Coffee for a good cause

When I made Staff Sergeant, one of my friends put together an “NCO starter kit”, which included a travel mug. She told me that my daily intake of coffee would significantly increase as my responsibilities as an NCO would increase as well. Of course, that technically didn’t happen to me, although I can say that my intake of coffee did increase when I was deployed.

Having a cup of Joe was my go to thing when I was deployed. Much like how most people made little tick marks inside their caps as the days went by. Coffee was literally my wingman when the days were stressful and dealing with med-evacuating patients. But you know what made deployment coffee so awesome? I was able to receive a free cup of coffee in the morning from generous donors and supporters. It was the greatest feeling to have my deployment coffee paid for from someone in the states that actually supported me. Don’t get me wrong, I was also extremely grateful for all the care packages I received from numerous organizations, but coffee literally spoke to my heart… and not in a near-heart attack kind of way.

Its no Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, but when you’re stuck in the sandbox for 6+ months, literally anything will do. I’ve learned to appreciate what Green Beans Coffee had to offer me, and quite frankly, I miss it. Perhaps I miss it because its synonymous with my memories of deployment. Anyway, if you’d like to buy a deployed troop’s coffee this morning, click here. Trust me, whoever receives your donation would be extremely grateful for it! I’ve made it a habit to buy at least one cup every paycheck. You can buy a lot considering its only $2.50 per cup!

(PLEASE NOTE: I am not sponsored or endorsed by Green Beans.)

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Questions you should ask yourself if you’re thinking about becoming an independent consultant

Because I’ve been an independent consultant for two companies (Scentsy and Perfectly Posh), I’d like to say that I’m somewhat of a subject matter expert when it comes to talking about independent consultant-based companies. Yes, I still am a Perfectly Posh consultant, and in no way am I trying to blow smoke up anyone’s you-know-what when I say that I like being a consultant for them. The same is/was true for Scentsy, but I let myself go inactive because, 1) I was going through a divorce at the time and I really need to save every penny I got from my full-time job, and 2) I just couldn’t keep up with selling “home goods”. It just wasn’t my thing…

Anyway, you’ve obviously stumbled upon my post because you’re really thinking about hitting that button of being an independent consultant for whatever business – Scentsy, Perfectly Posh, LuLaRoe, Pampered Chef, My Thirty One, Pure Romance, etc., etc. BEFORE you make that commitment, really ask yourself these questions to see if being an independent consultant is something that would really fit into your life.

 

Question #1 – What’s the start-up fee? How much is the consultant starter kit?

For Scentsy and Perfectly Posh, the start up fee is $99. So, that was a pretty easy piece for me to justify… For $99, I got a good amount of products that I could keep for myself or demo. Whatever I did with it was really up to me! When a company is only asking $99 to start up, I generally feel like they’re not the type to run their consultants down to the ground. In both companies start-up kits, it really made it easy for you, as a new consultant, to start your business as soon as you receive your kit… Granted, its also easy to mention to your family and friends that you just started your own business and they can check out your website, well before you receive your kit.

LuLaRoe and Pure Romance are the two main companies that I think about when it comes to astronomical consultant start-up kits. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the last time I checked, both companies require their consultants to pay about a grand or so in order to become a consultant. If you have to take out a loan, or put your starter kit on a credit card, perhaps that company is not for you. If you really need to be an independent consultant for some reason, you should probably explore other companies with lower start-up costs.

Question #2 – In addition to the start-up fee/new consultant starter kit, are there other fees you need to pay?

For Scentsy, I had to pay a $10 fee, I think, every month in order to keep my personal webpage active. That fee usually came out of my commissions or, I could also make a recurring payment from my bank account. $10 doesn’t really seem too much to maintain a webpage, but I felt it was pretty significant when you’ve started an independent business to make money in the first place. For most consultants, we stay at the level were we make occasional sales and not even bother trying to recruit others to become consultants. And if that’s the case, they would have to sell $40 worth of product in order to maintain that webpage. Hopefully you can see my point about this. Also, I haven’t personally experience this, but what happened IF you didn’t have enough commission and didn’t do automatic payments for your webpage? Then you’re pretty much a consultant with no platform online to conduct your business. That sucks…

Question #3 – What’s the quota in order to remain active?

