My response to: #metoo

It happened to me.

So it happened to you.

It is happening to you.

While you’re staring at your phone waiting to get on the bus, subway, in the checkout line, pumping gas, ordering food, picking up food, in your car, at the bar ordering drinks for you and your friends, out with your bf/gf.


 

The first and only physical encounter could be seen as not even worth mentioning.
So I didn’t.

BUT

It was something I did not want.

I was uncomfortable.

I was 15.

I’ve always been told to trust that gut feeling.

Dumping the football player, and facing the

“What happened?!”

from classmates wasn’t as awful as the moments following the incident.


The change starts with you.

sex·u·al ha·rass·ment
noun
noun: sexual harassment
1.harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks.

How you talk to/ about your significant other in public
Listening to the “gut feeling”
Speaking up, even when no one else is
Setting the example for the younger generation

“Be a leader, not a follower.” – the best advice my dad has ever given me

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April 22, 2017

I’m going to tell the story of how I ended up at Modern Vintage Tattoo in Gettysburg, PA on April 22, 2017.

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly #inspiration #quotes #strength:
I have this exact image in magnet form at work.

tat2

tat4
Tattoo Artist: David Hoover – Thank you for making this experience amazing and giving me exactly what I wanted.

2016- After years of struggling with depression and anxiety, I made the decision to better my mental health. This was after many events piling up and having a breakdown at work. When my “I’m fine.” face and response and other strategies failed me- I knew I had to seek professional support.

For many years I would joke with my mother and tell her how I was surprised I was never put in therapy.  I went on to take many courses on psychology and counseling skills in college and told myself that I knew what a therapist would tell me.
During my senior year in college I had to write a paper for my Family Dynamics course. That paper stirred up so many mixed emotions. So I decided to try and talk to someone at the school’s wellness center.
The counselor on staff was away for vacation, so I saw one of the interns.
That didn’t get me anywhere. This individual said nothing.
NOTHING.
After that I told myself that I wasn’t doing that again.
Flash forward to 2016 and I ended up saying the same things I did then to 2 additional professionals, and they have been there guiding me along this journey to a better version of myself.

I still have days when smiling isn’t easy. I have days when my body and mind are exhausted. But now I learned that it’s OK to not do it all. My mental health is just as important as my physical health.

Having this butterfly tattoo is more than something pretty to look at.
It’s my reminder of the positive that comes with the negative. As well as my reminder of my transformation.

To my support system: THANK YOU.

November 9, 2016


Give thanks & be kind.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am thankful for my parents:

Their support and guidance has shaped me into the woman I am today. There were times I know I needed to hear the truth, and they gave it to me. There were times they let me figure out the answers to my many questions on my own. My parents taught me to be strong, no matter the situation. They taught me to be a leader and not a follower. They taught me to be kind. They also taught me the importance of a real smile.

I am thankful for my job:

I can’t tell you how thankful I am to be in the position I am today. I remember being in 3rd grade, struggling with math and getting extra support from my teacher in order to advance in the fall. Her support planted the seed. As the years went on my passion and talents in art led me to starting college as an art major. Six weeks later I changed my mind. Flash forward through the many nights of “What am I doing with my life?! Will I even have a job when I graduate?! I should of gone to community college!” – I got a full time job a month after graduation. I am a teacher. I teach reading to students with dyslexia and other language based learning differences. Every day is a new day. Every day I am making a difference in the lives of the young minds that walk into my room for their daily lesson. I am the person they look to for support and guidance. I’m also the person they call for when a toilet is overflowing… Like I said, every day is a new adventure.

I am thankful for my past:

We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. I have spent many nights wondering what my life would be if I took a different path. Said yes to some things and no to others. I’ve lost people that I thought would be standing by me at my wedding. I said goodbye to people I thought would be in my life for many more years than they were. My past has taught me to be open to what comes after the pain.

I am thankful for my present:

My present is not my past. I’ve had to repeat that over and over again. My present brings me so much happiness. I am surrounded by an incredible support system. I enjoy the little things in life. I laugh more, and I smile more. Those that play a part in this- you all mean more than you know. For those that have just listened- thank you.

