This is a blog I wrote on a different site back in 2013. A friend reminded me of this last week. I re-read this one, and it made me laugh. And I thought I’d share it again.

Ok, ok, I don’t have a personality disorder.  But hang with me, and you will get where I am going.  For all of those who are shoppers extraordinare, you are probably aware of the Nordstrom line that was at Target.  I wasn’t much into it, because it still seemed mega pricey to me – especially to be at Target, but there was a dress I was in love with.  It looked like something that Michelle Obama would wear.  And I don’t care what your politics are – that is a beautiful woman, who dresses amazing, and carries herself like a champ.  One of the few women that can make biceps look elegant in a sleeveless dress.  I just knew if I owned this dress, I would be the same.  Striking, elegant, commanding the attention of others, in a  demure way.  But, it was $99.99, and I didn’t think all those things should cost that much from Target. 

Well, my friend from work informed me that she purchased said dress last week for 50% off!!!! Now, that, I would consider.  So off to Target we go on our lunch break, so I too, can own a Michelle Obama dress.  What began to transpire is a horror story – something that shouldn’t happen to anyone.  Ever.  We walk in – and there it is – Not at the price point of $49.99 – but $29.99!!!!!! (Sorry Target, I know your Nordstrom stuff didn’t do great – but this excited me!)  So, I rummage through the dresses, find my size, and almost sprint to the dressing room.  I know I am going to look beautiful in this dress.  I have to.  The dress is so gorgeous!!!!  And then…… I put it on. 

Boy, was I wrong.  Let’s just say, it was cut in a way up front, that showed more than what it should have on my body type.  I’ll just say it – THERE WAS WAY TOO MUCH BOOB!  (One of those things when on a different shape it would look amazing – not knocking the dress – just me in the dress.) And it isn’t the type of dress where I could wear a tank top under it.  So, a touch sad, I start to take it off. And then tragedy befalls me.  The zipper will not budge.  It zips up to the bottom of your neck – and it wouldn’t budge an inch. At all.  I wrangle myself enough out of the dress to get it twisted around so the zipper is now in front, thinking that would get me a better hold on it.  Still will not budge.  I start to panic.  I am trapped half naked in what I once thought was an amazing dress.  Bet that stuff doesn’t happen to Michelle Obama.

Then I had an epiphany.  I pick up my cell phone and call my friend who came with me.  You can imagine that short conversation – and she comes to the dressing room.  What does she do?  Start cracking up.  I have to admit – it was probably quite a sight – me all red-faced and panic stricken, dress half down and backwards – frantically telling her to help me.  She tries, and guess what – ITS STUCK!!!!  When you see concern in your friends face, you know it’s time to worry.  We work and work, and she finally breaks me free.  It was intense.  I hug her and do a little dance of jubilation in the dressing room.  I have never gotten dressed so fast in my entire life.

Me. The dress. And Michelle.

I blog this to tell you this….  My lessons from the Dressing Room, if you will…

1.  I am not Michelle Obama.
2.  Don’t take stock in material things – you might think that they may make you feel one way – but, it reality it will be the exact opposite – and maybe much worse.
3.  Always take your cell phone into a dressing room. 
4.  Your true friends will always be there for you – no matter the situation – and never take that for granted.
5.  No matter how bad things seem, they can always be worse.  Always.  And people are always there to help you.  Let them help you – and don’t be afraid to ask.
6.  And did I say make sure you take your cell phone into a dressing room?
7.  Never underestimate the power of the secret service – I guarantee they wouldn’t have let her get trapped in that dress.

So here is what I am saying, no matter how bad your situation? People can help you if you take the initiative to help yourself.  And no matter how dire the situation seems?  There is an end to it – it will resolve itself.  It’s been a few days – and I am not in the dress.  I hope I made you laugh, and think – cause this was one a bit embarrassing – ehhh… shoot – It’s funny.

I know, we learned this as little kids. But I am not talking about your standard – “Don’t lie.” I am talking about tell your truth. Yours. The dialogue that runs in your head. What is that truth?

For the past 10 years, I think I have suffered with some type of identity crisis. No seriously, I think I did. Around January – February of this year. Everything seemed jumbled, and then it slowly began to come into focus. I am a big fan of self – help, meditation, prayer, the bible, journaling, all of it. And I used all of these tools for years, but it wasn’t until the past couple of months – that I surrendered.

Surrender, you say? That seems dramatic. Yes. It is dramatic. And here is how. You see above how I said I love the bible? Well, since I was a little kid – I was brought up in church. I knew these verses – I just never thought to actually apply them. Yeah, I know – I am a quick learner.

