Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Confessions: Embarrassed

In fifth grade we did a social experiment. My teacher gave each of us either a green or a brown bow. We had to pin it prominently on our chest for all to see. On the first day, those of us with the brown bows had to stand during certain subjects, they were dismissed last, they had to get lunch last and couldn't sit or play with the green bows, and had to use the furthest restroom facilities. The rest of the school was aware of what was going on and acted accordingly. I had a green bow but was completely distraught and upset by the experiment. When I said it was stupid to treat the brown bows differently our teacher would shrug and say, 'But that's how it is' and go on. My mom was a recess lady at the time and I angrily marched up to her and told her of the injustices going on and she had the same response as my teacher. 

I was infuriated and when I tried to get other green bows to stand when the brown bows were told to or use the farthest facilities they were made to use...no one would band with me. They liked the preferential treatment and didn't see the need to change anything. In just a few hours, they somehow accepted they deserved to be treated better and it was just the lot for the brown bows to be treated like that and endure harsher existence. The next day, much to the green bows chagrin, the rules changed. The brown bows were now superior and had lunch served first, were able to use the closer restrooms and bathrooms and green bows had to endure the what the brown bows did the day before.

That was the memorable experiment my teacher used right before she began teaching us about the history of segregation. I have never forgotten it and do not think I ever will.

The most bothersome thing that sticks with me to this day, was the simple acceptance the green bows had, that they were somehow better, that they simply deserved to be treated that way and that the brown bows just had to deal with their obstacles and problems simply because of the color of their stupid bow.

Recently, a young man walked into a church in Charleston South Carolina and murdered 9 people because of his evil racism and skewed vision that he was part of a superior race.

Where does this sense of entitlement come from? Why does anger and hatred form for those who simply have a different amount of melatonin in their bodies?

I thought over and over that this might never be answered. But I remembered, what I learned in 5th grade, these thoughts, these feelings of entitlement and superiority that some embrace are created and supported by others who refuse to acknowledge that we are part of one race-the human race. It exists, it flourishes, it continues and grows because people refuse to challenge the ugliness of it. Hell, it is not even so much as they will not challenge it, they will not even admit it exists until it is too late. Then when vile and disgusting nature of some is revealed, there are many in society who try to sweep it under the rug with the excuse that it doesn't happen every day or not everyone is like this.

People-it doesn't matter that it doesn't happen 'every day', it should not happen at all. We should not try to excuse it away or hide it. We must scrutinize the vicious and hideous truth with an unwavering gaze so we can truly have our eyes and hearts opened to the injustices that surround us.

Yes, it is uncomfortable. Yes, it is hard to digest. Yes, it is horrible. But unfortunately, we live in a reality where people are discriminated against for simply existing and looking different.

It is not only disturbing but equally embarrassing to think that a little over 50 years after Martin Luther King, JR had to deliver the heartbreaking eulogy for the children who perished in the church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 that his words still ring true.

"...They say to each of us, black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American dream."

We can do better.

We can be better.

We must do better.

We must not stay quiet if we see an injustice. We must open not only our eyes and hearts but also our mouths. Choose to stand up to the people in your life who say racist and bigoted remarks, choose to challenge their thought processes and open up their tiny minds to a bigger and more beautiful world.

Not saying anything is choosing to accept and condone reality as it is and refusing to make a change.

Fight for the humanity of all us or risk lose the humanity that is within you.

                      *    *    *

This has been a Sunday Confession with the one and only More Than Cheese And Beer about the prompt 'embarass'. I do hope you'll stop by the link up to see how the other brave bloggers tackled this subject. Happy Sunday to you.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Confessions: For

We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.

-Orson Welles

For the longest time, the second sentence of the quote above brought me comfort and peace. Comfortable with the fact that we could become lost in the illusion of togetherness made my soul happy. Although I truly believe we are walking each other home, ultimately we are walking our roads alone.

As the years go by, I have found comfort in the fact that we are born alone, we will live alone and we will die alone. That is not a sad existence. It simply means we must take accountability for our life, for our actions, and for our choices. There is no doubt in our lives we will weave intricate webs of love, heartbreak, life, happiness, pain and friendships. We will grow, evolve, backslide and change again. There will be friends and family by our side the entire time some mocking us and others cheering us on. But in the end, the way we live our lives, is up to us.

This life is beautiful and scary and the only one we are given. That is why it is so damn important that we make decisions based on what we want to do. Our decisions should be based on what is best for us. Being earnest and honest in what we want to get out of life is not only healthy for ourselves, but it creates a better existence for those around us. Choosing to put our goals on the table, to expose a bit of our souls, to take a chance and be real lets others know where we stand and allows them to make the decision if they want to be in our lives.

Give every person the opportunity to show you if they are for you or against you by being the one and only you.

