About bethfosborne

I've been writing since I was five. It's something I do every day. My life hasn't turned out as expected but that doesn't mean it can't be wonderful. I'm here to write about my life, my craft (marketing) and things that interest me. I write for myself, but I also hope that the words I share may inspire or help others. Thanks for visiting!

Heading West

I’m not really sure where home is or if it even exists for me. It’s a feeling, not a place. Places have too much darkness, too many cobwebs that keep you attached. And I’ve never wanted to be attached to many things.

But today marks a new journey. I say goodbye to a city, I’ve mostly felt indifference to. Charlotte is a fine place to live. What I’ll remember most has nothing to do with buildings or skylines. Rather I’ll remember the moments I spent with others, that were sometimes wonderful, sometimes devastating.

It’s not like I won’t be back. We have roots and family there. It’s not goodbye, just see you later. When we drove by the skyline this morning, I didn’t feel sad to leave. I felt like it was time.

But moving across the country has me equally excited and terrified. Sometimes you have to take a chance, but it’s not that easy. Just getting to this point of setting off has taken months of long days and nights. Sleep has been a luxury.

Here we are rolling down Interstate 40 with two dogs and a cat in a caravan of adventure. And I’m still half elated, half scared. I’m only human. I can’t be brave in every situation.

And, now the question, we’ve been asked every time, “Why Vegas?”

“Why not,” we say.

Part of it goes back to many years ago when I needed to make some kind of new tradition and ended up in Vegas on Christmas.

Vegas is bright and in your face, which is somewhat the opposite of me. But, you know what, there’s a lot beyond the 4.2 mile strip.

Even though, it’s one of the most visited cities in the world, the population is over 200,000 less than Charlotte. So, we are actually moving to a smaller city.

When we made the decision, it came down to several things, and it wasn’t our first choice. But it’s west—only hours from a bestie!

Plus, Real estate is affordable, there’s no state income, and we will have access to amazing shows, concerts, and food. Yes, it’s hot. But it’s hot in Charlotte. I’ll take the dry heat. First and foremost because my hair looks fantastic in dry versus the Medusa strands humidity creates.

I have no idea if Vegas will feel like home. I’m willing to give it a shot. No matter what, I’m glad now is when I decided to head west because I’m right next to the best thing that living in Charlotte gave to me. He’s an awesome partner to have the on this journey.

Stay posted for a new series of posts about what it’s really like to live in Vegas.

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Are You Kind to Yourself?

As a woman, it can be very hard to answer yes to this question. We pick over every part of our appearance, every decision we make, every mistake we commit. It’s not an easy audience. And the negativity that goes on in my head every day is hurtful. It’s even physically detrimental. Research shows that the flight or fight response happens not only by exterior stressers but also internal.

As much as I like to believe I’m emotionally healthy, I’m not very nice to myself. I’m disgusted by what I see in the mirror. I cut myself no slack. I’ve had a hate/hate relationship with my body forever. But I’ve learned it goes farther than a bad self image. My therapist asked me to talk about my relationship with my body and where the disconnect is. It started from a young age. Some people who held prominent roles in my development were hyper critical. My mom wasn’t this way, at least not about my physical appearance,and I don’t recall that she ever said negative things about her looks. But my feelings go beyond being teased or belittled. My body didn’t feel mine. Because it was violated time and time again. I was sexually abused as a child and sexually assaulted as a teenager and woman. I gave no value to my body. It had already been taken away. On top of all this, my body has been sliced open multiple times. I still don’t want to look at my scars. They are physical and emotional. Skin heals. Hearts don’t.

So why in the world would I ever be okay with my body? Usually, I’d just try to “fix” it. Because I can project manage my way out of anything! Except I can’t. I’d love to be a comfort to myself instead of thorn. I just don’t know if I ever learned how to care for myself in this way.

However, it’s not just my body that gets the abuse. It’s everything. The dialogue in my head is that I haven’t accomplished enough. I’m not successful enough. I don’t work hard enough. Enough enough enough.

