Unpredictable

Looking back, I remember being asked the question of "where do you see yourself 10 years from now?" Usually we all have some generic answer and I am sure most never turn out the way you think. Living in the moment is the easiest and most comfortable thing we can do. The situations you encounter may be entirely unexpected. For me, even these past two months of my life seem like a fiction novel. Everyone's reality is different and it makes me wonder why we always want to define situations as we go. I keep trying to stop myself from searching for labels and meaning. Usually you don't know the meaning of a current situation until you look back weeks, months or even years later.

The world works in mysterious ways. More often than not, people, ideas, events fall into our laps. Being open-minded will help you uncover these gifts. What's hard is when there is a decision involved. Perhaps two gifts happen at once. How do you make the decision? Sometimes there is no right or wrong answer. It is usually like picking from a different set of directions; which journey sounds most appealing. For those of us who are fortunate to have options, we should be more appreciative. While it isn't easy to choose, it is still a gift to encounter such a challenge. 

I will always choose the road less traveled. I like a challenge and I like to be pushed outside of my comfort zone. Ultimately, the new and risky opportunities are those with the most rewards. They allow for the exciting chapter(s) in your growing story. XO

One of a Kind

Growing up with brothers was a guaranteed adventure every day. I have so many memories and stories from childhood I couldn’t even begin to wrap my head around. Whether I was convincing Bob to play house with me on a sick day, filming their home videos (an 8 year old with a giant old school video camera), opening both ends of moving boxes to make a giant box tunnel/fort in the basement, putting our David Blaine knowledge to work and tying up our babysitter to see if she could escape, etc. We really did have a wild and crazy childhood together and I am so grateful for the memories.

Today, I want to honor one of them seeing as it is his Birthday. Growing up, Bob, was always the one to help when no one else would or thought to. He would go above and beyond to help me succeed with anything. To this day, he is still my go-to for questions and help because he is always one step ahead of me. All throughout school, regardless the grade, I always needed help with homework. With my Dyslexia, school never came natural to me and I always needed help. Everyone in my family was patient with me, but Bob was most of all. When my mom was busy working or making dinner Bob would always stop his homework and help me with mine. He would never get frustrated when I still didn’t understand after his third explanation. He was determined to see me understand and would encourage me to try hard instead of handing over an answer. He will go down as one of my best teachers by far. Even when he was in college I would e-mail papers for him to proof read. I am so lucky to have a “Bob” in my life because he was always more than just a brother. He gave the word “brother” a new meaning all together, which is why no Hallmark card out there can convey who he is to me.

Now he lives almost 3000 miles away from me. New York and California, polar opposites. It is crazy to think that my right hand man is no longer within arm’s reach. I think about how important certain people are to me and how I need to get better with communication. Bob and Jon are my two favorite men out there. They are living their lives and proving to the world just how remarkable they are. It is time for more people to see what I see and I have great feelings about the Laws family. We have an entrepreneurial spirit in our blood. I may have found mine in jewelry but Bob is working to create revolutionary programs to keep up with the growing world of technology. He is also an amazing painter, just like Jon. (www.boblaws.com) Jon is off to lead a top household brand in marketing. We are all working towards greatness and it is exhilarating.

Cheers to one of my most favorite guys in the world. I would not be who or where I am today without you. Happy Birthday!!! I celebrate you every day, but especially today…It is your day! I love you! XO, Bec

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talent

There are many times I wished I lived in a different era. I am inspired by vintage everything: fashion, architecture, people, etc. Today, I can get a photo and design jewelry with ease. In the past, that would not be as easy. I suppose what I love about the old, comes through in the new. My jewelry is a conversation, which much of life no longer is. I love for people to be intrigued by my jewelry and gain ownership. There is so much talent in this world and it is such a great feeling to believe in and pursue your own.

