Appearances Can Be Deceiving

“Have a good evening,” she said with a naughty grin.  “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

“Bye!” I said laughing as I walked toward the elevator.

I walked to my car and got it.  It was a nice day so I rolled down my windows and turned up my radio a bit as I headed out of the parking lot.  I had to stop by the store so I decided I would give him a call when I got to the store.  I needed some time to enjoy the music and the breeze.

When I got to the store, I rolled up my windows and hopped out of the car.  As I was walking in, I dialed my cell phone to give him a call.  I got his voicemail so I left him a message letting him know that I had left work a bit before 4pm and was heading home but that I was still open to the early dinner idea from my email.  I hung up and pulled out my list.  I had to make a list every time I went to the store so I wouldn’t get off task and pick up things I didn’t need.  I had a bad habit of doing that.

As I was going through the self check out line, my phone rang.  I hit ignore so I could pay attention to my purchases.  I hated it when people were at the register doing twelve things at once and holding up the line.  I paid for my purchases and grabbed by bags.  As I was walking to my car, I pulled out my phone and checked the call log.  He had called me back but didn’t leave a message.  I closed my phone and headed back to my car to put my bags in the trunk.  Once I got in and backed out, I picked up my phone to call him back.

I got his voicemail again and left another message.  “Hey, I saw that you called but didn’t leave a message.  I just left the store and am headed home now.  Give me a call back and let me know if you still want to get together.”

I rolled down my windows again and cranked up my music.  I put my cell phone on my leg so I would feel it vibrate if I got a call.  As I was pulling into my parking space, my phone vibrated.  I turned down the music and answered.  It was him.

“Hi!” I said.  “How are you?”

“I’m fine,” he said in a tight voice.  “Where are you?”

“I’m just parking at my apartment.  Did you get my voicemail messages and email?” I asked.

“Yes, I got them,” he said.  “When I called you back, you didn’t answer.  What were you doing?”

“Sounds you didn’t get my second message.  I was at the store when you called.  I called you right back, though,” I said.

“Oh at the store, huh?” he said.

“Yeah,” I said feeling a little annoyed.

“Well I wanted to come over and see you tonight.  Do you feel up to company?” he said.

“I am tired from last night,” I said.  “But I’m ok with you coming by for an early dinner.  I can cook something.”

“An early dinner?” he said.  “Why does it have to be an early dinner?”

“Because I’m tired and I need to get some sleep.  I barely made it through the day today and I have some deadlines coming up at work that I need to be alert for this week,” I said.

“Oh,” he said sounding disappointed.  “I wanted to come and spend the night with you again.”

“While that sounds absolutely lovely, I would probably fall asleep on you,” I said.  “What if we do that Friday night so we can spend Saturday together as well?  My Saturday is wide open.”

“Well, I guess that would be ok,” he said.  “I was really looking forward to seeing you tonight but I guess I can hold out.”

“Cool,” I said.

We continued talking as I got out of the car and headed inside.  After I put everything away, I told him I was going to take a shower and get comfortable for the evening.  We said goodbye and I headed to my room to take a quick shower and put on my lounging clothes.

After I got out of the shower, I went to the kitchen to make myself some dinner.  I was more tired than hungry so I took out the ingredients for a salad.  I had some grilled chicken left over from another meal so I cut that up and added in some apple slices, onions, carrots and cheese.  I put it in a bowl and pulled out a bottle of white wine.  I took my glass of wine and salad over to the couch and turned on the television.  I really needed to veg out some before I went to bed to rest my mind.

As I was eating the salad and watching television, I heard a knock at my door.  I walked over to it and looked out the peep hole.  It was him.

I opened the door.

“What a surprise,” I said.  “What brings you by?”

“I just couldn’t wait until Friday to see you again,” he said.

He grabbed me and kissed me passionately.

When we parted, I stepped back.  He was still standing in the open doorway.

“Wow,” I said.  “That was a lot.  Is something wrong?”

“No,” he said.  “Can’t I just be happy to see you?”

“Sure,” I said.  “I just wasn’t expecting you tonight based on our conversation a couple of hours ago.”

“Are you not happy to see me?” he asked.  I saw a small flicker of that thing in his eyes again.  It was the same look I saw the other night.  My stomach clenched slightly.

“I’m happy,” I said.  “I’m just surprised to see you-that’s all.”

He reached for me again but I was too far away from him after I took a few steps back.  He came into my apartment but left the door open.  He narrowed his eyes a little and took a step towards me.  I tried to focus my mind and assess the situation as best I could.  I couldn’t understand why this was happening.  I really liked this guy and here he was stepping menacingly towards me but I wasn’t sure why.

“Is everything ok?” I asked.

“No,” he said.  “I really wanted to see you and you didn’t want to see me.”

I shook my head slowly from side to side as I continued to back away from him further into my living room.

“No,” I said.  “It’s not that I didn’t want to see you but I am really tired and I didn’t want to be rude and fall asleep on you.”

