Sunday, July 30, 2017

Childhood fears Conquered

This past weekend, my family and I went to Six Flags St. Louis. Since I grew up about an hour and 10 minutes away from it, going back brought back a lot of memories, good and bad.
I knew I wanted to do one thing for sure, going into the park that day. I was going to go on Mr. Freeze, or die trying. For those of you that don't know, Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast is a roller coaster that just like it sounds, blasts off in reverse. You go through everything backwards, including up a steep incline, and then back down again forwards.

Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast
Photo found via Pinterest

When I was a kid, I was terrified to ride it. My friends tried to convince me multiple times on school field trips, because then, it was the "cool, new ride." I would ride just about any ride, but this one. I think it was something about going backwards up 150 ft. in the air, that just seemed to scary at the time. 
Yet, at 18, somehow I was brave enough to try out the Dragon's Wing, which to many, would be much scarier. It was kind of expensive, but I went with one of my best friend's at the time. Today I still consider it worth the extra money I spent. 

Dragon's Wing
Photo courtesy of Six Flags St. Louis

Who knows what drives our fears? I can definitely say that they aren't always rational. But, regardless, we fear what we fear. Lately, I have been trying very hard to conquer my fears, and I'd say so far, it's paid off every time.
I am sure, there are some fears that are rational, which I have no intention of overcoming. I still fear a great many things. But, it's those irrational fears that I can narrow down into the "wimping out" category that I have been parting with. 
So, did I finally do Mr. Freeze? 


Mr. Freeze conquered.

OK, so that's a terrible photo of me. I had been out in the hot sun, had been on water rides and was wearing a shirt that belongs to Reagan (AKA tiny shirt). I maybe didn't end the day looking very attractive, but I conquered my fear. 
Not to mention, I got a sweet Henna tattoo on my shoulder. Reagan, Noah, Logan, Alicia, Boston, James and Maela were all there too, getting to ride most of the rides they wanted for the day as well. We had a blast. Not only did I squash a childhood fear, but I got to spend a day with the best family I could ask for. Life doesn't get much better than that. 

If that's not joy, I don't know what it. 




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Dreams, easier dreamed than accomplished

Ever since I was a teenager, I have been interested in biographies, particularly autobiographies. It was probably odd when I was in high school, but now that I am getting older...it's maybe a little less odd, but maybe not. 
I think it goes back to my recent post about how intriguing people inspire me to stick to the journalism world. I just want to learn more about people and why they do what they do. 
Now, I generally don't care for political biographies etc., because to be honest, who wants to read about someone tooting their own horn or using their own story to get voters? Not me. I get enough of that during election times on the TV, radio and social media. I like to read about people who are pop culture icons for some reason. I like to see what they've accomplished in their personal lives', besides what we see on TV or in the movies. 
Lately, I have been reading "Talking As Fast As I Can," by Lauren Graham (Lorelei off of Gilmore Girls). She is hilarious! But, fundamentally, it makes me realize how similar people are. Sure, she has some stories that differ from my own, but deep down, she is someone who worked to get where she is today. That's what almost everyone does. 
She was an average teenage girl who went for her dreams. I think that's what sets your typical person and a lot of household names apart. They went for their dreams, and they didn't stop and that's what got them their "moment in the spotlight" or however you want to put it. We are all the same in many ways, but striving to meet our goals and making our dreams come true is what sets us apart from the rest. 
Not everyone can have their dream job, and I would be lying if I said they could. I mean, what child grows up dreaming they will work at McDonald's? (OK. That's a bad example, because kids might want to, but you get my point.) We need people to fix our dishwashers, take our trash to the dump, work in a butcher shop etc., but that may not have been their dream. So, I am glad in many ways for those who maybe give up their dreams to help serve others in various capacities.
However, we should never stop dreaming. There's always a dream to work towards, even if your dream changes with time. I plan to make most of my dreams come true, but if not, I am going to go down fighting :) 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Insecurity: Our own worst enemy

