I’m writing a post! I’m in Arizona sitting on the couch of my dear friend Diana with the door open watching some bad TV and just being in the same room together. It’s awesome. I’ve been here since the 19th and have enjoyed a stress-free, mostly drama free visit. It’s been awesome.
Over the past several months I’ve been living a lot of life. I’ve been biking a lot. There is a neat trail not too far from our house that is a converted railroad track. I take Jackson out in a little bike trailer and get anywhere from 8-16 miles in. The trail runs along the edge of a river and is covered in a canopy of trees. It’s absolutely stunning.
I’m working several jobs. I’m still working for the catering company at the theater but I also now do some private events. I worked some absolutely spectacular weddings. In addition to the catering company I also work for a non-profit a few hours a week and a nighttime nanny service as the admin. I get to do both of those jobs from home. It works out pretty perfect.
Oh Foxy is chugging along. We did a crowd funding campaign a couple months ago and raised a couple thousand dollars. We are looking for a location but are waiting for the RIGHT place. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be to find exactly what I am looking for. Once I find it…everything is a go! Ah! The suspense is killing me though!
I have made some phenomenal friends in OH. It’s totally different from any kind of friendships I’ve had before. I’ve found a great church and am cooking more and more and more. We started our garden and are looking forward to getting it planted come Mother’s Day next year. For now we’re just laying down some fertilizers and waiting for winter to do its thing.
I guess the point of this post is that I’m good. I’m really, really good. I’m settled and happy. Being in AZ has been weird. Everything looks familiar but doesn’t feel like home anymore. It’s strange.
I feel good. Like really good. It is a bit of an unexpected feeling considering I lost a big contest that would have made opening my studio a lot easier and one of my best friends within 5 days of each other. I’ve thought a lot about both.
First, the loss of a friend: 7 years of friendship thrown in the trashcan. After my character was attacked I considered what was said. I sent the offensive email to 6 people. 3 of those people were per request. The other 3 were people whose opinions I deeply respect. All of them were blown away. The response I got back from 4 of them was the first line of:
Wow indeed. One of the things that I was challenged (I’m not sure what word to use exactly) on in the email was how I would regret drawing a line in the sand and losing the network of women for the pole dance program. I don’t think “losing” was accurate. It was more like thrown out of. Instead following 1 person who fancies themselves an expert in everything and anyone who disagrees gets kicked out, I get to be a part of an entire network filled with many different people who actually are experts in different fields that all respect each other and their different strengths. Even more than that they value each other. They recommend each other. They suggest you seek out the opinions of each other. No one person gets to decide who is in and who is out. Everyone is in. Everyone plays a different part. I like that.
There is sadness in the loss of a friendship but now it doesn’t even feel like the friendship was much of a friendship at all. It was so easy for them to end with little thought or time taken…mere hours from me sending my decision to do my own thing for my business. Sadly, one of my main regrets is the fact that I had asked to use my bonuses from working for her to go towards my license fee. Considering I have no desire to email and ask for the owed money, opening myself up to another ugly email, I doubt I’m ever going to be paid now that I’m not going to use the program. That’s a bummer.
Second, the contest: I didn’t lose completely. I may have lost the money but I gained and gained and gained. I gained knowledge. I gained experience. I gained contacts. I gained mentors and friends.
One of those mentors is the man who mentored me through the entire contest. I respect his opinion and value the time we spend together. I hadn’t seen him in the last couple of weeks and tried talking to my hubby about my studio and all he said during one of those conversations was, “I bet you wish you were talking to Carlin about this.” I couldn’t deny it. That man gets me. He understands my studio. Meeting with him the other day was fantastic! He is so inspiring. I am going to spend the rest of my life trying to give back to people the way he has given to me.
Another person is going to be a fantastic girlfriend. We just get each other. We have similar goals of wanting to help better women. We each have different avenues for accomplishing that goal and that’s what makes it better. I get to do my own thing while she does the same.
Aside from all of that, I am in a fantastic space. My studio is moving right along. I’m meeting with a few different people within the next few weeks to discuss a fundraising campaign. I have some fun new designs for clothing that will be the debuted. I also have some exciting news in my professional life that I’ll tell you about soon.
I still need to tell you about the Opera and the super cool bike path. I am all about exploring life in Cincinnati and life is good.
I woke up feeling achy today. I didn’t make it to the gym like I planned and instead of tackling my massive to-do list I went to King’s Island and grocery shopping with Jackson. I rented a few movies, came home, cooked dinner, and have spent the rest of the afternoon trying to work on the non-active items on my list. One of them was to write a blog if I felt like it. I felt like it. Kinda.
Things I have to actually write about:
Yeah, I got nothing.
You ever have a day like that? You have things that you think you want to talk about but then when it comes down to talking about them…you just aren’t ready? Today is one of those days for me.
It’s crazy the amount of ideas that are spilling out of my brain right now. I have to sleep with a pad of paper next to my bed again. With that I need to keep pretty tight reins on how I spend my time. I seem to have struck a pretty nice balance between work and play. Speaking of play, the child just woke up. I better go grab him…nope, false alarm.
With all of the life lessons I’ve learned over the last several months, both in how I want to be as a person and how I DO NOT want to be, it has led me on this awesome journey. As I was walking with Jackson last night I had this spectacular dialog with myself where I worked out exactly what I want out of life.
1. I want to be a good wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, and example. I want people to look at how I live my life and say, “yeah…that looks good.” Not in the superficial “look at how much awesome stuff I have” kind of way but in a “she has her priorities in order and is inspiring people to live the best version of their life” kind of way.
2. I want to own my own business. A business that I run MY way that reaches women and teaches them that they are enough no matter what. No matter what they weigh. No matter what they look like. No matter if they are a mother. No matter what job they have. No matter if they have scars either physically or emotionally. I want women to leave their time with me feeling loved, inspired, and like they can take on the mother fucking world.
3. I want to tackle my health issues. I have them. I think I always will. I just need to learn how to better maintain them. I feel better when I eat better. My body functions better. I just plain feel better. I’ve really focused on not taking the easy way out and have been blessed because of it.
4. I want to change some of my habits. I’ve tackled quite a few and there are still many more but that’s okay. One step at a time. One habit at a time.
Life is funny. Not too long ago I thought I had it all figured out. I had the dream job, great friends, and a life that seemed to be chugging along perfectly. Less than a year later I have an even better job, more great friends now spread across the country, and a life that is fulfilling in ways I never expected. It’s not perfect and it never will be but it is mine.
What do you want out of life?
So much is going on right now that I had to actually write a list to keep up with it all. Operation “fall in love with Cincinnati” is going full steam ahead. This town is sneaky. There are so many things that are in the top 5 of the nation it is almost ridiculous. This weekend will be full of new adventures that I can’t wait to tell you all about. This past week was also full of awesomeness. Though I didn’t win the Bad Girl Ventures contest I still experienced major growth. I promise I’ll update my 2014 goals page soon.
1. I met some spectacular people through Bad Girl Ventures. I mean top notch. Men and women all working together to help each other. It doesn’t get much better than that in my book.
2. My marriage improved significantly. Like night and day different. Maybe it was his feeling needed. I don’t know but after I lost there were only 2 people who I wanted to see or talk to for about 20 minutes. My mentor and my husband. My mentor met me the moment I stepped off stage. I burst into tears from the release of all of the stress and pressure. After he promised me that I would be opening in January no matter what and we made our quick plans for the next week I almost ran to meet Jason. He. Was. Perfect. He said and did all of the right things. It has been a whole different world since then.
3. I’ve always been creative. Always. I have a graphic design degree and love brain storming with people to see what ideas we can come up with but HOLY. SHIT. Ever since it was made public that I am doing my own pole dance program my mind has been going 100 mph. I must have felt stunted in that department since I didn’t really have a say. As I said in my post the other day, I came up with plenty of ideas like the strength and flexibility workshops but when it came to the pole dance portion I just did what I was told and did it really well. When I was finally asked what I wanted (something that no one had ever asked me before) and was surprised at what had been waiting to be said I haven’t stopped planning. Seriously on fire.
When I was manager of another pole dance studio there was one line I got used to saying over and over and over to clients. We aren’t a pole dance program. We were a sensual dance program that happens to use the pole. It was offered in the nasty email that I could have requested some changes but that doesn’t even make sense to me. If I want something so radically different from what is offered then why would I pay someone else to come up with a program that I already have mapped out in my mind and still not have full say in what I want and, oh yeah, I’d have to pay for it. Essentially it would be like paying to use my own idea. That wasn’t even a logical suggestion. I’m glad I get to just move on.
Recognizing that I wanted a pole dance program that specialized in pole dance was huge. Focusing a good chunk of class time on increasing flexibility and strength with the remainder being spent on the pole will be huge. Realizing that I wanted to team up with a dietician to help clients who want to eat healthy but don’t know how and requiring my instructors to get personal training certifications to make sure when we do pushups we do them right is huge. Putting together a plan to do a giant Jumpstart campaign so I start debt free like I wanted is huge. Realizing that I get to choose whatever music I want is huge. Researching several different soul searching, personal, stop feeling like shit about yourself programs to team up with so my clients get real, lasting changes is huge. So much hugeness is happening that I can barely stand it.
4. My kid rocks. I’ll have to do a BIG blog post on that soon. He seriously rocks my socks off.
5. I am finally feeling like I belong here…in this house…in this town. I love it here.
Have a happy Monday everyone!