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Me Too

You have seen these two words circulate over the last week after a celebrity posting of it. I want to tell you these words were some of the hardest words to write on Facebook/Twitter. Not hard just for me but also for the 100s of friends and family members you saw post them. You may have not known that me or this person had these experiences. These words are sadly shameful and embarrassing for many. Which sucks because something happened to us, we didn’t do anything wrong. But that’s the point of it all right? In solidarity we all come forward to tell of our pains and struggles with two simple words.

Then I started reading comments on others’ posts. I know the comments sections are the worst thing to do but I felt this one was going to be different. For the most part they were empowering, full of “sorries” and “I never knew.” Then I saw comment after comment making these women and men feel like their experience was “no big deal.” That the experience that wasn’t a really sexual harassment or not close enough to being sexual assault to be that important.

Mind you most people who typed those two words did not include their story along with it. This was supposed to just let others know how often this happens. Yet I saw comments and even whole articles assuming what happened. Like articles and comments written about “cat calling” being normal and shouldn’t be made into a problem or complaint. Comments of it being the woman’s responsibility to be strong and stand up to an advance by someone they do not know who is trying to take a compliment too far.

It is not okay!! It happens daily to me. I’ve been catcalled more times than I can begin to count. I have had men pull over their cars to ask me out. I’ve had an older man in the last year pull over while I was walking down the street and ask me in complete openness to lift my top and show him my boobs. These are strangers. This is not small, this is a big deal. As a society though we have made it a “norm.” By making this seem normal we are making these feelings smaller than they are. You are making these feeling a thing we should not worry or complain about. If these feelings are made small and someone is made to feel embarrassed and ashamed of complaining about them then what about the “bigger things.”

A lot of the details are fuzzy. This is mainly because there was alcohol involved. A friend and I had chatted up a group of guys at the beach bars. They were buying us shots and drinks. We were all dancing and having a good time. At the end of the night the bars closed and we headed to the beach. I remember making out with one of the guys and I also remember getting dizzy and laying down. Did I get sick and puke in the water? Was he taking care of me? What happened to my friend? I woke up the next morning in my own bed with the hangover feeling. I looked at my phone and I had a text from someone not saved as a contact in my phone, “You didn’t do anything with me you regretted last night?”

Why would he ask it like that? Then not only to do I feel my head pounding but I feel the pain of scratches on my back. Then that feeling you get when you had sex that was not something you were in control of, a soreness that is hard to describe and I never want to feel again. Then glimpses of that time on the beach came back as I realized I was still in the dress from the night before but I was missing my underwear and it was nowhere to be found. I could remember being in the brush along the beach edge and this man pounding into me. I remember people walking by and he laying heavy on me which is how I ended up with stick cuts and a rash on my back and ass.

All kinds of feelings flood in when something like this happens. He never responded to any of my texts and I actually responded back with “No regrets.” I couldn’t remember this guys name. I couldn’t pick him out of a line up if I tried to. I thought about how much I drank. It was partly my fault too, right? In my drunken state was I ok with what was happening? Did I say no? I couldn’t remember and after sometime the story I told in my brain was it was a night I got too drunk and had sex on the beach.

You see we find excuses to cover up the shame and embarrassment of something happening to us. Yes I was drunk. Yes I was out looking for a fun night. No I was not okay with what he did. No I should have not had to put any blame on myself.

I’ve had a few friends open up to me about similar situations. From strangers to people they actually know and trust. Both men and women being made into someone’s “treat” for the night. I vowed to be stronger for myself. Make sure my guard was up and take care of those around me. Then it happened again.

Someone I knew and trusted this time. A friend is what I called him. For me I take that term friend to heart. You are someone I care about and love if I call you a friend. This friend and I had some “benefits” as some may call it. We had never had sex though. He would call when lonely and I would let him come over we would make out, touch each other, oral and then pretty much knew we didn’t want to have sex with each other and fall each other cuddling. We had open conversation about sex changing things and I told him often I didn’t want to. I trusted him

It was two weeks after I had spent the night at his place for the first time. We had both gone to a mutual friends house party. I remember going to his place tired and he said not to worry he would get me home safe the next morning. I remember kissing. I remember falling asleep. This time I didn’t have that I had sex last night feeling. It wasn’t til we were texting two weeks later he asked if he could come over. I just wasn’t feeling having him over though. I jokingly told he didn’t want to come over and just be left with “blue balls” like normal anyways. He shot back with “well you felt great the other night after the party and I was hoping we could do that again.” “Was I that bad you don’t even remember.”

I didn’t remember. Was he making this up? I’d done it again? I messed up. I let someone take advantage of me. I responded to his text with a LOL and blocked him from everything I ever talked to him on.

