It’s been a while…

Wow. I just logged back on and reread a few of my posts. My first reaction was to edit and correct my texts (I didn’t), the second was to think about how far I have come since my first posts and the third was to want to get back on this bandwaggon!

I miss taking the time to write a bit about what I have on my mind or heart. I guess it’s true that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, so I updated my “about” section… Here goes!

Peace in & out, WordPress land.

”The Perfect Vagina”

Well, well, well! I never imagined myself posting such a message on my blog, but here goes for all the vaginas in the world!

I never actually felt that my personal bits were problematic; however, as a woman, I have had my share of concerns about my physical appearance. To be completely truthful, I have considered going under the knife to ”fix” (things like my breasts) when I was younger and I know that I’m not the only woman who has ever felt like this. Would I do it today? I don’t know. I think I’m at a different emotional place.  I have, however, met girls and women who felt so self-conscious about their looks that they would be ready to go to extreme lengths and to do virtually anything to fix their ”problems”.

Why?

We live in such a superficial society, how could we – as modern women – not be so  critical when it comes to our bodies? Girls today are more hypersexualized than ever… Sex is everywhere… Porn is everywhere. Our bodies aren’t ours anymore; they seem to have become public property that can be scrutinized and judged freely. Perhaps if I had been born into a younger generation, I might not feel as self-confident as I do now. Sure, girls were hypersexualized before, but with mass media and the internet, I’ll take a leap and say that girls probably feel worse about themselves today than they every have. I certainly still have a few self-conscious feelings about myself and I admit that I don’t wholely accept myself as I am… How could I, though, when I am bombarded with images of ‘perfection’ everywhere I go?

So… how have I come to think and talk about vaginas today, you may ask? This afternoon, I decided to look for some interesting documentaries online. I found a website called ”Documentary Heaven”.. It sounded like just what I needed, so I clicked on the link and started browsing a few documentaries and reading descriptions. I watched one about the second world war (I’m actually quite the history buff) and then I stumbled upon ”The Perfect Vagina”…

I thought to myself: ”Why not!??” So I clicked on it and I’m glad I did.
According to recent statistics gathered for the documentary, vaginoplasty is one of the fastest growing cosmetic procedures. I could go on about this, but the documentary speaks for itself.

At the end of the day, we have a lot of work to do when it comes to social issues. Would a woman’s self-worth and positive body image be considered a social issue? I believe so. So much is at stake and entire generations are affected by our lack of self-worth… A healthy sense of self is extremely important for girls and women of any age (Well, for everyone, really…). I thought I would share this – as graphic as it sometimes is – because we need to hear about this and we need to become more aware of issues such as this one no matter how ‘taboo’ it may be considered.

(Just for fun: Try to have an honest conversation about vaginas in public – or with friends – to see how embarassing it might be. If you’re not embarassed, I’m sure a good amount of others surrounding you would be. Just making a point…😀 )

Here’s an incredbly honest look at a disturbing trend. The documentary is a little under 1h long. I sincerely hope you will take the time to watch it and I also hope that you will appreciate it.

(Note: In general, this is not suitable for children. If you – as a mother – feel that showing your daughter a documentary such as this one might be pertinent for her education, then I highly suggest that you watch it first to know what you are getting into.)

OH! and before I forget, the black parts are ‘commercials’, I think.. Just wait and the documentary will continue.🙂

THE PERFECT VAGINA: http://documentaryheaven.com/the-perfect-vagina/

ENJOY!

Any thoughts?

Long Time No Write!

Wow! Time flies…

I can’t believe it has already been almost 2 years since my last post.

Many things have changed in my life since I last wrote on my blog… I have a billion stories to tell, but I’ll keep it short for today: 2 years ago, I was completing my final internships and courses for my B.Ed – which took up the vast majority of my time – and in September 2011, I started my first year of teaching! I taught high school kids in an empoverished area and since I always ‘have to’ perform-perform-perform, I invested all of my time and energy into my kids. I had to overcome many obstacles, but I had a phenomenal experience and I love my job (and my kids).

