The Truth About Breaking Up With A Best Friend

Breaking up with friends is the worst. When it first happens, you can’t believe what just happened. The person whom you called one of your best friends, shared countless memories with for years, has changed into a person who you don’t know anymore. It’s upsetting to watch the breakup happen right in front of you. When this happens, it’s necessary to go through the stages of emotions. Shock is happening, then the anger comes, because things didn’t work out between the two of you. Then comes self-doubt and wondering if you did the right thing. The last stage is finally accepting the fact that it is indeed over, and asking yourself how you will move forward and how you will heal from losing som

3 Places Besides Notre Dame That Deserve Our Support

On Monday, April 15th, the famous Notre Dame Cathedral suffered a massive fire, so it’s now in need of restoration. Several French billionaires have pledged $339 million to help rebuild Notre Dame. It is amazing that so many French elites want to help restore this historic cathedral. Still, I personally believe that other people and communities also need this substantial funding. One example is the city of Flint. Millions have been unable to drink clean water for nearly four years because the available water is contaminated with lead. The water shortage has hurt many children. Many of them now have learning disabilities because the local water is not safe to drink. Everyone should have the r

How Fear Allowed My Writing Career To Blossom

For the past several years, I have pursued my goal of becoming an established writer. I focus on non-fictional, inspirational writing and explore a wide range of topics, from politics to mental health to fitness. I don’t tend to focus on the hottest pop culture events, movies, or shows, but one of the publications I started writing for covers those trendy topics. I feared that I would need to dabble in writing about celebrities or movies to ensure my success, but I also feared that if I had to cover those topics, I would compromise my authenticity. When I finally wrote a “trendy” piece, I looked at what the publication wanted and put a personal spin on my work. Receiving feedback on that pie

Why You Need To Find The Good In Your Bad Days

I’m someone who has been disabled all my life having cerebral palsy and being an amputee in a wheelchair. You’d think that with everything I have been dealt with, I would be disappointed in things not working out. However, I chose to find a silver lining in all of this. Even though I am disabled, I am still beyond grateful for all I have. I have a roof over my head, family and friends that love me, jobs that I am passionate about, and a life that may be hard at times but it’s mine. And I choose to see the silver lining in it. Is it perfect? Of course not. But some people aren’t as lucky as me and have it a lot worse. Life is full of various twists and turns. However, there is just as much we

What I Learned From Not Attending College

I did not go to college. Even though I wanted to, a college education just wasn’t in the cards for me. Now, I am 100% okay with the choice not to attend college because I still ended up with a higher education but this one, I didn’t have to pay for. While my higher education wasn’t the stereotypical kind that many young adults receive, it was still useful. Some of you may be wondering what kind of “higher education” I received. My “college” was the life lessons I learned from founding and running a small group in my community that focuses on local and global issues, particularly hunger. Also, in the past few years, I have started a writing career and have become published on several sites, w

Stop Living In Anger

I have always been an optimistic person. I tend to not live in anger. I am always in search of the silver lining and to make the best of any situation. I find it difficult to reason why those who are often angry are. I feel it is a pretty easy to task to look around at all of the opportunities and blessings most middle class people have been granted and find something to provide a shred of hope. Maybe that’s a roof over your head, food in your stomach or the people around you. I fear that those who are constantly living in anger or a negative mindframe will one day come to and realize how nuch precious time they wasted on negative thinking. Even if someone has been through tough times in the

5 Ways You Can Make Healthier Lifestyle Choices Immediately

Although I ate a well-balanced diet and stayed active as a child, as I entered my teenage years, I started developing some unhealthy habits. I recently started focusing on my health again, though, especially in regards to food choices and exercise. Simple changes in my diet and daily habits made all the difference in how I feel, and I want you to feel great, too! Here are 5 tips that helped me get back on track to a healthier lifestyle: 1. Cutting Back On The Junk Like most people, I love junk food, especially sweet treats. Most health research shows that loading up on the sugar is not the way to go, so I’ve been working on cutting back. I allow myself to indulge in goodies once per month a

How Jussie Smollett’s False Claims Impact The LGBTQ Community

ICYMI, Empire Star claimed that two individuals using homophobic slurs attacked Jussie Smollet. However, it turns out the actor made up these claims. A judge quickly dropped all charges against Smollet for these false accusations. As an ally for the LGBTQ community, this situation makes me feel livid! How can we simply let someone go for such horrible claims? Smollet’s behavior is a reality check for the LGBTQ community, and it will affect them tremendously. For starters, this could create a ripple effect of “boy who cried wolf” claims and responses. What happens when a member of the LGBTQ community actually suffers a hate crime? What happens when we stop believing them? Obviously, if my br

Why It’s Important To Create Traditions With Your Friends

Family traditions are something many of us grew up with. As we get older, we tend to get further away from these traditions. For some, it’s because of differences, for others because of distance. This is when people find themselves creating new traditions with their friends to help keep in touch.. I have always been big on traditions, whether it’s commonplace holidays or new ones like ‘friendsgiving’ and ‘friendiversaries.’ I also have just as much love for the smaller traditions. For instance, meeting a friend once a month for a promised cup of coffee or a game night. Traditions we create with friends are not meant to replace the traditions one may have held with their family. These events

Why You Should Embrace Your 30s

As someone who is turning 30 in just a few months, I choose to embrace this milestone instead of being scared of it. Maybe you feel like you have not accomplished enough yet. Maybe you just feel stuck in your job and feel like you should have done something particular by the age of 30. When you think about it, not everyone gets a chance to experience and embrace a big milestone like turning 30. So why not take a chance? Take that trip you have always wanted to take and get out of your comfort zone. Do what makes you happy. We often get so caught up in our daily lives that when our birthday comes around, the “what if” thoughts come to our minds. They are the fears that you haven’t done what y

