USE YOUR VOICE (social media… I’m not kidding!)

A Single Quaver - Gael Turnbull

A Single Quaver – Gael Turnbull

Well, it’s been a while.

Almost a year since my last blog!

Adult life is hard. Adult life is tiring and exhausting and painful. It has also been beautiful and inspiring.

I guess the correct thing to say is that adult life is intense, because while the challenges get harder the rewards also become bigger. As we get older and gain more control and influence of our own lives, we also gain the power to spread out our influence to others. Our elders start to take us more seriously and people younger than us start to look up to us.

Add to this the fact that we now live in a world where anything we say can instantly be put on an easily accessible platform to spread a message to the entire world (a.k.a. social media) and we now more than ever have the ability to exert change.

This is one reason why I hate to see people using social media to post content that is vulgar because they think it is “funny” or “entertaining”. 10 years ago, if you had a chance to send a message to everyone you know, what would you say? Would you say, “look at this funny video of a girl falling over and accidentally flashing everyone!” or “look at this video of someone so drunk they passed out on a bench!!” Do you realise how absurd and stupid that sounds? Have you been living under a rock for so long that you have never ventured out and seen this yourself on any Friday or Saturday night? Anyway, I realise most people who post these things probably would not come across my blog on any of their usual searches, but in case they do, then the above message is for them!

My point is, each of us now has a voice. Each of us now has a platform. Please use it for good! Use it to start conversations that mean something!

I am so pleased to say that the majority of people I have on my news feed use this platform for positive things. They use it to spread awareness of things we should be angry about and also things that should be celebrated. This is why I feel positive change in this world is so imminent, despite whatever horrible things I am hearing on the news. MY generation is displaying itself to be a caring, passionate and conscientious generation, and what we have that previous generations didn’t is a platform!

I hear so many people talking about how terrible “kids these days” are, and how the world seems to be getting worse, seems to be filling up with more and more “sicko’s”. Puh-lease. The sicko’s were always there. Where do you think the terrible “kids these days” learned it from?? The difference is these sicko’s also have a platform, just like the rest of us. We also can use this platform to expose them and demand justice where it is necessary. We can also use this platform to show how amazing our generation really is. But if you don’t use it, then all people will see are the sicko’s!

I may have been quiet on the blogosphere for a while, but trust me, my facebook page is FULL! I intend to keep it full because I have a lot to say!

We have an amazing opportunity for our voice to be heard each and every day. Please do not waste it.

With Love,

S. :)

Maternity Leave Laws F&#* S!€%!!! Gaaaaahhh!!

I don’t live in the US, but I still find this incredibly frustrating! As the (currently) most powerful country in the world, shouldn’t you be setting a much better example? Much of the world still needs fairer parental leave laws which are harder to justify and demand when the US is famously lagging so far behind. A lot of developing nations do look at the US as an example to follow in many aspects. Get your act together please!

It’s things like this that have had a lot of us women (myself included) worried about “leaning in” in the world of work, because when the time comes, will we have any support? Will we even have the time to enjoy raising our own families? Or would we just have to pay someone else to do that?

Another thing: I do not call it maternity leave. That puts a lot of unfair pressure on women who may lose out on opportunities because an employer may not want to hire a woman who could, at any moment, “run away for a year to have children”. I actually read about an employer saying this when discussing why not as many women are hired for high level positions (read Darling, You Can’t Do Both: And Other Noise To Ignore on Your Way Up, AMAZING book!) It also does not favour families where the woman may actually be the main bread winner or have the more demanding job.

Call it parental leave, and do like some central European countries where a very decent amount of time (say… one year) is allocated to a couple to split between themselves as they see fit! Yes, there are cultural norms and yes, the majority of families may swing one way, but leave room for change. Leave room for flexibility because not everyone is the same. Our societies are shifting and those in power need to catch up!

Time to be Cheerful Again

In Preparation

In Preparation

It’s been a while – and I realise the year has almost finished and I have only written TWO full blog posts!

Well what can I say? 2014 has been so incredibly up and so incredibly down. I will say that this is the year that I turned 25, and then turned 30. About 5 years of aging… seems about right? Hopefully it was only mental – having a 54 year old mother who is frequently mistaken for 34 means pressure – I have some very youthful shoes to fill (sexy strappy sandals with a 5″ heel, to be precise). And the only things she credits are: sun block, excercise, and plenty of fruits and vegetables! Thanks Mum. :P

A’s due date is fast approaching. We named her. It is a beautiful name and I will tell you that it begins with the letter A. I worried that I would be falling apart this month but really – I have reached a space. Memories of my pregnancy are filled with joy, so I feel joy when I remember. Memories of my miscarriage and the months following are filled with pain, so I feel pain when remembering. I can feel both emotions fully and completely and still continue to feel and experience what is present, whatever that is. Thoughts of the future… well I have so many scenarios in my head with so many different emotions.

