Monthly archives of “January 2011

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Everyone’s talking, so who’s listening?

[Let me preface this by saying I am no expert on current events. In fact, I consciously avoid the news, unless something is totally saturating the airwaves and I can’t escape it—a practice of Tim Ferriss’s that I taught myself when I was 10 years old and made totally depressed and anxious by my news-addicted household.]

When I was a child, I was obsessed with Anne Frank. I couldn’t have articulated it at the time, but it had to do with the power of language and writing in preserving history, and telling a story that will live on long past the owner. It was also about living in a time and a place, however brutal and horrifying, where history was being made.

 

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I thought about this a lot when I was watching the Gulf War on TV (like I said above, news-addicted household), and later during Somalia, and during Bosnia. A book called Zlata’s Diary came out of the Bosnian War and we were made to read it for school and of course it is much like the Diary of Anne Frank, and of course, I was a little—jealous?—of this girl’s opportunity to be the voice of a war.

During this time I dreamed of filling volumes (because I was really hoping to, uhh, not die) of hand-written journals that wouldn’t be found until after my death, when of course they would be published and I would posthumously become the voice of a generation. I still don’t know if that is the most or least narcissistic thing ever.

 

Well fast forward almost twenty years to the current happenings in Egypt, which I’ve been following, and what I’m finding most fascinating about this particular history-in-the-making is the namelessness and the facelessness of the uprising. Perhaps time will rewrite that, but the media does seem to be going on and on about the role of Facebook and Twitter in anonymizing and assembling a revolution.

 

And all this seems to tie back into a theme that just. keeps. popping up (synchronicity, I’ve recently learned, is the word); a question that has constantly plagued me and torn me from blogging, even though I’ve found myself returning to it time and time again. (My first website—Geocities what!—was in 1997, then came LiveJournal from 2001 to 2006 before I fell in love and forgot about the internet.) :

 

If everyone’s talking [via blogs, Facebook, Twitter], is there anyone actually listening?

 

While I don’t think I would, could, or should be the voice of a generation, if there is no hope of becoming that voice, or of even being heard above the cacophony, why put pen to paper? (Or fingers to keyboard, or whatever.)

 

Oh right. Because writing clocks in between breathing and eating for some of us. Fuck.

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Embracing winter.

It’s a balmy 38 outside tonite. I’m serious. That is balmy. Yesterday is was like 10. I’ve decided I’d rather deal with the snow than the cold. I’m trying to reconnect with my inner 10 year old who would’ve been sooo thrilled to have this winter.

 

Some pics of me wandering in the snow in Brooklyn and on the High Line in Chelsea.

 

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2011 Syllabus : Acceptance, Action, and the Art of the Hussle

 

Finally, finished my syllabus this week for my "semester" of getting my shit together.

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LIF 2011 : Acceptance, Action, and the Art of the Hussle
COURSE DATES: January 10 – May 13, 2011

 

EXPLORATION ~ TENACITY ~ ABUNDANCE

 

OBJECTIVES
At the end of this course, I hope to have a better understanding of the following:
1. The possibilities present for future work and dreams: including but not limited to design/travel writing, travel planning, fiction writing, acting, photography, etc. To reach this objective I will write my Mondo Beyondo list, and take small steps to try out these things that I am interested in: reaching out towards successful people in these fields, submitting writing to be published, taking an acting class.
2. The future of HomeDesignRx and FashionDesign Rx. I am going to work hard for the next several months to "relaunch" this venture and put effort into marketing and expanding it. Near the end of this time I will evaluate whether this venture  seems to be taking off, and if so, is it something that will make me happy to continue with, even if that happiness is limited to income potential and a flexible schedule. If HDRx isn’t working out as a side venture, what are other possible revenue streams I could pursue?
3. My plans for my blog. What kinds of posts do I enjoy most and would I like to focus on? Am I enjoying writing it? Is it something I want to continue to do or is it a burden?
4. Find a workable balance between work and play, including making sure I scheduled time to do nothing and enjoy it.

 

READINGS
1. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
2. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
3. The Art of Non Conformity by Chris Guillebeau
4. Women Who Run With Wolves by Clarissa Estes
5. The Anti 9-to-5 Guide by Michelle Goodman
6. Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

 

WORKSHOPS
1. Mondo Beyondo
2. I Will Teach You to Be Rich – The Art of the Hussle
3. Acting class
4. Rebecca Minkoff seminar

 

PROJECTS
1. Create Mondo Beyondo list
2. Relaunch HDRx
3. Launch Fashion Design Rx
4. Create and implement editorial calendar for blog

 

ASSIGNMENTS
1. Daily assignments for Mondo Beyondo and I Will Teach You to be Rich.
2. Weekly blog entry about pre-determined topics including: "Style, Beauty & Self-worth," "When Unconventional Becomes Mandatory," Style vs. Fashion," Ambition vs. Gratitide," "Claiming the life you want" and whatever else comes up for me!
3. Explore career options and reach out to potential contacts and mentors.
5. Check-ins
    a.    Write an update for the blog on the 15th of every month, February – May.
    b.    Midterm. Write minimum of 750 words on the successes and failures of the course thus far. Address the following questions: Do you need to make adjustments to the course syllabus, and if so, why? What has been the most rewarding aspect? What areas do you need/want to focus on for the rest of the semester? Due March 21, 2011.
    c.    Final review. Write a minimum of 750 words on the course as a whole: what worked? What did I learn? How am I different? What work do I still need to do?