“Well I really wanted to see you so I came over anyway to see you,” he said.

I wanted to get him to calm down and start acting like the guy that I had been falling for over the past few months.

“Here, have a glass of wine,” I said motioning to my glass sitting on the living room table.  “Let me go get another glass from the kitchen and we can talk.”

He looked at me with that crazy look in his eye and then walked over to the couch and sat down.

I walked into the kitchen and looked for my cell phone.  Thankfully I had left it in the kitchen when we finished talking earlier and no one had called since then.  I picked up the phone and dialed 911 but didn’t hit the send key.  I pulled out the bottle of wine and got another glass.  I walked back to the living room and sat down next to him on the couch.  I pulled out the wine cork and poured myself a glass of wine.

“Would you like more?” I asked.

He shook his head so I reached over and poured a bit more into his glass.  He picked it up and took a big gulp before sitting the glass down.  He stared at the television for a minute then he looked over at me.  I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that crazy look out of his eyes.  He looked like the guy I’ve gotten to know and like a lot again.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Well you kind of caught me off guard,” I said, choosing my words carefully so as not to set him off.  “I wasn’t expecting you to stop by tonight. I thought we were going to get together Friday.”

“Oh,” he said.  “I just wanted to see you and the next thing I knew, I was in my car driving over.”

He reached over to give me a kiss and I flinched slightly.  He pulled back, eyes widening.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.  “Did I scare you?”

“Yeah, a little,” I said.  “There was a look in your eyes that worried me.”

He leaned over again and brought me close to him for a hug.  After a few minutes, he let me go and kissed me on the cheek and forehead.

“I apologize if I frightened you,” he said.  “Sometimes I get really intense when I feel really strongly about something or someone.  I really like you and after last night I just couldn’t get you off my mind.”

I smiled at how sweet he was being.  I leaned over and gave him a kiss.

“It’s ok,” I said.  “I’m flattered that you wanted to see me so bad.  Let me take your jacket.  Would you like some salad?”

He took off his jacket and handed it to me.  I closed the front door and walked over to the closet to hang up his jacket when I felt him right behind me.  I turned around in shock and he grabbed my neck tightly.

“When I say I want to see you, you’d better make the time to see me,” he said menacingly.  “Don’t ever tell me no again.”

I tried to speak but couldn’t get the words out as he squeezed my throat.  Tears began to roll down my cheeks and I felt myself getting dizzy.  My hands were hanging by my sides so I reached into my pocket and hit the send button on my cell phone thankful that I had kept 911 keyed in.  Right before I passed out, I felt him kiss me on the forehead and whisper “I’m sorry.”


Practicing Authenticity

A few years ago I made a promise to myself that I would be my most authentic self at all times. This happened as a result of me feeling kind of resentful that the people around me seemed to think they “knew” me and would try to inject that knowledge into my life at various times. Once I got past being annoyed, I realized that it wasn’t just happening to me. This happens to everyone and there is no real way to make people stop doing this.

However, I realized that the one thing I could do to manage this was to make it a point to be myself authentically at all times. So when someone tries to tell me who I am, I can receive the information and recognize that it’s simply how they see me based on their own lens of experience.

That was an empowering thought and I began to do it right away. But after doing it, I began to notice that while being my authentic self is important, it’s not always easy to do. I know that may sound odd because who else should you be but yourself?

But I did learn that authenticity, like many other things, is a practice. The more you practice it, the better you will get at it. I’ve made some videos about this very topic. Since I’ve come to fully accept and realize that authenticity is a practice, I will make more videos to accompany this one.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please join me on this journey into practicing authenticity.

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I’m a Warrior!!

This past Sunday (May 20, 2012), I participated in Warrior Dash. According to the website, Warrior Dash is, a mud-crawling, fire-leaping, extreme 5k run from hell. So…

When I saw this, I just knew it would be something I wanted to do. I started training in January and financially committed in March. I trained by running two to three times a week and doing other workouts like some of Jillian Michaels’ DVDs and other things. My main goal was to get my stamina up so that I could run the length of the race with general ease. As a 5k that means it is 3.2-3.5 miles long with obstacles along the way.

So last Sunday, me and my mom drove two hours up to Rabun County, Georgia and assembled with several hundred (maybe a thousand) people who were there to either participate in the craziness or root for someone participating in the craziness. My heat was at 2pm so I registered and then enjoyed the party while I waited to race. Like to see it? Here it goes!

Now that I’ve done one mud run, I’m itching to do another one. I feel very accomplished after having done this race and I’m excited to continue on this path to fitness. I look forward to climbing more mountains and doing more mud races!

If you’re feeling adventurous, here’s the website

emotional laziness

Emotional Laziness

I have a friend who I consider my emotional hero. We’ve had many conversations about our beliefs and how we think we should conduct ourselves as women but recently I’ve really seen her put her words into action.

