Friday, July 17, 2015

Use Your Words: July 17th, 2015


Hello and Happy Friday!

This was supposed to post at 10:00 a.m. today…however, life had other plans, so now it's coming to you a little late. Forgive its tardiness but loves its content…that’s all I ask. ;)


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:             Greedy ~ crystal ~ light of day ~ chalk ~ bean ~ promote

They were submitted by:    http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch                            

I have a pair of women I know, who I cherish immensely. I find them to be strong, independent, knowledgeable and honestly, ass kickers who take no shit from anyone. I appreciate that in people-women or men. To be able to stand up for yourself and others is admirable and though I hesitate to say rare, I daresay I will settle with 'rarely seen' in today's world.  I chalk that up to people wanting to live in their own little bubbles, wanting to respect their personal spaces, to not interfere or face consequences of extending a hand or 'intruding'. Truly, I get it.

These ladies, these amazing ladies, threw me off a week or so ago, when they were looking at pictures of models and they were commenting, "Oh, she's a slut", "She's nasty", "That’s a slutty outfit", based off the outfits they were wearing.

I still love them. I do. My job is not to judge. No one has the right (or time really) to judge. I may not like what they were saying about these models, but I cannot dislike them for their opinion.

But I also did not have to keep my mouth shut or agree with their opinions.

It was crystal clear that they were not fans of what the women were wearing. I looked at what they were scrolling through and could find nothing wrong with the outfits or what would warrant calling anyone a 'derogatory' name. I would not even know if I would consider 'slut' a derogatory name, but that is another debate for another day. Bravely, or so I thought since it takes me a lot to voice my opinion if it is different than that of people I adore, I stated I saw nothing abhorrent about the clothes to disgusted sighs.  I went as far as to say I would wear some of the outfits if I was more comfortable with my body. I said it didn’t matter what people wore, it matters what is in the inside.

I know, just  like an after school special I have to be dorky and painfully obvious that we should all be nice to each other and what is most important is our character not our outward appearances. Deal with it. They rebutted with the 'fact' that men are easily tempted because that is how they were 'created' and that there was just a truth that people are judged automatically based on what they are wearing. I was flabbergasted and after a quick exchange I dropped it. It was easier to let it go for me. I enjoy these women, love them even, and honestly just did not have the energy that day to get all feisty and worked up.

Luckily, for you, I am a little feistier as I type this. First of all, if a man is 'tempted' by a woman's wardrobe because of the way God created them, shouldn’t we also factor in the 'fact' that men were given 'free will' to make decisions? Does a woman wearing 'provocative' clothing warrant being called a mean name? Do they then deserved to be raped or mauled because they 'provoked' the attack? Or is that just a silly thought process….or not so much since a lot of people use that to defend molesters and rapists. She was wearing a short dress, she was out too late, she was asking for it…or she was a fucking woman and you are a beast who doesn’t deserve to be around humans. When is it okay to start judging one another? Is there an age limit? Can we judge the clothing children wore who 'tempted' pedophiles because they were wearing something slutty? Or once again, can we realize what a sad line of bullshit that truly is that we use to protect the perpetrators and vilify the attacked?  Secondly, oh yes, there is a secondly, why do we accept that it is natural to judge someone based on appearances immediately but not the fact that we can then CHOOSE to form an educated opinion on them after our initial judgment? I don’t know how many times I sat and stared at someone picking apart what they were wearing or eating or whatevering only to be caught off guard by a smile when they glanced up at me and immediately my perception changed.  A judgment can indeed be changed. We just have to change our mindset to open instead of closed.
 
Okay, okay, I am done. I had to get it out.

Maybe I am a bitch for writing this…maybe this a passive aggressive rant that has been festering in my soul for a while…maybe I am just a slut at heart and think other people have the rights to be sluts too.

Or maybe, I just don’t give a damn what people wear. Maybe I have been judged based on my shitty clothes I had growing up that we got from church donation piles, maybe I have been judged because my hair was hideous after getting chopped off at home because we didn’t have money for professional haircuts-that shit was fancy. Maybe I have been called a whale, an orka, a blimp, by loved ones, not really strangers too much, a little too much. Maybe, just maybe, because I was never judged to my face when I traded a piece of my soul for some sanity in the arms of other people in a false attempt to find love, I developed an understanding that life is more than what meets the eye.

Too many years, I found truth in the lies that other believed about me and my skin. My fatness, my unattractiveness, my provocativeness, my whateverness-I believed the one second evaluation they made of me when they rolled their eyes or wrinkled their nose in disgust at me. I felt I had to change; I had to be better, do better, and try to please any and every one. You probably already know what I found out? That it was damn impossible. There is always going to be someone who does not like you simply because you eat your beans a weird way or because you dare to show your face in the light of day. And it has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with their issues, their beliefs, their ugliness they are battling on the inside.

We have the right to be greedy and recognize we are not one dimensional. We are many, many, many things.

