I Learned The Most About Myself, While Being By Myself

I Learned The Most About Myself, While Being By Myself

Being alone doesn't mean you're lonely.

Sure, this quote is so cliché, "you learn the most about yourself while being by yourself" and I absolutely hate cliché sayings, however I'm going to have to reiterate this one and dedicate an entire article to it in hope for everyone to understand there are positive aspects of being alone that many people overlook.

I learned to like/appreciate alone time

I used to always think I was the most myself while in a big group or with my close friends or my significant other, which all may be true cases, however, I lacked spending time with myself and realizing I can appreciate myself with others not around too. In my last relationship, I constantly wanted to spend time with my partner which didn't always work out. In this case, it was easy to get down on myself and feel lonely, or when all my friends would say they're busy I would sometimes take it personally. I've just recently had the realization that I don't always have to be doing something to be happy. In fact, since spending more time on my own I realized I am comfortable with science and don't need the voice of others to keep me company. I appreciate the moments now when I can just plan my own day and live it without the worrying of what others may be doing. There are so many activities that involve major me time that I didn't appreciate while being in a relationship, like going for runs, listening to music, taking baths, and writing.

I learned to appreciate my friends more

As nice as it is having a boyfriend/girlfriend, it is much nicer surround yourself with friends. Your friends are the people who literally put up with all your crap and still chose to spend time with you, compliment you, and make sure you are at your best always. While boyfriends and girlfriends can do all those things there is still a major difference between the relationship a friend can offer. Being in a relationship it is so easy to spend the majority of your free time together and even though it might not seem like it, we put our friends to the side when it comes to dividing our time with one another. This is one of the things I regret most out of my past relationships. I didn't realize I was doing it in the moment but I will admit I chose my relationships over my friends in many situations and I wish I didn't. I wish I would have focused more time with my friends creating memories while we're still young because I have the rest of my life to find a man to live with and spend my life with. Friendships are so important especially at a young age because there are so many fun things to do that only friends can share the moments with. I want to look back at photos and memories when I'm old and see my friends to bring back the good memories not see my ex-boyfriends and bring back bad ones and feel awkward. I now appreciate how patient my friends have been with me as I never liked to listen to them and take their advice, trust me when I say your friends really do know best. I appreciate the times I would vent to them about all my problems and they would listen for hours. I appreciate all their extra effort they would put into making me feel better because of stupid boys and I realize how annoying I may have been but this all is just another reminder of how much my friends care about me and how lucky I am.

I learned to love myself more

Being in a relationship it is so easy to rely on your significant other and hope they give you love and affection but sometimes that fades and when it does it sucks. It sucks relying on someone to boost your self-confidence and no one should have to rely on anyone in that way. The best way to boost self-confidence is simply by promoting self-love. I've learned that no matter who has walked in and walked out of my life I will no longer let anyone affect the way that I feel about myself. It's easy to think certain ways about ourselves because of the things other people say to us or the way they treat us, but that is a crazy way of living life. I've learned we should live our lives to please only ourselves because at the end of the day that is who will be there for you. In life, there is so much pressure to fit a certain standard and my mind has now completely squashed that Idea. The only standard I want to fit is my own, no boys, no girls just my own. In fact, I don't even have certain standards that I now want to make because I respect myself enough to know what I deserve. I love the way I look at life and the views I have especially more so now that I have no one to disagree with them, or at least I won't allow anyone to. Loving yourself is 100 percent not selfish and 100 percent necessary to live life happy.

I learned I am mature for my age which is a blessing and a curse

I think I've always had a leader type personality, and in a relationship, this can be looked down on. Ending relationships is never fun, the encounters are awkward and exes try and make each other jealous however this was never my forte. I was taught to always love people and to never hate and I carried that over into my relationships and ending of them as well. Coming out of my relationships, I've learned not everyone has the same mindset I do and situations have been blown out of proportion because of hate and jealousy and basically just an immature way of handling things. It sucks being so mature for my age because I then get mocked and laughed at by people my age, not many people my age handle things in the way I do but I know I am handling things in the right way. Even though I don't get to make sassy comments and say things that are funny and immature I am proud of how I handle issues and carry myself.

