Tag Archives: moxie

2014 In Review: Everything Else

Last year, I made myself six resolutions. Relatively easy ones, really, and for the most part I achieved all except one. Let’s review them with a little more depth…

 

1. Have more Moxie: I think this is the one I’m most proud of because I made such an effort that things that used to terrify me, now seem so easy it’s weird imagining myself ever afraid of them before. This year I met my favorite author twice (the second time without an ounce of fear), chopped off the long hair I’ve been hiding behind for 10 years, went to a day long writing conference with a bunch of strangers, took on strangers as clients without making my sister tag along with me to the photoshoots, etc… Sure there was probably a lot of other ways I could have shown moxie, but I’m glad I made this resolution because all year when I was faced with something that would normally scare me, I felt compelled to prove the fear wrong.

 

2. Get another Tattoo: This is really the only resolution I failed at and it wasn’t because I didn’t have enough moxie, it was mostly because I didn’t have enough time. I have four tattoos planned now, all of which I can’t wait to have, and I’m pretty sure I’ll have some sort of new ink any day now. 😉

 

3. Write: SEE – 2014 In Review: Writing

 

4. Live a Healthy Life: Well, I did and I didn’t. I’m still overweight and out of shape, maybe even more so than last year because all that overtime at work bit into my workout time. And I still haven’t taken myself to the eye doctor, despite my quickly declining sight. But I did get myself on a better sleep schedule and my skin has never been healthier thanks to a daily H2O+ skin cleaning regimen. I also went to the dentist twice and they couldn’t even yell at me for not going in so long because they said I take extremely good care of my teeth. I’ve definitely still got some things to work on next year and I plan to, but I don’t call this one a total failure.

 

5. Give More: This one is also a yes and a no. Sadly, my biggest contribution last year, Sevenly, ended up being my smallest contribution this year. They’ve stopped carrying cuts suitable for a girl my size/shape and so I didn’t buy nearly as many cause shirts as I might have liked to this year. But I did give in other ways like: cookies to all delivery type people (mail and food) during the Cookie-Thon. That was one of the most rewarding acts of giving, seeing their unexpected appreciation and entire demeanor change over such a small gesture. I helped out at church for the big events – Valentines Day, Easter, etc…, I donated some books to the library. But I think the thing I did most was giving of myself this year. To anyone that needed me. Sometimes that meant missing out on my own life and sometimes other people’s burdens were super hard to carry, but I feel like being there for them was necessary and I’d gladly carry the burden any day.

 

6. Save More: SEE – 2014 Savings Challenge

 

I know some people aren’t fans of resolutions and I can see how they’re not for everyone, but as a list maker who is too busy for her own good, making a list of things I’d like to work toward really keeps me guided in the right direction. They’re like little reminders all year long to keep me on track and I’m happy for it.

 

So, what’s on my to-do list for 2015? Just wait and see! 😉

 

On Moxie and Meeting Maggie Stiefvater Again

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For whatever reason, in the year I decide to practice having a little more moxie, I’m given an opportunity twice to test it with my favorite author. I don’t know how I got so lucky. And strangely, since pushing myself out of my comfort zone to meet her that first time, despite being terrified going into it, it seems to have had a huge impact on my social anxiety. Since that first event, I’ve agreed to do stranger photo shoots more frequently, cut off 10″ inches of my hair (after hiding under my long hair for almost a decade), and even attended a writing conference. I’m not saying that I wasn’t still nervous about these things, but it doesn’t feel crippling anymore. I’ve let the excitement override the fear for once and it’s such a freeing feeling. It doesn’t mean I won’t still be socially awkward, words will still stumble over themselves whenever I try to speak, but I just don’t feel as afraid of it anymore. It is what it is and I think I’m growing okay with that.

 

Tonight I got to meet Maggie again, here in my own county’s library. I was amazed by how NOT nervous I was about it. It felt more like I was going to hang out with an old friend or something. I only looked forward to it, without an ounce of fear. Even as a stranger sat down beside me (a stranger who ended being entirely sweet and not so much a stranger anymore), I didn’t feel afraid, just happy. How odd, I kept thinking, that the first event could have felt so different. Sure the last event was amplified by the heat and small space, but everything about this felt different, in a good way.

