Are You Whole?

posted by Momo Fali on March 1, 2016

Well, are you?

Oh, I know. Half of you are just staring at the words thinking, I don’t even understand the question!

Let me back up.

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Last week, I was keenly aware of how fulfilling my life was. My son had a successful surgery (lucky number 13, to keep his eardrums from collapsing, because OF COURSE his ear drums are collapsing), work was going well, I exercised, I studied, I had dinner with friends and even had time for Netflix. One day, the sun came out! Thanks, Ohio!

Then something happened which made me realize the joy I felt was only half as good as it could’ve been. I realized only a portion of me had experienced all that goodness because I was really kind of empty inside. I just didn’t know it.

I know you’re dying to know what my realization was, but that doesn’t matter. It was something intensely personal to me.

YOU might get filled up by a well-placed smile on the face of a grocery clerk. It could be a hug from your child or a liver-breathed lick on the face from your puppy. It’s whatever you need, at a given moment, to make you feel like you are FEELING with 100% of you. It’s fulfillment multiplied because your soul has soaked up enough to make it a puffy, smiley-faced sponge.

The trouble is being able to recognize it. I certainly didn’t feel like anything was missing – quite the contrary. So, how do you make yourself whole when you don’t even realize you’re half-empty?

My suggestion is that even when you think you’re at your peak, push on. Try new things, travel outside your comfort zone, let people in, read more, believe in something greater than yourself, give back, practice acceptance, trust people, LET GO.

You may think you have exactly what you need. You may feel complete, but there’s a chance that a new experience will move you away from being a fraction of yourself. And what’s crazy is that you may never know you were missing anything until you find it.

You’ve certainly heard that you should give your best effort, but do you receive with that kind of effort too? Most of us don’t think we deserve an abundance of happiness, because we are defeatists. We believe that bad things happen to good people (which they do…they definitely do), but good things can happen to good people too.

So let yourself be whole. Trust me. It feels 100% good.

I Fed a Troll

posted by Momo Fali on February 27, 2016

Don’t feed the trolls.

It is the first rule of blogging. Don’t engage with the haters. Don’t let them get in your head. If someone leaves you a nasty comment, you move along without reply, because they are not worth the anger, frustration and, most of all, your precious time.

I haven’t written in five months because I let someone tell me that no one cares what I write about and people who read my posts are actually laughing behind my back.

So I haven’t written, because what if they were right? What if my content has been one big joke to the Internet?

Years ago I was in an abusive relationship and I can assure you that the names he called me hurt far more than any slap in the face. No bloody wound feels as bad as being called worthless. Five months ago, that’s exactly how I felt.

Today, though, I suddenly woke up and realized that as much as I love my readers and the people who have surrounded me through blogging, I don’t write for anyone but me. If you don’t want to read these words, don’t read them. I don’t really care. Now the troll can say I’m selfish. So be it.

I am going to write again. I’m going to write because it’s my creative outlet. I’m going to write because it clears my head. I’m going to write to prove to my daughter that you can’t let someone control you through their hate. I’m going to write because I am better for it.

This is my start.

Hip to be Square

posted by Momo Fali on September 28, 2015

Ain’t no party like an 85 year old’s party, ’cause an 85 year old’s party don’t stop!

*screeeeech* *dj takes the needle off the record*

Somewhere between having a boatload of fun this summer and starting my awesome new job (more on that soon but, goodnight Irene, I love it), I fractured my hip.

My doctor thought it was a pinched nerve – and in his defense, so did I – because it felt similar to a pinched nerve I had years ago. He put me on a course of steroids which, ironically, made the fracture LESS likely to heal. All of my theater friends are going to scream because I just used irony incorrectly, but I mean the situational kind and also, I just took a course of steroids so I dare you to tell me I’m doing it wrong.

When the steroids didn’t help, I thought maybe it was a tendon or something related to running, because running hurt bad. So I tried biking, which was even worse and walking hurt most of all. See, there it is again. Irony is that friend who shows up and you think you’ve missed him because he keeps you on your toes and makes life interesting, but a few days later he’s just annoying and he kind of smells like fish.