I learned I don't need someone else to live my life happily

It's always nice to have someone to tell everything to, to cuddle up to, and to do life with, but if you haven't found the right person for you yet that's OK too. I always depend on people too much and like attention but I'm starting to realize I don't need the attention of others to feel happy and worth something. I like being able to do things on my own, work on my own and make myself proud. It's nice to tell people how proud I am of myself and it doesn't have to be a significant other I have realized. I know I have a great support system of friends and family and now even from myself feeling the most confident I have been in a while. I feel as if though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that I don't rely on anyone else or have to constantly keep up with someone who wasn't trying to keep up with me. I am proud of the person I have become and I am happy to learn even more about myself and especially learn to love myself before I love anyone else.

Cover Image Credit: Sierra Gardner

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It's Time For The #MeToo Movement To Apologize

The question is — is it OK to question victims of sexual assault?

Last weekend Babe published a story in which a now 23-year-old Brooklyn-based photographer named "Grace" reported that comedian, actor, and writer Aziz Ansari had coerced her into sexual acts and assaulted her several days after meeting at a 2017 Emmy Awards after-party. In the article, Grace claims she was "taken advantage of" by the recent Golden Globe winner (who ironically — or not so ironically — wore a Time's Up movement pin, a women-led organization which seeks to end sexual harassment and violence in the workplace) and that the date was "by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had."

Soon after the publication of the piece, Ansari began receiving backlash as the article was read and shared by millions of people online, prompting swift action by those associated with the #MeToo movement, and a potential career-ending impact to life as the comedian once knew it. Ansari is most well known for his stint on "Parks and Recreation" as the outspoken and know-it-all of all things dating (cue "treat yo self!" moment) Tom Haverford.

He has also become known for his rather famous stance on feminism, sex, and consent, showcased in his best-selling book "Modern Romance." In January, Ansari spoke out against sexual harassment in Hollywood after accepting the Globe for Best Male Lead for Netflix's award-winning show Master of None which has been praised for it's cultural and sexual diversity.

In other words, Ansari has pretty much based his career on feminism and the empowerment of women, often basing much of his standup comedy routines around the very subject. That's why, to many people's disbelief, it came as a shock when Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct. How could a man that had become famous for being a "woke" alternative to the traditional male, treat a woman in the way the article described?

This very notion of indicting men based on rather unscrupulous claims seems to be a trend in society. Just saying names like Weinstein, Spacey or Lauer that had once been recognized as symbols of Hollywood elite, glamour, and northeastern family values is now enough to send shivers down the spine of any feminist just as much as it bothers those who have any inkling of indecision in their voices to see another surname added to the list.

The "Time's Up" movement started as an offshoot of Twitter's #MeToo, which became somewhat of a social media victory stemming from investigative reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor's scathing New York Time's expose on that once famous film producer. Along with The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow, the trio was able to paint a portrait of a serial predator who used his position to prey upon young women. In what was originally intended to shed light on the very serious issue of sexual assault faced by both women and men has since turned into an all-out war against the male stigma.

I have no problem with the initial intentions of the movement, I for one can even say ditto to all those women who proudly say "me too." I have been there. I have experienced it firsthand. I am saying that at some point this has to come to an end. The name-calling and the idea that because a man was simply acting off of another's perceived actions, that one must pay with their career by vindictive claims.

Although people have come out in protest of Ansari's actions, by which I am not saying are entirely excusable, several writers have stepped up to support the comedian. The Times op-ed, " Aziz Ansari Is Guilty. Of Not Being a Mind Reader," by writer Bari Weiss, claims that Babe's article is "arguably the worst thing that has happened to the #MeToo movement" since it began, and implies that Ansari's accuser is to blame for finding herself in a situation in which she felt uncomfortable.

