Everyone has a story, and usually, that story begins with a journey that they have followed in their life. I have had a lot different journeys in my life and now I am setting off on a new journey. This journey, however, is different, this journey is starting the second half of my life, a whole new direction of my life, and one that until not so long ago I didn’t even know I would participate in. This journey started on my 50th birthday in 2015 when I found out that my mom had stage four cancer. At the time I had no idea that I only had thirty days, exactly, left with her. On November 28, 2015 my mom who had been my best friend for 50 years went to heaven. This journey started off with grief, sadness, and depression, but now I am going to fast-forward to April of 2016. After being in bed for a couple of months it was time to get up and breathe again, time to find out what direction my life is going. I had left my job in January, so I really could do anything I wanted. I was in a tanning salon of, all places, talking to the gal that sat behind the desk. We had a light conversation on the good and bad of tanning enhancers and which tanning bed I should use. Then she asked me this one question, what do you do? I had no response, so I told her what I was passionate about, networking, teaching people how to do their job better, marketing, motivating and social media. That conversation turned into a two and half hour training session on using social media to learn how to network and grow her business. After that meeting was done I felt an excitement that I had not felt in a long time, my brain started working again, I could feel my heart beating and I wanted to do more! I raced home and started writing down everything that I need to do to be a Social Media Marketer. The next day I started making calls to people I know and “BOOM” I was meeting with a dear friend of mine to help with her business. After that meeting I taught her what I knew, but there was a huge gap in what I knew to make this a very successful business. So I went back to school and that’s where I am today. The difference and the contributions that I can make to this business however will be my age. I have spent 30 years learning and perfecting my passion. I want to use social media marketing to also inspire, motivate and teach people how to do this for themselves. Yes, I plan on creating campaigns, however I want to contribute what I already know, how to train people to use the tools, how to motivate people to be awesome leaders, and take people back to the valuable art of face to face networking. My vision for this blog is to learn what I can, contribute as much as possible and persistently post every step of the way.
If you had one day to live over again what day would that be? That question can be hard to answer maybe it’s not really a day but a moment in time that you remember. However, trying to remember one specific day can be a real challenge, for most, but I remember a specific day, the hours, the smells, who I was with, my emotions everything. There is not one thing I don’t remember about November 28th, 2015. It was a Saturday and a calm day for the most part. I woke up in the morning knowing today was going to be tough, but I had to get ready and go. Go to the place I had spent the last 7 days; almost non-stop. For the last 7 days, I was in hospice with my Mom. Thirty days earlier she was diagnosed with cancer and now we were here, in hospice. She had been progressively getting worse and we knew that the time was coming. The day started out with family and friends coming in and out of the hospice room to visit, tell stories, giving hugs and just being together. The day was full of laughter, tears, and the feeling of family. It was the end of the day and myself, my brother and a family friend had decided to get some food and just relax. After dinner, we became very quiet and everything became very still, it was a feeling that I had not felt before. No words just quiet, I was watching my Mom sleep and breath and then in one soft breath, she was gone. My Mom waited until there was a calm in the room and just decided it was her time to go. That one moment I will remember until the day I die. So, if you are wondering why I would live that day over again, it’s because we were all together as a family and she was still here with us. I don’t think I said what I really needed to say, but does anyone really ever say it all to someone on their death bed? As adults, we come to terms with the fact that our parents will be gone someday, but I wasn’t really ready, so if I couldn’t have her back in a regular everyday way, then I want to live that day again. I have used this blog as an outlet to vent about a death that has captured my life. I don’t think I will ever stop grieving however I will be able to cope better with that grief. Maybe in time, I can pick another day to live over again, but for now, this is the day.
Fear is a lie…….at least that’s what I use to think, but then life happened. One day I am working, going along like any other robot on this planet and the next my fucking life gets completely turned upside down. Now, what????? I look at moving one day and love the idea. A great new start to get out this shit storm I have been living with the last year and a half, but then Fear kicks in. Move? What? and give up my security of my home, my controlled life here in AZ. Well FUCK! Stay here? NO, I don’t have a job and can pull myself into such a dark depression that staying would just be a hot poker in my eye. Sell everything and hit the road, find myself? HAHAHAHA the thought of living out of a suitcase……..nope. Big sigh, so let’s get back to that asshole Fear. I use that like a name, Fear is a person, something I can touch. Fear is something I can look straight in the face and some days I want to throat punch it and some days I curl up in a ball and hide from it. It was about a year and a half ago that my life changed. I used to walk up to Fear with my middle finger in its face and a Fuck you, you will not control me, attitude. But today it’s so different the day my Mom died, I changed so much. My heart died and sometimes I put my hand on my chest to make sure that I still have a beat that’s when that bastard Fear snuck in. A box in my brain opened full of self-doubt and full of negative thoughts. MY MOM trained me my entire life for this moment, the moment she was going to leave and I would be in this world alone. She taught me how to be strong, how to fight, how to stay ahead of the self-doubt and the shit talk that happens. She taught me how to counteract the messages I received growing up telling me that I was nothing, telling me no man could love me, telling me I would be a waste. Maybe those words weren’t said exactly, but that is what I heard. She taught me how to be strong. NOW the most important time of my life when I need to dig out those lessons FEAR comes into my life like this. FUCK YOU! I want my FUCKING life back, you CAN NOT have it anymore. I don’t want advice, I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for me, I want my FUCKING life back! I am so pissed…….I am tired of crying, wondering and waiting. NO MORE! So Fear you are a LIE that sits in my head like a bomb ready to go off, You are a face that I hate and you are everything in my life that I HATE about myself. I am not going to let you sit here anymore, I am putting you on this blog for the world to see, you are exposed for the coward you are and you will no longer be welcome here.
