In doing thought work around finding my life’s one true purpose or guiding principle, I actually combined a couple of things.

First I did an exercise by Warren Buffet which included writing out 25 career goals, doing some soul searching to pick the top 5 most important, and finally erasing the other 20 because they took away focus from the 5.

The next step I did was Angela Duckworth’s addition to Warren Buffet’s exercise, which was to what extent do these things have in common.

They each were interconnected with each other, and all roads I believe led back to leadership and advocacy for me, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

I’m here to talk about one specific goal: being the best at playing violin/viola.

I dug a little deeper, asking myself “why?” on repeat like a toddler.

Why do I want to be the best violinist/violist?

So I can teach it better, be sought out for gigs, and so people would take me more seriously.

“So people would take me more seriously.”

This one stung, so I asked myself “Why is that important to me?”

“Because I want to erase my sins of the past. So I can stop being that example of what not to do when professors and conductors talk about me, so I can stop blaming others for my choices, so that I can feel like I belong.”

Ouch. I had to start addressing these things like I’m my own therapist.

It led down the rabbit hole farther until I came to the following conclusion.

I place value on being the best at violin so as to erase all doubt of my ability, and the metric I measure it by is being so good it erases my mistakes and atones for hurting other people and myself with past behavior.

But it goes deeper.

My worthiness to play my instrument is based on how others perceive me. My self-worth is deeply rooted into what people think of my playing ability, especially those who have seen me at my worst.

The result of getting to this realization was that feeling of every lesson I walked into unprepared, every performance that I half assed practiced for, every glare I got from a conductor or my peers in college, every time I became more and more afraid to open my case and thus because more and more afraid of playing in front of people.

That tension in my neck, that lump in my throat, that tightness in my chest, clenching of the jaw, and a dread that goes deep down into my stomach hit me like a bus.

That desire to want to curl up and disappear.

I shed no tears, but I got a little misty.

I immediately remembered my embodied resources and breathing techniques to create space in my body and realize this is a survival response to all that grief and shame I held onto all this time in my body.

I didn’t think that my experience growing up learning to play my instrument would trigger a full on trauma response, but it did.

It’s a whole new world when you become aware of what you did and who you had to be to survive it.

As much as it sucked to go this deep, face that demon, and feel those feelings, it oddly felt freeing.

And it also will give me the opportunity to heal, and play, and get better for myself.

To let go and finally be intrinsically motivated to love my music, and my instrument. (Hopefully)

I hope that writing about this experience is helpful to you with something you are passionate about, but you basically got wrecked by your lates teens early 20’s or even if you are going through it now.

Definitely share it with someone you know who may be going through the same thing.

Until next time.

Classically yours,

Angela

In this Facebook Live, I cover what I have been learning and kind of talking about with consistency in my last two blog posts.

I did this because I know that sometimes people like to consume content in video format.

Personally, I like to engage in both, it really depends on the day.

I hope that you enjoy this video as much as I actually enjoyed making it, and I’ll see you next time.

Classically,

Angela

Consistency is what we do most often when we are comfortable.

The thing we consistently go back to is the norm. It’s our habit.

Some of these consistencies popped up with how we protected ourselves as children from childhood trauma. How we changed ourselves to please our caregivers and maintain connection.

Ironically these defense mechanisms are the reason why we may experience a lack of connection with ourselves and others.

The point is, some of the things we consistently do aren’t healthy.

“Well, how do I get to a healthier place?” you may be asking.

From my research I have some ideas about how to make changes last a little longer if not for the rest of your life.

Most of my examples are weight loss based, but this can be applicable to anything you want to change into a norm that you want to start being consistent with.

The thing about commitment to becoming more consistent is to first and foremost ask,

“Why do I want to make this change?”

Unless you’re smoking or drinking yourself into an early grave, if you are not included in any part of your answer to this question, you’re going to run into problems.

Society has set some preconceived notions on what we should change to become thinner, have more glittery hair, misty looking skin, the perfect looking home, etc.

The problem is if you want to change because you want to have more than that guy Jim who lives next door, or because of societal standards, is this change really going to make you happy?

If you want to lose weight because your boyfriend says you’re fat, that’s a terrible reason and you should probably consider changing your boyfriend not your pants size. Just saying.

Same thing for you fellas, if she’s roasting you on your wonderful dad bod and that’s the only reason you want to make a change, the change you should probably make is to someone who will appreciate you no matter your size.

If you want to lose weight and get healthy because you want to have the energy to play with your kids, that’s better because your desire is to get energy to play with your kids.

