Things I have learned from travelers and by being a traveler…

Hiya from Boston! I think the last time I wrote a legitimate post was a long time ago while I was in Australia. So sorry for that. I kind of fell off the map (literally). Anyways, over the past year and a half I have had the amazing opportunity to spend time traveling on my own and experiencing plenty of new and different places (and people.) So in honor of the new year…2 weeks late, I thought it would be a good time to share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned that I want to apply going forward into 2014. 

1. Say “yes” to opportunities and experiences (once in a lifetime and common)

I know this sounds normal. But I didn’t realize how much I was saying “no” to things or would postpone things until it was too late. I would pass up opportunities that I thought would maybe come around again or that I didn’t seem too interested in. However once I started saying “yes” to even the little things, I found myself feeling that I was much happier and finding new things I liked…sometimes activities that I would usually write off.

2. Try to meet someone new everyday…and have a conversation with them.

Okay, this is more of a goal than an actual revelation but I found it really helpful in allowing myself to really open up to the people around me.  I also found myself making new connections and creating relationships with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise talked to. And now I regard some of these people as my closest companions. 

3. Everyone has a story. We just need to listen. 

Some of the most amazing people I have met have been times where I just allowed myself to listen to the other person. Whether it be at a local pub in London or the dining hall on campus, some of the best connections I have made have been when I stop thinking about “me, me, me” and allow myself to be the sounding board for someone else. By doing this, I have had the opportunity to listen to some pretty inspirational stories of heartbreak/loss and the triumph that comes after it. 

4. Embrace the silly and embarrassing

Because in the end they are good memories to laugh about, and I could always have more laughs in my life. 

5. There’s no need to try and grow up so quickly

I’ve made friends with people of all different ages and I always thought that the reason my much older friends liked being around me was because I behaved like a mature adult. But I’ve come to realize, I’m still basically a kid inside. I blow bubbles in my chocolate milk, jump in puddles, and still have a very idealistic view of the world. So what was it that allowed our strong bond to form with these people older than myself by several years? They had refused to let go of their inner child as well. And while I’m not a total advocate for Peter Pan syndrome, I’ve learned that approaching life with the mind of a child allows for one to become more open and less critical of the world we life in. It allows us to embrace our world with its corruption and flaws and say “Hey, I’m going to take whatever good there is left and roll with it.” I’ve found I am much happier living moment to moment compared to planning out every step of my life.

6. Trust the good in people, not everyone has a hidden agenda

I was raised by two lovely parents who both had grown up in New York, worked in New York City during the 80s, and do not give out their trust easily. So naturally, I grew up with this idea that it is okay to be kind to people but don’t trust them right away, which is fine and definitely kept me safe as a kid. However, traveling by myself and having to do various things on my own I found that asking for help and trusting people was my best option if I didn’t want to get lost in the middle of a foreign city. The more I put trust into other people, the more I realized that more often than not these people truly wanted to help me out. Now, this doesn’t mean trusting the creepy guy who wants to lead you down an alleyway is a good idea. Intuition is something we all have and if you’re gut says, “No,” don’t go. 

7. (Last one!) Trust yourself!

Over this last year and a half, I have realized that one of the most important things I can do is to believe and trust in myself. Having confidence in my abilities as a young woman has allowed me to conquer many battles, from making new friends in college to getting myself from one side of a country to another without missing a plane. I have found that I have more tools in my toolbox than I realized and that I am more of problem solver than I had ever had thought. Trusting myself has allowed me to take on new challenges with a force and find out more about myself as a person than I could ever have imagined. 

So happy (belated) new year loves. May this year bring the best of luck and new adventures. 

Cheers,

Maggie

Remember that time that Michelle Akin did an interview with us? Yeah, me, too. :)

Our friend Tennant talking about mental insecurities. A beautiful video with a beautiful meaning by a beautiful young woman (inside and out)!

