Perspective

Do you ever wonder why you have to go through the things you do? Why life deals you certain cards than others in your life? Mostly the ones you never thought you would have to deal with?

I’m sure everyone feels this way at some point or another. And it’s normal – sometimes life plain sucks. Period. Not a whole hell of a lot you can do about it.

And, just like everything else in life, your attitude determines how well you deal with certain things. Sometimes we respond well, sometimes we fly off the friggin handle and light everything on fire.

What I’ve been learning over the past year or so gave me a different perspective. (Of course – it’s always different looking back right?) There will be challenges in our lives – in many different forms and venues. Sometimes you see them coming and some come at you like a Gibbs’ slap to the back of the head.

But there is always one constant – people notice the way you handle yourself in the midst of the chaos. How you deal or mask your pain. How you celebrate little wins because everything else is raining down in fire around you.

And the kicker? Most of the time you have no idea that they’re watching. That anyone is even paying attention to you. But through all of this – someone is learning just as you are – simply by watching you.

Maybe you’ve dealt with something in private. Alone in the pain. (Which stinks beyond belief – for the little I’ve dealt with this way anyway.) Your story doesn’t have to stop there – maybe someone else can gain experience through your struggle.

The cool thing about life is you never stop learning. There is always something new to check out or something you’ve never experienced before. And – along with that – comes another awesome scenario. The opportunity to TEACH. To show others that it’s okay to deal with (insert issue here) – that you’ve been through it and came out a stronger person. With more faith. With more empathy. Whatever.

I’m not sure why this is on my brain tonight, but it is. Maybe someone needed to hear it. Heck, maybe I did. Who knows? But I guess the point here is to not only learn from your experiences, but help someone else by telling your story. Or sharing your perspective. You just may help change theirs.

99 Problems….

99 problems

Does this ever happen to you?  Worrying about things that may or may not come true?  Running a thousand scenarios in your head trying to see what is going to work and what is not?  Worrying about things in the future when the future can still change?

Those of you who know me really well know that I can be a chronic worrier.  That I’m always trying to put details together because I love to plan.  To know what the story is.  What I’m going to do.  I’ve grown a lot in the past few years and don’t worry as much, but it’s still there.  Once you’ve been through things and watched them play out, you know not to worry as much.  Or at lease try not to.

I’ve been running short-staffed for over a month and working long days to help cover the work.  We’ve had plans to replace this position, and even interviewed a few candidates, but we had something specific we were looking for.  Things are hard but I could finally see the calm after the storm – in the distance, but it was there. Then, on Tuesday one of my best employees put in his two weeks’ notice – out of the friggin blue.  He was torn apart about leaving and there were even tears as he told me why.  He was leaving for a lot more money (and who can fault anyone for that).  I was a bit blindsided as we were just creating a new position for him and thought everything was fine.  Then, on the way home, found out my right-hand person was going to switch departments two months sooner than I had anticipated. This would be two of my core group of three people gone.  What the heck was I going to do?

I’ll be honest.  I was taking it all pretty dang well at first and thought “Well, here’s yet another challenge for ya, Kim”.  Then I went to the gym and my trainer beat me up so I thought about nothing.  Afterwards, I had entirely too much time to think and worked myself into a tizzy.  How am I going to do this?  Who is going to fill their shoes?  (Denver has a 1.9 unemployment rate at the moment – not the biggest pool going on) I’m already behind – now what’s it going to look like? What the hell?  Did You bring me here to fail?

Then, to make matters worse, my crazy mind went to….No one calls me anymore.  All my friends in Philly forgot me.  No one texts to check in, nothing.  I’m all alone and failing.  Life is a struggle….and so on and so on.  (Such. A. Girl.)

Thankfully Dana was home and answered her slightly freaking out friend – and she did a fine job of calming me down.  Reminding me to just take it a step at a time and handle one situation at a time.  She moved away from home about four years ago, so she was helpful in the “no one forgot you Kim” department.  Isn’t she just the best?

Anyway, on to the good news.  The next morning I was still not happy and honestly, a little grumpy.  I talked to a few people, got a plan, threw out most of it, and went with my gut.  (This was actually God but I didn’t see it at the time).  I spoke with another one of my employees to see if he wanted part of the one job, and turned out he wanted the job I was stressing over filling.  Some of it will be a learning curve, but he has a great basis to begin with.  My answer was right in front of my face and I couldn’t see for looking!

The other guy, the one that turned in his two weeks notice?  I offered him a counter offer (not even close to his offer) and pointed out some value adds, but left it up to him.  Long story short, we negotiated to a satisfactory end and he is staying!  He’s going to do this new position we created and he even helped me find someone to fill his current position.

See?  I was all wound up about all these (seemingly) terrible things and two of the answers were right in front of me.  All I had to do was keep calm and handle one at a time.  Everything I prayed about and left at God’s feet (well almost all, I had to worry a bit! lol) worked out – for the good of the whole team.  I have a really good thing going and I don’t want to mess it up.

I’m still going to lose my right-hand guy, but he’s moving on to something he’s dreamed about and I’ll still be working with him – just in another capacity.  I’ll never stand in the way of someone advancing themselves and this is giving us both time to transition.

Oh – and the other thing?  About everyone forgetting me?  I got over my freak out and then a few people contacted me in the past few days – I’m not alone people!  Thanks for keeping me ‘around’.

So I guess the point to this one is to stop before you freak yourself out and call someone you trust to help work it out in your head.  Most of the time we worry about things that will never happen in the first place.  Pray about it and see what works out.  If you feel lonely, reach out to someone.  They’ll be around.

Life is good.  Crazy.  But good.

 

 

 

You’re You. Stop Trying to be Someone Else.

Do you ever stop and wonder – what would it be like to have “their” life? To look like “they” do? To have the family “they” do?

Guess what? You’re killing yourself. Stop it. Now.

We as a society tend to put labels on everything. “She’s had a great career. She has the cutest kids. This girl has the best boyfriend. This one has the best taste in fashion”..etc etc

There is nothing wrong with admiring good traits and/or the successes of others. Everyone is unique and has different things to offer as far as personality and friendship and life lessons (the good. the bad. And the ugly!) We need to appreciate those traits in others around us.

But our biggest downfall? Ourselves. Thinking we’re not as good as those other people. That we’re not as attractive. We’re not as successful. And on and on and on. (And I’ve learned it’s not just us women who do this!)

I recognize this because I’ve done it myself – for years. Time and time again.

But here’s the cool thing – I’m my own person. And I’m awesome. Because I do my thing. That works for me. Even if it’s not “your” thing.

It’s taken me forever but I finally came to the realization that my life may not have turned out the way I thought it would ten or fifteen years ago. And want to know the best part? I. Am. Perfectly. Okay. With. That.

Why? Well. A lot of my personal desires have changed. Some because of situations and some because I simply grew up. As you develop as a person, you kinda get to know yourself. Crazy, right?

I was promoted. I learned a new job. Bought a house. Worked on wellness and personal boundaries. Made new friends. Nurtured relationships. Learned relationships change. Some get deeper and more intimate. And some tend to completely change or even end. Friends move on. Some stay around. Then, just to make things even more interesting, I moved my fine self across the country to try it all over again. That’s life my friends.

But here’s what’s bugging me tonight. How much I used to compare myself to others and how easy it is to fall back into it when things get hard. How what you knew is not what you know now. How (if you get your head out of your ass) you realize you’ve already past that and learned your lesson.

So try this: stop thinking you don’t have this or don’t have that. Start thinking about what you do have and what you’re awesome because of it. Recognize your beauty and personal accomplishments. Strength comes in all type of forms. But like everything else, you need to exercise it to maintain it.

Be strong my friends. And stay strong.

I Don’t Want to People Today

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Ever feel this way?  Like you don’t want to show up to whatever your friends are doing?  Not because you don’t like them, but just because you don’t want to see people.  Or be seen.  I’m pretty sure most of us feel that way every once in awhile – even if we don’t like to admit it.  I’ll admit it. I’ve done it a lot – showed up really late or not at all because I felt a certain way about myself or simply because I couldn’t even think about being seen.  Kim?  The social butterfly?  Yep.  What do you think the “Hoodies” part of this blog is about?  Black hoodies, specifically.  To show my dark side.  Cause it’s there.  And its usually a better idea to stay in than to expose the unassuming public to it.  I’d probably lose a few friends.  That’s when mean/I don’t give a shit Kim comes out.  Yes – best to leave her at home.  Sometimes.  Most of the time.

You know what?  It’s perfectly okay to be by yourself at times.  Now, I’m not condoning turning into a hermit, but I want you to know that if you need you time – go ahead and take it.  Sometimes you just need a mental break – or time to be lazy.  Or to draw horns and a beard on that gorgeous arch-enemy of yours.  Whatever works.  You do you.

I will admit there are times I do this because I simply don’t want to be seen.  I wouldn’t call it depressed, but I’d say there is a certain something holding me back.  Today was one of those days – I don’t have any real friends yet where I stood them up, but I had wanted to go out and do a few things.  Go to church (its just hard), take a walk by the new lake I found, get my nails done.  But what did I do? Stay in and hung out on my balcony.  Read two books.  Took a nap.  Ordered groceries.  Did my laundry. Painted my own nails.  Didn’t see a soul today.

