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Tahyira Savanna

Tahyira Savanna is a young entrepreneur currently residing in the Brooklyn area of NYC. She is a graduate with a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus. It was while writing her master’s thesis that Tahyira realized she can use her voice to change how things are.

Obama and gun control laws

The debate over gun control laws battles on

By now I’m sure you’ve seen it, the newspaper headlines, the trending hashtag, and the Anderson Cooper follow up interview via CNN about Obama and gun control laws.  

This article will focus more so on my opinion of Obama’s coalition against or not so much against but for gun control laws that already exist to be fully enforced.  This week he signed several executive orders that directly relates to federal gun control laws specifically to background checks, mental health, and an increase in budgets for the agencies that go after illegal guns.  The country reacted mostly because while addressing the nation, he began to cry when talking about the tragedy that happened back in 2013 at Newtown elementary.  He went on to say that it was one of the worst days of his presidency.  I think people forget that outside of being a President he is still a human being.  He is a father.  He took an oath, to lead the Free World to the best of his abilities and he is addressing the gun control law issue that has been up for “debate” for decades.

The main issue Americans have with our second amendment right to bear arms is that people looking to do harm have overly abused it and gun control laws.  Within the last three years we’ve seen the rate of mass murders skyrocket throughout our country.  A few weeks before the holidays we experienced another shooting in California where the assailants purchased the weapons through legal channels, again opening the expanding wound of gun control laws.

Obama also included in his executive orders a budget for technological advances for assault rifles.  He is not a perfect person, our President but he has surely proves that he understands the majority and that he’s not afraid to go up against a small handful of people who are powerful and think they should control the way the rest of us live.  The public interest group that represents gun sellers and gun owners is the National Rifle Association better known as the NRA. Their supporters advocate that the NRA created substantial programs that serve to also protect our country.  Evidently these programs don’t work and we usually only hear about them once the debate of gun control laws becomes a hot topic.

The general consensus from anti-NRA supporters is that if you’re looking to be productive in your industry why would you go against gun control laws that will stricken policies that had led you to be seen as the bully in the first place.  President Obama’s coalition, as I’ve called it, doesn’t take away any rights that we hold.  It simply protects and enforces the laws and provisions that are necessary so that we know who’s buying a gun and what they’re buying it for, which is all gun control laws are essentially.  If we make it more difficult for the bad guys to get the guns then we save more lives, period.

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If you’re an individual looking to purchase a gun you should want to go through harder or, stricter I should say, channels to make sure weapons don’t land in the wrong hands.  Gun control laws are the exact same mentality when boarding a plane post 9/11.  I have traveled from the United Kingdom and I’ve seen passengers who have been asked to be searched again before boarding the aircraft after they had already cleared the mandatory security points.  My name is Muslim and my travel documents have been flagged where I had to go through extra questioning.  I understand that since September 11 and the rapid growing of fundamental Islamic nations these are the necessary questions I must go through to protect the rest of us.  I have nothing to hide.

Maybe the NRA does. How do you feel about stricter gun control and gun control laws?

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Realistic New Year's resolutions

Here are New Year’s resolutions that you will actually stick to while going into 2016

It’s a tired old story, around this time of the year you hear everyone talking about what they’re giving up for the next year, but we have some realistic New Year’s Resolutions for you. It is always something very far away from what the person currently does.  If you say you want to read more books, you probably don’t read anything outside of a magazine or tabloid right now.  If you say you want to stop watching so much TV, you probably have an iPad and a smart phone with Hulu and Netflix.  And then, the best one of them all: The “I’m going to start going to the gym” New Year’s resolution.  The last time you’ve probably saw a gym was when you zoomed past the closest one to your house.  You never actually stepped foot inside it but admire its presence in your neighborhood from afar. 

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The idea of starting a new year is like a reset button.  We think we can just jump into the things that we know we want to change but that’s not realistic. Psychologists argue that it takes us 28 days (4 weeks) to break a habit.  It’s the method behind Beyonce’s latest diet crazy, 28 days vegan, where by day 29 you will no longer feel restricted.  Your current behavior is already set.  The same thought process should be taken when coming up with things you want to change to better yourself in the coming year.  So here’s my “keeping it real” New Year’s resolution list.

