As part of my new job, I've had to participate in a lot of (very long) staff orientation meetings, but they've been surprisingly fun.
My favorite one was about communication and in it I (re)took the Myers Briggs test and remembered why I think these tests are so cool. I just think the concept of understanding self and how that translates into effective communication is fascinating, but I digress.
I found that I am an ENFP.
Here's a quick description:
Curious, creative and imaginative
Energetic, enthusiastic and spontaneous
Keenly perceptive of people and of the world around them
appreciative of affirmation from others; readily express appreciation and gives support to others
Likely to value harmony and goodwill
Likely to make decisions based on personal values and empathy with others
Usually seen by others as personable, perceptive, persuasive an versatile
After discussing my personality a little bit more, but and I was happy to learn that, professionally at least, I've learned to compensate for my weaknesses like my tendency to feel a little bit scattered, have trouble saying "no," thus feeling over committed and work with deadlines--which was very encouraging. It surprised me that most of my previous supervisors all described me as detailed oriented and well organized, even though that's not naturally my thing.
I really enjoy looking into my personality and other people's personality and seeing how they fit together for a greater story. I love it.
Interested in learning a little bit more about yourself?
Today I was clicking through a few blogs, waiting for J. L. to come over and visit with me and I was struck by how many happy faces I saw. Whether they belonged to brides in beautiful white dresses, giggling babies or a few girlfriends sharing stories over a cup of coffee, I found myself feeling sincerely happy for all of these souls that I have never even met. When I first started my blog, I used it only as a form of self expression and a way to help find my writing voice. However, I wasn't expecting to enjoy reading the blogs of other women and begin to feel a sense of global sisterhood/share in the celebration of female expression. My favorite posts are always about relationships (all kinds), about women really pushing to grow beyond what they're expected to do or be and/or well written blogs, or artistic pictures, of women celebrating what it is to be a woman. It's exciting to me to see God's children just enjoying life--myself included!
However, after I overheard a conversation between two students, the obvious occurred to me: not everyone who blogs is probably in a season of heath, wealth and happiness. In the real world, sometimes life really sucks. In fact, it occurred to me that some of us may not only be having a "rough day," but that some if not most of us are experiencing extremely difficult situations like feeling the pain that comes from lonliness, loss or even abuse.
Please know that if you are in a season of feast, my heart is so happy for you, I really do hope that it continues for you and know that the words below are meant for you as well. But if you're at the end of your rope or you just feel like you're alone in whatever your situation you find yourself in at this moment, I want to take a moment to let you know that the following statements are unconditionally true:
You are loved whether you know it or not.
Your ability to perform or be accepted or even your the way you look has absolutely nothing to do with your worth.
If you're hurting, you only need to reach out. I promise you're not alone.
If anyone is treating you like anything less than a the Child of God you are, know that you don't deserve it and that you deserve better.
Beginning on Thursday night which is not the weekend, I know...
During Battle of the Blvd., Belmont beat our big rival 88-52. It was great!!
Friday night we celebrated a birthday with a friend at the oh-so-tasty Burger Up.
Saturday morning I had breakfast with a childhood friend at a local coffee shop.
She's moving back to Colorado and we wanted to have at least one girl date before she left.
Shelly was wonderful and I really regret not having spent more time with her while she was here, but we both always seemed to be so busy!
It was still fun catching up with her, though!
That afternoon a few of my students and I went to Second Harvest Food Bank for an MLK Service Project. We enjoyed getting to know each other better while sorting food for a few hours.
Did you do anything for MLK Day?
I successfully pulled off a surprise party for J.L.! It was his birthday last weekend and I got a big group of friends to P.F. Changs and then back to my place where we enjoyed boston cream pie cupcakes (delicious and surprisingly easy) and games.
We had a bunch of fun.
THEN, yesterday, I met a few of my cousins for the very first time.
My dad's side of the family isn't super close, but I really love family and was really happy to meet them.
I don't know about you, but I've been SUPER busy so far this week!
Still loving the new job and I've LOVED having my students around.
They're really great and it makes me feel excited for my job as well as feel like my work is significant.
Very encouraging :)
THAT being said,
I'm reaaaady for the weekend.
Well, I thought I'd share one of my favorite pick-me-ups.
This song reminds me of my childhood and so many happy memories, but also reminds me of what's really important in life--planting relationships.
You have so many relationships in this life
Only one or two will last
You go through all this pain and strife
Then you turn your back and they're gone so fast
And they're gone so fast
So hold on to the ones who really care
In the end they'll be the only ones there
When you get old and start losing your hair
Can you tell me who will still care?
Plant a seed, plant a flower, plant a rose
You can plant any one of those
Keep planting to find out which one grows
It's a secret no one knows
It's a secret no one knows
no one knows
Today we're gonna do something a little bit different.
I realize this is not a "fun" post, but it's about an issue that is near and dear to my heart and I feel is beyond imperative to share with you. In fact, I really feel that for someone to know me, they need to know that I care about this more than I could ever begin to express. So, please take the time to read about what I feel is truly the greatest violation of human rights of our time. Ready? This one is about:
also know as
I found out recently that 99% of people don't even KNOW about the existence of human trafficking and I decided that I will NOT let me readers contribute to that statistic.
Before we get into the facts, I want to encourage you and tell you that YOU have the power to change the world, to love your neighbors and to FREE SLAVES by using your voice. Knowledge is the first step and I pray that you'll take that first step to help join the fight by reading this post.
Trafficking in Persons is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
Slavery? That doesn't happen anymore, does it?
Well, I wish the answer was no, but it happens not just in dirty little third world countries, but in literally every country on the globe -- including the United States of America. In fact, it happens in your back yard.
How many people are we talking here?
Right now there is a conservatively estimated 27 million people enslaved in the world--forced to work slave labor, have organs removed, or work as a sex worker against their will. 27 MILLION. Think about that for a minute. It's also estimated that there are over 200,000 women (most of them minors) working as sex workers against their will. Often sex workers are forced to perform in live sex shows, turn as many as 30 tricks a night and/or create pornography. These people are treated as commodities and are thrown away when no longer "useful" to traffickers.
Who gets trafficked? Literally every "type" of person is and can be trafficked. Those who are most vulnerable to trafficking are children and those living in poverty--however, young girls from nice neighborhoods are victimized as well. 80% of slaves in the world are female and 50% of all slaves are CHILDREN. Statistics show that with in 48 hours of running away from home a child will encounter a trafficker. Most other victims are abducted (these stories happen far more often than you think) or tricked into a lifestyle they don't want and can't leave.
Who makes money in trafficking? The people who profit from human trafficking are mostly organized crime members. In other words, the primary monetary benefactors are either in gangs, in the mafia, sometimes policemen, or, although more rarely, criminals disguised as small "business" owners. In fact, the slave trade brings in $3,000,000,000 a year (that's three billion) and is the fastest growing illegal sales trade second only to drug trafficking. (Yes, there is more money made in people selling men, women and children than illegal weapons.)
How do I spot a victim of human trafficking?
Pretty you haven't encountered this? Well, the sad fact is that unless you've been living under a rock, you probably have encountered slavery, yes, in your nice little town and could have done something about it. Click HERE to learn more about spotting victims.
What can you and I do to stop trafficking?
The good news, in fact, the shining light among all of this seemingly debilitated
Program this number into your cell and CALL IT if you see anything suspicious
And I thought I'd throw this in here because I think this woman, who was once a victim herself, is a true hero and someone I look towards for inspiration.
So, I write and share all of this not to be a downer (for, in all honesty our blogs focus on the fun, pretty things in life and rarely dwell on the ugly things in life) but to upset you enough to inspire you to do something to help end trafficking. I hope you're outraged enough to save a life. I hope you'll take some time to learn more and do whatever you can, big or small, to spread awareness and help end the absolute travesty that is human trafficking. Consider the stories of the men and women above. What if it was you? What if she was your child? What would you like a woman sitting in her comfy home to do about your suffering?
"Modern day slavery is only exists because we choose to ignore it."