2. I'm 38 years young. No one EVER believes me- probably because it seems as though I haven't aged since HS. I owe that to my mother’s amazing genetics, a life lesson (also from mom) to never go to bed without washing your face & applying some sort of cream (After decades of searching, I just happened to have found the BEST one!), a healthy lifestyle, nourishing food, cleansing water, & being as happy as I can possibly make up my mind to be.
3. I have a killer handshake. This is probably one of my favorite things about myself & definitely the ONE thing I get complimented on more than anything!!
4. I lost $40,000 on a failed business venture. Go big or go home, right?!
5. I completed all 90 days of p90x. Immediately following, I found out I had a serious health issue & nearly died. Go big or go home?!?
6. I climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower. That's right, no elevator!! I also climbed the Koko Head staircase in Oahu, Hawaii which is over 1000 ft or nearly a quarter mile straight up! The 360 degree view is so worth it. (Pic)
7. I actually have a fear of heights - & even remember the traumatizing childhood experience that caused it. I conquer that fear as often as I can, hence the Eiffel Tower hike. Skydiving (clip- hyperlink & video insert), canopy safari (that’s ziplining 300ft above the rainforest. I did it upside down & backwards! (image) CRAZY!! And never again! Double bucket list check!), cliff jumping (Hawaii & Thailand - clip). I also ride the tallest & fastest roller coasters I can, while seated in the FRONT seat!!
8. I love Jesus. I hate religion. I don't believe Jesus came to earth to walk & live among us as a man, that He preached love & compassion & tolerance & grace, endured insults, betrayal, torture & death- to be raised again - only to institute RELIGION. Division is MAN'S doing & man alone. (The whole lying & deception thing that can lead us to it is of another beast entirely!) It saddens me to hear people leaving churches & blaming God for what a PERSON did or didn't do for them. That's why we have a God- to run to when we ARE hurt or persecuted or sad or lonely. We also have Him to run to when we're happy & beyond blessed! All good & perfect gifts come from Him & He made you so He could LOVE you! He hurts when you do & rejoices just the same. I just wish more people saw Him as a loving daddy who truly wants to protect us from the evil around the bend & to bless us with gifts we never even thought possible.
9. I was agnostic in college. Nope, wasn't raised a Christian. Not even close. I tried the Buddhist thing, the Bhagavad Gita thing, the I-can-do-it-on-my-own thing. None of those "things" worked out for me. To this day, I still struggle with the "things" I did during those days & wish I'd sought guidance & found truth sooner. (Remember, #9?!) However, I KNOW that all of those weaknesses & transgressions have made me who I am today & though I do have regret, wouldn't change a thing!
10. I started my first business in kindergarten. I sold Halloween candy on the playground. Yep, I was a born entrepreneur. That, & I don't have a sweet tooth. I also used my Halloween candy to gamble when learning to play poker & Texas Hold ‘Em.
11. I sold books door-to-door in college. And loved it. I’m also still alive to spin its tales to my children & grandchildren.
12. I'm confident in my purpose & not in myself. I have a serious case of the "jealousies" & find myself comparing nearly everything I do to those around me. Ugh. I hate that. I'm far from perfect, but do know that I was perfectly & wonderfully made & that this nonsense game is frivolous. Nothing good comes from that. Every single person was gifted with talents & abilities with which to do good or evil & even if every person on the planet chose to do good & was blessed abundantly, there would STILL be room for me!! I need to remember to run MY race & that there are seats enough for all of us at the favor table! We all have a purpose beyond the destructive lies in our head. We all have instilled greatness. All of us. Your greatness is no better or worse than mine. And the fickle pursuit of envy will not alter that. It may only in fact prevent you from receiving that which was always intended to be yours.
13. I'm a wee bit of a pyro. Not the illegal kind, but fire doesn't bother me. I can put out matches with my tongue, & blow fire out of my mouth. (insert video) Totally random, I know. I literally do not know where it all started except that I remember trying to do the match thing in 7th grade & accidentally set my room on fire. Whoops. Yeah, I might've run away from home briefly after that event transpired.
