We Shall Dance

Occasionally, even a movie about dance, comes out with a line you’ll never forget. I took some liberty in changing the word marriage to love, but personally I think it’s more fitting anyway. You don’t have to put a ring on it to “get it”. Susan Saradon answers a question in Shall We dance:

"We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet ... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But when you love someone, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things ... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."

I’ve been a witness to a few beautiful events over the past couple of weeks. Some exciting, some hopeful, and one tragic. I’ve been a part of celebrating life at almost every stage and I’ve realized how lucky I am to be there for it. Not everyone has friendships like this. But to me, they mean everything. I would do anything to make their wedding day perfect, I would buy the largest bubble in the world to protect my friend’s daughter on her 2nd birthday, and I would quite literally lay down my life to take away the pain when my dear friend’s mother passed away. But I can’t do that. I can only repeat and follow through on the two simple words I’ve come to learn is all we have to offer… “I’m here.” As the one giving the comfort, it feels like nothing. I feel helpless and quite honestly useless, but when those I’ve had to lean on in return say the same to me…it means everything.

At Biggie’s (or as I called her, Miss Fancy) funeral yesterday and in almost every thought I’ve had since I got an email on April 30th that treatment wasn’t working, I’ve been acutely aware of the cycle of things. Birth, Life, Celebration and Memories, and eventually death. I don’t like the loss of control or not having a choice in when these things happen. I want to know why. I want to understand How THIS could happen. I can’t. It’s not my place. But when you truly love someone? Friend, companion, lover, or otherwise…you’re there. You laugh together, you forgive together, you celebrate together, and you cry harder than you ever thought you could because you just don’t want them to hurt. Ever. It’s beautiful and scary and a hard way to realize, you’ve grown up.

We hear it all the time. Life is short. But when you see it first hand, it’s hard to think of anything else. So yesterday, we cried. And we laughed. And we celebrated loving an angel in the only way we know how. I won’t ever forget the way I felt when I first met Biggie. And I won’t ever forget the way I felt the last time I got to see her. Because I knew I’d just witnessed something and someone that would change my life forever. I was right the first time and I know I’m right now.

Remember to make everything you do with your loved ones count. The small moments are never small. I keep thinking about the time that lies ahead. I don’t know that there will always be happiness, but I know I won’t miss a chance to stand beside the “family” I chose. When we want to drink champagne, we shall drink. When we want to travel the world, we shall travel. And when we want to dance in each other’s presence and celebrate our lives, whatever life may bring, we shall dance. Right then. In that moment. And with wreckless abadon. 

You can’t call it history if we’re still doing it.

On the 5th of every month, bloggers from around the world are open to write about rights and issues concerning women. First started by Shine and Marie , we're hoping to bring a variety of women's issues to the forefront to make people aware of what's going on. For the month of May, we've chosen to write about Women's Reproductive Rights and Issues. Please join us in telling us your stories, thoughts, and ideas on a monthly basis. To read the first installment, click here.




The past is supposed to teach us to be better in the future. Learn from your mistakes, we're told. Grow, we hear all the time. But who exactly is the "we" in that statement? Today a group of us have joined together to stand up for reproductive rights and issues. Lately women's rights have taken a beating. In all honesty, they've probably taken a beating for much longer than "lately" and I've just been too ignorant to the information until now. I've got to be honest. I do NOT understand it.

I'm sure you've all heard this little gem before, "Those who can't learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana

I want you to think about the direction we're moving in reproductive rights and not argue with me about abortion. I think you're right to an opinion is just as important as mine, but how do any of the issues below move us forward?

The argument behind all abortion is supposedly the sanctity of life vs a person's right to their own body. Yet these statistics (yes, I know you can make statistics out of everything) disturb me tremendously:

I am religious/spiritual/believe there is a power greater than me. I also believe He/She/It is shaking His/Her/It's head at us on a daily basis for the decisions we make in the name of "sanctifying life". When do these judgments apply across the board? Which "life" do you pick and judge? Lie to a high school girl to make her keep the baby, but then essentially make her a leper in the hallways through popularity contests centered around the "celibate" girls. Force a woman to sit through our judgment and keep the child, then blame her when she does not give the baby the attention every child deserves because it WASN'T her decision in the first place. 

Life IS precious. So is the freedom of CHOICE. I don't have to agree with someone's choice to fight for it or defend it. Give them ALL the facts. ALL the options. Then let them decide. If there is some great punishment at the end of this life by a creator, let Him/Her/It decide. Or let things come as they may. Life has a way of working out no matter what we do. We don't change the outcome. Women will have abortions whether we make new RIDICULOUS laws or not. Children will suffer more by coming into an unwanted life than the alternative. 

Choice is progress. We've got to do something together to stop people from taking away choices. Until it's YOUR life, kindly stay out of it.

