Everything I Thought It Would Be

I’ve been dreaming about going to New York for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure if it’s possible to be in love with a city, especially one you hadn’t been to, but I was in love with this one. So you can only imagine the rush of emotions I felt as I was driving in two Thursdays ago while listening to Austin Renfroe’s “Taking Me Under” and JayZ’s “Empire State of Mind.”

However, by 4:30 p.m. I was a mess. I was in a huge city I wasn’t familiar with, couldn’t check-in my hotel, was outside at the beautiful 9/11 memorial (however it was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella) and I was panicked because I had to be in one piece in an hour to meet my Cosmo Girls. Somehow my boyfriend and I both managed to get everything done and be ready by 5:45, just in time to walk over to the View of the World.

Still, I was a mess, especially after getting lost and being 10 minutes late. I had pictured in my mind what it was going to be like meeting these girls I’ve been talking to. Girls that all share something with me that no one else I know has. Cosmo Radio.

We find the place and I go in the restroom to fix my hair that had blown all in my face. At that point, I was shaking and felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest. I walk back in the lobby and waited with Ben to be taken up to the terrace the party was on, getting more and more ancy at the couple taking their time talking to the front desk attendant.

Then suddenly I look to my left and a sea of girls is walking through the door. All my worries fell to the floor. Every single one. While keeping my eyes still turned to them, I said out loud in a quite and calm voice, “It’s them.” And what happened next I’ll keep with me always.

A sea of hugs, smiles and a sense of welcomeness. Everyone. One by one.

And as the evening progressed it all continued to happen. More hugs, lots of smiles, lots of drinks and lots of laughter.  Just when we thought our night couldn’t get any better, as Katherine (who did a wonderful job not only setting up this event but other things for the trip too) was going through plans with us and asked us questions like, “What are we doing when we leave here?” “Where are we going?” “What room?” “What are we wearing tomorrow?” “Where are we going?” “…and who are we going to go see?” And as the words, “Taylor and Kenny” came out of our mouths, in they walk.

I am 24-years-old. I rarely cry. Something has to deeply affect me in order for tears to come out of my face. When they walked in the door, they just welted. I wanted to let this trip just be amazing and that was one of many amazing things.

We–and when I say “we” I mean the 50+ girls who also came into New York City to meet each other–went to Sirius XM on Friday.  It was so neat to be in the place I’ve been listening to for the past five years. We were in Sirius XM’s Fishbowl, which is a giant glass room in their main area. I watched as people throughout the company walked by. We really intrigued quite a few people and I hope it shows them that Cosmo Radio is more than a “chick channel.”

I was also able to meet their producer, Stephanie, who is a recent college grad too. It was so neat to be able to watch her and the others work. And with us being there, we had such an amazing time. I could go on and on about it. But it was the three hosts along with tons of other guests walking through, plus 50-ish girls in our pink shirts–and Dinosaur BBQ (which is amazing), having fun.

The trip to Sirius XM was followed up by a visit to Rockafeller Plaza and some shopping in Times Square. (A small group of us, everyone split off, it is kind of hard to get 50 girls in the same place all the time). But that evening was going to be a special event.

Five years ago, the only reason why I started listening to Cosmo Radio was because of this guy. His name? Patrick. Oh, Patrick. He told me everything I needed to know about my relationship, friends, work, etc. And from listening to him, I then explored the channel and it basically took over my life. In a good way, of course.

Come an hour before it was time to leave to go to the party with the hosts, I was kind of freaking. I knew Patrick was anxious and quite frankly I was a little anxious for it too. All in a good way, though. After a long trip in a limo to Beauty Bar, which we ended up having to change to the W Hotel, we made it.

I was able to spend more time with the Cosmo girls, then talked to Lea, Patrick’s producer for a long time,…then I saw Patrick. My boyfriend was with me and I just poked at him and said, “There’s Patrick.” I made my way to him and gave him a hug. Lots of hugs. This was definitely a special one. All of them were, but I think what made it special was the fact that had I not stumbled on him, I wouldn’t have been there–and who knows, my life would be different.

I also spent a long time talking to “Allamonsta” and “Mafasow,” (those are their Twitters). I never expected to meet either of them, let alone talk to them both separately for so long.

Ben and I left for a bit to grab dinner because he was literally on the verge of either puking or passing out. I felt bad, but had a feeling we’d come back. We did, and I’m glad we did. More time with the girls. Got to say bye to some of the hosts, and I thought it was really neat when we said goodbye to Lea. She hugged Ben and I and thanked us both for coming, and remembered his name.

I’d been wondering what that day would have been like for a long time and words can’t really describe it.

Saturday Ben and I slept until 11 a.m. One thing we weren’t prepared for was how busy the city is, and how busy we were going to be. We spent the day together, walked around and I saw all the places like Soho and Tribecca. We ate at S’Mac, a place I’d been dying to try since I heard it on Wake Up.

