"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live." - D. Thompson
I have been described as brave, outgoing, and fearless... all adjectives which I think only have a smidge of truth to them. I guess one could call my relocations all over the country brave... I call them "safe" as each was made to ensure I kept my job. And I suppose I could be called outgoing... as long as I'm not in a crowded room (I'm fine one-on-one, but add 10 and I immediately find a corner to hide in). And fearless? Hardly. I overanalyze everything! If I were to describe myself, I would say I'm cautious, awkward, and analytical. Funny how we see ourselves, right?
Last month, I attended a conference headlined by Giuliana Rancic. Having always been a huge fan of hers, I was very excited to hear her speak. I was not disappointed. She was warm, charismatic, and funny! Although she was talking to a couple thousand of us, she could have just as easily been talking to a small group. She was amazing! She talked about her childhood, and how discouraging her teachers were when she told them about her dreams (my high school counselors were the same to me). She also talked about how being good at something doesn't mean that it's something you should be doing. This really hit home - should you do what you love? Or should you do what you're good at? Are they the same thing?
Giuliana talking at lunch (stupid plant blocked the view)
Following that speech, I decided one thing was for sure - I was going to step more outside of my comfort zone. First step? Meeting my super cool internet friend Pinky Lovejoy at this event called The Hollywood Show. We had been tweeting about it for a while, and although I was initially a little shy about attending... I decided I HAD to go. I did not regret it! We had so much fun. Not only did I get to meet several of my favorite actors from my childhood (Loni Anderson, Lou Ferrigno, Keith Coogan, Jeremy Miller, Diane Ladd, etc), I got to hang out with one of them! Keith Coogan is the now fiancé of my friend, so we spent the majority of the day hanging out with him and helping him out with his booth. He is the coolest! While I was initially super shy and awkward around everyone, I quickly got comfortable and had a great time! Thanks, Pinky, for inviting me and making me more at ease!
Me and The HULK!
Diane Ladd - Loved her in so many films, but especially in Enlightened. Buy her book - it's great!
Keith and me - such a nice guy!
The super cute Pinky Lovejoy herself!
Shortly following the event, my friend Pinky started to talk me into attending the LAPD Celebrity Poker Tournament held at the Saban Theater. Several actors that she knew that I liked were going to be there, and the funds raised were going to a great cause. I was initially hesitant - she couldn't go, I didn't know anyone else that was going, and it was all the way back in LA. After several days of texting back and forth, I decided to go. Best - Night - Ever! Not only was everyone at the event friendly, I got to meet my favorite actor from my favorite show! And he was super cool! I met some tremendous people, celebrities and not, and floated on cloud nine for the entire week afterward. Stepping out of my comfort zone is proving to pay off in droves!
Scenes from the LAPD Poker Tournament
Michael Cudlitz, C. Thomas "Tommy" Howell, and my Peyton Manning signed mini helmet
In an effort to live for what makes me happy, I have kicked off a number of projects that will put me where I want to be a year from now. I recently started running again (Couch to 5K - proving how out of shape I really am), took up two fitness challenges at work, and started working on a side project that I hope will turn into a business a year from now. I made a difficult decision to not take an opportunity that would have required me to relocate (again), and I've never been happier! I have changed my perspective on so much in such a short period of time - I am excited for the journey I am taking. It's not always easy to dive in the deep end, but once you prove you can do it - you feel tremendous! Guess we'll soon see how this works out for me!
Until next time...