Equality, Heroes, LGBT, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Sports

The Unjustified Backlash Against Caitlyn Jenner

I have not blogged in 10 months.

Holy moley Batman!

I guess you could say that I have been busy living my life and that nothing has compelled me to write a full blown blog.

That will all be changing in the next few months. And today I’m going to start with a very heated topic: The Unjustified Backlash Against Caitlyn Jenner.

I am a straight female from an extremely small town. You would think that my opinion would be a stereotypical, rural mindset. But in fact, I’m the total opposite. There is much more to this world than my little home town.
When I heard about Caitlyn’s front cover on Vanity Fair, shot by the amazing Annie Leibovitz, I thought, “It takes courage to grow up and be who you really want to be.” Then, of course, the backlash started. The backlash grew when Jenner won the Arthur Ashe ESPY Award (which, let’s be honest, most of you didn’t even know existed until a few days ago). People say she doesn’t deserve the award. People say the young basketball star Lauren Hill deserved the award, or even Noah Galloway, the combat veteran. I’m not saying that these people did not deserve the award.

I’m saying attacking Caitlyn Jenner and not calling her a hero and saying she didn’t deserve the award is despicable.

The word hero by definition
noun: 1.a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. 2.a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal

I’d like to add that it should also say woman as a side note.
Basically, the idea of a hero is objective. I think my mom is a hero, that does not mean the rest of the world thinks my mom is a hero. That does not make her any less of a hero to me. Noah Galloway is a hero because of his self less sacrifice on the battlefield and his perseverance. Lauren Hill was a hero for having a dream, battling cancer and raising money for research before her passing. Caitlyn Jenner is a hero because she finally had the courage to be who she really was after 65 years of hiding. The award is also tied to sports achievement, so let’s not forget that Caitlyn Jenner was also a widely decorated Olympian under her former name.

All of these scenarios are different, but none of them is less heroic than the other. Since when did we all become so high and mighty that we rate and rank suffering and heroism? Honestly? When did that happen? Realistically the award could be given to any transgender, any kid with cancer or any combat veteran if you really thought about it. Suffering and heroism should NOT be ranked! There have been a ton of transgender children that have committed suicide in the last year.

Don’t they deserve to have a hero?

There’s nothing wrong with being who you really are. We are all heroes if you think about it. Yes, some get more recognition than others. But it’s not a popularity contest. I could nominate my mom for this ESPY award, and not a single one of you would care.

And none of you cared before Caitlyn Jenner won the award so why bother caring now?

What’s even more funny to me is the people who justify their judgmental ways based on the premise of God and religion. I bet God is pretty sick and tired of everyone trying to speak for him. There’s a few passages in the Bible that come to mind when I think of all this judgment against Caitlyn Jenner:

Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
Mark 12:30-31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
John 8:7 “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

So. I mean. There’s that too. Which it seems everyone forgets about. By condemning Caitlyn, you are not doing yourself any favors in the eyes of God. If you’re a believer, you believe Jesus came to die for us and that God is the ultimate judge. If that’s truly what you believe, then let him judge! It is not in your job description as a human being to judge Caitlyn Jenner! Stop whining about her victory and celebrate it! I’ve had all sorts of arguments on my page about this subject.
My favorite argument was, “God doesn’t make mistakes” I responded. “Yes. Jenner was born in the wrong body. Many babies are born with cancer and with severe disabilities. Are they not allowed to use the science at hand to live a better life? Or should they live with these struggles until they die?”

Think about that the next time you say she had no right to undo what God intended. If that were the case then every single one of you that say that should frown upon cancer treatment and reconstructive surgery for children as well.
But you don’t do you?

And you know what that makes you? A hypocrite.

Heroes are everywhere. They represent something to someone, even if you think that person does not matter.

You want to change the outlook of the world? Be someone’s hero instead of trying to tear down other people.

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Adventure, Beauty, Dating, Faith, Family, Ideals, Life Lessons, Love, Relationships, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Women, Women Empowerment

Why Getting Married Young Isn’t the End of the World

Social media and the internet are flooding people’s lives.  Various sites and organizations give advice and tell people how to live life.

But the truth is, there is no handbook for life, and there most certainly is no handbook for falling in love.

Over the past few months I have noticed a growing trend across various types of social media.  That trend is embracing being single. I think being single is awesome because you can find out who you are as a person and work on yourself.  I was single for an extreme length of time.  For certain periods, during my teens, I thought it was the end of the world. When I was in college, I loved it because I saw couples around me fighting all the time and I knew I did not want to deal with that. When I turned 21, I was in tune with myself. I felt alive. I graduated college and was working.  I had still had some loneliness, but it wasn’t so crippling anymore.

That’s when I met my now fiance.

I was awake and alive before, but, I felt more alive when we started dating. Now, I did not feel more alive because of getting laid or anything extremely superficial. I felt like a very exciting version of myself. I was learning new things. He was the first person to introduce me to a gun because of his military experience. We traveled quite a bit together and I went to places that I had never gone to before. I realized that even though I was alive, that there was much more for me to do and much more for me to become. But, I needed him to urge me to tap into that potential. I have always been outspoken and I had stuck up for myself to an extent. However, he showed me that I shouldn’t ever let anyone make me feel inferior. He told me I should be treated with respect. That’s when I started being less tolerant to people treating me as if I was a doormat. I started to not let anyone talk down to me. I held myself in a higher regard because I realized that I deserved that. But, he showed me that. Another thing he taught me was that I am, in fact, not always right. THAT was a somber and humbling day for me. My mom had been trying to tell me for years, but, somehow his delivery made the message click. Now, I struggle with that, but I’m only human right?

