Spain, Traveling
Cartagena

Except walking around the Old Town and the harbour we went to Teatromano, the Roman theater of Cartagena. It's a real masterpiece and the museum is interesting and beautiful as well. I think it was six years ago since I was there last time. Cartagena, in the region of Murcia, is a real nice city to walk around town, have a café solo, helado and just relax. I keep coming back.

On the street outside of a very nice, and "home-y" café they had these plants. Sadly I didn't get the name oof the place, but it was right outside the exit of Teatromano.

Torrevieja

One afternoon dad brought Fanny and me to Nautilus, a restaurant and bar in the south Torrevieja-area. The view was incredible! You could see the whole coastline in the city of Torrevieja and also the big ocean and cliffs around the place. Considering the view and the service you would think it's expensive but you get a cerveza pequeña for just 1€.

On our way, walking by the canal, to Villamartín Plaza and CHE!!! Pizza & Pasta. They have some of the best pizzas I've ever had.

Miss this one already and she left about 14 hours ago.

In one hour it's Thursday. One week from The Thursday, 13th. The Thursday when I leave Spain for Sweden again, fly back home to an empty house, my work and get to know whether or not I'm going to study to become a physiotherapist this fall. And move to another city. I would be lying if I said it wasn't pretty much everything I can think about. I have to get in I have to get in I have to get it. Sure it would be OK if I didn't... but I want it so bad.

This last week I've been on the beach a lot. I think today was one of the first days I didn't spend any time at all on the beach? I've been feeling a bit sick, and hurt my foot a bit while surfing yesterday, so I've been eating and sleeping all day. And playing poker with mom, my aunt and her husband of course. That's a tradition when we spend time together. Although it's been a bit boring and hard to keep track of the hours of the day it's been good to me. Yesterday was full and I slept like a baby tonight. I started by surfing for 2,5 hours with a short water break after maybe 2. I was supposed to stay and surf some white water (because hey it's fun and the waves out there are pretty big...) but as soon as I started paddling Moi, one of our neighbours here, came paddling my way yelling "Victoríiia!! Venga!". So I swallowed my fear and followed him further out. Remember this man has been surfing for 15 years, not accepting (not because he was stubborn, because he wanted me to get the best waves) that I haven't. Although I had some troubles actually riding the waves out there I almost caught a few and started to feel less scared of the waves and their power. It always takes me a while to get there. After working my ass off out there we decided to go get some beer but I didn't feel finished so I got out to the white water and had some fun for a while, catching wave after wave, twisting and turning. My second to last ride I was stupid enough to step off the board with just a step in very shallow water. Somehow my ankle twisted and it now hurts sometimes while walking and just moving it while sitting down. Therefor I decided to skip the surfing today, which was an awful decision. I went to La Mata, north of Torrevieja, to check the waves and it all ended with dad and me sitting watching the nice waves and the surfers for a while. Hopefully the foot will be fine in a couple of days and I'll have at least one more surf day. And not to forget - after playing around in the white water I finally did get my beer. And sunburned. Not tanned. Burned.

Tomorrow will be a slow day as well. Which is exactly what I need. It's the last day here with my aunt, her husband and my cousin so I guess we'll go to the beach, play some more poker and maybe go out to eat dinner. But first I'll have a loooooong night's sleep. With my air conditioning. They installed one in my room so I don't have to sweat half to death before the air from the living room gets to my room. Makes the whole thing much more pleasant! Thanks for that mom and dad!

Love and light,

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Books, Spain, Traveling

Guadalest in the Alicante province. Wow. What a view and such a nice small village. We left in the morning so we could have our morning coffee there and it was lovely. If you're in the Torrevieja- or La Zenia-area it's only about 1,5 hours driving. On the highway of course. A recommendation is to go to the top (the castle and the cemetery), that's where you get the craziest and most beautiful view of the pond.

From Guadalest we went to Villajoyosa (La Vila Joiosa), a nice town/village by the ocean with lovely apartment buildings with different colours on each house. On the top picture Bella, our friends' dog, managed to get in as well! She's always with us, except on the beach, and is aaalways either super happy or... sleeping.

