Thursday, February 15, 2018

Valentine's Day and Dogs: Thinking Out Loud #76

Happy Thursday and a belated Happy Valentine's Day! It was over 50 here and sunny yesterday so I soaked up every minute of sunshine I could while working. Maybe it's the kid in me, but I love Valentine's Day. It's so nice to see so much love because the world could use a lot more of it, especially in light of yesterday's events in Florida. I'll get to that in a moment, but for now let's jump into this weeks thinking out loud.


1. I may have done another story with a dog😃 my coworkers are joking that I'm on the dog beat, which is partially true. If there's a cool story about a dog in the city I'm going to find it and report on it. This cuties name is Priscilla and she's a comfort dog for first responders. She was so mellow and her handlers were amazing. Dogs really just are the best🐶


2. I received a comment a few days ago saying I talked about my job too much. I'm sorry if you feel that way, but 1. I genuinely love my job and 2. you don't have to read anything I write. I adore my job because every single day I get to go out into the community, talk to people, and share stories that matter. Of course there's hard day, heck there's day when I come home crying but at the end of the day I wouldn't trade my job for the world. If you think I talk about my job too much, I'm sorry, but maybe you should find something you're equally passionate about. 


3. Yesterday work was so chaotic, but I came back from a police briefing and these gorgeous flowers were waiting for me. It was such a surprise and it made my day. Who doesn't love feeling loved on Valentine's Day?! These beauties have definitely brightened up my apartment. 


4. I decided to try HelloFresh since I'm almost never home and having food delivered to your door just seemed convenient. The three meals I got were alright, but I was disappointed in the lack of quality of the produce sent to me. Some of the items were clearly not overly fresh and I didn't feel overly safe eating the meat because the box shipped out on Monday and got to me on Thursday night. I know the meat was on dry ice, but it was not totally frozen when I got the box which concerned me. Overall I probably wouldn't get another box not only because of price, but because of lack of freshness, and lack of selection for dietary restrictions.


5. I'm an immensely private person. I value keeping my personal life personal. However, I decided to open up and share a little bit about my #MeToo moments. I will not go into further detail because it's not necessary and I'd rather not dig up old wounds. I do think the #MeToo movement has created an important conversation. Harassment, sexual or not, are never ok. No means NO. While I question how much impact this movement will have, my hopes are high, I am proud that it started the conversation and several people have been held accountable for their actions. I hope that parents will take the time to educate their kids on consent, what harassment is, and how to stop it.

6. Yesterday's shooting in Parkland, FL broke my heart. Any time a shooting report comes in it's a tough pill to swallow. I've seriously lost count of how many shootings we've reported on in recent months because there's been so many. My heart breaks for all the victims, families, survivors, and school administrators. A school shooting is truly everyone's worst nightmare. I find it horrific that schools now have active shooter drills because the reality is all too frightening. Tears were shed in the newsroom yesterday. Reporters aren't just robots, we have feelings and any shooting is hard to stomach, especially when kids are involved. Pray for Parkland may seem like empty words, but I truly believe only God can help this country. I don't have an answer to stop the violence, but I think some tough questions need to be asked about gun control, mental health issues, and other issues. I'm at a loss of how to express my sympathy to everyone involved, all I can say is my heart breaks for the community and everyone involved.


7. I'm going to end with this quote. It's so important that we realize how strong every person really is. Everyone is fighting a battle, often times we just don't know about it. Love your strength, love your determination to get through, and love who you are. There's not a single other person exactly like you. You are irreplaceable.  

Have a terrific Thursday and a great weekend🎉🎉🎉

What is something you love about yourself and why?

How did you celebrate Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 12, 2018

#MeToo


I live my life in front of the camera. Every day I show up for work and go on air sharing stories that matter to the community. Good hair days, bad hair days, waking up with a giant zit and all, it's my job. 

Just because it is my job to be in front of the camera does not give anyone the license to comment on my body. I don't look perfect every day, I'm human and some days I feel like I'm rocking it and other days I want to wear a paper bag over my head. Most people have bad days and don't have to worry about being judged for wearing their hair in a ponytail or wearing leggings, their clothing, necklace, hairstyle, makeup, but everything I wear is. 

Don't get me wrong I knew what I was walking into when I chose this career, however just because I'm a tv news reporter does not mean I'm not human. I still have feelings. I'm pretty dang good at not letting people's comments about my looks affect me, but there are some days where a comment is so mean it's like a punch to the gut.

I remember showing up for one interview where the person I was about to do a news story on told me I don't look as fat in person as I did on camera. Somehow I managed to not have my jaw drop open and pasted a smile on my face to get through the interview. I got back to the station and started pouring through old shows questioning if I was fat and picking apart every single flaw I could find. 

The problem was never me though. I was blaming myself for a problem that had nothing to do with me. 

It's the same way I was blaming myself for having my butt grabbed in Paris by a total stranger when I was just 16. In broken English he told me he just could not help himself. 

It's also the same reason I blamed myself for a guy forcing himself on me shortly after my 18th birthday. To this day thinking of this incident still makes my stomach churn.

My point here is this, the culture we live in often turns a blind eye to the bullying and the unwanted touches.

There is the #MeToo movement, but is it really going to create change? Is it going to stop guys from cat calling me while I'm out on a Friday night with friends? Is it going to stop people from touching others when it's clearly an unwanted advance? 

For so long society has blamed the victim. They've made the victim feel like the unwanted advances were their fault. Questions are asked like what were you wearing? Did you do something that made the other person think it's ok? 

When I was standing on a street corner in Paris I did NOTHING to warrant a strange man grabbing my butt in broad daylight in public. I should have turned around and punched him, but you know what I did? I questioned what I did to have this happen. When I was 18 and a guy forced himself on me I questioned if the shorts I was wearing were too short and made the guy feel like it was ok. I was so ashamed of the incident I never told anyone. I could have filed a police report and gotten the guy in serious trouble, but I society taught me that I had done something to warrant this guy acting like that. 

Screw that. I don't want to live in a world where people think it's ok to tell me I look fat on camera, or grab my butt, or force themselves on me. I really don't care what I'm wearing. Even if my shorts are so short that my butt is hanging out that does not give anyone the right to touch me when I don't want to be touched. 

There is change happening, but a lot more change needs to happen. Parents need to teach their kids it's not ok to touch someone when they don't want to be touched. People need to respect people's boundaries and understand that no means no. I also don't want to live in a world where people live in fear of hugging someone because it could be sexual harassment. There is a line that shouldn't be crossed, but no matter what no always means no. 

I think the #MeToo movement started an important conversation. I love how it's allowing men and women to step out of the shadows and say this has happened to me too and it's not ok. Harassment, sexual or not, is not ok and should never be tolerated. Ever. 

I have always preferred to keep my private life private, but stepping out and speaking up is something that should never be feared. I should have spoken up long ago, but I'm speaking up now and saying #MeToo. I don't want to be just another statistic. I want to help bring change. I want to be a part of the change so my beautiful baby cousins can live in a world where they don't have to fear being sexually harassed every time they walk into work or a bar or wherever. 

I want to be a part of a movement that's about changing the culture in which we live, speaking out against verbal and sexual harassment, and spreading kindness. The world needs all the kindness it can get. 

My hope is that anyone out there who reads this and has been struggling knows that you are not alone. Whatever harassment happened is NOT your fault and you are not alone. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cinnamon Rolls & the Super Bowl: Thinking Out Loud #75

Happy Thursday! What a week it's been. In some regards it's flown by, but it also feels like the longest week ever. Maybe it's because I'm super sleep deprived or because so much has happened in the past week. Regardless this will be short because a nap is definitely calling my name right now. So let's jump into this weeks thinking out loud


1. Are these not the biggest cinnamon rolls you've ever seen?! They had to at least be a few pounds, not to mention a bajillion calories. I'd be really impressed if one person was able to eat the entire thing because no photo does it justice- it's bigger than my head. I was doing a story with a bakery when I saw these and my jaw just dropped. I didn't even bother to ask how expensive they were because I'm guessing those bad boys cost a pretty penny. 

2. I've been starting work on the weekends at 7 a.m. It's disappointing to me because I don't get to go to the gym and lift since it doesn't open until 7 on weekends. I've been running and doing cardio before work though, but after 12 hours at work I'm dead. A lot of times I feel like a grandma because I will eat and go to bed, but I know my body needs the rest so no shame. Last Sunday was the Super Bowl and all I really cared about was the halftime show. I treated myself to a veggie omelette and after the halftime show I went to bed. What did you guys think of JT's performance?! I thought he was fantastic so I don't understand all the criticism🙆


3. Working weird hours on the weekends has my eating times all thrown off. Since I had breakfast super early I was starving by 10:30. Luckily I had thrown a rxbar into my work bag in case of an emergency, so I had something to ward off the hunger until it was a semi normal lunchtime. I'm not a snacker, but I feel like I almost have to on the weekends since I'm eating breakfast so early and I don't want to starve myself until lunch, no one likes a hangry Rachael...


4. This a much shorter than normal TOL post, but there has just been so much going on that I haven't had time to do much of anything. I came across this quote this week and it was just fitting. Life is so busy and so complicated. At times I wish I didn't have to deal with all that was going on (I'm pretty sure everyone thinks that at one time or another), but I know for me if I hadn't been through all the things in my past I would not be as strong as I am. I wouldn't have the same attitude about hardship that I do because I know that difficult times don't last and I'm never in it alone. Just like that old saying tough times don't last, tough people do.

Happy Thursday and have a terrific weekend!

What is your favorite snack food?

What is something that helps you get through the tough times?