Pretty Blue Rose

The style of life…with some wisdom mixed in.


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I’m baaack!

Hey everybody,

Gosh, I don’t know where to start. I’ve written my “I’m back” post in my head so many times, I finally decided to put it on paper.

It’s been a little bit since I’ve posted. Well maybe not a little bit, but more like a few years. So many things have happened. So many of my prayers and dreams have come true, so there’s a lot for me to talk about. There have been a few life changes (moving and buying a new house), along with all sorts of ideas that are in progress like: business ideas, book ideas, real estate, dancing on stage, and even becoming a writing  contributor for a new dance magazine! [plug: it’s called A Ballet Education- the premier issue comes out August 15th! ].  Being vulnerable on a blog is not always easy but I think I’m ready to start sharing again–this time at a more moderate pace.

I think with my first round of the blogging in 2012-2013 I went into it sprinting, like I do a lot of things, but when you sprint a marathon you burn out. I also saw women who posted every day and were making a ton of money and so I tried to jump into that  trend rather than see how I could sustain my blog over a long period of time.

I want to keep the same website, but I do want to make some changes. I will start out by posting less often and go with the flow rather than try to apply my analytical business lens to my blog.

I did enjoy writing  my Wednesday Wisdoms, and you all seem to as well, so I plan to continue on sharing things that I’ve learned or observed, it’s the teacher in me.

Also like fashion, but from a slightly different angle. Confession: I’m a big YouTube junkie and I follow a wide variety of women from 40+ to 20-somethings and for the most part I like what I see. I like to see some of the trends that are going on as well as how women apply make up. (Since I’m more of a simple girl, I  am always in awe of  the amount of work goes into putting on make up that looks flawless.)

Back to the fashion though,
I will say the thought of buying more and more and more clothes and more and more and more accessories doesn’t always appeal to me. I know there’s this newish movement that asks people to create a “capsule wardrobe”, which is where you select a set number of clothing per season and mix-and-match. You are more thoughtful on the front end about your purchases so on a daily basis you have amazing close to wear that work together. This actually fits how I’ve approached my wardrobe over the last few years I just didn’t have a name for it. My plan is to create some capsule wardrobe for myself and share them with you all to get ideas. I do think there is a time and place for new but at the same time I like simplicity, and I find when I have a ton of things in my closet I -A end up wearing the same things because I don’t have the time or energy to figure out all sorts of creative ways to put unrelated items together and  B- because I am so overwhelmed with the amount of clothes in my closet, I end up wasting a lot.

My lifestyle does not require me to have a different outfit every day because paparazzi is taking my picture!

So I guess this is my pitch to simplify your wardrobe and let me inspire you to do the same.

Who so what else will I talk about?

Well I’ve started dancing publicly again. You all may have known that when I was back in Maryland we put a dance studio in my basement. It was a way to express my creativity into de-stress to be quite honest.

Well here in the great state of Georgia, I’m actually taking public ballet classes and last May I performed on stage for the first time in over 15 years. It was so much fun I didn’t know what to do with myself. Yes initially I had a lot of nervous energy but once I got on stage I felt so completely like home I couldn’t believe it.  So my plan is to talk about my dance journey as well.

Lastly, I am working on a book series. I grew up reading series like Nancy Drew and The Babysitters club and have a great affinity for reading.
I will get into more about my rationale for writing and what I’m writing later but for now know that I am working on a children’s mystery series and eventually I would love for it to make its way to the big or small screen. I’m not in love with some of the things I see on TV nowadays but rather than complain I feel like it’s my responsibility to create what I want to see. For the first book, I’ve written about nine chapters so far I think there will be 11 total. Right now I’m going through and editing the first nine chapters and hopes it will propel me to finish the last few chapters.

I dream so incredibly big sometimes but I’m back to show how a lot of my dreams have come true thus far and I am looking forward to sharing the rest of the journey with you.

 

 


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Wednesday Wisdom: Life Lessons from the Sims Game

Anyone remember the Sims game?

It is a strategic, life simulation video game series where the player (you or I) creates virtual people called “Sims” and places them in houses and helps direct their moods and satisfy their desires.

Now a-days there are all of these “additions” , but I used to play the original back in undergrad–spending countless hours hustling to make a few bucks, keep myself and my house clean, while keeping my friends, family, and myself happy. It was a struggle to do all of that, very frustrating at times, but it was super fun and addictive….that is until I learned there was a cheat that allowed me to increase my money at any time. When you entered in a certain code, your money would increase by thousands of dollars! Jackpot! Right?!?!

