2019…lets be friends.

Our human nature is so fickle. Sensationalism has had its way with me this past year.

10am I was in a valley, asking to simply be seen.

11am I was singing on a mountain top. 

12pm I was fighting anxiety and 1pm I was surrendering. 

2pm the thought of food made me sick and 3pm I had ordered the entire McDonalds dollar menu and a large mocha without feeling a calorie.

I’m not even pregnant. Imagine…

Anyways, as I rode the waves, latched onto Gods word in belief, the pain slowly faded. As I continued the “ride the wave method” and “this too shall pass” mentality, I found the waves losing strength. And my peace returning. 

There was a time this past summer (one of many times) our toddler refused to go to sleep and I desperately needed him to sleep. I felt like I was going to break and I needed privacy and a safe place to do so. I needed to close his bedroom door, turn on the tv and go hide under my covers and let it rain. 

I had just got done reading some incredibly hurtful messages from my sons dad who I still love deeply, and found myself screaming inside about what I did to deserve this.

I was being told I didn’t have a good enough job. None of the four jobs I had were good enough. I was being put down because the school I am attending isn’t good enough. I was being told I didn’t make enough money. I was being accused of being after a paycheck I never wanted from him, but accepted for our son. I was criticized at every turn, every decision. Nothing was good enough. I was being pulled in 20 directions while doing everything I could to stay in recovery and not relapse in my eating disorder. 

A disorder that remains incredibly socially acceptable today, but nearly ended my life. A disorder that there is still very little accessible education around. And probably the hardest to find support groups for without a 45 minute drive.

“Just keep the weight on. Just keep the weight on.” Is what I was telling myself.

I had hit a limit I didn’t know I had. I just needed our son to stay in his bed and stay asleep. After attempting the 5th time to get our son to bed, I sat on my knees at the end of his bed, defeated, and plopped my face down on his lap. I started praying. It was the only thing I could think to do.

Right as I felt the wave of tears coming up, our son grabs my head with both his hands and pulls my face upwards and looked me straight in the eyes. He pushes my head back into his lap and starts stroking my hair. 

I picked him up after a minute and sat on the bedroom floor with him in my lap, cradling his whole 34 lbs of amazing. It was the only thing he wanted all along. He just wanted to be held and for me to sing him to sleep. He fell asleep almost immediately. 

That night changed my life. It changed my perspective. It changed my vision. It changed my relationship with our son.

As I’m holding our son on his bedroom floor, alls I remember is crying and asking God why he chose me for this role. Weeping, I have the audacity to try and be mad at God and tell him he made the wrong choice. Our son deserved a stronger, more capable, less needy, less selfish, more emotionally stable and mature parent. Not a parent who lets little lies and jabs get the best of her. 

I begged God to speak to me and just tell me what I was suppose to do. I was trying everything I could to simply survive this crazy and I knew I didn’t need to live like this. I couldn’t understand. I just wanted to understand. I found myself asking God “why would you keep me here? Why would you save my life if I’m not going to be able to do anything right!!? I’m doing the best I can. How long is this going to last? Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it..”

Feeling sorry for my abundant life while trying to tell God he’s wrong about where he had me and who he had me with. A real winner here.

As soon as I stopped talking, what I heard was a reminder. “I got you covered. I got it under control. I just want what’s broken. I’m right here. You’re doing it. It’s done. You’re mine. It’s mine. Trust me.”

I laid on the floor and cried quietly for longer than I can remember. I may have even fallen asleep cross legged on that race car rug with my back against the wall and our son in my lap and arms. I’m not sure I’ve ever held him that way before.

With all of the pain and frustration, all of the criticism and backlash, all of the defense and fighting, alls I took from that night was gratitude. The deepest peace and appreciation for Gods love, I think I’ve ever felt. I was heard.

I cried because of the expectation I had had for someone who I believed loved me. An expectation I had to own up to. An assumption I made, putting someone in a place they weren’t in, and then being let down. I cried because I was wrong. 

Getting ready to dive into another round of court battles in two days. This time without an attorney. My energy levels are drained and just today I considered caving. More than once. I’m exhausted and don’t know what the best thing to do is at this very moment.

I’ve been up all night. Late enough to catch the morning news and make sure the recycling got put out on time. I don’t have the answers. And it feels good to not know anything besides the fact that I’m covered. That no matter what’s ahead of our family, I have a family. That no matter the struggles and growing pains I may face with my career, I have a job. Many. Jobs. And that even though we are struggling right now….This too shall pass. 

