Summer 2017 for me was so luscious and educational. I did a lot, and I learned a lot. A lot of things changed, and I discovered that "new" and "different" can be so invigorating. Lately, I've been less judgmental of myself. I feel more prone to trying new things, and even doing some things that scare me. I'm feeling really good about senior year (even though tomorrow is my first day and I don't even know what classes I'm going to take), and about college applications, and about life. :)))
Fourth of July was spent at my dad's house in Wisconsin, and days later I returned to California and prepared for this trip around the UK. I was asked to join Julie, her husband Dave, and Papa on their Summer 2017 Vacation! We've been in London for the past few days, and tomorrow we leave to board a cruise. A Cruise!! How amazing is this?
London is a very versatile city. I would love to live here sometime in my life, if only for a semester. There is a considerable amount of unique fashion on all the diverse people. I love the juxtaposition of the modern architecture with the centuries-old palaces and churches. I love (and mildly hate) the map of London, with its random, meandering streets (the complete opposite of New York). I feel corny to say this, but I also can appreciate being able to understand everyone. I feel like I'm a part of it.
Julie and Dave are the fanciest and funnest people to go on a vacation with. This already has been an absolute dream, and we have not even reached the cruise yet! I am so thankful and, honestly, in disbelief. I can't believe I'm out doing something again.
I'm feeling really grateful right now, and slowing becoming more prepared to face the future with courage and optimism. Travel is really good for the soul, I think.
In a complete 180 from my last post, I want to write a teen blog post/mood board/life update on here today.
These last couple weeks have been crazy--and great.
Today is my third day off in a row. It's either menstrual symptoms or me going crazy from sitting in this house so much, but I've spent all day being a useless flop. In all actuality, I did get stuff done these past two days, but compared to the speed I've been running for the past few months, I feel pretty sluggish. Today I allowed myself a day to actually rest and stop thinking. I woke up early(ish) and went to Goodwill. I bought a Hydroflask for three dollars (it's the little things in life). I also bought a bunch of used books of poetry online last night. Mostly Blake, Shakespeare, other anthologies. I'm trying to get into it.
I finished second semester with all A's. This made me super proud of myself, because I wasn't able to do that last semester (same classes!). It's not totally an admirable thing because second semester is notoriously easier than semester one. Nevertheless, hooray!
Many of my closest friends (&bf) are seniors. They graduated in the beginning of the month, and it was actually really exciting for me. I expected it to be a sad occasion, but I just kept thinking about how exciting their lives are all going to be. A part of me felt sad about spending next year semi-alone, and this helped me make an ultimately gigantic decision.
I'm going to move.
With my mom engaged, and me now practically being an adult anyway, I decided to go through with moving to Long Beach. It's going to be a mini Brady Bunch family out there. I'll be attending an all new school, for only my senior year. It should be a positive experience. We'll live 20 minutes away from the beach. And a train ride away from LA. There's a lot of stress surrounding the future, but isn't that always true? I feel excited to start a new life over there. I don't feel like I'm leaving much behind in this desert.
Kylie helped me make the decision, because she really supported my new future, and the opportunities I'll get at my new school (including AP Art History and AP Comparative Politics!!). In accordance with all these changes, I cut my hair. First, it was impromptu and I did it myself. Using dull scissors with paint on the blade, I cut off roughly 4 or 5 inches. Three people noticed at school. Hello everyone, I was going for a mild Britney moment and I wanted you to notice it. So, I went to a real stylist and got 2 additional inches off. Spent 16 bucks and 2 days on it, and decided it wasn't enough. During a Friday night sleepover with Kylie, she cut off the final 3-4 inches. Finally! Something new!
As I heard about this new political occurrence regarding Trump and the Paris Accord, I had a lot of questions. This has been weighing on my soldiers and I wanted to investigate further. I have a particular work style, and I'm much more successful at studying or working if I'm creating something. For example, every year of AP history (which, yes, has only been 2), I like to create a physical timeline on my wall. (I also always accept an excuse to exercise my sharpie collection).
