From ‘Me Too’ to ‘I’m With You’

From the second the #metoo movement began, women, and people, everywhere came together. Whether they were sharing their story or experience, coming forward as a survivor, outing their attacker, or just being supportive.

As a survivor, this sends chills throughout my body…but for two very opposing reasons. One being a very positive and resounding feeling of togetherness. I am so unbelievably grateful that in these horrible times, an entire WORLD can come together to support each other. We go on marches and make life long friends, full songs are created for the sole purpose of letting everyone know we will not stand down until there is change, we start one hashtag movement and the entire world starts coming forward – it is truly incredible. I have seen men on my Facebook, even, post statuses saying they had no idea how widespread this issue was and that they were completely shocked, heartbroken even, that this many people they knew were impacted by such horrible stories.

On the contrary, it makes me so sad that there are so many women out there who have gone through the same, excruciatingly painful experience. It makes me so angry that there are so many horrible people out there that are causing this pain; enough people to make multiple women come forward every few DAYS.

However, I’m here to focus on the positives. Time Magazine named “The Silence Breakers” as the Person of the Year. The cover story included women of all races, professions, countries – everything from a woman working in a strawberry field in Mexico to high profile actresses. They all came together to connect over their stories and speak out for those who couldn’t. The cover includes only the arm of one woman, who represents the women who cannot speak out. THIS is what these movements are doing. They are bringing the entire world together in solidarity to support each other.

The survivors who are all coming forward need our help. We need to be the voice for those who are voiceless – speaking up and calling for change is  a scary thing. No voice goes unheard, no deed goes unnoticed, no help goes without thanks – we are all in this together.

We won’t keep quiet, we won’t let them win, and we most certainly won’t let anyone go this alone.

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How Dare You

This week, I have been holding back tears every time I’ve turned on the news. Every time I’ve scrolled through Facebook or Twitter I’ve had to stifle a sob. 

My heart hurts for what is happening, I am so full of sadness for what our world is coming to. My first thought was for my family who was there, my second was for everyone impacted; I can’t imagine what this is like for them. My third thought went to the coward who carried this all out…how dare you. How dare you try and tear our nation apart. How dare you go hunting for not only your fellow Americans, but your own species. 

It is times like these where we need to come together. We need to show these horrible creatures that we are bigger than they think – that we can rise above the ashes and the rubble and come out stronger. 

Today, I challenge you: instead of spewing hatred about the NFL protests, about Donald Trump, about “this is why we need gun laws and you stupid people need to do something about it,” about the conspiracy theories that are already brewing (please just go away)…be a kind human. It doesn’t have to cost a dime. It doesn’t have to cost any extra time, smile at someone as you’re walking down the street. Give someone a compliment in the elevator. Tell your loved ones you love them, give it extra meaning by telling them why. If you have a few extra bucks, pay for someone’s coffee. Give that homeless person you see everyday some breakfast. 

Our nation keeps getting more and more divided and that’s not what America is about. We are supposed to stand together, stand tall, and stand our ground. We are supposed to be a melting pot, each of us bringing something new and meaningful to the table. We are supposed to be the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, not Land of the Scared and Home of the Violent

It’s time for us to realize this is a problem for humanity. 

Not a problem for our latest politicians to fight over, not a new debate topic to put one candidate above the other, not a topic for the new potential Miss America to answer. This is a problem for US. It’s time to open our eyes and start problem solving 

It is with this that I leave you and ask you to just be a decent human. Be kind, be caring, be helpful. Pay it forward when you can, and quite honestly, just don’t be a piece of shit. We have to stick together and stand our ground – united we stand, divided we fall – don’t let them make us fall. 

God bless, and stay safe. 

We Matter: A Pep Talk for my Best Friends

The other day, I saw a video where 2 best friends sat down and said to each other the thoughts they have about themselves. Each of them were so visibly hurt and uncomfortable by the fact that they had to say these horrible things out loud to their best friends. They were so hurtful – attacking their weight, looks, personality, every piece of their being – and they were so sad for having to say those things to someone they loved so much.

At the end of the video, it makes a great point “Why do we say things to ourselves that we wouldn’t ever say to (or think about) our best friends? Be a best friend to yourself.

Our best friends are our rocks. They are our voice of reason when we are down and that pep talk when we are doubtful. They are our sisters and brothers by choice. They are our true soulmates.

