Friday, 25 December 2015

A Secret Santa Story

I'm part of a tight-knit theatre group, and within that group, there are about ten of us that are quite close friends.

This year, we decided to do a Secret Santa- something fun within five to fifteen dollars. I thought of  the idea, and was excited to see it executed.

We wrote all the names down on a piece of paper in between dance numbers, including everyone that was part of our circle so that no one would feel left out. Then, we stuck them in a baseball cap , the only hat we had at hand (try saying this out loud five times fast!),  and each picked out a name. I was really excited about who I had received- she was a potterhead and a feminist like me. We had only begun to become friends, and I couldn't wait to start planning her gift.

At first, I thought a little about what I might be getting, but it didn't excite me as much as the thought of my person's face as she would open her gift. In fact, I almost forgot that I would be getting a gift too, until the day we all exchanged gifts.

She tapped me on the shoulder and presented it to me, voila! Fuzzy slippers and a bag of delicious candy cane hershey kisses. I really liked them. The kisses didn't last long, but the slippers will be useful for a very long time.

But it didn't compare to the joy I got when I saw the reaction of the person who I had gotten a gift for- utter delight as she spoke in a high-pitched voice I didn't quite understand. I had tied in a couple Harry Potter references in with chocolate and candy, and a cute unicorn stuffed animal because she loved unicorns. That was my favorite part.

Receiving gifts, though it is great to get something new and fun and useful, doesn't match up to the fun of sneaking around, spending time planning, creating and personalizing a gift for someone else. It really doesn't. And their reaction is the best part.

I think, this Christmas, I'm going to take away real appreciation for giving vs.receiving. That was my favourite part of Christmas this year.

Merry Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Stolstice/Festivus/ whatever unknown holiday you celebrate

-Oakstar

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Crazily Inspiring (secret) Agent- Chloee's Gift!



A slightly unique award name, for a very unique blogger.
Dear Chloee, I present you this award for being an undercover secret agent, trying to rectify what's left of humanity. You are inspiring in a mad way, you connect to people by relating to them with Gifs and self deprecating humor, and one does not have to dig deep to find a very inspiring post- thanks to you, I will go eat that cake. And I won't share it. Though you don't outright say in your posts that you are trying to inspire people, and you might not even realize that you are inspiring people, you are very inspiring, in your own special way.

Check out Chloee's blog here.

Also, thank you very much to maddie from Social Casualty for my lovely award. It's so thoughtful.
                         
Happy eve of Christmas eve, bloggers :)


-Oakstar

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Slut Shaming

Slut shaming. 

I used to do it. 

Most of my friends used to do it. 

And still, some of them do. The most amazing people I know.  

I wasn't aware of it for a very long time. I used to walk around, see a girl wearing a short skirt, and think: slut. What about the time I thought my friend was a slut because she liked three guys at the same time? Or the countless women on television shows  that had just too many boyfriends in one season?



What does it matter to us what someone does in their own home, or the exact width of their tank top shirt, measured in index fingers? It's not hurting anyone. It's not any of our business. 

In a world riddled with negativity, death, disease, and poverty, we let ourselves continue to judge. It just seems we would pick anything to judge people. 

Slut. It's such an ugly word. The word  itself just screams of judgement, torment. It's name-calling, bullying. Trying to make women feel inferior because they sleep around, or kiss more than one guy, or because the only way they can make a living is prostitution. It's sad, but it's the truth.  

Why can't we just accept people for who they are? Sure, you might have different values. But we are not there to control anyone else's lives but our own.

And here's another problem: why is it when a woman sleeps around, she is called an ugly slut, but when a man does, he's a major player? There's some blatant inequality for you. 

I like tank tops. The skinny strap ones. I also like short shorts. Not the ones that look like underwear, but that barely scrape by the dress code. Long shorts annoy me. 

Does that make me a slut, or indecent? Sadly, a lot of people would say yes. But guess what? I wear skinny strapped shirts and short shorts for myself, because I like them. That's my decision. 

I don't want to see people walk around naked, so I do think there should be some form of a dress code in public place. But in schools, they should be teaching people not to rape, instead of teaching people how to not get raped. 

Once upon a time, my friends bra strap was showing. A teacher called her on it. They said, "Why is your bra strap showing, young lady?" My friend replied defiantly, "Because I'm wearing a bra." 
Then there's the time another friend of mine was nearly sent home because her leggings revealed that she (gasp) has a butt, and that other time... It goes on. But by sending a girl home from school because of her tank top that might distract the boys in the class, you are valuing a boy's education over a girl's. 

I'm trying to stop using the word slut. I'm trying to look at someone's heart, not their skirt length. Sadly, it's been drilled into my mind. I slip up sometimes, see that girl with the short skirt, and jump to conclusions. The word slut pops into my head. 

So next time you see a girl with short shorts, first, look at yourself. Catch yourself from using the word slut. Then, look at her. Inside her. See her heart? Look at that instead.

-Oakstar

Sunday, 13 December 2015

12 Days of Blogmas- Day 1

Hiya!

I've decided to participate in GirlRadio's 12 Days of Blogmas series this Christmas season. Click here to check out her blog and feel free to participate :)

Today's-err- prompt, I'd guess you'd call it, is to write a poem describing the holidays.

Two posts ago, I wrote a poem about almost exactly that, so I'll be sharing that part of the poem today.

A warm candle's glow
illuminates
the distant trail.
Music, gingerbread, white snow drops fall  from the Heavens above. 
A snowman beckoning softly, to I, a weary traveller.
A promise of gifts,lights, and laughter to rejuvenate the solemn heart.
A glimmer of  hope, caught dancing on a sleighbell,
to guide the way.
The  trail is iced, but I will proceed with caution.
Christmas awaits. 

Thank you so much for hosting this series, GirlRadio!

-Oakstar

(Happy birthday to Taylor Swift!)

Monday, 7 December 2015

Acceptance

After days spent contemplating over things and analyzing life and human nature, an abundance of epiphanies hit me over the head.

I'm growing curious as to why some people struggle to realize that equality, especially in this age, is necessary for a truly giving, sharing, whole society.

Equality.

No matter your gender, your race, your sexual orientation, your religion, the color of your eyes.

It shouldn't matter.

not mine


Why do we need to be the same in order to accept one another? Why do people judge one another on something they haven't experienced?

We have to grow together, as one unified earth. But in order to do that, we have to accept that not everyone will be the same. There will be differences. We will disagree.

But there are things, some small things, that we can almost all agree on. The power of love, or something as simple as kittens are cute.

In order to make a change in the world, we have to accept that people will disagree, people will be different. We can't always be the same.

