So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo: A Discussion

I just finished reading “So You Want To Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo and as soon as I finished it a review was not something I felt comfortable writing. So I decided on a discussion instead.

For reference I am a white 21 year old woman who was adopted into a Hispanic family. Yet, just a product of my whiteness I realized that loving and appreciating people of color all my life doesn’t stop some of the places where I’ve said or done something that is racist. That the way I was brought up in school still gave me ideas that are racist and the only way to dismantle those is to look them straight in the eye and start to unlearn them.

I loaned this book off of Libby and I knew I was going to feel uncomfortable reading it, but I was surprised by how much. I am very much similar to the kind of white person Ijeoma is talking about. I think of myself as mostly good. I believe in justice and equality for all, but beyond talking about it I haven’t done much. This election will be the first I’ve participated in. I have a plan to start being more active and supportive of candidates that make dismantling this enormous system of oppression important. My plan is to do better.

Honestly, I still have a lot of this books ideas to think about on my own. Research to do. Things I still need to learn. The work is never done. I want to do it, because it’s the right thing to do. In a lot of ways I feel off writing this cause as much as the book is aimed at white people wanting to help start dismantling this system.. it feels uncomfortable. Which is entirely the point.

All I can think is people of color are hurting. They are hurting cause the system that has been built has pushed them down for far too long. There has never been true equality in the United States. That’s a future I want to help work towards. Reading this book to further educate myself has been a start. I know I’m going to fail. I know I’m going to say the wrong thing. But, I want to try. That’s the only thing I know to do.

I don’t just want to talk about race. I want to take action. Thanks to this book I’m starting to see a path to how. Racism isn’t just the big stuff. It’s also the minor transgressions you don’t even think about. The automatic reactions that have been formed through education and upbringing. It’s been time for change well before I was born. We all need to be fighting in this. Working for a better more inclusive future.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

Binge Watching Rick and Morty: Season 1-3

I started Rick & Morty very recently thanks to the recommendation of someone who has become a very close friend to me. I know I meant to write a post for each season, but after I finished one I needed to watch the next right away and so on. Now that the fourth season isn’t fully out yet I have to force myself to wait and so in the meantime I get to share my thoughts about the show with all of you.

I was a little hesitant at first about this show because I have never really watched any adult themed animations before, but I needn’t have worried. This show has been fantastic every step of the way.

What Makes the Show So Good

It’s absurdity. In any moment the show could put together the two strangest of things and it’ll make sense. This show does whatever the hell it wants to and every moment you ask yourself “what the hell is going to happen next?”

You could screenshot any moment in the show and see just how much is going on. Every single moment there is so much to see and there are interactions that you can’t find anywhere else.

The family.

I can never say if these guys have a really good or really bad relationship. There is so much love, but damn are they horrible to each other. Except, that’s kinda who they all are and at the end of the day if it’s the world vs. them I would bet my money on them.

The balance of humor and real topics.

The show is very funny a lot of the time, but then it hits you with certain topics and it makes you think long after the episode is over.

Favorite Episodes of Season 1

Episode 5: Meeseeks and Destroy

Meeseeks only meaning in their existence is to help you achieve what you wish. When they have to deal with Jerry’s wish of getting some strokes off his golf game they get more then they bargain for and their existence becomes true pain. When it gets so bad they come together to kill Jerry and it started to make me really think about what it would be like for me in that situation. It’s a dark episode, but that’s what made it stand out to me.

Episode 7: Raising Gazorpazorp

This episode was so much fun to watch. Morty raising his own very strange child that wants to destroy the world. He was oddly a very loving yet very aggressive parent. It was super interesting to watch.

Favorite Episodes of Season 2

Episode 6: The Ricks must be Crazy

Two things are happening in this episode. One is Rick’s car keeping Summer safe. The other is Rick and Morty taking off into the car battery where a whole universe exists just to give power to the car. It’s incredibly well balanced as an episode and it made me think about two things. One how far we are willing to go to be safe and two how messed up the idea of creating an entire species of people is just to power your car… it’s complete insanity this episode and I adored every second of it.

