Happiness is packaged to be a one-size-fits-all sense of what it should look like. Social media would have us believe that everyone is exuberant, leaping in the air with so much abundant joy, they can’t keep their feet on the ground.
People smile until their faces hurt while standing in their high end confidence pose. I’m happy for them. I am. Really.
We know that (you do know this right?), happiness can’t be pursued, it has to be found within.
It doesn’t need a shiny, glowy, bendy yoga pant body.
Happiness doesn’t need a giant snowy white smile.
Have we all become so vapid that we only engage with those who look good on the outside? The assumption that somehow, bigger people, ugly people, weird people, less fortunate people aren’t also entitled to being treated well? Or … being happy.
Yeah … we have. Social media isn’t helping that. It’s turned it, IMO, into a bit of an epidemic. Being dictated to by an obsession with youth and presumed power is big business.
The truly confident people don’t have to be picture perfect though. They are those rare few who quietly go about living their lives ~ with little to no interest in having to “prove” any part of themselves to the rest of us.
Show me a private, quiet, confident, centered person who does what they love and lives where they like. They don’t harm anyone. They don’t show boat. They don’t even postulate or prance around like a peacock ~ boasting of their perfect physique.
They just … are.
Happiness can be found in the small, seemingly inconsequential acts of appreciating being human. It’s not loud in a crowd. It’s more subtle than that.
True happiness can be seen in grouchy people and in our Eeyores of the world. They just do it differently. Some people … like being cranky. Some people realize that all emotions are an inside job (inside our head that is).
But hey ~ if you are a “I will prove how happy I am” sort of person, good on you. Go get ’em.
But if not … I see your contented, at-peace, non-smiley inner happy and I appreciate you for it. We should have a secret handshake or something.
Either way ~ I know this to be true ~ the cornerstone of true and authentic happiness is in the ability to be that way, even when you are totally alone.
Quietly, blissfully, lovingly alone.
After all ~ the pursuit of happiness lives inside your brain. The rest is just packaging.
See, we, the women born in the 50’s, 60’s and even into the 70’s are talking about our life experiences. Those of us who lived with and tolerated years of abuse, are talking.
It’s scaring the shit out of everyone. Younger women are confused to hear that maybe, just maybe, their mothers and grandmothers are the way they are because they are also survivors.
The ‘enlightened’ ones are telling us that we have ‘dark energy’ or, ‘negative thinking’. The entitled, elitist power players are telling us to “get over it” and to “move on”.
We are survivors of decades of suppression that we fought so that our young ones can freely talk about their life experiences out loud. We had to throat punch our way into the world so that the world would just leave us alone.
We are telling our experiences or losing our shit in public because we are (thanks for the line Howard Beale),
“Mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore”.
Except … we’re not mad. We’re numb. We’re scarred, wary, unapologetically speaking out ~ you took your best shot. We survived it. We have no interest in being
‘warriors’ ~ I don’t anyway. I am a passive person who quietly goes about my day but I’ll be damned if even one more person tells me what I’m allowed to talk about or not.
I’m no warrior, but I will not go silent into the night either.
Women who are thin ~ attractive ~ socially popular ~ wealthy ~ they are safe to talk about their past experiences or major life events.
Women who are heavier ~ average looking ~ socially unknown ~ living on a lower income? They are being blamed for everything that’s wrong with society.
Because they are so traumatized by a lifetime of systemic prejudice, bias and social rejection ~ that they are terrified that once again, life will crush them if they dare speak up and out.
Social push back feels like a punch in the gut.
Community-wide rejection and ridicule feels like a thousand pound brick on your heart.
They expect these quieter female citizens to just shut up and comply with the louder, more self-entitled power players.
Our journey through this life time, regardless of stature in society, is ours and ours alone.
Women are done running from their own lives, the way Forest Gump was done running after the death of Jenny.
We all have a place here. It is within our right to speak our truth, even if that makes other people uncomfortable. No matter what we look like on the outside, we have a contribution to the world at large.
Tell your story ~ out loud ~ it will scare the shite out of you because that’s the trauma bond we have with speaking of the unspeakable things we’ve had to endure our entire life times.
If you have to watch what you say around people ~ just to be accepted or liked or valued ~ those are the wrong people for you.
If you have to be 100% alone in order to remember who you are, before the world decided that for you ~ be alone.
It’s better to be alone than with people who make you feel lonely in your own heart.
If other people are treating you as if you are a 2nd class citizen to their greatness, you have a right to say, “No. This is not how this is going to play out.” ~ no matter what else, you will have found your voice in this sea of others, trying to make themselves bigger than you.
When anyone tells you that you have “no right” to share your opinion or narrative or experiences ~ they are abusing you on a profoundly personal level. If they had wanted you to speak highly of them, they should have thought about that when they were graced with your presence. It’s too late, once you walked away.
Nobody is entitled to you or any part of your life.
Unpack all that shit that’s holding you down from your extraordinary life. Grieve what you can’t get back. Stand up, dust off ~ then try again. No matter how many times it takes. No matter the heart break you lived through. No matter how many times you repeated the pattern.
If you are here ~ reading this ~ it’s not too late to be you.
The you that deserves the love, the romance, the friendships, the trust, the respect, the laughter, the life of someone who doesn’t think twice about the things you love to do.
That dark energy, ‘negative’ stuff that makes people feel uncomfortable? It’s just a part of the power we’ve come into. We are not afraid of the dark or talking about anything that feels negative. We walked through that hells cape. We have learned how to harness it so we can turn it into something incredibly lovely, light and good.
Light workers ~ healers ~ mentors ~ Sheroes ~ and guides through the universe of repression ~ they have been there. They will walk you toward your light.
We read the memes and hear the non-expert experts toss out whimsical advice on how to live our lives in the pursuit of happiness.
This past year, my coming of age was realized. It just came at a much older age than I had realized. Instead of trying to change the wind ~ I adjusted the sails and changed myself.
The journey of a thousand miles …. begins with our Declaration of Independence from the social constructs we burden each other with.
Do you see what I did there? I used SO many meme quotes that we push into each other’s inboxes, we end up having to Unlearn everything we think we know.
For me, I’m on a cleanse. A social pressure cleanse of all the advice, advocates and ageist asshats who push their agenda w/little regard for the well being of others.
Many ignore actual mental health. They spiritually bypass our spiritual health. Or, they dismiss and degrade any personality struggles.
They even take a sliver of what a qualified expert states, twist it into whatever serves them, then quote it for profit, disregarding the rest of the story.
They aren’t harming all women but … the slice of life mentionable aren’t exactly helping people either.
One of the most misquoted meme-therapy slivers is plucked from Carl Jung.
Suffering is trending right now.
Brene Brown is being used as a mental health bypass so that gaslighting via picked apart psychology can be tossed at the vulnerable.
The word ‘vulnerability’ itself is so overused, I wonder if anyone even fully realizes what Brown’s original research meant.
We have 18 year old’s writing professional articles, but quoting the comment sections of social media as if they are authorities, without knowing who those people (bots) are! WTF is that?
Nothing against eighteen year olds, but in an age of ageism being at an all time high, perhaps this is why. It is. In case you’re wondering.
I love Greta Thunberg ~ but she is a child. WHY are adults putting the burden of responsibility on the shoulder’s of our children.
OR, middle aged white males who lived in the Victorian era?
Our kids are growing up thinking that meme art is the same thing as therapy. It’s so very not.
As for social media ~
We are giving advice on Tik Tok as if we are all experts. We are not. So much of the stuff I’ve heard in just the past couple of weeks is wildly wrong. Wrong information delivered by self appointed experts is some dangerous shit.
We have millionaires who have no concept of struggle or poverty, but make even more money by leading people on who desperately want to walk out of financial hardship.
(Gary Vee is a classic case of starting out with three million already under his golden goose egg). So are several golden egg trust fund baby experts who were born into privilege yet make their money, selling their experience as if it’s the same as the rise of the Oprah’s of the world.
Gary’s got some great stuff to say ~ he’s also saying it from the lens of having a foot up when he started.
We demand knowing someone’s background in our celebrity crush/motivational speakers and yet … why don’t we also demand to know the background of our spiritual leaders ~ our professors ~ our medical doctors ~ our teachers ~ or our partners.
If you’re going to follow advice, do some research.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Be confident enough in yourself to know that everything you hear isn’t always true.
Don’t believe everything you meme.
Understand the words of wisdom from our true experts who spent years training while also experiencing the world ~ they are the people we learn from.
Always remember and never forget ~
Even WebMD says, don’t trade this in for actual medical advice from your own doctor.
The same is true for therapists, coaches, counselors and qualified (actual) spiritual advisors who aren’t there to mess up your belief system.
We’re living in a time of vapid/shallow/surface level solutions to real life, profound, mental health and identity crises.
Believe what you believe ~ that’s all you. That’s your right.
The most important thing for a genuine post traumatic growth is to be aware that right now ~
We are in a time of misinformation
We are shelling out life advice from the curb
We are whimsically wishing away serious, clinical diagnostics by tossing mental health bypassing at each other. Which can be damaging beyond belief.
Happiness is being used as a weapon of mass deconstruction of truth. Be wary of the memes with meaning.
Deep dive into the research. I linked the official pages to each name ~ happy questioning. That’s the scientific way.
One thing I noticed is that people … have gotten meaner to each other ~ online and to a certain extent … in person (just ask the folks working those “essential worker” jobs …
And before you gaslight me with, “you are the people you surround yourself with” ~ I have intentionally been part of three distinct professional groups who have totally different lens on the world ~ to remind myself not to get stuck in anyone’s bubble.
There are the ultimate optimists who refuse to see any of the hardships or sorrow ’cause it’ll harsh your mellow.
Not likes or followers or fans who are there, hanging on the edge to see if we fail or fall.
Not presumed VIP’s who are in truth, awful, shitty people who don’t care if they harm others.
What does bring me (us) joy when we are rethinking our entire lives, as Middle aged females often do?
Simplicity ~ without debate
Small, lovely moments ~ without critique
Sweet scenarios that bring us joy ~ without raincloud commentaries from strangers
The things that actually have meaning in our world are not the big gestures and never once have to come from some pseudo-celebrity ‘expert’ who made themselves that way by going on YouTube to declare, “I AM THE EXPERT” while humble bragging their way into millions of followers.
Those moments when we overhear a young mom having an intense conversation with their kid, who for the first time, reveals their depth of understanding while the mom smiles in knowing she’s doing okay.
People are strained ~ tired ~ mentally spent ~ exhausted ~ and morally declaring their own sense of who they are.
All this death has forced us to think about life.
It pushed us to look within. To wonder about our values. To see the world differently.
Social media is the greatest invention in humanity (debatable, but for the sake of this article) … but it is a thing.
Humans decide how to use that thing.
Humans decide if they are going to be purposeful or simply exist.
Many, MANY people ~ including people with huge power/titles/influence ~ have chosen to be truly shitty to random strangers or anyone who isn’t part of their inner circle.
My distinct groups make me a bit of an outlier but the funny thing about outliers, is that we are the observers. We are the ones who notice the nuances of the group think. We are those that see the group for what it is.
I like being a lone wolf. I tried being part of the pack … a few times. I’m entirely too confident in who I am and what I bring to the table to be anyone else’s beta bitch.
I like basic. I like simplicity. I like this not-so-crazy notion that people can adapt and change, learn and grow then fully actualize if they truly wish it so.
Yesterday, I was in a major city at a Whole Foods, just trying to get a basic cup of coffee and holy hell, I realized how pretentious the world around me has gotten.
They were willing to sell me a $5.00 cuppa “Americana w/extra foam” but they didn’t HAVE drip coffee or cow’s milk. They had grass fed. They had espresso. They had bottled, refrigerated processed, cold brew and Vente late w/extra fluff on the side of the maddening condescension on the part of the young fella who practically called me a karen in his best guttural fry JUST for asking ~ as if …
” this bitch is basic so she is wasting my time” sort of vibe.