You may think its sad, but hey.  I don’t.  It happens.  There are days I just want “Kim time”.  And this is one of those days.  (And considering I know like three people here right now, it’s a little easier to do so!)

You may have a few more responsibilities than I do, but if you ever get the feeling where you don’t want to be in public and you have the opportunity to do so, go for it.

Sometimes you just need a break from your normal.  Try it out sometime.

Life With No Regrets, Just Experiences

Regret

You could say packing up your life and moving across the country is a pretty big life change, right?  Good, because that’s life.  Many people have asked me over the past month or so if I was scared.  Scared, not really?  Anxious that I screwed up and made the worst decision of my life? Yep.  Pretty much the whole time.

But do you know what I was more afraid of?  Regret.  Regret that I was too afraid to try something new.  To put myself out there.  To be brave and change my life around.

Want to know a secret?  I am so glad.  I did it.  I tried something new.  I put myself out there and I was brave.  Have I turned my life around?  Not yet, people.  It’s only been two months! ha.

This past week was my first week of work at my new company.  i walked in there not knowing exactly what to expect.  But I figured it would be like when any other new person started.  You would meet people, drink coffee, look generally awkward and confused for a few days and then eventually – slowly – get down to business.

What happened was a bit of a whirlwind.  Meetings?  Two my first day.  All day training? My third day.  My email inbox over 100 actionable items?  Third day.  One on one meetings to see what needs to be changed? Fourth day.  The thrill that I made the right decision and I was going to be part of a great team? Day Three.  Were the people nice? Better than I imagined.  Did they ask for input right away? Yep (and I’m still blown away by this!)

Do I have more things to change and implement than I know what to do with? Yep.  Were the issues and challenges of the department similar? Better believe it.  Am I excited to be here and be a part of this change?  Stoked.  STOKED I say.

The coolest thing?  I wasn’t scared.  It was this feeling that I was in the right place.  A feeling of belonging.  Right away.  There was this confidence that was almost foreign.  It simply comes from seeing a job that needs to be done and jumping in to make it happen. It’s almost beyond explanation.  It was just there.  Like it was just me.  Doing what I do.  But in a completely new space with completely new people.  Weird.  But good.

What more can I convey then this? A very great friend of mine said this perfectly – there is no better place than obeying God when He says to move and doing just that.  To know that you are where you are supposed to be and that He’ll take it from here.

And you know what?  I want just that.  I don’t want to screw this up.  I’ve come too far and learned too much about who I am and who it is who takes care of me.  And the support of everyone praying for me and wishing me well?  It was there.  In spades.  In more ways then you will ever know.

Thank you.  Just thank you.

On that note – when something big and scary comes along, just examine it with an open heart and mind.  It just may be that thing you were looking for and you didn’t even know it.  Try it.  It may crash and burn, but it may be the best thing you ever tried.  No regrets, my friends.  No regrets.

It Takes A Village

12 weeks ago, a business friend of mine called me and offered me a job. At a new company. In a new state. Across the country. To many people today, this is not outside the norm. People do it all the time. Maybe not across the country, but people switch jobs and states more often than I realized.

As per my last post, you guys know I accepted the job and was making preparations to tie up loose ends and make the trek to Colorado. I knew I was in for a crazy eight weeks of preparation, but I didn’t know how hard it was going to be. Selling a house, buying a car, trying to end a job well, make arrangements to live in Colorado, not to mention training someone to take my job over and endless introductory meetings with clients and vendors.

Some of you know what my last day, 1/26 was like. I settled on selling my house, purchased a car, quit my job of 17 years, said goodbye to some people who mean the world to me, and left my home State for a new one. All on the same day. Talk about emotional!

Then came the goodbyes – they were the hardest of all. I am not a classic crier people – but I’ve cried more in the last two weeks than the last few years combined. Family members, friends, coworkers. People who love me and have been a big part of my life for a long time. I’ve shared memories and events (some of them life-changing) with so many people and it’s hard to think of life far away from them.

Looking back on the last few weeks, I realize even though it felt like I was making 638948736 decisions and doing everything on my own, there were so many people helping me and I was ultimately taken care of. From packing to cleaning to moving things to goodbye dinners to meals, there are countless people who came along side to help me on this journey. Once I left on my road trip, I had people like Dana and Josh and April letting me stay and hang out with them.

