Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Remember September?

Oh bloody hell.
August is ending.

The doom & gloom started last night when my tooth cracked. Yep. Just three weeks after my dental insurance ended. (Thank you powers that be.)

Of course I rushed right out and bought one of those emergency tooth kits. No, a $1400 crown is not possible at this time, so it is cement city for me..... at least until I get dental insurance and a full time job, or a really wealthy husband.. lol..

I guess we can add losing my mind to the list.

Yes, my dear friends, September is the unluckiest month of all for me. Typically really bad things happen to me, and Lord knows, I pray that I come out fairly unscathed. But who am I kidding?

**just hit the search button above with the word September or bad luck and read all of the stories from the past few years.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Oh Bloody Hell (aka Name Change)


Today did NOT start out overly fantastic. Let's just say that relationships are tricky, especially the old ones. I got a call early this morning from my ex-husband, the egyptian. In the past few months, we have been getting along splendidly, however, we apparently have run into a speed bump - the new wife.

As it is, my ex is still close to my niece and to my family. We all went to lunch a couple of weeks ago, and he, my niece, and I took a pic together. No. Big. Deal.

Apparently it was a big deal to his new wife. So much so that he was asked to call me to take it down off FB.

Good times.

AND... if you know my red-blooded American temper, I proceeded to lose my shit. I think there is no other way to put it. I basically lost my temper. THIS coming from the same woman who was having a relationship with my husband before we divorced... but that is neither here nor there.

I digress.

Anyway... it was the catalyst to finally get me to go change my last name legally. Yes - I have been Abdou since 2009, and it was finally time to brave Superior Court, brave the DMV, and the bank, and a host of other places I have to get in touch with to change my name.

But here's the catch - it sort of got to me. As I was pulling out of the parking lot of the DMV, I looked at my new ID. There I am - smiling... with my original, God given birth name. It has been a while since I have seen that. I was married before the egyptian... so this is not my first rodeo. But it is the first time I have seen it since I was very young.

And so it goes... I am back to who I really am. Or who I should have been... or whatever.

Funny how the day turned out... funny how life changing those little acts were. Little did the girl at the DMV, or the clerk at the court house, or the banker at Wells Fargo- realize how difficult a day this was for me.. or how liberating it was.

To all of you who have gone through divorce, just know - you are not alone. I get it. Many don't. But I get it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Finding Life's Rhythm

"Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow." ~Swedish Proverb

Each morning I am given another chance to do something spectacular. Granted, I fall short of full-on sparkle madness, but I do try to sprinkle a little happiness wherever I go.

Sometimes it works, and sometimes.. well.. I disappoint myself. The important thing is to always get up and try again. It's like I have to find my own life rhythm. 

When I have some downtime, I try to go back and reread some of my old blog posts. I've been writing fairly regularly since August of 2009. My life looks completely different from 2009, and I don't know if it makes me sad or hopeful. I was in a good paying job, married to the absolute love of my life, traveling, in a bigger city - honestly, living a fairly charmed life. Now, I find myself back in my hometown, freelancing, and very much alone. My traveling has come to a halt, my friendships look completely different, and I can't seem to get that "love connection" with anyone. I gave it a shot, you know? I tried dating.. I honestly put myself back out there, but I guess I fell short somewhere along the way.

Even though so many of those factors are not the most positive, I do have shreds of joy from time to time. Again - this is sort of the rhythm of my life. I am finding incredible satisfaction in what I am doing for work. I'm writing again, and I'm taking photos. It feels great. This whole week was just me sitting with people who serve our community and live incredibly interesting lives. My job? Tell their story. Done and done. 

I even went on a date this week. Nice guy, good dinner, great conversation. Heck, it even lasted almost 4 hours. My roomie and I spent another night hanging out with two of our guy friends and having a super fun wine tasting, so it is not like I am curled up in a ball somewhere pining for the one that got away. Speaking of that one - I had lunch with him on Sunday. lol

What I am trying to get at is this - This life... my life - your life, your friend's life - we are all just doing the best we can. One door closes, another opens. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that all of this is just a part of my journey, my story (if you will.) It is managing those good times and bad with a sense of purpose and patience. 

