Monday, February 12, 2018

#ThatsHarassment





Hello!

It's been a while huh? Well, I have been very busy with personal life stuff and business stuff. Of course, I wanted to write on here but wasn't sure what to say for a while. Most of my time has been spent traveling, recording video footage, editing that footage and making Youtube videos. Yes! Youtube videos. I am now on Youtube filming videos about travel and could not be more excited. I don't have plans on becoming a big deal Youtuber, but you know me, it's a tool to accomplish a bigger picture. 

With the title of this blog, I'm sure you realize I am not here for a fun update but because something moved me enough to revert back to my blogging roots. A co-worker of mine shared these with me last week and I was in awe of them. These #ThatsHarassment videos are great ways to aware men and women what harassment includes. It's amazing in a way. 

I wanted to write a post that points out KEY moments in a couple of these videos. It's the moment the man (who could be a woman in some situations I'm sure) tries to manipulate the women. Or should I say, possibly does manipulate the woman. It's such a talent and really upsets me because I know from experience how it feels when a man tries to make you seem absurd for thinking something. In this case, uncomfortable or insulted.  


2:51- "I know you don't think a lot of yourself, but..." 

Raise your hand if you've heard that one before? I knew a guy like this guy, but he was in college at the time. "Oh, we don't want the little guy getting confused." Um, then maybe you shouldn't have been the one to confuse him. Why is your penis out of your pants? 

Anyway, he tries to pick at her insecurities to get what he wants. There may have been a woman in the past this worked with and so he did it again and again when he was the one horny and insecure. I wish there was another word other than harassment to categorize this because it's almost mental and emotional abuse. He's hoping she'll just take this and know her place. What do you think?

  
1:48- "I was totally showing you how they are" 
2:02- "For a second there, you turned around like you were going to give me... literally some feminist rant. Bullshit."
2:58- When he's whispering in her ear and then says, "I've seen worst."

My boyfriend and I watched this one together and he had a great point. This coworker used Neuro-Linguistic Programming on her, the Disassociative Sales Technique. Cause his actions are not his own, it's "other guys", they're the worst and not him. He's simply just showing her, he's not actually grabbing her butt.

Here are a few examples.



And I mentioned to my boyfriend how he already dismissed her response or reaction because anything negative she now says is a "feminist rant" and she's no longer "cool". He sets it up so that she second guesses whether or not she was actually harassed, given a lesson in Bar 101 or hit on. 



2:58- "I was just trying to show how much I appreciate you."
3:41- "You know what it was? I just wanted to show you how great you are. How good you are." 

Then give her the day off unexpectedly or pay for her lunch. What the heck? This one in my opinion and another coworker's opinion, is very hard to fully use as a good example. The female seemed like she kissed him back, which was a bad move. And then used her boyfriend as a reason to not continue the kissing. Which was another bad move but no one should blame her for. As I got older, I started to realize using that as an excuse (whether you are making up the fact that you are with someone or not) just encourages the guy to try harder.

Even if she did kiss him back, he should have never stopped her at the door and insisted on more physical contact. No matter what, that's not okay.

----

Overall, I wanted to share these because I think it's important that we are aware of different views of harassment. There is one with a photographer and it's pretty repulsive. I felt horrible for the model. It's another case of, I wish we'd use another word other than harassment for that. It's definitely abusive... abuse of power mostly.

As a woman who was once young and had very unhealthy relationships with boys, I can honestly say some of this is circumstantial which I hate saying. But it is true. It really all depends on how it is interpreted or received by the other person (man or woman, boy or girl). Yes, women are the most likely to be the one who is harassed, but we can't dismiss other genders and go on a "feminist rant". We have to acknowledge and change as a society. And as a society say that this behavior is not okay for anyone to do.

I"ll see you soon with more content I'm sure. Maybe I will write more about my journey to creating my new businesses. We'll see. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

How My____ Life all started

I think I wrote this about 5 years ago. Every word is very true. Reading it actually made me fall in love with this world I created. The people, the relationships and the even the setting. This really puts things in perspective for the last installment that I have been trying to write for 4 years (wow!).

