The “path” to success

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The never-ending struggle between my so-called practicality and adventure-hungry spirit was brought to the forefront a lot this week with conversations about career next steps, how to find your passions, random entrepreneur ideas and even this blog post by A Cup of Jo aptly called…Success.

As I was talking about my growing obsession with Istanbul and (unrelated) business partnership ideas, I heard myself talking and thought, “Hey, this actually sounds like it makes a lot of sense.”

But I have a confession to make.

A lot of times those ideas don’t sound plausible.

A lot of times I think I need to keep working, to keep advancing.

A lot of times I think there’s only one way to get “there.”

A lot of times I hear about friends traveling around the world, taking a year off work to pursue their passions or starting their own companies and I think, “That’s SO great!! ….for YOU.”

But why not me? I highly subscribe to the idea that success means different things to different people. Now I just need to figure out what that means to me. In the meantime, I’m thinking hard about this success chart and being encouraged by it.

What does your path to success look like?

Seeing skyscrapers: A love affair

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My one year anniversary is almost here! …The anniversary of my first trip to New York City that is. I always thought I would like New York, but nothing prepared me for how infectious the unique combination of nostalgia, success and so much more would be. That city just has momentum, you know?

I’ve never been the type to get all choked up about goodbyes with people. But when I left New York, I truly felt a twinge of sadness. Okay fine, at that immediate moment making my way towards the airport I felt exhausted and possibly just a tad hungover from one of the best weeks of my life. But that next week watching Gossip Girl, I couldn’t care less what annoying thing Dan was doing this time, because all I was watching was the city. My chest literally ached to be there again.

Why am I not there right now? Well, it all goes back to that conversation about settling I mentioned a couple posts ago. If I’m being honest the reason I didn’t move to New York or even pursue a job there after graduation was that I was scared. Scared of not having enough money. Scared of finding a place to live. Scared of not finding a job.

I’m realizing though that this is pretty stupid. In life I’m never going to feel I have enough money or always have certainty about what’s next. This is why (or so I’m told) being in your twenties is so brilliant! This is the time when we’re supposed to be trying new places and jobs out, going for those dreams…and still have plenty of time to pick ourselves up if we fall.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still scared. But I’m sticking my toes out in the water, exploring my options for making this dream come true. If you have any words of wisdom I’d love to hear them! For now, I’ll leave you with this quote from Michael Bloomberg:

And because no matter who you are, if you believe in yourself and your dream, New York will always be a place for you.

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My dream weekend

ten-broeck-by-messana-o-rorkeLow bed envy: 11 home inspiration photos

seattle sunsetSeattle dreaming: all the details on Seattle’s neighborhoods

Today my brain is all over the place, which makes it actually kinda the perfect weekend to have the boyfriend and two of my closest friends out of town.

This weekend I’ve got a date with myself. I’m going to hole up, read, think and journal. I keep coming back to a conversation I had last weekend about settling and wondering, am I settling at all? At work, relationships, life…sometimes it’s good to check-in for a little personal diagnostic and make sure everything’s “on track.” There’s so many things I want to do and places I want to see that I haven’t thought about in awhile. It’s time to bring those dreams up again and maybe even focus in on new ones.

Part of the reason I might be thinking about dreams and new experiences might be more than a little inspired by co-blogger Lydia’s fantastic European adventure. You might have noticed her absence this past week (I know I have!), but rest assured she’s having the time of her life, with the instagram feed to prove it.

Here’s to a productive, thoughtful weekend!

follow your dreams quote

A Match Made in Mentor Heaven

A big part of ‘Finding Tiffanys’ for me is my career. As I have stated before, it took me a little longer than most to figure out what I wanted to do. If it wasn’t for a certain fantastic professor and a pushy, encouraging peer, I would probably still feel a little lost. But ever since I have discovered my passion for advertising, branding, design and technology, I have never felt more myself or excited to learn in my entire life. Although I don’t expect I will be applying for any graphic design positions any time soon, design specifically is something that is currently my call to the wild. I want to do branding, and to me design is a huge part of that strategic communication. So, inspired by starting this blog, I decided I should get my head out of design books and newsletters and do something about it.

