Posts Tagged ‘humanity’

A word about being phony

September 26th, 2011 6 comments

My high school reunion recently happened.  I am not saying which one, or how many years, no sense in you trying to trick me! I had mixed feelings about going, I kept vacillating,  but in the end, I had a conflict that weekend and couldn’t go.

The reason I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go or not was because the thought of high school brought up a lot of old feelings for me.  I was always “trying” to be “somebody”.  After graduation, I didn’t really keep in contact with anyone.  And it’s not because they weren’t good people, in fact, Facebook has brought some of those people back into my life, which is awesome.  It was more me.  It was exhausting for me to try to keep up with the silly pretenses I had set for myself.

Thankfully, this is no longer the case and hasn’t been for a while.  I am not trying to “be” anyone or anything.  I am just me.  I am the happiest I have ever been.  And what may seem ironic, is that I feel my true calling is marketing through social media.  One may assume a marketer has to be a “spin doctor” or not be authentic to sell.  But that is the beauty of social media marketing.  It only works if you ARE authentic.  You can spot a phony in this field from a mile away.  I think this is why I am so drawn to it.

There has been some online conversations about the Internet, and if it is indeed the great equalizer or not.  In a way, I think it is, and let me explain.  It is an equalizer in the sense that I can, right now, become of a part of a large community without having to be exclusively invited.  Whether I am accepted is up to me, my behavior, authenticity, and values.  At no other time could this have happened.  Sure, I have a four-year degree, but so does just about everyone else.  This doesn’t make me stand out to potential employers or business contacts.  What does make me stand out is me: My end of the conversation, my ability to give and to support others, and my ability to receive with integrity.

I no longer feel inadequate like I did at 16 (and, honestly for a good chunk of my 20′s).  It may have taken me a while but I finally learned just to be.  I think the next time I will go to my reunion, no matter what, and I will challenge myself to be grateful to that 16 year-old-girl, because without her I wouldn’t be where I am am right now, which is a really amazing place to be.

More about positive thinking

September 20th, 2011 6 comments

Since my injury, my computer has become my best friend.  To say I’ve had a lot of down time is an understatement.  Besides my loving family and friends, what has been seeing me through is my positive attitude and social media.  Let me explain.

At the suggestion of by both my real estate-guru friend, and one of my favorite co-worker’s, I began reading a lot of books on positive thinking and the laws of attraction (like attracts like). I can’t say any of the concepts were new to me, just somewhat pushed aside or forgotten.  This post may be sounding awfully like some of my other recent posts, but forgive me, I feel the need to shout-out the benefits I am reaping!

Since opening myself up to opportunity and monitoring my thoughts (and more importantly my mood) so many great things have been streaming my way.  Four guest post slots, including one that is live today on Mark Schaefer’s Blog {Grow} which is my first guest post not on the outdoors, but social media, my other passion.  And then late last night I received a call about a new opportunity that I don’t want to go into just yet, but is very exciting as well.

Even my children are noticing a difference in my attitude.  My daughter pointed out to me that I seem happier a few days ago.  Seems kind of ironic seeing as how I have an external fixture on my leg that is mostly painful; yet it is true, I feel happy and grateful for every good thing in my life and apparently, it’s showing!

What I’ve been up to

September 12th, 2011 5 comments

I have been a bit quiet lately with my blog.  I am still sitting with my foot elevated with a metal frame embedded into my calf.  I have never been this inactive in my life.  Getting up to go to the bathroom has become my daily exercise!  A far cry from my usual life.  But don’t worry dear readers, I have been keeping my spirits up!

I have been reading books on marketing, positive thinking and positive thinking in marketing.  They have been so helpful!  Just before my bouldering accident, I was feeling my career was in a rut and was feeling down and helpless about it. I have been using this time to reclaim my once optimistic outlook and have succeeded.  I have always used visualization and goal-setting to manifest what I want in life, such as my truck, travel (I have recently gone to Puerto Rico and Paris), the time for pursing my hobbies, and having a terrific partner in my life that loves me and my kids. I have attracted all of these gifts into my life.  My career has been the only slow spot in my list of desires, so I have taken this unexpected pause as a sort of gift to focus on my professional life.

The only thing I have been slow on is writing.  I have two guest posts I have been working on, but have been feeling a bit blocked.  So my goal for this week is to finish both of those posts!  In the mean time, enjoy A New Independence  a guest post I wrote about living life on my terms for Vertical Girl, a women’s climbing clothing company.

An unexpected pause

August 25th, 2011 8 comments

An unexpected pause, it is different than a pregnant pause.  Or maybe it isn’t in this case.

I recently dislocated my ankle in five places.  It was not broken, thankfully (I attribute that to my diligent consumption of calcium) but it was so badly dislocated after resetting it the doctor had to place metal screws and pins to keep it from shifting back.  I am now on crutches, cannot put any weight on it, and have to keep it elevated for about six weeks.  After that I will have to wear a cast.

