Repurpose

It has been a while since I last updated the masses on the happenings in my world, so what better time than the beginning of a new year.  Happy 2016, everyone!

I am always happy to see a New Year come bursting forth with the fireworks, ball drops, and drunken people into the streets; however, this year, I was PUMPED!  2015 started out pretty rough as far as dealing with some sickness and work stress, but it took a turn, and ended really well.

I got a new job, one that I have been wanting for a while, it happened at just the right time.  I am loving my new job, and so blessed to have it.  I feel like a completely different person, full of life and happiness.  I do not dread getting up and going to work.  I enjoy getting dressed and seeing what my day will hold for me.  I am happy to have found a place and a job that allows me the freedom of doing what I love, and a company that I feel is just as amazing as the job itself.  I am really blessed.

The BF and I , (more like the BF, and I help), took the adventure of getting a puppy in January of 2015, and she is now a year old.  Her name is Maci, and anyone that knows me well, knows she is the love of my life.  She is a furball of happiness and surprises every day.  She makes me world a happy place, and reminds me that there is always happiness  in the simple things.  I could ramble about her all day and all night, because I love her so much, but I will spare you and just leave you with the cutest photo of her EVER!

 

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See what I mean?! Adorable and fluffy and pure love.

Two of my cousins had babies in 2015, both boys, and a month a half a part.  I have enjoyed watching the two boys grow.  I cannot wait until they are older and actually causing mischief together.  I’m sure they will be raising all kinds of hell in their future.  I will enjoy all of it, and their parents’ faces when the stories come out!

I also completed three 5K’s in 2015.  I had a goal of completing a 5K when I was 30.  I didn’t meet that goal, but I did complete three of them in my 32nd year, and I am completely okay with that.  I feel like this past year has really allowed me to get to know myself.  I feel like with everything that has been going on over the past few years, I have lost a bit of myself and my way.

In 2015, I found myself, and was reminded of who and what I am.  I am happy with me, work in progress that I am.  I have learned some valuable lessons in life and in love.  I am so very lucky to have found a man that I am completely head over heels for, and that has shown me what it’s like to “grow up”.  I know this sounds crazy, but everyone has parts of their life they are not proud of, and they need to work on.  I am okay with admitting my problem areas for the first time in a long time, and I am working on them.  Slow and steady wins the race.

The year of 2015 was a recovery and rediscovering period for me, and 2016 will be the regrowth year.  I am ready!  I have decided to focus on my faith, finances, and my relationships.  This really is the year of growth and regrowth for me.  I hope this year is a year of joy and blessings for all of you, as well!

Who Knew?!

I have been feeling pretty low about my career situation lately.  I went to school for this amazing degree, that I love everything about it.  I love literature, I love criticism, I love discussion, and I love analyzing.  I LOVE MY DEGREE!  I worked so hard for it, and I feel like it just sits on the shelf gathering dust, as the diploma that came with it. I have been asking myself, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” a lot lately. The answer is still a teacher, a helper, and a motivator.  Not a coordinator.

For once in my life, I can say I am happy with everything else.  I am happy with my relationship.  I am happy with my friends. I am happy with my hobbies, let me rephrase, I have found hobbies, and I am in love with them.  I am completely head over heels for Maci, the new fur baby in my life.  As well as her daddy, which is a good thing, considering we are coming up on two years.  He definitely has my heart like no other ever has.

I feel like I am getting my creative juices flowing again, writing, painting, creating, and getting the energy out.  Also, I started focusing on my health.  My workout regimen is on point, and I miss it if I miss a morning, and feel weird until I do it.  I have learned to listen to my body, rest when I need it, and push it a little farther each day.  I have registered for a 5K on April 4, and I am stoked!  I have never been excited about doing anything healthy.  It is a new lifestyle and I love this life.

Tonight, I was invited in on an opportunity which I think is amazing, and feel so blessed to have been asked to be a part of.  I have worked hard at finding out who I am over the past few years.  You tend to lose yourself, or really not know who you are until after college.  You are so caught up in working and going to school, and doing what everyone else wants you to do, that you forget to find out what you want to do, or like to do.

