Abuse

The media has been talking a lot about domestic abuse and frankly I am glad that it is in the spotlight and people are talking about it.

Domestic abuse is a serious thing and having it blasted all over the media when it comes to Ray Rice and Mike Tyson with Robin Givens coming out, it has brought a lot of awareness into the media about domestic abuse and what the victims go through. I am so glad that Robin Givens is speaking out and telling a part of her story and explaining how now in the media it has changed compared to back then when she came forward about the abuse that she went through.

Now that we have paparazzi following celebrities and athletes around almost every corner and cameras in elevators that catch the deepest and darkest secrets of everyone that steps in them people can’t hide anymore.

You can’t hide your life in the world today between smart phones, social media and hell even this whole drone business your life is not private anymore. Someone somewhere knows things about you that you might not necessarily want to go public that could potentially be blasted across social media or hell the news someday.

In some insistence s I find it very sad and disheartening what some people do digging and getting into peoples business that so don’t belong but in insistence s like this it brings a light to domestic abuse and lets others know that they are not alone and shows them how to get through the abuse or how to get help.

It makes you wonder about how these men were raised, how they believe that this is all OK, how people believe that because someone is “famous” either by being an actor or being an athlete that they are automatically good people.

I do not know Ray Rice personally and I can not officially say if he is or is not a “good” guy but what I witnessed in the video clip from the elevator made me sick. It made me imagine myself being the one that was dragged outside of that elevator. NO ONE women or man should EVER have to go through something like that.

I do not care who hit who first. That does not make knocking someone on the floor and dragging them out of an elevator OK. Everyone is going to have their own opinion on this and anything for that matter but I can’t believe that this would EVER be OK to anyone if they pictured themselves as the victim.

Robin Givens appeared on the Today show this morning and talked about Why she stayed and her sitting on the Today show this morning with so much strength talking about what she went through gives me so much hope for other victims out there to not stand for this abuse anymore.

You can read and watch Robin’s appearance here —> http://www.today.com/health/robin-givens-domestic-abuse-ray-rice-incident-game-changer-1D80143747

My thoughts and prayers are going out for all the men and women that have ever been abused or are currently being abused. I pray that they get the strength to come forward and get out of the situation that they are in, I pray that these victims will be believed and not blamed for the abuse that they endured.

All this talk about ALS

If you are on social media at all or ever watch the news I am sure you have seen someone do the ice bucket challenge and it is getting both negative and positive talk about it which all in all any talk is good because it is being talked about and that is the point!!

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

It is a very serious disease that many people are suffering with everyday and the disease needs more people to be aware of it, more money raised for it and if some people are annoyed about the ice bucket challenge then I guess it is getting around to many people which means the challenge is working.

I watched a very moving video of an ice bucket challenge that was preformed by a man that was diagnosed with ALS and his mother and grandmother have ALS as well. This video has moved many people and now Ellen DeGeneres has watched it an has invited him to appear on her show which I think is so amazing! You can watch the video here —> http://qpolitical.com/ice-bucket-challenge-end-like-rest-gotta-see/

Some have written comments saying why are people dumping a bucket of ice water on their head instead of donating… well the thing of it is; is that MANY of those people doing the ice bucket challenge are donating as well- maybe not $100 but they are donating and spreading the word to more people by nominating people to complete this challenge as well.

I was challenge by a very old friend of mine who is “too cool” for facebook and he not only challenged me to do the ice bucket challenge but if I decided to accept the challenge to donate $10 as well and to nominate 10 people to do the same thing. Thank you Brandon!!!

So I accepted the challenge and I nominated my brother Brian, my grandma Susan, my grandpa Al, my amazing friends Hank, Kara, Jenny, Fred, JR, Cora and Brittny.

They have 24 hours to accept the challenge and donate $10 to http://www.alsa.org/ and take a bucket of ice water over their head and of course nominate 10 people as well.

A friend of mine from work filmed my ice bucket challenge and since the bucket was so heavy decided to dump it over my head as well. Thanks for that :)

Here are some photos:

IMG_3202 IMG_3203 IMG_3204 IMG_3205 IMG_3206 IMG_3207

By the way… I am still cold!

