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Personal vs. Professional

At what point in your career is it acceptable to intertwine your personal life with your professional aspirations?

Most people say never. Others say it depends. I say always.

No – I do not mean share the details of your family drama with your co-worker or use company time to plan your best friend’s birthday party. I’m referring to an aspect of your personal life that is a bit more discreet and sometimes overlooked.

Take for example the time you have spent training for your half marathon. Have you ever thought that maybe the personal time you have spent running was a key contributor to developing yourself as a diligent and progressive professional? Or have you ever given credit to the fact that just by being a parent, you have unintentionally developed the core qualities of a leader – patience, intuition, and the natural ability to nurture and mentor employees?

It’s intriguing to me that the word “personal” has been given such a negative connotation in the workforce that we don’t even give it a second thought. In fact, we spend most of our effort separating the two that we neglect to appreciate that our personal trials and tribulations have set the foundation of our hard work and developed the confident and strong professional we are today.

Can you imagine how happier we would be and the joy we would have working 40+ hours a week if we could just be “ourselves” at work? We could be a parent to the younger employees or be an endurance runner on the project that others have already given up on. What if you love playing video games on your personal time? Why not transfer that focus to beat level 10 to exceeding your company’s revenue goal this quarter. Love shopping? Start dressing to impress and feel more confident at your next executive meeting. Is traveling your thing? Plan the next team outing and go somewhere different; consider it your next staycation. The list goes on…

If we truly combine our personal and professional life, I strongly believe that we would not only excel in our professional career but we would have more fun doing it. It’s not in everyone’s destiny to get paid to do the same in their personal and professional life. Unfortunately, we are not all reality stars. The only thing we can do is stop considering one more important than the other. We can stop complaining and start shifting our perspective. We can start being the high-performing professional Monday through Friday, but don’t forget to do the same with your personal attributes. Repeat the behavior on Saturday and Sunday, and don’t forget to do this for the rest of your professional life. After all, isn’t that what they meant when they told us to “make a living doing what you love to do”?


I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

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Got a Question?

Question
Remember when you were young and when you wanted something you simply just asked for it? The other night, I was standing in line at Rite Aid when a child in front of me broke the silence.

“Mom, can I have a candy bar?”

“No honey,” her mother says.

She reaches for a Snickers bar anyway and asks, “Why?”

“Because we are going to have dinner soon,” she replies reaching for her daughter’s hand. “When we get home you can have a snack.”

Satisfied with the reason, the little girl put the candy bar down and stood quietly, holding her mom’s hand.

It was at that moment that I asked myself why we as adults don’t ask simple, innocent questions anymore. I’ve sat in numerous business meetings, holding my tongue and asking questions in my head but never had the audacity to ask them out loud. Why? I’m not sure.

From the little amount of life experience that I have, I have noticed that the more questions that someone asks the quicker they are able to advance in their career. Let’s take for instance the over-achiever at work that is constantly asking for a promotion or a raise. Between you and that person, who seems to get recognized at work more often? Even though I know this, I still struggle to ask questions in my professional career so maybe there is something to be learned from the little girl that wanted a candy bar. If you want something – ask for it.  Honestly, the worse that can happen is that you don’t get a candy bar today instead you get a snack later.


What makes you different?

pink cubicle

When everyone in your company is striving to achieve the same objective, how do you standout amongst your colleagues? What makes you different from Bobby and Suzy if everyone is trying to seek the approval of the same executive management and out perform each other? No really.. I’m asking you because I have no idea.

There are times in your career when you push yourself out of the ordinary to go above and beyond your expectations with the hope that your efforts will pay off in some form of reward. Sometimes the reward is paid in monetary value other times it is just the simple acknowledgement of your company. Whatever your incentive may have been or is, there is no guarantee that the time you invest and the effort you have made will play out in your favor. So what can you do to increase your chances of being recognized for your high performance?

(1.) Be genuine. Don’t expect to be rewarded for efforts that only benefit yourself. Your talents are worth more than that. When you begin working on a project, think of ways that your efforts will result in mutual benefit for your entire company and your professional development. Think as big as what you can do to contribute to your company’s financial bottom line or as small as sharing your previous experiences with your teammates to ensure their success.  Simple and small but extremely genuine.

(2.) Trust your instincts. When you’ve set a foundation of pure intentions, don’t second guess yourself. Trust your instincts on what you feel is right. At the end of the project, if your name is on the dotted line, make sure that whatever decisions you have made are your decisions. Listen to the voice inside your head and don’t doubt yourself because you were assigned to the project for a reason.

(3.) Know your shortcomings. Even super heroes knew their weaknesses and it never stopped them from achieving their goals. Even if you aren’t good at one thing, you are great at many other things, so leverage those strengths to obtain your objectives. Knowing your shortcomings doesn’t mean you dwell on them, it simply means you know what your limitations are and you master them through compensating them with your strengths.

