I went to the Women’s March, here’s why.

I went to the Women’s March in DC this weekend.  Before you judge me or write this post off as a raging feminist bullshit story- hear me out. It wasn’t because I wanted to drive 14 hours within 36 hours in heavy fog on no sleep to whine, piss and moan with other women. If I wanted to whine piss and moan, I’d stay home, in my pj’s, drinking wine in my bed- being up for 48 hours straight was no vacation, SHOCKING I know. Do I think women that did’t support this event to be a “disgrace” or “unintelligent”? Absolutely not. Did I go because I feel like a second class citizen, or like I don’t have a voice? Absolutely not. Did I go so I could go yell “Down with the Patriarchy!”? Absolutely not. Did I go to yell “Not My President!” at the White House? ABSOLUTELY not. Did I go because I don’t respect President Trump? Absolutely not. Did I go because Donald Trump said “Grab ’em by the Pussy!” While that’s crude and offensive that wasn’t the reason I went. Well not the only reason.  While there are many that did go to the March for these reasons, I was not one of those people.

Great so now we know why you didn’t go, but why did you go?

I went BECAUSE I have a voice and if I use it, it’ll be heard.  I want President Trump to be successful because when he is a successful leader, we are a successful nation. I don’t agree with his politics or what he decides to tweet and I don’t apperciate his comments about women, the minority or the disabled- But I respect his presidency 100%. I went because within hours of this new administration the Republicans voted to repeal Healthcare for MILLIONS of Americans before they came up with a replacement. Did Obamacare have it’s flaws, absolutely- will millions of men, women and children loose vital healthcare because the representatives in our government didn’t think about the repercussions?  Yes they will and while I am not one of those people, a lot of those people are single women with children so I guess I went to support them. I went because women are underrepresented in government and this weekend I learned that a lot of women in government are not taken seriously by their male counterpart. Newly elected congress woman Kamala Harris said that often times woman in political offices are asked to weigh in on women’s rights issues and only women’s rights issues. Their opinions about public education, national security, veteran affairs etc are not valued as highly as their fellow men representatives.  I went because the Republican majority decided that the health care that Planed Parenthood provides millions of women should be defunded because abortions. While I can’t say I would ever want to have an abortion( can’t imagine any good willed woman would WANT one), I can’t and I won’t take that choice away from any woman. I went because Women’s Rights are Human Rights. I am not just a demographic, I am a person who deserves the same benefits, the same pay, the same opportunity as anyone else in the country. Women STILL make 80 cents to a mans dollar. I thought that was bad- but women of color and varied minority groups make 40 cents to a mans dollar. These are the same women that are often times single mothers that struggle to provide proper health care to their children. I went because I know we live in a country where women are for the most part valued and respected well- but we could do better for women, we could do better for minority groups.

Contrary to popular belief the Women’s March wasn’t to cause further division, it wasn’t meant to shame men and it wasn’t meant to compare the privileges provided to American women to those women in other countries. America is a superpower and the leader of the free world, a lot of our social and political movements affect the social and political movements and policies in countries worldwide.  We are a great nation, we have more work to do to create equality across the board but we want to create a great future for our sons and daughters.

If you read this and would like to discuss this please reach out to me, I will not respond to hateful and argumentative comments because hate does not drive out hate- love does. We don’t have to agree, but we do have to respect one another though.

2016, thank you.

2016. wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, and wow. AMIRIGHT?! To be honest with you there are so many awful things I could reflect on and write about right now but I have a burning desire to end this shit storm of a year on a high note, so I’ma write about the good times. SO BUCKLE UP KID- I’m throwing some serious joy your way.  One of my favorite things to do on New Years Eve is pour myself a drink (this year its a large Gin and Tonic because I’m an adult) and reflect on the year I lived. I love to write a blog post about the past year, this is the 3rd annual New Years blog post, I hope I don’t disappoint.

