Caution: Women at Work

It’s all in the details. The subtleties we probably don’t notice. That is until they are present, and we wonder why it took so long for the rest of the world to catch up.

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© Google

The first time I used my smartphone I was in awe with all of the emoji options. They had come a long way from the MSN icons of the early 2000’s and now gave me the luxury of using food items and inanimate objects in my communications!

If I really “needed to”, I could send you an array of any emotion I might be feeling, expressed in an emoji. That is unless I felt like being a female with a profession.

On Thursday, Google announced women professionals will soon be better represented in emoji form. In May, they submitted a proposal to create a set of emoji’s “with a goal of highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empowering girls everywhere.” Within these will be a doctor, a scientist a farmer and a welder, with customizable genders and skin tones.

And while it might make little sense as to why a company as large as Google would go through the effort of changing such a thing, it really does come down to the details. With most emoji users being female, the updates are being made to “help make emoji just a little more representative”.

The world is changing and becoming just a bit more socially aware. With it, is the demand for organizations to follow suit. And while I am still more likely to send a pizza slice emoji than I am the female farmer, I’m grateful to exist during a time (and in a country) in which efforts to respond to underrepresentation of female diversity are being made.

My only question now is, what exactly does a woman look like anyway?

All my love,

– Steph Jael

Skinny shaming is a thing. Sincerely, a not skinny girl

Thin

© Steph Jael

 

This one has been on my mind a lot lately. As a person that publicly promotes body positivity, I often get asked… “Can you skinny shame?”

In my opinion, yes. Yes, you absolutely can. And to be honest, two or three years ago I would have said something very different.

As Facebook feels the need to show me “memories” from the past (please stop), I’m reminded of many unpleasant things. I’m reminded of how bad my use of punctuation was, some of my humour, and even some of my beliefs. Most recently, one of the reminders was the whole “real women have curves” meme. As I looked over at my precious Hannah, long and slender, I felt immediate shame on behalf of my old self.

I often feel like I am teetering the line of being a “chubby” and “not chubby” person. By no means am I thin, and in some contexts, I may not even be average. I have fat deposits, a soft stomach and a broad frame… and I’m just not little. Thinking back to it, I shared the post because I finally saw something that validated my body as it was. After a lifetime of media and public opinion contributing to my shame, I finally felt empowered and represented. I was allowed to love my curvy body. But at what cost? At the cost of shaming someone else’s body?

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© Steph Jael

“Real women… eat a cheeseburger… get on a treadmill” … It’s all the same thing.

To be honest, I have heard more commentary on my (thin) partners’ body than I have my own. She is stared at in public when she eats, she is greeted by people about how skinny she is, and she (like many) feel unable to vocally promote “body positivity” because of her thin frame. And why is that?

Why is it that if someone calls me fat it’s socially unacceptable, but in the same breath can tell a thin girl to eat a cheeseburger?

Why do my self-love posts have more weight (pun intended) than hers?

“Real women have curves/eat a cheeseburger” is the same as “get on a treadmill”. Which is the same idea as attaching sexual orientation to hair length, or gender to body parts, or any concept onto any physical attribute. The point is, this kind of verbiage inadvertently sends the message that you’re worth and experiences are only as good as your body parts. That you are your body, and that your (very real) emotions aren’t valid.

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© @hhannahht

The pendulum swings

I believe it was Mark Twain that said something along the lines of, “whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).” Historically (unlike racism, or sexism), privileging of certain body types varied. During times of Famish, to be “thicker” implied wealth. Whereas in the early 90’s, “heroin-chic” became the coveted thing. Fads have always changed. That’s kind of the point. I think it’s our way of anchoring our self-worth throughout these changes that we ought to address.

I find when people become aware of an error on their part, they often feel so much shame that they go running in the opposite direction with their new opinions. They feel so much guilt and shame that they go out of their way to be “extra aware”. We then adopt the notion that to “give privilege” we need to take it away from someone else.  To empower one, we must shame the other.

But what we often forget is, oppressing one group to uplift another will never – and I mean never – create sustainable empowerment. Taking from one to give to another will only ever lead to a continuous pattern of imbalance. And how long until the pendulum shifts again?

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© @hhannahht

Attack the societal belief, not the person.

I think it’s important that just because societal structures are designed to endorse some people and not others that it doesn’t mean that we should forget the human component. I think we should remember that people of privilege (and in this context, thin people) still feel. And often, these feelings are similar to our own.

