That one time I was almost on the Nate Berkus Show….when he actually had a show.

Whenever I think about this experience I have to squint and move my eyes back and forth like I am concentrating real hard. The kind of hard thinking that smells like toast burning. Curling, white puffs of smoky grey matter twisting around the skull, knocking to get back in kind of hard thinking. It’s rough being the sort that willingly chooses to keep all the bad stuff up front in the window display of their life while keeping the truly interesting bits and pieces back in the storage area. Dammit! Why do we do this?

Anyway, when Nate Berkus first showed his stylish, elf-like face on the grande dame Oprah’s show I was fascinated. I wanted him to release me from the dungeon of “old lady” decorating suggestions (this is a WHOLE OTHER story in itself) and help me find my true style. I wanted a designer middle finger, if you will, that I could display every time said “old lady” tried to tell me how cheap or tacky the things I really loved were.

Take that ya old bat! Nate likes it and I like it so go choke on your frilly toile curtains and musty transferware dishes hung just so on the wall. ON THE WALL!  Dishes on the wall scream OLD LADY to me but what do I know? I needed Nate on my side.

Every time he was on I would watch with great intensity, taking notes, honing my decorating style while also learning that my opinions about what I did or didn’t like mattered. I found my voice and my courage to say what I wanted in my house and what I thought was pretentious, trendy bullshit, designed only to lighten the wallet and not my mood. It didn’t always go over well but satisfaction was gained from knowing money can’t buy taste and bullies hate it when their targets grow a backbone. Mine started out as a flimsy balsa wood twig and grew into a mighty reinforced beam of Brazilian walnut. Strong, unyielding and shiny. God, the old lady hated that. Thanks Nate!

Fast forward to 2010 and I’m watching The Nate Berkus Show when I see a little blurb about viewers sending in their stories of overcoming odds to make their dream career come true or something like that. My memory fails me at times but the gist of this was that I sent in an email to the show telling the producers how I always wanted to write but felt held back by the less than supportive people in my life and how I finally ditched them and started writing in earnest. I wasn’t making any money doing it but I still felt free enough to actually let strangers read my scribbles. That was huge a self-conscious, formerly badgered soul that was so unsure of her abilities.

And…I got a call from the show not long after I hit send on that email. I was asked to explain more about my dream, how I wanted to accomplish it and what my roadblocks had been. Great, so far I thought, but then came the shit cloud…Bethenny Frankel.

What did I think of her? Did she inspire me to try to make my dream a reality? Uh, no. Honestly, if I had to give credit to anyone for prompting me to get my shit together it would be a 50-50 split between aging and my therapist, Dr. Tarrasch. A reality show “character” doesn’t even make the list but I sensed they wanted me to gush about how much she helped and inspired me because they wanted her as a guest. The true indication of this came when they asked if I would be willing to stand up and ask her how I could “make my goal of writing a reality” from the audience. Good grief and lumpy gravy, NO! But, I said sure! I wanted to be on that damn show!!!

Next, I was asked to write a little bit more about my goal and when I first became aware of Madam Frankel as the paragon of business acumen and goal reachiness (my own word but it fits) so I did just that. Maybe too well because I didn’t get a callback and the next thing I know ole Bethenny Big Eyes is on Oprah on the date she was supposed to be on my Nate’s show.

What happened? Did she realize she had no viable advice for me or did Nate’s producers just decide to chuck the segment? Or, and I think this is more likely, that publicity hag tied her line to the mothership Oprah and cut Nate loose at the last minute.

She got a better offer and ditched the person that brought her to the dance. And THAT is how Bethenny and many other questionable business entrepreneurs succeed. It’s easy to keep your high heels un-scuffed when walking on the backs of others.

Okay, rant over and memory released. That felt great. Do I still like Nate Berkus? Yes, yes I do and I always will. He’s likable and seems genuine. Did I learn anything from BF? Yes again. I learned that the outcome would have been the same even if I said I didn’t give two shits about her supposed power to influence or motivate because the segment was going to get dumped anyway.

Always be honest about who or what really motivates you because, in the end, self-respect tastes much better than an over-priced watered-down vodka or margarita mix. Go for the damn bourbon you babies! It’s strong, true and never pretends to be what it is not. Now, get your ass out there and work! That’s my advice.

The “little things” that are actually quite large…

A welcome from Reverie…

Small gestures, little acts of kindness, minute details that get overlooking while searching for the big picture…in these, most, if not all answers to, “why am I here” can be found.

Yet, they are little, tiny, unimportant things and we like grand entrances and annoyingly bombastic noise signaling something hugely awesome is about to happen, so much so that many times we miss what is truly “awesome” completely. On to the next big event! And make it larger than the last one please!!!

I like the little things because I find great intricacy and inspiration in their simplicity. A smile given at just the right moment or a nod of accepting acknowledgment.  The sun shining after a particularly shitty day is what triggers my sense of awe in the unending discoveries unfolding around me. It nudges me forward with a, “See? The show ain’t over yet. Stick around to see what else you can do!” And, it’s that anticipation that fuels me and keeps me moving forward; the validation received from the world at large that we are here, we are seen and yet, we have so much left to see, hear, touch and do because we all matter.

And, we do matter. I matter and you matter. Not our things or accomplishments or even our failures but our purposeful connectivity with one another. I smile at you and you smile back in return…or frown, scowl or even, maybe, laugh. All are fine because they are reactions to my action. I caused it simply because I am here! That is power my friends.

When I touch the hand or heart of someone I care for that little thing grows into a large thing that promotes growth, expansion and continued expression. How is that a small or insignificant thing? It is not. It is massive, all important and amazingly enough, free!

Several years ago I had the great pleasure of being introduced to a very wise person who told me all the supposed “big” things I worried about and expressed anger over were horse shit. He also told me that I was the architect of my life, no one else, and it was my responsibility to choose who and what I wanted to be.

I want to be a simple little player in a large extravagant play with a few excellently memorable and quotable lines because I wrote them and I want to set my creations free. I want to see where they float, who they touch and what happens next when they are picked up and carried forward by a new player. The true adventure in life is fluid after all, not planned or plotted but stumbled upon.

Let’s stumble together and maybe the next path we crash onto, laughing or crying, will be one that leads to yet another great experience. Come on! What are you waiting for?

© 2018 L.A. Askew
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