Curly Girl Thoughts http://curlygirlthoughts.com Mon, 01 May 2017 02:45:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://curlygirlthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cropped-Curly-Girl-Logo_small-32x32.png Curly Girl Thoughts http://curlygirlthoughts.com 32 32 111192506 This is 24 http://curlygirlthoughts.com/2017/04/30/this-is-24/ Mon, 01 May 2017 02:45:21 +0000 http://curlygirlthoughts.com/?p=1989 This time last year, I was a hot mess. I had no idea what the heck I was doing, I couldn’t seem to figure out what exactly I wanted, and I felt incredibly alone in the world. But 23 proved me wrong….or rather, I overcame it….regardless of where the action lies, I’ve somehow managed to settle into adulthood (sort of). As I told my parents at my birthday dinner on Tuesday, “I don’t feel quite as much of an impostor.”

Birthdays are still weird. On top of the usual I-don’t-know-how-to-deal-with-all-these-feelings outlook, emotions have been running high because my grandmother passed away eight days before my birthday. It was a long time coming — and my family and friends have been wonderful in making this birthday still feel like a celebration despite the recent sorrow — but we’re all still very raw.

I think what used to terrify me about my birthday though, has become an index for the polar opposite. The past few birthdays have been spent harnessing all recollection of past mistakes and shortcomings and speculating about the unknown future. Birthdays serve as a checkpoint to see how the previous 365 days were spent and a starting marker for the next ones. However instead of negativity plaguing my perspective, I spent April 25th recognizing what a profound year 23 had been. And how little I knew about it when my new year first began.

As I talked through all the things I’d done and places I’d been and accomplishments I’d achieved, I looked to what 24 is already shaping out to be. Along with several fun trips and exciting events planned, I’ve got lots to look forward to. As hokey as it sounds, I’m really starting to feel like my old self again.

Life operates in peaks and pits: I was still getting my land legs in 23. But this is 24, and I have a much clearer understanding of the stuff I’m made of.

Today we said “til we meet again” to the woman whose life exemplified adventure, compassion, and faith. My Dede was more than a grandmother: she was a friend, a co-conspirator, and an inspiration. I would brag to people about how cool she was (as seen by this picture of her in China), but she was also incredibly kind and generous. I got to spend nearly every Saturday with her, learning from her example of taking on each challenge and opportunity with a spirit of “Why not?” While we no longer will share in the thrill of a sale or joy of a musical, I know that every time I travel somewhere new, read a great book, find a four-leaf clover, or make my mom laugh, Dede will be there with me, smiling alongside my grandfather and Jesus.

A post shared by Rachel Fisher (@rachelsallie15) on

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7 Non-cornball (and v late) New Years Resolutions that are actually plausible: 2017 Edition http://curlygirlthoughts.com/2017/04/06/7-non-cornball-and-v-late-new-years-resolutions-that-are-actually-plausible-2017-edition/ Fri, 07 Apr 2017 02:00:42 +0000 http://curlygirlthoughts.com/?p=1852 I brought up two of these in conversation yesterday and realized I never actually published this list. Better late than never I suppose??

1) Write a book.
Okay, this is ambitious, but if Rory Gilmore can do it, so can I. Plus I might have some collaborators…stay tuned.

2) Be on time.
My tardiness has become such an issue that I’m now identified as someone who is expected to arrive at least 15 minutes late….this is not okay.

3) Read the Bible from start to finish.
It is something I’ve always wanted to do, so why not try in 2017?

4) Prioritize friendships, old and new.
Adulthood has been kind to me in that I’ve recently met lots of amazing people, but I’ve also had the opportunity to reconnect with awesome pals from the past — regardless, they all deserve some TLC.

5) Set small goals.
I’m great at big-picture stuff, but I struggle with nitty-gritty tasks like hanging up all the clothes piled onto my bedroom chair.

6) Eat healthier.
Apparently running a half marathon doesn’t cancel out eating Chic-fil-a twice a week.

7) Don’t think twice.
Including but not limited to: making plans, giving food to homeless people, expressing my feelings, volunteering, giving compliments, writing down funny stories, saying a quick prayer etc. If I’m drawn to something, I shouldn’t hesitate.

Yay for doing stuff!