Both of these men probably do not feel like they did anything wrong but in the back of their minds know it was not right. The first one asking about regret, was covering his behind by making sure I didn’t have it. While my second story, he later wrote me an apology of what he did.

I don’t write and share these two stories with ease. I am not doing it for sympathy or for advice on how or how not I should feel. I write them for you to understand, I am not the only one to have this happened to them. I am not the only one to have feel like they are to blame. Even though they may have never told you, this has happened to your best friend, your sister, your barista or supermarket checkout person, your coworker and it happens to men too.

No matter how serious you feel the situation is, it is not ok for you to say it is no big deal. It is a HUGE deal. We can not diminish other people’s  feelings about something that had happened to them. I don’t have an answer to how to change this. What can do is we can all work together in being better to each other.

It’s not okay. ME TOO…

“As always Keep smiling, Live Life and Love Life. Let’s meet again next week and chat about something new!”

Day Day

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It’s OK to be Sad

For those of you who have ever met me this title might come as a surprise. I am often described as the happiest and most optimistic person ever. That for sure is not a lie as if you want a little bit of sunshine in your life I am more than excited to help. If you really know me though its most likely that you have seen me cry.

I try to explain my emotions to people because they seem different. I call them extreme. Just like my larger than life personality so are my emotions. I do not have much of the in between feelings. I have a whole lot of happiness and a little sad sometimes because it’s ok. There are a handful of feelings I have chosen to not give much to. There was a time when jealousy, fear, hate and anger took over the majority of my feelings. This time obviously was not the best. In college I let those feelings take me to a bridge edge and I’m thankful they didn’t push me over.

Depression is often thought of as an overwhelming sadness. Getting out of it on the other side, I believe different. I had extreme jealousy of those doing better around me. I had a fear of failing and not making those expecting so much of me proud. I hated, mostly myself. I hated the way I looked, I hated that I wasn’t good enough and hated that I hated! I was also angry a lot. You see when your depressed your feelings are even more extreme. Yes this involved sadness too but not as much as the other feelings.

Most of my happiness was pretend then. I tried to cover those other feelings I was having instead of letting them go. I started to choose more happiness. When something happened that would bring about one of those bad feelings I would get sad instead. You may think this is a bad thing but it wasn’t. There is no problem with feeling sad about something. It’s ok to cry it out and feel down. The other side is happiness and its there waiting.

There have been some not so great events happening in the world right now. One happened,  on what felt like my turf, a couple of weeks ago. I love live music and going to concerts. Festivals filled with thousands of people is a joyful fun time for me. For someone to come in and try to bring anger, hate and fear into it is the worst. Looking from a far or even if you were there you could choose to do the same thing, be angry at the police, hate people who think different then you, and fear for future events. I hope instead though you can take some time to be sad. I may be sad for a while about this one but will bring out more of the happiness and joy we still have to give.

Those in between feelings don’t always lead you to the right path. For me being sad reminds me of the opposite, happy. I will continue to have extreme feelings as depression does not go away it always sneaks up in the back of your mind trying to creep in and lead you back to that bridge edge. Sometime it is hard to get rid of those in between feelings. It definitely takes work. It’s something that has helped me so much in healing.

I want you know it is ok to be sad. Being sad isn’t bad. It will bring you back to the other great side.

“As always Keep smiling, Live Life and Love Life. Let’s meet again next week and chat about something new!”

Day Day

 

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Why I Give

I grew up in the definition of a middle class family. By the time I was old enough to understand money, my older siblings were starting to provide for themselves. My parents gave me everything I needed – at least in my mind it was everything I needed. I was plenty entertained, I had food (we went out to eat often), got new clothes and shoes often. Other than the natural teenage jealousies of what my friends had I never felt without. My parents weren’t rich by any means and I was well aware of the families that had more money. I was more than happy though.

One of my favorite things my parents taught me though is that even though they did have a lot to give, they still did. I remember my older siblings’ friend always being over for dinner and it wasn’t always because my dad’s dinner was the best. My parents knew that some of my siblings’ friends didn’t always have a hot meal and a good family situation so there was always an extra plate set no matter what.

I remember the time my dad rescued a cat from a cold Cleveland winter. Mind you my mom is highly allergic but she knew he had to give back by saving it. We later found out that I was allergic too and couldn’t keep said cat but he found a good home.

My mom wasn’t the best with money; she taught me my gambling habits, and spent way too much on credit cards. I also learned from her that if someone was in need you give. My mom volunteered as much as she could and anytime someone needed money she was the first to hold out her hand with some money in it.

I started volunteering at a young age. I belonged to a clown troupe in middle school, that would dress up and go to nursing homes and parties. In high school I belonged to a group called “Students of Service.” It was our volunteer organization and by senior year I was one of the students with the top volunteer hours. I belonged to a similar group in college and volunteered as much as possible.