(4.) Be a team player. Teamwork makes the dream work. If you are the most senior on the project, your team relies on your experience and leadership but your team also has the ability to contribute a new and fresh perspective, so allow the opportunity come to life. Conversely, if you are an emerging professional, don’t be timid to think out loud and share your ideas. Your team will appreciate your energy and enthusiasm.

(5.) And, above all – be confident. Don’t be afraid of a learning opportunity. The lack of confidence usually stems from fear — the fear of mistakes, rejection, falling short of expectations, and judgement. But the truth is – the outcome is bound to happen, so let it happen confidently. No matter what happens at the end of the day, one thing is for sure – you’ll learn from it. So, sit up in the conference room and speak up at your meetings – you are who you are and you should be proud of it.

If you’ve been true to yourself and put all your cards out on the table but there’s still no traction in your professional career then it leads us to a totally different topic – do you fit into your company’s culture? Have you outgrown your position and exceeded your talent offerings and is it time to move on to allow other people’s talents to shine through? Maybe its time for you to leave your legacy and continue on your journey….


What are you thinking?

silence

Are you comfortable in silence? Or better yet, are you confident in silence? Whether you are in the car with your boss or on a first date, it is inevitable that there will be a moment of silence that you begin letting your mind wonder to places that asks random questions or generates thoughts that usually turn into words that break the silence.

Your thoughts are powerful. What you think can change so many components of your life – your mood, your attitude, the direction of your career, a relationship, or even a conversation between two people.

Think hard – when was the last time this happened to you? Who was it with and what were the words that broke the silence? It changed the direction of the conversation, did it not?

So, why is it that we watch what we say more than what we think? Shouldn’t it be the other way around since your thoughts lead to the words that come out of your mouth? When you begin to think negative thoughts about your career, don’t your words usually turn conversations into job opportunities? Or, when you begin thinking about the person you can’t live without, aren’t the words usually associated with “love” and “marriage”? The examples are endless, but the focus remains the same. Your thoughts are powerful enough to dictate the conversations that you have with the people around you. Be careful what you begin your day thinking… even if you it doesn’t bother you, it may affect the people around you. Start thinking in a positive way and the words will follow…

I tried to explain why I appreciated the moments of silence between two people last week but I failed to put my thoughts into words – until now.  This is why I appreciate silent moments.  I’m a controlling opportunist, and silent moments are opportunities for me to control my thoughts. Even if I can’t change every aspect of my life or the people around me, I can at least change my thoughts that change my words that might even change the outcome of my life. It’s a simple task that requires a lot of discipline and determination. To constantly think in a positive way is almost impossible, but people do it. It’s evident through the friendly and uplifting moments that you share with friends and family. Now, if only you can change that kind of behavior into habit. I’ve started it in the New Year and I’ll continue to practice it until I perfect it. I apologize in advance for negative words and multi-directional conversations that seem to not have a purpose. As you can see, I’m new to the idea of censoring my thoughts. My only hope is that this concept of “thought censorship” will not only infect the people closest to me, but also affect everyone that I come into contact with – starting with the reader of this entry – you.


Dear Beautiful Girl

This is your warning…

Watch your thoughts – they become words.
Watch your words – they become actions.
Watch your actions – they become habits.
Watch your habits – they become your character.
Watch your character – they become your destiny.

Recently, I came across this thought provoking poem, and I not only wanted to share it with my friends but I wanted to start a series of blogs on the workings of my own body and mind. So, here is a precursor of what is to come….

No matter the differences, there are always unifying commonalities among all of us. When you are sad, don’t you cry? Or, when you feel lonely, don’t you usually yearn for companionship?

The foundation of life is all the same; the only difference is someone’s purpose. We are constantly striving for a sense of meaning or a sense of balance. Isn’t it ironic that life is created in extremes of opposites – love vs hate, happiness vs sadness, success vs failure, etc.

From my experience, I have discovered that there are three types of people (1.) the extremist – the ones that are constantly on one side of the spectrum. These people are constantly fighting the “in between” (2.) the middle-ist – the people that are just content with falling in between the situations of life. These people are the ones that I have always envied. How is it possible that someone can be content between “success” and “failure”? If I can mimic this behavior, I would definitely not have ulcers, that’s for sure. And, finally there are those that create their own niche of behavior. Basically, I created this group as a default category.

So, what type of person are you? Are you an extremist or middle-ist? Can you define your purpose for life? For success, or even love? As perplexing as life is, I want to think out loud and explore the phases of my own life starting with my first entry the next few weeks on the first sentence of the poem – “Watch your thoughts – they become your words.”