Nobody pushes me like I push me. I will say that my mom pushed. She saw potential in me to be something. How many four year olds talk about college? I did. My worth for so long has been tied to my academic and professional success. Those were things I could control somewhat. And so I’ve been micromanaging myself for some time. And I’m no fun to work for. I’m demanding and ridiculous. But there’s no way I could work any more than I already do. I’m at 16 hour days writing 5,000 to 7,000 words a day. I do have to sleep.

At the end of the day, I’d really like to be kinder. I don’t think I’m an a**hole or anything. I think I’m a decent person. I’m a productive person that pays taxes and mostly obeys the law. I don’t hurt others or animals. I try to have compassion. Just not for myself. I still think I should be a tough shell that allows little in; because if I’ve in any way shared my life with you then you’re in. But that circle is small. And shall remain this way.

In fact, I want to challenge myself to be my own friend. I want to exercise my heart and mind, and work on my emotional health. This is something neglected and even shameful. Why? Why can’t we embrace that our emotional health is just as important as the physical? We should stop relegating emotional well-being to the shadows. Bring it into the light. In the end, we get one chance at every day, shouldn’t we live it with honesty and humility? Being kind isn’t just something we should extend outwardly. It should live inside our own skin and thoughts.

So, lets all try to be kinder to ourselves and each other.

What I Learned from 2017

It’s been a rough year, although I realize how blessed I am to have the life I do. I don’t have complaints about what the year has brought. It’s just been hard for many reasons. There have been lots of emotions and new experiences. Some relationships got stronger; others need some TLC. I can’t change anything that happened in 2017 so I have to live with and learn from every decision, choice and action. So, here’s what I learned about life and myself in 2017.

You have to nurture relationships, even the ones you’ve had your entire life. You can take for granted what’s always been there. Every relationship takes work. Relationships do change. I’m further apart from others now than I was 10 years ago, while other old relationships have been renewed and made stronger. Whether you are 10 miles or 1,000 miles apart, you have to put the effort in, or then suddenly people just become somebody you used to know. My list of relationships that matter isn’t very long. I’ve considered myself a failure at relationships most of my life. I attribute most of this to fear, not being uncaring. When you’ve lost a lot, it’s hard to think anyone will stick around. I’m going to try harder to reach out, not retreat, as that’s been my MO for far too long.

20 years is a long time. It’s two decades. It’s long enough to have completely changed or evolved. My mom’s been gone for 20 years. So, I should be all healed up, right? No, the distance between the loss and the present doesn’t matter. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. Everything doesn’t happen for a reason. Really horrible things happen to people all the time. There’s nothing that will ever make it okay. In two decades, I’ve forgotten a lot, and I hate it. I hate that it’s hard for me to remember how she sounded or what her hugs felt like. That’s what 20 years does; it eats away memories and moments you want to hold onto.

We have to move. Not just from our condo but out of this city. I don’t dislike Charlotte. It’s fine. It’s got what most major cities have, but it has never felt like home. And, it never will. I’ve been trying to get to the West coast for over 10 years. I just need a few things to happen, and we can go. I like to wander. I’m not lost. I’ve lived in my current home for over four years. That’s longer than I lived anywhere since leaving the home I grew up in. Yes, it’s time to go. We hope you’ll visit us because we’re going to move somewhere you’d actually want to go.

I really like my husband. I already knew this, but it was confirmed. I say this because it’s important to like your significant other, not just love him/her. He really is my best friend. We can have fun anywhere. He’s so funny and kind. I’m so glad I still like him, and I guess he still likes me, too.

