I’ll do the research, so you don’t have to!

You’re welcome. 

Maybe at the family dinner table this thanksgiving break Uncle Something-or-Other started talking about that dang caravan and those darn immigrants, and maybe you sat there completely clueless. I’m guessing you don’t really know too much about what this caravan thing is? Or why everyone is up in arms about it? Heck, maybe you yourself feel a lil uncomfy with it all, but you’re not entirely sure what’s going on. I was in a similar position when I first heard of the ‘migrant caravan’, so I did what I do best – I listened to podcast after podcast, read various articles, watched videos; I did the research, so you don’t have to.

Let’s start with the what-the-heck :

On October 13th of this year, a group of mostly Hondurans began to flee from the “crime-ridden city” and head to America. They formed what is now known as the ‘migrant caravan’ and were soon joined by others from Guatemala and El Salvador.

What exactly is a caravan? Is it a super fun vehicle decked out for a family-road-trip of fun ! Woo-Hoo? No, definitely not. A caravan is a group of migrants traveling together for the sake of security. So, it’s basically a big-ole group of people sticking together and relying on one another, because at this point they’re all they have.

Let’s get to the why-the-heck?

This is the question I find the most important. Get out those toddler goggles and get ready to ask why a whole heck-of-a-lot.

Why do these people need to leave their homes? Why are they coming to the States? Why should we allow them in our country? Why should I care?

What could possibly be so bad in Central America that thousands of people feel the need to escape?

Central America was plagued with civil wars in the 1980s, mostly in El Salvador and Guatemala. It is clear the the countries never fully recovered from these wars. NPR Reporter Robert Siegle on the podcast “All Things Considered”, asked director of the Washington Office on Latin America, Joy Olsen, her thoughts on events in Central America. When asked about the police presence she responded: “They all technically have police forces but the police forces don’t function very well. Corruption is a huge problem. And the justice systems don’t function very well either. So prosecution rates are incredibly low.”.

Central America is a fairly dangerous place at the moment. There is a large gap between the very rich and the very poor with hardly any middle ground. This means that the very rich live comfortable safe lives away from the violence because they can afford to be protected. Unfortunately, yes, you did read that correctly. Olsen states that “security’s been privatized to a great extent”. The police forces are extremely corrupt and only protect those that can pay their way to safety.

A lot of children are being raised in what is known as a red zone ((“a community controlled by gangs”)). These gang members set up road checks throughout cities and force citizens to pay an extortion racket. (I had no idea what that meant when I first read this NPR article, so naturally I looked it up. It appears to be a sort of fee that citizens have to pay after being threatened by violence, so that’s disgustingly disturbing.) And those gangs are trying to recruit the male children to join the gang and recruit young girls to be sex slaves. One mother said her daughter was 11 years old when the gang requested she join.

Just pause for a second and take that in. Your eleven year old daughter – she’s finishing up fifth grade, she’s stressed about where she’s gonna go to middle school. Will her and her friends stick together? Does that cute kid next to her think she’s cute too? She should be worried about the math multiplications quiz she has on Friday, or what she should make her parents for Christmas, She should be worrying if her best friend is mad at her or what she should wear to family dinner. She should not be worrying if her father will be murdered or if her body will be sold away for sex. Your eleven year old daughter! Your twelve year old son becoming one of the criminals who kills and rapes. Who in their right mind would want that future for their child? What would you do? Would you do everything in your power to get them out of that environment? Would you travel thousands of miles to keep them safe? I don’t know what you would do! But I would do that for my thirteen year old campers, and they aren’t even my sweat and blood in human form. I would do that for my twelve year old neighbors that I haven’t spoken to in three years.

