Saturday, November 20, 2010

How Did She Do That & Why Can't I?

So, girlfriend meets boy.  In two months they buy a house together.  Two months later I meet him and think, he's not good enough for her.  One year later they break up and she's stuck with house in shitty market.  Three weeks late she meets boy at bar.  They are now together and when I mean together I mean TOGETHER.  Planning trips, making arrangements to be together.  And, when I looked in his eyes I was attracted to him and SO mad that I couldn't have met him or someone like him.  I haven't had anyone even close to that in almost a year and she just turns around and finds Mr. Wonderful and Perfect.  I'm pissed and lonely.  And this is why I dive into my work.

My Mom told me that my abusive psycho ex ruined me, and she's right.  While I feel I've forgiven him, he has not really let go.  Over the years he sends me unpostmarked, no return address letters and cards, left me voicemails, emails and tried to friend me on FB.  No wonder I'm jacked.  I've let my past go but it won't let me go.  It just keeps lingering and it's out of my control.  Is it written on my face?  Or am I just too scared to let anyone in because I think that in six months I'll find out who they really are? 

After tonight I'm feeling very lonely and wishing I had someone like that. I don't get it.  So I do what I do, blow it off, act tough and look to myself, and my vibrator for happiness.  Work is a decent substitute for thinking about the on thing I actually want the most in this life. Now, I will go pack and then cuddle with my precious Meow Mix whose unconditional love is the one thing I can't be without.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Which Direction Did You Say To Go?

The last few months I've really been questioning where I'm going and what I'm doing.  For real?  Is that what you just said?  Yeah, fer real! And you thought I had it all figured out.  Me TOO!  Psych!

Yes, the decision to move is still a good one but the real question, the thing that has left me in limbo is whether to get a job or not.  Seems that since all this crazy shit went down that things have really been turning around and now I have all this opportunity in front of me.  I feel like Job.  You know, the guy who lost everything, faced every challenge and tragedy, remained faithful and was rewarded 10-fold?  Yeah, that guy.  That's who I felt like and who I still feel like.  It's crazy!

I was really, really leaning to taking a secure job and almost even more so when I FINALLY did that interview.  Interesting and easy really.  I suppose I'm so used to selling myself on a constant basis to clients that the job interview process seems like a breeze.  Let me tell you that all in all, if I were to take a job, this one is the BOMB!  We're talking relo, great salary, bennies and flex work (read: ability to work from home).  I thought it went really well but know they're talking to seven of us.  I have yet to hear from them about moving further into the process.  If I did they'd want to fill the position by end of December.  Needless to say, lots to think about.  But then....

This week I've had two new business proposals to do - one still to finish - and now I'm teaching my first 3-hr workshop to small business owners, who, I might add, are paying a whopping $60 bucks to attend.  Here's where it get's funny, or a little scary....a local reporter saw the class online and decided to do a story that would include me.  Yeah, gets better.  She's not just writing a story, but apparently producing one for a syndicated TV program that airs in 100 markets across the country.  Holy SHIT!  LOL  Fer real!  And those clients I'm pitching new business to aren't talking to anyone else.  Two I've worked with before and one saw that I was teaching this workshop, called the organization for my information and then called me.  Now that's the kind of competition I like.  None!

So, if I'm supposed to be listening to the Big Guy I would say that he's telling me everything I need to know, right?  All I can say that I've been so busy as of late (two pro bono clients suddenly just took off, along with loads of fun things happening for paying clients) that I haven't even had time to look for jobs.  I'm sure it will all settle down soon, but I keep wondering....if all of this is happening it must be for a reason, and if I move forward in the interview process for this position and get offered the job how do I know what decision to make?  Fuck!  Hate this.  Then again...there I go making mountains out of mole hills.  I have no idea if I'll move forward in the process, so until then I keep doing what I'm doing and controlling what I can control.  That's all any of us can do, right?

Time will tell and I have faith that it will all be laid out for me in due time.  

