Second Day: Medium Rare

There I was. My green shirt was ironed, and all of my supplies were in my car while driving around Broward County. While approaching the gate phone, it was unclear whether or not I should attempt to see the next client. I thought about calling my manager for back up and realized that it was okay to try. My phone call was met with anger and an abrupt end mid conversation. It was best for me to retreat and reconvene with this situation under guidance. Before my next client, a funeral home came into view. A new stop was added to my list.
My hands searched for my print media prior to letting myself out of the car. I could not remember if this particular audience would even want my services. It was decided that there was nothing for me to lose. My car was already here. Go inside. A warm welcome awaited me on the inside with additional information for me to connect with the funeral director. The chance that gave me a moment of doubt was a success; not because I was able to leave my cards. It was a success because I walked in the door in spite of the doubt.
While driving to the next client, my mind went back to the morning prayer line. The two things that I wrote down were: (1.) Understand where the mindset of the client and (2.) Reach out to your upline. My manager is on standby to answer whenever I call, and if she can’t…I can expect a phone call asap. The next client was difficult to get to due to no parking and a walk on a street without a pathway. Between my white umbrella and the need for physical movement, I made it to the door. It was time for a break. Lunch in my own home was required.
My legs were killing me. Thoughts about quitting because this wasn’t for me were running rampant. I understand why people maintain desk jobs that drive them insane. All of this work, and I have yet to get a check. Downtrodden was I until the reflection of the prayer line resurfaced. You are not used to this yet. That is why your legs hurt. You are going home for lunch. You can’t do that with a 9-5 job. People do want to talk to you; maybe your schedule could change to better accommodate them. Your manager is going to call you back in between clients.
The evening has progressed. Lunch, shower, and hot tea have all done me a world of good. After connecting with my manager, I want to go back into the field this evening. It just takes the right knock at the right time for me to finish the entire equation. The key is to not allow the obstacles to shut me down. While trying to help people, I can also help myself. My green shirt is on, and the bags are packed. Off I go.

Address IT

When attempting to understand yourself, interest, curiosities, and routine can unlock a wealth of knowledge. Perhaps you like to run in the park in the morning. There is a lot of information in this one statement. Mornings are your power time, and you like to bond with nature. You probably want to stay fit and are working towards staying healthy. Freelances often revel in the ability to control their schedules. Night owls like to move in silence under the cover of darkness. The world is asleep and out of the way. There is no noise or unnecessary interruptions as they check tasks off their to do lists. By the same token, they probably do not feel like embracing the sun. Different strokes for different folks.
As time progresses, you can find out even more. My thirties were all about the things that make me feel good. I had nothing but time to explore new roads. My days were consumed with activities that fulfilled me. Certain types of friends fell away while new ones entered. Feelings became more solidified and easy to understand. Intuition became an actual thing vs. a word in the dictionary. Because I did not conform to the expectation that I should be married with children running around, it was easy for me to come and go as I pleased.
When my fourth decade began, baby fever did hit. Hard. Baby pages on IG became my favorite. I befriended a pregnant coworker. I would visit Baby Depot and not get offended when asked if I wanted to be on the mailing list. However, I began to see that without the proper support, having a baby would be rather challenging. It was not a priority over being married or anything else. Self improvement embraced me once again as I focused on new goals.
These days find me looking at the shadows within myself. I am addressing the gray areas and cobwebs of my life. If something is not working, there is something else that may. Socializing is on hold as all of my time is being dedicated to me on all fronts. Appointments with medical doctors have been made. Falling back into ten minute yoga. Funeral insurance is being purchased and plans for my career as a self-employed maven are in place.
If you ask me how I feel, I will respond with progressive. This is a constant work in progress. Most days find me with more emotional stability than I have had in a few months. The pang of loneliness does not cloud my sky. Nutrition and physical fitness will have to be addressed again. My overall appearance is not poor, but my rising weight and stalled hair maintenance leave much to be desired in my mind. It is a good time for me to gather all of myself and reach for the level where I truly want to be on all fronts. It requires true unwavering dedication and work.
My life is no stranger to such work. Pilates is a testament to that as well as all of the math encounters of my collegiate days. Growth requires work that is not glamourous. You can’t post the tears of healing. The painful realizations that your best friend is your worst enemy is not the happy go lucky mimosa discussion. Understanding that your own family harbors jealousy towards you for glowing is not a piercing that you want to wear. Everything in life is not social media perfect nor will it possess angelic grace. Life can often be a bitter pill to swallow with hard times and dark days that lead into darker nights. Ugliness and shame. Pity and despair.
You are still responsible for rising back to the top to feel the sunlight on your skin. This is why I think Disney is the cause for many a misunderstanding. No one is coming to save you. There is no happily ever after. All good things will come to an end. You could have all of the resources of the world at your fingertips but unless you are willing to use them, they are of no consequence to you. Improve yourself for yourself. Why? Your happiness in this lifetime is priceless.

