Being Brave

I started my blog for fun. I didn’t really expect more than just my friends and family to read it. (I had hoped it would reach more) Maybe my friends’ families and their friends. I did not expect it to grow so much, so quickly. I started it in the fall of 2010 and by that winter I had this feeling. I have a hard time describing it. I just knew that the blog was going to take off and things were going to happen. It kind of scared me. I think anytime there is the “unknown” I tend to hesitate a little before jumping in.

I prayed.

And I made a pact with God.

I told God that I felt my blog was going to take me to new places and change my life a little. I told Him that it kind of scared me. I told Him I thought it was His will for this to happen. There were too many coincidences and circumstances around what was happening with my blog for me to think otherwise. I promised God that if He would continue to bless my blog I would be willing to go outside my comfort zone. I prayed and told Him I was willing to do things that would help me grow. Even if just the idea of it scared the crap out of me.

Now I need to tell you about myself and how I was at this point in my life. I was stuck in a major comfort zone or shall we say “rut”. I hardly ever left home since we had (and still have) only one vehicle. I had small children. The only time I really left was to go to the grocery store once a week and to church. I used to be a little more brave. I went to college out of state and got along just fine. But being in my rut, I became less brave. I didn’t need to be courageous when I was just cleaning my home and caring for my beautiful kids. Well, I take that back. I did. But it was a totally different type of courage. (And that could be a whole other post!)   It got to the point where I couldn’t even go in the store and ask a sales associate where the shoelaces were. My poor husband didn’t understand why I made him talk to everyone for me. Even as I type this it sounds so silly. I think it is because if we are not growing, we are going backwards. And I was not pushing myself or growing in that particular area of my life.

So right after I made this promise to God I had a conversation with a good friend. She said “Wouldn’t that be cool if you went on one of the TV shows here?” (In Utah there are 3 different lifestyle shows that feature bloggers and their projects sometimes.) I told her there was NO WAY I would ever do that. But then the pact I made came to mind. I quickly brushed it away.

TWO DAYS later I got an email from one of the TV show’s producers asking me to be a guest on their show.

CRAP.

Okay God, I hear you.

Normally I would have said “no” even though I knew it was a good opportunity. But that darn promise I made kept popping up in my head. So I sent an email accepting their offer.

Oh my word you guys! I was a mess. A MESS! I remember sitting backstage clutching a garbage can. I asked the intern if anyone had ever thrown up before on the show. He panicked. He brought me bottled water and literally fanned me. I asked him if the only reason he was being so nice was that if I threw up it would be his job to clean it up. He smiled and said “yes”. HA! I liked him.

I considered my options as I sat there so nauseous I was sweaty. I could either run to the parking lot and high tail it back home, or I could put my game face on and DO IT.

I obviously did it. And I had a little bit of fun!

I went home and thought surely I had met my quota for the year. I was set. Pat on the back. Gold star. Done.

Nope. I would go on to do about a dozen shows on all three networks. I got to the point where it was easy and natural. I still get a tiny bit of butterflies right before but that is all.

I went on from there to speak at my first conference, and then another. I have spoken a couple of time at the University close to me. Those things would have never happened had I not said yes to the first TV gig.

Okay, so I can now get in front of people and talk. I can even go in the store and ask where the shoelaces are. I should be done right?

One day I got asked to go on my first “business trip“……. by Home freakin’ Depot! I had never traveled alone. Never stayed in a hotel room alone. Never been picked up by a driver at the airport. I conjured up all sorts of Law and Order plots and envisioned my demise at the hands of a crazed lunatic. I wondered which actress would play me when it was a made for TV movie….

I am the country mouse. The little small town girl who grew up in a small town and travelled to college that was also in a small town. I live a simple life. I have chickens and goats for crying out loud! I am also a Mormon girl who has never had a drop of alcohol much less been to cocktail party (which was part of the event). But I survived the travel and I even survived the cocktail party. Even though I ended up with a straw up my nose…..

That one trip led to other trips. I always had people that I knew that I could share a cab with and hang out with during the event. So I wasn’t really on my own.

Well, I have another trip coming up that has me scared all over again.

