Jeremiah 17:5-10

Saturday, February 28 |

This is what the Lord says:

"Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.

Read the entire post on Spiritual Sunday.

Grandpa Memories


Gilles Roux
Originally uploaded by Benoit.P

I wish I could tell you everything my grandfather did for me, because he's been such an important and positive force through out my life. Even with a few years living in different parts of the country it seems like he was always in my life. I can remember driving grandpa's car at 6 years old, while sitting on his lap. Sitting in his home office filled with excitement as looked at all the books and smelled the sweet tobacco from his pipe. Feeling proud of myself for attempting to keep up with him as I twirled across the dance floor; he honestly has the best moves out of any man I have ever danced with. I remember staring at his stereo and listening to his record collection as the rhythms seemed dive into my soul and course through my veins. 

I LOVED when he took me to the mayor's office and let me type at the secretaries desk only to be promoted within minutes to mayor. He told me of the police and fire department's complaints and gently shook his head as I told him my solutions, fire everyone! I went to concerts and plays and sat in the box seats. I flew to California to attend or huge our family reunion and experienced a lot from eating in Compton to shopping on Rodeo drive. I've been to Montreal, Disney world twice, and stayed in a condo that had its own indoor swimming pool. I was able to read for a part in a movie that was filmed in Detroit; I did not get the part but got to be an extra. We had no idea if I would be in any scene of the movie, but my grandfather rented out a movie theater so that I could have my first movie premier. I can't tell you how it felt to have my family and friends screams and clap when they saw on the screen. And of course I can remember driving his new car at the age of 18, on the way to college, with him on the passenger side.

My grandfather has come to my financial and academic rescue too many times to count. To my embarrassment he has done this all without one thank you card or without anything in return. Thank you Grandpa for the many things you've done for me, and with me. Thank you for being an incredible example of what one man can accomplish with a lot of love, perseverance, education and ambition. Thank for proving that men aren't dogs but instead are supportive husbands, gentle fathers, strong soldiers, gifted educators, and ethical politicians. He is my hero and my proof that God does exists.

The Man That Changed My Life - Part 3

Thursday, February 26 |

... It was not to have some time to recover, but things were back to normal for the most part. 

I returned to school the next day but my mom insisted on driving me there. I felt bad because it was so far out of her way, but I was glad that I did not have to take the bus for now. 

When I arrived at school, my favorite security guard noticed that I missed school the previous day and ask why. In a corner of the hallway, I quietly told her what had happened the day before, and she hugged me in the hallway. I'm sure the hug looked strange to others, but it felt good to me. She told me she was glad that I was okay and gave me instructions on what to do if it ever happened again. She said, "Keep your hands in your pockets and put a key from your key ring between each finger. If someone trys to attack you, punch them in their eyes and run away." I smilled and thought that was a good idea...  

Read the entire post on Freaky Friday.

New You Resolutions



March is fast approaching. Do you know where your New Year resolutions are? Have you achieved any of them yet? If the answers are "yes", congrats, you have my respect. Maybe you are only focusing on two out of 12 goals. No worries; that is still impressive. Now, if you're anything like me, you don't even know where that piece of paper is anymore. That's okay, too; who said you had to start self improvement on New Year's Day?

Now is always the right time to focus on becoming the best you possible. One of my first goals is to stop procrastinating. If there are things that you want to change, dreams that you want to obtain, don't wait till the end of the year to come up with a plan - let's work on it together. I believe that I can learn from those goal-achievement gurus and come up with a well-balanced plan. The plan is not yet made; I will wing it as I go along. And, since we are all friends here, I would love to share my goals, my beginnings, my plans, and my journey.

The first step is a little soul-searching exercise. Get out a piece of paper, (better yet a new journal or a notebook) to keep track, and divide it in four sections by drawing one line down the middle lengthwise from top to bottom and another across the middle horizontally from one side to the other. The first section (top left quadrant) I want you to label Passions, the second your (top right) Talents, the third (bottom left) Values and the fourth (bottom right) Problems.