Now or Never

How do you know if where you are now is where you will be tomorrow? You don’t. Whether it is on a professional or personal level, you don’t know what will happen in the future. What you do know is the decisions that you made in the past and the way you live your life today will determine how happy you are and how content you are in the moment.

The Past
Everyone makes mistakes. The only difference between those that still succeed and those that don’t is the way people react to their past. Successful Susie learns from her past, vows not to make the same mistake twice, and focuses on the now. On the contrary, Failing Freddy dwells on the things he can’t control like his past mistakes and wonders why his career and/or relationship is at a stand-still.

The time you spend dwelling on your past is time you won’t ever be getting back. You can’t change the past. So, why are you wasting your time thinking about what you know has already happened? You made a mistake – cry a river, build a bridge, and get over it. It was a learning moment, but you still have the “now” to redeem yourself and your professional worth. Mastering this technique is easier said than done, but it is possible. You become successful when you accept the imperfections of yourself and the people around you. And, you will be genuinely happy when you accept the complexity of life and cease the moment of now.

The Future
Similarly, emerging professionals have a tendency of spending the majority of their time thinking about the future. Not that there is anything wrong with planning ahead or envisioning future success, but there is a fine line between setting a goal and driving yourself crazy thinking about “what if” scenarios. What if I don’t get a raise? What if this relationship doesn’t work out? What if I’m not good enough? What if I make a mistake? What if…? What if…? What if…?

By allowing yourself to focus on the now, you avoid the snowball effect of this kind of endless questioning. If you transferred all that effort toward the things you can control now, you would be maximizing your time and energy toward something that will reap immediate results. There are some things you can’t control; the future is one of them. The faster your accept this fact, the faster you will see movement in your career.


Currently reading…

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How I loved in 2011…

With every year that goes by I learn how to love in a different way. The people that have come and gone and those that I will meet in the New Year allow me to explore my capacity to love others in more ways than one.

To be continued…


Save the best for last….

I never really noticed this before, but as I was sharing dessert with a newly acquainted friend a few weeks ago, I noticed that we both stopped eating it at the very last bite of our triple berry pie. We both insisted on the other to indulge in the last piece, but it just sat there waiting for the waitress to take it away. At the time, I didn’t see the significance of this but the more I thought about it the more I realized that this wasn’t the first time that I witnessed the last bite go to waste. It wasn’t as if I desperately wanted it, but it just sat there waiting for someone to enjoy it. I’m sure my friend felt the same way. So, why is it that when we are offered the last piece, we usually turn it away?

I knew I was having a deep-sentimental-blog moment, but I just couldn’t figure out what it was. I mean after all, it was just dessert. As I shared my thoughts with a friend, ironically sharing dessert, he made an interesting point – perhaps we approach the last piece of dessert the way we approach life. No matter how big or small, our automatic response is to refuse it. We have been so culturally accustomed to being applauded for “giving” that we find ourselves giving too much to the point that the enjoyment is lost for everyone. If it isn’t you, then it should be someone else that takes advantage of what is in front of them. Who cares what other people think – it is you that has to live the consequences. You can take the risk now and dwell on any regret later. It is the “now” that we should be living. Later should not be an option.

Maybe that was my epiphany that rainy night. I need to start living in the now, and stop letting opportunities in front of me pass me by. I should really enjoy every last piece, or better yet I shouldn’t take a no for an answer and encourage the other person to enjoy it all the way through. I mean, someone has to succeed through a promotion, take the gamble on true love, and see every life opportunity through the very end. Why not let it be you? This is what distinguishes ordinary from extraordinary. So go on, take the last bite because if you don’t… from now on, I will.


Control.

For the first time in my life, I feel I’m in control. This epiphany of mine could be naivete from my mid-twenties, or it really is a turning point in my young adulthood. Either way, I like it.

I’ve spent my entire life going through the motions – church, family, school, friends, and work. I’ve accepted ultimatums and embraced obligations. And, very rarely did I ever make decisions based on what I wanted or felt that I needed. People use to call it selflessness. I call it being out of control. Up until now, I’ve been surrounded by people that I couldn’t get away from. From high school to college, then from graduate school to internships, I had no control over who I was going to spend my time with or what I’d be doing. The only thing I knew for certain was that I needed to please others, and so the vicious cycle began…

Effortlessly, I would spend my days following the footsteps of others and never asking questions. I developed the mentality of a true military brat – “It is what it is.” But here I am today feeling in control. I can finally say that the time that I invest in now are the things that I know will soon be rewarded by the satisfaction of my own choice. So the truth of the matter is, this foreign feeling of control is not only invigorating but extremely addicting.

Control is the theme of my life right now. I pick and choose what I do, when I do it, and the way I want to do it. I’m sure this feeling doesn’t last forever. Nothing ever does, but until then this is my life, and I plan to do exactly what life intended me to do – live.


