Hanging up the Real Pants.....Big Changes for TMGraphics!!

  • By Tamara Morrison
  • 01 May, 2014

So one day, perusing quotes online (because I'm seriously the type of weirdo that does that...no   seriously !) I came across some quote by this man, Paulo Coelho, and ever since then, I've been kind of obsessed. I'm pretty sure every thought this guy has is genius. And no, I haven't read any of his books yet, its bad but I only read books once a year....on long flights. Better get booking one then, right?

Anyways, Tamara Morrison Graphics is now my full time job. As of last week. As in I don't work for anybody else right now, and I am going to do whatever I gotta do to keep it that way. And reading enough quotes by this guy, reassures me that I'm NOT entirely crazy.

Sometimes I still wonder if I'm crazy. You might too. You probably work somewhere, in a building, with set hours and fluorescent lights and rules about cellphone use and what time is appropriate to call your doctor and schedule your yearly colonoscopy. And you probably need to wear pants. Dammit, now that's the hardest part right there.

Now this isn't some fluffy dream story about following your passion and quitting your damn corporate job to knit blankets out of alpaca wool in the desert while riding on the backs of pink unicorns while money flies of out their asses and into your bank account. AIN'T GON HAPPEN. Sorry.

I've been planning to be a designer since.....well since forever. I went to school for it. My dad has been telling me I'd someday have my own design business since I was 16. I thought that was absurd. Who would want to sit at home all day with no friends and no shiny desk and no pants. What kind of life was THAT going to be??? So I insisted I get an office job, so that I might become important. I stopped designing. I didn't even open Illustrator or Photoshop for a couple years. Because I was super important. I pulled staples, and scanned files, and picked up phones with a fake cheery voice. But for someone who was and always will be creative, it got intolerable. Fast. I realized it would not, and could not go beyond this for me. I didn't go to school for anything fancy. I wasn't going to go applying for $50000 a year jobs and getting them.....or if I did...liking them. Same office, bigger nameplate. It wasn't for me.

Somewhere in there, I DID start my design business, but it was small and rough going, when you miss every client call because....well cellphone use is monitored. Email is blocked. You can't meet anyone because you're wasting away on Facebook mobile sneakily in the corner, heart racing every time the bosses go by. So step one happened. I left. I left what most people would consider "stable". It wasn't a lot of money, but it was THERE unless the corporate headquarters burned, every week. No matter if I sat on Facebook or invented a machine that regenerated brain tissue. Same amount. Always.

I left for a shakier bridge, but a bridge nonetheless. It had less hours, and more flexibility. And Tamara Morrison Graphics grew. I should say, it STARTED. With more time, and the bulk of it being during the day, I could call people, meet people, email people!! The difference was very clear. And for a while, it worked. Dream life by day, drone by night. Then the night got well, darker. Usual dramatics ensued that always occur in a place where people work daily for money and not much else. Rules tightened, for reasons which I could not logically see. At the same time, there was nothing to do. I perused Facebook and Instagram and watched the clock mercilessly. I snuck in client emails. I got caught. I snuck in client phone calls......andddd parking lot meetings. I didn't get caught. But I felt like a drug dealer at a couple of those sneak meetings!

Now I believe strongly, that life and guts show us the way long before logic does. Most people don't listen. Most people accept things, or create the opposite of what would get them the life they desire, whether its by choice or subconsciously.

One lovely day I realized, my current employment situation was NOT going to work, for reasons we don't need to get into. But I knew I had to jump ship.... before it sunk. So I saw another ship floating past and I jumped. That ship looked rickety at best, but I ignored that. Even though I knew that one too, would sink. I got another mediocre job.

This one proved to be an even greater lie and inconvenience. The hours were nothing like what I was told they would be, and would have put me back at square one ( below it actually, less money!), with no time to meet clients, take calls, or emails. I had a client meeting that following day for an awesome opportunity....that I would have to cancel. AGAIN. For a near minimum wage (yup that low) job. Because they couldn't tell me my hours until mere moments before I had to work them, via text message, despite asking countless times. So that was it. Every fiber in my body calmly told me to just let it go. Leave, go be a freaking graphic designer. Equally mediocre jobs will always be there if needed. Go to that meeting. Get that job.Win that client. I was dying to put my entire self into making this happen. So I typed an email to the captain of that rickety ship saying I would not be in the next day. My best friend of 8 years and biggest supporter Kevin hit send FOR me when I hesitated. It was a done deal. I was living my dream starting 6 AM tomorrow. I went to my meeting, and I got my client.

It has been not even two weeks. I've never worked so hard in my life. I don't look at the clock. I don't go on Facebook. I don't need to. I am 100% fully absorbed in what I am doing. I think its called passion, and hustle.

I saved a lot of money in the six years I spent at home working full time in an office. I don't have kids. I have the best living partner and family in the world. I am SO LUCKY. I know everyone doesn't have the same opportunities. Believe me, I know. And I know this isn't going to be easy. I am scared. I am nervous. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't.

But if you want something, you will do whatever it takes and you won't think twice. You won't complain. I work weekends now. I work nights. Both of which I hated with passion and still would at any job. I work every second that I'm not in the gym, my other raging passion, but that's for another post. But what is   work ? I mean this is all I want to do. I don't want to watch TV. I don't want to go to the bar every night. I want to go to Florida and lay under a palm tree, and design. And next week, that's exactly what I'm going to do.

I don't know you. I don't know your dreams or your circumstances. I don't know if the reason you aren't doing what you really want is valid. (Or maybe you ARE, in that case, awesome!! ) But you, inside, you know. ANYONE can get somewhere better. Realize it won't be perfect, it won't be easy and it might be stupid in other people's eyes at first. But who cares. This life is yours. Start planning. Do ONE LITTLE BITTY THING every single damn day. Fill out that application. Call that client, hang up that ad, get off your thrown built of excuses. You're not trying hard enough. I have by noooo means "made it". But I have never tried so hard for ANYTHING before.

A client put it well to me last week as we talked about our mutual passions, fitness and business. She said after a great lifting workout, you don't SEE anything, no change right then. But there are thousands of microscopic tears in your muscles. Eventually, those muscles rebuild. Again and again. And then you start to see the changes from your efforts. You start to see growth. That's why going to the gym once won't do a damn thing. But going every day even when you are sure its hopeless, and progress HAS to happen.

And it already is, for me. It will for you too. You will fail with 100% certainty if you change nothing in your life. But as long as you do one tiny thing daily, 100% failure is NOT a promise. Its always a chance, but there's a chance you will get somewhere, too. So I will keep making tiny tears in this each day and build it up. And it will hurt and it will be hard and I will worry and panic and cry and celebrate and suffer and fail and rejoice and I will live to the fullest of my ability. And of course the best part? You guessed it, if (no WHEN) this all works out, I will never have to wear real pants   again.

Follow my journey, and of course hit me up for all your graphic design needs!! :)

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Web   www.tamaramorrisongraphics.com


By Tamara Morrison 28 Oct, 2017

Have you ever slept in your car in an airport parking garage? Ok, you probably actually have, as sleeping in airports isn't really that crazy. But have you ever done it right after blowing the entire life you knew apart and making massive changes, there because you have no where to call “home”?

I think not.

If you have, kudos to you, because you know its one hell of a ride, and one that I've been on.

2017 has been one crazy year. If you know me, you know that. If you know me from some vague snapshot on social media, you know some things have changed. If you don't know me at all and you've stumbled upon this in the deep crevices of the internet, you probably know someone like me.

This kind of a story isn't an easy one to talk about, mostly because its ugly. Ugly like: someone might not think I'm perfect anymore and riding on the backs of unicorns and following the rules that humans should follow so no one hates them on Facebook , ugly.

But here's the thing, and why I'm writing about this . Someone out there, is going to look at this and say OMG, that's me. That's me and my feelings and my life or that's what I WANT to be my life but I can't do it because its too hard.

And I want to be here to tell you that making huge changes IS too hard, oh is it ever. But you will be ok. And it will suck and you will learn more than you ever have in your life and emerge a better person than you were before.

Without going into too much detail out of respect for other involved parties, I found myself very unhappy in a relationship situation I was in at the beginning of this year. No, no one was a bad person, nothing outlandish happened to solidify the choice, and no one came at anyone with knives.

I just found myself to be living in a non authentic situation (aka a lie) because it was easy, all I knew for so long, and I didn't want to hurt anyone. The downfall was gradual, and almost went completely unnoticed.

However, as the commitment to forever presented itself and drew ever closer, my guts screamed Stop! Stop! NO! a little louder each day.

Always being one to listen to my guts, I realized a massive shift was about to occur and the power of knowing in my heart what I had to do was far greater than my fear of, well, upsetting other people.

The see-saw tipped one day, leading to a series of serious talks, difficult admissions, crazy truths, turmoil, disappointing and surprising many other people, and general out of body experiences that this was really happening.

I was really going to blow my entire life apart as I knew it.

Its so scary to talk about this. Why? Because disclosing anything opens a person up to judgment, duh. Everyone else will always have an opinion about how you should live, and be quick to point out what you did wrong.

But I know there are other people out there, sacrificing their happiness, living a lie, not taking action on their truth, because of this very fear.

So I want to tell you honestly what its like, how it feels, and what to expect when you make big changes, be it leaving a stable job, moving, or yes ending a long relationship.

So here you go, here's what to expect in my experience, when you make huge changes in your life....

1)People will hate you on Facebook.

We all like to nose around on each others social media for signs of what “happened” when someone makes a life change. Where does she work now? What happened to her boyfriend? Why isn't his dog in any of his pictures?

People will be doing this to you when you make a big change. They may have “heard something” through the grapevine, or they may be trying to figure it out on their own.

People who used to like your pictures and statuses will stop. You will get unfreinded. People will assume you are a terrible human being who haven't even spoken to you in five years.

You can do nothing to stop this.

It will be uncomfortable and you will want to justify yourself to everyone. It is not going to be worth it because remember, your life is yours and yours alone. Time will pass, and people who barely know you WILL forget it ever happened.

    2) People will hate you in real life.

    Be it ex coworkers you left behind when you went to a better gig, your ex partner and his or her friends and family, or the people you left behind when you moved to China, people in real life will be a bit peeved.

    It is nearly impossible to part ways with anyone and anything without developing some kind of “side” in the situation. The other “side” will not share the same sentiments about the changes as you. If they did, they too would have made the same change at the exact same time.

    You can part ways amicably, but almost always, the person or people who's direction you are moving away from, will not hold you in as high of esteem as they once did.

    You will have to accept you can't make everyone happy, and life just hurts sometimes and things that will benefit you and others long term, have to hurt NOW.

