Tag Archives: advice

Follow Your Voice of Wisdom

August 27, 2016

Alex Forrest

Little did I know I was living below “Alex Forest” from the infamous Fatal Attraction movie when I moved into my quaint, vintage apartment.

She, like most mean girls, appears first as the sweetest, kindest person who ever graced the planet. And she did so gracefully walk. She had perfect posture and seemed to always know proper etiquette, especially in conversation. Even when she held her cigarette it was like watching an old Hollywood starlet. Something about her was intriguing, a bit mysterious and often left me feeling uneasy. There was some sort of wall or façade I could not clearly decipher. All I knew was to keep her on my good side. I had a sneaking suspicion that if I ever crossed the line, there would be no return.

I rarely meet people like this, but when I do, I am reminded of that gnawing feeling of discomfort. She was intentionally intimidating. I’m even bold enough to say that she was a bully. She made me want to shrink and cower down. A little voice inside me told me to steer clear, but I often felt sorry for her, especially when I’d get a knock on my door. Standing there with a glass filled to the brim with white wine, she had tears in her eyes.

As a child and teen, I always listened to that little voice. You know the still, small voice that would tell you not to go out with that guy? Or that feeling that you’d get when you knew something didn’t seem right? That voice is what many call their conscience or their wisdom speaking.

Somewhere along the line, I stopped listening to that small voice of wisdom. It has become quieter every time I have allowed someone to cross a boundary or line with me.

I haven’t taken a personality test recently, but I think it’s safe to say that I am Type B. I am very laid back, and on top of this, I am the middle child of two sisters. We, middle children, tend to be peace makers. Over the years, I have struggled with saying “no” to invitations or obligations. I want others to be happy, and it’s difficult for me if I know they will be disappointed by my decline.

If you’re a people pleaser like myself then you can relate. Because of this desire to please others, I have allowed people to take advantage of me. I have often sacrificed my own well being for the sake of avoiding confrontation. Around an intimidating person, my voice has often been soft, almost non-existent. Out of fear of retaliation, I won’t speak up.

Some call me sweet and innocent. I still get the occasional description as being naive. And those with ill intentions will truly prey on this. As a result, a person like myself will get used. Dare I say the term abused? Cruel people exist and even the smartest of us can fall into a trap of deception.

I started meeting with a counselor recently for self growth and because I have been faced with a difficult decision. He said the most simple yet beautiful advice: Follow the voice of your own wisdom. He reminded me that when you get that weird gut feeling or when you feel uncomfortable by someone’s actions toward you that it is your wisdom speaking.

I still have that little voice, but unfortunately, by not following it, I have said no to myself. Saying yes to others has caused me to say no to my well being at times. I have put my emotional, mental, and sometimes physical health at risk.

“Boundaries are not for others but for yourself,” my counselor stated. “You set the boundaries. If they cross them, you walk away.” I have often thought I didn’t have that right. However, now that my mindset has been made whole, I am and will set boundaries. My well being is more important than simply making others happy.

For the whole story of my bully neighbor, read here. I was right about that feeling. I’ll listen to it better next time.

Article by Brittany Windle

Follow her on Twitter.

The Inspire Us Project: Kim

June 20, 2016

In February of this year, we introduced you to The Inspire Us Project. We have enjoyed reading the stories of women – stories of strength that have led them to a life of believing in themselves and feeling comfortable in their own skin.

We will be sharing a few of these stories as a source of inspiration. Stay tuned for our very own to be shared in this project as well.

Kim::

Inspire Us

The story behind my smile…

I guess you could say that my life started out as that of most little girls. Days were filled with lots of love, pretty dresses and dance classes. Quite the spoiled little thing, it still tickles me to hear the story of how my maternal grandparents once stood outside “spanking” the rain because the thunder had made me cry.

My parents divorced when I was really young. They had been childhood sweethearts who grew up as neighbors. Now that I’m grown myself, I think they simply weren’t mature enough for true “adulting” at the time. My mom remarried shortly thereafter, and so did my dad. It was my stepfathers suggestion that we needed to move. Unable to fully cope with my grandmothers untimely death, my mom went along with it. So off we went, along with my little sister, to live in Colorado. I’ve always been the intuitive type. So without reason and at the tender age of four, I can honestly say that I had never liked my stepfather. Upon moving across the country, I soon learned why.

