Moving Forward? Or Standing Still?

Sometimes I feel as if I’m going nowhere. I know it’s pretty normal, especially since I couldn’t legally work in very many places a few years ago, since I am younger than most people in my grade. I also didn’t really know what I wanted to do in my life or my future until a few months ago.

Now, I’m working on pursuing internships (hopefully paid, but I’m up for anything- gaining experience is the real benefit). I’ve been looking at a few that have to do with blogging, and I have to say I’ve only posted on this blog a couple times. Writing has always been a huge passion of mine (both fiction and nonfiction) but unless it was for an assignment, I never saw the need. I never really liked writing about myself (don’t even ask about the number of diaries I tried to keep as a kid), let alone taking pictures of myself or even just being IN pictures. I feel as though I’d have to write or do something notable in order for it to be worth attaching a name or a face to.

Here I am, though, about to finish my last finals of my second year. I’ve figured out some career goals that I hope to achieve over the next few years (graduation, graduate school, internships, jobs, etc.), as well as personal goals (taking more pictures, making more memories). If someone were to ask me a few months ago if I felt like my life was really going somewhere, I may have said no. Now, I think I’m really taking steps in the right direction. A lot of my friends have been coming to me for advice, and the idea that they see me as someone able to give life advice is so, SO flattering.

I try to take pictures when I can. I’ve actually thought about making a YouTube channel over summer break. I’m not in it for the “views”, actually I’m in it for the memories. I think it would be a great way to encourage me to make more memories while I’m still young and able to travel, before I’m limited by any family or children or a job.  It would definitely encourage me to have my camera out more, and capture moments- and uploading them would just let me share those moments with people in them and people who may be curious about them.

For anyone struggling in life right now, for anyone that feels lost, I have to say one thing. I just want you to know that it may not be like that forever. I didn’t just magically think it through on my own, I talked to people. I was talking with my mom, professors, school counselors, anyone that could help me and eventually I found what I’m good at, and planned out the rest accordingly. Also another thing- it’s never to late to figure it out. I know in college or in high school, it seems like there’s some impending deadline by which you MUST decide your future, or it’s all over. It’s really not like that. It’s never too late to change your mind, discover your potential, and head down a new path. From someone who never believed it before, to someone who may not believe it now- everything will work out, and you will find your way.

Advertisements

Turner, Stanford, and Life.

-trigger warning, mentions rape/victim blaming/some language-

I’m going to open up here by saying that as a kid, I had always wanted to be a lawyer. From when I was seven, to when I was a junior in high school, I thought I knew what I wanted to be. I had my life plan figured out. I thought it would be amazing to fight for justice, defend the law, and act on my morals as i saw fit. I thought I would grow up fighting for things I believed in, fighting for what’s right. I believed that, eventually, I would become a judge, and have a greater sphere of influence that could expand my ideas and my beliefs on morality (and however situational they may be).

I was… so wrong. When I heard about cases like this Stanford student case, I began to question my career goal. It changed, because I no longer felt that lawyers were all like I had idolized them to be (though some absolutely are, I’m sure, too many aren’t. Too many.). There were too many instances in which lawyers would have to defend criminals or accuse innocents. They weren’t defending what I thought was morally acceptable. In some cases, they weren’t even really defending the law, and judges didn’t help. Some would rule in the criminal’s favor, and justice wouldn’t be met even though the evidence would have been more than adequate. In reality, things like bribes and privilege exists, and it opened my eyes to the dark side of the world. It seems like an exaggeration, I’m sure, but I assure you it is not. It is so very real.

This case has been circulating on social media and all around the news and internet for a few days now, and it really resonates with me. I’m a college student, I’m a sorority girl, and yes I attend social gatherings, as do many of my friends (Greek life or otherwise). Though I usually am DD, it’s often that I’m tired because it’s so late, therefore I’m a lot easier to take advantage of. I usually only go to parties where I know all, if not almost all, of the guys, and am close with them, or have a group of friends who won’t leave my side for ANY reason (buddy system is NO JOKE). Though I say that it’s simply because it’s more fun that way (shy girl, here!) it’s probably subconsciously because I’m afraid. If something were to happen and I were abused… I don’t think I would have faith in the system. While supporters do exist, so do victim blamers and so do judges like Aaron Persky.

I have already ranted to so many people about this topic.. but for me, it’s not enough until something changes. This subject makes me so emotional, because it really shows just how little we have progressed as a nation, and displays just how big of a problem rich white male privilege is, as well as victim blaming.

