Thoughts on “13 Reasons Why”

Recently, I took about a week to watch the new Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” and I have to say it was heavy.

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Although the subject matter is not an easy one I was curious to see how this show would portray such a thing.  Especially, since this is a program that is targeted to teens and having someone like Selena Gomez tied to the project as an executive producer makes it more attractive to some.

For those who don’t know, this is a show about the 13 reasons that led a young girl named Hannah to the decision to end her life.  Upon her death she explains these reasons in 13 tapes left to be heard by the people in her life…those that she blamed for her decision.

Now, let me just say there is no reason for anyone to end their life.  There is always another way.  Suicide is such a harsh finality to a temporary pain.  There is always help and people who care.  Always.

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This show was not an easy one to watch but also one that you felt yourself needing to see through.  There has been talk of the producers attempting to glamorize the subject matter, almost making it appear as though her thought process made some sort of sense.  Or that the fact she haunted these people after her death with these tapes made her appear as some sort of celebrity but I have to say that I disagree.  Although, some of the approach they took was mishandled knowing the age group that the show is geared towards.

In my opinion, this show helped to shed a light on the difficulties of adolescence in today’s day and age.  Being a teenager was hard enough when I was younger, I could not imagine growing up among Facebook trolls and social media bullies.  One embarrassing moment or mean comment lives forever nowadays.

This show touches on more than just suicide.  It talks about trying to find out who you are among judgement and pressure.  Self identification, sexual preference, bullying, rape, self-mutilation, depression and what it looks like.  This show really allows a conversation to be had about what it’s like to be a young person today.

These are issues that all young people in all generations are touched by.  But today’s standards amplifies everything so much more with the online lives that young people have grown up knowing.  This makes the emotions from these issues seem so much bigger.

Now, I did not read the book but do know that the makers of the show did take some creative liberties to make this book into a series.  I do feel that there was still a responsibility to tell this story in a way that wasn’t so graphic in showing the finality of this girls life.  The choice to show the act of ending her life in such a precise way was crippling and sad, so much so, I could not watch, I turned my head until it was done.  This I don’t feel was a responsible  creative choice.  It was meant to feel authentic and honest but at the same time showed such a feeling of calm that this may just backfire.

That was my fear after this moment of the series.  Will this make someone who is vulnerable to this idea feel as if this is the way to go.  I certainly hope not.

I do appreciate the portrayal of cause and effect in our treatment of others.  Through Hannah’s tapes you get an idea of how moments, thoughts, acts of kindness and betrayal can all leave marks on us.  This is something I felt is good for young people to see. Allowing people to make better choices by being better to one another.  This, I think is a good message.

All in the same, these tapes seem to signify some blame on those that receive them.  This feels uncomfortable…NO ONE is ever at fault for someone choosing to take their own life. In her choice to leave this remembrance, if you will…it shows the confusion and loneliness that she must have felt and appears to still be working out even until the end.  In all of these reasons she had, there was still a way to fix it.  There was another way and maybe that is what this series was trying to show.  Every reason that she provides is just another doorway to which she should have asked for help.

The guidance counselor provides some discomfort and anger even in her listing of reasons and I hope in no way discourages someone to ask for help from a person in a similar authoritative position.  This is another way the series showed some irresponsibility in potentially scaring off those in need to seek help by making it appear as a worthless attempt.  This is another moment I feared for that vulnerable person watching.

I myself felt lost as a young person.  Not for anything happening at school but for reasons personal to my life.  It brought me to a dark place, a place I contemplated with the notion of taking an easier way.  But of course, I didn’t and realized that things did get easier to deal with.  Although, they may not have changed in the way I may have wished.  I learned how to better work with those emotions that brought me to that dark place.

When we are young, emotions ride high, puberty ensues and we are a chemical mess.  In trying to deal with others, ourselves and the fearful thought of the big future ahead and all that comes with that, it can be a really scary time.  This show felt like it was trying to share in that fear and make it known that it exists.

How young people will take this is unsure….and I am still not quite sure if I had a teenager that I would want them to see this.

As an adult I can relate to what those fears felt like.  They can be scary but it will always get better, there is always another way, there is always someone who cares….always.

This show may have another season.  It is still unknown.  The maker’s seem to want to continue telling these characters stories.  The ending left for more interpretation to be had so we will see what happens.  There may be more to talk about next season.  Maybe a conversation is all you need.

it WILL and CAN get better...

If you ever feel alone or consumed with fear or depression…seek help…it WILL and CAN get better.

