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Defending Disney

I hate seeing pictures and hearing girls’ comments about how Disney deceived them for life by telling them that every girl will get their prince charming. Disney didn’t deceive anyone, at least… Not the way you would initially think.

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Upon seeing this, as a girl who was raised on these movies, who BEGGED for the VHS ( do you guys remember those? They were like black bricks and you put them in the thing. Nothing was more tragic then when your player ate the film inside?) of Sleeping Beauty, knew all the words to all the songs in The Little Mermaid.
When I saw this, my entire childhood shattered.
Until I realized how one-sided this picture is.

In the words of Walt Disney, about Cinderella to start with, “She believed in dreams all right, but she also believed in doing something about them. When Prince Charming didn’t come along, she went over to the palace and got him.”
Because more then one person needs to put in the effort for a happy ending.

Or Belle. Who doesn’t save the beast’s life with her sexual interest as the picture depicts. He is saved by her love.
Because you need to love and be loved for a happy ending.

While Ariel’s story in the picture is quite true, she had changed her appearance to win the affections of the prince, paying the price of her voice. The part about her having nothing valuable to say…Well I just don’t think that’s right.
Oh! But before we think that Ariel is totally helpless, lets remember she saved Prince Eric’s life not once, but twice. Once while he is drowning, and once more as he is about to marry Vanessa/Ursula.
Eric suspects that she’s (Ariel) is the one that saved him as he meets her on the shore, but quickly disregards said suspicion because she can’t talk.
You know, because you have to talk to be able to swim and save someone from drowning right? Right? Sorry this guy’s kinda a moron. But that’s neither here nor there.
She sacrifices her tail and voice to be with Prince Eric. And proves perfectly capable without them, so long as she has her friends, and saved him from Vanessa/Ursula’s grip.
Point being, every happy ending costs something. You can’t get there without sacrificing.
Also, you can do anything with your friends. We-as humans- were not MADE to journey alone.

Jasmine, from the get go, was angered that people were treating her like a trophy. Alladin had to win her heart, she didn’t just throw herself at him.
Sleeping Beauty and Snow White weren’t saved by their physical appearance. Snow White was saved by her compassion for others ( in her case, the Dwarves), and Sleeping Beauty had a spell casted over her where she would sleep. So what the hell was she going to do? SOMEONE had to go get her, might as well be the Prince. If he didn’t go through the thorns and slay the dragon…Well then he wouldn’t have deserved a girl like her.
Actually Sleeping Beauty and Snow White is kinda where this arguement falls short because I hadn’t cared for either of those movies when I was younger, but the point is:
You have to respect yourself to get to a happy ending.

Disney deceived no one. Stop blaming multi-billion dollar franchises for your lack of dates and focus on something other then boys. All of these girls knew that one day they would fall in love, and they didn’t toss themselves at everyone until they found Mr. Right. Cinderella cared for her friends, Belle read books, Ariel was fascinated by human life, Jasmine had a f*cking tiger so if that’s not some form entertainment I don’t know what is. Princess Tatiana even had a GOAL that didn’t involve getting married. In fact, she even cared about hygiene, she  definitely didn’t want to kiss that frog.

Oh, not to mention that nothing that comes out of Disney is original, all their movies are based off of books and folk tales. But it’s easier to just point one finger, I guess. That’s a whole different playing field.

Late Night Musings: Who Are You Changing For?

People don’t tend to realize this, but loneliness…It’s underrated. Severely so. We, as people, don’t like to be alone. Just the term itself can make some of us feel instantly depressed, just a little at the least.
But, the way I see it…The only reason anyone would dislike being alone is because they don’t like who they’re alone with.
Because then, there’s nothing to distract you from your own thoughts.
Your own fears.
Your own guilt.
Your secrets.
Your uncertainty.
And all the things that keep you up at night.
We truly are our own worst enemies.

