Why I Create For Odyssey

Why I Create For Odyssey

Not another recruitment article.
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The other day I was asked why I create for Odyssey. I thought about it for a bit and had no great philosophical answer. At first I responded with a pretty vague answer saying that I liked to write. While this could not be any more true, there are a number of other reasons that I could have answered with. There are also a number of reasons why you should create for Odyssey, too.

One of the first reasons I create for Odyssey is because it gives me my own personal creative outlet. For several hours at least one day a week, I get to sit down and do something for me. I get to write. As a stay at home mom, there isn’t much I get to do for me, other than watch trashy reality sitcoms. Being able to write has given me an ounce of my identity back, and I am forever grateful.

Another reason I create for Odyssey is pretty simple, I write because I can. Some people are good at certain things and they know it. Some people go to school for years to become a veterinarian. Others go for years to be a chef at a high-end restaurant. I went to school to write. While not all people will agree that my writing, whether grammatically or creatively, is the best there is, there are others that remind me every day that writing is just my thing. There are few things I am confident in about myself; my amazing banana pudding, having the patience of a saint in raising two heathens of kids and my ability to write. Practice makes perfect and my banana pudding cannot get any better.

Lastly, I create content so I can help others. I mostly write about being a parent and the issues that I face. I’ve had friends tell me that after reading a few of my articles, they aren’t ready to be parents. I’ve had others thank me for making them feel like they have it easy. And others thank me for reminding them that they are not alone. In life, none of us are alone. My parents always told me that there was not a single person in the world like me, but I disagree. There are a million of me out there, we just look a little different and have different names. But there are a million stay at home moms out there that do what I do every single day. So if for a single second in a single day, my article can help another mom feel a little better, I’ve done my part.

I absolutely love creating content for Odyssey. It really was a blessing in disguise that found me at the perfect time. Funny how that works, right? What is so great about being a part of a creating community is that there is always room to grow and expand. If you like reading some of the articles on here and if you’ve ever thought to yourself that you have an important story to tell, you need to start asking questions. For instance, why not share your thoughts with millions of other people? What is holding you back? Why don’t you join Odyssey? I’ve given you my reasons for why I create, I’d love to hear your reasons!

Cover Image Credit: Tiffany Rawlin

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Awkward — Friend Or Foe?

A twenty-year-old's attempt to accept awkwardness.

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Too often I find myself thinking about the word 'awkward' and all its versatile uses. Who decided that certain situations, actions, and interactions are not deemed "normal," but rather labeled an uncomfortable, awkward, or cringy experience that we either laugh about later or feel self-conscious about years later. After we saw Olivia Wilde's new movie "Booksmart" (as a side note I 12 out of 10 recommend this movie), one of my best friends and I looked back and simultaneously laughed and cringed about how awkward our high school freshmen-selves were. How we talked almost exclusively to each other, had uncomfortable conversations with our peers, and how being called on by a teacher to read anything aloud to the class was just about the worst thing we could ever imagine happening. We had a great time freshmen year, and because of our co-dependency that year, I can't imagine a day when she won't be one of my best friends. However, while so many memories from that year are priceless, some I would gladly erase given the opportunity.

We might have laughed at how awkward we were, but it also left us feeling extremely uncomfortable in our skin, terrified of what other people thought of us, and we walked around like cartoon characters with clouds parked over our heads. I think a lot of us feel this way, personifying and vilifying the word "awkward," granting the interpretation of that word the power of a defining label. Therefore, both of us were sufficiently happy when we felt like we finally outgrew our 'awkward' phase, and grew into confident — slightly more confident — college grown-ups. However, although we've mostly outgrown that phase, memories from those years that are hard to remember, but even harder to forget. Bad feelings, impossible to shake, find their roots in those awkward years of high school and refuse to vacate.

The word awkward has a weird power because sometimes it can make someone feel bad about themselves, but at other times it can make someone appear quirky and charming. However, despite how it may feel in a specific moment, "Awkwardness" has always felt like something I've had to strive to overcome. I've always thought I could just grow out of it, and train myself to not be awkward. Today, as a twenty-year-old college student, I sometimes feel like the new and improved me, but other times I still feel like an uncomfortable, tentative fifteen-year-old dying to be comfortable. However, the other when that same freshmen friend and I walked out of the movie theater, laughing about the similarities between the characters of "Booksmart," and how we acted all those years ago, I had a thought. What if there is no outgrowing our scared, "awkward" parts? What if being comfortable and happy comes from accepting that being awkward doesn't have to be a bad thing, and that being awkward may be a small part of my personality. Maybe it's something I don't need to and shouldn't change.

After all, we all can't help being a bit awkward sometimes. In fact, I think awkwardness may be part of what makes life so unexpected and fun. If it wasn't, why would people make a movie about it?

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