Tag Archives: relationships

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

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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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

Realize what you have before it’s gone…

6 Nov

Last night I was requested to Bartend at a private party.  This particular event was a very elaborate Housewarming party for a really nice family that was very excited to be settled into their new home (which was HUGE), and of course, share it with their friends and family.  They invited loads of guests, had tons of food and alcohol, a DJ, servers, valet,  you name it.

The party started fairly early and by midnight it was still going hard.  Belly dancers were about to come out and put on a show when the unfortunate happened; The host’s mother passes out and experiences a stroke.  Immediately they got on the phone with 911/Rescue and did all they could to keep her alive until the medics arrived, and even then they had to pump her chest and do God knows what to try to make sure she was getting enough oxygen.

Long story short; Grandma is gone.

I was the last of the help to leave.  I had to wait for the host and the rest of the guests to leave so that I could go back into the yard to gather up my equipment.  There I had a talk with the host’s daughter, who is my age.  She is a sweet woman, and was mourning, of course.  And as she vented she said a lot of things that I too felt when my grandfather had passed away: “All the times she called me and I didn’t pick up because I was too busy.  All the times she invited me over and I didn’t go.  And now she’s gone and there’s nothing I can do to fix that.”

My grandfather, Abuelo Rey, passed away about four years ago.  I still cannot see a picture of him or even talk about him without tearing up or just all-out balling.  Even now, writing this, I can’t help but cry.  His death is one that I accepted when it happened.  He was sick and regressed fairly quickly in last two years of his life, so I knew that when it was his time it was his time.  It was for the better and I accepted that.  But what I did not accept or forgive myself for was the fact that I had barely been around for those last two years of his life.

I honestly used to blame it on the boyfriend that I had at the time.  Though I loved him very much, he was a very selfish person so we only ever did what he wanted to do, when he wanted to and how.  We spent a lot of time with his family, but barely any with mine.  I made countless plans to go see my Abuelo and Abuela, but at the last minute he never wanted to go so I’d give them another excuse as to why I wasn’t going over to see them.

I do realize now that my partner was in no way the blame of my absence.  Though these actions did contribute to his selfishness, the ultimate decision to go or not go was mine.  I didn’t have to rely on anyone but myself to go spend time with my family.  If he didn’t want to come with me, well that should have been his loss and his loss alone.  Instead, I allowed it to be mine as well.

And though I feel in my heart that this doesn’t matter, because while he was in his coma in the hospital, not responding to ANYONE, he responded to ME.  Once his eyes closed, he never opened them again, but when I went to see him, I sat down on the bed next to him and I held his hand.  I held his big, almost lifeless hands and I leaned over and softly spoke into his ear.  I told him that it was me, and that I was sorry for not having come over all the times I said I would and that I knew I was a horrible granddaughter, but I loved him very very much.  And as I spoke I felt his hand starting to tighten up, tighter and tighter.  Once I gave him a kiss on his cheek he gave me one last tight squeeze and then that was it.  He passed away a few day later without having responded to anyone else.

Because of that, part of me feels forgiven, but it still weighs heavy in my heart no matter what.  I still remember everything about my last visit to his house and I remember his voice as clear as day.  I miss him so much, and I really wish he were still around.  But alas, thinking like that will never make a difference so what’s the point?

I guess what I’m just trying to get at here is that you should never take anyone for granted.  Age doesn’t matter; I’m not only talking about the elderly.  You never know if today could be yours or anyone else’  last day, no mater what age.  I’ve also lost young friends to very unfortunate circumstances, but their stories would require a whole entry of their own.

Just, don’t ever put off for tomorrow what you could do today.  Always follow through when you tell someone you’re going to see them or spend time with them.  And never be afraid to tell someone you love them when you know you do.  You never know when it will be your last chance to do so, and once that chance is gone, there is no getting it back.  In life and death there are no do-overs.

How I Became an Online Dating Addict

20 Oct

This week, instead of giving you the 101′s and ABC’s of online dating, I’d like to take a different approach and share my story with you; The reason behind why I became so enthralled with it all and why it works for me.  And in order to do so, I must start from the beginning:

As a senior in high school I was quite the character, to say the least.  I was an Honor Roll student, 1st Lieutenant in the JROTC, crazy about live Punk and Ska shows and addicted to the internet.  I don’t quite recall how I came across my first online dating site, but I do remember what it was called; “Face The Jury.”

