The Boss Babe Blog
Build your career without sacrificing your life.
It’s that time of the month again, the time of the month that this blog dedicates to recognizing brilliant minds from all around the globe. Last month, we featured a young author and poet. This month, we’re featuring a man named Rolando Gapud. Rolando isn’t nearly as young as the “successful youth” that we featured in our last brilliant minds issue, but he is certainly just as, if not even more, brilliant. As a a Filipino businessman and current Executive Chairman of the Board of Del Monte Pacific Limited (DMPL), Gapud aids his business in their efforts to cater to today’s consumer needs for premium quality, healthy food and beverage products.
Rolando Gapud has been a driven and achieving person since he was still attending school. In 1961, Rolando Gapud graduated with honors from Ateneo University in Manila, Philippines, where he received his B.A. in Mathematics. In 1964, he received a Master of Science degree in Industrial Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During this crucial time period in his life, he researched management theory in depth and went on to publish a book titled “A Measure of Information System Efficiency”. Through his research and writing efforts, he has become a businessman and author that has touched the lives of millions of individuals from around the world.
According to Gapud’s website, he makes regular large contributions to his community and surrounding communities. Through the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Del Monte Foundation, Gapud has contributed to the development of effective leaders in our society and provided housing, schooling and medical services to all 5’000 employees and their families of the Del Monte Foundation, as well as aiding in the development of the company’s pineapple operations in the Philippines, which happens to be the world’s largest integrated pineapple plantation, encompassing 23,000 hectares.
Rolando Gapud does his part to support his family, his neighborhood, his community, his country, his work industry, his company, and individuals that inhabit the world in which we live in today, on top of the future generations that will benefit from his advances in science, technology, and management techniques. Honestly, it’s impossible to write a series of “brilliant minds” without including someone with this type of ambition. He may not be a “successful youth”, but he is a major reason that our future youth will be successful, just like businessmen and women before us are a major part of the reason we’re currently as successful as we are. He inspires change across multiple generations, and after all, that’s exactly the spirit that this blog attempts to encompass.
If you’d like to learn more about Rolando Gapud, just visit his website: http://rolandogapud.com/
Social media used to be a beautiful place. When I first signed up for my Facebook account in 2010, it was a website full of fun, family, and local event announcements. Lately, the idea of social media being something “fun” is as ancient as your long-forgotten Myspace profile, and it almost feels as though updating your Facebook status is a chore rather than an enjoyable activity. It’s near impossible to login to your account without reading some kind of rant about backstabbing “friends” or politics (guilty). Unless of course, you’re friends with no one other than the Pope, and that’s still questionable.
So, where did social media go wrong? Obviously, it flipped about the same time the rest of society did. It honestly wasn’t too surprising. I, however, feel that satire had a large part to play in the demolition of traditional social media fun. Ironically written posts, otherwise known as copypasta, has been circulating social media since it was first created. Back in the good ole days it would sound something like “Send this to 15 friends or this monster will appear under your bed tonight!”. Sure, it was pretty creepy for our 10-year-old selves, but it’s nothing compared to the annoyance of the copypasta you’ll find today. “You have TATTOOS? How can you call yourself a human being!?!?!? You’re a disgusting piece of trash. You should die and go to hell. Do you think you could ever be a good parent? HA! Stop fooling yourself. You’re a whore.” Sound extreme? Yeah, that would be because it is. It’s not uncommon to see something like this on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Pinterest, nowadays. They’re also known by some as “bait posts”, basically meaning that they are created simply to see who they will anger. Why would someone want to intentionally anger their followers? I thought I had a dark sense of humor, but even I don’t understand the humor behind this mess.
How did Copypasta ruin social media, when it’s (supposedly) all in good fun?
It’s difficult to look at.
Seriously. I don’t want to attempt to read a paragraph that’s spaced out over 15,000 pages, simply because someone decided they wanted to talk in a combination of words and emojis. Trust me, I love emojis just as much as the next person. I add hearts and peace signs to literally everything, and I can’t write a decent bio without that cute little stack of books and Hawaiian flower, but I don’t cram my posts full of them…that just hurts the eyes and boggles the brain! There’s no need for more than 30 emojis in a post with only 4-5 sentences. Pull yourselves together, people.
I get it…you think it’s funny to watch someone get upset over something that seems silly to you. It’s like watching the stupid person try to jump off a trampoline and into a pool end up busting his butt on the edge of the pool. You try not to laugh, but it’s nearly impossible, because you’re not the person in the situation feeling the pain. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t hurt anyone. Contrary to what our current society believes, words do hurt, and when someone with tattoos, or piercings, or wildly colored hair lashes out against the person who posts this trash and calls them intolerant, that’s not a basis for laughing. That’s an individual that isn’t sure whether you’re serious or not, and is defending themselves and their peers that may be affected by your attacks.
It’s basically plagiarism.
Someone originally wrote these posts. Copypasta entails copying and pasting the content, not sharing it. No credit is given to the person that created it. Now, if the content is nasty, maybe that’s a good thing. However, there is some copypasta that is pretty decent, asking for rates and such, and the creators are getting no credit for their work. I actually came across a cute post that everyone was copying, and the person who originally posted it was fighting to get credit for their work. Nowhere did it say “copy and paste”, because that’s not what it was meant for. That is plagiarism, regardless of how you look at it.
The first time you see a copypasta post, you might think it’s clever, funny, disgusting, angering, or anything in between. It’ll likely draw some type of reaction from you. However, the 15th, 16th, or 17th time you see the post, you’ll be tired of it, it will draw no reaction from you, and you’ll either scroll past it or report it as spam (guilty, again). This not only is boring for the reader, but nonproductive for the poster, and bad for the social media site, because it causes the audience to lose interest in their feed. You’re just hurting everyone involved when you post this type of content, if you can consider it legitimate content.
Some people believe that racism died when African Americans started obtaining the same rights as other folks. No longer are black men and women forced to give up their bus seat in the name of white supremacy, and you'll find plenty of colored folks at the voting booth come election day, but that isn't a good indicator of the amount of racism left in America. Actually, there are still plenty of indicators that racism is alive and as prevalent as ever. You've probably seen the ads calling out the big tobacco industries for advertising heavily in predominantly minority-based neighborhoods. You've also probably caught wind of the unarmed murders of many young black men that have been plastered across news headlines over the past couple of years. Regardless of where you've seen acts of racism lately, there's no doubting that it's there, and no denying that it's a topic many people feel uncomfortable discussing. That's why I've put together this article highlighting some of the best social experiments that tackled racism in the most relatable ways possible.
1. Wake Me Up When It's All Over
Maybe we haven't all experienced the horrors of falling asleep on the subway, but I'm sure we've all dozed off in public once or twice. In times like these, we become forever grateful for the helping hand of a nice stranger that decides to shake us awake. It doesn't take much to wake someone up at the last subway stop and prevent a lot of potential trouble for the sleepy person, but it seems like the people on this subway didn't see it that way...at least not in the case of the black man.
2. The Human Race is the Most Racist Race...Got It?
I don't think there was any REAL consensus here, other than we're all racist toward somebody in someway at some point in time, but it was interesting to see all of the different opinions. Also, I think we can all relate to that one girl when she says "I'm jealous that they're darker than me.". Seriously! Can you imagine never having to tan, or turn yourself into an orange greasy mess because you're too busy to tan (Looking at you Mr. Trump)?
3. It's Not All Black and White.
The media focuses so heavily on African Americans vs. Whites that we tend to forget Asians can experience racism just as well as blacks. This concept also applies to Indians, Native Americans, and all the other cultures that aren't marked by pale skin. The human race comes in all shades of colors, but the lighter the person, the more acceptance they seem to receive. We should be working towards an entire spectrum of happy humans.
4. Love Is Colorblind. Dad Is Not.
A few hundred years ago both sides of this relationship would have been condemned for their interest in a human being of another race. Today, it's actually quite common to see an interracial couple walking the streets. However, as we all seen in the latest movie tackling the topic (Get Out), parents can still have a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that their child is not dating within their race. This episode of WWYD is quite enlightening.
5. The Stigma IS Real!
Being dark makes you a target for more than a few racial slurs. It also makes you a target for profiling, something we touched on lightly when we discussed the tobacco industry's choice of ad placement. In this clip, WWYD investigates how individuals feel about profiling in a high end store. While profiling isn't acceptable in any environment, you would hope to be able to expect high end stores to hold their employees to a higher standard.
Despite popular belief, Sex Ed entails a lot more than P in V techniques. If you didn’t know that, then you probably need to be one of the first people to sign up for a class…honestly.
One of the most common misconceptions about sexual education is that children can be taught everything they need to know by their parents, or figure it all out on their own. Honestly, that’s like handing a child a formula for quantum theory, and expecting them to understand it. That’s just not realistic.
The truth is: Sexual Education doesn’t simply teach you what sex is, it teaches you how to control your sexual urges, the consequences of various sexual actions, how to stay safe from sexually transmitted diseases, how to prevent unplanned pregnancies, how to understand your own post-pubescent body, and how to understand the function of the post-pubescent body of the opposite sex.
For example: See is you can answer these 5 basic-knowledge-based questions.
1. Name 3 major rules to using condoms properly.
2. What does a healthy penis/vagina look like, and what are some warning signs of an issue?
3. How long should a woman take BC pills before having otherwise unprotected sex to avoid pregnancy?
4. What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
5. Does abstinence protect you from sexually transmitted diseases?
If you’re curious…here are the correct answers.
1. Abide by the expiration date, do not wear two or more condoms at once, do not store condoms in a place where ripping or corrosion might occur (ex. In a wallet, purse, etc.).
2. Bumps and lumps don’t always allude to danger. In fact, many men have a rind of bumps around the crown of the penis – this is completely natural. However, if you find warts…beware, because that could be a sign of HIV. Women, discharge is 100% normal, and will change in color, consistency, and scent over the course of your menstrual cycle, but foul-smelling, cheesy, or yellow/brown/red discharge is almost always a red flag that something is wrong, or at least out of balance. Dry, scaly skin isn’t good. Rashes and skin abrasions aren’t good, either. Genitals come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, just like the people connected to them do, but it’s good to know what the warning size of disease are, so you can keep yourself better protected.
3. Wait at least two days after taking your first pill to start having otherwise unprotected sex with your partner.
4. AIDS is a condition or syndrome that stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV is a virus that may turn into AIDS once the virus has damaged the immune system deeply enough. However, people can live for years with HIV without ever developing AIDS. However, both share the HIV virus. So, while you can have HIV without AIDS, you can’t have AIDS without HIV.
