Sometimes things in life catch my heart in a certain way and there is nothing else I can do about it on any given day except write it out. Sometimes, you have to break every “blogging rule” about a niche blog and write exactly what you want, when you want, and know that you have to get it out or you’ll scream. Sometimes you have to be 300% authentic and true to yourself because no matter how many times you try to write the other 19 drafts sitting in your blog folder, nothing will come out except what is really weighing on your heart.
These thoughts are written with the permission of the family.
Maybe you’ve heard of Beverly Carter, a real estate agent in Arkansas, who simply went to work one day, and never came home. Her loss hit me hard, (not that it’s about me) for several reasons, most importantly, because it wasn’t necessary. She was a hard-working woman who did exactly that-went to work. Within the confines of her job, she was wise with her safety. In fact, I would say she was wiser than the majority of the women in the work force, and certainly beat me out on a few occasions. Truthfully, I was surprised at the actions she took to protect herself! Most women I know DO NOT think about these things regularly!
I’ve met clients on the way home before to have them sign paperwork. I’ve picked up checks by myself, and worked alone in my office after dark. I’ve done what I considered “above and beyond” or nice things for my clients just to make their days a little easier, and not once did it cross my mind that it could have ended badly which is odd when you read on to the things I do to protect myself.
I have to tell you ladies, my main concern is now for you. I couldn’t have counted them if I wanted to, but the sheer volume of posts I read after this tragedy that were fear based responses truly made me angry and hurt my heart for women everywhere.
Ladies, FEAR is a problem
There is a monumental difference between making decisions in your life based on a fear response and diligence for safety. For example, many of the comments from both men and women stated “It’s time to go and get a concealed carry license”.
For the record, I have no problems with individuals and gun ownership. What I do have a problem with is people who don’t know if they could REALLY look someone in the eye and pull the trigger, who owns a gun and magically thinks she is safe. What I do have a problem with is someone going to class, getting a gun and shoving it in their nightstand without ever using it again and thinking she is safe. Are you going to go to a gun range once a month and make sure you can use it? Are you going to practice for a worse case scenario?
I have a problem with people who will use this tragedy to promote self-defense classes. I hate to break it to you ladies, but as someone who has been taking Wing Chun Kung Fu for about 6 weeks, I can tell you that even going to class twice a week, I FORGET stuff! My husband and I practice at home and I FORGET STUFF. My own Sifu (Master), proof read this post for me and said he has frequently come across techniques while teaching us that he hasn’t used in 15 years or more!
Taking a single self-defense class is not going to save your life. However, if you take a self-defense class, and you and your spouse, friends, roommates, kids, etc. practice the techniques you’ve learned several times a week WITHOUT FAIL that one class might save your life. Even so, it might not.
DILIGENCE IS TAKING CHARGE
When I was 19-ish I worked at a coffee shop in a shopping mall. We had tables for our customers to use while drinking their coffee. One day a construction worker, who was working in the building, sat at that table all day long and stared at me. When I went down for my lunch break, I had a creepy feeling, turned around, and that guy was so close he was practically in my face. Needless to say, my “spunky” and blunt self said a few choice words to him along with a strong “BACK OFF NOW”. He followed me back to my job and continued to stare. I called security, and not only did security run him off, a guard escorted me to the car, AND followed me over half way home to make sure I was not being followed. After that night, I started the following:
I always leave stores with my keys in my hand, and yes, I have a plan for those keys other than getting in my car if need be.
I always make sure my husband knows the routes I travel and when I should be home, because anything can happen, including car accidents.
I am learning self-defense techniques through Kung Fu, not because I think I’ll need it, but because I don’t ever want to need it and not have that skill.
I make as many strangers as possible walk in front of me, and even go so far as to fake politeness by holding a door open, so no one is behind me. If someone does move behind me, I now turn at an angle to them so they can be viewed from the corner of my eyes.
All of these things may make me sound paranoid, but I don’t care. If you have had the ever living begeezus scared out of you once or twice, you’ll understand the difference between reacting to a situation and being proactive. None of these things guarantee your safety, but if I polled you right now, how many would admit to doing half of these things every day? I’m betting 1-2%.
You have a right to live without fear!
I don’t care what plan you choose, whether it’s a gun, self-defense classes, martial arts, or just never going anywhere alone, but PLEASE pick one, practice it, and become diligent with your life. Make a decision about your protection because you know it’s what is best for you. Make a choice to live without fear because we have a RIGHT to live how WE choose. Look deep inside and ask yourself those tough questions, “Could I really shoot?” “How would I react to…” and make it a part of your life, not out of fear, but because you are worth it.
Do you practice any of the techniques I mentioned? Do you have other techniques that work? Have you ever had to use them? Tell us about them!