I have been invited to go to New York City by Better Homes and Gardens for a mini conference of sorts. There will be workshops and then a dinner/party after. And even though I have been on trips before this will be the first time I will have to get a cab by myself. No driver will be waiting, no friends will be flying with me that can share a cab. GAH! I know to the vast majority of you I must sound like the biggest wimp. And in my head I know it isn’t a big deal. But…..

I also will have an entire day after the event is over before my flight. I thought others would too but the people I have talked to are going home in the morning. So I have two choices. I can get a cab and go to the airport and wait, or I can explore the city alone.

Every other time I have stepped outside of my comfort zone only good has come from it. So I guess this country mouse is going to brave the Big Apple :)

I want to do a quick shout out to HomeRight. When I got the invite to this event my husband was unemployed. His company he worked for had gone under. Our bank account was in the hole. Deep in the hole. And even though I was working my tail off to get us out of the hole, I knew even if I got us caught up, I couldn’t justify paying for a trip to NYC.

I contacted HomeRight and told them about the opportunity and asked if I could do work for them in return for them sponsoring me to go on this trip. We worked out a deal and they said “YES!”

HomeRight LOGO Being Brave

I have been so blessed to work with amazing companies. And HomeRight is one of them. I got to meet Laura from HomeRight in person at Haven (blog conference) last month too which was totally cool :)

So THANK YOU HomeRight for believing in me and making the trip possible. I will try to be brave ;)

I am grateful for my blog. I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows me better than I know myself. I love that he gives us opportunities to grow and become better people. He challenges you too. It may not be in the same ways that I have been challenged but He does and I hope you say “YES”. Do things outside of your comfort zone even if you are scared stiff. Because good things come from it. I promise.

you can do hard things Being Brave

My hard thing is exploring a new city by myself and hailing a cab. But that may not be yours. Maybe yours is using power tools for the first time, or jumping back into the dating scene after a divorce. We are all different. Our circumstances, personalities, stage in life are all different and so are our “hard things”.  But you can totally do it. You got this :)

Now, back to NYC……

If you had one day in NYC by yourself, where would you go??? I would love some ideas. I have not been since I was a teenager and I am sure a lot has changed.

 

 

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  1. says

    congrats to you! a trip to NYC will be wonderful! I know that you will probably get lots of input on places to go shopping (and there are plenty of them!) but I always make time to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art – if only for a couple of hours – it is an incredible building but the art inside is overwhelmingly inspiring…whatever your vibe is…it will get your creative juices flowing…have a wonderful trip!

  2. says

    Hi Stacy, Lovely post!! I think all of us have been in these kinda situations when one is out of one’s comfort zone. My approach is say YES to every new opportunity without giving yourself time to think!! once you are committed, never go back and make excuses, In 100 % cases, you would emerge stronger, would have learnt a lot, made new connections and profited in some way or the other!!

  3. says

    Okay, Stacie!
    I so enjoyed reading your “DO HARD THINGS” post. I’m always discovering that my comfort zone is where I live and the sheer blue weightlessness just off the edge of the cliff is where God wants to take me.
    Awesome to know I’m not alone!

  4. Margot C. says

    Take a cruise around New York harbor, see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and go to the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center.

  5. brenda says

    when we/I will be in this sort of opportunity situation I turn to my AAA club book on that area. There are so many unknown areas of opportunity in those little books, LOT of which turn out to be FREE. Things one would not even think about being available.

  6. says

    Sweet lil Mrs. Stacy, I am so proud of your bravery and the doors it has opened for you! I assure you fear would have never reaped you the same rewards- it is an exhausting emotion with a poor return for all the energy invested in it! You are an inspiration to chicken littles everywhere! You are going to take NYC by storm! If you feel danger while touring the city just do as I tell my girls before I send them off alone ” remember, bite, kick, scream, run! Haha

  7. karen says

    Metropolitan Museum would be a wonderful way to spend your day. I admire you for going even though your nervous. I’m in one of those ruts. Would love to do a blog but every time I try something goes wrong. Technology is not my friend.

  8. says

    I would go to the Metropolitan Museum, too. That was the one place I regret not seeing during my one and only trip to the Big Apple. What a great adventure you are about to take. Whatever you do, find something that speaks to your soul. What a great opportunity and I appreciate your comments that God is listening and ready and willing to answer our prayers.