Read about my past views on the characters from "My Blank Life".


It's funny how every character in my book reminds me of a friend in my past and in my present. Of
course they remind me of friends from my past, all of them were based off of them! Every single one of them.

Many people say Samantha reminds them of me, but in actuality, there are definitely things I would not do that she does. She frustrates me sometimes. I think I was more like her back in the day but now, not so much. But I'm pretty sure I will always have Marlins and Justin's in my life. Unfortunately I've never found my Ryan.

Ericka- She's not a large presence in this book but I have written about her more in the first book for the trilogy. She's got some sass. What she's thinking and what she believes, is always said. Ericka is a truly good friend, which you see when she does the sleepover for her bestie Samantha.

Dennis- He's one of my favorite characters. The friends I usually have that resemble him are my
older brother figures. At the time of me writing My____ Life, I had a "older brother" whom I loved dearly. He was my world as Dennis is Samantha's.

Joshua- Love him. He also resembles the guys I'm close to as well. They're like brothers. Sometimes act a little immature but so sentimental and compassionate.

The way I started to write this book is kind of funny. One of my close friends (from church while I
was in Middle School) and I randomly were kind of bored and said we should write a story about our friends. At this point, I had been writing short stories and then stopped a little by the time Middle School rolled around. I was too busy chasing boys. I wrote like one page of this story with my friend… maybe 5. And then left it. One day my dad found it and he was alarmed. This was because (Spoiler) the story started off with Samantha in a towel kissing her boyfriend, Marlin. Yup and Daddy wasn't too fond of that since the names Samantha and Selena resemble each other. So I quickly explained and hid it at my friend's house.

One day I was bored and this was my Senior Year in Middle School or Freshmen Year in High School. I
started to write a story that took place a year after the one I had started to write prior about Samantha. And I couldn't put my pen down. I was captivated by this story I was telling. Of course life got in the way and had me writing off and on because I was getting at that age where boredom meant go hang out with
friends. So it took yearrrssss for me to finish that story. But I finally did in college. I believe that the experiences I had within those years helped me make this story more than a traditional teen girl novel (which is the narrator looking for love and finding it after triumphs). Of course My ____ Life has some similarities
to that but I put a little twist on it.

Whew that was a lot. Well it has been a while since I last wrote. So there you go.

It's scary how much that still sounds like me. I love it! My favorite part is that I have been looking for a Ryan my whole life, but I think I didn't realize I needed more of a Justin. Back then I believed that Justin was this average guy who was always shoved to the side and never spoke up about liking a girl. But when I sit and think about what Justin could have been like if he were still around in the story... I feel like he's exactly what most women want. Of course we never realize it until we're older. Hence, why I snagged myself a Justin and not a Ryan in my life. In the next book, we will see how High School romances takes on the adult world. It's not easy. I'm not sure what will happen with Samantha and Ryan's relationship in the end.

Another thing I want to point out is the part I say about My Blank Life not being an average teen fiction. Well... I would like to toot my own horn but I do feel like my two books ended up resembling a lot of other teen girl fictions out there. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I do believe my gift of writing dialogue makes these characters more like friends. Not just characters. And that's a really cool aspect of these stories.

As I'm writing this last book for Samantha's world, I am writing my own story about my life. A memoir about my trials and hardships, as well as, successes and accomplishments. It's REALLY difficult. I am going to have to sit and speak with people I probably don't care to speak with. But to deliver the best story that will help other women and teen girls, it's worth it. Look out for updates on that as well.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

In Laws vs In Loves



I've decided to start writing more about what's around me. And right now, I've been consumed with my in-laws. Which are not actually connected to be by law but love. So maybe they're more my "in-loves". The reason they are in my life is because of my love for their family member. Get it?

