New Year, New Opportunities

It’s been awhile, but safe to say, I’m back in business. Thought I needed to go all incognito over the past couple of weeks, but where is the fun in that?

I’ve started and stopped like a mille a mille (no longer relevant? Psh Wayne for life, baby)  posts, but blogging and writing have been on the back burner in terms of pressing priorities.

On Saturday, I decided to take time to write and blog. I sat down to write a blog post and ended up writing a six page piece that I’m in love with, but feel it’s way too personal and not blog appropriate, so filing it under future book material.

That said, hey! what’s up? hello! I’ve missed you and the joy that comes from pounding my thoughts onto a keyboard. The fact that I wrote six pages and then wanted to write this (and on a totally separate topic), really demonstrates how much of a release and joy writing and blogging are for me. I want to make more time for this again, because it’s truly therepeutic and hopefully enjoyable for you :).

2018…
What a year you’ve been already, amirite? Everyone I know seems to be in mega hermit mode and it’s not because of the cold weather, or cuffing season that is upon us. It seems that regardless of industry, or role, everyone is buried in more work than blankets this winter.

Everyone I talk to is either looking for a job, drowning in their current job, or attempting to get hired without getting fired aka kill their current job while killing themselves to find another gig.

In addition to the current craze around careers, we have a million other gaps to fill. What about dating & relationships, diet & exercise, family & friends, passions & hobbies, philanthropy & volunteerism, religion & spirituality? Talk about a balancing act. So, what do we do with limited time and competing-priorities? We strategize, because after all, fail to plan and plan to fail.

How do you learn how to juggle when you can barely get out of bed in the morning? Practice, patience, perseverance and consistency. I know, painful, but necessary.

This past month, I’ve learned that despite my best efforts, I can’t do it all. Alas, my dreams of being superwoman have been crushed. Once you accept that you don’t have super natural powers, you can stop beating yourself up for falling short. This is SUPER hard for me. I always want it all and want it all at the same time.

I started listing out things I want to happen simultaneously and it occured to me that I’m not Oprah and that made me sad. The thing is, you can have it all and you can be it all, but it takes sacrifice and learning what you want the most versus what you want to a lesser degree. For example, when I moved to NYC, I wanted to live here. That was my priority, so sharing a bunk bed with a stranger (not an ideal goal) was a sacrifice I made. Job searching and networking replaced time that could’ve been spent doing other things, because having cash flow was my biggest priority. Once you’ve achieved your goal through sacrifice, you can move onto the next.

I’m not saying not to try, but what I am saying is try your hardest with what you’ve deemed priority, so that your effort and values align. This will help you to fight feelings of inadequacy, and promote a feeling of accomplishment when the things you are laser-focused on go well. It can feel defeating when you’re doing well in one area, but other areas are suffering… that’s life and it’s okay! The important thing to remember is that change and growth take time.

Goal setting

This year, I set three major goals. I mimicked this idea from one of my best friends who told me she does this every year. Initially, I thought this was absurd! Only three goals? But then I got to thinking and I realized the value in her strategy. Three goals might seem minimal, but it’s really not when you think about all of the work that goes into accomplishing anything big.

Having three pillars in the front of my mind (and planner) keep me laser-focused on what I want to achieve. For example, if my goal is to run a marathon, there is a ton of planning and preparation that needs to happen in order to achieve this goal.

Have patience with the process

You can’t go from zero to hundred in a day. Achieving anything worth while requires dedication, sacrifice, consistency and endurance.

Patience is a virtue and a pain in the ass, but it’s worth mastering; good things come to those who prioritize, plan and consistently execute.

I am someone who wants it all and wants it all right now. Sometimes it’s hard for me to see the steps necessary to accomplish the big pictures that consume my mind. It’s like I want to be at point B, but I tend to just think of the end game and not how to get to get to my destination. Thinking this way is dangerous and doesn’t allow you to think of the steps you can take each day to reach your end game.

Think of your process as an art

It’s a balancing act between knowing your destination and figuring out how to get there. Consistent daily actions are the key to achieving your roadmap success. If you just think about the end game, you’re a visionary/idealist. If you just think about where you are and not where you want to be, you’re stagnant. If you combine the two you find progress.