    3) You'll have to remind yourself often are not an awful person for wanting what you want in life.

    At each stage of life, getting a job, getting married, having kids, moving, buying a house, etc, sometimes people just drift along with what everyone else around tells them they should want, or what they should think is “normal.”

    You decided that something didn't feel right to you in your life, and you took action on it . That is a hard but brave thing to do (because of all the above points). Too many people can't bear the judgments that will be bestowed upon them, and for good reason.

    It really, really sucks. It hurts.

    But you don't want to find yourself with three kids living in Kansas when all you really wanted was to be a Brain Surgeon in the best hospital in Manhattan.

    Because I have news, not to copy Gary V but he's right here: Someday, you'll be dead. You can't come back and do this over.

    Sometimes, in the case of a breakup especially, these big choices will involve hurting other people. Unless you are a truly a POS human being, this will not feel good and it will not be fun. Because you are not dead inside, you will feel bad. That is normal, and it is OK.

    Sometimes, the hardest thing and right thing are the same, just like that old song by The Fray. Remember, every human deserves real love, respect and to live a great life. In the case of a breakup, wouldn't it be worse to lead someone on long term?

    You are not an awful person for making changes, even ones that temporarily hurt other humans. You would be a far more awful person if you lied your entire life away and robbed others chances at what THEY want.

    Hopefully, being the brave human you are, you go through life listening to your guts before you make big commitments. The more responsibility involved in your choices, the more seriously you should take them. Options are limited sometimes, and you may find yourself making the best of situations you are in, which is great, but late at night in the dark and quiet, you know you will always wonder “what if”?

    That long term unease is going to be worse than this short term sharp pain of change.

    4) You will see who your friends and family really are.

    When all goes south, who sticks around? Friends you weren't that close to at first will surprise you with the amount of support they give you for your choices. Friends you used to rely on, won't even return your calls, will judge you, and will not “side” with you.

    They will not hear you out and will have already decided they don't want anything to do with you based on something they heard or saw on Facebook. They will never ask you for your perspective.

    The same goes for family members. It will not be easy to tell family members about your life changes. They will need some time to come around and adjust, too. But if family is truly family, they will see you are happier and will support you fully in time. If they don't, you will have to distance yourself for a while, if not permanently if you discover some not-so-great truths about their loyalties. You must just bear this discomfort as it comes.

    5) You will feel more determined than ever to get the rest of your life together.

    Going through a breakup? You might have time to start that side gig you always wanted to now. Moving to Utah? Could be time to try skiing. Been wanting to spend more time growing your business, working on a project, adopting an animal or traveling?

    The changes, whatever they were, will have given you new perspective on things, new chances to do stuff you might have been wanting to do before you blew your life as you knew it, apart. These things were not the main motivator for changing your life, but they come as welcome and surprising benefits. This is called growing as a person.

    6) It will take time to adjust and that is OK.

    Feelz, thoughts, and demons will continue to surface for a while after you make a big change.

    Things you didnt even realize you were going to feel, you will feel. Thoughts you did not even fathom having, you will have.

    You will have to work through these daily for a while, and wonder why you ever thought changing your life would make you happier. Eventually, it will get easier, you will adapt, and you will be happier. If you are not, you will see the next move you need to make to find happiness more clearly. All of this will result in large amounts of personal growth. This is good.

    In Conclusion

    Despite everything, there will still be people that judge you harshly, be it from their own jealousy of passing by their own changes to make the choices you did, or be it because they think (keyword think) that they would have done it better or differently in your situation.

    That will always suck.

    But what will always suck more is not living your truth. I don't mean to sound like some crazy, bullshit toting shamen, but if you don't live your life putting your own happiness first, how can you possibly give the best of you to others and to the world?

    Not from a job you hate. Not from living in a town you're sick of. And not from a relationship that isn't working for you any longer, especially in your rapidly changing 20s.

    Pushing through and ignoring these doubts you have to spare judgment, could result in, complacency, wasted talents, kids without an example of real love to learn from, and daily stress and unrest , that you continue to stuff down until you expire.



    If you keep beating down doubt and signs that things need to change in your life like you're playing a game of Whac-A-Mole, This is your wake-up call. Ten years from now, is anyone on social media, or your real friends and family, going to care at all about what you did back in 2017 to progress your own life?

    No . They'll move on to the next thing. They'll see your happiness, progress and growth and be unable to deny that you did the “right” thing.

    Those you may have hurt temporarily, will hopefully be living a life doing what they love, because even if they didn't see you were holding them back from that, you were. If they aren't, well you avoided that type of person before things got more complicated by greater commitment and responsibility.

    Think long term, think about the people that REALLY matter to you and the ones you know will always be there.

    That should never change.

    I wish you luck in all your big changes. And if you find yourself sleeping in an airport parking garage in order to MAKE these moves, despite the cold, and the trucks thundering over the joints in the damn thing all night, I assure you, it is without a doubt, 100% worth it.

    By Tamara Morrison 25 Sep, 2016
    When you first glance at these pictures, you probably don't understand what's really going on here. WTF? Is this the same person? What happened?

    Yes, that's the same person, all in the span of two years, and yeah that person is me.

    This is a post I've been waiting to write for a long time, not because its fun, or glamorous, or comfortable (it is none of those things) but in case it can help inspire someone today as they read this, and know that goals, progress and change are possible. All of this, is a result of my own choices and the consequences of actions I decided to take, and mistakes I decided to make.  I can't say it was the smartest, or the most correct, or the best approach to my physical lifestyle in my mid-twenties, but nonetheless, the choices were mine and what the experience taught me, I would never take back.

    Now on to an explanation of what is going on here. I started out your average girl. Thin, healthy, lover of cookies AND carrots, and all through high school I was rare in that I ALWAYS thought I looked good in a bathing suit. I struggled with zero body confidence issues, if anything I was a bit cocky, being told I was "so pretty" all my life. 

    As I hit my mid 20's however, I started to notice.....I wasn't looking as good as I once did. I moved basically never , and Wendy's between college classes was my go-to. I didn't gain a ton of weight but....I remember recoiling in horror in a Hollister dressing room one day when the cellulite on the back of my legs made them look like those of a 65 year old woman. Around the same time, my mom expressed concern for how winded I got on a hike. "I'm worried about you, you NEVER exercise." she said.

    She was right. This was pathetic. I made a change starting THAT day, and began running. I hated it. I kept running because I ain't no quitter and I have always been extremely goal oriented (which has it downsides, as we will soon learn...) My fiance however, introduced me to lifting not long after. I fell in love with it, and switched to primarily that.

    Those early days in the gym, started me on a path to what has made my life, what it is today. I graduated college with my AS in Graphic Design, and went on to work full time at a print company. I kept lifting. I started to see changes physically, but being the body confident chick I was, I honestly only cared about strength at the time. I out lifted all the boys. 

    Somewhere along the lines however, I noticed that fit people could COMPETE on a stage in these shows, donning not much more than their underwear and win trophies for the best package. Although I had always loved my body, I DID get bugged slightly by the fact that I had a pretty straight and shapeless form. I would have loved a little more hip and butt. In high school, my best friend Bri (love you always if you're reading this!) had always been so curvy and I had been the skinny shapeless one. I was a tad jealous. I wanted a butt like that. That was pretty much the extent of ever thinking about my body, however.

    Now though, I noticed these girls on stage had AWESOME fit bodies, and I decided well, if competing will get me to THAT, I wanna do it!

    And so, I did. I did the diet, and the training, and it was a blast that first time. I had a coach to help me with it, and I was so intrigued by the process. I did well, but......after the show ended, I immediately wanted more. And being the independent, learning obsessed, "Ill figure it out myself" type, I set the goal to do it myself. To compete, and do what not many other people could (or wanted to do) and coach myself to stage.

    That began a months long Google extravaganza, learning absolutely everything I could about fitness, lifting, and nutrition. But what I see is never enough for me. Let me try to explain this. Everything I learned and read and heard, I decided I would do it MORE extreme than anyone else had. 20 minutes of High Intensity sprints worked? Why not double that to 40? Low carbs worked? Why not NO carbs for months on end! Most people were weak and had to give in and eat carbs. I wasn't weak. I would do what no one else would to get results they wouldn't, with no excuses.  Yes this was really how I thought at that time. 

    Meanwhile, I continued to work my 8-5 at the print shop. I quickly felt all my creativity stifled by the monotonous work, the highly enforced time clock that seemed to serve no real purpose since I did the same thing all day anyways, and the miserable people I was surrounded with. Reading for hours about fitness, and then executing what I learned was my escape from what was quickly becoming a very depressing place to work. It kept my brain alive. It gave me something to look forward to everyday and a goal to make progress towards.

    It was somewhere in that time period, when my dad asked me why I didn't do graphic design anymore. I hadn't opened the software in MONTHS. I knew it was because I didn't need it to do the work I ended up doing at the print shop. All I did was scan documents, and read about fitness, always on edge that my boss would catch me.

    My dad had a talk with me again that he'd had a while back, about how graphic design was a talent you could build a business around, without much startup cost. I was lucky in that I HAD that opportunity. I had brushed it off at 19 years old, the thought was just terrifying and unfathomable. Plus, I think I needed to experience working somewhere to even see how a business operated, and to learn what NOT to do as well. I just wasn't ready.

    But now, the more I thought about it a couple years later, the more viable it seemed. I was stuck in a job I HATED, and I still loved design. I had just let it go because I didn't know at the time what else to do with it, and I was doing what I thought you were supposed to do as an adult.

    And then there was fitness.

    I was heading into my second year of competing in 2014, and all the harsh extremes I imposed upon myself were working! I looked ridiculous. I certainly had far excelled the "average" person, and I had figured out how to get to that state all on my own.

    My confidence skyrocketed. Beyond skyrocketed. I started to get disgustingly cocky and my attitude was honestly horrible. I looked down on all my coworkers and told myself daily that I was better than them. They were lazy, fat, couldn't even turn down a donut, couldn't even get their LIVES together. I looked down on half the people I knew. They were all lazy, slobby, couldn't exhibit any self control, or stick to anything. I was better than all of them. Way better. This sounds terrible right? These were my honest thoughts at the time, and to stay authentic, I won't sugarcoat it.

    The one good thing that sprung from my elitist attitude and confidence was this: I believed suddenly, that I could start this graphic design thing up, and I could succeed, and again beat everyone around me. That's right, FITNESS gave me the confidence to start my business. Without that time period of my elitist attitude, I can 100% promise you, I never, ever would have found the guts to start my business. So.... I did!

