All That Prayer Holds

But for the Grace of God go I

There comes a moment in life where you must take a look around and realize how lucky and blessed you are, how far you have come and be grateful.  That is where I am now.  The past four years have been a test of endurance, strength, character, resilience, restraint, faith, love, family, pain and so much more.  And I have passed. But it has not been easy. the text books to the lessons were quite expensive, and my emotional bank account was empty for quite a while. Well, overdrawn actually.

And now, for the first time in years, I can look up and say that years, everything truly is great.  I have fought tooth and nail, but I have been blessed beyond measure. And as I look around, to the landscape of my life, I see not the hard times, but the blessings. And I see that everything, all for which I prayed, I have been given.  The job, the relationship, the health of my loved ones, and my own inner peace.

Is life perfect?  No, but it sure is wonderful.  I still need to loose those 10 pounds, the garage isn’t going to clean and organize its self, the lawn is beginning to look like a forest and the cats…well, are the cats.

And so I set aside some time to quietly, give so  much thanks for that which I have been given.  It is by the Grace of God that I am here, that my family is healthy, that I have this man, that I write for a living, that I have amazing loyal friends.Life can shift and change in an instant. And I am so very thankful for all of it, yes the complete all of it that I have been given. And I strive to never take it for granted.

I cannot wait for the next adventure, the next chapter, and all that it holds.  Life is delicious. I am happy.

The Dugger Factor

Anna Dugger. A name synonymous with the phrase “stand by your man.” Being a good and loyal spouse is commendable, but there are limits to what anyone should be expected to endure. A recent Facebook post about the topic went viral, and it did start me thinking. Many have criticized Anna Dugger for not leaving her child molesting, porn addicted, cheating, Ashley Madison account having husband. But instead, I have an incredible amount of empathy for her.

One can only assume that a man, or anyone, who can be so despicable and deceitful to those closest, certainly must also be very manipulative as well. That kind of manipulation is successful because it’s so very subtle, so much in fact, that you can barely recognize it changing you, chipping away at your self-confidence, until a large part of yourself is gone.

Now consider that she has no education, and that her family and social circle blame her for her husbands shortcomings. Her parents encourage her still, to stay with her husband and would shame and ostracize her for leaving him. That coupled with the slow tear down of confidence and spirit…She was the perfect wife, sticking to all the rules, and yet it still wasn’t enough. She is still expected; demanded even, to give more of herself for someone who has cared for her so very little.

It is a shame that anyone should be expected to stay where they are mistreated so very badly. While I do believe in the sanctity of marriage, are limits. Maybe we are all guilty aof staying in a relationship longer than we should have, but at some point you have to wake up, take off the rose colored glasses and get out.

Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect, be made to feel like they are valued, and matter. To be needed, loved and valued are basic human needs, and if someone, anyone, whether it be a friend, a family member, a spouse, or a co-worker, does not value what you bring to the table, then you have the very basic human right to leave.

You also have the basic human right to demand that you be treated with respect, kindness and decency. To know that you are worth those things, that you have value in and of yourself, to know that your soul is important just because you exist.

The Facebook post that went viral stated that men are born with power, but women have to demand it for themselves, and that they should be taught to make a man cower in the corner if they need to. I agree. But not just women, though that is what we see mostly, because women are typically taken advantage of more than men. Everyone has the right, and if you must make a person cower in order to escape mistreatment, then so be it. But these lessons have to start young.

In addition to instilling a healthy sense of self esteem, boys should be taught to value women, not use them. Teach them that women are to be cherished. But also teach girls the value that men have, and that they deserve to be respected too. If both are taught, as children, to value the other, as human beings, then the world would be a much better, kinder place.

To know your worth, to know that you deserve to be loved, that you alone, are Enough. These lessons can make such a difference in shaping lives, and save those lives from an immense amount of pain later When both men and women realize the value in one another, that is when humanity is at its best. So I refrain from criticizing Anna Dugger, but instead feel much empathy and compassion for her. She was never taught that she alone is enough.

My Mona Lisa

I was asked to re-post this one.  Enjoy!

“Have you heard my Mona Lisa?

Have you heard who you are?

You’re a new Morning” =- New Morning, Alva Rev

There is a new song out and it is one that seems to speak to a lot of people.  The singer said ” too often we get stuck in this kind of Negativism but when you hit rock bottom you end up going through the process of believing & having hope again.”  To me it says this and another universal truth…we all have worth and value.  Every one of us goes through trials and tribulations…they make us who we are.  But so often those trial wear us down and make us feel that we are less than.

Have you heard who you are?  Do you know?  Would you regognize your own voice, your own value?  Many of us do not.  And this is a shame.  No matter where you are, what you are going through, what people have done or said to you, or where you have been – never for get who you are.  Always know your own voice.

In life we get the chance to set our own value…not others.  So make sure you set that value high.  And who are these other people anyway?  Who are they that their opinion would matter?  Does that mean that we may never need to change or re-evaluate?  No, it simply meran that we hold our head up high because no matter what mistakes have been made…we are a new morning.  It is never too late to change or change your mind. It is never too late to find your own voice.

Where you are now doesn’t matter.  where do you want to be?  Decide that and believe in it with such passion that it becomes reality.  Have such a ridiculous work ethics that you do what it takes to make it happen. And have such unshakable faith that you are a work of art, that you make your dreams come true.  Once you do this, you become unstoppable.  Nothing and no one can shake you, your faith, your dreams.

don’t forget Who. You. Are. and always Believe.

The SImple Life

These days, in the world of fast cars, fast food and faster turn-around, I have been enjoying the simple things in the slow lane. It’s not as much taking time to smell the roses as it is just catching my breath, and letting life catch up with me. That’s the thing about moving so fast, sometimes you have to let everything catch up. And sometimes when you are knee deep in it, just getting through it, you don’t have time. So you just move ahead at light speed and get it done.

But then what? After it’s all over, and the lights are dim, crowds are gown, cheers or jeers have subsided and all is quiet…then what?

Then you are left with slowing down, taking a break, catching your breath and just being still. I like to be still. That’s one of the things I like best about early morning (yes, I am occasionally up before or at sunrise – it does happen!).  The early morning is so peaceful, still and quiet. It is pure, before the day has set in; before traffic, and bosses, and deadlines, and emails, and phone calls, and bills and concerns,and …everything. Morning is when you can hear the voice of God, I think.

And so in this moment, I am taking time to slow down and be still. To find my grounding and roots. To make sure the foundation on which I build, and whom I might build with, is solid and secure. I take time to let all my emotions of the past year or so percolate and catch up with me, so that moving forward there are no remnants. There have been plenty of tearful moments as it all comes back – almost losing my Dad, seeing my Mom so tired and worn, being so weary myself, saying goodbye to old dear friends, and wondering if they were ever really there at all.

