Why I’m Leaving

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After months of praying, discussing and mostly stressing over, I have made the decision to leave my job. I won’t use the word ‘quit’ because I’m not a quitter. I’ll never be a quitter. It isn’t in my bones to just ‘give up’ on things. I will attribute that to God and my faith. HE keeps me strong when it’s not always easy for me to be. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of ‘I’m quitting, I’m giving up, screw this, forget that (PG version)’ moments. I think we all have…but we’re only human.

So, the decision to leave wasn’t an easy one and of course when telling others that I would be leaving the response that always followed was ‘why?’. It’s such a loaded question that I honestly still don’t know where to begin, but I will try my best to explain it.

I feel very blessed with the life I have. I’m married to an incredible man with whom I share a beautiful daughter that we love and adore. We have a lovely home which I feel happy to come home to no matter where I am. I have a wonderful family who is so supportive and loving and great friends I enjoy spending time with. I am rich in things that money cannot buy and for me, that is enough.

When you’re a mom, at least for me, it’s hard to be away from your child. Even with my child having the best care possible (her Mema!), I missed her so. I still can’t believe how fast this time is going by and my baby will be 2 years old in June. My decision started there. Her. I want to spend time with her. I want to be there for her. I want to be home with her. It was then that I knew despite the amazing flexibility my job had given me and a one-in-a-million boss, nothing was worth my time away from her.

Then came the second…a hobby. A hobby to create, something I’ve always loved doing since I was little. The hobby turned into a little business and over time I hope will be a big one! I had to pursue it. Now was the time. Yes, I’m leaving a steady paycheck for something as inconsistent as the weather, but I had to do it. I had to take that leap. I made  Let’s Get Chalky a business and now my goal is to pursue it passionately!

A baby and a business and a decision to run full force as a mom and small business owner 🙂 It wasn’t an easy decision, not at all, but there are a lot of decisions in life that aren’t. I put my faith in God that HE will handle the rest and I know HE will, however everything is supposed to work out.

So here I am, on my last day of work, reflecting upon my four years spent here and I leave with a smile. I leave knowing that this is the best decision for me and my family. I leave knowing that the future is exciting, unknown and I look forward to all that is to come. I want to thank my amazing family for all of their support and especially all of their help with Emma during this transition period. I want to thank my husband for working so hard each and every day for our family that has allowed for this opportunity to even be possible. But most of all, I want to thank God for blessing me with Emma Grace and showing me my real purpose in life…to be someone’s mom.

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Fighting with Words.

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There’s a saying ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’ I’ve never liked that saying. I would repeat it as a little kid in response to name calling but the names hurt me…they still do.

Fighting with words is easy. Think about how many times a day you call someone a name. Your co-worker is an idiot, your husband is a jerk, your wife is a nag, the driver in front of you is a moron…the list goes on. We call people names we don’t even know! We gossip behind friends’ backs. We complain about our kids (he’s being a monster today!). We argue with our spouses/loved ones. We use names to describe people’s names we can’t remember or want to remember. ‘Yeah, let’s not even say her name but she’s such a bitch’ or ‘Remember that douche bag you dated, you know, the one with the skinny jeans’. Our brains have become so rooted with this behavior that we don’t even realize how much we do it…or how much it hurts others.

Why do we do this? No really, why? I remember being picked on in grade school for having a beauty mark on my face. I got made fun of, especially by the boys. I would come home and cry. It was terrible. I distinctly remember a guy in high school telling one of my friends “She would be pretty if she didn’t have that on her face.” Awful. But honestly, those comments don’t even compare to how and what people can say to each other nowadays. When I went to school, there was only three ways to call someone a name: to their face, behind their back or in a note (yes, a handwritten note). I couldn’t make it my Facebook status, tweet it, text it, email it, Snapchat a picture of it or any of the other ways in which technology has given us to be bigger assholes (yep, I just called everyone assholes!).

The worst part about the way the world of name calling has evolved is how public it’s become. Everything is shared. And it’s not shared out of love, care or concern, it’s shared out of angry, spite and hate. Heck, even celebrities get in word battles via ‘Twitter’. Can’t you just have your agents call each other? No, why would you do that? Let’s just share updates for all to see because you need everyone to know who you’re arguing with (this goes for us non-famous people as well).

We’ve become a self-absorbed society. We post and say whatever is on our mind. In fact, I’m doing that right now! We share and over-share then share some more. Don’t get me wrong, sharing is great, but when its negative, what’s the point?

We fight with words. We fight privately. We fight publicly. We hurt. We hurt others. Why do we continue this cycle? Why can’t we just stop? Because here’s the thing…sticks and stones will break our bones…and names will really hurt us. We are all humans, struggling with our own battles and trying to figure out our own lives. We don’t need criticism, we need compassion. It’s easy to put a label on someone…the way I called everyone assholes. The real challenge is to stop yourself from doing so.

