Thursday, January 30, 2014

Teen Mom "Study"

A few weeks ago a new "study" came out about how MTV's line up of pregnant and parenting teen shows possibly helped reduce teenage pregnancy. To me the study is weak, the methods with which they conducted the study seem like a stretch, and really in short I think it's a bunch of noise. 

I wanted to write a well thought out response to the hype about this new possible discovery however, I will provide you with interviews and articles I think  do a better job at showing a snippet as to why speaking this possible decline up is sloppy and not a great idea. 

  • Fellow pregnant and parenting teen advocate Natasha and I did an interview with editor Avital for The Frisky where we held back no punches and really said how we felt. 

Lastly, I really think we can be doing SO MUCH more than just hoping and then boasting that MTV's shows maybe reduced teenage pregnancy on RH Reality Check. 

What do you think? Is the decline really do to MTV shows? Do you think I'm wrong? Let me know what you think in the comments. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ask for Emotional Support to Get Emotional Support

I am very good at always being 'strong' and not letting things effect me. So good at it that while I'm screaming on the inside or feel like I'm going to fall apart I can paint a smile on my face and convince others and myself otherwise. 

With time I have become better at asking for help and realizing that asking for help does not mean you are weak, failing, or 'not good enough' in anyway. It simply means you need help. Last year I finally realized and accepted that I have depression and that that is okay too. In short I feel I have come a long way from the hermit crab who never dealt with, expressed, or accepted she had emotions. However, I still have a ways to go. 

Because I'm so good at acting like everything is fine I feel people around me don't know how to react when I come to them for help, but don't really state I NEED/ am expecting help from them. For example I called one of my sisters while on the brink of an anxiety attack before and felt like she brushed me off. I was hurt, pissed off, and didn't really talk to her for the rest of the day. Then I realized that although I called her I did not once state that I felt like I'm falling apart, my emotions are a mess, and I just spent the last 3 minutes crying- in fact I'm holding back tears as I talk to you. Instead I treated the conversation like a regular "hey what's up" conversation and got upset because she did the same. 

Reaching out to people for emotional support is scary and difficult. Some might care what you have to say while others may brush you off however, when you are approaching someone you know has been emotionally supportive of you consistently shoot it straight when approaching them. I'm sure if I was honest with my sister and told her I was a mess, crying, and needed her to calm me down she would have stopped whatever she was doing and done that for me but since I didn't she didn't. 

Talk about your emotions, feel free to experience and explore all your emotions. You are human you are supposed to! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Gimme Shelter, a Film about Teenage Pregnancy

This past week I had the opportunity to attend an early screening for Gimme Shelter and enjoyed it. The cast is great and Vanessa Hudgens and Rosario Dawson deliver amazing performances. Gimme Shelter opens in theaters on Friday, January 24th.

Synopsis: Based on a true story that centers on 16-year-old Agnes “Apple” Bailey (Vanessa Hudgens), GIMME SHELTER uncovers the struggle for survival and the hope of redemption through the harsh realities of life on the streets. As a pregnant teenager, Apple’s journey plummets her into a perilous struggle until finding salvation in a suburban shelter for homeless teens. With provisions of unprecedented comfort, a collective sisterhood connection and female empowerment, the shelter elevates Apple to break the shackles of her past and inspires her to embrace the future with clarity, maturity and hope not only for herself but her unborn child.

I was able to attend the early screening of Gimme Shelter in exchange for a promotional post. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Teen Mom Wins Juicy J's $50,000 Twerkin' Scholarship

A few months ago artist Juicy J announced on Twitter that he would be giving out a $50,000 scholarship to the person who sent him the best video of them twerkin'.

While thousands of people sent in videos of them twerkin' 19 year old mother and Biology major Zaire Holmes said she read the entire contest rules and realized you DID NOT have to twerk in order to receive the scholarship. She was the ONLY one who apparently read the rules and decided against sending in a twerkin' video. 

Zaire Holmes received the $50,000 scholarship in disbelief and tears saying the scholarship would cover all her lab expenses. "I spoke to my son before I left the hotel, he's my good luck charm." 

Congrats to Zaire on her AMAZING scholarship. While twerkin' to get the scholarship was not necessary it's always important to do your research before applying to anything especially a HUGE scholarship, dream job, or college application. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Year of Love

I'm big on horoscopes and astrology. I wake up every morning, read my horoscope, and sometimes faint a little at how accurate it is. The beginning of a new year is a big deal and usually includes reading as much as I can about the planetary activity for the year ahead and how it will effect my sign, Aries.

As I read a few general summaries for the year they all spoke about how this year was going to be about love.
How full of love it would be, how I could meet someone, and so on and so forth. Although I sometimes venture into "should I start dating again" land I am mostly set on not dating. Mostly because I don't exactly know what I am thinking, feeling, and going through that well right now (mostly because graduation nearing is confusing) and I don't have the energy or will to split my attention three ways for someone else. Things are comfortable the way they are right now and I like that.

So when my horoscope is going on and on about love all I could think is WHERE IS MY big CAREER news!? ( I still feel like this)

However, after thinking about it more I love that my year will be filled with love! While I was only thinking about romantic love- i.e me having to deal with someone else- there are tons of different types of love!

Self love
Maternal love
Love of art
Love of life
Love of spontaneity
Love of adventure
Love of taking (calculated) risk
Love of being

So many different types of love why would I not be happy with the potential of all this love coming into our life this year?

What are looking forward to this year? 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Job Alert: RH Reality Check is Hiring Youth Writers!

RH Reality Check, a website I love writing for, is currently hiring young writers ages 15-20 to join their team!

RH Reality is dedicated to sexual health and reproductive health and justice. If these topics sound of interest of you and you would like to grow as a writer, commentator, and possibly share your teen mom lived reality with the world head over to RH Reality Check. Be sure to read the full "About Us" section to ensure you are applying to a company you would like to work with and for and then read the full job description before applying.

Application deadline is Friday, January 17th!
Good luck!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Don't Rely Solely on Text. Pick up the Phone and Call!

Call your babysitter. Don't rely solely on text they aren't all that reliable and not as safe as you think.
Imagine if you are securing a sitter and only use text? Who is to say the person on the other side of the phone really is the person you think you're texting?

Calling someone seems simple enough right but in the times of texting and emailing simple phone calls often get over looked and underestimated.

I have a sitter that I've used before for Leilani and when I had to take this inter-winter session course to stay on track for graduation. Luckily she agreed to pick her up for me when needed and that was a huge weight off my shoulders.

The only problem was this morning as I was getting Leilani ready and telling her about the sitter picking her up I asked her if she remembered the sitter (it's been a while since we used her) and she replied no. She said she didn't really remember what she looked like and was a bit nervous. I comforted her as best as i could and asked the sitter to send a photo of herself so I could show it to Leilani. When I got back home I was punched in the face with by my maternal instincts.

"What if someone stole the sitters phone and was just acting like her?!" "What if the person I have been TEXTING back and forth for weeks isn't the person I think they are?""What if Leilani doesn't feel comfortable and freaks out?" "What if I don't feel comfortable all of a sudden and freak out?"

I am freaking out. What the hell did I just do?! I just secured a sitter for my child and hadn't even seen her in person for a while, hadn't spoken to her on the phone, and up until this point I was okay with that all because of a text. A text message. Imagine if someone did steal her phone and because of a lack of a phone call I was potentially putting my baby at risk?

I called her and it was her. I decided to skip the beginning of class in order to make sure her, Leilani, and myself are okay and all comfortable.

Could you imagine how I would have felt if the sitters phone had been stolen and it wasn't her? What situation would I be putting my child in?

Please do me a favor and don't rely solely on text. It's dangerous. Call, meet them in person, and make sure everything is okay.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Themes For the Year 2014!

For 2013 I choose themes to live by during the year instead of a list of resolutions. 

My two themes for last year were collaboration and self love. Looking back over 2013 I would say that choosing themes and sticking to them throughout the year worked great and I stuck with them.  I collaborated with a lot of people, met a lot of wonderful people, and developed great relationships with these people off and online. I also learned to love myself a lot more. I'm glad to say that although I have a long ways to go I am on the right track and feeling confident about it. 

Enough about 2013 lets talk about 2014! 

This year I'm choosing a few themes, while keeping my last two from last year. 
For 2014 my themes are going to be:

  • REMOVE THE FREE: I let fear stop me from trying new things, launching new projects, calling and or emailing someone and asking them questions, for help, and so on but I'm sick of letting fear paralyze me and my greatness that's why I am choosing to kick fears ass this year :) 
  • SELF CONFIDENCE: I was talking to a good friend of mine about how scared I was about graduating college, how life is going, the uncertainty of not having a full time offer, and so on and so forth. She replied with a simple question, "why?" Simple: I"M NOT CONFIDENT ENOUGH (kind of goes along with my first theme and both are going to change this year.)
  • Starting living, not just surviving: I want to do me more. Making my own decisions, calling on the baby sitter so I can go out once in a while, demanding ME time for whatever I want to do with that time. (Even Leilani thinks this is a good idea the other day she asked me when I'm going to sign up for dance classes like I always say I will.) 
  • Get Organized: Being more organized will help me feel as if I have more control over things (yes control issues but I'm not working on that this year lol) which will help me RELAX and accomplish more.  30 day goal plans need to come into effect to help me get more organized. 
  • Create! Create beautiful spaces where beautiful things can come to life. 
What are some of your themes and or resolutions for the year? Let me know in the comments section below.