Vulnerability

vulnerability

This week I noticed a theme in conversations that surrounded me. The topic of vulnerability came up not only as the subject of a classroom discussion, but also within the confines of a conversation I was having with a friend.  While we both agreed and discussed  how scary it can be to take that chance to open up to someone in that way, I surprised myself by also adding something else:

“I also think, it’s kind of empowering,” I texted hesitatingly, and ironically for the same fear we were just previously discussing.

I wasn’t sure how I would explain myself, and re- recording probably 5 different voice memos (don’t you love modern technology), I finally got something right.  To quote it exactly, this is what I said:

“Being vulnerable is terrifying…but at the same time I feel as if I have surrounded myself with people in college who weren’t as afraid of it as I was.  So being able to be vulnerable with someone now feels more of a testament to myself, than a testament to whether or not I can trust that person…”  Continue reading “Vulnerability”

Breaking the Stigma

cisgenderSociety has a huge part in shaping who we are today. The majority of a society forms the norms, or the behaviors viewed as acceptable by society. In America, some examples are tipping your waiter,  shaking someone’s hands when you first meet them, and being a cisgender heterosexual person.

We live in a predominantly heteronormative society. As a result, being on the LGBTQ+ spectrum can be overwhelming. Whether you are trans, gay, or whatever the case is, you are not within the societal “norm.” This has affected, and confused me in more ways than I’ve cared to realize. From having to come out as gay to feeling a little weird for holding a girl’s hand in public, the social norms instilled in me have to be constantly broken. Continue reading “Breaking the Stigma”

I am My Own Man

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This mantra, used by so many, drains my soul. Staying positive is now my goal.

There are times when one places a lot of thoughts and emotions behind what they think love is. Females tend to build up moments in our head without being the least bit realistic. Not all of us of course, but a lot of us. Personally speaking, I know that I tend to do this a lot, even with topics unrelated to love. For example, I tend to play out how I think a certain event is going to take place and then I’ll go through all possible retorts or responses, so that I can have a comeback. Most of the time I end up overthinking or over-complicating the situation and end up building stress and angst instead of it actually benefiting me. I find that it is easier and more effective approaching things with an open and positive energy rather than preparing for the worst of every outcome. Desired human responses are not guaranteed. You cannot predict the answer or outcome a person will take on. In addition, sometimes, information you did not know about played an important role in how a situation turned out. Continue reading “I am My Own Man”

Motivation Plus Compassion – Advising Plus

17201377_1306486016107772_4566494713974496269_nI didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school. The one thing I really felt passionate about was fitness. I used to be overweight, and I looked for schools to help me with that. I found the World of Fitness Living-Learning Community, and it ended up changing my life. Not only have I grown as a leader, but I’ve also learned that I really do love helping people. Right now I’m working for University at Albany Campus Recreation at the SEFCU and Indian Quad gyms teaching Insanity on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. After I started Insanity, I realized that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Being in college and teaching and instructing all these different kinds of people, with different backgrounds, and different personalities, has enabled me to integrate them into my own being and knowledge. I’m able to talk to and relate to so many different people.

Fitness shouldn’t be about the aesthetic display of your physique, it should be a reflection of who you are. Take advantage of all the wellness centers that we have here, and all the free group instruction classes. It all comes down to intrinsic motivation. You should be able to wake up in the morning and say, “today is the day that I’m going to take charge of my health, take charge of my life, and take charge of me.”

Sophomore year, before I started Insanity, I was depressed, for a while. There’s a mentor I had, an advisor. Her name is Barbara Brown from Advising Plus. She is literally my second mom. She helped me realize that I wasn’t alone. She helped me stay on track. You cannot allow yourself to plunge deeper into that nasty abyss. Because once you get used to that feeling, it becomes second nature. I felt like I was weak to ask for help. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting help. If I didn’t get help, I would probably still be where I was or even worse. That’s the scariest thing. It’s not about you. You always have at least one person who cares about you. You never want that person to see something bad happen to you. You don’t want that to be the very last memory that you leave here. You will never know your full potential unless you wake up and get started on something. Even if it’s just one goal a day, get started on it. Don’t leave things to chance. Because then you’ll never get anything done.

