Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Great Tip Debate

I have been on both sides of the table, so I know (and understand) the arguments from each position. As a patron, I expect to be greeted politely and taken care of. You do not have to be overly animated or have a sparkling personality. All you have to do is be respectful, attempt to get my order correct and bring my food/drinks in a timely manner. If those needs are met, I have no problem with tipping. And I do understand when things don’t quite go right or when the kitchen is backed up and it takes longer to get my food. However, I also take into consideration how busy the restaurant is, how busy my server is and other factors that might come into play. Essentially, I’m a pretty easygoing customer. Having said all of that, I can be a pain in the rear if these simple expectations cannot be met or are returned with a snide attitude. After all, I was once a server too. I take that into account each time I go out to eat. It does not excuse you from acting in a professional manner, as would be expected in any other job. From the customer standpoint, I can understand why some feel they shouldn’t have to tip. I’ve read all of the arguments and I do agree that what it boils down to a lot is the attitude of the server, whether it is an existing attitude or an attitude that resulted from something going wrong. Servers: please understand that if I get upset, it isn’t necessarily an affront to your character. I’m likely just irritated for having to wait for an excessive amount of time, upset that I have to wait for food to be sent back after being incorrect or angry that you aren’t being attentive. Please don’t try to place the blame on anyone, just remedy the situation, period. That’s really all I want, unless I happen to specifically mention your attitude towards me.
            Now, let’s visit the other side of the table. When I was waiting tables, I always went to work with a fresh, positive attitude when I first began my shift. Sadly, by the end of my shift, I was ready to drink myself under the table. Yes patrons, it really is that bad and it’s usually only a four hour shift (that feels like eight after being on your feet the entire time without a break)! Whatever your feelings are about tipping (and I am personally not a fan of it), doesn't change that this is just the reality (a reality servers didn’t choose). Yes, I did choose to wait tables, but it doesn’t mean that I chose to put up with the constant stream of bull that I endure, table after table. As a server, I was yelled at, cussed at, accused of all types of things, talked down to and then stiffed at the end. Maybe people who work in the higher-end restaurants are more satisfied, but there is a reason for high turnover rates in the industry. Let me give you all a breakdown of how a shift might go: You must arrive an hour or two earlier than the restaurant’s opening time (perhaps earlier in some) and begin prepping your tables and getting the restaurant ready for service (i.e. brewing tea, pouring salt/pepper into shakers, stocking fridges, etc…). When the restaurant first opens, there are usually only a couple of servers staffed. Servers usually continue to stream in as the lunch shift really gets underway and this is when the chaos starts. Lunch is particularly bad because everyone is in such a rush to get back to work (although I’ve never understood going to lunch at a busy restaurant when you’re in a time crunch). You might have 3-4 tables who all want something at the same time and each one gets angry when you don’t attend to them that very second (I once had a customer who asked for a side of dressing and got upset with me for not producing it when I hadn’t even left the table yet). You are asked inane questions about the menu, asked to order things that aren’t even on the menu at all and when the bill comes, they want it split four ways and everyone hands you a $20 bill, which you don’t have change for (servers are usually only required to carry a small amount of change). That means you must go to the bar for change, wait on the bartender (who is usually slammed) and by the time you get back with the change, patrons are angry they had to wait so long that they leave you a crummy tip or not one at all! People seem to get into this line of thinking that servers make a ton of money because they add up what a server “should” make and assume that everyone is tipping that well. Trust me, they’re not. Just because people should tip 15-20% doesn’t mean they do. Many people (at least at the establishment I worked at) would leave 10% or less! I would have to kiss major ass to make my 15% (maybe sometimes 20). And I have no problem working hard in