Spam Bombs and Credit Card Fraud Will Make Anyone Crazy

Last Wednesday started off like any other day. I stopped by a colleague’s desk to catch up on her recent vacation. I got back to my desk 10 minutes later and saw I had 297 unopened Gmail messages. I immediately knew something was off; even on my best day I am not that popular. I had a slew of emails with similar subjects like “Thank you for subscribing” or “Thank you for your inquiry”. Some messages were English, some Spanish, some were what I think to be Arabic.” WTF?!?!” went through my head a million times. I immediately logged into Gmail on my computer, and deleted what now rose to about 500 emails. But they would NOT stop. Emails were coming in by the second. I added a million filters which caught thousands, but it was relentless. And I was at wit’s end. I sighed audibly a good 3 times when my cube neighbor popped up and asked, “Ok, Missy, that was the 3 sigh. What is going on?” I told him I was getting spammed like crazy, so he came over to look at my email. We saw about 500 in my spam box (and growing) and about 60 in my inbox (and growing) and he exclaimed, “Holy shit, you’ve been hosed!”  Thanks, Pal.

I tried googling what was going on. My first assumption was my email was hacked and I would need to delete the account, which was heart wrenching and not really an option I wanted to consider.  I have probably a decade’s worth of emails and information that I did not want to part with. After not finding much help on Google, I tried finding Gmail support (which basically does not exist, or if it does, Google has it so purposefully and cleverly hidden).

I did find a Gmail help forum. I posted a question not really expecting a response as I had no idea if it was monitored or even frequented. Much to my surprise though, I did promptly have a few response.  Here is a snippet of that conversation:

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Silly naïve me was truly fixating on the wrong issues which is the point of being spam bombed. I kept asking questions about switching emails, exporting/importing while icantchooseone insistently told me to check my finances.

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So after about 3 comments from him/her, I got spooked enough to start calling my banks and credit card companies. Everything was good on the bank fronts, same as the first credit card company I called.  When I called my second (and only other) credit card company, the agent was checking recent transactions. He told me there was a charge made the day before for $2.99 to an online apple store. He asked if I had an iphone apple account, and I said I did.  However, that is not the amount of my typical monthly charge. He said there was another charge made that day to the same store for the amount of $3000.00. I assured him that was not mine, and so he flagged it as fraudulent and declined it.

He also told me there was a $33 apparel charge over the weekend that was declined as it was suspected of being fraudulent. Really, credit card company? This is me… an avid shopper who drops money on clothes ALL THE TIME all around the country and the world. $33 is suspicious but a $3000 apple charge is not?! At any rate, I actually found that amusing (and truth be told, my credit card company is typically on point with catching fraud so I am very grateful).

The agent also immediately cancelled my current credit card and was issuing another one to be mailed to me. So who knew?  Icantchooseone was onto something, much to my dismay.

About two minutes after I got that squared away with the credit card company, I received a phone call from apple about a recent charge that was declined. I let him know that was fraudulent. It is good to know (not being snarky) that even though a fraudulent charge got through initially on their site, they have checks and balances for when that charge goes astray.

Side note: It was unsettling to say the least that on July 4th when the first little fraudulent tester went through (I am sure it was an attempt to keep the amount small and undetectable to see if they found a winner card to rip off), I was chillin at the pool without a care in the world while someone or someones were probably sitting in a dark basement somewhere, anywhere really (and I don’t know why I assume it’s a basement. Maybe I have watched too much “24” in my day) laughing up a storm at what a sucker I was and all the new fancy electronics they were going to buy. If someone is smart enough to decode or crack a code or whatever it is they do to get people’s personal information, why are they wasting their talents on such evil? But I digress…

I of course immediately messaged icantchooseone back to let him/her know of the charge (as I think this person was legitimately concerned. He/she had told  me the first day when he/she was logging off to go to sleep, guessing lives in a different country and checked back in the next day). He/she also told me that as I suspected after putting two and two together, that the email spam bomb is intended to distract from the credit card charges. To put in perspective, I am certain I received about 200,000 spam emails during the course of 6 hours; that is NOT an exaggeration.  I cannot explain the feeling of seeing emails pouring in. It is like not being able to stop bleeding no matter how many Band-Aids you put on.

