The Day My World Ended

What are you supposed to do, what am I supposed to do.  Life was perfect, I was doing what I loved, my dreams were coming true.  The only awful part was the my boyfriend was deported in November.  He was more than a boyfriend he was my soul mate, the love of my life, my future, my strength, everything.

Yesterday out of nowhere he told me he wanted a break.  I cried and begged, I sent him messages, I called him and we talked he said he wasn’t going to forget about us, just put us on hold and I don’t know what to do.

I have never experienced pain like this before, I think a gun shot might hurt less than what I’m feeling now.  I know if he takes a break he will never come back to me and I can’t be without him, I don’t know what I’ll do.  I’m paying for him to come home to me again and I’m so afraid.  My world is ending.  The hurt I feel I can’t put into words.  I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t breathe.  I have been hurt before, I have lost loved ones, but this is so painful.

I am not the easiest person to deal with, I have a past that is hard to shake. I struggled with self harm and when you meet someone that hasn’t ever been through that, sometimes they see it as something that can easily be stopped, something that you did to yourself so why can’t you just turn it off.  It’s not really like that, it’s almost like an addiction for me, when I get upset I get very upset and I just want to turn everything off and that is what self harm does.  I don’t do that anymore, but it’s still hard because that urge pops up and it’s hard for him to understand that and I am very emotional and have struggles with my emotions and sadness.  I’ve made some bad mistakes with him too that I regret.

He’d tell me I was his everything, his reason to come home and now I have been reduced to a break, something disposable  and I don’t know what to do now.

Guerrera, Yo soy (I am a Warrior)

On Wednesday I attended the launch party of the West Chicagoland Anti-Trafficking Coalition.  There were so many amazing ladies, and a few men, that attended to represent various groups!  The goals of the WCATC is to aid in networking between nonprofits, so we can all work as one, together to fight trafficking and to be a resource to the individuals and communities by planning and promoting various events and aiding in education of this problem.  This is a fantastic idea because it doesn’t help if we have so many wonderful groups but they aren’t connected?

Trafficking is a massive problem, even in developed countries.  The United States has a huge trafficking problem and it’s not just women being flown in from other countries, it is our women, and sometimes men, who are being trafficked within our borders. This is every country’s problem.  Most of these groups are Christian based, however if you are interested in doing something, don’t let that discourage you if you are not religious or Christian.  I am not Christian, I am not affiliated with any church.  One of the groups I work closely with, WAR (Women at Risk) does not discriminate in who they help nor do they push their beliefs on someone who doesn’t readily accept them.  They will help people of any sexual orientation or religious background and do offer Bible teachings, however they do not force them.  Just keep that in mind because I know someone people bristle when they discover the religious affiliation of some of these organizations.  I’m going to list some events that I am doing and some are very easy to do too, even if you don’t live in the Chicagoland area.

Traffick  Free                                                                                                                         In September I am going to run a 5k for Traffick Free with my best friend.  The gift you receive for participating is a bracelet that has a very special charm that contains an I.D. number for a girl.  This girl is a real girl who was rescued from trafficking and you can learn about her story.  The money raised goes to Traffick Free so they can continue doing their work!

Free the Girls                                                                                                                   Also In September I am participating in a bra drive!  Why am I doing this?! I’ll tell you why and this is something I just learned too!  The second hand clothing market in some of these lessor developed countries is huge! Bras are not only a source of income but they can also be a symbol of status, which I didn’t know.  This allows women to work for other women which can be very beneficial when some countries treat women like second class citizen, if they are even that lucky.  In many cases livestock has greater importance than a wife.  By working for women, they can avoid being under the control of a man.  Women can earn up to 5 times minimum wage by selling bras!

The group that we are going to do the drive for is called Free the Girls.  This is how they describe their sustainable model. “Once a program has been started with a safe house, it is designed to sustain itself. The women receive their starting inventory of bras at no cost, then pay a small amount of money for additional bras once they sell their initial inventory. This money is used to cover the expenses for the next shipment of bras. That means we only raise money to start new projects, not to keep established projects going.”  This means that the women become independent and don’t have to rely on a nonprofit for continued help!  You can always mail your bras too!

