Tag Archives: goals

This Is My Greatest Accomplishment, and It Might Be Yours, Too

Earlier in the week, I came across a list of questions on the Internet intended to engage two people in meaningful conversation. The questions are deep, thought-provoking, probing, and personal.

I tried to think of my answers as I went through the list, but one stuck out at me:

“What is your greatest accomplishment?”

I’ve been reflecting a great deal on my most recent accomplishment–becoming a published author. My initial thought was to answer with that.

But then I thought of all the solo female travel I’ve done. Maybe independent travel is my biggest accomplishment.

Yet I couldn’t choose between the two.

So I dug deeper.

I remembered the many hardships I went through to write my book, many of which are outlined in its preface. And then I remembered how I fought through a knot in my stomach each time I set off on a solo excursion abroad.

And then I remembered what it was like to go to my first professional acting audition, to send in my first freelance writing query, to get my first official rejection. But beyond that, I remembered pushing through the rejections, time and again, to follow my passions, my dreams.

In all of my accomplishments, I’ve never been fearless. But I have stared fear in the face and persevered. Courageous people aren’t fearless people; they are the ones who are scared to death but go head to head against their fears anyway.

My greatest accomplishment? It’s believing in myself.

On the days when writing a 254-page book seemed a daunting task, I never doubted that I could and would do it. All the times that I hugged my backpack to my chest on sketchy bus rides, homesickness creeping in, I still trusted in my instincts and personable nature to embrace the culture I was about to immerse myself in.

Every rejection I received after an audition or writing submission was a challenge to press on.

Believing that I can do whatever I set my mind to is, hands down, my greatest accomplishment.

Think really hard about what you consider your greatest accomplishment to be. If you find that you can’t decide between two, reflect on the journey that led you toward each of these.

I’ll bet you’ll find that believing in yourself is your biggest accomplishment, too.


Lyme Disease is a Bitch, But I Never Wanted a Normal Life Anyway

Lately, a number of friends have been sharing with me articles about chronic Lyme disease sufferers speaking out, including celebrities. The articles all say the same thing. To put it bluntly, Lyme disease is a bitch.

But the resounding beauty in these stories is a united tenacity, the strength to fight the daily struggle that lies hidden from the outside. Lyme disease can rob you of a normal life, but who really wants to be normal anyway?

Five years ago, I was on my way toward achieving one of my life goals. But it was halfway through training for a marathon in the beautiful Texas Hill Country that I started having joint pain, muscle spasms, nerve tingling and debilitating fatigue. Six months later, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease.

In 2014, I finished the famed 7-mile Bridge Run in the Florida Keys, my first race since the diagnosis that altered my life considerably. This year, I began training for a marathon again. But history repeated itself. At the halfway mark, my joint pain became unbearable.

It has been difficult accepting that I won’t be able to run that marathon in November that I set my eyes on back in January, the one for which I shelled out hard-earned savings for a spiffy pair of running shoes and spent countless hours researching. But I will get there one day. Dreams and goals are not meant to be forgotten. We make our own timelines for our own achievements, and when we have to put one on the back burner, we fill our lives with abundant new aspirations.

Lyme disease makes me fight daily battles, including abetting in my anxiety struggle. But in more ways than one, this staunch, crippling, silent disease has been a blessing in disguise. It continually forces me outside of my comfort zone, and in doing so, I’m living a life far from normal–a life I’ve still created for myself. Because no matter how overwhelming this condition is, it will not rule the way I choose to live.

Former Muse To Write A Children’s Book About Turtles!

I have some exciting news to share… thanks to BYOM for sharing in my excitement! 🙂

Be Your Own Muse

We’ve got fantastic news: Muse Stacey Venzel, world traveler and zoologist, was recently commissioned to write a children’s book about turtles!

With her gorgeous writing style and passion for wildlife and conservation, it’s clear that Stacey is a perfect choice for this project. We can’t wait to see the result!

Another thing that we love about this wonderful news: it’s more proof that doing what you love, with gratitude and hustle, will take you to fantastic places. Last year, Stacey decided to take a radical sabbatical to travel and work around the world, write, and explore her individuality.

“I learned to love me for me,” she writes. “I accomplished unwritten…

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An Ode to 1980’s Music Videos

Throwback to an “Evolution of Dance”mash-up at Marathon Community Theatre in which I got to strut my stuff Aretha Franklin-style to “Respect.”

I’m still waiting for Fate to knock on my doorstep when all variables have collided for me to YouTube it up with ridiculous music video interpretations to classic hits and pop songs. I’m already a regular at karaoke bars and the local theatre in my old Florida Keys stomping grounds for my literal song and dance performances. I’ve already paraded the streets of London, a backyard pool in Copenhagen, a dive bar in Wales and my own kitchen with my theatre antics. Some select friends receive spontaneous video messages sent to their phones of my personalized renditions as well, the only time you’ll find me planting myself in front of a camera for a Selfie.

But I have this dream, a goal that, from an outsider’s perspective, is laughable–yet I know you’re secretly rooting for me to succeed. I want to routinely film silly music videos with my friends.

Tragically, the stars have not yet aligned for me to accomplish said task. When I find the friends who are eager to partake in this revolutionary entertainment experience with me, we are either geographically isolated or lacking in time or equipment.

But I hold out with hope that this new year in a new place with yet undiscovered friends and adventures will fulfill even my wildest aspirations.

In the meantime, I’ll stick to my prescription of 1980’s music video searches on YouTube to alleviate the anticipatory waiting game. If you’ve not rewarded yourself at the end of an exhausting day with some Journey, Eddie Money or Billy Joel original music videos, it’s high time you do so. The cheesiness is sure to bring a smile to your face.