What Ever Happened to Field Trips?

I can’t remember the last time I went on a real field trip – maybe back in college? It seems like it all happened a long time ago. Back in the day at Hoover Middle School, me and 800 of my closest 8th grade friends were taken to the Exploratorium on the free day as our 8th grade graduation field trip. Classic SF middle school jam if I do say so myself. In high school I went on solo lead field trips to visit my friends at other schools down the block and sometimes as far away as Lowell, which was all the way across the city. Anything to get my Sunset snacks at Victor’s Bakery, Panda Express at Stonestown or UCSF on Parnassus. So many memories.

Just the other day the special place I get to show up at every day (Praytell) turned two! For a happy birthday adventure we all took an afternoon stroll up the block to our neighboring Brooklyn Museum. How lucky are we? I forget how peaceful and inspiring exploring the ins and outs of an epic museum can truly be – I want to do this more often. I took a few snaps, mostly of colorful paintings emulating the style and energy I’d be proud to hang in my own home. What can I say, I like what I like. I could have spent way more time in the Egypt exhibit – I even took a meditation break to take in some of the majestic history I sensed surrounding me.

I only go to museums now, for the most part, when people come visit me. Then we’ll go to the Met or the MoMa, walk through Central Park or Prospect Park, or maybe take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. A long time ago when I first visited NYC I remember taking a day to myself while my friend had class at Columbia to walk all the way downtown from Harlem. I stopped inside the Museum of the City of New York and even ran into Julia Stiles in the entrance – such an NY moment. Reading about the city’s history and Robert Moses’ vision for development was electrifying. I knew I had to live here one day. And here I am, nearly a decade later, still seeking museum dates and long adventurous strolls across Manhattan with no particular destination in mind.

Below:

  1. Georgia O’Keeffe – Brooklyn Bridge
  2. Jarrell A. Wadsworth – Revolutionary
  3. Kehinde Wiley – Saint Remi (check out more of Kehinde’s work and upcoming exhibitions on Artsy)

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Kehinde Wiley Saint remi

Expect the Unexpected

A friend of mine sends out an email blast at the beginning of each week, sometimes missing weeks here and there. These aren’t just any old newsletter notes. He sends a collection of empowering, inspiring quotes and overarching positivity-laden reminders of everyday wonder. Unrelated to this but perhaps not at all is my bus ride last night. Waiting for the B67 to take me up Park Ave to Vanderbilt so I could quickly make some salad for dinner before heading to my friends house for our second DJ lesson felt pretty normal. I got on the bus, an ordinary situation filled with other passengers eager to get to their respective destinations. It was, after all, still cold out – where is spring these days anyway. I think I see it creeping up!

Suddenly a voice sounded over the bus intercom. At first I thought it was someone’s cell phone blasting YouTube or some kind of audio book turned all the way up. To my surprise it was the bus driver. He started telling a story about how his daughter called him last night, and at first he thought she was just calling to ask for something. She went on to explain that you never know when everything could just simply stop, in a flash, in a moment where everything ends. Boom. You’re gone. She called to say she loves him and she’s grateful for everything he does for their family.

Next we heard about his six year old grandson whose teacher called one day to say, “Excuse me Mr. Campbell but did you know your grandson was praying in the cafeteria at lunch? We don’t pray anymore in public school but he was praying,” as if to elicit some kind of Pauloconcern. The bus driver retorted, “That’s all fine and well, what were you doing while this was happening Miss?” “I was praying alongside him,” she replied.

I don’t know if this bus driver shares these kinds of messages on every bus or on every day he’s driving, who knows. Maybe he’s a preacher by day and driving the bus is just his side hustle. Or maybe driving to him is the same as preaching – in doing so he’s helping to spread the gospel of love and gratitude to people who need it most. Sometimes I can get caught up in the distracted and stressful energy of NYC life, wherein everyone is moving so fast you can hardly tell where they’re headed anymore. Sometimes the rate race can feel normal when really its not even a race, since races usually have destinations or end points.

The bus driver reminded me to stop and take a moment to be where I am. Suddenly I wasn’t on my way home to rush through dinner and get through my nightly activities. Instead I was making eye contact with those around me similarly amused by the surprising outburst from our transportation provider. I conversed with a fellow rider on how awesome it was to be sharing in such a fun experience. We smiled at one another as we parted ways. I thanked the bus driver so much for his kind words. Could everyday be like this? Could each bus ride emulate the camaraderie and positivity felt on the B67 that night? I want it to not be so hard to remember these simple truths.

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It is within yourself that you will find strength. When we are broken wide open is when we are given the pivotal choice of tapping into our power.
– Odette Artime
“Getting it” means getting out of your own way.
– Chandra
“I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
― Maya Angelou
Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.
~E.B. White

Savvy Girls Know Their Personal Brand

UWIB BoardAt least I think I do! But there’s always room for improvement. Already lots of fun things happening on the UWIB NYC front this year, excited to be a part of such an amazing 2015 board making bold moves.

This evening’s content focuses on personal branding, finding your unique voice and navigating career challenges. We’ll welcome a presentation by personal branding expert The Lovely It Girl and then participate in small breakout sessions focused on developing your own personal brand. Come prepared to learn about the keys to living the personal and professional life you love (from the inside out!).

WHAT YOU’LL GET:

  • Actionable steps toward building your personal brand
  • Quality networking time with other UWIB NYC members and the new 2015 Board of Directors
  • Delightful snacks and drinks from our sponsors

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 25, 2014 at 6:30 p.m

LOCATION: WeWork Charging Bull, 25 Broadway, New York, NY 10004

Expecting a wonderful crowd. Will post learnings as a follow up. #FUN

Putting It Down To Pick It Back Up

Digital Detoxin

Oh my god you guys, I am taking a digital detox day off of social media. I even might have just tried to cheat on my own personal agreement with myself by almost typing in LinkedIn to do some lurking as though that wouldn’t completely count! Who am I?

