Here I am, stuck in the middle with you…

Life has been a little bit insane as of late, what with the white supremacists and the Nazi’s demanding whatever it is that they are demanding on one side, and the “bleeding heart liberals” on the other side demanding that those who are screaming that the Jews and the Blacks and everyone else that is being deemed “less than human” need to be shot and killed for their views on the other. Both sides are fighting, screaming, talking over each other in raised voices that are – at this point – screeching at the top of their lungs incoherent words more desperate on being the loudest than being accurate.

Now, before this goes any further, I want to make it absolutely clear that no matter what I’m about to say in the rest of this I don’t agree with the Nazi’s nor do I agree with anything that went down in Charlottesville. I was born and raised Jewish. My grandfather was a POW and a concentration camp survivor. I spent years of my childhood studying the Holocaust for my Hebrew Studies and I’ll be damned if that shit is going to happen again. So please remember who I am as you read these words, because I’m certain that this is going to be considered an unpopular opinion to many.

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UPDATE: Is the keyboard now mightier than the pen?

It wasn’t so long ago that the source of people’s opinions on things were drafted in letters, then mailed to the editor of a publication or a news show… or pretty much anything. You had to feel very strongly about the situation to sit down and spend the time writing out a letter, digging for the address on where to send it, find a stamp and an envelope and mail the thing out. Then, if your letter was chosen for publication, you might see it in print.

Today, all of that has been replaced with a keyboard and the onslaught of social media and the Internet. Now, if you have any grievances at all – from minor to major – all you have to do is scroll to the “contact” page of a site, grab the email address, and instantaneously send them hate mail; complaining about how much you loathe what they are doing for whatever reason you have. This way, they have the email instantly, and they can get back with you the very same day if necessary. In the world of Social Media, it gets worse. Every post could have an onslaught of both positive and negative comments, and since others are seeing it just as quickly as you are, conversations and arguments explode.

So it seems to be that the keyboard has now become mightier than the pen.  Continue reading

How do you define YOU?

Years ago, right when Brian and I got married, Brian lost his job. Not only was it the worst timing ever, he sank into a deep depression for a while that threw him into a tailspin that surrounded with the one question that plagues us all from time to time: “who am I?”

It was a rough time for the two of us, especially since we had just started our married life together and despite what they say about nothing changing but your last name… things DO change. We ended up going through it again two years ago when I lost my job at Channel 4 and I realized I was at the pit of my darkest depression spell yet. It was a rough time for us again, as I had to rediscover who I was without the constant frantic chaos that comes with being in television news as well as going through the steps with the help of doctors and medication to pull myself out of the darkness.

Now I’m watching family members and friends go through the same thing. Only this time, I’m able to look at it in a different way. Since I am not directly involved, I’m able to see and really notice how lost these people are in their lives and what steps they are choosing to take in order to try and rediscover themselves, offer advice if asked and help them along the way.

Which begs the questions: when did we decide that our job or a relationship is what we need to define who we are? And why do we make that the sole thing? When did we decide to let an outside thing be the thing that defines who we are? And why is that allowed?

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Politics, Feminism, and the Former Newsie

I don’t usually talk about politics or the fact that I’m a feminist publicly. Instead, I save it for those who I feel could hold an intellectual conversation and have a healthy debate with me that won’t include name calling and unnecessary bursts of shouting. I’m the kind of person who wants to hear both sides and make a decision based on what I believe and what I feel is right, and not deal with someone calling me ugly names or attacking me because I disagree with them.

Part of that stems from my 12 years in the news business. The only way you can remain unbiased is to do just that: find out both sides and report that. However, in the world of instant information, many people don’t do that. They jump on a bandwagon of angry villagers that are desperately trying to convince the other that they are right despite being unable to hold a decent discussion with facts and points to prove it.

So I tend to sit quietly and watch others, shaking my head in sadness that there is no way we can all have a decent conversation about all of this.

See, the thing is, I firmly believe in equal rights. I’m a feminist that believes that we all should be treated equally and fairly. I’m not an “I can do anything better than you can” feminist, but an “I can do that too” feminist.

I believe that both viagra and birth control pills should be covered by insurance. I believe that women should get paid the same that men get paid. I believe that men should have no say whatsoever on what a woman does with her body. I believe that Planned Parenthood should be supported because of the things they give women who don’t have insurance and need medical exams and medications. They do more of that than anything else.

I also believe that a woman who has sexually abused a man should get the same penalty that a man would get if he abused a woman. I believe a woman who has physically abused a man should get the same punishment that a man would get if he abused a woman. And I believe that people need to stop being so lackadaisical in their reactions when these things happen. Because they do happen. I believe that a woman who sleeps with a student is not a hero but a predator, just like if a man sleeps with a student. I believe that sexual harassment from a woman should be taken just as seriously as if it came from a man. I want men to be able to get paternity leave just like women get maternity leave, and I want them both to be paid leave and protected. 

And it’s not just about men and women. It’s about races, nationalities, sexualities. It’s about HUMANS. Being a feminist isn’t about bashing men, it’s about making things equal across all lines. And I believe that everyone should have the same chances as everyone else. Who are we to take away opportunities from others to be able to make their own decisions? Who made us dictators?

I have a friend who believes that she is less than her husband, and while I disagree with her… she is still my friend. I have a colleague who doesn’t believe in abortion, and I am pro-choice. He is still my friend. I have a large group of friends who decided to vote for Donald Trump, and they are still my friends. Some of those friends are also marching in today’s Women’s March, fighting for the rights of women and minorities everywhere.

All I’m saying is you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. A little bit of kindness, understanding, and intellectual conversation may do wonders in helping us all come to a consensus that will allow each party to find something to be happy about.

Until then, I’ll continue to watch from affair and refrain from burning my bra. This thing was expensive, and I like the color.


Life is a Grand Adventure

With a new year comes a chance to start anew and who isn’t excited for a chance to start all over again?

And it seems that now is the time for me to start everything over again. My marriage, my fitness, my friends, and my work… my focus has taken on a different hue in order to make sure there is time for my latest and greatest adventure. Graduate School.

What started out being an inquiry about graduate school ended up being an application, then a application process, then acceptance. Now, I’m a student at the Brian Lamb School of Communications through Purdue University. I’m doing an online masters program and it’s going to be a crazy 20 months, but it will be worth it when I can accept my degree and stand proudly.

Education has always been something I’ve believed in. Asking questions, being curious, wanting to learn and continue to learn is something that you should take pride in. Far too many people don’t take advantage of what’s out there and think they are an expert in fill in the blank here. I find those who ask questions are far more intelligent than those who don’t. And why shouldn’t we want to achieve the best education we can get our hands on?

I digress.

With the new adventure of graduate school added to the plate, my time has become quite important to me. I will need to adhere to a very strict schedule during the work week in order to get my workout in, my work done, my school work done, and still have time to be with Brian at one point in the evening. Then, on the weekends, I plan on spending a good chunk of the daytime on Saturday working on whatever assignment is needed from me. It will be a struggle, but it’s only for 20 months and I know I can make it work.

With a new year comes a chance to start anew. I’m still the same woman I was before, embracing herself as best she can. Now I’m just making the packaging a little bit shinier. I have many goals and plans for 2017, including graduate school, and can only hope to see you along for the ride.

Thanks for sticking it out with me. It’ll be a grand adventure.

One does not simply just “get over” depression

(NOTE: This is an edit and update from a previous post I had done on depression.)

“You are one of the most un-depressed depressed people I know,” Kat said to me one morning on our usual Friday morning runs. When she said that to me, I had to smile. Thing is, she wasn’t the first person that has ever said that to me. She isn’t going to be the last one either.

That’s right. I’m coming out and admitting it in a public forum. I have severe clinical depression.

It used to be my “dirty little secret;” something I kept from people because I was afraid of what they would think of me if they knew that I was seriously screwed up in the head. The few people I tried to talk to about it, family included, used tell me that it was just a case of the blues or that I didn’t really have a reason to feel the way I did. I actually had someone close to me tell me that they didn’t understand why I was taking anti-depressants and that I was weak because of it. I had it pretty great, why did I feel like I did?

I don’t have an answer for you that you are going to understand other than “I just do.”

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Welcome to the new world.

I’m stuck trying to figure out who I am. It’s easier said than done; realistically you figure out your identity when you are younger and have a chance to experiment in life. But sometimes incidents happen that make you take a hard look at your reflection and wonder who that person is looking back at you.

I didn’t like who I had become. I didn’t know that at the time either.

It’s almost been a year since I left TV, and it’s been a roller coaster of adventure trying to determine just who I really am without that identifier. I’ve learned little things, like I love flowers and I want to be outside as much as possible. I’ve learned big things, like I enjoy quiet time as much as I do music, and I love not knowing everything that is happening day to day. But I still don’t know who I am.

I know that I still have that sarcastic sense of humor and beautiful eyes. I know that I love loud music and jamming out. I know that I miss working out regularly and fitting into my size 12 jeans, but I also love taffy and Peterbrooke’s milk chocolate covered popcorn. I like to color, to read, to take pictures of things, and to run. I still don’t like bugs or spiders, onions, screaming children and being spoken to as if I was moron. (Which, in case you didn’t know, I’m not)

But that isn’t who I am, right? It’s a philosophical journey to determine just who a person is anymore, and I think I am still slowly taking steps in that direction. I think back to the girl I was and I didn’t like that I was miserable, that I didn’t laugh as easily or as often, that I didn’t joke around as much, that I didn’t find joy in things that I used to love.

I want to find happiness and joy, I want to laugh and play, I want to feel confident enough to grab life by the horns and say “You are mine to control” and then let it wander free just to see where it takes me. Just because I can.

A new adventure, riddled with complicated simplicity. Welcome to the new world.siggy