Currently Reading…


Give it time…

Mending a broken heart? Give it time. Mourning the lost of a love one? Give it time. Just got laid off? Give it time.

Time is the cure-all remedy for life. Time is reliable; it is unchanging, and when you think life is spinning out of control it is the one thing that you can count on to anchor you back to reality. Even when you want time to speed up or slow down, time is constant. It is kind of like your voice of reason – it knows what is best for you. Whether it be resolute, unwavering trust or just something constant in your life when everything else around you seems to be changing. Time is, without fail something that will keep you grounded and after a few days, weeks, months, or years you become wiser, healthier, and more appreciative of life challenges.

So recently, I’ve been complaining to the people around me that there just isn’t enough time in one day. In 24-hours, I want to dedicate 12 hours to sleep, 2 hours to commute, 10 hours to work, 5 hours to personal time, 3 hours to social time, and 4 hours to my family, including Baxter (my puppy). That is 36 hours – I am 12 hours short of accomplishing what I would call an “Ideal Yuri Day.” So, what is my compromise? 7 hours of sleep, 2 hours in commute, 10 hours of work, 3 hours of personal time, barely no social time, and 2 hours left for the family. Of course this a rough estimate, but you get the point…

After a few days of pondering my issue with time, I’ve come to a few conclusions. First, time is not the enemy. It is a constant 24-hours that forces you to move on with your life, get the rest that you need, and prioritize according to what is important. Second, time will never change. So, you shouldn’t expect time to accommodate to you. You should accommodate to it. Again, it reminds you that certain aspects of life is worth the wait and requires the extra attention, whether it be your sleep, your family, or your friends. The third conclusion I will credit to a good friend of mine (CP), if you find yourself too busy for your friends and your family, then you are simply too busy. The final point is pretty self explanatory; you can take it literally, or you can replace the “friends and family” with something that has suffered from neglect. Finally, time is a gift. It is a gift that can be given to a friend that needs time to grieve, to grow, and to prosper in his/her endeavors. It is the gift you can give yourself to enjoy the little things in life – spa treatments, retail therapy, or even just sleep. So, the next time you complain that 24-hours just isn’t long enough… think about all the things you’ve already accomplished and all the things that you can accomplish in the next 24-hours. At least, I know I will.


Road Rage.

Everyday on my commute to and from work, I am reminded of how irrational and selfish people can be when it comes to achieving their own goal and/or objective. Every morning it is the same thing. People honk, flip the bird, and cut people off. Never once have I been able to drive on I-5 without seeing some driver do something idiotic or just plain rude. I’ve justified some of their behavior, but recently I’ve started to run out of reasons for people to be mean. After all, aren’t we all trying to achieve the same thing? We just want to get from Point A to Point B without having an accident. As simple as that is, people just don’t seem to get it.

People are so caught up doing their own thing that they don’t realize that in order to get to where they want to go it is imperative that they let others get to their destination as well. Everyday I drive to work drinking my tall, non-fat, white chocolate mocha, no whip while listening to my Adele CD. And, everyday my goal is the same. I want to merge without someone honking, cruise without someone tailgating, and let the car next to me merge into my lane. As selfless as that may seem, I wasn’t always like this. In fact, it wasn’t until this year that I finally came to the realization that my commute just seems much more pleasant when I am acknowledged for my effort to make the commute much more enjoyable for everyone. It isn’t like I get to work any later. Like I said before, we all have a common goal. We all want to get to places and the truth of the matter is, we will all get there. So, there is no need to be impatient. With time and diligence we will all get to our final destination; it is a matter of how enjoyable you let the ride be. Who cares if someone wants to merge in front of you? Let em. It doesn’t change the fact that you know where you are going. So, the next time you want to road rage – just remember in the broad scheme of things – it doesn’t matter. Your commute is similar to life – you’ll find yourself in traffic at times, but if you stay focused and calm, you’ll eventually end up to you want to be.


Confidence is sexy.

If there is one thing that gets me all hot and bothered, it is a confident person. Whether it be for a brief moment or for a lifetime, confident people just make a lasting impression. Confidence will get you the boy that you’ve been wanting to date, the job you’ve been dreaming of, and the respect that you’ve wanted all your life. It is essentially the quality that everyone notices but not everyone possesses. It is definitely difficult to define, but once you’ve got it figured out it can take you places. But, the question is where do you want to end up?

I don’t think there is an answer. It is like asking people how they lost weight. There are so many diets out there and what works for one person might not work for you. Usually what ends up happening is you try it anyway hoping you get the same results, but instead you try to force yourself into someone else’s submission and you end up gaining twice the weight. Confidence is abstract. It is what you want it to be. For instance, what you define as confident, I might consider it arrogance. And, what impresses one person might turn off another.