5. Abstinence puts you at a much lower risk for STD’s, but it doesn’t necessarily protect you. Virgins can obtain various STD’s by sharing needles, touching infected surfaces in bathrooms, etc.
I’ve had a conversation about the need to improve sexual education in the United States, and the other person said “Even my 5-year-old knows where babies come from! Need sex education in the U.S.? Please. That’s a sorry excuse for unplanned pregnancy.” However, as we just saw, sexual education is about much more than “where babies come from”, and there are still people walking around, every day, wondering “how did I get pregnant?”. Common myths like having sex in water will prevent pregnancy, you can’t get pregnant if you have sex standing up, and condoms are always effective, lead to young people, and maybe even older people, carrying around children that they didn’t want…or expect. I don’t even have to type the 5-page paper about what type of problems that causes in our society, you know how the rest of the story goes.
To prove my point, I just had a conversation with my mother and grandmother, in which I taught both of them the proper way to use a condom, and the proper way to wash your vagina. These women have lived 50 and 68 years of their lives, respectively, without knowing how to use a condom properly, and without understanding the dangers of cleaning your vagina with harsh chemicals and perfumes found in various washes. They weren’t aware that using water-based or oil-based lubricant makes all the difference when using a condom, if you want the protection to actually protect you. They hadn’t thought about the rubber being worn down by being stored in a wallet. Neither of them knew that condoms had an expiration date.
So, how did I know? I’ve been lucky enough to attend a private online honors high school, provided through Penn Foster University. I was offered a class that briefly covered the basics of sexual education. There were two exams on the subject. Not one questioned asked me where babies come from. Yes, it is the parent’s job to teach that to their children, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that we can’t rely on parents to teach their children the entirety of proper sexual education.
The problem is, sexual education isn’t mandatory in the United States…and where it is mandatory, it may not be required to be medically accurate, or it may not teach more than abstinence, which we all now know isn’t guaranteed to protect you. In fact, 37 states currently allow inaccurate information to be taught in sex education classes. Also, only 18 out of 50 states require contraception to be taught alongside sexual education. Now, it isn’t difficult to see why the United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate of any other developed country, is it? To top it all off, if someone in Texas, Alabama, or South Carolina receives information on same-sex relationships in their Sex Ed class, they can only receive negative information that discourages homosexuality.
Basically, we’re failing our up-and-coming generation.
If you feel the need to sex-educate yourself after reading this article, click here.
Want to win some life-changing prizes?
21st Century feminism gets a bad rap, these days. Usually, people think of it as naked women walking down the street with short rants written in paint all over their bodies. I’m not going to try to say that doesn’t happen, because yes, it certainly does. I’m also not going to attempt to defend it, because let’s admit it, once you paint your body up and go streaking, you’re not protesting…you’re playing. I’ll even admit that third-wave feminism can get as ridiculously extreme as allowing young girls, and I’m talking princess-dress age children, not even pre-teens, to use profane language on camera to make a point. (I’m not upset because girls cussed. Hell, I cuss too. It’s the age group presented that was disturbing. By the way, if you haven’t seen the video, you can find it below.) Now that you see I’m not trying to promote some God-forsaken, social-justice-warrior, special-snowflake agenda designed to corrupt the mind of your children, and I’m seriously in favor of good-old-fashioned equality, let me tell you why we STILL need feminism, even in 2017.
Because women shouldn’t have to hide their natural functions.
At a family dinner once, my grandmother explicitly said “When you go to the bathroom, make sure to wrap a plastic bag around your used Kotex and carry it to the big trash can in the garage or the kitchen. I don’t want any of the men in the house seeing tampons, pads, or their wrappers in the trash and knowing there’s a woman in the house on her period. Okay, Sweetie? That just wouldn’t be proper.”. At that same family dinner, there were men sitting around the table letting out belches that sounded like they were coming from a Goliath, and one guy left a horrible stench in the bathroom behind him. They were excused, because these behaviors were “all-natural”, and they “couldn’t help it”. Periods are all-natural too. Why are they more taboo than a burp? Women shouldn’t be taught to be ashamed of a natural bodily process.
They shouldn’t be ashamed of any other part of their body, either.
I’m not saying a woman should walk around completely naked, or covered in nothing but paint. Unless of-course, you’re in an area that specifically permits that, like a specific festival, a nudist beach, or the comfort of your own home. What I am saying is showing a bra strap is not a sin. Neither is picking out a bra from a sales rack in the middle of an isle where there is the occasional man walking past. Yes, I’ve been called “classless” for doing exactly that. My response? “I’m sorry that bras are $25 a piece or more if you go to a specialty store, and I’m a full-time student that can’t afford such luxuries. If there are bras on sale for $3 apiece, you better know that I’m going to take advantage of that deal. I don’t care who is looking.” Men know women wear bras. What’s the shame in picking one out while they’re walking past? No one stopped to stare.
Because women’s hygiene products aren’t a luxury. (No, they aren’t comparable to condoms, either.)
The basic human needs are food, water, shelter, sex, sleep, and if you’re a woman…tampons/pads/menstrual cups. You can’t argue that these items are luxuries, simply because there are women in other countries making due without them. There are women in other countries making due without clean water too, but that never seems to come up in the luxury tax argument, although it certainly should. Often, I’ve seen tampons compared to condoms…but tampons don’t bring any sort of pleasure? Tampons are a necessity for men and women. Men don’t want to sit on bloody subway seats and park benches. Women don’t want to stain everything their bottom half touches. Tampons/Pads/Menstrual Cups (at least the cheap versions) should be counted as a necessity…because that’s exactly what they are.
Because women want to be mechanics and engineers, too. (With the SAME paycheck for the same work, mind you.)
“You can be anything you want to be when you grow up”. We’ve all heard it. Have we all lived lit, though? The simple answer is…not really. As a child, I was asked about my future ambitions many, many times. Coincidently, I provided many, many different answers over the span of my 8 years in the public-school system. I wanted to be a teacher, then a personal trainer, maybe a librarian, or even an author. I wanted to be a nurse, no, a doctor, possibly a veterinarian, even a horse trainer. I wanted to be an actress, or a graphic designer, a chef, and an artist. Although I loved to build and create, I never aspired to be an engineer. I loved the smell of a garage, and I could name a car by the sound of its engine…but I never bothered mentioning becoming a mechanic. I was the best basketball player in my school, but I gave up my dream of going pro. Occasionally, I wondered what it would be like to start my own business…but all the entrepreneurs I saw were powerful men, and I was far from being a man. At one point I dreamed of being President of the United States, those dreams were beaten down in the last election, however. Children look up to adults. Little girls look up to strong women figures. We need more strong women in male-dominated industries.
Because a strong body isn’t always a masculine body.
“I need to slap the society out of you. Muscles are meant to be strong.”. That’s a quote from the video that I’ve included, below. Women are meant to have strong bodies, just like men. If that means rippled and defined muscles, so be it. If that includes having to wiggle your way into jeans, and not being able to wear all the top brands that the models wear, then oh well. Masculinity is more than muscle mass, and muscle mass is not a factor in femininity. Yet, you still see articles in Women’s magazines focused on “How to lose weight without looking bulky!” Maybe women should STOP worrying about the size of their triceps compared to the size of their breasts, and just focus on something more important…like the bulkiness of their I.Q., or their level of daily activity. If a man won’t love you because you can flex better than he can, then there was never really any “love” to begin with. I hate to break it to you, but that’s just the facts.
Because sports aren’t exclusively for boys.
“I don’t think women should play basketball. It’s too hard on their bodies.” Yes, I’ve heard that comment from a close friend, before. A friend that knew I played basketball. So, I’ve got to ask…what would be more suiting? Swimming? Cheerleading? Tennis? Softball? Soccer? Sports are fun. Sports are for humans. Not especially for men, not especially for women, but for anyone willing and able to compete. My favorite sports are Basketball, football, tennis, track, horseback riding, swimming, dancing, baseball, bowling, kickball, and boxing. I love almost everything athletic. I don’t have to compete in women’s leagues to be comfortable. Throw me on a basketball court with a group of grown men, I won’t be intimidated. If I get injured, it’s all part of the game…it’s not because I’m a woman. Hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, racing…I’ve done it all. I’ve gotten sweaty, muddy, bloody, and loved every minute of it. Women aren’t too fragile to enjoy life. We deal with period cramps every month, and sometimes birth. We’re not “soft” like society tries to program us to be.
Oh, and we’re more than baby-making machines.
Some women don’t want children. Do I? Yes, I happen to want two or three, actually. Does that make me more of a woman than a female that never wants children? No. “Women who don’t have children have no purpose. They are useless to society.” Believe it or not, that’s another comment I’ve witnessed in person. That assumes that every woman struggling with pregnancy is defective and useless. By that logic, every man that doesn’t impregnate a woman is useless, as well…correct? Oh, yeah. Sorry, I forgot that only women are responsible for child-bearing, and men have no responsibility in it. In fact, they’re able to skip out on raising a child, just because they decided to talk a woman into a one-night-stand, and she’s left with the burden of being publicly and privately criticized by people that she once believed supported her. In reality, women DO contribute more to society than our womb. We held the nation up by our bare hands while the men were oversees blowing each other away in World War II. If a woman chooses not to have children, she’s actually doing the world a service. We’re greatly overpopulated as it is, and aside from that, we need more empowered female role models such as those to influence our children and teach them that we shouldn’t allow anyone to dictate what happens to our own bodies. We shouldn’t crack under the pressure of society, and we should keep confidence in ourselves, and stand by what we believe in, even when the rest of the world tries to bring us down.
Because your rights are something that has always been, and our rights are something we and our rights were something we had to work for.
You might see us as paranoid, but sometimes we legitimately worry that the second we turn our backs and stop worrying, they’ll disappear again. Kind of like happened to the Native Americans when the white men established boundaries, and then pushed them into reservations. We don’t want to go back to the days of coat-hanger abortions and glorification of rape within marriages. We don’t want to be seen as a mere tool or object. We want to be seen as human beings. We want to be treated with respect. More than anything else, we want men and women around the world to realize that while there are quite a few bad apples in the bunch, quite a few women still mooching off the opposite sex, and quite a few extremists still making feminism look like a movement to abolish all housewives (not true, you can be a housewife if you’d like, just don’t try to force your lifestyle on someone else or expect that behavior of someone else), we are not all feminazis. Some of us stand by the definition of the word “equality”. I’ll help you pay for the groceries, you help me cook the dinner. I’ll scratch your back, and you scratch mine. I’ll care for the baby one night, and you’ll care for it the next. I’ll ask you before buying that Gucci dress, and you ask me before buying that speedboat. I’ll hit the weights when you hit the weights. I’m going to study to be a doctor while you’re studying to be a lawyer. I’ll help our son straighten his favorite pink tie, and you can help our daughter pick out the camo wedding dress of her dreams. Equality.
