Pretty Blue Rose

life musings, fashion, and inspiration


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Wednesday Wisdom: It Takes Courage

Follow what you love and it will take you-2

So y’all (yes I do say y’all now) it’s been an interesting past few weeks. (Interesting=tears).  While my day job has been a bit challenging to say the least, I think some of the interesting-ness stems from me starting to believe in my dreams to the point where I am putting action behind my vision. When old clothes stop fitting– they become uncomfortable, right?

The quote above from Mr. Cummings (with my emphasis in parentheses) really spoke to my heart. It does not take courage to fall in line. It does not take courage to play it safe. Quite frankly, it does not take courage to go to college to then get a “good job”.

But it does take courage to be a visionary. It does take courage to move past educational training to pursue what you love. It does take courage to leave the titles and prestige behind to start from scratch not knowing how it will turn out… (don’t get me started on financial responsibilities)

So to celebrate successful entrepreneurs, especially women who had the courage to change careers, check out these inspiring women below:

  • In 1979, Nina Zagat and her husband, Tim, were corporate lawyers by way of Yale Law School who relocated to Paris for work. Nina was taking cooking classes at Le Cordon Bleu while working at the firm Shearman & Sterling. Tim was a self-admitted foodie before there were “foodies.” Together they started compiling brief summaries of restaurants in Paris. When the couple moved back to New York, they started asking friends for restaurant opinions. As the 1980s rolled in, they transformed the idea into a business and published their first guide in 1982. Three years later, the Zagat Guide reportedly outsold the New York Times restaurant guide. That news coupled with a New York magazine cover story bumped sales from 40,000 to 75,000 annually. The Zagats then expanded to other cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago, which garnered even more success.

 

  • In her late 20’s, Keija Minor had quit her job as a corporate lawyer with a six-figure salary after deciding she wanted more than the law. At 27, she took an 85 percent pay cut to work as an intern at startup travel magazine Travel Savvy. She eventually worked her way up to Conde Nast, where she is now the first African-American EIC of Brides nearly 15 years later.
source: dailyworth.com

 

  • Nora Ephron went from being a journalist at The New York Post to writing the romantic comedies that keep us all company on rainy afternoons. Throughout her career, she added director, producer, playwright, and author to her many list of professions.
Source: marieclaire.com

 

  • At 24, Amy Tan had left her doctoral program at UC Berkeley. She started a business-writing firm, penning speeches for executives and salesmen before becoming a full-time freelance business writer. But Tan confesses that she “secretly dreamed of becoming an artist.” At 33, she began writing fiction and had her first short story published the following year. Amy’s best-selling The Joy Luck Club would not be published until she was 37.
Source:dailyworth.com

 

I encourage you to listen to your heart, do what you love, and pursue your dreams. 

Listening to my own advice,

A.G.

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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 the day-spending countless hours hustling to make a few bucks, keeping myself happy and clean, while keeping my friends and family happy. It was a struggle to do all of that, very frustrating at times, but it was fun and highly addictive….that is until I learned there was a cheat that allowed me to exponentially increase my money at a moments notice. When I entered in a certain code, my money would increase by thousands of dollars! Jackpot! Right?!?!

When I first found out about the cheat I was ecstatic– I felt like I won the lottery in real life! I could hardly sleep for the first few days after I found the cheat code. I could build any house I wanted with all of the furniture I wanted and I didn’t have to work for measly dollars. Life was great….or so I thought. After the newness of my 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 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 just shake my head. But now I get it. They are bored. They have the Sims “money cheat” 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.

Now I am not one of those people who thinks money is bad, I think it is preferable to have money than not. 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: peace of mind and financial freedom to make decisions not based on how much work leave I have.

While money does make things more convenient, it doesn’t erase the hardships of life. Although the hustle of working everyday, can be frustrating, it is a necessary function to keep us from becoming bored.

In a virtual world, I had what I thought I wanted: unlimited funds, access to the best houses, cars and lifestyle but I quickly became bored. Interesting, eh?

-A.G.


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Some Wisdom: Nothing Even Matters

 

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, passive aggressive way that only nasty folks know how to do…

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 favorite 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,

 

A.G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Road Cars vs Race Cars

auto-racing-558089_1920

The other day I heard the best analogy while listening to the radio.

The speaker was explaining some of the differences between how race cars and road cars are built and related 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 road cars to perform reliably for hundreds of thousands of miles because they are built to last.