Knowing the pain of caring too much, knowing too little, and having just enough. Of deeply hoping, praying in earnest, crying profoundly from the deepest parts of the soul, genuinely loving and wholeheartedly believing, mostly because, all because, you simply could not bring yourself to believe anything else. To believe with such sincerity and passion,that by the Grace of God, it is so.

And so it is now, that I sit,on a Friday night, glass if wine in one hand while typing with the other. What about all those parties and invites? What about all those good times, places and people? Oh, they’ll keep. Right now, life is all about my warm blanket, a fireplace, a good book, maybe a TV show or two, the sound of a purring cat, my favorite fuzzy PJ’s, good music, a soft bed, the sound of the dishwasher and the knowledge that the simple things are what feeds my soul right now. Oh, I am not ready to come out of hibernation, not yet. Just a little while longer in my own warm little world. Maybe by spring I’ll be ready.

And then when I return, the foundation will be set, them support strong and life may resume at regular speed. To be flexible you must first be stable. And until then, there are my soft fuzzy sock, hot chocolate, and warm snuggles. Yes, it is the simple things in life.

The Oposite of Seasons

This is the season for parties, festivities, socializing, seeing old friends, making new friends and just a lot of hustle and bustle. It is a season of extraverts. But this season I am feeling anything but extravert.

This year I am feeling very be cozy and warm mama bearish. I just want to be home, or with a close circle of friends. Yes, the invites have been pouring in for this and that.  And surely these are people whose company I have enjoyed in the past. But my couch is so very comfortable and the fire is warm.

This year, after being terrible displaced from my home due to toxic mold, I am more appreciative of e safe place to hang my hat.  I want to make this space warm and welcoming to all those whom I love and care.

And as the pictures of festive parties, pretty dresses, fixed hair, perfect make up and lots of drinks are posted on Facebook and other social media outlets, I smile and click like from the comfort and warmth of my own hearth, on my flannel PJ’s and fuzzy socks (yes, super sexy, I know).

I sip wine and listen to my favorite music, unpacking, organizing, arranging furniture and getting settled.  And who says you have to be and about on the town seeing and being seen to be social? I have my friends close by, still meeting for dinners and drinks.  I run to theirs or they come to mine. It is nice and quiet and small and quaint.

There is home cooking – soups and sauces, new recipes and old favorite, smells and fragrances filling the house. Putting up and decorating the Christmas tree, with all the old ornaments from childhood that make me smile and love my parents. There is eggnog and mistletoe and kisses and laughter. There is the gentleness of starting over.

And sometimes, in the big world, it is good to be small and close.  It is good to make sure that all of our fingers and toes and accounted for and painted pretty colors, enjoying the small comforts that build the foundation of a good and happy life. Sometimes the small celebrations are even more meaningful than the big ones.

And sometimes, when it is all said and done, it is the building of many of those small moments that make a life worth living and loving. Sometimes being the opposite of the season is what gives it it’s meaning.

Aaaand, Im Back!

Ada Lamar has been dark for over 6 months as I took a break from this blog. The time away has been wonderful and filled with much magic. Life is filled with long walks, long talks, lots of family, hope, dreams, love, hand holding and wine. There has been much writing, a career I love, meeting great people, making stronger bonds with old friends, midnight gardening by the moonlight, travel, sunburns, house cleaning and warm sheets. Along the way there has been good news, bad news, tears and laughter. Lots of desserts, plans, saying goodbye and many hello’s. Prayers, fights, triumphs, motorcycle rides, roller derbies, boxing, running, playing and working. Sweat equity, painting, organizing, consolidating, planning, building staining hammering, learning and eating.

And every step pf the way, every heartbeat along the road, for everything I have carried and all that I have let go, I am happy and life is good.

And I look forward to writing about many more adventures to come!

Chances, Changes and Superman Returns

There is nothing like dating a superman. A man who is sexy, funny, smart, helpful, a gentleman, but can still make your scream, compassionate, mature, intelligent, good looking, crafty, handy, snuggly, romantic, talented…in essence, the whole package. The kind of man that you say you want when you are a little girl, and wonder if still exists when you are an adult.  There is nothing like being smitten and there is nothing like having another chance and working things through. And sometimes that means taking chances and making changes.

Taking chances for me in being vulnerable and exposing raw emotions, being brutally honest with myself and others.  And what is so great is that, even though it has taken me a little while to build up the courage, there has been respect, compassion and understanding waiting for me. It is a truly amazing thing that has renewed a very weary soul and jaded outlook.

Making changes is taking the time to truly slow down and absorb. It is putting my money where my mouth is when it comes to giving compassion and asking for the gift of Grace.  You cannot just ask for these things when you pray, you have to actively seek them out and practice them. As with all novices, I may be bad at it in the beginning…but I will keep on trying, until I have Grace that is a reflection of God, or at least I will come as close to it as I can. But it is hard. I must first seek to have a true understanding of Grace — what is is, what it means, what it looks like and how it moves, in order to have it and give it.

Another change is to stop being so defensive. Being defensive, if I am truly honest,  comes from fear and insecurity.  Fear of being judged and insecurity that people will not like what they see and walk away. Everyone fears those things to some extent. Especially when mistakes have been made, or you feel ashamed of some decisions that were made, or outcomes from those decisions. And when we are defensive, we block the love, patience and compassion that are extended to us from others, rejecting their very wonderful gift. Not being defensive, I also suspect, is another aspect of having Grace.

So while I am truly drowning in the wonderfulness of my Superman, I am also busy joyfully working on taking chances and making changes. Life is delicious and it is up to me to keep it that way. I want to slow down and be still. I want to enjoy each. Little. Moment. Drink it up and savor it, so that nothing of this time slips by or is forgotten.  I want to do all those wonderful domestic things that make a house a home. I want to be fully engaged in my life. And I want the Grace to make sure those I love feel at home where ever they are with me.

What gives you Peace will make you happy. And where there is Peace, there is love.

Break Out the Big Girl Panties

We all have those friends. You know the ones, they help us put things into perspective and tell us when to  – the the immortal words of Cher in moonstruck) Snapoutofit! I had dinner with one of my best friends tonight and that is exactly what she did.

After was talked about the past few days. We talked about the hows and the whys of the whole thing.  This whole anniversary thing caught me completely off guard. And I think I spent a large portion of the other night crying over the wedding veil because I never thought about or knowledge the loss of the dream of the wedding. It all happened, then the wedding stuff  was given the charity and the veil packed up. And that was it. Then all of the sudden, it all hit me. Wow.