    Back to the fitness stage....I had gotten to a level of leanness most females will never experience. I was the 1% of something. And better yet, no one, except at the very end for "peak week" to prepare for the stage, had helped me. I thought I was the fucking SHIT.

    You know what? I didn't even win. I think I got second in a small class of girls, and fifth in a bigger one at a show two weeks later. But I barely even cared, strangely. I still thought I had won because all those other girls had coaches. So I was still the shit.

    That shitty (pun intended) attitude, meanwhile, gave me confidence, focus, and most of all, PROOF that I could hit a goal BY MYSELF. I figured if could starve until I wanted to pass out, sprint up hills until I collapsed and do what regular people couldn't, well, I could damn sure start a graphic design business. I worked hard at it, staying up until 1-2 AM every night after a full day at the office, and  training at the gym for 2-3 HOURS. Because I truly believed I could make it happen. And around the time I stepped off stage from my last show, I did. I quit my full time job and became a full time self employed graphic designer. That was around when picture #1 was taken, May 2014 at a shredded 108 lbs, a weight I had not been since elementary school.

    After my last time stepping off stage for that year however, my body was starting to behave....oddly. After a show most people take a cheat meal, have some pizza, or froyo and while its never easy, more of it is mental than physical as they add back essential body fat.

    I binged uncontrollably for three days post show until I was in so much pain I couldn't move. And I was STILL starving. I passed out on a trip to Cape Cod shortly after the show. My hair I noticed was falling out in handfuls, I was always tired, mundane tasks left me exhausted and lethargic. I hadn't gotten my period in over two years, and I had been ignoring it. I thought it might just pop right back up post show from eating an extra Twinkie. It didn't. It was that, and knowing that something wasn't right, that made me realize, I had some work to do, and I had taken this way, way too far.

    I started to raise my food slowly like what is recommended for healthy individuals after a long diet, but my body held on to everything I ate. I gained weight just from existing. I went back to Google. I knew, based on everything I was NOW researching, that I had slowed my metabolism from years of extreme, extreme dieting, zero carbs, little sleep from working on my business until the wee hours of the night and extreme sprinting and cardio almost daily.

    OH. SHIT.

    Because I had been so extreme and  gotten NOOOO help *eyeroll* , I had ended up in a very bad place, testing the limits of the human response to starvation. Way to go, Tam. Wayyyy to go.

    You might be sitting there now saying wow, this chick is stuuuuupid. But hold on, it gets worse. I still had some learning to do, the universe determined. You sneaky universe you!

    I still was growing and building my business during all of this, I was sure I would conquer that and the mounting issues with my body head on. I would make six figures and get my period back just like that! Ha. Haha. The universe had other plans as you might have guessed.

    However, the attitude I had developed pushing and competing stuck with me in that first year of my business, it made me talk to people I didn't feel comfortable talking to, do things I didn't want to that I knew would benefit me, and believe that the goals I set for myself were absolutely possible.

    College, had taught me how to use the software to create designs (which I DID need to know), how much I hated Algebra, and how to be late for class everyday and still pass. But fitness, had taught be how to believe in myself, set a goal, see it through, and deal with discomfort that yes, not many people will, to get where I wanted. Those are the lessons that mattered the most.

    I took a trip out to Utah somewhere in the time period where my body began to rebel against me. I was just so sick of the cardio, STARVING and feeling like crap. My research had also taught me if I ever wanted to restore my greatly messed up hormonal system, the only answer was to eat more and quit training like an idiot. Once I gave myself the permission to do this, all bets were off. 

    Way off. Being the extremist that I was (and still am, at heart, I work on that to this day!), I swung wildly the other way. That week in Utah I ate everything in sight and then some. It felt so painful yet so blissful all at once. That two week period during and after the trip, my deprived body PILED on fat at a heinous rate. And it stayed on, while my body healed. 

    But I did hit my goal, again. I got my period back just a mere four weeks after I started to eat a ton. It worked. But, now I was left to clean up the mess that was my still very broken body. I knew it wasn't in my best interests to diet again at this point, I felt like a teenager in puberty with wild hormonal swings, unspeakable bloating, and just generally not feeling well.

    People tried to tell me I was silly, oh just diet! Oh just do some cardio! No. I knew myself and I knew everything I had researched and I knew that wasn't the answer. I wasn't working with the same hormonal environment that a healthy person was. Caloric restriction and exercise would NOT assist my body in letting go of this fat at that point. I had to rest after years of abuse, until my body determined it was safe and well. And I was confident, despite nearly daily struggles, and peoples opinions flying around me, that I would know when that time came. And one day, when it started to feel like a chore to eat as much as I was, I knew it was time.

    It was during that time spent overweight, where my BUSINESS saved ME. It was one place I could still fully focus for something REAL and where, I was learning, extremes and hard work DO win. You DO get out what you put in, and there is no downward bell curve as there is when you push to hard physically, and your own body, in efforts to survive and adapt, stops you.

    Oh. And I was fucking humbled. I walked into the gym now and I could feel everyone staring. I'd gone from this freaky little oddity to bigger than average. People noticed. I continued to lift at a level where I felt comfortable, as I had learned that stopping lifting wasn't something I should, or wanted to do, despite the stares. My bloated body served as a sign to the world screaming I FAILED I FAILED I FAILED at that particular goal. And it sucked. But I lost the stuck up, elitist attitude. Those other people that couldn't "say no" to a cookie? Yeah they placed life enjoyment higher on the list than looks. Those people that didn't want to run until they collapsed, were saving their energy for friends, work, family, having kids, whatever was truly important to them. I was the loser here, not them. Burn.

    My battle was mostly a battle with myself. I hated how I looked now, nothing fit and I had gained FIFTY POUNDS. I've heard of rebounding after a fitness contest, but this was worse than anyone I'd ever seen. This was crazy. I felt like a stranger in my own body and my brain couldn't keep up. The image I had in my head didn't match what I saw in reality.  Picture #2 is August 2015, at the highest weight of my life, 158 lbs.

    This is the point where, I think in any situation post failure, there are one of two choices.

    1) Quit. Give up. Throw in the towel. Live with the failure and let it consume you. Become bitter, hate life, just muddle through. Turn to alternatives that don't serve you well.

    2) Figure it out and move forward. Move outside yourself and your emotions that surround the current situation. Have faith. Learn, try SOMETHING ELSE.  Do not repeat the same pattern that got you where you are now.

    For as emotional as I sometimes get, I have always been able to pull myself out of my brain if that makes sense, and see the bigger picture. I thank that ability here for allowing me to move past this uncomfortable phase in my life. I could have stayed there, stayed overweight, panicked and gone back to old patterns and gone nuts dieting again, not truly fixing a thing, or spiraled into a depression that lead to God knows what. This happens to many, many, many people when faced with a life challenge.

    But I do believe it's all in your thinking and you ALWAYS have the choice not to go down a certain road to the BEST of your ability, whatever that may be. Your best might be less than my best. Or my best might be less than yours, depending on circumstances, metal illness, and other factors. But we can still ALWAYS ALL choose to become better instead of worse. If you need help to choose what's best, CHOOSE to get it. If you need to read books, move, leave someone behind....that choice is still always yours.

    Pull yourself outside your emotions. Get logical. Read, ask, learn. I know that's what helped me. I always knew I would get back to healthy, find balance and get better. I saw that image in my head every single day, even WHEN I was in tears over the current circumstance, or freaking out, or miserable. 

    I see that with my business, too. It is the same thing. I already see the end goal in my mind, even though I am not there yet, even though this month sucked, even though sometimes I hate the day-to-day and it all feels hopeless and hard and impossible.

    How am I now? Well you see the pictures. Picture #3, is me now at 130 lbs with a crazy smile. Healthy, more balanced, and while I still struggle with body image a bit, happy. I feel good, I fit into my clothes again, and at that goal (restoring physical health) I have not failed. Oh and I finally have a butt. Third attempt is the charm, right?

    Now I know what you might be thinking. Tamara,  you don't REALLY understand my circumstances, my mental illness, my life, my situation, this, that and the next thing. And you would be right....I don't. I only know my experience in this life. But I'm sharing it, in case it could offer someone, anyone, some benefit today.

    I realize this is a ridiculous topic. It was a fitness contest or two. I got physically skinny, then physically fat. People lose limbs, spouses, children, jobs, and more, everyday. I know. This entire "problem" is a problem of a girl with a privileged life, I know . And that is one reason why I never took it TOO seriously. When I would step outside myself, and think about it in those terms, it was a joke. I laughed.

    Yet at the same time, it was a challenge that I, Tamara Morrison, had to deal with. And the lessons I learned from it have taught me a thing or two that will actually help me in this life I mean the real stuff, like the value I add to the world AKA my biz. That is what I wanted to share. 

    Maybe you have had to deal with something similar. And you can't get out of  your head, and you can't see the big picture, and you can't make the choice to move forward, and you can't see the good things you have. I'm sharing this for you. To show you that you can. You can not only move forward but you can learn and excel and make THE CHOICE to make the BEST of whatever cards you are dealt. My cards have all been pretty good thusfar, and now, instead of a snobby attitude, I thank the universe every day.

    That's all part of growing up. What isn't a part of everyone's life experience, is taking the lessons they learn and finding the purpose. I found out how to start a business that I LOVE and learned how to react when the going gets tough, persevere, and believe in the outcomes of my efforts, however delayed. Don't miss the lessons the hard things teach you. THAT, not your physical being, nor any level of fitness or refusing a cookie, will separate you from the rest.

    Fitness competing seems to teach many a life lesson to its participants, and for that reason, I still think it can be a worthy pursuit for some. The classroom of course, teaches many things as well. But the point of this entire blog is, life teaches the lessons, far more than a classroom will. Get out and live it. Do as much as you can and do it yourself, read, research, study, and do not be afraid to epically, embarrassingly, and colossally FAIL. Own the failures. DO NOT allow yourself to repeat the same mistakes. LEARN from them! Think long term! Move forward. Take risks. Know that people seeing you bomb out doesn't matter, they'll soon forget. What they won't forget is the important things you did. How you helped them, the value you provided to your society, the things you laughed about, the way in which you lived your life.

    This kids, is stuff you'll never learn in school.
    By Tamara Morrison 20 Apr, 2016
    Read carefully folks. That is THE email that would forever change the course of my life. This is the email I sent two years ago today, when I quit my "job" for good and quit working for someone else. Just a four sentence email. Nothing fancy. Nothing crazy or monumental or insane. It was just another Sunday.

    But that day, I hit what I like to call a "tipping point" in life. When something that's been weighing heavily on your mind, playing around in the back for a while, comes to the surface, and convinces  you that it is the only option moving forward, and suddenly "outweighs" any other option. It forces you to make the choice to move forward and everything inside you is making you do it, although you cannot explain why or how just yet. 

