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How My Sorority Made Me A Better Person

My freshman year of college I decided to go through sorority recruitment. It has changed my life in so many ways.

I think it’s important to remember that life isn’t perfect. Life wasn’t meant to be perfect. Everything is flawed. We have to learn to be okay with this fact. Greek life isn’t perfect. There are some hardcore things that are wrong with it but isn’t that the same with a lot of different things in life? I dunno, stuff like our government or our society?

I love my sorority. I love Greek life. This does in no way mean that I love all sororities and all Greek life. There are some where I’m just like “oh no, please get your lives together, this is important, children.”

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In this post I am going to talk about why my sorority has made me a better person.

You don’t become a better person by everything working out and never making one mistake. You become a better person by choosing to be a better person despite the hardship you are going through.

My sorority has taught me some of the most valuable lessons this world has to offer. I have grown in so many ways ever since joining. I have become stronger and better. I learned what it means to be a good person and what it means to be a bad person. I learned that no matter where you are, there will be bad people but there will be a lot of good people.

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You do not and cannot like everyone in your sorority. That is impossible with any large group of people. There will be people you do not get along with. There will be people who do not understand the things you are going through. There will be people who judge you. There will be people who do not agree with you or your life choices. However, there will be people who make you feel like awesome. There will be people with whom you could spend forever with and never get bored. There will be people who understand, accept and love you. There will be people who will stand by your side until the end of the world.

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I will admit that there are times when I question whether I made the right choice in joining a sorority. There are times when I feel like I do not belong at all. I however understand that that will happen wherever you are. You will question your choices. The only difference is that every time I am feeling low about being in a sorority, my sisters will remind me why I joined and why joining was the best decision I have ever made in my life. My sisters will never fail to make me feel confident in my choices, whether they know or not.

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I think a sorority wasn’t made for everyone to get along perfectly well forever. I think a sorority is to bring together women who share a common goal of becoming better people. Isn’t that what we look for in life, to be surrounded by people who share a similar goal? Aren’t we all wanting to be surrounded by people who want to be better people and want to better the world? Don’t we all want to surround ourselves with people who will better us as individuals? Well that’s what my sorority is to me. These women have taught me that being a better person is choosing loving everyone around you and even though there will be difficulties with everything that you face, you’re gonna be fine.

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To be a better person, you have to learn to change your situation and seek the good rather than dwell in the bad. If you don’t get along with someone, find someone else that you get along with. If you are feeling down, find something that makes you awesome. My sorority has taught me to love the life I am living and to be able to be proactive in finding my own happiness.

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My sisters mean everything to me. Each and every one of them have shown me what it is like to thrive in a world that is constantly trying to shut you down.

The world is like:

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And I’m like:

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Every time I find myself falling into my own darkness, I find the strength to pull myself out because of the lessons I have learned from my sisters. So yes, things will never be perfect but I am growing to understand that perfect is impossible but happiness isn’t. I am making myself a better person and I owe it all to my sorority. I have a purpose in life and I have developed a love for the good and the bad. I have accepted the fact that there will be hard times but I have not given up on the good.

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So thank you, sisters. Thank you for allowing me to grow and prosper with you all. Thank you letting me see the world from a brighter and better perspective. Thank you for saving my life.

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-Jonny

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He and I

I wake up, he held onto my body tight.

I feel him grasp the air from my lungs. He would only give it back if he wanted to.

The morning light would creep into through the windows and he would ask me to stay.

“I have things to do.”

“So? Just lay here with me. Forget the world out there.”

He wouldn’t let go. He would never let me go.

The sun would slowly descend and I would be alone with him.

He would hold me tight, sway me back and forth.

“I think I need space.”

“You don’t need anything but me.”

I could hear him scream through the doorway.

He would throw me against the wall and scream.

I’ve been out too long. I’ve been with my friends.

My friends no longer call. They say that they don’t like how I am when I’m with him.

I’m with him all the time. They can’t handle the two of us. He prefers it that way.

At night, he tells me all the things I am:

Pathetic, boneless, useless, a waste of space, fat, ugly.

He also tells me all the things I’m not:

good enough, worthy, a good person, beautiful.

He sometimes whispers them until they are etched into the insides of my skull.