For the first time in my life, I was exposed to alcoholism and abuse. As a little kid I wanted nothing more than to escape, but I couldn’t. Since I couldn’t physically escape, I would lose myself in books. From Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, to The Chronicles of Narnia, I would get away to better places through reading. I guess that’s the one good thing from that time that I’ve never lost. We moved around a lot, but wherever we went the story never changed. It was a horribly ugly cycle that was stuck on repeat. Somewhere along the way we all moved back to Alabama. But that didn’t suit the manipulation of an abuser who thrived on isolation to carry out his domination. There were simply too many family and friends here, to not notice all of the battles and bruises on the mend.

There’s so much more to this story, it would take a book to truly tell. Fortunately, my sister and I were able to get away. It took a while longer, but my mom and now three more sisters would eventually follow. It takes a long time to truly be free from the chains of abuse, but I’m happy that the chains have finally been broken. Although there are still some residual difficulties at times, I choose happiness in spite of it all!

I choose to live in a way that shines the light of love in all that I am and all that I do. When you see my smile, know that it is broad and bright by choice. It is the freedom song of a sweet little girl who once didn’t have a voice.

For more stories, visit The Inspire Us Project website.

7 Musts to Look for in a Spouse

July 29, 2015

2b PhotographyLast night I met a close girl friend at the eclectic Mexican restaurant one street over from where I live. We normally have our weekly talks at the gym after church on Sundays.

“I realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with someone like that,” she confessed as she was telling me about the ex that was reaching out to her. We all saw that coming. He’d realize he made a mistake and come crawling back. We, humans, are so predictable.

The first three to five months are what many people call the “honeymoon” stage: sweaty palms, butterflies, and blindness. Seriously, we are blind. It’s not because the person is always hiding their flaws or bad habits, although some do. My girl friend would often smell cigarette smoke in his bathroom. The funny thing is that smoking was not a deal breaker to her. Even if they aren’t hiding anything, we are blind because we simply don’t know that person yet.

We often can only see the good and admire the qualities we like in that person. The focus is what they are offering us and what we have in common. Although common interests are nice, they are not paramount. This is a revelation to me.

I admit that I’m a sapiosexual. “What the heck is this?” you may ask. By definition, it is one who finds intelligence as the most sexually attractive feature (thanks, Urban Dictionary.) I’ve become so fixated on one quality or two that I overlook red flags that are waving and yelling, “Mayday, mayday!” My focus has been on our common interests and my likes and dislikes of that man (his style, his interests, intelligence, etc.)

This, to most, doesn’t seem like a problem. However, recently, I read an article in Elephant Journal that made me change my whole perspective:

“Love is more than a series of likes and dislikes, attraction and interests. If attraction is based on what you like or dislike about the person, it is a setup for failure. Likes and dislikes change over time, and remain at the surface level of human expression. Common interests change, appearances change, language change.”

Ten years ago, I didn’t know that I would absolutely love sushi and coffee. They are now my two favorite things. Ten years ago, I also bleached my hair too blonde. We change. We grow and evolve. If the sole reasons we are with someone are based on likes and dislikes, then overtime, we may not still appreciate or like those things.

“The only constant is change,” Artisan states.

So what exactly do we look for in a person if we are aren’t looking for attraction, likes and common interests alone?

Here are 7 Musts to Look for in a Potential Spouse:

1. Character – What is the integrity of that person when no one is watching?

2. Chemistry- Physical attraction. This seems self explanatory.

3. Competency- Can this person hang on to a job? Or are they always going from thing to the next?

4. Culture- Can your cultures blend? Do you have similar views on finances, education, and spirituality?

5. Commitment- If a person can’t keep a commitment with other things, then something is wrong.

6. Communication- Can you identify your own feelings and the other person’s feelings?

7. Core Values- Are your core values the same? Do you have the same beliefs?

Although intellectual conversation about literature and art is fascinating to me, it is not what will see a marriage through during its most turbulent times. And as a close friend said to me, “That type of conversation all the time sounds exhausting!”

It is the core traits that are sustaining and nurturing that should be most sought after.

Brittany Windle

Follow Brit on Twitter.

(Photo Credit: 2b Photography)

(Resource: Family Life)

Lauren Walsh

February 18, 2015

Lauren Walsh- 2b
Lauren Walsh

When meeting Lauren Walsh, the first thing one may notice is her contagious smile and positive attitude. You may recognize her on Birmingham’s ABC 33/40 News. Originally from Florida and moving from Augusta, Georgia, Lauren made a career move to the Magic City.