Educate yourself!  Search for information and if you ever need any info, you can always ask me as well.  Education is powerful, education can save these girls and boys but also help us figure out the best way to stop trafficking.  Education can bust myths like men only traffick women or women are the only victims, which is not true at all.  Trafficking is only for sex slaves. Wrong again.  Trafficking is bondage, if you don’t want to be there or are not getting paid, you are a slave, a sex slave, a slave in bonded labor, it doesn’t matter.  Slavery still exists in many forms.

There are so many amazing books!!  Half the Sky:Turning Oppression into Opportunity is an amazing place to start.  It gives a great overview of the problem, not only the problem with sex trafficking but also bonded labor, maternity risks and so much more.  It is detailed but manages to combine hard facts with true stories of women we can rally behind and say “Oh My God, she is amazing, she fought all of that on her own!” and it give us men who we can say “Wow, look how he stopped what was going on, I can do that too.”

I have had the pleasure of meeting Shayne Moore at the Launch party and received a copy of her book Refuse to do Nothing.  I’m reading it now and I love it.  I can write a review on that later if you’d like.  She is an amazing captivating women and I’m so excited to start her book!

Also, Girl Rising an AMAZING documentary will be shown on CNN, June 16th at 9ET.  I had the pleasure of viewing it in April and it was honestly incredible.  It was put together in such an amazing way, with narrations by Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson, hard statistics and amazing stories of young girls.  I don’t think I ever wrote about that either, so that will be coming soon!  It is moving and powerful and will make you want to fight, just like these girls did.  I highly recommend it and if you can’t watch it at that time,  record it and watch it later.  You could even throw a viewing party to show others!

Women at Risk                                                                                                                     As most of you know, I was an intern for a branch of Women at Risk.  I worked at WAR Chest Boutique in Naperville, a nonprofit boutique.  Everything in the store is made or source by a woman rescued from trafficking or an at risk woman.  I am hosting a jewelry part on July 16th at 6:30.  If anyone would like to come and learn more about WAR or trafficking and come shop with us, you are welcome! Just RSVP to mzayas@warinternational.org.  Drinks and snacks will be provided and it’s going to be a fun night of shopping!

Again, if you ever have questions or want to learn more, I know tons of resources that I have learned about while working at a trafficking nonprofit.  Just think of the impact you could make for a child or a woman, even if you donate your clothing and ask friends to do the same.  If trafficking isn’t your cause then support whatever you wish just always educate yourself about the problem so you can support the best solution.  Just think of the small things too, you don’t have to donate thousands of dollars, just when you clean out your closet!  Every small thing counts porque guerreros somos (because we are warriors).

♥ Meggie

My Love Letter

Dear Me,

It’s been a while since we really thought about each other so I just wanted to say a few things to you.  I love everything about you.  You have beautiful hair and eyes.  Your tall and can strut anywhere in a pair of stilettos with ease and grace (as well as a bit of a bad ass-rocker chick attitude too).  You, my dear, have impeccable taste in clothing and have a sassy sense of style that accentuates your curves but still maintain that classy look and can totally rock that pair of sweats on the weekends!   You never stop smiling or laughing and never seek out conflict, you only seek out the joy you find in every aspect of life and try to share that with others.

I love that you’re smart and capable, able to think through any problem put in front of you.  You’re not afraid to ask questions even though you are a bit shy.  You are beyond passionate about everything you believe in and love others without a second though.  Sometimes your love for others outweighs your love for yourself, but it’s always better to love more than less.  I love that friends and family trust and confide in you, you can comfort them and guide them when needed and in turn they help guide you as well.

