Monday, June 27, 2016

Physical Touch

Disclaimer: Don't assume that this post is about raunchy, passionate, sinful lust and sexuality, 'cause it's not. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It's more about the innocence of childhood. (and how it can be lost.)

          I recently read the book The Five Love Languages by the renown marriage counselor Gary Chapman. In his writing, he discusses how the ways we love one another are expressed through languages, being Words of Affirmation (i.e. verbal praise, compliments, reassurance, etc.) Quality Time (self explanatory), Receiving Gifts, (not necessarily expensive jewelry, but even cards, flowers, sentimental tokens of affection which might not cost anything), Acts of Service (doing favors for each other, such as making dinner or doing the dishes), and Physical Touch (which is not necessarily sex, but hugging, kissing, holding hands, massages etc.) Chapman elucidates that we all have a primary love language in which we wish to receive love, and it is important that in a relationship, the partners are aware of each others' love language and communicate effectively in order to have a lasting, healthy, and happy commitment. It's a very eye-opening, moving, and insightful read.

A MUST read for anyone in a relationship!
I knew about the subject matter long before reading the book and took the test online to discover my own dominant love languages.

It's not a shocker that "Physical Touch" was my primary result, with "Words of Affirmation" close behind. But I would argue that "Quality Time" is also very important to me, and though I scored a 0 in "Receiving Gifts", I do enjoy receiving a nice, thoughtful, and practical gift every now and then, though it's not necessary for me to love someone. 

I would also argue that our primary love languages in romantic relationships can be very different from our love languages in friendships and between family members. And we might even communicate in a way that doesn't convey our own dominant love language. For instance, with my friends and family, "Quality Time" and "Words of Affirmation" mean a lot to me. And I tend to give many small gifts to whoever I view as a close friend or relative. But either way, the book and the test are very helpful at discerning the primary way in which you accept and express love. 

Gary Chapman also wrote a version of the book that discusses the love languages of children and how parents should use them in nurturing and understanding their child's needs. He touches slightly on this in his initial book. 

Upon learning this, I read:

"Physical touch can make or break a relationship. It can communicate hate or love. To the person whose primary love language is physical touch, the message will be far louder than the words 'I hate you' or 'I love you.' A slap in the face is detrimental to any child, but it is devastating to a child whose primary love language is touch." (Chapman, pgs. 105-106)

This passage resonated with me because it summarized my childhood, or the loss of one. 

My mother struck me in the face so often, for the most minuscule and trivial reasons. I was slapped in the face if I spilled juice on the floor, didn't clean the house fast enough, forgot to put my toys away, refused to wear an outfit I wasn't comfortable in, asking for some candy at the grocery store, playing outside without asking permission, you name it! All I ever wanted was to impress her, make her proud of me. I made small gifts for her often. Cards with drawings, crafts, poems, I might have even saved up my allowance to go to the store an buy her a nice watch or her favorite snack. But nothing ever made a difference. I was repaid day after day with multiple slaps in the face, and now, she wonders why I no longer wish to have a relationship with her. She denies ever laying a finger on me though there are many witnesses who know otherwise. 

I am currently taking a Family Violence class in my Marriage and Family Therapy Master's program, and in the textbook, Family Violence in the United States; Defining, Understanding, and Combating Abuse, I came across these questions in the chapter dedicated to "Child Maltreatment":

"[...]Must injury occur in order for a behavior to be labelled physically abusive? Is risk of injury enough? What if no physical injury occurs, but the child is slapped on a daily basis for no apparent reason?" (Hines, Malley-Morrison, and Dutton, pg. 34) 

Reading this passage was eerie because it was like my mother ripped the words right off of the page. She used to often say to me, "No one abuses you here on a daily basis." as a way of justifying her actions and brainwashing me into thinking that I had never been slapped by her, her brother, or mother. 

But why would someone feel the need to say that if it were true?

It is highly ironic that someone who claims to be non-threatening also used to say "Do you want me to smack you?" to a defenseless child whenever she felt disgruntled. 

My answers to those above questions: No, physical injury does not have to occur for a behavior to be labelled physically abusive. Yes, risk of injury is enough. I was that child who was slapped on the face, almost daily, for no warranted reason, and let me tell you, it may not leave a noticeable mark, but the psychological scars are enough to last a lifetime. 

I was severely traumatized as a child, she instilled so much fear and hurt in me that left me depressed for years and anxiety ridden, but there were some effects I didn't even recognize until more recently. 

