Pretty Blue Rose

The style of life…with some wisdom mixed in.

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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


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.

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Wednesday Wisdom: Road Cars vs Race Cars

Yesterday I heard the best analogy listening to the radio.

The speaker was explaining some of the differences between race cars and road cars and relating them to how we should operate in our everyday lives. He explained that road cars are built with a long life in mind. We expect a new car to perform reliably for hundreds of thousands of miles. They are built to last.

This is not the case, however, with race cars. A race engine is built with one thing in mind: power. Race engine components are built to be light and strong, and in most cases, they don’t last much longer than one race.

We, in turn, are not built to run at a race car’s top capacity all the time. Although multitasking and constant working are things that companies tend to push, it’s not good for us long term. Can you handle what’s thrown at you? Can you juggle different responsibilities without letting them see you sweat? Of Course I can! But at what cost? Like a race car, you can manage to work more, better, harder, but you won’t last long. You can get by for a while, but you will burn out. If you live your life more like a road car you will last much longer.

So in line with my advice, I’m taking a week off of my blog to rest. (a pit stop if you will… Oh and if I had to pick a road car— I’d be a Mercedes:))

See yall next Wednesday!

A. Edwards

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Wednesday Wisdom: Be like a salmon

I am increasingly becoming alarmed at who the media tells me I should like, who is beautiful, and role model worthy. (my heart always breaks for the underrated musicians who have something important to say, but never appeal to the masses.) My inner circle knows I feel this way, but today I just need to get it out.  On Monday, after the Superbowl, my sister and I had a long conversation about the demise of the music industry and how if you disagree with masses on the talent of a superstar you are called  a “hater.” (Most. Overused. Word. Ever.). We also discussed our frustration that we feel we are force-fed a love of certain “superstars” and celebrities sometimes without merit.
But I encourage you to see being called a “hater” as a badge of honor that you are able to think for yourself rather than do what the media tells you to do.
Although my big issue is with the music industry and what images are being sold to children, heck everyone, it’s also relevant in all other areas of life.  Think for yourself. Be critical and ask questions of those in authority or  those running media corporations (deciding what TV programs to produce.) Don’t just take what you are fed,  be it from the pulpit or from a news anchor.  Sometimes you need to go against the grain and make decisions for yourself. Or think through what you are told or sold before you run with it. You may feel like you are swimming upstream, but hang in there. There are plenty of examples in life where people went against the grain, and it started a movement. Don’t just take what you are given. Just because it looks and feels good, doesn’t mean it is.
If it means you are the only one who thinks that way…so be it. And side note, you may want to get a new group of friends because you may find that once you do, others feel as you do!
be encouraged,
A. Genise

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Wednesday Wisdom: Running alone, running together

I heard this old African proverb that really spoke to me:

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

I believe this is an analogy that is frequently used to show how working together accomplishes more. In our “quick quick do it yesterday” society the tendency is to do things ourselves so we can be off to the next thing. Sad thing is we tire out that way and end up not finishing our race. Look around, make sure you have people to support you on your journey and make sure you have people that you are supporting. You will all get there…together.