And then, after discussing and giving proper time to the subject, she preceded to tell me to basically, put my big girl panties on and get a grip. “You are damn lucky that you did not get married that day,” She said. “God showed favor on you. If you had gotten married, your life would be a Hell you cannot even imagine. And what if you got pregnant? You would literally be having the spawn of satin.”

“Think of how many women got married last September and will be miserable this September,” She continued. “I can understand you having some moments that caught you off guard, but you are a strong minded woman, you come from a strong  minded family, and this aniversay can be whatever you want it to be. Your mind controls your emotions, not the other way around.”

I just stared at her for a moment..or two, and let that all sink in.

And she is right. We all have times when we are just an emotional mess, but we do have a choice. Once I know why I am such a mess, I can choose how to handle it. I can be am emotional mess, or I can put on my big girl panties get myself together. That is not to say that I won’t have some moments, or I won’t feel a pang. but I do not have to fall apart. I might even…want to celebrate a little.

I have had two days of crying. And I probably needed the emotional release. But the rest of the week is mine, and it can be whatever I want.  So I have a lot to do for the rest of the week. I have a job that I love that just gave me another promotion. I will have a house full of people, I have man to repair things with and family to see. That’s quite a bit.

Life is messy, and many times hard. It is those hard times that polish us into beautiful shiny works of art. One foot in front of the other.

So, I go forth with my big girl panties on. And thank God for my wonderful friends. Sometimes we need that kick in the pants, that friend who loves is enough to support us, yet not let us slide into a pity party. So I breath and release. I have Faith.  And I know, even in those moments that may find me, it’s OK, and on my terms.


Shedding Skin

Someone once described to me wanting to be able to just shed their skin and walk out of their life. They just wanted to shed all the bad and negative, start over, and begin anew. I wonder, can you do this without leaving everything and everyone that you know. Can you start all over and still be in your own skin?

Yes, I think so. I think the secret may be to just shed your skin emotionally. What I mean by this is simply that we can decide to leave the old life, your old way of doing things, and old attitudes behind. I think it must also consist of house cleaning, so to speak. That means getting rid of those who do not fall in line with your new thought processes, goals, attitudes, etc. Why is this important? Because old habits are hard to break, and while those people may be very nice, you do not want them to keep you from which you are trying to achieve.

I am going through a similar situation. I have had, in the past year, a lot going on. And I have felt many times that I would like to just unzip myself from myself and just walk out into a new life. But whose to say that I can’t? No more blaming other people for current issues. They will no longer hold that power over me. Because when you blame someone for something in your life you are giving them control over you and your life. No thanks. It’s my life thankyouverymuch, and I will own MY issues. Thankyouverymuch.

And you know what? It feels good. I have shed the bad and negative fromt he past year. I have shed people, thoughts, attitudes, friends, lovers, property, things and much more. And when I tap deep into myself, there is a joy that resonates from deep within. I own my life.

I have some trust issues. why? Because I do. I like to take my time to make up my mind with someone. Why? because I do. I like people whose actions match their words. Why? Because I do. Because that is me. No one else. Now, there are reasons that I have come to those conclusions, but when it comes right down to it, it is my decision and therefor, my fault I am the way I am. And if someone does not like the way I am…well, hope they have a very good and happy life, and they can find the door.

And an amazing thing happens when you shed your skin – the old dull skin is gone so the new can shine through.  So don’t be afraid to change your attitude and your life. Don’t be afraid to shed you skin. If you want to change your life, you have to change your surrounding first.

The Freakout Week

We all need it, especially after bad news. No, I am not talking about large amounts of alcohol and chocolate, though that may help. I mean what  my friends and I referre to as The Freak out Week. It is the week after you receive said news, and it is your time to completely freak out and be an emotional basket-case. You give your self permission to just be a shitty basket case.

If you want to be irritable, you are. If you want to spontaneously combust into tears at any given moment, you can. If you need to consume large amounts of alcohol and chocolate, you do. you talk, cry, eat, drink and cry. If you need to throw shoes across the room, you do. You are just a hot mess every moment during thisweek. And your friends are right there for you every step of the way. And that has defiantly been me.

And I am so thankful for my family and friend this past week, who have been there for me, having the difficult conversations and holding me while I cry. I am glad my sister was the one who told me and was there – when I woke her up at 2am one morning sobbing, scared and tired, with red eyes and tear stained cheeks, shaking, asking questions. I am thankful for her sleepy look, her kind re-assuring words, her being my rock in that moment. My dear, wonderful older sister, taking care of me as she often has in those dark moments of life.

The freak out week is not a pity party, but rather a way to get it all out of your system so to speak. And when that week is over, you can come back down to earth a calmer person, ready to handle what ever challenges come about. After my week of completely freaking out over my father’s health and possible prognosis, I feel much better and can move forward and be a rock for the family.

Looking back when my Mother was diagnosed with stage 4+ Ovarian Cancer, there was a freak out week as well. That week was much different though – Mom was in the hospital barely conscious due to all the medication, and I watched over her. I got about 2 hours of sleep that entire week and then drove back  up to Atlanta to shoot a commercial. The make up artist noticed the dark circles under my eyes and asked if I had been out partying all night. I just smiled and said, “Yes, something like that.” So in comparison, this week of freak out is going much better.

And you have to learn to laugh about these things. Humor keeps you sane in the midst of chaos. Faith keeps you grounded and your heart safe. I remember a wonderful friend of the family whose mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. The first time I met her, he walked in the room, looked at her and said “I heard a joke today that was so funny it would knock your boobs off. Oh, I see you’ve heard it!” I froze in horror. How could he talk to his mother that way? She busted out in laughter and gave him a huge hug. Many years and two parents’ illnesses later, I now understand what he was doing.

And so it goes. And I wonder what the future will bring, for our family. I don’t know, but what I do know is that we are strong in faith and close in our hearts. And whatever happens, we will make it through, we will be there for each other and we will be OK. Even Dad, as Gods Will be done. He will give us the strength, courage and grace we need. If you are reading this and are a person of faith, please say a prayer.

Beautiful Illusions

In life there are things that I call beautiful illusions. They are those things that we really, really want, or think we want, because they look or seem so perfect. But when we get a closer look, we realize things are not always what they seem. It could also be called the quick-sand effect, depending on how far you step down into it. What kinds of things qualify as beautiful illusions?  So glad you asked.

Those Shoes: Oh yes, I see them in the store, those beautiful 5” stilettos and I must have them. I try them on, they fit. I walk around a bit in them in the store. Yep, perfect. Then I get them home one wear them the next day to work. And my feet are in Hell. But they look oh so good. That is why I may be barefoot at my desk. Beautiful Illusion.