So often, we get caught up in where we want to be and forget to appreicate the small details that get us there. Changing your life is truly an art. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Masterpieces don’t just appear. The process is tedious and creative. You have a blank canvass and it is your responsibility to brainstorm and plan your process of execution and ways of achievement vary for everyone.

One of my goals is around fitness, so I found a gym partner who has a similar fitness goal and we’ve begun working out together. Having an accountability partner makes it easier to suffer through early mornings filled with dark and cold commutes. We’ve had some turbulence; however, we created a schedule for this week and we’re both committed to it.

For months, I battled with geographical obstacles, work schedules and varying membership obligations when trying to work out with friends. Now, I’ve found someone who has a similar goal, works out at the same time as me and goes to the same gym as me. It’s convenient for both of us and thus simplifies our strategy to achieve our goals.

Stick with it

After you’ve defined your goal and simplified your strategy, you have to remain committed. This is the hardest part! Maybe you want to stay up late, or hit snooze for a few more hours (evvvvvery day OMG), but you can’t. You have to commit to the process and consistency means sacrificing certain things to achieve your goals.

What do you do when you have competing goals? Plan ahead and stick to your plan. That way, when your head is spinning and you have numerous options, you will be less likely to suffer from analysis paralysis.

Analysis paralysis is the worrrrst and you accomplish nothing, so just don’t go there.

I keep a monthly planner, because I like to see things written down, but with so much on my plate, I love finding new ways to stay organized. What are some of the ways you stay organized? Is it through apps, traditional planners, default routine? I would love to hear any tips and tricks you find helpful!

PAST MEETS PRESENT

Sometimes people from our past end up crossing our path again. Before we unlock the door to future possibilities, we can’t forget why we locked it in the first place.

It seemed different this time around. The issues that once plagued our “relationship” seemed to have resolved with time. A part of me knew it wasn’t going to work and if I’m honest with myself, I don’t think I really cared.

Isn’t it funny how you can be so removed from someone, but as soon as they let you down, a trigger is pulled? Maybe I never really opened up to him, or gave it an actual shot, because in my heart, I knew it never would be. And that’s not because of him, but because of me. Because I didn’t want us in the end, not the way we had become.

When you play with fire, you might just get burned. So why let an old flame seek redemption? I suppose there was unfinished business to take care of. There was the curiosity of whether or not time could heal old wounds. There was the hope of who this person could have become.

That’s problem. When you let an illusion dictate your actions, you lose sight of reality. In all fairness, this individual has a good heart, but unfortunately he doesn’t know how to share it. He’s so wrapped up in work that I sometimes wonder if he will ever look back and realize he missed out on so many other things along the way.

Learning how to prioritize and design a life that works for you is challenging, no doubt. Just ask all of the friends and family that have witnessed my many breakdowns over the past few months. That said, you don’t stop trying.

Amongst the many reasons why this man and I will never work out is that somewhere along the way, he forgot that though work will be waiting for you when you wake up and go to sleep and in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep (if you’re lucky enough to even be able to sleep when there is so much to be done) that alone it’s worth nothing.

Yo, I’m single and to be honest, I love it. I love it because none of my suitors thus far have been right and most haven’t been worthy of my time. That said, I have prioritized my career over the past year and for the time being will continue to do so.

I think the difference between this fellow and myself is that instead of being honest with himself and me, he genuinely tried to do better. I think you can teach an old dog new tricks, but patterns are hard to break without true self awareness and a genuine relentless desire to change.

I suppose the weirdest part about all of this is that I actually feel good about confronting him and letting him go for good. Sometimes you have to reel something in only to throw it back out. The interesting part is that I feel whatever unfinished business we had was finally taken care of.

What an amazing feeling to know that sometimes things simply don’t work out and that an idea is just an idea even if it is about someone.

My protective friends would say he’s an ass in efforts to comfort me, but it’s really not about him, or me. Sure, he’s immature, but what do I care?