How You Can Grow Through The Expression Of Love

Showing love to those we are closest to and even to those around us is a great way to develop relationships as well as to grow as individuals. Personally, I love showing my love to others in my own special way. Sometimes, that is literally just saying the phrase “I love you,” and other times, that is doing a small gesture that I know will hold significance to that specific person. I believe that showing love to the people in your life develops trust and self-reflection. I view expressing love as a two-step process. First, you establish trust with someone, letting them into your circle. This is the lengthier part of the process. It can take a while to open up and let someone in. Learning the

My Happiness Matters, Too 02/25/2019ByLarissa Martin

It took me a long time to come to the realization that my own personal happiness is equally important to the happiness I strive to provide others. I find myself to be a very giving person. I am often the first person to offer a listening ear to someone who might need it. For as long as I can remember, I have always prioritized satisfying the needs of others. Despite it taking a long time, I have finally realized that my own personal happiness and well-being is just as important, if not more so than others.’ I say “more so” because if I am not prioritizing my own self-care, it will be difficult or impossible to continue to provide for others. Self-care can be defined by each individual. For s

Please Recognize My Accomplishments Before My Disability

There are so many talented people in the world. Talent comes in many forms: actors, artists, filmmakers, athletes, authors and the list goes on. Some of these people have disabilities and they may not all be physical; some are invisible. Often when people have disabilities, that is the first thing people notice and not the accomplishments they have achieved. People need to shift the focus onto what people bring to the table rather than their disability. Even if people are acknowledging the disability in a positive way or using it as a source of inspiration for themselves, I feel they are still putting the disability before the person’s individuality. Let me give an example. I am a writer and

Why The Makeover You Need Is On The Inside Not The Outside

I am months away from a milestone birthday, the big 3-0. An age where individuals, especially women, feel the need to do something different with their look as a way of rejuvenating themselves in one way or another. I have never been big on changing my appearance. If I desire a simple change, it is typically a hair change. Sometimes a simple change is enough to put me in a better mood. To be honest, like most people, I have had body image struggles throughout my life. Now, however, I am in a place where I am able to accept me for who I am. I do not feel the desire for a makeover or anything truly drastic. If anything, I have done an inner makeover which I feel is a lot more useful and has e

Why We Need To Talk About Online Harassment More

The Impact of Social Media Harassment Though it often gets a bad rep, social media actually has a lot of benefits. It allows us to digitally connect with family and friends and keep up with news and current events around the world. It allows us to network, self promote, and find work through media sites. However, have you ever been harassed or “trolled” online? Unfortunately, it’s happened to me on multiple occasions. Mostly it has been in the form of inappropriate messages from men through social media. I’m certain I am not the only person these individuals are victimizing, so I immediately report profiles after receiving inappropriate messages. I want to be someone who stops the nasty cycl

Why Accurate Disability Representation in Movies and TV Matters

Growing up, I rarely saw disabled individuals featured in recurring roles on television or in movies, with my disability or any disability for that matter. On the rare occasion that I did see someone who was portrayed as disabled, my first question was always whether or not the actor/actress was truly disabled. My next feeling would be elation at the possibility of seeing someone with my disability on screen. More often than that not however, I discovered the person was not disabled, and was in fact able-bodied and pretending to have a disability. I saw my first true disabled person on TV in a major role just three short years ago on the show “Speechless.” I was so excited to be able to rela

This is how you should look at relationships from now on

This is how you should look at relationships from now on Everyone has heard of the concept of self-exploration. People have heard stories about others going on trips alone to “find themselves.” It is common to hear, “One must love themselves before loving anyone else.” I feel there is truth behind this statement. I feel like people need to have a true sense of self before they can commit themselves to another person. If people do not have a valued sense of self-worth, they may use the relationship to fill a void they feel, or even one they may not realize they have. Things one might be searching for could be a feeling of fulfillment, nurturing or support. Often people want someone to share l

Why Reaching Out To Your Loved Ones Regularly Is Important

Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of life, we forget the importance of reaching out to our loved ones. We sometimes view connecting with our families and friends as a chore or just another thing we “have to do.” We dread the idea of getting on the phone with long-winded relatives, especially when the conversations drag on and take us away from the other things we intend to do. Yet these small moments will be the ones we cherish years down the road when these family members are no longer with us. We guilt ourselves for not reaching out for so long that the distance makes us put it off again until a tremendous amount of time has passed, and the idea dissipates. We catch ourselves in a viciou

Why Stars Have Declined Performing At The Super Bowl Halftime Show By Larissa Martin - Jan 31, 2019

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Even people who aren’t really into sports watch the halftime show to check out the talented performers. Iconic artists who have performed at past Super Bowls include Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga. Over the past several months, news sources have leaked that certain stars have declined invitations to perform for halftime. There must be a reason for this. Everything seems to go back to Colin Kaepernick and his 2016 kneeling protest of the national anthem. Some considered the subtle protest of police brutality and mistreatment of African Americans a formal display of disrespect to our country. Kaepernick’s movement ca

Why It's Important to Show Empathy to Disabled Workers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017, 18.7 percent of persons with a disability were employed. In my opinion, this is a very low number. I believe a lot of this has to do with how disabled individuals are regarded by customers and co-workers alike. Whether a person has a physical or invisible disability, many still desire to hold a job as this allows them to feel like a productive member of society. I believe if an individual has these desires, they should be given the resources to see them to fruition. One way to help make employment a tangible goal for individuals with disabilities could be the creation of training and job inclusion programs. The training could be beneficia

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