I read a meme the other day (I love funny memes), that said something like:

I came into 2018 like “come at me Hoe”

2019 I’m like “you know, why don’t we sit down and talk about it. No need to jump to conclusions or make any hasty decisions….let’s be friends. Can I buy you a drink? Would you like a foot rub?”

Surrender is no joke. The struggle has been tough. Anyone who is committed to their recovery knows how real it is. 

But without doubt, there wouldn’t be any room for Faith. 

Keep the Faith they tell me. Keep your peace. 

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. 

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It feels good to tell the truth about my hair.

Life just keeps going.

Thank God.

The world keeps spinning. Which means I keep moving. Full steam ahead.

It wouldn’t sound so cheesy if I sang it.

As an entrepreneur that cannot make their small business their main priority, due to kids and other full time jobs that guarantee a check,  I feel like i’m doing a pretty damn good job.

“Kids. Cakes. and Caring Less” is now “Kids. Cameras. and Caring less.”

Because of course, after this long thought out plan for my future and diving into a long term passion for sugar, I was pushed out.

After a year in the bakery, I had to say goodbye.

I went on medical leave for three months, and the majority of it focusing on healing and more medical treatment for an injury while resting my body. Praying I would heal enough, soon enough, and be able to go back. “It was temporary.”

And it didn’t happen. It wasn’t. I couldn’t.

So here I am again, giving the opposing side of a custody battle more ammo for an unstable mom argument, plus adding a 5 lbs weight limit.

I felt pretty sorry for myself there for a minute. Luckily I had options, and maintaining a 4.0 as a full time student and becoming a part of the Honor Society helped in court a little. It at least helped to offset the Anorexia and Anxiety disorder diagnosis and the argument about me being a TOTAL loony tune.

I started getting upset at the high standards I was placing on myself. I wanted so badly to blame them on other people, but couldn’t. Its a part of the disease. I had to do something and find a way to be okay with where I was at, or I was going to lose it.

I felt so far from “home” and knew something needed to happen. I had to give it up. I had to be okay with shit show Sabrina. Find a way to embrace it and forgive myself for being an asshole to my body and mind and spirit all these years. Otherwise I felt like it wouldn’t stop. I was not being nice to myself and killing myself with standards.

So I did what I knew best, and made use of my favorite place to be. My car. Delivering for Uber Eats while I occasionally cried at the wheel, listening to sappy music and feeling sorry for myself. Id have to pick up orders wearing sunglasses on rainy days sometimes, but I felt like I did a pretty good job keeping it together.

I really like to drive. I love road trips.

I had time to process what I needed, while doing my best to not dump my self loathing TOO MUCH onto others.

I spent the days listening to Perez Hilton and Speidi podcasts, and it slowly started fixing itself. I really enjoy a good comeback story. And now I seriously want to be a part of making Speidi famous again. I’m pretty into it.

Through this strenuous processing, I decided that I needed to make some changes, and transition into what I would have most in common with my organization clients. Because even when people call needing help to get rid of things and get organized, some just aren’t there yet or are not ready to let go. And that’s okay.

However, it makes doing my job very frustrating and I was regretting the decision to even start.

In an environment where I have complete and total freedom, where I am trusted, I can turn chaos into masterpiece in no time flat. It’s getting to the place in my head that is necessary to do it, that was becoming increasingly difficult. I was being met with a lot of opposition.

Rather than getting upset about it, I decided to focus on something that I didn’t need training for. Something that captivated me and something that I shared in common with potential clients. Something I would consider a hobby, that I already knew and that would allow complete transparency on my end. Because the pressure was building.

It had been in the plan all along, just didn’t think I was there yet.

I needed an outlet I could get lost in, and serve in. Something that offered presence. and peace. Something that kept me connected to my natural “technical mind”. And most importantly, something I felt good doing.

And that is editing. Creating. Video. Film.

I have been known to be the crier in the family. I will cry for anyone, anywhere, anytime. You name it, I got you.

I will turn bright red (like Irish red) when I speak at your wedding, people will stare, they may feel uncomfortable, and I will keep going until i’m done.

I will cry for no reason when I randomly remember something nice someone did for me ten years ago.

I will definitely cry when I hear the miracle story. Good news is the best news.

I will cry in public.

