Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Here We Go!

January 7th 2014 I was let go from a sales job at a start-up technology company. I had been in sales to save money for my dream job. The moment I was let-go I knew the Lord gave me peace. I knew He told me to trust Him and just be with Him. I spent time enjoying His presence. Smiling and giggling when I meditated, thinking about how he has always provided and where He has taken me (that being said, i also had freak-out days). When it came to the next step for work not one job idea was really sounding like the right fit.

Then I went to a marketing interview and the man I met with asked me what I really cared about. I told him I love to connect resources and people, aaaaand I have had a plan to open a creativity center for kids for the past three years but don't feel ready to pursue it. I told him the details. He stopped me and said so you are choosing to delay your dream job (aka you'll never do it), for a safe job. He also said he would never hire me because I am too passionate about the creative center. I knew he was right.

I left our meeting at Carribu Coffee ready to sit and listen to the Lord. I sat and wrote as tears streamed down my face (Coldplay reference but accurate). For the first time in 3 years, the dots connected. I knew how I could make money and what I needed to do. Everything is in God's timing. For three years I didn't know how to make money, then it all connected on January 22nd. The same man who said he wouldn't hire me also told me he would help me with the center. He told me how to attract investors, and execute phases.

These are the 4 things he said investors will probably be looking for:

1) who's your team 2) marketing plan 3) runway before I run out of monies 4) the idea

My first phase is RESEARCH, then test the idea in summer camp form (working on creating this now), next attract investors this fall while renting out a warehouse space, then get the dream building with the state-of-art equipment. Also I want to have a nonprofit feeding in so ALL kids can be a part of this. If this model works, I want to take it all over the place. We need to reinstate creativity in our culture and provide a place for experts to share their successes.

When I was a kid, I struggled in school. I was creative but didn't test well and because I spent most my life in school, I struggled to feel productive and valuable. (my parents were great, but you know how that is when your kid--you need that outsider peer acceptance).

Here is my vision: To create an incubator for kids ideas. A place where kids are safe to create and taught how to collaborate with each other to use resources around them to develop skills. I want to bring in experts from the city in each field to teach classes to kids up to 12th grade. Now there are many alternative schools in Atlanta where kids don't go class everyday (i'd bring them in during the day), then have after-school programs/classes.We will have state-of-the art technology with software programs that helps develop real-life skills. I want a Big Mac....lab! Teach kids how to use other groups in the center to create.

Here are the areas I want to focus in:
     1) Music (lessons, sound engineering)
2) Videography/Photography
     3) Production/Film
4) Drama/Dance
     5) Writing (blogging/screen plays/journalism/writing cartoons/short stories)
6) Culinary
     7) Coding/User Interface/WebDesign, Graphic Design
8) Think Tank for city's problems

but MOST IMPORTANTE: a dance floor. We gotta get down.

*****If you have any ideas, resources, or potential blind coffee dates you would like to connect me with--please share! I have so much more to learn. Currently I am meeting with all kinds of people, scouring the Internet while sending random emails to strangers in these fields, and watching copious amounts of TED Talks.

Direction is great! I need people to make this happen.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What does it really mean to be a dancing queen?


to move one's feet or body, or both, rhythmically in a pattern of steps, esp. to the accompaniment of music.
to leap, skip, etc., as from excitement or emotion; move nimbly or quickly: to dance with joy.
3. to bob up and down...

After reading this definition do you really think its right to grind in a circular or vertical motion in the name of dance?! Clearly that junk does not even come close to meeting its definition. People, it is time to find the true purpose of the dance floor once again. If you are not 'moving nimbly,' you're NOT dancing.

Last night my friend Beth and I wanted to put the dancing back in dancing. I will admit, we were not moving exactly "rhythmically in a pattern of steps," but at least we were moving in many interesting directions. We went to show off our skills at Cadillac Ranch, a big ole dance floor with a stage (our rhythmic blurs could only be spotted on this stage). When moving as rapidly and unpredictably as we were, one should note never to leave I.D's, cash, or your favorite earrings in your cowboy boots. Throughout the night, in between our daring dance moves, under the pounding feet of the grinders in the beer flooded floor; Beth and I collected our lost essentials...except for my debit card and some cash (which was never retrieved). we didn't care. I felt like Cameron Diaz in Charlie's Angels when she is laughing and dancing really terribly on stage on Soul Train while everyone watched. Only when I looked out past the stage, no one was watching.