At the end of the day, you and you alone are the one who must live with the decisions you have made. The good outcomes, the horrendous results, the surprisingly happy moments, the disastrous let downs, are for you to own and work through. That is not to say that others won't be there to help you, support you or guide you. But, this is your life to live. No one can live your life for you.
So you must choose what is best for you. Even if you fail, even if you fall, it is you choosing your path and learning along the way.

What better way to enjoy life than to create your own destiny by choosing what works for you?

                        *  *  *

Today's blog was a Sunday Confession with the one and only More Than Cheese And Beer. Don't forget to stop by the link-up to see those other brave bloggers who took on the daunting prompt of 'for'.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Use Your Words: June 12, 2015

Hello and happy fabulous Friday to you wonderful peeps! Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words.

That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them.

Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. 

I’m using:   summer~ poop ~ pool noodle ~ work ~ hot as fire ~ hot dogs

Well...with these words I can tell already we're going to get a little weird so buckle up folks and consider that your one warning.

My words were submitted by the one and only:  Spatulas On Parade -Thanks Dawn!

"Some stop to poop.
Others do it on the move.
Some poop here and there.
Others do it in a special place."

Yes, that is from the great literary work, "Everyone Poops". I was first introduced to that book at my first night of summer camp when the counselors rounded up all us super hyper jazzed up youths who's parents stuffed us full of sugar not giving a damn because we were outta their hair for a week, corralled  us into a sweltering cafeteria and read it to us.  I must admit, we were very mature. I think we only roared with laughter for 5 minutes or so.

All we had on our minds on was arts and crafting it up, making those 'adorable' awkward plastic key chains, hiking, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over a bonfire and scary stories. When the first thing our trusted counselors did was sit us down and read us the poop book it threw us for a loop. Laughter and armpit farts were deafeningly loud at the end of that reading.

We were all pretty much strangers being cooped up in small quarters over the next week. We would shower, eat, play, craft, and obviously poop together too. It was important to break that awkward feeling of having to poop and knowing other people would know. At home it was one thing because we were comfortable to crap there...but in one of the 4 stalls that you would share with 30 other girls? Somewhat daunting. No one wanted to be judged on something as natural and necessary as pooping and the counselors did not want to deal with a whole bunch of impacted colons because kids were refusing to crap when they needed to-so they read us the book.

Thank God they did.

Seriously, it was one of the smartest and kindest gestures they could have done for a group of nervous kids. They pried open our hearts and minds with laughter while providing an important point that we all need to poop so there's no reason to be ashamed of it or to mock others for it.

Yet.

As an adult I have found there are people out there who are still embarrassed to talk about pooping or farting.

I'll tell you right now if you're one of those people, just avoid my house. We do it, we talk about it, laugh about it and you know my mom loves you when she pulls you in close for a hug and whispers in your ear, 'You okay honey? When was the last time you made?'

It is natural but some of us feel the need to be embarrassed about it. I am, probably to my husband's chagrin, not one of those people.

Yesterday, yesterday was not a good day for me. I ended up leaving work early because I was visiting the bathroom multiple times due to some bug I must have picked up.
                                               
                               


I can assure you, the above is not the most romantic texts we have exchanged (nor the most disturbing), but it does scream love to me. There is something comforting and soothing to my soul knowing that I can be myself and share whats on my mind (or leaving my body) to my husband without him judging me.

So today my friends-I ask you a favor.

I ask that you do not judge yourself for the toots that may sneak out when you bend over. I hope that you have someone that asks if you're feeling okay when you spend too long in the bathoom rather than mock you and throw a can of air freshener at your head and if you are with a jerky air freshener thrower really evaluate if you're with the right person. I ask that you take a moment and cherish the people in your life who's houses you feel comfortable crapping at because that is obviously a special bond.

Now, a wish for you and your colon:

May your poop be regular. May it never be too limp and loose like a pool noodle or keep you bounded up and in pain. May you never have the runs while you are running. May you enjoy spicy foods but never the burning hot as fire aftermath.  I truly wish you that for all the days of your life.
               
                             * * *

As always a special thank you to Karen from Baking In A Tornado for hosting and organizing these challenges. She makes it so easy for us to participate and always encourages us. ❤

Please don't forget to check out the other brave bloggers who signed up for the challenge of taking on a prompt:

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Empowered or Embarrassing?

There is power in being anonymous.

Being unremarkable and unknown allows us to say and do what we want freely, with no judgements, no repercussions or consequences to fall back on us. Or at least that is what we have been taught to believe.

Choosing to hide ourselves to be our true selves is not empowering. It is sad and embarrassing.

This world may be terrifying but it also beautiful and amazing. It is chock full of opportunity to explore who we are, what we like to do, and what makes us tick.

