Mud, Sweat, and Boobs?: Tough Mudder- Mesa

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I froze at the top of every wall. Yep. Every single one. These awesome guys would support me, and make me feel safe enough to finally awkwardly roll myself over.

So, if you have been paying attention, you are getting the picture. Tough Mudder was tough. I was scared. I was scared I was too fat, too heavy, too clumsy, too weak, too much and too little all at the same time.

However, there were some parts that I felt pretty confident. Funky Monkey did not scare me, I have no doubt that I cannot cross monkey bars. I knew I would reach out and fall in the water. I did. Nothing bad happened.

Warrior Carry. I got to the starting line of the obstacle, and immediately started searching for Angela. There was no other person I wanted to carry. She has carried me plenty of times throughout the years. It was absolute greatness. You can tell by the picture. And, yes. Her hands are firmly grasping my breasts. It made me laugh. I am so glad there is a picture of this.

This was not hard for many reasons. One thing, I would never drop her. She would never let me fall. This was easy. It was a time that I felt like I was capable. I think that this challenge was good for me. I needed something that felt right. By this point, I was afraid that I needed to give up. This fun time gave me a boost to keep going for a while.

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Best pic ever! I was so comfortable. I was so happy to be with my best friend. There was no shame, fear, or self- doubt. I really do not think anyone else could have gotten away with using my breasts as handles.

So, trudge along to the very last obstacle. I have blisters on my heel. My left knee is swollen and stiff. I am hungry, tired, and cranky. All I want is for this to end. I skip three obstacles. Not because I am scared of them, but because I am tired and afraid that I will not be able to finish if I don’t.

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It was fun. It hurt. It kinda tickled. Until I fell.

The very last challenge is the electroshock challenge. Basically, you run through a giant mud pit under wires that give you a little jolt. Basically, a whole body TENS unit. I was planning to run through it holding hands and skipping with Rebecca. This was necessary. We did it.

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This is such an attractive picture. Here is the funny part. I was right under a “live” wire. It was shocking me over and over. I could not move. I just sat there, twitching repeatedly. It felt like an eternity. Finally, Lisa came in to get me. She got zapped in the face at that point. She is one of my heroes.

I love the fact that these pictures captured my smile. I was happy. It did not matter what I looked like. I had been supported whole-heartedly the entire day. I surprised myself and other people. No, I was not graceful.

When I was going over the Berlin Wall, Trevor (not my brother, but my new friend) was recording with his GoPro. He never dreamed I would do it. I was his “out.” Yeah, well with a little help from my friends, I sure did do it. So did he.

We have no excuse to back down from a challenge. If it is just fear that is threatening to stop us, we have an obligation to push through. Sometimes that requires help.

Now, there are still so many stories to tell. I am not going to discuss the finish line until after I tell those stories. They will have to wait though. I am not done processing this adventure. It was an emotional roller-coaster.

I know that I am failing to adequately explain what this experience was like for me. There are really no words to express what I was feeling. I do know that I repeatedly threatened to kill “whoever thought this was a good idea.” Funny, since I am planning on doing two more. I am going to train harder and try to be in better shape. I know what to expect now. I know I can do it.

 

Crybaby, Tear Gas, and Friends: Tough Mudder- Mesa

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I forgot about Crybaby.

This is basically a box- there is a ditch- covered with plastic sheeting and filled with water. You slide in, climb out of the ditch, and army crawl through a big box filled with “tear gas.”

Dewayne is preparing to help me out of the box

DeWayne is preparing to help me out of the box

Soooo graceful. My knees and elbows are being shredded.

Soooo graceful. My knees and elbows are being shredded.

Hugs and thanks. I am so grateful for his help. This is seriously one of the nicest young men I have ever had the good fortune to meet.

Hugs and thanks. I am so grateful for his help. This is seriously one of the nicest young men I have ever had the good fortune to meet.

The tear gas smells like Ben Gay, not that big of a deal. Now, granted we got lucky. They had just had to change out the canister, so I think we only got a little gas.