That night we went to Mesa Grill with the girls. Unfortunately, my fault, I made our reservations late because I was a slacker so it was just Ben and I at the table. Our plan was to go to Times Square after dinner then meet up with everyone. I could write a blog about Times Square, so I’ll keep that. I will say, it’s mind blowing. We got back a bit later and didn’t get a chance to hang out with everyone.

Honestly, I’d been dying to go to Times Square at night the entire trip–and halfway down the strip all I could think about was getting back to the hotel and seeing the girls. It was the point of the trip. But I knew it meant a lot to Ben, and it meant a lot to me too. We we made sure to check it all out.

Now that I’m moving further from the trip, I definitely wonder about how different it would have been had he not gone. But his first words when I said I was going to New York for Cosmo Con, he smiled and said, “Sounds fun, let’s do it.” He was on board all along the way, he never had his doubts. He knew what he was in for. I still felt awful and know he probably didn’t have as good of the time as he would have liked–and I know I didn’t get to spend the time with the girls that I wanted to. At all. And I also know it can be awkward to have a guy and a girls event. So I just kept hoping and hoping it wasn’t awkward for anyone like it was sometimes in the back of my mind. He and I don’t get to travel and something just didn’t feel right not bringing him.

If there was a “worst” part of the trip, it was saying goodbye to everyone knowing they weren’t going to be where I was when I got home.

As I was leaving on Sunday, all I wanted to do was stay. It was too short. I even didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to the couple who really helped Ben and I a lot. (I didn’t get to say goodbye to many of the girls, really). As I pulled away in my car I just felt like bawling my eyes out. “It’s over.” That’s all I thought. However, the Cosmo Fam is always there. And while they weren’t going to be in Indianapolis with me when I got there, they may in fact be closer.

Mary, Christine, Anna, Caitlin, Katherine, Monica, Amy, Emily, Charity, Lisa, Faith, Melissas, Lori, the Ashleys, the Melissas, Shira, Rachel, Nancy, Fionnuala, Jen, Nicole, Whitney, Emily, Jami, Paula, Molly, Hug Kiss, Lauren, Kristen, Melissa, Sarah, Peter, Tara, Mark and anyone else I missed, it was so wonderful to meet all of you. 🙂

Since I’ve got back, it took a week to literally get my head on straight, then I’ve spent a good portion of this week playing catch-up. But it was all worth it. Every minute of it. It was everything I thought it would be and more. Until next year……

Your Love is Taking Me Under….

I write, it’s what I love to do. I do it at work, on the side, and in my free time. Sometimes I write because I have to (not saying that in a complaining way), other times I write when I have thoughts. Then there are times where huge things occur and I feel like I need to get to a keyboard immediately because I have so many thoughts running through my head.

This is one of those times. So buckle in, because I’ve got a lot flowing in the hamster wheel.

If you’ve read this blog, you’ll know, may not understand, but know I love Cosmo Radio. (Shocker…) I have a hard time giving specific instances to tell people because it’s just good radio. But today, I’ve got one.

Austin Renfroe.

You see, Austin is beyond talented musician who we all will hear played on the radio waves very, very soon. He too, is a fanatic of Cosmo Radio. There are thousands of us. In this “Fake Life Family” we’ve created, thanks to the interwebs (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), we all connect. It is truly awesome to be able to watch someone who shares the same passion I do for the radio station–take off in his career.

He recently won Cocktail’s with Patrick’s Breaks the Band contest with his song Taking Me Under.  This was no “small” contest. They received so many songs from so many talented artists, all hoping to get a chance to have their music played on Sirius’ Hit’s One (the most listened to station on Sirius, a national platform) and to also be on Lance Bass’ show, the Pop Ten, on OutQ.

All the listeners of Cosmo Radio were elated when he won, and still are.

Fast forwarding from the Monday he won to last Saturday. I’m in the car driving home late with my boyfriend, listening to one of Hit’s One’s countdowns that Austin was going to be played on.

It’s pushing 9:55 p.m., and I knew at the top of the hour this countdown was over. I’m bummed, I really was hoping they would get to Taking Me Under. I thought I’d missed it.  It’s a great song (I just gave you the link, so take a listen, will ya?)

As I thought they were going to roll to the next program comes the announcement for the last song, which just happened to be Austin’s song with an introduction mentioning Breaks the Band. Then in comes that beat. Oh, that beat.

Let’s explore out for two seconds so I can put you in my frame of mind. Do you remember the movie, “That Thing You Do”?  Now think about the scene when their song comes on the radio for the first time. Click here if you need a refresher for the scene.  Okay, you’re there.

