People often assume that as a white female, I don’t have to deal with racism. And they’re right — I don’t.

Originally posted on Passion, caffeinated:

IAmTooWakeForest

Somebody recently told me that this picture, originally part of the #ITooAmWakeForest campaign (which you can find here: http://itooamwakeforest.tumblr.com/), was incorporated into an article somebody published on the website Total Sorority Move. I wasn’t able to track down the article myself, so it’s possible that it was moved or deleted. The sign I’m holding in the picture reads, “I’ve been asked: ‘Are you a transfer?’ ‘Are you albino?’ ‘Are you lonely?’ Because it’s ‘crazy’ I would want to join a black sorority instead of a white one.” Yes, I have really been asked those things at Wake Forest.

A year and a half after crossing Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in spring 2013, it still strikes me as odd how much fascination and interest is generated simply by my membership in a historically black sorority. I knew long before I joined that I would receive a wide variety of responses…

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I Dare Men To Be Different.

Men need to be tough. They need to be filled with testosterone. They have to be tall, muscular, love football and hanging out with their boys in the “mancave.” Oh and if you aren’t swapping stories about how you got drunk and had sex with the cute girl in your psychology class, you aren’t a man. SHUT UP. I’m officially disgusted with the stigma that men have to be these tough, emotionless creatures. I’m done playing into societies expectations of what a man is supposed to be like. Even more, I am disgusted that I have played into societies expectations for my entire life.

I always blame men. I know that. Maybe I should blame the structure of which manhood was built upon and not the men that populate our world. I blame both. I blame myself. All the men and women out there, think about the normalcy of these events.

Some college guys are talking in the locker room about this past weekend. Everyone went out together but not everyone left the club in one group. One guy saw his friend talking to the girl from psychology class so he asks, “You bring her home bro?” The guy says, “Nah I’ve been dating my girl for a year and a half, I don’t cheat.” Everyone sucks their teeth and says what do you mean you don’t cheat?

As if staying loyal to a girlfriend is a negative! This is what we have created. We created an atmosphere that tells men that loyalty to their partner is a NEGATIVE! Men have to get with girls because that is what men do right? We walk around looking for a partner to have sex with and then “it’s on to the next one,” as Jay-Z would say.

Men are supposed to be tough, emotionless creatures. So what happens when someone dares to be different? What happens when a man decides to go out and dance with friends and walk home alone? GAYYYYYYYYYY. Yup, he must be gay because if he doesn’t like trying to have sex with girls from his psychology class, he must like guys. I wouldn’t call him gay. I would call him a real man.

Think about all the stuff that men aren’t able to do without being criticized heavily by other men. I like to write poetry, I cry sometimes because in general, I am a sensitive person. OH NO, I can’t be a man because men aren’t sensitive. THAT is what we tell men in our society. We wonder why men are walking around with angry thoughts. We are angry because we can’t be ourselves. If you we act anything like the real person that sits inside of us, we will be criticized to the point of self-hate. I won’t hate myself. I won’t let people tell me because I am different, I am not good enough.

I dare you to be different. Better yet,

I dare myself to be different.

Either Way, It Is Mine.

It crawls in my skin,

slithers and waits to be revealed.

Fifty pounds of added weight.

Pain, emotionally and physically.

It’s an advantage,

but how?

I use it as a resource.

A resource for adrenaline.

Productivity.

Motivation.

Some use it to destroy others.

I use it to build myself,

into something I know I want to be.

I’m going to use it because I love it.

It’s my worst enemy,

yet it’s my best friend.

Either way, it is mine.

My anger.

Positively Positive

I was just recently entered into something they call the Step Up! program which gave me the chance to to learn about bystander intervention. It was more like a training session to learn the message and in turn, pass it on. The whole night was interesting (and cold) considering we stayed in a cabin.

If I took anything away from the experience it was to be more aware of what’s around me. Not everything is simple. I seem to oversimplify everything in an effort to stay positive. Is that a good thing… Maybe not. Either way I am trying to stay positive everyday, be better at everything I do.

I can’t help but think the opposite is also true though. Some people overcomplicate everything. I’m not one of those people but still, you get it. I try to think there is some sort of middle area that I can’t seem to find. It’s the middle too simple and too complicated.

Whatever happens this year, simple or complicated, I’m going to stay positive. That’s my last goal for this year. Stay positive through it all. If I do that, no one can bring me down.

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Team Carmichael.

If you don’t like someone who brags about their significant other, you might as well move on to the next blog. I’m bragging about my girlfriend because even though she doesn’t admit it, she treats me right. From random Nike Elite sock purchases, visiting me on my birthday, to visiting me two weekends in a row to take care of me after surgery… She does it all.