You kids could care less how much you weigh or your energy level as long as you spend quality time, but if you want to be able to join in on a game of tag, your kids will love that too.

The point is, you want to adjust the way you play with your kids by making a change for yourself.

If you want to lose weight because you can’t look at yourself in the mirror naked when you are at home by yourself, there’s a deeper issue there, one in which having a certified counselor may help you through whatever is causing that for you.

If you don’t love what you see now, you’ll keep changing the finish line and become unhealthy in the opposite direction.

If you look in the mirror and say,

“I love how I look. I love my body, and so I want to treat my temple a little better because it is awesome.”

Then that’s cool. Flex queen.

The point is you have to assess why do you want to change. Not just with weight loss, but with just about anything. Weight loss is just an easy example.

Once you have that answer, dig a little deeper and ask yourself why a couple of more times.

Channel your inner toddler, and keep asking, “Why? Why? Why?”

“I love how I look. I love my body, and so I want to treat my temple a little better because it is awesome.”

Why?

“Because I am worthy as I am now, and I also believe I deserve to strive to live my best life.”

Why?
"Because I have been hurting, and all of the hurt, anger, shame, and grief inside has caused me to defend myself and practice self-comfort in unhealthy ways. My body is a machine that has carried me through all of that, and now I want to heal those hurts. I want to show myself and my body some true love for a change. It's not about a number on a scale or a pants size, but about feeling my best and figuring out what 'feeling well' means to me."

Some deep stuff right?

As Lizzo says, whatever body type you are working towards is none of anyone’s business. Skinny doesn’t always mean healthy, despite what popular opinion says.

Good blood test results and great vitals from your doctor every year from your annual check up and your ability to do the amount of physical activity you’re willing to do is your “well.”

Annual physicals are good for you. Preventative medicine is the best medicine. Obviously I'm not a doctor, but catching things early especially when it comes to your health is better than waiting until it's too late.

If you work and office job and being ripped for the Gods is your idea of well (as long as you aren’t doing illegal steroid stuff to promote body dysmorphia), then flex my dude.

If like being a little fluffy, then work honey.

If you can’t gain any weight at all because of genetics or a medical issue, don’t let society’s commentary get you down. I just want you to know that I see you, and I think you can still flex and do you boo. Don’t let nobody tell you different.

Everybody’s body is beautiful, and the definition of “well” doesn’t look the same for everybody.

So now we have dug deeply into the “why?” and there may have been some tears shed, that is okay.

Let go of that voice that says crying makes you weak and a baby. Whoever told you that shit did more damage to you than actually letting you feel your feelings.

Let the tears out or one day it will consume you.

The next thing is that we’ve got to hit is,

“Now that I have asked myself why on a deep level, what are my preconceived notions about what I need to do to achieve what I want?”

Back to the weight loss example, if your preconceived notion is to start eating only 1200 calories tomorrow, or two almonds a day, expect to gain weight back after that crash diet is over.

If you don’t believe me, check out the statistics around yo-yo dieting.

I could write a book, I think most of us can at this point with diet culture. Looking at that book section on Amazon it almost feels like most of us probably have.

Before I continue, I am going to say that I am not a doctor, I do not have a degree in nutrition, nor am I a psychologist or counsellor. I just like to read and try stuff. Some of it is research, but WebMD is not the equivalent to the blood sweat and tears required to be an MD, so if you feel like you need to seek the advice of the MD before engaging in any lifestyle changes, please for the love of God do.

“Is my preconceived notion maintainable for the rest of my life?”

If the answer is no, you probably need to find a new notion.

The thing about maintaining consistent health and consistent wellness is that whatever you do to change your trajectory it has to be something that you can wake up every day (or at least 80% of the time), and do.

As a result of my yo-yo dieting adventures in my early 20s, I hate sweet potatoes and chicken breast on it’s own.

Eating “healthier” can taste good. I have some cook books and websites I like to use that I will talk about in a different post.

If you need to change your preconceived notion because it’s extreme, ask yourself this…

“What is one small change I can do right now, that is low risk, and I can consistently accomplish over time with minimal discomfort?”

The thing about consistency and commitment is you have to start with the smallest habit with the least amount of risk and aversion.

If that means drinking one less soda a day, or eating one more banana, do it. Do it for 30 days, see how you feel. Journal it.

You may find out that after 30 days drinking one less soda a day wasn’t so bad, then try the next thing, journal about it.

You may be thinking, “This is easy!”

Good, it should be if you take it one thing at a time.

