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Monday, June 13, 2016

It's About Being A Human... Period.

Stuck... just stuck. Between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Please understand this... if you continue to read this (which I hope you will), this will only give you a window from one perspective... mine. These are not super solid facts, but they are rooted mostly in common sense, and since this has been weighing heavily on my heart, a blog post was the only way I could see to express what was in it.
this... so accurate

It's difficult to not go online and see what people are saying/posting, especially after the horrific events that occurred in Orlando this past weekend. You try to avoid it, but one post leads to another, one click leads you to another link, and another link... you get it. The outpouring of love, support that has stemmed from this makes my heart smile (slightly) through this tragedy. But with everything else in this world, with the good comes the ugly... the REAL ugly. When a presidential nominee (might have thrown up in my mouth a little bit writing that) responds to a tragedy with "appreciate the congrats", my first thought is "is he serious? no, for real... is he FUCKIN serious?" I'm not apologetic for dropping the F bomb here. It's BEYOND necessary. Or when I see friends' post that they're afraid to go to Pride celebrations because they're fearful of their lives. Or friends sending me text messages asking me to stay home while expressing the mind numbing terror that is surging through their souls, this would explain why my heart only smiled "slightly" and that didn't last long.

When trying to make sense of it, I can't. There is nothing about it that makes sense. I ask so many questions to myself that look/sound like: "what would make someone do something this horrible?" "where did all of that hate come from?" "Are you not exhausted from hating something/someone you don't understand?" Maybe the real questions are: What is it about the Gay / Lesbian world that makes you so uncomfortable? Is it because it goes against your norm? Is it because you think it's wrong? And please refrain from throwing bible verses at me. In no way does it say that Jesus' love for me has limitations/perimeters on it because I'm a woman who loves a woman.
I mean, seriously! Explain that to me, please... don't worry, I'll wait!

Now, for a moment, if you could do me a huge favor and imagine this. You are living your life, job, bills, friends... not a "care" in the world and then... there they are. The love of your life. The one you want to spend the rest of your life with. Now, imagine your love for them is looked at as an abomination. Extreme right? The world judges you, makes endless negative comments towards how you love this one person, but you're confused because it doesn't directly affect them in any way. Your lives are also threatened because of who you love. Now, again, imagine if you lived in a world where if loving a man was wrong because you're a woman? What if, as a woman, you couldn't hold your man's hand in public, or worse, you couldn't marry him? *gasp* Changes the game, doesn't it? Now I ask Why should it be any different for me? I'm human, just like you. I do my best to be a contributing member of society, like you. I don't break any (of the good) laws, and I may throw a few sarcastic remarks here and there. I just want to make those around me smile, so why can't I love who I want to love? And above all WHY do you care so much? Your relationship with your man doesn't affect mine with my lady, why does it really matter? The heartbreaking point I'm trying to make with this, my girlfriend and I are already iffy about holding hands in public because of how we'll be perceived by others and whether or not we'll make YOU uncomfortable (sad isn't it?). Sadly, the events in Orlando will, for sure, cement this feeling further. It shouldn't but it will... also heartbreaking.

In continuing this heartbreak, when I read posts (I told y'all it's so hard not to) talk about the "gay agenda". My first thought was, "you can't be serious, right?" but you are, with every fiber in your being, you believe in that as much as you did when you were little and thought Santa left those gifts under the tree for you (sorry to break y'all's hearts if you thought he still existed). In the event no one has cleared up this "misunderstanding" for you, let me be the first to tell you it's not an agenda. It's the way of life you have the ability/opportunity/privilege to live every day, without question, without ridicule, without judgement but because I love a woman, it's an "agenda"? Please oh please put that mess in the trash with the rest of your inhumane ideals of what life "should" be. Of course, you are entitled to think/feel/say what you want, but understand this. If you think that love & acceptance should come with restrictions to suit your comfort level(s), you're doing the adult thing ALL wrong.