When I first found out, I was so ecstatic I felt like I won the real lottery! I could hardly sleep. I could build any house I wanted with all of the furniture I wanted. I didn’t have to work for measly dollars, life was great….or so I thought. Not too long after the newness of money wore off, and I had all sorts of new and expensive furniture in my houses (yes plural), I stopped playing the game altogether. It no longer excited me, so I moved on. Cold turkey.

So years later I am able to look back on my sudden change of heart with a game that I really really loved at one point to learn a very valuable lesson.

I never understood either, how rich celebrities could be so self centered and miserable. To be frank I would get quite annoyed. I would look at a bored Paris Hilton, the Kardashians, and numerous other folks that fit into that mold, (Mariah Carey and thousands of pairs of shoes?!?!? hello) and just shake my head. But now I get it. They are bored. They have the Sims “money cheat” so to speak and they don’t know what to do. The excitement of the money wears off and you have to find other ways to entertain yourself. (seems to me many of those ways of entertainment aren’t legal…but whatever…)

Now I am not one of those people who thinks money is bad, I think it tends to magnify the traits already present in a person—both good and bad. In most cases I think it is preferable to have money than not to. No apologies for that sentiment. (how can you help others if you have nothing to give?) But I do realize that as a society we tend to put too much emphasis on money, the influence and privilege it provides, and how we can get more of all three.

So when I am tempted to complain thinking if I just had more money things would be better/different— I try to think about what I am really asking for. I don’t want the money, I’d like peace of mind (and maybe a long vacation, like 2 years long :))

While money does make things more convenient, it doesn’t erase the hardships of life. Although the hustle of working everyday, be it out of the home or with children in the home, is sometimes super frustrating, it is a necessary function to keep us humans from becoming bored.

Just for a few moments I had what I thought I wanted with the Sims cheat–unlimited funds, access to the best houses, cars and lifestyle but I quickly became bored. Interesting, eh?

Stay hungry for progress and accomplishments, but never lose sight of the ultimate reasons for life. Service to others, peace, etc.

A. Genise


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Some Wisdom: Nothing Even Matters

Hi all:)

I’ve been gone a while–I’ve taken some time off of work and from blogging (although I’ve been writing and doing more dancing). I’ve been waiting to do like a “relaunch” but that’s not really necessary– I need to just jump right in… I have some other posts about what I’ve been doing on my time off , my reflections, and all that good stuff, but those will come later. For now, this is where I am:

I was recently involved in a situation where I was very very upset with a few folks. I was repeatedly being disrespected…in the subtle way that only nasty folks know how to do…(others agree, this isn’t just my opinion)

The evening of the “most recent encounter” I went into my studio to dance (and sing) my stress away…

And since I was feeling “creative” I started looking for other dances to inspire me.

I stumbled upon this dance by one of my fav choreographers, Galen Hooks.

her movement really is amazing. (I’m still learning it…it looks simple but it isn’t)

Well, from there I found this You Tube cover of Lauryn Hill’s Nothing Even Matters and it is Sick! (Galen’s dance reminded me of how much I love Lauryn’s song…)

So in love with their voices, I began listening to it again this morning–and then it hit me–It doesn’t matter! (duh I know, but still…). We all know about ignoring petty, angry, insecure people, but when they strike it’s hard not to retaliate.

Although, on the surface the song Nothing Even Matters is about love– but hearing them sing the phrase nothing even matters over and over made me see how small this battle is and reminded me why I shouldn’t engage.

I started thinking about how eagles soar above adversity while chickens just peck and flap on the ground. Arguing with chickens is silly. Eagles and chickens don’t fly in the same air space–so for me to engage would be like residing in the chicken coop. No Thanks!

I have a destiny to fulfill, I have people to inspire, I have dances to create, a family to raise and to love…so no this disrespect doesn’t matter.

Ms. Hill says it best:

Now the skies could fall
Not even if my boss should call

[Nothing even matters]

These buildings could drift out to sea
Some natural catastrophe

[It still doesn’t matter]

Glad to be back:)

A. Genise


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Wednesday Wisdom: Stop trying to figure it all out!!!