We admire her ambition and were excited to have a coffee date with her and her precious pup, Sophie.

What days/times can we find you reporting? 
My normal schedule is Monday through Friday at 4,5 & 6 in the evening. You can follow my stories on Twitter @LaurenWalshTV.

What was your transition like from Florida to Birmingham? What do you like most about the Magic CIty? Can you give any advice to those who relocating for a career?
Birmingham is MUCH colder, especially this week! I miss the Florida sunshine and the beach but I love Birmingham. Everyone is so nice and friendly.

My first reporting job was in Augusta, Georgia, so this is my second time moving to a new, unfamiliar place for my career.  My advice is to get plugged into a church. Volunteer. Join activities like Young Professionals or a kick ball league (I’m doing both here). Building a network of friends in a new place is essential to make it feel like home.

Lauren Walsh- 2b

Lauren Walsh- 2b

What is your favorite part about your job?
A reporter’s day is spent in the community, meeting new people and sharing their stories.  I never stop learning. It is something new each day. Yesterday I did a story explaining the judicial process ahead for gay marriage. Today I interviewed the most adorable four year old for a story about the Transplant Center at Children’s of Alabama.

One of my favorite journalism quotes is from Mike Wallace: “It’s astonishing what you learn and feel and see along the way. That’s why a reporter’s job, as you know, is such a joy.”

What has been your most memorable experience as a reporter?
There are too many to list! I will always remember my first trip to Washington D.C. to report on Capitol Hill. I am a nerd for politics! When I was in Augusta, I also had the opportunity to cover the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. It is beautiful beyond words! I became a golf fan my first day on the course.

What advice can you give to other women who are pursuing their dream job?
Persistence is key. Rule out excuses and do not accept no for an answer. There were days in college where I worked at the coffee shop in the morning, then went to intern at a local TV station until 11:30 at night, then went home to study for class the next day. You can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. Also, find a way to set yourself apart from others competing for the same job.

 

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Lauren Walsh 2b

What quality is most beautiful in a woman? How do you define beauty for yourself?
A woman who loves Jesus is a beautiful thing. One of my favorite bible verses is Proverbs 31:30: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

When you love the Lord, you can’t help but host more beautiful qualities, like confidence and kindness. I love women who are confident in who they are, and don’t feel the need to compare themselves to others.

I believe being beautiful is being able to love yourself through your flaws. Nobody’s perfect.

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Lauren Walsh 2b

What’s in your purse?
My purse is big because it doubles as a camera bag! It totes equipment like microphones and batteries during my workday. You’ll usually find it with a Clinique chubby stick, two iphones (personal and work), a hair brush, my Kate Spade Wallet, a notepad and a pen (a reporter’s best friends), mints, hand lotion and business cards.

What are your can’t-live-without beauty products?
My Clarisonic. They are expensive but worth every penny. I use it with Clinique’s skin care line.
My friend Meaghan recently gifted me fiber lash mascara. It is magic in a bottle! There are two steps. First you put on a gel as you would regular mascara. The second step is brushing fibers on! It makes your lashes look so long!

Lauren Walsh 2b

Lauren Walsh- 2b Lauren Walsh 2b

What’s the story behind Sophie? 
I had been planning on adopting a dog for a while. The weekend I planned to go to the humane society just so happened to be three days after a tough, completely unexpected break up. I got Sophie from a group called Two by Two, which had a booth set up at Pet Smart. They found her in the woods covered in mange. Even though I adopted Sophie, she actually helped me more. She gave me unconditional love during a time of heartbreak. She’s my best friend!

Article by Brittany Windle

Follow Brit on Twitter.

Photography: Becca Bell of 2b Photography

Location: Thanks to Hart & Soul in Homewood, AL

2b

 

 

Smorgasbord of Men

December 9, 2014

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I thought dating would be a smorgasbord of scrumptious men after my four year relationship ended. The men started coming out of the woodwork, whether through meeting them through friends, arranged blind dates or the occasional reconnection through Facebook (which I hate).

I was flattered, had the upper-hand, and I was going to enjoy the process. But I was quickly reminded of why dating is not what it is cracked up to be.

