All Day, Everyday

Being a teenager is all about making it through your weeks. It's about going through each and every day conscious of what you're both doing and saying. College teaches you to figure out who are and how you portray yourself, but at the end of each day asks you to reflect and look at yourself in the mirror. How do you get through it all? What does it all mean? Somehow we push on and do it - all day, everyday. 

So this post, it's going to get real like soon - you just keep reading on. Let me start by talking about the chaos of being busy. It's absolutely freaking crazy. Why do we all choose this life of being constantly on the go? It's not healthy, it's not normal, and it's not helping. From classes, to clubs, to friends, and all the randomness in between, it's too much. What do we gain from it? What's the purpose of it all? Does it even matter? Ask yourself these questions and really think about them. I want you to sit and marinate on them like some prime cut USDA certfied beef ready for grilling. If you can't find real reasons, if you can't justify your actions, and you don't love what you do - then I'mma be the one to break it to you, you're doing too much or too little. Your taking part in things that don't make you happy. You don't know what you're doing, just going along with it because you feel obligated to. Well I'm pushing you, do something bold. Be brash, be brazen, and have some courage. Break out of your routine, change it up. Cut some stuff out, bring in new things, and find those reasons again. Find the love, the passion, and the drive that will keep you going. If you keep running yourself raggedy doing the utmost for who knows why, you're going to keep wasting your time. Figure out what important to you at school and do it big; spreading yourself too thin will break you (uhm, look at my life, look at my choices). It makes you crazy, and it makes you questions your own intentions and your happiness. Nobody wants that for themselves. It's not natural, it's not normal, and it's not needed. Get that - it's not needed. The problem with us as a generation is we don't know the difference between wants and needs. Learn it soon or face the consequences. Take time for yourself. Sit in solitude, be alone, and think. Relax, analyze and reflect. No more of this all day, everyday.
 
Now let's go a little deeper. Let's push ourselves a little farther, and let's do this all day and everyday. I hope you remember my posts from the summer about race, racism, discrimination and microaggressions (if not, go back to July 2012 in the archives). Well it's time to have another one of those talks. This week has been one of those that subtly pushed me to the brink. It wasn't until today when I'm sitting and writing these words that it all really hit me. How busy my week was, how unhappy I feel, and how alone I feel in this place that's supposed to be "home." Wednesday, I went to a brotherhood meeting at the ALANA center and it felt so good to share in that affinity space. To have people understand where you're coming from and how crazy the ish that goes down is. Thursday, I went to the Allied Faces meeting (an anit-racist group on campus) and we were brainstorming some of the common white privileges we see around campus. There's sooooo much ignorance, the obliviousness is unreal, and the misconceptions are astronomical. The denial, the invalidation, and the repression of all things that are truthfully wrong with the way people are treated is out of control. It's so hurtful. It's painful. It's crippling and it makes you feel alone. Look at me, I'm even doing it now. I'm avoiding the topic, the subject, the big taboo - race. See, going to those meetings was great - don't get me wrong. I liked sharing and being listened to and supporting other people, but when the fact that I had so many stories to share, when I sat down and thought about it, honestly brings me to tears. I don't want to always be the one to share. To have to analyze every interaction I have with people to figure out their conscious or unconscious intentions, and to have to deal with all of it. It's too much. It's overwhelming, and it's almost unbearable. Walking around here makes me feel like an animal on display at the zoo, like a spectacle, like a freak show to be watched, mocked, and patronized. It's all so insidious. It's the little things, the microaggressions, the not so blatant biases that people insert into their interactions with one another, especially people of color. Like what the hell is a person of color - we're people of color, we've all got some level of melanin. It's just too much, and it frustates me to no end. How so many people are unaware of the injustice that's going on, how many privileges people really do have for doing nothing more than appearing to be "white" (whatever that means), and how scary it is to feel unwelcome, unwanted, and uninvited into an entire world. I'm not here to complain, to vent, or to purge. I'm here to shed some light on a dark, often avoided pretty dirty secret of my campus particularly but truly the entire world. This is not a utopia, racism is very real and it has major impacts on all of us (whether we're aware or not). This is it, this is the world we live in, this is all day, every single freaking day.
Ask clarifying questions.How To Deal With That Person Who Thinks Black History Month Shouldn't Exist
Can I just say that I'm aware of how "weird" I am. I'm conscious of how vulnerable, emotional, and analytical I am. It's a gift and a curse, but it's me. As you can tell, it's been a hectic week - but it didn't even seem like it. Somehow it just happened, and looking back it now, I realize just how big it really was. Thursday had me powering through class, taking a biology exam and heading for lunch with Sam and Jimmy. On to my religion and pop culture class where we broke down Madonna and Lady Gaga's videos for "Like a Prayer" and "Judas" respectively (it was that kind of class). From there it was on the bus and to the office to gather giveaways before a quick meeting and a stop in the Davis Center for food. I ended up seeing one of my RHA people, Flore, and we talked for like 45 minutes (unplanned - aka finally some spontaneity in my life). I got dressed in my Phi Mu Delta letters and streaked some orange and black paint across my face and it was off to fraternity and sorority life chapter awards. My fraternity got quite a few, and I was so proud. Honestly I was impressed by all our greek organizations - it's a special community, that's for sure. After pictures ops, and posting across all platforms I was plump pooped. I watched PLL (so an escape for the real world) and then read for genetics. I showered and just stood and let the hot water run over me and I just thought about anything and everything. Hopped into bed and woke up Friday morning to brave "Nemo" the blizzard of the year. Class and straight to the library to do genetics and good off with Dzenan and Taylor (all of us were not having it, but it's still one of my favorite times of the week - you'll know what any of us will say). To the Davis Center to table for RHA and all sudden this anomic (thank you professor Bryan) protest calling for the board of trustees to divest from fossil fuels (mmkay, keep doing your thing, Al Gore loves ya) pops up. After a quick lunch it was back to my room to drop off bags before catching a bus downtown for the shopping to begin. Sam, Jimmy, and I went from store to store trying to figure out what to get. I ended up with a bowtie from American Apparel (winter ball here I come), and some pajamas pants. We saw Dzenan at work (bright and chipper as ever), and we all got something after a couple of hours of browsing. Back to campus and on to dinner. I ended my night with 4 straight episodes of the Carries Diaries - I don't even care, that show is definitely a breath of fresh air. It's retro but so ahead of the game, shocking but for shock value, it's realistic, interesting and highly relatable. Definitely worth checking out. Now I sit and listen to music and just chill. I've made it through, alive and well. All day, everyday.

Being a teenager is all about doing what you do but doing it with a purpose. The mindlessness, peer pressure and following the crowd will get you absolutely nowhere. You have to carve your own path, and be the cartographer to your own life. You have to be real with yourself, and everyone else around you. Evaluation and analyzing are essential to keeping sane in this crazy world known as a college campus. You can do it, you can make it, and you will - all day, everyday.
Dying.
My blog post question for the day is ... what do you do when you're completely free? I just like to sit and watch TV, I wish I had time to read books and just relax.

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