There’s another saying I recall from my childhood, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” It’s easy to word vomit (thank you Lindsay Lohan in ‘Mean Girls’) a name to someone. It’s not easy to undo. Because the thing about the words we speak is that even though we can apologize, even though we can say we didn’t mean them, they were said. And as much as you try, you can’t take them back. No one is perfect, we fight, we forgive and we move on, or at least, we try to. But the next time you go to call anyone a name, think about what you’re really saying before you do so. How will that name affect them? You? Your situation? Your relationship?

Calling someone a name is like getting a mosquito bite. It’s quick when it happens but we’re left with a sting, an itch. There’s a mark…temporarily. We can still feel it for a few days, it bothers us, maybe it really bothers us, but eventually it goes away. There is no scar. But just because there isn’t a scar, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Challenge yourself to stop the name calling and spread the love.

Setting the Right Example.

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I found myself reflecting back on some of my recent posts…

And it got me to thinking…am I setting the right example? Sure, we all can get ‘fired up’ about certain topics. We can all state our ‘opinions’ (which we know, are like blank and everybody’s got one). But I guess it’s how we deliver those messages that really set or don’t set the right example…

Recently there was a trending topic about the owner of a restaurant (a woman) who yelled at a toddler who was crying in her restaurant. Since there are two sides to every story, the argument seems to revolve around the woman owner yelling at the toddler vs. the parents not removing their child from the restaurant. As a mom, I do not feel it is appropriate for another adult to yell at my child, no matter what the circumstances. However, there are others who felt were happy she yelled at the toddler as one individual commented, “Kudos to the managers for setting that mom in place. So sick of parents not parenting.”

Now here’s where I get fired up. Parents not parenting? First, you weren’t there, so let’s just hold the phone on that one. Second of all, what makes you think they weren’t parenting? And who are you to judge? Have you ever taken a toddler to a restaurant? It’s not the easiest thing to do but that shouldn’t mean those with toddlers can’t go out to eat! This is where I believe everyone starting jumping on one bandwagon or another and the media went crazy with its exploitation of the situation (are you surprised?).

I guess my point is that we need to set the right example in life, especially those of us that have children/watch children/are children caretakers/etc. And sometimes its hard to figure out what those examples are. My baby doesn’t have the capacity to understand ‘no’ yet or how to reason. Here’s a great article explaining this if you don’t believe me. So if we’re in a restaurant and I tell her to stop yelling and she doesn’t, I’m not a bad parent and she’s not a bad kid, she’s just at the age (12-18 months) where she’s learning to express herself through her voice. I do tell her ‘no’ in a quiet tone or we don’t talk like that in a restaurant to encourage her to stop or distract her with something if needed, but I don’t yell at her. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments where she makes me so angry and I do yell (then of course I see that scared look on her face and immediately apologize and hug her!), but does that make it right? Do I want her to learn that every time she is upset or frustrated she can yell? No.

There are things in life we all have issues with. I don’t think there should be websites for married people to have affairs. I don’t think Victoria’s Secret should target teenagers to buy their ‘lingerie’. I don’t think Facebook is an accurate representation of people’s lives. These are my opinions. And maybe I haven’t gone about them in the right way, but it’s how I feel. Our feelings are what drives us. They make us passionate, crazy, angry, excited, fearful…the list goes on. We live through our feelings. But just because you feel a certain way doesn’t give you the right to act a certain way either. If I feel mad at a co-worker I can’t just go and punch them. I mean, I can, but I would most likely lose my job and be facing a lawsuit in the process.

I want to be a better example…and my example starts from Jesus and my faith. Here’s a man who was ridiculed, betrayed by one of his own and persecuted. He died for me and my sins…for the sins of the world. That is the ultimate example. And no, I’m not saying you need to die, but I’m saying that sometimes setting the right example isn’t easy, but there is a reason for it. I want to be someone my daughter looks up to. My love for her is like Jesus’s love for the world. I would die for her. If I had to, I would without hesitation so that she could live. Sometimes while I believe my intentions are good, I don’t always say things in the right way to get my point across. The point becomes lost in my rants. I think the same goes for most people.

So as I reflect upon the example I want to set, I know one thing is for sure. I want the best for my daughter. I want to give her the best of me, so that requires more patience, more practice and more understanding to those around me. There are lots of situations completely out of my control, but how I behave as an individual is not. If I can’t respect myself, how can I expect anyone else to? It’s time for me to start setting the right example not only for my daughter (and God willing any future children), but myself.

But Seriously…This is a Real Website?