For those who have in-laws, bless your heart child. Please tell me it gets better. My mom says that sometimes it does. Sometimes?? I guess I'll take it. It's actually crazy that love could make you join a union with people you would've never socialized with otherwise.When you think about it, it's kind of ridiculous. But we'd all do a lot because of love.

My in-loves aren't the worst but they hurt my head sometimes. My uncle said I shouldn't allow the situations to, and he's absolutely correct. I am the one who is allowing things to become a headache or big deal. It's not like my boyfriend's mom is trying to kill me in my sleep. If she were, then that would actually be a problem. It's not like she even dislikes me. Instead, she has traveled with me out of the country twice, fed me, let me partake in family functions and even reportedly defended me. So why so stressed with the topic of in-laws? Cause sometimes my partner's family hits my raw spots. I'm reading a book called "Hold me tight" and there is a part about raw spots. You're supposed to discuss them with your partner in an attempt to make each other aware of and sensitive to the others' feelings.

I've done this with my bf but not his family. A part of me feels like it's a defense mechanism to make sure no one now tries to intentionally hit my raw spots. Although I don't think they intentionally would, it's still a hard defense to break. Maybe being vulnerable with your new family is how you prevent too much headache. Let things roll right off of you. Or if something really hurts your feelings, speak up! Also, never take second-hand or third-hand info as fact or truth. Things like this better guard your heart and mind. You don't have to open up your full self (meaning every single part of you) but at least open your heart. Closing yourself makes you part to blame for not having a close relationship with your in-laws or in loves. Think about it.

Friday, June 16, 2017

New businesses

"Currently I am developing new business plans and figuring out what makes sense for me."

I wrote that line in a draft on December 13, 2015. Wow. I am still working on new ideas. New business models. New sources of income, as well as, new ways of using my brilliant mind. I have looked into "side-hustles" I would be interested in and I will share a few ideas I have used and friends have used.

1. Pet sitter- This has been an amazing way to earn some extra cash. I use the money for this one student loan I am trying to pay off. It's projected to take me 16 years to pay it off. I'm hoping with added payments, I can cut it down. Even if it is by half. You can do anything from boarding the pet, dropping in and checking on the pet, to dog walking, or day care service.

2. Cleaning service- I have a friend who was using an app to find places to clean nearby. She would do it on her lunch break from her full-time job or even on the weekend. Eventually, there were some issues with the app she was using and she decided to freelance on her own. But overall, it's a great idea. If you hate cleaning, this may not be the option for you, but if you don't mind it then I think it's an easy way to bring in a couple of hundred dollars a week.

3. Freelancing- As some of you know, I do freelance social media management from time to time. One client for me can be as low as $150/ month, but not any lower than that usually. Therefore one client can pay one to two bills that now is not coming directly from my paycheck. It's really awesome. I prefer using the money for student loans these days, but it's really up to the person. Maybe travel? :)

Honorable mention for getting a part-time job at a franchised business. I had an old co-worker who worked at a gym for a few months to save money for his trip to France. It was impressive how much he could blow on his trip because he had those extra savings.

My future plans for new business ventures I want to get into include, property management of my family home and t-shirt store. My grandparents own two homes and I think both can make more money for them. I'm developing a plan to make it another retirement fund. And as for the t-shirts, I think it will be a great "create it and then leave it" business. Low maintenance businesses are my fave businesses. In the future, I have my sights on a brick and mortar business but that's hush hush until it's a reality.









Here are more ideas you can look into: renting out your home, investing in someone else's business venture, selling items from your home, selling items you create, online tutoring, babysitting, lifeguarding, and more. Think... what would I do if I were 18 again but with all the technology that's available now?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Travel Tips Part Deux

Colosseo. Photo taken with Fujifilm x100t. 



How fitting is it that my last post was about Superwomen? In my life, I have been doing just that. The emergency oxygen masks haven't come down yet, but I am well aware that the "fasten seat belt" sign is on. That's what I've been dealing with for the past 6 months. And now I thought it was time to make a re-appearance. I miss you, ladies and gentlemen.

