Ouch… It’s Been so Long!

There’s things I wish for in life. More time is one of them. Since I’ve last shared with you so many things have changed. (Which I feel sums up the constant feeling of my late 20’s, but we’ll get to that)

  • I’ve gotten a new job!
  • I have an incredible boyfriend
  • I’ve moved into an adorable condo that’s smack in the middle of both of my families.
  • I’ve been forced into a gluten-free and dairy-free lifestyle. Thank you Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

New Job: 

In December I interviewed and accepted a position as an Assistant Event Manager for a small firm in Orlando. Let me start out by saying I love my job, my boss, his family and our clients. I was the Assistant Event Manager/ Volunteer Coordinator/ Administrative Assistant/ ((Too many things to name)) for the FIRST ever He Got Up event in Orlando, FL. It was the most incredible event I’ve ever worked, even above all of the concerts! Just under 10k people were helped on Easter Sunday, 4k haircuts were provided, over 500 showers, 18 palates of free clothes were given away along with 8 palates of toys. DCF saw over 500 families, helped people understand the services that were available to them. It was an incredible experience and one I’m looking forward to doing again next year.

I also did the Citrus Bowl Parade which was exciting up until I broke out in hives because as luck would have it I’m allergic to citrus. Overall, riding a police escort around Orlando was pretty exciting and the parade went off without a hitch.

Incredible Boyfriend: 

Let me start off with the disclaimer… we met on Bumble. I’ve gone on Bumble dates before but this one was different. We messaged back and forth for a week and he kept postponing our dates off because he was sick. The third time he postponed I started loosing hope and as a last ditch effort I re-scheduled for Tuesday, the day before I was leaving to London on vacation for two weeks. Because fate is a fickle witch she got me good. It turns out my flight for London was Tuesday night so this time I had to cancel our date… on the last possible day before leaving. He was such a trooper. He was positive and told me we could meet up when I got back.

We continued to talk while I was gone, he asked about my hotel and how I was holding up being overseas alone. On my birthday he surprised me with flowers! It was epically awesome.

We FaceTimed while I was gone and I knew I liked him from what I knew. He also volunteered to pick me up from the airport. He did and now the rest is as they say history…

New Condo:

Not too much to say aside from its perfectly located and super nice, aside from the cat stains from the previous tenants it’s awesome!!

New Lifestyle Diet:

This one was so not my choice but on my last day of vacation in Nashville my doctor called and diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditus which essentially means I can’t have any dairy or gluten for the foreseeable future. The transition hasn’t been an easy one but my family and boyfriend have been extremely supportive and encouraging. Here’s to hoping I continue to be successful on this journey. Wish me luck!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It Hit Me Like a Wrecking Ball

I promise not to mention that super catchy Cyrus tune again.

Disclaimer: This post is technically about my faith but it’s relatable no matter what you believe.

Today I was absolutely wrecked in all the best ways. I felt it on my heart to reach out to my friend who is struggling in the aftermath of a divorce. So I texted her on my way to work and started praying. Within minutes it was like word vomit. I had so many petitions that it just kept coming. I know you’ve felt this whether you’re yelling to God, the universe or to yourself it’s that feeling of surrender where you unselfishly give every fiber of your being to a feeling, a thought, an action. It’s been longer than I care to admit since I’ve done this. Jumped head first into an abyss and waited for what was put on my heart. The tears and prayers kept coming five minutes became ten and I found myself in my parking space clutching my steering wheel and crying… Ugly crying with every ounce of my body. In that time of prayer I had felt God sitting in the passenger seat beside me prompting me to continue. As I walked into work I decided it was a great day to see my friend. We’ve both been through the ringer lately and today seemed like the right day to catch up and it was. We talked for hours. Giving each other advice, crying and being present.

Background: I’ve been going through some of the worst life changes lately. Not only have I been down but I’ve been battling feelings of unworthyness and loneliness. I’ve pushed almost everyone away including God and haven’t cared up til today. My friend is recovering from a toxic marriage that left her lonely, broken and scared. She has two beautiful little boys who are products of a strong woman. They are resilient and amazing. She has faced persecution and felt the need to defend herself in the eyes of people who are supposed to love her.