It’s all over the internet, and if you haven’t heard about it yet, you’ve probably been living under a rock. It’s the latest nicotine craze, and it’s called “vaping”. As you might imagine, many people start vaping in an effort to quit smoking. Basically, vaping (using an e-cigarette) provides the user with all the endorphins of nicotine, without the tar and other harsh chemicals that you’ll find in cigarettes. Now, let me say before I go any further that more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of vaping and e-cigarette use. Currently, researchers aren’t certain whether vaping is a safe alternative, or just the lesser of the two evils. Either way, there are some clear benefits that can be established by picking up the practice, especially if you’re a former smoker. Today, I’ve decided to provide my readers with some of these benefits, because honestly, my boyfriend vapes every single day, and he asked me to write this post. I agreed, because I’ve been doing some of my own research, anyway, out of concern for his wellbeing. We’ve put our heads together and decided that it’s time to de-stigmatize the e-cigarettes and the individuals that choose to use them.
Vaping hasn’t been shown to put the user at risk for cancer.
Or heart attacks, for that matter. It’s common knowledge that smoking regular cigarettes poses both of these risks. However, vaping doesn’t expose the individual to the same dangerous toxins as cigarette smoke, and therefore doesn’t produce the same results. So, if you’re worried that you, your lover, your child, or another friend or family member are going to contract cancer or heart disease, or even a number of other deadly diseases, you should probably stop being such a worry-wort. The stress you’re putting yourself under is actually putting you at greater risk for heart problems than your vaping counterparts. A study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, back in early 2015 that painted a frightening picture of vaping…however, it wasn’t entirely accurate. You see, the study stated that once vapers reach a certain temperature (in voltage) they’ll start inhaling a chemical known as Formaldehyde. This is a very dangerous chemical to the human body, found in some plastics. What the Journal failed to mention is that many people fail to ever vape at such as high temperature, because they dislike the flavor of what is known as a “burnt hit”, and in turn, prefer to keep their voltage below the dangerous 5 voltage mark.
Vaporizers are less available than cigarettes.
That statement may sound annoying to the seasoned vaper that’s looking to stock up on their favorite products, however it is music to the ears of a mother or father that’s concerned about their child becoming hooked on nicotine at an early age. Vape supplies are generally easy to find online, but you’ll need to be over 18 on some sites, and over 21 on others. Unless your child is using your I.D. or a fake I.D., issues unrelated to vaping, they’re very unlikely to obtain all the equipment that they’ll need to become an avid user. I know this is true from experience, as a few months ago, I set out to buy my boyfriend a collection of vape juices for his birthday. The choices were scarce and the options were slim. Although, as vaping is likely to become more widely accepted as more is learned about it in the coming years, this truth will most likely change.
Vaping will make your pocketbook smile.
Yes, you read that correctly. The biggest argument against smoking traditional cigarettes, and probably the biggest incentive for users to quit is the realization that if they’re a pack-a-day smoker, they’re spending around $300 a month on cigarettes. However, if they’re an everyday vaper, they’re only going to be spending (at the MOST) $250 on their mod, one time, and then all they’ll have to buy is their favorite vape juice from then on out. Since you’re probably wondering, yes, the vape juices come at a very reasonable price. At certain online shops, you can find a 32ml bottle of vape juice for $5.50. If you use about 8ml of juice per day (which the average vape user does), then you’re using about 7 bottles per month, or close to $40 per month! In my opinion, that’s much more reasonable than the average $150-$300 a month that a regular smoker would be spending. (If you’re looking for the best prices, I’ve got some AMAZING deals at the end of this article you’ll want to check out!)
Vaping won’t make you smell like burnt rubber.
It will make you smell more like the dream-land in the Shark Boy and Lava Girl film. (If you’re too old to know what I’m talking about, click here. I won’t tell anyone.) Marshmallows, chocolates, raspberries, and sweet custard…vaping acts more like a cologne than burning stick of paper and tar. (Although, I don’t suggest you use it as your actual cologne. I mean…hygiene, people.) If you’re worried that you’ll smell too much like you just jumped out of the latest episode of Care Bears, just pick a flavor like Mt. Dew or Root Beer. Nobody is going to just you for smelling like a soda pop, no matter how manly you are. Unless of course, they’re a health nut. I suggest you avoid those, anyway. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
You can do cool tricks.
Sure, puffing away on those famous cancer sticks makes you look like a cast member from a John Wayne movie (not exactly), but the billows of smoke that are produced by vaporizers are much cooler. Just think, all those tricks you learned to do back in college with you Devil’s lettuce smoke? Yeah, you can pull those old tricks out and dust them off, but now you can show them off legally. Trap the smoke in a bottle, blow rings out of your mouth, force it out of your nose, or blow us all away and figure out how to make it escape your ears. Whatever your trick is, vaping will give you sufficient smoke to pull it off.
So, I’m not saying everyone should go pick up a vape machine. After all, the practice is addictive. I’m just saying that anyone who comes off their rocker at the thought of a loved one vaping, or sees it as some sort of evil practice should probably chill. If you vape responsibly, you should be fine, according to current research. If you don’t…well…don’t say I didn’t warn you.
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I once had a close friend of mine ask me “What made you want to become a writer?”. Their reasoning for asking this question seemed pretty simple: “No child grows up wanting to write resumes and business articles. Little girls don’t go to career day excited about blogging. Professional writing couldn’t have been your original dream, so what are you giving up?”. My simple answer was “I’m not giving up anything”. My complex answer was one that left them in awe, and one that I believe all my readers could use for inspiration and motivation on this dreary rainy, Monday morning.
When I was a child, I jumped back and forth between dreams, constantly. One year, I told my class I wanted to be a teacher. The next year, I told the same children that I wanted to be a veterinarian. Later on, I wanted to be a country singer. At one point, I wanted to be a chef. At another point in time I aspired to be an author. During my more “practical” years, I was dead-set on going to school to be a graphic designer. Recently, I even wanted to pack up and move to Ireland. (You can read more about that here.) Often, people would ask me what had happened to my previous dreams and aspirations when I would tell them of my change of pace. At the time, I’d simply answer “Oh, I changed my mind”. Now, I see that I never really was honest with myself to begin with. I hadn’t “changed” my mind…I simply hadn’t figured out my mind, yet.
To avoid telling you my life story (why waste such a grand opportunity on a blog post, when I may choose to write a book in the future?), I’ll just say that I found my true aspiration through the writing I was doing just to make a few dollars. I eventually realized that I had never wanted to slave away in a kitchen every single day, I had only wanted to bring smiles to the faces of everyone that ate at my restaurant. I had never wanted to be on stage, in the spotlight, memorizing verses of songs that I may or may not have written, and signing autographs for fans while I’m just trying to do my grocery shopping, I had just wanted to be a positive influence in the lives of people around the world. I never wanted to sit in a classroom and teach the same material to different children of the same age, year after year. I wanted to inspire people, and help them grow in knowledge, because I firmly believe that knowledge is power. I never wanted to give shots to cute little kittens or baths to adorable puppies…I just wanted to care and nurture someone or something. I wanted to feel like I’m a help to the community.
So, no…blogging, social media marketing, copywriting, and product testing weren’t my original dreams, but I’m not giving up anything by pursuing them. They are simply avenues that I’m using to chase my dreams, while supporting myself financially at the same time. I don’t have a traditional career, but I never really wanted a traditional career. I’m far too flamboyant to follow the crowd with their Harvard degrees and corporate meetings. I’d rather pursue a liberal arts degree at a small-town university, prove everyone wrong in the relationship that no one believed would last, raise a few beautiful, intelligent, and compassionate children to accept and love the world and all of its people, and travel the continents, not looking for happiness, but living in happiness and embracing every aspect of every unique culture that has grown and developed on the face of our planet. That’s the dream I’ve always had…I just didn’t know it at the time. Now I do, and I aspire to write novels, and e-courses, social media market until my fingers can’t type any further, and of course, blog about my experiences and my travels for all of my readers to enjoy, while I help each and every one of you grow and aspire to do the same type of things.
There’s no doubt that each of us will leave a mark on the world we live in, even if it’s a tiny one. We’re the dreamers, the believers, the artists, the outcasts, the introverts, the thinkers, the doers, the people that Steve Jobs spoke about in his speeches…we’re the people that are going to change the world, because we think differently than the rest and we refuse to conform to the standards of choosing a career and slaving away at it until you die. We’re contributing to society, while enjoying ourselves, and I hope that once we’re gone, they’ll be able to say we were living in the future, before the future was even acceptable. They’ll call us unstable, they’ll say we’re in over our head, or that we need to get our heads out of the clouds. They’ll tell us that a liberal arts degree won’t o anything, and they’ll tell us we have no influence on the condition of the world in which we live, but they’re wrong. If you feel like you’re doing something right for you, then you probably are. The next generation is learning by example. So, be a happy example. Be a good example. Be a loving example. Be a compassionate example. Be a creative example. Be an innovative example. Be the example that the world needs, however you feel in your heart that you need to do so. Maybe, your calling will be to teach, or cook, or design, or care for people…mine isn’t, and that’s okay. We should all share a similar dream regardless of what path we take to achieve it.
Teamwork is a wonderful thing, especially on a job site. Cooperation is needed to finish any great project, whether the project in question be a book, a bridge, a wildlife rescue mission, or an air conditioning installation. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably cooperated with someone already today, in order to accomplish a task. Did your co-worker send you a useful email? Did the driver in the lane next to you on the highway avoid ramming into the side of your car on the way to work this morning? Both of these scenarios are examples of teamwork and cooperation. The first example is teamwork on the job site.
Sometimes, we begin to feel a little out of place. Maybe our daily routine just isn’t cutting it anymore, or we feel out of touch from our co-workers. This can slow progress and completely bring creative thinking and problem solving to a stand-still. Luckily for business men and women everywhere, there are ways to feel more in sync with the rest of your crew. There are also ways for a manager or supervisor to bring their teams closer together, if they feel like they’re noticing an unhealthy distance between employees.
