From #BethlehemBuffalo to Baltimore MD

During the month of December, 2014, I had a plan in place.  I was enrolled in a program which helped with financial aid to go back to college and finish my degree.  My appointment was on January 15th.  Life had never been better.

January 12th of 2015, I was in a severe car accident, which resulted in the temporary loss of my car.  As of today, my car is STILL in the repair shop.  Yes, that’s correct… One hundred and seven days without a vehicle, and counting.  Over the course of those 107 days, my life has been chaotic, and that’s putting it mildly.  From deaths in the family, to friends giving birth, new doctors, surgeons, lawyers, lawsuits, settlements, school, college, concerns for my son’s health, the ups and downs of a typical relationship…  In a nut shell, my life has been anything BUT quiet.

The one thing that has remained consistent over the course of these 107 days, is the nightly news.  Every night, there is at least one breaking news story aimed at defaming a police department, be it local or across the nation.  Having gone to college for criminal justice, I hope you can understand that this literally makes me sick.  Yes, writing is ONE passion of mine, but criminal justice has always been in the forefront.  It disgusts me to hear such things about our police officers, but what’s worse is that sometimes these nasty things are true.

A few days ago, my local police department was being slammed on social media for being a bunch of savage murderers with a license to kill.  What happened was, a herd of bison escaped from a farm a few counties away.  Those bison made their way from the farm, through a couple of counties, across the Hudson river, into our county.  The local and state police tracked the herd for 8 hours, making sure the public was safe.  These were wild bison, charging anyone or anything that got close to them.  Once the afternoon had begun, and the school was beginning to dismiss students, it was ultimately decided that the bison were a threat to public safety.  They were shot and killed.  Well, OMG!  Those bastards!!  Why couldn’t they coax a herd of 15 wild bison onto a heavy duty trailer and haul them to safety?  I’m sure if they knew there were cookies involved, these wild, angry, 1,100lb beasts would’ve fully complied.  Anyway… as I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, I couldn’t believe the names our officers were being called.  Instead of a “Thanks for keeping us all safe” there were way too many UNEDUCATED people criticizing the same organization that keeps them safe, day after day.  Now, had the police not acted when they did, the wild bison would have eventually killed a citizen and then they’d be bashed for NOT killing the animals right from the start.  Police officers have an extremely difficult job to do.  Add to that, the fact that they have to please numerous different opinionated people. I don’t envy police officers today…  They definitely don’t have it easy.

While attending community college, I learned that despite my good intentions (and those of every other individual interested in law enforcement), our criminal justice system is far too corrupt.  It’s been said that one person can make all the difference.  I don’t believe that’s true in this case.  My opinion?   It has to be a collaborate, nationwide effort involving colleges, police departments, correctional facilities, counselors, court systems and congress to name just a few. BUT… this is where I come in.  Someone has to get the ball rolling, correct?  Even if I’m not a part of the reconstruction process, I can certainly get the right people involved who can get things off the ground. We have to start somewhere!!  Education has to be a priority.  If Obama can mandate health insurance (with good intentions of course) why not mandate education?  Perhaps if that were the case, we wouldn’t have a city like Baltimore burning itself to the ground.  What exactly are they going to gain by destroying their city and killing off their police department?  Well, they haven’t thought that far ahead because they aren’t educated to do so!!  They’re angry, and maybe rightly so, but what the hell is all of this violence going to get them?  And although I haven’t read or heard the quote directly (yet), it certainly doesn’t help to have a mayor encouraging such ignorant, barbaric behavior!

I don’t know all the details/facts pertaining to Baltimore, but… did the officer(s) know that there was a history of mental illness, or health conditions?  Probably not.  So, let’s start by educating officers AND the general public. Once that’s established, why not actually TRY to reform and rehabilitate prisoners?  Why in this day and age is it so difficult to weed out the good from the bad?  Well, because everyone has rights.  If someone feels their rights have been violated, they file a lawsuit, clogging up our judicial systems even further.

I think Obama was absolutely right about one thing… It’s time for some serious change in this great nation.  Now we just have to start making those changes. Who’s game?

Future

Peace, love and happiness ALWAYS,

~Kate

All that I’ve found/learned in 35 Years

I’ve found that growing up does in fact suck.  Looking forward to each birthday until I’m considered an adult, without realizing that once I’m an adult, I can’t look forward to each birthday as I get younger.  I wish I spent more time enjoying being a kid.

I’ve found that being a people pleaser will ultimately kill you; especially if you’re at a party.

I’ve learned that there are depths to our souls that are black, with no hopes of light in sight.

I’ve learned to climb out of those depths (with the help of family and friends) to come to life a new person.