order to accomplish this. But I know that there are some people who do not tip based on the service, they tip based on attractiveness, race and other things that are completely out of the server’s control. Where else do people get to determine your pay based on factors that don’t even pertain to the job? I’m not saying this is right, but it is the reality. And yes, I could get another job, but most jobs are not usually as flexible and when I was in college, that’s exactly what I needed. In addition, yes servers really do have to tip share with other people who work in the restaurant. At the place I worked for, we had to tip out the bussers and bartenders (some places you even tip out the hostess). And yes, my base pay was $2.15 an hour. And yes, the restaurant is “supposed” to make up the difference if you do not make minimum wage. Want to know something funny about that? At the end of your shift, the computer asks you how much you made in tips. If you put in a number that the computer determines is too low, you either have to change the number or get a manager to override it for you. Do you how many nights that happened to me? And even though I could’ve waited for a manager to override it, most nights it wasn’t worth tracking down a manager to do that. After the day I just had, I’d rather just lie and say I made enough for the night. I can guarantee that I wasn’t the only one to do that. Is that the patron’s fault? Certainly not, but patrons need to understand exactly what a server goes through to placate the most finicky people. I’ve run around the restaurant like a mad woman, getting things for my tables to cater to them and still got left with a sucky tip (or again, no tip at all). I’ve given roses to moms on Mother’s Day, candy and small toys to children, been as friendly and polite as I can (after being stiffed by the last two tables) and tried to accommodate my customers as much as I can only to be insulted, yelled at and not given a tip. It was a good thing that my wait job was only meant to supplement my income because I wouldn’t have made it otherwise. I walked out of a shift once with $14! Fourteen! I might as well have stayed home for that. The thing is that people claim they tip based on service, but a lot of times they don’t. They take things out on the server that isn’t their fault and treat them like servants in the process. The managers in a restaurant tell their servers constantly that a bigger check means a bigger tip; this is such a falsehood. I found that most times when the check was bigger, my tip would be smaller.  Oh and did I mention the people who completely run out on their tabs? The management tends to assume that if this happens consistently, the server must be allowing it to happen. There was a policy instituted at the restaurant I worked for where if someone ran out on their tab, you either had to pay for it or you had to be written up. There was an incident that happened many years back at a local restaurant. A young waitress had a couple of people run out on their tab. Fearing she might have to pay the tab herself or get into trouble, she followed them out of the restaurant and they ran her over! She died because someone decided they didn’t want to pay for their food and management places the responsibility for that onto the server.  For something that is no fault of the servers, they have to face this penalty; it’s ridiculous.
            Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed serving food to people. There were many friendly patrons who were easy to take care of and didn’t go ballistic when something went wrong. But we also had patrons who had obnoxious children running around, people who made messes that they likely wouldn’t make in their own homes, people who complained on such a consistent basis we knew who they were, people who snapped their fingers and hurled insults at the wait staff and many other ugly things. Yes, we should provide your meal hot, correct and with a smile, but we do not owe you our souls for bringing your food. Do I wish it could be different? Most definitely; I hated going to a job where I wasn’t ever sure how much money I would be bringing home. There would’ve been no way to make a decent living waiting tables unless each patron did their due diligence and ponied up their tip. Be kind to your server; they are attempting to do their job as I’m sure you do as well (and you’ve had bad days at work too). I would like to abolish tipping too as to be fair to both patrons and servers, but until that happens, please have a little respect for the people who bring you your food. It’s not as easy of a job as you might think it is.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Missed Opportunity

