I hope this keeps you warm

I never want this feeling to go away, this feeling of pure joy and love. This feeling of understanding and respect. This feeling of happiness. This feeling of being, no matter which form I choose. This feeling makes the world feel a lot better. This feeling of abundant love and peacefulness. I never want to let go of this feeling. I’ve been on this high and pure happiness for sometime now. It’s not because anything drastic and significant changes have happened, its just that the universe has placed me in some of the most warm places, with the most kind-hearted people. Everything in my life makes sense now, and continuing to make sense.

When you want to break down, and quit, don’t. When you have given it your all over and over again despite seeing results, and you are tired of going forward, don’t stop moving forward. When you’re confused and sad, and feeling like your efforts aren’t being appreciated, know that it will be appreciated in no time. When you feel like you haven’t been acknowledged and all you feel is this loneliness crawling all over you, know that there is someone out there, just waiting to meet you. When you’ve gone to the other end of the world trying to desperately find something, and you end up disappointed, keep going until you find what you’re looking for, better yet question yourself what you are looking for in the first place. When you’ve used all of your energy and you just feel drained, know that if you just keep going one more day, you’ll be a step ahead from where you were yesterday and you’ve already made one step forward towards the right direction.

It’s actually true when I say that you shouldn’t question your journey until you reach your destination. You shouldn’t doubt yourself until you are at the finish point. You shouldn’t think its too late to start something, because you only have one life to live and you should  aim to live one hell of a life anyways . I genuinely don’t think life matters at all, it does matter, but it doesn’t matter how we think it matters. What matters is what you felt and how you were able to feel throughout the process. It may feel like its the most important thing when its happening in the present moment, but after it happens, its only a particle of memory that we take away with us. What truly matters the most is how easy we’ve lived, how gentle we were with others, the everlasting memory we’ve left on others, and how we were able to forgive and let go so beautifully.

So as Oprah would say, live your BEST life. Live it with the most that you have. Give the best that you can. Receive great energy and great people from the universe. Make sure that life is giving you what you asked, and go towards that direction without questioning the authenticity of time, and only acknowledging time for what it is. Don’t think too deeply about it, take a leap of faith, dive in and live. Connect with those that you feel understand you, love you and honor you. Be in those places where you feel welcomed and receive an abundance of love and support. Be in those circles you never want to get out of because the feeling is too awesome and it makes you question how lucky you were to get in that circle to begin with.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

Loving you

Loving you is

butterflies in my stomach…

holding you all night long…

never wanting you to leave…

Loving you is

kissing you on your neck…

caressing your thighs…

rubbing your hair…

Loving you is

seeing the universe inside of you

missing you for hours when you’re gone

embracing your curves

Loving you is

witnessing the beauty in your eyes

wanting the best for you in every way

pushing you to your highest potential

Loving you is

loving myself

embracing myself &

honoring myself…

Loving you

made it feel okay again

Loving you

gave me permission to love again

I’m happy we crossed paths.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

 

 

 

Are you striving to be better?

It takes a lot trying to be better. You have to have the magnitude and the drive to be better. Not many people want or desire to be better, and that is okay. For me, being better has always been something I’ve strived for. I love seeing improvements in myself. It doesn’t matter how big or small, improvements in my life have always given me a sense of living and feeling. Ever since I was in middle school, I’ve always looked back in my life and analyzed where I’ve been in life compared to where I was in that moment. I guess, this drive and magnitude of living has always forced me to be better.

When I say being better, I mean being better in terms of my reactions, feelings, attitudes and chasing purposes. Many people confuse being better with “looking better”, and that could very well be the case but not necessarily. Being better doesn’t also mean possessing material objects in this case. I’m specifically discussing feelings, emotions and a balanced sense of life. For example, in the past few months I’ve been trying to be better by not wanting to have control over everything. Truth is, I don’t have control over everything. The only person I have control over is me, my feelings, my attitude and sense of living, I used to want to control every aspect of life without realizing life’s outcomes could look like a million things and the only control I have is being better equipped of dealing with them.