At any rate, I have since put every possible alert on my bank accounts and am re-evaluating when and how I use credit cards. I will never know how or where or when the hackers got my email and credit card information, which also is endlessly infuriating. It is a weird feeling that somewhere my information was exposed. Also, the sad reality too is that I am sure that after these delinquents got rejected by my card, they moved onto the next innocent. So I write this post as another reminder that credit card fraud and even identify theft are very real, very prevalent threats.  Knock on wood, I am lucky that the extent of my hacking experience ended with a few charges as there are cases far more severe. So everyone when it comes to your money, finances and identity, be safe, be smart!

Bathroom Selfies: Trouble or Truth?

A few Saturday mornings ago, I was getting ready to workout. I had on pajama bottoms that are probably 5 sleeps away from completely disintegrating, paired with a sports bra. I was not exactly a vision. Anyways, I was walking around my condo doing who knows what (I get easily distracted) when I sauntered past a mirror. Mind you, I do not typically stroll around in just a bra because well, it’s just not my thing. ANYWAYS, I caught a glimpse of my stomach. Well really I caught a glimpse of what I thought might actually be abs.  I had to rub my eyes a few times to make sure I was not dreaming. I obviously had to strike a few different poses and angles to confirm it was not just a figment of my imagination.  I also went into my bathroom to check in that mirror. I turned on and off every combination of lights from my bathroom to the hallway to my bedroom. Ok so at this point of reading, you are thinking, “Missy, you are psycho”. Yes, yes I am. And that is the point of this story.

The psychosis continued. I messaged two of my friends that I knew would tell me if there were really indeed traces of abdominal muscles showing or if it was a figment of my imagination. I expected them to confirm the latter, but much to my dismay, they did not. They told me something like “Missy, you look amazing! And you need to get your head checked. You have total body dysmorphia.”

I share this little story because I know I am not the only one with thoughts like this. I know I am not the only one even at my age who still struggles with body image insecurities. I also know that like many of you, for every moment of confidence I have, I have exponentially more moments of self-doubt.

At this point, I could go in a few directions with this (much like the book series I grew up with, Choose Your Own Adventure). I could write about how we are our own worst critics and give a few tips for how we perhaps can start to change our thinking, but that is not really the main point that is percolating in my brain.(Nor do  I truly know how to do that because surely if I did, I would not even be writing this post today). If you are like me, our insecurities are years in the making.  I am not arrogant enough to think my post will make any of us, including myself, think otherwise.  Or perhaps I could write about how we as a society have unrealistic expectations, but that’s been done time and time again.  I would not do it justice.

Truth be told, I have edited this post about 5 times because I keep vacillating on what is I really want to articulate. I have pinpointed what I essentially want to tell myself and anyone else reading this who also finds themselves obsessing about what they think is imperfect about themselves:  Let’s cut ourselves some slack. We will always have goals or some formed idea of what we think perfect is that we continuously work towards, possibly never to actually be achieved (not because of pessimism, but because we must admit we often set unrealistic goals). Because the thing is, there is no perfect. We can spend our whole lives feeling like we do not measure up, and it becomes like any other negative thought we have. We start thinking it and putting it out there. We keep seeing flaws and ignore everything else. Instead, we need to focus on the positive and freakin compliment ourselves for when we notice something that makes us go, “Well damn, that is impressive.”

Yes, absolutely, I want a 6 pack or even just to have a flat tummy. I also workout like a boss and I do stuff that blows my own mind. Maybe my abs are not where I want them to be, but what about those traps?  Or biceps? Or whatever it is.  My body does reflect the work I put into it if I would just take a minute to acknowledge it and appreciate it.

I know that despite a few bad ass bathroom selfies I am not going to poof, become totally in love with my body. Nor do I expect you to overcome whatever your insecurities are from one little ole blog post. But I do think though that what I learned from those pics is that I spend a lot of time zooming into pictures and honing in on everything and anything I do not like (and I know a lot of you do the same…  It’s ok to admit it, I just did!)  We are not going to change overnight what could be years, decades even, of negative thoughts, but I sure do not want to feel like they are ruling my life. I do not want to be consumed by the negative. I should not need anyone else either to validate how I look (as I did in sending my abs photo to friends). If I see it, I should own it. So should you. End of story.

 

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You Can Have Your Bad Juju: It’s All Rainbows and Unicorns For Me

Over the last few years, with a lot of help from my spiritual healer, I have truly started coming into my own. I have shifted my mindset as to who I am and who I want to be. I progressively find myself working towards being positive, optimistic, authentic and inspiring. (Spoiler alert: You will read those words repeatedly in this post). It has been a gradual journey and not an easy one. I have YEARS of being a glass half empty kind of girl that I have had to banish from my mind. I have come to understand, accept and embody that you get out of this world what you put in. When you are negative, cynical and disenchanted, then naturally that is what the world will give back to you. If you can stay above the darkness and immerse yourself in the positivity and happiness, then the universe is yours for the taking. This all ties into my new mantra (thanks to my wise healer), which is to do things and be around people that inspire me. It is a constant reminder of how to gauge situations and people so that I can live life to the fullest.

Timing is everything in this world, and so it is no wonder that I was introduced to Pruvit recently. (Stay with me here, I promise this blog is not meant to be a subliminal sales pitch for ketones. Oh wait, is it? No, no, really, it is not). Being part of their company and community, it feels like I have landed on the Mother Ship.  It has been my entry into the world of health and wellness from a very different vantage point. Yes, it is giving me so many amazing benefits like energy and clarity but even more than that, I feel like I have found my people. The culture of the company is so naturally aligned with my own personal mantras and philosophies that it gives me goose bumps.

It would be ironic and just wrong if for a company, or anyone for that matter, to be encouraging others to live a healthy lifestyle and not exemplify that themselves: physically, mentally and spiritually. Would you want to have a personal trainer who frequents fast food restaurants, smokes like a chimney and never workouts themselves? Of course not.  Nor would you want a trainer who complains nonstop about workouts or family or anything really. Negative is negative, and it contradicts living a healthy life.


Every call I have been on that Pruvit has hosted with the cream of the crop, the royalty of the business, they all echo the same message (and it is so simple that  it will blow your mind). Manifest what you want and put out what you want from the universe. Gravitate towards the positive and stay as far away from the negative and the hate as you possibly can. It is so easy, for example to do something as seemingly innocuous as posting something that can be off putting to others. Or to get intertwined in someone’s social media rant. (If you believe in energy like I do, then you understand how being on that level is just bad). So you just chose to NOT do that, and you find yourself naturally gravitating towards people who exude encouragement, good will and positivity.

Being part of Pruvit has given me this organic network of likeminded people. It encourages me to seek out and attach myself to people who do not let me live on the dark side. It is like this amazing support group that I did not even realize I was longing for until I received it. Having a bad day? No problem. We shake it off and move on. Didn’t convince one person to try ketones? That’s ok. Do not fixate on it and focus on the next person.

I want to make a really important distinction before I wrap this post up. It is one thing to have a bad mood, or a bad day. It happens to all of us where we find ourselves frustrated and complaining.  Those are moments. They pass. It is another thing to consistently be irritated, negative and cynical.  And take it from me, I used to have those attributes be my go-to.  I have spent most of my life assuming the worst in people and in situations, but as I mentioned earlier, after years of working on myself, I have let go of so much of that.  It accomplishes very little, and if anything, it gets in the way of reaching goals, success and most importantly, happiness.

I know I am not the first to write about being positive and not cynical (and I certainly will not be the last). I also know that we often have the best of intentions but those can be clouded by what we say or do. I undoubtedly am still on a quest to master this art as the more I practice it  the happier, more liberated I feel. I appreciate when I do have those dark moments that someone corrects my perspective. I need that. We all need that.  My challenge for you is to stay positive and bring people up with you.

 

 

Much Like Rompers, Our Culture Is Embracing Job Changes and Here Is Why

Foreword:   I by no means have researched or solicited stats or professional opinions. It is my own speculation, but I challenge you to disagree! (I am THAT confident in this post).

