Self-fulfilling prophecy…

asouthernmother
February 17, 2013

How many times have you believed the worst in people or a situation, long before you know enough to make an educated decision?  I am guilty.. guilty.. guilty!  We often develop preconceived notions about people and their intentions.  We can use the theory of self-fulfilling prophecies to our advantage but often they are detrimental to us.  

Self-fulfilling prophecies are known as the Pygmalion effect.  Paul Watzlawick, an Austrian born psychologist and philosopher said, “A self-fulfilling prophecy is an assumption or prediction that, purely as a result of having been made, cause the expected or predicted event to occur and thus confirms its own ‘accuracy.'”  It is the theory that we can sabotage or improve a situation by either negative or positive thoughts about it.  

I wish I could be a perpetual optimist but unfortunately my life experiences have taught me otherwise.  I hate being pessimistic, but it can be devastating to be let down.  I have had people who I put faith in, hurt me and shatter my confidence in others. In reality I know I have (often unintentionally) done the same.  I always expect patience and understand for myself, when I am not always willing to give it freely to someone else.  

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”
~General Colin Powell

I challenge you to be more optimistic about the world around you.  Our children are taught by example.  We can’t steal the hope from their eyes.  We need to be kind, loving, hopeful, and most of all optimistic.   We need them to know they can fail with grace but they can succeed with determination.  

I will use myself as an example.  I am happy to point out that I grew up in a very rural part of southeastern Kentucky.  I am proud of where I came from.  Life isn’t always easy growing up in the foothills of the mountains.  The entire World has a preconceived notion about Kentucky and especially rural Kentucky.  I hate the stereotype that we are all barefoot and pregnant at sixteen.  This stereotype is only compounded by my thick southern accent.  

Someone once asked me, “Aren’t you afraid they will make fun of you?”.   I figured out how to use my accent to my advantage.  It is a conversation starter.  I once spent a large chunk of an evening volunteering at the KET gala entertaining then football coach Rich Brooks and his friends with my accent.  I like proving that just because, “I talk slow, doesn’t mean I am stupid.”  

Instead of walking into a room or speaking with hesitation, I speak with great confidence.  I am determined to undermine the stereotype that hinders many in Kentucky.  I am using a self-fulfilling prophecy to aid instead of hindering myself.  

We shouldn’t lower our expectations of others just out of the shear fear of disappointment.  We should aspire them to greatness with our expectations.  

Happy Spectacular Sunday,
XOXO
~Jess   


Tomorrow I can save the world, today I’ll just be a silly girl..

asouthernmother
February 2, 2013

So after the initial excitement of being chosen as one of the GFWC ambassadors for the Shot@Life program began to wear off (well…. enough so that I could focus on something else), I started to plan (and panic) about what to wear.  I know it is totally vain and silly, but there is a fine line between professional and frumpy.  We all know a “belle” should never be frumpy and always abide by
this rule.

Never leave the house in sweats.  A girl must be prepared to meet a dashing stranger or an old enemy

And I know my luck, the one time my hair is in a ponytail with no makeup, I’ll bump into the one person I didn’t want to see me (but that is for another rant).  It isn’t being ridiculous, it is an ugly fact about society.  We highly value appearances.  One of my college organic chemistry professors didn’t shave and rarely cleaned under her finger nails (this was a problem because she was an avid gardener).  I refused to ever take her seriously because of her lack of personal hygiene.  I will also never forget her either (and that isn’t a good thing because I can’t remember anything she taught me).  I also work better and feel better, when I am “put together” as they say.  I can put on my Burberry scarf, along with a coat of lipstick and mascara, and I am ready to take on the world!

My Southern roots go much deeper than my accent (or my haircolor).  I like dresses, heels, and pearls of course!  I reluctantly asked about the dress code for Summit, thankfully she reassured me I wasn’t the first to ask.  She told me business casual, which stirred a new debate about what exactly business casual meant among some of the girls.  It didn’t matter to me, I knew I would wear dresses, heels, and hosiery. I will publicly admit I have a new obsession with patterned hosiery (that my husband feels looks trashy no matter the brand or pattern).  I think patterned hose are trendy and stylish, but I wasn’t sure if they were appropriate for Capitol Hill.  I am also guilty of being one of those people that if they don’t know the answer, they google it.  Yes, I googled if patterned hosiery was appropriate business wear… please don’t judge me šŸ˜‰  I stumbled across a new wonderful blog in the process.

Capitol Hill Style (She has some wonderful fashion advice for all budgets and nice tips on hosiery!)