We live together in our house that we rent with our rescued dog, Dallas. He graduates from Penn State University in June and will be looking for a job, possibly in the oil and gas industry. He just knows he wants to take care of me. We are growing together.  We still keep our identities, but our identities are growing together.  He plays video games and I am a book-worm. Miss Dallas begs him for food but she begs me to go to the bathroom. I’m still outspoken, and he just listens and laughs.

We KNOW we cannot change each other, and we aren’t trying to.

I take that back, the only thing I would love to change is that he cannot, for some reason, ever get his clothes in the hamper. The clothes are endlessly are all over the floor.

What does this mean for you?

1. Don’t be afraid to fall in love. Whether it’s for a year or it’s for forever, do it. Each time you do it, it will change you. When you meet the one you will be changed forever.

2. Don’t assume that the person is going to change you. There’s this misconception that being in  relationship makes you sacrifice who you are. Well, if your relationship is like that, you should not be in it. Every day I see on Facebook that there are statuses about “not needing that inconvenience” or “people who get married young have nothing to live for.” You should marry someone who makes you a better person. Don’t hate on the people who found that person at 21. Some people take until they are in their 30s to find the person that embraces all of their flaws and makes them a better person. But please, stop hating on those of us that found that person at a young age. I guess you could say I got lucky, but there’s no reason for you to bash young, happily married couples because you want what they have or are tired of seeing their sappy statuses and tweets.

3. Be Patient and Stop Comparing. My mom always used to say, “Your time will come” when it came to everything that I ever wanted in life. I was patient. I worked on myself. I was rewarded. If it takes until you are 40 years old, then so be it. Embrace it. Love it. OWN it. But again, leave my relationship out of it. My relationship is mine and what works for me may not work for you. But just because I learned at a young age how to not only be myself, but be myself with another person does not make me LESS than someone else. Nor does it make me more. I’m me.

4. Be Happy with Yourself. If you aren’t happy with yourself and you cannot love yourself……no one else can truly love you. That is the biggest thing to remember. Many relationships crash and burn because one person is expecting the other to fulfill the lack of self-love and happiness they have. It does not work. Don’t even try it.

I’m getting married. When? I have no idea yet. We are saving and making other life decisions before we actually tie the knot. Many of you will think I am crazy because I am getting married to a person I met when I was 21. I am now 24. I am not crazy. And even if I was crazy, don’t look down upon me because I am happy. That’s my problem with this whole new trend, that people think it’s okay to bash people who get married young. For those of us that I know that got married young or are engaged, we could care less if you are single. So why would you care about us being married? Why is it such a big deal? Furthermore, why are SOOO many people writing about how stupid it is to be married young? Seriously? Why do you care so much to write about it so heavily? I don’t know if you got burned in a relationship or what, but my words. You need to stop this trend. How about we just all do what we want in love and stop being jealous and envious of people who have something we want? How about we let other people make whatever mistakes in love they wish to make? That sounds like a plan to me. And guess what? It may sound crazy, but I do everything I want to do. I do everything single people can do with the one difference of having multiple sex partners and one night stands.

If you want to be single, then be single. Just know it’s not for everyone. If you want to be in a relationship, be in a relationship. Just know it’s not for everyone.

I only ask that you stop making young, married/engaged people the target of your bullying. We have lived life just as you have; please stop acting like being in a long-term relationship is a death sentence. Otherwise, you’re going to scare a bunch of people into never falling in love. We do things. We are free.

We just found that freedom and have taken one other person along for the ride.

Adventure, America, Beauty, Family, God, government, Ideals, Life Lessons, Love, Politics, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Terrorism, Uncategorized

How to Speak American

And Crown Thy Good With Brotherhood From Sea to Shining Sea

The funny thing about that statement is how much the people of America do not actually follow it. You all know what I am talking about, the Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad that has caused an uproar across the nation.

Because only in the United States would people be so ignorant and selfish to get angry over a commercial that expresses unity.

It doesn’t matter which language it was spoken in, we all knew what it meant. Coca-Cola wanted to express that there is diversity in America and that diversity should be embraced for all people to see.

Let’s take a look at the video here:

Oh my gosh are those people of different races speaking different languages? OH THE HORROR.
Bite Me.

I’m honestly surprised more people didn’t whine about the fact that the line “God Shed His Grace On Thee” was left in the song because that seems to be the standard for people these days. Anyway, the #speakamerican uproar does nothing but show the true ignorance of some of the people in our nation. For one, the Europeans stole this land from the Native Americans, so if you want to speak English, why don’t you ferry your ass back to England where it originated from? The only people who should have any right to complain about an official original language for this nation are the Native American people. The rest of the American people need to shut up because they are not descended from people who actually lived here. Two, did you, the educated people of this country also know that American isn’t actually a language? Are you smart enough to actually grasp that concept? That’s just as bad as saying people from Mexico speak Mexican instead of Spanish. And the whole immigration issue. How about all of you “home-grown” people who hate illegals realize that your ancestors were immigrants! I for one think the Native Americans should have been just as judgmental and rude as the people of the USA are today. Then they wouldn’t have been put on reservations and treated like a subhuman species! They NEEDED a better immigration policy and should have turned every one of those English away instead of trying to educate them and help them survive!

Let’s say we adopt English as our formal language. Which dialect of English do we pick?  Do we pick the mid-west? How about the New England, more specifically the Bostonian dialect of English….or better yet, let’s pick the New Orleans dialect of English and speak Cajun English?