 Other cultures are not failed attempts at being our own. Religion, as long as it's not hurting anybody, can be practiced freely. Marriage equality, is it that hard to realize that we're all human, and we all want to love? Women and men can be whatever they want to be. A slut is not a lesser human being than you.

Why can't we all just dig down and accept... all of this stuff. It shouldn't matter. Why do we all have to be the same in order to be treated the same?

We need acceptance.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

A Distant Trail

A Distant Trail 
November comes to a halt.
The long path has lead me here, to this place of 
fatigue and frustration,
 which frazzle friends and families.
An icey tension.
Hibernation comes to tantalize the mind.
Stuck between the crisp and the cold,
a falltime melancholy.
depression settles like the frost. 

But, a warm candle's glow
illuminates
the distant trail.
Music, gingerbread, white snow drops fall  from the Heavens above. 
A snowman beckoning softly, to I, a weary traveller.
A promise of gifts,lights, and laughter to rejuvenate the solemn heart.
A glimmer of  hope, caught dancing on a sleighbell,
to guide the way.
The  trail is iced, but I will proceed with caution.
Christmas awaits. 

May you power through until Christmas!
-Oakstar

Monday, 23 November 2015

Currently

Reading: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith JK ROWLING!!!

Eating: Lots of stomach-warming soup :)

Listening to: Feed the World and Lost Boy. Please listen to both, I love them so much! Feed the World is an upbeat Christmas song with an important message, and it's definitely my favourite.

Writing: I've been journaling and plotting for future novels.

Enjoying: Communicating with my friends and contemplating life.

Thinking about: Life and the mystical universe.

Watching: Glee and Survivor

Loving: The fact that Christmas is coming!!!

-Oakstar

Monday, 16 November 2015

Must We Hide Our Joy

Your laugh is so loud.

You have a terrible singing voice.

Stop doing ballet at the supermarket, you're embarrassing me!


Originally, I wasn't sure if I was going to use this for the Must We challenge. But then, a lovely friend of mine had put something on Instagram (yes, I have Instagram) that I just could not deny.


Yes, yes! I love this so much, because it basically sums up this whole post.

People claim to be spreaders of kindness and positivity and love, but as soon as your laugh sounds slightly weird or obnoxious (mine does!), they glare at you, ultimately lowering your self esteem for the day. It's happened to me before.

I dare you, today, for this week, month, year -forever- to not hide your joy. Realize the gift of living in a world as beautiful as ours, and bask in its glory. Celebrate every day the joy of being alive. Practice the arts you love, laugh loudly at the jokes you find hilarious, sing along passionately to the songs you enjoy, and dance to whatever sweeps you off your feet. 

But most of all, don't hide your joy because someone doesn't like seeing or hearing it. They need more positivity in their life. The world needs more people like you in it, especially during these dark times. 

Be the bringer of joy to someone's life- especially your very own.

-Oakstar



Monday, 9 November 2015

The Recipe for Posting Variety

Hey, bloggers!

Lately I've been trying to mix up the variety on my blog a bit more, but one of the things that I take the most pride in as a blogger is my variety of different posts.

I love variety. From a recent study I've been doing on a variety of different blogs, their comments, and what types of post they post, I've noticed that when you stick to one type of post/ layout, you slowly get less and less comments and people liking your blog.


Variety? You got it dude.
this was totally irrelevant but idc



Ready? Let's get into it!

First, add the flour. This is the type of post that's encompassed in your title, or like me, a reflection on your goals for the blog. For my blog, this is a lot of opinions, pep talks, aspirations and dreams. Click here to view an example :)

Then, add the butter. This includes your photography and your writing. Sometimes, blogs are missing photos or snippets of poetry and writing, and their blogs aren't quite as fulfilling as others. click here to check one out

Time to add sugar. You guessed it! DIYS and book reviews just add so much fun to your posts.
Click over here to see :)

Then, we've got the eggs. These are similar to the sugar, except these are of your own making! Fun posts, amusing jokes, optical illusions are all perfect for this category! Click over here to see one :) Eggs make everything stick together :)

Then, the salt. See, for the salt, a lot of people skip this because if you add too much, it ruins the recipe. These posts include advertisements for other blogs as well as blogger awards. A bit of salt posts add a nice touch to your blog, but if you add too much, less people will enjoy it. (click here to view one)

All of the parts of this recipe are important. But there can be loads more ingredients as well- for instance, is this type of post the baking powder? I don't know. You tell me.

Also, the quantities of each type of ingredient are up to you- which one matters most? It depends what kind of recipe you're creating.

Have fun!

-Oakstar

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Fall Photos

Fall paints in colors that summer can't understand <3 td="">
It's been a while since I've shown off some of my photography. I love taking pictures, observing the world from the other side of a camera. I'm not especially gifted in it, but I'm proud of the photos I have taken this fall.





Not taken by me- deviled eggs don't do photography.

Because autumn is the right season for snow...duh. 

So proud of this shot!
-Oakstar

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Must We Follow Gender Stereotypes

That toy is not for you.

Wouldn't you prefer a pink one?

Your skills are better cultivated in lacy shoes.

Okay, the last one is stretching it a bit, but these are all real phrases that we face today in society. Sexism, though it's starting to fade away, is still a huge problem. But in this post, I'm not covering the fact that in some countries babies are killed if they're girls. I'll save that for some other time.

Today, I'm going to be talking about gender stereotypes. How we face them in every day life. How they slip by us without us really noticing.

The biggest one probably comes from various religious communities: The fact that women, apparently, should work at home. Not all religious communities are like this, but in various ones, the view still remains that a man should bring home the dough while the woman bakes dough for dinner. (see what I did there)

This isn't just present in religious communities. I go to a public school that is very adamant about ethics, support of homosexuality, equality and all that jazz.

I was in ethics class. It was a project where we had to choose a place (eg outerspace, fairyland, cavemen times) and imagine a perfect society. We were teamed up in twos. A group of two boys picked fairyland, and everyone in the class burst out laughing. Except the teacher.

I wasn't even sure why everyone was laughing. I just shrugged at my friend, who was just as confused as I was. The teacher grew angrier and angrier, furrowing her brows. She ended up screaming at the class. She chose a bunch of people to tell her why they were laughing, and everyone said the same thing: Guys aren't supposed to choose fairies as their category. EXCUSE ME.


I'm going to be honest here. I'm a girl. I like fairies, sparkles, rainbows, and butterflies. I also like pirates, outerspace, aliens, and motorcycles. 

Does that make me any less of a girl?

Femininity: the quality of being female; womanliness.

 I got this definition off of the dictionary. But what disgusted me was the example: "she celebrates her femininity by wearing makeup and high heels"


EXCUSE ME.

Since when did the dictionary get to define... what this sounds bad... since when did the dictionary get to decide whether I'm being properly feminine or not?????