I didn’t acquire a taste for unsweet tea overnight, believe me.

That took time, and while my other habits have gone to hell (which is why I am doing research on this topic) that is one I have been able to maintain.

If you feel that you can handle a total overhaul and do a reset, there are some great ones, but just be aware if your mindset and preconceived notions going in have to do with a number or fitting into a certain pants size you may want to address why you feel that way and start small.

Once you feel you have achieved optimal wellness and it’s maintainable for you until the day you die, (the same thing with any other habit you want to do consistently that may have nothing to do with weight loss) you must ask yourself another question and this one is going to be a doozy.

“What is the gateway food/activity/person?”

This one is going to hurt…

It’s not necessarily that you will have to give up this gateway item if you don’t want to, though it might be for the best.

It’s that when you have identified this food/activity/person you have to be real intentional about whether or not you will consume/participate, and how much.

If you don’t feel you can walk away from that situation without crapping on all of your hard work, don’t put yourself in that position.

It is going to suck… a lot.

Especially if you really love that food/activity/person, but you have to decide what’s worse, letting go of that gateway thing or letting go of everything you worked for to achieve whatever it is that you wanted to achieve.

Now, I know this may sound a little extreme, but addiction is not merely restricted to alcohol or drugs.

Sugar, binging food, binging Netflix, internet usage, playing a round of poker with your bros, charging your credit card for that one cute outfit that’s on sale, getting that one lap dance, going out with that friend that you know you’ll get arrested with by the end of the night, adopting another cat even though you already have 5 and you’re supposed to be cut off, opening social media…

We all have a gateway to a vice.

A gateway to a comfort we are trying to change because we have determined for ourselves on a deep level that we are not about that life anymore, and it’s not helping us live our best life.

Unless you live on a farm, or a large house, having more than 5 cats is not helping your cats live their best life.

I know saving all of the cats might seem like a great idea in theory, in practice it’s not always best for you or the cats.

I digress.

I hope this was helpful to you.

This isn’t necessarily the end of my thoughts and research on consistency.

I know there is a lot of stuff written on this topic, but I hope the way I put one thing or another produced an “aha” moment for you.

Until next time.

Classically,
Angela

This may or may not be new to some, but up until my research I had the wrong idea about consistency.

I would get mad at myself because I couldn’t consistently eat a certain way, or spread out projects to get them done in a reasonable amount of time with detail, or how I couldn’t practice consistently…

Here’s the truth about consistency…

Consistency is what we do most often when we are comfortable.

The thing we consistently go back to is the norm. It’s our habit.

If that norm for you is napping for too long in the middle of the day, as soon as you try to break that consistency, as soon as you run into trouble starting the new habit, you got back to what is comfortable.

Some of these consistencies popped up with how we protected ourselves as children from childhood trauma. How we changed ourselves to please our caregivers and maintain connection.

Some of these defense mechanisms, no matter how ineffective that they are as adults, are still our safe spaces today.

Ironically these defense mechanisms are the reason why we may experience a lack of connection with ourselves and others.

These behaviors can range from perfectionism, having not one single fleck of dust in your home or office at any given point and absolutely everything has the place it needs to go to self-numbing behaviors like eating cheetos and binge watching Netflix.

Neither one is healthy believe it or not.

Sometimes it’s okay for your house to look like people actually live there and not like a showroom, so you can take the time to enjoy the kids and the dog, or sometimes it’s okay to cry and deal with unresolved issues.

No one is judging you if that means that you cry over that bag of Cheetos.

It is okay. Just let it all go.

The point is, some of the things we consistently do aren’t healthy, and unfortunately, while wanting to become healthier is good, there’s a reason why our New Year’s Resolutions tend to fail.

Making a change is taking a step into the unknown, and the bigger the resolution the bigger the chance that you’ll be paying for that gym memberships through to June that you only used in January.

Part of stepping into the unknown is not knowing whether you will succeed or fail.

If you have consistently failed in the past, you will enter your change with mindset that you will fail, and you will have a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Generally, speaking when we do stuff like this we are trying to prove ourselves right at every turn.

This isn’t me saying, “If you just believe in yourself a little more this time, you’ll succeed Jimmy. Just clap if you believe.”

No, blowing smoke up someone’s butt by saying if you believe hard enough without addressing the deeper mindset is going to cause money to bleed out of their wallet on that gym membership…

Or whatever your habit you are trying to change so that it becomes the norm that you do consistently.

You have to dig deep to make what you want to change into the norm.

