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 about shae, badassery, photography, Uncategorized, Writing

One Word 365 “Roar!”

In the past, for the One Word 365 Challenge I’ve chosen words like, “Imagine,” “See,” “Adventure,” and “Hope.” One of my favorites that still resonates is, “Fearless.”

As I’m completing my fiftieth birthday year, it is now almost 2020. I set out to have certain goals met by now, some I’ve just squeezed in at the last minute. I am now living my most authentic life, still evolving and learning, but the most me I’ve ever been.

My word for this coming year is, “Roar!” Now that I feel the most me, the most authentic, it’s time the world heard my voice, my thoughts, my stories (visual, written, and verbal) and my truth.

Stay tuned. You are about to hear me roar!

Roar, by Katy Perry

I got the eye of the tiger
A fighter

Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Posted in Activism, challenge, commentary, community

Blackkklansman

I’ve watched Blackkklansman several times now. Parts of it make me sick, particularly the parts where “Christians” believe white is right and the only color. Harry Belafonte’s part where he recounts several atrocities is particularly strong. One hopes we’ve made progress. Right?

Then a church going white man drives into a crowd to kill people for their assumed religion based on how they look. In Sunnyvale, California. In 2019.

We can do better, America. We need to stand up for each other. Own the past. Change the future.

I still have hope change can happen. May I do my part.

Posted in creativity

IMAGINE THAT

Sitting here on New Year’s Eve again, watching football, burning my bayberry candle (Bayberry candles burned to the socket, bring health to the home and wealth to the pocket!”) I am once again pondering my One Word for the new year. For 2018, it was, “Adventure.”

I did not do as well chronicling my adventures this year. I am without a laptop at home and hunting and pecking with fingers or a stylus on the iPad didn’t seem feasible. I now have a decent bluetooth keyboard and hopefully that will help with my apathy.

From adventures in Disneyland to the skyward reaching pines of Arnold, California, I thoroughly enjoyed this year. I embraced many new things and sought to treat the ordinary as adventures in themselves.

I had a lined piece of paper on my coffee table with 23 words that I started for my One Word search. The last one is the one I’m choosing for 2019. The other 22 will have to wait.

My #ONEWORD365 is “imagine.” So much of my life has changed because I have dared to imagine that my life could be different. I have imagined living my most authentic life, and now here I am. I have imagined that I could tell stories with words and images, and I have. I have imagined that I could make my way in the world, and I have done that as well.

In 2019, I will carry forward all I have imagined and will imagine and execute new dreams and plans. Can you imagine? I can.

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 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 commentary, Ocean, travel, travels, Uncategorized, value

BEACHES

FullSizeRender 3

Work has taken me to Florida again.  This time, I planned a trip to the beach as it will likely rain the rest of the week.  I wanted to get some sand between my toes before I dive into work tomorrow.

After dinner, I sat on the beach for a glorious hour, listening to waves crash and watching a dad bury his two girls in the sand.   I received a text that my parking meter was running low, so I reluctantly headed back to the MINIVAN the rental place gave me.

An old man (and by old, I mean way older than my father), was sitting in a row of chairs in the plaza by himself. He made eye contact so I went over and introduced myself. Carl is no longer able to get down to the ocean. Bad knees, bad hips, bad everything, so he comes down and sits as close to the ocean as he can.

He asked how it was down on the beach and if I put my toes in the water and the sand and what it felt like, so I told him. This particular beach had damp, coarse sand that actually flaked off easier than powdered sand. He thought that was a great description.

We talked some more, then he said, “go while you can. You never know when you won’t be able to feel the sand between your toes anymore.”

He was still smiling, but my heart broke a little bit.  Clearly, he loved the ocean. Those chairs were as close as he was going to get to it at this point in his life as far as he was concerned.

I’m not old by any means, but I know I am at the end of the summer of my life. I can’t imagine a time when I won’t be able to do simple things that give me pleasure, but I know it’s inevitable.

