Palm Springs, CA // Desert Weekend Getaway

Palm Springs, CA // Desert Weekend Getaway

How is it already Fall?! Summer 2017 flew by with a quickness. Between balancing event planning at work and eventful weekends with family and friends this summer, my poor travel photos and video footage quickly got buried. So, consider this post as my attempt to dig them up and make treasure out of the ones I captured in Palm Springs, CA. There’s definitely more adventure-type posts coming soon. So look forward to those 6 months from now…LOL. Just kidding. Maybe.


 Check out my little Palm Springs travel video here:


I thought about it, and I want to say that Palm Springs is one of my favorite mini getaway destinations. I’ve been almost a handful to times and there hasn’t been a time when I didn’t enjoy it. Whether it was with my friend’s family or with my friends, there was always something enjoyable about it.

Everyone has a different definition for “staycation,” but for me, anything slightly beyond the outskirts of the county line qualifies as one. It’s approximately 2 hours away, yet it seems like a completely different atmosphere. Maybe it has something to do with Palm Spring’s proximity to LA. It’s comfortably close and far enough. Isn’t it amazing how you can drive two hours in any direction from LA (…assuming little traffic) and find yourself in completely different terrain? I would say Palm Springs is two things the heart of LA isn’t: serene and spacious.

So what’s the deal about Palm Springs? It used to be known as the wild spring break destination for college students, but what’s so cool about it now? Maybe a better question to ask is: What’s always been so cool about it?  It may have fallen from the top college spring breaking spot, but I think that’s part of its charm. While everyone else is hopping on planes or driving off to Vegas, Palm Springs sits quietly along the 10 freeway, a sparkling desert oasis in the distance, an underrated destination to sneak away to. If you are into mid-century modern architecture, quirky art, mountainscapes (not sure if that’s a real word), cute brunch spots, poolside chilling and vintage shopping…Palm Springs, CA is definitely for you. By the way, if you plan a visit in the summer…you also have to be okay with melting into the ground in triple digit heat. No joke.

Here are a few “10 outta 10, would recommend” tidbits I came across during my recent trip to this desert oasis:

Food // Drink

The summer heat is no joke, so if you are planning on walking the streets of downtown, be sure to take a pit stop at these places to stay hydrated & fueled up:

  • For Coffee // Koffi – There are three locations to choose from, so whether you are staying in North Palm Springs, South Palm Springs or just outside of town in Rancho Mirage, you’ll have one near by. They carry staple coffee favorites and pastries to pair. From the couple of times I’ve been there, it seems like a spot revered by locals and tourists.
  • For Breakfast & Brunch // Farm – Southern French-inspired breakfast and brunch. What more can I say? Nothing really. I will mention this though, if you can bear the heat, or if you are visiting during their non-sweltering season, I highly recommend sitting in their patio area. The aesthetic removes you from Palm Springs itself (except for the heat) and creates the illusion of being in a countryside backyard enjoying your French Aunt’s cooking. Okay, that’s all about that.
  • For Ice Cream // Ice Cream & Shop(pe) – Attached to Arrive Hotel on Palm Canyon Dr., it’s a quirky gift shop and gourmet ice cream stop all-in-one. Their rotating list of homemade ice creams and sorbets has many flavors to choose from. It’s a great balance between classics (with a twist) and completely unique flavors. We stumbled upon it after having dinner at Reservoir, a restaurant also adjacent to the hotel. Grab dinner, grab a drink, hang out in their pool lounge area, then grab some ice cream before you leave. Sounds like a perfect night to me.

Sites // Activities

Definitely check out a few sites while you are in the area. I’m kind of a closeted interior design/architecture fangirl. So Palm Springs was a fitting place to indulge in tile work, woodwork, coffee tables and more! Here’s where I visited:

  • Parker Palm Springs – The photos above are just their lobby area…so that gives you a small peek into how the rest of the hotel’s design standards are. Hotel guests can roam the grounds and lounge around on their hammocks and abundant lawn seating. Their patio brunch restaurant, Norma’s (pictured above in the food & drink section), offers a mid-50s vibe with it’s olive green, orange creamsicle and muted teal color scheme.
  • That Pink Door – Apparently there is an official Palm Springs door tour, which is interesting. It’s an open invitation to stalk people’s houses to admire their eclectic front doors and aesthetically pleasing landscaping. But because of the heat, we ended up just visiting the coveted Pink Door, took pics and ran back inside the air-conditioned car. Definitely an Instagram-friendly spot. I would’ve wanted to do the whole tour if we had the time.
  • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway – Not pictured, but during a past visit to Palm Springs, I’ve taken this amazing/scary, rotating tram ride up the Chino Canyon mountainside in San Jacinto National Park. No explanation needed other than it’s worth it to witness beautiful, scenic views 8,516 feet above the valley. There are two observation decks, two restaurants, a number of hiking trails and a museum. It’s also much cooler up there!

