Culture and Opinion
Here's a roundup of personal essays and opinion pieces I've written on cultural observations, politics, personal development, growth, and community.
How I Balance Staying Informed and Staying Sane
The remedy to feeling helpless is not ignorance or escape — it’s action.Here’s what I’ve figured out on how to be an informed, proactive citizen without giving up or going crazy.
A Love Letter to California
I don’t want you to change, California. What’s more, I don’t need you to change. It took me a while to realize it, but you are lovely just as you are. In a world full of tragedy and difficulty and selfishness, you are a bright light that offers people a chance to live with freedom, to cultivate their individuality, and to be close to mother earth. You are a literal and figurative place of eternal sunshine.
6 Lessons I Learned From Oprah's 'The Life You Want' Tour
The truth is that we do not need permission to participate in our own lives. We do not need the go-ahead to star in our own stories, nor do we need a sign to indicate that we have an opportune moment ahead of us.
Running in the Footsteps of Champions
It’s impossible to put four years of races, workouts, victories, losses, bad days, sore muscles and runner’s highs into a single sentence. These high school students have run thousands of grueling miles in extreme conditions and beat out thousands of other passionate, talented runners to be where they are.
6 Important Conversations I've Had With My Family Since Trump Was Elected
When we’re better informed, we can view a situation from each of its potentially unflattering angles. We can be more understanding and empathetic to the perspectives that differ from our own. And when we’re sensitive to these different perspectives, we can find common ground and we can compromise.
A Note to Those Struggling in the Wake of the Election
What does taking action look like? It looks like you, reaching out to the people in your life who’ve been most affected by the hate in this election and expressing your solidarity. It looks like you, promising — verbally, not just behind your computer screen — to participate in important conversations about serious issues, even if the issues don’t directly affect you. To vow to actively call out racism, prejudice, and sexism when you witness it. To agree not to cower away from confrontation when people’s lives hang in the balance.
An Open Letter to My High School Cross-Country Coach
I’m a far better person because I was a runner in high school. Because I was dedicated to a pursuit that valued and rewarded camaraderie, strength and willpower. Because I was part of a team that saw me at my best and my worst.
Finding Peace in the Wake of Tragedy: Eric Garner's Death
But if there’s one thing I know, it’s that change starts with the individual consciousness. In times like these, when feeling lost and broken-hearted over a tragedy in the news becomes our default setting, it’s important to remember what we are capable of accomplishing.
How I Learned to Come to Terms With Where I'm From
I learned I can define myself by what I love, not where I go. I can build friendships and discover other cultures and experiment with different ways of living no matter where I am in the world. I can be a woman of action and enjoy the occasional period of stillness. I can follow my bliss and still learn to be content with what I have. I can be a traveler and also appreciate the comfort of having roots.
In the Face of Terrorism, Why It's More Important Than Ever to Travel
As citizens of the world it is our duty to meet the people who will teach us more about their culture and lifestyle, and who will act as ambassadors for their countries. We have a responsibility now more than ever to know the world intimately and to break down the racial, cultural and stereotype-based obstacles that stand to divide us.
Own What You Love: Why We Should Stop Using the Term 'Guilty Pleasure'
When someone asks what your guilty pleasure is, that person unintentionally insinuates that you do or like something you shouldn't be proud to broadcast. When you label your own habits or hobbies as guilty pleasures, you buy in to the same unnecessary and arbitrary rules of what is cool or socially acceptable