After flippantly rejecting my inquiry, to which I was polite BTW, he hurried back to Hannah, restocking the deli and gossiping about Joaquin (hey! if y’all can call me a karen, I can call you by general stock-answer-names too).
What this and several other hipster/yuppie/organically sourced trend setter did not have?
A basic cup of coffee.
Coffee, like life ~ does NOT have to be complicated. We MAKE it complicated.
When we’re serving our public ~ it is clear who we want for consumers.
This is true of social media ~ this is true of our service industry ~ this is true of academia, and the literary world and public education.
This is true of authentic diversity that includes ALL people’s in ALL groups.
They have clear, distinct, not so subtle lines that are not to be crossed ~ or else.
We complicate everything all the time. That’s who we are. This generation.
Is this over complication an insecure cover up as if to say, we are sophisticated and need to prove it to the world?
Ironically, when talking about actualization ~ a concept that a rare few will fully understand ~ we are also isolated and alone … not lonely, but alone to continue to think.
Those who fully know themselves have zero to prove to anyone else. We aren’t going to be influenced by someone else ~ we see people for who they are and understand that they are doing what they do because that is how they negotiate the world.
Some are good ~ others are awful.
There ARE 50 shades of gray in that yin yang/black white/shadow and sunshine way of being in the world.
Why are people choosing awful? Rude? Belligerent? Violent?
Physical strain from fear
Pain and suffering
A desperate need for attention to feel validated in the choices they make.
There are many reasons.
I just … don’t know why so many people are choosing hate. They don’t realize or maybe they do, that they are choosing hate, but they are.
There is no actual way to have that conversation with anyone since no matter what we say, someone, somewhere will be offended by it.
This drama ~ carried out for monetary gain in many of the social media platforms ~ is the driving force.
People are choosing to either delight the masses with their expertise ~ OR ~ shock value.
I’m choosing information gathering. I have no interest in shock value and find it hard to watch exploitation in exchange of popularity.
Considering how many millions of people follow blindly, some very misguided, manipulative people ~ I’m not interested in that formula. It’s tempting. Sure it is.
But at what cost?
The way we as a collective species on this planet act today will define generations of influencers in our future.
There have been several articles about the discovery of our (my)Viking ancestors ~ yes, I have Viking blood in my bones. It was found in North America ~ a 1,000 year old encampment. A thousand years ago doesn’t influence who I or we are today, but it does contribute a verse to our human history.
I have to be forward thinking ~ it’s both a philosophy and a survival mechanism.
When I hear about a 1,000 year old tribe of Vikings ~ my first thought is, how will we, us, here in the 21st century, the year of 2020 ~ be interpreted with our digital platforms by our descendants?
If we can’t care about even three generations in the future, or three generations in the past ~ can we at least give a shit about how we are all acting right now?
Our world is changing … rapidly. Perhaps that’s too overwhelming for some.
I for one, need a social media break.
Social media is part of my work life, so I can’t take a full one. I can do a partial. I can do a mega cleanse of the lens. We can stop doing shit we hate but stop following other people’s guidelines for how we live our lives.
I’ll find the balance but like I said in my very first blog post here ~ this blog is organic. Girl … they are ALL organic, but most of them wear make up to give the illusion of something else … I’m bare faced learning how to blog better and not hiding my jiggly bits.
Sure ~ to address the first part of this ~ we are all going to have people around us that we don’t agree with or maybe don’t like entirely. We don’t have to delete them as if they are pixels in the wind … unless they are toxic poisonous pixels … then dump and run. You don’t need that sort of hate in your life.
So … here we are.
What are you choosing?
Are you still reading? I lost a bunch of you back on word 300 ~ this is a chapter, not a blip. Sorry, not sorry ~ it’s heading into a book so … the literary world is the one I’ve chosen over the other two.
I had to refocus and redesign how to apply my body of work.
We get to choose which lens we have on the world. One of those choices can be so see the world in balance ~ to realize that life is a long game and to embrace the fact that there are nine billion humans on earth now (compared to only 2 billion in 1928) ~ there will be tension.
Here’s to finding joy in this crazy chaotic jungle of choices!
Take a shot every time you hear the word, “vulnerable”.
I know! I know!
Brene Brown made vulnerability a thing. She put it on the map. I’ve been a fan since her 1st Ted Talk (I’ll share it below if you can’t get it in your country).
Vulnerability IS a strength. Being honest is a strength. Being truthful in our reality is trending ~ my deep dive into the stories over on Tik Tok have proven that to be a lovely reconnection to humanity. Remember though, I intentionally looked to shift the algorithm to show me this instead of some of the more supercilious or vapid drivel on there.
Everyone has a guilty pleasure. Mine … I’m about to confess something that is TOTALLY opposite of every other part of my life.
I …. am a fan of the RomCom. This one is a twist. RomCom w/a twist. There’s so much to like. Then, there is so much to NOT like.
I watch Bachelor Nation. I have, for the most part, since it’s beginning. I missed a few seasons when it got really cringe worthy.
Okay, most of it is cringe worthy. Or, as one report called it, “America’s Guilty Pleasure”
10 Things I Hate (to love to hate to love) About Bachelor Nation
Besides the obvious that it’s misogynistic AF? It’s also something I wonder about all the time compared to my own dating experience in the 80’s. Date ’em all at once, make them “prove themselves’ quickly. Eliminate them quickly. Pick the fan favorite. Travel to beautiful locations. Get a big fat diamond as the end prize. Make some money while living out our stupid 20’s ’cause MOST people are a bit dumb in their 20’s. I hope. That’s what that age is for.
It’s sizest AND ageist. There was that dude who was 40, but felt compelled to walk around naked in Bachelor in Paradise. Um? Secure with himself or … truly insecure and desperate for attention? Either way. Live your life, it’s not my business. I just still can’t wrap my head around what this show would look like with older people or normal size to bigger people. It’s a fantasy. I get it.
WHY do the “girls” ~ ahem, they are all full grown women, so let’s call them that ~ WHY do they have to leap up into every “big. strong. man” arms, wrapping their legs around his waist. What IS that? Gross. WTF? I’m so confused. Are young women doing that in general or is that a show thing?
“I’m a tiny size zero girl just looking for my happily ever after big strong man boy, who is ripped and cut and handsome, so he (and I) MUST be very successful, ’cause looks are what matters most in the business of finding love”. ~ Said no actual human ever. Except a very few ~ professional athletes maybe and probably models? But not average people. Grrr.
EVERY one of them is picked apart with a fine comb. Yes. Like Lice. Except, only the parts of their personality that seem the juiciest are put on camera. They ARE human beings, yet the fans treat them like the character they are portrayed to be on the show. Are fans the problem?
This one’s a bit more philosophical. IS this the fantasy life of the average young American? Unreality celebrity status? Look at Hallmark movies. Look at the billion … yes, BILLION dollar romance genre industry …. people WANT the escapism. When real life is shite, tune in or tune out with escapism entertainment. This is true. There is research to back it up.
It’s not hurting anyone so why not? Unless it hurts someone. Then, why?
The whole drag through racism ~ dude … I was saying that back when it started. ’nuff said. That heated conversation could have happened up to ten years earlier.
The low success rate ~ honey … I could have told them how impulsive engagements work out. I tried it … twice. Only knew my 1st husband for a month. Marriage lasted 18 months. Shocker ~ it was a shite show. The 2nd? Less than a year … a longer shite show. Get to know your partner!!!! These days ~ do a background check too. Save yourself some pain.
There are a million other ways to spend our time. OR to give our attention. But so what? If people (en mass) want to watch a romance novel/reality show that’s highly scripted … who cares? If it helps someone to divert some attention for a while ~ it’s nobody’s business.
Now, I’m not a shot-drinking sort of person, but someone posted a fantasy league yesterday, which made me chuckle ~ I know someone else who hosts a fund raiser-fantasy league about Survivor.
IF it brings people together to share some community … so what?
I don’t watch television anymore. I have streaming services. Narrows the focus. Keeps it simple. Deletes the commercials.
Since I’m shifting everything else in life ~ I decided to keep the ONE reality show ~ I got rid of the rest. I know they are silly. However, those contestants make a nice living with their celebrity status. It’s part of the paradigm shift in our entertainment. MILLIONS of people buy in. Why not? I’m a fan of e-commerce.
Some of them are making 6 & 7-figure salaries from it. That’s not silly. It’s business.
If we can cultivate our own lives, and are willing participants in the experiences ~ there’s no harm in it.
Does it create a desire for young people who have a body insecurity to wish they looked like that? Probably ~ but I HOPE that this is just a small slice in the body image crisis that we have going on.
As for all of these other issues. We can all write volumes analyzing it. I’ve chosen to just ~ let it go and not making thinking about this part of it.
Writers ~ don’t just watch the show. Watch how people watch the show.
Watch how people respond to the people who watch the show.
We are all so darn critical of other people’s choices or the way they live their lives.
This is a thing I work hard in never doing. Humans all have preferences. We don’t have the right to be harshly critical ~ but we choose that.
We can choose to keep our opinions to ourselves. Most of all ~ if we don’t like something ~ create a thing that we DO like.
Whatever we’re into ~ it’s ours to own. Nobody else’s. Inflict no harm ~ do no harm ~ stay in our own lane and as Byron Katie says,
“It’s not your job to like me. That’s my job”
SINCE “vulnerability” is the new catch phrase/word/guide in this reality game … I have a question.
I think there’s a thing as “manipulative, fake – vulnerability” ~ we took the concept explained in research and turned it ~ along with other psych. terms ~ into a profit margin.
Either way ~ it’s entertainment … awful, corny, sometimes sweet and for sure, not my lane to worry about ~ let it go.
MOST important ~ IMO, IF you don’t like something … DON’T watch or follow it. Either accept it or change yourself.
Kindness is being criticized in the media (saw a cartoon in the NYTimes)
I am acutely consciously aware of how the past 7 years have radically changed my life. I died several times over. Nobody came to save me. I saved myself. I gave up everything that was holding me to a place, to people, to experiences that caused me so much pain, I thought I was in hell.
Pain is a funny playmate. It makes you question everything. You negotiate with your soul contracts. You become a peace seeking warrior. Or, you give up. Others did their best to try to make me give up. They gave it their best shot. It didn’t work.
It made me grow stronger. Shit, I didn’t want this level of resilience. Nobody deserves it. I know it was and is, much, much worse for many millions of people around the globe. I’m also acutely consciously aware of the power of energy healing. Of my purpose. Of the meaning of life. Of the power of love.
I didn’t just research or write about pain. I fucking lived it. I survived it.
I don’t need to pretty up my words to talk about it. If my words offend you, then there are plenty of women glowing up with the flowery language all over the place. Go find their dropped petals. They are the ones with the millions of followers.
I’m over here being raw in my truth. For better or worse. Committed to helping others who are only now on the beginning of the path I was on.
That’s what we do. When we go through hell and survive. We head back in to save others just starting out.
I didn’t have helpers. I had witnesses who watched me squirm. I went through so much in such a short period of time, it traumatized the system like shock therapy.
Social shock therapy woke me up to reconnecting with my soul like that had been buried for too long.
I had forgotten entirely that I had a right to love myself and to be loved.
We are forgetting about the importance of love as a cure for all things.
NOBODY has the right to treat you as if you don’t deserve love, safety, peace, security, nutrition (physical and spiritual), a sense of wellness for yourself.
We are cruel from childhood OR, we are the targets of cruelty since childhood.
This was the same age I started my journey as a target of bullies. I was conditioned to be abused from 7th grade on ~ it’s never too late to put a stop to it. It is never too early to start rejecting the voices of tormenters and bullies.