Fun Facts

Did you know that the summer time in Palm Springs is their off-season? I didn’t either until one of our Lyft drivers told us when we were wondering why half of the restaurants we wanted to go to weren’t open and noticed there weren’t many people walking around town. Apparently after festival season (Coachella & Stage Coach), tourist activity winds down as the desert gets even hotter, so a number of business owners find it better to close up shop on a few strategic, slow summer weeks. Who would’ve known? Not me apparently!


Girls Weekend

My recent trip to Palm Springs was one I’ll always remember because it’s the girls weekend that transformed us from childhood best friends into a “bridal gang.” It’s the weekend that Lauren asked us to be her bridesmaids!! ❤ What an official door-opening into the chapter of young adulthood it was.

My heart is warm knowing that we can still make it a priority to remove ourselves from our busy schedules once in a while to reconnect with one another. I love and appreciate these girls more than they probably know and this trip was was much needed. Check them out below 😉 Anyways, cheers to more girls weekends and sharing life’s milestones with one another! xx

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Sincerely,

Melissa Beee.

Napa Valley // Fine Wine + Good Times

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Photo captured on Annalyn’s Canon AE-1 Camera using Ektar 100 film ❤ 

– Are #ThrowbackTravel posts a thing? –

Well if they aren’t…they are now! Perfect way to hide the fact that it took me just over a year to compile only some of my video footage from my trip to Napa Valley… *insert embarrassed face emoji here*

Let’s forget that fact and move on to what the video features. It captures just a snippet of my second trip to Napa Valley with some of my childhood friends ❤ It was my first real attempt to vlog my travel adventures and I definitely have a lot to learn, but there is no better way to learn videography than to just do it right? I’m pretty proud of this video, so I hope you enjoy!

As a girl that grew up in the smoggy city of Los Angeles, I never get used to how much fresher the air is in NorCal and how serene it is particularly in Napa. My inner boujee grandma alter ego loves it. What’s a better pairing to the rolling hillsides, vineyard views and the fresh air than good food, good company and good wine?

–  Places I visited that I highly recommend –

  • Oxbow Public Market: this is a good place to take advantage of variety.  You can divide and conquer the market by visiting with a group and getting bites from all the different vendors! There is a lot to choose from. I was able to enjoy delicious artisan pizza, a yummy breakfast burrito and a hearty deli sandwich all in the same weekend!
  • Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ: Located in Downtown Napa, this BBQ joint is the shopfront of a larger “wine insider” company. They are open until midnight on Friday and Saturdays and offer a large menu of wines to choose from. But be sure to put your name down or make a reservation in advance! We put our name down and walked around the city for an hour or so before getting our names called.
  • Joseph Phelps Winery: I’ve been to this winery before because my lovely friend Vanessa had a membership, but this time, the renovations they were working on last time were complete! The newly redesigned terrance was cozy and had an amazing view of the vineyard. It’s a great place for a low key, classy wine tasting. A lot of other wineries in Napa have become more of a tourist attraction and it was nice to be able to concentrate on the wine and not the noise of tourist group chatter.
  • Castello di Amorosa: Speaking of “touristy” spots, this is definitely one of them. I mean, why wouldn’t groves of people want to drink wine in the cellar of a castle?! Who wouldn’t want to make your way to the highest point of the castle and pretend to rule over all the peoples below?! I would say it’s worth a visit, but I didn’t find the wine tasting experience as intimate as the one I experienced at Joseph Phelps. The tasting is more like a bar scene, with servers running back and forth between groups. But, I think it was worth the visit for the views and cute farm animals that live there 🙂

Hope you enjoyed a little look into my Napa Valley trip. Maybe there will be a part two?? There is a lot of footage leftover and I’d like to compile it sometime soon. Video editing just takes so much time! When I get into it…I stare into the computer screen for hours and look up to see the day has gone. I need to choose a day to dedicate to another edit or edit in small increments. We’ll see! I definitely want to take up vlogging more so I can capture all these fun travel moments. I look forward to putting together more videos and developing my own vlogging style.

Sincerely,

Mez ❤

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Photos taken by: Annalyn

From One Young Woman to Another

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This is a letter to the young woman who stole the package off my family’s front porch:

I genuinely feel sorry for you. I feel sad for you that you are obviously in a place in your life that stealing is a viable option for you. I’m going to assume that you chose to steal today with the intention to make a few bucks. Kudos to you. You succeeded. I hope that the money you make goes towards something worthwhile. Maybe you are saving up to go back to school, buy food for yourself or your family, or maybe you are saving up for a car that you need to get to job interviews. I really hope that it’s something bigger picture like that. But, the pessimistic and cynical side of me thinks you’ll use that couple hundred bucks to buy cigarettes or another one of those energy drinks in a can…just like the one you had in your hand as you grabbed that package. I really hope it isn’t though.

I make an active effort day-in and day-out to envision myself in another’s shoes. Especially in situations when me or someone I care about is negatively affected by someone else’s actions. In this case, my Dad. It helps me cope. By imagining the various reasons for someone to choose to damper someone else’s day, it helps me empathize. Obviously, this person isn’t happy. A person who decided to be rude to me or steal from my family…they are obviously in a worse off position than I am.

So, to the woman who stole that package: we will be reporting you…and I do hope you get caught, if only to teach you that what you are doing isn’t the right way to get what you really want. The footage showed you running away. That means you know what you did was wrong. I can safely state that you were taught the difference between right and wrong.

I am trying to be a champion for women more everyday…and with that, comes with trying to understand what I have in common with other women and vice versa; using commonalities to build bridges and learning new perspectives when there are things we don’t agree with. Anyways, I think what me and you have in common is that we are both young. There’s still a lot of life to live and a lot of potential to unlock. However, the biggest difference between us, given that my initial assumption about your intentions is correct, is that I was at work making a living at 2:14pm and you were wandering my neighborhood searching for packages to steal in order to make a living for yourself. Maybe you didn’t have the opportunity to pursue higher education like I did. Maybe you did. I’ve seen examples of women who have succeeded regardless of their level of education or where they were raised. This gives me hope that regardless of your background, you can make something of yourself too.

As women we need to continue to rise as a group, and in order to do so, we must support one another…and this also means calling each other out on our bullsh*t. Stealing someone else’s hard earned money is frankly, bullsh*t. You can earn your own.  Submitting the footage of you to the authorities is our way of calling you out. I genuinely support your future success by hopefully making this a learning experience for you. I hope that you realize you can do better.

Sincerely,

Another Young Woman…just like you.

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Instagram Hot-Spot: Melrose Avenue

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Carrera Cafe – La La Land Mural

I recently went on a Los Angeles photo-taking adventure with my childhood friend Annie and her roommate Sicilia 🙂 Our main goal was to take pictures in front of the La La Land mural on Melrose Ave., after I came across it on my Instagram feed. I immediately thought of Annie because even though she lives in the OC now, she’s always down for adventures in LA, especially when photography is involved. She’s also a sucker for the movie just as much as I am.

Side note: Annie also has a blog and posts about her awesome photography, so you should check her stuff out HERE 😉

A few weeks went by until we were both free to make a trip, and we had it all planned out. I wore a yellow dress to sort-of match the dress Emma Stone wears in the movie and everything! (Don’t judge me). After the outfit-planning, enduring the usual LA traffic and struggle to find parking…we discovered that the mural was gone.  At the time, Coachella was two weeks away, so the wall had been overhauled into a festival-themed Lady Gaga mural. 😦 Not that I don’t love Lady Gaga and no shade on Coachella…but we were just so excited to check out the La La Land mural! So sad. Here are screen shots from Carrera Cafe’s Instagram:

After we took a few moments to mope about the loss of our La La Land opportunity, we still made the most of our time at Carrera Cafe and grabbed ourselves cute lattes. The cafe is well-known for it’s awesome, meme-friendly latte art:

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You best believe I got myself Ryan Gosling latte art to cope.