“ ‘Do not steal. “ ‘Do not lie. “ ‘Do not deceive one another. ” – Leviticus 19:11. An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies. Proverbs 14:5 And well, that’s just a couple.

Now you might be sitting there and saying, “Well, Kristie – I am glad you have gotten your pathological lying in check, but I don’t have that issue. ” Well first of all Karen, that’s not what I am talking about. But second of all – I think we all struggle with this a little more than we think.

I have a therapist. And she is great. Why do I need a therapist? WE ALL NEED A THERAPIST! Now, maybe you have one. Maybe you have a girlfriend, sister, someone else – who steps in as a therapist. Me, personally – I like having the outside perspective. I have girlfriends I can talk to – but guess what? They love me. If I’m mad – they are mad. We are a team. So, I need someone who will say – “Kristie, you are wrong and you are being crazy.” Jan loves doing that.

So. Here is my big lie. And maybe yours, too. It’s only two words – and I used it like a badge of honor. You ready? —– “I’m fine.” ——- That’s it. I always acted like everything was fine. And to be honest, the last ten years of my life – not really fine. There’s been a lot of good, don’t get me wrong, but there’s been a lot of bad. And it’s only been in the past 6 months or so – that I have gotten comfortable with saying what my truth’s are.

I have had some medical bills. I have struggled in silence with those. Well, mostly silence. And finally I had enough. I made a decision. That decision was going to require me to be vulnerable, and tell the truth. I decided to implement Dave Ramsey’s plan to pay off all my bills, rather than just staying afloat, and making everyone else thing everything was perfect. That meant, telling those in my tribe. My friends, my kids, and to be honest, some people I work with. Why did I have to tell them? Because they were going to see a change. I am on a budget – a strict budget – so extracurricular stuff is gone for awhile. I am not being rude, I am not being distant. I am just being broke. But I am choosing broke for now, so I can be great later. That’s my truth. My truth isn’t that everything is fine. Because it isn’t. My truth is that it will be. So guess what I did. I told my friends. My family. My co-workers (that I am close with, anyway). I told them that I was going to start selling stuff that I/we didn’t use. I was going to throw every penny at my bills, and get them paid off ASAP. And guess what?

Every single person was nothing but supportive. Even my kids. Even Jacoby. No one thought any less of me. No one acted like I was some irresponsible 40 something screw-up. And to be honest? Most everyone either then told me about their financial struggles, either present or past. Gave me great ideas, and also said – ‘I’m proud of you. I know it’s scary. You can do it.’ They are right. I can.

Next, and here is a big one – I think especially for women. Let your loved ones know what you need. Just let them know. Jan said to me, ‘One day – You are going to have to actually say what you need. People aren’t mind readers. It isn’t being selfish. It isn’t being weak. There is nothing wrong with telling someone that you aren’t okay with something. Because if they react negatively? Either they can’t do what you ask – so you change your expectation, or you accept it and progress. You shouldn’t suffer and worry in limbo. So, at least then – you can determine where you place that relationship.’

Well, Jan. What if they don’t say what you want them to? What if you want them to love you? Need you? What if you want to be the apple of their eye? You want them to see you as strong? The go-to friend? The best daughter? An amazing girlfriend? The best employee ever? Telling someone what you need – THAT’S WEAK! I said this, not quite so eloquently, to her. She folded her legs up underneath her and shook her head. “I didn’t say it was easy. I said you needed to do it. But if you wanna suffer, hey – go ahead. But this piece of advice isn’t going to change. People aren’t mind readers – as much as we might want them to be.”

So, months later. I did it. (Listen, don’t judge me. I didn’t say I was obedient. Or a quick study.) But I did it. I started talking to those I trust and have relationships with. I told them about my trust issues. I told them about my fears. I told them when I felt ignored. Or not wanted. I told them when I just wanted to be alone. Once I started telling, it got a little easier. And guess what happened? Some of the folks – not all, but some. Started telling me back. And guess what? We are closer than ever. Some, have just listened to what I said. Some, have listened and told me that they couldn’t do what I needed. But guess what. Every scenario was a win. Everyone. Because one, relationships grew. And I was told how to love them better. And even in the situation where I was told that they couldn’t do what I needed? It wasn’t mean. It was just – they couldn’t. I can’t be mad at that, and I now have realistic expectations.

Listen, I still struggle. The act of being vulnerable and admitting you have a heart and feelings – well for me – that sucks. I’d much rather be viewed as the “tough, I don’t care, I’ll fight you then spit in your grave” type person, than the one who is tender hearted and cries by herself at night. I’d much rather be seen as tough, than the girl who is afraid that she will never be loved the way she loves. I’d much rather be seen as distant and cold, than for anyone to know – just how much I would give for those I love, and how I am scared to death that no one will ever love me back that way – and maybe, I don’t deserve it. I’d rather be seen as a bully, than the tenderhearted woman that I actually am.