HLN's Ashleigh Banfield wrote an open letter to Ansari's accuser, asking Grace to reflect on what she claimed was the "worst night of her life." Banfield says, "This was not a rape, nor was it sexual assault. Your encounter was unpleasant." She continues, "you had a bad date with Aziz Ansari. Is that what victimized you to the point of seeking a public conviction and career-ending conviction against him? Is that truly what you thought he deserved for your night out?"

This has become the problem with the #MeToo and Time's Up movements. Innocent men who have only acted as would nearly every other man are being publically shamed and ridiculed for something that had seemed consensual at the time. At no point in Grace's experience did she verbally say no. She continued to go to Ansari's apartment, perform oral sex and get naked with him. This was all done consensually. At no time did she leave when she felt uncomfortable. She was not raped. She was not sexually assaulted. It's time for women to stop claiming their consensual non-romantic encounters as sexual assault.

The Atlantic published a similar defense of Ansari this week with its article "The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari." Atlantic Contributing Editor Caitlin Flanagan writes, "Was Grace frozen, terrified, stuck? No... Perhaps she hoped to maybe even become the famous man’s girlfriend. He wasn’t interested. What she felt afterward — rejected yet another time, by yet another man — was regret."

The question is — is it OK to question victims of sexual assault?

In my unpopular opinion, yes.

As hard as it is, it is just as important as questioning the perpetrator. That is the sad part. These movements that were once a source for good have turned into a witch hunt, and in a time where we should be celebrating both women and men who are courageous enough to speak out against these vile acts, we must also question them.

Aziz Ansari did not sexually assault Grace, and because of her very public actions against him, he will now suffer for the rest of his life. #MeToo has turned into a grey area in which people may see events misconstrued as a crime instead of a bad date or cringe-worthy sexual experience. Men and women need to be taught that there is no vagueness when it comes to consensual sex. It is either yes or no. At the same time, when one is feeling uncomfortable, action should be taken on both ends to stop anything from moving forward.

Bad dates, experiences and regretted sexual encounters are by no means cause to claim sexual harassment or assault. What Grace and Babe have done is disgraceful and a slap to the face to any woman or man who has truly experienced sexual assault. Babe's article is bringing the progress made by so many brave people to a screeching halt and is giving me and many others a reason to question it's true intentions.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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10 Thoughts All Non-Athletic People Have While Participating In Athletic Things

We are not made for this whole "fitness" thing.

When I was younger, I ran track, danced, and played city league soccer. As time went on, like most, my studies became more important and I slowly reduced myself to just the color guard in marching band and dance. My senior year I was down to doing nothing.

50 pounds later, I'm here at college, participating in a boxing class twice a week and the occasional Zumba class. While I'm not totally fit, I am definitely not nearly as built as I was in high school. Exercise used to be fun, but now I just feel like I'm dying. I believe that I speak for all of us unathletic people when I sum up the thoughts that go through my head.

1. This won't be that bad!

I mean, just look at those cute little puppies running! There is no way that it can be that bad when they look that happy. I mean, they're dogs, if a dog can do it, so can I!

2. OK... this is intimidating

OK... she's totally built and perfect, but hey, everyone had to start out somewhere... right? I'm sure she looked just like me before she looked like that.

3. Pure confusion

This is right... I think? I am doing this right. Maybe I'm doing this right. Are people staring at me? Is it supposed to feel like this? Oh... I am TOTALLY not doing this right.

4. Exercise isn't even that bad, why did I complain?

Hey, I'm actually feeling pretty good! I don't get why I was even complaining about it earlier. My heart is pumping, the endorphins are going, it's awesome!!

5. Yeah, this is great!

*Eye of the Tiger* plays

6. Exhaustion begins to set in

OK, so maybe this isn't all that fun. My muscle hurt, my head hurts, I want to just lay down right now. I think I'm starting to remember why I didn't want to do this in the first place.

7. Possibly death?

Nope. Nope. Nope.

8. Sudden revival

I am literally unstoppable. I don't even know why I was tired earlier. I have enough energy to run 4 marathons!

9. Actual death

Yeah. I'm done.

10. That's never happening again

I am perfectly content with never stepping foot into another gym the rest of my life.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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