During my Junior year in high school, I remember my boyfriend at the time raised his hand to brush it against my cheek, and I immediately moved away. I flinched. My reflexes caused me to quickly back away. My best friend at the time was in the background and saw what had happened. She reassured me, "He was only trying to embrace you." I was shocked. I apologized. I hadn't even thought of that. I was so used to dodging slaps that I was fearful of my own boyfriend trying to hit me when he was only trying to greet me with a caress upon the cheek. I remember this moment like yesterday even though it was over 5 years ago. 

While dating, I became so vulnerable. Whenever I received non-sexual, "Physical Touch" from men, if there was chemistry and I felt comfortable, I became obsessed. I immediately fell in love with them and became addicted. I craved more and more. And when those brief interactions ended, and I never spoke to them again, I felt abandoned and broken. I went through withdrawals. I was so deprived of proper love and affection that I sought it from strangers who ended up leaving me and damaging me even more.

I had to close myself off to shield myself from the pain of becoming close, getting attached, and losing it all, again and again. Until I found the right person, gained trust, felt safe/secure, and knew it was viable. But of course, that took time.

I'm a big girl, now. I'm a capable and successful adult. But I can't forget where I came from and who it made me. The ramifications of abuse are residual. Even though a child grows into their own person and leaves their abusers behind, the abuse itself stays with them, buries itself in the depth of their psyche and remains a part of them. So I forgive, but I do not forget. I have overcome many obstacles, but I am still healing, with time.

Thanks for reading. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Gender and Sexuality Spectrum (LGBTQQIAAP+)

June is National Pride Month, in memory of the 1969 Stonewall riots, which sparked the fight for civil rights within the Queer community.

Much like the beautiful colors of the rainbow, sexuality & gender lie on a spectrum. Do you know what each letter of the LGBTQQIAAP+ acronym stands for? If not, let me break it down for you! 

The "Lipstick Lesbian" Flag
Lesbian – any woman attracted to other women (the term was derived from the history of the Greek island of Lesbos, where a renowned poet named Sappho lived and wrote fondly and erotically about her love of women in 6th century B.C.)

The "Gay Pride" Flag
Gay – refers to any one of a same-sex orientation, but specifically of male gender (men attracted to other men) 

The "Bisexuality" Flag
Bisexual – anyone attracted to more than one gender

The "Transgender" Flag
Transgender – People who identify with a different gender than that assigned to them by society based on their biological sex. Gender is a social construct, not to be confused with “Sex.” Sex is of a physical nature while “Gender” is mental/emotional. Included within this category are people who consider themselves Transsexual (using hormones or surgery to gain physiological attributes of the opposite sex, transgender men & transgender women), Agender, Gender-Non-conforming, and Gender Fluid.

The "Queer Pride" Flag
Queer - People who don’t want to label themselves by their sexual acts but do want ownership in being different. Reclaimed from a hate term, the word “Queer” can still be highly offensive, depending on usage. Queer can also be used as an umbrella term to denote the entire community or an individual within it.  

Questioning – anyone still working out their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The "Intersexuality" Flag
Intersex – anyone born with a body not clearly identifiable as female or male. In some cases, this may be known as a hermaphrodite, though this term is more often used as a scientific description of animals, not suitable for humans. 

The "Asexuality" Flag
Asexual – anyone who does not feel sexually attracted to anyone else. However, the Asexual, or “Ace” community has its own spectrum and may include individuals who are interested in romantic relationships, but not sex. For instance, if you are in the Asexual category, you can be considered “Gray” meaning you are between Asexual or Sexual, or you can be Demisexual, in which you need a strong emotional attachment in order to be sexually attracted to someone. When it comes to romance, you can be Hetero-Romantic, Homo-Romantic, Bi-Romantic, Pan-Romantic, A-Romantic, etc. 

Asexual Romanticism can seem a bit complex. 

The "Straight Ally" Flag
Ally – Any straight or cisgender person who supports the queer community.

The "Pansexuality" Flag
Pansexual – the prefix "pan" meaning "any," a person who can develop attraction to any gender. Often interested in others based on personality and not sexual orientation/identity or gender expression/identity. Often has attraction with an emphasis on androgyny, non-binary folx, or alternative gender identities aside from cisgender men & women primarily. 

The “+” or “Plus sign” in the acronym is used to represent all other sexualities/gender identities not already featured. Those may encompass any of the following:

The "Two Spirit" (2S) Flag
Two Spirit - Two-spirit. The visionaries & healers of aboriginal communities, the gay & lesbian shamans. Known to fulfill a "3rd gender" role within indigenous cultures. (Sometimes added to the acronym, represented by “2S”)

The "Polyamory" Flag
Polyamorous – anyone interested or capable of having multiple relationships at once, ethically. (Opposite of Monogamous.) Not to be confused with Polygamy, which means having many marriages.

