3 weeks ago I got accepted into my dream school—Columbia University in the City of New York! Back in the early 2000’s I remember watching Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen navigate the city of New York and I fell in love. I day dreamed about spending afternoons sitting on the steps of the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art). I imagined doing my homework in Central Park whilst watching performers and painters perfect their craft. I also imagined attending Columbia, and walking the halls alongside Nate Archibald. Nowadays, I want to go to Columbia for completely different reasons. I love that it’s an excellent school in an amazing city. I love that Columbia University students are very politically engaged–which is right up my alley! The campus has been home to some movements/protests, including the 1968 sit in and the ‘Carry That Weight’ movement. I feel like attending Columbia will allow me to be challenged by not only the professors but the students as well. I love that I will have the opportunity to sit in lectures taught by professors who wrote my high school textbooks, or professors who were (and are) influential in their respective fields. The plethora of opportunities available in New York City and at Columbia is beyond me. It being an Ivy league school is just the icing on the cake 😉
Veganism is one of the fastest growing lifestyle movements—and in my opinion it’s rightfully so. I want to start by saying that veganism is not for everyone, and I do not claim to know everything about being vegan. However, I do know what works for me and my body. I love being vegan because of the vegan community. Whenever I meet other vegans there’s an automatic sense of friendship and community. I’ve tried many “diets” in my life (trust me), and I have come to realize that veganism is the easiest “diet’ I’ve ever come across. I have a lot more energy. My skin is glowing and clear and I’ve noticed a change in my body. I don’t stress about eating enough protein, because there are plenty of foods that have protein. It’s not just meat! Surprise!! You can get protein from vegetables! I follow so many body builders on social media who still have amazing gains whilst being vegan. I love vegan restaurants. Vegan restaurants usually have the most amazing designs and their food is absolutely delicious. (Except for vegan cheese—I’m not a fan.) I don’t struggle to find variety in my meals, and most of the food I eat now has less sodium, which means I am less bloated. I love it when my stomach is on “flat flat”. I always feel clean, nourished, and energized. As Al Gore said, “I decided to pick a diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival”. The best part about being vegan is the amount of change I’m a part of everyday. Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 pounds of co2 equivalent, and one animal’s life. Living a vegan lifestyle is the single most effective thing you can do to save a lot of water, cut down on air pollution, and reduce deforestation. However, if you chose to be vegan 50% of the time that is still wonderful! 50% effort is better than 0% effort.
Falling out of love:
It wasn’t as simple as waking up and looking at my partner, and calling it quits. It was an escalation of events and just an overall sense of apathy. It didn’t hit me like a freight train, it was more of a slow descent into apathy. I don’t know much else to say about the situation, except for the fact that hindsight is 20/20. I wish I could have paid more attention to the “warning signs” that everyone seems to ignore when they are knee deep into infatuation. Experts say that neurological attachment that happens between young lovers is not unlike the attachment a baby forms with its mother. Hormones are key in creating a sense of closeness in relationships and play a key role in both roles. It’s been two months since the big decision of ending the relationship—and I don’t regret the decision, and I don’t regret the relationship either. It’s common knowledge that we all have this remarkable ability to forget the bad parts of a relationship and only remember the good. So while I could easily recall the time where my then significant other bought us plane tickets to New York, I conveniently forgot about all the absolute unnecessary shit that also occurred. AND it WAS shit. But, alas, I’m not here to b*tch. I thank him for the experiences, the lessons, and the growth that came and still continues to come. I know there’s a greater love for me out there (and to be honest that love might just be New York City) <3
Here are some smaller life updates. I’m currently still working at my job, and loving every moment. I like knowing that I’m doing something every day that directly impacts and changes someone’s life for the better. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my friends—whom I love more than anything. There’s nothing greater than having wonderful friends. I’ve been reading a lot of poetry, especially poets of color. I have a new obsession with James Baldwin, and constantly roll my eyes at the fact that I went to a high school that didn’t highlight the importance of his work. I also put the blame on myself for not taking more African American history classes in college. It’s important for everyone (and especially me) as a black and African woman to know these things. I’m obsessing over my siblings lately—I get extremely teary eyed when I realize that they aren’t my little babies anymore. I think it’s just so COOL (for lack of a better word) that they are growing into their own. I have the pleasure of teaching my little sister in my Social Justice class at my synagogue, and my little sister is a little genius. I’m less anxious, a little happier, and a lot stronger. And with that, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes. Something to chew on.
“The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be? Will we be extremists for hate or love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or the extension of justice?” MLK