Posted in Uncategorized

Justice For George Floyd

I want to talk a little bit about justice. Black men are being lynched. Yes, lynched. That is what this is. The definition of a lynching is an informal execution without a trial. Yes, it is usually done by a mob, but what else would you characterize FOUR people on ONE man who was not resisting. I wish I could do more right now to be active in the movement, but due to COVID, I can’t. What I can do is call and sign and share.

It’s not enough for those officers to be fired. As much as I hate to say it like this, they must pay for their crimes. They need to do time, a lot of it because that is the punishment for knowingly killing someone. This is the time to do good for the country, a time to turn the tides and end police brutality, and if we have to take things up a notch and get violent, then we will. I say this a lot, our generation is the future and we will not be silenced. Take a look at your peers: Emma Gonzalez, Malala, Greta Thunberg. These women are the future because they stood up and fought which is what we will continue to do until we see a light at the end of the tunnel.

The time has come for the word racism to die with its . I have seen too many mourning instagram stories and too many frightened men and women. Nobody should have to live in an America where they are afraid to go on a run, to go birdwatching, to walk in a building without getting shot at. It is not the foundation that we were built on.

What I ask you to do, no, what I tell you to do:

  1. Sign: https://go.theactionpac.com/sign/justice-for-george-floyd/?akid=239.3480993.FOUUEu&rd=1&source=ema20200527-239&t=1
  2. Call: 612-324-449
  3. Share

We need all hands on deck. George Floyd will not rest in peace until there is justice. His death will give power to the movement. He will not die in vain.

Use your voice.

Thank you.

Posted in History Nerds Only

My Favorite Era in History (and it’s Psychology)

I’m a history nerd, okay? My passion started when my grandfather and I would constantly get into debates about the causes of the civil war during dinner time, annoying everyone at the table… Even while arguing though, my grandfather and I enjoyed talking about the past. There’s something about America’s stories that has always been a feature of interest to me, and I couldn’t tell you why. Possibly because of my interest in psychological sciences… Why do we keep making the same mistakes even when we know the consequential outcomes? Why do we conform to dictators when our consciouses warn us otherwise? These are all fascinating questions that even the most well renowned psychologists struggle to find an answer to. That said, I guess you could say my fascination with history is the “why” part of it. I want to know the background to all of the arrogance and evilness there was and is to the world, maybe then we can find a clear solution to the problems we face today.

I could ramble about this for hours but then, what exactly would it help? Moving on, I really want to talk about the Civil War era. I know it sounds sadistic to say that this was my favorite time period in history, but there is a truckload of background as to why we had to go to war because one region of our nation couldn’t see the most basic natural rights. I mean, wouldn’t you like to know why?

In all honesty, it started from the very beginning. Slavery had been around for about a century earlier in America when the White Lion ship brought 20 African slaves to the colony of Jamestown, Virginia. Our nation basically began on the grounds of slavery. Flash forward about a 140 years later and the 13 colonies just gained their independence. The founding fathers knew we needed a government so they created a constitution that we live and breathe today. However, no mention or reference was made to slaves in our government which meant that nothing had changed with the attainment of independence. Flash forward another 45 years and America has undergone several economic and technical changes IN THE NORTH. Due to the south’s refusal to industrialize, their agrarian economy pursued – more agriculture, more money, more slaves. The north saw no more need for slavery because of its new economy, and as a result the growth of free blacks increased. The north and south were at odds for years and many laws were passed, such as the Missouri Compromise which allowed Slavery to be below the 36* 30′ latitude line but not above. This allowed an equal distribution of slavery. However, America was united on one ideal: The Manifest Destiny.