After college I didn’t have money to give but still gave of my time. I started raising money for the Leukemia Society and in return would do half marathons, marathons and triathlons. If a friend needed a hand I was there to help. Some of this is selfish of course as it feels good to give. As a human we feel better when we have helped someone.

We can’t always give money but time and our goods are just as valuable. We have has some big events happen over the last few months. In times of disaster and tragedy I feel helpless sometimes so I find my want to give is even more important.

All off this to say to give! I want you to give more. There is alway someone or something you can give to. Give everyday just something small is ok. Don’t look at someone who needs and say you could never give because you don’t have enough. You are provided for too and will be given to!

Right now I am giving in two specific ways if you need some ideas. Every year my crossfit box has a fundraiser has a fundraiser for the Barbell for Boobs organization! I will give my $40 today and if you can match it will allow for one woman to have the chance at early detection. Check out my fundraising site! https://fundraise.barbellsforboobs.org/fundraiser/1116918 and give if you can.

The other giving that is weighing heavy on my heart is we still have people fighting over seas. I belong to a Facebook group of women who get a monthly subscription box and a woman soldier posted the other day. Her request was that she get some items for working out sent over as she is in Qatar on missions and helping with wounded soldiers all through the holiday season. I sent her a box full of stuff that I wasn’t using but would love to send more. She specifically requested workout shirts, also liquid chalk and anything else you think they could use. Please let me know if you would like to donate anything and I will ship it!!

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

As always Keep smiling, Live Life and Love Life. Let’s meet again next week and chat about something new!

Day Day

 

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The Easy Cancer

It been three years since I got that call where the doctor told me I had the big C word! Cancer had sadly been a staple in my life. Three out of four of my grandparents died of cancer. My mom had both thyroid cancer and breast cancer. Plenty of aunts and uncles and a few friends have had it too. Mostly my experience came with my dad after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. They say prostate cancer is one of the easiest and most treatable cancers which it was for him. Moving home after college though I came to find out my dad’s cancer had gotten worse and taken over his bones in his lower back.

I spent the last year and a half of my dad’s life watching all kinds of cancer while taking him to treatments. Dozens of doctors appointments and ER visits put it right in my face. I did a lot of reading about cancer then because honestly it was the first time in my life I felt scared of something. This was a different kind of fear than what you get at the top of the hill of a roller coaster. This was an uncontrollable not knowing or being able to control the outcome type fear.

Watching my dad take his very last breath, calling his doctor and asking was there anything else to be done threw me in to a world wind of trying to figure out how to keep cancer out of me. It was bound to happen I knew it as I learned the breast cancer gene and the prostate cancer gene was the same and parents had given them to me. I originally became vegetarian because of reading what animal products do to your body. I thought a lot about getting the gene test that tells you whether or not you have it. In the end I decided to just keep living a healthy life. If cancer were to come get me it wouldn’t be because of what I put into or did to my body.

Fast forward to three years ago, September of 2014, I had been sick and not feeling better for over three months. In July they found I had pulmonary embolism which was making me short of breath and dizzy. I still was having fainting spells and went into the hospital for a week to get every possible test taken. They were mostly checking my heart as a clot can do some damage but every test they ran came back normal. I knew nothing was normal through as my body was not supposed to feel that way.

Meanwhile my primary care doctor was doing her homework and checking everything. With my history of thyroid cancer she had me get an ultrasound of my neck. They had found a very small mass on my thyroid but had put that on the back burner. They say somewhere around 60 percent of woman have a thyroid mass of some sort so they were not worried. Still I was recommended to a surgeon and finally after getting out the hospital get the mass biopsied. Even the surgeon was positive it was just nothing.

Then I got the call. You come to learn; dealing with a lot of doctors, when getting follow-up calls when there is going to be bad news. In this case it was the surgeon who actually made the call not one of his nurses. He was the get down to business type surgeon too. He said I could come into the office right away for the results (gulp) or just be told over the phone. No way was I going to wait so I sat down and put him on speaker as I knew what was coming. I wanted to text my then land lady who was like a mom to me so I could run downstairs when I heard the news. “It is cancer….”

The next couple of months flew by as I had one of the best surgeons in Wilmington and he suggested taking the whole thing out. I did not hesitate and set the surgery as soon as possible. After the took out my thyroid out I had a week where I took a pill with radiation in it and just like that the cancer was gone. Just like everyone had been telling me Thyroid Cancer was the easy cancer. It seemed to be so.

There were times when I almost felt guilty saying I had cancer. I didn’t go through a quarter of what my dad did or what the kids I saw going through chemotherapy. I didn’t have it diagnosed too late like my aunt and die within six months of diagnosis. I had an amazing team of doctors on my side and more than amazing group of friends and family. It should have felt easy like they kept describing it. That’s one thing you learn quick is that other people can’t tell you how you will feel.

