Fool’s Gold

I’ll preface this with a couple things:

  1. I usually HATE betting.
  2. I’m uber-competitive.
  3. I love the Irish.
  4. I wrote this in September 2017 and never published it.

On Saturday, my favorite college football team, Notre Dame Irish (#biased #alum), took on the UGA Bulldogs. I’m from Atlanta, so this was a big game for my family and me. Both my parents came in town for the game and we had a ton of family friends in South Bend, IN, as well. It was my first home game this season and it was amazing. There is a magic to Notre Dame on game day that is unmatched to anything else I’ve experienced.

So back to point #1 up there… I have a friend who LOVES betting. On anything. He is one of the most painfully rational people I know and yet, the kid loves to bet. So naturally, I find myself in a discussion on Saturday afternoon while tailgating about whether ND or UGA will win. As an ND fan, I have to pull for the Irish but I ended up doing something I never do: putting my money where my mouth is. Blame is on the umpteenth beer, but I found myself agreeing that I’d owe him $50 if the Irish didn’t win by 5+. There are few things I’ll stake a claim on, but the Irish has always been one of them. The unbridled passion I have for my school awakened the competitive spirit inside me and a bet was born.

If anyone knows the end of this story, the Irish lost by 1. There’s not much to tell, except that we led for a large part of the first half and I was feeling reallllllly good about my off the cuff bet. Instead, we let it all go by the end of the game, and we handed the Dawgs a victory. It was heartbreaking. First of all, because I love the Irish and wanted to see a victory. Secondly, because now I’m poorer… although I have vast plans of finagling my way out of it….

Why do I bring this up? As the game marched on, my friend kept sharing that he was highly conflicted that if he rooted for UGA, he was simultaneously wishing that I would have a less fun day with my friends. Which led of course to an existential debate by me about how I didn’t need to win to have fun. Though I found myself reflecting on my own points as I fell asleep last night and I couldn’t decide if I was being the ultimate contrarian or if I meant it…

Do I really believe that this bet made the loss any worse? Logically speaking, it did, I suppose, but yet, as I watched my team place, I was having more fun because I had skin in the game. I was cheering harder for the Irish because I wanted to show my friend that I meant it when I said the Irish were my team. Not to mention, even when we loss, I still had endless memories of all the people I spent time with yesterday, drinking beers, cheers-ing to football season… so really, win or lose, the day was perfect.

What’s my point? This all left me with a lot of questions: Why am I competitive? Why is winning something that we all fixate on? In the cheesiest way, yesterday’s bet was an illustration to me that winning isn’t everything. I realize I made a point of this to my friend to be a contrarian, yes. My life was no better or worse because I lost… him fighting for the other team couldn’t take away from my joy. So in reflection, this ripples into every other part of my life.

Maybe this is the point: the definition of winning surely isn’t black and white. Not that I don’t have to remind myself this allllll the time, because it’s hard to remember! But I’ve challenged myself to we stop acting as though winning is black and white, because . How on earth can winning be objective when there are countless elements and opinions on what makes something good versus bad. What value does winning for winning’s sake give us?

Where does this leave you? I challenge you to spend this week reflecting on how many times you want to define yourself or your success by a black and white definition of winning. Let’s remind ourselves that a shiny gold medal does nothing to illustrate the blood, sweat, and tears that taught whoever came in second place a lot, too. Sure, we are players in a world where there is usually a clear winner and a clear definition of victory. But that doesn’t mean that we have to subscribe to the way this is supposed to make us feel. We have to define for ourselves what winning is and how we can win in more ways than just “won” (pun intended 🙂 ).

HAPPY HUMPDAY!

THE PUNCHLINE ABOUT LOVE AND LOSS

Love is not hard, 

loss is hard, 

and it only gets harder

when you refuse to accept that someone who is willing to lose you isn’t the one who really loves you.