As we talked we opened up. She took a leap of faith and confided in me about a recent sin that has been weighing heavily on her. I saw her heart and how torn she is from her sin and I couldn’t help but feel ashamed knowing my sins are inexcusable and much worse. We both sinned the same way the difference being my sin was 8th circle of hell worthy. After hours of talking, confiding, tears and feeling every spectrum of emotion I opened up about sins I’ve openly committed, sins I could have stopped myself from it didn’t. I showed her my heart and instead of casting me to the side she spoke to me, her words were like a healing balm on my soul. I’ve never opened up to anyone about my shame and when I finally did I was met with open arms, not condemnation. This is how it should be. The people in our lives we count on shouldn’t condemn us but love us right where we’re at.

We briefly spoke of how her friend, and I use that term loosely, convinced my friend to take certain action and now the fallout and consequences of that are breaking her further. I know in the end some good will come of it, but how much longer will she hate herself for something she has already been granted mercy from? I wanted to scream, “don’t you think she’s suffered enough?” I could feel my friend’s brokenness and her desire to fix the situation, to take it back, to make it right. It’s a brokenness I’ve lived in for far too long. Too bad there isn’t a time machine to fix mistakes. If there was how would we grow and learn?

There are so many days where I feel unworthy, not cared for and unimportant. We live in a world that tells us we’re not enough or too much while God tells us we’re perfect because we’re made in his image. I read this amazing book called Be Rebellious by Megan Clinton and wow was it amazing and thought provoking. The world we live in knows nothing of grace and forgiveness so in a world that wants to beat me down I’m going to continue to stand up. If I fall there’s always tomorrow.

  
Let me break it down. Here’s what being a follower of Christ means to me. (Not all reasons will be listed, only ones pertaining to this post)

  • He loves me even when I don’t love myself.
  • I am worthy of his love because I am his daughter.
  • His forgiveness comes as soon as I ask for it.
  • He won’t hold it against me.
  • I am called to forgive others just as he’s forgiven me.
  • A sure fire way to turn people away from him is to judge and condemn them.
  • Grace was meant for everyone. Peter denied him three times and he was still loved as much as the most faithful servant.

I just want to end this post by saying you aren’t alone. Whether you’re behavior is self destructive or hurts others you can turn it around. It’s not going to be easy but it’ll be worth it. Fight for yourself, be kind to yourself and most of all love yourself enough to make a change.

Ghosting

Ghosted Playlist

Have you heard of it? I guess I’m out of the loop because I didn’t know rude, disrespectful and uncaring had a new name in the dating game. So for reference…

Ghosting: The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested.

Have you ever had a moment where you’re reading an article you stumbled on and all of a sudden it’s as if the idea lightbulbs are flashing all over the place and what you’re reading is so true you could have written it yourself? Thinking back the majority of the first dates I’ve had in the past two years where I met the guy online have ended with be being ghosted. Whether it was before the first date happened or a few in it’s become socially acceptable. #Growingupagirl isn’t easy, and anyone who says it is… is clearly a man.

As women we’re taught:

  1. To let the man pursue us.
  2. To not come off as ‘too interested.’
  3. To wait until he calls/ texts/ emails first.

These lessons are taught to us not only by our mothers who try to pass on loving advice, we see them played out on our favorite TV shows and movies. There are literally thousands of books written on the ‘art of dating’. I can’t help but feel like this ideal tells young women they should be less. Less caring, less loving, less interested, less intense, less passionate, less amazing… just less. I came to this realization during a long talk with my dear friend Isabel. During our conversation we complained about how we’re the last single ones in our friend groups. After a rant that consisted of me “cryelling” (crying and yelling at the same time, it’s not as easy as it sounds promise) I shouted that I’m tired of being told to be less. This opened the flood gates. We shared with each other all the times we’ve been told we were doing ‘too much’ for our current love interest. Whether it’s showing too much interest or making ourselves too available.

Recently I was bopping around the internet and I came across an article that I’ve fallen in love with. Pardon the crass title but it’s called Fuck Yes or No by Mark Manson. Now, I may be biased because I think Mark’s work is inspired and amazing but reading his article and vowing to follow it’s principles has transformed how I view potential relationships and even friendships. I’m done with being told I need to be less of anything. I’ve started applying the principles from his article to my life and it’s made all the difference.