I've been thinking a lot about insecurity. It plagued me for years, and still does from time to time. The funny thing is, so many others feel it too about themselves, although it's easy sometimes to feel like you're the only one who has insecurities. Some feel insecure about their performance at work, about the way they appear to others and even worse, sometimes their ability to be the type of human being they should be.
I think that's why EVERYONE should have something that they are passionate about. Say, for instance, you love cooking. That's great, if you want to continue to work at it and excel at it, do it. But, when that passion fades, as most passion does at one point or another, find a new passion. If you don't you can't always find yourself in what seems like a dark and dull world.
Some people can find enthusiasm in the same activity or goal for years, as long as they keep challenging themselves. I think that's why I've been pretty care free lately. While the world is sometimes crashing down around me, I know I am still making progress on my own personal goals. Each little goal success makes me almost giddy. It makes me want to sing and dance around to music, or just smile a little more than normal.
It makes you feel just a little bit better about yourself, just long enough to quiet some of those insecurities. Even if it's just for a little while, focus on helping yourself. I've heard often that you can't help others until you help yourself. I think that's true, to a large extent. However, you need to stay in tune to what others around you need as well, or you'll just be a self-absorbed person. It's a tricky balance I think. But, battle your own insecurities first. Then, maybe, just maybe, you can go out of your way to reach out to another and make them feel good about themselves as well.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The itch for jaw-dropping intrigue

I've worked quite a few jobs in my young life, less than some, but more than others. Almost every time I worked at a basic customer service job, especially when I worked at Wally World, I would hear negative comments about customers. It was never done to their faces, and often done away from customers at all. It's just part of working in a customer service industry sadly. For whatever reason, a customer might be in a bad mood and they don't think about how they are treating the employee of the store. But, yes, some people are just jerks. 
My least favorite comment of all time, that I heard a lot of, was "I hate people." That's such a sordid blanket statement. I can understand feeling negative towards customers throughout the day, but people, in my opinion are the best part about living.
I think that's why I went into journalism, though now I choose to practice my field on my own terms and in my own time. If I don't want a job, I don't take it. It's a beautiful way of life. Many people tend to think "if you want to eat, you take a job....no matter how bad it is." I can do that for a time, but do a job you hate for too long and you'll end up miserable. Take it from me, I've done it. One job I kept for nine months. I know nine months sounds like very little time to most, but it was the longest job of my life. 
Through journalism, I have been able to explore the world that others live in. It's an unbelievable feeling to be able to see the world through another person's eyes. Among my favorite articles that come to mind, is the story of a cross country coach in Stockton and his friend who is a handy man. In their spare time, they trained and qualified for American Ninja Warrior.  The dedication these two have is amazing. In fact, I'd go as far as to say, that they were some of the many who inspired me to go on my current athletic journey. Seeing people excel, who have no intention of giving up no matter how hard it may be, is amazing. I get many opportunities to explore the "why" behind what people do and see what drives them, while asking more and more questions. 
Though to some, it might sound crazy, I think my pursuit of journalism in many ways can be selfless and selfish. It's selfless, because it's a service business. You write about the people for the people, or at least that's what you're supposed to do. But, it can be selfish, because sometimes, as a journalist, you just want to satisfy your own curiosity. 
Either way, I know being surprised often by people is something I love about life. Without different perspectives, goals, beliefs and choices....life just wouldn't be as beautiful. So, surprise me. I dare you. ;) 

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Brangelina Obsession

I am just sick right now about all this Brad, Angie, Marion and Jennifer crap. First it was "Angie files for divorce", followed by "Marion and Brad were cheating together," then "Jennifer says this is karma," and finally "Marion says it's not true!" Talk about drama!

Sure, like a lot of the world, I was quite interested when I found out Angelina and Brad were divorcing. My first reaction was "man, that sucks" and my second being "he probably cheated." I think my initial reaction was the best one. I thought about their kids, all the charities they helped together and how the world saw their intense on-scene chemistry way back when they filmed Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

I have a few points about this whole debacle I would like to share, and then I would like to move on and forget about it (like the rest of the Internet should do.)

