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Our parents generation was perfectly fine with domestic violence, why can’t we be?

Welcome to the Rodeo.

It’s a hum-dinger of a ride.

(It’s taking a few turns through sarcasm-ville too, so have fun.)

Smug isn't he?

Smug isn’t he?

Did you know that Elvis Presley hits a girl in every single movie he’s in? 

He does. 

Wanna talk about influence over a generation?  Elvis was IT.  He set the standard.  “It’s ok to hit women” was displayed across every drive-in and movie theater from 1956 to 1977.

thUFWHUG0K

Did you know that The Beatles had a popular song about killing a girl over jealousy?

They do.

“Run For Your Life”

Well I’d rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
You better keep your head, little girl
Or ya won’t know where I am
You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That’s the end ah little girl
Well I know that I’m a wicked guy
And I was born with a jealous mind
And I can’t spend my whole life
Trying just to make you toe the lineYou better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That’s the end ah little girlLet this be a sermon
I mean everything I’ve said
Baby, I’m determined
And I’d rather see you deadYou better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That’s the end ah little girlI’d rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
You better keep your head, little girl
Or you won’t know where I amYou better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That’s the end ah little girl
Nah nah nah
Nah nah nah
Nah nah nahAnd Audrey Hepburn?

thNFNKKRR1

Breakfast at Tiffany’s opening scene has a guy banging on her door in anger that she won’t let him because he “has rights” after paying for her dinner.

Her not letting him in -is the wrong, not his banging on her door expecting his “rights”, so she hides by going out of her window instead of telling him to go away.  And it just continues from there.

Really, this list goes on and on.  Watch any soap opera and you have a prime seats to the Victim Rodeo.

And now the tides are turning back again.

What happened to the strong, independent women songs?  Beyoncé got married, so now we all need to get back to domesticated bliss? There’s a whole new onslaught of I’ll cook for you, clean for you, you’re the strong one, give me lots of bling and I’ll do whatever you want, please make all my decisions for me, songs. Pop music is back at the effective conditioning of us all to “remember our places”.

It used to be that a guy could say, “Trust me” to get a girl, but we’ve learned haven’t we?

It’s a joke now,

“Trust me”.

Trustme

The abusers have learned too.  Now, the abusers wait to hear you say, “I trust you”, to them.  They play the roping game until they hear those words.

trust

Oh, they believe you alright.

BUT, because they know they are not trustworthy, their first thought on hearing you say you trust them is,

“You’re an idiot“.

And you can’t ever change that.

From that point on you are an idiot to them and they have every right in their mind to treat you badly, because that’s how one treats idiots, right?

I mean, who can deny it?  Sure, sure, sure, you can say that’s not the case, we all know the right words we’re supposed to say, PC and all, right?      Nobody should treat idiots badly.  Idiots are people too.

But it’s not real life.  In real life, ie, in songs, soap operas, television, movies, the ways we see and hear life told to us, repeatedly, throughout our lives, for generations, that must be how it’s done.  So, if you’re an idiot (ie a girl), that trusts me( an abuser), then you deserve whatever happens to you.  Case closed.

And we all go along for the ride.

If she’s such an idiot girl that trusted that guy, then she deserves what happened.  If she stays with him, she deserves it.  Why is she with him, she’s an idiot.  Why didn’t she leave him after the first time? What an idiot. She should have been more careful, so idiotic, she deserves what happened.  She’s such an idiot, who does that anymore?

Those are the victim blaming thoughts we’ve been conditioned to think.

And along with those, come’s the Victim Rodeo dance – where the abuser is really the victim and all the while they’re hog-tieing you, you’re apologizing for their hitting their knees too hard on the dirt around you because you were so confused with all the hoopin’ and hollerin’ and clown antics meant to trick you, you forgot to soften the ground for them.

Because they are masters of turning everything around.

Because they don’t care about anything except not having consequences.

Because controlling you is more important than reality.

Because they know the more you try to control them, the deeper their mind fuck is working.