I’ve learned that we all possess a certain inner strength we aren’t aware of until the time comes when we need it. (You don’t know how strong you are until fighting is your only option.)

I’ve learned that fairy tale happiness does in fact exist.  And that it feels exactly as I’ve always imagined.

I’ve learned that I’m not as alone in this big crazy world as I once believed.  And I’m thankful for those of you on the same journey I am.

I’ve learned peace over anger; love over hate, kindness over revenge, Karma, (both good and bad). 

I’ve learned that metal illness doesn’t define you, it helps create who you become.  Perhaps with the passing of Robin WIlliams, people will start taking the matter more seriously?  I sure hope so.  I wonder if someone called him crazy?  I wonder if someone accused of him again, of mistakes he made 12 years ago?  I wonder if someone called him a pill popping drug addict, and he just couldn’t handle it anymore.  Poor soul.  But, since I am familiar with this dark place, I know the direct route to get there, and I won’t be taking it any time soon. 

I’ve learned true friendship and I’ve seen a “friend” sit right on my couch, look me in the eye and lie to me.  We are no longer friends. 

I have learned that if you treat it just right, life is a golden nugget.  It’s value cannot be measured.  We are given choices everyday.  We can sit and complain about current situations or we can get off or asses and do something to change it.  It really is as simple as that.

I’ve learned that if you do something you love to do, you will most certainly be happy.

I’ve learned that happiness, even in the worst of times, is a choice.  I’d much rather be happy.

I’ve learned that what you put out, is what you’ll get back.  So, I try to do good everyday.

I’ve learned that there are no take backs and do overs.  There’s no un-ringing the bell, or un-throwing the stone.  So I now think before I speak.

I’ve learned that as much as I’ve had to figure out on my own, I still have a lot more to learn.  I’m looking forward to the journey.  You can never be too educated.

I’m off to a day full of doctor’s appointments.  Hope you all have a great day!!

PLH5

~Kate…an eager to learn, Kate.

(DP) My mind will forever be 18

Daily Prompt: Age-Old Questions

“Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?


As soon as I read this, my mind went in several different directions.  So, this is going to be fun.  Lengthy maybe, but fun.  I hope you’ll stay with me for the length of this journey…

I’m 35.  In my head, I’m still 18.  Well, this weekends trek through downtown Boston reminded me that although I might FEEL 18, my body certainly is not.  My legs ache, I’m exhausted, and I could use a nap (one thing I haven’t done in a very long time).

Let’s see… when I was a child, I couldn’t wait to be considered an adult.  Signs of adulthood were (through my child eyes) when you could come home from work jingling coins in your pocket, as my father always would.  So, loose change in your pockets = adult.  Couldn’t wait to be 13.  Finally a REAL teenager!  Sweet 16?  Then 18 so I could legally buy cigarettes and lotto scratch offs so I didn’t have to bother my neighbor any longer. 21 so I could legally drink, although to this day I despise drinking.  I just don’t enjoy it the way others seem to.  So, in a nut shell, yes, age has always (until now) been significant, and not just a number.

However, now, the only way I see age is in fact nothing but a number.  It saddens me to know of grown adult men acting like little school girls, gossiping on the playground.  So, as much as I’d like to say age plays a significant factor in one’s maturity level would be wrong.  One of my best girl friends is 24.  I talk to her about everything, and she’s offered some sound advice.  My boyfriend is a few years older than me, and very wise.  When I think of age, it IS just a number.  It is intellect I seek.  I don’t care if you’re 24, 44, or 84.  As long as you can have an intelligent conversation, or are eager to learn, and your life doesn’t revolve around the immaturity of gossip and rumors, you are more than welcome in my circle, regardless of age.

But you know what they say… with age comes wisdom.  I don’t believe this.  I think that my 24 year old girl friend is wise beyond her years!  It is through experience that we learn; living life, taking chances, risks that we don’t allow the “what if’s” to stop.  So, my opinion of age really has changed over the course of my life.  I once thought my age defined me; now I know better.  With age being nothing but a number, I couldn’t be less interested in how old you are.  I’m more interested in WHO you are, your life stories, what happened to make you the person you’ve grown to be.  Your age doesn’t define you one bit.  If we think we’re 80, we’re going to feel like we’re 80.  That is why I will forever be 18 in my mind.  I want to be active!  I want to live life!  My philosophy is, thoughts become things.  So, if we dwell on the fact that we’re X number of years old, our brains will start making us feel that way.  I’ll stick with 18, thank you very much!

Peace, Love and Happiness, Always, (No matter how young or old you are)

~Kate