    So technically, I have been "unemployed" for two years. " Oh shit! Well that's not good" , society says. Well I'll have you know society, that I'm still here. Still alive! I'm not sleeping in a corner eating canned beans. I pay my rent, and insurances. I've taken a couple trips. I've maxed out my retirement accounts both years, and invested thousands into the stock market.

    Do I say that to be a bragging, money obsessed asshole? No. I say it so you know its possible to do. Its possible to not have a traditional job, and still afford to live. Because lets face it,  you need money to live. You do. Simple fact.

    Not only is it possible to create a living without a "job", its PREFERABLE in some cases. Here's a couple of things I learned in two years, in the very beginning of a journey that is sure to be several more DECADES long. So I'm just getting started! How exciting! 

    1) What you were taught about work and jobs, is not the only way.

    You are taught (at least where I went to high school) that you need to obtain a four year college degree to get anywhere in life. You must fork out hundreds of thousands, and take out massive loans, unless you want to be flipping burgers at Wendy's for life. My guidance counselor actually told me that I would not get very far when I told her I was just going to start at the community college for graphic design. She laughed.

    We had a class assignment in Advanced Placement English, to create a display for the bulletin board about our college of choice. I didn't do the assignment because I was too ashamed to admit to my peers that I was "just going to community college" when there were posters about all kinds of fancy four year schools plastering the wall. I took an F for the assignment which brought my overall grade down from a B to a C. Ouch. 

    I just told everyone who asked where I was going to school that I didn't know yet. I knew though. I was going to community college for graphic design. I acquired exactly $0.00 of student loan debt. That has helped allow me to live the life I dream of now. Five or six figures in debt never seemed like a good way to start off a graphic design career. 

    Some professions of course, require advanced schooling. Law, Engineering, Teaching. By all means if you LOVE that, go to school. But if you aren't sure, don't just go to school because "its the thing to do". (And I don't just mean recent high school grads here! I even mean going BACK to school!)  With no passion, you won't care enough to pursue and succeed at the career that will pay off the loans you took out. You can always go for MORE school later. But you sure can't give school BACK and get a refund!

    Even if you've already gone to school for something you aren't so into anymore, its not too late to look into another path for yourself! Start small, on the side......JUST START. It might be more challenging if you find yourself up to your forehead in debt, but not impossible . Nothing is.

    2)Find supportive people to fill your life with. 

    Most people, we can safely say, are in some type of a relationship over the course of life. In our 20's, we start thinking about marriage, families, and who we're going to do that stuff with. Think carefully. A good chunk of relationships end. Never rely solely on ANYONE for your happiness, or your finances.

    That said, I was blessed to find someone who is INCREDIBLY supportive of my goals. He hit SEND on that email because I was too chicken. "Oops just hit send!" he said with a huge smile on his face that day. 

    He and I had been dating seven and a half years at that point, and lived together, so I trusted him when he said go for it and I'll help you out if you need it. I know what some probably think. That I just sit here while my engineer fiancee buys me everything. The reality? No. He buys me chicken and vegetables. That's it. I pay my rent, my car and health insurance, my vacations, my whole life! It was ME that chose to save and save and save and invest all my money while I worked for six years at a job I hated with only a dream of what I'm doing now. That. Was. All. Me. It's me that doesn't buy anything I don't need and lives frugally. That choice is mine, no one makes me do it.

    Guess what? You can make that choice too.

    You cannot "rely" on anyone else for YOUR happiness or security. But you can pick your team and good team mates sure do make it easier.

    But pick that team wisely. The wrong team mates could destroy you. Sure, there is the obvious. People who steal from you, or people who are outright mean, making fun of your goals, telling you no, telling you you can't, and you should probably go get a real "job" and get your head out of your ass. 

    But the ones to watch for are the ones that appear supportive and SAY they want you to do well and they'll help but then their actions prove otherwise. They might not directly tell you you can't do something but they just don't push or inspire you. Maybe they say what you have is good enough and when you're struggling and not sure if you can, they agree, you probably CAN'T succeed, or say nothing at all. They maybe don't feel driven or passionate in their own lives or careers right now, so they don't understand how (or want) to help you to be, either. It's easy to become complacent with people who are complacent with their own lack of progress.

    Everyone struggles from time to time, but some just can't mentally quit no matter what. They have rough patches, but they keep on trying and pushing even when it seems hopeless for them.  Find those people.

    All that energy feeds off itself. Surround yourself with excited, passionate people whom you can look up to and are truly happy to see you succeed and push you way out of your comfort zones to achieve your absolute top potential. 

    3) You may have far more potential without a "job". 

    The other day I was on Indeed.com for fun. I do that every few months, just to check it out. As I already said, I have an AS degree in Graphic Design. Cool sure, but not exactly in super high demand by the job descriptions listed here. Looks like if I wasn't doing this I could be.....a receptionist for $11 an hour. A flower nursery seasonal helper at $9.50 an hour. Or maybe an administrative assistant for $16 an hour.

    Am I cutting these jobs down? HELL NO . Someone certainly needs to perform them, and they may be the perfect fit for someone else's goals right now. But realistically, if one were to work a job like this for the rest of their lives, there would be little financially security and probably very little room to learn, grow, develop new skills, and enjoy your life's work with full passion every day until  you retire. 

    With my qualifications (or lack thereof), and my way of thinking, that simply would not work for me. I would find myself getting so bored I wouldn't be able to perform the job, losing hope for the future, and just feeling stifled. Maybe you can relate.

    Even if  you have gone to school and score a decent job say $60K a year, you don't know if  you will ever be able to advance far beyond that. Sure you get a raise, but that choice is not yours to make ...its your bosses. Hell, employing you at ALL is your bosses choice. Two words (you're fired) and you're screwed!

    By creating your own income, you can't ever be completely cut off from all cash flow as you have many clients and income streams. Your potential, if you work hard enough and figure out HOW, is limitless. Did you hear that? LIMITLESS. Now that's something to get excited for every day!

    The downside? No one said it was going to be easy . I probably spend 75% of my time thinking about how the HELL I'm going to do this. But it sure beats some of the thoughts I had as an employee. ( What type of metal object in this room will work best to slit my wrists with and end this torture? Does this vent lead outside and can I fit in it?)

    4)There's never a dull moment.

    Most people who hold regular jobs, follow a regular routine. Get up, same time everyday, go to the same place, sit at the same desk, do pretty much the same task, and leave at the same time and repeat. You get paid the same if you sit on Facebook, or if you complete all your work at warp speed.

    When starting your own gig, everyday is often very different. I get to drive all over the state, meet HUNDREDS of people with cool stories, cool lives and backgrounds and listen to them, and I learn so much from them. I get to visit a client at a goat farm one day and dress up for a formal event the next.

    When working at a single job, you see the same people, in the same situation as  you, day after day after day. You all complain about the other people in the office, the work, the pay, the company, the boss, and engage in the same thought process and culture.

    I didn't have many true friends when I worked jobs. All but one of those people whom I spent 8 hours a day with....I don't talk with anymore. Since leaving my "job" I have made some of the best friends I've ever had in my life. Why? Because I chose them based on who they ARE and what they bring to my life, not because they share a desk space with me in hell.

    It may seem like the people you work with are really close with you and perhaps some truly are....but what kind of people could you meet outside of your "job" that could enhance your life and offer new perspectives? Would your work friends now remain as close if you didn't see them by force daily? Something to think about.

    I can also eat what I want, when I want. I can wear leggings all day long. I can keep a plant on my desk or blast house music so loud it rattles the walls. All these little things are invaluable to me. I'm easily bored and I love to create. I'm over here creating my own LIFE, that's the biggest project I've ever taken on.

    And I wouldn't trade it. 

    So there you have it, just some of the millions of things I have learned in 730 days without a "job".  If no one else ever tells you this, let me tell you this today. Its possible. EVERY single person has a skill they can contribute to help the greater good that they can offer in exchange for payment. Really. You do too. 

    Is it worth it to make it happen? Only  you can answer that. But I ask you to ask yourself, are you REALLY happy with what you're doing right now and your life's "work"?  If  you really, really are, no matter WHAT you are doing, keep doing that!!

    But if you're not, have the courage to first, admit it to yourself, and second, figure out what to do about it. There is a way for you to get what you want out of life. You don't have to suffer or stay where you don't feel you belong or where you feel stifled. That goes for relationships, jobs, anything in life. Even if you don't know how or why, entertain the thought until you become so obsessed with it you hit that "tipping point" and create a change. 

    You will know when. You will always know. Listen to your gut. Hit send on that email, or whatever that first action will be to change your situation.  Think of where you could be in two years, ten years, twenty years. Life is short but it's the longest thing we've got. Make it count.
    By Tamara Morrison 24 Mar, 2016
    It dawned on me one day in the shower of all places, how much we are molded and shaped by society. As I shaved my legs and armpits, and dumped half a bottle of $20 hair conditioner over my head, I thought about how men don't have to do this.

    I spent 20 minutes on trying to dry my hair, and paint black shit in a line over my eyes. I put more black paint on my eyelashes. That's as much as I'm willing to do, to help myself fit what is expected of a female in our society. Big standout eyes, long flowing hair, and zeeeeero hair on my legs and pits.

    Would you believe it if I told you, if us ladies were not expected to shave our legs, depending on genetics, some of us would be wooly hairy beasts. We too have faces that can function without any paint whatsoever on them. And guys, while some of you dare to grow out your locks, if ALL of you did, some of you would have way better hair than me. But nahhh you gotta hack it all off to fit in.  All these rules that we just accept without thought, are just that. Self imposed rules. Expectations. Not life or death. Not real.

    Every baby is born with a brain that's basically a lump of clay. And as a society we mold it. As parents, as teachers in the public school system and as other human organisms that interact with each other. We chose to live this way as the human race.

    But what if it had taken a different turn? What if men were the  ones expected to shave, but NEVER above the knee, and it was standard practice to marry 4-6 people, and work 11-9 every day, and graduate high school at 12 instead of 18? What if most women wore their hair cut short, and men wore skirts and chocolate was illegal and possession of over 1 oz. was a felony? 

    I could go on and on with the ridiculous things that could be considered "normal" if  we had evolved differently. The point is, is what we consider to be "normal" the only possibility?


    We are of course somewhat limited by the structure in place for our society. If we become too extreme in the other direction (I believe we would call those people freaks, nutcases, insane, etc) then we won't be able to participate in society to better ourselves and improve our happiness by creating a life for ourselves and acquiring resources, like shelter and food. SOME standards and guidelines are necessary before the consequences of zero direction become too painful and difficult for survival.

