Failing and rising to fail again

This time was harder. I’d been through rough times in the past, but this was different. When I’d lie on the beach, join friends at champagne brunch or do any of the other things I knew “should” make me happy, they didn’t. I couldn’t sleep anymore and could barely function. I didn’t even have the strength to work on the things I love. Before this rough patch, I had managed to soar closer the sun than ever before. As life goes, I had to take ten steps back in order to advance to the next level. While I knew in my head that I was still on the right path, I couldn’t feel it in my heart.
As the sun woke me by rising outside the windows of my balcony, I would lay there and stare at the beautiful rolling hills in front of me. I could logically register that I was experiencing paradise, but couldn’t feel it. Passion and emotion are who I am, and I couldn’t feel it. I was completely and utterly burnt out. Depleted. Kaput.
When is enough enough? And when is it time to realize that one is not giving up but realizing that while most pieces of the puzzle fit, it may be time to change direction in others? I pride myself on being strong and not being a quitter. Even when the walls come crumbling down around me, I convince myself that I can hold up the roof all on my own. Mom said something that made sense to me. She said that in those kind of situations, she has to remind herself that she’s not God. I wish she would have given me that advice a few months ago.
Full time work, school, social life, volunteering, travel, working on an e-magazine and editing a book seem impossible, but I thought I could do it. For a while I did. Problem is, with no breathing room, there’s no room for the unknowns that come up. And they always come up.
What do you do when everything in your life is important? The only thing I didn’t care about is the draining and unhealthy job I was working. Problem is, that’s the one thing needed to survive. Ironic when the only thing that doesn’t mean as much is the downfall of everything that does.
Life is fluid. Things change. I’ve always chased the dollar with the idea that I needed that money to fund everything else. That and I like flashy things. I’ve come to realize that in the big picture, these jobs have just taken me away from what I love most. It’s important to back up and look at life as a whole from time to time. And to reassess what’s important and where those things lie in relation to each other. Our lives change, we change and so does what we want.
It’s not easy for any of us, and it’s natural to veer off course from time to time. What’s important is to try to understand and realize that it’s not time or energy lost, it’s just a natural part of growing. And that it’s important to not stray too far or too long. Words can never encapsulate the feeling when really going for something, but as the Dalai Lama said, “great achievements involve great risks”. We’ve all heard it, but to actually feel it is another story. It’s hard, painful and changes our lives. It’s only in those moments that we really know how important our goals are to us and if the journey has showed us that we are meant to go after something else.


Sipario by Salvatore Vuono

It’s fantastic being in the spotlight.

But it also means you’re choosing to be a matador with a red cape in a world full of angry bulls.