Metrosexual - a young, urban, heterosexual male with liberal political views, an interest in fashion, & a refined sense of taste.

The "Bear" Flag
Bear, Otter, Wolf, and Cub – Within the Gay male community, there are classifications based on body type/appearance. For instance, a Bear is considered a man who is husky, thick, and covered in body hair. You can do more research in case you’re interested in learning about the others. (Check out this website: Gay Men, Are you a Jock, Otter, Bear, or Wolf? )

Sapiosexual – anyone interested in or sexually attracted to others’ intelligence

The "Gynephilia" Flag

The "Androphilia Flag"

Gynephilia and Androphilia: behavioral science terms that can be used as an alternative to heterosexuality and homosexuality. Androphilia is the attraction to men or masculine qualities, while Gynephilia signifies being attracted to women or feminine qualities. 

The "Autosexuality" Flag
Autosexual: a person who is not necessarily attracted to others sexually or successful at responding to others sexually, but can satisfy themselves through touch (i.e. masturbation) Term coined by Bernard Apfelbaum in his research on sex therapy.

The "Polysexuality" Flag
Polysexual – being attracted to many sexes. Both Bisexuality and Pansexuality are regarded as forms of Polysexuality.

The "Skoliosexuality" Flag
Skoliosexual – being attracted to someone who does not fit the gender binary. (as in finding someone who is not Cisgender attractive, like falling in love with a person who is Transgender for instance)

The "Androgyny" Flag

Androgynous – someone whose gender or sex is ambiguous or not easily identifiable. I think Jeffree Star is a great example of this.

Jeffree Star being his fierce, fabulous, androgynous self!

The "Lithromantic" Flag
Lithromantic – a person who may theoretically enjoy romantic relationships, but is not necessarily sexual. This identity may also include someone who becomes romantically attached to others but does not want it to be reciprocated. Part of the Ace, Gray-romantics spectrum. 

The "Demiromantic" Flag
Demiromantic – a person who can only develop a romantic (non-sexual) attraction for someone if they have a strong emotional connection. (Like the romantic version of Demisexual, also part of the Ace, Gray-romantics spectrum)

The "Neutrois" Flag
Neutrois – a person who considers themselves genderless. May include Agender/Gender-Nonconforming. (part of the Transgender spectrum)

And there are several other gender identities/sexual orientations that may not be determined or named.

For more information on the LGBTQQIAAP+ spectrum, visit Gay Explained: The LGBTQQIAAP+ Community or your local LGBT Center. 

Thanks for Reading! <3 

Monday, June 13, 2016

I am a Pan-Romantic Demisexual (My Coming Out Story)

The Pan-Romantic Demisexual Flag, courtesy of "Pride Flags for Us" Tumblr Page

When I was a young girl, I truly believed I was straight. My family didn't go to church, nor were they especially religious in any way, but I did do bible study lessons which I received in the mail by an organization called the Child Evangelism Fellowship Mailbox Club (CEF). This was convenient since I didn’t get out of the house much. But it did make me the subject of ridicule by some who knew, who would joke, “You’ve got mail, from Jesus!”

I considered myself an adamant Christian at the age of 8 and was strict about avoiding premarital sex throughout my pre-teen to young adult years. I honestly thought that being gay was a sin. Besides that, it didn't help that my own mother told me, "If you're a lesbian, I will disown you. God forbid you be something despicable like a criminal or a lesbian."

I had my first crush on a boy in first grade. His name was Joseph and he was very cute, but he smelled nasty. During a class autobiographical presentation, he told everyone that he had a pet skunk, which explained why. I worked with him on one project and felt excited, but that was the extent of our association. I had several crushes on other boys throughout elementary school, but in middle school, I completely lost interest. (I mean, boys were gross. They would roll around in the dirt and not wash their hands. I’m a germaphobe, can you tell?!)

In high school, I had what I called a "Cuties List" of 10 guys who I thought were the hottest in the whole school, and it was my mission to talk to all of them and befriend as many as I could so that I could potentially enter into a relationship with one. I got to know more than half of them, learned that many were jerks, was able to have failed relationships with two and got slapped in the face by reality.