    But the sad and fixable problem seems to lie in many less severe stigmas that people adhere to without thought. You know the ones.  The usual's I have mentioned before. Grow up, go to college, work here, marry this person by 25, get pregnant with baby #1 by 27, # 2 by 30, take one vacation a year, buy a nice TV, get a new car every couple of years, get a nice house, get a raise every couple of years, retire, THEN maybe do some fun things, and die.

    A lot of people DO want this. They really do. They've seen it either work at home in their childhood or NOT work at all. So they want to MAKE It work now that it's their turn to "adult", or they were pretty happy growing up with how it worked, and figure why not replicate it.

    Don't be a lump of clay anymore.

    Make sure the way you design your life, is what you REALLY want. Take back that freedom and that power. 

    You can. It's yours.

    Did anyone ever tell you that? Did anyone ever tell you that society is a blueprint and a structure, but you get to decide how you use it and acquire your resources to live? 

    That image I mentioned above.......think about it. How many people do you know that try for that and they fail. Oh do they fail. We all know multiple people that have rushed into relationships, marriages, families, in pursuit of that stigma that they NEED this.  8 out of 10 times it never works. Turns out they didn't really know the person they married and hey, they don't even really like each other. They might have had the kids and always regretted the career they left on the table. They might have bought the house and realized they couldn't even afford it and now they're trapped. They might have believed they could probably never actually make money doing what they love so they sit in their office posting Facebook memes about how great the weekend is and how much they want to be at the beach instead.

    Is this everyone? No of course not. You also know someone that could prove everything I just said wrong. So do I. But who do you know more of? Most importantly are you really, really letting yourself think about what YOU want for your life?

    Go back to being that ball of clay brain as a newborn baby. Forget for a second everything your parents told you. Everything you learned in school. Everything you read about life. Everything you ever knew. What are you doing? What COULD you be doing? What kind of people share your life and what is its purpose? If you unlearned everything you were taught was right and normal and contributed to society the way YOU want what would you do?

    You can have that . First off believe you're worth having it. You're not at the mercy of the next man or woman that comes along and promises everything you both think you're supposed want with no evidence of ever producing it. You're not at the mercy of any job because you think it's all you can do.  

    I realize some people have it harder than others and when I write these things I try to remember that. I'm not here to tell you whats right or how you should live. Some people have made mistakes, face addiction, face disease, face horrors me and you cant even conceive.  The point of everything I say, is to remind you to THINK and remember you have the right, the ability and the power to create the life you want, even if its totally nontraditional. You never have to just accept anything as "the way it is". No matter where you are now, what you've done before and how its going today, you never have to give up. No one can make you quit working for your life except you. Temporary setbacks and mistakes are just that. Temporary. Just don't quit. Why quit? This is a game that no one wins in the end. Why not make the trip around the game board a good one? 

    It all comes in realizing you call the shots. You can use your lump of clay to think! YOU choose what people you team with in your life , you choose what your idea of a good relationship and love is, you choose where you want to live, if you want a family, how you acquire resources, and how you contribute. 

    Is it easy? No. But laziness of thought, it what gets so many people into these situations to begin with!! Shortsightedness, poor rationalization, ignorance, in-the-moment desires. All easy. All toxic. 

    If you do nothing else in life, get to know you, and what you want. I believe society calls that "selfish", and tells you its frowned upon.  Just remember if you don't care about yourself, and you wait around for a significant other, a company, a child, or anyone else to do it for you, you've just lost all your power. All those things should enhance and assist in your life and your goals, not become them.

    Let the stigmas and expectations go and create your life! Even if unfortunately, today, it requires a little leg shaving, lip waxing, hair trimming and skirt wearing. As long as possessing chocolate isn't actually a felony, I think we can deal!
    By Tamara Morrison 23 Feb, 2016
    So it was really, really hot this one June, about 28 years ago in Connecticut. Like SUPER hot and dry, very little rain, the kind of heat that gets into your lungs and produces that uncontrollable, excessive perspiration. You most certainly don't want to wear a light grey shirt if ya know what I mean.

    In the midst of this heat wave, a woman went into labor, and at about 4 in the afternoon on a Wednesday, she had a baby.

    It was a girl. 

    That girl, was me. 

    Yup, I'm a girl . I know, its kinda obvious, but I don't think it's ever been more obvious in my mind than it is now that I've started my own graphic design business and my own life. I work hard. I have big ideas, and big goals, and big thoughts, and big dreams. I can't settle for average, most days I want to kick ass and show the world eventually what I have to offer and that I mean business. Look out, bitches.

    And then some days (one week per month in particular), you can find me basically rocking in a corner in a ball with some tissues, swearing the world is ending, I'm fat, I can't do this, I'm broke,  my clients hate me, I don't know why or what's the matter but my life is a mess and what the hell am I doing?!?!?!

    I flip off cars for putting on their blinkers to turn. Like they are supposed to....but why do they have to EXIST?! If that damn Tim McGraw song "My Little Girl" comes on the radio, forget it, I'm a sniffling, drippy mess, bolting the lyrics at the top of my lungs with two trails of black eyeliner dripping down to my chin.

    A flock of birds soars overhead in a perfect "V".   It's just so damn beautiful, the world's so wonderful and we're all gonna be okay and wow life is such magic. More tears.

    Ten seconds later, I get home and realize the boyfriend locked the front door. Goddamn this stupid slab of plastic and wood in my way. What a stupid, stupid idea someone had when they created this thing.Who the hell would lock the door?!?! I kick it, not once, but twice.  There's a dent in the door. I've actually dented the DOOR.  I officially scare myself. Woah.

    It's a flare up of these pesky little things called hormones. And attached to them, excessive, sometimes hard to control emotions. Oh shit. Emotions. Oh crap. There they go, clouding my thinking again. Quick, someone bring me chocolate, tell me I'm pretty and give me a hug. How the HELL is a girl supposed to run a business with this kind of junk the way?!

    You can deny it all you want, but as a ladybosswoman, you have to contend with all these feelz. And they're an extra challenge that the boys just don't have to deal with. 

    So how can you keep that week of hell (and all the other randomized outbursts of excessive lady emotions) from holding you back as a freelancer, business owner, or otherwise generally awesome woman? Here's how I try my best to hold back the hormonal storm within.....

    1) Be aware its happening.

    You know its going to happen . We all have lady time (sorry guys reading this, but props to you for still following along!) and it visits us about once every 28 days. Before the red tide is unleashed, we often have to deal with a week or so of moodiness, sensitivity, emotional instability, fatigue, bloating, and a general feeling that the world is kind of a craphole. Things bother us more, and we overthink and stress more, and we lose our temper faster.

    That client that had one small criticism? In our PMS state, we might take it as a huge disaster, a big blow to our self worth, and a personal attack.

    Vendor, outside consultant or employee let us down? We might flip out, there could be screaming, swearing, and slammed doors and phones. 

    It might seem like the end of the world. We might even question our entire existence , why are we doing this, can we even do this?!?

    When that happens to me, I try to acknowledge  it. Ok, I know I have PMS, I want to kill everyone, and this week is gonna suck. I walk away from my computer for a while. I get in a workout (BIG help) or go for a walk. Sometimes I  just let myself be a weirdo and have a good cry and then pull up my big girl panties and deal with it. The quicker I can get over it, the better.

    But I never try to stop it and hold it in.  I am a believer in letting yourself feel things fully. Get them out of your system. Say what you need to say. (but NOT to your clients! CALL A FRIEND AND BITCH, PLEASE!! TELL YOUR DOG! TELL THE FLOORLAMP, JUST NOT YOUR CLIENTS!)  Throw a big stupid pity party and let the negativity out. And then MOVE FORWARD. Some days are just going to suck. Accept it. 

    2) Listen to the guys.

    In business or to be a leader and be any good at it, you really have to be able to make a snap decision, and NOT let your darn emotions get in the way. Man style. Every man in my life will tell me, you are WAY to emotional, would you just stop?? Stop and go with the flow! Stop overthinking and over processing and just take one moment at a time as it comes. 

    As much as I hate to admit it, I know they're right.

    A woman might sit there for a million years, hemming and hawing over every detail of something, thinking of every outcome that could happen, wondering what everyone else is going to think of every idea. And then she never gets anything done.

    If there's a problem with a client, or a vendor, get on the phone immediately. Even if you haven't a clue what you will say. Before your darn lady brain starts to come up with possible ( and horrible, always horrible) things that COULD occur that would certainly lead to complete career ruins for the rest of your life.

    Its never as bad as you think. I repeat, its never as bad as you think. So don't freaking think . Imagine your brain has a big switch labeled LADY EMOTIONS. Turn it to OFF. Deal with the problems you face and don't you dare let that switch creep back on. Men don't even have this switch wired up. Lucky, lucky them.

    3)Use those excessive emotions to your advantage.

    Women certainly have higher running emotions than men, not only that one week, but ALL the time. Women, I suppose essentially, are meant to bear children. That is their natural role. Of course, all natural roles have changed in modern times. We don't need to hunt or kill prey, women don't bear as many children as they once might have, and are often expected to both work and be a mother.

    Even in our parents generation, women often stayed at home with the children, listened to their husbands, didn't go out or make executive decisions, or engage in intellectual battles with men. In generations past as a woman, it might even have been frowned upon to converse with other men outside of marriage, share your ideas, have men working under you, or do things you enjoy for yourself and your own happiness, without your man or his permission.

    It's almost a new thing, being a partner with a man, rather than he being slightly or fully "above" you. 

    And I'm sure many people like it that way and believe it to be proper, better, and right. OK. We are all entitled to our own beliefs. We can do what makes us happy, (THE MOST IMPORTANT THING) based on our upbringing, values, and what we see in the world around us and want for ourselves. Happiness with your life choices, is a topic for another day.

    Some of us women want to start our own thing. Forego the child bearing role. Some want to do both.  It's true, choosing to be a woman in business presents a rather "unnatural" challenge. But, there are some advantages to being a lady biz owner or manager.

    You care about your clients, and pick up on things they need and want better.  You might be able to read people better, your intuition might lead you to better predict what kinds of people you want to work with or what type of people might be the best to work with.

    I find that my overthinking and emotions do in fact drive me to do more. I sit there freaking out, and right after those freak outs, I often come out with new ideas, realize I need to ask someone for help on something, or get mad and annoyed with myself and find a way to push harder.

    Your emotions, intellect, and intuition can be valuable assets in ladyboss-ville if you allow them to be. Women often get more done, are better listeners, and can come off as more friendly and less intimidating when connecting with certain clients. Just don't forget to stand your ground when its needed!! You have the power to be unfuckwithable. 

