Smart Starting the Week

Last night’s Junior League workshop at the Covenant House was extra inspiring and truthfully, just what a Monday ordered.

It wasn’t surprising that our speaker, Meagan Hooper, the 33-year-old former hedge fund COO and current CEO and founder of bSmart Guide had some legit advice to hand out. If you didn’t know, bSmart Guide is a community platform that inspires and connects women entrepreneurs with aspiring business ladies. Not only was it inspiring to hear Meagan’s personal story of overcoming [many and very tough] obstacles to get where she is now, but also, her passion is connecting and advocating for powerful and not-quite-yet-powerful women to do the same. And guys, need I remind you: lady power is dope.

Lady Power

This workshop was meant for the kids, but I definitely got just as much out of it. The most impressive takeaway for me was that Meagan was someone who was behind for a lot of her life, and had to really fight to catch up (and eventually throttle, full speed ahead) to and past her peers. It took a lot of time and a ton of effort, but she was a freakin’ COO at 27. Nutso encouraging, and just when I needed to hear it.

Anyways, instead of just rambling on about how great she is and how much she has accomplished, here are the top 5 lessons I, and even though you weren’t there, you too, can take away from Meagan’s story:

1. When you’re the assistant, play a King. When you’re in charge, play a two. Demeanor matters.

2. Always know your objective. Repeat it like a mantra daily. Why are you doing all of this? There’s a reason, and it’s worth it.

3. If you want your bosses job, start acting like your boss.

4. Everyone’s afraid. Don’t let fear intimate you because everyone else is just as frightened.

5. Don’t let where you come from dictate where you’re going. The two don’t have to share anything in common.

What’s the most inspirational story or saying you’ve heard lately?

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The Blog-tember Challenge

Hello, there! How’s your summer been? I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte today, and while the weather definitely wasn’t on it’s fall game, I’m very excited to be slowly segueing into my favorite season. The tail-end of last summer was when I really hopped back on the regularly-blogging bandwagon. I had every intention to do the same this year,  but must acknowledge that jumping back into a routine is just not the easiest thing to do… thus, enter the #BlogtemberChallenge!

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Bailey Jean from Brave Love thoughtfully crafted daily prompts for the entire month of September — designed to ease the struggle of coming up with something worthwhile to write about while uniting the blogging community in posting habits. She enforces a strict no-rule policy, and encourages bloggers to write as many times as they can throughout the month (and if it’s not everyday, still cool). I’m very excited that I found out about this in the nick of time and am excited for the adventure ahead. My only promise is to write more (which won’t be hard to do considering my past few months of absolutely nothing) and to read/connect more with other blogging participants. Good news all around.

To meet Bailey and check out her prompts for the months ahead, visit here. See y’all tomorrow, for post #1!

On Saying Yes

There have been a number of instances over the past few months when I’ve really thought long and hard about throwing in the towel. Not on life, obviously, but very truthfully on New York. I’ve never been too shy or modest to say that this city will eat you up if you let it. And sometimes, even for the most enthusiastic of its fans (i.e. myself), surly New York can get pretty darn close to taking a big bite of your confidence. Her sharp, pearly whites are constantly chomping at the bit of your dreams. If you’re lucky, she’ll rip you up and spit you out. But preferably, she’ll swallow you whole…

But then you’re walking home from an after-work yoga class, and due to forgetting proper footwear, you have to do the 50 minute commute home in dressy boots, a long overcoat, short gym shorts and an oversized tee. You resemble what could only be described as an out-of-shape, disheveled, and just overall bad, masculine prostitute, when you run into someone on the street looking 11 shades worse, and who is very much rocking it on purpose.

Or you’re heading to a friend’s apartment after a long day to work on a project and you, like any annoying, yet serious-about-her-career New Yorker, need caffeine. You stop at the local coffee shop on the way to the E and the Barista says, “Hey, this one’s on me.” It was probably because you’re so sleep deprived you look like you could murder four puppies without blinking and he’s frightened, but you know, in a world of jerks, it’s a win.

And then you have a Monday — a figurative AND literal Monday at work — and due to a swirl of irony and happenstance, you make one of your favorite comedians laugh. A silly face, some dumb accent. It very well could have been a pity laugh, but if he felt compelled enough to fake it, at least you must have been true-to-form: awkward and hopefully, likable.

This city isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t for the half-assers, the get-embarassed-easilyers, or the try-it-once-but-then-I’m-done-ers either. And contrary to popular belief, it isn’t even for the dreamers. It’s for the doers. The open-minded, hard-working, inadequate humans who fail SO much and HATE it — but aren’t afraid to keep failing. To keep improving. To keep trying. To keep saying yes. The kind of people who say “Yes” are not the kind of people who succeed in New York, but rather are the kind of people who survive here.

Maybe it’s not even specific to New York. In light of taking an improv workshop with Second City through my job and re-reading Tina Fey’ Bossypants, I feel enlightened and compelled to keep saying “Yes” to life. I haven’t finished meeting these insane and wonderful people harboring vast and unique experiences only New Yorkers can offer. I’m not over chasing my dreams. I’m not done with New York, and I don’t think New York is done with me. I have more to do here — more to experience, more to lean — and I’m excited and ready for whatever that may entail.

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Have you said “Yes” today? Or walked by someone wearing fishnets, black spandex and a cowboy hat out in public? If so, where do you live? And why?

Currently, this Monday Morning

RECAPPING: a nonsensical “Happy Passover” e-card from my father, a certain random Twitter follow from this weekend, macaroon Easter treats from a friend and cookie gifts from my manager because of having to work the holiday. I suppose people really aren’t that bad.

HOWEVER: This Buzzfeed quiz suggests otherwise. Favorite comment: “NYC made me this way.” Ugh. Sad but true.

REALIZING: I’ve fallen very behind in my 52 books in 52 weeks goal. Should audio books count? If so, where can I find audio books? And also, the time to listen to twelve of them in the next two weeks?

ACCEPTING: Audio book recommendations. Normal book recommendations would also suffice.

LISTENING TO: Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson’s Beauty and the Beast, on repeat. It’s a beautiful, inspiring song; don’t judge.

SIPPING: French vanilla coffee from Trader Joe’s.

CRAVING: Country music, windows down and an open road. I’m chalking it up to the onset of summer, but sooner rather than later, some things may deserve a revisit if this keeps up.

REMINDING MYSELF: I should not compare myself to anyone other than who I was yesterday.

And with that, I bid a very happy work-week to you, readers! Make it a good one. Spring’s in full swing and summer jusssst around the corner. You can do it!

Fort Tryon

Monday Motivation

Hopefully I won’t continue to fail at blogging as the week wears on, but for now, here are my latest finds on Pinterest. I don’t know about you all, but since Monday’s about to hit me like a ton of bricks this week, I needed some extra inspiration. Because I’m the best, I figured why not spread the motivational quote love all around. Enjoy, and try to make this workweek a good one!Quote 2Quote 3Quote 4Quote 5

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It’s a Sunshine Day

Oh hai there. Some things (such suspense in the vagueness) have yet again taken precedence away from updating this old thing the past few weeks, so for that I apologize. I can’t on-the-record promise this or next week will be any better… but I’m sure going to try.

A few weeks back, an ahh-mazing blogger known as Zee nominated me for a pretty cool thing called the Sunshine Award. Allegedly, this is a way for cool bloggers to introduce cool bloggers to other cool bloggers. A lot of cool bloggers involved in the process, specifically those who are creative, positive, and all around good guys and gals (or at least appear so in their internet personas). Sounds great, right?! Since I’m pretty much obsessed with Catching Zees and also this is the first time I’ve ever won (been nominated for? I prefer saying won) anything worthwhile in my young adult existence, I was pumped. But then I fell off the [blogging] wagon enough for enough time to gain 8 pounds. BUT LOOK AT ME NOW. HERE, BLOGGING AGAIN. Attempting to pick off right where I left. Let us allow this be seamless. Did someone say Seamless?! Uhh, so here’s the rules I was asked to follow:

  1. Display the Award Certificate on your blog.
  2. Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger who nominated you. (Thank you, Zee. You’re fantastic!)
  3. Post 10 interesting things about yourself.
  4. Nominate some fellow deserving bloggers for the award.
  5. Link your nominees in the post and let them know about their nomination with a comment.

Sunshine Award

I’ll do my best to make this interesting. Here are some typed up things about me:

  1. I don’t know how to embed gifs on my blog. Or even really how to google gifs properly. I know gifs would make this more interesting, so I’m kind of already considering this a failure.
  2. I don’t use emoticons. Never have. I’d confidently continue with “never will” but there’s some awfully tempting cat-faced contenders out there. For the time being, I have a folder of saved images of Kristin Wiig’s facial expressions that I send out when I feel the need to deeply convey emotion outside of the normal : ) slash : ( slash o_O Kristen Wiig face
  3. Once in 2011 I tweeted something to the effect of “I hope wine and popcorn count toward my daily recommended servings of fruit and vegetables.” So I guess you could say I was Olivia Poping it before Olivia Pope. *brushes dirt off shoulders*Olivia Wine
  4. I have the handwriting of a second grader.
  5. Life goal is to be: half as hip as Lindsay Weir, a third of as funny as anyone who replies to the @Midnight tweets, a fourth of as energetic as Leslie Knope, and a fifth of as continuously turnt up as Miley Cyrus.Miley Cyrus LipKristen Wiig face
  6. True life: I didn’t know what the Oxford comma was until last week.
  7. You always know what I’m thinking and feeling because I wear my emotions on my sleeve face. Sorrrrrry.Gilly
  8. I have a very real, very perpetual fear of mispronouncing words. And using words at incorrect times. I guess, just talking in general. I should probably look into data-entry as a career.
  9. For as obsessed with television as I am, I loathe reality TV. (Much to my mom’s dismay)
  10. “If you’re going to break the rules, break all the rules” is my favorite thing anyone’s ever said to me. Walter White

In the same vein, I do feel like breaking some Sunshine rules. I don’t want to pressure anyone to do this type of post if it isn’t your thing. Plus, some of you have been around for a while and potentially have been nominated before. SO, instead of commenting on each of your blogs with this nom., I’m going to not. But I think you all are very wonderful in such creative, inspiring and unique ways, and since I don’t have a “blogroll” of sorts, I’m excited that this award has given me the chance to shout out to the few sites I regularly pop over to check out during the week.

Ahh, hope I’m not forgetting anyone. Also, I hope this isn’t creepy to those of you who don’t know me at all since I just tagged your blog! If anyone has any other great recommendations of who to follow out there in the blogosphere, let me know in the comments! Always up for checking out new reads/making new web-based friends. AND: happy Monday!

Belated MLK Day

I hate the excuse of “I’ve been busy” because everybody’s busy. But this past week I have been busy…and sick and in a strange headspace, so I apologize for the sporadic nature of posting. I realize that I completely skipped over Martin Luther King Jr. Day this past Monday, which is important, so I wanted to include some of his brilliant ideas and sayings this Friday in the usual Feminist Friday spot. My activism for feminism is rooted in the belief of equality, which is the principal for what Mr. King fought so passionately. So without further ado, the best of Pinterest quotes:

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MLK 1

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