Road Trip Tips

Recently, I decided to drive home from Lawrence, Kansas to Atlanta, Georgia. To give you some context, I’d never completed a road trip over three hours by myself, but for some reason, I was extremely confident in my ability to drive half a day.

I had wanted to make this trip ever since my dad drove 12 hours and 30 minutes to drop off my car and a few other things as I settled into my new school last August. (If you don’t know, I go to the University of Kansas, and I’m a graduate student.) I was so appreciative that he gave up his weekend to bring me my things that I was determined not to make him or my mom have to do that again.

You see, my parents helped me move out after graduating from the University of Virginia. While I really appreciated it, I didn’t think that was necessary this time. I had far fewer things and didn’t think they needed to spend their weekend driving up to Kansas to meet me and then back down to Georgia with all of my stuff. Also, a solo road trip was on my 2017 bucket list/resolutions, and this was my opportunity!

This process was an interesting one considering it wasn’t just a road trip, I was moving. Nonetheless, I learned some pretty interesting lessons along the way, and have some tips to share as you prepare for your next road trip.

Snacks
This goes without saying but yes, you will get hungry and stopping every hour or two can really delay your travel. I like to knock out as much of the trip as I can and only stop for gas. While stopped for gas, I can get food at a local eatery and use the restroom. Outside of that, I’m not stopping.

But if you know me at all, you know I like to snack. I decided to pack my favorite healthy bars (jimmy bars), trail mix, and fruit. I also packed a gallon of water. I know it might sound contradictory… pack a lot of water but don’t use the restroom? Well, you still have to stay hydrated my friends. The gallon of water I packed came in handy as I would have run out of water within the first few hours if I used my Swell water bottle.

Playlists and Podcasts
The radio sucks when you’re driving across the country (unless you have XM radio) and when you’re going solo, you don’t have anyone in the passenger’s seat to keep you engaged and focused on the drive. This is where Spotify comes in.

Yes, you can easily use iTunes, but I prefer Spotify because I can make my own playlists, and when I’m tired of them, I can listen to someone else’s. With that said, finding a few good Spotify playlists before you take off is a must.

I also recommend podcasts and audiobooks, but I didn’t really use them for my ride. What helped me the most was a playlist I put together of old songs from middle school, high school, and the first two years of undergrad. I blasted the songs, knew all of the words, I sang along at the top of my lungs, and gave a car concert performance for anyone who drove past me and dared to look in my direction.

Pro tip: Spotify Premium is a must on road trips. That guarantees no commercials, and trust me, the commercial will kill your vibe. If you’re a student, you can get Spotify for $4.99 a month. It’s worth it!

Hotel Tonight app
While I didn’t use this app, it could definitely come in handy if you need to stop and get some sleep during your drive. Hotel Tonight is an app where they post local hotels that have open rooms for the night. The prices are discounted and relatively cheap because the hotel would rather have people stay there and make some money than none at all.

Pro tip: The earlier in the afternoon you can book the more options you have and the better your price.

Packing your car

For most road trips you won’t have to pack your car to the brim, but I did since I was moving my life to a different state. My biggest lesson learned was if you are putting things in your passenger’s seat, buckle the seatbelt before doing so. I didn’t do that and found out the hard way that the annoying (but lifesaving) ringing/beeping noise cars makes to remind you to buckle up will go off, and it will last a little while. While most cars are smart enough to stop the noise after a while, just avoid it all together by buckling the seatbelt before you stack heavy items onto your passenger’s seat. You will thank yourself for this later!

I hope you found these road trips tips helpful and that your upcoming road trips go smoothly. Leave a comment below with any road trip tips you have or lessons you learned the hard way after traveling. I know I have quite a few.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life.

App Appreciation: Countable

Hey, guys!

I’m starting this new series on my blog called, App Appreciation, where I highlight an application that many people don’t know about, but could be helpful in everyone’s day-to-day life. I’m starting this series because, well, let’s face it, the majority of you guys reading this are millennials. How do I know? Well, my WordPress analytics told me of course. But even if you’re not a millennial, chances are you have a smartphone and there are so many great applications out there that many of use don’t know about. I have found a couple that I think are really awesome and I want to share.

Instead of highlighting them all in a “Things I’m Loving” post (you can read my last one here) or talking about them all together in one post, I thought I would spread it out and give a more in depth review of each app. So with that intro out of the way, let’s get into it. The first app I think you should look into is Countable.

Countable

In years past I wouldn’t have considered myself to be “into politics”. I blame that on the fact that I was young, felt that I couldn’t really make a difference (i.e. I couldn’t vote), and that many things discussed didn’t really effect me… or so I thought.

Now that I am able to vote and I’m coming into my own as a young adult, I take my civic duty very seriously. I try to stay as informed as possible, using different news sources, apps, etc. to get my news. But at some point you have to bridge the gap between getting information and taking action. That is where Countable comes in.

After listening to bills working their way through the House and Senate, I’m sure you’ve formed your own opinion on whether you’d like to see them to pass or not. I know I have, and I think we should let our voices be heard.

Oftentimes, people forget that our representatives are here to represent us. They are supposed to vote in the best interest of their constituents, and I’m sure they would love to hear from us. But instead of getting out pen and paper and mailing your thoughts away to them, simply use Countable.

Countable is an app that makes learning about what the government is up to fun and easy. It also, allows you to stay informed an most importantly take action.

Here is what the app looks like. Once you download and open it, it will ask you your zip code and address. From there it can inform you of who your representatives are. I didn’t know who my representatives were, especially because I attend and out-of-state school, but thanks to Countable, now I do. This is the first step to truly being informed and taking action. Once you know who represents you, you can see what they are voting on.

On the app, you can customize your feed to get information on the topics that most resonate with you. For me, I selected everything because, I simply want to be informed and vote on the things I can, not just what I feel effects me.

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When you click on a story in your feed, it will inform you of what is going on and prompt you to comment and/or take action. If you feel so inclined you should definitely take action. When selecting that option, Countable gives you the opportunity to call and/or message your representative, and share the post on social media. Feel free to do any or all of those options, but the point is that you are doing something. Personally, I like that Countable give you the opportunity to call or message you representative. I would feel quite intimidated calling, so messaging will probably suit me best. But it’s nice to have options!


When you slide over to “bills,” you will see a timeline of bills that are working to be passed in Congress. When you click on a bill it will give you a summary in layman’s terms of what the bill is trying to do, an opportunity to learn more, comment, and either support or oppose the bill. Again, Countable is giving you a chance to be politically active, share your opinions, and be a productive citizen.

While there are a few other things that you can do on this app, I feel I have covered the most important points. Ultimately, Countable doesn’t just fill you in on the news, it gives you the opportunity to be politically active, and that’s so important.

With that said, if you feel so inclined, be sure to download the app (you can find it here), and let your voice be heard.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life.

 

Yoga, Pure Barre & Kickboxing Review

As I have mentioned before, my college career ended on March 3rd, and I wasted no time implementing a solid workout routine. While I dedicate an hour and a half each morning to cardio and weights, I like to throw in a few exercise classes to spice things up.

Yoga

If you are anything like me, you’re probably under the impression that yoga is easy. Probably because most “yogis” are super chill and yoga is all about stretching, right?Well, that is a myth. It honestly depends on the class you sign up for. Some yoga classes are more focused on meditation, others on your core, balance, restoration, the list goes on. If you want to do yoga only because you want to stretch, then I think you’re better off just stretching by yourself.  But if you want to stretch, work on strength, balance and your core, then yoga is for you.

The first yoga class I ever took was a hot vinyasa class. I think I overestimated my abilities. While I didn’t die during the workout, there were a few times I came pretty closes. (I know! I’m dramatic.) While I am new to yoga and still learning about the different styles, vinyasa is definitely a more advanced form. Try it if you want, but you will definitely understand what I’m talking about when you’ve held a plank for five minutes, you’re sweating bullets because the room is a sauna, your muscles are shaking, and your instructor is telling you to “Just breath through it.”

I highly recommend that you take flow or sequence classes that are not hot as your introduction to yoga. Once you’ve done those, you can slowly incorporate beginner or intermediate hot class as you get more comfortable and begin to understand what yoga is all about.

I like yoga because it is a very self-reflective practice. Whenever I go to yoga I know I can work on myself, but in the presence of others. Often at the beginning of class, you’ll set a focus for yourself or as a class. A common theme of many of my classes has been letting go of anything (any energy) that doesn’t serve you.

It’s a great way to clear your mind, push yourself mentally and physically, and meet other amazing people in your community.

