So long summer, Hello Fabulous Fall!

Don’t know about you but I LOVE fall. I love the newness that it brings as summer winds itself down into a slower, more meaningfull pace. I love the cooling of the days and the crispness of the air. I love the transformation that I always undergo, whether it’s going back to school or starting a new adventure.
And while I have dedicated 20+ years of my life to going back to school, I am finally comfortable with the need to delight in the education I have, and leave it at that. I mean, let’s face it: a law degree is good enough for me.
And while I say good-bye to my academic yearnings, I say hello to my new adventures. But with any new adventure, I have to be in the right “zone”. For me, my new “zone” is my newly redecorated study and desk.
What was once a well-loved armoir, I picked this piece up at a second-hand store and converted it to my desk.
This is the desk where I earned my law degree with countless hours spent studying during the four years I attended law school. (Four years since I went to school part-time while working full-time and tending to my ailing grandmother).
With life’s chaotic circumstances prevailing my thoughts and time when I started law school, I never had time to make my desk my own. Sure, it was adorned with pictures of Boris (my cat) and other things that make me smile, but it never had the right “feel”.
And as my life is metamorphosizing into something newly different, I figured it was time to finally make this desk what I had always imagined it to be-a calming sanctuary in which I can dream, create, and write.
So, viola, I introduce my inner sanctum to the world. Not for the purpose of seeking praise, but rather for the purpose of showing you the epicenter from which the “new and improved Leslie” will launch.
So, here’s to out with the old and in with the new. Here’s to welcoming another fall with the newness that it will bring. And here’s to saying good-bye to experiences that brought me where I am today.
And as the saying goes,
“Just when the catepillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”
Fly, butterfly, fly.

Would it be too forthright to just say that I love the reporter who wrote this piece? Shortly after a local news station ran a story about me being a fashion guru to women with limb loss, I got a call from a reporter at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
He said: “So, I see that Fox 9 News did a nice piece on you”.
I replied: “Why yes, thank you, they did”. (All the while recalling how awkward the interview had been).
He said: “We want to know you. And we want to tell more of your story. Are you interested?”
To which I said: “Yes. Hell yes!” Okay, maybe I refrained from the latter.
Days later, we sat in my living room on a sunny Friday morning. Me on the sofa. He on the beige chair across from me. And with the steno pad in hand, he said, “We all felt like we wanted to help when we heard about Boston and the people who were hurt from the bombings. We didn’t know how to help but you did. How did you do that?”
Laughing I said, “I’m persistent. I don’t take no for answers and when the doors started to open, I diplomatically got in the doors. Not for the notoriety but rather, because I’ve been the one in the headlines. I’ve been the news story and I know what it’s like to have everyone asking me questions the answers to which I am clueless.”
The interview was easy. The tone was light. And within moments, the reporter saw that my message is real and my
Motive is altruistic. He saw me. And that’s what he wrote.

Travel. New adventures. Friends: new and old. Unguarded laughter. Risks. Joy. Learning life lessons. Accepting fate. Spontaneity. New perceptions. Free expectations. Starting & finishing tasks. Smiling. Boris. Making change. Being present. Being intentional. Opening my eyes and seeing things in a new light. Confirming beliefs. Affirming convictions. Practicing gratitude. A posse ad esse. Living a life without limits. Standing up for what is right. Thinking outside the box. Leaving the familiar. Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Making lists-checking them twice. Committing to change. Helping others. Buying a domain. Filing copyright. Writing things down. Being realistic. Saying “no”. Exploring options. Trying new languages. Creating a nom de plume Launching & writing an article. Being the change that I want to be. Dwelling in the opportunities. Admitting defeat. Shine, rock, sparkle. Being vulnerable. Pink Moleskin journals. Drawing lines in the sand. Being forthright. Being honest. Starting to be myself. This is what 2012 meant to me.

I was asked to contribute an entry to a friend’s birthday book so as to impart some of my life’s lesson to him.  In light of the recent tragedy and of life’s uncertainty, I hope it has universal applicability.  And here it goes…..

My words of wisdom to you are: live life fully. Live every minute like it’s your last so that you cherish the moment and the lesson that comes from it. Live life fully so that you have no regrets; you’ve left no stone unturned; and you’ve appreciated all that you have been given.

Go to bed each night knowing that you’ve given the best that is you and that you’ve imparted knowledge on someone or that you’ve lent a helping hand. Know that people matter more than possessions and each person comes into your life for a reason. Know that differences between people forge stronger bonds and allow us to appreciate that which makes us unique and that which makes us different.

But beyond living life fully, love fully. Love yourself. Love your family. Love your friends. And love your life. Surround yourself by positive and loving people so that you are filled with such a positive force that can (and will) sustain any and all trials and tribulations. Love each day that you have and bring it forward to the next, even when it’s hard to do.

And finally, do. Do what makes you happy. Do what makes others happy. Do what is right for you and for your family. Do good in the world. Do good with unsolicited expectation. And always do the right thing. And so it is.