This is not the case with race cars, however. A race engine is built with one thing in mind: power. Race engine components are built to be light and strong, but 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 our society pushes and even rewards,  it’s not good for anyone long term. Can you handle what’s thrown at you? Can you juggle different responsibilities without letting them see you sweat? Can you manage unrealistic expectations and unreasonable staff while looking flawless? Of Course I can! But at what cost? Like a race car, you may be able to manage juggling everything for a few trips around the track, but you will burn out. Promise. If you live your life for the long term, similar to a road car, you will last much longer. Let’s try to see the long game, slow down!

Chillin in my road car…

 

automobile-1835634_1920

 

A.G.


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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: Stop Auditioning

I’ve been getting a lot of advice lately. Let’s just say there are some interesting things going on in my life and lots of folks have lots to say (reminder to self: stop telling lots of folks).

One piece of advice really stuck with me. One individual said, “Although unfair, everyday is an audition”.

I found two definitions of auditioning:
1-An interview at which a singer, actor, dancer, or musician demonstrates their suitability and skill. or a 2-A trial performance, as by an actor, dancer, or musician, to demonstrate suitability or skill.

So what I take away is that for a trial period it is OK to be asked and necessary to demonstrate your skills. The thing I’d like to highlight is that it’s for a limited time (hence the words interview and trial).

But I’m learning some people expect folks to have to prove themselves everyday and that’s tiring! Right? Living everyday as on a trial performance is not healthy. But unfortunately, I had to agree with that sentiment. In some circles (families, jobs, etc.) there’s always this “thing” hanging over you about your reputation. Everything you do, say, and work you perform is always “shaping” your “reputation”. To me this means you are always auditioning, always proving.

When I mentioned my new found revelation to my hubby (he is always my sounding board and gives the best advice) he said I don’t need to buy in to that status quo (and unhealthy) thinking.

He said, let’s oversimplify to make a point: If you are the best cook, dancer, employee, blogger, or athlete ever and someone passes along their perspective, 50% will believe it and 50% won’t. The same is true in reverse, if someone passes along that you a horrible parent, dancer, singer, cook, there is a 50% chance that others will believe it and the other half won’t. (Now I know the relationship to the messenger highly influences the likelihood the person will believe the information passed along, but again this was simplified to make a point). So in the scheme of things, there will be a group of people who believe that you are great and others who won’t, no matter what you do. Point Blank Period. (said like Tamar Braxton).

I think of the heated conversations men (and some women) have about athletes illustrates this perfectly. You can take one athlete, say LeBron James, and one person who loves him lists stats and all sorts of things to convince others of his perspective, but the others who know those same stats and watch the games will disagree and call Mr. James garbage. They will say he only can do what he does because of those around him (coaches and teammates) and they say he’s no good. Same person, same performance, different perspectives.

So, if you are a person who cares about what folks think or even worse, thinks you can change how people perceive you, you are going through life auditioning–be it for a job you already have or a role you already perform (a parent for example).
You are always trying to prove that you are worth your title.

I’m learning to focus on doing good work regardless of what others think I can or cannot do. I won’t keep auditioning for a job or a role I already have.

I am important, intelligent, and worthy because I am a human being. Period.

No. Convincing. Needed.

And now that I think about it, one of the main reasons I didn’t pursue a professional dance career was that I hated auditioning. The constant comparisons, rejection, and stress was something I wanted no part of. Why start auditioning now?


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Wednesday Wisdom: Chillax (Chill+Relax)

A former boss once told me that I am a great worker, and very even keel, but (yes a but!) one of the things that I need is to feel respected. (I feel like what was implied is that I can make waves when I am being repeatedly disrespected).

I called my hubby to repeat the conversation and said, it’s not like that should be too much to ask…am I expecting too much of others? Please don’t tell me I’m overly needy because I feel every one should be respected. I just want people to show they have some “home training”.

Then it hit me, everyone has different upbringings, and something as simply courteous as saying hello in the hallway may not be on someone’s radar. (I am still shaking my head in disbelief as I typed that) But the reality is, what’s most important is my reaction to the perceived slight at work, at home, or by a business.

Getting upset and giving away my joy is sooo what I need to work on…I need to realize not everyone was raised like me and that by putting my standards on others does nothing to them, but ruins my day and shortens my life.

“A relaxed attitude lengthens life” (Proverbs 14:30)

Chillaxin,

A.Genise