Paul Smith Wall

As we sipped our coffees next to the popular Lady Gaga wall, we noticed droves of people across the street as well, taking pictures in front of another Instagram-famous spot: the Paul Smith Wall (aka The Pink Wall). It’s a very interesting situation to observe, so I had a very good time people-watching. It’s literally a parking lot for the clothing store. Yet, an abnormal amount of people were hanging out in it with little-to-no intention of actually walking into the store. Their only intention was to take pictures. So odd…so fascinating…very LA. So,we joined the crowd to see what it was all about. Can you blame people for being attracted to a bright pink wall? Forget about the Hollywood sign that’s impossible to get to now-a-days, go to the Pink Wall instead! Haha. Jk…but not really.

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Fred Segal Green Ivy Wall

After partaking in the Paul Smith wall hype, we continued to walk down Melrose Ave. and stumbled upon a wall covered in vines from top to bottom! It was such a pretty green so we made a pit stop. Even as the cars zoomed by, we had no shame in our photoshoot game. A few other girls actually picked up on the photo-op and asked if we could take their pictures too! I don’t think it’s on the typical list of “Instagrammable” spots in L.A., but we thought it was cute, so why not? Do what makes you happy! If you’re curious to know it’s location, it’s the Fred Segal clothing store building on Melrose and North Crescent Heights Blvd. (I definitely looked that up on Google maps right now)

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Made in LA Mural

As we continued our trek down the street, we found a noticeable line (less hype than the Pink Wall though) in front of the Made in LA mural. I ended up not enjoying this one as much, maybe because I was getting hungry lol, the midday heat, or maybe because it wasn’t vibrant pink or green. I’ll never know for sure. A contributing factor could be the pressure we felt with the presence of a line of people waiting for their turn. It was also slightly difficult to capture the whole wall without having to be in the street…so we quickly snapped a few photos and headed on back to the car.

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I’m positive there are plenty more “Instagram Hot Spots” down Melrose Avenue. But after the Made in LA wall, we headed back to the car to check on our parking meter. Definitely don’t want to get a ticket in LA! Then we headed to Arts District/Little Tokyo for some food. But that’s a different blog post 🙂

What “Instagram Hot-Spots” have you been to in LA? I’d like to know 🙂 We do it for the ‘Gram am I right?! No? Okay…lol. In all seriousness, do it for the memories people, not just for the ‘gram!

Sincerely,

Melissa ❤

 

 

2017 So Far: The Year of Yes

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With almost a quarter of 2017 come and gone already, I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on what I’ve experienced so far. I didn’t really make new years resolutions this year, but the one thing I decided was to make an effort to embrace more situations that scare me and make more decisions that make me happy. I purposely made these goals very broad, to allow myself to explore what it is that scares me and makes me happy.

Graduating from the Bunny Slopes – In January, I went on a semi-spontaneous snowboarding trip. It was my second time snowboarding and I was nervous about falling and shortness of breath from the altitude…not far off from the fears I experienced the first time I went snowboarding. Last time, I may have only gone down the bunny slope a total of three times before knocking out in the warm and cozy lodge while the rest of the crew went up the mountain. This time, with some peer pressure…I mean a lot of encouragement from my friends, I embraced the fear of falling and actually allowed myself the opportunity to learn! It was a lot of fun an I’m glad I did it. I also learned new phrases like “Shredding the gnar today bro?” lol.

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Taking on Public Speaking – I did not get into the public relations field because of increased opportunities to speak in front of crowds. It has always been my least favorite part of the profession because I always imagined myself as the person “behind the scenes.” Which, for the most part, is my role. Most of my job is outreach program development, which does require plenty of interaction with people, but on an individual basis. In the past couple of months, I’ve started leading meetings with other departments and making presentations at board meetings on a regular basis. I still struggle with the nervousness, but with every presentation that I complete, I’ve  become a little more comfortable and confident in the way I present my reports. It also helps that I receive such helpful feedback from my colleagues.

Getting Back to My Creative Side – I’ve upped the activity in my DIY, writing and photography side of my brain. This is something that I neglected in 2016. Last year centered around establishing myself at my job, and with that came less trips to Michaels and JoAnns and more nights of unwinding with Netflix. Not saying I didn’t enjoy that, I just miss using my hands to create things! Now that I feel like I’m at a good place in my career, I’ve taken the past few months getting back into finding the time/place to express these creative urges…including maintaining this blog. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m trying! (I’m currently sitting at Barnes & Nobles on a Tuesday evening to force myself  to get this post written). See below for a few photos I captured on some random exploration days I had recently in Los Angeles.