At the end of the day, sometimes the shoe just doesn’t fit. You can fight the universe and your gut to try to force it, or you can ride with the tide knowing that all that is meant to be works out and all that isn’t slips away.

For me, I choose the latter. There is no reason to wallow and lick old wounds when there is a whole big world out there with open arms.

I suppose my biggest learning lesson here is to honor my feelings, trust my gut, and continue to devote the limited energy I have into the right people.

There are seasons where your career will win. It will be all consuming and you might feel like you don’t have the capacity to even talk to another human by the end of the day and that’s ok. Seasons come and go, but if you find that you’re stuck in an never ending drought, it might be time to reconsider. Because having the right someone to weather the storm with is actually kind of nice.

I suppose the whole point of dating is trial and error, so you can learn more about yourself. And truth is you don’t have to worry about any of these asshats. When the right person enters your life, you’ll know. Knowing that and truly believing that makes letting go all that isn’t right, so much easier.

So many people get caught up on why things couldn’t work out with someone they weren’t even crazy about to begin with. Let bygones be bygones and go where you’re celebrated.

There is no time in the present to waste on someone who was never really yours anyway.

YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL, BUT NOT ALL AT ONCE

Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer give me hope that our country is moving in the right direction. As a personal victim of work place harassment, I can tell you that it not only impacts the individual on an emotional and mental level, it also has a ripple effect on their career. We’re taught not to speak up about things because if we do it’s somehow a poor reflection on us. It doesn’t matter if your company stands by you and fires the ahole… the victim is left with the aftermath. You’re forced to be silent and not talk about the situation (especially if it’s one that was handled discretely).

In my experience, my company at the time did everything possible to make up for the horrible months I endured while working under this individual. That said, when they fired him, they didn’t let employees know why. He was incredibly senior and I was in a position where I worked with essentially everyone in my department as well as everyone within the C-Suite.

People didn’t know why he was let go and constantly went to me for clarity. I had to act like I didn’t know and act like I was ok. I wasn’t and because of this I threw myself into a new another opportunity. I was desperate to start over and put this situation behind me and unfortunately my desperation led me to an even more devastating role where I was bullied and mistreated to the point of spending day after day crying in the bathroom stall.

One poor position after another spun me into a downward spiral of what should have been my career progression.

I’ve been wanting to blog about this, but I’ve been so afraid of the red tape that would potentially be associated with my name. So, years later I’m still paying for this jerk’s abuse of power. Paying by having to make up reasons for my sporadic resume and seemingly impulsive career moves.

My hope that eventually more people will speak out and our society will reach a place where when we talk through our resumes, where we can be honest and finally stop hiding and feeling punished for what happened to us.

Until then, I don’t define myself as a victim anymore. What happened was tragic and horrible and very devastating; however, I believe that life is messy and we can turn tragedy into beauty. I needed time to wallow and heal and build myself back up again, but now years later, I am stronger than ever and far less intimidated.

I encourage all of you to stand up for yourself and never let anyone scare you. I never reported the abuse I was enduring, but I had guardian angels looking out for me and because of them the universe got rid of him. I wish I could go back to that place with the knowledge that being nice doesn’t mean you tolerate inappropriate behavior. I wish I would have known that I was more important than anything he could have ever done to me. I wish I would have known I was worth more.

At least I know now. I’ve been through so much and maybe it was all necessary to learn that I am worth so much more than that and to find the voice I lost around fifteen. I hope that you’ll find your voice if you’ve lost it and know that you’re not alone.

I think we all have a choice when life hands us sour lemons, we can pucker up and cry about it, or we can keep going until we find a sweet one.

Sometimes life spins you out of control, but it is up to us to find ground again. In my next post, I’m going to share what I’m currently working on which is learning how to find balance without risking becoming a master of none. I believe that you can have it all, but not all at once. You have to make small consistent strides in your most valued environments in order to design a life you not only thrive in, but also enjoy.