Thank you(s), epiphanies, and a HUGE break-up!

This week, in my little corner of the blogosphere, I have been more touched, motivated, and thankful than I could EVER find a way to put into words. A couple days ago, I wrote down possibly one of the most vulnerable subjects of my life. You can read it HERE. Puh-lease, please, please read the comments below my post if you haven't! What I wrote started the discussion, but the amazing part was in the response. From the VERY bottom of my heart…thank you. To every woman that made me realize that I was not alone in feeling this way, to every man who was so incredibly sweet that I want to just wrap my arms around you and never let go, and to everyone who even took one minute to read what I wrote. I am amazed.

Beyond the support, something else happened. I'm even daring to call it healing. It may seem silly to say I didn't realize how many people struggle with this, but I really didn't. I didn't feel alone anymore, I felt empowered. I feel compassion for anyone that has ever felt like less because of their weight or their mirror. I read so many articles about the issue (here are three of really good ones: The best article I read anywhere!, Body Image Tips, and Teen Body Image Talks - Stopping the Issue at the Start), my eyes hurt. It made me angry. And anger makes me want to fix things. It won't happen overnight, but I'll be damned if I continue to accept feeling this way for the rest of my life.

Which brings us to the break-up. It's Friday. I've never broken up with anything on my blog, but taking a page out of the book of Shine, this break-up is gonna be a big one (TWSH). Diet companies, airbrushed magazine ads, and unrealistic ideals on outside appearances? WE ARE DONE. No more will I allow you to make me feel like crap about my jean size, my Jessica Rabbit rear end, or my cute little round face. It's mine. It's the only one I get and it's pretty adorable. I'm on to your antics. I know that diet companies have become a $40-100 billion industry based on "failure" or the perception of failure. I see the *Results not typical at the end of every article, diet advertising, and before/after photo you bombard us with endlessly. And I've had it. I may not feel better about this tomorrow. I'm not going to end a 19 year struggle with this overnight, but I'm going to turn my focus on kicking your ass instead of berating my own.

I'd like to challenge everyone to do a few things this next week, month, year of your life. Stop buying diet aids that promise unrealistic results. Stop allowing your friends to obsess (if you see it) over their "imperfections" and find a way to talk to them. Have the conversation. Stop being afraid to say it, because I promise you…we're all feeling it. Stop calling yourself "fat" when what you really mean is, "I'd like to work out more" or "I feel like I'm not living or promoting a healthy lifestyle". Realize that every comment you make could be affecting much more than just you. You could be aiding the struggle of the person sitting next to you and continuing a vicious cycle. We are all beautiful. We are not all Angelina Jolie. And thank God, can you imagine all the babies? If you see something promoting unhealthy expectations, don't buy it. Write a letter to the company, the tv show or magazine promoting it. And equally, promote the good stuff. Dove's Real Beauty Campaign or Glamour's Campaign to bring real life pictures into magazines are just a few rocking my socks off. People are aware of the problem. If we stop supporting the unrealistic expectations, maybe just maybe we can start seeing the beauty in who we are today and stop living for the person we'll be 5, 10, or 50 pounds from now.

This won't be the end of the talks about this on my blog, but I promise to return to regularly scheduled programming of ranting and useless lightweight ramblings here next week. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone the only way I knew how. In the words of MJ, "If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a CHANGE!"



The Skin I’m In

I'm not a terribly personal blogger. I've gone out on a limb from time-to-time when I post, but it's usually more of a rant than anything productive. Today that is not the case. I've written this post about 10 times, been too critical of it, been too scared to post it, then eventually deleted it every time. It's not like me to be very private about anything. I've always felt that if you had to hide it, something was probably still wrong. Well ladies and gentlemen, something is wrong. 

The issue of weight has presented itself in more forms over the last few weeks than I can even explain. LiLu started an incredible blog of support and community at In It To Gym It. Shine bravely posted many of her thoughts/issues in her own struggle here. I met Sketch and Carissa and heard their incredible stories of battling, losing, and even some days feeling like they've overcome weight issues. Then I started reading a book called, "Good In Bed". Since you probably won't click that link, I'll sum it up for you. Girl is overweight, dates boy for 3 years, they break up. Boy gets job at newspaper and writes article about "Loving a Larger Woman". Cue April crying twice before page 50. When I first read the article he wrote, I was so angry with him. How could he believe that loving a larger woman was some sort of gold pin he deserved for not being shallow? How could he think writing something like this was okay? Then I read it again. I read the last paragraph and I cried. Only, I wasn't angry at him anymore.

Excerpt: "And now that it's over, I don't know where to direct my anger and my sorrow. At a world that made her feel the way she did about her body – no, herself – and whether she was desirable. At C., for not being strong enough to overcome what the world told her. Or at myself, for not loving C. enough to make her believe in herself."