Life isn’t always so sweet

Life has been a little sour lately with the death of some of my close friends relatives, Robin Williams death which touched a lot of people and today on the today show Tamron talking to survivors of domestic abuse.

It is scary. It is sad and it makes my heart physically hurt.

People need to open their eyes and realize that there is so much going on around them that they know nothing about that can make a person crumble in an instant.

Do not ever think that you can not make a difference in the world and in someones life. Sometimes all it takes is just a smile or talking to someone or asking them if there is anything that you can do to help?

Open the door for someone that is behind you even if it takes you that extra few seconds to wait for them to catch up, shine a smile at someone across the room to let them know someone knows that they are there, go out of your way to say Hi to everyone you pass by today.

Life sucks sometimes and sometimes that “sometime” feels like a lifetime. Why not be that person that makes the lifetime of blah pause for just a moment of time and let them know that you are there. Wither it be for a moment of time or for the rest of their lifetime. Be that smile to help them get through their day, be the one that listens, be the one that cares about what they have to say.

Sometimes all people need is someone to talk to, someone to vent to or someone to ask the question of what is going on or how they can help?

I wish that I would have had the courage to come forward about the abuse I went through as a kid with my step father but I also wish that someone would have asked where I got that bruise on my leg so that I knew they were willing to listen…

So many times people drop so many hints and clues that something is going on so be that person to “bite” and take the bait. No one should ever feel alone and so many people are going through similar situations that they can talk to or use their story to help them get through their own.

I have always been in to “drama” real life stories and in a way they help me get through some tough times that I have been through in my life.

If everyone that stumbles upon this and reads this please take a moment to express to someone in your life that you are there for them and you will be there to listen to them regardless of what they have to say.

People need to vent, people need to cry, people need to scream it out… whatever the case may be let someone know today that you will be there for them in anyway they need you to be.

DAYONESide note: Tamron is raising money to Shine a light on domestic abuse. Her story and to donate to the cause is at https://www.crowdrise.com/tamron

California… Love

My amazing boyfriend took me to the sunny state of California this last weekend for a mini vacation get away and it was the most amazing weekend that I have had in a while.

IMG_3064IMG_3070We both got off work at about 5pm on Thursday and we went home and got stuff in the car and headed out. Of course on our drive there I took many photos of the sunset and sky because… well I am obsessed with that type of stuff ever since I was younger and still to this day have not gotten it out of my system (I blame my Grandpa… in a good way).

IMG_3138Then I ended up falling asleep in the car and woke up to the blaring radio playing California Love by 2pac that my boyfriend decided to wake me up with at the border of California which I thought was the cutest thing in the world and still smile thinking about it now. So I decided that I should edit a photo of ours and make the theme of our mini vacation California Love which I think definitely fits.

IMG_3170We ended up going straight to the hotel right when we got there and passed out and spent the whole day Friday and most of the day Saturday enjoying the beach, the water and the company. We went to an amazing little cafe and an amazing dinner place that was basically on the water which was so romantic. The whole trip in Itself was so romantic and amazing but I am definitely paying for it now… in sunburn. I put on quite a bit of sunscreen on both the first and second day but I guess not enough… This is me after day one… whoops.

IMG_3090My boyfriend even let me bury him in the sand which I had a blast with of course :) I am sure my daughter is going to freak out when I show her this photo of him and want to do it with him or have us do it to her. She tends to want to do things that J likes to do… Like today when we were video chatting she did not want to talk to mommy anymore she wanted to talk to J and tell him about the “wagon” that they were going to ride in together and go to the park in and then ride bikes home from the park. 

We were both in need of taking some time away and I am so glad that we did and decided to plan for it. When is the last time you took a mini vacation away even if it is to the local water park? You need to make time for you and your relationships without that LIFE will make you crazy if you don’t take a break from it for a little while even if it is only two days.

Dream or Reality?

It felt so real that I wanted to scream.

Last night I woke up from one of the worst nightmares that I have ever had and it took me a while to calm down from it and go back to sleep although I did not sleep well after it I still did get a few more hours to rest my head.

The dream started with a man that I did not recognize in my backyard while I was in the kitchen with some friends cooking and I locked the patio door and asked everyone around me if they knew who that was and no one had any clue.

