A Worthy Cause

One of my goals when starting this blog was to showcase a few causes or organizations to support or educate yourself about if you so choose.

So, a few times a month I’ll either post about an organization that could use support or resources on a cause to educate ourselves with. I’ll be focusing on local (to the St. Louis region), national, and global causes and organizations.

For my first post like this I want to focus on a local issue. Our unhoused neighbors in St. Louis are treated terribly. The city closes the shelters, or sometimes the shelters don’t have enough funds to be open at full capacity. Pretty regularly unhoused individuals are removed from the areas they’ve made their home, usually with force from city officials and St. Louis police.

We don’t have a lot of good resources for our neighbors and they can often be forgotten. There are some organizations working hard to reverse this by raising awareness and taking action to help out our unhoused neighbors – with food stations, care packages, cooling stations for hot weather, hygiene products, and education.

One such organization is Unhoused STL. As stated on their social media pages their mission is, “Creating awareness and support for the unhoused community in St. Louis.”

Unhoused STL posts and gets information about our unhoused neighbors here in St. Louis. They also do a ton of outreach with food stations and supplies, like hygiene packs and backpacks, for unhoused individuals. I’ll link to their Instagram and Facebook below.

According to a recent announcement from them, with enough support they hope to do community outreach the third Sunday of every month.

If you would like to donate or volunteer with them you can get more information by emailing them at UnhousedSTL@gmail.com. You can also donate through Venmo @UnhousedSTL and CashApp $UnhousedSTL.

Check out their social media pages for more resources about unhoused individuals and communities in St. Louis and throughout the nation.

Signing off for now,

— Tory

Silver Linings of the Pandemic

Covid hit over a year ago and it definitely turned the world inside out.

People were hopeful when it first started. I heard things like, “Oh, everything will be back to norma in a month,” and, “Just trust that it will all get figured out,” and, “They made a vaccine! Now just give it a month and we’ll all be good.”

Of course, none of these things rang true.

This has been a long year.

Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen our fellow BIPOC and AAPI community members targeted and unjustly murdered, we’ve seen a contested presidential win that came with an attempted coup, we’ve seen 149 million people contract Covid and 3.14 million people die from it worldwide, with another terrifying spike happening right now, we’ve seen our government send body bags to Native reservations being ravaged by Covid instead of tests and PPE. We’ve seen almost 14 months of living in a world of fear of the unknown.

This year has been a hard year.

Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen people come together to protest for justice and change. We’ve seen Derek Chauvin found guilty for murdering George Floyd, which is not justice, but it is accountability and a tiny step in the direction of what one day could be justice with a change in the system and more accountability from here on out. We’ve seen countless people coming together to support each other over virtual platforms with curbside pickup allowing for support of small businesses, and platforms like Zoom where people can come together, at least virtually, to feel some community. We’ve seen a shift in workplace practices with WFH becoming something of a norm, like it should have been before. People have baked bread, gone hiking, and started to look at the root of things again. There’s been a shift in perspective as we slowly start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This year has been an okay year.

I know that for me, I’ve gained many positive things from the pandemic. I know I’m lucky. It hasn’t been easy, but I have to be grateful. I left my job and was able to go back to school because of it, and eleven months later I’m finally graduating. I drink less and eat better. I’m a little less active, but I try to remedy that and on days where I don’t move around as much as I wanted, I don’t give myself a hard time anymore. I have learned to start to work on my view of myself. And while sometimes I still catch me berating something I’ve done, it’s nowhere near the amount that it used to be. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and to cry, but remember that nothing is as important as you. On days where I want to scream at myself for not getting everything I had on my list completed I have to take a deep breath and close my eyes a minute. “It’s okay,” I tell myself, “You did enough today, and tomorrow you can remember to move.”

This year has been a good year.

It’s important to recognize the good things that have happened this year, but it’s vital to remember the terrible things that have happened as well. When we move forward, which will hopefully happen at some point, we will with a weary but renewed outlook on the world.

Signing off for now,

— Tory

Check out what I’m currently listening to:

Graduation and Beyond (I did it!)

10 years after graduating high school, I’m finally graduating from undergrad.

For the longest time I thought I just wouldn’t get my degree. Life was working out okay, and it seemed like every time I tried to go back to school everything else just fell apart and I wasn’t quite able to get with the program and just finish school. Part of that is because each time I enrolled in school I felt like I wasn’t doing it for myself. It was always for someone else, and I was always just thinking about a degree that would be practical and get me a job right out of school – like a degree in Education. Each time was wrong in its own way, and even though I made mistakes through it all, I don’t regret the path I ended up on.

