I Said Yes 

I’m Engaged!!! Yes, it’s true!  And when it happened, I was shocked beyond belief. I literally had no idea it was coming. I of course could not wait to tell my family and friends. Then it was time to write about it. Right? I mean I have to share this with our readers. I want to share this with you. The world! But why? Why did I want or feel the need to share my engagement news with you? I’m not someone who shares news to fluff my own feathers. I certainly don’t want my good news to make anyone feel less than.  So why share it? Well, the simple answer is I have always shared experiences from my life.

More importantly though I am sharing this with you because just 2 years before the proposal I was leaving a relationship after 5 years. One that did not end in a proposal. I thought I would be single for some time and maybe someday I would find the man I would spend my life with. Or maybe I wouldn’t but at least I would be rocking my bliss. Well while rocking my bliss and following my dreams and goals. While being me I met him.  I wasn’t looking I wasn’t expecting and then this happened. “Will you Marry me?” I was laying in a tent in Joshua Tree State park. I had slept the day away in the tent (we camp, the air mattress is a Serta and 18″high. Its a dream). I woke up to my Love laying next to me and looking into my eyes. He was so handsome and there was so much magic in his eyes I asked “What are you thinking about?” And he proposed…Right there. In the tent. My mind literally thought a million things at once. All I could say was “Are you serious?” Poor thing.  The look on his face when I said that!!  He responded with “Yes.” (Said more like yeah-that’s-why-I’m-asking-you.)  In reply I said “Yes!” While in the back of my head I was wondering if he planned to propose. Then he pulled out a box from his hiking shorts. We had never discussed what ring I would want. Only my dear friend Eric and the designer knew. I never wanted to pressure him. We talked about marriage being in our future. I believe in the beauty of organic growth. So, I figured I would tell him about my dream ring when the time was right.  He pulled out THE RING! Not just any ring but The ring that I wanted. The one he had NO idea about. I squealed “Are you kidding me?” Needless to say I was shocked. Stunned. In 30 seconds I went from a girlfriend to a Fiance. I went from thinking about future work projects and trips, to thinking about walking down the aisle towards the Man I love.

We kissed and then we went for a walk. We passed 18 people at the camp fire, and I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming still in my nap or if this was real. I am getting married and not just to anyone. To my Best Friend. There are plenty of people out there (Clare and I included) giving you advice on dating, life and You. It can be hard to hear all the advice. There is also a lot of crap advice out there. Don’t even get me started on the blogs I came across that of questions I should ask him before we get married (written by a 20 something single-never-been-married author). You have so many messages coming at you on how to “get someone.” I am sharing this exciting news in my life because I want for you to someday have your exciting news to share with us. I want to celebrate your joy. Maybe your joy is marriage but maybe it’s finally being comfortable in your own skin. When you are ready take a moment and:

  • Discover what your Happy Ever After Is
  • Care less about what others think and Care more about how you feel
  • Be you, Your Whole Self
  • Be open to learning new things and meeting new people
  • Have so much fun, laugh a lot

I cannot promise much, (as I am not the keeper of the Universe) but I can say one thing. If you are truly being you, having fun and working towards your Joy and not someone else’s you will find your happy ever after. I met him through a new friendship. He was not “my type.” He did not call me the next day (actually we didn’t even exchange numbers). He broke up with me two times before we ever dated. In less than a year we were engaged. This fall we will be married. I’m over 30.  I took some major “risks” to follow my dreams. I took some leaps of faith to stay true to myself when those around me thought I was crazy. I had to stay on my truth path. That path is what brought him into my world. That path is what attracted him to me. That path is leading me down the aisle to the Man I cannot wait to spend the rest of my days with.

I know that everyday is not blissful. There will be highs and lows but there will be lots of love and support. Go, picture the life you want to live, ignore the negative voices, try something new and have fun while doing it. Share your dreams with Clare and I! We would love to hear them. Today, go say Yes to YOU.


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5 Things I’ve Learned From Moving (part 5)

This is the last part of a 5 part series.  For the first four parts, scroll down, or head to the LiveClareLesleyblog homepage.

5) Seeing your life as a stack of boxes is one of the most horrible but oddly satisfying feelings. I’ve had the allowance of time to assemble all my worldly belongings into a pile. So boxes have been sitting in my living room for about a week, filled with my things. I’ve procrastinated a bit, because I wanted to continue living with my things, and not just staring at a pile of boxes that were ready to be transported to my new space. Its horrifying to look at this stack of boxes and think: everything I am is in these. My life, now, fits into about 30 boxes. Remember grown woman: clothes, shoes, dishes, 8 coffee mugs, art, breadmaker. A year ago, it was twice this much, plus more furniture. The only piece I own now is the rocking chair. Last summer I filled up a quarter of my friend’s living room with my boxes of stuff—as we both agreed that it was silly to rent a storage space when I would be moving again in only a few months, and I would be the only one living there after the first six weeks went by. All summer long I kept looking at my 6’ X 6’ X 10’ tower of belongings. Saddened by “all I had left.” A year later, I’m posting on Facebook like a madwoman about how little I have, delighted by the fact that with four friends helping, this move will take half a day. Maybe the difference of then versus now is that I’ve now moved the things multiple times and felt the sore muscles and the lightened wallet—it cost me $600 for professional movers to move that stack of stuff 80 blocks, less than 10 miles. The second go round, I moved with help from friends but it cost me $200 and a couple of bottles of nice liquor to the friends for helping. The third go round I did in parts and pieces via cab and subway… and was a pain, but I did it myself, not noting the cost. It is oddly satisfying that I can make a home and a life out of a medium amount. (I was about to say “little,” but I have friends who continually live out of suitcases.) Whereas it is a really weird feeling to look at the things I’ve accumulated in a pile, after this year, it is a really nice feeling to know that I’ve only got with me the things that have made the cut—the things I love, or can’t live without, or don’t want to live without. Do I need everything in that pile: probably not. However, I know that I want everything in that pile in my life. At least for now. Until I have to move again. Hopefully, not anytime soon.