A friend of mine sent this to me yesterday. She’s been going through a hard break-up that’s turned a bit into a yo-yo relationship. The kind where you still find yourself texting a butthead at 11pm on a Friday night. The worst kind of break-up where it doesn’t actually break but somehow leaves you broken. When you’re unable to detach yourself from a person who came to hold a piece of your brain space for a day, a month, a year.

I’ve been thinking a lot about love and loss recently. I moved to the east coast from Chicago in June and it’s been a whirlwind. I joke openly with everyone who asks about “HoW aRe YoU dOiNg” that it’s like being a part of a social experiment. Someone should probablyyy be filming and/or recording this madness cause half the time I feel like I’m living someone else’s life. There are days reality feels like it’s suspended, and you’re not sure if you’re being your authentic self or not, but you’re pretty sure you want to land on your own two feet at the end of the day, so flight or fight mode saves your a$$ more times than you thought capable. Like a cat with nine lives, moving to a new city by myself has been the greatest adventure I’ve lived to date, some of the highest highs and the lowest lows. It’s amazing what the human mind is capable of when you challenge it.

More, the move illuminated to me what it means to support people you love and those who become a loss. Those who were willing to let me pass from their lives, who relied so much on proximity and convenience (more than you even knew!) to build and foster a relationship, who waved farewell and said see you maybe… but better, the move showcased to me those who showed up even more regularly – the people who sent flowers, called when I texted emotional things, emailed me during the work day, sent memes and tagged me in Instagram posts just to say hello. These were the true heros of this story, the supporting roles in this adventure tale that actually fell into the spotlight.

It all actually made me think long and hard about my love languages. If you’ve never heard of the 5 Languages of Love, I highhhhhly recommend a study (http://lifehacker.com/how-the-five-love-languages-can-help-you-win-at-relat-1734348074). Take the quiz and learn yours – it makes understanding your feelings hella easier for both you and those you love. Communicate about it. It may change your life. In my experience, my languages of love are – for sure – quality time and words of affirmation.

BUT when you pick up your life and move thousands of miles from your best friends and the only roots you’ve had for the past three years, how do you get these things out of your relationships? There’s no meeting up for coffee, there’s no happy hours after a long day of work, there’s no long lunches to rant about the most recent office drama. This was my dilemma! This is the part of moving that you think about and reflect on and the thing that people who hear you’re moving ask about (“But do you even have any friends out there on the east coast?!?!), but you roll your eyes, and you tell them you can handle it and make it work… and you know it will be hard, but you’re a big girl and you know to to put on your big girl panties and make it WERK…. BUT you don’t know until you live it how bizarre it truly is!

I wrote a week ago about getting outside your comfort zone (What came first? The chicken or the egg?), about needing to throw yourself in the deep end to realize you can swim after all. It’s allowed to be hard. And in the case of  this move, it’s a transition. It’s a new normal. It’s finding new friends to go out with in a new city {and making the best of a bad situation when you get the the pizza place at midnight on a Thursday and its closed… commence tears}, it’s learning the working style of new coworkers and figuring out an office culture that isn’t your own, and it’s sometimes going to the gym on Friday night by yourself and being totally okay with it.

BUT HERE IS THE PUNCHLINE ABOUT LOVE AND LOSS: When you step outside your comfort zone, you learn infinite amounts about yourself, but also about YOUR RELATIONSHIPS! I have been wowed in finding who truly loves me enough to make me feel that I’m getting quality time and words of affirmation from afar. The creative, beautiful, optimistic friends who somehow are willing and able to make me feel affirmed and seen and heard from cities and states away. My parents for asking to fly me home for a long weekend to spend time with them. The friends that have made me feel like there’s no space between us at all. Friends who find a way to speak your language of love when you need it most. Now THAT is an amazing feat. THAT is the highlight of this social experiment thus far. That is what happens when you step outside your comfort zone. You get to see that LOVE IS LOVE no matter the miles, space or distance. How f!%king cool is that?