I am thankful for the unknown:

I remember the nights when I’d dream about what my life would be like when I turned 25. Now I start to question what the next five and ten years will bring. Whatever is in store for me I can handle it. I’ve made it this far.

I am thankful for failure:

I didn’t let falling off my bike stop me from learning. I didn’t let not getting the part stop me from acting (middle school). I didn’t let rejection stop me from asking my next crush out. I didn’t let the man at PCAD ruin my love of drawing and painting. I didn’t let “we regret to inform you letters” stop me from applying for jobs. I asked for help, and learned how to be more flexible.

I am thankful for my strengths:

Kind, loving, responsible, dependable, patient, photographer, difference maker.
Those things make me- ME.

I am thankful for my weaknesses:

I’m not perfect. I can’t touch my toes. I can’t do a cartwheel. Spiders and snakes scare me. Don’t ask me to ride a roller coaster. When someone cries around me there is a high chance I will cry with them. I am afraid of asking for help. I hate when I’m talked down to. All of these things don’t make me a bad person. It shows I’m human.

I am thankful for sunrises, and sunsets:

A sunrise means, it’s a new day with new adventures to embrace.
A sunset means, I made it through the adventure and more is on the way.

November 3, 2016

Today was one of those days The kind where I couldn’t find the right words

The kind I felt silly for even feeling the way I did 

That feeling was back

The empty one

I can’t fix it

Because I don’t know why I’m even feeling it 
Stop 

You know why 

You’re just trying to act like it’s not happening 

But it is

It happens every year

Around this time 

You want to cry 

You want to be angry

You want to be free
Acknowledge the hurt 

Acknowledge the life taken away too soon

But don’t stay in the empty place 

It’s too dark there 

You love to watch the sunrise and sunset
You need to make that ‘phone call’

Talk for as long as you need 

Then hang up

Go out the door 
And live. 

Piano

Music. Thank god for music. I’ve always relied on music to calm my mind and heart. Doesn’t everyone? When I heard the song “Piano” by Cassadee Pope, I had an instant chill come over me.  I was trying so hard to keep those feelings away.

Our past experiences make us who we are today. I learned so much about myself and what I want in my life by doing something I told myself I’d never do. Saying goodbye to the man I spent most of the last five years with wasn’t easy. In the end, happiness is what we both wanted and it wasn’t with each other.

 

To the girl that thinks she can change him.
You can’t.
To the girl that thinks making continued excuses for his actions is ok.
It’s not.
To the girl that thinks he loves her even though he doesn’t say it.
He doesn’t.
To the girl that thinks she can keep suppressing her desire for
the ring, the ceremony, and a family.
You can’t.
To the girl that thinks she won’t be able to find someone better.
You can.

“You played me like a piano
You made it sound pretty, stringing me along
I fell for every note… All the big things started out small
All of a sudden, I had two hearts
One was so blind, one was too smart
And the weakest part of me wouldn’t let go… Thank you and I guess I’ll thank myself
Smart girls don’t let this kind of thing happen twice
I’ll never let anyone else”

Piano- Summer EP by Cassadee Pope

It’s Complicated

Complicated Grief

That’s what I was told I’m experiencing. This was new to me. There’s something else besides grief.

I laughed.
I didn’t mean to.
It just happened.

 

The more she explained it, the more it all started to make sense. My entire life has been complicated. Meeting new people and answering their questions is complicated.

“How many siblings do you have? Where are you from?”

That question still causes me to stop and think.

Just answer the question.
Tell them the truth.
Just don’t make it sound so complicated.

 

Maybe one day I’ll be able to answer those questions. Until then, I’ll just stick to it’s complicated.

 

June 15, 2016

I spent most of the day trying to think of the right words to say.
I typed a paragraph and deleted it all because it didn’t seem right.
It still doesn’t seem right….

I read the article from the news sites and I’m left wondering why.
Why were they arguing? Why did she walk?
Why? 

I hate when people fight.  I don’t argue. I don’t yell. Especially when it’s someone I care about. It isn’t worth it.

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Ebi- my sister, my friend
You were loved by so many people.
I hope now you are flying high.
At peace.
Free.
Free from the pain.
Finally free.

LITP
Once. ALWAYS.