Equal does not mean better

I think it’s funny that women want to be treated equally to men (which they should be) but then make comments that say that they want to be treated better than men.

Today I was walking into my apartment carrying a laundry basket full of clothes when someone told me that I shouldn’t have to do that, my boyfriend should. They were saying that they couldn’t believe that I had to carry that all the way up to my 3rd floor apartment.

Honestly, if my boyfriend had been home not only would he have probably been the one carrying it up, he would have been at the laundromat with me washing, drying, and folding our clothes. We both work, so that means we share all the household responsibilities. We both cook, clean, do laundry, go grocery shopping, shovel snow, take the trash/recycling out, and we both carry heavy things up the stairs on occasion. We both do favors for each other and take care of each other when we are sick. We don’t go by gender roles and we don’t make the other one do something because it is “Man’s work” or “Women’s work” everything is equal. Sure, I could ask him for help if I need it, but if I can do something myself, I will. I’m not going to wait and rely on a man for everything. Maybe I am just more independent than some people but I really don’t believe in gender roles.

I really mean no disrespect to the person who said those comments to me, everyone can have their own opinion and everyone’s relationship is different. In my opinion, I just think we need to get over gender roles and realize that comments such as those are sexist.

Advertisements

Seeing you makes me miss you..

13442396_10154373033150283_423490871545068160_n

I miss my old grandma, the one that I used to have. The one who used to let me sleep over and make me breakfast the next morning. The one who would bring me on trips, listen to the new CD I just bought, play board games with me, talk to me for hours about anything, make puzzles, and watch TV with me. This picture is from my college graduation, one of the last times I spent time with my grandmother before her memory started getting really bad. Back when I could hang out with her and talk to her, she was a lot happier then.

I wrote a post about my grandmother in the past but for those who don’t know, my grandmother has dementia and she lives alone. Lately, I have been seeing more and more of a decline in her health and it is getting harder and harder for me to go see her. She is frustrated that she can’t remember anything and I can tell that she is lonely. Sitting at home all day by yourself is not a good life for anyone, she needs people around more often. Yesterday I went over because she was going to meet my mom at a park in town for a concert and I was driving her there. I walked in the house and realized that she put a sign on the bathroom door that says “Bathroom” which bothers me because if she is forgetting where the bathroom is, she shouldn’t be alone. When I arrived she was sleeping. I tried to wake her up but she just snored louder so I sat in the living room and watched tv for a few minutes and decided I would try again in a couple minutes. After about 10 minutes she woke up on her own and looked at me with a confused look on her face, maybe because she just woke up but it also looked like it didn’t register to her who I was. I said hi and asked if she still wanted to go to the concert and she asked me if it was still raining to which I told her it didn’t rain today, it was just cloudy. She sat up, and I told her I brought her a chicken sandwich and fries from Wendy’s and asked if she wanted it. All she said was “aww that was nice of you”. She loves those chicken sandwiches and she will only eat if we give her food so I bring them to her from time to time.

“Did it rain much today?” she asked after she sat up.

“No, it didn’t rain today” I tell her again, a little agitated because I just told her a couple minutes ago.

I held the sandwich and fries out and asked her again if she wanted it and by her face I realized that she has already forgotten I brought her food. She asked me to break the sandwich in half and only ate a few fries but I was happy that she ate something at least. After she ate, she went to the bathroom, and then I heard the front door open. I went over to her to see what she was doing and she told me she was checking the weather. We had just spent a lot of time talking about what the weather was like, but instead of getting angry I just told her that it was cloudy and a little cold but other than that it was nice out. When I finally got her ready and made sure she had everything she needed, we got in the car. I was so stressed out and a mess that I stopped at a green light. After a few seconds I realized what I did and was like “What am I doing?, the light is green”. I made a comment that maybe I am just being extra careful because I have precious cargo in my car. My grandmother didn’t react at all, which is weird. In fact she didn’t talk to me at all the whole way to the park, it’s like she didn’t know who I was or what to say to me. She just sat there looking straight ahead out of the windshield, completely silent while I drove. Every time I tried to start a conversation, she replied with a one word answer and went back to staring out the windshield.

Yesterday was the day I realized my grandmother is gone. She is officially not the person I knew growing up. I can no longer have a real conversation with her. It was as if she was looking through me and didn’t understand anything that I was saying. Dementia is a awful disease, and I wish there were a cure.

The problem with Leominster

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog but this is something that has really been on my mind lately.

For those of you who don’t know, I live in Leominster, Massachusetts. It’s a small city north of Worcester, pretty much right in the middle of the state. I absolutely love it here, I love the people, I love the parks, the bars, and there’s a lot to do even though many people think otherwise. For some reason there have been a lot of people lately getting angry about all the homeless people in this city, more specifically, the ones who are panhandling. They think it makes the city look bad and they think they are annoying. Honestly, I think if someone thinks that it’s a new thing that we have homeless people, they are really sheltered. It drives me crazy that people are so mean to them because they think they are lazy and they should just get a job. I know from experience that it isn’t so easy to just get a job with pays high enough that you can actually live off of, not to mention finding one when you don’t have a car or a home for that matter. Employers want to make sure you have a place to shower every day and reliable transportation. It’s not fair but it’s true. These people are just ignorant, and clearly haven’t been on a job hunt in recent time.

I was in Boston this past weekend for Boston Calling Music Festival and we passed many homeless people both in the morning and at night when walking to and from our T stop. This wasn’t a new experience for me by any means but lately it’s been hitting me harder than usual because of my job loss. That could have been me on the streets if I didn’t find my internships when I did or I didn’t have certain people in my life. On one particular night I walked by this guy who had to have been around my age, and I had to turn back. As I was walking by someone gave him a kind bar and his face lite up as he said thanks. So I gave him a dollar and his face lite up again and said “Thank you so much, God Bless” Now, even in my current struggles I don’t think a dollar could change my life but it seemed like for him that one dollar and a granola bar from another stranger made his night. Isn’t this what we should be doing for people? If everyone just showed some compassion to everyone else the world would be a better place. I also noticed that in Boston, nobody complains about the homeless, the worst they do is ignore them. I can admit I do too but it’s more that I can’t look them in the eye without getting sad.

But back to Leominster, here we complain, report them to the police and try to get them banned from store parking lots because we are sick of hearing them ask for money, it doesn’t seem fair or very humane for that matter.

For everyone going through a tough time

So I am still jobless, and I still have credit cards that I am not sure how I am going to pay off but in the past week or so, I have realized something. I am actually the happiest I have been in a while. It sounds crazy, but it’s true and it’s because I have chosen to not let these things bother me anymore. Yes, I know I have to worry enough to make sure I don’t fall behind on my bills and I am still actively looking for work. I have just decided that I am not going to settle for a job, I am going to find a career for myself, I am determined. When I say I have stopped letting the stress get to me, I know that is easier said than done, so here are some tips on how I got to this state of mind.

  1. Do something active every day. For me this ranges from taking a walk to going to the park and playing catch or frisbee with my boyfriend. Sometimes it’s as simple as walking to the store to get groceries or whatever I need instead of driving, or walking to the library. It ensures I get out of the house at least once a day too which is good.
  2. Focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t have. If you have a roof over your head and food on your table, you are doing okay.
  3. Remember all the people in your life that care about you, and go to them when you need help, even if it is just to talk to them. I wouldn’t have gotten through this without the constant support from my boyfriend and family. They always let me vent and kept me sane through all of this.
  4. Focus on something you love. For me, it’s photography. For the past week I have been printing and matting photos to sell at a craft fair tomorrow. I am excited, even if I don’t sell as many as I hope, it still took my mind off of my situation all week.
  5. Read a book. It is relaxing and takes your mind off things.
  6. Remember that you won’t be stuck in this situation forever, it will get better.

 

I have been a lot happier after I just let it go that my employer owes me over $4,000 that I will probably never see again. As much as it pained me, I can’t dwell on it anymore.

