Posted in about shae, badassery, fearless, relationships

Because I’m Worth It

One year someone said they pitied me for being alone on my birthday and not having anyone to buy me flowers or jewelry or whatever they thought a birthday gift should be.

Let me set the record straight. Again.

I’m never truly alone. I’ve had dozens of well wishes and phone calls. I was with a bunch of ladies at the salon this morning. I had great convos at Starbucks and with the nice lady at Smallcakes. Yesterday I talked with my Bestie for two hours. I’m also very fine company all by myself. Don’t worry, I’m good.

As for gifts… I buy myself flowers and not just on my birthday. They are always my favorites. I buy myself some fine jewelry, and it’s always exactly what I wanted. I’m particularly fond of my new rainbow topaz ring and matching earrings.

I know being alone on any given day makes most people uncomfortable. I am not one of those people. While I enjoy the company of many, I am just as happy going out by myself, whether that be for coffee, dinner, a movie or shopping.

If you are someone who waits for someone else to pamper you or buy you gifts, I hope you have someone in your life to do that for you so you do not remain in a constant state of disappointment. If you are there, by yourself, may I suggest making yourself happy. Buy the flowers. Get the ring. Treat yourself to a manipedi.

I’m worth it. Someday I hope you know that you are, too.

Posted in Activism, advocate, fearless, safe

THE TRAUMA OF ME TOO

Regardless of your political affiliation or personal feelings about sexual assault victims or trauma, please consider all the people whose abuse or trauma still hides in the shadows, in their traumatized hearts and minds.

You may not know you are standing next to a sexual assault victim, that you’ve known this person for decades and they’ve never summoned the courage to tell you their truth.

Sexual assault is more common than you might think. People are afraid to come forward for a myriad of reasons. It’s complicated.

You don’t know.

You may not know that you know their abuser and to you, he may appear to be the most faithful family man you’ve ever think you’ve known. You’d never believe it because that hasn’t been your experience with that person. But he, too, has a secret he won’t tell.

You don’t know.

You may not know that when you roll over at night and put your arm around the person you love, that they’ve pushed their pain down so far they can’t even put to words what happened to them, so it remains buried, at least until the triggering event comes along to where everything explodes like a messy science fair volcano.

You don’t know.

All I ask is that you consider your words when speaking of this kind of trauma. You never know who is listening and what they’ve had to, or still are dealing with. I know one too many sexual assault survivors and the last couple of years have been traumatic for them, and this past week has been especially tough.

You don’t know.

To any sexual assault survivors out there still hiding in the shadows, if you need a safe place, let me know, because…I know.

Posted in Activism, advocate, commentary, community, Equality, fearless, feminism, Uncategorized, World

NEVERTHELESS, I PERSIST

Yesterday was another day of political upheaval here in the United States. I am 48 years young but I’ve never seen (or was too young to really remember) anything like the baffling regression of the American spirit like I’ve witnessed over the past 18 months or so.

I will say this and leave it right here: I believe in equality for everyone. Everyone. Progress has been made the past decade to close many gaps for many different people groups and I refuse to let any group in this country try to drag us back to the dark ages of closed-minded thinking.

With that out in the ether I’ll add this: I’m ashamed of the president and what he’s stirred up in this country and continues to allow with no intelligent comment or rebuke. I have a great admiration for presidents past, and I hope to have a president I can admire and be proud of and respect again, but 45 is not that president. I have great respect for the office of the president, but I do not respect the current president. I can and will make that distinction for the duration of his term. If you voted for him, that is your right, but please don’t try to defend him or your choice. I am tired of that conversation. It’s done.

My heart hurts for the family that lost a sweet daughter yesterday. All she was doing was protesting a hate group. Peacefully. She believed in the diversity and love of all in America and she was marching to show this hate group that she still believed we could all get along, that there was room enough at her table for all. This hate group cannot stand that thought, and one man from that group took it upon himself to violently end her life and injure many others because people like her are trying to put other beliefs, thoughts and color into his whitewashed world.

