Friday, December 30, 2011

Coming Clean: PART III

We're hours away from the end of 2011 and this is the third installment of Coming Clean. Check out PART I and PART II to start from the beginning.

In the calm after the storm, I decided it was time to invest in myself. I had put so much time and effort into the something that ultimately fell through, so why not build something of my own?

I've been saying it half-heartedly for a long time but it always seemed so far off in the distance.

Suddenly I felt really ready and at that point, I had nothing to lose.

So, I buckled down and started my own copywriting and creative consulting business.

It's here, it's real, and it's called WORD-OLOGY!

I launched my site, a few weeks ago but this is the first official announcement.

I also finally put together a portfolio of some of the writing work I've done...everything from travel articles to commercial advertising.  

I already have some clients on the horizon and I'm really excited to grow my business in the new year.

A few weeks ago, I also got a new job working part-time for another start-up company called Gina's Ink, Inc.

It's a media company that produces content for kids and I've been hired as a curriculum developer/content writer.

Their website, is still fairly new, but it's already up and running for several months now and I'm so excited to be part of it.

I'll work about one day a week in their union square offices, collaborating with the program coordinator and our nonprofit partners to create great content.

The rest of my time will be spent working wherever my computer takes me! 

The start-up I worked with over the summer has great potential and I wish them all the best, especially considering their objective is to help nonprofits.

They're a great group of people working hard to get it all off the ground. 

There were some things in retrospect I would have done differently but I can also look back now and be thankful I followed my instincts. Sometimes the timing just isn't right.

We haven't come to an official resolution or conclusion, but we have discussed the potential for working together in the future on a per-project basis, and my door is open to that consideration. 

I believe everything happens for a reason and I have no regrets. 

I'm so excited and proud to be making this move, to be taking this leap of faith in myself and in my work.

I'm also excited to have gotten all this out in the open at this very poignant time.

I hope you take the time to come clean about anything that you've been holding back...or that's been holding you back. It's the best way to start fresh and create space for something new.

I can look back on this year and smile at the various sh*t-storms that occurred, because they paled in comparison and cleared a path to all the great things I experienced...the start of amazing new relationships, the celebration of old ones, and the growth of the most important relationship of all...the one I have with myself.

I wish you all many wonderful, beautiful blessings in the coming year and look forward to sharing my own with you right here.

As always, thank you for your support.


Happy, happy new year!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Coming Clean: PART II

Coming Clean: PART Part I here

At the same time as things were unravelling with my dad, I finally received my contract for the "dream job" I had gotten earlier in the summer.

By that time, we were in the amazing new office space in Greenpoint and I was commuting from Staten Island to the city and then into Brooklyn. 

It was very exciting and challenging, and I was both eager and anxious about the workload. A few road bumps slowed the process of getting things off the ground, but I felt like I was learning a lot and enjoying it all.

I was loving the freedom I had to develop the brand and establish the tone and voice of the company through my writing. It was also great to get positive feedback on my work.

I produced an initial blog or two, the majority of the web content, our company bios, mission statement, executive summary, print marketing, press release, etc. 

That same week, somewhere between avoiding the pouring rain and rushing to meet my former boss for dinner, I managed to leave my beloved, 2-month old macbook air in the back of a cab. 

Yup. $1500 computer. Gone. 

It was f-ing awful. I searched desperately, but nothing.

I hated myself for it and it still pains me to bring it up. So, in the words of Forrest Gump...that's all I have to say about that.

The next day, despite my hopefulness and excitement about the position, we hit a wall in the negotiation process and ultimately took a step back to re-evaluate the relationship.

I was pretty devastated and spent weeks not knowing where I stood or what my next step would be. 

It was such a confusing time, trying to make sense of how it all went down and how things got to that point so quickly and so unintentionally.

I spent a lot of time going over the details and trying to figure out how and where I went wrong.

I hadn't experienced anxiety like that in a reeaaally long time. There was a day or two I could barely peel myself out of bed.

I was finally feeling settled and confident about the direction of my professional life, and it was as if in an instant, the rug had been violently yanked from under me. As fast as it goes.

Looking back I think it was ridiculous to have gotten so upset, but I guess I had grown an unhealthy attachment to all the things the job represented for me.

I was also afraid the situation validated my worst fears about myself...that I wasn't capable, that I wasn't worthy of success, that I was subconsciously out to sabotage myself, that I wasn't cut out for a "real job", that I might never reach my potential. 

Amazing how easy it is to kick ourselves when we're already down. It was light years from the confidence and security I felt just days before. 

Luckily, with my amazing support system and all the work I've done over the last year, I was able to contain the aftermath, put it in perspective and get back to a strong place much faster than I would have in the past. Something like this would've had the old me in a depression without question. It was great to recognize that change.