I'm a female. That makes me feminine. That makes everything I do feminine.

That means, if you're a boy, that makes you masculine. That makes everything you do masculine.

So if girls ride motorcycles and guys ride motorcycles as well, that makes motorcycling something feminine and masculine to do.

See? There's no point.

Maybe, generally girls like pink. (Though I don't see any statistics to prove this hmmmm) Maybe guys like blue. But that does not mean that you should preassume anything about anyone beforehand.

Society, sadly, has groomed us to think that pink is for girls, and blue is for boys. Well, guess what?

If I have a child, I'm decorating it's room green.

No one decides what I will wear, what I will enjoy doing, what I will be interested in. Except me.

I decide what I like.

I define me. 

-Oakstar

Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Perfect Halloween Costume

What? Ten days?

I'm sorry bloggers. School is busy. life is stressful.

Let's get onto the post.

Today I'm going to be doing a little tutorial on how to pick the perfect Halloween costume.

1. To start off with, the first thing you want to do is decide if you're going to coordinate your costume with your group of friends or if you're going solo. For me, this year, because of my friends' varying tastes in Halloween costumes, I'm going alone.

2. Do a general search for Halloween costumes in your age group. You may want to browse different social medias and websites.






3.  Make a file with ten to twenty or so of ideas.

Mine looked like this:

gumball machine
emoji
Hermione Granger
vending machine
deviled egg
the eleventh doctor
cat
minion
Canada
England
Sadness
zombie

4. Cross of anything that is inappropriate. Yes, it's up to you what you want to wear, but no one really wants to see you trick or treat naked. Respect yourself.

gumball machine
emoji
Hermione Granger
vending machine
deviled egg
the eleventh doctor
cat
minion
Canada
England
Sadness
zombie

5. Cross off anything that grosses yourself out too much.

gumball machine
emoji
Hermione Granger
vending machine
deviled egg
the eleventh doctor
cat
minion
Canada
England
Sadness
zombie

6. Cross off anything too elaborate for the time you have. 

gumball machine
emoji
Hermione Granger
vending machine
deviled egg
the eleventh doctor
cat
minion
Canada
England
Sadness
zombie

7. Cross off anything that you know at least two other people are going to be- or anything that you find unoriginal.

gumball machine
emoji
Hermione Granger
vending machine
deviled egg
the eleventh doctor
cat
minion
Canada
England
Sadness
zombie

8. Cross off anything you've already been. It's no fun.

gumball machine
emoji
Hermione Granger
vending machine
deviled egg
the eleventh doctor
cat
minion
Canada
England
Sadness
zombie

9. Cross off anything that requires you to carry around too much.

gumball machine
emoji
Hermione Granger
vending machine
deviled egg
the eleventh doctor
cat
minion
Canada
England
Sadness
zombie

10. If you have a favourite among the ones remaining, go with that one. If you don't , go with the one that's easier to explain.


gumball machine
emoji
Hermione Granger
vending machine
deviled egg
the eleventh doctor
cat
minion
Canada
England
Sadness
zombie

Hope this works for you! Happy Halloween!

Tell me your costumes down below.

-Oakstar

Monday, 19 October 2015

The True Magic Behind Harry Potter

In which I give founded reasons for why Harry Potter is more than just a series of books, and how Harry Potter is not about potions and wand-waving magic, but the magic found within true love. (explained mostly in gifs)



The love between these three actually hurts. They are squad goals.

look at the smiles on their cute little faces awwwww


Hagrid is a father figure to Harry. He has no ulterior motive in caring for him. He just loves out of the goodness of his very large, very hairy heart.


Dobby is so adorable. He loves Harry with all of his little heart and he makes me so happy.
It's okay Harry need a hug

Dumbledore is wise. He is caring. He is loving. He is troubled with a dark past, but stays strong even in the darkest of times. 


Oops. This was not the gif intended.


There we go. Much better.

Siriusly, the love that Sirius has for Harry is so abundant. He truly cares for him in every single way. 



You don't understand how much I love these books, and how I treasure the characters in them in every single way. The friendships, the unconditional love, the father figures. Harry himself.

I feel terrible for people who don't read Harry Potter for religious reasons. The true magic isn't wand-waving, potion making, black cats and owls. It's friendship, bravery, and the unconditional love shown from all of the characters.

-Oakstar



Sunday, 18 October 2015

Musings on The Unexplained

Sometimes I wonder if we're just one timeline and that one day our Universe will implode, be nothing for a few million years, and then restart it's cycle all over again.

I wonder if the aliens came during the dinosaur ages and were like"these peeps are insane goodbye" and off they flew.

I wonder if Neil Armstrong and landing on the moon was legit.

I wonder if aliens exist if so get your butts over here and take me to the Doctor.

I hope ghosts aren't real I'd feel real bad for them.

Am I an alien's science experiment if so he better have gotten an A+

I'm starting to believe in reincarnation. I need to stop watching documentaries.

I have a genius theory based off of the Persian Gulf, petrol, and the garden of Eden it's brilliant mates

I believe in fate and I love it and hate it at the same time.

I was born in the wrong generation as anyone could tell you I am clearly a very large humanist and I was meant to have a party in the Renaissance (but they had horrible fashion sense though)

I think I'd rather die than become one of the creatures from I am Legend ew

Every time I do a group project I swear we always end up talking about religion. Does this ever happen to you

I sometimes come up with genius time travel theories like launching the Earth at EXTREMELY high speed into a black hole

Father Brown is really educational in the different ways people can interpret the Bible.

So you know how some people believe in magic right? (including me) Well what is magic? What is the definition of it? Is there a line in between what's normal and what's... magic? Because, even with the magic in let's say, Harry Potter, there is a certain science to it. It makes sense in a nonsensical way. Is magic defined because it is unexplained by something, per say, like gravity? But even in gravity, which is more potent the bigger the object is, isn't that kind of magic because yes there's a theory behind it but there's gotta be something magic just to make it all start working

And isn't electricity kind of magic too


ok bye


p.s: I'M WORKING ON MUST WE I PROMISE THEY'RE COMING THEY'RE COMING

Sunday, 11 October 2015

10 Reasons Why I Wave the Rainbow Flag

Yes, this post will be controversial.
Yes, this post may offend you, depending on how you take it. However, that is never my intention.
Although I am interested in hearing your opinion, I ask you to refrain from hate.

Okay, so, where to begin?


I chose this day to post this post for a special reason... it's October 11th, National Coming Out Day. So I'm coming out... as an Ally. I am not bisexual, pansexual, asexual, transgender, homosexual. I simply believe that everyone deserves equal rights.



Alrighty then... let's go.

