The Universe

My view of the world around me has changed over the last few years.  I let others influence how I felt just by not daring to use my own voice.  It’s really easy to let that happen. You hear someone speak or read an article and on the surface, you may agree with it. You may like what that article or blog says and repost it, share it in some way or even reblog it.

The problem with sharing on other people’s viewpoints is that soon you give up your own personal identity.  We often find that it is easier to let someone else speak for us because then we can say “Well I never really said that,” but if we are honest with ourselves on some level we allowed that article or blog to speak for us.

I am delving pretty deep here so stick with me.

Not long ago in a country not so far way a man began to speak for some of the people, and when those that didn’t believe in what that man was teaching they just lowered their heads and tried to keep from being noticed. This led to the man gaining more influence and more power and the more he had the more monstrous he became. This man was an artist and a writer and had a strong view that things in his country needed to change, he felt that his way was the best way to regain stability in his country.

People kept their heads down and minded, what they thought, was their own business. Soon their neighbors and shopkeepers and friends began to disappear. Not wanting to disappear themselves they kept quiet and were kept in a fearful state.

Soon people had to carry documents with them at all times that told those in charge just who they were. If you had no documents you disappeared, sometimes never to be seen or heard from again.

Now there were people that stood up and did not let this man or his followers dictate what they did. They risked their lives to help many others. Wishing every day they could do more.

At the end of this madness, over 11 million people were slaughtered. Brillant men and women whose lives were snuffed out never to be able to share that brilliance with the world. Musicians, doctors, lawyers, politicians, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters were torn from their families and lost their lives.

The people in this country said after “If I had only known, I would have done something.” If those that watched boxcars filled with the 11 million people had looked up and paid attention and had stood up as their neighbors were dragged from their homes than and only then, the world might be a different place today.

That was in Germany if you didn’t already figure it out, during World War II.

Sadly, in the United States today people just over a year ago were so wrapped up in wanting change that they only listened to the slogan “Make America Great Again” that they didn’t care who was behind it, or what that actually meant. The candidate was a smooth talker and was like Teflon nothing negative stuck to him. It all just seemed to slide right off and somehow he came out on top of it all.

We now have families creating back up plans and escape routes and carrying their papers with them in case INS shows up and raids their place of work or the bus they are riding on or the school they are attending.  See it doesn’t matter if you are from a family that has been here for generations and is natural citizens because you look a certain way or from a certain heritage or coloring, you are a suspicious person and subject to search and seizure or arrest till you can prove you are here legally.

The fear-mongering that is going on is no different than in Hitlers Germany no so long ago.  Families should not have to have back up plans or contingencies or be renting lockers in bus stations with “go bags” in case they have to flee.

How is this “Making America Great Again” how is this even close to being great? How did we come full circle and let this happen? Yes, we let it happen we stood by and decided that our voice wasn’t going to be loud enough to change anything so we stayed home and didn’t vote because there was no one good enough to vote for. We have let the two party system tear our nation to shreds. We have handed criminals the keys to the country and have let them run amuck. All the while saying well there is nothing that I can do, my voice, my vote, my opinion doesn’t matter.

See that is what the problem with America is. Those that oppose the criminals feel oppressed and held down with no voice and no power. But I say that is not true.  We have seen hundreds of thousands of women from different backgrounds, liberal, moderate, conservative step up and step out and create a movement to be heard. We have also had those women criticized for marching and protesting and asking for the freedoms they already have. Just because you do not feel oppressed does not make these women any less than you.

This is the time where your voices are needed the most, this is the time to use your social media to blow the algorithms to shreds by changing the conversation by letting your voice be heard. It matters, so much so that we cannot let those voices be smothered and shamed.

How do you do this? How do you find your voice? You read not just one article, one tweet, you take the time and you dig and you dig and you figure out where you stand and when you find it you stake claim to it and you shout it from the top of the mountains for all to hear.

Once voice becomes many and many voices can become a movement and a movement can make our future and the future of our nation and our global community a better place.

TL;DR Find your voice, stand up for those that are being silenced and help where you can, doing what you can with what you have. Don’t let those without a voice disappear because you were too busy following the Kardashians instead of the great world around you.

So where have I been?

Wow it’s been over a year since I last posted. Life has a funny way of getting in the way of life and the things we love to do.

My last post was July 2015. In the months well year plus since then my father passed away while I was on vacation with my family in Orlando at Disney.  We sorted and doled out my father’s things.  We watched the banks, yes plural fight over the house. We bought a car and well lived life.