I just finished reading the most disturbing manifesto I have ever come across. I didn’t want to read it, but I am truly fascinated by human behavior, especially abnormal human behavior. Besides, reading this struck several chords within me and I know I’ll burst if I don’t write some of it down.

I’m sure many have heard of the horrific tragedy that took place in California just about a week ago. I’ve heard some people say that they would not read the manifesto because it would only give attention to the killer and lose focus of the victims. I agree that the victims stories should be shared, their lives remembered and mourned, but I think it’s foolish to simply ignore (or write-off) the thoughts that led to this culmination of events. I wanted to see the world through the eyes of this man so that I could perhaps catch a glimpse of what he was going through. And no, this does not mean that I am siding with the killer. If we want to have any hope of helping people who have mental illness, we have to take a look into their mindset. We might be able to see the same signs in people around us and not simply dismiss them as “just talk.”

When I first started reading, I quickly established that this man did not have an unfortunate upbringing; on the contrary, he lived a life of extravagance and indulgence. In his first decade of life, he had seen more of the world than I have in almost thirty years. Sadly, this was not enough for him and while I won’t go so far as to blame money for his downfall, it certainly contributed to his outlook on life and the world around him. I could also tell early on (aside from the intro and what I already knew before reading this) that there was something not quite right about him. He seemed to be quite bothered by things that most likely wouldn’t affect others quite as much. He seemed to have an egotistical view of the world at quite a young age. Again, I won’t blame everything on this, but you have to consider it a contributing factor.

The more I read into this, the more disturbing it became to me. I have to assume that while some of this manifesto is factual, there are other parts that were likely exaggerated and/or distorted by his perceptions; having said that, it also seems to me that his parents were not there for him in the capacity that he needed them to be. I did not grow up in a life of luxury and I don’t know what it means to have a great excess beyond what is needed. Don’t get me wrong; my parents were not poor and provided me (and my siblings) with everything we needed and a little of what we desired. However, I have never known what it is like to have everything handed to you by your parents, going on exotic vacations and living in expansive homes. I believe his parents tried to solve a lot of his “problems” with money and this couldn’t have helped his mindset. His values were quite skewed and reflected (in my opinion) one of the downfalls of our society. Throughout his writing, he declares many times how having more money would be the only way he would attain the attention from women that he was seeking. He frequently writes about shopping for Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani and other name-brand clothing to attract the attention of females. His parents funded not only his college education (which he foolishly squandered; an opportunity that others only dream of), but his apartment, his car and extra spending money as well. He had saved enough money to blow it on lottery tickets and a small arsenal of weapons as well.

It was also quite apparent that he had a social anxiety of sorts. He didn’t form friendships well (mostly because of how he perceived others to be, which makes me question the accuracy of his memories) and he didn’t interact well socially either. He came off as awkward, isolated and (I would think) slightly scary as well. Not scary in an intimidating way; scary in a way that might make people uncomfortable. He was also defensive and although I do believe he was bullied by others (due to his social awkwardness), he contributed (in his own way) to people’s reactions of him. He looked down on others and I’d be willing to bet that this attitude came across quite clearly. According to his manifesto, there were some people he associated with that questioned his behavior and believed he might do something with devastating consequences. However, I am inclined to believe that most people just brushed him off as “the weird kid.”

What’s funny is that I actually wanted to feel sorry for him in the first parts of his writing. I was also an awkward kid; overweight, sensitive, quiet and smart. This has always made me a prime target for bullying. The difference is that I was much more social and eventually overcame my awkwardness and learned to appreciate the good qualities about myself. I wanted to be sympathetic towards his plight for friends and a girlfriend. As I read on, I became less sympathetic and more agitated and angry. I was angry that no one attempted to understand why he wasn’t fitting in and just kept moving him from one place to another. One would think that after multiple failed attempts, it might be best to look at HIS behavior as opposed to everyone around him. I won’t deny that the bullying likely contributed to his distorted views, but at some point, you have to work on the individual because the world is not going to stop for one person.