Anyhow, I woke up a few days ago thinking about writing again. I miss putting my thoughts out there; it’s therapeutic for me, so I’ve decided to pick it up again. Since I’m officially a teacher now, I will surely have many things to write concerning education, pedagogy and my kids, or kids in general.. (in addition to whatever else I may get excited about)😀

I look forward to reembarking on this journey.

I’m back & I’m pumped, baby!

*breaks out the happy dance*

We all need a little lovin’ sometimes!

Those of you who know me well are highly aware of my “peace, love and happiness” hippy nature; the following is a testimony of this fact…

As I was going about my crazy-busy daily business yesterday, I stopped to ask myself what I could do this year to “give back”; I was struggling to find something new and out-of-the-ordinary when I remembered the Free Hugs Campaign.

I stumbled upon a few “Free Hugs” videos a few years ago, and they’ve left quite the mark on me. Juan Mann started this campaign when he needed a hug the most, in an attempt to reach out to humanity. I welcome you to read the full story on the official website: http://www.freehugscampaign.org

As it is mentioned on the homepage of the website, we live in a society that is, to say the least, disconnected. Giving a hug is the most simple gesture, but also one of the most profoundly appreciated; The more I think about it, the more this seems like the perfect “giving back” opportunity. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to orchestrate my own Free Hugs bonanza here, in Montreal, but I’d sure love to try!

I’m convinced that I can get a few people on my crazy boat…

All I need to do is find a good time and location to get this show on the road, and then work my magic to convince a few friends that givin’ a little lovin’ to a whole bunch of people is an awesome idea.

While all of you invisible readers wait for an update, I leave you with a short video that might just inspire you to spread the love, too.

Cheers!

Consumed by Consumerism

We really can’t miss it; as soon as Halloween is over, stores tear all their decorations down and get prepared for one of the most profitable seasons of the year. Lights, decorations and sometimes even Christmas music invade streets, stores and homes alike, as early as November 1st! The message is clear: Christmas is here! It’s time to buy, buy, buy!

Granted, the Christmas season certainly brings about all kinds of positivity. People suddenly become a little more jolly, they tend to desire companionship and time spent with their loved ones, they may adopt a more “giving” mood and maybe even a little bit of seasonal altruism. I can’t complain about the positive things that bring humanity together, though, even if they are “seasonal”. Everyone needs a sense of community, and if we only get it once a year, then that’s better than nothing, right?

The things with which I take issue have nothing to do with the positive aspects of the Christmas season; I’m more concerned about the fact that we’ve become so consumed by consumerism that we have forgotten what the Christmas spirit is really about. I know this almost sounds like a typical Christmas movie… “Family and the ones you love are the only things that matter in life”. In fact, what’s kind of funny about those Christmas movies is that the characters buy all kinds of stuff for each other and they display all of this cleaver advertising and sell certain ideals, values and beliefs while trying to send “a message”. I digress…

When people ask me what I want for Christmas and I tell them I want nothing, they look at me as though I’ve clearly fallen and hit my head hard enough to knock sanity right out of me. “*insert nervous laugh* No! But really… what do you want?When I say that what I desire most is to serve others, people think I’m lying. Those who truly know me understand that I’m telling the truth, though.

It really is as though I’m supposed to want stuff… more stuff… and to buy all kinds of stuff for every single person in my life. Does this – not wanting a single gift – sound a little radical? Perhaps. There’s a fair amount of reasoning behind it, though.

While growing up, I never got Christmas gifts like everyone else did. I admit that it tore my little heart when I got socks and a doornob one year (Yeah… that’s another bag of chips!) because I knew that all the other kids in my class competed every year for who got the best gifts. Who got the most? Who got the most expensive? Who got everything they wanted? Was I really going to tell them I got a doornob that year? NO! That would have triggered immediate torment and ultimately, death. So, I lied. Every year.

I didn’t understand it at the time, but it was (and still is) just part of “life”. You grow up, write a Christmas list to Santa, and you get what you ask for. When you don’t believe in Santa anymore, you give your list directly to your parents and expect them to get everything. If they don’t, then they surely must not love you enough.

