Today, I did something powerful. I said no to a man.
Why is this so powerful?
Because I don’t think he expected it.
Sitting outside my workplace, waiting for me to end my shift, was a man twice my age.
Just a week ago, we had a friendly conversation about the work he does and the work I could see myself doing. Then he asked me out for a drink. I don’t drink. But I said yes because I couldn’t quite find a reason to say no. He seemed nice enough, although I’ll admit I was curious about his intentions.
The offer escalated to going to eat, a few days later as he followed me out to my car after work.
He approached me and leaned all into my personal space. At first I wasn’t too uncomfortable, or so I thought, until he reached toward my chest and grabbed hold of my neckless. My ankh. I felt trapped.
Trapped by my niceness, by my agreement to “have a drink”, by his physical presence.
He insisted that we go somewhere now, and asked me where I’d like to eat.
“My social battery is drained.” I plead. It wasn’t untrue.
I get up between 3:00 and 3:30 am to start work at 4:30am.
By noon, I’ve worked a full 8 hour shift, serving the neighborhood their coffee with a cheery voice and a big covered smile. I was tired, but I was also intimidated. He was so close to my personal space in a time when I just wanted to be alone and rest. It was uncomfortable.
As I squirmed in my seat, I offered to think on where I’d like to go, and negotated our meeting to the end of the week.
On Tuesday, as he walked in the door, I fled to the back of the store. It was then, that I truely realized how uncomfortable he had made me. Why was I hiding from this man? I waited until I couldnt any longer because I promised my sister I would be home in time to take her to work that morning. I gathered my things and head for the door. He was still there.
“Hello,” I called, once he made eye contact and raised his eyebrows as if to say “I’ve been looking for you.” “I’m sorry, I’m in a rush! See you tomorrow!” I yelled as I hurried out the door.
I didn’t see him again until today, Saturday. The dreaded day I promised to go out with him. I saw him in the store again and thankfully I was busy enough to pretend I didn’t. When it was time for me to leave, I chatted with my coworkers in the back and snacked on a donut, buying time for him to leave and the coast to be clear.
As I gathered my things, I barely made it to my car before I saw him walking up and calling for my attention. I was reminded again that it is Saturday and I did agree to have some sort of idea of where to go by now. I told him I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to go.
That’s when he did it again, he reached into my car window and moved my sweater to see the tattoo on my arm.
STOP IT, DON’T TOUCH ME, PLEASE KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF
were all thoughts in my head that simply wouldn’t come out of my mouth. Instead I smiled, and entertained his comments on my tattoo, even divulging what other tattoos I had and where they were.
Why couldn’t I just say no?
“You’re a different girl,” He said to me “You wear different jewelry and have different tattoos.”
I was triggered even more by his tone and these comments. I’m just a woman. I’m no more special than the next, and you telling me so does not make me feel connected to you in anyway. There’s nothing you can give me that I can’t give myself, besides the creeps.
He pointed to a restaurant in the same parking lot and offered for us to just sit there for awhile.
“I’m not really in the mood right now.” I say
“Okay, another time.” He confirms
“Why do you want to take me out?” I ask.
“To be friends.” He remarks, “If you don’t like, that’s okay.”
He started to back up a little bit and said “I’m just trying to be your friend.” as he gestured at me implicating he meant something different.
The look on my face must have given away my disinterest. “I’m just trying to be clear, I’m not interested in anything romantic.” I say, finally feeling better that I’ve found my voice to speak up for myself.
The look on his face said it all. His eyebrows raised and his eyes bulged out of his head.
“If you don’t want to be friends, thats fine!” he huffed.
“How about, I’ll see you here, and when I’m ready to go out as friends, I will let you know?” I ask, trying to peacefully resolve the situation.
“I’m not going to lose, you are going to lose, because I am a good friend!” He says, as he stumbles backwards and away from my vehicle.
It’s obvious that I’ve struck a nerve but I believe it is because he never had the intention of simply being my friend. He thought he would charm me with dinner, and get me to loosen up with a drink, and who knows what else. Maybe that’s my imagination, but I didn’t want to let it get that far. My intuition was telling me that I didn’t trust this man. I shouldn’t feel obligated to.
He pulled off quickly and I realized that it had been about an hour since he first came into the store. He had been waiting there for me the whole time.
I felt a slight twinge of guilt, that subsided as soon as I reminded myself that I have no need to feel guilty for speaking my truth.
