Hello friends! It’s been a while since my last post. June has been the craziest month!! Grad school things have completely taken over my summer. With training for my intervention, presenting about my intervention, and carrying out the intervention it’s been nothing but go, go, go since June 1st. But I am back with somewhat of a fresh perspective. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to California, 2,453 miles from home. It’s by far the greatest distance I’ve traveled, and probably by far my favorite place that I’ve traveled too. People always say they come back inspired after traveling to new places… (or at least the people I know!) and I think I get it. The feeling like there are no limits and a brand-new understanding of the world around you. I’ve traveled very minimally before…to Chicago, Texas, North Carolina, Florida…and apparently Wisconsin; but never to the west coast. I don’t know how to describe it…but it was great! I appreciated the weather…that was probably my favorite part.
I walked away from my California trip with 4 reminders…4 reminders that I needed and principles that I hope to carry with me
1. Take the Risk, Look Crazy
While I was in California…matter of fact…before I even got to California there was one thing on my list of things to do. There were others of course, but one of the main things I wanted to do was get my picture at the Rose Bowl Stadium…in my Georgia jersey. The stadium was a whole hour from the hotel, but I wanted that picture man. So, I got my picture…Georgia jersey and all. I got dressed at the hotel, obviously; so if you can just imagine me walking through the hotel lobby with an oversized jersey, red and black, and Minnie ears on…yea. Probably not what the other guests or the concierge expected to see that day and I’m sure it didn’t make much sense to them, but it made perfect sense to me. I’m going to Pasadena! If you’re completely lost as to why I wanted to go to the Rose Bowl Stadium and take it picture it’s because my team was there a few months earlier playing for the Natty (Go Dawgs…75 days!!!)…and I’m a crazy, obnoxious Georgia fan so I wanted my picture!! Anyways, when we finally got to the stadium and it was kind of empty…with the exception of the guy watering roses and a few other tourists who were there for like five minutes. Let me tell you, that guy watering roses probably watche me do 30 jumps and 10 other poses to get my picture…LOL. I’m sure he was thinking something along the lines of what is this girl doing? I’m sure it didn’t make much sense to him at all; but again, it made perfect sense to me. I bet I looked so silly to the people at the hotel and to the guy watering roses, but I got what I came there for. I’m reminded of times in my life before where I was afraid of looking silly and not taking the risk to get something I truly wanted. Even with this blog, I’m sure I look so silly to people and they don’t understand at all what I’m doing; but it makes perfect sense to me. This is something I truly enjoy doing. Aside from this blog, and just thinking about all my goals and dreams…am I willing to look silly for it and take the risk? I never know when I’ll go back to California, likewise I never know when another opportunity will present itself in the pursuit of my dreams.
2. Behind the Scenes is a lot Different
If I could just find a place in Georgia with California’s weather, I’d be set for life! However, I will tell you that the LA area is not at all what I thought it would be. TV definitely hyped it up and made it look more glamorous than it actually was. The tour guide kept warning us saying, “I know it’s not the cleanest place…” in reference to Hollywood Boulevard. In my head I’m just thinking, “Girl what are you talking about…it can’t be that bad.” Now it wasn’t as bad as she was making it seem…but it wasn’t like what you see on TV. There was a lot going on. It was not vibrant, and spacious, and ritzy like Basketball Wives LA makes it seem haha. I most certainly could have been in the wrong part of LA, but either way it was much different from the image I had in my head. Such is life, with what I see on social media and just media in general. I blogged a little about this here, but I often get so mesmerized by what so and so does when I have no idea what their reality looks like. The grass was not as green as I expected it to be in LA, but all TV would have me wanting to move there. Social media is the same. We always see the good and think, “that’s exactly where I want to be!” but in reality, we’d be doing really good to enjoy the things we already have. For the record, I think Atlanta is so much better than LA. Sorry LA people.
3. Be the Only One
At the conference (the real reason I went to California), I was the only foods and nutrition person. I was completely surrounded by plant people. I know nothing about plants other than the fruits and vegetables we eat are plants. So, I definitely felt out of place. They were using so many garden terms and plant names. Ya girl was so confused! I actually had hesitations about going to the conference at all. Before I left someone said the sweetest thing to me, “You have to remember you are the nutrition expert.” It really stuck with me. It wasn’t a terrible experience. At the end of the day I could give them a new perspective…about foods and nutrition. I’m reminded to always venture out to meet new people. Don’t just surround yourself with those who have the same views and values as you. You’ll never learn anything about life that way.
4. God Equips You for Every Good Work
The most amazing thing that happened on this trip was God! If you follow me on my other social media accounts, then you already heard this story. BUT….I have a terrible fear of public speaking. It so bad and you’d think I would have gotten over it given all the speaking I have to do in grad school. We have presentations in almost every class, in front of the department, and not to mention I had to give lectures as a TA. Even so, the fear was still there. Except this time I was led to Disneyland to speak. It was a super incredible opportunity…. like who’s going to turn down California and Disney? Not I! So I ended up speaking in a rather large room behind a podium with a large screen…and not that many people. I was still nervous with only a few people, but the important part of this story is the period of time leading up to that moment. I was a wreck!! My nerves were shot. Before public speaking, my mind gets so psyched out that I actually start to make myself sick. That morning, I literally (no exaggeration) felt like I was going to throw up. My stomach was pretty empty since I didn’t eat much the night before…so nothing actually came up, but I hate that feeling. Sorry if that’s TMI, but I wanted to give you an idea of the level of distress. Not only was my stomach in nots, but I also wanted to cry that morning. I stood in front of the mirror trying to give myself pep talks, but the tears were flowing (no exaggeration). There was no running from this though…I had to face it. So, I said my prayers…put on my music…put on a dress…some lipstick and headed to the venue. I ate two bites of a banana that morning. Food is honestly the farthest thing from my mind when the nerves kick in. So not only was I mentally psyched, physically ill because of it…but my blood sugar was probably way low. By the grace of God…I did that presentation.
But this time talking in front of people was different…I was nervous at first, yes…but the words just started to flow. Not at all like how I practiced…but much better. The people in the room said I did a great job. And usually I don’t believe people when they tell me that after a speaking, but this time I think it actually went well. In the days and even moments before I took the podium God repeatedly whispered to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…I will give you the words to say. I didn’t bring you here for you to fail.” God is so faithful!! That day was probably the best I have ever spoken in front of people. This California trip was the reassurance I needed that God is always with me! I’m reminded of Hebrews 13:21…He has truly equipped me for everything good for doing His Will. I’m excited to see where God leads me next and all that He has to show me.
I hope these 4 things have resonated with you in some way. Please comment, share, and like.