Tag Archives: personal

Me Too

5 Oct

It’s been about a year now that the #MeToo movement has been going strong. In case you have been living under a rock, this movement is against sexual harassment and sexual assault. It’s used by mostly women (some men) in solidarity, sharing their stories of violation and some even exposing those who have wronged them.

When I first learned about his movement I didn’t know what to make of it. Part of me was happy to see this all happen, but part of me was almost scared and I didn’t know why. The more I read of brave women coming forward with their horror stories, the more thought I gave to the things that had happened to me in my life. And the deeper I dug into my own closet, the more I came to realize just how deep and dark that closet really was.

I came to learn more about my self and how I tick in this past year thanks to #MeToo. I realized that I was suppressing a lot of incidents and didn’t quite know how to face them. But in the end, I realized it all boiled down to one thing; Shame.

I have been a victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault and yes, rape. The harassment I didn’t seem to care too much about because growing up in South Florida, you honestly couldn’t step outside of your house without having someone cat call you in your own damn driveway. And it’s so sad that so many women, like myself, had become numb to it. The fact that sexual harassment was our norm is absolutely tragic.

As for the sexual assaults, I have had quite a few. I’ve experience it from both strangers and acquaintances alike. And the rape, well, once by someone I thought was my friend and the other by a man I was on a second date with. And it really wasn’t until recently that I came to terms with the fact that these two incidences were indeed rape. Mainly because both times I gave my consent, but not because I wanted to; I was afraid what would happen if I had insisted on the “No”. Because I knew that even if I had continued to say no, they would have had me anyway. Because it was better in my mind to just close my eyes and allow them to go through the motions than to experience the outright terror of the alternative.

But as a young woman in my early to mid twenties, still thinking rape was so black and white I couldn’t quite grasp the fact that it was what actually happened. I went through a mixture of feelings like denial, shame and even blaming myself for allowing me to be in those situations. You know, the lovely shit the patriarchy like to drill into the heads of females since birth! So I did what I thought was best; I placed these memories inside of a little box and push them deep inside my brain as best I could so as to forget.

There really is so much more to my story, but telling it in its entirety could really fill a book and I still, at this age and phase of my life, am not fully ready to disclose those details to anyone. But I will say that seeing other women step up for themselves has really inspired me. It has moved me in such a way to step outside of the patriarchal box I was living in for so long ad saying “Fuck you!” I’ve never been a feminist, ever, but these days I feel like I just might be on my way. I feel a lot more strongly about women’s rights and the straight up shit treatment we receive when it comes to sexual abuse.

I indeed have been part of the problem for so long and have been guilty of all kinds of horrible things like unfairly judging, slut and body shaming, and heck, even envy. But I have chosen to deprogram myself and I’m trying to live a better, more mindful life. I now feel a sense of solidarity with my fellow women and really want to work towards helping lift them up. That’s why #MeToo is so important. If there is one thing every single one of us women have in common, it is that at one point or another in our lives, we have experience something that allows us to say “Me too”. And we cannot let the movement die. We need to let everyone know that the time for bullshit is over. That we will no longer allow them to shame us into silence and that we matter. That we will raise our daughters to be strong where we were once weak, and to fight like there will be no tomorrow because #MeToo should end with us.

Thank you for taking the time to read this ever so personal post and feel free to share your own story in the comments! And if you don’t already, don’t forget to follow my blog on the upper right side of the page 🙂

With love,
Emily

Five Years Post-Florida!

4 Oct

It’s been over five years since I packed my bags and waved goodbye to Miami as I drove North to Atlanta. I was alone, didn’t have any friends or family in the area and I didn’t have a solid job. And though I hoped dearly that it would all work out for me, I was deathly afraid that I would fail the way I did when I attempted moving to Colorado and would have to end up coming back home with my tail tucked between my legs. Luckily, I quickly found a good job, made some new friends and met my now husband; Literally right away!