In order to make long term change, you have to ask yourself some hard questions, which I will address in a different post.

I know there is a lot of stuff written on this topic.

Trust me, there is a lot.

However, I hope the way I put one thing or another produced an “aha” moment for you.

This isn’t the end of my research or thoughts on consistency.

This is just a start.

Until next time.

Classically,
Angela

Previously I did a blog post on goal setting.

I gave 5 tips and the mindset necessary to set yourself up for success.

In this post, I want to share what my goals are for the rest of the year.

I went ahead and purchased a planner to help out with this process.

The planner I am using for this year is the Go Girl Planner.

What’s nice about this planner is that it is split into 3 sections.

The first section has to do with casting your vision, the second segment is a monthly planner, and the third is a weekly planner.

I decided to go with a weekly planner this time because daily planners get heavy and cumbersome.

Also, while I enjoy the ones that ask you to write daily affirmations and quote of the day and gratitude on every page, it becomes overwhelming and even more time consuming than helpful.

At least that was how it was when I used one of those types of planners while I was a teacher.

I have a little more time now, but the lesson learned is that I can spend time taking action in other places, but never, ever forget to express gratitude in some form or another.

In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Cover recommends using a weekly planner for each area of your life instead of breaking it down day by day, minute by minute.

He shares an anecdote about how his son did it that way, and scheduled in a 15 minute block to break up with his girlfriend. Obviously, this took longer than 15 minutes and derailed his minute by minute plan for the rest of the day.

Anyway the steps in the first section of the planner is casting your vision.

Before I took pen to paper inside my planner, I used a notebook to think all of this stuff out because I knew my brain dump was not going to fit on this one tiny page. After I did that I followed the steps in the planner.

The steps in this section are casting your big life vision. Then, create 3 goals from the 7 areas of your life.

Then it takes it a step further, stating that sometimes we overestimate what we can accomplish within a year, so out of the 21 goals I wrote on the previous page…

I picked the 5 big ones that I am going to share here.

Goal #1: I am walking for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

The major action steps to make this happen that I chose are pick 3 specific times of day to walk, have my shoes ready by the door (with socks), set alerts on my phone, and pick safe spaces to walk. With the way things are right now, the last one is the most important to me.

Recently I adjusted this plan to simply start with 15 minutes of physical activity a day 5 times a week.

This came as a reevaluation of what I can accomplish right now.

This adjustment largely came because when I went outside to take out the trash it felt like a level of hell outside that I don’t think I can handle.

Walking up and down the stairs in my air-conditioned home for 15 minutes? I like that idea better.

On another note, this reminds me of a program I used to do from Nerd Fitness. The concept is that you treat exercise like a video game and you get experience points based on the type of activity. I think I may see if I can access my account there. If you like video games and want to become the next Aqua Man, but aren't sure how to get started? Hit up Nerd Fitness.

Goal #2: Make $4,000/month, and do so by 1 year from now.

This is kind of a big goal, but the plan is to replace and even exceed the amount of money I was making while teaching in the public school system.

The major action steps are to get my LLC for my proofreading business and my private studio, create streams of residual income through writing an eBook, implementing an effective internet marketing strategy, and making sure that I follow up with clients effectively.

I know there are other places where I can monetize things, but I think sticking to those for now would be good.

If you are looking to monetize your blog though, it appears that WordPress has webinars on Tuesdays addressing this specific topic.

Goal #3: Trust myself to let go of things, be responsible enough to break down and follow through with plans, and really trust myself to accept my positive and negative traits for what they are.

The timeline on on this goal is really the rest of my life, but this is something I think was worth putting in writing.

The major action steps for this goal are to meditate regularly, making sure that I am practicing patience while taking things in smaller chunks, follow my plans, and review and reflect on those plans regularly.

Goal #4: Pay off my Capital One card by the end of this year.

I’m going to come clean. I have 3 credit cards, all of them are close to maxed out. While getting all three of them paid off, it’s reasonable to say that paying the minimum on two and putting extra on the third one seems more feasible than throwing extra money at all 3 and hope I don’t go over budget throwing everything at them.

The action steps on this one are monitoring my subscriptions, i.e. where are they coming out of, assessing need vs. want when making purchases, and stay within my weekly allowance.

As I’ve gotten older, financial literacy/acquiring wealth have become increasingly important to me. In my late teens/early 20’s my eyes were bigger than my wallet.

Now I’m working towards the opposite direction, my wallet being bigger than my eyes.

That’s a strange way to put it, I know.

There is a lot of great literature out there on finances, but my favorite so far has been Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

Goal #5: Take time to relax and engage in some form of play and/or connection everyday.

This one isn’t in SMART goal form, but letting go of being type A sometimes and doing relaxing activities is going to be a main goal of mine.

Brené Brown talks about the importance of play in her book The Gifts of Imperfection, and I believe Daring Greatly.

The major action steps here are to take time to draw, write, play with my cat, and make sure family movie night happens.

If you’ve been following my social media accounts, you’ll see that my cat and I have been enjoying the new recliner.

In my planner I have actually set everything in 30, 60, and 90 day cycles just to make sure that I have enough data on a goal to review and adjust depending on what it is.

I decided to share these things here because I wanted to show how I personally applied some of what I wrote in a previous blog post, but to also get a little accountability as I grow and evolve for the rest of the year.

I also hope having this knowledge will help you on your journey in some way.

Classically yours,

Angela

First of all, I want to give some updates. [I started writing this blog post on Sunday, but I neglected to account for the madness of moving and getting internet set up.]


The movers are coming today. I will do a video showcasing my new office.

On Tuesday I start my LLC paperwork for my proofreading business and make plans to start up my violin studio again.

I’m leaning back on my network marketing business. I was pretty gung-ho on it reaching out to 50 people a day, which turned out to be about 1,500 people in a two month span. I’m still doing the business, but I really enjoy the products and having fun connecting with my team. As with anything my tribe will come.

That said, before I go into the 5 tips, I want to talk about mindset.

I firmly believe in personal development and thought work. However, in order to be successful self-acceptance has to come first.

This means you have to take time to learn to accept the negative parts of yourself.

The basic of this is that all of you is perfect the way you are, the good and the bad. Once you’re good with that, the goals are to simply amplify the parts you like or improve on some of your areas that you determine might be room for growth.

Here are your 5 tips for goal setting.

Tip #1- Define what you want There are at least seven different areas of your life, health, family, career, finance, spiritual, personal development and hobbies.

Think about where you would like to be in 10 years. If you want to go really deep, and far into the future think about what impact you would like to have had on the world after you have kicked the bucket.

However you decide to start, just write. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, etc. at this point, just put what it is that you want or what you want to have accomplished on paper. In education we call this a “brain dump.”

Don’t over think it either, because I am going to let you in on a little secret that most self-help things don’t cover.

There is no shame in being ordinary. If everyone could be Oprah or Martha Stewart that would be cool, but being a regular person in the grand scheme of things is also cool.

If your life vision is to grow tomatoes in your backyard, do it.

If you love your call center job, and you want to be the best darn customer service agent there ever was, by golly do it.

If you love your job at Walmart, be the best Walmart associate you can be.

If you want to be a hot shot entrepreneur, and you’re ready to swim with the sharks, do that.

Even if you just want to be mediocre at them, that’s cool too. It’s okay to be average and do “ordinary” things. 

Goal setting is just the rudder on the boat, whether you want to be Oprah or you love your job as a custodian, goals give you direction.

This will determine your vision and values. This exercise I have taken from two separate books. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a **** by Mark Manson.

Tip #2- Translate what you wrote into SMART Goals

The purpose of this tip is to give your brain dump more detail.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

Now that you have decided to grow your tomato garden, how big do you wnat it? How many tomato plants do you want in it? What supplies do you need? Are the amounts indicated in the previous questions achievable? Do you actually like growing tomatoes? What is a reasonable amount of time to execute your plan?

If you want to grow tomatoes in your backyard, unless you’re really good at tetris having 1,000 tomato plants is not achievable.

The A in SMART I think is important because it helps you to be realistic. If you set unrealistic goals, (like putting 1,000 tomato plants in a suburban backyard), you’re only going to set yourself up for disappointment.

Speaking of setting yourself up for success, I’m going to lead into the next tip…

Tip #3- Reverse Engineer It

Look at all of your long term smart goals. Ask yourself, what do I need to do in 5 years to reach my goal? 4 years? 1 year? 6 months?

Continuing with the tomato garden example, now that you know where you’re going in that first month, you may want to read about how exactly one goes about growing tomatoes.

Once you figure that out, set a date on the calendar for the planting season to yield a great tomato crop. Then think about the supplies you’ll need and where you need to purchase them.

Tip #4- Take action on your plan.

Now that you have clear direction on where you want to go with your life goal, take action.

I’m going to continue with the tomato garden example, because we are in too deep now.