Our culture teaches us to want popularity. Most of us seek approval, acceptance, and admiration amongst our peers in order to get it in whatever way is necessary. For most women around the world, physical beauty is where our popularity lies, so we do what we have to in order to find it. Asian cultures bind their feet, African cultures stretch their necks with metal coils and American women starve themselves. For men, their popularity often comes from success as a provider, and they’ll often lie, cheat and steal in order to get it. Even though these actions are extremely detrimental to us, we still choose to partake in them because the results leave us, even with the negative consequences, in a better position overall.
Instinct teaches us that survival is enhanced by being well-liked. If we’re popular with those around us, they’re more likely to help and look positively on situations they otherwise wouldn’t. Take, for example, a woman who’s being abused by her military boyfriend who is suffering from PTSD. Popularity of the culture supporting its military and the other military personnel around could cause the people this woman is around to turn their backs on her cries for help, treat her as though she is to blame, and act as though the situation is acceptable. If the situation was reversed and the woman was the popular person in the relationship, her boyfriend would be classified as the villain and she as the victim who everyone was eager to celebrate and help. If neither was popular, friends and the community would turn their backs and gossip while if both were popular, those same people would reach out to get them both help separately and together while treating them as victims of the system and heroes for surviving it.
Standing out and being in the spotlight isn’t always about being fancied. It can also account to being disliked or different. Celebrity is a game of popularity, so let’s look at Spencer Pratt from The Hills, Jon Gosselin from Kate Plus Eight and Michael Lohan, who is Lindsey Lohan’s father. All of these celebrities have careers based on being disliked and doors open to them because of it. We can’t get enough of Lady Gaga, Russell Brand, Charlie Sheen (although his situation may be attributed to mental illness), Betsey Johnson and countless reality stars because of their eccentricities. It’s true that these people quite often have the most loyal fans, but there’s a yin to every yang and having extreme fans on one side means that there will be extreme haters on the other. Just look at the way conservatives and liberals have always reacted to each other in the political world. The more extreme their views, the more they’re at war.
Celebrities and those that partake in these severe cultural rituals are extreme examples, but it doesn’t take being an extremist to be subjected to popularity games. Often, it comes down to the woman that has the biggest boobs, the man that has the highest title at work, the person who is most feared for being manipulative or someone who chooses to wear flashy suits to the office instead of the monotone colors worn by most. Whatever world we choose to be a part of determines the rules for our game. If we’re in the world of volunteerism, it’s all about who’s a part of the most organizations, is the most giving and sacrifices the most. If it’s a world of feminism it’s about who puts up the best fight against being valued by looks, who’s the most powerful, and who makes the most progress in male-dominated areas. There’s a million different ways the game is played, but at the end of the day it’s really all the same.
Realizing that there’s a game to being in the spotlight isn’t the only complication that needs to be accounted for. There’s a huge flip-side to popularity and standing out that is rarely looked at until we find ourselves in the situation. Being a target means being a target, period. Whether we’re talking about stalkers, a criminal looking for someone to rob, rape or beat up, someone to be made an example out of, or someone to be chosen as the representative for everyone that stands for what they are becomes a part of our reality once we’ve made ourselves a bullseye for others. Our proximity to danger increases and we’re a lot more likely to have bad things happen to us because of it.
Physical danger isn’t the only risk that increases when we find that attention. Our careers, relationships and who we are as a whole can pay a price as well. If we’re great at our job and extremely qualified, we can be held back if those we work with are more interested in our looks or entertainment value than our skills and other abilities. In our personal lives, we can be extremely lonely if no one wants to see past our outer-shell, how we make them feel or what we can do for them. Internally, we can be set up to never develop important personality traits and other skills if we’re lead to believe that all we’re good for is those looks, money or entertainment skills. Once they go, we can be left shallow, superficial and alone. If we build our life in that kind of unreliable house of cards, it only takes one shift of the wind to blow everything down.
Even when aware of the bullseye it puts on our backs, most of us will continue to seek out the spotlight. It’s the being aware and having compassion for those that are already there that can help us all to have a better chance of the acceptance we’re really looking for. After all, dreams and fantasies are grand because they reside in a world of perfection, but the reality of making them come true means answering a whisper from the devil. What chance do we have if we don’t choose to be angel on the other shoulder?

What kind of person are you? How does having or not having the spotlight effect you?

I’ve always known who I am. I write, I love the arts, I love people and I love travel. I’m passionate and need to fight for what I believe in. I never had a problem knowing who I am. My battle has been fighting the outside forces that would tell me I am wrong.
There’s only so long we can run from ourselves before surrendering and that’s where I am now. I’ve given into who I am and what I love. That is what you see here.

Bobbie White


Photo by Louisa Stokes can be found at

I’ve got a secret.
Do you know what it is?
It doesn’t come from beauty, money or power. My confidence comes from knowing who I am and the effect I have on others.
I’ve always known who I am, but I didn’t always accept it. When I was younger, I tried to be who those around told me I “should” be. I don’t do that anymore. The more I tried to change it, the more I realized how impossible it is to change the person we’re born as, and all I was doing was making myself insecure about who I really was.
I’m eccentric, energetic and full of life. So fine – I’m going to have to go ahead and be eccentric, energetic and full of life. Let’s say I was offered a great job and career at a conservative technology company. Unless the staff embraced my differences as a refreshing change of pace, I’d be set up to be unhappy and, more than likely, to fail. Let’s say the staff did accept me. I’d be happy for what I could do for them, but unsatisfied in my career and the lack of what my coworkers had to offer in regards to my needs. Even more, I’d be turning my back on the career out there that would be a great fit, requires my qualities and would make both sides not only successful but happy.
Same thing for dating. Most of the people I’ve dated have been wonderful. The equivalent of the knight in shining armor we’re taught to be the holy grail in a partner. I’ve learned from experience that the right fit for me probably isn’t the well educated, well cultured, attractive, successful, stable person of fantastic social standing that not only treats me like a princess but believes I hung the moon. I’ve been lucky enough (although I don’t pretend to have deserved it) to find that a few times and I couldn’t get myself to fall in love, no matter how hard I tried. Maybe the person that’s right for me will be ridden with traits I didn’t think I’d go for in a hundred years, but it won’t matter. They’ll be who’s right.
I’ve had to prove a lot of things to myself. I had to sacrifice ten years to a career of money, power and social status to prove that the thanklessness, risk and unlikelihood of financial success in the career I really want is what makes me happiest. I also had to date the people I wanted to be the right fit in order to accept and appreciate the difficulties of what is to come when I find that person that really is. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but I never would have been able to accept it if I hadn’t taken a peek. Part of really knowing myself is being honest about the things I don’t like, and I’m too superficial to have just gone on faith.
When I’m walking down the street, I don’t like my weight (thanks, Hollywood), but I’m proud that I’m strong, powerful and have fantastic curves. When someone makes a negative comments about my feather earrings and rainbow colored zebra-print five inch heels, I try to think about all of the people who get a kick out of it and how I improved their day. When there’s a threat to my path of travel, writing, volunteering and the arts, I pounce like a tiger to protect it. If others don’t understand me, I try to slow down and see things from their eyes so I can help them understand.
So, yeah. I’m confident. I’m confident in who I am because I’m proud of myself and see how much I have to offer. The more I stay true to who I am and what I need, the more I’m around what feeds me and those that admire me for exactly who I am. There’s a lot I want to change in a positive way, but overall I’m really happy with who I am, and even more, who I’m becoming. Times get tough and there’s always moments of temporary unhappiness when fighting that battle, but I know if I keep pushing up that hill, I’ll continue to reach heights of happiness I’ve never been to before. That happiness, plus the confidence, is why I can usually be found with a twinkle in my eye.