*Note: I've never set anything else on fire again!!! Ever!! Although I may've been tempted to burn other things down in my life, I am not an arsonist.
14. I used to teach ballroom dance in college, taught ballet for Montessori preschools, have choreographed for repertory companies & performing arts academies, & was asked to salsa competitively. Yet, that's not the secret- I have NO training or qualifications!! ZERO!! Seriously. It was an unrealized childhood dream of mine to become a dancer - & as an adult, God seemed to make it all come true based on pure will & gumption!! Well, that & the fact that I've definitely lived on & believe wholeheartedly in faking it 'til you make it!! That li'l gem has been my guidepost many a time in my early days as a hustler! Just be careful to under-promise & over-deliver, & not the other way around!
15. I've always wanted (& still do!!) a BUCKET full of children!! I mean, in my mind, buckets are big! I've always wanted 6. My mom was one of 7 & my dad was one of 5. I guess 6 just fit perfectly in the middle. I never thought I'd be 38, single, & childless. Never. Ever. I know though that God has a mighty plan for my life & that plan DOES include an amazing husband & a bundle of perfect squishy littles to love!!
16. I can plug my nose with my lips. I used to only be able to go under water that way! Now, I have to consciously tell myself NOT to do that. I can also touch my tongue to my nose & my chin & catch 8 coins at once when lined up on my arm & dropped at the same time (clip). Oh, parlor tricks!
17. I'm secretly judgmental. (Perhaps this isn't a secret?!) Truly though, I have so many pet peeves: poor grammar & spelling being one (or two, haha!)- especially on texts!! And don't get me started on contractions!! It is YOU'RE for "You're coming over, right?" or "You're amazing!" YOUR is reserved for ownership like "your purse" or "your destiny.” Other pet peeves include leaving doors & drawers open, not putting things back where you found them, not following directions the FIRST time, misspelling my name when it is right in front of you (it's spelled TRICIA, not Trisha, fyi), & ignorance, pure ignorance. Not the kind that you'd have if you grew up under a rock, but the kind that has NO EXCUSE. And since I've yet to meet ANYONE who falls into the aforementioned rock category, there are no excuses. You can't blame your parents or friends or media or SOCIAL media for not educating & informing yourself. We've come a lonnnnng way since encyclopedias & the Dewey decimal system (card catalogs). Research something. Read something. Read MANY things. Derive your OWN opinion & I pray to God that it has compassion & empathy built in.
18. I've done Stand Up comedy. Four times. Bucket list check…& then triple check!
19. I grew up in Michigan, lived in Pennsylvania, New York (not the city, YET!) for a few months at a time, & then moved to Los Angeles, California without friends, family, or a car! Here I've remained for the last 11 years!! I've only just recently relocated to the dream city of Laguna Beach where I seriously get to fall asleep to ocean waves outside my window. Beyond blessed.
20. I'm the oldest of 3. I have a younger brother & sister. My brother is 2 years younger & my sister is 12!! Sometimes I call her my daughter by accident! When she was little & before she could say her "Ts" she called me Fricia. She & my mom still calls me that to this day.
21. I was a bit of a kleptomaniac as a child. For no understandable or memorable reason, I used to steal earrings from women's clothing stores & stuff my pockets while my mom was paying at the register. I must've had 60 pair of earrings in a pile inside my closet next to my Barbie paraphernalia in 1st grade. Thing is, I have no idea what happened to them & my mom swears to have zero recollection either. Hmmmm…
22. Spiders & snakes (insert photo) do not bother me. Cheap people do.
23. I went whitewater rafting on the Nile River. I almost drowned. Bucket list check! Wait....not the drowning part! ;)
Then I was baptized in the same river a few days later! Can you say ironic redemption!?
24. I'm a travel junkie. I've been blessed to visit most of the states including Hawaii twice (but not YET Alaska), Canada (Toronto, Québec), Puerto Vallarta, France, England, Costa Rica, the Caribbean (St Maarten, St Thomas, Puerto Rico), Uganda (where we built a home for a widow & 8 orphans!!), all around Thailand, & Guatemala (where I was able to teach an after school program for a week, learn the Mayan dialect of Ixil-pronounced Ee-sheel, & meet my two sponsored children in person-my boy smiled with his tongue out & my girl said she thought of me as a second mom. Heart. Melt.) I'm itching for my next fix for sure!!!!
25. As you might have gathered by now, brevity is not my strong suit. I used to be ashamed of that - until I learned that it was a GIFT. Telling stories was a gift of mine. A God-given gift. Sure, just like anything, I could abuse it, & I absolutely have, but I'm learning to cultivate that gift & turn it into something that doesn't just bring me glory, but gives it to the One Who gifted me in the first place!
26. I am a multipotentialite. (Insert TED talk) I've done soooo many things & began to think something was wrong with me or that I had trouble with focus & follow through. However, there have been MULTIPLE things that I've beyond excelled in, things that I did complete, things that took a TON of effort on my part, things that a "lazy or unmotivated" person couldn't have accomplished - so, no, nothing is wrong with me. And if any of this resonates with you, there's nothing wrong with you either. Sometimes we are taken on many journeys before we discover that all of them- are part of THE journey. The one we were supposed to be on all along. The places we've seen, the people we've met, the opportunities we've had, the trials we've suffered, the lessons we've learned, all of it, all were stages along one journey leading us to our best selves, our calling, our destiny. And as hokey as that all may sound, I can assure you that I've mumbled & grumbled & complained & kicked & screamed the whole way too, only to learn that it doesn't change anything. The only thing that can change if I let it, is ME!!
27. I sword fight. No, I don't fence. I can actually wield swords!!! I was also certified by the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) in unarmed & armed combat -including rapier, dagger, & broadsword. This was my proudest #STRONGasAgirl moment.
28. My favorite compliment (pride-filled moment) came when I was mistaken for a native French speaker while shopping for scarves in Paris when I was 16. This began my love & moderate obsession with languages, accents & dialects. I'm also kind of a perfectionist & this started as one of my pet peeves in HS; it would bother me so much that people in French class could not or almost refused to pronounce words correctly. I was like, "Ugh!!!! Why are you even taking this class?!!?!" It seriously frustrated me to no end. I've tried to calm down a bit since then.
29. I know sign language (ASL). I'm not fluent (yet) & probably couldn't volunteer to be an interpreter at an auction house, but I can talk to you. For hours. Without writing things down on paper. I learned from a family that I used to nanny for where the mom was deaf & her youngest daughter was hearing impaired. This is probably one of my proudest achievements & definitely my earliest bucket list check!!!! My first memory of the answer to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" was: a sign language teacher.
30. I taught third grade….for two years. Ironically, just like dance, I had no credentials- only experience. While I have a bachelor's degree in Political Science, somehow I’ve found myself blessed with opportunity upon opportunity to educate, love & rear other people’s children. I’m the person you just met on the airplane, or on a park bench that you share all your untold, Pandora’s box secrets to. That’s me. I’ve always just had that (very humbling as it will remain to me) effect on people. Another blessing.
31. I have a “Husband & Baby” box. Yep, just let your imagination run wild with that.
32. I worked on the 2000 Presidential Campaign as the Assistant National Ballot Access Director. I almost didn't vote in the next election because of that little gem of a season. I am completely nonpartisan & seriously pray that our country learns to elect the right leader, not the right platform. We call it politics for a reason, folks.
33. I didn't swear for 10 years. Before becoming a Christian, I swore like a sailor, amongst other sailorly-type things. The day that I accepted Christ I wanted to do something, more for myself, to prove that I'd made a change. That day I quit cold turkey. That day I also became a bizarre outcast with my roommate & house guests when I insisted we have a "swear jar" in the kitchen. I've since realized how uncivilized it sounds to swear & believe that there are more than enough words in the English language to convey thoughts or emotions without resorting to colloquially accepted curse words. When thinking about people that you respect completely - emotionally, financially, spiritually, & physically - ask yourself if you hear curse words fly out of their mouth like it's their job. Probably not. And if you do, might I suggest finding a new mentor. ;)
I began allowing myself the occasional swear word when acting & playing other characters, when retelling a story from my past, or when momentarily forgetting my civility, & realized that God didn't strike me down. But probably because He never told me to stop in the first place! I just know that in order to become the person I envision myself becoming, cursing has no room in that dialogue.
34. I color coordinate everything. Clothes, shoes, purses, toiletries. I also alphabetize everything. DVDs, coupons, tea bags. I find my inner peace while categorizing & filing. Some may call me OCD. Heck, I used to call myself OCD. However, mine is not a disorder & I do not take medication. I’ve since modified the ‘D’ to stand for: Detailed. Therefore, I’m OCDetailed. I’d also like to think of myself & those like me as "organizationalites"- those who have a fond appreciation for order & cleanliness.
35. Speaking of OCDetailed, did I mention, I don't touch door knobs or gas pumps barehanded? Seriously, they NEVER wash those things. Just think about that.
I'm a wee bit of a germaphobe, but only have been as an adult. Germs are absolutely crucial for building a healthy immune system. I'm glad I climbed trees & played in dirt & built forts as a kid! I have such a fond appreciation for nature & all of its glory. What I don't have an appreciation for is people who don't wash their hands properly....or say "bless you" when someone sneezes. Manners, please. Where are people's manners these days? Sheesh, I digress…Seriously though, do not touch gas pumps.
36. I love relationship marketing!! I am a huge fan & consumer - & will never not be. I think there is so much to learn from the countless opportunities for growth & mentorship, not to mention finding products that could literally change your life & the lives of others (here is a list of the companies that have transformed my life & those I care about) I've been involved in 10 companies- none of which brought me financial freedom, but all of which changed my life for the better!!!
37. I was homecoming queen. However, based on popular opinion, I was not. Popular I mean. I was friends with everyone, though never in a million years did I think I'd be nominated, let alone win. Lies & rumors & backstabbing, oh my. Oh, those lovely high school days. No matter how many smiles & pleasantries I received, certain people were not expecting the win either. I did, however, learn a valuable life-lesson: the majority is the minority & the minority is the majority - the "popular" crowd makes up only a small percentage. Turns out, people like an underdog. They also like people who actually like them. (Bizarrely enough, I needed that life-lesson reminder in college when I booked the ONLY female role in 'Of Mice & Men' & just happened to be the ONLY girl auditioning who was not a Theatre major!) Whoops. Sorry, ladies.
38. I got 2nd degree burns while surfing in Hawaii. Yeah, that was not fun. It took me over a year to heal. Note to self: Yes, Tricia, you DO need sunscreen.
39. I used to be, I mean, I still am…habitually late. I really don't mean to be, I just am. After years of failed on-time attempts, I heard a talk from a very successful person on how he leaves appointments if someone is late because it is disrespectful of his time & energy. If he could make it to places on time given his demanding schedule, there is no excuse for being late. Wow. Perspective shift. I'm still learning.
40. I despise the word "normal". I don't think there's any such thing. And if there is, dear God, I pray I'm not it. I hope to always think outside the box, to sleep when I'm tired, while still making sure to handle my priorities within a timely manner, to be kind when others aren't, to speak up when others won't, to demand more of myself when I'd rather give up. I hope I never forget to forgive myself first & others always. I hope to forever find grace & joy in any situation. I hope I remember to go easy on myself & those around me. I hope I remember just how special I am & to remind people just how special they are. I hope I never grow weary in doing good.I pray I always remember to be thankful & to put God first - to be so very thankful that He created me to LOVE me & His plan for my life is so very mighty! And it’s only just begun….