2016 was riddled with defeat both on a personal level and on “an American trying to live with hope” level. 1.) Donald Trump was taken seriously as a presidential candidate 2.) He fucking won presidency (?!)   3.) I totaled  a car for the first time. 4.)I  almost died in September (?! )

Here is my attempt to see the good in tragedy, enjoy:

1 and 2) Donald Trump is a scumbag, there is no other way I can describe him. BUT he is also President elect currently and in a few short weeks, President. The positive? Yes there is a positive because I refuse to allow this scum ass hat to ruin anymore of my days in the future, his victory has sparked a vocal outcry and a vocal revolution. We live in a country where most Americans educate themselves with social media articles that 97% of the time are false or extremely bias. His victory woke the nation of indifferent and undereducated Americans into learning about their government, learning about their country and taking action to stand their ground in the progress they have made to ensure this asshat doesn’t ruin it for us all. Over the years I flip flopped on issues because of my undereducated and easily persuaded lifestyle, this election cycle and a brief conversation with a 16 year old British girl on a tram in Poland woke me up, made me research and dig within myself to find where I stand. In 2017 I will fight to the death for the rights of every women in this country. I will fight to the death for every minority in the country. And most importantly I will fight to the death for justice for every single soul in this country. 2017 watch out- I’m ready for you.

3.) I hated that car, I got a cooler car it’s a blue Escape and I named it Dory. Positives sometimes are short and sweet, Thank the lord baby jesus.

4.) Yeah I had a major brain hemorrhage while on vacation hundreds of miles away from home, yeah I ran a $120,000+ medical bill, and yeah I’m alive and doing just fine. I always knew I was lucky to live life, I was lucky to be born into a loving and supportive family in middle class America but I never really grasped that knowledge until I was lying in a hospital bed in the ICU of Mass General with my parents by my side for 6 straight days. It was a freak accident, but it was whatever you want to call it intervention that I was where I was. I’m alive, holy shit, I’m alive. I have an appreciation for life and for my family and friends no matter if it’s going the way I envisioned it to go or not.

2017: you will be bad but you will also be good. I have hope for a bright and beautiful year so I know you will not disappoint. TO THE NEW YEAR! Also, to love- I have 6 wedding invites already stacked up for this year. Also to being poor and having a closet full of cocktail dresses haha 2017: The year of the cocktail dress.

HEY IF YOU’RE READING THIS AND WANT TO BE MY WEDDING DATE, lemme know.

Cheers, Be safe and be happy tonight kids.

Everything is okay

This post, just as a warning now, may seem melodramatic, and at times attention seeking.  But I promise the reason I am writing this now is not for your attention, your sympathy or to even to sound over dramatic.  The purpose of this post is to describe how I feel in a way I can not express when a person casually asks me after such a traumatic medical incident occurred.

If you are unaware of my traumatic incident here is a brief recap:

Labor day weekend I took a trip to Boston, Massachusetts with one of my biggest role models, one of my best friends since birth and lucky for me one of the most caring and responsible women I know, my older cousin, Shelia. We went out for an adventure, to do something spontaneous and fun, however, my brain decided otherwise.  I don’t remember anything from the night past 6 pm so what I’m about to tell you is based off what I was told by others.  I was at a bar, around 11:30pm – 12 am  and I was drinking so I was feeling good but not sloppy. At about 11:30pm-12am a main artery in my brain burst and I went head first to the ground. I was transported to Mass General where I was in the emergency room for 7 hours before I woke up to blinding florescent lights and about 3 million questions that I later found out were testing me for mental deficits. I spent 6 days in the ICU at Mass General then travelled 7 hours over night with my parents back home to Buffalo.

My parents found out about my fall because my cousin who was not allowed to see me  while in the Emergency Room called my parents then my parents called the hospital and then drove to the hospital overnight to be by my side.  My cousin was later allowed to be with me after I asked for her 6-7 hours after arriving at the hospital.

 

WAIT, is this real life? Yeah dude. It sure is.

 

How do I feel?

Immensely grateful. There are so many unknowns for me but one thing I do know is I’m lucky. The artery that burst was bound to burst, it was a ticking time bomb in my brain. I think about all of the things I could have been doing that would have resulted in a much worse outcome. I could have been driving, I could have fallen forward and smashed my teeth in, I could have been alone, I could have been sleeping or I could have woken up with severe mental deficits or not woken up at all.  I’m grateful because something that could have killed me or changed me significantly didn’t.  I’m grateful because I had people around me that acted quickly and potentially saved me from mental deficits. I’m grateful because I’m alive and at the age of 25 I never thought I’d seriously have that thought.

