Celebrate Self-Love

I am so excited for September 7th! First at 7:30 I am running a 5K with my best friend for Traffick Free, a Chicago nonprofit designed to help trafficking victims in Chicago and fight human trafficking.  Then I have to run home, get a super quick shower and drive out to Naperville to the Love Letters to Yourself event that I help plan with the founder Jillie Johnston!

I am so happy that she was so open to any idea I had and that she let me help!  I love planning and I love creating events, researching, problem solving, managing and then hosting a successful event!  I have not done this often at all, but I really love it!

We’re going to be at the Naperville Riverwalk Free Speech Pavilion at the corner of Jackson and Webster.  We’re going to have a giant roll of paper where women or men can write 1 thing they love about themselves to create a mural of self-love!  We’re going to have live music and so many friendly volunteers there!

On the 23rd of August at her house she is hosting a Vision Board party too!  For those of you who don’t know what that is, a Vision Board is photos from online or magazines or just any images or words of goal.  For example, I want to work downtown with at risk youth, I want a Lab and a Pit Bull, I want a husband and I want my life fill with friends and family.  So I would find photos or words that symbolize all of my dreams and goals and put it on my vision board to always think positively about my future and remember my goals every day!

I am so excited for Jillie and I am so excited to be a part of something like this, something designed to give love and teach others to love themselves no matter what!

If anyone is interested in coming to this event you can click here for the details and to RSVP.  Even if you can’t come, spread the word! Get on your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or whatever social media outlet you use to post that tweet that tumbles through the Internet to reach as many people as possible and not only spread the word about our event, but about Love Letters in general!  Also feel free to write a love letter and mail them in to Jillie! I can get that information if you’d like!

♥ Meggie

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Ignorance Is Not Bliss

Today, two blogs are being published.  The first I had written last night and scheduled for this morning, but this I had to write today since most are hearing about it today.

Last night on Facebook, one of the pages I follow called I Love Being Puerto Rican, posted an article that looked like this and they were absolutely fuming.  After reading it, I can see why.  Some baseball fans were furious that Marc Anthony was singing God Bless America.  They ranted and raved, questioning his citizenship, asking who hired the Mexican to sing, claiming America was nearing an end, using racial slurs and curse words to punctuate their ignorant statements.

Just to clarify, Marc Anthony was born in New York City, which in located in the United States thus making him a citizen.  Even if he was born on the island, he would still be a citizen of the United States of America,  Citizenship was officially granted and accepted in 1917.  We have served in every major war the U.S. has fought.  My grandfather was a medic in San Juan, PR during the Korean war and he came over to the U.S. on the GI Bill.  He received his degree from the University of Kansas where he learned English while working to obtain a medical degree.

Now, we are not Mexicans.  Just because we speak Spanish and some of us have brown skin, that does not make us all Mexicans.  Each country (or commonwealth as in the case of PR) has their own dialect, music, food and more.  Everything is a bit different from country to country.  That is like saying to a British person they are the same as an Irish person because they are white and speak English or clumping all Europeans into one collective group if they speak English.  That doesn’t make sense to us and sounds stupid, but that is exactly what people to do Latinos.  No, we don’t all eat tacos, those are Mexican (however the base of Mexican food is stews and soups, which are excellent I might add.  They don’t all go running around with mustaches, sombreros & tacos in hand.  Another misconception).  We use different words than other countries, our music is slightly different and our history is different.  Stop seeing a brown person who speaks Spanish and assuming we are all Mexican or illegal.  There are so many Latinos from every country who are here legally.  Not only that, Latinos are in all colors, black, white, brown, some blue-eyed with blonde hair or green-eyed with red hair depending on the history of the area and their heritage.

We are also not Spanish.  I am not Spanish, I am part Puerto Rican and my Abuelo is a Puerto Rican.  If you want to refer to Latinos in general like you would refer to Europeans in general, it is Hispanic or Latino.  Spanish means you are from Spain.  Yes my ancestors are very much from Spain, my last name is very Spanish, but my family is from Puerto Rico and therefore, I am part Puerto Rican.

I would like to finish this by saying racism will always be part of the human race unfortunately and it is the ignorance of those people can hurt others.  I write this to open people’s eyes so they stop judging others.  I noticed that a lot of the comments about how un-American it  was to have Anthony sing even if he was a citizen, were written by people who’s last names were Italian or German or came from other backgrounds.  The only people native here are Native American, everyone else has come from some other country other than the U.S.  They came from immigrants who weren’t citizens originally but who came here because they had hopes and dreams and they helped create the beautiful country we know as the United States, one where people should be allowed to grow together and different races can melt together.  Where you come from should not separate us, but bring us together so we can learn more about the world.