I’ve been reading over my past blog entries and I laugh a little at who I used to be. There was nothing wrong with who I was, I was just so different. I’ve grown and changed more in the past 5 years than I had in the 28 years it took for me to leave Miami! I used to be a a skinny, spunky, serial-dating party girl with no responsibilities (other than bills) and a passion for food blogging. Now I’m a 33 year old PC gaming wife and mother, overweight and arthritic, trying my best not to go postal at work! I won’t complain though, I do live a good life.

So, time for some news! We’ve recently decided to embark on a new adventure as a family and move to Savannah, GA! Once again there’s that bitter-sweet feeling when moving, but we believe it will be for the best. We needed a change of scenery and well, both Chase and River love the water, so it made sense. I hate that our winters won’t be nearly as cold, but maybe one day we will move up North or perhaps even out West; Anything is possible! For now, Chase and the rest of the family have made the move to Savannah already, but I’m staying behind in Atlanta until mid November to wrap some things up at my job. This billing master over here needs to train my new replacement to be as good as me, or at least somewhat! It’s tough being away from River during the week, but at least we have our weekends together.

I have missed blogging quite a bit, so I’m going to try my best to get back into it. I won’t make any promises as I have learned that the moment I give myself an expectation I will straight up sabotage myself and not do it. So I’ll post when I can and let you all know when I do. I’ll try to keep it just as entertaining as it was before, even though I’m old and boring now.

Thanks for reading!
-Emily

A Year Later & I Still Love It

8 Jun

May 4th marked my one year anniversary with Georgia. A lot has happened in that year, but I can safely say that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

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I’m Engaged!!!

10 Oct

Engaged

Yes, ladies and gentlemen!  Can you believe it?!  I almost can’t!

Just a few months ago I was still living in my mom’s house in Miami wondering if my life was going to start.  Now, I’m living in Atlanta with the man of my dreams, making the most amazing plans together.

I know it seems a bit quick to some;  Chase and I have only been together for four months.  But I will say, that in four months, we have grown closer to each other than some couples have in four years.  We get along so well, we have a lot of the same likes and similar thought processes, we have the same goals and we don’t fight.

I have to thank fate for bringing us together when it did.  I really was lost before I met him and I couldn’t be more grateful to have him in my life.  In this short time we’ve gone through quite a bit together and he has honestly become my best friend.  There is no one else I’d rather spend the rest of my life with than him.

Chase & Emily

The Big Bang!

5 Jul

If you follow me on any other social network, you probably already know that I suffered a nasty concussion on Sunday.  However, I’ve yet to go into true detail about what happened and all of the confusion around it.

My boyfriend, Rene, lives in NY, but when he was last in town I was able to meet his family who I now love as if they were my own.  So even though he’s far away, last Sunday I went out to Elliot Key with his family on their boat.  We had a really great time and even made plans to return on the 4th of July since everyone was going to be off of work, but everything changed on the way back to the Marina.

I was standing up on thElliot Key with Rocioe way back, holding on to a metal pole, chatting with Aunt Betty.  The ocean was very calm and flat that day so the ride wasn’t rough at all, but thanks to a fellow boater, we got hit with a wake and then suddenly, BANG!  I don’t recall the actual impact or the pain right after, but I do remember Betty holding up one of the legs to my sunglasses, which had shattered right off of my face and everyone telling me I had to go sit down while I kept saying that I was fine.

The next thing I remember is Lauren, Rene’s sister, pulling up to my driveway in my car, dropping me off at home.  I remember getting out of the car and waving bye to her and the family in their truck.  Then the next thing I recall is giving my uncle the keys to my car so he could repark it, him asking me if I was “Drunkiepooh” and me saying yes.

Next thing you know it’s Midnight and I wake up in my bed with a massive migraine, wrapped in a towel, with another towel on my head, thinking “WTF??”

