… that makes you feel alive.
with integrity, purpose, and love.
I have been longing to write, but I have been excusing myself from doing so. I am just going to type freely, because in writing I find answers to questions I never even knew I had. Basically, this is my disclaimer to butchered, politically incorrect, and purely raw Dawn. Judge me.
The other day I was hanging out/voluntarily working with my best San Diego discovery, Lynnia Shanley. Being so far away from my best friend Kalyn on the east coast, Lynnia has been my west coast inspiration. We seem to share a common gratefulness for having crossed paths. With separate goals in mind we share a lot of similar ambition and are learning that two minds are greater than one. As we each embark on our separate discoveries we help each other in our commonalities and also prepare to become future business partners, so watch out world 😉
Anyway returning to the story—Lynnia and I were hanging out and after she used the men’s bathroom of the building we were in because the female facilities were momentarily offensive and I realized I was trained and restricted to gender roles. I would have never thought to go to the men’s restroom while the little girls room uhhh improved? I would have waited, which was silly because this was an empty building. Why did an outlined symbol of a man restrict me from going in? Some rules are meant to bend, especially if it’s not hurting anyone. What a strange realization and even stranger scenario that got me there. It did however remind me to keep an open mind and to not always listen to the drawn lines inside the box.
So the other day I was working when I met this guy CLICK HERE, an unexpected conversation and pleasant exchange of acquaintance. I was working for Wyndham (my LinkedIn with some info on the job) at the ACS Home event at the convention center downtown. Myself and another young colleague were practicing our pitch and Ted humored us as he knew that there was no interest in our product. And after he listened he applauded our efforts and reminded us to keep going and keep working hard and to learn everything we could from our lowly totem poled position.
Seriously, the responsibilities and tasks of our position are difficult and exhausting and negatively wearing (if you allow it to get to you). It is a high stress performance job with a high turnover because unless you have thick skin and a mental shield people will wear you thin.
Anyway – there were a couple things from our conversation with Ted that I liked. First was that he told the guy I was working with and myself that we were young, attractive, and smart. What flattering compliments! He told us that we were in the business of ourselves. So I am the business of Dawn, whatever standards I hold to myself is that of my own and what I exhibit will determine the results. He also said to always remember “Why Not.” Whatever the pursuits why not go for it.
He’s right, so what if failure is to be met because failure is only complete if nothing was tried or learned. He also looked at me specifically and basically implied because I was female my challenges would be a bit more challenging and to not let it get me down. Why not live the life I want for myself. So simple right? It’s funny how everyday the simple reminders are needed to keep motivated and moving forward.
On that note my once again revived attitude and newly restored perspective… I am in the business of good conversation, genuine relations, and honest pursuits. And while lately I’ve been exposed to a lot of ill intention, I have to remember that my life is my decision and the influence of others will not take away from whom I am. I feel like people perceive my kindness as naïve. I would almost have been convinced it were true if I never took the time to gauge and reflect on my own success and growth.
I am more experienced than most care to take the time to learn and I pick my battles and strategize my own defense. I’m learning that the closer I get to my own successes the more haters really do exist. And well that’s okay because they’re not brining me down. And at this turning point in my life (25 really is a mile stone) I may be a little intimidated, but I have the strength to hold my own. Oh! And most importantly of all that I am in the business of, I am in the business of play 🙂 I feel even as an adult, play is not a learning curve limited to the little tykes.
MY LIFE IN ITS CURRENT MOMENT People seem to draw this misperception of the “perfect” life I live. I get envy for my display of happy. I never realized, until I thought about it, how difficult happy is to have. People think I’m flawlessly drawing success in California because I’m pretty, confident, and so well put together. The truth is that I am a hundred fails before a stride forward, a young struggle and a beaten fighter that just won’t stay down. Like everything in life, my happiness is a practice and something I work hard for, so it is earned.
The older I get the more I realize that the term “free” is a loose conception, all good things of life must be earned. I want to share how I keep myself happy with 3 jobs, full agenda, and overwhelming lifestyle. DAWN’S METHOD OF HAPPINESS All I know is what I know so take what you want from what I share or don’t. And do every stupid thing that makes you feel alive.
I’m going to narrow it down to 5 key practices that are simple but still a task themselves.
1) Movement—I feel like I am a combination learner between audio, visual, and kinesthetic, kinesthetic being the most important practice. I feel physically and mentally exhausted when I post up in a room behind a screen for several hours at a time. I react better with a range of movement and exploration. So I like to go for walk or surf or bike and just maneuver and explore.
2) Talking to strangers—I know this has always been discouraged, especially as children, but I’ve always been stubborn and my manner of “listening” meant not listening to mom, sorry mom! I LOVE stories and I like to learn from other peoples mistakes before I make decisions for my own. I feel like history of whatever is what pushes individual growth and expansion forward. And I always feel special when someone shares with me significant moments and discoveries of their own. And the more I talk to strangers the more I learn to understand people and myself.
3) Writing— writing is my discovery and outlet. It’s me bare and exposed. While this is one of my greatest fears it is also my accepted challenge. I’m happy challenging myself. I’m happy exposing myself because I don’t want to be embarrassed of who I am and I want to be the voice for those who are. And I want a good relationship built through understood communication. Maybe I’m not the strongest vocally but written I can express myself best. I’m working on my vocals but for now I find my voice in writing, why not strengthen what is mine?