Choosing to be someone else to make others happy does no one any good. Lying to others to keep a smile on their face is simply lying to yourself. When you put up a facade-no matter what it is about-you are attempting to distance and disillusion your reality.

It is okay to be who you are.

Really it is.

Whether you are a Mother Teresa who wants no glory or a Grade A prick-it will come out eventually. Might as well get comfortable in your skin and accept that you will be judged, weighed, and always found to be lacking by at least someone. Luckily it doesn't matter.

It has never mattered.

All that matters is that you are who you want to be and you should be the same person you are in the dark as you are in the light, because it only takes a second for the switch to be flipped on and all to be exposed.

Screw being anonymous. Try being transparent.

Wear your heart and soul on your sleeve and let others see who you are. Breathe and bleed into everything you do. Discern hard and love harder. Choose authenticity over anonymity.

Remember life is too short to spend time tying on masks to hide who we are to impress people who do not even know us when we could be making memories with those who accept us for who we are.

Although this is late, short and sweet, this is a Sunday Confession on Anonymous with the one and only hostess with the mostess Ash from More Than Cheese And Beer. I do hope you'll check out not only her Sunday Confession but also the other brave and creative bloggers who linked up to tackle this prompt.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Secret Subject Swap: June 5th, 2015

Hello and the happiest of Friday's to you!  Welcome to June's Secret Subject Swap. This week 16 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style.

Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 

My prompt is: “My blood ran cold"- share a terrifying moment.

It was submitted by:  Battered Hope -thanks Carol!          

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

Spatulas on Parade

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

The Momisodes

Stacy Sews And Schools

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

The Lieber Family 

Battered Hope

Southern Belle Charm

Someone Else’s Genius

Silence of the Mom

Confessions of a part-time working mom

Small Talk Mama

Searching for Sanity

Climaxed 

My blood ran cold when I saw the message from you. When I clicked on the little red notification I was expecting a goofy message from one of my girlfriend's but instead I saw you. There you were intruding in my life, again after all these years. I felt violated and terrified by your simple black block words scrolling across the too bright white message screen.

I was terrified that now you knew I saw your message because the damn 'seen' would populate on your screen. You asked my maiden name...and if it was really me. I said nothing. I turned my phone off and cried myself to sleep.

21 years later you still have that affect on me. Some bastards have that gift. And the sick part is, you probably don't think of me even a millionth of how much I have thought of you. On my first date, in my nightmares, on my wedding night, when my husband kisses me, and countless other occasions somehow you are revived and crash into me, destroy me all over again  and sicken me to my core.

Do you know how many times I have not been able to make love to somebody I truly love because you ruined a part of me? Too many.

And you had the nerve to message me.

I woke the next morning, not well rested as my night terrors had returned but I reached for my phone.

Hesitation set in.

Instead of swiping the screen to see a text from my love I stared at a black screen remembering I powered down my phone to shut you out. To shut out any words you may have for me after all this time. I laughed to hold back the tears thinking how dumb I was to let some creep who took my innocence still control me after all these years. How dare I give him mind space, how dare I let him make me feel scared and insecure...how dare I chastise myself for feeling my feelings.

I turned on the phone.

I texted my husband back and thanked him for loving me in my brokenness. He simply sent back a smiley face with a heart. I debated going on Facebook. Did I have the guts to see what he said? Did I need to see what he said? Did he even have the right to talk to me?

I didn't know.

For a while I sat, holding my pink phone, clutching this relatively small object, feeling the immense pressure it was putting on me. I could not read your messages yet. Instead, I searched you.

I clicked and scrolled through your profile pictures. Picture after picture of a good looking man smiling at the camera. Some artistic, some lame, some...hot. I couldn't help feel betrayed by my own body when I felt an attraction to you. I noticed your perfect abs you openly displayed in a douchey picture where you held your shirt up with a Cheshire cat grin plastered on your perfect face. Besides sickened my my superficial attraction to you I was sickened by the way I began to feel about myself, about my looks, about my weight.

You have no clue how much you undid me with your dumb message.

I read your words, which I am sure you know, but I wouldn't respond. I reread your words. I couldn't respond. I rereread your words. I didn't want to respond.

You apologized.

You apologized as if you had simply pushed me down during a tiff and I skinned my knee.

You violently violated and stole a piece of my heart and soul when I was a child. I searched for that everywhere. In the seediest, creepiest places, I crawled and begged for a piece of myself back. I however only kept trading my dignity for a few moments of acceptance, false love and adoration. I was so lost for a long time...I blamed myself for what you took from me. I felt shamed, I woke drenched in sweat in the middle of the night for years certain your hot breath was on my neck and your hands were holding me down, I felt responsible as if I could have persuaded you out...of being you.