 

Maggie made it to the event in her camaro, which is brave if you ask me considering the fit it gave her during the Sinner Tour. She was welcomed into Aberdeen by getting pulled over by a cop right outside the library (never a dull moment for her where cars are concerned, I think). Her speech was mostly the same as the one I’d seen at the first event, but far more practiced. Maggie is an entertainer, all around. Her confidence and comfort level puts a crowd at ease. And if she’s battling any internal awkwardness, it’s impossible to see. She’s dramatic and energetic and I think I could listen to her talk about how her books came to be over and over again. I am a sponge that wants to soak up as much of her craft as possible.

 

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The library setting was 100% more comfortable than the first event. We had chairs to sit in and a smoother running signing line. There was a podium set up for her, but even before she got there, I knew she wouldn’t use it. I’d mumbled to the girl beside me, “I bet she gets on that table,” and sure enough, she jumped onto it mid ‘band’ story. I sort of wish there’d been a longer Q & A after because while some questions are ones I’ve heard the answers to before, this is where you learn some unexpected things. I also wish I’d gathered my thoughts enough to ask my own question, though I’m sure it would have been targeted more towards the How To’s of writing and less about her books, which would have probably bored the crowd. I did, however, bring all the rest of her books to have signed this time and I hadn’t noticed it while she was signing because I was talking her ear off, but she drew a horse in my copy of The Scorpio Races! I don’t know if she does this to all Scorpio Races or if it was because I told her it was my favorite of her books, but I love it either way. I’ve always wanted one of her doodles. And because I pre-ordered Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Raven Cycle, Bk3) from the library, I also got the bookplate she designed for it. Can’t wait to slap it in my copy when it gets here!

 

Overall it was an awesome event and I’m so grateful not only to have gotten two opportunities to meet my writing hero this year, but that it was her coming here that has let this moxie resolution flourish. The social anxiety weight I’ve carried around for so long feels so much lighter now and I kind of can’t stop smiling about it. Thank you, Maggie.

 

Click through the slideshow below!

 

1st Birthday Party Victory!

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I’ve been shooting my good friend Lauren and her family since she was pregnant with Luciano, so when she asked me to shoot his first birthday party I said yes without much thought. Admittedly, though, when I got there, I fell into the first panic attack I’ve had in ages.

 

There were just so many strangers, packed tight in the same tiny space, trying to avoid the unexpected rain outside. I kept pressing myself into the wall, willing myself to become invisible, trying to talk myself out of freaking out and making a fool of myself. All the while, I was wondering how I could have possibly gotten myself into this trap. Don’t I know better? I could have said no, but for some reason I thought I’d be fine. You know, moxie and what not. I’ve done that this year, right?

 

I did eventually settle down, after sitting alone in another room and telling myself to suck it up, and luckily Lauren let me tag along wherever she went until I started to be less concerned with all the stranger faces and more concerned with capturing Luciano’s birthday party (which I think I did okay with despite the dreary day, thankfully). Still, I am a bit embarrassed. I just don’t know how I got this way. And every time I think I’ve practiced being brave enough, something reminds me I’m still socially crippled. I’ve just gotta keep believing I can overcome this someday, sooner rather than later hopefully. And be grateful that I have friends like Lauren who still believe in me despite my qualms.

 

Social anxiety aside, here are some pictures of the adorable birthday boy. Probably the most conservative 1 year old cake eater I’ve ever seen! 😉

 

(Use the arrows to click through the slideshow below)

 

 

On Moxie & Meeting Maggie

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I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere between my teen years and adult years I lost the ability to be social. When it comes to interacting with anyone (but strangers are even worse), I am basically crippled. It’s an especially frustrating thing because it’s not like I want to be this way. In fact, it’s the opposite. I want to do all sorts of things I never end up doing out of fear and then I’m left with regret.