Lately- and I suppose I use the term loosely- it’s felt like the whole world was falling apart, that hardly anything adds up to something steady and I… Well I’ve never really had a clue what to do. So I overcompensate with silly things. Acting obnoxious at any given social gathering, making bad jokes, diving into work projects (such as theater) -some of which I hadn’t shown any interest in before (such as mock trial)- and most of these remunerations involve being around other people.

Concisely, I really like myself alone. I wouldn’t say it’s exactly a trait i have that is reverse of most people, because I still have to sit and solve all the same troubles I mentioned above, but not feeling the need to make restitution outweighs said anxieties by far.

I’ve noticed that all of my written works reflect an entirely different person then the ashli jade that most people are accustomed to and I guess that’s the most concrete proof of this concept.

Maybe that’s the case with a lot of people.

The question is: Why are we afraid to be our ‘alone’ self in a social gathering? What are we hiding behind, and more importantly… why?

Hello Sunshine: 5 Simple Rules for Living Happy

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Are you feeling drop-dead exhausted? Easily annoyed? Are you eating like crazy? Sounds a lot like a certain-time-of-the-month, but if this sort of thing is more common then your monthly friend, you could be battling the blues.

The ugly truth is that the United States has become a drug-dependent nation. Pharmaceutical companies and hospitals work together to convince you that you need drugs to balance you out, rather then actually pin-pointing the problem and helping you. Research from just last year shows that approximately 18.8% people have “mental disorders” such as depression, and the percentage keeps climbing up. And “victims’ on anti-depressant often continue having to fight being depressed.

Because a chemical isn’t going to make you any happier then material things. Just like you would own a lot of stuff and still feel nothing inside, you would have chemicals pumping through veins and only have a false sense of true happiness. Life is too short to live under an illusion of any kind.

1. Free your heart from hatred

I strongly believe that no one, absolutely no one, has any excuse to hate anyone, and keep hatred in their heart.

In college, a woman by the name of Jennifer Thompson had been raped at knifepoint by a man who had broken into her off-campus apartment as she slept. Unable to escape, she made it a point to remember what he looked like, so she could give the police a description and this man could harm no one ever again. Later in the investigation in a photography line-up, she identified a man who worked nearby as her attacker. And chose him again in a suspect line-up.

Throughout the trial, and even during his time in prison, Ronald insisted that he was innocent and that Jennifer was mistaken. After eleven years- as DNA tests were becoming more popular in investigations-Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test and prove his innocence and that the attacker was a man he had actually met while in prison, by the name of Bobby Brown ( who had even confessed to raping Jennifer while he was in prison). Two years later, Jennifer and Ronald met face to face. This man came face to face with the woman who had taken eleven years of his life, if anyone has any rational reason to hate someone, it was him. But he looked right her and told her ” I forgive you.”

This man , without a moment’s hesitation, told this woman that he forgave her when she asked to meet him face to face, when he had good reason not to, after being wrongly stripped away from his family and life…This is a story with a lesson we can all apply to our own lives.

It takes up so much of our energy to hate someone, and has hating someone ever, once, led to a solution to a problem? Has it made you feel any better?

2. Free your mind from worries

This is most common on Sundays, which is why they (whoever they are) so cleverly named it ‘ The Sunday Blues’. You know the feeling, when Sunday rolls around and you’re thinking about the week ahead of you. Work and school. Deadlines and tests. Meetings. Whatever your shpeel is. All that’s running through your head is a week’s worth of to-do lists. And guess what, it entirely ruins your Sunday? Even if you take a break from gearing up for the week that’s waiting, you’re mind is still occupied with worry.

But worries don’t have a calendar. This isn’t to indicate that you only feel worried on Sundays. I understand stressing for weeks over midterms. Debt. Relationships. Life in general. It’s absolutely draining, isn’t it? You might not be entirely happy with you situation and whole-heartedly crave a change of scenery. You might feel stuck in a rut. So for days when you’re feeling particularly anxious, I recommend the following:

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Do something fun. Put on your favorite music and dance, indulge in something yummy and don’t think even once about the calories. Whatever tickles you pink, make it a point to do.