Almost everyone at the time agreed that moving westward was an absolute necessity for America to become the best it could be. However, that meant adding more territory and states which meant more controversy on the strive for an equal distribution of slavery. As a result, outbreaks of violence such as Bleeding Kansas and John Brown’s Raid on Harper Ferry surged in the 1850’s which led to more people getting involved in the fight against or for slavery. Eventually, politicians such as Abraham Lincoln ran for office on anti-slavery platforms which fueled the South’s anger and resistance towards the North’s politics and laws. Finally, when Lincoln won the presidency, most of the southern states seceded and the Civil War had begun.

There you have it, the background. Everything that I just explained above led to the Civil War (and more). Most would probably think that the causes of the war were purely economic, I mean that’s what the evidence suggest, anyway. While this is a contributing factor in the buildup, I have another theory that adds into the economic factors. It has to do with groupthink and conformity.

First of all, what is groupthink? Groupthink is a psychological term that describes the phenomenon when people in a group strive for conformity and as a result make more impulsive and rash decisions that lead to long lasting consequences. A good example of this is the Bay of Pigs invasion when the US attempted to overthrow Fidel Castro. Kennedy made an impulsive decision with his cabinet in an effort to contain communism but it led to detrimental consequences. That said, think of the south as a big group that is debating with another group (the north). This group’s goal is to convince everyone else that they are in the right and their way is the best way. In order to achieve this goal, they agreed that they needed to act fast and make an impression to show that they were not backing down from this fight. As a result, the south made a decision to secede from the nation and start a new country where they could live the way they believed was right. They acted irrationally because of their urge to conform and make impulsive decisions that would eventually lead to destruction in the south.

Groupthink is very common when countries are on the verge of war because of the rocky decision making process that they tend to have. It’s hard to make decisions when it could lead to the fall of one’s country, right? However, groupthink can be beneficial in some cases. It can lead to a united front in leaders when they are not planning to go to war… Unity can be easier to come across because of the agreeableness the group may feel. For example, when a group of college kids have an assignment to come up with a pitch for a mock business meeting. If groupthink is utilized, they collaborate more quickly and efficiently for their pitch to have the outcome they want.

Why am I talking about this? For one thing, it’s to help me practice my psychological critical thinking skills; for another, to help my audience look at things from a different perspective. Think about it, it’s hard to see things from a different point of view. For example, when you’re a writer, you can’t see your book from the perspective of your readers unless you take a different approach. Same thing for history: when you’re a historian, it’s hard to see things from a psychologist’s point of view. Historians may understand the political, economic, and geographic causes of things but psychologists examine the people and the why behind their decision to do X and not Y. That’s why I’m telling you both perspectives: to show you that there are multiple ways of approaching history. This is also why it is so hard to come up with a singular underlying cause for a phenomenon: there are too many factors involved! To me, this is fascinating because we have so many talented individuals in the world who find these reasons for why something happens through years of research and consults from other field specialists. Anyway, this was only a fragment into a larger field of reason, but I wanted to explore these perspectives on a basic level before I dove into it a little more later.

I hope this post was educational and somewhat interesting for you! It was for me.

Stay safe and healthy out there!

Posted in Inspiration

Humanity’s Ubiquitous Language

I woke up today feeling excessively anxious about my AP English exam today. On top of that anxiety, I did not get a sufficient amount of sleep which only added to the stress of taking a high level exam. So, like a typical teenager, I went on instagram to try calm my nerves.

The usual, of course. Food pics… news… birthday posts… obnoxious memes… obnoxious people…

Anyway, I was scrolling for about five minutes until I came across my friend Malena’s spam account informing us that she had started a blog. Malena (Millie for short) is one of my best friends’ (Lily) best friend from California whom I met a little less than a year ago when she came to visit Austin. We quickly bonded a little later that year when she came to visit for a Thanksgiving party at Lily’s house. I checked Millie’s snapchat after I saw her post and she tagged me saying that I inspired her to start her own blog as a means of staying in touch and getting creative!