Think before you judge, and if you are going to say something mean and insulting, maybe you should do some research first before you make your comment because many times when mean comments are made before people know what they are talking about, you come off even less intelligent than you would be by just making a mean comment.

Thumper from Bambi gave us as children the message of, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.  As we grow older, some of us forget that message.

To close this out, I’d like to end with the link to the video of Marc Anthony singing.  I think he did an amazing job and I have always loved his voice!  Enjoy!!

♥ Meggie

101 & A Party

I started blogging almost a year ago and didn’t think much about it.  It was just a way to get my thoughts and frustrations down,  This is my 101st blog, which is exciting!  I have so many people who follow my blog which I never expected and I have made 2 good friends from doing this as well.  That is such a funny concept to me since I have never even met these 2 women, but they are so wonderful and sweet!  Thank you to everyone who supported me and who reads my blogs, I really appreciate everything! 🙂

The other thing I wanted to talk about was the party I helped host on Tuesday.  It was a party for WAR Chest Boutique in Naperville.  A brief summary for those who don’t know what WAR is, it is part of Women at Risk international, a nonprofit created to rescue women from human trafficking and fight 14 risk issues women face.  Everything in the boutiques are made or sourced by women rescued or at risk women and the money goes right back into the programs.  You can click here to see some of the products I have bought & read their stories!

In the beginning of this party, we show a video (you can click here to watch it) and Ashley, the store manager speaks a bit more about the store.  I even got to speak a bit!!  It is so amazing to watch the faces of the women during the presentation.  Some already know what WAR is so they are not surprised, but others have no idea what human trafficking is really like, everything the word encompasses.  I was like that before I heard Becky, the founder, speak in my human rights class over a year ago.

I want to share Becky’s story.  She is an American raised in Bangladesh because her father was a doctor and worked there.  When she was 14 years old, a girl was brought in who was her age.  She has resisted rape from her father and brother so they in turn, poured acid down her throat to show her that she had no voice.  Acid attacks are just one of many issues women face around the world and what we fight to stop.

There are so many ways to get involved that don’t even involved volunteering!  They have an online store where you could purchase products and your money goes to help women, I am running a 5K in September to raise awareness as well as participating in a bra drive and all you would have to do is donate bras!  There are so many upcoming events that I am really excited to work on!

Another event that I am really excited to work on is for Love Letters to Yourself.  This was started by a friend, Jillie, and it is a group designed to empower women and promote self-love!  She is collecting love letters that women write, you can read my love letter here, and she wants to publish a book.  Not only that, she is fundraising so she can go down to Peru where she was offered a position to work with an organization designed to empower women in a low incomes town decimated by floods over 10 years ago and plagued by violence and rape.  If anyone is interested, I can find out from Jillie where you can send your love letter!

As always, if you have any questions or want more information on any of these groups or issues, you can always contact me in the comments section.  I have tons of resources since people come to me with questions all of the time!  Always remember, there is a way to get involved no matter how busy your schedule is.  If you are passionate about something, then you can always find a way to make it work!

♥ Meggie

How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

So I had this entire post already written about the Trayvon Martin case discussing race in America and how I have felt only the slightest bit of hatred from both European Caucasians and Hispanics since I’m mixed but look European.  I was going to talk about how I was lucky that I don’t have to deal with so much discrimination and how you shouldn’t judge others but always be away of how you portray yourself.  Then I deleted the entire thing

I decided instead to talk about the protests.  I support these protests 100%.  I think this decision was a terrible decision and Zimmerman needs to be behind bars without doubt.   I don’t like the precedent this ruling sets at all.  I might go down and join the protest this weekend in Chicago.

However, along with these beautiful peaceful protests, there are small groups, violent groups, destroying property and attacking people.  One group attacked a Hispanic man because of his race.  If you are saying Martin was racially profiled, why are you racially profiling another man?  Zimmerman killed Martin, not all Hispanics.  The same with all of this destruction of property.  If you are black (or of any race really) and don’t want to be label as violent or assumed to be a criminal, why would you go around destroying property, hurting people, being violent criminals which only proves the stereotype of your race is correct??  You should be marching peacefully with your peers, showing that no, we are not criminal, we are not violent and you cannot put these labels on all of us!  We will no longer be judged by our color because you are wrong!

There is a quote I read this morning said by Martin Luther King Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that”.

This is what some people don’t understand.  Yes be angry that you are discriminated against, be angry that people actually believe that because people share a race, they are all the same, that others believe these stereotypes, be angry but do not let that anger consume you because a life lived in anger is wasted.  Turn that anger into something productive, change that into motivation saying “I will not be part of this stereotype.”  I know that is easier said than done, but organize, get people together and march peacefully or if you live in a neighborhood plagued with violence maybe you can organize a community building event.

Again, I know that is so much easier said than done, but you cannot let your anger turn you into a stereotype because then you are just making everyone who believed in that stereotype say “well see what they’re doing?  I was right! They are all violent!”

