An Open Letter To My Conservative Father About the Women’s March

Dear Dad,
Moses Reilly…  I saw what you’ve been saying about myself and the millions of women who decided to go out and defend our rights (peacefully) on Saturday. It seems as though your kind Christian heart could not seem to find any empathy for the women standing up for ourselves…But given your history, you’ve never really been a fan of women standing up for themselves to begin with, have you?

I thought you might need a little refresher as to why so many women (and men) took part in this movement, because it seems as though you may have been misinformed by all your conservative “fans” on Facebook.


First of all I marched for my daughter
(one of the many grandchildren you don’t give shit about), so hopefully one day she wont have to march for her rights. I marched for her future voice. 
(My amazing little girl that will learn to scream as loud as she can to make her voice heard. I will not raise her in fear, like you raised me. I will not make her seek validation, like you did. I will not make her put her feelings last, like you did.)


We marched for unity. I wanted all of my fellow sisters to know that I stood by them. That I had their backs regardless of skin color, religion, sexual preference, physical ability, age, political party, or profession. 

(I know this solidarity is intimidating for you because it’s opposite of what you raised me to believe in. It’s also the opposite of what you scared most of the women in your life into believing. Keep a woman alone, she may never be strong enough to leave, right?)


We marched for reproductive rights. Access to birth control and the ability to get an abortion if we so please due to whatever circumstances that make us feel we’re not ready for (or ever will be ready for) motherhood. We marched for the rights to our bodies. 

(The same rights that helped you and your former girlfriend to obtain an abortion years ago when you both were in agreement that you weren’t wanting to have a child together. There were already far too many you couldn’t properly take care of.)


We marched to let the world know we will not remain silent any longer.

(You or anyone else will no longer be able to keep me or any other woman’s mouth shut, and I can imagine that that makes you fairly upset. After all, where would you be in this world without guilt & manipulation as your best friend?)


We marched for strength & empowerment.

(The thing that I think you hate the most out of all of this. Had my own mother known her own strength or had some support earlier in her life, maybe you wouldn’t have been able to beat the shit out of her for as long as you did, or make her feel like less of a person by mentally, emotionally, sexually and physically abusing her. Maybe you wouldn’t have been able to monitor her phone calls, fuck up her credit, or use her daughter as leverage against her. Maybe she would have left long before you put a gun up against her head, or took her children away, or let her believe that she was anything but a saint of a woman. You took away her dignity, her concept of self-worth and her opportunity to be a mother. You took those things… And to this day, you’ve never apologized or made amends to her for stealing such a huge part of her life. No wonder you’re so against this women’s movement. )

So dad, I marched for her. I marched for all women who don’t think they’re strong enough. I marched for the women at home not able or ALLOWED to march. I marched for the women not even allowed to turn on their televisions to see how many of us showed up. The number so astounding that it’s hard to ignore. I marched to send a message to men like you that we will no longer remain silent. We will no longer feel less than or put down because of who we are. If any single woman at home felt empowered by the march, it was worth me going. If any single woman felt their voice now be heard, it was worth me chanting. If any single woman were waiting for a sign to start believing in their strength and saw it that day, it was worth me marching. 

And it was worth YOU shutting the fuck about it.

 You have enough to preach about, much I don’t agree with. I’ve remained respectful towards you and your reputation my entire life, but now enough is enough. You have had enough time in this life to be the voice for women, WE DON’T NEED YOU TO BE OUR VOICE ANYMORE. 

Although you’ve mailed back my letter, you cannot mail back this one. You cannot silence me any longer. I will not be ignored.

Love, 
Your feminist daughter, Alyssa 

Feeling all the feels this Christmas

Christmas time is a strange but beautiful time of year, I’m always chasing that Christmas feeling and I’m sad some years when it never comes. Being on the South West Coast with the possibility of snow at zero doesn’t help much either. 