Episode 7: Big Trouble in Little Sanchez

This episode was so incredible I can’t. It was the first time I could see how Beth and Jerry loved each other and I couldn’t get enough. It’s so so so good. I remember so much of this episode so clearly because it got me thinking about relationships and how they are whatever you make them to be and how what you focus on and bring to the relationship in each moment is what builds it up. This episode was so good. Seeing beth’s version of Jerry was so funny. A subservient being and it’s actually kinda accurate. Then how Jerry sees Beth as a evil badass and later in season 3 you really get to see her that way. It’s so cool.

Episode 10: The Wedding Squanchers

This episode messed me up. I wanted to cry after watching it. Bird man became such a part of the show and I didn’t expect where this episode would take this story. It’s messed up, but it is so goddamn good.

Favorite Episodes of Season 3

Episode 3: Pickle Rick

I don’t think anyone can deny the fact that pickle rick is an icon. It’s what I knew of the show before watching the show and I cannot deny how cool it was to see what all the hype was about. The fact that he did it just to avoid family therapy is so iconic. What an incredible episode. It embodies all the best of what Rick and Morty is.

Episode 9: The ABC’s of Beth

This is my favorite episode of Beth. It was like seeing the real version of someone for the first time. She’s a badass. I loved this episode so much. I love the idea of seeing her like this more often in future episodes.

All in All

Rick and Morty is absolutely fantastic. It’s sciency and fun and yet it can be so emotional and dark. The art is stunning. It’s colorful and mind blowing. I’m so excited to watch season 4 when all the episodes are out. I know it’s gonna be an incredible time.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter!

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

Growing Into A New Mentality

I think that after a year of much spiritual and mental growth it’s time for a new era. An era of happy. I’m ready to be happy. To do me and live my life as free as I can.

This year has started off better then I could’ve imagined. I have so much to be joyful about and so much I just want to enjoy. Knowing I have all the time in the world to enjoy it is wonderful.

I’ve let go of so much. I’m learning to create a new story. I’m learning to give up old patterns and I’ve seen today that I’m still on the way to it. Which is ok. I’m fine with being on my way to everything that I desire. I know that’s how it will be all my life. I’m enjoying now immensely and that’s all that really matters.

I’m still growing into this mentality. Still learning to not push back so much. Learning to be me irregardless of who others are. I’m getting better and better at it everyday. I’m learning that holding on to anything negative at all solves no problems and that letting them go and creating positivity leads to more and more positivity.

I know that growing into this mentality will have some push back from others. Mostly because I’m coming to believe that everything will really be ok. “Reality” as many will want to point out can be sucky, but I wanna focus on the good parts. I know that I’ve done so much of focusing on the negative for way too long.

These past few days in general have been particularly wonderful. I want to focus on that. I want to focus on good times with friends. Wonderful conversations. Knowing that we’re all growing together. I’ve felt really peaceful these past few days. Really calm. Full of knowing. I feel so much clarity.

That’s all of what 2020 will be for me. Happy, full of love, hope for the future, and lots of good times. I can’t believe how good the year has started. I can’t wait to see all the rest that’s in store.

I know things are getting better and better. I’m going to enjoy this life of mine. It’s going to be beautiful.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Iron Man 3: A Discussion

I know not everyone agrees with me, but Iron Man 3 is my favorite of the Iron Man films and I won’t apologize for it. It’s a well-balanced, funny yet emotional film that shows no matter what demons you have inside you, you can still be an incredible hero.

I love Iron Man for his wit and for how genuine of a human being he is. His past is checkered and he doesn’t always say or do the right thing, but he tries his best to do what is right for those he loves and also for the world.

This movie starts out with one of the most Tony Stark trade marked quote ever. He says “A famous man once said, “We create our own demons.” Who said that? What does that even mean? Didn’t matter. I said it ’cause he said it. So now, he was famous and it was basically said by two well-known guys.” This feels so classically Tony Stark and I love how it ties in to what he says at the end as well. It shows his arrogance, but also his wit and it sets the tone for what the rest of the movie perfectly.

I love even the little moments like when Tony is arguing with James about Tony’s health and James says ‘I’m not trying to be a Dick-tator.’ switching his word slightly because a little girl is present. Something about the slight jabs and sarcastic humor makes Iron Man one of my favorite marvel heroes. He’s always fun to watch.

In this movie the villains were all of Tony’s making. The ex-lover, The guy he ignored at a party, and his own mental hurtles. It really felt like everyone was someone he needed to fight off himself. Who had a personal vendetta against him. Yes, a lot of it is posed as a villain plotting against the world, but the real motive was to get back at Tony and it made his eventual triumph at the end all the more exciting.

But, what I love most about this film is seeing one of the earths mightiest heroes deal with a demon that so many of us face everyday.. anxiety. The mind is the most powerful force on earth. When Stark has his first major panic attack he thinks he must have some heart or brain injury and his body is perfectly fine. It’s his mind that created the danger and as the movie goes on and he continues battling his mind as well as all of the other demons he created you see someone defeating their demons and coming out on top. That’s a message that so many of us need at some point or another.

Then how deeply it’s connected to Pepper and how much he wants to protect her. That kills me. Because there is only one person on this earth that he has and that’s her and he realized there’s more on the earth to be afraid of then he ever first realized. He’s not sure if he’s strong enough to keep her safe and nothing hits him harder then that.. so he tinkers. He makes things to feel better, but by doing so he looses time just enjoying being with her. Tony may be a jerk at times, but he’s real with Pepper. I think that’s the truest kind of love. The person you can be your truest self with. The person who’s flaws don’t sway you because you can see how hard the other tries in spite of everything. The person who lifts you up and who you lift up. That’s the kind of love you never let pass you by.

Then, Tony gets arrogant again and gives the world his address. That ends in absolute catastrophe as well as Pepper being captured. But, it made for one of the funniest and best relationships in the whole MCU… the relationship between Tony and a kid named Harley. Tony is rather mean to the adorable little kid, but the kid holds his own anyway. Honestly, I think they both irritate and love each other equally. Tony needed Harley and Harley, well, Harley found a father figure. It’s the sweetest thing to watch.

I know a lot of people don’t like this, but I love the mandarin being a fake. I know that it would’ve made for a completely different movie if he wasn’t, but he just played the part so well. Plus, the part where this gets revealed is probably the funniest part of the movie for me. For me, it balances the film out. It put a smile on my face and that’s worth a lot to me. I’m always up for some good comic relief and that’s what the actor behind the mandarin is for me.

As far as the battle scenes go, there was plenty of action. The power set was unique from all the other films and that made the fighting style and overall feel of the fight scenes their own. Then, we have the final battle where Tony calls in all his suits and it creates a busyness that keeps your eyes engaged and gives a sense of urgency to the overall scene.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love Iron Man. I love a good flawed hero. Iron Man is truly human in every sense of the word. In this final solo film of his we get to see him at his very best in spite of everything that mentally wants to bring him down. Iron man is a true hero and I will always have love for his films.

Thanks so much to all of you for reading! I’m back once more and better then ever. Thanks to all of you for sticking with me. I have a lot planned to read, write, and discuss with you all in the future.

-Till next time!

The YA Sociopath: Why So Few Books?

Last night I went down a rabbit hole. I decided to watch the first few videos of Shane Dawson’s documentary about Jake Paul. In it, Shane touches on something that fascinates me, sociopaths. What it is. How many people have it. Some say 1 in 25. Some say 1 in 100. Really I should mention that there is a spectrum and 1 in 25 to 100 would fall somewhere on that spectrum.

The idea of someone who doesn’t know how to feel emotions. Who lives there life with different masks. Who are charismatic and enjoyable to be around. Master manipulators. That’s fascinating. However, I do need to point out that I don’t know much about this. It’s why I wish there were more ya that touched on this in a way that didn’t make them all out to be serial killers. Because most sociopaths aren’t serial killers. Apparently, they are often some of the world’s most successful people as well as the most liked.