What puts that spark in your? Where do you get your confidence?

I’ve always known who I am. I write, I love the arts, I love people and I love travel. I’m passionate and need to fight for what I believe in. I never had a problem knowing who I am. My battle has been fighting the outside forces that would tell me I am wrong.
There’s only so long we can run from ourselves before surrendering and that’s where I am now. I’ve given into who I am and what I love. That is what you see here.

Bobbie White

Celebrate every day!

Rainbow Girl photo can be found at dreamstime.
I admit it. I’m guilty of jumping at any chance to celebrate. Birthdays, holidays, accomplishments, relationships, you name it. Why does there have to be a reason to celebrate? And if there really does need to be one, why not celebrate the good stuff every single day? Isn’t that what makes life worth living? Think about it. What moments really matter the most? For me, taking others to a higher level off happiness does it every time.
The way I see it, celebrating reminds us of what we have. It reinforces us to be happy and encourage the good things in our lives. We may not always feel up for it, but getting out of our own way and forcing ourselves to participate changes the direction we’re looking in to be able to see something good when what’s around us may not be.
Hard times are the hardest time to pull ourselves together to celebrate, but it’s when we need it most. Not to mention that we don’t get to pick and choose when we’re going to be there for loved ones.
What better way to inspire hope when looking for a job than celebrating a friend’s success at finding a position in her or his dream career? And how better to be aware of taking care of ourselves than to commend someone else for getting to their own goal in this arena?
Why do these moments have to be so few and far between? Let’s celebrate every day!

Let’s brainstorm! Try listing something you could celebrate every day for a week and how you could do it.

I’ve always known who I am. I write, I love the arts, I love people and I love travel. I’m passionate and need to fight for what I believe in. I never had a problem knowing who I am. My battle has been fighting the outside forces that would tell me I am wrong.
There’s only so long we can run from ourselves before surrendering and that’s where I am now. I’ve given into who I am and what I love. That is what you see here.

Bobbie White


“I can’t believe I live here”, I told myself as I crossed the bridge that lead to the beach neighborhood.
I was on my way home from a late day in the office and the sun had begun to set over one side of the bay where sailboats were drifting about lazily. On the other side, jet skiers and power boats had barely slowed from playing about in the warm fall air. This had been my drive home for five years, and every day still humbled me with how fantastic life had become.
“I’m one of the luckiest people in the world”, I thought to myself as I walked from the only parking available within a half mile from my water-front condo.
I walked through the door with a smile still on my face as I wondered why more people didn’t strive to live in such a paradise. Even though I only made around forty thousand a year, it was still enough to live like this.
“Why are you always smiling?” My roommate asked.
“Guess I’m just happy,” I said as I put my briefcase down. “What’s going on?”
“Tina and Marci are coming over for the dinner party.”
I looked out the large balcony glass doors that overlooked the bay. “The sky’s already turning pink and purple. Why don’t we set up on the patio?”
“Sounds good to me.”
Life wasn’t perfect. I was trying to find my way out of an industry of questionable morality, some of the Marines close to me were dealing with some pretty serious PTSD and I always seemed to be broke. Even with the negatives, I was still happy and couldn’t believe I was lucky enough to live here. San Diego was only supposed to be a pit-stop on my move to Spain. I thanked God every day that I was smart enough to realize that I really had no clue as to what would make me feel this way, and now that I had found it, I better stick to it.
Every day felt like a holiday and I was thankful for it. In five years, those feelings had only grown stronger and I still dressed up as though everywhere I went was part that celebration.
I was often teased for always being so excited. I didn’t care. In fact, I was proud. It just reminded me of how aware I was of what I had. This happiness – this celebration – made me want to do more in life. I wanted to accomplish more, I wanted to be more creative, I wanted to help others, I wanted stronger relationships and I wanted to improve myself. Everyone and everything was a part of that. It was a party for the plenty, and I lucky enough to be the host.

