My favorite ever Facebook post, also from this past summer…
TL:DR; <— does not apply.
(Trust me; you’ll want to read this one all the way through. There are hidden gems of wisdom and awesomeness sprinkled throughout.) 🤣
2018 has been an amazing year for me so far…
And July was the BIGGEST month of them all.
(And it’s no coincidence that the July Book of the Month was “The Big Leap”, because that is exactly what I did last month.)
In January I joined the No Pants Community and made the decision that
I. Want. More. 😀
More freedom, more confidence, more laughter, more optimism, more opportunity, more direction… more everything.
January through March, I struggled.
I knew I wanted more, but I couldn’t get anything done.
I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t commit. I couldn’t make a decision.
April through June, I started to change.
I cleaned my house. I weeded the yard.
I decluttered every space in our home, and created an environment, for me, that empowered me to flourish, to learn, to grow, to prosper – to believe.
And then in July, the hard part really started. 😲
I had committed to traveling twice in the same month – once to Logan, Utah, for my niece’s wedding, and the second time to Denver, Colorado, for an “at-home” wedding reception for friends and family who couldn’t travel to Logan.
On July 1st, I was still afraid to leave the comfort, safety, and security of my own cul-de-sac. (Seriously, just walking to our mailbox was enough to give me a panic attack.)
On July 5th, in the midst of all my fears, anxiety, worry, doubt, panic…
I got on a plane and flew from Seattle to Salt Lake City, and then drove to Logan, where I would stay for the next four days. 😱
Every day was a challenge, a battle against my own inner critic, a struggle to make positive choices and put my best foot forward.
But every day was a success.
I learned more, and laughed more, and loved more – and enjoyed more…
than I have in the last 10 years of living silently with pain, fear, doubt, uncertainty, etc…
Every day I CHOSE to ignore the fears and remain *engaged* in positive growth and genuine human interaction. 🤗
And I learned that NO MATTER HOW FRIGHTENED I AM – I always have a choice.
The choice to give in to fear… feels easy, and natural, and “safe…” but over time, it takes a toll, and it closes you off to future opportunities to learn, and to grow, and to really enjoy life.
The choice to ignore the fear and do the thing you REALLY want to do… is HARD. And SCARY! It makes you do things that feel uncomfortable, that don’t feel normal or natural, that have the potential to embarrass you, to frighten you, to overwhelm you… 😨
but if you push through those moments and keep your focus on the end-goal (positive growth, greater happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction, sense of purpose and accomplishment, etc…)
It will honestly TRANSFORM your life. 🤩
I came home from Logan, and 2 days later I attended Michael B Shreeve Jr’s webinar on the Expert Maker program.
And during that webinar, my excite-o-meter went through the stratosphere. 🤯
(Seriously, I think I burned a new whole in the ozone layer…)
I KNEW that there was something in that program that would help ME…
that would propel me forward…
that would launch my business to greater heights than I could possibly imagine…
that would give me the drive I need to create and maintain a successful freelance lifestyle.
I had no idea “what” that something was… but I knew there was something… 🤔
So 24 hours later, I signed up for the program. (Best decision of 2018.)
And I went bananas (in a good way.) I started to dream up every thing I possibly could…
I started to write… and to dream… and to hope… and to spread that hope around to every person I knew… and every person I met…
And then I flew to Denver for my niece’s reception… (again, leaving the safety and security of my cul-de-sac)
And it was AMAZING! 😍
I got to reconnect with family I hadn’t seen at the wedding, and with friends in Colorado that I haven’t seen in over a decade. And I got to engage in real, honest, human communication… and be myself and honor the self in every one around me…
And got some awesome ideas for my own business, and wrote down a simple “plan of attack” to get myself going, and reached out to other people to ask for advice and feedback…
And on July 31st, I flew back home to Seattle.
(This is where the story gets REALLY good…) 🤣
We had a late flight, so I had about ten hours from the time I woke up, to either devote to “freaking out” about flying, or to just relax and enjoy the time with my sister and my nephews (my niece and her husband had already left for their honeymoon.)
It was still hard – but I was able to choose “relax and enjoy,” and leave “freaking out” for another time, another place.
I had a great time just hanging out, and when we finally left for the airport around 5 p.m., I was ready to get on the plane and reflect on all my success and my own “amazingness.”
I ran into a problem at security.
My dad had texted me a copy of my boarding pass… and the barcode scanner at the checkpoint wouldn’t read it.