Now, I almost skipped this one. I was set to go right after Daniel and the guys went in. I hesitated for a second, and some dudes ran ahead of me. I did not want to do it alone, so I walked around to the end to meet my group. DeWayne walked up to me, and said “You are awful clean.” I explained that I had not wanted to go alone, and that I was okay with skipping it. He was having none of that. He and I walked back to the line, and in we went. (It was not Mark, it was Kurt that went with us.) They gave me a boost out of the trench, (That thing was slippery!)

Now, Army crawling on the hard ground sucks. It hurts. But, we got through it. Once I got to the end, DeWayne was there- and gave me a hand up. These pictures crack me up. How much less grace can i have? This obstacle was actually a lot of fun. Seriously. Totally fun.

**Turns out, these pics are from Birth Canal. That was epically hard. Army crawling through a box with plastic sheeting full of water pressing down on you. This one was deceptively difficult. I got stuck- I like to say I had shoulder distocia. I actually was just worn down. scooting forward on your stomach across the hard ground is hard. My elbows still hurt. When I had about 6 feet left, I felt like I was probably just going to have to die in there. DeWayne turned around, grabbed my hand, and helped me get some forward momentum. It was awesome. There are so many things that he helped with.

This was the important part of this team. We had so many people who were there just to make sure that we all got through. How many times in life do you get to experience that kind of support? This group is special. Everyone is there to support and lift everyone up. No one was teased or made to feel less than. I was never the object of ridicule or disdain. I felt loved.

This is something that many of us have struggled with. I know that many members of our group have social anxiety, and just showing up was a struggle. The Mudder was only a small part of the challenge.

Ladders, Slides, and Ice Water: Tough Mudder- Mesa

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We are just getting started.

Okay, so we have started the course. (Don’t Worry, I cannot remember the whole course step by step. I wish I could- but, it is too much.) You know about how my team encouraged me and lifted me over a wall. You know that they figured out how to get me out of my fears, and to just man up and do it.

So, now the first real obstacle. Arctic Enema. Oddly, I was not that scared of this one. I mistakenly thinking that it would just be vaguely uncomfortable. Then, we arrived to the obstacle. Once again, I have no real idea of how tall the platform was. There was a ladder. A tall platform. Very tall. I am imagining that we were like 200 feet off the ground. (Of course I know that is not true but, it may as well of been.)

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Me- freaking out. Angela- handling it like a boss. And, Mike.

I walk around a little, find Angela, and up we start to climb. I am holding my breath, and hyperventilating all at the same time. Trying hard not to freak out and freeze. Somewhere near the top, I look through the slats I am climbing. I am too high. I freeze for a second. Then, there is this guy who is climbing up beside me. I suppose he looked over and realized that I was freaking out.

He said “Don’t think about it. Think of anything else. Do you like food? Think of your favorite food. I bet you like Mexican.” Wait. What??? Why would you automatically assume the fat girl likes Mexican food? I was vaguely annoyed. So, I climbed up a little faster  until I got to the top, and I had to let go and stand up. I froze again. The very nice volunteer came over and said “you have to come up.” I was scared, so I stalled. Introduced myself to him. His name was Mike.

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I love this picture. Angela really hates being cold. She handled this like it was nothing. That is so cool.

So, once on the top  all you have to do it sit down- and then slide down a slide (covered with a fence- I do not know the purpose of the fence) and land in mid chest height ice water. There was a guy unloading ice from a truck to pour into the tank. I remember pointing and yelling at him to wait right there and not add to my misery. As if it would have made a difference. Angela is next to me. I am nervous.

Then, we slide down and I am surrounded by ice. All I know is that I have to stand up. I can’t get my feet on the bottom. I hit my head on the fence. I have a vague sense that I am going to drown and die. Somehow I emerge from the icy depths. And, my mind and body stop functioning. I have no idea how I got over the wall (someone probably boosted me- I seriously have no idea.) I do remember the end, I could not figure out how to get out. I think someone helped me up, and I awkwardly rolled out. Then, I walked away. I was sputtering and crying, all I wanted to do is walk away. I was horrified at how difficult this was. My body was numb. I was in serious pain. I was convinced everyone who goes to this thing is insane.

Why? What on earth does this prove? Then, I started walking. I was very much not concerned with the group. I was in my head trying to sort out what my motivation was. Why was I here? Did I belong here? What on earth was I thinking?