I’ve always believed that confidence is about being comfortable where you are now and not worrying about where you’ll end up. I have yet to reap the rewards of this, but I’ve always been a believer that confidence doesn’t “get” you anywhere – fate does. Confidence just lets you enjoy the process of arriving to your destiny. From the highs and lows, being confident that you are where you are supposed to be is the key to unlocking the mystery of confident people. Thomas Paine said it perfectly when he said, “I love a man that can smile in trouble, gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm and his conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”

Confident people don’t seek to be confident because in their minds, it isn’t about defining confidence. It is about being who you want to be. No more or less, just being you. And once you have that figured out, somewhere along your journey in life you develop a sense of awareness of what you are capable of and what you aren’t and being completely content with the fact. It’s about believing in the people around you even when the same people have doubted you. It is about facing adversity, conquering it, and moving forth for more challenges. It’s about lending a hand to the same people that you fear will surpass your success. It is about advancing at your own pace, on your own time, in your own style. It isn’t about comparing achievements and ridiculing other people’s accomplishments. That is what insecure, ugly people do. Confident people are beautiful, pure, and real. They don’t compete. They overcome. Confident people are sexy. They are people that you meet for a moment but you remember for a lifetime. Confident people are contagious and everyone wants to be infected. So let’s start infecting our neighbors, our lovers, and our friends. Let’s let it consume our lives and our pride.

And, going back to my analogy, there are a million types of diets but there is one thing that works in favor for everyone. Exercise. It enhances the lifestyle of everyone, and so does seeking confidence in a mind-over-matter approach. You shouldn’t look for it because you’ve already got it. You just need to start allowing yourself to make mistakes, get rejected, and stop thinking twice and start running the marathon of life, love, and happiness…


I will never get use to waking up at 5:30am, ever. And, I can’t wait for the finale of American Idol Season 10, so I can get to sleep at a reasonable hour during the mid-week. It is really screwing up my internal-clock. Nonetheless, it is finally Saturday and I have taken a personal-day and have isolated myself with my thoughts.

Last week, I read an interview between Oprah and Maya Angelou and I told myself that this will be my blog inspiration. An undeniable, phenomenal comeback, if you will… but honestly, I’ve got nothing for you, except the article link .

My favorite part of the interview was when Maya elaborated on her concept of loving someone. Call me a hopeless romantic, but out of all the wise things that were said, I kept pondering the notion of loving someone at a distance. Is it possible? To love someone perfectly without being “in” love with them? I’ll end the blog with the exact answer from Maya Angelou…. and maybe she’ll help you decipher your own opinion….

Oprah: I once heard you say, “If you want to liberate someone, love them.”

Maya: That’s it. Not be in love with them—that’s dangerous. If you’re in love with your children, you’re in their lives all the time. Leave them alone! Let them grow and make some mistakes. Tell them, “You can come home. My arms are here—and my mouth is too.” Tell them, “I’m going to leave you alone. You want to listen to rock and rap? Well, I think it’s stupid, but help yourself.” When you really love them, you don’t want to possess them. You don’t say, “I love you and I want you here with me.” Naturally, if you love somebody, you do want to see their face every now and again, but that’s not a condition of your love. People often get possession mixed up with love, and they say, “If you really loved me, you would call me.” How—when life is going on? I think of you all the time, and the thought of you always lifts my spirits. But I’m not right at the phone!


Finding your SOULMATE….

Sorry, this isn’t a post on how to find your future husband or wife. I am no Dr. Phil. And frankly, you shouldn’t be reading a blog trying to figure out how to find your one and only. If it has come down to that, you should really consider joining eHarmony. No one will judge you because the people that will know are the people that are already subscribed to the same dating site. Think about it…

This post is actually about finding “the one” job that makes your heart skip a beat, palms sweaty, and your face light up every time you think about what you would be doing 40+ hours a week for the rest of your life. Speaking from experience, finding a job is like finding your soulmate. You eagerly seek for “the one” when you graduate from school. Some people find themselves “falling in love” with just any job or convincing themselves that this job is “the one” when frankly, you can do so much better or you and that job just weren’t meant to be. And, sometimes when you “think” it is the “the one” you find out after 3-4 years that it just wasn’t meant to be. But you still learned invaluable lessons and you know that the next job will be that much better for you because you invested in the prior job. And when the time is right, you find the job that took your breath away, you grow old with your position, and you retire happily ever after.

Let me rephrase what I just said to support the similarity of the generic term “soulmate” and your professional “soulmate”:

This post is actually about finding “the one” job person that makes your heart skip a beat, palms sweaty, and your face light up every time you think about whatwho you would be doing 40+ hours a week for the spending the rest of your life with. Speaking from experience, finding a jobyour soulmate is like finding your soulmate that one perfect relationship. You eagerly seek for “the one” when you graduate from school. Some people find themselves “falling in love” with just anybody job or convincing themselves that this job person is “the one” when frankly, you can do so much better or you and that job person just weren’t meant to be. And, sometimes when you “think” ithe/she is the “the one” you find out after 3-4 years that it just wasn’t meant to be. But you still learned invaluable lessons and you know that the next job relationship will be that much better for you because you invested in a real prior jobrelationship. And when the time is right, you find the job one that takes your breath away, you grow old with your position that person, and you retire live happily ever after.

