Johnny…For Fun & For Free

Johnny is a homeless man in South Los Angeles.

Let me start by saying when homeless people usually talk to me it’s for money.  Let me also say that I’ve been having a rough time since 2016.  So when Johnny told me Monday that I looked like a teacher, pretty & studious I was taken back because he didn’t ask for anything.  He just reminded me to smile and have a good day.

Today I met with Johnny again.  I talked to him and told him what he said about me made my day.  I introduced myself and treated him like we should all treat people with kindness and took the time to hear about him.

I’ll leave my story with Johnny there and go onto For Fun & For Free….

We all have highs and lows in our life.  I’ve always believed in the kindness of strangers and being there for people in general.  I’ve struggled with this since my marriage ended and my heart attack because I’ve felt so alone.  I’ve been reminded lately of the following:

None of us are alone…It’s easy for me to isolate or hide from those who may call me out on how poorly I treat myself.  I’m told I’m strong and have handled things with grace.  It wasn’t always this way.  I’ve learned to be kind to myself again.  It’s a process but when I allow people to care about me or when I’m there for others then I and others truly aren’t alone.

There’s lessons in life…I felt my life wasn’t good because well, I’m unemployed right now and feel that it’s my fault.  This isn’t true and I put too much of my self worth into what I did for a living.  Outside of the worries of money (who doesn’t have those) I have a beautiful life.  I’ve learned to relax more, I’ve learned to trust my gut, I keep learning.  I believe maybe sometimes things happen for a reason.  That maybe I’m to learn to be good to me because for years I wasn’t good to me.  I over did things, I over volunteered, I took care of people who could take care of themselves, etc.

I’ve grown, we all grow…It’s simply just that.  I’ve walked through so much uncomfortable this past year and I think it’s made me stronger.  I’ve learned to forgive, I’ve learned to trust the unknown, I’ve learned to have feelings and express them without fear of someone running away.

It was a friend and mentor who reminded me of some of this good.  Reminded me how much I didn’t take care of myself in the past.  I didn’t see that.  I saw that the more I was doing the more accomplished I was.  I was running myself down.  Since 2014 I’ve almost died and had a heart attack.  All due to not taking care of me and stressing too much about life.

My friend is my friend for fun and for free.  We need to be there for others in this way.  I do admit that I felt abandoned by some that I was there for and I thought why be there for others when no one is there for you when you need them.  Then I remembered it’s because it’s who I am.  I enjoy strangers and I enjoy people.  We NEVER know what another person is going through.  We never know if someone just had a horrible day and maybe our smile or hello helps.  I’ve tried and continue to try and do random acts of kindness where I tell no one what I’ve done because then it takes away from the good done (in my opinion).

Back to Johnny, I want to continue to have my talks with him.  His circumstances are much different than mine.  He hasn’t ask for anything just someone to talk to.  I know some people may find it odd that I talk to strangers but I believe and won’t stop believing a little kindness can go a long way.

I have grown a lot this past year.  I got through some big deals and I did do it with grace.  I’ve been scared to blog.  I feel I’m not where my blog was before 2014 but today after Johnny I felt the need to blog again.  I’m not sure if it makes any sense BUT I do know that if I just keep blogging my blog will be again what it was.  It was something I felt so good about and I want that again.  It was nice to want to do something that was so much a part of who I was.

I leave you with little ways to do a Random Act of Kindness….

  • Say hello to a stranger
  • Smile at a stranger
  • Buy the person behind you some coffee
  • Put money in a expiring parking meter
  • Leave a letter in a library book just telling someone to have a great day
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line
  • Write a chalk message on the sidewalk
  • Get creative

She’s only 13 & She’s so correct!

Here’s a rant but a positive one from my 13 year old daughter. Love that she’s comfortable in her own skin. Trust me there are off days but for the most part, I’d say 90% of the time this is really dead on to what she feels….

Over the past year, I have seen many girls want to be just like they see in magazines. They want to be super skinny with a thigh gap and a flat stomach… now a new trend. The “Bikini Bridge”. This new trend is the girl’s bikini bottom rested on protruding hip bones, revealing a space between the swimsuit and her stomach, this the bikini ‘bridge’. It’s so disgusting and horrible how many teens go on strict diets like a 500 calorie limit a day or even skipping meals just to be thin and develop these ‘trends’.

I for one have never been fond of these, although a few months ago I had wanted the thigh gap because I didn’t like my thighs. I do not call myself overweight nor do I call myself a stick. I am comfortable with my weight and clothing size. I don’t understand how so many girls fall into wanting these things, they’re only giving them-self a disease like an eating disorder. It’s so astonishing that about 86% of teens feel less confident about their bodies after surfing the social media we have. I don’t feel like these trends should be trends whatsoever.

Yeah, there had been a time where I wasn’t happy with my weight, but I outgrew that because I realized that I didn’t need a thigh gap or a flat stomach to be considered quote on quote perfect. I was perfect just the way I was. And so from reading my Teen Vogue Magazine and reading about this new trend, I was just so disgusted. I don’t understand how perfectly fine teenager girls take their life and put themselves in harm and such strict diets just so be considered “perfect” in the society in our generation. I have seen so many girls eat a healthy diet and workout and they slimmed out and maintained their weight. So why put yourself in harms way when there is a better outlet?

You honestly do not need a bikini bridge or a thigh gap or a flat stomach to be considered fine. A few months ago, I had only worn my jeans and pants that I owned because I wasn’t comfortable being out in public with the way my thoughts were. I had told my friend that I didn’t want to go to the beach until I had slimmed down more and she thought I was crazy. She had explained to me that I didn’t need to be a stick or need a thigh gap to go to the beach.

So just over a month ago, we went to the beach together. I had worn my bikini and yes, it was weird at first, but I made it through the day without throwing on a pair of clothes. So my point is that you don’t need to be so thin to be beautiful. I feel that it’s what is in the inside that counts the most, because if you’re really rude and not a nice person I am not going to like you. Please tell people that you see that aren’t comfortable with how they look that they are fine just the way they are.

If you really want to slim down, start working out more. So if that means getting a membership at the gym, then get one. You can easily walk around your block. At home, you can easily do push-ups and sit-ups. Jumping jacks are also great. So work out more and you’ll start seeing that you’re starting to slim down.

I also suggest you go on a HEALTHY and LOGICAL diet. So in the morning for breakfast, you can always have either a bowl of fruit, or eggs with avocado, or an acai fruit bowl. For breakfast you can have a cup of milk, juice, or water. For lunch, instead of having a hamburger or pasta, have a tasty salad with avocado, cucumber, tomato, etc. For dinner have a decent sized amount of something you’d like, so like a hamburger with a side of salad or fruit, or some soup with fruit, etc. You can always also have tea instead of coffee and green juices.

If you ever want to snack, have some fruit or some yogurt or a slice of cheese, etc. I recommend you set a time limit in which you won’t eat after that time for the rest of the night. I think that seven-thirty to eight pm is a great time limit. By that time you should’ve already had your dinner and if you haven’t, that’s fine. Eating right before bed isn’t the healthiest choice.

I just listed many ways to slim down and maintain weight without having to starve, binge, purge, etc. Go for a little run when you want. Eat healthy. Do yoga to stretch. Be happy with your body but don’t stress over yourself. You don’t need a bikini bridge or a thigh gap or be a stick.

Whatever size you are, that’s perfectly fine. Whatever weight you are, that is perfectly fine. If you have curves, that is perfectly fine. If you have hips, that is perfectly fine! You are fine just the way you are and please know that. You are beautiful in every single way. You are perfect just the way you are.