Back in the day, it was not unusual to have conversations that started with a leading question: “If you were to have a different job than the one you have today, what would it be?” And people would talk and fantasize about all the jobs they could do if it was not for feeling financially strapped or for fear of the unknown or for the fear of starting all over again. Today though, that mindset has shifted significantly. People are not just fantasizing and daydreaming, they are making new realities and lives for themselves. I have conversations like this regularly with friends who have indeed made a big career change or are considering it. (Please note, by “big career change” I do not mean switching from working at Whole Foods to Trader Joe’s or from being a Project Manager to a Scrum Master. I mean like holy- shit- am –I- really- doing -this kinds of switches. Giving up working in finance to sell skincare. Or giving up working as an engineer to be a teacher). With that in mind, the question though that I often think about is: compared to ten, twenty years ago, WHY? Why are we as a society and culture finally embracing and encouraging drastic career changes?

One underlying reason is social media and technology, which has many layers and reasons within itself. Technology has replaced the need to either physically be in the office or in person to get shit done. Back in the day, we had big old clunky desktop computers that we could not access unless we parked our asses at our desks where said computers were lodged. If we had to work late, we were at the office.  If we had work to do for an external client, we often had to be onsite wherever that client was. If we had early calls to make, we had to be in the office. Work was just very office centric.

If we wanted to sell something, it was either old school door- to- door (think Tupperware or Mary Kay makeover parties) or we had to sell from a store. Today, there is a robust virtual presence which enables us to do so much more from really anywhere.

My point is that we have many more liberties thanks to technology in which we can conduct business or work.  What this means is that people are growing out of the traditional working environment. It is inspiring us to discover different ways to work and it also for many of us, is reminding us that more customary desirable jobs used to be in offices, are now well, less desirable. I also recognize as I am beginning my journey of promoting ketones, I do not need much to do that.  I do most of it from my phone in fact. I could be at the pool, at the beach, in Santa Barbara for the day and it will not hinder my business. This is proving to be very enticing indeed, and I completely understand the draw people have to being entrepreneurs and not necessarily being confined to an office.

Social media in itself is an, albeit obvious, reason why people are switching careers. It is far easier to spread our message to the world. Not everything is word of mouth anymore or expensive marketing. We have access to get things out there way faster than we used to be able to. For those who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s (and earlier), remember when we actually MAILED hand written letters to friends? We did not have text messages and long distance calling was expensive (and obviously we had no concept of Facebook or Instagram). Today, you can put a message out with just a few clicks on your phone and reach thousands of people. This makes it so much more expedient for people to market themselves or their businesses. Plus, they get instant feedback which can be the encouragement someone needs to consider changing careers.

Social media also entices people for more than just a marketing perspective. It is enabling us to connect with people we may not know or otherwise have access to. This means we have so much more of an awareness of what other people are up to. Remember your fellow college graduate who worked in finance? Well guess what, you saw her post that she quit Wall Street to become a chef. We see virtually firsthand more and more people who are actually making career changes. Plus another popular trend (that I hope is here to stay) are all the inspiring messages and memes people are posting. All of this is almost like propaganda at its finest (and I mean that in the most positive way. Seriously). It is feeding our souls and minds with ideas, inspiration, and encouragement to stop ignoring those gut feelings of being unsatisfied. Back in the day, it was not as common to hear of people switching careers. People tended to just suck it up and ride it out until they could retire. To deviate was intimidating but today we are inundated with stories of people doing it- and being successful but more importantly, happy. It nourishes ideas and thoughts that people have that had it been twenty, thirty years ago, they would have squashed instantaneously.

On a different note, we no longer live in a world where we are so tied to a job because of things like pensions. They just do not really exist anymore. I am sure all you twenty something’s who have been in the workforce for a few years have virtually no concept of a pension nor are depending on ever seeing one come to fruition. People stayed at the same company for thirty, forty years because they had those pensions. Their pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  The light at the end of the tunnel. They had a very real financial benefit to stay put. With that not being a current reality, people are more likely to switch companies and even careers. There is a sense of freedom that the world is our oyster and it opens our eyes to possibilities. People’s relationships with companies are different. Without the incentive to retire well from there, it has become more common for people to make career changes.