I’ve always known who I am. I write, I love the arts, I love people and I love travel. I’m passionate and need to fight for what I believe in. I never had a problem knowing who I am. My battle has been fighting the outside forces that would tell me I am wrong.
There’s only so long we can run from ourselves before surrendering and that’s where I am now. I’ve given into who I am and what I love. That is what you see here.

Bobbie White


• I want power, I want love, I want culture, I want to do good
• I want animals, I want art, I want balance
• I want adventure, I want people, I want success, I want fun
• I want nature, I want wellness, I want travel
What we want defines a big part of who we are. So does what we choose to do about it.

Do you still want the same things you did when you were younger? I do. I may no long dream of being the leader of a club of girls that wear leather and ride around on jaguar cats or want to own a zoo, but I still want to be close with those around me, love being around animals and crave the arts. As far as fashion goes, I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to wear a different look every single day, including selections from different cultures and styles. And I still like leather.

What’s happened since then? How many of us still have our dreams? It’s OK for them to change, but how do we go after what we’re passionate about, before that fire in our spirit dies out?

For many of us, it’s just a matter of knowing where to start. I wasn’t a big fan of “The Secret”, but it definitely had some ideas that stuck with me. One in particular was the vision board. The focus it required to pinpoint what I wanted, cutting out pictures of those things and putting them together made me think. Having those pictures up in front of me made my dreams real and it still to this day is a constant reminder of who I am and what I want.
I get lost all the time. My writing and that vision board are how I find my way back.

Once we’ve pinpointed what we want, how do we get it for ourselves? Being realistic and realizing we can’t walk through all doors at once are key. I’ve been writing since I was a young teenager and have a dozen unfinished manuscripts sitting around in mothballs somewhere. Finally, after a decade and a half, I got to the point of making the commitment to finish one, regardless of how good or bad it was, or even if it was ever going to go anywhere – I finished. Writing makes me happy and that had to be the payoff.

Another driving force was that I started to not only dislike myself, but also to lose myself. I had to finally accept the sacrifice it took to be true to myself or give into being unhappy and lost.

In order to go after my dreams, I couldn’t be as close in relationships as I like, had to pass on exciting business opportunities, say no to amazing trips and even move away from the home I loved. It’s been painful, but I did it.

As I took this first big step to reach what I want, it turned me in a different direction that I had never been able to see it before. A future started forming in my mind and I saw myself eventually “settling down” in this life I was creating for myself. It was amazing.

Once I was getting close to finishing the book, I started thinking about the other things I wanted in my life. How could I fit them all in and how could I realistically make it happen? I played with different scenarios until the random ideas eventually turned into this e-magazine. The most important sacrifice to getting here was giving up the expectation that it would be a career. That’s not to say that it won’t, I certainly hope it will, but to make it a requirement was way too much pressure.

The novel is done. The most important part of that adventure has been accomplished. As I make my way through disheartening moments of editing and publishing, I have to constantly remind myself of that, and I’m happy because of it.
The e-magazine is up and running. It may not be where I want it to be (your input, both good and bad, is crucial), but I get to write every day and bring other passions together to enjoy myself as well as share with others.

Finally, after all these years and experiences, I’m getting what I want.

What do you want? What gets in the way and how are you going to get it?

I’ve always known who I am. I write, I love the arts, I love people and I love travel. I’m passionate and need to fight for what I believe in. I never had a problem knowing who I am. My battle has been fighting the outside forces that would tell me I am wrong.
There’s only so long we can run from ourselves before surrendering and that’s where I am now. I’ve given into who I am and what I love. That is what you see here.