As I said previously, I felt this guy was seriously lacking in the things he valued in life. The most pressing issue in his life seemed to have been acquiring a girlfriend. This is quite a normal thing, but it was not normal the way he thought about this and how he went about (or didn’t go about) this. He never once tried to talk to a girl (outside of his childhood interactions). He expressed a desire to talk to girls, but never actually did. Then he turned his ire to the guys who were confident enough to talk to those same girls. He talks about girls denying him, but he never really put himself in a position to get rejected, so it was difficult to relate to his depression over this. I had the same issues with guys, except that I put myself out there. I talked to them, became their friend and faced rejection after rejection. It can be extremely depressing to watch other people your age with their boyfriends (or girlfriends, in his case) and question why you cannot have what they do. On that point, I completely understand where he is coming from and why he felt that way. However, this became an obsession for him and he lamented so much about this one thing that he completely missed out on some amazing experiences that some only dream to have. He blew off his education, he minimized the friendships he did have and he didn’t value much of anything, except power, status and money. This leads me to believe that he didn’t really care about having a girlfriend; he simply cared about the idea of having a girlfriend. He wanted another status symbol; an attractive blond to hang on his arm that he could show off to others. He cared a great deal about how other people perceived him and I don’t think he ever came out of the invisible audience stage of his teenage years. He talked a lot about how others saw him as a loser and while he was in high school, I might buy that. However, these perceptions followed him into college and adulthood and I honestly don’t believe that people probably gave him much thought as they were engrossed in their own lives.

I’m quite glad that I did not grow up in a wealthy household. I’m hesitant to judge this as I have not had the experience so it’s quite hard for me to assess what I would’ve had in this situation. Although, from what I have seen in my own world, children who come from wealthy families tend to be overindulged and place too much importance on material things. Seeing as though I was not afforded these luxuries in life, I placed my priorities on family, friends, love, respect, responsibility and other traditional values. That is not to say that I didn’t desire these same things (as many other people do), but their importance took a backseat to those other things (most times). And I’m not saying that kids who come from prestigious backgrounds are never taught these values, but material things do seem to take precedence over the others. And in this case, that seems to be pretty clear. I cannot be sure that his parents didn’t instill him with these things and I’m sure they hoped they were doing the right thing, but money doesn’t solve every problem nor do they make them go away.

I also noticed in his writings that he never mentioned what it was that he wanted from a woman, except for having a sexy, blond, white girlfriend that he wanted to lose his virginity to. It was quite obvious that he didn’t have any respect for women, their feelings or their attributes (except for the physical). I’m scared to think what might have happened if he had actually gotten a girlfriend. I can’t imagine that relationship lasting very long as this guy had some serious narcissistic ideals about himself and the world. I also can’t imagine what would’ve happened if he experienced some of the pitfalls of dating, particularly cheating. I doubt he would’ve handled this well and it would’ve likely only reaffirmed his stance on the female persona. I’m not sure what role his father played in his understanding of women, but I wish that he had sat down and talked to him before he hit puberty to explain things. There were many parts in his writing where I wondered if he was only interested in girls because he thought he should be. He didn’t seem ready to participate in this undertaking, at least until he hit puberty and began having sexual arousal towards women. He basically viewed women in a strictly carnal sense and he never truly appreciated the essence of a woman. Where these ideals came from is beyond me and I’m not sure I would have known how to approach it.

More than anything, I wish that people had taken him more seriously or paid attention to the obvious signs he was showing. He might not have been able to be forced into medication (or therapy) once he reached adulthood, but I believe it was already too late by then. Some of the signs showed up early on at a time when his parents could’ve made this decision for him. There was a lot of missed opportunity in this situation and it hurts my heart that someone didn’t reach out to help him before he committed such a heinous act.

What I have come away with from all of this is how I hope to direct my boys as they navigate their way through a complicated world with skewed values. First, I want to instill them with the same values that I found to be most important in life. I want them to know that although they will desire the things that society tells them they should have, those are not necessarily what is important in life. I also want them to know that while I believe they are amazing, intelligent and handsome boys who are special, there are billions of others who are being told the exact same thing. I want them to know that the world owes them nothing and if they want something in life, they will have to work hard and put themselves out there in order to attain/achieve it. The things they want will not simply be handed to them and they will likely face lots of rejection in their lifetime. I want them to grow from their failures and learn from their experiences. I want them to appreciate women and all they have to offer. I want them to know that women are people (just like them) with their own dreams, beliefs and ideals. I want them to have enough confidence to be able to go after what they want, but not so much that they believe they are entitled to it.

