Saturday, March 22, 2014

Find Your Carrot

So here I am walking up The Ladder.  That part of the Runyon Canyon Trail that makes people cry  (and where I yelled at Channing Tatum.)  I just made it to the top and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna pass out, but then, this cute guy passes me.  He's jogging just little bit faster than I'm walking...  With a slight smile, I think "I can keep up with him."

So there I am, the rabbit with the carrot on the string right in front of me.

I was already pretty much done at the top of The Ladder and now I had jogged to keep up with this guy.  Slowly, the distance between he and I was getting larger.  And then we got to the stairs.

I only take stairs two at a time.  Well, he takes them one at a time.  At the top of the first set of stairs I'm not far from him.  By the time we get to the top of the second set of stairs,  I'm just behind him and then he starts up the third set of stairs.  I'm breathing like a beached whale, I'm sweating like a crazy person and I'm pretty sure I wasn't going to make it up this third set of stairs.  So, I stop and look up at the stair case that I just can't conquer.

And then.

He turns and with a little nod of his head, he smiles and says, "Come on."

Well, ok.

And without thinking twice, I start taking the stairs two at a time.

About two steps from the top I know something is wrong.  And as my foot hits the final stair, chills go up my spine and all the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  Yep, I'm gonna puke.

I know that no matter how many steps I take two by two, throwing up will definitely not impress him.  So, I just stop and breath deeply.  Don't throw up, don't throw up.

By the time I've collected myself, I look up and the carrot is gone.  And then I laugh because I just did something I didn't think I could ever do. All it took was a cute guy.

But why did I think I couldn't do it in the first place?

Because we don't give ourselves enough credit.  I didn't need that guy to tempt me to keep going.  I could have done it on my own.  I had it inside of me.  I had the ability to keep going without any outside motivation, but if it had been up to me, I would have stopped at the top of The Ladder.  Look how much more I did.

Do you give yourself enough credit?  I bet you can go further than you think.  I bet you can accomplish that thing that you think is impossible.

And maybe you just need to find your carrot.  What motivates you to succeed?  Find it, put it in front of you and keep going.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dreaded Hill

Today I hiked to the top of Dreaded Hill.  It's a really tough hike as you can imagine by the name…

When I got to the top, I was inundated by a bunch of bad news texts.  Nothing earth shattering, but just disheartening.

I sat back and looked at the beautiful view.  It was such a strong contradiction to the ugly news on the screen of my phone.

As I walked down the hill, my eyes were fixed on the ground.   One wrong step can be a pretty rough injury on the way back down.

Suddenly, one footprint grabbed my attention.  It was dramatically smaller than the rest.  It must have been a little boy or little girl tagging along with their dad on his hike.  I realized, that little one had more courage than everyone else.  It takes a strong person to be that little and take on a hill that big.

And it became a perfect analogy for my life at that moment.  In the face of bad news, in the face of changes around the corner, I would be okay I could be as strong and as courageous as this little one.  (And to remember where my strength comes from…)

I pulled out my phone inspired by whoever wore this shoe.  I decided to take a picture of the footprint and put it over my desk reminding myself that I can conquer things that are too hard, too big.

If I could only find the person wearing that shoe and find out their secret.

As I stepped back from taking the picture, I saw something I never expected.

It was my footprint.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Keep going.

My friend, Matt, and I were hiking up in the Hollywood Hills the other day and decided to take a trip to the Hollywood Sign.  It used to be illegal to hike to the Hollywood sign, but I heard a rumor that it's now allowed.  Thus, we headed up that way.  (I figured we could just turn back if we saw no trespassing signs).

Now, I didn't see any signs, but people obviously don't do this very often as Matt and I seemed to (at times) be making our own path.  There were quite a few times when I thought "I'm pretty sure if I lost my footing I would slide right down the side of this hill."

When Matt and I finally got to the end of our hike, we sat back and took in the most amazing view of Los Angeles I had ever seen… and I'm not exaggerating.  To our right, the ocean went on as far as the eye could see, the valley spread out in front of us and downtown stood strong to our left.

Absolutely gorgeous.

And there we were, exhausted, sweaty, covered head to toe in dirt and absolutely intoxicated by the view.

There were plenty of times when we thought about stopping, wondering if it was safe, wondering if we should turn back, but it wasn't until we took in that view that I realized one amazing thing.  You only get to the truly great places when you keep going at the point where everyone else stops.  Keep going.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Undeniably Wonderful Serendipitous Life

For the last 13 years every time I would see a Southwest Airplane a range of emotions would rage through my body.  For it was 13 years ago that I was fired from being a Southwest Flight Attendant.

For the first couple months it was horrible seeing the planes because I was sleeping on my brother's couch with nothing to do and searching for what was next.  I had dreamt of becoming a flight attendant and traveling around the country.  Now I was just a girl who was fired for being cold and unfriendly and I wasn't sure I had much value.

Fast forward just a few months and there I was at a Disney audition getting a job (a story within itself is a miracle).  But still, I would look at those planes and loose heart because that was the vehicle to adventure and I had been thrown out.

Just a year later, my dream of becoming a Standby in a parade at Disneyland came true.  I had always wanted to be the person who got to fill in when someone else was missing.  It was such an adventure showing up everyday not knowing what you were doing and then making it happen.  I remember seeing a Southwest Plane taking off and thinking that the colors that I used to think were of a beautiful sunset were now just a dull Orange and Brown.

A couple years flew by and before I knew it, I was in Fantasmic doing my dream role.  Suddenly the planes looked like unattractive tin cans.

Another year passed and there I was living in Germany.  I will never forget flying out on Luftansa and the little Southwest planes seemed so small and inferior to this life I was living.