We are more than our clothes. We are more than our skin. We are more than the illusions that others create about us. We are a mess of skin, sinew, muscle, and fat, beautifully bent and blemished, made of star stuff, high hopes and broken dreams, simply stated we can be serious, scathing and sweet, troubled and transparent…we cannot easily be defined by our hairstyles, our wardrobes, our outward appearances. We are complex and owe ourselves the love of accepting that.  


People are going to judge us, they will call us lazy, fat, stupid, ugly, and other not so kind words. Maybe they do not mean to, maybe they do not realize how hurtful it is, or how sad it makes them sound but it does not change the fact that it will go on. However, we can choose to embrace it or reject it. I say reject that shit.

Reject the haters and let lovers in.

Promote love. All the love, self-love, loving others, loving your flaws and their mistakes,  the hippie kinda of love, the love that is hard to find, the love that rivals fairy tales, and of course, the love and light you grow in when you realize that this world and everything in it is not to be judged by first glance.
 

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                             Baking In A Tornado

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                        Spatulas on Parade

http://themomisodes.com                                          The Momisodes

http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com                       The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

http://www.southernbellecharm.com                           Southern Belle Charm

http://dinoheromommy.com/                                      Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch                          Confessions of a part-time working mom

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                           Someone Else’s Genius

http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com                             Climaxed

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                                  Never Ever Give Up Hope

http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/                                  Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/       The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver  

http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com                  The Angrivated Mom

 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Secret Subject Swap: July 10th, 2015

Hello and Happy Friday!

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 13 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. 

                         * * *

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

Spatulas on Parade

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

The Momisodes

The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

Southern Belle Charm

Confessions of a part-time working mom

 The Lieber Family

Battered Hope

Someone Else’s Genius

Climaxed

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

                    ~ ~ ~

My “Secret Subject” is:

What are your traditions for the 4th of July and why do you insist on keeping them?

It was submitted by: Southern Belle Charm -thank you for the prompt!

                       *   *   *

Traditions?

I am not sure I have any that are consistent. There is no annual barbecue or specific place we must go to see the fireworks. We are more 'go with the flow' type of people.

Sometimes, I host get togethers, other times...I will be the guest helping you clean up and urging you to sit down while I mix us a drink.

Traditions, while they can be comforting at times, do not work for me. Life tends to get in the way. It gets hectic and messy. The stuff I've planned goes awry then when I've settled on nothing somehow everything falls into place.

That's okay.

I like unpredictable and fun. My inner control freak is dying that I said that for the record...but over the years I have found it is much better to go with the flow rather than get worked up over not being able to do certain things the way I planned.

This most recent 4th of July, I spent the early hours of it playing board games and drinking, making fun questionable decisions with good friends. I wish I had a ton of pictures to share...but we were too busy verbally abusing each other and making innuendos to stop and take pictures. The actual day, we did nothing memorable-mom was feeling quite crappy and my goal was just to make her comfortable.

The only 'tradition' I suppose I have is that I try to spend it with people I love and who makes my life better simply being in it. It is never so much what we are doing but more so spending time with those who makes our days worthwhile and anything and everything fun.

That should be the only tradition that matters-spending time with those who make our hearts happy.
 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

My Open Relationship(s)

It has taken me a while to become okay with having an open relationship.

Well actually, open relationships.

I have a few open relationships, all with people I truly love. I'm not sure I can say I love them equally, but I love them each fiercely, honestly and appreciate the uniqueness they offer to this world.

I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. It took me too many years of self-loathing to realize this and to realize that it is okay. Often times, I hid who I was because I felt I was not good enough for....well anyone. It was not uncommon for me to not share my feelings and emotions, to chastise myself extensively for any and every mistake I made and apologize for simply existing.

Life gets so damn tiring living in the dark. That's why I decided open relationships work best for me. Having open and honest relationships with friends and family brought me out of my darkness and into the light of love. 

Making mistakes is par for the course, owning up to them and learning from them is what can help us win this game called life. I might share too much, care too much, love hard, be too loud, but it is who I am. It is a blessing to be able to share who I am with people in my life who do not ask me to censor myself. I can share my pain, my desires, my failures...without fear of judgement. I can be open and honest and it is liberating.

I am error. I am impetuous. I am learning. I am trying. I fail more than I succeed. I get frustrated and cry over silly things. I try not to let people know when it all becomes too much. I reject help. And I am human.

Luckily, I am surrounded by those in my life who accept me for who I am, my shortcomings, my failures, my goofiness. They understand I am more than the sum of my mistakes.

I cannot promise to be anyone but myself. I can however, share who I am and accept those who accept me and move on from those who don't.

There is too much in this world to worry about, being ourselves amongst our friends and family should not be one of those things.

It is easy to hide our transgressions, our failures, the parts of ourselves we hate. But is that truly living or merely existing?

We deserve to be loved for all that we are...and all that we are not. Isn't it better to have people in our lives who accept and appreciate us for all of who we are rather than loving just a fraction of us that they are allowed to see?

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.