Collaboration 


I find that the most rewarding part of blogging is actually guest blogging because not only do you put yourself out there as a writer and expand your audience, but you also get to experience writing for a specific topic/purpose/audience that may be different than the ones you normally write for or about. 

This past week I was approached by a blogger to submit a piece specific for her blog audience of millenials (born in the range of years from 1985-1994) talking about real struggles faced by real millennials. As I was included in this age group, I had no trouble brushing off a certain post I had kept to myself – one with raw emotion that delved into the deepest darkest part of my life. And, to think that it was just sitting in a file on my computer waiting for this particular opportunity to be aired out… amazing and incredibly astounding that of all the people she could have asked, she chose to approach me and I happened to have the perfect post ready to go…

I believe God works in mysterious ways for reasons beyond my understanding. And if even one life can be changed, one perspective enlightened, by my post – I will be more than thrilled. As my post is boardering on shattering sterotypes and stigma around menta health, I believe it will do more to help others than anything else I have ever written or done.

Do you have a favorite blog to read? Do you ever wish you could contribute to it, too? I encourage you to put yourself out there. Comment and say you are interested in doing so. You never know whose lives you will touch and improve with the power of your words!

Go forth and work together to make a difference!

Collaboration

No Way In


This one is for all the graduates out there with horrendous student loans and no fair way in to the working world except through minimum wage – if you’re lucky. 

My struggle: I’m 32 years old. I’m getting up there in age and I still have not established myself in a career that is stable – forget well paid. I am always worried that the funding for my position will get cut like it did almost seven and a half years ago when I had just graduated from grad. school. 

The degree was supposed to land me a permanent position, but I was laid off due to budget cuts. The degree was specific to the public sector in which I worked, and with the economy in an unexpected downward spiral at the time, it was near impossible to find my way into a public organization at that time.

My network has landed me this job and it’s not that I’m far from grateful for it – I am grateful – but it’s the fact that I am not being given the chance at a better future and I see it happening to others around me. The reality of the situation is I’m fortunate to work with very decent individuals who are trying their best to make do with what they have. They, too, are overworked and underpaid.

We often have twelve-hour days for a stretch of almost three months without overtime pay. I end up volunteering those extra hours because the help is needed desperately.

I just wonder at any politician who has the gall to stand up and say they’ve created jobs. How in the world are people my age supposed to live on minimum wage? People like myself are barely making loan payments every month, paying part of a mortgage or rent, buying food to eat, and just barely surviving.

This isn’t what we went to school for and why we keep continuing to work hard. It’s not okay. This needs to change! Students who work hard in school should get a real break. I’m not talking about your one in a million free ride awarded to a student. I’m talking about job shadowing and job placement. I’m talking about lowering tuition to make it affordable. I’m talking about getting real and making education practical.

Who’s with me?

Pursue


To just go for your dreams without hesitation. This is where I’m headed right now – pursuing my fitness goals while setting an example for others. I am by no means fit, but I am committed to this journey of being my best self and I encourage you to do the same. 

It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life – be it school or work – however, it is ultimately up to us to make time for ourselves and challenge ourselves to be better every day.

Join me on my journey – I dare you!!! Do something for yourself today to make you healthier and happier. Enjoy it!

Follow me on Instagram @coachfunladybug and post your own journey for others to be inspired. Together, we can accomplish anything we put our mind to.

Check out my websites: www.beachbodycoach.com/tinatazekand

www.shakeology.com/tinatazekand

Fill out this short application to join me:

https://goo.gl/forms/iZPou2S4LBkYgqK23

And on Instagram: @tinatazekand
Pursue

Measure

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“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

When the going gets tough, do you stand up for yourself? For others? Or do you blend in to the sea of monotony and mindlessly conform to the standards set by others? In the face of injustice, do you cower in fear or bellow at the top of your lungs to be heard? What is it that you stand for? What do you believe?

This subject hits home for me especially in the wake of the Armenian Genocide (remembered on April 24th and every day of my life), and pardon me if I may interject a plea of urgency to promote a movie here: go see “The Promise!” This film is about injustice, faith, love, war, hatred, and good vs. evil.

What is the measure of a man/woman to you? To me, it’s doing the right thing when no one is looking, being true to your heart, being truthful even/especially when it stings, the epitome of being decent – this is what I believe and what I stand for.