  9. CT says

    I admire you so much for your can do spirit. I can really relate to your wanting to stay in your comfort zone; I can’t imagine doing all the things you do. Even having a blog boggles my mind. Your description of your relationship with God really defines for me the proper attitude towards prayer. Not, “Hey, God, gimme this tangible item, gimme that thing I really want.” But rather, your focus on asking for the strength to accomplish goals on your own. I think that’s why He’s listening and helping you.
    I live close enough to NYC to visit for a day. I don’t very often. There is much to do in New York, a wealth of the best of what people produce intellectually and with their hands. But it’s also a very intense experience. Lots of people, lots of traffic, lots of noise. Just as the internet has its dark side, so does New York. That said, there are many wonderful, kind people in New York. You’ll be fine.
    I usually go to New York to see museums. That’s my thing. They can be expensive, though, unless you arrive on one of their free or reduced admission days. As mentioned before, the Met is a great museum. There are many other smaller places, some free even. And there’s a matinee on Broadway, if that’s your thing. You can get discount tickets at TKTS Discount Booths.
    I think it would be fun to buy some fabric and trim for a pillow, since you like pillows. It could be a modest, lightweight souvenir that would remind you of your trip when you see it. I did a search and happened on this blogger, who made a convenient list of places to shop.
    http://thismamamakesstuff.com/thrifting-sewing-resources/my-favorite-nyc-fabric-trim-stores/
    Coincidentally, she went to BYU. As she mentioned, the Garment District is famous. You could just wander around for fun and marvel at how much stuff they have for sale. I wandered into a store the last time I was there that was an entire store devoted to ribbon. Didn’t buy anything, but I was awed by their beautiful display of thousands of ribbons. You could decide ahead of time on a project and color palette, to give yourself a focus. It can be overwhelming.
    Here’s another list, http://www.paulanadelstern.com/fabric/guides/
    And there’s always the Yelp reviews.
    If you don’t like cabs (and I rarely take them myself), you can always take public transit. All the airports have a way to get into the city, whether by bus or some kind of train. It will be cheaper, too. It’s not hard. You’ll find all the info you need on the internet.
    One last suggestion. Take maps, small ones that don’t look too obvious. When I travel, I like to take a little, cheap photo album (the dollar store kind) and print out all the info I need for the trip, including maps, addresses and directions, and slip them into the plastic photo sleeves. It tucks into a purse (which, of course, you will keep close to you always), and doesn’t look very obvious when you pull it out to consult it. And take a little compass so you know what direction you’re walking in. And don’t be afraid to ask for help from strangers. There are plenty of nice people in New York. Have fun!

  10. says

    I would love to see and experience Coney Island – like it used to be. I’m not sure it’s even there anymore, and if Superstorm Sandy distroyed what was left. I’m with you as far as being in a rut, but stepping outside your zone can sure bring you some wonderful surprises!

  11. Lori says

    What to do in New York really depends on your interests. I love going up there, but there is just so much! Liberty Island, Ellis Island, Central Park (and all that it entails), Museum Mile, the Empire State Building, Chelsea Pier, Canal Street… I could go on and on. :-) I was just up there last month and even though I spent 12 hours on my feet, I saw only the tiniest slice. A few tips:

    1. If you want to go to the Met, go online and look at all the exhibits. You could spend days walking around, so make sure you know which exhibits are must-see for you and hit those first. You choose what to pay at the Met. New Yorkers will tell you that you don’t have to pay anything, but I always give the suggested donation ($25) because it feels right to me. You only have to give what you want/are able.
    2. Central Park is great for wandering, and there is a lot to see inside. If you go to the Met, take at least 10 or 15 minutes to meander around the park as well.
    3. If you go to Liberty and Ellis Islands, buy your tickets online before you go. They are the same price as tickets at Battery Park, but you get to skip ahead of security.
    4. The advanced tickets for the Empire State Building are SO WORTH IT. They are more expensive than buying tickets on-site, but you will save yourself HOURS of waiting in line. Be prepared for dirty looks as you skip all the lines. :-)
    5. You don’t have have to buy tickets to the World Trade Center memorial in advance anymore (although you can). I found it to be incredibly moving. This is another one where you pay what you want. IIRC, the suggested donation is $5; for $10, you get a wristband.
    6. Times Square really isn’t a big deal. It looks much more impressive on TV at New Year’s than it does in real life.
    7. Manhattan looks scary on Law and Order but is really incredibly safe.
    8. Don’t be afraid to take the subway to get around. Everything is well labeled, and you can always ask advice from the people working the booths. You can use the trip planner feature at http://new.mta.info/ to help you plan how to get around before going there.
    9. That being said, I understand that cabs may be easier, especially if you aren’t used to mass transit. Try to stand in an area where there is a place for the cab to stop, step a foot off the curb, and raise your arm. Don’t forget to tip when you get to your destination.
    10. Don’t eat at chain restaurants if you can help it; you’ll be cheating yourself.
    11. Whatever you do, don’t just stop in the middle of a busy sidewalk. Try to move out of the way first or risk getting run over by other pedestrians.

    Enjoy yourself! It really is a great city. The grid makes it easy to get around (although the grid starts to vary in lower Manhattan) and despite what you hear, the people are friendly.

  12. Lori says

    I meant to add, there are a lot of other museums to see, too, so it really depends what your interests are. Take a look at them online and see what gets you going. If you want a little bit of everything, though, hit the Met.

  13. Kerrie says

    If you want down time…. A carriage ride through central park is nice. Restaurants are great. The infamous Serendipity’s frozen hot chocolate is crazy good! Enjoy the trip. I know I loved my trip to NY!

  14. Danita Courtney says

    YES! You can do this! And you will keep being blessed as you move forward and share all the good that you do! You are our inspiration for little and big things! Thank you for sharing so much with us! We all support you and wish you safe travels and FUN! You deserve this!
    Your pal in Maine!

  15. says

    I doubt that a lot of cabs could transport an electric wheelchair, nor how long my battery would last. While I would love to check out museums, home stores, etc., I think I’d have to stay in the airport and be bored out of my mind. I’d have to remember knitting or crocheting (portable crafts) and my laptop!
    Janet

  16. Kelly says

    Hi! I’m a reader if not a commenter and love your blog. We live in CT and go into NYC fairly frequently. I homeschool my 14-yo daughter and if you’d like we could head into the city and take you around on your day off. NYC is a great, fun, place though I understand how it could be overwhelming to anyone on their first visit. If you let us know what you’d be most interested in seeing, we could arrange that if the timing works out for us!

  17. says

    Dearest Stacy – I am so proud of you for conquering your fears. You are very brave and I know it’s hard to come that far out of your comfort zone. Just remember – if God opened these doors for you, he has a plan so fear not. I live in the DC Metro area and am used to a smaller city comparatively. I would not recommend getting on the subway. It’s marked ok but much easier to take a cab from A to B. I would recommend 9/11 Memorial/Spot and also the Empire State Building. Times Square is totally overated but you need to check it out even for a few minutes just to experience it. They have those bus tours where the bus takes you all over the city. Check at your hotel where it drops off and on and you can sit in comfort and see the city and take pictures without worry. NYC is safe, but travel safely and hang onto your bag, keep your money and valuables close to you, and be aware of your surroundings and walk like you know what you are doing, even if you don’t.

    Many blessings to you and your family. Big hugs, Holly @ coconutheadsurvivalguide

  18. Jeanine says

    The one day that I spent in NYC, I took a bus tour (actually many different bus tours, but all included in one ticket price). It was the only way to see as much as I did in a short amount of time, and the drivers were knowledgable so I found out many things about the city that I never would have otherwise. Also, it was nice riding around on top of the double decker buses. I went in September also, and it was pretty hot, so riding definitely beat walking around. The only thing I regret is foregoing one of the bus tours to take a many-blocks long walk to a particular restaurant. You just don’t see much from the ground, and boy, did I get sweaty! The food was good, but it wasn’t worth it.

  19. Jean says

    Take a tour, it’s easy and you will be with others. Or if you can, go shopping at Pearl River. But here’s a tip, act brave even if inside you don’t feel brave. Fake it til you make it. you know you can, you have before. Oh, and go and sit somewhere and watch the people, it will be a blast.

