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Cute Blondes. Pole Dancing. Thanks-giving.

I’m in Bozeman, Montana, and yesterday I went to the vet. To get Coach his vaccinations and check on a couple other things. When I arrived, there was this cute blonde outside with a bunch of dogs swirling around her. She must have been in her 40’s, feather and hot-pink extensions in her hair, black eye liner. She looked up at me under a pile of dogs and gave me and Coach a huge smile. And called into the office “our new girl is here!” I instantly smile. They know about me, already. I’m the new girl.

As I walk into the office, I notice how homey it feels. And not in the Susie-Home-Maker kind of way, but more in the way that I felt right at home there, instantly. The rock radio station that was on in the front office was playing Red Hot Chili Peppers, the office dogs were off leash and full of loving energy, and the vet came out and introduced himself and told me to call him by his first name, Scott.

After spending over an hour, talking to me about whatever it was I wanted to know, I felt cared for. Safe. In good hands. And I had such a clear thought that this was all I really wanted. To be on first name basis with my vet. To actually HAVE “my vet.” To feel a sense of community somewhere. And feel cared for and safe. For the first time since I put all my stuff in storage in Oakland, CA almost a year and a half ago, I felt at home.

4 vaccinations, some medicine, a new harness and only $150 dollars later, I walk out the door and get a bit lost getting out of the parking lot. And in my state of being lost, I stumbled upon a Pole Dancing Fitness studio and I can’t believe my eyes. Pole dancing? In the middle of Montana?! How on Earth does this place exist? I think to myself. A place that has the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen, real cowboys walking on the street next to the goth college kid, a vet who demands to be called Scott, art walk Thursdays, Salsa dancing Wednesdays, a thrift store that sells antlers, clown suits, and guns, AND a pole dancing class. Around every corner, I fall more and more in love with Bozeman. And I’m realizing how grateful I am for the collection of experiences and people that have brought me to this moment and have been involved in my life up to now.

And this is all good since it’s gratitude Friday! The time in our week where we get to step back and think about all the stuff that we are grateful for. The stuff that IS going right. The things we DO have. And appreciating the people we love.

So…today I’m grateful for:

The courage to take risks and trips and do things that are terrifying. My family, who has supported such things the whole time. Natalie, for taking the first of these trips with me. John Pew for introducing me to Bozeman in the first place. Tyson and Johnny for giving me a place to stay. Dr. Scott and his office staff. You guys for reading. My clients. A house to stay in. A shower to be in. Being pleasantly surprised. My coach. And my other Coach. Jim and his art. And my froachy friends. Giving myself space and time to explore. Slowing down. Zoe. Bernardo for the love, for being love. Miss Shantastical and Colin for the connection. Lily (BFFFFFFFFs fo life). Being excited about the future. Feeling a sense of “home.”

Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment below and tell me all the things YOU are grateful for today. And share a story with me. What’s something you’ve been pleasantly surprised about lately?

Hope you all are having a wonderful day. Here are some pics from my last week of travels.

Holland Lake, Outside Potomac, MT

On The Road To Bozeman. Three Forks, MT

CLOSET!!! In the House I'm Staying.

Best Thrift Store In The Whole World. Bozeman, MT

Thanks for watching, ya’ll. Don’t forget to leave a comment below to tell me what you’re grateful for. And if you’re finding yourself wanting extra inspiration, extra help, extra support, sign up for my newsletter in which I’ll update you when new and cool things happen around here.

17 Responses to Cute Blondes. Pole Dancing. Thanks-giving.

  1. Mom says:

    Thankful that you are feeling at home. I guess it’s like college…when you’re in the right place, you can feel it! So happy for you and your brave, adventurous spirit…and for good, kind people welcoming you and making you feel safe and comfortable.

    • Sallyhope says:

      That’s exactly what it’s like! College. It’s how I felt stepping onto the UCSB campus after having been to all those other schools being all like “I thiiiiiiiiink I could go here. When I hit that campus I was like, yep, this is it. Thank you for all your wisdom, advice, and ongoing love. I love you so so many muches, it’s like not even funny.

  2. Haley says:

    It is nice to know there are special and kind people all over this amazing world and I’m so happy they are taking care of our Sally. I’m thankful for my wonderful grandma that I can spend all next weekend with celebrating her 81st birthday. I’m thankful for finding an apartment in West LA, that like you, I feel instantly at home in and has the nicest manager Jeanne who reminds me of me of my other grandma. I’m thankful for having the most amazing, loving, wonderful boyfriend a girl could ask for that has been there for me so much during some hard times and is always making me laugh and someone I can truly call my best friend. I’m thankful for my new job I start on Monday that allows me to help other families and children and get a since of giving back. And I’m thankful for Johnny Cash and Adele who’s songs have made unpacking in my new apartment so much more enjoyable these last few days. And I’m thankful for you Sally for always being such a wonderful loving friend who constantly reminds us all to live life to the fullest. Love you girl.