I realize this book is a work of fiction, but I've been there. I've been in a relationship where the man tried to make me see the beautiful things about my body. I'm NOT a big girl. I say I am all the time to protect myself from anyone else saying it first, but I'm not. I'm not thin, nor will I ever be. I'm athletic. I can still skate circles around girls half my size. Many men are still attracted to me. I'm also lucky enough to have friends that tell me I'm gorgeous all the time. This isn't the issue of the outside world. This is MY reflection of weight on ME. 

I grew up watching a mother (who is incredible, so don't you dare judge her for this) lose weight until she weighed 83 pounds. That is not a mis-print. At 83 pounds, she felt fat. I looked at her "feeling fat" and did the math. If 83 feels fat, what does 120, 130, 140 mean? I couldn't skip eating, so I ate and then purged. For years. I struggled with bulimia until I got caught and I only stopped BECAUSE I got caught. No one that has ever TRULY loved me has ever judged me for one minute about my weight. But I do. Every.Single.Day. 

I don't know how to fix this. I'm highly educated (now) about nutrition. I know that eating healthy and exercising is the ONLY way to achieve healthy weight loss and maintenance. I'm fully aware how to do it and that I am capable of it. What I don't understand is why I won't. Why I continually judge myself for not being thin. Why is this the ONE thing I've never gained control of in my life? Why do I look back at pictures when I had 8% body fat and remember EXACTLY how fat I felt when that picture was taken? Why do I let my weight affect everything?

And what scares me even more? Are the young girls I teach to skate at the rink. It doesn't matter if they are 8 or 14. I watch the skinny girls. I watch the athletic girls. I see them compare everything about their figures to one another. I see the "bigger" girls already becoming "funny" to compensate. It makes me sick to my stomach. I'd love to figure out the pattern so I could stop it. I'd love to help my friends feel complete in every body type they have. I'd love to know why, at the end of every day, we are each our own worst critic. 

Poisonous mixtures and the part where people start taking my advice!

<Women's Writes

Some of you have noticed I've been MIA from the blog world for a while. More of you probably didn't. Mostly I haven't been writing because I've had a little trouble writing anything that didn't come out like this...*$#&%&@!!! No matter though, I'm back today for a very important cause "Women's Writes". I think it's an incredible idea and even my laziness, frustration, lack of anything coherent to write wasn't going to stop me from jumping on the bandwagon.

When I was asked to write about an issue relating to women, I had grand ideas. Weight loss, society pressure, shopping, leadership....the list is endless. Then I realized this needed to be something I had actual experience with in my own life. So where did I land? Dating. Let me tell you a little bit about dating from a single, late 20's girl's perspective in the 2010.
It. Royally. Sucks.
A few years ago (after long relationship followed by long relationship), I decided to take some time to heal, grow, learn how to get over  some effed up things from my past, and MOST importantly...stop the cycle of "bringing up old shiz" in any possible future relationships. It seems that MANY men do not ever take the time to do this (yeah, yeah, I'm aware women do this too, but this is WOMEN'S writes day...so hush). This ridiculous fear of the unknown is creating a never ending cycle of passing everyone's crap onto everyone else. We each add in a dash of our very own insecurities and we end up with a very poisonous mixture to pass onto the next unsuspecting victim.

Maybe everyone is just afraid of being alone. Maybe we've become so "connected" all the time that we've lost the ability to stand still for a minute and just let things happen. But I'd like to kindly ask you all to STOP it. Immediately. Take some time and put a little metaphoric Neosporin (i.e. spend time with good friends, find hobbies, work on what YOU did wrong in the relationship, etc) on that break-up/divorce wound. Stop looking for the next best thing and MAKE yourself the next best thing. Finding the opposite of everything that drove you crazy in the last relationship won't fix anything. Filling the void with a person who otherwise could truly care about you, will just ruin any chance of a foundation.

Listen up Mr. not-so-healed, not-so-broken-up, not-so-divorced (don't even get me started...it seems I now have to request divorce decrees in writing). Stop hurting wonderful women. Stop answering the questions we ask with the answers you know will get you exactly what you want. We're not a prize, toy or game. We're human beings that just want the actual truth (at least the good ones do). We may not deserve a relationship or a fairy tale ending, but we do deserve to know that we can trust what you say. That when you say you're ready, we don't have to think for you. We can trust that you've taken the time, be that a week or a year or a decade and you've let go of your crap. WORK ON YOU. Then find someone else. It's really that simple.

And through it all, I still believe there is a right time for everyone. I believe there is a moment when you have in fact finally gotten over or let go of all the hurt you can and you're ready to move forward. I believe those are the relationships that work. The foundations that can survive any of life's earthquakes. And that if we each took a little more time to heal our wounds, we'd end up hurting a lot less people on our path 'o destruction. We'd spend more time talking about all the great dates we've had and all the great experiences we had when we spent just a little more time....single.

