patience.

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after 17 years

of wishing and prayer

you manifested

we crossed paths

in the slightest way

brushing past each other

a friend of a friend

who would have thought

we would come into each other’s lives

and change them forever

just when I thought He didn’t hear me

when I felt He left me behind

our lips met

my skin was on yours

your scent collided with mine

and you would change the way

I’d think about life

forever more

– Alondra Bodden

 

 

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you.

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I think of you

miles away

across the ocean blue,

I think of words to say

but none of them ring true

for the way

I feel about you

asIi lay my head to sleep

I close my eyes

and my mind plunges deep

my heart cries

I dream of you

in my waking hours

during self-care

I lather my body, in the shower

I wonder if its fair

the way I feel about you.

and if I could make the choice

I wouldn’t hesitate

ignore my inner voice

and head straight

to you

– Alondra Bodden

Growing up a hairy girl

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I vividly remember sitting at my desk during a sixth-grade science class, daydreaming about what was for lunch that day, when out of nowhere I felt a pair of eyes burning into the right side of my face. I looked to the right, and into the eyes of the boy who sat next to me — Jake. I wanted to ask why he was staring so intently at the side of my face, but instead I awkwardly smiled. We made eye contact for a few moments until he broke the silence by saying “You have hair on your cheeks!” before breaking into hysterical, prepubescent boy laughter.

That was the exact moment that I became aware of, and uncomfortable with, the hair that naturally grows all over my body. Up until that point, I had never really paid much attention to my sideburns or the hair on my arms, armpits, legs, and pretty much everywhere else. I had not thought to compare myself to the other girls in my class who were seemingly less hairy.

I went home in tears that day, and immediately asked my mother if there was something wrong with me. She lovingly tried to pacify me by explaining that sideburns are perfectly normal, and that every hair on my body — from the top of my head to the top of my toes — was perfectly normal, that all humans grow hair no matter their gender.

My mother’s love, kind words, and wisdom appeased me in that moment. All the same, I soon came to realize that even my own mother was not as hairy as I was. I take after my very hairy Honduran father and could not help but compare myself to my mother and my girlfriends at school. I would often look at my chin hairs in the mirror and think they made me ugly.

It is immensely exhausting to constantly try to reverse something your body does naturally and over which you have no control. Fighting this insecurity felt like I was waging a never-ending uphill battle with weights on my shoulders. As time went on, it became difficult for me to look people in the eye when I was talking to them, out of the fear that they might notice the hair on my face. I became more reserved, quieter. I was the girl who sat in the back corner seat in class, blending into the crowd, making myself invisible for fear of being ridiculed.

Eventually, I begged my mom to let me shave my legs. She told me doing so would require tedious maintenance, but I didn’t care. All I wanted was to feel “normal.” After many moons of begging her to buy me a razor, she finally gave in. I remember the moment I finally passed that razor across my leg — seeing the hair shaved off, watching myself suddenly go from undesirable to what I thought was acceptable. Soon I was shaving everything — my legs, my happy trail, my armpits — everything.

Soon enough, though, I found my mother was right: The magic of finally being able to get rid of what I was conditioned to think was so ugly about me became not only tedious but also painful. I can’t tell you how many nicks, cuts, burns, and, worst of all, ingrown hairs I ended up getting from all the shaving and depilatory creams. I began to look in the mirror and ask myself, Who am I really trying to impress? I’m the one going through all of this pain, but for what? For who? So I can be desirable to men? Accepted by other women?

The turning point came one day not too long ago when I absentmindedly forgot to shave my armpits before going to the beach. I’d shaven everything else, but for some strange reason I’d neglected to shave under my arms. My sister, a handful of strangers, and I were playing a rousing game of volleyball, when, a few minutes into the game, my sister pulled me aside to tell me my bushy pits had been on display for everyone to see.

I remember the heat of embarrassment that rose from the pit of my stomach to my face. I forced myself to look up and see if anyone around us had noticed but, to my surprise, nobody cared. I really thought the sight of my armpit hair would have made everyone stop and go home, but no; everyone just kept playing volleyball. I raised my arm to serve for the rest of the afternoon without one uncivil or impolite comment to ruin my vibe. It was an amazing feeling.

Slowly but surely, I started shaving, waxing, and plucking less. I started wearing tank tops with unshaven armpits and shorts with hairy legs. I live in South Florida, so I have the luxury of doing this practically every day. While I still get stares, furrowed brows, and even the passive-aggressive comments like “looks like someone forgot to shave,” at my core I now know that it shouldn’t matter to them. I finally realized that I was still beautiful — that I am beautiful, naturally — with hair, and that I have the right to love myself the way my body naturally is, no matter what anybody else has to say about it. It was something that my mother had always seen in me and told me, but it took me so long to realize and embrace.

From our body shape and weight to our hair, style, makeup, and beyond, women are constantly bombarded with unattainable beauty standards. It feels like our bodies are endlessly poked and prodded, like we’re supposed to be perfect through and through. I used to follow these standards, but now, thankfully, I can say that I am comfortable in my skin. The journey to self-love has been a long one, but I now believe that no one has the right to tell me I should modify my body.

Women are not dolls. We’re humans, and we should be loved and accepted no matter how much (or how little) hair we have.

Open Letter to Prince

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Dear Prince,

I remember my father taking me on car rides, back when I was around 7 or 8, and playing 80’s and 90’s tunes the whole time. He would dabble from The Black Eyed Peas, to Biggie, Michael Jackson, and I didn’t know it then but you were in those pool of songs too.

I remember hearing Kiss for the first time. I was hooked,  your high pitched voice, the guitar riffs (which ended up inspiring me to want to play guitar), and of course the lyrics! My young ears hadn’t heard anything like it. Your music was one of a kind to me.

You died on a Thursday.

A regular day, for a not so regular man.

I had gotten home from a long day of running errands when I first heard the unbelievable news. Scrolling down my Twitter timeline I saw TMZ tweet about your passing. Upon seeing it I chuckled nervously. No way, TMZ, ya’ll need to get better fact checkers or something, and stop playing, I thought to myself. Then I refreshed my timeline, and CNN had tweeted the same thing. My jaw dropped. There’s no way…

I rushed to find my remote control, frantically fumbled my fingers to press the correct buttons to switch the TV on to the local news channel.

Iconic Minnesota Musician Prince Pronounced Dead at 57.

But you were so young.

As if this wasn’t enough evidence, my denial takes a hold of me and I flip through other news outlets just to be sure.

Prince Dead at 57.

But you took care of yourself!

Prince Dead: Singer Dies at 57.

But how could you leave us so soon…

Upon hearing the news of your passing, my heart sank, and my thoughts were just brimming with complete denial. I guess in the back of my mind, I thought you were immortal. An ethereal being, an element. You didn’t die, you just turned your back and returned to the universe. Booked a show in another dimension… anything but the abruptness, the finality that comes with death.

I don’t have to go into detail about all the awards, or songs you’ve made, in order to convey or measure the impact you made onto the world. The pain and soreness that I feel after hearing you’re gone, along with the rest of the world, speaks for that.

You helped heal and make the world a better place with your art and music. By just being you, you’ve helped so many people overcome their adversities of feeling left out, overlooked, and out of place. You have helped people like me who feel like they don’t fit in, to not care about it. To be unapologetically themselves, a lesson that will resonate for generations to come.

R.I.P Prince. Thank you.

future » Vancouver Ticket

 

“Some say a man ain’t truly happy, til’ a man truly dies. Oh why?”

-Prince

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Motivation Made Easy: Dealing with College Stress

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Being a college student was never easy. We’re bombarded with having to study hours on end for multiple classes, juggling multiple assignments, participating in extracurricular activities, working a part-time job, making time for some kind of a healthy social life AND somehow mustering up the time to squeeze in some sleep! Honestly, I’m drained from just typing all of this out.

Thankfully, as a college Junior I’ve figured out some ways to de-stress and make life a lot easier for myself. Hopefully these tips can help you as well.

 

  1. Make A To-Do List

I find that whenever I make a to-do list for the day, that my day is 10 times more productive than when I don’t. There’s something about being able to cross out an item off a to-do list after you’ve completed it that gives you a wholehearted sense of accomplishment. It also sets the tone for your entire day & gives you the motivation to continue being productive. We all know there’s no such thing as free time in college anyway.

2.  Go on 15-20 minute walks

Exercise has been proven to release endorphins in our brain which are linked to helping lower our stress hormones. Plenty of us may not have the time to go in and do a full body work out at the gym, but a simple 15-20 minute walk will work wonders. If you’re feeling frustrated or upset, it will help clear your mind, and give it the effect of a refresh button.

3. Make A Vision Board

Similar to the to-do list, but long-term. Making vision boards helps reaffirm why you’re in college in the first place. Where do you see your self when you graduate? In 5 years, or in 10? What cars or homes do you see yourself owning? Who do you strive to be after you earn your degree? Get a large piece of construction paper and start clipping away! Magazines or clip art from the internet will do fine.

4. Study Consistently

Instead of cramming, (which in the end doesn’t help much) make time each day to study a certain subject. Increments of 30 minutes to an hour should be enough. By the end of the week you would have already studied 5 hours! That’s a whole lot better than turning your brain into mush from sitting in the library studying for a test the night before.

5. Set Reminders on Your Phone

I’m probably the most forgetful person on this planet. Most times I NEED to write things down in order for me to remember it. Whenever I have an appointment or a meeting to go to, I ALWAYS set a reminder on my phone. I set it to remind me the day before and an hour before the event. This way I can ensure that I’m always punctual and prepared.

6. Eat Healthy

Eating healthy transforms the way you feel. Drop that bag of chips your munching on right now and swap it for some green grapes or something. I promise you’ll thank me later. Clean eating has been proven to make you go from feeling sluggish and slow, to make you feel lighter, and more full of energy. More energy to study, and GET THINGS DONE!

7. Have Fun, Go Out!

Lastly, but more importantly, have fun. This is college, and we’re in our prime years. We should make time to have fun with it, in a responsible and timely manner. Go to that party this Friday night, or make plans with your friends to go tailgating. There are honestly endless possibilities for fun in our college years. Don’t let it pass you by. After you have your fun you’ll feel refreshed and ready to get back in your scholarly groove.

New Sounds from Drake

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Drizzy Drake has graced us with not one, but TWO singles from his upcoming album, Views From the 6, said to be coming out later this month.

“One Dance” ft. Wizkid & Kyla, one of Nigeria’s biggest artists, is reminiscent to previously leaked “Controlla” and the No.1 hit “Work” ft. Rihanna.

While “Pop Style” ft. The Throne, the group Kanye West and Jay Z created in 2012, gives us a hard trap beat and tweetable lyrics. Although Jay only gives us one bar to enjoy, Kanye serves us up with his clever play on words.

With these two drops it seems like Views From the 6 is going to be a unique combination of sounds and features. The album is likely to be an exclusive on Apple Music and iTunes.

 

Beyonce Drops New Clothing Line

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Queen Bey has blessed us yet again by dropping another bomb. The singer announced her first clothing line deemed the interestingly unique handle: Ivy Park, on April 1st. The line features athletic wear as well as leisure wear for women.

In an exclusive interview for Elle magazines May 2016 issue, the Formation singer explains the reasoning behind the lines name.

“I called it Ivy Park because a park is our commonality. We can all go there; we’re all welcomed. It’s anywhere we create for ourselves. For me, it’s the place that my drive comes from. I think we all have that place we go to when we need to fight through something, set our goals and accomplish them.”

The collection will range from an affordable $30 to a pricey $200, from over 200 pieces. The line will be available at TopShop, Nordstrom & Net-a-porter on April 14th.

Watch the promo video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDHkMoKNTCA

So, mark your calendars Beyhive, with the opening day of Beyonce’s world wide concert series quickly approaching, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg for what she has in store for us.