Days away from the end of my school year, I realized I hadn't been posting as much, and thought it would be interesting to do a piece on this event in history. I've been preparing for college applications, and plan to spend the next few months writing my little heart out (in a professional yet personal yet interesting yet braggy way (?!?)), so I thought this would be a fun platform to practice these skills.
My mom raised me to be environmentally aware. "Hippie" and "tree-hugger" are some names I've been called throughout my school life, but I've always accepted them with pride. I question, though, why so many people label the environmentally aware, and it worries me. Just as everyone should be a feminist, everyone should care about the environment. Its our home, y'all!!!
I told myself I wouldn't get too opinionated or biased in this post, but, lets face it, that's an unrealistic expectation of myself. My opinion seems to always be displayed, but with curiosity and respect towards others. I want to explore this alarming event with an open mind in order to understand why the Trump administration thinks this is okay.
Firstly, what is the Paris Accord?
In Dec. 2015, 195 countries adopted a universal and legally binding global climate deal set to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. In short, the governments plan to:
1. maintain a goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. One study shows that 2015 was likely the first time in recorded history that global temperatures were more than 1 degree C above pre-industrial levels.
2. have an aspirational limit of 1.5 degrees C, because this would significantly decrease the risks and impacts of climate change.
3. recognize the need for global emissions to peak as soon as possible. This was a bit confusing to me, but this interactive website helped shed light on what it means. Also, I think BECCS is a crazy (and expensive) solution which I hope we can avoid using.
4. undertake rapid reductions after said peak in accordance with the best available science. This was the most intriguing to me, because I am proud that they promise to use the science available to them for good, unlike the policy makers of today. We currently have the technology to significantly reduce our impact on the environment, yet we are not taking advantage of it.
At first glance, this seems like a step in the right direction. Bias may blind me, but I can't find any reason (other than the cost of it all) as to why anyone would oppose this plan. I am filled with curiosity about what Trump believes about this entire deal. The exerpted videos of his announcement lead me to believe that he's treating this situation like a business deal, where we (America) will be as stubborn as possible until we receive what we desire.
So, what do we desire?
Trump discussed how China and India are both receiving more leeway in the Paris Agreement than America, and I wondered what he meant by that. His sentiments seem nearly Populist in essence, with such an emphasis on American workers. These are, apparently, some of his reasons for exiting the agreement:
1. The Paris Accord is bad for the US economy. Trump believes these procedures to limit CO2 emissions will result in a loss of jobs, or the absence of the creation of more jobs to fit our rising population. To me, the first obvious contradiction to this would be all the jobs gained in the "new" green energy industry. Additionally, the Paris Agreement in a nonbinding agreement, which means that the US would not have to implement these procedures at all. For the entirety of Trump's (hopefully short) presidency, he would not have to enact any of these programs. Therefore, Trump could have remained in the Paris Accord with no affect on the US economy. It would have been considerate for the next president who will hopefully have a more empathetic heart and moral conscience, and choose to be a valuable player in the agreement.
2.The Paris Accord does not allow for the American Free Market Economy. By manipulating the economy towards investment into cleaner, greener energy, the agreement curbs the ever-powerful free market economy. This aspect of American economy is deeply rooted in American pride, and is a powerful use of pathos directed towards the American People to influence them against this agreement.
3.China and India don't have to reduce emissions like America does. This is a little childish. China and India both have less developed infrastructures and economies than America. They realistically do not have the resources to create as large of an impact as America does. Moreover, America has emitted 30% of the excess CO2 emissions currently in the atmosphere, which is the same amount as Europe. America is simply more responsible for/capable of affecting the creation of CO2 emissions that are contributing to global warming.
5. Trump believes the Paris Accord is politically unpopular within America. When I watched the excerpt of his speech, one of the first things I noticed was the pathetic applause. 1 out of every 3 people was not clapping. Maybe this is actually reasonable (assuming they choose a politically diverse group to be in the audience), but it was just a sad applause. Nobody was passionate about it, and nobody was happy. All those clappy republicans had a little shame on their shoulders, I believe. Nevertheless, 7 out of 10 Americans were in favor of and wanted to be a part of the Paris Accord. Trump is in denial.
