Story #30: End of Story.

Story #30: End of Story.

JK! The party continues!

I would like for this to be the beginning of something, rather than the end. This is the completion of my 30 days of story. I continue to enjoy the writing process and feel that I have really flexed this writing muscle.

One of the most meaningful aspects of posting 30 stories over the last month has been connecting with so many different people. I love hearing from you! I have gotten comments, emails, texts, and even phone calls (!!) from friends referencing a post and what it meant to them. This ability for us to connect through our stories was the main point of this exercise and of this blog in general. I am happy to say that it has been extremely successful in my eyes.

My greatest struggle in writing and posting to a blog is that judgment creeps in and I begin to ask myself “what’s the point?” In the long run, I would like to continue to connect to my community and add value to people’s lives. I want to write about things that are useful to others. Has reading any of these stories helped you in some way? Please share which one has and how (in the comments below or shoot me an email at lara at larabuelow dot com).

Posts will continue with 1 article per week. XOXO ❤ LB

 

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Story #29: Erotic Fiction

Story #29: I wanted to write an Erotic Fiction novel.

In 2012, I was doing a lot of soul searching. Wait a minute… haha sorry, deja vu for a second there. In 2012 I was reading a ton of blogs, doing a lot of passion project exploration, and working on a blog that I maintained for one full year. I based the blog on an extensive list of goals, originally 26 goals by my 26th birthday, and then the 27×27. I am list and goal obsessed, so this structured worked really well for me.

One of my goals was to explore something sexy. I checked this goal off in at least 3 different ways. One of those ways was by reading erotic fiction and then attending a book release party by the author of the Boudoir Bible. Here’s a clip from my last blog:

My sharable “explore something sexy” goal is that I read an erotic novel and attended a book talk by the author of the Boudoir Bible. Lightning struck on this one. I had a conversation with a friend about the Claiming of Sleeping Beauty and was so intrigued by the premise of the book that I went out and bought it. Reading erotic fiction was exciting, as you can imagine, so I got through it in a reasonable time frame. However, there was no accountability here, only fodder for my own ideas. Reading the novel inspired me to look up erotic literature events in San Francisco, which lead me to Betony Vernon’s talk about the Boudoir Bible that was being hosted the day after I discovered it. I blindly jumped at the opportunity (having no idea who she was) and showed up. Lightning and the magical cosmos inspired action? I’m so glad I attended.

Even though I enjoyed the Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, I found that it left a lot to be desired. Since I was getting really into writing, I thought that perhaps I should try my hand at writing my own erotic novel. The ones that I found felt a bit hokey and I think there is still plenty of room to write good sexy books for men and women alike.

I haven’t written any erotic stories or even continued my search for satisfying erotic novels. If you know of any, I would love to hear about them! And though it isn’t in the cards for me at the moment, perhaps some day I will pursue this idea. This is one of the more entertaining ideas I’ve come up with in brainstorming sessions of creative projects. A real challenge on several levels!

Would you like to write a novel in your lifetime? What kind of book can you imagine writing? What books do you like to read? Favorite fiction novel?

XO ❤ LB

 

Story #28: Stuck in Limbo.

Story #28: Stuck in Limbo. And totally slacking off because of it.

As we (my man and me) wait to hear back from medical schools, I find myself abstaining from further commitment to things (especially to art projects). I have made many big changes and big moves in my life, so I recognize the pattern. The pattern of loving and then hating the city you live in. It’s like fighting with someone right before they are going somewhere to make the separation easier. It is the cycle of waiting for a life-altering event and planning everything around it despite the lack of certainty. I am trying to embrace these patterns, bite my teeth into them. There’s a feeling of relief, allowing myself to sink into the “go with the flow” mentality. I don’t want to push too hard to pursue huge projects before potentially uprooting my entire life.

And yet, there’s the disappointment and the frustration, too.

I DO have plans that are going to happen one way or another. I have ideas and projects that I want to bring to fruition. It feels like every break, even just a few days away from art, cause the momentum to slow. It’s a bit like pushing a large boulder across a minimal slope, when it hasn’t picked up quite enough speed to keep rolling on its own. But I suppose that’s much of any business in the first 5 years.

