A Message Of Hope

In grade 10, I was depressed. There’s no doubt in my mind that what I experienced for a few years in high school was one of the lowest experiences I’ll probably ever face in my lifetime, although there’s still much time ahead of me. I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD, as some of you may know from other blog posts/by knowing me, and had a general indifference towards life and being alive.

I’m sharing this as a message of hope.

I know there are lots of protestations when the phrase “It Gets Better” gets thrown around but, for myself and many others, it really can get better. Thanks to counselling, my openness with my experience, amazing friends and family, and my passion for mental health and helping others, my life really has gotten so much better since then & I have healed so much!

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I was talking about this with one of my best friends the other day. We’d both gone through very low lows throughout high school, which was a mere few years ago through both of us. While we were discussing it, we realized how remarkable it was that a few short years ago, we experienced so much self-loathing and truly thought nothing would ever get better. Today, we’re both overall happy people and are surviving and thriving, and I think it’s just so cool to look back on how far we’ve come.

Of course, I still have many dark days where I don’t feel like I’m good enough and feel hopeless. I think everyone does. The important thing is is that I’m no longer forcing a smile on my face and pretending that I’m okay – I actually am. You can be too!

If you’re in a dark place right now, I hope you are able to reach out and overcome what you’re going through. I hope you can one day realize that, not only is life beautiful but that you are too. There are so many resources available to you. There’s no shame in accessing them! If you ever need help or someone to listen, I’m here.

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Good luck in your journey!

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International Day of Happiness!

Today is the International Day of Happiness (note: check out that link. There are awesome things there)!

Today, take a moment to do some things that make yourself and other people happy! You can use this article as a guideline if you’re having trouble thinking of examples 🙂

1. A quote that makes you happy

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I live my life by this quotation! It always makes me smile and serves as a reminder that there are so many wonderful things in the world; sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper to find them.

Also:

What makes you think that elves are any more magical than something like a whale?

—Boyhood

2. A picture that makes you happy

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My dog in a field of wildflowers. The fact that I get to see him in a few days makes it even better!

Also, selfies with my dog:

3. A place that makes you happy

The beach by my house is one of my favourite places in the world. Whenever I’m stressed out and need to calm down, I take a walk by the lake and automatically feel better.

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4. A song that makes you happy

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5. A movie that makes you happy

Any Marvel movie ever.

All in all…

… There are so many wonderful & happiness-inspiring things & people in this world! Today, on #InternationalDayofHappiness, let’s all try to take a moment, breathe, and be mindful of the things that put a smile on our faces and a SPRING in our steps!

PS – happy first day of Spring!

 

 

20 Reasons Why I Love Sam on Her 2oth Birthday!

There’s been a lot of these “__ reasons why _____” posts going around the internet lately, and I’ve always enjoyed reading them. Every time I do, I tend to close the tab feeling better, laughing, or having something to think about. So, I figure this would be a great format to one-up my birthday post from last year as I wish one of my favourite people a very happy 20th birthday.

To Sam,

Welcome to your 3rd decade of life – I’m so proud that we have stuck together through 12 of your birthdays so far, and more to come. Our friendship is one of the things I cherish the most in this world and I’m grateful for you every day of my life! Here’s why…

1) We’ve been friends for such a long time

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+many more prior to “the Facebook” (you’re old now, you have to start calling it that)

2) Which means we’ve seen each other through the awkward preteen phases.

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(And if we can stick by each other’s side through that, we can do anything)

3) …. Looooots of awkwardness…

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4) … Seriously… It’s embarrassing…

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5) But that just means that we got to#GlowUp together!

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6) You’re always there for me.

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Even when you’re really far away and have never even met the people I’m crying over.

7) You always take the time to make me feel loved.

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Especially when I need it most (somehow you just know).

8) You accept my weirdness…

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9) … And I accept yours –

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10) We can just be ourselves around each other.

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11) We’ve been by each other’s sides for the big moments in life…

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12) … And the little ones.