In honor of talent, I have attached this beautiful photo my friend Kate took of my Kaleidoscope letter "V". I get to reap the benefits of her talent and see my jewelry come to life. Cheers. XO

Photo by Kate Edwards

Photo by Kate Edwards

pick and choose

The one thing I love the most about New York City is the diversity. America is indeed the land of opportunity and NYC certainly is the mecca for such. I am so fortunate to be living here, experiencing the world. As I said in talking with a stranger last night, the thing I love most about NYC is coincidentally the thing I hate the most. There is a place in NYC for everyone. I love that anyone can feel at home here, but I hate that the city lacks an authentic identity. 

I am lucky to have first hand experience with the diversity of NYC. Everyday I associate with Chinese, Hispanics, Indians, etc. As I have mentioned before, I have loved the exposures to other cultures. Understanding how people came to be who they are is very intriguing. Knowing only one culture seems naive. We stress the importance of exposure to life but we only focus on our small bubble. It is easy to visit new places, but how many people actually comprehend and accept other ways of living or thinking? We are so caught up in our own world that the other ones tend to seem fictional. Even the world news stories sound like fictional short stories at times.

I have been spending time with a guy my age from India and it has been very enlightening. He is here temporarily with a work visa and experiencing the busiest city in America. He has grown up thousands of miles away from where I did, yet I feel more in common with him than most American guys. I am enjoying spending time with him and learning about the world through his eyes. He is such a thoughtful, respectful guy with so much to offer. We share similar values and can hopefully adopt some of the better parts of each other's culture.

It is refreshing to find common ground with those you least expect. But, the only way you will have that opportunity is to have an open mind. XO

Being the best YOU

Last week, I had the pleasure of babysitting this little boy, Wile. He lives in my Brooklyn neighborhood and I always love an occasional babysitting job to get a kid fix. Little did I know, I actually got paid to be entertained. Now I know why Mary Poppins kept with her gig.

Upon entering the house and meeting the mom, Kristin, I knew it was going to be a great night. Wile is an 8 year old with a Mohawk and a seasoned taste in music. Kristin mentioned that a typical night with a sitter involves Wile selecting a David Bowie record, warming tea, and playing cards. While I thought I was in for a stimulating game of ‘Go Fish,’ he actually taught me how to play Gin Rummy. I really couldn’t believe I was hanging out with an 8 year old…I felt like I owed him at the end of the night.

My friend Grace and I always talk about our babysitting adventures. She and I agreed that kids are such a good influence on life. I always love spending time with kids because they are 100% themselves and don’t worry about “fitting in.” We should always be authentic and kids are just that.

This past weekend, my friend Meg and I talked about the joy of kids too. She has two, Caroline and Harrison, and they are like my niece and nephew. While children can really test your boundaries and challenge your strength, they are a refreshing taste of life. I told her I love spending time with kids because they aren’t trying to be anyone but themselves. I respect and love spending time with two age groups…children and middle-aged adults. The question my other friends and family always ask…WHY? The answer: For the most part, these people are who they are and own it. There comes a time when young teenagers find the need to fit in and “try on” other personalities. This is the beginning of a long process and for some, never ends. If you are lucky, you slowly find people coming back into themselves sometime after college. I was always the odd man out…by no means perfect though. I, of course, had a “try on” period, but didn’t allow it to last long. I find my energy has been better spent trying to improve on my authentic personality. It is the hardest job of all but the rewards of self-improvement are far greater than those of self-alterations.

I find that it’s easiest for me to seek out those with authentic personalities. I have never discriminated on age because I know personalities are far more important to me than anything else. I have more respect for those who have worked hard to realize who they are and how they can benefit others just from being themselves. The best gift you can give, is the gift of yourself. XO

A special day

Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful Queen who had the gift of two handsome young Princes. She was so happy with her two precious baby boys but so desperately wanted a Princess. She would play with the Princes and secretly hope she would one day get to play dolls too. She kept telling herself it would be a boy in order to not get her hopes up. When the day finally arrived for her to welcome another child to the world she was thrilled. The baby was born in laughter. The doctor made the Queen laugh so hard he told her to stop because the baby was coming fast. Eager to get into the world, the Princess finally arrived to the Queen. The Queen was so happy, her laughter turned to tears.

