Tag Archives: inspiration

Saturn’s Return…what?

 

saturn_malmercassini_5mRecently, things have started shifting in life. Things are becoming clearer and I’m figuring out where I need to be, both mentally and spatially. I eventually had a moment where I had to stop and just say “what is happening?”.

In order to chill, I was working through season 7 of “Parks and Recreation” on Netflix.  At this juncture, the series does a time skip and cuts ahead a few years.  With this jump, it turns out April is 29 and questioning what she really wants to do in her life- she wants to follow her dream but is struggling to figure out what it is. She is discussing this with Donna, who says that she’s at the point that Saturn is returning and that’s why she is seeking change.

I paused the show and quickly did a google search; Donna was right…according to Wikipedia

Western astrologers believe that, as Saturn “returns” to the degree in its orbit occupied at the time of birth, a person crosses over a major threshold and enters the next stage of life. With the first Saturn return, a person leaves youth behind and enters adulthood.

Welp, that explains it.  I also researched further (ok, continued googling some more) and it further broke down the return to Saturn into each astrological sign.  Even though I don’t normally read a whole bunch into this, it pointed out that as a Cancer, this time would be about self confidence and- well, hello.

I have spent so much time lately asking people’s opinions on things and looking for approval from others. I have also been stepping out of my comfort zone more so than normal and working on not asking for others’ thoughts as well- it’s a give and take that’s going on day to day right now. I’m okay with that. Having said that, if I tend to ask your thoughts a lot on things, just know that you are a trusted person and I’m working on chilling it out a bit. When I’m a little more situated in what I’m doing and where exactly I’m going, it will slow down, I promise.

There’s just something about being on the edge of something, on the precipice of what is ahead.  I am so excited about what the next year or so is going to bring- a new home, new friends, what feels like a whole new life.  I’m working on following my dream, just like April was seeking to do on Parks and Rec. It’s time… time jump off the deep end because I know I’ll be able to swim.

March Tunes

Growing up, music was my constant. I started going to concerts sporadically in high school at an all ages local venue and graduated to going to concerts sometimes 3 nights a week in college- now I wonder how I ever stayed up that late.

 

The types of tunes and my appetite for them hits in waves and I’ve recently hit a moment where I’m really digging on some records.  For the longest, I was listening to a whole bunch of Disney parks background loops and music. Sometimes I’d just be in a mood for straight up nothing playing. Sometimes it’s some funky stuff. Sometimes I just want to listen to the greatest pop songs around. It varies by the day & my mood.  I have recently purchased a few songs and records off of Itunes and wanted to give a quick rundown here and share why I’m loving them so much….

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  1. Katy Perry- “Chained to the Rhythm” (single): I can’t even. I don’t know why I love this so much, but I have been listening to it non stop. When I was visiting Florida, we spent time at the Parliament House and this song stuck out to me as we were hanging out in the top 40 room. I also loved her performance of it at this year’s Grammy awards. I have a tendency to not always like the most popular stuff, so it’d make sense her lesser known single would be what I gravitate to. Loss gives props to “the first two seconds” where there’s a vaporwave vibe. No matter the genre, I’m chained to this song being on repeat.

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      2) The XX- “I See You”: I listened to the XX’s first album on loop in college but my musical world changed and I didn’t really have a college station to listen to when I moved back to Chattanooga, so I missed out some.  This February the XX dropped this album and some of the tracks are staples on OTR when they play some tunes at the top of the hour. I love that you can tell exactly who the XX is when you hear the song.  On the same Katy Perry finding trip, we spent some time just hanging out, listening to this record (perhaps on repeat) and I was hooked. Granted, it made me have a little bit of an emo moment and we had to turn it off, but still.  I couldn’t get enough of it and committed to buying it off itunes, which is saying a lot about how much I dig something.