Mass murderers? Rapists?  Abusers? Oh no, VICTIMS.  They are the abused, why else would they shoot up a whole school/office/theater?  They are victims. Why else would they throw a girl around a room and choke her?  They are the victims.

They don’t need jail, they just need some medication and a good counselor to work through their childhood issues.

If your first thought isn’t directed at the abuser, you are victim-blaming.  If your next thoughts aren’t for helping the victim, you are victim blaming.  If you are victim blaming, don’t worry, you’re not alone.  Even victim’s victim blame.

Workin’ At The Brain Wash, sing it with me!

What most people don’t understand is the amount of brain-washing and conditioning that goes into creating victims.  And how we are all part of the process.  Yes, ALL of us.  We are all working at the Brain Wash and we are singin’ it with feeling.

objectify much?

Victims in abusive situations don’t leave right away, because there are so many colorful locks, laces, and latches put in place before the situation becomes so black and white to everyone else.

A victim’s sense of control in their lives has been systematically stripped away and replaced with confusion, lack of trust in themselves, isolation, and a distorted sense of what will happen to them without the abuser.

Abusers play on fantasies and fears.

Even though I had a round-trip ticket from Turkey to Mozambique, when the time came to use my ticket back to Turkey, I was reminded that I would get thrown in jail without my passport if I left the island.  I was told it would cost too much to get me to the city.  I was told that going to the city on my own, I would probably be raped, stolen, or both.  It was only safe for me to stay with him.  Everything about my finding a way to leave was distorted and my fears played upon in order to control where I was and what I was doing.

I got the fantasy of island life, a good peaceful job with the ability to “rest” while looking for work for the next school year.  And once there, I got all the worst fears of a woman travelling alone thrown at me; I was only safe while under his protection.  And, because of my prior conditioning, I thought I could make the best of the situation and still get myself on my own two feet.  I was doing many things to keep myself safe, while in a very unsafe situation, that I thought was, AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN, a safe situation.

Ya can’t control someone else to get your own control back.

Victims often try to reclaim their control by “controlling” the abusers.  Oh yes, the distorted idea that we can control the emotional healing of our abuser *cough* I mean victimized partner, we can love them into being better people.  We can show them how good it feels to be treated well, then they will know how to treat us well.  They were never shown how it can be to feel loved, so if I love them better, then they will see and it will all be back to the fairy tale they showed me at the beginning. Yep, I’m totally Disney princess style rolling my head with a sugared smile plastered across my face as my dream-filled eyes watch the screen while I type.Enchanted

Because that’s they way we victims are taught to think.  That’s what is put on repeat in our life soundtrack and movie script.  You know you just thought of at least one movie and two songs where that very thing happens.

When I was married, the level of the victim-rodeo dance was amazing.  Even now I am starting to see many of the ways that he made it look like one thing was happening – to everyone else- while making me feel like something else entirely was happening, I hadn’t seen before.

He still does that to our children.  He still makes everything appear how he wants in order to control the way they do things or feel the way he wants them to.  He uses money and “love” to manipulate them.  Sadly, they are learning those trade tools as well.

Survivor 2

Even we, the survivors, the mighty among the victims, the ones who are making great leaps and strides in our ability to reclaim our power and control while allowing the rest of the world to maintain their own, (yes, a little power hype there, I deserve it)

Even we are still caught in the thick blanket of perceptual lies that abusers have been piling on society for millennia.

Our parents generation seems to have not just merely accepted, but been perfectly fine with domestic violence.  Why can’t we be?

Because we actually can reach more people, we can have a louder voice, we don’t have to be divided and conquered, we’re the ants to the grasshoppers,

We have laws and the ability to have global laws that protect and

We know that ALL people should LIVE A LIFE FREE FROM VIOLENCE.

thRU28G03O thSS68L1U4 thZ3UN32PR

What do you think?

 

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In a henna place

Not sure why, but my distractability has produced these…

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So there they are. Enjoy.

Peace and love everyone

 
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Posted by on 14/08/2015 in Uncategorized

 

It bit me on the chin

Ms McKahsum:

So I’m rerunning this one. As I prep for a new place, I am remembering one night early into my time in Taiwan. I wrote this at something like 3am. The moment felt so good I had to write about it right then!
I hope you enjoy reading about that night as much as I enjoy remembering it.

Originally posted on Mariflies's Blog:

English: A mosquito sucking blood from a human... English: A mosquito sucking blood from a human host. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My nightly mosquito hunt genuinely pissed me off last night/ this morning!  I knew I’d seen one but I couldn’t find it.  I hunted for an hour.

Then I said, “well maybe I’m just being paranoid”, and sat down to write my Ode to Dan and Kenny.  I am sincerely grateful for how my experiences at TEFL WWP helped me get through this week at school!

Just as I was finishing the last few remarks, the back of my neck started hurting.  Not too unusual for my neck.  I rubbed it a little, finished my post and rubbed it again because it had begun hurting more.  I felt a weird lump and went to look in the mirror.

Sure enough, there in the back of my neck were twomosquito bites swelling up across the back of my…

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Posted by on 13/08/2015 in Uncategorized

 

A work in progress

Working through the stuff means I need a release.  Painting makes me happy.

It was my dad’s birthday yesterday.  I got started a little late, but better late than never, on his birthday gift; a combo of end of trail and dragons, two of his favorite things.

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And a couple beautiful sunset pictures from after birthday dinner.

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Life is bigger, it’s bigger than you and you are not me.
Oh no I’ve said too much, I haven’t said enough.
Words of wisdom.
Let em sink in.

 
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Posted by on 07/08/2015 in Uncategorized

 

A difficult but necessary conversation with my dad: Red Flag *Consent

A difficult but necessary conversation with my dad: Red Flag *Consent

As the first few weeks of living in Montana unfolded, I was seemingly teleported back in time to my childhood.  It really was as if grown up-me was in a dream  watching child-me go through the day-to-day of living with my father.  He and his wife are raising her granddaughter.  I really am sitting back and observing day-to-day, moment-to-moment foundational occurrences in this girls life, that were part of my childhood, and being fully aware of how it has impacted my life, specifically in my tendencies towards abusers.

I am, and will always be, grateful for the fact that my father has been a willing listener and participant in these conversations since I’ve been here.  He has listened to me bluntly, honestly open up about how I feel about  what I’m seeing.  Neither of us have been perfect at these conversations, but we are both giving our best effort to have them, and keep a positive relationship with each other.  If he weren’t being so amazing at taking in, thinking about, and accepting what we’re discussing, I would not be healing as quickly as I am.

A Conversation about CONSENT

We were in the kitchen, M and I.  He had walked by us three times, going back and forth to get something he needed.  Each time he walked by he touched her, touched her shoulder, poked her side, patted her butt.  It was routine.  It’s what he does.

He thinks he’s showing endearment; he doesn’t mean anything by it.  He doesn’t understand, I tell myself.

But I remember the same thing happening to me.  I remember being young and all the little pokes, the little rubs, the playful pats.  I remember the duality of not wanting to be poked all the time and missing the pokes when he was upset with me.  I remember feeling that it was an endearment; it was how he showed me he cared.  And he’s my dad, I want him to care.

Everything we learn about society is built up from what we learn at home first.  How we interact with the world outside the home is a version of what we’ve learned about how to interact at all.

I asked my dad, “If you had a magic lens and you could see into M’s day at school, and there was a teacher or another student that touched M every time he walked by her, innocently enough, nothing overtly sexual, would you be ok with that?”

He quickly sat up, offended, “No, that’s not ok.”

So I looked at him and I reminded him of how he did exactly that same thing to her, every day.  I could clearly see the confusion on his face.

Without realizing, he is teaching her/ taught me that men can touch her/me without her/my consent; that it is endearing to have someone touch without asking first.  We were taught to ignore or not pay direct attention to the fact that our body was not our own to decide what happened to it.  We, being children, were property, he being the patriarch was in charge.  And seemingly without intention, he put himself in charge of our bodies as well.  (We, being girls, would later also be socially inundated with objectification to tack on to the back of being raised as property.)

Our fathers are our first interactions with men.  That relationship helps us learn what to expect of ourselves and others in our future.