How I lost at least 50 lbs last weekend...and the plan to keep shrinking!

Think this is about getting skinny? Well it is! Just a different kind of skinny than you probably assumed, but I guarantee the health benefits are just as important.

Over the next month or so I'm de-cluttering my life. I've hired my friend Diana (by payment in wine and laughs). The woman is AMAZING! Sometime near the end of 2009, we all had a slumber party at her house. I went into full-on house envy the moment I walked in the door. This has happened in pretty much every apartment she's lived in that I visited, but I was more than just in awe. I wanted to feel the way I felt in her home. I wanted to feel like everything had a place. And life, at least in those rooms, was in order. I went home after our little shindig and sat in the apartment I love. I quickly noticed that I felt the weight of the entire space..and it was suffocating. I immediately sent her an email, asked for help, and said "I'll follow anything you say and pay whatever you like, just HELP please!"

Last weekend we finally got our schedules to synch up and made a date to attack my apartment. I will openly tell you that I'm not a domestically organized person. You could just stop at, I'm not domestic. My house is usually picked up (unless my life is in shambles) and I feel my home is inviting, but behind closed doors...I am just an "organized mess".  I'm learning that all the STUFF I have is a representation of how I feel in general. Life swinging out of control = shoes EVERYWHERE. Waking up late, not working out, drama in full effect? I'd be in shock if my laundry was not coming out of my ears. So I took a long hard look at all my clutter this weekend. If this is the representation of my life...it's not pretty.

I threw away 4 bags of useless products and junk. Don't even get me started on the money that represents. Two bags and 3 boxes went to half price or consignment stores for a little cash, 2 bags and a crate went to my mom and one bag went to donate at goodwill. That's 50+ pounds of CRAP from just a closet and my bathroom....GONE. It felt incredible.

Hanging on to everything was just a lazy, indecisive mode I'd snuggled up against. I didn't know how to get rid of the things making me unhappy, so I didn't. I accepted being comfortable rather than making something better, even though I knew there was no longer any benefit. Pretty much like a bad relationship. The what ifs and the crap we deal with just to avoid change are astounding. Well not here! Not any more. We built all the starter systems and organization around what works in my routine. What is normal and functional in my life. We're going to flip my closet, sell some bulky furniture items, create systems that I can actually keep up with, and get some crap out of my life.

I've just started and there is a lot more to go, but I get it now. I understand how good it feels to have a plan and to set aside the time to make your home clutter free. It allows you to see a result and feel lighter with every box and bag that leaves your home. It allows you to LET GO. Not to mention the money it will save in the long run (yanno, like not owning FIFTEEN bottles of sunscreen because you don't realize you keep buying them).

So if you've been looking to de-clutter. If you're holding onto a bunch of stuff and/or looking for a few tips to make life a little simpler, stay tuned. I'm gonna provide pictures and tips and lots of cracks about some of the stupid choices I've made in my life (i.e. I'm pretty sure there was NEVER a time it was okay for me to wear a half top). And feel free to apply this as a metaphor to anything you need to get rid of in your life...I always do!

What do you need to de-clutter in your life?

Beers and bourbon

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Last night I went to a bar by myself for a little while. It was one of those days and I didn't feel like drinking at home. Over a couple of hours I realized how much you can learn about your life over a shot of bourbon and a couple beers. If I'm home, I dwell in my own thoughts. Wrong night for that choice.

I'll rant about all the useless stuff in the world on this blog, but I don't complain about the real stuff on here. Actual problems and whatnot. I don't find anything wrong with doing that, it's just not me. Hell, half the people I genuinely consider friends don't know about my "problems". I'll lean on people, trust me. But there aren't many people I choose to lean on and I'm a fixer, not a bitch for no reason kind of girl. So without any details, let's just say...it was a rough day. All kinds of grown-up crap. Which leaves me at a bar, dealing with it the way I do. Think through it. Feel a little sorry for yourself for a few minutes. Move on.

A few years ago I had A LOT of these days. More sad moments than happy ones. More bar time than snuggie time. And back then, it was crippling. I let the rough days take over my life by putting on a happy face and powering through. That helped a whole lotta nothing because REAL emotion? Always catches up with you. This is truly the first time I've had to deal with anything real (personally) in a while. And I'll admit, I was more than a little nervous to see how I would handle the rough days if/when they came around again. So I drank a little. I thought about the day and what it meant. Situations where there aren't black and white answers. And you know what, I was okay. I was as honest with myself as I beg people to be with me. And it worked! I had a little bit of poor me time. I sat at that bar with the eff off look I've mastered when I'd just like a little solitude. And other than the dude that offered to give me a ride to a lesbian bar and promised to bring me back later (I wish that crap still shocked me), it was a great night.