Even parents compete with each other! “Well, I got my kid a brand new pickup truck this year… it’s nothing, but we do what we can…” *insert thought: BEAT THAT!*

OK… maybe this is a little exaggerated, but I’m sure you get the point. Sadly, it’s not far from the truth.

Fortunately for us, we’re not completely to blame for this. Advertising companies make sure to create a longing in kids, teens and adults alike for whatever they’re selling, and then work their behinds off to sell the idea that if you don’t buy your kids everything they want, if you don’t buy your spouse “bigger” (or more expensive) and better gifts, if you don’t buy their love and appreciation, then you must not be a great parent, husband, wife, sibling, grandparent, uncle, aunt, friend, etc. (This entire issue extends farther than just Christmas time, and we buy into it… all the time.)

What do these major companies care if we drown ourselves in debt and we end up getting depressed by January 2nd when we wake up and realize that we spent “so much more than we intended to spend” and that we, yet again, spent more than we did the previous year? Of course they don’t care; your money goes into their pockets. That’s the whole point, isn’t it?

I know, I know. Some of you who are reading this might be thinking: “Yeah, maybe this is true, but I know many families who don’t drown themselves in debt for Christmas and just genuinely enjoy buying gifts for each other.” This much, I can attest, is true. First, though, I can’t help but ask: “Where does the source of this feeling of enjoyment come from, really…”, but I also know some families who go about Christmas in a milder gift-giving manner. Some will have gift exchanges, others will limit gift numbers to one or two gifts per child/person, and others might have price cut-offs. (Even with a spending or gift-number maximum, gift-giving can get pretty expensive!). Isn’t this whole issue about the fact that we’re sold the notion that Christmas is more or less about gift-giving?

I don’t want to use blanket statements, but if we really stop to think about it, what do we worry about come Christmas time? We don’t worry about how many kids will go to sleep hungry, or how many people will die outside in atrocious weather conditions; we worry about what we’re going to get mom, dad, the kids, our spouse, uncle bob, aunt Martha, cousin Eddie, and the list goes on…

Consumerism affects us in numerous ways (and in ways we cannot even fathom or truly be able to understand), but what irks me is the fact that this way of being – this culture of ours – has created children who have become ungrateful, selfish little brats. Does that sound harsh? I don’t think it is entirely. Most of the kids I’ve come to know through my many experiences (as a teacher, parent and regular adult), as well as most of my generation, are this way. I’m just stating an observation. Today, kids, like many adults, see christmas as a big gift-giving fest (and if we expand the idea, they want everything – in general – now, now, NOW!).

Think about it. How many people, out of everyone you know or are acquainted with, are wholeheartedly invested in service to others and in being selfless? How many kids do you know, however, who look forward to getting a long list of gifts, only to tear each one up in 5 seconds while sitting eagerly next to the Christmas tree, and throw it aside the instant it’s unwrapped to grab the next gift; what’s worse is that many even get bored with some of their gifts within 20minutes on Christmas morning!

What does “Christmas” – the real definition of the celebration – mean anymore? Our celebration as we know it in our current context is a time where cultural Christians may (or may not) go to midnight mass because Grandma May forced them to go for the sake of maintaining tradition. During that whole mass (if they go), the one thing on their mind is likely: “Man, only 45 more minutes of this. When we get home we’re going to have a feast and I’m going to get to open all my gifts in X amount of hours!“. I’m guilty of this; I did this for years!

Some don’t go to church at all; less and less people go to church to celebrate the most important moment in time for Christians. Doesn’t this just scream the fact that we’ve become entirely disconnected with the true meaning of Christmas?!

Christmas is about celebrating the life of a man who gave everything, all of himself, to mankind. At the very least, even if we don’t go to church or aren’t too sure if we even believe in God, if we’re going to be celebrating Christmas, shouldn’t we be celebrating these values?

In many ways, although I “suffered” tremendously during my childhood, I now appreciate growing up in a home that did not shower me with gifts or useless junk for Christmas.

