Miss Musings

A modern miss provides commentary on sociological and psychological issues concerning politics, the media, literature, and everyday observances.

#TreatYourself, epiphanies, and the art of being Elsa

This piece started as a Facebook post, then it was fully drafted in an email with no subject line or recipient. I figured that no one in particular needed to read these thoughts of mine, so, naturally, I posted them on the internet.

Over the past summer I noticed that I was not a very happy camper; I was about to start college (whoo!), but I felt dependent and helpless. I couldn’t drive, I wasn’t taking care of myself, I lost my flexibility, my heart was empty and in need of a rebound, blah blah. I realized that I had completely lost touch with who I was and where I was going. Therefore I did what any lonely girl would do – read inspirational quotes and eat chocolate. I read one quote from a role model of mine, Gloria Steinem, which changed my perspective tremendously:

“We must become the men we want to marry.”

I am not a sentimental person all the time. When people would say “THIS BOOK/QUOTE CHANGED MY LIFE” I would roll my eyes. But this quote you just read gutted my mind. Wow. I was seeking to meet the people, particularly the guy, that I wanted to BE.

Pivotal. I stopped focusing on myself in search of self-actualization… yet I was only distracting myself from my own flawed perspective. Little did I know I had been doing this for at least a year, probably more. I dropped my laptop in surprise (kidding, I love this thing), and got to work on mission: be your own #flawless self, by doing the following things:

1. Yoga. I CAN BEND MY BODY IN COOL WAYS. I CAN FOCUS ON MY BREATHING, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE AWFUL ALLERGIES. EUREKA, THAT IS THE SPOT!!

2. Reading every day. I used to dislike reading because I am impatient, but now I see why I love books: you don’t have to look at beautiful actors and feel self-pity or turn the volume up-and-down. I read fiction, non-fiction, auto-biographies, and the news. I feel mentally fly.

3. Coding every day. I am going into computer science and was always a bit put off by the techy people who knew how to code everything ever. Instead of wallowing, I started using codecademy to learn new skills and brush up on old ones. Now I can make pretty glowing buttons using jQuery! Activate #STEMFemme super powers!!!

4. Learning a language. I signed up for Duolingo and do lessons in French and Spanish every day. Both of these are languages of the United Nations, which I fell in love on my trip to New York City, so I wanted to at least learn to say more than “Bonjour” and “Hola.”

5. Learning to drive. I was bad at driving for three years and just gave up on it, and in doing so, limited my freedom, adulthood, and individuality. So I began driving consistently and got way better at the mechanics of driving – I have even driven to downtown Orlando! Learning to drive has empowered me in unexpected ways, so I urge you to challenge yourself and do one thing every day that scares you (Eleanor Roosevelt quote).

As I heal myself from a life of self-limitation and underestimation, I gain pride in who I am and simultaneously stop caring so much about how I present who I am to others. But enough about me; this post was meant to help you. I am no Gloria Steinem and I am way too verbose, but I thought I’d lend you 26 quick, meme-worthy, sentence-long nuggets of wisdom I have gained during my coding/French/yoga sessions.

