If I could delete two Norms in the world, it would be these two.

The month of September brought so many revelations and obstacles that I didn’t know what to do with. For the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about how to endorse myself, what new innovative ways I can switch up this blog of mine, and how to get people to read. I feel like that’s something that people are accustomed to lately: If you don’t have enough likes, favorites, or re-blogs on social media, you simply don’t matter as much. I wanted to be seen, heard, recognized. It wasn’t until I was in the shower and thought of this simple idea: “How often do we do things for the sake of other people noticing, approving, chasing after “likes” or “follows”? I didn’t know how self-centered and shallow I was being was being with my writing. It’s like, those self-promoting fitness fads we scroll past… If you don’t post a selfie about it, does it even happen? Do half of those people want to help others improve on their form or is it just an excuse to show off their half naked muscular physique? Similarly, this is why I said I felt like I was being shallow; my initial purpose of creating CaraFranMin was to help others, to create thought, maybe to stir a little creativity among the readers who take time to notice, but I was trying to write entries that would capture the most attention. And that’s not at all what I want.

I have been afraid to open up a little on here and that’s been a big flaw of mine as a writer.

That being said, put on your floaties kiddos, because you’re about to be pushed into the metaphorical deep pool of my mind from here on out. I will be honest, blunt, and perhaps a little too TMI, but if it helps a reader think, “Wow, that’s what I’m struggling with.” or “I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way!” then I am certainly sticking to the purpose of creating this blog.

Do you know what I’ve thought about a lot over the course of the past month? People fear intimacy. And I don’t mean the late night, slightly buzzed, taking off all your clothes kind of way. In the literal sense, yes, there is the act of being physically intimate by being close to or involved with another human being. And that’s Norm #1 I find to be particularly boring. So do I think of when I think of intimacy? To me, I don’t fear deep conversations with people. I want to hear about your grandmother’s favorite musician from the 4o’s. I’m interested to know what pisses you off about your Ex. I am intrigued to discover that although you might be a seemingly tough motorcyclist, you also love to read for fun. So why do we run from being real with people? Well, probably because it’s easier to tell someone you think they’re Hot than it is to be emotionally vulnerable and compliment them on their mind or personality. Another factor is that we don’t want to be “too much” or TMI. [“Too emotional”, “Crazy”, “Pussy”, and other degrading synonyms that go along with the stereotype of being real with others and yourself.] I am fully aware that occasionally you do run into people who tend to tell you too much too fast, and there are humans out there who word vomit all over you and tell you their whole life story a little too quickly upon meeting them. (These people are to be kept at a distance, but maybe all they need is for someone to listen to them. Give them a chance.) I have known people, and even experienced times in my life where it was easy for someone to get to know me on a superficial or physical level. What I wish was more prevalent in todays society is the opposite. I wish people were more emotionally available than they lead on. There is no way everyone on this earth has the mental capacity of a rock. I encourage you to be deeper with others. Ask them a personal question (with their permission of course.) Tell someone about a personal milestone in your life. Your favorite song and why. Or how you like your Coffee black because your Dad takes it the same way. Anything. We fear intimacy because we fear being exposed or being labeled as weird.

Societal norm that I find stupid #2: Kindess seems to be a lost art. No, I’m serious. The negative comments I see or hear or even take part in daily seem to outweigh the positive and I really want to change that about people, including myself. Actual comment I overheard this morning while studying. “I hate so-and-so, look at her instagram. You can tell she loves herself way too much.” FIRST OFF, excuse that girl for not swimming in a pool of self loathing like the rest of the world??? Second, the words that come out of your mouth tend to have a direct affect on your mood. At least that’s what I think. The second reason why I feel as though being kind is more rare than being bitter and derogatory in society can be supported with my own experience. I was walking to class earlier today and a person I didn’t even know stopped me to say “You look great today! I love that dress! So beautiful!” And it’s a shame, but I felt so shocked rather than flattered at first because I have been conditioned to judgmental “up-down” glares from girls in the student café, so when this girl whom I had never met before took the time to be nice to me, it made me think. Imagine a world of girls supporting each other rather than tearing each other down. Seriously, Ladies. If we’re sitting around calling each other “Vain” or “Bitches” and “Sluts” THIS ONLY gives guys more reason to call us “stuck up bitches/sluts.” And let me just quote Elasta-Girl from Pixar here.

“Ladies, Come on. We gonna leave the saving of the world up to the MEN? I don’t think so.”

So here’s what I’m saying. Question norms and create your own definition of what it means to be genuine, or intimate with others. I KNOW I can’t be the only one who would sit and listen to conversations and crave for something more. Or what about being in a relationship with someone, but feeling like something is missing? Maybe it’s because you’ve never actually taken the time to get to know each other on a deeper level. Take a chance to be vulnerable. Be “Too much” for people. Most importantly, listen to others and watch the words you say to people. You have no idea who is falling in love with the person you are, or the person you pretend to be for the sake of saving your reputation.

Xoxo- C

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Launched in 2014 as a community for creative thinkers, bloggers, and those with eyes and an open heart, this CaraFranMin is a quickly growing collective of go-getters from around Pittsburgh. My hopes for this account is to promote a more honest, and raw type of writing among young people. To speak up about the things that aren't always easy to talk about, and to get real with others. I've always loved telling, sharing, and writing stories. The way I see it--This is what life is all about- human connection and how our passion molds us into the people we become. I am fascinated by what makes people tick, those who go the distance and follow their true calling. Any chance to get to know others better, make them feel inspired or turn their day around, I'm in. Some noteworthy things about me include: There is a constant stream of song lyrics going through my mind at all times. I'm an avid people watcher. An overly friendly introvert. Die hard Coffee lover and expert "I KNOW THIS SONG" -er. And I am obsessed with my Golden Retriever, Theodore. Catch me at Carnegie Coffee Company on the weekends, or somewhere floating on my paddleboard around the Burgh.

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