4) Eating Healthy—well first I’d like to note that when I am hungry I am the most unpleasant being to be around. I am like the wet gremlin (yep I just made that reference). I get grumpy and caught in this weird clouded mindset. Anyway my body and mind feels much happier when I eat clean. I hate how I feel after fast food or deep battered clogged arteries dishes. I like when I crave veggies and fruit as apposed to burgers from McDonalds (the broke college kids diet).
5) Triple D’s—Doodling, Dancing, And Driving. Yeah that was all fully improved off my head because I’m getting tired, but I do enjoy each of those D derived words. There ya have it, my five, off the top of my head tactics of happy. I also like to look at cute animal pictures
OH AND HOW COULD I FORGET? Volunteering — Check out my article for URBAN ANGELS this month, amazing people I interviewed! It’s crazy I’ve been self-revising in my head how to share my odd ability to be happy, my positive energy. Then I watch these TED TALK series for the first time and literally my jaw drops. Each speaker reveals something I learned by personal experience and put it together so eloquently to be understood. AND THEN I’ve fallen in love all over again because people I relate to inspire me and what inspire me excites me 🙂 And when I am happy, well I’m HAPPY.
I feel like I’m on track again and that I’m strengthening my calling which is to help. I guess I just wrote all that because I feel like large majorities of people actively using social media create this envy and jealousy of others based off the depiction of a perfect life. There is no such thing as perfect unless perfect is a humbled acceptation of imperfect.
Social Media is the highlight of people’s life and people aren’t going to be displaying photographed tears of themselves after their grandmother died or their significant other left them or how they felt when the credit card company was hounding for payment…. at least for the most part people won’t. I’m sure there is someone out there that disproves my made up scenarios and theory. I feel like I became this unannounced pedestal vicariously lived through (social media), aesthetically voiced depiction of —happy—.
People seem to falsely believe that my life is cotton candy and doubled rainbows. What is reviewed on social media skins the hard work, very hard work, it takes to have those moments captured by digital pixels. Yes, I do live an incredibly fun life filled with a lot of light, but because I am human I have my moments in the dark and personal struggles. I don’t always have confidence in what I am doing or how I feel about myself. I am the epitome of a broke young adult trying to break into the business and I sometimes feel like I am too old to be struggling and that I should already have my sh*t together.
I have to bring myself back everyday and remind myself of each little earned success and change my perception of the situations before me. My happiness is an everyday decision that is not always met but definitely strived for. And I would be lying if I didn’t say the pursuit of happiness wasn’t exhausting. It should be exhausting because it balances out the gratefulness of its achievement.
Sometimes when I am tired I wish for a hero. I wish for my idealized man with the warm eyes, convincing grin, and inviting humor that is just the perfect kind of awkward I like. I wish for the gentleman hands and the conversations that carry further than what is physically, humanly, capable of reach. I wish for the outside thinker that is going to surprise me not by what can be bought but thought. And I wish for the man that doesn’t have to say a word for me to understand that no matter where we are, neither of us is alone.
Because when I am tired and physically pushed to a crooked hip and what feels like a tangled muscle back, all I want is that man whose voice is the perfect distraction and sound of comforting reason. And he’d save me with out a cape because his subtle actions were enough to heal my own thoughts. And his hugs would wrap better than a swaddled baby, because I like hugs that are comforting. When I don’t feel well I am pitiful. I hate being “miss independent” and I just want to be taken care of. When I am weak it truly reminds me how human I am and that Wonder Woman was only a costume I wore to Dragon Con.
What I find so fascinating about all that I just wrote is that in my head the hero is a man. And I can’t help but wonder why is that? I’ll tell you why, f*cking Disney movies! I was a Disney movie fanatic as a child and remember one Christmas where all I got was Disney tapes. I blame the Disney creative for my fairy tale mind. And the media created gender roles of women infused in my mind from too much television as a child. I also blame romantic comedies and girl talk… girls always want to talk about weddings and babies and shopping and junk.
Anyway—enough about the hero talk because I only occasionally get impatiently girly and await my fairytale. Then I remember… f*ck that, create it 🙂 A friend the other day told me we were both “searchers.” I agreed but I didn’t like that is all he had to say about us. I told him being a searcher is not enough. I am a searcher but I am a creator. Recently I’ve been exploring a lot, feeling a little lost as I try to figure out where I belong, but along the way I have discovered me… my tolerance for life, strengths, weaknesses, and what makes me happy.
I’m transitioning from the searching and starting to create. I am prioritizing the importance of my life, sifting the connections and letting go of those who add no value to me. I’m taking learned experiences and trying to apply the lessons. I’m making decisions and I’m not allowing myself to be stagnant or influenced to remain. This friend of mine, he wanders and that is great but he’s quite lost in excuses, influences of others, and self restrained ties to roles of restrictive responsibilities… and irresponsibility’s. And while this all sounds judged, it is. I wish I could let this person see the potential I see in him and that he’d just be honest and vulnerable.
But tonight I’m realizing this person has to be removed from my life for personal reasons. Damn it. Life lessons. BAHHHHH it felt so good to let the keyboard go. I have to write it out write it out. Packing my life into a bag and moving away from comfort zone and safety net was the best decision of my life. I don’t have it all figured out but I am much closer. And the more I learn that who I am and how I feel is my right. And I’m a pretty rad chick, with good intentions, and I am proud of who I am and what I’m in the business of. And I’m wondering if this will make sense when I am not tired. What did I just write to get to 5 pages?! Geeze. Whoever made it to the end of this, kudos.