After school, I could not even tell people what my hobbies were.  I had not had enough free time to even know what I enjoyed anymore.  I loved to read before, but not the sight of a book made me cringe.  It took me almost two years to pick up a book and read it for fun.  I had read so much throughout my undergrad and my graduate studies that I just wanted to go blank and stare at a TV for hours.  Now, I am finding me, and have spent a good while convincing myself it is okay to put me first for once.

I have been posting a lot of “self-discovery” blogs lately, but I just want people to know that it is okay to put yourself first.   Women tend to put others first, always and forget that they have to take care of themselves as well.  In my plus-sized support group, most of the women are in their 40s and 50s, stating they have forgotten to care for themselves through marriages, children, jobs and so forth.  They are just now realizing how unhealthy they are.  Health is not the only thing that can go to the wayside, happiness, life, and just enjoying the small things tend to be forgotten, and then before you know it, POOF, you realize you lost yourself somewhere along the way.

I am 31, almost 32, single and childless.  I am very thankful for this time in my life.  It is allowing me to focus on me, whereas a few years ago, I was upset and felt like a failure because I ended the relationship I thought was going to be the forever happily ever after.  I fell into a deep depression, I rarely left the house, I slept all of the time, and I was miserable.  Slowly, I came out of my fog, and started venturing out on my own, and realized there is still a life to live.  Even though I hate my job, at the moment, I am blessed to have it.  However, I am so glad I started my journey to fit, because without it, I would not be where I am today.  I have a great group of ladies that I get to communicate, encourage, and see their struggles daily.

Today, I am a happier, healthier me.  I am blessed, and this group, and lifestyle change has opened so many doors for me.  I honestly can say that I have never been happier with myself or with my progress.  I just hope I can motivate, help, and hold hands with other women like myself, that need a little pick me up, or soundboard at some point in their lives.  Women should encourage other women, not put them down.  We are all struggling with our demons, why not help someone through theirs, instead of a *tsk tsk*and a head shake in disappointment or sorrow for them.  Offer a hand to lift them up.  Do not look down on someone unless you are lifting them up.

Journey to the Center of…. ME!

Okay Y’all, I am excited! On my last post, I talked about my new support group and I want to talk about that for a minute. This group is designed for woman – plus-sized women. We as women are all on journeys, and no one’s journey is less important or hard than any other person’s journey. This group focuses on the modification of exercises to help be successful in the workout, and not feeling like you failed because you could not do a burpee. (I will do a burpee by the end of 6 months.) It highlights the non-scale victories, such as I completed 10 minutes of a workout, not this was 20 minute workout and I suck because I could only do 10 minutes. This is a celebratory group, as well as a support group.

I think, we as women tend to see what other women are doing right, or wrong, and focus on this. We tear them down or build them up. In turn, this building up/tearing down makes us feel either like crap, or awesome. That is bad! Stop it! Stop it right now!
We as woman, or people, need to support each other. Life is hard, and it is messy. We all have our ups and our downs, so stop being mean and judgmental of others to either help or hurt yourself and them in the process. SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER!

I find myself being extremely lucky. When I blogged last, I was feeling so low and tired. Today, I realized I had been sick of a month, and I was tired. I hadn’t felt well, and in turn that took it’s emotional toll and had me down in the dumps. This does not mean that I am happy with my current weight situation, of gaining 30 pounds, but it means that I have realized that everyone gets down and that is okay.

I made the comment about I couldn’t remember the last time my boyfriend told me I was pretty. This is true; however, it does not mean that I know he does not. We have been dating for a little over a year and a half; and, let me tell you,if he is still around, that means there is something about me he likes! I am not easy to be around, and he still sticks by my side and encourages me in everything I do. I am so blessed to have him to support and encourage me. Granted, he may be sick on this support group by the end of the month, because I will not shut up about it. (That is how excited I am!)

This blog is more about a check in with me and life in general than anything specific. I was just sitting here reading through all of the threads and comments from the other lovely woman in my group, and I was so overwhelmed with the excitement and eagerness of the group, that I felt as if I needed to update you guys. It is going to be a slow journey, with ups and downs, but I am ready. With my wonderful group of ladies online, my wonderful love, and my friends and family, I CAN do this.

I hope to keep you guys updated on my journey with little tidbits here and there. You know me, I cannot stay off of social media, so I am sure there will be more to come there as well. Also, if you are wondering about my group and what it is about, please feel free to search Coach Tulin. She is amazing, whether you’re a plus-sized lady like myself, or fit as a fiddle, she has great insight and is worth checking out.

