Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What's Going On?

There's something you should know about me. I am fiercely opinionated and 99% of the time I lack the ability to keep that to myself. Over the past 8 or so years of blogging I've expressed my thoughts on the state of the country, particularly related to same-sex marriage, a few different times.

I have always been a hyper-emotional and sensitive person. I can't tell you how many times I've been told that I don't have a poker face by my friends, family, and partners.. hell, even my boss told me once that he can read my emotions like a book.

Another thing you should know is I was raised in a very open-minded household and spent grades 4 through 12 in a culturally diverse school. I was exposed to a variety of cultures from around the world and looking back, I don't think I fully understood how much that helped to shape the outspoken and empathetic person I've become.

Even in elementary school I never viewed my peers as weird or less-than because we were "different." I had black friends, Indian friends, Jewish friends.. it never mattered to me. Maybe some of that can be attributed to childhood innocence, but I realize now that some children may be robbed of that due to the hateful rhetoric being slung around our country on a daily basis.

I'm not naive - I know this kind of "talk" isn't new. What continues to baffle me is how prevalent it has become. When did it become ok to call someone a "snowflake" just because they sympathize with a viewpoint that is different than yours? Or to call someone a disgusting racial slur just because they have a different skin color than you and hold a different opinion about something? I read on Monday that a fire chief in Pittsburgh resigned because of backlash he received after calling the Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, a man of color, a "no good n----r," because the team chose to protest the national anthem (oh trust me, I'll touch on this soon). He went on to say that he's "not the racist the media is portraying" him to be and that his social media post was made out of "frustration and anger." Excuse my language here, but yeah fucking right. If your knee-jerk reaction is to call someone a racial slur instead of an asshole or something similar when you're angry.... You're a racist. My only hope is that one day your shriveled cold heart learns what understanding and acceptance mean.

Here's the thing. I am ALL FOR agreeing to disagree - it's one of the great things about the first amendment and our ability as Americans to express our opinions. I used to think that opportunity was something we took for granted.. now, unfortunately, it's being taken advantage of. 

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King Jr. 

I am linking a few of my previous similar blogs if you're curious.
Election 2012
Marriage Equality
Sorority Videos

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Month 1 in the Mitten

Exactly one month ago, Mike, Charlie, and I rolled into Michigan in our 20 foot U-Haul with my Escape on the back ready (mostly) for an entirely new adventure.

For those who don't know, Mike decided to go back to the University of Michigan to get his MBA. I've known for over a year that I'd be leaving Dallas, but the reality of leaving home and the weeks leading up to our move were.. overwhelming. Until we moved into our house last week I'd only been to Ann Arbor three times, so calling this new chapter in my life a leap of faith would be putting it lightly. Mike went to undergrad here, so it's like a homecoming of sorts for him and he is beyond excited for football season. As for me? I'm grateful to have a career that allows me to work remotely and a family that (finally) encouraged me to embrace this new chapter and jump in with both feet.

I'm not going to lie, it's scary moving away from your comfort zone. My family and friends have always been my greatest support system, and I've leaned on them for damn near everything. I love surrounding myself with people, so moving to a place where I don't know anyone is terrifying. I know that learning to rely on myself more will be a challenge, but it's one I've needed to tackle for a long time. I'm nearly 26, so it's about time I gained some independence..

The past month has felt like a weird vacation of sorts. We were lucky enough to stay with Mike's parents for a few weeks until we were able to move into our house. There's something about living out of suitcases that makes everything feel temporary. Not to mention we took a trip to Chicago for Lollapalooza and Mike was gone most days for orientation. Now that we're finally moved in I am chomping at the bit to make this house feel like home. I know I'm driving Mike crazy, but something as simple as changing a paint color I hate (the entire house is baby blue....) puts me in the mindset that this is actually permanent. Well... as permanent as a two-year MBA program can be.

I saw a quote the other day that has really stuck with me, and I'm really hoping that it continues to bring me some semblance of peace while I adjust to living in a new state, learn to make friends (how to people even do that these days?!) and embrace this entire experience.

"If you are depressed, you're living in the past. If you're anxious, you're living in the future. If you are at peace, you're living in the present."

As someone who is almost always anxious, peace and balance is something I strive for. I'll be honest, living in the present is not something I'm good at. I'm constantly worrying, wondering what if, and trying to make detailed plans when it's entirely unnecessary. I know I'll have days where I doubt my decision to move and miss home like hell, but thankfully I haven't had one of those days yet. Will that day ever come? Absolutely, but wondering when that day will be is only keeping me from embracing the now.

So for now I'm taking it one day at a time. I'm embracing the chaos, every new experience, and trying to make a home for us. Tonight's adventure includes a gallon of paint named alpaca and a whole lot of patience. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

ABC + Get to Know Me

Nothing makes me want to blog quite like life changes. Self-fueled therapy by essentially word vomiting across my own corner of the internet has worked in the past, so hey, why not give it the good ol' 57th try!

It occurred to me that while some of you readers may be brand new here, some of you may remember college blogger Madison. If you read my last post, then you know that quite a bit has changed since my former blogging days. More than that, my life has changed even more in the past 10 days. But my cross-country move (my inner dialogue just said "holy shit, this is real") really deserves it's own post.

In an effort to give you a peek into my jumbled mind, I thought I'd share a little about myself in the form of ABC's.

So without further ado...

Age - 25, almost 26.

Biggest Fear - Failing in general is a big one, but I've failed pretty hard and I'm still breathing... One thing I'm scared of is dying young and not getting to experience life with a family that I've created. I'm also irrationally scared of clowns and being trapped in an elevator..

Charlie - My perfect bagel dog. I am convinced that I somehow gave birth to him because our mannerisms are pretty identical and we could both sleep 16 hours straight without a second thought. I cry when I have to leave him for the weekend. #separationanxiety

Drink - Water, tea (hot or iced), cinnamon dolce latte, sauvignon blanc or malbec, anything vodka.

Exercise - Spinning. I honestly love it so much that I spent my last 3 months in Dallas working a second job at Zyn22. I've always laughed at people who claimed that exercise changed their life (not in a weight loss/health kind of way), but my mind is clearer and my attitude is better when I am spending more time in the gym.

Food - Any and everything. Chipotle, sushi, and anything Italian will always be favorites. Greek food, a good filet, and key lime pie are close seconds. I love to cook but hate following recipes and have a tendency to add my own flair. I've considered sharing a few of my favorite recipes but I'm terrible with measurements. If you can follow along with a little of this and a little of that then I should be able to make it work.

Guilty Pleasure - Wine, haha. Reece's cups, social media, Ink Master on Spike TV.

Hobbies - reading (I've read quite a few good books over the past year, so look for a post of my favorites coming soon), cycling, cooking, fantasy football, hoarding (just kidding.... but I am not the most organized human), music, and TV. Oh, and cuddling with Charlie.

Instruments - I'm not what anyone would call musically gifted. My step-dad attempted to teach me to play guitar in 8th grade but that was short lived. I had a thing for the video game Rock Band in high school, but I was pretty terrible at that too..

Job - I am a business development manager for a business plan development company, but I do so much. I help develop ideas for clients and turn those ideas into a plan that they can then use to make their idea a reality. I have learned so much about so many different industries and there is nothing I love more than making my clients happy.

Kids - I love them. I've made jokes for years that I'll probably have an army because I'm an only child and want a huge family. BUT, ask me how I feel after my first haha.

Love - The life I'm creating and the people I surround myself with + Charlie.

Music - I love music. I could have just as much fun at a country concert as I could at a rock show or a rave. Some of my all time favorites that I could never get sick of are U2, Coldplay, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Marvin Gaye, Kenny Chesney, Pearl Jam, Above & Beyond, Kaskade, Dillon Francis. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Tritonal, Alesso, Ed Sheeran, Glass Animals, and old Lenny Kravitz.

Nickname - It depends on who you ask. My mom has called me boog/boogie since I was little, and I choose to believe it was because I was a fantastic dancer and not a snot-nosed child... Mads caught on in high school, but very few people have ever called me Maddie.

One Wish - To be mentally and emotionally at peace with the life I have chosen. I would love to be free of self-doubt and second guesses, but hey, I'm human.

Phobias - Being trapped in a small space, or any space really. I'm the person always looking for the exit when I'm in a new place because I want to be aware of my escape route. This is probably why I don't like flying...

Quote - "So it goes."

Right or Left - Right-handed but left-leaning when it comes to politics (note to self- bring back my OP ED posts)

Season of Choice - Anything but winter. Ironic considering I just moved to the arctic tundra. I mean Michigan..

Thanksgiving - because who doesn't love a holiday dedicated to food, football, and wine?

Unknown Fact - I got second place in a karaoke contest when I was in 5th grade!

Vacation Destination - I will always say Greece because I loved it so much.. But I'd really like to visit the west coast. I'd love to spend a few days in San Francisco and Napa then drive down the coast and go to Malibu Wine Safari (animals and wine, hello - that's the dream), and then DisneyLand. Anyone care to fund this dream trip?

Worst Habit - Ugh, I'm such a procrastinator. Part of me thinks it's because I work best under pressure, but the other part of me knows I'm very easily distracted..

X-rays - One time I drunkenly fell out of a cab in London.. then I proceeded to spend the next 6 days walking with an ankle the size of a softball (and wearing heels!!) because I'm as stubborn as they come. Thankfully nothing was broken, but the ligaments were all over stretched and I had to wear a walking book for 5 weeks.

Young Living - Yes, I am one of those "oily" people. Eventually I'll get around to a post on why I love my oils so much, but seriously, they're amazing.

Zodiac - I'm a libra, but as far as how that pertains to my ~*personality*~ and what not... I don't really buy into that.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Twenty Five

On my 18th birthday, if you asked me where I thought I'd be when I turned 25 I can almost guarantee you that my answer wouldn't remotely resemble where I am in life right now. Divorced and moving out on my own for the very first time. 

 To be honest, I've never really enjoyed my birthdays. Almost every birthday I can think of is asterisked by a bad memory. When I turned 22 I had a complete mental breakdown because I felt like my life was happening around me and I was just along for the ride. Looking back I see the red flags clear as day, but I was young and naive and truthfully, I was too scared to acknowledge that I wasn't ready for the responsibility of what it meant to commit my life to someone else. Of course at the time I didn't realize that this was the source of my anxiety, my almost constant panic attacks, my fear of being alone for more than 20 minutes. 

 On my 24th birthday I took off my wedding rings and my life did a complete 180. I was resentful, and hurtful, and selfish, and I completely ignored the advice that the perils who love me were desperately trying to provide. I like to think I know why I made those decisions, and it took me a long time to accept responsibility for them and for the hurt that they caused. 

 The truth is I failed, and that is something I never want to do again. I'm human. I know that I'm not perfect and that I will undoubtedly make mistakes in my life. But I'm not going to run from them. I want to be a better person than I was last year. Hell, I want to be a better person than I was yesterday.

The first quarter of my life taught me a lot about failure and accepting responsibility. It also taught me who was going to be mad as hell at me but love me through my mess anyway. It taught me about humility and that it's okay to ask for help. 

 Truth be told I have no idea what comes next, but I have a pretty good feeling about the second quarter.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My Two Cents - Sorority Videos

Here’s what I don’t understand.. This video was designed to garner attention and make potential new members curious about the sorority, correct? So explain to me why half of America is up in arms because this silly, light-hearted sorority recruitment video did exactly what is was supposed to do!

Kuddos to whoever came up with the idea for the video because that girl is going to make one fantastic marketing executive one day.

I haven’t even seen the video, but what bothers me the most is the fact that people are attacking these girls’ character because the video appears to be shallow and frivolous. That is absolutely pathetic. Sorority women raise millions of dollars each year for a wide variety of amazing causes, but do these women ever get credit for that in the media? NO! Because it’s so much easier to attack them. Don’t even get me started on the newspaper that called this sorority “worse for women than Donald Trump.” I mean I get it, comparing anything to that idiot is news these days, so congratulations for getting your name out there… but are you fucking kidding me? Another post for another day, I digress.

To everyone bitching and moaning about this video, here’s the thing… it wasn’t for you! It wasn’t for news outlets or “hormonal college guys.” It wasn’t for the University or even me, a former sorority member. This video was designed for potential new members to show, “hey, we have fun! We love our sisters and we can be goofy and not take ourselves too seriously and maybe you think you would get along well with us.” And to those of you saying this video should have shown their values and highlight the organizations they represent – I promise you, those videos exist too and they get shown during recruitment! But apparently we live in a society where everyone takes you at face value and by participating in a silly video makes you a bimbo with no morals or education whose only goal in life is to become a Stepford Wife.

I say BRAVO! to the girls in the video! You look beautiful and fun and, most importantly, you look happy, which is something I hope you are all able to hang on to forever. Let’s be honest, there are a lot of assholes in the world, and a lot of people who love tearing others down. So my advice? Smile through the bullshit, people will forget about this soon enough.


I guess you could say this is welcome back? Clearly this wee little blog needs a massive face lift since a lot of life has happened since I last blogged 2 years ago. I'll do my best to stay on top of everything, but bear with me, okay? Baby steps :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Food For Thought

I'll start this off by saying I was not raised in your average two-parent household where many controversial topics were considered taboo.
I was raised in a family where nothing was off limits and whenever I would develop my own opinion about something I was never told that I was 'right' or 'wrong' I was asked why I thought what I did.
I was asked to think.
From a very young age my mom took it upon herself to teach me to utilize my resources; develop my own opinions and passions. She encouraged me to learn, grow and evolve in my thinking.
I distinctly remember writing a paper about how horrific abortion is, regardless of circumstance, when I was in the sixth grade. I look back now and laugh because really, what 12 year old can fully develop an opinion about a woman's right to choose? At 12 years old I was not a woman and now, nearly 10 years later, my opinions have changed.
I've grown. I've evolved.

That's the funny thing about opinions though, while they may be yours, is that people are so quick to judge you based on them.
I was raised to be loving, accepting, understanding and free thinking.
 Sadly what I've come to realize is that I'm naive to think that everyone in my generation was raised to be as open minded as I was.

I'm going to be really vulnerable here and say that there was a point in my life where I would consider myself moderately religious. I valued the stories and lessons I was taught, and at the time I really needed that in my life. As I grew older and began to understand some of the underlying messages, I took myself away from the situation. I made the choice that I no longer needed those explicit teachings in my life to be the loving, accepting, understanding and free thinking person I was raised to be and wanted to continue to be. For now I'll call myself spiritually curious and leave it at that.

When Facebook "turned red" in support of marriage equality yesterday I was amazed and disappointed at the amount of young people condemning marriage equality.

I refer to this social issue as marriage EQUALITY not just "gay marriage" because I believe that marriage is a fundamental human right not to be determined by whether you are gay or not. To me, marriage equality refers to any human being that is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight.

I was overwhelmed by the amount of disrespectful and ignorant Facebook statuses ranging from lengthy hateful rants to simple "not equal" signs. More than anything, it was disheartening to see so many young people crying out for the Supreme Court to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act. Young people who don't know they first thing about the ins and outs of marriage. Young people who have no idea what it's like to love someone so much it hurts only to have the government forbid you from marrying that person.
To say my blood was boiling as I sat at work trolling my Facebook feed would be a vast understatement. 
It's boiling now if I'm being perfectly honest.
To see people writing "their sin is greater than mine will ever be" and "I don't want my kids to see two women holding hands and get confused" just absolutely blew my mind. Are you joking me? You should be GRATEFUL that your children may one day have the opportunity to live in a country more loving and accepting and evolved than the one we are currently in! You should be HOPEFUL that one day your child may have the opportunity to marry that one person that they can't imagine spending their life without regardless if they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender OR straight. 

It's funny, Jason and I are on complete and total opposite ends of the political spectrum (it's a running joke in both of our families and has been the topic of many conversations, trust me) but one thing we agree on is social issues. That man may be one of the most conservative people I know, but he also has the biggest heart. We both know that our parents wanted a better world for us, and we so badly want that for our future children too. Part of a better world is a more understanding, loving and accepting society.

I have so much hope that one day politics will evolve, that our country will evolve, and realize that no power, religious or political, can control love. I posted something on Facebook today and was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support that I got, so I decided to share it here as well. 
To anyone reading this regardless of your orientation or beliefs, I hope you find a love so strong you can't let it go. A love so strong you'll fight for it until you have no fight left, then you'll fight a little bit more. A love so strong you can't imagine life without it. At the end of the day, isn't that the only love worth having?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Two Cents

I thought about starting this off by saying "I won't get too political," then I thought, wait a second, this is my blog. In my tiny corner of the interwebs I can say as I please. That being said, there are two ways of saying what you please. One, is saying anything you want in haste, not thinking about the people you will offend or the way people will analyze your words. The other is trying to get your point across with as much tact as possible. I'll be going with the latter.

As you all know, (or should know- if you don't I'm embarrassed for you) President Obama was reelected as the President of the United States. Personally, I was pleased. Pleased to live in a progressive country where our freedoms and liberties are important to us. Pleased to live in a country where my vote counted. Pleased to live in a country where I can express my opinion and my voice can be heard. 

I should preface this by saying I have friends in all aspects of the political spectrum, and I respect them to no end. We are all eager to learn and grow and prosper in this country, we simply value certain issues more than others. I am so proud to have friends and family with varying opinions because we are all able to express ourselves to one another. We don't cut each other down for our opinions or try to prove each other wrong. We listen. We try to understand. If we can't understand, we chalk it up to our differences and move on.

I truthfully wish everyone would willingly take this approach. Accept the differences within others and communicate without ignorance and hate. Politics are no longer black and white. Our young generation is evolving and accepting of things the older generations aren't necessarily okay with. My hope is that with society evolving, politics are able to evolve as well. Regardless of your party I'm sure we can all agree that the policies in place 30 and 40 years ago simply haven't adapted to the country we live in anymore. Our only choice as a country is to evolve, adapt, progress, and grow. 

I honestly do not care what your beliefs are, so long as you have researched them. We live in a country where information is readily available at our fingertips and it would be selfish of us not to take full advantage of that. Don't simply adhere yourself to a political party because that's what your parents taught you. I can't tell you how many people I see on my Facebook newsfeed that are from middle or lower class families who would benefit from some of President Obama's policies, yet they support Governor Romney. Women who found themselves pregnant at a young age, needing the support of Planned Parenthood, but still supporting Governor Romney who vowed to defund the very organization they need. 

Educate yourselves. That's all I ask. Also, think before you post things on social media. I consider myself to have very thick skin, but some of the things I read mocking Obama supporters were incredibly hateful. Claiming that everyone voting for Obama is expecting government handouts is beyond offensive. Joking that you should drop out of school and have a bunch of kids and get of welfare is just a testament of how uneducated you are on the facts of the election. Did you know that the state of Oklahoma just passed a law requiring you to pass a drug test to receive government assistance? Despite many Republicans believing this is a win for them, I believe this is a win for all Americans. 

Something else that really bothered me was people threatening to move out of the country for the next four years. All I have to say about that is this: if you honestly think you'll find another country where you can be granted as many civil and social liberties as you have in America, I wish you luck. The fact that you are given the liberty to even cast a ballot is something people fight and die for. So before you think our country is going down the drain, think about that. 

One man cannot and will not make or break America. Have faith in our leaders ability to find common ground amongst parties and make the best decisions for our country. Be thankful for the country we live in, people would die to be here.