Another way I’ve been trying to be better is through controlling my words. I started learning what to say and when to say it. Words really do have power and I started learning that through my words, I can change my own reality as well as the reality of others. It’s very important to be careful of what we are saying to others. I’ve always loved expressing myself but I’ve been monitoring in how I’m expressing myself lately. I’m mindful that I express myself without being offensive to others, without having the intention to hurt others, and most importantly I express myself to make an impact and not tear others down.

Aside from my words, the best way I’ve been learning to be better is by controlling my moods. I used to react to situations very easily. I used to be one of those people who had to distance myself from situations in order not to react. I’ve learned that I don’t have to necessarily distance myself from others in order not to have a reaction. It’s good to distance yourself from people and reality that is no longer serving positivity in your life, but it’s also good to know how to deal with those situations you can’t really distance yourself from. It’s always good to be equipped with the skills you need not to give everything in your life a reaction. Every aspect of life doesn’t deserve your reaction, affecting your moods as a result. Somethings just happen for no absolute reason and its better to leave them just the way they are, without being heavily affected by them. I’ve learned its always a choice.

Not saving others is another way I’ve been able to be better.  Like I mentioned previously, I used to want to control every aspect of life, and change people’s circumstances or situations as a result. Every single injustice used to bother me until I realized, yes people have the power to change their circumstances, but I can’t change it for them nor can I save them. Everyone has to want to make those changes for themselves or should have the choice to live life the way they see fit for that matter. This has helped in making me a better person tremendously. It required a lot of effort because of my strong willed personality, but I’ve learned to let people live their journeys as well as be okay with mine.

Finally, I was able to be better by having the power to say “no” without any single explanation. This made me better because it helped me in standing up for myself and the person that I am. I used to do things just because everyone else did them. Now, I’m not afraid to stand by myself being the way I am and excited as a result.

Navigating life’s ways is not always easy. Actually, it’s never easy. Learning how to be better and holding oneself accountable is also not easy. Cheers to those of us who try to be better everyday, thus making this world we live in a better place. I do realize this world is a combination of all things happening in chains and magnitudes, I know that my actions, attitudes, and way of living never fails to make an impact.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

 

The Art of Letting Go

I have learned recently how important it is to let go. Just simply letting go. It doesn’t matter if they were happy times or sad times, it feels good to let go and move on. The topic of letting go and moving on can be a bit sensitive for some people. Some people haven’t learned how to do that. Some people need to learn how to do that. Sadly to say, I used to be one of those people. I held on to things, people, memories and feelings more than I would have liked to. I just couldn’t let things go. It may be because of how I grew up and how I interacted with others. It may be because of the type of behavior I saw exhibited towards me, It may be because of a million and one things, but the point is that I held on, held on too much, held on for too long, held on when it was sad, held on when it was happy, held on for no reason, just held on.

It was when I started realizing that holding on to things and not letting go was hindering me from my ability to have fun and live life.  I wasn’t able to live in the present. I was always living in some kind of a world, where the past was somehow more important to me than what was happening in the present moment. The past was somehow more magical and had more meaning because I could never go back. The fact that it already happened made it more attractive to me, instead of what was happening right there at the present moment. Holding on became a way I knew how to cope. I didn’t know any other way. I didn’t start questioning this way of living until everything that I knew bursted right there on my face and I had to create new and healthy ways of coping.

It wasn’t until I was hurt badly by people I didn’t expect that I knew that holding on was no longer serving me. It wasn’t until things became too much for me to handle that I truly questioned that my coping mechanisms were unhealthy and desperately needed to change. It wasn’t until I started experiencing things I never thought I would that I started to learn that these things were going to keep happening because, well duh, life, and I needed a better way to deal. This was when the magic of letting go happened. I started letting shit go.

That time when I was only 12 years old and I wanted to play with these groups of kids and I didn’t get to, I let it go. That time my friend couldn’t give me a ride home despite the fact that it was 9pm simply because she didn’t want to, I let it go. That time I felt I wasn’t good enough to be apart of a summer program I really wanted to be apart of simply because they didn’t want me there, I let it go. That time when I didn’t have the energy to leave my bed because all of the sadness that I could imagine was in my heart, I let it go. That time when my friend broke my heart because she told me she didn’t want me in her life anymore, I let it go. That time when I wasn’t given acknowledgement for a superb job I did despite the fact that I did it so well, I let it go. That time, that time and that time. I let all of the times go.

