We write to translate feelings into words

I know you all have had an off day and you have so many things you need to write, yet you’re staring at a bright computer screen completely blank. You type the beginning of about four lousy sentences and delete each of them thinking “I’m making zero sense.”

It’s frustrating. You have so much to say, yet nothing is coming to mind. That is our job as writers, if you think about it. We have to put these feelings that everyone feels into words, which not everyone is capable of.

That’s why I write; to try & give clarity to those who don’t know what they are feeling. That’s why we all read; to understand that we aren’t alone in these feelings. We need those moments where we go “YES. I’ve been thinking/feeling this and I haven’t been able to convey it! But this writer nailed it!”

So when you are having difficulty conveying your feelings or ideas, take a deep breath.  This is what we write for and when you finally get it right, it will be the best feeling in the world. Not only for you, but for those people who genuinely thank you for giving them clarity.

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Wear that struggle

When you sweat profusely at the gym, don’t you feel like a total badass? You’re walking around looking tired as hell, clothes drenched, you’re glistening in the florescent gym lighting. You’re checking in on Facebook “puttin’ in work 💪🏻” and taking your gym selfie. You walk around with confidence that say “yep, I did that. I worked hard as hell, bettering myself.” Something that’s actually pretty gross, we wear with pride.

So tell me, why don’t we wear our dark undereyes with pride? Why don’t we walk into that local coffee shop looking tired as hell? Why don’t we walk around with a confidence that says “Hey, I just got done crying. But I got out of bed, so can I get a quad espresso?” Mamas aren’t wearing their breast milk drenched shirt around like a medal. Those who are going through divorce aren’t flaunting their tearful, red eyes.

You should wear your hard times with pride. They are called “hard times” for a reason – because it’s hard! You’re still getting out of bed, you’re handling your shit, and you are still here. “Oh well, everyone goes through hard times. It’s nothing to give attention to.” Uh, hell yeah it is. Let’s not sell ourselves short here! Let’s be proud of ourselves more often and say “I’m going through something right now, the stress is unbelievable, but I’m bettering myself and I’m still going.”

Stop hiding what you find to be a weakness, because it’s actually your strength being put to the test. You’re dealing with your problems and that is admirable. Leave the concealer alone, keep cold towels off of those red eyes, and stop trying to fit into those NONE-pregnancy jeans (just embrace the stretchy band). Be kind to yourself so you can be kind to others.

Let’s connect & let’s bond over how hard life is. So tell me, what are you going through? What struggle are you proud of?

Passion ain’t just for Nicolas Sparks novels

“Quality over quantity.” It’s a good saying for those of us who don’t have much, yeah? It is true, though. What would life be if you lived to be 100 years old, but you never once lived with intention. You survived, you stuck around, but you never lived. You were in a metaphorical coffin by the age of eighteen.

You learned the importance of money quickly & decided that being an artist will never pay the bills. You met a man who didn’t have anything to offer & left him for man with a bright future. He could give you what you needed. You soon learned that you needed love & he couldn’t put that on his credit card for you. You survived, but you didn’t live. You stepped into that coffin the second you told yourself “happiness won’t pay my bills.”

You learned the importance of money quickly & you learned the importance of happiness even quicker. You decided that life without passion is no life at all. You met a man who didn’t have anything to offer except for his love & support, but that was what you needed. You burned the metaphorical coffin the second you told yourself “life without passion is no life at all.”

I have caught myself just surviving, staying with jobs because they made enough money. I’ve put passions of mine aside, because they didn’t provide me with an income. Society’s idea of success can turn passionate people in slaves of survival. Do not lose your passion for life, for your art, for people. Without passion, we can only survive.

Self-proclaimed beauty consultants are running rampant

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Why do we ask people how they think we should look? You’re probably thinking “Nope, I don’t. Sorry, Hannah, try again.” If you have never asked Facebook if you should cut your hair, if you have never asked a friend is that dress is too WOAH, or if you never posted a picture of yourself hoping for some thumbs up, then maybe you’re right. You don’t have to admit the last one – no one does. Now, let me ask you, why did you not trust yourself enough to make such a decision?

I, personally, am tired of hearing what people do and do not find attractive. I have seen women become self-proclaimed beauty consultants countless times. I love seeing “her eyebrows are an embarrassment.” You look severely petty and now that is the real embarrassment. I also really like “she would look so much better if she were skinnier.” You would look better if you incapable of speech, B. These S.P.B.C.’s (self-proclaimed beauty consultants) running rampant on Instagram and Facebook are the absolute worst because no one even asked Y O U.

Have you ever seen those videos on Facebook where they go through the decades of beauty? Maybe you have seen the post where they compared between countries the ideal woman? If you haven’t, you should. My reason for bringing this up, is that there is no unified ideal. Literally, there isn’t one. No woman, nor decade looked the same. Different strokes, for different folks.

So next time you ask someone’s opinion, you’re better off asking yourself instead. There will always be someone who doesn’t like the way you look. There will always be someone who can run off at the mouth, telling you what you could change to look better. Just be okay with yourself and don’t be a shitty person shedding light upon the “unfortunate” who don’t know how to properly contour. Please.

Think before you write

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My parents were never transparent when it came to being upset or angry. When I was about 16, my mother found a Captain Morgan liquor bottle in my bedroom. I was never confronted about it… directly. However, she did pour out the liquor and put a lovely bouquet of flowers from her garden in it. My dad, he found a pack of Marlboro menthols in my car. Like my mother, he never directly confronted me about it. He, quoting Forrest Gump, wrote “stupid is as stupid does” on the pack. I, sort of, adore their parenting skills now.

I, however, did not inherit this passive way of communicating anger.  If something is bothering me, I will gladly let you know. If I am angry, naturally, I will list all of the reasons why; it’s a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because I never harbor anger and I never have anything to hide. It’s a curse because, most of the time, my anger is clouding my judgement. I have spent many years learning how to be angry and not speak.

This is so important to exercise with your family. If you speak in anger, you will not make any progress toward solving the problem. 80% of the time, when I speak in anger, I get tongue-tied and make no zero sense. If I am upset with my someone, I cannot talk about it right away because someone’s feelings will get hurt. I need time to stay quiet and decide whether if what I’m feeling is anger, exhaustion, or if it is something else caused it. I have to decide what I am going to say and how I should say it so that it doesn’t provoke more anger.

Now, to make it relatable to the majority, think about how many times you have been angry and spoke. Think about how many times small fights turned into a massive problem. On social media, I have seen where someone will post a book worth of problems and anger. In .02 seconds 800 of your friends, family, and strangers now know way too much. They probably don’t even know what they know, but they know something is really wrong with you. To be honest, when we talk in anger, we look awful and no one wants to be around that. If we have any intention to make peace, start thinking before you throw punches.