Faces Of Unfulfilled Dreams

I know that this is not an area that I typically write about or discuss. However, with my many allies, friends within the LGBTQ+ community. I find myself sitting here, thinking about TDOR 2019. What does that look like from the Philippines vs the United States? How other countries view transgender women? Is there more harmony between the LGBTQ+ community and the “status quo”?

My employer has a strong inclusive policy for all people. I am currently in the Philippines and within my office alone. We have several transgender folds that are open, loved, and welcomed within their community. This got me to think about my home in Nebraska, United States. This is what I found out, and honestly, it was a shock. Please note that I am only basing this off of what I was able to locate on the Internet; and part of what I have experienced/witnessed in person.

Last year alone in the United States; there were 26 transgender women murdered. This is quickly becoming an epidemic in the United States. So far this year, we are at 22 murders and the year is not even over with. Let this soak in for a minute, as these are real numbers. Imagine every month, 2 people murdered just for being who they are. This is very interesting if you think about it. Why does a country that boasts about being so advanced in technology, military, quality of living, financial wealth? Show so much hate or disregard to anyone that is different than the status quo?

When I started to look into the Philippines as to how they treat the LGBTQ+ community; especially transgender women. I was totally and utterly shocked by the difference. I actually thought that the murder rate would be much higher. In fact, it is not. The only transgender murders I could find between 2015 and 2019 were 2 women. Yes, you heard me. Just 2 transgender women were murdered. One was murdered by a US Marine in 2015 and is serving prison time. This is unheard of in the U.S. for murdering a transgender woman. The most recent one was this year; on September 17th. She was out with her coworkers and sister. When she went out to get cigarettes; and never returned. The article I read, stated that this is so unheard of, that it sent shock waves through the LGBTQ+ community.

As I sit here upon the eve of the 2019 TDOR. I can’t stop but think why the United States murder rate is significantly higher than in the Philippines? Don’t get me wrong, as I love the Philippines and their culture. They are lovely people and will miss my time spent here. However, if the U.S. is so superior to a country. Why is it that we are so self-destructive, full of hate, and want to destroy what we do not understand? We, Americans can learn a lot from the Philippine culture and how they treat each other. No matter who they are.

I leave you with this. Just love, accept and embrace each other for who they are. We all are unique and have much to offer. But these 22 Americans and 1 Philippine woman will never fulfill their dreams-because of hate.

The Philippine Experience

Being in another country for the first time brings a whole new perspective on interacting with others. As an American, our customs are what I would call familiar. I would even go as far as to say a bit cold at times. What I mean is that we tend to say what is on our minds or have no problems with the “me first” attitude.

Today I woke up at 1pm on a Monday, and it feels as if I have been in the Philippines for months. A sense of normality in my routine; outside of not working out or sticking with my “normal” routine back home in Omaha, Nebraska. You see while here in the Philippines, I am here for business. I work overnight, and even though it is close to my normal working hours. It has become a challenge to working these hours for the past few weeks.

You see, not only are the hours quite an adjustment for me. It is very hard for me to locate vegan options in Manila; where I am staying. On the upside, there are plenty of options for grocery stores, as well as S&R; which is a wholesaler like Costco or Sam’s Club. Basically, I cook most of my own meals, with the occasional outing where I can find vegan options. I have found that Soya Bar, Super Bowl (Chinese food), or the Armynavy taco and burrito has some vegan options. These are my go-to places to eat out at this time.

Like when I was in India a year ago. They too eat rice with every meal. Americans do not do this and find it hard to eat that much rice. I did the first week; as it was better than eating nothing. I did find myself eating way more carbohydrates than I am used to. However, now that I was able to go to S&R to purchase food items in bulk. I now have what I need, for the most part, to cook in my room. Closely based on what I would eat at home in a week.

