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.
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.
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!"
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.
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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