Six months later, I got a different job flying through the sky.  An unbelievable opportunity that had been my dream for 10 years.  I drove by John Wayne Airport and saw a Southwest Plane landing and it looked like a prison.  I little metal tube that would have trapped me in there and I would have never had all of these things happen.

The next year I toured with a rock band that I loved.  The next year I started working at Angels Stadium.  The next year I became the 2008 Disneyland Resort Ambassador to the World.  The next year I went back to school full time to dance and write.  The next year I started believing that my life was perfect.  And the truth is, I haven't even notice a Southwest plane in years.

This morning, I watched as an American Airlines plane took off into the sky and I smiled.  I look back 13 years and think about how I thought my dreams had been shattered but in reality, they were put perfectly in place.  My dreams had to be shattered in order to have a life that is more than I could ever ask or imagine.  And now, I don't travel around the country, I travel around the world and I have 13 years of amazing, undeniably wonderful, serendipitous life behind me.

There is a plan for my life and I just need to hold on and trust the big man upstairs, because man, he knows what he's doing.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Live Outside of Security

The international terminal is unlike anywhere else in the airport.  The curbs outside the domestic terminals are just casual occurances.  The cars pull up, the trunk pops open, the passenger gets out, grabs the suitcase, waves through the window and off they go.

I sometimes each lunch here in the international terminal, just outside of security.  I can't help but notice the mother as she hugs her adult son and buries her head in his chest because no matter how old he is, she wants her son close.  Couples kiss and try to leave each other but just can't let go, and kiss just one more time.  Entire families wave as the college age girl moves hesitantly away into the security line.  Last minute advice is thrown to "stay safe"  and "have a great time".  Then tears are wiped away as the families turn and walk away.

I don't know why this place is so different.  Maybe it's because of the distance that will be jammed in between them in just a few minutes as the plane hurtles into the sky.  Maybe it's because the future is uncertain and the return flight isn't yet set.  Whatever the reason, true geniune love is apparent here.  There are very few casual goodbyes.

I want to bottle this up.  I want to take this love and appreciation and give it away in bulk to the world.  If we could, throughout the day, have this feeling toward our loved ones when they don't do this dishes or leave the light on for the fourteenth time in a row, our day would be different.  And when we continually have days that are different, that are better, the world begins to change.

I know that it feels overwhelming to try to change the whole world, but what if we all did it, one person at a time, one moment at a time, by always living just outside the security gate.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Just one person

So there I am, stuck in traffic.  Not just traffic but horrible traffic.  The kind of traffic where four lanes just shrunk down to two.  We are on a pretty mean uphill when the car in front of me stops and their hazards begin to flash.  I wait for a good 3 or 4 minutes because this car has just turned four lanes into one and they were gonna need help pushing.  But they don't get out to push.  They just sit in their car waiting (probably knowing that one person can't push this car up this hill alone.)  So I pull over and run over.

"Can I help you push?"

I can just imagine them thinking "We need six big truckers, not a tiny little girl with no muscles."

But they took me up on my offer.  The guy in the front seat jumps out and we start pushing.  The kind of pushing where we are parallel with the ground pushing as hard as we can and we are barely making any ground.  One inch at a time. My feet keep slipping, but I keep pushing with all my might.  We are nearly stopped even though are muscles are strained and I say "one, two, THREE."  And we give the car a real hard push and it rolls about six inches.  We try to use the momentum but the hill wins and we are back to just inching along.

We are about to give up when we look up and see SEVEN guys running toward us.  They had all pulled over and were coming to help.  Thank God.  I was so tired.  So we just hold our ground waiting for the guys to get to us.  One of the guys kindly pats me on the back and says "We got it from here."  And with ease the guys push the car to the top.

I stood up, arms and legs jelly, and smiled.  I knew I couldn't push that car on my own, but I knew people would join me if I just had the courage to start.  It just takes one person to start a movement.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Be Inspired!

I woke up this morning, three days before Easter, many hours before my alarm thinking of all the things I need to accomplish today and pressure from my parents to refinance my house.  (It's a perfect time for that.)

When I feel overwhelmed my first reaction is to clean.  I don't know why, maybe it's because the order of cleanliness make me feel like things are in control.  So, I woke up and the first thing I did (like most mornings) is look at my inspiration wall.  It's a mess.

So, I decided to start "cleaning it up".  I walked over trying to decide what to take down.  And suddenly I realized this board is perfect, just as it is.  Here is what I learn from this board.

A picture from Banksy reminds me, "Use your unique voice, your the only who has it."

A picture of kids dancing shows me, "Something average can be absolutely amazing when given the right tools."

A picture of my college alumni newsletters nudges, "Other people are accomplishing great things and you have that inside of you, so go do it!"

My fortune cookie from Thomas inspires me to "Dream loft dreams and as you dream so shall you become."

My favorite Bible verses (Exodus 4:11-12) prompts, "Just go create, God will speak for you."

A program from Jack Gilberts memorial awkens me to, "Do nothing for money, but rather to help advance others and to be happy."

A handmade birthday card from my nephew, "Create like a child allowing yourself to be free to make mistakes and create original work."

From Proverbs 31, "Be an awesome woman."

A card from my birthday scavenger hunt two years ago, "Surround yourself with awesome people and go have adventures."

My list of places to visit, "Never stop dreaming, you never know what is going to happen."

A quote from Return to Me, "You only have struggles because God knows you can handle them and they only make you stronger."

My storyline screenplay cards, "Write."

Some people make inspiration boards because they believe they can will it to be.  I don't believe that.  I believe that reminding yourself of what is important and what inspires you will make you act.  Your dreams will not come true wishing they will happen.  They will come true from hard work and dedication.  Make an inspiration wall and remember what is important to you everyday.

(It can be cleaner than mine.)