Posted in Career, Interview, life, Thoughts, Uncategorized

It’s a fine line between fearlessness and belligerence.

 

I remember a few years ago I read an article that talked about an art gallery opening.  The layout of the event was set up like a person’s house. With several different rooms, all with different types of artwork in them. One of the spectators arrived via skateboard, and instead of carrying it around with him, left it leaning against one of the hallway walls close to the entrance.  Everyone that arrived after him, stopped to photograph his skateboard.  They all perceived it as a work of art.

When it comes to art, I am a novice at best.  I know nothing about it. But there seems to be a lot of it.  And it’s got me thinking… Who has to perceive something as art for it TO BE art? And better yet: Who has to perceive you as something for it to be true and does it matter?


When I first read about the Fearless Girl statue.  I was immediately drawn to her.  I read every story I could find that mentioned anything about her.  I don’t consider myself a feminist necessarily, or an art connoisseur by any means, but everything about this bold, brazen sculpture spoke to me.  The artist was able to make this statue convey gumption in the most subtle yet unequivocal way.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding this pony-tailed, little girl. Specifically, how she was placed in relation to the iconic Charging Bull.  The male artist who created the seven thousand pound symbol of American power and resilience pitched quite the fit about the girl. Stating that the female artist who made this tiny, in comparison, 250-pound Fearless Girl statue had “altered the perception of the bull” because of where and how she was placed.  Facing the bull.  He isn’t entirely wrong. The statue had accomplished everything the artist had set out to do. Everything about Fearless Girl was very intentional.  The artist said, “I made sure to keep her features soft, she’s not defiant, she’s brave, proud and strong, not belligerent”. And I think the artist was able to perfectly emulate that.

I’ve been thinking about how I’m perceived a lot lately.  If people’s perceptions of me and even my own are an actuality. Everyone wants to see themselves in a favorable light, but is that the truth?  I haven’t been reaching my potential professionally.  And while some of the fault undoubtedly rests on my shoulders, I believe it is also a product of my environment.

I’ve decided it’s time for a career change.  I don’t fit in in the wealth management industry. I am not naturally meek or mild, but this position has forced me to be both in some instances.  I don’t like it. It makes me uncomfortable. I feel unsure almost every day. In most of the things I do. Except when I’m talking to clients. That’s when I’m at home. I’m confident that whatever they need, I can help them. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll put on my Nancy Drew hat and work tirelessly until I find it and report back. I’ll conquer the unknown happily and fearlessly. Because I know that when I do, the client will be thankful. I will have helped them accomplish something they couldn’t have done on their own.  And that is a great feeling.

One of the things I miss the most in my current position is being part of a team.  I guess technically, I am.  But Just because someone says “you’re apart of the team!” doesn’t make it so. That means they may think of you as that, but if no actions are there to support this thought, then does it matter how they perceive it? Shouldn’t how I feel carry some weight?  Whose perception is correct?

Over the last couple months, I’ve had several interviews.  And recently, I have had 2 men, in a hiring position, tell me that I “seem like I can be a bitch when necessary”.  They aren’t wrong, I guess.  I like to get shit done.  But, I didn’t love how the word “bitch” hit my ear.  One person immediately felt bad and said: “I mean that as a compliment”.  And that’s how I had taken it.   I think that’s how some people perceive being strong and taking charge.  When and how people use that word can and do have different connotations.  Whether that’s right or wrong, well, I guess it depends on the perceiver…

I have been offered an amazing position.  One that I am so excited about it gives me chills. It’s at a fantastic company run by an incredible group of successful, intelligent women. I didn’t know if I was going to get it honestly.  The interview process was intense.  And I don’t know if I was necessarily the best candidate on paper. But as it would turn out, after 5 meetings, and hours of some of the most self-reflective questions I have ever been asked, they chose me.  And I know that I won’t have to be meek or mild. I won’t have to feel like an outsider.  I’m going to be a part of a team. Like, for real this time. I can be confident, tough, determined.  All of the things that The Fearless Girl and I were meant to be.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer visit the Fearless Girl statue in Lower Manhattan after the permit for the beloved statue will be extended through next year on Monday, March 27, 2017. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography O

Posted in blogging, family, Food, Inspirations, Interview, Maine, Recipe, Travel

Macedonians in Maine: An Interview

I met my husband, Krunoslav on Match.com.  He worked 7 days a week and I worked at a busy Irish Pub.  We both had odd schedules that didn’t afford either of us many opportunities to meet a potential girlfriend/boyfriend.  He sent the first message, I noticed his name was not an American one.  He said he was from Macedonia and that he liked soccer.  I made up a story about needing some info about soccer for something I was working on for the pub. And within only a couple of messages our first date was arranged.  It went well.  So well in fact, we met again the next night.  He watched “Glee” with me and I helped him deliver papers at midnight.  And as they say, the rest is history.

