Smiles In Philly

Smiles In Philly

I winged it and my winging paid off

Spring Break 2017 recently came to an end and whether we went to the Bahamas or decided to spend a week on an Alternative Spring Break, we all spent that week doing what made us the happiest within. Personally I chose to go to Philadelphia, a city that was part of the Alternative Spring Break idea. This city offered workshops and community service opportunities that were based on domestic violence, homelessness, and women’s rights. The trip on its own was wonderful. Meeting and speaking with the homeless, getting to know their story, where they plan on going in life, and all of the lessons they had to share was amazing. The workshops were decent, somewhat informational but a bit biased. We helped in a women’s domestic violence homeless shelter which did not seem like much but the appreciation I saw on the woman’s face let me know we did what was needed of us. While the community service part of the trip was wonderful and memorable the social part of the trip is the reasoning I am writing about it this week.

About 15 years ago a part of my family separated and I did not hear from them for that time frame. The family that I did not hear from lives in Philadelphia. I went out on a limb and decided to contact one of them just to see what would happen. Honestly I am not sure what I expected to happen, at this point in my life I am kind of going with the flow. There are things and goals within my life that I know I need to accomplish in order for me to be happy with myself but other than that I am taking life as God gives it to me. Back to the story, the one I contacted replied and was ecstatic to hear from me actually. We got to messaging and I continued to update them on where I was going to be and when I had free-time to hangout while I was up there. The family member ended up meeting up with me and the group I was with in the city and I wish I could put into words the amount of happiness, excitement, and nervousness that filled the air in those few seconds leading up to opening the restaurant door. All throughout dinner we talked whether it was about the past, the present, and even the future we were focused on us. Dinner came to an end and I had to go back to the house with the group. The family member and I kept in contact throughout the week and they were even able to setup a time frame to meet the other family member I had not seen in 15 years. On a tour of The Kimmel Center I met up with the second family member and we talked throughout the tour. At the end of the tour I caught up with both of them and when we spoke to each other it’s as if time did not pass, we just aged a few years.

When I got back to the house I cried a little. For so long I thought I had lost contact with that side of my family for good because of one bad person and that ate me alive. I had no idea that on a school trip I would see family members nor did I think I would get along with them as well as I did. Throughout my life I have gone through many “rude- awakenings,” many on my own but I’ve managed to get through them and to find myself once the tide of confusion came down. No one said life was going to be easy, each challenge is another lesson that can be learned and every heartbreak is another chance to learn who you are as a person. There is a lot more I could say about what happened this spring break but the experience speaks for itself and for what the future holds. I am not sure what I am about to say makes any sense, if it does great, if it does not then I hope one day it does. I am glad things went wrong in my childhood, I am happy I got my heartbroken, and I am happy I have seen what struggling looks like. Encountering all of these bumps in my life has allowed me the gratitude and humbleness that makes these experiences and meetings more meaningful then a simple “Hello.” Life is hard, you will not know what is going on sometimes and other times it will seem as if you are drowning. I am not an expert on life and I still sometimes end up overwhelmed. But if you can learn to just go with the flow and trust that weird events are happening for a reason then you will learn to look at smaller things with more joy in your heart and your goals will not seem as farfetched as you think they are.

I wish you the best always,


Popular Right Now

I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

I Ended Up In A Family Group Chat...With All Of My Roommates

It was probably one of the most unexpected things that happened to me.


I know, unbelievable, but hear me out. I didn't expect it at all either. I came to college feeling very reserved and sheltered in. I met my roommates, one who had a boyfriend. They were very very lovey-dovey to the point where it felt like witnessing a drama every passing moment. It was very cute.

Even though I wasn't very expressive myself, my roommates made sure to show me lots of love and give me support and comfort. Slowly, I warmed up to the others and before long we were having face mask nights, Uno challenges, reading and watching creepy trends, truth or dare, ramen nights, scary stories, and so much more. It felt like a family.

One day, when my roommate was being lovey-dovey with her boyfriend, I joked that they were like parents already. That joke then extended on to me and the other roommate being their children and our neighbors to being the grandma and aunt. It was a spontaneous sort of naming system but it came together really well and slowly, everything fell into place. Suddenly it became so established; we developed a family group chat and would occasionally address each other by our family titles. We even started playing into our roles more.

My roommate and her boyfriend started becoming more parental and taking care of my other roommate and I. I started becoming more carefree around my roommates and we would all stay in contact via our Snapchat group named "G.N.O.A.T" at first (greatest neighborhoods of all time) but changed to "family."

It was probably one of the most unexpected things that happened to me at the beginning of my college career but I'm also very grateful that it happened. Because of that, I was able to open up with my roommates and neighbors. I was able to be more honest and slowly feel a deeper kinship with everyone. Before I came to college, I didn't even know if I was going to have good terms with my neighbors but after this experience, I never expected my neighbors and roommates to label me as family, even if it's only a facetious name for now.

Related Content

Facebook Comments