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Why hello there http://curlygirlthoughts.com/2017/03/21/why-hello-there/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 23:46:28 +0000 http://curlygirlthoughts.com/?p=1952 It’s been a while. I’ve missed you, dear readers! If you’re still here, thank you. I have no excuse for my absence other than I was merely away on sabbatical. Posting had come to feel like a chore, and I needed to step back and breathe a bit. It’s not that I didn’t have anything to write about, in fact, 2017 has been one rip, roaring adventure after another. I’ll do my best to recap the past three months (because they’ve been pretty awesome), but I’m coming at this from a renewed sense of satisfaction and returning Curly Girl Thoughts to its roots: as a vessel of relief in the form of writing.

So here we are, back to where it all began. A girl and her blog, figuring stuff out with corny jokes, changes in scenery, and a handful of truly spectacular people helping along the way. It’s so good to see you again.

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So long, 2016! http://curlygirlthoughts.com/2016/12/31/so-long-2016/ Sat, 31 Dec 2016 12:12:43 +0000 http://curlygirlthoughts.com/?p=1910 2016 has been a historic year for its many ups and downs….mostly identified for the downs, unfortunately…..For me though, 2016 has been a year of great growth, starting off very rocky (adulthood is hard, y’all) and ending in a place of happiness and aspiration for the coming months. As is my annual end-of-year tradition, here’s a look back at the past 365 (rather 366) days via my New Year’s Resolutions.


1. I’m now paying for my own gym membership (versus mooching off my parents’), so I intend to get my money’s worth.

Guess who’s been training for a half marathon…shocked it’s me, are you?! Come February, I will participate in the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. It’ll be 13.1 miles of Disney magic and Rachel praying she’ll survive….

2. I want to always have the “next trip” planned, i.e. have another plane ticket purchased before any upcoming travels.

Oh my goodness, where to even begin. This year I was incredibely fortunate to travel to so many wonderful, unique, mind-blowing places. Exactly one year ago, I rang in 2016 at Walt Disney World with my family. It was one of our best trips ever, and I’m so happy to be back again for 2017’s midnight celebration! 

 In January, Haylie and I braved the cold in pursuit of craft beer and nature by visiting Denver, Colorado. We also went on several wilderness adventures, including my first experience with pure, real snow!
    

Next up was a trip to see one of my favorite people on this planet — Anna, my best friend from studying abroad in Leeds. She showed me around Omaha, Nebraska and convinced me that it is one of the neatest, most underrated cities in America. I kid you not, I loved that place (and, of course, the stellar human being it raised).
   

The very next weekend, Ashley and I flew to El Paso to visit Julie’s new stomping grounds. She took us to her medical school, led us on hikes through the mountains, and stuffed us with delicious Mexican food. Both my heart and my stomach were so full after this fun trip with two of my college roommates.   

In May, I made one of my frequent pilgrimages to NYC and stayed with Alex, where we conquered the classic Coney Island Cyclone and cried with laughter from its vintage thrills. I also made arguably the best decision of my life to buy an obscenely high-priced ticket to Hamilton. It was incredible and something I will remember for the rest of my life.    

I was so fortunate to return to Europe during the summertime with Julie, revisiting Scotland and discovering all that Ireland has to offer, including but not limited to: breathtaking scenery, the friendliest of people, and a rich Celtic heritage that shines through everywhere you look. 

In between all these fantastic adventures, I took several Texas trips with friends and family: floating the Comal River, attending a Texas Rangers game with Jordan, sipping  margaritas on the San Antonio Riverwalk, and spending a girl’s weekend at Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Magnolia Silos.   
     

My last trip of the year (other than the one I’m currently on) was once more to El Paso, this time with all of Spice JAHR. I’m indescribably  grateful for these girls — and many others — for their enduring friendships post-college. We’ve got many more adventures ahead of us together!
 

3. Because I live with Master Chef Liz Fisher, I’m setting out to actually accomplish this cooking resolution that I’ve historically aspired to (and failed at) so many times before.
Adamant to fulfill this resolution once and for all, I signed-up for an official cooking class (along with asking my mom a million questions in the kitchen) and learned how to make several dishes! I continued to be a domestic-goddess-in-training (lol) and took a sewing class! I’m nowhere near June Cleaver (or any fully-functioning adult really), but I made a purse that I’m quite proud of and had a blast in the meantime. This Thanksgiving, I even felt equipped enough to help with meal preparation. BOOM, goal met!