I feel like this question is probably THE most important question to find out before you join any company. For most people, they decide to join an independent consultant-based company so they can make money on the side. It does NOT do you any good to join a company if they expect you to sell $300 in personal volume/retail sales in a month. What I’ve realized about myself is, when a company demand such sales, I don’t hit up referrals or marketing as hard. Instead, I just bite the bullet and buy for my personal “inventory”. In the end, I would make only $75 on my own purchase just to be an active consultant. Unless you are the type that would be interested in doing vendor events, this could work out for you, but I didn’t feel like I had that type of support to do that sort of thing. In the end, it was a total waste of money for me.

And speaking of personal inventory. When I was going through my divorce, I didn’t realize how much I spent on “inventory”. It was ridiculous!! I was able to sell off some of the stuff, but “unique” warmers and scents were difficult to get rid of that I ended up donating them to local charities.

Question #4 – How often do you need to hit it?

I had question 3 and 4 as one originally, but I ended up feeling that this question deserves a place of its own. The example quota that I used in question 3 was $300 in a month. Although I don’t really think there is such a company that would do that, you just never know which is why you need to make sure you have that answered before you join a company. I don’t mean to start my “recruiting” spiel about Perfectly Posh, but I seriously feel that this company understands that most of their consultants are stay-at-home mothers or women who have full-time careers. In other words, they are definitely not the type of company that wants to drive consultants away. The quota for Perfectly Posh consultants is $300 every 6 months in order to remain active. Completely do-able, and something that wouldn’t give you a knot in your stomach when the deadline’s approaching.

Question #5 – What are consultants (and former consultants) saying about the company?

When news articles started appearing about how former LuLaRoe consultants were teaming up to file a lawsuit against the company, I started laughing. As harsh as this may sound, it doesn’t make sense to take out a loan when you’re already swimming in debt, just to start up a business to get out of that debt.

Surprisingly, a ton of former LuLaRoe consultants have taken to YouTube and talked about why they decided to leave the company. If there are multiple videos of consultants discussing why they left the company, that’s a clear sign that maybe you shouldn’t join that company. Or, at least, maybe wait a couple months for the company to potentially fix itself and make piece with their unhappy consultants.

Question #6 – Have you noticed if the consultants are “pushed” to create a “team”?

Alright, so its one thing for a consultant to occasionally mention to a friend or really awesome customer, that they should also become a consultant. Its definitely another thing if the encouragement in joining a company almost sounds like a cult or “drink the Kool-Aid” type. If you notice someone really pushing you to the point of technical peer pressure, you should steer clear… Or, at least, from that particular consultant. It’s pretty obvious that they only want you for your commissions which would almost seem like a never-ending cycle once you join under them. They’ve successfully pressured you into joining, and now they’ll continue to pressure you into making money for them.

Yes, some consultants do enjoy working for a specific company and whatnot, but building a team and getting people to join under them should not be their immediate focus. And if that’s the case, then they’re taking the recruitment approach like a pyramid scheme. I can’t tell you how many times my husband thinks my Perfectly Posh business is part of a pyramid scheme. In some aspects, yeah I can see that, but its really not. The only person I technically recruited is my friend’s wife who decided to join on her own accord. I never asked her to become a consultant, nor would I have ever pressured her or anyone to.

Question #7 – Do yoactually use the product? Can you see yourself continuously using the product?