And I get it. It is really hard financially to walk away from a stable job and a stable income to follow our hearts. But it can be done because of how different our world and cultures are today

Another reason I truly believe that is attributing to people following their hearts and their passion is the exposure to all the different possibilities that are out there. I remember career day when I was in high school, and it featured the usual stars: an accountant, a teacher, a doctor, a finance guy and a police officer. All fine and respectable jobs of course.  But what about all the other careers that are out there? What about Yoga Instructors? Life Coaches? Business Analysts? Architects? It is not that they did not exist (I mean come on, I am not THAT old!) There was just much less exposure. Networking was much more in person and by chance.

Today though, there is just so much more exposure due to social media and the internet. People have more information at their fingertips at any given moment. (Not like when I was 16 having to do any kind of research on microfiche. Don’t know it? Google it!)  It is why people more so today than yesterday are switching jobs. They are reassessing career decision they made as 21 year olds because they have had more exposure to the crazy wonderful breadth of professions and opportunities out here.

Ok so I feel as if I am only scratching the surface. I am sure if I were to either dig more within or actually research online, any one of these points could be a blog post in itself.  So having said that, I want to leave you with only one more reason why people are making career changes as above all else, it is the most inspiring.

I truly believe as a society, we are becoming more spiritual and I mean this in the purest form. When I say spiritual, I think of it as like we are taking better care of ourselves when it comes to our mind and mental health. Not just physically. Remember walking past that little tiny section in Barnes and Noble for “Self Help”? It would be embarrassing to be caught perusing that. Weren’t those books for all the weirdos who just couldn’t get their shit together? Today though, whether we realize it or not, we often browse the self-help section, figuratively speaking of course. We are meditating more, taking yoga classes (ok well everyone but me is taking yoga). We go to healers. We go to therapy. We go to shamans. We talk about our feelings. We find all these incredible people and mediums who are not just telling us how to “cope’ with stress and suck it up; stay at those jobs we do not like. They are teaching us to follow our hearts and find our purpose in life. They are encouraging us to make changes, and let go of what we know. Move towards the unknown and trust. We give up foods that are bad for us. We give up relationships that are toxic. We now give up careers and jobs that we find our hearts are no longer in.

 

I Bet You Have Done CrossFit to Justin Bieber and Didn’t Even Know It

I recently had a conversation with one of the coaches where I do CrossFit about music. He wanted to do an experiment where he did not play any music during class. I want to say I encouraged this idea, but well, I did not.  I have been in class once or twice without music and bitched the entire time. I suggested perhaps he phase it out once the workout starts to see if anyone even notices. Much to my chagrin, the Great Music Experiment never happened (which, if it had, this blog may have been written very differently. Not to point any fingers, Ricky!)

Anyways, working out often is synonymous with music. We cannot workout without music, or more specifically without the right music. I agree with this… to a degree. There are tons of articles out there in regards to the benefits of listening to music: how the beat of music can match the cadence of your heartbeat. Or how the right tempo or song can boost your effort: the faster the beat the faster you move.

In my own experience, music does matter to me when I am working out solo. With running, I need music that gets me hyped up the same way it does when I am home procrastinating on putting laundry away. I blast Spotify to get me moving because for some reason, the idea of moving around my room putting items in the closet and drawers without music sounds like pure torture. There is something with music that gets me motivated.  When I think about kickboxing, I would not want to be punching a bag with a sappy Celine Dion song playing. Hearing “My heart will go on” are not the most inspiring words to give a swift left hook to the bag. When I take cycling classes, I strongly believe in the concept of “shared energy” which music is a big attributing factor. It gets people excited, nostalgic even when an old favorite comes on, and gets people to pump those legs harder.

Yet, when it comes to my steady favorite, CrossFit, I want to ask, how important is music to the workout? I may notice what is playing during the strength portion because there tends to be sets with rest in between. However, when it comes to the workout portion, I notice what is playing for maybe the first ten seconds, but after that, I could not tell you if it was Justin Bieber playing or Metallica. (And for the record, if you are rolling your eyes at the Bieber reference, I defy you to deny that he actually has talent). At any rate, I am curious, who else experiences this in CrossFit or am I on my own lonely planet? What other workouts do you feel music is more of a supporting role than a lead?

The more I think about this topic of how important is music to working out, particularly CrossFit, I come up with question after question. I could attempt to answer them, which I have contemplated the reasons within the confines of my own brain, but it brings me deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. So in the spirit of interaction, I am deliberately leaving much of this open ended. I would LOVE to get feedback from all of you as to your thoughts and perspectives.

Let’s start with the obvious: why? Why do I not notice what is playing? I mean, I am aware something is playing, and I am fairly certain if the music stopped, I would notice (mainly because I would hear my breathing coming through in full force). So what is it about CrossFit that is different than other workouts? Like cycling, it’s shared energy, yet it does not seem that music is the driving force. So if it is not what creates energy, what does? As I ask that, I suppose the answer is fairly obvious. With cycling for example again, it is instructor lead. They drive the pace and the intensity. For the most part, you are pushing yourself just as hard as the person next to you. Sure, you may require less resistance on the bike than the next, but generally speaking, people are moving at similar speeds. (It is not like driving 50 on a highway with someone coming up next to you going 80).

Perhaps with CrossFit, it generates a different kind of energy.  It generates a sense of competition WHICH IS A GOOD THING. It could be competition with the clock, competition with fellow athletes or competition with ourselves.  In all instances, I believe, as is the case with me, perhaps I am more focused on other variables. I am focusing on keeping good form. I am focusing on mentally pushing through some difficult reps. I am focusing on not burning out too fast and losing my lead on the person next to me. Are these valid reasons why music really does become background noise?

Is it that with CrossFit, it is not about just getting a workout or burning calories?  Is it that it is so varied, you do not get into a rhythm like other sports? If I compare it running, I tend to want to get to a steady running pace and stick with it. I also recognize though there are all sorts of training to do with running, from intervals to sprints. For all you avid runners, I am curious, does music, particularly what music is playing, factor into how well you train?

The funny thing is, I know a lot of coaches who put a lot of time into playlists for classes. I am wondering though, is it necessary? Don’t get me wrong, I have been known to yell out “what the hell are we listening to?” I’ve worked out to music that sounded more suited for the bedroom (and I voiced that complaint). But again, in looking back, I really only think part of the class I am even aware of what is playing. There comes a point, as I said usually within seconds of when the clock starts, that what is on that playlist does not even matter, at least not consciously.  On the flip side though, does it somehow impact us even if we are not cognizant of what we are hearing?

I can go on more about this, but I suppose I should ask a telling question that will either validate or disclaim this blog post. For those who CrossFit, can you name a song you heard while you were last getting your sweat on?

 

*In lieu of not yet having a trademark to put on my blog, consider this a small Public Service Announcement. I am all for sharing my writing (in fact I am flattered!) Please just give credit where credit is due. Thank you.

 

To All You Creatures of Habit: Go Towards The Unexpected

 

A few weeks ago, a close friend of mine was raving to me about a product, keto/os, she had been trying and was 100% sold on. She had all this sudden energy and new found excitement and lust for life. She was so smitten with it that I naturally wanted to try it. I barely needed any other information because hello? Who wouldn’t want more energy? I got my ketone samples a few days later and within a few days, I completely and utterly understood why she was elated over ketones. I too was hooked.

My friend gently nudged me about how I would be perfect to promote. She told me I embody health and fitness. I love CrossFit and I love working out and she was positive that it would be a natural step for me to take. I was hesitant to say the least primarily because I do not consider myself to be the sales type AT ALL. If anything, it is nothing I ever envisioned myself doing. Yet, something about the proposition was appealing to me. I could not deny that she was right about my passion, and let’s be honest. Any chance I get to talk about it, I gladly do whether it is in a meeting at work, bumping into a friend or chatting after a workout  with my fellow athletes. When she pointed out that is it not a sales thing when it is something that is an authentic part of my life, I knew she was quite right. It’s a lifestyle I am completely on board with and essentially really all I am doing is sharing that with others. She’s a smart woman who I trust (and for the record, the only person I would trust to lead me on this journey) and so I signed up. I got myself samples and well, here I am, just a few weeks later. I am not the top promoter by any means (YET!) , but I definitely am an improved version of myself.  And here is why.

It’s like this crazy confidence booster.  The primary way that I have been generating hype and interest is by posting on social media. I have had quite a few unexpected people reach out to me asking, “OK, Missy, I am intrigued. What are these ketones you are taking?” It is gratifying to me and a testament to my character, to my integrity that friends and acquaintances (even family!) trust and respect me enough to know that if I am raving and posting relentlessly about anything, it is because I completely believe in it. I am not trying to scam anyone or stimulate interest on something that I think is mediocre. I have had people reach out to me who I haven’t exchanged a single word with in years. I am humbled knowing that they trust me. I am humbled that they are not shying away from reaching out to me. I am humbled knowing that they do not view me as like an annoying infomercial on social media. One woman in particular, who I have not seen in two years, even told me that she reads my blog posts and gets inspired (in addition to wanting to learn more about ketones). Total bonus. It really fills my heart with this new warmth and bliss knowing I am having an impact on others.

Similarly, for those who have tried keto/os (the product I am promoting) l I have received so many messages telling me how much they are loving it. They are experiencing the same things I am that are almost hard to describe. They are full of energy, full of excitement and vigor. They are feeling stronger when they workout and are just overall feeling recharged.  It is so gratifying for me to know that I am playing a part in sharing this with people and guiding them to embrace this lifestyle. It’s filling a void I suppose I had without even knowing it. I have always been passionate about health and fitness and I always derive enjoyment whenever people talk to me about it or ask me about my experiences or for advice. With ketones, it harnesses those same emotions and qualities, but it is on a whole different level. People are taking my recommendation on a product that sounds like it is too good to be true (spoiler alert, it is that good! And there is nothing fantastical about it.  It is as real as it gets). Our bodies are sacred and I completely understand why people are cautious about what they put into them. So along with their own research and my little humble opinion, they are deciding to try it. And I thank everyone who has. I thank them because it is truly the highest form of flattery.

Another really rewarding aspect of this new journey is all these people I am getting to know that I would probably not otherwise have crossed paths with. I am meeting so many other women (albeit virtually) who are promoting for keto/os and every day I find myself absolutely inspired and awestruck by them. (For the record, there are plenty of men who are also part of the keto/os family). It is really special and unique to be promoting for something along with all these other women who are so completely and utterly vested in. We chat all the time about the importance of being positive, manifesting our intentions and what we want from the universe. I realize it sounds really cheesy and like I am in a hippie time warp and maybe it is and maybe I am. For me though, it is nurturing this part of me that clearly is shouting to be heard. We share information on ketones,  we seek advice, we share successes (and failures).  Through it all, it’s like there is this understood and agreed upon no-negativity policy. Sure we vent about frustrations but we do not spend much time in those lows. We learn, we encourage and we move on. We all live in different places across the country (Kentucy, New Mexico, New jersey to name a few..) and we all lead very different lives. We all also have our own different angles and spin on how we promote ketones. Yet we all have this common ground and respect. It is the most unique “work” environment I have ever been in. Perhaps I am in a bit of a euphoria because I do not look at this like a job (and yes I am not solely supporting myself on promoting). But it is like a dream work environment where EVERYONE seems to be on the same page. It is not something that happens everywhere, and I am no fool to ever take it for granted.

I am a total creature of habit, which can be good but it also can be limiting. Promoting is something that is so far out of my comfort zone and completely out of my norm, yet in this short time, it is already opening my eyes to things I would not have been receptive to otherwise. It is reminding me that it is ok to go after things even if they seem to defy my norm.  (If you read my blog last week, this nicely ties together. Link here). It is reminding me to trust. Trust myself. Trust the universe. Trust that things happen for a reason. I have no idea where promoting ketones will take me. I have no idea if it is my end game. I have no idea if it is short term or long term. And all of that is ok. Right now, it is in my life for a reason and I am going to get the most out of it. The most important aspect in all of this is that it is something I am not doing on my own. I get to share it with all of you and so I thank you from the bottom of my heart for going along with me.

 

 

 

 

Why Do We Need to Always Explain Why?

 

I have recently been struck with a realization that we find ourselves feeling like we need to justify gaps in our own lives to other people. Similarly, we feel compelled to explain “why” to people when really, it just is not their concern. It is like if we deviate from a plan or from what other people expect of us (even what we expect of ourselves), we feel like we need to rationalize it. I do believe though that our culture, our society, has the capacity to overcome this.

I know, you are thinking, “Tell me more, Missy.” I was having a conversation recently with a friend who is looking for her next career move. She took some time off from her last job, and so I asked her, “What will you tell companies if they ask why there is a gap in your resume?” She said simply, “I will tell them I took some personal time. The end.”  I pondered this for a moment as my brain usually wants more concrete answers. As we chatted more, I fully understood and agreed with her point. Why does she owe anyone an explanation? We are so used to always having to tell people a story when in actuality, it is not any of their business. For someone who is smart, accomplished, competent, likeable, savvy, why does she owe to anyone to explain a mere gap on her resume? Because  the truth is, LIFE happened. And specifically what that means, well that is really nobody’s business.

Throughout my career, I have always been cognizant of not having a gap on my resume. The truth is, I took some time off to do short term jobs a few years after college (and working my first real job in finance) because well frankly, I was 25 years old. I was unsure what I wanted to do.  I was young. I was disenchanted. And I wanted time to figure out where to go and what to do next. But no way in hell was I going to tell any potential employer that. I was far too worried they would view me as someone who was not motivated or ambitious or worse yet, a total flaky scatterbrain. Instead, I stretched the truth a tad and said that I worked for a family business for a year.

I remember going to interviews with my standard story. “I was living in Pittsburgh and I really wanted to move back home to New Jersey. The timing worked out as our family business was in need of some extra help.” That always satisfied the interviewer, and I did get a “real’ job once again when I was ready.

Looking back, as this was probably around 2004, maybe at that time, it was still expected that no gap go unexplained. Today though, I would like to think that our culture has changed.  I do believe there is a higher acceptance of understanding that just because someone went off course does not mean they have less to offer. I wonder if I were to interview for a job tomorrow with a revised resume that does not reflect a year of working at a family business (and oh my, instead has a gap!) that I could be blunt and just say, “Well I was 25. I was not really loving my job anymore.  My boyfriend moved to West Virginia. I didn’t want to be in Pittsburgh anymore and so I moved back home.”  I would  be surprised if at this point in my life  that my 25 year old self would really work against me. I have a few years (ok fine shut up, more than a decade) of experience since then that would more than make up for it.

What if I actually gave no explanation of the gap and simply said, “I took some personal time off. The end.” Would anyone would even blink an eye? And really why should  it matter if someone takes time off at 25 or 35 or 55? People have their reasons, which there is no limit to what those reasons could be. It is their reasons, their stories. Why should getting a job depend on them providing personal details to a complete stranger? People’s character and ambition should speak for themselves and overcome a gap.

And it isn’t  just jobs where we have this expectation of having to explain ourselves. It goes beyond that. Look at dating.  How many times have you felt (or heard friends express) the dread of having to explain why you haven’t dated in FOREVER? Why do we feel compelled to rationalize our single lives? Maybe instead of blaming it on long work hours or the city you live in is just the WORST for dating., you simply just say, “It just hasn’t happened yet.”  That is the truth and so is saying, “Because I am awesome and have yet to meet someone as awesome as I am.” You get my point. We have such a tendency to feel like less of a person when we feel as if we fall short of expectations, and that simply should not be the case.

The gaps and “need’ to explain go on and on. Why did you take time off before going to college? Why did you wait 5 years after you got married before you had a baby? Why did you wait 4 years before you had your second baby? Why did you wait so long to get married?

The reality is people feel compelled to explain themselves or their situation because of the fear of being judged. And another reality is that, we all want to know “why” because we actually do want to judge, bad or good. We want to know WHY because we are trying to assess if there is something shady that we must uncover. Did you not work for a year because you nobody wanted to hire you? Have you not dated in a while because you are bat shit crazy?  Did you not go to the happy hour because you are trying to make some kind of statement?  My point is it all feels very cynical. We make judgments and assumptions based on very little information.

And the ironic thing is, often when we have these gaps or chose to go against the grain, contrary to popular belief, we come back from them as better humans. We often learn so much about ourselves and about others that we never would  have gained had we stayed on a straight path. We gain knowledge and insight, even if the gap or break we took was due to something tragic or sad, we come back stronger and better. I encourage people to stop viewing gaps as something damaging. Start looking at them with respect and admiration.  Start appreciating what they can do for a person, for a soul. There is something to be said for life experience when we deviate from the expected.