But there were some creepers peering intently from the backside of the stage watching the backside of the stage's inhabitants. These were the boys lacking any upper body strength, smooth moves, or any previous interactions with a live female. One-by-one, they began to circle around Beth and I, gaining confidence in numbers due to increased amounts of mixed drinks and recognizing we were actually repelling all the the alpha males in the room. Some of these boys were just awkward, some very over weight, some kind of smelly...but by the end of the night, we were all friends. We were the hotties that released the dance beast.

I think dancing is just another way for us to free ourselves.

When we loose our selves in all dignity and begin to stop caring what people think, three things happen: 1) we unite the awkward people 2) we get very judged by the lame asses who think they are better than us because they grind (one grinder pushed me when I asked her if she wanted to be our dance off) 3) and we build our individual confidence as we look like fools...eventually I started to think I looked cool (in my mind).

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Def Leppard for a Cause

I sit on a handicap bike at the YMCA every other day. It gets tiring not moving. I think that bike feels the way a wild tiger feels being pent up in a cage at the zoo (for that reason-zoos are LAME).
I blast any song I can find on my iPod that will encourage me to pedal harder. Usually I can't finish a song, because its just not doing its job...unless its Def Leopard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me," which always seems to do the trick (but how many times can you repeat that one before its looses its vibrancy?..usually I'd say 3 times).

Anyways the other day, a noticed a man at the Y walking through with his cane and personal trainer. He is about 40, good looking guy, but his hands and feet are crippled. He could barely move. It must take him at least thirty minutes to walk from one end of the room to the other. And here I was trying to find a good song to get me peddling harder. I felt an immediate urge to help him. I can't say that's the case every time I see I see him, but that day it was. I thought if I could peddle for him to regain his strength back, I would. I would peddle harder than I ever have. Maybe I'd give up eventually, but at least I'd be more motivated then before, when I was trying to be self-motivating.

What if everyone in that gym, peddled, ran, and pushed for him? We would be ridiculously ripped beasts of people. We would be in incredible shape mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. We would come together as a team to fight for this man, to give him what he deserved, putting his cause before ours and in return we would all be blessed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nashville Facts

N-Not everyone moved here to "make it big"
A-A lot of bad drivers (way too many out-of-towners)
S-Suzy sat very near to Taylor Swift in a coffee shop...and I actually was way more gitty than I thought (she's so cute.)
H-half of the people I meet, ask me if I moved here to "make it big"
V-Very easy to find random jobs here
I-If you see a celebrity, act natural and almost annoyed (better to ere on this side than to be viewed as an annoying tourist who can't handle themselves like a true Nashvillian who knows how to always play it cool)
L-Lots of people "making it big" work in minimum wage jobs (maybe that's why everyone is nice to everyone)
L-Local coffee shops reign here
E-East Nashville (ghetto according to some) has the best vintage clothing stores

Tips to a female moving to a new city:
-Don't hand your card/number/email out to someone just because they give you theirs.
-Find community classes to attend
-Be confident while you eat everyone in that restaurant what a great time you are having with your hamburger!
-Be ready to have a very high cell phone bill (your friends from home may be who remind you why you are awesome for being independent after you are feeling low and questioning why you ever moved.)
-Join a gym and buy cute workout clothes that will make you want to show them off...therefore guiding your steps to the gym on a regular basis. NOTE: remember you are on display in that cute outfit...this will lead to an increased level of intensity on the treadmill
-Its okay to call girls back if they give you their number, but not guys.
-Try all the food recommendations you can (then you will be glad and very full...thus encouraging you to workout more)
-Make new friends fast by saying you just moved to the city (I always say, " I moved here two weeks ago". Using 'weeks' instead of 'months' makes you appear newer which means people will find you more interesting)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Making New Friends...can be very awkard...