Hearing that word was hard. That fear still creeps up on me every six month check up. I remember just under a year out they had found two small lumps on a lymph node and did a biopsy. The weekend before the results came back I went to a friend’s house for a party. I had a few drinks and may have had a few puffs off something. My brain went crazy and was convinced cancer was coming back to get me. Results came back all clear. Still though til this day I hold my breath til blood results and ultra sound results are pending.

Being sick for almost half of a year, in a town to which I had just moved, was not easy. It was not chemotherapy and months of radiation treatments. It was a different kind of hard. I let others make me feel I shouldn’t be feeling scared or like it was hard. It gave me a guilt that what I was going through was small. I have come to terms that is ok to be scared and to struggle.

I still was a fighter and will continue to be. I am still surrounded by people who remind me how strong I was and am. Remembering though that I have control over my feelings. What looks and seems easy may not always be. My hope is that you never have to feel this way either. Know that what you are going through is yours and you are the only that has been in that exact spot. You can feel however you want as long as the outcome is knowing you are still amazing.  I will call myself a survivor because that is what I am.

As always Keep smiling, Live Life and Love Life. Let’s meet again next week and chat about something new!

Day Day

 

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Why I… Spartan

I will probably have more “Why I” posts. I never feel like you should have to explain why you do something. If you love it and it makes you happy then keep on doing it!! My posts won’t be for giving a reason, but more so to motivate others.

Some look at me and think I am crazy for running through mud for miles on miles, while others congratulate me but say they would never race for many different reasons. I also get many messages of love and wanting to join me for a race. I love all of those reactions, as they all are making people think. You see the reason I started doing Spartan races was because I was motivated by someone else.

It was St. Patrick’s Day 2014 and I was dressed in a ridiculous beer maid costume. I may have also been a little drunk. I was at a local bar listening to some of my friends play music. I am the person who talks to everyone especially when hanging with people I already love and having a few drinks in me. I started chatting up a friend of a friend. She was a lot like me; big spirit is how I describe it, you can feel the positive energy that was coming from her. She told me that she was training for her first Spartan and was going to do it on her own the following week. I drunkenly told her I would tag along for the adventure and gave her my number to give me details.

I later found out she apprehensively texted me three days later not thinking I was actually going to pull through and go with her. I, of course found out the details and am so glad I tagged along. Not only did I gain an awesome new friend but also a love for doing Spartan races. My Spartan friend was going through a rebuilding part of her life; lost lots of weight, separated from a crappy relationship and trained hard to get strong to do this race. It was such a cool experience to be a part of.

This event was here in Charlotte, NC which was a fun drive I had never taken. I was watching other parts of the event while my friend was in the woods and thats when I really fell in love with it. I could see how happy people were to be there and be a part of the day. They were happy that they made it that far. They were happy they were doing something that not everyone can do. They made a choice to be there and complete something great. I got to see complete strangers help people over walls and put out a hand for help off ground. It is not easy to get through these events but everyone did it with a smile and willingness to help.

One year later at the exact same race I got to do it with the friend who motivated me along with two other friends who had never done a Spartan. At this race I got to live first hand the help giving and excitement people had for the races. I got to see my first wounded Spartan (a man with no legs) carry an atlas ball (heavy stone) on his own to complete the obstacle. Later races I saw blind people race with guides and completely sighted people go blindfolded in honor of those people. This was humbling and set my path for why I continue to do these races; not only because I love them, also because I can.

At every race they have a big wall you can write on with chalk why you race and I always write “Because I can… and I will!” Reading this board and everyone’s why is some of the biggest motivation you will get.

I did four races last year and will complete six this year. I am not the fastest, I am not the slowest, but I continue to improve. I don’t do them to win something but I am winning when I get to help someone else have a great race or help them over a wall or up a hill. I have met some amazing people just by saying hi during a race! I want to get people to think and motivate them to make themselves better even if it is not by doing Spartan races, but in anyway they can.

This weekend I get to introduce new people to Spartan and I am so excited. They may just do this one and check it off their list. That is ok as they will have this amazing experience I love so much. I will continue to motivate and help as others have done for me. I want to continue to make people think about what they are doing in life. What are you doing today “because you can?” Keep doing it no matter what! You don’t need to tell others your why but know your why.

AROO

“As always Keep smiling, Live Life and Love Life. Let’s meet again next week and chat about something new!”

Day Day

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Travel… Do It!!!

I am the baby of five kids. My siblings are between 8-14 years older than me. I always say I was the “oops” child, as my parents had raised four kids within 6 years of age and then there was me when their first kid was entering high school. With that being said by the time I was 10 my parents started their empty nest syndrome early. Even though I was still at home all my siblings were pretty much out doing there own thing. My parent’s first order of business was to travel more.