Civility is being questioned by those who want to change what they see in the world. They have the meme version down pat, but ~ do they fully understand the nuances of what details go into that? Not sure.
I witnessed a squirrel get hit by the car coming in the other direction this morning. I’m still rattled. Death is violent and ugly in the life of the squirrel. Since I love the little woodland sentient beings, I’m pretty unhappy about it.
People are going in droves to social media to bitch and complain at each other. There are two distinct groups. Cheerleaders or angry protesters.
You can say something as simple as ~ I like that color green. It flatters you.
IF you are famous, or have many followers, hundreds of people will flock to your green picture to tell you how amazing you are. Even if they have no idea if you are amazing or not ~ they will be your loyal knights in green armor. Not only will they praise and adore you for your choice of green, they will defend your right to wear it with death threats against anyone who dares to say, “it’s okay, but you look better in blue”.
What? How DARE someone tell very perceptually famous beauty that she looks better in blue.
Then, the gloves come off.
Ridicule, death threats, violent words, emotional bullying, insulting your family, mocking you, visiting your page to dig as deep as they can to tell you specifically how to fuck off ~ violence against humanity. In real time.
All on a flipping Facebook post? WTF people?
We all know that this spattering of hate filled rants happen 24×7 now.
I know that a great deal of this is done on purpose.
Rationally, and with a bit of exposure ~ this cyber bullying awful is the only way some people feel power. They are bored, or sad, or maybe vastly misunderstood in their real lives, so they intentionally follow things or strangers that they hate.
Wait, … what?
What is going on in the psyche of someone who is following someone they hate. Obsession? Internal mental health issues? A compulsive need to hurt others, but don’t want to get in trouble by doing so with people they know?
Social illness for sure!
A broken system that’s rigged to guarantee to push your negative response button is the real reason.
What was once a social way to interact has become another way for abusers to find people to abuse. I’ve heard rational, otherwise, pretty normal people talk about how funny it is.
They actually think it’s entertaining and funny to verbally abuse strangers on social media. They stalk people they feel entitled to. They decide that someone has no right to a life of being online, so they make it their mission to disrupt that person’s life as much as possible.
The abuser creates false names, false accounts and fake personalities just to go stalk someone they don’t like.
Is this legal? No. Do people get away with it? Yes. Why? Because we don’t have enough law enforcement in the cyber security business.
When I was cyber bullied (terrorized), I was told the the closest lawyer who specialized in it was in NYC ~ hours away from where I was.
Women are joining forces to put a stop to the emotional and psychological pain that this is causing their lives.
Of course, BTW, this also happens to males and other gender identity folks, but I work with women and speak from a lens of holistic healing with a female (including trans female) lens so ~ that is my POV. For now.
Writing about women who survive trauma has given me a new perspective on an age old issue.
Why can’t people just leave women the fuck alone?
How is it that females in our world continue to get targeted (10 times more than men)?
Women who speak up and out, are quickly also followed by others (including other women) who try to shut them down.
There are several principles in the organizations I belong to.
“Do No Harm” is my favorite.
The thing is ~ there are too many people both online and offline who are just running free range without a lot of direction.
Organized chaos is okay if it’s going to help change a paradigm, but not if it’s going to hurt people.
Have opinions, and shake up the parts of your life you don’t like but good gawd, if you don’t like someone else’s opinion ~ just … scroll.
If someone is out there hurting other people (like sex offenders and narcissistic sociopaths) ~ and you want to start a campaign … be you booboo, but have some concrete evidence before shredding someone over something you heard.
After falling down the rabbit hole of Tik Tok for the past couple of weeks ~ I decided to shift my social media focus. It was not because Tik Tok offered anything else beyond Twitter or Linkedin.
It was me. I realized that social media is changing rapidly, at the same time that I’m ready to take my career to a new place. Linkedin and Twitter have been dead weight for me.
I’m not trying to win a popularity contest.
I want simple
I embody the move toward the simple life.
I have a quest and vision that insist that I shift into my “something more”
ONE of those things is ~ stop doing stuff that other people tell me I have to do to be accepted by what they believe is right.
Starting doing only the things I find joy in or I know will help the world around me a better place. Not for them ~ for me.
When we focus on making our own lives the best they can be ~ that’s how we collectively make the world at large a better place.
Instead of throwing ourselves into following those we can’t stand or don’t like ~ our overall balanced health will come from following and embracing things/people/places we love.
Women. Write. Record your life. Becoming the author of your own story. Ignore every single person who tells you that you have no right to tell your story.
In peace and happy writing.
Want to participate in the NaNoWriMo with me? I’m signing up to do it again this year. I’ll share the links next time.
When you run a business flying solo ~ you are everything ~ right now, I have three tabs open ~ I’m trouble shooting a tech issue AND gaining a proper headache trying to follow the tech support folks who are trying to help me navigate.
Add in my daily java ~ now my brain is upside down, pretty close to shutting it all down w/a serious Do-Over of the entire day.
Did I say I woke up with a low grade fever?
Edgar, one of my foster kits ~ had a viral brain injury at 3-4 weeks. He walked around in circles while recovering against all odds. For whatever reason, his eyes went in two directions, but his disposition remained true to his nature.
The sweetest little bumble cat you’d ever meet.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed ~ like today ~ while trying to wear all my hats at the same time ~ which we all know does not work ~ I think of Edgar.
His simple, sweet, slow ~ one tab at a time way of doing things.
My lists? Have you ever seen a “B” brain (creative tendency) brain list of “to-do”?
It looks more like a bee hive and less like a graduate of Warton’s MBA program. No, I’m no MBA, but honestly? It wouldn’t kill me to pursue a few business classes these days.
I did force myself to organize, but finally, after all these years, have made peace with the fact that my desk will never be Pinterest worthy. It will always look more like Einsteins’ desk ~ or Piagets … have you seen pics of those?
Organized chaos ~ stacks of papers ~ Kondo would shutter at the thought, but it works. I know where everything is. Sort of. In the general direction of which pile to look through.
I won’t get into the science of how the brain works and I know there will be disputes about the “A/B” types along with ~ well, shite, everything.
FYI ~ 3 hours w/tech support ~ today. Yesterday, it was 2 hours. They can’t resolve my issue. I’ve now spoken to 4 people who keep bouncing me from one department to another.
Apple is making me cry. The customer service ladies are very sweet. It’s the system.
Verizon makes me cry too ~ they aren’t always so lovely.
Don’t even get me started with Spectrum.
Geico? Great customer service every time.
Wells Fargo … whom I will NEVER work with ~ are an actual nightmare who trained their customer service people to bully, torment and harass people … scary shit those fellas.
From grocery stores to large box stores to the mom and pop shops around the world …
We are all struggling. We all need some compassion. We all need some support.
Sometimes, I just want to be a secret shopper ~ consumer reporter ~ Yelper.
Come on though … a Yelp reviewer named karen?
Um…. not a good idea.
That’s a WHOLE other blog.
I wish the world were more like Edgar.
One tab at a time | Simplicity is best | Stay humble, my bumbles | Stress?
That’s a different subject entirely.
So ~ THANKS Apple …. ’cause the experience has triggered my anxiety ~ which has at this point …. left me DONE for the day. It’s 11 am.
Serendipity ~ I am a solo practitioner ~ I am a solo parent ~ I can’t afford to shut down. Solo entrepreneurs don’t have that luxury so? I’ll take a quick break, pull up the bootstraps and get back in there with my next task.
Mindfully. Actively rewiring my brain to regulate my emotions.
I think about all the other people out there with high functioning anxiety or PTSD or solo practitioners working from home but …. it has given me a take away.
These poor technicians who have to deal with answering our questions while their GIANT companies create impossible scenarios that can’t be sorted out ….
It’s not the very lovely ladies on the phone who tried to help me.
It’s the GIANT corporations that crush us, the goldfish in their ocean of small print loopholes that are fucking with all of us.
No. Giant companies like Apple ~ they aren’t the ocean. They are the plastic in the ocean.
I just hung up. I had to. I was loyal to Apple for their ‘simplify’ philosophy that turned into a giant plastic lake choking the shit out of my goldfish problems.
I’m shutting down all tabs now. I need to go outside and ground ~ I’ll still be fuming mad that I gave up 5 hours of my life and thousands of dollars to entrust a business to deliver the way they promise to deliver.
Solo entrepreneurs are silenced by big corporations. Mom and Pop shops are drowning in the Walmarts of the world, and yet, offer so much more than money can buy.
Can you tell I have a pet peeve with huge companies and huge name people who simply do NOT care who they hurt as long as the bottom line continues to be profitable for them?
The good news? I didn’t totally lose it. I didn’t yell, or scream and I remembered my manners and I apologized for getting upset even though THEY (the company). once upon a time, my brain was a fried. I snapped like a piece of rubber that spent too much time, floating on one of those floating garbage islands. Stress and live events did that.
I imagine at some point, my brain looked a lot like sweet Edgars.
I rewired my brain by meditation ~ mindfulness ~ actively staying consciously aware of myself IN stressful situations. Trust me, having a phone conversation w/tech person x 5 …. that is a VERY stressful situation for me. A non-tech savvy person. Especially when they lose patience ’cause I can’t keep up with their tech lingo.
Today ~ I’m closing my tabs. I’m going to go work on all the stuff that doesn’t stress me out to reset the stress hormones that are currently pelting me with the “it didn’t work ~ it’s not going to work” signals my cortisol starting shooting at me.
Cuddle a cat ~ they purr, our brain calms down.
Paint, read or write ~ the act of creating makes our brains feel happier, we calm down.
Drink crisp, clean water (hopefully, it will be available to you, I don’t assume it is in every country). The refreshment helps our bodies to be hydrated, which in turn, helps our brains to cool off.
Shower ~OR … go outside (hopefully, you have some greens and/or natural dirt, not city dirt). If you live in a Pinterest worthy home, go shower outside.
Getting back to nature … yep. Helps the brain. Plus, you can scream “F********CCCCCKKKKKK” as loud as you want outside … sort of. Getting out the frustration ~ helps the brain to deregulate back to “try, try, again”.
This blog is my glass house. I’m sharing what I’ve acquired along the way on my journey through this life span but I have boundaries. We all need boundaries.
For me ~ it’s personal but it’s also a professional lens on how I got to a writing life as a full time career.
**The work I do with clients is way, way, out back in the metaphorical privacy shed. I work with survivors of trauma and people who are healing from things that are nobody’s business. Because of that, I am careful never to share stories from others**
FYI ~ When survivors tell their story ~ victims feel safer to heal from trauma.
Generalness or my own stories, Brene Brown style ~ in the rumble or from the vulnerable places of healing and growth.
I am a recovering people pleasing mark (Sucker? Target? Polyanna? Survivor) … as are many women who have survived domestic violence and PTSD. That means, hard pass on a lot more than most.
It’s a brilliant idea for everyone to just be honest about their lives. With that said, every rose has its thorns. Beligerent bullies targeting the online vulnerable is a thorn.
In my house, (here), I get to decide which comment passes through and which one doesn’t.
If someone comes here to be a jackass, they can leave ~
In my house, I’ll clean up my language to suit my narrative, not because someone else twitches when they read or hear the words. In truth? If they can be shitty humans in person, but flinch at reading the word ‘duck’ (my autocorrect yells at me more than my mother ever did) ~ then I would suggest they go back to self-evaluation class.
Clearly, my blog is not for them. I won’t be controlled by someone else’s idea of what the world looks like. The good news is, there are plenty others for them to go comment on.
I’m thriving. That was not always the case. This damn world and all the emotional vampires, toxic people, and jack wagon jerks under the sun saw the neon sign on my back that read, “kick me” ~
Shite, I was the target of bullies from the time I was a little kid. All through adulthood, I tried hard to fit in with the norm-narrative. From partners, friends and even husbands [I’ve had 2, 12 years apart, I’ve been cured] who decided it was okay to treat me like I was a second class citizen.
