Good Lord (or Good Grief): Part 2

As I drove home from my interview, I made a promise to God.  I said, "I promise not to be surprised anymore.  I won't take it for granted.  I'll just be grateful."

A week earlier, a friend encouraged me to check out a Craigslist post for a local business that was for sale.  She thought I might be interested because I was doing something similar on my own.  This is the same friend who suggested I become a  personal trainer.  So I checked out the ad and replied.  However, the ad right below it caught my eye.  "Personal Trainer needed at local gym".  They asked for both a resume and a paragraph explaining my personal philosophy on training.  I didn't know where I was applying, but I opened myself to all possibilities, so I sent it in.

When I received an email reply requesting an interview, I shuddered.  The email address revealed that I'd applied to a gym I'd adamantly refused to consider upon earning my certification.  My former boss, the one who fired me, was a member there.  His partner was a personal trainer there!  I was really scared of the possibilities.  When the owner of the gym emailed me requesting an interview before my scheduled interview, I broke out into a cold sweat.  I imagined a conversation where the owner and my boss's partner had an intimate conversation about me, and I'd be described as crazy, irrational, or rude.  I'd walk into this interview and get grilled about what I'd done to get fired.  I just KNEW this was going to happen.  However, I was determined to leave the past in the past.  Bad people don't have the right to haunt me.

So here I found myself still standing at the edge of the cliff.  I had two choices.  I could give in to the fear of my past.  By blowing off these invitations, I could avoid the possibility of confrontation with explaining my termination and everything that came after it.  I would prevent any stumbling and bumbling words that might escape my lips that might falsely reveal a bitter old bartender who's got a problem with authority.  Or, I could accept and trust that I'd nail the interview.  I could trust that my personality, my talents, and my passion for health and fitness would radiate from every pore.  I could just trust.

So I replied, saying that I'd "love" to meet him.  Gulp.  I jumped off the cliff.

Here's a few clips from my interview.
  • Owner: "I love that you've been running your own business.  I'm sure you've learned a lot."
  • Owner: "We actually want our members to come in.  We want them to use the gym.  We're here to change lives."
  • Me: "Giving a client the tools they need to succeed, and then watching them reach their goals, is the greatest feeling in the world."
  • Owner: "We want all of our members to reach their potential."
  • Owner: "I have a budget for continuing education.  I'll pay for certification classes and ongoing education, but you've got to commit to me."
  • Me: "I'm committed to a lifetime of learning."
  • Owner: "I think this is going to work out.  We'll see you at 6 am on Monday."
  • Me: "I think this is going to work out well.  It sounds like we're all working for the same things."
I answered exactly ZERO questions about my past employment history.

I'd avoided this opportunity out of fear.  My fear thrived on an unsubstantiated belief that some fairly crappy people still sought to make my life hell.  Nurturing that fear limited my options and gave power to people who are powerless to affect my life.  Taking the leap of faith proved, once again, that I am in good hands.  My faith expanded my life again, and continues to open up all possiblities.  My belief empowers me to say, "YES!  I will face this challenge because fear is a mirage.  Fear is nothing to me."

Two weeks after I was hired, my past confronted me in the most extraordinary way.  After an amazing "test" training session with my boss, I saw a former co-worker.  She is a terribly bitter, negative person who acted, in part, as the fly in my boss's ear in an effort to eliminate me.  I was smiling, thrilling at the experience of having nailed this challenge.  My kids were at my side.  I look better and feel better than I have in years.  I saw her.  She saw me.  My stomach dropped a little, but I neither smiled nor acknowledged her presence.  I simply carried on my conversation with my kids.  Happily.

Two days ago, I saw my boss's partner.  I was working with a member, helping her pefect her squat.  I was smiling.  I was confident in every movement.  I looked up and my brain registered, "Oh, that's him."  And that was it.  I experienced no physical sensations associated with fight or flight - no panic, stomach drop, increased heartbeat, adrenaline rush...nothing.  Nothing but pure nothing.

And that's exactly what fear is - nothing.  It's an image, a monster, a wall we create in our minds based on what we think might happen.  Fear prevents progress.  Fear inhibits growth.  Fear destroys imagination and confidence and  possibility.  It causes us to live our lives as fractions, because we cannot simultaneously entertain the wall of fear and rush forward to take risks.  It prevents the us from contributing our greatest good to the world.  It denies us the possibility of accepting and sharing God's gifts and appreciating the boundless love in our lives.

So here I am.  Accepting this job has presented some new childcare issues and forced a me to strike a new balance with family, friends, and personal time.  However, these challenges are relatively easy considering where I came from!  On some days, even as I've panicked and stressed about exactly how it's all going to work, I've come back to THE central theme in my life: I have faith in God, and that's wildly empowering.  But in the past four years, He's presented me with some life-changing challenges, and now some almost unimaginable opportunities, because, quite simply, He has faith in me.



This is a sad state of affairs tonight, y'all.  I've come to grips with the fact that I'm an addict.  I'm a complete computer junkie.

Now, I'm not overly blog-happy, for sure.  That comment last week about "vomiting" my thoughts was hyperbole.  Believe it or not, I actually do have a filter.  And it's on most of the time.  So I don't simultaneously post status updates on The Facebook, Tweet, update the Tumblr (I don't even have an account.  Should I sign up?  Please advise.), and write a post in one night.  However, when it comes out, it really feels like my heart and brain upchuck my feelings and thoughts.

So imagine my frustration, nay horror, when I decided, in a momentary lapse of reason, that I would take a hiatus from the computer.  I headed down to mom and dad's for the weekend to celebrate my sweet niece's birthday and left the computer behind.  ON PURPOSE.  Yet, here I am.

