Last week was my 40th birthday. I turned the big 4-0. I feel like a rebellious teenager, full of dreams and ideas, yet not quite old enough to be responsible for making all these grown-up decisions. How did I get to be 40 so quickly? I had the best time in my 30’s and I don’t mind being 40. The fine lines and wrinkles. All of it, I wear proudly. It’s been an awesome ride and I look forward to another 60 or so years of awesome, no matter how wrinkly I become.
A little less than two years ago, I went to a pre-BlogHer meet-up with other local San Diego bloggers. I was nervous about going to the meet-up. I was nervous about my first time at BlogHer. I had been blogging for more than five years at that point and had few meet-ups with friends I had met online. For me, meeting people from online “friendships” was still a bit taboo. What if these people were creeps? What if they thought I was a creep? My anxiety was running high. I bribed Mr. Bear to come with me to the meet-up. I was afraid I might need him to rescue me.
Mr. Bear was reluctant to go. He had a long day at work and coming to this “blogging thing” was not something he really wanted to do. He was on the fence about blogging. He was not quite sure why I was so mesmerized by putting my whole life on display, nonetheless, he supported me because it made me happy. Happy wife, happy life, as the saying goes.
Hours later, I had made many friendships. I met many women I felt I had a connection with and those friendships have blossomed throughout the past two years. Mr. Bear never had to rescue me that night. In fact, he practically had to drag me away. Furthermore, the results of that meet-up and the blogging opportunities that followed changed his mind completely about this “blogging thing.”
Months after BlogHer, a friend I had met at the BlogHer meet-up posted on Twitter about a part-time opportunity at the publishing company she works for. I applied for the position. I got the position. It was only supposed to be a part-time, temporary position for three months. I have been there for over 18 months now. It was surreal! I got my first job since I became a mom on Twitter. It was awesome!
Next week, this opportunity will end. I was well aware when I got hired that this position could end at any time. With budgets, my own skill limitations, my time constraints with wanting to be at home when Allie gets out of school, and numerous other hurdles that could arise—this opportunity could be 3 months or 6 months, but likely not forever.
In the past 18 months, I have learned so many new things. I knew very little about marketing. I knew very little about publishing. I knew very little in many areas that I now know significantly more about. I have had a lot of things happen personally during that time, including health issues and various other challenges. I have learned many skills in balance and planning, as being a working mom has had its own share of obstacles. I have loved these experiences, by virtue of the growth I have seen in my life professionally and personally. I enjoyed my job and the people I have worked with. I have loved learning new things and developing new skills. When you want to market your websites or business, it is better to ask SEO firms and experts from North Gold Coast.
We leave for New York City and BlogHer next month. I know that new opportunities await with the networking I will do. Sure, BlogHer is parties, swag, and fun, however I will never approach another conference or meet-up the same again. There are friends to meet, connections to make, and grand possibilities ahead. It is all about the people. You never know what these fabulous experiences may offer. Two years later, I have many friendships from BlogHer 10 and the pre-BlogHer meet-up.
I walk away from this chance meet-up with a multitude of blessings: friends, job opportunities, new skills, a discretionary income, and no regrets. While I am sad to see this chapter end, I know in my heart there is something new on the horizon and I am anxious to see what is waiting for me.
It was 1994 and I turned twenty-one in June that year. I was working at Red Lobster, which my co-workers affectionately called the Red Dumpster. For my twenty-first birthday, the girls I worked with promised to rock my world with a wild birthday celebration. They teased me for weeks about how my birthday present would have batteries and in my naivety, I was horrified and curious.
Angie and Sally, two sisters that I worked with were several years older than me, far less naive, far more wild, and much more cool. Angie arranged for a road trip from San Diego to Hollywood. There was six of us girls and the plan was to spend my first night of my twenty-first year at a high end club, frequented by celebrities. It was the early nineties and Cher had recently split up with her 22 year old boy toy, bagel boy Rob Camilletti. He was working as a bartender at the same club we were going to.
