Wake up call…One could say that I’ve been in a bit of a funk for the past couple of weeks. I’ve woken up every morning with no sense of excitement for what the day could possibly have to offer. Of course, being stuck in a house all day might not seem exciting for a teenager, but I knew deep down that this was not the source of my unhappy state.
I began to realize, that each day presented an “obstacle” that felt incredibly difficult to overcome. These minor inconveniences would shift my entire mood because I felt as though nothing could go my way. Although I am referring to these events as “minor”, it took me a while to view them in this manner.
It wasn’t until truly major obstacles began to affect the people close to me, that my entire mindset changed. Something clicked in me when these events started to occur, and the only way I could possibly describe it, is a “wake up call”.
In this moment, I stopped and reflected on my behavior in the last week. I realized the ignorance that I was demonstrating even though there was nothing to be upset about. The problems that I was facing were NOTHING in comparison to what people have had to go through in these difficult times. It was then, that I learned that we cannot let minor troubles get to us.
I am beyond blessed to have a wonderful family, a healthy life, and a positive upbringing. Unfortunately, it took some time for me to realize it. These recent times have taught me that tomorrow is never promised, and for that reason we must be present in everything we do, and try to enjoy every moment we have with those whom we love. I am proud to say that those insignificant issues that I have experienced, no longer affect me the way they used to. Now, I look at the bigger picture, and notice just how lucky I am for everything that I have been blessed with.
The bright side…These past few weeks have been nothing short of chaos and confusion for so many people all around the world. The stress levels of many individuals have skyrocketed due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak. I never thought that it could get to this level, but now the current situation is our new normal.
My main concern throughout all of this, is how people are being directly affected by this virus. My parents are both physicians, and they are seeing the unfortunate repercussions of this pandemic daily.
However, although there has been large amounts of fear and concern, we have to look at the overwhelming amounts of love and kindness that is spreading. My cousin is currently living in Spain, and the virus has not been kind in her town. I received a video from her around a week ago that really touched my heart. All you could see in the clip was people on every balcony of her street cheering with passion. They all seemed like they were full of joy and excitement, which shocked me because of the events going on. She later explained that everyone was trying to show love to the doctors and medical professionals that had been risking their lives to care for the ill. It’s acts like those that demonstrate the positive in people during such negative times.
What we are currently living through made me realize how much we take for granted daily. I’ve never wanted to hug a friend, go to school, or see my family more than I do today. Just as the people of Spain are looking on the bright side, we must do the same.
Now those hugs and interactions are going to mean significantly more to us when this is all over. Spread that positivity.
This school year, I have had the pleasure of meeting some incredible individuals. One of which is a lovely girl named Sofi. She approached me with the most beautiful smile at the beginning of the year, and made me feel so welcome in my new environment.
As I got to know her, I learned that she had such a wonderful outlook on life. I left every conversation I had with her with a giant smile. The more time I spent with her, the more I picked up on the little acts of kindness that she does to make others feel happy.
Sometimes it’s a simple “hello” to those she walks past, and other times its hosting a service event for those in need. Something I truly admire about her, is her ability to exude positivity even when times get rough.
In her attempts to spread that positivity to others, she created “see the good.”. Her goal is to try and help others focus on the bright side, even in times of difficulty. She managed to create a business that allows her to foster her good character traits and her passions.
It all began with a sweater and the three simple words “see the good.” Now, it has become a movement that shares the stories of other amazing people as well.
Whether you read one of her posts, watch one of her YouTube videos, or wear one of her sweaters, you’ll be inspired to be a better individual and to share positivity with others. I feel beyond blessed to be able to call this beautiful person my friend, and I couldn’t be happier to share her story and goal with all of you.
On behalf of Sofi, I wish that all of you take the time to see the good.
I knew that entering into high school would bring many changes to my life. Not only was I prepared for the academic challenges I’d be facing, but I was ready for the social challenges that would come along when entering a new school. One thing I knew for sure was that those I had considered close to me at the time would stick with me through it all…or so I thought.
Recently, I went through something that I would never wish upon someone else. I had an experience that truly opened my eyes to the genuine intentions of some of the people around me. Someone that I considered quite close to me for so long, made me feel as if our friendship was of no value to them. They treated me with little respect, and made it obvious that my feelings did not affect theirs.
To be honest, I really had never experienced something on this level, and I was in complete shock for many of the following days. It wasn’t until this moment that I became aware that not everyone in your life is rooting for your success or happiness, even if you have always rooted for theirs. It was also a wake up call to see who was really there for me and who actually cared about my well-being.
I’m positive that this will not be the only time that something similar to this will occur, but hopefully this experience taught me something valuable about surrounding yourself with people who care about your happiness and how YOU feel.
My advice is to really figure out who these wonderful people in your life are, and to spend time building your positive friendships. I also suggest that you distance yourself from all the negative people that want to bring you down.
It’s finally happened, the 2010s are no more and the 20s are now beginning.
