A Great Gift

There’s little I find more mundane than creating my own bio. I welcome writing them for others but when asked to submit mine for a project, I whine.

Unfortunately, it was time to tackle this bitch for eatingatme.

Taking a lesson from my development this year in reaching out for help, I texted my lifelong friend and fellow author, Alycia Ripley. Why make the badly needed refresh of my About page painful? That seemed counterproductive.

Me: “Hey mama! Would you write my bio for me? You’re the only one I trust to do it and I can’t come up with something authentic right now.”

Alycia: “Hi girl, of course.”

Alycia’s a professional. And accomplished. And cool as shit.

We’ve been friends a long time. Our mothers went to Catholic high school together, where, in turn, they enrolled Alycia and me for elementary and middle school. We went to the same all girls’ college prep academy as well. Alycia and I share much in common – we have impeccable taste in music, for example – but our strongest likeness comes from our fierce love for our mothers and family.

(Do yourself a favor and purchase Alycia’s memoir, Wind over Tide. It’s stunning.)

I’m honored that Alycia took time and care to write such a lovely piece for eatingatme. I’m humbled by her kindness; I’m over the moon about her contribution to something that was initiated by a promise I made to my mother. You can read it here.

Thank you, my red-haired rock star. You mean the world to me.

Thanks, Keith…

I don’t have details as of yet, but I’m left to assume you committed suicide.

Well, that’s shit for timing. We had tickets to see Beats Antique tonight at The Music Box, and I was SO EXCITED (but I wasn’t going to let you know that because I’m still upset with you for breaking my heart a month ago).

From wherever you are, I’m sure you’ve seen…

The love.

The sadness.

The support.

The longing.

I’m clear I’m one of many who you’ve loved in your lifetime. But before you fully exit (how was that Alice In Chains, homeboy?), I’d like to thank you for…

-Too Many Zooz;

-Clarity around that if I’m ever to be a mother, my son better be a gay accountant who is compulsive, loves his mother fiercely, and is married to a male professional dancer;

-The nickname “Sparkle Tits;”

-Hope.

I’m drunk, but right now I’m so in love with you.

Find that peace and zen,

Becca

Just A Post

Welcome back.

It’s taking me a minute to get into this post. 2018’s been a metamorphic year. Raw, mind melting, and deliciously heartbreaking.

It’s been fucking magical and has left zero room for anything that feels forced, my writing particularly.

I love this blog and care little that its purpose has never been clearly defined or that it hasn’t been well-tended. Delusions of dressing it up for Sunday Mass to create a linear, palatable theme in order to monetarily exploit regurgitated bullshit just isn’t my jam.

I love eatingatme because it’s a reflection of me: a hot, crass, type A-/B+ mess. And I’ve given myself permission to continue as such.

So I’ll just keep writing whatever because I made a promise that I always will.

But…

This IS also hyper-organized, hypomanic me I’m talking about…and it IS the last day of my miraculous month (September 22 – October 25) during which, for the past nine years, I’ve made significant shit happen. And this year…well, this has been the best year I’ve experienced since my mid-twenties.

So there’ll be some form to this green slime of online content…eventually. I’ve put that in motion over the past month and it feels damn good. For now, though, it’s where I work shit out, or don’t.

And because it’s October 25, I’ll wrap with this:

I’m taking my promises seriously, even if they’re completed at a snail’s pace. In 2009, when I said goodbye to my mother, I made some pretty deep commitments that I’ve been and/or continue to be scared to pursue but at this point, I’ll die trying. Almost did today, in fact; burpees and battle rope exercises are no fucking joke.

Greetings from The Mezzanine

Y’all, there’s no business like show business.

In theater, the best seat in the house is based on one’s opinion; it depends on the experience of the performance which one seeks. It’s commonly assumed that a center orchestra seat is prime real estate because of the exorbitant ticket price and the ability to bathe in the performers’ sweat and spit. That shit costs top dollar.

Then there are those of us who like a broader perspective; back a bit further, up a bit higher…a seat with a view. Those of us who prefer the mezzanine lead from the middle; we’ve come too far to settle for the nosebleeds and equally don’t feel compelled to get all up in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s business.

These days, I’m likening my life to theater (Tony Award worthy and Off-Off-Broadway), and the vantage point I’m choosing today is that of audience member. Spectator. Mezzanine crasher.

Pull curtain.

It was three years ago this week when I decided to move to Sweden. It was when I boldly declared that my 40’s wouldn’t be a star-studded revival of my 30’s. At that time, I couldn’t imagine that I’d have the mental, emotional, and spiritual fortitude to take the stage as a single woman (with a four-legged sidekick) on her own two feet, completely reliant on herself…and her word.

The first act of this performance has been equal parts elegant and electric; I’ve kept the cast small and the drama minimal. The score and scenery have been subtle but poignant. I’m proud of this piece of work.

Intermission.

My second act, currently being work shopped, is what I’ve been creating tirelessly. The costumes are delicious, the technology is advanced, and the adventure is boundless. It’s sexy, fun, and unexpected.

Fun fact: I came up with the name of this post a year ago, and knew it would be my return to eatingatme. I also knew that at that time I wasn’t quite ready to write this, but that I should write the title down for the day that I was.

And here we are.

And here I go.

Cue orchestra. 

#eatingatme

Piece On Peace

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It’s nearly four months since we’ve connected.

Hello, beautiful.

We’re heavy with thought and emotion these days, aren’t we?

Sinking into quicksand with:

health, home, heartbreak;

family, politics, finances;

future, injustice;

career;

and society assisting in the push.

Some days, I’m at the end of my rope. Others provide more lead with which to pull myself up.