My husband never celebrated Christmas before me, as he grew up without them. So he tends to take my lead on just how festive we’ll be for the holidays. Considering how sick he’s been this past month, this year has been a ‘not even mailing Christmas cards’ kind of year. I’m trying my best for New Years cards, but it’s looking mighty slim. It’s just been tough keeping up with everything to be completely honest. My energy is depleted and I’m tired. I’m milking the fact that this is the last year I can get away with my minimalist approach to Xmas. Next year, Mia’s presents will need to be kept in a specific hiding place other than the car and we will probably indeed have to go visit Santa for her first time. I hope though when she’s 25 she won’t be shaming me for her not having her own ‘screaming baby on santa’s lap’ photo before the age of 3. I just don’t have the heart or enough caffeine or time for all 3 of us to stand in line at The Grove for an hour+ to meet the bearded man that my husband still doesn’t like and Mia will definitely hate. He asks me why we have to lie to our daughter about this fucking jolly guy in the first place and I tell him “just because!” That’s why. 

I think about my family so far away this Christmas and the people who tried their hardest to keep traditions alive for me. It was truly all the women in my family. My aunts, my grandmothers, and my great gramma. My maternal grandmother, now just shy of 90 years old, raised my two younger brothers… And every year she did presents and stockings for not only them, but for me as well. She always made sure I had a stocking to open because she didn’t want me to feel left out. She’s seriously the most amazing woman for many reasons, but for loving us so much is number one. I see her getting older now and it hurts. She’s worked so hard her whole life, never being able to rest. She raised 4 children of her own, 3 of which were adopted and then when things got rough for my own mom, she became a mother again and raised my brothers. She’s a literal saint in my book. And she’s my hero. 

We went home to Massachusetts last month to visit & Mia helped her put the ornaments on the tree. It was one of my absolute favorite parts of our trip. Some ornaments well over my mother’s age of 55. There were more than we could even fit on the tree. We literally ran out of room. What a beautiful problem to have. Mia was in heaven learning from her great-grandmother how to open the loops and put the ornaments on each branch.

In my motherhood now I know that the magic won’t simply come to me anymore, I am the magic. Such as the amazing women of my family, I must keep the magic going for my own family. I hope I can live up to how fucking great they are. xo Merry Christmas 🎄

Severing Ties

… Not ‘toes’ like I first wrote. But if you want a toe, hell, I can get you a toe by 3:00 o’clock this afternoon… with nail polish. 

No but in all seriousness, man have I been going through some shit lately… I mean, we all have right? 2016 has been a year of just wtf. What a crazy year it’s been. But right now I want to get a little more personal. My own little journey these past few months has been a ride, let me tell you honey ✋🏻 And not a fun ride, like at a theme park. A scary ride, like when you get picked up by the weirdo Uber driver.

Anyway, I got through this what-the-fuck ride and by the end of it, ended up somewhere good. 

I started making some shifts in my life and at times I felt unsure about a lot of them honestly. Anxiety has a way of confusing you when it comes to gut instincts… but I made the changes anyway. I did the things I felt but weren’t sure were right and now I’m grateful for the uncomfortable. And although it isn’t quite the new year yet, I’d like to label 2016 THE YEAR OF SEVERING TIES… I severed THE FUCK out of these ties and damn, it feels good. I mean seriously, my middle name should just be ‘Machete’

I’m almost 30 and I’m just now realizing that I’m a fucking powerhouse. And you know what? You are too. The sad thing about women is that we almost never know just how fucking great we are. We’re so quick to notice it in others but rarely acknowledge it in ourselves. Cutting ties makes me remember that I actually have wings. I’m not tied to anyone’s opinion of me.

 

MY number one thing to sever this year is: Resentment… Because honestly, who the fuck needs it? Resentfulness in itself is so greedy. We don’t mean for it to be, but it is. If you’re resenting someone or something, you’re attempting to hold back how you really feel for the aide or comfort of others. We always want to spare other’s feelings don’t we? But we never notice the imaginary tally we’ve created of all their wrongdoings. We expect people to read our minds and when they don’t, we’re disappointed with them. 