Monday Motivation July 8, 2019

Monday Motivation

As we age, the idea of school fades from our agenda. There may be a class or workshop that captures our attention but our overall focus changes to accommodate life. That focus can include spreading our wings. Embrace new experiences. Is there something that you always had an interest in? Perhaps there is a minor skill that you would like to cultivate. It could be related to your career and then again it doesn’t not have to be. There is something in the large picture that you have always wanted to try. Why not make a phone call to get more information or send that email. You know someone that can get you closer to putting together that puzzle. Follow through on it today. The time will pass regardless and that will be one more missed opportunity to better yourself and put a smile on your face. One Love,
Crystal A. Sawyer

I DID IT

It was quite an experience. My dealings with life insurance have been negative. A man tried to coerce me into purchasing a policy at my place of employment. When my no was not enough, he began bullying me. After I reported to my boss that I did not understand how this man got my personal information to begin with and was doing this at my job, he ceased and desisted due to her immediate actions. Since then, I steered clear of anything remotely related to the subject matter…..until now.
The information that I had to learn was overwhelming. There was a lot of it and it was so terribly foreign to my existence. However, I told myself that my two degrees prove that I know how to study. I applied myself like never before. Highlighters, notes, note cars, sticky notes in various colors all took over my multi-purpose table. An affirmation wall was created so that I could look at it whenever I began to doubt myself. Day after day, I would schedule time to take the class. I would pour over my notes. When I needed a break, Netflix would be summoned. It was not a straight shooter. Bronchitis was an obstacle but not a stop sign.
My endeavor was not announced to the world. It was a personal goal. There was no room for another voice or two in my head. Under the guidance and encouragement of my manager, I entered the test room as prepared as I was going to be. The pass signified the reward for challenging myself and having the courage to get out of my normal interests. It was celebrated and acknowledged. It felt wonderful.
This is only the first step. I get to find out what I can do with this new found knowledge. How am I going to apply it and educate others on proper choices for their final wishes? As a result of this experience, I am now able to make better decisions regarding my own policy. It is a comfort to know that I can know make a truly informed decision about what to do for myself. Such a feeling is absolutely priceless.

The Bubble: Part II

There I sat. Many people were wearing the green shirts which represented their association with the company that is hiring me. How I longed to have one of those shirts. Introductions of all of the guests were first on the agenda. It felt amazing for me to be congratulated by complete strangers. People pulled me to the side to share their heartfelt, “Hey, you did it.” Meanwhile, there are people in my personal life that I am unable to share this news with. I watched as certificates were presented to people that hit a certain mark of production. This presentation happens on a monthly basis to encourage producers and to show appreciation. I am not accustomed to such gestures. It was concluded with actual food and fellowship. People held genuine conversations without checking FB.
While eating the amazing rice, my thoughts reflected upon all of the encouragement and pointers that were shared over the last two hours. It was the perfect continuation of the early glow that I had. (Upon review of the scale, the consumption of rice or cupcakes was not in my best interest but I can eliminate such celebratory practices this weekend…)
Training begins next week after my fingerprints. I have learned so much in a short period of time and have seen the support that awaits me. I am officially an archer. My bubble that has entrapped me for so very long will be popped. It is a good feeling. How long have I known that a change was needed. There is a business card layout to discuss with a graphic designer to be discussed. I too shall dawn a green shirt.