Because once you see that side of me? The soft side? I feel like you can ruin me. I feel like you can hurt me like no one else can. And when someone has been hurt? Well, like my momma says, ” A burnt child, dreads the fire.” So, I guess – I have been afraid of the fire. Not anymore.

Well, that I lie. I am scared of it. But what scares me more? Missing some amazing opportunities, to self preserve.

So guys. There it is. Tell the freaking truth.

Wish me Luck.

Love fully. Live fully. Sat nam.

Ok. This isn’t a post about manifestation. But it could be. In one of my previous posts I wrote about how I wanted to make my house more, homey. I made a list. (If you haven’t read that post, I suggest ya do.) Well, Number six on the list – was my kitchen table. Can I just say, I hated my kitchen table. Like I hated it with a passion. And I wish that I could say that my ex bought it, picked it, or it was forced upon me and someway. NOPE. That sucker was all me. And when I bought it – I was so proud! I really was! But, about 5 days after the purchase – I knew it was a bad idea. I denied it. But I knew it was bad. I shall now insert a photo below. So you can see the prettiness. Then I will explain why it was a bad idea.

Industry Place 5 Piece Dining Set, In all her advertised Glory.

So there she is. Isn’t she lovely? I mean, I saw that table – and I saw modern. Edgy. I saw – MYSELF. (Ok, maybe it’s a little dramatic for the table. But, I was pretty pumped about it. ) I loved the finish. I loved the metal. I loved that you can arrange the height of the table and stools. I loved that it looked like it could be in a Chipotle near you. I. LOVED. IT.

My kids loved it too, at first. But what we all forgot, was that the littlest child (at the time of purchase) was 7. EMMM. MMMM. You know what you don’t want with a small child? A spinning table with spinning chairs. You wanna know why? Did ya work super hard and get dinner on the table? One hard spin equals dinner on the floor. Tears ensue. Mine and his. Did I mention I have ceramic tile floors? Corning ware against ceramic tile? Tile wins. There IS a lock for the table. Did you know that a seven year old can undo said lock, with his toes, without disturbing the table at all? It can be done. It has been done.

Death trap.

Industrial Place 5 Piece dining set (For the rest of this post, I am going to refer to it as IP5), can also double as a playground. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you why. You know those spinning wheels of death that are probably now banned across playgrounds everywhere? Well, in a pinch, the stool from said dining set, can also double as this fine piece of play equipment. Picture it: A laughing eight year old. Spinning face down on stool. He jumps up. He’s dizzy. He’s down. He’s bleeding. Ugh. This all happening while I am screaming, “You knew better! I am not paying a $350.00 co-payment at the emergency room because you weren’t thinking!” (Yes, I literally said that. No, I didn’t mean it – well, I sorta did. I’m not perfect, we know this. )

IP5 had other drawbacks. When the four of us sat down to dinner, the table would wobble everytime someone touched it. Also, our plates were really super close. IP5 was lacking on it’s radial length. And once IP5 got about 7 months old, randomly a white haze would form on it. It would happen with moisture. But it would show up when I would clean it. Then it would go away. Freaking weird, I know. But ask my kids. I swear it happened. I knew I needed a new table. Tables aren’t cheap. IP5 cost me almost $500.00 when it was said and done. That’s a lot of money to me. So me, the kids, and IP5 were in an unfulfilling relationship together.

But, then, the miraculous occurred. I got a phone call from a friend of mine. And he said,” My mom is getting a new kitchen table – Do you want her old one? It’s over 20 years old and needs some work, but it’s solid wood.” Sir, you had me sold at the word solid. Do I ever! And let me tell ya – my happy self went to work the next day, asked my brothers to borrow the truck, and I made arrangements to pick that sucker up that Saturday. Saturday rolls around, and me and my crew (which is me and the kids, FYI) head over to her house to pick it up. We get there, load it up, give hugs and say 1000 thank you’s, and head home. She also gave us some cream parson’s chairs to go with it.

I get home, and I get to work. Now, once he told me it needed work, I put a budget in my head. I didn’t want to go over $100. I have to do budgets. Or I get too creative. LOL! Luckily, I am the son that my daddy never had – so I tagged around quite a bit in his wood working shop as a little kid. So on hand, I have a belt sander, and rotary sander, and some sanding blocks. And I get to town. Yes, the table was 20+ years old. But the top, well it shocked me. It didn’t take much work to get it down to a smooth surface, little scratches and nicks out. She took super great care of it. Same goes with the base and the legs, but they were a bit more difficult. They had been painted for the different styles of the times, so it took a little more work. Still though, I had them stripped down in about three hours.

