always will hold a special meaning in my heart, whether you can tell what it is or not. I will always know. It is no secret that the older you get the more the skin sags. If you care that much, then I'll just show you pictures of what they used to look like, and it will give me a good way to reminisce about my younger days.

4. Do you only date guys with tattoos?

No, I don't. But, it just so happens that my boyfriend has one, and we have been together since before either one of us got tattoos. He did actually get a little hotter after the fact, but that is beside the point.

5. Did it hurt?

No, I just had a needle being rapidly punctured into my skin at who knows how many times per second.

YES, it hurts.

But, not for long, and to me, that might even be the appeal of getting tattoos because it is nice to feel pain every once in a while to remind ourselves we are all human and we all bleed red.

Yes, depending on the spot and your body type sometimes you bleed. I got my first tattoo on my rib cage, and I got my second tattoo a short few months later, not to say they didn't hurt but for me, the end result outweighs the pain in that moment.

Pain is temporary, but tattoos are forever.

6. What do your parents think?

Whatever they want to think, honestly. Luckily, I'm fortunate enough to have parents who love me for who I am regardless of my tattoos.

With that being said, they all have tattoos themselves.

They can give me their opinion on the design I choose, but at the end of the day, I am an adult and they aren't going to love me any less if I were to get a tattoo that is not appealing to them.

7. You're going to have such a hard time finding a job.

Actually, I have a job, I know plenty of people in their "adult" jobs that have tattoos and mine are all easily covered if the problem ever arises. Also, you don't know me or my career goals so once again, who are you to tell me about my life?

8. I'm thinking of getting [insert tattoo here], what do you think?

You do you, boo boo. If you like it, GREAT. If it has or doesn't have meaning to you, also GREAT. I don't want you telling me or judging me on the tattoos I decide to put on my body, so I'm sure as hell not going to do it to you.

I may not think it would be good to put on my body, but once again, I am not the one getting it, you are... So have at it!

9. Why would you waste your money on those things?

Idk Sarah, why do you waste money on that expensive ass bottle of liquor knowing it's going to be gone in a few hours, and you will feel like crap the next day? At least mine is permanent and makes me feel empowered ALL THE TIME, unlike your alcohol, that is temporary.

10. When are you going to stop?

When are you?

They all have a very special meaning to me. I won't get a tattoo that doesn't have meaning to me but I WILL NOT judge you for doing it. Because who am I to tell you what to do with your own body. So stop saying these things to women.

Mind ya own business and life will be gravy.

Cover Image Credit: Kayce Davis

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This One’s For Africa

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Read through to the end for an amazing Toto reference.

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It's now been a week since I stepped foot on the African continent for the first time in my life. I first visited Johannesburg, where my dad and I spent a day on an 'apartheid tour.'

This tour consisted of visiting Shanty Town, one of the poorest communities in South Africa. The living conditions were indeed different. They had to steal electricity through homemade wires connected to the telephone poles. They had only a few porta potties for ten families to share. They had several spickets to obtain fresh water from. There was no heating in the houses, which were made from pieces of painted aluminum.

Such inconvenient circumstances have come from years of oppression towards black people in South Africa. It was incredibly sad to know that these problems still exist and that apartheid only ended so recently.

On the other hand, the people showed very little anger. Despite their living situations, the people of Shanty Town were so kind and welcoming. Everyone we passed smiled and waved, often even saying hello or asking about our wellbeing.

It brought some serious warmth to our hearts to see their sense of community. Everyone was in it together, and no man was left behind. They created jobs and opportunities for one another. They supported each other.

The next part of the day included a tour of Nelson Mandela's old house. We then made a trip to the Apartheid Museum.

Overall, Johannesburg did not disappoint. The city contains a rich history that human beings as a whole can learn a lot from. Johannesburg is a melting pot that still contains a multitude of issues concerning racism and oppression of certain cultures.

After two days in Johannesburg, my family made our way to Madikwe game reserve, where we stayed at Jaci's Lodge.

The safari experience was absolutely incredible. Quite cold (it's winter in Africa right now), but amazing enough to make up for the shivering. We saw all my favorite animals: giraffes galore, elephants, zebras, impalas, lions, hyenas, wildebeests, rhinos, you name it. While my favorite animal will always be the giraffe, I don't think any sighting could beat when two different herds of elephants passed through a watering hole to fuel up on a drink.

Finally on June 1st, I flew to George to start my program with Africa Media in Mossel Bay. On Sunday, we went on an 'elephant walk.'

The safari was certainly cool, but that makes the elephant walk ice cold. We got to walk alongside two male elephants - one was 25, the other 18. They were so cute!! We got to stroke their skin, trunk, and tusks. They had their own little personalities and were so excited to receive treats (fruits and vegetables) at the end of the journey.

My heart couldn't be more full. Africa, you have become my favorite continent. And it sure is going to take a lot to drag me away from you.

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