Being the Boss – Day 27: Unapologetic.

You guys, the #FearlessIn15 challenge is absolutely rocking my world. One of my favorite parts about it is that there are prompts every day, but the leaders are adamant about reminding us that this challenge is for us to get in touch with our badass selves, and therefore, comments of “I’m so behind!” are totally unnecessary. So many times when I get started with something like this, I miss a day or don’t have anything to say, or not much to share, or I’m actually doing something that pertains to today’s prompt tomorrow, and I end up getting side tracked and discouraged. Sara and the gals leading the challenge are on top of us, in a good way, to remind us that we aren’t late, it’s okay if we don’t post something every day, and that our experiences with the challenge won’t look the same.

Here’s a quick recap of what happened since Friday:

Day 2: #SelfLoveSaturday – it’s super important to make time for yourself, and this is an area I’ve been seriously neglecting. So I took the whole weekend to focus on exactly that. After dropping Barry off at work on Saturday morning, I had grand plans of a lunch with myself and getting a pedicure. Except the weather was kinda shitty. And as soon as I got home, I crawled back into bed, where I slept peacefully until 11:00 AM. Can we talk about that? I haven’t slept in like that in FOREVER. It’s funny how sometimes you can make plans and then your body is like “nope, back to bed you go, young lady!”

Once I woke up, I went to the DZ to pick up Barry, and we went to Stone Brewing for a friend’s birthday. It was absolutely gorgeous outside, my lunch was delicious, and I tried a new beer that they have that I hadn’t had before. We came home and turned in early for the night. I think from Friday night through Sunday morning, I probably slept more than I was awake. Sometimes it’s totally necessary to do that.

Day 3: #PlayMore – I think I have fully grasped the idea that we need to work hard and play harder, and not just in the “drink lots of wine after a really stressful workday” kind of play. The trapeze lesson last week proves that. And while I didn’t spend Sunday on a trapeze, I did spend it, with reckless abandon, on the couch, watching an entire season of Friends on Netflix. I’m not even going to explain why that’s awesome, because if you don’t know, you need to get Netflix, a comfy place to chill out, two snuggly puggles, and a cup of tea. And then go to town. And be merciless with your rest and relaxation.

Day 4: #AttitudeofGratitude – In the last year or two, I’ve directed more focus on being grateful. I think it started with Thanksgiving 2013 (as it always does) and then continued to carry through the ups and downs that 2014 threw my way. Even when shit is really fucking terrible, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for, and I have been adamant about finding those things in the really dark pits of shitty cards dealt.

On Sunday night, Barry and I had a friend over, and we ended up watching our wedding videos. As such, we rewatched our vows, which always makes me happy cry. One of Barry’s vows was that he’d always support me in any dream I’d ever want to make come true, and he’s done that every step of the way since we met, and especially since we’ve gotten married. I know quitting my job to start my own business is a risky dream to get behind, but he has never wavered one ounce. If anything, sometimes, I think he’s more excited about it than I am. I’ll come pick him up from work and hang around for a bit and people will come up to me and say “Barry told me about XYZ that you’re doing – that is SO cool!” and it is the greatest feeling in the world.

Starting your own business is a stressful time, and from what I have read, it can put serious strain on your relationships. I am forever grateful for Barry’s support, his enthusiasm for what I’m doing, and how he shares it with the world. I do a little dance when people register for an event, and Barry’s right there dancing with me and saying “baby, that’s fucking AWESOME.” Knowing that he’s got my back 100% makes it easier to dream big and make awesome shit happen.

Day 5: #SorrynotSorry (being unapologetic) – this is something I’m still working on. There have been a lot of situations in life and work where I wanted to pull my hair out because I wasn’t being heard, and then I’d apologize for speaking up about it. This article by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant called “Speaking While Female” explains the phenomenon VERY well:

We’ve both seen it happen again and again. When a woman speaks in a professional setting, she walks a tightrope. Either she’s barely heard or she’s judged as too aggressive. When a man says virtually the same thing, heads nod in appreciation for his fine idea. As a result, women often decide that saying less is more.

Today’s prompt wasn’t about how to avoid “manterruption” but was more about how to be unapologetic: to fully embrace who you are and what you want. To know deep down that you deserve everything and more, living life to its fullest for yourself with no regrets. 

The challenge today was:

Find a photo that is genuinely you – goofy, silly, no make up…the photos you believe are the true you and you should never apologize for.

