Channeling Bret Michaels

That sounds really weird.

Why would anyone want to channel this guy?

Perfecting the duck face.
Perfecting the duck face.

I’m only kind of kidding, of course. I’m sure Bret Michaels has a ton to teach us about beating the odds given he has the worst kind of diabetes known to man and he still finds energy, health and time to dedicate to what he knows best: music, supporting our troops and veterans and canoodling with 80s-haired wanna-be vixens. Seriously, more power to him. [Side note: I own all three seasons of Bret Michael’s Rock of Love. Chew on THAT.]

It’s been THREE WHOLE MONTHS since I quit that painful excuse for a career move and I’m still right where I was on March 1st. I mean, I guess I’ve grown somewhat: I’ve meditated over the experience, did the due diligence of finding the moral lesson in the HUGE fail I had to endure, have beaten myself up and consoled myself a dozen and one times and have gone to and fro with lamenting and redeeming myself. The moral of the story is this: I totally and completely fucked up, reacted hastily to an expired situation and, because of the frustration this invoked, was blinded into thinking that the first company to come along and court me WAS INDEED MY SAVING GRACE. By accepting all the glorious things they offered, I’d show ex-company what I’m worth and man, won’t they be sorry to see me go. 

Well we all know how THAT worked out.

If my ex-company ever lamented that I left, I never knew about it. Though I suspect that my wise ex-boss surely saw me making this mistake as it was happening and, in her age and the infinite wisdom associated with her life experiences, she probably hoped for the best for me but surely thought I was being impulsive. And then she probably concluded that she didn’t want such an impulsive wreck to continue to run her business in Chile. So a pat on the back and “good luck to you” it was. As a person she was probably sad to see me go, but as a business woman she concluded that I had made my decision and life would go on.

Lesson learned: I was defiant. I acted impulsively. I was immature. I was all ego.

I crossed into what I thought was my field of dreams. All I had ever hoped for in structure, in organization, in position, in teamwork. Only to realize that NOTHING was as it had been promised and what had been painted to me on the outside was merely an illusion … or a wish list of where they wanted to be but had failed repeatedly to achieve. No ONE person was going to achieve that for them when the organization was screwed up, from the leader downward. Good people, talented even. But so much more to accomplish and, truth be told, a little fishy that as a group they still failed repeatedly to accomplish their wish list. I bowed out in the nick of time.

Lesson learned: I left more humbled than I’ve ever been in my life. I remain as humbled. I lost faith in teamwork; I lost faith in myself. I doubted myself. I beat myself up for making such a terrible mistake. I felt sorry for myself. All of this (and more) has made me pick myself up. Has made me push aside all the negativity, all the doubts, all the fears. A calloused me has emerged.

I’m less likely to be as impulsive now. I’m more apt to listen than to speak. I’m asking more questions and pushing for answers if something seems fishy. Unfortunately I’m also probably way more skeptical than ever before. I believe the word I’m looking for is tainted.

So why Bret Michaels, really?

All of the above has happened internally (obviously), while on the outside I’ve been on multiple job interviews. Some that have really, really interested me, others which I was quite skeptical about. Thus far, none have panned out. This in and of itself is hard on the self esteem. Some days turn into weeks and I realize that I’ve had no solid leads in well over double digit days. I fear becoming a has-been. I fear becoming irrelevant. I have images of turning 45 and realizing that I never worked again… I never dominated my area/project/division/what-have-you, again. Never killing it again. Add the stress of having one demanding toddler who at times flies off the handle to such an extent, I’m left wondering if I’m even losing at this whole parenting thing. Add a newly diagnosed epileptic dog. Add a traveling husband who is here only sometimes (and Murphy’s Law has it that he’s gone when shit truly hits the fan.)

Nothing is the end of the world, but every little thing adds up. And the thoughts that swirl in one’s own mind can be such ball busters.

Bret Michaels wasn’t necessarily impulsive in his decisions on Rock of Love. In fact, in the first season, everyone was sure he’d pick Heather. She seemed like the obvious choice as she was so much more his style and vibe (fake boobs and all!) Instead he picked Jes. Jes was cute, spunky, smart – the kind of girl other girls want to be friends with. Good decision. Smart, reliable. BUT SO NOT BRET MICHAELS! He made a safe decision, but not a decision that Bret himself could truly commit to … and he didn’t! Because then came Season 2 of Rock of Love. In what we now know to be typical Bret style – he likes the party girls and the centerfold types for a little while. But when it comes down to it, Bret is a man of substance. Again he floored us by not choosing Daisy and going with Ambre! The smart, flat-chested, career oriented girl that again, all girls would love to befriend! Then, out of nowhere, in Season Three he went COMPLETELY AGAINST everything we knew about him and he chose Taya instead of Mindy! Mindy – the all American girl!! Taya – literally the Penthouse something or other. I was totally distraught with that decision because Taya played it up that she was a lady and that all her Penthouse “spreads” were done “in taste.” She portrayed herself to be one way but really, she was as trashy as the rest! I’m disgusted just remembering ….

