Category Archives: Relationships

An Open Letter to Haley

hello-decemberHi guys, happy December! Get ready for excessive Christmas carols, tons of hot cocoa and random mistletoe! 🙂

If you’re wondering why I’ve been MIA again, let me just share that I’ve been working behind the scenes on my first ever musical with school, performing in Disney’s Candlelight Processional, becoming very familiar with two of Shakespeare’s plays and doing lots and lots and lots of – you guessed it! Homework!

Perhaps I’ll share more on that in another post. In the meantime…candlelight

This post is something I’ve been wanting to write for quite some time. This past May, my best friend (we’ll call her Haley) decided to end our friendship.

Haley and I had been best friends since 6th grade and she easily became a part of my family. Middle school was a rocky road and though we had many disagreements, we always managed to come back stronger and become even more inseparable during our friendship.

high-school-is-the-time-to-find-yourselfLast school year, she and I both underwent many changes. Both of our personalities, views and morals changed significantly and we found ourselves disagreeing on many things in life. We each “found ourselves” and while I didn’t see the change in myself during those times, I did see that Haley was a completely different person.

She was more positive, uplifting and spiritual. She knew how to recover from hard times quickly and she didn’t let negative things drag her down for more than a day, something that I am only learning how to do now.

During the last several months of our friendship, we began to grow apart. And while I understood that we were becoming different people, I didn’t understand what was happening when Haley stopped talking to me.

sos my fave person disappeared.pngThere was no warning. One day we were fine talking about everything under the sun and the next day she wouldn’t speak to me nor look at me.

As the days continued just like that, I was confused. And so, I tried calling her a number of times. After not receiving any responses, I settled on sending her an email explaining to her how confused I was and how much this was affecting me emotionally.

She finally replied, but her response didn’t help to ease my pain at all. She put everything on me, and basically said I had been a bad friend to her. According to her, I complained too much and she didn’t need my negative energy in her life.

Ever since I received her response, I’ve pondered over what I could’ve possibly done wrong and I’ve become paranoid about venting to much of my current friends in fear of “complaining too much”.

letting-go-does-not-mean-giving-upAll in all, I’ve let this affect me way longer than just one day. I told myself that it was okay to cry over this and that it was okay to feel sad because I’d lost someone that had been a huge part of my life for three and a half years. After watching myself grow sad on a daily basis this past month and losing motivation to do anything productive, I decided that letting go of Haley is past due.

The time has come. And the time is now.

And so, I’ve decided that today will be the last time I’ll vent about Haley and feel sad about the situation. From now on, everything involving Haley will be viewed as a happy memory, because I have allowed myself to be consumed by this and it’s time that I go back to being the strong girl I’ve known myself to be.

My open letter to Haley.

Hey Haley, 

I hope life is going well and that sophomore year has been good to you so far. I’ve been alright, but I haven’t been the same since we stopped talking. I didn’t have the closure that I needed to get through losing such an important person in my life. 

Sometimes, I still feel like everything was my fault even though I know it really isn’t, because it takes two to create a friendship, maintain a friendship and even break a friendship.

I’ve thought about it, whether or not I was a good friend to you. I listened to you. I kept your secrets. I let you vent to me whenever you needed to. I helped build you up and reminded you to be confident. Not once have I ever tried to tear you down. I let you become a part of my family. I allowed you to cry on my shoulder. I was a column of support to you.

None of that screams “bad friend” in my opinion. 

If what I offered to you as a friend was not enough for you, then that’s okay. I’m sorry that you felt our friendship needed to end, and I apologize for the constant complaints throughout some difficult times of my life, but you were my best friend, the closest person to me, and I thought that friends were there so you could vent to them, have them to help you feel better, and not make you feel guilty for being sad from day to day.

take-chances-make-mistakesWe both have flaws, Haley. Neither one of us are perfect. Both of us had bad days.

We both complained.

We both vented.

We both made mistakes.

But that’s all a part of growing up. We make mistakes so we can grow from them, learn from them and move forward.

If I knew the reasons as to why you chose to stop talking to me, perhaps I could’ve learned something and grown from those reasons too. 

You walked out of my life so quickly and with no warning, like it was nothing. It didn’t seem to affect you in the slightest. It felt like I didn’t even matter to you.

But you mattered to me a lot. I’ve spent 7 months missing your friendship. 7 months wondering. 7 months afraid to get close to any other friends because I’m scared that they too will disappear with no warning. 

Even though I don’t know what my mistakes were, I’m so frightened that I’ll make the same ones.

7 months is 7 months too many, and I’ve decided that regardless of having no closure and not knowing what went wrong, I have to let you go. 

And so, I want to thank you.

Thank you for building me up when I needed you and being my support system even late at night. You were such a blessing to have in my life and I will always cherish the memories and the inside jokes that no one else will ever understand.

And even though it hurts so much to say this, thank you for showing me who my real friends are.

