Posted in about shae, badassery, fearless, relationships

Because I’m Worth It

One year someone said they pitied me for being alone on my birthday and not having anyone to buy me flowers or jewelry or whatever they thought a birthday gift should be.

Let me set the record straight. Again.

I’m never truly alone. I’ve had dozens of well wishes and phone calls. I was with a bunch of ladies at the salon this morning. I had great convos at Starbucks and with the nice lady at Smallcakes. Yesterday I talked with my Bestie for two hours. I’m also very fine company all by myself. Don’t worry, I’m good.

As for gifts… I buy myself flowers and not just on my birthday. They are always my favorites. I buy myself some fine jewelry, and it’s always exactly what I wanted. I’m particularly fond of my new rainbow topaz ring and matching earrings.

I know being alone on any given day makes most people uncomfortable. I am not one of those people. While I enjoy the company of many, I am just as happy going out by myself, whether that be for coffee, dinner, a movie or shopping.

If you are someone who waits for someone else to pamper you or buy you gifts, I hope you have someone in your life to do that for you so you do not remain in a constant state of disappointment. If you are there, by yourself, may I suggest making yourself happy. Buy the flowers. Get the ring. Treat yourself to a manipedi.

I’m worth it. Someday I hope you know that you are, too.

Posted in about shae, badassery, femininity, Uncategorized


I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. Whenever I’ve asked a hairdresser to do it, they’ve balked. Their definition of femininity didn’t allow it.

Know that I LOVE IT.  If you don’t, that’s ok. I didn’t do it for you. It’s the most freeing thing I’ve done with my “look” since I cut it shorter in the first place.

It’s so freeing. I have heard my whole life, from people who mean well, how “pretty” I’d be if I a) lost weight, b) was more demure, c) had long, high-maintenance hair.

I don’t need to be “pretty.” I’m already beautiful.


Posted in fearless


Tomorrow is no different than today as it relates to goal-setting and self-promise making. Still, each year, people chose this day to make huge (and often unobtainable) changes in their lives. From losing weight, saving money, finding love, and a host of other well-intended resolutions, people hope that the coming year will be “their” year to accomplish all these things and to finally reach the pinnacle of their self-imagined happiness.

I set some goals last year and limited the amount so as not to go insane in the pursuit of reaching them.  I did better than I ever have. I also did something that, for me, was a life-changer.  I changed my “life word.”

Up until the end of 2013, My life word had been, “hope.”  Hope is a fine word. It still applies in my life. To me, however, hope implies waiting, not action.  Hope was about waiting for life to come to me, and I was still hoping.

For 2014, I chose the word, “fearless,” as my life word.  I started out the year with the best “Suckuary” I’d had since Suckuary began in 2001, mostly in part to a life-changing song by Pharrell Williams called, “Happy” and my determination to reclaim January as part of my life. For the most part, it worked.

I kept the momentum going after a promotion in March and a trip with my BFF to Maui. Most of that came about because I would look at a pile of obstacle to things I wanted or wanted to do and say to myself, “WHY NOT?” Then I’d go do it.

In May, I became a certified Lead Auditor for ISO 9001. That may not seem like such a big deal but I had to go to Philadelphia to train and take an EXAM (I really haven’t done that since 1991). Still, I attacked that test fearlessly. I had nothing to lose except pride. I trusted my instincts. AND I PASSED.

Then I spent the next six months traveling 25,000 air miles for work. I questioned whether I had the stamina for all the travel, but I managed and I had some great experiences, especially when I was traveling by myself. I was fearless and I embraced my new reality.

I could list so many things of how living fearlessly has changed my life. I am more outgoing, I’ve had wonderful new experiences and met some great new people. I enjoy my job so much more than I ever could have imagined, because every day I approach it fearlessly.

I am grateful for all these new opportunities that I didn’t hope for, but chased down.  The Year of Fearless changed my life, so, with that in mind, I’m going round 2 with “fearless,” in 2015.

You haven’t seen anything yet!

