True facts

When you’re faced with a tough choice, flip a coin.

It works not because it settles the question for you, but because in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know exactly what you are hoping for.

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Not only can she produce catchy dance hits, but wisdom?

“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” –Lady Gaga

(via Lovely Happenings)

Then again, it’s not like your career can snuggle up next to you. Or carry your heavy groceries up a couple flights of stairs. Or change the oil in your car. Or tell you that you’re beautiful. That is the dilemma.

You don’t lose as long as you learn

I just had the most stressful and exhausting day straight full of traveling, interviews and tests (going full on from about 3 a.m. to 10 p.m.). Oh man. I’ve never experienced anything like it. My shoulder is incredibly sore (tension, maybe?). I can imagine that’s how work can get, but wow. But I still can’t complain.

Now that I’m done whining about it, the tough stuff makes life not boring. The lows and highs are what make the roller coaster interesting.

Of course, there are so many things I could have said or done differently, but I feel like I stood confidently behind whatever answers I gave.

It’s easier to remember the bad things over the good. Why else do wounds come with scars? Why don’t we have anything to remember the good things that happen to us? Regardless, you’ve just got to do the best you can in whatever circumstances you’re facing.

Now it’s over and done and everything is committed to something higher than me. I can’t take back anything I said or retake anymore tests from yesterday and nothing is going to keep me from enjoying my today.

Right now I’m reminded that you’re supposed to rest after working (six days shall you labor, but you shall rest on the seventh day and all that). So I’m resting. I’m not going to let yesterday’s events stress me out any longer.

I guess I could learn something from this

Nothing stings quite like missed opportunities. Not that it matters now, but I just had one of those. And now I keep kicking myself in the face or the verbal equivalent, bursting into “Arrrrrrgh” whenever I think about it. I could have had an immeasurably better Sunday night. What makes it worse is that we both thought about it!! Why didn’t either of us do anything!?? Arrrrghhhh!!

At the same time, a missed opportunity opens up to such great and wonderful potential, provided that you plan far enough in advance to take that next opportunity. We’re back in action. It’s exciting now.

It’s also a good teacher. Lesson learned: do not lose contact with certain people on any circumstances. I know it’s vague, and this is kinda for me anyway because I just need to get this out of my head.

Unrelated: So I just Googled myself (image search) and pictures of me and graphics I’ve made for journalism-related things pop up on the first page! Um, thanks Google.

Because I never say it enough…

Facebook, from when I went to Germany in 2007

I always told myself to recognize when I’m happy. I feel like our lives get so busy and crazy and there a million more things that make us say, “f my life” that we forget what it means to be joyful.

Today, I went to church, learned something new and now running with it.

I cleaned and rearranged my room for the new year, and I finally hung up my picture frames. I had picture frames full of my college friends and my study abroad adventures and since I’ve been back home, they’ve just been sitting in a pile on my floor.

It took me forever to hang them on the wall because I didn’t think I’d be there for very long. I’d think, “Oh, I won’t be here for long, so what’s the point of hanging them up if I’m just going to leave?”

So instead of enjoying them, the picture frames just sat in a pile. Until now, when I realized that I just need to enjoy whatever situation I’m in. It might not make sense, but it was kind of a big deal.

Then I decided to go for a run by the waterfront, which is the best running spot ever (seriously PDXers check this out), especially in the fall, when the trees look like they’re on fire and it’s reflected on the water. It’s gorgeous.

I drove to waterfront and was about to start running when I was interrupted by a phone call from a long-lost friend, which was completely worth postponing the run after a day of phone tag with a friend I haven’t talked to in like 3 years.

After a very good long talk, I finally started running, put on my music and the most perfect songs I actually wanted to hear played on shuffle as I ran.

And then I got a new 2010 calendar (not this one unfortunately, but something little more sophisticated).

I love it when my days are just full of infectious joy. Absolutely love it. The even better news is that it can last! You choose to create joy in your days, regardless of what happens.

It’s 2010. What do you see?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/platinum/4003277/ My future’s so bright, I’m going to need sunglasses.

Ugh, I’ve been away for much too long. I feel like my mind and spirit (crazy, but good crazy) have been awakened after sleeping for so long. Now that 2010 is upon me, I’ve got to ask myself, what do you see in 2010?