4. I am committing to writing/reading for at least half an hour everyday.
So I didn’t really keep track of this one, but I have read some great books this year AND made vast upgrades to the blog. Baby steps…

5. Being an adult is bizarre in that you actually have money and now get to decide how to spend/save/donate it , so I would like to really understand what I’m doing with my $$$.
Unfortunately, The General (my 10-year old Ford Escape) served his last mission with me and was reassigned to a new battlefield. While I wasn’t exactly excited that my car needed to be replaced, it did force me to truly take control of my financials in order for me to buy a new car! 

6. I will actively strive to make a positive mark on the people and places I encounter day-to-day.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s been a whirlwind year of highs and lows, but I’ve tried to manage the curveballs and embrace the good around me. In the end, I feel I’ve come out grinning on top.

7. Lastly, my mission for 2016 is to NOT BE BORING!
2016 has been anything but boring! I’ve gotten to do so many wonderful things and meet so many amazing people. Some highlights are:

My job at Miller Outdoor Theatre, where I’ve had once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and made countless memories, including a fabulous 4th of July with the Houston Symphony!
 

Exploring Houston and all it has to offer, such as classic movie screenings, new breweries, and pop-up Gilmore Girls coffee shops. (Luckily I have people in my life who are willing to embark on these escapades with me, like my friend, Ryan.)
 

Getting even more involved in my church, specifically the young adult’s ministry (like our ladies book club pictured below) and now the students’ ministry. Building spiritual and social relationships with these awesome people has been so rewarding, especially since I decided it was time to revisit my roots at St. Luke’s and give back by coleading a high school girls’ Bible study. I’ve loved learning alongside these young women and can’t wait to see where God leads us!  

GETTING TO SEE BEYONCÉ and a slew of other great concerts, movies, theater performances, and tv shows (mostly binge-watched with my Mom). 

2016, you’ve been quite a year. I’ve learned a lot of lessons and shared a lot of laughter. I pray 2017 will be marked with love, adventure, and magic…after all, we’ll be carrying Pixie Dust with us into this new year! 

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Losing a Hero http://curlygirlthoughts.com/2016/12/29/losing-a-hero/ Thu, 29 Dec 2016 07:27:13 +0000 http://curlygirlthoughts.com/?p=1885 Celebrity deaths always hit home in a bizarre and unsettling way. These public figures expose themselves with great vulnerability through their art, establishing a personal and unique connection with each member of the masses. 2016 has brought about a staggering amount of celebrity deaths, but this week’s news of Carrie Fisher’s death has been the hardest for me to bear. When I began writing this post, she was the sole subject, however my tone has changed profoundly since her mother, Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, passed away the following day. Carrie and Debbie represent the drastic sides of lives in the public eye. Their personal testimonies — specifically Carrie’s through her writing — have educated and exposed the triumphs and struggles of mother/daughter relationships, substance abuse, and mental health, boldly disproving stigmas and barring their souls for all to see. Even more, their iconic roles are cemented in my heart as cinematic treasures I have revisited like old friends time and time again.

Debbie Reynolds’ performance in Singin’ in the Rain brings me so much joy: Kathy Seldon is sincere and resolute, all the while performing to an impeccable high standard no longer present in film (La La Land excluded). She is a light and a beacon of happiness in a world so often plagued with distress.

As for Carrie Fisher…she was more than just the actress who played Princess Leia. To me, Carrie and Leia were one and the same. Princess Leia is unlike any character in this galaxy (or those far, far away either). She is strong and courageous, sure. But she’s a leader who demands respect, a teammate who exhibits sacrifice and loyalty, and a literal Force to be reckoned with (see what I did there) who makes hard decisions with vulnerability and compassion. Princess Leia is as complex a character as they come, and for this pivotal role to be a female? Earth-shattering. Leia could have been the damsel-in-distress-love-interest and nothing more, but it was Carrie’s own talent and charisma that made her come to life.

