Pay up.

I have been thinking, as I tend to do at the most inopportune times, I have been thinking about breakups. It seems as though when breakups happen, the primary focus is usually diverted to the dumpee. That person, the blindsided one, the heartbroken one, the one who is hurting. The articles written, the advice that is out for the taking, the demonstrations of sympathy – they are directed at that individual.

What about those who do the “dumping”? What an awful term, by the way. I don’t feel that I dumped him, like a load of waste just needing to be taken out. I mentioned before, I love the fella. I want to remain his friend. Maybe some people do get rid of trash when they break up, but that is not what is happening here, I assure you. Can we call this something else?

At any rate, I am the one who terminated the relationship. How about that as a title: The Terminator? I am the bad guy, right? The heartless one. The one who gave up. The one who will go about her life and simply move on. That’s not so, believe me. Although I know I did what is best, it sucks to know that I have hurt him. I carry a certain guilt with me regarding the whole situation. I have caused sorrow. Dammit. I also carry a degree of dread. I dread that eventually, we will not be friends. He will banish me from his life permanently, and then will certainly deserve to be called a dumpee.

Que vida esta.

I owe it to myself to be happy, though. I truly believe that. I am decent enough of a human being to deserve happiness, I think. More importantly, I hold this role of being what matters most to Arturo and Imelda. Did you know they are so selfless in their position as parents, that they put my happiness – and that of my brother – before their own? They are such wonderful people and they deserve to live happily, more so than I do. But, if their happiness depends on mine, then, fuck – I have no choice but to be happy. For them if anything else.

It’s as simple as that.

Be happy, Daisy. And do not feel guilty about it. It is owed.

Oh my gosh, my name is so pretty. Even when it is typed out. Daisy. Yet another thing to thank my Mom for! 

I will tell you what is making me happy at the moment. On Friday, I celebrated three whole years as a vegan. Woot woot. That is approximately 600 animal lives I have saved through my diet alone. I have also indirectly consumed about 657,000 less gallons of water than the average person on the average American diet (raising animals for food requires a ridiculous amount of water). I wish I could easily look up how many lives I have spared by not wearing leather nor wool, and also by not using products containing animal ingredients nor that have been tested on animals. It doesn’t matter. However great or small the numbers are, the lives are precious all the same.

Y’all. This feels so good. I love animals with all my heart, I am entirely devoted to them, and I refuse to take my love for them lightly. They are worth living this lifestyle that can be pretty darn inconvenient at times, not gonna lie. I also adore the planet that I live on, twisted as it may be at times, it is still a lovely place that deserves to be mended and preserved.

I should share that I have three friends who have themselves made positive changes recently. Kay has started to make a conscientious effort to eat as little meat as possible, Disa is mostly vegetarian now, and Lindsey has gone vegan. What?! The best part? All three credit me as being their inspiration! I am so proud!

Oh, but as much as food animals tug my heartstrings, I still have plenty of love and time for animals in the entertainment industry, and companion animals as well.

Earlier this month, I protested Ringling Brothers circus yet again, for the third straight year. It is absolutely necessary to educate the public about the abuse those animals must endure, and we have made gains for them in recent years (Ringling elephants and SeaWorld orcas: we did it!). The success we have obtained only motivates me to keep going. Although I am heckled, what I put up with cannot begin to compare to what animals everywhere undergo simply for being animals. How can I not do it?

Now that the circus has left town, I am hoping to become more involved with the Texas Humane Legislation Network. I reached out to them last week and in the application to join, they ask about previous volunteer experience. Mine is as follows, dating back to 2009*:

Looks good, right? I hope they have positions open and that I hear from them soon. I am ready for a new challenge! For the animals!

In closing, I have a recommendation for anyone going through a breakup: Regardless of which side of the breakup you find yourself on, do what makes you happy, do what makes you proud, do what fulfills you. The breakup will seem trivial in the scheme of everything you do with your time and your abilities. If you find yourself in a doomed relationship, let it go. Why give it the energy that you could instead be using towards your purpose in life? You could be changing the world, even if you do so indirectly. You being happy will benefit all, it will bring positivity. Fucking get to it already! The world needs you!