I lived my best life in all of those times to the best of my knowledge. I lived in the best ways I knew how. I loved in all the ways my heart knew how. I can’t lament on those moments any longer. I can’t devour those moments any longer. They are gone. They are gone. They are gone. They have disappeared into thin air and became sweet and not-so-sweet memories. They will sure add on to all of my crazy, great, beautiful, and lovely experiences and will shape my life the way they’re supposed to. After I started letting it all go, it became easier, life felt good again, great people started walking into my life and blessed me with their ease. I became gentle with myself, kinder with myself, loving myself and, here I am now embracing all of my past, living all of my present and, hoping the best for all of my future. The art of letting go is truly a beautiful one. Please do it.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

Women and Owning Our Sexual Freedom

It’s not without a question that we see many images/messages displayed that shows women how to live, dress, talk, be and exist in different ways. Society has bold ways in making it known how women should live. I get that there has always been a double standard between men and women, but I’m sick and tired of seeing these types of messages given to women daily. I was hoping that by the time I reached my late 20s, people would be accepting of how women owned their freedom, especially their sexual freedom but sad to say, we still have a long way to go.

We, as women receive many messages (either subtle or non subtle) from different sources regarding our sexuality. Some of these messages consist of when we should be having sexual intercourse after we get in relationships, who we need to have it with according to the male gaze, of course, when is the appropriate age to do it after puberty and so on and so forth. To be quite honest, I’m tired of receiving these messages on the daily of what women should do/ not do in terms of our sex and sexuality. It is our body and we should be able to do what we want with it. We should be able to reserve it for one person if we wanted, we should be able to let multiple people devour it if we desired, we should be able to do nothing with it if that’s what we prefer, and we should be able to engage frequently/not frequently according to our desires.

These types of messages given to women suggesting the types of roles we should play are hurtful and degrading. Women who do not fit into these roles automatically feel alienated from society and can have negative views towards their own bodies and sexual lives. These subtle and un-subtle messages we give to women about their sexual lives and how to live in their own bodies is very damaging and needless to say, condescending.

It should be up to the woman to do what she wants to do with her own body, it should be up to the woman if she wants to cover her body, strip or do prostitution, for that matter. We all know by now that women are the ones who own their bodies, so why not give them the rights to own it and talk about it. We should be given our own agency to our bodies since we are the agents of it. People or society, for that matter, shouldn’t try to dictate how we own these beautiful temples of ours. All we should do, women included, is listen to other women when they’re talking about their own bodies and the actions they feel comfortable in taking to own it. All we should be doing is really listening and that’s it. Also helping out if we are asked to do so and if we are in the position to do so.

Another aspect that I feel needs to be addressed is this sexual timeline women feel we should adhere to when dating or when we get into relationships/ partnerships. From my experiences, I’ve seen women worry about the amount/ lack thereof of sexual intercourse they are having in the relationships they’re in. Sexual timelines in relationships or when simply dating do not exist and women shouldn’t feel obliged to follow any. Every relationship is different, every woman is different and every partner she has is obviously going to be VERY different from previous ones. Do as it feels right to you, women. If you as a woman feel you want to get involved in sexual acts early on in the partnership, then get involved. If you as a woman feel you should wait and not rush things, then do just that. This whole “sexual timeline facade” society has created is to make women feel guilty of our sexual desires/ lack thereof and to therefore limit our sexual freedom.

