Showing Up for Your Own Life

Remember the last family gathering you had? You know, the one that exhausted you and made you want to just go home and read instead. We all fall into “roles” in our family. Because we’re all human and no one is perfect, many families are dysfunctional. That doesn’t have to mean there was rampant, obvious abuse — often dysfunction inside of a family is extremely covert. So sly are these dysfunctional relationships that you’re simply left with a feeling of hurt, confusion and exhaustion after that oh-so-fun holiday gathering. Continue reading

International Pet-Peeve: Smoking

Today, millions of people smoke. Why do people smoke and how can we avoid smoking? Well, let me tell you something. I think people smoke because of stress: stress at work, school, from the parents, children – stress everywhere. In Africa, especially Congo Brazzaville, people smoke less because there is not that much stress since we work as a community – no matter if it is a job or school. Even though each and everyone of us have some kind of stress, we still don’t have excuses to smoke.

For example, if a girl who is seventeen asks her parents to go to the prom and the parents say no to her, that shouldn’t be a reason for her to start smoking because she will be upset and maybe start crying.

Another example would be a thirty year old person who needs to pay the electricity and the house bills at the end of the month, but the paycheck did not provide enough money to pay the bills. That person would be upset and scared due to the fact that he/she could be homeless or don’t have any light. Even though this is a big proponent to stress, the person shouldn’t start smoking. Instead, he/she should go to someone close to him/her and ask for a loan.

Those two examples proves that everyone have problems. The solution is not to start smoking, but to find the answers to the problems. Moreover, if people stop smoking, we will have less people dying of kidney and lung diseases every year.

Life after college

What do students do after college? In my opinion, some go to a university to get a bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. Others decide to drop out of school instead. Students who go to university to get a better education, but most of the time they don’t have family of their own, don’t have money problems and don’t have a job who takes most of their time. Therefore, they have time to focus on only one thing, which is school.

On the other hand, students who have all these responsibilities find school hard to handle even when universities give students choices of what classes to take in one semester.  As a result, instead of dropping out of school, students who have responsibilities should do their best to stay in school, get a better education than college and finish at least a master’s before deciding to stop school. Even though a Ph.D.  gives people more respect and more jobs availability, a master’s also gives us opportunities to have a good job with good pay without worrying about paying any bills.

I guess what I am trying to tell students is, no matter what life looks like in your world, always find a place for school because in the long run, school is worth it.

Life as a student

Some people think being a student is not a job. Those people are wrong because going to school is an everyday job. Even though, students don’t get paid, we still have to work hard to have As, so it will be easy to have scholarships or even get in a big school like Harvard.

Students are always under pressure because once there is a B or C in our GPA, that decreases the chances of going to a good school. So, all students always have to make sure the grade at the end of the semester is an A or a B to stay in the range of having a high GPA like 3.5 and above.

In addition, in order to have good grades, students have to give up a lot of things like going dancing, hanging out with friends and family. Basically, just going out gets canceled from the list of things a student can do. On the other hand, some students still decide to party and those are the ones who have bad grades in school or even worse drop out of school. That is why I think being a student needs to be taken seriously because school is a job without pay.

Score: Me, 0; You: 100

I used to tell myself the reason I can’t wear skinny jeans is because I’m still carrying baby weight. My baby is nearly 7 years old. So really, it could’ve been that massive chicken & cheese burrito I’d been eating regularly that left me with creases on my waist from my jeans by the end of the day.

I used to tell myself that my kid just has more “spirit” than other kids when I really wished she’d just sit still for one flippin’ minute like those other sweet kids at Barnes & Noble reading hour instead of trying to scale a bookshelf. Continue reading