Right now I'm reading "The God of small things" by Arundhati Joy. It's very different from the things I usually read. It was actually my boss who recommended it to me. I usually go by the name "the feel-good queen" in the bookshop but since I got really moved by "The Fishermen" by Chigozie Obioma she thought this would be something good for me. I'm just about 60 pages in but I really like both the description of the characters and the environment. It's like (I might be wrong, just throwing out my thoughts here) the whole story revolves around this one happening, the death of a young girl (this is not a spoiler, it's the first thing in the book.) I think it's going to be really sad and tough, but I like the language and as I said - the descriptions. And for me I really dig down to each character and if the characters are badly described I get don't get as dragged into the story that I would've wanted. Although in feel-good books there are not always some very good descriptions... but hey once in a while you need something easy and cozy to read where you everything will be fine, the author won't surprise you in the middle of the book and kill off your favorite character.

Our friends will be over soon for a night BBQ. And not to forget - one of my best friends, Fanny, arrived yesterday morning so I got to spend my whoooole birthday with her and everyone here. We went to the beach and had an amazing dinner at a vegetarian and vegan place called True to life in Playa Flamenca which was the cutest place! Sure, it takes some time to get both food and drinks but that's because there's pretty much just one woman taking orders, making everything (homemade!!!!) and serving. She's the cutest, happy and very humane. THE FOOD WAS AMAZING. I'm definitely going back another day.

Love and light,

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Traveling, Spain

I'm back! In a country I can almost call my second home. At least it feels like it. When the flight was slowly losing hight and getting ready to land I was all emotional - how I've missed this place! Two years is a long time, especially when you feel like your whole life has changed, up and down in and out. It's a different Victoria today than it was such a long time ago.

These days have been the perfect amount of chilling at the beach and getting settled in the house. I had insomnia the first night here so yesterday I was a bit tired. It didn't stop us though and we went to the beach for a couple of hours in the morning and then to our friends' house before going around to different supermarkets to get some nice vegetables and vegetarian food for me. Last night we went out to an Argentinian restaurant to have dinner and celebrate two of our friends who turned 20. We went to a place called Che!!! in Villamartín Plaza. They have multipal restaurants there, and in La Zenia Boulevard near-by, with different themes and I never get disappointed. Hopefully we'll go to their pizza & pasta-place aswell in not too long. Today we've all been to the beach for a couple of hours before we went home for lunch (second picture.) The last weeks I've been obsessed with making my own wraps with everything good and delicious I can think of. Today it was full-wheat tortilla bread, cucumber, peppers, bruscetta "mix" (tomato, garlic and red onion), broccoli, halloumi, guacamole and sriracha. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

When I got here I noticed how stressed I've been back home the last week. Or maybe for a longer amount of time. I've just had thousand of thoughts and scenarios in my head all the time, mostly about what's going to happen after the summer. Where will I go? What will I do? Will it be good for me? I'm really excited about things changing and starting something new but at the same time it's frustrating to not know what it will be. All I have to to is wait. And I don't really have much patience. That's something I have to work with. Anyway, I'll try to let go of this stress, rest and just be in the moment. One thing to help me on the way is that I'm trying to mot use the phone more than maybe twice or three times a day. When we're leaving for different places I just bring it if I'll be taking pictures - but so far these two are two of three pictures I've been taking so far this trip. The computer I brought with me to blog, watch some movies if I'm tired and just want to chill for an evening or check different things that are hard to do on the phone.

I'll head to our friends' pool area in a while. Tonight mum, dad and me might go to Torrevieja to have a nice walk in the city. Just wanted to let you know I'm alive and well.

Love and light,

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Books, Everyday life, Thinking out loud, Traveling, Who am I
Grandma 85!

This Saturday I got to spend with my family on dad's side, including my beautiful grandma who's turning 85 later this summer. She's the coolest grandma with a lot of humor and things to tell me about life. During my lifetime she's been traveling to many countries, exploring some of them with grandpa and others - like Oman - twice on her own! I can't get more impressed. When I grow up I want to be like her and still be kick-ass.

