I Was Duped!


Yesterday I wrote a post about assumptions and how we often assume we know people, but we don’t. Today I discovered a young woman whom I followed online and communicated with for almost a year is fake. She went by the name of Emily and her blog name was “See Girl Live”; she had a Twitter and Tumblr account by the same name. For the past month her blog account and then her twitter account were closed. I “assumed” (there’s that word again!) she did so because her posts said her health was getting worse. The last couple of days someone pretending to be her mother (or could have been the fake Emily) posted she was too weak to respond but our comments were being forwarded to her. This morning I found out her Tumblr account was deactivated via a tweet from someone who said Emily was a fake. At first I got mad and defended Emily tweeting that she probably must have died this morning; then I decided to search Tumblr to see if any of her other followers knew her fate; that’s when I found out she is definitely fake and that this is not the first time this anonymous online person has done this. This revelation BLEW MY MIND! I’m still processing the news.

How can anyone pretend to have cancer? Ok, one reason is to get money via donations and another is for attention. Even if those are the reasons he/she faked cancer, I would NEVER tempt fate that way. I wouldn’t even joke about it. Hasn’t this person heard of karma? Or the Law of Attraction?

I communicate with a lot people online. Many reach out to me via this blog and ask for suggestions or just need someone to bounce ideas off of. I am hoping they are real. Let this story be a lesson to all of us that we really have no idea who we are communicating with and definitely DO NOT send anyone money unless you thoroughly vetted them!

Be well! Be Cautious!


Beware of Assumptions


There are three hundred units in the condominium complex where I live. The residents come from a variety of backgrounds, including ethnicity, a wide range of ages and sexual orientation. For the most part we get along pretty good. Many of us are dog owners and it is those persons whom I usually interact with when walking my dogs. Like dogs, we are pretty consistent with our schedules when it comes to what time we walk them. There is one dog owner, Chris whom I talk with most of the time and we usually talk about the funny things our pooches are doing. He looks to be in his early 60s and is a white male. Other than what I just told you, I don’t know anything more about him… until today. He likes to roller blade; listens to the heavy metal band ACDC (he owns several of their CDs), practices yoga, is vegetarian and meditates. Never in a million years would I have guessed that he did all that, which got me to thinking about how often (all the time) I “assume” I know who people are.

I know I’m not the only one who does this because I’ve talked with others who make assumptions about people without evidence to back it up. For example; we have a problem in the complex with trash not being thrown inside the dumpster. It ends up alongside and makes a big mess. A neighbor told me she believes it is a “renter,” even though she never sees who does it. I asked her why she believes that and she said, “Because renters don’t take care of their properties like homeowners.” I’m a renter and I care about where I live and keeping my space clean. I mentioned that to her and she didn’t respond. The other day I was talking with a guy who is a cosmetologist. He dresses pretty hip and enjoys the music “scene,” so imagine my surprise when he told me that guys who have a lot of tattoos are “low life.” My son has more tattoos than I can count (except for his neck, face and hands. Thank God! He’d really be judged if he did).  Since this person works in a hair salon, he talks with women all day but when it comes to dating, he stopped trying. In his opinion, women like “bad boys,” like those with numerous tattoos and who work in auto repair shops! At that point I am almost laughed out loud! Who wouldn’t want to date a mechanic? Cars always need something fixed, but in his mind, they are  all “low lifes.”

How many times have you judged someone by the way they look?  We are visual creatures and It’s easy to be wrong and I bet most of us most of the time. Even if we think we know someone because we work with them all week; how many of us have different personalities behind closed doors than what we show to the public?  There used to be a woman who used to live across from me, who was soft-spoken and always apologizing for something. She came across as a “victim,” but on two occasions I could hear her inside her condo screaming at someone (I’m guessing on the phone), so she wasn’t nearly as timid as she came across in person. I know we all are capable of that and are more relaxed in our home but, the point I’m making is we assume we know people but maybe we really don’t.

I know the majority of people who I talk to in my complex don’t know who I am either. They know I use a walker and have two dogs and sometimes wear weird outfits (that’s what my husband says anyway) and that’s about it. My neighbors ask me how I am and when I say, “fine, ” the next ten minutes are spent with me listening to an update about what’s new in their lives or “gossip.” I’m never asked what I do all day or what inspires me or what music I listen to, and I don’t offer that information either. I don’t know why, I just don’t. I write about it instead. Maybe meditation has changed the way I relate to people. I know I don’t enjoy listening to gossip anymore (it’s usually information based on wrong assumptions anyway) and I really don’t like negative speech.

Ever since I got well and started studying Buddhism, my perspective changed. I now believe we are all responsible for our own actions/choices.  From what I observed, most people who are negative, blame others for problems they helped create but they don’t see it that way. It’s not my job to point that out… well, to be honest the few times I did, those persons gave me the “stink eye” so I stopped. I came to the conclusion that some people like drama, that’s probably why reality shows are popular. For me, I want to live a peaceful existence. I had more than my share of drama when I had cancer…  thank you very much.

The next time you talk with someone, ask them questions (that is, if you’re interested in finding out who they are), then see if your assumptions about them are correct. You may be surprised what you find out.



Christmas: A Time for Reflection


The Christmas season has many meanings; for some it’s the celebration of the birth of Jesus; others enjoy the hustle and bustle of shopping for that perfect gift and going to the holiday “office” party. Christmas was never a huge deal for me; I like celebrating birthdays more. Most of my adult life was spent working on Christmas Eve as a waitress. I always volunteered to work so someone else could go home to see their relatives. For many, Christmas is the only time they see loved ones, although when my son was young, I did stay home so we could eat Christmas dinner with relatives and open presents.

Now, Christmas has a new meaning for me. For the past four years I think about the events that led up to my cancer diagnosis. I was working on a small boat dealing Black Jack for a Christmas party December 24th. I remember the exact moment I felt bad, although at the time I couldn’t explain my physical symptoms. All I knew was I felt bad. Real bad. I couldn’t wait to get off the boat and go home. Two days later I was admitted to the hospital and my journey back to wellness began.

For years I suffered bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Every year it was worse and the year before I was diagnosed, I stopped going to public places, like flea markets (my favorite place to go) or walking my dogs in the park. If it didn’t have a public bathroom I could reach within two minutes, I stayed home. Work was a whole other problem. I got up two hours earlier than necessary in hopes that my morning bowel movements were completely done before my morning commute. Freeways were off-limits, so I took surface streets instead, in case I had the urge to go. Fear of having an accident in my pants was always on my mind because it already happened several times before.

Today I have a colostomy bag. It makes my life better. Some people say they would rather die than have to wear one, but maybe if they were given the choices I had, they would change their minds. It doesn’t matter. We all have our own ideas of what “quality of life” means to us. As the years go by I am more and more grateful to not only be alive, but healthy as well. I have everything I need to live a comfortable life. There isn’t one single thing I would ask Santa for… except… to help those going through cancer treatments to experience peace, love and faith so they too will find healing.


I hope you are spending this day doing exactly what you want. After I’m done with this post, I will walk my dogs, eat a healthy meal and curl up with a good book. Hubby has to work but will be home soon.

Merry Christmas! Happy Chanukah! Happy Holidays!