I think I’ve uncovered the one thing that keeps many people from realizing their dreams—and that’s trying to figure out how it will happen, when it will happen, and who will help you get there before you purposefully move forward.

As you all know, my day job as an analyst is very far away from dancing and the fact that I haven’t been doing what I love on a daily basis is hard to deal with most days. For as long as I can remember I’ve had visions of dancing around the world, teaching master classes, taking master classes, and having a studio space to foster others’ gifts related to dance, singing, acting etc.

Now dreaming is great and having a clear vision is wonderful, but I realized that trying to figure out how all of my dreams would come to pass, especially as my life exists now, has kept me from moving forward.

Reasoning how I am going to find the energy to dance after commuting and work, family time, blogging, home improvements, and everything else had me stuck. Then I also thought that even if I did have the energy to pursue dancing, with the millions of other better, more talented, and more dedicated dancers where would I fit in? (so why try?)

So in addition to trying to figure it all out, I then doubted it would happen even if I could find the energy–and both thoughts were huge hindrances to moving forward.The reality is that God’s plans are infinitely better than mine yet I was trying to figure out how He could make it work. And to my limited mind it really doesn’t work at all. I see absolutely No Way my current path crosses with the path that leads to my vision.

It’s like my current career/trajectory is me walking left when I so badly want to be walking right. I argued with God asking, why would you give me this vision, this dream if it cannot and will not come to pass??!!

But what I have forgotten is that 3 left turns actually makes a right (I’ll pause to let you visualize that) and although I feel like none of what I am doing now is connected to my passion, my dreams , and the vision for my life I am going to stop trying to figure it out. Every step I take on the way to my destiny will NOT be one that makes sense, gives me chills, or makes me swoon. But every step IS necessary.

Believing that it all will work out means I can walk forward without kicking and screaming about where I am now. I will no longer think this is a mistake. I will rest assure that every step I take in the seemingly wrong direction is ordained by God and every dream I have will manifest.

So what’s my plan of action now that I’ve have all of these realizations?

Well, I think my job is to hone my talent daily through learning new choreography, working on my own choreography, staying inspired, eating healthy, and staying in shape. (and then taking a class or two a week to reinforce.) I’ll do my job and allow God do to His.

I’m looking forward to sharing my journey back to dance with you:)

Here’s a picture of my new flooring for my in home studio!! We went to lowes to look for a microwave and ended up with flooring for my studio!

(hey if someone knows where I can purchase mirrors I’d love a heads up!)

A. Genise

PS. Happy First Day of Spring (for the folks in the northern hemisphere!)


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Wednesday Wisdom:Small Life

“Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, valuable, but small. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave?”

-Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan from the movie You’ve Got Mail)

You may already know I love the movie You’ve Got Mail, so it makes sense that I really love this quote!

In the (oh so long ago) past, I had a (bad) habit of “small” thinking, which leads to the small life Meg Ryan spoke of. I would think that other successful people had/stole my life.

For example JLo, who started out as a fly girl on the comedy show In Living Color, ended up dancing her way into singing and acting– somehow stole my career path. (yeah I know it’s silly, but I subconsiously thought that!)

I was also supposed to be one of Janet Jackson’s back up dancers, so Tina Landon (one of Janet’s best choreographers seen below in the front left) also had my job.

It’s easy to think successful people have some special secret, or a leg up that you don’t have. Thinking successful people have an “in” negates the hard work and many hours of practice they put in (even if you think they don’t deserve the success). All that kind of thinking does is gives you an excuse to stay small.

I encourage you not to count yourself out, knowing that you can and should be more. Even if you are deep in the trenches of job and commute land mixed with raising a family (sound familiar?) move bravely towards your aspirations.

Be brave, live big, be bold!

A. Genise


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Wednesday Wisdom: Walk through the open door

This Wednesday Wisdom seems common sense but how often do we beat down the closed door rather than walk through the open one? During my commute in to work, and noticed something simple: when the metro train stops at a station, only one door opens to the platform, while the other door to the dangerous rails (and sometimes oncoming train) stays closed. Also, because metro stations have platforms on different sides of the train, the same door doesn’t open as we make our way along the route. At one metro station the left door may open and then the next the right will open (so you have to pay attention to which door will open).

Can you imagine fighting to open the closed doors that lead to the tracks? Dangerous and silly right? But I feel like that’s what we do sometimes. Rather than walk though the open door of opportunity, we bang on and beat down the closed door thinking it’ll lead us to something better and bigger.