I am proud to say that I am putting myself out there in the design world. This started with joining the DSVC and attending their networking and speaker events. The first one I went to featured Connie Birdsall of Lippincott.  An agency responsible for Sprite, Ebay’s redesign and transforming Starbucks into more than coffee (I want to be Connie Birdsall, in short). One of Birdsall’s points really stuck with me –

“My strategist have to think like designers and my designers have to think like strategist.”

YES! This pretty much summed up where I see my career going and solidified that I was doing something right by being at that meeting.

This week I attended a Mentor Matchmaking event with AIGA [ a professional association for design ]. Two of the mentors I spoke with totally “got” where I was coming from and encouraged me to explore this passion more. They didn’t make me feel silly for trying design or attending designer events before I even really learned Photoshop [ which was absolutely needed. It took me a glass of wine to get myself there, and even then I was tremendously nervous being among real designers. Furthermore, there is nothing worse than someone making your dreams feel silly ].  One mentor told me that the former president of AIGA DFW didn’t get into design until he was 25, and now he owns his own branding shop. BOOM.

Another certain mentor instructed me to fully immerse myself in design. Read about it, try it out and continue to attend these networking events. So, that is what I intend to do. I have all the programs, YouTube has the free education, and so now all I need to do is, in the words of Nike, Just Do It.

 I can’t wait.

Photo credit (1)

Movin’ on up..to the cit-ay

Long story short, after I graduated from college, I took a job in Arizona. Hated it, quit, and moved back to Dallas to pursue the career path I wanted. 10 months of steaming milk at Starbucks and interning later, I finally landed a fantastic job at a fantastic ad agency doing exactly what I want to do. I’ve reached that point in my post-college life where I can take a deep breathe and love where I am. Anyways, the point is I’ve moved into a beautiful apartment in a beautiful area and I was neurotically planning my room weeks [ okay, months ] before I actually moved in, or signed a lease for that matter. This is the inspiration board I came up with prior to move in..

And.. Ta Da! Here is what the place looks like post move in. The two huge windows I have in my room are lust worthy. It’s like having two giant pieces of artwork. My view of trees and England-style brick is simply heaven.

I should note that the frame with the postcards is not yet complete.. I still have some Instagram photos to print! And I am also still pining for that elephant tea pot above.. it’s everything. I think I’d like to have something draped from the ceiling. Like dark wood circles on hemp hanging like Christmas lights at a wedding reception in a tent – not to be specific. Also, the dresser and the knobs I’ve purchased for it still require a trip to the hardware store..

Let me know what you think or any suggestions – decorating is a life long process after all 🙂

Sarah’s List

The list goes on and on due to an overwhelming desire to do, see, learn (and meticulously organize) everything. Somewhere along the line of growing up, people seem to accept this idea that we have to pick one thing in life to be, to do. But why limit yourself when there are so many great things and great people to experience them with? So here’s to doing it all and (hopefully) doing it well.

Below illustrates some of what “all” is for me. You can tell a lot about someone by their priorities and dreams; Lydia and I hope sharing some of ours will help you get to know us!

photo credit (from left, down):  1 | personal | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Lydia’s List of to do’s

Sarah and I decided to make “to do” lists. In addition to enjoying our lives to the fullest, we don’t want to forget about those big things. The big ones that require planning, saving and vacation time. True to our nature, we are covering all of our bases.

I make New Years resolutions every year. I never remember them as they are usually decided moments before I fall to sleep and typically involve weight, exercise and “do less” of something. I much prefer to refer to this list as a “To Do” list. I love to do lists. I live for to do lists. Any kind of lists, really. The feeling of drawing that clean, straight line through an accomplished task or activity is like having a piece of chocolate (which is not to say that upon crossing something out on a list you shouldn’t celebrate with a Dove Dark Chocolate. You most absolutely should).

Anyhoo. My list is more for the next two or so years. I feel my interests are constantly changing. For instance as of today I have no interest in deserts in the least. But who knows, maybe in a few years I’ll be yearning to ride a good camel.

Without further adieu, my list.