I am hoping to paint 1-5 murals over the summer and I look forward to doing so. These are currently the projects I am most looking forward to because they allow me to collaborate with friends and to visit different places. I am also still applying to certain shows and turning down others.

It’s hard because the lack of definite plans means that I may not be around to install or de-install a show. I am continuously reminded of the colossal task that moving is. It’s easier if you can do it with one bag, but I’m not living the minimalist lifestyle anymore! Have you ever done that? Moved to a a new city/state/country with just one bag?

It certainly is a freeing experience – abandoning the majority of your possessions. I try to KonMari the shit out of my life on a regular basis. That is also an emotional and physical undertaking that should not be underestimated. However, the idea of building a home in a new city increases my attachment to the things I have acquired here in San Francisco over the past several years.

This limbo state is showing me exactly where my enthusiasm lies. Being in the “who knows” territory lends a blasè attitude towards anything you aren’t crazy about. And this is why I am so happy and grateful that I signed up for this professional coaching program. It’s like having a good book in your back pocket. Stuck at a train station? No problem, I’ve got this awesome book! Stuck in the great unknown of infinity? Bring it on!

But it’s not infinity. It’s sometime between now (like right now) and mid-August. Damn you medical schools! Damn You! I like to say that this application process verges on psychological torture. You mean we could MOVE and JAC could start classes and then UCLA could call us back home in August? Jesus Christ.

OK, that’s enough ranting about the medical schools. My enthusiasm lies with painting, this blog, and my coaching program. I am excited to spend quality time with YOU, and you, and you! This is a great time of year to appreciate all that San Francisco has to offer. And the thought of moving lights a fire under my ass to organize a garage sale or sell all my crap on craigslist.

Also… I can’t move with ALL my art, so if you want to make me an offer on any of my pieces (see Instagram or come over for a coffee or whiskey!)… Just Sayin’!

Speaking of which, I have an art opening next Friday, May 5th, at City Art Gallery. 828 Valencia Street. I will have new paintings on display for sale!

Or maybe you just would rather indulge me in a complimentary coaching session? You can be my guinea pig. My treat 😉 lara at lara buelow dot com is where you can reach me.

Yours floating around in limbo space, XO ❤ LB

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Story #27: Naked Counseling.

Story #27: Naked Counseling. Yes, it’s a thing.

Here is the third post on weight and body image. This story builds on my experience with Interchange Counseling Institute, which I wrote about recently. After several months of counseling and training, you get the amazing opportunity to participate in a Naked Counseling evening.

Since it is completely optional, it is an additional two to three hours after a long day of coaching. At the time, I had never heard of such a thing. Yet I wasn’t turned off by it in the slightest. Quite the opposite, I was intrigued. My interest was piqued and despite being nervous, I was committed to the experience from the beginning.

Here is something else that I could write an entirely separate story about: my family is German and the culture around bodies is very different there. This has shown up in numerous ways throughout my life that have been important in shaping who I am today. However, it hasn’t just been a naked party with daisies and butterflies and shit. My experience in America is that nudity is mostly offensive and not OK. The contrast and the conflict of these two worlds coming together is perhaps another post to be written.

My main point: I was raised in a household that is body-positive and that was neutral and comfortable with nudity. Nudity was not sexualized or demonized. It’s how you were born and it’s how everyone is all the time under their clothes (gasp!) We’ve got the same parts and the more you make it a mystery or damning, the more confused people get. For some cultural history, you can read about the Freikörperkultur (Free Body Culture) in Germany and how it has influenced the country.

Also, this is super random, but the first thing you get when you google Freikörperkultur is this dance video. You’re Welcome.

According to this blog post from 2011, the FKK has been seeing a decline in nudity and its acceptability… to me, this is an example of the conservatism currently sweeping across the world. Personally, I think we would all be better off doing some naked counseling and chilling the hell out.