These people are not criminals! If you love a good podcast then I’d recommend “From Mexico, the Reality of the Migrant Caravan” produced by The New Yorker and published on November 1st of this year. It follows Jonathan Blitzer as he answers questions about the week he spent with the caravan. One of his main points is that these people are not violent! He says there have been no crimes committed with the group, no violence, no hatred. The worst rumor that spread was about someone “stealing babies” and then it turned out to be false. He talks about how loving and peaceful the people are; he shares how grateful they are to be leaving such a violent place and to try to provide a better future for their children. He says that most of them have hardly thought about what being in America will actually be like, or even if they will be able to get in. Their goal is not to infiltrate the states, it’s to escape the hell-hole they came from!

Now, I know that we can’t simply let all these people into our country just because they have a tragic backstory. Trust me, I am well aware of how optimistically naive that belief would be. But I do think there is something we, as a country, could do. What that is, I’m not entirely sure, but I don’t think the answer lies in hatred. I hardly think the answer ever lies within hatred. These people need help, and we are so fortunate that we have the opportunity to provide that. So, let’s help them. Let’s figure out something we can do. If the consensus is to not let them into our country as easily, then let’s come up with an alternative plan. We are too privileged to do nothing; we have the ability to help the world, so why the frick-frack are we not at least trying? If America is as great as we claim it to be, let’s prove to other countries that we are compassionate individuals who are not just money/power/fame hungry.

I recognize that this is a tricky situation; I recognize that I do not have all the answers, as I’m sure you don’t either. But I think we can agree that this is a situation we should treat with both our minds and our hearts.

America, the great melting pot, would not exist had our ancestors not decided to take a chance and leave a place they were not welcome. Always remember where we come from, remember our history, never forget.

Sources:

“A Look At The Violence Driving Central American Families To Seek Asylum In The U.S.”
     NPR, NPR, 25 June 2018, http://www.npr.org/2018/06/25/623318845/a-look-at-the-violence-
driving-central-american-families-to-seek-asylum-in-the-u.

“Migrant Caravan: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?” BBC News, BBC, 26 Nov. 2018,
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-45951782.

“The Corrupt Structures Driving The Exodus Out Of Central America.” NPR, NPR, 17 July
2014, http://www.npr.org/2014/07/17/332351627/the-corrupt-structures-driving-the-exodus-
out-of-central-america.

Wickenden, Dorothy. “From Mexico, the Reality of the Migrant Caravan.” The New Yorker,
The New Yorker, 5 Nov. 2018, http://www.newyorker.com/podcast/political-scene/from-
mexico-the-reality-of-the-migrant-caravan.

as always, if any of my information is wrong, please let me know and I will update it!

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Power Moves Only

You may be asking yourself: hey Lizzy, I’m a cool hip 40 year-old mom, but what does ‘power move’ mean? Well lemme tell ya, you cool hip momma that follows my blogga.

According to Urban Dictionary, when one pulls a stunt that shows she has outdone others and retains complete control of the situation, and dares anyone to challenge this.

I don’t really agree with that, so I asked my sorority sisters! Jonna said “this is gonna sound bad, but, like, asserting your dominance while still being respectful”.  Logan chimed in, adding: “something that makes you feel like a bad b*tch”, and Jess argued, “if you’re not being respectful then you’re not a bad b*tch, you’re just a b*tch”.

So I started to think about the Bad B moves I’d been making recently in my life.

A list of power moves I have done recently:

  • Egg and Cheese on a CINNAMON SUGAR bagel
    • Shoutout to Will Campbell for teaching me this power play
  • GrubHubbing Coffee to my sorority house
    • I may have accidentally put in my dorm as the designated delivery location and I may have had to call the company and tell them to come to the “Kappa Kappa” house.
  • Applied for far too many jobs that I do not expect to get
    • I mean, like a lot a lot of jobs. I like to stay busy
  • Auditioned for like 5000 some musicals/plays/short films
    • I mean, I really like to stay busy

WOW HOW FUN.

Last night I was hanging with some cool chicas, and I was utterly shocked when one of them, out of nowhere, said: “I think Lizzy is the most BAD A person I’ve ever met.” ((She didn’t say the words ‘BAD A’, but this is a facebook-mom-friendly blog, so I’ll let you imagine the rest.))

It’s really crazy to me when people think I’m cool, or BAD A. Some guy earlier this year said the same thing to me, but I trust my friend’s opinion more. Now, I think I’m a coolish gal, but in that weird English-kid theatre-nerd kinda way? I mean, maybe that’s considered BAD A nowadays, but I don’t know.

“Hey, Jess do you think I’m cool?”
“No. Actually yea, I do. You used to scare me. Because you’re really nerdy and pretty and talented, so I didn’t think I was worthy of your friendship.”

WHAT?!? I’M JUST NOW LEARNING THIS! I think my extroverted-ness can be slightly intimidating, but I’d never imagine people actually think I’m cool.

Anyways, everyone should embrace their Bad B side and make some Power Moves®. Happy-Kappy Wednesday

Thank You :))

Hello beautiful wonderful world,

I’m laying with my childhood blanket in a small corner of the world that feels a little less like home than I’m used to.

I feel extremely guilty at the moment, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what for. Maybe it’s not guilt – maybe it’s just a weird nostalgic happiness that I’m not quite accustomed to.

Being at school makes me feel very much a part of something; I feel like an integral part of people’s lives. At home, I feel a little more lonely. Sure, I’m quite literally surrounded by those who love me, but it’s a different sensation.

In high school, I spent my nights texting or FaceTiming – constantly in communication with others. College friends don’t have the habit of doing that, because we can always be together. If I want to talk to someone I just walk into their dorm room. I don’t need to text them a thousand some snippets of sentences to feel apart of their world. I, therefore, don’t know how to text college friends or even know if it’s appropriate to do so. College is a gift for the extrovert.

I think being somewhat alone puts me face to face with the things I don’t want to think about. Loneliness and guilt, accepting I’m thoroughly flawed, knowing I’ve hurt others in irreparable ways. Who wants to think about that?

Being alone, or more-so feeling alone, is the worst. I’m not saying that in a subjective oh this kinda sucks way; I mean it thoroughly hurts like hell. I know I am not alone. No one needs to clarify that for me. But the feeling is real and here and valid.

A year ago, I felt so incredibly loved and supported. My small high school had a way of doing that, and my tight-knit knew-each-other-like-the-sunrise friend group never failed to make me feel cherished. I have tremendous friends in college! I really truly do! But at this current moment ((12:29 a.m)) I don’t feel like I could turn to them. We all feel a bit lonely; me bringing up my feelings would only reflect those in their hearts. I couldn’t do that to them.

My heart is in the process of healing, but she really doesn’t know how to. I don’t know if I’m really letting her either. I think I try to fill my life with love in order to cover up those small scrapes and bruises, but time takes away most scars. (And as much as I hate the whole time-heals thing, I guess I’m gonna have to give it a shot). I don’t know if time is what really heals things, I think it’s patience. And patience does require time, but he’s more of a side character. Patience is what we really need. Patience with ourselves, with our hearts, with others. Patience is a virtue, or so I’m told.

I’m very thankful for everyone and everything in this fun little mess of a world I’ve got going on. I’d like to think my life would make an absurd yet endearing screenplay, maybe one of these days Hollywood will pick it up. The long and the short of it is this: to everyone who reads these glimpses-of-my-mind, thank you. I’m not the easiest to read, and my posts are not always the most cheerful. I am a very happy person, but I cannot suppress my emotions. I write until I’ve figured out what I’m feeling. And if you read these, wow, you’re a real gem.

I think my audience is mostly moms, which is cool hey moms! I hope y’all don’t think I’m too dramatic. I hope you don’t grow to hate me after reading any of these. Please don’t take me too seriously; I am extremely flawed and mess up all the time. I will always try to own up to my errors. Life is about growing in patience. If you ever read one of my posts and feel compelled in some way, please reach out to me. It’s nice to know who the anonymous eyes are every now and then.