THIS question is pretty much why I left Scentsy, aside from my divorce. At times, I feel like a frugal person and I don’t typically waste money on things I deem as materialistic. I mean, yeah it’s awesome to have a house that beautifully decorated and smells nice, but I just couldn’t justify selling home goods. Why would I, as a consultant, continue to push for sells in warmers and wax sets when I wouldn’t even want to buy the products for myself? Granted, Scentsy does have a great reputation for long-lasting scents and kid/pet-friendly ingredients & products, but it really wasn’t for me to continue selling. At times, I could almost feel my non-verbals coming out whenever someone didn’t think twice about shoveling out $100+ for warmers and a handful of wax bricks.

Question #8 – How often does the company “change”? (Ex: new lines/extensions)

I didn’t stay with Scentsy long enough for me to see their extension into the essential oils market, but I did see my best friend go through the transition. She didn’t seem to mind since she absolutely loves essential oils anyway. However, if I did stay with Scentsy long enough to live with that transition, I’d probably quit. And I don’t mean it in a way that I’m against essential oils, because I’m not. For Scentsy to go down that road almost feels like they’re only adding random-ish extensions to their company to remain relevant and to remain at the “top” of the market they do business in.

I could say the same is true for Perfectly Posh because they have a bath bomb extension, lip color extension, and now an anti-aging line; but for Perfectly Posh, these extensions make sense to me because they still deal with skincare/beauty products. I suppose having an extension into essential oils for Scentsy makes sense, too, because it still falls under the home goods realm. Really, its what you make of these line extensions and how you want to conduct your own business, but I still feel that paying attention to varied line extensions may be covering some underlying issues with the company… I could be wrong, however.

Question #9 – What are you true intentions of starting up your “own business”?

I intentionally saved this question for last since I knew that this question can be related in almost all of the other questions. Really ask yourself, why do you feel so compelled to start your own business? What really appeals to you in becoming an independent consultant? For me, my reasoning has always been about making money on the side, which never really happened. I wasn’t making enough money on the side to be able to make family vacation trips or be able to buy myself fancy things. If your aim is to make this a stable career, you may have to do some more research on your own since being a stay-at-home mom and running an independent business is sometimes not always compatible.

 

I hope this article helped you make a solid decision on whether or not you want to “own” your own independent consultant business! If you’re an independent consultant, please share some questions you might also be helpful for newcomers 🙂

To the disrespectful teacher in California

Dear sir,

Congratulations on your recent internet fame that you’ve inherited! I am one of the many members of the United States Armed Forces that you classified as a “dumb shit”. I’d like to share with you my life experiences, and why I decided to join the military a year after high school.

In high school, I was a part of the Junior Reserved Officer Training Corps (JROTC), probably the type of students that you favor in belittling in your classroom. At first, I didn’t want to join JROTC, but my mother convinced me to join anyway. Our compromise was that I would only have to do it for one semester, and I could choose to leave if this wasn’t for me. Turns out, I found my place in the world and decided to remain in JROTC for the rest of my high school career. I was so focused and dedicated to this class or club, that I ended up becoming the cadet commander of my unit. All of the valuable lessons I’ve learned, that I still reflect on to this day, were learned in this class as a leader… Can you believe, that me, a 16-something year old was commanding a unit of over 100+? Fascinating, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, I didn’t go to college right after high school despite taking classes that could’ve transferred over as college credits. Instead, as I’ve already mentioned, I joined the United States Air Force a year after graduating. To be honest with you, joining the Air Force, to me, is not a bad gig at all. Since I did 4-years of JROTC, I was already promoted to E-3 since joining the military (usually, people can receive this rank after graduating basic training/boot camp if they enlisted for 6-years), and because I was given the Congressman Herbert Advanced placement award, or CHAPA letter, I was able to chose up to 5 jobs in the military that I wanted to do. 10+ years later, I am still a medic and have not regretted my decision.

The military also treats me very well for serving them. I receive a steady paycheck, minus the occasional government shut-downs; however, there are many resources that are available to me that can help me out in times of need. I enjoy free education in the career field of my choosing. I’m sure technical training or trade school is probably not up to your standards, but if times get tough and there is an event where I have to leave the military, I still have my certifications to land me a decent job out on the economy. Also, I receive $4,500 per fiscal year for tuition assistance on top of the Post 9/11 GI Bill that I paid into. My family also benefits from me being in the military, in that their health insurance is free. They don’t have to worry about not being able to go to the doctors because coverage is too expensive. They also have a great community support system for those times that I have to leave for deployments or other necessary mission tasking.