    Soooooo being a female business owner, freelancer, solopreneur, entrepreneur whatever you want to call yourself, is a little bit different. It just is. We have pesky hormones and feelz. Womp womp.

    I'm not some raging feminist, that thinks all women should take over, and do what men do, and rule the world. I think all women should do whatever the hell they want to, as long as its what THEY want to do and they aren't holding back because of social pressures or stigmas (again, a topic for another day!)

    But if you, like me, notice that one week a month, you're a psychotic beotch, and the other three weeks, you STILL tend to let things get to you way more than the boys, hopefully this article provided insight, and you think of it during your next umm..."episode". If you are in a ladyboss role, be it for yourself or your company, know that you aren't alone, when you find yourself curled up in a ball under your desk, then throwing that same desk off a seven story balcony all in the span of ten minutes.

    You've got advantages the boys don't (men if you're still reading, seriously, you get a cookie. Sign up for my newsletter and I'll seriously mail you one. Freshness not guaranteed). You are a strong tigress warrior chick. Catwoman has nothing on you. Get out there and get after it!

    And by the way, birds are sometimes really, really pretty when they fly, and get the formation perfect, and the sun is setting and all colorful and shit, and you gotta shed a tear, OK?

    What of it?!
    By Tamara Morrison 05 Feb, 2016
    So I took this ziplining tour once. You know, ziplining, where you hitch yourself into a harness and hang by a caribeener from a single cable and soar at death defying speeds through jungle canopies over rabid tree predators.  You sign your life away and sit through a safety briefing with wide eyes as they talk about the possible mishaps.

    I still remember sitting in the parking lot, knots upon knots in my stomach, half excitement, half sheer terror as we waited for our time to enter the woods. Maybe I would hit a tree at high speeds, shit my pants from steep drops and extreme heights, or maybe the whole shebang would break and I'd plummet to the ground below snapping my neck. Buttttt today was for doing something exciting and facing some fears. Eff yeah. Bring it on.

    I was shaking like a leaf as we walked down a path to the start of the course. Forget shitting my pants in the air. Something was brewing now. You know them nervous stomach feelz.

    The path opened up to the course. I held my breath waiting to be on the sharp edge of a cliff and instead there was.......a field. Yeah, a field. Like the kind where farmer Joe raises cows. Mighta been a pansy or two swaying in the wind. The first cable was about 15 feet off the ground.

    Well this had to be the warm up right? The cliff was down beyond some trees?

    Well....... no. The cables got increasingly higher but the highest one must have been 50 ft at best. Over that same damn field. No treetops. No cliffs. No wild animals snapping at my heels as I soared overhead. 

    I don't think I have ever been so disappointed with any "thrill" in my life.  I felt sad almost, that I had gotten myself so worked up in anticipation for what turned out to be less thrilling than the car ride there.

    All the worry, all the fear, and been entirely manufactured in my head. Wowza. The head can come up with some ridiculous things.

    I recalled my zipline experience this week, as I sat there having what was a pretty crappy meltdown. Yeah, even I have them. We all sometimes do. (females especially....)  I melted down faster than a Popsicle in August. I mean drippy snot, lying on the floor in the middle of the living room in tears. The dog even backed away.

    Why? Well many things, all related to my business. Last year, was the first full year I did my own thing. Yup, fully self employed, did not work one second on someone else's payroll. That's been the dream for at least the last five, six years. And here I had done it. I was alive!

    I had smashed every goal I had for myself and then some. 

    You don't see the issue? Oh that's because there isn't one. But my head, my head told me I had not done enough. I could have done more. I didn't make enough money. I didn't get enough new clients. I didn't work hard enough. I wasn't even improving fast enough. I had no idea what to do next and how to get levels and levels over where I am now and much less how to do it in one more short year?!?

    The calendar flipped, and with it my mindset. It was GAME TIME no more playing around like a toddler in the sandbox. It was basically time to join the millionaires club by the end of 2016 or give up and get a job shoveling cat crap out of peoples litterboxes, or something.

    Guess what? I still don't really know.

    But today is the first day since January 1st that I haven't woken up with fear. 

    Why? Because I realized that just like the harrowing wait in the parking lot to zipline, this was all in my head. I was looking at worst case scenarios, thought up realities, and living them out in my mind. What if I never get a new client, make no money, make LESS than last year, get sued for something?! What if I never figure out what makes the most money in the least time and quadruple my income by April and become a billionaire by 2017 and get my name in lights in Time's Square and sprout unicorn wings?!

    Yeah. That was really my thought process.

    You know its serious when I start telling people I'm upset. I hate hate admitting that I'm upset, not on top of my game for a minute, and don't have my shit together 24-7, especially when it comes to my business. Because I so badly want to succeed and be this shining example for everyone, for you, because I really want EVERYONE to go out and do what they want with their lives and succeed. If I can't even do that, how can I help other people do that?!

    By...... being real. This shits not all roses and easy-peasy and smiles and dancing through daisies. Nope. Sometimes it's hard and crappy and low and hurts and you sit there wondering wtf you're doing here and what did you do in life to land HERE instead of some perfect life where nothing ever goes wrong like seemingly everyone else that followed the "normal" life path of college and a respectable job and salary. Why didn't I just do THAT?! DUH!

    So I told a few freinds and family members my dilemma. I got some opinions ranging from, you're crazy, you need to work harder, you need to quit letting your fear hold you back, you need to stop obsessing over money (so so guilty of that one lately...) and you just need to take your emotions out of the picture here and give every day 110%. You can't do better than your best.

    That advice, combined with that snotty, eyeliner down to my chin crying spell, knocked the sense back into me.

    I'm doing pretty good. I could do a lot more. I could. I too, forget how to hustle as hard as I should sometimes when things get easy and the universe drops excellence into my lap like it did the entire last quarter of 2015. (Thanks universe, love you.)

    I also, right at this moment in time (which remember is all we really have), possess everything I want. Every-effing-thing. I have a job I LOVE. I built that. Just like I always wanted to. I have the freedom and never ending chance to build more.

    I have an amazing fiance, I get to travel half of next month and not ask anyone for permission. I get to live in a house instead of an apartment with paper thin walls and neighbors that love to uh...make noise.

    I have an amazing little pup, better friends than I've had in years enter into my life, my parents are alive, I have excellent health, money to save, money to pay my bills.

    I repeat, I have everything

    And no right to freak out. 

    But that doesn't mean I won't forget to count my blessings sometimes or get caught up in negative mindset, or let fear take over. I have before and I will again.

    And so have you. I think its this human thing? Yeah that. 

    The failure, comes in letting fear and negativity win. Plenty of people do. Everyone that ever feels unhappy and won't or thinks they can't make a change? Fear and negativity won. Somewhere along the line, they've convinced themselves their goals and dreams will NEVER happen. There is no way to make them happen. Their soul has given up.

    Just because I am thankful for what I have now however, doesn't mean I will try any less for those insane, audacious goals of mine. Monetary, or otherwise. Because why not? Think big do big. It just doesn't have to be overnight . And it won't be. And thinking about it too much, will HINDER those goals by creating paralyzing fear. In my soul I know they are 100% attainable. I might say the oppisate sometimes to get a reaction (truth....sorry not sorry) but I already know I will get there, even if right now I don't know how.

    All I can do is give every day 110%. Fearlessly. Let the opportunities come. Address the issues when I get to them. No talking up the could-be's and might-happen's. No sitting in the damn parking lot and letting those knots form in my stomach. Block it out. We could all be dead tomorrow. 

    We could all end up on a REAL zipline course, flying along at 50 mph, and the cable snaps, and BAM, down. But you know what? I'd rather that. I'd rather go down taking the big chances, the real chances, not swinging over a lame field. 

    Sign me up life, show me what you got. I may melt down approximately 2.2 times per year. But I will always, always get back up. 

    And you, you will too. Human's have a funny way of handling what life throws at them even things they never IMAGINED they could. Worst fears, worse case scenarios. They happen. And people get through. They figure it out. So why fear, why bother. Throw yourself the pity party if you must, and get over it. 

    If you're feeling really amped after reading this, go sign up for some ziplining! But please, make sure its the real thing. Then let me know where!! I'm totally there!!

    By Tamara Morrison 25 Jan, 2016
    Summer, 2011 or 2012. The boyfriend and I have just located tickets at incredible prices to head out to Hawaii for a week. Dreams coming true right? Well, yeah! Adventure! 1/2 way around the world! Palm trees and warmth and waterfalls and rainbows and all that jazz! LET'S DO IT.

    Not so fast.

    I'm standing outside my bosses office. Hands sweating. Heart racing. Sick to my stomach. I get closer. He's on the phone. He's screaming. Oh man, it's getting ugly. Did he really just call someone that?!  I scurry away like a rat back into my hole. Now is not the time to ask for a week off. He's said no before....

    Next day, same sweaty, clammy, shaking palms. I'm listening around the corner. Oh man, he doesn't feel well today. Something about gas and nausea and old Chow Mein. I scurry.

    Two days later, mad at his wife. She did what?! Scurry.

    Finally, nearly a week later, its silent in the office. No one's around. It's lunch time. Food makes everyone happy right? I casually mention that I'm going to Hawaii in a month. Inside I'm anything but casual. I think I'm having a stroke. Yup I think I almost blacked out. The room's swirling. Oh God I need air.

    I want to go SO BAD. I cross my fingers and my toes. He asks why I need to go, am I really sure, should I really do that, who's gonna do my job, I only get two weeks off a year, am I SURE I want to use one this September?!  How the hell am I affording this anyways?! What if someone else wants to book a trip that week, they might be you know they just haven't put in for it yet. If they do, I have to cancel because seniority or something you know?!?!!?! DO YOU KNOW?!? 

    I cringe and quickly fill out my vacation request form with my shaking hands, watch it be approved and swear I'll beat anyone else to the death that wants to leave the office that week with a ream of copy paper. 

    The trip came, I went and it was a blast of course.

    I sat at my desk that first day back and wished my life could be cool. I wished I could go on more trips. I wished I could do design instead of shove paper through various machines. I wished I had some cool stories to tell, instead of "yeah I get up I go sit there and perform the same exact task, barely talking to anyone, I go to the gym and I go home. Day after day after day.  I live for the weekend. My life is one huge bore." I'm freaking 22.

    As you know, I fixed that. I fixed my boring freaking life. How the heck did I do that? And how can you?

    1) Accept you HAVE a freaking boring life.