One thing I have learned since I started capturing my life in this blog is how to maintain that balance and handle the changes of life. I believe the most important things to remember is that changes are inevitable. Life is constantly throwing us little surprises, and it's up to us to weather the storm.

Another thing I want to share is that sometimes, these changes can be quite enjoyable! I would be lying if I did not say that there is a bit of excitement around the newness of relationships/dating. It is a lot of fun wondering whether or not there will be any connection. I have just one more excuse to go shopping and who doesn't like the spark from a new crush? When it comes to work, it is incredibly exciting to tackle a new story and see what comes out of my research!

Then there are the unexpected changes: Job situation adjustments, relationships ending, illness, and so many other things could be considered "unexpected." I have become the queens of resilience and here is what I can tell you - Breathe. Trust in God. This too shall pass. 

Sure, there will be challenges, but most of us do not realize how we are perfectly capable of rising to the occasion. These are challenges to which you can either rise or fall. Your attitude toward this new situation is of paramount importance. If you approach it with fear, you will jump at every sound and soon become a nervous wreck. However, if you look forward to it as an adventure, and you tackle everything that comes your way with a sense of discovery, you are certain to win in the end, even if you do make some mistakes in the beginning. As long as you are willing to learn, you cannot go very far wrong. 

At the end of the day, I find it important to see all of these life transitions as just another chapter in your already spectacular life. 

With that being said - Share in the comment section on how you balance life's little rhythms. :-)


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Things I've Learned This Week

Things I Have Learned This Week:

1. Time Management is CRITICAL when you work for yourself. I found myself sort of feeling like I was supposed to be doing something, yet somehow I got everything accomplished. 

2. Yacht Rock is my latest obsession. I blame #BraggJam. Though I have always loved 10CC, The Commodores, Ambrosia, Christopher Cross,Hall & Oates,  etc... I am back on this soft rock kick from hell. Can't. Get. Enough. In particular... THIS song. I probably played it 1/2 a dozen times the other day as I was scooting across town to run errands.


3.  I have officially complicated my life... and I am WELL aware of it. Details will come.. and yes, it's in the "love interest" territory.. but .. c'est la vie. I'm having fun. ;-)

4. It's Clinique Bonus Time at Belk. Need I say more? The ugly phase is over. ;-)

5. I have a $183 grocery bill today. Why? It's a whole lot cheaper to purchase food to prepare versus going out to eat. Now that I am working from home, it just makes more sense. I checked out my Wells Fargo budget breakdown.. and... um... er.. I was spending close between $600 - $800 a month in "entertainment." Which when I looked closely - was restaurants/etc.  Yeah.. that grocery bill makes sooo much more sense now.

6. Okay.. now.. I'm just going to say it. It's not cool, but I don't care. I have spent money on super expensive shampoo, I've bought the natural stuff, and I've bought the smell good stuff. I TRIED to make a switch to some other "highly promoted" expensive crap, and my hair has felt like straw. (Which contributed to my ugly phase post.) I finally just picked up my old fave... Pantene Volume and it was like a miracle had occurred. I'm going on the record and saying this is the only shampoo that works for me. There, damn it. I'm done with trying other things. My old standby is perfect. No more ugly duck phases.

7. I have so much more "me" time and I feel complete joy. Did you hear me? JOY. 

8. I thought I would give a shout out to some of my friends in Macon. It was such a delight to pick up this month's Macon Magazine and see 4 of my friends right there listed as part of the 5 under 40. I don't think they could  have picked four more incredibly wonderful people. What do we all have in common? We're all Leadership Macon graduates! Dominique Johnson (is a minister, as well as one of the advisers to my Leadership Macon class,)  Chris Tsavatewa (is a professor at Middle Georgia State College & serves as the head of the community board I serve on for Star Choices, and I consider a newer friend (his wife is awesome too!,)) Jonathon Dye (is a very dear friend and the Communications Director at Macon Arts Alliance and now someone I work with doing the Art Matters Journalism bit,) and of course, Stacey Harwell (she is Jonathon's fiance and a minister at Centenary & a dear friend.) These four are soooo dedicated to our community and I am genuinely thrilled they were selected.