At the end of the day, who’s watching out for your feelings though if it’s not you? Who’s speaking up for you? Who the fuck is filling your cup homie? No one, because you gotta do that for yourself. Literally NO ONE can fill your cup for you BUT you. Sometimes it’s uncomfortably akward and it’s anxiety inducing and it hurts and it can make you angry… but hell, good. Get fucking angry. Get ripshit. Get good and mad and then afterward go home, cry your eyes out or sip some wine or take a bath and right click your mouse… or do all three. There’s nothing wrong with bleeding hearts. Move through what you’ve got to move through: the mad, the sad, the uncomfortable. But move through it. Acknowledge it. Don’t try to surpass it. Grow from it. And then change the fucking world. Change the world by speaking your truth. 

Ladies, aren’t you done with being nice? I’m so fucking done with being nice at the expense of my own feelings. Kindness is one thing, spread that shit like butter! But nice? Eh, nice can fuck off.


I’ve had & have so many ties to cut, it can feel overwhelming. Ties to useless but overbearing guilty feelings, to an outdated version of myself, to who I thought I’m supposed to be, to ideas of what I thought I knew, to never asking for help, to not being good enough, to never feeling worth it, to certain family members, and to a lot of ‘friends’. I ripped out those hooks and I dug out those claws and I grew my own fucking claws instead. From an outsiders point of view, it may look selfish. To the people I’ve directly cut off, I know it looks very selfish. But that’s okay. I’m okay with letting go of bad for me and wishing it the best. I’m too fucking old for bad for me… 
And in letting go of all my heavy, I’ve attracted the light… Some straight up badass people, things, and ideas into my life. I’ve rekindled old friendships that were worth rekindling, I’ve made new friends that by all means seem worth keeping. Ive gotten better at my job, I’ve significantly eased my own mind, I’ve started learning to accept my body for what it’s become, I’ve allowed myself to know that I can attain more, and I’ve accepted the fact that I’ve attained so much already. Most importantly I’ve absolutely become a better mother, wife, and woman (self). 

Self awareness, acceptance and love is a life long journey though. I’m not ignorant to the fact that what I’ve learned so far is just a pebble in the ocean. Just because I’m in a good place right now, doesn’t mean the waters won’t become rougher in the future (what is up with these ocean comparisons right now? I can’t stop). Shit is going to happen and nothing in this world ever stays the same. But at least now I’ve learned how to fucking float. All I needed was a life jacket made up of SSRI’s haha… No but seriously, cutting ties with the shit that was keeping me drowning was all on me. And I did that. And I’m doing that. And holy shit, it feels good. 

xo Love to you mamas. Sever those fucking ties.

Cold Coffee Club Movement

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Welcome to the Cold Coffee Club!

 

The premise of this movement is a simple yet complicated one: Unity & Empowerment through truth. A safe feminist space (don’t let the F word scare you, I PROMISE it purely means equality) for ALL women. Mamas & Non-Mamas welcome!

Everyday I drink cold coffee. Sometimes by choice, but that’s usually not the case. I drink it because it’s a cup of coffee that’s sitting on my desk for hours on end while I’m busy doing other things such as: Working, momming, writing, ruminating over something… whether it’s stress, an idea, or BOTH. Sometimes I’m doing ALL of the above. I feel like a HOT mess 95% of the time while I take a sip of my COLD coffee in 20 – 30 minute increments until it’s far past the point that should be considered drinkable… But the point is: I’m getting shit done, I’m thinking things through, I’m hustling through life. A cold cup of coffee tastes like shit… But if you really think about it, it has QUITE a deeper meaning for all of us. Whether you realize it or not.