Rationally terrified. This happened once and of all the neurologists I’ve spoken to, none of them said it wouldn’t happen again.  For the first time I hesitate to get in my car, I hesitate to be independent and travel places alone, I hesitate to to leave my home at all. Am I a ticking time bomb? How do I live without fear when my actual brain seems like a bomb? How do I explain this fear, this terror to people in a casual conversation?

Cautiously optimistic. The fact of the matter is I think about all of the terrible things that could have happened or that can happen and how they haven’t. I have to believe there is a reason behind it.  Being 25 I think I struggle with what every other young person struggles with- and that is understanding the reasons behind why things happen the way they happen.  I struggle to find success, to find my purpose, to find my place in life.  But unlike the average young person I believe I have concrete evidence for my life- I was thrown through an experience that has killed people before and I’m not dead. I’m not dead and I’m not a vegetable and I’m not mentally changed. And for those that don’t believe that there is a reason for things happening then I am cautiously optimistic for being outrageously lucky because how things happened really worked out in my favor for absolutely no reason at all.

 

To recap, life is crazy and life is unpredictable- take time to apperciate the life you were given regardless if it’s going the way you wanted it to or not.

Love always and forgive often.

Don’t plan Happiness

If there is something that I have learned in the past 25 years of exchanging co2 for oxygen it’s this: if you try to plan out moments of happiness you’ll spend your life waiting for those moments to go exactly according to plan so you can feel the happiness.  Reality hits you when you realize that as much as you plan life, life happens in it’s own way without regard to your epic plans.  According to my epic life plan since I was a senior in high school (2009, FYI) I’d currently be paying off all debit, selling and giving away personal items and planning my life for a 2 year service in the Peace Corp. However, there was a snag in my nearly 7 year plan- I didn’t get into the Peace Corp.

When I received the letter stating I was not selected for a Peace Corp program- I was working. I was working for a company that made me 110% miserable every single moment of every single day that they employed me, so the news was devastating to say the least. I dedicated my life for the past 5-7 years into preparing for the opportunity of the Peace Corp not giving a single moment of thought that I may not get it.  Honestly I think highly of myself, even though I never had good grades and for the most part I have a mediocre attitude. But I didn’t get in. For the sanity of my parents, family and friends I pretended like I didn’t care and that though that opportunity wasn’t there, I was “looking” for my next opportunity.  To be honest I was apathetic and drained of all hope. I didn’t want to try and I didn’t want to see any other opportunities that were in my future.  I was embarrassed because I spent so much time focused on preparing for the Peace Corp and talking about the Peace Corp that when people asked me how I felt I’d simply say I didn’t care and I’ve moved on. But I genuinely believed that it was my calling and I didn’t exactly move on.

While all of this is happening in my personal life, my work life was tanking harder than the Titanic and because I was focused on my personal life, I didn’t realize the sinking ship until it was underwater and I was in freezing water fighting for my life. It may not be that dramatic in real life, but being almost two weeks removed from that sinking ship, it still feels that dramatic to me. To make a dramatic story short- my company restructured how things were done and my job title became more complicated and moderately useless at the same time.  (I spent at least 2 weeks thinking I was unemployed while my personal dreams of being a Peace Corp member were shattered as well it was a dark two weeks for me..) I essentially had no idea what was happening and even if I had a job so eventually I made the decision to move on with my life and to look for happiness and fulfillment elsewhere.

I started a new job this week in the banking industry and I’m not going to lie after my first day I felt 100% stupid and I was near tears for 87% of the day because I felt so mentally lost.  Numbers ( because I’m mildly dyslexic) terrify me- and holding peoples credit in my hands in which 1 mistake could ruin them, terrifies me even more. But as I write this post I ask myself ” Am I happy?” and the honest answer is ” more than I was two weeks ago, yes.” Where I am right now in life isn’t my dream, but I’m 25 and for right now- I’m happy. Today was day 3 at the new office and I’ve genuinely laughed and smiled more while working the last 3 days than I have collectively in the past 2 years with my previous employer.  Is there office drama? YES, I work in an office with women. But do they seem to care about my well being at least in terms of my success at work? Yes. And right now, that’s more than I’m asking for.