School continued and I started working Lyft and Jamberry full-time doing well at both. Then I got a job offer out of the blue after doing some deliveries. I stepped back into the business world and realized that I really missed it and I am really good at it.  Oh and yeah I changed my major.

See part of my life goal is to follow my arrow, find my bliss and do good things.  I was finding that my arrow was no longer pointing to teaching and there was no bliss when I thought about standing in the classroom teaching.  My arrow was pointing elsewhere and I was too stubborn to follow it. But isn’t that how we find ourselves in jobs we only do for the paycheck, in relationships that we stay in because we are afraid to walk away and find better? So I took my own advice and decided to change my degree to Business Management.

I am a problem solver, a fixer a let’s make it better. In the business world I can do that at my own pace, in my own space and heck I can even create my own rules. I thrive working out the next problem, helping someone get what they are looking for and being a catalyst. Working with others that feel the same way.

Don’t get me wrong I still love to teach but I want to do it in a different setting. I want to teach others how to be better. It’s not about ABC’s and 123’s it’s about thriving and helping a business thrive and seeing the people who you work with thrive.

I’ve always wanted to own my own business. I can do that with Jamberry and to an extent with Lyft. BUT and it’s a big one. I want to create, build from the ground up my own business, not sure what that is yet but I know that I will have more open doors and more opportunities to hone my craft with a business degree, and well I’ve learned I love kids but not enough to spend 8+ hours a day with them.

I may be taking a small step back, but I know that I am following my arrow, that will lead to my bliss that will help me do good things.

How we are falling apart.

I have been pondering what has been happening in here in the US. The anger that is being displayed, the violence the vitriol and hate that is permeating from what seems to be every pore of our great nation is mind numbing.

Now is the time to come together, now is the time to stop pointing out each others faults and to stand united.

If we are to ever be united as a nation on some level we are going to have to accept that we as individuals are different yet as Shakespeare so greatly wrote “If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die?” I leave the last line of the quote off “And if you wrong us shall we not revenge” for the simple fact that revenge has never solved a thing. Sure you might feel better for a moment but you have damaged the fabric of your being.

I know things are messed up and there are evil people doing evil things but destroying things is not the way to change things. Our country ignored slavery instead of accepting that it happened and making sure things got better for those enslaved, reparations if you will.

I am not color blind that is a false statement “for if you do not see the differences in people you cannot see their beauty.” LB 2015

To ignore our past, to tear it down, to remove it from the history books is to deny that we made mistakes, it also does not keep us from making them again. Slavery was a terrible practice that to this day affects how we deal with each other. But even if the strides have been small there has been movement. Things don’t always move as fast as we want them to. We cannot change minds and attitudes by shouting and beating our chests. We can change things with dialog as long as both sides are willing to listen, we change. We need to save our history we just need to save all of it, not just the parts we agree with.

Many Nations have tried to erase their history and it has been to their detriment, it has brought about the downfall of their society, and friends we are on the brink. Our toes are hanging over the edge, we are one step away from a total breakdown.

We all have our own opinions and some of them are strong. I urge you, my friends, to take a moment and listen, really listen to what someone on the opposite side is saying. Not just hear words but actively listen. You don’t have to agree but if we all listened to each other with a bit of compassion and understanding even if we don’t agree this little corner of the world might just become a bit better.

Find your bliss, follow your arrow, do good things everyday.

Sunday my husband and I said goodbye to a very dear friend of ours. We have known here since she was 12 years old. I was her Girls Camp Director her very first year at church sleep away camp.

She has always been her own person, from the people she includes in her life to the music she writes to the youtube videos she creates. In summation, she is awesome!

J’s life hasn’t been all cookies and jam. She has had some bumps and bruises and wounds caused by people that were supposed to love and protect her.  Along the way she has gotten older and wiser, she has stayed open and loving of others and herself.  She is becoming an awesome woman. I look up to her and she knows it.

The reason I share a micro bit of her tale is because she has opened me up. She has encouraged me to be a better person and to find my bliss, follow my arrow and do good things every day.

So how do you find your bliss?

Believe me it’s not easy. You have to quiet all the voices around you that tell you what you should be and what you should do. Then you have to quiet your own voice and listen because in that silence you will be able to figure out what you love to do and what makes you happy doing it. See life is too short to do something you hate, dislike or really don’t care about.

It may take years for you to find the thing or things that make you happy when you do them. You should totally and completely be in love with what you do to pay your bills.  I know it is an odd concept isn’t it?

I have found that it’s a good mental health strategy. If you love what you do then you don’t mind doing it every day, all day long, 5-7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.  It can feel like an eternity when your job is not something you care about or love doing. Sometimes we have to take those jobs so that we can find our bliss so that we can pay the bills. But along the way, once you find your bliss you have to do it, EVEN if you have to do the thing you hate to get to the point where you can do the thing you love to do full time.