My best friends, are my life. They mean the world to me, whenever someone hurts them, I am the first one to jump to their side and start their support circle. Whether that means running to the liquor store to buy bottles of wine while simultaneously ordering pizzas, putting together a care package box, making plans to vandalize the perpetrators house/car/belongings (though this never actually happens, I swear! I just talk a big game), offering to go grab their stuff from the ex’s house, whatever I can possibly think of to make it even a teeny bit easier.

But, do you know what the most difficult, heart breaking, thing is? The one thing I feel like I can’t fix or can’t help or can’t dig them out of? It’s their hurtful words to themselves. I can’t go offer to hurt the person who is hurting them, I can’t offer to wine them up and console them and tell them the person who is hurting them doesn’t matter and has no idea what they’re talking about, I can’t convince them that those thoughts deep in their mind aren’t true, because those very thoughts and words have been eating away at them for ages.

With that being said, it is with this, that I give all of you, my best friends, the pep talkiest of all pep talks. Keep it with you, whether in your mind or in your pocket. Here is my attempt to knock those demons of yours right on their ass, once and for all:

  • You ARE more than enough. One of the most heartbreaking things that I hear my friends say is that they’re not good enough or that they’re missing something. Homegirl, the only thing you’re missing is the confidence to go with your amazing self. You mean the world to me, and to so many other people. Don’t let one guy, one friend, one bad customer ruin your day and knock you down.
  • You are so beautiful. I truly mean that. I have the most beautiful friends, inside and out. You all are so caring for everyone you know. You all are so unbelievably kind. You radiate beauty wherever you go.
  • You are so strong. You have all been through all sorts of hell. Lost loved ones, horrible break ups, stressful job changes, grueling schedules, family problems, and dramatic life changes. But, y’know what? You’ve ALL made it through. You’re all here standing strong and tall, you’re all here kicking ass every day, you’re all here and still going.
  • You are so hardworking. Think of all of the hard work you have completed. Whether it be school, a job you’ve excelled at, a new job you’re learning, fitness goals you’ve accomplished, personal goals you’re working towards – you did it. You’ve come so far, and you’ll keep going.
  • You’ve learned so much. All of those experiences that hurt and that felt like they were killing you taught you so much. You came out of them so much wiser and so much stronger. Think of where you were a year ago, and think of where you are now. I guarantee you you have learned so much more about yourself, gained so many friends and memories, learned the true meaning of so many things you thought you knew. You are a wizard!
  • You are only human. You will make mistakes, probably even the same one a handful of times. If you beat yourself up for every little mistake, you’ll never get off the ground. Learn from them and move on. If you make the same one again, learn a new lesson and keep going. You are just a regular human in life and mistakes happen. I promise, it won’t last forever.
  • Most importantly, you will be okay. This will all blow over, you will get past that hump, the clouds will clear and the sadness will go away, that mistake does have a silver lining, you’ll see the jealously was pointless, you will see the beauty and the positivity, and you.will.crush.it.

Here’s to all of us.
Our imperfections that make us perfect
Our squad that keeps us strong
Our will to keep going
Our strength that lifts us up
Our beauty that turns heads and changes lives
We matter.

God bless, and stay safe.

Why I Won’t Spend Any More Time on Toxic People

Every year that I look back, I realize how much I’ve grown and how amazing it has been. The friends I’ve made, the confidence I’ve gained, the lessons I’ve learned, the life events that have happened (helllloo engagement!), and everything I’ve been able to experience have all just been so incredibly mind boggling.

However, there have also been some people (and things) I’ve had to cut out, and that’s okay. Sometimes, we want so badly for someone to be good so we try and try to make it work, when in reality we’re just holding onto the bumper of a moving car and we have to realize we’ve gotta let it go (thank you Lorelai Gilmore for that wonderful analogy).

