Tag Archives: heart

#WhyIStayed, #WhyILeft, and Why Our Pain Can Turn Into Promise (Trigger Warning)

TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic photographs. 

To hear about the initial story and the Twitter campaign, click here.

Ray Rice, former quarterback, was seen dragging his current wife, Janay Rice, out of an elevator, knocked out, after a fight they had had that had resulted in a loss of his temper. Then I ask, when was the last time you punched your partner in the face? Never? We all have fights with the people we love. Is this the way to effectively end the fight? Most of us understand that the method in which he handled the situation was incredibly inappropriate and disgusting. I don’t care who starts the fight or who ends the fight. Initiating a physical confrontation with anyone is abuse. Using violence against a partner or children is domestic abuse. The terrifying part about this news story is that there are probably many in the audience who were not as shocked as others by this behavior, but rather empathized for the victim, because the type of treatment the victim was experiencing was similar to a situation of their own. There are other victims with stories that have yet to be heard.

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One in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Look at the women and the men standing next to you, in front of you, behind you. Are there four women? Seven men? Think about this, hypothetically. One of them could potentially be brought into a situation like this, with a partner that instills fear and pain rather than love and respect toward his or her partner. Domestic abuse is a long-standing issue across the world, but we experience the tip of the iceberg here in the US. 25% of women and 14% of our men will experience this fear in their lifetime, many will endure it without being heard. 25% of our women and 14% of our men are fighting a fight that feels like it can’t be won, and often times they don’t know who to turn to or how to receive the help that they need in this type of crises. With that being said, I find the emergence of the #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft hashtags on Twitter to be a monumental tribute to all those who have suffered and survived (and those whose lives ended much too soon) this tragic circumstance. I can’t imagine the strength of heart it takes to leave or to stay, and I hope that this campaign brings to the surface a better understanding about domestic abuse. Just because the issue hides behind bedroom doors doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be addressed out in the open. These women addressing their own survival could potentially inspire someone who is currently struggling to find solace.

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As for those who participated, openly and fearlessly, on Twitter with this campaign, you are loved and I thank you for being strong enough to bring the issue to light again. Domestic abuse needs to be combatted effectively, and with all the participants that are sharing their story, we are moving another step forward in the direction of change. I can only hope that one day this issue will diminish as matters are taken more and more seriously and dealt with more effectively. Nobody deserves to suffer this kind of physical or mental destruction. We deserve to feel safe in our own homes, safe with the individuals we live with and love, and safe in the hands of the support available to us.

If you know someone who may be in danger of domestic abuse or other forms of abuse, there are resources available to the public that can allow them to seek the help they need. Let them know that they have options and that the situation they find themselves in is not a means to an unwanted end.

You are not alone.

The Hotline provides a national hotline for victims of domestic abuse to call to get confidential help. Their phone number is the following phone number: 1−800−799−7233

In addition, they have a page for resources and support groups that might prove helpful in moving forward.

If you don’t know if the situation you or someone else is experiencing is considered abuse, consult the Is This Abuse? page.

 

 

Playa Chac Mool: A Little Joint with Huge Character

Tonight I had the privilege of eating at, by far, one of the best authentic Mexican food joints I have ever encountered. My first impression was that every item on the menu looked like something that I would be interested in eating, which speaks volumes about the restaurant itself. Everything looked great. I ended up with the Burro Nohoch, which came with fried beans, the burro (containing steak, tomatoes, lettuce, and some sort of special sauce), and rice. The family that owns the joint were so sweet to us, and the father of the family was generous enough to serve us with a huge smile and a song he sung and played on his guitar. It was hard not to feel right at home. I would recommend this joint to anyone in the vicinity, as it is an experience that I will not soon forget.
Thank you for your kindness, hospitality, wonderful service, and incomparably delicious food.

Arcade Epiphanies: Sometimes You Have to Regress to Progress

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Tonight, instead of spending my night cuddling in bed with my boyfriend like we often do (as he is usually tired out from work, and so am I from busy days), we took a date trip out to Gameroom for a couple of hours. I haven’t felt that alive in a very long while. I had been stuck in a rut, spending the last few days essentially locked in my room, barely eating or moving in the hopes of getting ahead in my online classes in order to be able to successfully enjoy my upcoming week-long vacation that starts this weekend. Getting to go somewhere new with the person I love gave me such childlike (hence the reference to regressing!) wonder, and I am even more excited for our next date. To think that a trip to an arcade could be so thrilling and awakening to the heart! We were filled with laughter as we navigated through digital jungles with plastic, colored guns, and couldn’t keep our eyes off the neon puck as it passed from one side of the air hockey table to the other, sliding faster than we could follow, our eyes meeting, acknowledging the challenge. I think he needed that stress relief just as much as I did. It made me realize just how important it is to make time for me, too, when life is throwing curveballs and I’m starting to feel overwhelmed. Sometimes you just need to take a big step back.

