Yes, We Can

There is no better way to start this then by quoting a large segment of (former) President Obama’s Farewell Address:

But for now, whether you are young or whether you’re young at heart, I do have one final ask of you as your President–the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago. I’m asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change–but in yours.

I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written: Yes, we can.

Yes, we did. Yes, we can.

And then I cried like a baby.


For the most part, I haven’t mentioned politics on here. Not because I don’t think they’re important (they are) or because I’m apathetic (I’m not). But it’s been a week and a half since President Trump was inaugurated, and I have to address what’s happened.

Initially, I wanted to be one of those Democrats who looked on in disdain, but had scruples of hope. Even more so, I just wanted to be a citizen who wants the best for my country–country before party. I didn’t want to be a person who goes around touting “not my President” though several Republicans spent all of Obama’s days in office doing just that–and worse. Precisely the reason why I refused to do so, because I did not want to lower myself to that abysmal level.

But I just can’t. Most of his actions range from nonsensical (provoking a longtime ally) to downright unconstitutional (do I really need to give an example?). This isn’t what America stands for–this isn’t what this country was founded on.

Now I could go on and on about President Trump’s awful policies, but there are other outlets that do it in a better manner than I could. Despite our dear President’s rants, The New York Times is very much not fake news, and a subscription is ideal to those who want to know what goes on in not only our backyards, but also around the world. Some libraries have several newspapers available to the public, if cost is a concern to you. Ultimately, we need to visit credible sources, not just read headlines on our Facebook feeds.

In times like these, we have two paths to choose from–that of conformity and that of resistance. It’s easy to think that there’s nothing a single person can do, or worse–that someone else will do it for us. It’s easy to grow cynical, or worse–apathetic. But we are all capable of doing something, even if it’s something as simple as a phone call. Even if it’s something as simple as donating $5 a month to the ACLU or Planned Parenthood or any other organization that serves your beliefs and interests.

In the face of adversity, we can all persevere. So long as we can remember that we’re all human beings and that doesn’t change the second we step outside of our country. We are stronger united. It is not only unfeasible, but irresponsible to adopt an isolationist mentality.

If they come for me in the morning, they will come for you in the night.

Angela Davis



A Recovering Optimist

An optimist is somebody that goes, “Hey maybe something nice will happen.” 

Why the fuck would anything nice ever happen?

Louis C.K.


When I was a teenager, I was (a) angst-ridden, as many adolescents are and (b) a self-proclaimed optimist. Angst always attempted to undermine Optimist Wendy’s convictions.

One of the questions I struggled with was whether the source of my optimism mattered–whether it had any effect on the end results. Was it still optimism if it only came about because of force? Was it still optimism when it came from a disingenuous place?

At the time, I liked to believe that my optimism was that much more potent because it came from a place of conflict. Surely no one believes that good things will happen out of sheer luck and without an ounce of doubt. Choosing to believe in the best takes resolve. Resolve that I don’t quite have anymore.

It isn’t that I consider myself a pessimist. It’s too easy to be a pessimist–a cynic. Certainly not a perspective that’s ever seemed at all attractive to me. What good comes out of resigning yourself to gloom and despair? According to a friend, you end up either right or pleasantly surprised. But I have trouble accepting that. If you come from a negative thought process, can you truly appreciate when good comes around? I’d think that you’d spend your time wondering, “What’s the catch?”

Or even worse, “When is the other shoe going to fall?”

(Yes, apparently I’m convinced all pessimists think in clichés.)

Still, I’m hardly an optimist. It’s taxing–it’s exhausting to rationalize why certain things happening are actually blessings in disguise. In truth, to be an optimist you have to both believe that good things will happen, but also concurrently believe that things happen for a reason. And that, to me, just isn’t true. Sometimes things just happen and there’s no rhyme or reason for it.

Sometimes things go great and sometimes things just plain suck.

If forced to label myself, I suppose that the appropriate title for me would be realist. I don’t resign myself to a depressive future, but at the same time, I’m not convinced that everything will be rainbows and sunshine. Reality is what you make of it. All you can really do is trudge through the obstacles and celebrate your triumphs.

And yet…

A part of me still wants to be an optimist.



The Practicality of Childhood Dreams

At the age of eight, I found the love of my life. From that point on, whenever someone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always answered with, “a writer”.

From that point on, my parents wore a tight smile, hoping to distract from the worry in their eyes. It was a look that drove me to announce in my junior year of high school that I changed my mind–that I was going to pursue a more traditional route. It’s a look that still shadows over me as I contemplate life in 9-5 intervals.


Do what you love is replaced with do what you’re good at. I’m good with numbers, good at accounting, surprisingly enough. It’s what I’ve claimed to want to do for the past year or so. But when I think about spending the next 40 years doing that, day in and day out, I feel a creeping sense of despair.