That Man/Woman: You know the one – he is tall, dark, handsome, successful, smart, blah, blah, all-the-things-that-make-you-melt, blah. And then you go out with him. And Wow. And then you get to know him better. And wow he is a mess 6 ways to Sunday. He is the man who looks good “on paper”, but is a mess in real life. But you have to get to know him a bit first – past the paper façade and into the every day nitty-gritty part of life. Beautiful illusion.

That Job: Wow, it is right up your alley, is in line with your career goals, great pay, benefits, co workers, location, etc. And then you get in and start working it. And at first it is all that you though it would be…and then you slowly start to see that you are in the bottomless pit of the Twilght Zone and things are not what you thought they would be. Schedules, pay, benefits and expectations are shifting. Maybe more overtime, maybe bad projects, maybe your co-worker that sits closest to you needs a shower…whatever it is you see that it was a, you guessed it – beautiful illusion.

That relationship: You have liked them for a long time and knew that if you could just get together, you would be perfect and live happily ever after. Then stars line up, and fate smiles down on both of you as Cupid’s arrow strikes. And then…things are awkward. schedules are mis-matched, they have bad habits, ideologies that you assumed were them same are not… and what is going on with the their bad table manners that you never seemed to notice before but now you can’t stand? Did they always smack that loud when chewing?? Nope they are not horrible, but not the person you thought they were and that Happily-Ever-After escaped on Prince Charming’s white horse named…Beautiful Illusion. Which sometimes leads to…

That Ex: you know the one…it’s the one who got away. The one if you could only have another chance with, both of you could make it work. And then you get that magic chance, and you know, just like getting the magic shot in the last few seconds of the game – you’ve got this one covered. It will be the story book endings to end all story book endings. You shoot, the ball goes in a straight line for the basket, it hits the rim and…then…all of those same issues that broke you up are still there, staring the two of you in the face. And they brought their friends. Holy crap, you don’t remember any of this in the Let’s-get-back-together-contract. The basket bounces off the rim and into the hands of the other team. Beautiful illusion.

That recipe: Oh you saw it in that cook book or magazine, and it looked so yummy!  You could not wait to try it out. So you even create an occasion for it, tell others that you care going to cook this great new recipe you found. You go down the list, buy all the ingredients, get all the measuring g cups out, and you are ready. You mix it, mash, bake it, cook it…and…it is awful! WTH? You look at the recipe and go over the ingredients again. Making a mental checklist of everything you included. No, you did not leave anything out, all the measurements were correct, cooking time right as was the temperature. So why does it taste like dirty gym socks soaked in vinegar? Beautiful illusion.

It happens to all of us, even the best of us. No matter how smart we are or how smart with think we are…we cannot escape them. They are lessons learned and funny stories to be told with friends over dinner and drinks. They are the hiccups in life that keep it from being too boring and predictable. After all, if everything worked out the way we thought it would…where would the excitement be? And think of the stories and people we would miss. As long as we learn from the experiences we have, then nothing is truly ever lost.

Easter Reajustments

Easter has always been a very spiritual time and this year was no exception. We were all tired from a very hard emotional week and all of us rested, talked, cried, cooked, laughed, ate and celebrated together. Pictures were taken, little chicken peeps were held, eggs were gathered, neighbors were welcomed. Normally the family gets up early for the Sunrise Easter Service, but this year we worshiped by being thankful for everyone being present and alive. This Easter was Sacred. Hugs were held just a little longer, and no chance to say I love you was passed up.

And as I watched the love and affection that flows so easily from my parents, I looked down on their wedding band on my finger. I am blessed to have such an example of love and family. And I want to pass that on to my children. I also took stock in my life and the recent events that played out. I am not going to date for a while…my poor heart needs a break. And I should not bring issues into the next relationships from the last. Also, I want a man who wants a family, because I want a family. He could already have children, we could have children or a combination of both, but this is what I want. And it is not a biological clock thing, it is a finally, I am ready to share my life and build something more thing. But first my heart needs rest.

So for the next while I will focus on love of a different kind – love of Friends, love of Family, love of God and love of Faith.

Yes, sometimes life gives you curve balls, and you must re adjust. You may cry, vent, talk, write, whatever to get it out of your system, but in the end, you calm down and readjust. You Pray, you focus, you enjoy the moments before you…and you take baby steps. And before you know it, those baby steps have taken you across miles of road, and you look up and see how far you have come. I look forward to that day.

The High Dive

Ever since I was a child I have always had a sense of adventure, a wanderlust for …life. I was four when my mother decided to enroll me in swimming lessons. We had a pool already and I was allowed to swim with my “floatties”, but I could not wait to really learn how to swim.  And I loved going to the swim lessons. But it was not the lessons I looked forward to as much as the reward for doing well in the lesson.

From the fist day I was memorized by what was called the high dive. Twelve feet up, it was so high and amazing. I knew I had to dive off of it. On the second day of lessons I finally got up the nerve to ask if they would let me. They said they had to ask my Mom first. They did and she (has since said) she swallowed hard and said if I wanted to do it, and thought I could, to let me try. One of the many reasons why I love her.

So at the end of the lesson, they said I could go. I was so excited that my entire 4 year old body was shaking. So I started up the ladder – straight up. But I didn’t care because up was magic. Up was freedom. And then, finally, after what seemed like climbing up forever, I was up at the top. And I walked out, to the very edge and it was breathtaking. All the instructors had formed a semi circle around where I would be landing in the water. They wanted to make sure I would be safe. My Mom watching (and later I learned, shaking) I took a breath and jumped.

I don’t remember hitting the water, but I do remember suddenly being and swimming underwater. It was magic. I remember swimming under all the instructors, looking up while underwater and thinking how funny their feet looked. And then I popped up behind them and surprised them. And every day that I did well in the swimming lesson, I was allowed to jump off the 12 foot high dive.

And that began my love affair with what if? And there have been many moments in my life, a few even recently, where I have been so excited that I shook. I don’t know where this sense of adventure comes from. But there has also always been a drive inside me, almost instinctual, to keep going and pushing beyond what you think is possible.  A passion to succeed at whatever is decided. To ignore the odds and just go for it.

I have said it many times before, life is the adventure you make it. Be free with your curiosity, take chances, love with all your heart, smile when you are happy, cry when you are sad, believe in others and in yourself and really live.

Stop Asking and Start Listening

An interesting thing happened to me over the last few years.  I stopped listening to myself and started listening to everyone else.  I started asking other peoples opinions on what I should do about this or that, trusted that they were more experienced and knowledgeable than I. The funny thing about asking for advice is that people will give it to you. I sought advice from business savvy people, people who were good with people, people who did PR or were professional organizer. And when their advice went against what my own thoughts, I assumed I was wrong.

But no one has more experience in my life than I do. So why, I wonder, did I search for answers on the best way to live my life from others? I was always raised to trust my gut instincts, no matter what anyone else says. So again, why I sought outside advice is now quite a mystery.

What I now know is that I was getting a lot of bad advice, because I did not trust myself enough to know that I knew best. Now I have made sure to separate myself from those bad advice givers, and I have gotten closer to me. I am listening more to myself, and my gut, and what I think. It is truly amazing how much my life and outlook has improved once I stopped listening to everyone else, and started listening to me.

You cannot be normal and lead an extraordinary life. So why would I listen to normal people?  My life has opened up so much more since I started listening to me. And I am happier now, more confident, more in control now, than I have been in a long time. What I have learned is that I do know best, especially when it comes to my life.  And who cares what others think? I live my life, not them. I live in my skin, not hem. I sleep at night…not them.

There is nothing wrong with getting advice, or getting an opinion of you are having trouble with making a decision. But trust yourself, and your gut, and your intuition. You are the only one qualified to make those decisions, so don’t hand the job to someone who can’t do it as good as you. Trust yourself. See that big smile on my face? Now you why. There is a country song about a happy girl, and  what the lyrics say is true: “And the sweetest thing that you’ll ever see, in the whole wide world, is a happy girl.”

And it feels wonderful too. Life is an adventure, your adventure, so stop asking, start listening and start living it.

Free Masons

This past weekend I watched a show with my nephew about the Free Mason’s and their history. Fascinating group. Many of our founding fathers were members. And the idea of a secret society whose beliefs and strengths are based in geometry and architecture is fascinating to me. The fact that the design of Washing DC was based on the symbols of the group is also ingenious and has stood the test of time. One of the interesting things the show explained was the meaning of the symbol of the Free Masons. The symbol is a compass and a square and though there is much speculation as to exactly the meaning of these symbols on their logo, one of the most respected experts had an opinion.

This experts spoke about the significance of the compass. He said that the symbolism is that you draw a circle around yourself, and that circle represents a boundary in your morals – in other words, you define what you think it right and wrong, and you do not cross those lines in your personal philosophy.

And it is true in life, that there are lines that you do not cross. There are things you do not say, because there are words that cannot be unspoken, meanings that cannot be unmeant, hurt that cannot be un-mended. We must all have such boundaries, not only for our personal morals, but also lines that we never lets be crossed by others.

These boundaries, I believe, show respect for yourself and others. It means that no matter what, there is a level to which you will not sink, or a level you will not let another take you. And in life this is important if we are to rise above the noise and clutter of life to be happy, optimistic, strong people. Indeed, I believe the strength of a person can be measured by the strength of their compass.

Grace and Thoughts

Yesterday was a very emotional and wonderful day for me, to find out that my father’s cancer is gone, liver cancer which is almost always a death sentence because it has been considered “Incurable,” is tremendous. To find that he will be fine once he gets over the effects of his last round of chemo, has left me stunned and amazed.

There truly are no words to describe the feeling. Both my parents have now survived and been cured or incurable, terminal cancers. It is a realization that has had a profound effect on me.

Yesterday, I sobbed. I sobbed outof happiness,  out of thankfulness, out of amazement and out of humbleness. Miracles have that effect on people. And my family has had a wonderful stream of miracles.

And I sobbed for another reason yesterday. How can I  be worthy of such miracles? I do not deserve them. I have done nothing that good. I have not been to church in many months, actually before the attack. I have not forgiven, I am still angry, I have not earned what I have been given. And yet, there is Grace for me.

And I have not been to service because I have not felt like I can ask forgiveness from God when I cannot forgive others. How can I? And this very wise person said to me, that I do no have to, that God’s forgiveness and love are a gift. His Grace is a gift. He can forgive us because he is God and is capable of infinite love. He is much more capable than we, in our limited human state, can even comprehend. Why, how, then would I expect myself to be at that level and able to forgive? If I cannot it is because I am human and have human limitations. But God’s Grace is there for me, and that is why it is called Grace.

And I sobbed. From the very deepest places within me, I sobbed.  It is one thing to read about the Grace of God, it is entirely another thing to have the realization that it is truly gifted to you when you try with all you have and still come up short.

This morning, I slept a bit late and let this really sink into me, into those deep places that seldom see light, into my soul and my inner conscienceness. And today, though I still walk around a bit stunned, I can feel something creep in….it is a joy that I have not felt in a long time. A joy deeper than I thought it could go. And I truly believe that anything is possible.

Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a very faithful and optimistic person, but this is deeper than I have felt before. It is more than a belief, it is a knowing. And how can I not know? How can I look at my parents, both who should be on deaths door with cancer, and not carry the belief that there are an infinite amount of possibilities out there? How can I not believe that my dreams can really come true when I look at the miracles in my family?

And so it is with this renewed sense of joy that I great the world with today, and every day from this day forward, with thankfulness in my heart, God in my soul, Grace in my mind and a sense of adventure in my hands.

You Have Got to be Crazy. No You Are Perfect

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with you own common sense.” – Buddah

Ever since  I was a little girl, mother always told me, follow what you believe to be right, follow your gut, and don’t worry  about what other people say or think. This is, without a doubt, the best advice I have ever been given.

Through life, I have beat my own drum and stood up for what I believed to be right, For me and my life.  Always listen to that inner voice – for your guts will never lead you wrong. Follow your own truth. But be prepared – you will be criticized.

Barbara Steistand did it when she invested everything  she had in Funny Girl, so did Steven Speilberg with Star Wars. Everyone, including Steve Jobs, thought Bill Gates was called crazy, and also Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Einstein was called crazy and stupid for his equations, as was Sir Isaac Newton and even Darwin. So was Walt Disney. They all had one thing in common though: the unshakeable belief, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they could beat the odds by beating their own drum. And the risks everyone thought they were taking? Well are they really risks if you know the odds are more than in your favor?   Have to say, if I am a crazy person, lumped in with crazy losers like them, I am OK with that.

I have been called crazy for quitting  my job in Columbus, Ga and moving to Atlanta, been called crazy for thinking I could make it in radio (did that successfully for 15 years), called crazy for quitting the wonderful world of finance to pursue my dream of writing….and I have been called crazy more times than I can count for the things I have written.  Some have said very harsh things about me.  And that is Ok.

Because I am happy. I have a wonderful family, a great relatioship with BOTH my mother and my father, I have a wonderful man in my life, who treats me like a queen, I have a wonderful lucerative, succesful career as a writer that is very fulfilling, and amazing friends who love and support me. Those people who criticize me? Not so much….