Sometimes relationships – whether they’re romantic or just friendships – can be really abusive if you keep holding on. It isn’t always  getting hit, sometimes it can be as simple as:

  • Getting unnecessary and untrue rumors spread about you
  • Getting your secrets spilled
  • Constant negative energy (you know, those people who are constantly complaining about something or always getting into trouble)
  • Bad influences (someone you feel like you’ve never hung-out with without drinking or doing something unhealthy)
  • They never let you talk, but always expect you to listen to them
  • Drama never seems to leave them alone (but they hate drama, right?)
  • Their pants are often on fire (because of the lies)
  • Other peoples’ names never leave their mouth

Ain’t nobody got time for all that.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be surrounded by positive, good people. I want to be surrounded by people who encourage me to do and be better. I want to be surrounded by people who love other people, who encourage other people and take the time to help other people, not who spend the time to tear other people down.

Misery really does love it’s company, and I promise you, these people will do everything in their power to get their company. Don’t let them have it. Keep your chin up and keep moving forward. Positive vibes and good deeds go much further than negative ones.

We are all too strong, too fabulous, and too important to deal with negativity, toxic relationships, and unnecessary drama.

Wellness Wednesday – It’ll Be Okay

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY IS HERE!

Life is really hard sometimes. We get chewed up and spit out. Then right when we think we’ve got ourselves cleaned up  and put pack together, we get stomped all over and thrown in front of a bus; left there to clean up the mess and bandage ourselves up once again.

On my return to blogging (it’s been a really long time and it’s sad but it’s fine) what is a better comeback than my beloved wellness Wednesday!?

This week, I’m here to remind you that it will all be okay. 

We’ve all been through way more than we thought we could ever handle, and look at us now. We always come back stronger than ever, right on top where we belong.


Here’s what we can do to remind ourselves that it’s going to get better and to help us get there:

  1. Remind yourself that you’ve been here before, and then remember everything you learned from it. We all go through hard times, and during those times we are convinced nothing is worse than this moment and it’s never going to get better. But then a few weeks go by and we start to smile more, a couple months go by and we realize we don’t get hurt as easily, we learn new things about ourselves. So many positive things come from negative experiences, we just have to be willing to notice them.
  2. Actually write out those pros (yes this is a pro con list without the cons, we don’t need that negativity in our lives). It sounds cheesy, but seeing all of those positives on paper helps. Keep the list and add to it, every time you notice a new positive, add it to the list. One day you’ll look at that list and notice it’s a full page of positive outcomes and BAM, it won’t seem so bad anymore.
  3. Be self aware. It’s hard to admit when we need help sometimes. People ask us how we are doing and the answer is always either good, fine, or okay. If you feel yourself breaking, do something about it. Talking to your friends or a therapist is a good way to help yourself figure out if you’re really okay, and remind yourself that you will be one day. And, if it’s hard for you to talk to someone…
  4. Journal your thoughts. I’ve said it 10,000 times before and I’ll say it a million more. It works. Get a blank journal and just write away, get a guided journal to focus on a specific thing, just get to writing!

Let’s actually ask people how they are instead of mindlessly walking through the motions of small talk.  We’re all human, we’re all just trying to get through life, so let’s help each other out.

It will be okay. 

God Bless, and Stay Safe

Sexually Based Offenses…

“In The Criminal Justice System,
Sexually Based Offenses Are Considered
Especially Heinous

Although, maybe they’re not especially heinous
if you’ve got one of the three s’s up your sleeve:
Stanford, Student, or Swimmer

Or perhaps, if you’re a grabby billionaire
with a political agenda,
you can find a way around it.

And maybe, just maybe, if you’re a decorated
boxer with an…interesting…face tattoo
you can be convicted and still go on like nothing happened.

Likewise, if you’re a TV/movie star accused of
sexual and physical abuse, threats, and forced abortions
you can continue “winning” making $1.8 million an episode.

Even after all this, people still wonder why survivors hesitate to come forward.


God Bless, and Stay Safe out there, everyone ❤

Maybe They Don’t Hit You But…

Here is my take on the “Maybe he doesn’t hit you” hashtag that has been going around. Although, I do understand that this is NOT always a HE pronoun…so I changed it to THEY.

We have all seen it…whether you have been on the receiving end, or whether you have a loved one who has told you about it…that relationship that just doesn’t quite seem right.

  • It could be the “get your ass home” texts
  • It could be the punch holes in your walls
  • It could be the extent of your fights
  • It could be how suspicious they get when all you do is go to the grocery store
  • It could be how they tell you that you are nothing without them
  • It could be how they apologize every time and say it’ll never happen again
  • It could be how it was “a rough day”
  • It could be how sometimes you forget you’re even in a relationship
  • It could be how it always “was just a joke”

Often times, emotional abuse is even worse than physical abuse.

