Stop Saying 2016 Was Bad

Yep. I typed it. Out loud. And I will give you all a few minutes to delete me out of fury before we move on to other sentences.

I’ll start by saying that I fully recognize some REALLY crappy things happened on 2016. Good people died. Politics made us rethink what the living heck is actually happening here. Personally, I went through another set of “I really like him” moments, only to be disappointed. I found myself in other situations I never thought I would be in and I watched my gran die.

But, it wasn’t the worst year ever. It wasn’t worse than the year(s) millions of Jews were sent to their demise. It wasn’t the year that we lost 4,000 people from planes crashing into buildings. Once again, not discounting terrible things that did happen this year (so don’t start typing your hate letters just yet).

I’m also not lessening other’s interpretations of “worst”, either. If you feel it, it’s valid. Whether I agree with it or not. All I am saying is that for the majority of us, it wasn’t the worst and here’s why…..

  1. If you’re reading this, you’re still breathing. And I don’t care how awful life may be for you, if you’re breathing, that means there is a chance for it to get better.screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-8-33-12-pm
  2. If number one is applicable, and you really think it was the worst, then you are also in a position to affect change (and I’m pretty proud to say I have lots of friends out there who are forces to be reckoned with in this area).  If my dad were here, he would give me about 5 minutes worth of a pity party (or maybe one gripe on social media) and then he would expect me to figure out what I’m going to do next to move from where I’m at.  And sadly, I never realized how lucky I am to have had him be that way with me, til he was gone.  If you’re passionate about some of the terrible things that went on this year, use that passion to do something (besides post online) to contribute to making that terrible thing a little bit better.  screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-8-31-44-pm
  3. No matter how terribly you took it that celebrities died or that the election didn’t go your way, there is someone out there who had it way worse than you (insert any Aleppo photo here).  So if those two things were really the only awful things that happened to you (and I’m just as guilty as the next of jumping on some of those meme bandwagons – and I believe in the protection of Betty White) – then it still wasn’t the worst.  And before you jump on the election tirade, please refer to number two.screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-8-35-23-pm
  4. There is always still good.  You just have to find it.  And you have to want to seek it out more than you want to cave to the ease of jumping on the bad bandwagon.  We all know how easy it is for viewpoints to be skewed or for only certain things to be placed in front of us via tv or social media…….so if that’s too much for you, make a conscious effort to seek out the good.  I thought about making it even easier for you by placing some links here of “the good stuff” (start with the World Series documentary)….but that would defeat the whole challenge of you making yourself acknowledge good.  And a little leg work never hurt any of us.  I’ll gladly list my personal “good” from the year though, because I need to do my own reflecting of just how good I have it despite the world telling me that I don’t. How about we all get a little more purposeful in following, finding, happening upon good people and good things.  Keep following the bad too, for all I care, but if you’re going to grow at all, challenge yourself to sprinkling in a few good finds and see if over time, that doesn’t chisel away some of that bitter 2016 chip on your shoulder. If you have no desire to do anything but wallow in the misery that you have chosen to associate with, then we have nothing further to discuss, really.  🙂 screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-8-36-15-pm

So.  There it is.  I said it.  Since I’m used to not being the most popular for what I say, it probably won’t be a shock to me if this isn’t received well.  But, it had to be said (or typed). I appreciate a sarcastic meme, joke or calling out of things just as much as the next social media junkie.  I realize that some post in jest and truly don’t feel like this was the worst year ever.  But, there are some of you out there that are truly paralyzed in the belief that this was it, it was the most terrible year ever.  And we need you to get unparalyzed quick-like so that we can have more good! 🙂  If you truly have the belief, then I hope that you passionately commit to making sure your corner of 2017 is better than the last year.

I refuse to let 2017 be a year where my feed is filled with anger and hate and all the bad feels.  I will gladly support and encourage (and make glittery signs of support) all of those who, even though they don’t agree with me, are using their anger to fuel a fire of making a difference and taking ACTION in any part of their lives.  I’ll just be over here working on my own refinement in trying to be a better human, trying to smile more and listen more and trying to make sure that should I die tomorrow, that people know my heart only had love left.  That last part alone is going to keep me busy enough that I shouldn’t have time to worry about whether Sally voted for Hillary or Trump and if that decision means I can have coffee with her.