Pure Barre

It’s all about “finding your shake.” What is “your shake,” you ask? It is when your muscles start to shake as you fatigue them during an exercise or movement. Barre is an exercise that closely resembles the movements and workouts of ballerinas. As the name alludes to, you work with a bar and a few other items (2-3 pound weights, a small exercise ball, and circular exercise cords) to get the most out of each workout.

Pure Barre is all about working in opposite directions. You will hear the phrase “heavy tailbone,” because it helps to isolate muscles and ultimately “find your shake.” As someone who trained as a college athlete, I find pure barre to be quite challenging. Pushing through fatigue is hard despite the fact that all movements are minuscule. It causes me to work my mental toughness just as much as it makes me work physically. This has been refreshing because one of the biggest lessons I learned during college athletics was mental toughness. I’m glad I get the opportunity to work that “muscle” as well as all my other ones.

Boxing/Kickboxing

I have tried both boxing and kickboxing and have decided that I like boxing more. While kickboxing is fun and very similar, I just find boxing to be more my style. It’s easier for me to focus on punching combinations without adding in kicks and switching my footwork.

But let me backtrack and start by saying boxing and kickboxing are both great workouts! You will definitely sweat and be tired after but isn’t that what you went there for? Usually, you will have a warm up that is honestly harder than actual boxing or kickboxing workout. It will consist of jumping jacks, different variations of squats, lunges, planks, push-ups, mountain climbers, etc. Then you go through a series of boxing or kickboxing combinations for multiple rounds. Depending on where you go and what class (boxing or kickboxing), your workout could end with 10-15 minutes of abs, boxing with a partner, or something similar to the warm up.

When I attended my first classes, I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s definitely worth the hour you’re paying for. There is no doubt you’ll get a quality workout in.

I hope this workout review was helpful, and that it inspires you to get active for at least one hour every day if you are not already.

Let me know in the comments below if you have ever tried these classes, if you plan to, and other workout classes that I should try in the future!

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life.

 

Things I’m Loving

Hey, guys! Due to my blogging and social media hiatus, I now have quite a few things that I’ve discovered, loved and want to share with you. It would be great if this could turn into an interactive thing. I tell you what has caught my eye in the past few weeks and you do the same in the comments. Hopefully, we can introduce each other to some excellent products, people, workouts, websites, anything and everything. So without further ado, here are a few thing’s I’m loving!

Cath In College

I love YouTube! I love writing! Cath In College is the best of both worlds and ultimately what I aspire to be as a content creator. I’ll let you guys in on a little secret. I would love to create a YouTube channel one day. About what? I’m not exactly sure yet, but I would like it to revolve around the topics that I already discuss on my blog. So I guess I’m saying I want to create a channel about anything and everything. If you have any suggestions or support the idea of me creating a channel, comment below! But anyways, back to Cath. She is a junior at Stanford, and she documents her life and friends in both written and video form. After watching one or two videos, you’ll be hooked, and you can’t help but love her personality. It really shines through in her writing and in her vlogs (video logs).

Pure Barre

Guys, I thought I was athletic until I tried pure barre. Don’t get me wrong. I am athletic; I played basketball in college. But pure barre is different. It’s all about “finding your shake.” That means you work your muscles so hard during an exercise that they begin to shake and fatigue. The movements in pure barre are minute (nothing is full-range of motion) and resemble ballot moves because pure barre is a bar class. Let’s just say that if you don’t already have respect for dancers, you definitely will after your first class. After years of lifting and running, I think pure barre has been a great break from my regular exercise. It pushes me physically as I discussed above, but more so mentally. Working until the point of fatigue is hard, and working through the fatigue is even more difficult. Ultimately, it has continued to train mental muscles that I constantly had to work during my time as a college athlete.

University of Virginia

I currently go to the University of Kansas but did get my undergraduate degree from UVA. It’s weird that this is something I love right now, despite the fact I haven’t been back on grounds (campus) since graduation. But after watching a bunch of undergraduate college YouTubers, Cath In College included, and seeing their college experiences, friends and their lives on campus, I have been nostalgic for my time in Charlottesville. There were times when I would watch college YouTubers and think, “I wish I went there,” “I wish my college experience was like that,” and “look at what could have been.” It is safe to say I have moved past that phase, and have realized that while their journeys in college have been amazing and unique to them, mine was wonderful as well and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I was fortunate enough to have met two of my closest friends in college and many others that are near and dear to me. It was at UVA that I had my best and worst times and truly grew as a person. So with that in mind, UVA is something I’m loving because I miss it and my fellow Wahoos!