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Saying Yes to Travel – I travelled to Seattle, Washington for the first time in March! Going into the year, I didn’t have any set travel plans, I just knew I wanted to go somewhere. As opportunities to travel come up, I’m making more of an effort to work it into my schedule. I’m a big fan of taking advantage of 3-day weekends and turning them into mini-vacations. I’m also a working adult now that accrues vacation days…so that’s a thing to consider. Luckily, my boss is also awesome and encourages me to take these mini-vacation opportunities. She’s all about making sure the team doesn’t “burn out” and I appreciate that. Anyways, I’m grateful that I was invited to join my friends’ trip to Seattle because it’s been the highlight of my year so far! I’ve had multiple people tell me that they could imagine me loving Seattle, and they weren’t wrong. The only thing that I didn’t enjoy so much was the biting wind chill D: Such cold. Much freeze. I took so many photos in the city, so here are a few for you to browse through:

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Running Past the Pain – Second 10K down. Much more exercise to go. I signed up for A Better World Running‘s Spring Equinox 10K on March 25th as a source of motivation to get back into running. The training process was….hit and miss. I started training 6 weeks out (when I should’ve started 8 weeks out) and on the week prior to the race, I travelled to Seattle and spent that week prepping for the trip and not running. Surprisingly though, I had the best race experience I’ve had to date! Out of the 3 races I’ve done (10K, half marathon, then this 10K), I ran the furthest without stopping, I experienced my runner’s high at 3.5 miles which lasted to the end, I stopped feeling the pain in my shin and ankles at 4 miles, and it was great! We’ll see if 2017 brings another medal to the collection…I’m debating on signing up for another 10K this year.

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And…that’s been some of the highlights of my year thus far. I’m looking forward to doing more scary and exciting things and documenting them here 🙂 I hope you all are have had a productive first quarter of 2017 ❤ Let me know how your goals have been shaping up this year!

Sincerely,

Mez ❤

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February 2017 Favorites: Pixi Brows & Lippys

February 2017 Favorites: Pixi Brows & Lippys

Hi everyone! Long time no see! I’m going to start doing more product reviews because I try new products quite often, so I might as well share my opinions on them with you. My friends encouraged me to take a stab at Influenster, an application/website based around building a community of influencers that review lifestyle and beauty products on their various platforms. They have fun campaigns and competitions, so it’s a fun way to try new products! Hope you enjoy ❤

So, with that, I thought I’d share some of the beauty products I’ve been using throughout this Valetine’s season (it’s still relevant right? :P) Here are a few products that I’ve been crushing on this month:

Brows

What better way to grab your crush’s attention than calling them over with the fleekest of eyebrow signals? lol. I never knew what to do with my brow situation until this product. I’m pretty minimalist when it comes to makeup, I’m all for enhancing features as opposed to covering them up, so I hardly thought to apply anything to my brows. The only way I knew how to manage my brows was to get them threaded on a regular basis. I’m also quite lazy when it comes to anything makeup, so I tend to search for a balance between quality and convenience. Then I found the Pixi by Petra Natural Brow Duo in the “Deep Brunette” shade.The product has a angled crayon on one end and brow gel on the other end. It has been been my go-to for a few months now and it’s almost time for me to restock. It’s affordable (bought it at Target) and travel bag friendly! All you have to do is fill in…and set. So easy!

Lips

What says Valentine’s season than lip products?! I think I am finally ready to admit my obsession with lip products. I’ve denied it for the longest time…as I watched hours of YouTube beauty gurus review all kinds of sticks, crayons, liners, stains, glosses, etc. But I’m ready to embrace the lip product culture head on! I’m a very au naturale kind of girl, so nudes and mattes are usually where I lean towards.

  • Pixi by Petra itsJudyTime Lip Palette – Judy Travis is one of my favorite YouTube beauty gurus because she not only does makeup looks for my skin tone and eye shape, but her favorite color palettes almost always match what I like as well! She recently partnered with Pixi (amazing!) and released two products: a lip creme palette and a nudes eyeshadow palette (which I also have <3). The lip cremes don’t claim to be super long lasting, so reapplications are necessary, but I really enjoy the natural range of colors available. The colors alone are great, but are definitely mixable if you want to go for something custom. The cremes go on matte and almost feels like a lip stain when they dry. It’s feels very light. I just apply it first thing in the morning with clean fingers and layer if I feel like achieving a deeper color. Again, so easy to apply!
  • Butter London Lippy – I’ve always known Butter London for their nail polishes and only stumbled upon their liquid lipsticks a couple of months ago. I bought it via Ulta during their Black Friday sale, but they typically retail for just under $20. The one pictured above is in the “Dahling” shade and I like it because it covers all the bases: it’s matte and it’s natural. On particular lazier mornings than usual, I throw this lippy in my bag, jet off to work and apply once I get myself to my desk. When applying, it feels like a stickier gloss, but dries smoothly.

