NYC: A City Of Dreams

NYC: A City Of Dreams

And how my dreams may have changed.
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Early last week I was standing in the heart of New York City taking it all in for the first time. For a country girl who has never felt like the country was her home, the busy streets of New York gave me a bit of peace. While I still don’t believe I am a full on country girl despite what my past and present home addresses say, I might not be a full-on city girl either. New York has a million things to offer, including a new perspective.

Being in NYC has been a dream of mine since probably the age of seven or eight. I remember when we moved in second grade we couldn’t find what box contained my Barbie Dream House. Instead, I improvised with a moving box. I turned it into the Empire State building. Not many 8-year-olds even know what the Empire State Building is unless they live in the state or are major history buffs, neither of which I am. A few years later my dream career finally came to fruition as a writer.

I currently live outside of Nashville Tennessee, the home of the Grand Ole Opry , country music and hot chicken. Many people migrate here in hopes of being successful country singers and sometimes sappy song writers. Here recently there has also been an influx of hopeful people with dreams of being successful actors. There are certain states and towns in which are known for being the starting places for careers. For me, it has always been NYC and writing.

Coincidentally I was in NYC for my writing with Odyssey. One of their offices is located in lower Manhattan. The venture to the office was nothing short of amazing. From the plane ride that I shared with Hayden Panettiere and finding one of my newest friends in the gigantic LaGuardia airport to experiencing my first NY taxi ride and making sure we were at the right building, this adventure was everything I expected and more. It also started off right with an infamous slice of New York pizza (turns out I prefer Chicago pizza) which I shared with several amazing people. The night followed with an event where I met so many influential and successful people who I can only hope to run into again at some point.

Once the work part of my travel was over, I got to venture around the city for about nine hours. In those hours I got to see so many great things. Living up to its reputation, hot dogs and pretzels from street venders is really the only way to eat on the go. Grand Central station was even more beautiful than any movie could ever capture. The tree at the Rockafeller Center seemed a lot bigger than I ever would have expected. The ice skating rink was packed with people and I may or may not have only waited long enough to watch someone fall before getting a ride back to our hotel.

The next day was jammed packed and my phone tracked over 11,000 steps and 5.3 miles. Time Square was a lot smaller than I imagined, but Ground Zero was really a life changing moment for me. Just as I can remember very vividly when I made an Empire State building out of moving boxes, I can remember where I was when the towers were hit. It has been a part of my history. But that’s just what it was, a part of my history. Physically being there changed that.

Being able to touch the names on the memorial pool and being able to see just large in scale the buildings that once stood made it more than history for me. It made it a real event with real people. The strength it took to not cry while standing there was almost impossible. Knowing that family members who still live in the city can come and see where their loved one spent their last minutes is heartbreaking and hopeful all at the same time. It gives everyone a chance to remember just how fragile life is.

While it has always seemed to me that NYC is a city where dreams come true, I now realize that any city can be the city where dreams come true. Anywhere that my family is, that’s where I will be too. Whether it’s still outside Nashville in a few years or outside NYC in ten years, dreams can happen anywhere. Not everyone has tomorrow and not everyone has their family to live their dreams out with. So I may not be a country girl and I may not be a city girl, but I can dream until I figure it out.

Cover Image Credit: Tiffany Rawlin

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Cancel Culture Is Toxic And Ugly

Stop deciding for me who I can and cannot like.

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I was really hoping that canceled culture died in 2018, but unfortunately here we are in 2019 still "canceling" whoever we personally deem "problematic." Whether it's tweeting from six years ago or falsely made allegations, waves of people will grab on to anything they can to bring down whatever celebrity or influencer seems to be doing well at the moment.

Of course, it is important to bring light to horrible things such as racism, misogyny, domestic abuse, etc., but remember these horrible things are still happening TODAY. We need to focus our energy on combating the horrible things people are currently doing and saying; it is truly such a waste of time to bring up the problematic words and actions that someone in the limelight did almost a decade ago.

Let me be clear, there is no one person I am trying to defend here. I honestly don't care much to personally defend anyone who is being canceled by angry twitter-users who found something just bad enough to hold against them for eternity. I truly just find the idea of it annoying and ugly.

The idea that any person is a completely static, flat character is so inconceivable and unlikely that I truly have a hard time understanding why we cannot accept an apology from a matured person.

If we have no evidence that a person has made any recent damaging remarks, then how can we prove they haven't changed since they tweeted something wrong in 2013?

Of course, there are people who have recently or continuously proven they are indecent people who are not deserving of any sort of public exposure, but if they are truly so horrible, people will drop them without you having to tell them to do so. You don't have to condemn those who still remain loyal; they are probably not the kind of people you need to waste your time on anyway.

If the people canceling others were constantly watched like the people they have damned, I am absolutely sure there is something we could find from their past to cancel them as well.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that famous people are still human beings just like us. Anyone is prone to make mistakes, and those mistakes can absolutely be rectified over time.

Nowadays, people love jumping on the bandwagon of finding a new person to hate and don't even stop to think about the damage it could do to that person's life and reputation.

Give people a chance to prove that they are decent human beings before deciding whether "we" as a whole should love or hate them based on such a small amount of evidence.

I am not saying you have to love every celebrity. If you don't like what someone has said or done you absolutely do not have to give them your attention or devotion, but you should not tell me whether I can like them or not.

In 2019 we should put an end to canceled culture, and, instead, learn to take people at their word and accept their apologies for their past wrongdoings.

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