Prepare your yard. Before you get to growing season you have to mark out where you would like to grow them, weed the area, turn the soil, and get stakes and that chicken wire type stuff.

Close to planting season buy your tomato seeds.

Monitor your crop over time. If you did not yeild what you expected review what may have not gone well, and figure out what you will do different next tomato planting season.

By your 5th year, you should have a decent sized suburban tomato garden, and you may even be selling them to your neighbors.

This may not have been in your original plan, but your tomato garden turns into a lucritive business and so you have to start thinking about expanding your garden.

Tip #5- Stay consistent

This is the tough part. Once the excitement wears down from your initial plan, there are going to be days where you don’t want to follow the plan.

You might even think that you have to be motivated to continue on.

However, sometimes simply taking the action (even though you may not want to) will help get you motivated, so the motivation process may actually work in reverse.

The point is, if your tomato crop fails that first season, but you are determined by year 5 to have a thriving tomato garden, don’t give up.

Try again. Occasionally it is good to review the master plan and make adjustments on your time or what you want to do also, but if you stay engaged over time, you’ll get to your goal.

Failure is a stepping stone to success. You may trip and face plant on some of those stones, but whatever you do, get back up and keep going.

I can tell you I have reinvented my blog at least 5 times by now, and it may get reinvented again.

However, I am sticking to it, and that’s what matters.

I hope this helps you with whatever you decide to do.

Classically yours,
Angela

A person’s life consists of moments that become memory, and in turn becomes facts. They are all hidden in our little moments when we first do something we realize we love, to the embarrassing moments, moments of elation, and moments of sadness.

I am going to share with you 10 random facts about me.

10. Cowboy Bebop is my favorite anime.

Anime is a genre of cartoon originating in Japan. This particular show is about bounty hunters in space, with lots of jazz music. The bounty hunters are basically space cowboys, with the main protagonists being Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed, and Ein the corgi. It follows their adventure on their shared space ship.

This was one of the first anime I ever watched, and the best plot. I remember sitting up watching Toonami I believe, usually with a snack, and humming along with the theme song. The opening theme is amazing and to me the show is timeless.

9. I have a painting of Albert Einstein I acquired from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

I remember this particular moment in college. I was living at Oxford Oaks Apartments, and I would always get coupons from Bed, Bath, and Beyond in the mail. Being a broke college student, I didn’t utilize them too often, but I remember the last time I was in the store, and I saw it.

This big portrait in mostly blues, with the man himself, and equations lightly painted in white. I still have it hanging in the living room to this day.

8. I have a white fluffy cat named Gandalf.

I remember it was during my third year teaching. I was living by myself and I had wanted a pet for years.

I decided to go to PetSense and there I saw him.

He was in the back of his little area. His tag said he had to be in a single pet home, and his cute little face had a certain RBF that made me realize this was me in cat form.

I looked at his tag and saw his name was Gandalf. That was the final selling point.

It’s funny because he always had personality. Whenever I would go in to the store to get his pet food, everyone would ask about him.

To this day, the sass is real and I love him very much.

He laid down to watch Chopped.

7. I play Diablo 3… a lot.

If you don’t know Diablo 3 is an RPG that I play on PS4, but it’s available on many different platforms. The gameplay is perfect for me because I don’t get motion sick when I play it.

What I was taken with were the cut scenes. The animation and storyline were captivating. The between scene stories were amazing illustrations of each character class in the plot.

The dialogue between your companions during game play can be hysterical. Overall, my favorite game.

6. When I sleep I love being a burrito.

My house is always cold because the cold makes me sleepy. What makes it better is my comforter and quilt.

It’s wonderful to go to bed at the end of a long day to crawl into bed and wrap myself in my blankets.

5. Figment the Dragon was one of my first plush toys as a child and I still have a Figment to this day.

Much to the chagrin of certain family members who will not be named, I still have a lot of my plush toys.

I have a top 4 and Figment is one of them.

One of the confirmations that I was born in the wrong decade, because he used to have his own ride at Disney that was dismantled in the 90s.
I am sorry that I missed out on it because Figment is the greatest.

My plea for Disney to bring back the Figment the Dragon show.

4. Podcasts are my favorite.

Here lately, when I’m driving in my car I can’t listen to music. I have to put on a good podcast.

When I’m cleaning, podcast. Shower? Podcast.

My favorites here lately are Build Your Tribe with Chalene Johnson and Becoming Bullet Proof with Tracey O’Malley.

3. My favorite gigs are performing in the pit for musicals or for musical artists.

I love providing the background for a great show.

I have done musicals such as Next to Normal, No, No Nanette, and Carousel.

As far as celebrity shows so far I have played in the orchestra for Michael Bublé.

I thought I was going to throw up or pass out in that situation because I had never played a stadium before, but as soon as that cue came it was like I was born to do this.

I don’t know how many other artists that will pass through Oklahoma that will require an orchestra, but I sure am looking forward to sitting in on future gigs, especially another Michael Bublé performance.

2. My friends and I used to do manga style comics and stories in junior high and high school.

We were the Shippo tribe, based off of the fox demon character in Inuyasha an anime I unfortunately cannot with through as an adult. This group was started and named by our friend Jessica who is dubbed Jeppo.

All of our names had some iteration of -ippo or -ppo after them. Aileen was Leanippo, Briana was Nikkippo (middle name Nicole), and I was Angippo. There were others in our group, El, AJ, Derrick.

To this day, people still call Tiffany Tippo. Our comics were awesome. At least I thought they were.

1. Finally, my friend group consists of friends that I have had for 8-20 years. Lifelong friends that are basically family.

I discovered as I go through life, not many people have this experience.

My 3 best friends whom Chris, my fiancé has dubbed the “ya-ya’s,” are Tiffany, Aileen, and Briana.

We all started hardcore hanging out together in the 6th grade and we are all still very close to this day.

I also can’t talk about best friends without mentioning Josh and Damian.

Josh is how I survived college. The many nights making spaghetti and eating ice cream watching Star Trek and venting.

Damian, my buddy who gave me a place to stay between my jobs in Crowder and Enid. Damian also came with me to my sister’s funeral and had just generally been there for me when I needed him.

It want always serious though, there were shenanigans some of which included me dressed as a puppy and Chase as a fairy for a pageant. Chanting “free to pee” when Zoey wouldn’t stop for a restroom break. Then saving the kittens from the McDonalds parking lot.

This concludes the 10 facts about me. I hope you enjoyed them, and I’ll see you next time.

Classically yours,

Angela

For so long my identity has been related to my achievements…

I am a Master of Music Education. I am a violinist with 2 decades worth of experience.

I was an orchestra teacher…

Recently I’ve been working towards new achievements.

Successful small business owner. Successful content creator. Becoming a servant leader.

I have spent hours pouring over a screen to figure out how to become those things.

I’ve read books, articles, podcast, invested in coaching programs, and trainings.

The message was always the same, “Be authentic! Be vulnerable! Connect with people! Be real.”

I felt secure in my titles, because I thought that safety is in that security. However, things were so secure, I didn’t know what those things meant for me until the catalyst moment.

I was sitting on a video chat with other people, friends, who are in my line of work I had been doing on the side.

It was our usual morning Zoom meeting where we do trainings together and I was feeling stressed about my current position.

I interviewed for it, and I hadn’t heard anything. People told me not to worry because generally people get their jobs back during this type of thing.

I was worried.

My friend told me to send an email asking if I was submitted for rehire, and that I had the right to know.

After we got off of our call, I opened my email.

I took a deep breath, and started typing to my assistant principal whom I thought was in charge and making the decisions on this. I found out later on that his decision wasn’t the final say.

I get a phone call from the school. I was excited to hear my assistant principal’s voice after not seeing or hearing from anyone outside of Google Hangouts since the pandemic started.

Then it happened.

“I thought you deserved better than an email to hear this…”

Oh, no… I thought.

“I’m sorry to say that you were not submitted for rehire.”

I don’t know if you’ve ever watched anime in those scenes where the character learns bad news, and the scene goes black and white, and all you hear is a gust of wind, but that was me in that moment.

I won’t go into the details of the rest of the call, but I will say that this wasn’t the beginning of my identity crisis, but it brought it to a head.

You see, when I found that out, I was a mix and a mess of emotions, but at the same time it was oddly like the world had been lifted off of my shoulders.

Was I going to look for another job and bear the title “Orchestra Teacher” anymore? A title I spent 8 years and $75,000 to achieve going all the way through grad school?

No, I decided that I was not going to search for another teaching job.

I wasn’t going to pick up my family and move again.

I wasn’t going to be a place holder for someone who was “a better quality applicant,” and have to potentially do this process over again.

I was and still am done with education for now…

And honestly, this is probably the best thing that could have happened, because for the first time in a long time I felt free and unburdened.

People tend to think that all teaching is is giving the kids a great education and enjoying my time with them.

I will tell you that if that’s all there is to it, I would be looking for another position in a heart beat.