Have you ever seen the movie The Big Chill? It’s about a group of friends that were close knit and were a family. Everyone had a role and no matter what they had each other’s back. Those are the kind of friendships that mold you to your “older self”. When I was in my early 20’s I was with a group of friends just like that. Every meal, every Saturday night, all the drama was within this group and it was a fun and a developing time. Yes, I made a lot of mistakes during that time, probably partied more than I needed but it was an absolute time that I will never forget. Today that time seems like a lifetime ago. On Tuesday I received a call that one of our friends from that era had passed away. Just like in the movie we all grew up, had families, moved away and lost touch. We had occasional get-togethers but nothing like it was. So now on Saturday, we are all getting together to say goodbye to our friend.
This brings me to the title of this, life can and will pass you by in an instant. It seems like only yesterday when we were all together. No one ever knows when it’s their time it just is. I blinked and I was 50, blinked again and both my parents are gone, I don’t want to blink and be 70 and look back on my life with any regrets. I have made big changes in my life and tell everyone I know to hang on! We have to grab opportunities and absolutely do what makes us happy. We have more control than we think. Being stuck in a job is not an excuse to give up happiness. Do something, anything that will change that circumstance. Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns but life is definitely in our control.
Before my Mom passed away we having a conversation where I was complaining about my life and she said to me “What do you want on your headstone?” I really didn’t have an answer so she continued and said “you can have your headstone say anything you want it to say……… just don’t let it say ‘Here lies Michelle Hudman, she worked really hard’. If you want to be happy and at peace FIGHT for it.” I don’t always get it right, but I have fought harder in the past 2 years for that happiness than I have in a long time. The unfortunate part of this is that it took a tragedy for me to realize this. I have dealt with friends and family passing away since I was 18, I understand death and how to grieve, but what I didn’t understand is how to pull myself out of a grief that devoured my life so intensely. It has taken time but I getting there, I have some pretty deep lines that I won’t cross and one is ensuring that I am in a company that will fuel the passion I have. I will not be around people that suck the happiness from me, and I will offer my help to whoever needs it. Life is here and it’s now, and with every breath that you take don’t let life pass you by……..
R.I.P. Jeff your smile and kind heart will never be forgotten, 8/15/65-4/23/17
Well, it’s been 6 months since I posted anything to my blog. That pretty much contradicts the name of the blog. I haven’t been persistently posting anything, but I can tell you a lot has happened. I have always thought blogs were just a sort of public diary into the lives of really good writers, mostly good writers…lol However blogs do fill a purpose, they are informational, funny, motivating, and a type of advertising. My blog will end of being a bit of everything.
First things first, the last year, I have continued with school and continued to work with friends on their social media accounts, continued to work towards building a career or business in training, worked for a short time at CGCC (it was a temp job), and now I am selling my house and heading off to a new journey in my life. Let’s begin with school. All I can say there is, “WOOT”, I absolutely love school and everything that goes with it. Learning new skills has been absolutely amazing. There has been one change, however, I have changed from social media marketing to communication. My passion really lies with training and public speaking and communication is a way to build on that. I will keep going and working until I receive my degree. Now to the new journey, I am going to go to Colorado for a while. I’m selling my house and I am off to Boulder to test the waters. My lifelong best friend lives there and its time. I have had a difficult last 18 months and a new start is exactly what I need. Now here’s a question for you as a reader, why does any of this matter to you? Maybe it doesn’t but maybe you just may read something in here that you might connect with. Like the fact that I have gone back to school at the age of…….let’s just say over 45 and that starting over doesn’t always have to be so fearful. Don’t get me wrong I have had my moments of “what the hell am I doing” but all in all I know it’s going to work out. And finally the depression, this is the one that had me crippled for months. The depression is the one that had me praying every night to not wake up, depression will do that to you, and it’s in that depression that you have to realize that it’s okay. I don’t have to be happy every moment of every day, but it is okay to smile when I feel happy. I would go days on end without getting off the couch, or even getting up out of bed and the only way past that is to fight through it. At least that’s what it was for me. I was angry when I needed to be, cried when I needed to cry and laughed when I needed to laugh. I pushed out a lot of people so I could have my time to myself to figure out what was next. When someone loses someone close to them now, I refer them to an article I read about a man losing his best friend and how he talks about grief. http://www.tickld.com/x/old-man-explains-death-and-life-to-grieving-young-man It helped me and I have been told it helped them. People can come out of depression, I did, and I am as ordinary as they come. Just fight and if you get knocked down, fight again!
I will be more persistently posting going forward and I will add posts about my passion (training and coaching), about what I have learned along the way, and there will definitely be a story or two about my Wonderdog Xena! This blog is a little bit of everything but if you have to put into one category put it in the “Life” category.