    • Sallyhope says:

      I’m so grateful that so many wonderful things are happening for you right now! I can feel your glow all the way from over here. I love you so much lady and am so glad that we have remained such good friends throughout all these years. Homies fo life! I can’t wait to see you guys when I’m back in town, come over to check out your new pad, and hug that self of yours. So much love.


  3. Michael says:

    Ah, this week, I am thankful for one more year days. For new friends, for one that I want to be really special, for my kids, for the opening of my first ever solo fine art photography show, for my son who said “Dad I am so proud of you.” For hugs. And very thankful for people who make me laugh.

    And thanks to you Sally of Hope!

  4. bernardo says:


    Today I’m grateful for you. For your friendship. Your love and your immense support.

    Te Quiero con el alma,


  5. bernardo says:


    Today I’m grateful for you. For your friendship. Your love and your immense support.

    Te Quiero con el alma,


  6. Donna Schorer says:

    Yay! Today I am grateful for a lot of things! First being that I have a Muslim friend on Facebook who is educating me as to the perils of the whole Islam thing. It’s not all us vs. them, there is a lot of in-fighting, but I won’t get into that here. Secondly, I am finally mastering the Avid editing system at school…man, that’s a tough one! But my project today was the best out of 5, so I’ve gotta be happy about that! Thirdly, I have found closure with someone I once dated, who told me that our issues were not all “me”, he also was in an F’d up place. Sometimes just hearing that means a lot. AND – on a purely superficial level, I put a level 4 brown hair color over my level 2 black, and have achieved the PERFECT shade! After describing it to professional colorists for years, as: “As dark brown as it can possibly be without being black, with just the tiniest hint of red when the sun hits it…” I spent hundreds of dollars and never got there. Two $13.00 boxes of John Frieda foam color later – GOT IT!!! Woo hoo!

    Hugs to all,

  7. Donna Schorer says:

    Oh, can I has profile pic?? :)

  8. Oh girl – I’m so happy all is well + you’ve landed in a kick ass spot (for now)! I love the feeling of home. There’s nothing quite like feeling…”this is my ‘hood”, “these are my peeps”, “this is it”. I LOVE that feeling. So glad you’re finding it in Bozeman. Look forward to hearing all about your adventures there!
    Today, I’m grateful for :: breezy 70-degree days, a clean house, rainbows, beautiful photography, my clients, the Universe taking care of me, my new website, my team of awesome sauce multi-media pro’s who make me + my biz look/sound/feel good, flip-flops, sunsets in L.A., my beau who does everything in his power to make me feel happy, comfortable and loved.

  9. Natalie Vartanian says:

    Grateful for the year of traveling we did that satiated a long time yearning for the open road. Grateful for your pep talk and reminder that I’m a leader, a firecracker peacock one at that. :) Grateful for the past 6 months at google that has exposed me to so much and provided me with amazing opportunities to step in to my power. Grateful for traveling on someone else’s dime! Grateful for the chance to hang out with coworkers in New York and laugh till my belly hurts, drink lots of Prosecco, eat delicious Vegetarian food and walk along the Hudson River. Thank you Universe for always taking care of me and my friends.

  10. Nik says:

    Bozeman is the bomb! I lived there for 11 years.

  11. Lisa C. says:

    I always have to read your blog 2 or 3 times before I post. Something profound eventually hits me. Something I can relate to. This time, not so much. Then I realized it’s what I WASN’T relating to. Being comfortable where I am. Not so much physically, but emotionally. Although I’ve had a mostly positive experience trying, I realize I haven’t found my “comfy vet office” state of mind for the last several years.

    Grateful for these kick-starts, Sally…and the tools and desire to keep searching for it!

    • Sallyhope says:

      I love how thoughtful you are. As in…have lots of deep thoughts. You’re introspective and contemplative and you always have such beautiful wisdom in these comments. Thank you, again, Shining Star, for being here.

  12. Sara S says:

    Thankful for my happy and wonderful little boy who spends his days smiling, dancing and clapping his hands. He reminds me every day how incredibly lucky I am and that things come when they are supposed to. It was a long road but without the bumps I wouldn’t have Tommy. So grateful for my wonderful partner who is such an amazing father and husband. Thankful for my friends who are inspiring and positive! That means you Sally. XOXOXOX

    • Sallyhope says:

      I love what you said about things coming when they’re supposed to. We never know, ahead of time, how things are going to turn out. That’s why retrospect is so cool. I love you lady and am so grateful that we’ve remained so close after all these years. MWAH!

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