#metoo

image:  @kellyetz via:  @theeverygirl.

over the weekend, i saw someone post this:

“Me too.

If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

Please copy/paste.

#MeToo

so i reposted it.

then i started feeling sick and spent the next 24 hours sleeping off what i believe to be exhaustion mixed with allergies and the beginnings of a sinus infection.  i missed monday’s posts, and most of what was circulating around Facebook.  when i finally signed on to Facebook and saw what some of my friends and family had each posted (and in some instances, tagged me in) i was glad to have missed a full day of social media.

the truth is, so many people have experienced or been affected by sexual assault and harassment.  this isn’t just something that straight women encounter.  my guess is that every person in the world has either witnessed a sexual assault or harassment, or been a victim of sexual assault or harassment, men and women alike.

so many will ask, why speak up now?  or they may be dismissive of the recounted tales of victims being posted over and over again on their newsfeed.  this pains me.  how can we trivialize another person’s trauma?  how can we tell them to get over it, or move on, or tell them they were probably asking for it?  how can we blame them?  those of us who are victims of sexual harassment would be hard-pressed to forget it, as for many of us it happens every single day.

it happens to me at the grocery store.  it happens to me at the gas station.  it happens to me in my very own front yard.

and then there are the places where we know it happens.  music festivals are notorious for their high incidents of sexual assault.  i know i’ve had my ass grabbed under my skirt, dress, or shorts, a number of times in large crowds at festivals.  and there certainly have been a lot of times where i’ve felt a guy rub up against me from behind.  this has happened to me in clubs and bars as well.

where are we supposed to be safe?  not in the workplace, as we’ve seen from the headlines the last few weeks regarding harvey weinstein – and he’s certainly not the only person who has used their power to sexually assault others employed by them.  not in schools, as we’ve seen from the numerous cases of students being assaulted by other students, faculty, etc. – and their perpetrators laughable punishments.  not in our homes.  not in our grocery stores.  not at the gas station.

the problem is that for so long we have made sexual assault and harassment a “woman’s problem”.  we’ve taught our daughters to be hyper-vigilant, to carry rape whistles, to not wear revealing clothing.  but it’s not just a “woman’s problem”.  it’s everyone’s problem.  as we’ve learned from the harvey weinstein case, so many people were aware of what he was doing, and didn’t say anything.  this is far from being singular to this one case.  think of all the times you heard of or saw something that made you feel uncomfortable, but you didn’t say anything.

this is what we’re asking by sharing our stories.  we want you, all of you, men, women, non-binary, alike, to roar with us.  we’re tired of living in the shadows, of being afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation or that our words will be diminished by those who are afraid to take a stand with us.  “boys will be boys” is not a thing anymore.  we won’t stand for it.  we’re tired of always being on edge when we’re alone.  we’re tired of men making decisions about our bodies, when they can barely speak about menstruation or sexual pleasure without embarrassment or any knowledge of the female anatomy.  we’re tired of being told to dress a certain way, to only run in groups, to carry mace or rape whistles, to worry about date rape drugs, to not speak up for fear of losing our careers.  we’re tired of being secondary citizens, of not having these conversations with our fathers, our brothers, our friends.

we want you to stand with us.  we want you to speak out with us.  we want you to take all the anger you have ever felt once you got over your surprise that your mother, sister, daughter, friend experienced something like this, and we want you to use it.  use it to help us change the current rape culture in our society.  use it to help us educate our children, so that we can make this world a better place for them.  because this isn’t going away.  we won’t forget, we won’t be silenced, and we won’t back down.

vegas.


i’m struggling, today, to put thought into words, and words into sentences.  i woke up tired, and sore.  i got dressed, listened to my favorite program (the second date update on a local radio station), laughed my butt off, contemplated listening to a podcast for the rest of my drive, but instead switched the channel to a local country music station.  i then heard of the terrible tragedy that occurred last night in las vegas at the route 91 harvest festival.  i immediately went into shock, to the point where i’m not 100% sure i remember the rest of my drive into work.  my heart sank, i messaged my family; we’ve talked about how crazy it is, how close to home it hits, how much our hearts hurt.

