Heartbeats

Stop what you’re doing. Just for a  moment…stop. Reach out your hand, doesn’t matter which one. Take the opposite hand and press two fingers to your wrist. Press hard till you can feel your pulse…your heartbeat. That gentle tick tock tick tock. If you can’t find it there, reach up to where your chin meets your neck and press in. Count the beats. Were you just waking from sleep? Did you go for a morning run? Is it slow, is it fast? How fast does your heart beat this morning?

Heartbeats blog post tragedies

Now let go. And think about the 2 men who’s hearts no longer beat today. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Think about the 5 cops in Dallas who lost their lives mere hours ago. They had heartbeats too.

Think of the victims who died in Baghdad days ago and in an Istanbul airport days before that and the victims of the Pulse shooting before that. Reach back into our too near past and count the heartbeats that have stopped. Ferguson, Paris, Sandy Hook, Newtown, Virginia Tech, Columbine, 9/11 and on and on and on.

What do these events have in common? There are different evils at work in each case, but there is a common thread. Heartbeats. Hundreds of thousands of heartbeats. The light and healthy heartbeats of children and teenagers. The heavier heartbeats of young, middle-aged and older adults.

It’s true…we have a race problem.

We have a terrorism problem.

We have a gun problem and a bomb problem and a hate problem.

None of which will ever be fixed if we don’t stop and think that the people standing next to us have one thing in common with us….a heartbeat.

I have one…you have one. Alton does not. Philando does not. Stanley and Amanda and Oscar and Aracena and Rodolfo and Antonio and Darryl and Angel and Juan and Luis and Cory and Simon and Leroy and Mercedes and Peter and Juan and Paul and Frank and Miguel and Javier and Jason and Eddie and Anthony and Christopher and Alejandro and Brenda and Gilberto and Kimberly and Akyra and Luis and Geraldo and Eric and Joel and Jean and Enrique and Jean and Xavier and Christopher and Yilmary and Edward and Shane and Martin and Jonathan and Juan and Luis and Franky and Luis and Jerald do not. The cops in Dallas, who’s names haven’t been release yet because their deaths are that fresh, do not.

Pulse Victims names heartbeats blog post
Photo courtesy of CityofOrlando.net

Don’t become immune to this violence that is plaguing our country…our world. It would be easy to do. Terrible events like these are becoming more common and our news sources are flooding us with images and video footage and statistics and outrage. This is their job. And I think it’s all they know to do right now. They have heartbeats too remember!

As I’ve said before, I don’t know what to do to fix it. But I know I was given a voice. We all have that in common too. See how alike we are.

I didn’t forget that we’re different. I didn’t forget that you live there and I live here. That maybe you’re a Republican and I’m a Democrat. That maybe you’re an Atheist and I’m a Christian. That maybe you’re gay and I’m straight. That maybe you’re black and I’m white. I didn’t forget.

I just don’t care about what makes us different. I care about what makes us the same. I’m asking you to care about that too.

It’s not enough. Change must happen, we must demand it. That is important. This is the time. But right now, reach your hand back and feel your heartbeat and thank God or whatever you believe in that you still have one today. Cause not everyone does this morning.

It’s sad and it hurts and it’s wrong. I hope you feel all those emotions that remind us we are alive. But more than that, I hope it makes you mad. I hope you get so mad that the demons know you’re coming for them.

And in the aftermath of death and death and death I hope we start preserving and protecting heartbeats. All heartbeats. Mine and yours and his and hers and theirs. They’re all the same.

Hey, we HAVE to start somewhere. Start now.

What’s Your Word?

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

The past is very important. Of course it is! It’s the path we’ve taken to get to where we are today. There is value in the past. Value in learning from the mistakes we’ve made (and we’ve made mistakes.) Value in celebrating the magic we’ve experienced (and there sure was some magic!)

I’m someone who easily forgets and yet somehow I still hold on with both hands. I hate to admit that I find myself dwelling on those darker, harder, sadder, angrier moments occasionally often frequently. The ones I shouldn’t hold on to at all. Sometimes I get bogged down with the beautiful moments too. Trying to recreate the past. Instead of allowing new moments to be created, I’m too busy trying to relive moments that have come and gone. But they were just that good! Shouldn’t I want to find that happiness again? Isn’t that a good thing?

The thing is, this is rather a new revelation about myself. I didn’t realize I did this. At least not to this extent. WOW. That mirror can be a hard thing to look into sometimes.

Instead of lamenting this…well…lamentable behavior, I’m actively choosing positivity (it’s sorta my thing!) I choose to inspire myself to be better. No one else will work as hard as I will to inspire the future I want to see for myself. NO ONE!

I won’t recount to you my hardest trials and biggest triumphs of 2015. You can go look to past blogposts or my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for the cliff notes. There was good…there was great (birth of my nephew deserves a shoutout!) There was bad…and there was certainly ugly with a capital UGH!!!

Forget all that! I’m walking forward…no…running forward. I have big, bright moments in my future and I’m eager to get to the good stuff.

I’ve mentioned to you, gentle reader, that I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. And I don’t. Resolutions tend to be about changing ourselves. Temporary solutions that don’t last longer that mid-January or if you’re really lucky February even. The truth is, I don’t want to change who I am. I like me! Moles on my face and all!

I want to inspire and allow me to become my best self. So instead of a long list of character flaws that must be changed immediately, I pick a word. A word I want to live out in my daily actions for the whole year. Sure, somedays I’ll fall short. Other days I’ll jump high and long and clear the hurdles. But the point is, I’ll be trying. Me…this unholy mess of a girl.

In the year 2016, I Liz Tailor, choose to live FREE!

Free in 2016 New Years, Same Nerd

-Free from my past actions.

-Free from unrealistic expectations.

-Free from debt.

-Free from negativity.

-Free from judgements.

-Free from convention.

-Free from borders and boundaries.

-Free to create.

-Free to live.

-Free to love.

-Free to travel.

-Free to come back home.

-Free to share.

-Free to inspire.

-Free to write and sing and run and fall.

-Free because I serve a MIGHTY GOD who “knows the plans for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

freedom in 2016 New Year

Part of discovering what it truly means for me to be free, I also want to explore how I can help those who aren’t blessed with the freedoms I have. Human Trafficking is a cause that has long been on my heart. So I hope you’re ready to hear about my journey to learn more. And perhaps the causes you are passionate about will take a front seat this year as well!

Tom Petty Quote "Freedom"

I hope you join me in choosing a word to live by instead of unrealistic lists (I know that up there is a list, I like lists) that you cannot ever hope to live up to. And I hope with all my heart that you find what you’re looking for in 2016!!

What’s your word this year?

Girls Do THIS, not THAT

Lately, H (9 year old girl twin) has been struggling with what it means to be a girl. Traditional gender roles don’t appeal to her. She doesn’t like pink. She rarely wears dresses. She loves to skateboard and she has the trendiest short hair cut that’s ever graced a 9 year old’s head. She could easily be a Jolie-Pitt.

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Her short hair causes people (mainly elementary and middle school boys) to mistake her for a boy sometimes.

I asked her if it bothered her when they called her a boy. She said, “not really, it just makes me uncomfortable. Cause I really am a girl, Lizzie.” My heart almost broke. This precious girl is starting to find out what it means to be pressured by the world. And that it’s a tough hill to climb. How dare the world start in so early. She’s only 9 years old, for Pete’s sake!!

I told her that these kinds of things happen to everyone. Even me. I told her that plenty of people think girls don’t like Star Wars and superheroes and ninja turtles. I told her some people think that I should be married with kids by now. That maybe I should have a “steady” job and a 401K. But I walk to my own beat and so does H.

I don’t know if that helped her at all. I sort of hope she comes into her own in the not-giving-a-damn-about-what-people-think department. It’s so much better than way!

The other day when we were skateboarding home from school, she took a tumble and as she got back on her skateboard she looked up at me and said, “I fell off cause girls aren’t as good at skateboarding.” I looked at her and said, “Excuse me? Girls aren’t what now??” She laughed and said, “I take it back! I take it back!!”

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She knew it wasn’t true, but it was still her first instinct. To write it off. Classic “girls can’t” syndrome. I thought this wouldn’t come till much later, but I guess the self doubt is starting earlier and earlier in kids these days. (Kids these days? I’m officially 500 years old!!)

I don’t want this for her and she’s not even my own child. I want whatever she does to be what it means to be a girl. I want the same for boys. I want her to be able to have the freedom that America offers. Doesn’t that extend to our youth?

Who made these archaic rules anyways? Who decided that long, Disney-channel length hair and a love for all things pink made you a girl? I thought all you needed to be a girl was the mechanics. Time to change it up, America…WORLD! I think we’re on our way, but we still have quite a ways to go.

Tell me again what girls “can’t”do??!!

Thursday Giveaway

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Bling Collar Necklace from Noonday Collection

As seen in Episode 4: Vagina Whisperer of So… This Happened

To win today’s giveaway, head over to You Tube and subscribe to our channel. 

While you’re at it, bring a friend along for the ride and get an extra entry into the contest.

Just message me and let me know about it at liztailor481@gmail.com

Contest ends Monday, September 22nd at noon.

Good luck and don’t forget to check for new episodes of So.. .This Happened every Tuesday.

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Love,

Liz Tailor

When a Man Marches

All week I have been thinking about the impact of Martin Luther King Jr. on the very fabric of our existence in today’s world. Monday saw the birthday of this honorable man and I couldn’t help but wonder what our lives and even more, our world, would look like without his work.

And in that thinking I wrote this down…

When a Man Marches

by Liz Tailor

When a cause becomes too lofty to stay seated on the ground

When the innocent are battered and are smacked across the brow

When the freedom’s everyone deserves are taken from the “free”

Do you stand aside in blindness just refusing what you see?

That’s when a man marches.

Are you scared to speak and scared to yell and scared to raise your hand?

Is the world too rough to carry on, so rough that you can’t stand?

Do you feel betrayed by people who have vowed to raise you up?

Are you praying for a clean way out, are you crying, ‘That’s Enough!”

That’s when a man marches!

It was hot that day in August when the tide began to turn.

With laces tied the people walked knowing how the hatred churned.

Men and women less than they might stop and turn around.

Men and women greater than they had lied upon the ground.

But those who marched knew well the pain a country can inflict.

Yet still they marched upon the soil, though danger near the mortal coil.

A dream was dreamed and given voice and all who heard it had one choice.

To stand and fight or back away, though who would choose the latter?

I ask you now what you would do if given such a matter…

Because THAT’S WHEN A MAN MARCHED!!