Tuesday, September 12, 2017

41: The Year of Joy

I turned 41 a couple of weeks ago.  Much like turning 40 last year (you can read that story HERE), nothing happened.  Obviously, if you've read some recent posts, I may have had a little melt down, but that was unrelated to my age.  And now that some time has passed, I feel like I have clarity and resolve that I'm on the right path. 

I decided to apply a theme to my 41st year.  So, this year is the Year of Joy.  I believe I am starting it off with a bang.  NCPP kicked off the season for me only a few days before my birthday.  Our fourth year was another success.  My family had a get-together for me the next day, which was awesome -- all of the babies came to see Aunty.  My birthday week was actually pretty quiet but fun.  The day before my birthday, I went to dinner with friends.  On my actual birthday, I chose to go to class with Janet (Operation Upside Down in full effect!).  Friday night, I went to dinner with friends again.  Then I was blessed with a long weekend.  I got to go to the beach with the family.  I went horseback riding with my sisters and enjoyed a drag show.  Then I walked the Golden Gate Bridge with Jade. 

Oh, the excitement doesn't end there.  One week after my birthday, I got on a plane and flew to Las Vegas to visit my friends at Pole Expo.  While there, I got to relax by the pool and wander the Strip.  I also went to see Magic Mike Live (go see that show, seriously!) and Thunder From Down Under with my amigos. 

I have a ton of awesome things coming up to end the year on a high note.  In a couple of weeks, I go to San Luis Obispo for a yoga retreat with one of the members of my favorite band, Pepper.  A couple of weeks after that, we are taking all of the babies to Disneyland!  And in December, the family is heading back to Vegas for a few days -- to celebrate Seneti's third birthday. 

I am extremely grateful for the life that I have and the people with whom I have crossed paths.  I really am surrounded by an amazing group of people. 

I have started using #365daysofjoy on Instagram and Twitter to share a photo of something that makes me happy every day.  I am also keeping an album on Facebook.  I hope to inspire others to join me.  Even if you don't want to share every single day, I'd love to see what makes you happy.

Here's to 41 being a joyful year filled with family, friends and adventures!  Thank you all for being part of that journey!

Some photos of the things that have brought me joy over the last few months:






This face brings me joy





 

Introducing Colter!






Don't ask...


GISHWHES










I adore how much these cousins love each other















The three amigos!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Operation Upside Down: Month 2

I just completed Month 2 of Operation Upside Down.  And by using the word "completed," I just mean that the month did, in fact, happen.  My last update was from Week 4, and you can read that HERE

August is the month of Northern California Pole Presentational.  We had our fourth annual event on Saturday, August 26.  It is an entire day of pole dancing.  We set up Friday.  Practice starts at 7 AM on Saturday, and the show runs from about 9 AM to 5 PM.  Then we tear it all down.  The entire month of August each year is generally spent collecting and organizing music for 70+ dancers, making spreadsheets, signs and lists, writing the script, gathering information from sponsors and vendors, designing a program, etc.  Basically, I get off work and I go home to park it on the couch and work some more.  I also started doing hospice volunteer work recently, and that has added to my already full plate (although it is rewarding work).  I did make it to a few classes sprinkled throughout the month, however, I was certainly not in gain-strength mode.  Last night was the final day of August --  my 41st birthday -- and my final chance to squeeze in a class before month 2 ended. 

Do I feel stronger?  Yes and no.  I kept up my yoga practice, and I also tried lyra during the month of August (I did a lot better than I expected).  I am sure I have mentioned before that I gauge my general strength based on how I feel during "chaturanga."  My chaturanga is decent right now.  I don't crash chest first into the floor as I start to lower.  However, when I tried chopper last night, I felt awkward and weak again.  Perhaps it was because I hadn't choppered all month.  I feel like Janet really has to push me into the move.  Ellen had mentioned last week that I may want to try kind of pushing off of Janet's arm so I'm having to push my own ass into the move.  I worry I'd break Janet.  She's mighty but she's so tiny. 

So anyway, here are some videos from August.  Slow and steady wins the race, right??

Starting Month 2:



Practicing on vacation even:



First lyra class (don't wanna go backwards):



Upside down with Jen:



Routine with the Dizzy Divas:



Second lyra class (falling backwards like a champ now):



And last night's chopper with Janet:



Thank you to everyone who is being patient while I slowly navigate the upside down world!  I know I play around a lot but I really am enjoying the process. 



Thank you for the birthday love, Twirlies!!! 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

It's Not Me, It's You

There is so much power in being broken. It isn't your fault when you're a victim. No responsibility for your own actions, or how you allow others to treat you. You are merrily skipping along the dark path in your lush red cape when the Big, Bad Wolf comes along and eats you. It wasn't your fault. You were merely an innocent victim. Never mind the worst tracker in the world could have picked up on the fact that the wolf was behind you for miles, crunching leaves and breathing down your neck.

I had a pretty epic meltdown on Facebook last night. Recently, I deleted probably 1,000 Facebook "friends," so at least it wasn't as public as my last epic meltdown. Yesterday, I was hurt by someone I loved. Actually, not by him. I was hurt by a post I saw on Facebook, and my reaction was to immediately lash out at him. My behavior was completely out of line. It is not to take responsibility  off of anyone else. He and I have been having issues for awhile and have been hurting each other back and forth. After a bad interaction several months ago with the other person who posted, I question whether she posted on purpose knowing it would bother me. Who knows. Maybe I am just too far in victim mode to realize it was never about me and I chose to react rather than take a breather before responding. Then the dreaded "de-friending" on Facebook happened. The break is finally done. And I was devastated. 

So I posted that shit on Facebook. But not, like, what was really happening. Some vague shit so people could think I was being dark and mysterious, but still feel bad for my pathetic ass.

I don't think I've ever cried so much in my life. Literally, I lost three pounds yesterday, and that could only have come from dehydration -- snot and tears. I got in bed as soon as I got home and cried and texted and texted and cried. I was in that dark place, the place where the pain is SO deep that you can honestly see how people commit suicide. Your moment of weakness comes and you think, if you just take those pills, the pain goes away and you can be free. Without the babies, I would have taken those pills last night. I would have done anything to make that pain in my head and chest stop. I don't think I have ever in my life felt so dark. And for what? A failed relationship? Shit happens, lady.  Put your big girl panties on and get back to living.

People called me to make sure I was okay.  I received tons of messages last night from friends, telling me exactly what I thought my bruised ego needed to hear. "You're fucking awesome!" "Don't let this get you down!" "He's a jerk, you deserve better!" "Keep your head up!"

And you know what? It didn't make me feel better. It made me feel like shit. Because, in reality, I'm not upset with him. Or her. I'm upset with myself. My behavior was ridiculous and completely out of line for a 40 year old woman. Granted, I didn't drive to his house and slash his tires or anything, but I was an asshole to him, and I took my personal drama to the fucking internet and let everyone see my crazy.

But seriously, fuck Facebook. Fuck Facebook for letting that stupid ass post show up in my feed. Fuck me for falling for it and reacting, then needing that dopamine high from every response I received. Why do we rely so heavily on Facebook for E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.? All I wanted to do last night was delete Facebook from my life. But, NCPP is in two days and I use Facebook for that. And, my family and friends are on Facebook, and it is so easy to  keep in touch there. And...and...but...but...

I'm embarrassed about how I acted. I apologized to him, but the damage is done. Our friendship (if we were going to be able to salvage one) will never be the same. What makes a grown ass woman act like a 16 year old girl? I don't feel powerful in victim mode. The more people I talked to about what was happening, the worse I felt. I was supposed to be happy hearing everyone telling me that I'm amazing and my knight in shining armor is right around the corner. The truth is, I don't need a man to make me happy, and I don't like the person I've become recently. My power comes from realizing that and taking control of my life again.

I spent many years -- mostly my late 20's and all of my 30's -- not feeling good emotions. I had two relationships where I was not in love even a little bit. I was angry. I walked away from those relationships -- which collectively spanned a decade -- without shedding a single tear. The last couple of years, I have really changed how I show up in the world. I feel less angry and I opened myself up to feeling love. I guess in the process, that means I also had to open myself up to feeling hurt. Anger seems so much easier. I don't know why.

I've been reading a lot of books about love and relationships, especially about attachment styles, and why we act the way we do. So reasonable-me understands why I acted the way I did. Apparently my story isn't so special. Seemingly awesome, independent, confident, successful women get into unhealthy relationships and turn "psycho" all the time. I don't want to be that statistic. And I recognize I'm here further sharing my personal bullshit with the world, but writing is cathartic for me. I need to get things out so they don't fester and cause me to blow up. Case in point: last night.

So, for anyone who witnessed last night, I am sorry. I am trying to say I'm sorry less for things I shouldn't apologize for, but I need to apologize for my behavior.  I deleted the post but a lot of people saw it. I am a professional woman who has somehow managed to get up and dress myself every day, and build a decent career in the legal field. I know better. For anyone who texted, called, messaged, posted on Facebook, etc. -- thank you. I didn't mean to make light of your kind words above. I appreciate every single one of them. I just realized I was using them to stay in victim mode. This morning, I am taking my power back. I have a life full of awesome people and adventures and I am always grateful for that. But even Wonder Woman needs to have a vulnerable moment every once in awhile. 

And to him, even though I can't imagine he will ever see this...I am sorry. I know that probably won't mean anything today, but I take responsibility for my contribution to the downfall of our relationship and friendship. You taught me a lot about love and what I want for myself. For that, I will be eternally grateful.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Operation Upside Down: Week 4

Photo by Elle Aime Photography







So, I have completed an entire month of Bottoms Up with Janet!  I feel like I'm already making progress, and I will probably move to monthly updates from here on out (unless I do something amazing, of course). 

Check out some videos from class last week below:





Plus, here's the mini routine we did with Grace on Monday:


Monday, July 17, 2017

Operation Upside Down: Week 3

8 years as a TG!
So last week was Week 3 of Operation Get Lori Upside Down.  On Monday, I took a class with Grace (gotta keep that flow and dance going) and Thursday, I had Bottoms up With Janet.  Although I do feel stronger each time I go in, I also don't feel like there's that much of a difference between this week and last week.  I did throw my head backwards a little better on that chopper attempt.  Thank goodness for Janet's patience and instruction!

I feel like I have spent most of my pole dancing "career" not trying very hard and kind of using humor to hide the fact that I'm not advancing.  It is time to put up or shut up. 

I appreciate the messages and comments that I am receiving on my videos and photos.  It really is nice to have so much love and support on this journey!




Chopper attempt with Janet:



Dancing with the Graceful Movers:



ABALM10 for 10% off non-sale items at Artista

Twinsies

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dangerous Curves

 

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Roz the Diva, who now has a DOCUMENTARY about her!  While people like me just talk about plus sized pole dancing, people like Roz are actually out there doing it.  This girl is in the news constantly.  I am so proud of her! 

I first blogged about Roz back in 2011.  Since then, although we are on opposite coasts, we have connected in person probably half a dozen times.  I always enjoy her as both a fun friend to hang out with, and a good instructor who understands how my body works. 

When she said she was leaving her "safe" 9-5 job to be a full time fitness instructor, I thought she was crazy.  But its been quite awhile and she is still rocking it.  I know she works her ass off and I respect her for that. 

Please check out the video below and support her workshops!


Dangerous Curves from Merete Mueller on Vimeo.