  20. MeganM. says

    I’m a small town-Mormon girl too and would be terrified to go by myself too! But it would be so much fun. I’ve never been to NYC and want to go someday! Can’t wait to hear about your adventures! :) Have a great time and as my Nana says, “Make good memories!”

  21. says

    Stacy, I am so, so, so glad you shared this. I needed to read this today. I’m slowly getting out of my own rut and can completely relate to everything you mentioned. Thank you!

    Enjoy NYC!

    Katie

  22. says

    Stacy – I forgot one more thing. Go to a real Bagel Shop and make sure you eat a bagel for breakfast. I don’t know how they do it, but NY bagels are the best in the world. Same with pizza… there is a pizza place on every block and be sure to experience some authentic NY pizza for lunch. You have to hold it in your hand and kind of roll/cup it to eat it like a real New Yorker. The grease drips down your arm and ooooohhhh it’s so wonderful So cheap for breakfast and lunch and splurge a little for a nice dinner. And as tacky and touristy as it is, you have to buy something small that says “I (heart) NY.”

    Maybe not one more thing, I think I’m up to 4 more. Enjoy! Hugs, Holly

  23. says

    You inspire me, Stacy! Your projects are amazing but I want to see a blogger’s heart and real life, not a manufactured one. You are real and honest and transparent, all things I strive for with my blog and my life. It makes you vulnerable but also opens up to the tremendous blessings. I have done hard. I have lived hard for years. Our adoption of three kids with attachment disorder almost destroyed us. It was hard beyond what I could have imagined. It’s still hard. Like today, still hard. I’ve heard the song on KLove “Overcomer” by Mandisa twice today, and coupled with this post, am reminded of the God who overcame it all. Thank you for living life for us all to see.

  24. says

    NYC sounds so fun! I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time, Stacy. (I totally know what you mean by getting in a rut by not taking chances or stretching yourself.) Congrats on all your bloggy opportunities so far. Here’s to being brave!

  25. says

    We are so happy to work with you Stacy. Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story about stepping outside your comfort zone. Enjoy your time in NYC, what a great city.

    Laura Clark
    HomeRight

  26. Nanci says

    Stacy – you are amazing! I love that you are sharing this side of you with us, your readers/followers. I am a friend of your sister (M) from when she lived in MA and I live part time on Long Island. Please contact me via email and let me know when you are coming to NYC. I would love to meet you and spend the day with you!

  27. says

    Wow this hit home! I am going to be traveling by myself to an event where I do not know anybody! I am so terribly shy and the thought of meeting and socializing with a bunch of strangers has me terrified BUT its a huge opportunity and I am excited too! So I guess I just need to be brave too! Thanks for sharing and I love the “You can do hard things sign”!

  28. says

    I love this post! You are so awesome and so brave and I look up to you so much! I have just a baby blog but enjoy it so much and have had much of the same feeling you had (am Mormon too!) I just keep feeling that I need to stick with it, even when it’s been hard and scary. Have FUN in NYC! I can’t wait to hear about your trip =) Marcy

  29. says

    When in NYC, if you need a bathroom, find a bakery or deli and their bathroom is usually on the second floor. This could be useful info. I know it helped me when I was in New York! I really wish would have had time to go to the Met when I was there for only one day. Have Fun!

  30. Candy Thayer says

    You’ll have no trouble finding a cab at the airport….just follow the signs to the cab stand, get in line, and a cab will be waiting for you. I love NYC and always feel safe there. The natives are friendly. To get an overview of the city, take one of the tourist buses from Times Square. You can stop where you want to and then get back on and end up back in Times Square. For lunch, go to Serendipity and have a frozen hot chocolate. The movie was filmed there and it is so much fun. If you want to spend the day in one place, the Metropolitan can’t be beat.

  31. says

    Stacy, I so understand having your husband do the talking for you – being in your comfort zone. I don’t feel like I’m in a rut, I love my life, but I’m so very introverted that I do stand back and have my Honey do the talking for me. Like you, I’ve had a tug, talks with God about this comfort zone and am stretching myself. As frightening as it can be sometimes, you’re right – good comes out of it. Thank you so much for sharing this post – it is a comfort to know I’m not alone in these feelings!

