VOTE IN THE POLLS AND LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD

 

Happy Monday, y’all. While I don’t typically get political on my social platforms or the blog, I felt compelled this morning to share this with you all. This is just me sharing my opinion and outlook on this topic. And I appreciate the fact that I have a platform in which I can express that freely and openly.

Voting Day 2018

This morning while on the Subway, a young woman went to go sit in an empty middle seat between another woman and gentleman. The young lady took notice that the space was small and cramped, but she made eye contact with the gentleman first showing her interest in sitting in the seat and politely said '“excuse me” before taking the seat. The other woman already sitting next to the empty seat quickly scooted over as much as she could making room for the young lady. But the gentleman didn’t budge. As the young woman sat down in the empty seat, the gentleman quickly started to argue with her on why she would choose that seat seeing there was not much space. Another gentleman standing nearby covered in tattoos, looked at the young girl who took the seat, and said in disappointment “so much for chivalry”! He was in disbelief that the other gentleman was so reluctant to move slightly over to accommodate the young woman and he let his voice be heard. I immediately took notice how the young woman looked surprised that this stranger stood up for her. I have to admit, so was I. You see, on the outside you could easily assume that this rugged, tattoo covered guy was a bad guy or a tough guy and couldn’t have cared less about the woman trying to get a seat on the Subway. But it was in fact the complete opposite. I’m telling you this story because I think we all have been guilty of being too quick to judge others by their appearance or what we can only see on the surface. And you may be wondering, what’s the point of this story?


Well, tomorrow is a big day for our country as we head out to VOTE in the polls for the mid-term elections. And I encourage you all to look deeper into each candidate before you vote. Look at more than the color of their skin or their appearance. Look at more than the party they are representing. Look at who they are as a person. Ask yourself; Do you like the characteristics that they uphold? Ask yourself; Do they represent your morals and values? Ask yourself; Do they stand up for the rights you believe in? Ask yourself these questions without the opinions of others or the media or what you see at first glance. Because too often as humans we jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts or looking deeper. I was also reminded of this myself during my commute this morning. The simple truth is, we are all just trying to have a seat amongst our fellow Americans and want our voices to be heard.

I’m encouraging everyone to make an educated decision when it comes to VOTING in the polls tomorrow. You have a VOICE and it is powerful. Make sure to put it to good use tomorrow to speak up for what YOU believe in.


And if you’re needing more information on VOTING and which candidates are up for election. Head over to theSkimm to enter your information and receive a sample ballot for your area.

XO, Rae

HOW TO COPE WITH DIVORCED PARENTS AS AN ADULT

 
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Divorce is something I am all to familiar with. At the age of two, my mother divorced my father. I don't really remember much other than my father not being around afterward. But years later, I remember reading something my mother wrote in my baby book. She wrote how she hoped that the divorce wouldn't screw me up. 

My Mom remarried when I was 7 years old. And my stepfather essentially became the Dad that I never had and took on the role of raising me. They both have helped shape me into the person I am today and we have always been close. But no family is perfect and ours certainly wasn't. After 25 years of marriage, they separated last year and have since divorced. 

I knew it was for the better but it broke me down in ways I never could have imagined. I wasn't prepared for the aftermath and how it would effect me not having the parental unit I was accustomed to having all these years. The first six months I felt depressed and sad by everything that was taking place. One parent was moving on too fast and starting a whole new life and one parent was still struggling to deal with the reality. I felt torn between the two and neither one of them seemed to notice my feelings at all. 

And to make it worse, there was little comfort or understanding from friends and family. Everyone seemed to have the same attitude of "oh well, life happens". But it was MY life and it did matter. And trust me, I never thought that being in my thirties and having divorced parents would be such a big deal. But the truth is, divorce is hard no matter what age you are. You are not bullet proof to the emotions of something just because you're an adult. 

I've had to learn how to set boundaries with both parents all while trying to rebuild my relationship with them individually. How to factor in holidays and visits and everything in between. And because there is no manual on how to deal with it all. I felt like I needed to share the things that helped me in the process. 

1. TAKE A BREAK IF YOU NEED TO

By this I mean, distance yourself if need be. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Both parents have to deal with their new reality and you have to allow yourself the time to do the same. And don't feel guilty about it. We all need a break from time to time.

2. SORT THROUGH YOUR FEELINGS

You may feel a sense of loss and sadness and it's important to recognize those feelings and deal with them. Talk to someone, write down how you feel and be honest with yourself. And know that you're allowed to feel this way even if others don't understand it.

3. FIND ONE PERSON YOU CAN CONFIDE IN

Your friends may not be sympathetic to your situation. And like any big change in life, you will need someone who can be a listening ear when needed. I am so thankful for my friend, Jackie. She took my calls at any time of day and was there for me when ever I needed a friend. I told her things that I could barely admit to myself. Having someone there you can trust and confide in will help you to get through the worst of days.

4. BE OPEN TO THE CHANGES YOUR PARENTS WILL MAKE IN THEIR LIVES

To be honest, this is still something I am getting used to. It's not easy to see your parents move on and be with other people. And they often start to live a completely different life than they did before. But if I've learned anything through this process, it's that everyone deserves to be happy. And although you may not agree with their new life decisions, it's their choice to make.

5. SET BOUNDARIES

At some point you will have to set boundaries with each parent. And it can often feel like you're putting them in "time out". But in order for you to have a healthy relationship with them individually, you will have to let them know when they are crossing a line. And it's okay to not want to hear every detail of their divorce, or who did what wrong and even things about their new significant other. YOU get to set the boundaries of what makes you comfortable.

6. ESTABLISH INDIVIDUAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH PARENT

Now that each parent has moved on in different directions. You will have to reestablish your relationship with each parent individually. You will also have to find ways to communicate, share holidays and factor in visits. Dedicate some time to spend with each parent separately to re-familiarize yourself with one another. 

It's been a long year of high emotions, changes and accepting the reality of my family's new normal. But I'm thankful that we each seem to have found some sort of peace within ourselves amidst the chaos.  

 

If you've experienced divorce, what helped you to cope?

 

XO, Rae