Monday, July 18, 2011

Momma, don't let your babies grow up to be.... Gang memebers!

Oh the summer is at an eye's end.... unfortunately. For me, that means going back to school and of course going back to traveling. For those of you that keep up with me, you know that I travel back and forth every other week to work in Wittenburg, WI at a treatment center for children and adolescents. So here I am getting a head of myself and researching about what I need to prepare myself for when I head back to Wittenburg in the fall. So, what is it? What is one of the biggest things I need to research? Well, that would be gang activity in the Midwest, and Wisconsin in general. Unfortunately, gang activity is on the rise in this state and most of the kids I work with, are facilitating with a gang or are interested in gang activity. Boo! For myself and many people around me, we are unaware and uneducated as to how bad gang activity is in our poor cheese-loving state.

What is a "Gang"? --- some of you are probably thinking... duh, we know what gangs are... well, do you? There are a lot of people that think they do... but you'd be surprised.

-Street gangs can be defined as a group of three or more people that form an allegiance, whether formal or informal, which meets the following criteria:

- Common name or identifiers, (i.e. tattoos, clothing/colors, symbols, hand-signs, etc.) --watch out for this.... the kids I work with are pretty sneaky when it comes to symbols and colors... you'd be surprised if you really paid attention to people every day.

- Has member or associates who, individually or collectively, engage or have

engaged in criminal activity, to further the purpose of the gang.

Two of the major "Nation" gangs that are in Wisconsin are: Folk Nation, and People Nation.

Some of the gangs that are represented as "Folk Nation" are:

Black Gangster Disciples                    
Latin Disciples
Black Disciples                                        
Maniac Latin Disciples
Gangster Disciples                                   
SimonCity  Royals
Imperial Gangsters                                
Spanish Gangster Disciples
La Raza                                                       
Two Sixers
Spanish Cobras                                        
Latin Eagles

Some of the major gangs that area affiliated with "People Nation" gangs are:
Latin Kings
Spanish Lords
El Rukns
Black P Stones
Latin Counts
Mickey Cobras

The Latin Kings are the oldest and largest Hispanic-led street gang in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Kenosha area.

Now… Why am I writing this blog about gangs?  Your answer: To raise awareness about children activity in gangs. 


According to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, youth gangs have about 772,000 members nationwide, with half of them being teens under 18. That equates to about 1.6% of 13- to 17-year-olds in the U.S.  That is a lot…. And CAN be prevented.  The numbers are astonishing and increasing EVERY DAY. What is it about gangs that are so appealing to children? Gangs offer identity which a child may not have felt he or she had before. Gangs also offer belonging, protection, money, sex, and status. The majority of the children who become involved in such groups as gangs usually don't have a sense family or belonging to anyone, are lonely, are looking for friends, or take after their parents gang activity and involvement.   

So parents, don’t let  your babies grow up to be…. Gang members.   :/

Friday, July 8, 2011

L.O.V.E Language of Various Emotions.

              The other day I was bartending my little booty off and after a long 15 hour day I was ready to go home. I started to close up the bar and noticed a couple about my parents age walking in... (or stumbling would be a better way to put it). I growled to myself, rolled my eyes and was tempted to tell them "Sorry we're closed" just as they were walking in.... good customer service right?? Well, when they walked in the door and just as those words were about to roll off my tongue, my inner spirits told me no. I instantly felt this overwhelming feeling when I watched them sit at the bar and my bad energy had left my body. I served them their bud lights and shots of tequila and just watched them. Sounds creepy... but I was infatuated with how this couple used their nonverbal language to express their compassion towards each other. After watching them like a stalker person..  I asked them how long they  have been together and the woman said with a drunken stumbled voice "33 amazing years and I wouldn't be alive without him today."  I must of given them a distraught look of some kind because he looked at me and said "this is my baby's day out, she was just cleared of stage 4 breast cancer" and a tear rolled down his cheek.  I instantly felt a lump growing in my throat. The lady then proceeded to tell me about her treatment and how hard it was and that she couldn't thank her husband enough because he was there for it all.  Holding her hand through chemo and every appointment along the way.  I was in awe over them and their amazing story.  I have never in my (almost) 24 years of life, witnessed a love like this... where the energy completely fills the room and everyone in it.  There were tears of joy and happiness between them that just instantly made me so incredibly happy.  I believe that God, (or whatever you believe in) was not ready to take her because their love was so strong and compassionate that they need to be the proof to people that "true love" still does exist.  The population of people today is so confused as to what love is, that so many of us take it for granted.. or look for it in all the wrong places.  I'm no expert on love, but I am learning and I am willing to learn and give it a chance. 

