I've debated about this post for a long time. It can be a hard thing to keep a diary of sorts for public consumption and share with both brevity and depth the importance of an event or series of events. After six years together, during the summer months, we decided to move forward as individuals. Relationships are hard, ours was no different- beautiful, flawed, relatable, full of love and confusions and wild hopes..
He was and still is the CNN to my Disney. That steady tree I always build my playhouse on.
October has been a full month and I'm happy that it has come to a close on that note. For a long while this year (similar to so many others) blogging often felt laborious at times- especially when the day-to-day was a jumble of so many adult conundrums. But lately, there's been a huge surge of creative joy to write, to share, to do, both here and otherwise.
This morning, I woke struggling with the idea of success. I'm not sure why but as of late I've been more open in talking about my feelings towards career choices, future endeavours and a massive shift in gears with it all. Earlier this week hearing Mary Moloney mention 'there are often patterns and phases in careers: the high achieving/go getter phase, the reflection period and then finally one of change and fulfilment' was that little note from the universe I needed to hear.
It made this internal conversation I had been having with myself seem much more understandable. In all honesty, (like everyone on the planet) I have had so many disappointments, failures, struggles (I cried this morning) but I have also had so many small successes, happiness and joys that I often ignore during hard times. Truth is, it is so much easier to share sob stories than boast about the good ones to friends and others.
So with that said and a very tired heart, I am going to start brushing off this hard self and work on celebrating and being grateful for the joys, no matter how small they may be.
Networking-everything about it intimidates me. Friends are always surprised by this, but it is so very true. I become incredibly awkward, lose all sense of logic and find my voice and laugh take pitch levels I cringe at. I am also not very good at small chat. You can usually find me in the hallways not networking labouring some poor ol' girlfriend of mine to hold conversation with me on the phone until the appropriate time comes to huddle myself inside.
Really selling myself as a winner, aren't I? ;)
Having said all that, I am terribly curious and enthusiastic about learning about the world of creatives and business/tech that every now and again, vulnerability in this sort of situation takes a firm backseat.
And I hope that in the small chance that I am not alone in this, I'd share a little summary of a few things I took away from these incredible women who spoke about turbo-charging careers on Tuesday.
-As women, we can often foster the feeling of being an 'imposter' or that it's only a matter of time before being 'found out'. Identify and be aware of it (you are not alone!) and then dismiss it.
-Be clear and articulate in your communication. No one is a mind reader.
-Timing: set a finite schedule to challenge yourself and then move forward.
-There are often patterns and phases in careers: the high achieving/go getter phase, the reflection period and then finally one of change and fulfilment.
-To be at the top of your game: recognise where you excel, what your skills are and how it benefits your industry.
-The people who you spend time with are fundamental to your happiness. Surround yourself with people who won't let you get lost in the woods. Find your advocates.
-Role models and mentors are essential: help you aim higher and achieve more.
-On the next opportunity that awaits: Don't wait until you're perfect. Ignore your inner critic. Go for it.
-We need to know about the internet. Huge opportunities in big data, analytics and security.
-'To succeed in life you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone' -Reba McEntire
-Interviews: a meeting of minds, a conversation, a scenario where they have a problem and you have the solution.
-Reality is never as bad as the fear of the 'unknown'.
-On matching values with a company/brand: if the shoe doesn't fit, find another one.
-Be prepared. Know how to explain your skills, breadth of experience, give an example and share insight in what you have learned from it all.
-Communication is at the heart of everything.
It was an inspiring morning from IMAGE. And I loved that all three women spoke about gratitude and kindness being essential factors in their success stories. Turns out this networking business might not be so scary after all, friends.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to photograph Hye Uon and her gorgeous family- we joked at that stage that I would inevitably become their 'family photographer' and judging by a day spent at their children's christening, we may well and truly be on our way.
They are my favourite type of family - blissfully at ease, both aware and unaware of a camera being pointed at them and so unbelievably welcoming. Thank you for letting me share this little peek here Hye Uon, a very proud mama indeed.
I have an awful tendency of beginning conversations as if I'm already in the middle of them. Most of my phone calls to close friends are a perpetual cycle of this but thankfully, most of them are well used to this- even when I lead with the randomest of queries i.e..''do you have a power drill I can borrow?'' (ahem, Alex).
Today, I caught up with sweet Joi. A lady who is so emotive and joyous when she hears your voice, it feels like you're ringing family (which I am). A few months ago when I was going through a rough period, she wrote an email which I have bookmarked and printed. A portion of it reads ''Know that honour, love, grace and joy are surrounding you like a shield, always. No rejection nor disappointment can take away your beauty and loveliness. You are made for more. ''
You are made for more. Simple, powerful, effective. It now is serving as a mantra of sorts on a little project I am working on in the upcoming month.
Truth: girlfriends really are the best sort of friends.