So where’s this leave you? I’m not sure. How does this make you feel? Where are you on your love and loss journey? Maybe reflect on that… more, reflect on how you speak and act love to those around you. My love language is surely not the exact same as all my family and friends’ but yet our relationships sustain (well the good ones do…), so there is a flexibility and willingness that must be threaded into this journey of love to make it work.

So find out where you are on this journey:

  1. Figure out your languages of love
  2. Reflect (and I would recommend journal!) about the people in your life who show up when you’re living outside your comfort zone
  3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE – show love, exude love, expect love, settle for nothing less than love
  4. Find great quotes like the one at the top of this post (and then send them to me… I’m a SUCKER for an inspirational quote…)
  5. Go to the gym on a Friday alone instead of going out (lol… but for real, who needs Moscow Mules when you can have endorphins, #DBFTFitGuide looking at you)

What came first? The chicken or the egg?

So I went to a networking event last night with Ryan Lee (www.ryanlee.com) as the speaker. The event started at 6:00pm, so I showed up fashionably late at 6:10pm {Note: Nude Lipsense & Bouganvillea Gloss FTW} and was promptly told that Ryan wouldn’t be speaking until 7:00pm. Cue frowny face…. you mean “I have to talk to these strangers for an hour?” I wanted to ask? Then I thought better of alienating this poor event coordinator and assumed the answer was probably YES. Thanks Mom and Dad for instilling manners in me…

Now, you may be asking yourself why I would attend a networking event and not want to talk to people. I don’t actually have an answer… It’s like when you look down at a plate of spinach and wonder why you’re torturing yourself but then, you KNOW it’s good for you so you choke it down anyway. Plus, usually showing up is half the battle, and then auto-drive kicks in and I somehow find myself talking up a storm to a slew of randos.

BUT THEN! The coolest part: I meet a bunch of really dope people. The event itself is a monthly meet up of entrepreneurs and small business owners and the topic of the night was online marketing and sales. Bingo! Could this have been more well-timed in my life?! As I start down this Senegence path, it was EXACTLY the spark I needed to get my mind spinning and brainstorming. I spoke to SOOO many passionate people who have been on journeys of starting businesses and struggling with businesses and juggling businesses and failing at businesses- the whole nine yards. {Note: I met a small business owner who started a fitness and wellness organization – she said eggs are her #1 health food recommendation. Bad news, she was not able to tell me if the chicken or the egg came first, so I’ll keep you posted when I find out…}

More than the above, Ryan Lee was just such a sick speaker. I am a sucker, A SUCKER, for a good speaker – I mean, I am the target audience for enthusiastic people who want you to drink the kool-aid they’re selling, I will alwayssss buy it (prime example: here I am with almost a million tubes of Lipense! I kid, I kid… I don’t regret it for a second!). But truly, I already subscribed to Ryan’s daily email, and I look forward to learning more about his take on starting an online business presence. And if anyone needs proof that I was jazzed AF after this event, you can ask Whitney Gardner who received a bunch of Facebook voice messages as I drove home from this event in which I used the word “excited” no less than 88 times. Oops. But hey! I am excited!

What’s my takeaway here? Just show up. Just try. Just eat the spinach! We all think about getting outside our comfort zone. And it’s so. freaking. scary. And then somehow you push yourself into the deep end and you realize you’re swimming! People are so resilient and passion is contagious. Do the hard thing. And live to tell the tale.

What are you going to do now? Let me know what you did recently that was way outside your comfort zone and scared the sh*t out of you! Or let me know what you WANT to do – and I will push you into the deep end so you realize you can swim! Call me, beep me, if you want to reach me! Sure, let’s be real, I sell Lipsense from this blog and yes, I want you to try it, but I also just want to use this platform as a fledgling entrepreneur to LEARN about people… to hear new stories… to experience things from different walks of life… every time we step outside our comfort zone, it becomes easier to show up the next time. It’s just as much for me as it is for you!

Happy Friday, kiddos! We (almost) made it to the weekend! If you’re in need a good weekend color, hit me up here. I’m feeling it’s gonna be Dark Pink kinda Saturday…

xo,

Julia