He sometimes screams them until it is all I’ll hear.

“Please, stop.”

“You don’t tell me what to do. I tell you what to do, you piece of shit.”

He takes over my body until I am a shell, a shelter for him to hide in.

That night he told me that if I wanted to be away from him, the only way was to die.

So with every ounce of my body, I tried.

He realized that night what I would do to be away from him.

He finally loosens his grip and steps away.

I don’t know what it’s like to be without him. I’ve been with him for so long.

He’s all I know. This is the longest I’ve been with anyone.

He says that he loves me and that he will never leave me.

He will stay with me forever.

Since that night, he doesn’t hurt me anymore.

Maybe it’s because I’m stronger now.

He doesn’t yell at me much.

Maybe it’s because I stopped listening.

He doesn’t get angry when I go out with my friends.

Maybe it’s because I don’t care what he thinks.

It’s a process to get better.

Maybe one day, we’ll go our separate ways.

For now, we just need to focus on getting better.

For now, what we have going works.

It’s going to get better because it was only get better from here.


 

This was inspired by a poem I read earlier. The poet personified his battle with depression and I really liked that idea of giving the illness a more tangible explanation. I hope you guys liked it. I hope it wasn’t too much. Thanks for reading, you guys.

-Jonny

 

 

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You Do You: Conforming to the Art of Belonging.

I think a lot of us spend our lives trying to fit in. We throw parts of ourselves away in order to be a part of something that we think is cool. We try so hard to belong. We fear being ostracized so much that eventually we stop being ourselves. This might all just be me but I think we all do a little bit of it once in a while. I mean who doesn’t want to fit in?

I’ve been thinking a lot about belonging. I have come to the conclusion that I do not belong to this world. “Well that’s a weird conclusion to come to, Jonny. You’re weird.” Yes, I know. I never fit in anywhere. I never really belonged anywhere. I tried my whole life to find a place, to feel completely comfortable in my skin and in the place I am in. I tried so hard. I have not found it. I don’t really think I ever will. I know, I’m just 20, I have no idea what I’m talking about. I’m serious though. I don’t think life is about fitting in. I think society wants us to believe that. I think the world we live in try to feed us this concept of throwing yourself away in order to belong, that who you are isn’t good enough. We summarize this in the word “normal”. No one is normal. We all have quirks about us that society won’t approve of and that’s fine. It’s fine to not belong. You don’t have to belong anywhere. You weren’t meant to belong to a society where they tell you that your likes and dislikes are wrong. You really don’t have to try so hard. People will hate you and people will judge you regardless of who you are. It’s just the way the world works and sometimes it’s hard to swallow but it’s just what it is. We are on this earth for a limited amount of days and then we are supposed to go to where we really belong. I believe for me that is Heaven. I believe that I do not belong to this world because I belong with God. This world isn’t mine. I don’t really want it to be mine. I have never once felt comfortable being in this world and I’m okay with that. I’m actually happy about it. Why would you want to be comfortable in the world where they tell you who to be and what to do? Why do I have to hide my true self? Why do you have to stop liking the things you like because society tells you it’s wrong? If you like it, then like it. Who cares what others think? They are probably too busy trying to hide the things they like. I swear if we all just stopped caring about what others are thinking, it would be a marvelous place. While you are wondering what others are thinking, others are wondering what you are thinking. It’s just a mess.

You were never meant to belong to a world where they try to stifle who you really are. Stop trying to fit into a society where they put you in a box that’s too small for you. Don’t belong to a world where they keep telling you that you are wrong. You shouldn’t have to hide your light. If you ever feel left out and you know that you just don’t belong here, it’s a good thing. Why would you want to be included in a world that expects everyone to be clones of a figure that is impossible to replicate? You don’t have to like the things other people like. You don’t have throw yourself away. You shouldn’t throw yourself away. You were made to be different in a world that’s all the same. You were meant to not belong. You were meant to stand out and be someone that shows the world that belonging does not mean scratching away parts of you until there’s nothing left. The only person you belong to is yourself and God if you believe in that. You were made beautifully and there might be things about you that I don’t agree with but that’s fine. There are most likely parts about me that you don’t agree. It does not matter. I don’t have to agree and neither do you. You are who you are and there are people out there that love you for just being yourself. Don’t try so hard. If certain people don’t love you, then whatever, be gone with ye peasants. If people aren’t letting you be who you are then those people shouldn’t be in your life. Use the crop tool in your editing menu and just crop them out of there. Bye bye, people that shouldn’t be in my life, bye bye. 