Why does that happen? Usually, the story is unique. Most likely, it’s because I was forced into an obedience box as a child, while having a personality that wanted to stand out. Conflicts in nature vs nurture are some classic personality developers.
This is citizen rising time. as SOON as Gloria Steinem wrote,
“One day, an army of gray haired women may take over the world” ~ the world clapped back out of nervousness.
They started shoving us back down ~ calling us Karens ~ demeaning and diminishing our value ~ demanding that we, the middle aged women of the world continue to torture ourselves with how we look, or who we align with, or where we fit in. Many of us caved in the meet-cute of that great success desire.
Some traded in our right to relax for the need to be accepted.
Hey ~ whatever works for you as long as you’re not truly awful to other women who are taking on the rebellion.
Nobody deserves to be bullied. Nobody deserves to be treated like fodder for the entertainment of others. Nobody deserves to be manipulated ’cause they repeated a pattern of aligning with the same personalities as their upbringing.
When we recognize the patterns ~ we can choose to stay miserable OR
We can choose to rise above.
Defining our boundaries takes some getting used to.
Girl ~ put up those boundaries and define your life.
YOU get to decide how you will live in this world. Nobody else.
After 39 years of adulthood, I have made some whopper size mistakes while trusting people who were not trustworthy. I have struggled and crumbled from time to time. More than most. Not as much as others. The people I said, “I love you” to, turned out to be the most hateful, backstabbing, disloyal people I ever met.
Do you know how many women have privately PM’d me to share their story or tell me that they too, put up with things they never asked for or deserved?
How many knives in the back can one woman take?
There’s a march today, happening downtown , in support of human trafficking victims. Let’s go ask them. Talk about resilient. The thing is, we are always teaching/telling people to be resilient.
What I’d love to see in this field of psychology is ~ instead of telling people to “be resilient” ~ how about we tell other people not to shite all over someone’s life ’cause we, the tired don’t want to be resilient. We want to be left the f’ alone to live our own truth. Our own happiness.
I WISH I was Polyanna ~ at the beginning of the positive psych. explosion ~ we were criticizing Polyanna ~ the ultimate optimist. Why? What’s wrong with being optimistic and happy all the time? Besides it’s not reasonable or practical.
How did we go from grounded in realism to being the poster child for a billion dollar happiness industry?
I know clearly what blessings to count, while also knowing that forgiveness is only optional for others.
We don’t know what motivates people to be the way they are. Or to think the way they do.
We only know how we want to live and if we are lucky, get to live our lives without interference from anyone else.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Some of us are survivors of various life events that change how we live our lives.
Put up your boundaries | Define your terms | ReWrite your life as often as you want to |
YOU decide who you will partner up with or love | Love yourself first | Let go of ego from time to time | Stay curious | Thrive all you want, but only if you want to. Other times, see what you can do to help others to feel that level of success | Allow no other to pass over your threshold unless that is what you choose.
When I started this blog (on September 25th to be exact) ~ I kvetched about yet another white, male faculty member who let’s his cuss words fly at will who was being gross with his students.
Honestly though …. after almost three decades of hearing about, witnessing and experiencing white male faculty members using their power over female students or less influential members of the campus community ~ I have had enough.
If the elderkin women in academia aren’t going to speak up for our younger women ~ who will?
A whole bunch of people in my field were all, “How rude!” BUT …. these same people continue to support the guy who was talking about his explicit sexual appetites WITH his students who needed his approval for their degree conferment.
That’s f*cked up.
That’s social justice flipped on it’s head.
I grew up around, then survived the boy’s club for WAY too long to stay quiet, and I was never demur.
I’m sharing two of my favorite women doing the work in helping other women to find their voice. Clearly, the field I was in will continue to find words, written by a woman without Oprah money or Michelle power to be offensive. At the same time, they continue to celebrate a man who gets away with penis talk in the hot tub.
I need a page to share the mass media that I think will help others, or that I found to be useful in the darker side of healing from happiness.
Which is traumatizing a LOT of people.
Using cuss words in our language means that we are comfortable enough in our own skin to not think twice about changing who we are to suit the comfort zone of others.
It’s declaring that if you make room for a guy to say whatever the f*ck he wants but you shut a female down for saying the exact same thing … you are part of the problem, not the solution.
PLEASE go stand in front of a powerful female executive and tell her that her words are not appropriate.
I’ll wait here. Let me know how it goes.
Words. Words. Words. Words. Words.
I’m listening ~ but I’m also not changing to fit someone else’s comfort level. Are you?
My father’s father. He was Frank Gallagher, just not as charming and not as nice. Pop was a raging mean-as-spit alcoholic. God only knows how his children survived.
They were one in the same though. Frank, I think, was the better man. Frank knew how to love. Pop? Not so much.
If you haven’t seen Shameless though, (Netflix. Go Google it if you’re curious enough, otherwise, you will not get the comparison).
Short answer, he, along with my father would say (and did say) that psychology was a bunch of horse shit. They would laugh at everything I’ve been teaching for the past 15 years (and did). They were also poster children for traumatized abusive people who did whatever they needed or wanted to survive.
Honestly, most of the people in the gentrified field I’ve been in … well, they are too delicate to handle some of the grittier truths about what it is to be raised by people like that. They put blinders on so not have to think about it.
“Think happy thoughts, and you can change your brain to think happier thoughts”.
Sort of and for a while. It’s partly true and for some demographics but … not for all and not for ever.
“Psychology is for crazy people”, my dear old dad would say.
Right before saying or doing something morally incomprehensible.
His father? Worse. So much worse. Want to talk about grit? Ask any female raised by the king of misogyny and hate of all others who aren’t white males.
It’s a shameless story. Not Chicago, but close enough. More like Shameless on steroids.
It’s a surreal thing to hear the fiscally privileged talk about poverty in America today based on the statistics and stories they heard while volunteering at the soup kitchen the gentrified put together.
It’s another thing to live it. To come from that gritty survival skill building life.
Then, to put one’s self into a gentrified place in society, where people wouldn’t even comprehend hardship if came along and stole their car. (Gallagher stuff).
When I talk shop with people from the Ivy’s ~ I want to hear from those who get where I came from. My white skin, blue eyes and bottle blond hair didn’t help me escape out of the poverty trauma-bond ~ my need to survive did.
I’m acutely aware of when I was treated with privilege and when I was treated with shame and blame. I literally had to “un-friend” a woman who was so entitled, she was actually Clueless to how out of touch her world was with my world. Plus, she was insulted when I pointed that out. Ten years watching someone become a totally different version of herself because of her fortunate connections … flushed.
I WISH I had some great Fiona speech ready to clap back ~ but nope. I just hit unfriend. NOT as satisfying.
Yeah ~ I’m going there ~ poverty is the great equalizer, but survival means, we are not scared to talk about any of life experiences.
Sometimes, the art of living is more like what my gentrified friends only understand from the movies.
My theory is ~ if you haven’t experienced it, shut up and read. Learn. Grow. Or go live it for a year at the least. Then, come back and tell me what you learned. I know … that’s pretty hard core Gallagher of me.
I’ve heard some of the now famous researchers talk about poverty as if they lived in. In truth? They were raised in wealth and privilege, but had the audacity to go into third world countries to “interview” the abject poor to see if they could find happy people. People who were happy in spite of their poverty.
They had good intensions. They wanted to focus on the happiest people on earth. Instead, they featured a brown asian man who was happy, in spite of his grueling life.
Did they think twice about how THAT human perceived them? Talk about taking advantage of the culture of the disadvantaged.
It never occurred to them to spend some of the millions in speaking engagement money to get that person OUT of poverty, but then, they got their movie.
I’m embarrassed that I used to hold that film in such high regard. I was a very misguided white lady, trying to fit into a world where I didn’t belong.
Always a big mistake. This desire to fit in with a professional identity, even if it didn’t align with your own values.
After rewatching it years later, now I think it screams, “Hey look at me and my money interviewing this poor brown asian man and his lack of it.”
Putting an actual movie on their resume, so they could head home and talk about that time they visited poor people. Wealthy other white-collared, upper- class gentlemen and ladies LOVED the bravery it took to go visit poor people. Damn it! I was one of them ~ for a while.
It’s so very Regency Era UK.
The people in my field are white washed ~ wealthy ~ beige wearing gentlefolk.
I forgot to pay attention to that for a long time.
When we know better ~ we do better. I put my money where my mouth was.
NOBODY is allowed to talk about it. NOBODY is welcome IF we do talk about it.
That was the clear message I received when I started questioning them.
Shush up. Stop talking. Do not question us. Or else.
(sound familiar? It sure as shit did to me. I grew up with that tone).
I’m sure they care about the concept of poverty.
But, it makes them uncomfortable. Some of them may actually want to “fix” it somehow. But they’d never go live there. They don’t dare live there. A few do. Not enough.
When I wanted to talk openly about poverty ~ they did not. When I wanted to figure out how to serve underserved populations ~ they weren’t interested. When I wanted to question the validity of some of the programs ~ I wasn’t wearing the “right suit”/image of someone they’d be interested in.
Sure I could have made myself look like them, sound like them, and act like them. Shit, I even took the head shot ~ but that’s not me.
In my heart ~ I’m a survivor of CPTSD
I don’t smile nearly enough, and I certainly don’t float around on a rainbow unicorn pink bubble cloud of joyful wonderland candy.
…. my bullshit meter is on all the time.
And of course, though males in the industry are welcome to cuss like a trucker, the females are more … gentle mouthed.
I leaned back toward what I know. The clients I had in a not-for-profit agency for the financially less fortunate who were survivor heroes … they reminded me of where I came from.
Parents spanking? No. I’m talking about watching him slam my bro’s head against a wall when the kid was 10, or the time he punched him in the face when he was only 12 years old.
I was afraid of my grandfather. I was afraid of my father. I grew up watching my father beat the shit out of my oldest brother on multiple occasions.
Then one day, my father was afraid of me. I was going to call him out on his abuse, but he retaliated by slandering me … just in case. SO very Frank Gallagher of him. So very Fiona of me.
Grit? Giirrrlllll …. we define grit differently. Both have their place. Again, Gallagher life.
From a very early age, it made my stomach hurt to have to visit their family. I loved my grandmother, but she had so many children and grandchildren to pay attention to, I was lost in the crowd.
Thank God I looked like a boy. It saved me from even worse fate. Another page for another story with that one.
I also wasn’t raised in poverty. Middle class? … yes. Not like my dad was raised. My mother made sure of that. Daddy dearest hustled the best he knew how, but my mom was a nurse who kicked ass at making life better for all of us.
To this day ~ I avoid Thanksgiving like it’s the plague. That was the holiday we were forced to hang out at my paternal grandparents house … something awful must’ve happened … I hate thanksgiving.
I’m not psychoanalyzing it more than that.
The doomed Irish Catholic-poor in America ~ a family that never fully pulled themselves out of the trauma bond to their social status.
They survived. That was the goal. That was the end point.
That’s what happens. Generational, systemic trauma. We don’t talk about it.
If anything awful ever happened, the unsaid rule was, don’t talk about it or else.
The ‘else’ was to be ridiculed, disrespected, devalued, belittled, and even laughed at or shunned entirely.
Nobody wants their family tragedy spoken of.
I have forty or so cousins I’ve only met once or twice. They are not like me at all. Polar opposites in fact. And yet, I know where they came from. I know what they survived. I wish them all well in spite of whatever the hell that was.
When someone lives through a traumatic event, they don’t talk about it with just anyone. When they live through a lifetime of it, they don’t talk about it.
It takes a great deal of strength to survive a hard life. If you think that only one “group” of people suffer more than others, you’ve never experienced the great equalizer.
That’s the Gallagher way (the family from Shameless if you’re still not sure what I’m talking about).
Get out of your demographic stats and move into an impoverished life. It’s brutal.