On this site you would post photos of yourself with a short bio and other members would judge you on a scale of 1-10.  Personally, my score always ranged between an 8 and 8.4 (pats self on back).  I don’t believe that FTJ was ever a traditional online dating site, but it is indeed how I met my first internet crush.  Obviously, I don’t really need to go into much detail to say that we did not quite work out, but we are still very close friends to this day and I do not regret one second of it.

Shortly after that experience I was introduced to Myspace (another non-traditional online dating site) and little by little I started making new virtual friends and meeting them in person.  I dated a few of them, again nothing really worked out in the long run, but my experience there was just a warm up for what was in store for me in the future.

It wasn’t until a few years later that I really started to get hooked.  Up until then, I saw online dating as a reliable source, but by no means was it my priority since I would go out several times a week and party like a mad woman.  I would meet men in person everywhere I’d go thanks to my “life of the party” attitude and being an extreme extrovert.  But this all would soon change.

I’ve always been the type of person who’d jump around from industry to industry, earning me a very diverse resume, but in 2009 my career change went from one extreme to another.  I went from being a Trusted Agent with Homeland Security to becoming a Bartender.

Bartending was something I had always been interested in and as soon as I became certified I landed an excellent job at an Irish Pub.  I worked Thursday – Monday nights and only had Tuesdays and Wednesdays off.  Of course all of my friends had normal jobs and stayed in on my nights off and I refused to date any customers, so my chances of meeting men in person went down-hill.

What was a girl to do??  Well, this girl jumped back onto the Online Dating Wagon and joined Match.com (for the third time, but this time I went in for the kill)!  As soon as I joined my inbox was full of emails from men complimenting me, asking me out on dates and some even borderline professing their love for me.  Of course, I milked this to the extreme.  I was getting to know men from all walks of life and from all over the world; Cuba, Venezuela, Italy, Bavaria,  Austria, India, and much, much more.

I immediately started going on dates on my days off or before my shifts started on the weekends.  On a slow week I’d go on two dates, but my average was four to five dates a week, all with different men.

Now, I know some of you must be thinking “What a little slut.”  Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but that would be far from the case.  Sure I was talking to and dating multiple men at once, but most of them did not make it past that first date, and even less made it past a second.

So, with such little success, why did I continue to date this way?  Well, I saw it as a game of numbers.  If you go on enough dates, you’re bound to meet at least one man that could shine and stand out amongst the others; Aside from the fact that it was just all around fun and exciting.

Mass online dating also helped me figure out exactly what kind of man/qualities I’m looking for.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those girls who walks around with an unrealistic checklist entitled, “The Perfect Man”.  There is no such thing as perfect, but dating at high volumes did help me narrow it down to the most important traits in a short amount of time and help me realize that I should never settle for anything less than what I know I deserve.  And I’d much rather be single and happy than to be in a relationship with someone I know is not 100% meant for me.

Once again I find myself single and with a complicated schedule.  This time I am able to meet men on the random if I wanted to since I have weekends off.  However, I have now become really stand-offish when it comes to meeting men at bars and other public places. I honestly do prefer the method of reading a profile and getting an insight on them before engaging in conversation.

It’s like skipping through the B.S. of first impressions.  Your first impression for me is what you have to say for yourself to the world; a general insight on you.  Not what you think I might want to hear according to where you meet me, what I’m wearing and/or what I’m drinking.

online dating is what I’m most comfortable with, and has yielded the best results for me.  It’s something I enjoy and don’t plan on quitting any time soon…Unless I meet my Prince Charming, of course!  Until then, I’m hooked and it can only be to your benefit!

This entry was originally posted by me at Singles Warehouse

Dear Mr. Seductive

17 Oct

A  friend of mine recently introduced me to a website called iSeduceWomen.com.  Now, when she first told me the site’s name I thought “What the in the…” and of course I had to go check it out for myself.  The site is just one page, very clean and very simple. It describes itself as being “For the man who digs women. From a woman who digs women.”

Not yet intrigued?  It continues to read “Seduction is not about sex.  Seduction is not simply a carnal venture.  It’s about appreciating, celebrating, and reveling in a woman on every level and in every way.”

