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

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Posted in Blog, Blogger, blogging, Featured, Inspirations, Thoughts, writing

Taking Writing Risks

I did something a little wacky.  I submitted an article for publication in Brevity Magazine.  Now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t know what is crazier: Submitting the article or telling you about all it.  The thought of both is making me a little queasy right now.

I submitted a short, non-fiction story.  And as I think back to when I first started this blog; I would have never had the courage to do something like this.  I barely have it now.  When it comes to writing, I am still in a constant state of anxious indecisiveness with every blog post. My “revision” counter for this one has capped out at 25.  Should I hit the publish button? Could I make it better? How do I make it better? Is it good enough? Am I good enough? 

Those questions combined leads to a bigger one.  Is the potential literary reward worth the risk of putting yourself out there?  That is a big gamble.  The idea of having something published is a huge, massive thing.  I don’t care if 5 or 50000 people read the magazine. That is the reward.  But, the risk of rejection?  This soon into my writing venture?  The thought of taking a chance and ending up with a bruised ego, and one that is already a bit blemished I might add, has me reeling. And worried I may have made a mistake.

While the graphic reads “How to”, it may be better read “How to???.”  I guess first things first, I should probably start by managing my expectations.  State my goal and get myself mentally prepared for the probable repudiation.  Now you see, here I feel like I should type something like “Oh, I’m not expecting much.  Maybe just some feedback”.  In fact I did type something similar to that.  I had to delete it. It wasn’t the truth. Obviously, I’m expecting something.  I would have never wasted my time or the $3.00 it cost to submit it if I wasn’t. But then again, perhaps “expecting” is the wrong word.  I think “hopeful” is more apt in this situation.  It’s better to be hopeful than expectant in most things.  I am expecting a response.  I am hopeful that it is one of acceptance and not of rejection. That’s my goal. Yes, that’s much better.

However this pans out, I really wanted to write about it.  This blog has made me think about things in ways I haven’t before. Never in my life have I set personal goals for myself or stepped so far out of my comfort zone.  I’ve never put myself in a position for open critique. Not like this anyway. And even if no one reads these posts. I like to think that it keeps me honest.  It keeps me aspiring to do something or be something more. Take risks. I really love what this has turned into. And if that’s all this ever is, just something I enjoying doing, then that’s ok. But I really hope that I never lose the desire to try for something bigger.

Goals:

Have my non-fiction short story published on in Brevity Magazine

WordPress Goals:

367 views for month of Sept – Current Sept Views: 225

200 WordPress followers by Dec, 31st – Current WordPress followers: 127

Posted in Blog, Blogger, blogging, Inspirations, Thoughts, writing

A Procrastinator’s​ Guide To Tackling The To-Do List: Blogging Edition

First, A little back story.

I thought of the title for this blog post out of the blue one day.  So I quickly opened my WordPress app and typed it in. I hit save, under the Drafts tab.  Making absolutely sure that I didn’t accidentally hit the publish button.  That is the worst!  Publishing something before it’s ready, aaarrgh. It’s awful!  Anyway, as I was double checking that I didn’t post it instead of saving it.  I got the idea for the super cute graphic.  I immediately clicked on my Word Swag app and created the image you see above. And I LOVE it.  In fact, I love it so much, that I’ve started laying the ground work for this to be a series.  And I am super excited!

As I started typing and formatting this post I found myself back spacing and rearranging sentences a lot.  I just couldn’t get the concept to flow the way I wanted it to.  And then I realized why…. I am a procrastinator.  Procrasntintor’s aren’t usually the ones who write about getting things done.  We also aren’t the type of people to be made an example of when referencing expeditious task completion.  Something weird to note, that this is only in my personal life.  Like getting an oil change, or canceling a subscription. Which reminds me, I never canceled my husbands Dollar Shave Club subscription.  Shit.

Professionally speaking, I couldn’t be more opposite.  I’m known to watch my inbox like a hawk.  Always at the ready for the next task.  For me, there is nothing better than being asked to do something, completing it and sending back a “Done!” email.  My work inbox is pristine.  As I left yesterday for a week’s vacation, I didn’t even have to scroll.  All emails were visible on one page.  That feeling, for me, is pure contentment.

So, how do I get this, and the subsequent series posts I’m planning, to translate from personal procrastinator to every day efficient?   There only seems to be one solution.  I am going to try to fix something, that for the last 33 years of my life, has been one of the most predominant personality traits I have.  I’m going to become “The Blogger Formally Known As A Procrastinator.” You guys, my husband is going to be so effing excited when he reads this.

