Tag Archives: choice

Spring Cleaning

I need to stop:

Being around people who have a negative attitude.

You know those people who seem to have nothing nice to say about anything or anyone, every? The more I hang around them the more I find myself sinking into this negative pit of unhappiness where I am angry at everyone and irritable for no reason. When I was a teacher I used to always tell my kids, ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say it’. I think I need to practice what I used to preach and stop transforming into a judgmental and angry monster and if that means I need to disassociate myself from certain people, that is just what I need to do. WOOOSHHAAAA

Keeping my mouth shut so that I can avoid conflict.

Although my husband might disagree (hah) I don’t like arguing – I get really emotionally worked up and I can’t shake it off for days. So what do I do? Whether it is a decision that we have to make about one of our projects at work or it’s how I feel about a situation with one of my friends; I try to smile through it and tell myself it’s going to be okay and I can work it out. I know that is not okay. I need to tell my colleagues when they are talking about projects that I don’t believe are feasible (after all, I am the person who is in-charge of the finances), I should be able to tell people when they are coming off too strong that they need to consider other people’s point of view, I should be able to tell my friends if I feel uncomfortable with their plans. I should.

Staring at my phone.

I am obsessed. I am the girl who wakes up rolls over and grabs her phone to check messages/facebook/instagram etc. I am the girl who, in the middle of conversations with other people, will zone out and start checking my phone. I pack a book in my bag to read on the train but instead I flick through the same Facebook newsfeed over and over again. Obsessed. I need to stop. I need to stop making excuses for checking my phone as well – ‘but what if it’s someone from work?’ or ‘but we are on different time zones I HAVE TO talk to them now’ or ‘but look at this cute puppy!’. I need to relax my mind and concentrate on being a lot more wholesome in my approach to life.

Making excuses.

Let’s go to yoga, you ask? But I am going to get my period in four days so it’s probably better if I start yoga once I finish my period.

Stop watching *insertbadtvshowname* back to back and read a book? But if I finish the entire show now then I want be distracted by it later and I then I can concentrate on the book.

You don’t need to buy two bars of chocolate for the day? But I am going to get my period (YES I use my period as an excuse ALL the time!)

There is a a billion other things that I need to stop doing but this is a start – hopefully writing it down means that I am ready to kick into good habits mode (unless I get my period that is). Fingers crossed!

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Strength of a Woman

The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all hear hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes

C. Joybell C

I recently started working in an organisation that works to empower women in vulnerable situations by providing them with training and work opportunities. Although there are days I find myself tired and stressed out I absolutely LOVE working there and I am constantly in awe of the women I work with.

Some of these women have had to give up their lives as high-flying professionals and move to a country where their inability to speak in English has left them unemployed and in a state of both financial and emotional dependency. Some of them have faced brutal violence and have been left out on the streets with nothing except the clothes that they are wearing at the time. Others have faced the harsh and disgusting reality of being in detention centers for months (some years) before they can settle in a country where they are treated as the “other” (or “aliens” as some governments like to label them”).

Regardless of their circumstances, these women have boundless resilience and the motivation to not only dream big but do everything in their power to achieve every single one of those dreams. They don’t like to be shackled by their past or even their current circumstances, they don’t dwell on how life has dealt them an unfair hand of cards and they are so full of enthusiasm to learn new things.

I remember having a conversation with one of the women about her journey to being financially independent and she said to me ‘at my first market I sold something for 50 cents…I was SO happy someone actually gave money for something I made! So I went home and made six more items to sell!’ (See what I mean about enthusiasm). On most occasions they would travel for two hours on public transport, to sit at a market for 6 hours only to sell maybe $25 and instead of being grumpy they usually have the biggest smiles and say “better than 0!” These women, who used to be lecturers, journalists, engineers, will talk about how they are so happy they have their current job as a cleaner because a steady income would help them save money to send their kids to school (you rarely hear complaints even on days when their backs are aching from the 10 hours of cleaning they do per day).

Working with these women and hearing their journeys have opened my eyes to how lucky and privileged I am to have the life I do. Everyday I am in awe of these women and how they have managed to turn their lives around on their own. Since I have met them I have gained a greater sense of awareness about true resilience and perseverance.

They are true defenders of the silver lining.

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Gents

Reading through my past posts, I realised that they don’t necessarily paint the best picture of men and the truth is I have been so very very blessed to have strong, positive and wonderful male figures in my life. So this post is dedicated to all you wonderful guys.

Consent

Today, I was talking to a two of my girlfriends and the topic of consent came up – in this particular instance one of my friend’s was talking about how she had to explain to a colleague that just because a girl flirts with a guy doesn’t mean she has to have sex with him, even after she says yes she can change her mind and that is COMPLETELY her right – her choice to do so. As this conversation went on, it reminded of something else I had heard a long time ago.

She told me that he was her EVERYTHING and that she would have done ANYTHING to make him happy. Sounds a little over the top? Well I guess, she was fifteen and he was the first boy she had ever ‘loved’. But he was not a good boy.

He visited her in hospital one time (she was admitted there because she had a horrible reaction to some medication). She- was so happy that he had actually made the effort to come see her, he – was happy that they finally were in a room unsupervised. “I think this is a good time to have sex”  he suggested. She didn’t know how to react (I am sick and I have tubes stuck on my arms – how is this a good time!) But she thought if she didn’t say yes he would break up with her so she just smiled at him. As soon as it started, she wanted it to stop. She didn’t want to do this. He was hurting her, the tubes of saline injected to her writs were hurting her, she was bleeding – she wanted him to stop. She tried to push him off, she told him no, she started crying but he didn’t seem to notice. Once he was done he got off her, threw the used condom on to her bed and told her to stop crying “you said okay, you don;t have the right to change your mind.” Then he walked off. She gathered all her strength to get up, roll her saline cart to the bathroom so that she can clean up the blood and other stains off her, get rid of the condom, change the sheets and resume life like nothing ever happened.

Scarred at such a young age.

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helpless_by_kyujiko-d4rgpsr

She used to turn up to work every day. During her two years of being employed she has never taken a day off, ever. But she is always tired and sick to the extent where she doesn’t actually do any work and gets reprimanded by everyone around her. “You are letting the team down,” they say, “she is such a LAZY woman,” some grumble. One day she was so sick that she had to be taken to the hospital by some of the people at work. That was the day everyone realised just how helpless she truly was.

Over the past year she had undergone two abortions (at least). But, it wasn’t her choice. It wasn’t safe. Her husband didn’t like to use condoms because he thought it made him less of a man. So when she did become pregnant, his way of ‘taking care of it’ was to accompany her to his friends garage. At this garage, his friend proceeded to use bicycle spokes and pliers to ‘remove’ the fetus from her womb. The (actual) doctor found bits that were left behind after this ‘surgery’ which had festered inside her causing her to be severely sick. Things could have been a little better if she had been treated earlier (or if she was able to opt for an actual safe abortion  but that’s a different story altogether) but her husband told her to quit whining and get to work. She was helpless.

This is not about being pro choice or pro life. It’s about education. Its about advocacy. Its about being pro woman. How many women are out there, who like her are helpless.

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