To this day, the Queen and the Princess are always laughing. They share a special bond, that no evil witch could break. The Queen spent all of her energy to bestow her wisdom, values, and love on the little Princess. She made her appreciate what she had and fight for what she wants. It didn’t take long for the Princes and Princess to realize that they were the lucky ones. The Queen has become such a role model to her kids and proved that no matter what cards you are dealt, even in a glorious life, you can work through anything. XO

Happy Birthday, Mom! You are the colors of my rainbow and the honey in my tea.

To be inspired...

Where and who you are around have a lot to do with being inspired. As a creative person, it always helps to be around other creative people. I find that one of my biggest weaknesses is letting my goals overwhelm me. We all live in a world of instant gratification. There are so many advancements that allow for a quick fix. Starting a business does not allow for instant gratification. Instead, you have a blank canvas and the opportunity to decide where to start. The answer is yours to create. How exciting is that?

This past weekend, my friend Kate began moving into my apartment. She is an amazing photographer and the perfect creative brain to keep me inspired. She is self-employed and getting huge gigs all because of her hard work and motivation. Again, what great company to be around! All weekend, we have been decorating and dreaming up big plans for our place. Our Brooklyn brownstone has so much potential and we have been doing so many DIY projects. Most importantly, Kate is letting me put one of her huge prints in my room. I have this enormous blank wall that has been begging for color. Kate is the go-to for fun color. I mean it when I say, her photos are a breath of fresh air. I have attached one of my favorites but you also need to check out her website: kateedwardsphotography.com

I am in awe by her talent and can't wait to get her to shoot my jewelry. Our paths definitely crossed for a reason and I am excited to gain a friend, roommate and business relationship. Watching other people work hard for their dreams is the greatest gift of all. I feel so lucky to be living on my dream and in the company of others and their dreams as well. People with a clear passion are the best to be around. You never know when you will find your passion but you have to give yourself the opportunities to discover it. We have the ability to live in the future because of technology, so we have to utilize it. One thing we started as roommates, is an idea book. As small or big the idea, we always write them down now. You never know what will pan out. I suggest you do the same. XO

Photo by Kate Edwards

Photo by Kate Edwards

Who am I?

It’s funny what happens to you once you have lived in NYC for a while. It is strange to go from being a tourist to being a resident. How do you make something so glorified feel homey? My solution…move to Brooklyn. Just last night I was talking with my friends about how many people let the NYC glamour take over them. It is easy to get “lost” here because this city manages to appeal to anyone and everyone. There is a place, or even a district, for any type of individual. It is so easy to get swept up by the diversity and become a chameleon. What fun is that? It really is hard to find people who are extremely authentic in the city. Granted we are all a little guilty of acting differently at times but at a certain age, that trial period should expire.

Brooklyn, on the other hand, offers up a refreshing change of pace. Every night I come home I feel a weight being lifted. It is nice to live amongst authentic, genuine people. More good things happen when I am in Brooklyn than when I am in Manhattan. People want to help each other and will go out of their way. In Manhattan, people feel like objects that are in your way. I get so frustrated walking anywhere because 9 times out of 10, I collide with another person. I see why people can get bitter (because I do) and it is so unfortunate.

To be yourself, is the greatest gift of all. So many are concerned with an image or being liked by any given person. But at what cost? You will never be fulfilled if you don’t take the time to find where you belong. We are all forced to describe ourselves in a glorified way on a resume but we never take the time to write an honest resume. A tough question that you should take the time to answer honestly, just for yourself, is: Who is (your name)? We should all have a clear understanding of who we are. XO

Communication

For something that was once held with such high regard...it has taken a serious turn. Over the past 15 years, we have all been increasingly pressured into a more interactive way of life. While it started out small...it has grown into something far more. When I take a step back and look at where we are today, I am not as impressed as others. The percentage of mailed letters has decreased greatly because of technology. Communication used to be so intimate and now it is something we take for granted without even realizing.