Man, I need a vacation!  I'm really looking forward to seeing my family next week (I'm sure I'll blog about that craziness), get some rest and a major change of scenery.  In the meantime, you should know that my Christmas is TOTALLY DONE!  Well, okay, with the minor exception of my nephew...but I'm loving it!!  It's cut my stress, and drinking, by more than half, I'm sure.  Thanks to all of you for your awesome ideas for inexpensive and creative gifts.  You totally rock! 


Monday, November 8, 2010

You Get What You Give

I've always believe this one thing: You get what you give. There's a great song by The New Radicals that truly inspired me to continue living in this way.  It is my theme song, of sorts, and always lifts me up.

While I am on my journey I continue to follow this sort of Golden Rule.  It truly works but it can be difficult.  I often wonder to myself how it is that I am so busy and yet not generating the revenue to reflect it.  Well, it's because I do pro bono work and I'm a big believer in it.  My pro bono clients are some of the best for generating quality referrals for my business.  They are, at times, the clients I am most happy working for.  The joys of success feel higher. Now, there are some, which I will not name, that come and go or simply ask too much of me and I, eventually, have to let them go.

This year, in an effort to focus on me for a change, I let go of some of my volunteer work because it was just taking too much of my time. I have one regular pro bono client, a 17-year old, extraordinary nonprofit founder who is generating tons of press.  I'm so happy to be part of her life and inspired as a factor of her being part of mine.  She is changing the world in a way I used to think I would, but, well, I do, but in a much smaller way.  I'm happy to be part of her good work and to help her realize her dreams for her organization.

This week has been full of opportunities including helping promote a documentary that is getting rave reviews and awards all over the world.  I'm simply helping raise awareness in Chicago, but the film's content and meaning are moving and something I'm lucky to be part of.

It's hard not to live by the motto "You get what you give" and not consider what you will receive in return.  What I am clients, opportunities and connections.  They just happen.  It's inexplicable and I can only consider it as God or the universe.

A good friend of mine in recovery said that the best thing that ever happened to her was The Program.  "Let go and let God" had a meaning to her that she reminded me was powerful.  We can only control what we can.  Just get up and do daily.  Live up to your obligations and never forget to do for yourself, and the rest will fall into place.  There is a plan for each one of us that is greater than even we can imagine.  We just have to stick to the path, get up every morning excited for what might happen and go with the flow of that which does happen.  In her wise words, "Let life happen.  It can't be controlled by any of us.  We can only control those things which do happen to us, the blessings, and let Him reveal the rest. And it always happens at the exact time you need it."

As I consider what I want for myself, I also start doubting.  I doubt my choice to leave the city I love so much and all the connections I've made here.  There is a wonder if I will be forgotten and whether these amazing things - connections, networking and connecting people or even achieving new business - will continue.  I know that many will forget me, in time, but I hate that.  I feel like, despite technology, that people are more and more "out of sight, out of mind".  Including the Gay BF who recently announced how he will replace me.  I suppose that's what got me thinking. We can only hope to make a mark on each person's heart the likes of which is unforgettable.

So my mission to live with that in mind and remember to give more than I receive is what makes me believe I have, am and will continue to leave a mark no matter where I go.  Again, this week, despite the tug and pull with doubt, I was reminded of my desire to be closer to my family.  And those I've touched, well, it will be a blessing for them to remember me and stay in touch. 

To the city I love, Chicago, my good friend *Susan sent me the best article for my birthday.  It came to her about the time she was deciding whether to move out of the city or not.  Much like this writer who left New York City for the wide-open spaces of Arizona, I may be confusing the heartbeat of the city with that of my own.  I love you but I can create my own heartbeat and energy wherever it is I go. 