Women, don’t let anything or anyone control you and your sexual needs. Protect yourself and don’t put yourselves in harm’s way because with this type of freedom, comes a lot of responsibility of protecting oneself and ones agency. Go out there, explore, get into relationships, partnerships, date someone, date multiple people, get married, be single, have sex right after you get into a relationship/partnership, have sex without getting in any relationship, not have sex at all, have sex with women, have sex with men. Do not let society’s pressure of how women should act sexually dictate your actions and your behaviors. Do not follow any sexual timelines in relationships/ partnerships or when dating someone. Date men, women, trans folks. Date who you please. Have children. Don’t have children. Adopt children. Again do what you please when it comes to raising young ones either they are biologically yours or not. Be free and own your freedom, sexual freedom, independence, your life, etc.

Cheers to us, beautiful women, lets stay forever growing, free and away from societal rules that forever want to keep us bondage.

I’m free, I’m beautiful, I own my body, my choices and my sexuality.

I am freely a woman and will forever be.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

She’s the type…

She’s the type that likes long walks, alone times and intimate vibrations

She’s the type that loves hard and hurts even harder

She’s the type that feels the world around her and likes to keep feeling

She’s the type that gets attached so fast, and makes sure she takes care of their hearts

She’s the type that is care-free but so careful at the same time

She’s the type that enjoys the company of others when she wants the company of others

She’s the type that feels, and feels and feels even more

She’s the type that seeks healing and an extreme peace of mind

She’s the type who enjoys being the way that she is

She’s the type that is confident and carries herself with stride

She’s the type that is so soft but so hard all at the same time

She’s the type that moves like water and flows like sand

She’s the type that wants her own but also shares her abundance

She’s the type that likes to get crunk when she’s out with her friends but is also a home-body

She’s the type that likes her wine red and her lip- stick even reder

She’s the type that wears her hair out in all its natural ways

She’s the type that seeks herself out when she needs answers

She’s the type that makes others uncomfortable with her presence

She’s the type that may not be understood but is okay with that

She’s the type that’s so different from her surroundings and maybe hard to swallow

She’s the type that gives you something to ponder on

She’s simply the type that keeps you on your feet but also gives you soothing in all the right places

She’s the type that goes looking for you when you go missing

She’s the type, and she’s the type of woman that I came to type about.

My Sweet Experience at Howard University

I just had one of the best months in the year of 2015: I started attending Howard University. It was truly one of the most beautiful moments I spent in a long time in a school environment.

I’ve never attended a historically black college before, so this was the first experience I’ve had in an HBCU. I got my first bachelor’s degree at a predominately white institution. I attended the University of Maryland for four years. Although, I loved my four year experience at UMD, it could never compare to my experience at Howard University.

When I first got accepted to Howard, I had mixed feelings about attending the school. For starters, it was a private institution so I didn’t know how I would be able to afford the tuition and secondly I’ve heard rumors that the administration there was disorganized so it wasn’t really worth attending the school. After doing a little more research about the school myself, I decided to attend because of the rich history it had and the amazing programs it offered. The richness of culture it possessed and the diversity of Howard definitely attracted my attention.

As I started my first day there, I did experience some of the things I heard about the administration. It took time for me to register for my classes due to some of my paperwork being misplaced,  I kept hearing multiple and inconsistent information about registration, I was having technical issues with my email among a whole bunch of other things. During my first few days there, I was so disappointed because instead of focusing on my classes, I was trying to resolve issues that should’ve been resolved before I started attending classes. After a few days, all of the issues started to resolve and I started to adapt to my new environment.

Despite the minor technical and administration issues I experienced there, I started loving and embracing the environment more and more each day. All of a sudden, the feeling I remembered to have while attending UMD wasn’t there anymore: the feeling of an outsider and un belonging went out of the window. For the first time since leaving Ethiopia, I felt apart of a classroom setting. I felt like I was apart of a thriving and beautiful community.

Another aspect I loved about attending HU was my walk from the metro station to the school each morning. My walk consisted of me passing various kinds of people who were simply being. They didn’t feel the need to change the way they were or how they lived. Their stories were so easy for me to read on their faces. Some of them danced to loud music, some of them greeted me in such a warm way, some of them were students like me who were so focused to get to school that they paid little attention to their surroundings, some of them rushing with their morning lattes, some of them were employees who had their Howard name badges proudly displayed on their uniforms and some of them were young women who had their lovely, and beautiful hair styled naturally and wore it so proudly. Seeing this everyday from the metro station started my day off right. I even questioned why I was never apart of this beautiful community for the many years I lived in the US. I was truly touched.