I think the very next obstacle was pit fall. (I could be wrong. Whatever, it is my story.) Pitfall was okay. Go under a log into a pit of muddy water. Walk to the end, climb out. Well, it was simple. Yep, fell like 4 times. The bottom was uneven, and there were a ton of holes. I ate a lot of mud. Then, I got to end, and lo and behold there was an outstretched hand waiting to haul my ass out of the pit. I had done it. I could do this. My friends were there for me. They did not judge me and make me feel stupid, fat, and weak. They just assisted me. I am so grateful for that. Traversing the muddy, slippery banks of these obstacles was not particularly easy… but, it was kinda fun.

This whole adventure was not easy…

Next… Another damn wall. What are these Mudder fools trying to prove? Why on earth is this considered a good idea?

I am planning to skip this obstacle. I don’t want to go up on another wall. I walk around the obstacle and stand there to watch…. Until I decide to try.

Once again, there are many false starts. Kris (or maybe Dan, I am not sure)- leans down and says “this is nothing,  just step up” I finally step into the hands, grab Kurt or David’s hand, and reach up for the wall. When I get up there and look out into the sea of muddy faces I am overcome with shock and awe. I screamed at the top of my lungs, “Holy Fucking SHIT!!!” And, then I am helped over the top of the wall to the tires on the other side. It was scary climbing down. Once again, my team was waiting with open arms. Once again, I am shaking and trembling with fear and exhilaration.

Now, you would think that I had this wall thing down… Nope. Not even close. The taller one is coming up….. I really want to give up now…

Walls and Starting Lines: Tough Mudder- Mesa 2015

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So, I suppose you wanna hear about my Tough Mudder adventure.

Let me start from the beginning. Did you know there is a wall you have to climb over before the starting line? I do not think it is very tall- 6 or 7 feet maybe. 8? I dunno. Not too high. Most people get over it- and make it look easy.

Now, let me explain- I don’t do heights. I do not climb ladders- I don’t walk to the edge of cliffs- I don’t go anywhere that might require climbing. I am not even fond of stairs. I’m a big girl- not one to let people lift me up or carry me. I just do not do it. EVER! Bridges? No, thank you very much. I am not doing it. Nope. I’ll just go home.

So, here we are. I have spent a small fortune to participate in this event, and I am about to quit before I even get to the starting line. I am in a mass of excited people, and I am filled with dread and regret. I am embarrassed, ashamed, and horrified. I am not doing it.

Tears are streaming down my face, and I am hoping valiantly that no one can see the terror behind my shades. The members of my team are surrounding me, and I cannot hear a word they are saying. All I know is that there is no way in hell I can do this. I feel like a fool for even thinking this is a good idea.

Then… somehow… they convince me to go up to the wall. A pair of hands clasped in front of me- all I have to do is take a step- push up- and take a leap of faith. After a couple of false starts. I am finally able to commit. I step up and grab the edge of the wall. Rick, (who is my burpee nemesis) is straddling the top. He grabs my hand, and I grip his arm. Somehow I get one leg over. I am laying across the top of this wall, shaking with fear. Rick is holding on and telling me how proud he is. And I come over the wall into the arms of my team. Angela is right behind me… up and over the wall. (she makes it look incredibly easy- which makes sense- she is a superhero to me.) Wow. How did we do that? Then, it is time for the National Anthem and the Mudder Pledge. Everything is going to be okay. I am shaking and crying.

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It’s just an obstacle in the end. Do we really want to let obstacles stand in our way?

Then, we jog through the starting line- give a high-five to the dude- and we are off… Now, the adventure is really about to begin. Next up is the Arctic Enema. What? There is a ladder? Ugh. What have I gotten myself into?

 

Meeting my friends for the first time.

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The weekend of the Tough Mudder has finally arrived. I have been meaning to sit down all day and write this. (I’ve been busy!!!!)

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This dog won’t stop licking me. And, she does not pose for selfies well.

So, last night around 10PM I am pulling into Albuquerque, which means it is time to stop by and meet Rebecca. Good time to rest, recharge, and get mauled by her sweetie dog, Luna. (It could be Tuna- but, why would you name a dog Tuna?) This is my first encounter with this group of potential axe- murderers. Turns out, it is totally cool and the fact that we have “known” each other on FB for awhile makes it so much easier. I don’t feel the need to be on my best behavior, I am just myself.

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You only take in what you are willing to lose.

So, after a good long rest… I hit the road again. All the caffeine is making it hard to sit still and drive though. Wait, what are those bright lights in the distance? Oh, a Casino. Hmmmm. Don’t mind if I do… Blackjack is not my friend. $60 later…

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Oops. Poor Liz- she is really upset.

Back on the road- (I have been drinking an insane amount of water- I have to stop often.) There is a creepy dude in the car next to me. So, I pull up a space. (There are three rows of parking at this gas station. (It may actually be a truck stop.) Well, now the gas pumps are behind me. I know! I can just do a U-turn. (Hmmm- not one of my brighter ideas.) Poor Liz. I clipped the curb (Why was there a curb in the middle of a parking lot????) Liz is broken. (I called a place- it should not be too much to fix) IMG_7878

Okay- So, now- I love Road Trips. I am jamming along having my own little private car concert- Talking on the phone with the Utah contingent (who are also making the trek overnight.)

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Holbrook. I took a long little break here. Checked FB- Walked around.

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Flagstaff, which is one of my favorite places in the world. I really need to go stay there sometime. I am always just driving through.

Finally, I get to Phoenix. (After the scariest trip through the mountains down I-17.) I learned to drive in Lubbock. (We don’t have all that nonsense.) Start looking for friends. They are at Target. Okay. I will meet you there. (BTW, I pass like 12 Targets on the way to their Target)

When I get there, I am hanging out by the dollar stuff at the front of the store- I hear Sophi! She runs up to me- and says “You look exactly like I knew you looked.” Which is kinda funny, it’s not like this group is pretty much centered around selfies or anything. Rich was there- he and I have a long history of him using voice to text while he is driving all over the midwest. Miranda. It took me a minute. Ahhh.. We watched the Grammy’s “together.”

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So, I just realized- I am up here writing this. That is lame. I need to go experience this trip- instead of just writing about it. SO, to be continued…. There may be more trips to Target scheduled.

 

Letter of Intention: Tough Mudder Arizona

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Ummm. Probably not.

Dear Tough Mudder,

No, not the actual people- this is a letter to the course. In less than one week I will be attempting to complete the challenge of crossing your finish line. 12 miles of mud, obstacles, and friends in the Arizona desert stand between me and success.

I am completely unprepared for the challenge I am certain you will present. Despite this failure on my part to adequately prepare, I am asking you to be kind. (Yes, I know you are the “Toughest OCR”) If I had any sense at all, I would back out. But, my ego and pride demand that I try.

I promise to respect the sanctity of this challenge, and to do my very best. I will face my fears, and try to do every obstacle that I can physically withstand. Furthermore, I promise to be a supportive and excited teammate for my friends who are going on this adventure with me. I will celebrate everyone’s success and encourage them to do their best as well.

I have every intention of laughing and having a good time. I will not give up because I am tired and sore. I will not be a chicken and refuse to let my team help me. It is quite possible that there will be skipping, singing, and dancing through this course. (We have to cope somehow.)

So, if I promise to face this challenge with an open mind and open heart, will you promise to look out for my insanely large group of mudderfied friends? This challenge is a big deal to a lot of us. I really need for no one to get hurt, and for us all to emerge relatively unscathed.

This is so far out of my comfort zone, and I see the opportunity for this to be an important milestone in my life. Next Saturday will be the day that I throw myself whole-heartedly into a task that I find terrifying and intimidating, and have the opportunity to achieve what so many people have said was impossible. Next Saturday will be the day I tell my inner self to get over herself, and allow myself to achieve an insurmountable task. I may as well be climbing Mount Everest. This is just as unlikely for me.

I am going to cross that finish line, no matter what it takes. This will be a huge victory for this girl.

Oh, and I am going to need a ton a photographic evidence. No one is ever going to believe I actually did this.

Sincerely (also excited and scared),

Lady Quirky

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Wait! I did what? No… I don’t usually do things that require a death waiver. I must be possessed.

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At least someone is calling me Princess. I would like to declare that next Saturday, I will officially be Princess Quirky.