I’ve lived in both ~ advantage and disadvantage.
Perhaps that’s where I had an advantage to speak on what it is to be poor vs. financially comfortable.
Trust me ~ or don’t, I don’t care.
Being poor sucks. You get by, but it’s not thriving. The nuances of poverty include having to do battle with social constructs; a more organically raw way of life, and not in a chia seed on avacado toast organic. I’m talking about how other people treat you when they think you are worth nothing.
Shameless shows one side of poverty. They show what could happen. But it’s not the truth of it. Not all of it.
Sure, survival is part of it. Ethics are more challenged.
Education seems a long lost idea of entitlement. The people are more vulnerable to having community systems putting pressure on them.
Poor kids are encouraged to only focus on community colleges or joining the military ~ learning a trade.
I was furious to watch how little their dignity or rights were respected by an agency I worked for, simply because they were already victims of circumstance.
Abused women, elders, and children were also told that in order to get help, they would have to leave their dignity at the door, so they could be constantly reminded of their value to society.
Talk about wanting to throat punch a system ~ Debbie Gallagher style.
We are wrong to assume that any of our ‘positive psychology’ grit, resilience or character strengths would work on the individuals in poverty, but then, nobody dares to talk about that out loud. I tried. I was gaslit and ghosted. By both sides of that argument.
Well, the Finance Twins do ~ and they prove that it is possible. That sometimes, the Ivy’s get it. I love when people pull themselves out of a situation, then write about it for the rest of the world to learn from.
There IS hope. We live in a class war here in our country.
I’m hard on the cream of the crop of education …. but honestly, I want to have that same dialog in a language that everyone can understand.
The more I wrote out the pros and cons of staying or leaving for a new professional endeavor at midlife ~ the further I clarified the importance of inclusion.
Every single time I read about a new or well researched concept, I looked at the stats of the population studied. How old were they? What was the mean income? What racial identity did they align with? Can this theory apply to ALL populations?
If it can’t help poor people out of poverty, or POC out of a racial divide … then why or why not? Fix it. Don’t get offended that you may be wrong. Just … fix it.
I’ve taken a huge step back.
One thing ~ a strength and a curse ~ that low income or poverty taught me?
I’m not afraid to speak my truth, even if it pisses other people off.
Survival of the fittest includes not being made to feel shame by those who know nothing when it comes to survival ~ people in poverty, in all their constant trauma, will know how to survive. They may end up crispy, or hard, or even ready to fight, but they are survivors.
But damn … it’s exhausting.
Sometimes, I feel like Sandra Bullock’s character in Two Weeks Notice. We all know … she wasn’t too popular with her desire to fix the system while systems in reality … aren’t very anxious to be fixed.
The women who came to me for mental health counseling because of domestic violence or the stress of making ends meet for their children have more integrity, grit, resilience, and courage than anyone in the high end 6 & 7-figure salary speaking circuit. I knew a few of them.
When I became a life coach, I was listening to instructor after instructor tell me that I should focus on the high paying customers/clients. That the poor people could have a “charity” day (I’m paraphrasing to meet the tone of the Shameless community.
When I said I wanted to find a grant to pay for services, they told me it would be a mistake because people at all levels of income wouldn’t respect receiving services from a life coach if they didn’t have to pay for it.
The mental health counseling world told me the same thing.
Statistics do prove that people want to feel included in the wealthier life style so would in fact, pay more than they could afford for some life coaching, if they thought it was useful.
That part is true.
Groups popped up ~ self help books popped up ~ YouTube celebrity motivational speakers popped up ~ Bam! New gig economy.
So ~ here I am, with all these conflicted feelings, much like Fiona Gallagher who tried but failed to change a paradigm. Then one day said,
To set out on her own path, away from everything that dragged her down.
If you don’t know Shameless, you’ll miss a lot of the point of this.
Wait, what is the point of this?
Every slice of life in our one single country is a world away from the other side of town. Look at Harvard ~ go there, no matter how smart or connected you are, it’s a golden ticket. Head over to the other side of the tracks in Cambridge, the streets of hard knocks are going to educate you.
Come on ~ Good Will Hunting. Gilmore Girls. … it’s a long list.
Plug in any city with an Ivy League school (or one of those audacious pretend Ivy League private colleges ~ I’ve attended them ~ I’ve worked in them, I speak from experience) ~ and don’t get me wrong ~
I love higher education. I love books. I love learning. I also love social justice and equity.
I love higher education and the concept of pulling our intellectual side out of the poverty mindset so much, I’m critical of it’s imperfections. Of its flaws.
Imagine the potential if Lip Gallagher had been able to attend one of them or if Ian was given a full ride, instead of left hanging at the end of season 11 for fates unknown?
Damn it higher ed ~ stop giving all your money to the cream of the crop and start sharing that wealth with those kids in poverty with brilliant minds.
Brilliant minds, stoned with nutrition-less foods that deter their ability to think from a sugar detoxed brain.
My grandma was forced to use a food bank ~ there is no shame in that. However, you … society, told her to be ashamed of her status. You shamed my grandmother. F*ck you for that. She deserved better.
Okay, okay … once again, my brain dump of ideas ran way over the attention span of most readers and half of y’all are telling me to feck off ’cause you’re offended that I criticized someone you love (MAPPSTERS) … but then,
True scholars will analyze while actively listen to the criticism. They won’t be offended. They will say, “Okay, thank you for sharing. Now, I’m going to think of ways of using what I’ve learned today”.
I could always go back to slinging diner food ~ that was actually fun. Hard work, but fun. Maybe I’ll reinvent myself and open a pie diner ~ give away my psychology knowledge w/ a slice of peach and a side of chi latte w/extra foam. 😉
See, I’m not afraid to fail. The gift that keeps on giving from living a hard knock life.
Do you know that saying, “the heart wants what the heart wants” ?
What about, “if your heart’s not in it, don’t do it”?
Then there’s the, “Run madly, truly, quickly to your passion and your dreams”.
All of those things are easy for the affluent and the well connected.
The people who side hustle and leaning in to the gig economy are younger than us or less educated than us, but somehow, are proving to be smarter than us.
Why? Because they are proving their value, their worth, by making more of us with less formal education and less need to conform to our traditional view that we learned as we were getting older.
If a kid who is 30 years old can make $150K a year by posting silly clips to Tik Tok, we are furious. We want that kid to go back to bartending. He does and will, but only on his terms. He had defined his boundaries based on the idea that WE taught him from an early age.
We literally sold him the book on how to reclaim his power, or pursue his happiness and now that he is ~ we’re kvetching about how nobody will go back to work to serve us our legal stimulants.
What’s that you say? The baristas from our local favorite coffee shop quit her job? Oh no!
You mean she doesn’t want to get hit on every day by pervvy Frank who still thinks he looks hot in his spandex bike shorts? He’s gross. He’s always been gross. When the owners of said coffee shop know a perverted old dude is STILL hitting on young women “essential workers” ~ and they do nothing about it ~ it’s their fault nobody will go back to work. NOT her.
Sorry my elite Ivy League friends who never had to work as a blue collar, paycheck to paycheck employee ~ I know you will be offended by this or you will downplay the entire idea of it, since it was most likely you or your friends doing it but … I was sexually harassed at work every DAY for a decade. I was told to shut up and get over it. By bosses. By consumers. By strangers online.
Women are speaking up & it’s freaking out the world
She’s following our lead. She developed Grit and Resilience. She put up her boundaries. Not being psychologically tortured by rude, gross customers because she now knows she deserves better ~ is the boldest empowerment move to date.
I’m for it. I’m a big fan of pursuing your dreams, following your heart and listening to your intuitive soul work.
My issue with it is, don’t you think all those people who work at fast food places, who are exhausted, abused daily by customers and middle managers alike, also have a calling, and a passion to follow their dreams?
Sure they do.
The people who work in restaurants aren’t there because they are not capable of achieving their goals. They are there to survive life. Honestly, working in restaurants can be a lot of fun. It can be a dream job if you like to socialize, have the brain for amazing memory and quick decision making and can tolerate rudeness while being scrambled into a frenzy every day (night).
I did it for a long time while first, supporting my child and then, supporting a child + a master’s program.
People in that master’s program who were turning me into a community psychologist, someone who worked with community based social change, also told me that if I continued to work IN the community as a laborer, I wouldn’t get any respect from the hiring people in charge of community programs.
Tell me how that makes sense, ’cause 22 years later, it still doesn’t make sense to me.
Do you know who is the best observer of the conditions of any community you walk into?
Do you know who the best person to ask how it’s going with community programs? Are they working?
The people who live paycheck to paycheck. The people who work two jobs just to survive. The people who need to experience using government programs like food stamps or heating help, because the world is too expensive for them.
Not the middle managers who sit around judging those people. I’m not saying all middle managers abuse their power, but I have seen more than my fair share of it.
When you study social justice, but go through a hard patch, you also receive a hard core life lesson in humility that you don’t necessarily want to have to experience. There is no choice.
Today, people were forced to open side hustles and side gigs. We live in a gig economy with ride share and delivery services. I’ve seen countless parents, with kid in tow, doing the grocery shopping for other people. Does it pay?
If you have 10 of those side hustles, then yeah.
People have flocked to YouTube to teach other people how to side gig.
Why would anyone go back to working for a boss who grabs their ~ lack of power ~ while listening to one abusive jerk customer after another?
I know it’s making you nervous to not have a favorite service at your ready, but did you defend them, while the man behind you in line was screaming at not getting their McMuffin fast enough or that time the lady in front of you, coughing all over your kid was screaming at the barista for not adding enough foam?
The barista now has 200K followers on Tik Tok, giving advice in how to make foam leaves in your coffee and that former cashier is now making 20 runs a day, on her own time, around her child’s schedule, as her own boss.
The gig work force is celebrating their dream of defining who they are, how they are treated, and what their terms are.
Even if the elite are kvetching ~ stay true to your dreams.
Even if we have to bag our own groceries or make our own General Tsao’s chicken … keep going with that brilliant financial advice on YouTube.
Even if we have to do our own laundry, or wash our own cars, and make our own evening out ~ ’cause if we are nasty mean to wait staff ~ we should be banned from our local restaurants ~
Keeping going ~ create your gig work and celebrate the struggle.
Be part of the solution people, not the problem.
Each and every one of us has had to endure the 19 months of being forced to pitch in ~ the solution slid into home plate sideways and upside down.
I was hoping we’d all come out of it nicer to each other. That didn’t happen.
Well, it did in some sections. Some people have gone out of their way to be nice to others. Some people have taken advantage of the disadvantages to rise even higher in their cash cow profiteering.
Don’t be afraid to see both the good and the bad in the world. Blinders on is NOT the happiest of solution, but it sure is the one many of our more privileged populations are taking.
I’m outta here. Taking advantage of the quiet hour and doing what I love.
I know I am blessed with this new life. I will never forget what I went through to get here.
I can’t, even if I wanted to. PTSD healing is a very long journey we don’t just ‘forget’ or ‘forgive’. That’s a whole other blog.
Do me a favor?
When you are out there today, buying your coffee or picking up your groceries ~ doing whatever it is you do with a Saturday ~
Try to imagine the life each and every person you meet has outside of that tiny slice of their lives you walked in on.
Imagine yourself, as I have been, a social justice community researcher. Observe their smile. Look people in the eye. Ask them if they are doing well. Thank them for helping you.
Saying please and thank you are vastly underrated as a powerful healer. Look that person who just provided your service, in the eye, then say, “Thank you” with the sincerity of your lifetime.
**This is an excerpt from my book, TBA … I will brag about it soon enough**
I studied happiness (subjective well-being) in a doctoral dissertation for a HOT minute … [years]. I also taught it for longer than that. Scientifically speaking. I also used it as a construct in delivering services in both my coaching practice, and my mental health counseling practice for years.