But teaching is more politics than it is actually teaching, and sometimes those politics and the uncertainty of being a probationary teacher can get pretty toxic.

I couldn’t see it because I wore that title like the badge of a martyr, and those around me who didn’t understand thought what I was doing was noble, and I should protect that.

For six years I did, until that moment.

Once I let go of protecting that title, I realized the reason why I couldn’t find my authentic self. Why an exercise of expressing who I am seemed futile, awkward, and fake.

Somewhere along the way I lost my fire.

I was suppressing myself and hiding the best parts of me.

It’s been killing my relationships, my business, and my drive to be a leader.

While it was earth shattering to be stripped of something that was a majority of who I thought I was for half of my entire life, I suppressed a lot of myself, my ideals, my life, and family.

I now no longer have to do that. I’m finally going to step out of the closet for real.

This is perfect because it’s pride month this month.

I am a bisexual Afro-Latina woman, who is engaged to the most beautiful lesbian woman, and we have a very intelligent, creative, and beautiful non-binary child.

We also have a cat.

I am free to say that I have a hodgepodge of friends across the rainbow who never gave a crap about what people who really don’t matter think of them.

And they have all been there for me, most of them unconditionally.

All of them covered in ink, and piercings, some are stay at home moms and some are national renowned drag kings and drag queens.

These people are my people.

As for myself, I love Nike shoes, punk rock music, and gaming.

I love to dance. I love to sing. I love to draw. I love to write.

I’m an entrepreneur with big dreams of acquiring wealth, and I realize playing it safe and suppressing myself isn’t going to get me to any of those dreams.

If you’re planning on lecturing me about admitting this stuff in black and white, save it, because I’m a grown ass woman.

I’m tired of my self concept being invalidated because a small group of closed minded people in my life think it’s improper for people to know these things, or they don’t agree.

I am not going to let anyone silence me anymore.

As of this moment I’m free to be me. No regrets, no apologies.

Classically yours,

Angela

As an amateur blogger, it seems that I have tried many ways, types, and platforms to get started.

I started out with an affiliate blog, but as I went on the message didn’t resonate with me.

It was kind of downing the necessary activities that produce income when done well.

I started out on my own looking at Pinterest and coming up with a clever blog name, Angie Ruiz, Bee’s Knees.

That name and blog didn’t have a clear direction and was a weird glob of my personal life, my small business that my partner company now has stringent compliance to follow, and just stuff.

I tried to classify it as health and wellness. Not quite.

I went into authenticity, then there was Authentically Angela.

While that was good and close, there was a problem and here’s where we find ourselves in a story within a story.

I got the idea to start a proofreading business trying to figure out what I’m going to do for work now that I’ve stopped teaching for the time being.

I googled how to start a proofreading company, and the first step to starting a company is to come up with a name.

I came up with a name for that business, which I will release once I’ve gotten my LLC good to go with that, but here’s the kicker.

I decided to google my blog name “Authentically Angela.” There were so many results that popped up, that while the title was an expression of where I’m heading in life, it obviously wasn’t unique.

So, I started doing a brain dump for my blog, much like I did with my proofreading business.

I used word that I put in a prior Facebook post asking people if they could use three words to describe me, what would they be.

I liked classy, but “Classy Angela,” wasn’t quite a ringer.

Then it hit me, Classically Angela.

I liked the ring of it, but I had to hit the google and check social platforms…

BINGO! No one used this name anywhere that I could find.

It was mine. It was me, and I am going to keep this one personal and close.

Classically Angela is a personal blog about my life, and it’s going to have all of the things in it that make me, me, and all of those things that I’ve learned that I want to teach, show, or recommend to you.

Now, you can take everything I tell you with a grain of salt. I’m no guru, or expert in anything, except maybe music education. I have a masters degree, six years experience, research, and hundreds of hours of professional development I have accumulated since my freshman year of college.

I will own that. I worked my ass off for that… even though I’m not teaching anymore.

That identity crisis is a whole other blog post.

However, I am able to apply the basics of what I have done with half of my life to bring you recommendations, lessons, and my true self so that way there are little nuggets that maybe you can apply to your own life.

And this time, if this blog turns into a weird shit show, I’m sticking with it, because I’m tossing the perfectionism and lack of naming research that killed the other blogs out the door.

Welcome to Classically Angela. Enjoy your stay.

Classically yours,

Angela

Laura A. Lord

"Of this I am certain: The moment you said, "You are..." I no longer recognized myself. ‪‎I am‬ more than the woman you see. "

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