I believe I am fortunate to be surrounded by a wondrously varied group of people every day. I work for an international company in the most diverse city in America. I work with people who were not born in this country who came here for freedom and chose the US and became citizens. Some are just here for a few years or months, others’ parents or grandparents came here and brought their rich cultures to the greatest melting pot in the world.

I navigate a number of cultures, religions, belief systems, biases and dissimilarities every single day. Harmony, even when there are notable differences, can be achieved if everyone allows their worldview to be wide enough to consider that not everyone was raised the same, believes the same, or wants the same outcomes for their lives.

I still don’t understand the notion of making America great again (MAGA), as if America wasn’t already great. It seems to me that the MAGA directive for the 45 supporter is to regress back to the idea that one way is the only way, which is anchored in ignorance and fear.

I wholeheartedly believe that America’s diversity is its strength. When hate groups march (which is their right as long as they are peaceful) and preach that they want to keep America the way it is or was (for them) they miss the point. America has always been diverse. America has always been a haven for all. These groups have just isolated themselves so much that they are afraid of what and whom they don’t know or understand. Rather than build a bridge, they want to vote everyone else off their very small-minded island.

I’ve lived in Houston 23 years now. I went from a small town in Indiana where most people looked, talked and thought like me to the most diverse and culture rich city in America. I am all the better for it. I understand so much more of the world because the world is here all around me and it is a wondrous assortment of people. If MAGA means isolation, hatred, racism, and a white’s only attitude, I want no part of it.

After the events yesterday in Charlottesville, I was a bit disheartened to say the least. America feels like it is sliding backward, and I feel like a small minority of hatred is going to suck me down with it. I can’t let that happen, but I don’t always know what I can do.

I become overwhelmed with the vastness of the pervasive hatred that some humans have against other humans simply because they are not disciples of the same ethos or they have a different color of skin. What can one person do to turn the tide?

I was reminded today to do something I already try to do – reach one person at a time. Learn as much as I can about our differences and use every opportunity to lift that person up. If that person needs an ally, I will stand with them. I will celebrate everything that makes them unique, because I also thrive when my uniqueness is noted and celebrated.

It really does boil down to treating others as you yourself want to be treated.

Nevertheless, I persist.

Posted in fearless, femininity, feminism, music, Uncategorized

CHAINED TO THE RHYTHM

I really like this song! The lyrics are wonderful, and I was not surprised to see that this was one of Sia’s offerings to another artist.

Let the words sink in. I will never fit into the picket-fence utopia and once I stopped trying to do so, I was much happier!

Chained to the Rhythm by Katy Perry (Video)
Are we crazy
Living our lives through a lens
Trapped in our white-picket fence
Like ornaments
So comfortable, we live in a bubble, a bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, the trouble
Aren’t you lonely
Up there in utopia
Where nothing will ever be enough?
Happily numb
So comfortable, we live in a bubble, a bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, the trouble

Ah, so good
Your rose-colored glasses on
And party on

Turn it up, it’s your favorite song
Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
Turn it up, keep it on repeat
Stumbling around like a wasted zombie
Yeah, we think we’re free
Drink, this one is on me
We’re all chained to the rhythm
To the rhythm to the rhythm

Turn it up, it’s your favorite song
Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
Turn it up, keep it on repeat
Stumbling around like a wasted zombie
Yeah, we think we’re free
Drink, this one is on me
We’re all chained to the rhythm
To the rhythm to the rhythm

Are we tone deaf?
Keep sweeping it under the mat
Thought we can do better than that
I hope we can
So comfortable, we live in a bubble, a bubble
So comfortable, we can’t see the trouble, the trouble

Aha, so good (so good)
Your rose-colored glasses on
And party on

Turn it up, it’s your favorite song
Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
Turn it up, keep it on repeat
Stumbling around like a wasted zombie
Yeah, we think we’re free
Drink, this one is on me
We’re all chained to the rhythm
To the rhythm to the rhythm

Turn it up, it’s your favorite song
Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
Turn it up, keep it on repeat
Stumbling around like a wasted zombie
Yeah, we think we’re free
Drink, this one is on me
We’re all chained to the rhythm
To the rhythm to the rhythm

It is my desire
Break down the walls to connect, inspire
Ay, up in your high place, liars
Time is ticking for the empire
The truth they feed is feeble
As so many times before
They greed over the people
They stumbling and fumbling and we’re about to riot
They woke up, they woke up the lions (woo!)

Turn it up, it’s your favorite song
Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
turn it up, keep it on repeat
Stumbling around like a wasted zombie
Yeah, we think we’re free
Drink, this one is on me
We’re all chained to the rhythm
To the rhythm to the rhythm

It goes on, and on, and on (turn it up )
It goes on, and on, and on
It goes on, and on, and on
(It goes on) ’cause we’re all chained to the rhythm

Written by Sia Furler, Max Martin, Katy Perry, Ali Payami, Skip Marley • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Posted in fearless, photography, Push, see, Uncategorized

ONE WORD 2017

Last year, I chose the word, “Push” for my One Word challenge.  Push did not affect me like fearless did, though I did push through many challenges in 2016.  I have decided that it is time for a new word, a new focus.

I have chosen “see” as my word for 2017.  See encompasses so much simply by definition. I will see with my eyes, my heart, my soul, through words and photographs and so much more.

What is your one word?

 

Posted in education, fearless, Uncategorized

THE CASE FOR COLLEGE

Yesterday, a friend of mine was told it was time to apply for graduation for her associate’s degree. She was so happy I’m surprised she didn’t float away from jumping up and down with joy.

She would be considered a non-traditional student. She has worked hard – working full-time while going to school.  Some mornings she is so tired she can hardly hold her head up, but she is doing all of this so she can be/do/work at something that requires a certain level of education.

I definitely was celebrating with her, not necessarily for earning the degree, but for having that “whatever it takes” attitude, setting a goal and achieving it.

I won’t lie.  College attendance was an expectation for me – not an option.  The money was not there, but I was going regardless of the obstacles.  The other expectation put upon me was that I would become a teacher because one could always find work as a teacher while I waited to get married and graduate to stay at home motherhood.

None of those expectations were mine, but I set out to live up to them.

I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I was good at writing, so I pursued that and had no idea what job would materialize later to justify it.  Turns out, through my liberal arts pursuits, I found I was good at a great many things and still they wanted me to choose ONE thing to be good at for the rest of my life.

Last night, I wrote the following after I’d given my college days some thought.

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 10.32.43

I do believe that college debt is a big deal and students should have a better idea of why they are going to college and what they are going to do with that degree before they attend – some may not need to attend right away or at all.  That said, I believe college was so much more than a degree for me.

That said, I believe college was so much more than a degree for me.  I pull knowledge from my English literature, writing, music business, and other courses often, but I pull from the life lessons, life choices, and life skills just as often or more.

I consider my degree one of my greatest accomplishments and because I have that under my belt, I know I can accomplish much more!

Posted in about shae, fearless, strangers, travel

I TALK TO STRANGERS

I think almost every parent tells their children, “Don’t talk to strangers.” We are taught that strangers are dangerous, can hurt us, abduct us, or worse. That “stranger danger” feeling often follows us into adulthood.

I was asked this week how I handle eating alone, traveling alone, being alone. It was an honest inquiry from someone who has recently moved away from family and friends and is on their own more than they ever have been.

Almost a decade ago, I tried an experiment, starting out small, and eventually adding to it – I challenged myself to talk to strangers whenever I left the apartment. Now, talking to strangers is second nature to me. I do it all the time.

Monday, on my way to Fort Lauderdale, I was in line to board the plane with a man named Glenn, also from Houston. We had a great conversation and went our separate ways.

This morning, I found out a coworker, also in Fort Lauderdale, was taking the same flight home as I was. She has been taking many trips back and forth from Houston to Fort Lauderdale the past few months. When we were in line to board the plane, we both saw Glenn.  He had seen her quite a few times at the airport, and he thought it was wild that she and I knew each other and we were all on the same flight home.

I saw him on the plane in the last row.  I was a few rows ahead.  When we landed, he all of a sudden was right behind me like some sort of airplane aisle ninja.  He said goodbye to me and my coworker and we all went our separate ways.

We saw each other again at baggage claim and he exclaimed, “OH MY GAWD YOU STALKER!” and we started laughing.  We talked a bit, and as we parted he said, “see you around Airport Dweller.”  His wife pulled up and they both waved and merged into traffic.

I think I’d find it incredibly funny if I ever saw him again.  He’s about to start working quite a bit on the West Coast.

If I didn’t make a point of talking to strangers, I wouldn’t have had the conversations and laughs I had today.  I have a whole list of stories I now have to tell because I went out of my comfort zone to cultivate conversations with strangers.

Try it. One stranger. One person at the mall or the grocery store. Your dry cleaner. The lady who sells hotdogs at the ballpark. Most people will be open to a sentence or two.

Add to your story.  Talk to strangers!

 

Posted in advocate, badassery, fearless, Push, Uncategorized

A CALL TO BADASSERY

The flood of New Year’s Resolution posts has begun. Every year, people pledge to lose weight, get a better job, etc. Resolutions are usually made to strive toward a better quality of life.

I stopped making resolutions (that I would usually not keep) and have instead resolved to make a better life for myself, period.

My resolve boils down to this single truth – life is what I make of it. I choose, every day, to make my life the best life I can, no matter what that entails.

Some days my best life requires more exercise or better eating, or down time or creative time. Other days, my best life requires me to rise above myself and my self-imposed limitations.

Every day, my best life requires me to be a Badass, regardless if I feel like I am or not.

Instead of making resolutions or goals that will fall by the wayside before the last Valentine’s Day chocolate has been eaten, why not choose to heed your call to badassery and live your best life every day?

Following a call to badassery is both as easy and as difficult as you may think.  A call to badassery can be as free as a pursuit as any and it can cost you everything.  Stressful? Sometimes. Worth it? You bet.

My bestie, during our Badassery Advocate planning session when I was on vacation in California, looked me square in the eye and said, “First you have to find your ‘why’.”

My ‘why’ at least as it pertains to Badassery Advocate, is every person out there who feels stuck, complacent, unchallenged, weak, hopeless, on the brink, or lost.  I see so many potential Badasses, people who are Badasses deep inside, are about to realize their badassery, and I want to help anyone who wants to find, expose and live as the badass they are.

You are my ‘why.’

Badassery Advocate is still taking shape and will continue to do so.  There is no separation of who I am personally vs. who I am on Badassery Advocate. This fact has made it difficult for me to keep up with the separate Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts for BA, but I will do better – because I am a Badass!

I look forward to journeying with you as you heed your call to badassery!

Find me on Facebook at Badassery Advocate, Twitter at @badasseryadvo and Instagram at BadasseryAdvocate.

Posted in fearless, Push, Uncategorized

ONE WORD

push

I’ve read articles about choosing one word to guide you through a year. I’ve had “life words,” that have carried me through periods of my life, like “hope,” and “fearless.”  “Fearless” will still be with me as I move forward. It’s still my primary life word.

That said, I decided to choose one word  as a focus point for 2016. I wrote a list this morning that included words like, “thrive,” “purpose,” “beyond,” and “dare.” “Dare” almost won, but I finally settled on “push” because once I wrote it down, the word would not leave my mind.

Push” resonated with me – it implies that force is needed. Push/pushing involves strength and risk and effort. For me, to push is a challenge that must be met with intention.

Several areas of my life need a push. Health, finances, career, creativity are the four main areas, but there are certainly more.  I need to push boundaries, limitations, and expectations – both mine and others’.

I am by no means comfortable with/in my life, but I’ve certainly grown complacent. Due to health issues I’ve had, I feel like I’ve rested enough. To be honest, I feel a bit stuck.  Time to push.

What is your One Word for 2016?