As a matter of fact, I even cried in court. On the stand. The whole place was silent. You could hear a pen drop. I am sure most people there were very uncomfortable for those five minutes. Probably longer. Yea. It felt like it lasted a year. While the commissioner sat there patiently waiting for me to gain my composure. I couldn’t even finish a complete sentence.

My dad was there. I didn’t have an attorney yet. I was just so sad that anything that was happening was even happening. My heart was broken and I had been trying to keep it together, paralyzed by fear, walking on egg shells for a year.

Of course, the moment God decided to let the river flow, was in the middle of a court hearing.

But it happened. No shame. I felt much better after. Light as a bird.

Over the last five years, I have progressively attempted to rid myself of this overly compassionate nature I was born with. Especially after becoming a mom and needing to “toughen up.”

But the only thing it did, was bring me to my knees, begging God for mercy and forgiveness for not loving myself as I was. For not accepting the fact that I am a feeler. and maybe a mess. For not just being who I am. For having faith in what is hurtful.

I began to just let the river flow. And with that, came me being fearlessly honest about how I felt about some of the people closest to me. Even when I was most uncomfortable.

As a matter of fact, I may have finally mentioned to someone I’ve known nearly my whole life, that I was kinda in love with him… my whole life. I didn’t feel weird about it after.

It’s working. I’m caring less.

Now this confession may have been met with “not so much the same feelings”, but I felt good about the fact that I was honest.

Videography was the brave move. It allowed me to move into an authentic space.

When I am interviewing a couple, asking questions about their journey or unborn children and hopes and dreams, I feel it.

ESPECIALLY when it is someone I know and love.

It is captivating to me. I love to listen to peoples stories and journeys in love. I can stand on the other side of the camera or computer screen and just let the river flow. Rather than it being an embarrassment, it just is. And its appreciated rather than mocked.

I wish the best for peoples lives and futures, and truly invest and care about the piece I’m working to help create for their families and future memories. I am investing much more than my time and talent. I am investing my weaknesses and vulnerability.

Rather than trying to talk someone through or into doing something that is hard or that they are not ready for, I get to just be present, capture the best of what I see and feel now, and present it to people I care about.

In a way that shows them a loving outsiders perspective.

How blessed they are. How loved they are. How much the people around them care for them and appreciate them. The hope and faith in their future, family and community.

Something for them to look back on, and a way to honor the past. Which can be what gets people back to appreciating the now, especially in tough times.

A dip in the Love ATM.

I keep every card and every letter ever written to me. I keep photos and notes from people who are special to me.

I even have some from when I worked in the hotel industry. Notes written on the back of napkins and coasters. And none of them phone numbers.

Invites to their summer homes in Jersey. Thanking us for the best turnaround possible on a horrible day. Acknowledgement for the thought and effort we did our best to make top priority in our work. Even though I was a little much at times 🙂

Its okay to hang onto things. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to burn everything from your exes.

When I am having a tough day, and barely hanging on, I can grab that pink Victoria secret box from the top of my closet and read a letter someone sent to me in boot camp back in 2005. A box full of time and energy and kindness from others.

Those little things keep me going. They are the biggest things.

And I feel blessed to know confidently, that I can give a small piece of something big through video.

Rather than clawing through peoples pasts, and encouraging a purge of negative, I can just add positive instead.

So it brought me here. to “Kids. Cameras. and Caring Less.”

My Bumble profile now states “Assistant Property Manager. Single mom. Creative mind. I like nice guys. I wear a lot of hats because I don’t like to brush my hair. Lover of all things sweet.”

It feels good to tell the truth about my hair.

Cakes are still in my future.

Just without the heavy lifting and from the comfort of my own tiny vintage kitchen.

 

Hey Boss, Let’s Keep it Real

In the midst of an ever evolving professional aura, a shift in the way companies small and large do business socially, I have found myself putting much more focus recently on an A. B. And C. Concept (do this, this and this, and you can become successful) with the intention of working on my weaknesses as a professional and stepping up my game.

I continue to work on my small business while focusing on my true passions and goals. By simply saying to myself “I don’t enjoy that, I don’t want to do it anymore,” I find myself another step closer to my true authenticity.

I settled years ago on using ‘my experience, skills and knowledge gained, to benefit an organization that simply wanted me, or felt I was an asset.’ I appreciate a big picture objective for my future in the professional industry, as it alleviates pressure to fit a mold, and helps me keep an open mind in regards to the direction I could end up going. I try not to rule anything out. It is interesting how within the last year, my standards for a work environment have simple changed to “I want to work with nice people, who don’t play games, and value what’s real.”