I woke up the next morning, after 15 hours of sleep, thinking I had blacked out from alcohol, even though I only remembered drinking 3 beers, which is child’s play to me.  I got ready and went to work, driving really afraid and with a hazy mind and vision that was a bit off.  I felt like crap and I didn’t know why.  I called my mom and had difficulty expressing myself, like I had a delay in my speech. I wrote an email to Rene’s mom apologizing for having been trashed and if I misbehaved in any way, but she responded almost confused with why I had sent that.  She said I had barely drank at all and that I was far from drunk.  That I was totally ok, but she had Lauren drive my car for me because of my hit to the head;  And that’s when it all made sense.Ice pack at hospital

I called my doctor’s office and they had told me to get there as fast as I could so my mom left work at took me there.  I had no idea how bad this all was until I was at the doctor’s office and the Nurse ran out to get the Doc mid-story in a bit of a panic.  He explained to us how my “drunken” behavior was a neurological reaction to the impact and suggested I go to the ER to get a CT Scan due to fear that I could have some swelling or bleeding in the brain.

Thank goodness there was none of that and I was able to go home, but not without being prescribed some major pain killers and with orders to rest and not even attempt driving until Saturday.  I just feel extremely lucky that I made it through everything without any major damage.  Many people have died from these kinds of incidents so for that I’m grateful.  Now I just need to make sure to be extra careful whenever I go on the boat again and stay far away from metal poles!  No more concussions for me!

Until we meet again…

1 Apr

On March 10th, my cousin, Carlos Reyes lost his life at the young age of  28 in a tragic motorcycle accident.  People tend to automatically assume when there’s an accident involving a motorcycle that the cyclist is the one at fault, but this was not the case.  Carlos was swindled out of his life by a reckless driver in a car whose poor judgement also claimed the life of the passenger in the car (the driver’s wife) and still has the driver in a coma.

There are no words to properly justify the devastation this tragedy has caused our families.  Though Carlos was not at fault, there was a second innocent life lost in all of this and there is another family that is suffering the same pain we are.

Growing up, though I loved all of my cousins, I was always closest to Carlos and his brother Nick.  The two of them have always been my loves; I adore them and the ground they walk on; I always have.  They were my first friends and to this day, though at times we may be distant, we’d still do anything for each other.

Loosing Carlos has got to be the single most hardest thing I’ve ever had to experience in this life.  I always knew that I loved him, but I never realized just how much.  His departure had completely broken my heart, shattered my hopes and had left me with the deepest emptiness in my soul that I honestly lost all desire to continue.  Billie Holiday said it best in Gloomy Sunday, “Angles have no thoughts of ever returning you. Would they be angry if I thought of joining you?”  It wasn’t just my personal pain that made me feel this way.  It was having to see the pain in Nick, our grandmother and the rest of the cousins that was even more difficult.  And the worst of all, the thought of what was to happen to his son, Carlos Jr.

But after every storm there comes the sun.  I could never in a million years say that I am glad that Carlos lost his life; I would gladly give up my own for his return, but I can honestly say that I am grateful for the gifts he gave me when he left.  I’ve come to realize the things that truly matter in this life.  I had been given tiny glimpses of them before, through the loss of other loved ones, but never like this.  The person who I was up until the 10th, is not the person I am now.  And a family that was once segregated has now been reunited.

Before Carlos’ passing, I had only a handful of cousins and one Uncle left and now I have over 13 cousins, and after 14 years of my Aunt Raisa’s passing (Carlos & Nick’s mother) I have Aunts and I have Uncles; all that I knew when I was a young child, but never as a teenager or adult.  And now that I have them in my life again, you better believe that I’m never letting go.

The love and support that I have been able to give and receive from my immediate family and the newly discovered one is the only thing that has gotten me through this as sanely as I have.  We didn’t even know it, but we needed each other and for this, I thank Carlos from the bottom of my heart.

I’m well aware of the saying, “Time heals all wounds,” and maybe it’s so, but Carlos is not someone I will ever forget.  It’s still almost unreal to believe he’s not here anymore, but like Pink says in Who Knew?, “I’ll keep you locked in my head until we meet again.”

Thank you for everything Carlos. I love you, now and forever.