Even with my dietary restrictions, I still love it here. I find the culture is warm, friendly, and even a bit awkward. Let me explain. Here they call you “mam or sir” a lot and overly nice; based on the culture back home. It took a bit to get used to and find it comforting, as it has a sense of respect and order to it. Everyone is polite, respectful, and even smiles all the time. The first weekend that I was here. I took a Grab (same as Uber), and the driver was very kind, funny and protective of where I was going. The driver’s name is Marlon, and I felt very safe and use him while I am traveling in Manila.

There was an area of interest while going to metro Manila; and he clearly stated to me, “this is not safe for you. You cannot get out here”. At first, I did notice the area was not what I would call safe by American standards. This made me feel like he cared about my safety. Not only as a female but as a tourist. The driver stated he would have to escort me to the store, then back to the car. He said that I would be safe here. In the end, it was an experience, and of course, I was safe during this adventure.

Once we got back to the car, Marlon asked where else would I like to go today. I stated that I want to go back to the hotel. At that moment he replied, “no you must not let this ruined your day. I will take you to the Mall of Asia”. At first, I was taken back by this remark. But later realized that he wanted me to have a good experience while here in Manila. So off we went to the Mall of Asia. By the way, this is a huge mall and recommend wearing walking shoes. He dropped me off and picked me back up; in Infront of the Hypermarket store. I actually had a great time and felt completely safe during this trip to Metro Manila.

I just want to share what experiences and how my stay here in Manila is going thus far. I am loving it, and the people are great. But, I am still trying to get used to hearing ma’am a lot. Everywhere I go it is “ma’am”. Philippines are overly nice based on what I am used to in the United States. However, with that stated. I am finding out that much like the rest of the world; the Philippines has a lot going for them. Everywhere I go, guys, open doors or greet you respectfully; always look happy. I will continue to provide my experiences and journey here in the Philippines with you.

Thank you!
JustMorgan

Traveling In My 50’s

I want to talk about traveling, and as a solo (single) woman over 50. If you know me at all or had the opportunity to get to know me on a personal level. You already know that I love traveling, and any adventure that I can get my hands on. I love flying, to see what I can of the world; or my backyard in the United States. I am an outgoing, adventures, risk-taker, and one that loves doing what the locals do when visiting another country. However, these days not as much of a risk-taker and more adventurous type.

With that said, I also seem to be a bit more cautious these days; when traveling anywhere solo. I cringe at the idea that it is probably due to my age. Not because I am somewhat a wiser person, do to experiences in life. I remember a time that I would just pack a bag and take off, or not even think twice about where I was going. I have been thinking about this a lot lately; as I get ready to take off on another work adventure. By the time this gets posted on my blog or other social media sites. I will be just hours away from getting on a plane to the Philippines.    

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I have traveled to India, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, and all over the west coast of the United States. I know that this is not at all that much travels compared to many of you who are reading this. My international travels just began last year when I was sent to India; and what I call “bit by the travel bug”. I truly loved my 6 weeks in India; as it taught me so much; India has a special place in my heart. I am what I label as a “soulful traveler”, and I say this for this very reason. I do what I can to not only understand the culture, ways of life, but also the people of the country that I travel to. It is hard to explain, but It’s like I open my heart up to taking in all of the good and differences to enhance my experience. I immerse myself in the culture as much as possible. To me, this allows me to not only take a part of this back home with me. As well as the lasting memories from the places that I am blessed to visit. 

I know that if it wasn’t for my job. It would be very difficult for me to have this amazing experience. It would have taken longer to have these experiences on my own. So that is why I take these opportunities to immerse myself in the places that I visit. To extract as much as I can, and being a part of the places that I visit. This is the reason I decided to write about this, from a solo 50+ female traveler perspective. I have been provided with lots of travel advisories, googled for information, and also follow others that have been to this area of the world. I want to first say that, with all of the warnings and all of the articles on the internet about international travel to the Philippines. It is freak’n scary, alarming, as well as exciting based on which person you follow; or the articles/blogs that you read. Either way, I have learned to turn off the “white noise” and only focus on facts based on where you’re going. Of course, take note of any current warnings at the time of travel.