    Everyone is different. We ALL have totally different wants interests desires and goals. And that's awesome! I want to be a graphic designer and make the packaging and advertisements for things YOU use and see every single day. I want my message to reach thousands, millions. But maybe YOU want to have five kids and home school them. Or be a cop. Or cure cancer. Or be in the circus. Wowwww cool. 

    Are you doing that thing? Or are you slogging through daily life like I was, praying for "the big moment things change". I got news. It ain't gonna happen. That big change is the one you haven't made yet. Because you haven't even admitted to yourself, that you need to make it. Woah.

    Stop lying to yourself and justifying why its ok to wait to do what you REALLY want to. Your job and relationships and life might even be "good." Or decent. But is it everything you want? Inside, you already know. Face the truth. It might hurt. But it will hurt much much worse if you waste your life. Damn.

    2) STOP giving a shit about what other people think.

    Are you doing something because you think you're supposed to? You're supposed to grow up, get a practical job, find the one, get married shit out some pups, be a good citizen, repeat, repeat, repeat, retire, watch TV, die. You've been conditioned to think this is the ideal life and the goal all through school. College was basically mandatory or your life would be a disaster. 

    Follow this plan to a stable safe future why don't you! If you can't and it doesn't work for you, well then just work at the 7-11 forever because that's probably all you're good for. 

    Did you EVER once stop to ask yourself what YOU want? Not what your parents want for you, your boyfriend, your aunt, or what you think is acceptable to the masses.

    No, what do YOU want.

    If money and things and image were NOT the driving force, but rather the bonus that comes from pursuing your goals? Do you want to start a business? Do you want to go back to school for something because YOU dream of it, and need that education to get there, not because its the norm? Do you want to fly airplanes? Are those viable dreams for you? How could you get there? Start researching how.

    You aren't the first person with dreams, and probably not the first person with YOUR goals and dreams. Find someone that did it before and see how. Then start doing those things. Let EVERYONE think you're insane. That's how you know  you're on the right track! You sure won't be bored if you're pursuing what you REALLY want. If you don't know what that even is, be honest with yourself and spend some time thinking about it.

    3)Stop living for things and start living for experiences.

    Do you have a car payment? How big is your house? How many lattes did you buy this week? Why did you get ANOTHER pair of boots? Think I'm being kind of an askhole by inquiring? I am. If you really want to remake your boring life, you need to cut the strings that bind you to the THINGS that most hold you back.

    Things = money you have to spend. Not always just the initial investment, (the car itself) but often for months and years into the future. (the payments and interest)

    If you want to consider spicing up your boring life, start getting rid of useless crap and free up some money. Sell your car if you're no where near done paying it off. Buy one you don't need to make payments on. Maybe you drive a 2001 Beetle like me for a while. I don't actually care. I get to do what I love and travel and live. I'll drive a rusty piano if it means I get to keep doing these things. If someone laughs at me, "Oh poor Tamara dang she really failed, she doesn't have a shiny new nice car and OMG her boots are from 2002!", then great, laugh away. They'll forget me in an hour anyways, and I'll still be here lovin' life. 

    Imagine the money you'd save by seeing what YOU could personally cut back on. You need food, shelter, and transportation basically to live. Find the cheapest version of those and cut off EVERYTHING that is doing NOTHING for you. Cut as many things out as possible. Save your money. Then you COULD travel and take that class to further your business or go back to school with less in loans. Maybe you could even start saving an emergency fund for living expenses while you look for another job in case the transition is rough! If you don't make the effort to save, you never will. It can't happen unless YOU make it a point to do so.

    What do you remember most right now? A great trip, a great seminar or class, time with your loved ones just hanging out, or the boots you bought in 2007 and the car you drove five years ago?  Yeah. Experiences make fucking fabulous stories. (Remember that time Joey went skidiving in Fiji and the chute barely opened?!) Things don't. (Remember that time I went to Gap and bought another cardigan.....)

    4)Stop watching so much TV and wasting your time.

    I kind of believe, and someone will get offended at this I'm sure, that T.V. is the devil. You pay give or take $100 a month to watch other people live fake lives on a screen. Your own life is so lackluster, that you spend hours watching other people with much more exciting stories to tell. Be it crazy "reality" TV with cheating and lying, to adventure shows, and dramas, to even sports, you're watching other people live, while accomplishing nothing for yourself.

    Dump the cable and satellite and 409494 channels. Get Netflix. For under $10 a month you can watch a couple things when you want to you know.....chill.... ;). On your time. And not be subjected to wasting hours of your life watching ads each year.  If you must watch the game go to a friend's house, or get an antenna that picks up local channels. People will think you're weird. But you're not gonna care, remember?

    What could you DO with all that extra time and money?!? You could read and learn things. You're still going to have internet, as that's just essential in today's world. Read articles. Learn how other people did things you want to do.

    Google everything. Why's the sky blue? What state produces the most peanut butter? Why do tigers have stripes? How do you do a french braid? How did such and such achieve their goals? What makes a person a success? You get the picture. Knowledge is power. The internet puts everything you ever wanted to know seconds away. Learn to weed out what isn't true and dig into what you want to know.

    Invest that money you'll save! Don't know how? You could probably research that on the wonderful internet,  or find someone to help you. Go for more walks outside. Talk to your family, play with your pets, go to the gym, take up pottery, knit a scarf. The possibilities are endless.  Live YOUR life and don't make the highlight of your day what's going to happen on some show later. Minimize it and don't waste your short time on earth parked in front of the tube vegging out brainlessly. It will be just one less tie binding you to your boring life.

    5) Cut out the losers

    They always say you are who you surround yourself with. And that's often true. They certainly influence you. From your parents growing up, to the person you chose to date, to the friends you keep and the people you work with. If all your friends still party on the weekend profusely, work at Subway with no plans to leave, and have no money, and whine constantly, how do you expect to feel supported as you go for your own audacious  goals?

    If they're all broke and in debt up to their eyebrows and have no responsibilities, work ethic, or direction, it's easy to tell yourself YOU don't need to really try either. You're normal, everyone's doing it! 

    Now what if you want to start a plumbing company, and you go meet some people in a networking group that also are starting up their own self employed gig, and you compare stories and tips, and instead of getting hammered every night, you're out getting clients? What if you meet successful realtors, contractors, designers, and photographers all at the top of their game and working hard?

    Your loser friends start to look like well.....losers. Suddenly you don't even understand why you bother with them. You're sick of their shit, drama, negativity, regrets, and complaints that don't spur any action. It's time to move on.

    If you know your current friends and family are negative, mean, jealous, boring, unmotivated and unsuccessful in their own lives, start to look for people that you want to be like and can look UP to. Networking groups, clients, people you meet doing activities you enjoy, anywhere. If that person isn't doing something pretty darn cool and making the most out of their lives, phase them out.

    Of course we all struggle from time to time, but there's a difference between a rough couple months, and a total loser with no plans to push for any goal or change in their lives. You already know which of your friends and even family fit this definition. Distance yourself.

    So there you have it, five ways to start to fix your boring life, that you might not have even REALIZED you were living (yikes!!)

    The fact is, every single person has SOME kind of ideal, dream, wish, goal, whatever you want to call it, that they think about deep in the back corners of their mind. Somewhere along the lines, you were led to believe that it would probably never work out, and you're being silly. So you hold it in and never act on it, out of fear.

    But why the hell not?

    Why CAN'T you get where you wish you could get? Why can't you at least try? Why can't you make it as easy as possible for yourself to change your life and succeed? Cut the ties you don't need. Save up. Put a plan in place.   If you make no changes to the way you do things, you'll continue in the pattern of waiting until tomorrow....until you wake up and your 86 and tomorrow includes a walker and pureed carrots and turkey.

    Research. Its going to be hard, so so so hard. But you know nothing worth having is ever obtained easily. Do what everyone you know now won't. Then get to know everyone that's doing what it takes to succeed. Join them. It won't look so impossible anymore.

    Don't waste one more day not working towards everything you've always wanted to see, be, do, and try. Your life will be nearly too exciting to handle!  And someday, yeah someday with lots of hard work, you'll be able to go to Hawaii whenever the hell you want :)

    By Tamara Morrison 14 Jan, 2016
    The year was 2012, and I was hiking in Hawaii.  Of course when you're hiking  around an active volcano, it's not your usual walk in the woods. The ground is hot, I mean REALLY hot, and there's steam rising from cracks in the volcanic crater. In that area, there are no trees of course. It's barren. 

    This is all fine and dandy..... until you really have to pee . There were people everywhere......and nothing at all to hide behind. Shit.  

    I finally found myself back in the woods after crossing the crater, but it offered no relief.  The trail switch backed down the mountain. Each level of the switchback had seemingly more people than the last one. People above, people below, and never enough woods to disguise a girl popping a squat. I couldn't focus on the beautiful views, the smell of ripe guava, or the fact that I was hiking in an exotic location anymore. I just wanted to execute the simple function of emptying my bladder. I questioned why people can't just pee in front of other people. I wondered if I could just tell everyone to look away and let it flow. I wished I were a dog.

    Peering over the bend in the trail of another switchback, it was pure cliff. No people, but not a 100% chance of living, either. I desperately clamored down the mountain checking each hairpin corner praying for just a tiny spot to pee.

    None arrived.

    Finally, I couldn't hold it any longer. I approached a corner with a tree growing into the side of the cliff, bending upwards towards the sun. Desperately, I swung around the backside of it, and somehow, wrangled my shorts down. I let it flow into thin air. Ahhhhhhh sweet relief. Finally! 

    Suddenly, I looked down. Holy. Shit. There I was, shorts around my ankles, and there was NOTHING below me except a few scrawny ferns and rocks. Suddenly, my stomach swung up into my throat. My fiance was ahead of me somewhere, and I hadn't even told him I was dodging off the side of  a cliff to pee. He probably didn't even know where I was. It was just me, this tree, and this cliff.

    I somehow got my pants back up, heart racing. I clung to the tree for dear life and began to haul myself back up. 

    Suddenly I slipped. On what might have been, my own pee near the base of the tree.  ( I am not ashamed)

    Clinging ONLY by my arms to the tree now, I don't even recall how I got back up over that cliff. It was just a rush of adrenaline. I ran to find my fiancee who had no idea what had occurred and wondered why the hell couldn't I just hold it?! Jesus! 

    I had never had to pee so bad in my life. And there was NO solution in sight, so I took a blind and desperate risk to make it happen.  And.......of course that's like life and business, DUH. (This had to connect to a point eventually right?)

    Well, although I've been a blog slacker, I've officially lived through my first full year as a self employed person. I'm not dead, broke, homeless, or eating Ramen out of a Styrofoam cup. That's a win, I suppose.