The strangest thing to me is how it happened.  I was bouldering, which I am not very good at, and don’t often do.  However, I was climbing pretty good that day.  I was one move away from sending it.  It was a move where I was horizontal to the ground and had to reach back for the last move.  I didn’t think I could do it, so I decided to jump down and try again in a few minutes.  I jumped down, and landed perfectly on my feet, my knees slightly bending to absorb the shock, when suddenly, in my head I felt searing pain and felt my ankle buckle under in a really not-natural kind of way.  I then dropped to the floor and then sat up.  My friends asked if I was ok and very quietly I said no, that I wasn’t ok and I was pretty sure I needed to go to the hospital.

My boyfriend sat behind me while preparations were being made to transport me there.  For a minute, the pain was so bad I didn’t know how I would cope, I thought I might pass out.  But I didn’t.  I didn’ t scream, I didn’t cry, I didn’t get bossy or mean.  In crisis I tend to get really focused and calm.

As soon as we got to the hospital the attendant that helped wheel me in told the nurses at the receiving desk we needed a room right away; that there wasn’t time to admit me.  The bone had not poked through my skin, but it was wanting to something fierce.  The skin above it was white and transparent.

After taking some x-rays the team of doctors decided to put me under anesthesia and do the procedure right away even though I hadn’t been fasting.

So fast forward to me, here, on my living room couch, living as an invalid for the next few weeks.

But the whole thing is so weird to me because it was such a random thing.  I honestly, 100%, think my descent was spot on.  So was my landing, yet my ankle says Fail.  Another weird thing that happened the same day, was a person I had been dying to do a guest post for emailed that day and asked me if I was interested.  Yes please! I can’t help but think this is the calm before some storm.  Like the universe is forcing me to relax because change is in the wind and it’s gonna get crazy.  I feel like everything I have been working toward is culminating.

I don’t know, maybe it is just me that is crazy (probably).  All that I know is that I am maximizing every minute I have off of work to write, read, goal-set, visualize and connect.

Mama needs a new…prAna tank

February 15th, 2011 6 comments

Valentine’s Day has about an hour and half left in my part of the world until it fades away into the cold, dark night.  I’ve never been very fond of it myself, even when I was married or in a relationship.  It’s like it’s trying too hard or something, it just seems hollow.

My Valentines

After reading one of The Climber Girl’s (Sara Lingafelter)  blog posts about being her own Valentine, it made me think of how I spent today and my weekend.  I spent it with people I like being with doing things I really like to do.  Those people were my kids and my girlfriends.  The activities were climbing, snowshoeing (being outside), dinner/dessert/wine, and just being together.

I had a talk with one of my friends over the weekend about guys.  We both agreed we didn’t really have the desire to give up what was important in our lives – our free time to climb, to be in a relationship.  For me, my kids are #1, my job/career #2, climbing and friends #3 (sorry y’all, I’ve got kids to feed!).  If I was involved with someone that didn’t climb I’d have to sacrifice my precious climbing time to build our relationship.  I’m just not willing to do that right now.  I gave up so much of myself in a past relationship, I am just not willing to do that again.  And, if it is not right with someone, I know right away.  I have honed that skill!

Maybe that is selfish, but so be it.  I feel like I deserve to live on my own terms, not answer to anyone.  I’m sure someday I will be ready to make the compromises that are needed to have a healthy, strong relationship.  But not right now.  Or maybe I just haven’t met “him” yet.  Either way, I’m good and I think I will go on doing some special things just for me, like spending most of Sunday at the climbing gym and maybe even buy myself a new little prAna tank to wear and not feel the least bit guilty… Thanks Sara!

Sunshine Daydream

February 1st, 2011 3 comments

With an epic snowstorm ready to descend upon us, I feel like I should be cheerier.  But I’m not.  Truth is, in my part of the world, where we have on average 1 sunny day out of 14 cloudy and gloomy ones, it’s kind of hard to keep your spirits up.  Couple that with my daughter being sick for most of the past two weeks, I am feeling the full impact of cabin fever.  Thankfully, Michigan Ice Fest is this weekend or I would really be despondent.

Probably the worst part is there is nothing for me to write about.  I took my son sledding, which was super fun, but snowboarding has been put on hold until my daughter is well again.  And sure, I’ve gone to the gym, on-sited a couple new routes, flashed others, found some new projects, but there is no story to tell about that.  Climbing certainly helps break up the monetary of winter and I am always glad to be there, but give me something I can write about!