THE POWER OF PROGRESS

On this beautiful fall evening, I would like to share some things the past few months have taught me:

Your mindset matters

Regardless of what you’re aspiring to change, or who you want to become, you must believe in the power of mind over matter. I have moments where I let my emotions guide me, but I’ve gotten way better at controlling them and not being controlled by them. Feelings are wonderful, but you can’t live your life according to them, because they change and are unreliable.

I understand that some feelings need to be dealt with and that might mean throwing yourself a pity party and owning the fact that no one possibly has it worse than you and no one understands and boo hoo, etc. Eventually (sooner rather than later), you need to ditch the seamless that comes with two forks… no they aren’t insulting you when they think you’ve ordered for two, maybe you’ve just ordered too much. Stop rewatching Bridget Jones and put the gym membership you’re paying a million dollars for to use… just speaking to myself here? C0000L.

Seriously though, think about it. Think about the most gut-wrenching breakup, horrific death, or massive disappointment you’ve had to deal with. It’s not that the issue ever became less painful on its own. Rather, it’s that you decided to change the way you dealt with it and thus changed your mindset. You stopped allowing how you were feeling to dictate your actions and you started doing things you knew would make you feel better. You probably fell off track a few times (or if you’re like me, more than a few), but the progress you made kept you going. You didn’t allow minor setbacks to define you. You believed that by stepping outside of your comfort zone you would eventually feel better and wah-la eventually, you did.

There is power in planning and preparation

When you’re in a funk and you’re wanting to make a massive change, it can feel extremely overwhelming and scary. In addition to getting your mind right, you need to be consistent with your actions. This doesn’t mean that you can’t trial and error new interests, but what it does mean is that having some consistency and stability builds confidence. For me, knowing that each day I’m making small and measurable strides towards my long-term goals makes me feel more confident and excited about the process.

That said, is it fun to plan everything? Nah. BUT… there is also power in your perspective. When you change your perspective and the way you view tasks at hand, it can change your life. Suddenly, seemingly meniscal tasks become much more rewarding.

Being optimistic and taking action will seal the deal

If we change our mindsets, prepare, show up with optimism and enthusiasm for the tasks at hand we will succeed.  It is truly that simple. So, I challenge you to step away from the things that provide temporary relief, but long term discomfort. Don’t settle for what’s comfortable, strive for what’s better.

Why carpe the diem?

Lately, I’ve been asking various professionals what they wish they’d known when they were my age, or what they would have done differently. I’ve been researching various books and reading an insane amount of articles about these questions. What I’ve found so far is that we often tend to get so caught up in the future, or stuck on the past that we forget to seize the moment we’re currently in.

Most of the time, we worry about things that don’t end up happening. We harp on things we can’t change and ultimately we waste time. Time is the most precious aspect of our lives. We don’t know how much of it we have and we don’t have the power to control when our hourglass runs out. When I think about this concept, I’m filled with a deep desire to make the most of it.

Today, one of my best friends texted my girl gang group chat to make sure we were all safe. Unclear exactly what happened, but safe to say that shots were fired near the world trade center, essentially one block from where she works. It is still unclear as to whether or not there were shots, but most reports have indicated yes. Moreover, multiple pedestrians were hit by a truck driver who maliciously plowed through people and killed and injured majority of them.

The same scenario happened a few months ago by my office in Times Square. It was the first time in my five years of living here that I had heard of an instance like this and having been so close to it, it scared me. Today, I feel the same fear and grief for those harmed by such a violent act.

I don’t bring up these examples to incite fear, or be depressing. Rather, I bring them up to remind everyone that life is fleeting. We can’t control how much time we’re blessed with on this earth, but we can control how we make the most of what we’re given.

What can you do to ensure every grain of sand that slips through your hourglass counts for something?

WHY IT PAYS TO BE PATIENT, BUT NOT PASSIVE

Fall, my favorite season. Change is represented in every season, but fall feels drastic. In the winter we have snow. In the spring, we have flowers and I have allergies and in the summer we have sun. This fall, we’ve experienced interesting weather here in NYC. Some days have been freezing while others have been too warm for even a light jacket.

Eventually the cold days will outnumber the warm ones. The leaves will fall and apple picking will be put to rest until next year. But for now, fall is fighting the change (*cough* thanks global warming, I digress). My point is that transitional periods can be really unsettling.