1. It's a divorce and I am sorry for them. The rest of the world should be too. Who cares about the whole Brad and Jennifer drama that happened way back when. A family is splitting and that is never a good or OK thing in my opinion. Sometimes, based on the situation, it should and has to happen for the happiness of all involved. But, it should be a last resort. In an ideal world, a child should be raised by a loving mother AND father. But, I rather have a single loving mother raise her children than two parents stay together who hate each other. What does that teach the child? It teaches them the wrong ideas about what love can and should be. No one should revel in their divorce, no matter how they got together. Divorce is a sad thing and just because it's in the spotlight because of Angie and Brad's job, doesn't mean it should be treated any differently.

2. The whole "it's karma" thing is a bunch of awful crap. Yes, Brad and Angie made a bad choice to cheat when Brad and Jennifer were married. It was wrong, plain and simple. However, no one and women especially should revel in another woman's pain. I know a lot of women and men have gone through the pain of finding out that their spouse is a cheater. Unfortunately, I don't think it's a rare thing these days. But, reveling in someones pain, just because it's ironic, doesn't make it OK. We should still be sorry for the divorce as a whole (as stated above) or just not think about it at all. After all, it's not really any one's business, is it?

3. The media is making me sick right now. I know it's the whole "there's a demand we need to fill" thing, the "it's a novelty" deal and finally "they are public figures" analogy. I've been in journalism and I know why the papers/TV/web is talking about it. But the NY Post's cover was just insane. This Cover is just shameful. I mean really? They are taking a photo of Jennifer and using it in the wrong context. I hope she sues the post. Unless she is officially quoted them or gave them the a-OK to use this, I think it's wrong of them to use this. So much for your name NY Post. I don't consider that good journalism and shame on you.

OK. I am done with my Brad and Angie rant. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Disney is full of strong female examples, contrary to recently published "research"

I came across an article on Facebook earlier this week, pointing out the problems that Disney cartoons have caused, specifically those made between the 80s and 90s. 
The article suggests that The Little Mermaid and the princess stories that followed in the next few years, limited women in terms of speech and offered few examples of strong powerful women.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that Disney has affected my generation WAY TOO MUCH. We had a slur of films with catchy songs and fascinating stories (in my opinion at least). Plus the 90s was a prominent time for home video. It was simple for almost any parent, no matter their financial standing, to find it an easy solution to pop their kids in front of the TV to keep them busy. I was effected by The Little Mermaid other such films in good and bad ways.


Bad things I learned

Your happy ever after means you have a prince charming-  You don't have to have a "prince charming" per say, because he doesn't exist. It is however important to have someone in your life who cares about you and you care for in return, whether that's your mom, boyfriend, best friend or wife.

Hunting is evil-  I learned this not only from Bambi, but a slur of other animal based films (whether Disney, or from somewhere else.) Hunting isn't evil, but I just can't shake this one all the way. Logically, I know the meat I eat comes from someone killing an animal. That doesn't mean I can handle being around people hunting. I like to see meat in a grocery store as "pork" and not as Babe the pig.

Life is a fantasy world, full of happiness:  There is a lot of happiness, but there also is a lot of sadness. Disney movies very rarely convey true life problems, especially the cartoons. But, then again, that's the basis of the appeal.


Good things I learned

Life is always better with a smile on your face and a song in your heart-  Snow White taught me that, and yes, it may sound lame, but it's true. When you let the bad things get you down, you will feel down ALL THE TIME. (or at least a lot of times) When you put a smile on and push through, or sing a song when you are feeling down, it just seems to make the world a little less hopeless.

You have to stand up and fight for what you believe is right-  Mulan, Pocahontas, Brave, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and probably every Disney movie reinstated this in me. You can't just sit back and watch others destroy themselves or let others destroy your life. You've got to do what you can to help others and help yourself.

You can be a success if you work hard- Tiana of course reinstated that one. She dreams for a long time to get her own restaurant, but in the end, she has to earn money by working day and night. She saves it all up to get her dream.



