The Art of Practicing Self Love and Positivity in 2017
By Crystal Wong
A year changes you a lot. 365 days, or 366 in 2016’s case with extra help from the leap year. If I were to be completely honest, 2016 was good to me. There were the usual ups and downs every now and then, but those 366 days sure made an impact on my 20 years of living.
No New Year’s resolutions were made last year; I guess you could call it the year of living each day spontaneously and seeing who or what made my days.
Sometimes my days consisted of hazy Saturday afternoons filled with good company, the sounds of laughter bouncing off the white walls of a tiny apartment occupied with more people than it should or could contain. There were nights that lasted until three in the morning, exploring the wonderland that a music festival can hold and then having to wake up the next morning at 8 a.m. in order to make it to work on time.
Yes, 2016, you were good to me. But if I really think about it, and if I think long and hard about it, I realize that I only choose to remember the good times and choose to block out the negatives that impacted my year.
Those times when I had mental breakdowns as I stared at empty Word documents trying to type up a paper. Those times when I curled up under my blankets with the lights off, contemplating if life was good at that moment. And all those times I questioned if I was good enough for myself and for the world.
2017, this is the year for practicing self love and focusing on the positives that life has to offer. To make the best of the negativities that I can’t avoid.
This is the year I surround myself with people who are there to support my goals and success. This is the year I cut out the toxic people in my life, as I have no time for unnecessary drama and stress.
This year, I’m choosing to focus on relearning to love myself. I am tired of losing who I am by trying to compete with other people instead of just being me.
It’s time I stopped apologizing for every single thing. This time, I’m choosing to be outspoken and to be heard.
To all the people who feel just as defeated as I did in 2016, this is our year to show the world who we are. Learn to find inner peace within yourself and surround yourself with love, whether it be through people or hobbies.
2016, thanks for the memories, but you must come to an end. 2017 is going to be our year with a full 365 days to change us for the better.
New year new me, right?
Resolutions in Feminism from a Vegas Nightclub
By Jessica Resendez
This year is dedicated to becoming a stronger, more confident woman. I’m tired of putting my head down and speeding up my pace around catcallers; I hate going to supermarkets by myself and getting visually frisked by somebody that isn’t my boyfriend; Most of all, I hate being more vocally aggressive toward women than I am with men. It’s a quality I’m not proud of, and it provided an unexpected lesson in feminism I learned not long ago in a Las Vegas nightclub.
In the last week of 2016, while in Vegas, I found myself arguing with a woman for ramming into my friend at a mall. It was something I could’ve risen above and turned the other cheek to, but she had tested my patience with that salty smirk on her face, and I found myself screaming at her to “have some common courtesy in public!”
Fast forward to later that night at a nightclub, where a man felt he could sneak behind me and grind his way into my personal bubble. It was disgusting and I felt violated, yet I didn’t think to raise my voice at him or tell him to respect my space the way I did with the woman earlier in the day. Instead, I slowly slinked into the crowd of people beside me and left him dancing there by his lonesome self. It was the easy way out and I knew it, but it seemed like the polite thing to do.
But that’s the thing: he wasn’t polite to me, so why did I feel the need to be respectful toward his feelings? Too often there’s the fear that a man will use terms like “bitch” or “nasty woman” to degrade women in public. But it shouldn’t be feared and it shouldn’t be used as a deflection piece to cover up perverted or inappropriate behavior. It’s about accountability and taking responsibility for one’s own actions toward others. As a woman, I have the right to protect my own body and spirit the way I feel necessary.
As the night went on, I watched my friend (the same one that was rammed into by the woman earlier) sway to the beat of nightlife music and laughter. Smiling from ear-to-ear, she relished in the moment — happy to be wild and free. A sleazeball of a man slyly wrapped his arm around her waist, taking hold of something that was not his. With a quick dip-and-slip twist, she unwrapped his arm from her waist and grabbed his left hand with her right.
“You sure are being touchy and you don’t even know my name,” she told him, smiling.
He awkwardly grinned, having no clue what to do next. She continued holding his hand, shaking it the way a person does when meeting an employer for the first time.
“Hi, my name is Liz. Next time, you should get to know my name first.”
As she walked away from him that night, I watched the sting of a million bees wash over his face. She had burned him publicly and left him there to pick up the pieces of his own bruised ego. There was no need to raise her voice or wild-out on him to make her point. Just a simple reminder was all it took. She taught me a very important lesson that night. Be unafraid, be unapologetic in 2017, but feel free to do it with class.