A good friend suggested I give myself time to grieve the loss and I thought that was great advice. It made me realize it was okay to be long as I didn't over indulge in that space. 

The hardest part was not knowing. I was in a state of limbo, hoping to salvage the relationship, waiting to come to some sort of conclusion.  

When I was finally able to step out of my anxiety, I realized I could find what I valued about that job elsewhere. It was at that point I was able to let it all go. 

So, after some grieving, I got back up, dusted myself off and began devising a new game plan for myself. 

I wasn't looking forward to starting over and wasn't even sure I'd have to, but after weeks of uncertainty, I had no choice but to move forward...

PART III tomorrow!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coming Clean: PART I

Happy belated holidays!! It's been a whirlwind the last few weeks and somehow we're now at the end of the year.

Santa's got his naughty list and I'm on it.

I've been a berry bad blogger. My sincere apologies for being a complete shit-talker.

It's not easy to be consistent, but like anything else, it's a muscle that needs regular exercise.

I found out over the last few weeks that some people actually read this blog...quite reassuring. I had my doubts.

It probably had something to do with my little break the last few weeks. I go through phases where I think no one's reading or that what I'm writing isn't relatable...insecurities that naturally come with the territory.

I do check the stats but it's not always clear who's reading. What I heard in person was encouraging but I wouldn't have known if I didn't run into those people.

So I encourage you in return to post comments. This was always meant to be an interaction more than a sounding board for me, so your involvement is key.

I'm still growing in this process and could change direction at any time.

Since you're reading, I'd love to know when something I write strikes a chord with you...or when it doesn't.

Don't be shy people...sharing is caring. And if you can't get over your stage fright I'm pretty sure you can leave comments anonymously.

You can also make a word-less statement by liking a post via the Facebook button, which with any luck, should be installed by tomorrow.

If all else fails and you decide not to contribute, I'll still love you just for reading.

Ok, that's my speech.

So, in the spirit of the new year, I've decided to use this time to bring you up to speed and come clean about a few things. You can expect the next Travel Thursday installment very soon.

In the meantime, I'm breaking this post into pieces so you can read in doses.

First things first...

A few months back I wrote a post called The Silver Lining about one of the roughest periods I had experienced in a while. I thanked my friends and family for their support and that was the extent of the specifics.

What happened in a nutshell was a trifecta of shit that began around the time of Hurricane Irene. 

My dad was hospitalized after his 2nd knee replacement surgery and I had to find a rehab center the day the hurricane was going to hit where they'd accept him. 

Most of the rehab centers in southern Long Island were being evacuated, and on top of the typical constraints, my dad is bi-polar, diabetic, has COPD, heart disease and more medications than the local pharmacy. 

It was not a fun say the least. 

With visions of Hurricane Katrina and its victims, I obsessively packed ziploc bags with mini flashlights, batteries, matches, non-perishable food, and other survival items. 

Then I tried to train my dad to text in case the phones went out. Considering he doesn't know how to save contacts and can't tell when his phone is on speaker, it was like training a 3 year old to crack hidden spy satellite code. 

I'm normally not a panicker, but I couldn't help recalling a documentary I watched once on what would happen if a sizable hurricane ever hit NYC...let's just say it wasn't good. 

His rehab center was in a flood zone but we couldn't evacuate him anywhere else, so I was really scared and felt responsible leaving him there.

I went back home to my mom's and boarded up our house there with the help of my neighbor. 

We thankfully survived the hurricane but learned the next week my dad had contracted a dangerous staph infection - one of the most difficult to get rid of - and had to undergo ANOTHER painful surgery.

 kinda cute as cartoons, but not so much in reality

After weeks of rehab, he had to start all over. There was no way to positively spin this just plain SUCKED!!!

It's hard to explain how much more extreme these situations are for my dad than they would be for the average person. 

Aside from his personal and medical conditions, there are tons of outside logistics - insurance, doctors and home care - that had to be regulated.

At times it's as if we're dealing with a man that's 81, not 61. It's a lot to handle and was especially grueling in the midst of starting a new job. 

But finally, after 2 surgeries, 8 weeks of IV-antibiotics, and 3 months of recovery in 2 different rehab centers, he's back home and doing much better. 

I have to say, despite his lifelong struggles, the one thing that's actually improved over the years is his sense of humor.

On good days he sings me and my sisters off-the-cuff, rhyming voicemail messages that rarely make sense but are always hilarious. 
ok, this pic is sexy...I mean SCARY!

PART II tomorrow...


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quote this!

Don't fear wasn't meant to be lived standing still.

There's beauty everywhere. Sometimes we just have to take a closer look.

the wide view...a plain Staten Island street

a closer look

Yes, it's the asphalt...and when the sun hits it at just the right angle, it's beautiful. 

Be back next week with another installment of Travel Thursdays.