Submitted by sparklesinthesea

Submitted by Andrea

Hello I just want to share my story. I grew up seeing my step dad beating up my mom, hearing those painful words that my step dad throwing up my mom. But you know what I never thought to be a rebel child I was just thinking my mom is sacrificing a lot for me so why would I mess it all up, I got hurt every time of course but all I will do is just open up my microsoft word and type there what I really feel cause I don’t have friends that I can tell them what’s happening during those time. And now I’m just living with mom for 3 yrs now cause my step dad filed us cases so to be able to fight for our right we need to borrow big money (FYI those criminal cases was dismiss, but we’re still under going some cases bcoz of their conjugal something) so up to now we’re still wasting money for those and we have a big financial problem, it’s hard, it’s really stressful coz at the beginning of the problem I need to stop from going to school so I’m just gonna go out to attend our trial.  Imagine 7-8 trials per month. I will not be hypocrite, there were times that I just want to die so it will be over but seeing my mom being strong for me so I should be as well. I’m not skinny I weigh 130+ pounds but it’s okay with me (yes I need to be healthy I had my sugar test it’s normal thank god, I’m not hypertensive as well) cause I’m enjoying my life, I’m not living my life to please some people, it’s just I know how to love myself, appreciate what I can do try to conquer my fears. and I know I’m unique form others. People need to learn that they should know how to be happy with themselves, cause it’s a choice. And now a days people having depression are lucky cause they can get help now like this blog. So cheers for you guys! thank you for helping and reaching out for those people whose having hard time with their lives (including me) keep it up!

Submitted by Anonymous

i just wanted to let you know that your blog put me to tears. i cant explain why because i myself don’t know. but one things for sure, they weren’t sad tears. i think i came to the realization that im not perfect. so i need to stop trying to be a size im never going to be. i need to accpet the fact that i have hips and thighs and butt. and you know what i love that but sometimes i look at myself in the mirror and think that i could look better i could be that shape and that size but i cant. i have my insecurities and my doubts but i also think that everyone is beautiful. i can never starve myself to look like a model because lets be honest i love food way too much. sometimes im completely confident in the way i look but sometimes i just look in the mirror and pick out my flaws and tell myself im ugly. and right now i wish so bad to be skinny. that maybe if im skinny ill be happier but i dont know what to think anymore. im tired of thinking and tired of trying.

just a lil something i wrote

Submitted by Jessica

no one knows this about me not even my parents …
i always say ” i don’t want kids..” 
you want to know why…
i don’t want to bring a kid in this world… because i don’t want it to go thru what i went thru and what millions of others went thru i don’t want it to be afraid to be who he or she is just because in this world you have to be “perfect” in order to fit in! i want it to accomplish her or his goals!!! i want it to be happy about who she or he is!! i want it to not to be ashamed of how she or he looks like! and its so sad that i don’t want to bring it to this world SO sad! but you know what im changing into a person that i want to be!! im no longer hiding in a box! im myself !! im helping others that are hurt and so can you!! you know those shy people… TALK TO THEM … get to know them be there friend!! trust me it will make a difference in there life! you shouldn’t expect anything in return either ! you know those bullys! forgive th

em! maybe ask ” are you okay do you need to talk because im here” don’t talk back to them don’t do anything ! all its going to cause is hate in this world ! STOP and think ” i wonder if they are having a bad day” AND yes its wrong that they bully … but maybe its cas they have no one to talk too… ever think of that ? 

i want a kid! and when i do im teaching him or her that it doesn’t matter if your a shape as a ruler or a pear! you are you ! and people should like you for the inside not the outside!! also that people make mistakes take it and learn from it ! become a better person! like i am right now!! im done hiding in a box!! im done being afraid of you people! im joining softball !!!! the one thing that i wanted to do when i was lil girl! i dont want to look back at this and say i missed out !! i want to look back and say ” oh boy i was happy back then!! “ 

THIS IS MY MESSAGE ! I HOPE YOU LIKE IT AND I HOPE YOU TO HELP OTHERS ! HELP YOURSELF TOO!! YOU DESERVE IT ♥ - LOVE JESSICA VALADEZ

We had the absolute pleasure of interviewing superwoman/HIPS founder Rebecca Kaiserman for the blog. Check it out and here about her take on life.

elliegreen:
I was cyberbullied in high school, it was so bad that I ended up changing schools. Although I have been able to forgive the people who did those things to me, I have never been able to look at them in the same light. The bullying moved from being online to in school. They made t-shirts, cupcakes, and hung up flyers at my school about me. I've never seen cyberbully, because I had never heard a review of it, I think I'll watch it now.