The situation could have been scarier, and it wasn’t. I’m still very proud of myself for finding my voice, standing my ground, and speaking up for what I wanted and not what I felt like would bring about the least resistance. The problem essentially solved itself as he drove away, probably feeling rejected, but hopefully enough to deter him from further advancing.
As I sit in my new favorite cafe I take a deep breath and feel gratitude for my new power.
So, we left off at Halloween. It was around noon when I published my last post, soon after my entire world flipped upside down!
Shortly after hitting publish, I started to feel a little nauseous.
I started on my makeup, preparing myself for the day’s events ahead. Not even 1 minute after I put on my lipstick, I started throwing up bile! It was not something I was unfamiliar with but I wasn’t understanding why this was happening to me. I decided to stay home (as I should) and rest.
I was able to explore some ancestry and charge my crystals. I set the intention to release all that no longer serves me.
Boy the universe answers quickly.
Not long after I wrapped up my practice, my stomach started aching. I laid on the couch and curled up in pain for what felt like several hours. My friend’s brother came home and after about an hour of crying, vomiting, and deliberation, I mustered up the courage to ask him to take me to the hospital.
When I arrived, I was hardly able to stand. I was provided with a wheelchair and a vomit bag while waiting. Shortly after checking in I was wheeled to a clinic room where my vitals were taken and blood was drawn.
It seemed like I was waiting forever, especially because I was in excruciating pain and vomiting non-stop. At some point I was informed that I would need a CT scan to diagnose my situation.
I was wheeled into a room where I laid on a table, steadied my breath, and did my best to not be claustrophobic.
The results of the scan were that my gal bladder seemed to be the culprit.
“This is normal, it happens often. A simple surgery will fix it. You’ll be right as rain in no time.”
Wow, just a few hours ago, I was living my life as normal. Now, I’m being told an organ is failing and it needs to be removed.
I was in so much pain that I couldn’t say no. I could hardly even think. The next morning, I was scheduled for surgery.
I had an ultrasound to confirm the inflammation in my gal bladder and if there were any possible stones. I don’t remember the doctor ever confirming that I was going to have surgery, I just remember the anesthesiologist checking in with me before hand.
Shortly after that, a man came into my room to give me a “limousine ride” down to the surgery wing. He pulled the rails up on my hospital bed and wheeled me out the door and into the elevator.
When we got to the surgery wing, I was asked if I had any questions or concerns and then given the sleeping gas. I still had a vomit bag in my hands as I was throwing up even before my surgery.
When I woke up, I didn’t even realize that I had already had surgery. I felt great! Well, great isn’t the word, but I wasn’t in excruciating pain any longer.
I was released on Tuesday, voting day.
My friend came to pick me up, took me to get my medication and some food, I watched her kid while she voted, and then she dropped me off to recover.
About a week later, I was propositioned with an opportunity to earn some money and travel. This is another story for another time. There are many details and it was a pretty traumatic experience so, stay tuned, I will be speaking on it.
Because I accepted this proposition, I found myself stranded in MINNESOTA! Where it’s COLD!
I was able to get a train ticket from Minnesota to Las Vegas where a friend of mine was living. A 54 hour train ride.
The details of such will be released sooner or later.
I stayed in Vegas for a few days, enjoying the views and speaking to the locals. I walked the strip and then I got terrible news.
My cousin called me to tell me that my sister, my little sister, was killed in a car accident.
I was shocked! I felt like I was dreaming. I called my father and he confirmed the tragedy and made arrangements for me to come home.
Home is where I am now. With family, celebrating the life and memory of my sister. Her services will be this weekend.
Sorry I don’t have much to say, it took a lot for me to muster the courage to write this in the first place.
There’s not a lot I have to say about Halloween and it makes me a little sad.
I’ve been out of touch with the holiday for a few years since the partner I was with did not entirely celebrate the holiday. So now, it’s Halloween in 2020 and I still feel clueless as to what I’m doing.
The funny thing is, I’ll be riding on a party bus this evening! I’ve always wanted to go to a Halloween party all dressed up and get shwasty. But this is not that. It’s a birthday celebration!
So, I’ll have to find a lowkey costume in my slowly shrinking wardrobe. I’ve got a fair amount of clothes, I just have to find the right balance of spooky and warm!
I am most excited for my makeup look! I got the Money snapshadow palette from Fenty Beauty and it comes with so many beautiful shades of green and gold! I believe I’ll be doing something reptilian.
Although I wont be trick or treating with the kids today, I will be enjoying my time as a young adult and enjoy socializing with friends.
I did have the inclination to learn about spirituality and rituals and ancestry today, but I think I might just focus on that this evening. I’ve recorded a podcast episode that comes out today and I will talk about some of these things in tomorrow’s episode!
I’m just dropping by to acknowledge the holiday and update you all on what I’ve got going on. More details to come later.
Recently I’ve become aware of themes, or patterns, that show up in my daily life revolving around sharing my experience and ideas. A journey is something to be cherished. People often only see success and never get a glimpse of obstacles overcome and lessons learned along the way. My intention with this blog is always to document for myself, my journey, and to let you in on that experience so that you can add to your own!
And with that I’ve typed out some meditations on the ABC’s of spirituality. I’ll explore what that means to me, and I’d love to hear what it means to you.
A is for Awareness
What is awareness? The simplest explanation is to perceive, or be conscious of, something.
As humans, what distinguishes us from other species, is our awareness of self. We are able to be conscious of our perceptions of ourselves, as well as the world around us.
To me, this is the basis of spirituality. We are the observer and the observed. The universe, experiencing the infinite expression of itself.
To be aware of yourself is to be human, but to be aware of your individual journey as a human, is spirituality.
We all start at different places along the life path. Awareness of that path is the beginning of your spiritual journey.
Things you can bring your awareness to:
You may have heard of mindfulness meditation. The idea is to focus on your breathing and only that. Letting go of everything that is on your mind and focusing on the simplicity of inhaling and exhaling.
Doing this will allow your mind and body to relax. Breathing feels good, it makes space in your body, and it’s necessary to live. You usually don’t have to think about breathing. It is an automatic function and often gets taken for granted.
When you realize that the most important thing for life is breath, and you can have that unconditionally, your mind and body relax into the present moment. You’re able to express gratitude for a thoughtless bodily function. You’re able to practice awareness.
You stop worrying about your worries because the only thing you have to worry about is something you don’t actually have to worry about.
How to do feel right now? How are you expressing the way you feel with your actions? Are you feeling defeated and kicking up dirt around you? Or are you feeling empowered to learn from your mistakes?
Bringing awareness to your attitude allows you to question why you’re feeling the way you do. Maybe things haven’t been going your way for awhile. Think about how you’ve been acting lately… has your attitude matched your expectations? Being aware of your attitude gives you the opportunity to evaluate it. If you’re attitude hasn’t been helping you get to your goals, make an adjustment.
Attitude is a reflection of your mindset, which determines how much responsibility you take for your life.
If your mindset is fixed, you feel like you aren’t in control of your life. Everything feels predetermined and your abilities are limited.
Having a growth mindset means taking responsibility for the direction of your life. Understanding that you have control over yourself and YOU are your only limitation.
Think of all the times you’ve said that you didn’t have a choice.
Now think about how untrue that was.
Remember when you were young and you tried to blame doing that bad thing on your friend?
“Mom, I had no choice! They made me do it!” Remember your mom saying, “If your friend told you to jump off a bridge would you do it? No? Then you had a choice.”
Same concept. Everything is a choice. And once you’re aware of that, you can start taking responsibility for it. Own up to your decisions. They got you here. And here is right where you needed to be.
Once you bring your awareness to these aspects of your life, you’ll start to see a shift in patterns. You’ll notice that you are noticing more. You’ll feel more in control of your life, because you ARE in control of your life. You will start to find synchronicities in everyday life that remind you of your spiritual journey.
Without awareness we are animals. It’s not a bad thing to be an animal but we have, and continue, to evolve past that. We have a responsibility to ourselves and our collective conscious to become more aware.
The beauty of awareness is that it’s a gift. For ourselves and for others. As things come into our awareness, we are able to interpret and share that information with others. We get to make someone else aware. And in turn, we all get to learn and grow!
I’ve been aware of my spiritual journey for several years now. I’ve accepted that sharing parts of my spiritual journey is a part of my spiritual journey.
Bringing awareness to my breath reminded me that I have everything I need. Being aware of my attitude taught me that my emotions are powerful tools in expressing myself and understanding those expressions. Bringing awareness to my mindset allowed me to evaluate my approach to life and adopt a mindset of growth and abundance.
I’d like to know what you’ve been aware of lately. Leave me a comment or feel free to share with me your experience with awareness.
This is a 3 part series so stay tuned for the rest of the ABC’s of spirituality.