#Yesallwomen

I’ve seen this hashtag being used, #yesallwomen.  Initially I didn’t know it was in response to anything, but I loved it.  I truly think it does open up people’s eyes (especially some men who don’t necessarily see a problem with how society treats women).

I can relate to the majority of the posts as well.  I can relate to being afraid in a dark parking lot in the middle of the night, keys braced by my fingers just in case a man attacks me.  I can relate to going to a party or club and not drinking too much because I knew I could get attacked and then be blamed because society tells me it’s not the rapists fault, it’s mine.  I can relate to being harassed on the street, the feeling of someone actually grabbing my butt and laughing like it was ok when I was terrified.  Through the work I do, I’ve heard the abuse stories, the rapes, assaults, beatings, I’ve heard it all.

I know I was primed by society to know I wasn’t safe alone, that if I was with a man, he should walk me out into that dark parking lot, join me on the street and defend me from potential harassment and assailants because it is safer to be with a man.  The men I grew up with were never taught to be afraid because a woman might rape them or attack them, but I was taught a man could and that was a reality I had to accept.  I had to accept the fact that I could be attacked, be taught how to keep myself safe, but potential attackers didn’t have to be taught not to attack me in the first place.

That is what you learn, growing up as a woman.  People tell you that you’re supposed to go through life independently because you can do anything, just don’t dress like a slut (whatever that means), don’t drink too much and always stay armed if you’re alone, keys between your fingers, mace in hand.

After doing more reading, I discovered that this hashtag was in response to the shootings in Santa Barbara and I see more and more articles appearing on my Facebook focusing on ‘women’s’ issues and how the shooting solely relates to those issues. To be perfectly honest, it is really bothering me.

I agree, his manifesto was sexist and misogynist, however I do not believe one bit that this is solely a woman’s issue nor should it be made into one.

As a feminist, I fight for equal rights, equal for both men and women.  I recognize my own struggles in society as a woman, however I know men have different struggles at times as well.  With regards to the shooting, we need to talk about the sexual violence against women, we need to talk about how we are NOT property, men do not OWN us, we are not to be sexually dominated.

At the same time we need to talk about the hyper-masculine version of a man that society creates and pressures men to be.  They are supposed to be strong, dominating, sexually driven and yes that is part of the reason why there is violence against women (another great conversation) but it also impacts men as well.

If we’re going to bring in topics on how this hurts women, we should talk about how it hurts men too.  We should also be talking about how when men are sexually assaulted they can’t come out and talk about it because then they appear to not be ‘real men’.  God forbid a man is sexually assaulted by a woman!!  Our society makes that into a joke that is seen in movies, we laugh at that, think it’s not even possible.  What about when a female beats her male partner??  That’s a joke in society too.  There was a video that was created first showing two actors.  First the man was grabbing and hitting the woman in public and people intervened!  They said they’d call the police, shouted at him to stop, were visibly upset!  When the tables were turned and the woman beat the man, no one came to help me.  There were actually people who laughed at the scene, as if it were a joke.

So yes, I strongly believe we need to talk about violence against women, we need to start this conversation, we need to talk about what we go through, we need to talk about how the stereotypically masculine image hurts us because we are turned into sexual property.  At the same time, we need to acknowledge that this hyper-masculine image also hurts men as well, especially in cases of abuse (as it hurts women).

If this hashtag was unrelated to the shooting that would be a different situation where it could only involve the struggles women face.  Since it’s not and if we’re going to bring up all these topics of violence against women, we should do the same for men.We must have a conversation, and all-inclusive conversation about abuse, neglect and how gender expectations hurt us, not only as women or as men but as a society.

Rescue

I was so ready to leave work yesterday.  It was so slow.  I had a plan for when I got home.  First was to take a nap seeing as how I was out so late the night before, then finish some cleaning, dinner, catch up on Supernatural, nothing too exciting but that was ok with me.

I was talking to Mom in the kitchen when I see my phone light up and I have 2 missed calls, both from my best friend.  Something was up, she never calls.  So I listen to one of the voice mails and I don’t even get through the first sentence which was “Hi Meggie, I picked up a …”  I got too excited.  I knew she picked up some animal!  I deleted the message and called her right away.

