Paste to SETTINGS -> ADVANCED -> CODE INJECTION -> HEADER-field

Why The Heck Am I Watching Oprah

OK so it was one of those odd occasions where I had a few minutes during the day so I flicked on the TV and it magically landed on Oprah's "O" network. Please don't judge me too much LOL, and to my defense, my brother's wife was over so I feel somewhat justified in watching a segment or two. But talk about eye opening. From what I could tell, the guests on the show were all women who had finally ended their marriages. And I say finally because all of these women were unhappy, unfulfilled, and outright miserable in their marriage for years before finally ending it. I heard one woman say she had checked out of her marriage after the first ten years, but stayed with her husband for SEVEN MORE YEARS despite not feeling any emotion for him at all and herself being constantly unhappy.

Fear of change, maybe?

Can you imagine being stuck in a situation you hated for seven years? Having to wake up everyday and deal with that situation knowing you absolutely don't want to be there. Then I thought a little deeper and realized this is what so many people deal with every day. Not just with their spouses, but so many people hate their jobs, or hate the classes they're taking or their majors, hate where they live, and on and on and on.

And despite feeling deflated, hopeless, dejected, disconnected, and whatever other negative emotional adjective you can think of, they stay. And some stay in their situation for much longer than seven years. Now I don't want to sound insensitive or even ignorant. I know there are always mitigating circumstances and other factors to think about. In marriages, children are always a consideration; with jobs, finances and bills are always a consideration.

There's always something, right?

But that's just the point. There's always going to be something holding your feet to the fire. Some reason, real or manifested, that prevents you from getting out of a situation that's draining you of your energy and your soul on a daily basis.

At what point does that something disappear and your need for happiness take precedence?

Me personally, I protect my happiness at all costs. And not saying I haven't done jobs I've hated or been in bad relationships. But I've always had goals with any job I've worked with the vision that it was either a stepping stone or a necessary evil to get to where I am now. And with relationships, once I could look at myself in the mirror and say I've given it my best shot, that I've tried honestly and intently to make it work and it still isn't fulfilling my expectations, then I have to move on.

And I have a daughter, so I understand all the repercussions involved. But to me, it can be more psychologically damaging for a child to witness a loveless relationship than it can be to end that same relationship.

I'll leave with words from one of my favourite musicians:

"Leaving you is hard, being here is harder." Lana Del Rey

#PassionAndPaper

Subscribe to #PassionAndPaper newsletter here.

I Saw a Girl Fall Today

Eight young runners in a staggered set holding their batons at the starting line, three of their teammates spread across the rest of the track pacing, anxious, waiting for their turn. The gun sounds and the race begins.

Alternating positions around the corners and down the straightaways, each young girl snatching her chance to run, run, run, only thinking of passing on that baton for the next step to victory.

Then the last runner cradles the baton in her hand and sprints to the finish line. She's racing to the ribbon with ribbons in her own hair.

Then she falls...

And rolls on the floor a couple times before looking up at the crowd with what must have been embarrassment, or anger, or maybe even fear. Concerned coaches and trainers come rushing out to her aid but before they can attend to her injuries she lifts herself to her feet and finishes the race.

Everyone claps and acknowledges what they have witnessed is a winner.

I think of a line I heard from a song on the radio: "I rather lose the fight than miss the war."*

I think of something I saw on TV a few mornings later. Hilary Duff is talking about moving out to Los Angeles at 10 years old and being rejected 200 times at auditions.

Two hundred times.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." **

I would love to be able to follow the young girl I saw fall today, five years from now, ten years from now. Nothing is guaranteed but her will is undeniable. What are you passionate enough about to pursue after getting told "NO" 200 times? What pushes you to get back up after everyone you know and love and care about has seen you fall?

For all the success I've had, I've been told no much more than I've been told yes. But I'm sure of who I am and what I do so those no's are milestones to be celebrated even if they sting. The more painful, the closer I am.

#PassionAndPaper

 

* Lyrics from My Inner Ninja by Classified.
**Mahatma Gandhi

Living My Life

I realized my last two posts have been somewhat gloomy. I'm actually not that sad of a person, but everyone has their moments I guess. The last few weeks have been so much more exciting and has helped me realize how blessed I truly am. My goal since I first started writing "Thoughts of a Fractured Soul" was to touch as many people as possible and inspire readers with my gift as a writer. It's been just under six months since my novel has been out and the journey has already been unbelievable. Most recently I've been working with members of the school board - TDSB, TCDSB, and YRDSB  teachers, department heads, curriculum leaders, principals - all who have been incredibly enthusiastic about bringing my novel, it's themes and my personal story to students within their districts. It's emotional for me to see how open they have been about not only welcoming my proposals, but going out of their way to encourage even further connections among their peers.

apple-256266_640

I was also interviewed by a student at York University as an "interesting person" for their Professional Writing class. What I thought would be a casual interview forced me to think about my entire journey as a writer, start to end, from the first days of struggling to find my voice, to the very first edit (which was terrible), to finding and selecting the right publisher, to finally seeing the book in print and having people actually purchase it.

The next 6 months are shaping up to be special and I'm itching for the moment to walk into a classroom and see every student holding a copy of "Thoughts of a Fractured Soul." My own soul is full as I reflect on the benefit of being able to live my dream every single day. I only wish that everyone can experience the joy of having their dreams fulfilled.

Till next time...

 

 

 

Why Men Need to be Weak...Sometimes

Waking up today and hearing the story of the Mississauga man apparently taking his own life, along with the life of his two young children, ran chills through my entire body. The three of them were found in a burning vehicle near Barrie last Friday, and police have come out to say that they do in fact believe the father intentionally killed himself and his own children. All of this followed by news of a Texas man shooting and killing four of his children, critically wounding his daughter, and murdering two other adults that were present in the home.

Now what I'm about to say is in no way a justification for these monstrous acts of horrific violence, and I'm not going to argue the politics of gun rights and gun ownership (common sense seems to elude most people who can make changes to these laws). Instead, I use these two examples only as a springboard to pose a question: Who do MEN turn to before they reach these critical breaking points? And the bigger question: How do we create a culture where men can feel comfortable and secure in turning to these groups and asking for help?

The latter I feel is the more difficult. While there certainly aren't enough centres for males dealing with adverse stress, teaching men how to cope with the responsibilities and social 'duties' that are assumed of them, the bigger problem is how do we get to a place in our society where it is not considered weak or demeaning or odd for a man to seek refuge in these settings.

Where are all the ads for "male" empowerment groups, or centres for mentally abused men? Even writing these words and making these these inferences in some way feels taboo; like I am appealing to society to allow our men to be sensitive, which in most  instances would castigate our sex and place us among the weak.

But as I read more and more about these types of cases mentioned in my intro, then reading stats that the suicide rate among males is approximately 3-7 times greater than that of females, claiming an average of 3000 lives a year in Canada alone - with rates peaking when men reach their forties - it's difficult for me not to suggest that we not only need to allow men to be weak (if that's how they will be assessed), but we should encourage it.

Men need outlets just as readily as females, and not feeling free to express moments of weakness, instead internalizing these emotions until they reach an irreversible boiling point, is causing what has been referred to as a silent epidemic. We are murdering men, or in fact causing them to murder themselves when some intervention would have surely saved some of the men that felt desperate, alone, with nowhere or no one to turn to.    

So my call on society is let our men be weak. Not all the time, but sometimes a weak moment can be empowering and literally save a life.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Written by: Kern Carter author of "Thoughts of a Fractured Soul," available in all formats at www.kerncarter.com

 

Subscribe to C.R.Y mailing list