Now, when you have a minute, I want you to sit and fill out each section. Your goal is to write at least ten different items for each section, but write as many as you can think of or as many as will fit in the space allotted. Start with your passions: What are the things that you love to do? What are things that you would do for others for free? What are the hobbies that make you come alive? What activities make you lose track of time?

When you're finished, move on to your talents: What are you a natural at? What have you practiced or studied? What do people ask you for help or advice on? What do others say that you are good at?

Next: What do you value? Who are the most important people in the world to you? What would you die to protect? When do you go against the popular majority? What convictions do you uphold? Where do you get your sense of morals? If you were going to die soon, what would you need to accomplish?

And, finally, let’s move on to your problems: What are the major stumbling blocks to attaining your dreams? What are the mistakes you keep repeating? What keeps you afraid, anxious, idle, depressed or angry?

This is fun right?!? Next, I want you to look at each section, and rank each item’s importance by number, "1" being the most important. When you’re finished with one section, move on to the next until you number all of them. Next, draw the table, four sections with the titles, on a new sheet of paper. Take the items ranked one through six, and rewrite them in order on your new table. When you are finished, pat yourself on the back; you have just completed step one. It should look something like this:


1. Blogging - about my life and sharing things I’ve learned
2. Making New Friends - gives me an opportunity to be myself
3. Talking to Kids - it would be number one on the list if I did not get sad afterward
4. Psychology - reading, learning or talking about psychology
5. Learning New Things - and figuring out a practical application of it in my life
6. Giving Advice - makes me feel useful

1. Encouragement - I’m good at seeing people’s true essences; it's good
2. Customer Service -I’m great at calming down irate people
3. Writing - I’m a little rusty, but I am ready and equipped
4. Document Creation - a newly discovered one (I avoided office work)
5. Music Knowledge - tried to make it sound fancy; I just know a lot of songs
6. Finance - Money missing? I’m your man. I can write up a spending plan


1.Freedom - To be my true self and gain acceptance and respect
2. Emotional Intelligence - Principles or morals that enable harmony among people
3. Becoming a Parent - I want a successful pregnancy and to learn quality parenting
4. Family Pride - I desperately want my loved ones to be proud of me
5. Simple Living - Living within yourr means, to enjoy life, and not to be burdened by things
6. Education - Let this debt not be in vain, please let me earn a lambskin, AMEN


1. I lack confidence and tend to assume people think the worst of me.
2. I have no income.
3. I’m in debt.
4. My family is hurt by my absence.
5. I’m overweight.
6. My house is a mess.

If you want to follow along look for step 2- Getting Motivated will be posted next Thursday

Mindful Eating

Wednesday, February 25 |

Have you ever had trouble remembering what you ate for lunch when its dinner time? Does your spoon give you your only workout for the day as you shovel down a pint of ice cream? Have you ever choked on a big piece of food because you had not chewed it up enough? Well I don't know about you but I have been guilty of mindless eating. Whether I feel hungry or not, excited to eat or not, the results are usually the same, I sit down to eat while watching the TV or talking to my family without paying much attention to the food or my eating habits...

Read the entire post on Mental Monday.

Terrific Thunderstorms

Monday, February 23 |

I used to be scared of thunderstorms. When I was nine years old I'd visualizing lighting striking and our house engulfed in flames. I did not climb into my parent's bed or shake from fear,but I did not feel peaceful. When it stormed at night, I’d sit in bed reassuring myself that my family would probably survive and that I should not worry. One day I decided that I was not going to be scared any more. I had no clue how to accomplish that, but I believed that I owned my feelings and thoughts, they did not own me.

That was a pivotal moment for me. I was always intrigued by the power of emotions versus the inner strength. Up until then my feelings and thoughts came and went as they pleased; I’d never wondered whether or not I had some say in those moments. Lucky for me I usally emote and think in the middle of the bell curve, rarely the extremes. Before I could feel and hear my heart pound after each rattle of thunder, now I found myself in awe of the beauty that God orchestrated. Instead of hiding and hoping for the best, I was drenched with exhilaration and appreciation.

I’ve had other moments like that where I felt uncomfortable with an emotion or noticed an inappropriate thought and decided to exchange it with feeling good and constructive. I did not understand then how I achieved but I think I have some insight now. The heart of each soul is mindfulness. Mindfulness comes when you can observe your thoughts and feelings without identifying with them. Mindfulness is the source of peace, courage and wisdom and the path of success.

I've had a wonderful life; I even suspect that some would consider me a little sheltered. However there was some sadness, some scares and some stumbles only the way. Writing about the hard times in my life is not intended to be a pity party but a powerful exchange: sharing losses that others can relate to, letting go of the things that still haunt me, and forgiving faults (mine as well as others). Some posts will be about the challenging times in my life, but I hope that you leave LL&L feeling refreshed and relieved. I thank God for every victory and for every tear. I can’t imagine where I’d be without His love and His power.

Torn Faith

Sunday, February 22 |

I thought I saw a man brought to life 
He was warm He came around And he was dignified 
He showed me what it was to cry Well you couldn't be that man I adored
You don't seem to know Or seem to care What your heart is for
I don't know him anymore  
There's nothin' where he used to lie 
My conversation has run dry 
That's what's going on 
Nothings right I'm torn 
I'm all out of faith 
This is how I feel I'm cold and 
I am shamed 
Lying naked on the floor 
Illusion never changed 
Into something real 
I'm wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn 
You're a little late 
I'm already torn 
So I guess the fortune tellers right
I should have seen just what was there and not some holy light 
But you crawled beneath my veins And now, 
I don't care I have no luck 
I don't miss it all that much
There's just so many things 
That I can't touch I'm torn  
There's nothin' he used to lie 
My inspiration has run dry 
That's what's going on 
Nothing's right I'm torn 

I think faith is more important than religion. Whatever your faith sometimes you struggle to believe. My spiritual life has been a journey with a few twist and turns and I came out a better person for it. What I have learned is that doubt is there for a reason. I don't think that it is good for you to try to force yourself to believe. Doubt let you ask important questions of your God or the universe, or of science. With persistance you will get the answers you need. 

If you are encouraged by biblical scriptures and you have a bible handy read Luke 4:38-5:11, Luke 22:13-34 and Luke 22:54-63. You will see that even the prophets had doubts at a very significant time. It was difficult for everyone but God's grace is powerful and can change hearts and minds. All I ask is that you give doubt a chance to do it's work, but let faith prove itself to you. 


Read Mark 15:33-39

What role, if any, has doubt played in your own spiritual life?

Love Vows

Saturday, February 21 |

You've stood by my side through friendship to kisses

Promises of forever by calling me Mrs

Sweep me of my feet in good times or in bad

Sharing laughter and hugs whether happy or sad

Providing for the family in sickness or in health

Fulfilling all my needs in debt or in wealth

Comforting me in your loving embrace

Faithfully you share sweet kisses I taste

I will be by your side come rain or come shine

My lover and friend forever be mine

The Man Who Changed My Life- part 2

Friday, February 20 |

...  It seemed like my mom was there within in seconds.  I instantly felt safe in her presences.  I thanked the waitress for her help and got into the car to head home.  I filled my mom in on what happened, but before the story was complete the police were at the house... Read the entire post on Freaky Friday.

Bad Credit Blues

Thursday, February 19 |

Originally uploaded by watersgirl

Ain’t got no money, but they won’t leave me alone. Ieeehooowaaaa, thank you, thank you very much. My family is worried about me. I’m not working and have no plans or desire to get a job. When they bring it up, I tell them that my husband and I can make it without the extra income. How can I be reassuring after my car loan company calls them? For reasons I’ll share later, my husband and I decided that it is better for me to stay at home right now. At this point, we are both rethinking our plans, but things are complicated.

My first money memory is me counting all my birthday money, putting it in my yellow pencil box, and anticipating being able to add more to it. I loved to play Payday, a game where you get wages once a month and you have to manage your money and pay your bills; I never understood why my parents hated that game. To me it was exciting, pretending to earn my own money and learning how to be responsible with it. I used to dream about the day when I would receive my own bills in the mail and pay them on time.

I don't recall any formal money lessons from my parents, like why net worth is important or how to maintain a good credit score, but I did hear golden nuggets from time to time. My dad instilled the belief that frugality is power (the less you need, the more you’re in control), and he told me it was important to have your own business. My mom showed me how strategic shopping streches the dollar and how self discipline (telling yourself no) is a necessity. Both parents taught me that if you need more money, work more hours and increase your skills so that you can get raises and promotions. My grandmother used to tell me all the time to pay myself first. I was never sure what that meant, but I assumed it meant to take out some money and put it into my savings.

By the time I went to college, I’d saved $3,000 and was very proud of myself, but I had no plan and very little financial intelligence. My first semester I paid for half of my tuition and my dad paid the other half. That left me $1,500 in the bank, and it did not take long to spend the rest. I paid for college with credit cards and student loans. I thought I was better off than my friends who were getting into debt for clothes, hair and trips. The more I worked, the more frugal I became, but my debt still grew as the tuition was raised every year. I started off financially responsible at first, paying off my credit card balances after every purchase, only charging school related stuff, and paying bills as soon as I received them. But then I started making mistakes, like buying my friends books with the agreement that they would pay me back. After watching them buy new clothes despite their claims that they didn’t have the money to pay me back, I learned not to loan money I couldn't afford to give away.

For the first time, I enjoyed studying, completing homework, and doing research for my classes. I’d never received a 4.0 in high school, but I was happy now that I could go out whenever I wanted to and did not work. I did great academically. The problem was that when I started adding bills, that led to needing more hours at work. Every addition to my work schedule was a subtraction from my GPA. The less content I was, the more money I needed: I needed more privacy, then I needed an apartment, then I needed a car, then I needed car insurance, then I needed ...

Fast forward to now. I have a lot of debt (mainly school loans), no degree, and no job. I understand much more about money and building wealth, but money has more to do with your values and fears than it does with accounting skills. Knowing is a small part of the battle when you consider things like family dynamics, personal priorities, and health complications. This does not jutify bad decisions, but personal realities cannot be ignored. You should always look both ways before you cross the street, but if a serial killer is chasing you with a butcher knife, you might change your priorities to getting away and calling attention to yourself. Regardless, I still make tons of mistakes; I won't deny making dumb decisions, but most of my money decisions are made with a lot of consideration and discernment. Sometimes my best does not seem like much, but only I know the efforts I make to improve my station in life. I can't explain why it makes sense to start blogging for profit when I need money now. All I can say is living a life without passion and purpose is not really living. Yes, I still have the Bad Credit Blues, but I'm in the process of finding my thrill.

Spark People

Wednesday, February 18 |


There is a cool web community called Spark People that I just joined. I has a ton of tools at your diposal: calorie counters,  support group, exercise plan and even porkchops recipes.Think of it as a healthy lifestyle/weight lose plan, MySpace with encouraging and supportive adults, and Blogspot were you blog your little heart out. . To see the entire post visit Wellness Wednesday.

Father's Nose is Best

Tuesday, February 17 |

Originally uploaded by Saher,allil

Every father’s face possesses a unique character feature
A furrowed brow could announce constant concern
A wide jaw might exclaim, “You must learn!”
Chiseled cheeks go along with a domineering tone
Big bright eyes can disarm defenses so you never feel alone

To me your prominent feature is your handsome nose
It’s regal posture and sturdy slope tells of its wealth
It is a statue a vitality to which you owe good health
Its majestic slope is adorned with a crown of glass
It’s masculine and strong with the essence of class

As a kid I didn’t understand the blessing that I had
I never chose my nose to be, the bridge of longevity
The grandeur within its size lead to racial slurs and a few good cries
I always loved the bridge you gave to me
A gift of graceful confidence is worth the fee

Everyone has one, but my father’s nose is best
Not showered with praise or mentioned in songs
Often responsible for eradicating our wrongs
Carrying our burdens and adding warmth to air
A gentle power for us when life isn’t fair

Poem Links:

About LLnL

Monday, February 16 |

Love, Lust and Life is a memoir and journal in which I share all parts of my life. On LL&L, nothing is off limits or considered taboo. When people constantly try to keep their feelings and thoughts inside, the effects can be tragic: depression, addiction, insanity or suicide. Everyone needs to be able to express their whole selves without self-censorship.

Love, Lust and Life is a blog that I started in August 2008 on Wordpress. At the time, I felt really frustrated with my life and most of my relationships. I used to be an open person, able to talk about most things with most people. I found myself not investing my heart in most of my friendships because I no longer felt respected; later, I stopped opening up to my family because of a perceived lack of acceptance and support. Eventually, I made a conscious effort to not talk to anyone about anything that would leave me feeling vulnerable or criticized. This left me feeling lonely and disconnected.

The initial purpose of the blog was to share the things I have learned in my life with whoever was interested. As I started to write, I discovered that I had things that I needed to share and get off of my chest first; I will use this blog as an opportunity to heal some hurts that are holding me back in life. I decided to have themed days so that I can make sure that I keep the blog balanced and to make it easy to find topics that interest you:

I hope this sounds interesting and encouraging. And I'm not too proud to beg: please leave comments. I really want to know what is interesting, relatable, boring, or poorly written. If you want to share advice or recieve advice, let me know that as well.

I am looking forward to getting to know you. Thank you.

The Stepmom Struggle

Saturday, February 14 |

Originally uploaded by juicyjuerguista

I remember the first time I met my stepmom. Dad took us (me and my siblings) to her apartment. I remember not saying too much and being very aware of my surroundings: the pink paint on the wall, the feminine furniture arranged just so, the young girl quietly sitting on the couch and the pretty woman standing up to welcome us into her house.

The woman seemed nice enough and her daughter was cute, but I did not want to be invovled in my dad's love life after he and my mother got divorced. I was probably fourteen at the time of the meeting, and I quickly figured out that my father had strong feelings for this woman. It was easy for me to accept that, because neither my mom nor my dad introduced us to anyone for a significant amount of time after the divorce; besides, both of my parents seemed to be better off apart than together, so I had no secret desire for them to remarry.

I am usually a friendly and accepting person, but this was a little complicated. I almost felt that by trusting this new person I was being disloyal to my mom. My mom and dad did a great job being respectful toward each other when the kids were around, so I never felt pressured to choose. I looked at this woman and I saw grace, poise, intelligence and determination, and I liked and respected those qualities, but why did she have to be so different from my mom? The woman had a fair complexion; my mom had darker skin. The new woman wore glasses; my mom did not. This woman did not dress like my mom, smile like my mom, or cook like my mom. Yes, even I knew at the time that those were superficial differences and not justifications to dislike someone, but inside I felt torn. “Did my dad choose her because he no longer loved my mom and wanted to be with someone completely different?”, I asked myself. My first impulse was to like her and to try to get to know her, but I made a conscious effort to be suspicious of her and her motives. I knew she was not evil and that if my dad loved her it was for a good reason, but just because she was good to him did not mean that she would like us.

Soon after that, our every-other-weekend visitations now included the woman – Patricia – and her daughter. I associated her presence with the reason we, his children, were getting shafted. My mother picked up a second job and was really tired when she came home, and my dad sometimes canceled his visitations at the last minute. I became a little angry with my dad, feeling he no longer loved us as much as he used to; I also started to blame Pat, because he had replaced us with her. I knew that it was not her fault, but I believed that she would never be able to love us as her own. Sometimes, I felt like she looked down on me; I could sense her frustration at some of my actions and figured that she cared, but just did not like me.

For example, one night she cooked dinner for us. She asked each person if they wanted the skin on or off the chicken. Of course, I wanted the skin on. I thought she was a good cook, but she tried so hard to make the food extra healthy. Her spaghetti was ok, but she put too many carrots in it (I mean, give me break; carrots don’t even belong in spaghetti sauce in the first place). I wondered if my dad left my mom because she had gained weight. Maybe Pat looked at me and thought I needed to lose weight too. When the dinner was finished, it smelled good and I was really hungry. Everyone made their own plates and sat down at the table. I bit into the chicken and it was delicious, but I realized that it did not have the skin on it. Instantly, guilt washed over me as I thought of how I'd insisted that Pat leave the skin on my piece, and now I’d grabbed her piece without even thinking about it. I wanted to apologize, but I felt too embarrassed, and I continued eating it without any mention of grabbing the wrong piece.

That memory still haunts me today. While Pat was being so considerate and asking me how I wanted my chicken prepared, while she was standing in the kitchen alone, cooking dinner for her new family, while she was accepting of my nutritional choices, but wanted to cut the fat from her own diet, I was judging her as guilty of being too critical and controlling. When I realized my fault, I did not have the guts to apologize or even acknowledge my mistake. I’m sure there were many times that my inconsideration hurt my relationship with Pat, I mean hurt her, but how will I ever know? I love her dearly, but I don't know if asking her to list my trepasses is a good idea. Besides, she never seems to get angry with me. She has not once said that she was upset with me or tried to discipline me. She met me when I was a teenager; can you imagine how hard it is to accept the shortcomings of a teenager without setting any boundaries and still love them unconditionally?

Later, my dad proposed to Pat. He asked us kids to stand up in the wedding. I was honored that he asked, but it did not feel right. I decided that I would say no, but the next thing I know, we were being measured for dresses. Although I was a little upset, I knew it would work out, and now, I am grateful to have been in the wedding. I finally saw my stepmom in a different light. I learned that she is warm, generous, patient and fun. She shared her excitement of getting married with me, and I felt like she was becaming a part of my family. I enjoyed the special times we shared, like when we listened to the soundtrack to West Side Story, one of my all-time favorite movies. I felt really special to be able to watch her get ready on the day of the wedding; when you get married, you want to surround yourself with the people closest to you. That day helped to solidify us as family. Though our relationship is not perfect, I love what it has turned into. Thank you, stepmommy; I will always love you!

The Man That Changed My Life

Friday, February 13 |

Reading Girl

Lately I have condidered myself a closet dork. As a child I tried not to let other kids label me as a teacher pet or a nerd. I’m no genius, I’m sure that is already obvious; I just love learningbut I wanted to blend in which meant to only giving the minium effort in school. I did not need to have designer clothes or to be to be popular; I just did not want to stand out from the crowd. So in elementary and middle school I made a point to do just the minimum, but then things changed in high school. I maintained over a 3.25 in my freshman year, but my sophomore year it'd dropped down a 2.50. Ironnic enough it taking difficult classes that reawakened my love of learning and my excitiment about my education. My routine in the morning was to wake up about 5:45am so I could get dressed and make it to the bus stop by 7:30am. Every morning I rode the city bus, so it was imporatnt to make it to the bus stop early just in case it ran late or passed me because it was too full. By my junior year I actually enjoyed taking the bus and I had my routine down to a science so that I was never late to school. One fall morning I grabbed my 40 lb bookbag, locked the door and crossed the street, and headed towards the bus stop. As soon as I crossed I noticed a man on the same side of the street walking towards me.