Oh…….wait, even our English is multi-cultural? WHAT? NO WAY!

The differences in saying in my household alone are crazy because I was born in Pennsylvania and my fiance was born in North Carolina. The first time he told me to “cut the light” I looked at him in utter confusion. For those of you that don’t know, it’s common place in his hometown and below the Mason Dixon line to say that when they want to turn something off. Eventually, I got that he wanted me to do that, and turned off the light.

I imagine when the forefathers of the America as we know it, not the America that was stolen from the Natives, got together that they didn’t imagine the people of this nation would be so ignorant to the problems of the world and the people in their own country. I imagine they felt we would evolve and get along with one another independent of our differences.

If anything, this #speakamerican trend is doing nothing but spitting in their faces. Every single person that posted something condemning this commercial should be ashamed of themselves and their ignorance to the world around them. The world does NOT revolve around you. Use the brain in your head to realize there is more to life then the house and community you live in. Stop clinging to your gun because it won’t save you from yourself. Stop clinging to your Bible  and abusing it because you are NOT acting in the name of Jesus Christ AT ALL. Jesus healed the afflicted and helped people. He didn’t give a shit about what language someone spoke.

And while we are on the subject: If you believe in Jesus……..Jesus wasn’t white either. Just FYI. He was born in the Middle East….so he’s the stereotypical definition of Un-American to all of you that are assholes and say it is in his name.

One nation.
A nation divided.
Because people still after how many years of evolution aren’t smart enough to put their differences aside.

If you want to speak “American” it’s really simple: Be an entitled ass that does not care about anyone else. You will then be right on your way to speaking American.

Adventure, Beauty, Bucket List, Dating, Faith, Family, Ideals, Life Lessons, Love, Relationships, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Sex, Women, Women Empowerment

Don’t Ever Take Dating Advice From Taylor Swift

If there is one person that I really think gives the worst dating advice, it is Taylor Swift. And she doesn’t even give it purposely.

She writes about it in her songs.

I cannot stand that. For one thing, it is extremely disrespectful for someone to view love as a money-making scheme. And that’s all she is proving by writing all of her hits about her ex-boyfriends. She may not think that is what she is doing, but it is. If she had any respect for the people she dated, she wouldn’t publicly bash them in her music while millions of listeners are so impressionable. It just shows young people everywhere that it’s okay to date someone and break up with them……

as long as you can write a song that people will eat up and listen to.

Now, I do not condone staying in a bad relationship by any means. In fact, if you are in a bad relationship, then get out. But, please spare us the bull and don’t write a song about it. I think it would be very interesting to see what all of her former lovers would have to say in a song about her. And I guarantee it would go along the lines of her being selfish. The first thing I notice about her is that she does not care about the other person. Let’s look back at when Harry whats-his-face won a music award and her response was “Are You Kidding Me?”

Harsh much?

I get it, she’s empowered.

But she isn’t really.

Almost three years ago I started writing blogs about females embracing their imperfections and flaws. And one of things I’ve noticed that has taken off with this subject is females not “settling” for less than they deserve. Now, I agree with this. But I also would like to point out to many females out there that men can do the same thing. Being empowered does not give you a license to be a bitch to everyone around you, or to parade around bashing men because it is the thing to do. Being empowered means that you have found an inner strength to yourself that would only be enhanced if a man walked into your life (or woman, whichever you prefer). The key here is to not become selfish along the way. Most relationships fail because of lack of communication. They also fail because the people in those relationships focus more on what they can take from the other person than what they can give.

This is why I say don’t ever take dating advice from Taylor Swift.

Because Taylor Swift never focuses on self-reflection, it’s always about what the other person did.

And that’s why her relationships failed and will continue to until she looks at what she can give to another person. And it may take the right person for her to do that. And she by no means has to be willing to give of herself at her age….she can wait. But deep down, when I see her.

I see someone that’s afraid.

You want dating advice. I’ll give you some dating advice from what I’ve learned with my fiance and what I learned watching my grandparents be together for my whole life. They were married almost 58 years before my grandpa passed away.

1) The relationship isn’t just about YOU. There are two people. There are two hearts beating. There are two sets of needs that need met. There are two sets of expectations there.
2) Don’t say, “I want you to do this.” Instead try, “What can we do make this better” or “Where can I work on making things better.” A little humility never hurts. I have news for you. I’m empowered. I’m stubborn. I’m a bad ass female…..and I can still be humble because I realize there is one another person that has the other half of my soul.
3) Learn what phrases to say to the other person. If you think the other person isn’t listening, change your approach. My fiance and I know which phrases get the other person to do what we want and which phrases will piss us off instantly. Communicate. It’s a constant learning process…but once again…this is where a little humility can come in to play. Also, if you don’t want to take their bullshit. Don’t. But address it in the correct way. Because they don’t have to put up with yours either.
4) Don’t think you can change them or their habits. This is simple. Don’t insult the other person by trying to drastically change who they are as a person. I mean, do you want to stop being that badass female? No. You don’t. So don’t expect the other person to drastically change to make you happy. It’s wrong. Either love them at the core of who they are or move on and save yourself a lot of stupid heartache.
5) Don’t talk all the time. Listen too.  The person you’re with will tell you what is wrong and what they want….you just have to listen to them. I don’t mean hear them….I mean listen.
6) Stop thinking you’re always right. I still struggle with this. But, I’m learning and he is very patient with me. Almost three years and diamond ring patient.
7) Focus on what you Give. Give to the other person. Constantly. Compromise. I love compromising. It is literally the best of both worlds. And occasionally something I didn’t want to do ends up being something I liked anyway. Don’t take from the other person and don’t let yourself be taken advantage of. But, give.
8) Real love isn’t a fairy tale. Just get over it. It’s not. There’s no white horse. There’s no castle. Just. NO. Move on from the childish version of love to the more awesome version I saw in my grandparent’s marriage. You want a sweet love story? Watch UP! Seriously, the first eight minutes of that movie was the best love story I’ve ever seen filmed. Oh, and date the beast, not the prince. People always call me and mine the Beauty and the Beast. I like it that way. People with layers are more interesting than the people without them.