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3) Jennifer Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda “Love Make the World Go Round” (single): After my experience visiting the Pulse memorial and delving more into the simple but profound speech from Lin-Manuel sharing the ultimate truth that “Love is love is love is love…”, I was brought to this song. Once again, it’s a tune I’d heard a few times before but I finally dove into and paid the $1.29 for it.  I’m so glad that I did- the title is a sentiment that I strive to keep in head daily and it’s just an awesome song. I love that it was also created as a link to the Latino community, released 2 weeks or so after the event at Pulse that affected the community so much.  Did I mention it’s catchy as all get out and will get in your head forever and you’ll be ok with it staying there? Yeah, you’ve been warned, now get ready to dance.

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4) Moana the film soundtrack and score: I’ve been feeling this record since seeing the song.  While the song was great and I loved the story, I think I love the soundtrack even more.  Of course, there’s the Lin-Manuel connection again (I just love him, I can’t help it).  Lin worked on most of the songs and can even be heard on the track “We Know the Way” that is used in the film. I also love being able to pick up his style in the Maui song that borders on a rap, “You’re Welcome”.  Besides having some awesome fingerprints on the songs, the lyrics are fantastic.  “How Far I’ll Go” is, in my opinion, much better than the stupid huge “Let it Go” from Frozen two years back.  If you don’t believe me, watch the performance that Auli’i Cravalho gave on the Oscars. Homegirl is 16 and belted a song like that, live, and killed. The track makes me emotional. It’s great. Plus the score is great to fold laundry to, in case you were wondering.

 

So that’s just a few things I’ve been listening to lately…I’m not looking to get as crazy & dive in as hardcore as I did in college, but I’m pretty proud of my newer finds I’ve listed here. Is there anything you love that I should make sure not to miss out on?

A Visit to Pulse, March 2017

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I woke up June 12, 2016 and was scared. After a quick scan through my social media, I found out about the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.  The first thing that came to mind was a good friend and if he had been present that night. I knew he went out to some of the clubs in town and I hadn’t heard him mention it directly, but it was a possibility.

Thankfully, I sent a message and heard back pretty quickly- he was ok, but 49 fellow LGBTQ+ community members and supporters were not ok. This hit me hard.  The terrorist attack in Chattanooga in 2015 happened (one of the locations) 3 miles or less from my front door, the attacker lived in my in law’s neighborhood, but Pulse hurt so so so much more. I was close with someone who could have very easily been there- I found out later he only went Wednesdays. I am so thankful for this.

This month, I finally made my pilgrimage. I planned a visit to my friend and get shown the lay of the Orlando land- honestly I knew way too much about new building permits and roads that I’d never seen, so it was time to finally make it happen. On the top of my list was visiting Pulse and paying my respects to all of those taken too soon.

The trip finally came around and Orlando won my heart. Head over heels won my heart. Part of that is the community that I felt. On a Friday night, we planned to visit Pulse. As we drove through downtown, we went past the hospital and my friend pointed out the ER that people were taken to. My stomach was in knots. We drove a few more blocks to an area I’d seen on the news, that is until I couldn’t handle it anymore and had to turn the tv off the year before. We parked the car and as we walked towards the club’s parking lot, I told him “I might need a hug in about three minutes”.  He simply responded that we both would.

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As we walked up to the fenced in building, I was surprised that I didn’t cry. There was no one else around at that point but there were candles burning, freshly lit. People had left many mementos of remembrance and sorrow and love and celebration. All along the fence were pieces of art that had been created specifically for this place. Visitors had written all along these and left messages of hope.

One of the things that sticks out so much to me is the speech that Lin-Manuel Miranda gave at the Tony Awards in 2015, which happened to occur on the same evening as the early morning attack. Lin gave an eloquent speech with the memorable sentiment of “Love is Love is Love is Love is Love”. I remember watching this speech as he gave it live on tv, tears streaming down my face.

On the top of one of the tarps, my friend pointed out where it had been written in large letters: “Love is Love is Love”.