The only ya book I found that has a sociopath main character that isn’t also a killer is ‘Don’t You Trust Me?’ By Patrice Kindl. Here is the link to the article I found this book on.

Patrice Kindl, best known for her romantic historical novels, steps into a new genre in this tale of a conniving teenager. Fifteen-year-old Morgan is blonde, blue eyed, and possesses a winning smile that instantly wins her the trust of everyone in the room. Oh, and she’s most definitely a sociopath. Emotions like love and fear are foreign to her, and she can’t recall ever having a conscience. When her parents ship her off to a school for troubled teens, she’s confident she can weasel her way out of it. That’s when she meets Janelle, a sobbing mess of a girl being torn from her boyfriend and sent to live with relatives she hasn’t seen since childhood. Originally dismissive of the other girl, Morgan changes her tune once she hears Janelle’s story and proposes that they switch places. Janelle runs off with her boyfriend, and Morgan settles in with a wealthy family who doesn’t have a clue that she isn’t their niece. Let the games begin. Fans of unreliable narrators and bad girls will eat this up.

Even still, the book above is a thriller in a sense. Just not one about a killer. If sociopaths are so common, why isn’t there more books written about them? I’m not talking thrillers and horror stories. I’m talking real world contemporary.. even historical, fantasy, etc. There has to be writers out there who are sociopaths. Who know what it’s like to live inside their own minds. Why not write a story more true to themselves?

I’m not trying to think of this as some sort of controversy. I’m just a fascinated person whose curiosity leads me to wanting to understand others who live lives totally unlike my own. Be it mentally, ethnically, of a different sexuality, or disability. I like to learn about these things, because not only does it make me more aware, but it makes it so I can be more compassionate and understanding. Realizing that sociopathic tendencies affect a ton more people then I ever realized was a huge eyeopener into a world that the majority of us cannot ever fully understand.

Thanks for reading! If you know any other books that are not thrillers that have a sociopathic main character let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this!

-Till next time!

Feeling Good

You know what’s great? Getting up at 5:30 am and still feeling amazing! My mood has steadily gotten progressively better over the course of the past two months. At this point, I wake up and nothing brings me down.

I’d talked before about being happier then I’d ever been, but I don’t think I discussed how easily I’ve discarded every worry I have in the process. I don’t worry about much of anything anymore (except my dad, I won’t ever stop worrying about my dad). Life doesn’t sound like something to fear anymore. I am more then willing to embrace every little ounce of joy that comes into my life now. It feels amazing.

I feel that anything that life has in store is something I can handle. Recently, I’ve felt like ‘Feeling Good’ by Nina Simone it truly feels like a new Dawn, a new day, a new life.. and I want to grasp at it and dance and laugh in the light of it. I’m having trouble fighting my smile right now. In truth I think I’d been tired of living my life the way I had been. I wasn’t letting myself enjoy anything. Now, I watch movies and listen to music as much as I want to and I don’t feel guilty. I let myself have fun.

Even this blog has changed quite a bit. I was kinda unhappy with it before. I took a lot of breaks from it because of that. When I first started I wrote what I wanted every day and I didn’t have to think about it. I missed that greatly. Now, I find myself doing so again, but now in an even more authentic way because I’m being open about my love for things that aren’t just books. My Halloween posts this month have been some of my favorite posts to write that I’ve written in AGES. It makes me sad that I never discussed how deep my love for horror always was on here before.

I think what’s changing in me is that I’m becoming more willing to be authentic to myself. To who I am as a person. I have ALWAYS loved books. I ALWAYS will. I read everyday. My passion lies in writing. However stories are everywhere. I see it in art. In music. In movies and tv shows. In our memories with the people we love. I want to celebrate how stories touch our lives in those aspects too.

So this blog is to be a testament to that. To all the things that deserve celebration. To share my thoughts and my dreams. To connect with all of you who wish to celebrate in much the same way. To talk about whatever I’m feeling. I think that’s the only way I can happily root myself in my blog again. To create a space for myself to be open about anything. This months posts have been a testament to this. I’ve been having a blast.