I remember during my junior year, there was a beautiful girl in my physics class. I was considered the smartest student in the class, so many of the struggling seniors would come to me during class for help with their assignments. Most only wanted to copy off of me, which I was fine with at the time since I understood they needed to pass in order to graduate. It was a bit annoying, but I shared my answers with them anyway. But one of the seniors was so beautiful. I think she was Latinx, maybe mixed with something else, I don't know what. But she had pale skin, long, silky, wavy, luminescent black hair, and big, dark, brown eyes. (A total Morticia Addams vibe) I would zone out and stare at her during class. I think she noticed, and maybe was a bit weirded out or creeped out by it, but she didn't seem to care, because she knew I was cool since I let her copy off of my homework. I thought at the time that I was just envious of her beautiful features and gorgeous hair. I had always imagined having long, straight, luxurious hair myself, so I convinced myself I was only admiring her appearance, nothing more. But now I realize that this was my first crush on a woman.

I had a best friend in high school who was bisexual, and she constantly asked me out, but I refused. I just wasn't into her like that and I told her I didn't "go that way." We made out once because I was going out on a date with a mutual guy friend and wanted to perfect my kissing skills. I may tell everyone else I know that the date is where I had my first kiss, but the truth is that my first kiss was with her. I just didn't regard it as a true "first kiss" since I had no feelings for her and only did it to gauge my skills.

I dated a few guys during high school, had horrible relationships, and then resorted to dating sites online. I still had no luck and many uncomfortable experiences, all with men. But in New York, I had my biggest crush on a girl ever!

I went to New York for a summer abroad in college. While there, one of my classmates was this beautiful blonde chick, fair skinned, thin frame, with sea blue eyes and a short, perky hair cut that showcased her blonde locks. She looked like a supermodel! I stared at her often, whenever we were out on a tour or in between classes. She had a boyfriend, of course, who looked like a more muscular and rugged version of Ryan Reynolds, so I stayed away. But again, I just thought that I was drawn to her because I adored her looks. It wasn't until I started having dreams and fantasies about marrying her that I realized it was more than that. I was having feelings for this girl, she was super sweet and friendly. I really didn't talk to her much during the trip, but when I did, she was such an amicable person. I even spent my spare time writing a song about her! I told my aunt and grandmother and they laughed it off, thinking I was joking around. I learned later that I wasn't.

After the experience, I went home to my cousins. I simply told them that if a girl asked me out, I wouldn't hesitate to date her and give her a chance. My youngest cousin threatened to punch me. I didn't bring up the subject again.

I pondered it for another year before I finally realized that I was pansexual. The prefix "pan" is Greek for "all" or "any", referring to any human, regardless of their gender identity or expression. Pansexuality falls under the bi umbrella. I know for myself, it’s more so based on personalities and aesthetics. For many of us, there is a bit of an emphasis placed on diverse genders and more androgynous traits or appearances. I started to notice that I was attracted most to cisgender men, cisgender women, femme men, and transgender men and women (MTF & FTM). But I still wasn't sexually active or willing to engage in sexual relations with just anyone. This then made me realize that I am also demisexual. A demisexual is a person who cannot develop sexual attraction unless they have a deep, emotional connection with another person. The prefix "demi" means "halfway", referring to being in the middle of sexual and asexual. (It is a part of the asexual, or “ace” spectrum) This rang especially true for me as I might think a person is good looking, but I will not be truly attracted to them until I get to know them, become intellectually stimulated and develop a strong emotional bond. (You could also consider me a sapiosexual as I am attracted to intelligence as well.) 

So, I now know that I am a pan-romantic demisexual. (Some would call us “pan-demics”, LOL) I have come out to everyone I know and have since received acceptance and support. A majority of my relationships have been with men, but it is no longer because I am conforming to society's standards. I didn't choose to fall in love with them, but I did. I am happy that my sexuality enables me to not discriminate against a person's gender identity or expression and gives me the capability of falling in love with anyone. It wasn't until I understood this and accepted it that I was able to fully achieve self-love. <3

I know that despite how far we’ve come as a society, in the current political climate we’re in, not everyone is able to be out. It isn’t safe for everyone to put their sexual identity on public display. But I try my best to live authentically and unapologetically because I know not everyone can. For those who can’t let their voice be heard, let me be out, loud, and proud for all of us.

Happy Pride! 


 Thanks for Reading. = )

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Soulmates; Do You Believe in Fate?

Hello friends, Welcome back!

A few weeks ago, I was staying up late and having a stimulating conversation with my dear friend America, and she asked me, "Do you believe in fate?"

She went on to tell me about a person in her life who she felt very connected to, and this connection was quite unexpected for her. One of her nicknames had matched this person's last name, and all of the dots were connected. A strong bond between her and this person emerged and her life has changed ever since, for the better.