OK, back to the story. Once our giant conference room had all the windows draped and taped over, we were told how the evening would go down. We would be divided into groups of approximately 8 people. As a group, we would come up with a ritual and process of undressing. This process would be performed in the center of all the other groups (large circle of everyone, one group in the middle performing). The only requirement is that ALL clothes would have to be in the middle of your mini group circle at the end of your ritual. Then the group collects their clothes and returns to the larger circle. Then the next group goes.

Everyone ends up naked standing in a giant circle.

This is a beautiful thing. We then take a full 30 seconds to laugh, squirm, and make all the ridiculous noises and movements to discard nervous energy and awkwardness. Next we get a full 2 minutes of silence to stand around and stare at each other. And while you may be cringing at the thought of this, it might be in my top 10 most amazing experiences (that just came to me, but it feels accurate.) It’s a peaceful and powerful experience to stand safely in a room, naked with others, who are gathered to increase their love and acceptance of each other and themselves.

After the ceremony is over, you split into your groups and go to your corner of the room to do smaller sessions. At this point, people can volunteer or request sessions to be counseled on body image and acceptance. At this point, I became an observer, as there were lots of people interested in getting coached. However, I loved the experience. I have to say that it makes me genuinely happy knowing that a group of this size can come together, get naked, and then do a very focused activity. If everyone is naked, it’s not even a thing anymore. Eventually, it falls away. You are simply present.

I know and understand, and now have witnessed! – how uncomfortable this is for other people. I was giddy with excitement to put it plainly. Again, if everyones doing it, then you all share the experience and it doesn’t have to carry the weight of judgement and sex. However, it clearly is not for everyone. This is something that I love about San Francisco. This is an opportunity that exists here and there are people in the world who do this work if you feel called to transform your perceptions of your body and others. And then there’s always Burning Man.

Yours in nakedness and acceptance, XO ❤ LB

Story #26: Those shorts make you look fat.

Story #26: “Those shorts make you look fat.” They announced in front of everyone.

I asked for feedback from people reading this blog, asking what you might like to read more about. Someone requested that I write about an embarrassing experience and how it has informed who I am today. I did a brainstorming session and came up with several ideas, but I don’t find them very satisfying. I thought about crying in middle school, messing up at a volley ball game, losing my virginity (who doesn’t want to hear that one?), being rejected when I asked someone to make out, laughing inappropriately, and this one time, when someone announced that my shorts made me look fat.

I guess I’ll have a slough of 3 body blog posts. Yesterday’s was about eating my feelings. Today will be about being called fat. Tomorrow will be about naked counseling. This was not an intentional theme. It’s simply panning out that way, so I’m gonna roll with it.

I will tell this story in a brief and basic format because I’m still connected to some of these people and I don’t want to call anyone out right now. Here’s the story in a nutshell –

I was participating in a fitness event, so we were all gathering together to talk about logistics or stretching or whatever. There I was, in a big group of friends and strangers alike and the group captain is giving some kind of announcement. I wasn’t really paying attention, I was sorting something out over in my corner, so MAYBE it was to get my attention, but who knows – all of a sudden I can hear this man’s booming voice declaring to everyone that my shorts make me look fat. I turned and across the sea of people saw his arm outstretched, pointing at me.

Honestly, I missed the context so I don’t know if I might have just been the victim of a joke. Regardless, there I was, in front of 30 plus people being told that my bright pink shorts made me look fat. I was so stunned and dumbfounded that I just laughed nervously (which I do often enough anyway). I stood flushed and embarrassed and the meeting went on.

Personally, fat jokes have never resonated with me. I find them cruel, unusual, and really passive aggressive. This happened a few years back and sticks out in my memory as a classic teen magazine story. So how has this informed who I am today?

Because I spend only spend 20-60 minutes writing these posts, I won’t launch into girls, women, and feminist issues around body image and fat shaming. I will share that it deeply hurt my feelings to see and hear this person say that I looked fat, especially in front of so many people. He probably was making some kind of joke, at my expense. I think all of us humans have enough damage and shame around our bodies. If you know me, know this: I am hugely ANTI BODY SHAMING.

You and your body are here to be loved. As fully loved as possible.

Despite considering myself liberal, open, and probably much more body-loving than many – I think my trend has become more conservative over the years. Yes, as a direct result of experiences such as this one. I’m not bullet proof and doing body confidence work takes a lot of practice.

I don’t want to become more conservative. I want to be more confident. I want to wear sexy clothes and feel good about it. I want to wear hot pink shorts and say “fuck you” to people who make stupid comments about how I look.

In recent times,  this experience has informed me of the work that remains to be done. How can I prepare myself for situations such as this one? How can I be an ally when it happens to someone else? How can I prepare myself to call others out on their shit? I would love love love to be ready and confident to stand up for myself and others. This is the most important message for me at the moment. How can I stand up for myself and for you? How can I be the change that I want to see in this world?

What’s one of your embarrassing moments? What did you learn?

Yours in hot pink shorts giving zero fucks, XO ❤ LB

 

Story #25: I eat my feelings.

Story #25: I eat my feelings. Because they are so delicious!

I wish that were the case. I am a long time feeling eater. I’ve gained and lost around 20 pounds a few times over the last 15 years. I am happy to say that I’ve learned a lot about myself and my body (and continue to do so). For example, I know that starving myself doesn’t work for me. Not even a little bit. The consequences are frightening, actually (think cookie monster with pizza). However, allowing myself to get hungry and really experiencing the sensation of hunger is very important. I get hangry, so I like eating on a regularly basis or at least when I feel real hunger. I won’t skip meals if I’m hungry. But if I’m feeling full or satisfied without appetite, why force it?

I have come to realize that if I am not allowing myself to get to the point of hunger and if I haven’t heard the growl of my belly in a few days, chances are I’m not feeling good about myself. This goes hand in hand with wanting to feel satisfied when I am done eating, but if I’ve over done it and feel stuffed then it’s no bueno.

I am a sensitive person who experiences a wide range of emotions fairly intensely. While I have people in my family who run the eating gamut (everything from anorexics to overeaters), I tend to fall more on the over-eating side. I really love food. I am susceptible to seasonal depression, so if it’s cold and cloudy, call me for tea and plenty of cookies.

Anyway, I’ve tried almost everything that most women have for weight loss. I have been gluten free, dairy free, paleo, starved myself in high school, I tried the 5:2 diet, work out more, work out less, tried to not eat sweets, etc. Here’s something else I have learned: not eating any sweets takes the joy out of my life. So that’s not a viable solution for me. Though these days I have a better grip on moderation.

While diet changes give you more information about your body and relationship to food, I personally have found that I have to figure out a better relationship to my feelings to sort out the diet part. One of the greatest contributors to understanding my body has been my mindfulness practice. Meditation has helped me identify my feelings versus physical sensations and how the two influence each other. This practice has also helped me flex my patience muscle, which in turn helps me slow down and relax around meals.

I can be very territorial around my food. I blame part of this on my birth order (third kid out of four, middle of the girls). Slowing down and chilling the f**k out is therefore a great practice for me. I tell myself: “Remember! There’s enough for everyone. Sharing is caring. And maybe if you share, they’ll be willing to give you some of their dessert!”

If you like reading self help-y stuff or are looking for a fresh angle on weight management that doesn’t involve dieting per se, I would recommend reading Danielle LaPort‘s Desire Map and Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth. Those two spring to mind when I think about emotional eating. I spent a lot of time with both books while I read them. They helped me change my mind set around my emotional needs and around eating.

I’d also like to recommend following my friend and former co-worker, Kristen Newman (this is her on twitter). She is a master of fitness and strength, plus women’s empowerment in the funkiest of ways. She’s wicked smart and shares lots of good cat videos.

I have to say that I am currently quite satisfied with my weight and am enjoying my body. Life goals!!! Check. But I know that the only constant with my body is change. My weight rarely feels stable, while my appetite rages on. 😉

What’s the worst dieting experience you’ve ever had? Have you had any great dieting experiences? Share with me!