The first time I met his parents was when they made the long trip from Macedonia to Denver for our wedding. Their names spelled phonetically are Nikola and Kruno’s mom is Blageetsa. His mother speaks english “little bit” as she says.  She speaks it better than she thinks.  And his dad can say a few words.  It’s amazing what you can tell about someone without speaking.  Just by observing a single moment.  As I walked towards them coming out of the international arrivals gate, I knew that they were lovely people.

Well, the In-Laws have arrived for another visit.  We have been looking forward to it for months.  For the last few days I have been thinking about what to post.  And this morning it came to me.  An interview with my in-laws.  I wasn’t sure how the request was going to translate.  But, they agreed and thanks so my wonderful husband and his translation services, it went very well.

Q: How did you meet?

B: We met at a party at a restaurant.  We were introduced by friends.

Q: Do you remember your first date?

N: Not the specifics, but it lasted awhile.  It was the next day after the party and we had our first kiss.

Q:What is Skopje, Macedonia like?

N: It’s very historical (dates back to 4000 b.c.) . Similar to the Old Port portion of Portland.  Our house is in the Suburbs of the capital, Skopje. It’s a very tight-knit community.  Learn more about Skopje, Macedonia Here.

Q: What are some customs or traditions of Macedonia during the holidays?

B: On Christmas Eve (usually on or around January 7th as they use the orthodox calendar), we make a loaf a bread and put a coin in it.  When we sit down to dinner we each take a piece, and also have a piece for family afar and Jesus.  Whoever gets the piece with the coin, it will be their lucky year.  For us Christmas isn’t about presents, it’s about family and emphasis is on the meal with family.  On August 2nd, we celebrate our Independence from Turkey. It’s like your 4th of July.

Q: What is the biggest difference between your country and the US?

B & N: How friendly people are here.  Whenever you go into a shop or store.  People greet you.  They say “hello” and “how are you”.  People don’t do that in Skopje.  The other thing, is that people seem so busy here.  We work either the same or more hours per week back home, but aren’t always in a hurry.  We have time to spend with family and friends.  Back home, families only have 1 car.  Here, everyone has a car to get where they need to go quickly.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Macedonia?

N:  Family.  Not just the family as in people but the sense of family and community.  Kruno added – Our country was recently in a way.  It went though a very hard time and what got people through that, was family.  It’s very important there.

What is the hardest part of international travel?

B: Being bored on the long flight.

N: Blageetsa being bored on the flight.  She kept getting up and moving around.

~ They did add, that being in the last row was nice.  It seemed a little less cramped then the other flight.  I asked if they minded the long wait to disembark the plane.  They both agreed that it wasn’t a big deal.  They are far more patient than I.

What has been your favorite thing you’ve eaten while in the US?

B:  Yummy Chicken (A family recipe of mine, find it here)


 

It’s interesting how a short visit with someone can give you so much perspective.  How different families and different cultures go through life.  I always thought that my family was an affectionate group.  We pale in comparison.  The love my in-laws have to give is immeasurable.  When they said during the interview how important family is, it was an understatement.  They love with their whole hearts, their whole being.  I can’t count how many times I’ve been told “I love you” Or “Kristinia (kruno’s sister) says she loves you”. And it’s not just me.  It’s to all members of my family, and friends.  People they have only met one, maybe two times.  Their second day here, they asked to go see my brother in the hospital.  They talk about him everynight.  They’ll ask how he is doing today, if I’ve talked to him. They’ll tell me how much they love him and that they pray for him. They share memories of their first trip here and the people they met.  How our friends are lovely people, and how nice they were, how much love they have for them because they are our friends. The language barrier is tricky to navigate, but when sharing a feeling they are able to communicate with ease.

I knew it the first time I met them and I know it now.  They are some of the most kind, generous and loving people I have ever met.  And I am so very lucky to have the Petrov family as my in-laws.  I couldn’t have asked for better.

 

 

 

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The Petrov’s First Thanksgiving!