One of the women quoted in the article says about Beauty and the Beast:

"There's one isolated princess trying to get someone to marry her, but there are no women doing any other things,” Fought says. “There are no women leading the townspeople to go against the Beast, no women bonding in the tavern together singing drinking songs, women giving each other directions, or women inventing things. Everybody who’s doing anything else, other than finding a husband in the movie, pretty much, is a male.”

What's her deal? Belle had a lot of amazing qualities and was a great role model to girls I think. 1) She went into a terrifying castle to go save her father. She was brave. 2) She was selfless when she volunteered to take his place in an isolated prison where a scary beast presided. 3) She was educated. She read constantly to learn, entertain herself and become a more well-rounded person. The townspeople thought she was odd. It's because she wasn't fawning over Gaston like all the silly other girls in town. 4.) When the townspeople went to kill the beast, she had learned that not all things are like they appear. She knew he was kind. She did everything she could to save him. If she had not returned, Gaston would have killed the Beast.

Needless to say, these stories are fantasies, but I think I'm OK with trying to live up to some of the ideals and examples that those princesses left for me.



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Grey colored glasses are going out of style

I saw a meme on Facebook a few days ago that made me laugh. (Even though I hate memes with a passion) This year is going to be the year everyone was offended by everything. It's so true! Apparently, no one believes in the color grey anymore. 
I was taught growing up, through church, that there are not any grey areas. Everything is black or white. I think adults said this, misinterpreting what it actually meant. I do believe everything is black or white in terms of God's law, which has been set forth since before the beginning of earth. You either choose to follow the 10 Commandments, or you don't. 
However, when it comes to social and political issues, there are grey areas. Unfortunately, no one seems to believe that any more. You either support gays or you don't. You're either Christian or your not. You are conservative or liberal. You are racist, or you're not. You're going to allow in refugees or you're a hateful bigot. 
I wish some people would stop thinking that Republicans are hateful, rich, hypocritical bigots and that Democrats are liberal hippies who have no sense of reality.  

Gay Marriage : I'm for it. 
Personally: I don't believe homosexuality is natural by God's standard. I do believe true marriage is ONLY between a man and a woman. 
Politically: I do believe all men/women have the right to love whoever they want, and be married if they so choose. After all, this is a free country, and isn't it the Bible that talked about free will? No politician, or Christian, has the right to tell someone they can't marry the love of their life. 

Abortion: I'm against it. 
Personally and Politically: I am a mother by choice. I made the decision to procreate. Most women did too, otherwise they could have practiced abstinence. When you have sex, you take the risk. (Protected or not, as protection is not 100% effective.) If you were raped, you can still put the child up for adoption. That child could be a great scientist, someone who creates beautiful art. Either way, the fetus is the formation of a living child. To toss it out, is to devalue life. Using politics to rid yourself of what you consider your shame, embarrassment and a mistake is pathetic. What if your parents had aborted you? 

Refugees: I am against the idea of rushing them in here to meet some goal President Obama's administration has set. 
Personally: There are children out there. There have been a lot of amazing people come to America who were refugees, who changed the U.S. forever in a positive way. This included actors to scientists. I believe in helping all people from ALL races, faiths and walks of life. They NEED our help. I would love to see those children  sleeping in a safe, warm bed; instead of in the streets. What if that was my son? What if that was my husband? What if it was me? I want to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and support the poor, like most actual Christians. We believe in helping those in need, as quickly as possible. The U.S. has already helped 2,200 refugees. That's pretty amazing. Good for us, but yes, there are MANY more to help. Our work is not done.   
Politically: It doesn't make sense. The vetting process takes MORE THAN A YEAR at best. Even then, there are refugees who don't have enough background information available for the United Nations to vet them properly. I mean, heck, one of the terrorists who attacked Paris made it through a refugee processing center. If President Obama talks congress into letting in refugees too quickly, we as Americans, could be responsible for another 9-11. Yes, I am scared. Anyone who isn't, is fooling themselves. To rush this process could, and most likely would, be extremely dangerous. To allow 10,000 refugees in by the end of the year (President Obama's goal) would require the vetting process to be sped up. Then, by 2017 he wants to be letting in 100,000 a year. Now that is not only a dangerous risk, it's also unrealistic.