Kombucha

There will be an upcoming health post including this later, but I wanted to highlight it right now. Honestly, when I first heard about Kombucha, I was like, “Great, it’s the new La Croix”. For reference, I have never tried La Croix, but ultimately I thought it was the new health fad. Turns out, it’s not new, it’s actually really good for you, and I like it. Kombucha is a tea that is fermented. The fermentation and yeast in the drink are great for you and act as probiotics for your gut. As the health nut and enthusiast that I am, when I heard this I was sold. If you like carbonated drinks, you’ll like Kombucha; it definitely has the bubbles. But even better, it won’t lessen your life span like all the other bubbly products that shall go unnamed. Try it out and let me know what you think. There are tons of flavors to choose from, so there is no excuse. The only downside is that they are kind of pricey, but so is your $5 Starbucks coffee order. Again, no excuses!

Groupon

I’ve known about Groupon for years but didn’t actually discover the magic of it until half way through March. Um… It’s amazing! I try to be frugal and save my money (the key word here is “try”) and Groupon as helped me do so. That’s how I got to test out pure barre for the first time at a low price. Groupon has introduced me to some awesome companies in my area that I would never have found myself, and I’m sure it will do the same for you. So if you like having a good time, being social and saving money, definitely try it out.

TJ Maxx

I went to TJ Maxx too many times to count within the last week of March. I think I went four times out of a seven day week. 😳 I’m definitely addicted! It all started when I found their healthy foods section. Guys, where has this been all my life? Sometimes eating healthy can be a drag because it’s pretty expensive, but not anymore. At TJ Maxx, I found superfoods like goji berries and cacao nibs for half of what supermarkets and higher end grocery stores sell them for. It has made eating healthy on a budget a reality for me. I encourage everyone to take a trip there and see the discounts on products (not just food) that you usually pay full price for. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!

So this was definitely a longer “Things I’m Loving,” but I hope you enjoyed it and have a new list of things to try. Again, comment down below some of the things you’ve been loving and recommend that myself and others try.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life.

The Retired College Athlete

As of March 3rd, 2017, a little past 11 pm CST, I became a retired college athlete. An RCA as I like to call it. To put this in context, I have played basketball since the age of seven; I am now 21. For the past four years, I have played basketball at the collegiate level, and while my experience in college sports has been a rollercoaster, that is a post for another day. Today, I want to talk about my thought process when preparing for retirement.

I’m a person who enjoys surprises, but never actually wants to be caught off guard. As a planner, I saw my retirement day in the distance and of course started making moves to ensure that it was a smooth transition. This includes mental and physical preparation.

Let’s start with mental! During my undergraduate education, I spent time as a member and co-chair of a club called I Am More. It was a career readiness program for student athletes because a lot of us won’t go pro in our sports. For me, going pro was never my aspiration. Just check out this old blog post from my old blog, Sydney Sundays. I Am More was my first step to preparing for retirement, and I started preparing my sophomore year of college. I guess you can never be too early.

More recently, I went to see a guidance counselor about my transition out of sport. Sometimes it’s just easier to talk it out with a third party because they will just listen. Here I was able to talk about my past history with basketball, what I’m looking forward to in the future, fitness goals, etc. Most importantly, it was there that I was able to best prepare myself for the mental shift of not being a college athlete anymore. Due to this preparation, it wasn’t a surprise when my retirement day came. There was no shock, disappointment, etc., I was prepared for it.

Now for the “physical” preparation. I slowly created a fitness routine that I could abide by once retired. I skimmed Pinterest, watched YouTube video, and also wrote down things that I just wanted to do, focus on, and enjoy. Let me say, there were multiple lists, all of which were just ideas. While I have changed my actual workout routine many times, the idea of putting myself in that mental state and asking what I would do to stay fit when basketball practice was no longer a part of my schedule was helpful.

So let’s talk about the actual day. The end of my basketball career was kind of weird. We lost to a team that we had recently beaten during conference play. I rolled my ankle pretty badly that game (what’s new) so I barely played, and it really wasn’t how I envisioned my career ending. With that said, that day did come, and I wasn’t sure how to feel. Should I have been more upset? Was I supposed to be happy? When you’re a senior sometimes, it seems like everyone is looking to you or at you to figure out how you feel about the situation. For me, because I was so unclear of how I felt at the time, I chose to act upset. I genuinely believe I was, but after a day or two went by, and I got to spend some time alone, I began to realize that it’s okay if I didn’t feel upset, or if those feelings didn’t last for a day, a week or a year. Ultimately, I had prepared myself so well for that moment, that when it came, I wasn’t surprised, and because of that, I didn’t know how to act.