Don’t let people knock you down, don’t let them define the person you are.  When you react in anger and violence you are letting them push you into who they believe you are.  Not only that you prove nothing and you accomplish nothing.  What will they remember when you get out of jail for beating someone or destroying property?  Oh those where the kids that broke into Walmart, those are the kids who beat up my dad or husband or the news reporters.  What will you tell your kids?  “Oh I beat up some Latino because a completely unrelated Latino killed a black kid because he assumed he was a criminal.”  Do you really want to tell your kids that??  Or do you want to say, “this is what happened when I was your age and I marched in protest because this is wrong!  We should not be characterized like this and I stood up against it!”

Hatred and anger only breed more hatred and anger and that is the same with goodness and light in this world.  You accomplish more in this world through peace and love.  It might not change the court’s decision, however people will see maybe this was wrong, these protests are all peaceful, why do we judge these people?  Think of how you want to be remembered, as the person who threatened an innocent man because of his race (which is the reason you are mad in the first place) or as the person who stood strong with others who shared your beliefs and pain and anger, but stood in peace?

♥ Meggie

Next!

So as many know my boyfriend just left me.  He had been deported in November and I stuck with him through everything.  I did research, found lawyers, requested his file and supported and loved him with all of my heart.  That was 6 months ago.  He said he loved me and two days later he said he was done because he goes out and meets people and doesn’t want to hurt me.  So basically he left me to get with other women.  I mean I guess it is good he didn’t cheat on me, but it is still a rotten thing to do, especially when he lectured me before he left about me finding someone else & that he would never do that and he wanted me forever.  To add insult to injury, when he had the chance to say it to my face via video chat, he was a coward and choose not to and just talk over chat claiming it would be too hard for both of us, which isn’t true.

I was so heartbroken I didn’t know what to do.  I had loved him so much and stuck with him through his deportation when most women would stay away from that relationship because they couldn’t deal with not knowing when or if he’d return, but I did.  I loved him without end and tried to do everything to make sure we were still connected.  I sent him photos and emailed him literally all day with messages of my life and asking about his, but he kept his new life a secret.  I finally was getting my video chat working on my computer and was looking forward to that and I was going to surprise him with my passport meaning I’d be down to visit soon.  Then he just decides after promising to love me forever that he wants to get with other women.  What’s worse is that he keeps calling it a break.

Anyways, as you can probably tell I am still mad in a way, I guess mostly mad at myself for believing him when there were signs that I questioned before this moment, that I had discussed with friends, but I thought I’d ignore them because maybe he had changed from his past that was littered with arrests & police visits.

I truly feel bad for him, the life he has led and the choices he mad to deal with it have turned him into a very cold, distant, unemotional person, and I feel sorry for him.  How can you love someone or yourself when no one has ever loved you?  Without me, he really has no one to help him get home, his own family isn’t even helping him and that honestly breaks my heart.  Not only that, he was brought over when he was 2 by parents who are legal residents, they just never got him all of his paperwork.  How could you do that to your child?

I’m ok though.  In my past, I have mentioned this before, I have struggled with the addiction of self-harm & eating problems (not out of wanting to lose weight, but just out of the need to control something) and I have not fallen back into those habits.  Not only that, I know I’m a catch and I know that sounds cocky, but I am an educated, passionate, loving young woman who has an amazing future in front of me.  As I said before, there is a very small percentage of women who would stay with a man with such baggage & who was being deported, but I did and no other women who he gets with could do that, even if they say they could, saying and doing are two very different things.

Trust me, I know I have my problems, I am nowhere near perfect at all.  I do have a lot  of things that I need to fix about myself and some of that does stem from my past of self-harm.  That demon keeps popping up, calling my name, but overall I think I am a good person and I do care a lot.  I know that I am a catch and I am worth love.  I loved him with all of my heart and if he wants to drop me for some other girls, that shows the man he is, especially if he can’t even say it to my face and would rather hide behind a computer screen, so really this is his loss not mine.

My friends are amazing people who kept me grounded and helped me through the worst times of this.  He started by saying it was a break then eventually, after a week of leading me on said yea there is another girl, then there wasn’t and I discovered other things he lied about when we were together so with each new truth was a new hurt and a new set of tears, but with each set of tears came a new set of hugs from the amazing people I have in my life and I don’t know what I would do without their support.

In a way, I am glad I hurt too because that means I am capable of loving someone.  I put my entire heart and soul into whatever I do so when I said I loved him, I did, with all of my heart, the purest form of love is what I felt and I know he can’t feel that, which just makes me sad for him.

I am strong and confident and I can jump any hurdle in my life, so I’ll move on and he’ll see what he has lost.  Next!

♥ Meggie