The Rebound. Everyone has one. You are completely blind and incompetent to make sane decisions during this time. Friends and family should lock you in a padded room after a bad breakup.

But instead I met him….

I cared nothing about him besides his stunningly beautiful blue eyes and muscular arms. Somehow during the course of our dating, I overlooked the ridiculous stupidity that vomited from his mouth or, rather, texts. He would often text acronyms like “bb” which apparently stands for baby. (Why abbreviate a four letter word?!) And my all time favorite, “SMH,” which means “shake my head.” (You don’t know what this does to an English teacher.) No person over the age of sixteen should talk like that.

He was my trainer at the gym. (Note to self: Never date your trainer.) After his countless requests for me to get breast implants and his week-long gambling trip to Vegas which included a lovely picture with a stripper, I realized we were on different pages.

After all, he is ten years older than I; should he still be partying like it’s 1999? I ended it. And he called me 40 times from 2 different phones trying to win me back.

Four months after, he got hitched… probably in Vegas.

The Elderly. “I can’t believe I never thought of setting you up with him,” my dear friend stated eagerly regarding her single male friend. “He’s a lawyer, running for circuit judge and around forty years old,” she continued. I was willing to give it a go at least once, even though I was not keen on the age factor. We met at her house for dinner with friends. He firmly shook my hand and his blue eyes sparkled under his cute ball cap. The conversation was natural, and he seemed like a true gentlemen.

He asked me to dinner the next day. I obliged. We met at a local Mexican restaurant. Walking toward me was a man who looked much older. With his geriatric shoes, pleated khaki pants, and reading glasses around his neck, I was a bit taken aback. Is this the same man? Instead of the cute ball cap, he sported a comb-over, one of the worst I had ever seen. Ten desperate hairs draped across his bald head. “Maybe others will think he’s my dad,” I thought as I spotted several acquaintances.

The conversation was pleasant yet again. We talked politics, religion, relationships, and none of it uncomfortable. Normally, I am very forgiving with looks as long as the personality chemistry is there. But I could not believe this man was the age my friend told me. He never would reveal it… red flag, perhaps? Needless to say, we never went out again.

I later found out he is at least twenty years older, not thirteen. I see him from time to time at church and have thought about setting him up with my mom.

To Be Continued…

Brittany Windle

Follow Brit on Twitter.

Broken Not Destroyed: Leaving

December 9, 2014

Chelsie1

Tough Man was of masculine stature. I would need more than two hands to count the number of times he was stopped and asked for his autograph. By “his” I mean that of Vin Diesel. Same bald head, same features, same full lips, and yes, Tough Man was stacked. The two looked very much alike. His nickname by many was “The Hulk.”

Yes, “The Hulk” arranged his view, with puffed veins and clinched jaw, and we locked eyes. I froze in the doorway just staring in trembling fear of his unknown move. He cleared his throat with a dry cough, sniffed, puffed his lips out as if kissing the air, and refocused on Pre Game stats. All the normal signs and evidence letting me know I was in for days of ignorance therapy. I was in the clear. I closed the door behind me, and before I could even make it to the stairs, I was bid farewell by the locking of the double deadbolt.

Looking back now, the evidence to the truth of Tough Man’s final words to me, were apparent all along. It would just take me awhile, and unfortunately, a lot more pain before I built enough courage to truly leave.

I tossed the luxury weekender in the backseat of my 2000 VW Passat, and I drove, and I drove, and I drove. Noon turned to two, two turned to four, and four turned to six. Six hours and an empty gas tank later, I pulled into the 7Eleven not five minutes from the house. It wasn’t uncommon for me to be gone this many hours, but this was the first time I left without being told to get the hell out. He hadn’t called, he hadn’t checked in, and I knew it probably wouldn’t be good to go home. The unknown consequences scared me more. I had to make a decision, and checking into a motel wasn’t an option. Those were the days shortly after my first year of grad school. Tough Man was inspired by my drive to advance my education, and decided to do the same. Money was tighter than tight, and I was already going to hear about the unnecessary gas expense. I had isolated myself from most of my friendships to keep the abuse hidden, so there wasn’t exactly a laundry list of people to call. I wasn’t really prepared to sleep in my car that night, as I normally would. My favorite spot, the place I felt the most safe and hidden, was discovered by Grapevine Police Department the last time I was kicked out. The officer was kind, but firm, and promised me a ticket the next time I was found at 3:00AM in a secure zone.