I have concerns, deeply personal and also on a broader scale. However, unpacking the content of my weighty knapsack isn’t my focus at the moment. Today, I focused on four goals:

  1. Using my brain;
  2. Sharing my heart;
  3. Giving thanks; and
  4. Helping others.

Because in order for me to make long-term, far-reaching impact, I must start close to home, close to the vest…close. Calmly.

I must create and sustain peace here, where I currently stand.

So I have.

Today, I hope you found beauty in life’s imperfections and occasions to laugh until you hiccup.

I hope you found some peace.

For me, it’s made all the difference for my tomorrow.

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Here’s what you (the reader) and me (the author) know about me (the narcissist) after 4+ years of ingesting eatingatme content:

  1. I’m consistently inconsistent.
  2. I’m often unsettled but work diligently to live a positive life.
  3. I over think. Some may say I over share. (Fuck you, haters.)
  4. My potty mouth’s a passion. So’s my sarcasm.
  5. I’m originally from Buffalo, New York.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 5, at least in my case. I confirmed this last weekend.

I flew to Buffalo to surprise my sister, Kristen, for her 40th birthday finale (she, her hubby, and their two kids live in Las Vegas but were back home for a visit). I was raised in Buffalo alongside Kris and her brother, Robbie, who, 36 years later, I still refer to proudly as my siblings. Kris’ loved ones orchestrated a celebratory week that culminated in a Sunday Funday around the city on a party bus. I popped out behind balloons; there were laughs; some tears of joy sprung (mostly from me). There were renditions of Alanis Morrisette’s “Uninvited” and some Barbra Streisand song. There were many drinks.

This – plus copious amounts of hang time with my elementary school bestie, Kate; my extended family; and other longtime friends – occasionally evoked feelings of hiraeth, or a homesickness for that which is no longer (see Regina O’Callaghan’s post on this very topic, executed beautifully). I left Buffalo for college at age 18 and only returned for visits that were very much dictated by my mother’s scheduling. I rarely had an opportunity to enjoy the geography I knew as my birthplace and cradle. I always felt like an outsider and never thought it possible to reclaim my identity as a kid from the Nickel City.

Half way through the visit I decided that drudgery – a behavior that is VERY Buffalo – was no longer acceptable. Buffalo is my home and I want connection, dammit. I experienced love in that city. I danced professionally there. Hell, I learned to read and write in Buffalo. Now, my mother and grandparents are laid to rest there. This all means something very deep to me.

There’s a renaissance occurring in Buffalo; the excitement is palpable. Driving through Canalside and the Elmwood Village with Kris, Rob, our friends and family, and witnessing happiness and a love for life was electric. Eating fucking fantastic Cajun food at Toutant and revisiting my favorite hot dog joint, Ted’s, collided the new and eerily familiar brilliantly. Hanging with Kate and her husband, Jack (my Grade 5 crush), while their daughter, Emma, sang for us…this built a new structure for my hometown around my heart and headspace. I left feeling slightly more settled and invigorated. I also exercised my sarcasm muscle adequately and learned a few new profanities to share with you in later posts.

Hey. It’s Buffalo. It’s what we do.

Confidence And Cockiness Walk Into A Bar…

Whoever created this meme deserves a hug.
Whoever created this meme deserves a high-five and a lesson in the proper writing of an ellipse.

Confidence’s SEXY AS HELL. She’s POWERFUL, TRANSFORMATIVE, and GETS SHIT DONE.

How-ev-er…

Her evil twin – Cockiness – has a habit of showing up to the party, doing one too many shots of Don Julio Real, streaking through your cul-de-sac (gut bouncing like a basketball), and inevitably ruining the evening when he resists arrest.

Ain’t no one got time for that.

I’ve spent ample time pondering the difference between confidence and cockiness over the past four months. To qualify, I’ve spent ample time dissecting the minutia of the difference between the two as it’s pertained to my full-on stalking of full-time employment.

This, too, deserves some kudos.
This, too, deserves some kudos and a revision.

I’ve been told on no fewer than four occasions that I’m OVERQUALIFIED but OH SO CONFIDENT.

So when did sexy as hell, powerful, transformative, and gets shit done become the Hans Solo in the Dad vs. Kylo Ren battle for employment?

Answer: When you’re 41, it’s 2016, and employers have their pick of the litter for potential hires. The variety, the possibility…it’s like shopping for medical marijuana but not nearly as fun (from what I’ve heard…seriously, I don’t touch grass).

Fast forward: I’m starting full-time employment on Wednesday. The position comes with benefits (something that holds value to me at 41). It fits the bill for what I need. Yay job! But I’m still thinking a lot about this difference between confidence and cockiness…

It’s quite possible – if you know me, let’s just call it what it is and say it’s likely – that I came off as cocky in my interviews. Fine. I’ve covered some serious ground professionally; accomplished a lot; handled some serious shit. But maybe I wasn’t cocky at all. Maybe I was just authentic and showed that I play on a level where bullshit isn’t invited.

Either way, I’m fascinated by this topic, particularly because Kimberly Jones and I are launching a Periscope and blog series that centers on the renaissance of individuals who leap-frogged from one career to the next as a means to making it happen in a big way. (Head’s up: this will eventually become a podcast. We’re personable. You’ll like it. That’s fact, not cockiness.)

I’d love for y’all to weigh in. Are you confident? Perceived as arrogant? Know someone whose self-proclaimed amazingness is like nails on a chalkboard although props for getting exactly what they want while serving others?

Comment below and/or hit me up on social media. I want to hear your story!

Back to the Don Julio Real and deep thoughts.