How do you follow your arrow? 

This is not going to be easy either because again you have to step away from where society says you should go. You have to step out of the mainstream and look around at what is available. Finding your bliss and following your arrow go hand in hand. If you figure out what you love to do then it is easy to follow the path to doing that in your life.

I spent much of my life headed in the direction that I thought other people wanted me to go. I joined several churches because I saw those around me doing so. I tried so many jobs that I can’t count on two hands and all my toes the different things I have done.  I even dropped out of society and intentionally homeless for a period of time. This was my first encounter with stepping away from what I thought everyone else wanted me to be.

When you grow up in an abusive home, you are constantly trying to do good things to avoid being abused, you become a people pleaser, it comes with the territory. Like I said I spent the majority of my life trying to please others.
The first thing I did to please myself was allow myself to fall in love with my husband. That was the first step. In the ensuing 11 years, I tried many jobs and have done many things. I’ve worked with non-profits attempted to be a stay at home wife, and now I have a job I really like, and I’m in college to get a degree in my chosen field of study so that I can follow my arrow.

Many people spend their entire lives doing what they think they should do instead of doing and going where they want to go, in the end they look back on their lives with regret, I for one do not want to do that.

Do good things every day

This comes from Kid President If you haven’t seen his videos go now, yes you have my permission to leave this page and go visit his page. This kid is so freaking positive he can turn any bad day instantly good.

He often talks about doing good things every day.  J and I have taken on the motto and both try to do good things every day.  It’s a simple mantra and ideal to follow, it’s so easy that well a kid can do it.

We see so much bad in the world around us that we can forget there are good things as well. We can be part of that good. We can do simple things every day that are easy and need no elaborate planning.  It is as simple as letting someone merge into traffic during rush hour, hold the elevator even when you are in a hurry, saying hello to everyone you meet as you go about your day. Life can be hard and really suck sometimes and when you work hard to do good things every day, it sucks a little bit less until you have formed a habit. Until doing good things. becomes like a 5th appendage. You will find yourself less stressed and letting the little stuff stay little and the big stuff getting smaller.

So simple yet so profound.

Find your bliss, follow your arrow and do good things every day. So simple, so easy, just try it

Solo Journey…

My journey is mine alone. We may often share some joys and heartaches but, for the most part the path I am on I must travel those trials alone. This does not mean that I am truly alone in the sense of not having anyone to share it with. It just means that the trials and tribulation, the ups and the downs, the good and the bad are all something that I have to experience as myself. Not as a woman, wife, sister, daughter but as just lil ole me.

I feel there are two types of alone. There is the type of alone where I have no friends, no family no one to share my life with and the alone where it is just me. Where I exist as just me and my feelings and experiences. See we can share experiences with others but what they personally experience and the feelings they have after are totally different from yours. There is a nuance here that makes it so different.

This path I am on this year has been a struggle. While my husband was there with me every step of the way his pain and grief were of a different sort.  Where he had accepted some time ago that we would not bear children, I, on the other hand was still holding out hope and desire. Not to say he didn’t grieve as well. That happens when the hope or potential is gone.

We have each been dealing with the loss at the same time but in much different ways we are solo.

There have been many things and people that have loved and cried and helped us along the way. There have been many changes in our lives since February  2015 and I’m sure there will be more yet to come.

One of the positive changes we have made in our journeys is our path to better health and well-being. We starting going to a boxing club three times a week. There is something so gratifying after totally putting all of yourself into a workout, sweating it out leaving it all on the heavy bag, punching out the frustration, pushing yourself to do more, hit harder, move faster. Just be. Because when you are in front of that heavy bag, it’s just you gloved up throwing punches, focusing on hand and foot placement, moving your hips as you hit, all the little tiny things that go into such a large overall movement.

That is how a solo journey is, little tiny moments that make up one big change. We are barely two weeks into our boxing journey but each and every class 3 times a week I learn something more about myself. I learn I can push myself just a little bit harder each time, punch a little bit faster, do more crunches and butterfly kicks and do a knee plank just a little bit longer. AND if I can survive all that and come back for more than life gets just a little easier to deal with.

It’s all about small movements and changes that make the big things so much better.

title

Flex Friday Feature Title Boxing Club Green Hills

Existentialism in a Nail Shop.

So we are just two days from Surgery.  I keep running things over in my mind. Like who do I need to talk to, what amends to I need to make in case the surgery goes sideways and things don’t end up the way we hope.

