To My Little Brother Who Will Be Graduating Soon

To My Little Brother Who Will Be Graduating Soon

There's not really much I can over you in the way of advice because, in my expert opinion, you already know as much as I do, so instead, I will thank you for everything you are to me, and I will remind you of the parts of yourself you should hold onto forever.



I know this is coming a little early, but I didn't want to run out of time to say everything I need to say. There's not really much I can over you in the way of advice because, in my expert opinion, you already know as much as I do. Instead, I will thank you for everything you are to me, and I will remind you of the parts of yourself you should hold onto forever.

I'm not sure when you emerged as the protector. After all, there are so many pictures of me holding you. There are so many pictures of the days when I used to tower over you. I imagine much of your strength comes from your stoic nature.

Gone are the days when I held you and those days where I stood over you. Now you're the one I run to when I need assurance that good people, truly good men, exist. I'm not entirely sure what you gain from me, but I could go on forever about the ways you contribute to my life.

You keep me grounded when I run away with my thoughts, especially the negative ones. You enlighten me with deep philosophical and religious discussions. You deepen my appreciation for music with your own observations. You always embody righteousness and rationale, logic and spirituality, and for that, I deeply admire you.

In every way, you are the friend I have always desired: somebody who does the right thing effortlessly, somebody who encourages my interests, somebody who keeps up with my rapid thought, and even better, you are somebody who challenges me to think harder, to feel more deeply, to communicate more powerfully.

I hope I don't exhaust you by leaning fully into your strength. I hope you don't feel the burden of being your big sister's best friend and role model.

Thank you for just being you,

-- Ashley

P.S. If I'm the books and cleverness, you're the friendship and bravery.

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My Freckles Are Not A Beauty Trend For You To Appropriate And Immitate

Those with faces full of freckles can't wipe them off like you can after a photo shoot.


While it is fun to use makeup to express yourself, one can argue unless you are in costume, it should be used to enhance your features, not create new ones. The trend of artificial freckles puts a nasty taste in my mouth reminiscent to the feeling I get when I see a Caucasian woman apply such dark foundation to her face that she appears to be donning blackface.

To someone who has a face full of freckles, it is offensive to see you paint on freckles as if they were not permanent features of other people's skin that they cannot remove with a makeup wipe. I remember asking my cousin at 5 years old if I could surgically remove my freckles and crying when she broke to me that I'd be stuck with what she called giraffe spots my whole life.

I'm not alone in feeling self-conscious about my freckles. The face is the fulcrum of the identity, and it can feel like my facial identity is like a haphazard splash of orange/brown debris. Another against the fake freckles movement retorts: "you'll soon regret them when people begin to describe you as a polka-dot-skinned troll or a cinnamon-toast-faced goblin. Also, when your eyebags start to sag in middle-age, that 'cute' skin art will probably deteriorate into something more closely resembling oblong blackheads. Sincerely, A Freckled Person"

One woman recalls her struggle with accepting the patterns of her skin from a very young age:

“When I was a young girl, I remember staring at myself in my bathroom mirror and imagining my face without the scattered brown dots that littered my face and body. I dreamed of having the small imperfections removed from my face and obtaining the smooth porcelain skin that I envied. I looked at my bare-faced friends in awe because they had what I wanted and would never know. For some odd reason, I had made myself believe that my freckles made me ugly."

I've come to appreciate the beauty of these sun kisses, and many nowadays have too. However, freckles haven't always been considered cute. There is a history of contempt toward red reader freckled people, just ask Anne Shirley! The dramatic young heroine laments: "Yes, it's red," she said resignedly. "Now you see why I can't be perfectly happy. Nobody could who had red hair. I don't mind the other things so much — the freckles and the green eyes and my skinniness. I can imagine them away. I can imagine that I have a beautiful rose-leaf complexion and lovely starry violet eyes. But I cannot imagine that red hair away. I do my best. I think to myself, "Now my hair is a glorious black, black as the raven's wing." But all the time I know it is just plain red, and it breaks my heart. It will be my lifelong sorrow." (Montgomery).

Historically, freckles on ones face have been seen as dirty or imperfect. It's easy to forget that Irish features such as red hair and freckles have been subject to hateful discrimination for centuries. In some places, the word ginger is even used as a slur.

I am not a red-headed stepchild for you to beat — or for you to appropriate.

My facial texture is not a toy for you to play with.

It is rude and inconsiderate to pock your face for a selfie while those with randomly splashed spots get someone once a week trying to rub off the "dirt speck" on their face.

Greg Stevens has a theory to why there is anti-red prejudice

“Skin tone is another one of those well-studied features that has been shown to consistently have an impact on people's assessment of physical beauty: Those with clear, evenly-colored skin are widely regarded as being more attractive than people with patchy, blotchy, or freckled skin.
Nowhere is this more obvious than when looking at professional photos of redheaded models and celebrities. Even those "hot redheads" that flaunt the redness of their hair usually are made-up on magazine covers to have almost unnaturally even skin tones. Moreover, there is a reasonable theory to explain why the bias against freckles might be more than just a cultural prejudice. Not to be too blunt about it, but freckles are cancer factories."

By that, the author means freckles can be early indicators of sun damage or skin cancer. This illusion that freckles indicate deficiency may also play in negative connotations toward a person with freckles

While I acknowledge the intention of people with clear skin who paint freckles on their face isn't to offend — rather it is to appreciate freckles as a beauty statement — the effect is still offensive. If you are thinking about trying this freckle fad, you should put down your fine tipped brush and consider what it would be like if you couldn't wipe away the spots.


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Understanding The Concept Of Change

You cannot move forward in life without change, so stop giving it a negative connotation.


The plot of your story cannot continue without change. Courtney Pepperell said "you can't skip chapters, you have to read every line and meet every character. You won't enjoy all of it. Some chapters will make you cry for weeks.

You will read things you don't want to read. you will have moments when you don't want pages to end. But no matter what you have to keep going. Stories keep the world revolving, so live yours and don't miss out".

A humans life is like a storybook because your life has a plot, different settings, main and supporting characters, themes, and most of all change. But understanding the concept of change can be difficult, especially when it comes to people.

It is important to understand that change is inevitable. You can't move onto the next chapter without some sort of change, spiritually, mentally, or physically, otherwise, you are just turning pages without an end.

People changing is a normal thing, so stop treating others as if they aren't supposed to change. To get from chapter one to chapter eighty-nine of a book, you have to turn or change the page. If you don't change the page you will remain STUCK on the same page.

People change for themselves not others, but circumstances influence that change. The change occurs because their mind has been opened and they have released things that no longer benefits them.

When a person changes their mind or perspective on something it is not your job to change it back. Your mind is supposed to change; the evolving of the mind is inevitable. People are under no obligation to be the same person they were a year, month, day, or even five minutes ago.

You have the right to grow. You do not have to showcase the same behavior or attitude in order to still be you. You are whoever you want to be. Whether you were a cowboy yesterday and a mermaid today does not matter. You are allowed to try on different you's until you find the one that fits.

We as a society need to stop giving change a negative connotation. Change is what keeps that world running. Without change, America wouldn't be America, we wouldn't have the technology that we have today. Change is a very very good thing and I wouldn't be able to proudly look into the mirror without it. Yell it with me, CHANGE IS GOOD!!


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