Monday, March 23, 2015

Striking a Balance

I think I figured out the secret to happiness.
Honestly - I do believe I did!

It's all about balance.

Wait... you were expecting something more profound? I'm afraid not.

It sort of hit me last night, after chatting with an old friend about how to keep her sanity. I told her all she needed to do was to find some type of balance in her life. She had everything any basic human being could want: A husband she not only loved, but was attracted to. She had raised her child, and now was helping him raise his children. She is educated and has a great job. They bought a comfortable house. She had a decent relationship with her family and at least a few good friends she could count on any day of the week. But something else was missing - that "her" time. 

I, on the other hand, have tons of "me" time. If I want to read a book, I read one. If I want to watch TV, I do. No ones fights me for the remote control. I can sleep when I want to, heck, even in my job, I make my own schedule. Finding time for me is never an issue. What I don't have - a house of my own, a husband, children, etc. etc. 

If you put the two of us together, you would have the perfect life. 
Which brings me back to having it all - you have to have balance in your life to be truly happy. I need to work toward filling in those holes (which, technically, I am.) I have a wonderful boyfriend who I plan to stick it out with. If everything works out over the next year or so, maybe we can be house hunting and I can help him with his kids. Perhaps my friend can begin to make some time for herself, putting some of her needs on the table, and addressing what she needs in order to be a fully happy person.

Is your life balanced? What is missing and what are you going to do about it?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Are You Living... Or Are you Living Well?

A pictorial journey:

Lunch with a dear friend. Grow in downtown Macon. Fresh & local.

My museum (and I) got featured in Georgia Trend Magazine. VERY cool.

Limon cello spritzer and a low country boil at one of my oldest and dearest friend's home. Not too shabby.

A low country boil.


Cats & my favorite magazines.

THIS. Southern writers acknowledged.

The love of my life.

Goat cheese lollipops. I just can't make this stuff up. #GROW

Gender reveal party. S.G. is going to be a grandfather - It's a girl!

My weekends at the cabin

Got to share Destination Unknown to some university students

My babies

Still on the healthy eating kick

My baby is coming to life!

Weekends at the cabin - on the farm

Me in Georgia Trend!

Cabin - Weekends

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How Do You Explain?

I've got a really cool opportunity tomorrow. I get to introduce my little blog, Destination Unknown, to the students of Middle Georgia State College. (Which technically gets university status tomorrow, so does that make it - Middle Georgia State University?) Either way, people I've never met, will actually get the chance to meet me and view this little blog.



 Nice to meet you.

The other kicker? I get to stand in front of these students and talk about how this blog started, why it started, and anything else I think they might like to know. But my question is - how do you explain something like this? We are talking almost 6 years of me babbling on and on about my ridiculous life. Okay, okay.. maybe it is not ridiculous, but it is a simple recording of my brain dumping.

Is this a place I chronicle my highlights? Or is this a place I vent, moan, whine and complain? Do I use this to promote what I do in the community or do I share some random thing or place I discovered on one of my crazy weekends? What exactly IS Destination Unknown?

I've always prided myself on not selling out. What I mean by that is - not selling tons of ads. Sure, I put the little "will write for money" on my blog, but honestly, I have yet to take any real offers. I find freelance writing is a better place to get paid for my words. I'm also not trying to win any awards as the "best local blogger" or anything like that - because I do NOT want to be defined by a location. Or a gimmick.. or a schtick or whatever...

I suppose this blog is my outlet to share my life. Plain and simple. If you get something out of it, great! If you leave bored to tears, that's okay too.

When I go back over the past posts, what I see is a woman (young, old, whatever you want to call me) trying to figure life out. This blog started about fours years after I moved to Birmingham, got remarried, got divorced, lost a job, rebuilt my life, only to have to rebuild again, and now... here we are. It's the ups and downs of life. Where will I or it end up? Who knows.

With that being said, if this is your first visit to Destination:Unknown - Welcome. This is a vulnerable space for me. I brain dump here. Very little editing - almost zero spell check, and typos.. oh yeah, baby. I don't stress over the small stuff here. I have enough of that in my day to day life.

If you are new to blogging, then check out my journey. It is not for every one. I've lost friendships over this space and the things I have said. It has caused arguments, and sometimes, it might even change a life. (Yes, believe it or not, I get mail quite often.)

As for what I say in tomorrow's speech? Oh my... who knows. ;-)

Make Ya Wanna Dance

It's incredibly beautiful down here in this corner of the world. It's an equally busy time of the year.
I've been listening to some wonderful music to keep me motivated and feeling awesome.

Every once in a while I share a few playlists with you. Well.. here is a little of what I am listening to for fun. Sure, not all of these songs are new, but they make me smile!  Enjoy! (Currently the playlist I am listening to in my car.) ;-)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I Guess It Is Official

When are you officially an expert in your field?
Better yet, when can you say, "I have arrived?"

When can you finally sit back and let your life do the talking?
Have I finally gotten to the point that my resume is gathering dust and my work sort of speaks for itself?

I started thinking about those types of things recently. For one, I am about to be featured at my university in a publication that will feature one mass communications alum. It is highlighting my accomplishments over the past 20 years, many that I did not even have to tell the interviewer. They already knew. (Wow.) Back in college, I remember reading things like this feature and thinking to myself, "I hope I finally get to a place where I have accomplished something to be remembered by."

Then there are all of these speaking opportunities that keep popping up. It's not the fact that I am being asked to speak, is the fact that I am getting paid to speak. Just for sharing my ideas and my life's experience. For one, I have an opportunity next weekend at a local college. I went from speaking to high school students wanting to break into my career field (for free,) to sharing my expertise and getting paid to share it at a college or university. (Not too shabby.)

Even though all of these wonderful accolades are being presented to me, every once in a while I find myself in a stand off with someone who must, for whatever reason, not see my worth or understand my experience. I hate those people who are constantly shoving their resume in your face, but sometimes, people make you want to whip it out and say, "Hey- guess what?! I might actually know what I am talking about!!"

That happened recently on a few occasions, with much, MUCH younger professionals. Perhaps it is a millennial thing, or maybe it is just one of those insecurity things, but it seems young professionals are sometimes pushing a little too hard and coming off rather overly confident without the real-world experience to back it up.

I remember coming up the ranks and showing people in my field, with actual real world experience, as much respect as possible. I listened, because I knew there might be something new to learn, that little nugget that I would never find in a text book. However, I'm afraid, there is a new batch of people who are under the impression that you don't pay your dues, and instead expect everything to be handed to them and/or they want a gold star for every little thing they do. Heck, I always did my homework (and still do,) on the people I do business with. What are they best known for? What can I learn from them? What is their background.
I don't think a lot of people do this anymore.

All I can do is shake my head.

I've worked with several interns over the years, and I try very hard to paint a realistic picture of what it is like to work in my field. I've kept in touch with many of them, and I hope that everything I have shared has helped.. in some way.

Unfortunately, I'm seeing a new crop, and this crop is extremely disappointing. I hope this is just a coincidence, and things change.Even some of the volunteers I work with in the community from time to time make it extremely difficult guide them.

Where are you in your life cycle? Are you the expert now or are you trying to gain insight?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Bullies & Bliss

I live in a community that is passionate about showcasing all that is good, beautiful and interesting. We are really good at revitalization and promotion. We are exceptionally good at creating a sense of community. 

And sometimes.. I think we take it a little too far.

In today's blog post I am going to hit on a few things. First, let me talk about the negative aspect of always being a cheerleader.

For one - I am not a cheerleader. Not in the strictest sense of the word. I rarely get behind something because someone says, "Hey, we are all getting behind this - you should too!" No, no... that will never be me. I'm more of a lets-check-it-out-and-see-if-it-works-for-me type of girl. 

Thanks to social media, I get a front row seat to what people love to chat about, and on a more interesting day, what they want to vent about. I recently saw a friend of mine get pummeled by the city's cheerleaders for complaining about his car getting broken into downtown. Here's the thing - it happens! I used to live in a really nice suburb in the north part of town, and that was and remains the only time my car has ever been broken into. So no.. I don't think his status was trying to put downtown "down." Hell, he's a business owner down there and I agree, I would be pissed too. 

However, as if on cue, the cheerleaders (let's call them Cheer-Nazis,) came in full force to remind him how safe downtown was and all of the reasons why "we" as a community should not lead people to believe it is not safe. Look folks, it's a fact a life - petty theft happens. It does not mean he loves his community any less. 

Ugh.. that just got my feathers all ruffled.

I have also read many FB statuses where people say they don't want to say anything too negative about the community because of the problems that would follow for them. 

I simply shake my head.

So let me get this straight: If I don't go along with everything "they" say, that makes me a naysayer?

Lord have mercy.... 

Cheer Nazis.

My dear, dear, well meaning friends, allow me to unload for a minute. I was born here. In 1973. I lived here until the early 2000s, and came back in 2012. I have seen the old Macon and I have seen the newer Macon. I was here and doing business before half of these characters were even out of high school. I think this PR campaign to only say what's GREAT is borderline bullying to those of us who really do love our community, but also see what needs to be fixed and are not afraid to stand up and say it. THOSE are the type of people I want making things happen here. PR 101 - Just because someone makes a suggestion or shares their opinion does not constitute bad publicity. What you want are people who actually care enough to talk about it. Not just follow like sheep.

Because at the end of the day - this will always be MY hometown. Where I was born, where I went to school, and where I will probably be laid to rest.

Now.. allow me to step off of my soap box and talk about the bliss...

Life is treating me well in the relationship department. My Sweet Guy is ... lord have mercy... an answer to a long ago prayer. He is such a nice man. He is incredibly good to me, and to be perfectly honest, he grounds me. He has reminded me what is important and life is just so effortless when we are together. We work well as a team and I am oh so very much in love with him.

Next - This girl is working hard for the money. 

I am working on a ton of freelance projects and it thrills me to the core. I think I finally have it all under control. I was working for another company on the side doing copywriting, but this particular company is folding, so it has freed up a ton of time for me. Sticking with some local publications. 

As well as - my duties at the Cannonball House which are going really, REALLY well.
I have been very busy planning our latest event: Beards, Bourbon, & Bacon. So far the buzz is going for this! I hope to turn it into a signature fundraiser for the house. 

Well - that's all I've got today. The only take aways I have are 1. People please let people express themselves about their community. This place is a tiny (though really beautiful,) fishbowl - and we need to be respectful of each others opinions. You can love a community without forcing others to follow your creed. It is okay if there are things that don't work for everyone. This place existed waaaaay before you got here, and will be here a looooong time after we are all gone. Chill out.

Finally - have a great weekend! This girl is (God Forbid) leaving town to enjoy some fun in other parts of our beautiful state!


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