Womens Issues

Turning Point

Is this finally a turning point in women’s rights? Is this finally going to help bring about change in our male-centric society and shine a light on all the hardships women must endure in this world? We can’t let this blow over like so many things that have come before or let men victim blame. Men need to step up and do our part as fathers, sons, friends, boyfriends, husbands, and fathers. Let this be a tidal wave.

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My Story

It’s All Ice cream To Me

Lately, I find myself writing a lot more about compassion, love, and perseverance. I know we don’t know each other very well, yet, so let me run it down for you real quick and maybe help you better understand. This is all new to me. I’m excited, I feel like Columbus discovering the “new world” or something. Sure when I got off the boat there were native people walking around but its all new to me. ( : I haven’t felt this sort of love since I was a child and even then it was tainted by the things I had endured. Now I’ve been forgiven, I’ve forgiven and I’ve learned to live for today. What would you do if you were only able to eat broccoli all your life and then one night after dinner someone gave you a bowl of (insert favorite) iceccream?

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Writing

To be Great

“And if there had been more of the world, they would have reached it.

There is greatness in all of you. Greatness is not some physical or innate ability you’re born with, passed down through your families genetic line. It’s a choice, a decision one makes when we give everything and leave no regrets behind. Only then can we say we’ve lived.

Greatness isn’t always about the big things either, the grand achievements, sometimes it’s simply doing the small things in impressive ways. Giving more than is asked however common the task may seem, for what’s the point in doing anything if you are not going to do it to the fullest extent of your ability?

Do not let other people dissuade you, when they try to make you  believe you aren’t capable, for that person is small. Rise above it, be great and encourage others by helping them realize that they too are capable of greatness, for that is the mark of a truly great person.

Do not settle for every heartache or tribulation life may throws at you, because all  setbacks are temporary. But living with passion resonates forever.

Greatness isn’t just about leaving behind prodigious monuments like the pyramids or writing fabled pieces like the Iliad, greatness can be found in simply loving another whole hardheartedly, unselfishly and with every breath we take.

Do not make the tragic mistake so many have done before by living within arms length of greatness and never reaching out. There is greatness within all of us, all you have to do is accept that truth and embrace it. How deep will your footprints be on the sands of time.

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Life Lessons

Inspired

I was inspired today when I read Beauty Beyond Bones’ post, Iceland Stole My Heart. Even though she admits to hating nature, the cold, the outside and the ocean (Mind you, all Things Iceland!), she still went outside her comfort zone and in doing so was afforded the privilege of bearing witness to one of God’s many masterpieces found in nature, painted by her own hand to remind us of her extraordinary imagination. In this age of social media, many people live through the images found on the web, and forget that those very images are all around them, waiting to be experienced. Not to say that social media is a bad thing because it can be a valuable tool in helping us better understand one another; a way to demonstrate just how alike we all are and the deep interconnectedness of the human race. We all laugh, love, and dream. I just think there has to be a balance between the small screen you hold in your hand, which has become lime another appendage, and the outside world. Yeah, you can watch TV in HD, but true HD is waiting for you right outside your door.

Pictures are a wonderful reminder of a time we had and can later be treasured recollection to look at when time slows and the moments grow farther apart. I wish I’d taken more photos growing up so I could better look back at the memories that have grown fainter with the passing of each day. Take pictures, just don’t be afraid to record every instant because sometimes there is beauty in only having the memory of a moment.

As I write this, a scene from Saving Private Ryan comes to mind. Tom Hanks (one of the greatest) and Matt Damon are sitting together, talking, just before the final battle scene. Matt is reminiscing about the last time he and all his brothers were together, just before the first one was shipped off to war and how they had all laughed. After finishing his story, Matt asks Tom about the memory he had of his wife in the garden, the one Tom had mentioned before and Tom replies, “No, that one I keep just for me.” I like this sentiment. This is a moment only he and his wife will share, a moment that will carry him through to the end.

I’m not advocating one way or another, all I’m saying is try to be in the moment and don’t be afraid to go out and experience things yourself. Also don’t feel like you have to share every memory on social media for others to like. Likes on your Instagram or snapchat don’t somehow validate memories and make them worth remembering. Life is short, so don’t put yourself in a box and spend your days living through other people’s memories. Take it from a guy that only has images and daydreams to live by. Seeing those pictures of Iceland inspires me and reminds me of the beauty that waits for me when I step outside these gates.

Before I go, I just want to leave you with one last thought, something I read once, only I can’t remember who wrote it. Anyways, it goes like this, “Yes, I’ve had my moments but I would’ve liked for my life to have been nothing but moment one after another.”

Take a chance go outside your comfort zone and paint a masterpiece with your experiences. Whether it’s a hike through some trails in the Northwest, taking a bike ride along a seaside road, or riding horseback on the black sand beaches of Iceland; create a moment and let it echo through eternity.

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Prison Life

Pitch Crooked

Have you watched the movie Trainwreck with Amy Shumer? If you haven’t, there’s this scene when Lebron James walks into a room to ask his friend (the surgeon) if they’re still on to watch Downton Abbey, telling him “Look man, I don’t want to go to practice tomorrow and everyone’s talking about it and I’m left out.” I laughed so hard when I first saw this scene because it reminded me of someone. I’m the Lebron of Shawshank. Humor not basketball.

I don’t know how you picture prison, hopefully you don’t but it’s not all violence and pruno. You might actually be surprised by the things we talk about in here. I think most people’s perception of prison stems from what they see on shows like lock-up and though those things happen, it’s generally a lethargic and monotonous existence. Tension filled but sedentary.

So the other day I was hanging out, talking with some friends about a movie that was on TV the night before and for some reason, in the middle of our conversation I just started laughing. They all gave me this look, a look that said I’d lost my mind and prison finally broken me. Yet the looks on their faces only made me laugh harder.

But how could I not laugh, people? I just found it hilarious that a group of “hardcore convicts” were standing around talking about the movie Pitch Perfect. Everyone talked as it we were watching the move for the hot girls but I knew, underneath the surface of fraudulent male swagger, we all enjoyed the singing most and fat Amy’s antics (“I’m gonna finish him like a cheesecake!”)

Shawshank? American me? Blood in blood out? No, more like Orange Is The New Black or lets go to prison. (LMFAO!) Don’t misunderstand me though, no judgement on my end. I personally loved the scene when Jessy belts out some Foreigner, “Feels like the first time” during the pool competition, pointing to Anna in obvious dedication. Which of us wouldn’t love to express ourselves in this way to a person we adore.

I’ve been doing my best to maintain a light heart in this place and keep a ready smile for every occasion. There are to many guys in here that hold onto old stereotypes; not just prison ones but male ones as well. For some reason men tend to think that if you admit to liking a certain type of movie or music, somehow you become less of a man, not worthy of his “man card”. As if liking Justin Timberlake’s music will have your balls removed and placed in a purse you’ll now have to carry around.

Its not rational or in any way practical to deny the things you truly enjoy for some idiotic and misplaced fear that will somehow make you less of a man. To deny the very things that make you who you are and bring joy into your life, is insanity. And for what? Some warped notion of male bravado? Where has that gotten us as the male species’ when we think this way? It’s no wonder women live longer than we do.

Lifes short guys. Live, love, dance when you feel like dancing, who cares what people say. Sing to your girl and tell her how much better  life is with her in it.

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