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

  32. says

    How totally awesome for you!
    You have done a few things out of my comfort zone… Totally get the “have others talk for you thing…” I used to have my parents order my food at restaurants in high school and would get super nervous having to talk to anyone at a store or answer a question in class, etc. My super social 5 year old has gotten me out of that. LOL.

    Have fun in New York!

  33. says

    I really enjoyed your honesty and the feelings you expressed. I too have been feeling similarly, I have barely begun.
    I hope and pray my willingness will help me continue the journey. Thanks for the surge of hope.

  34. Rachel says

    I can relate to this post! Thanks for sharing.
    And have a blast in NYC! Can’t wait to hear your adventures there…

  35. says

    This is a pretty awesome story, Stacy. So glad for you. And you looked like you were completely at ease!! You didn’t look nervous AT ALL. Take care, Linda

  36. says

    #1. I super duper love you! #2. I wish I were going with you. #3 I would be totally nervous about being in a strange city by myself. I love my comfort zone too. #4. Did I mention that I super duper love you? You will be fine. It will be amazing. Try not to miss me too much. XOXO

  37. says

    As i lay in bed, four weeks post op from spinal reconstruction at 27 years old, where children are just a twinkle right now. I clicked on this expecting something to be brave about. Congratulations on the success and what a great blog, but…..no.

  38. says

    Hi Stacy – I am seriously inspired and just have to offer one more… and last one I promise! This is your Everest. Don’t just take pictures of the scenery, but make sure that you get a picture of you too enjoying your trip. Find a fellow mommy tourist with small children to take your picture – always a safe bet. For years to come, when you are feeling blue or a little down, you will look at that picture OF YOU in NYC and know that with your faith, you can conquer all of your fears and be an inspiration for others. Hugs, Holly

  39. Nancy says

    I once had a teacher who described a rut as being only slightly shallower than a grave. Glad to hear that you pulled yourself out of your rut! I second the Guggenheim Museum; the architecture is a piece of art in it’s own right, and then there is all of the great art inside. Have a wonderful day to yourself in the Big Apple.

  40. says

    Ahhh Stacy I’m so excited for you! Good for you for writing about being brave! I could write a book about NYC… we try to get their at least once a year. I know all the great places to eat. Email me and we can chat! :) You are gonna do fine hailing a cab! You can do it!!! And if you really want to be brave take the subway! lol.

  41. says

    Awww Stacy I loved this post!! NYC is scary trying to find a cab and such, but I’m sure they will pull over when they see your perfect hair. It is SO much fun you will love it. And that is so great Homeright is sponsoring you there. They are awesome and a great company. Have fun girl what a great opportunity! :)

  42. says

    This post hit so close to home Stacy!! Over the last several months I’ve been thinking about the opportunities and doors my blog has opened for me and how I’ve been able to experience things I never dreamed I’d be doing – but most of all, pushing myself out of that comfort zone too!! I keep accepting things that frighten me and I MAKE myself do them (like speaking at conferences and going on TV) and every time I do it I keep thinking of ways I can back out of it yet that little voice in my head keeps saying “YOU CAN DO THIS”………..and after it’s over, it’s such a relief and I realize I really had fun!!

    Traveling alone has certainly been one of those things that took some getting used to, but you are going to have SO much fun exploring NYC alone, I just know it!! I know a few people going to that event, but I know many who turned it down due to the expense, I love that you thought to get a sponsor, just like we do for so many other conferences!! have fun!!

  43. says

    Hi Stacy, I loved this post. I recently wrote a post regarding being brave. It has this hilarious music video you’d enjoy. I’ll attach a link to my blog in case you want to check it out.

    Thank you for writing posts like these, I struggle with a lot of the same things you have and it’s always comforting to hear from someone who has gone through it and encouraging to see how far they’ve come.

    http://theheartofhomeblog.blogspot.com/

  44. carol burrey says

    Good for you for stepping out! It has to feel good. Try a Broadway show. Do some research ahead of time to see what is playing. There will be sure to be something you would love!