         Recently, there have been (oddly enough) some bizarre love triangles in my life, that involve myself as a person... but not myself (as in my own heart... well, I am involved with someone and VERY happy about it... but he is not part of the situation I'm referring to).  After meeting the couple, I started to play some of these situations out in my head.  It seems like so many people (people I know) are just so desperate for a love like this that they look for love in all the wrong places and wrong reasons... or they stay with someone because they think they are "happy" or they feel like they "have to" and are just plain scared of being alone.  So, I started to brainstorm... because I do need to vent a little... and this is my reasoning why people end up in unhappy relationships:

             1.)  "I don't want to have to start over again"  -- to me this spells out "Lazy".  Granted, there can indeed be some insecurity issues here, but really... it's all about laziness.  Even if the relationship falls short of expectations, it's often just way too comfortable, and harder to leave.  Truth be told, staying in stale and faded relationships can literally turn into being a matter of continuing to wake up doing the exact same thing that went on yesterday, and fighting about the exact same thing you fought about last week rather than taking action.... that right there, is true procrastination.  Ask yourself, do you want to be happy?
              2.) You like what they "Represent".  -- this right here folks, is one of the most common aspects of a failed relationship.  I have seen this happen to so many people, so many close friends.  If you are having a hard time finding your perfect "type" of person... you may not know yourself.  One of the best ways to start improving your life and any situation you’re in – whether it’s a relationship with a man/woman or any other potentially great and important situation – is to find amazing resources and information that will help you quickly GROW and LEARN.  After getting to know yourself, you will be more aware as to what kind of person you could see yourself with and not what they represent.  Take a mini vacation to yourself, give your heart a break and let your spirit lead the way. 
              3.)  Filling the "emptiness"-- If you are staying in a relationship or looking for a relationship to ease the emptiness inside you, the harsh reality is that no relationship is ever going to completely fill you up.  Once the easy emotional connection and satisfaction of honeymoon love wears off, you could find that you're not filled up after everything you've been through and soon your partner won't be good enough for you or possibly feel good enough.  This void or empty spot is the very thing that makes you so vulnerable to the wrong relationships in the first place.  It will lead you to get involved not because a man/woman or relationship is right for you, but because you are driven to fill the "emptiness".  Patience truly is a virtue, and if you wait... good things will come. 
           There's probably 600 more reasons I could come up with but for now these are the ones that stick out in my head the most.  If you are in a relationship, or looking for the perfect relationship... or want the compassionate love like the couple I referred to, take a step out of your box.... it may be hard, but it's not the end of the world and if you stay positive... you will find happiness. 
Ta ta for now. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why Illinois & I Became Friends.

                Illinois and I didn't always get along. There were constant disputes between us,
  • 1.) I always blamed that state for stealing my mom away from me and making her so far away. My mom moved there to be with the love of her life (who I also love very much so I'm thankful for that) but damn it just sucks that she's so far away.
  • 2.) Illinois has terrible roads. If I wanted my tires to fall off I would just go bajaing in my back yard. Don't forget the tolls. GOOD LORD. If I wanted to drive into a death trap..well, I wouldn't really want to.
  • 3.) The drivers are just plain mean. Cutting you off, not using blinkers and of course "giving you the bird".
             However, despite all these crappy things about the state.... I have learned a lot of good things. A lot of great things actually. When my mom first moved to Elwood, IL about 3-4ish years ago.. she developed a family with her friends and neighbors. At first, I felt inferior that my mom (who didn't live by me anymore) was taking these other people (adults and kids) as her own blood. I was sour for a long, long time. I missed my mom, and I was young and I didn't have half the open heart as I do now. I was probably a tad bit jealous as well... just a little though.  A year or two went by, and I decided it was about damn time I let these people into my heart. I had heard over and over again about all the people my mom spent all her time with, so I figured well... if she likes them so much, there must be something really special about them.
           SO.... I met them. I remember the first time I met them like it was yesterday. They took my sister and I in like we were their family, their blood.  They never once judged us for who we are, how we were raised, or where we came from.  Both of them greeted us with hugs, and it was family at first  sight.  Literally.  Let me advise you, family is very very very important to me, the one you were born into may or may not be perfect, but they are perfect for you.  The family that you create may or may not be perfect either, but they were sent into your life for a reason. If these people are in your life for a reason, then let that reason benefit you, teach you, or educate you in some shape or form.  All of my family, blood or not... are there for a lifetime and going to be held tight, because good people can be hard to find.
              A tree may grow many branches, some grow old, some fall off, and some get ugly. But at the bottom of your tree there are only a few roots, and those roots are the ones that hold it all together those are the ones that you nurture so they can keep blossoming

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chapter 12?