The one thing I know it is not. A magical word.
People are drawn to it like some elixir out of the fountain of youth. It’s not this wand waving Wiccan princess gifting soul changer. I sort of wish it were.
“I give you the gift of eternal happiness, and you shall be free of all burden”
Though, honestly, that would be pretty cool.
Until a troll came along and snatched the person’s payment that they moved mountains for, ’cause we all know there is always a payment or a toll to pay for the quest.
Also, a fun concept for those who write mystical creature fantasy paranormal stuff.
Happiness is not a golden ticket or anything we need a book for or have to pay thousands of dollars to to see the Wizard behind the curtain (of celebrity).
Trust me, I have ALL the books, and the gold ticket (aka, a student loan debt that should have made me a medical doctor) and I’ve met the Wizard. In person. That green curtain, when examined closely, looks a lot like the highway systems in Pennsylvania. Have you ever driven though Pennsylvania where their slogan is,
“Pursue your happiness”
Pursue personal awareness ~ Pursue self-truth ~ Pursue being a good citizen.
Happiness is a billion dollar industry, centered right in Pennsylvania. It’s ivy all the way. Of course, the state paid tribute to the biggest cash cow of the 21st century. I mean, it’s a fair reality.
The thing is ~ psychology has been around for hundreds of years but it’s predeccesor for thousands and the ancient Chinese wisdom/philosophy for thousands more than that. The Greeks included discussion on it too.
Entire populations of people (female, other cultures, anyone who had no financial value) were left OUT of those conversations and to this very day … still are.
Happiness will happen all by itself | When you’re ready to receive it. | All by yourself.
Nope. It’s not a magic bean that you grow or a pill that you swallow.
Here’s what it is ~ ready ~ I’m going to share this BIG billion dollar industry right now. Here. For free.
Know why they tell you that you have to charge people for the big Aha moments?
They are under the impression that psychologically, you won’t value the information. They’ve done studies on it. They research intrinsic motivation. They, the mighty academics who, we have to remember, are just people doing a job.
People (they train us to believe, based on some substantial science to back it up) will NOT pursue their passion unless ~ they can spend money on it.
So? If this is true, YOU won’t even try to be happy unless you spend mega dollars on it.
Decision Making …. what? That’s what we need to be happy? Well, yes and no.
Their data always challenged by other social scientists ~ their data often flawed in some way. They know that everyday people have the attention span of 300 words at a clip. That people can only truly successfully memorize 7 pieces of material at one time. Which is why the base phone # system is what it is.
When we draft blog entries, we are told, no more than 300-500 words ~ anything longer and they lose focus. They (the reader) loses interest.
This is why I add in images and videos ~ to break it up. Why? ’cause our brains want the chunks.
Tell that to any and everyone whose read George R. R. Martin, or as a child, J. K. Rowling, or Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
WHY do people hang on to these great long epic tales? Because we are emotionally invested in the journey.
Some social scientists say that emotions and decision making are intrinsically connected. The serendipity is ~ not all agree with this. Then again, some are still arguing over the definition of happiness, while others (other disciplines) are simply living their lives, completely unaware of this war of words.
For me ~ talking about happiness is rumble language.
Happiness is … not always thinking that we have to be swimming in our dopamine. It’s not always floating on a cloud in our incandescent palace with a chalice. It’s not laugh out loud joy spilling into an easy, fun filled life, surrounded by friends.
If it were, then it leaves a whole lot of people out of the equation, now doesn’t it.
The actual researchers in happiness have never said that it’s any of those things. I don’t agree with some of their research. They haven’t proved it’s long lasting effects. They treat it like fight club.
Don’t talk about it. I’ve been ghosted for trying.
They teach us that we have an internal threshold for how much happiness we will feel in our lifetime that is part of our genetic make up. We are 40% hardwired for happiness. They say.
Our life experiences make up the other 60%. They report.
One person’s joy or contentment level looks completely different from someone else’s. This we know is true.
Let’s complicate that with other fields about thinking. Cognition is one, but so is Epistemology, then there are ways of life that also define how we think about what we’re thinking. Our new age movement is one, but it’s also being mocked by the very psychological researchers who are promoting their version of happiness.
That’s entirely puzzling to me, but … as usual, I digress.
Here’s a question for you. Do you think about being happy, then get happy? OR, are you happy, therefore, think that you are happy because you thought about it?
What comes first? Happiness or Thought.
Volumes ~ no, tombs of research have been done on this one single thing. Drives a person bonkers just thinking about it. Which btw, I also find to be very punny.
It’s no wonder that all it takes for a mom drinking wine out of a box of ice cream to become a million dollar happiness guru is to say, “so moms, are we perfect? No. Let’s drink our wine out of our ice cream to save time”.
Her audience laughs, ’cause they connect to her humor and then, poof, buy her books and t-shirts, go to her concerts ~ she turned her “I’m really screwed up, but I’m happy” mantra into a full time business.
Moral of the story? Sometimes all you need is an active ear and a really big heart for everyone. Kristina seems to possess both.
(If you watch this video ~ it’s very sad. Don’t watch it if trauma triggers you. I work with trauma survivors, so I adore KK for creating these videos). However, they are hard.
Not a single penny of student loan debt or epistemology required.
Who’s the genius?
Who is happier?
Honestly? I’m going to say, Kristina Kuzmic for the win on this one. She’s really funny. She’s gotten a little glamtastic celebrity ~ where they lose their momentum, but honestly, I imagine that sort of money, fame, and pressure would get to a gal.
There are SO many Mom-Gurus. They help each other. There is someone for everyone when it comes to support. Regardless of gender or letters after our names. You don’t HAVE to follow one that doesn’t align with your emotional tie to them.
Was it enough?
Even for those of us who do battle with a lower level of that inherent genetic happiness. OR< for those of us who do battle with PTSD, anxiety, depression or some other life experience that f*cked us up along the way.
Happiness looks, smells, feels, sounds, tastes and sits in our soul differently for each and every human on the planet.
It lives inside and costs nothing.
Imma gonna say that again.
It costs nothing.
It’s a thing we can choose, but it’s also a thing we can create. It’s really big when we go through a positive experience, but we can be happy at funerals too.
If we focus on the moments then pull a joyful memory out of it, we can remember it as a happy occasion.
We can become closer to others in a crisis, which gives us meaningful moments in that crisis. We can be completely at peace, by being alone, grieving the thing that made us crave our isolation.
Happiness is not a thing. Which is why so many people turn it into a thing we can buy.
We want evidence. We want the souvenir. We want a visual.
It’s not enough for us to just be okay without also attaching it to something as proof that we are happy.
The other side of that is a kick in the ass though. We can be really, very happy but if we don’t look a certain way, other people in the world will assume we’re not happy.
If we are heavy, or have a malformed part ~ others will take one look at us and say, “Ah, you don’t look happy, here, let me fix you to look like me and then, you too, will be happy”.
It’s bullshit. It’s lacking in diversity, cultural awareness and seriously, socioeconomic inclusion.
But it’s typical.
Shoot ~ I just counted 1217 words. Are you even reading anymore, or did you need a break and a snack. I know … these are long.
I’m brain dumping …
Sorry. Not sorry.
Somebody got paid a lot of money to create this list. ~ Think about that. I do. Every time I wake up.
Get out there today. Decide in that one moment when the panic attack is coming on in the drive thru, that you will be happy. In that moment when the jerk in the car behind you is screaming profanities at you to get out of their way, while their cigarette is clogging up your asthma-lung and the kid in the backseat just shite themselves, crying with overstimulation, while you, single mom with only enough money to get through the day are listening to an Audible on how to be happy.
Yes ~ tell the world in that moment to f*ck off. That will make you happy. If you don’t use flowers in your language, then use the words that most empower you.
I’ll be thinking of you. I know only a few dozen people read this and most are probably just judges of the universe. With that said, this time, I’d love to hear any comments on what happiness means to you. I’m curious.
If not, that’s cool. My happiness is not defined by others.
I also am fascinated with psychic and magical stuff so … I’m going to hit up the local Wiccan store to see if there is anything on happiness in there. I bet I come out with a candle or crystal. Maybe a potion. 😉 I love ’em. They make me happy.
I love it when a super successful icon lets the expletives fly ~ and they are full on flags of freedom to say what they want to say without social pressure to curb their words or enthusiasm.
I’m not shy to say that I’m a feminist … not a cliche’d version or an Uppity ~ offended – by – everything female. I grew up in an era of being called a chick or a broad. The 40’s powerful women in the movies owned it.
I would not have survived my childhood, or adulthood if I had had that approach to life.
No part of this girl’s life experience had the luxury of being offended by anything. I know now that this was a design of the universe.
The moment we say, “I’m offended by those words, therefore, I am not going to listen” is the moment we stop learning about the world we live in.
Disagree with the use of some words in certain settings? Sure. When kids are around, I don’t use cuss words. When delicate flowers are around, I don’t use curse words. I don’t spend a lot of time with people of a delicate nature.
I have almost drowned in the presence of hypocrites though.
That was a lot to take in.
Several academic/psychology people are offended by my use of cuss words but they are not offended by males using the exact same words ~ or those same males being vastly inappropriate with his/their students.
I have spoken to dozens of female academics who are also deeply offended by the ‘boys club” atmosphere, yet very few have the gumption or mental space to have to do battle with their male peers.
Strong women terrify others ~ it’s why I love meeting them. I love watching them work.
These woman who stand in their power, and own it. Priceless.
That’s NOT to be confused with female bullies and damn … there are more and more of those.
I’m not mentioning any, but we all know the celebrity status women ~ this isn’t about any one particular woman. it’s about the disproportionate number of individuals who make up rules of engagement for males/females/non-binary individuals that are not equal in status or power.
Where does the hypocrisy end? It doesn’t. One day, it will. Not yet.
Watch this clip from Andie MacDowel on The Graham Norton Show ** trigger warning … I’m offering a censor for the fragile feelings of people who lack the courage of listening to adults using cuss words**or seeing women wearing their age like a fine wine**or are uncomfortable with the Devine Billy Porter. These are usually the same people.
I’m never offended by language ~ I’m offended by hypocrisy though. I’m offended by people who put themselves out there as leaders, but who also turn a blind eye on offenses against our mentees and students.
I’m a gritty person. I’m totally comfortable with that. It’s how I was raised, and goes well with my nerd side that wants to know everything. My guess is, if we use gritty, gruff language around the leaders in the field of grit, there will not be a gritty word coming out of their academic mouths.
Why is that?
How is it that the women who write romance novels are 90% more comfortable talking about ‘trashy’ language ~ sex ~ the things that the academics teach about but aren’t comfortable bringing up in conversation.
We have to turn to our artists, actors, writers, story tellers, and some motivational leaders for all the words.
It’s not in what is said, but instead, how it is used.
The pen is mightier than the sword. #Truth
I’m offended by bullshit “morality clauses” that tell people one thing, while the judge/jury/executioner types act as if they are more valuable or important than anyone else.
Celebrities are professionals.
Have you ever met professionals in the writing profession? They are not afraid of words. Some of them are quite colorful. Knowing when to use them is a true art-form.
A lot like sex scenes or violence ~ too much, or unnecessary gratuitous use is going to subtract from the experience of the art.
It is not the words but the intent that offend or motivate people.
Know who else uses the morality police to clip the wings of others? Abusers.Domestic violence abusers. Master manipulators. And yes, academics who are a little too drunk on their power.
I’ve met my fair share of all of the above, so speak from both research and experience.
I write what I know.
Tangent!: Which writer first tossed out that advice? Write what we know?
I’d love to have a discussion with Stephen King or other authors of monsters.
I’d love to meet Charlaine Harris to ask her about Sookie Stackhouse. True Blood writers took that to the next level.
We are worried about cussin’ but not the violence being shown to our little eye balls, 24×7? What about the addiction to porn epidemic right now? I don’t hear a lot of them talking about that.