Now my parents have always been the car trip and travel type. I remember many trips to Washington, DC where my aunt and uncle live. These trips were one of my favorite things in childhood. I remember the car rides and getting to see cool monuments I’d only read about in textbooks! We used to also take beach trips to Erie, PA where another aunt and uncle lived. In Erie my aunt and uncle lived right across the street from a water/amusement park. My parents didn’t describe it as such but I knew that this was where my love for adventure started.

When I was ten my parents bought their first week of time share in Kissimmee Florida. That’s right, home of Disney World. They went on their own the first year. Year two as long as my grades were good they promised to take me along. I got to skip a week of school and go to Disney World (spoiled I know). My first time going my parents were already in Florida, so I was to meet them there by taking my first-ever plane ride. That right at 11 years old I was put on a plane by myself to meet my parents. This is were I learned my fearlessness, by my parents showing that were ok with me getting on a plane by myself.

Florida is also where I fell in love with the ocean. There is something about the feeling it gives me that nothing else has been able to replicate. I remember one year I got to bring a friend down to Florida with me for the week. By this time we had been taking the road trip down instead of flying. This was in the day of maps and no GPS. So much fun to be a navigator and follow the maps and count down mile markers till the next state. We went to one of the many beaches that we would visit. My friend and I were so excited about the waves that we sat in the ocean letting them hit us for hours. Sun burn followed but it didn’t matter because of the joy the ocean brought.

When I was in high school my parents let me go on a trip to Toronto, Canada. It was with my youth group but still a pretty big deal as I had friends whose parents wouldn’t even let them sleepover places in the same city. This trip was for World Youth Day, something Pope John Paul II started every few years to gather youth around the world together to pray and fellowship. One of the best trips of my life so far. It really honed in my love for people. Being surrounded by so many people most my age who were just there to show love and be loved.

My parents’ willingness to let me travel on my own led me to do more in college. I of course had one year with my friends at the time share in Florida in college. I also went on my first cruise in college as a psychology course, The Study of good and evil. Spring break my senior year I went to London, England with my theatre people. I got to see a lot in just my four years of college also by not turning down road trips with for friends or opportunities to volunteer around the state.

After college I went to Florida a few more times. One of my favorite among those Florida trips was the last one I took with my dad in October of 2008. My best friend from college helped drive down that time and the trip was hard as my dad was in a lot of pain from the cancer in his back. This was one last adventure we had to take though as my sister had just had her first child and my dad wanted to see him. Sometimes travel was more about others then yourself is something I learned too. Whether it be because of a wedding, funeral or just to see family members that you don’t get to often see.
Well, bills started to pile up after college and I had to get multiple jobs to help pay for them. This was definitely an excuse to why I wasn’t traveling that much during those years, a poor one as I would later realize. I still took weekend trips with friends to Erie and the like. I also took an opportunity with a job to travel to Germany. I didn’t know the language and they asked me only one month before but I had to jump on the opportunity to go to Europe. Although it was longest time away from and I got home sick being alone in a foreign country I would never give up the experience.

I used the money and means excuse when I was thinking about moving. I put it off for too long. Finally convincing myself the “right time” will never come along, I moved to the beach, the place I fell in love when I was young. Also within four months of moving, four years after my first cruise, I went on my second cruise and I have been on four total in the four years living here (my fifth one scheduled).

I have also traveled a lot now with doing Spartan races. I also finally took my cross country road trip that I’ve always wanted to do. I rented a car, stayed on couches (Couchsurfing), stayed with friends, ate too much Taco Bell and got to see things that would take 12 vacations normally to see. I will write a whole blog about that trip eventually. The point is I did it. I gave up any excuses of not having enough money or wasting all my vacation time on one trip.

You see my parents were not rich. My dad a trucker driver and my mom a bookkeeper; with five kids, we were the definition of middle class. My parents knew the value of traveling though. Not only was it entertaining but you got to learn about different people and places. My sister does the same things with her kids and I bet they will one day write of it like I am. They have traveled more of the country and are under ten years old. They will know more about people and cultures then most their age and this will help them in life.

I think my overall love for people has come from my travels. I have gotten to experience so much through my travel. Stop making excuses! It will never be “the right time!” Now is the best time to plan your next trip. Get out there and see everything you can. There is so much beyond just your city you live in!

“As always Keep smiling, Live Life and Love Life. Let’s meet again next week and chat about something new!”

Day Day

 

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Purpose and Passion

There are two P words I have been thinking about a lot lately. Purpose and passion need to be brought to your attention every morning. Ever since I was little, I have been more keen about having a purpose. I always knew there was a reason for things going on around me and the things I have done. The passion took a little longer to understand and hone in on. When I moved from Ohio to North Carolina four years ago, I knew that I wanted to start living with more passion. In the end, the passion is going to lead to me continue to live a life of purpose.