Genuinely silly in the door. And I'm done apologizing.
Genuinely silly in the door. And I’m done apologizing.

This photo instantly came to mind.

I know of only one other skydiver in the group (heeeeey Kat!), so naturally, posting anything skydiving related, the gals in the group are thinking I’m literally fearless because I’m hanging on to the door of a plane.

But I could have taken this photo on the ground, and it would mean all the same. It’s not so much about being fearless in the most literal sense of the word, as it is being completely, totally, genuinely me.

I am so fucking stoked in this picture. Feeling good, ready to rock, and obviously having an awesome time setting up for this exit. In this moment, there are no apologies, no regrets, only pure joy. Though the apologies (for making silly faces when I should have been being serious) may have happened on the ground, in that moment, it’s all good.

I mentioned earlier this month that I DID NOT quit skydiving. In doing so, I realize that people take breaks, some people sell their gear and come back to the sport, some never return. I know I’m not unique in taking a break. There are jumpers who only jump every couple of months, and this is a regular thing, it’s not considered “taking a break” at all.

In thinking of this photo and how I felt when it was taken, I am getting closer to getting comfortable with what the sport means to me, and where I want to devote my attention. I knew this challenge would be great, and I’m really pumped about the clarity I’m getting on things I didn’t expect to get clarity on. SO RAD.

And in the spirit of being unapologetic, to myself and outwardly, I’m not beating myself up for not writing here on Saturday, Sunday, or yesterday. I promised myself I’d write every day, and so far, I’ve done that – whether it’s posts here, participating in challenges, writing for Blue Skies Magazine, or content for Planet Green Socks. I’m still writing. And it’s okay if I don’t post here every single day, especially if I’m just posting for the sake of saying “I posted!” without adding real value to what I’m doing.

Okay, real talk, I’m a bit bummed that I didn’t write here Saturday-Monday, because I really like sharing every day, but sometimes the writers juices just aren’t flowing, ya know? Clearly the unapologetic thing is totally a work in progress. I’m getting there. :)

What are you apologizing for? What are you TIRED of apologizing for?

—-

This post is Day 27 of me documenting my journey as I build my event planning company, Planet Green Socks. You can check out all of the posts here

Did you know you can subscribe to this blog? There’s a nifty subscription form on the menu on the left side of the screen. Hit it up. 

Being the Boss – Day 23: #Fearlessin15 Challenge

#FEARLESSin15 = mega awesome, more on that below.

Here’s the deal, team. Back in August, when Hello Fearless (founded by one of the coolest chicks I know, Sara Davidson) launched their Boss School, I was wanting to join. When I actually started weighing pros and cons in October when the course was getting ready to start, I had just barely scratched the surface on what Planet Green Socks would be, and I was chatting with Sara about how I hadn’t fleshed out my idea. I was offered a sweet deal on registration for the course, but I didn’t make the investment in myself, or my idea. Because all the reasons:

  • I was too scared
  • Surely I wasn’t ready
  • I didn’t want to spend money on something that might not come to fruition
  • I was too scared
  • Surely I wasn’t ready
  • Did I mention that I was too scared and that I was convinced I wasn’t ready?

Anyhoosits, I saw a post from Sara about the #Fearlessin15 challenge, a 15-day dive into being authentically YOU and how that makes your business super badass. It was free. I was still hesitant to sign up.

Cue same reasons listed above.

Then I cut the shit and remembered everything that’s happened to get to where I’m sitting today, and I said fuck it. Caution to the wind. It’s free – it’s not like I’m losing out if I do it and I get scared and don’t contribute.

Except, you guys, I’m fucking loving this.

Straight up – the challenge for Day 1 was to commit to being fearless. As I watched Sara explain the challenge in today’s video, I was already anxious. “Share it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, DO IT ALL!” I was close to shit-my-pants nervous. Especially about sharing it on Facebook. I have been hiding for so long, so fucking worried about what everyone thinks about me, how they see me.

“If you mock up that picture of you by the plane, people are going to think you’re a complete narcissist.”

Prior to sitting down to work today, I got my oil changed, got new tires installed, and ran for an hour. The trapeze experience (and the pictures and videos that resulted) was humbling as all get out. I’m out of shape. I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin, physically, so I’m working on it.