We’re now at the point where you may be asking yourself “why would I take advice from a woman who admittedly, can barely make a list of “to-do’s” to do the to-do’s.?” And I think that is a very fair question. My answer is this:  This post is meant for the people like me.  The people to enjoy getting things done, but in their own, type B personality, kind of way.  The type of people who may appear disorganized, and lackadaisical to some. But in all actuality do, for the most part,  have their shit together.

The To-Do:  Writing a Blog Post

This blog has been an eye-opening experience.  If you have been with me since the beginning you may recall my post Surviving Succulents.  In it, I wrote about starting projects and not finishing them. And how this project, this blog, was going to be different.  And while I’ve only been at this for about 9 months, it is the longest I’ve ever stuck with something like this.  And I still love it like I did at the beginning.  I think that is one of the most important things for a procrastinator.  And my first blogging To-Do.  Blog about something you love.  Or something that challenges you, whether it be a specific topic or niche.  Maybe even daring to try a different style. Like poetry, short stories or nonfiction.  In my very limited experience, I’ve found that writing about something you love, or something that you have an interest in, comes a lot easier and therefore quicker than something you don’t.

That brings me to my next To-Do, well this is more of a to-don’t.  Don’t force it.  Readers will be able to tell.  One of the followers of my blog recently commented that “It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.” And he is exactly right.  Just because you haven’t published a post in a while doesn’t mean that you’re failing or even that you’re procrastinating. Maybe you haven’t found the spark.  I’ve talked about the spark before.  It’s what I consider to be the moment you get an idea that you’re excited about.  When everything just comes rushing to you and you’re inspired. That spark can come at any time and even multiple times within a single post.  For example, I started this post on May 29th.  Almost 2 months ago.  And here I am just finishing it up.  I don’t know what it was about the last couple of days, but a majority of this post has only just been written in that time.  And that’s ok.  I didn’t want to write it to just to say that I posted something.  I wanted to write it to be good.  To be helpful.  Honestly, I don’t know if it will be either of those things, but fingers crossed.

And the last To-Do is to try to set aside time each day to work on your blog.  It doesn’t have to be hours, or at a set time every day.   Even if all you have is 15 minutes.  Go to your blog, under your drafts, and read what you’ve already written.  Add a sentence or two.  Rewrite a paragraph.  Touch up the graphic.  Do research on a topic you’re working on.  Whatever it may be, just DO something within your blog.  I guarantee the more you do that, the more quality content you’ll produce.

So that’s that.  My very first edition of “Turning To-Do’s into Ta-Da’s.”  Now, I am no expert on matters of blogging or most things really.  And while these tips are more common knowledge tidbits than insider secrets.  I hope they offer insight.  I hope this comes off as more of a pep talk than anything.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  Don’t worry about what others with think (this is still my biggest hurdle).  Because, from what I can tell, the bloggers who have the most followers aren’t necessarily the people who produce the most content.  And I think, by just doing these very basic things, you will greatly increase the chances of creating an amazing (Ta-Da!!!)  blog post.

 

 

“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”  – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Posted in Blog, Blogger, blogging, Digital Marketing, Inspirations, Thoughts, writing

Beginners Bloggers Block

I started out strong. Just over eight months ago.  I was blogging often, having a fairly clear, concise point with each post.  The feedback I got was amazing.  People told me that what I was writing was relatable and how they looked forward to my posts. But, as the weeks went on, I found myself blogging less and less and less.  At one point going more than a month without posting a single thing.

I would still go to WordPress almost every day.  Just under the “Reader” tab.  I would scroll through my saved categories, spending a majority of my time under “Blogging”.   A common post I’d see would fall along the lines of “So, I haven’t posted in a while.” or “Things have been really hectic lately and I haven’t logged in”.  Listen, I get it. I do.  Life gets busy and things come up.  But I couldn’t help but wonder…  Were they really too busy for days, weeks, on end or maybe it’s because they didn’t have something to say? Something they were proud of, or inspired by, or excited about. And by no fault of their own necessarily.

It’s so very easy to rely on an excuse, rather than admit that you’ve maybe lost motivation.  Or perhaps, you’ve been looking for inspiration and have come up empty handed.  I find that so many of my posts have come to fruition because I was inspired by something.  Something happened or I read something.  Whatever it was, was so amazing that it just compelled me to write. To tell the WordPress world all about it.

