Thursday, September 11, 2014

Voices of Escape

We all know that life can be busy. Everyday we are bombarded with something that needs to get done and it's easy to get caught up in the constant grind of our 9 to 5 jobs. Even after work we are still playing catch up with our deadlines that need to be met. We're always running around, whether it's around town, across the office, or throughout the house. Sometimes we're even whispering to ourselves about things that need to get done. Work literally consumes our lives.
Sometimes we all want to pull our hair out and break down and cry because of all the stress we deal with. I should know because I've been working over 50 hours this month and attend school as well.
But every once in while, it is essential to take some time for yourself, even if it's just for five minutes...because it's very easy to burn yourself out, and take that stress out on the people that are always there for you.
Even if it's just reading a couple of pages of that magazine or that book you've been dying to read. Some of my favorites are the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and Pride & Prejudice.
Set aside time for yourself and do what makes you happy.
Even if it's just getting up a little bit earlier in the mornings to send your kids off to school or see your significant other before they head off to work..
Or spoiling yourself with those shoes you've always wanted...
It could also be the little things like doing your own nails, finally taking a nice bubble bath or giving yourself a nice relaxing facial...
Or taking the time to pick out the perfect outfit for that dinner you've scheduled for later tonight.
Dressing up and putting yourself together instantly brightens your day and is also proven to boost your self confidence. I know that not everyone has the time or money to look nice everyday, but if you can find the time, spoil yourself when you can. Even in little ways.
For my downtime, I like to spend time with my dog Peaches. I try to take her everywhere I can. She is originally my grandmother's dog, so Peaches is very special to me. She represents a living memoir of the past, my companion for the present...and she'll always remind me what it's like to be unconditionally loved in the future whenever I feel alone...

Life is more than just making money and keeping busy with the bustle and hustle of it all. It's about spending time with loved ones, doing the things that enrich your soul and expand your mind, and taking care of yourself in the best way only you know how to.

Be Bold Be Brave Be Beautiful,

Love,


V

 

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Outfit Deets

Ruffled Cami, Top Shop

Floral Pants, Target

Pointy Flats, Chinese Laundry

Bag, Michael Kors

Ear Cuff, Urban Outfitters




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Make Love, Not War: Hiroshima Peace Garden

After exploring the whimsical Miyajima Island, it was time to head off to my next destination located in the city of Hiroshima, Japan. It was another long, yet comfortable train ride on the Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train).
I packed all of my things in my friend's fashionable bag that she had lent me. Sometimes an over sized bag is a necessity, and can be quite stylish too. I was also in a rush, so I kind of threw everything in.
Our youth hostel was 20 minutes away from an historic site known as Hiroshima's Peace Garden. For those of us who do not know the dark, decrepit history behind Hiroshima, it is quite sad and depressing to learn about. Long ago and far away in the era of 1945 during the final stages of World War II, the U.S. had made the decision to drop atomic bombs on the cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The very first site that we all witnessed upon arrival was this building. It is known as the last preserved remnants of the past that serves as a reminder of the tragedies that happened in 1945. Right away, I was hit with this instantaneous blow of sadness. I think we all were when we saw this building...
Even though I had not experienced what it was like to live during WWII in Japan, I had this bizarre feeling that this building right here was like a loop hole in time, in which I stepped into and experienced the pain, loss, life, and death of those who lived in Hiroshima during WWII.
The clock had rewinded itself and there I was, amongst the crowd of people running for their lives. The bomb had just been dropped...and immediately after it had emitted a mushroom cloud of poison, heat, debris, and radiation.
I could see fear in everyone's eyes, smell the poison leaking out every second from the bomb, feel the debris washing over my face and cloaking my entire body...I could hear their screams for help as I looked through pictures and artifacts of the past that had come to life right before my eyes...
"It's funny how things we haven't thought about in years, still have the ability to make us cry..." --Once Upon A Time
High radiation levels from the atomic bomb caused many health abnormalities including deformity, skin problems, and worst of all, leukemia.
Walking through Hiroshima's museum made made me think about the delicate balance of life and death, and how one decision can disrupt that entire balance. It also made me think about how precious, unpredictable, and short life really is...
 As I kept walking through the museum, and strolled passed countless sad stories about separated families, lost children, and unspeakable deaths...I unexpectedly found a story of hope. It was about a young Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki who had acquired leukemia.
Sadako's story stood out to me the most because even though many people knew during that time that leukemia was a death sentence, she never gave up on the hope that she would be healthy again. In order to make her wishes and hopes come true, she folded paper cranes. In Japanese culture, if you fold 1,000 paper cranes, your special wish will come true. Today, they are a symbol of peace and prosperity.
Sadako folded 3,000 paper cranes even when she was in her hospital bed. Her family and friends started to help her fold them too. She never once gave up on her wish, even when it was time for her to leave this earth.
I was sad to find out that she did not make it, but I was also inspired by her quiet strength and courage in the face of death. Many might think that how can folding paper cranes be inspiring? But it's more than just that. It's about the fact that she kept on living and hanging on to hope, even when there was none. Her death soon sparked a campaign to build a monument that represented world peace and all of the children's whose lives were lost during the war.
In the face of adversity, it's only human of us to want to give up, to be afraid, and to ultimately run away. It is also human to want to fight for the things we love, like fighting for our country, for our loved ones, for our health and safety...
 But it takes true courage to not be afraid and to not start a war, but to make peace with ourselves and others. We are then stronger than the power of 3,000 paper cranes carrying out our wishes, dreams, and hopes...because by doing so, we are able to grant our own wishes, chase our own dreams, and hang on to hope, even when we think all hope is lost.
Make love, not war.


Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Beautiful,

Love,

V