J then told the man to get the hell out of our yard and to leave us all alone and that we better not seem him in our yard again.

The next day I went to work and I saw that same man wandering around and he was very out of it and no one could figure out what was going on with him and most everyone kept there eye on him to see what his next move was going to be and if they needed to escort him out of the building. 

I then went to go take something out of a locked cabinet for someone and the cabinet was very low to the ground and when I went to unlock it all of a sudden that man was right there next to me. At first I was concerned but I tried to brush it off and ask him if there was something that I could help him find.

He then proceeded to wrap his arm around me holding and restraining any arm movement and got me down till I was laying on the floor. All of a sudden he was holding me down by my neck while I tried to scream for help and get away he unbuttoned my paints and proceeded to rape me.

dreams/realityThe dream felt way to real for comfort and I woke up very shook up. It took me a while to calm down and realize that it was all just a dream. I felt really bad because I woke up J between me mumbling before I woke myself up to me waking up and being so freaked out that I woke him up to help calm me down.

I was so freaked out that he asked me what the dream was about and I could not even tell him at that time because it still felt so real and I wanted to try and get some more sleep.

I used to dream a lot more than I think I do now; although maybe it is just that I do not remember them now. I used to read into my dreams and try to find the hidden meaning to them but I am really stuck on what this one could mean except maybe to be more cautious and don’t give people the benefit of the doubt which is so not in my personality.

Have you had any dreams lately that you have remembered? Any that felt so real that you had to continue to tell yourself that it never happened?

If so do you believe that dreams have deeper meanings and that all of them (or most of them)  are trying to tell you something?

Story of how we met.

My boyfriend and I have one of the craziest how we met stories and how we became boyfriend and girlfriend and whenever the subject comes up and our story gets told I am sure people think that I am absolutely nuts. But all in all I may be nuts but I love him so much and am so glad I did what I did so that we could be together and continue our relationship that has taken us on so many fantastic adventures.

My version of the story begins in the end of September 2013 around my birthday I decided to get on a dating site online to see if I could maybe meet some new people and maybe go on a date or two. I messaged a few people and responded to a few that messaged me. The man whom is now my boyfriend (we will call him J) was one whom I messaged and I did not get a response for a little bit so I brushed it off, did not really think about it and continued on with my life.

During this time I was in training at a new job that I did not expect to be working at for an extremely long time but it was a job that could provide me with as much overtime as I wanted and the potential to bonus monthly.

Going on in the middle of October I got a message from J and almost immediately he set up a date to meet and have coffee at Java Vino.

So the evening that we met at Java Vino my best friend was very hesitant to me going on a date with someone I have never met had decided to “facebook” stalk him and google search him and then my roommate also made sure that he knew where I was going and ended up calling me quite a few times during our date once it had lasted over an hour.

The date went really well and the conversation was amazing with us both talking and both listening to what each other had to say. He asked me on a second date to go hiking and make sushi and I accepted.

We continued to text and talk and a couple days later I asked him if he wanted to come over to help me bake for a potluck that I was going to be at the following day so that was our “second date”. Through our conversations we figured out pretty quickly that we actually worked in the same building which happened to be a slight problem due to the fact that he was unable to socialize with anyone in the building because the company that he worked for was the “client” for the company that I worked for.

He spoke with his boss about our potential relationship and he was ok with it but some were not as supportive and basically said that we could but we would need to put our relationship on the table and let the company know about it and outside of work he could not even tell me how his day was or anything.

Which was crazy to me to think I just flippin’ met you and we are just starting to get to know each other and people want to already control the way our relationship is and what we can and can not talk about when we are together,

So I wanted to get around this and fast. I had a feeling in my heart that this relationship was going to build and be something that I wanted to continue to pursue so I left work early one day and put in some applications to a few places around town. Turns out I got an interview 5 minutes after applying for a job, I went into the interview and was offered the job right then and there and I accepted it.

J was amazed that I did that and a lot of my friends and family thought that I was crazy. J went into work the next day and said never mind this will no longer be a “problem” she found another job and they thought I was nuts as well.

FamilyEver since then we have been happily together and have had so many amazing adventures. Now our how we and got together story shocks so many people but it makes me so happy that I decided to take the chance I did on our relationship.