Anyway, I tried working out the pain and working through the pain and that was just stupid. Which makes me like my friend, Irony. Though that would be a cool name and Irony doesn’t deserve to be called cool. Remember when George on Seinfeld wanted to name his kid “Seven?” That would’ve been a cool name, except it makes me think about Brad Pitt’s wife and her severed head in a box. Other than that? Super cool name.

Finally, my trainer recommended I see a sports medicine doctor, so I got a referral and x-rays and now I can’t really do anything for 4-6 weeks other than expand my waistline. The other option is to go ahead and do stuff and risk breaking my hip and needing a hip replacement at 44 years old. I can exercise my upper body as long as I’m sitting, so I’ve been working on my 12 ounce curls.

The upside is that now I have more time to write. Lucky you. I had to hurt myself in order to have the time to put you through this pain. Ironic, don’t you think?

Goodbye, BlogHer

posted by Momo Fali on August 31, 2015

Hoo boy. This is going to hurt.

I honestly don’t know where to begin, because I never thought I’d be saying it. I guess I’ll just start at the beginning.

Six years ago, my family was struggling financially. I had been blogging for a few years, I was working part-time, but a failed business and medical bills were eating us alive. A series of events, however, was about to change my life:

  1. Even though we didn’t have enough funds for me to attend, I was chosen as a volunteer for the BlogHer ’09 conference, which covered the cost of my pass. That was the same year a partnership with GM paid for my my transportation to Chicago and a roommate who won a sweepstakes paid for my room. It was all very fortuitous.
  2. In April of 2010, a childhood friend of mine invited me to a conference for pet bloggers she had co-founded here in Columbus. The keynote speaker was Elisa Camahort Page, COO of BlogHer. I met Elisa for lunch and soaked up all the knowledge I could.
  3. I attended the BlogHer ’10 conference in NYC and Elisa spoke on a panel about resume writing for bloggers. That session gave me ideas about how to be creative, to own accomplishments outside of an office, and how to present myself as an asset to employers despite a gap in my employment history.
  4. That fall, I tweeted that I was looking for an additional part-time job and Elisa reached out to me. I pulled out my notes from her session at BlogHer ’10 and crafted myself a resume based off of her tips. I got the job.

Within six months of my hiring, Elisa and her marketing team had molded me into a full-time, support-staff employee with a lot of responsibilities. After working through BlogHer ’11, Elisa made me the Social Media Manager – of a major social media organization and the largest community of women who blog. Since 2010, Elisa has been my mentor and I have her to thank for a whole new career. She absolutely changed my life.

Since 2010, I have loved my job and co-workers, but Friday, September 4th will be my last day as a BlogHer employee.bloggers6

It’s one thing to be given what BlogHer gave me, but sometimes excellent things happen twice in a lifetime. I was recently approached about a new opportunity and in two weeks I will start a position with Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a Senior Account Manager for one of the best pediatric hospitals in the country. I have been associated with them for 13 years, since my son was whisked away by ambulance to their facility on the day he was born.

I am leaving one great community for another, I’m going back to school, and I’m taking the lessons I’ve learned in the past year to take more chances when I feel like the timing is right. I’m excited to be affiliated with this life-changing, life-saving, organization and to see what we can do together to make their online community as unparalleled as BlogHer’s.

What I will take with me from BlogHer are not only analytical skills and techniques that built upon my past managerial experience – thank you Elisa, Jory and Lisa – but, also unprecedented education from the most wonderful community online.

And, THERE are the tears.

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You, who taught me about love and diversity. You, who taught me about inclusion and generosity. You, who taught me how to talk, listen, engage, ask questions, and share, I will miss you.

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I will miss you, social media experts, photographers, humorists, cooks and poets. I will even miss you, political blogger – just not as much as the rest.

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The community is the reason BlogHer was created and they are the inspiration, motivation, love, connection and education that have been part of my workday for the past five years. They are more than a community; they are family. Thankfully, that means they can’t just get rid of me.

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I’ll still be around. I’ll still be at the conferences. I’ll still be reading your blogs and streams and posts. And, I will always be a BlogHer.

So, this really isn’t goodbye. It’s just me heading in a new direction, yet never out of sight.

Follow along on my journey here and here and thank you for everything YOU have given me. It has been a gift to be part of your life.