So if you ever start doubting yourself, and wondering if what you are doing, the drum you are beating, is the right one, take a look at how happy you are. Compare that with how happy they are. Those people who criticize you (or me) – Who are they that their opinion matters?   And I will never criticize them, because I am too busy living a great life. Let’s face it, if I listened to everything people said I couldn’t do, I would have never gotten up out of bed. Just put on your blinders, focus in on what you want, the life you want to have, the goals you want to reach, and reach them. You can, because this is your life and you can do whatever you want. It’s not about them, It’s about you.

When it comes to following your dreams, your gut, your heart, don’t worry about what someone else thinks. While they are talking trash about you to others, you are skipping along living your happy wonderful life. And they…well, if you are the best thing they have to talk about, then that speaks volumes. This is your life. It’s not about them. It’s about you. Never forget that. And never for get who. You. Are.

Stay grounded as a person, as yourself, follow your gut, and you will never go wrong. And if you let the negative things negative people say about you…then let it motivate and inspire you to proove them wrong. All those people who say I am crazy for writing? Or what I write about? Do they have a book that is being published is the spring? No? No. And I do not say that to be cruel, not at all. Just to make the point that I am living my dream, and if they want to call me crazy for it, then they not only have my permission, but my blessing as well.

So follow your own path, your own dreams, your thoughts, your own truth, and let the chips, and opinions fall where they may. Break the rules, challenge thoughts, do it your own way, speak your own truth and don’t be afraid. Those who truly know you will know the truth, and those who don’t…well, you’ll be too busy being happy to worry about them, or what they think. Because you, and your drum, and your beat, are perfect.

What is Really Important

There are times in life where you stop to ponder and consider the things that are truly important in life. This has been one of those weekends. I went and saw my sister and nephews yesterday and had a wonderful time. Here are some of the things that are the most important to me:

  1. Family: My oldest nephew and I have always had a connection, and I pretty much put him through his first two years of college. The single most important investment I have ever made. To support and invest in someone’s future is an amazing thing. And as I watch him grow and develop into the amazing young man that he has become, I know all the sacrifices have been worth it. Spending time with my other nephews this weekend just makes me see how lucky I am to be involved in the young lives of such incredible young men. My sister and parents and two of my best friends and this year has only brought us closer. My father is my hero, my mother my biggest cheerleader, and my sister is…my big sister who always takes care of me.
  2. Friends: They are my heart and my support. I love them.  No man is an island and I could not be where I am today without them.
  3. Health: My health and the health of my loved ones is so very important. With my father’s cancer still going, every day we have him is a blessing. We hope and pray that the treatments will be done in January, but it depends on if the tumor in his liver is gone. My mother had stage 4+ Ovarian cancer and endured treatments from 2001-2003.  She survived, but those two years were two of the most difficult of all of our lives.My own brush with death this year made me face my own mortality and everything I truly have to loose. Without your health, you have very little.
  4. Believing in yourself: You must believe in yourself and your abilities. Forget what anyone else says, don’t pay attention to them. This is your life. It’s not about them, it’s about you. I forget that sometimes and get wrapped up in others’ opinions, and that can get me offtrack and off center. The secret is truly to just get away from it. Whatever it is, it cannot distract you if you do not let it in your circle, your world. Do what you know is right and listen to yourself and your own conscience. You will never go wrong in being the best you can be if you believe in yourself.
  5. Happiness: We all must find that place within ourselves, deep down, from which our happiness comes. You know that place that no one else can touch. I have found that place deep inside myself and it has helped me through many hard times. For me it comes from my Faith in God. That is where my joy originates. But everyone must find it for themselves, and keep it, hold onto it. What originates your joy will be the place you return to to get you through the rough times.
  6. Passion: No matter who you are, where you are, or what you do, you must be passionate about something. It doesn’t matter what it is, just as long as you have passion. I am convinced that it is my passion for living life, for writing, for being the best I can be that has made my life so wonderful. Having passion is the difference between existing and really living.
  7. Love: Pretty self explanatory. Tis the season for love. But you must have it all year, not just around Christmas. Surround yourself with positive, loving people and you will always be in good company. And don;t forget about romance. I am truly enjoying that right now too.

These are the six things that are the most important to me and my life and this weekend has been a great reminder. Tomorrow is church then spending  time with the man. Life is good.

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The Other Side

From the other side I see myself, looking out into the world. From the other side my friends told me of this moment. When you get to the other side, they said, you will see things much differently, Form the other side, when you get there, you will be a different person, smarter, better, my steel frame forged stronger by the struggles and inner pain of going through it and making it to the other side.

Yes, it is true. And for a while, the other side was this mythical place that I could only imagine. Some where was a cool dry place away from everything I had seen. That’s where I ought to be, that’s where I ought to go. If only I could get there, to that place where I am happy and free. And then I wake up after what seems like a very strange dream, and there I am. It must be how Dorothy felt when she woke up and realized everything she needed and loved was really right there. They never left.

Oh life isn’t perfect, it never is. But it doesn’t have to be perfect to be good, great even. And when I look in the mirror and see the woman looking back at me from the other side, I see her in a different light too. She is strong, and beautiful, kind and …many more things that I did not see or appreciate. And I see that she smiles back at me, seeing that I too am on the other side. Yes, I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship between this girl and me.

And as I stretch and get ready for my life, I am so thankful for what I have been through and all I have seen. My friends were right, it is a lovely view from the other side, and looking back I see what the path was like to get here. Wow. What a journey. And now  there is no fear, there is no hesitation, there is only a sense of hope and optimism. I put my shoes on and start off to the next big adventure with thankfulness in my soul, a song on my tongue and love in my heart.


The 2012 Bucket List

Every year I make a list of goals, things I would like to do, accomplish, both personal and professional.  I also put up a goal board and focus hard on making the year great, “writing the life,” that I want.  This list is  different. This is the 2012 Bucket List.  And it has nothing to do with what needs to be done, only what I want to do for the year. The fun stuff, the reward for all the hard work.  Inspired by reading another blogger’s post (Thanks Lesley!), here is my list of how 2012 will be the best, and most adventurous year yet. Feel free to add suggestions, as the list is never complete.

  1. Get certified for scuba diving
  2. Go sky diving
  3. Go ziplining
  4. Go to Barbados and another cruise
  5. Get book published
  6. Read one book per month
  7. Continue belly dancing
  8. Belize, Dubia and/or Costa Rica
  9. Trips to Denver, the Corolina’s Tennessee, NYC, Iowa
  10. Visit a new state
  11. Spend a weekend in a cabin in the mountains
  12. Cook 1 new recipe a month
  13. Run 5 miles
  14. Take a photography class
  15. Ride in a helicopter
  16. Take a hot air balloon
  17. Go on an unplanned road trip
  18. See the leaves change in Vermont or Connecticut
  19. Get another Tattoo
  20. Take horseback riding lessons
  21. Kiss in the rain
  22. Buy one delicous, decedent peice of jewelry

Oh Christmas Tree!