 

This year, you may remember, I made a resolution to have a little more moxie. Because my life is slipping away from me fast and I can’t accept being old with even more regret for all the things I’d wished I’d done. So I told myself that if events came up this year around me (concerts, book signings, etc…) I would make myself go, no matter how afraid I was. This promise I made to myself was finally put to the test today and I’m happy to report I passed. But it wasn’t easy.

 

The event I’m referring to is Maggie Stiefvater’s Sinner Tour. For those that don’t know, Maggie is like my writing hero. I’ve never really aspired to be like anyone, ever, but if I could be even a percentage of the writer Maggie is, I’d be happy with life. Her writing ability, dedication to her craft, and overall brave attitude about life is admirable and it encourages me. It seemed fitting that the first author I’d meet be one so important to me.

 

In the weeks leading up to this event, I asked as many people as I could to go with me, thinking it’d be less horrifying if I wasn’t alone. Because it wasn’t just being at this event that was scary, it was actually getting myself there since it was located in the city – the city in which I never wander and certainly not alone, but no one was up for the trip and I couldn’t be mad about that. For a minute there I almost talked myself out of going, but I held onto that promise I made myself. This morning, in preparation for this event, I mapped my drive there on Google Earth, put a bunch of music on a CD for Maggie, and got myself so worked up over going that I almost made myself sick, but I refused to back out. For one, I’d told her on FB that I’d be there and she even replied and two, I’d promised a friend something from the event. I’m not good at breaking promises, especially promises to other people.

 

The drive there was less terrifying than I pictured it. Either that, or I’d gotten myself so worked up before even leaving that I’d exhausted all my nervous resources before it was really time to be nervous. I got there a half hour early and was the 14th person in line inside a bookstore smaller than my entire apartment. It already felt packed with just the 14 of us and then about 100 more people showed up. At least. To make the closeness of so many strangers a more uncomfortable thing for a person like me, the A/C was ancient and nearly useless and it was 90 degrees outside. At one point I was so hot I started to feel faint, like I might pass out of throw up. Thankfully neither happened. I met two lovely ladies (Ashley and Shana, both book reviewers you should check out!)  in the line who nudged my social anxiety aside and helped the heat seem more tolerable. And after some parking space drama, Maggie finally arrived.

 

She parked her Camaro, Loki, right outside the bookstore and a couple of the younger girls squealed which was cheesy and adorable at the same time. Maggie strolled in wearing her signature outfit: a black tank top and boots, removing her sunglasses with one hand and carting a skateboard in the other. She had this air of coolness that made her seem even more famous than she actually is. I was shocked by how much it intimidated me for a minute. She talked for a while before signing, telling stories of her youth and why she wrote Sinner, and then took reader questions and immediately revealed just how regular she actually is. Awkward even, in that perfectly good way. She’s animated and excitable and I watched her in a bit of awe because I can’t even imagine ever having that much confidence speaking to a crowd if/when I ever do get published. I wonder if she was always that personable or if it’s something she’s developed throughout her career. 

 

The wait in the heat once she started signing was rough, but thankfully I was number 14 in line. Actually meeting her went by too fast. I’d only taken my Shiver series, thinking it’d be selfish to take all my books and waste so much of her time, but I wish I’d just brought them all now. She was really friendly, the kind of person you instantly feel comfortable around like you’ve known them forever, and totally understanding of my awkward anti-social self. I told her I was the one that had predicted WhitePantsNovel was actually about Cole on Tumblr so many moons ago and she did that whole, “That was you!?” surprised reaction. Felt pretty cool to come out of my anonymous status finally.

 

I left in the middle of a thunderstorm, never happier to drive in the cool rain. I still feel a little high over the whole experience. Partly because I met someone so significant in my writing dreams and partly because I told myself I’d do something terrifying and I didn’t back down. As lame as it might seem to some, I’m proud of myself and meeting Maggie was the reward for overcoming my fear. All-in-all, an awesome day.

 

Note: You can click through the pictures below. Sorry for the poor photo quality. Unfortunately, my camera wasn’t performing at it’s best. :/