I look at this way. What would I be told about the United States if I was a foreigner coming to visit? It never occurred to me; so I did some Googling and I was amazed as to what I was warned against. I know that this may shock or upset some of you. This is what I found online, and not my personal opinion regarding traveling in the US. I would be just as worried, since there are many articles out there about gun violence, poor tap water quality, being out at night in some areas, discrimination/harassment, expensive emergency health care cost, as well as many other warnings. Most of the warnings were regarding gun violence and murders. What I am trying to say is no matter where you travel, there will always be warnings and guidelines. Where ever you travel to on this planet. I also want to share a link that I find is helpful for those who are over 50, and want to start traveling solo. I found this older article for safety measures that I feel is still relevant today.

If you do any traveling or currently traveling as a solo traveler over 50+. I hope that you share your pics or even experiences. If you are someone that wants to start to travel; but afraid to do this alone. There are so many clubs or travel groups that you can travel with. The difference with go on your own and taking a group trip. Is that for me it’s being able to stop wherever you wish. With groups, they are preplanned and in most cases. They do not make sudden or off-schedule stops. I have not taken any group trips; so this is my perspective on this. However, not to say that a group tour is not in my future someday. I think for someone that doesn’t want to go at it alone. This would be an ideal way to travel. I have listed a few links below that might interest you. Until next time, safe travels and to new memories.

These are a few that I located online; do not receive any commission for.

TravelAdvisors- Women over 50

Single Travel Tours

Women Only Traveling Tours

Singles Travel International

Cleaning My Head Space

Are you happy with yourself? Do you love yourself? Do you love who you see in the mirror? These are all questions that I do and have asked myself after my divorce. I still do it from time to time. As it’s a nice way to examine where your head is at. I cannot speak for anyone else, but for me, I found that this was one of the hardest things to improve about myself. Initially, I didn’t like myself at all.

This took a lot of work on my part to make these internal changes about my attitude. Once I started to work on me and get to the heart of the issue. That is when I started to realize that, I had a lot of work to do. You see, it wasn’t my ex-husband, work, or life that caused it.

It was me that allowed this to happen. Sure my ex-husband contributed a lot to my state of mind. It was me who allowed him and all of these external sources to contaminate my space, thoughts, and wellbeing. Sure, these things are what initiated this downward spiral, but who allowed this to happen. That was me.

I accepted what my ex told me, or the lack of value he placed on me. My work was not to blame for my divorce or bad attitude. Now as to my life, this is the world that I created and allowed it to be diminished by others and the negative energy around me.

You see I gave my power away and assumed others would have my best interest at heart. Rest assured they did not. I do not blame anyone else but myself; and now that I have taken inventory and took my power back. I have cleaned my headspace, so I can wake up every day. Knowing that I own my happiness now. Regardless, of what the day brings now.

I will meet it head-on and at the end of the day. I will know that I did my best and remained in control of my power. I for one,  am a firm believer in surrounding yourself with positive messages, energy, and anything that brings you pure joy and happiness. Think of it like this. We all have that room in the house that’s always cluttered or messy. This is typically one room we do not enjoy spending time in.

This is no different from ourselves. As long as you are filled with clutter (hate, negativity, anger, self-doubt, etc.). You will never be happy being you. This will also send the wrong message to others and deflect others, instead of attracting. I for one know how hard it is to change how you see yourself or feel about yourself.

This is not an easy process and one that takes lots of practice. Any type of change you want to make, it is no different than any other change in life. To quote AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), “we admitted we were powerless over (insert here) – that our lives had become unmanageable. ” I feel that this goes for so many aspects of our lives.

Regardless, if you’re an alcoholic or not. I have a coin at my desk that I purchased a few years back. It has the Serenity prayer on it. I find it comforting, on days that seem to be tougher than others. It brings me comfort to read it and hold at those moments; that I need to take a few seconds to hit that pause button.