Can you be a feminine feminist?

First of all, I want you to ponder this question:  Are you a feminist?  As my friend and I sat at our local coffee shop enjoying our after work lattes, she said to me that she is not a feminist.  I love her, but at that moment it took everything I had not to slap her.  Literally, I even stared at her for a moment, dumbfounded by her statement.  Then I looked her square in the eye and said, “Yes, you are.”

According the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a feminist is defined as: “advocating social, political, legal and economic rights for woman equal to those of me.”  So I ask you again, are you a feminist?  Since I have decided to post on my blog at least, I have been putting this post off.  Why?  I have so much to say about this subject, and yet, I am so passionate about it that I tend to lose my focus.  So I, the person who has no filter, has been sitting on my hands while I craft, edit, re-edit, and mold this into what I really want to say to you.

I read an article, at this website, http://lawflog.com/?p=476, and was infuriated.  Not by the man’s point of view, he has a good one.  However, but by this statement:

And why aren’t feminists saying more about the sexploitation of girls in popular culture? If feminists want a broader audience, maybe they should try expanding their coalition beyond abortion extremists and hairy-legged man-haters. How about promoting a girl’s rights to be a girl, not a sex object?”

I ever commented on my friend’s Facebook post about this, which within seconds of posted, was deleted.  I said that yes, I agree, children should be dressed as children, and while the shorts are too short, and leave nothing to the imagination, why is not one outraged by this man’s choice of wording when describing feminists?  No one, and I mean no one, even commented on it.

I know, as hard as it is to believe, I get carried away by things I am passionate about; however, this is just sad to me.  So many women commented on the article using the Bible and religion as stance against the shorts, and  even had heated arguments over whether religion should be included in this article at all; but no one, (out of 79 posts) not one woman, except myself, even mentioned the feminist stereo-type he threw out there.

This mentality is why people associate feminism as a bad thing.  I am a feminist.  I am proud to be a feminist.  I will butt heads with anyone, male or female, at any given time over any subject.  I am blessed to be able to attend any school of my choice, to wear pants when I want, to vote, to have religious freedoms, to be single, to get to own property, to have to pay taxes even.  I am blessed to have these rights.  This is what feminism has done for you ladies.

Feminism has not made you less of a lady.  I love men.  I do.  I love them.  I love to be held, petted, and even adored by men.  Just one in particular, but that’s not the point.  It makes me feel respected when a man holds a door for me.  It does not make me feel weak or humiliated.  It means that he realizes I am a lady, and he is being a gentleman.  I like when I get dressed up for date night, and I am complimented. (Now, having a man catcall to me has resulted in my speaking in a non-ladylike way to many men in random places; that, men, is not okay.) I like when I get my hair done and it is noticed.  I like when a man picks up the check for me. None is this does not make me a non-feminist.  It makes me a woman.

Somewhere along the way, feminism and feminine have been skewed and confused.  Being feminine, in the words of The Merriam-Webster Dictionary is defined as:

1. Pertaining to a woman or girl;

  1.   Having qualities traditionally ascribed to women, as sensitivity or gentleness.
  2. Effeminate; womanish
  3. Belonging to the female sex, female.”

In none of these descriptions do I see “weak,” or “unequal”.  When I asked my friend why she said she was not a feminist, she said, “Because I believe in traditional roles.  Woman should be at home taking care of the homestead, and men should be out working.”  I nodded, and said I too believed in traditional roles of gender; however, I stilled believed I should receive equal opportunities, jobs, salaries, and so forth.  She spoke up and said she did too.  I smiled, and I said, “Congratulations, you’re a feminist.”

So many women are not educated on what being a feminist really is. Check out the “Huffington Post” article, Meghan Trainor: ‘I Don’t Consider Myself A Feminist’ – http://huff.to/1rlTu5m. This poor girl has not a clue.  For that matter, neither do most men.  Most men, unfortunately, have the same attitude as Mr. Clevenger, the author of the blog above.  Now, please do not take this as a bashing on Mr. Clevenger, everything one says can be misinterpreted, and I pray that I am misinterpreting him.  I just believe it would be sad to have a father that does not support his little girl in every adventure she wishes to take.