The Bright Side

Spruce Street, Philadelphia

I’ll be completely honest: almost nothing I had hoped for this past week went as planned. Quality time with friends and lots of girl talk and comfort food has been a big help. And since my vote can’t do all the talking, I’m letting my wallet do the talking too. Some great organizations that I’ve been donating to:

City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, because I believe in a free press. (More on why you should invest in journalism here.)

Planned Parenthood, because I believe in affordable access to quality healthcare.

Human Rights Campaign, because I believe in LGBTQ equality.

International Rescue Committee, because I believe in an America that is a beacon of hope across the world.

RAINN, because I believe in the survivors of sexual violence.

If anything, this week has taught me two things: we need more compassion, and we need to fight for what we believe in. What do you believe in?

~ Sarah

P.S. Back to more light-hearted posting tomorrow.

Things I Need To Tell You About, Vol. 1

Borrowing this from Kayla, and popping in because I have some things I want to chat about.

It’s Election Day.

Can you believe it? I’ve known that I was voting for Hillary since the day she announced her candidacy, but I am exhausted. It’s mostly an emotional thing, because this has been such an ugly election cycle. I know we say that every 4 years in America, but I think we really mean that this time. Last night, the Clintons and the Obamas had a rally on Independence Mall in Philly. The mall fits tens of thousands and they weren’t scheduled to speak until around 8 p.m., so I thought I would just wait in line for an hour or so and be fine. Well… I ended up walking almost two miles just to find the end of the line. I didn’t come close to getting to see them speak, but the atmosphere was still incredible, even neighborhoods away. (You can read more about the rally here.) It was the first time in weeks I felt good about the election, and I’m looking forward to casting my ballot tonight. If you still need to find your polling place, you can do so here.

Accessory of the day. #primaryday #ivoted #hevotado

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I’m going to see some college football.

I’m an obsessive Miami Hurricanes football fan, because I’m both a proud Miamian and a masochist. They play at UVA this Saturday, and you better believe I will be there. The last time I saw the Hurricanes play was at Boston College in 2012 (and I haven’t seen them in Miami since 2008!). It’s going to be a fun atmosphere, because few things are better than tailgating and football. I’m also excited to get a taste of a different part of the country for a weekend, since I’ve never really been to Virginia (outside the D.C. area).

My mom moved here!

I alluded to this in a recent post, but after a little more than a year in Colombia, my mom moved back stateside! Even better, her new home is in the Philly area, so now I see her all the time. I haven’t lived in the same state as my mom since I was 19, so it’s fun to watch television and go shopping together again. I’m also not mad that neither of us have to get on a plane to spend the holidays together. Another bonus? Getting some cuddles in with Lucy, our family dog since I was 16.

Fall princess. 🍂#puplucita

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This October was perfection.

I usually am not a fan of fall. The weather is confusing and once the time changes, I’m basically moody until late February. However, we had so many sunny, dry this October that I was actually able to enjoy fall. I went to a couple of weddings, went to a cider festival (an annual tradition with my friends from Fordham) and explored a nature preserve outside Philly. It’s been awesome getting in lots of quality time with the wonderful people I call my friends, and I hope to keep it up before the cold really hits.

Fall television.

Shows I’m watching and enjoying: Pitch and Conviction. (Seriously, you should be watching Pitch. I can’t even explain why I watch Conviction, but it helps me miss Castle less.) Show that I’m watching just for Laurie Hernandez: Dancing with the Stars. Shows on my list that I probably won’t get to anytime soon: This Is Us, Atlanta and Jane the Virgin (I know, I know). Netflix show I will binge watch on Black Friday: Gilmore Girls, because obviously.

So that’s it for me today! What have you been up to? Anything you need to tell me about?

~ Sarah

P.S. I’m also a fan of email, so always feel free to send those my way!

Orlando

Well, we made it to Friday after a hell of a week. Every time I have started writing this post in my head, I have emotionally exhausted myself and tried to put the thoughts aside. I’m an emotional, sensitive person, but I try to keep this space positive. However, it is ultimately my space, and since I process things best by writing, I’m going to write what I want when I want. Just like I did after Aurora. And Virginia. And now Orlando.

This isn’t about me, but I don’t think it’s out of the ordinary to relate to some tragedies more than others. Newtown. Boston. Charleston. San Bernardino. These all hurt, but some hit closer to home for some people than others. That’s Orlando for me. I grew up three hours away and have many happy memories there. It’s a city of joy and escape for millions. And now all I can think of is the terror.

And the victims. The names, the faces, so many sound and look familiar because they were part of one of my communities, the greater Latinx community. This was a hate crime on multiple levels. But what all the victims had in common — Latinx, black or white, LGBTQIA or ally — is that they had gone out for a night of dancing and fun and the freedom to be themselves. How could there be so much anger and hate over love?

That is something I don’t understand, and I don’t want to understand.

Here is what I understand: I am heartbroken. I am tired. I am angry.

I am heartbroken for what the victims, the survivors and their loved ones have lost. Their lives will never be the same. I am heartbroken that a place of safety and acceptance was exploited.

I am tired of seeing these stories in the news, only for them to fade the headlines within days. I am tired of people staying silent.

I am angry with politicians who send their “thoughts and prayers” instead of springing into action. I am angry with politicians who actively work to limit the rights of LGBTQ people, as well as other minorities. I am angry that people continue to perpetuate hate, instead of fighting for love and equality.

Enough has been enough has been enough.

I hope that there will finally be some action, instead of empty words. I am tired of waiting. I hope other people out there are also tired of waiting. I’m passionate, but I don’t want to tell you what to think. That’s not my place. But if you’re also passionate about these issues, do your research. Get involved. If we and our elected officials don’t do anything about this, it sends the message that we’re ultimately okay with this. And guess what? I’m not. I am tired of this. This is not what I want my country to look like. But I truly think it’s the realist in me that believes love always overcomes hate.

Arya was featured in the Philly PAWS 2016 Calendar for June, Pride Month.
Arya was featured in the Philly PAWS 2016 Calendar for June, Pride Month.

~ Sarah