Roller Coaster Days

So my life is a bit of a roller coaster right now since I started this blog. Every day there are really exciting things happening but there are some really stressful things happening too.

On the positive side, all the work I have been doing to promote my blog is being reflected as I (obsessively) watch my page views increase daily.

And, as I have written before, I have reconnected with so many people and received so many nice messages and encouragement from old friends and new ones.

However, on the negative side there are some pretty stressful things going on too:

  1. I am getting laid off at the end of the month and I really love where I work. The uncertainty about what I am going to do next is not fun.
  2. I found two lumps on the side of my left breast. They are like the size of blueberries. Now I need to get a mammogram and deal with insurance and healthcare and all that stuff which is even more stressful and less fun than the actual lumps themselves, especially since I am losing my job. (Cross your fingers for me.)
  3. If you have checked out my bio at, you'll know that I have been renting out my living room for the last eight years in order to afford my mortgage. I am 43 and I have never lived alone!! Luckily, I like people, and luckily I can use my apartment as a resource that helps pay for itself. I am very grateful for that. I thought my current roommate was going to be my last one, finally. But, when I found out I was losing my job, I had to post my ad again. So, roommate #64 moved in this week and I am back up to two air mattresses in my living room. *sigh*
  4. This is probably TMI but on top of all this, I got a yeast infection. Male readers, take a moment and reflect on how lucky you are that you will most likely never experience the discomfort of having your insides itch and burn to the point where you feel like if it gets any worse, you risk losing your sanity. Say an extra kind word or give a nice hug to a female in your life today as a demonstration of your appreciation of that.

Okay, so I have all this going on but as I was driving home from work the other day, I was surprised at how NOT down I was actually feeling. I stress over things like blog traffic and which ice cream flavor to get (OMG so stressful!!) but the big, huge issues I always take with stride because, as I learned in high school, someone ALWAYS has it worse.

I'm not sure how many of my readers are familiar with the name Len Bias, but to those who don't recognize it, Len Bias was a college basketball player from the University of Maryland who was the number two NBA draft pick in 1986 and was supposed to join the Boston Celtics, that year's NBA champions (and the most record winning team until the Chicago Bulls finally beat their record ten years later). At the time, I am pretty sure his was a household name, and if it wasn't before the draft, it became one after, when he tragically died of a cocaine overdose just two days later.

Mind blowing loss.

What does Len Bias have to do with me? Well, after the loss of her not one but two sons, his mother, Lonise Bias, was inspired to become a motivational speaker and somehow the universe aligned for her path to cross with mine when I was in high school in Portland, Maine.

This grieving yet inspirational mother came and spoke to our student body and her lecture impacted and influenced my personality and my attitude in the face of difficulty. I walked away that day with a lesson that became ingrained into who I am.

She told us that when we are going through hard times, we should focus on what we have because things can always get worse and that since there are certainly others who have it worse than we do, we shouldn't go around just feeling sorry for ourselves.

She went down a long list of worse and worse scenarios, "You think you have it bad because you lost one parent? Well there is someone else who has lost both. And there is someone else who lost both parents and a sibling. And someone else who lost both parents and two siblings." She went on and on and she made me reflect on and be appreciative of every blessing that I had and I never forgot that lesson.

I am not going to pretend that I never have pity parties because I sure do sometimes. However, when I think about my overall demeanor in the face of the challenges life throws at me, I feel so lucky. I am so appreciative of Lonise Bias for turning her losses into lessons and sharing her life changing wisdom with a bunch of high school students in Portland, Maine. I couldn't be more grateful to this woman and the impact she had on my life, or to the Portland Public School System and the universe for making her path cross with mine.

Tell me about how someone influenced your life and made you who you are today in the comments!

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  1. Well, certainly fingers crossed for your mammogram and finding a new job/career. Its times like these where I'm reminded of the line from the movie Saved! where one character says, "You know, when God closes a door, He opens a window." And the other character responds, "Yeah, for you to jump out of." I trust things will break your way and you'll find great new opportunities. Also, B&I'd Phish Food is the best ice cream hands down.

    1. You made me laugh about the ice cream! Thank you! I prefer Haagan Dazs myself but when I am home in Maine and go out for ice cream at the local places, omg, can barely handle the stress. Thank you for your kind words.

  2. Internet hugs. If I could give you a real one, I would. What sort of work do you do? Perhaps I can help make a connection somewhere. Andy support I can offer, please know that I'd be more than happy to.

    As for my favorite "cliche" line of support when I'm feeling's actually from a song by Pitbull (yes, the rapper). And it's "But everyday above ground is a great day, remember that."

    As for the song I most like to hear when I'm feeling's this one (and yes, watching the video as well)

    And regarding your roommates, I'm sure you've had many wonderful interactions from them. I'm a couchsurfing host and I love hosting people from all around the world. Though they leave after 2-3 days and I have my place back all to myself so there's obviously a difference here.

    Oh and final cream. Ice Cream Jubilee at 14th and T. Try the Gin and Tonic flavor (if you're into G&T's).

    - Alex (DCAlexG from Instagram)

    1. Hi Alex! Thank you so much for your note. I have not been to nor have I heard of that ice cream place. Let's go! Not into G&T's though. But I could still try it! You can see my career info on LinkedIn Yes, I love that line in the Pitbull song! And yes, I have had great roommate experiences - went to one's wedding last summer in Moscow! It just gets tiresome having mattresses everywhere, but, alas, my apartment is big anyway, feels a bit selfish to have so much space just for me.

    2. I'm a huge fan of ice cream/gelato/italian ices/soft-serve..basically anything but custard. Kinda sad they closed Pitango down on P street a while back, loved that place.

      And anytime you want to go, just let me know :) And thanks, I did pour through your LinkedIn and have a better sense now in terms of your line of work.

      And I'm sure you've already considered this and your current option works best....but have you thought about Airbnb? Feel free to send me a message on Facebook so I can go into more detail. Or if you wanna hear any half-baked get-rich-quick ideas I have rattling around in my head.


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