I learned not to pay attention to being touched by boys/ men.   And that lack of response is a test abusers use.  It’s a red flag test I blew through time after time.

As hormones hit and life becomes the erratic whirl of our teens, we all begin trying to figure out the differences and similarities between love, sex, and all the chaos in between.  What was endearment touches are now possible love touches by others.  And don’t we all know that, in our teens, each and every love is our eternal soulmate and each loss is devastating beyond measure.  Our need/ desire for physical contact is all mixed up with our need/ desire for the goal of our own partner.  Then add in all the unhealthy, abusive ways we are shown to expect from one another.  How are we supposed to come out of that and into adulthood with a healthy understanding of how to be in a relationship?

If we don’t know how to be asked consent, how to expect to be asked consent, how to ask for consent, how are we supposed to all of a sudden, in the midst of new mature physical bodies with hormones running amuck, start expecting and understanding consent?  Yes, this goes for boys too.

“So”, my dad asked, “then what do I do”?

You ask for consent to touch her.  Teach her how to listen for it.  Teach her to expect it.  Set the example for boys/ men to follow your lead.

“Hey, can I have a hug?”,  “Fist bump”, “Come here, I wanna tickle ya”

Anything, but something verbal that announces to her (him) that you want to engage in healthy, acceptable, endearing physical contact and gives her (him) the chance to disagree or agree.  It should become natural habit, not forced, example

“Awww, can I have a hug”, vs. “M, is it ok if I give you a hug?”

IMPORTANT * Accept the response.  If she says no, don’t coerce her, make her feel bad, do it anyway, or anything else except not do whatever it was you announced wanting to do.  Without any negativity, show her that her no is accepted.  Teach her see the response you want her to expect from others in her future.

Also, don’t withhold physical intimacy.  Children need that physical assurance of your love.  Just make sure it’s appropriate, healthy, and asked for.

Here is where my dad is starting to struggle.  But, that’s normal I think, for this new into an understanding.  He’s having to work through a lifetime of being “the boss” at home.  Letting someone else be in charge of their own bodies means he’s not in charge.  He’s staying “in charge” by not doing anything while he works through the massive change that knowing brings.

I think this is one of the Let Go and Let God type of understandings.  But no change is easy, comes right away, or perfectly.  It’s a process.

Consent for sexual touch has to begin with consent for any physical touch.  Each step along the way, from innocently holding hands, to knowingly going through a sexual act, consent needs to be asked for and given.  There is no point, in any relationship, that you should touch another person without their consent.

Certainly consent is given a kind of implied sense within a romantic relationship, but there should always still be the ability to show or say, “not right now” and have it be accepted, whether it’s a hug, touching the shoulder, or sex.

As I type this, and maybe as you read this, you’ll think, “That seems pretty obvious to me.”, but I’ve been talking through this with other people, and you’d be surprised how many looked at me with the same confusion my dad had and said, “I hadn’t thought about it that way.”

We learn how to interact with the world in our families.  We build our understanding of what is acceptable or not, behaviors to look for or ignore, with those earliest moments.  Everything we do as parents affects long-term, especially if it is a pattern.  We are creatures of habit.  We like the comfortable and used-to things.  We migrate towards people that make us feel secure in our patterns.

We need to look at the patterns we teach our children about consent while they’re young, before we send them out into the world and expect them to just know.

I sent my kidittos out with mixed messages.  The more I learn about the patterns I didn’t see, the more I see how many patterns I passed on in ignorance.  But I also see the many ways I did better than I thought I had.  Parenting is rough business sometimes.  We don’t get a handbook.  I wasn’t being parented through my teens, and I was practically a parent through my pre-teens because I had to basically raise my siblings, so I was mostly able to parent my kidittos without preconceived ideas of how to do it.  That was good and bad.

What I taught them through my words to them, my actions to them, was good, but they were counter-balanced by what I taught them through my actions with their dad and to myself in that relationship and the others I had post divorce.  They saw my words for them and my actions for myself being juxtaposed and incongruent.

I learned what to do to get out of, but not what to do to not get into an abusive relationship.  That’s got to mess with their heads a little.  It messes with mine.

For me the good news is, that no matter what age, if we talk to our children about what we see from our past, we can help the future.  I talk to my kidditos about my relationships because I want them to be “informed consumers”.  That’s not the best term, but it gets the concept across.  As I have walked through life, so many of the relationship mistakes I’ve made have been because I didn’t know any better at the time.  Having more information will help them make better decisions in the relationships they have in the future, I hope.

Fighting through the fear of talking to my dad about these relationship issues has been difficult.  This was only one conversation, one red flag.  But I think it’s a big one.  Pushing through that fear and actually having the conversation was tremendously validating and healing.

What are your thoughts on this?

 

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Domestic Violence is Not a Men’s Issue But Not for the Reason You Think

Originally posted on betternotbroken:

“That huge mural, where did that come from?” I exclaimed in shock.

“That’s always been there mom, seriously, how could you miss it? It is the size of the parking garage.”

“It has always been there, no joke?” I said again without jest.

This market has a huge sign that says “seafood” ? In blue and white? I never saw that before, it is so clear and so big how did I miss that? I shopped here for ten years.

“They sell Peet’s coffee here?” I said aloud in what was more a statement of observation than a question.

“Yes, mom,” she answered. “They have always served Peet’s coffee here.”

“Really?”

“Yes mom, really, where have you been?”

I had been in a world where men are idealized, romanticized, imitated due to their superiority and adored. I had been in a world where women should take care to not let…

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Posted by on 30/07/2015 in Uncategorized

 

The endeavor to walk in the world: Overcoming

The endeavor to walk in the world: Overcoming

HEALING

Through a variety of ways, I have healed internally much faster than anticipated.  Mostly, through determination to not stay stuck in a place of fear.  However, there have been some other wonderful helps along the way. That is not to say I am through with the process.  Hell no.   But I’m farther along than I thought I would be right now.  Much farther.

My journey through becoming a shaman is slower than I expected, but far more powerfully healing than I anticipated.  It packs a punch and then I need time to process it all.   But, I am.  AND THAT IS AWESOME.  I am reaching and stretching and seeing life in bigger and better ways.  I am definitely more confident in my own abilities to trust my journey and its processes.  I am more confident in my spiritual strength and ability to follow my own path no matter who says what about it.

I have had to stare down my childhood and many of the ways that my parents, but specifically my father at this point, primed me for abuse in my future, albeit mostly unknowingly.  And I have had to work through the fear, very real and serious fear of confronting him about it.  But I’ve done it.  And he’s listened.  And though it was incredibly scary, it has been equally freeing since.

I am sifting through the book of my life and placing bookmarks between the pages I need to work on.  I am unfolding the page corners that I had dog-eared for quick reference; the stories I keep thinking back on, that keep me from growing.  I am going back and making new notes on the memories to remind little me that we figured out that problem.  And I am holding my book with newfound love, wrapped in my arms, against my chest; whereas before I held it at arms length, always afraid it would open to the wrong page when I wasn’t looking.

I am ready to travel and teach again.  I am ready to meet new people and find more joy.  I’m ready to start being me again.  And it feels pretty damn good.

RESEARCH

My research and discovery process is and has been enlightening to both the awareness that is already out there and to the still greater amount of awareness and education that is needed.  I have discovered terms I had never heard of, yet know the details of intimately, like Gaslighting.

Unless you know the term, you can’t find it as a form of abuse.  There’s no Google lookup for the individual terms within the forms of abuse, that I’ve found anyway.  It takes looking through hundreds of other avenues to find the term, then start looking that up. I’m working on changing that.  I’m collecting terms.  In fact, if you know of any, please comment, I need the help.

Boy have I had my fair share of gaslighting!  Look it up, you’ll be amazed, enlightened, and hopefully strengthened in your understanding of abuse, how to spot it and stop it.  And I’m starting my own new term, Halfening, the victim-blaming coddling of an abuser for fear of repercussion, after those that did it to me.

FEAR

I don’t like to think that I’m afraid of the unknown.  I actually like heading off into some new adventure, not sure what to expect or how things will turn out, who I will meet along the way, but ready to find out.

However, the unknown of where and when my next adventure begins…….   I am not liking this unknown at all.  I actually pretty much hate the interim.  It causes me panic and to make decisions too fast in order to at least be headed in a certain direction.

BUT HEY, I am in learning mode.  So, even though I’ve had a couple different opportunities to just head into the crazy wild blue, I haven’t taken them.  I’ve given more thought, I’ve taken more time.  I am learning.

LEARNING

I’m still working through the fear of trusting myself.  It is frustrating because I know that I made a fast decision to head off to Mozambique, but I also know that I was guided there.  I trusted my guide and I am actually coming out of this far stronger than even I would have guessed.  But, I am keenly aware that I was guided there to find out that I don’t know how to see the signs of abusers.

I asked for understanding of what happened with Sven.  I thought I had figured out my confidence, my refusal to put up with abuse, my love of self.  And then bam, confidence shaken.  And on the heels of that, Willem Johannes Goosen, aka John Goosen, of South Africa, happened.

This lack of confidence is a layer of the thick blanket of victim blaming that we hold onto.  It is both safe and suffocating.  I need to trust my gut and the results of following my gut.  Sven went against what my gut told me, but he worked until he convinced me.  Mozambique was completely following my gut.  Bad things happen no matter what.  Great things happen no matter what.

During the time I thought Sven and I were moving forward, I was so happy. I was so in love.  I had a great time, and I don’t regret one minute of it.  People ask me if I ever think of revenge; plot for someone to beat him up or something.  I don’t.  Truthfully, the best revenge is that he lost me.  I’m pretty awesome.  Don’t abuse me, and I’m top freaking notch.  That’s his loss not mine.

Mozambicans are wonderful people.  The local people amazed me in so many ways.  The scenery was wonderful and I am so grateful to have been to Africa.  And because of what happened in Mozambique, I have learned what happened with Sven, and what happened with the ex-husband and the few other ex relationships along the way.

I need to trust my gut and press forward with the decisions I make based on my instinct, without fear.  That blanket makes it safe to say, “if only”, “why didn’t I”, “I can’t”, “I shouldn’t”.  Those things feel safe, like they will keep me safe, but bad things happen no matter what.  Hiding from my path doesn’t keep me safe.  Running into or away from, doesn’t guarantee safety.

Just like I keep telling my little step-neice, it’s ok to make mistakes, that’s how we learn.

and

GREAT THINGS HAPPEN NO MATTER WHAT

ANOTHER DREAM

I need to stop worrying about safe and put my focus on non-abusive.  I had a dream last night.  I was swimming deep in the ocean with a group of whales.  They kept coming over to me and then going up to get air.  Somehow I was not needing to go get air, yet they kept insisting I should.  After I did, they showed me where land was and so I went up.

Everywhere I walked there were snakes. They were mostly out in the open, yet all of them had only their head and part body showing, the rest curled up in their hiding places.  A few were slinked back inside their hideout.  There was a child with me, and we were walking together.

I was not afraid of the snakes, but I knew I couldn’t give them any energy/ acknowledgement/ attention or they would bite.  I had to teach the child to see without giving acknowledgement, to not be afraid, not be curious or get too close.  The scenery was varied as we walked, rocky, grassy, outside, inside, and there were snakes in a snack booth and a book case.  They were talking to us, some trying to be helpful, give advice, offer to get things for us, but we had to remember they were still snakes.  If we gave them any acknowledgement, they would bite us.

There were many blue things as well, blue was a significant color.  There were people, men, women, children all around us, some talking to the snakes, some not.  Some were holding the snakes, some were collecting them, but many just ignored them.

Snakes and whales have interesting meanings in dreams and as power animals.  I’m curious to see what comes of this.  But I woke up feeling very good.

That’s all for now follks.  I’m doing really well.  I’m looking forward to my next adventure.  I’m singing, crying, laughing, and otherwise feeling the feels of life and loving it.   Go be awesome today, I plan to.

 

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