Friday, March 24, 2017

Questival Mativators

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Who do you choose?

Everyone is different.  Isn't that great?

The holidays help me to reflect on relationships- it's time to reevaluate where we are at work, in love and in friendships.  I remember a story that I was told once, "when you are pushing that wagon up hill- the wagon being your life, your success- sometimes there are rocks.  some people get too heavy to bring along with you.  so you can stay- as heavy as they are, or you can put them out of your wagon so you can keep on pushing.  keep on climbing to the degree of success you are envisioning."  This is empowerment.  This is as a choice.  This is HARD.

I grew up on hot dogs, vienna sausages and bologna sandwiches.  Sometimes we lived out of our car.  Sometimes we bounced from house to house.  There wasn't any consistency in life.  As I've aged what I've come to know as truth are my constant relationships.  Who I surround myself with.  Who helps me feel supported, shuts me down when appropriate and pushes me off the cliff when I'm scared.

I'm constantly evolving, and everyday morphing myself into my own, and who I trust to be there every time I shed my skin- changes.  I think about who I was at 11, 15, 20, 28, and now?  Don't tell anyone but I'll be 39 in 4 months.  That is utterly surreal to me.  Unless I think about my transformation into my current self and who I still strive to become.  What a journey this has been.  I am so proud of who I am versus who I was before.  I am so happy with who is in my life and who I've chosen to be my cheerleaders and confidants versus who I could have surrounded myself with.

I don't believe in making it.  I don't believe there is an end.  I believe in constant revolutionary change and growth of oneself.  My belief is that if you think there is a ceiling- you have forgotten what it's all about.  I want to surround myself with people who are stronger, smarter, and challenge me every single day.  It doesn't matter to me their age, where they come from, their religion or who they love.  Do they help me develop into the best me every single day?  Strength comes from the diversity in the room.  I like to think of that room as my life.

So how does one balance work/life/love/family?  From what I see there isn't such a thing.  You never fully balance, something is always suffering or taking the backseat.   In hindsight for me, it's all about perspective.  Are you portraying a victim, or are you grateful for what you've been given?   This is a question I ask myself everyday.  Am I pushing myself to my limit or am I leaning on my first world problems?  Pep talks and internal motivational monologues are imminent to everyday life for me.

Your relationships have to morph into your life.  For me, I've spent too much time on trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and have made unfit decisions for romantic relationships and I've yet to finalize this.  My friendships are infinitely unique and I am so incredibly lucky to have- and they continue to grow and change just like me.  I would not be where I am today without my foundation that I call my friends.  They are my lifeline.

My family is new and evolving and challenging as well as the most rewarding forgiveness I have ever experienced.  No one is perfect and I certainly cannot expect my family to be.  If I've learned anything over the past 5 years it's that my family did and continues to do the best that they can.  Past and present tense.  This is for me to realize, and stop looking at the ceiling of unobtainable perfection that ultimately doesn't exist.  This and this alone is what has made me feel full and loved and honored to be where I am in life.

Who I thought I was versus where I am now, divided by what I expect from my family and friends defines my happiness.  Except I am in charge of who I surround myself with and what I allow in my life.  When I realized this I found freedom.  Isn't everyone just trying to be the best version of themselves everyday?!  I know I am.  The hard part is remembering everyone else is too.

Holiday reflection,

Hoss <3

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Everybody Jump.

In just a month, I will get to say that I have worked for a start up for a year.  I absolutely cannot believe it's been a year.

A year ago I decided to do a few things, that I am amazed I actually pulled the trigger on.  I decided to leave my comfy job as a Project Manager at an awesome company.  I decided to let the faith and belief of what could happen take the place of a standard, reliable paycheck.   I decided to take a huge risk.

I have to say that the stars were certainly in alignment.  I wouldn't have done it without the support and guidance of my leadership training.   (shout out to John Grinnell's Advanced Coaching Group 2015).  I built confidence during that year that I really could do anything I wanted to.