Y’all. When I tell you my heart jumped…

This is the exact response I was trying to evoke out of my audience! I want everyone to realize that art is so much more than a class you can take in school to earn credit. There is so much truth in creativity and Millie recognized it and made it a reality! How can you truly understand the world if you don’t even try to acknowledge the means that created it? I understand the difficulty in finding the nuances in art, I truly do, but art is what improves the world, it is also – as Millie put it – a way to stay connected through a large space. No matter where you go, art will always be humanity’s ubiquitous language.

Coincidentally, my AP Exam was about the critical role that art plays in society. Moreover, it was a writing prompt asking us to analyze the rhetorical strategies that John F. Kennedy used to convey the importance of art in society through a speech he gave at Amherst College. Kennedy wrote about how artists often reveal the truth in their work because they viewed the world as grounds of constant improvement. He discusses the role that art plays in nourishing our culture and our minds through grace and beauty which he believes is the way to better our nation.

You know what, he was absolutely right.

Artists see the world as one giant ball of potential and their goal is to create as much originality as possible to fill that potential. Take Thomas Paine, for example. In his pamphlet, “Common Sense,” he wrote about how it was necessary that the U.S had to break away from its (at the time) abusive mother country, England. Even though this wasn’t the groundbreaking push that sparked the American Revolution, Paine’s Enlightenment ideals recognized the true potential that the thirteen colonies had and the impossibility of fulfillment if they were to serve England throughout the passage of time.

Without art, maybe we wouldn’t have gained our independence and recognized our natural rights.

Keeping it short and sweet, I have included a couple of unique photos to spark some of that motivation I know you all have.

I believe in all of you. We have more than enough capabilities to change the world and sometimes that latent power emerges through an art form whether it’s writing, painting, singing, photographing, or maybe a new form of art that you invent!!

I believe that there is a song in all of us, we just have to find the right way to sing it.

Posted in Inspiration

We. Are. Needed.

So I was re-reading my recent posts and noticed a bit of a depressing theme to it… Rather than discussing the good in the midst of chaos, I looked down upon it and used criticism to settle my anger. I was struggling to find my hope for the last couple of days and attempted to write, but the words were less than positive.

However, last night, I watched former president Barack Obama’s commencement speech to the class of 2020 and I finally remembered the reason why I started this blog. As Obama pointed out, these last couple of years have been rough on us – the specter of climate change, reports of school shootings, political unrest, racial and gender inequalities – and just as the light at the end of the tunnel was finally glaring on us, science had to take its turn. It seems as if the universe has given us not one, but multiple signs that we are failing; however, I began looking at it from a different perspective after I listened to Obama’s speech. What if this virus is a push factor contributing to the greater good of our younger generations? Amongst all of the uncertainty, I’ve seen kids donating food to hospitals, delivering groceries to our country’s senior citizens, sewing masks to donate to local hospitals, and volunteering virtually at multiple non profits! I didn’t realize it before, but there has been tremendous growth in our country’s teenagers as we continue in this unsteady process. Now, I know that positivity can be a dangerous thing to have in times like these, but it does have it’s beneficial moments. In my experience, when we see or hear good, we get inspired to do good (I’ll tell you my psychological theory supporting that at a later date:)).

Moreover, I think that this virus has showed us that the world is far from perfect and crises like this are inevitable – which means that the experience we have with it now can only benefit us. It has also showed me that not only patience with our fellow leaders is a given, but collaboration as well. Obama talks about the struggles we will inevitably face as adults and that we need to be the generation that can modify the way we handle it. We have seen the damage our political disagreements can do to people which means that we have a leg up in how to avoid those consequences.

However, that’s a lot of pressure! We’re still in high school and everyone is expecting US to change the world? The majority of us can’t even solve minute math worksheets without a calculator! Anyway, my point is: the world expects us to do good, but the future needs us to do good. In my eyes, that’s not pressure, that’s a necessity. I know that I have had momentary losses of faith in my generation recently, but from what I’ve seen in the last couple of days, I’ve had a change in heart. Not everything I see on social media can be generalized and not every GenZ kid is selfish. I believe that we can continue to teach and get better with experience, as always, but I do have full confidence that through collaboration, patience, and responsibility, our generation can not only be a beacon of hope for the future, but an inspiration in history.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020, you are incredible and I can’t wait to see the things you create!