The Bubble: Part I

The bubble has entrapped me for ten years now. The same never ending cycle of working on behalf of an agenda that is not my own. I tire of following decisions that are not in my best interest accompanied with a schedule that does not allow me bathroom time. Thirty minutes for a meal is an inhumane gesture.
While hiding my arrow to pierce the illusion that I call a daily routine, my coworker made her escape. Antoinette Brazzle threw all types of caution to the wind and resigned; not a transfer, not a leave. She quit her job as a beloved primary teacher. She would visit the school wearing a wonderful green shirt which displayed her new role as a funeral life insurance agent. My words were never hello or how are you but, “Talk.” There was a reason why she left. Her stress level dropped. Her schedule is her own. She has as long as she wants to taste her food, chew and then swallow as opposed to the nausea inducing inhalation. A smile would cross my face at the mere fact that she found a way out. She popped the bubble and did not look back. If only I could do the same.
Someone suggested following her. I thought it would be a band aid to a larger issue. Is that what I really want to do? Wear a green shirt and sell a product? No, not really. As time went on, my situation remained the same. The bubble is a suffocating place. Nightmares often perturbed my mind as well as bland coffee. A little voice started thinking of..I wonder if I could. Fear stopped me from asking questions but my curiosity remained.
She looked so happy and was really making moves with her transformation. It made me so very happy to watch.
However, the nightmares continued even while I was awake. It was time to deal with my fear and approach Antoinette. How can I work for you?
She arranged a meeting with her manager. It was a morning of sheer inspiration . I registered for the class and started the next day. Post its were purchased and matched to the corresponding highlighters. My printer continued to produce notes for me to study and analyze. My voice would be heard asking questions, while writing down key words on note cards. The information was foreign and often overwhelming. It was not long before I realized that in retrospect, I could have applied myself more in school. This was a true throwback to my days of pure academia. However, the class kept emphasizing progress. I learned so much and felt robbed because it was not included in my collegiate studies; not my undergrad, not my graduate.
The day of the test found me in a bit of a mode. What was going to happen here? When would the results be ready? Am I as prepared as I could be? I prayed. I thought about supportive people. Antoinette called me the morning of to wish me well; it made me feel so very incredible. The results were ready as soon as I completed the exam. The word pass appeared to the left of the paper. An inner glow began to spread. This signaled the opening of a whole new world. My arrow is no longer in hiding. The bubble is going to be pierced.

Antoinette Brazzle
Funeral Life Insurance Agent
E: antoinettebrazzle@gmail.com

Growth is Hard

Growth is not always a walk in the park. Trying to improve your entire life requires extreme efforts on all fronts. You may have to call for professional backup; therapist, maid, chef, astrologer, and stylist just to name a few. At the ripe age of 42, I recognize that there are some things about myself that have gone unchecked and have festered into a creature beyond my control. I have created a team of helpers to reel all of that in. This does not include bottomless mimosas or a quick trip to the nail salon. This is real work.
Constant reflection is required. Cleaning out my closet and folding clothes from the dryer are actual activities. Do you know that you have to make decent food choices so that you do not look like an oversized fluffy teddy bear that people want to hug? Frustrations led to me eating everything in sight earlier this year. Chipotle introduced me to Pinto Beans and Door Dash introduced me to the world of food delivery. My body never stood a chance.
Emotional stress can start illness within your person. A family event found me sick with fever and feeling much like a Leper. There I was coughing like I was about to die. Upon entrance to the examination room, my doctor proclaimed “Bronchitis”. I spent several nights coughing myself to the other side of life. Gasping for air and a lack of appetite swept me into fear. There was a gurgle in my throat simply because I was breathing. A Pap is an easier experience. Moving on…
While learning more about a topic that has always scared me, post it notes, note cards, and highlighters have taken over. I created a positive affirmation wall filled with wonderful IG posts to help me embrace this with an open mind. It is important to keep a willingness to learn new things even if the subject matter is foreign and verbose.
Perhaps the most unsettling part of this entire process is that my sense of self is different. I know who I was but I am not sure who I am or where I am going. What I do know is that I want a change in my life and I am doing what is in my power to get it. There is a flashlight in my hand that is shining a light into places that require more light so that cobwebs can be removed and sunflowers can freely reach for the sun. Growth is not always easy and this one is putting me in the race for my own fulfillment. However, if I do not address it now, then I never will.