Anyway, enough about me, let me also talk about some of the great officers I’ve met and have served under. I think you referred them as “not high level thinkers”. When I was deployed, my flight surgeon only had 6-months under his belt before he deployed. Before then, he had his own Family Health Clinic, but gave it to his colleague so he can join the military and support our war-fighters. My last squadron commander first enlisted into the Air Force, but was later picked up for Physician’s Assistance school. My last flight commander was also prior enlisted in the Army, but separated from the service to pursue her Nursing degree. She returned as a Nurse Practitioner, and now she is on the east coast for her doctorates. In addition to these three officers who are very important to me, there are may other officers in the healthcare field that have written and published articles for the medical community, proven theories, and most importantly, saved countless lives. And to make my last statement bolder, they didn’t just save our brother and sisters in arms, they have also gone on humanitarian missions to third-world countries and saved lives out there, too.

Sir, I know that, in this day and age, being in the military and having a sense of pride in one’s country is a scarce thing to come by; however, it is us that gave you the right to exercise the First Amendment of our Constitution – Freedom of Speech. I’m not sure if you know this, but being in the military, you don’t get to exercise this right, and you expected to “obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me”. Of course, we have the authority to disobey orders that we deem to be immoral, thus enforcing us to become those “high level thinkers” you think we are not. Either way, you are welcome for that right and the fact that myself, my husband, and my brothers & sisters in arms fight for that right to remain in this place.

Before I end this open letter to you, I’d like to leave you a quote from Gen George S. Patton, a famous General from WWII. He is currently buried in a military cemetery in Luxembourg, maybe you ought to visit his tombstone to pay some sort of respect to those that paved the way for your freedom you enjoy to this day.

Better to fight for something than live for nothing.

//Signed//

A Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force

That one TSgt at Nellis AFB

ICYMI, a TSgt stationed at Nellis AFB decided to post a public rant on FaceBook Live about her disrespectful “black female” subordinates. If you haven’t gotten the chance to see this video, you can watch it here.

While I chose to create a post about this incident, I do not intend for my post to perpetuate her internet fame. Rather, I’d like to use this as some sort of teaching tool since I could think of no better way to teach my Airmen about proper internet etiquette. And, yes, I am upset that there are members of the same Air Force that I currently serve in, who are higher ranking than me, and who do not show the same level of “good order and discipline”. However, this fact does not mean that should follow their lead and abandon the Air Force core values that are ingrained in me. At the end of the day, I still have Airmen that are under my supervision, who look to my for guidance and an example of what they ought to become in the future as leaders.

With that being said, lets go over the important lessons this video has to offer all of us.

#1 – NEVER air out your dirty laundry

Quite an obvious thing to do, but I’ve realized that common sense is not so common now-a-days. A LOT of my friends air out their dirty laundry all the time on their FaceBooks, and that’s okay, but this isn’t something you’d typically see me doing. Despite my outward personality, I am a fairly private person; I don’t like to publicly state my problems on Facebook unless I have a truly valid reason. I feel like it has to do with a level of maturity, but I’m also not saying that my friends who are okay with doing this, are immature. To me, it just seems better to figure things on your own, or fight your battles quietly instead of having everyone in your business.

#2 – Race has nothing to do with anything

I absolutely hate how she calls out a particular group of people in this rant. My husband and I both agree that, if she decided to leave out a particular race and a particular group of people, maybe her rant would’ve been taken in a whole different manner. Instead, she will be forever known as “that racist TSgt”. It truly doesn’t matter if is was or wasn’t before she made the decision to make this video. This is what she will be known for, and quite frankly, race has nothing to do with the way that people treat their higher ups. In ways, I felt personally offended by this video, not because I belonged to the targeted group (because I’m not a black female), but because I’ve had a variety of Airmen under my supervision from different races. Not once have I encountered the same problems that she did. Yes, I can relate to the derogatory “yes ma’am” that she mentions, but, as an NCO, I nipped that in the bun. I actually took the time to pull my Airmen aside and counseled them, and ascertained whether or not they meant it in a disrespectful manner. And if they were being disrespectful to me, I counseled them because I am the NCO and I am the leader… which leads me to #3.

#3 – She is the leader, and they are the followers

As an NCO, she has the authority to counsel and administer administrative punishments (MFRs, LOCs, LOAs, LORs…. basically, paperwork) to her followers that are not abiding to the standards of the Air Force/military or the ones she set out for them. Soooooo, maybe the problem isn’t with her Airmen; maybe the problem lies within the leader, which is her. One of the main points that I make with my Airmen when I conduct their initial feedbacks is that we are all professionals in the profession of arms. We are all adults, and we should conduct ourselves in that manner. I don’t care if they have “beef” with someone else at work because at the end of the day, the mission comes first, and sometimes we have to work alongside people we don’t necessarily get along with or like. Just because they work with someone they don’t like, doesn’t mean that they have to hang out with them after work. I tell them to leave their personal problems at the clinic doors when they report for duty. Also, our job as NCOs is to not be “best friends” with our troops. Yes, its a HUGE bonus when you can be on a relate-able level with your Airmen, but it won’t be like that in every instance. Sometimes we have to be that asshole and correct them when they’re wrong. And on the flip-side to that, if you counsel your Airmen correctly and fairly, yeah they’re going to be upset/mad/pissed off at you, but the intention is to correct them and hope that they understand where they went wrong.

#4 – “I’m trying my best to hold my professionalism with them”

Everyone who has watched this agrees that she obviously didn’t hold any amount of professionalism once she decided to made this video. This goes with #1 and #3 in this post. I’ll admit, there have been plenty of times that I felt my professionalism kind of slip because I couldn’t handle a situation, but my thought process is to consult with someone of higher ranking than me that I could trust. Mentors make all the difference in a leadership world… And while I mention this fact, it further irritates me that she even thought to do this when leaders are constantly told to bounce ideas off of each other. Which is the same truth for problems they encounter in the leadership role.

#5 – R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what that means to… your Airmen 

My Airmen and I have had a few informal mentorship moments about “respect” after they saw this video. This also bounces off of #3, when I mentioned administering punishment fairly. My Airmen know that I hate giving out paperwork, but they also know that if I have to, there’s a very good reason why; I’m transparent with them. My Airmen also know that if they have a problem, they can come talk to me… within reason, and its not about something that makes me a mandatory reporter. Respect for a leader begins with trusting them, and you can bet that those under her have no respect for her whatsoever; beit before OR AFTER this video. If she has that many problems with her Airmen not “showing her respect”, or the proper respect she feels so entitled to, maybe it is because they don’t trust her at all… Respect is not an entitlement at all, its definitely earned.

#6 – Preventing a fight club

If she feels there is THAT much hostility in her workplace, its seems like she should probably call on some type of mediation with her Airmen. As I write this post, I don’t claim to be a perfect NCO myself, because I know that I am definitely not. Although I try to strive for perfection, I know that there are areas that really need some improvement when it comes to leading people. The last clinic I ran at my last base was probably my most challenging, but has given me a lot of valuable lessons, to include calling for some sort of mediation – something’s gotta give at one point, and it shouldn’t be your Airmen’s morale or well-being. Just because I am a leader doesn’t mean that I can handle every situation that comes my way, and I do need some assistance from my supervisor or supervisor’s supervisor.

#7 – Be careful of what FaceBook groups you join

This fact isn’t publicly highlighted in this video, but the TSgt decided to post this video in a group called “Nellis burn book”. There have been some claims circulating that she is one of the group’s monitors, which gives me knots in my stomach. If you’re unsure of the reference, I’d like to think that the phrase “burn book” was inspired from Tina Fey’s movie “Mean Girls”; and if that’s the case, why is this even a thing? This definitely calls out straight-up unprofessionalism if you joined a group called Nellis Burn Book. Even though I’m not part of this group, it sounds like the type of group where immature people go to air out or talk crap about people on-base. Everyone has their own opinions and beliefs about people, but sometimes its best just to keep it to yourself because you never know who it’ll affect.

 

That’s all I have to say about this event, and I hope that she does not embody what you now think about members of the military. On her behalf, I truly apologize to those that were affected, because they don’t deserve the level of treatment she may bestow upon them. What were your thoughts when you saw this rant?

Breastfeeding in public

My first picture in my blog, hooray!! I feel like I’ve come a long way in my breastfeeding journey. I read all these public breastfeeding-shaming posts of FaceBook, which really enraged me and set me off the “well, if that were me…” rant. Since breastfeeding a perfectly normal, I thought I would have no problem feeding my baby in public. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong.

And its not the fact that there were people that were verbally shaming me about my decision to feed my baby out in public. It was me being over-reactive, sensitive, and self-conscious of what other people may think. And, I know that is absolutely silly to feel that way! Granted, I wasn’t just whipping out my breast, out in the open, with no cover whatsoever. I was still courteous to those around me. Eventually, I started getting used to the idea and the act that it no longer bothered me.

Its unfortunate that our society has suddenly turned the other cheek on public breastfeeding. I always thought its like shaming people just for eating. Why do we have to force women to go into a secluded place (most of the time, it is literally a closet) just to feed their baby? If anything, this should really be the choice on the mother, if she’s okay with feeding out in the open. We certainly don’t expect others to go and eat in a secluded place because their choice of food simply offends us… Or, maybe we already do and I just haven’t heard of that one yet.

I can also understand that our society has also done a great job at sexualizing the female chest, and anything to do with that is just that. There is nothing sexual about breastfeeding, and really, its a fetish to those to find that to be a turn-on. Never have I thought, while breastfeeding in public, that I wanted to try and turn someone on by feeding my baby… My son’s hungry, and if he done’st eat, then he’ll just make everyone around us annoyed and miserable. So, let him eat. Also, its pretty obvious when a woman wants to sexualize her chest when all you can see is cleavage spilling out of her low-cut tops. As a mommy, those type of tops don’t look all that great with a nursing bra underneath.

Anyway, I feel like society needs to back off of moms that decide to breastfeed. Its their choice, not yours. From pregnancy to raising children, moms usually get the bad rap (dads, too!) and are subjected to other people’s opinions. While your opinions may be acknowledged, its still their choice on how they want to care and raise for their kids.

 

2017 Government Shut-down

I figured this post was well-warranted since we are technically in “Government Shut-Down” mode as of midnight last night. The last government shut-down we had was in 2013, which lasted almost two weeks. Yes, those two weeks sucked for the military because our forces were basically cut in half without our civilian Department of Defense employees, and there was twice the amount of work for the active duty component; however, we knew (or I hope most of us knew) that once it was all over, we were going to get paid for the work we do and we would be back-paid for the time spent in shut-down mode… But even if we didn’t get back-paid, we are in the military, we made that commitment to support and defend the Commander-in-Chief, AKA the President of the United States.

Let me remind you of our Oath of Enlistment/Commission:

I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

I, _____, having been appointed an officer in the Army/Navy/Air Force/USMC of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”

Even though we do not get paid and we’re expected to work, this is what we signed up for. We are that 1% that signed up to basically be a public servant, and we just need to keep faith in our military system that they will be taking care of us.

There are plenty of resources available to help each other out. I’m not well-versed in the other branches, but I know that there is the Air Force Assistance Funds. This program is designed to helped Airmen out in times of crisis, just go to your Airmen & Family Readiness Center to discuss. Also, I know that USAA and other financial institutions are creating plans specifically to carry our military members through this shut down. Lastly, IF there are truly no other options and money is super tight for you, you can opt into a Thrift Savings Plan loans, granted you have a TSP account to begin with. There are so many financial resources out there to help you and your family out, you just have to be calm and think logically through this manner.

Again, we are considered to be public servants. PLEASE, do not think you can protest this shut-down if you are part of the military! In 2013, a handful of military members were discharged because they went AWOL because they refused to work without pay. You cannot do this, no matter how much you don’t like whats going on. Just keep true faith and allegiance to your government that they can hopefully come to some resolution and be down with this.

At this time, we just need to be hopeful and not blame what’s going on in Washington. There are a lot of things that we don’t know, which may be above our pay grades. The only things you see is what the media puts out, so don’t stress yourself out so much about what they’re saying because its probably not the full story.

#RemainCalm

My distaste for the #MeToo campaign

know this post will be one of my most controversial posts I’ll ever compose but, hear me out before you automatically turn the other cheek. After all, I do enjoy debate and hearing other people’s opinions on hot topics!

Before I joined the military, my aunt and I had a very heated argument about my decision to enlist. It wasn’t about the fact that I was enlisting, it was the fact that I’d be entering a male-dominant world, and she was concerned about my safety. I already knew what type of domain I was stepping into, and I knew that I could also take care of myself in those types of situations… And, unfortunately, yes, those situations have happened to me. I’m not immune to sexual harassment and I’m not special to avoid those situations. I’d like to say that I’ve left those situations “unscathed” in a way, and I prefer not thinking about them, but its campaigns like #MeToo that remind me of the situations and how very wrong we’re approaching it.

The massive “witch hunt” that’s circulating Hollywood right now is no different than what occurred in the Air Force in 2012, when a lot of former trainees came forward with sexual assault allegations against their training instructors. Then it transformed into a wider issue, spanning all over the Air Force. Now, I’m not discounting everyone’s story because I understand that initially coming forward can be scary – you get a lot of doubt stuck in your head that maybe you’re exaggerating things, maybe people won’t believe you. Its unfortunate that those who have real and valid claims are overshadowed by people who are more open and probably not speaking the whole truth… and the actual truth behind their claim is to get some type of recognition, beit positive or negative. It doesn’t really matter at that point, it’s attention; however, in no way am I discrediting anyone’s story or situation, but I feel that they should be treated in a more private manner.

Maybe I feel this way because I’m somewhat of a private person myself, but I’m more than willing to share my experiences on a personal level if you asked me. I hate attending sexual assault prevention classes or the like, mostly because there is, at least, one individual who opens up like a canary; sometimes, they don’t even need prompting to begin sharing their story. Can you call it bravery when someone is completely open about sharing something so private in open forum? For me, the answer is no. Yes, we all like to share some sort of experience to make ourselves relatable, but in this day and age, I just feel like people need validation – that its almost cool to be the victim of any sort.

IF we are empowering people to stand up and speak out against their assaulters, shouldn’t we empower people to every prevent this from happening? Again, I get it, we’re not always able to protect ourselves from the unknown. Hellknow that considering that it happened to me twice already… but we should probably slow our applause when someone is so open and detailed when it comes to remembering their experience. Give them the tools to be successful, and I’m sure we can protect ourselves.

Another thing about how we’re treating sexual assault in this day and age is that we’re empowering the victim and shunning the perpetrator but, what if the victim is not telling the truth? What if the stories, the accusations were false? At that point, when everything’s said and done, it doesn’t matter if the accused did or didn’t commit any offenses. Their name has already been dragged in mud and there’s no coming back to that. We should also be more selective in how we go about pressing charges against the accused instead of lighting them up ASAP.

I’m truly sorry if this happens to offend someone, but like I said earlier, I am willing to discuss/debate on my point of views. How are you feelings about how we’re treating sexual assault cases?