So with boarding time quickly approaching, I had to go back to ticketing, and get the airline to print me a paper boarding pass, and then get back through security and to the gate before the plane started boarding. (I made it without losing my cool, and with about 2 minutes to spare…)
Then I realized that if I wanted to listen to the music I’d purchased on my phone earlier that afternoon, I’d have to download before we took off.
For future reference, don’t wait to download anything on your phone until your only option is free airport wifi. You will get angry. 👿
So when they started boarding I just said, “well, next time I’ll know better,” and I canceled the download and put my phone in airplane mode, and resigned myself to just listening to whatever music I already had (which was still music I liked, it just wasn’t what I really wanted… but still, I didn’t lose my cool.)
I got on the plane, got settled in, got as comfortable as I could… and we had about a 20 minute delay before finally taking off.
No worries… I’m cool. 😎
When they started bringing around pretzels and beverages, I had an “aha!” moment:
My dad, who was sitting next to me, is on a restricted diet, and can’t have airplane pretzels, or soda. (But the flight attendants don’t know this… mwahaha…)
So I tell my dad, “When they get to us, grab a bag of pretzels for me.” Thinking I’m some kind of evil genius, because I’ve figured out how to game the system. 🤭
Dad says, “Do you also want me to get you an extra Coke?” And I’m like, “SCORE!!!!!” 😝
So, I eat two bags of pretzels, finish my Coke, and put my seat back, triumphantly.
Two seconds later my dad reaches for the bag under his seat…
And knocks the other, full glass of Coke, off my tray table…
Right into my lap. 😮
And my first thought is, “Well, that was unexpected.”
I sat for about 10 seconds, totally stunned and trying to understand why the universe would allow this thing to happen to me, right at the height of my greatest success EVER IN MY LIFE…???
And then I realized that the man and the woman across from me were both handing me their napkins, so I set about to dry myself off the best I could. (Note to reader: two napkins will not dry pants that have 6 to 8 ounces of sticky soda all over them.)
Had this happened at the start of my trip, it would have been a disaster.
I would have been embarrassed, angry, confused, humiliated, “woe is me”, obviously this is a sign that I’m not good enough and I should never have agreed to leave home…
But as it was, the only thought I had was, “This is rather awkward.”
After about a minute of sitting in sticky, I got up and went to the lavatory, with seriously wet pants. (Airplane paper towels won’t dry your pants either; so don’t bother, just skip to the next step.)
When I realized my pants were totally soaked, and we still had an hour and a half until landing… I actually considered going back to my seat, and just “suffering” until I got home.
For about five seconds…
Then I realized I had choices: 💡
I could sit with wet pants, and hope that they would dry in time to avoid an embarrassing walk through the airport after we landed… and be frustrated, and annoyed, and uncomfortable for the remainder of the flight…
Or, I could just grab a dry pair of pants out of my carry on, and forget the entire incident. (Fortunately, I’m skinny enough that I had room to maneuver in the lavatory, and actually change my clothes.)
So, I very calmly and casually retrieved clean pants, changed out of the wet ones, and returned to my seat. (But I did NOT ask for any more soda! Hahaha…) 😫
I did wonder why the universe would allow this to happen, at the very tail-end of my journeys, on the literal LAST DAY of the month where I had experienced SO MUCH growth…
And then it came to me… and I laughed all the way home:
Earlier in the month, Michael B Shreeve Jr sent out one of his funnier emails, about a time he was in a five-star hotel and spilled a whole can of soda on himself and all over the bed. With a message of, “no matter how successful you become, silly things will always happen.”
And I realized, in that moment, sitting with dry pants and enjoying the rest of the flight…
That I had become successful… and I had just endured – and overcome – my very first “silly” test. 🤪
I had something happen that in the past, could have been a DISASTER!
And because I had spent an enitre month cultivating an attitude of gratitude, a spirit of optimism, and a heart full of genuine cheerfulness and enthusiasm –
I had turned that exact experience into nothing more than a silly anecdote that, someday, might find its way into one of my own wacky emails. 🤓
So, the moral of the story is two-fold:
1. Never ask the Universe for extra soda. Take only what you need, and what you are entitled to. 😳
2. Cultivate a mindset that allows you to see “disastrous experiences” as nothing more than silly annoyances…
and you will have found a way to coast through some of the most potentially difficult, embarrassing, humiliating, ego-threatening experiences, that life will ever throw at you. 😇
(Also, you *are* awesome. No matter what happens. You just gotta learn to roll with the punches.)
(Also, also: write your wacky stories into your sales pitch. You never know WHEN “I spilled soda on myself” is going to make YOU more relatable to your reader.) 🤣😂😭😵🤯