...Julie. How goes it?
Why I'm Here
Let me just start by saying that I'm feeling a little too old to be "blogging", but am doing so nonetheless. Having been a longtime LJ user I decided that I needed to change things up a bit. Blog a little more honestly, ya know? So, here I am. On Blogger. Don't get me wrong, I really loved having a livejournal but there was something so, secretive about it and honestly, I haven't even updated the damn thing in like a year. I learned of LJ through some friends and decided that I wanted a place to get out all of my innermost thoughts and personal problems so what the heck, I should have one too. The only thing is, it turned into a place for me to vomit all of my bitter feelings and resentments about people that I really cared about. I thought that was OK because they would never see it right (which turned out to be WRONG)? Unfortunately, I was carrying so much anger and hurt inside that I didn't know how to convey that in a healthy way. By its very existence it became a hindrance instead of a positive outlet to express the things that I was feeling. I say that not because I think anyone should hide the way they are really feeling but because I think that working things out by writing about it and turning something negative into a positive tool is a much healthier way to live your life. I think that its taken a lot of growing up and self reflection over the past few years to come to that realization.
I was recently told by an old friend from high school/college after he read one of my status updates and the subsequent religious debate that followed, that I "should think twice" before posting some things on facebook (yes, I have one of those too ;o)). After my rather lengthy response to his "suggestion", he bid me f****** adieu and "un-friended" me. While it upset me that someone I thought would never judge me, actually DID judge me, it also really got me thinking... am I really one to keep my mouth shut? And the answer to that ladies and gentlemen, is a very emphatic no. Which is why I'm here blogging like a teenager. Nope. I just can't seem to keep my mouth shut. To do so would interfere with my very existence and I refuse to pander to political "correctness" because someone may disagree with me. So go ahead, disagree with me. I dare you. Ha!
What You Should Expect
I tend to speak my mind and share my opinions and I can be pretty long winded about it at times. But I pride myself on the fact that I show people respect when I do it (i.e. I don't call people ugly names or swear at them) and that I am always willing to "hear" what other people have to say. Respect my views and I will respect yours, but please don't curse at me. That isn't to say that there is no cursing allowed in my blog because I'm sure I'll throw a curse word out here and there. But I don't tolerate nastiness and calling people names (unless it's all in good fun ;o)). I'll talk about politics, my spirituality, my personal relationships with my boyfriend, my family and my friends (to a certain degree and never anything that could end up hurting someone if they read it), my dogs and anything else that I see fit to write about. One thing I won't do is bitch about my boyfriend, family, friends and my dogs... well, maybe about my boyfriend, family and friends but NEVER about my dogs. Ha! I also won't bitch about work, my boss (I actually have a really good boss) or the employees that I supervise because lets face it, too many people lose their jobs because of things like that and I can't afford to be unemployed.... go figure. Most of my posts will probably be about social issues, politics and my new found journey toward a more spiritual, fruitful and socially conscious life.
I was born in Buffalo, NY and have lived in Rome, NY; Rapid City, SD (graduated high school there); Charlotte, NC; Spearfish, SD; Las Vegas, NV and The Florida Keys. I currently live in a little town called Harold (near Milton) in the panhandle of Florida with my boyfriend, and our three dogs, Kelsi Louise (Beagle), Pookie Monster (Chihuahua) and Luna Belle (Black Lab). K and I have been together now for almost two years and I love him very much. We are probably the poster couple for opposites attracting. He is a gun-toting, good ole boy from the south with all of the ingrained preconceived notions about people who are "different" that is typical for most good ole boys in this neck of the woods. I, on the other hand, voted for Barack Obama. I think that about sums it all up right there but I'll get into that a bit more in detail later on. Despite the world we live in and the people we are surrounded by, K has a good heart and I know that if it ever came down to it, he would give the shirt off his back to help someone regardless of who they were or where they came from. K is a supply ship Captain for the oil rigs out in the Gulf and is out on his boat two weeks out of every month. It gets pretty lonely but I have to say it makes us appreciate our time together even more... it also makes for an active bedroom as well. ;o) I hope to marry him someday and despite my age I would love to have a child with him as well. K has a 17-year old daughter who is a sweet, beautiful, handful of trouble. To say that daddy looks the other way when it comes to her transgressions (and pretty serious ones at that) is putting it mildly, but I love her. Unfortunately, I am slowly learning that it doesn't matter what I say, I'm not the parent, so I can't expect to have a say in what happens in her life having not been there for most of it (but Lordy I wish I had been). He also has a step-daughter who has had her share of trouble-making as well but seems to be turning her life around. Update: We recently found out that K's step-daughter is pregnant. The good thing is that she has settled down from her previous partying and currently has a job. The bad thing is that the baby daddy currently does NOT have a job. I foresee lots of babysitting gigs in my future. Does this now make me sort of a pseudo-grandma? I sure hope so... :o) Update #2: My boyfriend is now my husband, my step-daughter had a beautiful baby boy named Kain Michael and my step-daughter is now pregnant as well with a girl who will be named Lyla Rocheal and is due June 23rd. And oh yeah, I quit my job because my HUSBAND and I opened up a ladies boutique and I will be running it from now on.