I’m feeling amazing. Not good. Not fine. Not just ok. I’m feeling amazing! I feel like I can be true to myself in a much more authentic way lately and I don’t ever want to stop.

So thank you. All of you. For being with me on my journey. For talking books with me. For being there in the ups and downs that have come to pass these past two years. New and old I thank you. It’s been wonderful. I know it will continue to be so.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

What Halloween Means to Me

Halloween is a time where children especially enjoy dressing up and getting ready to go grab themselves as much candy as they can. However.. as simple as that is. There is something more to Halloween then that. Especially to me.

Halloween is a time where everything that you are or want to be can come out to play. It’s where your fears come to the forefront and everything that makes your gut twist takes center stage. It makes your darkest fantasies come to mind and play out in front of you in the shadows. That monster under your bed feels very real during this one month.. or day for those of you who don’t engage in halloween festivities in the month leading up to it.

It’s a time when me and my sister feel the closest. We both love Halloween equally as much. It’s our lifeblood. All year we watch horror movies in the house. Yet, this one month we make it a point to watch as many as we can together. Way back when my tiptoe into horror was watching paranormal investigation with my sister. Then slowly I let myself sit down and watch.. really watch.. horror movies. As time went on I learned something about my fear and now I don’t feel it. Not like before. I crave horror movies now. I adore watching people play scary games (especially with a story). I have a blast listening to halloween music. Halloween is something that really brings out my happiness.

You know what else is cool about Halloween? Because anyone can be anything it is a time where EVERYONE is accepted. Anyone can dress up. Anyone can be who they want to be. It’s all in good fun. We acknowledge that we are all human beings living afraid on Halloween. We embrace our fears. Raise a glass to them. Thank them for keeping us alive. From keeping us living from doing something too stupid. Hoping that we aren’t touched by what fears us, but knowing we will be during this time, because that’s the point.

During this one time of the year I embrace the dark. I consider it even. What makes it real. What makes us afraid of it. Then I realize humans are the real monsters and in my mind I take a dance with my own fearful imaginings. Who, but us, celebrates all that is death, decay, bloody, and awful for a whole month? Not any creatures that I can name. It’s just us. Yet, it’s glorious.. because illusion and beauty and pain and fantasy all come out to play. We pay to experience horror and be fooled by people just like us scaring in suits and behind masks. We are good at it too both actor and participant. Because the actor becomes what we fear something otherworldly and dark. Yet we decide for just a little while to suspend our disbelief and wonder.. what if our nightmares came to life?

That is what Halloween means to me. It Letting go and setting your demons free. Embracing your humanity. Embracing the one thing that binds us all.. death.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

What Happened to September?

In a few short days it will be October.. October already!? I can’t believe it. September has been one of the craziest most beautiful months of my life. I may not have been as productive this month, but I’m proud of what I have done and I think that is worth something.

One of the things I never imagined for myself was being in a relationship. I mean.. I imagined it, but I didn’t think it would ever actually happen. It doesn’t really help that I can be pretty particular about who I fall for (except I can’t really control it so I guess that doesn’t matter). Not only that, but to be in a relationship with a guy who is so caring and supportive and just all around wonderful. I couldn’t ask for more.

The thing about this is that I’m not used to it. I don’t know if I’ll ever be used to it. Every time I see his face I just get this really incredible happy feeling and I never thought I’d feel that way for someone. Falling in love and falling in love this fast was something I thought was reserved for the books I read. Apparently, love can be like a wildfire.

Talking with him at first I knew I wanted to get to know him. Instantly he fascinated me. But the more we talked the more I knew that I wanted more. At first, I knew I wanted to discuss books with him and writing and whatever else, I knew somehow from the start that we’d make very fast friends. Uhh.. I didn’t expect that we’d have fallen so quickly for each other though.

The two of us can talk about anything..literally anything and it’s wonderful. So due to him being the wonderful human that he is, I’ve been happier then I’ve ever been in my life. For the first time in forever I made it a point to enjoy every moment of my time. I let myself just be. I have been somewhat productive and I’ve had some really productive days and some where all I wanted to do was listen to music and maybe watch a movie and read and so I’d let myself do those things. It feels like I blinked my eyes and September is almost ending.