You said you found your God and you wanted to apologize for the sins you committed and you had been looking for me for years. You said you wanted to make things right. You said you're a changed man and you won't ever hurt anyone like you hurt me again. You said a lot but I didn't give a shit because you know what?

I found my God too.

My God is in everyone who loved me when I was searching for me. My God has patient eyes and loving arms to wrap around my body when I shook with tears as a confused child. She loved me and tried to help navigate me though my pain and searching for answers.

My God listens to my fears and lit many paths letting me know which ever journey I chose was fine as long as it was my own.

My God welcomes me with open arms and loves me when I'm sad. He wakes me with gentle kisses and accepts my freak outs as a normal part of life.

Your apology was not for me. It was for you-to clear your conscience, an attempt to start fresh, a slate you wanted to wipe clean but I simply cannot help you.

I am still in the process of finding myself, rejoicing in my skin, and trying to move on and eradicate the memory of you from my mind.

There was no right way or wrong way to respond to the way you reached out to me.

Maybe there are braver women, kinder women, more peaceful women who could accept your apology.

I am honest enough to say, I am not one of those women. Maybe in the future, just maybe I can and will forgive you. But still, believe it or not, it is too soon.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Walking Side By Side

It is in her eyes you can see the disconnect. Not all the time. Not every day. But when she's lost within herself, in the cruelest cage ever, you can tell by her eyes.
They lose their happy glint, a detached look takes its place. Her eyes tend to linger too long when talking. Or...they refuse to meet yours entirely.

When I was little I asked, queried, questioned and annoyed my mother to death. I daresay we all did. It is natural for us to be inquisitive and want to explore anything and everything around us. Patience is what got her through her days. Explaining and re-explaining ideas, answers, and everything in the big exciting world to me. Lovingly.

Every stage of my growing years, she sat next to me, walked with me, ran with me on my journey. She answered my questions about life, about where we came from, where we go, helped with homework, fielded my never-ending theological and philosophical questions and when she did not know something she would find out the answers.

Never be afraid to ask or search for knowledge, she would say while unabashedly questioning others or ideas.

It can be frustrating at times. Especially when I feel I am losing her in front of me. It can be scary when I feel like I am losing my mind when she asks the same repetitive chorus over and over. It can be unsettling not knowing where this disease will take us.

But I know one thing.

We are all on this journey together.

This time a little backwards. It's her time to ask me the questions and me to supply the answers. It can be frustrating yes, but the patience she not only paid me when I was younger she also taught me with her examples. It can be scary, I just need to remember to reach out and ask for answers, for help, for support when need be fearlessly. It can be unsettling, but everything in life is.

We have no clue where life can or will take us. So, we must focus on what we can in our day to day life and remember we are never truly lost. Instead, we are simply finding ourselves amongst the unexpected twists and turns in this journey called life.



Today has been a Sunday Confession about Lost with the one and only Hot Ash with More Than Cheese And Beer. Please stop by her page and see what she did with the prompt and to see how the other brave bloggers interpreted Lost.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Use Your Words Challenge

Hello and Happy Friday to you!

Welcome to Use Your Words. Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them.

Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. 

My words are:  paper ~ couch ~ freezer ~ Fan ~ peanut butter

They were submitted by:http://eileensperpetuallybusy.blogspot.com/ 

                           **

As you read this, I will be at my first therapy session. I am not sure exactly what to expect besides the cliched image of me lying on a couch while a therapist with a stone face listens and takes notes on paper.

I would much rather be sitting in my underwear eating nutella or peanut butter out of the jar and reading some trashy novel on my day off avoiding my feelings, my issues, and everything going on in this brain of mine. But I need to do this.

Am I a fan of therapists? Yes I actually am. I believe they have tools and resources to help us.

Now am I a fan of helping myself? Well...that's a little trickier.

I feel like a hypocrite-for a few reasons. If someone I know is struggling mentally, physically or spiritually I am there for them in a heartbeat. I want to see them flourish and live the healthiest life possible. When they poo-poo going to the doctor or therapist I am right there telling them to reach out-that there's nothing wrong asking or needing help. But when it comes to me...I would rather deflect attention elsewhere. I am content to reach into the freezer and pull out some icecream and avoid my feelings. I put on a happy face so I do not upset anyone. I hold in instead of letting out my emotions.

I know that is wrong.

I know that is unhealthy.

But that's me.

And part of a reason I am going today.

At least I'm taking that first step and acknowledging I need some help right?

                            **

Please don't forget to stop by these other amazing bloggers today and check out the words they got and how they creatively used them:

 Baking In A Tornado

The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

Spatulas On Parade

The Momisodes

Stacy Sews and Schools

Disneyland in Kentucky

Southern Belle Charm

Someone Else's Genius

Confessions of a part-time working mom

Climaxed

Battered Hope

Searching for Sanity

Eileen's Perpetually Busy