All of the above has nothing to do with my life lessons learned in the past six months. What I mean when I say I’m going to channel Bret Michaels, I really mean that I find solace in Poison’s song “Something to Believe In.” It reminds me that there are bigger problems out there, but I also know that we all have our own battles and we all need a little something to believe in everyday. Sometimes a good song is all you need to soothe a dark moment just enough. Once it’s over, you find you’re on the other side of the dark  moment and able to keep on moving.

“Road to God, take me home.” Thanks, Bret.

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Note to Self

There’s a truly awesome blog I’ve been silently following for a couple of months now and through it, I stumbled across a writing project called Trust 30. Of course, my stumbling is never graceful and I came across it far too late to actually participate (because that would have been ideal, considering I really NEED something like this right about now in my life) so I basically had to settle for sitting on the outside, looking in. Again.

What it is (for those of you too lazy to click on the handy link I provided)  is a 30-day writing challenge that looks to help participants channel their inner beasts (and beauties, I’m sure), through writing.  Sounds pretty heavy, no? Well, it is. The idea is that each day, the participants are prompted via email with thought-provoking questions or scenarios and the idea behind this is to allow and encourage the person to write from within, with integrity and whole-heartedly, addressing or answering the phrase or question in the email prompt (as in, prompted to write). Now, in my opinion, the prompts, at first glance, initially serve the purpose of making me feel like monosyllabic moron… prompts that surely prove I’m nothing more than a master brain farter. However, in my case, this is due to the fact that I’ve lost my ability to look within and ponder questions that are hairy and scary.  Don’t get me started on the lost ability to write about said things (oy.) See? I told you I am the A-numero-1 target for this amazing project… and I missed it.

B-o-o-h-o-o.

I’ve decided to cheat and go about this my own way however, because there is one prompt that is just too good to pass up. I’m going to write in parallel to those who are officially participating and answer a prompt that has really provoked me. That is: What would you say to the person you were five years ago?

Holy son of a motherless goat!

Is this question NOT too much for color tv? And I’m totally cheating, by the way, because the question actually has two parts and the second one is one I’m not yet able to tackle. And so, baby’s going to start out slow. I figure, at least I know the me five years ago and so it won’t be like I’m addressing a total stranger.

Huh. The irony just occurred to me. Obviously the me now is the complete stranger in this scenario because I’m starting from a point where I have the advantage. I know the me then. Do I know me now? I’m going through that crisis as we speak, truth be told. I don’t really recognize myself anywhere in this new world, as every role, including that of wife, is new to me. One thing I do know for sure is that I’m not handling any of the roles well.  But that’s six of one and half a dozen of another.

So anyway, without further ado, here’s a letter to me (five years ago) from the me (today), which, by the way, would be sent to me via email at my now defunct Yahoo address whose only purpose at present is to collect millions to trillions of junk mail.

In my case it would be 2006, but 1955 works too.

Hey…. so… I know this is going to sound all sci-fi and weird and a little too close to resembling a first draft of the “Back to the Future” script BUT, hear me out yo.

On August 18, 2006 you exchanged the usual emails with three of your best SF girlfriends (don’t deny you spent most of your time emailing with them, rather than working) and you wrote:

I am sooooo tired of hearing “can’t get enough of you.” It’s like, everyone says that to me and I’m like “what? I know… stop already.”  (to be said in a bored, Paris Hilton style voice.)

I have a few life goals and they are these (in no particular order): learn to sail, own a boat, write a book (even if it never gets published), own a townhouse in Manhattan, marry, have one, if not two, kids, and get an MBA. Sometimes I think I’ll have to surrender to the fact that I may not accomplish all these things but it seems to me that  of all these things listed here, the MBA is most within my CONTROL and most within my reach. I wonder if that’s true and perhaps it’s up for debate but I believe this.