Taking chances is not always easy but sometimes can be so rewarding which to me is so worth it!

What chances have you taken recently in life? If the answer is none then ask yourself what chances should you or could you take to potentially make yourself a happier person.

Change in… weather

I got to pick up the boyfriend from the airport last night which was nice that he was finally home (granted he was gone for 3ish days) it was still great that he is home. During our ride home from the airport the topic of weather came up in conversation.

I was telling him that we had some interesting weather in Arizona while he was gone and around here they called it a microburst (which is a term that I have never heard nor had he until someone told me that it was what we were experiencing). Then I was saying how Arizona has so many “slang” words for weather and seasons around here and he thought I was nuts while he was thinking that microburst was a made up word and I was thinking that microburst, haboob and monsoon were “slang” terms only used around here.

So we “fought” about weather last night and into this morning and when I say we fought it was a friendly arguing and neither of us were angry just trying to prove our points to each other which both points could not have been more opposite.

I was saying how living in the midwest my entire life and people that have lived in the midwest area do not know what a monsoon is and he thought I was nuts and that everyone knows that term regardless of where they live or have lived.

So then I decided to text four people: “Without googling do you know what a monsoon is?”

Do you know what it is without looking it up? Don’t feel bad if you don’t because before moving to Arizona and asking someone what the hell this monsoon business that they speak of; I did not have the slightest clue either.

Here are the responses that I received: 

“Something with water. I think when the sea title waves into the city?”

“No”

“Like a tidal wave right”

“yup” “rain storm”

All of the people I asked were different ages but in the general 20’s to 30’s range and both men and women.

So to everyone that still does not know what it is; “a monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea.Usually the term monsoon is used to refer to the rainy phase of a seasonally-changing pattern, although technically there is also a dry phase.”

MonssonBasically it is a “season” here with crazy weather between rain, wind, dust storms and usually a lot of tree damage everywhere. It seems like there is at least one tree down every mile after a crazy weather (monsoon) change happens. Most of the time it only lasts like 30 minutes to an hour or at least that is what I have witnessed since living here.

It is fun when you move to a complete new area and get to experience new things like what people call certain types of weather or what people like and dislike when it comes to weather. I love sunshine because in the midwest it was a fabulous day when it was sunny… a lot of people around here do not get as excited about sun. But that is what makes things more interesting because not one person is the same in the weather that they enjoy and what weather they “hide” from.

What “slang” words do you have for weather in your area?

Hurting heart

The last couple of days have been tough. Not just for myself but for many in my life around me.

I am in no way comparing my feelings in anyway to any of the feelings that people are having around me but all in all there has been a lot of sadness and hurting hearts all around my life and the people around my life in the last few days.

Not aloneI feel like I am not a good person to be around when you are sad. I try so hard to be there as much as I can and say “all the right things” to try and ease your mind or help you know at I am here during your time of sadness for anything that you may need but I am freaking horrible at it!!

Everyone is different and respond different to sadness and specifically loss. Some show the emotion and need to cry it out and others brush it off and tell you that everything is fine wither in their hearts it is or not.

Broken heartDeath and loss can be a scary thing. As we all know it is a way of life but it can happen so suddenly and unexpected or it can be a long journey that you sit and know that it will be any day. Either way it is hard. It is hard to face that they will not be in your life any more wither they are a main person in your life or someone whom you weren’t necessarily “close” with but it is so hard to grasp that you will never have a physical conversation with them anytime soon.

Everyone has their own beliefs in “God” and what happens after death which can help people cope during their time of loss but regardless of their beliefs loss is hard and not many things will ever make it truly easier.

My thoughts and prayers go out to anyone experiencing loss right now. Specifically my friend who lost their aunt and uncle in a sudden car crash, my friend who lost her father with an intense battle of cancer and my friend who lost her grandfather and my friend who lost her uncle all this week.

My heart is with all of them during this time of need and I hope that everyone sends thoughts, prayers and good vibes towards them during this hard time to help them cope through all of this.

Don't JudgeIt just makes you aware that you NEVER know what is going on in someone’s life unless you are them. Please I ask you to be aware of things you say and do today. Life is short! Smile and be the sunshine to the people around you today. Who knows you could help brighten someone’s spirit today which may be just what they need.