This is where I am stuck. Most people close to me wouldnt put it past me to change my “resume objective” from a big picture professional greater good approach, that remains true, to “I want to work with nice people, for an organization where kindness and being a good human trickles from the top, and the fact that I am ‘highly intelligent, work until I can’t walk some days, have great ideas, learn quickly, respect authority and don’t give up’, overshadows some underlying stigma or idea of what an actual professional looks like.

What it means to look like and act like a “big girl.”

In the midst of this big professional evolution, I also happen to be in the midst of quite a few personal battles. Some present, and some not. Fighting against past shames as they are being dug up in a dirty custody battle while trying to move forward in my professional life and do what I am called to do. School full time, court battles, recovering from health issues related to a car accident, multiple jobs, my small business and a toddler. While fighting lies, accusations and self critiquing in the motherhood field.

Surprisingly I don’t feel overwhelmed. I have been smart enough to position myself in areas I enjoy and that engage me, so there is little stress outside of the court battle. I do my school work after my son goes to bed and while he is with his dad. I’m 16 days into the quarter and almost 2 out of 3 classes down. I have a 4.0 so far so it’s working itself out.

With the mass amount it may seem from the outside that I am carrying, I began to feel this huge weight about making sure my personal issues weren’t being projected onto co-workers, I was not complaining because I “chose my load,” and started feeling this cloud of “be careful what you share with the people you work with. Keep a line between your two lives.” I spend all day with them so it began to feel like my conversations were becoming generic. Filling space. Small talk. I hate small talk.

Fortunately for me, my honesty and transparency that can often make others uncomfortable, is becoming the new thing. In an age where social media profiles have become a new resume, I am tempted to “keep my personal and professional life separate,” and lock down my accounts. Make everything private and be someone different at home then I am at work. Or at least not give my employers access to my personal life.

This for me, is where the issue of integrity arises.

Working in a professional environment  that does not fit who I ACTUALLY am, does nothing but cause me to walk away from it. And I would. It’s that simple. Which is why, when I have interviewed in the past, I have always gone in with a “I need to know I would be a good fit for them, as well as them for me,” before accepting a position.

Tides have changed in regards to the way we do business. Especially in this great US of A. Transparency and authenticity are becoming okay. It’s okay to be a human, with moods and struggles. With a criminal record that you are working off. With a list of stints in rehab. With a good story behind why you got fired or quit. Because we don’t quit the job we quit the boss right? With these “deep records,” comes wisdom. For those who choose to turn it around and use it for good, a thick past can benefit an organization immensely.

When I used to hear the term professional, I would think of a suit and tie. Super smart groups of people who talk about things I could never understand. Board rooms and conference calls. It was not a circle I would ever be a part of, because it didn’t fit me. It was way above me. I am this spiritual, flowy, nice blonde, who likes fluffy blankets and and literally thinks my Prince Charming could be walking around the corner at anytime. Who I was at home, was who I was everywhere. So that was that.

After having my son 16 months ago, I began to wonder what professionalism really means. Try to justify some way to “get in” with this elite crowd. Why did I feel so uncomfortable with all of these serious people? What information could I get that could help me feel like I belong? I know I am smart. But I am sensitive. I know I can learn anything. But who will take the time to trust me and teach me? Am I suppose to wait and trust God on an opportunity that will drop into my lap when it’s time? Or should I be trying harder, working harder and networking harder?

This began because I need to make more money to take care of my son. It’s pretty simple. I have bills to pay. A lot of debt from a much more comfortable lifestyle I used to have, I am a single mom and it isn’t easy.  What do I need to do to make more money? Also, what was important, was being a good example about what it means to do what you love and own it. To stay true to who you are and everything will be provided as it should.

So here I am, creating a LinkedIn account, wondering if I should make all of my social media profiles private. Whether or not I should include my small business, because it would link someone to my website and Facebook page. Will they like who I REALLY am? Can I anticipate what they “won’t” like or understand and just hide that stuff? This is the world I lived in.

The times I was the biggest mess in my personal life, is when my professional skills grew the most. I am confident in my work and my capabilities. It’s not always easy, but I find a way and get it done. When things aren’t going well personally, I tend to dive into areas where I feel confident to keep me going. Which is my work and anything service oriented.

