Friday, May 22, 2015

A New Lease

I'm sitting here at Dunkin Donuts drinking an iced coffee, learning all about the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of Realtors, when my roommate walks in. She asked what I was doing here and I said, "Well my makeup looked too good today to just sit at the house," and she replied, "Seriously? You need to blog about this stuff." :)

That was just to kick I needed to get on here and write something! So you can all thank Shannon. :) True story.

I know I said that I was going to be more active on here but I've really been trying to decide what the heck to write about! This blog used to be about just random stuff between recipes, losing weight, running, etc. Then Daniel died and all of the response I got from CaringBridge made me re-evaluate that. (Good responses but just a new audience!)

Is it okay to mix my random topics of summer plans and the pain of someone missing on Mother's Day?

Is it okay to one day write about the death of someone too young and then the next about the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made?

I think it is. So that's what I'm going to do. I mean, isn't that what LIFE is? Good, bad, ugly, and everything in between?

Right now, I can't help but think about how BLESSED I am. People say that all the time and sometimes they believe it, sometimes they are saying it in HOPES of believing it, but today, I mean it.

  • I've completed all of my real estate requirements and I'm finally able to see a career path emerging. (However, please pray my FBI Background Check comes back in a hurry so that I can show houses and meet with clients by myself!)
  • I'm part of a team that really love their jobs and what they do. Every Friday they have a devotional time as a company and today the topic was about happiness! We watched this video and people were singing and dancing along. Everyone is encouraged to help each other and brag on others and just the whole atmosphere is a positive one. It's refreshing to be somewhere that people LOVE their jobs, LOVE their coworkers, and promote a sense of teamwork even through the tedious times. True leadership is valued there and THAT is INVALUABLE.
  • I have expanded my Younique team and found a passion for a company that I believe in and love. I never thought I would be one to participate in Networking Sales, but when you love a product like I do, you can't help but be passionate about it. (Check it out here!) 
  • When I worked at the Chamber of Commerce back in grad school, I loved being part of the community. I feel like I am getting back to that and I have recently joined the Young Professionals of Murray and the Murray Board of Realtors. I'm PUMPED to not just attend but to dive in head first and really be involved. 
4 months ago on the day I was fired, I thought that my world was crashing down. but now I clearly see that it was just the beginning... the beginning of new and wonderful things - Time with my brother and family I never would of had otherwise; a new career that's fulfilling and FUN; and as cheesy as this sounds, a new lease on life.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Fired... the other OTHER f-bomb... and what to do when you're friend finds themselves kicked to the curb

In addition to the ACTUAL F-word, there are two other words I consider to be F-Bombs... Funeral and Fired. Both of them pretty much suck and if you think about it, it really does feel like a bomb has gone off when you're entrenched in such events. 

About a year or so ago, one of my best friends was fired from her job. At the time, I had no idea how she felt. I had no idea what to say or what to do and I specifically remember going to Google and typing "What to do when your friend is fired?" 

Guess what...

NOTTA. I couldn't find anything!

Seriously internet. I thought you had the answer for everything! Get it together.

Anyways, I was clueless, so I stuck to what I knew (which sounded very similar to what you say when your friend is dumped):

"Screw em'!"
"You don't need em'!"
"They don't DESERVE you!"
"Something better will come along!"

However, now, I have been there, done that "and got the tshirt" (as my dad would say... Do they make tshirts that say "MEMBER OF THE 'I'VE BEEN FIRED CLUB'"? Probably not.)

Moving on. 

I know exactly how it feels to be fired and it's embarrassing and mortifying and liberating all at the same time.

If there is anything I want to be able to do, it is to share my experiences with others in hopes that they know I can empathize. Because guess who the first person was that I called when I got fired- My friend who had been there before. (Of course by first I mean after my dad, and then my mom, and then actually my pastor, but she was the first friend of my friends that I called, so that counts!)

So here it is:

5 Do's and Don't's For When Your Friend Gets Axed

No, your friend does not want to go out. No, your friend does not want to be seen in public right now and they definitely do NOT want to awkwardly run into someone that might have just fired them. I personally looked like I had been attacked by bees or punched in the face. My eyes were red and swollen from all the ugly crying. I was A MESS. Your friend wants to sit in THEIR home on THEIR couch and go on and on about what BS it all is. And your job is to keep the drinks available and an open ear. Nod your head in agreement. Say, "That IS ridiculous," no matter how much you agree or disagree with them. 

100% transparency here people. I had some money saved up, not a lot (definitely not my recommended 3-6 month fully funded emergency fund according to the big D.R.), but some.  And yes, I was that person that walked into the Unemployment Office with my Coach purse and my iPhone in my hand, but that didn't mean I wasn't worried about my sudden lack of cash flow. Thankfully, I've never been one to experience panic attacks, but as I was picking up a few things (MINIMAL THINGS!) from Kroger a few days after getting the boot, I felt this tightening in my chest and then shortness of breath and then HOLY CRAP WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING!? The walls seriously felt like they were closing in on me. I was only spending $12.00 but that was $12.00 I might need for my electric bill! or for my mortgage! I was able to get out of there before I went into full on cray cray mode, but shew. That was a close one. 

I tell you all of that to say, if I am freaking out about $12.00, how much do you think I am freaking out about that trip I had planned to New Jersey to see my friend, or that Bachelorette party this summer or even going to the movies next week? The last thing I want to do is be a flake so don't put your friend in a position that they will feel that way. Do your friend a solid and go ahead and say, "I know that we had this awesome, amazing, ridiculously good time planned, but seriously, don't worry about it!" AND BE GENUINE ABOUT IT. Your friend wants to be there just as much as you want them there. Also, just because they get a job fairly quickly, still cut them some slack. I was fired without any severance or anything so yeah, my savings has taken a hit and let me tell you now, at least for me, Unemployment really didn't come close to what I was making before AND it took a good 6 weeks to even get approved. That's 6 weeks worth of bills, rent/mortgage, groceries, etc. that's coming from my account without any money going back in. Sometimes being an adult SUCKS.

Your friend will hear that from everyone else. EV-REY-ONE. Just don't do it. If you are a close enough friend, I'm sure they will let you know as soon as they've got that figured out. Until then, just chill. As much as you want to know what they are going to do, they want to know that for themselves times 100.

First of all, I guarantee you that they've already seen it by scouring the internet looking at job postings in the crazy amount of free time they find themselves with. Second of all, I'm a firm believer that for most places these days, it's not what you know but WHO you know that will get your foot in the door. Unless you know someone that works there who can mention their name to the right person to get their resume out of the sea of applicants, once again, just keep it to yourself if it's already publiclly posted. Now, if you hear from a friend that they know of a friend of a friend who is looking for someone to fill a position, then by all means, pass that info along! But seriously. They've checked 1001 times today.

Number 5 is more for those that were not just friends with that person, but also coworkers.
I worked at my job for close to 4 years. That's 4 years of seeing people day in and day out and spending more time with them than I did my own family and friends. I was amazed and surprised by the people I heard from and the people I didn't. And I was also hurt. Shoot them a text and just say, "Man this sucks. Please let me know if you need anything," or "Don't know what happened, but gosh I'll miss you around here!" And if you were really close with that person, call them! Yeah, it might be uncomfortable and you might not know what to say, but it was really nice to hear from people that I spent so much time with and to know that they actually DID care about ME as a person, not just ME as a coworker. (Side note: when my brother died, a few of my co-workers did text me to express their condolences and some of them went in together to get me some great gifts and for that I am extremely grateful!)

So there it is. I've been on both sides, the friend of a friend getting fired and the friend getting fired and maybe what I've gone through will help someone else get through it, too. All in all, remember, you're their friend, not their mom or dad or accountant or job recruiter. You're their friend. Be one. And be a good one. 

If all else fails, send this to them as a gift and call it a day. 


PS, Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Head over to to learn more and Light It Up Blue!

Jacked this shirt out of Daniel's closet when going through his stuff and I'm so glad I did! 


Sunday, March 29, 2015

So It's been a while...

I have no reason for my sudden abrupt disappearance from the blogisphere. Nothing happened on June 12th, 2013 (the day after my last post) that made me think, “I’m going to stop writing.”

I just stopped… And now I’m starting again.

S&$%’s about to get real yall.

The last two years had been pretty normal. “HAD been”… past tense. (notice that?)

The last two months though, my life has changed. Changed completely.

On January 30th, 2015, I was fired from my job. F-I-R-E-D. I was mortified and embarrassed. I am not the kind of person to get FIRED. I have worked since I was old enough to babysit and then got a real job and have had one ever since. I went to college and then grad school. Hell, I held 3 jobs while I was a full time grad student just because I WANTED to. THREE! I was involved in organizations. I went to church. I did everything they way you’re “supposed” to do. (Not to say that people that don’t follow that same path aren’t doing it right… Yall know what I mean though... Let's not get all PC here... Moving on.)

Truth be told, I wasn’t happy in my job, and getting fired was God’s way of kicking me out of my comfort zone. Of course at first I was crying the ugly cry… you know the one... the one where you can’t breathe and people look at you like, “um… this is uncomfortable…I don’t know what to do now.” Eyes were swollen and puffy. It was bad yall. BAD.

I told myself I would take 2 days to cry and be mad and then I’d get over it. I believe that happiness is a choice and I was going to choose happiness and faith over anger and sadness. (I realize that that is easier said than done because I still have moments of anger… who wouldn’t? Don’t get me started…)

"Look for the silver lining!" I told myself. The Today Show. Kathie Lee and Hoda. Unlimited gym time. Glass of wine at 2pm on a Monday afternoon. Yes, please.

(SIDE NOTE: The reason for my firing was nothing illegal or really bad or whatever, but for the sake of not wanting to burn bridges, I'm not going to go into details. The people that REALLY know me know my heart and know my work ethic and know my strengths and weaknesses. I have come to realize that hardworking, honest, good people get fired more often than others might realize. It’s not something that people put on their Facebook timeline: “Feeling like S&%$ today. I got fired!”… Facebook is everyone’s highlight reel… not real life… okay I’m getting off on a tangent here. More on all that another time.)

Fast forward to two weeks later, Friday, February 13th. I woke up to a text from my dad that my brother was in the hospital.

He had been sick with pneumonia that he had been fighting at home for a while and he was now in the ICU. I packed enough stuff for the weekend and headed south to Huntsville.

I thought for sure I’d be back in Murray on Monday, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. When I got there, he was awake and talking. We had a few conversations during visiting hours and even had a few good laughs, but he progressively got worse.

My brother, Daniel Bridges, passed away on February 23rd.

At the age of 31.

From pneumonia.

Yall… That’s not suppose to happen.

But it did.

And we had to accept it.

I would write more about all that, but 1) this post is long enough as it is and is only getting longer, and 2) I’m sitting in a coffee shop writing this, tearing up already and I don’t need to full on ugly cry in a public place. You never know when your soul mate is going to walk through the door and that’s NOT the first impression I want to make!

If you’d like to know more, or rather the play-by-play of events those two weeks, here is a link to the CaringBridge page I kept updated through that time.

They say bad things happen in 3’s right?

On Friday, March 21st, my best friend and her family (including my 6 month old “nephew”, Lincoln) picked up and moved 11 hours away to Minnesota.


Who does that, yall!?

I did have to laugh when she texted me two days after she got up there to tell me they had gotten 6 inches of snow the night before. It was 70 degrees that day in Murray. (Note to self: I won’t be visiting Amanda in the fall, winter, or spring, or anytime where there is a CHANCE for snow on the ground. Ain't nobody got time for that.)

I know this sounds like a lot of complaining, but I felt like I needed to give some background information to get to what I really want to share with you all today… the reason I’m even writing this post. 

I can’t tell you how many people have said to me these last couple of months, “I admire your strength” or “you’re so strong” or “I can’t even imagine.” This morning in church, the band sang the song Cornerstone by Hillsong. It’s my absolute favorite worship song and for some reason the words really hit me hard this morning.

Christ alone; Cornerstone
Weak made strong, in the Savior’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

The strength you see in me is not because of me. It’s not because of some magical power or some superhuman strength. “Weak made strong in the Savior’s love.” It’s also not a mask. When people ask me how I’m doing, I really am okay. I really am happy… through it all. In "EVERY high and stormy gale”. And the only reason for that is because of my strength given to me FROM GOD and my faith IN GOD; My faith that there really is a REASON for all of this. ALL. OF. IT. 

Some might say, “Where was God when all of this happened?” when someone they love passes away too early or when a mother and father have to bury their son.

I say, “Let me tell you how my God showed up through every single step…  Every. Single. Step.”

From the timing of my sudden unemployment to the random phone call my brother made just to chit chat the Wednesday before he was admitted. (We never just “chatted” on the phone.)

From the countless visitors at the hospital to the thousands of people praying for my family all over the world (LITERALLY).

From the best Celebration of Life Service we could have imagined, to gaining a sister I never had (Courtney (Daniel’s roommate) – I love you girl!).

A frequent topic of discussion that came up at the hospital was “How do people without faith get through something like this?” I really don’t know. I have no idea. Absolutely none.

I’m so thankful I’ll never have to experience that.

From everyone reading CaringBridge, I heard countless times, “You’re such a good writer.” And “You should write as a profession.” First of all, thank you. Second of all, although I don’t plan on getting paid to write, I do think its time to resurrect this thing. so get excited people.

I’m back.

I’m back, stronger than ever, with lots to share, and I'm excited about what the future holds.

Deuces. XOXO