Wednesday, August 29, 2012

About the Time I was a Fashion Model at the Village of Rochester Hills La Femme Fashion Show

I did it.  I walked the catwalk at the Village of Rochester La Femme Fashion Show in my denim and suede fringe ensemble by Chico’s.  I won’t lie: I was extremely nervous.  Walking and standing seem simple enough, but when you add music and the photographers at the end of the runway, it suddenly seems like the most awkward task imaginable. 

That's me! 

My one and only measure of success was not to become “fashion road kill” a la Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City, so by that account, I was victorious!.  The icing on the cake was making new friends with my fellow Chico’s models.  (And one of them had some very sage-like and gave me tons of tips like how to pose and hit my mark.  Thanks so much, Linda!)  Also, as someone who’s background is education, it was very interesting to see how a whole different industry event is organized.  Not to mention, I got to see some super awesome clothes that I will be going out to buy in the very near future.

Me and my fellow Chico's models.
We had so much fun together!


I am totally grateful for this experience.  Getting out there and doing the unpredictable can be scary, but I did it.  And I even had fun doing it. 

In the end my take away from La Femme Fashion show is this: if you are open to the unexpected possibilities and refuse to let fear be your guiding force, the journey becomes more exciting than you can ever imagine.     

How about you?  I’d love to hear how your journey has taken an unexpected turn!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

La Femme Fashion Show

A few posts ago, I wrote about going to my very first casting call for a fashion show.  I have some super exciting news – I made the cut!  Tomorrow, at the La Femme Fashion Show I will make my debut on the runway at (minus that one time as a kid when I walked the runway at Burlington Coat Factory to model the new spring fashion.  I feel the fashion world didn’t recognize my potential at that point in time).

I am excited to be participating in such a fun event!  La Femme Fashion Show is going to feature fall trends from the selected store at The Village of Rochester Hills and is going to take place at Meadowbrook Hall.  I am going to be modeling a denim, southwest look from Chico’s.  Did I mention that I have to get my makeup done, too?  It will be nice to take a break from my regularly scheduled life to do something glamorous and fun.

However, I have to admit, there is a little part of me that is nervous.  (And by little, I actually mean a lot).  I am no stranger to being in front of a crowd.  I danced in recitals and competitions for years.  But this is a little different.  This is a solo performance, not a group dance routine where I can blend in the background.  Walking is something I do every day, all day so it should be easy and natural.   But with all those eyes on me, I sometimes forget which foot comes first.  And then I feel all heavy and awkward.  Which then brings up some repressed memories of being in the sixth grade, and trying to fit in with a bad perm, acne, and braces. 

But I digress.  Honestly, I just hope that I don’t fall down face first on the catwalk and end up “fashion road kill” like Carrie Bradshaw in my favorite episode of Sex and the City.

Even though I am nervous, I am equal parts excited to have an opportunity to do something I never thought I would do.  I am going to have fun and revel in this unexpected twist in my personal journey.  I’m going to show my kids that being anxious doesn’t have to be the determining factor in overcoming fear, but that courage and a sense of adventure are the essence of living a full life.

Have you done anything scary lately?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I believe that I have strong instincts.  I feel them nagging at me in a physical way.  There is often a prick of heat in my gut or a humming in my ear.

And like a jerk, I tend to ignore them. Well, not ignore, more like rationalize away. Where's the proof? Am I overreacting? 

I'm pretty sure the lack of confidence in my instincts probably comes from this being a common theme throughout my life. Yes, experiencing self-doubt is a terrible feeling, but I'm not a victim. I'm working on trusting my gut and reclaiming my power, one personal boundary at a time.

So when I witness people unabashedly going with their instincts, I am inspired and in awe of their courage.  Reading about a mother’s journey in Little Patient,Big Doctor left me feeling motivated to trust my gut.  It's a story about how Haleh’s children had bizarre health issues that she felt the doctors were not treating correctly. She values what the doctors said, but something just didn't sit right with her.  She was never rude or arrogant; never claimed that she knew better. She just did t agree with the immune suppressing treatment she was supposed to be giving to her son if she could be make lifestyle changes instead. 

I admire that she never just blindly accepted what the doctors said. She wanted to understand the reasons for the treatments and understand the side effects.  And most of all, it something didn't feel right to her, she researched by getting other opinions and educating herself.

Although the story revolves around her sons and learning how to become your child’s advocate, my takeaway was the message of listening to instincts. 

For someone who is in the throes of doing so, Haleh’s story of listening to her instincts reassured me that sometimes that feeling in my gut is important and should not be dismissed, whether it has to do with advocating for my children or breaking ineffective behavior patterns in order to heal from old wounds .

Do you ever ignore your instincts? 

*I was provided a copy of Little Patient, Big Doctor but all my opinions are all my own. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Portrait of Despair

I see someone I love very much on the train tracks.  She looks so small and vulnerable in the distance.  And all of a sudden, I see that a train is coming. It’s far away, but I can see the tiny prick of light from the headlight and hear the quiet whistle in a distance.

I start to yell in hopes that help will arrive.  I see others coming to her aid, but the temporary wave of relief is fleeting as I realize that the others don’t hear the train getting closer.

Now everyone is on the tracks, and I am instantly filled with anxiety because they don’t hear me screaming at them to get off the tracks nor do they hear this train rushing towards them.  This train is loud and scary, and that tiny light and whistle heard in the distance is becoming brighter and more thunderous by the second.

