Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened on my way to Baltimore

A few things I've learned today. You probably already know them. 

1.) My name is hard to spell. 

2.) I know (theoretically) that happiness doesn't come in a cup but I learned that if it did - it would be a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

3.) United Airlines customer service needs improvement.

4.) A egg and cheese sandwich costs $9.99 at LAX.

I tend to conjure up a pretty specific image in my head when I think of a brave person. I usually either think of a little boy with two prostethic legs or a camouflage dressed soldier holding his newborn for the first time ... or more recently I think of  wildly curly red hair, a blue corset and a bow and arrow - thank you Pixar. God, what I wouldn't do for a Gaelic accent right now. Then I would certainly feel what I'm suppose to be feeling which is BRAVE. 

I am currently, right now, this second, in Baltimore, Maryland. I'm attending a conference, a blogging conference of all things, Fit Bloggin' 2012.  

I'm a little disoriented, I mean, even the ocean is in a different place. I'm staying in a hotel room all by myself. I didn't know ANYONE coming to this thing. I'm about to be a very little fish is a very big pond. There are 300 bloggers attending this event. Some of the people attending make a living blogging. A lot of them have business cards, business cards people!!! My blog is just this little baby thing, I share it with exactly 28 people by way of an email blast and perhaps the 10 friends on Facebook that my current settings allow to see my status updates. (Am I the only one that can't successfully navigate the new Facebook?)

A co-worker said something to me the other day, she said, "your life begins when you step out of your comfort zone." I don't think she was the first to say that, but she was the first to say it to me so I'm giving her full credit. She is a wise lady. 

I think, and mostly because I've been obsessively thinking about it for days now,  but I think she's right. Maybe I don't need to slay a big black scar-faced grizzly bear to be brave. Maybe I just have to be me. 

Growing up I was always that kid who couldn't sleep the night before the first day of school because I was so excited. I loved, loved, loved meeting new people and having new experiences. I hosted a Japanese exchange student in 7th grade - a complete stranger, who spoke a strange language and wore strange mismatched yellow plaid and Hello Kitty outfits became my sister for 14 days. I went on a month long exchange trip to Europe when I was 14. I road public transportation in Budapest, Hungry with my host sister who had spiky pink hair, ate wiener schnitzel  in Vienna and danced with a tour guide named Rodolfo in Florence. I sought out an employment opportunity downtown - where I would be the only lifeguard from my high school when 16, so I could work with people that didn't look like me. I went to a small college without my boyfriend and absolutely none of my friends. I enrolled in an field studies course which included a trip to Costa Rica junior year at that college. I tried out for my collegiate golf team although I hadn't played competitively for years.  I wore high heels to my mom's funeral. And in 2006, I left everyone and everything I knew, again, and moved to Los Angeles so my husband and I could pursue the dream of Hollywood success. 

And then, I just kind of stopped taking chances. In a place so big and so scary I've craved a sense of security and safety so fervently that I haven't felt like being a chance-taker person. This city has turned me into a big borderline agoraphobic sissy. 

And, so tomorrow, in the reflection of Baltimore's inner harbor, I'm off to learn my 5th thing...

I am brave. 

It's time for a lemon shake-up, I just hope it goes well with crab cakes. 


  1. You are very brave! Thank you for allowing us to take this trip through life with you. I feel like you and I are more alike then we even knew. Come back soon!

  2. I watched Brave on the way to Baltimore. I too am here alone & staying in a room by myself. Add in I'm an introvert but you know what - we are going to have so much fun & meet loads of new friends plus a bunch of newbies just like us.

  3. Love it as always. What a wonderful expresser of how you truly feel about what is happening. Your blog (your personality) makes me feel glad. Hope you have a great time at the conference.

  4. You are most certainly brave. What an epiphany. And I am feeling so incredibly special to be included amongst your elite 28. Love ya darling!!! Lisa

  5. Exposing yourself the way you do to 28 people with every post is incredibly brave, don't ever underestimate that! You've inspired and entertained all of us with your gifted writing skills, something to be proud of. Enjoy the trip!!!! Xoxo.

  6. Hi Danielle!! It was SO great to meet you this weekend- feel like I've known you for years! Hope you made it back to LA safe and sound!! xoxo

  7. First - So nice to meet you this week at FitBloggin!

    Second - you so PERFECTLY articulated how I feel about living in DC as well. I love this paragraph because it is so accurate for my life right now: "And then, I just kind of stopped taking chances. In a place so big and so scary I've craved a sense of security and safety so fervently that I haven't felt like being a chance-taker person. This city has turned me into a big borderline agoraphobic sissy."

    You WERE brave. I would have never attended if not for knowing Kelly @ No Thanks to Cake. So glad I met you and I look forward to following along on your journey!

  8. I love your writing style. Great post, glad to know I wasn't the only one nervous about attending Fit Bloggin as a loner. :) I'm so happy we met. I'm your newest follower. ;)

  9. I loved this post, boy wish I was as brave as you as a teenager :) I wish we had gotten to connect more at fitbloggin :) I do remember your face many times through the weekend though, always smiling :)

  10. You are very brave and very deserving! You share your blog and it inspires others - You share your heart and it touches souls.
    Be proud and confident!
    I love you!
    Aunt Shannon