To answer her, I referred to my sweetheart, Satchel, and told her:

"Well, I don't know. Look at me and my boyfriend: We're both mixed. We're both Aries. We're both studying Psychology and going into Therapy. We're both avid Writers. You tell me what that means."

          Before meeting Satchel, I had been reluctantly single for 6 years, and desperately looking for "the one." (as you might know from reading my previous blog posts) I had periods of time where I gave up looking and became somewhat content being by myself and other episodes where I felt so unwanted, unloved, unappreciated, and doomed to be forever alone, that I went hysterically searching only to find disappointment, rejection, heartbreak, and several slaps in the face by reality.

The Notorious "Forever Alone" Meme
Like my friend Jennifer understands, I genuinely thought that I might never find anyone to spend my life with because of my struggles, experiences, and upbringing. I thought I was damaged goods, high maintenance, broken, unattractive, and damned to live my life on my own, not relying on anyone else, individually, and independently.

          But now, the wait is over, and I don't have to look any more. The curse has been broken. The plague of loneliness is cured and gone!

I met Satchel on the dating site, OkCupid. As I've said before in my post specifically about my experience with dating sites/apps (which you can read here: "I'm Not Sure What I Want Anymore: In Regards to Dating (Online & in the Real World)") I would recommend OkCupid as the best, free, dating site to use in finding your match. (ESPECIALLY NOW! It's realistic, pragmatic, accessible, and pretty accurate in setting you up with good matches, it actually uses a legitimate algorithm to do so. You can learn more here: Inside OkCupid ) But I did go on a hiatus from the website after meeting many odd, strange, awkward, and perverse characters. But this happened on ALL of the sites/apps I used for dating, not just one, so don't be suspicious, alarmed or worried. (However, if you do choose to try online dating, proceed with caution and care, 'cause there are a lot of jerks out there, be warned.)

I changed my mind and decided to start using the site again after my friend Vanessa met someone. This inspired me, and so I reactivated my profile after 3 years of it being left behind and forgotten. 

They say that you find what you're looking for when you least expect it, and perhaps my experience proves this. ;)

I went back on OkCupid with my hopes and expectations low, not really thinking I'd meet anyone, but they also say God works in mysterious ways.  .  . 

Though I met a lot of weirdos and men from distant countries dying to marry me most likely for a greencard, I met Satchel after 1 week of being back on the site!

We accidentally found each other through the "Likes" portion of the site, similar to Tinder or "Hot or Not", he messaged me and things got going from there. We talked, and I mean A LOT. Practically sending whole essays to each other through the messaging feature. We ended up Skyping and then met in person to go on our first date. It was by far the best date I've ever been on. We connected so quickly and so strongly, we were bound to fall in love. And so we did. <3

He enticed me, not only physically, romantically, emotionally, and spiritually, but intellectually as well! He was one of the first men I talked to online that spoke in FULL, logical, proper sentences! He was intelligent and it showed! He had actual statements to make and curious questions to ask in order to get to know me, and this is so RARE on a dating site nowadays, where all people want are quick, casual, hookups, so they don't bother to speak deeply or eloquently. They respond to you with one worded messages or incomplete sentences, often with atrocious spelling, no punctuation and many grammatical errors, sometimes to the point of being nonsensical. Being a writer and former English major, as you can already tell, these things are VERY important to me. It was nice to find someone who actually cared and represented himself with respect, integrity, and professionalism, even if this was only to start dating and not for a job interview. (You should ALWAYS conduct yourself in a professional, courteous manner, especially online!) 

Not only all of this, but we could relate to each other on so many levels! We had similar experiences and could understand profound, intimate feelings we had felt and struggled with over time, which was so refreshing! (not to mention we had a lot in common, as I made clear earlier)

Upon meeting Satchel, I immediately recognized his name and thought we had met before, but he didn't remember, so I thought maybe it was someone else. 

A tidbit of our conversation on OkCupid. Please forgive my spelling mistake! Yikes!
Much later on, and deeper into our relationship, I went back on OkCupid and did some digging.

While digging, I found this:

I read through all of the 119 messages and realized that it was him! The same exact person, just under a different account! And if you look at the dates, you'll see that we met initially in July 2012 and found each other AGAIN in July 2015, exactly 3 years later!!! 

We just lost touch because he deleted that original account and I deactivated mine for the 3 years before I returned to find him again! As everyone has been telling me, it's meant to be! 

I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face when I first found this information, and I couldn't wait to surprise Satchel with the news! We were both so amazed and it brought us even closer!

I remember just a couple of months prior, we were cuddling in bed, and I told him, "I think you're my soulmate." And he responded, "I am!" while flashing me the cutest, most adorable smile. 