i don’t know what to say.  we love vegas, the girls and i try to go there once a year.  our parents were just there to celebrate their anniversary.  corinne’s best friend is planning to have her bachelorette party there in the spring.  we love country music, we grew up on george strait, garth brooks, patsy cline.  we go to festivals all the time.  we go to concerts all the time.  we never think twice about our safety, other than to use an uber or a dd. this isn’t the world I want for my nephew or my future children. this isn’t the legacy i want us to leave behind. 

i will say this, and i’ve said it before, i won’t be scared into staying home.  we don’t know what the shooter’s motive was, yet, but regardless, people will use this senseless tragedy to say all the reasons why we should do this, or shouldn’t do that.  but i won’t change my life because there is evil in this world.  i would rather let my light shine a little brighter, with all the other people who are letting their light shine bright, than sit home in darkness.  music and live music venues are meant to be places of refuge.  where people of different backgrounds, different socioeconomic status, different beliefs come together and unite in their love for their favorite musicians, songs, poetry.

garth brooks posted a live video on facebook earlier and in it he said that his advice to those who had to play shows tonight and weren’t sure what to do was that, “the show must go on.” and he’s right. i wholeheartedly agree. people have always used music to get us through the darkest times and we will continue to. from having a bad day and blasting your fave band to tuning in to benefit concerts in the wake of tragedy, we will always have music, always have poetry, always have that sense of community that unites us. 

so go to your concerts. go to your festivals. dance beneath the moonlight, and sing til you lose your voice. go out and live, babes. i wish that for you, me, for everyone.

my heart and my thoughts are with the victims and their families, with the first responders and their families, with the country music community, the vegas community, and all those affected by this senseless tragedy. 

#MondayMantra

it sucks to put yourself out there and then get rejected over and over again.  but i can’t stop.  won’t stop.  (sorry, couldn’t help myself.)  because i’d rather know, than not know.  i’d rather take the risk and end up with something real and wonderful, or at least learn from losing, than sit and wonder about it for the rest of my life.  because, damn, those shoulda-coulda-wouldas blow.  they’re the worst to regret.

so don’t waste precious time waiting, babes.  don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve, like battle colors, and ride headfirst into the wind – regrets be damned.

taking a moment today to remember those who lost their lives 16 years ago and gratitude to those brave men and women whose service and sacrifice we could never forget.  #9/11/01

sunrise.

early morning run with my dad this morning.  two miles in the dark (the sun hadn’t come up yet).  just enough to soothe my soul and clear my mind.  just enough to get me started as i get back to training for the half-marathon one of my bffs (jenna) and i are going to run in december.  i officially start training next week, but i haven’t been running much (at all?  i can’t even remember the last time i ran consistently) this summer so last weekend dad and i started back up, just to get our legs moving again.  it always shocks me how much running makes me feel like a new person when i get back to it after a long break.  it’s just one of those things, i guess.  y’know, the kind we take for granted and have to walk away from to remember how much we enjoy and need it in our lives?

anyway, wish me luck as i train, y’all.  i have a lot of small, accomplishable goals set for this marathon, so i’m gonna need as much good vibes as i can get!

friday.

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my labor day weekend plans include shopping with my bff, celebrating my grandma’s birthday, and not much else.  i’m so excited for an extra day off, though!  i wish i could spend it going down to the coast, but i don’t think we’re quite ready for that yet.  texans are resilient, though, so i’m sure it won’t be long before everything is back to some semblance of normal.  besides, there are quite a few weeks left of summer weather for us down here in south texas, so there will still be plenty of time for that last summer road trip to the coast.

i hope y’all have some fun plans for the weekend!

xoCandice

texas, my texas.

