25 December, 2012

On Holiday...

Been spending time with the my loves, doing all that I love.

17 December, 2012

We'll Call This One...

The last laugh. For all those hopeless romantics and rotten bastards. We're destined to bump into each other at some point.

Walking Through Cleveland

I saw the best prerequisites for entry into a home (or someone's life):

16 December, 2012

Happy Belated Hanukkah!!

I experienced my first Hanukkah celebration this Friday. Everyone was warm and welcoming. It was such a relief from the usual formalities of most churches, and the synagogue experience was unusually comfortable. I can't wait to go back.

Within Walking Distance

11 December, 2012

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Cleveland

1) You can wear your "boring" clothes to work and rock your "real" clothes out of town.

2) When it's cold you can gain weight and no one will notice (yourself included) under all the layers of clothes.

3) If an event is over twenty miles away, you can decline because its a 20-30 minute drive, and that's just way too far.

4) If there's one huge event going on in Cleveland, you know where everyone else won't be.

5) When you go to a house party, you will always find a parking spot. Always.

6) If you live on the West Side and work in the city, you will never, hardly ever -- hit traffic.

7) If your cell phone dies, there's always a pay phone.

8) Snow Days. Period.

9) No matter how weird you are, you're still normal compared to someone else.

10) No matter how average you look, you're always better looking than someone else.

Honorable mention: The Browns, nice homeless people, clean streets and BBQ.

09 December, 2012

Creative Collective

Over time I had completely forgotten how therapeutic creating new things could be for myself and others. Using my hands to manipulate and design a concept that my imagination envisions is enlightening and provides a sense of accomplishment that I cannot replicate or achieve otherwise.

I had the chance to create some things this weekend:

02 December, 2012

Just a Year Ago

This time last year, I was helping my aunt open her new restaurant, missing the east coast, and buying a car after taking subways and walking for 3 years. I was a PR and Marketing Practitioner at the time, looking for something that would pay more and give me the opportunity to work with someone who was uplifting and less critical. I eventually found that in myself.

I remember being hopeful that my aunt's restaurant would stay afloat for longer than a year (especially through the summer months), so I did everytghing in my power to make sure that people knew about us. I set up a facebook page, had the radio station do a grand opening remote broadcast, created a website, started relationships with local barber shops and salons, and made flyers for local businesses to retain monthly lunch specials. I was driven. Now, a year later, the restaurant is more successful than I could have imagined, and I don't have to do anything. Facebook is constantly sending me admin messages about new likes, customers are placing holiday orders, and my aunt isn't as dependent on me to balance her books or keep track of employee timesheets. All of the work on the front end paid off and for that I so so so grateful.

I even remember what I was listening to last year:


I spent my 29th birthday frontstage at a Wale concert at the Hard Rock. I got my life that night. I also bought a new dress that I busted out of that same night from dancing so hard.
I have to look back in order to look forward, to remind myself of all the things I've done and planned for. To make sure that I'm keeping promises, following through for myself and progressing -- becoming a better person each day and each year. I feel better about myself this year than I did last year, and I feel closer to where I will be and where I need to be, to get to where I'm going. I know it sounds complicated but it's simple. If I can find some pics from last year I will post them!

Pieces of Me

Each of us have strengths and weaknesses that are established (or unestablished) throughout our lives, and others that are intrinsic to who we are. We are socialized to work on our weaknesses and to make those parts of us that naturally weak, stronger -- in order to become more efficient, seemingly competent or just simply better. The concept of working on your natural strengths, those qualities that you are innately born with, is a concept that should be encouraged instead of discouraged. Mainly because we all have talents that are there, we just don't know what they are. I've learned a lot about others through finding out what my strengths are, and in doing so it has given me an understanding of why so many things went right, wrong and just hit a dead end. Of the 34 recognized strengths, according to Tom Rath, each of us has 5 top strengths that we operate out of throughout our lives. I honestly think that people use horoscopes to learn about who they are, but the true essence of who we are are what we are made of, and horoscopes are way too general for me. I wasn't shocked when I found out what mine were, it was more affirming than anything:

You live in the moment. You don't see the future as a fixed destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you create out of the choices that you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time. Unlike some, you don't resent sudden requests or unforeseen detours. You expect them. You are, at heart, a very flexible person who can stay productive when the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once.

If you possess a strong Belief theme, you have certain core values that are enduring. Belief theme causes you to be family-oriented, altruistic, even spiritual, and to value responsibility and high ethics - both in yourself and others. Your values give your life meaning and satisfaction; in your view, success is more than money and prestige. They provide you with direction, guiding you through the temptations and distractions of life toward a consistent set of priorities. Your Belief makes you easy to trust. It also demands that you find work that meshes with your values.

You can sense the emotions of those around you. You can feel what they are feeling as though their feelings are your own. Intuitively, you are able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective. This instinctive ability to understand is powerful. You hear unvoiced questions. You anticipate the need. You help people find the right phrases to express their feelings. You help them give voice to their emotional life. For all these reasons other people are drawn to you.

Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. You want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams; and you want them to understand yours. You know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk - you might be taken advantage of - but you are willing to accept that risk.

The strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections.

Source: Strengths Finder 2.0, Tom Rath, Gallup Inc. 2007.