Kind of scary, isn’t it? But kind of true, right? Your first job and your first relationship require the same effort in terms of commitment, dedication, patience, and honesty. When you are looking for a job, you go on endless interviews, apply for multiple jobs in various industries, and you might even shed a tear or two when you don’t get the job. But eventually, you finally get the offer letter and your career path changes in an instant. Likewise, when you are looking for “the one”, you go on endless dates, meet various random people, and you might even shed a tear or two on those clowns that weren’t worth it in the first place. Then, you end up finding that one person that made it all worth it and your life dramatically changes in an instant.

You see, sometimes your “soulmate” turns into wedding bells and little mini-me’s; other times you just gain the appropriate experience that will get you to where you want to be. Needless to say, your relationship or job isn’t going to be all Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci. You’ll have your good days, but you’ll also have those days where you are sleeping on the couch, or leaving the office at 8pm. You never know what will happen but you found something that makes the endless hours worth it, so you keep going until you either put a “ring on it” or you call the quits and continue your quest for your fairytale ending. And no matter how long that takes, it is okay to change your mind because the term “soulmate” is so arbitrary that it doesn’t matter. I mean after all, you always have Monster.com or Match.com if the first few don’t work out. There are options and “the one” is out there. So, submit that resume or ask for his/her number. What is the worse that can happen? You are back to where you started. You lose nothing except maybe a little pride, but that can be repaired with a little Godiva and a lot of wine. You are still just as beautiful, smart, and independent even after they say “no” and that doesn’t change. In fact, it only gets better!


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Taking Chances…

The choices you make in life are like gambling your time, money, and energy in hopes of winning the ultimate jackpot. It took me two weeks to come up with that. Not the best topic sentence in the world, but I really wanted to blog about my first gambling experience, especially since it was out of my character. I walked in the casino feeling skeptical and walked out feeling much more daring and alive. I can see why people get addicted to gambling, or become an adrenaline junkie. It is invigorating and when you have enough self control to walk out on top – you feel invincible.

When you risk something without knowing if you’ll win or lose, you are taking a chance. Whether that chance is with love, a job, a promotion, or a new friend. For as long as I can remember, I categorized people into two groups when it came to gambling. The first type of people were those that simply watched people gamble, and never bet a single hand in fear of losing a buck or two. Or, a second group of people that only max bet because they believe in the gambling theory of “you have to bet big to win big.” But after my first experience winning some, losing some, and taking a chance at the jackpot, I now wonder if there is a third group of people. Those that are able to weigh the pros and cons and only bet what they are given. No more or less. No expectations of losing or winning – just simply, doing. I wouldn’t call myself a “go-with-the-flow” type of person, but that night I remember I just went with it. I found a machine and I took a chance. I didn’t dwell on losing; I just kept playing.

Its funny how much gambling resembles life. You bet and invest in opportunities never knowing the outcome, but you do it anyway in hopes of ending up on the winning side. Sometimes you win other times you lose, but either way you just keep living. Nothing in life lasts forever – not even jackpots. I learned a valuable lesson that night. Life is about taking chances. Your next job interview is Blackjack. Your next relationship is a slot machine. And, your next promotion is a game of poker. You won’t know if you’ll win or lose until you play. So, set your limit, cross your fingers, and keep playing the game of life… you might just win a jackpot!


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From Past to Present – Planner Countdown to 2011!

I started using a planner when I was 14 years old and without fail, I have bought one every year ever since. I love the feeling of accomplishment as I flip through the pages of a used planner. And, lucky for me I have kept all my planners. So, in the spirit of another new year I wanted to share random things I have come across in my planners from past years starting with 2001…

2001-2002
“If God brings you to it… he’ll bring you through it…”
June 4 – FBLA Officers meeting @2:15pm; Drivers Ed @6-8pm
June 18 – Speeches on Channel One; Basketball Practice 3-5pm; Vote
“Student Leadership Application” and “Chair-Person for Candy Grams Organize”

2003-2004
Aug 20 – Call Wal-Mart for car wash; Zoo! @12pm w/ Sungjin; Church@6:30pm; Movies w/ Angel #1
August 30 – Early bird Prayer Meeting @6am; Pay for ASB,Yearbook, and Register Duncan (my car!); Volleyball practice @1:30-3:30pm; School shopping @4:30pm; Cheer Meeting @11am; Jinna’s Birthday in Seattle @6pm
Sept 26 – Church @9:30am; No work; Work on college apps/Scholarship; Do portfolio; Puyallup Fair w/ Coffee Bean, Christina, and Fisher; Study for the ACT