Love and peace!

Oh, and here are my highlights from the year!

  • Had the most perfect “faux daughter” in the form of a high school foreign exchange student (til she had to leave me in June)img_8740
  • NEW YORK CITY for my birthday/spring break!!
  • Spain!!!!!!!!!!!!! The most incredible trip of my life! Plus, I survived a near plane crash :p
  • DOLLY PARTON concert!!!! And friends who embrace my obsession for her!
  • New friends that come with neon signs of “we were meant to cross paths so that you’ll see that you need to cut that other part of your life loose”
  • Growth in my career (and getting the best boss ever) – despite saying “orgasmic” in a meeting with the president of our company :pimg_1325
  • Standing up to someone and seeing their true colors in a situation where, even though I might not be right, I didn’t allow their words to send me backwards.  I still hope to visit her in her glass house someday, but I’m also pretty proud to see personal growth (this one isn’t as glamorous for you to read as it is for me to look back on – and that’s ok).
  • Seeing my mom find true happiness and blossom into the most happy person I have seen in a long time.img_2142
  • Best World Series ever! (even if you didn’t like either team) This event alone should’ve brought you a little glimmer of hope and made you happy about life, for at least the week that it was happening!img_7194
  • Countless work travel.  Even though it was a lot of time away from home and in hotels (which oddly enough is really the only true gym time I “enjoyed” over the year), It took me out of my comfort zone and afforded me meeting some pretty cool new people, with some pretty neato stories and lives!
  • One of my very best friends moving back and settling “back home” – her open home, open arms, open ears and adventures with her cool kiddos have been the best therapy for me this year!img_6547
  • Learning that cultivating and figuring out who my “core people” are is one of the best exercises I’ve done in a while.  I’m truly loved by people and for the first time in my life I really believe that.  I shutter at the thought of how many years were spent believing in every fiber of me, that nobody truly loved me.  My happy and my smile are sacred and genuine these days!  I have some pretty awesome people to thank for that!

  Fatty McFaterson Is No More

I have struggled lately cause I haven’t seen any big changes recently. But I knew it was my fault for not working as hard the last few weeks. I never care about being “thin”. I just want to be healthier. I truly mean that with everything in me. And being mentally healthy is just as important. Because I can tell you that in some of these before pictures, the ugliest thing about me was the inner struggle much more than the outer appearance issues. It feels SO GOOD to be working hard again and slowing down enough to make wiser choices for myself.


When you see yourself everyday, it’s hard to notice changes when they don’t seem to come in the form of 20 pounds dropping over night. I even noticed that I was falling back into old tricks of trying ridiculous angles on my outfit pics to try and look the smallest. I did not want to do that again. It is SO IMPORTANT to me and at my core to be authentic and real. It’s who I am. So the last thing I wanted to do was start deceiving with my pics. That alone was motivation to get my butt back in gear.
But, when I came home after work today to an apt of teenagers and one who hadn’t seen me in a while made more than one comment about how different I looked, I thought I would go through old pics and make comparisons. Man, am I glad I did. To you, it may not be THAT big of a difference. To me, it’s A WORLD of difference. What is crazier to me is that these comparisons are only from October to now!
 It’s almost a completely different face – less puffy, better complexion…and do you see that happy? Oh the hurt you don’t even know about that was dwelling within me in that top 3rd pic!!!!

 

 It’s a healing difference – even though it had been a couple of months out of a break up in the before pics, there was still SO MUCH anger and hurt. I still get a little angry about it. But the new faces….those are healing faces. Those are faces that are excited about life and that have owned where she is at….determined to be a better than ever face.


Still so far to go. But still so much difference already. I will always be under construction. It’s just so nice to have a different approach to the project lately. Peace, determination, forgiveness of myself (still working on the forgiving the ex part) and the expectation that the new greatness coming, isn’t going to happen overnight…..those are the beautiful descriptions of Alicia 2.37923 😝


I recently had the opportunity to take some really hard truths given to me from a friend and go 400 steps backwards…or finally do something different. The old Alicia would’ve taken the truths spoken and dwelled, cried, ate my emotions and over analyzed for who knows how many days. I would’ve talked to a hundred others trying to get confirmation that those things couldn’t possibly be true. I would’ve decided that I might as well give up on ever being different.