1. Freedom of religion

My dear friend once asked me "Should churches be forced to marry gay couples?" My immediate answer was no. I am a strong supporter of freedom of religion. In the Bible, it says the only lawful religious marriage is if it was man-woman, and if the woman was a virgin. (I'm not going to even bother getting into how much the latter rule is ignored by the church and how only the first one is extremely enforced) While I think this particular message in the Bible is outdated, it still stands. It's freedom of religion.

But freedom of religion also extends to everyone. Just because something is against your religion does not mean it is wrong for other people's religions as well. And yes, I understand that you may believe your religion is the only truth, but so does a lot of other people. See the dilemma? There is no more or less solid, wrought-iron proof that one God is better than the other, or that God exists at all.

2. Hypocrisy :( 

It makes me sad when someone says "I believe in equality and unity. Everyone deserves equal rights, respect, and fair treatment." and then they later on say "Oh and btw, I don't support gay marriage."

WHAT. I DON'T GET IT. Please explain your logic. How come homosexuals are suddenly  an exception to equality? Because they are against God?

Saying that you are all for equality, yet just not for homosexuals, is a form of hypocrisy.

50 years ago, colored people were opposed by a very Christian country. I am not saying that Christianity is a racist religion. I'm saying that beliefs change. Look at how the women were treated back in the Middle Ages, even how killing was okay if the Pope said so (holy wars). Beliefs have changed so much since then. It goes to show that there are different ways to interpret religious texts.

And another thing: Love for all should equal the same respect and tolerance for all, as long as they are not hurting anybody.

3. Human rights

I feel like this one needs no more explanation. Can't we just give everyone the respect and dignity of a human being?

4. The science behind it

I've done extensive research on this topic, and I've come up with some very interesting factoids to share with everyone.
           a) Finger length points very often to a person's sexual preference. (see here)
           b) Homosexuality happens quite often in animals. There are many male homosexual bottlenose pairs that mate for life. DOLPHINS ARE THE BEST OKAY DO I NEED TO CONTINUE

5. The gay agenda???

The term "gay agenda" has been up and coming in society. It needs to stop right now. The homosexual movement in our society has always been the same: acceptance, acceptance, acceptance.

6. Saving lives

People often use the fact that homosexual couples can't reproduce as an argument against LGBTQ, but think about it for a second. What do they do instead? They adopt. They adopt children that otherwise would've grown up in orphanages in not so wealthy countries. They might have ended up being homeless, being hurt, assaulted, bullied. Yes, I agree that having a mother and a father may be healthier, depending on the family dynamic and how safe the environment is. But as long as, let's say, a male couple provides perhaps a sister or grandmother to take their daughter bra shopping, they will be fine.

7. Written when trying to grow the population

Now, let me just say, I've read a lot of the Bible. Passages my friends have read me, passages I've looked up on my own, different teachings I find useful, that I write down to remember and look back on.

I know it says to take the Bible literally, to not question any of it. You can skip this argument if you're opposed to hearing about someone else's beliefs.

Here's one theory that I quite like: Think about the time in history the Bible was written, all pieced together. It was during a time right after the dark ages, when religion was, in all truth, an ugly thing that caused more death, torture, slavery, rape and violence. But besides that, the population was little. It was scarce. It was only natural that everyone wanted to grow the population.

Even deeper into that. The people who pieced it all together craved power, and especially more people to give money to their religion.

8. Misinterpretation

It's very possible that some Bible verses against homosexuality can easily be interpreted in a different way.

9. Hurting no one

Alright, so, why is it our business to care about who people love?
Yes. I've heard the argument "This isn't love it's lust"

Homosexual relationships are not one-night stands. They can be, just like heterosexual relationships. But most are true loving relationships. They build families, grow a community. They're solid.

I've heard of many people say that we should treat all "sin" just the same. Do you actually expect me to believe that homosexuality is something that can even be compared to murder? If so, I feel sorry for you.

The truth is, it shouldn't even be our business. Homosexuality is not doing anything damaging to our society. It does not in any form encourage rape, abuse, or adultery. It's not hurting anyone directly. And even those who take offense to it are hurting the LGBTQ community in turn.


10. Most importantly... do we really have time to care

We are destroying our world. Planet earth is dying. We should be looking for new ways to maintain life, to feed hungry children starving in Africa. We should be looking to end the murder and crime rates. We should be stopping bullying. We should be teaching young girls about self-confidence and eating properly. Do we really have the time to worry about two women/ men in a committed, loving relationship?

I admire LGTBQs. They inspire people to be themselves even if they're not completely accepted.


Now here's the hard truth. I believe homophobia is just as bad as racism. You're denying and hating someone because of a natural part of their body.

Please express your opinion! Remember, I still appreciate you as a person. Just, please, be respectful. No one likes a hater.

Thanks for reading this sort of long post,
Oakstar





Friday, 9 October 2015

100

This is it, ladies and gentlemen.

It's number 100.

Yes. I've written 100 posts on this blog. I feel so proud of myself. This is a huge accomplishment, and I can't believe how much time and effort I've put into this blog during the past year and a quarter. It's been a wild journey, and I'm only just getting started.

I wanted some quality, some beef  for this post, so I thought that I'd include 10 reasons why blogging is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

1) A great sense of community on the blogosphere. I feel write at home in this blogger village (thank you for putting up with the nonsense I write).

2) A chance to develop my writing and entertaining skills by striving to write funny posts (thanks for putting up with my not-at-all clever puns).

3) A chance to read about other teenagers just like me (thanks for putting up with my slightly stalkeresque comments).

4) A sense of profound acceptance and love throughout out large community (thanks for putting up with my unconventional ideas).

5) A chance to explore different views and opinions (thanks for putting up with my ultra long comments on your posts talking about religion).

6) A chance to read some incredible writing by other young talents.

7) The thrill and excitement of every new comment.

8) A place where I can blab about my true feelings and my insecurities kept away from the majority of the people in real life.

9) An opportunity to say "My online friend did this..."

10) Most importantly, for a community of people looking to explore and search and learn about the world around us, to grow in our opinions and make a difference in this world. That, to me, is the biggest part of blogging.

And I'm just getting started.

There.

I see the button reading 'publish'. I am about to click it for the 100th time.

It signifies a new beginning. A door leading to a path that will probably have some bumbs, but above all will lead to a marvelous adventure.

Are you with me?

Here I go. I'm going to click it.

Publish new post.


Saturday, 3 October 2015

October

Happy October, everyone.

May you lather yourself in October- scented products.

May you devour apple-y desserts.

May you read a book under the autumn-orange leaves.

It seems to me that everyone loves October.

I personally love October. It contains my birthday (it's on Wednesday), Thanksgiving, Halloween, and wonderful smells.