Falling in love has taught me one really special thing though. That no matter what is happening in life there is always something beautiful to hold on to and enjoy no matter how small. That it’s ok to let go of your worry for a while and that problems may exist, but that doesn’t mean it should be all that consumes you. You can choose to let go of your problems (not ignore them) but to realize that they are going to be there at the end of the day and you can deal with them as you need to, but you don’t have to let that impede on your happiness.

Sometimes life can be really really hard. However, sometimes the most unexpected and beautiful things happen to lift you out of the dark. I am so grateful to feel this happy. To realize I don’t need much to feel that way. It comes with seeing a smile, hearing a voice, the sound of a laugh. That’s something that feels so very special.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Let’s Rant: Our Bodies, Not Yours

I got up this morning. Read some blog posts. Ate some waffles. Felt pretty generally happy. Then.. then I went on Twitter and I saw this tweet from Annie-Marie McLemore. An author whose books I’ve desperately wanted to read for ages now and her tweet made my skin grow cold.

Her words.. that’s a reality for almost every girl out there. You talk to any girl and they have stories like this. Even me.

But, what really made me upset was not only her age, but the audacity of the teacher to tell her “Well what did you do to make him do that?” That made my blood boil. It’s an absolutely disgusting mentality to have. She was a child.. and your giving her that mentality that it’s her fault that a guy got the idea in his head to lay claim on her body. That it was ok. It makes me want to scream.

Victim shaming is the single most awful thing I have ever seen. Because sometimes.. sometimes the victim does start to believe it was their fault. When it isn’t. The answer to that awful question is always nothing. No girl ever asks to be touched like that. The only time that any sexual activity is ok is when there is mutual consent. That’s it. No touchy.. feely.. nothing unless it’s what both parties want. I don’t care if a girl decides that she wants to wear the shortest mini-skirt and just a bra to go out.. it does not give a guy permission to feel her up.

The whole “what did you do?” Mentality just gives men a free pass to do whatever the hell they want and not get punished for it. That shit is just that complete and utter bull shit and everyone needs to cut the crap. As much as the “what did you do” mentality suggests that men are animals… they are not. They have brains. They can have self-control. They are not controlled solely by the thing in their pants. They can keep their hands to themselves and show some respect. It’s all a stupid game. It’s this mentality that so many people wear as armor so that they can fool people into thinking that it wasn’t their fault. That they couldn’t help themselves. That they couldn’t register the girl saying no. That somehow the actions that they took with their own hands wasn’t their fault.

I thought I was done with the personal posts for a while, but as it turns out I’m just getting started.

I didn’t think I’d ever share this on here, but I’m fed up and these stories need to be shared.

I have a few stories actually.

The first wasn’t that long ago. Several months ago their was a boy that I worked with. We used to talk about music and whatever else and I saw him as a friend. He was one of those people who liked to give hugs and at first I didn’t think much of it. However, I started to notice that he’d give these side hugs where his arm would go around my chest and then one night I was bagging up food to go into the display and he was leaving and he thought it was a good idea to hug me from behind placing his hands by where my ovaries are. I immediately felt this rush of panic and anger. It didn’t matter that it was quick. It didn’t matter that we’d talked and were sort of friends. Touching me like that.. so intimately.. I was livid. Before he left I yelled at him, “That was the most uncomfortable hug I’ve ever had… don’t ever ever do that again I said… don’t ever think of doing that to any girl ever.. It’s not ok… I don’t know how you could have thought that that was ok.”

He had the sense to back off.. he apologized profusely, but I had my personal space violated. A hug like that is one I want from my boyfriend and from my boyfriend only. It’s a kind of hug that signifies trust and love and intimacy. None of which I had with that guy at my work.. not even close. It wasn’t just me though. He hugged the other girl we both worked with the same way. It’s not ok.