I take care of my health more. I’m more paranoid about pills, herbs and meds. I was never a big drinker of caffeine or alcohol but I have cut down even more now. And I feel kinda weird around 2nd hand smoke – like – the Crazy in me starts to yell out “GETAWAYFROMMEYOUAREKILLINGMYOVARIES” even though my logical brain knows that 2nd hand smoke exposure has been found to be dangerous during pregnancy when experienced daily, I think the number was about 4 packs of 2nd hand smoke a day?? YES I have checked the facts. A couple hours outdoors, around smokers, one day a week, is not going to hurt me or any unborn babies – according to the research.

But generally speaking, I am more paranoid about my health. I spent 25 years with a strong sense of trust in my own body and that suffered a major blow. I question EVERYTHING.

The miscarriage and the months following were the hardest in my life so far. I got a crash course in emotional management. That is: cry 1 hour before work – go to work and go HAM – go home and cry for another hour… or however long I need to for the evening. I actually allocated slots of time for myself to just cry non-stop… I had no idea I had that much control in me but it’s what I had to do, so I did it. Eventually, that daily schedule turned into an every-other-day schedule. Now its more like an evening once or twice a week. There were some adjustments along the road as well. Eventually I had to toughen up for my husband who was also suffering but differently. I’m not saying anything very new here but it should be said nonetheless: two different people in a relationship will react to everything differently. Relationships survive when you understand this fact and do not try to fight it. The emotional consequence of losing a baby can be equally as painful for men as it is for women. Because of our macho culture, men can feel very caught off guard to be feeling such pain after a miscarriage (not that we aren’t caught off guard, it’s just that the emotional pain is a little more expected of us), but for many men it is still there nonetheless. They may not all show it the same ways we do, but it’s still there and it still hurts.

To say work was crazy when I went back after my week off is an understatement! Whether this is coincidence or not – I have no idea. But professionally, I have grown a LOT. Once again – out of necessity, being thrown into the deep end and all. My boss resigned days before I found out I was pregnant and for the next couple months it was all easy and quiet despite being the only employee in my department. Then, somehow, I came back and major presentations and deadlines just APPEARED! I worked a tonne of extra hours that first month in order to take part in my first ever presentation as a professional. I’ve been going to fancy meetings, taking control of several projects… I have crossed several milestones in just 6 months… and I am very impressed with myself. I can even say the same for my husband experiencing the same thing! All this acheived while sorting through so much pain. I actually felt like I was losing my mind through all of this and that is not an exaggeration. Seriously considered going to therapy, however that would have meant taking more time off work as NO ONE makes appointments past 4pm. Plus, that sh*t is EXPENSIVE. Husband and I decided to tough it out with friends and family. Whether we would have benefited from therapy, I don’t know, but we have survived.

The reason why I have named this post “Time to be Cheerful Again” is because finally, I feel like my husband and I are in sync again. I feel so loving towards him and I feel so loved by him. After months of distance between us when neither of us felt much of these things towards each other, I feel so blessed to be back here again. We are not perfect, we never will be, but we work and we are in love again.

My parents and brother are coming to visit in 5 days and I cannot wait. I have missed them more than ever, I just wish my sister was coming too but she has a dissertation to write :P so I understand completely, having been there before!

Praying for health and love through the next step.

A’s Mother.

Sharing About Pregnancy Loss

OMG ignore the typo!

I found out that I had a missed miscarriage on the Monday of Holy Week this year, I then had an ERPC on Holy Thursday and stayed home for the rest of Easter Weekend. It was my first pregnancy. My husband and I really wanted this baby. I was 12 weeks. I am currently working on a blog post about the whole experience of being pregnant and then having a miscarriage, but it’s getting so long. In the mean time, instead of writing my whole story I have decided to just write this quick post.

I have read over and over a million articles about miscarriage and also getting pregnant again. I am also reading a book, considering buying a second one. I look in the mirror and my eyes see the same person, but my mind and my soul feel as if I have aged a few years over such a short time. It’s not that I am not the same positive and life loving person, it’s just that being that person takes a little more effort now.