Remove ass from computer chair. I’m dead serious. Go for a walk around the office, or to the park. Take a bubble bath, cook something tasty, go window shopping. Something away from you computer, leave your cell phone at home, turn off the tv, and if you’re the kind of person that absolutely HAS to check their email or facebook every hour, you better leave that itouch with your cell phone. Take a break from anything with a screen, basically, and renew your spirit.

Live ideally. There’s a popular quote floating around the interwebs, that being happy all the time doesn’t make you human, it makes you a game show host. Ridiculously true, but if you find yourself consistently unhappy, you might actually need to pursue a change of scenery. This doesn’t mean flip your life upside down tomorrow (such a change can actually make you even more upset), but start planning and turn the leaf over gradually. Write down your goals and dreams and take it one step at a time to see them come true.

3. Live simply.

Clear your clutter and the complexity. Differentiate between your needs and you wants. Do you really need the ten million inch super HD tv that comes with built in blue ray and surround sound and even a built in espresso machine? Or do you just need something to keep you stimulated when you get home? It’s the difference between watching tv and reading book. Going on some extravagant outing with your friends or getting together for a nice chat? Building relationships with other people and making memories of those crazy nights. Which will leave you more satisfied at the end of the day?

There are plenty of natural ways and just simple things you can do to beat the blues without popping open a single lid of Prozac. It’s all about breaking the illusion and truly, honestly being happy.

Memento Mori: Remember Your Mortality

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Carpe Diem. We know what that means, don’t we? Not too long ago there was another Miseducated article on the subject.

The funny thing about that phrase is that I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone follow it with memento mori, which is latin for ” remember that you are mortal.” We know that Carpe Diem means ‘ Seize the day’. While in our minds, we know we should do so because we don’t have very many days on this earth. But in our hearts, we hear the phrase and feel carefree, with overflowing life. Memento mori brings you back to remember why you should carpe diem to begin with.

You’re only young once. You’ll regret what you didn’t do more than anything. Live each day as though it was your last. We’ve all heard it too often to count. But so many of us continue to sit and wait for life to happen. For today to happen. The thing is that those things don’t just happen. Oh no, you have to happen, and everything else will follow.

Once before, I wrote that ” the days we spend here can become quite monotonous, and life in itself can stop being extraordinary and full of sharp twists and turns, and rather just seem like some tedious chore, and we all start suffering from ‘the waiting room syndrome’. ”

Upon re-reading, the first thought that came to mind was whether or not you suffer from ‘waiting room syndrome’ relies entirely on yourself. Whether or not things happen in your life is entirely up to you. Your experiences, whether or not opportunities present themselves, are all entirely up to you.

A friend of mine said it best, using his recent experiences behind the wheel as an analogy. ” I’m tired of it. Driving only focused on the destination is the most exhausting way to (live). Every focus on where I am going, but nothing about what is around me. It’s an annoying cliche’, but I feel I must refocus myself.”

Stated simply, the journey between where you are and where you’re going is just as significant, if not more so, as your ultimate destination. Much like driving. You get in your car with one obvious goal, to go somewhere. The, equally as obvious, but much less addressed, second goal is to not crash on your way there. If you crash, you probably won’t end up where you set out to go. You have to pay attention to the cars, the lights, the signs, the speed limit. But you also have the time talk with passengers, listen to some music, think.

Likewise with life, you don’t want to crash. You’ve got long term goals, a five year plan of things you want to see yourself accomplish. But you have to make use and enjoy the time in between, and focus on what’s going on right now.

Stay Gold Forever: Lessons in Business and the State of Being

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When I was about fifteen, my father had this great idea that would turn me into the business prodigy that he had so desperately wanted me to be: To start a record label. I was very involved in music, and he had figured that it would have been perfect. I spent months reading business books and books specifically about one starting a record label, only to quit the project and head into an entirely new direction (one of the best descisions I have ever made in my entire life) months later.
Nonetheless, here are some things that I had learned whilst trying to get this independent music empire up and running, and I believe sincerely that these lessons can be applied to life in general and have a positive effect.