My friend Abby is currently trying to de-clutter and happened upon her "memory box." This box was filled with letters, old notebooks, pictures, etc. It makes me sad to realize that most people do not have something like this anymore. When watching movies even 10 years old...the characters have these. Now, a memory box is your cell phone or computer. It is sad that we don't experience a hand written letter or an unexpected visit from a friend or acquaintance anymore. Every move is so calculated because of our advancements in technology. Even over Christmas break, my brother's friend sent him an email with time slots as to when they could potentially get together. Even though this was probably a joke...it is silly it is even an option. 

I wish we could all experience a week in the past. I think that we all get so caught up in the way of life now, that we don't take the time to appreciate what we have and live as simply as we can. I am grateful to live in Brooklyn because most people here have that attitude for appreciation. What I find most attractive, is different from most growing up in a generation of technology. Living vicariously through characters of old movies and books, is the closest we have to understanding the previous way of the world. My challenge for you is to leave your cell phone at home one day, or fast from Facebook for a week. Removing yourself from the constant source of communication is refreshing and exhilarating. If someone wants to find you, you should allow them the opportunity to work for it. XO

New year, new attitude

This past weekend I grabbed a coffee with my friend Meg after a hard, two hour workout. We went by the Starbucks I worked at very briefly before College. (Still can’t believe I did that job…so stressful!) Since leaving, all but one of my fellow baristas still works there. Usually we share some small talk but this time was a little different. While waiting for my coffee, she asked me to step over so she could see me. Skeptically, I came a little closer. Then, to my surprise she said, “You look like you’ve gained some weight…is that why you were at the gym?” Meg started uncontrollably laughing because of how inappropriate the comment was. I awkwardly laughed and blamed the Holidays. Truly, I am 5 pounds over my usual weight. The excuses are endless…I have been sick for a month, it’s the winter, I know lots of great cooks, etc. Regardless, I brushed her comment off with a joke: “Yeah…I’ve got these love handles and no one to love on them!” At that point Meg couldn’t breathe because she was laughing so hard. She ran out to the car while I was still “doctoring” my latte. I am pretty sure we will be laughing at this for a long time. I couldn’t imagine saying that to anyone, especially an acquaintance. I know I am not over weight by any means…I am still an extra small! Regardless, I suppose this will make me even more motivated to work on the popular New Year’s resolution of hitting the gym. I’m anxious to get rid of those silly 5 extra pounds!

I have a good feeling about 2013. I know every year we start with high expectations, but I truly believe in this one. My friend Abby and I had a 5 minute long toast yesterday. We pledged to be even better versions of ourselves and continue to build on our dreams. I’m pretty sure we managed to cover every base. I think with motivation and a good attitude we can conquer anything. XO  

2 days after

Ever since Friday afternoon, I have not been able to get those 20 beautiful children out of my head. Not to mention, the adults as well. It was a truly horrific event that continues to keep my heart aching. I know many of us are trying to get on with our lives and not dwell, but it has not been as easy for me. I find myself thinking about each family of the children and what their stories were. I have always been an extremely empathetic person and I can't help but wonder the suffer they must all be enduring. I truly do not know how you can move on from something like this. Not to mention, the Holidays are upon us. Thanks to retailers and society, the Holidays are such a drawn out period, so this will be a long and painful reminder every year for all who were impacted. 

I talked with my mom the evening of and we both had been down the same thought trail. I said, "I just can't help but think about each family's circumstance. I am sure some of those kids had been sick with colds and their parents encouraged them to go to school that day. Those parents will forever blame themselves, thinking if only I didn't make him/her go to school!" My mom said she thought the same thing. As Obama said, these kids had their whole lives in front of them. I just hope this acts as a wake up call to everyone. We really do have so much to be thankful for in our own lives and we can never take anything for granted. Every moment we have is such a gift so we really must live like every day is our last. You never know what the cards hold so we need to be high on life. Do not live with regrets! We are all filled with so much potential and must act like it to honor the lives of those children. That is the best gift we can give to those of Newton, CT. 