Here's the fault in my plan: I left the phone charger at home.  Ridiculous, right?  I know.  So insane.  I can picture it lying peacefully amongst the toast crumbs on my counter.  So if I am to communicate with anybody, I need a computer.  Additionally, I traditionally concieve of brilliant ideas when I'm without a pen and paper (computer).  So there you have it.

And finally, in my defense, I'm at my parents house and there's a huge boxing match on tonight.  One of the boxers works out at the gym where I was recently hired (more on this.  It's AWESOME!), so I've found myself sucked it.  I want him to win because the other guy just sucks.  His character, I mean.  He's a great boxer, but he sucks at being a human being.  My guy is awesome.  Cinderella story and everything like that.  So I've got myself tapped into a live blog covering the match because my 'rents aren't going to toss out $60 for my viewing pleasure.  They love me and thrill at my enthusiasm, but not that much.

So the moral of the story is that I couldn't handle 48 hours with a computer.  I'm on the teeniest tiniest wee-est little loaner computer that my dad lent me out of pity.  Perhaps it was the tears.  Maybe the whining.  But I'm here and I'm happy.  However, I'm aware that I AM the problem with my age group.  Looking down instead of looking in the eye and everything else I bitch about regularly.  I'm going to be a great cranky old person.

That's all.  I threw out the filter earlier today.  Have a nice night.  Go Victor!



I read them.

I read them all.

I love responses to my words, I love what you have to say. 

I love thinking and sometimes knowing that what I've written might nail it, might make you feel less alone in the world, or even make you smile.

Sometimes, in the midst of vomiting my thoughts, I miss the fact that I'm attempting to feel connected, as well.

Sometimes, a comment stops me in my tracks because they nailed it, they made me feel less alone in the world, and they made me smile.

That happened today, and this is the comment.

Years ago, when she was going through the shit of it all, my sister came home with the biggest smile on her face. I asked her, "Why are you so happy?" She responded, "I was crying, you know, thinking about everything? Then I pulled up at a red light next to a hearse. I looked over and I just realized, That guy is dead. I am alive."

That's it.
Blog closed.


Thank you for reading and writing and reading again.


It's Broken. Let's Fix It.

We'll never forget, so there's really no need to keep reminding us of what we'll never forget.  Ever.

As long as I live, I'll never forget the morning phone call from my mom telling me to be careful, that there might be riots or something because two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.  Then my alarm went off at the crack of 10.  I heard Rick Dees (awful memory of his voice) confirm my mom's report, and that one of the planes took off from Boston, that it was supposed to land in LA.  My friend flew that flight frequently.  I called him, and he answered to my great relief.

The rest of the day seems surreal.  I came downstairs and talked with the Sikh family across the street.  They wore turbans and were quick to assure me that Sikhs were a peaceful people.  They already knew that anybody in a turban would be implicated.  I called my ex-boyfriend (now husband) and we spent the day together.

In the days and weeks that followed, I recall hoping that the feeling of unity and collective sadness would bring a divided nation together.  We were still reeling from an election determined not by the number of votes, but by an irrational decision by the Supreme Court.  And then George Bush uttered those fateful words as he addressed Congress, "If you're not with us, you're against us."

It's been us versus them since.

In every way possible, our nation is split.  The gap between those with monetary wealth and those without continues to widen.  Snakes run for office and spit venom at each other, hoping to capitalize on the hate we feel for each other.  We have been deliberately cheated, lied to, and misinformed by those in power in an effort to keep us placated.  I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but the things I see are decidedly different from what I hear.

We are a nation obsessed with reality, but a completely false reality.  Somehow, the Kardashians, the Real Housewives, and dipshits in New Jersey have captured our collective imagination and transport us away from real life.  We watch obscene displays of wasteful wealth on flat screen TVs, sitting comfortably on overstuffed couches in foreclosed homes as we wait for the phone to ring with a job opportunity.

Instead of dwelling on the 10 year anniversary of that awful day, which none of us with the capability of long-term memory will ever forget (even without the articles and documentaries and photo essays and interactive maps) by crying (which I've done this week), do something productive and peaceful. 

We have clear evidence from the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan that evil doesn't wipe out evil.  Like Donnie Deutsch shouts, "THERE HAS GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY!"  That great evil conceived by one man and carried out by more evil men on September 11, 2001, can only be negated by an act of love as extravagantly magnificent. 

If each of us took it upon ourselves to turn off the TV, wake up to our potential, and take action, we might actually get that change we so passively hoped for in 2008.

Turn off your TV.  Turn off the mind-numbing blabber and look outside.  There's a world that needs you.  Desperately.  People need  your contributions, your time, your talents, and your passion (whatever it is!).    But do something, anything, to make it better for everybody.

Spend the day in the garden with your kids. Share a glass of wine with a neighbor. Bake cookies and take them to your local fire house. Attend a religious service at a different church, or at a house of worship from a religion different from your own. Simply shake your neighbor's hand. Call someone and tell them you are thankful for their presence in the world. Plant a tree. If you're looking for a job, volunteer. Your time is priceless (and it might lead to a paying job!).  Take one hour a week and commit to a local school, a shelter, a tutoring center, or a local charity. Walk for breast cancer. Run a canned food drive in your neighborhood this month. Find a park and pick up trash. Call your friends or do it alone.  Commit to being good, fighting for good, promoting good and peace and love.

Over a decade ago, a group of evil people conceived of a way to make our country worse.  It worked.  I suspect few of us are better off today than we were 10 years ago.  But we have within us that which makes it better.  We have the capacity to commit acts of goodness both small and grand, all of which are extraordinary.  We have the power to make it better.  We can.  We should.  We're out of options.

We must.