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13) We’re way too cool for words.

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14) We’re basically a couple because we’re a package deal

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15) No really… *cheesy romantic quote*

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16) You were blessed with the gift of hilarity and always keep me laughing.

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17) Being reunited is something we look forward to for weeks

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18) And when we’re together again, we always have the best times!

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19) Saying goodbye to you sucks, which only shows how great it is to have a friend like you in my life ♥

20)& I know we’ll be friends forever, #WAVELENGTH

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Thank you for everything you are, Sam. I hope you have a wonderful birthday, because you truly deserve one. I’m so sad I can’t be there to celebrate with you, but I’ll be back in a few weeks and we will have a great time!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEAUTIFUL!

Love always,

Morgan

“You’re Stupid and You’re Wrong!”

Picture this:

You’re sitting across the room from me in a lecture room crowded with a few hundred of your acquaintances, when the teacher asks a question. After a few minutes of awkward silence and the noise of papers being shuffled around, you decide to try to answer, even though you’re not sure if you’re right. You mix up a term though, and the teacher gets in your face and yells “YOU’RE WRONG! WHAT YOU SAID IS INVALID AND YOU’RE IRRELEVANT AND WRONG AND NOW YOU’RE GOING TO FAIL THE CLASS! I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW WRONG YOU ARE! HAVE YOU EVEN BEEN LISTENING IN MY CLASS?!”

– wtf, right? Chances are, you’d be really confused if the above situation ever happened to you. Teachers are there to teach you and help you to learn, because they supposedly want you to succeed and become more informed about their subject of interest.

Let me get something straight: I’m not one for censoring reactions to oppression. People who have been systematically and repeatedly oppressed, mistreated, and silenced have every right to address their perceived oppressors in any way they feel just. Some people are incredibly rude and disrespectful and spew their hate speech to whomever will listen to them, and they totally deserve to be called out on it.

But here’s the thing… 

What I’m frustrated by is the fact that A LOT of people who claim to want social reform through education and understanding refuse to educate…

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And that just doesn’t make sense.

[From here on out, I’m just going to be talking about people who may say/do something offensive without realizing it; people who genuinely don’t get it. Bear that in mind.]

When somebody tells you you’re wrong and refuses to explain it any further – or explains it in condescending, hostile/aggressive language – what are the chances that you’ll actually take something positive from it? Next to nothing, I’d bet. You’d either retaliate and become equally heated, become defensive and avoidant, or become really upset and think the other person is just mean or a bully. The same thing happens when trying to address oppressive language or actions from someone who may not understand the issues or terminology at hand: you won’t get very far if you try to “correct” them by attacking them.

I genuinely don’t understand people’s logic when it comes to things of this manner. I understand that “we don’t need to tiptoe around oppressors feelings” and that “oppressors shouldn’t feel like their oppressive opinions are valid because that’s harmful”, I really do. But, like it or not, they’re still people with thoughts and feelings and experiences that are likely very different from the people that they (maybe inadvertently) are offending. And yeah, you’re right; they don’t have the same experience as you. They don’t get it and, in an ideal world, these clueless people would take the time to peruse the internet for hours and attend meetings and events to in an attempt educate themselves… but, clearly, this is not an ideal world, and the people who actually do actively learn about these issues tend to only be those who are already involved and enlightened – I want more people than that to join positive social movements.

So what? Should the oppressed be forced into being patient and painstakingly explain to these people why what they’re saying/doing is wrong?

Of course not. If you’re a member of a group that has been wronged, I don’t think that should be forced to cater to anyone, but I really don’t see what you’re hoping to accomplish otherwise. For example, when a male doesn’t understand the concept of “male privilege” and gets defensive about the concept, you probably won’t gain an ally by calling him a misogynistic, sexist women-hater who wants all women to suffer horribly. But, if you take a few minutes to explain that the concept of male privilege does not refer to every single male individually, but to males as a gender due to the systematic historical oppression of and violence against women, you might get him to understand. You might even get him to care, agree with you, and support you. Personally, I think that’s a much better alternative.

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As a final thought, continue to react to perceived oppression in whatever way you please. That’s on you. But before you do, think about your goals and values. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish, because I think you can accomplish so much. Will you fight ignorance by forcefully standing up for yourself, even if it means missing out on an ally? Or will you be willing to have the possibility of failing after you have the patience to truly and compassionately teach someone who doesn’t understand the struggle? The choice is yours.

Feel Good Study Snacks!

Hi friends! It’s that time of the semester again: finals season (dundundunnn)

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It’s a time filled with a lot of things; to name a few : the sound of the textbook spine opening for the first time, sweatpants and messy buns, and – of course – lots and lots of stress. 

Something that often goes hand-in-hand with all the stressful feelings is STRESSFUL EATING. We’ve all been there, I get it.

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When you first start having the mental breakdown, the big bag of greasy chips and the entire pizza you ordered seems like a good idea. Comfort food to help you get by, right? Wrong! 

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with a little bit of comfort food in moderation, at the end of the day, you know it will leave you feeling sluggish, unhealthy, unattractive, and totally unmotivated – kind of the opposite of the way you want to be feeling after a “quick” study break.

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It may take a bit of extra planning and motivation, but healthy study snacks can go a long way to helping you feel productive and in control during a busy and stressful exam period! Certain foods (ex: whole grains, fish, blueberries, seeds and nuts, broccoli, eggs, and more – see 1 and 2!) have even been found to boost brainpower and increase memory and concentration. Talk about super foods. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy either – there are tons of ideas floating around for healthy, quick, inexpensive, and easy study snacks. Try some out & help yourself stay feeling good this exam season!

Check out these awesome articles to get some great study snack ideas: 1, 2, and 3

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Happy [or at least not totally miserable and guilt-ridden] studying, you intelligent babes!

XOXO

 

 

Songs to Empower You!

Today I thought I’d compile a little list of songs to empower you in certain situations & hopefully give you the courage you need to get yourself out of them/stay strong. Sometimes it’s good to channel some anger and let it out through music, so maybe some of these songs can help you do that too. xo

1. “Boomerang” by Walk Off The Earth — Manipulative/Abusive/Unhappy Relationships or Friendships

“I’m not your boomerang”

2. “Never Let Me Down” by Kanye West (ft. Jay-Z and J-Ivy) — Racism and Discrimination

“I get down for my grandfather who took my mama
Made her sit in that seat where white folks ain’t want us to eat
At the tender age of 6 she was arrested for the sit-ins
And with that in my blood I was born to be different
Now niggas can’t make it to ballots to choose leadership”

3. “Just A Girl” by No Doubt — Misogyny and Gender Roles

“Don’t you think I know exactly where I stand?
This world is forcing me to hold your hand
‘Cause I’m just a girl, little ol’ me
Well don’t let me out of your sight
I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite,
So don’t let me have any rights”

4. “Girl In A Country Song” by Maddie and Tae — Sexism in the Media

“Being a girl in a country song – how in the world did it go so wrong?
Like all we’re good for is looking good for you and your friends on the weekend, nothing more”

5. “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson — Getting over a Bad Relationship/Friendship

“Since you been gone, I can breathe for the first time”

6. “Gives You Hell” by The All-American Rejects — Proving People Wrong! 

(idk this song just makes me feel so pumped up)

7. “The Middle” by Jimmy Eats World Insecurity, Bad Friends, Peer Pressure, Bullying

“Everything, everything will be just fine
Everything, everything will be all right, ALL RIGHT!”

8. “Son of Man” by Phil Collins — Male Empowerment

“Lift your spirit, set it free
Someday you’ll walk tall with pride”

There are a ton more songs in a playlist on my YouTube channel and on a list on my Tumblr! Feel free to comment other empowering songs that you can think of! 🙂 Happy Song Saturday!