Time seems to fly by so fast lately, it seems like my family just got done pushing all the kids through high school, and now the rotation of pushing is through college.  Over this past weekend, a celebration was being thrown for my sister, Michelle, who has completed her college career at UW River Falls.  She has come so far in her life, and I envy her every day for the hard work she has done.  

However, for such worthy celebrations like this.. it brings our family together in a way that absolutely drives me batty, but also makes me so thankful that I have each and every person in my life.  I feel very grateful that I get along so well with each person in my family, both individually and collectively.  The interesting thing about this is that we are all complete opposites of each other.  We each have our own unique ways of expressing ourselves and interacting with this world that we have all created together.  

Even though I get a long with everyone, not everyone gets a long with each other.  Which is basically a given answer when you live in a blended family with 5 kids.  I have four siblings, 3 beautiful sisters and an older very wise brother.  I have one "blood" sister- the rest are "step".. if you want to categorize it.  I don't like to look at my family as step and segregated (even though I feel like we have fallen into this "segregation").  I have grown up with these people, and ultimately each and everyone of them have some how shaped me into who I am today. I simply don't have enough words to go around saying how much each individual in my family means to me, whether we are close or not.  

Like most families, my family and I have numerous areas and subjects where we strongly disagree with each other and feel or perceive things differently.  Over the past 6 years, I have realized very quickly that it does not help me or them to spend any time or energy complaining or arguing about our differences, I usually choose to let it go, however not all of us are like that.  After all, it is not my role or desire to convince anyone of anything or change anyone because...well, that is what makes us unique after all.  Instead, I consciously choose to only focus on the ares and subjects where my family and I are compatible and harmonious with each other.  I TRY to focus on the good and ignore all of the rest.  But, (there is always a "but" isn't there?).. there comes a point where the judgement that is formed between parents and siblings... siblings and siblings.. however, where ever, whenever- can just be disgusting to me, especially when people can change.  Understand that everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect, I truly believe that people can change.  If you have someone who has many things going wrong, or went wrong and only have one thing go right, beat the drum of what's going right, and let that be your point of attraction.  If you focus upon their problems, you achieve vibrational harmony with something other than the source that gives you a solution.  I love everyone in my family, each person as their own individual.. and I can't even touch on the hurt that I feel when I know that not everyone in my family can love each other the way I love them. I'm not trying to change anyone, or cause a fight (which I know someone will read this and call someone and then someone is going to get mad..blah blah blah)..Not my intention.  I'm just trying to show my opinion.  

Another thing I have realized is that my time and energy are best spent on things that support me and make me feel good.  Talking negatively about others in the family does not feel good.  In my point of view, it is an "us vs. Them" mentality.  If I am attacking another member of the family, I am, in truth, only attacking myself and subsequently, activating negative vibrations within me.  I am guilty of this, we all are... 

Despite these emotions I'm feeling and no matter how upset I get with one of them, or all of them... I love them unconditionally.  What if you have a "grievance" against one, or all of the members in your family?  Well, my drastic recommendation... Forgive them.  Just because you forgive someone, it doesn't mean that you have to do lunch with them.   

This blog isn't about creating a negative space between us, it's about showing my personal feelings on certain things.  Even though I know half of my family won't read this because "blogging and internet stuff is stupid" (which I was told this weekend... haha oh well, yet another difference).  Just in case, I love you all.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ode to my Momma

I know time together is the best gift I can give you, right? Since that isn’t possible today… I thought this Mother’s Day I’d share some of the things you’ve given me…

Growing up, you have influenced me in how you were raised, and all the hard things you had to go through and fight for things in your life in ways that I will never know how…

I know that you had to go through some tough stuff.. getting a divorce, coming out as gay… I know that a lot of terrible things were said to you when I was young.  But there hasn’t been a day in my life where I haven’t looked up to you, thought of you as the most beautiful and intelligent mom with amazing grace and determination.