This post is not going to be about Superwomen though or my problems. I am going to move onto something more fun. Travel! A lot of people have asked about my recent trip to Europe. I spent 10 days in Rome, Venice, Barcelona and Lisbon. It was my first long vacation. Felt a little strange being away for so long, but I kinda loved it. Okay okay, I really loved it. There were a few things that I realized about "traveler" me. For example, by the time my boyfriend and I reached Barcelona, we needed a little break. Not like going our separate ways, but more so hanging with more people. Thankfully we met up with two friends in Barcelona. Got a chance to catch up with someone new and not bicker about how fast the other one is walking ahead of the other (Yes, that happened... a few times). 

I'm going to share pre-vacation tasks that really helped make most of our trip really smooth and really affordable. 


Image result for airbnb
1. Airbnb- I can't say it enough. I know my last travel tip post mentioned it, but I have to list it again. I like having Airbnb private rooms for my stays in foreign countries that I haven't been to before. We did this in Rome, Venice, and Barcelona. All of them had amazing hosts. The one I had in Rome was a gentleman who studied archaeology. As you can probably imagine, he had really unique suggestions of where to go in Rome. 


2. Camera- Buy a good one. Actually, buy a perfect fit for you. I recently purchased a Fujifilm x100T. Guys! Listen to me, I just went through my photos after being home for 2 weeks... I felt like I was reliving the trip. I'm a photographer; have been since I was about 8 years old. Therefore, maybe that's why this was so important to me. Even so, have a camera with you because you will want to remember your time away. Yes, you can use your cell phone but why??? 


3. Data Plan- I have the almighty T-mobile, who I believe kills it with international coverage. It's the best feeling when your phone works overseas. You get that oh so great message. 






If you plan on traveling a lot, get a carrier that is travel-friendly. I do not understand why you wouldn't. Alternatively, at least have the phone cracked. Really? (See what I did there?) Using wifi is the runner-up to not having an international data plan. If you're going to be in Europe, you will be fine. If you are in a rural area, at least make sure your Airbnb or hotel is equipped with it. 

4. Reviews- You're into the latest gossip but you can't go on a few websites and find out the "deets" about where you're staying, eating, or spending your money? If you are looking into package deals for ANYTHING, look up how it went for other people. If you are booking a flight months to a year before your trip, ask google for results of how it went for other travelers who did the same thing. And before you read them, decide what your criteria are. For example, I am the type of person that will dismiss reviews about restaurants that are not about the food. That means delivery, customer service, and crowds but not limited to those. Therefore decide for yourself what's a deal breaker. 

5. More homework- What I do in my home is watch a gazillion episodes of travel shows about the place I am traveling to. My cat and boyfriend are probably sick of it. For my last trip, I decided to add YouTube videos into the mix (why did I never think of that before). It was exactly what I needed. Everything from packing light for a 10 day vacation to travel hacks I may need. These videos actually made a huge difference in our travel. One topic I searched for a lot was "tips on pickpockets in Rome and Barcelona" (Thank you Wolters World). Read articles/blogs/books, watch videos/documentaries/TV shows, ask advice, listen to podcasts.... whatever you need for preparing. 

I should stop there. Save some for another post or even for my new travel blog idea with the boyfriend. Many things to come, just need to plan accordingly.

Next blog will be up soon. I promise!


Proofread a bit. Sorry if there are still mistakes. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Superwomen

Image result for claire underwood

As a woman in a romantic relationship, I have had a lot of obstacles. I’ve been single practically my whole life. Now I have a partner, who adores and loves me. We share thoughts, ambitions and weaknesses. A couple we aimed to be like was Frank and Claire Underwood. A true power couple. One that doesn’t allow love to be a thorn in their goals or agendas. I was a bit sad to see how they triumphed in Season 3, but overjoyed when they got their shit together in Season 4.


When I re-watched the first season, as I approached episode 7, I realized that there was more to Frank and Claire. When I saw season 3, I wasn’t really thrilled at how it ended. Claire abandoned the team. Not just Frank. And it was disappointing.