Judgement

No matter where you go or what you do… you will be judged. Wither it be for the clothes you wear, who you are with, where you are or hell what you look like. I try so hard not to judge others but it just tends to be human nature to do so I have tried to teach myself not to act on it.

Growing up and applying for jobs or my friends calling friends to come hang out with us (that did not know me) and saying yeah come on over Tamica and I are about to head out for a bite to eat or whatever it may be. I was judged by my name… constantly.

MeSadly I still am to this day. Back in high school I received college scholarship applications in the mail for African American Women even though on all applications that I received I check the Caucasian box. No matter what I say or do until they meet me and realized that I am Casper the ghost white; I am judge by my name.

Some times it is judged in a bad way when I called to set up apartment showings in a nicer neighborhood I would never receive a call back and then I would have my significant other at the time call as well and he received a call back within 5 minutes!

Others at certain jobs finally admitted to me after I got the job that they immediately considered me in the first place to bring more diversity to the team and boy were they surprised when I was not bringing the diversity that they thought.

It is sad. People stereotype so much and push themselves into so many peoples lives that have no business being there.

People need to open their eyes and minds and realize that not one person is the same. Person A is not anything like person B and person C is opposite to both A and B.

I challenge all of you to stop one judgmental thought today. Get to know a person and let their personality give you the first impression; not their name, their skin color, their body type or what they are wearing or whatever it may be.

Get to know people for them not for the stereotype that will probably will continue to haunt them for the rest of their lives. Be the one person for them that doesn’t judge them for something that they are judged for all the time and I bet their attitude towards you will surprise you.

Live YOUR life

Lately I have thought a lot about my past relationships with people wither it be friendships, family or the people that your family is so close with that you consider “blood” relatives but are truly just amazing friends.

I think back to the days when I lived on Breezy Point Drive in East Bethel MN and the friends I had there. I had friends back then that I still in a way keep in touch with (over facebook) and I have friends from back then that sadly I am not sure if I would ever be able to pick them out of a crowd but back then we were attached at the hip.

Then I think about all the weekends my dad brought me to the Lake with the “family” that in all reality were just the most amazing friends and then sadly life happened. Although I have some of them on facebook I don’t know what is going on in any of their lives and truly I don’t think that they even care or wonder what is going on in mine.

It is sad and happy all at the same time; I often wonder what if fight A never happened would that lead to all of us still talking or what if I ignored what person B said about person C and continued to talk to C would I still be part of the “family”.

In all reality NONE of that matters now. It will never be the same as it was 5, 10, 15 years ago and frankly that is alright.

I would have most likely never met my boyfriend now if it weren’t for all of those life events and I would probably not be living in the sunny state of Arizona either.

I have come to accept that past relationships are in the past and the ones that are meant to be in the future will be. I am done holding grudges. I am done wishing that someone would say hi hows it going or wonder what is going on in their lives I will just ask. I am done waiting for others to write my story and ready to write it on my own.

I have so often depended on others to show me “the way” or decide how a relationship is going to go and now I wonder why?! I need to take the bull by the horn and control my life and live it the way I want and not the way others want me to.

I am slowly but surely talking to my mother again and that makes me extremely happy. Being a mother myself I now realize how tough it is. How tough it is to make HUGE life decisions that are not only going to impact you but are going to impact your better half.

I have listened to so many people over my life and I have let them all get to me. Wither it be who to hang around or who to not talk to or how to feel. It is sad that I let people control most of my life and I am done. I need to live my life the way I see fit. I need to show my daughter that being strong and making decisions based on what you see fit and not what others tell you is the way to live.

I will live MY life the way I see fit and so should you. Don’t let others control your life or tell you who should and should not be a part of your life. Do what you want to do and what you feel is right. I am not saying that I don’t like to hear others opinions in what they see but don’t let those people opinions control you and make your own. You need to live YOUR life and let them live theirs.

Think about it… I am sure everyone has let someone in your life control you at some point in their lives. Why not put an end to it now? Live your life. Talk to who you want and build relationships with those that you want in your life and ignore those that want to live your life for you. It is your life… so live it!