“Enjoy everything while you can,” he reiterated.  “Was it a good trip to the beach?”

Yes, Carl, it was.  Thank you for the reminder that I need to squeeze everything I can out of every moment I can.

 

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?

 

Posted in fearless, Human Rights, politics, Uncategorized, World

LET’S DISCUSS, BUT FIRST, PLEASE INFORM YOURSELF

I’ve tried to stay neutral most of my life – I am a middle child, after all. Lately, however, I find myself neck-deep in discussions about everything from politics to refugees to my views on Human/Equal Rights.

I don’t particularly care what a person’s opinions are, as long as the opinions are informed by more than TV soundbites or sermons.  Recently, I’ve had people argue points about information from documents they haven’t read.

That frustrates me.

I remember years ago someone attacking Harry Potter, insisting that it was an evil story and would lead children to dabble in dark magic.  When I asked this person if they had read Harry Potter, the blank stare told me all I needed to know.  Their opinion had been formed by someone else, from behind a pulpit in fact, and they were merely spouting misinformed rhetoric from someone else who had also not read the series.

Frustration overload.

Fast-forward to 2015 and the current election cycle. Rhetoric abounds. People are re-spouting what their candidate says, blindly following a person down a road without checking the map themselves.

After Donald Trump said we should keep all Muslims out of the US, period, I was shocked at how many seemingly intelligent people parroted this sentiment. I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked.  I’ve been surrounded by people who spout what they’ve been told and taught without challenging the content all my life.  I’ve even been that person myself.

I enjoy our world and its varied viewpoints and ideas.  I enjoy the discourse and the exchange of opinions – from people who can back up their opinions with facts and who have formed their opinion with knowledge and allow room for other opinions at their table.

Sheeple really bother me, I admit it.  When I am discussing a topic – be it controversial, religious, political or otherwise – when a person merely quotes popular rhetoric and has no true opinion of their own, they are like sheep following a shepherd.  I can’t have conversations with people when they can’t back up their rhetoric with anything they themselves could bring to the table.

Recently, a person was saying it’s too easy to get into the US for someone seeking political refuge. When I asked them if they had read the vetting process a person or family goes through to get asylum in the US, they said no. When I said that I had, this person immediately went into a defensive position because deep down they knew they couldn’t win their argument. I was armed with facts, they were armed with rhetoric that may or may not be true.

I spent enough time as a Sheeple that I try to have compassion for those still in the blind-following flock. I know many people who follow a doctrine or idea, but they made that choice with knowledge as well as their heart.  I do not include those people in the Sheeple category.

Sheeple can be controlled by fear tactics and they believe what they are told and they are encouraged not to think for themselves.   I went to a pastor once and asked him about something he said in a sermon.  I couldn’t find what he said in the Bible and that concerned me because he had said that’s where he got his information from.

He said:

It’s not your job to think for yourself. How dare you challenge me? It’s my job to tell you what this Book says.  It’s your job to believe what I interpret from this Book!  Why do you even carry that Book with you? I am the pastor – I interpret what it says and you follow it!

That is a true story. It happened to me. I left that church not long after. Sadly, many people did exactly as he said. They didn’t open their Bibles and read it for themselves. They followed his leadership 100% without question.  When I questioned him, word spread quickly and I was old-school shunned. I was dangerous.

I had a difficult time fitting into ministry positions because I was a woman and because I questioned what I was being told nearly 100% of the time. I finally had to leave the institution behind so I could do actual ministry without having to defend and excuse my gender or my brain.

I am in charge of changing my mind. I fact-gather. I ponder. I examine all sides of an idea. I make up my own mind. I will reiterate what I’ve said many times – I don’t care what you believe as long as it’s your belief.  If you have gathered facts, wrestled with what your belief really means, and your belief is truly yours and not someone else’s you and I could likely have a civil conversation – if your goal isn’t  to change my mind or win.

Changing this woman’s mind… that’s another discussion.