On two separate occasions (that I witnessed directly), she was put in a position where she had to make a tough decision. She’s had to deal with people in a way that made her vulnerable and opened her up to lots of different outcomes. In one situation, she had to share some really bad news with someone that she knows. Then she had to have a very direct and open conversation with someone else.

She approached these situations head on and dealt with them in an almost fearless way. I know she wasn’t comfortable doing what she did, but she did it anyway because she felt she had to. But she didn’t actually have to. Her life would not have stopped if she’d decided to stay within herself and not reach out to these people. However, her spirit led her to be emotionally courageous. She put on her big girl panties and stepped up to the plate.

This is a prime example of someone who chooses not to be emotionally lazy. She did the tough thing and was appreciated for it. Emotional laziness is when you are given a choice. In one instance, you can step outside of yourself and confront a tough issue head on. In another instance, you can choose to keep your thoughts and actions to yourself because you don’t want to “be the bad guy” or “cause a confrontation”. Choosing option 2 is emotionally lazy. It’s like when you exercise. Either you dive in and give it your all no matter how uncomfortable it is or you phone it in and do the bare minimum.

People who give it their all look and feel great. They experience increased fitness levels and ultimately begin to enjoy the activity. People who phone it in stay the same. They may have a slight change in fitness level but they won’t see real results. These are the people who may complain that they work out all the time but never seem to lose weight. Emotional laziness is the same. Your growth is stunted when you phone it in.

This is something that I just noticed and I want to know if it’s just me or do other people notice it too. Are there situations that you’ve noticed where someone was emotionally lazy? What was the outcome?


Please don’t turn Sept. 11 into a holiday!!

Sept. 11 is a day that gives me mixed feelings. Usually I’m fairly numb to the ceremonies of remembrance an the media storm that surrounds the day but this year I was angered by everything.

See, I was in New York on Sept. 11.

It was my first trip to New York (a city that I have always been intrigued by and couldn’t wait to visit) and I was there working on a concert tour. I was so excited and overwhelmed by everything already. We were staying at the Hilton in Times Square which was across from the venue that the concert was going to be at. I was up that morning getting dressed to go run some errands with the show’s stylist and I was watching Good Morning America when everything happened.

Thank goodness I had the initial presence of mind to call my mom as soon as everything happened because not long afterwards, the phones were useless. The lines were tied up on cell phones and land line phones. the only things that really worked were two way pagers. It was one of the loneliest times I’d ever experienced. I was up there with people who weren’t my family and that I hadn’t known for long. They were nice people but when there is a major crisis going on, I want to be surrounded by familiar people. I was pretty much alone with my Stephen King novel, Dreamcatcher.

Myself and some people who were also up there for the concert were able to catch a ride on a party bus that had been sent up from Atlanta with some people from New York on it. Since the planes were grounded, this was the only way we could get home.

10 years later, I still haven’t really dealt with the day and how it made me feel and how subsequent things that have happened since made me feel either. But this year, I felt like the “coverage” of Sept. 11 was bordering on inappropriate. I know it was the 10 year anniversary but it started to feel like the day was being commercialized. People seemed to think they needed to be sad to properly honor the day and everyone was scrambling to share their Sept. 11 stories.

I understand the gravity of the day and what it represents but I don’t think I will be very happy if I start seeing Sept. 11 greeting cards.

That would be too much.

margarita_glasses 1

When life gives you limes…

In the last couple of months, I have gone through quite a few changes financially and health wise. Without going into the gory details, I’ll just say that I’ve had two hospital visits, one for emergency surgery. Under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t be a huge financial issue but I do not have medical insurance so all of these new bills are falling on me. It’s a stressful situation in itself, not counting the other stressors I encounter as a full time freelance consultant who works in the video production industry in Atlanta.

However, in spite of occasional bouts of frustration, I have remained generally calm in a period where a complete freak out would be entirely understandable. I think I can give credit to a decision I made a few years ago when I was in a tough spot and I was about to spiral into a full scale freak out.

I took a deep breath and let it go.

I knew that there wasn’t a lot I could do about the situation at the time aside from what I was doing and stressing myself out was only making me uncomfortable and unable to enjoy when things were going well. So I let it go and it allowed me to breathe again. Now don’t get me wrong, my problems didn’t vanish but my stress became much more manageable because I stopped trying to control uncontrollable things.

So when I started getting sick, I had equipped myself with the emotional tool to not make things worse by adding stress to the equation. Plus, in the time that I was forced to take things easy and back off of being consumed by growing my business. I’ve had some time to really think and am in the process of making some important life decisions. I doubt I would be taking this time if I hadn’t become sick so although my becoming ill was not a desirable situation, it is creating some much needed clarity.

So really this post is just a long way of me saying that this journey to entrepreneurship and happiness can be challenging but not impossible as long as you’re able to be honest with yourself. So, when life gives you limes, don’t adopt the sour face. Make margaritas (virgin or alcoholic) or take tequila shots!

Uninspired Ramblings of Pure Inspiration