To Whom it May Concern…

Race

To whom it may concern,

Eight years ago on this day, I sat in my 7th grade homeroom class. We were all in our seats watching history take place. At the young age of 12, I didn’t know what was going on, to be honest, I was pretty bored but glad that we weren’t doing work. I never would have guessed that for the next 8 years I would grow to love and become inspired by that man on TV.obama-family-inauguration-big1.jpg

Yes, I am talking about President Obama, the people’s president, my president. I grew up watching this man and his family serve and run our great country with nothing but grace and dignity. I can remember wanting to be friends with Sasha and Malia, mostly because I wanted to see what the White House looked like, but now I genuinely would like to meet them.

Over these past eight years, I have grown into a young woman, I’ve graduated high school and completed half of my college career. Through all of that President Obama was there, not literally of course (I wish), but he was there. He was working on making this country an even better place for all of us to live and work in.

For the past eight years, I have not had to worry about the future of this country. I have been empowered and inspired to reach for my dreams because a nobody from the southside of Chicago, where half of my family is from, showed me that anything is possible.

January 19, 2017, will not be the last day for my president. Each and every day following I will continue to respect and honor the man that showed me that “yes we can.” Why do we need to bother making America great again? We are blessed to live in a country where we have the freedom to voice our opinion and worship whoever or whatever we feel like.

Could things be improved? Of course. Nothing is perfect, but that doesn’t mean we need to condemn our country and say it’s not great. If anything the Obama’s have shown us time and again that this country is awesome.  1280_obamas_october_cover-essence

I refuse to live these next four years in fear. I have learned a lot from the POTUS and FLOTUS and one thing we all need to remember is that when “they” go low, we go high. We can’t get sucked into this vortex of hate. We must rise above. We must fight to be heard.

“One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.” -Michelle Obama

I refuse to lose focus on my goals. I refuse to be silent. I will make an impact, whether it’s just within my circle of friends and family or within the community or God willing something larger than that. If we want change we must demand it.

We have to be smart. We must not be angry. We must present ourselves with the same amount of grace, dignity, and composure that the Obama’s showed us for the past eight years.

We can not get caught up in the theatrics of this new political system. We must continue educating ourselves. Educate yourself on things that interest you. Become involved within your community, speak up at school board meetings, town hall meetings. Write letters to your senators and representatives. Be active.

The worst thing we could do in these next four years is to become silent. President Obama and his family are not going to stop fighting, so why should we?

Sincerely,

Jasmine Conley
A millennial who will be heard

Distance Makes the Heart Grow… Stronger

My Journey

With the beginning of the New Year still fresh on everyone’s mind, I have decided to add something new to my “resolution” list. I think for this blog to be as awesome a10215906-202050554_1-s1-v1s I want it to be, I will need to become more transparent in what I am calling my journey.

I mean at the end of the day that is what this blog is about.. Jasmine’s Journey.. I am Jasmine so it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t share my entire journey with you all. So here we go.

Like most girls in their 20s, I have had a few crushes, and even a few relationships. This past one, I think, taught me the most lessons. When I say lessons I don’t just mean what I want in the next guy I date, I also mean the relationship taught me a little more about who I am.

After some thought, and time, I have decided to share my experience of a long distance relationship.

First, let me make this disclaimer, I am not against LDRs in any way. For some people it is unavoidable, and under the perfect circumstance, it can work out. Obviously, this post is about an LDR that did not work.

Lesson #1: Communication is Key
For starters, it is hard to make any relationship work if 90% of the communication is via text messages. I am a millennial and I will own up to that. Constantly texting your significant other is not healthy. Both parties need to be open to other forms of communication, and if your SO isn’t willing, or makes it seem like too much of a hassle to talk on the phone or FaceTime, then that should be red flag #1.

The key to making any LDR successful is communication. I can say that is something my LDR lacked. Even though we texted all day every day, we hardly ever really communicated.

In all future relationships, romantic or not, I am going to make an effort to always have a good line of communication.

Lesson #2: Nevgetting-over-it-quotes-get-over-it-quotes-letting-go-and-moving-on-quote-move-on-its-just-a-chapter-in-the-past-but-dont-close-the-book-just-turn-the-pageer Settle
Another issue I found with my LDR is that the entire relationship was always an LDR. We never had a chance to live near each other and just experience what a normal relationship was like… actually no I take that back, we had one summer when we both stayed in the Little Rock area, but that was after we had already been “dating” for months. Then, once summer was over we went right back to our LDR for the next year and a half.

I knew my personality wasn’t up for something like that, but I kept saying once we graduate it will get better. When I would say that, though, I didn’t realize I was settling on my dreams. Never settle.

I have always been a big dreamer, and I’ll be honest some of my dreams are pretty unrealistic, but I don’t want anything, or anyone to hold me back from at least attempting them.

I’m 20, basically 21 now, I’m too young to just sit down and commit to one thing for the rest of my life. This is the only chance in life we get to go out and explore and travel and do all the things we won’t be able to do once we get an established career and family.

Final Thoughts:
Now I was not the one to end the relationship. I was willing to hold on and see what happened once we both graduated, but by him deciding to end things, my life has honestly gotten better. I have nothing against him, but I have realized that by holding on to him, and our relationship, so tight, I was missing out on things that were happening right in front of me.

LDRs are hard. I will always admit and own up to that fact. The people that say LDRs are easy are liars. It wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that I became aware of the stress that the relationship put on me.

But I am thankful for the relationship. He served a purpose for a time in my life, and I appreciate that. I also learned a lot about myself and grew, not only from the experience but from the heartbreak.

Even though this past relationship didn’t end in marriage, I grew, and to me, that makes for a good relationship. I hope you all don’t feel like this is too personal. I want this blog to be a true reflection of my journey, and my journey isn’t going to be all rainbows and sunshine, sometimes there will be clouds and rain.