My dad often quotes a variation of the above. His version usually comes out as: “To win the war, sometimes you have to go to battle more than once.” Ehh… some of the words are in the wrong order, but the sentiment is the same. And it’s a powerful one. Consistency and perseverance are key when setting out to accomplish something, particularly something new or novel. I don’t know many people who get it ‘right’ the first time around. And I suspect you don’t either.
I hear you Martha! The last few nights I’ve been staying up late, my mind spinning with ideas and to-do’s, making it hard to sleep. This type of energy is exciting, but exhausting. :) I Happy Thursday!
I’ve dropped off the face of the earth, yet again. Please forgive me. I strive to write regularly, yet life happened to get in the way and unfortunately, the blog took a back seat. But this is about to change…
I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction I want to take this blog. I love the process of blogging – writing, taking pictures, the feedback I get from readers. I started this blog last year as a way of filling a creative void and with the hope that I may inspire you in some small way, or at the very least, bring a smile to your face. However, from the very beginning, I have struggled to find a clear voice for this blog – do I write about the people I meet, the places I travel, the books I read, the way I decorate? I felt like I needed one specific focus. Well, I’m throwing that limiting idea out the proverbial window. This blog is called “Simply Annette” for a reason. It is meant to be an authentic reflection of who I am (multi-dimensional and multi-passionate) and the conversations I am having in my life right now. And right now, I’m talking about a lot of different things. I’m starting a new business (more on that below) and rather than run two different blogs, I’m going to integrate the personal and professional and invite you to life behind the scenes of getting a small business up and running. My goal is going to be here blog regularly once again.
In reviewing my blog content, I realize that I have left a lot of gaps about who I am. A lot has changed for me in this last year. I could probably write pages about each of these topics, but here’s a quick summary to get everyone on the same page:
Raised in Los Angeles, I’ve been lucky to also call San Francisco home (as well as an amazing summer spent in NYC working on Madison Avenue during college). Though I’ve got great rhythm and have a knack for initiating the electric slide at parties, the slim chance of becoming a professional dancer took the back seat once I went to college. Then came law school and then the dream job at a national law firm in SF.
After five years of “living the dream,” I resigned from my job with no plans of what the next chapter would look like. Life was good on all accounts, but I was missing the rainbow sprinkles to my fro-yo. I knew I was meant to do something else. I just didn’t know exactly what that would look like. So I gave myself a mini-retirement. (Stefan Sagmeister’s TED talk, “The power of time off” makes the case for mini-retirements).
During this time, I enrolled in classes, spent two months travelling the world, and dusted off my camera and began seeing life through a new lens. While volunteering to build a home in an Armenian village, I met my now boyfriend, who is lovingly referred to as “my boo” or “Special K” on this blog. As luck would have it, we live on opposite coasts of the U. S. of A and we are having fun making a long distance relationship work.
After nearly six years of calling SF home, I recently moved back to LA. I love SF and plan to be there often, but I’m looking forward to rediscovering LA. Recommendations for yummy restaurants in Los Angeles are always welcome.
So what’s my next venture? Confetti by Annette – the result of taking that leap of faith to do what I love and to design my life in a way that works for me. Inspired by the confetti used to celebrate life’s most special moments, my line of handmade jewelry and accessories is designed with the spirit of celebrating life every single day. Ultimately, Confetti by Annette is not just about jewelry or accessories. It’s about celebrating yourself and your life. I hope it inspires you and makes your heart smile. Because above all, your smile is your best accessory.
P.S. You may have noticed that I removed the subscription feature which delivers blog posts straight to your mailbox. This was a conscious decision. Frankly, we all receive way too much email. Given my intention to integrate my personal life with my professional life, I will be combining all of my communications through a single newsletter which will include news about Confetti by Annette as well as top posts here on Simply Annette. If you want to stay in the loop, then join the mailing list HERE.
P.P.S. And I’m sure you’re all wondering about what happened to the 30 Day Photo Challenge….After 13 days of photography success, while in Florida, I misplaced the piece that transfers pictures from my camera (it was tucked in a shirt in my suitcase), then I was in the middle of moving from SF to LA, then well, it just fell through the cracks. Though I didn’t meet the challenge, just attempting to has helped get me in the habit of taking more pictures and taking my camera with me everywhere.
I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately. And as we usher in the first day of spring today, it seems like an appropriate time to write about change. I admire the certainty in which nature changes through the seasons. How the leaves on the trees will transform from oranges, reds, and yellows in the autumn, then fall to the ground leaving the trees naked through the cold winter, only to bloom back up again in the spring and summer. Nature cycles through these seasons of change with such assurance. Could it teach me something about change in my own life?
You see, so much has changed in my life this last year:
I resigned from my a career that I had worked so hard for in order to pursue something different — what exactly, I didn’t know at the time.
I left my home for nearly two months to travel the world — literally changing my environment every few days.
I went from being a single girl stuck in the revolving door of dating to being in a relationship and learning about what it means to be someone’s partner.