One of the most visually appealing ways to accomplish this task of unity is to wear a work uniform. Right now, your company probably already has a dress code, and you may or may not have fond feelings towards it. Either way, you must admit that it saves you the hassle of picking out an outfit every morning, the embarrassment of wearing something you didn’t realize would be inappropriate or quite different from what your co-workers are wearing, and it saves time because no one is stopping to stare at your outfit or accessories throughout the day.
If you’ve looked into team shirts, jerseys, or work shirts at all, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that many printing options are just far too expensive for your company to handle…and if they are affordable, the sizing, color, or stitching might be a little off par, which isn’t acceptable in a professional environment. As a businessperson, you are a walking reflection of the brand in which you work for. If the color scheme or design is too different from that of the company’s style guide, you’re not portraying the company realistically, and although the outfits would be the same, they could be a distraction as a majority, in themselves.
If you’re looking for a company that will get your work shirts right every single time, I’ve got just the place for you to go. Not only does this company offer customized office wear and workout gear, they also offer personalized work wear for job sites such as construction and industrial. Yes, you read that right. "Printed Workwear" offers hi vis clothing. They are a hi vis clothing company in Sydney, Australia that also specializes in other types of customized apparel for working men and women. Their custom workwear is the perfect fit, and the perfect color, every time! Shop over 20 different popular brands on this shop’s website for your very own personalized workwear that will get you through the week with a comfy, and beautiful, smile on your face!
All uniform garments are stitched using the latest high quality embroidery machines for high quality results. After your order is placed their design team will discuss and email across a proof for you to check over before production starts. That way, if there is an issue, they’ll catch it early on and save you both quite a bit of hassle! Your complete satisfaction is their #1 Priority All garments are embroidered at our Sydney factory to ensure High Quality Control.
As any home business owner knows, working at home can be both a curse and a blessing. Today, since it is motivation Monday, I’ve chosen to focus on the latter. This morning I asked myself: How has working from your bedroom been a blessing in the past year or two? I almost shocked myself, as I came up with more than five answers in under two minutes. It wasn’t difficult to make a list at all! However, the blessing that I’ve chosen to spotlight today is my long-distance relationship.
In this age of technology, we’ve probably all had a love affair of some form with someone that we’ve never got to meet, or are just waiting for their plane to arrive. Many of us find ourselves in long-distance relationships. Whether these relationships span the small distance of a couple of states, or the longer distance of half-way-across-the-world, love knows no boundaries. As you might imagine, long-distance relationships are hard…like, really hard. In fact, they are so difficult that some people believe they are actually impossible to maintain long-term. If you were to step outside today and announce that you’ve just entered a long-distance relationship, you’d most likely hear at least one person say “It isn’t going to last!”.
Luckily enough for all of you long distance love birds out there, love can survive distance, and I’m living proof of that. “Love makes the heart grow fonder”, is a phrase that I firmly believe in, as I live each day happily in my own L.D.R. of nearly 6 months. Though it isn’t always sunshine and daisies, as it never will be, I can truthfully say that both my partner and I are happy, and looking forward to our first face-to-face visit this summer! The biggest issue we’ve faced together so far is scheduling. Thankfully (this is where work comes into play) I have a job that I can mend and mold to make time for him.
Working from home gives me the flexibility that my partner lacks. While he has to work a 9-5 shift, or a 12-8 shift, or a 6-2 shift, I can work any hour of the day that is convenient for the both of us. For the sake of both our nerves, we make a point to communicate every single day, with absolutely no exceptions. I could share with you our secret of how to avoid running out of things to talk about, but that’s a different blog post entirely. Whether he wants to ring me up at midnight to give me his “Goodnight Darling, I love You”, kissy faces, or video chat me as soon as he wakes up so I can be the first thing he sees, I can always be available.
Another positive aspect of working from home is the fact that I can mix work and hoe without much consequence, as long as I stay organized. This has been a huge plus in my long-distance relationship. I work solely online, so I’m not calling or meeting up with clients. I communicate through social media, instant messaging and email. This way, my man can actually see some of my work in progress! I have written rough drafts for speech, designed posters, and edited photos all while on the phone with him. Granted, I have to double-check y work for any oopsie-I-know-better mistakes I might have made while I was laughing at his latest joke, but any good freelancer or solopreneur will double-check themselves regardless of the distractions in the room. The freedom to let him be a part of my work is priceless. It’s not a matter of him needing to “check up on me”, but a matter of involving him in my day-to-day activities. If I can ask him “does this look better, or that?”, without a supervisor breathing down my neck and getting hostile because I’ on my mobile, he can feel more connected to me by feeling like he has contributed to my day.
Yes, it’s true what they all say: Long distance isn’t easy by any means. I’ve wanted to pull my hair out more than once over some simple miscommunications, and it hasn’t even been a full year yet, but when you love someone, you’re willing to give up a bit of your sanity to be with them…even if it is completely virtual. Communication is more important than ever when that’s all you have of each other, and working from home has opened my lines of communication in ways I would have never imagined. It has also improved my communication skills…yes, it takes skills to deal with clients day in and day out while remaining calm, cool, and collected. So, I feel like becoming a freelance writer has not only boosted my career, but saved my relationship. If I were trying to match up a 9-5 schedule with my partner’s hectic schedule, there’d be no hope for us.
Working from home has been a real blessing for me. If you’re in a long-distance relationship, you’re a single parent looking to stay home with your child, or a parent looking to become a homemaker…or any other individual that has decided you’d like to try your hand at the work-from-home game, I’ve got some articles that should help you get started. You never know, hitting the laptop instead of the timeclock every morning might save your relationship, your marriage, or even your sanity!
The word on the street last year was that content marketing is dead. Slapping an abundance of keywords into a short article no longer yields results…that is certainly true. However, just because content hacking is dead, doesn’t mean content marketing is dead. The content you add to your website, blog, or portfolio still has as much significance as it did in the early days of the internet. Rest assured: If you’re starting up your first attempt at a blog in this new year, you haven’t arrived too late to the party…you’ve just got to reinvent your method of entrance.
Have you noticed that Hollywood seems to be releasing more remakes than ever in 2017? Have you ever thought about why that’s the case? In my opinion, they’ve run out of unique, interesting storylines. Every time they release something “new”, critics want to deem it “predictable” and “boring”. Every storyline seems to have been filmed over and over again. Hollywood is hoping that the young generation will bring in new issues to enhance, new stories to create, and new characters to make the nation fall in love with…but until that happens, they’re stuck working with what they already have. Bloggers are facing many of the same problems. Readers are just average people…and the average person is busier than ever before. They don’t have time to browse blogs just for the sake of browsing blogs. They have questions, concerns, and curiosities, that they need answered quickly and completely, as to not disturb their busy, daily schedules. If your blog doesn’t offer something new, fresh, and thought-provoking…you’ve got no chance at making it in the marketing world.
The good news is, as I said at the beginning of this article, content marketing isn’t dead…you just have to be ready and equipped to use your imagination a bit more than your blogging ancestors. Luckily for you, I’m here to help you figure out how to inspire that creative brain you’ve kept under lock and key for so long.
First of all, you need to stop looking at stories from the “common-folk” perspective. “Beauty and the Beast” is a classic princess tale that has been retold time and time again…but nearly always from the perspective of the beauty or the beast. How would the story be different if it were told from the perspective of Chip, the little teacup that so admired the princess? Would he have heard her innermost wishes and dreams that she dared not tell in her version of the tale? Would he have been angry at his master, the beast, for the treatment that the princess received, or would he have felt sympathy for the beast, because the beast had confided in him the level of pain and loneliness that the curse had cast upon him? The reader, no doubt, knows the story of the Beauty and the Beast, but casting a new perspective on the age-old tale could be exactly what is needed to attract a larger audience to the tale.
Another way to spruce up your writing is to pay attention to your own life. This may seem like an obvious statement, but the issues you face in daily life are quite similar to the issues your readers are facing. So, if you wouldn’t Google a question…don’t write about it. If you do Google a question, pay attention to the answer and critique it. If there is something you would add or take away from the answer you find, there is no shame in rewriting the article. Of course, make sure it is in your own words…plagiarism is a big no-no, but the idea is definitely a good place to draw inspiration. So, for example, if you run a cooking blog, you already know that there are thousands of online recipes for butterfly-cut chicken. However, butterflying a whole chicken in a cast-iron skillet in less than an hour is something not many people know how to do. Although, it could be turned into a very useful article, because nowadays, everyone is looking for a time-saving tip, especially when it comes to cooking.
The third piece of advice I must give you is this: Don’t be afraid to be controversial. In today’s world, everyone is walking on eggshells to be politically correct, and while it isn’t a good idea to walk around deliberately insulting every person you meet (remember, connections are still everything), it could be beneficial to business if you decide to disagree with the crowd, every once in a while. Take a glimpse at Kanye West. His career as never boomed as much as it has in the past couple of years. Surprisingly, he can’t say his success was from marrying a Kardashian, his success was actually from calling out Taylor Swift on an award show stage. Did this move piss off her fans? Of-course. Have his rants been controversial in the music industry, all around? Yes, they have. However, his little fits onstage have earned him extra stage time at recent award shows (+1 for publicity), an abundance of mentions in social media (+2 for publicity), and even some talk-show conversations focus…(+3 for publicity!). Controversial marketing has built the image of Kanye West that we all know and love (or hate), today. He is living proof that in a country founded on freedom of speech, you should never be afraid to give your opinion. It could save your brand.
The bottom line is: Offer a fresh perspective, get a little controversial, and solve the problems in your own life…follow this formula and you’re going to have readers coming back to your blog day in and day out looking for your latest article. Content marketing isn’t dead, and it probably never truly will be, you just need to stop playing it safe and start actually playing the marketing game. Your brand, and possibly even you’re career, depends on it.
This is a belated birthday message. Happy 40th Old Man.
First of all, happy belated birthday. I would have written this yesterday, but I couldn’t bring myself to sit in front of the screen and face you…or at least the absence of you. I just wanted you to know that I’ve been thinking of you a lot recently. You’re on my mind, you’re in my nightmares. I can smell the bonfires we used to create and taste the food that you taught me to make. In everything I do, I’ve been thinking of you.