When I was a kid, we didn’t own Singin’ in the Rain or the Star Wars movies. Instead, my mom would take me and my sisters to the library to check them out. A lot of the time they were unavailable, but the days when we got to take home those VHS tapes, Claire and Margaret and I were ecstatic. Little kids don’t think about how role models shape your future. They think about lightsaber battles and quoting Darth Vader and Ewoks. But when you do grow up and still watch these same movies religiously (no longer using a VCR, though), you take note of different things. Looking back, I see that Princess Leia’s acts of heroism have served as inspiration and sources of hope for me in times of trouble. While Carrie — and Debbie — departing us far too soon has left so many hearts broken, I carry their immortal lessons of finding joy and overcoming adversity with me always.

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Pearl Harbor…..75 Years Later http://curlygirlthoughts.com/2016/12/07/pearl-harbor-75-years-later/ http://curlygirlthoughts.com/2016/12/07/pearl-harbor-75-years-later/#comments Thu, 08 Dec 2016 04:30:58 +0000 http://curlygirlthoughts.com/?p=1862 Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. My grandfather, Henry Fisher, was 10 years old at the time, so I dusted off my journalist cap and interviewed him about the world he lived in three-quarters of a century ago.

grandpa_wwii

My Grandpa grew up on a ranch in Utopia, Texas — a small town about an hour and half west of San Antonio. December 7, 1941 fell on a Sunday, so their family was at church during the bombing…nothing was mentioned in the service that morning, as news traveled a lot slower back then. It wasn’t until the evening when his parents and grandparents listened to the radio just as they did on any other night that my grandfather discovered what had happened. For many people, the iconic moment of WWII was when President Roosevelt declared war, however the most vivid memory to my Grandpa was getting the LIFE magazine that featured the Pearl Harbor attacks. His Aunt Gladys worked as a school teacher in San Antonio and would drive home to Utopia on the weekends, bringing with her publications like LIFE that showcased what was happening across the Pacific and putting images to what had only been heard over the radio.

From LIFE December 15, 1941
From LIFE December 15, 1941
From LIFE December 15, 1941
From LIFE December 15, 1941

During World War II, my Grandpa says that he remembers the constant call for supporting the war effort: going to places like the movies and seeing newsreels, the barber shop displaying posters of patriotism and maps of battles. He recalls one particular radio announcement about a victory in the Pacific that caused his father, my “Papa Hen”, to throw his hat in the air out of celebration. Scrap metal drives and rationing — specifically sugar, gas, food, even shoes — were also a part of war life. Each family had a book of rations that was required to purchase everyday items, however my Grandpa and his siblings were not too deprived, as they were able to raise much of their own food on the ranch.

All in all, my grandfather evokes living a sheltered youth. I often draw parallels between my own childhood and those of my grandparents, as we were the same age during the Pearl Harbor and September 11th attacks. In 2001, the world immediately was informed of our nation’s tragedy, and any hope of maintaining complete childhood innocence was lost. But my parents managed to shield me from the great horrors that day bore and provided a safe and loving home, just as my great-grandparents did for him.

The world is still a very scary place 75 years later, which is why I had to ask my Grandpa what he thought of our America nowadays. He said that yes, our country was incredibly unified back then, but there were still groups who were against the war effort. We’ve had problems and divisiveness before…set backs that seemed insurmountable. (He used the perfect example of Woodrow Wilson’s failed League of Nations in response to World War I.) If events ever arose like Pearl Harbor, he attests the country would rise to the occasion and unite because our fundamental beliefs still stand true.

I forget sometimes that America has overcome so much already; as a young person, I find myself with tunnel vision of only the present. Even as a natural optimist, it’s difficult to look outside of today because there are so many reasons to be concerned and distressed. But don’t take it from me — listen to a man who’s seen America at its best and its worst, and thank God for the servicemen and women who have given their lives to protect this great nation, even in her darkest times.

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The Bennet Family and Gilmore Girls http://curlygirlthoughts.com/2016/11/28/the-bennet-family-and-gilmore-girls/ Mon, 28 Nov 2016 23:51:43 +0000 http://curlygirlthoughts.com/?p=1855 Throughout Jane Austen’s novels, she brings to surface the complicated, deep and unique characteristics of a family. Austen emphasizes their imperfections and perks – highlighting both the happy and difficult qualities that encapsulate a family’s core – specifically the Bennet family in her novel Pride and Prejudice. Similarly, the television show Gilmore Girls explores this fascinating theme, focusing on one woman’s relationship with her daughter and her parents. Both the Gilmores and the Bennets exhibit “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of families in an engaging and intricate context. Pride and Prejudice and Gilmore Girls explore the strengths and weaknesses of the family dynamic to great depths. This relatable take on kinship is familiar to readers and viewers alike, and it leads to the conclusion that family is, in fact, the strongest tie in the world due to its complexities.