Bobbie White


Unhappy by TooLate_’s found on PhotoBucket
“She doesn’t want to leave, she just wonders if there’s life out there…” Amber sang along with Reba McIntire song on the radio as the words called out like the story of her life.
What did she want? She had been married for so long, there had been no time to remember anything outside of her step-kids, little baby and husband that was constantly unemployed and in legal trouble.
“I’m done taking care of you,” she said to him through the glass for the last time. “I met you in prison, I married you in prison and I’m saying goodbye to you in prison.”
“So you’re just going to abandon me?” He was leaning into the glass, trying to keep his voice down. “You’re just going to abandon your family?”
“Abandon my ass, Marco. I was just a kid going after the bad boy when I met you and I’ve been paying for it ever since,” she hissed. “Since then it’s been a full-time job to learn the laws in order to defend you, get you out of trouble and not only get some partial custody of your kids but also deal with a strung-out baby-mama. I’ve financially supported the whole family with extremely little help from you, dealt with your constant crap of bringing in drugs and low-life people into the house I’ve paid for, been heart-breakingly lonely as you ignore me unless you want something, sat alone with the kids as you disappear for entire nights at a time and then accusing me of not holding up my responsibilities. What’s the point of me working so hard to put myself through college when I was pregnant and work my ass off to get promoted so many times into a great job if you’re the so-called partner to share it with? You’ve never been supportive, never been a man and definitely never been a husband. At least, not a good one.”
“All couples go through hard times, Amber. Are you really going to bail on me when I need you the most?”
“I’m not bailing on you. Just like always, I put up the money and did the research to get you out of this shit again.”
“Fine. Be the fucking bitch you always are. Just fucking leave then. Go whore around with all of your slutty friends, get drunk and be a bad mom. You’ve always been an ice-cold selfish cunt.”
“Wow. You certainly make this easy,” she said, standing up with a smile.
“I’m sorry,” he said in a desperate effort to backpedal. “I’m just upset. You’re a great mom and you do everything for us. I love you, Amber. Please don’t leave me.”
“I’m done getting you out of prison. It’s time for me to finally get myself out, too.”
“You fucking whore…”
The last word trailed off as she put the phone down into the receiver from her end. She walked away for the last time as he banged on the protective barrier glass and was restrained by the guards.
It had been six months since she walked away from him. She thought it would be difficult to get the divorce, but he only knew how to fight dirty, which meant that he was helpless when it came to defending himself court. If he wanted something, he had always relied on manipulating through her compassion. He hadn’t had the first clue when it came to the law.
There were times she had been scared of him. There had even been times her friends were afraid. In the end he hadn’t done anything, but no one was foolish enough to think they were safe. Without her, he had turned into a pathetic shell of person, begging for any crumb of her love and then constantly burning the bridge right back down when she gave him an inch. Desperate people do desperate things, and no one was foolish enough to think he still couldn’t snap at any given moment.
Amber knew this was her new reality, but she wasn’t going to let it stop her from starting a new life. For the first time, everything was settling down. For the first time, she wasn’t letting him crash at her house or be involved in her life. It had been a whirlwind and consumed her until this point.
At first, she went out for months on end to not only numb the pain but also to celebrate her independence. Now that it all was calming down, she didn’t know what to do with herself. She was so used to fighting like hell to make her family survive, she was lost when it came to thinking about herself. She had a great job, but it was a lack-luster position in an industry that left her feeling nothing.
She was smart and had not only struggled to get herself through school while pregnant and working full time, but had also done it while taking care of her family and all of her husband’s problems. Those moments of doing such an impressive job of gathering the research that had continuously saved her now ex-husband had been one of the only outlets she had over the last few years to be happy with herself.
Now she had to think about how to be happy for herself, and the idea left her in a panic. Day after day, she was forced to look at herself a little more. She never had a chance to think about what was in her life before and now that’s all there was…time to think. What did she believe in? What did she want? What was she going to do with her life?
Those questions wouldn’t stop tormenting her. They whispered to her through the night and haunted her whenever she could hear her own thoughts. The more she tried to get lost in her career, the more unsatisfied she became with it. She had worked too hard to be working as someone else’s assistant in an industry she didn’t believe in. But what could she do? She hadn’t given much thought to her dreams she had been a little girl that wanted to own a dance studio. She didn’t want that anymore, but there had to be something.
“Amber – I need your help,” Marco said, interrupting the circle of thoughts with his phone call. “She’s accusing me of hitting Maria when I wasn’t even here!”
“Go get a notarized witness statement from everyone you were with and the people you talked to at the car show you were at during that time. The reputable ones, Marco. Gather any paperwork, tickets, receipts, pictures, anything you can think of from that weekend that helps to prove you weren’t anywhere near her or your daughter. Write out a detailed letter that’s as short as possible and label everything along with it to make it easy it court. Also remember to include a note that she refused to drug test the day before that.”
It was the most simple part of what she was used to doing for him. Constant research, learning laws and legal procedures. It wasn’t until that moment that she realized part of the reason she did she do so much for him was because she liked it. She was damn good at it, too.
She opened the internet and Googled “becoming a Paralegal”. A week later she was walking into offices of family law in a new suit and offering free help after business hours as an intern for three months in exchange for a position if she could prove herself. Less than a month and a half later, she was offered a permanent position that increased her previous salary by ten thousand a year and had begun studies to become a Certified Legal Assistant.
She was fighting for people again, but this time she fought for them to get away from all of the toxic garbage that had victimized her for so long. She felt powerful, like she was making a difference, successful and happy. She liked herself and what she did. It was the first time she had ever felt that way. Her life, career and dreams had finally become the same thing. Yes. She was finally a real person that had figured out what made her happy. Finally, she was really living.