The other.. much longer.. story is this:

In high school there was a boy I was nice to. He wasn’t liked by very many people and when we would pass in the hallway I thought it was a grand idea to be nice and say hi. I would chat with him and treat him like a person and I didn’t realize that it would make him think I wanted anything other then friendship and I was wrong. During summer of sophomore year I took pre-cal at a university so that I could be ahead and take more advanced classes at school. Apparently, this was the same university where this guys sister was taking classes. One day, he showed up hours before pick up and found me where I was eating lunch. I didn’t think much of it at the time since it was simply a surprise to me and I didn’t have anything against him. I had thought of him as a friend. So when he asked me for my number I gave it to him. Except.. every single day after that he’d show up early hours before pick up trying to catch me on my break. So instead of confronting him like I should have I stayed in class to eat lunch. When he called asking to hang out I told him that my mom wouldn’t like it (I should have just told him I didn’t want to). For the next several weeks of an intensive pre-cal class I would eat inside.. run the fastest route to where my mom would wait for me in her car and I blocked the guys number. To this day I don’t understand how he didn’t get the hint. When we were at school again he’d ask me to give him a hug and I’d brush him off and go in a different direction. In truth.. the whole thing terrified me. I lived my life in school finding ways to always be absent from wherever he was. The thing is I was at work yesterday and I saw that very same guy pass by and it filled me with the same dread as I had in school. The thing is.. a lot of people weren’t nice to him, because everyone could tell that he was mentally off. But being me.. knowing what it felt like not to have any friends it was always important to be nice. I didn’t expect for it to end up getting me a stalker. To this day I get all in my head and even though I know I could defend myself if I absolutely had to.. it’s the wonder of not knowing what someone is capable of. I’m not in the business of underestimating someone because I could physically take them on… or because they look harmless.. in this world of knifes and guns and awful situations I can’t help but feel afraid sometimes. I hate that this guy can make me feel that way. That just one look at his face filled me with dread. It’s not even a violation of the sexual kind, but a violation on my ability to live my life freely.. of not feeling like I have to be afraid. Of wondering if someone’s going to do something.. of having spent a lot of time being scarce so that none of those things had even a remote chance of happening.

Then there are the smaller stories.. guys asking me if I wanted a bite of the food they just bought at my work (that’s happened several times and it’s the weirdest thing ever). A guy who called me babe out of no where also while I was serving him food at work. I hate being called babe or baby anyway (my grandmother used to call me by them). Being called babe within a minute of someone looking at you feels so degrading. The guy that saw me walking to work and decided to walk next to me and complemented my eyes and when I finally was inside the safety of my work he stood there for a few seconds staring at me and said that he just wanted to stare at my eyes for a while. All this.. it makes me feel like I can’t be seen as a person. That all a guy can see is my face, my eyes, and take any smile as an invitation. It isn’t.

Sometimes I get it. Two people have to meet somehow, but there are boundaries. A lot of the time those boundaries are crossed. It’s why it’s so important to me that I’m liked as a person first before anything more. That I’m respected. That if I say no I’m respected. That I can trust the person I choose to love. That I feel safe with them. There have been far too many times where others have made me feel the opposite.

One of the most powerful words I’ve heard someone say went something like this “most of the women I know have stories like these.. most of the men I know are good men.. but for every time a pass is made in a dining room 5 of the women in that same room could raise their hand and say me too.” The men that end up thinking that they can touch a women as much as they want tend to be repeat offenders. Most men are good men, but for the ones that take things many steps too far they hurt more the just one women. They touch multiple lives. Taint multiple lives. That’s a big part of why that tweet made me so upset. That boy who touched Annie.. how many more girls would he grow up to touch? What would he escalate to? Especially when he was taught at such a young age that he wouldn’t be punished for it.

Our bodies are our own. They are not meant for anyone, but ourselves. To be shared only with whom we choose to share it with. Our bodies are not meant to be claimed like that’s all we are good for. What we choose to do with our bodies is our choice and our choice alone. To have that taken away from us is a violation of basic human rights.

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts down in the comments… I meant to put together my Most Anticipated post today, but this came about instead. I’m kinda glad though. It’s an important subject to me. I think we all should be able to speak up about these things.

-Till next time!

