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Three Mice, A Fat Lip & A Dog Attack

When Everything Goes Wrong For The Best Reasons

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a proper vacation. Since I met my husband, we’ve had one week in more than three years that neither of us worked. And even that was only because we went to a place there wasn’t wifi or cell service to do so.

When we booked this trip, we did it out of desperation. Dan, my husband, is also an entrepreneur. He has been working really hard for the last 6 months – staying busy 7 days a week. We live in 550 square feet together but rarely get solid quality time.

With the hurricane that is the pandemic, we had both been working our faces off trying to keep everything afloat for ourselves and our clients, much like everyone we know. I have been trying to write a book proposal for months, but without a break from every other distraction, it just wasn’t happening. A getaway would help us both reconnect with each other AND give us the space for some creativity. 

One night, I took a look at our schedules and told Dan that we were going to the beach. It was a stretch since he would be getting back from a really busy client summit and I would be doing the last minute prep for my speaking retreat, but we had to do it.

Weeks later, as soon as Dan got back from his exhausting trip, we left early. It was an easy 10-hour drive, so we were ready for an easy vacation. We were SO excited to arrive at our Airbnb – except that we walked in with an uneasy feeling. It was the beginning of a 10-day relaxing getaway and something seemed off. The apartment looked like the pictures, but to a carpenter’s daughter, it looked like a thrown together renovation. And things started to all apart from there.

The host mentioned last minute that the ozone machine was running because there was a funky smell. It wasn’t long before we found out where the smell had originally been coming from that would need an ozone machine to clear out.

After getting back from dinner and getting ready for bed – SNAP! We heard the first mouse die.

NOT my favorite sound.

My husband got rid of the death trap and the dying mouse in it. I’d lived in DC so mice weren’t a new thing for me. It just wasn’t what I hoped for on a vacation.

When we first walked through the apartment, I had commented on how the dresser in our room seemed to be ill-placed and said that I’d probably hurt myself on it. Just a few hours later, I’d end up bashing my mouth on the corner of it picking up my dog in the dark. Thankfully, I only cut my lip – and don’t some women get injections to have fatter upper lips? Maybe it’s a sign.

We sat there in bed that night talking about how we should start searching for new places to stay – not realizing that it would get worse quickly. I went to sleep dreaming of a balcony overlooking the beach.

The following morning, we found another mouse rotting in the closet – which you’d think would be the worst of it. But, no. My walk on the beach was the end of it.

I grabbed my coffee and Griffin’s leash heading the two blocks to the nearby beach. This beach didn’t feel like the one I remembered from previous trips to Virginia Beach. It was situated in a neighborhood and was much smaller than the Virginia Beach I remembered. Griffin kept pulling me back and I remember thinking that I should take him home and go on my own. But I didn’t.

As we turned to walk the other direction, I saw a woman playing fetch with her dog. As we got closer, she pulled him in and put him on his leash. Griffin took a wide turn and gave the dog a lot of space. Until the leash buckle snapped and the dog realized he was loose. He went straight for Griffin time and time again – grabbing him with his whole mouth and pushing him down. I kept hearing Griffin scream.

By the time his owner got a hold of him, she was apologizing profusely saying that the leash snapped. She looked terrified. Griffin was already halfway down the beach headed for home. I was shaking and scared to death that he was hurt.

By the time I got Griffin back to the house, I was done. The overwhelming feeling of dread kept hitting me and I knew we had to go somewhere else. There was NO way I would be writing my book proposal here at this place. My sweet husband couldn’t have agreed more.

As we packed up & negotiated a full refund with the host, we found a third dead mouse under the second bed and searched harder for a pet-friendly place with a kitchen. Everything we found was old, gross, and had bad reviews. We started giving up on being able to find something.

Just as we had everything packed into the car feeling like homeless vacationers, we found it. A new hotel on the real Virginia Beach with a balcony and everything we needed – and Griffin would love it.

When we arrived at 11am – expecting to have to wait hours to check-in, we got word that our room was already ready AND it was a top floor room – 20 floors up. Even in the cloudy light, it was so full of light with a natural white noise machine just outside our window – THE OCEAN. BLISS!

As we settled in, I hopped on a quick call with a dear friend. We were going to talk about the headline of her new website. I had seen her post about it and the words on the page didn’t match her branded voice. I felt the need to help. What I didn’t realize was that I was really calling HER for help. 

I explained what had happened over the previous 16 hours and before even saying a word about her website, she started breaking down all the pieces of what we had just gone through.

You see, Georgette Star is a healer. She’s the human who has been gifted the ability to see into humans and find where their pain really begins so they can become their authentic selves – and she was JUST the person I needed to clear out the bad energy from the beginning of this trip.

Not to oversimplify it, but quick breakdown of it is this:

  • The mice were there to help us get a full refund to find the place we were meant to be here at the beach. We wouldn’t have found it if we hadn’t booked the trip originally – because I never book hotels unless I’m speaking.
  • I noticed that the dresser was in a bad place and even commented on it, yet I didn’t move it. I need to start noticing when I feel those things and DO something with what I notice.
  • When I bashed my mouth on the edge of that dresser, it pulled up a deep memory of when I fell on my chin at age 5. It made me feel like I had something to say but I couldn’t say any of it because I didn’t have the words.
  • When Griffin was getting attacked, I felt like I had no control and couldn’t save him.

In the end, I found that I was holding all of my fear about this book in my hips – and it was holding me back from saying what I needed to say. Things had to be done to get me to settle in and say it. From the mice to bashing my mouth to the dog attack – I felt all of the feelings before they happened, but wasn’t listening to what my body was telling me.

What’s even crazier is that I was helping Georgette say what SHE did – and after she helped me figure out where I was stuck, I figured out exactly what she did – in her own words. “Your Journey Of Release – shifting you from your conditioned self to your authentic self.”

My shitty first day of vacation turned into a series of unfortunate events that led me to right where I’m supposed to be. Next to Mother Ocean with all the light and sound I needed to help a healer find her own words by helping me find my own inner power.

The best part is that she also reminded me that I can’t write a book I haven’t lived. I spent a lot of my life not saying what I needed to say because I was afraid of how others would respond. That fear got stuck in my hips and has been holding me back from writing it. After yesterday, I feel a compelling urge to share it with you – and I’m writing the book proposal before I get back from this trip.

This book is not going to be a book about public speaking, it’s going to be a book about using your inner voice to find your outer voice (can you see why I would write that book?) Because each of us has something to say – and I am hell-bent on amplifying YOUR voice.

And that means I have to do the work to get this book out of me. Or I’ll be doing a BIG disservice to all of you who need to know that it’s time to say what you need to say.

I have a favor to ask.
I want to know – WOULD YOU READ THIS BOOK?

Your story matters. This book gives you permission to give YOURSELF permission to say what you need to say so the humans who need to hear your story get to hear it and make the decision to be better because of you. Even if it’s effing hard.

This book is like Glennon Doyle’s Untamed meets Carmine Gallo’s Talk Like TED with a dash of Rob Bell’s How To Be Here – and it’s going to give humans the words they need to change the world.

Would you pick up this book and read it? Why or why not?