I also started making new friends. The students I met in my classes were so nice, everyone approached me in a positive way. They all wanted me to do well and you can tell that by simply looking at their eyes. As I got to my class, some of my classmates would remind me what was due for that day and asked me if I finished my assignments for the week. Some of them would suggest that we study together or work on projects together, and some of them would simply look at me and smile. All of a sudden I started to feel like I was home. I knew I was safe there, and very comfortable. This was when I knew I made the right choice by going to Howard. This was when I realized how important it was for minorities and people of color to have an HBCU experience no matter how short or long.  Since I felt safe at HU and the environment I was exposed to, I started to look at the wold through my own eyes and a different lens, instead of the lens I was looking through before this sweet experience. I definitely noticed the positive effects attending Howard had on me right away.

I used to always shrug the idea that minorities should attend HBCU’s because minorities shouldn’t be put in a box and told where to attend, rightfully so. We are obviously very different and not all of us fit this narrative and should attend HBCU’s. I get that, trust me but after having this experience, my mind shifted. I used to always talk about the fact that I had a very positive experience at a PWI and other minorities are capable of getting that same experience at a PWI. Even now, I still affirm the fact that I had a positive experience at a PWI and made great friends and a community of people who I’m still in touch with, but the feelings could never compare.

After attending an HBCU, I can now attest to the fact that yes HBCU’s do impact minorities in a very different, positive and lasting way. It makes minorities see the world and their interactions through this own, unbiased eyes, instead of the institution they attend. Minorities who attend HBCU’s don’t have to constantly think about race day in and day out because the people they interact with everyday are people of color who have positions of power, so they start looking at the world through that spectrum, instead of another spectrum they’re unconsciously receiving.

Attending Howard University enabled me to create that world in America for me, the world I didn’t see existing. Whenever, I looked at the larger minority population, it was always negativity and stereotypical images I was used to seeing. I’ve always had to fight to create positive images in my head, which I knew to be true. After I attended HU, I didn’t have to fight to create these images for myself, they were already there for me, beautifully put together every morning. I didn’t have to lament on every situation/interaction I went through because all of a sudden everything felt so freeing. I didn’t have to put my guards up and choose the kinds of things I was saying and doing because all of a sudden I felt safe and at ease with where I was and who I was surrounded with. Attending Howard University showed me that I was valued and that I had worth, and there were plenty of people who loved me and acknowledged my existence in American society. I hope you are able to find a place you are loved, honored and can just be.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

We are feelings

Feelings are so good. Receiving good feelings feel so amazing. Receiving an abundance of good feelings from people you love is even better. These past two weeks I’ve been on a high because I’ve been receiving these kinds of feelings from people I love and also from people I don’t know that well. The universe has been so kind and beautiful to me, and it’s not really a cliche when I say this. She really has been kind to me.

I remember the times when I thought that I would never get to a place that felt good and authentic to me. I remember these times as if they were yesterday. I used to be a worrier, a big one and I’ve learned how to manage my feelings better. I’ve calmed down about the ways I react to situations and instead became proactive. Instead of worrying, I started taking actions towards the right directions/places. Even if I didn’t see results right away, I still kept going. These moments combined are more powerful than we ever give them credit for. They are truly magical.

These moments of highs and lows made me realize that we as humans are going to eventually go through all of the feelings this world has to offer. It’s just that every single one of us are going to feel them at different moments in our lives. I’ve always thought that life wasn’t going to be so fair and understanding to me when I was going through my “worrier” phase, but after I got through that stage, I started feeling at ease with myself no matter where I was in life. All of a sudden, it didn’t matter to me where I was in my life, as long as I was being proactive and going towards a certain direction. All of a sudden, I stopped obsessing over the small things in life and started understanding life for what it was. All of a sudden, I realized life was going to take its course the way its supposed to and we can’t try to control every aspect of it although I do realize we have certain control. All of a sudden, I started letting go and letting life happen the way it should. All of a sudden I started living, breathing easy, and stopped comparing my journey to others. All of a sudden I started focusing on making my own light brighter and shining my own instead of shining or dimming others. All of a sudden life became easier to handle when I focused heavily on myself and acknowledged that people’s problems are theirs and has nothing to do with me. All of a sudden I started interacting better with others and living life my own way. All of a sudden I became happier and more loving. All of a sudden the universe started giving me all of the feelings I desired, and all of a sudden I was able to unleash my inner me by acknowledging my feelings, and the journey is still to be continued.

I hope the universe gives you an abundance of love and good feelings from every corner of life. Remember to know that its all a feelings thing.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

Caitlyn Broke the Internet

This past week, there has been issues circulating around gender and normative beauty standards. The Vanity Fair Cover of “Call Me Caitlyn” started many great discussions about gender and what it means to be a “woman” and who can be a woman. I have written about trans women before and I’m elated to see the cover of Vanity Fair magazine starting this conversation on a mainstream level. I’m pretty sure it feels surreal to so many trans men and women to see these types of discourses taking place and people centering them around for the very first time.

One of the aspects of Caitlyn is her ability to have a “cis normative” beauty standard which most people can’t adhere to. Her ability to look the way she does and be a trans woman have made her accepted in a world which values the white, cis-normative beauty standards. The way she has garnered this much attention and is accepted is so beautiful to me, but I don’t want her shine to take away the beauty of so many other trans women as well as trans men who don’t have the ability or the money to look like her. As Laverne Cox, another trans woman who stars in the hit Netflix show, Orange is the New Black, beautifully put it on her tumblr page, Caitlyn should serve as a basis for us to start talking about the many trans men and women who are invisible, and who don’t have the access to transition, or the ability to live life in the ways they desire to. We should especially be concerned about poor trans people of color since they are the ones who suffer the most and are at the bottom of the hierarchy.

Another interesting aspect that I noted because of Caitlyn’s visibility is people’s interest in her looks, and only her looks. All of a sudden, people stopped being interested in other aspects of her life i.e. the life she will lead after this, the new identity she has come to embrace, her family, etc. Time and time again, she kept getting reduced to her looks. Everything she does now has been tied to her looks and her beauty. As Jon Stewart put it beautifully, before the transition occurred many aspects of Caitlyn’s life mattered, the fact that she was an athlete and a family person, her political ideologies, and so on and so forth, her looks weren’t the only central identity she had. After the transition, people almost reduced her to her body parts, she is now her hair, eyes, jaw lines, face, body, etc. Her physical attributes were the only aspect that mattered to people. People also went as far as comparing her to other women, and denouncing other women who were “less physically appealing” than her.

As you can see, there were many discussions concerning Caitlyn this past week. Some were very progressive and some not so much. I value people’s opinions in this matter and the most important thing for me was the fact that this grabbed people’s attention in the ways that it did, generating discourse. I really valued that. I also was able to see that some were simply trying to understand the transition process while others were talking about it from a personal stand point. I was able to conclude that this was society’s way of moving forward. Although, I was upset some people continually mis-gendered Caitlyn after being told many times of her preferred pronouns, I thought it was also a start that they actually acknowledged her. This was indeed a huge moment for Caitlyn as well as for the whole trans community.

I love seeing people heal in so many ways especially those who have always felt invisible to society. Activism Fusion wants to give a huge shout out to Caitlyn Jenner for breaking the internet and coming out to us in this huge way. Also, Laverne Cox who wasn’t afraid to delve deep and talk about these issues concerning the trans community especially poor trans people of color. Way to go Caitlyn and Laverne. Continue the fight. This is huge and I’m very excited to see society moving towards this incredible direction. Be you. Stay you and Honor you.

Peace and Love,

Hermela

 

 

Millennials as we know them

This past weekend, my brother graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS degree in computer science and I had the pleasure of attending his commencement ceremony at the College of Math, Engineering and Natural sciences, where professor Sylvester James Gates, a distinguished physics professor as well as mathematics professor was the guest speaker at the event. Professor Gates highlighted on the millennials generation and the many traits/qualities we have that make us different from previous generations. His points were so true and they hit me so hard (LOL), which I made the point to blog about them. After all, I found myself a great walking example of the generation he perfectly described.