Many of my thin friends feel just as insecure about their bodies as anyone else. They struggle to find pants their size, they are dismissed as body-positive representatives and are often made to feel as if their beauty is contingent on their body… just like, anyone else. To tell a person that their feelings are invalid (for any reason) only serves to take the same pain you feel and project it onto another. Why not let the pain end with you? Why not do something magical by empowering everyone to love the skin they’re in?

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She’s thin. I’m not. We are both beautiful.

In a world that is designed to pit women against each other, people against each other, it’s important to buy into those hopeful notions of empowering one another. At the end of the day, we’re all people, and we’re here for a short time. We’re all trying to make ourselves as comfortable as possible, and get as much out of this life as we can. Why not help someone along that journey a little faster by sharing your light?

In short, as a not skinny person, there is such a thing as skinny shaming. And really, it’s not necessary. There is no shame in loving the body you are in. And there certainly is no shame in the thin, fat, short, tall, red, blue person beside you loving theirs either.

Thin is beautiful.

Curves are beautiful.

Self-acceptance and love are beautiful.

 

All of my love,

-Steph Jael

Say what you need to say

That person you’ve been meaning to text?

The one, or two, or four, that cross your mind throughout the day?

The one you didn’t expect to make a difference in your day…

They are waiting for you to say something;

Anything….

Tell them what you feel.

Say what you need to say, baby. Before you can’t say anything at all.

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All of my love. Always,

– Steph Jael

Just another preachy vegetarian post

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I don’t know about you, but, every time someone “finds out” I’m a vegetarian, I am met with some sort of reaction. Either a high-five in solidarity, a congratulatory “good on you”, or more often than not a reaction of shame. Either projected shame that I “don’t appreciate real meat” or “inner shame” that they do. Many times, people will launch into an explanation as to why they eat meat, ending with a “but I intend to stop one day”, in hopes that I stop there.
And sure, I could go on to tell you about all of the horrible conditions in which animals are being treated, en mass, every single day. This knowledge is not new to most of us. I could explain what producing meat at the rate we are is doing to the environment, or how it may even influence your own health.

But quite frankly, when was the last time a photo of a tortured animal instilled meaningful change in someone? Further to this, when was the last time deterrent of any kind inspired sustainable motivation in anyone, for any reason?

In First Nation history, the belief surrounding meat consumption was one of gratitude and mindfulness. Before going out to hunt, individuals would perform ceremony, honouring the creator, the earth, and the animal to which they would seek. Through this ceremony, it was believed that an animal would willingly sacrifice itself in order to sustain the people. After hunting, the people would go on to use every part of the animal, and would not go out to hunt again until there was need.

It is with this that I approach the discussion surrounding meat consumption from one of abstinence to one of perception and awareness.

Regardless of your preference, we can be mindful of the animal we are consuming. Whether through conscious abstinence, or grateful consumption.

All my love,

Steph Jael

Depression is a gift reserved for the resilient

At the end of last year, a beloved high school principal within our city took her life. The news made headlines, and we all wondered how someone so happy could have been in that much pain. The news of her death stayed with me for weeks. Not because I wondered why… but because of the fear that one day that could be the fate of someone I know – someone like me.
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© Steph Jael

Few people know this about me: I have depression. When I was 15 I was officially diagnosed, but the effects of it started long before. I was in denial for quite a while, and I can’t really say when it began, or what brought it on. However, I can say depression has been a passenger on my journey for well over a decade now, and it still rides back seat as of today. I would go on to have many sleepless nights, lose many days from my life, and drive a wedge between myself and anyone who cared for me. And during those moments, I can’t say that I cared. Depression has a funny (or very unfunny) way of distorting reality. I would often convince myself that my absence would go unnoticed, or worse, improve my loved ones lives. I would feel extreme guilt for not being able to pull myself out of it. And then I would feel infinite sadness watching my partners face as she realized this illness would take another day of ours together. More guilt ensues as you wonder how or why someone would ever choose to love a person that can go that far down… But she does. And many people do. Just as many people love you. More than any of us could ever realize.
You, my friend, are worth being loved. And to get you started, here are 3 things that I would like to share with those who are also suffering:
 