Deserving happiness is different than finding it. I’ve had many people tell me I deserved to be happy. Am I deserving because I’m out there doing good in the world? Do I deserve it because I’ve had a lot of pain? To say I deserve something without knowing if I’ve worked for it seems hollow to me. I don’t deserve happiness any more or less than others. What matters is if I think I deserve it, and if I’ve got the guts to find it. Happiness isn’t at the end of rainbows. It doesn’t happen if you win the lottery. It’s not what comes after you’ve crossed off all your “happy list” items. Happiness is not constant but also not fleeting. I don’t get to choose my happy days, and I also can’t snap my fingers and get happy.

If you’re going to put everything into a brand, it should probably be your own. I’ve worked for years helping other brands grow and telling their stories. I’ve had a lot of success and become a better writer and marketer for it. But I also realized that the harder I work for someone else’s brand has little correlation to being recognized or trusted. I, honestly, don’t know how much more I can do to get a seat at the table. I know I deserve it. So, if others don’t then that’s their loss.

Big brands just don’t get marketing (most of the time). There are exceptions. In my experience, the bigger the brand, the more bloated the ideas. If I could say one thing to CEO, CMOs and all the leaders, stop marketing to yourself. You are not your audience. Your personal preferences should have zip to do with marketing. Instead, look at your data and understand your customer. Until leaders can do this, these brands will continue to lose market share and fans. If you’re not disrupting your industry with logic and creativity then you’re dying.

I should trust my gut more. I’ve been a freelancer for over a decade. I’ve worked with some great people and brands. I had never really had any nightmare clients. Well 2017 changed all that. I had several horrible experiences where I should have listened to my gut. When someone comes on too strong and sounds like an evangelist, this is a red flag. If someone hires you for your expertise then disagrees with whatever you say, then they obviously don’t need you. Don’t keep going back for more. And when someone doesn’t value your time, they don’t value you. I had a call with a prospective client, wherein I had sent her specific questions to facilitate the conversation. When I called her at the agreed upon time, she was out shopping. I asked if it was still a good time, and she said yes. She hadn’t looked at the questions, and I could barely hear her. She wasn’t taking me seriously, and I should have ended the conversation and the relationship then. In 2018, I will not chase any work like this. I’m going with a strict zero tolerance rule on people being flaky, rude, belligerent, arrogant or petty.

I have a great belief in the power of learning and growing. I’m a bit disheartened by the fact that there still is much hate, indifference and ignorance in this world. That means so many aren’t learning or growing. They are devolving instead of evolving. No matter what level you are at in living a “healthy, normal” life, heed this advice. Be bold. Be you. Be hopeful.

I’ve Lost My Hearing, So It’s Time to Lose the Ego

I have no idea what I’ve agreed to the past few years. If you’ve whispered something to me, or we’ve been somewhere with a lot of background noise, there’s a 97% chance that I didn’t hear you. And while I will say pardon or what was that to clarify; twice is my limit. Then I just nod. It’s embarrassing and isolating. It makes me feel old and broken.

But I finally went to the ear doctor. I’m facing up to the fact that not hearing is impacting my life. I can easily turn on closed captioning on TV. But that doesn’t exist in the real world. And my lip reading skills aren’t great.

So, I took a hearing test. And failed hard. I already knew that I had some hearing damage. But to be told it’s significant in both ears is not the best news. On top of not being able to hear, I have regular ear pain and vertigo. There’s constant popping and ringing as well. My ears rank the lowest of any of my existing organs. The type of hearing loss I have is nerve damage. It’s not reversible and will only continue to worsen.

I go to the doctor quite a bit. So a diagnosis that’s not what I hoped for isn’t new. At least they don’t make you get on the scale.

So, yes I need a hearing aid, or rather two. But I also may have other ear issues. I’ll be having more tests on the inner ear to see if there’s a problem. Because apparently, my ears look excellent. “Best ears I’ve seen today,” the doctor said. But it’s only 10 AM so not sure this will stand. Also, lots of love to all the medical professionals I saw that kept telling me I’m so young.

Then I get the pleasure of discussing hearing aids. I shouldn’t be embarrassed. Not hearing means I’m missing out on life experiences. I’m more concerned about that. Besides, they are so small, they’re very hard to see.