And in the coming weeks, I’ll be moving from the city I have called “home” for the past six years.
Now this is a lot of change for a girl like me who loves order and consistency!
Sometimes change happens TO us and sometimes we make change happen FOR us. Ideally, you’re operating in the latter camp where changes are a result of your conscious decision to make something different in your life. These types of changes usually tend to be more empowering. But we all know that sometimes we find ourselves in the former camp, reacting to change propelled by an external force.
The dictionary defines change as “to make different in some particular.” What strikes me about this definition is that it doesn’t modify judge the word ‘different.” Change is not defined as either good or bad. It’s just, well, different. I know many of us fear change. The thought of the uncertain and the unknown that we associate with change is what makes us uncomfortable. But what if things never changed? How would our lives look like then? If we lived in a world of eternal winter, we wouldn’t enjoy the anticipation of spring.
Although there was a bit of glare from the window, Day 4′s photo is a picture of the following quote placed in a boutique window. ”Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change. Kiss slowly, forgive quickly, play hard, take chances, give everything, and have no regrets. Life is too short to be anything but happy!” Words to live by.
It’s better to fail in originality, than succeed in imitation. -Herman Melville
I had been promised by many of my older friends that once I reached the magical age of 30, somehow overnight I’d become this more confident, carefree, and improved version of myself — exhibiting an overall kick-ass attitude about life, relationships, work, and everything in between. I couldn’t wait and so I spent most of my 29th year in anticipation of 30. Yet, I felt no discernible difference when I woke up the morning of my 30th birthday. I was the same person I was just the day before.
Although it didn’t feel like it then, now that 30 has come and gone (and I’m the oh-so wise age of 31), I have to admit that I learned a lesson or two. Here is a list of thirty of those lessons…. I’d love to hear what you’ve learned along the way….
- Sometimes the best things happen to you when you have no plan.
- You are MORE than ok.
- You have to work out twice as hard and eat half as much just to look the way you did at 24. Yet, at the same time you learn to embrace the cellulite and grow grateful for having good health and body that can walk, run, hike, dance, and skip you through the rest of your life.
- No matter how old you get, it’s never too late to find new friends who make you feel like you’ve known them for a lifetime.
- If you’re single, you revel in the fact that you can sleep in the middle of the bed, watch countless episodes of Real Housewives, eat popcorn for dinner every night, and flirt with anyone you want.
- Act like an adult when you must, but never forget how to play like a child.
- Spend as much time with babies and puppies as possible. Simulatenously if you can. They are instant mood-lifters.
- Take the time to do the things that you loved as a child.
- Make a concerted effort to try something new on a regular basis. If you don’t like it, it’s ok. You won’t know that unless you try.
- Take care of your things, and they’ll take good care of you. Tailoring your clothes and fixing your heel taps are worth the investment.
- Find a hobby. Learn a new skill. Your education doesn’t stop just because you have a fancy diploma hanging on your wall.
- QUIT is not a bad four-letter word.
- Learn to make at least one finger-lickin’ good meal and always have those ingredients on hand.
- Surround yourself with people and things that make you happy.
- Despite what it might seem like, NO ONE has it all.
- Most people are too busy feeling insecure about what others think of them to take the time to judge you, so just chill out.
- Surround yourself with people who fill you up rather than drain you. Clean out your friendship closet if you must.
- If you’re in the dating scene, stop putting up with B.S. behavior. (And ladies, you know deep down when you’re getting less than you deserve). If someone wants to be with you, they will not let distance, money, time, too many texts, or anything get in the way of that. Expect no less.
- Live is a verb. So every once in a while, get up from behind the computer screen and LIVE.
- Trust your gut. Always.
- Do no approach life with fear. Most people would rather put up with unhappiness than deal with uncertainty. Don’t be one of them.
- Try to talk to three new people a week. It’s amazing how many interesting people are out there just waiting to be discovered.
- It’s better to be alone, than to wish that you were alone.
- Be grateful for all that you have right now. Time passes quickly and you don’t want to look back on your life only to regret that you spent too much time wishing that your thighs were smaller, you had a boyfriend, or that you got that promotion.
- A smile is your best accessory.
- Keep a journal and take more pictures. You’ll be happy you did. Especially when your memory starts failing you.
- Travel. Then travel some more.
- Let go of material things.
- Invest in some quality lingerie, a stylish haircut, a handsome handbag, and a sexy pair of heels. Although what truly matters is who you are on the inside, it doesn’t mean you need to let yourself go on the outside.
- Stop creating artificial limitations for yourself. Give yourself permission to be the amazing person you truly are.
(c) 2013 Simply Annette
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share one of my favorite pictures from my trip to Paris this fall. I came across these two lovebirds perched on a park bench right near the Louvre. (This isn’t the first time I’ve stumbled upon a scene like this in the City of Light! Click here to see what I mean.) Ahhhh…. the French. Always such romantics. Oui, oui! xoxo.