For fucks sake, someone asked me if I was pregnant when I went to visit a drop zone last week. Legit. Someone who I hadn’t seen in a hot minute came up to me and put their hand on my stomach and said “aaaaaawe” with the “OMG YOU’RE EXPECTING” head-tilt. I said “just fat, not pregnant” and she responded with “oh, well then life has been good to you!” FUCK ALL OF THIS. I know I gain/carry/and show the most weight fluctuation in my stomach, I know I’m fucking floored to be checking out a new DZ, seeing new faces, seeing old faces, and surely I’m glowing because I’m so happy, but I’m not pregnant.

That was a long tangent, but I’m so fucking far from narcissistic.

Sara continued to talk about how putting it out there is a great way to get people to rally behind you, to also tap into their fearlessness, and it’s a great way to remind yourself of the commitment you’re making once the challenge is over. Given that I’ve gotten a handful of messages that remind me that there are more people that read these ramblings than my family and Barry, I knew there might be some truth to the whole “building a community of fearless badasses” thing.

Yesterday we were asked to fill in the blank: A fearless woman is __________. I introduced myself to the group and said:

A fearless woman is willing to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That’s where growth happens. That’s where the “lightbulb moments” live. That’s where thoughts become things. In that scary place of being uncomfortable, that’s where my best self is.

So if I’m striving to tap into my best, most unapologetic, fearless self, this photo really was the way to go. It was time to get comfortable getting uncomfortable. The photo above is actually from June 2013. I was in the middle of my first training season, feeling awesome, loving skydiving, in better shape than I am now, and generally in a really good headspace. This photo is also the first professionally-taken photo I’ve had done since school pictures, if you even count those as professional. There was so much anxiety just about posing in my gear by a plane because I’m really awkward with “serious” photos, but the end result was something that I absolutely loved.

So I posted the photo. Not without hesitation and a bit of back and forth about what people will think vs. why should I care, but it’s up. On Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, in the Fearless Challenge group, and now here. It’s appreciating a really great time in my life, the journey I made between then and now, and looking forward (and up?) to the future as this challenge, my life, and building my business continues to be my whole world.

So tell me, what does fearless mean to you?

—-

This post is Day 23 of me documenting my journey as I build my event planning company, Planet Green Socks. You can check out all of the posts here

Did you know you can subscribe to this blog? There’s a nifty subscription form on the menu on the left side of the screen. Hit it up. 

Being the Boss – Day 22: I don’t know where I live.

Real talk: this week, it’s been hard to keep up with writing every day. Partially because the internet at the house was 10 kinds of wonky, partially because I was feeling a bit lazy as a result of the shitty internet connection, but mostly because I’m getting the point where I’m coming back into my own, and with that, comes a lot of vulnerability.

My writing pal Jamie and I seem to be on the same wavelength about some of this stuff. Today she shared a post about how to go crazy as a writer, and it’s pretty much the story of my life for the last couple of days.

I had some ideas for posts fleshed out, and I’d start to write and then some kind of distraction would happen. Then I wouldn’t be able to post them because the internet is being finnicky, and I’d just lose all motivation. Today, I finished up the posts from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and here I am, dealing with the same issue at Dan’s House Cafe. My house had a planned power outage for today so it’s serious #officehours at DHC. AKA Verizon FiOS is trying to fuck our worlds up.

Regardless, today has been massively productive.

As I posted last week, I got the notice from the State of California that my business is officially official. Next step, go to the City of Lake Elsinore and get my business license.

Easy? One would think. And actually, to the credit of the city, the forms were easy to find, the wait at the Adminstrative Services office was minimal, and the people were incredibly friendly. I walked up to the desk, and when the lady asked me the nature of my business and saw that I had a home business form as well, she was like “Oh girrrrrl, look at you! Congratulations!”

Freaking sweet – the lady at the City of Lake Elsinore is stoked on my business. I am too. This is a good way to start the day.

Just one small problem – apparently, I don’t actually live in Lake Elsinore. The section of the city that we live in is unincorporated, so when I went to go give them my money and a “home based business” form, my address didn’t actually register. Turns out this needs to be handled with the county.

I’ll admit, I felt a bit silly when we went to look at the city map, and sure enough, our street was color coded white, not tan like the rest of Lake Elsinore. I shrugged and told the lady “ooh boy, the things you learn when you’re starting a business!” and chalked it up to my newbie status as a business owner.

She was nice though, gave me the contact information for the department I’d need to talk to in Riverside, and wished me the best of luck in my new endeavor. Dealing with the county proved to be way easier, actually. Their forms are available online, and you can submit and pay online, so I didn’t have to make the drive up to Riverside today. Technology for the win!

One of the things I was talking with Derek about yesterday is how, here we are, now 22 days into 2015 and it feels like I’ve been doing this for FOREVER. Like my life working at Skydive Elsinore feels as though it was forever ago, but really, it’s been three weeks. I am not sure what this means, or if it means anything, but that’s where I’m at. And when I start to feel like I’m not doing enough to make shit happen, I just take a moment and say, uh, HELLO, you’ve been doing this for THREE WEEKS and you’re already off to a solid start.

One step at a time. And then another step, and another, and another.

That said, we’ve got some really cool shit in the works for 2015, beyond the Sun Sessions event at Oceanside and the Women’s Angle Flying Camp. Of course, I’ll let you know when we have details sorted out, but there are some really fun things coming up, and I’m super stoked to share it with you guys. #vagueblogging?

—-

This post is Day 22 of me documenting my journey as I build my event planning company, Planet Green Socks. You can check out all of the posts here

Did you know you can subscribe to this blog? There’s a nifty subscription form on the menu on the left side of the screen. Hit it up. 

Being the Boss – Day 21: Catching Up.

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS I AM SO SORE.

It’s almost comical, really. But enough about that.

I want to talk about connecting with people, and reconnecting for that matter. How many times have you said “oh, we should catch up!” as a formality, and not really meant it? Or maybe you meant it but you didn’t put a timeline on it so it never happened?

I used to do this ALL THE TIME.

A few days ago, my Timehop (holy awesome app, by the way) brought up some old posts from when I was still working and living in Chicago. I was in the thick of the ______: Unfiltered posts. Some of it was deep, some of it was me ranting, some of it was just the ramblings of a 20-something fresh out of college.

I took some time to read through some of my more vulnerable posts a few months ago, and I didn’t recognize the voice I was hearing as I read the posts. I had completely lost touch with the girl who was feeling those feelings, throwing them out there for the world to see. I remember thinking to myself, “where did she go, why did she stop writing, who IS THIS” – and honestly questioning where that version of Sydney went.

When a couple posts popped up from January of last year, I read through them and felt a bit more at peace with where I’m at and how I’m writing more frequently now. A definite improvement from the feeling that I was reading a stranger’s blog and had no idea who that girl was.

In my newfound sense of “okay, that was totally me behind that screen” – I went down the rabbit hole and read through more posts and more comments. I came across some comments from my friend Derek, and immediately knew I needed to reach out to him. I sent him a message with links to the posts, thanking him for being part of the community, for lending insight to the comments section, and for not mocking me with some of the stuff I was writing at the time. I said “hey, let’s catch up – and not like ‘oh, we should catch up’ and it never happens, but like, I’m free next week, pick a day and time and we’ll get on the phone.”

Today, I caught up with Derek. Last time we saw each other was before I started skydiving, before this sport completely changed the direction of my life. Safe to say there was a lot of catching up to do, but we managed to pick up pretty much where we left off. Derek has launched and/or been a part of several startups since we last spoke, so I know he knows what’s up when it comes to starting a business. After the general catching up shenanigans, I asked him if there was anything he knows now that he wished someone had told him when he launched his first company.

We had a great conversation about pricing and structure and all of that. I told him I was still making the transition from “this is a dream” to “this is a legit thing I need to sell” and how it all felt so weird. I don’t want to be the douche that hustles everyone for money – I’m not about that, and I can’t bring myself to be that kind of person. Derek let me know that it’s okay to not be that, and that it’s entirely possible to run a business successfully without feeling like a complete and total asshat. PHEW!

I think a lot of my avoidance of being “that guy” comes from when an acquaintance was starting in a new business, and that person kept talking about “raising capital” and how important the “capital” was. Like, I’m not kidding, I kept mental tabs on how many times they said “capital” in one conversation and I wanted to vomit. It just sounded so douchey and weird and like the whole purpose of their existence was to hustle for the money. I didn’t want to be that. That’s not me, at all.

Newsflash: anyone who goes into business needs to make money to make it last. Unless you’re independently wealthy and it’s a fun side gig for you or something, or you have endless time to devote to something for free, the end game is about making money. This is hard to digest, because admittedly, I’m not interested in making a bazillion dollars so I can have a fancy house, a new car, or all the fun grown-up toys. Of course, I know I need to make money, I need to offer a service worth paying for, and the quality will back up the price, but saying that, out loud, sounds so foreign to me.

One more adjustment to make, one more thing to work on as this business gets off the ground and the events start happening.

Being the Boss – Day 20: I’m joining the circus.

It’s been a long time since I’ve learned how to do something for the first time. Today, Barry and I went to the Santa Monica Pier to learn how to fly on the trapeze.

Yes, trapeze.

There’s a lot of cool stuff that happens as a result of being a part of the skydiving community. One of the students at Skydive Elsinore came out here from NYC to learn how to skydive. He’s also a trapeze instructor, and has been working at the Trapeze School at the Santa Monica Pier for a few weeks. When he asked Barry if we wanted to learn how to fly on the trapeze, the answer was a resounding HELL YES.

As we were getting ready to leave this morning, I had the most insane internal battle in my head. Like the devil and the angel on my shoulder kind of thing.

Man, I wonder if I’ll be any good at this. I don’t want to be the fat chick at the trapeze school. Lord knows I’m not anywhere close to being in shape, but I’m back on that train, and this will be a fun experience, regardless. No but really, my core strength is abysmal and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be a dead fish on a big kid swing. What if I suck at this? WAIT. What if I don’t suck? What if I pick it up fairly quickly. This will be fun. It’s a new challenge. I’m going to embrace all of this weirdness. I know I am receptive when it comes to coaching, so I’m going to approach this like I would anything having to do with skydiving. Being the student again is going to be awesome. 

We get to the Pier a bit later than we anticipated because, yay traffic, but we’re able to get the briefing and get harnessed up without missing a turn. It’s a small class, so we’ll get a lot of chances to try our hand at the beginner-level tricks.

We get harnessed up then get the briefing on how to do the first sequence. I’m standing there, wildly uncomfortable in a harness, about to enter foreign territory. I felt like a tandem student all over again.

The first series is to swing out, then wrap your legs around the bar, then let go of the bar, hanging from your knees, then bring your knees back down, then let go for the dismount. Sounds easy enough.

Climbing up the ladder, I was horrified. I am mildly afraid of heights, which is hilarious because I’m cool with jumping out of planes. But yeah, so the ladder was terrifying. Then we get attached to the safety lines, get the count for jumping off the platform, and away we go.

My timing was good for bringing my legs up, but between my sweet squishy midsection, short arms, and general lack of awareness of how this kind of thing is supposed to work, I don’t hook my legs. No big deal. Try again. Same thing. SO CLOSE but pretty much unable to squeeze my legs between my stomach and the bar. Humbling, but not defeating.

We try an alternate method to get my knees on the bar. Instead of having my arms about shoulder width apart while gripping the bar and putting my legs up between my arms, we’re going to try having my hands together and swinging my legs around the outside of the bar to get them wrapped correctly.

First attempt, so close, but a total mindfuck between the safety lines and the actual lines of the trapeze. No go.

I get down, and mock it up. They have a demo trapeze on the ground so I practice how to swing my legs, and essentially dirt dive my trapeze swing. So awkward but so fun.

The next attempt, I nail it. After the command to swing my legs around and completing that task, the instructor on the ground tells me to let go. I shriek “WHAAAAT?” in total disbelief that I’m supposed to let go. How the hell am I supposed to let go? Will my legs keep me secure? I’m tied into the harness so it’s not like imminent death if I fall off the thing, but my mind cannot comprehend how this is supposed to work. so I take a swing with my arms and legs holding on to the bar.

Next time up, I hook my legs, let go of my arms, and look for where the catch will be. GREAT SUCCESS!

I take a break for the last rotation before they start catching us. I review the process of how the catch works, and visualize and dirt dive it before I climb the ladder.

First attempt at the catch: NAILED IT.

I could have done it a second time but my hands were sore and honestly, I wanted to end on a high note.

I know it’s the most basic of the trapeze progression (they have a chart just like iFLY does for tunnel progression), but I seriously felt like I was king shit of trapeze stuff. All of those funny voices in my head earlier this morning were gone. HOORAY!

The experience today confirms a few things: I’m capable of learning something new. I’m capable of telling self-doubt to go fuck itself. I’m probably going to join the circus. I’m capable of loving where I’m at and knowing where I’m going.

When it’s all said and done, the whole thing was very humbling, empowering, and exciting.

That and I’m pretty stoked to see how sore I am tomorrow. Sweet baby unicorns, I know I’ve got another thing coming when I get out of bed in the morning.