March for justice on April 24, 2017:

 https://instagram.com/p/BTIUdLLFFSr/

Measure

Pause

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In the hustle and bustle of daily life it is often easy to forget what’s really important to us. It’s really crucial to find time to press pause every once in a while for self reflection and to just process.

Today I woke up with a little groggy feeling that forced me to slow down and really think about what I’ve been doing for others lately and I’ve found the best answer – I’ve just been myself: caring, open, honest, and lending a hand. Something as simple as that can go a long way in life, make a lasting impression, form a lasting bond, a meaningful relationship between coworkers, friends, family, strangers, etc.

When was the last time you stopped to smell the roses? Perhaps slowing down means reading a few interesting blog posts to you. Kudos to you, then! And as always, thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to press pause today!

Pause

Symptom


It was September 18, 2002, a sweltering heat wave was upon us as we stood in black clothes absorbing the sun’s rays on the peaceful green hillside. It was a bit of a climb getting to the exact grave site. And I stood there with my family sobbing and I felt nothing – nothing but anger and confusion. How could someone just want to die? How could someone in my family just decide it was time to go? They just did and that day I learned that sometimes depression, anxiety, and paranoia were symptoms of something much larger and scarier than they seemed. That they could take someone away from me, out of my life, after a long and slow torturous downward spiral.

A symptom is only an indicator of something larger – a single fraction of the bigger picture which we can’t see sometimes until it’s too late.

I miss my uncle, and I wish I had known what it was like to suffer with his symptoms sooner – maybe I could have done something to change his mind, to convince him to take his meds, to convince him to stop drinking, but I doubt it would have helped. You see, he didn’t accept the fact that he was suffering from these symptoms and he refused to get help. For that, I am very sorry that I didn’t take any of the opportunities I had to influence him positively in his hour of need. This is one of my biggest regrets, but sometimes reason goes out the window when illness consumes someone. His illness was called schizoaffective disorder.

I am determined to tell as many people about this disorder as I can – it is often misdiagnosed because there isn’t as much research on it as there might be for other conditions. It is hard to pinpoint and diagnose. 

Schizoaffective disorder consists of the hallucinations and paranoia that are characteristic of schizophrenia coupled with mood disorders like anxiety and depression or mania. Many people with this disorder are misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder because they share similar symptoms.

Some causes of schizoaffective disorder are genetics, brain chemistry and structure, drug use, and stress. 

It’s a rare psychological condition believed to affect less than 1% of the population, (more than 200,000 cases per year in the U.S.) but it needs to be talked about and treated immediately. There needs to be an awareness about this condition and all other mental health disorders that exist because people’s lives are at stake if we don’t talk about and recognize these conditions. We will lose them to a disorder, and having experienced that loss, it’s not what we want at all for anyone.

Symptom

Acceptance

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As I type this there are approximately 3,995 living, breathing people waiting for a new heart and one of them is dear to me. I know him. I’ve known him for a year and nine months, I’ve worked with him, and he has supported me in my work for all that time, never telling me until now that he has health issues – major health issues. Nevertheless, he is in the ICU at one of the top hospitals in the country, doing just that – waiting – painstakingly for someone else’s heart to be a match. He’s higher up on the list, but that doesn’t mean it will be any time soon. It could be any minute, any day, any month, or so.

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Typically, it takes four months to find a heart that is a match. But there’s nothing typical about being in this situation. I’m constantly surprised and humbled at how positive an attitude he maintains throughout all of this. The only dietary restriction he has is about consuming low sodium foods. There are things he craves once in a while, but most of the time he forces himself to eat – not having much of an appetite.

He has accepted the reality of the situation – that there is nothing he can do but wait and pray. This acceptance has, in a way, set him free. He knows there is a good chance that he might not make it through and he has looked back on his accomplishments knowing he has done a lot of good in this lifetime. And this gives him peace.

Common Diseases That May Lead to Transplantation

I don’t know exactly which one of these he has, but this man is unlike any other. The biggest hearted individual I’ve ever met – he always has room in his prayers for everyone and every issue we share.

This is where you come in. Whether you believe in God or not, all I am asking of you is to say a prayer for those in his shoes – that they receive the care and attention they need and deserve. That they receive the organ they so desperately need and that their bodies do not reject this gift but accept it – this gift of life that we are blessed to give one another.

Just a quiet prayer for health – for you and those dear to you. That’s all.

Acceptance