Feeling the Feelings

IMG_9807I was at Country Fair stopping for hot chocolate with my mom and aunt as we are on our way to Volant Mills for a 15 mile yard sale. There were no lids and I was holding too many things when I spilled the hot chocolate on my clothes, my right hand, and the floor. Tears began to form in my eyes from the burn and no one was helping me, not to mention it was pretty embarrassing. As I wiped off my hand I couldn’t stop crying and I went to the bathroom to put cold water on it. I looked in the mirror and mentally said, “this is it, I haven’t cried since the beginning of summer and here it is.” Fast forward to the present; I’m in the back seat with tears still falling. College is such a terrifying, exciting experience and it’s time I acknowledge that. I don’t want to leave my family. There’s never a dull or unloving moment with them. I don’t want to leave my friends. This summer has been amazing and I don’t want things to change. I don’t want to leave the comfortable, familiar atmosphere of Erie – this place is home. So, as I’m experiencing all of these sad emotions in the back seat of my mom’s car, I recognize how necessary they are. This is what college is all about. It’s about stepping outside of your comfort zone, because you don’t have any other choice. It’s about leaving home, because maybe there’s another home for you. It’s about appreciating what you have and looking forward to what you will have. I’m not ashamed of these tears, I welcome them. I know God is watching over me and He will send happiness my way. Also, in case you’re wondering, I never got a lid and the hot chocolate is not very good.

Detroit Film

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Earlier this week my best friend and I saw the new film, Detroit. I’m just going to give a general opinion on the movie, as I believe it’s something everyone should see. I have formerly heard about riots breaking out in the 60s due to the segregation of African Americans. This movie focuses on the riots that occurred in Detroit as well as the Algiers Motel incident. This incident involved twelve teenagers, ten black males and two white females, who were badly beaten and unjustly accused of shooting at police. As a result, three boys were killed by the Detroit Police. It was heartbreaking to watch innocent kids, the same age as me, be badly abused. I had no knowledge of this incident before watching the movie. It’s awful to think this happened in our country and we should be ashamed of spreading such racism, hate, and violence. In the end, all of the cops were found not guilty. It’s unbelievable how the purposeful murder of young teenage boys can go unpunished. The truly sad part is that if they were white, the trial probably would have gone totally different. I believe these historical incidents should be talked about and that starts with educating students on it. As for now, go see Detroit in theaters near you!

Trump’s Anti-Trans Pronouncement

620585556_1280x720Well, Trump is at it again – doing shit that makes me furious. About an hour ago Donald Trump tweeted, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.” I am baffled as to how un-American this is. How can you deny someone’s right to protect our country? Additionally, I find it very immature of him to tweet such a thing rather than give a statement on it. I’m sure many transgender people logged onto Twitter and suddenly saw that they can no longer serve our country – how sad is that? The thing that bugs me the most about Donald Trump is that he doesn’t treat people like human beings. I find it terrible that he so easily called transgender people “disruptive burdens;” as if their gender identity stands in the way of bravery, heroism, and patriotism. Well, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t. I’m truly sorry for anyone who is affected by this ban however, I support and love you. Remember, that we will not be bullied by Trump. #resist

Summer Happiness

16638736bd70502fe2fa5ed142cd117f.jpgHonestly, life has been really good lately. I’ve been taking the summer as an opportunity to get fit, be with special people, prepare for college, and focus on myself. It’s felt close to perfection. I’m doing a lot of working and as a result, a lot of shopping. I’m “remaking” my wardrobe and trying to find discounts everywhere I go. I’m really happy with myself and I’m grateful for where I’m at. More than anything, I’m excited about where I’m going. I’m so thrilled for college. There’s a lot of firsts ahead so I’m doing my best to take it all in – starting each day with a grateful and productive heart!