I’m working from home today and its so far super productive and cozy working from a warm living room when it feels like arctic tundra just outside the window. Why the decision to detox, even if just for a day? Well I noticed I was spending so much time keeping up with the joneses and checking up on my updates, my own and my friends’ and just random events and curiosities – and lately always before bed. It would all start with a simple idea to check Facebook for an event update as I get a sense for my upcoming weekend calendar, then slowly there I go, falling back down the rabbit hole leading into all my other favorite haunts. Suddenly I look at the clock and notice a whole half an hour had passed, but where did it go?

I don’t want to let time pass me by like that, at least not for today. I feel programmed sometimes to be ultra-plugged in and connected to all plausible life updates in real time 24/7. It very well might be too much and like anything that gets overly indulgent perhaps to unhealthy degrees, its wise to go without for an intermittent amount of time to see what changes come from abstention. So far I’ve felt more focused on my work since I’ve multi-tasked way less than usual, I feel more present and I’ve even taken time to write a blog post, which – if you’re checking out my archives here – hasn’t happened in a hot minute (2.5 months, sadly). My incredible capacity for fomo has also subsided, maybe I’m growing out of it?

Here’s to getting re-focused on fun writing I love – it’s never too late to re-commit to the things that matter most. I love the image for this post so much. Sometimes it takes disconnecting completely to reconnect to what’s most important. Strip away the distractions and escape mechanisms so you can see what’s been trying to get your attention all along. Pick it back up again, hold tight and don’t look back.

Morning Gloryville NYC 7.16.14

image_2Set your alarm for 5:30am, or 5am if you’re super committed and mean serious business. Then lay out your most colorful, preferably glitter-clad, fit that you’ll feel comfortable in while busting out your fly-est possible moves. Encourage friends to join in the cause and readily accept moral support along the way, since getting up at the crack of dawn to rave is no easy feat. Group texts are helpful for discouraging your crew from abandoning the early wake-up call ship; be sure to lure friends with outfit pics begging feedback. You’ll be too excited to sleep (ever again).

Ring goes your alarm but chances are you’ve already just woke up, ready to greet the day head on. Today is a big day, after all. Get ready to hop the bus, train, bike, run over (again, only if you mean serious business), or hire a chauffer (oh, you fancy huh). Like they say, it doesn’t matter how you get there, what matters is that you show up. Upon first arriving to your Bushwick destination, you might likely think: “Wow, this is real seedy,” or, “I am definitely lost.” But fear not, follow the looming sounds of the vibrating house beats and you too will soon be disco dancing with the best.

At a cool 6:45am-ish I wasn’t totally sure if I was still dreaming or if I had stumbled into a Burning Man pre-compression party still in full force from the night before. But my intuition knew better. I had arrived and there was no turning back. The UK’s Morning Gloryville hosted its 4th NYC event this morning from 6:30am-10:30am at the most epic acrobatic (also art gallery / music video set / massage parlor / coffee shop / smoothie bar / rooftop yoga studio / magical wonderland) center Brooklyn has ever seen. According to personal preference, each guest is greeted with a high-five or hug before getting shown the inside-scoop on the morning’s various attractions, sights, and sounds.

Don’t worry, if you get tired of dancing to ultimate house music with live drum circle
accompaniment, you can always check out the rope swing with the option-to-land-in-a-trampoline-over-a-ball-pit or climb onto a platform to switch up the scenery and dance with the mile-high club perched up above. Raves these days come with all sorts of negative connotations, which is why Morning Gloryville stands out with its substance-free fun policy completely fueled by coffee (Brooklyn Roasting Company represent), delicious smoothies and unlimited positive vibes. If you find that living the absolute embodiment of #yolo appealing, then this might be the place for you. Spice up your morning gym routine, kick your life up a notch. What are you waiting for?

Follow @GloryvilleNYC on Twitter and Facebook for more updates!

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Note to Self: Getting Real Meta

Super Fly Hammer Time.It’s pretty late and I’m tying up some work related loose ends, all the meanwhile keeping Mad Men on in the background and occasionally checking in to stay up to speed. Then suddenly it hit me. I’m living the Mad Men dream right now. I live in NYC and I feel pretty at home here, which some might say is the hardest part of all. Plus I get to work in a pretty cool creative field keen on mastering the art of perspective shifting and pushing various envelopes.

It didn’t happen overnight. Nothing does. Even things that feel like they’re meant to be I think don’t happen overnight. Sometimes I feel fortunate enough to tune into the moments when it just feels like everything I’ve done leading up to this point makes sense, even if it didn’t at some points along the way. The Mad Men moment just now was one of those moments. It’s like seeing your life from another vantage point, from outside of your definitive moment and locale. Like taking on the perspective of an on-looker objectively taking stock of what’s offered.

The webpage I designed in 6th grade to keep up with all my friends and write LyKe DiS oN aIm AlL nYt3 makes sense now too. Picture the ultimate realness of internet throwback gold, you don’t even know how much I wish I kept the site up (RIP shupz.cjb.net). Weird memory but it just feels like a piece of the larger puzzle. I wish I stuck with it, I really do. But I’m comforted in imagining how my fresh middle school website might very well be part of why I’m here today, doing what I’m doing and doing it well.

I don’t always feel like that but in this moment I do. So I’ll savor it as best I can, and what better way to remember than to write a note to self. Remember watching Mad Men, thinking I might be living a Mad Men dream except in a different century, with internet, using words like Meta, and maybe it’s not really anything like the show at all except for the loose connotation of advertising. It doesn’t really matter how I got here anyway, it’s that I am here at all. Here being the place where I feel like I belong.