We checked into the expensive, yet rundown Hollywood hotel and got ready for the big night out. The club/bar did not disappoint. I do not know how Angie got us in or how much it cost to get in, however as a poor college student, I appreciated the opportunity and I walked into my first club with wide-eyed wonder.
As promised, the bagel boy was tending bar and one of the girls suggested I select a name for the night. Without much hesitation, I selected Molly. I still do not know why it was suggested to change my name, yet it was fun to be in this exotic atmosphere and to be someone else. Knowing the girls, it is quite possible they were messing with me. Nevertheless, my altered ego for my twenty-first birthday night was Molly.
I never ordered a single drink that night, yet consumed more than I should have. While standing at the bar, my lovely friends would tell any man that came near that my name was Molly and it was my twenty-first birthday, which was followed by another round of drinks in honor of MOLLY. One such fast talking club patron was thrilled to buy me a drink. He introduced himself as Ice and proceeded to sing “Happy Birthday, Dear Molly.” He put his arm around me and was genuinely excited about my birthday—perhaps, even more so than I was!
I did not know who the heck he was, this Ice person. I kept asking the girls, “Who is that creep and why does he keep bothering me.” Uncomfortable in my own skin, the attention this stranger was showering on me was far beyond my comfort zone. Years later, it has become very clear to me who ICE FREAKING T is. Naive. I was. He was nice and generous. Oh, yes, and he loved to sing.
The night wore on and my level of intoxication grew. I do not remember all the people I met or the friends I made. By the end of the night, I was begging for the shots to stop. I wandered off by myself as the night wore on. Unable to maintain my composure from the continuous shots, I needed to get away. Exciting night? Yes? Overwhelmed? Yes, yes! Oh youth!
I eventually went outside to get some air. The girls found me sitting on the sidewalk and we bid our goodbyes to the celebrity club. The cab back to the hotel became very interesting when I rolled down the window and threw up on the side of the cab most of the ride home. After a breakfast of 7-11 nachos the following morning, I puked my guts out most of the way down Interstate 5 between Los Angeles and San Diego.
Nearly 18 years ago, I am in contact with most of my girlfriends from Red Lobster. Memories are made in the most unexpected places but some of the friendships last a lifetime. Each time I sit down to watch my guilty pleasure television, I cannot help smiling when Ice and Coco do their thing and remembering back to the first time I got intoxicated in a club with a rap star I did not know.
I am in a funk. I hate it. I cannot seem to snap out of it. I feel like I need time to rest, relax, reorganize, and recharge, but really, there is never enough time to do any of that effectively or efficiently. Besides, shit happens and here I am again, with 500 things going on my to do list for my every one item I check off.
Boot camp is going well, overall. I am finding it more and more difficult to get up at 5 a.m. to get over to the park under the cover of darkness. This morning was no exception. Allison could not sleep last night, so we had her sleep in our room and she grinded her teeth all.freaking.night.long. I got zero sleep. Every time I would drift to sleep, the racket would wake me up again. Ugh. So frustrating.
When 5 a.m. came this more, I decided to sleep in and go to the evening class. I feel so damned guilty about it!
I feel like I am buried under a ton of responsibilities.
Breathe in. Breathe out
Black Friday has a different meaning to me than most people. It is not about shopping for Christmas, albeit, I sometimes do. Thanksgiving is a bittersweet holiday for me. It is a time for thanks or for giving, and even giving thanks. Nonetheless, in the back of my mind, it is a difficult holiday to see through. Sixteen years ago, we lost my grandfather. He was Pop Pop to me. I am not even sure where that name came from, but he was my Pop Pop. Black Friday was truly black that fateful morning when we lost my beloved Pop Pop. I know that after all these years, my family and I still mourn his death. Thanksgiving has not been the same since then. (The rest of this post is long. Cut for brevity.) [Read more…]