Fast forwarding to the present day, I think my preparation paid off. More than a month removed from my sport, I feel that my transition into being an active adult has been successful. I have worked out every day since retirement and have not gotten bored of my workouts. I realize that there is a lot of life to live during the hours I used to have practice, and I have enjoyed genuinely doing things I want to do without using the excuse, “I have practice,” to persuade myself otherwise.

With that said, if you are currently a student athlete and your day of retirement lies ahead, my biggest advice is, don’t let it sneak up on you. Cherish your time playing your sport, enjoy your teammates, create good moments, and don’t wish away the tough times. While you might not miss the conditioning, you’ll miss the overall experience eventually, and I’m sure it’s done a lot to shape who you are.

But also, prepare for your retirement by getting to know yourself. Cheesy, I know, but figure out the things you’ve always wanted to do, come up with a workout plan so that you’re not the former athlete that has let yourself go, and mentally prepare yourself for not having the commitment to your sport every day.

Everyone handles retirement differently, but for me, life couldn’t be better. Comment below if you’re a retired athlete at any level. College, high school, middle school… it all counts! Let me know how you dealt with your transition out of sport and if you’re enjoying where you’re at today.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life.

My Social Media Detox Explained

Hey, Strangers… well, it’s really me that’s been a stranger. My last blog post was on February 14th, 2017. So you’re probably wondering where I’ve been for the last month and a half. If you’re not that’s cool too, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

I’ve been on a social media detox. Sometime in mid-February, I found myself feeling less than a lot of the time. My college career was about three weeks away from ending, the thoughts of my last semester of college consistently weighed on me, the job hunt was and still is brutal, and worst of all, everyone’s life on social media looked amazing.

Instagram is definitely my favorite social media platform. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and outside of video, I believe it’s the best way to capture moments. But with that said, Instagram was becoming toxic for me. I would scroll-and-scroll, looking at the awesome pictures of people, getting updates on their lives, and then subconsciously comparing them to me.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but Instagram and all social media are highlight reels of people’s lives. You can’t compare your ever day to their better or best day. But of course, I did it anyways.

I’m not sure if this happens to others, but because this is the year of many endings for me (i.e. college, college athletics, etc.) sometimes I find myself thinking, “Did I live it right? Did I make the most of all of my opportunities? Did I squeeze the life out of these past four years?” In some cases, I answer no and for various reasons, one of which being, comparison. Again, I would compare my college and basketball experiences to others and assume that because we all had different experiences mine had to be wrong.

Well, here is a piece of advice. There is no right way to live life, do college, etc. You are on your own journey, and so is everyone else. So with that realization in mind, I ultimately nixed social media for as long as I’ve been away from my blog. Well, I kept Pinterest and YouTube because I find Pinterest to be inspirational, and I don’t know how I’d live without YouTube, but outside of that everything else had to go.

The first few days were hard. I would pick up my phone and go to those apps just to find that they weren’t there anymore. I had either deleted them or logged out. By day four, it was like I never had social media in the first place. I loved it! I had more time on my hands, I could focus on me instead of the lives of others, and I got a chance to know myself better instead of comparing myself to other. I know it sounds cliche but it’s true.

It’s crazy what can happen when you’re not always checking up on people that you know, don’t know, secretly envy or even dislike. It’s crazy what happens when you’re not secretly plotting your next post on Instagram (I have been guilty of this in the past) or pretending to live a life you don’t actually live.

Now that I have my social media back, I feel like a lot has changed. I get on Instagram, once every two days… maybe, which is a significant improvement from 10+ times a day. I barely get on Twitter, unless of course there is a major event happening (an awards show, sporting event, etc.). In that case, Twitter becomes my go to. I get on Facebook just to check sometimes. I was never big on Snapchat. There is something about people knowing my exact location in real time that freaks me out. For all other social media, I probably don’t use it considering I can’t remember it now. With all of this said, my quality of life has improved tremendously!