I hope that others take away from this the need to understand people who have mental illnesses and to watch for the signs. There is usually an underlying, nagging feeling we get when faced with people such as this man, yet we often brush it off as being paranoid or not wanting to get into someone else’s business. While I don’t believe we should take it upon ourselves to intrude in other people’s lives, I also believe we cannot ignore the signs of someone crying out for help. This guy often mused about other people understanding what he was going through and being able to see it, but for people who didn’t know him well, that would be practically impossible to see. He would just come off as shy or aloof. He thought a lot of himself and expected the world to come to him. When it didn’t, he hated the world and his place in it. There were certainly a lot of contributing factors to his violent outbursts, but the real culprit was his own mind and the way he perceived the world and the people in it. I’m not sure if this could have been prevented, but I hope it encourages people to speak up when they feel that someone might be mentally disturbed instead of just brushing it off.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Why it's about more than you and me...

I don’t think some people realize how difficult it is to return from darkness to the light. It requires a long journey filled with doubt and lots of introspection. It is not something that is easily done and once you have arrived at your destination, it’s a daily struggle to stay in that place. Most that are lost in the dark don’t care to return to light simply because of all it entails. You must strip away every layer of yourself, examine every piece of your heart and soul and face things about yourself that would be much easier to deny. To describe this process in one word: vulnerable. It is a powerful word and carries with it a great weight. Here you are, this person…a mere fragment of who you thought you were or who you envisioned yourself to be. If you are fortunate enough to survive that darkness and get to that place of light, you must fight like hell to remain there. And it always seems that the tiniest little thing could send you right back to that place you once were. Certainly life will throw you a few curve-balls, but for the person who has such a fragile spirit, it doesn’t take much to send them reeling. The demons of your past actions are already a force to be reckoned with, but to also face your inner demons…well, that’s just on an entirely different level. It’s bad enough that you must face yourself day in and day out; the number of insecurities present is ridiculously overwhelming. To take on other people’s insecurities can be just so that it threatens all the strides you have made.
                My past does not define me. However, it can never be undone. It is a constant reminder of the person I never want to be again. To be (or even feel) questioned without just cause draws out all of those insecurities and doubts I have ever had about myself. And while I know that I can’t hide from every query that will undoubtedly occur many times throughout my life, it hinders my progress to feel that way, especially when I have done nothing wrong. I know that a lot of this sounds like self-pity, but I do not feel sorry for myself or expect anyone else to feel sorry for me. I do not deny that I have made mistakes, some of which were monumental. However, to every inquiry that comes my way, I have to fight with myself that I am not becoming that person again. Perhaps there isn’t anyone who is holding my past against me and that (to me) is an accomplishment in itself. I tend to be my own worst enemy and take (what may seem like) innocuous things to heart. Even if it is someone else’s burden, if it involves me in any way, it becomes my burden as well. And to burden my heart with something that I cannot do anything about or that calls my character into question, is simply torturous. So, while you may think that you are not accusing, blaming or holding something against me, that is not how it is received. It took a lot for me to get to this place and I work on it daily. It has nothing to do with you, our relationship or even how I feel about you; this is much deeper than that. If you are going to bring me to this place, please make it over something substantial. Otherwise, the foundation that my heart and soul sits upon is compromised. I do realize that this is not your fault nor do I hold it against you. But that is the very thing I am trying to get across. All of this has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me. I am doing so well; please do not make me question myself when it is not necessary. My greatest gift to you is continuing to move forward. My greatest fear is feeling inadequate and going backwards.


