18 September 2013

Keep Dreaming

25 is right around the corner. I love birthdays and like you, I get excited for my own. Since it is 25, I'm wondering if this is the last birthday that I can get excited for.

Really. What is after 25? I'm crossing society's final threshold. I'm now allowed to rent a car and my insurance rate will finally drop to something reasonable (I hope).

24 is young but I've still learned quite a few things. So I'm going to share them once a week until October 27 is finally here.

So Lesson #1. Keep Dreaming.

I've always been an idealist. The kind of person that eat rainbows and poops butterflies (quoting Dr. Suess here). It can drive my family, friends, and me a bit nuts but I will always dream big dreams.

My dreams are what made me write the President when he was a Senator and tell him that I hope he runs for office. I received a letter back from him not too long after--a treasure whether you lean left or right.

My dreams are what made me apply for a summer internship in Washington, D.C. when I was in college. I met lifetime friends and learned so much about life on the Hill and off.

Dreams don't always come true and I'm thankful for that-- I wouldn't change the sequence of my life for anything. The blessings are too big to compare to the blips of disappointment and heartache.

But I've also seen that the happiest and most grounded people are the ones who continue to put goals in front of them.

When you're out of college, it's up to you to create dreams for yourself. It's a crossroad for most people--am I done or do I keep going? 

KEEP GOING. I wanted to quit when I graduated college with a pile of debt and no job. I was convinced that there was no way that I was going to become a writer. Three years later I'm writing and still dreaming. 

Successful people have goals for themselves. It's not elementary to keep a journal or write out a 3, 5 or 10 year plan. Instead it shows that you're not willing to settle for the present--you expect more from yourself and your life then just the current predicament.

So go, dream away!

15 September 2013

The tiara that changes everything.

I'd be freaking out, too! Courtesy of Miss America

I learned that an Indian girl won Miss America via Snapchat (sign of the times). Since then, I've spent the last 30 minutes making sure this was ACTUALLY TRUE.

Let me tell you why this is huge.

The woman is BROWN. You're thinking, "Uh yeah Nincy, we know."

You also probably know that Indians by and large are not interested in staying their skin color. Being dark or brown is an insult. We want to be lighter, we want to be white, we want to be fair. It's an unfair standard that's been part of our culture for centuries and it tears our society apart (especially when 96% of us are not fair).

Dark is Beautiful is one of the many campaigns trying to change this impossible double standard but it's not easy to change something that we've been bred to believe.

Well, Nina Davuluri** has shook the ground.

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family where color didn't matter. Beauty fades but no one can take your brain which is why my parents only praised my intelligence--not my cute outfit for the day. My parents also didn't keep me from playing outside in fear that the sun would make their daughter unmarriageable. But that didn't keep me from doubting. It didn't keep me from looking in the mirror and wishing I could wash "the brown" off.

The now-Miss America when she was competing for Miss New York.

I was bullied for being dark/ugly when I was 12. It was in India, ironically, and it was the first time I even considered my skin color as inferior. That's where my obsession with fairness began. I would layer on the Fair and Lovely before walking to school in the sweltering heat in hopes of being pretty. Even after moving back home to Texas,  I would steal the turmeric from the kitchen and bathe in it night after night. (Yes Mom, that's where all the munyull went.)

Though the thought of being inferior (and fear of getting darker) is always there, I don't let it stunt my life (Yeah, I sunbathed during my vacation in FL). But I'm hopeful that, with this kind of win for the Brown, my future daughter will never have to think twice about it.

Because Dark is Beautiful. Thank you Nina and Miss America for making that real tonight. I pray that India and Indians all take notice.

Nina is more than just a pretty lady. This young woman is on her way to being a doctor. She's a talented dancer who was battled bullimia and weight before making it to Miss America. She is a remarkable person and this is a definite win for every little girl who's ever noticed that she's different.

You go, girl.

**Disclaimer: I don't know Nina Davuluri. In my brief time researching, I'm aware that she's probably not a perfect person but that doesn't make this win any less encouraging for the millions of women out there who have been told that they are not beautiful or worthy because of the color of their skin. Any negative or harsh comments that don't encourage conversation will be deleted. 

Follow on Bloglovin

Never miss a post! Subscribe to The Daily Inspired.

10 September 2013

The mind is a battlefield.

My mind runs 1000 miles an hour. I often stumble on my words because my mouth can't keep pace. That can be embarrassing but not as harmful as what my mind can do to my self-esteem.

We are our own worst enemies. 

We have those days when we don't feel as confident as usual. But do you become self-conscious and insecure that it stunts you?

Yesterday wasn't the best day. Getting Invisalign has been an adjustment. I'm two weeks in and got attachments (little pieces of composite the ortho puts on your teeth to assist with the shifting of them). Well, he might as well put black soot in my mouth from the way I was acting.

I was feeling insecure (normal feeling) and not myself (also normal) but I allowed myself to degrade who I was because of how I felt (not normal).

For me, it's my teeth. For you, it might be a bad haircut, a lip sore, whatever.

I'm publishing this at the risk of sounding vain, but the truth is, we have bad days--14 or 24--that are caused by little things in retrospect but big things in our heads.

Dove has an awesome campaign called Real Beauty Sketches. I would be no different from these women who are unforgiving and harsh critics of their own looks. I'm challenging myself to change that. Join me!


09 September 2013

Happy Monday.

When your best friends live hundreds of miles away, you improvise. That's why Caroline and I email back and forth throughout the week to talk about serious (and not so serious) things. 

Her email came in this morning and it read, "Happy Monday! Wait, no. not happy Monday. I forgot that we aren't supposed to like Mondays." 

I let out a laugh and thought about how ridiculous it is.

I don't like the alarm waking me up before I'm ready either, but the day has a lot of great things waiting for me. 

A job I love, a class (that will eventually lead to a degree), time with friends, and HELLO--another day of life. To breathe, laugh, think and just live. I don't care what's happening today. There is at least one thing you can thank God for. 

You can never take enough time to count your blessings.