The point that I am trying to make with all of this. Is that this is how you can expect to truly move on. Then just maybe at that moment. You will have space for another person to love you; or even come into your life. If you don’t even want to be around yourself. Think about it. Would you want to be around someone angry, sad, or even filled with negative energy? The answer, of course, would be no. Just focus on you and start that healing process

Getting Over Your Divorce- After 50+

For myself, it was mostly NOT playing the victim.

Yes, divorces are difficult and messy. I realized, as soon as I stopped having a “pity party”. I sat down and took a long look at my own participation in my marriage and divorce.

 “What is this experience trying to teach me”

Everything happens for a reason; yes it may not be all roses and sunshine. We can choose to look at it as “why is this happening to me”, or “what is this experience trying to teach me”.

“Giving yourself permission to be happy again.”

As soon as I changed my attitude and the way I looked at my situation. I began to see things differently. This also allowed me to heal, and start the process of loving myself again. Putting myself first; giving myself the empowerment to come out of this a better person.

3 Things I did and continue to do:

1- 7 day “I am grateful” challenge: Stop looking at the negative and focus on gratefulness.

2- Cleaned my “emotional” house: I looked at the way I viewed things around me. Awareness of my thoughts.

3- Exercise, yoga, meditation: These are my staples in life and helps me stay the course.

Giving yourself the permission “empowerment”; will allow you to break the victim cycle.

What did you do to getting over, and moving on?

Self Worth Starts with Me

As I spending time at home today and preparing for upcoming trips. Meeting, or shall I say attempting to meet my personal goals and expectations. I start thinking about my “WORTH” as well as “VALUE” that I give myself.

The sense of one’s own value or worth as a person; self-esteem; self-respect. -Dictionary definition

I know that before embarking on my journey, I relied on others to give me value. For instance, I would work very hard at making others happy or doing them favors in exchange for the instant gratification of value or worth. Now, glancing at where I am now. I can honestly state that my value is one that I give myself. No, it’s not easy and it does take practice.

I practice every day in giving myself value and within that self-validation; I give myself worth. As humans, we are conditions from a very early age, that our worth is based on what our financial situation, job titles, or even the material things that we acquire. This is so far from the truth and we need to change the way we think in our own worth. As well as how parents instill this in their children. We all have value and this why we cannot be measured by physical things or others. 

https://just-morgan.com/follow-my-journey/

Assuming the best in others

Yesterday was a beautify evening out in Nebraska. With the scent of rain in the air; the cool breeze, I was feeling particularly good about myself.  I went to meet up with a group of people that I love very dearly. They have adopted me into their tribe if you will. It was their mother’s birthday; she always wanted me as a daughter-in-law. That never happened; another tale for another day.

As the evening proceeded, I noticed this guy was looking my way. I didn’t think anything of it at the moment. I just like to be aware of my surroundings. So later on, I proceeded to the bar to get a cocktail. When I turned around there he was staring right at me. Besides it being a little weird and uncomfortable; I said hello, and so the awkward tango begins with the initial introductions. That would have been the perfect time to tell me key facts about him or his life. Instead, I just got the usual male response. Your pretty comment and who are you herewith, his name and from out of town. This is to the male audience, that is reading this article. Stop using one-liners; like we still live in the 1950s. Just be honest, upfront, and for the love of everything holy. Please be yourself. Real women don’t care about your financial status, what car you drive, telling us women how pretty we are. That one-liner that is directly driven by other intentions, than genuinely desiring to get to know us for our minds or talents. In other words, our personal worth and value as a human being. We do know the intentions and pay attention to your body language. I will at this point state that this goes for both men and women as a general rule.