I’m so sorry. That’s absolutely horrible, but you already know that. You are so incredibly strong. I had to switch schools, too, due to bullying online and in person. I will never regret that decision because it was the best thing for me. You rock, girl. xoxo

life

Submitted by Tina

Iv come to a point in my life where I feel like my only option is to do something completely out of my comfort zone. Iv come to the conclusion that my life is at a stand still and I’m not sure how to go about changing it. I love my family and friends, but I feel that in order for me to grow as a person I need to be on my own for a little while. I feel lost in this world, I don’t no who i wanna be, or what career choice i should make. I have a large family so its hard to make decisions without disappointing someone. Basically what I’m asking for is for someone to just give me some positive feedback, constructive criticism,  or even some ideas. 

My negative experienced.

Submitted by Goldie

Hi! sooo i just saw your blog and i just thought that i should share of my negative experience because i think it is healthy to talk about it. soooo this is my story when i was in grade school i was very popular because i am a voleyball player salutatorian, awarded as the style leader and the beauty charmer and a lot of guys are like into me. and im not bragging. so let’s continue… uhhhmm. and i was so confident back then and whenever or wherever we have a program i’m the leader because they find me as they’re inspiration and they find me confident. and then when i was in freshmen year i felt the same way but this negative issues start when i was sophomore and you know that feeling when someone poked *you and they will just say that “You’re ugly you shouldn’t be here” all my batchmates are like calling me ugly. i am not joking. that is true. all of them. even the boys are calling me ugly. and that made  my confidence dropped on the floor. so im a loner back then. i have no friends like literally. because all of them dont like me. and not even one person tried to befriend with me. and because of that i walk with my face faced on the floor and  i rarely looked at people. and that day i started to please everyone. so im insecure with myself and i want to be like other people. and when *I always see beautiful girls i felt like why is it so unfair. i cry everynight thinking that im not pretty im not gonna have a friend because im not popular AND IM NOT PRETTY, im not gonna have a boyfriend. SO I’M FINDING  someone WHO will tell that i’m beautiful BECAUSE  it is really hard that i dont HAVE friends, i cant find someone to lean on but God, because i know that he will never say that im ugly and he will never say that im not worth it. so yeahh now i’m a senior and i dont have friends. i tried wearing a lot of make up so that they find me beautiful but they all laugh at me and they’re sayin that what did you do to yourself you look like a clown. honestly im not good at make up. and im like shy to be infront of many people because when i practiced my speech on the stage uhmmm some of my batchmates throw papers on me they’re saying that “go away, you’re making the view ugly” so yeaaahh. i need someone to know this stuff about me so that i can read or feel a lot of enrichment, enlightenment and i want to have other friends. so yeaah. my family did not know anything about this and because of my shyness they call me idiot, dumb. and that make me feel even worst because i felt like i can’t do anything so guys please help mee. i cant do this by myself. thank you.

Identity (a short film about a struggle to find the meaning of life)

Submitted by ghoraa

In a grey, routine engulfed city a woman is looking for an answer, not being able to find herself in the life built and controlled by the System:

https://vimeo.com/42047489

movingblondie:
Hey :) I'm not sure where I saw this quote but it totally reminded me of you (I'm not sure how it goes exactly so I'll paraphrase): "Anyone can die, but it takes a strong person to decide to live." Anyway... Just thought I'd share it :) I thought it was really cool

Love this! So true. xoxoxo

Submitted by Zoe

I just wanted to share something that happened to me the other day; I was in PE class (the British equivalent of gym, I think) and the teacher/coach was telling us how to use all the gym and weight-lifting equipment. She was talking about all the benefits of each exercise… Except she never once mentioned any health benefits, she only focused on weight loss and ‘getting the perfect body’, even using underweight celebrities as examples. To be honest, I found it sickening that she believed that the only way that we, as teenage girls, would be motivated and interested in doing exercise was if she told us to lose weight and be like the ‘perfect’ girls that are portrayed in the media. It made me so mad, because although she maybe didn’t mean harm by the comments and said them lightly, girls (and guys for that matter) should NEVER be made to feel they have to change for others. If people want to lose weight, they should do it for themselves and to benefit themselves, not because someone made them feel like they should, or because they think they’re not good enough. And I know everyone’s probably tired of hearing this, but everyone is beautiful, no matter what shape or size you are. Don ‘t let people tell you what to do with YOUR body, and don’t you dare let them convince you that you’re not good enough.