Gratitude x2

Thank You to Everyone Who Made This Possible 🖤🌈

My Calling In Life…And How I Got There

So, I have a confession to make: I have a special place in my heart for Star Wars Episodes 2 and 3. I know. SHAME. But hear me out.

I am such a huge Natalie Portman fan; she’s classy, opinionated, intense, she’s beyond talented, and she lives her life with a deep sense of integrity. In case you aren’t familiar with the movies, *spoiler alert*, she starred as Queen Padme Amidala of Naboo. She was elected queen in a democratic election because she was smart, level-headed, and a natural-born leader.

An iconic quote from Amidala in Episode Three, that was burned into my brain, “So this is how liberty dies:…with thunderous applause.” It’s a haunting statement which has stayed with me during many local, federal, and a particularly traumatic election in 2016.

In my senior year of high school, I knew I wanted to do advocacy work; I was obsessed with somehow being an intern at The United Nations, but I just didn’t understand my path; I didn’t know how to get there. I have been so lost in my quest to find my path, I stumbled off my path many, many times, before it hit me. Like, just a few months ago, and my old (feeling) ass is 32. I have been working on my BA since 2014. Holy shit. Adulting and making these hard decisions is stupid; high school did not prepare me for this shit!

I have known since childhood that psychology was in my bones, and I had a deep fascination with human behavior. Why do people act this way? How did they get here? Truthfully, I blame Batman The Animated series for discovering this fascination. Bruce Wayne is FUCKED. Actually, everyone in that show is fucked.

I digress.

And one night, while experiencing an existential crisis, I watched “Legally Blonde” for the 150th time. And then it hit me: Law School. I didn’t know if I necessarily wanted to practice law, but I wanted to have a base knowledge of government, laws, and how to change legislation.

Can you tell that movies and TV had a strong impact on my life?

I am NOT a famous person, but I am a woman with a big mouth, and a thirst for knowledge. If I wanted to change the world, I have to understand government, and I have to understand the people in the system. I might be little, and a friendly smile, but under this bubbly, happy exterior, lies a fiercely passionate woman, raised to lead.

I have two generations of strong, opinionated woman that give/gave 0 fucks about gender and societal norms. They’re flawed, but strong. They raised me to fuck shit up (even if they’d be shaking their head sometimes).

I’m the woman society warned us about: intelligent, witty, talented, hilarious, opinionated, and I constantly question the status quo.

If you like what I have to say, I’d be so grateful if you’d share, and possibly subscribe. Pweeeeseee??

I am so grateful for your time. Stay safe, wear a mask, and make good choices (or just don’t get caught making bad ones).

Byeeeeee.

#SaveTheUterus

Reflecting For The Week

TW: Brief mention of r***, incest, and abortions.

Today was both a good, and a bad day. I started off with tender breasts, PMS, and a fuzzy brain.

I was supposed to go to a lunch of a family friend, but epilepsy said, “Nah.” Luckily my amazing husband went to the store upon my request and picked up my Diet Coke, Twix, and Starbursts. Then he gave them to me and hid in his man cave. Wise man.

Later, Patrick and moved shit around in the apartment, to both change the energy flow, and to organize and store shit. We got a lot of work done today, and I can feel it. I finally smudged the apartment, after “thinking about it” for weeks. I feel so light, like a plastic bag, floating in the wind.

Lately, though, I’ve been really emotional, but not because of hormones. In Texas, they are trying to ban abortions after 6 weeks, regardless of r*** or incest, and make it possible for ANY ONE to sue someone they suspect who’s received an abortion, or someone they suspect performs abortions. The person doesn’t even have to be guilty of the “crime” to be sued, just suspected. The State of Missouri is now trying to ban IUD’s, because they’re considered aiding in abortion.

I feel so violated and angry. I have never been pregnant, and actively avoid pregnancy, as it often leads to children. But what if my birth control fails? What if the worst possible outcome occurred, but I’m forced to grow that person’s seed?

These situations occur EVERY DAY. A woman from my past became pregnant when the manufacturer of her birth control filled the whole month of her cycle with placebos, instead of the hormonal BC. I’m sure she was one of thousands who unknowingly became pregnant.

The woman showed no symptoms of being pregnant, and all the while she was receiving heavy treatment for Covid-19 symptoms. She was 18 weeks along when she found out; the fetus was severely underdeveloped, and had the pregnancy gone to term, the child would have come out with horrifying side effects of this treatment. This doesn’t begin to unpack the trauma, excruciating pain, and worsened sickness for this woman.

Women don’t have abortions to fill out a punch card; it is a last resort when everything else has failed.

This has been weighing on my mind as heavy as 25 cats. For the first time in my life, I am terrified for my future. I live in America – the land of the free, and home of the brave. This isn’t supposed to be happening in America; these things happen “over there”. Where is my freedom? Where is the freedom for other women?

My real fear is, what’s next after abortions and IUD’s? Will hormonal birth control be next? And then, will we be too busy being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen to have a job or be educated?

It’s not “just” banning abortions; it’s a slippery slope back to the 1950’s.