I have come to believe that my home is with God. God loves me for who I am even in my brokenness and my shame. God lets me be me and still loves me. He actually loves me for the fact that I am me. I believe that God made you to be an individual not a part of a faceless crowd. God loves it when he can see you. He doesn’t want to be searching for his son or daughter that he made to stand out. He should just look and be like, “Woop, there you are, you beautiful creation of mine, I see you being all awesome and not being someone else. Go you.”

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Don’t cripple yourself in order to belong to this corrupt and insensitive world. You wear the shirt you want to wear, you like the things you want to like, you read the books you want to read, you listen to the music you want to listen to, you talk to people you want to talk to, you love the things you want to love and just be yourself. You do you.

-Jonny

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The Side Effect of Death

As the world mourns the death of an amazing actor, Robin Williams, the issue of depression is brought to light. Now I love Robin Williams. I always saw him as the most genuine actor you could find. He was hilarious but he also had something about him that was more than just his humor. 

Hearing about Robin Williams’ death was shocking and saddening but the biggest thing that affected the nation was that he committed suicide.

There have been some ignorant comments from people about how Robin Williams was selfish and that those who do commit suicide are selfish. 

Let’s get this straight.

Depression and sadness are two very different things. While sadness is a feeling, depression is a disease. Sadness is simply one of the symptoms of depression. 

Barbara Kingsolver said this, “Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.” 

Depression is a disease that cannot be fully cured. It’s a disease. It isn’t a phase where you’re just sad for a bit. It isn’t all in mind. It’s a legitimate chemical imbalance that causes monoamines which are mood-related chemicals to be very low. It’s a real thing. While it isn’t cancer or a cold like illness, it is still an illness. It’s an illness I don’t want anyone to experience, not even my worst enemies.

Like any illness, depression has symptoms. One of them is wanting to kill yourself. Sometimes you go through with it. Suicide is not a noble act but I don’t think those with depression ever mean for it to be. It’s a means of escaping. Maybe control or trying to be free of yourself. That’s what it is to me at least. I have been dealing with depression for quite a while now but it hit a critical point at the beginning of the last school year. I found myself in a place I never thought I would be. However, while I was at my lowest and at my darkest, I found out that what I battled with every day wasn’t my fault. It was chemical. It wasn’t something I was doing to myself but something that I couldn’t control. 

Growing up, I never really had much. My parents tried their best to make me happy and I am eternally grateful for that but as a child, I was picked on, excluded, bullied, alone and alienated. I never fit in anywhere and the world made sure I knew it. My parents were never really home so I learned to be alone. I also grew up wanting to belong somewhere. I craved for a place where I was welcome. I did anything and everything possible for me to finally fit in. I changed everything about myself to the point I no longer recognized myself. I still don’t. I don’t know who I am fully. I have morphed myself into the image of others that it is still very difficult to understand who I am. With this, I struggled with my faith and often felt and still feel like God has abandoned me. I feel utterly alone but that’s all I’ve ever known so it’s basically normal. 

I’m not the biggest fan of talking about my own depression but I just wanted to make a point that depression isn’t something you just get over. I hate it when people tell me to get over it, to look at the positive side of life, to count my blessings. When they tell me other people have it worse and that I shouldn’t complain, a part of me dies inside. You don’t know what I’m going through. You don’t know the thoughts I have every single day. You don’t know what hurts inside of me. You don’t know. Depression isn’t a competition either. Do not compare mine with others. Do not compare my illness with someone else’s illness either. We are all going through different difficulties in our lives and you comparing the two isn’t making it better. All we want is for you to love us and have an understanding and open heart. Just be there for us. 

We don’t know what others go through. All we can do is be there for them. To love them and to tell them that we love them. To be vulnerable with them to show that it is okay for them to be vulnerable too.