    But for me, its not enough.

    I had a near mental episode as this year began, because not only do I have to do what I did last year over again, I have to do it better. I lost sight of how far I came, and saw only how far I want to go. People would tell me to be satisfied, proud of myself yadda yadda, but I still can't. It's just not good enough. Yet. 

    Most days, I feel like that girl on the mountain trail again. I'm clamoring down the switchbacks, unsure of what I'm doing, plunging off the side of the cliff in hopes of finding  the answers. 

    And that's OK. At least I put myself on the trail in the first place. I could have just stayed home.

    So, put yourself on the trail. Just start going. Through craters, and steam, and lava. You might find that the going gets tough, and you gotta choose between public indecency and hopping over a cliff to pee.

    But at least that choice is yours and its a choice you get to make. Your life's not boring. You aren't at home in your sweatpants reading People magazine again. You're thinking and climbing and trying and failing. You're out in the wild.

    2016 has just started. Maybe this will be the year you do that thing you always wanted to. Maybe it won't. It's your choice.

    So why don't you, yeah you, drink way WAY too much water and hike in crater. Go on, assume there's going to be ample woods to pee in even if that's all a lie. Take that risk. Hold onto that tree using only your arms. I dare you.

    By Tamara Morrison 01 Apr, 2015

    Every now and again, you find yourself at a funeral. Sad music, sad people, weird clothes. A body on display like a turkey on the Thanksgiving table, except you're not sure if you should look or not.  Can the deceased hear you? Are they really dead? What's dead like?

    I found myself in such a situation, when my then boyfriend, now fiance's grandfather passed a few years back. I sat with the family, looped in a solemn horseshoe formation around the casket as people paid their last respects.

    As I watched everyone pass, I couldn't help but feel suddenly, overwhelmingly out of place. Here I was, only having known the man for the past five years, yet I was front and center for the last moments of his time above ground.

    I wanted to be there, wanted to support my boyfriend, but I wondered, was this who he expected to be left standing when he died? Would he be disappointed with this turnout? Did I even deserve to be here?

    In 70 plus years of life, just think of all the people he'd known. From his first friends in grade school, to high school, his first job, former girlfriends, bosses, people he'd met doing sports, the list goes on and on and on.

    And at the very end, here was me and a few other people. And this is who and what it'd all come down to.

    That got me thinking about how sad and how scary it is, that we can all count on one hand the people who TRULY care about us. We go through people in our lives like we do coffee filters, and the time we take to brew each relationship before we change that filter, seems to be getting increasingly shorter.

    How many people have you lost? No I don't mean they died, I mean simply "lost touch" with? Not because you wanted to or should have (that's a whole different story) but simply because you nor they could be bothered to continue to hold the relationship together? Your best friend in elementary school, do you still talk? Your college roommate? The person you met in zumba class and went to dinner with a few times?

    Our relationships these days seem like a revolving door. We meet because we have something in common, be it work, hobbies, classes, mutual friends, whatever. We talk, we bond, we hang out, and then slowly, slowly, we talk less. We stop hanging out. Someone moves. Lives change. And soon we don't talk anymore at all. All those little things we told each other no longer even matter. We didn't mean enough to each other to withstand the heavy pull of life.

    And I have to admit, sometimes it breaks my heart.

    How many times have we become close to someone for a time, telling them every detail of our day to day lives, only to have it fade away as though we'd barely met at all?

    Perhaps this is a natural part of life, and we're only meant to know some people for a very short time. They might come into our lives to help us with a problem or solve an issue, and for nothing more. But sometimes, maybe it would be nice to forge more friendships that would last until the end of our lives.

    Not fancy, hang out every second friendships, but friendships that you could pick up right where you left off, friends that will be there for you no matter what happens friends that  love you . We all have a few like that. Why cant we have more?

    Relationships, like everything worth having in life, take work. We seem to want to do less and less work. It's easier to simply stop working to be a good friend and find someone else that fits our current needs. People and things change, and its easier to go out and find replacements than to work on what we already have, and add to it.

    I'm guilty of holding onto strings better left to fray. When I befriend someone I try to give it my all, but I can say the only people who haven't let me down are a couple of my girls and my fiance. Probably good that I'm marrying him then!! ;)

    Everyone else turns out to be somewhat of a letdown, They stop talking to me suddenly or slowly, they fade away without reason, they lose interest in working for a friendship. It makes me sad. But I know that I am not alone. I see it happen everywhere, with everyone.  I'm sure I'm guilty of being the letdown at least once, too.

    Naturally, that's made me less sensitive to people that talk to me. "New friends" if you will. I am always happy to get to know people but I don't expect much to come of it. I don't expect them to remember me when I'm 75, or 45, or in many cases, 30.

    What does this teach us? To always embrace ourselves and our independence. The things that keep me happy I've learned to find within myself, my design, my work, my goals. Fitness. My dogs. People are  additions  to your life, and shouldn't ever become your reason to exist, or your motivation to go for those things you want for  yourself.

    Perhaps you must let them fall in and out of your life, maybe that's how its supposed to be. Perhaps life is meant to be lived meeting, loving and losing as many friends as we can.

    That doesn't mean it isn't sad when we realize someone we used to (or still do) care about has stopped talking to us slowly. That doesn't make it any easier when we leave a job and we never see the person we spent day in and day out with, ever again.

    What if it didn't have to be that way?  What if we put a little more effort into telling the people that we want in our lives, that we want them there? Or better yet, showing them. What would we have to lose? I'm not talking about horrible exes, or mean bosses, or former friends who turned into something we don't even want to know anymore.

    No I'm talking about those silent faders, where nothing ever went wrong, nothing really changed, but the friendship ended because no one put in the effort. Those are the saddest losses, those are the ones that make us wonder if anyone truly cares about us at all.

    So...... go out there, weather it be in your personal life or your business life, and send an old friend a message. Meet up. Tell your current friends they mean something, and don't allow them to fade without any negative reason for doing so. Cut people slack. Forgive minor imperfections and offenses.

    Put in some damn effort.  Just like you should with your professional life, your spouse, your kids your health and your pets. Put in some effort and care a little bit.

    Someday that's gonna be you. Laying in that coffin. When all is said and done who is going to be there to remember you and what you meant in your time here? Assuming they haven't passed before you of course, who will be able to say they really knew you through a big portion of this thing called life?

    Who will you support throughout this life, who do you want there. There's never a wrong time to remind them of that. Remind them now. Before the sad music and the weird clothes and the coffin thing.

    Before its too late.

    By Tamara Morrison 26 Mar, 2015

    "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

    I think it does. I think it makes the same sound it would if it were surrounded by a crowd of people.

    But you read the quote. No one is around to hear it. No one cares. No one will come chop the tree up into logs. No one will plane the logs down into boards. No one will build a chair or a table or a baby crib out of that tree. It doesn't matter if it's among the finest Mahogany in the country. It will rot, marred by maggots and larvae, unseen and forgotten into the ground.

    It could have been so many wonderful things.

    Like all trees do, it began as a seed sailing on a puffy little cloud, or some happy crap like that. (More than likely, it was stuck to a fox's left ass cheek, and was carried a couple of miles before dropping off.) It found a comfy place to live, and it put down roots. Because its a tree, it cant put a for sale sign out, call for a U-Haul and move. It would be stuck there for the rest of its life. It would have to wait for people to find IT to determine it was worthy of being made into something.

    Good news. You   are not a tree! You can move wherever you want. You can interact with whomever you want. You can be made into whatever you want.

    Of course there's always gonna be that crowd that wants to sit home in their pajamas and is content working at the 7-11 for the rest of their lives. Key word: wants. Getting by doing the minimum is enough for them, seriously. But what if that's not you?

    What if you want to start a company, what if you want to create art seen around the world, what if you want to be a pro athlete or create a clothing line or increase awareness and raise money to cure a disease? You can't be the unseen tree. And you can't be scared to rip yourself up by the roots.

    You need to be everywhere. People often think its bragging, or gloating about themselves if they continue to promote to the world what they do well. We all know that asshole on social media that posts 3040 selfies of everything they do and every other post says "F#*K the haterssss!"  But just WHY does that person bother you and I so much, you fellow hater?

    No its not because you're jealous. You're actually, seriously nauseated by their content. It's because their content isn't real. Everything's always perfect. They never get upset, or fail or have a bad day, or fart in a crowd and blame someone else, or fail to wash their hair for six days. You, unfortunately, can't relate to them. You fail often and forget to be perfect. Therefore, you wish they would just go away. They don't make you feel good about yourself.   They make you feel bad . Why would you buy what they're selling or support them in their missions?

    The people and businesses you look up to and ultimately buy from and support make you feel great. They share not only the good, but the bad. They make noise and its real. They put themselves out there flaws and all. You can relate, it feels like you know them. You'd buy sawdust in a package from them because even if  you've never met them, they're your friends, and you trust your friends.

    So there's good noise and bad noise.   And then there's no noise . We all know that artist that THINKS no one will like his work so he hides it in his closet, even though he's the most amazing thing you've ever seen. Or that great writer who was told by someone that publishing a book is unreasonable and stupid, so they put that dream on the shelf and stayed silent. Or that ice cream shop whose owner doesn't know or care how to use a computer, so they aren't on any social media. No one knows they make the best banana split for 50 miles.

    You're good at something and you have dreams. Whether you think you'll ever get there or not, you don't stand a chance if you don't put it out there. Social Media has made it easier than ever to share with the world what those are, and to remain humble. Don't spam people or be fake and perfect. Be real. Be someone they can know without ever having met you. People go with what they know and hear consistently. They support it, they think of it often,   they buy from it.

    Be in people's heads. Not screaming spammy crap, but be there for what you're good at and for who you are. Don't be afraid to be imperfect and don't be afraid to be really good at something and tell the world. You're good at it because it was meant for you and you love it. You're going to mess up a LOT because you're human.

    You're not a tree. You can do whatever it takes to succeed. Email everyone you know and be yourself. Do it again a couple months later. Talk to people, meet people. Walk up to them even though you have no idea what to say. You'll look stupid.   You will.   You'll feel stupid. Deal with it. Anyone who got anywhere, dealt with it.   It'll separate you from everyone that quit.

    There's so many cool people out there, with cool examples and inspiration. Whatever it is you want to do, someone probably already did similar. Find out how and then   do it better.

    Talent is worth nothing if no one knows you have it and you're too scared to use it. Its yours, go own it before its too late. Be the tree that grows next to the Eiffel tower, not in the middle of Montana. Make sure everyone hears you when you fall.

    For graphic design and help with YOUR social media for business as always check out www.tamaramorrisongraphics.com  :-)

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