Pay attention to the open door. Although it’s only open for a limited amount of time and it changes, it leads to the next place of opportunity. Leave the closed door closed.

Paying attention to the open door,

A. Genise


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Pretty Wise: How frustration will help you move to the next level

There are many things that can frustrate us.

Frustration can manifest if you are moving too fast. For example, you want everything done yesterday–having made arbitrary timelines for life goals and they are not being met. (House, marriage, and kids by X year anyone? Or how about I expected my business to take off and make me a millionaire like yesterday–OK that one may be me:) )

Or frustration can come about if you are moving too slow. You get comfortable in life and pass on opportunities for growth. Then when you look around you see others doing what you know you should have stepped out on faith to do, you are angry (really that’s just frustration).

And I’d say both of those types of frustration are good only to let you know that you are moving too fast or too slow. So once you identify the source of your frustration you can adjust.

But there is another type of frustration that I have recently encountered that I think will forever change my life for the better…

and it’s the frustration that inevitably comes along with learning new things.

I now realize that as adults we may be more easily frustrated than when we were toddlers. (and if you’ve raised a toddler that may be hard to believe, but follow me for a few moments…)

As adults, we’ve become proficient at many things. We’ve mastered walking, talking, writing, cooking (some of us anyways…lol), so when we start to do something that we are unfamiliar with, most of us freak out. As a 30-something, why should I go back to feeling like a toddler trying to walk? I already know how to walk!!! So rather than feel that silly or clueless, as we age we tend to do only what we know, like, and what we are good at (see a problem here?).

Although I wrote about stepping outside of my comfort zone a while back, I really experienced it this past week.

With dance, my training and comfort zone is in ballet, lyrical, and classical jazz. They come relatively easy. I got out of the dance world as hip-hop/pop and lock became mainstream so I never learned it. Any time I’d try to learn hip hop on my own I’d become super frustrated and stop. (Dancers have this joke about watching ballerinas trying to do hip hop it’s always funny and you can always tell they are “ballerinas”. I felt like I started to look like that).

A while back I discovered a down to earth yet amazing choreographer named Candace Brown on You Tube. She is ridiculous. She moves like silk and I am in awe of her talent.

So in this case, I saw this choreography to a song by one of my favorite artists Dwele called Two2Tango. It’s ridiculous. I watched it into the wee hours of the morning totally mesmerized.

So the next morning I decided to learn the dance. I had to tell myself I’d try to learn an 8 count per day because it’s a hard dance to learn on your own, in real time, and looking at their reflection in the mirror. (for someone out of the dance loop, this dance is darn near impossible!)

Well I couldn’t get the first 4 counts…4 COUNTS!! I was more than frustrated. As soon as I thought I got it, I realized I was doing it wrong. (thanks to the mirror)

I walked away for a bit, came back and still wasn’t getting it. We ran errands later that day and every few steps (in BJ’s) I was practicing , still with no luck. Talk about frustrated!!!! I am a dancer and I needed two days to get the first 8 count! Although I heard all the voices saying how I was a has been because I was struggling so hard to get the first 8 count, I didn’t quit. I hated how I felt, but I wouldn’t stop trying. (oh and on day two I was so sore it was hard to take deep breaths!)

But at the end of day two, I started to get it! And that felt good! But how often do we quit because we are “embarrassed” thinking we should be learning it quicker or be more proficient by an arbitrary date. Keep Going!

So I will be learning this new dance. Although I am totally scared, my plan is to post the video once I learn it all.

Another thing I’ve learned is that letting a talent die is one of the worst things you can do. Maya Angelou said is best when she said: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Although I left dance, she hadn’t left me. And although I turned my back on her, she’s willing to take me back. Now our becoming re-acquainted is no walk in the park. It’s not like picking up where you left off with an old friend. Dance is a high maintenance friend that demands daily interaction, so me getting to know her again is not always going to be fun, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So for the bigger lesson don’t let adulthood and the proficiencies you’ve acquired thus far push you to only pursue what you are great at. Sometime you should feel frustrated like a toddler learning to walk. It’s painful, perhaps embarrassing, but totally necessary to move to the next level.

I am now begging my hubby to put in full length mirrors in our basement for my studio. I cannot wait. And although I love my blog, I’m going to lessen the frequency of my posts so I can step away from my computer and dance!!

Until next time,

A. Genise.