I thought of you when I sent the first text message that would eventually compromise my relationship. You know, the kind that you used to send to other women before mom found out. I can see why you did it, the thrill was incredible. I can see why you hide from us now, the pain it caused when they found out was unbearable. The entire time I worried: “Am I turning into him?” Yeah, I was a cheater like you.
I thought of you when I scored that 83 on my Biology class. Why couldn’t I do better? You were always pushing me to be better…and bashing me when I didn’t meet your unrealistic expectations. Mom came home to me crying…crying over a passing grade. She was confused. She was even holding back laughter until she heard me say, “If dad were here, he’d be screaming at me. He’d be disappointed. He’d have whipped me by now…”. Yeah, I was a perfectionist like you.
I thought of you when I was bent over the toilet with the seat raised. You had told me to lose weight, you had told me I could be prettier. I trusted that you weren’t lying to me. I wanted to find out. Ironically, I didn’t look very pretty in that moment. Mascara running down my cheeks…my face flushed red…vomit on my shirt…snot dripping from my nose. I asked out loud, “Am I pretty enough for you now? Can I stop?”. Yeah, I was obsessive like you.
I thought of you while I was screaming at my mother over something that had started as such as simple disagreement. I knew I was in the wrong, but I also knew I was in too deep to back out. I inherited your stubbornness, I suppose. My brain kept registering, “Make it stop, make it stop, make the fighting stop”. I remembered the night I watched you stand at the back door and scream at my Mom before pushing her out of your way. Yeah, I fought like you.
I thought of you when the dogs were at the foot of my bed and I was tired and they wouldn’t stop whining. They needed to go out to pee, but I was too lazy to move, and no one else was home. The noise that erupted from the back of my throat was an octave lower and a whole lot rougher than I even knew my voice could sound. When they slinked away, I started to feel bad. Yeah, I sounded like you.
I thought of you in the middle of a panic attack. When all I wanted was something to make the pain go away. I wanted pills, I wanted alcohol, I wanted weed, I wanted drugs…I wanted anything that could make the world disappear, or make me disappear from the world. The pressure was too much to handle, and I wondered how you ever coped. Yeah, I was damaged like you.
I thought of you when I knelt down in front of the alter a few Sundays ago. I needed to say a little prayer for myself. I was taking life for granted. I was overlooking my blessings. I was pushing myself too hard. I needed the ability to slow down and enjoy the life around me. I wanted to not be so cynical. Then, I said a little prayer for you, Dad. That wherever you’re at, whoever you’re with, that you’re happy, because that’s all that really matters. Yeah, I guess I love like you.
I thought of you when I stood in front of the mirror this morning. I didn’t get my hazel eyes from Mom…it had to be from your Dad, and Momma never had this thick of hair. She never had this wide nose that bothers me so much, but that I wouldn’t trade for the world. It had to come from somewhere…yeah, I look like you.
I’m thinking of you now, and I probably will tomorrow too. I hear you’ve left the state, and your whole family behind too. I guess you think I hate you, but that’s really not the case. I think of you daily, and I miss your smiling face. I’ve shed too many tears to count, I’ve cried too many times. I’ve poured my anger out as an ocean, and I’ve forgiven all your lies. If you ever did come back around, I’m not too sure that I’d be ready to see you yet. Just like you I’m quick to forgive, but I’ll never ever forget. So, I wish you well, your wife and children too. I hope someday we’ll meet again, but until then…happy birthday to you.
I’m not sure where my lovely readers (you) stand on this issue, but I feel like I should address it anyway… Why is it so difficult to find a good-looking phone case?!? I’ll be honest here. I’m not a fan of Apple products. However, they seem to get the cutest phone cases. So, here I sit, with a caseless Android smartphone…just waiting for an accident to happen.
Luckily, I got a message from a client informing me that they had opened a new online store and they’d like for me to check out their products. “Their” name is “Photoized”, and they give their customers the opportunity to design their own phone cases. The best part is, they support a wide variety of phone models, so everyone can join in on the good-looking fun!
One aspect of the company that I found to be extremely cool is the fact that they are 100% American based! So, this company is going to allow you to design your own phone case using photos that you have the ability to upload directly from your computer files, Facebook account, or Instagram account, and then they’re going to print this phone case in the U.S.A., and ship it directly to you (shipping is even free for a limited time!). It really doesn’t get much better than that.
As soon as I read through their awesome satisfaction guarantee, I was hooked, and I decided to create a phone case of my own. It was easy to find my model, and even easier to upload my photos onto the design. All I had to do was drag and drop. I decided to do a black and white theme on the case, but also use pictures that are important to me. A selfie of my boyfriend, a selfie of myself, a beautiful snapshot of my favorite tree, a couple of lovely full-color flowers out of my mother’s garden, and a quick pic of an old Kentucky highway later…I have a custom phone case that looks incredible!
Now, I will admit: I did have some issues ordering the case. Keep in mind, this company had just launched their website and was still working out some glitches. I will commend the company for their impeccable customer service. Not long after I messaged the customer support team, they had the site fixed and everything ran smoothly beyond that point! They were very kind throughout the entire process, and honestly, I’m glad there was a little fumble at the start, because now I can safely assure all of my readers that if something goes wrong, you’ll be in very good hands! You all know that I refuse to endorse a product or company that I do not believe in 100%, so Photoized must be special…because they have my support.
“Using Facefy by Photoized, a unique easy to use modern design tool, you can fully use your creativity to make your desire of creating your own personalized products and gifts a reality. Facefy is the most up to date technology that allows you to customize and create your unique styled products; all that done right here in USA! The high quality materials along with our high definition UV printing, gives a unique and sophisticated quality for your Facefy products, that will make you proud of being yourself, never finding anyone using the same products!”
That was in their own words, folks. So if you can’t take my word for it, you can take theirs. This site has reliable technology, a simple to navigate design, a wonderful customer support team behind it, and beautiful products for the outcome. The prices are low, and the expectations are high. If you’re sitting around with an old case or no case at all, you need to step away from the caseless crowd and step into the unique prints of Photoized. They’re most certainly not going to let you down.
The summer months may be over, but it still hasn’t cooled down here in Kentucky. If you step outside, the late October sun is just as hot as it was in early August, and trust me…it isn’t pleasant to experience for more than a few minutes at a time. As much as I might like to, I can’t spend my entire life indoors, and neither can you. We have to face the heat at some point or another, and even when winter does finally roll around, we’ll just be a few months closer to next summer. The sun is something you can’t escape.
Fans work for a little while, but they’re frustrating to constantly hold, and honestly, who wants to spend that much money on batteries? Ice packs lose their cool too quick, and they basically just turn into a watery mess. Cool Towels…now, those things actually work. “Cool Towels” are pre-moisturized towels that come in their own individual releasable packages. They don’t have to be pre-frozen, they don’t have to be refrigerated, and they don’t lose their cool as fast as many other cool-down options do.
There are endless situations when a Cool Towel might come in handy. Hiking, boating, bike riding, camping, horseback riding, tanning, sports…or anything active for that matter! If you feel like you’re getting a little overheated, just rip open the package, pull out the towel, place it on your neck, and experience the instant relief. You don’t have to worry about having a negative reaction to the Cool Towel. The towel is made of all-natural ingredients and is clinically proven to be safe for even the most sensitive skin. Personally, this is always a huge deciding factor for me. I have sensitive skin, and I know how difficult it can be to find products that won’t irritate me more than help me. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this company was so focused on providing nothing less than the highest quality product, composed of all natural ingredients.
This towel is great for playing sports and lounging in the summer months, but it could also be beneficial to have on hand during dire situations. We all know that there will be times when you don’t have a frozen ice pack on hand, or you need something cool, clean, and safe in your first aid kit…instead of your freezer. This Cool Towel matches that criteria. This would be the perfect item to add to your first aid kit or even storm preparedness kit to keep your family a little safer.
If you’re still not convinced that this product is something you should at least look a little further into, you might want to browse some of the customer testimonials on their official website. With testimonials like “What a great product. Obviously our men are on hot, hot roofs all day long. This is one of the only cool towels I have found that actually does what it says it is going to do. We have tried many over the years. I seriously recommend you try it out NOW. I like that it is reusable. Which makes it even more bang for the buck. Our guys love them.”, from McEnany Roofing in Tampa, Florida, and “This is a great first-aid item, I keep in the car and boat… never know when a soft, pre-moistened, hygienically sealed towel will be needed… and I’ll be glad I have it”, from Janet H…you know that this product has to live up to the promises that the company has made.
If you’re interested in learning more about the product and how it could benefit you, your company, your team, your friends, or your family, just click the link below and see the good news for yourself!
There are only a few hours left until the third and final 2016 presidential debate airs on television this evening. After a week of continued sexual assault accusations regarding both parties, and a lot of unprecedented comments being made from other political figures, it is difficult to imagine this debate being anything more than an outlet for Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton to express their disapproval of each other. In other words, I have serious doubt that either candidate will succeed in answering any questions of substance. Most likely, the same controversial topics will be covered as have been in the past two presidential debates, and America’s stress levels will continue to rise as they have for the past six months or more, now. However, should the presidential candidates decide that they would actually like to discuss political matters that they will be addressing during their time in office, here is what I would like to see mentioned:
Common Core & Education Reform.
Common Core education has been a topic of interest for years now. Many parents disagree with the fashion in which their children are being taught in public schools. More and more families are seeking alternate forms of education for their children, such as homeschooling, online accredited schools, and private schools. Public schools have been operating under the same routine for over 150 years in this country. May individuals believe it’s time to see a reform for the betterment of the next generation. Many students are not retaining the information beyond the standardized testing dates, and are entering the workforce without the required knowledge to function efficiently. It’s also been recognized more recently that public schools generally only appeal to auditory an visual learners. Children who understand information better when presented in an unconventional way are at a huge disadvantage in the public school system. This isn’t to mention the lack of sufficient sexual education in the majority of the US states. Some states, or should I say MANY states, enforce laws that allow educators to teach only abstinence, or do not require the medical information being given to the students to be accurate. Sex Ed may make a parent a bit uneasy, but it’s the deciding factor in abortion rates, STD rates, and other major issues in the United States. There are too many flaws in the United States public education system to continue to avoid the topic altogether.
Legalization of Marijuana.