  1. Working at my *REAL* job (one that uses my journalism degree, my creative and technical skills, in Washington, DC and even better than I could have ever possibly imagined). I will accomplish this by keeping the dream alive (keep it before my eyes and in my thoughts) and most importantly, believing God’s promises and plan for my life and continuing speaking it into existence.
  2. Begin paying off my college loans. My plan is to get those out of the way in 2-2.5 years or less.
  3. Staying healthy. For once in my life, I’m starting the new year on a healthy foot and I need to keep it this way.
  4. Being a grownup. To me, so far this means to make those tough choices and take responsibility for the choices you make and making the best of the situation.
  5. Making more to do lists to get things done. Now that an app like TeuxDeux has dropped, there’s no excuse.
  6. Curbing my shopping. Outrageously cute stuff + the deep discounts brought on by the recession = monetary policy disaster for Jess. This means shopping my closet (the glut still astounds me) before I buy something, now that a majority of my finances will be spoken for. What if I didn’t buy any clothes/shoes/accessories for a month? Two months? Three? The possibilities are endless. I just need to be more financially prudent.
  7. Keeping up my blog. 3 posts a week. Minimum. On anything.
  8. Having it the other way. I don’t normally take risks; I play it safe. I hate gambling (not just money, anything really). But what if I took more risks?
  9. Not taking no responses personally. While I would love it if every place I applied would send me some reply (whether negative or affirmative), I know that’s probably not going to happen. It might be policy. It might be lack of time. Whatevs, since that is no longer going to get me down.
  10. For God’s sake, get me to the church on time. Now no longer just a song in My Fair Lady, but a literal aspiration. I need to stop being late to church every Sunday!
  11. Choose not to let what people do negatively affect me. Most of the time, I don’t think people realize what they do/don’t do can offend someone. So since they usually didn’t do that out of malice (we all forget stuff unknowingly and don’t wake up and think, “I’m going to forget to call Jess back just to ruin her day”), I’m going to choose not to be offended by that.
  12. Maintain my relationships. They’ve taken a backseat while I drove around in circles via the job situation. I’ve realized that I’ve been isolating myself for the past few months because I felt inadequate about not finding a job right immediately at the end of my internship. So, I need to get back out there and repair my relationships and keep them up, because I can always use some encouragement.
  13. Keep doing something towards what I want to do. I might not have a specific job title in mind, but I know what I enjoy. For me, this means keeping my skills fresh by just doing random projects that exercise them. Number one on my list? Making data visualizations/plans using readily available data.
  14. Not letting the little things get to me. Clearly, there are so many things I want to accomplish in 2010, so I don’t have time for that.

This is your year. What do you see? Take it and own it.

I had a wonderfully low-key season this year and spent the major days (Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s) with family and close friends. Hope everyone enjoyed their past few weeks.

After some reflection, in the spirit of resolutions and starting my year off right, I’ve decided to undergo a full-on media fast for the first 6 weeks. This means no Twitter, Facebook, NetNewsWire, TV, movies and things like that. The media (in general) saturate our lives so fully that we don’t even realize we’re addicted to them. Now that I’ve sufficiently fed my body and soul (with the media), I’m going to focus on feeding my spirit and putting it before the other two.

I’ve been given the gift of another year, and this time, I can’t waste it. It’s my year (and yours too).

Thanksgiving from the trenches

Lately, I’ve been MIA and it’s been a crazy fight. I’ve seen a few of my friends who are in similar situations (underemployed j-school grads) coast towards depression, anger and bitterness and I’m determined not to be one of those casualties.

One way I fight it is to keep reminding myself of what I’m blessed to have (and not have) and especially on Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for:

  1. Family/Friends – I am so blessed to have these people in my life. I am so grateful for their love, faith, support and trust (in their own ways). I’m not sure where I’d be without these people who made such a positive impact on my life. They’ve taught me to live, to forgive, to trust in God and myself, how to have fun, and so much more. Though many of them are not with me on this day, I’m still thinking of and thankful for them.
  2. Change – I am definitely thankful for the fact that change is an inevitable part of life. Even when I’m not in the best of situations, I am comforted knowing that it will change eventually. I know I won’t stay where I am forever as long as I keep trying to change it.
  3. Health – I’m so thankful that I’ve been blessed with great health. My body and my immune system are strong. Screw healthcare; it’s not like I need it anyways, though obviously it would be nice to have.
  4. A Job (though not THE job) – Yes, as much as I complain about my job, it’s good to have one in this economy while I’m waiting on THE job (the one that uses my journalism degree). At least I’m making some money instead of wasting away.
  5. Being done with collegeTuition hikes?! Not on my forecast. I’m glad to know that I won’t have to live in fear about my university increasing my tuition (at least until I seriously consider graduate school).
  6. The Fame Monster – Gaga has done it again!! I just got this album yesterday and it has been spinning on the ‘Pod. My fave tracks (other than Bad Romance) are Alejandro, Monster, Dance in the Dark and Telephone (feat. Beyonce), but really all the tracks are good stuff.
  7. Where I live – Okay, so living at home is not my favorite place to be at this time of my life, but I can’t complain against no rent/food expenses, perfect, humidity-free summers and driving 10 minutes to Portland to buy stuff sales tax-free.
  8. Nordstrom – In all seriousness, words cannot express how awesome this retailer is. Ordering stuff and getting it shipped to me for free? Free alterations? Easy returns? Great customer service? Reasons why I buy almost everything I wear here. Yes.
  9. My REAL/RIGHT job – I know for sure it’s out there. It’s just a matter of timing–when it’s ready and when I’m ready for it at the same time.
  10. That this list is always growing

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!