 

Take care lovelies,

Christina xx

 

Insomnia…My Enemy

“O sleep, O gentle sleep, Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frightened thee, 1710. That thou no more will weigh my eyelids down, And steep my senses in forgetfulness?”
-William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2

Lately, I have been grappling with zombie like status.  I can’t fn sleep!  I am going about 4 days now and it’s arduous on so many levels.

This happens on and off.  I can go months sleeping soundly and feeling fulfilled and BOOM, I am a lady of my own nightmares…tossing and turning, replaying the same monotonous happenings of the day before.  Left feeling as if a truck ran me over three times and then just left me to live the day as if it never happened.

When this happens it’s like I get stuck in this cycle for a bit.  Like I can’t catch a break.  Something usually sets it into motion.  This time my son was having some issues sleeping quite a few days ago which set my sleepless nights into motion.  My husband gave me some time this past weekend to make up for all the missed rest and of course, I lay there staring at the ceiling almost watching myself in a dream like state until finally realizing an hour had passed with no rest being had.  It’s an endless cycle.

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I may be stressed, anxious and overcome with contemplation.  I don’t know.  But my mind is my enemy….insomnia is my enemy right now.

I wish for a peaceful sleep.  Rest with no interruption.  Quiet and calm with no thought or crowded mind.  Just serenity.

This too shall pass but meanwhile I walk the days like a zombie.  Just kind of living but a little foggy, a little slower, and a bit more passive.

On to the new week with hopes of a sound sleep.

 

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Mothering When Yours Is Gone

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This past week I had a visit with an old friend.  We had a conversation about the difficulty of life after losing a parent.  What it’s like to go on having experiences and major life moments with them not being there and able to share them with you.  It got me to thinking…

My mother was a beautiful lady.  She was sweet, loving and extremely strong.  In all her sweetness you could still look into her eyes and see that she has seen pain.  My mom had a tough life and always showed up with a smile on her face.  For that, I will always be her greatest admirer.

I lost her in 2014 to Alzheimer’s.  I still can’t believe that’s the thing that took her from me…from us.  Thinking back it just feels like a dream.  I didn’t have the tools to deal with it the way I wished I could have.  She was really all that I had when she got sick.  My father made the choice to stay away and unfortunately, my half siblings and I never established a close relationship with each other and in a lot of ways my mom was the glue for that.  My mother’s immediate family lives overseas which was a fact that always saddened her.  I think in some ways she would have hoped to make it back to them.  Back to England.

Nevertheless, my mother always brought me comfort.  She was my rock.  In many ways I think we were quite similar in that my mother would see me make some of her same mistakes (painfully, I’m sure) but in all of our similarities she was that person that could be my reasoning in turmoil or the one who could always tame the storm for me.

I never imagined my life without her,  not even for a second….and then she got sick.  I was a mess then.  Constantly in my head, pretending to be fine when I felt like my heart was imploding.  I  internalize things.  I don’t share my anguish or my fears as they are happening.  It’s always in retrospect.  When I have found some peace and understanding.

I had my daughter while my mom was still here but pretty lost in the disease.  When she past, my oldest was only 10 months.  The fact that I had her was the only thing keeping me in one piece.  I had too, because she needed me.

There are so many moments as a parent that we see with fresh eyes.  Amazing things that are kids provide us.  All of which, my mom wasn’t here for.  Never in a million years did I think I wouldn’t be able to share these moments with my mother.  Honestly, she is the only person I would have wanted to share these things with.  There is such a pride that comes with bringing a human into this world, shaping them, and seeing all the gifts that they pour upon you in the form of achievements, spirit and love.

There is not a day that I don’t think about my mother.  Every moment that I live through, I wonder what she would have thought of it.  What she would say.  If she would laugh or smile. I imagine seeing her hold my kids and kiss them on the cheek.  Or pretend to hear her sing them a song.  I can still close my eyes and smell her perfume.  Or remember what she felt like when I hugged her.  These things I pray I never forget.  As the time passes on, I fear I will.  I fear I won’t be able to explain all the beauty that was her to my kids.  That somehow I will miss something, the essence that was her won’t resonate.

12556066_164866543884554_2124424361_nBeing a mother without her is the most difficult thing I have ever done.  Everyday I seek her advice and knowledge.  But am left to assume what she would say, which is painful. Mothering is hard and I crave her being…always.  Through the good times and the bad.  She could always ease my worry or doubt or fear.  She could make a perfect moment even better.  But I am left to my faith that she sits with me as I write this, looking over my shoulder, calming my heart.

I am left to believe that she watches my kids when they sleep and eases their pain when they cry.  I am left to imagine her following them through life and witnessing their major triumphs and sharing all their glories.  Just a heart string away.

And I do believe mom, I do, but I still and always will miss you.  I pray I make you proud and I know we will meet again.

 

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Oh Valentine, Oh Valentine

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Oh Valentine, oh Valentine

You make me smile with delight

So sweet in looks and soft in heart

Innocence that surrounds me like paint to a piece of canvas art

Oh Valentine, oh Valentine

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I couldn’t live without

Your playful sounds flowing through the air

So much so, I wouldn’t know a sound in difference now

Oh Valentine, oh Valentine

You make my days feel full

and even so much brighter

Life is so grand, I will never cease to believe…I’m sure

Oh Valentine, oh Valentine

My two babies…my daughter and my son

You carry my heart in your hands

Or maybe, just maybe…Our hearts are just one

Oh Valentine, oh Valentine…

Your love just goes beyond

All I ever could have known

It’s from love you came, and therefore, I’m quite fond

Oh Valentine, oh Valentine

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10 Reasons To Detox From Social Media

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Over the weekend I was feeling a bit anxious and kept thinking about all the things I needed to get done, how I was going to get them done, and of course, which steps I needed to take to accomplish those things.  With that came more anxiety.

It doesn’t help that most of what I do with my direct sales businesses and my blog requires a lot of time online.  Being a mom I am definitely limited to time I have to spend online and have to use time wisely.  Whether it’s early morning, nap time (which almost NEVER happens with my daughter), quiet time, or late night.  I have to move quickly when these opportunities arise to achieve and complete things off of my list.

Sometimes, however, our current world of Social Media and the ease and quick-moving times of today can be overwhelming and even can be draining on my psyche.  You can have so much at your finger tips in seconds, even nano seconds, and the consumption of so much information at such a rapid pace can definitely require a detox.

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The weekend is when I took this opportunity to do just that.  Detox.  At least as much as I could.  Here are 10 reasons you may need to do the same:

  1. You feel anxious as soon as you look at your laptop or phone
  2. You feel overwhelmed with notifications
  3. You forget what it is you are there to accomplish and lose time scrolling through meaningless information
  4. You don’t feel inspired…that generally comes from life, so look up for a minute
  5. You feel as if everything that you see is negative
  6. You, yourself, don’t feel positive…this will help to avoid you from posting negativity for others to see
  7. You find your time management has been completely neglected
  8. You are utilizing too many Social Media platforms and find yourself never getting anything done
  9. You are not enjoying it
  10. Your brain feels sucked dry after some time online…then it is time to detox

It really does feel good to step away and give yourself some time to just focus on what is around you.  The people in your life, real activities to occupy your time.  These are where the real memories arise from.  It’s great to have work and hobbies online but it’s great to step away from it when it gets to be too much.  The days fly by so much more quickly now since they did when I was a kid.  Take some time to take the day in, breathe the air, see the moments take place in front of you.  Your phone will be there tomorrow.  😉

 

 

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A Poem for the Sleepless

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Her head on the pillow

Thoughts chaotic

She hoped for peace

but felt everything else

Tossing and turning

Allowing the day to replay 

and replay

Why might I be among the sleepless

Trying to resist the awakened

Silently calling for the lost heart to calm my eyes

Bring silence to my mind

I just want to be amongst the quiet

Along the course of the night

In a moment of nothing 

To share in the dark

the sweet nothing of my dreams

I withstand the fight

and wish for a peaceful sleep

Another night will be

Where I can try to succumb

Be rested and free

Another night will be

Where my dreams are mine

and my mind is no longer thee…

 

a poem for the sleepless

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Why Giving Into Fear Will Lead To Regret

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. -Nelson Mandela

Fear is real.  It can debilitate and encompass you.

It can make decisions for you.  Decisions that can shape your life.  A lot of times fear can cause us to step back, think twice or discourage ourselves from something great.  Only to leave us feeling defeated and regretful.  Always wondering, should I have?  Or, what would have been if I did?

That is a daunting idea.  Living in regret.

Fear is stupid. So are regrets.   -Marilyn Monroe

Who would want to provide that life for themselves.  The life of regret.  But it happens all too often.

I have given into fear many times in my life.  Many times not actively knowing the outcome of the choice to give in to fear but did so, and am left thinking about those choices at times.  Fear is a great emotion, not so much in how it makes us feel, but in how it can shape us as individuals, if we surpass it.  When you make the choice to work through your fears, whatever it may be, it builds character, it makes you better, therefore having full and meaningful experiences.

Fear can enlighten you, if you let it.

Regret can eat you up and it comes into our lives for various reasons.  But the fact that you can minimize the thought of regret by living your life without fear is a beautiful idea. Make conscious choices to work through the things that scare you most.  Live in the moment and live fully.

Tell that person your true feelings…don’t be misread, they may need to hear it.

Start that business…a dream never sought after will always be desired.

Take those trips, if even, alone.  You may just have the time of your life.

Love hard

Work hard

Take chances

Make mistakes

Design your life and do so without letting fear lead you.  Doing so, isn’t really living.  Is it?

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. -Franklin D. Roosevelt

There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed.  -Robert Kennedy

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’  -Eleanor Roosevelt

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.  -Mark Twain

Limits, like fear, is often an illusion.  -Michael Jordan

Courage is knowing what not to fear.  -Plato

What is a fear of living? It’s being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself – for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don’t know what you’re here to do, then just do some good.  -Maya Angelou

Intimacy is not a happy medium. It is a way of being in which the tension between distance and closeness is dissolved and a new horizon appears. Intimacy is beyond fear.  -Henri Nouwen

Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.  -Babe Ruth

If you have stage fright, it never goes away. But then I wonder: is the key to that magical performance because of the fear?  -Stevie Nicks

People say to me all the time, ‘You have no fear.’ I tell them, ‘No, that’s not true. I’m scared all the time. You have to have fear in order to have courage. I’m a courageous person because I’m a scared person.’  -Ronda Rousey

There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.  ― John Lennon

Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.  ― Jim Morrison

She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by-
And never knew.”  

-Shel Silverstein, Every Thing on It

 

 

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The Cardinal

On that sunny day, the air was calm, the breeze fair.  You came to see me.  You came to see us.  Played with my daughter in the way that you could.  Made sure that we heard you in the way that you could.  You stayed for a while and made sure you were noticed.  Your shape was different but I knew it was you, I felt it was you.  You were the Cardinal.

You were that beautiful shade of red that you always loved.  You sang with those lovely whistles.  Bringing a calm to my heart and making my baby girl smile.  You flew in circles around her causing her to giggle with delight and do her best to catch you.

I knew it was you and will always know it was you.  You came more than once and always stayed awhile.  Flying in arms reach, landing near and looking at us, singing your songs.  I felt so calm with you there, every bit of me filling up with joy.

It was you.  In the shape of something you loved so much.  Something that made you smile so bright.  Two beauties intertwined so effortlessly…it was perfect!  I thought of you yesterday and every other day.  Hoping to see you again, needing you to be there somehow.

Let me hear you sing…

Let me see your scarlet beauty…

Let me chase your wings…

I knew it was you.

It was perfect

When you came to me as the Cardinal….

 

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Why I love thee…

 

Why I love thee…

You give my morning meaning when everything seems so foggy

You help me to fight off the drowsiness that consumes me

You give me purpose when the pillow is persuading me otherwise

You warm my body when the air feels cold

You engulf the room with your breathtaking aroma

You enliven the day with your soft jolts of energy

You calm the throat and broaden the mind

You make mornings enjoyable

Your preparation puts a smile to my face

You make waking up an experience of the heart

You are what starts my day with perfection

Oh…coffee…how I love thee…

(A case of the Monday’s 🙂 )

 

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Why You Are Amazing

I just recently shared a quote by Margaret Mead, as follows, “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

This made me laugh a little, because people always try to instill that are uniqueness makes us more special than the next person.  When in fact, we are all unique and therefore, special, maybe not more than the next person, but just as special.  Sometimes, it can be difficult to find our differences from other’s as special but in most cases it is the epitome of it.

Why would I want to be exactly like the next person?  Why would I want to follow the trends?  Why would I never veer off the chosen path?  Or, reflect my life up against another?

I have always been a sensitive type, I find it easy to really listen to people, I can smell bullshit a mile away and can usually sense a person’s intent.  Maybe, it’s how I grew up, the disappointments I have encountered or just the way I am built.  If you have faith or believe in something, the belief that you were made with purpose is the truth in your heart.

Everyone has a purpose, everyone has something to share, everyone knows something that you may not and everyone has a story.

People have pain, people have anger, people have heart, they have kindness, and they have love.  Sharing with each other keeps people close, it keeps people connected.  What is different about you may be the perfect story, to which, means something to me or to the next person.  So share it.

Show me why you are amazing.  I want to see it and know it.  Life is a short one, we are here to learn, grow, reflect, share and love.  There is always a place for that special part of yourself.  You have the opportunity to make something better just for being you, so don’t miss out.

Share it.

 

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