1. Instead of promising to join a gym try following more fitness inspiration across your social media accounts.  There is so many ordinary people (meaning non celebrity types) that document their weight loss progress.  It is a perfect way to stay inspired for 365 days.  By watching others accomplish what you want to accomplish for yourself is a much better push into reality.  I’m sure by mid January you’ll be well into your fitness regimen.

2. Don’t delete your cable account just yet, because then you’ll end up watching television at the gas pump.  You can try something a little less drastic like stopping the reminder emails for latest shows on your Hulu account.  Netflix does it also so you can suspend those as well.  Along with deleting your “Don’t forget to watch” emails you need to find something to replace the time you spend in from the tube.  You can try cooking bigger meals everyday, ones that require multiple preparations.  If you’re not into cooking you can find another home based hobby to over indulge in, like knitting, or scrape booking.

3. Eating healthier is usually a separate resolution then working out or starting the gym because it requires different restrictions.  Either way, you’re not just going to just stop eating that slice of pizza two times a week.  Don’t stop the pizza but try adding a salad.  Yuck, right? There are ways to essentially make anything taste better; You just have to research.  If you incorporate three healthy items to your week, you’ll begin training your mind and body to dislike the fatty greasy foods that makes us feel awful afterwards.

4. Maybe your resolution is to raise your Grade Point Average so; you’re planning to never sleep again.  Wrong, instead of becoming a zombie, remove the distractions that you have during you’re current allotted studying time.  Maybe your roommates play loud music, try studying in the hallway or heading to the library.  You probably don’t need to study longer but need to focus much more.

5. Finding love is another big one, obviously for those who don’t have anyone to kiss at midnight.  That’s all good.  You’ll never find it if you’re looking but everybody needs somebody (cue the Blues Brothers) so try taking different routes to work or to class.  Stop in the other Starbucks, you never know who you might run into.  Dine in new neighborhoods.  Basically, increase your personal exposure level. 

In 2016, let us all vow to keep it a little more honest with ourselves and the goals we seek to accomplish.  By taking these steps towards real changes daily, you can eliminate the feeling of failure somewhere around mid February.

 

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How Emojis help us realize our true moods

Emojis are helping revolutionize the way we communicate

Have you ever wondered how emojis help us realize our true moods?

Ah life in the texting era, our parents hate us and our grandparents are a little afraid of us.  They see us talking and responding to them while our fingers move a mile a minute.  We are having one conversation in person and about 4 others digitally.  Our generation has learned to perfect the texting conversation so accurately that many of us actually prefer to text nowadays then to talk on the phone. 

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If you think about it, texting and sending messages to express yourself protects our privacy from those around us.  I’ve been to dinner on a double date where I texted my friend how disgusted I was by the guy the entire meal.  He didn’t know.  She kept me calm and we all had a fine time.  Texting most definitely has its perks.  Now texting essentially derived from online instant messaging.  This is where the first set of smileys then emoticons now emojis also came from.  The phone manufacturers are well aware what we as consumers need and then overtly what we want to have included in our communication devices.  Apple and Android have sort of mastered this by adding their own versions of emojis available individually on the specific platforms.  

You ever get a text emoji that doesn’t fully make sense? Then you text back like “Hey, what phone you got?” But isn’t it weird to not use emojis especially when conversing with friends or peers who have the same lingo as you do? It just makes the text story come alive.  It captures the one thing technology is slowly destroying, compassion and the feeling of being in the present with someone else.  Facebook in its past years has even added the feature to it’s status posting option.  We can share what we are reading, watching, eating, and feeling.  Sometimes you’d read a status and without the added mode behind it, it would of made no sense at all.  It also enhances the feelings we all go through on a daily basis for example someone posts “I can’t wait for tomorrow” with the ecstatic emoji versus someone posting “I can’t wait for tomorrow” with the eye-rolling emoji.  It is the same status but it surely expresses different moods.  

We’re slowly moving toward a new way of expressing how we feel digitally with using alpha texts.  Memes have taken over since the last few years many of which have ended up in Entertainment News stories and of course the viral promotion of trending content.  I recently received a Kanye West meme with his face looking confused.  The conversation was about someone who always wants to know what everyone is wearing the party.  The context of the meme referred to my friend being just as confused as Kanye apparently.  It begs the question however, how emotionally intact are we when sending emotionally filled messages using new forms of communication? Maybe the emojis amplify how we really feel.  For instance, sending the devil emoji to tell someone you’ve done something horrible or maybe just mischievous probably makes you feel like what you’ve done is not as bad as it really is.  “Just because you text L-O-L doesn’t mean everyone is laughing” is the best way to explain this emoji texting.  Many studies show that due to use of mobile communication we have become desensitized.  We aren’t as fully aware of the impact our words make anymore because of the sources used to deliver them.