A couple of updates:
  • The Job Interview: She finally called last Monday to schedule an interview for 10a the next morning.  After not hearing from her and working to track down her phone number, I called her at 10:25 and left a message.  It took her three days to get back to me.  She did apologize and asked to reschedule.  I have yet to hear back from her per my email....So far, I'm not impressed with them, but it's an interview.  I was reminded by a friend that I should have no problem interviewing because I'm always pitching new business, and myself.  
  • The SHOES - a couple of you wanted to know the overall effect of my "Tone and Walks".  Well, they're comfortable for sure, but as much as I wear them, I can't tell if they're making a difference. It is an uphill battle, though.  They have to compete with wine....
  • Love life - pretty dead right now, since I've decided to be selfish and really focus on me.  I'm still open to any opportunities, but believe me, if a guy wants to go out with me, he'll fucking call!  I can only say that, sadly, it's up to lip slut to have fun and the fact I'm not meeting "the one" or anyone resembling him is based solely on my current goals.
Go out and give!  Love is the greatest gift we have to give to one another and it will come back.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Holiday Shopping at Home for the Girl on a Budget

This weekend was so busy that I decided to take today (Monday) off and finish my house cleaning.  It always amazes me how the house can go from clean to a complete war zone in the matter of minutes.  Cleaning is enjoyable to me (I know, I need help).  It's a great stress reliever and as an organizer-type there's something calming about putting everything in its place.

This weekend I attend a Swap Party that was rich in goodies!  I took four bags of shoes, clothes, jewelry, some housewares and purses.  My intention was not to refill those bags, and I did a pretty good job.  I did score some awesome stuff, many of it for Spring.  If the Swap is really good, one can even find some fun gifts for others.  This one didn't have as much, but I'm regretting not picking up the Stuart Weitzman ankle boots for a friend.  Where was my head?

As I finally found a home for everything today, I also felt the purge bug again.  It's addictive, this little bug.  It feels so good to get out from underneath your stuff and get it out of your home.  When you've been some place for a long time it's easy to get settled and then...the collecting starts.  I can't live in clutter, so the last few years I've been doing major purging.  Crazy as it sounds, but it's kind of euphoric, especially when others find so much joy in the things you no longer want.  Today, was no different.

I sat down and started cleaning out accessories when it hit me - I'm not sure what I'm going to do for Christmas gifts with a very limited budget.  I stopped looked down and saw a wealth of gifts before me.  If I only concentrate on my family and one or two friends, I've got it covered. Hardly used or worn accessories which I could easily pass on to others.  Fifteen minutes of cleaning and polishing and they're good as new! Yes, each one is specifically chosen for each person.  One is a necklace I got around the age of 10-12 years old and not worn since college.  I love the piece - it's shaped like a descending dove with three opals - and decided that it would be the perfect, and very special, gift to pass on to my niece.  I just can't believe how much I have that I've hardly or never worn.  It's fantastic!  Who knew most of my Christmas shopping would come from the third drawer? And let me tell you, some of the women in my life are scoring!  Meanwhile, I'm saving about $100+ in cash.  I wouldn't say it's trash, but it's definitely untapped treasure.

At the moment, each is in it's own box and labeled and the bug is still eating away at me.'s the spirit of Christmas.  'Tis the season to be purging...falalalala-lalalala.

What are your creative or inexpensive holiday shopping tips and ideas?


My Birthday

Halloween is my birthday.  Before you get all "that's so cool, you must have the birthday ever every year", let me just say it has it's ups and downs.  Really, I don't know why, maybe I think it should be so extraordinary, but it's not.  However, that's not to say it isn't great.  After all, I can become someone else for a night or put on my "birthday" wig and be incognito for a day or two.

When I was younger, my birthday ROCKED.  Probably because I was a kid and it was all about trick-or-treating.  My mom used to make my costumes - one year I was Sleeping Beauty and she did an amazing job with the dress.  Another year I was Dorothy from the "Wizard of Oz" and I put our black Lhasa Apso in a basket as Toto.  My parents let me take her to school and show everyone my costume and then they took her back home.  And...there was always more candy and cupcakes for the class.

