Last Post of the Year

My father passed away 11 months and 14 days ago. The only silver lining on his passing was that I no longer had a censor on social media. It is not that I was afraid of him as a parent. It was that I know he was set in his ways and I did not want him to worry about me. Still, there were times that I posted things that would terrify him.

Imagine my surprise when on December, his birth month, several people I know personally have started making comments on post about what I should and should not say on social media. Ironically, on my daddy’s birthday, I have something to say about this.

1) Do not expect me to conform to your way of seeing the world. The same way that you don’t want people telling you what to do, who to believe or what to believe in, I expect the same consideration. I am who I am. I don’t like using dirty words online and I have no problem saying them in public. I am overweight, overtired and smarter than average. If you don’t like me for who I am, I am sure you have plenty of people around that don’t like you either. You can always unfriend, unfollow or just forget about me. There are seven billion people in this world. I am sure I will make new friends.

2) I don’t care for what corporate America thinks. My father, my sister and most people who work in corporate America, cringe when I say something bad about a particular company. Funny how they don’t notice when I say good things about other corporations. I have a voice, I am going to use it. Most importantly, if there is any doubt around, I am a firm believer in capitalism. I believe in not shopping where I don’t care to shop. I will often criticize what I think is a mistake by any corporation in the hopes that someday they finally learn that the reason why many are going under is because they have made short-term gain a priority and if they don’t look at the long-term, they will end, just like Sports Authority, Comp USA and many others before them. I also believe that if a corporation wants to tell me how to think and what to say, then I have a right to do the same about them. For example, if I decide to go back to corporate America, I would never sign anything that says I can no longer state my opinion online. For one thing, I never post the name of the place I work for unless that chapter of my life is over. Second of all, it is nobody’s business what I have to say about anything. Third, my handle is rarely my name and there are plenty of people in the US with my name. If a CEO of a company can email his employees telling them that they should not vote for X candidate because that candidate wanted to start a universal health plan, therefore influencing his thousands of employees to vote a certain way, then I have every right to say that I don’t like X company because they don’t sell organic products. Let’s keep this straight. The days when companies were loyal to their employees are over so telling us how to think is now harder than ever. And just so we are clear. If any family member of mine is fired or asked to interfere in what I write, what I support or what I do with my life, it will be a thrill to see them in court. I have lived all my life in fear. That part of my life is over as the end is closer than the beginning and I now see that living in fear is such a waste of energy.

3) Politically correct is not the same as abusive, insulting and offensive statements. Having said that, I have never said anything offensive. I have stated my truth to the best of my abilities and for that I will never apologize. Unlike poor Steve Martin, who called Carrie Fisher beautiful and was bashed for it, I will not take anything back, especially when I am not insulting the person I am saying it to. If a third-party feels offended, they need psychological help because they should mind their own business. That does not mean that you cannot state your opinion. You have every right to say how you feel, especially when it is something that was stated publicly. Where this goes south is when people decide to bash, demean or insult the other person. We are now in a society where people confuse opinions with facts, and where we lost respect for other people’s opinions. We need to stop this before nobody can say anything because it will offend someone. And the offended people need to stop being so defensive.

4) We have created an environment where social media is only permissible for good news. If people share their engagements, marriages, children, promotions, etc. it is OK. However, when a person decides to share their struggles, their divorces, their miscarriages, cancer or any other reality of life, we are frowned upon and told that we should not share our private life. The last time I looked, marriage, children, promotions and all the other things were part of private life as well. Life is not all ice cream and chocolate. Believe me, if it was, I would be first in line. The reason why social media studies harp so much on the levels of depression generated by “social media envy” is because people are more interested in being liked than they are in being real. Where is it going to end? The saddest part of this is when you read stories of suicide victims. You have a family showing you their college kid’s profile on social media as they tell you that they had no idea that their kid was going through hell. You listen to coworkers of someone state how this person seemed so normal on Facebook and yet they were so desperate for attention they bought a gun and proceeded to shoot ten of the people they worked with. People are ashamed to tell their truth. We are scared to say when we are scared, sad, depressed, lonely or overwhelmed. We live in a society where “negative” feelings are to be avoided at all cost and medicated whenever possible. I have news for you. It is normal to be sad, it is perfectly OK to feel lonely, and there is nothing wrong with feeling overwhelmed or pathetic every once in a while. Having feelings is not positive or negative, what actions we take based on those feelings can have positive or negative impact. There are people around that will not judge you if you are sad and many will love you in spite of having down days.

The reality is very simple. I know most of the critics love me. But they don’t know me. They think that, because they have been in my life for twenty, thirty or all 50 years, they know me and they know what is best for me. They are wrong. If they were right, they would know that when I tell you that I don’t want your opinion, I really don’t want your opinion. If they really knew me, they would know that at this particular point in my life, I would rather declare bankruptcy than go back to a corporate job. Nothing wrong with people who want to work at a job. Me? I feel like I gave up who I was to try to conform for twenty years, mainly to make my dad happy and help put food on the table. I’m done with that. I am now following my truth. Will it be hard? YES. The funny thing is that because I am 50, finding a job in corporate America right now would be harder than succeeding by myself, so I might as well give ME a chance.

Live your truth people. If you don’t, one day, you will meet your end and you will find yourself crying for everything you did not get to do. I have no intention of doing that.

You Are Who You Support

American Flag
Symbol of Freedom of Choice

This has been running on my mind for the last two months and by now, I am done justifying those people who defend their choices with a simple “I don’t agree with his point of view but I support him”.  Be aware that the word but after the original statement means that you don’t believe what you just said.  If you don’t believe me, ask my husband how many times I make him change the but for an and.  And so, here is my message for you today boys and girls, you are who you support.

We all make decisions in support of a person every day.  From the clothes you wear to the food you eat to the magazine you read, you are making decisions to support things and people who have commonalities with you.  Some times, we know their stance on several issues and sometimes we don’t.  If your idea of family values is heterosexual with 2.4 kids, then going to Chick-fil-a for lunch goes hand in hand with what you believe.  If you like companies with a helping hand, then you probably wear Tom’s Shoes and eat Kind bars.  Every time we find out what a company stands for, we have a chance to decide whether or not we want to continue supporting them with our shopping dollars.

The same holds true for celebrities.  I don’t listen to Chris Brown or Beyoncé because I don’t care for the image or status that they are selling.  I have friends that love this kind of music and forgive Chris Brown for his behavior.  I don’t get involved in people’s personal lives.  If it becomes public, I have a right to decide if I follow or not.  We all loved Jared until we found out he was allegedly a pedophile and now we don’t care if he gains all the weight back.  It is a simple reality of life that now we know more about the people we like than we used to.

So, where am I going with this?  It is really very simple.  If you like a celebrity and that celebrity is racist and you know it, and you still like them, you are a racist.  No, there is no middle ground here.  What you support is who you are.  I have watched too many people look at certain big mouths in the celebrity world, who say that Hispanics are criminals, women come out of the kitchen to support them, Muslims are the enemy and white people are just better.  Their fans then turn around and have the gall to tell us that they are not racist, sexists or just plain ignorant.  You are wrong.  If you support a person that disrespected all MIAs and POWs by saying he prefers his soldiers not captured, then you are not a POW/MIA supporter.  Stop fronting.   If you call yourself my friend while you support people who are clearly racists towards Latinos, not only are you not really my friend, you are a racist.  If your idea of entertainment is to spend your money at an event created by a celebrity who thinks women are second-rate humans, then you are sexist.  You need to admit that to yourself and stop lying to us.  We can see right through you.

So in the future, be aware that once you know, and everybody knows what a celebrity, company or band stands for, your support of that entity is evidence of your own point of view in the matter.  Be honest and up front about it and stop trying to be politically correct.  That only exists in the mind of some good media strategist.  I’d rather speak to a person that is honest enough to tell me that they don’t like me because I’m a Hispanic woman than a person that says they love me while supporting a racist loud mouth.

I would love to hear what you think.  Please comment on the section below.

Day 156 – Sharing not Gloating

The other day I had a conversation that sparked the comment that is now the title of this post.  What I like to do is sharing, not gloating and I don’t care if anyone knows the difference.

I love to learn.  I know that in this day and age, that is not a statement you make when looking for a job because it is generic.  I am not looking for a job but if I was, I would still use that statement.  I love to learn, and more importantly, I love to share what I learn because I was taught early in life that when you share what you learn it becomes ingrained in your brain.  I don’t want to forget the goodies I learn, so I share them.

Some people think that my sharing what I learn sounds like I am gloating, that I think I am smarter than them as if I am trying to rub it in.  One of the lessons I have learned in the last few years is that what you think about me says more about you than it does about me.  If you think that I feel superior, it is probably for one of two reasons:  you have an inferiority complex or you have a superiority complex.  Either one of those things would cause you to judge me that way.  Again, it says something about you when you judge or make an opinion about someone else.

I am not immune to that.  Some times I am watching TV and I will say “wow, that was a dumb move”.  What that says is that I think it is dumb.  It is no reflection on the person that made the move, who did the best they could with what they knew at the time.  Easy for me to say, I am not on the spot.  I’m just an eye-witness.

What am I trying to say with all this?  I am starting a series on Friday about the negative people you should avoid in your life.  That is what I believe.  This is what I have learned about those kinds of people.  I don’t think I am better than anyone, we all have days when nothing feels right.  I am talking about people who seem to have ALL bad days, and so, I don’t really want to be surrounded by them.  You can take my advice or not, it is up to you.  The same way I think somebody is negative or they rub me the wrong way, it is my opinion and it just reflects my reality.  There is nothing wrong with that person at all.  I would just rather not surround myself with people who drain my energy.

I am not thinking I’m better or gloating.  I am just sharing what I have learned and hoping that you will do the same for me some day.  So what do you think?  Leave your comments below and share if you like what you read.  Thank you.