And I know that I wasn’t the easiest child to raise: a free spirit, a mind of my own, strange, and precocious …are all ways of saying “Duh….major pain in the ass”.  Although tough, somehow you were always there and able to fulfill and nurture all my needs and interests-through art, dance, travel, music, horses.. and a whole lot of patience. 

And I know Happiness is truly what we make it..

And I know we have had our differences and sometimes we don’t always see eye-to-eye on things, but you were the one that taught me to have a mind of my own  ;)

And I know that rich life isn’t measured with millions of dollars..

And I know that everything I’m confident about in myself comes from you.  My features, my eyes, my ability to laugh and smile at myself, my creativity.  You taught me everything about life and taught me how to love myself, simply because you love me.  You have guided me into my own independence, you trust my opinions and always have an open mind to hear what I have to say.  You always listen to me and allow me to make my own mistakes, and you have never judged me.  Had I been completely sheltered from life… I would never learn, and when life pushes me around, you are always there for me and continually giving me strength to push back, and surprisingly, I’ve always pulled through.  And you have taught me that even though I’m 23 years old, it’s ok to cry when I miss my mom.  It is ok to cry anytime. 

And I know that beauty is all around us every where we go, but we still must seek it out and create it.

To be able to put into words how much you mean to me, would be the equivalent of me trying to fill the grand canyon with single grains of sand.  You are my hero.

Happy Mothers Day.  I will always thank you for who I am. 

I love you mom.

She's never pulled anyone from a burning building
She's never rocked Central Park to a half a million fans, screaming out her name
She's never hit a shot to win the game
She's never left her footprints on the moon
She's never made a solo hot air balloon ride, around the world,
No, she's just your everyday average girl (but)

She's somebody's hero
A hero to her baby with a skinned up knee
A little kiss is all she needs
The keeper of the cheerios
The voice that brings Snow White to life
Bedtime stories every night
And that smile lets her know
She's somebody's hero

(Song lyrics from Jamie O'Neal, "Somebody's Hero")

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Yesterday I saw Happiness.

            Yesterday after work, I decided to venture my way over to walmart to pick up some new workout dvds.  In the process, I found myself running through the store in my high heals, tripping over my dress and becoming very impatient with the people around me.  As I finally made it to the registers, of course there were only two lanes open for checkout, and probably 10 customers in each line.  I stood there focused on how bad my feet hurt from wearing massive high heals for 8 hours at work and  I swear I could feel the steam boiling out of my skin.  I was standing in line, legs shaking and minding my own business when I felt a stampede roll up behind me.  It was a family of 5, mom, dad, and 3 kids... who looked as dirty as the bottom of my feet probably did.  The smell of cigarettes was so strong I almost had to hold my breath and as I browsed the kids, the two little girls had pink streaks in their hair and arms full of left over Easter candy.  Just as I was about to form an opinion on these parents, one of the girls started to tug on my shoulder bag to grab my attention.  She looked at me with these big beautiful blue eyes and instantly my heart grew warm, she then said to me "Your earrings are very beautiful, my mom said you look like an angel"-- I instantly felt tears in my eyes.  Suddenly I forgot about my feet and how bad they hurt, I forgot about the line I was waiting in and I found myself sharing the warmth given to me with this family.  It brought a new meaning of "happiness" to my attention-- to see how close this family is, and how happy they are... the love that was clearly shown between them. The little girl started to tell me about her imaginary heroic friend, while snapping her gum and brushing her messy pink hair out of her face. I found myself so focused and intrigued by her that a bomb could of went off in the store and I wouldn't of even known.   Soon, it was my turn to check out, I was so taken by this family that it was hard for me not to go up and hug them, and thank them for just being there... standing next to me in the walmart line. 
          Walking out of the store, I pondered the thought of happiness and it reminded me of all the unfortunate things I had to go through recently.  Over the weekend, I took the time to myself to think about how I was going to move on and find happiness. It always seems as if every time life is about to begin for me (real life)-- some kind of obstacle, something I have to get through, some kind of unfinished business, time to be served, debt to be paid off.... something happens.  Then yesterday happened.  Yesterday it dawned on me that these are all just obstacles in my life, that's all they are.  There is no way to happiness, happiness IS the way.  It is a journey and not a destination.  Happiness IS the experience of living this life given to us, fully in these moments and exploring all of these moments and what they have to offer, good or bad.  Maybe it had be that I met this family and realized this about myself,  but I thank them for it. 
                           "How you handle this moment .. and the next .. and the next ..will determine whether you will experience happiness today, tomorrow ..or never."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Traveling Alone? Don't mind if I do!