1. You may always have depression. This isn’t something you need to change.
Growing up, when I would overcome a depressive episode I would exclaim that I was healed. I was finally free. Then another one would come sometime later, and it would feel worse than before. I felt extreme guilt, I failed. I failed at being happy. But know this… You did not fail! You, my friend, managed to find your way out of the darkness for even just a little, and you will find your way out again. Accepting the high’s and low’s can be comforting. You know it’ll pass. Just as your happiness will pass. I have found that accepting depression as part of my makeup has made it easier to identify and cope during darker periods. Suddenly, in the midst of those moments they don’t seem so monumental.
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© Steph Jael

2. Seek help while you’re happy. Or at the very least, not depressed.
Many people love you. They’re (understandably) worried. And when they see just how much you’re hurting it’s easy for them to internally panic. They become quick to offer solutions, most which seem to be “talk to someone” or “find help”. They mean well, and they aren’t “wrong” to suggest these things. However, for me seeking help during an episode is entirely futile. I have zero energy and it takes everything in me to not be self-destructive. Seeking help requires clarity and stamina – and in these moments, you are on life support. During a depressive episode, I view it as “my job” to keep myself comfortable. To find a reason not to go further down. And if I do go further down, to wait until I have it in me to come back up. I will treat the burn as soon as I put the fire out. Please don’t feel bad if you have to do the same. 
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© Steph Jael

3. Depression is a gift for the resilient. 
Not long ago I read the following quote:
“Grief never ends… but it changes. It’s a passage. Not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness. Nor a lack of faith… it is the price of love.”  Let that sink in. Grief… your grief is the price of love. Your sadness has a purpose. Whether it is to allow for beautiful art or in connecting with another human being hurting as much as you are – your suffering is not in vain. Your pain has the opportunity to be a catalyst for something bigger.
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© Steph Jael

I know it hurts… your pain is valid. But, if nothing else please know this; you hurt as deeply as you do because you love equally as deeply. Your depression is a gift because you brave soul, are resilient.
All of my love,
– Steph Jael

Nothing pisses me off more than Social Injustice and Ugly Shoes!

 

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SOCIAL INJUSTICE AND UGLY SHOES

To whom it may concern,

And really, it’s everyone’s concern. I am writing this as a Métis woman who cried over having white privilege the other day. That’s right. I cried, over being “too white”! You see, in order for me to claim certain benefits as an Indigenous woman, I have to prove my ancestry. My father, who is a wonderful man but sick with alcoholism, has lost any documentation proving where we came from. My mother, who is European herself, grew up in an Indigenous community, with Indigenous children, and has been struck with concerns that many Indigenous individuals are forced to deal with, given our current state of affairs. My mother, with next to no resources as a single, lower income parent of five, had run to my rescue, trying to sooth my white privilege nerves by going to Vital Statistics, and again – on a lower class income – paid for me to rush order any proof that I am in fact not completely white! I can apply for that one scholarship! I can declare that underneath all of this white privilege that I am in fact Indigenous and I deserve to be treated as such!

And then it got me to thinking… what does it mean to be treated as such? As we were in line my cousin came in. A single mom of two, trying to support her children on next to nothing. Somehow she managed to step away from her children for a short moment, to bus downtown, and wait in line to pay for something, with money she really doesn’t have, in the hopes of being able to not lose the social assistance that supports her family. A situation all too familiar to my childhood friends. I can’t count the number of times my closest friends were sneered at as they lug their stroller onto the bus, in hopes of someone making room for them. Trying to care for their family, with probably no guidance of their own as a reference, under the judging gazes of others.

Later this afternoon as my mom and I had gone to a reputable government institution offering job search assistance, I noticed the receptionist looking my mom up and down, not realizing I was with her. My mom was wearing these awful, neon blue/neon green running shoes, and a pink tank top (probably from Giant Tiger, or the 80’s. Or both)! My mom, who herself is not of aboriginal descent has grown up and raised her family in a heavy Indigenous area of town. She herself has had to suffer for her children, for her friends, for her income, under the judging gaze of others. She no doubt has had to lug that same stroller onto the bus, carrying me, trying to avoid eye contact with those judging her for being a young parent, with my Indigenous dad beside her, looking just as uncertain. She had to drop out of college sometime early on in my childhood to take care of my four brothers and I, and my dad, a product of the residential school system who carries his addiction like a genetic disposition. To put it lightly, my mom did not have the opportunities I have had. To move from a lower to middle-class. To wear designer underwear, own a nice pair of Nike’s, or go after not only a first post-secondary diploma but a second. While she herself is white, she suffers the issues so many of my family members and friends, who are and “look Indigenous” are forced to deal with.

