A fundamental flaw we as a society have….

Is that we care too much about things that aren’t our business and too little about things that are or should be.

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Cutting Ties

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Baggage Check.” We all have complicated histories. When was the last time your past experiences informed a major decision you’ve made.

My parents were always very controlling on issues that should not have mattered when it came to my older brother and myself. They weren’t big fans of my career choice as a cosmetologist. They hated that I wanted tattoos and piercings. They hated my choice of dress. They abhorred my choice in music, though my musical taste is actually very diverse. They even complained that I dyed my hair black, so when it was purple they really had a fit. Some may have seen me as “a teenager with authority issues,” but in reality, I was a pretty nice kid. I didn’t do drugs or go out and party every weekend. I wasn’t sleeping with half the neighborhood. I actually took my convictions of love and respect seriously, even though I realized everything they believed was conditional. I was creative, and did well in school until depression (which was only exacerbated by my home life) wore me down to average grades in a few of my classes. So for all of this, I had to ask why my life choices that change nothing about me as a person and have nothing to do with them were such a big deal? They acted as if they would have gladly changed all the “abnormal” things about me, instead of encouraging me to be myself within reason and instead of supporting me when my friends were not there to listen. That is kind of what parents are supposed to do. Instead, they wanted to stifle my individuality and turn me into someone I am not as they projected their wishes, regrets, and personal opinions onto me. They were not content to disagree with something, they had to make everything a “You can’t do this because we don’t like it,” ordeal, which only pushed me away because they wanted to shape me into someone else, and were somewhat disappointed in who I was and who I wanted to be. The older I grew, the more controlling their antics became. I wasn’t even allowed to work, perhaps in their fear that I would be able to have money that was truly mine, instead of money they wanted me to have for chores and would still put limitations on.

I was stubborn, and throughout my life told myself that I would have the life I wanted, and especially the job I wanted, as I refused to be miserable just to live my life for people that wouldn’t be happy anyway. I left home at 18 to get married. I didn’t speak to my parents for about 4 years, since the aftermath caused them to do some very boundary crossing things that no one in their right mind would do. The choice I made to leave home did carry consequence, as I ended up divorced and working as a waitress, seeing as I was never able to make it to college. I decided to give my parents a call one night, to see if maybe they would understand that this truly is my life. It started iffy, there was still a lot of the same judgmental attitude that made me leave to begin with. Then they offered me something they THOUGHT I could never refuse. They would pay for my college, IF and only if I came back home and went to one of the two community colleges within a 30 mile radius. I refused. Then they offered to put me a trailer on their land right next to them, so long as they could “check up on me” and I went to one of the two colleges. Again, I refused. Why? Because I know what that entails. My parents’ controlling, meddling ways had not stopped, and would only have been worse since they believe the way to keep a child close is through more control. They proved that in the fact that they offered to help their only daughter go to COLLEGE with a bundle of strings attached, knowing that I was working hard to go to college in the state I had moved to. Were they proud of me for holding a job and paying my way? No. But it’s okay, because I am stubborn enough to do things my way, and in the long run, I’ll be more successful for it. Instead of limiting myself to one of the community colleges’ sub-par training in my field, I am on my way to AVEDA, one of the best cosmetology schools in the world. Instead of rotting away in the same town I was born in, I am visiting Scotland with my boyfriend. Had I been staying near my parents, they would have tried to figuratively crucify him just for his long hair and probably even because he is not American. I wouldn’t be where I am now if I had taken the seemingly easy way out.  Sometimes, the past is there for a reason. It reminds us to do things a little differently, even when we are vulnerable, lest our problems become even worse in the long run.

If you desire a passionate person in your life…

Be sure you are up to the challenge. Many people love the IDEA of a passionate person, but are complacent. Do not be the kind of person that only wants to stand near the fire to enjoy its light while complaining that it is getting too warm for you. Keep in mind as well that only when you tend the fire will the flames burn brighter; an untended fire will burn out until someone else is able to fuel the flames.

The Illusion of Perfection

Summer is around the corner, and women (and men) are gearing up for the dreaded swim suit season. Every form of media bombards us with advertisements, tips, and tricks to help us get the “bikini season body” we’re pressured to dream of. While there is no problem with a person wanting to get healthier and eat better, even for the sake of wanting to improve his/her appearance, my problem lies in the importance we place on our looks based on OTHER PEOPLE’S ideals and the illusion of perfection. That’s right, the illusion of perfection.

What does the word perfect mean? By definition, it is something that is without fault or defect. However, when judging strictly on someone’s appearance, perfection is entirely up to perception. What one person finds perfect, another may disagree with. Ergo, the premise that one can have a truly perfect appearance is simply a fantasy. There are billions of people on this earth, there is no way one person can please every single one of them. So why not focus on what YOU find attractive. You can appreciate someone’s appearance, but that does not mean you should try to conform to that ideal if it is not something you want for yourself. It certainly does not mean that you should try to change yourself based on what other people find attractive. I can hear the internal argument now, “But what if the majority of people says certain qualities are more attractive?” I would like to offer the rebuttal of, “Who cares?” Yes, everyone is entitled to his/ her own opinion, but does that mean you want to change yourself based on the opinions of someone else? Do you base your self-worth on other people’s opinions? Or do you want to decide for yourself what you find attractive? You wouldn’t let some random person pick your clothes for you in the morning, so why let random people decide what is attractive for your body? If you are constantly changing yourself or wishing you could change based on the ever varying opinions of other people, you will never be satisfied, for as I said, you can’t please everyone.

This is an issue we as a society have to fix. While the media does throw out these ideals for the most part, we feed into it, we perpetuate it. We tear each other down based on appearance when we have a difference of opinion. We beat ourselves up over having “flaws”. We compare ourselves to people that don’t really look as perfect as magazines show them to be. We have a society that says, “You can get plastic surgery,” which implies that our uniqueness is something to be fixed by paying thousands of dollars to someone that  is essentially preying on insecurities for profit. (Reconstructive surgery is a different subject.) We have fashion magazines that have an obligatory article telling us we should love our bodies the way they are on one page while pandering the newest fad diet, exercise routine, and clothing to make one look 10 pounds lighter on the next 10 pages, with all models looking practically identical. Not that there is anything wrong with being healthy or skinny, but the way it is set up sends the wrong message when that is all you see. Fashion magazines are supposed to be about style, not weight. We suffer unnecessarily in many areas of our lives based on how the world sees us. Is it nice to feel attractive in other people’s eyes? Yes. But it is more important that one feels attractive no matter what other people think, otherwise one person could ruin someone’s day. Other people have a right to their opinion, but each person has a right to his/her opinions of him/her self as well. It is also important that someone’s worth isn’t based on appearance, because it is true, looks are only skin deep.

So this year when it is time to hit the beach, don’t let the opinions of others deter you from throwing on your bikini (or swim trunks, guys). Don’t feel like you have to diet, cover up, tone up, or gain muscle or curves just for the “sake of the eyes of others.” Even if you are working to reach the body that you want, don’t let that deter you in the meantime. Stop stressing. Love yourself. There’s only one you. At the end of the day, the only person’s opinion that matters about your body is yours.

The Liebster Award!

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Well, well, well! This is my second award in almost three weeks, and I must say I am astonished and honored! Thank you to noopur and Julia for nominating me, and I encourage my readers to give their blogs a read!

The rules to this award, should you choose to accept it, are as follows:

– Once you are nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
– Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post too.
– Nominate 10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.
– Ensure all of these bloggers have less than 200 followers.
– Answer the ten questions asked to you by the person who nominated you, and make ten questions of your own for your nominees.
– Lastly, COPY these rules in the post.

Now I get to do one of my favorite things, promote my fellow bloggers! My nominees are…

1. My Frame Of Mind

2. Enaamshealthandhappiness

3. Everything To Say, No One To Listen.

4. We Are The 45 Plus

5. QUOTATIONS, IDIOMS & PROVERBS

6. Chipper ChelseaKay

7. Life Of Mon❤

8. Bare Bottom Benjamin

9. Thee Bloomin Idiot

10. Eternal Globe-trotter

Ten Questions Answered:

Since I was nominated by two people, I will answer both sets of questions. I regret that I am unable to do two separate posts, however at the moment I am a bit strained for time, which is also why I took so long making this post.

From noopur:

1) A book that you have read more than five times. “The Amory Wars: Second Stage Turbine Blade”

2) A city you would love to live in. Glasgow, Scotland, as I am on vacation here and love the city.

3) A song that you would like to play at your wedding. “Number City” by Coheed and Cambria

4) A song that you would like to play on your death-bed. “Life is Beautiful” by Sixx AM

5) A person you admire, and wish to be like. My boyfriend. He is very intelligent, and is always supportive.

6) Your most prized possession. At the moment, due to moving, I have very few possessions, and none of which are overly prized. However, speaking philosophically, my most prized possessions would be my heart, soul, and mind.

7) A memory you would love to erase. While I have plenty of bad memories, I try to learn from them instead of regretting them. I do not dwell on them, but to erase them would erase the lesson learned.

8) A memory you would love to relive. Why did you choose what you chose? This one is easy. I would relive the moment my boyfriend and I first met after three months of talking with an ocean between us, because that was when our life together first began. The feeling of finally being able to hold each other is something I will never forget.

9) Would you rather be rich, successful and lonely, or have a family of four living in a small house? I’d rather have a family of four living in a small house, though I am in no rush to have children. We are happy being a couple for now, and will be that way for at least the next 5 years.

10) Would you pick a long, monotonous life, or a short lived one, in which every day is more exciting than the previous? I’d rather a short lived life full of adventure and passion. There is no point in being alive if you aren’t living.

From Julia:

1. Why do you blog? I blog for several reasons. I am naturally creative and expressive, so this blog gives me an outlet to express my feelings in a productive way. I also have a lot of opinions on the world around me, and keeping these opinions and insights to myself will do nothing to set change in motion. I think some people could benefit from a change in how they see themselves, how they see others, but sometimes they need a new way to look at things lest they dismiss an idea. I also blog to tell not just what I am feeling, but why I feel that way.

2. What are the first five words that describe you? Straightforward, determined, creative, self-expressive, and assertive

3. What is that you always wanted but never got? My family’s approval, for them to acknowledge that my life is my own, and for them to be proud of the woman I am today.

4. Did you ever danced in the rain? Would you? I have yet to dance in the rain, but I love walking in it. I hope to change that soon, as I would love to dance in the rain with my love.

5. How is your perfect pizza look like? Lots of cheese, pepperoni, salami, and sausage, with the mushrooms made the same way my boyfriend makes them. (He steams them in thyme before putting them on to bake.)

6. What was the last picture you took? A picture of the landscape in Scotland.

7. What is your motto in life? This is going on a plaque when I get a hair salon, as it is my motto. “See yourself through the eyes of those that love you, for they see your beauty. But also see yourself through the eyes of the blind, as they see deeper, into your soul.”

8. What is the best book you ever read? Hmmmm, that’s a tough one. Being a complete Child of the Fence, I would have to say “The Amory Wars.”

9. What is the simplest thing that makes you smile? All the little inside jokes and long conversations about nothing that my boyfriend and I have.

10. Best compliment you’ve received? I have had people compliment me on my looks, which is nice and all, but the best compliment I have ever received is when my boyfriend tells me I have a beautiful mind to go with a beautiful heart.

Ten Questions Asked:

1. If you could only see one band or musician on tour for the rest of your life, who would it be?

2. What is your favorite color, and what does it signify to you?

3. What is your favorite subject to blog about?

4. Would you rather dance in the rain or have fun in the sun?

5. Do you have any other creative outlets?

6. What is one place you want to visit before you die?

7. Would you rather have a job making lots of money but that you hate, or have a job making a bit less but that you enjoy?

8. Do you like going out or staying in?

9. What is your favorite animal?

10. Do you prefer quiet countrysides or bustling cities?

Congratulations to the nominees, and have fun answering the questions!

Alone

Photo by Flavio Spugna via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Photo by Flavio Spugna via Flickr
(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

You came into the world,
Welcomed with open arms,
I was an accident, a mistake,
And began my life alone.

You were taught family’s importance,
That they’ll always be by your side,
I was begged to be “normal,”
So I built my dreams and hopes alone.

You are lucky to know friendship,
From people always glad to lend an ear,
I was taught to be silent,
And still must suffer my feelings alone.

You have someone to hold you,
Someone that warms your side at night,
I sleep in solitude, hug my pillow,
And cry myself to sleep alone.

You’ll die surrounded by loved ones,
With your hand held as you move on,
I’ll pass on before my time,
At my hand, I’ll die as I lived, alone.

They say the death of one is a tragedy,
Is the death of over 800,000 is just a statistic?
For how can so many feel at peace,
When so many feel alone?


“Alone. Yes, that’s the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn’t hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym.” – Stephen King

Let me assure my readers that I did NOT write this because I am suicidal. I simply wanted to give you all perspective, as I do in many of my works. The World Health Organization states than over 800,000 people commit suicide worldwide a year. The most prevalent cause of suicide is depression. While many will argue that the best course of action for depression is medication (and while I do not deny that certain medications in certain conditions can be helpful), sometimes a person’s outlook can change if one person, just ONE person, makes the effort to sit down and listen. It won’t change the bad things that have happened. It won’t fix everything. But when a person feels overwhelmed, if they have someone they can confide in, someone that he/she knows actually cares about him/her enough to listen to the struggles, that person will feel less alone. That person knows that he/she matters to someone. When a person has no one to confide in (mind you having people around does NOT mean one has someone to truly confide in), that person’s depression or hopelessness will become exacerbated. Sometimes people don’t watch those around them carefully enough, or are so concerned with themselves that they overlook what is blatantly obvious. This is not to say that a person’s suicide is the fault of those around him/her, but it is an encouragement for others to take time out of their busy lives to listen to those they care about instead of half-heartedly nodding along or tuning them out. Those that feel depressed or suicidal are encouraged to speak their mind, not hold it in, but depression and suicide are still stigmatized subjects that few want to talk about. Why would people talk about something they feel no one wants to hear? Don’t we realize that brushing these subjects off in turn makes these people feel as if they themselves are being pushed to the side? Just hiding or ignoring the problem does not make anything go away, except the people we love. Suicide prevention does not start just when you pull a person back from the brink of death. It can start at a much simpler, human level. Start listening, not just hearing. You never know how much it could mean to that person.

SUICIDE HELP HOTLINES AND WEBSITES: For those that feel they have no one else to turn to, it is NOT too late. There are people that will listen, and the only way that things will truly never change is if you end your life. Please, if you are contemplating suicide, STOP, and call a suicide prevention hotline or visit a suicide prevention website.

US:

1-800-SUICIDE
(1-800-784-2433)

1-800-273-TALK
(1-800-273-8255)

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

UK:

Samaritans: (08457 90 90 90)

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Suicide/Pages/Getting-help.aspx

International:

http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html