This is a subject that former presidential candidate and democratic nominee, Bernie Sanders, made his position exceptionally clear on. The libertarian presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, also made his position exceptionally clear on this issue. Both parties were in favor of legalizing marijuana use. An overwhelming number of trusted sources have discovered that marijuana usage for medical purposes would be highly beneficial. Cancer, epilepsy, anxiety…all horrible diseases and conditions that marijuana could possibly diminish. Republican presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump, and democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, have spoken very little about their view on medical and/or recreational marijuana legalization. This s surprising, as t is such a hot issue amongst the American people right now. Since Colorado legalized the drug for recreational use, they have seen a major economic boost. Many analysts agree that the legalization of this plant would be more of a benefit to the US than a harm. For individuals seeking medical use of this drug, a position on this topic could help influence a vote.
The major appeal of Bernie Sander’s platform was the pathway to an affordable college opportunity for young American citizens. Tuition rates are rising with each passing year and student loan debt is putting many Americans in difficult financial situations. It’s being more and more prevalent that parents are unable to send their children to college, college students are unable to make a high enough wage to pay for their own classes, and the vast majority of students are seeking some form of financial aid or student loan that could affect their financial stability beyond the time that they get their degree. Germany has begun offering free college to all of their citizens, and the tuition rates for international students are lower than the domestic rates for American students. That’s possibly why they have seen such a major increase in study-abroad students and are really leading the university scene, at this moment. The candidates may or may not personally feel as though free college would be the right approach for our country, but if they do not have a clear plan of action to reverse the damaging trend that US universities are setting, that could be a major issue among the young generation.
Support for Israel.
There is much conflict taking place in the middle east, but one of the countries that voters may be more interested in is Israel. Since such a large majority of America identifies as “Christian”, it comes as no surprise that this election has been focusing less on politics and centering more around moral injustices. However, the Christian bible tells us to “bless Israel”. So, if Christians are worried about whether or not the presidential candidate is in alignment with their religious beliefs, we need to start asking the question: “Do you support Israel?”, or even more importantly, “How do you specifically plan on supporting Israel?”. If these are questions that the candidate is not prepared to answer, then you may be looking at a candidate that isn’t ready to sit in the Oval office. The United States has a long history of being allies with Israel, and the general public may be as opposed to their indifference as they were to the ignorance of Gary Johnson when he dared ask the infamous question on live television “What is Aleppo?”. Christians cannot afford to vote in a man/woman that doesn’t support Israel, and the rest of the United States cannot afford to vote in a man/woman without a plan, regardless of the topic that plan is referring to.
This is probably the most important topic in the election. Currently, most states have laws in place that allow abortions up to 24 weeks. Clinton has been cited as supporting abortion up until the time of birth. Trump is strongly against abortion, even going as far as stating in an interview that there should be a “punishment” for women who choose or have chosen abortion. With many women crying that this is “A woman-only issue” and being irreversibly disgusted by the idea of a man dictating what a woman can or cannot do with their bodies, and many men calling abortion “unbiblical”, “evil”, “sickening”, and “murderous”, abortion is a topic that the nation may never agree on, but it is a vital topic that needs to be addressed by each candidate and would make an interesting topic for the debate, nonetheless. So, what better time to bring it to America’s attention than tonight?
Some women believe this is an outdated topic. However, studies show a different story. There is STILL a wage gap that desperately needs to be addressed in this country. Men are likely to make more money for the same work as a woman. Men are also more likely to be hired in most industries. This is despite that fact that women tend to have higher grades, retention, and cognitive abilities across the board. We are living in a new era. No longer do women stay home to tend to the children. Women are a major, if not main, breadwinner for 4 out of 10 families in the United States. This is nearly equal to the number of male breadwinners. Also, women earn MORE college and graduate degrees than men, indicating that they are further educated, and actually more suitable for the given job than men. However, there is still a gender wage gap of 21% in the United States, meaning women earn only 79 cents for every dollar that men earn for the exact same job. This is undeniably a form of discrimination. Aside from the wage gap, there are other women’s rights issues that need to be addressed. For example, Trump supporters took to Twitter over the past week to start a trending hashtag “#repealthe19th”. This was in response to statistics showing that if women were unable to vote, Clinton would win the election by a landslide. The 19th amendment gave women all over the country the opportunity to make their voices heard in politics. Now, some men are legitimately in favor of stripping that right from their female counterparts. It would be interesting to receive a response from both candidates on the issue. Women around the country would be anxiously listening to their responses, I’m sure.
Mass shootings have become too commonplace for comfort, lately. American citizens are concerned for their safety, now more than ever. However, they are also concerned for the safety of their constitutional rights. The 2nd amendment gives citizens the “right to bear arms”, and in the wake of many other countries stripping their citizens of that right (Australia, Ireland, etc.) may Americans are concerned that the government is aiming to interfere with their right to own firearms. Especially, they are concerned with the safety of that right should Mrs. Clinton take office. It’s been said that the democratic party is interested in repealing the 2nd amendment. I would like a response from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on this issue. She has stated in former presidential debates that she is only in favor of repealing the right for suspected terrorists on the “no fly” list, but a clarification on her exact policy would be beneficial to gun owners all over the country. A response on the issue from Mr. Trump would be useful as well, considering he hasn’t spoken largely on the topic since the beginning of the presidential race.
Mom and Pop need to turn their hearing aids on for this one. When speaking with my grandmother earlier this week, she expressed her concern to me about the election, saying: “Wouldn’t I be obligated to vote for Trump, especially since Hillary is planning on getting rid of social security?”. Now, I had heard rumor of there being issues with social security, but that was the first time a rumor of a complete outlaw had passed my ears. Obviously, as a nation, we want to care for the individuals that came before us to care for this country. We want to honor and respect our elders. The most significant way to do so is to support them when they are no longer able, or simply no longer interested in supporting themselves. With both candidates stating in previous debates and rallies that they oppose raising the retirement age, Trump saying he will do “everything in his power to leave social security the way it is”, and Clinton saying she would even like to raise benefits for some individuals, it seems as though both are interested in supporting the retired. However, the crucial part of discussing this topic would be determining who has a specific plan of action to accomplish their claims, and who is simply trying to win over voters by saying the right things.
Talking about ISIS, talking about taxes, talking about sexual assault…none of it is bad, but there needs to be talk about other issues as well. Let’s talk about the issues that make us lie awake and lose sleep at night. Let’s talk about the issues that are going to directly affect our own families. Let’s talk about the issues that threaten our security and our privileges. Let’s talk about the issues that no one wants to talk about, and figure out the reason why no one wants to talk about them. Let’s stop saying “there are no good candidates, I’m not voting”, and let’s start looking into ALL of our options (libertarian party, green party, independent candidates, ourselves). If we have a problem with republicans, vote for someone other than a republican. If we have a problem with democrats, vote for someone other than democrats. If you’re unsure where you stand on certain issues, start doing some research. History repeats itself. Some people say that they don’t know what would happen in abortion was outlawed. Yes, you do. Look at what happened to Romania and decide if you’re okay with that happening right here at home. If you’re concerned about guns being regulated, search for the crime rates in Australia and Ireland. Educate yourself and stop waiting for everyone else to give you little snippets of information that may or may not be true.
In other words, stop basing your vote on rumors that you’ve heard. Individuals in our country want to say that individual votes don’t matter. They complain about the electoral college electing whomever they choose. Well, stop giving them a choice. If Americans would stop being passive and start being assertive, we might find that more politics start to turn in our favor. We can take control of our country again. We can start leaning towards democracy and less towards republic again…we just need to keep ourselves informed with the accurate information. Knowledge is power.
So, enjoy the final presidential debate tonight. If you didn’t tune in to the first two, I highly suggest you watch this last one. Even if you’re not convinced enough to believe a word that either candidate says, pay attention to their mannerisms. Those are the same natural reactions that they’ll be using at a negotiation table in front of world leaders that could choose to declare war on us or start firing nuclear missiles in our direction. The 2016 election is like none other. The decisions that are made during this presidential term will extend far beyond the time period of 4 years. Our entire nation is about to be affected. Your vote decides whether that last sentence was a positive or negative statement.
My Silent Struggle with Adrenaline Addiction:
Earlier this year, I realized that I have been struggling with an addiction. Adrenaline addiction. No, I’m not a skydiving, waterskiing, mountain climbing, scuba diving, adrenaline junkie. My addiction started at a very young age, and went untreated for a very long time. My adrenaline addiction looks much different than any other “drug” that you could pick up at the pharmacy or buy on the streets. My addiction doesn’t look too different than the mouthy teenager that you just sent to their room, or the high-strung coworker in the desk across from yours that never gets enough sleep. My addiction is essentially unrecognizable by the outside world. My drug is embedded within my brain, which makes it even more dangerous than anything you might currently recognize as harmful.
At a year old, my mother swears that I began refusing to take naps. I had never been a normal child, awake for twelve hours straight, and then asleep for the next twelve. Always wiggly, always alert, always responsive. You can only reprimand a child so many times before you realize that you’re getting absolutely nowhere, and all parents know this to be true. As hard as she tried, as much as she fussed, as earnestly as she begged, I could not nap and would not nap, so neither of us napped.
At three years old, I had what my parents would refer to as a “fit” at the time, and what we would later recognize to be a full-blown, legitimate panic attack. The walls in our kitchen were white. My entire life, the floors in our kitchen had been covered with brown carpet. Suddenly, my mother decided that it was time for new carpeting. Well, of course, no one explained this to the three-year-old living in the house. The new carpet turned out to be white as well. Obviously, I don’t remember much of this day at all…but I do remember the reasoning behind my “fit”. I remember feeling blinded. There was too much whiteness. Everywhere I looked, my eyes burned from the brightness of the white color. Later on, my mother would describe to me that I had “Run up and down the hallways screaming and crying, obviously seriously upset”. Apparently, all I could say at the time was “too much white”, “too much white”. At three years old, none of us knew my adrenaline levels were naturally too high and my senses naturally too heightened as a result…but that was the cause of my “fit”. The abundance of white meant an abundance of reflected light, and the abundance of light actually had been hurting my eyes.
At five years old, I was ready to start school. Everything was going great on my first day. I already had a few friends I had met at jump start a few weeks before. I was sitting at my desk in the back of the classroom and suddenly something unexpected happened: I caught a whiff of the most rancid smell, and actually gagged. While I was holding my nose and trying not to pass out, the teacher asked me what was wrong. I pointed across the classroom in the direction of the smell, and everyone else, dumbfounded by my response, turned to follow my index finger. Everything was normal until a girl raised her hand and announced that she had cut her finger on the paper she was coloring. Later on, I would learn that I had the ability to smell the iron in even the tiniest amount of blood if it was anywhere near me. It was a stench that I would grow to hate.