To the Bone Film Review: Read with Care

Lily-Collins-To-the-bone-movieIn my opinion, Lily Collins is one of the most underrated talents of this generation. She stars in movies such as Stuck in Love and The Blind Side. I have developed a sincere respect for her after reading her memoir Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me. In her book, she discusses being trapped in an abusive relationship, her battle with an eating disorder, and a tarnished relationship with her father. Her honest words and relatability have earned her my following. When I heard about the Netflix original movie, To the Bone, I anxiously awaited the release. This movie is about a 20 year-old girl named Ellen (played by Collins) who endures the hardships of life with anorexia nervosa. After failed attempts at recovery, Ellen’s family admits her into a group home for youths with eating disorders. Along the way, she makes friends and learns more about herself and the ones around her. Collins has expressed how much this project has meant to her and how proud she is “to be shedding light on this incredibly important subject matter.” I feel it is my duty as a young woman to discuss the topic that is so easily dismissed and considered taboo. So, here goes (contains spoilers!)

First, I’m going to start off by saying that I loved this movie. I felt that it was genuine, powerful, and thought provoking. To the Bone broadened my understanding of mental health illnesses. As I was introduced to the character of Ellen, I discovered that there’s not necessarily one cause for an eating disorder to begin. It’s easy to blame society or a dysfunctional family but that’s not always the case. Similar to an addiction, starving yourself can feel “euphoric.” It’s the craving of numbness and control. It’s sad to think that our emotions can feel so big and confusing that we harm ourselves. Another important thing this movie showed me is that a person with an eating disorder can see the beauty in life. It’s not a matter of life being worth it but rather how to live it with such a restricting disease. One of the first scenes shows Ellen and her half-sister eating dinner. Ellen easily states the calorie count for every item on her plate. This obsessive behavior creates internal worry that is portrayed throughout the movie. Luke, a quick-witted friend of Ellen’s, hands her a candy bar and says, “Chew, swallow, the world will not implode.” These simple words were hard for her to hear.

To the Bone depicts an eating disorder as the real, blunt challenge that it is. In Ellen’s group home, they were regularly weighed to be assured of progress. These scenes were hard to watch due to the distress that the patients felt. When Ellen dropped her clothes, she was all bone. No matter how many people told her she looked “ghost-like,” she saw something very different. It’s crazy that people don’t see themselves for what they truly look like. Additionally, Ellen’s mother had a hard time seeing her as a person anymore. This was upsetting to grasp as I understood that Ellen is trying to overcome her disease.

A brilliant scene in the movie involved a field trip for the group home patients. Their doctor decided to take them to a rain room. When asked why they were here, Luke responded, “Because we’re alive.” The patients jumped and swayed in the rain, leaving cares behind and enjoying the moment they were in together. Once outside, Ellen was struggling to take in some type of happiness. She expressed feelings of entrapment, explaining that she can’t fix her problems. Dr. Beckham called out her bullshit and said the voice inside you needs to fuck off. With the support of the other patients, they all yelled, “Fuck off voice!” It’s so important to remember that anything is possible. If you’ve got enough courage and resilience, there’s nothing you can’t achieve. The last scene I want to discuss in depth occurred in the last 20 minutes of the film. Ellen left the group home to be with her mother, who was quickly losing hope for a healthy daughter. She admits that it may be her fault Ellen became anorexic. As a result, she explains that she has accepted that Ellen wants to die. Overwhelmed by her mother’s words, Ellen asks to be bottle fed. Her mother proceeds to cradle her and wipe her tears as Ellen drinks from a bottle. This scene was undoubtedly the most heart-wrenching of them all. I felt sadness, loss of optimism, frustration, and helplessness. It was such a vulnerable scene that shows just how much an eating disorder can take from you.

I know it may seem as if this movie is only a heartbreaking story of mental illnesses but I promise you, it’s much more than that. It deals with the realization that we all deserve to live a happy and healthy life. We must create goals for ourselves and find the good in life. It’s okay to take things one day at a time. I won’t pretend that I know what it’s like to suffer from an eating disorder, however, this movie called attention to some feelings I have from time to time. I’m tired of ignoring this topic and I truly want to create awareness for such an important issue that so many people struggle with everyday. I highly recommend watching this movie and learning more about the battle with an eating disorder. If you or someone you know is struggling with this, contact https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline. As Lily Collins has said, “Together we are never alone.”

