Firecracker

You are a firecracker

A flame or a lightning bug

There is a light and warmth inside of you

You ignite the world; you matter.

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Gender Equality and Inclusion

Feminism has always been a complex movement. When women first fought for the right to vote in the UK and the U.S., it was noble, but it wasn’t all inclusive. This right to vote was intended for a specific demographic, namely white women. It didn’t include women of color, or any person of color for that matter. That’s not to say that what these women did wasn’t admirable, because even as a woman of color, I look up to the suffragettes. I don’t think people necessarily mean to forget about marginalized populations, but it happens none the less, even in the 21rst century.

Even in our culture that is probably more accepting than it has ever been, our feminism tends to lack inclusion. We can’t have a feminism that only pays attention to the needs of white, cisgender women. Women of color, trans women, gender nonconforming individuals, people who are differently abled, people with learning differences, and LGBTQ women face challenges that are unique to them. But when marginalized groups are not actively represented in feminist movements, their challenges and needs are not being addressed. They are not being given a voice for the discrimination they face.

I think that we have the potential to undergo an amazing cultural shift. Inclusion and acceptance of people of all genders, giving everyone the opportunities they need to be safe and productive in society, this can only lead to a more open-minded and compassionate world. Compassion seems like a simple concept, but our society makes it complicated. This virtue needs to be at the heart of what we do. Words matter. Ideas matter. The way we treat each other matters. Striving for a gender equality that is inclusive, while acknowledging the needs of specific demographics, can be one of the most important things our society does as a whole.

Wanderlust

Wanderlust. noun. “a strong desire to travel.” I first learned this word when a girl from my arts high school had it tattooed on her foot. I am most consumed with a strong desire to travel. Lately I’ve been thinking about the places I want to go, the place I may want to live. The world is so big and filled with amazing things. I want to see views that make me feel in awe of the world’s wonders. I want to experience places that make me feel alive. Mountains, oceans, and caves, but also cities with new things to explore and discover, and new people to meet.

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit some lovely places, mostly in the U.S. North Carolina, Philadelphia, Orlando, West Virginia, New Jersey, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Barcelona. Living in New York, I’m able to explore the concrete jungle that is Manhattan, and the cultural joy that is Brooklyn. I’ve also enjoyed seeing a bit of the places upstate. I just love how diverse New York is, with everything from exciting city life to vineyards to farmland. It’s fantastic.

Usually when I travel, it’s to visit family, which is good. Family time is wonderful. But I would like to travel more as a tourist. I really want to go to Maine, Vancouver, and California. I’d also like to see Norway, Copenhagen, Switzerland, and Dublin. It’s always nice to discover places you never even knew existed, or to look into planning a trip somewhere and realizing it’s more beautiful than you imagined.

I also want to explore new things closer to home. There’s so many interesting things and places out there. But I’m also content to be where I am. Each day brings its own gifts and possibilities. Sometimes the simple things are all you need.

Arts and Budget Cuts

Disappointed but not surprised that the National Endowment for the Arts may be among organizations that experience budget cuts. When will people realize that the arts shouldn’t be brushed aside every time they want to save a buck? Arts education gives young people a healthy way to express themselves, builds confidence, improves work ethic, and allows them to be a part of something. Arts educators are some of the most inspiring and influential people I’ve had in my life. Fine art, music, theater, dance, and literature also teach empathy, which is something certain people in power could use a whole lot more of. These are some of our greatest tools in promoting diversity, equality, and acceptance. The arts are not nothing. They matter.

Check out this article at the Huffington Post to see how you can help to protect national arts funding:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/neh-nea-funding-political-action_us_58865ea9e4b096b4a233ca04

 

Seasons

I don’t know why some people

Come into your life

Some for a season

Others for a lifetime

Helping you to grow and to change

Challenging you, hurting you, but hopefully loving you

And if they don’t love you, it’s time to say goodbye

To that season.

Sometimes what’s good for you isn’t black and white

Letting go isn’t always as light as a cloud

Sometimes it’s sticky like molasses

Sweet, making you reluctant, even as you’re messy

Even as you know you need to become clean

So strange to be in a world where we are shaped like clay

By each person who comes along, touching our hearts

Yet at the same time we are like steel

Unmoving, unchanging in our most real senses of self

I let go of my former self

I’ve broken free from so many phases

That are no longer me

Those chapters have been closed

Left behind with the seasons

But it doesn’t mean I don’t reread them

I reread you

And you challenge me, hurt me

Not intentionally, but not figuratively

Love me?

I don’t know if you love me

In any sense of the word, in the most basic sense

In the lightest

And so I’m not sure

I’m not sure if I’m meant to let go.

I Made a List of the Best Restaurants in Manhattan :)

gourmet-food1

Source: Pixabay.com

Time to amp up your appetite because we just compiled 14 of the most amazing dining experiences you must try in New York in 2017.

By: Ashley Tiara Lilly

It’s common knowledge that one of the best things about New York City is that you can taste cuisine from all over the world, and you can probably do it within a ten block radius. Find restaurants inspired by Korean, Italian, Swedish, Ethiopian, and Spanish cuisines, and any other country you can think of. With all of these options in the city that never sleeps, you may be wondering, how do I choose? Which restaurants are the absolute best? All you need is an adventurous spirit and a metro card. Here is a curated list from one foodie to another:

Per Se 

Located in Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, this restaurant has a breathtaking interior design complete with a charming view of Central Park. With a nine-course tasting menu and a never ending wine selection from a tablet, this is a dining experience you won’t forget.

Read the full article in Global Glam Magazine here.