talking about my uterus

I wore my “Fight Like A Girl” t-shirt for Endometriosis Awareness to the volunteer event last weekend as promised. I was nervous before I left the apartment because I haven’t been very open about discussing my surgery or endometriosis diagnosis with most people around me. I am still trying to deal with it internally. It was a very emotionally painful experience for me at the time and not sure how to put all of it into words.

But, I there were several comments about my t-shirt through-out the day. I was glad that it was noticed but I kept my replies to a minimum. One guy said, “I don’t know how to pronounce that word or what it is.” As it was explained by another lady, he exclaimed, “UTERUS! Stop, I don’t want to know anymore after hearing words like uterus.”

I was not offended by the comment because it is to be expected by some people. There isn’t much known about endometriosis and I am learning quite a bit myself lately. I am wearing my t-shirt to raise awareness because it is important to me and many other women who suffer from it every day. I read horror stories about infertility and chronic pain that women are sharing on their personal blogs and websites – it truly breaks my heart.

But, I am disappointed that he disregarded the subject based on one word that made him uncomfortable because it could affect a woman in his life such as his wife, sister, or friend. Having endometriosis is uncomfortable. Explaining it to someone is uncomfortable. But, I want to talk about my uterus! I want to get to the point where I can be comfortable talking about this. Either way, it was a good start for me.

-Holli

Advertisements

in need of beach therapy

It’s 42° out and I am taking the bus to Far Rockaway for some “beach therapy” this morning. I’ve spent the last few weeks at home lying on the couch recovering from surgery. The most excitement I’ve had is walking six … Continue reading

volunteering in chinatown

I was volunteering at Sara D. Roosevelt park today with New York Cares and the New York City Park and Recreation. The weather was great and we worked hard raking leaves along the edge of the fence.

20140201_113631

20140201_113905

As you can see in the pictures there is still some snow on the ground. The weather has been quite cold the last few weeks but gave volunteers a break this Saturday morning. It felt great to get outside and work up a sweat!

20140201_120633

The park is in Chinatown area of New York City so there was a lot of trash around the park because of the Chinese New Year parade and celebrations held here recently.

20140201_093734

20140201_094508

Thankfully I did see a small crew of workers from New York City Parks and Recreation sweeping and cleaning the trash in the park. They definitely had a lot of work to do that day.

Chinatown_2014

happy new year 2014

New Year’s Eve is a chance to celebrate, to anticipate wonderful things can happen in the new year. Take a moment to truly reflect on what you have accomplished before you make resolutions of change. Recognize this opportunity to make a commitment to become better in our career, relationships, and passions. The last few months of a few difficult times and hard work have brought unexpected rewards and given me more courage and strength to pursue my goals, the support and encouragement I’ve received has been astounding from friends, family, and fellow volunteers. I am so very GRATEFUL! No matter how you celebrate tonight, be SAFE out there. I wish a HAPPY, healthy, and wonderful NEW YEAR 2014 to all my friends and family!

New-Happy-New-Year-2014-Wallpapers

2013 international coastal cleanup

On Saturday, September 21, I joined the New York City Audubon at North Channel Bridge (renamed as the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge ) to participate in the 2013 Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup!

ocean

This is my first time volunteering with the New York City Audubon and it was a great experience. We boarded a little yellow school bus from their headquarters on 23rd Street for the short ride to the Jamaica Bay area.  All the supplies we needed for the cleanup were provided as well as water and snacks. But, nobody brought coffee???

CoastalCleanup_03

The New York City Audubon has many volunteer opportunities, classes, and events such as local harbor cruises, lecture series, and even bird-watching trips to destinations like Costa Rica.

CoastalCleanup_11

Our group consisted of 16 volunteers including the staff from the NYC Audubon. We cleaned the parking lot, the beach, and further down into the longer marsh grass covering ¼ of a mile of coastal area.

CoastalCleanup_09

CoastalCleanup_13

CoastalCleanup_14We found the usual items such as broken glass bottles, soda cans, and fishing line. We also found items such as statues, decorative scarves and clothing, that were apparently left behind from a ritual previously performed on the beach.

ICC_2013_01

ICC_2013_05

The International Cleanup is organized by the Ocean Conservancy, whose strong efforts to keep our ocean clean to protect and preserve coastal-marine life is a heroic act in itself. At the 2012 International Cleanup, 561,633 volunteers cleaned up almost 10 million pounds of trash. Now THAT is something to think about. It’s something I think about. I think about coffee too.

CoastalCleanup_12

Several large garbage bins were available in the parking lot and close to the beach entrance but most were overflowing with trash. One parking spot was littered on both sides with ice cream containers and spoons from Coldstone Creamery, as if a car of people enjoyed their ice cream treat, opened their car doors and dropped their trash on the parking lot instead of walking the few steps to the trash can. This lack of respect for the environment by behavior like this is disheartening for those of us who notice it.

ICC_2013_02

CoastalCleanup_02

The MOST important thing that I noticed is the determination and hard work that every volunteer exerted during this cleanup. The mood was somber after a few hours of work, maybe because it was a cloudy day followed by brief scattered showers. When it started to rain most of the volunteers only stopped to put on their rain coats. During the break everyone ate and rushed back out to work. I was really impressed that most of the volunteers were families and a few local beach goers that signed up to join us unexpectedly.

ICC_2013_03

We filled 27 bags of trash totaling 1,8 75 lbs! That’s almost a TON of trash we prevented from polluting this waterway any futher.

InternationalCleanup_03

InternationalCleanup_09

Afterwards, we took a moment to watch the birds scout out the newly exposed sand as low tide set in and breathe in the salty air and remind ourselves that we made one small step in protecting this beautiful area for everyone to enjoy now and in the future.

I want to THANK the New York City Audubon and all the volunteers that day, not just here but internationally because together we can make a difference. And THAT makes me HAPPY!