If you plan your happiness moments and make a check list to make sure the plans happen- I promise all you will be doing for your life is planning, not checking off things, and re planning to achieve happiness.  But if you take life as it is, you laugh often and hard, you cry when you need to- you get angry when you want to- and you belt out Adele when you find it necessary all while living life as it comes at you- you’ll run smack into happiness.

Last final note- Don’t plan happiness- set goals. Happiness will find you- it’s an emotion you can not plan. Seek out happiness in everyday life as you achieve your goals and you’ll find it more often. Be content with where you’re at- the cliche saying of Rome wasn’t built in a day applies to your dream life and dream job not being built in a day too (this I need to remind myself of literally daily) and finally figure out who you are by trying as many (within moral reason) things out in life as possible you’ll find yourself better AND chances are you’ll find happiness in some of those moral (emphasis on moral here) things you try in life.

 

Choose happiness, don’t plan it silly!

Alone On New Years

While the title may seem like I’m a lame single loser, it’s quite the opposite. Don’t get me wrong, I had plans- I chose to stay home, alone. Let me state first I am unbelievably grateful for all of the people in my life and my choice to stay home was not a reflection on who they are to me. I love you all very, very much.

On to my lame night in. 2015 was a difficult year, but as I sit here in my pj’s with a glass of wine I reflect on the joy that 2015 brought to me. Earlier this week I was jonesing for plans for tonight, the thought of sitting at home alone- scared and saddened me.  However, choosing to stay home after a long few weeks is undoubtably the best choice I could make.  Two weeks ago I graduated college with a Bachelors, I spent months down playing the accomplishment since it took me nearly 6 years to accomplish.  Today I celebrated that seemingly underwhelming accomplishment with a toast to myself and a promising future.  This is the first New Years I’ve spent actually reflecting on the past year with genuine positivity and I couldn’t have done that anywhere else but in my pjs, in my home, alone.

Reflecting on 2015 I first thought about everything I did wrong and all of my regrets, I quickly realized that every “wrong doing” I did lead me to today, lead me to this moment and lead me to this peace.  While I can say I could do many things differently and in retrospect, may have made other choices, I’m glad everything played out the way it did. It’s really easy to dwell on the bad moments, but recognizing the proud moments, even if they are rare, is where the joy of life rests. I have recognized the moments I am proud of.  My proudest 2015 moment is pushing through my last semester in school even though I was one emotional breakdown away from quitting.  A Bachelors degree in this day in age may not be the biggest accomplishment, however for a kid who is notorious for being a terrible student, it was a huge accomplishment. Celebrate the little things.

2016 holds a promise, a promise I have dedicated myself to fulfilling.  This promise in it’s simplest form is to find happiness in the darkest days, to feel loved and to love, to accept the help I need and to give the help that is needed and lastly, to be the person I was intended to be in 2016. Reading that back to myself sounded rather corny, but it’s the truth I seek for myself for 2016. I don’t know where 2016 will lead me, be I hope to find success when I get there.

 

Being alone on New Years Eve isn’t lame, or sad- it’s promising and peaceful. Cheers to 2016, stay classy people.

Tolerance breeds tragedy

About 6 months ago I applied to the Peace Corp.  Now I’m hesitate to post this because my know by date is March 1st 2016 on whether I’ve been selected or not.  However, I reread a portion of the letter I wrote to the Peace Corp on why I wanted to be a Peace Corp volunteer.  On a day where my fellow Americans stuff their gullets with festive holiday food there are people that mourn for much of the same reasons Americans celebrate.  I find it on days like today the need to spread the message of love, not tolerance. I may not have personally oppressed the Native Americans in which this day is the celebrated anniversary of, however, I desire to show mercy  for their loss on a day that Americans have seemed to gain so much.

Tolerance breeds tragedy.