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Photo from a family trip to Port Aransas a few years ago.

y’all know by now that i was born and raised in san antonio, texas.  even though i spent a few years away and even though i’ve always been a little bit of a nomad, texas has always been my home.  i’ve always known that this is where i’d plant my roots – even if i continue to wander to other places, i’ll always come back here.

for years my family has traveled south to the gulf coast for family vacations.  we’d stay in rockport a couple of times a summer with each side of our family until we started playing softball year-round and on club teams, and then we would try to make it out late in the summer season for a girls trip with our grandma.  once we got older we started making trips to rockport and port aransas on our own, with friends.  just this past summer we rented a gorgeous brand new home in rockport for my birthday, and spent a few hours on the beach in port aransas.  the gulf coast has always felt like our home away from home.

as many of you already know, hurricane harvey caused some pretty devastating damage this past weekend.  it ravaged rockport and port aransas as well as a few other coastal cities, and caused major flooding in houston.  many people and animals are without their homes, without their belongings, without basic necessities, and it breaks my heart.  sometimes we get so caught up in our lives, we forget what a privilege it is to be able to take a hot shower every morning, eat a hot breakfast, even brush our teeth.

i have been absolutely touched by the amount of people who have stepped up and helped rescue those affected by the flooding in houston, or have taken donations down to the coast.  it really shouldn’t surprise me that my fellow texans would drop whatever they were doing to help their neighbors, because that truly is our way of life down here.  it just brings so much joy to my heart after the events of the last few weeks.  as one reporter put it, texans may need help, but we’re not helpless.  (let me know if you know who said that, because i cannot for the life of me remember where i heard it!)

also, if y’all could please send a little love out into the world for our first responders, that would be great!  they are kicking butt rescuing people from their homes, but we shouldn’t forget that they do so at the cost of leaving their own homes and families behind.


if you are interested in helping out any victims of the damage caused by hurricane harvey, here are a few resources i keep coming across:

The Texas Diaper Bank is accepting monetary and diaper donations.  Not all emergency shelters are able to provide diapers and other infant necessities, so this one can be very helpful for families with small children in need.

You can text ‘Harvey’ to 90999, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or visit the American Red Cross online to make a minimum $10 donation.

San Antonio Pets Alive, the Animal Defense League of Texas, and the San Antonio Humane Society are each accepting donations, and are looking for volunteers to foster animals.

You can make a donation to The Salvation Army.

Jensen Ackles has started a fundraiser with some of his Supernatural castmates.

J.J. Watt is also organizing a fundraiser.

the list goes on and on, y’all!  you can also volunteer with several of these organizations, or just spread the word if you can’t make a monetary donation, and don’t have the time or resources to volunteer!

that’s how the light gets in.

pause.  take a deep breath.  look up.

my life has brought me to a place where tears don’t fall as steady as they used to, my heart doesn’t race with anger or fear as much as it did, and i don’t spend nights sitting in my car just trying to catch my breath, or lying in my bed waiting for a call or text that will never come.  i’m constantly on the move, going on adventures and making memories, but i always take the time to stare in wonder at the sky, day and night, memorizing clouds and stars.

but, there are still moments where i have to remember to stop and breathe.  like phantom pains in my bones, there lurks under the surface of my happiness and positivity a loneliness and heartbreak that rears its ugly head every so often.  i had the greatest time in los angeles with my family, but when we returned i hit a wall.  and while i don’t cry like i used to (sometimes i think i’m all out of tears), i feel this infinite hollowness in my heart and mind and soul.  it confuses me – i can’t understand how something that i have no control over can affect all parts of my being.

last night my best friend and i went hiking and i felt so refreshed afterwards.  but it wasn’t until we hit this spot on the trail (where i snapped the picture above), and i happened to look up (am i the only one who spends 95% of the time looking down out of fear they might trip?) that i realized i had been feeling this way.  i just knew i felt off, but couldn’t put my finger on it.  i had to find my wild again, and what better place to do it than the trails in the hill country, where the sun peeks through and lights the way?  i’m not 100% yet, but i know after i take this weekend to recharge and refocus i’ll get there.  sometimes that’s all we can do – take the time to rest and heal.  so i hope that y’all take your moments to breathe, to be enchanted by nature and art, to recharge your restless souls.