So of course I signed up for the mailing list and since then have been receiving daily messages from a  Mr. Craven Moore with advice on none other than the art of seducing women.  And I must admit, every day I grow more and more intrigued with this said Craven Moore.

“Dear Mr. Seductive,

Be patient.

Seduction isn’t about sex.  It’s about pleasure.

Pleasure in sexual tension.  Pleasure in stalking your prey.  Pleasure in waiting patiently for the kill.

Take your time.  Point out how much you love the building tension.  Move in close, but let her come to you.”

What?!?!  This is so sexy!!!!

“Dear Mr. Seductive,

Gauge her naughty level.
If she’s proper, don’t be insulting.  If she’s a freak, be REALLY freaky.

Dare to be different.
Have tricks up your sleeve.

Do something to her that NO ONE has ever done before.
She’ll tell your friends (and hers) about it.

How far are you willing to go to be a legend?”

I for one will not be using this information to try to seduce women because I am a man-lover to a fault.  But I can most definitely say that I love this idea and I think every man should be reading these little bits of advice.  I don’t necessarily agree with all of them, but they are, for the most part, pretty on point.

“Dear Mr. Seductive,

Make sure she knows how hot she is.

Infuse her with confidence.  The more attractive she feels, the more she’ll want to take her clothes off.”

Need I say more?  I think not! Spread the knowledge ladies.  Let’s get these men back on track!

You’re welcome!
-Emily Sixx 😉

Online Dating 101: Safety First!

13 Oct

The arguments against online dating are numerous, to say the least, but the most common one I hear about has to do with a woman’s safety.  And as much as I’d like to say otherwise, unfortunately that’s an argument that will not be going away any time soon thanks to our fear-driven media and society.

Could it be that the thirty year old Chiropractor you’ve been chatting with for the past month might actually be a fifty-seven year old ex-convict with a taste for blood?  Anything is possible! But I believe it is much more likely to look out the window right now and find John Cusack holding up a Boombox playing “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.

Did you look?? No Cusack Boombox serenade? I thought so!

Now, I’m not saying to throw caution to the wind and not take any precautions when meeting someone in person for the first time.  You most definitely need to be careful and I would like to share a few tips with you in order to make your first physical encounter a safe one.

Tip #1: Make sure you have a recent photo

Before even agreeing to meeting anyone in person, you need to be positive that they are who they claim to be on a physical level.  Make sure to have them send you a photo through their phone doing something you’ve requested, like making them stand in a particular pose or holding up a piece of paper with your name on it.  If they claim the camera on their phone doesn’t work suggest they web cam with you. If they cannot do either, I would suggest not moving forward with the date.

Tip #2: Meet in a public place

Always make sure that your first date with anyone you meet online is in a public place; mall, bar, restaurant, etc.  Whichever one you do, make sure it’s somewhere relatively busy where there will be a lot of eyes.  No matter how cool a person may seem via email or over the phone, do not ever go to their house or one of their friends’ parties or anything of the sort before you really know who they are.  Though some men may be great actors, for the most part your gut instinct and the chemistry you may or may not share with that person will be able to guide you in deciding whether or not that can happen on a future date.

Tip #3: Cover your steps and have a back-up plan

Never go off on a first date of the online kind without letting someone know where you will be.  Advise someone of the exact location, time, the name of the person you’re meeting, and if possible send that someone a picture of your date.  You can never be too sure and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.  You may also like to consider having a back-up plan. Let this person know that if you text them with the safety word (i.e. “Turtle”) that it is their cue to call you in a panic and demanding you come help them out with something immediately.

Tip #4: Always carry protection

For the ladies with a dirty mind, no, I am not talking about condoms!  Even though that is something you should always carry, you should not be getting down and dirty on your first date!

What I am talking about here is personal protection; Pepper Spray, Pocket Knife, Taser, or whatever is legal in your part of town.  Personally, I’ve always carried pepper spray on me.  It’s on my key chain and ready to rumble if there is ever a need for it.  Granted, in the seven years that I’ve made this part of my attire (and I do replace them frequently for freshness sake), I have never had to use it.  I’ve come close, but it’s never had to be done.

At the end of the day, ladies, we all need to be careful.  Never assume that anyone can be trusted until they have earned your trust.  Following each of these steps will definitely assure your safety, which is key.  Whether or not the date is an overall success is totally up to your chemistry and the powers that be!

This entry was originally posted by me at Singles Warehouse