When I saw him I took note and immediately felt uncomfortable. I can’t tell you why, but I had a strong pull to cross the street again. That thought troubled me, why would I think that? I looked him up and down and noticed that his clothes were a little shabby. I concluded that I was unfairly stereotyping and did not want him to feel bad. I hate when woman clutch there purses in elevators and I would not do that to him. Besides I was only a couple minutes away from by bus stop and that would be a waste time to cross the street now. So I continued walking and even smiled at how silly I was being. The man made eye contact with me and I smiled. As he an approached me he said, “Excuse me, can you tell me what time it is?” “Sure, it’s 7:15” I said. He thanked me and continued walking. . A few seconds after finishing that thought I heard the sound of someone running towards me and before I had the chance to turn around The man grabbed me, put a knife to my neck and said that he would kill me if I screamed---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, I did not see that coming. Maybe that’s why I wanted to cross the street. The man then wrapped his arm around my waist and started walking with me across the street; the knife remained at my neck. "Okay, now what do I do?" I thought to myself. My mind quickly scaned the files of my mind a pulled up a yellow rape pamphlet I read a whilea couple of years ago. I rembered a few of the bullet points and stopped at one that said “Tell your attacker you are on your period”. I said to myself that will never work, but with not much time to spare I thought I’d give it the old college try. I said it out loud and he retorted, “Shut up bitch or I’ll cut your throat.” Oh well that did not work at all, now what? My mind raced to analyze the situation. I looked like he was taking me to the alley behind a restaurant. I concluded that he wanted to rape me there. It was light outside and the alley was right off of a main street. I thought that if he was going to rape me in the broad day light he must be a little crazy so I decided that I would not fight back, but if he tried to kill me all bets were off. I made a promise to myself, “I will not die today”. As we approached the alley the man said, “Listen slut if you don’t do what I fucking say I will kill you bitch.” I could not believe it. “How dare you!?! You don't even know me! I’m not a slut and you should not call me out of my name.” I thought to myself. I honestly was tempted to say something like that out loud but knew that now was not the time to be offended. 148/365"Murderess" We walked down the alley but to my surprise he turned the corner and walked me towards a car that was parked between two buildings. My senses immediately heightened and I knew that this was very serious. I looked at the license plate attempting to memorize it, but he moved me quickly up against the car. With his body pressed against mine he removed the knife from my neck and opened the car door. The car was a two door and the passenger seat was already pushed forward he pulled me towards the opening and grabbed my head, pushing me into the car. Without thinking about it my hands reached for the door frame and I pushed back with all my strength. It was a battle of wills we both pushed against each other until I fell back. Now lon the gravel looking up at the man and I made myself a new promise. I was going to walk away without a scar. I told myself to kick away the knife and to scream at the top of my lungs. Every time he came at me with the knife I kicked his hand and arms away from me, but it took so much of my focus that I’m not sure I remembered to scream.

Time seemed to stand still but I would guess that I was down on my back a little more than a minute before the man started to run. I jumped to my feet and ran to the sidewalk off of the main street and screamed as loud as I could. I looked to the right and I saw three women at the bus stop. They looked towards me for a few seconds and then turned their gaze towards the street as if noticed nothing. I stood there and continued to scream envisioning a least a few cars would stop and come to my rescue, but no one stopped. I was scared to leave the spot because I did not want this man to come back for his car and get away. I was tempted to grab my book bag and throw it through the windshield, but I did not know where the man was and I thought that I would have to save myself first and hope that the police catch him later. I decided to go the restaurant just past the bus stop. As I approached the three women I asked them if they remember seeing a man in a brown leather jacket. They said they had and I told them he tried to kidnap me. They all looked away without a word. I recognized one of them as a student at my school. I asked her for her name with the hopes that she could be a witness if needed (I wanted to get their numbers but thought that I need to move quickly).

I walked into the reaturant and told a waitress what happened. WIth the a look of compassion she said she was sorry but I could use their phone; instead she gave my change to use their pay phone. I thought about calling the police but at 16 years-old I could not help it, and I called my mommy. “Mommy------- I’m at IHOP just down the street. A man tried to push me into his car, but I got away.” With those words I turned into a scared little girl with a shaky voice, my whole body trembled. I heard the fear and anxiety in my mother’s voice. All I can remember her saying is I’ll be right there………….