I work for a non-profit organization in Pensacola, Florida that serves individuals with Developmental Disabilities. I have been here for 3 years this past April. I started out as a Supported Living Coach- I assisted individuals who rented/owned their own apartment/condo/house with things like bill paying, budgeting, third party benefits, housing procurement, making grocery lists, grocery shopping, banking, check writing, medical appointments, etc. Basically anything they needed assistance with to live independently in their own homes. Last year I became the supervisor of the Supported Living as well as the Employment Services departments. Employment Services assists individuals with disabilities obtain employment in the community. My job is not an easy one and doesn't pay a whole hell of a lot but it can also be very rewarding. I recently graduated from the University of West Florida with my Masters degree in Public Administration.
My Political Views
I'm a bleeding heart and very proud of that. Why? Because I fail to see why compassion, selflessness and philanthropy in regard to wanting ALL Americans to have equal rights, adequate health care, housing and the opportunity to succeed is a negative thing. I voted for Barack Obama and I stand behind my vote. I support health reform (9 million children are without health coverage), equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians, separation of church and state, immigration reform (however that doesn't mean I don't think that something needs to be done about the illegal immigrants in this country-- this issue is a tough one for me) and ending these senseless wars that were initiated based on lies (which by the way are the MAIN reason for the countries' current deficit- defense spending represents almost one quarter of all federal spending- and not Obama's stimulus as Conservatives would have us all believe). On the other hand, I do own a gun (a Sig Sauer 9mm) for protection and target shooting, I believe in personal accountability for your actions and I support WHOLE Constitution and ALL of its amendments... not just the 2nd one. I'm on the fence about capital punishment and abortion-- just can't seem to wrap my head around the ethical considerations there having never had any personal experience with either. Basically I consider myself a liberal/democrat with some moderate tendencies sprinkled in. Unfortunately the democratic party in its endeavor to please everybody, has ended up pleasing nobody and as such we are having trouble getting what needs to be done, done. But honestly, I would rather be on the side of diversity and differences of opinion than ignorance and bigotry.
My Religious Views
Recently I have been on a quest to find my spirituality (kinda like a Monty Python character). I haven't been to church in many years because I was under the impression that there was no church that would support my beliefs. I like to think I live my life with a good mixture of rationality and faith. My beliefs may not be the conventional "religious" beliefs of a lot of people but I do believe there is a higher power out there regardless of what people choose to call him/her/it. I call this power "God", for lack of a better term. And at least for me, I believe there is a difference between being spiritually fruitful and using/playing on other peoples' faith and religion to further agendas and as justification for killing, judging and wielding power over others-- which is, in my humble opinion, the basis for the bible. I do NOT believe it is the written word of God, nor do I believe that he/she had any hand in writing it. Don't get me wrong, there are some good lessons in the bible (in the New Testament), but there are also some pretty disturbing things in there as well. My faith in God leads me to believe that he/she would never condone such violent, bigoted and judgmental behavior (particularly as endorsed in Leviticus). There are those that claim the New Testament washes the Old Testament away because Jesus was sacrificed for our sins. Personally, I think it was just some guy who came along later and said "hey, we better make up some story to justify changing the rules of our faith so we don't sound like such a**holes". Faith isn't based in rationality. And while I believe in science and evolution and biology, I also have a very powerful faith in a higher being. Who made the rule that you have to believe one or the other anyway? If I were a completely rational person I would only believe in science and evolution and biology right? Well, it isn't in everyone's human nature to be completely rational human beings. In a sense, everyone is justified in their beliefs because they believe it to be so. That doesn't mean that we can't disagree about who's right or wrong. The truth is, we won't know for sure who's right until we're dead. You, just like me, are free to believe whatever you want. It is because I believe in living in peace and love with my fellow human beings that I have recently started to seek out a place to fellowship with people who share the same desire to make our communities and world a better place through social action and volunteering and not just from "praying". A friend of mine attends a Unitarian Universalist church and after doing a bit of research on it, I think I've finally found what I've been looking for.
Well, I guess that about sums me up in a nutshell. Take it or leave it. :o)