 

Grandma Days

So my grandmother lives alone and she has dementia so every wednesday I go visit her and make sure she is alright. It is hard, and sometimes I wonder how beneficial it is to her, but it makes me feel better and I love the time I get with her. I also know even though she won’t remember I was there, she is happy while she is talking to me and her face lights up when she sees me walking in the house. Plus even though she probably won’t remember our visits, I will and I like our time together. Lately my boyfriend has been going with me, which makes it easier and my grandma loves him so I know she is happy when he is there with me. It means a lot to me that he takes the time to come with me.

It seems like lately when we visit, she is remembering some things. She tells me about some of the stuff she has done since the last time we were there. I don’t think she knows that I am there on a specific day but she does know I go see her regularly, I can tell by the way she talks sometimes. She tells us about her childhood and about what she has been up to. Even if it is a story I have already heard I listen anyway and act like it is the first time I heard it. I can tell some stories she tells aren’t stuff that is actually happening in her life but I just respond with “really? that’s cool” so she doesn’t get frustrated from not being able to remember things correctly. My grandma is very important to me, and it makes me sad when she is getting frustrated when she is trying to remember something. I am so afraid that one day I am going to walk into her house and she isn’t going to know who I am. I am also afraid of losing her, and I actually can’t decide which situation I am more afraid of.

Today I missed my grandma visit because one of my aunts invited her over for dinner. I am going tomorrow instead. I used to complain all the time about having to go over, today I really missed it.

Act of Kindness

Those of you who know me or have been reading my blog, already know the situation I am in right now. For those who don’t know, the short version is, my former boss owes me over four weeks worth of back pay (over $4,000) and there is a good chance I will never see that money again. All he has to do is declare bankruptcy and he doesn’t have to pay me, which is totally unfair. He doesn’t have the money so even if I sued him, he wouldn’t have money to pay me. There should be laws in place to protect employees from this type of thing.

I started a GoFundMe for myself because I am in a large amount of debt from not being paid in so long, and the amount of time it takes unemployment to kick in. I was starting to think nobody was going to help me, until last night when I got a generous donation and a nice note from the donor, who donated anonymously. It was really nice so I wanted to share it here:

Hi. You don’t know me, and I only discovered this page because it was shared on facebook by an acquaintance of mine whom I haven’t seen in person in years… So basically, I’m a random stranger. I don’t make much, but I have savings, so I want to give what I can. The fact that you even have to start with “Before you assume I am just someone looking for a handout…” underlines everything that is wrong with this capitalist society. The rich are STEALING OUR WAGES (literally in your case), and instead of standing together, workers still blame each other. You shouldn’t have to assure your readers that you are not lazy. We should be standing in solidarity by default, against the one percent. So this is my small act of solidarity. We desperately need to trust each other. When you can, if you can, I would ask you to pay it forward, and stand with a random stranger who has been wronged by capitalism.

Aside from my boyfriend, who has been helping me from the beginning and being supportive through this whole thing, this stranger was the first person to help me and it meant a lot to me. Isn’t that how people are supposed to act towards each other, shouldn’t we help each other whenever we can? I do plan on paying it forward to another stranger when I get back on my feet. What this stranger did really meant so much.

If anyone is interested, the link to my GoFundMe page is: https://www.gofundme.com/gexn567w

Don’t feel obligated to donate, but sharing my link would be greatly appreciated.

Why I am voting for Bernie Sanders

I have known since he announced he was running for president that we need him to be president but my current situation has taught me that it is crucial that he gets elected. So Here are some reasons why I am voting for Bernie Sanders

  1. He is the only candidate who believes I shouldn’t be tens of thousands of dollars in debt just because I went to college. Tuition only goes up every year, college shouldn’t be something that is only available to the wealthy. If I have kids I want them to have the opportunity to go to college.
  2. Because there should be laws in place that protect me if my employer stops paying me, I shouldn’t be in a loss because the company I worked for ran out of money. I should be entitled for money I worked for.
  3. I shouldn’t be struggling because I lost my job because of a reason out of my control. Also, people’s response shouldn’t be “You’re young, young people struggle.”
  4. Because my unemployment checks and the salary from my boyfriend’s full time job should be enough for us to live off of and pay our bills.
  5. Because people shouldn’t have to fear that they will be kicked out of this country.

I know all of those may not be solved if he is president but I would feel like the country was in good hands, Bernie is like America’s Grandpa.