For starters, I want to explain that I consider myself to be in the “millennial” generation although I was born in the late eighties. I grew up in the nineties and well into the 2000s. I grew up in the culture of social media entrenched with information making it hard to dismiss those of us who were not exactly born in the 2000s. I also so closely identify with the millennial generation since I see many similarities between me and the recent generation, as opposed to similarities between me and previous generations.

As of right now, I’m a little bit removed from college (as it has been three years since I graduated from the University of Maryland), and definitely not where I’m expected it be (I’ve experienced some expectations of where I should be by now ) but needless to say I’m getting to where it feels good and a thriving environment for me. Since I consider myself a proud millennial, I was able to relate to most of the qualities Professor Gates explained.

Professor Gates suggested that millennials aren’t into owning things, ie home purchases, car purchases. etc. As long as we have access to resources and the materials we need, we are not very concerned about having our “names on it”. As I was sitting there in the commencement ceremony, it hit me how true this was. Most of the students/kids I’ve encountered from this generation aren’t really into owning as long as they have the access they need.

As long as we have drivable cars, where it takes us from point A to point B and apartments where we are able to live safely, we’re not really too concerned about owning the house or the car, we’d rather save our money in our bank accounts than put a down payment and own. This also made me realize that this generation values the idea of “freedom” more than anything. Its in essence being free  that we value so much, we don’t want to be sign our names away to paying mortgages and making car payments for the rest of our lives.

Another concept that hit home for me was the fact that millennials do seek information A LOT. I’m pretty sure everyone is informed that we live in the information age by now, where we have access to plain, easy and valuable information. We are exposed to so much information to the point where we dismiss it sometimes without even processing. For example, I like to know as much information of the purchases I’m making, no matter how big or small.  I also like to know the environments I’m exposing myself, no matter how far or near. Before I buy anything, or drive anywhere, I always research more about the places I’m going to or the purchases I’m making. This saves me the hassle of asking questions when I reach to certain places, or from any confusion I may face if I wasn’t aware beforehand. I think it’s safe to say that we, as millennials do feel comfortable knowing more about something no matter how minuscule or ginormous.

Another quality of most millennials as professor Gates put it was “lucky for mom and dad, millennials tend to most likely return home after college…and stay there” LOL. This is so true, at least with me. I came home after college and I still haven’t left. Don’t get me wrong, I do have plans of moving out sooner than later but I want to use this opportunity without having to pay for rent while I can. The moving out eventually needs to happen though and trust me, it will.

It’s definitely a shift from previous generations where college graduates immediately move out from their parents’ home after graduation. With millennials, this is definitely not the case as we feel more comfortable living at home after receiving our college degrees.

Another fact that was mentioned was the idea that we tend to be VERY optimistic than previous generations. Again, I was LOL’ing in the audience because this is so true. Many of my friends and I, as well as my brother who just graduated, as well as my 12 year old sister, all are very optimistic about our futures and the careers we want to accomplish. I feel people in previous generation may have been a little afraid to take risks and try new things, they may have stuck to what they knew and most importantly to “safety”.  As with this generation, we aren’t necessarily afraid to go to the road “less travelled” and find our gems there, and happen to be optimistic while doing so.

I also want to say that while this is an excellent trait to have, its also good to have back up plans incase failure does happen, which in most instances, it will especially since we’re just starting out and beginning our beautiful journeys.

As you can see, this commencement ceremony definitely helped me in making sense of my life a little bit more and validated my journey in ways I didn’t expect at all. After all, its good to be open to experiences and lessons from anywhere in the world as we don’t know where we’ll get struck the hardest and find our way there.

I also want to wish my younger brother, Mickey a very bright journey as he reaches this next milestone in his life (shine bright like a diamond, Mickey LOL) and may you discover all of your elements and be received by the world.

Peace and Love,

Hermela