The Power Trip: meeting author Jackie Collins and finding myself

When I was in high school and college and I imagined myself at almost 31, I could never have envisioned what would be. I didn’t think I’d end up a single mom, working in the travel industry and searching for myself and my confidence again and again. I had no clue my love of books and my need to write my way through my feelings would someday give me the title of blogger, or especially, a blogger who gets invited to book launches and author meet and greets with some of New York’s press and PR and blogging elite.

Pause for a moment and think about that: events, parties, press, ME. Cyber-pinch me, people.

But that’s exactly what life is like for me these days.

Last Monday I took a train into New York City and after a slight navigational error (oops), I found my way to Yotel New York, an uberhip-looking hotel right near Times Square.

When I say uberhip, think neon purple lighting at the entrance and a futuristic interior, filled with both modern furniture and people. Somewhere in there was Jackie Collins, top-selling and well known novelist and my current interviewee, with a new book called quite aptly The Power Trip.

I was already late, feeling a little embarrassed for my knack at getting lost even when I’m sure I know exactly where I’m going. So I felt like the nerd trying to fit in with the cool kids, the loser about to enter a world I didn’t belong in, the powerless outsider joining some of the influential writers and journalists and blog-Gods of the literary circle…

power trips indeed.

Cue the woman I’ve become, the one who takes a deep breath and steps forward even when it’s the hardest thing to do.

I stepped through glass doors into a room filled with people all mesmerized by a quiet British accent in the corner, a voice that resonated with strength and self-awareness and a bit of raunchy humor.

And then it was all sushi and laughter, old friends and new, and you know, playing a trivia game and posing for pictures with Jackie Collins

Jackie Collins and I are so empowered we emit a white glow... which no amount of photoshop could completely hide. We're that awesome :-)

Jackie Collins and I are so empowered we emit a white glow… which no amount of photoshop could completely hide. We’re that awesome 🙂

the usual New York night.

😀

It was a reminder that I AM part of this world. I AM meant for hors d’oeuvres and open-minded conversation.

I AM A POWERFUL PERSON.

And so it was that I learned that the author of The Power Trip is invested in strong characters with major flaws and just as major desires and dreams. That she believes in women using their own intelligence and power instead of their sexuality in professional relationships, but also that a woman’s sexuality isn’t something to be afraid of or kept hidden away because of outdated social mores and considerations. That an early experience as the wife to an addict left her broken in some ways and even more capable in others.

Hmmm, it seemed like Jackie Collins was someone I could actually get along with very well!

The novelist was captivating and sexy in person, and her writing is even more so.

Full of the escapades and private lives of the rich and famous, this new book gives you a glimpse into how the other half lives-

money, sex, manipulation, self-doubts, addictions, and the art of preserving a perfectly crafted public image.

In addition to the salaciousness of the characters’ bedroom scenes, the novel also becomes a bit of a thriller and a cautionary tale to those who think their celebrity status gives them any real power.

Jackie Collins warns them all about how little they truly have control over, and how quickly they, too can feel powerless.

If all this isn’t to your liking, think about it this way: this book is your very own Spring Break, an escape from your reality that Jackie calls “a sexy, sun-drenched thriller.”

So even if you’re stuck working and waiting for winter to go away, The Power Trip will give you an escape route to a luxury yacht off the coast of Cabo San Lucas.

And if you’re like me and you have moments of insecurity or wondering if you really can identify with the uberhip lifestyle, this book reveals the simple truth that even the ultracool and ultra-famous are just people inside, damaged and seductive, powerful but nowhere near perfect.

And we can join them you guys. We can start by taking a deep breath and stepping into their world, because once we do it’s absolutely clear:

we belong here. This is our world, too. We are full of power, and we’re just getting started.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Get Red PR, as in, they invited me to an event to meet and interview the author and stuffed me full of tasty appetizers and fancy drinks while I did it. No request to share any particular point of view was made. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and that includes thinking I’m one of the uberhip…and that I’ll always be a nerd at heart.

Wanderlust

So I’m a little scared.

I’ve been waiting to reclaim adventure in my life, to get back the freedom to travel that I once had.

One thing the pilot ex-husband made sure of when he began his elaborate deception was that I would no longer be able to access the travel benefits I was entitled to as his wife. He took my name off of the website where we would list ourselves on flights and he never added our daughter to that site even though I let myself believe he eventually would. Why would he break our child’s wings before she ever had a chance to fly, right?

Because that’s what it felt like to me, like my wings were broken and I would never experience that adventure again. I’d never pick a place and just go, pick a flight and just soar…

Maybe he thought I’d run back to him if he made it so I couldn’t fly, but instead, I waited until the day I could say I had gotten that right back on my own terms, for me and my daughter. The right to explore this world, to be the kind of person whose play was worth the work it took to get there. Play that made for amazing stories and memories and the feeling that my life was truly special. Play like let’s spend the weekend wherever we can reach and what’s a place you’ve always wanted to see and a hotel room is just for resting your body in between long days of new experiences.

And that day is here. And I’m a little scared.

It’s terrifying getting what you want. It’s overwhelming when what you’ve always waited for and asked for finally happens.

What ifs and such crowd my mind. Doubts, questions, even the simplest of decisions becoming a complex puzzle of choices and consequences.

Pay for a room that includes breakfast and a car rental and costs a thousand dollars more than paying for a basic room and a car separately…and hoping the morning meal won’t cost too much? Should I even question it? If I want adventure and spontaneity should I even worry about the price difference or go all out??

It’s a lot of pressure, being the mom, the one in charge of the vacations…the one in charge of the money to pay the bills as well.

My daughter deserves a perfect first vacation, and so do I. But is it perfect if I come home broke?

God, and the bigger question is can I really do this alone? The beach and the boats and the meals and the whole of a vacation with only a three-year-old to talk to and reason with and convince to please, pretty please, eat the fish and use a toilet and sleep at night and not run into the ocean when mommy wants to fall asleep to the sound of the waves and the heat on us like a heavy blanket?

It’s exhausting just thinking about it. It didn’t used to be this way.

But I didn’t used to be a mom. I didn’t expect to be a single mom at all, but I’ve done the best I can with that. And some days I rock this role I was thrown into and I know that.

So maybe I don’t have to plan as hard. Maybe I don’t need to think as much. Maybe I just enjoy the moment when my own hard work reveals healed and fully capable wings. Maybe I let those wings unfurl and I try them out before I overanalyze the results. Maybe the act of flying again will be enough to remind me how it’s done…besides, the answer to at least one of my questions is in my own rant. That a hotel room only needs to be good enough to rest in. See self? I can do this. I already know how.

And just like I have the strength and the knowledge within me, the word adventure has within it a guide to how to achieve it: venture.

I must venture out and only then can I live my adventurous, special life once again.

And this time, no one can take that freedom from me. I don’t have to depend on someone else for the passion of exploration. My daughter doesn’t have to be denied her birthright…my made in Puerto Rico, born in Boston, moved to New York little ball of adventure can continue to venture forth throughout her life because I am doing what it takes to give her that right now.

Scary’s got nothing on the satisfaction that comes with that.

So I’m a little scared. I’m also a lot proud of myself, and a whole lot excited for the literal WORLD that’s now open to me again.

Here we go, ready to fly…nothing so far has felt like this.