I don't know what it is about me that makes me so comfortable being by myself.  Maybe it's my Independence?  Maybe I just like experiencing things by myself.   Over the past couple years, I've been adventurous and curious about different states, the world... culture in general.  I am always wanting to throw a dart at a map and just go, but there is always trouble finding someone who is as willing as I, to travel... and experience what I want to experience.  So, last summer I just decided to pack up my things and go to Colorado.  Granted, I have family there... but that's a long journey for a girl by herself.  However, it was one of the best journey experiences I've had.  Traveling solo is the ultimate freedom. The itinerary you set and all the decisions you make are your creations without concern or acquiescence to any other person or group. In other words.. No compromises. No arguments, and my personal favorite...NO second-guessing.

Traveling by myself is the ultimate confidence builder as well, and that's exactly what I need right now.  I am a confident and impulsive person... but sometimes when things bring you down, it's hard to focus on anything else.  Last summer, being a couple hundred miles away from home and hardly feeling lonely, I was never scared, and never unsure of anything.  In retrospect, I realize the great value of that small journey for a new found confidence was born in me. You learn you can solve problems, get over the blues, and find hidden treasures all by yourself.  I'm in the works of planning a trip out west again however this time around I'll be making a lot of stops and just spending time with myself... and frankly,  There’s nothing nicer than returning from a solo trip and facing the people who said you’d never be able to pull it off.  The most important factor to me while planning a trip alone is my own sense of independence.

Thomas Jefferson once said: "One travels more usefully when alone because he reflects more." It's true: you have abundant time for contemplating, even vegetating, or anything you want. A day long visit to one museum? No problem. A long hike on a trail fraught with danger? Not an issue. You don't have to deal with someone else's mood swings, ---nor they with yours.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My blog is screaming at me for an update...

Here I go again, boycotting my blog... again.  I don't know whether it's the fact that I have slim to no time, or that I'm avoiding my blog because of everything that's going on in my life right now.  I think part of my problem is that when I write something down, it's like a reality check.  It's real.  Frankly, I don't like some of the things going on in my life right now, therefore I don't like to think of it being "real"... even though it is real.  Ugh.

So here's what I've been  up to....(besides procrastinating my 15 page paper due soon...)

I'm still having certain situations with coworkers, but when this girl lays down the law.... it's not about play time anymore.  I don't want to go down that road right now, because work is going good... and of course I don't want to jinx myself.

I'm still a vegetarian.  So many people had doubts that I wouldn't last this long but... TA DA!  I still am.  And I enjoy it.  Although I haven't been a vegetarian very long, I've probably answered the question "why are you a vegetarian?" about 25 million times.  I am constantly finding myself explaining and justifying my reasons for choosing to be a vegetarian.  However, I do still eat fish.  Some people think that's a cheat, I think of it as.. baby steps.  It's hard for a person who has grown up in America, the meat-eating country.  I do intend to eventually go vegan, but for now it's one step at a time.  Besides, I really do care about the environment and the world, and big meat companies are TERRIBLE for the environment.  Also, I believe in nonviolence.  And slaughter isn't.  I do still hunt, of course.  I'm sure you are all wondering about that and how I can still hunt and be a vegetarian.  In this part of the country, hunting is needed, if we don't have hunters we have over population.  That means animals being killed on the roads, and screwing up the whole chain of life.  I know that I am doing good when I am taking part in controlling the population.  I believe in profit and giving, and that's where my meat goes.  There are many more families that need that meat, so I will donate it to those in need.

I am now alcohol free.  Yup, this party girl has decided to make another big life change.  Don't read this the wrong way, I do not have an addiction.. but rather a problem starting and I don't like the road it's taking me down.  I have had a couple eye opening experiences lately (no problems with the law, thank you buddha!) but enough to make me recognize my life style.  I was sober once upon a time, for a long time and I had no problems having fun and being just as silly as I am while intoxicated.  This is where I thank my parents (and buddha of course) for the free spirit they have given me.  I am happy, and healthy, and most of all... safe.  I will just pray for the strength and do as best as I can.

I think I'm reopening the doors to "love".  I have always been a loving person, but I mean more... well, romantically? I don't know that I can confidently say that I am... However, I wonder: how does one know when they are ready to love again?  Do you just wake up one morning and say "Today.  Today I am ready to love again." Or do you have a checklist of things you must complete before you are ready to love?  Well I find myself day dreaming a lot more (about love... corny I know), and being more open with men.  Whereas before, I would lock up and the minute I developed feelings... I stuck that awesome thumb of mine out and hitch hiked away with a cloud of dust behind me.  Maybe that's a sign? Maybe it isn't?   For being a pretty "fearless person"-one thing I've been scared of is... well, love.  I am aware that every relationship is different than the last, but it's so disheartening to see so many fall apart.  It doesn't help that I came from a divorced household and that fear (the fear of failing at relationships) is always haunting me.  But... back to my point, am I just being curious or am I ready?  To be continued on this thought....

Last, I have had the best time being a "Therapist" lately.  I love love love my job and I love love love the kids I work with.  I may say that it's a headache or that I feel myself loosing patience some days.... but I have never learned so much from kids...rewarding does not even justify.  I am reminded every day that I am making a difference in someone's life- and to work with and see these kids and adolescents express themselves and their fears.... there are simply no words.  Well, maybe hallelujah.  :)

The Art Therapy room... Drawn by me, painted by the kids.  :)  PROUD.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


               Apparently my inspiration for anything has went on vacation without telling me.  I've lost all inspiration.  I've temporarily lost myself.  In my 23 years of (mostly) wonderful life, I've never felt so empty.  Not even after my relationship (with my 'once upon a time' love of my life... ) completely failed.  How is it possible to listen to people who don't even know me?  Why do I let people like this affect me?  I'm well aware I can't please everyone, and I'm well aware that I am not perfect.  So......

              Ode to you all,

         Why don't you all listen to my side of the story?  Why do men get to rule the world?  I have a voice too.  Yeah, I may have screwed up.  I am NOT perfect... nor do I have any intentions on being perfect.  That's what makes me who I am.  If you have a problem with me then why don't you man up and come to me yourself.  I MAKE MISTAKES.  I also fix them.  I did not survive 23 years flying by the seat of my pants.  I have worked hard to get where I am at and the mistakes I have made will only make me stronger in the long run.  But stop trying to bring me down.  Let me ask you this, does it make you feel good about yourself to bring me to that level?  I have never ever felt so empty.  I have never felt such low self worth.  I hope your parents taught you what empathy means.  I know mine did.  So if you really want to get to know me... here is what I am:
I am determined.
I am curious.
I am intense. 
I am spontaneous.
I am artistic.
I am loyal.
I am courageous.
I am stubborn.
I am ambitious.
I am responsible.
I am helpful.
I am energetic. 
I am friendly. 
I am patient.
I am imaginative. 
I am peaceful. 
I am compassionate. 
I am free spirited. 
I am generous. 
I am smart. 
I am not perfect.  
I am Haley. 

I hope you know that I have feelings too.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ode to Growing up... or something like that.

When I grow up...I want to be
  • An educator.
  • A professional lover.
  • A mom that's able to (without gagging) wipe snot of her child's nose.
  • A professional traveler. 
  • A writer.
  • A dancer.
  • A yoga instructor.
  • A pottery woman.
  • A barber.
  • A healer. 
  • A professional mediator. 
  • A guitar player.
  • A wrangler.
  • An Activist.
  • A professional hula dancer.
  • A professional kick boxer.
  • A care giver.
  • One of those mom's that's able to talk about healthy sex with her kids.
  • A fisherwoman.
  • A professional sweatpants-wearer. 
  • A gardener.
  • An eyebrow plucker.
  • A professional free-spirit.
  • A farmer.
  • A public speaker.
  • An explorer
  • A counselor.
  • A life changer.
  • A surfer.
  • A special education teacher.
  • An artist.
  • A professional hay bale thrower.
  • A professional recycler.
  • A horse whisperer.
  • A professional blogger.
  • A "handy" man.
  • A zoo keeper.
  • A photographer.
  • A talk show host.
  • A professional volunteer. 
  • An awesome "fart joke" teller.
  • A peace maker. 
  • A pancake flipper.
  • A tour guide.
  • An Environmentalist. 
  • A professional rockstar in my living room.
  • A flight attendant for a night. 
  • A firefighter.
  • An Auctioneer. 
  • A dream provider. 
  • A chef.
  • An tiger trainer.
  • An animal rescuer. 
  • A mermaid.
  • A seashell collector. 
  • A rattlesnake wrangler. 
  • A sumo wrestler
  • A goal accomplisher. 
  • A party-thrower.
  • A wine taster. 
  • A motivational speaker.
  • An inspiration maker.
  • A scuba diver. 
  • A mountain woman.
  • A Therapist.
  • A culture extremist. 
                 I remember once when someone asked me what I'd like to be when I grow up.  I answered "I'd like to be happy, because then I'll never have to "work" again." He told me that I was missing the whole point of the question, and then I told him he was missing the whole point in life.
                 Everyone wants to be happy.  So find something that makes you happy, then do it until you die.  Ode to growing up.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    WHY Aids?