I’ve always known who I am. I write, I love the arts, I love people and I love travel. I’m passionate and need to fight for what I believe in. I never had a problem knowing who I am. My battle has been fighting the outside forces that would tell me I am wrong.
There’s only so long we can run from ourselves before surrendering and that’s where I am now. I’ve given into who I am and what I love. That is what you see here.

Bobbie White


Photo by Petr Kratochvil
“They go to bed with Gilda, they wake up with me.” – Rita Hayworth
After years of others trying to change me and my trying to change myself, I’ve finally given in to the realization that it’s not going to happen.
I’m charismatic and neurotic
Passionate and overwhelming
Bad with money and good with people
The first to lean on in hard times but a lot of work
I’m a dreamer and unrealistic
Adventurous and dangerous
Attractive and overweight
Loving and sensitive
I’ve got addictive highs and lows
Fun but unstable
Creative and hard to understand
Easy to love and hard to hold onto
It’s easy to love the good and even easier to hate the bad in each one of us. What I’ve finally come to realize is that there’s always a flip side to every coin, and we all have it. More importantly, we don’t deserve any of it if we don’t love it all.
I was never able to accept this in my own life until I realized that loving what others consider their weakness is what makes them beautiful to me, and not loving it in myself is what enabled others to take what they wanted from me while rejecting what they didn’t.
Screw that.
I’ve finally come to love myself as I am, and am certainly done giving the time of day to anyone that doesn’t.
I am not here to be loved for what I represent. I am here to be loved for who I am.

How about you? What are the Yangs to your Yins? What about both sides make you and others bring the beauty?

I’ve always known who I am. I write, I love the arts, I love people and I love travel. I’m passionate and need to fight for what I believe in. I never had a problem knowing who I am. My battle has been fighting the outside forces that would tell me I am wrong.
There’s only so long we can run from ourselves before surrendering and that’s where I am now. I’ve given into who I am and what I love. That is what you see here.