Bad news though… It is going to be a while until I see her. Way too long in my opinion. That may be the worst part of long distance relationships; That being not seeing the person’s face for long periods of time. Too many couples decided that long distance relationships are impossible before they even start though. This summer felt like years because I saw her for a total of 13(ish) days in three months. That sucked, but no worries I saw her on my birthday because she is crazy and paid over 600 dollars to come see me for three days, which turned into two because the Delta Airline sucks! (That is for another post though.)

Either way, it is going to feel like a year until the next time I see her. It is probably going to be during Thanksgiving break which is too long for my liking but there is no real choice there. She is a teacher in South Carolina and I am hoping she is enjoying it. We will make it work though. We always do. That is why I find it weird that people give up so easily. Maybe they should give up because it isn’t working? I guess I am asking more questions than giving answers…

Personally, I think if you want it to work you can make it work. I am always frustrated that we don’t talk all day until 8 o’clock when she gets out of the gym. I am always upset that I don’t see her and yes I am mad I don’t know if I will see her during Christmas break, but I want it to work… So it will. That is given she wants it to work as well.

Team Carmichael. IMG_2916

DO Call It A Comeback

YES, please do call it a comeback because I am on my way. I am not blogging as much as I used to because I have physical therapy, school, public relations chapter stuff, meetings and oh yeah a social life. In other words, I am busy so I haven’t found the time to rant about the fact the people are not empathetic or sincere with anything they say anymore. I won’t be ranting about that today because I have other stuff to talk about!

If you haven’t read my work before, you probably don’t know that I had two surgeries during the summer. I’ll say again that the surgery wasn’t life threatening or anything. It was just two hernia surgeries. I’ve been sitting on my ass for way to long! I got to school and up until last week I was still in pain, but not anymore! I’m officially in no pain, I am doing cardio on the bike, AND did my first core strength workout today. Needless to say, if feels awesome!

I’m not sure exactly when I will be able to play basketball at the level that I want to, but fact is I am almost there. I am shooting around a little bit too which helps the fact that I can’t actually run up and down the court shooting jump shots and setting people up. Still, I’m almost there. Before I know it, I will be lifting weights, doing drills, taking jumpers and practicing like a normal member of the basketball team.

So please, do call it a comeback because I am on my way!

We Are The Problem.

Everyone is willing to post on facebook and Twitter and every other social media site about how our world has lost all civility. Everyone is willing to tell their friends that they wish people were more compassionate and empathetic towards others. Everyone is willing to point out that our society has a problem. WE KNOW WE HAVE A PROBLEM. 

People act as if they should receive a Nobel Peace Prize for their vague simplification of the fact that our world has problems. Yeah, we know we have problems. Although not everyone is self-absorbed or rude, I can think of too many people that are. I have a friend that tells me she thinks I am a hypocrite. She is the one person that will blatantly call me out and exploit my flaws, which makes her good friend in my opinion. She tells me I am a hypocrite and of course she is correct(ish). I am a hypocrite. The difference is I actually try to improve.

I’m not putting my self on a pedestal. Actually, I don’t want any credit. I just want people to realize. Come to the realization that not only is there a problem, but we are ALL part of it. I am part of it, you are part of it. Your parents, friends, cousins are all part of it. A person cannot walk around campus asking anyone (acquaintance or not), “Hey how are you?” without being looked at like a “creep.” By the way, I didn’t make that up because it happens to me on a daily basis. It happens at least a couple times a day. 

How is a person supposed to be compassionate to others if they can’t talk to them without being labeled a “creep or awkward?” Is it even possible anymore? The more I post about people losing faith in humanity, the more the topic annoys me. I like to think that love always prevails, but why do we wait until tragedies happen to love other people? I know you want to do something with your life and you have been told that time goes buy so fast that you need to hurry, but that is an excuse because helping doesn’t always mean dropping everything to help disaster relief efforts.

If you can’t take the time to thank someone, ask someone how their day is going, you are a huge part of the problem. People are building a disconnect between each other. Everyone has headphones in and a good day is based on 15 seconds of fame instead of productivity and compassion towards others. This post really isn’t going anywhere though. This post is based on my daily frustration on my campus.

Label me as a creep and call me awkward. I do not care. The structure that I build myself on is soaking in empathy and compassion and I won’t change that. Even as I start SETTING SIGHTS ON MY FUTURE CAREER. I won’t lose the time to show interest in other’s lives. I’m not perfect, but at least I am trying. I suggest you do the same, or your kids will be living in a world much more disconnected than our own.