More

She Could Hear Every Word He Said Through The Open Window, So She Started Typing

A few years ago, my colleague Angie Aker heard terrible, violent words coming out of her neighbor's house. Not knowing what else to do, and fearing what was happening when she couldn't hear, she wrote this.

She Could Hear Every Word He Said Through The Open Window, So She Started Typing

Dear Woman

Dear Woman,

You don’t know me and I have no business writing you this. You may have 50 people around you who are helping you with this situation and need nothing from me. On the other hand, you may have no one you feel you can candidly speak with and need just one person to tell you that you are not alone. You are not alone.


He yells at you. We hear it. He calls you demeaning names. We hear it. I don’t know what else happens when the doors and windows close and we are no longer your witnesses — but make no mistake about it, you are not the things he calls you. Everyone on this block knows that. He has not stripped you of your credibility with us. You may feel stripped ... of your personal power, of your personal dignity, of the things that used to make you feel special before he made you feel like everything you do is wrong or bad. The only person who has the authority to give those things away is you. The only person who can restore those things, a bit at a time, is you.

You are not bad. You are good. Whatever little thing you didn’t do according to his standards doesn’t matter in the long run. You can keep trying to jump through the hoops, hoops which he will purposely change at the last minute so you are designed to fail, desperately hoping that he will see when you do something “right” that you are worthy of his love ... that you can be trusted ... that you really DO love him. You can keep waiting for this man to CHOOSE you once you’ve proven yourself “good enough.” Or you can tell him to go to hell and you can choose yourself.

Years ago, it was me jumping through hoops. It was me waiting desperately to be considered “good enough.” I realized it just before it would have been too late to save myself. I salvaged the little remnants of love for myself that were left and quietly, defiantly rebuilt everything inside of me that he tried to break down. He didn’t like this. He almost killed me for it. But I chose myself. I lived to tell. Come ask me how it worked out.

Love,

Angie

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
True

This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

Keep Reading Show less
More

4 minutes of silence can boost your empathy for others. Watch as refugees try it out.

We could all benefit from breaking down some of the walls in our lives.

Images via Amnesty Poland

This article originally appeared on 05.26.16


You'd be hard-pressed to find a place on Earth with more wall-based symbolism than Berlin, Germany.

But there, in the heart of Germany's capital city, strangers sat across from one another, staring into each other's eyes. To the uninitiated, it may look as though you've witnessed some sort of icy standoff. The truth, however, couldn't be more different.

This was about tearing down walls between people.

Keep Reading Show less
True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."