Earlier this week, one of our family dogs passed away. He managed to escape from a fenced in area and ran into the road, only to be hit by a car. It was very upsetting and sudden. It wasn't until Friday, when it all finally made sense. Jack was taken from us at such a young age because his purpose was far greater. He was meant to be there, awaiting those beautiful, scared kids. He has the energy and strength to give them the love and affection they need. I truly believe this and am so grateful their spirits can be together. 

What we need to do from now on, is acknowledge a good deed from anyone and then pay it forward. If we all showed more appreciation to one another, maybe we could start acting like the "United" States that we are. That is the one thing we actually do have control of. XO

Paper, not plastic

Credit cards are...In a word, evil. I'm sure you have your own personal convictions about them, but they do something else to our psyche. They make us jaded. Jaded to luxuries that would be much more enjoyed and appreciated if they were earned. So, what exactly happens when we buy things we cannot afford? By the time we actually can afford them, our tastes have matured into something even more expensive or out of reach. The desire for more will always be there.

To quote, yet again, one of my all time favorite artists, Billy Joel: "Don't you know that only fools are satisfied?" Foolish spending is not only detrimental to our bank accounts, but it numbs us to the good things in life we can afford. And there is something so satisfying about desiring something for a long time, and finally being able to do it...or purchase it with your own money- not Mastercard's. It's also never a good feeling to own a pair of $795 shoes, but not afford a $7.95 cab ride so you don't kill yourself...trust me. XO

"Slow down, you crazy child"

Time to take a tip from the fabulous Billy Joel.

These past two weeks I have not been able to kick this cold. I have been popping decongestant pills like its my job. We are so use to operating on overdrive, especially here in NY. However, illnesses come for a reason and act as a wake up call to remind you that you are your first priority. They force you to relax when you have been so unwilling. 

One of the ladies I work with heard me suffering and offered up her Eastern medicine cure for colds. Sweet Lisa speaks broken English and was giving such supportive advice. She insisted I take some of her dried orange peels cured with salt. I learned they are available in Chinatown and work wonders to clear up your throat. She said Eastern medicine believes acidic fruits and even bananas are not good when you are fighting a cold. Who knew that nature's gift is actually harmful in your path to recovery!?

I love learning about other cultures and how they approach life. It is a beautiful thing and when you have an open mind, you can embrace anything you want. I have always been the kind of person who can't focus on reading to learn. Instead, put me in a room that is culturally diverse and I can learn more than any book could teach me! One day, I will travel the world... 

Keep an open mind and make friends of all varieties! A positive attitude and love for life is contagious. Remember to slow down and invest in your greatest asset...yourself! XO

Splurge box

You know that infamous saying, "out of sight out of mind"...well I am adopting it for a "splurge box." My friend Abby and I have a hard time saving money, so last night we invented the splurge box! It is essentially a joint piggy bank/savings account. We are going to take a shoe box, cut a small slot and begin tossing in change and bills. At the end of each month (or two) we can open it up and treat ourselves to a dinner out! It is the perfect solution for justifying an expensive outing. And knowing that we are both putting money in it takes away any temptation to open it up and grab some cash for that dress you've been dying to get! I've never been good with an online savings account because it is so easy to stare at the number and transfer some over. Finally, a worthy solution! I suggest you all run to your closet and get to work on your own splurge box! XO

What is meant to be, will be

Last week, when the lottery was at 530 million dollars, everyone I knew was getting tickets and dreaming big…toying with the magical, “what if?” I couldn’t help but entertain my dreams as well. It’s true that money would definitely help bring certain dreams to reality. It would be our version of an “advance token.” The truth is…there are no gains or losses in an express pass to life. You haven’t had opportunities to pay dues, gain properties or collect. You instead, enter with a neutral persona and go on to reap the benefits from a battle you didn’t fight, but was won for you.

Regardless, dreaming with money is a really nice mental exercise that allows you to pinpoint your passion. Of course, money isn’t necessary to find your passion but it can help you dream big. Once you know your passion, you can work hard to make it happen. The battle wounds make for the best stories and give you thick skin to act independently. No two dreams are the same, so it is important to be confident in yourself and be prepared to wear many hats.