It is crazy as I sit and write this at one of my favorite places I am witnessing an interview. This interview isn’t to be a new barista at the Starbucks where I’m sitting. I’m not exactly sure what the company is or what they do. What I do know is the guy who is doing the interviewing is selling the company and his job hardcore. Both him and the interviewee are dressed in nice suit, tie and such. Its hot out so this must be a serious interview or at least they both are taking it seriously.

From what I have gathered from my casual listening (eaves dropping) it is a sales job of some sort. You can tell by the interviewer’s conversation and his tactics in selling the job. He spent a good 15 minutes on describing how you can “quickly grow” with the company and get out of the starter position. He talked it up like it was better than being a rock star: private trainings, expert advice, trips too Miami, Cristal on the rocks, women falling at your feet (OK, maybe not that much but it sounded great).

He finished with a confident, “That sounds good right?” This is sales 101…. Get the other person to agree by suggesting how they should feel. The interviewee nods his head yes at the same time as the interviewer. The interviewer went on to talk about the not so good parts of the start up position: long hours, direct sales, working on the weekends, not seeing friends and family often. While the great parts were written on paper in graph form and hyped up for most of the interview the bad parts were talked about in short just to make sure bases were covered.

You know what was awesome though after all of that? The guy being interviewed seemed totally sold on the job and asked about start dates if hired. But then he said something that was exactly the reason for my post, he said, “I want to be passionate about what I do.” Now I don’t know if this was just an upsell on himself while being interviewed or if he really meant it. Passion is definitely a positive word to throw into an interview. You can tell the interviewer took it serious though, as he went in side for a quick break for a napkin or bathroom. He then came outside again with a thought; the interviewer went on to describe how he was a lawyer when he moved to Wilmington and just couldn’t find a job he was into and blah blah blah this company is great! He even had a comeback for passion! I’m impressed and this company may be great, so I wont be too cynical.

Passion has become one of those buzz words. It’s something I think about everyday. I work for a major corporation. I love that my job affords me to be able to live in a beautiful home, go on paid vacations and get lots of my health care paid for. What I can never say is I love my job. After six years of working various positions within the company I still can’t say I want to be doing this. Even the money I make does not motivate me to be excited about my current job. It is just going through the motions everyday. That’s the very last thing I want to be doing in life, just going through motions. My job is not hard but often stressful. I also deal with a lot of people and some of them are not nice. I love people and like surrounding myself with people of all sorts. The negative people I deal with on daily make me scared to start work sometimes. I don’t want that, I want to be excited to go into work. I want to be the person that says I love my job and what I do!

This is where purpose comes in when finding that passion. I am 100 percent positive that I have a purpose on this Earth. You do too!! I’ve come to find out, more and more, I love making people happy. Like I wrote last week it is something I have always done. My mission is going to be to make that in to a career somehow. I have told some people this lately and they ask, ‘Well then what do I want to do, nurse, comedian, psychologist…?’ No, I’m not really into any of those things. I would cry as a nurse too much, I’m funny but not that funny to be a comedian and wouldn’t want to go back to that kind of schooling to be a psychologist. I am really interested in helping people with their health both mentally and physically though. So yes, probably coaching of some kind is in my future. Helping people be their best selves because not only do I want to make people happy, I also want to inspire. This is an another passion of mine. I want to make other people know they can be happy and live the life they are here for too. But I’m thinking in the end why does it have to be an already defined job.

Starting to write again is a part of the kick off of living more purposefully and with my passion. It is helping me get out there the ideas that go through my head everyday. Will it lead to a career? It might get me somewhere. For sure I hope to inspire others. I hope it makes people laugh or at least smile. I will write about the decisions I make to live life fully and honestly with lots of love. By sharing my story in such an open way my hope is to make people think about their own lives and how they lead them.

George Bernard Shaw has a quote, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” This resonates huge with me and goes with my point above. You don’t always have to go along with the already laid path that someone has made. You can create a new one. We all have a purpose with our lives. Sometimes this purpose takes time to find. Sometimes there are things, people, jobs, addictions and the like preventing you from finding them. The purpose is there though. Once you find that purpose you have to live it with passion. I will continue to live purposefully. I want to help people create themselves not find themselves!

“As always Keep smiling, Live Life and Love Life. Let’s meet again next week and chat about something new!”

Day Day

 

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Choices

These first few blog posts are going to be chance to get to know the real me. I guess most blog posts are getting to know a person through their opinion and insights but some of you out there in the reader world don’t know me at all.

I am an open book, honest to a fault sometimes. I’ve tried being someone other then myself and that did not work out. Those of you who have done it know very well trying to be someone else never works in the end. Those of you currently trying to be anyone other then yourself should look into why it is not good. Being someone else does not let you be the real, whole, you that you should be! Let me tell you a little bit about how I’ve become the whole me I am today. It was a choice.

