Talk about it Tuesday – Fears

Fears. We all have them, am I right? Some of us are scared of things like bees or spiders while others are afraid of heights or inclosed spaces. Some of us have many fears, some of us only a few.

For today’s Talk about it Tuesday, let’s talk about Fears.

I dislike being afraid so I like to face each one head on as they pop up. I know that I won’t be able to do this forever, but it’s worked well for me so far. The ones that have a specific start place (for me needles) are seemingly more easily overcome than the ones that just see m to be there (for me failing/disappointing others)

To over come my fear of needles, I forced myself to give blood every time I can. I don’t love it, but I’ve now donated 20+ units of blood over the last few years and don’t even flinch when I get a flu shot. This is a far cry from even 10 years ago when the mere sight of a needle coming at me was enough to send me into a panic attack.

I’m also afraid of failing at something. I know. I know. I shouldn’t be, but the fact remains that I am. I don’t share half of what I create (or only share with my innermost circle because I know they’ll be honest with me about my creation…and do it gently if it’s not up to snuff.) This morning I took a step that I’m terrified of. I opened Court is Crafty online.

I’ll either succeed or fail, but I can only try my best. I just hope I don’t disappoint.

So let’s talk about it. What are you afraid of? Snakes? Spiders? Being alone? Open water? Does it come from a specific instance? Or is it just there? I want to hear about it.

And so it goes, and so it goes…

The start to this year has been both a whirlwind and stagnant month if that makes any sense at all to you. I will try to explain if it doesn’t: While it feels that it went by in a flash, I can also say that some weeks felt like they took 2 and some days went on for hours.

Work is going well. I enjoy my coworkers, a good number of my clients and I’ve come to a point of actually liking what I’m working on (mostly) rather than just seeing it as a potential stepping stone to different projects. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the other projects too. I have the constant need to do something different here and there, so it’s a good mix here.

Alternately, I’ve struggled with this swim session with some difficult children and with keeping my head in the game. I think I’ve managed well, but some days it’s just really hard. I cried for the first time during a lesson and am constantly fighting the dreaded burn out. I have some time off from the pool coming up and I’m going to make the best of it to recharge.

Crafting is going well and I have a potential opportunity that I’m both excited and terrified to even consider undertaking. I’m excited because it would be an amazing opportunity and a feather in my cap –  terrified that I’ll get rejected or even worse, it’ll take off and I’ll fail from success. I’ve convinced myself to try though. I’ve been excited that Court is Crafty has started to take off a bit with interest and interaction via the facebook page. I’ll be opening an actual online shop in the coming weeks and making the grand announcement over on the facebook page so click on over and like it to stay up to date.

I’m working on a post about making cupcakes with Em which was really fun, but it’s taking longer than I’d hoped to come together. It’s really hard to convey the fun we had that day baking, coloring, dancing etc. I hope you’ll come back to see it when it’s ready!

How has the start to your year been?

Working with WOAR (Guest Post)

Today we’re going to get a little more serious because it’s something serious to talk about. My friend Robin Strough is giving back to her Community by spending a lot of her free time volunteering for a cause that’s near and dear to her. Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR). She asked me if I’d be willing to let her borrow some space today and When she asked if she could do a guest post for me about the group she volunteers with, my answer was of course yes!

I see her strength in her words and actions, her bravery and her kindness shining like a beacon for those who need her help.

I have been volunteering/working with Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) for over two years. During my time with the organization I answer an after-hours crisis hotline for victims of sexual assault, child molestation, date rape, and domestic violence. Our calls range from people just wanting information, people who have just been victimized that just don’t know what to do next, people who are in counseling but having a bad night, people who are at the end of the rope and want to end their life over the pain from the horrible nightmare they live with every single day. I have met with victims in the emergency room after and attack and I have seen the devastation that rape can cause first hand with my own eyes.

 

Sometimes, I get to do some lighter things with the education department. I’ve taught a class at the Community College of Philadelphia on the legal repercussions of sexual assault by a life partner, I’ve attended the numerous productions of the Vagina Monologues and gave out information. I spoke at the JeffSoar event about our organization, I’ve attended many “Take Back the Night” events, and I head a team of friends and family for the “Take it all Back” march through the streets of Philadelphia.

 

This past week, I was asked to help with the 40th Anniversary Kick Off celebration. Nothing fancy, just sit in the room with the food and answer questions about the volunteer program. I got to meet and greet with Judges, the District Attorney of Philadelphia, Professors from the University of Pennsylvania, and many other important people in our fine city. During the presentation I listened to former directors, employees, and friends of WOAR share their stories about the growth of WOAR and just how far we have come. The main goal of the staff of WOAR is to end sexual violence and not have to celebrate another 40 years of service. And that hit home.