So I am left to my mind wandering to a sunnier, happier place.  Like the 2 winters I spent on Hawaii.  Ahhh, that was nice.  Or the days I spent last summer and fall climbing at The Red.  Which reminds me of Miguel’s Pizza and I am in my happy place now, so shh…I think I feel the words coming on…

My first impressions of Miguel’s was “I’m Home”.  Anyone who knows me knows I hate to admit I’m a day over 29, even though my son and I are the only ones that actually believe it.  So for me to admit what I am about to reveal is a pretty big deal.  I am old enough to have gone to Grateful Dead shows when Jerry was still alive.  There.  I’ve said it.  Stop judging!  Anyway, my first thought when I walked out back to Miguel’s was, “Hmmm, so this is where all the hippies have gone.”  I really felt like it had the same vibe shows used to have for me.  Minus the drugs and music of course.  But it was the people, the sense of community.

Miguel Ventura opened up his restaurant in 1985 and has been serving trad and sport climbers delicious pizza and other specialties ever since.  But it doesn’t end there.  Miguel allows camping for “climbers only” on his land in the back of the restaurant for $2 a night.  The atmosphere is so laid back and chill, it is really a special place.  I have found parts of  The Big Island of Hawaii to be similar in hospitality, but there aren’t too many places in the world like it which makes me so happy I have found it.  And thinking about it is a great way to lighten my mood on this cold winter’s night.

Always do safety checks

January 5th, 2011 No comments

Well dear readers, it’s time to ‘fess up and swallow my pride.  Again.  I often joke with my friends that my knack for having  if-something-could-go-wrong-will-go-wrong life experiences certainly gives me plenty to write about.  No, there are not too many dull moments around here.

So I guess I will share my first and last experience with not double-backing my harness.  I can hear the groaning and hissing now, “Amateur”!  I know, I know.  It was stupid and my own fault, and taught me a very valuable lesson.

I was at the gym during the holiday season.  I had just arrived straight from my retail job and was feeling stressed and frazzled (anyone who ever worked in retail during the holidays can feel me on this point).  As I was getting ready I was checking my voicemail, texting, talking, blah blah blah.  I knew my head wasn’t right so I volunteered to climb last in our group of three so I could breathe, and try to get my head clear.

Damn good thing I did that.  And damn good thing I sent the climb.  I was breathing, focusing and present in the moment.  When I finished and sat back to be lowered down, I knew immediately something was wrong with my harness.  I looked at it and saw the webbing that feeds through the buckle around my waist was loosening itself and breaking away.  I quickly grabbed the webbing and my figure-eight knot and pulled hard.  I could see I secured myself so I held on as I was being lowered.  I never screamed or panicked, just calmly reacted.

When my feet touched the ground I looked at my belayer and said, “Oh my God, look at this.”  She was horrified and couldn’t believe I didn’t even yell down to her.  I told her once I had it secured I knew it was fine.  It was just a damn good thing I took the time to be focused so I could catch my terrible mistake.

Since that day we are possibly overly protective about checking our knots and harnesses.  But, probably not.  Probably can’t be too safe when it comes to safety checks.

2011: One year after my Epiphany

January 2nd, 2011 No comments

Photo credit: Ashley McIntire

It has been almost exactly one year since I experienced an ‘Epiphany’ in regards to my career path.  And so far, I have only been happy with my decisions.

Up until last January, I thought I was going into teaching high school English.  I had 2 classes left to take and then student teaching, when one night it struck me.  I was asleep in my bed, it was like 2 AM, when it came to me.  My eyes shot wide open.  And I knew.  I just knew that teaching was not #1 for me.  But the beautiful part is, I knew what was.  I didn’t want to teach writing, I wanted to write!  I knew that if I had nothing holding me back, no responsibilities, no fear, endless cash flow, that I would want to write and more specifically, write in the outdoor arena.  All my life I had never known what I ‘wanted to be when I grew up’, but now,  I finally did.

And so I thought, why in the world should I settle for a second-choice career?  I mean, I already made some pretty huge changes in my life to have it match what my heart was telling me to do (namely, a divorce).  I always listen to my heart, it may take me a while, but in the end, I know it is the only voice that matters; it will never steer me wrong.

This year has brought me some pretty nice opportunities to help make my actual life match my heart’s vision of my life.  I have discovered only this summer my absolute love affair with climbing, another unexpected development.  This passion has brought me some really exciting  opportunities to pursue my writing.  It has also given me the gift of an amazing community.  The climbing community I am now a part of is so important to me and I am so grateful for the connections I have made personally and virtually.  I am also grateful for the friends that helped get me on the path to where I am now (you know who you are).

My hopes for 2011 are to continue to climb as much as a single mom, working full-time, writing part-time, and attending school possibly can!  I will continue to be the very best mom I can be to my beautiful children; putting them first and foremost.  I also plan on working as hard as I can at making my dream possible for me and my kids.  I hope when I do graduate in April, I will have more time to spend with the people I love the most.

For me, the hardest part is done.  I know, what I want, now I just have to make it happen.  That is the fun part!

Happy New Year!