So, back to being in the car with my boyfriend, it’s approximately 9:96 p.m. at this point.  My lovely man is in the driver’s seat next to me (who by the way is used to this obsession at this point, and we’ll get to him in a second), I scream. The scream is proceeded by me throwing my hands out the top of my sunroof and squealing, “It’s his song!” Then concluded by clapping. Yes, clapping. In the car.

I literally felt like that part in the movie. Not only was I so happy that he won, but now the entire country will get to hear this amazing song.  What an amazing opportunity.

Onto my next point. It all ties in. So bear with me.

I have an amazing, amazing boyfriend. What I love about Austin’s music, this song and another in particular, is it can make me look back and reflect on my own relationship.

“You’re love is taking me under.”

This brings me right back to that night in 2004 when I was just a 17-year-old, girl getting over a broken heart, and was introduced to this guy who completely swept me off my feet with his kind heart, damn good looks and those beautiful blue, baby blue, eyes.  He completely had me within two seconds of meeting him.

“….where we’ve been, and where we’re going.”

I’m seven years in with him. So as I hear those lyrics, I think of how lucky I am to have a guy who is so smart and caring. I made sure to tell him that on our anniversary. He doesn’t always get the credit he deserves for being such an amazing guy. The song definitely reminds me of that, as well as all the amazing times and trips we’ve had. We started out as two kids crazy in love with each other…and we still are. I’m 24 and he’s 27. So no matter what he says, he’s still a kid. Just a very smart and mature one. Not too many people have the things he has at his age. It’s not because he had money thrown to him and it’s not because he’s found the easy routes through life. My boyfriend is the true testament that anyone can do and have anything if you are just smart and patient.

So to tie all these thoughts together, if it can be done, I’m just happy. It’s a good day. It’s going to be a good weekend that will lead into the most amazing week of my life.

I just told you one story about one of the amazing Cosmo listeners. But like I told you, there are thousands of us. The internet isn’t just for porn anymore, as they say. We’ve used the internet to create the Fake Life Fam. The Cosmo Fam. We talk on a daily basis thanks to Facebook and Twitter about the show, real life and fake life. Couldn’t imagine what life would be like without this. I certainly don’t want to know. But what I do know is the ride has only begun.

New York better be ready for these 50 or so girls to take over the city. Because we will. And it will be awesome. Ashlee AUsome. (Nice insider note there).

Till then, you should check out Austin. And listen to your radios, ’cause this guy is going to be everywhere. Very soon.

Cosmo Con. It’ll Better Than Christmas When You Were Five

When I was five, Christmas was a big deal. I’m sure it was for many. You know it’s coming for a long time. You don’t know what you’re getting, but you know you’re going to love it. Then during the entire day, it just seems like the wonderfulness could never end.

My trip to New York next week feels even better than Christmas, when I was five.

Most people think we’re crazy. And does it sound a little nuts to be traveling across the country to meet 45 girls or so in person that you’ve been talking to online for months, some even years? Honestly, it might. But is it? Absolutely not.

We all share this absolute love for Cosmo Radio. I blogged about it awhile back.

So just think of it this way. Pick your favorite show, band, artist, or anything. A common interest you share with others. Just imagine you talk about this common interest with others on a daily basis. Now, take it a step further, what if you were going to the place where that common interest originated from? You get to meet whatever that common interest is, and the people who love it? How does that sound?

I’ve been a devoted Cosmo Radio listener for over five years. It just gets me through life. It keeps me sane. I don’t know how else to put it. It’s quite relaxing for me. Talk radio isn’t many people’s thing. And it wasn’t mine, until I came across Cosmo.

What is so amazing, on top of the station, are the listeners. Over 45 of us have coordinated a trip, by ourselves with no help from the station, to New York City. Each of the girls has their place of expertise and as we’ve put all our talents together, we have created what will be one incredible and momentous event, none other than Cosmo Con. We’ve truly built what we call a “Fake Like Family” a.k.a. FLF.

You may say, “But Tracey, why are you going on a trip with people you met over the internet for some radio station?”

It’s not a trip with people I met over the internet just for some radio station. I’m going on a trip with over 45 girls who share the same love as I do for an amazing amazing brand. Like I said in my last blog, many people think Cosmo is a magazine with sex tips. Sure they’re in there, but that’s not what it is. It’s a truly amazing brand that I’m proud to love. And the radio station? I can’t even describe with words.

I’m so incredibly excited to be taking a trip to New York City, with over 45 girls, to meet some of the people I listen to on the radio every day, and just have one hell of a time. And when it comes to traveling to New York, I’ve been dreaming about it. Even though I haven’t been there since I can remember, I’m in love with the city. I know I can’t fully remember the last time I was there, because I was three, but I’m in love with it. It will feel right to be there.

It’s like Christmas when you were five. Only better.

I can’t wait to meet the FLF.