Carlos Rey Reyes
1.6.84 – 3.10.12

Recipe: Bacon, Mushroom and Chicken Pasta Alfredo with Garlic Bread Crumbs & Italian Margaritas

23 Jan

Today I was eager to cook something simple yet full of flavor.  I decided to go the Italian route by choosing pasta Alfredo and garlic bread. I honestly could have made it easy on myself by tackling the Alfredo Sandra Lee-style (Semi Home Made) with a pre-made sauce, but wanted to challenge myself by making it from scratch for the first time.  I’ve also been watching a lot of Chopped and was inspired to use some left over hot dog buns I had in my fridge for the garlic bread instead of using more obvious choices.  I had to take the garlic bread idea one step further though.  I wanted to process the bread into crispy and flavorful crumbs.  And of course, as a Bartender, I wanted to marry this meal with the perfect cocktail.

Now, after having made dinner, sitting down and reflecting on it, I really wish there was hidden cameras in my kitchen.  I was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off.  I burned my garlic bread crumbs so I had to create a new batch of garlic spread and start all over again in a mad dash.

Well, I’ll stop babbling now and get to the good stuff.  Below you will find photos of the finished products and the recipes (all modified by me to my liking).  The photo of the meal was indeed taken by me, but the Italian Margarita photo is not mine.  I was not able to rim the glass with sugar due to lack of counter space and the bread emergency and I forgot to buy an orange to garnish it, but the Margarita photo below is what it would have looked like had I done it right.

BACON & MUSHROOM ALFREDO SAUCE

1 Pint Half & Half
3 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Shallot, Minced
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
1/4 Cup Parsley Chopped
1/2 Pound Bacon, Cooked and Chopped
1/3 Cup Baby Bella Mushrooms, Chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil (maybe a little more)
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add 2 minced garlic cloves and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in flour until well-blended.  Add half and half.

Stir sauce over medium-low heat.  Do not allow sauce to boil or stick to bottom of pan.  Reduce heat if necessary.  Allow sauce to thicken (about 20 minutes), stirring frequently.

In a separate saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Sautee mushrooms, shallot and remaining garlic until translucent and tender.  Do not brown.

When sauce is near desired consistency, add Parmesan cheese.  Stir to melt cheese for 2 minutes.  Toss in most of the bacon and parsley (leave some to top your dish), salt and pepper to taste and mushrooms.  Stir for another 1-2 minutes.  Remove sauce from heat.

GARLIC BREAD CRUMBS

1/2 Cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, Softened
2 Large Cloves of Garlic, Smashed and Minced
1 Heaping Tablespoon of Freshly Chopped Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Splash of Olive Oil
Bread of Choice

Simply mix all ingredients together.  Ideally make this early on and refrigerate so that the flavors develop and really penetrate the butter.  Soften again before applying to bread.

To create the bread crumbs, use any bread of your choice, and make sure it’s sliced fairly thin.  Cover bread in garlic spread place on baking pan and broil.  All breads will vary in time so just keep your eye on it.  As soon as it looks toasted, pull out of the oven.  Chop the bread into smaller pieces and grind up in a food processor until chunks have become crumbs.

Place crumbs back on baking pan and put back into the oven.  This shouldn’t take more than 3 minutes.  Be careful not to burn.


FINISHING TOUCHES

The chicken was seasoned with salt and pepper and sauteed over medium heat in olive oil with fresh garlic and shallots.

I chose to marry the chicken, sauce and pasta together before plating.  Once plated I topped it with the bread crumbs, remaining bacon and a little bit more of chopped parsley for an extra burst of color.

ITALIAN MARGARITA

1 oz Amaretto (Almond Lequeur)
2 oz Sweet and Sour Mix
1/2 oz Tequila of choice
1/2 oz Tripel Sec
Sugar for Glass
Garnish with an Orange Slice

Top glass with ice, poor in ingredients, shake and serve. If you want to get fancy, rim the glass with sugar and garnish with an orange slice.

If you’ve never rimmed a glass before, the easiest way is to get a slice or lemon or lime and squeeze it around the rim of the glass. Then tip glass into a small plate with sugar. Pat the rim around on the side to make sure the sugar sticks all around the border..

So now that we’re all done, I just have to say that dinner came out sooooo incredibly delicious and I’m quite proud of myself.   And though I think these recipes are perfect as is, I’d like to know if any of you would do this a little differently?  Are any of you inspired to give this a shot for yourself??  Comment to let me know and come back and comment again with pictures if you do!

-Emily Sixx