The best part of the night was learning that the little life I've built really is as solid as I like to think it is. Most (especially the stupid) crap from my past is just that, the past. I'm finally the person I've always wanted to be. I have incredible friends that are there for me when the real stuff comes around. AND, I know without a doubt that anything I'm faced with today or in the future...I'll get through. Even if sometimes it takes a couple beers and a little bourbon.

I find it humorous that we still call it happy "hour"

I have this AMAZING blog in my head, but everything I've tried to write today has turned to mush. So I'm sticking with what I'm good at...showing up and drinking!!

Taking a page from (or flat out copying) the DC bloggers handbook...imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, yes? Come join us next Wednesday to meet a few crazy bloggers from the big D. Since we have to drive across the metroplex to meet-up, I doubt we compete with the DC debauchery (aka:greatness). But with this group, I can guarantee we don't leave without a lot of laughs.

When:  Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @ 7:30 pm
Where:  Sherlock’s @ Park and 75
Who’s Coming: Shine, Gofahne, Graygrrrl, Natalie, Mary, and Carissa (and you?)
Email me at: gofahne@gmail.com with any questions

A Week in Review…random and useless is in the eye of the beholder

Since my blog reading has now reached an unhealthy level of addiction, I've noticed that key to this whole writing/blogging thing is finding what works for you and consistency. Unfortunately for me, consistency is not something I find abundant in my life. So this is me working on it. The more you write, the more chance you have of writing something that really makes you proud or even better…makes a difference. This is not that post. It is however a written memory of my week and a few of the highlights that happened down my little road of life. It's a random ride and it won't change the world (today), but my life is nothing if not entertaining.

  • I learned that when Ft Worth, TX says Stock Show and Rodeo, they mean that literally. It's not just a venue to hold a concert (which was the point of me going). There WILL be cows and weird things happening to goat's necks as you make your way back to a covered tent in 27 degree weather. And if you think it's a wise decision to leave your coat in the car…you and your "clearly from Dallas" friends will be very easy to spot.
  • I learned that if you post stupid things you do on facebook, you will receive the most comments of anything you ever post.
  • Not everyone wants or needs my advice every second of every day. It is okay to just listen and I plan to do a lot more of it. It's amazing what you can learn if you stop thinking YOU know what's best for everyone else.
  • I'm probably going to jail over Jersey Shore. Since I can't STAND that show or hearing about it constantly and have pledged to cut the next person that talks to me about it, I'm going to start putting aside a little money for bail…just in case.
  • I had a moment of complete and total happiness this week. I walked outside after work one day to the "after the rain smell" that I love. I was going to meet my friends for fun times + alcohol and cheese. And in that moment I realized, I don't know how it happened, but I'm having a bit of a love affair with my life. Then I laughed when I expected that I was one red slipper step away from a house falling on me. I'm a hopeless realist, what can I say.
  • Finding the DVR remote I thought I lost months ago makes for a very, very happy Sunday. It's the little things people.
Finally I'd like to leave you with the gems I found across the internet this week. It's schmoopy soggy blog love for the people that made me laugh or made me a little better this week. This could also save you all from having to hear me say endlessly, "I totally agree! I was reading this blog and it will change your life…here's the link." So basically, I'm doing this for you. Try not to love me.
Well that's it kiddos. My week in a nut shell. Time to look Monday square in the face and probably get a round house kick in the rear because of all the positive in this post.

I rocked it hard.

Since we're all five year olds and I've learned that a good TWSS double entendre will get you everywhere, you're welcome.

This post however, is about rock climbing…sort of. Thought it was something else? Yeah, I figured…but stick around. Something cool happened!

A few months ago I started rock climbing. I've only been a few times, but I love it. It's a great workout and all that jazz, but there is something so much more to that wall. It's what I think everyone is talking about with Yoga, but Yoga just makes me feel crazy for trying to be a tree or a downward facing bitch or something. Rock climbing is just kind of…bad ass. I'm constantly amazed by the walls my friends lady handle (oh yeah, it's a new phrase I'll be using a lot – Thanks Laura!) and the routes the crazy dudes climb in that gym. What is NOT awesome is my debilitating fear of heights. While I do enjoy the gift of exaggeration, I'm not even slightly exaggerating about this little gem of me. A couple of the routes I climbed left Shine down on the ground watching as my legs trembled uncontrollably and I almost burst out into tears. In a weird way it had nothing to do with falling or even heights. It had to do with control or more importantly…letting go of control.

I hide behind fear to keep control. Ouch, that hurt. The first time I got to the top of the wall, I wouldn't let go. It was explained to me about 1800 times that I could only fall the same distance as the amount of slack in the rope. With my non-stop yelling to take the slack out of the rope, that meant about 2 feet at most. I didn't care. I physically could not let go of that wall. On the wall, I was safe. On the wall, I had control. I'm sure you see the problem though, right? I was still on a wall, THIRTY feet in the air. I was more afraid of what happened when I let go than I was if I stayed right where I was. I was more content to keep fighting to hold on and to tire out my body than I was to sit back and trust that the rope and my friend would keep me from a free fall. I said I couldn't let go. Actually I kind of yelled that Shine was insane if she thought I was GOING to let go. Fortunately, I did finally shut up and I let go. You know what? I was fine. More than fine. I got back down to the ground and I was in one piece. I'd climbed the wall, I'd let go of the wall, and I was still standing on my own two feet. I also knew that wall changed me.

FYI…yelling, almost crying, and BARELY letting go of the wall is NOT my idea of rocking anything. I'm getting there. Rock climbing did something for me that NOTHING physical has done since I quit skating. Skating made me let go. Every time I touched the ice, I was a different person. You could see it transform me. And I KNOW that's why I was damn good at it. I sincerely believe that our physical being tells us what our emotional self just can't or won't say out loud. No, I'm not a hippie. Just listen. We spend our lives building a protective shell around us. At least I have. Every time I went through something difficult, I just threw on another layer. What I didn't realize is how much that shell started to change who I am. I am an extremely positive person. I believe the absolute best in people all the time. I'm also let down a lot. But instead of realizing that failure was about THEM and not ME, I took it as something I needed to change. Become tougher, harder, bitter.

I was wrong. That's not me. I'm the one who throws up a hail mary pass 50 times just for the few that make it worth it. Like Brett Favre, without "retirement". So yesterday, I decided to get a little of me back. Before I got on the wall, I just decided to stop being afraid. Fear wasn't helping me. Bobism (aka: my dad's advice) #489 – Just get over it. And guess what? I did. I climbed routes I've never climbed. I didn't pause. I didn't get scared. I pushed through when I thought my body couldn't do it and I rocked it…HARD. It was incredible.

This is a snippet from Jason Vallotton's, Fear is a Prison… "Fear is a prison; it's no one's friend. Even powerful people deal with fear. But for them, fear is an enemy." Take this with you today and whatever you're afraid of, LET IT GO. What's on the other side is completely worth it and what you let go of won't be any less a part of you than it was before. It got you to the top of the wall didn't it?

LOVE Harder

I stumbled upon this blogging community by happenstance. Now I get it. We are not just a bunch of people writing our daily thoughts and giggles, we are a community filled with love.

A few weeks ago, we all rallied around Brandy. She is an amazing writer, teacher and woman who fell deeply in love with a man (known as H.A.D. to the internets). He has recently been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. You can read the original rally of support for her HERE. Today a great big group of us are offering a lot more than just our prayers and getting the word out to Love Harder. We hope to do a lot with a little, as helpless has become a part of our daily vocabulary and we've HAD IT.

PLEASE read the information below. If it tugs at your heart the way it’s tugged at mine and many in our little internet community, then give as you can….happy thoughts, prayers, a loving message, or otherwise. There is a HILARIOUS video too, so at the very least make you smile.


The quandry: We feel terrible. Just horrible. And oh so helpless... if only there was something we could DO for them.

The answer: Ummmm. Did you forget that WE ARE THE INTERNET?!?!!??! And also, Yes We Can!!!

The result: Brandy and your Hot Awesome Dude... this one's for you. Love, The Internet.

Our Plea

Our friend Brandy is a brilliant writer, a wonderful teacher, and a generous friend. And she is in love with a man who has just been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

We are raising money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Fund in his name. For the price of a cinnamon dolce latte, half-caf, hold the whip, you can be part of an effort to cure a disease that affects approximately 750,000 people worldwide.

CLICK HERE TO GIVE - http://www.loveharder.org/

Every dollar brings us a dollar closer to a cure. And every donation brings a sliver of hope to a girl who needs all the hope she can get.
What YOU Can Do

Give. Be part of a worldwide effort to cure a disease that affects approximately 750,000 people worldwide. Every dollar helps.

Pass it on. Forward this story to five people. Share this blog post. Become our fan on Facebook.

Love harder. Life is short, love is unbending, and no one knows what could happen next. Tell someone you love them today.

Where Your Money Goes

The American Institute of Philanthropy recently named The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation one of the best organizations to give to in terms of their accountability and use of resources.

By working closely with researchers, clinicians and partners in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, the MMRF has helped bring multiple myeloma patients four new treatments that are extending lives around the globe.

The MMRF has advanced twenty Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. They need your support to advance these clinical research programs and accelerate the development of better, more effective treatments.

The MMRF's Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative recently became the first to sequence the multiple myeloma whole genome in its entirety.

A whopping 98% of your donation to the MMRF will be used immediately to support high-priority multiple myeloma research.