Depression is when you constantly feel worthless and empty. You have no motivation to do anything because you don’t think you can do anything. You feel like the world hates you and you hate the world right back. You shut people out because you don’t think you’re worthy of their love. You come to believe that you are a constant disappointment to those you love. You develop this all or nothing mentality and start to blow things out of proportion. You jump to the worst conclusion as fast as you possibly can. You are sensitive to everything anyone says to you. Being alive and living from day to day gets difficult and tiring. You start to believe that dying is the only viable option. In moments like this, all you need to be reminded that you are loved in so many different ways. You are important. You are so vital to this world. You don’t have to prove your importance to the world because you were born important. God made you because you were important to this world. You are loved. You are so loved. I know things get difficult and you feel the walls closing in. I know you find it hard to breathe and slowly give into the urges. I know what it’s like to hit rock bottom and keep digging. It’s difficult and it hurts a lot. You feel the weight on your shoulders and it crushes your bones. You feel your insides cave in and your world shatter. While you fight your battles, I hope you know that I will be there for you. I don’t know what you are going through and I will not pretend to know but I will support you the entire way. I will help you when you need it and I will love you without end. Please know that. I cannot express enough how important you are.

Don’t ever be ashamed to seek help. Wanting to live without all this pain is not something to be ashamed of. I probably wrote all this in a different post but I’m just reminding you. 

If you don’t have depression, please try and be understanding, sensitive and loving to those who do. 

If you do have depression, I really am sorry and I’m here for you. I will always be here for you. I may not be able to understand fully what you’re going through but I will try my best to make sure that you know that you are loved. 

Please, if you need help, find it. 

Call this number if you need it, 1-800-273-8255. 

I love you guys. 

-Jonny

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Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

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I am having trouble sleeping as I think about the fact that I will be leaving this beautiful city of London tomorrow. I do not want to go. I do not. 

London has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. This entire month has changed my life in so many amazing ways. 

I have seen some of the most beautiful sights. I have experience some of the most amazing things. I have met some of the greatest people this world has to offer. 

The people that I have met on this trip has made me realize how beautiful the world really is. I cannot imagine my life without these people now.

It’s going to be so weird going back. 

I’ll try and summarize what I have done in the past week.

I saw Richard III and met Martin Freeman. We are in love now. NBD.

I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tours and cried a million years of happiness. That place literally holds 10 years of my childhood. We are also in love. NBD.

I went to the Cliffs of Dover and fell in love there too.

I walked under the Thames. That’s right, there’s a tunnel that goes under the Thames. So I literally walked under the Thames. Crazy.

I went to a drag race. I absolutely love the London LGBT community. I’ll write on that separately.

I went and did a bunch of stuff with a bunch of awesome people. 

On our last night, a few of my favorite people and I went out to dinner and then walked along the Thames. On our way back, I was sitting on the tube and for a moment as my friends chatted away and laughed together, I realized how lucky I was to be able to have met such amazing people. It really made me understand how amazing life can be. These beautiful people really made this trip what it is. It brought back the hope and faith I lost a while ago. I will never know what God wants from me but whatever it is, as long as he keeps bringing people like the ones I’ve met on this trip into my life, I know I’ll be fine. 

I really do plan on moving to London one day. I know I belong here. Whatever it is I do with my life, I will make sure it will bring me to London. This city is beautiful and filled with amazing sights. I have truly come to value the importance of keeping history alive. On the two pound coin here, it says “Standing on the shoulder’s of giants.” It really describes this entire country. England is built upon thousands of years of history. Some of the most amazing people from history who have changed the world are from here. 

I will never forget this place and this entire experience. 

My first love will always be London. 

 

 

 

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-Jonny

 

 

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Rant: I’m Not Sorry

Something truly annoyed me today. 

I am very open about my views on equality. If wanting women to be seen and treated as equals makes me a feminist then I will proudly take on that label and I will not be quiet about it. I fully understand that feminists are never seen in a positive light. Feminists seek to belittle men and to take power away from them. Even though that is not the case, that is the stereotype.

So yes, I am a feminist and I am damn proud. I don’t believe that women are lesser being. I believe that we are all human and that our gender, race or sexuality should never matter in us being treated as humans.

Something that annoyed me is that me being an outspoken feminist is worth joking about. I know that it wasn’t meant out of bad taste but it still annoyed me slightly.