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The Highs, The Lows: How Everyday Can Be A Learning Experience

I’ve hit a new height.  My first article submitted as a contributing writer to Elite Daily has received way more recognition than I have ever received….like EVER! Lol.  At first, the human response to think that there must be some sort of glitch actually happened.  I called my cousin who lives in Houston and my cousin who lives in Charlotte to make sure it wasn’t just us here in New York who could see what I was seeing. This came at a really weird time for me because I am still processing all that I have been doing in my efforts to get out of here and move to LA. 

The beginning of last week was the half mark for 2015.  The nerves began to set in.  When you are working so hard every single day, you don’t get a lot of chances to stop and look back at the trail you are leaving.  On Friday, one of the other sites I contribute for upgraded my account from basic to pro.  I will now earn three times as much for my content than I had before. 

 The fact that people even spend time to read my words is humbling because lets face it, you could be reading someone else.  As a creative we do not take any form of support for granted because it is rare.  It is even rarer when you get support from strangers before you get support from those that SEE your struggle.

You will always remember the names of your first 100 fans and followers.  You might not remember the 300th.  Many celebrities make a statement to the fans that supported them before they became the trend because these individuals remember when they only had a few 100.  It is one thing to show support initially and another to show it when it has already gained momentum.  This is something everyone faces when they are working on their dreams.  You will be noticed by the ones who are close to you but you will not find their support.  It will re-emerge when they realize, hey everyone is pretty into this, but at that point, they will be in your 300th. I deal with this issue in several ways.

I never do anything for popularity.  It is just not what I’m into at all.  I have been this way for a pretty long time for example I was the captain of the Cheering Squad in High School and yet I was not trying to be considered a “cool kid”.  It could have been that I grew up watching too many teen queen movies and shows but it always looked like a lot of pressure.  I wouldn’t say that I totally wanted to be ignored either, I just never felt getting admiration solely from my peers was that much of a priority to me.  I felt I was always more mature than they were anyway. 

You should never try to be popular or to be liked.  It is like setting yourself up to be the brunt of the joke for your whole life.  We cannot control anyone but ourselves therefore we are not in control of the people who gravitate towards us or away from us.  I am and will always be my biggest fan.  When I received an A on my thesis paper from Graduate school I told no one at first.  I just let it sink in.  Like damn girl, you’re better than what you assumed.  I’m sure that would not have been the reaction of many.  Most run to their public forum (Facebook) to disclaim whatever accomplishment they have.  And there is nothing wrong with that but it should never be the only admiration you seek.  Keep some of it for yourself.

Challenge Accepted! How I Completed My First 5K

My personal story on how I prepared myself for a 5K

Completing my first 5K run was such an enormous feat for me, I wanted to share my story.  

I went from not being able to run past 0.25M at the beginning of June to running about 2.7M of my 5K this past Friday.  It was about a 3.1M stretch but the terrain they had during the run was definitely not conducive for running.  It was the training schedule I stuck too that got me through it though.  I had started to train 8 weeks before the Blacklight Run.

 The runs in the beginning were the hardest.  I had to go into this real deep mental space to even get on the treadmill.  I felt defeated before I even started and that feeling just brings discouragement to me.  The funny movies  I would stream provided a good distraction but it didn’t stop me from looking at the timer every millisecond, like well, just 14:58 minutes to go (From a 15 min run lol).  After the first week or so my body dropped a lot of water weight, and I felt lighter.  My chest is a size DD so finding a decent bra or bras in my case was also imperative.   I felt stronger.  

I incorporated weight lifting and full body workouts to keep my cardio levels up.  I went on a no carbs diet the month before so I was eating a lot better.  By week 3, I was doing 1.25M runs in 12-13 minutes. Once you learn your rhythm, there is this calm that comes over you while running.  I think it is your breathing pattern.  You take deep breaths in and out and you kind of get inside of your body in a way.