Thank you for letting me express myself so often. Thank you for loving me through my words and heart and soul. Thank you for being a part of my life, even for just a few paragraphs. Everything will work out in the end; what is meant to be will find a way and I’m just gonna have to be patient enough to let it.

Chooo Chooo!

I love trains, something my beloved father and I have in common. I have made at least one trip on the famous Disney train on every trip I’ve ever taken to the happiest place on earth. ((Disney please do not sue me for plagiarising your phrase,, I love you more than you will ever know and I wear your coordinates around my neck every day)) I think one of the major reasons I like train rides is because of my Dad. I think about him a lot when I’m choo-chooing into the universe.

You see, my Dad is one of the best people on this blessed earth. (Tied with my fantastic Mom, of course). He and I have a lot in common, more so than I would sometimes like to admit. We both overthink practically everything and strive to love others with as much power as we can muster. If you have the honor of knowing my Dad and the even greater honor of being loved by him never take that for granted. If Richard Campbell is in your life, count yourself very lucky.

My Dad has always valued my opinion. He has never spoken down to me or assumed my thoughts are invalid because of my age. He has always encouraged my brother and me to learn everything we can and to approach life with curiosity and love. And don’t even get me started on his sense of humor! That man could make you cry, laugh, and wish you could speak like him all in one prayer delivered in front of the family. He is the most amazing man in my life and has taught me everything I know and love about this world.

College constantly reminds me of how lucky I am to have such incredible role models in my life. When I come home from college, my Dad has the goofiest grin and most comforting hug. But he doesn’t just want to hear about my fun college adventures, he genuinely wants to know my thoughts on the world. I have so so so much respect for him. He’ll ask me my thoughts on current political issues, and though we do not always agree, he always respects my opinion. ((See guys, it is possible to hold respectful political conversations with your family)). I think about him a lot – every hilarious pun, every time I hear myself saying something I know he would say, every morning breakfast he’d call a feast – I think about that wonderful music-making man all the time.

When I sit on trains, I understand why he loves them so much. The world moves past you in the most beautiful way that a car just can’t quite capture. It isn’t like flying, where you feel so small compared to the great big world around you. No, you feel like you are one with the world and everyone sitting at your side.

My senior year, I found myself on trains quite a bit. A wonderful person in my life lived a little far from me and train-rides always seemed to be the most efficient way to travel to his corner of the world. I often made small talk with those around me; college students traveling home for the weekend, high school teachers who let me help grade their quizzes, boys who edited videos for hours before falling asleep against the window. I always felt like one with the world.

Travelling is one of the most fulfilling experiences, even if you’re just traveling a couple hours to a different town. Trains make me feel like I’m going on a great big journey, where I will learn something new of myself whilst being away from the worn-out views of my city. I plug in my headphones and pretend like I’m some character in a movie, ready to take on a new conflict and face the trials of life with a dimple on her left cheek.

I wonder if my Dad ever thinks about that, about feeling refreshed in a new place. I know that he consumes himself with his work; he, quite like myself, never accepts failure. If he knows how to do something, and knows he can get it done right, why wouldn’t he just do it himself? Why bother trusting someone else with a job we could easily accomplish on our own. I think we both have some room for growth there. We trust others, trust is key in our relationships, but our expectations are so incredibly high and we’d hate for someone to feel burdened by trying to match that.

I know that both of us want to make this world better – it’s that loving heart we both have sewed into our souls. We go about it in slightly different ways, but I can guarantee if my dad is in your life he has tried to make yours a little better. Whether it’s a light-hearted joke when the world feels like it’s crumbling, a jam-sesh where you can remember the ‘good-ole-days’, or just a polite smile passing by. He would never intentionally hurt someone, and I’ve seen that troubled furrowed eyebrow when he thinks he may have harmed someone far too many times. We both do that.

All this to say, I love trains and I love my dad, and if you have either one in your life you should probably take a second to thank whoever put them there.