2004-2005
March 4 – Gym w/Alishia @9am;FBLA Meeting @2:30; Meet w/ Christina @4pm; Church@6:30; Do Cookie prep @3rd period
April 23 – Register for WSU or UW; Workout @7am; Renew passport; Lunch date @11am; WHS sale @10am-6pm
May 16 – Assembly – Spring Sports; Write my grad speech; Go shopping for Oppa’s birthday; Broadcasting @6pm
Aug 13 – Move into Dorm 10am-5pm

2005-2006
Aug 26 – Sociology 101 @9:10; LUNCH BREAK; English 101 @1:10; Psychology 105 @2:10pm;Math 210 @310; Study!; Homework!; Take online quiz Gen Ed 111; “I want to go home….”
Sept 20 – Meet Mysty@9:45am in Murrow 225; AWC Bake Sale @10-11am The CUB; Look over math notes (lunch break); Class@1:25-2:40pm; AWC Meeting @5:30 Murrow 307; Study Psych 105; Look over Math; Math Exam #1 @7-9pm Todd 130;Pay AWC Due $15.00; Do CA application; Buy blue book
Jan 26 – Work@10-12pm; stop by Professor Streets Office Wil 315; Com 101 @2:40-3:35; Lab report due; CRU @7pm
April 21 – Meetin Com Counselor @9:30; Theat @10; Gen Ed 110 @11: FSHN@12; Register @1 with Mallory (SIFE); Jared,MIA [CADD]; Work @6-9pm; MexicanNight @9-12pmMcKrosky Hall; E-mail Professor Lee; Yuri Keep Checking COM 245; Gymwith Mallory 9:30

2006-2007
Sept 13 – ES/RP 101@9:10; Break: turn in application; BDCST 150 @11:10; Break; Anth 101@1:10;ES/RP Lab @2:10-5:10pm TROY 116; Study Session ES/RP @5-6 Troy 212; Study for COM 245 Exam; Study ES/RP/Read English 204 (Act2)
Jan 12: GEO 101@10; MGTOP101@11; BLAW210@12;Do GEO study questions (ch.1) Read text; Read COM 295(ch2-5); Do Econ 101 problems; Redo BLAW brief; Apply for scholarship AERqur.org; Do laundry; read

2007-2008
Sept 27-“get polo, ask about shift (keeley), try to get next week shift covered, check payroll hours”; BDCST 350 @9-10:25; Break:pick up polo from office of admission 370; BIO 201@12; BDCST 355@1:30-4:30; APAW Meeting@5pm; Work Out; Alarm; WST:response, read study; BDCST
March 28- KUGR Beat – Pullman Fire/Police; SOC 362@10:35; Break:turn in mini disk player; BDCST481@1:20 Case Study Due; COM 321 @2:50; Read SOC article CADD paperwork; Work training@5-8 CUE 419

2008-2009
Sept 9-Study GRE;Soc 390@10:35-11:50;SOC 367@12-1:15; Break: Ambassador Office Hour @1:45pm-3:45pm; BDCST 475 @4-7pm; Check out equipment @7-9pm; E-mail Special Projects team; Cable 8 training; workout; read SOC 367 (outline); Change calendar; pack the journal
Feb 18- Career Expo 9-3pm Beasley w/ Jerry; Anth 468@11; Eng 402@1pm Problem Memo Due; Work @2;30-5pm; Visit Kanale/Meg/Liam@6:15pm; Extra Credit Anth @7pm CUE 220; Write Summary

2009-2010
March12-“pay day”; Group meeting @8:30am; Org Behavior @9:30am; Work @2; Cul/Comm; Mazda Oil Change @5:45pm; study
May 22-“Research Practicum Seminar 9am-5pm (last)”
Aug 2-Car pick up; take family to ORD @8am; make shuttle reservation; Guppy Interview @1pm; UPS box pick; ship out goods; check out; Hotel reservation @3pm

2011-2012
New Years Resolution: To start a Personal Finance Budget for 2011 and to be a “better friend”


Fighting in Heels

Growing up, I was usually a quiet kid. Parents liked me. My peers were drawn to me. And, my teachers adored me. But, when someone would tease my friends or my brother I got really feisty and would defend them like it was my own life. My favorite “comeback” as a child was “I’m rubber; you’re glue.Whatever you say will bounce off me and stick to you.” My classmates hated it and it drove older kids crazy.