Before even seeing the results in the mirror, I gained this whole new confidence.  Now I am already a pretty confident person and I attribute it to my hard work and upbringing but over coming personal goals, will never get old to me.  It is a refreshing feeling.  No matter what we face, life has its moments. To keep the faith alive, I constantly have to push myself to that next level.  I never considered it to be another level of confidence but that’s exactly what it is.  Never lose sight of the person you are or your true purpose in life.  I never believed or followed the ideology that life has to be this hardship.  It does not have to be a struggle if you stop and enjoy every moment. It really isn’t about the destination, it’s all about the journey.

Every challenge you make it through, you prove to yourself, and to others, just how powerful and strong willed we all can be.  You should attack every obstacle with an open mindset.  I find that many people speak doubtfully, and they don’t even realize it.  I speak light and love.  I don’t stay in the dark space.  I fight to become the best version of myself.  I’m all about change and reinventing.  It is the life process in my opinion.  None of us stay exactly the same yet none of us really lose the essence of yourselves.  It is a very fine line of basically fine tuning the parts of yourself that you love and removing the bad habits that you hate.  

We all move at different paces and we all have a different journey.  I find that by staying my own course, while inspiring others by either words, my images, or my successes, I keep myself grounded and not in competition with anyone besides myself.

You can do it too!

Is this the real kind of love?

How to determine if this relationship is “the one”

We love to love and we love to hear stories about people in love, right? How do you really know if the relationship you entered is actually one for the books? One that they should write a book about and then cast the hottest Hollywood A-Listers to portray your love on the big screen sort of thing.  Well, there is no real measure because we all seek different things from a relationship and we all define love by different standards.  There are however some inclinations that you may be the modern day Rose and Jack from James Cameron’s Titanic, you know minus the iceberg and all.

1. When the two of you are around other single friends or family members, you see the wanting for a relationship stare, and it does not even shock you.  You know what the two of you give off when you are together and love is insanely infectious.  The love bug does not discriminate so if you give it to others around you, then your relationship is something that is admired by others.

2. You’ve made the least monogamous person in your clique actually try serious dating.  They have heard your daily stories of how happy you are and how great you work together that it kick starts something in the friend.  They might go to Tinder, but that’s ok.  In the modern World where we live on the internet, dating via the Internet is very normal.

3. When you are retelling a story from your love book, everyone listening in simultaneously sighs AWWWW, and you’re like what? What did I say?  You have become so accustomed to your life and your relationship, you’ve forgotten the heartache.  There is a lot of negativity about love and it stems from all of the hurt others have gone through.  If you can get a reaction by just saying minor almost irrelevant details about your relationship, then you’re in a good one.

4. When another couple hangs around you, they try to hold back parts of themselves in front of you, so that they are not viewed as the problem relationship.  Some couples stand out, it is their mannerisms and the way they communicate publicly with each other that a2. You’ve made the least monogamous person in your clique actually try serious dating.  They have heard your daily stories of how happy you are and how great you work together that it kick starts something in the friend.  They might go to Tinder, but that’s ok.  In the modern World where we live on the internet, dating via the Internet is very normal.

5. Before when you were single, you used your job, projects, and friends to occupy your time.  You don’t lose contact with these people and you still work hard to get ahead, but there is a new calmness about all of it.  You are comfortable and confident enough in your relationship to say to yourself, Nah I want to be just be with him/her without thought.  You don’t feel like when your with them that you are missing out on something else.  You are in total zen.

6. You remember the days his or her public relationship status was a deal breaker for you? Well, if you find yourself not really gravitating towards the opinions or “comments” of others, on how happy your relationship is, then it is most likely valid.  When something is missing we feel the need to make up, it may be with witty captions or the perfectly staged “We are so in love” selfies together.  The truth is happiness needs no outside validity.  You are not trying to prove anything anymore so when you do post couple-ly Instagram pics you are actually sharing the love with others.  It is obvious to others when two people are in real love, the actions will always speak louder than, well, the likes.

7. Every relationship has problems and arguments and if the title of this post made you feel like that isn’t true, then honey you are lost! Perfect much like happiness is independent to every situation. Meaning, what makes me happy might very much make you sad and vice versa.  What is perfect to one may be intolerable to another. The way you argue or have fights is one of the greatest tells of the health status of any relationship.  If you both have no issues with having a little spat at a friend’s dinner party or an intense standoff during a shopping trip, then your in a strong relationship.  This kind of relates to what I said in number 6 but this is more for real life and not your social lives.  The less you care about the outside opinions especially when it is revealing intimacy, because I believe even the way two people in a relationship resolves issues is intimate, then you know you have a strong foundation for love and longevity.