This was an emotional week for a lot of us!Brandi Redmond dealing with her social worker and the scrutiny that comes with adoption; Kameron Westcott moving forward with her company and finding the balance between work and motherhood; and Stephanie Hollman and Travis announced their scholarship fund, which is amazing! I just wanted to start by complimenting and congratulating them for coming up with such a compassionate cause and following through! What the Hollman’s have accomplished are the same dreams I have for my company. I would love to be able to educate my employees’ children and contribute mightily to future generations. I am so happy they have been able to do this with their business and its success.
Okay, now back to the drama! While most of the group seemed to be moving forward, I felt stuck in the past. The crossroads I kept talking about was about sticking to my mother’s way of doing things and continuing to feel like a child, constantly in time-out; or, taking the road less travelled to start over. Leaving the umbrella of Ultimate Living and its protection in the form of insurance, lines of credit and a history of good business practices and bills paid on time, was weighing on me. I had no doubt that I could do all of this on my own, but my mother was adamant about the fact that I would have to leave Ultimate Living with nothing. All of the profit Hard Night Good Morning had made would stay with her, and I would begin again from zero; that meant gathering enough capital to pay my employees, fulfill purchase orders and lease an office space, not to mention a car for me and a personal minimal salary just to get by. If I had prepared for this exit, I would have not had a problem at all, but I didn’t see it coming…and when I did, I didn’t see it coming like this… ground zero.
The safety nets that come with being attached to my mom and her company are a huge bonus. It was a big pill to swallow, but a risk I was willing to take after 14 years of frustration. Of course, I was afraid that this lifestyle change would ostracize me from not only Dallas society, but my own group of friends as well. I have seen this happen time and time again in Dallas. In a state of oil barons, Texas has its share of feast or famine millionaires and I have seen many of my friends face scrutiny and isolation when they run out of funds to continue their opulent lifestyle. Even if people accepted me for who I was without money or my family support, I still wouldn’t be able to keep up with the lifestyle that we all have grown accustomed to, and people do notice and punish you for that in this town. I have had my share of fair-weather friends and I just wasn’t ready to deal with losing the support of the family business, and losing the support of people I thought were my friends.
I thought I could vent to my “best friend” about these concerns and fears, but instead of a hug, I got a lecture about being lazy! Everyone who has ever known me in my life knows I am anything BUT lazy. I constantly juggle my business, charity work and speaking engagements to help others. I travel internationally for Mercury One charity as their ambassador, and last year on about 4 hours of sleep per night in 10 days, I traveled through Iraq and Lebanon going to refugee camps and visiting with families and dignitaries to tell the stories of those who were captured and displaced by the ISIS war. During this time, I was also running a business from the trip, writing my blogs and keeping up with social media. LAZY?? That is the last term anyone would use to describe me. LeeAnne was hypocritical to say the least, not to mention that in the very next scene she is touting that she doesn’t care about how much her wedding will cost! I may have been born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but let me set something straight: I have given up that “princess lifestyle” before, and you can bet I WILL do it again.
When I was in my 20’s, I kissed my trust fund goodbye for over a decade to make it on my own. I lived in NYC and LA trying to make it as an actress, something my family did not approve of and would not support. So, I had to figure out how to survive without them. In order to afford the room that I rented, I cleaned people’s houses, I waited tables, worked as a cocktail waitress, and took temp jobs and odd jobs. I would do it all again in a heartbeat if it was between that and depending on someone else. MONEY DOES NOT DEFINE ME AND SHOULD NEVER DEFINE ANYONE! At the end of the day, I own my home, my car, and I will own this company and NO ONE can take those things away from me.
I will admit, some of that pride went out the window when I spoke with Cary Deuber. Her genuine concern at that moment really broke down some walls for me. It is a little humiliating to have to admit to others and myself that I haven’t always made wise choices in my spending. Everyone knows that hindsight is 20/20, but it’s still difficult not to look back and beat myself up when I think of what I COULD HAVE DONE to prepare for this. The saying “You can’t teach an old dog, new tricks” has some truth to it, and having to teach myself new spending habits at 49 years old is not going to be easy, but I have confidence in myself and I am a smart woman with a good business sense that I learned from watching both of my parents. I want to thank Cary for being so authentic with me that day. I needed a friend to tell me it was going to be okay, and she was that person for me when the one person I usually relied on was spreading rumors about something very personal in my life.
The fact that my best friend would spread a rumor that I only have $200 in my bank account is not only hurtful but also kind of funny. When someone has an insecurity, they will sometimes find that same weakness, even if temporary, in another person and focus on that. LeeAnne Locken uses that little trick quite often, but I never thought I would be on the receiving end. As Brandi said, she preys on other people’s weaknesses and strikes when they are down.
I knew I would end up confronting her head on at the smash party. As our instructor warned, the anger is bound to come out when you’re in a room smashing plates. Watching myself break down in front of the group was slightly embarrassing, as I have the Kim K "ugly cry" on lock, but it felt good to be that vulnerable. In the past, I have been so concerned with everyone else’s problems and helping them solve them, I forgot to focus on my own. My friends wrapping their arms around me, assuring me that none of them care if I come out of this as CEO, or if I don’t end up with two pennies to rub together was exactly what I needed to hear.
As for LeeAnne’s apology, I am very disappointed in her, to say the least. I really thought I would get more of a sincere apology, but it was all BULL. Hearing that someone who you have always counted on is talking about you and your problems behind your back is hurtful (pay attention to this sentence carefully as you will understand and appreciate it and me later). Listening to LeeAnne try to mask her manipulation and deceit as concern is just annoying. She was trying to enlist Cary to problem solve? Remember, Cary was her ARCH ENEMY last year!! That makes absolutely NO sense. What were they going to do, make a GoFundMe page? It was GOSSIP, plain and simple. Cary knew it, the rest of the group knew it, and walking away that day, I knew it, too. I forgave her because we have a long history together and in the past, I have always advocated for second chances.
I guess you will have to tune in next week to see how many more chances I am willing to give.