 

In 1973, women in Philadelphia were not permitted to become police detectives. Not sure how many know this, but it is a detective that interviews a rape victim. Back in 1973, a woman’s lifestyle, the way she dresses, and just how much she had to drink where key parts of the trial. A husband could not be charged with the rape of his wife, and as we all know, rape is rape, if you say no and someone takes it anyway, it’s rape regardless if you are married to the person. At that time it was believed, that rape could never happen to a man and a woman’s state of mind during the attack was not taken into account – and if she did not resist – she must have wanted it. Since 1973, WOAR has changed all of the above. The SVU unit was created, women were promoted to detectives, the District Attorney created a special department for victims of this violent crime, we now have a sexual assault response centers were victims are taken to receive medical treatment in private and not with the general public, and many other changes which are escaping my memory at this time.

 

So here we are 40 years later, and although we have made considerable progress, there is still so much more work to be done to bring an end to sexually violence and end the silence that inflicts it’s victims. It disturbs me that today we still have some people in positions of power who make comments such as “legitimate rape.” It’s proof of the struggles ahead.

 

Today, an article was wrote and posted on Philly.com – WOAR on Rape Rumbles on after 40 Years This article, to be seen by all on the internet, is a small step in the right direction. When I read it, I was beaming with pride to be a part of something so passionate and powerful. The author hit the nail on the head! And although some people will make rude and awful comments on the article (because face it, people will), I will continue to promote WOAR and all the good it does for people. I have counseled people as far as California on the phone. And I will never give up!!!

 

Someday, sexual violence will be a thing of the past. Children won’t have to worry about being hurt and touched by grownups, women, men, and children will not be afraid to walk alone in the dark, and you won’t have to cover your drink to prevent being date raped. Is this a naive statement ? Maybe? But I’ll never give up – will you ?

 

Change starts with education. Change starts with a compassionate heart. Change starts with a loud voice. Change starts with you. END THE SILENCE!

Pretty powerful stuff. I don’t imagine I need to say it to any of my readers, but sexual assault and violence is such a bad bad terrible thing. Do I have any other readers out there who volunteer with similar groups? Or who would like to share how they’re giving back to their communities?

8 – Any job I want? #NaBLoPoMo

This post is part of BlogHer’s writing prompts for NaBloPloMo I won’t even pretend I’ll be sure to blog every day, but I’ll try even if it’s just something short or a picture. (What is NaBloPoMo? wiseGEEK has the answer)

Something people don’t generally expect to find out about me was that I went to college with the intention of being pre-med. For reasons that are for me to know, I decided that unless I wanted to transfer to a new school, it wouldn’t work out too well for me.

I switched to math for awhile and ultimately took a break from school.

I really like math and sciences though. Still. I find them fascinating.

If I had to choose any job I wanted and could have all the schooling and skills needed, right now, I’d probably choose to be either a pediatrician or a math teacher.

Tomorrow I might choose something else like a party planner, architect, or a to run my own general personal assistance company.

How about you?

on differences

“We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are dull, some have weird names,all are different, but they all live in the same box. “

This sign hangs in the school where I vote and it makes me smile every time I see it.

As you walk into the school, you walk under the veritable UN worthy collection of flags that hang in the entry way. (It’s my understanding that the flags are representative of the school’s student body. If this is true, the school is rather ethnically and culturally diverse.) The impression of all those flags may or may not stick with you as it does me, but if it does and you see this sign on one of the bulletin boards you can appreciate the undertaking that is at hand.

Did you know that while kids understand the differences between themselves and those around them from a rather early age, they don’t really care about them until someone else tells them that being different is wrong? They have to be taught that being different is bad.

I’ve always believed that it’s really differences that make this world go round. Some people are very different than me. I might not agree with others or think their positions have any sort of validity, but I can not tell you how much I appreciate those differences. Some of them make me challenge my understanding of our differences, some make them challenge my understanding of myself. All of them provide an opportunity for improvement.

Why is being wrong different? I challenge you this week. Find someone you KNOW is different than you and instead of focusing on those differences, figure out what you might also have in common.

I dare you.

Animation on Education Change

I don’t want to argue about ADHD being real or not. My thoughts on that are an entirely different post.

I don’t want to talk about the best way to educate our children. There really isn’t a best way. There are many good ways that work and every child learns differently.

All I want to comment on is this: All children are capable of learning. The world our culture and the economy is changing. We need to take a look at how we’re educating our children to keep up with the changing world.

We can do better…What do you think?