That’s My Story, and I’m Sticking To It

When I tell people how something happened (ex. How did you and your boyfriend meet? Is an easy example) , I want to feel good about it. I don’t want to have to feel like I have to paint a different picture to get the approval of who I’m telling, there shouldn’t be a detail to hide. You have to live a story that you’ll be proud to tell in the future.

Don’t Lose Yourself

It’s human nature. When you factor things down to their purest form, the only thing you really have, to hold on to forever and no one can ever take it, is what you think about yourself. Who you know yourself to be. And you must maintain your sense of yourself at all costs. Because your self-image is always going to be what you base your descisions off of, and if you compromise that, you’ve lost.

At the end of the day, don’t only ask:
How much money did I make?
How much work did I get done?
but also ask yourself:
What did I get out of it?
because in everything you do, there’s an image of yourself and the feeling associated with what you’re trying to achieve.

Avoid the Trap

Define who you know yourself to be.
Define who it is that you would like to be.
And define what it is you wish to be known for.

Those three things are your own personal rules of thumb. And it’s rather difficult, but beneficial, not to contradict them.

I do sincerely feel that by applying these little bits of knowledge to your life, you’ll come to a full understanding of why you want to do what you want to do, and therefore take a huge step forward on your everlasting journey to self discovery.

Three Things That Aren’t Worth Crying About and Why

“Your To-Do List, is crying on there? If not then get busy.”
– Glamour Magazine

I truly cannot even begin to tell you how many times I’ve crumbled under the weight of all of the things I scribbled on my on-going ‘to-do list.’ It seemed like my life was run by a piece of scratch paper folded in my pocket. We know that it’s common, that it happens to all girls, but that doesn’t lighten the load in the slightest.

Well, not too long ago, someone mentioned something called a ‘Get To-Do List.’ Self explanatory, writing down all of the things that we get to do. And it definitely helps put your priorities in place and appreciate all of things that you get, and unknowingly take for granted.

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Get To-Do List

1. Go to the gym
Because: I have working legs and arms I get to work out.
Because: Nothing health-wise prevents me from working out. Some people don’t have limbs to run with or arms to lift weights with. I’m so glad I’ve been blessed with this opportunity.
2. Clean the house
Because: I’m fortunate enough to have a roof over my head, a house to clean and things to clean up.
3. Finish that term paper
Because: I’m fortunate enough to be able to get an education. Most of the people in the world don’t get to go to school and learn things. Even though it’s not always the most interesting way to spend my time, an education is such a precious privilege of mine.
4. Do laundry
Because: I have clothes and things to wash those clothes in. Some people wear rags. Or nothing.

See the difference between this and your regular list?

Boys (or Girls). Period.

We’ve all done it., sobbed into our pillow because a boy (or girl) broke our heart. Your chest literally hurts. And as cliché as it sounds, the truth is that it’s never ever worth it.

If he completely rejects you, then it’s probably for the best. Does it hurt to feel rejected? Certainly. But it hurts so much more to be in a one-sided relationship, or to be used. Besides, he’s obviously not worth it if he can’t even see what a wonderful pair you two would make like you do. That being said, there are most certainly cases where said boy is genuinely looking out for the best interest of everyone involved. Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, the boy says so not because the attractions not there, but because he knows he’s not ready and it’s not fair to either of you to pursue a relationship. Point being, if he’s straightforward and honest, it may hurt, but it’s no reason to cry. Shake it off, it happens to everyone.

If he leaves you for another (yes, even your best friend)/cheated on you, definitely not worth the water works. Why would you cry over someone so immature and downright cruel? No one like that should have power over how you feel. And as for the girl, should she be someone close to you, she obviously doesn’t have concern for your feelings, and youmight want to reevaluate your friendship.