We can contrast the weather with our personal lives and realize that change is inevitable. Life goes on with or without you. It can be hard waking up not knowing if it’s going to be hot or cold tomorrow, or if we’ll finally get that job offer, or lose 20 pounds, or find the love of our lives, etc.

Sometimes we have to trust in the universe during these times. Times where things are ambiguous and change feels impossible to overcome.

I took a class with a friend of mine yesterday and we talked about the importance of pushing yourself through what is immediately uncomfortable to reach the long term results you desire.

She put it this way, you know when you’re sad and you’re in bed and you know that getting up and seeing friends and doing things will make you feel better, but you also know that continuing to lay there wallowing in your depression will make you feel better in the moment? You have to push past the urge to settle for temporary relief in order to accomplish whatever it is that you’re wanting to accomplish long term.

I had a pity party for myself recently. It lasted maybe a little over a month. I was dealing with some really tough stuff and I was letting my emotions and negative thoughts steer me.

Eventually I took hold of the situation and have been making small changes every day to improve it.

I stopped allowing myself to play the victim and instead made a game plan of how to take control of my life and my situation.

It’s so annoying that things don’t change overnight, right? I mean if anyone loves instant gratification it’s me, but I’m learning that there are so many lessons and benefits from working towards goals. I mean seriously sitting yourself down and reevaluating your life and figuring out what the hell you want for yourself and your life.

I think we procrastinate doing this because it’s scary and it’s overwhelming, but it’s also really exciting!

What do you want for your life? How will you weather the changing seasons and where do you want to be in the new year?

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

NYC, the city that never sleeps. She revs us up with energy and drowns us out in crowds. Living here means living in chaos and learning how to thrive in a manic environment. For a place so heavily populated it’s shocking how alone you can feel.

Millions of strangers commute each day to work. We stand and sit in silence. Some of us read, some write and some yell at others. We miss trains by seconds, because some idiot can’t swipe their card correctly and we let it ruin our day. Subway operations can be very tricky and if you’re ever riding in a stalled car the stress level is so high you can physically feel it. We pack into cars like sardines and treat one another like animals. We put our headphones on and for a moment we disappear.

We disappear until someone yells “hey asshole move out of my way” and then just like that we’re back. Sometimes when we’re stressed we miss stops, sometimes the cars have no ventilation and you can see the sweat dripping out of every pore.

Some of us walk to work and some of us take cars. We yell at the drivers because somehow traffic and what is most likely the best route are to blame for us leaving our apartments 5 minutes after we were supposed to be arriving somewhere.

We are manic. Forget shopping at Trader Joe’s, fairway, or any other grocer on Sunday or Monday or even Saturday sometimes. You’ll risk a limb for a loaf of bread.

The thing is you don’t have to shop if you don’t want to, because here everything is made for your convenience. You can send your laundry out, hire a personal assistant to run your errands, return items by uberrush, order takeout, buy groceries through apps, rent clothes and buy clothes for same day delivery, etc. Literally anything you want you can have.

Anything except personal connection. I’ve managed to find a tribe of humans so magical I want to trademark them. My posse, my babes, my brigade. They are the best humans in the world and I get to love them every single day. We found each other because we stopped getting caught up in the chaos and instead embraced it with a positive and optimistic attitude. That even in such a dog eat dog City there are humans who will cherish you and pick you up when you’re down.

So, on the friend front I don’t know what to tell you. Sure there are apps for that, but you can’t get genuine loving relationships on demand. It takes time, effort and memories made. So I can’t help but wonder why that hasn’t seemed to apply on the romantic relationship side for me.

I believe in the universe and the laws of attraction, but I must say when it comes to love maybe I believe it’s better to be safe than sorry. To my friends, my job, my neighbors, my family I give my all. There is no half-assing with me. If I want you in my life, I’m going to see to it that you have the best life possible.

This has done wonders for my friendships and career opportunities. I’ve attracted people into my life who have quite literally taught me what it means to love and be loved. That said, when it comes to romance I’ve become jaded. I’ve become tired of comparing dating to an irritating subway commute. As if it’s something you have to do out of some sort of obligation. You’re on the ride and neither of you are enjoying it and there is no excitement.

You don’t know what you’re walking into (I’ve been catfished….PTSD) and you don’t know what you’re walking away from. You might have an extraordinary time with sparks flying so high you can’t breathe only to never hear from the person again. Oh, but they might still watch your Instagram stories and like your photos (dude, that’s weird).

So every time you put on a pretty dress and paint your face with lush red lipstick remember you might just be on the verge of meeting your next breadcrumber. Last year I had my first experience with being ghosted and this year I had my first experience with a breadcrumber.

I didn’t really care because to be honest I wasn’t really into him at all. I tried to convince myself I was, but I was just going through the motions. I was robotically following my morning commute. I was living a routine. I’ve heard girls talk about numbers. The more dates you go on the better your chances of finding the one are.

I don’t know what I think about it all anymore except that I think it’s very sad. It’s sad that we live in a culture where love isn’t prioritized and people aren’t treasured. I think it’s sad that we treat people like atm transactions. We take out, but we don’t always put back in.

We settle for boring, because sometimes boring feels safer than being alone. I’ve been on my dating hiatus for a few months now and it’s opened my eyes to a whole new world. One where I refuse to settle for anything less than magic. I’ve realized that risks are something I love to take, but when it comes to relationships I have to play it a bit more safe.

Someone came back into my life and showed me what it’s like to respect someone and value them and honor them. Seeing that and knowing it exists gives me hope for humanity. There are good people out there who want more than just to service themselves.

I want to encourage all of you to shoot for the stars in terms of your life. We limit ourselves and I don’t know why! You deserve a kind loving partner who adores you. You deserve friends who will have your back, but also hold you accountable. You deserve a job that appreciates your work and dedication and promotes you accordingly. You deserve to have a life that’s more than getting up only to wait for the day to be over.

Regardless of where you are in your life don’t get so caught up in the chaos/drama that you forget about all of the beauty. Every day is a new day and opportunity to become whoever you want to be. Leave behind a legacy that is legendary.

Gibberish from a sick chick ;)

I’ve spent the past 5 days in my apartment. I’ve been sick and apparently could’ve potentially avoided such a long confinement had I not procrastinated going to the doctor. I thought that if I waited it out I would miraculously get better, but of course I did not.

So I slept a lot, watched a lot of shameless, attempted to paint nails (they look hideous), I began deep cleaning and finding things to give away. This was all today. The other days I spent my time laying in bed sleeping and eating soup. I wanted to plan my big fall reset, I wanted to reach out to contacts, I wanted feel like myself again.

This is what I learned while being off the grid:

  1. Just because someone doesn’t call or text to check on you doesn’t mean they don’t care
  2. I believe sickness can come as a blessing in disguise, it forces you to just stop everything
  3. Todays problems will be there tomorrow and sometimes it’s ok to hit pause and turn off for a bit

Initially, I was so upset to have not heard from certain people. I wondered how they could know I was ill and not bother to even send a text. Then I realized something, we all have things going on and just because you don’t hear from someone doesn’t mean they don’t care, or they aren’t thinking of you. I also realized that I can’t set expectations for how I want people to respond to me. People are going to be themselves and I can either accept that, or remove them from my life. It’s not my place to change anyone.

So was sitting here feeling sorry for myself as as any sick girl would, my friend reminded me of all the people who love me in my life. The amount of phone calls and texts I received were truly incredible.

I think so often we focus on what we don’t have that we miss the bigger picture. That picture is the Mosaic of all the loved ones who show up through the good, bad and ugly. The ones who love you when you’re a hot mess and praise you when you’re a major success.

Things have been rough for me lately. I received negative feedback and I’ve been doing my best to learn from it and grow from it. That said, it doesn’t make it any less discouraging. I’ve had to actively rewire my brain to focus on all that is good and all the possibilities ahead.

So as we enter another manic Monday I encourage you to surprise yourself. Do the uncomfortable things and fight for your worth 💜.