Our time is short. Do not let it go to waste. Do not spend it in unhappiness.

I bet you deserve better. I bet you owe it. Pay up.

*I remain active only in the last three, but all these organizations merit support. Please check them out!

 

Inspiration Station

Making like Gaston, because the wheels in my head have been turning.

As far as work goes – let’s be real – I will likely stay in Oncology and have to move downstairs away from the people I adore so much. I am not allowing myself to be bummed about it, though, because realistically, the move will not be happening for a few months anyhow. There is still time to be spent with my crew – I just have to make it count and enjoy their company and camaraderie while I can. Once the move does happen, we will be forced to somehow spend time together outside of work, something that I am not opposed to at all. All will be well, without a doubt, whether I am in Cardiology or not.

There is no denying that one of the reasons I was so enthusiastic and pumped (pun intended) to join Cardiology was because it would have been an entirely different field, and I enjoy the challenge of learning something completely new. Well, why not simply learn as much about Oncology as I possibly can? How can I motivate myself to do this? What exactly should my goal be?

Answer: Get my license (as I was already planning to do) and become a Technician Specialist in Oncology.

The process will be long (a year of work) and arduous (hours and hours of continuing education, submission of case studies, a brutal exam to pass, and much more), but I want to do this. As it currently stands, there are only fifteen Oncology members in the country! That’s it. It goes to show that this is not a task that many would uptake, it is no easy venture. This, of course, only makes me want to do it more. Just as it was when I decided to train to run a marathon, the thought of all the work ahead of me and the amount of dedication required actually thrills me. It motivates me!

I also received extra motivation from OncoDoc. On Friday, he and I were the only ones who remained on a slow afternoon, waiting for a few of our patients to be picked up and taken home. He noticed that I was researching the requirements to become specialized, seemed pleased with the idea, and let me know that he would help me in any way he could. Awesome. I will take all the help I can get!

Now, unfortunately, I cannot start the application process until October. In the meantime, however, I am taking online courses in Oncology, courses offered through the company that I work for. The oncologist presenting the courses is based in New York – howdy, by the way, I’m in Texas – but includes his LinkedIn information in his webinars. I immediately asked to connect and he thankfully accepted. Aaawww, yeah. Something else to do between now and October: make connections, build a network of possible mentors, know people with influence. Let’s get things going!

I must admit, I sometimes focus so much on my personal growth that I neglect my professional life. None of that anymore. I am making things happen this year and next. And I am excited! As always, stay tuned!

____________________

Oh, but personal growth and fulfillment matter so much to me!

Things are going quite well in that aspect of life. Sometimes I feel that I cannot find inspiration, but really, it is everywhere if we only make the effort to find it. There are also times that it is waved right in our faces, clear as can be, making matters pleasantly straightforward. In the last month or so, I was fortunate enough to attend two events that served as obvious incentives to grow and make the most of my time, and my life.

The first occurred late in March. One of my dear coworkers – I will call her Kay – invited me to see and listen to the incredible Jane Goodall speak at the University of Arlington. What can I say about Jane? No amount of eloquent words can suffice in describing what an extraordinary human being the woman is. She is in her eighties and continues to travel the world, advocating not only for her beloved chimpanzees, but ALL animals, nature, and the environment.

I was especially pleased, though, because Jane devoted a part of her lecture to speak on behalf of the animals that tug my heartstrings the most: “food” animals. I preemptively cheered as soon as I realized that she was turning the focus of her speech to the animals raised to be consumed as food. She spoke briefly about them, but was concise and said everything that needed to be said. I cheered, I applauded, I wanted to thank her for raising awareness and encouraging others to be compassionate and mindful. Luckily, after the lecture, we were able to meet Jane and get her autograph. All I was able to say to her was all that I wanted to say to her:

“Thank you.” 

It was a lovely experience, one that left me filled with joy and a strong desire to continue my pursuit of making life better for animals. She’s done it decade after decade; I would love to do the same.

How?