Pride and Prejudice is arguably Jane Austen’s most well-known novel, having been a world-wide phenomenon for the past two centuries and adapted to film and television numerous times; most would argue that it is romance which keeps Pride and Prejudice so prevalent in our society. Although Mr. Darcy is a most-ideal match for the story’s fascinating heroine – Miss Elizabeth Bennet – I believe it is her familial connection that maintains Pride and Prejudice’s popularity.

Consider the classics: there are wild, fanciful stories such as King Arthur and The Lord of the Rings, which takes its readers on fantastical adventures through foreign lands with magical inhabitants. Then there are works of literature like To Kill A Mockingbird and Little Women, wherein the relationships between the protagonists and their relatives makes the novels stand the test of time. Society has proven time and again that, at our core, we want to know that we are not alone in our circumstances – Pride and Prejudice, though often used as an ideal for romantic love, should also be considered by readers for its affirmation that, yes, other families are just as passionate as our own:

“’You are over-scrupulous, surely. I dare say Mr. Bingley will be very glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure him of my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chooses of the girls; though I must throw in a good word for my little Lizzy.’
‘I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure she is not half so handsome as Jane, nor half so good-humoured as Lydia. But you are always giving her the preference.’
‘They have none of them much to recommend them,’ replied he; ‘they are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters.’ ‘Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves.’
‘You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least,’” (Austen, 4).

Gilmore Girls, though set nearly 200 years after Austen’s time, displays this similar sense of fierce and familiar family dynamics. Lorelai is mother to Rory, an excellent student that notoriously reads a tremendous number of books (Jane Austen is often the choice). They live in an idyllic small town called Stars Hollow, navigating their reality of a single-parent household. Lorelai has an immense amount of love for and loyalty to Rory, yet her relationship with her parents, Richard and Emily, is much more vexing.

Though they are all committed to being a family unit that perseveres “through thick and thin” (as decided in the pilot), it is evident in the television show just how deep – and humorously human – the ties of a family can go.

“Lorelai: You need to develop a defense mechanism for dealing with Grandma. Emily: What are you talking about?
Lorelai: You just need a system, a new mindset. Take me, for example. Emily: What about you?
Lorelai: Well, I know there are many things in my life you don’t approve of. Emily: Like what?
Lorelai: Like this couch.
Emily: Well, this couch is terrible.
Lorelai: Okay, good – you think the couch is terrible. Now, at one point in my life, you saying a couch that I carefully picked out and had to pay off over eight months is terrible might’ve hurt my feelings, but not anymore.
Emily: No? Lorelai: No. Emily: Why not?
Lorelai: Because one day, I decided that instead of being hurt and upset by your disapproval, I’m gonna be amused. I’m gonna find it funny. I’m even going to take a little bit of pleasure in it.
Emily: You take pleasure in my disapproval? Lorelai: I encourage it sometimes just for a laugh. Emily: I don’t know what to think of that.
Lorelai: Think, ‘hey, that’s brilliant,’ because this idea could set you free,” (Gilmore Girls
Season 3, episode 10),

What is so refreshing about both Austen’s world and Stars Hollow is that we have all been to those points of frustration with our family members, yet we are still able to find the humor in the situation. This paradox is unlike anything else in our culture because we are forced into dealing with difficult situations concerning family: with coworkers, friends, roommates, and others, we can walk away from a dispute and move forward without dwelling on a disagreement. Family confrontations – both in a positive and negative context – are much more difficult to overcome without every factor surfacing.

Often in literature and film, we see this played out dramatically, but Pride and Prejudice and Gilmore Girls also explore the playful teasing associated with family drama. This is clever and affirming to audiences because it makes the statement that, despite whatever issues may be at hand, these family members chose to act lightheartedly most of the time, knowing that the family bond will not be broken just because a party is offended.

