Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Say, Sara- Best Advice?

Say, Sara, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

   I’ve been thinking about this question for a while now and I’ve finally found my answer. At first I wanted to dig up some deep and meaningful advice that had been given to me, but instead my thoughts centered around three words: Never give up. I know that seems pretty stupid seeing as how I’ve heard so many influential lectures in my life, but give me a moment to explain.

  That advice was given to me by my dad. Sure, my mom said the same things, but I really remember him saying is every time I got frustrated or angry because I couldn’t achieve something. As long as I have been a citizen of this planet I have been a very determined individual. I hate giving up on things. I want to see every idea I have through to fruition despite the many obstacles that might be in my path. 
What’s funny about my dad being the one to give me this advice is that he’s the exact opposite of me. I’m super liberal and not religious. He’s on the far right.
My best boy :)                                                                                                                                 
    Sometimes I wonder if he regrets teaching me to stand up for what I believe in considering that my ideals are much different than his.
    I’m not sorry in the least that I’m a Democrat. I love the Liberal bumper stickers on the back of my car. I jump at the chance to share my opinions with a class full of close minded Republicans.
    There have been very few times in my life when I’ve been so angry with someone that I saw red. Those times centered around someone saying that I wanted to kill babies and a girl screaming down the hall way that “gay people are wrong.” I’ve never wanted to punch someone that much in my life. That girl is a bitch, and that’s the nicest thing I can say about her.
My "Be Human" bumper sticker 

     I don’t like the way our family communicates sometimes. I don’t like the fact that I can only talk politics around my mom and brother without my dad getting up and leaving the table. While I don’t understand or agree with any of the Republican ideologies, I do realize that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I just want my dad to be more open minded. 
The people in this town that are Repubs (which is the grand majority) carry around so much anger all the time. It’s like this cloud of hostility and hatred just hangs around all the time. No one bothers to get their information from a credible source. Fox news doesn’t have the facts, by the way. That news station is run by bigots. Down with the bloody bigots, I say!

    To get back on topic, I will never give up on the idea of a world where my children can marry whomever they choose. I will never give up on equality for all humans. I will never give up on the fact that our founding fathers knew how important it was to keep church and state separate. You want to talk unconstitutional? I’ll give you unconstitutional (but not in this post).
Know that I love you, dad, for teaching me to hold my values highly and proudly. I know that you can’t see the world through my eyes, but maybe if you use just a little imagination, you can catch a glimpse.
                                              Peace, love, and equality,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What I Learned at VGS

About a week after school was out, I attended a program called Volunteer Girls State. The program, for those of you who have no idea about what I’m referring to, is a week long foray into the government.
You learn about each branch of the government as well as creating a fictional state government. But VGS is so much more than that.

Weeks before I went to VGS I began worrying about it. As you may know, I’m a Democrat living in a primarily Republican state. Naturally, I dreaded that there would be no other girls with my same views on world issues. I knew that I would stand up for what I believe in, but I was afraid that I would be the only one.
HA! That was yet another example of my worrying too much.

What I found after I unloaded the majority of my personal belongings into my dorm room, was a group of girls that I never expected.
My roommate Samiha, Khushbu, and myself 
My roommate and I had long talks at night making fun of Republicans and laughing hysterically. I met a girl named Niman on the first day and guess what? She’s a Liberal! In fact, she ended up representing us in Girls Nation.

I met a girl who I would later refer to as Soul Sister Julia. Our first conversation went something like this:
Soul Sister Julia and I before the Gubernatorial  inauguration 

Me: Oh, I’m sorry. I’m in the way.
Julia: No! You’re fine!
Me: Those are cool… glasses.
Julia: Thanks!
Me: My name’s Sara. I’m incredibly awkward.
Julia: My name’s Julia and I’m incredibly awkward as well. We’re going to be great friends.
I met two fantastic girls in chorus and talk to them nearly everyday.

Chorus girls! Emily, me, and Gabby 
It made me incredibly happy to see myself break out of my shell. When I came there, I was a shy and extremely reserved person. Now I am not afraid of talking to strangers. I’m not afraid to show the world who I am. I’m not afraid to say, “Yeah,  I’m a Democrat. Tell me why it’s wrong to have an opinion that differs from yours.”
There was something that a speaker said at the closing ceremony that really made a lump form in my throat. She said, “Parents, VGS is known for igniting a spark within young women to make a change for the better in this world. When you go home today you will see this spark in their eyes. Absolutely DO NOT try to extinguish that flame. If anything, let it grow. Let them catch fire. And girls, never let yourself or anyone else dim your flame. You are important and you CAN make a difference.”

Needless to say, I went home sobbing. I was sure that I would never have friends as beautiful and kind as those that I met over the week. These people knew me at six o’clock in the morning when I shambled into the bathroom with crazy hair and no make up. And you know what? They didn’t care.  But just as I was wrong in thinking that I would be the only Liberal out of 500+ girls, I know that I will be wrong in thinking that I will never again find friends as beautiful and as intelligent as the girls that I met while I was there.
I love you all!