As for you guys, try to break out of your habits. I know we all fall into habits and patterns that seem safe to us, but we need stimulation, at least from time to time, in order to remain happy. We need to discover, to create, to grow. Our world is full of new experiences, and there isn’t enough time for us to not give these opportunities a chance. Try something new tomorrow. Pick up a friend, your love, or an adventurous acquaintance and go somewhere you both haven’t been. The impact it has on your heart and mind, the thrill of new experiences, will probably astound you, too.

 

 

In exchange for introducing me to blueberry tea, I gave someone an inspirational speech about following her dreams.

She said I made her day, which pretty much made my month. A good deed goes a long way. I hope she ends up following her heart.

“Feelings are for the Weak” (Who Are, Ironically, Much Stronger)

Ever since I was younger, it had been engrained in my head that those who are expressive of their feelings are weaker than the rest of the population that does not. It was always a battle for who could put on the best mask and pretend like they had their whole lives together, much better than the next person. I had surrounded myself with people that I considered friends at the time, but people that had no intention of building strength in the bond. It was a negative time for me, being surrounded by this kind of mentality. The first time I had really broken down my barriers I had built was my first serious relationship, which lasted for around 4.5 years, and even then, there were times when I wanted to keep them out of conversation and out of mind. I did, however, realize something when that relationship ended. All the times that I kept my feelings to myself were the times when I was causing my own destruction. I wasn’t punishing anyone else but myself by letting my pain eat at what I thought to be an otherwise strong exterior. I did learn something, over these years. Losing a serious relationship, eliminating the friendships that were destructive to my own path, becoming increasingly independent as I realized what was permanent and what was temporary…. I learned that I am much stronger than I thought I was, and that others who show the same kinds of strength are those who are not afraid to be real. I screwed up thinking that I was weak because I was honest about my feelings. I should’ve been upfront from the start, but I let my apprehension to do so get the best of me.

Part of this journey to redefine my understanding is shown through my writing. Writing gives me the ability to be honest without direct confrontation, and is something that can be shared or reflected upon individually. I’m continuing to grow and develop my skills of communicating what I need and desire from my life and my relationships with others, and I think this was a crucial part of my journey: establishing up front that being true to yourself gives you the best chance at happiness. I’m well on my way.

As for you, find the people you trust. There are many people out for themselves these days, but if you can find a handful that love and respect you as they do for themselves, you’ll become closer to connecting your feelings with strength. Those who do not patronize you for your vulnerability, but stand by you, are essential to your journey to redefine what is believed to be weakness. Strength comes from the heart. Don’t let your heart by trumped by your head, because in the long run, you’ll need a level-headed, honest perception from both.

The Truth About Settling for “Realities” Over Dreams

So many of my peers come to me with the same thoughts and feelings about how they want to pursue their dreams. They have so many ideas for what they want to do with their lives, but the lack of support they receive from family, especially parents, becomes a breaking point when the words are to be put to action. I, myself, struggled with this feeling. All of my life, I had the full intent to do something artistic. Of course, when you’re an artist, though, the responses that you receive when you explain that you want to pursue something “artistic” are less than satisfactory. Always the same shrugs, nose crinkles, head shakes, and sighs. I understand the discouragement that others in my situation have experienced. It took me some time to evaluate what I enjoyed doing other than artwork, and I came to the conclusion that I am skilled and find great fascination in the workings of the computer. It’s technology and artistry combined into one beautiful machine! That was when I knew that I could have it my way, and still get paid enough to be able to put food on the table.

Not all of our dreams are enough to make a living off of, unfortunately, which is discouraging at the least. But like my situation, though, when there is a will, there’s a way. If you want to pursue something that wouldn’t necessarily be successful in itself immediately (or would be something that would require more time to take off than a position in, say, an established company), evaluate how you can pursue it and still be able to pay for your necessities. As for my own experience, I’ve always wanted to break into the art world. Therefore, I am studying a major that is both practical and creative, while continuing my own creative pursuits on the side. Everything takes time, but knowing what you want and how to get it takes the “work” out of it. If you really want something, anything is possible if you put your focus on it.

When you’re choosing what to do with your life, don’t let the judgment of others cloud your own judgment. If you feel that you can do what you want to do and succeed, then it’s important that you do just that. They will not be living your life. You will. You’ll be going to work everyday. You want to make sure that what you dedicate your life to is an occupation that feels less like work and more like something you love. Don’t settle for something that doesn’t keep your heart happy by the end of the day.

What can you do to make your dreams a reality, and what stepping stones do you have to follow to get where you’d like to go in the future?

What is it about your goal occupation that makes you desire it, and how can practicality come into play to ensure your success?

Free Write: Weaving Your Feelings

Desperate. Pursuing. Yearning. She follows you to your car, with her sweet touch and the soft melody of her voice. You’re coaxed. She has you hanging by a thread, and she’s weaving it. She’s creating something with your weakness. Her fingers dance across the delicate intricacies of your weaknesses to create something regal out of you. She wants to make you into a sweater so she can wear you, clinging to her torso and begging to keep her warm. Intoxicating to be able to gain control and manipulate your feelings as if they were her own. If she had any, they’d be moldable, too, but they certainly wouldn’t be warm. They wouldn’t hold you tight on your coldest days or comfort you in your own weakness. If you were lucky, they wouldn’t freeze your heart inside your chest.