Above all. Realize that anything in life worth having is something you have to fight for and work for. It’s not going to be easy. Learn to embrace your own beauty and imperfections first…..

Then, embrace someone else’s.

And Taylor, don’t be afraid to fall in love. It’s the most interesting adventure you could ever go on.

Adventure is out there.
Jump Feet First.

Adventure, America, Cats, Dogs, Family, government, Ideals, Life Lessons, Love, Obama, Pet Adoption, Pet Ownership, Pet Rescue, Pets, Self-Help

Advocating for Man’s Best Friend

Early in December, my fiance and I decided that we wanted to make a difference in the world. We both love animals and we thought it would be an excellent idea to adopt a dog from our local shelter. In the second week, I was working and I had a customer come in and tell me about his family and how they had a dog named Dallas. All through that night, I thought, “That is very interesting name for a dog.”

I went on Petfinder.com and I put in my zip code.

That’s when I found Dallas at my local shelter, the Gateway Humane Society.

She was listed as a golden retriever and hound mix. They said she was three years old and looking for a home. She looked like my other dog at my mom’s house, named Bella.

And I knew she was the one for us. I’m not one to argue with fate when it hands me signs like that. I decided to email the shelter that night about coming out to see her on Saturday afternoon. When we went out, I asked to see her and they brought her out to me. She immediately kissed my face and I was in love. However, I was scared because quite a few families had asked about her as well. I was just hoping and praying that we could impress the staff enough for us to take her home.

Sure enough, they called us and told her she was ours. And we’ve never looked back.

Dallas is perfect. She knows how to do everything and barely ever gets into any mischief. I can tell by her demeanor that she had a rough life before the shelter rescued her; she falls to the ground and covers her face if we correct something minor that she does. I can tell she had at least one litter of puppies. She will get in the truck but she freaks out if we go anywhere near the woods. Which, given the fact that she tested positive for Lyme’s disease and anaplasmosis, makes me consider that she may have been found near the woods.

Every day this dog shows me a love that is unlike any other that I have received from a pet. I have had five dogs in my lifetime including Dallas. Two of these dogs passed away and the other two live with my mother, though the one is near her end. We had those four from the time they were puppies. I will say that having a dog from a shelter is different from having a dog since they were a puppy. A shelter dog will love you more for the simple reason that you saved him or her from a life of loneliness and possible death. Dallas was fortunate enough to be taken to a no-kill shelter, but many dogs and cats are not so lucky.

It makes me sick that human beings abandon animals so carelessly without any consideration. What kind of species thinks that it’s okay to just throw another away for no reason? It makes me really disappointed and disgusted with the human race. What is even more appalling is the lack of punishment for those that abuse animals. In Pennsylvania, most offenses are merely summary offenses and get minor fines. I am a fan of a group on Facebook called Justice Rescue. They just rescued a dog last week that had a litter of puppies. The owner had left her and her puppies to die, after abusing the mother by beating her and attempting to burn off her tail. The work these gentleman do is so exceptional that it brings tears to my eyes that such caring people actually exist.

I also follow a group called Urgent Part 2, which follows the Animal Control and Care Center of NYC’s death row animals. They advocate for these animals that are going to be put to death for no reason and try to find them adopters. I am appalled that organizations like this kill shelter exist. Daily, dogs come across my feed that are about to be killed. Some of these animals are only six months old. Yet, this shelter will kill them anyway if no one comes forward within their roughly 12 hour period to adopt these animals. Then they give these adopters 48 hours to show up to the shelter to get the animal. Sadly, some of these animals are only in this shelter for a week or two before the staff decides to kill them. It’s disgusting quite frankly. I understand they have limited room, but this Animal Control Center has been under scrutiny for years. Recently, they have had to self evaluate because a dog was choked to death in their care. The fact that this center exists and is legally allowed to operate like this is a disgrace to the United States of America.

I am sick of the lack of punishment for animal abusers and the lack of care for life that people can show. I am appalled that a center can kill animals as young as six months that have been residing there for as little as a week and still be operational.

 

THIS NEEDS TO STOP.

I’m calling out everyone that reads this blog. I’m calling out the representatives in Washington. I’m calling out the Senate.

President Obama…..I’m calling you out on this too.

How can all of you sit idly by and let these situations happen? How can you continue to allow the animals of this country to be disregarded? You’ll spend billions on things we don’t need, but you can’t save the lives of those that depend on us? It’s disgraceful. I want change. I want all of you to go to these pages I am posting at the end of this blog and look into the eyes of these animals. I want you to justify what is being done. We, the people, have a duty to protect and we are failing. YOU, the government, are allowing us to fail by not holding people accountable for their actions.

Stop the Kill Shelters. Stop the Puppy Mills. Stop Breed Legislation.  Stop the NONSENSE.

It’s time we blame the human beings for the way animals act. Because it’s always been the human that can’t properly train. Dogs in general have a caring demeanor. It would probably surprise people to know that “Pit Bulls” as everyone refers to them as, are a group of rather loving animals. Any animal can bite if not taught to. It’s called training…learn how to do it! Also, consider doing research on the Bully breeds as well as every other breed. Quite frankly, breed legislation is the same thing as racial profiling, and it’s just as stupid.

