Why You Don’t Have To Like Me

like, me, why, mean, nice, respect, heart, humanity, demand, love, accept, journey, advice, life, success, relationships, grow, growth, 20s, 30s, learn, change,When I was younger, I always wanted to fit in. Like most other kids, I wanted to be accepted and liked. I wanted to have cool friends that I could always hang out with.

I never really fit in anywhere. My culturally diverse background left me neither here nor there. I was never white enough or Mexican enough. I still tried to fit in, though.

When I got to high school, I said F*** it. I am who I am, if people don’t like it then that’s too bad. So I became a mean girl. Why?  Well, because I just could.

I had awesome friends but I was never too awesome myself. I didn’t care about anything or anyone. I was bitter and angry at the world and my only friend was oftentimes music. Lyrics got me. Lyrics accepted me.

I learned to find the balance between being too nice and being too mean somewhere in my 20s. I am who I am. I am sarcastic but have learned to be sweeter. I am rude but have learned to be well-mannered, well, most of the time anyway.

Now that I am closer to 30 than I am to 20 I realize no one has to like me. Those that matter are simply three people, mom, dad and my sister. They’ll forever love me unconditionally. I can count my friends on one hand and life is awesome this way.

If you don’t know me yet, you don’t have to like me. I am very opinionated so I would honestly be surprised if you did learn to like me. I have a pure heart but it’s often very guarded. And with good reason. Like many people, I have been broken and I have put myself back together.

I don’t demand you like me but I do demand respect. I respect all people who have love in their hearts. Even if it is hidden, I respect you. I respect all people who have talent and who have a set of strong values like integrity. I even respect people who don’t know any better because they might be a product of circumstance.

If you and you hate my guts, that’s fine. Just show me respect to my face. Maybe you don’t like what I say or how I do, but what better reason to respect others than for their differences.

I have had many situations where I judge books by their covers. I mean, haven’t we all? I then find the humanity within their hearts and forget all ill-conceived notions.

I believe in mutual respect among all mankind. We are on a certain journey together and most of us are simply trying to make the best out of this fleeting moment we call life.

We don’t have to agree or understand those around us but I do think it is necessary to respect. Respect beliefs, respect views, respect space, respect possessions, respect journeys, respect cultures, respect differences. We don’t have to be best friends with our neighbors but mutual respect goes a very long way.

Choose love. Choose acceptance. Choose respect.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

To All The Harvey Weinsteins Of The World

Harvey Weinstein, sexual, assault, harassment, harass, abuse, physical, psychological, pain, universal, story, past, relationship,Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Léa Seydoux, Cara Delevingne, me too, heart, love, worthy, change, broken, friends, family, after, strong, strength, women, men, change, power, strength, strong, intelligence, years, allow, toxic, toxicity, you, withinI decided to post “Me Too” on my Facebook page the other day. I got a whopping two likes I believe. In comparison to my cat posts, it was surely not in contention for the most likes on my feed.

People were not very interested in knowing I have been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed in my past. The good thing is I am glad about this fact. My harassment goes far beyond a trivial Facebook post.

I can honestly say I really don’t care about this Harvey guy. I do care about what he represents. Well, of course, I do. I have been looked at for reasons other than my intelligence.

As a veteran of the used car business, it is safe to say this happened to me often. Wearing dresses shouldn’t ever be an issue. It always was and I never cared. Why? Because dresses are cute and comfortable! I always do my best to dress modestly but it doesn’t change the society we live in.

After thinking long and hard about this one man, I realize I was giving random people too much power regarding this issue. When I think Harvey Weinstein, my thoughts have definitely shifted.

I am now associating the name with an emotional and physical abuser of my past, or the many “Harvey Weinsteins of the World.”

Have you been in that horrible relationship?

The one that was clearly horrible and painful for you yet you stayed because you thought you could never start over? Did you date that one person people begged you to leave for one too many days or years?

I did.

Not only did I allow harassment in my life, I allowed it for years on end. I allowed psychological and physical abuse because I simply did not love myself enough. I did not love myself at all.

