So it 9AM on January 1st 2018. As look back on the past year so many amazing things have happen in both my professional and personal life. In this past year:
- I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, Zella, and we expanded our little family to 4.
- I celebrated my husband’s and I 4th year of marriage.
- I stepped way out of my comfort zone and competed in a pageant and received 2nd runner up.
With Voices of Hope,
- We launched the Consent Coaster Campaign.
- Spoke at our first Student orientation
- We had our most successful #BeAVoice this Holiday campaign. (If you are unfamiliar with either of those campaigns, check out our site at http://www.voices-of-hope.org.)
On a national level, many things happened for survivors of sexual violence and harassment including the #metoo movement, which hopefully means a better future for those that have experienced either one of these.
There were also many challenges this year, including
- The emotional rollercoaster that comes with being pregnant.
- Adjusting to having another child.
- The fear of launching a brand new campaign and the anxiety that comes with it.
- The ability to try to remember to care for myself and practice self care regularly. This can been extremely difficult because Voices of Hope revolves around changing our culture on sexual violence and domestic violence, it is easy for me to get too caught up in what I am doing to make changes and then end up crashing because it is too much for me to handle.
- Remembering if I completed all my goals for the year. I never write down my goals, and honestly. I never know then if I met them.
- And then the other challenge, what happens after #Metoo.
So as I sit here and think of my goals for this year, I wonder, will I meet them, will I be able to adjust going back to work full time, and will I be able to manage Voices of Hope while raising a family. My priorities are this: God, my husband, my kids, my family and friends and then Voices. I want to make a difference so my children can live in a world were survivors are believed but I need to ensure I follow my order.
So here are my personal and professional goals for the world to see and in December of this year, I will look back to see if I was able to accomplish them.
- Build my relationship with God, however, I see fit.
- Continue to blossom my relationship with my husband.
- Help my children learn and grow everyday.
- Remember to take time for myself, and practice self-care regularly.
- Launch my first book!!!
- Continue doing speaking engagements about sexual violence and domestic violence.
- More blog posts!!!!
- Making changes in our culture so that survivors are believed.
For my last two goals, I have left them pretty open ended due to the fact, that I will do what I can with what God gave me that way I am not disappointed if I don’t meet a specific number of some sort. I know no matter what I do, it will make some sort of difference no matter how big or how small.
Before I wrap up my post, though, I wanted to share some thoughts on the #Metoo movement. When it first happened, I loved it. I was so excited that all of these individuals were coming forward, men and women. However, after seeing it so often on the TV, I had to turn it off. This is where practicing self-care came in. I just couldn’t watch anymore. I also had a lot of great discussions around it, however, would get frustrated when people would make comments like, “Well every man that ever lived is going to be blamed.” Or when someone would discredit someone for coming forward and sharing their story. Most of the time, I feel too insecure, or not educated enough, to come up to a response to those statements, and I have my own personal struggles when it comes to those being accused. In my last blog post, “I hope your somewhere praying,” I share some of these fears. Check it out here.
I will say this, and I know I will get judged for but here it is. For anyone that comes forward to say they have been a victim, believe them. Just because you are believing them doesn’t mean that you saying the accused needs to rot in hell and be banned from their lives. And don’t believe everything you read. I feel the news can over exaggerate things for both the victim and the accused. I need to take that advice because I get caught up in it when I try to prove people wrong. I just need to stick with what I believe and for someone coming out about what happen to them, even if it years later believe them. Lastly, all I ask is send prayers, positive vibes, or whatever you feel is respectful towards those that are coming forward and those that are accused, because they both will need it.
#voicesofhope #metoo #aftermetoo #webeleiveyou #consentcampaign18 #Pittsburghnonprofit #momboss #nonprofit
photo credit: Sweet Juniper Photography