                  AIDS.  That is what I'm working on.  Working with.  How can a disease so strong, so deadly.... be so forgotten?  People are prejudice towards victims of AIDS.  People are prejudice towards Africa.  But why?  Because it "started" there?  There is a start and finish to every epidemic right?  WHY do people give up hope?  Because things will get worse before they get better?  Isn't that the way the world works?  How can you forget something that is affecting millions of lives... millions of children?  How can you help? Do you ever ask yourself that?  Or do you only think about how you can help yourself... your own loved ones?  What if your loved ones became infected with AIDS?  What if you were infected by AIDS?  Would you want help?  Would you feel trapped?  Forgotten?  What can you do to help?  Find out.

                              Did you know:  33.3 Million people worldwide are infected by HIV/AIDS?
                              Did you know:  30.0 Million people have died due to HIV/AIDS?
                              Did you know:  14.9 Million children are orphaned in Africa alone due to HIV/AIDS?

    Monday, January 31, 2011

    Life Update. Peace, Love &.....Dreams.

                 So, I've been pretty damn horrible with keeping up with my blog lately.  I've had a lot going on in my life and kinda put the whole blog thing on a temporary hold.
                 First, I've been looking for a new car.  I have a nice little 2007 chevy cobalt, but I always get stuck...stuck in my own driveway, stuck in the damn ditch... stuck.  So... I decided I wanted an all wheel drive, 4 wheel drive, something of that matter. Well, I had a couple eye opening experiences lately and I decided, I'm ok with my little cobalt.  I can survive with it.  I may live in weather conditions that are awful for my car, but at least I have a car.  I should be fortunate for that right?  I decided to suck it up and stick with my little white box of slip and slide and just be happy.  Which I am.  I'm realizing that I don't need bigger and better things in life to make me happy..or to survive.  I should just be happy with the simplistic things.  I have much more than most people in this world, so cheers to being fortunate and grateful.  
           I've been trying to figure out what I want to do after I graduate in May 2012.  Why am I trying to figure this out now?  Because... I don't want to graduate and say "well, I'm done... now what?".  I've always been the kind of person to be on top of things (for the most part), I have a whole lot of dreams that I want to accomplish,  I'm trying to be as organized as I can.  I applied for the Peace Corp... (I guess I should say am applying) because the application process is so darn looooooong.  I originally wanted to look more into the Navy due to my interest in travel and my family history in the military. But, the kind of person I am.. doesn't really mesh well with demands and order.  I want to be who I am and do what I want to do rather than doing what others would like me to do.  I'm a free spirit... Some don't like that, or agree with it, but that's what makes me...well, me.  Make sense?  My other option:  I applied to an Internship working with kids who have been affected by HIV/AIDS in Cape Town, South Africa.  Why would I do such a thing?  Well, because.  Because there is nothing in the world that compares to the feeling of helping, impacting and just simply being there for children in need.  Will I get paid for this internship?  Absolutely, positively... no.  My loans will get deferred yet again.  Which is ok. Most people in this position would say "absolutely not".  I don't know that I'm too worried about making money, I'm more worried about my own happiness and you can guess where that is.  My heart went on an adventure a long time ago, and that's where it stayed. Money isn't always happiness right?
                With everything going on in my life right now, I decided to (kinda) try a date thing.  Well, to my knowledge I found out I absolutely do not care to date and here is my reasoning...  I recently went out with a friend (or whatever) for a kind of date thing... and the entire time all I could think about was what excuse I was going to use to get out of the next one.  Honestly, I do this EVERY TIME I try to date someone, or see someone or even like someone.  I always talk myself out of relationships and I pick the other person apart for their bad habits and whatnot.  I don't know if it's my own fears of commitment or if it's just because I'm being selfish and can't find anyone to meet my standards... whatever they are, I have yet to find out myself. It's probably an awful quality of mine.  Then I think about my priorities and what my life really consists of: I think about the kids I work with, school, my job.. my future... that leaves no room for a romance.  Sometimes I get lonely yes, but when that happens a little bird always reminds me about all the fantastic things going on in my life and how I shouldn't be bummed because I have no one.  Reality is, I have people.  I have all kinds of wonderful, magnificent people in my life that make me more than happy.  I'm only 23.  Who cares about romance.  Not I.
               Well, this is my life in a nutshell right now.  Still making way and trying to accomplish too many dreams at once, but I like it that way. And I'm Happy.

