Wanderlust

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I am becoming tired of having to pay for parking. Clearly I need to re-think my financial goals and buy a piece of land downtown, put up a parking meter and whistle my way off to prosperity. Alas, we all know that this is simply not in the cards for me but one can wistfully dream, no?! The consequence for my achieving a free parking space downtown is simply to park further away from my destination and enjoy a little walk in the sun – a real “first world problem” to be had. This particular evening was gorgeous and of course, I knew of a quiet, secret spot to park that I hadn’t used in many, many years.

On the way back from my hunter/gatherer journey for food, I had a moment that literally stopped me in my tracks. For it suddenly dawned on me that I was walking the exact same path that I had taken countless times a day – ten years ago – for the first time once again. It was surreal because absolutely nothing had changed in this little spot in the world. The cracks in the pavement were in exactly the same places. The fence was still crooked and rusted. The trees still encroached overhead, causing a mini umbrella of safety over my path. And I was carrying far more than I had thought I could for this distance. I was literally re-living a moment from my past.

While making all of these subtle observations of my surroundings, it became clear how much I have changed in all these years yet this little place has stayed exactly the same. Death and life; marriage and divorce; pain and personal growth; sudden job loss and opportunities; wealth and poverty; the absolute extremes to be felt in human experience. And all things that I had no idea would ever occur to me as I blindly walked into my future taking this little path for granted all of those years ago.

I still take my new paths now for granted in the same oblivious manner as before. I wonder how different I will be when I have the fortune to re-visit them once again. But you’d think I would have gotten some sort of GPS system by now to avoid a fork in the road…

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The art of the selfie

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I would love to post my daily outfit selections to my followers. I spend considerable time (and money) on my wardrobe and genuinely enjoy the whole process of dressing, selecting and styling myself for the day. I feel that I am doing everyone a public service by taking great care to make myself look presentable in the morning.

As a result, I am always WAY too overdressed for an errand at Walmart. And that’s just the way I like it thank you very much 🙂

But this lack of documentation leaves me in a bit of a pickle because I have no idea how all these people are taking pictures of their outfits on a daily basis! I have tried everything from mirrors, balancing on stairs and makeshift tripods; all in an effort to get the full view yet I am always left disappointed with the results. As vain as it sounds, I would love the opportunity to participate but have not yet mastered the selfie enough to live up to my high standards. It always seems off kilter, never really giving the outfit that I so carefully selected that morning the justice that it so richly deserves. And I always seem to get a close-up of my chest – not exactly the message I wish to convey to the world…

I find that words cannot communicate these choices either as we are all naturally visual beings. Simply stating that I am wearing a fabulous black one shoulder Michael Kors dress from the Resort Collection 2012 today yields no emotion. No oohs and ahhs to be had and it takes considerable effort to read and imagine me floating down the street on nothing but a cloud of perfume and fluid fabric, pulling and hanging at all the right spots. Thank you internet for making me jaded and impatient.

Sigh.

Is there a technique that I am missing? Or is it just an accepted fact that selfies are simply bad photos?

Smiling as I write this!

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Some simply yet very poignant words were spoken to me last night, gently reminding me that while my path is long and at times, very rocky, that it is meant to be this way – and to never give up. I realized in a matter of seconds that while my circle may be very small, it is very real. And I am thankful for all those who surround me – whether it be for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Each person brings an important gift to my table that I graciously accept. So needless to say, my smile became rather wide and genuine last night over a very spontaneous moment of encouragement.

I’d like to pass on that same advice to all of my followers, whose presence is felt in a same yet very different manner from my “in flesh” friends. Never give up. Keep moving forward even though it seems like you are walking through mud and the end is nowhere in sight. You have a dream – look around at yourself right now – because you are actually living it despite all the struggles and disappointment. Look how far you have come and be proud of your accomplishments towards making that dream a reality. And if you haven’t made the leap yet out of fear, do not fret. But I’d advise you to truly ask yourself in a very quiet and reflective manner – what do I really have to lose?

I enjoy this process and outlet. It’s a strangely distant yet close circle of unknown faces all supporting one another towards a common goal. Thank you for listening. I hope I brought a spontaneous smile to your face today 🙂

Networking 101 for the socially awkward

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If you haven’t already guessed, this is me. I have compiled a list of my suggestions to help you navigate a room easily and without incident. While it won’t guarantee a perfect performance, it will at least save you from the WTF stares and get you invited back.

1. Select an outfit that you have already worn to other occasions that makes you stand out from the crowd in a very subtle yet chic way. You will appear very relaxed without even trying. This is not the time to be trying out a new trend, hairstyle or make-up technique. You need to practice that out on the people that you could really care less about first.

2. Keep all hand gestures to a strict minimum otherwise you will just start knocking shit over – only the real pros can ever really recover from that one. You are not a pro yet. Hold onto your carefully selected and expensive bag with both hands in a ladylike fashion just to be safe.

3. Clean out said carefully selected and expensive bag prior to the event. If you don’t have to dig through your mail, lip gloss collection or janitor-style key ring to get at your business cards, you can avoid a long and awkward moment for everyone involved.

4. Always deflect the line of questioning back to the person who you are speaking with. This avoids unnecessary stuttering on your part and people secretly love to talk about themselves without realizing how much they are actually doing it. You will seem very engaging. Win Win.