Yesterday I had some friends over and it was really nice. The vegan buffet was a real hit and I got to spend some time with almost all of the people I love to have around me. My great colleague Johanna happened to have a bottle of prosecco named Victoria at home so she brought it over, have to look for it next time while at Systembolaget (the liquor store in Sweden.) And to say something short about the sushi picture: Oh my God. It's my favorite lunch close to work: vegetarian sushi with cucumber, tofu, rice and a lot of avocado. And ginger of course. I've also started on a new book called The little Paris bookshop by Nina George. I feel like it's going to be a real nice feel-good now in the summer.

I'm going to Spain this week. I finally get to hop on a plane again and fly away. It's not that I don't like it here - I'll miss my friends a lot even though it's just three weeks. It's just that I love being on the move and find new spots in the world where I haven't been yet. And even though I'm going to an area where I've been many many times I feel like this time will be different. I'm a different person than who I was before graduating two years ago and I don't feel like laying on the beach all day everyday. I want to drive to nice cities near-by, I want to go surfing (apparently there's a surf break not too far from the house...) and I want to find all of the nice vegetarian restaurants I've never been to before. I also want to go the nice restaurants, beaches and pools where I've been many times before - but it's nice to have a balance, right?

Today I've been fighting with some thoughts that always hunts me while on vacation or traveling in general. I've been working a lot with body positivity the last year - working on accepting myself in every form. One of my most read posts when I started this blog was about loving our bodies just the way they are and always do what feels best and stop squeezing into to small jeans, holding in the stomach because "it's supposed to be thin" or care about those cellulites on the thighs. Here's the deal though: I'm very comfortable in any clothes (except the really tight dresses who show every curve on the body - still working on that one) and walking around in underwear (which I actually do a lot and don't really care who's seeing.) It's when I get to those warmer days when I'm wearing a bikini or short shorts I get uncomfortable. Which is weird since underwear is fine. As soon as that bikini gets out my confidence and acceptance goes away with it. It's such a stupid thing really, to judge yourself for not looking like the girls in the magazine. But everywhere I look, in ads and pictures on social media, I see that thin girl who looks like she's never had a bloaty day in her whole life. Or ever tasted pizza. Poor girl.

Anyway. With vacation comes anxiety because of this. I'm going to do my best to not think about how my body's "looking" while walking on the beach or laying down reading but it's hard. We all have good days and bad days. And for me I get crazy thoughts like "If I don't eat anything bad this whole summer I'll feel much better because I'll be thin." One summer, like 2012, I swear - I had only salad to eat for weeks. Just because I wanted to be "thin". Then I started working out for 4-5 times week for 2 hours, only running and lifting at the gym. Now when I see pictures from that year I feel sad - on every picture I look tired, thin, sad and had big dark circles under my eyes. I didn't look or feel healthy. But the last year I've felt healthy, felt like I look happier both to myself and others (and on pictures - what a difference!) I'm just more alive this way, not being the advertised "thin" woman. Because in the end we can only be who were born to be, right? Sure we can change, but what's the point if it makes us feel bad?

So to come to a conclusion: this summer I'll do my best to always walk, dance, smile, surf, swim e.t.c. with a smile and a "nothing can get me down"-kind of feeling. Because If I feel awesome, I'll probably be awesome aswell.

Love and light,

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Books, Everyday life, Sweden

I'm back to life! No painkillers and I can finally chew for real again. It's easy to take some food for granted when you can have anything you want, but when you can only have things you can drink with a straw or barely eat with a spoon for a couple of days you get hungry for everything. This made me eat anything and everything one more time when my jaw got back to normal. Something I've really fallen for (which is not very chewy though) is aubergine! Where have you been all my life? Emelia cooked me some dinner this Tuesday and I can't get over it. I'll grill it a lot this summer... Imagine some skewers with aubergine, onion, peppers, zucchini, mushrooms or oumph... OK I have to move on otherwise this will end up with me cooking instead of writing.

