Chasing a Dream: So Many Surprises!

One of the things I never considered would happen in chasing my dream is the number of SURPRISES that come along.  I literally wake up each day just so freaking happy to be me!  That in itself is a surprise to most people–let me tell you a story about one of the people MOST surprised by the fact that I’m just happy to be me.

Ruth Ann Leach–News and Radio Personality in Nashville

When I graduated high school, I became a volunteer at the Crisis Center in Nashville to learn what to do when I recognized someone was suicidal.  Eventually, I became involved in many other aspects of the Crisis Center, from training new volunteers to facilitating personal growth groups to public speaking and meeting with survivors of suicide. In other words, I was truly a dedicated volunteer who spent 15 years doing (mostly) volunteer work.  One of the projects I agreed to do as a volunteer was a radio appearance during the holidays to discuss holiday depression and suicide. In fact, this particular appearance was on a radio talk show hosted by Ruth Ann Leach, a well-known Nashville area personality who had become a member of the Crisis Center’s Board of Directors.

I arrived at the studio early that day and sat in the lobby until minutes before the show was to begin, when Ruth Ann appeared to escort me into the studio.  Of course, I’d seen Ruth Ann on television, but she had never met me until mere minutes before we were to share air-time on her show.  The expression on her face as she held the door for me was one of complete shock, and as I entered the door she held, she said, “You are NOT what I expected to talk about holiday suicides.”  And it was her  tone of voice that caught my immediate attention.

“Really?” I replied.  “Why is that?”

(Y’all better sit down for this, folks.)  And what she said to me then was like getting an ice-bath that so many crazy folks are challenging each other to suffer these days.  She said, “Well, if I looked like you, I’d be suicidal.  You just don’t look like what I imagined.”

"Cuddle up next to The Round Woman like you LOVE her" creates a smile every time!

“Cuddle up next to The Round Woman like you LOVE her” creates a smile every time!

Did y’all understand what she was saying?  For those of you who don’t know me, check out my photos:  I am as round as a pumpkin. Have been since I was a toddler.  I have no memories of being anything other than round, fluffy, chubby, plump, or plus-sized–you pick your term for it.  It’s what I have always known.  Ruth Ann, on the other hand, weighed about 92 pounds and was about as big as half a minute.  My first thought was to turn and walk out, leave her hanging for a guest to talk about holiday suicide and depression, but even then I realized that would only make me–and the Crisis Center–look bad.  And truthfully, I didn’t care whether I looked bad, but I loved the Crisis Center and would never do anything to negate the public’s image of the work done by Crisis Center staff and volunteers.

Do you think that one statement was enough for her?  Naw… it wasn’t, she continued.  “I mean, look at you.  If I weighed what you weigh, I’d kill myself.”

Then I Became the Surprise!

And so, I just turned to her and said, “Really?  That’s funny.  Because weight is just a number.  But if I were as tacky and classless as you are, so would I.”  Then I proceeded to do a radio show and talk about holiday depression and suicide.

So What’s the Surprise These Days?

Dominique is one of the sweetest people I've met!

Dominique is one of the sweetest people I’ve met!

The surprises I’m experiencing these days are the wonderful people I’m meeting, the broad range of events and activities I’m able to attend, and how much I’m LOVING it all.  Am I surprised that people smile and get all giggly around me?  Nope.  I have one rule when I’m about to have my photo taken with people: “You have to snuggle up close to The Round Woman like you LOVE her!”  And am I surprised when the photos we take make people smile?  Not even close.  Am I surprised that people are as nice as they are?  Nope.  I’m just surprised and delighted that I’m making new friends and loving my life so very much.

DREAM BIG!  It’s so much more fun than dreaming tiny little insignificant dreams!

Thanks for being here.




  1. As you know you have been everything to me in my life,and never ever looked at you as size except your beautiful and warming heart.You have been there for me even when my own family was not.I say this with all my heart to yours I LOVE YOU til the day I die,you r everything to me.I Love the little round Peg.My friend to the end…….

  2. From the first day I saw you it was never about how big or small you were, it was your heart and you won me over and I’ll always love you. You are one of the good people on this earth.

  3. My goodness, what did she know. I’ve only met you a few times and the biggest thing I see is your great smile and the wonderful loving energy you share with the world. Keeping dreaming and keep being happy… why not?

  4. Who knew that Ruth Ann Leach was such whack job? Bless her heart, as we say in the South here; her elevator doesn’t go all the way up but just stays down there in a dither! She’s NEVER on TV at all nowadays! Honey, I mean never!! Bless her tiny hard heart.

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