XOXO ❤ LB

P.S. I love pizza.

Story #24: I am becoming a certified coach.

Story #24: I have signed up for a ten month training program called iPEC to become a fully certified life and business coach.

I have only shared this with my family and a handful of friends. This is the second coaching program I have undertaken over the past four years. Back in 2012 a friend recommended Interchange Counseling Institute in San Francisco as program for me to check out. She had done work with Interchange through a company and found it informative at work and in her personal life. Knowing what a self help nerd I am, she thought it was potentially a good fit for me.

After attending an information session, I eagerly signed on to the Interchange program. At that point in my life I was asking myself for the first time if I should pursue a graduate degree and if yes, in what. I hoped that Interchange would help me answer that question. I was considering becoming a coach and looking into counseling or psychology masters programs. While Interchange helped me do an incredible amount of work on myself and to flex my counseling muscle, it didn’t quite satisfy my business interests. When I finished the program, I knew that I would not pursue a psychology degree and did not feel prepared to set up a coaching business. I stepped away from this area to transition into a few other jobs I was juggling at the time and to move into San Francisco.

/// Please write to me if you would like to discuss Interchange in more detail. It’s an excellent program that I have recommended to others. If you want more details on that experience, I am happy to share. ///

I was not expecting to re-enter the coaching arena as a business prospect. You could have asked me in January and I would not have been talking about setting up my own life and business coaching practice. However, the pieces were in place and the seeds have long been planted. I have been working with a coach on my art and business since October of 2016 and a good friend of mine recently started a coaching program and has been discussing it with me at great length.

Our conversations around coaching and hearing about his experiences have re-ignited old possibilities. And perhaps my art endeavors have allowed me to imagine all that is possible in life. Over a period of about two or three weeks, all of these aspects came together and lead me to registering for the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). After in depth online research and several phone calls, I found out that if I signed up, I could get started just a few days later. My excitement at this possibility had me bouncing off the walls (eyes shut, fists pumping the air, “yes yes yes!”)

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I made the leap.

The first weekend was challenging for me and I questioned my decision. I am an incredibly impulsive person, which I like to think means I’m highly intuitive and I know what I like. So when I’m excited about something, I’m a YES woman. However, we all know that this doesn’t always lead to desirable results and sometimes it’s better to be a bit more calculated. But this ain’t my first rodeo. Now with a month under my belt with iPEC, I’m fully committed to the program and incredibly pleased with their business resources.

I am looking forward to balancing my coaching practice and my art practice –> the art continues! I am excited to work with guinea pigs (friends/acquaintances) for my coaching biz. And I’m curious to see how my art transforms as I do my coaching work over the next several months. I am already unearthing juicy emotional ammo that is eager to find its place on the canvas. Keep those eyeballs peeled!

What’s your experience with life and business coaches? Ever had one? Are you one? If you had someones undivided attention for one hour what would you want to talk about?

XOXO ❤ LB

Story #23: Time to Face Fear.

Story #23: Time to Face Fear.

I have come up with long lists of things to write about for my month of story. With 7 days left, I am having a hard time choosing topics that I am excited about. So I am thinking about my funniest experiences, things that I am proud of, and things that I would be the most scared of posting. This list makes me very nervous.

And because it terrifies me so, I am challenging myself to write at least 5 posts that make me uncomfortable. At the end of April, I will wrap up my month of story with a posting schedule for the future and what I’ve learned over the past 30 days. Between now and then, I want to face some of my fear and publish some things that make me feel vulnerable (Ack!)

This is kind of a gup post because I’m not really sharing anything that scary, just warning you that it’s coming! 😉 Though the mere mention of it is making my palms sweat. I have found over and over again that sharing my writing is much scarier for me than it is to share my artwork. If I find an artwork and a written piece of work of equal value (I don’t know what scales of comparison I’m talking about here, just my feelings), then I am still much more nervous to share the written piece than the visual piece.

Reading and judging someone’s writing seems to me to be a judgement of intellect and perhaps more of an objective call (not exactly, though). While looking at and judging a painting seems more personal and subjective. I don’t think I am right in these thoughts, it’s simply what I have observed inside my self. And this is why writing a blog can prove quite challenging to me, but may also lend to the feeling of accomplishment that it brings.

My dream is to hear from those of you who have been following along or who are reading this now to tell me what you get out of reading my blog and what you would like me to write about. Please let me know if you have any thoughts, questions, or ideas for a post in the remaining week. You can email me at lara at larabuelow dot come. Or maybe you have some thoughts on sharing writing versus art? Let me know!

XOXO

Story #22: I am terrible at surfing. But I love it.

Story #21: I am terrible at surfing. But I love it.

I learned how to surf when I was living in Perth, Western Australia. I attended high school there for 6 months and surfing was an option for PE. Pretty cool!!! Even the kids there assumed that I already knew how to surf because I lived in California. “Don’t you surf to school?” they would ask. How crazy would that be, to surf your way to school?

I signed up for the surf class. It began once or twice a week at 6am at a beach on the other side of town from where I lived. Because I had a drivers license, I was allowed to drive in Australia. Their driving age is 18, so this was very unusual and made me quite popular. You also drive on the other side of the road, which made me nervous and definitely took some getting used to.

I would drive myself to the surfing class and then drive to school. This may have been the only time I seriously screwed up which side of the road I was driving on. I remember some car passing me and honking like mad. I guess my brain was still sleeping because it took me a moment to figure out why they were freaking out. Lucky for me that it was so early in the morning and there were practically no cars on the road (or maybe that’s why it happened? It’s much easier to follow traffic…)

Learning to surf in Australia was beautiful and fun. I was in a group of awesome girls and we all got to play in the most perfect baby waves on a white sand beach. It solidified my love for surfing immediately.

After leaving Australia, I barely surfed at all. Every once and and a while I would surf in Santa Cruz or when I happened to be traveling through a beach town. I didn’t have any friends who surfed and didn’t want to commit to buying the equipment. It wasn’t until I had been living in San Francisco for two whole years (about 10 years after living in AU) that I finally bit the bullet and fully committed to surfing.

My wonderful friend of many years was living and surfing in San Francisco regularly. She invited me out to Pacifica and I rented gear. We spent several hours surfing and it was the best! Why did I wait so long to get back to surfing!? I purchased a suit and eventually found a used board. We had surf dates every Thursday morning regardless of the weather. Sometimes if the surf was too big or insane, we would just go have coffee and breakfast. We would stare at the ocean and give each other high five’s for getting up at 5am to come surf.

The first time I took my own board out we went to Ocean Beach. It was the most beautiful clear sunrise over the city with the most calm 3-4 foot waves. I have only seen Ocean Beach with these conditions a hand full of times. We were having a blast in the water, when a fin caught my eye. “Maria! Dolphins!” I yelled. She looked at me and said “How do you know they’re dolphins?” My heart skipped a beat.

They were dolphins.

A whole pod of dolphins surrounded us, some even had babies. They swirled around us, catching waves and darting around. They made multiple loops, leaving and returning to our spot. It was exhilarating. I was scared, but felt that I was in exactly the right spot at the right time. That was one of the best surf sessions ever.

My love affair with surfing continues. It helped me start making art again after 2 years of inconsistent drawing. It became the inspiration for the Mtn Series, allowing me to explore imagery from past experiences, as well as present ones, and to meditate on human’s relationship to time. Surfing is something that I am not particularly good at, but is an activity that brings me so much joy. I want to cultivate this attitude of joy and acceptance of the process simply as it is. That is what surfing is to me.

Surfing is permission to be awful. And have fun anyway. It’s permission to have complete beginners mind and body. It’s accepting showing up exactly as you are. Surfing can be calm and relaxing and it can be wild and terrifying. It has faced me with all sides of my self.

Surfing is also the perfect excuse to be somewhere without a cellphone. There’s nothing quite like bobbing around in the ocean, seeing the land from the perspective of the sea, watching time go by…

What’s an activity that you’re awful at but enjoy anyway? Or what’s something you would love to learn? Write to me about it, I would love to hear from you.

XOXO ❤ LB

Story #21: My boyfriend and I met when I hired him.

Story #21: My boyfriend (JAC) and I met when I hired him.

It’s his birthday today, so this post is a way for me to celebrate him. He’s celebrating at his best friends bachelor party today. I’ll only get to celebrate him in spirit for now.

I didn’t actually meet him when I hired him. We met when he came into the gym (SFCF) to get additional information about becoming a member. I was having a bad day and struggling to maintain a “happy face” for clients. Our gym is in an old beautiful warehouse style building in the Presidio, so we always have the doors open. This means that I was always freezing and ended up wearing multiple layers everyday, which lead to me looking like a homeless person. I adopted a pair of large men’s sweatpants that I could wear on top of what whatever pants I was already wearing. Then I would put on my yellow down sweatshirt and pull the hood up. I looked like a giant puffy burrito.

I was answering emails and dealing with administrative work between classes on the schedule. I could hear someone come in looking for help. My boss was sitting on the couch near the entrance and sent him in my direction. We had already exchanged several emails, though I did not know this initially. I was cringing already when I heard my boss send him my way. I didn’t feel like playing nice and was being interrupted for the millionth time.

He walked over and asked “are you Lara?”

I, begrudgingly, approached the front desk, trying to claw my way out of whatever dark hole I was stewing in. I would like to attribute burn out and customer service overload to my foul mood. We entered a familiar conversation (to me) that included the potential for discounts or work opportunities in exchange for membership. This was a bad day for this initial meeting – I was fed up with the number of hand-outs people were requesting and the lack of due diligence of those approaching small businesses. This is no excuse for my rudeness or curt responses, simply an explanation and way to illustrate the scene.

JAC likes to tell the version of the story where I blatantly demand “did you read the website?” after his request for more information about potential discounts or work opportunities. Who knows what words were truly exchanged, we’ve re-told the story enough times now that I’m sure we’ve rewritten history. It’s likely those words did leave my lips at some point – this was a way for me to gauge what information the person was already familiar with and what they might still want to know. So if I did say this in a cold way, it was unintentional, as my mood clearly got the best of me and I was trying to figure out where JAC was at.

Turns out this was the right question to ask regardless of my tone. Why? Because he then revealed that he had read the entire website and brought up that we had already exchanged multiple emails. Well, why didn’t you say so!?

I believe we’re on the same page about the change in tone and body language with this new information brought to light. I recalled our emails and reassured him that while there were not currently any opportunities available, I would contact him if and when they did. His polite and friendly demeanor did not go unnoticed – I tipped him off that we were potentially creating some new front desk positions in the new future and I would try to keep him notified about the job. I even noted to adopt his positive energy and spread it around.

Two months later we were hiring for the position and invited JAC to interview. My boss and I were getting comfortable on the couch when JAC waltzed through the door wearing a suit! Working in a gym, we all lived in our workout clothes. Like I said, I basically dressed in layers of old sweatpants (so sexy, I know!) So I was floored to see someone in pressed attire. Enjoying the professional enthusiasm JAC was bringing to the table, I shouted “You’re Hired!”

Needless to say, he was hired shortly after. We worked side by side for a full year. JAC put in his two week notice when he got a job working as a tissue recovery technician in Southern California. He had acquired tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for free from a friend and when I heard about it I told him he had to go because it’s an awesome, magical place. Then he asked me if I wanted to go. “Uhhh, YEA.”

We spent the day in Monterey and have been together ever since. Turns out our initial meeting did not ruin his impression of me. He did moved to Long Beach for his job, so we did long distance for nine months. Now we live together, just celebrated our 2 year anniversary and are waiting to hear where he–>WE are going to medical school. The adventure continues!!!

How did you meet your best friend or partner? Tell me! I love these creation stories.

❤ ❤ ❤ Happy Birthday to the BIGGEST #BABEATTACK of my life! ❤ ❤ ❤