“Oh don’t say that, Jonny won’t like it. She would’ve yelled at you about how all women are equal.” They would laugh.

I’m glad that you find that funny. Yes, I would tell you all about how women should be equal. I shouldn’t HAVE to tell you but I will. I shouldn’t have to educate you on why you shouldn’t be an ass and just treat women equally. You shouldn’t be taught that women are meant to be equals. You should know it. It should be instinct but it isn’t, is it?

I don’t find sexist jokes funny. I don’t. I find them disgusting and vile.

“He was just saying to get a rise out of people, don’t take it seriously. Don’t take it personally.”

I will take it personally. I will be insulted. It is out of ill taste and he should be told to not say shit like that ever again. He should not use women as punchlines and feminism as the ba-da-bing. 

Do you not understand?

Women are scared to walk down the street at night. They clutch onto their keys between their fingers, ready for an attack. Women are now warned to not take drinks. Drinks. We are told to fear liquid. We are told not to wear something scandalous because that might be implying something. I will wear whatever I damn well please and if you can’t keep it in your damn pants, you need to get YOUR life sorted. We are told that we are lesser, weaker and not worth much. Sometimes we are told that we were “asking for it.” We were “asking” to be raped, to have our innocence taken away from us. We were “asking” to be left cold, clothes ripped and violated. We were “asking” to be used as objects. Women have fought their way up through history to even be acknowledged. So yes, I’m sorry I’m a bit testy about the fact that I don’t want to be treated like dirt. I’m not sorry that I am outspoken about it. I am a woman and I should not have to live in fear. I am not asking for women to beat men. I don’t want women to make men feel lesser. I want to be treated equally. If being treated like a human is taking power away from you, you really need to rethink your life. I don’t want to the butt of some joke but apparently my outspoken stance on the equality of women is something to mock. 

I don’t quite understand your need to mock my feminist ways. Does it make you feel better to disrespect my views? I’m sorry that I cannot tolerate how women are treated. I’m sorry that I don’t want to ideally stand by and listen to you mock women. I’m sorry that I don’t want what I feel passionately about to be laughed at. Actually I’m not sorry. I don’t care if you’re trying to be funny. I know how to take a joke. I’m the master of taking jokes, of being laughed at, of being ridiculed. But that, that isn’t funny. You’re not funny. If you’re trying to be funny, you’re doing a terrible job. Get some new material. Maybe something that doesn’t make you sound like you’re crapping out of your mouth.

 

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The Streets Were Never Made For Standing Still

Red velvet, draped on the ground.

Flashing lights illuminate the grey walls in intervals.

Like the flashes of dreams left behind,

the streets are ignited into a frenzy.

Limited viewing, we still glance for a glimpse

Unknown origins and dissolving futures.

People move on quickly,

after all, the streets were not made for standing still.

 

Red sheets, draped on the ground.

Blue lights flash in intervals, timed to the beat of world

The air is uncomfortably cold

The skies are tinted in colors only seen in tragedies

The city roars on but the world remains silent

Gather yourself, lift your intrigue and step away.

We were never meant to stay for eternity,

so we carry on,

After all, the streets were never made for standing still.


 

I wish I knew a better way to start this.

I don’t really know what’s all happening, I don’t quite understand everything.

We all have days when it feels like the sky is caving in and the world is just out to get you. If not, then keep it to yourself.

I wish I knew better words to describe how I feel. 

I have seen many things in my life that have truly stuck with me. Today I saw a dead body. The body was covered so I wasn’t really able to see but the police surrounded the area. As I walked by, I looked to see what it was all about and I saw the body lying in the middle of the taped off area, covered in a red sheet. I stopped breathing for a few seconds and I felt every bone in my body shake. I don’t know what happened and I don’t think the police would’ve told me if I asked. 

I know I promised a less intense post but I also kind of have to get this out. I can’t seem to erase the image in my head. I have never seen a dead body before and I never intended to see one. Today has been a very strange and numbing day. Today has been a day I wish to never live again.

So I wrote the poem above while I was pondering everything. I’m not a poet. I truly believe that my writing sucks. I mean I try but I rarely succeed. These were just words I had to get out of my head.

-Jonny