Bruises and bones heal,
But the mind is far more complex –
A  bruise there can have impacts
that last a lifetime.

You are worth so much more than you let yourself believe. You are worth the world on a silver platter. You deserve the:

  • “I cannot wait to see you!”
  • “I am so thankful for you”
  • “I appreciate you so much”
  • “Have a great time!”
  • The tightness of their hugs
  • The intimacy of their touch – even if its just their hand on your shoulder – you feel their love and their warmth.
  • “You complete me”
  • Cute notes left all around the house
  • Laughing fits so long your abs are on fire
  • “You make my worst days into my best days”
  • The cheesiest of relationships

You deserve the
Sickening
Puppy Love
Movie Plot
Head Over Heels
LOVE.STORY.

I promise you that it is out there, and I promise you that it is possible.

You have to be willing to believe it. You have to be willing to realize that you are the only one that can make yourself happy. You have to be willing to walk away for your sanity and your well being. Because, maybe they don’t hit you, but they might constantly make you feel like you are doing something wrong.

It is much easier said than done – we like being comfortable, we like sticking to what we know, and we like having that person there (even if we know we aren’t even really all that happy). As silly as it sounds, it’s hard putting yourself first and taking care of you. I came across this Ted article the other day and fell in love. I instantly bookmarked it so I can go back and remind myself to take care of my emotional mental health.

There comes a time where you have to put self love first – your happiness, your sanity, YOUR life – that’s what matters. Stop coming up with excuses as to why the cons outweigh the pros, it is time for you to be happy.

We were all put here to be happy…so make it happen.
It’s your time.

A Year Ago…

Vanish
From friendships to hobbies to habits
another year gone, and so many changes
Letting go of what was
Letting the grudges disappear

The daily prompt today is vanish. I’ve been thinking a lot about this past year. Thinking about how much has changed – how much has vanished, but also how much has appeared. I’m starting to realize who my true friends are and am beginning to grow closer to them all. I’m gaining new friendships, and rekindling old ones, and it feels great.

This time last year, I was panicking over my senior year of college…worrying about failing my finals, graduating on time (even though it was a year late but shh), finding a job after college and finally being a big kid. I was worried about having friends and making sure I was still in the loop. I was fixated on grudges that I was holding onto and was all too interested in what everyone was doing.

Now, it is about love and happiness
It is about who, and what, brings me joy.
It is not about what others think,
instead it is what I know to be true…
& I know that I am strong!

It is time to focus on me – my well being, my happiness, and my priorities. It is time to focus on those who take the time to focus on me. Now, I am only 24 years old, I know that I am still young and have a lot to learn. However, I have recently come to terms with the fact that every relationship needs to be a give and take, I do not see the point in putting effort into a relationship that is a one way street. At first, it was really hard to realize this and be okay with it, now, I am embracing it.

Vanishing sounds like such a scary and horrible thing. But I’m starting to realize it’s the exact opposite. It just means change, and change is good. Change is exciting. It means letting go of the past, letting go of grudges, and letting the negativity disappear. It means learning new things about yourself and allows you to grow as a person.

It’s time to be positive, and it is time to start finding the silver lining.

Horrifying Echo Effect

Today, my heart is full of sadness. I read yet another article about another person taking her life, at the young, beautiful age of 18, because the bullies finally got to her.

It breaks my heart to know that THIS is what we have come to:

  • Parents teaching their kids that it is okay to beat someone’s mind and confidence down.
  • Teenagers thinking it is okay to tear someone down because they’re having a bad day.
  • Children being raised in houses filled with hate and resentment for other humans.
  • The absolute lack of discipline for actions so horrible.
  • The fact that there are MULTIPLE APPS for the sole purpose of hiding who you are…absolutely nothing good can come from this, because apparently spreading love is too much to ask for.

These applications are used to pretend to be someone you’re not, whether it’s to fool someone into liking you or to hide behind a screen while you – quite literally – ruin someone’s life.

As someone who was bullied in middle school, I can attest to the fact that it is horrifying. I thank God that the extent of mine was having friends turned against me for ridiculous reasons and was not extreme enough to make me feel so hopeless. Some people aren’t so lucky…

Those words: “you’re so ugly” “jeez, you’re so fat that you should really start asking for two seats in class” “you have no friends, what are you even doing here?” “Why don’t you just kill yourself?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?