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I had painted a pride flag and carried it 500+ miles to find where I it felt it belonged. I placed it on top of a podium that had pictures of the fallen on the base and their names listed on the top. It was hard to read but their faces did enough talking.  My friend came over and pointed out where the door in was and where the bathrooms where that people hid out in. I knew I was really there but I didn’t feel like I was really there, just on the other side of that fence.

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My friend hadn’t been even past the club since before the attack. I felt bad dragging him out there, but in hindsight, I am so glad that he was who I went to this place with. We hugged and held hands. I tried to somehow squeeze some sort of relief to him through hugs, but I’m not sure how well it worked. I do know that I was a lucky person to be able to support of a friend I care so deeply about in a moment that was harder than I will even ever know.

As we walked around, I took a few photos of the things people had left to honor those beautiful people that we lost. I couldn’t bring myself to take a photo of the club’s sign, though. I had seen it so many times on TV and photos and refused to take yet another image of it. I felt like if I took a photo, I was simply a tourist and seeing it simply because I was in Orlando. That would have bothered me more than anything else.

After about 20 minutes, a handful of people showed up (a Friday around 10 pm, mind you) and we decided it was time to move along. I made sure to tell my friend multiple times thank you for taking me to this place and for helping me go through the emotions I had, even from so far away.

It took some time to reflect on our visit, but I realized the next night, sitting by myself, looking at a lake at a Disney World hotel, what it left me with. Seeing the candles lit, people coming by to pay their respects and all of the words of encouragement and hope that had been left, it was about LOVE. Love and Hope.

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We live in a world where bad things happen and people ban together sometimes afterwards. The feeling and everything I saw in Orlando is one of unity. One of the things my friend told me that night was how much the city totally came together when this terrifying act occurred. There were insanely huge crowds at the city wide memorial at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center to celebrate these lives last June. I saw the photos. I didn’t start to get the monstrosity of the size of things until I was riding through the area. I will never ever know the full monstrosity of these events, but I look forward to joining the Orlando community, being an ally, showing loving and doing whatever I can to make it a better place. I have felt if from afar, I’ve seen it felt by someone who is part of it and I hope to never forget what happened but remember and celebrate these lives and all of those they touched.  

 

Hero Mode: an Ode to Her Universe

Life can get crazy and times can be hard, but it’s always nice to find comfort in things that are around day to day.

Recently life has found a way to throw a lot at us with car issues, the end of the semester for Loss, the craziness of the oncoming holidays and weird work schedules, but I decided some self care was needed to stay (somewhat) sane. So it’s been yummy hot chocolate drinks and episodes of Gilmore Girls to help take my mind off some things.  I’ve also been lucky to have some rad stuff going on, such as a friend from out of town coming through and meeting up with her one afternoon.

So how does Her Universe fit into this? The Hero Mode shirt from their Kohl’s work out collection from this past fall has helped with this self care and has added some confidence to my days. I’ve worn it a few times this week and it’s helped me to realize that I can be someone as awesome as Black Widow and power through and be the Hero for us.  It’s helped me keep my head up and try and be as positive as I can.

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So, here I am, staying Hero Mode and getting through everyday the best I can. And that’s totally good. Nothing going on is so serious that it can’t be handled. And I feel so much better knowing and remembering that.

Thanks for the confidence boost, Ashley Eckstein & all the Her Universe team!

Small Biz Saturday: Gary Vee Lessons

Most of the folks I’m close with have learned a new name in the past year or so- Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary Vee is an inspiration to me. He’s my champion, even though we may never meet. Gary Vee is a big part of why I’m freelancing and have a goal of making it my full time career.

Gary Vaynerchuk came to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1978 and grew his father’s liquor business as an adult.  He started the ground breaking Wine Library TV when the internet was a pretty new thing and was pumping out daily content, building his experience in  content creation and sales as well. Gary invested in Twitter, Uber and some other groundbreaking companies and started up his own company, VaynerMedia as well. He’s got lots going on. Did I mention he’s still churning out daily (pretty much all the time) content and consistently reaching out to his fan base? Because he is.