 

Much credit for inspiration and formatting to Whitney!

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Style Mentor : Kate

 

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Sometimes I wear things that are a little…"risky"? Winter shorts was one of these. I tried this look back in October, felt like I was getting stared at (not in a good way), and abandoned it. Ugh, I need to stop listening to that feeling. If Kate can wear it, so can I. Stay tuned for when I try again, which probably won’t be until March when there’s less than a foot of snow on the ground.

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Say “No” to the Dress

Weddings are a crazy land of finality (I mean, you’re only *supposed* to do it once), and "suppose to’s" and "shoulds." To draw a parallel, while I was OK with "proposing" myself, I could not let go of feeling like I should be proposed to as well, because this is what I have been fed since childhood. I’m the kind of person that gets quite set on certain things being certain ways, and for me that was one of them, even though intellectually I wanted to be above it.

 

I think there’s a room for A LOT of those feelings in the whole world of weddings and it’s a tricky course to avoid them—it’s like an undertow. You can’t see or anticipate those things that will not you off course—but suddenly you’re crying over confetti (or something else).

 

For example, "THE Dress." Much like one’s fiance, one is conditioned to look for the ONE. (Or the TWO, in these days of excess that I may or may not participate in…)

 

Despite my usually unconventional tastes, I’d always dreamed of getting married in Oscar de la Renta (unconventional tastes yes, befitting of my budget no). Well, when it occurred to me that people just might sell off their OdlR dresses at well below the retail price on the interwebs, this childhood fantasy was suddenly close to reality.

 

Of course, the ones that have come up so far haven’t exactly been very "me", and that’s been a tough line to draw… what’s more important: Oscar? Or not getting married in a cupcake?

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I chose to say "no" to these Oscar dresses on ebay even though they got verrry close to my budget… It was NOT easy, but I’m trying, *trying* to stick to my fashion—and other—principles…

 

(And there’s another little number I’ve got my ebay-stalking eye on…)

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Theme of the Day, or Month, or Year…

I don’t really believe in coincidences.

 

Eons ago, I did a blog for a few months where I tracked those random things that would pop up in clusters. Sudden frequent references to flugelhorns, or talking mice, or the French Revolution.

 

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It was uncanny. And of course recording it seemed to breed it. I’m sure one could argue it has something to do with cosmic energy or the Law of Attraction, but regardless why, I know it happens. And when the material of the coincidences is weighty, I know to pay attention.

 

Well that’s what’s been happening a lot over the last few months, and dear god, now that 2011 is here, things are really adding up.

 

First Mondo Beyondo, then Brené Brown, kept coming up places like APW, and then it was suddenly everywhere. Money, self-worth, values, martyrdom, all things that were discussed on APW became huge lessons to be learned in real life. I started reading Smart Couples Finish Rich…had a huge value-related breakthrough, but switched gears when I found Tim Ferriss, and then through him, I Will Teach You to Be Rich. But now I’m taking Mondo Beyondo, and guess what we’re talking about? Values.

 

Full circle, weirdly-connected internet/real-world world.

 

This all has prompted me to create myself a 2011 syllabus where I will explore all these people and their writing and philosophies with the intent of carving out my own little life philosophy, and finishing up all the work I’ve been doing on myself for the last 2 years. I think really knowing myself and who I want to be while I’m still a few years shy of the big 30 is as admirable as a PhD, so there you go. (Not to say I’m not totally going for the PhD sooner rather than later.)

 

So I will be spending the next few months reading, and thinking, and dreaming, and hustling. And writing. I plan to accomplish one heavy thinking post (based on a little prompt I create in my syllabus) each week. 🙂

 

And I still have some of 2010 to recap too…

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2011.

 

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So up until now this blog has been kinda… superficial.

 

I promise I do actually have deep thoughts.

 

The problem with posting them is that I’m a completely compulsive over-editor. I could edit and edit and edit, spend hours on a sentence… I find it strangely cathartic and relaxing, knowing full well there is no right answer, that it’s possible to continue shaping and changing the words indefinitely…

 

But I’m going to start saying "when" and just posting stuff.

 

Promise.