Posted in Advice, Fictional, Stories, Thoughts

Simple Solutions to Complex Problems

ACKNOWLEDGE: The contents in this story are fictional.

Context: John is an eighteen year old boy living in the state of New Jersey but his life and work is in New York City; he is not fully complying with the stay-at-home orders. Rosie is a sixteen year old girl living in the state of New York, self quarantining under the orders of the city.

The argument started with my friend John’s complaints about the so-called “struggle” he was going through because a specific political figure wasn’t allowing a reopening of New York city until later than he wanted. At first, I tried to refrain from involvement because in political arguments, no one truly wins and I didn’t see the point in expending useless energy. My other friend Rosie did not feel the same. She gradually became frustrated as John continued to complain about not being able to see his friends, go to movies, eat out, go to the city, etc. I didn’t truly understand why until later. John and Rosie were at it for about ten minutes, peacefully disagreeing until John started complaining about not being able to go to work to make money and not being able to see his friends or dine out. Normally I would feel for this type of person; however, acknowledging that X’s family is not in a financial crisis and both parents have kept their jobs makes it a little difficult to empathize.

Suddenly, Rosie snapped. I have been friends with this girl for about eight years and I have never seen her in such pain and anger. She raised her voice to tell the story of her immigrant sister figure and how she’s handling the crisis. She yelled that her sister lived in a one bedroom apartment with three other families whose parents lost all of their jobs and can’t even afford to pay for food anymore. Rosie explained that she and her family sent them groceries every week since the beginning of March and they still might not have enough money to pay rent.

“Do you know how much they’ve complained?” Rosie asked rhetorically.

“Not once. Not even an ‘I wish’ from the children'” She answered herself.

“Do you know how lucky you are to sit comfortably in a crisis and still be able to afford food and a roof over your head? Get over what you don’t have and start appreciating the things you do have.”

Silence filled the call for a brief second. I could feel the weight of John’s remorse on his previous statements. However, humanity is full of arrogance, so what came out of his mouth would be later regretted.

“I don’t care. I want the city to be reopened.”

There are those moments in life when you find yourself questioning the rights of humanity. You look around the world and see a sheath of greed and ego making the world’s most principal decisions, and wonder why God has let us rule for so long. Are we a part to a bigger whole? Are we participants in an experiment? No matter the context, this very moment was my biggest loss of faith.

We ended the call. Rosie called me immediately afterward, sweating from expending herself on anger.

I texted John and accused him of going too far. I expected him to apologize and explain that his emotions took the wheel to create a spur of the moment statement. His arrogance preceded him. He supported his previous statement and chose to exercise his freedom of “opinion.”

“We have to reopen the country, we can’t allow the economy to get any worse than it already is.” He maintained.

“You want simple solutions to complex problems.” I replied

“This is a complex problem but I’m not going to allow fear to be the enemy and take over anyone’s head.”

“Fear keeps us alert. Too much can damage and too little can blind.” I replied.

He never responded.

POSTSCRIPT:

This was not politics. There was no specific opinion that played a role in the depth of this argument. This was purely right vs. wrong and good vs. evil. Now I know what you’re thinking, “John had a right to believe that the city needed to be reopened.” You’re right, he did have a right to think that, but he didn’t have a right to see himself of a higher importance than every other individual. You know what that’s called?

Selfishness.

I’ve been seeing this trait a lot lately. Not just in individuals, but in our country as a whole. This virus is not about YOU, it’s inanimate so stop trying to negotiate with it. Believe me, every time you try and start a fight with science, you will lose.

Do your brothers and sisters a favor, don’t play judge, jury, and executioner. We do not get to decide whether someone lives or dies based upon our own selfish desires to see friends. By hanging out with your friends at a time like this, you are abusing your power as an individual.

You may not realize this, but we do hold the power here. A virus requires a host to survive and whether it gets one or not is completely up to us. WE are the hosts which means WE determine the survival rate of the virus. Given that, containment can only be achieved through extreme measures of social distancing and abiding by the laws of science. If not for you, for your sixty-five year old neighbor or your eighty-five year old grandmother. Their lives hold just as much weight as yours do.

We do our due diligence not because we don’t want to get the virus but because we don’t want blood on our hands. It’s scary to think that my generation is the future of society and we are not starting off on the right foot by contributing to the spread and deaths of others. Additionally, my generation refuses to see this virus at a general level. You may not realize it now, but everything we do predicts our performance in the future.

So think about it, are we going to be known as the savior or the detriment of our society?

I know that my purpose of this blog is to encourage creativity and positivity which is why I leave you with this.

EACH AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CONTRIBUTE TO SAVING LIVES AND IF WE MAXIMIZE THIS, OUR UNITY WILL GIVE US THE STRENGTH WE NEED.

Thanks for reading.

Stay safe and healthy.

Posted in My Own Experiences

New Normal

The first couple weeks after the virus approached critical weren’t too big of a stressor for me because I saw the pandemic as something that overall, we could contain. I assumed that Americans could put aside our differences for just a couple weeks and work together for a change to resolve a global crisis. I had a bit of faith in my country for the first time in a while.

As we’re approaching our two month mark in this quarantine, that hope has vanished.

When I first realized that I probably won’t get to experience normal for a long time, I was consumed with fear. We are creatures of habit and when those habits break, we don’t know what to do with ourselves which leads to anger and self doubt. I experienced these feelings for a couple of days and it was killing me because I wasn’t getting any work done, and you know me, busy gets things done. Throughout those couple of days, I ranted to my dad about how I was miserable, anxious, stressed, angry, blah blah blah. Even I was getting sick of listening to myself complain. Apparently my dad was too because one day, he snapped – and I’m glad he did. He sat me down and flat out told me “this is the new normal now. Deal with it.”

Yeah. I was pretty pissed too.

After stomping out of the chair, contemplating on the floor of my room, and taking an unnecessarily long shower, I had one of those spur of the moment decisions to get my life together. I grabbed my laptop and wrote a two page to-do list of what I was going to accomplish for the next couple of months. I knew that we probably weren’t going to be in quarantine for that long but you know me, worst case scenario thinker.

Anyway, I got to work and tried to cram every single thing on my list in one day. I started getting overwhelmed and overworked. I even developed some eye bags from anxiety and exhaustion. Then, for the first time in my life, I made the realization that I gave myself a CRAP TON of work to do within a crunched amount of time.

I don’t know if you guessed it already, but I tend to do this a lot… but so do you.

I know what you’re thinking, how could you give yourself too much work, no one likes to work, it’s hard… and boring. Yeah, you’re right, but here’s the thing: planning and executing are two vastly different ideas. As humans, we’re egocentric by nature and as a result, believe that we think that we can tackle more than our minds can handle. I mean, think about how you feel on the first day of school or work: “I’m going to get really good grades this year, focus on my work, participate in class, and get all of my homework done on time.” Two weeks later, you skipped class because you woke up and saw a spider on your ceiling.

My point is: I’m not unique and filling up this new time that I have with buckets of work isn’t going to make me feel any more accomplished. So I came up with a new solution.

Instead of a to-do list for a specific day, I created a list to complete over the course of a few weeks and prioritize the things that needed to be done first. This took a lot of pressure off my back because now I’m not trying to scatter around the house frantically to get fifty things done in a day. Instead, I make time for baths and walks with my dog after school. Then, I compartmentalize my time to find a good hour to start prepping for my AP exams, writing college essays, researching colleges, etc.

I tackled my anxiety in a healthy and productive way which is very rare these days. I encourage you to create a list of things you want to accomplish but PLEASE DON’T OVERDO IT. Learning from mistakes is one thing that I CAN trust myself to do so trust me on that one!

Stay safe and healthy.

Thanks for reading.

Posted in Inspiration

Due Diligence

So I “attended” a webinar hosted by my college counselors last night and found out some of the good news that came out of this pandemic. Most of the schools that I’m applying at are now test optional, acceptance rates are most likely going to grow in the more selective schools, and colleges are going to be more understanding throughout the year.

It would seem like everything is going to work out okay, I mean, what could go wrong when my grades are going from low A’s to high A’s and I have way more time to prepare for my SAT’s?

That said, Mrs. G, one of my counselors, informed us that colleges are now going to be looking for “due diligence.” I know that she was referring to more college research and communication but I wanted to generalize it a bit more. Even though the junior class seems to be given this “get out of jail free card,” that doesn’t take away the fact that there aren’t thousands of people dying and millions more suffering. Due diligence is important right now not just to demonstrate our hardworking leadership to colleges, but to show them that we are taking advantage of these home hours to do our part to the community.

In other words, taking the time to do virtual volunteer projects; there are tons of sites out there that are made for this sort of experience. I know we can’t help those who are sick but the least we can do for the millions out of commission is get the rest of the world ready for their return. I know that virtual volunteer work isn’t the same as the physical work we could do, but it is something, and a million somethings can eventually turn into a solution.

In my case, I decided to apply for an ambassador position on the Butterfly Team who works with PACT to spread sex trafficking awareness through the arts. I got the position and now I’m working with social media outreach, and the best part is, all of the meetings were already on zoom because of the uneven location distribution in Austin. We get a lot done in our online meetings but still have to work to communicate via email and groupme’s. It’s a great opportunity to do my due diligence to my local community and continue doing something that I love: creative outlets! It’s been an amazing experience knowing that I can help the community from home and support my local theatre groups as well.

I recommend that you do the same. If not for the community, for yourself. Helping out in the world is good on the mind and soul, especially in these times when our mental and emotional health is tested. I know that we are all feeling this anxiety one way or another (because if you’re not, that’s incredible, please go see a psychologist so they can do research on you), and we want this to be over just as much as the next person, but the truth of the matter is that this isn’t going away any time soon. So as long as we have the time to practice due diligence in a new way, take advantage of these virtual opportunities. I promise they will make you feel refreshed and released and if they don’t, well you can email me I told you so.

If you look up, “virtual volunteer opportunities for teens,” there are tons of sites that won’t take up too much of your time and allow you to work on some pretty cook stuff. Also, we are always looking for new Butterfly Ambassadors so if you’re interested, let me know and I will send you the link!

Thanks for reading. Now go do your due diligence!!

Posted in Psychology, Thoughts

Dreams

What even is the purpose of dreams?

If you ask Freud, he’ll say that dreams are the “guardians of your sleep.”

Now if you ask a psychologist who uses research and reason, they’ll tell you that dreams are your desires or stresses rooted deep in your subconscious that play a role in your everyday thoughts and decisions.

It makes sense, but after a while you’ll remember one of your dreams and it’s you riding a big spider in the middle of the Sahara Desert while doing your APUSH homework with your telepathic gorilla friend.

How are you going to tell me THAT’S a root desire?

Yes, sometimes dreams are your wonders or anxieties, but they can also just be your imagination playing tricks on you. Whether you like it or not, your brain does have a mind of its own sometimes. Your imagination runs wild at night because your other brain functions aren’t playing a role in moderating thoughts.

I’ve been progressively getting more vivid dreams which seems terrifying, but it has actually jump started some original storytelling ideas. Anyway, I had a dream last night where coronavirus had reached the end of its reign and my parents were selling our house. I went upstairs to see some random strangers touring the house and then I started coughing violently. The strangers told me “good thing we don’t have to worry about coronavirus anymore,” and I smiled and laughed right before passing out. I woke up in the hospital surrounded by the strangers who were now coughing violently and a doctor hovering over me saying “congrats Sophia, you contaminated the world… AGAIN.” Then I woke up.

Classic anxiety dream. It was a mix of my stress about general life and the pandemic where I felt at fault for everything even a pandemic. Weird.

That one was a bit of both. Anxiety and creative quirks were both found in my dream. I prefer the imagination dreams because those are a bit less scary and more fun!

I’m obviously not an expert at analyzing dreams, but if you do want to try and figure out the meaning of one of your dreams, you should email a dream analyst. I have a friend that did that one time for fun and it was actually pretty useful to her. She wrote a story about it and sent it in to a writing competition. After a while, she decided to become a short story writer and now enters all kinds of essay competitions. Maybe dreams aren’t so bad:)

Let me know in the comments if you guys have been having any weird dreams lately, and if not, tell a story about one of the dreams you’ve had in the past!

Thanks for reading, stay safe and healthy.

See y’all later!

Posted in Photography

My Photos

Since you’re probably tired of reading, I thought I would share a couple of my photos.

I take photos for yearbook, ZACH Theatre in Austin, and a couple of non profit organizations that I work with. I also take photos of my friends for free (because I’m the best).

I keep a camera in my car just in case I see something or someone worth photographing for history or my own personal fun. It’s also a great way to document my memories through visuals and tell stories.

Here’s a couple of my photos!

It’s hard resisting the urge to use filters in my editing. Especially since I still don’t completely understand the uses and tools of photoshop yet. I use the features on VSCO as well as some of the apple features on my iphone (they’re surprisingly handy).

Share your photos with me! They don’t have to be taken with a camera or professional GoPro; share a photo of something that you’re proud of!

Posted in Advice, Thoughts

Activities to Keep Me Out of Boredom

Yep, boredom has taken over my body and I am not loving it. I HATE being bored because again, I’m a busy person so it feels wrong to not be “accomplishing” anything. However, I’ve found new stay-at-home activities to make myself feel somewhat productive. These contain no specific area of expertise nor skillset; these are simply “random” hobbies that I’ve taken up during a time of crisis, maybe you can try them too!

My New Hobbies:

  1. Painting: I’m not very good at it, but hey at least I’m carrying out some type of creative outlet. However, I recommend putting some towels down BEFORE you start painting (never getting that stain out of couch… oops).

Here are some of my paintings below:

  1. Running: I DO NOT EXERCISE. I am not an athlete, I’m an artist. No matter the case, I’ve enjoyed running and seeing new sights in my Westlake neighborhood.
  2. Stretching: This is one of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling bored or lazy. It’s also a great way to exercise without straining yourself. I used to be a contortionist/circus freak (never thought that would come in handy) so I have a fairly good idea of my limits and an advanced use of stretch skills. I’ll send out a couple of my exercises for stretching at some point, just in case you feel the need to become America’s next pretzel.
  3. Online Shopping: Okay, I know this isn’t necessarily categorized as a hobby, but the female race would beg to differ! I could spend hours on one website only to purchase 4 pieces of clothing, and some of them were not even close to what I was initially looking for. If you’re looking to try some new styles during quarantine, this is a great time to find your look and maybe try out something new.
  4. Cooking/Baking: I know I’m not the first to suggest this, but cooking is actually so much fun when you’re doing it with your family. It may not be in the moment when you drop your chicken on the floor and spill your sauce all over the floor, but in the end, it makes a pretty good story.
  5. Letters!! This is a fantastic way to boost your spirit during social distancing! I wrote about five letters to my closest friends and dropped them at their door along with flowers and chocolates for their families. This really increased my endurance and patience with the world right now. It also helped me feel close to the people I love even when I can’t be physically around them.

Hope you try out some of these new activities! They may be hard to start at first, but once you start, it becomes a lot easier to finish.

Enjoy!