I know we are both young and still in the early stages of our romance, but he has been there for me through extremely tough times and I trust him with anything. 

It's something I feel in my heart, I know in my mind, I sense running through my veins, I breath in and out, and I see within our happiness. We complete each other perfectly though we are both imperfect, we better ourselves by being together, we provide one another with what we lack, and we love each other in the ways most wanted, needed, and yearned for.

So, you're probably thinking and wondering, "Good for you! Now how do I find mine!?" Well, let me tell you.

I believe everything happens for a reason. The 6 years it took me to find "the one" weren't meant to make me suffer, they were necessary; they made me learn. I had to learn to love myself, because if I didn't, I would have never found anyone, or I would have kept attracting negative, toxic, and destructive people into my life over and over again in a never ending cycle of hurt and heartbreak because that is what I was projecting onto myself and into the world. Self-love is a lesson we must ALL learn, because like RuPaul says, (I've said it before and I'll say it again!) "If you don't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?" (Can I get an Amen!? Halle-LOO!) 

More elaborately put, this mantra is explored in Don Miguel Ruiz's powerful book, The Mastery of Love. An important point he emphasizes is that we do not obtain happiness from outside sources, but through ourselves and our ability to give and share our love with others. 

The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz, a MUST read for anyone looking for love!
          How do you find your soulmate? My advice to you is truly learn to love, embrace, and accept yourself, flaws and all. (ESPECIALLY your flaws.) It's not something you can achieve overnight, and it doesn't just happen in a day. It's a continual process that's never-ending. Whatever you dislike about yourself, change. Perpetually improve yourself and learn to be content with, confident in, and proud of your talents, skills, appearance, qualities, personality, world perspective, identities, attitudes, emotions, thoughts, and livelihood! 

          And never lose hope! Another friend I know asked me, "Do you think I'll ever find love and get married, even at 63 years old?" I told her anything is possible, if she truly believes and works on loving herself. 

         When the time is right, love will find you. I know that now, and I want everyone to know it too! 

I waited 6 (almost 7) long years, I had given up hope, grown tired, and I thought no one existed who could or would love me. But I was wrong, and when I realized that, I found a love I never imagined I'd ever have, but always dreamed of and prayed for. So let me be an example to you that it can, does, and will happen!

Now, it's half of a year into our relationship, making it the longest and healthiest relationship I've ever had in my life. I don't know what the future holds for us, but I have high hopes, and I am fulfilled knowing that he will be by my side. 

If you've taken anything away from reading this, I hope it's that you must keep the faith, continuously work at loving yourself, and, naturally, finding your soulmate will follow. Let me and my story be living proof of this. I am happier than I've ever been in my entire life, and I know it's because I learned this valuable lesson, and I hope you will too.

My Sweetheart, Satchel and I. The first pic we ever took together, July 25th, 2015

Thanks for reading. <3

Friday, January 1, 2016

Psychic Apex

Hello readers, Welcome back! (and Hurray for my 20th post!!! Woohoo!!!) 

Have you ever had something odd, weird, or strange happen that seemed like it was meant to be? You connected with someone silently, almost like you've read each other's minds, and the outcome seems so perfect that it's almost implausible!?

I'm talking about MORE than just finishing each other's sentences! MORE than just being caught wearing matching outfits or colors!

Well, lately, I've witnessed a lot of freaky coincidences that I have reason to believe are MORE than just coincidences!

Though I do consider myself a highly spiritual person, I use my beliefs more as refuge, solace, and self exploration/understanding, as I may have illustrated in one of my previous blog posts titled "Signs." (Which you can read here: "Signs"  And now as I'm referencing this, I'm realizing this post was made almost exactly a year ago and that's another coincidence, SMH! This is seriously freaking me out! I guess it's meant to be, ha ha!) So I don't try and use my spirituality to send subconscious messages to others or forecast the future, though I do believe that these types of abilities do exist. (I actually have had premonitions that have come true in the past and weird experiences with ESP that have led me to believe they are real)

But due to the vast quantity of events I have encountered this past month, I have created a new term. I'm calling it a "Psychic Apex." Basically, it's a period of time in which psychic abilities/tendencies/powers are at their highest point, thus causing freaky coincidences to take place, as if everyone is on the same wavelength. Here is a list of all of the interesting incidents that transcended:

1) I was having dinner with my boyfriend, (And YES, I FINALLY have a boyfriend, AT LAST! Blog post ALL about this coming soon!) we decided to get Chinese, and I happened to get a fortune cookie that read "Wise men make more opportunities than they find." I have always gotten fortunes that make accurate predictions and even remark on present occurrences as I break the cookie to read them, but this one was especially unusual, because I had just been thinking of possibly starting my own business. Maybe this is a sign!

2) My boyfriend and I had our gift exchange on the Wednesday before Christmas Eve because we knew we would be with family for the rest of that week/weekend. One of the AWESOME gifts he bought me was an Oracle card deck, which is very similar to a Tarot deck, but more flexible in its structure. I loved it and insisted we do a couple of readings.

The beautiful Oracle Card deck my sweetheart got me! <3
Well, before we did, I looked through the entire deck and felt very drawn to 2 cards in particular. Their names were "Lovers" and "Hidden Beauty." Even their art work resonated with me. When we did a reading specifically about our relationship, sure enough, we happen to get those 2 exact cards juxtaposed together!!!! We shuffled the deck and everything, so it was not our fault! I thought it was wickedly cool!
The "Lovers" and "Hidden Beauty" cards right next to each other, the last 2 cards of our reading, signifying the purpose of our relationship. So mysterious and promising!
3) Christmas Eve was a breeding ground of psychic activity! My cousins and I traditionally open our gifts at 12am on this night, so we came across a lot of pleasant, unplanned surprises! It seemed as though all of the gifts we got for each other just magically seemed to fit our expectations or needs without us even knowing beforehand! First off, as a few small prizes (that's what we call them), my cousins got me a box of glazed Honey Buns and a box of Nutty Bars, which are two of my favorite snacks, but I was just with my boyfriend in the store a week beforehand and I pointed at these exact two treats and told him, "My cousins will probably buy these for me." Sure enough, I was right!

Yummy glazed Honey Buns, courtesy of my cousins!

Nutty Bars, one of my ALL time favorite junk foods! So creamy and delicious! And this box is Christmas edition!

I bought my cousin Dawn these 2 happy daisy stuffed flowers as a reminder of an inside joke, and one of them was the exact color as the one she originally had, which I had no way of knowing!

I bought Dawn the 2 on the right, Orange and Pink, and she had the Pink one before!

I bought my cousin Cherie a set of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" shot glasses, and little did I know that our friend Hannah had the exact same set and Cherie had been wanting it!
Nightmare Before Christmas Shot Glass Set that I got for Cherie. Knew she loved the movie, but didn't know she wanted these! 

They both got me a pair of warm, comfortable slippers and I had just thrown away a pair of mine that were too worn out! They weren't aware of that! It was like we were all on the same psychic page, our instincts and intuition led us to picking the perfect gifts for each other!

Soft, Warm, Fuzzy slippers from my cousins. And they're gray! One of my fave colors! =D

The creepiest part of that night, by far, was when I opened the biggest gift that my cousins got me. It's our tradition to wrap each other's presents a million times so they take forever to open, and sometimes we even include funny notes, jokes and/or drawings in between the wrapping papers. One of the pictures that Cherie drew was of a Snow Bunny. If you're not familiar with what the hell a "Snow Bunny" is, it's an item in the 2004 Nintendo game Paper Mario; The Thousand Year Door for GameCube.
The Legendary "Snow Bunny" in Paper Mario
About a week prior, I had been talking with my boyfriend, Satchel, about video games. He told me that he was playing Fallout 4 and apparently there's a rare piece of cake stuck in a machine that you can somehow get if you try hard enough. So, he stole it and managed to actually get away with it!

The highly demanded piece of Cake in Fallout 4
Satchel's story reminded me of me and Cherie playing Paper Mario back when we were younger. We sought after that pesky little "Snow Bunny" for DAYS! We tried so hard to get it because it was so hard to find! The game has recipes where you can cook food that can give you special benefits, and we wanted to make this "Couple's Cake" which required a "Snow Bunny" to execute, so we even went online for cheats, hacks, and hints, but had NO luck! So I told Satchel this, and sure enough, on Christmas Eve night, I unwrap a gift with Cherie's adorable drawing of a "Snow Bunny" when she had no idea that I had this conversation with Satchel a week prior! Cherie and I haven't played the game in years or brought the "Snow Bunny" up in any recent conversations, so how the hell does that happen!? 
My cousin's cute drawing of a "Snow Bunny" ^_^

4) On Christmas Day, my Aunt Robin ALSO got me a pair of slippers! How the hell did they know I had just thrown my only good pair in the trash? I hadn't told anyone!