    OH, and how could I forget.... GO PACK GOOOOO! :)

    A little inspiration from my friend Gandhi.  Drawing done by myself. 

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    I Love America... But I Love The World More.

                 Why do people form judgment upon others due to cultural differences?  This is a question I can hardly answer, it wasn't until recently that I really started to open doors to cultural differences myself.  Over the past couple months, I have been learning more and more and being more wise about my choice of words, although this blog post may cause some controversy....I've noticed that it really bothers me when people aren't willing to understand why people are the way that they are due to cultural Religion, Language, Gestures & Body Language.  Everyone is brought up in a specific culture, that doesn't mean that everyone follows it. Everyone deserves a chance.         
             Most people don't realize that this country was completely formed by immigrants.  Duh.  I bet that was a lightbulb wasn't it?  The founding fathers of the United States were Christian.. but they did not create to conform our country based on Christianity but rather the freedom to Religion, and that is why America isn't based on just ONE Religion.  Many of the different immigrants that came to our country did so because they were able to practice whatever they believed in.  
            Although in America we speak English and it's the most prominent language here, we do not have a "National Language".  Since our country is pretty much made up of immigrants (like I said above..) that does not make the English language "ours".  Also, once upon a time... the southern states were all connected to Mexico and most of the people that lived there, spoke Spanish.. and still do today.  American's are given the choice to learn other languages when we force upon immigrants to learn the English Language.  The HARDEST language to learn.  Kudos to you.  The world is a small small place, and sooner or later.. even if you hide, you will encounter different types of people and different languages.  No matter where you go or travel, there will be people that don't look like you, don't talk like you, don't gesture like you and don't think the way that you do.  
            Culture is so valuable that it has been kept and passed on for thousands and thousands of years and bits and pieces from different cultures make us who we are today.  Ignorance is bliss, people.  Different countries & different cultures should be respected more because they have enlightened us with such traditions to bring our families up.  Different cultures and lifestyles are so important that it is more than its distinct visible features.  If we extend this aspect to the inner-self of a person, to members within a society, or rather an entire community... maybe, just maybe you can find some answers to how he/she...they... are affected by culture.  
                 Knowledge is the key to understanding different cultures.  I'm no wisdom goddess, and I don't know everything, but what I do know is that I had good parents who raised me to be more open minded and teach me about culture as a the world.  The world would be a better place if we could all learn to accept each other. 

    Peace, Love & Knowledge. 

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    Peace, Love & Veggies.

             Every year I come up with a New Years resolution... and fail miserably, like most of the population.  But this year is a little different for me.  Originally, I decided I was only going to give up red meat and only eat locally.. more of a "slow food" diet to help benefit my local economy.  But then I started thinking and why not just give up meat?  I'm all about challenges and this is probably one of the biggest challenges I will have to face.  Here are the reasons why I'm choosing Vegetarianism: 

    • If we eat the plants we grow instead of feeding them to animals, the world's food shortage will disappear virtually overnight. Remember that 100 acres of land will produce enough beef for 20 people but enough wheat to feed 240 people.

    • Half the rainforest's in the world have been destroyed to clear ground to graze cattle to make beefburgers. What you may not know about this is in effort to make cheaper Big Mac's and Whoopers, eager Americans are slashing and burning our native rain forests to make room for the "Beef industry".  The burning of the forests contributes 20% of all green-house gases. Roughly 1,000 species a year become extinct because of the destruction of the rainforest's. Approximately 60 million people a year die of starvation. All those lives could be saved because those people could eat grain used to fatten cattle and other farm animals - if Americans ate 10% less meat.

    • The world's fresh water shortage is being made worse by animal farming. And meat producers are the biggest polluters of water. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat. If the US meat industry wasn't supported by the taxpayer paying a large proportion of its water costs, then hamburger meat would cost $35 a pound.

    • African countries - where millions are starving to death - export grain to the developed world so that animals can be fattened for our dining tables.

    • It's Healthy!!!!! :)