So ladies, my question to you is:  WHAT makes your coffee cold? (yes my dear, tea counts too! Yes, lukewarm coffee too! Don’t taking this too literally)…

What’s on your mind? What’s really on your mind? What’s making you feel alive? What’s keeping you going? What do YOU ruminate over? These moments that we don’t normally give a second thought to or give EVERY thought into. Are you overthinking something? If so, what is it? Are you putting in extra hours at work while trying to stay awake? Are you in the gym pushing one last rep while your coffee sits alone & waits for you in your locker? Are you trying not to pull your hair out because you didn’t know just how terrible the “terrible twos” can be? Are you a brand new mom watching your baby sleep, too afraid to walk away or fall asleep on your on? Are you practicing over & over for a huge audition? Are you preparing for that massive presentation? Are you sitting in the hospital just waiting for what feels like years for some word of reassurance? Are you piecing together out how to make that relationship work? Are you waiting for a big call? Are you creating something beautiful? (I think we’re all doing that, whether we know it or not) What are YOU doing, what are YOU thinking, you badass woman you? Are you willing to speak your truth? I hope so…

Everyday, we go online and we see what everyone else is doing and we belittle what we ourselves are doing. We take what we see of others as truth and we feel less than. We forget that most of these things are not real life, or just a small small part of their real life. It’s so easy to forget. And it’s so easy to feel isolated and of a lesser value while comparing our realities to other’s photos.

This movement is to remind us that we are REAL people behind these photos. We’re REAL BADASS women who have a lot to say and have a lot to share and who can offer support amongst each other. So this is what I’ll need from you for your submission:

TWO SEPARATE PHOTOS & YOUR TRUTH (a written submission, as short or long as you want)

  1. One unedited photo of your current reality (or your past); the reason your cup is cold. – This can be a selfie, a picture of the room you’re in, a picture of the person that you’re thinking about most (please do not submit photos of other peoples faces without their permission), etc. Really, this photo can be anything. It doesn’t need to be a current photo either, it can be from the past if that happens to be a time in your life that you feel you’d most like to share. A real photo. Maybe a photo you wouldn’t normally post. But whatever you feel comfortable with.
  2. One unedited photo of your cup {preferably a top view} – In this photo, I’d love to see your cup in a place that it most normally sits in. (mine is surrounded by papers on my desk)*Please include your Instagram name so that I can tag you. (If you’d like to remain anonymous, that’s absolutely okay too, just be sure to let me know!)
  3. A submission of what you’d like to say for the entry. – Anything you’d like to share is welcome, whatever length. Short or long, all will be shared. My ONLY rule is that these posts will not be used to tear anyone else down. That is not to say you can’t voice your feelings about things your passionate about! But any type of woman shaming will not be published simply because I’m really wanting this to be a safe space and about YOU or your reality. Each entry will be a gift to both you and the world. How lucky we are to live in a time where we can share real pieces of our lives with each other & connect and offer words of support, beneath ALL the bullshit?

 

Then submit with the subject headline Cold Coffee Club to:

Missalyss57@gmail.com

 

When you’ve shared with me your truth, I’ll then be posting it on:

@cold.coffee.club 

 

 

This will be a safe space. This isn’t selective. I don’t care if you have 0 followers, 10 followers, 10,000 followers, 1 million followers, etc. It’s all the same to us. A voice is a voice is a voice. This is ALL inclusive.

I kept searching for a community and always ended up empty handed, so I finally realized it was time to create my own.

Please do feel free to follow if you’d like so that you may be able to see all the other submissions being represented & offer words (or emojis) of support. Also, after your submission has been posted, you may post it as well, but only if you want to ladies! If you DO post, please hashtag #coldcoffeeclub & tag @cold.coffee.club so that I can see! Also, more than one submission is absolutely allowed, now or in the future. I encourage multiple entries. I’d really like to keep this movement going.

I look forward to reading your truths ladies & sharing a badass feminist space!

 

 

“Heres to strong women…

May we know them.

May we be them.

May we raise them.”

(Ps. We’re ALL strong women)