We’ve been through some tough times together, the times of your rationing food to unhealthy lows and through the self harm but you’re the one that pulled yourself out of that.  You’re the one that reworked your life and found the never-ending joy in it!!  Every day, these scars of your past heal on your body and soul, until they will be only positive reminders of all the strength you possess.  This amazing, peaceful feeling deep inside when you realize how lucky you are is all because of you and your change in thinking.  You are educated and have a family and friends and have opportunities to do whatever you want.

Never forget that you are enough, you deserve as much respect as you give and you can accomplish anything and everything you want.  I love your flaws because they are just little quirks that make you an individual, a uniquely quirky person, just another colorful soul that is a part of this rainbow of life!!

Always take that leap and put yourself out there.  Never let your confidence falter but never let it turn into an ego.  Finally never ever ever let fear stop you from trying something new.

With all my love,
Meggie

This was my love letter to myself, part of a project my friend Jillie started.  If anyone would like to learn more or submit their love letter to add to their book or join us in workshops or future events, all of the links are below.

My past blog about Love Letters to Yourself

Love Letters to Yourself Facebook

Love Letters to Yourself Blog

Here is an email you can scan your letters to if you so desire.  She is also in the process of getting a P.O. Box.  loveletterstoyourself@gmail.com

Graduation

Today I woke up so early, got dressed and prepared, hair done and make up on, then left.  I arrived at my destination and waited for my friend.  We put our robes on and hoods and began to walk to our final destination.  When we got their I realized I didn’t have a tassel so I had to run back with her to get one then return to the gym to wait in line.  We came out and made a line as the professors passed us and we clapped.  Then we walked in and took our seats, sat for over an  hour then before I knew it, I was up next. My named was called and I successfully walked across the stage without tripping and then sat down.  People clapped and then all of the professors made a tunnel for us as we, the graduates, proceeded out of the building to meet our parents.

I am now officially a college graduate.

I feel pride, even though my family didn’t have any particularly difficult  financial struggle.  It was difficult for my parents and I do have loans to pay back, however, compared to many people I spoke to, my financial debt is minimal.  I have been blessed with the opportunity that so many lack, especially women, in this world and I feel so proud for surviving 4 years of education.  I have a job, not a dream job, however a job is a job, teaching me important skills and this is just on the way to my perfect dream job!

Part of me does not feel accomplished.  I am still at the job I started as a Freshman year, an office manager at the small insurance brokerage I work at.  They did give me a small raise and I LOVE working for them, it’s just far from my dream.  My boyfriend is still in Mexico and it broke my heart that he couldn’t be there, on today day of all days.  I’ve never been out of the country and I live with my parents for the time being.   I feel even more pressure to exceed now since I am no longer a student and have fully entered the working world.  I’m really not doing much, or at least I’m not doing all of the amazing things I dreamed of.  I feel as though we college students have plans and some are able to realize those right after graduation, however most must wait.  I’m ready to wait, it’s just scary.

Even with all of the worries that come with graduating and trying to find that perfect job, I feel so blessed with everyone that is around me.  My family is just incredible.  Without them I could never ever survive the stress and they were so supportive.  My friends are just as supportive and amazing.  I am so lucky to be constantly surrounded with people who encourage me in everything I ever wanted to do and that makes me so happy!   I am grateful and blessed and could not ask for more in life.

A Porn Star Kind of Day

So some events have happened to me recently that I have not liked at all.  I’ll start with the second one first.

Just yesterday I was in downtown Naperville with my friends and as we were crossing the street we heard from behind us “Hey babe, check out that ass” and a whistle.  Yes that whistle, the ones the cartoon coyotes in Zoot Suits make.  I was furious.  That’s just disgusting and I don’t care if it wasn’t directed at me, it doesn’t matter.  To address a woman like that is revolting.

The other incident is when I went to wash my car just the other week.  The house kiddie corner from us is now a bachelor pad.  The first two guys that moved in are nice, just quiet and keep to themselves.  Now they have a minimum of 6 cars in the driveway every day, if not more and some of the guys over there aren’t quite as quiet.  I went out to wash my car, as I do every weekend when the weather is nice enough.  I don’t wear anything scandalous, I’m in shorts and a T-shirt.  Sometimes when it gets really really hot, I’m talking 95 or higher with almost 100% humidity, I’ll wear a bikini top but only go out when my dad is out there with me to avoid putting myself in a situation where grown men shout out of car window at me like baboons.