I’m going to start by saying none of it was easy. I feel like sometimes when I read people’s stories they come out all rainbows and butterflies. My story may read like that too: I have been blessed with a lot of good things and am able to sit here and write to you about it. But as I put these words on page remember it takes work. I didn’t just wake up one day and see my genuine self. Still today it takes work to keep being me. It takes choices.

I grew up happy. No really…people described me as the happy kid. I started collecting smiley face items when I was like 10. I belonged to a clown troupe and my name was Smiles-a-lot. In high school I got the nickname “smiling miler” by a track friend. I used to love spreading my happiness too. I was always the first to say hi to someone new in a group. In middle school a friend and I would be the ones to make sure to decorate lockers or desks for friends’ birthdays. My parents gave me everything I needed as I was the baby of five children and spoiled to their best abilities. As I look back now I realize that I made choices to be happy as a kid because there were definitely others who did not.

In college I was still known as the crazy happy one. I would make friends with everyone. Some of the choices I made weren’t the genuine me though. I feel a lot of us have this in college though. We are trying to fit in, doing things that we didn’t do while under our parents’ watch. They call it figuring life out, right? We make choices we might not be proud to talk about but in the end we learned. I had some very low points in college and I’m going to write about those more in the future. For now I am going to tell you more about my recent past and I how I got here by making some conscious choices.

Exactly four years ago I moved to Wilmington, North Carolina from Cleveland, Ohio. Friends/family from home and new people that I met here in Wilmington called me, asking how I did it and proclaimed their jealousy and wishes to do the same. My response since day one was that I made a choice.

You see life wasn’t always sunshine and sprinkles when I was back in my home town. In 2008 I lost my dad. I was only a year out of college and not certain what I was doing with life. I had spent the year taking care of my dad; as he got sicker and sicker, it was my full time job. I was a daddy’s girl for sure and after his passing me and my mom started to butt heads too much. My dad was my buffer from not getting along with her. I started dating a guy she didn’t approve of and she kicked me out of the house in early 2009. I started working as many jobs as I can to make ends meet. I lived out of my car and on friends’ couches for a few months till my boyfriend let me move in with him.

I had a dozen jobs from college till 2011 when I got my job with Verizon Wireless. I worked for my first job ever, at the movie theater, until my dad passed. Then I was a nanny, a dog walker, cleaned houses, front desk work at 3 different gyms, did live infomercials in store and a few other odd jobs for cash. Verizon Wireless was my first big girl job as I called it. I had a salary and was making commission. By signing my offer letter to them I was already making double per year what I had made in the four previous and that was without commission. I had a new found freedom of being able to afford a few extra things in life. I started putting that money towards things that weren’t needed. Gambling was an outlet for me. I could spend hours sitting at a poker table. But time wasn’t the only thing I was spending. Come 2013 I had extra unneeded debt along with my already thousands from college. I had been living on my own for a couple of years but was still seeing the boyfriend I had lived with. The relationship wasn’t healthy as he was also seeing other women. I felt really lost I wasn’t certain were the happy me was that wanted to conquer the world.

Then I hit the lowest of points, my car got repossessed. It was embarrassing that I couldn’t pay my bills because I was putting my money towards things that got me no more then a momentary high. I will write more on addiction but this is about choices. I knew these choices I was making were not good. They were not who I am. This was my drive to make a change. I always wanted to live on the beach. I am in love with the water and the ocean gives me light. I didn’t have any money or know anyone in this town I was considering moving to but from here it was about making choices.

Four months after losing my car I packed a rented mini van full of the little bit of clothes a couple possessions I hadn’t sold. I found a place right on the beach only two weeks before moving to Wilmington. I requested to be transferred at work but got out of the sales arena and moved to a state with very little gambling options. North Carolina was also where my sister and two nephews were so I would be close to them which was an awesome choice.

I didn’t, of course just start making all choices immediately to be my real self. Moving didn’t make everything better. I still had struggles that I had to get through. The one thing I knew for certain, I wasn’t going to let anyone affect how I felt or make my choices for me. I woke up every morning and ready to make choices to be more and more genuinely me. I continued to make some bad choices but those were choices I was making. I would learn from these. In 2014 I got sick; my body made choices for me, I wasn’t able to do the things I wanted. As soon as I could though I made the choice to keep bettering myself. That is where I am today.

I feel I am more me today then I have ever been in my life. I wake up and think about the choices that I can make to keep that so. It’s still not easy. The bad choices still sneak in sometimes but don’t try to be anyone else but me. It may seem like I making this sound simple, it is but not easy.

What you do from the moment you wake up till when you go to to sleep is your choice. Only you can decide what that choice is and how you make it more genuinely you. My goal is to keep bettering myself through the choices I make. I choose to live without, jealousy, hate, unneeded stress, embarrassment, and judgement. I choose to be happy, healthy, to love, to share my love and to be better! People ask why I am so happy all the time and the answer is why would you choose differently?

 

“As always Keep smiling, Live Life and Love Life. Let’s meet again next week and chat about something new!”

Day Day

Featured

Why I deleted my dating applications…. Again!

That’s right they have been deleted again. I’ve been on and off Tinder, Bumble and the sort more times then I’d like to count. Each time for different reasons. Never because I found a guy who I wanted to be with to make me not search for others. I usually rejoin out of boredom or a drunken night need of loneliness. There are many reasons to join an online dating site, this though is about why I deleted them.

The Match:
One positive about sites that only allows people to message once you match is that you can be choosy. There are sites out there that will let you talk to anyone you find which just leads to a lot of creepy messages from men I have absolutely nothing in common with but they seem to think I should give it a try anyways?! The thing is, most of the sites are just picture based with 200 characters of; “I love being outdoors, being on the water and beer”. I don’t mind the picture based matching as I believe that is how we are attracted to someone in the non-dating application world. You do need a little more though to be convinced into meeting this person face to face. So you find a profile that seems like a diamond in the rough, he talks about his awesome travel, he’s close with his mom, his pictures show normal things and he loves animals. But then there is the hello…

The Hello:
From the boring “Hello” to the “Hey baby,” or the random GIF, I’ve seen it all. That’s if you get a hello at all. The object is to match with someone and converse right? What do you expect from me if you say hi or hey? I think of it as a normal every day situation. I walk into Starbucks you smile, say hi, then I smile and say hi back. There is nowhere to go from there; we turn and get our coffees and continue on our own. That’s not the way it should be. Asks questions, make a statement that’s leading to more conversation.
Then there are the hey babys! This is the light version of what I actual get. I’ve been asked all kinds of sexual things within the first sentence, asked about my feet (there are a lot of foot fetishes out there), offered to buy things for me, and of course there are the dick pics. Unsolicited pictures of your dicks are never going to get a woman and men have heard this over and over again and still send them!
GIFs. OK I actually love me a cute waving beer followed up with a how’s your day. But why are you sending me hey baby GIFs or the ever so lovely blow job GIF from your favorite comedian?
I do say hello first sometimes as some applications like Bumble give you the lead. I try to follow my own advice and ask about something in their profile or comment on our weather. But then there is the conversation…

The Conversation:
Who am I kidding? Actual conversation never happens on these applications. Eventually you get bored of talking about the weather and our work days and convince each other to meet for, The Date….

The Date:
This is the worst part. I’m not saying anything terrible has happened on a date. The guys have been mostly as expected. The problem is there is no substance to these dates. First of all they are all pretty much the same. Coffee, dinner and walks through the park get old quick. I want to go fly a kite, paddle board or do something I’ve never done on a date. Then there is the conversation when on these dates. No one seems to want to talk about anything real. Mostly you find out about things that can be learned through a Facebook page on private. A lot of times it feels like an interview. If this is supposed to be an opportunity to find someone you want spend some time with then you should give a little more of how cool that would be!! I haven’t been on a second date in almost a year and that is because of how the first ones have gone. Then there is usually no follow up….

The Follow Up:
I’ve enjoyed dates enough to ask for other dates but either get a no or don’t get a response for a long time. It makes me wonder if I am just as boring (I know I am not). Or sometimes I tell them honestly I’m not into them and I get crazy angry responses back about wasting their time and money. I am ok with guys offering too pay but hope they are doing it because they want to and don’t hold it over your head if there is not another date. I often offer to split as I feel like I then owe them something if they buy and that should not be the case. This all leads to why I am leaving dating applications….

Deleting Dating Applications:
Is this forever? I cant commit to forever on anything just yet. This is for sure for awhile though. I love my life, I love the things I do, I love my friends, and I love me. We have to start finding someone to love within the things we already love. There are so many right swipes out there but in the end it leaves me feeling more empty then anything else in my life. Waiting for that match or response is another negative thing I can do without. I want a guy to see my smile in that coffee shop, sit down and talk with me about how there is still so much hate in this world and how he is help changing it. I want to be enjoying some live music and get someone to say hey and ask my favorite song and why. I may be that strong independent woman but I want a man that can handle that confidence and still have a good time with me!

I truly want it all and will not settle for less. I have been convinced that the dating sites aren’t going to give it all. I had an on going joke that one day I was going to write a book about my online dating experiences. It was my excuse to stay on these sites. I may still write that book, but it has motivated to start writing anything again. I will use my swiping time to write more.

As for finding that perfect match… I’m going to keep loving and smiling!