A lesson on how to make an epic day

This is it people!

The last few days of 2017.
No matter what your year was like, I'm sure you're going into the new one with great ambition.
That is amazing.
But, how will you do it?
Without some inspirational quote to guide you, I recommend we just rely on the mission of my "Extraordinary Experiences" series - learn how to make every day great.

Now even though this is the way I try to live my life, sometimes even I need a wake up point of motivation.

I had that with my birthday in September. Check out the story.

ALSO READ: How to make a good day great

I haven't been excited about my birthday since I was 13 years-old.

The reason is simply: rejection.

Dayvee in the 7th grade
On my 13th birthday my parents allowed me to have a party- any kind that I wanted, with as many friends that I wanted to invite.

I was in middle school and I have always moved between social groups - the athletes, the smart kids, the black kids, the popular kids. In my school, the popular kids tended to be the ones who were in dance and singing classes. The course was called pop chorus. And I was a part of the group.

(By the way, if you've ever watched the carefree, and seemingly unsupervised lives of the reality stars from "Laguna Beach" or "The Hills" - those were the kinds of kids that I am talking about. This is the reason I watched those show faithfully when I was already way too old to be watching them!)

Anyway, for my 13th birthday, I invited the "popular kids". They were the ones I was hanging out with most, at the time. Turns out, they had no intention of coming to my party. In fact, another girl from Hawaii, (her name was Kauai, and she was from Hawaii) was having get-together the same day...or something. (Yes! It was like in those teen drama-queen movies that we've seen Lindsey Lohan and Emma Stone play in.) So, no one I invited, except for Allison, who I played softball with RSVP'd. 

Dayvee in the 7th grade.
My party was scheduled for Friday after school. At first break, I walked up to the girls and asked them about my party. They had blank stares, as if they didn't even know about it. "Oh! I forgot." "Oh, Kauai has this thing." I don't remember all of their responses, just the foggy feeling of humiliation and rejection from people who I thought really cared about me.

By lunch, I conceded that I should just tell Allison that no one except she, me and my family would be at the party. I had to find her 
in the back of the school, on tennis courts, as she was busy exploring her rebel side, smoking.  
I told Allision that she probably wouldn't have fun as it would just be me and her...
She agreed.

I got home and when my dad busted through the door, hands full of plastic bags filled with party decorations and favors - his energy was high, like "lets get ready for your big fun Mickey Mouse party." (I was obsessed with Mickey Mouse until age 21, by the way.) I waited my turn and told him with embarrassment, that no one was going to come to my party.

He said, "No one?"

I replied, "Well, Allison from softball was going to come. But, I told her that she shouldn't because no one else would be there..."

My dad got mad at me.

Why did you do that?! She was the one that was your real friend.
That really wasn't the truth.
I moved through many circles. I had many friends. I had waves of being closer to some, than others. But, I didn't have a best friend since elementary school.
Allison wasn't even a close friend. She was girl I liked and we knew each other from softball.

So, when I was already feeling low.

My dad took that time for a Brady Bunch life lesson.
Bad timing, dude.
Anyway, that's just his way.

To pile it on, the next day, one of the friends from the black girl crew approached me and said "you had a birthday party and didn't invite us?!"

Oh, boy! Here it comes, I thought.
"Well," I admitted, "I didn't. Because no one came, anyway."
As they walked off, one said "that's what you get. You should have invited your REAL friends."

Once again, I moved through many circles. I actually considered all of these people my REAL friends. There wasn't a priority just because they were black and I was too.

So, you can probably imagine this incident changed me. 

I've worked through it many different ways, but the truth is that it still lives with me.

I've hosted events and had several parties that I've thrown for myself over the years, but I still carry extreme anxiety whenever it is an event that I am presenting.

One of my good friends assured me that "everyone has anxiety before their events." That's nice perspective, but now you know the depth of mine.

ALSO READ: Standing in the shadow of the moon: VIP Solar Eclipse Experience with NASA


So sometimes traumatic things happen and even if you read the most inspirational of the inspirational quotes, it will still live with you.
That is life.

I wrote this to share this story so you know that this is one of those somethings for me. Especially around my birthday each year - it is a time where I want to just be invisible. I have no expectations for celebrations around me, and it takes a lot of energy -in particular mental and emotional self coaching of worthiness to celebrate myself. 
Am I worthy? Am I special?
My good friends know about a series of devastating events that have happened right before my birthday. One said after witnessing bad things happen to me around my birthday for two or three years in a row, "OMG! This might be a curse. We need to rebuke it."
I responded, "I refuse to accept that. I just have to  push past it."


I've reached one of those landmark birthdays in 2017. The kind where you're supposed to be "fabulous." The one where you see others forcing their friends to to celebrate all month long.
Except, I didn't have the mental capacity to plan anything. Not one thing.

As you know, I travel for a living. I love it. It is intentional. I made a career pivot to make this my lifestyle.

But, circumstances had it that I would be home for my birthday.

This went beyond anxiety.

I just shut down.

One of my dearest friends called and insisted that I at least go to dinner.

I pushed back.

She pushed that something was going to happen whether I liked it or not, "You can go with just me, or you can give me the names of your friends."

I gave in.

"Well, let's just make it small. A handful," I said. "I'll email you the names tomorrow."

And like Olivia Pope, I knew it would be handled.
Dayvee's 2017 birthday dinner.
But, then I grew even more anxious.
I would not only be home, but I made sure to clear my schedule because I didn't feel like working that day. (My days are usually 12-14 hours.) I gave myself the day off...It was my birthday, afterall!

But, as I sat there thinking, I wrote post-it notes to myself, like "Being Mary Jane", and had to look myself in the mirror for some good, old fashioned affirmations. 

I didn't feel like just waiting around all day for a birthday dinner - a celebration that I wasn't that into. I imagined that day and thought it would be depressing. I needed to force myself to do something epic. A jolt of some kind - to get out of this funk.

I told myself "you are creating this epic life for yourself. Your career and your brand is epic. Come on, Davina! Make your birthday epic!"

I pondered for about half a day about going skydiving. 
Like, I could shake all of this self doubt and feeling in the dumps by literally jumping it all off and out of an airplane.

But...I nearly forgot about the free falling part - free falls physically hurt me and I can't take them for too long- so I back peddled and thought for another solution. Something just as epic.


And that's when I decided this is how I would make the day extraordinary. Something to be brag about. Something for the history or mystory books.

I quickly asked my mom if she would go with me, then booked my flight time with the largest hang gliding school in the country, Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding.

I didn't expect anyone else to come with me. And if necessary, I would have gone by myself - after all, this was a mission I needed for my own self gratification.

By birthday came and I took the two and half hour drive from Atlanta where I took the most amazing double-dog-dare of my life!

I was, of course, nervous. But, everyone was. The guides were amazing and just as excited as I was that I was going to experience flying!

I had the option of going 1500 feet or 3000. They warned that people usually regret not taking the 3000 feet flight - once they are up there, and finally get used to it, their experience is over. 
They always want more.
I looked around to everyone in the room - they all nodded in agreement. I also figured that I really wouldn't notice the difference between 1500-feet  and 3000-feet. Plus, my goal was to make this an epic day - so let's go all the way!


How are you making Extraordinary Experiences? Let us know and we'll post it here!

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