Last week a kid I grew up with was shot, by another kid we grew up with over gang related issues. Both boys are Indigenous.

Today at the bank an Indigenous woman was being ushered out by Caucasian employees. She was clearly in hysterics and upset over something. Not speaking English, probably frustrated she was being misunderstood, had finally left. The (white) bank employee rushed to his other bank employees to wash his hands with sanitizer and complain about how uncivilized this woman was being… uncivilized.

Growing up in traditional Métis culture I often went to sweat lodges, received many teachings, medicines, and my colours early on in life. All of which made me feel incredibly proud of who I was and where I came from. I had never been shunned away from any of these, by any of my community members or family (though with the slight joke that I was a little “white washed” looking). My blonde hair and green eyes were greeted with a “Welcome Home” the first time I attended the Sweat lodge. And I don’t know if it was until today when suddenly I felt like a brown person trapped in a white body when my heritage felt threatened… that I had realized just how much privilege I have carried my entire life. That the very stereotypes my friends and family members have been fighting to defy I was trying to jump into.

Let it be said that I, Steph Jael, a self-proclaimed white-knight (pun intended) of social injustice from her neighborhood, cried over having too much opportunity. Cried over not being able to apply for a scholarship (while being fully funded the SECOND time) while her cousin paid $65 (for a birth certificate, proving her child is, in fact, her child) from the $300 she receives to support her kids. I cried over being virtually invisible as the bank tellers judged this woman who was clearly just misunderstood. I cried over not being able to throw my white privilege out the window in order to be a visible part of a minority that is STILL forced to deal with so much hate, judgment, and divide.

Perhaps it’s bold of me to link poverty and racism. But today it particularly stood out to me as I reflected on weeping over having one less thing I had to fight against.

Nothing pisses me off more than social injustice, and ugly shoes.

P.S. I love you mom, but you need new shoes

What’s wrong with men: The 3 things you should stop asking lesbians

*Disclaimer: All of these are 100% real questions that I have been asked a countless number of times throughout my life when people “find out” I am a lesbian. While these responses may reflect the view of some who identify as a lesbian it is not (and should not) be taken as a broad generalization representative of every other individual that identify as such.
Each response is my personal thought and is presented with the intent to kindly shed a little light. It is also to be noted that these experiences are those of a short-haired, sans make-up wearing lesbian. Believe it or not these factors have lead me to have experiences that may differ from a lesbian who is traditionally more feminine. This is largely due to stereotyping. We will later discuss “Femme Invisibility”, an issue for lesbians that do not look “stereotypically gay”.

 

lesbian queer women

© Steph Jael, 2015

 

When I started writing this blog initially it had been some time since I had met someone who didn’t know my orientation. Therefore I didn’t actually know for sure if people really still asked these kinds of questions. Later that night I had a business meeting at a pub. After the meeting ended a man who was nearby started to chat with me. We chatted on and eventually at some point he must have felt comfortable enough to start with the “gay questions”. He managed to ask every single one I will mention below – word for word. I responded to them then exactly as I will in this post. While I am always happy to inform and educate I find there is a way to respectfully probe for information when inquiring into very personal topics. Here are the top three questions you probably didn’t know you should stop asking lesbians (and a guess at what you probably mean to actually ask).

 

1. You like girls?!…. What’s wrong with men?!

Playful Answer: The sarcastic person in me that is so sick of hearing this question, and so tired of having resistance from society over something that is inherent in who I am says, “nothing… why don’t you be with one first and then I will?”

The real answer: I think what you’re looking to ask here is “why do you like women?”

Here it is; nothing is wrong with men. At all actually. As I have mentioned before, some of the very best people I have the privilege of knowing are men. Each of them possess attributes and characteristics that I value in such high regard within an individual, period. But it comes down to this; men are simply not what I am attracted to for a romantic partner. I wouldn’t even call it preference as preference implies I have a choice. Being attracted to women is not a choice, much as it is also not yours.  As it’s not a person’s choice if they are attracted to a man… or ballet… or the Winnipeg Jets. It just is. And that’s okay. It is however a choice to accept these parts of yourself – to which I have had the opportunity to embrace.

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© Steph Jael, 2015

2. So which one of you is the man?

Playful Answer: Neither of us is the man. We’re lesbians.

The real answer: I think the question you are looking to ask here is “who is masculine and who is feminine”?