Bobbie White


“Let the party begin!”
Her big smile almost out-dazzled the fashionable fuchsia dress and multi-colored zebra-print shoes she posed in as she entered the front door.
“Hey everyone,” she shouted with warm excitement before heading into the crowd to hug every single person as she made them feel like the one-and-only love of her life.
“How are you always smiling, Blondie?”
It was a question she was used to hearing.
“How could I not smile when I see you, darling?” She was holding both hands of the young lady who had asked the question and looking at her with a twinkle in her eye.
She fed off the reaction of the crowd that fell under her spell. The attention didn’t stay on her for too long, but she had provided temporary excitement and there was a slight increase to the energy and mood of the room. She was an entertainer by spirit and found no better high.
“Let me take you out to dinner tomorrow,” pleaded a handsome young man.
“Calm down, tiger,” she said teasing. “You wouldn’t know what to do with me if your life depended on it.”
The promises of those enamored lies kept her at a distance. She knew it wasn’t intentional, but she was smart enough to realize that they were drugged on the character of her; not who he really was. Hardly anyone knew the other side that came out when the curtain went down.
“Why are you so quiet?” It didn’t happen all the time, but when the long silences did come, it made her boyfriend uncomfortable.
“No reason, Gabriel,” she responded, still lost in thought as she watched the lights of the night pass on their drive. “Just lost in my own head.”
“I have to admit – when we first met, I didn’t believe you when you said you’re quiet and introverted a lot of the time. It didn’t seem…possible.”
“Welcome to the next stage of being in a relationship with me,” she teased. “If I’m not going off on philosophical rants, I’m recouping from all that extroverted fabulousness.” She smiled and rubbed the top of their entangled hands with her thumb. “What goes up must come down.”
“I like that smile,” he said, kissing the top of her cocoanut-scented hand. “You don’t smile as much with me anymore as you do when we’re out.”
“Come on sugar-britches! You gotta know that has nothing to do with how amazing I think you are. I’m just more comfortable with you now, which is a very good thing. I’m a tortured soul baby,” she joked with a dramatic gesture.
“I thought you were being sarcastic when you said that.”
“Yeah. It’s hard to believe. I love people, so I get excited when I first see them. That makes me all celebration and smiles, but that’s not who I really am. No one is. You get to see the me beyond those reactions to others. Most don’t see past the sparkle to see that there’s a lot more to me. Most don’t want it.”
“If you want to be taken seriously, why do you always flaunt about and wear such elaborate costumes?”
“Being animated and what I wear,” she said defensively, “is self-expression and does not determine how smart I am or how much respect I deserve. I don’t care if I get on the checkout stand at the grocery store and start dancing around in nipple tassels. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m a good person that does a lot for others and works incredibly hard to go after what I want and believe in. Besides – what’s wrong with being sexy? It should be celebrated. Not made into something we’re ashamed of.”
“But why do you always have to be so sexy? You’re with me now. Why do you want everyone looking at you?”
“Excuse me?” His comment bothered her, but she was still calm and understanding. “Have I changed from the person you first worked your tail off to win the time of day with?”
“No,” he said hesitantly as he realized he was walking into a trap.
“Do I come off as the type that does things to land a man instead of doing them because it’s who I am?”
“I’m not trying to suggest that. It just bothers me having so many people stare at you all the time.”
“I like making people feel good and I like entertaining. I hoped that you would enjoy that with me. I’m the last girl that’s going to be won and stuck away in a house cooking and cleaning for the rest of her life. And speaking of being in the house, in case you haven’t noticed, the way I dress is exactly the same when no one else is around as when they are.”
Gabriel stared at the road as he drove. He was unsatisfied with the conversation but, being a testosterone-filled guy’s guy, he was too uncomfortable to share those feelings.
“I don’t want to steamroll you,” she said switching gears. “You’re wonderful and of course I want to make you happy. I try to pay attention to your needs and find out where we both can be satisfied. Now that we’re getting more serious, maybe we can designate one dinner a week to trying to figure stuff like that out.”
He shifted in his seat, uncomfortable at the idea.
“Come on, baby. It can be very logical. We can try to think of it as business negotiations as much as possible if it makes you more comfortable and agree to keep as much emotion out of it as possible while we discuss things.”
He relaxed at the idea of keeping the emotions manageable. He had seen her, quite to his shock, switch on a dime when not getting enough respect from the fun-loving and light-hearted girl she was known as to a very serious and quite powerful woman.
“Only while we’re sifting through the nuts and bolts though,” she continued. “That’s all I’ll promise.”
He conceded with a slight nod.
“Oh come on pookie,” she said, unfastening her seatbelt to hop up and sit on her heels so she could throw her arms around his shoulders. “Lighten up for me. You’ve noticed how many fellas have tried to get my attention over the last few years.”
He tightened up, sliding back to an unpleasant mood.
“How many of them did I give the time of day? Even when I was single, I didn’t allow anything to happen and it was next to impossible to catch my interest. Why would it change now? Especially when I’ve got my dream man right here.” She started kissing him all over his face until he couldn’t hold back a laugh.
“Hold on woman,” he said, now in good spirits as he pulled her off. “You’re going to make me crash!”
“I know I’m a handful, Gabriel. I love you all the more for being such a strong man,” she said facing him in an Indian-style position. “You actually work at understanding me, loving me for who I am and working together to find a way to make us fit. Many think they want me,” she said, looking down, “but if I gave them a chance to see all of me, they’d run for the hills. I’ve always known that.”
“I can’t imagine anyone being unwilling to go to the ends of the earth for you,” he said, raising her chin. “All of you.”
Because of this, she loved him.
As he parked on the street by the ocean, he stopped her before she opened the car door.
“I knew how heartbroken you were to invest the money you wanted to use to take your best friend on a birthday cruise,” he said changing the subject, “so I got something for you.”
She looked at him with surprise.
“Look in the glove box,” he said.
Pulling out four plane tickets to New Orleans for Marti Gras, she stared at the tickets as she processed what she was looking at.
“I want you to go with your girls,” he said. “You’ve been giving up a lot of the things that make you happy in order to do what’s responsible. I’ve noticed how much it’s taken away that spark I love about you so much. As much as I hate to admit it, I’d rather see your shining, happy personality with all of your crazy adventures than watch you be subdued so we can invest.”
Oh my gosh!” She jumped up and straddled him. “You’re amazing!”
“Just as long as we have a little something being sacked away, OK? Now listen. I trust you and want you to have fun on this trip, and I know you can take care of yourself, but it’s dangerous over there. I’ll be there too, but I’ll be doing my own thing with a couple friends at a different hotel. I’ll just be a phone call away if you need me.”
“How about late-night calls?” She asked with a seductive stare as she reached down to unbuckle his pants. “Are those permitted?”
“I think you’ve already worked your black magic on me, woman. What else do I have to be scared of?”

I’ve always known who I am. I write, I love the arts, I love people and I love travel. I’m passionate and need to fight for what I believe in. I never had a problem knowing who I am. My battle has been fighting the outside forces that would tell me I am wrong.
There’s only so long we can run from ourselves before surrendering and that’s where I am now. I’ve given into who I am and what I love. That is what you see here.

Bobbie White

Who says a dog can’t learn new tricks?

Many people say that the 30’s are the best years of your life. You are old enough to know who you are, and adult enough to be able to act on it. While I have always been active, there are things that I was never able to do. Since I turned 30, I have embarked on a journey, to do things that I had never given myself the credit to be able to do.