That question was answered during the second inspiring event, which happened less than two weeks ago. Early in the week, I received a message from the gentleman who was once the director of The Humane League’s Dallas office. This is the same organization that I ran my marathon for, raising over $1,000 in doing so. The group was hosting a gala in downtown Dallas in celebration of their ten-year anniversary. I never bought a ticket to attend, but was told that I would be placed on the guest list for the gala anyhow. No ticket required due to all that I did as a member of Team Humane. Isn’t that great? I was so flattered that they thought of little ol’ me and appreciated my efforts, I immediately agreed to go, and became all sorts of stupid-excited.

The night was delightful.

Delicious vegan food was served, along with local craft beer. There was a silent auction, music, and my favorite… dessert! I recognized many faces in the crowd, including Fashion Veggie and Cykochik, both wonderful local ladies making an impact by advocating for vegan/cruelty-free fashion. At the end of the evening, we watched a presentation highlighting all the accomplishments The Humane League has made locally and nationwide. They are putting up an aggressive, successful fight and I am overwhelmingly proud to have contributed to their efforts by raising funds for them.

The best part, though? Simply being in a room full of people who are not only vegan, but are so active in their efforts to help our fellow earthlings. It is reassuring to know that I am not alone in my views and my desires to end animal cruelty. There is a vibrant community of compassionate souls right here in my hometown! And guess what: I can be one of them!

That very night I decided that raising money is not enough; I have to get out there, protest, leaflet, make phone calls, march, and whatever else it takes. It is all I want to do. It is where I will find fulfillment. It will give my life more meaning than what it already has and – cliche, cliche – I will grow as a person. I may never be as successful as Jane Goodall, but every little bit helps. It truly does, I am confident of it.

___________________

I suppose I have my work cut out for me, but I would not have things any other way. Life is short, I have drive, there are improvements to be made. Once again, I just hope I can maintain my focus. I should be able to. I am constantly surrounded by sweet, furry faces that can serve as reminders of why I do what I do, and I have wonderful friends and family who consistently encourage me and wish me the best.

What more do I need?   ❤

Let me see if you can run it, run it

It is now June 15th. Almost June 16th. And I still feel that this year is escaping without me having anything to show for it. I am still not a better calligrapher, I have not honed my photography skills, my French is still where it was when the year started, and I am feeling very unaccomplished because of it all. My friends tell me (remind me) that I did get a new job this year and that in itself would be a huge deal for most. I don’t know. I guess I kinda expected to do well at it, which I feel that I have, so it simply does not feel like that big of a deal.

No matter. Because I am doing big things with the latter half of this year, the biggest of said things being running a full marathon. Yiiiiikes. I am holding myself accountable this time. I have talked and talked and talked about running a full since completing my first half almost two years ago. But I never registered for one, and dammit, I did not train properly – mostly due to poor time management. This time, though… This time is different.

First off, I am running as part of a team and for a cause. Although it is unlikely that I will actually train with my teammates, we are all running (or in some cases cycling, lifting, etc) to raise money for The Humane LeagueOF COURSE I am doing this for animals. Nothing motivates me more in this world than helping out other species… Running for the animals! How awesome is that?!

Other motivating factors (i.e. reasons I cannot and will not back out):

  • I have announced my plans just about everywhere! To my friends and family and coworkers, on social media (hi, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!), and… here.
  • I already registered. Over 100 bucks later, I am registered.
  • As mentioned above, I need to accomplish something this calendar year!

So! That’s that! December 13th is the big day – five days before the release of The Force Awakens! What a dually awesome week that will be! I have something to look forward to pretty much all year – what a wonderful way to live, huh?

Oh – I am struggling to write because the boyfriend keeps distracting me. This is why I should either wake up early and write while he is sleeping OR write during the day on Mondays while he is at work. This right now is not doing it for me. More on other plans for the year later.

With that, I will peace out.

Doing things

It has been raining non-stop for five hours straight now. I have already read reports that it has rained more this morning alone than it did the entire two previous months. Wonderful!