With diminishing funding for early stage drug development and the next myeloma treatments not expected to be approved until 2011, the MMRF desperately needs your help.

NO ONE should have to go through this. I do not understand it. Any of it. I have another VERY DEAR friend, whom I love, going through this with her incredible mother (although it is a different form of cancer). I find myself crying just writing this post and I feel helpless all the time. But I can give and I can spread the word, so I do. Whatever is in your heart, please follow it. Hug tighter, kiss longer, and LOVE HARDER with us today.

DONATE: http://www.loveharder.org/
CONTACT: theloveharderfund@gmail.com
FACEBOOK: http://facebook.loveharder.org/
MORE INFO: http://www.themmrf.org
Love Harder,

UN-guilty pleasures

I give all credit to Bevin's post for this idea, but it was genius.

We all have guilty pleasures. By definition*, it's something you shouldn't like, but like anyway. I'm sure this will send shock and awe through all three of my readers**, but here on Gofahne Road I don't really care much about the "should and should not" likes that are accepted or "normal". I yam what I yam, I like what I like, and I'll probably talk your ear off for an hour defending it without a single fact and LOTS of self justification if you let me. However, the little idiosyncrasies that make me, well me…are nothing short of hilarious.

So for your random reading enjoyment, here is a "short" list of those UN-guilty pleasures of mine. Shake your head, roll your eyes, or thank your lucky stars there is only one of me. There just isn't room enough for two of me on this planet or any other.
  • Lists – I don't kind of like lists. I LOVE them. I love organizing anything into bullet points and the cheap thrill of checking off something from the "to do" to the DONE list. The amount of happiness I get from this little accomplishment is easily deserving of a therapy session or twelve.
  • The Snuggie – Take my word from experience…don't rag on anyone until you try it. I did and then I got giddy like a school girl the moment I was wrapped up in one for football watching. Commence non-stop barrage of comments reminding me of my previous opinion. I immediately purchased my own and there are few things I'm willing to list as more fun than "time in snuggie" now.
  • The Big Bang Theory – Not the ACTUAL theory, the television show. If you haven't watched this gem yet, DO IT. It's a very new development in my life, but it now falls firmly in the things I adore category. I watched all three seasons in one weekend.
  • Animated Movies – Pretty much every.single.one. I don't have kids. I'm a grown adult and I will watch Bolt multiple times in a week. I'd love to spend more time with my niece and nephews so I wouldn't feel like a fool for knowing almost every line to Madagascar. Even then, I own more Pixar, Disney, and Dreamworks than I could ever pass off as "oh, the sweet little ones just left those here". And dammit if Cars doesn't make me cry every time Lightning McQueen, Mater and Doc bond at the end of the movie.
  • Dancing (interchangeable with skating, but ice hurts a lot more as you get older) – Yeah, yeah…dancing itself is not a guilty pleasure. Lots of peeps love to dance. But it was pointed out to me this week that I like to overanalyze things to a degree that would make Jerry Springer directors tired. Yet when I'm on the dance floor you wouldn't know I had a care in the world. Reckless abandon, no shame, and busting out every move to "Beat It" could be the moment I would die for.
  • Kate Voegele, Ingrid Michaelson, Jason Mraz, Michael Buble, Glee, and Miley Cyrus – also known as musicians I hate to admit I listen to all day long at work. These peeps can take my day from mediocre to incredible in a few crescendos. If you don't know them or you are already judging me, I don't blame you. I blame Pandora. Select Glee as your music station and start bopping your head. That's how I found the first two and started an accidental love affair with all of them. Just to add to my shame KV is from One Tree Hill. A show I REFUSE to watch.
  • Acronyms – No misleading or double meaning on this one. Acronyms, words formed from the initial letters of several words, make me happy as a clam (Are clams extraordinarily happy or something? To be googled another day). Gofahne? Acronym. FAB, name of our bi-monthly girls' night out? Acronym. It's like having some sort of secret code or pig latin. No actual code or language, no importance of any kind, and yet I feel like a genius with every new word or almost word.
  • Mark Wahlberg – Yes, Marky Mark. Make your jokes. Pants dropping or Departed/Four Brothers bad ace, I am in love. Of course he's easy on the eyes, but it's in the shoulders ladies and gents. Strong shoulders on a man = HOT. I will watch every movie he makes from now until my student movie discount turns to senior appreciation cheap.

That's it (for today) kids. The dirty little secrets that I'm just not ashamed enough to keep from the internets any longer. Enjoy!

Did you think I wouldn't ask? So….UN-guilty pleasures…got any?

*Thanks urban dictionary, what would I do without your simple and typically useless explanations?
**This is modesty, not in any way ungrateful…I'm genuinely shocked that anyone reads this little blog.