Not only is the content of both stories similar, but the deliveries are also uniquely complementary to one another. Jane Austen is known for her sarcasm, and Gilmore Girls is famous for its witty, lengthy banter. While these characteristics are amusing and cause much entertainment, they also are testaments to the vast and diverse content that these familial situations conjure. Explained simply, if there was not anything interesting to talk about – both in quantity and quality – then Austen and Gilmore Girls would be straightforward and concise.
Families are intricate and have layers upon layers of enduring connections, hence the rich dialogue.

Most of the complex conversations occur between the sisters Jane and Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice and between Lorelai and Rory in Gilmore Girls. Both sets of women are foils: Elizabeth is cynical and independent while Jane is naïve and shy, and Lorelai is stubborn and fervent while Rory is sensible and forgiving. The contrast provides an intriguing character dynamic for both plots, but it is more than just a literary device to cause excitement. What both pairs exhibit is the challenging of one another: they balance each other out and give strength to the opposite’s weaknesses.

“’I was very much flattered by his asking me to dance a second time. I did not expect such a compliment.’
‘Did not you? I did for you. But that is one great difference between us. Compliments always take you by surprise, and me never. What could be more natural than his asking
you again? He could not help seeing that you were about five times as pretty as every other woman in the room. No thanks to his gallantry for that. Well, he certainly is very agreeable, and I give you leave to like him. You have liked many a stupider person.’ ‘Dear Lizzy!’
‘Oh! you are a great deal too apt, you know, to like people in general. You never see a fault in anybody. All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes. I never heard you speak ill of a human being in your life.’
‘I would not wish to be hasty in censuring anyone; but I always speak what I think.’” (Austen 50).

“Lorelai: Oh, I want a pet. Rory: You have me.
Lorelai: You won’t bring me my slippers in the morning. Rory: I might if you had slippers.
Lorelai: Will you wear a collar? Rory: No.
Lorelai: It’ll be pink!
Rory: You’re sick,” (Gilmore Girls Season 1, episode 11).

Both sets of relatives are so committed to each other and comfortable with themselves that their conflicting personalities are, at the core, vessels for strengthening their families.
Without differing beliefs, change cannot exist, and despite these confrontations leading to disappointment and sadness in some instances, it ultimately serves as a fortifying factor in the family relationship.

Despite the differences in circumstance and century, Pride and Prejudice and Gilmore Girls serve as popular examples that the strength of a family is unmatched to any other relationship. The Bennets and the Gilmores both exhibit the glorious loyalty and the heartbreaking disappointment associated with a relationship this substantial. What Pride and Prejudice and Gilmore Girls convey is that, regardless of the situation, the honest, relatable strength of one’s family can be the most powerful thing in the world.

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Certain Unalienable Rights http://curlygirlthoughts.com/2016/11/08/certain-unalienable-rights/ Tue, 08 Nov 2016 16:29:24 +0000 https://curlygirlthoughts.wordpress.com/?p=28 November 8, 2016. A day that started out as a distant, far-off point in the future has finally arrived. Through months and months of mudslinging, scandals, and turmoil, we are here, America. This is it. I cannot begin to express how glad I am this nightmare of season is coming to a close. But political views aside, I want to share the experience that I pray outshines and outlives all the twisted, divisive blows our country has endured this election cycle.

Last week, I voted early, partially to escape the long lines, partially to boast my “I Voted” sticker a bit longer (yes, I am re-wearing it today). I honestly hadn’t given it much thought, as I already had familiarized myself with the candidates and printed off my mock ballot for reference. When I pulled up to the polling station, I pretended to be so engrossed in my phone that I couldn’t make eye contact with the last-minute-candidate-swayers outside. As I entered the civic center lobby, I hopped in the back of the line and waited patiently as the clerk explained voting procedures. After getting the right shot of the line for the “look at me voting” Snapchat filter, I finally placed my phone in my purse and looked up. Before me I saw hundreds of people patiently waiting there turn to cast a ballot, and suddenly I was overcome with pride. Americans of all different races, religions, and ages…from different jobs, economic levels, and political views. We were all in one line, doing one task, together.

It hit me that this is very epitome of America. Every person in that room had a different story, but all levels of hardships and privilege led them to this point where we all become equal. I can trace my lineage to the American Revolution, but the man behind me with a thick accent who presumably was raised in a different country has no less power today than I do. One voice, one vote, one chance to make a change. That’s what we are guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. That’s what countless people have lived and died for, so that we could wait in this line and invest in our nation.