Moved to Nashville, Tn last week...
Last night, I went to Chipotle. Because I was alone, I was exiled to the single’s bar. This bar (not the alcohol kind of bar) is where people who don’t have any friends sit at the window to watch their own reflection while they eat, giving the illusion they are sitting across from an old friend, very comforting. To my surprise, a guy came over and sat right next to me. He clearly could have sat elsewhere since the entire bar was deserted due to such a high influx of friends and families sharing community around the tables that night. I think he wanted to talk. But instead he stooped over his food, eating as quickly as possible to keep himself busy. Normally, I would say something, but I was vocally paralyzed when these repeated lyrics came blasting through the Chipotle speakers: “Just talk to me, come on and talk to me, just talk to me.” There we were, just sitting in our state of awkwardness, trying our best not to be caught looking at each other’s distorted reflections. You know, maybe this was all in my head. Maybe he didn’t even notice he sat next to me. Regardless, I couldn’t handle the situation so I left and went to go laugh in my car-alone.
After my fabulous date with my reflection, I went to Kroger. Truthfully, I just wanted some interaction with people, not food. Lonely people go the grocery store, and we can guarantee you we go through the live-being cashier line instead of the self-checkout. I was browsing the aisles for absolutely nothing when I over heard a very witty conversation on the topic of string cheese. I wanted to join in, so I casually asked if any of them happened to know where the green Tabasco sauce was located. Startled I interrupted them, and trying to conceal it they all made the puzzled thinking face and collectively pointed me off to another aisle at the other side of store…that was the end of that. Twenty minutes later I could not find the Tabasco green sauce, but I did mockingly find it on the tables of the next three restaurants I went in (it was not for sale).
$30 broker, with groceries that I had no use for (since I only eat out every meal in hopes to make friends), I was home again. I am taking Ukulele lessons, so I thought I’d practice. The problem is when I practice, my instrument needs constant tuning (not sure what that says about my playing). I attempted to tune, but by the end of my efforts I had managed to make my Ukulele sound like a Hawaiian with a bad cold. I went to bed.
I finally remembered my Apple password this morning, and downloaded the Pandora app on my iPhone. I feel much cooler now that I am being exposed to new music. It is important to know about bands that other people wouldn’t know of when living in Nashville. It makes you appear culturally versed and musically smarter than everyone else. It also looks good to own a pair of cowboy boots and designer skinny jeans.
Do you ever drive down the road and talk to your passenger seat as if your best friend was right there? I sure do-all the time! Well, I like to sing to my invisible friend, tell stories, funny jokes, and even give them a high-five once in a while. At this point I don’t care if you pass judgment, moving to Nashville, friendless, has been the humbling experience in many aspects. Either way, there is too much going on in my head not to share out-loud. Today I was talking to my friend/self in the car and I missed my exit to get to the church I was visiting. I strongly dislike Nashville roads. The interstates are crazy. I actually could see the church overlooking the interstate laughing at I passed it twice. I thought about pulling off the interstate and rock climbing up the rocky hill to get to church. I ended up having church in a coffee shop where I knew there was at least a 65% guarantee of hot guys present. This normally sound statistic was a little inaccurate today, but that’s okay, because I did get some free coffee and Bible reading time. (Shout out to Hanson’s MmmBop for keeping it real on my iPod). I am looking for a church where I can get involved volunteering in the community. I don’t like typical church or trendy church. Just want something a bit less flashy and laid back, genuine and focused on Jesus. Diversity is nice too, not all whities (white people) would be ideal.
I am blogging again, because well for now it keeps me occupied (:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Double-Edged Sword