Now that I am a young adult, I still find myself defending others but now my favorite “comeback” has evolved to “I know I’m not perfect, but are you?” I’m not as confrontational as I use to be but I still find myself in childish ultimatums and quarrels with my adult friends. I suppose the inflicted pain of betrayal or slander still hurt the same even as we get older. It just takes a little longer to get over them now then it did as a child. When we were 5, it took ten minutes or less to forgive, forget, and start playing again and now it takes 10 days, weeks, years, or maybe never to forget a single one-time mistake or regret. We are all guilty of it, and I don’t have a solution to change it. All I know is that it exists and I despise it.

I’m not proud of this and I DON’T recommend this, but I deal with people issues by doing one of three things (1) avoiding, (2) ignoring, and/or (3) replacing. Why? Because, it is an easy way out. Why else? But honestly, I try every time to deal with the issues directly with my nemesis, but I think my natural response to conflict kicks in before I can. My instincts tell me that time is the only thing that will heal my pain and as the days, weeks, or months pass by I realize how pathetic and cowardly that excuse is, but by then it is too late. And, most of the time I end up replacing my fight, argument, or disagreement with something that ends up consuming me from the inside out anyway. Most of the time it is regret, guilt, or something in between, you would think that I would appreciate the alternative, but I’m stubborn and rarely like change.

However, recently I have realized that people come and go for a reason. People make mistakes and sometimes you aren’t able to repair the damages that have been made. But, what you can do is learn from it. You can do better to your next friend, or your next relationship. You see, I’ve learned that sometimes when confrontation arises between two people you both receive a gift, a gift of choice. You can choose to work things through, to forgive and forget, or to forgive and let go. There isn’t a right answer and the answer is circumstantial. But, it is a choice that should be made. Don’t be like me and just ignore, avoid, or replace the inevitable because then you are turning down a gift of choice. You end up giving away your obligation to choose the details in your life. Who comes in, goes out, and stays constant. You essentially lose control of your life and that will only drive you crazy or make you more depressed. I suppose with new year just around the corner, and I could use my own advice. I could use some controlling in my life. I mean out of all the things that were out of my control in 2010, at least I can control the people I confront, forgive, rebuke, or forget. The thought is exhilarating, so I can only imagine how it will feel when I put my thought into action. I’ll keep you posted on how it works for me… hopefully it’ll translate into my professional ambition as well. *Fingers crossed*


Who do you run to?

Song Inspired: “I Run to You”
Artist: Lady Antebellum

“I run my life, or is it running me? Run from my past; I run too fast, or too slow it seems…”

My favorite part of yoga and Zumba classes are the cool downs at the end of each session. I not only feel accomplished for exercising my body and mind but because I get a chance to reflect on things that are on my mind with a new energy and perspective.

A few weeks ago, my Zumba instructor played Lady Antebellum – “I Run to You” while we were cooling down, and as the sentimental person that I am, I started thinking about this and that. I’ve been meaning to share some of my revelations, but life got the best of me once again… Nonetheless, here I am with the same thoughts still intact. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what life would be like without the people that “I run to”. I know it sounds a bit morbid, but you’d be liar if you said you never had this pondering thought at one point in your life.

I started thinking about the lyrics of the song and it got me thinking about who “you” represents in my life. Is the “you” your best friend? Your mom? Or, your significant other? And whoever it may be, what happens if they aren’t there anymore? Is there a plan b? Or does that mean that once that one person is gone then you no longer run to anyone?

I suppose this is why people become spiritual or religious. It is a comforting thought to know that the person that they run to will always be there. Or, perhaps this is why people have trust issues. They refuse to rely on anyone except for themselves. These are decisions that we make subconsciously and sometimes it is by fate that we meet the person we run to. And believe it or not, sometimes when life is in the middle of a disaster and you just start running toward no one in particular, you sometimes end up running into the person that becomes your life line. But the question still remains, what happens when that person is no longer there?

I can’t speak for everyone. I can only speak for myself, but I’d keep running, not running away, but just keep running. I’d keep running into the arms of those that love me. I’d run toward the things that scare me. I’d just keep running until I couldn’t run anymore. This, of course, is easier said than done. But, believe me I’ve known some extraordinary people that have shown me that it is possible. The other day, my yoga instructor kept saying “See, what you are capable of…” or “You’d be surprised at what your body will enable you to do…” after she forced us into ridiculous and impossible positions with our body. It is the same, you’d be surprised at you are capable of doing when you just keep running. Run to your enemies, run toward your dream, run to your friends, run into strangers, run toward your family, just keep running…. because “We run on fumes.” – life is short – God is good – There isn’t anything to run away from, just our life to run.


When I am having a bad day, I remind myself of the first time I felt like this….

“A feeling of exultation overtook her, as if some power of significant import had been given to her to control the working of her body and her soul. She grew daring and reckless, overestimating her strength. She wanted to swim far out, where no woman had swum before.” K.Chopin

….oh and I take a bubble bath.