brittany*

#Aquarius New Moon: Time to Flip the Script and Experience Delicious Reality We Want

Been struggling with focusing, getting organized, dreaming bigger? All stagnant, no longer serving energies associated with 2015 can completely be released at this time. We all walked into 2015 feeling major excitement but #MercuryRetrograde definitely woke up any disharmonious feelings that didn’t aligned with what we wanted, which allowed us to acknowledge what needed to be released.

This #Aquarius #NewMoon cycle is great for flipping the script. Do something old in a new, more efficient way.

YOU ARE NO LONGER STUCK. REMIND YOUR MIND AS OFTEN AS NEEDED. You are free. Use this time to intentionally, lovingly and clearly lay down new foundation. Aligned perfectly with #29DaysofRadicalSelfCare, this is a perfect time to tend to yourself, which in turn will influence how you approach your life. As the water-bearer, Aquarius new moon can help cleanse all areas of your life. Think about what you things in your immediate environment you can release. Nothing is more relevant than this saying - Create your life. With Saturn’s influence, life is encouraging more focus, discipline and consistency for your greatest good. These energies are perfect for weaving and molding your life to actively call forth all that you’re seeking.

The idea isn’t to be as busy as possible but to rather to make choices that clearly align with what you want, are efficient and require the least amount of resistance. You do get that you don’t have to be burdened, right?

You do get that you don’t have to struggle as you rise into your growth and success? Keep that in mind. Efficiency. Efficiency. Efficiency.

We want to program a new understanding of success inside of us. One that says self-care, in-joyment, steady progress and ease is a possibility. Think manageable daily actions like going to sleep earlier, putting 30 minutes aside to workout, creating daily to-do lists. As I always affirm, stay in the knowing of what you’re seeking. What do you want to see bloom in spring and summer? You have enough time to plant and water those seeds.

What are you calling forth or establishing this #NewMoon? Comment below and be sure to journal it as well. Spread the #NewMoon energy - Tag a friend!

For daily inspiration + astral insights, Follow Brittany Josephina on Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter.

4

‘We Fear the Water’

About two years ago, the city of Flint, Michigan, changed its municipal water source in an effort to cut costs. Soon after, residents said the water looked and smelled funny. State officials long denied anything was wrong with the water, but researchers soon discovered it had unsafe levels of iron and lead from corroding pipes. Local officials are still struggling to decontaminate the water, leaving residents to use bottled water for drinking, washing their hands and preparing food.

Photographer Brittany Greeson, a Reportage Emerging Talent, started covering the crisis in spring of 2015, when she was an intern for The Flint Journal and the story was not yet national news. She teamed up with the Ground Truth Project, an organization that supports journalism about social justice and human rights, to producer her essay “We Fear the Water.” Her photos show the intimate impact of the crisis – a girl has her blood tested for lead, a man lugs a bag of bottled water through the snow – as well as the political narrative, as residents demand accountability.

“This story isn’t finished yet,” says Greeson. “So naturally, I’m not finished yet either.”

See more of her photos in The Atlantic.

Expecting the Unexpected

Okay guys, I had this story running around in my head the last few weeks and decided to just go with it! I will not be abandoning Two Bellas and a Little Baby, so no worries there.

I definitely have more I want to do with this story but I will leave it up to you guys to let me know if you want more or even like where this story is going.  Trust me when I say there will be more fluff and cuteness but I had to get this little bit of seriousness out of the way first, ya know?

As always, please please please let me know what you think!!  THANK YOU GUYS, YOU ROCK!

(I don’t own these girls/PP yadda, yadda, yadda)

 Expecting the Unexpected

It had been a long week for Beca. She had been offered a permanent paid position at Residual Heat after the single she had created with Emily. Her boss had been extremely impressed with their work and had offered to take her under his wing, mentor her and help open up doors for her in exchange for the exclusive contract for the single. Of course, she talked with Emily about it, who was thrilled with the idea that her song would be produced by an established agency as well as the chance to continue working with Beca.