I know that everyone is different in their transitions, and everyone has their opinions on how to go about things. So take what you will, and will what you take—use it and share it. Or not. My lessons are mine that I had to learn, and I’m not sure that I’m done learning yet. Maybe you’re ahead of me, and maybe you’re behind me, or maybe you’ll never have to learn these things. The most important thing I’ve learned is just as in any other lessons in life, remember to breathe through the painful moments and just keep moving forward. If nothing else, you’ll figure it out as you go.


5 Things I’ve Learned From Moving (part 2)

This is part two of a 5 part series.  For part one, either scroll below or go to http://wp.me/p4FEKs-Q

2) It doesn’t matter where you lay your head, as long as you have a place to lay it. 

Sleeping on an airmattress isn’t as bad as you think it is. Ok, well it is. Especially in the summer. I spent 6 weeks on one living in a gracious friend’s living room last summer, and I spent almost three weeks the same one in my new place. Although I’m a princess about sleep, and so much of the personal growth teachings these days are refocusing on sleep and rest, the honest thing is that like much of life, its only temporary. There is an end in sight. I might not have had the most restful for a fortnight, but I’ve endured it before, and I’ll endure it again. But like most uncomfortable situations, sleeping on an airmattress is not the most comfortable, but I’ll get through it. I’ll figure out a better option, and be better on the other side.

Air mattress

Also, bunk bed living isn’t just for studio apartments and children.  I’m now the proud owner of a loft bed.   Which I never thought I’d be.  For the record, I have never been against having a loft bed, I just never pictured myself the owner of one. Thanks to my mom who helped me purchase it, and my friend Jeff who helped me masterfully build it from the worst instructions known to modern man, I have not only a place to sleep, but a place to keep all of my worldly belongings.  I installed a bar underneath to hang the out of season clothes, I have plastic storage bins so I can rotate in and out of seasonal clothing.  Things I own might still be in boxes, but I can get to them easily, and I don’t have to go to a storage space.  Loft bed

Always the Pollyanna, I’ll make good out of any living situation!

Tune in tomorrow for part 3!



5 Things I’ve Learned From Moving

I’m an actress, so my chosen profession makes me a gypsy. I’m also a child of divorce who had parents in different states while growing up. That being said, I have never been good at moving. Through a chain of choices that may or may not have been the best, I’ve moved 4 times in 400 days. As a grown woman. With stuff. I’ve learned what is important and what is not, and mostly, I’ve learned what I’m made of and who my friends are.  I have learned several lessons through relocating myself, both about moving in general and about life.  Here they are:



1) You really don’t need to keep things. Really. I love my coffee mugs and my wine glasses. I collect them and they’re one of the things that make me happy. However, over the years people have given me glasses and cups—some I like and some I kept because they were a gift, and some got cracked along the way and I’ve kept them anyway. Because I thought I should. Well, there is no should in moving. It really is a do or don’t do. I got rid of half of my coffee mugs, because, well, there is really only me, and I drink out of the same mug for months at a time, and then move on to another one. I’ve kept ones that are special, and that I really like, but I’ve dialed my mug count from the 20s to 8. Because even on my worst week, I will remember to wash at least one mug. Same with wine glasses. I’m in New York City—the land of people meeting OUT. Why, because our apartments are tiny and no one wants to travel more than two trains or 10 stops if they can help it. So I’ve kept my favorite ones, and one of my mom’s favorites, because we drink a lot of wine when she visits. I’ve got a stack of “things to give away” that is about half the size of the boxes I’m actually moving to my new place. I will buy new things when I want them, and the things I’m giving away I was keeping because I was too lazy to deal with the emotion or the guilt about getting rid of something. Its only stuff. Possessions are chains and all that… I only believe that quote when its time to move. Possessions give me an ease of life. As a poor kid and an even more poor adult, I want to remain as comfortable as I can… but does that really involve 20 coffee mugs, 10 tank tops that I never wear anymore that I’ve had for more than 4 years and haven’t worn them in that long, 10 sets of Christmas lights when I haven’t put up a tree in two years, and a pair of fabulous heels that I got two years ago, but I have never worn because they hurt my feet? Nope. Control Alt Delete. Gone. The funny thing is I tossed them two days ago, and haven’t thought about them until writing this. I probably won’t think of any of it again after this moment.

This is part one of a five day post.  Come back tomorrow for part 2!