Hidden Strength

Thursday, February 12 |

I love to read and write about almost any topic. The world is filled with so many amazing nuances that delight my mind. So when I'm filled with awe and wonder I want to get it out and express it masterfully through words. I get to my computer and find myself hesitating and the next thing I know I just churned out a post filled with links to other places where people had the gumption to say what they think, feel, want and hate. I started blogging because I thought it was the answer for my unexpressed energy and it was. When I began to blog I felt excited everyday because I'd discovered a vehicle to get it all out and find others who were interested in what I had to say. Here in my house, without any deadlines I feel safe and secure to share anything that my heart desires, at least I use to. At first I felt freedom from judgment, criticism, and having to abide by social norms but soon experienced the fear of remaining vulnerable to strangers. If you receive mean comments about your writing or your decisions in life it makes since to become a little discouraged. However my problem is that very few people commented on my blog. Sometimes I feel like I am pouring my heart out and people are taking the time to read it but I have no idea what they think.

I guess I am use to feedback. My first year in college an English Professor would pull aside after class and talk about my assignment, in addition to the glowing reviews he wrote on the assignment itself. Although I felt flattered I wondered what made him like my writing. The only thing articulated writing style was an attempt to make it personal by writing what I know. A couple of months into to class I wanted to try something new and I decided to write without any personal reference, after all I was reading great works of literature and to write about myself seemed a little self centered. After I finished I turned in my assignment with a since of pride and looked forward to reading the comments that would soon follow. Instead my Professor handed me the assignment with a big red C on the front. I sought him out after class and asked him why I received a low score and he explained he's reasoning, long story short it underwhelmed him. From the rest of the semester I made a point to let the topic of the each assignment affect me and let that affect be reflected in my paper; I walked away from that class with and A. Maybe that is why feedback is so important to me now: I want to know how to improve my writing and my work is so personal that I feel rejected if no one cares to comment.

I'm not sure if people even know what LL&L stands for. This blog was originally titled Love Lust and Life. LL&L is supposed to be my online diary; a chronicle of my life experiences and choices. I want to share the good the bad and ugly about myself. One of the purposes of LL&L is to promote tolerance; I hope that by sharing different aspects of my life I think people might become more patient with others and themselves. As a social person who can experience platonic love at first sight, or first contact (more internet appropriate I guess), I try hard to be understand everyone's point of view and personal plight. I hate it when people are mean, harsh, critical, gossipy, or two-faced. I hate when people exclude, dismiss, belittle, look down on, and pick on people just in order to display their hysterical hierarchy. So me and LL&L have become an extremely open minded, loving, humble and patient. I really appreciate those qualities but I have noticed one important drawback; I have lost my own voice and my writing has suffered because of that. By making sure that no one's opinion were dismissed I'd stopped having my own opinions in general. Now I'm not professing that I became some soulless wonder, but I had too many hurt feelings in response to people saying nothing.

Maybe people did not comment because I stopped sharing anything of sustains. I believe that I was overly concerned with making others happy. I ignored my own needs to express my anger, my convictions and my opinions. I am still want to remain an open minded person but it is time for a rebirth of sorts. It is time to let out my inner Sasha so that I can become stronger, better, faster, stronger and dynamic. It seems like it should be easy to do but fear being judged as hypocrite or intolerant of other beliefs kept me somewhat superficial. I want to be free to express myself without shame or guilt: I am very weak with many strengths, I am nicest hot tempered person I know, I am very understanding with some inflexible convictions, I possess prideful humility, , I am doormat that won't but I will not take any bull. It is time to embrace my whole self and not worry about being inconsistent or disappointing people just by being true to myself.

I invite you to do the same. Love yourself unconditionally and don't be quick to judge. Take the time to observe the dynamic spirit in every life you come across and your life will be deeply meaningful. I would love to know if you believe that you have hidden parts of yourself to please others. If so what do you think would change if you made a commitment to express yourself as is instead of trying to make yourself conform to other people's standards?

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