I hope you find what you’re looking for in life and that the people you surround yourself with are as positive as you wanted me to be.

positive-vibesI’m finding my positivity ever so slowly, and it all starts with letting you go.

I know it will all be okay.

Blessed be,

~ Rina Raj

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Is Sex REALLY Worth it? *music starts* BABY I’M WORTH IT UH HUH I’M WORTH IT

bollywoodHey guys, it’s definitely been a while! I’ve done so much over the past month and a half, it’s hard to keep track.

In February, I turned 15 years old (though my mom still says I’m 14 *rolls eyes*) and I (successfully!!!) performed a Bollywood dance at a fundraising event with my sister and dance instructor. It was an awesome experience!

In the beginning of March, my school’s chorus program traveled to MPA (music performance assessment) and all 4 choirs received superior ratings (the best you can get, which means we all get to go to state MPA now!!!).

One of the most important things I’ve noticed – especially throughout February and March – is how lightly our generation takes sex.  Yup, you read that right.  Sex is the hottest topic of discussion in school as early as elementary school these days.

In my opinion, sex is an important topic, something that needs to be discussed and that’s worth bringing to light in order to better understand. We can’t pretend it isn’t happening. It is, and with consequences in many situations.

After conversing with a girl my age who was having unprotected sex with multiple partners, and was having a pregnancy scare and planning to abort her baby (which she promptly did), I couldn’t fight the urge of wanting to gather statistics and write a post about this.

2013 US

I decided to gather opinions from 30 females (friends, and friends of friends) who are currently in high school regarding their thoughts on sex. Here’s what some of these female students had to say.

“Do what you want, it’s your body. But it’s better to love and trust the person first.”

“Wait until after high school.”

“We’re all still babies!”

“You should not do it unless you wanna be 16 and pregnant and on TV.”

“If you don’t wanna do it, then you’re just f***ing weird.”

“It should be embraced. You’re in high school, you should have fun.”

“Don’t do it.”dont have sex because you will get pregnant and die

“I don’t think you should have sex in high school.”

“You shouldn’t have sex in high school.”

“If it’s with someone you truly love, then okay if you want to.”

“I don’t think you should in high school, you have your whole life ahead of you.”

“I think it’s stupid to have sex in high school, unless it’s rape and you don’t have a choice.”

“I think you should wait.”

“I think you should wait because you don’t know if that person is just using you for your body. In high school, sex is just something for people to brag about.”

“It depends on who it is.”

“Definitely not in high school. Wait until marriage. Sex should be special because it’s for your life long partner and so you shouldn’t, like, waste it on other people.”

“As long as your intimacy is in private and you don’t publicly flaunt it, it’s okay. It is your body and you do what you want. If you believe in abstinence then go ahead and abstain. If you feel confident and you are willing, then go right ahead. Personally, I’m not sure if I would have sex in high school. I’m a freshman and I’m naïve. You make mistakes. You learn from them. If I absolutely love the person I’m with and know that this is the person I want to be with forever, I probably would.”

with sex comes great responsibility“No amount of protection can save you.”

“As long as you have protection, go for it.”

“Sex is awesome, and anybody who doesn’t agree with that has issues.”

“Sex equals babies, and babies aren’t always fun.”

We also asked these students if they, personally, would have sex in high school. 13 out of 30 females said yes, and 17 out of 30 females said no.

I was so surprised that almost half of these students said yes to that question. I’ve always been told that sex is something special, and something that should be saved for someone you know you’re going to be with forever.

Which brings me to the final question these girls were also asked: Do you think sex should be special or not?

22 out of 30 said yes. 8 out of 30 said no.

This one had me thinking… why wouldn’t sex be considered special?

I thought about it a lot, and I realized that most girls give up their virginity because they think that -to put it bluntly- having sex with a guy will make him like her.

It’s sad how young girls think that the only way to have a guy truly like them is to offer their body, and assume that afterwards the guy will stick around.

Though many girls in high school facing this situation are blinded from the option of saying no, it’s still there and it’s still a choice.

It’s your body. It’s your choice.dont be afraid of being different

If you’re a female in high school and you don’t want to say no, then that’s your choice. Just make sure you love yourself and your body before expecting someone else to. Make sure you’re not doing it out of insecurities, or to make a guy like you or stay with you.

Always remember that It’s OK  to say no! It’s okay to choose to wait. And more importantly, it’s okay to be a virgin.

I feel like my generation has totally thrown the importance and beauty of sex out the window and focuses on sex purely being a tool for pleasure, and pleasure only. I’m not sure when being a virgin became a bad thing and sleeping around became a trend. But this is pretty much the way it is portrayed in my high school. One is looked upon negatively if they choose to abstain from sex.

We all have different beliefs on the meaning and basis of sex, and there really isn’t a solid or definite right or wrong opinion. It’s a personal choice. It’s common these days, but we need not shame those who choose to wait.