Daylight was fading fast, I had a PA (Public Appearance) the next day from one of the top makeup brands. Driving four hours to my parents wasn’t really an option, and I wasn’t even close to ready to share with them, or anyone, of the fear, pain, and shame found in what had become my routine lifestyle. I needed a shower, a real one. The kind of shower where I get to use a fluffy, home washed, Downey smelling towel, and take as long as I need. Not the type of shower where I paid by the quarter hour, locker room style. I had become pretty close to Jennie and Randy that had a crappy little stop off HWY 10. I had discovered them two years earlier, when I was welcomed home one night after work to my belongings in the front yard of the apartment. To this day, I still don’t know what I did. Anyhow, whatever I did, awarded me four days of motel Passat, bathroom not included. By day two of long work days, I needed a shower. I felt prompted in my spirit to take a different drive to my “safe place.” That’s where I saw the sign for “hot showers and daily stay rates.” I pulled into the parking lot, and mustered up every ounce of dignity I had to walk through the office door and ask the mousey brown-haired woman about purchasing a shower. My eyes were full of tears, and my lip was quivering, not out of fear, but out of total embarrassment. I was humiliated.

My professional makeup, elegant side sweep, and tailored business suit created mystery to my question, but my red face, glassy eyes, and quivering lip caused the middle-aged woman to refrain from questioning. I had a $5 bill, and asked if that would work? The rates were for rooms including a hot shower, so I needed a bit more. With excitement she explained they took debit/credit cards.

A little side note to those unfamiliar with abuse. purchases are one of the easiest ways to track a location, so the last thing I wanted to do was give Tough Man a traceable transaction to my whereabouts. I looked her dead in the face, and I lied, explaining the $5 cash was all I had. To this day I appreciate her reading between the lines. She looked at me with compassion and a smile, knowing there was more to the story. She walked around the counter, and handed me a key to room 113. She handed me a travel size of Perell shampoo and a bar of Irish Spring. She said her name was Jennie, and that her and her son, Randy ran the place. My imagination never allowed me to sleep a night on one of their beds. I did, however, appreciate the numerous showers and cheap toiletries, gifted at no charge. There was never a time, I didn’t, randomly and inconveniently, walk through their door with glassy eyes, and quivering lip, to a warm smile and humble acts of service. They didn’t know why I randomly appeared in a tailored business suit, and the need for a shower away from home, nor did they ever ask. All they knew was that something wasn’t alright, and they wanted to be a part of creating a little stability for the mystery girl. The new routine for the unpredictable had become their shower for hygiene, and the Passat for sleep. My location wasn’t traceable, and the PD hadn’t discovered me in a secure zone.

The gas pump jolted, signaling the tank was full. I hung up the pump, pulled the Passat out of the way, and for the first time all day, broke into hysterical tears in the 7 Eleven parking lot on Glade and 121. I had escaped into mental numbness, and in giving the day’s earlier events an ounce of thought, brought forth full emotion to feeling less loved than a stray dog. Tomorrow’s event couldn’t handle such feelings. I needed to be on and confident, with freshly-applied, trend-setting makeup, and a pocket full of feel-good tricks. As reliable as the back seat leathers were, they were no match for the rest I needed for an “A-game ready” arrival. It was now 6:11PM and the sun was quickly fading. Evening was turning into night and I was running out of options.

I wrestled between calling Tough Man, and playing off the events, by asking if he wanted his favorite dipped cone. In the moment it seemed easier to suck it up, find a way back in, so that I could take my best shot at gaining my beauty sleep. The fact that I had walked out without being kicked out kept running through my mind. Was He going to be more mad? Was he going to rage when I got home? Would I be hurt or bruised in a way that would keep me from being able to show up to the most important work event of the year? Tough Man never beat me as many experience. One push, grip, or hit from “The Hulk” was effective enough. I never had bruises in noticeable places. On one occasion a “simple punch” to my side enabled me from the ability to squat to pee for a week. The unknown of how he would respond to my leaving was my biggest fear, yet I desperately needed to rest up for the day of beauty exhortation.

I pulled out my Blackberry, stared at the number, and hit call…

To be continued…

I’m Chelsie Birks and this is My Glossy Life.