Cute and Stylish Slippers from my Auntie Robin

5) The day after Christmas, I had gone to visit my Grandpa in PiƱon Hills. It's about a 2 hour drive from LA with traffic, so my cousin Elton and I had plenty of time to chat on the way there. He was listening to a song I liked and I asked if he could send it to me. He did so via Bluetooth on his phone to mine, and while he did so, I was thinking about how I wanted a wireless Bluetooth speaker. I was shopping at the Brookstone in Paseo Colorado earlier this year and tested one out. I fell in love with it, but it was too expensive, so I left the store without buying it. So tell me why, as we arrive at my Grandpa's house, my Grandpa's wife, Julie, has gifts for us, which we weren't expecting at all, and the gift she had for me was guess what. A freaking wireless Bluetooth speaker! How crazy is that!? (I guess good things really come to those who wait, huh!?) 

JBL Clip wireless Bluetooth Speaker. Thanks Julie! <3
6) The morning of December 27th, I went to bed at 4am. (I'm a helluva night owl, this I KNOW :P )
Before I fell asleep, I lied down and thought to myself, "I feel like there might be an earthquake today." SURE ENOUGH, there was! In Barstow CA, at approximately 10:31am, there was an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.2 and was even felt in LA! How the f*ck did I know that! (My mom claims that she has the power to forecast earthquakes, maybe I got it from her, LOL! :P )
[You can read about the earthquake here: "Earthquake in Mojave Dessert Area Felt in LA" ]

7) Satchel and I are both Psychology majors, so we're really interested in Astrology and Myers-Briggs/Jungian personality types. We've taken multiple quizzes and everything. He's an Aries INFJ, and I'm an Aries ENFJ, probably why we work together so well. I'm basically just the extroverted version of him! We happened to be watching one of my favorite Youtubers, Autumn Asphodel, and she has a video where she talks about being an Aries INFJ too! No wonder why I felt so connected to her! She has videos about her negative experiences on OkCupid, and this made me think of my own experiences with the dating site. I logged into my old account that I don't use anymore and realized that a girl I had been talking to was ALSO an Aries INFJ! What are the odds!? 

^^^This vid is 8 minutes long, so you don't have to watch it unless you want, but it's good!^^^

8) This past Tuesday, I was grabbing dinner and a few drinks with my bestie, Marigold, and I told her about all of these psychic phenomena happening to me this month. She said it might be due to the moon, especially since it was so full during Christmas! We exchanged gifts we had for each other, and being the amazing friend she is, she got me a Tarot card deck, knowing that I really wanted one! (Long story short, I was @ Dave & Buster's playing games, I won over 4000 tix just so I could get a Tarot card deck to learn that they had discontinued them! I was so bummed! So thanks Marigold! And thanks Satchel for my super dreamy Oracle deck too! Y'all are the best! :-*) We decided to do a few readings for fun. The first one we did was a career one for her. She flipped the first card over upon my request, and so I went to the handy dandy guide to read what it meant. Never having touched the booklet before, I accidentally flipped to the right page! What the heck!? 

It gets even better.  .  . Later that night, we did another reading that involved Astrology. It was a more complex spread with 12 cards put into a circle like a clock, and each card represented a different sign of the Zodiac. Well, it was a very sophisticated and enticing reading, I'll tell you that much, but the best part by far was when we approached the Scorpio card. This card symbolized psychic awareness. Guess what card it was. It was the MOON!!!! How effing bizarre is that!!! We were JUST talking about that being the cause behind the psychic phenomena!!! It goes without saying we were both shocked! :-O

"The Moon" card from the Running Press Mini Tarot Deck

Later that night, I caught the train home and as I got off of it, it had an advertisement that read "How do you innovate?" One of the cards from a reading we did earlier that night told me to be more innovative! Freaky, right?! 

So, I bet you're wondering, what did I gather from all of these incidental occurrences? Well, I think they're all a good sign. I believe in a higher being, our creator, and karma. When you do good, it comes back to you, tenfold. Look at all of us in this post: my boyfriend, my cousins, my Aunt Robin, my Grandpa's wife Julie, and my great friend Marigold. We all opened our hearts to give thoughtful gifts to one another, and it paid off! We were all psychically linked in this unexplainable way that allowed us to be on the same wavelengths and pick perfect presents for one another as well as have insightful intuition about the world around us and what was happening. Isn't that powerful!? It goes to show if you truly open your heart, share your love with others and give, you will be greatly rewarded! So IDK if this "Psychic Apex" will continue onto 2016, but I'm very grateful for it's appearance in my life this last month of 2015, and it's a wonderful way to start off the new year! 

Happy New Year, ya'll! 

Thanks for reading. =)