I made a decision to leave it open. All of it. Let it be. At this point in my life, I don’t have time to keep up multiple lives. I made a decision that who I am, is pretty wicked. I’m kinda a cool person. A lot of people would be grateful to have me lead them, guide them, and shadow them. I’m alright. Yea I can be sensitive. But I don’t think sincerely caring about human beings makes me a lesser candidate than anyone else. Nor does it make me weak. It doesn’t take away from my intelligence and work ethic. I value authenticity above all things in the people around me, so I had another opportunity to demonstrate that and let what is be what it is.

Professionalism, for me, is defined as doing what is best for the greater good.

Regardless of where I end up, I am in the people business. I always have been. We all are in some way. How we operate in that business makes the difference. If I am going to build a business, it will be built on raw truth. Authenticity. Transparency. Humanism. Real life.

Because in the end, we are also in the business of life.

The pressure broke when I was at work the other day decorating a cake. I said to my coworker “at this point, there is a chance he could just display all of our private and intimate messages for the world to see. The ones sent when I trusted him and thought we were getting married.” This is also in the midst of fighting against the opposing party having access to my private treatment records for my eating disorder back in 2014. When I was severely underweight, not okay and almost lost my life. Somehow it means something about who I am as a parent today.

I am being told I don’t have a choice right now and that apparently “hear say” and someone accusing me of being nuts, is enough to just pin HIPAA on the wall and throw darts at it. Light it on fire. Blend it up into a fruit smoothie and let a kid drink it.

So what do I do with the idea that there is a chance, the opposing party as well as whoever else, is going to get access to all of this private information?

Luckily I was working with the right coworker that day. I told her everything. I calmly, feeling defeated, just let it out.

We laughed about it. And laughed hard.

When I went there, and faced it, it was funny. Things happen. It’s life. My life. Things just find a way to creep to the surface. It doesn’t mean I can’t run a business. It doesn’t mean I would embarrass a corporation. It doesn’t mean I am not a good mom. The only thing my treatment records show, is that I am a miracle. Humans like humans. Real people like real people. Truth likes truth. I like truth.

I decided that, worst comes to worst, I will turn the nastiest documents and most embarrassing things about this case, my past, and my most embarrassing shameful moments, into edible images. I will then use them to make a massive cake. I will throw a party. I may cry a little. Drink a mimosa, and move on.

Because in the end, life is a gift. A blessing. An opportunity. A Full of “anything’s can happen” Business.

 

 

My Touchy Subject

I found a note from him today.

“Good luck babe”

a fly by of the good times. for a moment we had it made.

in a time of such confusion and remorse, caught up in grieving time lost on earth.

he said love remains. so because it passes, i don’t count the pain.

i start to drift. begin to wonder

that’s when I remember the thunder.

the night I ran. you didn’t take my hand.

you watched. I fought.

remembered that time I trusted my heart and spoke it. out of breath. I owned it.

i chose to shamelessly stand. still running from your hand.

his demons had a hold of me. so i thought. Littered in truth. I had been bought.

i trembled in fear. burning in the weight of my decisions. hiding in a cold corner. Curled up shaking like a scared child. I didn’t call to you. I didn’t ask for that vision.

said goodbye and looked down on my life with love. got what I wanted. I was finally a dove.

i didn’t just see hell. i was in it. why did you wake me up. i wanted to leave. i would have preferred it.

back turned to me. you were facing death. The room went white.

is this a test.

i didn’t see your face. why would you save such a disgrace.

woke up to your wonders misunderstood. you were my only good.

I knew your love. not yet your word. I knew your heart. your voice id heard.

you left me in peace. i slept like a baby. woke up in filth. it was a dream maybe.

there were no conditions. I couldn’t understand. Mind racing to solve a mystery, when you took my hand.

so began the drag out of hell.

i couldn’t spill my guts. there was no one left to trust.

they wonder why I fear you. what happened. what changed.

I saw what you can do. I saw the staff. stone cold sober. wide awake. It can’t be undone. nothing will ever be the same.

ive stayed down on purpose. on my face. at your feet. Carrying this weight and burden. afraid to go back to who i used to be.

I hope I never see you that way again. but I guess that’s why you came.

a fiercely loyal friend. gave me a new name.

i came across a note he left me today.

not sure why I never threw it away.

“good luck babe”

he said it was about being a good person. I guess that’s what he heard.

i called his bluff. from the gut. I know what I deserved.

i stand with a king. And maybe

one day I’ll sing.

about it.

Wait..what did I miss?