Pro-Choice ≠ Pro-Abortion

But. I’m at the point in my life where I know if I don’t speak up, and evangelize for us as women, that I’m apart of the problem, and I am done being apart of the silent majority.

I was not born to be normal; I was born and raised not run away from a fight, rather, grab my sword and beat it until it cries for its momma. I was born to lead, and I was raised to get shit done.

So that is exactly what I’m going to do.

My metaphorical pen will be my sword. I will share stories of women I’ve crossed paths with throughout my ridiculously traumatic and unstable life.

I hope you will join me by speaking your truth, or just sharing this piece; help start a larger conversation.

Let’s start a revolution. #SaveTheUterus

The Imposter Within Me

Imposter Syndrome

I’ve been hearing this phrase dropped around quite a bit lately: Imposter Syndrome. I had a general idea of what is meant, and assumed I probably fell under the umbrella somewhere. I kept trying to avoid it, but as we know, what the mind tries to ignore will fester and start to eat you alive. It took me probably a year and a half of hearing that phrase, thinking about looking it up, and then gently putting it on my “Things to Eventually Get To” list in my brain – AKA the shit that’s never gonna fucking get done.

Strangely though, I kept being pulled back to that phrase. So recently, I finally sat down to look it up and my search results ultimately led to Wikipedia – of course. Which, for anyone who thinks that Wikipedia is just garbage, you are mostly right…. But! Sometimes you can go to the references area and strike gold. I found a few peer reviewed sources (I was shocked too!)

I have never felt good enough to be able to take credit for my small achievements. I always attributed any kind of small success to luck. “Geeze, I was lucky that xyz happened today that I could xyz!” It feels fake to call myself a researcher because I am not in a PhD program. It feels fake to call myself a writer because I don’t have any credentials to be considered one; as far as I’m concerned it’s just a creative outlet, something I have to do for school, and something I enjoy. I don’t even feel like my writing is even that great, even though I’ve been told by others that they enjoy my writing. I think, “They’re just being kind; they don’t actually think that.”

“Women who experience the impostor phenomenon maintain a strong belief that they are not intelligent; in fact, they are convinced that they have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise.” (P. R. CLANCE & S. A. IMES) Great women like Maya Angelou, Brene Brown, Tina Fey, and even Tom Hanks have all admitted to having issues with imposter syndrome.

In fact, women who exhibit the impostor phenomenon do not fall into any one diagnostic category. The clinical symptoms most frequently reported are generalized anxiety, lack of self-confidence, depression, and frustration related to inability to meet self-imposed standards of achievement (P. R. CLANCE & S. A. IMES).”  When I was reading through the list of characteristics of imposter phenomenon and realizing that my thoughts, attitude, and personality checks off all of the boxes. It was incredibly eye-opening for me to finally see it with my own eyes, and for someone to confirm what I’d always been feeling was incredibly liberating. For me, though, it was also kind of devastating.

I grieved for the girl and the young woman who always out of place every where I went. I always felt like my friends would eventually realize how annoying I was and not want to be my friend anymore. At work, if I had a shitty day with sales, I would feel like shit; but if I had a good day at work I would think that I was just lucky, even when clients that I built up came to see me, I was still feeling lucky that they had come in that day. It was such a frustrating feeling of never being able to celebrate my little wins.

So as it turns out, according to Clance and Imes from Georgia State University, there are 2 types of imposter syndrome: 1) someone who had a sibling that was deemed the smarter, more intelligent child; or 2) someone who was deemed the smarter, more intelligent child by their parents.

For me, I fall under the second type, and according to Clance and Imes, the family conveys to the child that they are superior in every way—intellect, personality, appearance, talents. In the parents’ eyes, there is nothing that they can’t do if they want to. She is told how smart they were during infancy and childhood, such as learning to talk and read early or counting earlier than other children. In the family members’ eyes, they are perfect (P. R. CLANCE & S. A. IMES).

I was that child. From an early age, I remember being told how smart and/or how pretty I was. According to my mother, she was constantly stopped and ogled by people. She tried to get me to be the next Gerber baby, and she put me in a couple of beauty pageants as a kid, but stopped when she realized, thankfully, that she didn’t want to turn into a pageant mom. And to add a cherry on the top, I was an only child for 8 years, so all the attention was on me.

According to Clance and Langford, imposter syndrome is correlated with anxiety, and rank high on the neuroticism and perfectionism personality score (SAKULKU, ANDALEXANDER 2011). Guess who tests high on that score: THIS GIRL. Don’t be jealous though; it’s the worst high-test score ever! Thanks mom and dad!

But seriously, if you recognize something in yourself that sounds like what I have just described, there is help for it. Therapy is a great place to start! For this type of condition, it’s completely internalized, and so there are step that can be taken to externalize the pain. It is proposed that therapy comprised of learn, “a warm acceptance of all aspects of the person, an empathic understanding of the person’s internal world, and an attitude in the therapist of genuineness and emotional honesty.”

So thank you for reading; as always, I am grateful for your time. If you’d like me to do a more in-depth piece on Imposter Syndrome, please feel free to send a message or leave a comment down below.

If you like what you see, please feel free to subscribe. I am trying to put out 1-2 entries a week, and there is much more to come!

Thank you again so much!