Me, Myself and that Other Girl

Do you ever have those moments? They often happen around bedtime for me. You know…when little revelations about your life seem so attainable?
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You think maybe you’ve figured it all out. And you can finally say the things you’ve bottled up and you can face those demons head on without fear.
When I’m about to go to bed is when I feel the most motivated. Motivated to run the next morning. Motivated to start that new project. Or write that new novel. Or create a manageable budget that will fix my monetary foibles. Or solve those relationship issues. You get the idea!
And then I wake up and it’s like a lazier version of me has body snatched that productive, healthy person. And I’m left with the one who wants a frozen York Peppermint Patty for breakfast (can’t blame her for that) and chooses to watch 2 episodes of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt instead of going on that run (what’s wrong with that? That show’s awesome!)
What goes on when the dreams come? Do I have to stay up all night so that productive girl doesn’t run away?
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But wait! Sometimes…a miracle happens. Usually when I haven’t eaten 3 cookies before bed and I haven’t stayed up till midnight watching episodes of Star Wars: Clone Wars.

A miracle where that productive girl laces up her sneaks, picks her ass up out of that bed and she runs. She runs to feel healthy and to know she is powerful. She runs to finish the projects she’s started cause there is another one brewing in her mind. She makes a to-do list and checks every single thing off of it. She is successful. She has her shit together.
I wish that girl was always me instead of only sometimes me. I love the whole package, but sometimes those girls get into a fist fight. And it ain’t pretty.
The productive one doesn’t always win, but then again, neither does the lazy one. They both lay dormant inside waiting for their days to come. The runner comes out when the lazy one has turned my body into something too soft for her liking. And the lazy one comes out when she feels that other girl has been working too hard and needs a margarita.
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Maybe you don’t have a war going on inside of you. Maybe you are always productive or always lazy or always whatever it is that you are. And maybe I’m the only one having conversations between the 2 of us…the 3 of us. To be honest, I’ve lost count.
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But I wouldn’t be me without those crazy girls. And I guess what I’m trying to say is that inside my head, no one always wins. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Signed,

A nerd in progress…

The Nerd Returns to the City

“Well… I didn’t expect that!”

I was so sure that the tears I’d cried over leaving New York were because deep down I wanted to go back. I wanted my life back. I wanted what was familiar and what had become “normal” for years.

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But there I was, back in the bright lights and I felt like I was gonna jump out of my skin. I am not an anxious person and I’m not a worrier. But everything about being back made me feel anxious and made me worry. I was late to meet my friends. I was bustling along the streets. I was stuck on the train that seemed like it would never move.

This was the life I’d lived for the past 8+ years. For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer (and let’s just be honest…it was always for poorer.) This was how I’d lived. Blissfully unaware of the madness of the city because I’d become a part of the madness. I was the madness. I understood it and it had become a part of me. I fell in love with it. (Read about That Time I Fell in Love)

The first weeks back in Florida, I had a frog permanently living in my throat. I was on the verge of crying every single day. My mom asked me if I wanted to sing at church and I burst into tears saying, “It’s too soon! It’s not the Journey.” My friends suggested I try online dating to get over a certain person I may tell you about someday, but I burst into tears just reading the profiles saying, “It’s too soon! I’m not ready.” I drove out to the beach and even that didn’t feel right at first (despite what my Instagram portrayed) and I cried the whole way back saying, “It’s just not New York. It doesn’t feel right!”

Everything seemed to be a pressure point. Everything seemed to set me off. So, here was my chance. To make the choice to stay on the path God called me to walk on or to turn back around and run to something comfortable. It’s funny to call New York comfortable. It’s the least comforting city I’ve ever lived in. Surrounded by 8 million people and constantly alone. But when you acclimate to something it does feel comforting to be a part of it. So New York was the comfort and Florida was the challenge?? What an unexpected outcome!

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I was truly shocked by this panic attack. I’ve never even had a panic attack before, so I can’t be sure that’s what I was experiencing. But my heart was racing and I couldn’t breath… so I started to pray.

To be honest with you, I’ve been mad at God. Why did he call me to leave my beloved city? Why did he bring me down to Florida where my purpose is still being figured out? Where my friends and family already have their lives figured out down here?

I decided at some point that I was too angry to listen. I decided that I was going to make my own way!

If you’ve ever gone your own way, you’d know it’s not the right move! I know it’s not the right move and one restless night God hit me hard with the news that I was supposed to be listening! And this feeling that I felt in New York was just confirmation that I’d made the right choice in listening to God. That moving was His plan, not mine. And that my new challenge was to listen for the next light he shines in front of me instead of buying batteries for my flashlight and finding my own path.

It’s not a revelation. It’s not new information! It’s just a daily reminder that I need to constantly turn my eyes up to Him. And a daily reminder that I am right where I need to be. Even if it’s hard! Especially if it’s hard! And trust me…it’s been hard.

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That Time I Fell In Love

Having never been in love before, I didn’t recognize the feeling. The butterflies in my stomach, that nervous feeling like I might throw up at any given moment. It was strange and unsettling. I couldn’t sleep very well. I couldn’t eat…wait I could eat. I can always eat! But I knew this was something different than ever before. Exciting, scary, different, special and it just felt right. The way I imagine an older couple who’ve been married for over 40 years must feel when they hold hands or something. It was definitely love.

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That was me and New York in January of 2007. Love at first sight. It was bright and shiny. It kept me up all night, just thinking about it. Friends were made. A life was built. And not only did this become my home, but I even found family here.

You know what I love about me… I don’t just make friends, I find family wherever I go. Did you know that you can have more than one family? It’s pretty cool!!

There are the blood relations. The people God designed to be in your life no matter what. The people who raised you and who you grew up with. The people who teach you the things you’ll take through the rest of your life.

There’s college family. The people who were there in a difficult transitional period in life. The people you may have partied with. The people who teach you that life is bigger than the little bubble you came from.

There’s church family. The people who grow you spiritually. The people who challenge you and hold you accountable. The people who help you and pray for you and uplift you.

There are various work families. The people who understand the crazy things that happen at your job. The people you have happy hours with after long stressful days.

There are a bunch of other families that you can make. The people who understand your hobbies. The people you root with at sporting events. The people you cry with over television finales.

And then, if you’re lucky, you have all of the above. But there’s one more family. The kind that is unforeseen. It’s your New York family. Only they can understand what it means to leave those other little families behind to pursue something huge. To step onto this stage with a dollar and a dream. Maybe you get what you came here for. Maybe you leave with dashed hopes. Or maybe that family supports you through every bump and bruise till you are ready to leave on your own two feet to start a new adventure.

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That’s my story.

I came here thinking I’d fall in love. I came here thinking I’d make it big. And once I realized that no one defines my dreams and my accomplishments but me, then I knew that I did fall in love and I had made it big. It was never going to be conventional or “normal.” But then again I’ve always been extraordinary. I don’t mean that in the cocky, “I’m the best” sort of way. I mean, ordinary is not a word I understand. “Normal” is not a word that has ever applied to me. And New York gets that. Hell, New York invented extraordinary. (Well God invented extraordinary, but God also made New York so it still works!)

I found myself here. I found something I didn’t know I was missing. I fell in love with New York City! The funny thing about love is that it doesn’t go away, but it can change. It can become unrecognizable underneath the little annoyances, the little betrayals, the little boredoms, but it never fully goes away. The heart doesn’t forget like that. It’s the mind that tricks you into thinking that it isn’t love anymore. But it still is. And New York and I…we’re doing just fine. I have loved it here, in a way I never knew I could. And the best part about it, the part I know for sure, is that no one ever truly leaves New York. I intended to come here for my internship and then maybe stay for a year or two. Eight and a half years later…. I guess it’s time to go play in the sand for a while. But I know I’ll be back. New York is in my blood now. It’s a part of me. It’s where my family lives.

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This is surely the evidence of a life well lived.

Thanks, my pretty little city! See ya when I see ya!

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This nerd will return in August 2015…

Final Episode of My Series

Get ready, cause it’s the last episode of the series. The shelves have been cleared. The flowers have come down and my cab is on it’s way. A new chapter in my life is about to begin. New chapter, same Liz!!