Dominique Johnson, Steward Vernon, Chris Tsavatewa, Jonathon Dye, Stacey Harwell

9. Is it just me.. or are you over summer? I figured out this week that I have a threshold for handling humidity and I have officially reached it. Bring on pumpkin spice, bring on the bold/Autumn colors, and bring on the cool evenings. DYING here, people.

10. Finally... I'm okay. Really! Maybe doing better than I have in a very long time. 

With that.. let me show you a little of what I have been up to:

Lynn, Scott, & Bill (& me.. though I'm taking the photo) at the Cox Capital Theater watching the Grammy Winning - Blind Boys of Alabama at Bragg Jam.

My friend and curator of the museum, Jeff, celebrating his 50th bday!

Need I say more?

Chilling with my mom at her Gallery

Hanging out at Macon Arts Alliance's opening for "Figures" with Glennean (artist,) Steven (dir of Main Street Macon,) Molly (PR guru,) Jonathon (mentioned him earlier,) and Melissa (dir of The 567 for Renewal (a gallery))

Friend & Coworker, Tonya, at Jeff's Bday party

Me about to facilitate the Board Retreat for Middle Georgia Art Association

The insanely talented artist, Eric O'Dell, with one of his paintings. Click on his name to learn more about his wildly successful career. :-)

Lynn with Dewayne Kendrick (artist,) Deonna (arts advocate,) and Franodo (great friend.)

Josephine (Station manager of GPB Macon - Georgia Public Broadcasting) and me at Bragg Jam.

Scott and I hanging out in downtown Macon

I went to see The Wedding Singer at Macon Little Theater. My friend Georgia portrayed Linda, and her husband, Brian, was Robby Hart! They did an incredible job!

That little nugget made a cheesy chicken casserole with me.

Two newer characters in my life. Two great friends- Brent Milner who owns the Milner Group of Georgia (Allstate agency) and Derek Huff - handles financial securities/etc with Allstate. I am doing some PR for them, and of course, we are actually all good friends.) Lynn and I hang out with them from time to time. :-)

Me - having lunch at Harpin's in Macon.

That crazy little "power couple" - Stacey & Jonathon with me - at Bragg Jam. #dyewell Yes.. they have their own hashtag. lol

Eleta & Alex Morrison at the Macon Arts Alliance exhibit opening reception. Alex is the King of downtown - as in the head of the Urban Development Authority. Super nice couple.

The fabulous Carey Pickard and Chris Howard. Chris & I were in Leadership Macon together. He is also my main contact at Cox Communications for promotions. :-)

The group I lead at the Board Retreat. Helping artists & arts organizations become the best they can be!

One of my dearest friends, JJ Hobbs. Click on that link and get blown away by incredibly cool she is. She and I were at The Wedding Singer together.

Molly & I at The Hummingbird during Bragg Jam. Check out her blog please - Make It Work Molly

Lynn & Eric (minister at Centenary) at Bragg Jam

Lynn, Craig Hamilton, and I at The Hummingbird at Bragg Jam. Craig is another PHENOMENAL and widely successful artist. Just how successful? Well.. he is the one who worked for DC Comics and created Aqua Man. Seriously. Just google him. You'll be blown away. ;-)

Deonna, me, & Jonathon at an exhibit opening at Macon Arts Alliance

Dean Brown (the wildly talented lead singer for Dean Brown & the Dub Shak,) and Lynn

Stopped by the say hi to Jason Frost - just one of the most talented artist/graphic artist around. He just will NOT smile for a pic. lol Check out his stuff HERE.

Stephanie & I at Bragg Jam

Molly & Scott

Just hanging out at a party with Representative James Beverly. ;-)

Hanging out with Paul Harpin (owner of Harpin's) and Molly

Enjoying art with my friends Melissa & Molly

The graphic artist, Jason Frost, with incredibly talented digital artist, Craig Coleman. Craig was showing one of his unique pieces.