A few weeks ago, I got the blogging itch.  The one where you need to write something down, purely for the sake of writing.  But, I didn’t know what to write about.  I needed inspiration in real bad way.  So I went over to  Dream Big, Dream Often, to see what the author had been up to. He has a fantastic blog.  Every day he publishes posts that are not only thought-provoking, but also entice engagement from a seemingly very diverse audience.  I’m pretty new to this, but even I know that is no small feat.  And as I scrolled and read, there it was. A simple blog post, about nothing really. It was maybe 3 or 4 sentances long.  In the post, he had asked a question about social media usage. I answered, and in my response, I typed the title of this post.  That’s all I needed, I had my inspiration.

When inspiration hits, there’s no other way to describe it other than a spark.  When I have an idea for a post that I’m excited about, there is nothing that will stop me from writing, editing, revising and hitting that beautiful blue “publish” button.  My eyes light up, you can see the wheels turning and from there, my fingers glide over the alphabet keys with the utmost of ease.  You never know where the spark will come from or when it will strike.  But thankfully, inevitably, it does.  Whether it’s slight or fierce, sooner or later, you’ll have a creative urge that will bring you back from that merciless thing called writers block.

Posted in Blogger, blogging, family, Inspirations, life, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Mischance, Migraines and Milestones

These three “M” words won’t mean much to most, but to me, they are perfectly entwined.  For better or worse.

A few people have mentioned recently that I hadn’t done a blog post in a while.  And they are right in a way. I haven’t done a public blog post in over a month.  But, I have been writing. I have a few posts drafted and edited, ready to go when the time is right.  I did, however want to write something to check in, in a way.  With myself more than anything.


 

Mischance – An old-timey word for bad luck.  Bad luck is what started this blogging journey. When my brother was in his work accident, I needed this outlet so badly.  And as his recovery has progressed, I realized it’s no loner my story to tell.  My perspective at this stage is a sort of a moot point.  He has his voice and can post his updates as he sees fit.  That may be hard for some, family especially, whereas he’s very stingy with his information, but that’s his choice.

One of the main reasons I haven’t been posting is because I’ve been having a lot of migraines lately.  I had never had a headache in my entire life, until about a year and a half ago.  Except a hangover headache.  Had plenty of them.  Stress does weird things to a person’s body, and mine apparently deals with stress in this form.  I’ve lived a fairly stress free life, which I am incredibly grateful for.  But, I think it’s catching up with me now.  I’ve been through a few different types of medicine, and recently switched it again, and so far so good. Hence, this blog post.

It has been 6 months since I started this blog.  It was a milestone I wasn’t sure I’d see.  Even though I had made a couple of posts at the beginning about my motivation and wanting to see this through. There is always a little doubt.  Can I do it?  Do people want to read it?  Does it matter if they do or don’t?  I can do it.  I have no doubt of that.  My self-confidence shakes a little when it comes to the last two questions.  I guess we’ll see how this goes along.  Maybe I will answer them at my 1 year milestone.

 

Posted in belief, Donald Trump, life, New Year, Political, Politics, Thoughts, Trump, Donald J, Uncategorized, writing

These are a few of my biglyest fears….

I’m not one to post about politics, but I’ve had some things on my chest for a while.  All of them are coming to a head. And here seems like as good as place as any to voice them.

The countdown to January 20th continues, and there is no infiltration in sight.  No one is coming to our rescue, no one to deliver us from this evil.  Because, that was our job, the American voters.  We failed, his opponents failed, and like Meryl Streep said “we all lose”.  I was nervous when Bush Jr was elected, even more so for the second term.  And now, I am downright uncomfortable.  I watched his press conference with a knot in my stomach.  I kid you not, nausea is still coming at me in waves.  This may sound dramatic and maybe some day I’ll look back and agree that it is.  But today, I am terrified about what is about to happen.  I know I know, my New Years post was about being a positive Polly.  I’ve fallen off the wagon.  I’ll hop back on as soon as I stop dry heaving thinking about our President Elect.

I have been imagining the possible outcomes. And trying to estimate the probabilities of certain catastrophes happening during the next four years.These are the thoughts that have consumed me since election night.  I work in the finance industry.  When the president-elect makes a derogatory comment about an industry or company, all you can do is sit back and watch. Watch how that stock or sector flails about. While the market is a cycle and goes through ups and downs, the fact that this one idiot and his ignorant opinions, can wreak havoc in so many ways is unsettling to say the least.