I am not afraid to speak my truth. I will share it with you if you ask. I don’t revisit it unless it is to help others. Just like all the “Me Too” posts, I hope someone is out there reading this and can relate. Not because it is something I wish upon anyone else, but because we are all in this together.

We can all learn and lean on each other as pain is universal.

Many of us have hit our rock bottoms in life. Many of us have allowed toxicity into our precious hearts. No matter what type of doctor or friend you tell, there will never really be a clear a cut reason for why we sometimes feel we don’t deserve the very best around us.

I allowed someone to break me. However, it was only temporary. That situation did not and does not define me. What defines me is what came after the fact.

I picked myself up and made myself better. With the help of friends and family, I rose up stronger than ever. I rebuilt my foundation with love and support and vowed to never allow such abuse within my life again.

If you have or are currently going through similar pain, remember, you are not alone. I have been there as have many before me. It doesn’t make you weak. It doesn’t make you not worthy. You have the power within to overcome this painful moment and demand change.

You are worthy of love. You are worthy of respect. You are worthy of valuable relationships. You are worthy of the very best treatment at all times.

I am glad to see change is happening before my eyes. And though I know it will take many years, I understand I can definitely spark a chain reaction with my story. A story that is too often told. A story that I wish was never written. A story that we can alter the ending of TOGETHER.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

Why Looks Do Matter

looks, matter, different, first impression, love, judge, prejudice, accept, belong, appearance, physicalI was always the girl who wanted to fit in. By age 9, I already had boobs and all the other stuff that comes along with puberty. I thought I was a freak. I wrapped my chest as tightly as I could before school just so no one could tell that I was a curvy “woman” attending the fourth grade.

I was tall and awkward most of my life and, well, that’s an entirely different story. The point is, I never wanted to be different. I just wanted to enjoy my childhood which translated into blending in rather than standing out.

I can’t lie. I am still awkward. My friends eventually caught up with me by middle school but my mentality never really changed. I am still not the skinny girl or the smartest girl and that is just fine. However, one dramatic transformation has taken place within me as a 20-something. I love myself as is. I accept I am different and I love every inch that I am.

People can tell us that image isn’t everything. We grow up being taught that we need to love people’s substance rather than looks, yet we talk about things like “love at first sight.”

I try to not judge people upon first glance. The little awkward girl inside of me remembers what it is like to be “different” so I do my best to make all of those around me feel like they belong. As humans, of course we all belong and deserve the same respect as the next person. And while this is true, image does matter in our society.

People will judge us if we have a unicorn tattoo on our face. People will make preconceived notions about us based upon our appearance. Of course, I am not saying this is right, as I am guilty of doing much the same. I can’t help call it like I see it.

I always give people a chance to prove or disprove what I believe about them upon first glance. I think this is the best course of action. But guess what? Looks do matter, a lot.

I am not happy our society focuses on looks but it does. I know people looked at me differently when I had bright red hair. I know people stare if any cleavage is present. The teenage me would say f it. Be yourself! The 20-something me knows better.

I try to look put together and consistent everyday. Not because society told me to, but because people in my “world” like consistent and dependable people. I don’t follow fashion trends, yet I always try to keep my look classic and timeless.

My younger sister would say I’m conforming to societal norms. Maybe I am a sellout! However you want to look at it, I am choosing to not stand out by what I look like on the outside. I don’t want to be loud or obnoxious by the clothes I wear or the hairdo I rock. I can be loud and obnoxious with my personality alone, haha.

I believe intelligence and wisdom can drown out the rest of the noise. Image will always be a factor in our everyday lives. It is up to us what we do with this fact.

Let’s open our hearts and place prejudices in our pockets upon meeting new people. Let’s try to look into hearts rather than into cars or clothing brands. Let’s try to just see with the heart even though our eyes and thought patterns tend to get in the way. And while our physical bodies do offer first impressions of who we are, let’s remember they are just vessels.

Some of our vessels are louder or more put together than others, yet we are all on this journey we call life together. Let’s try to make everyone around us feel as much love and understanding as possible when we encounter them. Physical appearance can get lost in translation, yet love will always be universal. Choose love not looks.