Molly & Katie at the Tubman

Travis at Jeff's bday

Molly at Jeff's bday

As you can see - I have not been writing as much, but I have been out living, grabbing inspiration, and loving life.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ugly Phases

I feel like I am going through a good, old-fashioned ugly phase. You know what I am talking about.... right?

I cleanse/exfoliate/moisturize/groom.
I try to get enough sleep.
I try to drink tons of water.
I try to stay out of the sun.
I condition/color/style my hair.

I do everything that is required to take care of my face.

Except.. I'm just not loving what I see.

Every pic I see of myself I absolutely hate. Even the ones that I know in my heart are good ones. I'm hating my hair. Hating my eyebrows. Hating my makeup. Hating my complexion.

I'm not sure what is really going on here, but I know it isn't pretty. (Pun intended.)

Ever feel this way?

Like you are going through an adult version of an ugly phase?

I look back at photos from when I was 10, 11, 12.. and let's just be honest, I was not a cute kid. My face looks long and freckly, my eyelashes have always been really light, and my hair was long and stringy.

The way I felt back then is how I am feeling now.

Of course, I logically know I am not going through this phase. But what I need to understand is why am I feeling this way? Is it hormonal? Is it psychological/stress? Is it because I don't have validatio from a job? Is it the fact that I have to depend on myself to give me compliments... no significant other to remind me I am beautiful to them?

That last statement sort of made me choke back a tear for a moment.

Don't worry... by gones..

But what is it?

Do I just need to build my own self-esteem?

This is all foreign to me.. sooo... what do I need to do to "re-encourage myself?"

And there you have it...

Haven't I said it a million times - it's about self awareness.


Maybe I just need a weekend at the spa and a good love interest. ;-)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Riding The Waves... Sorting The Boxes

Those rascally transitions. You are up one minute, riding the wave, and down the next, rolling with the punches.

I've taken a short sabbatical from my blog to sort the boxes- it's what I call "processing the information."

God has both given me a tremendous gift and is testing my faith all at the same time.

On one hand, I have landed a hand full of projects that will in essence (all together,) pay me more than I was bringing home full time. However, on the other hand, none of these are permanent. With that - I have to make some tough choices and TRUST that this will all work out in the end. 

**insert panic here... panic from the planner.**

Yes, I am a chronic planner. It is not in my character to say, "We'll see what happens." Okay, well.. maybe I say it from time to time, but I rarely mean it. I'm like that duck analogy - You'll see me gliding along the ponds, water just rolling off my back, but what is really going on is I am kicking up a storm underneath putting things in motion. 

But for once, I'm just gliding... trying something new - Trusting that I will make the right decision when the time comes. I don't have to solve anything right now. But at the same time....

Oh it's all just very scary. No real safety net except for my faith. No where to run if it all falls apart. It's just me, my prayers to God, and my ability to get stuff done.

I'm really excited about some of the pending projects I have going on. I'm back in the whole journalism field. (Who would have seen THAT one coming?) That's right, I was hired by a local arts alliance to become the lead embedded arts journalist in our community. That's pretty exciting - combining two things I love (Writing & the Arts.) I have also been asked to write for 3 more companies, as well as handle all of the media relations from my former job, AND be the publicist for a contemporary Christian author. 

Wow. Wow. Wow. 

Basically...  it's official-  I'm back to being a paid writer. 

(Don't judge my professional life on what you see written here.) My blog is nothing more than a fun little brain dumping ground. A poor man's therapy, if you will. 

I write - then I hit send. Rarely do I ever proof read this crap. I'm just purging. 

You know, I've often said that I never should have left TV, but I had to - if for nothing else, for more money. I was good at it, and I can only imagine, if I had stayed with it, I would have been great. But I left, and started a completely different venture. I ran that course for a very long time, and some how, I have found myself right back where I started from. Single & Telling Stories... just like I did when I graduated from college.

Life really is a crazy adventure, isn't it?



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