Category Archives: Uncategorized

Grief

I am totally not in a place where I should be writing or sharing anything…yet here I go.

Grief is fucking awful. It is messy beyond description and hits in ways so unexpected that they defy description. I am currently navigating one such wave.

And I do NOT want to feel this. Any of it. And yet, here it is and I cannot deny it. All of it is fucking awful.

Grief is not linear and it does not follow a pattern. It is messy as hell and writes its own rules….which I intensely dislike.

In addition to recent loss, I also recently learned of some less than stellar behavior by someone I used to know. So fucking fun.

I’ve been described as a very strong person and that always makes me laugh, because if people knew the truth of how it feels to navigate this shit….Fuck.

Grief comes in waves that are not ever predictable. Several washed over me today in very unexpected moments. I am ridiculously acquainted with grief and its behavior.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Grief”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

 

People That I Used To Know

I don’t even have words for what April and May seem to bring my way every year. It seems that every single year I’m left looking around wondering “what the fuck?”

This year has been no different and strongly involves people that I used to know. In some cases, death is involved. In other cases, re-connection has arisen unexpectedly. In all cases, I am stunned.

What makes this year’s spring season so different is the fact that we’re all quarantined and nothing is “normal.”

There are people that I intellectually understand I will never see again…but that awareness hasn’t sunk in to a visceral level yet. There are people that have surprisingly sweetly come back in to my life in some very unexpected ways.

I know quite a lot of people and meet more all of the time. It’s always interesting to witness people that I used to know both fall away, re-emerge, or transition to different levels of connection.

Maybe I’m getting a “little” better at allowing such transitions to take place. But I still have to say that grief is fucking brutal. It is awful and a process I wish I weren’t so intimately acquainted with in my own life.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “People That I Used To Know”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

New Memories

Having lived in the Charlotte area for nearly two decades, I have a lot of memories in a lot of locations. I continue to create new memories in spaces and places within this area.

Within the past few weeks, I have spent time and created new memories in an area of Fort Mill. One that isn’t close to where I live but that I can get to relatively easily. When a friend suggested the Kingsley neighborhood, I paused for a moment before saying yes to showing up. For reasons known only to me as to why I hesitated.

This friend and I spent quality time in this neighborhood and our most recent date included day drinking with each other while enjoying the spring weather.

It’s not a place where either of us live, but we intentionally create memories with one another in that place together. About a year ago some significant shifts happened in my life, impacting some very close relationships.

This year, even more shifts arrived and brought new waves of grief. Ones that I am learning to walk through and navigate. Not always easily, but as the best I know how to do in each moment.

Creating new memories in places is a bright spot within my daily schedule, and it’s one I look forward to when the opportunities arise. “Fuck” has been a complete sentence lately, and I’m only just beginning to allow myself to cry and feel the waves of grief. Sometimes, there are simply no words to express the depth of emotions. Creating new memories is healing, even when I have a complicated relationship with the place.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “New Memories”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

Finance Podcast Episodes

At least once a week I have absolutely brilliant conversations in collaboration on podcast episodes. Al and I just recorded another episode today, right after another episode aired yesterday.

It is so damn fun to listen to episodes once they air. I just show up and talk, in genuine conversation with podcast partners. I believe it comes through that these are all very real and authentic conversations.

This collaborative partnership showed up very unexpectedly almost a year ago and from the beginning, I had no expectations or attachment to outcomes. Which I think strengthens the bond that we have with one another.

Check out some of our recent conversations at: Confessions of a Financial Advisor Podcast

Al and I can talk with each other for hours at a time and these episodes are a glimpse into conversations we’ve been having for as long as we’ve been collaborating. In our off-air chat today we both noted that it feels as though we’ve known each other much longer than a year.

It was around this time last year that some unexpected endings in my life brought about conversations with men everywhere I go. I joked that last spring was the season of my meeting married men; that trend has only grown stronger in the past year.

When Al and I first met in person, he laughed when I shared my background of psychology. Put two psych majors together in conversation and watch the sparks fly; we go deep and go deep fast.

Especially now, I very much value our conversations and connection. We certainly touch on finance, but we also very much dig into the psychology and emotional aspects to behavior.

These podcast episodes are a window into the conversations we’ve been having since the very beginning. Our off-air talks include more cursing than our on-air ones do and they’re always healing for both of us. I so appreciate this connection and the value it brings to my life.

About a year ago, some previous relationships ended quite unexpectedly. At the time I couldn’t see it, but those endings opened floodgates of doors to new connections and relationships in all areas of my life. For that, I am immensely grateful.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Finance Podcast Episodes”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

Light and Shadow

Today is my birthday. And for yet another year, I find myself both crying and laughing. Life is indeed both beautiful and awfully brutal. I texted a friend asking whether I could perhaps have one birthday not affiliated with grief.

Some news arrived this morning and again this afternoon that threw me into yet another cycle of grief. As though the Universe has a really sick and twisted sense of humor, and would like to see how much of it I can hold.

Enough. I am very skilled and adept at navigating grief; even for me…this is a LOT to hold.

And at the same time, I had the chance to see my nieces, nephews, sisters, brother, and parents on video chats. Which brought me so much joy. I’ve also been texting with friends who are making me laugh.

Life is both light and shadow. It is  both darkness and light; at the same time. As much as today has been unexpectedly challenging, it has also been full of beautiful messages and laughter.

Living brings both intensely bitter and exquisitely sweet experiences. It is only up to each of us to navigate as best as we can. That’s the invitation: to feel all of it.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Light and Shadow”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

 

 

The Price of Integration

One of the writers that I follow on Instagram has a book that was just released today and in her IG live video this morning, she talked about the price of integration. Jen Hatmaker is the author of multiple books, most recently Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire. I have bought more books in the past year than ever before, but I choose to spend money very intentionally…and that includes supporting other writers.

While I am definitely not religious, I have no problem reading the work of those who are. Because I don’t get stuck on words. I am reading for the intent and message beneath the content. I bought a copy of Jen’s most recent book which is on its way to me now.

So, this morning, while listening to Jen have a conversation about the price of integration….I completely resonated. The price of integration is going to cost you people and connections.

It was right around this same time last year that some unexpected events removed some people and prior connections. Which left me crying on the kitchen floor the entire last weekend of April last year.

The price of coming even more deeply back to myself and integrating even more fully into myself: it was steep. But it’s one that in reflection, I am happy to have paid.

In so many conversations lately, it has come up how crazy it is that we didn’t even know one another a year ago. It turns out that paying the price of integrating more fully into myself cleared a lot of space for new connections to arrive.

Connections that are undeniably aligned with me in highly collaborative and creative ways. I am involved in such a wide variety of creative projects and relationships that did not exist a year ago. I could not have predicted any of these experiences. And I’m proud of myself for showing up for all of them.

It was absolutely awful to experience the loss of some prior identities last year. A year later…I can admit that it did indeed clear space for brilliant new partnerships and opportunities. Partnerships and relationships that I could never have imagined existing.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “The Price of Integration”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

Willingness to Communicate

In a twist that was very unexpected, the issue that I previously wrote about with regard to the city of Charlotte and yard waste was resolved quite peacefully. Thanks in large part to the communication skills of some city employees.

While I was absolutely furious at receiving the “violation” letter, this story ends with me having quite pleasant phone calls with two men who are city employees. I would have been an excellent litigator and am always ready to show up for a debate; I can use words quite effectively. My ex used to tell customer service reps that they really “don’t want me to put my wife on the phone with you.”

Anyhow, during this morning’s conversations, it was helpful that they were both willing to acknowledge that there has been a lack of effective communication from the city. As well as the absurdity of the times we are living in right now.

There is a tremendous amount of collective anger in the air (that I can feel), and it would have been very easy for me to tap into it and channel it toward people. Instead, I chose to be willing to have a conversation. Granted, I have flipped people off in multiple parking lots lately…could you all seriously get the hell out of my way?

Both men that I spoke with this morning were great communicators and one ended up chatting with me for quite a while. Both also shared the sentiment that “we’re doing the best we can.” At which point I leaned against my car, sighing, and internally recognizing: we all are.

It also helped tremendously that each was willing to express that they were as surprised as I was to witness the deep lack of congruence in messages being shared by the city right now.

I could have chosen to channel fury and anger at these humans, who are simply showing up and doing their jobs to the best of their ability. Both of them being willing to admit to not knowing, and feeling uncertain how to navigate current circumstances…made them much easier to relate to.

It also helps that both told me to leave the damn yard waste at the curb; which was my plan all along. I didn’t spend the time and energy to get it there just to remove it.

Effective communication is something that not all people navigate easily, and with challenging conversations it gets even harder to embrace. I can very much appreciate the fact that both of these men were willing to show up and communicate with a clearly upset woman. Both also acknowledged understanding and appreciation of the fact that I was upset.

We always have a choice as to how we show up in the world. I absolutely have moments of anger, rage, and fury. I also have moments where I choose to let that fall away and simply connect with another person; I’m certainly more proud of the moments when I choose connection, but real life is messy and I don’t always make that choice.

In my real estate experience, communication is the number one issue I point to as a challenge. I’ve co-brokered with exceptional communicators…and those who are not so skilled. My favorites have always been those who know how to show up and talk. Communication is essential to so much of human connection, and even with writing, the aspect of communicating is non-negotiable.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Willingness to Communicate”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

Bright Side of Technology

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I have a deep love/hate relationship when it comes to technology. As much as I am an introvert, I talk on the phone all the time. While also experiencing moments that I wish I could run away from the phone.

So it’s been interesting to witness the rest of the world catch on to the potential bright side of technology: connection. Several friends and I have had recent conversations noticing that the rest of the world has discovered that Zoom exists; we’ve been using it for years.

In the past year, I have talked and connected with more people around the world than ever before thanks to technology. I’ve received business from those connections, and I’ve hired people as a result of online connection. I ended Friday engaged in brilliant conversation with someone several states away from me.

Deleting Facebook and LinkedIn are still unequivocally some of the best decisions I made last year. But stepping into connecting with people via video chatting has been incredibly expansive; using technology that isn’t new at all.