America is now part of the 3 nations not part of the Paris Accord (the other two being Syria and Nicaragua).
this website, this one, and this video.
I love creating these little subcategory-posts for my photos from Kenya. I took SO many, and I find that I often steer away from posting selfies on Instagram. I don't know, they aren't artistic or special enough to go on that creative outlet. If I'm restricted to posting 1 photo a day, I'd prefer to post one I'm ultra proud of. In contradiction, though, are the photos I choose to show people at home. The selfies are the truly intimate photos.
Yesterday my phone fell onto tile and shattered. The selfie camera was saved, thankfully, but I thought it was pretty ironic & timely.
In 2015 I went to Paris for 2 days or something but since then I feel connected to that city. It's corny and fairy tale like but that place is special. The art!! The smells & the history! The language & the food! <3
I realized I never posted anything about my time there which is strange because it felt like an important part of me understanding myself. It felt like I was in a real world where I could be myself. It had the completely opposite vibe than Southern California. I'm gonna share some magical (pardon the princess word but I'm embracing that vibe right now) pictures I was able to take there:
As we arrived (by overnight train from venice-do I live in a dream??) I could not WAIT to see the Eiffel tower. The real one. The actual one. I was stoked.
I wish I had taken AP European History before going on this trip because I (unknowingly) went to so many culturally and historically deep places. I wish I had been way more educated on it all.
Paris had a way of making me feel like I was in a new, different place. Often when I've traveled, it feels like I can't really escape anything. It all feels like the same place, under the same sky, just with different decorations. Am I alone in feeling this way?
Paris didn't feel like that, though. It got into my soul for a minute. I was in a new world. I was in love with it.
Yes, I am romanticizing it all a bit. But that's kinda the spirit of it all. It's accepted and embraced to be romantic about things. It's refreshing!
If I could go back there right now I'd do a couple things differently. I'd stay much longer. I'd do less. I'd read more, and I'd try to see all the art. And, maybe I'd embrace some religion or education there.
Really its all just hindsight bias or something. I'm retelling my experience from 2 years ago. It's mostly foggy, but still feels important. That's the "story" aspect of it.
Above is a picture of me and Chloe. I was really lucky because on this trip we became ridiculously close. I think I knew her for max. 30 days of my life (so far) and I feel like she's a very close & deep friend. Travelling with someone is a unique experience. We laughed SO much, and we cried, and we exchanged stories and music, and ultimately helped each other to have a wonderful trip. We got in trouble more than a few times for sneaking off and doing our own thing. We wanted to enjoy the places we were without 4-6 people with at least one boy in each group.
One of my favorite stories of my life is one of these experiences with her! It was our first night in Paris (I think) and we were less than satisfied with the fact that we had to be inside our rooms before the sun went down. I craved that Paris night that was so close to me. I wanted a 9 p.m. expresso more than anything else.
So this one night, we go to the top level of our hotel (this became a habit at every other hotel afterward) and found some windows which opened onto a roof. We promised to climb out later after cerfew.
It was 11 pm and we made it. We stood in the night breeze, about 5 miles away from the heart of the city and the Eiffel Tower. Every couple minutes the lighthouse-esque beam would shine on us. It was as close as we'd get to the world we craved. We both vowed to come back again and experience it fully.
As I begin to focus on what I want to study in college and what I want to contribute to this world, I am reminded of my experience in Paris. It was easily accessible. It sparked a love for history and art and culture and weather. Its a good place <3
p.p.s. shoutout to france for making a good decision to reject racism and xenophobia!! I hope we americans can learn some lessons from this more versed nation!
Hey! I'm currently living in Long Beach, CA. I love a lot of things, including Nina Simone, travelling , and my puppies. Fun fact about me: I suck at writing about mes.