In the long run, surely it won’t matter. It’s a just a means to an end–the real joy will be my personal life. I can always write in my free time.

But doesn’t everyone say that? Will I really bother to make the time? It’s what I love, and yet sometimes this blog goes unattended. My novel gathers dust. Having that balance between figuring out a realistic job prospect and chasing your dreams is difficult. My mind is almost one-track at times, trying to find a favorite where there is none. Until I get to the point where I’m at now–pursuing not one or the other: standing still.

My circumstances make me think that I can’t commit to such a reckless and selfish path. How simple it would be to say that I’ll live my life for no one but myself! How simple it is to dole out that advice and assume that there is no situation that could possibly supersede your pursuit of happiness. And, in fact, it is that simple. If all you want is your happiness, it’s incredibly straightforward.

There was a time when I wouldn’t have minded holding down a minimum wage job or two. Living with a less-than-desirable roommate who hates me, but needs me for rent. Collapsing into bed to get maybe three to four hours of sleep–all for my writing. All for the slight chance of a yes.

And now that I work an overnight minimum wage job, that willingness hasn’t dissipated in the slightest. Now that I sleep an average of four hours a day, I know that if it weren’t for my responsibilities, I’d take off. I’d pack up my things, head to the middle of nowhere, and sacrifice myself for my love of words. Even knowing that all I have mediocrity–whether in reference to my skill or possessions–it’d be a just trade.

Maybe even a trade made in my favor.

So for now, I stay in limbo. Caught between my sense of obligation and my desire to be more than just a girl who does what she should do–honor be damned.

And in the meantime, I’ve got my blog.


Regrets & Moving Forward

Everyone always spouts that gem, “Live life with no regrets.”

Advice that, admittedly, never sat right with me.

The idea is that you own your decisions–and to hell with it all, that’s you. At one point, those decisions made you happy, why beat yourself up over it? You’ve grown and perhaps are no longer the type of person to make that choice. No point in living in the past.

That mentality isn’t all that far from, “You only live once.” A mantra that people, yes make fun of, but also use as justification for poor behavior.

Now I’m not proposing that you dwell on your mistakes and become a glutton for punishment. Emotional masochism isn’t a virtue. But to simply dismiss the past as an inconsequential event is foolish. To do so without proper reflection is potentially harmful.

Our past can definitely be the deprecating agent that pulls us into stagnancy. It can whisper devastating “truths” into our ears, convincing us of our little worth. Stay where you are because what’s the point? You can’t escape your past–you might as well become it.

A few years ago, I set on a path that brought me to this hopeless state. And while a few months ago, I had said it wouldn’t deter me–it did. A simple sentence floated around my head. Four small words kept me paralyzed.

I ruined my life.

I’m 23. Still in my early twenties, and yet with the feeling that somehow, this is all my life will amount to. That I have reached the pinnacle of my existence, and how little there is left to experience. Little that is available to me, that is.

But I’m 23.

Foregoing thoughts of regret has never been a shortcoming of mine. The other extreme, on the other hand, has. And for what? What benefits have there been except to become a prisoner of my own anxiety and fragility?

So no, don’t live life floating through as if there are no consequences. Even the informal interpretation is extremist. But so is over-correcting it.

Learn to regret and then learn to move on. Do better.


A new year.

Today’s special post is brought to you by the number 23.

And an old hag. (That’s me!)

So my birthday was two weeks ago, and the idea was to write a birthday post. And then I kept postponing it–and now here we are.

Truth is, while I feel the push to write something, what am I supposed to write about? I can’t write about cutting a cake and watching the cheap candles burn in 10 seconds flat. I could write about how I feel like a new person. How turning 23 has given me new perspective. But it hasn’t.

If I had to nail anything down, it’s that I honestly feel as if my life is slipping away–and what have I done up to this point? I flunked out of a pretty great university–all because of stupid anxiety–and have been floundering around at community colleges ever since. Meanwhile my cousin just graduated earlier this month and is on her way to gaining some independence.

Jealous? Oh you bet. Superseded by pride though, I swear.

For the last two years, every time the graduation cards come around, looking at them knots my stomach right up. This gnawing little voice tells me, “You’re never going to get one of those. You’re just going to be a college dropout who eventually works retail her whole life.” Sometimes it’s hard to disagree.

The idea of not getting my degree until I’m 26/27 is flabbergasting. It could very well be that I’ll be the last one to ever graduate in my family. All to work in an office at a job that doesn’t excite me but will hopefully pay the bills (if I get a job…).

But you know what? I’m going to turn 26/27 anyway. That’s not suddenly changing because I haven’t got my act together. So if I’m going to get old regardless, I might as well make something of all that time. It’s a new year for me.

(Look at that, this post found a purpose after all.)