Since I am only in my teenage years, this decade has taken up most of my life. It has been a decade so interesting, that it’s hard to keep track. In these past 10 years, we’ve experienced major events in not only our lives, but in pop culture, politics, and news. I’d like to say that I’ve learned a lot in the 2010s. Not just academically, but also lessons that I could use everyday.
Most of the things I’ve learned are due to the mistakes I’ve made on the way. Unfortunately, there were times in the past decade that I didn’t learn from the mistakes I had made. With this new decade now beginning, I decided that it was time to change my habits and work on those things that I want for myself and for my future.
For me personally, I figured out that I needed to start challenging myself in ways I never had before. I’ll be working hard to reach my goals, and I’ll never give up on the hopes I have for myself.
This is exactly what everyone should be doing when entering this new decade. You must figure out your weaknesses and work on how to better improve in that significant area.
Finally, I want to stress the importance of having a positive outlook on what these years have to offer. Just as the 2010s were filled with unexpected surprises, the 2020s will not fall short in that category. Be open to new possibilities and to new beginnings.
Happy new year! -Dani <3
Look Around you…
This past weekend, I celebrated a very special event. My “quinceañera” was a day that I had looked forward to since I was a little girl.
For my Latin family and I, this birthday signified a major milestone in my life, as I was now growing up and officially being recognized as a “young woman”. We all agreed that this “major” milestone deserved a “major” party to represent its importance. All of us had been coming up with ideas for this event for YEARS.
When the time finally came to plan, we went all out. My mom and I spent endless hours planning every little detail of my dream party. We went over every possible outcome and we made sure that every topic was covered. This went on for many months as the date quickly approached.
After a while, I found myself forgetting what this birthday was about. To me, it became all about the planning and the fact that I needed it to be “perfect”, instead of me being excited that I’d get to share this special moment with my loved ones.
The day finally arrived and all I could think about was how I wanted everything to go as planned. All day I was filled with uncontrollable nerves as I worried that it wouldn’t turn out the way I had hoped.
As I made my “grand entrance”, all of those nerves disappeared. I looked around and saw the faces of so many special people in my life. It was such an overwhelming feeling to see how many people took time out of their busy schedules to spend a couple hours celebrating something very important to me.
In that moment I realized that it didn’t matter how “perfect” this night went. What really mattered was that everyone took a minute to pause whatever chaos was going on in their lives, and they got together for a night of pure joy and celebration within friends and family.
I feel that this is something necessary for all of us. No matter what is going on in your life, take time out of your day to look around and enjoy the company of those around you.
Get Out There!
There’s no doubt that my group of early childhood friends is pretty awesome. It was an instant friendship that formed at the age of four, and has continued since then.
They are the people I’ve counted on, and they are the people that I hope will always have my back. With all of that said, my friends and I do have some differences. Throughout the years, we’ve developed our separate hobbies and discovered some subtle differences. Fortunately, this has not affected our relationship. However, we do sometimes find it difficult to understand what the other person is going through.
This group has always been like my safe space, and once we started at a new school we felt like it was time to expand beyond our comfort zones. We all encouraged each other to go out and meet new people. With this advice in mind, we went and put ourselves out there in search of new adventures.
Personally, I was not expecting much to come from our exploration. To my surprise, I met an incredible group of people and we “clicked” instantly. I never thought that I would meet a whole new group of people with similar beliefs, interests, and personalities.
These friends, that I’ve made in the recent weeks, have been nothing short of wonderful. They’ve taught me to look on the positive side of life, and to find the beauty in every single person. If my close friends and I hadn’t put ourselves out there, I would not have met this incredible group of kids.
We all have to get out there and see what the world has to offer. It might be amazing friendships, a great job, or even life-changing experiences.
Get out there and see what the world has waiting for you!
– Dani <3
Spread The Love.
Recently, I’ve suffered from a little lack of inspiration. For someone that spends most of their time writing, this issue can become a little concerning.
My days have been full of mostly schoolwork and student government duties, which basically left my brain little space for creativity. (The struggle is real).
The other day, however, one of my teachers made a very simple statement that once again got my creative juices flowing. The words, “Spread the love”, stuck with me for the remainder of the day.
I’d repeat the statement over, and over again in my mind. There was something about the simplicity of those three words–yet the strong impact that it could have on so many people–that inspired me. The phrase itself could have so many meanings, but all of them have a kind purpose.
“Spread the Love” is something we should follow every day, especially in today’s world, where kindness is not always our number one priority. This made me ponder on how the phrase could be used in my everyday life. I don’t necessarily think that it means you always need to be happy. That is obviously not realistic, since all of us struggle with the ups and downs of life.
What I do think it means is to be mindful of how you treat others during those ups and downs. It’s never okay to treat those around you with anything less than kindness. Our goal should always be to raise people up, not put them down for the purpose of trying to feel better ourselves. I know that growing up in a world of social media has made many teens think that it’s ok to say negative things. It’s especially easy when you’re hiding behind a computer screen. I encourage everyone reading this to practice spreading the love. Whether its behind a screen, or in person.
As a society we must spread positivity, spread kindness, and, most importantly, SPREAD THE LOVE!