I’m learning to accept it for what it is — valid

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Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash

Over the last three weeks, I’ve felt every pre-existing emotion circulate through my body, debilitating my self-discipline, emotional intelligence, and sense of purpose. I’ve gone from marching through my daily CVS-like-receipt of a to-do list to scrounging up what I would’ve once considered a pathetic amount of strength to check my email before my newly appointed 3 PM dinner.

As I gazed aimlessly at the living room wall last week, I caught myself comparing my situation to everyone else’s.

I thought of the doctors and nurses, selflessly putting their own lives at risk to help others. I thought of the people currently suffering from COVID-19, enduring an array of miserable symptoms, while I pondered the idea of doing an at-home workout or going for a run. I thought of the different types of essential workers, many putting their lives at risk for a job America still deems unworthy of a minimum wage. I thought of the people around the world without access to clean water, where the washing of hands is a luxury. …

A self-quarantine miracle — this time spent alone is serving as a subtle reminder of the daily expectations society holds me to

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Photo by Alexey Elfimov on Unsplash

I remember first hearing it in a grocery store at six years old, helping my mom move the groceries from our cart onto the conveyor belt. I caught the eye of the older woman checking out in front of us, intently focusing on me. “Is something wrong?” she asked, to which I replied, “no?” “You should smile,” she responded. My face flushed.

I was at an ice skating competition, just an hour before I was supposed to go on. This wasn’t my first time competing but this competition was different, particularly special. My fifth-grade teacher had driven over an hour to watch me compete. When she arrived, she joined my mom and me in the stands. We sat together, shivering. …

A guide for the ambitious

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Photo by Toimetaja tõlkebüroo on Unsplash

Jealousy is a universal emotion. It doesn’t discriminate on the basis of race, gender identity, age, religion or sexual orientation. It’s an instinctual feeling derived from comparison. A natural response to watching someone else receive success or attention where you’re not.

We humanize the emotion by identifying it as a little green monster, making it feel playful and lighthearted. But jealousy is far from amusing. It has the power to deteriorate our self-worth, make us question our values and provide a platform for our deepest insecurities.

The digital age has only strengthened the little devil on our shoulder. Never before have we been so instantly connected to one another, receiving day-to-day notifications of engagement announcements, job promotions, pregnancies and good hair days. We’re constantly reminded by the screen in our hands of the seemingly perfect life someone else is living, helping us mistake our bad days for a bad life. …

Being an ally is a pattern of persistent behavior, not a self-nominated trademark

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Photo by Josh Wilburne on Unsplash

I am a white, heterosexual, cisgender female in my mid-20s. I have friends in the LGBTQ+ community. I have volunteered and donated to my company’s LGBTQ+ resource group. I consider myself an ally because I believe in equal rights. I believe in marriage equality for people of all sexualities and gender identities. I acknowledge that LGBTQ+ people face discrimination, and I understand that this discrimination makes them socially disadvantaged. An ally is someone who holds these beliefs, but these beliefs alone do not qualify me as an ally.

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Photo by Valentin Antonini on Unsplash

Relationships without boundaries are like all you can eat buffets — you don’t know when too much is too much, and the opportunity for discomfort is always lingering. Think of boundaries as limits someone creates for themselves to protect their wellbeing. These limits are based around behaviors, attitudes, and actions they will or won’t allow. If you can relate to any of the scenarios below, it’s time to integrate boundaries into your relationships.

  1. Replaying a conversation over and over in your head because of a comment someone else made

Questioning whether someone else is judging you for something you said, or the way you said it, is a sign you aren’t fully comfortable with them yet. Recognize this feeling of anxiety. Decide what kind of discussions you’re willing to have and how far you’re willing to take them to help shape your future conversations. …

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Photo by Fernando Rodrigues on Unsplash
  1. Your arms, for letting you hug the people you love after a really, really shitty day.
  2. Your legs, for enduring the tens of thousands of steps you put them through on your last vacation. And for letting that post-trip pedicure be the hero you needed and deserved.
  3. Your hands, for allowing you to create: draw, write, paint, knit, sew, sculpt, play an instrument. Whatever it is you do to keep from pounding your head against a wall in the robotic, 9-5 weekly routine that is our prehistoric, corporate day society.
  4. Your voice, for letting you express your thoughts and hold deep, meaningful conversations at times you didn’t even know you needed. That advice you’re able to give someone you love when they feel completely lost. That moment you learn something you didn’t even know existed. …

Haley Johnston

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