If I can transmit anything to my own son during this season, it will be that the celebration is about being selfless, giving himself up to help others in every way he can, demonstrating genuine compassion and appreciation for humankind, and investing himself in making others happy. If he needs a new laptop, why would I buy it for him for Christmas when he really needs it in September? To add a little thought, if we give gifts as a demonstration of love, kindness and/or appreciation (as this is often culturally relevant), why must we reserve those acts of kindness for a specific season or commercial holiday? (e.g.: Valentine’s Day)

I don’t mean to sound righteous or overbearing with my personal opinions about consumerism and Christmas; I do, however, appreciate this forum for expression and wish to share my opinion with others with hopes of triggering a certain level of reflection about this issue of consumerism and about what Christmas and the Christmas spirit really is.

Of course, I’m also a product of my general environment and I, too, am affected in many ways by consumerism. I enjoy receiving gifts once in a while… Who doesn’t? I just don’t want them at Christmas time.

I personally don’t always go to church, either. Sometimes I do, but other times I don’t for a number of reasons. I understand that we all have personal preferences and opinions about the religious aspect of Christmas and I can respect others’ choice not to attend church. What I do think, however, is that Christmas is about celebrating the values and beliefs that we’ve been taught through Jesus and everything he aspired to teach us. Most, if not all, of these values and beliefs are pretty universal: be selfless, be of service to others, demonstrate your appreciation for those you love, lead a life that would make the big man upstairs proud, etc.

I write this whole piece with a touch of sarcasm, humour and some exaggerations to simply make a point: we’ve become so wrapped up with consumerism (especially during the Christmas season), that we seem to have forgotten what the Christmas celebration (and ultimately life) is really about. I don’t expect everyone to stop buying gifts altogether or to make all kinds of radical changes to the traditions they’ve developed over the years; I would like to see, however, a population that is aware of this culture of buying and perhaps one that places much more emphasis on the positive aspects, values and beliefs that bring humanity together during Christmas time.

Altruism and philanthropy never hurt anyone, and it is often in selflessness and service to others that we feel the most genuinely happy. We should definitely take more of this on, as well as inspire and motivate others to follow suit.

“The Pathology of Privilege” (Tim Wise)

Since this is a highly important discussion to have in our current context, I thought I would share this with as many people as possible.

The video I will post is accessible on Youtube (all 6 parts). I will also post two links to Tim Wise on Obama and race.

Essentially, this is a talk about racism, white privilege and social inequalities. If it doesn’t change your perspective, it will certainly teach you something! Tim Wise is awesome.

Enjoy!

 

“Between Barack and a Hard Place”

 

A discussion about Obama and race…

Oh, how I long to remember…

what no-stress, childless, take-advantage-of-the-end-of-daylight-saving-time sleep is!

We’re turning back our clocks tomorrow (Sunday) at 2am. Doesn’t the idea of having “extra time” sound exciting? I get pretty excited about it, myself. I immediately think: SLEEP!

It never fails, though. Every year, I tell myself that one extra hour of sleep will do my mind, body and soul some good, but I never seem to be able to catch the sleep I need in the first place.

Before my son was born, I was too busy going out with friends or spending my time doing “fun” things; my extra hour went into extra “fun” time or real, blissful sleep.

Now that I have responsibilities, I have to squeeze work, school, homework, housework, wifey and mommy duties into a day that is already far too short. As any parent would know, sleep becomes a rare commodity once children come into the picture.

I love my family, I love my son dearly and I very much enjoy my life, but I have to admit that I sometimes wish I could get a nice hotel room somewhere and sleep an entire weekend away! Just me, and a good book (for when I wake up -if that even happens!). How wondrous that would be!

Now that daylight saving time is ending and we’re “gaining” an extra hour, I have a feeling that I’ll be losing out this time around… again. I’m so envious, though. I hear everyone around me saying that they are going to sleep.

Really? Will they?

I keep saying that it’s what I’m going to do, too, but I never do it. Instead, I start/continue/finish whatever, or rarely, enjoy a bit of solitude. Perhaps I should stick to my guns and sleep this time. Wouldn’t that be miraculous!!

Am I really the only one who doesn’t usually sleep this precious extra time away?

What will you be doing with your extra hour?

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.