Finding Yourself, Finding Your Soulmate

My Journal to Self Discovery: Day One

Finding myself again....

Fran
Fran
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Dedication: I would like to dedicate this piece to one of the most influential people in my life. This person happens to be my cousin's wife, Shawnae. I've known her for six years this July. I'm lead to believe we have the relationship we do because we are so incredibly similar. I am eternally grateful that I have been given the opportunity to have her as part of my life.

Those of you who are friends with me on social media know I'm taking a break from social media to try and focus on myself. I am currently on day two and I'm amazed. As part of working on myself, I've started a podcast series The Girl Kind broadcasted by Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth.

Now let's back up just a little—why now? Some of you are probably thinking. After another failed attempt at trying to get out on the dating scene again; I had a very serious conversation about not seeking out love and letting it happen. Those of you who know me personally; know that I am a very strong-willed, independent, and stubborn young woman with severe anxiety.

Something I also know, I feel pressure from myself and society to work on finding "the one" and getting married. This has led me to force myself to try to find someone to spend the rest of my life with. The outcome usually leaves me heartbroken and devastated. I am a caregiver and a nurture—so I tend to tell myself, "If I just give it time–they will see that I am valuable girlfriend material even though they aren't looking for a relationship." Trying to fix these men, even though they didn't need to be fixed.

One of my favorite parts of Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth's podcast series is when she talks about social media and the validation we seek from the "likes" and "comments" on social media along with how addictive it can become; while it's okay to seek validation from others you must find it within yourself first because you won't always have others to help you feel validated. I found this part of the podcast extremely inspiring considering I recently decided to take a step back from social media to find myself so I can eventually find myself and eventually find my soulmate.

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Dear Taylor Swift, Christians Are Not Homophobic Bigots, Sincerely, The Majority Of Christians

Taylor, you need to calm down when talking about how most Christians act.

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When Taylor Swift released her newest single "You Need to Calm Down" last Friday, I didn't agree with the entire message of the song, mainly because of its heavy political overtones. But as the great Dick Clark once said, "It's got a good beat, and you can dance to it." So, for what it is, it's really easy to dance to this song, and I can see it becoming a pretty big hit.

But then the video came out, and I saw something that really bothered me.

In the music video for "You Need to Calm Down", Taylor is seen partying and hanging out with multiple LGBT+ icons in honor of Pride Month, such as the hosts of Queer Eye, RuPaul, and Ellen Degeneres. There's also a moment with Taylor, dressed as French fries, renewing her friendship with Katy Perry, who's dressed as a hamburger, which is as amazing as it sounds.

However, there's another cast of characters which acts as a foil to the happiness and colorful joy which is taking place in the video. There's a group of protesters surrounding the trailer park where Taylor and all her friends live. They're all dirty, buck-toothed, and dressed like your typical redneck stereotypes. They're also holding up protest signs while screaming at everyone in the trailer park. I saw one of the signs said something about Adam and Eve, and I realized most of the protesters were most likely meant to represent Christians.

And that...didn't sit well with me at all.

I know that these people never explicitly said they were Christians in the video, none of them even wore a cross. But, whenever someone sees anyone protesting rallies and organizations such as Pride, I can guarantee you that most of the time, the first thing people think is that they're from the Westboro Baptist Church, which is notorious for its protests. And I won't lie, there are some Christians who act that way.

But if you haven't heard this yet, let me be the first to tell you that not all Christians act like that. In fact, most of them don't act that way.

Christians don't agree with the LGBT+ lifestyle because of what the apostle Paul wrote in the book of 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). However, Jesus never once taught that just because you don't agree with a person doesn't mean they're automatically your enemy (Matthew 5:44). Christians are supposed to represent the love of the Savior of the world, which encompasses every and all aspects of humanity. This definitely includes people whose lifestyles we don't agree with. By not showing love to certain types of people, we are directly going against one of Jesus's greatest commandments.

Not agreeing with people is one of the cornerstones of humanity. It's a divisive world out there to be sure, but that doesn't mean people from any side of the debate need to perpetuate the division. Grouping all Christians into one group of hateful bigots is no different than Christians grouping all the members of the LGBT+ community into one group of evil people. One of the key elements of Christianity is showing people who have different beliefs from us the same love Jesus would show to anyone. And I know I'm not the only Christian who wants to show love to people of all walks of life. I may be the only Jesus they ever see in their lives, and we all wish to express the same love to others.

So Taylor, it looks like you're the one who needs to calm down on this issue.

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A Review on "36 Questions: A Podcast Musical"

Jessie Shelton and Jonathan Groff Star in a Musical Podcast.
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“Jase Connelly, answer me honestly. Right now, given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?”

I’ve been listening to podcasts for about a year. I enjoy The Moth, the official Steven Universe podcast, and other storytelling podcasts. I found 36 Questions a couple weeks ago, and I haven’t been able to keep the songs out of my head! It is a podcast musical, meaning all of the music and sound effects are in the podcast, meaning it not supposed to be performed live. I am a huge fan of musicals, so just the phrase “podcast musical” had me ready to download it.

The premise is relatively simple. A couple attempts to complete 36 questions, a scientifically proven way to make people fall in love, or at least become closer. Judith and Jase have been married for a couple of years, before lies are discovered that challenge their relationship, as well as their values as a whole. The cast stars almost solely Jessie Shelton and Jonathan Groff. It also involves a duck named Henry, so if that’s not enough for you to want to listen to it, I don’t know what will be. Jessie Shelton is a musician and actor, while lesser known than her co-star, she is definitely talented. You may recognize Jonathan Groff from Hamilton, Glee, or as the voice of Kristoff from Frozen.

The story is engaging, and I found myself on the edge of my seat after the first two acts, figuratively speaking, of course. I was actually on walks while I was listening to the podcast. The story takes you on an emotional story that stays with you long after your first listen. I found myself considering my relationships in my life, and have now done the 36 questions with my girlfriend and step-dad. I hope Two-Up, the podcast who created the musical, writes more podcast musicals in the future, I look forward to listening!

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