I do hear a lot of people boasting and bragging about how much money they are making but not a whole lot about the tangible evidence of the success of the verse they have contributed to the world.
I do hear a lot of collective protection of a field when they are questioned in their validity. That’s not how academia is supposed to work.
Nobody is attacking them, but they sure act as if they are threatened.
Know who else does that?
Narcissists when they are called out.
I’m not saying correlation, but … is there some causation?
There are two very famous, successful writers that I love to read who both attended Harvard ~ you would never know about it, unless you really dug into their background. Humility is worn well in their professional achievements.
They stand on their words for their success.
I know another person who drops the word ‘Harvard’ into every single online clip, comment or connection. They use that as their leverage. They have also never once written an original thought. Everything in their life is given to them, paid for, or backed by other entitled puritanical elitists. They have no concept of how to relate to the people on the street. In their mind, I wonder if they even know how out-of-touch they are?
To each their own. Whatever makes you happy. But don’t push other people down because you do not understand their character or backstory. That is not the way.
In the event you are also interested in the words of women who don’t give a flip about the male lens on how we should speak, write or spend our lives ~ I highly recommend Smart B*tches, Trashy Books.
I don’t love everything they write, and sometimes, they can be hard. But then, I fully support their right to be that, if they want to.
Most of the successful academics in the romance writing genre, BTW, are also holding masters and doctoral degrees. Just sayin’ ~ smart & command of language go together.
Our words are not based on gender, stereotype, social morality clauses or the prudence police. They are based on our passions, interests, message and desire to say whatever the fork we want to, however we want to without being censored by people who themselves, have their own bag of cats to contend with.
Say what you want ~ speak as you will ~ ignore the call of the overly shrill.
The world (maybe the old world) tells us that we are not allowed to have two careers ~ that we have to define who we are, with a singular thought; give our all to building our brand; stay loyal to one industry; then, slowly, climb that corporate ladder until we’ve achieved a thirty year resume of impressive, award winning accolades.
Then retire with a big shebang, move to Myrtle Beach, drive a golf cart, then become a lady who lunches at the club over mixed drinks.
Not a single drop of that describes the life I’ve lived. It does describe the majority of people I had all around me the majority of my adulthood.
I went rogue a long time ago.
I attribute this to the karen crisis. All these middle aged women are only just coming out of their Xanex induced comas to discover that they are humans, far beyond what others expect of them.
Living the life not meant for us, but expected by others is torture.
If you have the desire to write ~ write.
Currently flipping that switch back on. I finished a full novel in 2006 ~ my first.
I entered it in a contest with a large organization. When we do that (did that), it got shopped out to six judges who were also writers.
It came back as an “eh!” at best. Fair. I got two rejections, then gave up.
ONLY TWO! Then, I read Stephen King’s On Writing ~ still my favorite Writers on Writing book if you are shopping for one. There are others.
The people in my personal life all laughed. They all belittled and devalued the writing career possibilities. I took it personally.
I welcomed that bullshit lack of support into my brain house, then served it tea.
It didn’t occur to me for two decades to get rid of them, and get some new, more encouraging people ~ my tribe was long distance ~ I still haven’t fully met them.
Online served my need for writing buddies ~ sort of. At least they were speaking the language I thought I had made up. Stuff like,
“Are you a plotter or a panster”
“Do you dream about writing? Are you writing while waiting on line? Do you stare out the window, imaging worlds that nobody else can see?”
I’m a natural born day dreamer, but told my whole life that it’s not practical.
Of course, I was already past my traditional 21-55 age before I decided to go for it.
A friend died. It woke me up. Then, another. And another. Three more announced their struggle with cancer.
Have we woken up to doing everything we can to pursue the love of what we do yet?
This past year was screaming at us to get the fuck up and start running like fire to the thing that we dream of, even when we’re asleep in our daily lives.
So here I am. Writing.
The transition is giving me anxiety ~ it’s a good thing that boring day job of mine also helps people to heal from anxiety.
Know who makes the BEST rehab/addiction counselors? People who have been there. Know why? They have a nuanced, fine tuned sense of each stage of the journey of recovery.
Know who makes the BEST career advisor? It’s not the young college student turned career counselor who never actually worked outside of their chosen field. Nope.
It’s the person who has failed. The person who no longer gets debilitating self doubt when they receive the rejections. The person who has tried on a few hats in various industries to fully know what they do not want to do.
That’s part of living our best ([in my case, writing] life.
Knowing what we DON’T want as much as we know what we DO want.
Reading is part of writing.
Researching is part of writing.
Shit~ I took every last class and then some of a doctorate, which required 40-page papers x2 in almost every one. I was already writing.
Who are these non-writers to tell us what a writing career is and more importantly, WHY are we listening to them.
Give the world the gift of your writing ~ Take what you need to make it succeed.
Creative writing is a muscle ~ however out of shape it is, it can become a toned, sexy, beast of a career. Magic flows from the finger tips as they connect to the conscious awareness of worlds that can’t be seen.
For all that there is a mad passion with books, there will always be a mad passion to write.
Part of this verbal diarrhea of a website is to also write in a flow that makes more sense to me than to prove a point or emulate any of the ‘old me’ professional life.
I’m writing a novel ~ I get stuck ’cause my brain is trained to be academic about it. Stop. Research. Stop. Clean up the writing. Stop. Think critically. Stop. Use third person. Stop. Follow all the rules. Stop. Be sure that it will be acceptable to others in the field. Stop. …. you get the point.
Talk about a mood killer when you’re writing fiction!
Even the NaNoWriMo kills it for me. I’ve finished 50K goal every year for years. What I haven’t done? Publish most of them or not like any of the stuff that I have written.
The problem is, there is so much damn cheerleading, not to mention the survival skills to be popular, right and well read along the way. In and of itself, the NaNo is a great idea. How we get that writing to print is what stops me cold. I have zero interest in being either popular or seen. I don’t care about that at all. Sort of a buzz kill for a writing career, don’t you think?
I’m in the process of unlearning everything I’ve learned so I can jog my creative brain to kick it up a notch.
I’m glad to see people popping out their fiction here. I’m still a newbie on WordPress, which is nice.
When you slide into your fifties ~ it’s fun to be new at something. Back in the 80’s, I did two degrees in mass communications ~ the writing and art part were my favorite. Then, I went to NYC ~ took a job in advertising only to realize that I was not living out my dream but someone else’s supply and demand.
Seem’s like a theme for me.
If I could tell every person out there what not to date in a career ~ it’s this ~ don’t commit to the career that isn’t meant for you.
Run, like hell toward your passion, then hold on tight as you learn how to fly with it.
Writing ~ like life, is an art form. Right now, I’m remembering who I was before I did what was expected of me back in the day. It’s a process.
For the longest time, I was the lighthouse for people. Now? I’m in search of one ~ new shores. Old metaphors. Hm? I think I may have a metaphor problem. What’s an anagram of Metaphor + Addiction?
Anywho ~ to all the writers out there ~ Flow ~ however imperfect or weird ~
I put this website together on the fly ~ have struggled with “figuring it out” on my own and fork if it isn’t making me nuts.
.Instead of killing time or raising my blood pressure ~ I’m going to leave it unfinished for now ~ go to WordPress school ~ kvetch like the k.aren that I am and own that I have NO idea what I’m doing.
I’m okay with that.
We don’t become masters by doing something once. Or, hiring someone else to do it for us.
I have no idea what I’m doing. I am used to Blogger and Wix. Both were a LOT easier. I don’t know why I didn’t go back to them, except ~ I am a noetic nomad and love to move. I love to sit in discomfort as a master a new skill. I love to be wrong so I can deep dive into the truth.
It would be SO easy to hire a ghost writer ~ a web developer ~ an editor and social media manager ~ I could go live in the woods, wandering around fairy mounds, thinking up ways to spend my day. But nope.
I want to learn ~ more every day.
By the time I die, I want a head full of useless trivia. And skills that will die with me.
Life could be a selfie or it could be a down and dirty rumble the likes of which Brene Brown talks about in her brilliant work.
I want the rumble.
It appears, website building will feel more like Minecraft for grownups. Rome was not built in a day and neither will this structure. I love a good challenge ~ just giving you the heads up in case you say, “WTF” to my patchwork quilt of a website.
I’ve used up my metaphor quota for the day. Thanks for being patient with me.
New Age and Old School don’t mean the same thing that they meant just ten years ago. The new trend (and it is new) to just blankly accept a truth if it seems to align with the people you already have in your life vs. a more logical approach to understanding something by staying open to learning about it.
To be ~ or not to be ~ that IS the question.
I’m a total fan of higher education because it teaches people how to think. At least it used to. Not to memorize for the purpose of passing a test, but to really think. Critical thinking; problem solving; emotional intelligence; purposeful conversations that involve multiple views of the same issue. That’s why we are whole heartedly on team higher edu.
The catch? It’s so expensive that many people are finding alternative routes to life beyond schools. It continues to open up like a sink hole on exposing classism.
Privilege and wealth allow people to attend 4-year colleges and beyond. The community or trade colleges are teaching a craft.
I worked for one for a short time, until I realized it wasn’t there for students, it was there to take their money. It was the worst state run 2-year school I had ever seen. I was told that out of the 4.0 system, this school would keep students enrolled if they had a .5 … that’s a .5 out of 4.0 ~ that’s just taking people’s money. Basically, even if they were failing every class, the school would hold on to them, as long as they could find money.
That’s criminal ~ isn’t it? It should be.
The point is ~ where are we cultivating real learning? How to tell the morals, ethics, philosophies and critical thinking skills that used to be part of spirited campus conversations? A new Age of Enlightenment has a new face. Social media.
On YouTube? Tik Tok for the win? There are a LOT of professionals on Tik Tok, teaching skills, facts, and funny sides of their professional endeavors. I don’t hate it. There’s also a LOT of garbage and stupidity ~ it’s all in what we choose to see.
In the 80’s and 90’s, when we spoke of a ‘new age’, we were talking about enlightenment which to some was dumb but to those experiencing an awakening of the self, it was profoundly deep.
Today, it’s being used to sell candles and tarot cards.
Another trend ~ people’s belief systems are also big business. You don’t have to have any training, education or knowledge beyond your own point of view and BAM!
You have 300K followers and now, considered an expert ’cause you have charisma.
The better looking you are, the more followers.
Are we seriously going to be that vapid?
At the moment, yes, we are.
Twenty years ago, when reality tv was still a novelty, I remember saying out loud to my kids (who were very little at the time), “This is so stupid, it’s never going to take off”.
Ha! I was so wrong. It’s cool. I can laugh at my own mistakes.
🙂 I love it when a motivational speaker looks directly into the camera and tells you to stop listening to motivational speakers. Hilarious! Does anyone else see the irony? Anybody? Funny right? BTW, I love Mel Robins, but y’all know what she’s up to? Or am I just old enough to have been around that block enough times.
We raised a generation of humans with those reality tv shows, and now?
They live by them. They live in them. They have all seemed to turn themselves into reality celebrities.
When we take something special and make it ordinary, it is nothing more than ordinary.
The ones who are rising to the top?
Here’s the formula ~ humble brag about your flaws ~ find some thing that’s really hard or sad in your own life ~ tell your “vulnerability” story to the world, followed by ~ being critical of others about their flaws and vulnerability.
In the words of Igino Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means”
*We don’t have to be super model skinny to be enlightened.
*We don’t have to be young or forever striving for “reverse aging” to be enlightened.
*We don’t even have to look damn good in yoga pants or show an abundance of financial wealth to understand that to be enlightened is not a new matcha formula.
But damn ~ keeping up with the digitally altered perfection is exhausting.
For some weird reason, we are now rebelling against kindness ~ I saw it in a New Yorker Cartoon calling kindness the new pandemic like it was a bad thing.