I love hearing other’s dreams and giving people the encouragement and confidence to follow through. It reminds me of a quotation that stuck with me: “Never let the fear of striking out stop you from playing the game.” It is easy to think the worst, so you have to focus on the “what if’s.” Every success starts as a “what if” paired with confidence. So what is yours? XO

Clean day

This is a little thing my dear friend Abby and I love to do on a mutual day off. There is nothing more satisfying than literally cleaning everything. We start by cleaning the apartment and then move on to ourselves. Once everything is physically clean, the real fun begins.

We do face masks, hair masks, eyebrow waxing, lip scrubs...you name it! Pair this with green tea or red wine (depending on your mood), candles and a good movie and you're golden! 

I would love to pass along some "clean day" tips to you now! My dear friend Meg was sweet enough to get me a gift certificate for a facial for my Birthday. I can't tell you how nice and necessary this was! I finally got some great tips on how to appropriately take care of my face. The esthetician was so sweet and even gave me a hug when all was said and done! The first thing I learned was to never dry out your skin. City life does not compliment one's complexion and many people think drying out excess oil is the answer. Toni said my skin was far too dry and I should be moisturizing daily. In addition, she recommended a product that works well for breakouts and anti-aging. She said, in both cases, it is good to speed the shedding of skin cells on your face. Many people invest lots of money in anti-aging lotions and apply it to layers of dead skin and it isn't able to penetrate your healthy skin. She also stressed to not use oil-free products. As long as you shop the right brands, oil based products are good for your skin and will not strip them like the majority of the products out there. Seriously, if you need a good facial...Toni is well informed and gives a wonderful facial!

So, Abby and I are now able to effectively execute "clean day" now. We use exfoliators, hydrating masks, and green tea bags on our eyes. Instead of mud masks we are focusing in on hydration...especially with the winter season approaching! I hope this helped you to focus on your needs and think about your physical well-being. I have attached some links below for you to check out some of the products I use and love! And yes, they actually WORK! Those who have seen me lately would agree. My skin has never been perfect and now I can actually say it's getting there! NOT because of Proactiv or other gimmicks!

Please take the time to invest in yourself! You are a worthy cause and you will be so happy when you feel pampered! XO

http://www.amazon.com/Jan-Marini-Bioglycolic-Bioclear-Cream/dp/B00158QFJQ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1353377401&sr=8-5&keywords=janmarini+products

http://www.amazon.com/Jan-Marini-Bioglycolic-Facial-Cleanser/dp/B003YJ9YBU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1353377401&sr=8-2&keywords=janmarini+products

http://www.amazon.com/Origins-Drink-Minute-Quench-Thirst/dp/B002LA34KA/ref=sr_1_1?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1353377789&sr=1-1&keywords=origins+drink+up

http://www.amazon.com/Sonage-Skin-Care-Products-BIO-VEGETAL/dp/B000N2Q892/ref=sr_1_6?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1353377827&sr=1-6&keywords=sonage

Hearts on overdrive

This past weekend I finally caught up with a lot of girlfriends. It was so nice to hear where everyone is in their lives. The stories couldn't be more different but the context was generally the same. As I mentioned to them - we are go-getters. My closest friends are the achievers and the ones who struggle to find an off button. It makes sense that we found and appreciate one another. While it is not necessarily a good thing to always be on; it is better than always being off.

Relationships have been a very common theme in conversation. My go-getter friends...struggling to find someone who has the same lust for life. While opposites attract, I think your level of motivation must be closely matched. If it isn't, how will you ever respect each other? While that is one small piece to the puzzle, I consider it a crucial one. Without it, there would be no hope for a pretty picture...something would always be missing.

Be sure to take the time to figure out what YOU want for your life. Once you have a clearer understanding of yourself, it is easier to narrow your focus. XO

​Serendipity

(n): The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.