I will just choose to embrace and accept the fact I have hearing loss. I’ve faced much worse diagnoses than this. I’ve been sliced and diced so what can be so bad about a little wire in my ear.

I’ll just consider this another one of my superpowers (if you do didn’t know I have a super palette aka as I’m picky), and I’ll have bionic ears.

Next week, I’ll return to choose the right device. It will depend somewhat on my insurance. Because hearing aids aren’t cheap. The new models even connect to your iPhone. They are just another tiny computer.

Hopefully I’ll be back in the land of the hearing soon. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Why Did You Park There?

Why did you park there-

Thoughts on what it means to be decent

I’d never call myself a rule follower. I’m creative and a dreamer so I don’t care for boundaries. But I do have an unfaltering desire to be decent. I don’t won’t to infringe on the rights of others. You’d think we’d all be in agreement with this. But it’s not so, on either the micro or macro level. Instead, we have a world of people who invade your personal space, tell you what to do with your body, and yes, park wherever they please.

I, like many, live in a community with assigned parking. While I get the occasional inconsiderate driver parked in my spot, I’m left baffled more by those who park in no parking zones. They park in fire lanes or areas where it makes it hard for others to get out. I honestly want to go up to those people, and ask them why they parked there. It’s not that every other space was taken, that’s not the problem. The problem seems to be that they think the rules don’t apply to them. They’ll park where ever they want. Drive how they want. Act like they want. And say what they want. And most of the time, there aren’t any consequences.

How did we as humans, the most advanced of all Earth’s creatures, end up so unaccountable? Every day, I witness adults doing whatever they want, including hurting and disrespecting others, with zero consequences. This is only going to end badly. As the “leaders” of the animal kingdom, aren’t we somehow supposed to be better than this?

So, it’s as good a time as any to start taking responsibility. Own your actions. Stop encroaching on others. Call others out who are making the world a less civil place. Don’t shove your beliefs down others’ throats. Get right with yourself. When you become emotionally healthy, you’ll find you have no desire to tear down others. Because isn’t that the ugly truth about human behavior? Most of those who want to condemn others or believe the rules just don’t apply to them, are just emotionally unavailable and impaired. So while they often present themselves to the world like a proud bird, they’re really sad and broken and insecure.

Do yourself and your fellow humans a favor, and get some therapy. I highly recommend it. Facing your truths, gives you the best shot at some kind of happy.

I’ve been known to say, only slightly in jest, that I don’t like people. I do like some of you (you know who you are). But honestly, I like you all enough to not object to, harm, inconvenience or hurt you. Your life is not my business. And mine isn’t yours. You can count on me, every day of the week, trying to be decent, which means I’ll park where I’m supposed to.

Turbulence Let’s Me Know I’m Alive


And other crazy things we tell ourselves in a modern world 

I would classify myself as a seasoned traveler. I’ve flown probably thousands of miles in my life, including a 15 hour flight to Australia and two trips across the Atlantic to Europe. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have anxiety about turbulence. On a recent cross country trip, we experienced bad turbulence going and returning. I was with one of my besties who hadn’t flown in years, but I didn’t act cool about it. I was scared. All these irrational things run through your head: like have I lived a good life, have I written everything I wanted to write, have I taken chances?

So, with all these questions running through my head and my hands gripping the seat, I realized that turbulence does let me know I’m alive. 

It’s a bit of a crazy conclusion. That doesn’t make it any less true. We tell ourselves all kinds of crazy things in the modern world. Most aren’t truthful. Much of what we tell ourselves is rationale for what we did or didn’t do. Often, in moments or situations where we are scared or see finality, only then are we honest. But why? Why does this act as a catalyst for us to get our shit together. Does almost dying, make us feel more alive?