At 8 years old, I was due for a thorough eye-doctor appointment. I remember walking into the building with my fingers crossed. “I really don’t want glasses, God, don’t make me get glasses.” Sure enough, after the many tests and the annoying puff of air in my eye, God didn’t make me get glasses. In fact, the doctor, with a very surprised tone of voice, informed us that my vision had tested to be much, much better than normal. “Much better than perfect, actually”, had been his exact statement. Imagine my mother’s shock when she realized I hadn’t been joking about my ability to see pretty well in the dark.
At 10 years old, my mother held a big birthday party for me. I requested strawberry cake with cream cheese icing, and any kind of ice cream except for chocolate. When my friends arrived, they voiced their disappointment regarding the lack of chocolate ANYTHING. They thought: How could someone not like chocolate? What they didn’t realize was, I loved chocolate…but I couldn’t handle chocolate. The richness and sweetness made my throat feel as though it were on fire. The burning sensation was extremely unpleasant, and as much as I loved the flavor of chocolate, I hated the burning feeling more.
At 11 years old, saw 200lbs for the first time on the bathroom scales. I was active, participating in sports, eating as healthy as an 11-year-old could possibly eat, actually staying hungry most of the time…and constantly gaining weight. It was frustrating, discouraging, embarrassing, and everything else negative that you could think of. I didn’t have time to think of it, though, because I was participating on 3 different extra-curricular activity teams, babysitting my two toddler-age younger cousins, maintaining honor roll grades, and dealing with the divorce that my parents were undergoing at the time. Besides, my primary care physician said that I would be fine as long as my height continued to shoot up the charts alongside my weight.
At 12 years old, I stayed a week during the summer with my grandmother that lived about 45 minutes away. That week, I don’t remember sleeping more than 6-8 hours. I was sleeping in her living room, on her couch. On the wall across from the couch, there was a clock. Everyone in the family loved the gentle sound, some even said they couldn’t hear it at all. For me, it was distracting. Tic. Toc. Tic. Toc. Tic. Toc. Tic. Toc. It was enough to make me cover my head with the blankets during the night and pray for it to stop altogether. Toc. Tic. Toc. Tic. The exasperation was even stronger when I began to hear the sequence backwards. Toc. Tic. Toc. Tic. Toc. Tic. Sometimes, I would become so bothered that I would cry uncontrollably. Still to this day, the near-silent ticking of the clock is the soundtrack of my nightmares.
At 13 years old, I became angry. Out of nowhere, a rage would bubble up inside of me. Suddenly, I would feel the urge to lash out at anyone nearby, especially loved ones. The smallest, simplest things were triggers for me. If someone laughed at a statement that I had not meant as a joke, if someone didn’t give me any recognition over something I had been working my ass off on, if someone believed different politically or religiously than I did…I was trigger-happy. In my mind, I didn’t want to lash out at these people. Take my mother for example, I lover here with all of my heart. I hate fighting with her. However, I couldn’t stop myself, no matter how much I fought with my own mind, I couldn’t control my actions. At the end of each fight, we were both left crying and she would ask me “Do you LIKE fighting with me?” My answer would always be no, because I truly didn’t, but my body craved the adrenaline rush that anger provided.
By the time I was 14, I had learned to control my anger, somewhat. It was in 2014, though, that I got caught up in a vicious cycle…also known as bulimia. Binge…Purge. Binge…Purge. I’ve written about my battle on this blog before. This is something that I hid from the world, even hid from my mother at the time, but it isn’t something that I hide any longer. I’m recovering. However, 2 years ago, I was a complete mess. I would consume large amounts of carbohydrate-rich foods (adrenaline trigger), in amounts that sometimes exceeded 5,000 calories. Then, I would force myself to throw it back up. This created a head rush, and sent adrenaline coursing through my body, despite the fact that I was dealing with serious body-image issues.
15 years old, and they finally got my hormone levels leveling out. I say “leveling” because it would be a long process, but we were finally on our way. No more fighting, no more binging, no more anxiety. For a few months, this was the case. Then, it started happening again, much less frequently, but my anxiety became much worse. I would let all of my problems simmer and bubble inside of me until I couldn’t hold the pain in any longer. It was still dangerous. “I feel like an addict going through withdrawals”, I told my mother. “I just need that rush. I don’t want that rush, but my body thinks that it is needed.” My mother thought on it for a while, and then she asked me… “Do you think adrenaline could be addictive? We already know yours was far too high…” That was it. Looking up the symptoms, it was very clear to see. I had been struggling with high levels of adrenaline for years, not just months. It wouldn’t be as easy as popping a pill every morning to lay down the angry habit.
So, this is where I find myself. However, this isn’t where the story ends. I’m going to be making some much-needed lifestyle changes as advised by my doctor. I need to get my sleeping habits straightened out. I need to start meal planning and sticking to a stricter diet. Cutting carbs out (mostly) shouldn’t be too difficult, because I’ve gone gluten-free before, but that obviously didn’t last…I need to stop over-exercising myself and then avoiding exercise altogether for days at a time. 40-60 minutes a day, vastly weight training, less cardio. LESS ELECTRONICS! That is going to be huge for me. I’m not the type to sit in front of a television all day. In fact, our television has only been turned on twice in the past week. However, my laptop is my work and my education. My phone is my socialization and connection to the outside world. Cutting these out at least an hour before bed should make an incredible difference.
I tell you all of this not because I want you to try to diagnose yourself, and also not because I want you to feel sympathy for me. I tell you my story because I want you to be more aware of your surroundings. When someone is “bigger”, or let’s just say it…fat…it doesn’t always mean they are stuffing their face with fried Twinkies and Cheetos every night. Sometimes, people have serious health issues that they are struggling with…and sometimes, they aren’t even aware they’re struggling with it. If someone gets angry for no reason, they may not just be trying to be a brat…they may not be able to control themselves. Sometimes, when people are scared of everything or they overachieve and overthink, they’re hurting inside and don’t want the world to see. We need to stop assuming the worst with every individual we encounter. Be a little more compassionate, because you never know what battle someone may be silently fighting. Just keep that in mind, dearest readers…
Since the very first day this blog went live I, as a blogger, have had two missions: Make a profit and make a difference.
This TED Talk by Audrey Choi is absolutely stunning, inspiring, motivational, sensible, and everything in between.
Everyday, I aspire to write speeches of this quality for my clients.
Everyday, I aspire to make a difference in the world with the few clicks I make.
This TED Talk reminds me why I keep working for what I am working for.
I couldn't help but pass this on to you, my readers.
When I was thirteen years old, I had absolutely no idea what the word “bulimia” meant. I also had no idea how much this word would end up meaning to me in just a few short years. Sure, I had heard stories of the pretty, skinny models in the magazines starving themselves so they wouldn’t gain weight, but normal people like me didn’t do that sort of thing…right? Unfortunately, I was wrong. When I was diagnosed with bulimia in 2014 I found out that anyone can hurt themselves in that way…they just need to be given a reason. My reason was the opinion of someone very close to me.
I remember getting off the school bus at my Dad’s house just like I would on any other Friday afternoon. I dropped my backpack on the floor, and I kicked my shoes off right at the front door. I ran to the kitchen and rummaged around until I found everything I needed to make a ham and cheese sandwich. Then, I filled a soup bowl up with Cheetos and sat down on the couch to enjoy my afternoon snack.
My Dad walked through the front door just a few minutes later, stopping in the doorway to stare disapprovingly at the snack I was devouring. “Already eating I see…”, his comment caught me off guard. I always fixed an afternoon snack. It was commonplace for me to skip breakfast and lunch, so I was quite hungry by the time the school day was over. I wasn’t sure what to say, so I just didn’t say anything. This was a tactic my mother had told me would work best in this type of situation. My Dad didn’t return the silence. “You really do have the potential to be pretty. If you would spend a little more time washing your face at night, and get up off that couch to do some real exercise, you might actually be able to get a boyfriend or something. It’s really a shame that you’re letting yourself go…just like your mother did.” My breath caught in my throat. I was actually hurt by his comments. I continued to stare blankly at him, hoping he would announce that he had only been joking, but no such announcement was made. He had been completely serious. He just shook his head and walked into the other room, presumably to get a shower and change into some clean clothes. For the first time, I truly felt bad about myself. I looked into the mirror that happened to be positioned on the wall across from the couch where I was sitting. I noticed the acne that had spread itself across my face in the previous few months. I recognized the chubbiness of my cheeks and the dull color of my eyes. I had the potential to be pretty…but I was not pretty.
The weekend passed like any other, much too quickly and filled mostly with travels back and forth between the houses of family members that I hadn’t seen in very long, due to the recent divorce. Come Monday morning, I couldn’t decide what to wear to school. I slipped into my favorite pair of jeans and a pink t-shirt, but upon a second look I noticed that the bright color showed my size all too well. So, I ditched the pink shirt and replaced it with a black one. The design wasn’t as nice, but at least my tummy wasn’t as noticeable.
The school day was uneventful for the most part, but the bus ride home was not. While I was sitting in my seat, listening to One Direction on my iPod, a boy sat down next to me without warning and tapped me on my shoulder. “Do you see that guy in the red American Eagle shirt over there? He wants to know if you’ll be his girlfriend. He thinks you’re really pretty.” My heart started beating really fast. No one at school had ever called me pretty before, especially not a boy. Without giving the situation much thought, I excitedly answered “Yes!”. The boy sitting next to me laughed, and a few seconds later the boy with the red shirt came running over to me. “I’m so sorry. I don’t really like you, and I don’t want to be your boyfriend. He was just playing a prank on me.” My heart sank, but I nodded as if I understood. I didn’t understand.
I couldn’t understand how some people could be so cruel. That hadn’t been a very funny prank, at least not for me. Of course, I should’ve known better. I kept telling myself: “You’re not pretty. You should have known he was lying. It was all a big joke. You’re so fat and ugly that you are a joke. No one is ever going to think you’re pretty.” I unlocked the front door of my Mom’s house and went through the same ritual as I had the Friday before at my Dad’s house. Door open, backpack down, shoes off, and run to the kitchen. This time, I found a granola bar and some applesauce. I took my snack to the coffee table, and fetched my homework, so I could kill two birds with one stone.