An open letter to Turner’s father: The fact that Turner had been accused of three other felonies, and is still somehow let off with only six months astounds me. Daddy-o says prison would be too hard on him? Oh, God, just cry me a river and build a fucking bridge and get over it. Mind the language, but are you kidding? A poor girl’s life is ruined. She probably won’t feel the same joy, probably won’t enjoy the same activities, and will probably be scarred and traumatized for a long, long time (if not for life) because of your son raping her. No, not “20 minutes of action” as you so GRACIOUSLY called it. RAPE. It’s not sex, it’s rape. It was not consensual, she wasn’t even awake. And pardon me, but who would choose to sleep with such a monster like your son? Hopefully no one after this. Your son is a criminal and a rapist. You just defended a criminal and a rapist. Sure, I get family is important. Isn’t it just lovely knowing that the Turner name will now be associated with a rapist who got off too easily and the dumb father that defended him because he couldn’t enjoy his fucking steaks? How about the girl your son raped who can’t enjoy much at all, let along fancy ass steaks? What if you had a daughter, Mr. Turner? I don’t believe you would defend her rapist this way, OR be calling it “20 minutes of action”. I believe you would see it as what it was- rape. Just because your son doesn’t go to Stanford anymore or may not be an athlete or enjoy swimming anymore doesn’t mean he isn’t a rapist. He should get the same sentence as any other racist. He is not some baby that didn’t know what he was doing. He had THREE priors and is 20 years old. I’m just sorry you couldn’t raise him better. But really, I guess the apple just doesn’t fall far from the tree. In this case, they’re both rotten inside and out. I hope that one day you can see that. I know if it were my son, who I hopefully raised to be a lot better than this, I would think whatever sentence he got was appropriate, no matter how shaken he may be. He behaved wrongly and disgustingly, and should be punished accordingly. I can only hope he would be a better person after. However, no son of mine will EVER mistreat a girl like that and get away with it so damn easily as your son did. A lesson needs to be taught and right now, your son is not. He’s learning that rape is okay, and that daddy will defend him. If it was your daughter that was raped by a boy while she was unconscious, no chance to fight back and protect her body, Mr. Turner, would you still be defending him? Hopefully you told your son not to drop the soap in prison. Then again, at least he’d still be able to defend himself where an unconscious girl couldn’t against your son. See? Even in jail somehow he’s better off than what he did to an innocent woman. Great parenting skills, I gotta say. (Just kidding, they’re some of the worst. Get you and your son off your imaginary pedestal you seem to believe you’re atop.)

And Judge Persky. I really hope there were some massive bribes, blackmail, at least SOMETHING that pressured you into cutting some slack, because if you came to this decision on your own, I have lost so much faith in justice. Do you know what the word means? It doesn’t mean that you relate to someone because you were also a while male athlete so you let them off, it means you send the rapist to jail for the 14 years it should have been because that’s all he is- a rapist. College athlete in the past. Sure, maybe hes an athlete and a rapist. Being an athlete doesn’t make you a boy who made a mistake. It makes you a rapist, a criminal that happens to be athletic as well. Oh, and you’re delighted this gets so much media attention, and you think this will make more victims step up? I don’t think so. I’m sorry, but in what right mind does this seem fair or like justice to you? It clearly isn’t that way to the majority of people. The only message this sends is that you’re an incompetent judge who really messed up, and made the wrong call. It’s not even a minor “boo boo”, it’s a big time mistake that you made. The attention of the decision YOU made just shows other victims and other, sadly, future victims and rapists that raping is okay. It shows that if you’re a rich white male, then it’s fine and you’ll get a sentence cut from 14 years to 6 months if you and your dad complain. What this shows is that even if someone has priors and the victim is UNCONSCIOUS, she’ll still be blamed, and justice will not prevail. Maybe you don’t understand because you don’t have a daughter. I understand trials and decisions are not supposed to be personally biased… but I feel like yours was anyway. Yours was biased towards the wrong side, though. I would like to think that you regret this choice and realize how stupid and unbecoming your “hooray for this case’s attention” statement was. However, at this point “sorry” doesn’t cut it. It won’t make up for this girl’s agony and it won’t stop the movement that is happening to end your position as a judge (and rightfully so). A rapist should never have a shorter sentence just because he may be traumatized or negatively affected by jail. Turner knew what he was doing. He is 20 years old. He is not a child. He raped a woman. He is getting away with a minor punishment. She is further hurt, and other victims are less likely to speak up because of this rekindled fear brought on by this case. Justice was not served, and it’s because of you and your decision. I’m glad we’re calling for a recall. If you want to look a little better in people’s eyes (since that seems to be what you really care about), just step down. Resign. Leave. Bye.

