Grappling with my right to write while white.

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In a world wrought with injustice and teeming with inequality, I find myself apologetically wondering, “Do my words matter?”

Do my words matter or am I another white girl with first world problems and hurt feelings?

Do my words matter when I speak from my seat at the table of the least marginalised in society?

I’ve written and rewritten and crossed out and rewrote and I wonder if I should be writing this at all. Because I know this is not my moment, neither my spotlight, nor my time to shine.

What right do I have to bear my truth…

But I don’t know how to be a fulfilled girl.

There once was a girl who wanted to be a good girl and she wanted to live the best life. So she did well in school and she played nicely with others. She saved her money and spent it wisely (mostly). She stayed close with family and surrounded herself with good girl friends. She exercised a lot and she always ate healthy. She became the good girl she always wanted to become.

But then, once she was very good, she wondered, “Is that all?” and “Is that enough?”

And then she became much smarter or perhaps much dumber because she…

How the global pandemic has changed peer pressure

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A girl walked by me while chatting with her friend. I overheard her say, “I love it. I’m not forced to hang out with anyone I don’t want to hangout with.”

She was talking about the coronavirus and the quarantine orders that followed suit. And I wonder if a similar sentiment is echoing around the world? Certainly we miss our friends and our family but is it possible that simultaneously we are actually enjoying these weeks turned to months that have all but eliminated the word “should” from our vocabulary?

I should make plans with a friend. I should join…

It’s surprisingly easy to quit food.

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In college the girls ate steamed broccoli with ketchup because it has no fat calories.

And to tell you the truth, if you like ketchup, it’s not bad.

My first exposure to disordered eating happened freshman year of college. I was 18 and eating breakfast with my new friends in the cafeteria.

After loading up my plate at the breakfast buffet, I wove my way back to my table, grinning and carrying not one but two steaming plates of pancakes and waffles, bacon and eggs, sausage, sugary strawberries and whipped cream.

I plopped down and said something embarrassingly enthusiastic about…

This is why I email with exclamation points.

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When women send emails without a single exclamation point. I suspect ulterior motives. She must be angry with me. She must be subtly reminding me of the seriousness of the work. She must be trying prove something.

When men send emails sans exclamation points, I suspect nothing.

I am a female feminist and I wholeheartedly recognize the sexism that exists in my own email evaluation.

Why do I see neutral behavior by females as unfriendly? And neutral behavior by males as normal?

Why do I feel compelled to include at least two exclamation points (not consecutive) in my own emails…

Move your body, it’s the only one you’ve got.

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I’m no stranger to a good excuse. I’ve certainly used my fair share of them. In high school I excused poor sports performance by blaming my height. In college I excused poor behavior by blaming beer. Currently, I excuse my infrequent writing by blaming my job. So, for the most part, I get excuses. I understand why we make them. We want everyone to know, it’s not our fault.

But there’s one excuse I don’t get and please remember this is an opinion piece — so this is my itch to scratch.

The excuse I can’t handle is the exercise…

What happens to the rest of us?

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I’m sure you’ve heard that thing about Eskimos. No, not the rubbing noses thing. The thing about having a billion (or 50) words for “snow”. Our initial reaction to such word gluttony might be surprise and confusion.

Why on earth would anyone need more than one word for the white stuff falling from the sky?

And then you get to reading and it starts to make sense. Qilokoq for softly falling snow and piegnartoq for snow that’s good for driving a sled. Matsaaruti, for wet snow and pukak, for the powder snow. The list goes on.

All this snow talk…

Striking a balance between truth and negativity.

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Upon being asked about my day, I often debate (in my head) as to whether I should give the honest answer, (It was alright, got in an argument with my mom, ate a bunch of weird snacks that made my stomach hurt, smashed my finger in the car door and yelled ‘shit!’ in front of a kid, but finished my work early and got to see my friends.) Or the positive but less truthful answer, (It was good! Loving this fall weather and super excited for Christmas!)

To me, it seems there’s fine line between honesty and negativity. I certainly…

Make cash money by sharing your feelings online.

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If you’re anything like me, you probably like to write, you think you’re halfway decent at writing and you could use a little chump change to pay for the overpriced hot yoga you’d like to practice. That’s where Medium comes in — like a kid running down a recently waxed hallway wearing socks, sliding into the finish with a resounding “TA-DA!”. A place where readers read and writers write and you can write whatever you want. (No résumé writing here!) And if you write well enough, you can make some (as the kids say) big bread.

What a concept! It’s…

Life-long lessons from football and Al Pacino

When I was 16, I found motivation listening to Al Pacino’s locker room speech from the film Any Given Sunday.

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I listened to Al’s speech so many times that 16 years later I can still recite, in its entirety, the 4 and a half minute pep talk from memory.

Now, I don’t want to apply meaning where there is none, because I can also still recite Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby, but I’d like to believe there’s real weight behind Al Pacino’s words that stand the test of time. And that’s largely why I haven’t forgotten them.

It’s been 20…

Lauren Taylor

TV producer, writer, reporter, coffee drinker, Spanish-learner, gardener.

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