 

Fitbit – the Motivation of our Generation

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Every summer I work to achieve some unrealistic body image as, I’m sure, many others can relate. This year I was fed up with failed workout routines and crash diets. I admitted defeat and decided I needed some genuine motivation. So, like any other shopping addict, I walked into Best Buy and looked at the Fitbit collection. As I read the wallet hungry price tag of $160, I picked out my size of the Fitbit Alta HR (heart rate) and made the purchase. On the way home I regretted the amount of money I dropped for something that may or may not change my lifestyle. However, I have no more regret anymore! After almost two weeks with the fitness bracelet of our generation, I have never felt more motivated to get those steps in. The Fitbit easily pairs with my iPhone and I’m able to set goals for myself. I’m proud to say that everyday I go for a walk which is not only good for my physical health but also my mental health. Another awesome thing about the Fitbit is that it tracks your sleep! As long as I wear it at night, it will record the various stages of sleep based on my heart rate throughout the night. To anyone who is looking for a way to get active, I highly recommend looking at some Fitbits. I’m really happy I did! 🙂

The Future Looks Bright as Hell

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Today was my orientation at Ashland University. The day started off with a 2 and 1/2 car ride. As I flipped through SiriusXM channels, I was in disbelief that this would be the last time visiting the campus and returning home the same day – the next time I travel to Ashland I will be settling into my new home. The day was full of informational meetings and I have to admit I was feeling nervous, a little left out, and doubtful that I can make it through college. However, shortly after lunch, things began to turn around. I made two friends who seemed to be fun, good people. We made jokes in the back of the room and planned to join some clubs together. I got some of their contact information and I felt excited to see who and what college brings into my life. I’m so grateful to be experiencing college life in such a short time. I can’t wait for late nights with friends and getting involved. On a more personal side, I hope to meet a lifelong college best friend and maybe even fall in love. As of right now, I’m not scared but rather excited to be back at Ashland in just 67 days! I truly believe the best is yet to come.

Pictures = Memories

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I know it’s cliché to say but it’s crazy how someone close to you can so easily become a stranger. I’m currently in the process of choosing photos to be displayed at my graduation party. I’ve discovered that every year has involved different people. Some have stayed in my life while others are only responsible for past memories. As I look at these photos I am both sad and happy. It’s hard to see an ex or an old friend and admit that they no longer have a place in my life. However, it’s important to remember that those people have shaped me into the person I am today. I am so grateful for learning the meaning of friendship and love. I don’t regret the past because it’s important to my future. I am constantly surrounded by the right people at the right time. As of right now, everything is the way it’s supposed to be and for that, I am so thankful.

Key to Happiness

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I’ve been thinking a lot about success and happiness. Not the artificial kind of happiness that is candidly created in many Instagram posts, but the real kind. As I move onto a stage in my life where I’m creating a future that I hope will bring me success and joy, I can’t help but wonder if what I have planned is full and genuine. Let me further explain…I want to be a writer. Possibly a journalist or a screenwriter and I have the image of a nice apartment with frequent trips out of town. I want to see the world and be financially able to make that happen. Maybe if I’m living near water, I’ll buy a boat because that’s a life goal of mine. I want to have easy access to an escape from work life. I want to be free to write what I want because I’m so far on top that people know my name and say, “Bella Pacinelli’s writing really had an impact on me.” I realize some of these things may seem selfish and rooted in a place of desire for material things. But what I want to know is if they make me truly happy, how can they be bad things? If I work hard and strive to be a good person, my dreams are pure right? Well, I don’t know the answers to these questions and maybe you don’t either but I’ve discovered that’s okay. There is so much more to come in my life and half of it I’m sure I haven’t even thought of. That being said, it’s a little preemptive to judge whether my own definition of success and happiness is okay. I believe that as long as I help others and create the best version of myself, I can be genuinely happy and full of success in whatever way I have it imagined.