This election has brought out the worst in America, there is no question. But it represents so much more than the hatred and fear that have propelled us to this point. As I pushed the “Cast Ballot” button, tears welled in my eyes. Not just because I participated in a historic moment for America, but because out of the corner of my eye I could see a little girl standing at the booth next to her father. My mom took me to vote when I was a child, showing me the importance of this decision for the future world I would live in. And now it’s my turn, all of our turns, to decide what this nation will become for this little girl and generations to follow. Vote.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

For information on where to vote, voting requirements, and building your own ballot, visit Vote411.org.

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Your Draft Quota is Full http://curlygirlthoughts.com/2016/10/19/your-draft-quota-is-full/ Wed, 19 Oct 2016 04:32:25 +0000 http://curlygirlthoughts.com/?p=1832 I have drafted 14 posts that have never been published. 14. Some are complete stories that didn’t feel right once I took off my author glasses and looked on as a reader. Some are short jibber-jabbers of nonsense that I failed to piece together. Some are interesting ideas I was just too lazy to give a proper life. Lumped into one unit, this pile of ghost-writing screams LACK OF COMMITMENT.

It’s been nearly two months since I’ve written on this blog. I started journaling again, but before I pat myself on the back, let’s pick apart this sentence, shall we?

Started: I wrote one page-long entry four days ago. Journaling: I felt what I was writing is too private to post online. Again: I’ve written in journals before but never made a consistent habit of it.

If something makes you happy (writing), why do you resist? Why do we feed the things (distractions) that take away the one resource driving each and every day (time)?

If distraction is the antagonist of commitment, how do we escape from its perennial void?

For starters, I wrote this. And if you’re reading it, that means I hit publish.

13 drafts to go.

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The Haynes Sisters http://curlygirlthoughts.com/2016/08/28/the-haynes-sisters/ Sun, 28 Aug 2016 18:04:03 +0000 http://curlygirlthoughts.com/?p=1813 When I first was introduced to Claire and Margaret Fisher, I did not like them. They were loud, little alien-babies who stole away the attention from my parents, often prompting me to scorn my sisters with sass and distaste. Over the years, however, I swallowed my pride and realized that these two people were here to be my friends, so the three of us joined forces and became a trifecta of fun. It was honestly the best childhood a kid could hope for (mostly because Liz and Warren are such stellar parents), and I never once doubted that Claire and Margaret and I would remain close for the rest of our lives.

Being less than four years apart, most stages in my life have lined-up with theirs: with the exception of a handful of times here or there, we were always on the same page as far as priorities, issues, hopes, fears, etc. I’m not going to lie, though, the last couple of years have been hard. Our worlds turned upside down in various ways, and we all struggled to resonate with one another. But God works in mysterious ways, and I think I finally am beginning to grasp that the fact our relationship is changing is a good thing.

Let me break it down for you, plain and simple: my sisters are incredible human beings. They are no longer children, but rather they are actively shaping their futures by being women of integrity, tenacity, and brilliance. For example, Claire just chaired a huge event at Texas A&M, which saw thousands of students — most of them freshmen — being exposed to the MSC in the form of a massive block party in the center of campus…she’s a sophomore, by the way. Margaret has spent the entire summer working for my dad’s law firm because she’s decided to pursue a career as an attorney, on top of developing her art in film. I’m sorry, but how badass are these two people?

This is what’s really been the turning point for me: recognizing just how remarkable my sisters are and being grateful that I get to go through life with them at my side. This used to mean that I’d be heartbroken at the very thought of them not physically being next to be, but I realize now that their destinies might take them elsewhere in order to truly live up to their full potentials. Obviously I would still love it if we all ended up in one place, but this season has taught me that cherishing time together makes relationships stronger than any distance. Claire has been in College Station all summer, so the short snippets I get to see her are precious because it’s not a frequent occurrence. And Margaret, who I rarely get to spend time with because she lives halfway across the country, has fostered such an amazing bond with me during her time at home.

It makes me very sad to know that Margaret is back in New York and Claire will soon be busy with classes that require her to stay at school, but I cannot begin to convey just how proud I am of them. Claire and Margaret inspire me everyday with their courage, compassion, and conviction; it’s been marvelous watching God use them as vessels to spread love and light in their own ways, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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