If you never got your chance with him, there’s probably a reason for that. While I do believe that there are ” ones who got away”, I also believe in fate, and that it will eventually bring you to whoever you belong with when you are both ready. So if you feel like you never had a shot, maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe you should direct your focus elsewhere and wait for fate to take it’s course.

Spilled Milk

If you can’t fix it, there’s a reason for that. Move on and look toward the future.

Find Out What You Really Want

Have you ever walked to the ocean, when no one else was in sight? The seagulls aren’t even awake yet and all you hear is the roar of waves crashing against the rocks? The sand is still cold because the sun has yet to emerge from the horizon, the sky is still gray. All you hear is that deep, rolling thunderous noise of the tide coming in.

And all you can think is “Woah.”

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Because you see, with your own two eyes, just how big the ocean is. That it’s so much larger then you originally thought. Sure, textbooks may have taught you that our Earth is mostly water, but now you’ve seen it.

I definitely had my own, ocean-sized ‘Woah’ moment last night.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ashli Jade, I’m an on-again-off-again blogger living in the suburbs, which has led to several cases of same-house-syndrome ( Ever walked into one that wasn’t yours?) as well as- in combination with other things going on- mild and moderate depression.

My parents had met in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The second most populous city in the state and you still have to drive an hour to Denver if you want to do something worth your time. They married shortly after I was born, and soon after a separation between the two landed myself, my newborn brother, and my mother in Sacramento, California with a strange old woman who smelled of something she called ‘spinach’ and hung lowercase Ts in every room and made us touch our foreheads, chests, and shoulders before eating ( I would later learn that she was my grandmother).

Eventually, a divorce was issued, which brings us to them now living on opposite sides of the same street and me not remembering a time when they were together. You’d think, after sixteen-seventeen years I would have gotten over the fact that I never really had a family. That I would have found some way to cope after all that time. But the truth is what I didn’t know what a family was, or what I was missing. I had been under the impression that what had happened was what was supposed to happen ( Don’t get me wrong. Both my mom and my dad are amazing people and we love each other very much and so on and so forth.)

The shocking thing was, as I got older and became more associated with other people and their families, and saw what they all had in common that mine didn’t ( ” You eat Thanksgiving dinner together?”), I never really became resentful toward the situation, sometimes upset, but strangely never bitter towards them. And that’s where our story begins.

For as long as I could remember, I’ve had one mission and one mission only: Get a boyfriend. In second grade, all I wanted was a boyfriend, and the same goes throughout the years until about midway through my sophomore year of high school. As I continued getting older, the obsessive goal had become more and more intricate. Suddenly, I didn’t just want a boyfriend, I wanted a high school sweetheart who I would get married to and we could have a healthy relationship and nothing would ever go wrong.

Crazy thing was I never really got one. Of course there had been flings here and there, but I was far too picky. No one that crossed my path lived up to the ridiculous expectation.

But never once did I question why I had wanted it so badly. Yes, all my friends were always in loving relationships, but they all also had horrible piercings and self-done tattoos and I didn’t want any of those.

Last night, something came to the surface. It was never about having a date on Friday night. It was never about just having a boyfriend, that’s not what I wanted. I had wanted my own family. My own family to have holiday dinners. My own family to sit with at church. My own family.

Currently, do I know that I have a family? Yes. Did I have to date someone to find these wonderful people? Absolutely not.

But that it isn’t the point of this.

The point is that sometimes, if not all the time, we need to ask ourselves why. If we don’t, we may spend our lives trying to accomplish something that isn’t worth our time, nor is it what we really want. Because if you don’t ask why, by the time you realize that that what you’re really striving for isn’t what you want, but the feeling associated with it, you will have already wasted to much time and energy you could have put into doing something you love.

Money, fame, significant others, luxury items…They don’t emanate some healing force that magically cures unhappiness or illness. They don’t make you young and full of energy.

Ask yourself why, and keep asking yourself why you want what you want, why you’ do the things you do, and eventually you’ll come to the bottom line find feelings that you’ve been chasing, and you can decide whether or not it’s worth going after. Or if you’re going after it the right way.