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day and if it weren’t for Andrew’s amazing post where he created a Suicide Prevention Playlist. I would have missed it completely.

So, when I read his post, I spent the time from then till now listening to the playlist he put together. It’s full of heartbreaking, head banging, wonderful music. Some songs I’ve heard many times and others I had never listened to before. (I’m only surprised knowing him that he didn’t put in Iridescent (which I recommend all of you reading to listen to after you check out Andrew’s playlist).

So riffing off of his post. I want to talk a little bit about mental health and Suicide.

I’ve discussed on here before that I have some very personal experiences with this subject. Not just from suffering from depression, but from having an uncle who sadly committed suicide a few years ago.

Over the years, I’ve come to understand my uncle in a way that breaks my heart. He was a father, a great uncle, and an all around good guy to be around. He loved his family. He loved his daughters. But he also loved alcohol and smoking and because of divorce, financial struggle, and so many other things.. he had enough. I don’t think I ever blamed him. In truth, I blamed my grandmother. She had brought him to live with us and was supposed to help him and instead gave up on him. I wonder sometimes if he’d still be alive if she hadn’t.

My uncle was this super tall, heavily tattooed, mostly bald guy who terrified me when I first met him, but I watched one of my first horror movies with him and my cousins ‘the grudge’ and he taught me how to ride a bike, and he was always good to me. It really saddens me to know that he snuffed out his own light.

More then me, my cousins, his daughters, were devastated by the loss of their dad. Their hurt made mine deeper. I often cried for them.

On my own.. when my mind went darkest, I thought briefly about Suicide. Writing it, I know it’s the truth, but having it in black and white is surreal. Whenever I couldn’t handle my thoughts and I needed to be away I’d head into the bathroom, but every time, after a few minutes my mom would come knocking. She never ever left me alone. Even though the worst I ever did was cut off bits of hair.. she never let me get to a place where I could do more and when I realized that she knew before I did that my mind was going towards darkness it made me vow to myself never to act on those thoughts. For my family I made it a mission not to harm myself. To get my life together and to turn to positivity.

Early on, I often took to Instagram where they had posts that had quotes from people who felt as I did and I fell through the rabbit hole that showed me self-harm. I never got to the point where I cut myself. I’m lucky. When I told my mom recently that I used to look at those kinds of posts she looked at me like I was still in that place. She still worries. My interest in mental health and discussing it all worries her more.

Right now, I’m in the best place mentally that I’ve ever been in. It shocks me. I think of all the things that have happened recently that should weigh on me and I find that they don’t. I can’t believe that. I’m happy. I’m happy with my family. I’m happy with my future. I’m happy with the incredible guy that makes me feel like I could fly into the clouds. Instead of shutting down like I normally would in times where I feel like my problems are piled against me, I’m moving forward and I feel really good for the first time in forever.

Yet still, my mom tells me not to read some of the stuff that I read. Not to involve myself with labels and discuss what I have and how I had felt for the majority of my life. She doesn’t realize what it means to me. That the word depression gave me the answer I needed to know that I’m normal that the thoughts aren’t really me. To come to the realization that thoughts can lie to you. She doesn’t realize that since I’ve discussed my truth on this blog it’s been easier to deal with. Many of you out there know how I feel. Struggling together makes the weight of it so much less.

I dream of a world where Suicide isn’t something that touches people’s lives, sadly I know that that won’t happen any time soon, but discussing it. Discussing ways to heal. Getting help. Maybe we could make the Suicide rate smaller.

If you or anyone you know are thinking of Suicide. Please call the Suicide Prevention hotline for your country. Check out this international list for the number for your country.

If you can look up and donate to your local Suicide Prevention center. But, more importantly if you know of someone who is struggling, be there for them. Show the people you love you care. Even if someone doesn’t look like their struggling, give them love. Depression is invisible. Unless I talked about it no one could tell I was depressed. More then once I’ve been told by people around me that they think of me as a girl who is always smiling. I’m not.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

I hope we all take this time to be a little kinder to one another. I hope this post has helped you in some way.

-Till next time!