Posted in Uncategorized


Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 8.23.58 AM

I remember what it was like to be so greatly affected by my surroundings, circumstances, and other people’s inability to experience happiness. I have been reminded lately that I am in charge of how I feel, I am in charge of my happiness.

Being responsible for oneself seems like an easy concept, but in a world where we, especially as women, are taught that we are not our own – we belong to a man, or a job, or to a relationship, or a higher power – ownership of our well being or happiness can be a difficult concept to grasp.

I have a wonderful young friend who is learning the concept of being in charge of her own happiness, her own self, her own destiny. It is exciting to watch her bloom and to watch her unfold and open up to all the possibilities that are hers to grasp.  She has reminded me of some simple truths that desperately needed the refresher course.  She also reminds me, every day, to practice what I preach.

Happiness comes up a lot in our conversations. Happiness is defined as the state of well-being and contentment, or a pleasurable or satisfying experience. Happiness is something that we all crave and marketers everywhere want us to believe that we can buy happiness, or create it by spending money we don’t have (which can pop the happiness balloon). So much effort is put into the pursuit of happiness that people get worn out and cranky and once they get “there” they don’t find the “feeling” they were seeking.

Happiness. Where do I get my happiness? I’ve found that happiness is a deeply personal state of being. What makes me “happy” may not make someone else happy. That’s why it’s deeply important to pursue my own happiness.

Eventually, after several misguided attempts and pursuits, I figured out the only person/thing/idea/situation that can make me happy lies within me. I am in charge of me, which puts me in charge of my happiness and how I feel at any given moment. In other words, HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE and no one else, no particular thing, place, or situation can make me happy.

Sometimes I need a reminder that happiness is a choice. The following is a list of activities/things/actions I choose in my pursuit of happiness that I will pull out when I need it.  Put your list in the comments.

HAPPINESS CHOICES (in no particular order)

1.  When people around me are grumpy or sad, I try to cheer them up, redirect their pity party, whatever it takes to bring a smile. Most of the time it works. Either they start smiling or they take their pity party elsewhere.  Most of our sadness or grumpiness is legitimate. Dwelling in it and sucking others into it is not.

2.  I sing. That is one of my favorite ways to be happy. I sing silly songs, or make up songs, or just sing my heart out. Singing always (I do mean always) makes me feel better.  Usually when I sing my silly songs people laugh or smile, so hopefully they feel better.

3. Obviously, making others feel better fills me with that happy feeling. Singing, encouraging words, being silly, whatever it takes. When I do these things, I feel better.  I always hope the feeling is contagious.

4.  Writing is always a happy choice for me. I always feel better afterward, regardless of the subject. It’s an unloading of my mind even if no one else reads it.

5.  Photography is another way I choose happiness.  A friend told me recently that even when I shoot ordinary things, I make them look special or unique and she sees them in a different way.  That’s one of the highest compliments I’ve ever gotten in regards to my photography.

6.  Making videos. This is a relatively new medium for me but be prepared to see snippets of me being silly, serious, and pouring out my random brain while you can see my face.

7.  I am comfortable in my own skin. That’s what makes 1-6 possible. There’s a freedom in being me 24-7-52. I like who I’ve become, and why there’s always room for improvement, I deeply appreciate who I’ve become so far.

I could go on all day with examples of what I choose to create my happiness.

I can hear the naysayers and Negative Nellies saying, “yes, but what about when (insert every day life event) happens?” It’s simple. I stop, I take a deep breath, and I do one of the above things or I say, “I choose to be happy,” or at the very least, “I choose not to dwell in this mess,” or “This is temporary.”

Bad moods, pity parties, and lashing out are just as much of a choice as happiness. I am guilty of falling into bad moods, but I no longer dwell.  I can pull myself out of the pit or I go to someone I know will help me lift myself out of the pity party. Again, happiness, or what we consider that state of being we call happiness, is a choice.

As we enter the season of the craziest emotions, remember happiness is something that is chosen, only by you, and no amount of presents or money spent this holiday or whatever else you try to force happiness from, will make you truly happy.

Choose happiness!