It turns out she was driving down a busy main road in town when she saw a Robin flopping and flapping around on the street.  Sitting in the left turn lane, she kept checking her mirror and looking at it until she decided to put her car in park and as she explained it “I ran out into the road with tissues like a crazy hippie lady and picked up the bird and put it in my car!”

Then she called me to see where she could take it.  I got a box ready, cut holes in the side and put a shirt and towel in it.  The wildlife center was closed so she was going to have to keep it over night and take it in the morning.

She got to my house and the bird was on the floor on the passenger side of the car.  She thought its neck might have been broken and that’s what it looked like.  I picked it up in the towel and it was flapping around a bit and shaking.  We laid it in the box and tried to decide what to do next.  I was going to stop at a store to find an eye dropper to give it some water since it wasn’t in any condition to get up to drink from a bowl.

Unfortunately after a few minutes, the little bird stopped flapping, stopped shaking and just laid there, its eye started to close.  I touched it with my finger and felt nothing, he didn’t make it, but at least she tried to save it!

This is why we’re such good friends.  At times, we’re very different at times, but at the core we’re the same. She is the only person I know who is crazy enough to run into the street to pick up an injured bird and this is why I simply adore her.

One crazy, wild heart is perfectly suited for another crazy, wild heart.  that is just the perfect recipe for best friends.

♥ Meggie

Going For It

As of late, I’ve been contemplating a second job, just to make a bit more money.  I already make over minimum wage, but with student loans and the fact I’m finished with college and still living at home looming over my head, some extra income would be nice.

Yesterday, one of the places I do some volunteer work for, WAR Chest Boutique, posted on Facebook there as a part time job offering.  I didn’t think about it, I didn’t ask anyone’s opinion, I simply updated my resume and sent it in!  The part time hours would work with my current work schedule and what better place to find a second job than a place I love being doing the work I love to do?

In my life, I’m very impulsive about certain things, I’ll act without thinking a lot of the time.  However, typically with jobs or finances or anything significant to my future, I think them through, ask people’s opinion, never making a quick decision.

Yesterday I just acted and it felt great!  It’s an empowering feeling to just go for something you want and try.  What’s the worst that can happen??  I don’t get the job and nothing changes in my life and I keep volunteering.  The best that could happen would be I get the job, which would be incredible!

Whatever happens I know I didn’t miss an opportunity and I tried.  I went for something and that is an accomplishment in itself.  Getting past those feelings of worry and self doubt.  It’s time I told myself I can do this!  I am so anxious/nervous/excited right now I can barely sit still.  I can’t wait to hear if I got the position! 🙂

I encourage everyone reading this today, try something out of your box.  Go after a dream, do something that will make you feel good even if you’re a bit nervous thinking about it.  Push yourself.  So many times we just go through life on autopilot, just doing our routine as the world flies by.  Take advantage of every opportunity that comes to you, it was put there for a reason.

Send any positive thoughts my way!  Hopefully by June, I’ll have a second job!

♥ Meggie

My Birds

I volunteer at a local bird rescue as often as I can.  I do a lot of the decorating in the front of the building, sometimes I get to take photos of the birds for the Facebook page or I’m on cleaning duty.

The best part about this rescue is that most of the birds are just out of the cages.  When they open, all the large birds, the Blue Gold Macaws, Green Winged Macaws, Cockatoos, African Grey Parrots, Blue Fronted Amazons, Yellow Naped Amazons and a few others get to hang out, they stay on the top of their cages for the most part.  There are a couple Blue Gold Macaws that wander (Kiwi and Al), they go into their corner to play with boxes set up for them.  Some of the small bird, like Cockatiel and Conure enjoy sitting on your shoulder as you work.