Oh Christmas Tree, it has been so long since I have seen your wonderful branches!  For those of you who know me, you may or may not know the whole thing I have with Christmas, or my wonderful, beautiful Charlie Brown Christmas tree. IT is called that because it is a bit old (bought in 1992) and it leans a little. Yes, to most it would be time to toss the tree, but I just love it.  I cannot get rid of this little thing. I actually think of it more as the Velveteen Tree…you know, it is so old and loved that most of it’s “fur” is missing.

And decorating my tree, that leans to the side ever so slightly, is a big tradition. I there is much cheese, as in cheesy traditions. Yes, there are Christmas corals that are played, eggnog, hot chocolate, a fie in the fire place…the whole thing.  I put the tree together, put the lights on it, then commence with the decorations.  I have a ridiculous amount of ornaments, especially for a tree that small.  But I can’t help it, decorating the tree was always be big deal in out family. So I dig out all the wonderful, sparkly, ornaments.  There is the Kneeling Santa, The Grinch, a wide assortment of angels, many that my mother gave me or passed on to me from my childhood, there are ornaments that were gifts and others I bought while traveling around the world. All of them are loved.

And my cats do not mess with the tree…except for one cat, Taz the Spaz, but he has since been relocated. He would actually get a running start on his assault of the tree…and fly into it. I have never seen anything like it before.

So tonight, my C will help me put it up, then we will snuggle on the couch and admire it’s awesomeness.

Segmented Thoughts


Every family has their own holiday tradtions and one that my family always does is the Chrsitmas list, and it is a rule that you stick to what is on that list when you are purchasing for a member of the family. That is unless you know that person will absolutley love something that is not on that list, but that is the only exception – if the person collects certain items or has a favorite sports team.

This long standing famiy tradition was started after a Christmas gift giving mishap. It was the 80’s when big hair, bigger boom boxes and leg warmers were in style. Solid Gold was on TV and break dancing was the latest hit in pop culture. Somehow, my mother thought I would love to learn how to break dance. I hated break dancing. It was the largest Christmas gift under the tree, and I saved it for last. And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but Alfonso’s Break Dancing Kit – Oh Dear!! Yes, Alfonso, or Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bell Air, as most know him. It is a little known fact that he was a break dancing sensation back on the 80’s.

Now we make lists.

As you grow older, you’ll find the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do. – Zachary Scott

Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. – C. S. Lewis

I never regret anything. Because every little detail of your life is what made you into who you are in the end. – Drew Barrymore

Regret is defined as to Feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over something that has happened or been done. I have long said that I do not have any regrets, they are a waste of time. They are things that cannot be undone so why waste your time. Mistakes are one thing, regrets are another.

I received an email today from a man who sells Breitling watches. I had contacted him about buying one for my now ex  fiance. My ex collected watches and I thought  it would make a great gift for our first Christmas.  I asked the shop owner to contact me a bit before Thanksgiving so I could have time to engrave it and send to Afghanistan. It is funny how our past catches up with us. Funny the things you forget.

Someone asked me recently if I regretted getting involved with my ex. I don’t know. I have never regretted anything, because those things that happened in my life, even the bad, have made me into a finer, stronger, better person. But the decision to get involved with this man has been so costly – and not from a monetary. The emotional cost has been greater than any amount of money lost. But do I regret?

Can we ever truly regret loving someone? To give love is a gift, even if it is not received well. We have no control over the actions of another, and the true definition of love is giving it without any expectation of getting anything in return. So I don’t know that I can say I regret giving love to another human being, I cannot say I regret having the ability to love another with all my heart. That was truly a joy. Maybe would be more accurate to ask if I regret who I gave love to? Again I do not know the answer to this question.

I told my friend to ask me in a year, after time and space has healed much and objectivity has had a chance to set in. Maybe the secret to regret is simply taking the time to know if the cost was worth the experience.



It is well known that I love being a writer, it is truly what I was born to do as  career. I am very fortunate to be able to make a good living doing what I love. And I have a great job working for a great company. A software company that needs a lot of technical writing, marketing and SEO copywriting. The people are great, the company very well structured and a lot of fun as well. They have beer in the fridge, a pool table in one of the conference rooms, provide free cokes, snacks and yogurt and bagels in the morning.

I am very thankful for the opportunities I have been given and the life I am able to have.

The Speed of Life

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. – Henry Ellis

Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out. – Anton Chekhov
Oftentimes when I am feeling contemplative, I sit back and think about a year ago.  I think about the job, the friends, the adventures, the thoughts. The feelings I had about him, the hopes I had about the future, oh how they have changed. I think about all the decisions that have been made, the discoveries and mistakes…the loads of laundry, number of times I have been afraid to look under the bed for the dust bunnies, how many times I have lost my shoes. I think about all the writing, of funny moments, the whole online dating adventure , or fiasco, depending on your point of view.
In a year my personal life sure has entertained a lot of people. And as I have left bits and pieces of my laughter and my  heart around the streets of this city, and the Southeastern part of the state, there have been so many things that have changed in a year. When you sit down and think about it, it is amazing at the speed at which life moves.
A year ago I was heart broken over him, celebrating a new contract, striking it out on my own after dissolving a business partnership, deciding whether or not to go one Plenty of Freaks, and struggling to find the other shoe. Well, somethings never change…but the landscape of my life is vastly different than just a year ago. Such a short amount of time, yet so far a distance. And at the time things did not seem to be moving especially fast.
It makes me excited to think about the future and how the landscape of my life my change in the next year.  A book, a job, a wedding, a future, a new agent, a new attitude. And as I take a step toward my new life in the next year, I say a kind farewell to t he last 12 months. Life is a balance, is it not? A balance between the past and the future, work and personal, love and pain, in and out, open and closed. But most of all to me, life is a balance between moving slow enough to savor those wonderful once in a life time moments, and always being curios and ready to explore the next corner.
Whatever happens one thing is for sure: I will write about it. And I look forward to taking all of you along for the ride.
(PS. Yes JW, I know I still have to call you!)

Tell Me Your Story

We all have a story. Tell me yours.

There was a musician who asked his fans to tell him their stories.  He, in turn, would write their stories into song.

So this is what I ask of all of you – tell me your stories. And I will write them. Your secrets, embarrassing moments, interesting things that have happened along the way.  And it will all be under the anonymity of this blog – no names will be revealed, no judgment, all secrets kept. I will write your autobiography (or a piece of it), what happened, how it affected you, what you learned, what it means to you. The Good, the bad and the in between.