Square Peg, Round Hole

As a solid singleton at this point, who better to give relationship advice than me? Clearly my track record with relationships qualifies me, no? Don't follow the logic, that's alright. But stick with me…I just might be on to something here.

Tell me if you've heard this one before: "Relationships are complicated." If you haven't, you're probably in high school or dead. Either way this blog won't have much to offer you and you certainly won't LOL or IDK anything with your BFF. However, for the rest of you, I'm starting to think relationships aren't really complicated at all. WE are complicated and we make an otherwise simple idea incredibly complex.

For longer than I'd like to admit Lately, I've been observing relationships. Sitting on my little perch in the land of my very own space and no one else to blame to the TP roll being bare, I've noticed a lot. People you'd never expect fit together in the strangest ways. The relationship you feel just HAS to work, doesn't always turn out that way. It's my personal opinion that God is a comedian. Give Him your "idea" and he'll just laugh as He sends a tornado of WTH just happened to shred it to pieces. Maybe you know yourself pretty well, but what if this "you" is an ever changing thing? What worked or what you thought worked perfectly in the beginning, may no longer be the case. Every person you meet and experience you have changes you a little. They leave a footprint on your life and you are different for that experience. The key is to finding the people that make you better. It shouldn't be forced. You shouldn't have to convince yourself on a daily basis not to fly off the handle because ONCE again they've annoyed the holy tar out of you.

Now, I'm not claiming black and white here. This isn't, we had a fight so I'm out! This is an overall objective look at a relationship. The realization that no matter how much you want it to work, a square peg just doesn't fit in a round hole without an Apollo 13 team grabbing every resource to squeeze and twist every last idea they have to make it work. And yes, you could argue that Apollo 13 was an amazing mission. They made the impossible a reality. But, the key to my metaphor is (yeah, I'm amazed there is a point too), they never made it to the moon. It was survival, not accomplishment.

We are all puzzle pieces. On our own we are a bunch of weird looking jigsaws that don't make much sense. You can try 15 times to get that bubble looking T shape to go against a flat edge, but you'll finally realize that curved C is where it belonged all along. While there is A LOT to be said for the process of trying every option and finding the best fit, when you realize it's time to change strategies? Change them! You may not find the fit where you expected and you certainly may not see the big picture right away, but at the end it's a masterpiece. The right move was the simple one, you just didn't know it at the time.

My Cup Runneth Over…aka: The one that might make you puke

2010 has gone done* and knocked me upside the head in the best possible way.

My last post was a little ho hum for Gofhane style. I certainly wasn't complaining (there are plenty of those rants to come), but it was the end of the year. A time for reflection and I just didn't feel like anything was necessarily note worthy. It wasn't a year of ups and downs, like so many previous years had been. I didn't have some huge accomplishment I could frame on my wall that year or even someone to share the not so important moments with when I laid my head to rest at night. So I thought I'd somehow "matured" and realized that sometimes life just isn't all that exciting.

Puuuh-lease. Like some sort of universe challenge, the New Year has already been nice enough to put chocolate on that leather shoe as she** smirked and shoved it right down my little throat.

I spent the last week living up the last birthday of my 20's. I think I'd been so caught up in the "almost 30" category that I was almost willing to let this last little number 29 slip right by. It didn't. My friends stepped up in ways I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams. I went to a Stars game with a friend of 16 years. I went with four lovely ladies to the Cowboys/Eagles SHUT OUT that Sunday and got the treatment of a queen. Free drinks, amazing seats, free food and VIP parking. All that without even mentioning that the company itself would've made nose bleed seats feel like Jerry's suite. Then an impromptu gathering of friends on my actual day was met with shots and rock star karaoke and a complete stranger singing, "Simply the best" to me. And last, but certainly not least, the gathering I actually planned happened last Friday. Over 30 friends and family members showed up to celebrate my life with me. Family that has seen it all, friendships with years of laugh lines, and other relationships I made or grew just within 2009. They all represent my life. This unbelievably supportive group of people is my life's scrapbook. And it is damn fine looking if I do say so myself.

All of this happened in celebration of one day of my life. The only showers I have are to wake up in the morning. I've never had a ring on my hand that I didn't buy myself. There aren't really lifetime achievement celebrations for the single ladies. But I just don't believe that is the only success in life. I have a family that loves me. I have friends that come out to celebrate this silly narcissistic day with me once a year even when it's FREEZING ace cold outside. I have a bazillion acquaintances/friends that spent a moment that day on FB or through email, just to share a little love for me. And I said that not much really happened in 2009. So THIS little post is me, EATING.MY.WORDS.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for an amazing start to 2010. Thank you for humbling me in the best way possible. My cup runneth over for every single one of you. MWAH!!!

*I'm from Texas. We talk how we like.
**Like a year bad ace enough to smirk at you wouldn't be a woman.