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Instead, I took it to the treadmill and opened a book I never finished about how successful women think differently. And it just so happened that my last bookmark from where I left off was on a segment about strengths and weaknesses. We should be aware of weaknesses within us, but we should concentrate and grow from our strengths…not from constantly trying fix a weakness. Well if that train wasn’t on time, I don’t know what was!!!
See, once again, not a big change to speak of for someone else to read…but a HUGE change for me. i would dare say that it is one of the things I am most proud of in a long time!!
So, THANK YOU for watching me change and being so willing to embrace it and for letting me be me…authentically…and now authentically smaller 🙂

Passion for People

Pardon me for a second while I preach.
Today I had the chance to have a long chat and share my observation and advice to a friend. It was raw conversation. I was told things that made me hurt and angry for my friend. Yet I was also faced with some of my own insecurities and hurt that I like to pretend doesn’t exist. No holding back. It was colorful, blunt, and although I avoided using caps lock, I am certain that there were a few pauses where I looked around waiting for an “AMEN” and “hallujah”.

I am not versed enough in my vocabulary to find the right words to describe what it stirred within me. My heart is still beating fast and furious and the conversation happened over an hour ago. I LOVED IT. I don’t think I have ever allowed myself to admit or accept that I am overly passionate about people until this conversation. And I couldn’t be more excited about it!!! I LOVE PEOPLE. And I want with all that is in me for people to love themselves.

Maybe its because I fought so hard to fall in love with myself. I, of course dont mean “in love” in a cocky “I am God’s gift to the planet” way. I mean in a “you are of value and you have a purpose and a lot to offer the planet” way. Maybe it is because I never want to see someone so broken that they have a melt down at a stop light and can’t physically push the gas pedal to go through. Either way I cannot ignore the passion nor do I want to any longer. I am sick of negative people I know trying to impose their hate and general classifications of people onto me. Hi, my name is Alicia and I genuinely love people and I am so sorry if you don’t. Please take your misery elsewhere.

This is all a constant work in progress. Its a conscious decision that I have to make every single day (and some days I fail miserably at it) to be kind to me. But I know it’s worth the effort. I promise you that I am leaps and bounds better than i was two years ago. And I promise you that if you would exercise kindness and positivity toward yourself a little each day, you would grow leaps and bounds too!

If I were being honest, when I told my friend to rid himself of people who do not bring out the best him, I would have to admit that my stomach turned knowing there are a few people I could stand to get rid of for the same reason (people I consider important in my life currently).

Anyway! That all brings me to this. If I could stand in front of you today with my fired up spirit I would tell you the following. And I would mean it with every fiber of my being even if you were someone I wasn’t typically a fan of. I also recognize after today’s conversation that I owe myself the same talk as much as my friend needed it. Nope. None of this is earth shattering or new news to anyone. What may be new to someone reading this though is the permission to know these things without apology. And I believe that there is some human on the planet that needs to read this in this way. 🙂

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– Be intentional about changing to progress toward a better you. Be honest with yourself that you absolutely cannot continue in the manner that you have.

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– Accept that you will always be a work in progress (Sure I need to lose a few pounds and by few i really mean about fifty. But I can’t be controlled by that solely). But always be “progressive”. Be aware of what you need to work on but never let it control you or hold you back from being awesome.

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– Know that not everyone will understand your work. And they don’t have to. It isn’t for them. If they aren’t a fan of your journey just consider them the coal you need to fuel you forward. 🙂

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– It is NEVER ok to be unkind to yourself. NEVER.

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– Do not create a vicious cycle or fake flaws for yourself. It is dangerous to fall into a cycle of “I will be happy if/when this or that happens”. You start filling voids with material things that are only temporary fills and eventually there is nothing that will ever satisfy you. Sadly that often bleeds into going through one human heart after another and never being satisfied. You create a hurt factory that will have a morning shift and a night shift. And you will wear your own heart out in the process causing you to miss out on something really great.

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-You are no good to anyone else if you are no good to you. And to create lasting friendships with good quality people we have to be good to ourselves. Once again, if you aren’t, you begin filling voids with temporary people.

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-Know that when you slowly destroy your own self worth that you are also robbing the planet of something great. There is something about you that the planet needs and is supposed to get out of you being here. You rob the planet when you don’t share the great in you!

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Of course I could go on and on and you could spend bazillions on books by people who are way better experts than myself. But sometimes we just need to know from another human that it is ok and we all struggle.

If you are in a solid place with yourself, congrats. If you’re watching someone you know go on a journey to change themselves for the better and overcome self hate and insecurity, be kind. Be supportive. Be patient. Be quiet if you have to. But by all means, do not hold up progress. Do not keep someone from becoming a better human. Remove yourself for their own good if you can’t be anything but a hindrance.

You are dismissed 🙂

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When I Win an Oscar…..

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I decided that after watching the awards last night, that should I ever make it to that stage, I could never thank all the necessary people in the incredibly small amount of time they give you. So, I will just randomly start calling out my thank you notations from time to time 🙂

See, I have a dream of standing on stage one day. Maybe not for an Oscar award. But to just talk to people. To use my voice to reach others. Either through comedy or tears :-). Today, I almost threw in the towel after getting my feelings hurt……..

This past weekend was filled with so much!  I enjoyed a fabulous women’s conference with my mom that encouraged us as women to “remove our masks” that we wear.  I signed up for a 21 day detox guided by a personal trainer that is sure to give me a new start physically.  I was challenged to make the next 30 days different by promising to do a few things every day without fail.  This was it.  This was the set of tools I had been waiting for to start “anew”.  I need this.  I know, without a doubt, bigger things are going to happen to me this year than any other year before and this was where it would start.  I was confident.  I was excited.  I was energized.

Then, I was attacked by the enemy.  Almost immediately (I mean, he did give me a good 12 hours in my excitement before showing up).  After someone close to me said some very hurtful things, I was knocked flat on my rear.  All the things I had worked so hard to overcome in my self hate were now being said by someone else.

“Alicia, you need to focus less on you.  You need to give more.  You need to listen to what God is saying to you more closely”……and a host of other things that pierced my spirit.  So, I let out an exhale.  Silly me.  Why would I think I could finally have all my ducks in a row and start something great.

I wasn’t going to start the detox

I wasn’t going to write

I wasn’t going to tell another soul one single thing about me because I don’t want to come across selfish and other stuff that was said.

But. That’s what the enemy wants. That what is needed for the enemy to win. For me to lie down. And it would be a pretty short way to his victory if I laid down after one attack.  And what was said was so contradictory to what I knew.  I was listening to God.  I have been more than ever in my life.  And you know what He has been saying?  “Be still.  Be kinder to yourself.  Focus on you and what you need to deal with so that you can get to a place where I can use you according to my plan for you.  Be still and quiet and truly focus on me and you until you reach the peace I have for you.”  If I know that is what I am supposed to be doing (and I do know with all my heart), then ANYTHING that is brought to the contrary is simply from the enemy.

I think of so many that I know who have so much great to do and how easy it is to be defeated. But we cannot accept what others say about us so easily.

So…here I am anyway. Without my mask. Without any makeup even. With no spanx or contouring magic to make me look thinner…… I am going to write or say what I want. Sometimes it will be funny. Sometimes it will be random (ok most of the time it will be random). Sometimes it will be serious. But it will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be real. Period.

Have a great week!!!!!

Building Your Revolution Army

Hello There World!  Hope you’re having as great of a Sunday as I am!  Check out the latest video below to see what’s going on in revolution land 🙂

Quote of the day:  Our actions are evident of what we care about 😉

Songs I’m loving these days:

Ho Hey – the Lumineers

Try – Pink

Movie Buzz:  Silver Linings Playbook is a MUST MUST MUST see.  As in, stop what you’re doing and figure out a time when you can go see it!!!!

Much love for a great week ahead!