This post has been a long time coming, but I just didn’t feel like writing it until now. Probably because writing it means that I have to revisit painful memories that haven't yet had a chance to heal but life is getting better, I am getting better. There are so many amazing people in my life that I know every time I try to talk about them individually I always seem to forget someone and I want to apologize for that. Many of those people who anchor me to reality the most have been part of my life for so long that the idea of them not being part of my life is absurd, which makes it easier to overlook their contributions to my well-being. My family and friends give me strength, give me hope and remind me of who I am when I start to forget. I would like to believe that those of you I am referring to know how important you are and what you mean to me because I tell you all the time. But I will do my very best to not leave you out going forward because if I have learned anything as of recent, it is that life is short, so don't leave things unsaid.
So here's what I've been thinking about today. I am so thankful for you Chris Johnson when my mom died you sent me texts every day for WEEKS; you called just to sit in silence with me if that's what I wanted to do and you always have and still give the best hugs ever. I am also so thankful for you Rachel Petersen. For being bossy and telling me what I'm going to do, for letting me be myself no matter how scary that may be and for spending hours on the phone or in the car with me talking about things that don't make sense even when a quick google search would easily resolve. I love you both so much, and I don't know what I would do without you!!
One last note, I am thankful for ex-boyfriends who are kind enough to come still and help you when you have car trouble. Thank you, Justin Tipton.
I like to think that in general, I am a decent human being and that I have no enemies even though it's not realistic. I don't always do the right thing and I know I've made some epically bad decisions over the years, but I also know that I try hard to the right my wrongs and make amends when possible. I still get the (not so subtle) reminder from time to time that I am relevant enough to have haters still.
I am hard headed, and it takes me a while to learn life's lessons, usually because I refuse to take the easy route. I have found a new appreciation for peace and peace of mind as I get older and I think I have reached a point where I am now able to self-reflect and in turn, take responsibility for my actions (and even admit when I'm wrong on occasion). I am smart enough to know that I don't have it all figured out and honestly I never will because I won't always get it right, mistakes are bound to happen.
After many years of arguing my side of things thinking that if I just explain it the right way, I can get my point across. I learned that fighting is a competitive sport and most people will do everything they can to win even when it means losing sight of what the argument was even about in the first place. So now I know that it isn't worth fighting every battle that presents itself because sometimes winning is not a win. The only thing that matters is the risk and reward and whether or not I can live with the consequences that come with each outcome.
Taking the high road is not easy, but I do take it more often than I used to. Even when deep down I would like nothing more than to use the extensive vocabulary I have acquired (thanks to dictionary.com) to annihilate my adversaries. The funny thing is that it only takes a few "be the better person who doesn't play into the drama" experiences to realize that the best revenge strategy is not giving them what they want, which is a response.
If you are a mean girl, you suck! I forgot how immature and catty women can be until recently when out of nowhere came a blast from the past. While the reminder itself was fun for me because I adult just well enough to know that not responding and playing into someone's drama is the absolute best response you can have. And since I have a website of my very own I can post what I think and control the response! Haha, that was probably a joke.
It reminded me that there are still so many unhappy, insecure women in the world who probably don't even know who they are deep down. They are like Julia Roberts in the movie "Runaway Bride" especially the part where she realizes she doesn't even know how she likes her eggs.
I don't envy these ladies, not one bit because I was the same way at one time. I hope they eventually learn that there is no need to be malicious or vindictive because it only makes them ugly inside and out. That they learn to love themselves no matter how evil they've been so far in life, there's still hope to turn it around!
I know I am a little late, but the truth is I struggled on whether or not I should even post it because of issues like equal rights, feminism, etc. are touchy subjects, and I didn't want the haters to hate… I got over it because every time I logged into my website the drafted version just kept yelling at me to go ahead and post it so here it goes.
So just in case, you didn't know, I am a girl… I am a girl who gave birth to a little boy. I am a girl who has worked in a predominantly male industry since I was 18. I am a girl who plays pool competitively. I am a girl that lost her mom and her only sister in the last two years, crowning me the matriarch of the family and with that comes great responsibility. I feel like I can no longer avoid saying things that I might usually keep quiet about just to keep the peace because if I don't say them who will? If I don't say them, then my son doesn't know any better, and my nieces have no reference on what they should or should not expect from work and life and love.
I am surrounded by men almost all the time whether it be my son, my dad, my brother, my nephew, my boyfriend, my co-workers or the guys I play pool with, the majority of people that I spend time with are male. I am almost always greeted with respect and treated with equality. My family has always been this way, but as far as work and the pool hall go, I had to earn that respect. It wasn't just handed over and to this day I still find myself in situations where I have to keep winning it, and I can live with that, I have no complaints because I know that there are so many women out there who get subjected to far worse conditions.
I consider myself a feminist and my claim come in the purest sense. I would never burn my bras, partly because I bought them at Victoria's Secret and they were freaking expensive but also because my only definition of feminism is that I am all for equal rights. I believe with every fiber of my being that I deserve the same rights that men have.
I would like to express my appreciation for all of the women who came before me that paved the way for me and many others. Because of them, I grew up believing that I really could be anything I wanted to and that anything was possible with enough hard work. Those women from our history books, they created so many opportunities regardless of the discouragement, obstacles, and consequences that met them at every turn. Their perseverance granted us access to affordable childcare, equal pay, and access to safe, legal and affordable birth control - including the right to choose.