My challenge for you is to apply the principles of Fuck Yes or No to your life. It won’t be easy at first because if you’re anything like me and allow your self to get your hopes up taking this forward approach can be intimidating. You have to be prepared to call it quits at any time and know that the one your supposed to be with is still out there. But wasting your time with someone who isn’t as into you as you are to them is just that… a waste of time.

A closing thought: You are strong, you are beautiful, you are enough. Never feel like you need to be less of anything, EVER.

The F*ck Yes! 

http://markmanson.net/fuck-yes#.eswykl:QBQg

An acquaintance just posted this on her Facebook timeline and it’s pretty EPIC. As someone who has always tried to ‘play along with the relationship games’ I’m done. 

**Steps up on soapbox**

If a guy isn’t as excited date me as I am to date him then why bother? Really? All it does is lead to me laying awake at night asking myself these stupid questions… “Why didn’t he text?”, “was he really busy?”, “Did I do something wrong?” Enough is enough. I’m worthy of more than a casual nod. I mean half these guys act like they’re doing me a favor… REALLY? Come on now. 

/rant

What I should do v What I’m doing…

I should say no. No to everything. No to talking, no to attempting something new, no to being a doormat. But, I just can’t say no, when he’s making an effort (small but effort nonetheless). I’m working on being stronger, never being the first to text. Waiting to respond. Making sure he realizes that he lost me not, I didn’t loose him. Motivational quotes only do so much and I’m not looking for any friendly lectures so I haven’t spoken to my friends about it. So for now, I’m comforted by the fact that I’m not alone and I know some of you out there have been in my shoes.

How did you handle it?

It’s amazing what hard work and a smile can do…

So, I’m always being asked how I scored the job I have now which is production office manager for a music festival promoter. This job can make my life amazing and hell at the same time but I wouldn’t trade one second of it for anything else. So I figured I would share with you how I scored my, for now, dream job.

I volunteered. Yeah, that’s right. My volunteering at music festivals started off as me just trying to say thank you to the promoter for giving my college radio station 10 pairs of tickets to giveaway but it turned into so much more. So, I was free labor for 3 festivals before I broke the barrier into getting paid. The first festival I carried water to vendors, scanned tickets and strung lanyards, in the heat, in Florida. The second festival I helped with catering and the team started to notice that I was a hard worker. When they saw me come back the following year I was put with hospitality and I worked my butt off. My original shift was only 4 hours long… I stayed for 14. It was worth every minute because I got a call in the early summer asking if I was available for a week and a half in September to fly out and work a festival out in California. Since September 2013 I’ve worked up from hospitality assistant to head of hospitality  to now production office manager. Which is pretty awesome considering I was only doing 3 festivals a year at the time. Now that number has increased to 7 festivals for 2015 with the possibility of 2 more being added last minute.

I hear the same thing over and over at these shows. “You are no joke the nicest person we’ve dealt with on this run” or “wow you’re so sweet, thank you so much.” Here’s the thing in my position, or any industry really you need to be personable. I smile, I make people feel welcome. When these bands are on the road for months at a time sometimes all they want is someone to show a tiny bit of extra love towards them. Small gestures can make your day amazing. As can going the extra mile and taking the extra step. At the end I’ll share a couple of my favorite stories. 

Don’t be afraid to volunteer, or put in extra hours. Show commitment and the willingness to help where it’s needed. Carry that attitude with you. Once you get the job, don’t drop it at the door. Keep it up and work hard.

My 2015 Festival Motto is “have courage and be kind.”

My two favorite stories: The first, we had a smaller band playing and on their rider it had asked for a pack of black socks. When I had emailed their tour manager letting him know that was beyond the scope of what we provided he replied very sweetly and said it was no problem that they were just always loosing theirs or they were always dirty so it never hurt to ask. Well when they got to their dressing rooms I had 2 pairs of socks in little bags for each of their bandmates and crew. While it was only 7 people total their reaction was priceless. I must have been thanked about 20 times and since they’ve been on 4 other shows with us every time they tell me how grateful they were that I did that small gesture for them.

The second, I had a really angry tour manager storm into my office. Upset their room hadn’t been iced down and that hospitality wasn’t waiting on their hand and foot. Not like we didn’t have 22 other bands to take care of as well. So I killed him with kindness. I put a big smile on my face and ensured him a big part of my job is to make sure his day goes smoothly. By the end of the night he was bragging about our festival being easily the best one he’d ever been to. Best staff, nicest and most helpful.