Episode 40: FINALE

Starring:

Liz Tailor

Sponsored by:

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(Click here for more information on our sponsor: Licensure Exams)

For more information on the companies we partner with and what they stand for CLICK HERE, and for more on the fashions and where to get them CLICK HERE.

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Thank you for watching!!

My Beauty Is Fleeting, My Worth Everlasting

I rarely look in the mirror and think… “I am beautiful.”

I look in the mirror and think “I have something on my face.” “I neeeeed to lost 15 pounds immediately.” “Maybe I should just wear a bag today, nothing else seems to be working.” But beautiful? It’s a rare occasion when I think that of myself.

And yet friends, family, strange men on the street are constantly throwing this positive affirmation my way. And I keep wondering, if they are in fact talking to me.

What a sad culture we live in. What a sad culture to grow up in. A culture that constantly bombards you with images that shake your self worth. Skinny is not only the new pretty, it’s the only pretty. Blonde is better than brown. Never leave the house without lipstick on. Being better goes hand in hand with being prettier.

I am 32. I am single and I let my mind wander to the dark place. The place that tells me that I am single because I am not pretty enough to be married. Not desirable enough to be wanted. Not worthy enough of love.

What a load of… well, you know!

My God has created someone far better than I allow myself to be. He has created a woman worthy of thinking herself beautiful. A woman worthy of praise and devotion. A woman worthy of love.

Women, we are made for more! (Men, you are too, but I’m focused on my ladies right now!) Do you feel that sometimes? Does that ever enter your mind? It’s constantly on mine. I have to tell you what you already know. Your beauty has nothing to do with your worth!!!

Beauty will fade. It will shrivel. It will disappear. And it is meaningless. Truly and utterly meaningless.

That being said I guarantee that tomorrow morning I will probably still get up, do my hair, put on my makeup, look in the mirror and wonder. But tomorrow morning I will know that it doesn’t matter quite so much. That God has more for me in this world than what shade of lipstick I wear or what size jeans I buy. And tomorrow morning that will be enough for me! Make it enough for yourself!

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Don’t miss this week’s episode of So…This Happened: Click Here

Healthy is the New Sexy!

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

We have a big weight problem in this country. And it’s two fold. Obesity is an epidemic that continually plagues us. Big Mac, Extra Large, Super Sized. In America, our mantra is usually “Bigger is better.” This is not reflected in the media. As our movie stars get skinnier and skinnier, the rest of America embraces extra helpings, because, “Hell, we’ll never look like that anyways. So why not!”

But even someone as gorgeous as Cindy Crawford is the first to admit that she doesn’t even look like “Cindy Crawford” in the privacy of her own home. It’s a myth. An illusion. (Read her article from Redbook Magazine 2009: Click here)

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Photo Credit: Vogue Magazine 1988

And to be honest with you, I bought into it early on and have continued to struggle with it ever since.  6 years ago when I was working at a certain famous New York bridal salon, it was worse than it ever had been or would be.

The fashion industry is brutal for a chubby, Southern girl with a deep love of apple pie and Coke slurpees. The pressure can get the best of you and definitely got the best of me. Now, it could have been a whole lot worse, but it was bad enough to require an intervention from my friends at the salon.

The truth is, I felt fat. All the time. There was a constant stream of food always available to us. And “bad” food like chocolate cake, cheesy fries, and an endless supply of gummy bears. When you’re going as fast as we went, you’ll eat whatever is in front of you.

My weight hit an all time high at 198 pounds. So I decided to try an “herbal” remedy I’d seen a commercial for. It was called Hoodia. It’s an African cactus and it promises to “trick your brain into thinking you’re full.”

Yes. It curbed my hunger, but it also had me going about 100 miles an minute and my heart constantly felt like it was going to beat out of my chest. But it was working. I lost weight. And inevitably, everyone around me kept telling me how great I looked. So I chalked it up a success!

At one point I think I was taking 6 or 7 pills a day. If that wasn’t enough, I also did that lemon, cayenne pepper, maple syrup cleanse for a full 10 days. And I lost another 15 pounds. Triumph!

For all I could tell I was doing something that was working and was garnering the desired effect. People noticed the difference and were pleased with the skinnier, unhealthier, “sexier” me. I couldn’t see that I had developed an eating disorder!