I was able to visit the rescue this past Sunday and my day consisted of Winston (the Green Winged Macaw) throwing a green bean at me, Pepe (a Blue Fronted Amazon) biting me as I tired to feed him a banana and Jellybean (Blue Gold Macaw) attempting to bite me every time I walked by his tree branch.  However, Morgan (a Green Winged Macaw) was a doll and hopped right up on my finger to hang out for a bit and Al (Blue Gold Macaw) waved at me instead of putting up her usual territorial display!  I loved every second of my time there and after visiting so many time, I know all of the bird and their personalities.

For some reason every single blue gold macaw (Kiwi, Al, Jellybean) in there hates me.  They try to bite me, chase me, spreading their massive wings wide attempting to look large and intimidating, their heads low, ready to charge.  The Blue Fronted Amazons (Pepe and Pablo), they dislike everyone, they weren’t trained properly and therefore aren’t incredibly sociable, but for some reason, they like me.  I can feed them, they’ll talk to me, let me get close, I’ve only been bit once by them.  They are my babies and if I lived alone, I would take them both home, mean temperament and all.

A woman came in yesterday and was asking me about the birds and she asked if she could pet any and I told her it was up to them. They all have different personalities.  I told her about the birds that hated me and the ones that loved me.  She asked why?  I told her they’re just like people, they have their own thoughts and feeling and idea, if they don’t like someone they just don’t, just like people and this concept was almost too much for her to process, as if she thought birds were these stupid creature that had no ability to think as people do.

We often simplify an animal, chalk up their intelligence to mimicking and luck, but they are very individual, thoughtful creatures.  You could put all 3 Blue Gold Macaws next to each other and they all look different and they all act different, I could tell all of them apart very easily.  Animals are just like us and as people forget that which is why I think it is so easy for some to abuse or neglect their animals and just as easy for people to be shocked at how ingrained an animal can become in a family.

I highly recommend volunteering at an animal shelter, for any type of animal.  It’s such a rewarding feeling working with all of the animals and you have the chance to learn so much.  I am so excited to go back, there’s a lot of work to be done!

Do you volunteer anywhere?

♥ Meggie

Second Thoughts and Letting Go

What do you do in that moment when you start second guessing yourself? Part of you feels as though you’re being unreasonable, there are all these signs, moment that simply prove you wrong. How dare you over think, over analyze this!

However there is this feeling, something from deep inside of you, like a small ember starting to burn, of self doubt. This horrible creeping fear that you are actually wrong, you shouldn’t have trusted, you shouldn’t have believed this.

Thats the problem with us, we sometime lose ourselves in our fear. We let that ember grow into a raging inferno and it completely negates the positive moment we’re in. Why do we sabotage ourselves like this?

That’s a question I always ask myself, just like I’m doing right at this very instant. I don’t know why I over think things. Sometimes I’m just so incredibly afraid that I’m wrong, that this is simply too good to be true, that what I have, that moment that I’m in, it’s not as real for the other person as it is for me.

I’ve always been anxious, I’ve always worried, but when it came to relationships with the people around me, that was never a concern of mine. I was always able to trust without fear, without second thoughts. I think this is just one of the remnants if what I had to go through because I always knew he wanted other girls, that he was constantly looking, that he never cared about me therefore it was always a concern. I could never trust him, especially when he told me he only wanted me. When you hear that so many times, the words just become empty, no matter who says them. My biggest fear is to be lied to by someone I care about, I would prefer anything in the entire world rather than being lied to.

So right now, blogging on my phone, in an apartment that isn’t mine, I am suddenly gripped by this fear and I hate it. I want to trust like before and I know that will happen again, eventually, but until then, this is frustrating. So maybe by sharing my thoughts, writing them as I experience them, I can silence my busy mind and release my tension, anxiety and second thoughts.

The first thing to do, well the first thing I always do when I feel any negative emotion, fear, sadness, anxiety, nervousness, is acknowledge what I’m feeling. I don’t ignore it, I don’t pretend its not happening. I open my self up to it and take a second to think why am I feeling this way? Is it really what I should be feeling? To be honest most of the time that answer is no and at that moment I it let go. If that doesn’t work, I write it down, more of physical release rather than a mental one.

So now it’s time to let go and enjoy my evening. Thanks for listening!

Meggie