Archive for category self-portraiture
It’s not that I don’t like being told I’m beautiful, but I am unnerved when the compliment comes too frequently. In too short a space of time. Particularly, from a single source.
There aren’t really guidelines for how frequently is too frequently. It’s just a feeling. And I’ve felt more unnerved more frequently.
I’ve been asking myself why. I am grateful to be beholden as beautiful by others – it is no trivial compliment – but why does hearing that they do unsettle me?
It’s not that I don’t believe that I am beautiful. In fact, during my ponderances, I discovered that I do see myself as beautiful. Not pretty or cute or attractive. I. Am. Beautiful.
“Do you know how beautiful you are?”
I recently dated a man who asked me this. I’d heard the question before, but this man asked me almost every time we saw each other. And we saw each other at least two or three times a week.
“Do you know how beautiful you are?”
Each time, “Thank you.” And in time, when the intensity of his gaze made it evident that it wasn’t a rhetorical question, that “thank you” was not a satisfactory answer, and that he really wanted to know if I really knew, “There are a lot of beautiful women in the world.”
That wasn’t really a satisfactory answer, either. And so I keep coming back to why. Why does being told I am beautiful too frequently – however frequently that is – unnerve me?
Like for many things, there is likely many reasons. But there is also this one…
Our physical appearance is the first thing that people see – in the most literal meaning of the word – when they see us. Yet
it physical beauty is among the least unique of qualities that any one person can possess.
Today I celebrate an anniversary. Today marks one year with Terralever as social media strategist. I was their first hire dedicated exclusively to social. I am categorized as a resource, and as is the practice of many interactive agencies, I was hired in a contract capacity while we felt each other out. Terralever assessed if I had the required knowledge and execution skills for social media strategy, as well as if I could share their business philosophy regarding return-driven marketing. I assessed whether the project work and client mix appealed to my ambitions, as well as if Terralever could share my philosophy regarding meaningful connections over metrics. And we both questioned how well we would play together.
Those first months weren’t easy. I was coming off of a year of un- and under-employment and was emotionally drained. Terralever was in the throes of organizational and cultural change and was confronting the all the inherent challenges of talent turnover, process development and service repositioning. The company also suffered a great loss with the passing of a colleague and friend. At the micro level, there were some marked conflicts between the tasks I was charged with completing my somewhat utopian view of social media.
No, those first months weren’t easy, but the decision to go full-time was. I had found a home where my skills and voice were respected. I found that company executives and strategy masterminds, Chris Johnson and Scott McAndrew (shout out to my homies…love them!) and I share many ideas about the core value of social media in business. Since then, I have worked with sales and account services to better align how social is positioned in the sales process with how it is executed during project delivery. I have taught coworkers and clients more about the field. And I have also learned from them, particularly with regards to development and highly niched applications (because I am by no means an expert in it all).
Ask me where I see myself in 6-12 months, and I won’t have an answer for you. I don’t think that far in advance. I’m focused on today, tomorrow, next month. I’m focused on right now, and right now I work with a kick-ass team of rock star talent turning out exceptional work for clients that make me want to do the happy dance on the regular. I am Terralever’s voice for social. Hear me roar.
You know those posts where bloggers apologize for neglecting their blog, or only blogging sporadically, over a long period of time and subsequently promise to deliver more good content in the very near future? I’ve never understood these posts. It’s like having a meeting to talk about what hasn’t been done, thereby creating the need to have another meeting at some indefinite point in the future when something has actually been done. It’s a waste of time on something that has no point.
Yet bloggers still write, and publish, these “sorry I’ll be better” posts. And this is mine.
Thanks for reading.
It seems we can’t go a day without ever more disturbing news about our downward spinning economy. Bank failures, auto industry bailouts, rising unemployment rates. Those newly laid off are just beginning to feel the pinch, dipping into savings accounts while they try to find new jobs. Meanwhile, those who were on the leading cuts have long ago turned to 401k and supplemental retirement accounts.
I first started to feel the pinch over two years ago as the company I was partner in struggled to line up new clients. First it was half-pay every other pay cycle. Then half-pay every pay cycle. At its worst, I drew only 20% of my expected monthly draw. Things improved, then declined again. The partnership ended as September 2008 ended. My stake in the company was so small that I had no say in the matter.
I’ve have yet to land another full-time position. I’ve filed applications, submitted resumes, had over a handful of interviews, and dozens more informal conversations. Some opportunities led to second and third round interviews only to be end with a “we are holding off on hiring” or something similar. In some cases, I’ve discovered weeks later that company is implementing ideas I presented during my interview. I’ve taken on two part-time jobs, a roommate, and contract work. It’s still not enough to sustain me.
The point of this sob story is not sympathy. It’s context. Yeah, things have been hard. Sure, I’ve felt defeated. And yes, I’ve sobbed. But somewhere among all the pieces, I discovered something…
We work. We earn an income. We buy things we need. We dream about things we want. We get better jobs. We earn more income. We buy the things we want. We call them needs.
That’s generally how things go when one climbs the ladder of success. But when the ladder morphs into a slide and income declines or disappears, we look for ways to decrease our needs. We turn of the lights when we leave the room. We cancel cable. We put student loans in forbearance. We take public transportation. One by one, we eliminate budgetary line items. Until in the end, you realize… We’re all just working for food!
I got memed. Just before the new year. That tattle tell known as Google alerted me that someone had been talking about @MsHerr. I employed my keen detective skills to discover that Dani Cutler had tagged me in one of the two circulating memes. I love memes. Isn’t meme just web jargon for chain letter? And I love chain letters. Especially the completely irrational, yet annoyingly persistent, feeling I have of letting down friend/family/acquaintance/imposter while I blatantly ignore the letter.
But I’ve been known to look on the bright side of things. I thought it could be a good way to kick off ‘09. So I started writing…
one: I want to adopt at least one child.
I think that there are people who have an obligation to love each of us, and the first among these are the two people whose actions conceived us: our birth mothers and fathers. Yet real life rarely follows the shoulds. Families form through blood and change through choice.
My birth father was absentee before, during, and after the short nine months he and my mother were married. When I was four, another man came into our lives. When I was seven, this man became my mother’s husband. In sixth grade, I was given three choices: keep my birth name, change my last name, be adopted. I chose adoption. But he became my dad long before that, and I have been blessed to receive a father’s love from a man who had no obligation to show such concern.
Consider that there are many children in this world who, for whatever reason, have birth parents but no mom and no dad. I want to share the blessing that I still enjoy. I want to love and care for, to adopt, a child who is in need of a mom.
two: I used to be a puppeteer.
Growing up in Gallup, the church I went to had a couple of youth groups. One was a puppeteering group for 6th through 12th graders. We’d learn skits that we’d then perform during services or various public events throughout the community. Some were funny. Some were dramatic. Not all were religiously-themed. But all had a lesson of some sort. We had a large collection of high quality puppets and props, a stage large enough for up to seven puppeteers, and a sound system. Not exactly small-time for a church youth group.
Besides being moderately interesting, I share this because, believe it or not, there is some serious technique to operating a puppet. Rather than explain it, check out this video from Puppets and Stuff and Expert Village.
Then verbosity became my downfall. I had set out to briefly capture the story behind each of these seven things, but the lack of a consistent theme has plagued me. My attempts to be consistent in voice, inspiration, and length have been thwarted. Each time I put finger to keyboard, I’ve spun time’s wheels. So here I take a page from Jeremy Tanner’s book, err… blog. Keep it simple. Keep it brief. Stick to the headlines.
three: Kid-in-a-candy-store is my favorite flavor of happy.
four: Braiding my hair is my one pre-race ritual.
five: I enjoy traveling alone.
six: Of all the virtues, patience is the one I dislike the most.
seven: I’d love to work for Harley-Davidson. Corporate. *
There. It’s done. It’s no longer the start of new year. That shiny newness has worn off. The novelty is gone. That unalterable pattern of 24/7 has reasserted itself. It’s only the start of the remaining 96.9% of ‘09, a rather arbitrary statistic.
And so I close with an offer… Should you find any of the above headlines so intriguing that you want a story, holla at me. I will gladly oblige.
And a promise… I shall not meme anyone unless you, again, holla at me.
* Don’t worry Phoenix, I’m not leaving you yet. There is too much great stuff going on here, now, that I want to be a part of. But someday, perhaps two or three or seven years from now…
I like goals. I dislike resolutions. New Year’s resolutions specifically. They go a little something like this…
Spend the last day(s) of December reflecting on the prior year. Identify one or more things that you want to change. Make sure they’re significant enough so you can feel accomplished when you succeed. But not so significant as to set yourself up for failure. Set a start date of January First. Celebrate the last hour(s) of the old year with general debauchery and proclamations of how great the new year will be.
Wake up January First and do one of two things:
I’ve no issue with either success or failure. Each have their purpose. I do, however, have issue with waiting to start working toward some goal, whether ginormous or itsy bitsy, on some day that is rather arbitrary in the greater scheme of time. Days, months, years are just markers that while relevant to the documentation of historical occurrences and the planning of future events, are less meaningful than both history and future.
January 1, 2000-whatever ain’t nuthin’ but a number.
Whether you hope to make a lifestyle change or launch into a new project, does it really matter if the start date coincides with something so arbitrary? January First may be generally accepted as the dawn of a new year, but are the mechanics that change the dial from ’08 to ’09 really any more significant than those that change it from 2:59 to 3:00? Set a goal and start it today. Sure, today is January First, but what if today was April 17? Or August 29? Or December 23?
But don’t wait for them.