This is perfect sleeping-in weather, but my butt was out of bed at 5:00 a.m. due to changes I have made to my running schedule due to changes that were made to my work schedule (more on that later). I always have my best runs when it’s early and not so hot outside. Sometimes, though, no matter how early I wake up, getting out the door can be a challenge. I have found that the best way to combat this and keep myself from dragging is to just prepare everything I will need the night before. And so, last night before bed, I set my shorts, top, and socks neatly in the bathroom. I filled my hydration bottle with water and left it in the fridge for the night. I set my shoes and arm band on a shelf in the living room for an easy grab. Perfection.

This morning, I was pumped and ready to get this new week on my new running schedule started. Oh, but wait. There was a storm approaching. According to my weather app, the storm was gonna hit at about 7:00 a.m. Bummer, man. The hourly forecast wasn’t any better. I decided to walk Canelo before my run knowing myself well enough to admit that I would run until it became dangerous for me to be out there, at which point, it wouldn’t be safe for me to walk Canelo. That sweet boy comes before all else. I sacrificed two miles in order for him to enjoy his regular long walk. Life of a doggie mom.

I did indeed run until it was unsafe. Just a little over three miles, well short of the eight miles that I was scheduled for. No worries, I’ll do the 8-miler on Wednesday instead. I was absolutely soaked by the end of the run, and it sounded as though the storm was creeping up behind me the entire time. The thunder simply became louder and louder, urging me to pick up the pace. By the last half-mile, the rain was coming down so hard, it was almost blinding me. Ah well. I finished strong, stayed safe, and my phone didn’t die. Success.

Success.

Let me tell you a little something about success… I had a major hiccup in life two years ago. Disastrous, catastrophic, heartbreaking? Eh, not so much. I rebounded by asking myself a single question: what do you want to do with your life? The answer was obvious, but it was what I felt had been interrupted. All I wanted was to help animals and make the world a better place for them. I felt that this was what I was in the process of doing and I had ruined it.

Au contraire, ma cherie! 

In the past two years, I have helped a much wider array of animals than I ever have before! First of all, I finally made that final (overdue!) leap from vegetarian to vegan. This wasn’t simply a change in diet, either. It was a complete change in my lifestyle. By living a vegan/cruelty-free life, no matter how unproductive my days may seem, I help animals simply by refusing to fund and support industries and companies that exploit them. While I may not see the positive effect that this has, I just know that it makes a difference and that’s enough for me.

Other endeavors provide me with very concrete evidence of my impact. For example, In January of this year, I participated in a protest asking Southwest Airlines to end its partnership with SeaWorld. Stop supporting animal cruelty and exploitation, we demanded. Wham bam!

Boo yah!

Boo yah!

Amazing, isn’t it? The article mentions our protest! Obviously, the results weren’t immediate (we had to wait six months), and the ultimate goal (ending SeaWorld’s animal abuse) has yet to be reached, but it’s progress and it feels pretty dang fantastic!

Even more awesome success… Yesterday, I volunteered at Operation Kindness for Empty the Shelter Day, which was held at shelters all across North Texas. Adoption fees were waived in an effort to find homes for as many animals as possible. It was very hectic at the shelter, with people waiting hours just to get inside only to have to wait even longer to complete the adoption application and counseling process. It got done, though!

Screenshot_2014-08-17-12-24-38-1

Oh, happy day!

What an incredible achievement. Over TWO THOUSAND DFW animals found new homes in one day alone! I am extremely proud of the animal sheltering community here in Dallas and so happy that I was able to participate.

These “extracurricular” ventures of mine, they make me so happy. This is the definition of success and fulfillment for me, this is what I need to feel alive and accomplished. Sometimes, I do let life get me down. I’m human, after all.

I mentioned changes in my work schedule earlier, remember? Two weeks ago, when I first learned about these changes, I was VERY upset and stressed by the news. I am still iffy about them so I try to remind myself that I am more than what life throws at me. Okay, so I have to make some readjustments here and there, but that’s not going to stop me from trying to change the world. Neither are the mistakes that I make, the bad choices that are not thought through, nor whatever negative circumstances Murphy’s Law decides to conduce towards me. Through it all, this mortal can keep getting things done and that’s just wicked awesome.

Does this post make any sense? Sometimes my train of thought isn’t much of a train. It’s more like bumper cars.

Much love!