The sun is out in Sweden again. It's like a regular Swedish summer, rain for one day - 25 degrees and sun the next one (or just two hours later.) I like it though. The unexpected is exciting (and sometimes a bit chilly but hey bring an extra sweater!) Anyway. The last couple of days the nights has been really nice. Except working this week and eating at Emelia's house I've spent some time with Hilda. She and her boyfriend moved to my dream location in Stockholm pretty recently. This Wednesday we went out to an amazing falafel place called Falloumi in Skanstull (which is my favourite place at the moment) and then chilled in one of their windows the rest of the night, drinking tea, listening to some LPs and talking. Last night our little "group" went to Rålambshovsparken and the Boule Bar there. It's a really nice place with a nice vibe! Especially in these warm nights (since it's outside.) I love that people in Sweden are "waking up" in the summer. The town changes with seasons, and in summer I never want to go to bed. I just want to hang out with friends and other loved ones all the time. This leads to full days, deep sleep, happiness and a lot of events! Later tonight Emelia is coming over and we'll go to town for some dancing, tomorrow my big family on dad's side will celebrate grandma's birthday and Sunday I'm having some friends over. And most of the times all of the events contain food! Yay! Isn't that just the best combo? This Sunday I'm cooking an all vegan buffé. Hopefully it'll taste like heaven. Wish me luck!

With the heat and the humidity my hair is growing bigger and bigger, I'll bet it'll grow even more in Spain. It's really nice but can get a bit hot sometimes! It's like a big blanket around the neck and the upper back haha. Isn't it interesting how our bodies change through seasons as well? How the sun, the moon, the water/humidity around us can change our mood aswell? I always feel a bit taller in summer, feel more alive, get less anxious in situations I can't handle in the winter, feel more and eat more. I also feel more athletic... although I eat and drink more shit and probably move less. I also feel like I'm more sympathetic in the summer. Even if these things actually are true or just in my head they feel great! How are you changing through the seasons? How do you feel?

Before leaving to Spain next week I thought I'd get a couple of new books to read en la playa. Hopefully that was correct. I have to get my Spanish skills back this summer. Do you have any recommendations? It's nice to get a different perspective sometimes since I'm working with books. I need to find the stars hiding in the shelfs! Help me!

Love and light,

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Everyday life

My dear Malin.

I've been starting to take photos of my breakfast from time to time... not OK I know but this was too delicious. It's from a place in the city central and it's all vegan - acai bowl with coconut and mango cream and an oat cappuccino.

I've been growing up with these two!! Can't believe they're both graduated now. They are... 361 days younger me to be exact. And they've been around since they were born. It was such a happy day to celebrate Vendela yesterday!

Time's flying
The last two weeks has been really intense. I've moved from the apartment in Farsta and moved in at my parents house again. In the basement. The day before yesterday I happened to meet four spiders in five minutes. My best friend Emma witnessed the whole drama through the phone (sense the sarcasm.) Not going to lie though - I was terrified. This Monday I went to the dentist and removed one of my wisdom teeth. Since I'm a big softy I cried some when they were giving me the anesthesia through some (not kidding) huge shots. Even though the whole procedure went pretty easy after that my cheek continued to grow and get more swollen for days... making me look like a human version of a hamster. Fun times. It's gone back to normal now but I'm still on some heavy painkillers. But today I could finally go back to work! Looking quite normal.

I've been up in my head so much I haven't notices that it's only about two weeks until I get my summer vacation and fly to Spain for three weeks. FINALLY. I haven't been there since before my graduation in spring 2015. Both summers I've been home working my ass off while watching pictures of friends and family coming together in the area where I've spent (I think) half of all of my summers? At least two weeks every summer for as long as I can remember. It's been breaking my heart, even though I've taken a decision to work in the summers to be able to travel other times of the year. Anyway, this time is going to be perfect. I'll spend time with the twins' (in the last picture) family, my friend Fanny is visiting, my parents, my aunt and her husband and some cousins. It'll be full house pretty much my whole stay there. I'll celebrate my 21st birthday just hanging out with the people who are closest to me.

Time to get down to the spiders again. Working early tomorrow.

Love and light,

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Books, Thinking out loud, Traveling, Yoga and meditation
This morning I decided to film my home practice and wow - I should've done that a while I go. Some poses I've felt I've done right have to improve... a lot. I mean, I can do them but it's not the right way - I'm burdening the wrong muscles sometimes and it wouldn't surprise me if I soon get hurt. One of the poses is the crow pose, Kakasana. This was actually one of my best times - I managed to hold it for a good while before I faceplanted on the mat. I know I need to look more forward and straight out my back and neck but my God, while in that pose all I want to do is to stay in the air and not faceplant. Hopefully a lot of practice will help - I'll continue to videotape my practices and hopefully learn a lot more about how my body's moving. I also think it's time to buy a block to help with my practice.

