I don’t know how long I’ve got or Who put me here but I know I have Shit To Do

Paula Howley

This is gonna be SO good!

And this is one of the places I’m going to do it!  Welcome fellow human beings, to the home of my heart, the only place where I’m completely and honestly brave, my writing.  Many people know me as a public speaker and that involves a good amount of writing but not the kind of freeing existential writing that keeps my brain sane.

My last public blog was a little experiment I did called A Year in the Life of a Toastmaster.  I decided to put everything I had into going for and winning the 2013 World Championship of Public Speaking.   Guess what?  I DIDN’T WIN!

Paula Howley

Always a bridesmaid

What DID happen, however, was that year long process showed me possibilities that I hadn’t even considered before it.  It grew me in a profound way.

At the end of it, I understood that even though my dad couldn’t say “I Love You” actions pretty much speak louder than words.  Even if you’re a dick most of the time.

I understood that it’s ok to ask for the things you want in life and in fact, if you don’t do it, what’s the fucking point?

I understood that jealousy could be overcome and could even turn into a deep and meaningful friendship.

So really, that journey has not stopped.  Although public speaking is a still a big part of my life (I teach it to kids), I don’t really care about the big prize anymore.  Life IS the big prize and I am trying to squeeze every bit of it that I can ( which is why I can’t seem to go to bed any earlier than midnight no matter HOW HARD I TRY!!!!).

There are so many amazing people who have shared their wisdom, their love and their awesomeness with me and I am, little by little integrating my version of their awesomeness into my heart and mind. There are also quite a few exquisite assholes who have taught me ‘hard-way lessons’, myself included.  So, little by little, hopefully before I’m dead, I’m pushing out the chicken who’s been squatting there for WAY too long.

Honest conversation.  Or what’s the effin’ point?

What I want to do here is open things up for honest, and sometimes scary conversation.  I’d like to talk with you about life, fear and hope, God, power, stripping (where’d that come from?), relationships, and how we present ourselves to the public.  And how we can strip off those masks we wear and be as real as we dare.  (See what I did there?)  And I’ll tell you, if there’s one thing I’m good at (and it may be the one thing I’m great at) it’s being honest.

And just so things don’t get too heavy, I’m also happy to talk about other things like baseball and chocolate as it relates to the afterlife.

Many people know me not just as a public speaker but as this bold and brave redheaded chick.  While the redhead and even the bold part may be true, what is also true is that I’m an everyday chickenshit trying to relate to my fears and find a way to live and work with them.  Work through them.

Current Existential Crisis

Currently, I am trying to reconcile my past with my present and my future.  My past involves being an exotic dancer for 15 years and alcoholism.  It also involves being an evangelical Christian.  (Not kidding.)  My present is writing a book about my former life in the sex trade and how I and some other women have gotten out of it and moved into civilian life.

My present also involves teaching young people how to deal with their fears of WHAT EVERYONE ELSE THINKS OF THEM so they can use their voice to speak their truth.  Thinking that somehow those two present things have a shot at gelling.  It’s a social experiment!  Woo hoo!  So, we shall see.

My future?  Well, I know that I’m getting better at breathing and I’m drinking more water.  I’m trying to give my daughter good life lessons by living them and on occasion, I get a teeny bit braver.   I pledge to live deliberately, and to try and live with gratitude and to teach my daughter to do the same.

So on that note, I will exit today with gratitude.

I feel very grateful for the big bang and also that my particular sperm and egg cell met for drinks.  I think it was a good match.  I am grateful for my consciousness and my shot here on the planet.

Paula Howley

no shots were consumed during the making of this human

I’m also very grateful for YOUR time, and YOUR thoughts and that YOUR egg and sperm dug each other too.  Let’s dance.

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2 comments on “I don’t know how long I’ve got or Who put me here but I know I have Shit To Do”

  1. jane Reply

    Looking forward to reading your book! How is the writing going? Do you have structured times to write, or do you just go with the flow?

    • Paula Howley Reply

      I started the project last fall and just worked really hard at making time for it. I have lots more to go though and I hired a coach for it. We start next Monday and I’ve pledged to just DO THE WORK for 69 days straight- hopefully will be in such a groove by then I’ll just keep going. Going to write probably while my girl does her hour of daily reading. I find going with the flow results in ever shrinking trickles. lol

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