I heard them laughing,
Calling you names
I wasn’t sure what to do
Surely, I would get the same
(So I walked away…)
The next day I saw them
They pushed you into the wall
Everyone walked right on by
No one said anything at all
(I didn’t either…)
I saw them again
This time, they kicked you as you cried
I wanted so much to help you
But my instinct was to run and hide
(So that’s what I did…)
You weren’t at school today
And I quietly wondered why
I felt so ashamed
For idly standing by
(I was wrong…)
I stopped by your house
To see if you were alright
Your mom looked like she had been crying
Told me she had been up all night
(My stomach was in knots…)
You took your life that night
You felt you had reached the end
Maybe I could’ve helped
If only I’d been a friend
(I guess I’ll never know…)
If I’ve learned anything
It’s “never walk away”
If only I had said something
You might still be here today

My Life as a Christian

I am a Christian.
I am NOT perfect.
My life is NOT perfect.
 I try hard not to judge other people…
But sometimes I do. After all, I am only human.
(Just like you).
 I pray. I pray for peace, I pray for love, I pray for the safety of those I love. I pray for those I know and those I don’t know. I pray for the hurt, the sick, the lonely and the dying. I pray for healing too. My faith is continually put to the test.
My survival methods are trust and prayer.
 I don’t condemn others for their religious beliefs, sexuality, life choices or mistakes.
I don’t harbor a sanctimonious attitude.
I don’t feel it is my place in this world to belittle anyone else for their choices. Everyone has their own path and just because yours doesn’t align with mine, it doesn’t mean that I am better than you.
I will encourage, support and pray for you if you are hurt, sick, lost or simply need some type of help.
My role model is Jesus. He embraced the people who were shunned from society. His chief principle in life was love. There isn’t anyone else I’d rather be like than Him.
There are some Christians who don’t practice what they preach. I try my hardest each and every day to be the model of a caring, loving individual and Christian.
Not all of us are hypocrites.
As long as I’m allowed, I will share my life, my love, my gifts and my faith with you. I will never shove any of this in your face or pressure you to accept any of it. That is not my purpose in this life. My purpose is to live, love and believe. I hope I spend my remaining days on Earth doing just that (and so much more).
Again, I am NOT perfect. The only thing in my life that is perfect is the love I receive from my Creator. That was, is and always will be…perfect.

Life...and what's really important

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. For some reason, my mind has been preoccupied with life and its true meaning. I have been studying and researching aspects of grief and of joy and how they relate to life, death and all else encompassed in the world around us. What my mind has centered on is how there isn’t much in this world that is truly “important.” A friend of mine who passed away from cancer put this into perspective for me quite a while ago and it’s now starting to sink in. He wrote down some of his thoughts shortly before he died and they had a huge impact on me. He wondered why there were so many trivial things that we seemed to zero in on. He concluded that when you were facing a life-threatening prognosis, NONE of those trivial things mattered one bit. With this sentiment, I must agree. Why do we spend so much of our time and energy worrying about our weight, how others perceive us, our jobs, money, etc…why is it that only when we are faced with death do we consider the things that make life worth living? Why do we waste so many precious moments being angry with others, judging others or worrying about things that we cannot control? I think we can all agree that status, power, money, etc…cannot be carried over when you die, so why oh why do we place so much importance on all of this? I am, from this day forward, pledging to embrace life and all of the beautiful things in the world. I want to focus a lot less on the superficial things. So, when I find myself having a “moment” (which we all will because humanity itself is imperfection), I am going to re-focus my attention and energy into something else. If I find myself wanting to judge someone, it’s time for me to kiss and hug on my boys. When I find myself stressing about my weight, I will give my husband a big hug. When I find myself worrying about money, I will tell my parents how much I appreciate all they’ve done (and continue to do) for me. And when all else fails and I am feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders, I will open my Bible and read. I will pray, I will sing, I will do whatever is necessary to change my outlook at the time. It is my humble vow to make the most out of whatever time in life I have. It’s too tiring to spend too much of my precious time focused on the things that just don’t really matter much. I want to be able to remember what the sky looked like on a cloudless day. Or the brilliant colors of the evening sunset. I want to recall in great detail all of God’s creatures, big and small. I want to dance in the rain, sing at the top of my lungs and not care how I sound, marvel at the creations that I take for granted on a daily basis. I want to live a life of pure beauty. I want to be able to see the joy in my deepest pains and sorrows. I want to make the absolute best out of life that is afforded to me. And when my time on Earth is done, I will be able to sing and dance all the way to heaven, knowing that I am leaving this life in peace. Something much more beautiful awaits me in heaven, but to be able to make the best out of my time here is something quite glorious.