As a little girl whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I always gave the same answer.  I didn’t answer with a typical answer such as teacher or police woman, some would even be shocked to hear I didn’t say the first woman president or the real Rosie the Riveter. The answer I came up with as a little girl that stuck with me through young adulthood is simple. When I grow up I want to be happy. Today’s world can be at times rather scary which threatens my life long dream of growing up to be happy.  It seems like a weekly event I log on to a social media site to see another tragedy is trending. The little girl that remains in me with long blonde ringlets and the hip ‘90s bangs seems to fade with each trending story I read. Lately with the knowledge of having to write this letter I have spent a lot of time lying a wake in bed brainstorming ideas on how I could still grow up to be happy even in the bleakest of times.  So far the following is what I have come up for as my grand strategy to achieve my life dream of happiness. I believe genuinely that happiness is driven by love and acceptance.  So often I listen to people preach about tolerance and how we need more of it to sustain a happy world.  However I want to preach a difference message.  I don’t want to grow up in a world of tolerance, and I surely don’t want my children to face the big bully of tolerance either.  I believe that tolerance breeds tragedy in our world. How can we stop tragedy when we are spending all of our time focusing on not learning about one another but rather building walls of tolerance around each other?  My answer to our tragic trending story of life is love, we need to stop tolerating and starting loving each other. I want to grow up and raise a family in a world of love and acceptance, this, I know sounds horrendously corny.  Tolerance will not end tragedy. I know that cultivating a world of love will not happen over night or even with one person.  However, as I sit here writing this I wish I could put into words how much I don’t want to be insane.  I believe that a change in the way people interact with one another begins with people participating in that change.  Change starts with selflessness, compassion, love and acceptance.  I have chosen to participant in the Peace Corp because I believe it is an opportunity to perpetuate a world of love.  I want to do my part, continue my journey to happiness and I believe volunteer service in your organization is part of my journey.

I’ll be sure to let you know if I’ve been selected for the Peace Corp and whether I have decided to take the position as well in March 2016.

Radiant Joy

I’m sitting facing a lake in the western most part of the Adriondack Region. It is in moments such as this that the chaos of life is silenced and the euphoria of Joy is in complete focus. I thought with the ease of summer my life would slow down just a little, but I blinked my eyes twice and it’s almost August. To be honest I feel utterly blessed for the chaotic life I was given, I seem to get through each and everyday with moderate success and some days I can even smile. 

Five years ago I sat looking at this very lake a week out of major ankle surgery. I knew I was going through a low point in my life at that point and journaling really helped with coping. I wrote a very different entry then the one I am today. If I can dig that entry up, I’ll post it too. Five years ago I was recovering from my first of three ankle surgeries and I was angry. I sat looking at the lake in the utter silence thinking about everything that I should be doing but couldn’t. Today I sit in silence thinking about everything I have.  

I have radiant joy. It took 24 years and a long weekend in the Adirondack region to realize my radiant joy, but shoot girl am I joyful. 
My ankle surgeries didn’t give me an actual second chance at life, meaning my life was never in danger, however, I’m living high off this second chance feeling. My ankle surgeries didn’t physically give me a second chance, but emotionally they did. 

Radiant Joy. 

At this point in life I have realize my true friends, the people that even when I am a raging jerk will look at me with a smile and love me regardless. They don’t condone the jerk, they love in spite of the jerk. We all have a jerk within is, my jerk is more tenacious then my sweetheart so that’s what people see more often. And yet I still have radiant joy from the ever present love that surrounds me. I can’t say I could fill a room of 100 people if asked,  but I could name a half dozen without faulting. The euphoric emotion of joy is a direct result of utter gratitude of true friendship. 

When I was a kid I couldn’t wait to grow up. I couldn’t wait to move out, to have a job, to drive and to wear real adult clothes. I think perhaps the most impressive adulthood thing I’ve experienced is an adult friendship. Someone I can call up in the digital age of texting and just chat about nothing simply to lift my spirits. The most shocking and surprising thing about being a twenty something year old is the love that surrounds me by people that choose to love me. 

 I have Radiant Joy, radiant joy for today.