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Apparently there is a website called Ashley Madison which states on its Facebook page, “is the world’s leading infidelity service for married people looking for something more. Launched on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2002, over 12 million people worldwide have since joined the top social network for married dating. Have a guaranteed affair and break up the monotony in your marriage.” I was unaware of this site (guess I’m behind the times) until I read an article about it getting hacked. It prompted me to find and read numerous other articles regarding the scandal (and the site). If you’re looking for the basics to what happened, I suggest reading the article posted here by Wired.com. But I’m not here to talk about the hack, I’m here to talk about the site. There are so many problems with it I don’t even know where to begin but here goes…

“Have a guaranteed affair and break up the monotony in your marriage.” We now live in a world where everyone has the right to get married but let’s shit on that with websites like this. Let’s demoralize marriage by promoting infidelity. Yeah, let’s do that, because the world isn’t already morally corrupt enough. Way to go Noel! Who is Noel, you might ask? Oh, Noel Biderman is the douche bag a.k.a CEO & President of this website and Avid Life Media, which also owns CougarLife.com and EstablishedMen.com. According to the Avid Life Media website, “Noel is a family man who is happily married with two children. He holds a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.” Family man? Happily married? How can you be a happily married family man if you own a website that promotes infidelity? I know what some of you critics will say, ‘well, he can be because that’s his job not his personal life.’ Wrong. I’m sorry, but oh so very wrong (in my opinion).

Cheating on a spouse is so much more than just the physical act. Its repercussions have a Domino effect on all parties involved. Trust is broken, the memory possibly forgiven but never forgotten or never forgiven and never to be forgotten. Children caught in the crossfires and used as pawns. Cheating destroys relationships. It breaks up families. Family members and friends are forced to choose sides. Lives are ruined. When you own a website that is dedicated to “breaking up the monotony in your marriage”, I do not believe you can call yourself a happily married family man. You just can’t. You created the site that you call your ‘business’. You invest time and money into this ‘business’. You have to promote this ‘business’. In order to promote your ‘business’, you have believe in it, in the product, in what it stands for, otherwise it’s a sham, is it not? When you get married you take a vow with your partner before God (I understand this may not be for everyone but for me it is), family and friends to be faithful, honest and true to one another. If you are a happily married man that means that you live by those words, unless those words to you mean something completely different and it sounds like they do. Maybe to him, happily married involves cheating. And maybe that’s why he considers himself so happy? And as a family man, what does he tell his children he does? Is he honest about his career or does he hide it the way his website hides its secrets…or at least tried to. I don’t know this man’s day-to-day, what he does, what kind of relationships he has, but from reading about his website and some of his interviews, I just don’t think you can represent yourself as a happily married family man who runs a website for cheating spouses.

Recently, Ashley Madison was hacked by a group calling themselves ‘Team Impact’. First, I’d like to say thank you to Team Impact. Whatever the reason (I’m hoping it’s moral), I thank you for your crusade to remove this filth from the Internet. And yes, I said the Internet, because that’s where this site is. Are people actually that naive to think their information is super secure? This must be the same people who think their ‘snap chats’ actually just magically disappear! Oh, and I carefully chose the word ‘crusade’ because that’s exactly what it is. It’s a crusade in our world to fight for freedom, religious beliefs and it’s also a crusade to fight for morality.

Ashley Madison’s website slogan is as follows: “Life is short. Have an affair.” Really? No, really? Did happily married man Noel approve that slogan? He probably came up with it! Life is short, yes it is. But the last time I checked you got married to spend the rest of your life with one person. You made that choice…for better or for worse. And if you can’t or don’t stand by those vows, guess what? You can get divorced! Heck, half of America is according to statistics nowadays. The divorce rate is staggering, but you have that option. The option you don’t have as a married person is to cheat. That is not part of the deal. Everyone knows this, even you Noel.

Do I feel bad about this website being hacked? Heck no, you get what you deserve. These people made a conscious choice to go out to this website and partake in all of its charades. They knew the risk. And even if they didn’t, if they really thought their secrets were safe, I am an avid believer in ‘the truth always comes out, one way or another’. However, this was a crime. Hacking data and releasing personal information is illegal. I don’t support crime. Two wrongs don’t make a right. People stand up for what they believe in every single day whether it be a simple ‘no’, a company strike or war. A lot of times these ‘crusades’ come at a cost. People get hurt. People die. Just because it’s the right thing to do doesn’t always make it right to do. So while I don’t condone the action (even though I did thank them), I understand their intentions. Am I concerned about security overall on the Internet? Yes. I don’t think any site is really secure (back in college my ATM card was hacked and people in China were withdrawing money out of my account!). If governmental websites can be hacked, anything can be.

But with regards to this site, I hope it gets shut down. I really, really do. I think it’s kind of ironic how a website that’s supposed to have secret affairs hidden is slowly being exposed for all to see. However, I still have hope for our world. I hope we can get back to a place where we live morally. We stop the hate, stop the crime, stop the bullying, the deceit and try to change… to be better, if not for ourselves but our children and future generations. I don’t want my daughter growing up in a world where ‘Anything goes!’. No thank you. And as for the monotony in my own marriage, I will gladly take it because after all, I said ‘yes’ to only one man for a reason :).