So here is my answer: stating that there “need” be a man implies that the relationship simply cannot exist or be warranted without the presence of one – which as we know is not true.

Further, if you ask who is more masculine/feminine this still wouldn’t truly be accurate to who either of us are. I don’t wear makeup while my partner does. When I get married I intend to wear a suit while my partner would prefer a dress. However, I am also more sensitive than she is. Her hair is just as short as mine, and she is also attracted to people “traditionally feminine”. So who actually is more masculine? Who is more feminine? To be honest I don’t think either of us are just one or the other. We are both a little bit masculine, a little bit feminine, and a lot of everything in between. That is the premise of this blog. That we as human beings fall within a spectrum and should embrace this.

3. “So… where the party at?”

Playful Answer: This statement has become so offensive I no longer have one.

The Real Answer: The first few times I was asked this I didn’t even get it. After probing further I quickly realized “where the party at” meant being a lesbian was synonymous with entertainment. This became gravely offensive quickly for two reasons.

As a lesbian I have found over and over again that my orientation, gender, and therefore my relationships with other women (even platonic) are often fetishized – by both men and women. When people realize I am attracted to women they often try to relate to me by disrespectful and chauvinistic comments about them. Which is not only disheartening but the complete opposite of how one should view them. All of the women in my life I truly love, respect, and admire – the way I do any other individual. The women in my life aren’t stage props that need to be controlled or complained about. They are strong, independent, power-houses that allow me the honour of being part of their lives.

Second, here is the thing about the phrase “where the party at”… my life isn’t actually a party my friend. Contrary to what media may portray we aren’t in a hot tub at all hours with mojitos (although if you figure out how to go about this life please let me know). We get sick and need to be cared for. We are gross in front of each other. We lay in our pajamas all day. We go for dinner with our parents, go to school, struggle, cry, laugh etc. We are actually the same as everyone else. Lesbian is not synonymous with “a good time”.

And the reality behind the questions you are asking is this:

  • Same sex marriage only became legal in Manitoba in 2004. I was 16 years old. If I were a born a decade earlier I would not have been able to marry the woman I am in love with right now.
  • Traveling to certain countries is off limits for me and other LGBTQ people because of our orientation.
  • People around the world are still being killed because of their orientation.
  • Even within “safer countries” like Canada, we still experience an enormous amount of homophobia in both passive and physically aggressive ways.

As with any minority group we are given the special task of educating people. While it can be exhausting, frustrating, and sometimes even offensive to continue answering these questions, when it comes down to it I am quite honored to be able to teach and share. Particularly in recent months I have had the opportunity of sharing my experiences with gay youth in hopes of providing support and guidance.

I think the world is slowly but surely getting better. Attitudes are changing, people are becoming more accepting, and for the most part within North America my experience is that homophobia is not only no longer trendy, but unacceptable. I am both blessed and grateful to be gay in this part of the world during this time.

To end this post I have one more bonus question for you:

You remind me of Ellen Degeneres…or KD Lang…. Or my aunt who is actually Jane Lynch and married to my cousin Susan who has a daughter named Ruby Rose… I wonder why that is?

Real Answer: It’s the haircut.

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Steph Jael

 

You’re still homophobic, Felicia

Many people think homophobia is out the door. For what it’s worth, I think in North America its no longer as trendy to be physically violent and directly aggressive about someones orientation. I will be the first to admit we have come a long way in a short amount of time. However, I will also be first to say that homophobic attitudes are still very much alive and well in our society. This often rears its ugly head through subtle and not so subtle commentary. While many people no longer feel the need to physically kick our asses they do however feel the need to make sure we understand they mean “no homo” in public and “let’s experiment” in private.

Inspired by all the women that think we “want to bang them”, here are 10 things that kinda suck to continue saying to gay people (and what we really think):

1.My cousins-sisters-brothers-cats-nephews-pastors-wives-aunts-birds-dentists-dog is gay. Do you know him?”

….

2. “Which one of you is the man?”

Well gee, according to my hair length…

 

3. “But a woman can’t “fuck like a man”.

Exactly.

 

4. “You shouldn’t be able to use dildos, you made your choice”

And you shouldn’t be able to do anal. You made yours.

 

5.”You’ve never been with a man?! So you’re a virgin?!”

Sure. I’ll be whatever you want me to be baby.

 

6. “I love Ellen…. You look like Ellen… WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T LIKE ELLEN?!”

…..

 

7. “I would never show you my boobs. You’re a lesbian.”