College is a time for discovering yourself and what gives you goosebumps, your passion. Learn to see things and live for the present, and learn to love yourself. Nowadays we’re not taught how to love ourselves. Where ever you are, whatever sort of state of mind that you’re at, it’s all temporary. Make sure that you leave your mark on earth. We live very short life spans. You want to be able to say “I actually made a difference.” That’s my goal. That’s really what I want everybody to aspire to.”

-Jayvon Evans
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Major: Communications
Minor: Business
Year: Senior

Photo by Naomi McPeters

— at University at Albany, SUNY.

The Chronicles of a Queer Afro-Latina

Fran Dom 3I grew up in an immigrant household. My parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic about twenty five years ago. Being that they both grew up in this country, they have a very specific way of viewing life. They brought their culture and traditions to this country and made it a point to immerse me and my brother in it. They raised us with the intentions of teaching us our history. My father used to make me read books on the formation and birth of the Dominican Republic. My mother made it a point to teach us how to read, write, and speak Spanish, the native language. They raised us listening to merengue, bachata and salsa, and taught us to dance. They sent us to visit our family members in the Dominican Republic every summer.  Continue reading “The Chronicles of a Queer Afro-Latina”

Clichéd Experiences or Something More?

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I guess it’s true. Time really does fly when you are having fun. I am not even apologizing for the cliche, because if you have been following this series, you know that cliches are to be expected.  Back at home, even before returning overseas, “tumblr quotes” were merely a platform for jokes in my eyes. Of course, some of them were so, hilariously extra and they still are. Disobeying such a direct order from the universe to use them would be a disservice to us all, and that just will not do.  #InWittyMockeryWeTrust

I am also a fan of hashtags.

But here,  “here” being not only Firenze, but countless other magical cities across Europe; the very cliches I once smirked at are the ones I find myself exuding more, and more intensely every day. Though I felt it for three weeks last year in London and have been feeling it for even longer this semester, I still struggle to describe this feeling, this “it”.  Continue reading “Clichéd Experiences or Something More?”

Is Isolation Good for You?

isolation

If you are someone like me, you are probably a person who really enjoys time alone and solace. My favorite season is winter because the world comes to a pause and all I have to think about is the silence that falls upon the world. To some people, this may be an odd thought. Being alone or wanting to be alone sounds depressive and out of the ordinary. We grow up in a world where you are expected to learn how to work with others and communicate. This is probably why I became a Communications major. Continue reading “Is Isolation Good for You?”

Unboxed

audre-lorde-quotes-2So far I have written about coming out, dealing with family members who are not supportive of my sexuality, and struggling with self-identity. Writing this blog is actually very therapeutic. It is a way for me to help others, as well as expressing my emotions and thoughts about this topic in a healthy manner.

One thing I really want to emphasize as I reflect on my previous posts is that we are not defined by one aspect of our person. To be in that mindset of being equated to only one part of your personality is a very frustrating thing. I am a person. An afro-Latina, a daughter, a sister, a student, a lover of languages, a feminist, an advocate of human rights. I am more than a queer person. I am more than a girl who likes girls. And I think it’s important for people to remember that. Don’t focus solely on what makes you stand out, whether it is your weight, your mental illness, your disability, your sexuality, your race, or your gender. You are MORE than any these things. They do not define you. Continue reading “Unboxed”

Journeying into Brave

 

claim it.  all of it.  release what no longer serves you.  journey forward.  be unashamed.  be unapologetic. love yourself anyway.  – Alex Elle

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The English major in me, has been obsessed with reading ever since I can remember.  When I was younger, it was graphic novels, mysteries, and silly paranormal romances. Now that I am older it is a plethora of different fictions, memoirs, and poetry.  This is why I have ended and, now, started my last couple of blog entries with quotes, especially those from Alex Elle.

She is someone whose work has captured me in a way that has reminded me of my own personal journey through college and life.  From what I have read, a lot of her work is influenced by the importance and the foundation of self-discovery, self trust, and self love.  And while I know I touched upon that topic a little bit in my last blog post about my love for Valentines Day, as I have been reflecting over the theme of my blog this past week,  “Be Bold.  Be Brave.  Be You;”  I realized that a lot of my theme is rooted in this idea, this mentality of self worth and self love. Continue reading “Journeying into Brave”

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