Anyway, I’m washing my car fully clothed and some of the guests of my neighbors came out from the garage, walked to the end of the driveway to watch me wash my freaking car!  I guess I was having a porn kind of day or something because I felt like I was putting on some sort of show!  Seriously!?  Was that necessary??  I wasn’t dousing myself in water, I wasn’t stripping down, I wasn’t sticking my butt out as I bent over, I wasn’t showing anything, but they treated me as though I was performing a strip tease in my driveway!  It made me feel awful.  That’s the moment when a simple check out which could be a compliment turns into something that is degrading, making me feel like a  sexual object rather than a person.

I completely understand men will check out women and women will check out men, and sometimes you present yourself in a way that you might get more glances, for example a woman in a bikini top or a man shirtless.  I’ve checked out guys before and I’ve seen guys check me out and my friends out with just a simple quick glance, nothing creepy or not with a long stare or anything like that.  However it is disgusting when a simple “check out” turns into shouting explicit thing out car windows or hooting or whistling or watching someone from a driveway!  Come on!!  That is really disgusting and not classy at all.  Ladies, I’m not excusing you from this either because it is just as disgusting and distasteful when you do it too.

So go ahead, check out someone of the opposite sex or same sex, but don’t treat them like they are solely a sexual object there for your viewing pleasure.  That will make the other person feel like crap and it’s degrading, whether a man or a woman is doing it.  Just think about it next time you go to check someone out.

You Want Me To Do What?!

So a guy on Facebook posted a quote as his status.  It said “If all girls started wearing no make up and comfortable clothes, guys would have no choice but to fall for girls because of natural beauty” and I was offended by this.

I love wearing dress, I love wearing skirts, I love putting on makeup, coloring my hair, styling my hair, painting my nails, I love it all!  So because that is something I love to do just for myself, it is my fault as a woman that some men are so superficial and believe that women should always look like that?  Let me think about this for a second. . . .ummmmm. . no. It makes me angry that my love for dressing up is being blamed for these ridiculous stereotypes that have been placed on my by the opposite sex and the same goes for ridiculous stereotypes about men too.

Men should love a girl for however she looks, he should think she looks just as sexy dressed up or down and it shouldn’t matter.  My boyfriend loves when I get dressed up, but he loves me and thinks I’m just as attractive when I have no make up on and am running around in sweatpants and an oversize T-shirt.  So honestly, whatever man decides to blame women for their own flaw of being superficial, is so wrong.  Women shouldn’t have to dress down all of the time just so men stop thinking that we are required to be dressed up 110% of the time.  That is just as stupid as saying “If all men stopped trying to achieve six-pack abs, then girls would have no choice but to fall for their natural attractiveness”.  It’s hard to fine the male equivalent for makeup, but whatever that is, women should accept and fall for a man no matter what he looks like.

I hate dreads and think they look awful but my boyfriend has dreads now and (he’s probably going to hate me for this one, lol) but he doesn’t have a six-pack and dresses kinda bummy a lot of the time and do you know what?  He is honestly the most attractive man I’ve ever seen and I love him even more with every day that passes even though I am destroying his camo pants and will celebrate when his dreads are gone! lol  He feels the same about me, no matter what I look like or how I dress, he will always say I look beautiful.  People of course have our preferences of course of what we think is attractive, but if you find someone who you care about, looks matter a lot less.

You can’t blame the opposite sex for you not ever being able to still see beauty when someone dress down.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman.  Just stop being superficial because no matter what you look like on the outside, if you think that a person is ugly if they remove some make up or don’t have a six-pack or aren’t in their fancy clothes, then you are an ugly person on the inside and that is something you can rarely change.