Working in the finance industry, I find myself surrounded by men.  Not figuratively, but literally.  My desk is smack dab in the center of the four men I work for.  Throughout the election is was quite clear that some were supporters of the now president-elect.  I can’t count how many times I had to get up and walk away from conversations when it would deviate from the topic at hand to pro-trump bullshit.  Or when they would congregate at MY desk and chit-chat about their choice for president and how great everything was going to be once he was elected.  I may not be the most open-minded person this side of the Mississippi, but….how?  How is this what people think?  What they believe?  This entire election and everything that has come out of it has been just….unfathomable.

So, as the title of this post said.  These are a few of my biglyest fears:

  • Advancements in Equality (all types) will be set back, potentially decades.  That’s worst case scenario.  Best case – is just comes to a screeching halt. We can’t reasonably expect the man who said that a judge couldn’t make a fair ruling because “He’s a Mexican” to truly grasp or believe in the idea of equality.  Or when doing an interview for New York Magazine and referring to the treatment of women said “You have to treat ’em like shit”.  I mean…C’mon.
  • The possibility that the last 8 years will be undone.  When you think about all of the things President Obama and his administration worked so hard for, and that some could potentially be for nothing in a mere 9 days. My god, I feel defeated. And I don’t really have any skin in the game!
  • Immigration.  My husband is from Macedonia and his family is still there.  When we learned that Trump was running for president my husbands first reaction was “I need to become a citizen”.  And he was absolutely right.  But now, questions arise.  Will his mother and father be allowed to visit?  What type of restrictions will be placed, if any?
  • Terrorist attacks, specifically on U.S. soil.  Donald Trump is a joke.  The entire world and it’s leaders know it.  Especially the leaders who aren’t our friends.  I think we have opened ourselves up to be an even bigger target than we already were.  I didn’t think that was actually possible.  But apparently, I was mistaken.
  • My biggest fear of all is for my nephew.  Who, by the way is an avid Trump supporter.  Bumper stickers and everything.  He is in the military.  The president elect’s temperament doesn’t seem to shake him though. But it shakes me to my core.  The thought of him being at the mercy of an overly sensitive, trigger happy, spiteful awful excuse for a human is gut wrenching.  I worry everyday about the probability of him being shipped overseas.  I have nightmares about it. I worry that someday I will get a call from my sister,  and it will be her telling me that my Joshy has been called for deployment.  Please don’t get me wrong. Serving in the military is one of the most selfless things a person can do.  I admire and respect every single service member.  It’s the thought of someone, who dodged several drafts, playing fast and loose with my loved ones life that upsets me.

While President Obama has repeatedly asked that we, as a nation maintain an open mind.  Be optimistic, welcome the new president just as President Bush did for him. I’ve tried and I can’t.  Not honestly anyway.  I can put on a fake smile for a person or family member who wants to sing Trump’s praises in my presence. But, my poker face isn’t that convincing.  They have to see through it, and if they don’t, they are just as oblivious as Trump himself.   I think the only sound advice at this moment is something I’ve written about before.  More than ever, we’ll need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in belief, family, Inspirations, life, Thoughts

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

It’s been a month.  One month today since the accident.

When I got the call that my brother had been in an accident.  I immediately left for the hospital.   It was the simultaneously the slowest and quickest drive there has ever been.  I arrived, and found my way to the ICU floor.  I was met by 2 nurses, later they said they knew who I was by the look on my face.  They sat me down and explained the situation.  It was bad, labeled as critical and life flight was used.  I excused myself and waited for other family members to arrive.  Later on, while at the ICU door waiting to get buzzed in, someone came up next to me.  They had a loved one that had been in the ICU for a few days.  I was looking down at the floor and then I heard them say “The floor here reminds me of the yellow brick road.  Ya know, from the ‘Wizard of Oz?'” That’s my favorite movie.  From that moment on, I thought about the similarities between the movie and the situation that we were in.

I was the Scarecrow.  Asking for a brain to figure everything out.  Trying to learn the medical terms, which monitors meant what, blood pressures, oxygenation, medications.

I was the Lion. Asking for courage.  Courage to be strong when others couldn’t be.  Courage to help my brother with the unknown.  Courage to believe that everything is going to be just fine.

I was not the Tin Man. My favorite quote from the movie is “hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable”  My heart has felt more this past month than perhaps my whole life combined.  It has been broken, mended,  but mostly filled will love and gratitude.

And then there’s my brother, J.J..  Unfortunately for him, he is a girl in this analogy.  He’s Dorothy.  Wanting desperately to find his way home.  He’ll be there soon.

“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself”