College vs Self Taught

I typically learn what interests me and keep knocking out my crazy ideas. It’s what works for me. Now I’ve seen what conventional education can do and boy, am I jealous. I wish it had worked out, but you play the hands you’re dealt and make best of any situation.

Getting Uncomfortable

I think I’ve mentioned it before, my slight obsession with being uncomfortable and chasing growth. Sometimes the uncomfortable undeniably needs to happen on its own, and sometimes you go out chasing it because well it’s exciting and it gets your blood pumping. I feel like we all get to a point where we get stuck in a rut and decide that that rut is ok to settle into. We become constantly tired and drained with no real stimulation. Day in and day out, your normality becomes your prison.

You have to get to a point where that comfort doesn’t serve you anymore. You have to shake off that old tired skin and mentality and f*ck shit up. Whether that’s learning something new, reaching out for a new opportunity (friend or project or both), or going out to wander a new area. You need to get uncomfortable every once in a while to shake out the cobwebs and let in some new light, or dark, in. Sometimes growth can take a dark turn and hurt you, but it’s still growth. The Yin to the Yang, the devil to your angel, the dark to the light, it’s all in the balance of what you need at that moment in your life.

Recently I’ve been getting more uncomfortable, speaking my truth (blunt bitchiness and kindhearted unloading), investing in not holding things in and even got time in front of the camera with my friend and fellow photographer Andrew Barber. If you know me, you know I’m not a fan of being in front of the camera, it’s cringe worthy and has made me physically ill, with that being said… I’m sorry clients that hate it as well, but I try and make it fun for you, right?

Anywho back to the shoot… it was fun, uncomfortable (in all the good ways) and the results have been astonishing (which is no surprise when you work with a talented photographer, please check his work out and give him a follow!). I felt great and although going into it I was nervous as heck, I held my head high and made some shit happen. I learned a lot from it as well. I had asked Andrew for some posing mentoring and he was an amazing source of information. “Posing” me like I knew what I was doing, which I most certainly did not. He was a gentleman and patient, gave me a pep talk when I needed it and a kick in the arse when I needed to get out of my head.

“You’re fine, and you’re doing great,” she said before winking and phasing back into me.

That brings me to my next point in this uncomfortable post: what you perceive as uncomfortable and life altering, others can see as strength, inner beauty and inspiration. I’m not saying I inspired Andrew, but with this share I hope to inspire some people into taking at step in growth. I believe our voices and actions can give others strength, as well as yourself to do more of it. While Andrew captured some beautiful imagery, I still felt like a made up awkward blob. My eyes heavy with false lashes, my hair ‘naturally’ wavvy and big around a face that was covered in a well placed mask of make up and dramatic eyeliner. This bit of armor made me feel comfortable enough to look at the camera, which at one point I could see myself in the lens… and boy, that reflection took a nice hold of me and shook me up. “You’re fine, and you’re doing great,” she said before winking and phasing back into me.

So where ever you are in life, whether its in the throws of your own uncomfort or needing to make the jump. Do it! There is no growth in the mundane, so shed a skin and get uncomfortable, because that’s where the magic happens.

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways and truer answers.”

-M. Scott Peck

Photography by Andrew Barber

Instagram @blurredimage77

I was flown out to Oregon

I was flown out to Oregon

“I took pictures, checked off names, drove an old Ford truck (because I was the only other one on the team who could drive a stick, thank you hunny for making me look like a badass), took more pictures, played with smoke bombs, sat in the middle of a motocross track”

My friend Ana

My friend Ana

. Now Ana isn’t one to believe in magick or the witchiness of her craft, but to see her mixing and creating something that actually heals is Magic. It’s a craft that we can trace our medical roots to, taking from the land and using it to heal. Oils, herbs, flowers, clay, and so many other offerings that she transforms into something that’s great for the body and spirit.

#makeshithappen

What does #makeshithappen mean to me?

I say it a lot, but what is it exactly? Where did it come from? And why do I say it?

It is a mantra for me now, but it was a term I used when I introduced myself to a large group of women that I had helped get together. In my head, I knew this introduction was going to happen, but it was in the midst of me trying to figure out what I actually did where it came up… “I just make shit happen.” I had a wide variety of skills that I would sum up as an Assistant,. But I did so much more. I helped get an idea into action, I help organize, I see what friends want to do and give them something tangible; a flyer, a website, a logo, a secretary, an organizer of stuff, a photographer, a designer, anything. I could figure out the big picture and break it up into something I could make happen. I was a creator… am a creator. And I will honestly say that I love saying it.

I #makeshithappen.

Because that’s exactly what I do, in a nutshell I make things happen. I have had a wide variety of jobs, and it’s funny how they all taught me something and I have been able to funnel it into a career. Life lessons, addictions (to social media), work experience, and passions have lead me to what I do now and have built a career out of.

I am a content creator who specializes in Branding and Social Media Strategy. I create brands for businesses who don’t have a clear identity. I refine websites that need to say a little more. I can help you figure out a strategy for your business to market yourself like the badass business it is. And, I just #makeshithappen, but empowering you to just get started.

Now if the term #makeshithappen offends, well then #sorrynotsorry. You are not my target market. I want to work with people who need a little kick in the ass to make their dreams come true. I want to work with people who need a little spit shine to get their sparkle back. And I want to work with people who have a fire up their ass, that’s just looking for someone to believe in them and their idea.

So please reach out if you’re in the market for a boost in your business, and check out my website if you’re still wondering what I actually do.

What quitting college 3 times has taught me.

I should be embarrassed about this little factoid of mine, but I'm not. Each one of those times I attended and had to walk away from it all happened for a reason. There was something going on in my life that made me pull away and I'll talk about it below, but again no shame. Life is funny and we are all just bumping along.

The first time I quit I was going to my hometown college, College of the Desert. It was straight out of high school, that summer actually. I jumped right in and had no idea what I wanted to do, so General Education was my focus during that time. Ticking off the pre-requisites to take the fun classes. I was happy to reconnect with a middle-school friend of mine, but school wasn’t my focus, work was. I quit in the middle of my first fall semester and turned my focus to making money at a minimum wage job. The following year I moved out to San Diego.

After living in San Diego for a year I convinced myself to go back to school, Mesa Community College. A beautiful campus that made me feel good about restarting this journey. First semester was of course full of fillers, somewhat boring classes. But there was new people surrounding me, it was a very uncomfortable comfort. I also knew what I wanted my focus to be (temporarily), so the classes had a different feeling. I was able to see school in real time, a way to take in what I was learning and how it could be used with my business, which at the time was a t-shirt company I was going to start with my sister and BFFL Jessica. In my 2nd semester I actually signed up for an Intro to Fashion, I was in deep, but this semester also lead me to a current love. Graphic Design. I took and Adobe Photoshop class that blew my mind. Unfortunately hardships happened to me and my then Fiancé (now husband) and I had to quit in the middle of that semester. So we could move back home.

My last try at college was recently, a few years ago I enrolled at Copper Mountain College. A friend of mine had broken down the loan system and encouraged me to enroll, I could learn a little something while also getting a decent income to balance home life and school life. It was fun! The campus was cute and open to the vibrant desert, I loved it. I jumped back into my writings because of a great English Professor, which ended up following me to the next semester. I also got to learn coding (for a short stint I wanted to do computer science. Ha!) And then during my 3rd semester my little family hit another hardship, my husband lost his job and then the same day my computer broke. I tried to hold on to the semester as much as I could, dropping one class and then another and then all of them. I had switched gears from schooling to working as much as I could to keep us afloat. Husband took this time to be at home and plan out his next chapter.

I reflect on all these different times a lot. During my last bout, at CMC, I remember sitting in my Intro to Art class. The professor asked "how many of you consider yourselves intellectuals?" I'm a thinker and love discussing, so I confidently raised my hand. To my surprise I was the only one, besides the professor, that sat in a class of about 30 with a raised hand.. This wrapped up my college career with a bow. I knew then that it wasn’t for me. I hate the way college works. Sign up, Buy the expensive books. Listen to Prof discuss the expensive books. Read from the expensive books. Test from the expensive books. Oh and let's not forget about the group projects. This is not what I fantasized about higher learning. I wanted great discussions, I wanted lots of connections, and I wanted a group of classmates that actually thought they were intellectuals.

So between times in college, I taught myself. I would come up with an interest and would immerse myself in all things it, and become obsessed. College wasn’t for me, and that’s ok. I found a way I could learn about my interests and made it work for me, resources are out there and it’s funny how easy it is to learn anything. I'm currently fully enrolled in YouTube University, to sharpen my skills as a storyteller and creator. I have great professors, a variety of material and discussions I can have and the ability to reach out to my fellow creators, locally or virtually. I make my own hours and my own calendar. I can break when I want to, and fine tune any lesson as much as I wish. And I started a business in that time.

I found a way around the educational system that has been setting the rules of how it must be done, but as we keep moving forward we should look back on how it was done before, by showing and telling. We traded services for goods, goods and services that were created from lineage and pride. Craftsmen and Artisans ran the world, and slowly we are moving towards that way again. Things that last and are made with heart are rising up. It’s not about the 9 to 5 or the degree, it’s about work ethics and end product.

So if you’re having a hard time getting into normal schooling and career paths, don’t be scared to chase those interests. Be creative and sneak it into your life, because there’s a reason why you’re restless about this idea. Read books, listen to podcasts, watch YouTube (seriously you can learn ANYTHING on YouTube), but just #makeshithappen.

Meeting Gillian

Meeting Gillian

Looking around her space, it’s noticeably a fortress to her, a place where she is safe from herself as well as the outside world. A horse towering over the property, a Pegasus made of bike metal ready to charge at any intruders. A labyrinth of treasures old, and stories told. She’s not a damsel in distress though, a quote sits at the window of her work station inside the airstream stating so, “Don’t fashion me a maiden that needs saving from a dragon. I am the dragon, and I will eat you whole.” A powerful statement from a fragile woman, living in the middle of the desert hardened by her surroundings.

What are my Goals?

It’s been almost a month since writing my last creative prompt, but I will mention that it’s been a mixture of busy and just getting shit done. I’ve been wanting to write but have been finding myself more apt to read. Which is fine. I let my mind take what it needs, there is no reason to force a writing when the words are still brewing. Or maybe it’s because the thoughts are elsewhere, in the many tasks that need to get done. Whatever it was, I’m here now. Just letting the words type out of me.

But back to the prompt, what are my goals. A question I’ve actually been mulling over since I’m closing a chapter as of today. Sending in my final invoice for administrative work. Assisting work. Work that I have found myself moving away from because of how much worth my time has now. Now that I think I have found my niche or my niche has finally settled around me. Photography and creating things with friends and family. Helping them create things, making shit happen. I’m a fucking fish and I cannot sit still for fear of drowning, that's a fact. And so instead of finding normality in regular work, I have found that I thrive in moving from one project to another. Things finding me or me knocking on some random door. What I’ve learned is that what comes for me is meant for me and what is not, I shouldn’t go chasing after it….. unless I really really want it. Because bitch, you better believe I can manifest some awesome shit.

 

My goals as of now are…

To enjoy the life being presented to me, to ride the ride of uncertainty.

To teach my children as best as I can and let them make decisions that are best for them.

To keep learning and expanding on my skills.

And to make sure that the influence I have been blessed with, is positive and nurturing.