I’m on a mission to do shit that scares me. I want no part of the comfort zone. As a writer and liver of a believable life, there are still subjects I am afraid to write about. They are very personal and aren’t the kind of things that go down smoothly. Yet, these things are important. They made me who I am. They are part of my story. It doesn’t matter that they are the part of my story’s fabric that are sharp and cut easily. These “sharp” bits of life experience are often what makes us compassionate, empathetic and human. 

While turbulence is terribly uncomfortable and scary, so is life at times. You can either buckle up and expect constant bumps or stand outside, always looking in at the world, as if it were a TV show. I refuse to be a bystander in my own life. 

I won’t let the bad stuff keep me from the good stuff in life. It did for awhile. I made all kinds of mistakes like marrying a man I didn’t love and pushing away people that mattered. But I own them as mistakes. I don’t pretend that they didn’t happen. But back then I didn’t feel turbulence. I didn’t feel anything, happy or sad. 

So, today right now, I’m grateful to say, “Turbulence lets me know I’m alive.”

Why I Stopped Asking My Husband to Plan Things

why i stopped asking my husband to plan things

First, I’d like say that my husband is basically a saint. Sometimes, I can be a bit out of handful so he deserves a lot of credit. And he has many wonderful qualities. He is kind and patient. Rarely is he ever in bad mood. He’s great at accepting things or people as they are. His honesty and integrity are something I’d never question. But he’s not a planner.

Most men aren’t the planners. Women are typically the ones that plan events, vacations and celebrations. Maybe it’s in our DNA. Maybe we’re just better at the details. Yet, most of us still long for our partners to surprise us with something they’ve planned. And then, we get disappointed when it doesn’t happen. That disappointment feeds a cycle of negative thinking. We think we aren’t loved or appreciated. We feel as though it’s our own fault.

The truth is that many men were never really taught how to be planners. This may be because their mothers did everything for them (as someone who was once married to a momma’s boy, I can attest to this truth), or they just didn’t have a role model who expressed this characteristic.

Communicating what you need is okay. Just don’t expect anything to change. I’ve communicated to my husband on several occasions that I wanted him to plan something. He has tried with limited success. I asked him to plan dinner for my birthday this year. I reminded him several times in the weeks before. He’s well aware of what I eat and what I don’t, considering we eat most meals together. So a few days before my birthday, I asked where we were going. He made a reservation at a steakhouse. I don’t eat red meat. Even worse, it was a chain. And I hate chain restaurants, even the fancy ones. My response to his choice was that it sounded more like somewhere he’d want to go. So he cancelled the reservations, and I made a new one at an Italian eatery. The moral of the story is either I should just make the plans myself or be very specific in my requests.

But I don’t think I’m going to ask him to plan anything, maybe not ever again. I don’t want him to feel pressured or stressed that I’m not going to be satisfied. I am rather picky about a lot of things. I don’t think I’m necessarily hard to please, but my standards are high. And he meets my standards in most every other way. So instead of feeling disappointed when he doesn’t deliver what I want, I’ll just take on the planning myself. It stops the cycle of disappointment and hurt feelings.

I accept him as he is, and he’s a man who can’t plan. I extensively plan our trips with spreadsheets. I’m not a complete a**hole or anything. I just like to be detailed about what to expect and how we want to spend our time. I didn’t print out detailed agendas for our European trip this year. I called it a “loose” itinerary. I did ask for his feedback and made sure we visited places of interest to him.

I believe that most of the time, we make decisions together. We’re a team. Some things he is better at – cooking, home improvement and basically anything involving a tool. I’m better at managing the finances, grocery shopping and planning. We can only hope that when we find love, we bring to the relationship our abilities and that there is a balance. We absolutely balance each other out in most every way.

So to every woman out there who wishes their partner would plan some magical weekend away or other fairy tale, stop driving yourself crazy. It’s probably never going to happen. If it actually does, it won’t be like the movies. It will not be perfect. Accept your mate as he is; don’t put any pressure on the relationship for misconceptions about what a man or a woman should do. Just let it go. If you want to do something, plan it yourself. It will lead to many more happy years as opposed to building resentments.