Those words are a never ending echo for the person who has to hear them. When you start hearing something enough times, you really start to believe that it is true. I am honestly choking up just writing this; I cannot imagine the horror, hatred, sadness, loneliness, and frustration these people have.

What we also have to realize is that compliments and LOVE also echo within us. Unfortunately, it takes a lot more of those words to stick. Being a good human being does not cost a thing, it does not hurt you, it does not take more than the 5 seconds to share a smile. Being a bully takes manipulation, planning, apps to keep yourself a secret, and the never ending guilt that you end up with after you cost someone their life.

We are all here for the same reason – to live our lives happily. We all want to be full of joy in everything that we do. We all want to be liked. We all want to feel love. Being mean to other people is not a reflection of them, it’s a reflection of you, and being mean won’t get you anything but a life full of hatred for others and yourself.

Life is full of challenges…so let’s start accepting some of them:

Teach your children to love
Say hi to that person in the elevator
Smile at that person on the street
Tell your loved ones that you love them
Let everyone know you’re there for them
Don’t ever give up
Sit with that lonely kid (or adult!) at lunch
Think before you speak
Realize you are NEVER alone 

If you ever find yourself in need of some help:
Suicide prevention lifeline – If you feel like you’re reaching the edge
7 Cups of Tea – If you just want someone to listen to you
Is it time to get help? – If you’re wondering if it’s time to reach out
You are NEVER alone – this is to my contact section, do not ever hesitate to reach out to me. I am a great listener, I will never judge you, and I won’t even answer if you just want to get something off your chest
God Bless, and stay safe 

Wellness Wednesday is Back!

Now, last Wednesday I talked a lot about health. This Wednesday, I want to focus on the health of your mind and happiness, because those are equally as important. 

As I said in my about the author, Miranda Lambert is my spirit animal. I love her music and her attitude – she stays real and doesn’t try to hide her flaws. 

Her new (DOUBLE!!!!!!!!) album just came out and I’m already in love. She has a lot of awesome songs on there that really help tell the story about the last year or so of her life. There’s one on there, though, that sticks with me the most: Runnin Just In Case. 

The last line of this song is “happiness ain’t prison, but there’s freedom in a broken heart.” 

This line struck me so hard. I know so many people, myself included, who have struggled with the idea of ending something – whether it be a relationship, a habit, a lifestyle, or something completely different. 

In regards to a relationship; 

  • we’re worried about being alone
  • we’re comfortable where we are so we don’t want to change it
  • we’re too scared to make a move. 

In regards to a habit or a lifestyle; 

  • it just seems like a burden to change the way we eat, or 
  • plan out the way we spend money, or 
  • wake up earlier and go to sleep earlier 

 We fear change. And that’s okay, it’s how we handle it that makes it a problem. 

When I first heard that line, I played it back probably 3 times, and I really had to think about the meaning. 

And then it hit me. 

There IS freedom in a broken heart. You find yourself, you find out how to live without someone else, or something else, that you’re so used to having. You learn about how strong you truly are, and that you CAN make it through and do anything you set your mind to. You learn who your TRUE FRIENDS are. Making a drastic change is stressful and it’s painful, your true friends will be there to help you pick up the pieces. 

The most important thing when talking about relationships, is realizing there is life OUTSIDE of love. You will be happy again, you will be strong and make it through. You’ll meet other people, find new friends and new hobbies. You will get there, you just have to be willing to do it. 

So here’s to another challenge!! This time, I challenge you to be happy! I know it sounds silly, but it can be hard to make that move! Baby steps are the perfect place to start, evaluate your happiness, and prioritize what you need to do to get there. Don’t wait until the new year for that resolution (because those always die by February 1st). Start the year off right by starting on the right path, instead of starting with having to make a scary change. 

And to you, Miranda Lambert, THANK YOU! Your music, interviews, posts and stories have inspired me in so many ways. Thank you for staying true to yourself, and for never trying to hide who you are. Writing is my passion, and having your idol speak to you in their song to inspire a reason to write is truly an incredible feeling. 

And since I know you all want to be just as obsessed as I am, here’s Runnin Just In Case!