Thank God for great friends, who saw what was happening and told me it had to stop. I got off it, promptly gained all the weight back and then went about trying to lose it the healthy way. With exercise and eating better. (What a revelation!)

The sad fact is that every time I get the flu or food poisoning or something, I’m secretly grateful for the little extra weight loss. The feeling of my hip bones sticking out a little more than usual. It’s a battle I fight constantly and probably always will. But now it’s one I feel like I’m winning. And the majority of the time when I look in the mirror I see someone who looks healthy. Not fat or skinny! I have strong legs that carry me all over this beautiful city. I have a body proportionate to the size of my head (I looked like a bobble head when I lost all that weight.) And I am proud of my body and what I can do with it! Finally.

And I’m happy to say that my goals reflect a much more balanced viewpoint.

Photo Credit: Tacfit
Photo Credit: Tacfit

Stay tuned for more from this Avenger in Training!

And share your thoughts below. I’m not the only one who deals with this. Don’t struggle in silence.

Big Announcement

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I’d like to take a moment to make a big announcement.
I’m leaving New York City.

Come July I will be returning to my hometown in sunny, sunny Florida! Home of flip-flops and shorts!

I’d start at the beginning, but I guess it doesn’t matter how a match is lit. Because once the fire is started, it spreads. That’s how it’s been since the moment I decided to move back to Florida, where I’m from…home. The reasons are ever growing and changing. But like a fire inside, it started as a small spark and now it rages on, in a good way! And the most amazing part of it all is that I know with every fiber of my being that it’s the right decision for me. It’s God’s decision for me. I don’t think I’ve felt that way about something since I packed up and moved up here to the big city.

This means that Nerd in the City will be moving with me and I’ll get to see what that means for this platform I’ve had on which to share my thoughts for the past 4 years. I love writing and I never would have discovered that if I’d never moved here.
I have a list of things a mile long, things that I will never miss about New York. But I want to focus on what this city has given me. Because I feel equipped for the next stage of my life. And I am a stronger person for the struggles I’ve had in this tough city. And I cannot wait to return to it with fresh eyes and a fresh heart one day.

I still have 4+ months left to enjoy New York and all the treasures it has to offer. A chance to properly say goodbye. And a chance to know that I have made the right decision for the next stage of my life. What a gift!

2014: A Year in Review

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It’s funny how fast things can change. January 2014 started out hopeful. I was on the verge of starting some new projects. I had finally abandoned making resolutions that I was never going to live up to. I had accepted New York as my home (which was a very big deal.) I had a new hairdo (picture above.) And overall I felt really good about the year. I’d chosen the word Bold to start my year off and I was already on track to make that word a reality!
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But things change. I was in a blind spot and I couldn’t see what was about to happen. After an entire year to process these events, I won’t rehash them now. I’ll only tell you what came out of this very dark time in my life. And after these things happened, I didn’t think I could ever be Bold again.

Prior to what I can only describe as a life-changing moment, I had begun to rely on myself and my own ideas and dreams. Which can be big and beautiful and wonderful. But nothing I dream up comes from me. It all comes from God. And I had forgotten that. And when we forget such important things, God will take any opportunity to make sure we remember. He took my pride and allowed it to be torn away. He took the things I thought were true and allowed them to be turned upside down. He stripped away the people I had always trusted and turned to for everything and instead reminded me to turn to Him first and foremost!! And I am better for it.

After January, I sought out a Christian counselor and got some wonderful help. It was not the lowest I’d ever been, but I was pretty low. And I just have to say that if you are facing a challenging season of your life… go get some outside help. You cannot do it alone. Turn to God and then turn to the leaders you know and get the help you may need!
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8 weeks of counseling helped me to clarify a whole lot of things. 8 weeks of counseling helped me find out what it means to be truly Bold. 8 weeks of counseling taught me that I can’t do it alone, I can only do life with God at my side. My pride was overwhelming before that. And after that, I knew that it’s only in my weaknesses that true strength can be found.

I started writing more music. I started working on the scripts to what is now my fun and awesome web series. I started writing children’s books again and coming up with a million more ideas for my future. But all with the confidence that “I can do all through Christ who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13) Something I knew long ago and only had forgotten.

