Monthly Archives: July 2015

What Do You Hear, What Do You See?

When you listen, what do you hear?  When you look, what do you see?

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You know. You know the voices I am talking about. The ones that maybe other people have said to you enough that they bounce around your head until you begin to think they are real. They can grow like a tumor to fill your ENTIRE HEAD with lies- the malignant lies that can stop all that good things that are supposed to be in there.  But you know what? Those voices.. THEY LIE.

THEY LIE!

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They are not real voices, they are WHISPERS of hate and insecurity and loathing that can eat away at all the good that you KNOW to be true.

Here is what you do: every time you hear something that make you doubt how wonderful you are,  you need to listen harder for the real truth- the words that you know to be true. That you are fabulous, you are loved, you have worth, and  that  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

No matter what you look like YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Make your own beauty. You do not have to be like everyone else to be gorgeous, you just need to be you, and know you are fabulous. Everyone is in some way, you just have to look for it.

You have to come out of the dark, and look into the light!

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If you look, you can find it. I love to take photos. I borrow my mom’s camera whenever I can and take photos of whatever I can. I see all kinds of beauty everywhere.

What do you see when you look? What do you hear when you listen?


Bloganthropy

I attended the BloggerBash conference this weekend.  I was excited to be going to a real blogging conference!  I knew that I’d be meeting some really impressive bloggers and  it might sound weird, but you REALLY feel like a blogger when you are in a place filled with people that do what you do.  I wasn’t there just for the conference, however, I was there because I was a finalist for the Blogannthropy award.  What’s Bloganthropy?  It’s about  using social media influence to support social good.

When I was called to sit up on a panel with the other women, I will admit, I was nervous and felt as though I didn’t fit in. There were some fabulous people up there- #1, My MOM! Wendy, of The Wait Is Over, who is my biggest fan, and my biggest role model.  Because of HER I knew that I could use blogging as a platform to share my story and to help reach others who need to hear that IT GETS BETTER!  In my opinion, no one is, or ever will be better than her.   I love that she has changed her blogging cause to be a help to parents who are dealing with bullied kids. She has shown me that I can change the world.

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Also as finalist were A’Driane Nieves, who is doing some stellar things for woman of color telling the world that EVERY SINGLE VOICE matters, Sarah Donza-Hughes who is determined to spread the word about post-partum pre-ecampsia , Laurita Tellado Calderón, who is bringing awareness about spinal bifida, Trisha Adkinds  who is a Hero Mom and supports Alex’s Lemonade stand to help raise money for  childhood cancers, and Jill Smokler who writes Scary Mommy and pretty much saves Thanksgiving for many, many people who otherwise wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving and she gives voices to women who have stories they NEED to share. They are all AMAZING women who are doing amazing things.

I’ll be honest, I felt a intimidated and scared.  That’s what being bullied, for years and years, does to you.   You have a hard time believing when people tell you good things about yourself.  You look around and thing, WHO, me??  I had to retrain myself to think that I was worthy, I was just as good as other people, that I was important, too, in my  own was, as is everyone. It’s nearly impossible to talk about good things you do because you feel you’re being boastful.  I felt like maybe I wasn’t supposed to be there.  Like there was NO FREAKING WAY I was any way as good as these beautiful women with their incredible causes!

Except,  my cause IS pretty incredible, too.  Bullying is a really important thing to talk about.  It goes beyond just Johnny punching Eddie, or Susie calling Patty mean, but it has progressed to a point where it’s become almost a past time to some kids.  A killer pastime.

Bullying is becoming a killer of my generation.  We are slowly killing each other with words and texts and tweets.  We’re crushing souls. We’re ending lives.

I use my blog, my platform, to combat that.  I teach my message to other that we ALL must #BeBrave .  I stand up for the ones that are bullied and tell them that they WILL get through it, and that it WILL get better.   I stand up to the bullies and tell them that they will NOT be tolerated.  I stand up for myself for all the times I felt as if I were better off dead than in the world where everyone told me I was worthless.

When Debbie  called out my name, I was, quite honestly, FLOORED.  I looked at my Mom to see if I heard right, and she was crying and telling me to get up.  I honestly and sincerely didn’t expect to win. I was honored enough to be a finalist.

The blogging community is pretty huge. Many bloggers are like family that will surround you when you need help the most, pick you up, help you stand, and encourage you to find your way – kind of like a big sister.   That moment, I felt like I was surrounded by a room full of big sisters that were there for me and PROUD of me.   The thing is, I am proud to be part of such an amazing group of people who share a little bit of themselves every day, in every post that they publish.

Thank you so much to Laurie Schacht, Joey Fortman, Marissa DiBartolo, Charlene DeLoach, Ali Mierzejewski  , and the whole Blogger Bash team for hosting such and amazing event that is all bout helping bloggers make real connections and for helping support the social good that blogging can bring.  A huge heartfelt hug and a thank you to my personal fairy godmother Debbie Bookstabber, who has been one of my biggest cheerleaders from the moment we first met.   Your faith and pride in me is second only to my parents!

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I love blogging, and using social media to help others.  I’m really proud that others feel that my work is worthy of an award. I will keep fighting and working hard to make sure that eventually, everyone will  know how to #BeBrave and that together, we can end bullying.

(Tune in on August 21, 8pm EST to see me on an ABC Special, WeDay, where I join hundreds of others who are doing what they can do to change the world)


Becoming Fierce

Sometimes, people say things and they don’t realize that their words can shatter others.  Even comments made in jest can tear the heart out of someone else.  That’s what happened to Rachel Taylor. Rachel was standing in line  at Old navy when a Mom and her teen daughter  had a conversation about a tank top.  A plus sized tank top. A tank top that was Rachel’s size.

“”The girl picked up a plus-size tank top,  showed it to her mom and said, ‘Look! Me and so-and-so can fit in this tank top!’ Her mom laughed and said, ‘Yeah, you could! That thing is huge!”

Taylor said: “I couldn’t help it; I started crying. I guess the girl and her mom walked away. I have no idea. I sat in the car crying for a long time but eventually went back inside to finish my shopping.”

She went BACK into Old Navy, picked up that tank, tried it on, then snapped a selfie.  Then Rachel said:

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“I ended up buying that tank top because, it turns out, I look fierce in it!”

HELL YES!  Go, Rachel, Go!   Yes, you look fierce in it, but more than that, you ARE fierce in it!  I know first hand how awful it feels to be ridiculed for the size of your clothing. I spent most of my life being harassed and bullied because I wasn’t a size 2, or 6, 10, or even 16.  In fact,I was told to go throw up and even kill myself because, quite simply, I am fat.  I didn’t wear a bathing suit for years until I decided to Be Brave and snap a pic in my bathing suit last year. I had decided to Be Brave for myself,  Yes, I had decided to be FIERCE, too!  What makes us fierce?

  • Being fierce is being knocked down, and pulling yourself back up.
  • Being fierce is know that every time you pull yourself back up, you WILL become stronger.
  • Being fierce is knowing that you are worth so much more than a size, a number or some persons opinion.
  • Being fierce is knowing your own worth.
  • Being fierce is quite simply, another way to #BeBrave.

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Rachel, I know how hard it is to #BeBrave. I know sometimes we all want to go to the car, and cry. What really makes you fierce is drying your tears, leaving the car and heading backing into the store to try on the shirt, snapping a pic, and sharing with the world the message that you are, indeed, fierce, and anyone else can be, too. ,