I’m sure we have all had a moment at some point in our life where we walk into a room and everyone just stops talking or obviously changes the subject.

Maybe they didn’t expect you to walk around the corner. Maybe they were prepared for you, and there is concern or something that needs to be addressed. Like some sort of intervention.

Either way, it’s usually, at minimum, awkward.

There are a few different types of ways people handle these situations.

Some people don’t notice it. Never happened. Some, would feel some sort of shame and regret regarding what others are speaking about or even just the fact that others are talking about them . They might internalize it and go hide in never land while trying to figure out how to be better. Some notice it, simply don’t care, and move on. And others are fully aware what is going on, and want someone to repeat what they said to their face. Sometimes, even linger in the awkward and just stare. In case someone decides to be brave.

I have been all of the above. More recently, the one trying to call out the brave.
It doesn’t mean I have not taken part at some point in my life. Or shared an opinion in a way that might seem like an attack on someone behind their back, when in reality, I was just sharing my truth. However, I actively attempt to not engage in it. And when I do, I simply don’t like myself for it.

Whether we speak in frustration about something that has happened to us, the way we have been treated or disrespected, or feel the need to give our opinions about other people’s life choices, it seems there is always something in the air that tells me to run. So I started doing just that. If I have to speak, I do my best to find something positive about the situation to address, or speak about myself and do whatever I can to find understanding. It isn’t always easy.

More than not, I have been on the receiving end of the talk. I have been the one taking the blows. In all fairness, sometimes I just do things that don’t make sense. Whether it be because I am totally exhausted or because I had anxiety and my head was spinning. Causing me to miss what was right in front of me. Nowadays, I’m more aware, I just don’t care.

For example, in the last 3 weeks, I have arrived to work three times, on time, before realizing I was either wearing the wrong shoes, like my uggs, or like this morning, had no shoes on at all. I was still in slippers this morning and didn’t realize until I was grabbing my wallet ready to walk inside at 5am.

My sons bag is packed properly for grandpas with lots of extra snacks, clothes, medicine you name it. Lots of just in case goodies. But I forgot my shoes.

Another example. I had a friend tell me I had green frosting on my face yesterday. I wiped my face and moved on. 20 minutes later I had the joy of having a brief but blessed interaction with a man who I thought could end up being my future husband. I mean, I was on the magic carpet and everything. I went about my day like nothing, knowing how unlikely it would be in all reality, but having fun with a friend about it. I got to my car, and when I looked in the mirror, I had a glob of green frosting across my face. Still. She probably assumed I knew it was still there and that I didn’t care. Because I rarely brush my hair these days, makeup is a hit and miss and I just don’t put a lot of weight on physical appearance anymore. I laughed it off and let it go. No biggy.

Some may say it’s my fault. (As a matter of fact they have. To my face. Quite a few times). That I give others reasons to feel the way they do and say what they say. “The trick is to not give anyone any reason to talk.” Right.

Although I know this about myself, I work diligently on not allowing this to control my life, or let it mean anything about who I am as a person. Staying solution oriented, I keep two separate “back up” baskets in the back of my SUV, with snacks, diapers, clothing, deodorant, toys, medicine, blank work documents and contracts…you name it. One for me and one for my son. Because I know there will be times where I will forget something, or decide to take a last minute road trip with or without my son, and forget to grab something. I do my best to stay prepared. I have accepted these shortcomings and am not bothered by them.

Except when it comes to my work.

Forgetting to put shoes on or even wearing two totally different shoes to work (real life) is not what I mean here. What I mean is the effort, skill, hard work, care, integrity, perfection and excellence I expect from myself.

I do not pretend to be good at things I am not good at. I leave the fancy stuff to the people who know what they are doing. I won’t touch it if I think there is a chance I could mess it up. Not unless there is someone standing by me who is fully confident in me and believes I can do it. As well as me knowing they would forgive me if I totally screwed it up.

But what I do know, and what I am good at, I do it confidently and passionately. I give 110% and tend to be critical of myself in the process. Always striving to do better. Be better. I believe, that when working in service, no matter who the other person is, they deserve the best of what you have to offer. If I’m getting paid to help keep a business running and thrive, I take it personal. I do my best to respect the people above me, as I do every human interaction on the other side of the transaction. I have exhausted myself to the core to meet this personal expectation for many years.