Well I guess I will start with a something I have been contemplating for a while, God and how big is he? and how are Christians suppose to really live? Is there more than one way to God? I have to be honest, I am tired of hearing the same Christian lingo amongst so many people around here. I am in college, and when I leave in May, hopefully I will hear much less of it.
Anyways, I am more open to learning about people's religions or beliefs than I ever have before. I see God everywhere, even in other religions. I see Him in "non-believers"...(don't like that term...everyone believes in something, and we are all searching for peace, WE AREN' SO DIFFERENT!), I see Him in broken every-day people professing to be Christian or not. As I hear people out, I have questioned so much of what I believe. I read some books that were eye-opening to me. I do not think it is okay to write off so many other perspectives, and that is what the MAJORITY of all people do. I have done the same for years, and now I am just struggling to learn and understand people better. Now, every book or belief I have heard Christians ignore or trash in some way, I have chosen to learn about myself...doesn't mean I follow it, just means I'm trying to hear people out, afterall, we are all searching. People's beliefs and questions are in everything they do. They are in the way they treat people, what they sing about, what they write about, who they hang out with, where they choose to many factors.
I know what is personal to me, as everyone does. I know my experiences. I know what I have failed in. I know what I have felt pain in. I know what I love or at least I think so (: I know what I never want to go back to or at least I think so ): I have felt. The past few months I questioned so much, I could barely sleep. I just thought and thought. It was great at first, but then I began to be more internal (didn't talk about it at all), and then I began getting shorter with people. I didn't like feeling that unstable. I had been so confident and free the few months before that (at least for the most part), and I didn't question Jesus in my life. But during that time, I just put him on hold, not denying but not embracing. I was searching, and I still am. I realized in that time, that I can be a good person, nice and friendly, but the difference between me being personal with Jesus and putting him on hold was that I had something to give people who needed Him or I didn't. Maybe others who do not profess Jesus, have found a peace to give to others they believe in with all they have. I think some have. But for me, I realized I could keep hanging out with the kids from the projects but without acknowledging Jesus's presence, I was just another nice person in their life who does good things that only lasts a little bit. People are temporary. Everything is. Its scary to think I could never have impact. Maybe I could make a big change, but even still, I want more for the people in my life, especially the kids. I want to give them a hope for their life in every area. Most of them have nothing. I don't want them to just copy me and be a good person one day. I want them to learn to find confidence in themselves, embracing their talents, and who they are so they can make a difference in all different ways. I want them to find their Source, who I believe in Jesus. I also felt myself becoming slowly numb over those months, now I am only regaining some of my footing. I talked to a good friend who is hurting very bad right now. She said "Numbness is a double-edged sword." Its true. It's great when you don't want to face the pain, but at the same time we loose contact with reality and true humility, which leads to real love. Have you ever been around really nice people who you can't find fault with, but something is just irky about them? I think people can become like that when they know how to show self-control over their emotions on the outside, and really they are just trying everyday to upkeep that image. Numbness, they live by it. It creeps me out, because it's like they are trustworthy people, but really underneath there is a lack of genuineness because they just care about themselves. Anyone could become like that. I would probably become a really angry version of that person if I stopped caring about people. I think the two best ways to fight becoming that way is to GIVE where it hurts and to be honest and open about your feelings and struggles with people who are CONSISTANT in your life. I say that because they know you well enough to keep you in check. Love the song, "Weight of Lies," by Avett Brothers:

"Disappear from you hometown
Go and find the people that you know
Show them all you good parts
Leave town when bad ones start to show
Go and wed a woman
A pretty girl that you've never met
Make sure she knows you love her well
But don't make any other promises

The weight of lies will bring you down
And follow you to every town
Cause nothing happens here that doesn't happen there
So when you run make sure you run
To something and not away from
Cause lies don't need an aeroplane to chase you anywhere

I once heard the worse thing
A man could do is draw a hungry crowd
Tell everyone his name, pride, and confidence
But leaving out his doubt
I'm not sure I bought those words
When I was young I knew most everything
These words have never met so much to anyone
As they now mean to me

The weight of lies will bring you down
And follow you to every town
Cause nothing happens here that doesn't happen there
So when you run make sure you run
To something and not away from
Cause lies don't need an aeroplane to chase you down"

I think this song boils down to one thing: Own up to your actions. That's the start of becoming a Woman or a Man...whichever gender you are. Choose reality/pain before numbness, because numbness will haunt you. People can shake you. They can hurt you bad too. But be real before them anyways. Realness is scary to Numbness. I make too many mistakes sometimes, and its embarrassing but it can't end there, depression stinks. No way Jose, remember why you're cool and love people harder. Much easier said than done. I currently feel some bitterness towards a few people and its been there for a while. I dont want to carry it, it kills my joy and gives me wrinkles. There are incredible people all around me in this coffee shop. I don't know them, but I bet if I sat down I would find incredible qualities in all of them, I just have to tune in. I can't do that if I have chosen numbness, because numbness only hears itself. And it sounds like...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Being Creative Doesn't Mean You Must Be Artistic

I am discovering after a life-time of closing the doors in some areas in my life, I can step forward to open those same doors. Many times I avoided them because I assumed the unfamiliar room would be a challenge too great for me. Today I feel like my life is going higher. I am beginning to think beyond myself, past my frame of mind, past my own self-imposed limits. I am not any more equipped really, I just decided to get some guts. I don't want to trust my past constricting boundaries. I want to open the gates and allow all roaming wild challengers to feel the right to face me without expecting rejection but the possibility of a struggle. I am learning how to walk harder and finish things with purpose and no regrets. I am learning to embrace myself and dance free-style in the woman God has designed me to be. I am learning how to express creativity in areas that I thought were already shaded in black or white, but really, they were waiting for me to paint the flamboyant colors I feel. I am starting a new painting, and its not connect -the -dots.