Her wings were slipping
As she fell from grace
Yet a look of content
Remained on her face
She held her breath
As she shed a tear
Her entire world was crashing down
And she couldn’t find anyone near
 Losing her composure
She closed her eyes
 She pictured perfection
And suddenly she could fly
She soared above it all
All fears and sorrows gone
 She caught a glimpse of the morning sky
A new day dawned
 She felt the wind in her hair
A sense of peace ensued
Clearly the compassion of God
Was the reason she flew!

Writing is my Artistry

A blank sheet of paper is my canvas. With fluid movements, I write words on my canvas. Words that I hope will inspire, motivate, change or move even just one person. With my words, I can paint some of the most beautiful pictures or recount a painful memory. I can illuminate, illustrate or define a variety of topics. I can be as personal or impersonal as I choose to be. I can write to myself or entertain an audience wherever my words travel. I can write from my personal perspective or create a story of pure fiction. As long as I have a piece of paper and a writing utensil, I can write any place of my choosing. My inspiration to write can come at any time and at any place. A tiny spark can transform into a brush fire within a matter of minutes. I generally don’t get to choose when something will come into my head for me to write down. My only hope is that I can get my words down as quickly as they are being processed in my mind. There are times I can write for days, yet other times I am blocked for weeks (or longer). My passion for writing is a love like no other; at times, it has been my only saving grace. It is because of writing that I am self-aware and expressive. It is my creative outlet, a gift from God that I do not want to squander. Therefore, I write as often as I can. I try not to excuse myself from it or let the hustle and bustle of life keep me from it. While I would love to have my words published someday, if that never came to pass, I would not stop. Writing means much more to me than words on paper; it is my life and a great love of mine. There is little in this world that could keep me from it. As long as I am able to get my thoughts down on paper, I will always be a writer.

A Woman's Worth

It is a woman's nature to give. We do it openly and freely. Many times, we give and receive very little (if anything) in return. Sometimes, this is done at the expense of our own well-being. Our complexities run deep and our range of our emotions stretches beyond any string of words that can be written. Our giving nature (over time) causes us to become somewhat delicate, yet we have an immense strength that supersedes our fragility. God created woman with a purpose; she is the pillar of faith, hope and love. She can carry the weight of the world on her shoulders, cry a river of tears in her soul and return to you a smile that lights up a room. If a woman could reveal the scars on her heart from all the pain she has endured, it would likely look like a war zone. And yet, she perseveres. Why? The simple answer is that she understands the true beauty of the world around her. She sees all that life has to offer and she jumps in headfirst. Even through pain and suffering, she waits for the rainbow at the end of the storm. She knows that when she finds that "sweet spot" of happiness, it will have been worth it all. See, even in the worst of circumstances, a woman can find the value in hardship. Therefore, know that when a woman gives you her love, she does so with a bandage over her heart. She trusts you to slowly pull that bandage away and yet, it is often ripped off instead. A woman has so much to give; subtle nuances may be all you've seen, but the river runs deep. A love like ours should be cherished and revered. Women, take heed for you hold the key. Don't give your heart away to anyone undeserving of your love. Nurture all that you have and save it for those who earn it. If you find yourself engaged in a battle, do not allow yourself to become broken. God did not give us all these wonderful and amazing qualities for us to completely shut-down for anybody. If we know our own worth, we will convey that outwardly to everyone around us. Don't let yourself be downgraded by anybody else or worse, by your own admission. Stand tall, stand proud and be thankful for the many things that you make you the brilliant woman you are!