Broken Not Destroyed: Exposed

November 10, 2014

chelsie

Pastor Robert’s message was really powerful that particular Sunday. He had been teaching on a series about The End: What comes next? Tough Man had made his prejudgements about Gateway Church long before this message, so I was already walking on egg shells in asking him to come with. You see we had already joined and left two churches in almost three years of marriage. We stayed until people started suspecting problems, and Tough Man found every reason not to return. The fact his mother was with us that morning, gave some bit of comfort, as she was never going to deny her youngest, but she was, thankfully, very protective and fond of me. She had heard much over the years, and helped pack my car many a nights that Tough Man made it clear to get the _____ out before he got home. His mood was seldom predictable, and as unhealthy as it was, I appreciated, more times than not, his mother being just across the parking lot. I often referred to her as Mams, and she was the one person that had seen the signs of what Christian girls don’t speak of. Honestly and tragically, she had become my best friend.

On the drive home, I was sandwiched between Tough Man and Mams in his black Dodge pickup truck. The stride in his step to the truck, locked jaw, and single hand grip on the steering wheel was full evidence he was heated. Mams and I knew that anything could set him off so we opted to remain awkwardly silent until the ticking in the air conditioner came. It wasn’t the type of tick that anyone would notice, but it was one I had become obsessively aware of, as it was the sound that would send Tough Man over the edge into a raging war. In an effort to drown out the tick, I resorted to the message from Pastor Robert. As much as I hate to admit this, I knew that Tough Man was already angered by Pastor Robert and his “mega church productions.” I knew that mentioning the service would take his anger off of those “responsible” for “allowing” the noise to continue and place it on someone that couldn’t presently be effected by his escalating rage. I knew wrong. As I mentioned previously, the mood was completely unpredictable. Just as I shared the confirmation the message brought to my salvation, my sunnies were knocked to the floorboard, and blood rushed to the surface of my left check to meet the heat of a fresh slap telling me, “Shut the ____ up!” Mams gasped in shock and began pleading for him to stop. He felt encouraged and affirmed in his adrenaline rush and began driving as if he were under the influence of a spirited bottle and tonic. He had lost complete control to the anger rush and nearly flipped the Dodge on the over pass bridge of 121 and Bedford Road. Tough Man pulled into the covered parking spot that belonged to our 800 sq. ft. apartment, shut the door calmly, and walked up the stairs as if nothing had happened. Mams stood there with me as gigantic tears burned my cheeks; my lips quivered; my body trembled; and I sobbed silently. I was embarrassed, ashamed, humiliated, and terrified all at the same time. I had learned to mask the physical abuse well, thanks to the training I gained from previous years of interview pageant prep and successful work as a makeup artist, whose job was to make others look and feel amazing. I understood “game on!”

What I had failed to prepare for was the abusers need to increase the adrenaline rush which often comes from “new” levels of abuse. He had done what I hadn’t prepared for- actually physically harmed me in front of another person, least of which I would ever have assumed to be his mother. I always felt like Tough Man was way too prideful to ever hit me in public, so I was ill prepared on how I would respond.

chelsie2

Mams stood there with tears in her own eyes, having no idea whether to stay or go. The ever lingering question posed to keep Tough Man contained so to speak. Regardless if the abused want to admit it or not, we fall prisoner to the daily cycle of whatever, whenever, why ever, and however. Anything not to be the target of harmful hands and hurtful words. I encouraged Mams to head on home. I had Tough Man and his cycles calculated near flawlessly. I assured her the fit of rage was over, and now for the enduring of hateful words or days of silence. I would know once I saw the way he was positioned on the couch, and if the TV was on or not. Although the less accepted by society, I would have rather taken another hit, than the acceptable form of emotional, metal, and silent abuse that often comes with being the Christian girl that deeply desires to refrain from carrying one more mark of failure or un acceptance. I hugged Mams, and we parted ways in tears. I walked up the stairs, striving with everything in me to contain myself, because we already established what unwanted noises produce. I walked in to Sunday pre game and Tough Man comfortably couched on the middle cushion of the sofa, nursing a Dr. Pepper. I was about to get it, and it was going to be long and painful. I was in for an unknown number of days, maybe weeks, of silence. The type of silence that never acknowledges your existence. The type of silence that refuses to see you or hear you. The type of silence lonelier than any place of alone. It was routine for me to respond in one of two ways depending on my ability to endure Tough Man’s conditional therapy. I would walk to the bedroom and sob myself to sleep on the bed, or I would very casually and calmly grab the keys, and say I’m going for a drive. Neither one ever broke the silent therapy. It was simply my way of giving him the whatever, however space to let the punishment therapy for whatever I did, run its course.

Still in a state of shock, I think, I walked straight to the closet, packed my leather, electric turquoise weekender, gifted to me by Trish McEvoy, and prepared to do my own attempt at the unthinkable. I set the bag out of view as I opened the door wide enough to leave for my “drive.” I was awkward, and the bag was obvious. He arranged his view, with puffed veins and clinched jaw, and we locked eyes.

To Be Continued…

I’m Chelsie Birks and this is My Glossy Life.

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We will be sharing with you Chelsie’s courageous story in several parts. Thank you, Cheslie for allowing us to help share your story.

Have You Been Catfished?

October 24, 2014

online-dating-e1405898035178-600x300With new dating apps like Tinder, it is becoming more and more common to meet first online. Whenever I have had conversations about online dating with my guy friends, they confess of a having a fear of being “catfished.”

According to the ever-so reliable source, Urban Dictionary, it states, “A Catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.”

Now, I’m not about to go into detail of how I’ve gotten “catfished.” No offense, but who spends months or years speaking to someone they’ve never seen or at least have sure proof this person exist? And God forbid, plan a life with a stranger. It’s beyond me!

I have a hard enough time getting to know a real guy who is sitting right in front of me, much less some weirdo in another state or better yet, a con-artist in an internet cafe in Africa.

But I’ll be honest. I think I’ve been catfished (just not via Facebook or some other site). I’m pretty sure I’ve been the victim of others creating a false identity. Thank God, I’ve never found out some man I was dating was married with five children.

I often find it extremely difficult to meet men and women alike who are transparent, honest people. Those who know me know that I am very honest and upfront. This is a blessing and a curse. I often ask people sincere questions. Sometimes I get an answer but often times, the answers are vague and elusive like a child inquiring why Zebras have stripes.

False identities can be created in many different ways. I’ve dated guys who claim to be religious because they know my spirituality means a great deal to me. I’ve met people who hide bad habits like smoking or drinking, to later find out it was an issue. I’ve also met others who claim to have the same values as I do in order to get a so called “good girl.” Thankfully, I’m pretty intuitive. But only because I’ve been fooled before.

When it comes to cultivating relationships, honesty is the only way success can be achieved. Sometimes honesty hurts. Sometimes it means an end to a relationship. Sometimes it means taking a risk, and it scaring you senseless.

Thankfully, I still have time and am not remotely worried about meeting my match. I know it will happen. But as I continue with the exhausting dating process, I find myself weary with facades, lack of transparency and the ability in others to be honest.

I see it all the time, especially with men who will not be honest with their feelings or intentions. If you’re a guy reading this, I’m sure you have experienced this with women.

I was thinking today, “Why is it that often times when I ask a straight forward question, I cannot get a straightforward response?” It dawned on me.

If a person cannot be honest with me, then he probably is not being honest with himself.

I wonder how many catfish are swimming around?

Article by Brittany Windle

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Tinder Love

September 19, 2014

1370041886_nutella“Can I lick Nuttela off your body?” a blue bubble appeared. My initial thought: “I don’t even like Nutella.” This is how our love story began…

I’m kidding. But that really did happen upon my first and last trial of Tinder. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Tinder is a dating app. You login through Facebook and view the “available” men or women in your surrounding area. Swipe right if you find that person attractive or interesting. And swipe left if not. “Nope” appears across their face when you swipe left: classy!

Many times a bio is left empty, so it becomes a game of “do I find you attractive or not?” It’s not shallow at all.

So I tried it out, naturally… but not in my own city initially. When I visited a girl friend who lives a few states away, I logged in. I wanted to see what it was about.

Several swipes, a few chats and many clever pick-up lines later, I discovered a few truths about men and Tinder:

- They love to fish and show off their big catch.
- All men skydive or climb big rocks.
- Guys, too, take duck selfies- ya know, not with a duck but the ones with the strange pucker face
- It’s weird when you see a gym selfie
- It’s creepy when you see a guy lying in bed with his kitten
- 99% of them do Crossfit
- There are a lot of lonely military men

I logged in to my city when I arrived back from my trip. After a few swipes of “nope,” seeing a guy I once dated, and seeing a few I know who are married or in relationships, I decided that the app would be deleted immediately. I don’t have time to filter through cheesy pick-up lines or questions alluding to sex in order to discover someone who actually wants to get to know me.

I asked a guy friend of mine if he had ever tried it out. He said that he went on three dates. “One brought a backpack on the date in hopes of staying over at my place.” He told her it wasn’t going to happen.

While he says, he’s met several interesting people and has made new friends, I think I am going to stick to the traditional way of meeting people.

As far as Nutella being licked off my body, maybe he should have suggested a less messier option like whipped cream (kidding, of course).

What do you think about Tinder? Do you think it’s a good way to meet people? Is it just a hook-up app?

Article by Brittany Windle

30 Observations at Age 30

July 20, 2014

It’s not often that we have a male contributor here at Modern Lace. Tim Sayles shares with us his 30 observations at 30.

Screen shot 2014-07-20 at 3.03.31 PMIt’s not often that we have a male contributor here at Modern Lace. Tim Sayles shares with us his 30 observations at 30.

1. Although we never believe it at the time, high school popularity really doesn’t matter. #butIdomissthatpowderbluepromtuxedo

2. College really is the most carefree, fun time of your life. #gunsup

3. Making and keeping friends after college is extremely more difficult than when in college. Regardless, make the effort. #thankGodforgoodfriends

4. The common cliché “life is short” starts to make a little bit more sense once you look up and you’re thirty years old. #1/3lifecrisis

5. Marrying the right person is very important. #caitlinsayles

6. Trying daily to be the right kind of spouse is also important. #sheispatient

7. Facebook is exceptionally more popular than anyone in my college dorm could’ve ever imagined. #facebookusedtoonlybeforforcollegekids

8. From an outsider’s perspective, raising children seems totally hard but totally worth it…most of the time. #just2dogsfornow

9. Like my parents promised, I actually became friends with my siblings.
#josh #abby #micah

10. There is much to be said for a traditional education but I am shocked at the amount of success some people have without it.
#youstartedwhatkindofbusinessinyourgarage

11. Loving what you do for a living is a true blessing. #thankGodigotintoPAschool

12. On the other hand, a job really is just a job. It only defines you if you let it. #muchmoretolifethanthose40hours

13. That previously pathetic 10:30 PM bedtime has become an absolute necessity. #nomoreallnighters

14. I sometimes look back at photos from my youth with the same head-shaking disbelief I did when looking at photos of my parents at the same age. #myhair #notbesthair

15. I appreciate how shockingly invaluable a good childhood and great parents have been to my path in life. #mesquiteTXintha90s

16. As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes my body feels like it’s thirty years old. #rest #ice #compression #elevation

17. My aspirations of being a decent golfer will always be just that.
#iblametheclubs

18. Saving for retirement is weird considering I feel like I just started working. #401what

19. The idea of a mortgage payment that will last the same amount of time that I’ve been alive is both confusing and terrifying. #almosthomeownerproblems

20. Cross country moves are unavoidably chaotic; Almost as chaotic as trying own a home in the Bay Area.
#isthatpricetagforreal
#escrow #morelikemesscrow

21. Trips to Costco with my wife are strangely exciting and always more expensive than anticipated. #thatllbe$400sir

22. The cell phone I’m writing this on is ten times more capable than the desktop computer I grew up with. #wemissyoufloppydisk
#oregontrail

23. I would take Golden Eye over Call of Duty any day. #N64

24. Taxes go up, policies change, and social issues evolve but, ultimately, we have it very good here in the USA. #fiftynifty

25. After living in California for a short time it is even more clear to me that “Texan” truly is it’s own demographic identifier. #comeandtakeit

26. As a follow up, it’s hard to deny that California has a leg up in the weather and scenic beauty department compared to my beloved Lone Star State. #lubbockTXisoneofakind

27. My hairline really is receding. #Itsnotjustparanoia

28. If you’ve never traveled outside the USA, you should. There are some amazing things to see and experience on this planet. #Guatemala #South Africa #Brazil

29. Regardless of your current perspective or predisposition, try reading the Bible. It’s a truly an enlightening piece of literature.
#theGoodBook

30. I hardly ever use hashtags. In fact, I don’t even understand their purpose. But I used them here to prove I’m still cool at age 30. #whostillsayscool

What are your own observations? Share with us by commenting below.

Article by Tim Sayles