For every human being born, there are 15 dogs born and 45 cats born.

It’s time for us to do our part and be the voice of the voiceless.

Here is a link to the Urgent Dogs site: http://urgentpetsondeathrow.org/dogs/
H
ere’s some Facebook links: https://www.facebook.com/Urgentdeathrowdogs
https://www.facebook.com/urgentdogsofmiami

This is the Facebook for Justice Rescue: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeRescue

Locals of Western and Central PA, here is where I got Dallas, http://gatewayhumanesociety.net/

 

 

Please. I beg of you, consider making a difference in the world. Adopt an animal. You will be doing something for someone who can’t repay you.

And you will feel like a brand new person and gain a friend that will love you for the duration of his or her life. If you can’t adopt, advocate and donate. These animals cannot speak for themselves, it is our job to speak for them.

 

Adventure, Death, Dogs, Dying, Faith, Family, God, Ideals, Life Lessons, Loss, Love, Pet Ownership, Pets, Relationships, Self Improvement, Tragedy, Uncategorized

2013: A Call to Change and a Call to Faith

When I graduated from DuBois Central Catholic High School in DuBois, Pennsylvania in 2007, I really did not see my life heading in the direction that it went in. I had 57 other classmates heading into the world with me, which was very shortly cut to 56 a month after us graduating. We had big dreams to say the least. When I graduated I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I just headed to Penn State University in the hopes that I would figure it out as I went along. I spent four years there earning my Bachelors in Journalism with a minor in English. I loved writing and I loved taking pictures…..

and I knew somehow I wanted to change the world with them. I just had to keep faith that I could.

Part of growing up in a Catholic school was learning how to keep your faith. My class was like one giant family, and no matter where we head in life, we still are.  The school bound us together in faith and in love. At any given moment we can come together after being apart for months, and pick up right where we left off.

This year, my faith was tested numerous times, and I firmly believe that because of the class I had, my family and the teachers I had, I succeeded the tests.

This year was a year of love in many ways: Love in Death, Love in New Life, and Love for Eternity.

When I was in high school I told myself I was never going to get married until I was in my 30s, if I got married at all. I spent time talking to my friends about not wanting to settle down because I didn’t want to wake up next to the same person. I just wanted to have fun.

Flash forward seven years and I have a diamond on my ring finger.

I am a firm believer in soul mates. I saw it in my grandparents every day up until he passed away in February. And I’m a firm believer that it’s not something that can really be explained, it’s merely something that can be felt. I could say a million words about how I feel when I’m with Kyle, but none of those words can ever come close to the actual feeling. I’ve seen it a few times this year in people’s engagements besides mine and in people’s weddings. And I can say out of the engagements and weddings that I’ve witnessed, I believe every one of them is with their soul mate. And I believe that only God could have brought them together, just like he brought me and Kyle together. There is literally no rhyme or reason to how Kyle and I met, but I’m glad it happened.

Another thing I witnessed this year, was baby mania. I have never seen so many people I know get pregnant and pop out children. And every last one of those kids is absolutely adorable. It’s an amazing thing to see. I can see parts of the parents in each of the children, but I love babies the most because they have beautiful souls. They just radiate faith and hope. And it’s beautiful. And with new life also comes death, which I witnessed a few times this year. I started out with my grandfather’s death in February, and in August, Kyle’s grandma passed away. Through it all, I maintained the faith I had because it kept me going. And by doing so, it helped me make peace with death in general. Death isn’t as final as some people make it out to be, it just depends on how much faith you have.

With all of this faith, I have come to the end of 2013. There are 18 days left and tomorrow I’m going to continue to test myself by going to a local animal shelter and adopting a dog. Next to babies, I feel animals have the purest souls. In fact, I may rank them above, but it’s definitely close. I said I wanted to make a difference, and I can’t think of a better way to do that then giving a dog a forever home. Personally, I wish I could take them all, but I know I cannot do that. That’s where the testing comes in: knowing that I am strong enough to handle a fragile soul for life and walking away from those that deserve the same thing. If I had to ask for one specific thing for Christmas, it’s that every animal have a loving home. That’s what I want.

When I got my second tattoo, it was inspired by a quote that changed my life. That quote is, “Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.”

I read it after my grandpa passed away and it stuck with me because during his funeral, I sang every song.  Now granted, I had popped a Xanax because I get anxiety sometimes, but, I sang as loud as I could because I wanted him to hear me. The priest even said to me as I walked out of church, “I see you’re still singing. That’s good.”

I had to, because at that moment, with all of the emotion, I had to sing.

Change is inevitable, but if you have enough faith, change can be enlightening and rewarding.

Beauty, Life Lessons, Love, Self Improvement, Sex, Women

Change On The Horizon

It has been forever and a half since I last posted a blog. I feel terrible because I had a goal to post at least three things every month for this entire year. Sadly, I have failed at that. But I guess you, my reader, could say that I haven’t been blogging because I have been out living.

First, I got engaged.

Yes, engaged. Diamond ring and all that goes with it.

Now, let me make it clear that we have not set a date yet. In fact, we will probably be in the engaged phase for a while given our financial and life circumstances. He is finishing up his degree and I am working. That brings me to part two…

I moved out on my own with my fiance, which has taken up most of my time.

It’s funny how in one instant you can be thrown into adulthood. One minute I was buying silly things that I didn’t need, and the next minute I was buying a couch and a dining room table.

So, I guess you could say that this blog is about change; welcome it and embrace it. As long as we live, change is inevitable. The important thing is to stay true to yourself during times of change.

If you can do that, you can do anything.

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Adventure, America, Beauty, Bucket List, Dating, Disney, Family, Ideals, Life Lessons, Love, Relationships, Self Improvement, Travel, Women

A Review of the Most Magical Place on Earth

I scratched another thing off of my bucket list for the year.

I went to Walt Disney World.

Now, I know to some of you that may seem like a rather odd thing to add to a bucket list, but most of you probably don’t understand the history I have with this magical place.

It was always the same: Me, my mom and father, and my grandparents.  Later, we added my sister.

IMG_20130619_013410My first trip to the park was when I was two years old.  My family had gone down to visit my great-grandfather in his home in Palm Coast, Florida. Despite having a terrible cold, I still remember the magic I felt from having one day at the Magic Kingdom. I wore a pink outfit. I met some of the characters. It was everything I had wanted it to be….except for the sniffling. I remember the castle being a pinnacle of the trip and being forever a symbol I would never get sick of seeing.

The next time I was there, I had a little sister to share the magic with. I was eight years old and she was two.  We liked Mickey’s Toon Town, which is no longer a part of the park. We liked it because we could meet characters and get our picture with them.  The castle was different this time because it was a celebration.  A giant “25” was emblazoned where the clock usually is and the castle was decorated like a birthday cake.  My grandma took pleasure in buying my sister and I matching outfits, specifically, she bought us Winnie the Pooh turtlenecks to wear in sunny Lake Buena Vista.  Nonetheless, when we got our pictures with Pooh bear, Eeyore and Tigger, they loved to see our outfits.

17677_327591920695118_1265725431_nWe can fast forward to three years later and my family was back at the most magical place on Earth.  We expanded our reach this time and went beyond the Magic Kingdom to what is now Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  It used to be the Disney-MGM Studios. I remember this because it was the first time I had ever rode the “Twilight Zone Tower of Terror,”  which scared the crap out of me.  I remember it distinctly because I had to go to the bathroom halfway waiting through the line and I promised my father I could hold it through the whole ride because we had waited so long.

I was right.

But boy did I run like a bat out of hell for that bathroom when the ride was over.

I also remember that my little sister got to be in the parade at the Magic Kingdom park with Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  She was part of the “Be Our Guest” float with plates and dancers. The electrical parade was my other favorite part because everything was lit up so beautifully. I remember getting a Minnie mouse stuffed animal dressed in red because we went around Christmas. We even had an awesome hotel stay because the hotel screwed up and booked our room to someone else and ended up upgrading our regular room to a kids room for no additional charge.  My sister and I got to sleep in bunk beds from a tree house and had our own television with a Nintendo 64.

2669_141914360590_7457067_nThe next time we went to the most magical place on Earth was when I was 19 and my sister was 13. It was also the last time my grandfather ever got to go to the parks.  It was just me and my sister and my grandparents this time.  We were both finally big enough to ride all of the coasters at the park. We went very early in the morning to the parks and made sure we rode each coaster before the masses of people started to flood in to the park.  “It’s A Small World” was another stop because it was my grandparents’ favorite ride. We say the “Country Bears Jamboree” because my grandpa always had us watch it because it was his mother’s favorite. We stayed for the day time parade and then we left shortly after. I didn’t realize it would be his last trip there, but nonetheless, we made it special.

So many of these family memories needed to be shared. It’s the reason why I love Disney so much today. It’s the reason why I try to make people happy and give them some magic.  If we can believe in a little magic, life is definitely a lot more sweeter. So last week, my boyfriend and I ventured down to Walt Disney World together. He had never been there before, so I figured it was time he found out why I love the place so much.

DSC_0094-001We did something I had never done before, and that was park hopped.  In my times there, I had never actually visited Epcot or Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I highly suggest to all Disney travelers that you park hop.  It’s worth the money because you don’t have the restrictions of one park access.  When you have the ability to leave a park and go to another when one gets a little too busy, it saves a lot of aggravation.  I can tell you that we park hopped for two days and STILL didn’t see everything the parks have to offer.  By the way, this entire resort is about the size of San Francisco. At least that’s what Wikipedia says.  I believe it because I felt like I walked twenty miles in two days in the sweltering Florida heat.

We started out at Animal Kingdom.  I was pumped because I brought my brand new Nikon D5100 and wanted to take some nature shots.  I had two lenses. Now, Expedition Everest is a must stop in this park.  It is a roller coaster where you chase the famous Yeti.  They make it not as scary for younger kids, but don’t fear adults, the coaster is plenty exciting enough for you too. Check out the Dinosaur ride as well, especially if you have little ones that have a fascination with dinosaurs. The next thing that Disney Goers should attend is the Festival of the Lion King. It was awesome. It has all of your favorite songs plus two acrobatic acts. Definitely check out the drummers in Africa and then, go on the Kilimanjaro Safari.  This is without a doubt the highlight of Animal Kingdom.  The cast members put you in a jeep like jungle cruiser and drive you out onto their wildlife reserve that they have built to resemble the natural habitats for the animals.  You can see rhinos, giraffes, cheetahs, hippos, antelope, elephants and lions. Hands down a must do. Either wait in the line or get a FastPass, which, a FastPass is an option where you get a little ticket to come back at a scheduled time, and they let you skip ahead to the front of the line. It is a God send.