I used to relate to Claire. Admire her. Then the Season 3 happened.


  1. She was way too empathetic. Had a bleeding heart.
  2. Let herself get overshadowed by her husband.
  3. Wasn’t completely open with her teammate.


Of course, if you saw the next season, she definitely restored my faith in her. Claire was more cunning, stealth and calculated. I appreciated seeing a woman find her way back to herself. Many may say it was finding her way back to her husband, but it’s not true. This character is complex as are many human beings. She felt like she was losing herself and blamed Frank. But the fact was, Claire was the one changing plans and herself, Frank stayed the same. And I can relate in a way.


One of my fears is becoming “a wife”. I love organization and planning, but I am not a “homemaker”. I never quite understood what that meant or how that was comfortable for many women. Of course I’d love to entertain guests in my home, or cook for my husband. I am more concerned with being only that. Being the only person who cleans the house because I have Mondays off. Or the only person that washes the communal items from the house cause I’m the only one who thinks to. And the only person who makes the grocery list because my spouse never thinks to. (Clearly these are things I'm hung up on.)


I never want to be in a relationship where my ambitions don’t matter. Growing up, I’ve heard about the moms who put aside their dream because they wanted to make sure their kids had someone at home. Or religiously makes sure dinner is ready for their husband when he gets home. I don’t want to be forced to be that woman. I want children, and maybe I will want a job position that allows me to pick up my children on time. And there are certainly times I love cooking feasts for my spouse. But I’m not into the idea of me being a mom or wife before a woman. No.

Back to Claire. I believe a lot of women have times like season 3. You want to support your husband, but you do not want to lose yourself. But as my boyfriend tells me constantly, “Stop making it up in your head that I’m trying to make you subservient”. And he’s not. In a way, neither was Frank. They had a plan, Claire was cool with it, but then once inside of the plan, she realized it wasn’t what she wanted. It’s okay to change your mind, you just have to include your spouse. That’s what being a team player is all about.

Image result for put your mask on before assisting others

Quick note to all those superwomen out there: I understand that you want to put everyone else first. Just remember, you can't put on everyone else's oxygen masks before putting yours on first. Got it?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Come Together

Saturday morning, my Uber driver and I got to talking about what's going on in America. Boonj told me that this is the first time he's seen something like this here. He even went on to say that he wants to make New York its own country. Surprisingly what I said to him resonated with him. "You can't hate people you don't know." He stopped and said to me, "You should write." Therefore I am. I did explain to him that I haven't written in a while but trying to get back into it. He also commended me on my speech, "I like how you speak."

I say you can't hate people you don't know, but as many of us know, people do. Hate is defined as "intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger or sense of injury." So you could hate without knowing someone but that would make you fearfully ignorant. "Lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified." Am I wrong? I don't think so. 

I love the world, hence why I love to see it from all views. Although the whole world does not love me. My own prejudices growing up had me think that if I was lighter, I'd have nicer hair or a more handsome spouse or other ridiculous assumptions. The reality is that I am beautiful, have amazing but stubborn hair and have a future husband who is very handsome (he just walked into Starbucks and I checked him out).

I'm enlightened as well as intelligent. Persuasive when passionate or driven. Logical more than emotional when making decisions. And right now, I believe my country is lost. Struggling to grow up from its adolescence as many other countries have. Many times, people forget that the United States is relatively young. Not too long ago there were slaves and segregation. For goodness sake, there is still discussion and fights about civil issues in Palestine and Southern Africa.

Patience and kindness are needed. I've said it before, I will say it over and over. Be patient with one another. In the end of the day, you will meet people like Boonj who will randomly inspire you to write. And you'll thank him for the inspiration you desperately needed. That spark of creativity.


We need each one another to make our country great. 



Definitions from http://www.merriam-webster.com/

Human Rights Watch
https://www.hrw.org/middle-east/n-africa/israel/palestine
https://www.hrw.org/africa/south-africa