  • Instead of learning to shape society, we should learn to stop letting it control us.
  • If you do not try to own something, no one can steal it.
  • Your greatest insecurity will one day be the world’s greatest trend.
  • Just because you can operate properly does not mean you are over everything bad that has happened to you.
  • Venting is restricted flow.
  • Both love and pain are mental constructs, and you can control which one is greater than the other.
  • Just because you pick your battles does not mean you are a doormat.
  • You are not a paradox – you are balanced.
  • Love is flexible and undefinable and not designed for you to understand.
  • Jealousy indicates distrust and should not be felt in love. If it is felt, it is not love.
  • You are your worst enemy and your greatest ally.
  • You cannot change everything or waste energy being mad at social structure.
  • However, you can morph your own structure.
  • Trust that most people are dishonest sometimes.
  • Make yourself feel special.
  • Superheroes have unnatural superpowers… supermodels have?
  • You are not fat. You have fat. Everyone has fat. Everyone is “fat.”
  • Worry about your appearance. Motivate yourself. Then love what comes out of motivation.
  • Accept authority under most circumstances.
  • Stop complaining; it inhibits.
  • Do not settle. 7 billion people. You’ll find “the one” and your true friends.
  • Try not to change, because change is organic. If you try to control who you become, you will make the process of transitioning difficult.
  • Do not ask people not to pigeon-hole you. They will just pigeon-hole you as too sensitive and move on.
  • Pride is not shameful, it’s healthy.
  • I am not defined by how I was born but by what I do every day.
  • I love you. I love me too, though. Maybe me a little bit more. But it is okay because you should love you. Don’t make others do all the work. They won’t.
Finally, love is not about control, it is about relinquishing it. It is about trust. Loving yourself means taking care of yourself and letting yourself bloom out of your own two feet. Loving others is letting them do their thing and knowing inside that they won’t hurt you. I am a control-freak, admittedly, but I am learning to let the leaves change every year and the sun come up every day without my help or personal contribution. The world spins even when your world crashes down, and all you can do is enjoy the ride some higher power takes you on.
Namaste, go with Beyonce, and make like Elsa and –
let it go

#MissCollege: What college freshmen need from their parents

You’re a parent of a soon-to-be-college student, and you are probably feeling lots of spastic emotions right now. You’re hoping your student signed up for the right classes at orientation, you’re randomly asking yourself if you bought the XL twin bedsheets already, and you are fretting over if your child – er, student – should invest in a meal plan. Sally or Bob is begging to live off campus as soon as possible, because s/he will probably be too hip for the college scene, but you are just praying they graduate in the golden four years with minimal debt. Welcome to college, parents.

As an incoming student, I am still figuring many things out. My parents are prepared for my journey into college because my sibling has already endured the random worries and unexpected tribulations that infuse the college experience. So, equipped by a general idea of what you may be going through, as well as my own confusion, I have compiled the following list of things your child really needs right about now and during the first few months of school.

1. HUGS

Courtesy of Huffington Post

Courtesy of Huffington Post

I am a huggy person. Your child may not be into hugs, but trust me, s/he will want to tap into the hug reservoir during those homesick nights.

2. Money

Courtesy of HelloGiggles

Courtesy of HelloGiggles

All kids like money. However, what I mean by mentioning this is that students are often broke and need to have cash on hand to survive. Help them sort out how the ATM works so they can have access to cash when they go to sketchy drive-thrus with their friends. (It’ll happen sooner or later).

3. Care Packages

Courtesy of Amazon

Courtesy of Amazon

I’m talking chocolate bars, that special sauce they can ONLY get at your fave grocery store, and any other random items that are difficult to buy in a college town. Throwing in a cute card never hurts!

4. Financial Advice

Courtesy of Teen.com

Courtesy of Teen.com

One of my favorite things to do with my family is discuss finances. Perhaps my love of Suze Orman has finally flung into full force, because I like to ask about IRAs and checking accounts on a daily basis. Do your student a favor and teach them about how to budget and make good financial decisions. Also, it’s not a bad idea to discuss building credit in college with smaller “big” purchases such as textbooks and laptops, because without credit, your student won’t be able to make large purchases in the future. Goodbye dream house and first car…

5. Reassurance

Courtesy of The Odyssey Online

Courtesy of The Odyssey Online

Reassurance is a wonderful thing… it’s quick, it makes people feel awesome, and it’s FREE. College students are caught in this whirlwind of self-doubt, new situations, and challenging coursework. Your student needs you to be their cheerleader! Go ahead and let your student know that s/he is handling things just fine. Skype them with positivity. Be complimentary over a phone call. We all need a little help sometimes, especially when an entire lifestyle is changing.

So, college parents, keep on helping your students with this capstone transition into adulthood; it’s tough, but you can make it through!