What puts this on another level of sadness is in about a month's time, we will be on to the next "story". This will be obsolete until the year anniversary comes up, and the media feels some type of ridiculous obligation to mention the tragedy and any "updates" (spoiler alert: there won't be any) on gun laws, and how the LGBTQA community is dealing with this a year later.... blah blah freaking BLAH! Every day, I try to be a beacon of positivity. Some days are better than others, plus it can't happen all of the time, because that's not realistic. I do what I can to see the silver lining in every situation. Honestly, this is a vicious cycle. The same pattern will continue, nothing will change and situations as volatile as this one will get worse before it gets better... which, once again, is absolutely heartbreaking.

In case you haven't picked up on it, this post feels all over the place. It's very reflective as to what's going on in inside of my heart right now. And also with this country, It's ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE! What I can take away from it is this... There is evil everywhere. Moving away won't solve the problem. Thinking it doesn't exist is SURE not a way to deal with it. Whenever something like this happens, I always call my dad, the tree huggin' hippie, who has always found a way to bring love into the equation, no matter how dire the situation is. With that, I'll leave you with his words... "You're not meant to understand the horrible things that happen. You will drive yourself crazy if you do. You have to find a way back to love. Love heals everything. Yes that might sound cliche and obvious, but it's all true. Don't let the fear consume you. You have to live your life the most authentic way you know how. If you do that, everything else will fall into place for you." Love that man.

I'll leave this here for you... just to ponder, if you want.

Hope this gave you a clearer view of perspective of someone you know. If at any point you have questions about the contents of this post, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I am always up for having adult/non argumentative conversations about this thing called life. By no means will I attempt to change your mind on anything, but if we can come to an agreement throughout the conversation that love is love is love IS love, than that's all any of us can hope for. As sucky as Monday's can be, I hope you are able to find love on this day, and every other day! xoxox

Thursday, April 28, 2016

LDRs... A Beast I'm NOT (that) Afraid Of

"How you do it?" "Are you all still together?" "Isn't it difficult to be in that situation willingly?" These are just a "few" of the questions I'm constantly asked about being in a long distance relationship (or as they are so lovingly known on social media as LDRs). Listen, some days, I don't know how we've managed to get THIS far either, but my response to all of this is, "clearly there's a lot of love between us, huh?"

There are SO many things I've learned from being in a long distance relationship, and have learned about myself as well as what my limits are, but here are a few of the key take-a-ways I've learned from being in a long distance relationship that could also be applied to long term relationships...

Keep the dependency LOW

Look, there are days I want to talk ALL day long, and there are other days where I'll only say two words... to anyone. It's about balance. I know we can go HOURS (again it's about balance) of not talking but when I see her name pop up on my screen, it makes my heart smile, and that, to me, is important.
Communication has to be Creative

Most conversations start with "how was your day?" or "What's the weather like on your side of the country?" but other times the conversations could revolve around current events and what we think about them or "I came across this BuzzFeed article that made me think of you". There are times the conversations get intense and our differences in opinions are night and day, and you know what? that's MORE than okay. I don't need (nor want) someone to agree with everything I believe in (how boring would that be?) but when it comes to the latter, the respect for the alternative opinion has to be there, and with us, it is very present. It's always good to keep the conversations interesting while finding that balance between intense & silly (I'm REALLY good at the silly part).

can you hear me now?

Avoid "Dangerous" Situations

If we know we are going out for an extended period of time that could potentially cut into our "end of day" phone call/FaceTime, two things always happen... 1. a phone call/text before going out to "reassure" the other person that they're thinking about you. 2. a text that you've made it home from your night out. It's not about taking away the independence of your significant other, but when we're 3000+ miles away, knowing you've made it home safely is more important than how your night was (that comes later, of course).

Plan a trip away from your respective "comfort zones"

As much as my heart lives on the East Coast, I love traveling to the West Coast. She's expressed her love for traveling to the East Coast. Sometimes it's okay to just get away from your home to be somewhere else for a period of time. But sometimes, it's also good to go to a place where neither one of you has been before or one of you has gone to, liked it a lot, and wants to share that with you. You learn A LOT about a person when you travel with them, but it also helps grow the relationship.

Care Packages are Cool

Sometimes I'll be on Amazon (sometimes??) and I'll come across something that reminds me of her, so I'll throw it in my cart and wait until pay day. The phone call/text I get when she's not expecting it might be the cutest thing I'll ever witness. Or the time she scoped out my Pinterest boards and bought something for me that was on my "wish list"... it's never been about the materialistic things, but who doesn't like a little snail mail from time to time? Little gestures like this help keep the "awww" in the relationship.

Honesty doesn't (and shouldn't) feel like a chore

Always always ALWAYS make it a point to stay as honest as possible, even if it might hurt to hear what the other person is saying. There isn't a moment where we feel we can't trust each other. The lines of communication are always open, so this is never a worry of mine... or hers! There will be times where the conversation will get uncomfortable and could very much feel as though you're being punched in the gut, but better to hurt by the truth than be destroyed by the latter, know what I mean, jelly bean?

Goal Setting is relatively Important

We know that we're not going to be in a long distance relationship forever. At some point, it will get "old" and we'll find a way to be in the same time zone. At the same time, we also know that we don't know exactly when that's going to happen and that's okay too. Talking about it/revisiting the conversations about what the future could look like are healthy, especially to know that even though we may not be on the same page, at least we're in the same book. Future talking can be fun, and there's no additional pressure from either party to make something happen immediately. We know we're in it for the long haul, so there's no current need to floor the gas pedal on it.

follow the (non-yellow brick) road? SURE!
I hope this has given you a little bit of "insight" on what it looks like to be in a long distance/long term relationship. I'm SUPER private with this stuff, but because I'm asked about it quite frequently, I figured I'd blog it. Besides, nothing is ever easy... if it were, it wouldn't be worth it!


Monday, August 31, 2015

"Out of School for 10+ years. This will be easy" said no one EVER!

The obvious says: "If you had told me that in my 'mid' 30s I'd be going back to school to get my masters, I would've thought you were crazy!".... Well a great deal of it holds true. Actually, all of it holds true. When I finished my undergrad in 2004 (damn!), I was DONE!… or so I thought. My first masters class starts in 2 days and a part of me just wants to get through the first day jitters and get them over with.
omg. Omg. OMG!
I'm not THAT scared. Nope. I'm petrified, in the best way possible. Being out of a classroom for 10+ years has a way of putting all of your fears to the forefront of your mind. For example, the thought of being in a class with those who are just out of undergrad… Though it's not a bad thing, I'm sure at some point, I will feel my age. Then again, my "experience" brings something unique to the table that these youngins can learn from.

Respect your elders, young one  
For those that don't know, I'm in the IMC (Integrated Marketing Communications) program at Emerson College (yeah, I KNOW!) & next two years are going to be quite the experience . I know what it's like to be busy, but this will definitely be a different kind of busy. When my friends call and ask if I wanna meet them for dinner, the answer will no longer be "I can't. I have dance/show"; it will shift to "I can't. I have a paper/homework!"

At the end of the day, and at the end of this experience, this is what growth is about. This is what it feels like to "grow up". Yes, it's going to hurt, but sometimes, it's beyond necessary.

I feel your pain Simba!
Keep in mind, I will still watch surf clips of Kelly Slater to decompress from an assignment (if you don't know him, google him, NOW!… wait, finish reading this, then go google him!). I will wear wear a Mickey Mouse shirt and dance down Boylston St. on my way to class. Growth can still occur while still remaining who you are. It's all about enjoying the experience. So for this experience, I am going to do my best to relinquish the control that I have a tendency to hold onto with an iron grip and just let whatever needs to happen, happen.

Good Luck to the Class of 2017! Let's DO this!