We are worshipping celebrities ~ accepting everything they say, even if they are dumb as rocks but look amazing in their impossibly expensive clothes that are made out of only okay materials made in awful factories that exploit others.
We are buying the illusion but forgetting our own lives are just as spectacular.
Normalizing normal ~ will that ever trend?
I hope so.
Look at Jay Shetty, who let’s face it, gives good face which is how he, over all other temporary monks ~ has become famous.
Young women (and men) swoon when Jay Shetty speaks ’cause he’s so damn beautiful. Then, he gets his message of enlightenment in there while gazing into the camera. Good on you Jay and your look alike lovely wife.
The laughing ~ the happily partnered up couple (also trending, to be in a secure coupledom)~ the joyful positive energy ~ all while traveling to lovely places, or creating a moment with a simplicity ~ carefully set up to create envy from the viewers.
What have we done to ourselves?
We have been sucked into the envy, greed, and desire business.
We envy these people ~ that’s why we follow them. We want to be them in some subconscious way.
We have been convinced that we need the words of these people and they play the part to perfection.
Hell, I love ’em too. I would LOVE to “live my best life” perfectionism ~ but instead, I’m cleaning up dog vomit at 3 am ’cause the reality of a 16-year old dog is, he has old man problems.
I’m constantly cleaning up after him and the cats; car pooling a kid to high school and writing my own content ~ no assistants or ghost writers or money managers.
Is it just SO easy to create this illusion of a life just by studying reality technology celebrities?
We’ve watered down our tea; our traditions and our talent. We take the easy way out by using digital alterations rather than putting in the work.
When the internet (or social media) goes down, people lose their minds. We are SO addicted to being online that I see it as just another crack.
What did you do all day when it went down?
Savor? Engage? Read ~ an actual book? Socialize? Nap? Write ~ on paper, with a pen?
MORE than ever ~ people are becoming clinically depressed or socially anxious because they can’t live up to the expectations of what we’re viewing.
What we’re viewing is a total illusion Matrix ~ dangerous shit, if you ask me.
I’m not into False positives ~ which includes people, places and experiences that require I update myself on the regular about who or what is trending.
Sorry. I’m just not that into you ~ trend ~ whatever you are.
Here’s the oxymoron of the whole thing ~
We can’t be pulled in to follow a trend and also be true to ourselves at the same time.
What’s the point of all this?
Embrace change ~ but stay aware ~ be true to yourself ~ as hard as that is in our addiction to following trends ~ love what you have “as is” without falling into the trap of craving what we don’t have.
OH ~ and don’t attend a shitty school that keeps taking your money without teaching you anything. You can actually learn more about what to look for in a college or educational investment on Tik Tok than in an antiquated, out of date old school.
That about sums it up.
Also ~ this blog is long ~ on purpose. 300-word attention spans are not my cup of tea. Build up that muscle or paying attention for longer than 15-30 seconds.
Let’s go girls ~ to all the people out there saying it’s not professional to cuss, but would give their left foot to hang out with a celebrity ~ this post is for you.
Katy Perry ~ Madonna ~ Adele ~ Dame Judy Dench ~ Helen Mirren ~ Cher ~ Dr. Brene Brown ~ every one of the Professional Author’s Network of RWA ~ almost every one of my now successful former students who are currently holding PhD’s; PsyD’s; MSW’s; PT’s; LMHC; and more ~ Emily Blunt ~ Jennifer Lawrence ~ Leslie Mann ~ ALL of the cast of Bride’s Maids ~ ALL of the cast of SNL [Saturday Night Live] ~ Amy Poehler ~ Tina Fey ~ shall I go on? Here’s a list … have at it.
The thing is ~ it’s not about the cursing at all. I grew up pretty Jersey style tough in a family dominated by males as the shadow to those males. I cuss. A lot. At home and in my writing. In public? When I forget myself or feel very comfortable with you, but otherwise, not as much.
I’m just not that into if you are judging me based on the words I speak.
For the longest time, I was trapped in that false narrative that we have to worry about who likes us. It’s actually the opposite. We have to ask ourselves if we like them!
Why are we told from birth to ever worry about “fitting in” when we have nothing in common with the “them”?
Cursing is in and of itself ~ language ~ language I might add that is more than accepted and welcome in a male dominated world and yet, even other women say, “Oh, I don’t like cursing but especially when done by women” ~
I defer to the online magaine Jezebel for any further discussion about the matter. ~ their tagline is “Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With teath” ~ I’m sure they won’t be shy in talking about professional women who cuss a lot.
That’s not my focus.
Actually, I don’t give a shit if someone curses up a storm or not. No word is going to bother me. I’m immune to them. Girl ~ I’ve been called them all ~ in some circles, I’ve had my fair share of flavorful epitaphs tossed my way.
I don’t write to make other people happy.
Hell, I don’t live my life in need of praise or promise of the opinions of others. And neither should you and yet ~ here we are.
This blog ~ journey ~ new life re-write and healing space is all about people finding not only their own voice after years of trauma or stunted soul growth ~ it’s about having the freedom to be one’s self. NOT what society and culture demand of them.
Women are leaving places and spaces that no longer work for them. It’s that simple.
I gave myself permission to leave a place that was abusive ~ people who were toxic and that feeling that the other shoe was going to drop at any second because that’s what toxic single parenthood always is.
I was done with having to fight for my right to merely exist in the cruelest of places.
The hypocrisy and humor is in the knowledge that every single person who says, “I’m offended by off-color language, cussing, potty words, or cursing” would also bend over backward to have a smart female professional like Adele, come hang out with them or speak at their event. Whatever that is.
For all the people who tell Madonna or Katy Perry or Mila Kunis or Dame Judy Dench that they are not professional ~ please …. do. Then come back and let me know how that goes.
I’ll wait here ~ just knowing I will be excited to hear that story.
I’m not as spicy in my words as the writers over at Jezabel, but I do admire their colorful words. I’d much prefer their company than that of a pias, judgmental, pinched up gossip queen who throws hate all over anyone who isn’t exactly like her. (or him).
Karma has a funny way of calling people out on their bullshit.
As for habits ~ good or bad ~ have you seen The Good Place? I forking love how they approach cussing. Those benches knock it out of the park. We can change our language if we want to, but only for ourselves. Never change you for the comfort of someone else.
I don’t judge but I do know that part of the gift of writing is to shut up and observe. I’ve seen church ladies and elementary school teachers toss out some serious shade on others while sucking down wine like a hungry kitten looks to a nursing mama cat. Daily.
Unless you are crystal clear perfect in every single way ~ there is no space for being the judge, jury or critic of anyone else.
The beauty of living in our own bubble of truth is ~ we work on ourselves, for ourselves, by ourselves. Then, the right people do come along.
Here’s to finding your own truth, using whatever fucking language you want to.
No matter what your gender is.
Always remember and never forget ~ everything, no matter how clear ~ has a shadow self.
In peace and clarity,
K. Aren for @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller @HenryHealing.com
So when I hear that a leading academic is both studying sexual abuse while being sexually violating to his students ~ yeah …. I got triggered BIG TIME. He’s not the first, nor will he be the last. I won’t even go into the sexual abuse of certain religions, family values, cultural permissiveness and classism when it comes to some regions are living in dinosaur ages when it comes to helping people to heal from abuse.
Trauma And yes ~ the body DOES keep score.
One of my goals is to contribute my verse to the growing cacophony of noise around this subject to help shift the paradigm to actually doing something about it.
For me, I wasn’t furious that he did what he did. The dude also makes fun of heavy people on his Facebook pages, and openly laughs about stealing other people’s ideas to turn into his own research. He’s a jackass. A jackass who, when caught, quickly turns to suing people ~ like a pit bull defending a bone. Own up to his behavior? Never. Karma will have to do that.
What made me furious to the point of rethinking my entire career was the number of people ~ professional people who make a LOT of money promoting healthy happy habits ~ who support and back him ~ giving zero fucks about the victims of his sexual harassment. They simply ghost those women and new academics. They basically said, “Well, he sure is controversial, but he helps the industry, so…”
As long as the money and fame flow ~ the abuse will continue.
Ironically, these same people who don’t like the word “fuck” because it’s offensive, are defending a MALE who talked about his blow jobs in a hot tub with his mentees ~ as many male professors do.
How many of you have been sexually abused or harassed at some point in your lives?
Let’s just throw this out there because we all know it’s true ~ IF he had been a black male, he would have been immediately fired and he would have had charges brought against him.
Yet another layer of the double standard in higher education.
Don’t get me wrong ~ I LOVE higher education ~ so much good is in the academic setting for growth ~ it’s important to a healthier world. BUT, there is always a bad apple that gets protected by the system.
It’s the systemic misogeny, racism, puritanical hypocrisy that drives me nuts.
The people most hurt?
Those silenced by shame and blame ~ young or financially disempowered ~ naive, blindsided and targeted young women (and men) who give carte blanche trust to their teachers, faculty, mentors and managers.
People who are betrayed on a cellular level.
My entire career in the field of psychology began with counseling sexually abused college students and it ended with counseling sexually abused women and girls.
For forty years ~ I have heard story after story after story of abuse. WHY hasn’t the industry changed in all that time.
At 18, I was still a virgin. I was hit on … hard … by a 45 year old professor who saw that I was ignorant of his intentions.
I was so embarrassed. I never told.
In silence. In embarrassment because I should have known better.
Women have told me that it’s happened to them too. An overwhelming number of women, who then, stop talking to me or ‘un-friend’ because they are ashamed of speaking out loud after decades of abuse.
That’s what we do. We get bold, then retreat, then speak up ~ then retreat.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of just leaving the internet entirely because I KNOW what the backlash is and will be.
Courage is part of the Post Traumatic Growth cycle. But so is being afraid of our own shadow from time to time. Being UN-liked? That’s ingrained in the cycle.
Yeah ~ if I had had more self awareness and worked on my own courage to say, “fuck off” ~ my life would have gone in a whole other direction.
Yes ~ I know that women are NOT supposed to use curse words in the delicate ears of “professionals” and yet ~ Gary Vaynerchuck said it best in his addressing cussin’, language and how we deliver our message to the world.
Remember ~ it’s an angry word ~ this is an angry subject ~ we are angry people who are whole heartedly done being told what we can or can’t say about our own life experiences.
You betcha that makes people uncomfortable.
It should be uncomfortable to defend abusers.
I WISH I was blissfully unaware like so many others that I know or have met along the way.
I am acutely aware of the long lasting effects of trauma and what it does to the body.
We as a society are still in a quagmire of a double standard about what women are allowed to exist as and what men are allowed to exist as.
There are outliers. I’m one of those. I was raised in a male dominated society ~ to the point where looking like a boy as a child, probably saved me from being sexually abused.
As a young adult, I wasn’t so lucky.
My survivor story launched a two decade long career into saving others ~ at least, helping others but the trauma I endured also had a repeat pattern on a loop until I was able to get myself out of it.
I know that this sort of thing tends to be discussed more on Tik Tok and YouTube, but writing about it ~ it leans toward the silence in a way that verbal story telling can’t achieve.
Everything out there will help you in a short amount of time. Mindfulness ~ CBT ~ DBT ~ meaning centered therapies ~ feminist theory ~ family systems therapies …. I’ve studied and used them all both for myself and my people.
I have been witness to sexual abuse for half a century ~ I know it when I see it.
It changes your brain. It changes your body. It changes your spirit.
What is trauma? The Body Keeps Score is a great book ~ we have scars that nobody can see ~ well, trained experts can see them, but don’t always acknowledge them.
p.s… I’ve shared both male and female perspectives from experts on purpose. There are really good men out there helping the world and foundations that support the discovery of the health and wellness community ~ it’s important to embrace all genders for this very insidious, base action against humanity ~ and to learn from our own stories in how to live a healthier, happier tomorrow.