Going Up

This is Lizzy. Out.
Can you hear me? Out.
Come in commander? Out.

I have always wanted to be an astronaut. This is so not a joke I am being ridiculously real with you at this current moment. Right now at 11:28 a.m on this wonderful Tuesday morning, I want to be an astronaut.

I know that this is fairly unrealistic, seeing as I have given up on math and science, not to mention the fact that I am not currently passing my astronomy class with flying colors. Despite all those (major) set backs, I still want to be an astronaut.

So, I’m gonna see how hard it is to become one.

NASA says they’d like to see at least 1,000 hours of “pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft.” And, according to the ever-trustworthy space.com article entitled “How To Become An Astronaut” I’m gonna need to major in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. For those curious, I am majoring in Dramatic Writing, so I’m pretty much nowhere near those requirements, but I’m not ready to give up yet.

Alright, now onto the physical requirements:

  • 20/20 vision (either naturally or with corrective lenses)
  • blood pressure not more than 140/90 in a sitting position
  • a height of between 62 and 75 inches

Welp, I do not have 20/20 vision naturally, but I do have corrective lenses, so CHECK
I couldn’t even tell you what my blood pressure is, but let’s just assume the best, so CHECKETY CHECK CHECK
I’m 5’7 (and surprisingly still growing???) that puts me at about 67 inches, so CHECK ONCE AGAIN

I was built to be an astronaut! I’m not making this up, the facts are listed right above.

So let’s say I pass all those silly little preliminary requirements. Then comes the fun stuff! As a candidate for space travel I’d become a qualified scuba divers, do military water survival training, undergo swimming tests, and be exposed to high and low atmospheric pressures! AND LEARN RUSSIAN! How absolutely dynamic! Talk about some cool stuff, right guys?

When my parents told me to reach for the stars and shoot for the moon, I’m sure they didn’t actually imagine I would try to. But then again, knowing me, I’m sure they figured I would at some point.

I recognize that I will never actually become an astronaut, but that doesn’t mean I’ll never see the galaxy. I could write you planets, color them with details until you can taste them. I could paint you a picture of the stars, the way they shine brighter from the right side of the spacecraft. I’ll read you journals filled with freeze-dried ice cream and rehydrated green beans. I will never be an astronaut, but I will surely go to space. What do you think writers see when we close our eyes?

Galaxies are constantly trapped behind our eyelids, ready to be broken into the world. One of these days I’ll let them see the world the way they ought to, but for now I’ll let them paint my dreams and crowd my thoughts.

Dear NASA, if you’re reading, I’d love to board your next space adventure. I’m fun I swear, and I have Nestle’s chocolate chip cookie recipe memorized (if that’s not someone you want on your crew, then I don’t know what you’re looking for!)

 

Water Crisis

Hello Hello Hello! We have reduced our campus water usage to none! We cannot drink any water on campus unless it is /boiled/ and we cannot flush our toilets. Raleigh, you may be seeing me sooner than expected.

Recent events have made me think through some things. I have concluded a lot about life, and have even found its meaning! Please read on if you wish to have all the great questions answered! No, I am not a philosophy major – my powers are too great to be tested.

This great question of love that I often discuss in my blog posts is a myth. Love is not real, haha just kidding of course it is real! It has to be real! Without love, what would this world come to? It’s already a great big mess out here, imagine it without that sparkle of hope that keeps us going. Love is in everything, it drives our actions and soaks through our thoughts. Love is boiled into our skin, woven into our diapers as infants. We are only alive because of the love somebody had for us. Perhaps it wasn’t our parents, perhaps it was just the overflowing beauty of God’s love that is trapped within our pores, but love is always present.

Last night, whilst eating a chocolate frosty and crying over a boy, I was pretty darn mad at the world. As someone who considers herself a lover, the only way I can describe this super power of mine is that I love hard. It may be the worst adjective to put there, but let me explain further.

I love like a baseball pitcher – hurling my heart at ninety-some miles per hour. Sometime’s the person up to bat hits it right in the sweet spot and achieves the great honor of running around the field in hope of advancing, sometimes he strikes out. Which sucks for him, because the field of my heart is pretty great. The great thing about this reference is that it is utterly completely not how baseball works. Pitchers don’t really want batters to score. But hey, I’m a lover. I’m hoping the best for the players.

I love like a composer – perfecting each and every note until it sounds the way it does in my head. I count rhythm and beats until it expresses exactly what I mean. I scribble on staff paper and erase until the material wears away. I keep a sheet in my back pocket at all times, just in case the moment arises.

I love like a writer. There’s not much more to say about that. I write and write and write and pray that this all makes sense. These words are my sweet little brain-children who are released from the prison of thought and allowed to dance around the playground of these pages. I love like someone whose mind will never fully understand her.

To the boy who recently broke my heart,
I wasn’t going to call you out. But this is, after all, my space to write, and I have yet to directly address you. This is the first and last time I will ever do this.

I loved you the only way I knew how to, endlessly. I gave you every last bit of who I was ((who I am)). I wrote you a thousand some poems (21 to be exact) in the time that you rented this here heart. I hope those words haunt you and remind you of what you meant to me. I genuinely hope you read them. Writing requires an audience; these words must be read, or I’ve wasted my time. My love must be felt, or I’ve wasted my love.
I wrote 26 songs about you, you ended it before I could get to a multiple of three, so I suppose I will have to write at least two more before I can stop scribbling memories of you on a page.

I regret nothing from those 14 months, and I refuse to ever let myself regret them. I hope you do the same. I hope you look back at old photos and see how happy we were – how perfectly content with the world we could be. And even when the walls crumbled and bricks fell and we’d scraped our skin past repair, we still fought back with everything our hearts could withhold. I hope you remember that. I hope you can remember every last detail of my smile, and the curls that never fell in place, the way I’d laugh and laugh until I’d forgotten what the joke was. I hope you remember all the nights spent watching horrible TV shows and making fun of poorly written dialogue. I hope you can remember the way our hands fit together, like they were meant to hold each other, even if your arm fell longer than mine. Do you remember the stars? How they were just for us, every night? Or how a walk around a mountain held memories of us in each piece of grass. Do you remember those late night drives with a whole collection of songs I can’t listen to anymore? Have I ruined Agnes for you too?

I hope you remember the love we had for one another. I really truly hope you do. I’m not sure why or how you fell out of love with me. I’m not saying I’m the easiest to love, but you never seemed to have a problem with it before.

I’m not trying to change your mind, in fact I hope you don’t. This heart has been through too much to let any of that happen again. I just hope one day when you find the person you choose to love forever that you remember how it’s supposed to feel.

Love should be difficult, the hardest thing in the world. It should be what keeps us up all night overthinking. Love should occupy every last inch of our mind and soul. It should hold you steady when you feel like every thing around you is going to hell. That’s what it was for me, my inch of hope on this yard stick of terror.

Please don’t forget me, though I’m sure you will try to. Remember the french words you never understood, remember the endless amounts of iced coffee, and every word and note I wrote just for you. Remember how full my heart was for you. Never forget how I’d stop my world just to make you happy. Just remember that. Please. It’s literally the only thing I’m asking of you at this point.

To the rest of the world,
I am not some silly teenager who fell in love and got her heart broken. I am a real being, just as real as you yourself are. I am a person who feels deeply and loves hard. I am not weak, I am not defeated, and I am certainly not just an emotional girl.

I am a profound thinker who is continuing to grow and learn the most she can about herself. I have learned that I occasionally set myself up for disappointment, but c’est la vie.

I am determined to be better each day, to love to the fullest, to be a true light of the Lord. I am endlessly here for others, and I will continue to be. I will never stop loving until I have run out of love to give.

Dear world,
Never lose sight of your strengths.