I want to tell you something my sweet, little chocolate covered 29-year-old: right now, this very second you’re at the pinnacle of life as a single person. You really need to sit back and actually take it in and that complaining you do about not having enough money or enough to do at work or enough passion for something, you really need to put a sock in it. And here’s what needs to happen:

First of all, that boyfriend you have, though he’s the nicest guy ever (probably one of the only two nice guys you’ll ever meet in your life), he’s not the one. You know this already but you’re too scared to just own up to it. I’m not at all keen on revealing the future to you, but let me say this – that fear you have that he’ll meet someone totally fabulous and a million times better than you – it’s true and founded. He will meet someone better than you. But the thing is, she’ll be a million times more fabulous FOR HIM. Which, as you well know, is what he deserves. You’re wasting your time, jelly bean. His and yours. That second fear you have that you’ll never meet someone as nice, as generous as devoted as him and that you’ll never meet someone who will love you like he does, well, that’s a lie. You’re both wrong. He doesn’t love you as much as he’s capable of loving because that will come with his next girlfriend (and that’s a good thing) and you… my dear… you, will find someone who indeed is ONE MILLION times better than your current bf and that’s simply because he’ll be better for YOU. So shit or get off the pot (I KNOW you aren’t going to shit so get off already) and by that I mean, break up with the guy and get on your single, merry way. Trust me, it WILL be merry.

Three of the most amazing women you'll ever meet. Circa 2006 at the Lion's Pub.

Once you do that, after the sting subsides a bit, you’ll be set to truly and adequately enjoy your life as you want to live it in your present. Your priorities right now are your friends and your job – so stop dicking around and focus on those two! You adore your friends, not a second goes by that you aren’t planning something with them, texting them, calling them and most certainly, emailing with them. Planning trips to Tahoe, happy hours at Voda (hello! you know you’re all about their $3 happy hour specials between 5-7 pm) or happy hours at Americano. Next year your best friend, Jen, will be moving to New York – NEW YORK! Stop wasting time with things that don’t matter and spend all your time with them – later on, you won’t have that luxury, peanut. Sadly, you really won’t. These next few years should be about you and them and in parallel to that, you focus on your career. Trust me on this. Never again will you have a more fabulous job, in the most fabulous of U.S. cities, surrounded by the most fabulous women you will.ever.meet. Go to their birthday parties, go to their launches of anything, just be with them. Don’t flake, don’t let your wind die down at the end of the work day and make the effort to be there. Your friends are your life right now, and it’s as it should be at this moment.

The one thing I can tell you that you did a-ok with is your job. All I can say is – wow. At 29 you will have seen some of the best cities in the world, tasted some of the best cuisine in the world and will have worked with cultures from Turkish to Israeli to French to Brazilian. There is no better time than now for you, career-wise and all I can say is, you go guuurrrrrl. I hope you know that. Remembering correctly, I think you did kind of know that… but only kind of. Right now I’m telling you, that said “kind of” knowing needs to shift into “embedded-in-your-brain-and-injected-into-your-bloodstream” kind of knowing.

Finally, I just want to tell you – those goals you listed above – much too “by the book.” I realize that you felt pressure to succeed “by the book” and come to think of it, you’ve always been wired that way. You’ll even be inclined to think that way five years from your current now. But “by the book” becomes boring and trust me, one day, you’ll be looking at your Facebook wall and you’ll realize that those people who did it “by the book” look like clones of one another. The ones who deviated? Those are the ones that later on, you’ll wish you emulated. You’ll eventually quench that thirst for a higher degree, but it won’t be an MBA. And you know what? You’ll be fine with that. You’ll still want to sail and without giving away too much, all I can tell you is DO IT NOW. Someday in the future you may not live next to a body of water big enough to motor that dream … Oh, and about that townhouse in Manhattan … you’ll forever have that dream, pookie pie, along with about half of the world’s population. Dream big, sister.

Help the turtle, Andrea.

I could go on, of course. I could go into details like “don’t fall for the Mexican guy who will tear out your heart and stomp on it until it breaks into a million pieces,” – or – “don’t move in with your friend Dara because it will be the main reason you guys will stop being friends and that broken friendship will be felt enormously,” – or – “keep doing that bootcamp and never stop working out, make it a part of your life always” – “spend more time with Kylie, Devon and Piper because someday you’ll look up and realize they’re teenagers! – or – “just go with Jen on her turtle rescuing mission in the seedy underbelly of New York! It means a lot to her!” But really, the way you’re living life isn’t half bad and in general you’re doing a good job. The main flaw in you is that you’re too scared to be alone but trust me when I tell you, the period you do finally spend alone, will be the best time of your non-married life. You’re a good person, albeit a little insecure. There will always be people better than you but no one but YOU can be the best you.

Whatever you do, keep dancing.

I’ll tell you, with all my heart, I miss you and the life you’re living. Pop another bottle for me and keep your life moving just as it is (only with the changes I’m mentioned or else I’ll slap you silly)…

Oh, and invest in Google stock the MINUTE IT IPOs!!

Love you, snoochie boochie.

P.S. – though I know right now it seems like talking in that bored-out-of-my-mind Paris Hilton voice will never cease to be funny, it will. So stop right now because you sound like a jerk.

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