Please don’t. I have my own.

 

8. “Is it sex if there’s no dick?” 

My orgasm sure thinks it is.

 

9. “Do you find me attractive?”

Please don’t make me hurt your feelings.

 

10. “So like how do you know you’re gay? Like how do you ACTUALLY know because I’m trying to get my daughter to be a lesbian.” 

Just let her near one. Apparently being near us is more than enough to shatter your orientation.

 

“F*ck Social Media” The 3 Reasons to Love (not hate) the online world.

We all have that friend. The one that “doesn’t believe in social media”. They claim it promotes disconnect from real life and only brings about unnecessary drama. Or perhaps we are that friend. We used to use social media like an addict. You know, when the initial craze hit. But eventually it became so consuming and overwhelming that we had enough and just deleted all of our accounts. Drama over. I have a friend like this. We’ll call her X.

My friend X is in my Communications program and cringes every time an instructor tries to hit home the relevance of social media in modern business. And while I’d love to say I blame her, I can’t really. The truth is, there are a lot of totally justifiable reasons to hate the online world. First being, it fully endorses the shame and reward system. We somehow have single-handedly managed to stifle freedom of speech with how quick we are to shame others for their content (I am not exempt from this either). Similarly, it has also made “number of likes” synonymous with self-worth. And for all intents and purposes we probably will miss several real-time moments in our lives because we are checking Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Insert Any Platform Here.

But for all of the millions of reasons there are to not jump online, I have managed to fall completely in love with social media… and while the offline community (and my pal X) have completely valid reasons to hate it, I am here to tell you the top 3 reasons I f*cking love social media (and you should too):

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Random meme, feel free to claim this kind stranger.

1. Relationships: This is the age of Aquarius baby

Social media often has a bad rap for stifling interaction. Of course relationships and connectivity can exist offline. No one is arguing that. And really nothing can beat face to face interaction. Or can it? One of the reasons I love social media is the ability it has given me to connect with people. Whether through a “like” of support, a friendly comment reminding them someone cares, or comforting a lonely soul at 3 a.m. via online chats – social media has allowed me to connect and build relationships with people that I may not have met otherwise.

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I recently received this message from a stranger turned online-friend. We have never physically met. She was inspired by my media to leave a situation that did not serve her. Two months later she was able to pay it forward to another stranger. I love the online community!

 

2. Think Global: do you want to be friends with famous people or not

Part of the incentive of my getting a twitter was in being able to connect with my one and only love, Leonardo DiCaprio. Long over are the days that there are 100 degrees of separation between you and your celebrity crush – or anyone for that matter. While that thought can be a scary one it has its’ positive aspects too. As an artist, I have been able to connect with other established industry people, which in turn has landed me contract after contract. Additionally, I have been able to gain mentorship with media professionals, partake in workshops all over the world, and engage celebrities that want to share and support in my causes. When and where else could this happen?

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Ms. Universe and I became online pals. Leonardio DiCaprio has yet to get back to me, but I know he will.

 

3. Influence: you’re making bigger waves than you think

This is the one that still blows me away the most. A few weeks ago I started this blog for a school assignment. I was dreading it. Blogs (and social media in general) are exhausting, demanding, and require so much thought it’s not even funny. In some ways, this has required more effort than any relationship I have ever had. But damn is it worth it. On the day that I finished the course and no longer had to continue blogging, I received these messages in my inbox:

Making Waves

You actually do have fans… and surprise, they care about what you have to say!

What you have to say matters, and believe it or not people are paying attention to you. You have fans that are watching, reading, and internalizing what you put out into the world – online or otherwise. You are making bigger waves than you think you are… and chances are someone is finding comfort in what you have to say.

Go on, reopen that old account…

So sure, while cell phone screens have replaced lighters at concerts, grassroot artists are now able to promote and manage their entire career online. And yeah, princes(s) charming may be too busy checking their Instagram to notice you making eyes across the coffee shop; but you are now able to jump on a dating website and filter who you do/don’t want to talk to, solely based on a profile write up.

As individuals, we have become exponentially very powerful rather quickly with the rise of the online world. Like anything, there are problems and benefits with this. As an ode to that, my good friend Prevail from Swollen Members (who I met offline, to be honest) recently did a TedxVancouver talk entitled: Pandora’s Box. As Tedx states, it is “a telling tale of the power we all hold in the tip of our finger”.

Cheers,

-Steph Jael