Education

I have long known that when it comes to our government and politics I am, to say the least uneducated. I don’t really have a good concept of how things are supposed to work. I know there are ‘checks and balances,’ that involve our three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial). I know that one major premise of our government involves the separation of church and state (which a certain party seems to conveniently forget). I know there was a cartoon when I was a kid that talked about how bills are made into laws… Even as I write this I know how woefully ignorant I am…

Considering the current situation our country is in and my general distaste for not knowing things, I’m seeking out an education on the basics. I’m researching,  starting to study the Constitution, Bill of Rights, learn more about civics etc. I’m reading up on other political parties and what their stances are to find what truly reflects my values and belief in what a government should be. I’ve been following what our legislative branch has been voting on and who is voting what. I’ve called more senators in the last week than I have my entire life. I’m done sitting on the sidelines. I’m done being the person that complains but does nothing. We are supposed to be a government for the people, by the people. Sadly, too many of us have sat back on the sidelines allowing corporations, lobbyists, and the like to take over.

Our government, as it stands, does not serve the best interests of the people. The only way that will change is if the people make it change. I’m not telling anyone what party to support, who to vote for in different elections, etc. What I am saying is, if you’re unhappy about the way things are do something about it!shutterstock_252537448.jpg

Processing

IMG_1047I’ve been processing a lot lately. I’ve been evaluating myself, my life, my relationships.  I’ve been looking at what brings me stress and what brings me joy. I’ve been focusing on my motivation and gratitude. I’ve made tough choices, I’ve made changes, I’m leaving myself vulnerable in ways I haven’t in a long time. It’s been scary and difficult and painful but I am moving in the right direction.  I couldn’t have done it without my support system, my family, my close friends.

I still have a long ways to go. I’m realizing that this world and all its ugliness is leaving my soul tired. It’s depressing and makes my heart hurt. It makes me want to run away, buy an island (like I have money for that), and never interact with the world at large again. Instead I need to be a force of change. I can’t run, I can’t hide. I can only do what I can to make the world a better place.

I have to let go of what I can’t fix because in truth, I want to fix anything and everything that brings me sorrow. I am accepting my limitations rather than dwelling on what I cannot change. I’m letting go and opening up at the same time. It’s hard, I don’t like to let go, but it’s a process and one I’m committed to.

Heavy Heart

shutterstock_306532232My heart is terribly heavy right now. I’m feeling the urge to do something, anything to try and be a positive impact on the world right now. I don’t even know where to start. I’m mourning the lives lost in senseless and unnecessary violence. The current state of affairs in this country of ours is depressing me. As in, one day off, I barely got out of bed and I laid there crying as I read articles about the horrific events happening lately. My heart is hurting but I’m also feeing led to speak out and make a difference. To get involved and do what I can as one human being who sees the need for change and to affect others positively.

I ask that you check out these three videos I’v seen in recent weeks. I ask that you watch these videos with an open mind and an open heart. I know that some people feel like BLM is creating ‘more racial tension’ in this country by focusing on race. I ask you, how does one fix an issue if we can’t admit it exists in the first place?

Trevor Noah we should all be pro black and pro police!

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4 Black Lives Matter Myths Debunked | Decoded | MTV News

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Why ‘Black Lives Matter’ Is Important

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Reconnecting with Myself

The past few weeks I’ve been spending some time reconnecting with myself. This month I’ve been investing in myself in ways I haven’t in a long time. I started watching what I’m eating, thanks to Weight Watchers, and I’m down three and a half pounds. I’ve (mostly) given up naps and I’m working to establish a better sleep schedule.Thanks to accompanying a good friend on a makeup shopping trip, I’ve gone back to wearing full make-up, at least for two weeks and counting. I’ve even been disciplined enough to wash my make-up off at the end of the day.

It’s funny how something as small as makeup can make a gal happy. Wearing it reminds me of my days working in salons. When I walk into a Sephora or Ulta and I’m hit with the sweet smells of fragrances and shampoos, it feels like home.

I’ve even been more active at home, running the dishwasher, doing laundry, attacking the weeds. Little things but they add up and they are making me happy.

In the past year I’ve set out on a journey to identify my health issues and they are under control (mostly). I’ve gone back to college, I’ve even stayed on top of cutting the grass this year, unlike last summer. Perhaps some of the last steps (hahahaIMG_0082) of me reclaiming and reconnecting with my life means finding out what makes me happy- on the superficial end of things that has meant short hair, long fake nails, and make-up. On the intellectual side it means working to complete my college degree. On the mental/emotional end, it means speaking up more, expressing my needs, saying no more, and preserving my sanity. Making room in my life for those I love and not worrying so much as to what others think of my life choices.

I am feeling more and more like myself every day and that is a great feeling.

Coming Up Roses

I’m finally coming out the other side of the funk I was in. Life feels much more positive and hopeful again. Why was I in a funk to begin with? Because not feeling well takes a freaking toll. Because missing work because I don’t feel well takes a toll. Because I was feeling like I was letting everyone down but mostly myself. I was constantly on the defensive, at least on the inside feeling like I had to explain myself to anyone who asked. Here’s the reality: I don’t owe explanations to anyone.

With the flare ups I was having with GERD I was constantly nauseous and sometimes in pain. Now that I’m back on meds for that twice a day I’m feeling like a normal human being again. Which means everything else starts to shift into a better perspective. I’m still experiencing some anxiety but I’m working on that too. Lots of deep breathing throughout the day (not when I’m panicking but to help maintain calm). I’m also trying to get back to a normal sleep schedule. Things are slowly coming back together which makes me feel better mentally and emotionally.

My film class is going well. So far I have an A and my professor even gave me a “good job,” on my first film essay. It is only an 8 week course which means all the work of a 16 week course in half the time. I think it will be a little bit challenging but will also strengthen my fiction writing and give me a better perspective.