There were many reasons why I even considered this change and then went about it. Some I’ve shared and some only God knows why. The point is that I’ve learned a lot through these 12 weeks and here is one of the most important ones – God did not return void. I was afraid I was going to leave my past job under less than desirable terms a few years ago. But justice prevailed and I was able to leave on terms better than I could even imagine.

The other cool thing? Kindness gets returned people. I received cards, letters and gifts from people I had no idea how I affected. My momma always told me there “is never an excuse not to be nice to someone”. I didn’t always agree with her, but it became something I strived to do. Be nice. Even if they aren’t. It’ll come back to bite them and repay you in the end. Even if it takes years.

I have to admit something though – this is a epic adventure I’m on and somewhere I’m still excited about it. But leaving is HARD. I was a mess last night wondering “What the frig did I just do???” I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I didn’t expect to have a rough time with it emotionally. The brevity of my decision and the exhaustion of the past weeks finally caught up with me. My friend also pointed out that I am grieving the life I left behind. And she’s right. I am.

But again – here’s the thing. Were the last twelve weeks hard as hell? Yes. Was it hard making decisions by myself on things I only half knew? Yes. But did I get though it? YES. Am I still glad I did it? YES.

I have no idea what the next few months hold and what awesome things I’m going to learn and experience. But you know what? I’m going to take advantage of it and LIVE. And grow. (Although I feel I’ve had enough of that for awhile. Lol)

So don’t forget to be nice to people. Help out someone you know who is going through a change themselves. Look for those opportunities. You can be part of their village. And don’t be afraid to step outside your own comfort zones and make a change if it’s needed. Hey – if I can do it, so can you!

Adventuring out of Comfort Zones

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You know how people say “It will happen when you least expect it”?  And half the time you walk away thinking it will happen to everyone else but yourself?  Or wondering how you will stop expecting whatever it is that you want?  I’ve been there a few times over the years and have come to the conclusion these things just happen to other people.  Until a few weeks ago – when I received a phone call that flipped my life upside down.

For the past 24 months or so, I had been making efforts to change my work life: from looking for new opportunities to challenging myself to be more professional by working on emotional intelligence.  There was a period where I was trying my hardest to find a new job in order to remove myself from some unhealthy (mentally) situations.  I went through circumstances that allowed me to have some experience and growth, but it seemed I was being kept in the same spot.  This allowed me to have the courage to stand up for myself and challenge some misconceptions people had about me and many of my situations changed for the better.  Relationships were improved or repaired, and I felt I was “content” in my work situation.  However, it’s amazing how life can change your perspectives.  Even though I was in a good place, I was now aware that I would be open to other opportunities if they became available.

Then came a phone call a few weeks ago.  A long-time friend of mine from the industry gave me a ring and wanted to know if I would come work with him.  In a place which will allow me to grow and learn more about the industry, while giving me opportunities I have only dreamed about.  To his surprise and mine, I said I was interested.  To make a very long story short, I accepted the position and will be moving in a few weeks to go out west.  To work.  And live.  In Colorado.  Colorado!!!

These past few weeks of being pursued, interviewing, analyzing options, and making a thousand decisions a day, have been challenging and exciting.  I can’t turn my brain off – it is so used to planning and coordinating things, and this will be the biggest event I’ve ever attempted.  It has to be one of the most mentally exhausting things I’ve experienced, but it is so fun to make new plans in an exciting new place.

There will be so many opportunities for me to learn and grow, both personally and professionally – I am so looking forward to it.  There will be difficult days ahead I know – but I am dwelling on the new places I’ll be able to experience and the people I will meet.

Want to know one of the best things about this?  It is something I have always wanted to do and never had the courage to do it alone.  Living in a gorgeous place and working for someone who is willing to port me across the country to do so?  Sign me up please!  There have been times where I was thinking I could do this, but with someone at my side, along for the ride.  But I’m here in the now and that’s not the case.  And you know what?  It’s a good thing.  I’m not scared, I’m excited.  I can do this because I am single.  Because I have mobility.  Because it’s an adventure I want to go on.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is to not be afraid to do something because you are single.  Because you think you are alone.  You’re actually surrounded by more friends and support than you’ve realized.  You can do it.  Go experience life.  It may or may not work out.  Who knows? I may be wishing for East Coast life.  But you know what I won’t have?  Regret.  That I didn’t try it.  That I didn’t have this experience and the new ones ahead.  Because I did do it.  I did try.  I am going to experience more of what life has to offer.

Each step of this situation has been a leap of faith.  And each step is working out in ways I could only imagine.  In a way that is giving me the peace and assurance that is the right step for me.  I can’t wait to see what is next, even though I have no idea what it may be.  And that is why this is the epic adventure.