But I wanted more.  I didn't know what "more" was.  Or what that looked like.  Was something wrong with me?  Did I just not like being content?  Surely, I should be grateful for where I was, why did I have a longing of more?  I knew in my heart, there was another route I was to be taking. I just didn't know what it looked like.

People would say, "You must do something you are passionate about"  I heard this.  I knew what they meant, but I had no idea what that felt like.  What was I passionate about?  I know I'm not alone when I say- most people don't really know.  I sure didn't.  I felt really embarrassed about it too.  Why don't I know what I'm passionate about?  So I just waited.  But I was listening....

I was introduced to MATI.  I loved it.  I went online to order.  I couldn't.  I read all about the history, the journey they'd taken so far, and realized there was only 3 people.  They were quality focused.  Health conscious.  New.  Innovative.  And won a huge award and investment from the founder of AOL.  Something was happening here...

And boom.  That was it.  All the parts and pieces of thoughts and wondering and confusion united.  Something I was PASSIONATE about.  Health.  Something I could contribute to in ways I had no idea.  Growing something from the ground up.  This was IT.

All of that was great and dreamy, but what about logistics?  I was 37.  I had a LOT to lose if this didn't work out.  Pay cut.  Benefit loss....and oh- 90% of start-ups don't work out.  (this is it, my gut said)  But what about money?  What about health benefits?  What about....  (just do it, my gut yelled).  But I have 12 solid years of excellent experience and my resume is awesome.  (who cares, I heard again, are you happy?)  I have nothing to fall back on.  I can't.  It's impossible.  (look forward and up, you got this)

It was a battle.  Internally.  Externally.  People thought I was crazy.  Panic attacks ensued.

And I did it.  I jumped.

We had to be scrappy.  There was only 4 of us.  There was no "department" you called because you needed something.  None of us had done any of this before.  BUT we knew people who had.  So we called them.  All of them.  And asked them, HOW.  Then trusted our gut and all of our instincts.  We ignored and rejected all negative thoughts.  (you can't do this.  it's not working.  you don't know what you're doing.  you will FAIL.)  And kept on keepin on.

And before we knew it- we had opened our own 30,000 sq ft manufacturing facility.  In 5 months.  The FIRST EVER craft energy drink manufacturing facility.  We were winning every contest we entered.  National press was coming from everywhere.  People recognized the brand, the story, our faces... people were saying they "couldn't get through their day" without our product.

It's been the most challenging, rewarding, dream catching, year ever.  And I've loved every second of it.

We stand at 19 employees now.  We have a benefit package!   We have a bomb ass leadership team who takes chances, makes hard decisions, and only the best ones for the company and it's employees.  We still don't know what we're doing sometimes, every single day.  So we're still scrappy.  And innovative.  And humble.  But we are confident, will not take no for an answer, always winning, and there for each other.  We hold each other up.  Because we all fall.  Blood, sweat and tears.  (this is a REAL thing)

And here we are. Here I am.  Looking back at this phenomenal year in which sleep fails me often.  Less now about the risk, more now about the opportunities, about what's next.  About what 5 years looks like.  And I watch new people come aboard, watch them go through the same emotional journey I did, and I smile.

All because a Duke college student had a crazy idea.

So the next time you think of something... and you hear that voice say, "No dummy, that's crazy."  Do it.  Be bigger than your thoughts and your insecurities.  Because you can do anything you want.  Teach this to your children- they can be anything they want.   They can change the world.  Always think bigger than where you are, than you ever imagined.

I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life, and I'm not even half way to where I want to be.   Where I'm going.  I'm going fast and only looking up.  Thanks to my team who picks me up when I trip.  Thanks to my family for supporting me in this journey.  Thanks to my friends who love and support me in every way they can.  I'm more grateful to myself for leaning in to this incredible opportunity and not letting my insecurities and demons get the best of me.

Are you letting yours?

Cheers to a year.  Can you imagine what the next one will look like??

