Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hello October!

Man, how about this, two blogs in one week! But this is a very special blog, for today is the first of October! Now, this month means a lot to me for several reasons. First off, my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary on October 11th!

This year will be our second year anniversary!

And I guess this is the one time I get to gush about my marriage. We met the night of move - in day during our first semester of college (August of 05'). After that, we kept bumping into each other and soon became attached at the hip. I slowly fell in love with the man of my dreams while discussing political /philosophical /religious banter over coffee and cheesecake at a campus restaurant. And ever since then, we've worked together through thick and thin. I count my blessings every day that I was lucky enough to find my soulmate so quickly.

But enough of that mushy stuff. There are other reasons to love October. It's also prime autumn season! Fall is such a beautiful time of colors, temperate weather, and about every plant or bug that annoys me dies! Ticks, pollen, mosquitoes, they are all gone! I know that may sound harsh, but every spring and throughout most of the summer, I deal with horrible allergies from tree pollen and various bug bites. So I gladly welcome the first frost every year. Plus, chilly weather is the perfect time to cuddle under a blanket next to the fireplace and read a book while enjoying a nice hot cup of coacoa.

But another reason why I love this month is because October is noted as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. And both causes are near and dear to my heart.

I have mentioned my adoration for Susan G. Komen for the Cure before on my blog. While I am not close to a breast cancer survivor, Komen's achievements have done so much for women in the medical field and out in the world. At one point in time, breast cancer was as misunderstood as AIDS was in the 90's. Founder Nancy Brinker notes that people would cross the street just to avoid contact with her sister, Susan G. Komen, and her "disease". Over the years, Komen has provided corrective campaign about breast cancer. And with all the money the organization has raised, depending on the kind of breast cancer and when it is diagnosed, it can be cured. But most of all, it has empowered women: whether it's through talking to their doctors about a taboo body part, being a proud survivor, or even helping other women by whatever needs possible.

But let's not forget Domestic Violence Awareness. It has taken me years to get to the point of being able to write this next sentence publiclyI was a victim of sexual and emotional abuse when I was younger. While those exact instances were (and, on bad days, still are) traumatic, what was worse is how I felt about myself afterward: foolish, dirty, unworthy of actual love. But it wasn't until I saw other women going through the same pain before I realized it's wrong. And when you think of the centuries that millions of women were abused, and it was socially acceptable... frankly, it's a crime.

I know I said I was done with the mushy stuff, but I have to give my husband kudos again. Not only has he helped me fight my own demons throughout the years, but he himself has helped solve the problem. Back in Illinois, he counseled abusive men and helped them get on the path to a healthy relationship.  While there, he realized so many men are clueless about what a healthy relationship should be. And it's the same for women. The women's movement may have have started over a century ago, but we are still fighting to be equal at home and in the workplace. I should also say it's not always men beating wives; there is a gross underestimation of the number of men abused by women. Either way, it's wrong... and, unfortunately, it is long from gone.

It's that last thought that you need to think about. While some will argue that being submissive is no longer society's expected role for women, it's a problem many of us don't think about anymore. And that is what October is about: creating awareness. So, to bring a bit of awareness of my own, I died part of my hair purple!
Gotta' love the purple!
I have gotten a lot of questions which give me a chance to inform people about domestic violence.

So there it is, I love October and the numerous things it represents: especially the two causes that scream women's rights. However, this month also brings on one more specialty for my blog, but you'll have to turn in next Monday to find out.

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