In fact, it was a Zoom call that was instrumental in getting work out of my bedroom last summer. I did work from bed for several months, and I’m very willing to have written and verbal communication of mine posted online. I draw the line at video of me in bed, so just before a recording I pulled the laptop downstairs. I worked from bed while it was necessary but I appreciate having it back to personal space.

Most of my conversations and podcast recordings in the past week were with people located in other locations than the city where I live. There is expansiveness and brilliance in being able to connect with people via technology.

Still…it isn’t a substitute for being present in the same room with people. One of the podcasts recorded this week was with a lady I only knew online until January. We’d connected on Instagram and through a Disrupt Now Program podcast last summer.

The experience of finally meeting and being in a room with her in New Orleans was irreplaceable. Technology does have its benefits and can bring people around the world together virtually. But it still can’t replace the experience of being together with one another physically. Courtney Elmer and The EffortLESS Life are highly recommended.

I’m on Zoom calls all the time and talk with people literally around the world, as well as those several miles away. While we both enjoy being comfortable in our own spaces. There is tremendous value in that; but it still can’t replace the experience of being present with one another.

My complicated relationship with technology is likely to continue. It does have a bright and expansive side as well as a dark side of addiction and distraction. Ultimately it depends on how we choose to utilize it.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Bright Side of Technology”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

Fury

The city in which I live has had “mandatory” stay at home orders in effect for weeks now. Which also led them to choose to stop picking up yard waste.

So we are supposed to stay at home, which I’ve been doing. And I’ve turned to working in the yard and putting the debris at the curb. Knowing that eventually it will get picked up.

Then I get a property violation letter in the mail, complete with a picture some city employee took from across the street. Mess with a writer and push a Taurus far enough…we shove the fuck back.

@cltgov – Fuck Off. And how dare you?!?!?! To send me a violation letter for putting yard waste at the curb. The same yard waste you refuse to pick up. And to use my tax dollars to send some city employee to stalk and take pictures of my property? That is beyond creepy. Fuck the hell off.

All of this reeks of patriarchy, spying, and outright big brother surveillance. You spend resources sending me a “violation” letter while neighbors gather routinely to drink and socialize. Yet my yard waste is somehow worthy of a letter telling me that I am in “violation” at the expense of city resources.

Charlotte…it was your decision to stop collecting yard waste. Charlotte…you’ve told people to stay home, which I have. Charlotte…you are paying people to stalk and collect “evidence” about residents???? Fuck. Off. Charlotte…you have a significant violence issue: that might be a better choice to focus upon.

The world has absolutely lost its mind. And the city of Charlotte, NC clearly has as well. The patriarchal structures are indeed falling; I suppose that’s the silver lining.

The ultimate irony is that when I called the main city contact: there’s an automated message instructing residents to place yard waste at the curb in advance of a county-wide pick up in less than ten days. What the actual fuck Charlotte?

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Fury”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

Soul Mates – My Personal Opinion

This is a topic that has come up in a lot of conversations recently, and as with so much, I have some thoughts about it.

I personally do not buy into the fairy tale concept that there is one “soul mate” out there, and once you find that person, life just becomes magical. As someone who is happily divorced, I can tell you….we don’t always get it right when choosing a partner. Relationships of any kind include ups and downs; they are not always easy.

The term “soul connections” feels much more accurate to me, and there is ample evidence of it in my own life. While I don’t think anyone’s doing much dating at the moment, I’m still happily single but open to considering a romantic relationship; says the pretty solidly unromantic woman.

However, there are quite a few people in my life that I would classify as soul connections. People with whom there is an undeniable and very strong attraction. Some of these are professional connections, some are both professional and personal, others are just personal.

For me, the most critical (and accurate) indication of a soul connection is communication and conversation. Every person that I’d classify as a soul connection is someone who has shown up and not just matched me in communication, but challenged and expanded our connection through conversation.

These are people who show up, and don’t just match me; they are willing to debate and share differing opinions. Each one is a significant factor in my own personal growth…and I love that.

I’ve learned a lot about my preferences when it comes to dating, and communication is one of my biggest complaints when it comes to the experience of dating. So many men are unable, or unwilling, to show up and have a conversation.

I have so much deep appreciation for the people in my life that are soul-level connections; I adore our conversations. With regard to dating, I have a lot of criteria but communication is one of the most meaningful. Though I won’t negotiate on height or several other factors.

If I ever choose to be in a relationship again, it will need to match this type of soul level connection. It would need to be someone willing to show up and not just engage in conversation with me, but one willing to challenge and debate; to make me consider different perspectives.

At this point, I just don’t care how few men may match all of my personal criteria for a partner. There is ample evidence in other areas of my life that such soul connections exist, and that they can arrive in my life in some of the most unexpected ways.

So while I don’t believe in the idea of a single soul mate, I do very much believe that there are soul level connections available; it is always our choice whether to embrace and recognize them when they arrive. It also does not mean that they remain in our lives forever, and sometimes that’s an even more challenging awareness to embrace.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Soul Mates – My Personal Opinion”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression