Me On Stage Covering The Pixies

How I Became a Renaissance Female

From the time that I was a young lass up to now, I have wanted to be a million different things. The first thing that I wanted to be was a doctor, mainly because my dad said that it would be a good profession with prestige that would make me a lot of money. It didn’t hold my interest as an energetic seven-year old, though, so I had to come up with a new idea.

Next, my interest switched to being a fashion designer. Excited by my career choice as an eight year old, I began to hijack all of the spare socks lying around the apartment so that I could cut them up “innovatively” and place them on my Barbie dolls. I began reading fashion magazines so that I could get a look at the latest styles. That lasted a good three years until I concocted yet another new idea: modeling.

I looked at the women in the magazines and was entranced by the glamour of it all. As an 11-year-old preteen, I was fascinated with how confident that these women were in front of the camera. In my mind, I couldn’t do that – but I was determined to try. My consumption of fashion magazines reached massive levels, and I even found a photographer in my hometown that was willing to do photoshoots with me for free so that I could get practice taking pictures. It was great! Now, all I needed to do was apply to colleges in New York City, get into one, and get my modeling career off the ground while going to school.

At some point during high school (while still holding my dreams of modeling), I also became interested in politics/running for office. I started going to local political meetings and doing fashion shows/pageants so that I could indulge both of my interests. The plan was to major in political science, which I eventually switched to communications, and finally landed on finance – mainly because it’d make a lot of money while giving me important knowledge to use as a politician.

I did not get accepted to any NYC colleges that I applied to, so I ended up having to come to Pittsburgh. I figured I’d ride things out here, find a rock band to join (I love singing/playing guitar) & leave after I was done w/ classes to go to NYC. How wrong I was! I got to work on a couple of campaigns & became disillusioned with politics. I worked in the restaurant industry for about a year because I like cooking, but discovered that I didn’t like it enough to do it as a job. I did a couple of nonprofit service years, and decided that I should probably make money at some point in my life. After a brief stint doing sales of technology (& learning invaluable sales skills along the way), I then decided to learn programming so that I could have a skill that is invaluable to most any employer. I learned by doing a three-month course that taught me a lot in a small amount of time.

If you have made it this far in the article, you have probably seen that my interests have taken me all across the map. It seems entirely chaotic. That’s because it has been. What I have discovered about myself along this journey to find professional happiness, however, is this:

  1. Do not be afraid to try something that you are interested in doing. Even if you don’t succeed, it is better than a lifetime of wondering ‘what if’. And if you do succeed? Just know that your ability to move ahead despite your fear got you to that point.
  2. Every job/profession that you engage in over the course of your life has something to teach you. 
  3. You will be one heck of an interesting person, and you’ll have millions of stories to tell your friends/significant other/children/anyone else, by saying yes to the eternal pursuit of happiness. 
  4. Finding professional success is a lot like dating: you’ll only succeed if you dive in headfirst & keep trying until you find what you are meant to do. And that will happen eventually.
  5. Embrace chaos. Life will never be perfect. There will never be a right time for anything. “Stop trying to find logical answers in an illogical world.”

 

Where do my interests lie these days? Well, I have rediscovered writing, so I’m contributing more to my blog. I am also working on a creative nonfiction book and have several other writing projects that I am doing. I do freelance web development. I have a wonderful boyfriend with whom I am (finally) looking to move out of Pittsburgh next year [when he is done with his licensing exams] so that I can be closer to a stronger fashion industry  and so that he can be closer to a stronger design culture for his profession. My friends are pretty great. I have been through a few dreadful times recently, but am finding my way back from those.

I have accepted that my life will always have some level of chaos, but as long as my relationships with others are strong, I’ll be fine.

Rest In Bliss

I can sense it in my bones
The desire to evolve from a
Life of chasing, constantly seeking
Something that matters to persons
Other than Me

Death to the forces that
Tell me to mount a ladder to
Nowhere, while sacrificing my
Personal happiness, a thing which we
Only have the right to pursue, not necessarily
To take part in

I worry about the side effects, I
Wonder about the outcome, I
Ponder the aftermath, I
Decide not to trouble myself with
Concern for Others and their beliefs
My mind is weary

My spirit has been ignored;
Duty calls, and this time I must answer
Or risk the quiet demise of the substance that I call my
Life – Perish the thought!
My back is turned away from societal norms
If we all must pass from existence, then
I shall pass in happiness and, when that time arrives,
I shall rest in bliss

 

 

After The Storm

I Have A Plan (Really)

“All I wanna do with my life is start my own business and, sometime thereafter, run for political office.”

This is what I said during a very stimulating conversation with a close friend about a week or so ago during a nice brunch session. As I have posted previously on this blog, I have not had the easiest time with the Pittsburgh job market recently (that blog post can be found here). I’ve found temporary positions here and there, & I’ve found a decent amount of promotional modeling positions to sustain me in the meantime. However, nothing consistent has stuck yet. This has led me to do a lot of deep self-reflection on what direction that I want my life to head in next. And reflect, I have done.

I will be 25 years old in July, so I am panicking a bit because I’m halfway to 30 and haven’t begun to pave a clear path forward. That is, until now. I’ve always wanted my end goal to be politics, so that’s pretty stable. But, my friend asked me a question that made complete sense: “You’re not running for office in the next year or so, are you?” I didn’t have a response for it. If that is indeed the case, and if I only want to run for office & start a business….. then what option do I have left to pursue right now?

Starting a business. And it’s a TERRIFYING prospect. Terrifying in a good way. Terrifying in a “This is what I want to do anyway, but now that it has become a serious goal of mine (instead of simply a dream), I’m a tad frightened” kind of way. Terrifying in a “This is what I was made to do, and I am excited that I will now be counting the days until I officially become my own boss” kind of way. Here’s my tentative plan:

1. Renew my resolve to locate a traditional job. This time, however, I will absolutely settle for a part-time job since I get decent pay from my promotional modeling jobs already. In fact, if my promo work were more consistent, I would simply stick with that. So, full/part time job + increasing number of promotional model gigs = money that I can actually survive on (and then some).

2. Begin knocking out my list of “25 Goals For 2015”. Note, I did NOT say “resolutions” because the enthusiastic spirit of setting New Year’s Resolutions seems so fleeting. Many of my goals involve cutting down my current financial obligations so that I may begin building personal stability/wealth for myself. I will share a few of these goals in a later post.

3. Start laying the groundwork so that I can get my proposed business up and running. This will involve many tasks, a couple of which include buying inventory (i.e. clothing, etc.) and creating a website. My business idea comes from a semester-long project that I had to do in my Business 101 college class (in which I created a business plan that is ready to be used). My instructor liked it, as did my SCORE counselor, so I know that it is a viable idea destined to succeed.

4. Begin running my business while still employed. This is so that I will be able to build a sizable amount of revenue before I walk away from my employer and into the world of full entrepreneurship. I intend to make my next employer my last employer. Being a business owner is something that I’ve dreamed of since high school when I took web design, entrepreneurship classes (where I had to build my own business plan & do proper market research, etc.), accounting classes, etc…. And as I’ve mentioned, during my college courses that I’ve taken thus far. I did a couple of interviews last week, & I have a second interview this week with one employer. I am all but certain that this job is the one where I will finally be hired. Once this job begins, I can start putting my plan into action.

What prompted this inspired planning of mine? Yes, it was the conversation that I mentioned at the beginning of this post. There’s more to it, though. I realized that if I’m going to tell people something, then I’ve got to stick to my word. Sure, there won’t be any physical ramifications for being “all talk & no action”, but one can quickly lose credibility if (s)he constantly engages in this insidious practice. Also, many people that I know are making positive changes in their lives – whether that be with their health, career, relationships, of what have you; I want to have more positive experiences to bring to the table instead of just saying, “I still haven’t yet landed a job.”

My social circle/network is well aware of what my ultimate plans are, but I need to do something in the meantime to sustain myself. In the beginning of my conversation with my friend, I said to him, “I’m just not passionate about going to work everyday for the rest of my life in order to build up someone else’s dream.” While this is an absolutely valid way of thinking, it requires that you begin to build your own dream. If you don’t want to build someone else’s dream, but you aren’t taking the necessary steps to build yours either, then you’re stuck. You’re stagnant. You’re doing nothing. You’re either really ambitious with no clear direction – or you’re lazy. I’m neither, so I’m choosing to recommit to achieving my goals, beginning right now.

This is what happens when you are able to share your life with people that you really care about, trust, and (most importantly) respect. If I were to give everyone a piece of professional advice, it would be this: don’t go it alone. Sounds simple, but people actually believe that they can succeed this way. I guarantee that you will fail every time if you do this. You need others to be successful, whether it’s for networking, moral support, advice, or (in my case) someone that’s not afraid to question the direction in which you’re headed.

Oh, and that dream that you’ve been putting off for God knows what reason? Get to work on it 🙂

Talk soon,
Liberty ❤

"Writing Is An Art" poster

Vote Of No Confidence: Job Market Edition

Seems like forever since I’ve been here, but I realized that a person such as myself that so much to say needs a proper outlet for said thoughts. So, I’m back, and hopefully more regularly this time 🙂

So much has happened over this past month. I finished up my work with Planned Parenthood PAC, and it was such an amazing feeling knowing that I was a part of Governor-elect Tom Wolf’s victory in Pennsylvania. All of the long afternoons of speaking with residents, the many days of walking around in damp & dreary weather, the nights of coming home and being so tired that I’d immediately collapse from exhaustion – and getting up the next day to do it all again because I was committed to Tom Wolf’s vision for Pennsylvania….it didn’t go for naught. It all paid off, and it is an honor to say that he is/was my candidate; he will do great things for this state. I may have made the grave mistake of allowing Tom Corbett to get in office because I didn’t feel like voting in 2010, but I more than made up for that error in judgment this year.

On that note, I have had to resume my job search since Election Day is over. I must say, this job market is pretty brutal in Pittsburgh. Despite the growth of the health care/education sectors of the region’s economy, most other industries here are a tough sell for job-seekers. Pittsburgh, as one of my good friends said to me last night, is a great place for people to start up their own ventures. The spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and kicking in the Steel City; it’s a particularly tempting option to consider for me. One of the most dangerous and self-defeating things that a person could do in this New American Economy is to put one’s hope & future in someone else seeing their talent(s) and rewarding them with a way to make a living. I have put my faith in others to provide a consistent way of financial survival for me, and it has been a failing proposition. Given the skills that I possess and the many job/life experiences that I have had, I am most certainly an asset to any employer. If, however, said employers cannot see that, then it is up to me to claim independence from depending on them to provide a way for me to survive. How will I do that? Either starting my own business, or…..becoming a writer.

(This blogger likes writing? Shocker.)

Being told a million times over by instructors/friends/acquaintances that read random things that I write that I really should be a writer has led me to believe that perhaps this is an area in which I have talent. Perhaps there is a reason that working neither for corporate America nor for nonprofits has sparked my interest as a possible lifelong pursuit. And what’s left to do if you’re not working for a corporation or a nonprofit???

**crickets, crickets, crickets**

Doing your own thing, that’s what. I am clearly a misfit in the job market, and I could care less anymore. I want to do what makes me happy. I want to express my thoughts and feelings, and hopefully connect to others in the process. Oftentimes, writers have had a myriad of different life experiences that warrant being put into written form (either that, or they go in search of experiences to write about) – thus, they become writers. My life has been so joyful, so ridiculous, so gut-wrenching, so chaotic, so happy, so sad, and generally so filled with a host of various happenings that I know that what I have gone through (and am continuing to go through) can be of immense benefit to others. Sometimes, all we really need is to know that someone understands. That someone relates to our struggle, and thus can provide us with possible options to escape those struggles. That someone can relate to us on a deep and meaningful level. That someone gets us. 

If people were understood more in life, think of the many lives that we could save! Think of the happiness that we could create in the world! Think of how many relationships could be strengthened, just by making an effort to connect to others through a mutual understanding of who we are and what we have to offer in the world!

Writing, at it’s highest potential, has the ability to accomplish these things – among others. Yes, my ultimate goal in life is to be a active participant in the political sphere. Right now, however, I have two insatiable needs that have to be expressed in some form:

1. To finally become a more open, honest, and vulnerable person through sharing myself and my experiences with others, and

2. To see others do the same.

Writing will help me to achieve both ends, and I must find a way to make that a more sizable part of my life.

Talk soon,

Liberty ❤