I wrote a song last year that I was able to share with some friends. Up until that point, I had written hundreds of songs that I never shared with anyone. But Christ allowed me to find my Boldness. God laid these lyrics on my heart and I want to share them with you all. And if you ever want to hear what it sounds like, I’d be happy to sing it for you.

Bring Me to My Knees

Bring me to my knees. Cause in my strength I fall.

It’s only in my weaknesses. That I give You my all

When I stand up on this mountain top I lift my eyes in praise

But the valley is where I learned to pray

When the water’s rising over me My soul is all but lost

That’s the time when I turn to you the most.

(Chorus)

When I bow my head to praise Your Name, Your grace, it covers me

When I step outside that grace I cannot breathe

But You reach Your hand back down for me

And pull me to Your love

And You whisper, “Child, I am enough”

(Chorus)

Jesus, Majesty! I bring my offering

Only to You I sing.

Jesus, Majesty! I stand on the mountaintop

My heart is Yours, Lord I lift You up.

2015 is starting out beautifully so far. But I know that nothing lasts forever (except Christ’s love, of course.) Tomorrow, things could fall apart. Tomorrow, tragedy could strike. But no matter what happens, I know my faith in Christ will see me through. I have been blessed with people who watch and enjoy my web series (if you aren’t watching yet, Click Here.People who read and enjoy my blog (if you aren’t reading yet, Click Here.) I’ve been blessed with a bevy of new ideas for the year to come and have chosen the word Today for my word of the year. As in “Seize the day” “No day but Today!” “Give thanks for this is the day the Lord has made.” And I can’t wait to see how God blesses this word for my life as well as this year! So stay tuned, cause I am determined to love life even more than I love it right now!!!
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So… what’s your word?

Liz Tailor: The College Years

I wouldn’t categorize my upbringing as “sheltered.” I knew what went on. I had friends who were told about all that “adult” stuff in deep and gory detail. So I got the scoop when necessary. And my parents did their best to prepare me for the world. “Make good choices, young grasshopper!”

But the truth is, when you get to college, there is an immediate freedom that comes along with it. As well as easy access to all the things you weren’t allowed to do under your parents roof.

So I immediately took it upon myself to watch R-rated movies and every single episode of Dawson’s Creek I could get my hands on. After all, those were quite forbidden in my house.

College is a time of awakening and experimenting. And boy did I go crazy! I experimented heavily with hair dye. Some were extremely bad choices (me with bottle died black hair = really bad decision!) I experimented with staying out all night and line dancing at Stetson’s on the Moon. I even tried my first alcoholic drink, a Midori sour and it was so gross!!!

Ok… maybe I was a little sheltered after all, a little naive.

Back then I liked a boy and I truly thought that if I never told him I liked him and just pretended that we were friends that miraculously God would hit him with a love dart and he would see me as he never had before. We would ride off into the sunset and happily ever after would ensue. Remember that I’d never had a boyfriend up to this point and still didn’t have one. One need not wonder why.

In reality, that boy barely knew me and what he did know of me, he merely considered a friend and nothing more! NOTHING.

Imagine my shock and disappointment when I didn’t get a happy fairytale ending with me married at 23. (Thank God, whose plans are far greater for me than my own!)

If you’ve seen the latest episode of my little web series, then you’ll hear about a particularly ridiculous occurrence in the life of little Lizzie (truth be told, I went by Beth back then.)

My roommate and I, at the time, entrenched ourselves so deeply in Hollywood movie land that we actually thought that if we picked a place off the top of our heads, that maybe God or fate or destiny would step in and make magic happen. Funny thing is that magic did happen while we weren’t looking.

We stayed blessedly single and became very good friends. The kind that can still laugh about the dumb things we did way back then! (Am I right Becs?)

See, if I had gotten what I wanted back then and got married right off the bat, life would have been fine as God can use all things for His glory. But I wouldn’t be who I am today. And, you see, I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. So… I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m still on the look out for the occasional fairytale. I never really gave them up. But reality is so much cooler. I’d take that over Serendipity any day!!!

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Love,

Liz Tailor