They’ll be here before you know it…

live-your-lifeSo this morning I started planning our big yearly entertaining event – the 2017 New Years Brunch. So far I’ve created a Facebook event, built a guest list, started adding to the Pinterest board, built a planning spreadsheet… you know, the usual things when you’re entertaining in 2016? Yeah, all of those.

Side note, how did we do this before social media? Wait, what? You don’t do it that way? Whatevs… Paper invites? Spiral notebook lists? In a word… #nope!

And with this step I’m making the decision that come what may with the search for work I’m still here and this is where my life is happening. It’s time to make some plans farther out than tomorrow. Life goes on. And if something happens that pulls me out of here then guess what? I know how to fly home. I’m pretty damned good at buying plane tickets in fact and I can get here pretty fast. So everything else be damned… the holidays will be as I wish. Thanksgiving in North Carolina, Christmas and New Years here. Festive, fun, surrounded by people I love in the places I love, with everything I love included.

I guess the message I’ve been getting from the voices in my head is “live your life”. Out loud. With no need for any forgiveness or permission. These are most assuredly interesting times indeed but putting everything on hold in order to wait for other people to decide things just isn’t working for me anymore. It’s time for me to just do it. Just live.

Today… and tomorrow… and beyond.

 

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On being white and uncomfortable…

It is time for me to speak my truth to my privilege… I am a middle aged, upper middle class white woman and white privilege is all I have ever or will ever know. Just a few of my realities… I will never know what it feels like to get on an elevator and have other people exit immediately due to discomfort over being alone with me – we might in fact strike up a conversation about our shared journey or destinations. I will never know what it feels like to have people change sides of the street just because I’m walking on the sidewalk – people always smile and frequently say hi, even if I don’t know them, especially if they look like me. I will never know what it feels like to have any fear of a law enforcement officer when they stop me for an infraction or if they stop to render aid during my rare mechanical breakdowns – in fact if it’s an infraction I will likely end up with a warning (many times, even for things that were very serious) and if it’s a breakdown they’re only going to offer me help. To be clear, in neither set of circumstances at no time will I be referred to as “the suspect” and I will be treated with the utmost in respect and kindness. I will never know what it feels like to be followed around due to suspicion at any of the multiple luxury stores I walked into this week at Mall of Millenia in Orlando – the only reason I will be followed is because they want to sell me All. Of. The. Things.  And lastly, if I were in my vehicle, even if I were armed, if an unrelated police activity happened right beside me, law enforcement would ask me politely to move away or even escort me to safety to ensure that nothing happened to me since I was not their target. I never am. Because I am a middle aged, upper middle class white woman. This is my world.

The only one I’ve ever lived in.

But that doesn’t mean I am stupid enough to think that everyone lives here with me. America is a great country for me… but to be clear it is not a great country for everyone else who isn’t like me. And it is especially cruel to its black and brown citizens, and it has been since the very founding of this country. That is reality. It may make you uncomfortable to deal with that reality, but that doesn’t change it.

There are two Americas.

Now here’s the real truth… if I had to live in the other one, where none of my reality has ever existed even for people who share my socio-economic reality, even for only a day, I might be uncomfortable enough to burn some shit down. I might take to the streets. I might try to make some folks like me damned uncomfortable. Because I would not settle for less than what I have now. I don’t have to. And I wouldn’t. So why do we tell them to sit down? Why do we say that they are wrong in how they say no? Maybe their way is the only way to wake us up. Charlotte is a shout to #WAKEUP #whitepeople. This is our America too. Deal with it.

#nameitchangeit

“I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear?…It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

All photos taken by Jonathan Brashear. You can see more in his Facebook album here.

Just breathe…

Everything passes… nothing is forever… life is a series of forward steps…

Rolling the dice…

So everything is a risk. Nothing is a sure thing… ever. No matter the situation there’s the point where you think it’s a success, there’s the point where you think it’s still workable, the point where you think it’s a write off, and then there’s the point where you know there’s no way to come back.

The hard part is that every one of those are usually right before everything finally works out the way it’s supposed to be. However, lest you think that’s a good solution, the way it’s supposed to be is not necessarily the way you want, it’s just the way it’s supposed to be. Do yourself a favor and don’t ever get those two things confused.

They most certainly are not.

In the end everything you do is gut work, no matter how much preparation you do and no matter how much risk management you build it… at the end of the day you have to guess, give it a shot, see what happens… but there’s no guarantees and everything can change in a moment.

Life is like that. All you can do is the best you know how and you hope for the best. Everything is sitting on a lucky roll of the dice…

Do you feel lucky?

What I did with my Summer Vacation…

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In just a few words… a lot of searching. I’ve been on the hunt for a new gig since May 1 and it’s had me on the road all over the place, both virtually and literally. I’m still not employed but I am interviewing several times a week and I think it’s getting close. It’s one of those things where I’m going to know when it’s right. When I’ve found my bliss. I’ve come close, I’ve actually interviewed with the same large organization 6 times for 3 different positions, but I’ve still not found the perfect gig. My short list this time is actually pretty stripped down for me. I want a brand, a big brand, or an agency with several they’re repping. I don’t want another short term contract… I want a home’ish thing that’s going to last more than 6 months. If I wanted to do the damned Bachelor I’d be on it… of course being married might be a complication but I could figure it out… I’m tired of going in a door and thinking “is this the one?” and getting the answer of #nope. #Nope pretty much is not a good answer for anything, other than eating breakfast with my bestie when he does that trick with Over Easy Eggs where he explodes them all over the rest of his food and I quietly say “oh I’ll just have the dry toast and a large piece of cardboard to partition off this table… yes Matt, I’m talking about you.  And the last thing that I took off the list this time is that I am no longer married to staying in Florida. I know… holy shiz! Who saw that coming?

Short answer – NOBODY!

So with that stripped down list, I’ve sent resumes all over the US and I’ve interviewed in places I never dreamed I would consider. I roadtripped to Detroit even, and before you say it, yes, really, the Motor City? Well, yeah, it’s on the list… along with Piscataway, NJ, Seattle, WA, Austin, TX, Chicago, IL, and virtually any place that has the right money on offer and meets the rest of my scant requirements.

As for why I’d leave Florida, the place I love with all my heart… well I’ve got a million economic reasons why but mainly I think the feelings stem from a desire to push outside of my comfort zone. I need more brand experience of course, there’s that small reality, but I’m feeling too rooted these days and you guys all remember that I’ve spent most of my life as a tumble weed… the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere is now officially Lakeland and the longest tenure in a house was our rental on Derbyshire. Yes, seriously. Five years. It was a lifetime. Of course now we own our house here in Lakeland and that’s even harder. I never intended to own anything other than the clothes on my back and a random collection of “the things she carried”… I certainly didn’t intend to be a permanent fixture anywhere… but here I am. So it’s time and I’m looking… everywhere.

As for the plan, for the next move I won’t be gone forever but I will achieve my goals. I don’t have a lifetime left and it’s time to figure out this next chapter. Every new beginning is some other beginning’s end, right? Well, that’s what they say anyway… we’ll see. I’m writing it now… as hard as I can… and so far it looks pretty good. Life isn’t about living one thing, it’s about rolling with the changes and making them work for you. I’m doing exactly that. I’m fine, really, and I’m good at this. 2016 hasn’t been the best year but it’s been survivable.

I’m surviving.

It’s what I do… what I love… who I am. So who are you? Do you live? Do you just exist? Why? Change it up… look around and know that life is short and you only get one. Just go do it.

Now!