(An extra cool point for Gary Vee and VaynerMedia is their opening an office here in Chattanooga. It’s a little reminder that I am in a pretty cool place with rad opportunities that I might forget about sometimes- but if a company like that moves here, there’s clearly something good going on. It’s a really appreciated reminder, too.)

I’ve learned some lessons from this guy as I’ve taken in his vlogs, podcasts, keynote speeches, Instagram wallpapers, so much more (ok, admittedly not much of his books…but that’s soon to be rectified). So in all this content I’ve enjoyed and pondered, I’ve picked up a few bits of wisdom I’ve been putting to work- and I’d like to share them for today’s Small Biz Saturday.

You Have to Do the Thing

Gary has cemented this with me. When I started freelance writing earlier this year, Kevin Smith was the motivation to try it out. Gary Vee is part of why I keep doing it. He consistently talks about doing it and not quitting, not throwing in the towel. He talks about how there’s so many people with ideas out there- you’ve just got to do it. Truth.

Daily Content Matters

Working on social media for folks besides myself has really put this concept to work for me. It’s been a huge goal of mine to have a consistent calendar of content for both this blog/brand, as well as for all those folks I might do business with. Being reminded daily “hey,we’re still here” is a huge key for business and, while it can be challenging, it is worth it. If there’s no content, there’s no life to the brand or company. ‘Daily content matters’ is a daily affirmation I’ve learned from Gary and what he shares with the world.

Patience

I am not the most patient person by nature. At all. And lately this has popped up on my radar as I’m thinking about JLBNerdy and where I’d like to go next. My goal is to eventually make this social media marketing and writing into a full time, freelance job- my dream job. I’ve been lucky enough and am putting in the work to start down that road sooner than later, but I’ve already started to second guess myself. I’ve looked at moving from my more flexible job to another more permanent job and I know why- I’m scared and I’m not being patient. I decided to not jump right now and give this freelance thing more time- I’ve only been doing it really for a few months, since April at the earliest. Gary talks about spending years and years with Wine Library TV and putting the time in. That helps me remember to be patient and let things happen how they will- as long as I work and put my time in, I can make this work or figure out a way to make things work. I can be happy- that’s the end goal.

So there’s a few things that I’ve learned…there’s more but this post is long enough as it is. If you’re not afraid of a little salty language and some to the point messages, I highly suggest giving Gary Vee a listen/view/read. He’s been quite helpful in my process and I know he will be a resource for years to come.

Thanks, Gary.

xoxo

Jenny

Which Direction to Go: Writing Edition

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Drinking coffee, Pondering…

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. That’s just  a fact. I was lucky enough to connect with one of my high school english teachers via facebook last week and when briefly catching up, she told me she hoped I was writing still. That vote of confidence from someone who hadn’t seen me or read a word that I have written in ten years meant oh so much. Thank you, Mrs. Sparks. I will never ever forget the day you told me that I write casually & need to be a little less so when writing papers…look at what I’m writing now!

So that brings me to my main thought- I’ve been perusing my blogging board on pinterest & have been contemplating changes I can make to this thing. Not only in minor details, but also in a larger scale via the content I post. I also had a very well read post that was related to the Disney community lately & it has got me considering the amount of posts about Disney that I’ll be posting. There’s so much random knowledge & opinions & thoughts in my head about the Disney parks, films, characters, history, etc. that I want to share with you all. Obviously with the pending move down south, we’ll be quite close to Walt Disney World (admittedly some of the reason I’m wanting to move- my absolute dream job is there- but more on that later), but I want to make sure that this blog doesn’t turn into just a place to see the latest regurgitated Disney news.

So this post is just mainly to let you, dear reader, know that the wheels are constantly turning & ideas are churning & ever evolving. I’ve got some ideas for other projects to be included in the world that is this blog as well & am excited to hopefully get my laptop back up to 100% (my fan is shot) again & up the game with what there is to share.

Have any suggestions or thoughts on what I should post about? I’ll take any feedback- thanks for being a reader, too!

xoxo

Jenny