Now, here’s the fun part. I decided I wanted to do it in like a modern/farmhouse/chic/girly/cool finish. That took some googling, due to the fact I can be indecisive. I decided on a deep gray color, with a coffee/mahogany top. So, off to make the purchase to fix this table. I got the stain at Lowe’s ($12.16 with tax). I used the Minwax PolyShades – because I love the ease of the one step. For the legs, I wanted to do a subtle milk paint. I love milk paints, chalk paints, and whitewash. Those are my favorite paint styles. I think that I gives such a soft finish. And by soft, I mean, it looks like it would actually feel soft. I couldn’t find what I wanted at Lowe’s. So off to Joann’s I go. PEOPLE! I got the milk paint on clearance for $4.17 and I had a 20% off entire purchase. I got two. So… $7.12 later, I’m set. Our grand total for this table at this point is $16.33.

I do the table and I floor myself at my own work. I am super proud of this table. There is only one problem. I had three chairs, and need more seating. So I start looking for seating ideas. I needed to redo the chairs, and wasn’t sure how. So I decided on upholstery spray paint in charcoal and stone. Now this stuff is pricey, to me. So, I implement my tribe – Joann’s and Michael’s Coupons. I got it down to 5.14 a can. I needed five cans, for three chairs. I still had a 20% off coupon thanks to the app – so grand total there came to $21.20. Now, if you go this route, MAKE SURE YOU DO IT OUTSIDE AND DO NOT SIT IN THEM FOR 48 HOURS! They are still gonna be tacky for a couple days, and you don’t want to ruin that hard work. And when it says to shake the can for a full minute – DO IT. That isn’t a suggestion, it’s needed or it will come out all weird and yucky. We are now at $37.53. And I still need another seat.

My budget for another seat is $62.47. I decide I will get a bench, and stain it to match. I can find a standard wood bench for that amount, right? No. No I can’t. Not even close, guys. So, guess what I do? Google. That’s right. I found a design to make a bench. So, a trip to home depot, $16.80 later, we got the fixin’s for what could be an amazing piece of carpentry. Then, I get to work. And guess what ya girl did? She made a frickin’ bench. That’s exactly what she did! I’m not even gonna lie. It seemed simple. But I thought, it can’t be that simple. I mean, it wasn’t totally simple – but it wasn’t hard either. And I have had four grown folks sitting on it – she is sturdy.

The Bench in Progress

I tell you all this, one – to help. Two, to proclaim how grateful I am for this table. I despised my other table as a dinner table. Now IP5 is in the corner as a board game/homework table. Perfect life for IP5. And this table that was given to me, means everything to me. One, a dear friend thought of me and asked if I was interested. Two, my brothers let me use the truck to make it happen – how awesome to have the availability of a truck! Three, I got to spend some time with a sweet lady, help her out, and you could tell she was so happy that it was going to good use. Four, I made something that I am proud of. Five, it has been a rough year and this was a great thing to make me feel at home. I can’t even begin to explain how blessed and grateful I am.

So, it’s set up. I want a centerpiece. Because, well – I have room for a centerpiece and a plate. And I didn’t before. I decided to hit up Marshall’s, and low and behold – I found the base. A two-tiered swivel thing. Specific, I know – you’ll see. I put a Rae Dunn mug and juicer I had in the cabinet, some greenery I had, and got the letter’s at Joann’s for less than a dollar a piece. On the center piece, amount I spent was $21.21. The piece itself was 14.99, then there was a candle from the dollar tree, a couple little pots, you see. But there’s the total. At this point, I haven’t finished the third chair yet. So, one of IP5’s stools is on one side, which actually looks pretty cool. But the rest, is below. I am so happy with how it came out. I am super happy that there is a story to it. I am proud of my effort. I am grateful for the vision. I am grateful for the sweet soul that gifted it to me.

I. Love. This. So. Much. And… Grand Total – $75.54. Still under budget and that’s including the centerpiece and placemats. (Placemats aren’t permanent – I just happened to take this picture with them on the table.)

And let me tell you, we have sat there. And eaten. And laughed. We had some company over, and we were all able to sit at the table. It was awesome. So here is my take away…. One, put it out there and let it be known what you need. And just watch. Two, be grateful for what you have, even if you hate it. I know that doesn’t sound possible, but it is. I am in a phase of my life where I am closing old doors – and trying to build new things. It feels good to see things happening. And… If you like this – please subscribe and share. Let’s get the word out and be happy. Stay Inspired!

Xoxo.