I have long been fascinated by peoples stories, fascinated by hearing part of what makes that person who they are. What makes them sad, happy, smile, proud, ashamed, human.  Truth is I have been doing this for a long time, but usually people ask that I write their stories either in my handwritten journal or just under my own name.

But this is your story…How would you like it to be told?

I can be reached at or by Facebook.

4 Things

4 things that I heard tonight:

  • The hardest thing and the right thing are usually the same thing
  • Easy doesn’t enter into the grown up life
  • To get anything of valiue you have to sacrifice
  • Every day needs a purpose

These four statements were made in four separate conversations, four separate topics with separate people.  And yet, in the threads of life that intertwine into a finely woven pattern, I cannot help but see the connection.

As we strive to accomplish our goals in life, both internal and external, we must remember that it is not always easy, it will not always work, and it may be a very big struggle.  But in the end, if we truly strive to be the best that we can be, if we work hard, life will turn out for the best.

And every day our purpose can be to be better than the day before.

Inner Adaptation and Your Cheering Section

Someone once told me that I am my own greatest and loudest cheerleader.

At the time, I took this quite literally.  I took it to mean that when I needed a little boost and a little encouragement, I should give myself the pep talks rather than ask someone else to do it for me.  And if, on a particularly bad day, I couldn’t find my poms poms and pleated skirt buried beneath the dirty piles of life, then my rallying section would be silent, closed and empty.  I would deal with it—no one else need bother.Rather lonely and dismal way of thinking.  It took years, and a lot of reminders from my friends and family that I was not weak to ask them to help and support me, that I do need more than just myself. We all do. And that’s okay.

Take, for example, the past month or two or 18….  I have slogged my way through, slowly, silently.  I did not asked my loved ones to come and walk beside me for awhile.  I have not told the full story.  I have not written down so much of what I’ve felt and seen .  I have pushed away, stayed away. More than once, I have stood before the empty bleachers in my corner of life’s stadium and actually appreciated—needed—the silence I found there.

I found a quote while reading a travel book: “Change is easy; inner adaptation is not.”  I scribbled that line onto the back of a receipt and brought it with me in my mind.  Each day while I nursed a few wounds, while I left bits and pieces of my self and my heart, littered throughout Atlanta, I saw that quote, read it, and thought about the inner adaptation I knew I should make. Sometimes we get so busy with life that we forget to make certain things a priority.

A few years ago, I struck out to be the change agent in my life.  I asked, boldly, for what I wanted.  I grabbed at even the slightest hints of opportunity.  I leapt, thrilling in the surprise of where I would land.  I took on more responsibility and challenge in work; I made a huge decision about my future and family; I recommitted to my book; I gave of my heart; I signed up to participate in things I’d only ever talked about doing. But, what I forgot was this simple truth:  Change is easy; inner adaptation is not.

Because a lot change happens outside and around us. External forces as diverse as the weather, our jobs, our national security, his attention, the health of a loved one, and the ridiculous cost of gas shift and change the landscape of our lives each and every day. We are often powerless to stop any of it. What we do have the power to do is change inside, how we handle and look at life. When I decided to change my life, I don’t know how much I stopped to think about the changes I needed to make inside of me. Or that it was Ok to ask my friends and family to support me in my search for inner adaptation and balance.

It took one silly quote—and a long-weekend home with my family—to remember that for me to adapt, I need more than just my own set of pom poms.  I need my full rallying section.  I need to know I am not by myself in the world.

I won’t say everything is fixed, and life is perfect again.  (Is life ever perfect?) But, I will say that thanks to reconnecting and actually showing up to brave whatever met me, I am happier and more at peace than I have been in a long time.  I can feel the shift within—and I can see the ripple effect it’s creating outside and around me.

I play hard, live hard, work hard, love hard. I am passionate about the things and people I love. I want a full life, and that means some inner changes, doing some opening up, being vulnerable and taking some real risks. I stumble, fumble and drop the ball a lot.  I am light years away from perfect, and always will be. But it also means understanding my own worth.  And if someone does not see my worth, as a person, as a women, as a friend, as a partner, as a human being, then I must leave them and be around those that do.

Now as I walk around the corner of my life I am very alone, very much on my own. But, I can feel—I can hear—the great roars and cheers of those in my life who love me, who I love, who know and understand that change is easy for me, but inner adaptation…Well, they know the rest.  I know the rest. And yet, my forces are rallying just the same.

An Extraordinary Life

 Last night was a wonderful quiet night filled with open windows, a rainstorm, cool wind and great reads.  As I laid in my bed, listening to the melodic sound of the rain on the window pane, I thought about the life I had lived.  It has truly been extraordinary, exceptional. 

I have lived and I have loved.  Cried a river of tears, laughed till I cried, been so happy I thought I would pop, loved so much it hurt, walked away, flown planes, skinny dipped, run through fields, drank fine wines and traveled in luxury.  I have dined at some of the worlds finest restaurants, played in hot tubs and limmos, been given expensive gifts, given those gifts back, made too many mistakes to count, paid dearly for each one of them, started several fights and won quite a few. I have spent time with wealthy and poor, had all nighters, quietly fell asleep in the arms of a lover, kissed in the rain and set the world on fire. And I am not even 40!

Through it all I kept two things in tact: my integrity and my ability to give and accept love.  “To Thine Own Self be True” is how the saying goes.  I have always been honest with those I was involved with, whether personal or business, even when it was not advantageous.  Looking back, many things could have ended up much more in my favor if I had just been willing to lie and look the other way.  I could have been a very rich woman.  It sucks having a conscience.

And even now, in my life, as quiet as it is while I listen to the rain, there is a hunger.  Now matter how much I accomplish, I always have a need to do more.  In less than two years I have started a small advertising agency, established myself as a hellovawriter, written articles for magazines, AT&T, and now SunTrust.  I have been promoted to editor and now can set my own hours (within reason).  I am making good money , though I could always make more. And yet, it is not enough. It is not a restlessness really, just a need to do more, be more. And I wonder, when will it be enough?

As much as I hate to quote a TV show, Carrie Bradshaw once said that some women were not meant to be tamed, some women were meant to find someone just as wild to run with. Someone who can understand the need to be in motion, accomplishing, working, living and having fun.  Someone who understands being a free spirit also means being loyal and faithful while exploring the world, building with each other. You can be still and still be lively and free. 

So it is with an insatiable curiosity that I look to the future.  The world is truly ours, all we have to do is saddle up and get going. And we must always be curious, we must stay inquisitive.  That is the secret to the fountain of youth, I think.  Join me.