I yell louder and louder, desperate for someone to hear me.  I am afraid to get closer to the tracks because I don’t want to get injured.  I’ve been hit by that train more than once, more than twice.  And now I am responsible for other human beings other than myself, human beings that are now old enough to discern when something is not right,

Instead I continue to scream, “Don't you hear the train? It’s coming so fast!  Why are you ignoring it?  Why are you ignoring me?”

The train roar is deafening, covering up my desperate cries.  I cannot fathom how the people on the tracks cannot hear this.

I yell some more, but it’s futile.

The next logical step would be to run and get help, however, I’m afraid to tell anyone else because this train that is coming to destroy my loved ones, it's a secret.  When discussed with loved ones, big, angry fireworks explode to cause a distraction from the real issue, the issue of the train barreling down the tracks with no regard to anyone or anything.
I am stuck; immobilized by fear. No one can hear me over the rumble of the train and the blast of the fireworks, but I’m scared to tell anyone.
Even though the train is so close now and it is clear no one on the tracks can see it, self- doubt starts to creep in.  No, creep is not the right word.  More like flood in, and I am drowning in self-doubt.   Maybe this train isn't really here. Maybe I am the one imagining all of this.  It’s hard to stay focused on the train with all these volatile, abrasive fireworks going off all around me.

Until the trains hits.

It’s messy and sad and unbearable.

I thought nothing could be worse than the anxiety of trying to get others to listen.


Guilt. The guilt that pierces right through to my core and sickens me with its vileness - that is the worst.  It’s the guilt that I didn't protect my loved ones and keep them safe.  The guilt that I let my warped distorted sense of loyalty and the irrational duty of secret keeping prevent me from doing what was right is the worse.  It makes me feel dirty and no amount of hand washing will ever make it go away.
Only time seems to make the guilt slowly fade away, and I start to feel hopeful that I may start to feel normal.  I do normal things, like brush my teeth, brush my kids’ teeth, make meals, and do laundry.

But when it’s quiet, I find that guilt slowly undulates into anger and back into guilt.

When I am exhausted from the raging course of my emotions, I lay still in hopes that it is peace that emerges from the dark waters.

But right now, that is not the case.  I am left with steady flow of despair which constantly erodes my sense of well-being.    

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What Do You Think Thursday with Skinny Scoop: My Favorite BlogHer12 Sessions

As you know, I went to this little conference called BlogHer12.  I wrote my reflective posts  here and here.  However, the posts were so awesome that I decided to dedicate this Thursday’s post to a list of my favorites.  BlogHer includes a live blog post for each session so if you missed something (or you couldn’t clone yourself to go to more than one session at a time or just didn’t make it out to New York), you can check out all the information right on their website.

How cool is that?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Clarity Through Chaos and Some Fun Times: My BlogHer Recap

This past weekend, I traveled to New York for a blogging conference.  Maybe you’ve heard about it; it’s called BlogHer.  Plenty of people heard about it because there seemed to millions of women there.  And by millions, it was probably closer to 5,000.  It felt like millions because the sessions were filling up. 

On Friday, there was a very long line to eat lunch, and I was faced with a choice: do I place a premium on seating to hear The Great Martha Stewart speak or do I place the priority on food?  I, in an unprecedented moment, decided to power through the crankiness of low blood sugar and placed the priority on hearing Martha talk about her life (which included her talking about how she tweets and cleans chicken coops and her new show).  This, in turn, resulted in waiting forever to get a turkey sandwich along with a bad attitude.  Others were not so lucky.  They placed the priority on food and had to sit *on the floor* outside the hall where Martha was talking.

Needless to say the vibe was frantic and kind of set the tone for the rest of the day.

I went to some great sessions about turning posts into publishable essays, SEO, Google Analytics, pricing your services, and using social media.  I learned a lot.

But it was outside of the sessions in which I gained clarity about my goals. 

I went to the Voices of the Year ceremony and was completely blown away by the talent on that stage.  The posts were funny and heartbreaking and insightful.  I was moved to tears, both of sadness and joy.  I left feeling completely inspired.

And then it clicked . . . again.

I started my blog because I love to write.  It makes me feel whole and true.  I love the sharing and connecting over the human experience whether it is hilarious or sad or angry.  Losing sight of one’s goals is very easy to do at BlogHer.  There is glitter and mayhem at every turn.  I feel like I got kind of turned around which led to an anxiety attack which was compounded by the crowd and lack of water.  But once I got in touch with my priorities (and ate some food and drank some water), all (well, most) was OK with the world again.

Aside from the frenzied pace and soul searching, I had an amazing time with friends.  To me, this is the very best part of BlogHer.  I have made some awesome friends, not just online friends, but real-life friends from this blogging experience.  Being able to hang out with them in person is just amazing. 

Until you are fighting back tears as you say good-bye, which you blame on lack of sleep and water.  Which is a total lie and everyone knows it.

And if you are from Michigan, plan on me stalking you getting in touch with you so we can hang out more!

 I also attended BanShe which was a ton of fun, too.  And my favorite official BlogHer party was the Come as You Are with the Mouthy Housewives and AimingLow.  Cotton candy, cupcakes, and wine with the Mouthy Housewives?  Yes, please!

Yes, this trip had some hiccups.  But overall, it was success.

Did you go to BlogHer?  What did you think?