I have been proud of myself recently for the stress I have given up, and joy I can now have in my work environment without feeling like I have something to prove. I do what I can, as best I can, and that’s that. I’ve noticed huge strides in my ability to not sweat the small stuff and my relationships have changed from it. It’s been years of hard work to get me here today. Very hard work. And there is still much to work on. But it’s been progressive.

I recently worked on a project for my business, creating a promotional video for Indigenous People’s Day in Olympia, WA. I put my heart into this project. Did a lot of research. Lost sleep some nights, worked hard to stay in touch with the vision and goal and to honor the people I was helping to represent through my work. It changed my perspective and my heart. I feel more knowledgeable and better for it.

I nit picked every little detail. I wanted them to have the best version of their request.  It didn’t matter that I was donating my services. They deserved the best of what I had to offer.

I watched this particular video a hundred times, and allowed them to review it multiple times before giving it the go. Quite a few last minute changes. Things going wrong with my computer the night before. I Wanted to break a window at one point. I literally fell asleep with the computer on next to me. I was frustrated with the hiccups, but it got worked out and we gave it a go the following afternoon.

I was a little nervous but more tired than anything, just needing a nap from having barely two hours of sleep the night before and having to be up early for work that day.

After it was finished and released, I felt relieved. I went about my day, took a nap, picked up my son from his dad, we got groceries, ate dinner, had a bath, and I put my son to bed. Typical evening.

I went downstairs to pour myself a glass of wine, and relax before crashing. I’m sitting on my front porch, winding down before bed, reflecting on how blessed I felt to have had the opportunity to have worked with these amazing people, and so grateful at how much they appreciated my hard work, and made sure I knew it. It’s not often you receive that these days.

I decided to look at the video one last time before bed. I pulled it up on my phone, exhausted, slightly drifting…

And there it is. Right in my face. I’m wide awake.

I typed the wrong state abbreviation next to a city name.

There. is. no. Eugene. WA.

I felt like I was going to throw up.

“Oh God…don’t let me go…” that was literally where my head initially went. Because I knew this was going to be a tough one. I could feel it, and I know what happens in my head and body when I make mistakes like this. “Don’t let me go back to hell” is what my truth was in that moment.

The video is already posted to the event page and their website. I’ve already delivered the file on the flash drive to the client. It’s been up for a couple hours, and has a couple hundred views already. Can I take it down to fix it? Is it too late? Fixing the mistake would take 5 seconds on my laptop, but would mean the video would need to be pulled down off of every page it’s on. I would need to upload the new file completely and it would need to be posted again everywhere. Is it worth it? Do they care? Is it rude for me not to offer to post a corrected version? Is it insulting for me to not offer to fix it?”

I felt humiliated. And so defeated.

I went into “who is going to want me to work for them if I can’t even notice a state abbreviation that’s blatantly wrong!? Should I be doing this? Who is going to take me serious now?”….

I started the day off anxious and a little excited. Not for me, but for the indigenous people I had been working to give this gift. They were anticipating it. They said they loved it. I am not sure how many people even noticed the mistake. But I did.

It might sound crazy, but there are also people who were glad to see it. Who were happy something didn’t go right. I am not paranoid. I am aware. So in that case, they got a gift too.

I immediately messaged the POC on the project with something like “omg…I just saw this…why didn’t anyone tell me!?” 😫 I felt horrible. Especially afterwards when I worried she thought I was blaming her. My face was 5 inches from the screen for quite some time, and I didn’t catch it. Why would I expect her to? That is why I had this job to begin with.

I am learning recently how certain things have affected me different than others. Because of how I have been affected by verbal abuse in the past, bullying, criticism and how I’ve received attacks and mental beatdowns, two letters had the power to figuratively knock me on my face.

My biggest insecurity was brought to light. Work so important to me, was not perfect. They deserve perfect. I felt like a failure.

I had someone tell me at a very weak point a couple years back, that I was a “pillar of strength” for the people around me. Yet, a state abbreviation almost got me to give up, hide in my closet and call the whole thing quits.

After the worst of it passed, I reflected on my reaction. I knew instantly that it may try and take me down. And prayed it wouldn’t let me go too far. Okay with a little low, because humility is a gift, but refusing to go anywhere near that place I would have gone before. And got back up much quicker.

So although this small mistake felt detrimental, there is a reason it was made.

Be good to one another. Be honest with one another. Speak to others with respect and kindness. Do whatever you can to understand. To offer Grace. To help. To uplift. And if you can’t, don’t pretend to. There is nothing worse than someone pretending to understand something they don’t in situations that feel detrimental to others.  We are not always aware of the inner turmoil of another human and that’s okay. We are going to miss things. Make mistakes. Some mistakes that feel detrimental. But its okay. Because they aren’t permanent.