The last week in Stockholm has been amazing. The weather has gone from snow to sun and 20 degrees celsius in just a couple of days and with the sun all of the people comes out. I think a lot of us Scandinavians wake up in spring and realize how much we've missed being outside. We then try to spend every second outside, or at least open all of our windows when we're inside. For me this is the best period of the year to let my creativity flow. I get inspired by everything - birds singing, a sunray shining through my drapes. Even the sound of a lawn mower in the morning is nice to listen to. And I'm a morning person. Anyway, the last week this urge to be outside has placed me in parks with friends, walks around town and outside on my break eating ice cream in the sun by myself. To be cheesy: it's nice to be alive.

With creativity the mind also wonders and spring is the time of the year when I analyze my own behavior and feelings the most. I've learned I have some behaviors I need to unlearn. Just like some yoga poses, I've gotten into some behaviors I've felt being right but now, when I look at them from a different perspective, I've noticed they're only hurting me. The last years I've gotten more and more self confidence. I often do my own thing and enjoy myself - and everyone around me can assure you that I'm a smiling and positive person. At the same time I'm honest and I open up pretty quick to new people. This is a way for me to feel better as well, if I'm anxious it loses some of the tension if I say it out loud. Since I'm this sure in myself and my behavior it gets extra tough when I realize some of the things I do now actually hurts me. But to get over it and change, I first need to accept it. This week has been all about that acceptance. I've already started working on some areas and I'll tell you when I've managed to change something. It will take time, but it's all for the best.

Yesterday I booked a plane ticket to Spain this summer, for three weeks. Yes!! I'm going to enjoy my (first ever) payed vacation. I felt like such an adult while writing that last sentence. I imagine I'll just lay on the beach reading book after book, playing beach volleyball, swim everyday and explore towns close to our house. Siesta everyday. The sweet life. Anyway, this summer will bring some decision time as well. In July (or August at the latest) I'll know if I'll move to Gothenburg in the fall to study to become a physiotherapist. That would be great. But if not - I have to get out in the world again. My mind is wondering off to Central America (mostly Costa Rica and Nicaragua), Hawaii, Sri Lanka, Portugal... I'll probably come up with more in a couple of minutes. So what ever comes from this summer, I know it'll be a good fall. I need change, I get restless a lot. And this have continued for about three months now.

Later tonight I'm going to get out and have a long walk with my Bali friend Malin. Until then I think I'll just snuggle up with a new book. Has anyone read The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton? I've heard it's good and I've been eye balling it for a while in the store and last week I finally bought it. I'll give you my review later.

Love and light,

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Everyday life, Thinking out loud

Right now my life is pretty much organized chaos (like the last picture.) I'm still working in the book shop, which is great, but when I'm free I'm either in town hanging out with friends all night or sleeping all day. There's no balance - which makes me feel like I'm very balanced. Weird, right? Maybe it's just the whole "Feeling alive 'cause it's spring again"-period all of us Swedes go through every year. I think it is. Before writing a whole piece on love (exciting subject, right?) I'll tell you some stuff that I appreciate right now:

I've been full vegetarian (and started to eat much vegan food as well not too long ago) which makes my body feel like a temple all the time. I've started to look forward to working out, go to dance classes and so on. I've discovered and started to cook a lot of new food (and wow it's good.) I don't really care about what other people think of me anymore, with this said I still think it's important to always be humble. It's more like: if I want to dance I'll dance and if I want to dress a certain way I'll do it. No discussion. I've had time to take a lot of baths lately (yay.) And IT'S SPRING. Thank God.

Maybe this got you thinking about what you're thankful of right now? I hope so. Take a minute or tow to number some things you appreciate at the moment - nothing is too big or small.