 

…and that’s all for this crush-themed products review! I hope you all had a wonderful Valetine’s season whether it was with a SO, family, friends or even yourself 🙂

Sincerely,

Mez ❤

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Orlando, Florida.

In no way am I an expert in what I’m about to talk about. In no way am I feeling anything remotely close to what those directly involved must feel. Just witnessing the snippets of their grief has been enough to trigger levels of sadness I haven’t allowed myself to feel for a long time. I am writing this today as therapy for myself and am choosing to publish it in hopes that maybe there is someone out there that shares in some of the thoughts that have run through my head in the past few days.

Orlando, Florida. A place that, to an outsider like myself, is usually associated with an image of a family-friendly, sunny paradise.

While I’m sure, just like any other well-known city in the United States, crimes happen…and no, I am not going to look up that specific statistic because it isn’t the point of this post. My point is this: one person has the ability to affect people’s perception of something, someone, or some place. ONE PERSON.

These horrific instances are blatant reminders of this point. What frustrates me the most is that these heartbreaking events garner the most attention. As a person that studied media in college, I understand that it’s a journalist’s job to report on current events…and this was a big one. Everyone deserves to be informed and I thank all of the reputable resources I have used in the past couple of days to keep up with what has been happening since that early Sunday morning. However, I also know that a big part of a journalist’s job is to listen to the people, report on what they are interested in learning about and to be a watchdog figure for the community.

What I don’t understand is the disproportionate emphasis on negative news. Well, actually, I do understand it. Negative media fosters higher ratings because of an innate response to protect ourselves from harm.

Sadly, we’ve fallen into a cycle of news that is dominated by fear. Something bad happens, the news reports it. In fear, people gravitate to this news in order to file in their brain what to watch out for in order to avoid mental, physical or emotional damage. Valid. Yet, the constant saturation of negative news and this reactive response feeds into the cycle. At least that’s my belief. We have been brainwashed to think negative news is all we want to see.

Anyways, that has the potential to be it’s own separate post.

I’m frustrated because I suspect that the person responsible for all the recent pain and sadness firmly believed that the only solution to his personal problems was violence. He probably felt like he lived in a world so dark and hopeless that the only answer was to try to bring others down with him before he left it. I’m sure he was also aware that his actions wouldn’t go unnoticed.

I’m frustrated that after enough time passes, people will assimilate back to their normal lives and continue to believe that they do not have the ability to affect change.

If one person had the power to instill fear, brew anger and spread sadness in mass quantities, one person definitely has the power to do the opposite.

It is not a Disney dream my friends. We do have it in us to make positive change in this world we live in. Don’t let the negativity belittle your sense of power. ESPECIALLY, do not let those in designated “places of authority/power” make you believe you don’t have a say in what becomes law in our country. We do have a say. Remember that governmental structure called Democracy? Yeah, it still exists. It’s just buried in a bunch of bullsh*t. Don’t let the bullsh*t scare you. Be willing to learn it and navigate through it.

If you want to see less violence, do something about it. If not directly contacting your local representatives to share your thoughts on gun policies…then at the very least spread kindness and compassion in your daily life. I believe I said something similar in my post about Santa Barbara.

Smile at someone. Open a door for a stranger. Say hello to someone you have random eye contact with. Say “thank you” more. Let’s lessen the time spent looking down at our phones and more time looking up and around at our surroundings. Make an effort to genuinely connect with people and learn something new…everyday. I believe that a build up of little positive moments to outweigh the inevitable not-so-good moments leads to an overall positive/hopeful perception of the world.

Here is my message to those who were specifically targeted in Orlando this past weekend and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole: I love you, I support you, I am your ally ❤ I realize I will never fully understand the struggles you go through on a daily basis, but I can do my part and learn as much as I can. I will never stop being willing to learn a new perspective.

To end this stream of consciousness, I have no doubt that the Orlando community will take this instance and come out of the grieving process a much stronger group. ❤

Here are some resources you can access to turn “thoughts and prayers” into ACTION:

Sincerely,

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Mez