Unlike most children, I never really got the hang of training wheels on a bike, so I never really learned. It was never really an issue of balance, as I was quick to learn ice skating and rollerblading. Once I got to college at UC Santa Barbara, a campus with a complex bicycle highway, people told me I would never make it through without learning. I tried once and hit a fence and a parked car. As I started teaching group exercise classes, I also became certified in 24 Cycle, Reaction cycle, and took many other cycling classes. I never felt I should teach it as I didn’t properly know how to ride and was worried about what the real cyclists in my classes would think. Once I got asked to sub for a month, I was hooked. After teaching for a while, I decided it was time to learn how to ride for real. My dad bought me a 24” girl’s bike at Wal-Mart. I ride it low so I can have access to the ground in case I feel like I’m going to fall. I pushed myself along to my mom’s a few times, a block down the street. I was finally able to go that little way. I had heard about the San Jose Bike Party and really wanted to take part in it. This would be a huge test.

They publish the course the day of the ride. I went with two of my girlfriends who had done this ride before. As much as I tried to express that I would be far behind, they did their best to try to wait for me and encourage me. But this was a battle within me. By the time we rode to the start, the SJBP route and then back, it was approximately 30 miles. I have never ridden a mile in my entire life. I kept thinking of what I would do if I got lost from the group, or couldn’t do it, or got hurt. But I pushed this to the back of my mind. All my life I had never been able to ride a bike and here I was determined to go these 30 miles. I fell to the back, as knew I would need lots of room and space to fall and make mistakes. I managed to complete the ride. I was very sore, very bruised, but the sense of accomplishment I felt was amazing. After that ride, I did my research and got a new bike seat, lights and accessories

Another adventure I embarked on was learning how to snowboard. I had skied in high school, but it was a relatively few times. I took a snowboarding lesson the first time, and didn’t manage to get back to Lake Tahoe until a year later, where I rented and fell – a LOT. Then I decided to get my own gear. I did a lot of research on how to snowboard, what to get, etc. When I decide to do something, I go full out. I went 5 or 6 times that year. This year I went, and am still working on the basics, but I learned how to carve and go toe-side and that was a huge accomplishment for me as that was my biggest challenge.

My next trial is running. I do not run. I joke that I only do “paid cardio”, as in when I teach cardio classes. I, by nature, am a lifter and am more comfortable in strength training. Many of my friends have run marathons and half-marathons and I want to be a part of that. I may not be able to do that. But most of those events have 5k & 10k options. When I rowed crew in college and we had to run, I was always one of the last. But just like before, this is not going to stop me. I have set my mind to it and it will be done.

In the last year I have also kept my mind open and I have gone whitewater rafting and ridden a horse. With all the technology that is now available to us, all the help that is out there, the gadgets, the online how-to’s, audio training and apps on iTunes, there is no reason to be afraid to embark on an adventure of your own. I am not an athlete. I was never ‘the best’ at anything. I believe that I can accomplish what I set my mind to. My method of training is to start with what people have to bring. You can’t train everyone the same and not all people can be ‘beaten’ into shape. I want all people to be able to feel the way I have felt as I work on these new things. You can start at any age, and any level. There are SO many options out there, and resources that will help, guide and encourage you every step of the way. I want to encourage everyone to get out of their heads and into something new and exciting.

“If you can run a mile, you can run a marathon” – See Jane Run

“When I first started running, I was so embarrassed, I’d walk when cars passed me. I’d pretend I was looking at the flowers.” Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic Marathon Winner

Sites to get you started / Recommended links

I have been a Certified Group Exercise instructor and Personal trainer since 2001. (ACE, AFAA) I have a Dual-track minor from UCSB in Group Ex & Personal Training as well as graduated from SJSU Kinesiology:Exercise Physiology,MA with my project and studies on exercise and pregnancy.


My main concern over the years working with clients is extreme diets, unhealthy perceptions of what is ‘healthy’, finding something that works for you, and being able to maintain it.

Nicole M Thompson MA, certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor has been in the fitness industry for over 10 years. She has used her own body for experimental practice by competing in NPC Figure and Bikini competitions. While able to push herself to her limits, Nicole believes in finding out what works for each person to give them the best shot at sticking to a healthier, better lifestyle. Contact Nicole at

Nicole M. Thompson, MA
UCSB, Sociology, minor Group Ex & Personal Training
SJSU, Kinesiology: Exercise Physiology, minor Sports Nutrition,
specializing in Exercise & Pregnancy
NPC Figure & Bikini America competitor

A travel & lifestyle journal about the messy pilgrimage of adventure and personal growth of a Gen Xer.