 

Daddy Issues Part II

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It’s the middle of January *2006. I have been a nurse on the night shift for about six months. My patient load tonight is insane. Part of it is my fault. I ask to keep the patient at the end of the hall even though the rest of my group is at the other end. The thing is, I am worried about him. He is in room *417. *details and names are changed for privacy.*

Mr. 417 has been in the hospital for several weeks. When I first meet him, he is a cantankerous grouch. He does not like being stuck in bed with the tube snaking out of his nostril and connected to suction. He is unable to eat, so we continuously drip nutrients like lipids, glucose, and vitamins into his veins.

I am still inexperienced, and completely naive about the seriousness of his condition. Yes, he is quite old, but has always been healthy up to this point.

I dote on my little cranky man, pick up extra shifts, and ensure that he is well cared for. Mr. 417 is excessively difficult to please. Everything has to be just so, and I have our routine down pat.

It is three in the morning. I have been running from room to room all night. I am doing a bowel prep for a colonoscopy in room 405 and the patients in 402 and 407 are call light happy. I am in Mr. 417’s room about every 20 minutes to check on him, and to try to find some relief for his discomfort- all to no avail.

I am busy giving a bed bath in room 405, and unable to check on him from 0235 until 0300. When I finish my tasks I hurry to check on him. What I find is a new nurse’s worst nightmare. I run to get my charge nurse, and we get an ABG and a CXR. Obviously in shock. I have to call a doctor and get some help for my patient.

I pick up the phone and dial the number. I ask the answering service who is on call that night. When she answers, I promptly hang up and burst into tears. I am one of those annoying people who cry at the first sign of stress.

Oh, the call light is going off. My patient in room 405 has tried to get up and navigate her way to the bathroom without assistance. The Golytely effects hit her rapidly. There is a very large problem all over her room. We do not have a nurse’s aide tonight.

I have to call the doctor. Let’s call him Dr. Snape. Everyone knows that is not his real name. In my hospital, he is infamous. This is a man who does not like to be woken up. Nurses dread calling him, and almost everyone has a Dr. Snape story. His reputation is legendary. He is also known as one of the best doctors.

I beg my charge nurse to call him for me. She refuses, however we do have an impromptu practice conversation. I take notes. I gather his chart, and make sure I have current vital signs, I&Os, and lab work available.

I take a deep breath, and with shaking hands call the answering service back. I sit there and silently rehearse what I am going to say. The phone rings, and the call is transferred to me.

I ramble my rehearsed speech, my words hurried and breathless. The patient’s name, room number, admitting diagnosis, admitting physician, and why I am calling. I do not stop speaking until I get all of that out, then my voice trails off uncertainly because I do not know what to do next and I have yet to take a breath for fear that he will interrupt me.

Dr. Snape is silent on the other end for a few seconds and I am shaking with anxiety. He starts asking questions. He wants details. Not only about tonight, but about the events that have led up to tonight. Who was his surgeon? What did they find? What medications is he on? How long as he been on them? Is he fluid overloaded? Did he smoke? What did he do for a living? When was his last set of cultures drawn? What is the plan from oncology? Where is his family? What does the patient want? Does he know how sick he is? Does he have children? I am fairly certain he asked me who the man took to senior prom. (looking back, it seems that after a minute, he was testing me.)

Then, this exchange:

“What was his respiratory rate before?” I nervously double-check my notes.

2000: 22

2100: 24

2200: 22

2300: 22

0100: 24

0300: 39

I respond “Between 22 and 24.” Without skipping a beat Dr. Snape asks “Wouldn’t that be 23?”

I have been on the phone, shaking, and speaking in rapid, unsure answers for what feels like an eternity. I miss the joke. “Ummm. Yes, sir. That would indeed be 23.” The nurses are gathered in a curious and supportive circle around me. There is a titter which feeds my anxiety. I wish I were anywhere else in the world at that moment.

When Dr. Snape asks who the respiratory therapist and charge nurse are- I am so relieved. I hurriedly respond “*Nurse Ratchet, would like to speak to her?” and without waiting for an answer, I abruptly put him on hold, transfer the call, and burst into tears. I am convinced I am an utter failure. I contemplate switching careers. Then, I rush off to take care of Mr. 417. I have to transfer him to ICU. I see Dr. Snape in the unit when I am dropping off the rest of the patient’s belongings, and I avert my eyes and scurry away.

The rest of my night is a mess. I worry about my patient, and I have a ton of things to do since my routine was interrupted. I go home that morning feeling like a terrible nurse, and wondering if I am even capable of this job.

The next day, I walk into the break room at the beginning of my shift, and find this in my mailbox. *It has been edited to leave out identifying information. *IMG_7835Well, that is weird. What does this mean? Isn’t that my job? Oh, well I am flattered. Obviously. I still have it after all these years. It lives in a metal box. Along with a copy of the recommendation letter he wrote for me when I was applying for a fellowship after grad school.

This night is one of the defining moments of my career. It is the beginning of my relationship with one of my mentors. It took me years to get over being too intimidated to speak to him, but once I did, I was pleasantly surprised.

Night shift nursing brings about a completely different relationship with physicians than day shift. You typically only see physicians when there is a crisis. For many of them, they have been awake all day working, and this is the time they should be at home asleep. It makes it difficult to foster overly friendly relationships.

However, given enough time and exposure, you eventually do. Over time I learned how to be prepared for my encounters with them, and that made their job easier, which helped reduce some of the stress. I learned how to see them as people instead of doctors. I like them a lot more as people. Totally less scary.

One day, after I had been working closely with him as part of my clinical training for nurse practitioner school, I mentioned that night. He immediately remembered. He did not know it was me though.

He was an awesome teacher while I was learning how to be a mid-level. He sought out chances to challenge me, and he was quick to correct and to give me feedback on the job I was doing. Now, to be honest, I hit the jackpot when I chose preceptors. I picked them for their willingness to teach, and they all gave their time and expertise generously. I am so grateful for these physicians and nurse practitioners.

But, this is about Daddy Issues. How on earth does that apply to this nursing story. Well, duh… because it is my story. Remember me? The girl with daddy issues?

I started noticing a trend to my relationships with a few of my mentors. Especially with ******* (you know, Work Mommy) and the one who became Work Daddy. The two of them were the ones that I sought out for advice. I respected their opinions, and felt that they understood my goals and aspirations. The joke became that they were Work Mommy and Work Daddy. (Don’t worry- Work Mommy has a story too!)

Now, while it was initially a joke, I see how it is applicable. As I mentioned in Daddy Issues Part I, parents are our first mentors (or they should be, anyway) and when your mentor is also somewhat responsible for you as an employee, it is easy to see how mentorship could be similar to a parental role. These are the people I come to when I need help. They are the ones who offer guidance and recommendations for my future.

It is their opinions I trust. I feel like they have my best interests at heart when they offer me advice. I am never afraid to tell them when I do not know something, and I am not afraid to take chances and risk looking foolish for asking questions.

Mentors are so important in life. They are coaches who develop skills. They are people who are interested in how your career affects you personally. In some instances if you are lucky, they become friends.  — although, that may change if Work Daddy finds out I called him Dr. Snape.

***I would like to point out that Alan Rickman is a very commanding presence. Also, Professor Snape did kinda turn out to be a hero in the end- He always looked out for Harry, and tried to protect him. This is where the pseudonym came from.

One last thing, I am so grateful for the experiences I have had with my mentors, and I would not trade any of it for anything. Quite basically, I am a lucky girl.

 *** update. Work Daddy is no longer my employer, however he remains a treasured friend and mentor. ~10/29/2015 ♥️LQ

Daddy Issues. It’s not about sex.

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Okay. Before you read any further… if you are expecting a post about sexual exploits with older men, you are going to be so very disappointed. I am quite cognizant of the fact that my grandfather reads this blog. (Wait, you are insinuating that there may be exploits to write about!) But, that is absolutely not the point. This is a blog about the weird daddy fantasies I have had for as long as I can remember.

Hehehe. See what I did there?

So, to put some context to this I should probably explain that I do not have a relationship with my father. It’s okay. I don’t mind all that much. I have had lots of therapy, and I realize it has nothing to do with me yadayadayada. Frankly, it is his loss. I am awesome. However, I would be completely disingenuous if I pretended that I did not wish I had a relationship with him. So, for most of my life I have been moderately obsessed with the fathers of pop culture. (Oh, one important thing, I have not been lacking in the male influence in my life- I have lots of people who have selflessly stood up and assumed that role. I have a wonderful loving family, and it’s not like I have been deprived of male attention.)

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See? He is such a good dad! Who doesn’t love dad hugs?

I am obsessed with TV shows and movies that have a man who is excessively paternal. Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) is the best dad. He has a teenage daughter (well, I think she is in college now) and they have a really cool relationship. I have always wanted that kind of relationship with my father. You know, the guy who frets over me, and is seriously protective and proud of me. So, it’s quite entertaining to imagine that this fictional character is actually my dad! This is common for young women (ok, almost middle-aged women who did not realize the teenagers were no longer their peers.)

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This must be a dude thing. My son kisses us on the forehead. It’s kinda sweet and condescending at the same time. I am leaning more towards sweet.

More about this style of dad. He is fun. He loves to play games and keeps up with what the cool kids are doing. He is not afraid to take his daughter to see a boy band. He has a relationship with his daughter on her level. Why? He likes her as a person! She is not a piece of property that he owns. He plays laser tag IN THE HOUSE! Decorates and dresses up for Halloween. This is a cool dad. My inner kid loves this guy.

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Well, if dad is a big kid- its probably best that granny is there. Even if she has a green goo face.

Now, what about the girl who is closer to my age? Maybe even a little closer to my own experiences?

Elizabeth Keen and Red Reddington on The Blacklist. There is some controversy as to whether or not he is actually her father, however he is so paternal and I am convinced that he is her dad. Which is probably the goal of the show’s writers anyway. (Side note: I just learned that paternal and paternalistic are not at all the same thing. Paternal is fatherly, while paternalistic is bad. Like dictator bad. hmmm.)

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I don’t really understand why she spends so much time in a hospital bed. Maybe she should be a little more careful. No wonder she needs a dad.

This show does a phenomenal job of demonstrating that even strong women are drawn to father figures in their lives. I mean, this chick carries a gun, and has all these smart FBI agents following her around, yet she still seeks the approval of the one guy who seems to actually be protecting her. Although, I would think that he could have done a better job protecting her by leaving her alone. Until you factor in the fact that her career went from zero to hero in about one day due to his interference. This is my greatest downfall, I can see way to many sides to situations. I never should have been a debater in high school. It has destroyed my decision-making abilities.

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - October 3, 2013

I am pretty sure my fantasy father and I would share a bench in NYC- and somehow be this comfortable with each other.

So, the point is not whether or not Red is her father. The point is that their relationship reminds me of the relationship that I imagine my father could have had with me. Your father should be your first mentor. The first man who offers you guidance and advice with your best interests in mind. With this imaginary father, I know that he would never encourage me to do anything that was not good for me. A dad has no ulterior motive, he only wants to see his daughter thrive and to reach her fullest potential. This is the fantasy that I have. This understanding of the fictitious nature of my fantasy is what allows me to know that it is okay that I do not have a relationship with my father. He is not that kind of man. I am better off with my imagination, and borrowing characters from cheesy crime shows.

Now, in the real world the relationship I have with my mentor at work (whom I fondly refer to as Work Daddy- although rarely to his face) has been instrumental in my success professionally. When I was a baby nurse, I had to call him in the middle of the night. I was terrified. I had heard horror stories about the perils nurses face when they wake him up…

*So… I have Daddy Issues. I figure there are lots of women who do. It has nothing at all to do with sex or romantic relationships. I think that people are drawn to the ones who have their best interests at heart.

So You Want To Be A Writer? That’s Mistake #1

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This was oddly comforting. BTW. Do not google how to be a writer. It is extremely unhelpful.

Thought Catalog

There are two types of writers, Schopenhauer once observed, those who write because they have something they have to say and those who write for the sake of writing.

If you’re young and you think you want to be a writer, chances are you are already in the second camp. And all the advice you’ll get from other people about writing only compounds this terrible impulse.

Write all the time, they’ll tell you. Write for your college newspaper. Get an MFA. Go to writer’s groups. Send query letters to agents.

What do they never say? Go do interesting things.

I was lucky enough to actually get this advice. Combine this with the fact that I was too self-conscious to tell people that I wanted to be a writer, I became one in secret.

I’m not saying I’m great at it or anything, but I am a bestselling author at 26

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