This meant her plans of moving to LA had changed and that she would be staying local.  At least for a while, anyways. Her dad still held true to his promise to help her though, which was surprising, and had offered to pay for an apartment for her for the next two years so she could save up for when she did move to LA. When she shared the news with Chloe, the older girl had squealed at unnaturally-high levels, shaking Beca vigorously while declaring that it was fate and that meant they just had to get a place together since she too had gotten a job in the area.

Chloe hadn’t wasted hers seven years at Barden University. She had earned her teaching degree and landed a job at a local elementary school as the music teacher. To be honest, living together would be perfect for both of them. It allowed them to forgo trying to break in a new roommate and this way neither girl would have to live alone either. It couldn’t have worked out better if they had planned it themselves.

Truth be told, Beca had heaved a huge sigh of relief at the idea of them living together during these next couple years. It made this whole “growing up” thing much less scary. Not that she was scared, per se, because Beca Mitchell was not scared of anything! Okay, so maybe spiders and snakes. And June bugs. Also, heights. Maybe public speaking. But these were all perfectly natural fears that any human being with common sense should have, right? So they didn’t count. Not really.

After finding a place close to both of their jobs which also suited all their needs, they finally signed the lease and started moving in last weekend. The last weekend of summer. And even though they had lived together for the past three years, the new layout, location and work routines had taken some getting used to. Never had she truly appreciated the phrase “thank God it’s Friday” until now.

Beca walked into their apartment, heaving a great sigh of relief to finally be home and looking forward to a nice evening in with Chloe. She was sure Chloe would want to watch some movie or something but that didn’t matter because right now she just wanted to turn her brain off and relax. Setting down her keys on the coffee table, she moved further in the apartment and looked around for her friend.

She must be in her room, she thought to herself as she made her way towards Chloe’s bedroom on the opposite side of the small apartment. “Hey Chlo, what are you–” she started as she peeked her head into her friend’s room but was surprised to find the room empty. Beca had seen Chloe’s car out front so she knew that the girl had to be close. Maybe she had gone to check the mail or something, she shrugged to herself.

Just as she turned to leave, she thought she heard a noise coming from Chloe’s bathroom. She paused, waiting to see if she would hear it again. Sure enough, a muffled noise could be heard from across the room. Beca made her way further into the room and pressed her head close to the door, listening. She heard what sounded like a whimper and her brow furrowed in confusion. She knocked once, softly. “Chloe?”

There was only silence. The whimpering had stopped. “Chloe, are you okay?” concern laced her voice. There was no answer but she could hear a faint sniffle. She knew her friend was, at times, rather sensitive but she was never one to cry alone locked away in a bathroom and she certainly never shut Beca out like this. Something was definitely not right and she felt fear start to build in her stomach.

“Chlo, I’m coming in, okay?” she asked, not expecting an answer, and paused for only a moment before turning the handle and slowly pushing the door open. What she saw clawed at her heart. Chloe was sitting on the toilet seat lid, puffy-eyed and reddened cheeks, clutching a Kleenex in her hand.

She took two quick strides to stand next to her friend, unsure what to do but feeling she wanted to do something, she leaned forward, reaching out to rub small circles between her shoulders. “Hey, Chlo, don’t cry! What’s wrong?” But Chloe only sniffled and shook her head. Concern was gripping her tight at this point and she reached out to tuck a few stray stands of hair behind Chloe’s ear and asked again, a little stronger, “Chloe, what’s wrong? You’re kinda scaring me.”

This time Chloe looked up at her, eyes bloodshot from previous tears, but she still didn’t speak. Beca searched her face, fearing what could cause the amount of pain she saw in her friend’s eyes, and waited expectantly for her to answer, knowing she’d wait all damn night if she had to. Chloe must have seen the resolve in her face because she heaved a long sigh, her shoulders sagging in what Beca could only describe as defeat, and nodded to the bathroom counter.

Beca followed her gaze and searched the counter for a phone or something else that could possibly be the cause of all of this and finding nothing she looked back at her friend in confusion. “I don’t..?”

“Those,” she pointed, her voice scratchy from crying.

She looked again at the counter, focusing on the items Chloe was indicating, and although she was seeing them, it didn’t register immediately. After a second it hit her. Pregnancy tests? What does that– “Oh shit.”

She hadn’t meant to say it out loud and was taken aback when Chloe echoed her, “Oh shit, is right.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to–” she started.

“No, it’s fine. You’re right,” Chloe interrupted with a humorless laugh.

All of the sudden Beca was finding it hard to stand as she tried to process what she had seen and found herself sitting down mechanically on the edge of the tub adjacent to her friend. “Shit,” she muttered again, though more to herself, really. Realizing she was not going to be of any help if she just sat there and kept mumbling “shit,” she shook her head to try and clear it.

“So..” Goddamn if she wasn’t just full of helpful and encouraging statements today, she chastised herself. She looked at Chloe who had been playing with the Kleenex in her hand and tried again, “So what… What are you going to do?” Chloe just shrugged. “What do you want to do?”

“Hell, I don’t know. What can I do?” she looked up at Beca, panic in every word.

They sat there quietly for a second, each lost in their own thoughts, and it was Chloe who spoke first. “I want to keep it but I also don’t want to do this alone, ya know?”

“Why would you have to do it alone?” Beca asked, confused.

“Well for starters I have no emotional attachment to the father, nor do I have any way of getting a hold of him given the fact that it happened in Copenhagen,” she answered, a slight bitterness to her voice. “Congrats on winning Worlds, huh?”

Not really sure how to respond to that she reached out to place a hand on Chloe’s knee, giving it a light squeeze. “Hey, shit happens, you know? We all went a little crazy that weekend. Hell I don’t even remember a good chunk of it myself to be honest!”

She smiled when the comment brought a small laugh from the other girl, “Yeah, you did get a little crazy. But if you need help remembering, I can always show you the pictures and videos I took.”

Beca closed her eyes and mumbled, “Oh my god, please tell me you don’t actually have pictures and videos.”

“Oh Becs.”  She opened her eyes at the devilish tone in Chloe’s voice and was pleased to see a playful smirk making its way across her face, even if it was at Beca’s expense, “I have the best videos and pictures!”

“Where’s your phone? I’m going to need to delete them immediately,” she looked around for the object.

“Oh no, I’m totes saving it for blackmail!” Chloe laughed as she grabbed her phone to tuck it under her thigh opposite Beca.  

“No, no, no, no! We are never going to speak of those events again!” she exclaimed as she made to grab for the phone but Chloe easily batted her hands away, giggling, and she sat down with a defeated huff as she glared at her friend. “I hate you.”

“No you don’t,” she said certainly, a broad smile on her face. For a moment everything was okay again as they sat there in comfortable silence. But it wasn’t long before Chloe spoke in a timid voice, “What am I going to do, Becs? I can’t do this alone.”

And Beca’s heart broke at those words and the fear that punctuated every syllable. She turned her body so that she was facing her and reached out for both of Chloe’s hands. “Hey, you look at me,” and she waited for her to do so before she continued, strength and determination in her voice, “you will not be doing this alone!”

“My parents aren’t going to help, they’re going to be disappointed and probably pissed,” Chloe all but cried.

“Well screw them! You’ve got me and I’m neither mad nor disappointed and I will do anything you need, you hear me? Anything!” She waited for Chloe to nod before continuing, “Now, let’s get you cleaned up and then we can go Netlfix and chill tonight, how’s that?”

Chloe laughed as Beca reached out and wiped a tear from her cheek, “Becs, I don’t think that means what you think it means.”

“It means whatever I want it to mean, young lady, now wash your face and meet me in the living room!” she said, standing up and bringing Chloe with her.

Before she could walk away Chloe held tight to her hands, bright blue eyes locked with hers, “Thank you.”

Beca smiled softly and pulled her in to a hug, “Anytime, weirdo.”