Ok, moving on with my account about last night. The “guy” mentioned he wanted to go next door to the other bar; proceeded to ask if I would like to join him. I said yes and off we went next door. Once we arrived, he bought me a drink and sat down. This is where the twist comes in. He looks right at me with a smile and says, “I am married, but I think you’re pretty”. Oh really now I was thinking to myself along with a few other alternative words. However, I took the high road and smiled. Thinking, that would have been very valuable information when you introduced yourself to me earlier. I was a lady and proceeded to finish my wine. Turning the conversation to his marriage and kids, yes he has kids as well. Making him uncomfortable and concentrating on the one reason why he should have never taken the initial conversation any further than the hello. 

Then we moved back to the other bar, where my friends were located. Of course, I was immediately approached and asked what was happening. I told them what happened, and quickly he was asked to leave and that his intentions were not appropriate. I love my second family, as they are always watching out for me. I am truly happy that they are in my life. It’s great to have good, honest, caring people in your life. Even, though my intentions during this process were not to go further than the conversation. I truly just wanted to have an adult conversation and just get to hear someone else’s journey. Why is it people, in general, feel the need to lie, omit information out, or even ask if being married is a problem. News flash! We see right through it, and not sure whom you think that your fooling.

The point of sharing this story is to let not just men, but women as well know. Stop with the games! It serves no purpose and causes more damage, and hurts people along the way. Fortunately, for myself, I am observant and pick up on little nuances and body language. So as I wrap this up, should I continue to assume the best in men immediate? Or should I just start asking the hard-hitting questions right up front? When I do this, my mind quickly goes to, assuming everyone is bad or dishonest. I for one do not desire to automatically think the worst in people. Not sure if this is fortunate or unfortunate, as I have very little social life. So for me, these interactions are far and few in between these days. However, this is not the case for many others that are socially active in the digital age of dating sites, texting, and social media.

I leave you with this one other question. Has the digital age left us desensitized to the human aspect of social interactions and certain protocols? With social media, we can fluff, omit, or even create a world that appears to be more than it is. Next time you guys or gals interact with another “human being”, just keep it real and honest. Lies get you nothing but heartache and misery. Even a divorce if you’re not careful.

Thank you!

Just Morgan

Taking personal inventory

Following my divorce I started to look inward; and how or what role I took in this life-altering circumstance. I think this is a healthy and necessary process for anyone. Anytime you are going through a major change in your life. I believe it is important to examine who we are and taking inventory of our selves. When we do this, from my experience. It allowed me to recognize what strengths and weaknesses that I brought during and after separation. This was not easy for me, nor will it be for anyone to do regardless of the circumstances. It’s never easy to look at yourself and see the negativity, faults, or even what we did wrong. Instead of pointing the finger or blaming my ex for the fallout of the relationship. I decided to take another approach and look at myself. Yes, at first there was a lot of anger and frustration at the situation. But, I soon realized that was unhealthy and counter-productive to me. This was only hurting one person, me.

Once I realized this, I set out to reflect on how I could turn this fallout into a windfall for me. I say windfall as what I was about to do for myself, was “a piece of unexpected good fortune”. Of course, I realize this now, looking back at my process and how I went about making a drastic change for myself. These are the top 3 things that I focused on; to catapult my negativity into a positive healthier version of me. 

  • Questioning my dating/relationship history
  • Mind and attitude check
  • Learning to love me again

The very first thing that I started to do is questioning my ability to have a positive caring relationship with another person. For me, this was the most important to moving forward. I was so stuck on the “why me” until I realized that this was directly connected to the history; that I had with men. So I began to look at the types of men up to this point, that I dated. There was one common denominator that stuck out. I recognized the men that I dated were broken in one way or another or were the control type. I liked to fix people and that was unhealthy. Please note that I am not attacking men or stating they are all like this. This is just based on my personal experiences. Once I resolved this, it gave me the power to take mental notes in future dating situations. 

