Dakota Raen - Be an Original
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Just Listen
Screaming, Crying, Perfect.
Reality Check.


California 2015
Dakota Raen
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Just Listen

I'm not trying to convert you in anyway. I'm simply asking you to listen and understand. 

I've been vegan for six months now and a lot of people respond with "Thats too hard, I could never do that." Well let me tell you, the hardest part is not craving a juicy burger, or not having anything to eat at restaurant or breaking my bank account on vegan cheese and tempeh. The hardest part is listening to the people around me crack jokes about how much lettuce I eat, thinking they are making me die of laughter on the inside when really they are tearing me apart slowly.

Screaming, Crying, Perfect.

I was driving up Kanaan listening to Twenty One Pilots with Tara by my side. It was a sunny day, not a single cloud in the sky. The sun was starting to set, so it was peaking through the mountains. "This is so pretty." Tara said looking out at the view of mountains and large homes.  
I stayed silent as she started to take pictures of the view. Twenty One Pilots continued to play. 
As I drove, a tunnel came up. I love driving through tunnels, its something about the way the lights flash through the car so quickly.


Anyone from out of state will think of California and automatically think of Hollywood Blvd and Celebrities who shop at Rodeo drive. Then when they think of beaches, they think of Santa Monica Pier and Venice beach. 
If someone from out of state has been to California they will mention things like Avocados, crazy people in Hollywood, the weather dropping 20 degrees when going to the beach, and how much they love In-N-out. Then they will continue to say how much they love California. 

I love California not because of the beaches, or the chance to run into a celebrity on a Tuesday afternoon.

Reality Check.

Take a moment to think about this, we are 52 days into 2016. (I know, right?) Now you were probably just thinking New years eve was only a couple weeks ago, correct? Try seven, seven full weeks ago. In only a week it will be March. 

Most of us spent the last week of 2015 talking about how we were going to change our lives for the better in 2016. We set goals, or resolutions, and screamed Happy New Year at the top of our lungs for a minute, and then woke up on January 1st determined. Are you still?


A lot of people warned me about temptations. They told me to stay away from certain types of people and to say no to certain things. To be careful of who I spent my time with, to stay away from the wrong crowd. I found no interest in what they spoke of. 
The meaning of Temptation is, the act of tempting; enticement or allurement. 
Everyone has their own temptations. Yeah there's the "bad" things that a lot of teenagers/young adults do that I was warned of. But there's also a long list of temptations we deal with on a day to day basis that we don't realize.

Small Things

Now that we are a full week into 2016, and many of us have started back onto our routines and have hopefully started towards our goals… I have finally decided to start mine. 

Last week my childhood best friend came back to LA with me. We had the time of our lives. We did five different hikes.. One of which was a 7 mile round trip. it took two hours to get to the top and once we got up there it started to rain and we couldn't see the view. It was the most exhausting hike I have ever done. But the photo?
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