I don’t want you to walk away thinking that you need to go on a social media detox to see life improvement. Though the results from my detox were great and I highly recommend it, that was my situation. I do recommend that you evaluate your social media habits and the value you put on the content you see.

Make sure your habits are healthy. Make sure you’re not comparing yourself, and that you realize people are showing you their best days. Most importantly, make sure you know that you’re freaking amazing, bring something different to the table than everyone else and that social media will never be able to fully capture or define that in a single post, feed, or account.

You’re on your own journey in life, so don’t allow social media to make you second guess if you’re doing it right. With that said, happy posting peeps! If you feel so compelled, comment down below any social media detox experiments you have done, if you plan to do one, and anything else you might want to add.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life.

Moonlight: Your Constant State of Becoming

As dynamic as the movie Moonlight and its characters were, I feel that if we look closely, we will all find Little, Chiron, and Black in ourselves. For those of you who haven’t watched the movie, I highly recommend it. It is another screenplay meant for theater that was brought to the big screen and again, another one that doesn’t disappoint. That is saying a lot coming from me because it’s not my typical happy romantic comedy. But after seeing the film, I definitely believe it lives up to every nomination it has received.

i. Little

This section of the movie hit home for me because I, like many others, was bullied during my childhood. Statistics for bullyingstatistics.org say, “About 77% of students have admitted to being the victim of on type of bullying or another,” so I know many of you can relate. It was hard to watch such a fragile child who was so unsure of himself deal with both physical and emotional abuse pertaining to topics that he had no knowledge of. It was also hard because much of his bullying stemmed from society’s unwillingness to accept him and ultimately rejecting aspects of his being because it didn’t exude masculinity as we define it today.

While I felt for this character, I also recognized the all too familiar pain of being an outcast and not truly understanding why. While my childhood bullying situation was nothing like Little’s, this was only the beginning of me understanding how our pasts have a lot to do with who we are today and how we answer the ever-illusive question, “Who are you?”

ii. Chiron

Just as many kids experience when bullied, it only gets worse as you get older. So bad that in many cases, you’re pushed to a breaking point. While Chiron was physically abused more than anything, the mental aspect of trying to figure out who he was and live a life that would grant him peace and a sense of normality was no easy task.

Like Juan alluded to earlier in the movie, “At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you’re going to be. Can’t let nobody make that decision for you.” In this part of the movie, you see the beginning stages of Chiron defining himself, and I identified with he as he attempted to do that.

If you think about it, whether it was in high school, college, or even if you’re still waiting for this, at some point, we all have a defining moment or series of events that help us define ourselves. For me, I think my “moment” was and still is a series of events that continue to take place every day.

I am not the same person I was in high school, and now I can say I’m not the same person I was in undergrad. Always changing, I find myself constantly in a Chiron state of mind, balancing aspects of my past with current situations, and where I see myself in the future. Call me crazy, but I think we all deal with this reality at some point or another.

Chiron took a huge step towards choosing who he wanted to be. Ultimately, he made the decision to save himself from his life of physical and mental abuse by fighting back in the most literal sense. Which leads us to the manifestation of what he chose to be, Black.

iii. Black

I think if anything, we will all see a reflection of ourselves in the character Black. I know I do. As a person who is extremely keen on self-reflection and awareness, I often find myself asking who I would be if my past were a little different, or if I genuinely like/hate some of the things I claim to. After taking one too many sociology classes in undergrad, the Goffman theory that we all actors never fails to peak its head in my daily thoughts. But this movie helped to bring these ideas and theories to life.

Just as Chiron left and reinvented himself to be Black, the toughest version of himself, I feel that in some cases we all adjust our personalities and preferences to shield us from past negative experiences. But with that said, are we truly ourselves? Is that who we chose to be or is that who society forced us to become?

For me, the true beauty of this film was discovered when a concept I learned in undergrad at UVA surfaced. The idea that we are always in a constant state of becoming. This idea in its simplest form is that we are always changing into versions of our best selves. But from this movie, it also shows that we are always changing as we attempt to answer the question of “Who are you?”

I’m sure if the movie went on there would be another character following Black. But for us, as we move through different phases of life, we are not solely limited to being Little, Chiron, and Black, we have the opportunity to be so many different versions of ourselves as we continue our cycle of becoming. But with the opportunity to continually become, I hope that we have the strength despite what society says, to truly become ourselves. Not the version of ourselves that society created due to its sometimes harsh and unforgiving nature. I hope that you truly become you.