DSC_0609-1After the Animal Kingdom, we ventured to Magic Kingdom for a little bit. We ended up ending both of our days at Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom is definitely the busiest park of the four major parks.  There are three parades there throughout the day and a fireworks display at night over Cinderella Castle.  The must do list of things here would have to be: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Jungle Cruise, It’s a Small World and checking out New Fantasyland.  Parents, if you need to keep your kids busy for cheap, take them to the arcade in Space Mountain.  I played 25-cent skee ball for a solid half hour and basketball for 50 cents for another 20 minutes. It’s fun and gives you a break if you need to kill time. Definitely stay til the park closes. I say that for older people, because once those kids tucker out and their parents take them back to the hotels, you essentially have the park to yourself.  We stayed until the last possible second and I was able to take so many pictures because no one was around. Stay for the Electrical Parade and the Wishes Fireworks.  I can’t promise that you won’t cry, because I did.

In all my times visiting Hollywood Studios, I have never rode the Rockin’ Roller Coaster, but I imagine it is a must do.  It just gives me an excuse to go back because I never rode it. Check out the Tower of Terror, but make sure you go to the bathroom first.  If you’re a Star Wars nerd, you should check out Star Tours. Also, you should go in May because Hollywood Studios hosts Star Wars Weekends.  They have Jedi training at Hollywood Studios and I loved watching this four-year old boy talk crap to Darth Vader as he battle him with the Force. It was so freaking cute. He looked Darth Vader in the face and said, “The party’s over Vader,” got out his light saber and battled him.  If you’re interested in stunts, check our the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. It’s an easy way to kill time and enjoy yourself because they show you how a movie set works and how action sequences are put together.

DSC_0442Finally, there is Epcot.  I didn’t get to ride the Test Track because it was down for maintenance, but check it out. Also, go to World Showcase.  World Showcase is the section of Epcot devoted to select countries. It’s cool because they build it as if its actual buildings from the countries and they hire people from the countries that speak the native language.  We ate it Italy and the pizza at the pizzeria was delicious.  And adults, you can get an alcoholic drink in every country. You want a margarita? Head to Mexico. You want Italian Beer? Head to Italy. It’s all there for you to sample, and you get to look at awesome scenery.

Walt Disney had a dream, and I am happy to be a part of it.  I would love to someday even work in the corporate offices to see how I can make magic happen.  I saw so many children there with the biggest smiles.  The staff there is the friendliest.  Everyone told us to have a magical day. This place is literally the most magical place on earth. I’ve been lucky enough to experience it five times, and I plan on experiencing it many more times in the years to come. For me, Disney is about the memories you can create that last a lifetime.  That’s what Disney has given me over the years and I can only hope to someday give it to others, and possibly to children that I have down the line. You have to live it and believe it.

This place gets a ten star our of five-star rating from me because I can’t get enough of the place. I can’t say enough about the memories I had there. I really can’t express all that Disney has done for me.

Go and check it out and make some memories.

Adventure, Beauty, Bucket List, Family, Feminism, God, Health, Ideals, Life Lessons, Love, Relationships, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Tragedy, Women

I Did Not Live Until

The internet is a vast source of information. One can pretty much get anything and everything he or she wants instantly, that is with the exception of things he or she must order and receive within four shipping days. There are pictures everywhere: pictures of cats, pictures of puppies, memes of television shows (personally, I love Gordon Ramsay memes) and quotes from your favorite movies. You can stream live videos. You can steal people’s identities……..

And now I have gotten completely off of my original topic.

Back to reality. Okay, the other day I was browsing the internet.  I had up tabs from Facebook to used car dealerships, to quotes about life, to pictures of various animals, to Game of Thrones spoilers……You name it. I happened across a saying that said, “You haven’t truly lived until you have created life.” I can’t even remember what search engine or quote site it popped up in because I had to leave right after I saw it. Nonetheless, the quote stuck with me…..

and it left a terrible taste in my mouth. There are two reasons why it did.

First, the whole notion of, “You haven’t lived until….” is rather crazy and stupid in my eyes. I mean, I could end the sentence rather easily and say, “You haven’t lived until you have died,” or rather literally with, “You haven’t lived until you have been born.” The notion that someone else could possibly live the same life as me is completely ridiculous; it’s my life and it is lived my way for a reason. That reason is not for someone else to try to tell me what I should be doing. I could compile a list of things that I have done that I think are the greatest things in the world, like, going to Walt Disney World. However, I am not naive enough to think that every, single person on this planet should go to Walt Disney World.

Second, the statement itself is just completely and totally ignorant. There are millions of women in the world that are physically unable to get pregnant. Millions of couples try to get pregnant each year, whether it be by intercourse or insemination. Guess what? A good portion of those women don’t ever get pregnant. Some of those women get pregnant but are never able to carry to term and miscarry. These couples then look to adoption to care for a child. My point is, how can anyone in the world have the nerve to say a statement like that when there are millions of women out there that cannot have that blessing. Motherhood isn’t defined solely on carrying a child in your womb. Yes, the blessing in and of itself exists, but to be a mother takes something more than just carrying a child for nine months. Being a mother is a calling, and I know many people who were called to it though they were unable to have children. I know some women that carried their babies and didn’t take care of them. Being a mother does not always mean just “carrying a child.” There is far more to it than that. With that being said, I feel it is apparent that it is grossly unfair to say that creating life is the pinnacle of living.  Many people do not get to create life, and they live. Many people who have created life abandon life.

And don’t think I’m one of those people who thinks that being in love is the pinnacle of life either. It is for me, but I know it isn’t for everyone.

Instead of everyone telling each other what that major, life-changing, “I lived” moment is, we should all have our own moment.

For me, “I did not live, until I understood death.”