 The nights get chillier. The food gets warmer. The colors turn into red, orange, and deep yellow. October fashion includes an abundance of huge sweaters and leggings, converse and plaid shirts.

The new Cormoran Strike book will be coming up near the end of the month. I am positively dying of excitement.

Summer passed by us so quickly. On the long road of life, when we turn back, we can see it in the distance, winking at us, promising to see us again soon.

So take a moment to appreciate the beauty of October. It's slipping away already. Look outside. Take pictures of the leaves. Make leaf piles, watch classic horror movies. Immerse yourself in the smells.

Plan a very creative Halloween costume. Do not let anyone spoil your fun. And please don't go as a half-naked cat. It's very unoriginal. I have already planned my costume:
I shall copy this man. I found him on the interweb.
You see? It is a deviled egg.


Enjoy October. I certainly will.

-Oakstar

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Fall Bucket List

Yes... in case you didn't have enough of them clouding up your blog feed.

1. Watch The Blob, Frankenstein, and Dracula. Any other suggestions?

Does this look like a clump of strawberry jam to you?


2. Read To Kill a Mockingbird and whatever other classic literature I may stumble upon.

3. Buy a pumpkin scented candle because they seem to be all the rage nowadays.

4. Bake apple pies.

5. Go apple/pumpkin picking.

6. Make leaf piles and jump in them.

7. Take amazing fall pictures.

8. Visit a haunted house.

9. Read under my giant tree in the backyard.

10. Try a pumpkin spice latte.

11. Make chili.

12. Have a Halloween- themed birthday party.

-Oakstar

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Must We Be Outgoing

She's so antisocial. 

He must be so shy. 

She DOESN'T EVEN SPEAK. IS SHE A MONKEY?

No, she's not.

No, he's not.

And, well, scientifically speaking, yes, but no. Just no.

Why do introverts have such a bad rep?

Why must we be so outgoing?

Introverts think. They are very imaginative. They look at people and have brilliant ideas.

Extroverts share, they care. They're the first to ask you a question about your day. They look at you and give you a bright smile.

Extroverts, or outgoing people, tend to make more friends, because they give off a vibe that says "I really want to be friends".

But, guys, INTROVERTS ARE NICE TOO. THEY CARE ABOUT YOU. They'll help you pick up your books if you drop them, give you a quiet smile as you pass them in the hallway. They'll give you wise advice, they'll develop a deep connection with you.

So why, might I ask, are we afraid to be introverted? Why does introvert always mean antisocial. shy, and worst of all, mean?

The answer is simple: society. Afraid to be ourselves. Afraid to listen to music, read a book. Just because an introvert can't stand large crowds, has to take a break between social gatherings, and won't ask you five billion questions in under five minutes, doesn't mean they don't like people. They like people. They just feel more powerful when they're by themselves. We're taught from a young age to talk a lot, spend more time with people than alone.

I'm half introvert, half extrovert myself. Just because I don't answer all my texts because I'm busy, I don't know, writing or something, does not mean that I hate talking to you.

So, society, why are you discouraging introverts from being themselves?

I pledge, from this day forward, to not judge an introvert by their cover. It's okay if you're not outgoing. Tell me your deep thought when you are ready, I'm more than excited to hear it.

-Oakstar

Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Art of Losing Pencils

Here, oh here, my jolly reader,
I present to you,
The skill of losing pencils,
Yes, many more than two.

It starts on the first day of school,
They are all so shiny,
You open your pencil case, thinking you're cool,
But then you drop one. Blimey!

One is cracked, and one gets lost.
Now you're stuck,
No more like a boss.
In all circumstances, this kind of sucks.

Your friend borrows two,
They never return.
One's snapped by a shoe
And two get burned.

You're starting to wonder
If they just disappear
Over pencils you ponder
And wipe back a tear.

On the tenth day of school,
You've lost just as many,
The teachers say they are a non valuable tool,
But how come you don't have any?

-Oakstar

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Must We Follow Trends

Instagram.

Ugg boots.

Starbucks drinks.

Clicky pens, the capped ones are for dorks.


All of these are huge social trends nowadays, ones that we all succumb to in day to day life. It could be as simple as the thickness of the highlighters we buy for back-to-school (admit it, you try to stay away from the thick ones, they're "really dorky"). But it could be as big as wearing makeup at a young age,  or starting to date even though you're not even a teenager.

But why do we do these things? In a society that's constantly pressuring us to buy this, do that, where does one go to find a non-biased opinion, someone who's basing their opinions, preferences, likes and dislikes off of their own self?

Why do we post countless filtered selfies on instagram, all with that really weird kissy face? What happened to smiling? Why does everyone who's anyone wear yoga pants tucked into Ugg boots during the winter? Why are all of the teenage girls suddenly obsessed with Starbucks drinks?

Why?

WHY?

WHYYYYYYYYY??????????


Trends. They follow trends. They see what everyone else is doing, particularly what all of the popular kids are doing, and they copy them in hopes to be looked at as normal.

Normal. Funny word, isn't it? Normal. Not special, not unique, not original or inventive or innovative or extraordinary. Normal, like everyone else. Ordinary. Flat. Dull. Boring?

WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO BE BORING??? You only live once, okay? Are you going to waste it being exactly like everyone else? What's the fun in that?

Another important question is: Why would you waste a childhood/teenagehood on being exactly like everyone else, when you could be exactly what you want to be and do exactly what you want to do? So your crush can like you back? You won't even remember him/her.So the cool kids will let you hang out with them at lunch? They're faking it, just like you. So you can get more likes on your Instagram picture? On your death bed, are you really going to look back and think: "If only I had more likes on my selfie when I was 16 years old." No, you won't.


Trends are just a pretty word to cover up the ugly truth: The things people do to be accepted in today's society. I say today's society because trends change with the seasons.

So.... let's stop following trends. Let's do what we want to do?

If you actually prefer ugg boots and starbucks drinks? Rock that.

If you like combat boots and herbal tea? Rock that.

If you like leather jackets and thick highlighters? Rock that.

Do what you want. Do what you love.

-Oakstar

Saturday, 5 September 2015

10 Ways to be Happier


1. Smile more. This one seems obvious but smiling increases your happiness levels in your brain, making you so much happier.

2. Spend time on you. Do whatever makes you happy, whether it be shopping, reading, writing, doing a sport, anything!

3. Surround yourself with positive people. You may not realize it, but your really negative friend with a hateful outlook on life may be subconsciously affecting how you feel.  Surrounding yourself with friends who believe in love, unicorns, and sparkles might just change your entire outlook on life.

4. Get out of the house. Being cooped up all day can cause depression. Getting out and keeping busy gives you a sense of accomplishment.

5. Be nicer to others. Ever accidentally say something mean to someone on the go, then later regret it and feel really guilty? Bein nicer to people will give you a sense of pride and will definitely keep you happier.

6. Love yourself. If you can look at yourself in the mirror and be able to say "You're beautiful", you are guaranteed to be happier in life.

7. Get excited for little things. A good friend of mine gets excited for every tiny little good thing that happens in her life. When people asked her why, she simply responded "If we only got excited for the big things in life, life wouldn't be very exciting at all." I'm trying very hard to imprint this philosophy in my every day life.

8. Be thankful. Being gracious will improve your mood by a thousand percent. Realize how lucky you are that you have food on your table and friends and family that love you. Practice gratitude however you like- whether it be by prayer, by giving back, or by simply listing five things you're grateful for every time you brush your teeth at night.

9. Spend more money on experiences, not objects. Objects fade away, lose their magic, and become out of style. Memories last forever.

10. Acknowledge sadness. This seems so unhappy, but I think it's one of the more important ones on this list. If you don't acknowledge sadness, then you'll be stuck with a permanent knot in your chest. You'll constantly be trying to push it away, but it will always be there. Sad days are important for our overall happiness. Without darkness, there wouldn't be light.

Hope you enjoyed, and got something out of this post.

-Oakstar

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Preview of Upcoming Posts

Hey bloggers! I have no time for an actual post today, so here is a preview of my upcoming posts:

Throughout this next week: - 10 Ways to be Happier
                                             - Must We Kick off Post
                                             - funny post- it's a surprise!


Next week: -Must We cont.
                   - 10 Reasons Why I Support LGBTQ
                   - Dating at a Young Age
                   -another funny post!


Alright, this isn't much. I'm struggling with my new  routine, but as soon as I get settled in this year, I'll be back with my regular posting schedule!

Hope you're all getting back into the daily grind.

-Oakstar

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

I Blog Like a Girl

Sometimes, you just gotta take a step back.
 
You gotta take a step back and ask yourself... why do I say the things I say? Why do I act the way I do? 

I asked myself this question over and over while watching this video.

When they asked people to run like a girl, for a split second, I laughed. I laughed at the idea of running like a girl, because the first image that popped into my brain was that stereotype: A girl, holding her hair, sort of skipping, and complaining about how difficult it was.

But then, maybe three seconds later, I realized that no, I don't run like that, and most girls I know don't run like that. Why would I laugh at the way girls run, when I myself am a girl, and I don't find the way I run funny at all? 

And that's when I realized that society has programmed me to think that way. It's not entirely my fault to laugh at the idea of a girl running. Society, the media, the images, have programmed me into thinking that running like a girl is something to be mocked.

And going even deeper than that, society has programmed us to think that running like a girl, throwing like a girl, fighting like a girl....is an insult. 

Does that mean being a girl is an insult? Does that mean that I, myself, am something to be mocked, stereotyped, placed into a box with pink sparkles, white gloves for my dainty hands. cute little white kittens, and jean miniskirts... because that's what my identity is supposed to be?

People claim that misogyny and inequality have died down recently, but tell me this: Why is it still considered improper for a girl to ask a guy out? Why can a multi-gender crowd be addressed as guys without second thought, but when addressed as girls, people would be insulted and confused?

Well, I know that one person with a different mindset CAN make a difference. So from here on out, when someone says I blog like a girl, run like a girl, fight like a girl, or just simply act like a girl, I'm going to smile real wide and say "Aw, thanks." Because I am a girl, and the phrase"like a girl" means something different for all girls.

But for me, it's a compliment.

-Oakstar

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Must We...

I think I'm going to start a little post series named "Must We". I've just started toying with this little idea of mine, and I think by writing about it, it will give me insight on why, in society today, we must do certain things and act certain ways  in order to fit in and be normal.

Over the next month or so, I'm planning to cover seven ideas. For example, on of them is, "Must We Follow Trends".

I hope that through the course of this mini project, I'll be more and more able to define myself and not conform to social norms. And who knows, maybe I'll inspire some of you as well!

So, what do you think of this challenge? Do you have any ideas of what topics I can write about?? Let me know in the comments!

Not mine



Wednesday, 19 August 2015

How To Handle Chatty Teenage Girls at a Camp Sleepover

1. Make an assessment. Are they usually quiet? How loud are they now? Are they nice to people outside their squad?

2. Find a friend who's also up. Have them come on over to your bunk and commiserate with you on how loud the teenagers are being.

3. Proceed to throw gummy bears at sleeping friends for entertainment.

4. Wait until a sleeper starts snoring. When one the chatty teenagers starts yelling, "WHO THE HELL IS SNORING TELL THEM TO SHUT THE (insert swear word here) UP!!!" Say in a slightly sassy voice, "She can't just shut up. However, it's two in the morning. You can."

5. Wait as they try to figure out your wit, and as they come up with a really stupid comeback like "YOU shut up, you're younger than us, you can't tell us what to do!"

6. Give them a few minutes for the chatting to start again, more likely at a higher volume.

7. Eat a pringle.

8. Offer them some pringles, if they shut up. They will refuse the offer.

9. Wait another five minutes as you play 5 Nights at Freddys on your friends phone.

10. Make a fake phone call to your imaginary friend Chelsea in England.

11. Tell them that Chelsea wants them to stop talking.

12. Try to fall asleep for 25 minutes, tossing and turning because the teenagers won't shut up.

13. After half an hour, get up again. Tell the teenagers that they're actually being really disrespectful, and people are actually trying to fall asleep.

14. Listen to the gossip the teenagers are just bound to start spewing at around 4:00 am.

15. When the time seems appropriate, yell: "Like, seriously!" at them. using your best valley girl impression.

16. Play 5 Nights at Freddys. Offer your friend a pringle.

17. Watch the sun rise.

18. Watch your friend as she gets up to brush her teeth.

19. Force yourself into a slightly comfortable position.

20. Close your eyes and pretend to be in a coma. Focus all your concentrations on the blackness in front of you. You probably will not fall asleep, but at least you're up to date on everything that's happened, gossip-wise over the last year.

21. When all the teenage girls run into the bathroom to put their makeup on in the morning, proceed to write a note pretending to be a burnt zombie zucchini and place it on one of their bunks. Bonus points for sprinkling some zucchini seeds.


-Oakstar

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Update

Hey bloggers! This is just a quick update to show you that I'm fully alive and well.

I've been thinking about some fun post ideas I can't wait to get started on. I'm heading on an overnight camp that I will probably blog about, and I also have a few poems I'd like to post.

I've also been working out on my young writers' blog, if you haven't checked that out already, click here.

-Oakstar

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Our Words, Our Voices

Before I even turned on the computer yesterday, set to write my last post, Words, I had been toying with an idea in my mind for a long while.

Then, as I wrote about the biggest part of me, writing, the idea grew bigger and bigger in my chest.

I didn't expect any comments, maybe one or two from my best blogging buddies.

But it was the most amount of comments I had gotten in a while. And every single one of them talked about how they felt the same way about writing, how it was hard, and frustrating, but how without it, they would be an entirely different person.

And that is how Our Words, Our Voices was born.

All of a sudden, I realized that I was not the only young writer trying to make it in this world, that I am part of a large, but small community of junior authors striving to reach their dreams.

There are many more of us than we think. We`re trying to learn and develop and become more successful, and we each fail, and we each succeed. Not many understand us, and online writing communities are always run by adults who don`t understand what it`s like to be young writers anymore. Some competitions aren`t fair, and none of them are run by kids.

My brand new website is called Our Words, Our Voices. It is run by me, and maybe, at some point, I will ask a co-owner or two. I`m using the wordpress domain name until I get my own website.

It is a sacred playe for young writers to share their love of writing with others, for their writing and themselves to be featured, to grow and learn and encourage each other together, as one.

We are the next generation of literature, and we have to nurture our talent. Why not do it together? I would like for one day young authors from all over the world come and visit my site and connect through the power of writing.

It would mean the world to me if you could check it out, and maybe subscribe? It's not just my project, it's all of ours. There will be improvements as the site grows, and young authors will be featured, contests will be held, writers will connect, and most importantly, stories will be written.

I will always post on this blog, so this won't change. But I'm so excited to get to work on this huge project!

Click here and here and here and here to visit it!

Smile!

-Oakstar

Friday, 7 August 2015

Words

Like the doctor stitches an open wound

And rain will make a seedling bloom

A writer heals an empty page

With inspired words meant to be sage


Like laughter fills a dark sad house

And color livens a grey blouse

A writer fills the white blank space

With secrets and magic they can't erase


Like art is an escape for some 

And singers just cannot stay mum 

Writing makes my life complete

I have things in my mind I just can't delete

_________________________________________________________________

I might not be the most talented poet out there, but this poem represents only a fragment of how much I truly love writing. While I might enjoy baking, swimming, reading, photography, and singing, writing is my true passion, my calling. It helps me through matters I cannot handle on my own.

It helps me see things in an entirely different light, and it gives me energy. I breathe through writing, and when that is taken from me, I'll manage to thrive for a little while, but eventually, I need to turn back to it for me to fully be alive and free.

Writing is frustrating at times, and sometimes, my writing will turn out to be something I loathe. But no matter how much it puts me through and how many challenges I face with it, I will not give up on it.

Because giving up on writing is giving up on a huge part of me, my soul. I can't imagine that being lost. 

Writing speaks to me like nothing else can, and without it, I wouldn't be typing these words right now. I wouldn't be able to explore my mind or have the thoughts that I have. I wouldn't be able to face my fears or speak up for myself. Writing makes me stronger. It makes me who I am. I've made people cry, I've made people laugh. I love writing.

People say I have a way with words, but I know the truth. Words have a way with me.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

July Roundup!

Well, it's August, and I've decided to do a roundup of all the things that have been going on in the last month :)

Trips and Events

First was my trip to visit my best friend in Maine, then I took a road trip to the Pittsburgh area to reunite with some of my friends from the Discovery Girls Magazine. Both were so fun!

I also started a collab blog with Amelie B. and Girlradio! To check it out, click here! If you want to contact us about joining our collab or about anything at all, please email us at panda.nightingale.narwhal@gmail.com :)

Favourites

Food: Definitely the Butterbeer drink from Starbucks! My friend Angel tipped me off about this and it is simply divine! You've gotta check it out!

Music: Fight Song (Christina Platten), Shut Up And Dance (Walk The Moon), and I Got You (Cimorelli).

Clothes: Let's all just take a moment to worship jean shorts, all day, everyday. And of course tee shirts and bathing suits, because as you may  know, I spend my life at the pool.

Books: The Art of Racing in the Rain is probably one of my favourite books of all time, ever. Period. I'll be doing a review pretty soon.

Movies: I adored Inside Out!

Blogging

I had my very first blogaversary and gained two followers. What an amazing month!


I've been having a splendid summer, and I hope everyone else is as excited for school as I am! Yes, I like the beginning of school. I am enjoying my summer, though, so I'm happy to keep it the way it is for a little longer.

Smile!

-Oakstar

Monday, 27 July 2015

The Unpopulars Have Spoken

I found this cute Unpopular Opinions tag on Olivia's blog and I decided to give it a shot. Get ready for a whole lot of Unpopular Opinions... if you agree with me, do let me know.

A popular book/series you didn't like:

The Fault in Our Stars. Please explain the hype for this? The plot was a HUGE cliche, the foreshadowing was just terrible and it was so obvious Gussy was going to die, the characters were inconsistent and simply unlikeable, and well, more ranting later.

A popular author you can't seem to get into:

John Green. Are all of my answers going to be about his books?

A love triangle where the protagonist ended up with the person you didn't want them to be with: 

Okay, so I've never actually watched or read the Twilight series. I've seen the Honest Trailer for each, and to be honest, that's PLENTY for me. But what I can decipher from what I've seen is that I like the werewolf better than the vampire.

A popular genre you hardly read:

I read a bit of everything, honestly, so this question is NA.

A popular/beloved character you dislike:

First of all,, Tris from Divergent. She makes me too angry so I will not talk about her, however I will talk to you about YA's favourite couple, Hazel Grace Just Friends Lancaster and August Preachy Metaphors Waters. They are simply unlikeable. Hazel? You went from "just friends" to after two days in fantasyland, lovers and...well.... ugh. Augustus? I`m sorry. But I found you really, really pretentious.

A popular series you have no interest in reading:

The Selection, Divergent, Twilight, anything with a love triangle....

A show/movie adaptation you liked better than the book:

This is completely NA. BOOKS ARE BETTER AND THAT`S THAT

A popular trope you're tired of reading:

Look at me! I`m a sixteen year old white girl with perfect hair and perfect teeth. My BFF is slightly boy-crazy. I`m going to a beach this summer and it`s going to change my life. Oh look! A hot guy! I`m going to flirt with him. HE LIKES ME OMG OMG OMG. But what about the cutie lifeguard? OH NO THEY BOTH LIKE MEEEEEE :(

A popular style of cover you can't stand:

This is a long list.

-symbols that involve fire
-one body part, like an eye
-holding hands
-feet dangling over a dock, very clearly two boy feet and one pair of girl feet. like ew
-blonde girls half naked riding a bicycle
-people kissing on a beach

I'm not tagging anybody, but this was super fun, so go for it guys!