So I’m more than a week out from leaving for Washington D.C., and my suitcase is packed (it was actually packed yesterday but I was waiting on UPS to deliver my Cole Haan Nike Air heels today).  My jewelry is packed in baggies by outfit/day.  I will need to put my makeup and hair tools into my bag that morning, but I am prepared (at least physically).

Mentally, I am fussing at myself for being neurotic about my clothes instead of focusing on the task at hand.  The next week I am going to devote to brainstorming so I have thoughts and ideas to share during training.  I am also trying to meet all my new “teammates” because over the next year we have to work as a team to help advocate for Shot@Life.  I am guilty of browsing everyone’s facebook page, so I can get a feel for who they are (feel free to browse mine back) .  I also also interested in finding out about how everyone got involved in advocacy.  We all seem to have a story to share.  A special shout out to Myrdin for putting up with all my questions and pestering.. Also if you don’t like cameras or having your picture taken, I’m probably not the person to hang out with but I am sure if you browsed my facebook page you will realize that.

5 Facts you should probably know about me:
1. I have a THICK southern accent, if you don’t understand something I said, just ask me to repeat it I      won’t be offended.

2.  My brother was murdered a few years ago.   I don’t mind talking about it, but it seems to startle others when I first tell them.

3.  I don’t mind voicing my opinion but I also pride myself in respecting the opinions of others.

4.  My son just turned 3 and we have never slept in separate rooms, and certainly never spent the night apart.  My first time away will be in D.C., I might be a tad neurotic.

5. Always smile around me, you never know when I might be snapping a photo and you might end up in the frame!

I am so excited about meeting everyone!  Congrats again and Good luck!  See all of you in D.C.

XOXO
~Jess

Starting over…

asouthernmother
January 15, 2013

The past few years for me have been plagued by distrust and heartache.  On December 15, 1981 I became the loving older sister to a blue eyed brother that would be my playmate, friend, and adoring younger brother.  We were “irish twins” just barely 14 months apart in age.  We didn’t always get along and rarely agreed on much, but we loved and defended each other.  On May 25, 2009 my world stopped for a second.  There was a crack in the universe that could never be mended.  I lost my brother to a cruel villain.  He was murdered by my stepfather following a domestic violence altercation with my mother.  I never knew what true pain was until that moment.  People always ask why I run so much… I have the simplest answer.  When you have felt real emotional pain, physical pain becomes nothing.  There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t miss his voice or his laughter.  The middle of the night phone calls as a prank.  The fighting and the hugs.. I can tell you where I was sitting and who I was talking to the very last time I heard his voice.  I dedicate my life to him, Brandon Michael Peace.  The life that was cut short and taken from us by real evil.

For every night there is a morning.. and from the darkness you can see new light.  
It took me a while to see any good in the world after Brandon’s death.  I saw anger, hate, and rage for many months.  I was mad at God and mad at the World.   I eventually realized I had friends that would never fail me.  I saw kindness from complete strangers.  I received an outpouring of support and love.  His tragic death made me really want to live my life and appreciate it.  Brandon’s death taught me to never take a second for granted, lives are lost in the blink of an eye.  I wanted to turn tragedy into triumph, so I have devoted myself to charity and helping others.  Brandon lives on through the people that loved him.  I like to think he is always watching over me, helping guide my path.  I cherish every moment I spent with him and I am grateful I got to be his big sister.  
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
BRANDON MICHAEL PEACE
DECEMBER 15, 1981-MAY 25, 2009
GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN 

The road less traveled..

asouthernmother
January 14, 2013


Robert Frost (1874ā€“1963).  Mountain Interval.  1920.
1. The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and Iā€”
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
        

I think if you were to sum up my life, I think that The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost would describe me best. It seems that following everyone else has only led me to trouble. I have occasionally made the wrong turn, but it all led me to where I am now. I am happy with this life. After all we are only given one life and we have to make the best of it. In my situation, I live my life for 2 people (well really 3 if you count my son). My beloved brother Brandon Michael Peace was taken from us too soon (but that is for another post). I try to live every day like it could be my last. I love to travel and see the world. I find beauty in small things and I love helping others. I may not die famous but I want my family to be proud of the life I lived no matter how long or short it may be. I think people fail to realize how the small things can add up to be big things. We should take chances, smile more, laugh often, and enjoy the beauty in nature. You should never miss an opportunity to tell someone how you feel about them because you might not get that opportunity again. I am working on being more optimistic and less afraid. Remember only you can choose your road and eventually you will walk it alone…. 

 ~Jess