I can.  :)


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Year of Magic

"Always work hard on something uncontrollably exciting."
-Google for Entrepreneurs

I just finished reading "Year of Yes" by Shonda Rhimes.  I find it FASCINATING that most people don't know her name.  They aren't sure who I'm speaking of when I mention that author.  She's the GODDESS of Television- Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy, SCANDAL, How to Get Away With Murder- She RULES Thursday television.  She has a hashtag #TGFT (Thank God for Thursdays).... and most people don't know her name.  She did this on purpose- more in her book.  Mostly she helped me realize that everything that makes you uncomfortable- you should do- on purpose- all the time.  Now I knew this- cognitively- but actually doing it is another ball game.

I am now reading "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Now disclaimer- I'm not done... But I am amazed.  She touches on how we always have ideas, creative ideas (whatever creative is to you- it varies) and sometimes we don't act on them. Sometimes we push them down- mostly because of our old dear, curl up in a blanket, feels good, comforting friend -FEAR.  Now, I've spent a LOT of time on this subject.  I'm an EXPERT in fear.  (and insecurity- lucky ME!) I've been in multiple leadership trainings, I've listened to seminars, watched TED talks, read books on this subject and how to conquer it.  I have to say- Elizabeth does a fantastic job making this relatable to me in this book.

So much so that I am going to commit to one year of BIG MAGIC.

I feel creative all the time.  I've known since I was in college I would write a book.  I think about blogging all the time and never do it.  Make excuses.    I just quit my Project  Management job with an incredible IT company to be employee number 4 for a start up company where the world is my oyster!  I am encouraged to be autonomous, be creative, be INVENTIVE!  There are so many opportunities in my life for me to make Big Magic- I am going to commit to one year of leaning in to every opportunity I have to be creative, every idea that comes across my brain.  I've learned so much in all that I've been soaking up the last three years it's time to implement it.  It's time to watch what I've learned come to fruition- to creative LIFE.

Now let's be clear... I'm  not going to write a book this year.... but I am going to blog- because I love it.  Am I good at it?  According to WHO?  I don't care either way.  I LOVE IT.  I like to get what's in my head and heart down in words.  It makes me feel alive, legit, of value! I've submitted what has to be 7 bogs to and a human ALWAYS replies with feedback about my specific blog- that they want to publish it and I'm almost there.... and then I rollover to defeat.  They are asking me to resubmit!  They are asking me to polish and prune and I don't.  I'm scared. I'm scared after I do that, they still won't like me.  I'm scared of not being good enough.  I'm scared of being good enough.  This pattern is no longer acceptable.

I am going to create and invent every idea in my head for my new job, dive in all the way.   I am not going to let my fear hold me back from ideas and concepts that I want to bring to life.  I am going to be innovative and every time I feel that familiar grip in my chest... every time I feel that- "just forget it- it was a terrible idea anyway"- voice in my head.... I will say, "Hello old friend.  You are not going to go away, I understand that.  But you are not welcome to drive.  You can hang out- but you are not welcome here."  And plunge forward with everything I have.  I know I won't always be perfect- but such is the light of Big Magic; all of the greatness and flaws- all of it is magic.

Stay tuned for the most vulnerable Hoss you have ever seen.  I accept the challenge of looking fear in the face and saying- It's ok- It's just ME- entertaining, funny, honest, loyal, risk-taking, loving, complicated and beautiful me.

Openly and Honestly,


Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Today I am 37 years young. 

I typically don't like birthdays.  Actually- I've mostly HATED them.
I've made myself feel like I am "lacking" because I've never really fit the mold of "where I should be in my life" box. 

Funny how every single year that passes this gets more and more ridiculous to me.  I mean, not all those who wander are lost.....

This birthday, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.  Literally.  I feel like no one is more full than I am with life. Years have become like a cracker jack prize (insert age appropriateness here)-  WHAT'S THE NEXT PRIZE?!  What's the next thing I am going to know?  What else am I doing that is stupid and wasting energy??

I feel lighter, happier, and present.  I asked myself, what are you doing differently?  What have you learned?  Here's a few bullet points for your review:

  • It's all about them- not about me.  Other's reactions/moods- it's their "stuff" coming up- not mine. 
  • If something is hard to do- I need to do it MORE.  The more I do it- the better I'll get at it.  If something makes me uncomfortable- I should do it twice.
  • Every aspect of my life is connected.  Work.  Friends.  Relationships.  Alone time.  All of these things can compliment each other or conflict- it's up to me.
  • Laughing is like a Ibprophen/Xanax/wine cocktail (not that I know...)- and available for free at any time.  No Rx required....And EVERYthing is funny.  All things have humor- even in all the stuff that isn't going as planned.
  • Friendships have different definitions to different people.  AND THAT'S OK.
  • I cannot change people.

  • "You are enough.  You don't need another person, place or thing to make you whole.  God already did that.  Your job is to know it."- M. Angelou 
  • Yoga is a great way to turn off the hamster wheel in your brain.  It also is therapy.  Call your therapist now and cancel your next appointment- go to yoga.  And then be quiet....
  • I can control absolutely nothing.  No matter how hard I try.
  • Love isn't heavy.

  • Respect has to be earned, not forced.
  • Expectations are a guaranteed pathway to disappointment.
  • Altruism is a major key to happiness.  New word for me- new way of life.  Volunteering is a big one for me.  Spending time with the homeless women of the Raleigh has really been fulfilling- in so many ways.  Also LISTENING is such a huge form of altruism for those around you who need an ear.... Looking someone in the eyes when they speak- can be the biggest part of a conversation.
  • Church.  Knowing that God is present in my life in everything that I do is not only comforting- but helps me feel secure.  I've finally found a church that gives me what I need spiritually.
  • Family is important.  Even if you don't need them, they need you.  And they're sorry for all the bad stuff and want to give you all the good stuff- even if they don't know how.  So forgive them.  They did they best they could at the time with the tools they had.  I feel there are no exceptions to this.  (trust me- I've tried to come up with many).
  • Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
  • Confidence comes internally- not externally. 
  • I am not a victim.  Of any circumstance.
  • LET. IT. GO.  Every last bit of it.  Everyday.
  • A child's laughter fills every hole, missing piece, empty space, that I feel.  A big shout out to my friends who had kids for me to benefit from their innocent youth.

Cheers to 37 years!  I will enjoy this DAY. And look forward to every additional one I get to experience.  Thank you all for your impact on my life- the good, the bad and the ugly.  All of it is helpful and all of it is grace.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Challenging your awareness.....

I want to write about something that I feel like these days people deny even exists anymore. 


Did I make you uncomfortable?  Did you roll your eyes?  Are you even going to continue to read this?

If you think that it doesn't exist... you are truly mistaken.  It's not talked about much.  People do a really good job of turning a blind eye....But mostly because as a society we've made it "socially unacceptable".  However,  the bottom line is it still goes on every single day.   

People of the same race-even in the WORK place- speaking demeaning comments race related.
really people?  you are in a professional environment, #1.  #2, for the record... if you are white, and you are making a joke about another race, I'm uncomfortable and immediately have zero respect for you moving forward.  I made a mental note to never trust your morals or your judgement.

Parents denying their children because they married another race, or had an interracial child.
What do you see when you look into your daughters eyes?  You love them unconditionally right?  By unconditionally do you mean, only if they don't marry or birth a child by someone of another race?  Because that's what I've seen.  I've also seen with my own eyes, people who deny their feelings for someone because, "there's no way I could bring that person home to my parents."  THIS IS OUR REALITY PEOPLE. It's not just their problem....

Let's stop acting like this *ish doesn't happen.  It does.  I see it almost everyday.  I've EXPERIENCED it.  I've gone out with a GIRLfriend of mine who's black and gotten stared at.  Lingering looks. Felt the thoughts.....

I'm not sure if you are aware, but people can see your face.  See your eyes.  Feel your energy.  Sense your judgement.  You don't have to say a WORD. 

Oprah had a life class a few weeks ago on Colorism.  Passing judgement and racism within your own RACE.  Light skinned, dark skinned.....and all shades in between.  That show tore me up.

The Butler- haven't seen it?  Well you should.  Hotel Rowanda- that's a movie we can watch and say- "oh- that doesn't happen here, that's in other countries."  Wrong.  Just 60 years ago we couldn't even sit at the same tables.  Go to the same schools.  That's how our parents or grandparents lived.  The Butler does a really really good job of bringing the past to the present and showing you that not that long ago......

So yea, there is some lingering ignorance that we are trying to clean up.  You only know what you experience so if you grow up and learn and get taught that way, then that's all you know right?   WRONG.  Dare to be different, how do you think things changed anyway?  People challenged the "NORM"  People pushed back.  PEOPLE DIED, so that we could live this way today.  But to be honest, I'm not satisfied.  I'm not OK with where we are as a society on this issue.  I am ashamed that I see and continue to see racism

It's disgusting.  It's ignorant.  It cowardly.  It's shameful. 

I know one thing.  I'm only one person. One measly little 35 year old white girl who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.... But I promise you this:  I promise to never surround myself intentionally with those that would make my loved ones of another race uncomfortable.  Period.  I promise to always say something when I hear derogatory shameful  verbiage coming out of an ignorant mouth.  I do it.  All the time. 

I may not be able to erase it.  But I can surround myself, my family, my children around all different races, religions, backgrounds, cultures... and on purpose.   If you are living in 2014 and you STILL DON'T KNOW that we are all the same, then shame on you.  There is no one way.  One right way to live or be. 

Be part of the solution.  Be part of the healing.  Be part of the acknowledgement.  Or you ARE the problem.  By laughing or turning a blind eye, you are exacerbating the issue and fueling the fire.  Stand up for something bigger. 

Think what you will, about me, about this blog.... But at least I am standing up for something I believe in, instead of allowing the norm to dictate my thoughts.

Equally accusing.  Equally loving,


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What are you TRULY committed to?

I am going to steal a quote from Hannah Brencher- a young blogger who has become extremely successful and is wonderfully thought provoking:

"I guess I’m now starting to understand why commitment seems a little jacked up and flimsy in the world today. Because real commitment– hands all in with no hope of turning outward– is not always the picture-perfect, edited thing you’d thought it would be. A lot of times it’s tears. And it’s telling yourself you will get through something, even when you aren’t so sure that you will. And it’s lacing up your boots to get through these battlefields that seek to own you with doubt and insecurity and hopelessness. "

It seems with so many distractions, technology specifically- there are so many reasons not to be committed.  Not to go through the motions of staying, wherever it is, for whoever it is- through the hard parts.  Have you been through anything in life that had actual substance that was easy??  Nothing is easy.  Life is what you make of it right? 

Work is a commitment, it's certainly not always a walk in the park, but you stay.  The reward is that they pay you.  Relationships are a commitment.  They aren't easy and typically they try every single part of you that you didn't even know existed.  But they reward you with love, fulfillment, companionship, and worth.  Every commitment has a pay off.  And it can get exhausting while climbing the hill of adversity......But when you get to the top of that hill.... it's oh so rewarding.  Ms. Brencher is right when she says at the top of the hill is JOY JOY JOY and Hallelujah!  You cannot experience the joy, if you do not stay the course- of anything difficult you face.  Looking back at the top of the staris that you climbed is the exhilarating reason you climb them....

People are getting married less and less. Later in life....It's so easy to shut down.  Shut off.  Transition to something easier.  Put the What IF portion of your emotions on repeat.  Tricking yourself into thinking there is always something better waiting.  Bigger.  More worth it.  Something that will constantly full fill you every second of the day.  It ain't gonna happen my friends.  Ask anyone who's in a long term relationship or married.  Ups, downs, and everything in between.  That is the definition of commitment. 

The next time you want to run- from whatever is challenging you to be better.  Be bigger. Be tolerant- STAY.  She puts it so much more eloquently than I do... but I have to say I envy her vision at such a young age.  It took me a really long time to come to that realization, a really long road of lessons learned the hard way.  I'm not married.  I don't have children.  But I welcome the expected anticipation of the commitment it requires.  I've done a lot and learned a lot and anyone who knows me knows that my commitment to them is real.  If I am your friend, your confidant- I am committed to you.  I'll stay.

Can you say the same?

Looking forward to looking back,