Dear reader, take my advice and live as if everyone you meet already knows you and accepts you. Sure, you'll run into a few angry souls along the way, but I assure you that there are far more caring people in the world than you know.

Peace, love, and bed-heads,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Say, Sara- Boyfriends

Say Sara,
I'm 17. I just read your article for the Aiming Low website about not having to have a boyfriend . I know its from a while ago, but I was wondering if you could help me out a bit.
Usually, I feel the same as you: I don't need a boyfriend to make me happy. I can be happy on my own, being independent, and free from all the other things attached to having a boyfriend, etc. Recently I have been trying to focus a lot more on my art (which has been improving-yay!) and taking the time to read more and follow my passions. I've also been spending a lot of time with my best girlfriends, and I've opened up to making a lot more new friends in my school. I still have a lot I want to do, but I think I am making a good start.

But then there are some days where I just feel so down about not having a boyfriend. And it's not just having a boyfriend, it's the whole thing--I've never ever kissed a guy and I'm 17.
I am an independent person. I am happy with myself. I have great friends, a great family. I am outgoing, and I make friends easily, people think I am fun to be around. I'm pretty in my own way. I'm not the skinniest, I'm not the hottest, but I'm past all those body issues--I like the way I look. And I am pretty intelligent (please don't think I'm arrogant for saying all this, I am just being honest about what I think.) I do feel insecure sometimes, but who doesn't?
But that's the thing that I don't get--people always say that once you do like yourself, and become your own person, others will see it and be attracted to it. I just don't understand why guys don't seem to ever ask me out or anything. I'm friends with a lot of guys, and I feel comfortable around them. But one guy I had a crush on a while ago, he liked this girl who wouldn't even talk to him. I just don't get it--why do these guys find these other girls more attractive than me? When I feel like I have what they are looking for, why is it they just don't seem interested in being more than friends? Why is it so hard to be happy about being single sometimes? What can I do to cheer myself up when I'm feeling down about it? Have you ever had a boyfriend since then?
Thanks so much for your help!
First of all, I think that we might in fact be the same person. You have many of the same opinions as I do!
I’d like to just say that although I do stand by what I wrote in the article, I feel down occasionally when all of my girlfriends are going on and on about their boyfriends. I am seventeen as well and, like you, I’ve never even kissed a guy. 
For most of my junior year, I couldn’t quite understand why guys just didn’t like me. They were always interested in someone else and I always looked incredibly stupid when I told them that I liked them. And then, with much observation and a few words from my mom, I came to a conclusion: guys our age just don’t know how to handle our level of maturity and intelligence. I don’t think it’s arrogant at all for you to know that you’re smart. That’s a great quality to have. Guys are incredibly intimidated by smart girls. We make them feel inferior whether we mean to or not. Why? Because there is absolutely nothing more powerful or scary than an intelligent woman.
As an artist myself (more with music and writing) I tend to be more outspoken and open minded. Artists are intelligent, not always in the conventional ways, but in ways that say, “I know who I am!”
Many people our age have no idea who they are. They’re still trying to figure it out. I’m not sure about how you feel, but I know who I am and how I fit into this crazy world for the most part. This goes along with the whole intelligence thing. Guys don’t like seeming weak. Even if it’s all in their head, they may feel like the weaker part of the relationship when they see a successful and smart woman taking charge of her life.
I totally get what you mean when you say that you don’t understand why those guys see those other girls as more attractive. I don’t want to seem shallow, but sometimes when a guy I liked once shows me a picture of his current girlfriend, I just have to think, “Really?”
So, when you’re feeling down about it, try thinking about the future. I think about college and I smile. I know that there will be loads of guys there who are artists themselves and who are every bit as intelligent as I am. Frankly, if no guys your age can appreciate your smarts, they aren’t worth it!
Thank you again for the questions. I hope I was able to help in some way!
Peace, love, and pencils,

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Say, Sara- Successful?

Wow, I have definitely neglected my Say, Sara page for a while but it’s great to see that a few of you have sent in great questions! For those who have no idea what Say, Sara is you should click the link on the navigation bar and shoot me an email if you feel so inclined. The question that I  will be answering today has to do with blogging in general”

When did you first realize that your blog was successful?
(To me, a successful blog is one that has at least 50 followers/members, preferably ones you don't know.)

When I first began writing my blog I was so excited when I was able to say that I had five followers. Gaining followers to a blog is much more difficult than gaining followers on Twitter; therefore, it takes a bit more patience and time to know that what you want to say is being heard.
I considered my blog successful when I received an email from a reader that said something along the lines of how my words had inspired them. This made me feel amazing! Knowing that my words could reach even a single person was a fantastic achievement for me and still remains one of my greatest motivations in my life. That one message, and the many others that followed it, made me realize that I had something that could be considered valuable to some. I love reaching out to younger audiences as well. It makes me feel as though I have been able to help them through some of their bad days when I write something about being bullied or standing up for what’s right.
With all of that being said, I consider my blog an achievement on the basis that if I could make a difference for a single life, then I have done something worthwhile.

Thank you for the question!
Peace, love, and optimism,

If you would like to ask a personal question, ask for advice, or find out why my favorite food is sushi check out the Say, Sara page and hit me up!