I was trying to focus on multiplying and dividing fractions…but my food kept distracting me. The more food that passed my lips, the more guilt I started to feel. I should have been out running or playing basketball. I shouldn’t have been stuffing my face with more food if my weight was the problem to begin with. Somehow, my brain managed to come to the conclusion that I would never be as pretty as the models in the magazines or the actresses on television. In my mind, I would never be good enough for my Dad’s approval, or that boy in the red shirt’s attention. I started to cry. Without thinking, or having any control over my actions whatsoever really, I ran to the kitchen and started digging through the cabinets. A half-full package of Oreo cookies, a box of Fiber One brownies, canned ham, pumpkin pie filling, hot chocolate mix, a bag of Doritos that had already been opened, a box of Ritz unsalted crackers…I didn’t know which junk-comfort food I wanted to stuff my face with first.
That moment changed my life. Instead of choosing one thing to eat while I cried over the events of my day, for the first time, I chose to eat everything. I opened all of the boxes and bags and cans and started eating all of it as fast as I could. After all, my Mom would be home soon, and I couldn’t let her walk in on that mess. After the thousands of calories had been chewed and swallowed, I had to find a way to dispose of all the packages. I shoved all of the trash into a trash bag and cleaned all of the trash and extra papers out of my backpack to fill the bag up the rest of the way. I quickly put a fresh trash bag in the bin and walked the full bag down to the end of the driveway and deposited it in the designated box.
When I returned to the house, I rearranged the cabinets to make them look more full. Then, the realization hit me of what I had just done. I started doing mental calculations. One hundred here, three hundred there, fifty times six makes another three hundred…I consumed well over five thousand calories in a matter of minutes. On instinct, I ran to the bathroom scale. The number that was displayed in front of me was absolutely repulsive. Too many thoughts were running through my head to make proper sense of any of them. Can I drink enough water to counteract all of that? Are there any diet pills in the medicine cabinet that could help me? I wonder if I could run this off…no probably not. What do those models do to get skinny? They stop eating…it’s too late for that. Didn’t Ann’s daughter make herself throw up? She’s really skinny…she’s beautiful.
That was my quick solution. If it had worked for my step-sister, it could work for me too. I dropped to my knees in front of the toilet. I remember the pain being harsh enough to bring tears to my eyes. After a few minutes, my head started aching really badly, and my stomach muscles began to get sore from tightening up so much. When I started to see stars dancing around the corners of my eyes, I figured I had gone far enough. I shakily stood up and walked to the sink to brush my teeth. I felt…empty. I felt light. I stood on the scale again, and the number still wasn’t as low as I would have liked, but it was better than a few minutes earlier, and that was all that mattered. My Mom returned home from work about 30 minutes later. I made up an excuse for not wanting to eat dinner that night, and no one suspected a thing.
This cycle of binging, purging, and fasting went on for about three years. I tried to stop once or twice, but I became addicted to the practice. Even after I dropped out of the public school system to start homeschool, and started refusing visitation rights to my father, who had continued to make nasty comments after that particular day, I still wasn’t happy with my body. Ever since that first binge, I’ve never been able to look at food, or myself for that matter, in much the same way again.
Today, I tried on four different outfits before I was satisfied while I was getting ready for church. The leggings made me look too fat. The shorts made me look too pale. The sweater made me look too old. The dress looked okay, but I still wasn’t completely happy with it. It just seemed like nothing was good enough, even though my Mom complimented each outfit that I modeled for her. Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m ever going to be truly happy with my body. I have a disorder, a mental illness, and I can cure the symptoms, but the thoughts may always be there in the back of my mind. On the bright side, I can proudly say I am in recovery. I may still be overweight, and I may still have a long road ahead of me, but I get stronger, happier, and healthier with every day that I wake up. Instead of crying and binging on unhealthy food because I didn’t like the way my church clothes looked on my body, I took a couple deep breaths and a drink or two of lemon water. Then, I texted my boyfriend and asked for his opinion on the outfits. He reminded me that I would look beautiful to him in anything, but advised me that the dress was his favorite as well.
It’s true what they say: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Ever since my first binge, I haven’t considered myself beautiful, but day after day I just have to keep reminding myself, just because you don’t see the beauty in something, doesn’t mean that the beauty isn’t there. Just like anyone can hurt themselves or hate the way they look, anyone can also be beautiful. You just have to ask the right person.
For the past 48 hours, I have done nothing but work. I have been up all night and up all day working on a project that I seemed to be making NO lead-way on, but I finally have it completed. Enough of my woes and sorrows, I’m getting paid to do this kind of thing. You’re really here to figure out where the success within you is hiding, because I just told you that it’s there, and you’ve looked around for a couple minutes, and all you’re seeing in skin, bone, and if you’re lucky, maybe a little muscle in the mix of all that.
Anyway, back to what I was saying: Success is within YOU! It isn’t somewhere you can see or touch, and it isn’t going to show up on an X-Ray machine, but it is there, and it is waiting for you to unleash it. Now, I know that this post is starting to sound like something out of a B-rated action movie, but bear with me here. I’ve been working on a workbook that will accompany a motivational self-help book written by a motivational speaker. I’m not going to mention any names, as it was a ghost-writing project, but I will say that (thankfully) we are both happy with the finished product.
While I have been typing away at my pretty blue laptop, I came to the realization that this woman was right…success is inside all of us. We choose to be happy or upset. Obviously, no one chooses depression, but that is an entirely different matter as depression is a legitimate form of sickness (that I struggle with as well), while sadness is something you can choose to overcome if you really put your mind to it. The same concept would apply to envy, greed, hatred, anger, lust, disgust, confusion…and the list goes on. The emotions aren’t pleasant, but they also don’t have to be permanent. It’s truly up to you.
The first key to success is choosing to be positive. If you maintain a positive outlook on the world around you, then you’re less likely to make brash decisions, and more likely to stay focused on your long term goals; both of which are essential when you’re trying to maintain a business. Next up, you have to plan things out. No “ands, ifs, buts, or ors about it!” (P.S. I know that was cringingly grammatically incorrect, but it’s a cute little saying and I’m kind of tired. Have mercy, readers.) I have a horrible habit of NOT PLANNING MY DAY, because why should I? I also have a bad habit of wasting 2-3 hours on social media (not the promotional kind of social media, just “Oh! Look! A kitten with a ball of yarn!” kind of social media.) So, I guess I just answered my own question, am I right? Goofing off is not ideal for a business plan.
There were four keys to success in the book, but I’m only going to touch on three. I wouldn’t want to start wading in copyright infringements (God forbid). Last but not least (for this blog post) is you MUST surround yourself with positive people. If you’re constantly listening to your Aunt Sally complain about getting old, I guarantee you’re going to be feeling 50 and ready for a nap by the time you say “talk to you later”. Humans are pack animals just like dogs or elephants. You can call us “social creatures” if it makes you feel more humane. Either way, we like to be around other people. Even if we have social anxiety, we still crave some type of socialization…unless you are part of the 1% of our population that are sociopaths, but the chances are that you’re probably not that special. The moral of the story is to hang out with business-minded people, because you’ll end up becoming more business-minded, yourself.
Well, that’s about all I have for you tonight. Like I said at the beginning of this blog post, as well as several times in between, I am overworked right now. So, please forgive the cut-short, hurry-the-heck-up tone that this post has about it. If you’re interested in saving yourself some cash (Pay day tomorrow, WOOT WOOT!) just click the picture at the top of this article to be redirected! I found some GREAT deals for my readers that should help carry all of you through next week!
**Warning: There Are SPOILERS**
Comic book lovers and Joker fangirls have been anticipating the release of this one-of-a-kind film for over a year. The theater was packed on opening night. In fact, even by arriving an hour early for the show, we still weren't the first to show up to sit and wait. This was the first Big-Screen Harley Quinn that the world has seen, and it didn't take much longer than a few seconds past the opening credits to fall in love with her. Will Smith performed spectacularly as DeadShot. He mastered the art of sarcasm...keeping the audience in stitches throughout the film. Jared Leto was almost too-Jokery to be the Joker, in my opinion, but that just goes to show how dedicated to the role he truly was. Viola Davis was fearless and untouchable from beginning to end, clearly a perfect match for the role of Amanda Walker. All of the characters were true to their comic book origins, but also very loveable and movie-audience-friendly. There was humor, but it was far outweighed by the action, which was to be expected and admired. Overall this film was a crowd pleaser, despite the terrible critic reviews. In fact, the movie was so epic, I returned to the same theater two days later to watch it for a second time!
Joker and Harley are known to have one of the most complicated, twisted, complex relationships of...well...all time. Joker is also known to be very abusive to Harley Quinn. He's manipulative, damaging, and degrading. I have a strong feeling this wouldn't have transferred well onto the movie screen...although, I also believe that is the main reason the movie received such poor critic reviews. The Joker is supposed to be out-of-his-mind abusive to the love of his life...not drop everything just to rescue her from the prison she's been locked in. However, most people (including me) are able to see a lot of themselves in the personality of the Joker and Harley, so they look up to the loving relationship between the two crazy kids and appreciated the lack of violence. "I've got a grape soda on ice and a bearskin rug waiting" is much more appealing than "I hope you die" or anything along those lines would have been. However, the director didn't stray all the way from the original comics. The Joker is seen intentionally driving a car into a body of water while Harley screams that she can't swim, then leaving her to drown, where Batman rscues/arrests her. Of course, the Joker is human just like anyone else, and he is going to make selfish decisions...he's even crazy enough to risk the life of Harley due to his selfishness, but he is also seen rescuing her from the harsh chemicals that she throws herself into. Amanda Walker even takes a moment to acknowledge "They were the King and Queen of Gotham City...and God help anyone who disrespected the Queen." This was the type of Joker/Harley relationship that the crowd wanted to see...and that's exactly what they got.
The soundtrack for the movie? It was better than anyone imagined. Walking out of theater, I actually heard multiple people commenting on how much they enjoyed the music. In fact, I've downloaded all of the songs from the soundtrack onto my laptop, and I plan on listening to the playlist during my workouts, or even during my relaxation time. Shrillex, Lil Wayne, Twenty One Pilots, Eminem, Panic! At The Disco covering a Queen song, Creedence Clearwater, and so many more big names added up to a 5-star soundtrack like never before. I knew from the opening credits with "House of the Rising Sun" that this action-packed film was going to be one for the record books.
I could say so much more about this precious little gem...but I think I'm going to let you watch it for yourself. In conclusion, the only thing that upset me about this movie is that Harley Quinn made me want to buy an Espresso machine, and she looks better in pigtails than I do.