The next thing that I did was inventory my mindset and attitude towards life. I can honestly tell you that my attitude had tanked; even people at work had noticed I was not my usual happy go lucky person they knew. This reflected in my work. My mindset was not much better, as the mindset and attitude go hand in hand. So again, I looked at changing this by starting with small changes. Like recognizing negative thoughts that crept into my mind. Quickly making mental notes and changing my responses. To reflect a more positive and empowering thought. It did not take too long before this began to occur subconsciously. I do want to mention, as most of you will know. This was not an easy process; as it did take serious effort on my part. This was a big one and now that I know the “triggers”, I can now recognize them. 

Learning to love yourself is a hard process. Learning to love me again was not only uncomfortable but tough to do. I would even say awkwardness at best. The thought of looking at myself in the mirror was difficult. I did not like the person that was staring back at me. However, I forced myself to take a long hard look at myself. I began to take inventory of my face, demeanor, the way I was positioned in the mirror. After a few attempts, I began to give myself words of support and encouragement. Of course, at that moment I started laughing thinking of the SNL (Saturday Night Live) Stuart Smalley, Daily affirmation. If you remember this one from 1991. You’re probably laughing as well, at this moment. This is when I started placing affirmation statements, empowering quotes on my bathroom mirror. This was very helpful for me. It gave me time to read it out loud every morning.; as I get ready for my day. Another way that I look at it; is why should I wait for someone else to compliment me. After all, since I am my own worst critic. Why not be my biggest fan. 

Nevertheless, once I started caring about myself again. My attitude at work starting to change for the better. My outlook on life at this moment is a hundred times better. The first time in a long time I finally know who I am, what I need, and most of all. What I don’t need to be happy. I would like to end this by stating; like anything in our lives. This too takes work and will not come, if you do nothing about it. I have waited around long enough for someone to save me. Now its time for me to save myself. 


My First Blog Post

Welcome to my journey…

I begin the journey of rebuilding my personal “brand”.

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain!”

– Dolly Parton

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Hello! I started this blog to share my thoughts, ideas, and hopefully inspire you. When I turned 50 years “young” in 2017. I was in a downward spiral of a marriage, financial turmoil, looking for permanent employment, and emotionally a mess as you could imagine. Now that I look back throughout my marriage. I realize now that I spent all of my energy trying to save my marriage and trying to secure permanent employment. But if that wasn’t enough I pretended to be happy. Because, I felt I had to since I was on a nonprofit board for a local support group, and trying my best to keeping up appearances with family and friends. This all came crashing down, fall of 2017. I filed for a divorce and bankruptcy. As well, attempting to hold it together in a new position. I lost myself along the way from the marriage and giving all I had to save it. That brings me to this moment.

Now that my divorce is behind me and I have a permanent job with a very supportive company. I begin the journey of rebuilding my “brand”. Who is Morgan and what kind of woman do I want to be in my new found freedom as a single woman? Over the past year and a half, I have been focusing on bettering myself. Some of the things that I have started are veganism, mindfulness meditation, yoga, and sewing to name a few. Of course, giving the first year after my divorce time to heal, and allowing my self the time to grieve. My journey began with me taking stock in my value, taking inventory of myself worth, as well as loving myself again.

This might sound odd to some of you, but looking back on the past 8 years of my life; the path that I was on. I am grateful the universe has given me this “opportunity” if you will to realize that I have real value. I say that as I now understand the things that I did incorrectly in my marriage. Nevertheless, that is all behind me and today I go through life with intent, determination, and self-respect.

Introduction

Hello! The reason I wanted to start this blog is to have an outlet for myself. Also to share what I have been, and currently going through during my continual journey on this plant. My goal is to blog about content that you the reader will find helpful, or even funny/entertaining at best. I plan to blog about my life, hobbies, travels, or whatever I may be experiencing along the way.

There are things that I have implemented at the beginning of my journey. Things that I tried, and did as a catalyst to living a more genuine me. I hope that you find value and truth in what I blog about. I look forward to engaging, respectful, and encouraging communication with anyone of you that wish to communicate about my blogs.

Thank you,
Just Morgan