As I grew older, it became harder but my family did amazing things for me: Sister1 taped a huge plastic pumpkin outside my bedroom door.  When I woke up I ran right into it and couldn't stop laughing.  One year my parents turned our garage and basement into a haunted house.  It was a family affair and my friends thought it was amazing!  For my Sweet Sixteen I came home to my boyfriend and a handful of friends hosting a surprise party.  It was mellow but so much fun.  That's when I began to realize that it's more about who you're with than anything else.  I didn't get a car, a real piece of jewelry or anything else extraordinary, just my family and friends.

I love the effort my family always put in.  Most years my Dad would dress up as a ghost and as kids walked into the entry way and rang the bell, he'd jump out from the garage or off the chair he was sitting on.  He continues to do something fun.  He loves Halloween.  For him, it's the greatest night of the year.

Since I moved away and became (cough) older, things changed.  There was no longer family, family but there was a new family.  My Urban Tribe and they have done some pretty awesome things from a surprise party for my 31st to simply dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant.  Or the few years I've shared my birthday with others and had a mean girls night of manis/pedis and BYOB sushi.  The last two years I've gone to the parade in Boystown, which is every gay man's national holiday and a riot!  These people go far out for incredible costumes - of course all I can think about is how do you go to the bathroom in that thing?  And...of course my family has visited.  Sister 1 has rang in the Big 30 and Bigger 35 with me and my aunt and uncle celebrated numero 32 with a night filled with Italian and champagne.

Then there were the beginning years in Chicago when everyone talked me into hosting a party at a bar.  I did that and 200 of my closest friends RSVP'd to attend, however, in the end maybe 35 showed and stayed, another 35 came, said they were just coming in to wish me "Happy Birthday" and then leave, and, in the end, I was left holding the bag for the room.  Their excuse - "We have, like, five more parties to go to..." And I was like "Listen, sister, I vaguely remember holding your hair back from your face while you puked into a trash can in the "Viagra Triangle" (locals know what I'm talking about) at 4:00 in the morning on your birthday and you can't stay and have ONE drink to help pay for the room?"  Whatever.  Sure friends pitched in so I wasn't alone in paying $1,000 to the bar -yep, you read that clearly - but I was embarrassed and mad, and the rest went on credit card.  Obviously, I've not done anything like that since. 

I often wonder if it's because I'm single and alone that I don't feel like my birthday is really that great.  There's no waking up in the morning to "Happy Birthday, babe", someone to take me to dinner or dress up in a couple's costume.  Reading through this, I know that I'm pretty lucky and it's not so bad, but I feel like something's missing.  Aside of the costume and parties it's just another day.  I do want to give my gay boys a shout out for Saturday night.  I came out of the bathroom to trick candles on Twinkies and happy birthday, followed by a Tequila shot at Midnight and more singing.  Now, I DO NOT DO Tequila.  He and I had a bad one-night stand in college, and since then we just don't interact without Margarita mix.  Needless to say, it was not pretty and, to that point, I'd only had three and half drinks over five hours.  I was done.

There's also a new need.  A need to not be hungover or worthless the next day.  Besides, Sunday was my actual birthday and I wanted to enjoy the day.  I could have slept a few more hours but at 7am my eyes opened and I decided to get the day started.  What did I do?  I cleaned my house.  Seriously, it's the best gift I could give to myself, aside of a day off (today) to finish the job.  Later a could gay boys took me to yummy Mexican, I hooked up with Tequila again, in a Margarita, and then to the parade.  I wish I had taken pictures to share.  Laughing was the medicine I needed and I received it.  After wards, I we went to a gay bar (me in my brunette bob wig) where I had my butt grabbed twice and one telling me how much he liked it.  My response "Honey, I'm not what you think I am".  A compliment is a compliment!

I guess at the end of the day that my birthday is child-like and youthful, and I've begun growing out of it.  Not in a way that I will never dress up and go to parties, but in the "I want to celebrate my day in a new way."  Or, maybe I need to accept a new, exciting normal and I'm really just a big whiner who needs to dump her expectations.  What that "new normal" is I have yet to determine, but I can tell you the Big 40 is on the horizons and I'd like to be in a place to do something BIG with family and friends!

Hope you had a wonderful and safe Halloween!