When I was pregnant I had, at some point, read the statistic: 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. That was jarring to read but I had hardly ever heard anyone talk about it, so I figured for whatever reason that it was unlikely I would have one. I fully immersed myself into this pregnancy. I sang for my child even though she barely had ears yet. I knew she would get the message somehow! She has a soul, she’s connected to me, so she must be able to “hear” me. I sang songs that I wanted her to hear and learn from. I sang songs about love, life, strength, heart break, pain, resilience. When my husband and I had an argument (I can’t even remember what the argument was about now) I told her afterwards that this is ok because there will always be arguments, they happen, but our love would always be there to carry and support her.

I miss the company. I miss the feeling that I was carrying a tiny person with me every day, who I would eventually get to show all of the beauty of this world to. I still sing to her. And send my little random messages. Any time I pray it is for her, I pray that God is taking care of her even though I was upset with Him for a long time. I knew in my mind that He does things for reasons that I may never understand.

For a while I was in two minds about writing anything. I’ve always had this irrational superstition in my mind that if I talk about something, I will jinx it. But the more I read, the more I realise and agonise over this silly lack of information and awareness! It was so naive of me to think that I would not be part of the 20% statistic. 20% is a big number. But when everyone and every bubbly pregnancy website seems to skip the subject as if it’s nothing then what am I supposed to think? When I told 3 of my friends (who I had not actually told about the pregnancy in the first place) I got back 3 warm messages, 2 of which stated that both of them had been born after their mothers had also suffered through miscarriages. So why the silence? In an age when so many things are well out in the open there is no need for all of this silence about ANYTHING. Even as a feminist and also a Catholic at the same time, I should be allowed to say all of these things and feel acknowledged and understood by both sides.

So here I am, I am open to talk about this because my pregnancy, my baby, has become as much a part of me as my religion, my marriage and my culture. All of these aspects of my being which are usual topics of discussion and expression. So I have no reason to hide one.

Love.

Somewhere to Share

I have been trying to write a post for a while and have not yet been able to finish one.

But.

I read this today and I really want to share it, although I did not want to share it on Facebook. So here it is on my blog:

A Lot Of Hush: Motherhood Lost

Resolutions for 2014!!

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!!

So let’s get right into it. For 2014 I would like to expand my brain and give it the confidence and vigour that it previously had when I was 16 and always learning (as opposed to 24 and stumbling through life lessons that I had learned and then completely forgotten years ago) :-s

I have realized that putting vague large or obvious goals isn’t necessarily very effective. What I have decided to do to make sure I get results out of myself this year is set resolutions that are definite, objective baby steps to becoming a better me! I always hope to be a better person, and here is how I am going to do it:

1) Read AT LEAST one good book every two months.

2) Write down my thoughts at least once a week in a personal “journal”.

3) Paint or draw at least one GOOD work of art for the year.

I have decided to do this cos I need to get my creative juices flowing. I often just feel a little bit like a robot, doing the same thing over and over. My brain needs some real excersise to better prepare me for the actual life decisions which, however big or small, often need to be made on the spot and one thing I HATE is making decisions on the spot! I just don’t have the confidence! I have heard it said before that “one can never know the extent of the ripples of ones actions”…. That is probably SEVERELY misquoted by whoever came up with it… But whatever it is true! And it is equally as TERRIFYING as it is EMPOWERING. 

So yea, in order to help myself to become a better person, I need a better brain.

Its the same goal I was hoping for last year, as well as planning a bad ass wedding.

I think that in order to excel in all parts of life, whether it is work, love or life in general, you need to excercise your brain in whatever it was made to do. Unless you are employed in your dream job, then there’s a good chance that the 9 to 5 is not doing this for you. You need to excercise your brain on your own time! The good thing is that is just means picking an activity you love and feel you can be good at. Do not just sit and watch YouTube and Facebook!! Yes I am SO guilty of this. So here I am trying to read, write and draw again. :-) Getting creative so that I can try and be a functional human being!!

Have a wonderful 2014 everyone!!!

Lots of Love!!

How To Grow Up Without Losing Who You Are

:-)

Thought Catalog

As I get older, many people have confessed to me that they feel a certain anxiety about what it means to mature. They’re the kind of conversations that usually happen late at night on a sidewalk, or after a few glasses of beer. This friend, or that coworker, will struggle in so many words to explain that despite leading a full life, despite the relief of being over her “angsty teenage years,” there is a vague sadness, a shapeless worry that creeps in the corners of her mind. It’s as though, in accepting the norms of adulthood, they are losing some integral part of themselves. The more fiery part. The part that could quit one’s job at a moment’s notice and run away with the love of your life. Feelings of success are tainted by images of the Corporate Zombie or Empty Housewife, enhanced by films like American Beauty and

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