5. Avoid the buffet at all costs unless you are comfortable with the risk of having a random stranger perform the Heimlich maneuver on you. You are not hungry or thirsty. You can wait until you leave. I enjoy a dessert tray as much as the next person but go buy a bag of cookies at the drug store on the way home – always tastes about the same anyways.

6. If photos are being taken, do not complain about your fat ass, terrible hair or sullen skin while giggling. Just shut up and go with it. Smile casually and be thankful that someone wants to take your photo in the first place. People are really only looking at themselves in the photo anyways and only notice your presence in passing.

7. And the most important piece of advice for the socially awkward? Do not be the first person to arrive or the last one to leave. And always pull a George Costanza and leave on a high note while graciously thanking your host. Works each and every time.

My daily mantra

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There is nothing I hate more than excuses. Maybe it’s because of my age or my life experiences but my tolerance and acceptance for them is little to none. Now if you REALLY want to test this theory and get my blood boiling, give me a really lame excuse with a straight face. I dare you. I do enjoy the challenge of calling out said “lame excuse giver” using no words at all and simply using my stare as a means of communicating my displeasure over the whole situation. But my natural non-verbal communication ultimately never allows for this scenario to occur as most people will read this intolerance in me and not even dare try.

Don’t get me wrong here, I am not a tyrant – I am a fairly easy going and reasonable person. I can understand that sometimes life gets in the way of doing certain things. I get it…for I am currently living this exact same scenario right now, preventing me from moving forward in the way that I want to. It happens with every project to a certain extent and when it does, the path naturally stops, shifts and morphs, clearing the way for new ideas and opportunities to be observed which were not previously seen. But to me, these “excuses” represent all those inevitable little bumps in the road and do not prevent the overall goals and expectations from somehow being achieved – it just changes their patterns slightly…

Wait – did I just MAKE UP AN EXCUSE?! OK fine. Clearly I’m far from perfect myself – but I think you understand what I mean… At some point, you simply have to deliver on what you promised. And I happen to place very high standards on myself and those who surround me. And since we shook hands, I am now expecting results. I can be a little old-school in that respect.

Why is this so hard for others to understand?

Have I made a mistake?

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I think that if one really wants to make money in business, one must try to sell something that is completely meek, practical, unassuming and not sexy by any means. Anything other than the utterly mundane exposes the product to the inconsistent and ever-changing whims of the consumer. I shudder at that thought because I am acutely aware of my own whims. And I really don’t want to find my carefully crafted leggings at the bottom of the bin at Winners, tossed aside simply out of boredom and peer pressure.

“Keep things simple” I’m told. “Don’t over-think your product”! But if I don’t make clothes, what else will I create? All the really good products have already been developed! I was born decades too late!

What is mundane? Toilet paper comes to mind here. Toothbrushes are equally interesting. They somehow have massive R&D budgets allotted for “innovation, design and function” when we all know that its really just slick marketing at its best. It’s a brush with bristles. Yet, slap “new” on its package and I will fall for it each and every time. Gold-mine… And think of all the little hinges and springs attached to millions of products that seem so trivial yet are so critical to the overall functioning of said object – especially realized when they become lost in a DIY repair project – that are being manufactured and sold at an astounding rate.

Sadly, fashion does not fall into this category by any means. Has this been my first major mistake in business? Knowingly entering an industry that is fickle, over-crowded, over-emotional and vapid?

Ugh. Maybe I need to clarify the real reason why I went into business in the first place then – to make money (would be nice…) or to simply create something that brings me joy as I walk down the street?

The ultimate struggle.

Question for my loyal followers…

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Has anyone ever done freelance work before? I am curious of how it works and what it entails…

And I love to write. And I love to shop.
I’m sensing an opportunity not to be missed…

Any tips, tricks and traps that I should know about?

Always an adventure to be me 🙂

Never a dull moment in Wonderland

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It was quite the scene at the condo last night. I could try to make it seem all glamorous and chic for you but in reality it was exactly what it was – a makeshift spa in my bathroom. Picture me conducting my weekly pedicure with a glass of rosé teetering precariously on the edge of a sink while devouring the pages of Peter Drucker – all while jammed into a 6 by 6 foot box.

At least I was wearing silk. Important to note here – I purposefully train myself in hostile environments on a regular basis so that I may be a lethal weapon from top to bottom.

I’ve been wandering quite a bit over the last couple of weeks, uncertain of my path and feeling a little lost. Very Alice in Wonderland, with the usual oddities and confusion, all while trying to decipher skewed advice from the Cheshire Cat. Thankfully, I have been without the plain headband and meek blue pinafore but regardless of my choice of armor, I am still trying to jam myself into doors that magically seem to shrink the closer I approach them. Even amongst all of the circular logic and temptations to lead me down the wrong path, I have been able to pull myself together by starting over and reviewing the basics. Hence the Peter Drucker reading material. The angry cards are starting to dissipate behind me now.

Consistent. Thoughtful. Measured. Efficient. Focused. These are the themes that I always take from his writings in business. They are the perfect reminder for me since I am caught dealing with constant nonsense all around me as I desperately try to emerge from this black hole unscathed and in one piece. All without the use of drugs. The man is a genius.

And the results of my pedicure you ask? Bright, blood red of course. Feeling rather fiery this week. And let’s be honest here – I am truly more like the Queen in this story than silly little Alice…