What’s your moment?

And whatever it is, make it your own, not someone else’s.

Enjoy the Memes:

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Gordon Ramsay Meme
Gordon Ramsay Meme
America, Beauty, Feminism, government, Health, Life Lessons, Love, Relationships, Self Defense, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Sex, Tragedy, Women, Women Empowerment

Keep to the Code

This is an official warning that graphic content will be discussed. Rape will be discussed. 

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When I was 21 and a senior in college, I was still a virgin.

When I was a freshman and a sophomore, I wanted nothing more than to lose my virginity. I felt like it was this giant disease I had that infected the world. If you would be more interested in that segment of my story, please read my guest blog here. When I was junior, the urge began to fade.

When I was a senior, I just wished I would meet someone worth taking it instead of just blindly giving it away.

But I remember one night when I feared I might not get that chance…

And if it was not for a good friend of mine, I would have been a victim.

My girlfriends, specifically my roommates, and I had a code: Keep each other safe, and if one of us gets too drunk, take care of the other. For four years I kept to this code and it worked very well. If my friends would get drunk, I would be the one that would pace myself and stop drinking to make sure that the others got home. They did the same for me. It was easy. We knew that we did not want to regret any decisions in the morning. And my one roommate, knew she wanted to keep my virginity safe. I guess you could call her my virginity keeper.

Yeah. My virginity keeper.

One night, she came to visit me at school and we ended up extremely wasted at a party in a three level house. I still considered her my roommate even though she had graduated the semester before.  I just wanted to have fun and I didn’t want any trouble. So we stuck together because that is what we always did. We had met up with some guys and other friends before we ended up at this house….this terrible, creaky, dismal and over-crowded house. I remember one guy that had found me attractive. I told her I wasn’t interested in him, so she made a mental note, despite the drunken state we were both in. We meandered through the levels of the house talking to various people we did not know. We held hands too. I know it sounds silly, but we did to make sure we had a hold of each other. We had made our way into a hallway next to the bathroom of the third level. Loud music was playing all over the house.

That’s when everything changed.

I had to go to the bathroom and she was talking to someone. So I started off on my own. Only because the bathroom was literally ten feet away.

Ten feet.

I got grabbed.

The guy that had found me attractive was pulling me into the bathroom. I knew I didn’t even want to kiss him, despite him putting his lips on my face. I didn’t want any of it. Yet there I was in a bind because of how my arms were pinned. I kept saying, “No. Leave me alone.”

But he kept on pulling and yanking me into that bathroom. I kept fighting to get away and people around me just left me go.

I thought to myself, “No. not like this. It can’t happen like this.” I knew I didn’t want him to take it, and if he was being this aggressive with kissing, I figured it would only go downhill from there.

That’s when she grabbed my arm and started pulling me away. I was in a tug of war between a guy and my roommate. She kept screaming at him and he kept screaming back at her. Until finally I crumpled to ground. That was enough for him to lose his balance and let me go. And I crawled away with my roommate in tow. We stood up and ran down the three flights of stairs. We ran out of the house and hid behind a dumpster because I was afraid he would come after us.

Then finally, we ran some more until we met up with some people and were safely nestled in our apartment.

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Looking back at that moment, I know I would have been in a terrible situation if it wasn’t for my roommate. I could have lost something that I didn’t want to lose.

And you know what’s terrible?

Many girls run into similar situations all over the world. And their friends don’t help them.

We live in a culture. Specifically, we live in a rape culture. And it seems like people don’t really want to talk about it. The fact that society creates and allows rapists to thrive is sad. With that being said, we, as women, know that we have to be strong. But at what cost?

People expect women to just protect themselves. People also expect women not to “put themselves in compromising situations.”

Since when is living your life a compromising situation?

Women shouldn’t live in fear that any day a man could come up to them and force himself on her. That’s wrong. And men should be the ones to change, not women.

But yet, it’s expected for us to change. I remember the night. I didn’t “express interest” or “lead you on” and yet you still wanted to take away something from me, something you felt you were entitled to have. As if I should feel guilty if I had anyway; sex should never be an expectation. You didn’t get that something that you wanted.

Something, thankfully, you didn’t get because my roommate and I kept to the code.

In various cases of rape, I have noticed a growing trend: these girls get left by their “friends.”

I’ve got news for you; a real friend wouldn’t let that happen. A real friend wouldn’t abandon you and leave you in a compromising situation. That whole safety in numbers thing…..it works. Granted, I know that in some cases a man could over power both females, but he would most definitely have a hard time trying to force himself if another person was clawing at his face or gouging at his eyes (which would be my personal attack preference).

I was so pumped last week when I saw various pictures going through my NewsFeed for “Take Back the Night.” I can only hope that it brings back awareness to everyone all over the world that acts of violence like these need to be stopped. There is no way this can continue. Women, for now, we must stick to the code and keep each other safe at all costs. I can only hope and pray that someday society will stop allowing rapists to be sympathized for.

And I can’t wait for the day that we don’t have to fear anymore. I also cannot speak for actual victims because I never have actually had to live through that horror, only the fear that it was immediately going to happen.

This cannot happen anymore.

Men, you should NOT let this happen anymore. The fear, the act…..it MUST stop.

It’s your job to make the change, not ours. You aren’t a victim when you try to be aggressive and take something from us.

In fact, you’re just pathetic.

If any of you need help, contact: Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
A 24-hour phone and chat service to help victims of sexual assault or abuse.1-800-656-HOPE (4673). Visit the site here

Also check out this blog that quite frequently discusses the matters. It’s excellent:
http://makemeasammich.org/