College is such an interesting thing. I think it’s important everyone has access to higher education, but I don’t think it’s as important to complete a degree as society makes it out to be. There are so many different career paths that can be taken, and so much is based more on experience than a degree. The amount of guilt I have felt, and I know I’m not alone, because I dropped out of school multiple times and never actually graduated is something I still struggle with even though I am finally doing it.

I know what it feels like to have an employer tell me I’m not qualified enough because I don’t have a degree, or the way it feels when you get *that look* because you attended community college and got your associate degree, but didn’t make it further.

For me, I know that at some point I’d like to work in higher education. I want to be a professor and give students the support some of my best professors have given me and countless others. I love learning and I want to continue learning for the rest of my life. The first thing I needed to do was get back to school and get my degree. This is much more than just getting a better job for myself. I have struggled with anxiety, depression, burnout, and major imposter syndrome. This is personal. After ruining my GPA over the course of multiple failed stints in school, I’ve made it to a point where I could actually put it on a resume and not cringe.

I don’t give myself credit a lot because I know, in most situations, I could have done better, but this one I’m patting myself on the back and I’m going to pop a bottle of champagne to celebrate.

But just because I’m crossing this personal milestone, it doesn’t mean it’s someone else’s. Support each other and understand that someone can be successful without a degree. Because what makes someone successful is their decision and their personal feats and goals accomplished. You never know, just getting out of bed or drinking enough water could be success. I know some days it is for me.

For what’s beyond May 15, I have no idea. I’m working on getting a job in entirely new field in this pandemic era. Job possibilities look dismal in some ways, but there’s always going to be something. After a semester of searching for a job and having 80 applications go with no response, I’ve decided to stop driving myself into the ground with the stress of applying for jobs in every free waking moment I have.

It’s time to breath and celebrate something I’ve worked my ass off for.

And always remember, it does not matter whether or not you have a degree. Earned experience and marketing yourself well can get you further than a degree in most cases.

You are valid and worthy of so much in this world.

Signing off for now,

— Tory

Check out what I’m currently listening to:

Welcome! First Post/About Me!


I’m Tory, I’m 27, I’m a Taurus.

Is that how you start a blog? Haha, new at this! But very very excited to be here.

When I decided to start this blog, I decided I kind of just wanted it to be somewhere for me to write about whatever was on my mind at the moment. Whether it’s word vomit, something about current events, a short piece or poem I’ve written, really anything.

So, yes, a blog without a big theme may hold a bit of chaotic energy, but so does life. Y’know?

So we’ve already gone over who I am, but you might still be wondering who is she?

I live in the city of St. Louis with my partner and three cats. We live in a tiny little apartment less than a mile away from the industrial section of South Broadway and the mighty Mississippi.

I love to bake and cook, especially cookies, cakes, and bread. I’ve recently started to get my sewing machine back out as well. Look out Ren Faire, I’ll be ready for you post-pandemic! I also love to read and spend time outside in nature. There is nothing like the smell of crunchy leaves on the wet ground in the middle of the woods in autumn!

Last May I left my job and decided to finally go back to school and finish up my undergrad. During this time I rediscovered my love of writing and have been trying to figure out ways to write more and also just talk things out amidst the stress of a pandemic and finishing school online in a tiny apartment with three cats and a human I love so much, but can often get a little irritated with.

I wanted somewhere I could write and post and if it resonates with someone, then they can feel they’re not alone, and maybe I’ll even make some new friends. Somewhere I could just get my thoughts out and laid to rest. And also somewhere to post cool new recipes I’ve tried or things I’ve done around the house or a rant about the fact that football players and teams are not held accountable for their actions, but people I love still watch football.

So, I decided to start this blog! We’ll see where it goes and how it moves, but I’m excited to be trying it out.

I also decided I wanted to focus more on community and action. I’m graduating college in two weeks and will be doing more volunteering around the city, but I also want this to be a place where we can cultivate community and highlight changes that need to happen or organizations that should be highlighted. So, I’ll be committing some time each month to try and highlight at least two or three organizations or causes that deserve more recognition or education. Please send me those if you have any in mind and I will try and feature them! It doesn’t have to be local! There are things we need to educate ourselves on and advocate for across the globe.

If you decide to follow along on this journey with me, then welcome! I’m glad you’re here. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

Signing off till next time,

— Tory

Check out what I’m currently listening to:

This is a safe space and I will not tolerate any rhetoric that focuses on hate. Racism, bigotry, and colonialism have no place here. Hate has no place here. You can leave if that’s what you want to focus on.