-Oakstar

(ps my opinions are not meant to offend anyone and I'm not insulting cancer victims by insulting Hazel Grace)

And if you're in love with Augustus Waters and feel offended on a personal level....


Saturday, 25 July 2015

Differences

In which I bring you a post about my experiences embracing different opinions.

Note- this was a guest post swap. Be sure to check out GirlRadio's blog and her post on my blog a little while ago.

Hello, readers of Nerd Glasses and Wanderlust! It’s Oakstar from Amazing Case of Wanderlust here
today. GirlRadio and I have been corresponding a lot through e-mail, and when we decided to do a post swap, we thought it would be a bit of a boring idea to just do, you know, a swap.
So, we bring you our newly created hashtag, and our posts that will be about embracing diversity and
difference.
My post, to start it off, will be about dealing with people’s differences of opinions. Being in high school and also very well in tune with the world around me through social media and the news, I have a lot of experiences that have to do with dealing with someone who has a different opinion than mine - about something more important than just a favorite color or book.
Through my experiences, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve grown to accept and embrace people’s different
opinions - while I may disagree with, or even, in very hard cases which I will get into later, be appalled by their opinions, I can still love and appreciate them as a person.
When I first went into the seventh grade, I was much younger in body and mind, and I hadn’t yet been introduced to people of many different belief systems, upbringings, and backgrounds.
Some important things to remember while disagreeing with someone:
-Stand up for your beliefs, but don’t shove them down someone else’s throat
-If someone else’s opinion is downright malicious or really not okay (ex: someone says they hate
everyone with a darker skin color), it is out of what you should deal with and you should talk to a
adult about it
-Be respectful while telling them you disagree
-If someone is really stubborn, it's best not to bring up controversial topics at all. If they are standing up for a view that is completely and utterly the opposite of your beliefs and values, it's best to put some space between you and them or keep topics light and fluffy

Scenario 1:
Situation: I’m in the girls’ locker room after gym on a Friday, and me and a friend I’ll call Laura have started a conversation about our new science topic, evolution. I mention how I find the topic truly
fascinating, how we’ve originated from apes. Laura scornfully replies, “Pshh. It’s so obvious we don’t come from monkeys. It’s stupid. They’re animals, we’re humans. We come from Adam and Eve.”

My reaction: “They’re not monkeys, Laura. And you think coming from monkeys is stupid? What about seven billion people coming from only two? It just doesn’t make sense.”  Laura gives me an angry look.

What I should’ve said: “I disagree. I believe in evolution. It’s not cool that you’re dissing my beliefs.
That’s not respectful. I’m going to go now, bye.” This would’ve let her know that I don’t think it’s okay what she said, but I still get to be respectful, and I don’t stoop down to her level.

Lesson: Instead of attacking someone back and stooping down to their level, I’ve learned to keep my
calm and be the bigger, better person. I don’t speak to Laura as much anymore, but I still love her as the human being she is. I don’t mind if someone has different beliefs, but I can’t allow anyone to insult mine.

Scenario 2:
Situation: I’m talking to two of my close friends - Rachel and Kerry - in a quiet corner at our school dance.
Rachel’s drink spills. She swears under her breath and Kerry and I gasp. A few younger passersby chant, "She said the s-word!" repeatedly.
“Oh wait - oops. Girls shouldn’t swear. It’s not proper. Boys can get away with it," Rachel says quickly.

My reaction: I open my mouth to say something, but then close it again. I want to say something, but I can’t. I’m too appalled.

What I should’ve said: I’m a feminist, meaning I believe that women and men should be treated equally. I should’ve said what I wanted to say, stood up for what I believed. I should’ve said: “Sadly, that is what society thinks. I believe in equal treatment, though, and it makes no difference whether a boy or girl swears. Neither is polite, but the politeness doesn’t change.”

Lesson: I’ve learned to stand up for what I believe in. I won’t hide my true self anymore. I’m still friends with Rachel, but I look at her in a different way. If a feminist topic ever comes up again, I will be sure to say what I believe.

Scenario 3:
Situation: I’m in the library with Rachel and Kerry. Kerry is talking about how she adores the Rick
Riordan books, and she’s grown interested in Greek mythology because of them. She says how she
thinks he is super talented. Then, Rachel cuts her off and says: “No, he’s not. He’s not creative at all. He’s just stealing the creation of the Greeks. The money should be going to the Greeks.”

My reaction: I’ve never been a huge fan of the Percy Jackson series, but I still thought that he deserved the credit. “I disagree,” I said. “There are plenty of other authors who have used mythology in their books, too, and they are still creative. He works hard and his characters and situations are plenty creative. Plus, the Greeks that created what’s used in his works died a long time ago, and it’s not the property of their great great great grandchildren.”

What I should’ve said: I’m proud of what I said, and I stand by it. I was mature, not unreasonable, and I gave my opinion.

Lesson: If I give my opinion while holding my tongue at the same time, I can achieve a lot more satisfaction. Yay me!

Scenario 4: The Toughest, But The One I Am The Most Proud Of
Situation: It’s June 26th, and it’s a pretty good day for me because I’ve just heard America has finally legalized same sex marriage. I call my best friend the next day with the good news. She replies with a shrug, then goes on to say that she doesn’t really support same sex marriage, but she will never speak up against it because it is not her place.

My reaction: I’m surprised, but I tell her calmly: “I believe that love always wins and God would want people to marry who they want. I’m pretty passionate about this, but your friendship means way too much to me to get into an argument, especially when it is about faith and things so personal that will never change. I disagree with you, but I love you.”

What I should’ve said: This was the most difficult one for me. It was an ethical dilemma. Should I choose my best friend, who I love to death, who shares a super close bond with me and we have so many memories together, or do I choose to defend a topic that I believe so strongly in to the bottom of my heart? I chose the medium. I told her I disagree with her, and that it is a topic really close to my heart, but I chose to keep a precious relationship instead of ruin it. I am really proud of what I chose.

Lesson: There is a medium to strive for, and it is possible to find it. She and I are still just as close. Picking what’s important is hard, but it is possible to find a way to make it work. This may seem like a reflection on my actions, but even if your beliefs are different, there is a lesson in this for all of us. Even if you share Rachel’s and Laura’s beliefs, you can still choose to embrace the diversity, agree to disagree, and love each other just as much. Talking about personal things is tough, but even when you disagree, with respect and love, your relationships don’t have to change.

Next time you face a challenge similar to some of my scenarios, document it and reflect. I’m not perfect, but I’ve definitely improved on embracing diversity in the past year. If we all took something out of these lessons, the world would be a much better place.

Together we can strive for a world with more compassion and love, no matter what your beliefs.

#togetherwecan

-Oakstar