It’s what we do with it, our response, that determines the path moving forward.

And although difficult, that is the direction I’m choosing to move. Forward.

 

 

 

The Who Am I Challenge.

This challenge was given to me years back. From whom, I do not recall.

In order to effectively complete this challenge, you will need the following;

1. Pen. Paper. And a quiet space.

b. To listen, be patient and not rush ahead.

4. To go with your gut, but allow yourself to think and be as honest an authentic as possible.

 

Ill wait.

 

This is called The Who Am I challenge. If it helps keep you focused, feel free to write it at the top of the page in big letters. Even switch it around to say Who I Am.

Begin writing who you are. All of those wonderful, beautiful, dark, challenging, lovely, sinful things about yourself that make up who you are as a human being on this earth right now. Don’t worry, you can always burn it after.

Take your time. For some it can take hours and fill up multiple pages, or for some, a few bullet points suffice….

 

Ill wait.

 

Now, I am going to ask you some questions about yourself. With your list in front of you and pen in hand.

 

How many wrote down something related to their career or work ethic?

I didn’t ask you what or how you do what you do for a living. Cross it off.

 

How many wrote down something related to a talent, skill, education, hobby or place you have traveled to?

I didn’t ask what title you held, what you were good at or enjoyed doing. Cross it off.

 

How many wrote down something related, in any way, to their physical appearance?

I didn’t ask you anything about what you looked like or what you wear. Cross it off.

 

How many wrote down something related to gender, family status or where you live or came from? (man, woman, mother, father, brother, white, mexican, german)?

I didn’t ask about your gender, family or your nationality. Cross it off.

 

How many wrote down something about a political view or role they play (I.e. Peacemaker, fire starter, leader, healer, democrat, republican, motivator or even actor itself)?

Thats not what I asked. Cross it off.

 

How many wrote something related to astrology, spirit animals, the year you were born etc.?

Cross it off.

 

How many wrote down something about something they physically possess (I.e. A Business, money, a VW bug, 140″ flat screen, figurine collection etc.)?

I didn’t ask you about anything tangible you owned or that you thought belonged to you. Cross it off.

 

How many of you wrote down something related to your faith, religion, spiritual views, habit, mental, physical or emotional well being?

I didn’t ask you what you believe in, what you are struggling with or in recovery from. Cross it off.

 

How many wrote down anything about anything they currently or previously have liked or loved (People, pets, food, experiences etc.)

Cross it off.

 

If you answered honestly, and eliminated answers honestly, some of you may have only a few words left untouched on your page. And even those few may be able to fall into a category I addressed if you go back and look it over. Otherwise, I am sure whatever is left is profound. Some will not have anything left listed at all. I personally had nothing left on my page the first time I took part in this challenge. And my list was HUGE.

There are many who this challenge would not phase a bit and some who have even taken this challenge before. Some who didn’t want to listen and jumped ahead, missing the process. And for others, it could encourage a profound catapult into personal growth, like it did myself.

While I was married, I was in the process of quitting smoking cigarettes and boy was it a battle. I was frustrated with the pressure to please my husband at the time, while deep down really wanting to just be left alone with it and enjoy my time in solitude with a cup of coffee or a rum and coke.  I eventually got to a breaking point and said to him, “I am a smoker. Its just who I am. Accept it. Deal with it.” He looked at me annoyed and perplexed and said “Smoking is not who you are. It is just something you do.” And walked away.

This my friends, is the way I think. Not that I think I am nothing, but…kind of.  It got me thinking about what I place my value in, what I identify with, what I allow to be a big deal and have control over how I feel, who I am out to please and what I strive to be. I started realizing how devastating of an impact, identifying with past experiences could have on my spirit. Some of it, even what would be considered good, started bothering me for some reason. Those things were shaping who I was, the expectations I had for myself and others, and how I felt about what I had to offer. On the contrary, it also brought me an intense amount of relief and healing when it came to the shame, fear and guilt connected to the not so great choices I had made in my life. Because it meant something different connected to me was set apart from those dark places.  It is when I was stripped down to this philosophical nothing, and sat with it, that I found true joy in the fact that there was still something there. And that is the good news.

Even when its all gone, there is still something there. In that nothing of something, I found everything I was looking for.

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