I know they do thousands of these surgeries everyday across the world. This is my first open major surgery. While the fear has abated a bit it still lingers.

I had an amazing experience yesterday. I had to get my acrylic nails taken off for surgery because they need the O2 sensor to read accurately. So after a yummy bowl of Pho from Love, Peace & Pho here in South Nashville….so good! Then I went next door to the nail place and had my nails taken off.

The woman that was working on me seemed to notice that I was gloomy and kept asking what was wrong. I assume thinking I was not enjoying my manicure after the removal of the acrylic. I told her the short version of what was going one and she took her mask off and stopped what she was doing and told me about her sister who is also a manicurist and about how one of her clients had brain cancer and had a 1% chance of survival after surgery. She said the client told her sister goodbye but if she survived she would be back. Her sister received a phone call two days later, she had to have someone translate but it was the client calling to tell her she was okay.

She then told me a story of a woman in her country with no insurance that ended up with cancer as well and was okay, she told me I was lucky to be in the US with the excellent medical care and the amazing doctors and that she could see that I was a strong woman and a good woman and that strong good women are rewarded and taken care of. She said your grandmother and mother were strong too. (Never told her anything about them) She said I will see you when you get better for surgery and then…

She stopped talking and looked at me directly in my eyes as if reading my soul and said to me “I don’t know what you believe, God, Buddha, what ever, I say to Buddha every night thank you for my life and my child and my job and all that you have blessed me with. Even if you don’t believe in anything just talk. Just say what you are grateful for and you will be fine.”

It was such a powerful experience there was nothing in the room but the two of us for that moment two strangers. One comforting the other. I began to tear up, it was as if a great weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was as if this stranger had been tasked that day to remove the fear from my mind. Sure I’m still worried but as for being terrified of dying and leaving this world, this life that is so undone, I’m lighter, I can breath.

I may be in state of flux regarding religion but I do believe that there is something that binds this world together that brings things to and away from us for some reason. I believe that things happen right when they are suppose to happen. I don’t have a name for what it is. You may and that is fine but for right now I’m not sure and that’s okay I’m allowed to have this existential exploration of what I do and do not believe. I believe we all have the right to believe as we choose or right to not believe or whatever. We do however need to support each other in those choices and beliefs even if they are not shared.

Who would have thought and I would find peace and comfort from a Vietnamese Manicurist?

So I guess that’s that…It’s not fair.

Well the visit with the oncologist was long and informative and exhausting all at the same time. It boils down to this.

I have a 6 inch cyst on my left ovary, yup you read that right six inches.  It is pushing my bladder and my uterus out of position which has been causing some auxiliary problems that I just thought were part of getting older.

The surgery will remove both ovaries, both fallopian tubes, my uterus and my cervix. They will be doing an open incision because they want to remove everything in tact so that they can do a frozen dissection and test for any other pre cancerous/cancerous cells.

I will be spending 4 to 5 days in the hospital afterwards and then 6 to 8 weeks on home rest after that.

Good news is that I will have plenty of time to complete my last three classes, bad news I won’t be able to do anything much.

We were hoping to keep one of my ovaries so that we could harvest eggs and possibly use a surrogate but the percentage of having viable eggs is less than 20% so adoption it is for us.

I’m sad, angry and ready to shout at the world it’s not fair. Because to be honest it’s not.

My husband and I have stable income a beautiful home and deeply desire to have a family of our own. Nieces and nephews are great but it’s just not the same.  Why is it that those that do not have these things can pop kids out seemingly on a whim?

I believe in choice and accountability for your actions but it’s just not fair. When I think about all the babies that are lost to abortions or not wanted or harmed by their “parents”.  Especially when their are loving couples that can provide all the love and support for these children. How do we live in a world where children are abused and tossed away so effortlessly?

When did it become okay for human life to become disposable? AGAIN and I can’t stress this enough what you decide to do with your body and the things that go in and come out of it is your business and your choice. I have no right to tell you what is right for you but for those of us that don’t have a choice it is very painful. It crushes our very souls. It weighs us down and makes us want to rip a new one in the fabric of society.

At the end of the day I will take my meds, put my cpap on and lay down and go to sleep and wake up in the morning with all these feelings bubbling to the surface. It has been like that for ten years. The yearning and desperate desire to be a mother, and who knows how much longer that desire will go unfulfilled.

At the end of it all I get to feel like it’s not ever fair nor will it ever be. I know there is no promise of fairness in this mortal life we live. I know that, and can’t change it.  I can acknowledge it and struggle to accept it but I don’t have to like it. Acceptance and like are not equal to each other. So therefore I can accept this hand dealt to me but I don’t have to like it.