Yesterday I was walking home and happened upon this book on the sidewalk. I quickly snatched it up and checked it out. I couldn't help but think I discovered it for a reason. There are so many other streets I could have walked down to get home, but I was in the right place at the right time. I read the reviews on the front and immediately felt a connection. "No one who is invested in any kind of art can read The Gift and remain unchanged." I truly believe this book came to me at just the right time. I know I am fortunate to not only believe in my talents but have other's faith as well.

Transient

After discovering this book, I felt a strong sense of belonging and purpose. It's amazing what someone's simple gesture of anonymously sharing this book can do to another. I definitely feel connected to my community and know, without hesitation, I am where I should be - literally and figuratively.

I am amazed with the amount of trust I have in myself. I don't worry about the things I should and I can brush off fear with a laugh. I am by no means perfect, and I don't follow any specific spiritual path but my own. I am very much a free spirit and genuinely want to know people. For instance, I desperately wish I knew the story of this book's previous owner(s). I wish I knew how this book affected them and made sense to them. Just like when I read a quotation or even a horoscope, I always wonder how those words can be so universal yet so specific.

I plan to finish this book and pass it along as well. While I wish I could hoard it as a reminder - I would feel like a hypocrite. It is a gift, just like it's title suggests. Even in the first chapter, it talks about the origin of an Indian giver. The term has developed a negative connotation over the years from Americans looking at gifts as capital. Our land's prior inhabitants "understood a cardinal property of the gift: whatever we have been given is supposed to be given away, not kept. Or, if it is kept, something of similar value should move on in it's stead." -Hyde

We can send messages in so many ways, now more than ever. I prefer the profound ones. Consider leaving a thoughtful book somewhere for someone. You never know the kind of impact you might make on someone's life! XO

Reign it in

When your creative juices are flowing it is hard to control them. Many times, ideas pour out and I want nothing more than to see them all happen. It is hard to push them aside and keep your focus narrowed. If you try and make 10 ideas happen, you can't execute them all with great attention. My biggest challenge has been in keeping that focus. It is so hard to stick with one idea and push it. You have to choose wisely and get creative. It is very discouraging because you are putting all of your eggs in one basket and there will be lots of rejection. However, once the right person sees it, everything changes. 

After much hesitation, I finally watched the Justin Bieber documentary. I am so glad I did. It is amazing to see how he became the sensation he did. He clearly had talent at such a young age and he did not give up. He never stopped exposing himself to the public. He would hit the streets but also created YouTube videos. All it took was the one key person to find him and see his success with fans on the Internet. It is a remarkable journey and definitely an inspiration to any artist.

The most valuable thing I have learned in this process of pursing the "impossible," is to never give up. Many people get discouraged because everything about great success seems impossible and unlikely. Too often people are overly rational and fail to pursue something because the chances are slim. What you have to remember is that much of life is a gamble, and who is more worthy of your bet than yourself? It's the same reason we buy lottery tickets. We know there will be a winner, and for a split second we entertain the thought of it being ourselves. However, I will tell you right now, there is a much better chance of building your own greatness than there is of winning it out of luck. Find your passion, narrow your focus, and bet on it. XO

Validation from a stranger

It is a wonderful feeling when a stranger, with no bias, gets you. They simply understand who you are and what you have to offer the world. When you have found your passion, you are good at it, and you are working hard to make it happen - others will eventually see it.

When first starting out, I can't tell you how many times I wondered to myself if people actually liked my jewelry or were just being nice. You are so vulnerable and exposed as an artist, because what you are showing the world is a piece of yourself. Everyone starts out feeling this way no matter what kind of art you offer the world. Every person is creative; you don't have to be artistic to be creative.

I feel so fortunate to have reached a point, this early in life, where I can receive validation from strangers on a regular basis. Having a source of empowerment from people other than your friends and family is an unexpected gift. Just recently, I spoke with a store owner and she could not have been more wonderful. She completely understood my jewelry and loved my designs. It was so refreshing to have someone other than my friends and family believe in me.

We definitely do not tire of affirmation because it keeps the fire burning. It pushes us to work harder and take chances on our dreams. Do not let fear stop you from pursuing your passion - the outcome will always be worth the battle. XO