Now I’m off to enjoy my unexpected three day weekend. 100_0185_2

Happy 2015

Recently I turned 34 yBlue Happy New Year 2015 Greeting Art Paper Cardears old which has me thinking a lot. It’s odd, I didn’t have a hard time saying good-bye to my twenties. In fact it was more of a feeling of ‘good riddance,’ when it came to that. However, I’ve had an affinity with the number 33 my entire life so it was an age I looked forward to and dreaded leaving. It’s not just my birthday that has me thinking. It’s the holidays and the new year that has my mind in overdrive.

This time last year I was still nursing the wound left from  losing my Uncle John. There was a lot of uncertainty in my life and stress. Despite all of that I felt stronger than I had in a very long time. I felt like I needed to be strong for him because he would be. It also forced me to start admitting to the poor choices I was making in regards to my own health. While I have a long  ways to go I am working on eliminating or lessening the presence of chemicals in my life. I’ve faced one of my greatest fears and saw a GI doc which led to answers and now I’m learning to manage my conditions.

I started to feel a pressing need to get back to school. It was this unfinished project hanging over my head and I don’t like having anything hanging over me. Part of the reason I have not bothered with school is the annoyance of how long it will take to complete a degree. It’s funny where we find inspiration but I saw a quote online that said, “Don’t let the time it will take to complete a goal discourage you. The time will pass anyway.” It resonated deeply inside of me. At the last minute I managed to get into two classes this fall.

I have realized at this stage in my life I don’t feel old nor young. I just am. I am evolving and embracing and living, maybe for the first time ever. I am excited for 2015 and to have a blank slate. I know this year will be different for several reasons. Last night I went to a party for New Year’s, which I have never done in my life. My family has always taken the approach to  stay home where it is safe and call each other at midnight kind of celebration. Granted I was home before midnight but still, I went out. I’ve also never, ever rung in New Year’s with a friend and one of my bestest ladies actually went to the party with me and then crashed at my house.

Today, I was up by 8:15 am which is rather early for me. These changes, however small are making me happy. I’ve also opted to give up Facebook for the year. All resolutions tend to be broken quickly so I’ll have to see how that one plays out. I have a few other resolutions in mind but none that I want to share. While the public acknowledgment could lead to a feeling of accountability it could also lead to a sense of failure if my life path takes me in other directions. Just because something sounds like a great plan doesn’t mean it is what I should be focusing on. Time will tell and trusting one’s gut and intuition are key.

So today, on this first day of 2015 I am wishing you all love, peace, and prosperity. Be blessed people.

*side note, my blog is set to automatically post to Facebook so I’m not cheating 🙂

Follow Your Gut

I remember, when I was a little kid, feeling like I had some sort of magical, untapped, limitless power inside of me. I would lay in bed at night allowing my imagination to run wild. I would create these perfect fantasy worlds in my head and I felt unstoppable.

I knew that there were limits in life. For example, I desperately wanted a horse but living in the suburbs that was not feasible. As my dad pointed out there were laws indicating how much land you needed to have and we did not meet the requirements. As I type this now, I wonder if that was true or just something he said to shut me up…

In my fantasy world, all the neighbors on my block would cease to exist. I wished them no ill will, they simply disappeared. Our entire street was vacant expect for my family, so all the “yards,” were now ours and we had plenty of room for horses. Of course, in my perfect fantasy world I only considered the parts of having a horse that appealed to me: Their beauty, riding them, interacting with them. There was never a point that I dwelled on their care, mucking out stalls, etc. That is the perk of fantasy.

My entire childhood and perhaps to some degree even into high school, I dreamed big. Nothing was out of reach, nothing was off limits. I could have whatever I wanted, I could do or be whatever I wanted. My dad always told me, “You can have anything you want in life, all you have to do is earn it.” Somehow though, I lost that. I let life get me down or convince me that I needed to be practical. While there were still beautiful stories in my head; picking up and moving to some distant city, or becoming a famous writer by the age of 22, or being filthy rich, or who knows, I abandoned them.

I started making safer choices. I’ve always wanted to write, since I was a little kid. I would write silly short stories to pass the time. I would tell intricately woven stories with my Barbies, or playing house or any of those things kids don’t seem to do nowadays. When I started college, however, I opted to pursue a degree in Human Resource Management. The classes bored me to death but they were safe. I was already a manager in a fast-food chain. They had a franchise office. I could get a business degree and that would guarantee a good job. I was also considering being a teacher but I wanted to teach Spanish and I was afraid I would always sound like a gringa speaking it which wouldn’t be helpful to students. I was scared. So I took business classes. (I don’t think I’ve ever admitted to anyone before why I didn’t pursue being a Spanish teacher).

I have bounced around in the years since high school, carving out little niches for myself. I’ve gathered up myriad experiences that have helped to shape who I am today. I’ve tried on lots of different roles, and pursued my varied interests. As a kid I always imagined myself being a waitress- I loved the interactions they had with their tables and I can say I’ve done that. In fact, sometimes I even miss it. I wanted to be a hair stylist but that also seemed scary to me as I felt like an unkempt mess. I overcame that fear and I did it and loved it. I’ve been a manager, I’ve been an employee, I currently get to teach in the job that I have now.

So where does that leave me? I am realizing never stop dreaming big. Never silence your inner truth. I am back in college and getting a degree in English. That scared the shit out of me for years, I couldn’t see a “practical’ way to apply that. It doesn’t matter though. I need to do it. (ok and now I have figured out “practical” way to apply it).I am reconnecting with myself, my passions, my soul. I’m learning to quit silencing what doesn’t make sense and listen to my gut. All in all, I would say I am in a damn good place.