My hope is that everyone standing by this girl somehow works and gets her whatever justice could possibly be left. I hope that she sees we are on her side. I hope that other victims see we are on their side and will help them fight against the injustice that is the Turner men and Persky. I hope we never hear of cases and ruling like this again, however unlikely it may be. It is my hope.

When life gets confusing, change up your style

Maybe it seems strange to think that changing something is the answer to making life better, easier, or all around more bearable, but I think it might be. I’m not sure if there are any studies on the topic, but there really should be. Changing up your style when times get tough can give you the motivation/ confidence you need to change your life for the better- or just stop caring too much about the people or things that don’t deserve all that time you spend on them.

I can easily say that for a while, I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. It was always a lawyer, then suddenly psychology… but then what? What would I do with a degree in psychology? Was I going to graduate school? How about making more friends and staying in touch with the old? What about all of those exams coming up? Does any of it matter now that I had about a year of lost motivation resulting in less than satisfactory grades? As I sit here writing this, I tear up because I wish I had believed in myself more. I wish I had not lost that motivation to at least do well, even if I didn’t have a particular goal at the time. Now, is it too late? I hope not.

Though I can’t say I was clinically diagnosed, I strongly suspect I have at least mild depression, and social anxiety. Always more comfortable in my room, pleading not to be called on in class or make phone calls; even ordering my food (EVEN in a drive-through!!) was a challenge that usually stumped me. I would forget my name, my answer, my order, everything. I would turn bright red, probably sweat, stutter and have voice breaks. I would avoid confrontation to the point that if someone did something that upset me, I wouldn’t want to inconvenience them by saying anything. Honestly, if I were on the bus and no once pressed the button to stop at my stop, I would probably just get off at the next one even though it was a couple minutes walk further away, just because I won’t want to burden anyone else. Approaching people and initiating conversations was beyond me, as was raising my hand- no matter how sure I was of the answer.

Everything changed about a week ago after I dyed my hair. At first, I didn’t want to bleach the ends- what if it looked bad? So many things could go wrong and I was about to back out again, when I just thought about myself. I was in college, I had my life ahead of me and if this wasn’t the time to play with my looks then what was?? Hair just grows back, right? I brought out the bleach and I bleached the ends (pictures to come later) and I loved the way it looked!

It sounds silly, right? But I’m telling you, it helped me. I stepped out of my comfort zone with my hair (previously untreated, natural, virgin hair). Though it was a small thing, and everything changed for me within a month, or a couple of months, I really feel like I’ve come a lot closer to finding myself and maturing.  I’ve found myself approaching people more, stepping out of my comfort zone, initiating conversations with strangers. Overall, I feel like I am more confident, too. I’ve been getting compliments on my hair, on the way I’ve been carrying myself, and today, a boy actually caught up to me to deliver a pickup line (much appreciated, but not a priority at the moment, haha). I’ve figured out what I want to do, and am once again seriously looking into internships and undergraduate jobs. I want to do better. I have once again found a goal and the intrinsic motivation necessary to pursue it. One simple change instilled in me so much more confidence and motivation.

Sometimes, all you need is one small change and and everything else soon falls into place for the better. Things become much clearer, and you’re that much closer to finding yourself and finding your own path in this crazy life.

xoxo, Cat Anne

I Made A Blog?

I’m going to start out by saying that I don’t expect to have much of a fan/reader base for my blog. More or less, I made this blogging site in order to type out my thoughts and document my life as it changes and grows with me. If I’m being extra honest, many summer jobs and internships in today’s world focus on social media, blogging, and “vlogging”. I assumed tumblr wouldn’t be appropriate to put as my blogging site for potential employers, so Word Press will have to do!

 

To start out my real first post, I should probably start by saying I’ve recently made a few changes in my life that allow me to have a better control over my own self. I’ve found my own source of internal motivation, instead of trying to do well only because I don’t want to disappoint anyone. After struggling with depression for quite some time, I think I’ve finally started to overcome it and take my life back into my own hands. I always had the desire to major in psychology- it had always been so interesting, and such a compelling subject for me. I always had that desire to help people, and see the results firsthand. Now, I’ve decided to also minor in education. My mom is a teacher, and I love seeing the way her students change, how they lover her, and how she tries so hard in order to help them learn and develop. I’ve set up the goal of being a school psychologist, so I can have a hands on experience like that as well- with the added bonus that I’ve always liked working with kids.

I’ve been looking for summer internships for a few days, but my options seem really limited. I’m going to apply for whatever I can, though! Who knows? Maybe I’ll end up getting a really great opportunity when taking a chance like that! It’s a little hard since I’m still in college here at UC Davis, and I want the summer internship to be back home in San Marcos. Whatever I may have to do, I’m sure it will turn out for the best!

xoxo, Cat