Alright, let's discuss love. The big thing. Four letters which sums up all of our lives. When I think about love I think about the selfless love I always get from my parents and grandparents, the feeling I get when I meet my best friends after not seeing them for a while (or even if I saw them the night before), the feeling that's spreading in my chest when I'm really happy and feel like I'm flying and of course the feeling I get when I like someone a bit extra. It's when I can't experience love, in any of these areas, I feel numb and down. Every time this happens it's not because I don't receive any love, it's because I can't accept it - see it as it is. Pure. Let's get one thing said: I'm not afraid of love. I always hug the people around me I love, I appreciate them, I tell them that I love them and try to help them see how awesome they are. That they can accomplish every challenge they meet in life. I send them a message, or call, when I haven't seen them in a while, let them know I'm thinking of them. This is something I've worked hard on, since telling people you like them, or love them for that matter, is the same as putting yourself out there. Completely naked, it sometimes feel like. But it's all worth it in the end, isn't it?

I have a lot of really close friends and family members who I love more than everything, and I always get in a good mood when I see and talk to them. It's when that extra someone shows up I get freaked out. It's not a special phenomenon, I think a lot of people feel the same way. It's all about experiences.

I was thinking I would keep digging in this to explain some of the things with love that scares the shit of of me and makes it hard for me, and people around me. But right now it actually feels way too private. I'll try to write something later, when I can choose my words more wisely. Now I'm just rambling on as always.

Love and light,

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Books, Everyday life, Who am I

The bowl in the first picture is currently my favorite brakfast bowl. It's vegan and contains banana, mango, coconut milk, oats and a pinch of vanilla powder. It's deeeelicious. Sometimes I like to add some strawberries, chia seeds, coconut chips and goji berries. It makes me feel full for hours and it's no joke that a great breakfast start the day in the best way.

I'm really bad at blogging at the moment. It feels like I'm starting every post like this but it's true. I think about blogging much more than actually taking the time and writing down my words. Sometimes I've even written in my diary instead. When I first started it was easy for me to choose the words and sentences, since I'd been traveling for a while and the English tongue felt closer than the Swedish sometimes. It was easy for me to spill out my thoughts, my feelings and ideas. I'm not saying it's harder now, but somehow I've gotten to a place in life right now where I don't think and analyze as much as I used to do. I'm actually in a really good place at the moment. I'm feeling healthy, eating only vegetarian food (ruled out chicken as well a couple of months ago), working out a couple of times a week, spending a lot of time with friends and resting when I need to. Work is going well and I never have one of those days when I wake up and feel like I just don't want to get up. I've changed the way I think, from what I've regret to what I look forward to. I'm also trying my best to not think about yesterday or tomorrow but only today, which is much easier said than done. Maybe it's spring but I feel like I've been getting very emotional the last couple of weeks. In a positive way. I smile a lot (yes, more than usually), feel blessed a couple of times a day, sleep tight and so on. In some situations I've put myself in, like driving for a couple of hours by myself, I've started with a weird feeling in my chest and stomach before it slowly goes away. When it does, it doesn't come back.

Last night, on the train home at like 3am, I finished the book Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Wow. If you want some well written and emotional reading this is definitely your go-to! Just do it. It was so good I don't really want to start a new book too soon. I just want to let it all sink in. Although I've been eyeballing I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes for a while... might start on that one tomorrow.

Anyway, back to the title: Right now I feel like I'm doing the right thing for me. And it feels amazing.

I'll write in a while.

Love and light,

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Thinking out loud

The fight continues.

Tell your sisters around the world, encourage each others, problematize, be that pain in the ass if it's the only way to make people understand the injustice. Educate yourself, open your mind. Be brave enough to realize how the patriarchy affects you as a woman. You and all of your sisters. Once you see the problem you can never go back, but you can make it your fight as well - to fight for a society which is equal for all genders. Where we no longer have to be sexualized, we no longer have to scared and no longer have to be punished for wanting the same security and rights in the society as men do. I will take the fight for my mother, my grandmother, my daughter, my daughter's daughter and all of my sisters around the world.

Make your voices heard, tell people off when they diminish you and don't let men think they can continue behaving the way they do. Discuss. Open their eyes. Be brave. United we stand, united we are strong.

Love and light,

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