Several students at school have already asked me what my personal take is in regards to this topic, so I’d like to share my thoughts with you.

No, I would not give myself to someone in high school. I’m too busy trying to find myself, and I have quite a vision for my future.

Yes, I do think sex should be special. You can’t force a special guy and special moment to happen, and expect it to be real. I do believe when I’m older and wiser, love will be the reason BUT at a much later time in my life, when I’m ready to settle down.

Please, let’s not shame those who choose to wait. And if you choose not to wait, please do it responsibly. Remember, there are risks and consequences if you’re not careful.

please dont do itUntil next time…

~Rina Raj

P.S. TO THE MALE STUDENTS: What are YOUR thoughts on sex in high school? Would you do it? Should it be special? Do you plan to wait? We’d love to hear your opinions. Comment below and let’s share in this discussion!

Amy’s Dad Dilemma – What Would YOU Do? P.2

Hey everyone! Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Some of you may remember my good friend Amy and her summer dilemma regarding her father (read Amy’s Summer Dilemma – What Would YOU Do?).

To sum it up, Amy had a situation with her father during the summer and in the end, she decided it would be best to not visit him when the summer was over. Well, Amy needs our help once again.

After the situation occurred during the summer, Amy decided to write her father a letter in order to express her feelings to him.

At first, Amy’s attempted letters were ruthless attacks, offensive just me when i finish a letter at 3 amlanguage and resulted in lots of tears. Amy then changed her mind about writing a letter since she was expressing too much negativity. But then one night, she had a sudden inspiration.

She wrote a two page letter to her father.

The letter took her a total of 3 hours to finish.

After writing the letter and mailing it, Amy’s dad called to speak with her sister, Sarah. After the conversation, Sarah informed Amy that their father said he had not opened Amy’s letter, nor did he plan to.dear music i will never be able to thank you enough for always being there for me

Amy felt like an idiot for convincing herself that her time and effort spent writing this letter was going to pay off. She wanted to express herself in a peaceful manner, letting him know how she had felt and that she loved him.

But now, she felt even more upset.

After weeks went by, Amy was able to brush it off and focus solely on her summer camps and song writing.

The summer ended and the new school year began. Amy began conversing with her stepmother. One day, her stepmom called to share the big news.

its a girlAmy was going to be a big sister.

At first she was extremely excited and started mentally planning out the baby shower, the cute little outfits she could save up to get for her little sister. And then it hit her like a bus.

How was she going to see the baby, and help with the shower, if she and her father weren’t speaking?

After coming to this realization, Amy found it hard to be excited about the new baby. She decided not to worry about it too much and figured this situation with her dad wouldn’t drag on forever. Eventually, everything would be okay.

Well, months went by.

i try to act like it doesn't bother me but my dad not caring makes me more upset than i like to admitOne evening, Amy volunteered at Sarah’s concert. And Amy’s father attended. When he approached the entrance way with Amy’s stepmom, Amy felt her dad didn’t acknowledge her and so Amy didn’t acknowledge him either. Her stepmom was happy to see her and expressed that.

After some time went by (they had to wait outside for a period of time since the concert was already in progress)…

“So, you’re not going to say hello?” Amy’s father was now interested in speaking with her and insisted on doing so, but Amy was in the middle of working at the entrance way.  It was not a good time to talk, Amy needed to stay focused and she expressed that.

Since that evening, Amy has felt confused. Why would she be the one to initiate conversation after not hearing from him?  Now she was ten times more confused.

when people treat you like they don't care, beleive themAmy has asked many of us for advice and the responses are typically, “He’s your dad.”

Amy couldn’t take it anymore and recently, she lost it.

“My dad? Of course he’s my dad, but has he raised me? Does he support my dreams or does he only care about himself? He has been to only 3 out of my 13 performances, and 1 out of the 5 concerts! And it’s not like he was out of town for all of them. He doesn’t even know me! I’ll bet if I asked him what my favorite color is, he wouldn’t know the answer. I’ll bet if he asked what I wanted from Starbucks and I said “the usual” he wouldn’t come back with the right drink. All he’s ever done is told me what I’m doing wrong and who the heck is he to talk?! But you know what, it’s okay. We have to learn from our mistakes, right? And now I know how NOT to treat a kid.”having kids doesn't make you a father raising them does

Amy is going through a really rough patch right now. She feels like her dad doesn’t care, that he never has.

Her letter was a way to get him to listen to her – without him yelling at her – in hopes to validate her feelings and understand why she wasn’t ready to visit.

As much as my friend pretends that she is fine, it’s easy to tell that she’s not okay. She’s hurting.

I know in time this experience will make her much stronger. But right now, she’s not there yet. She needs encouragement and words of wisdom.

If you were in Amy’s situation, what would YOU do?  Do you have any suggestions or words of advice? Please share in the comments below, I know she would really appreciate it!

Until next time!

~Rina Raj