Scary Decisions

What if You’re Afraid of Change?

If you asked me 5 years ago how I felt about change, my face would light up and I would say, “Awesome!” in response. For so many years I found that big life changes were a part of my driving force and growth. I was hired to be oversee the brand authorization at one job and within 1 month my boss was fired, so suddenly my job was in jeopardy. Apparently, he had not told any other departments (except HR) about the new role he created or that someone was hired. 

Quick Aside: Licensing within a large brand or organization affects ALL departments. The role usually lives in the marketing or finance realm. 

Suddenly, I had department heads whom I had never met before shouting at me as if I had been the culprit of some devious scheme to bring down the company. To a doe-eyed 25 year old, this was an overwhelming situation. I took a deep breath, talked through the situation with my temporary supervisor, and suggested for more role to be a liaison among departments with a core focus on marketing. Embrace the Change.

Wicked, Embracing Change

Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenowith in Wicked.

Fast forward to June of this year, and I was both exhausted and scared of the huge life change I had made. Quitting a full-time job for freelance work and to pursue your own business sounds way more exciting than the process actually is in reality. The cheesy lyrics from one of my favorite pop-punk bands sung in my head one day, “I’ve never been so lost. I’ve never felt so much at home.” 

Whether you like change or not, it happens every single day. Running away from change only delays the inevitable, so why bother? Think about what it feels like to step into the ocean from a beach front. At first the waves are crashing against you and it’s hard to walk too far, but at one point it suddenly works and you are going with the flow of the water.

Related Article: What to Do if You’re Scared of Change


Album Review:

Something Corporate, Leaving Through the Window (2002)

This album was an anthem for me in college. Most of the songs have insightful lyrics that click with any young adult, but the simple chord progressions are what makes it easy to enjoy. As much as I love deep sophisticated music like Philip Glass and Miles Davis, sometimes my brain needs to take a break. It is so much fun to sing along to “If You C Jordan” sometimes.



The Transformative Power of Passion

I recently watched this wonderful TED talk by Benjamin Zander. If you choose to skip through the video, make sure not to miss his performance toward the end.

What an incredible man with such love and passion for music. From the moment he played that first note I went to this place deep in my mind that is pure and untouched by the real world. It is a beautiful and safe place for me to be.  When he finished playing, I let out a deep sigh and remembered the old feeling of connecting to something beyond other people. It has been a little too long since I’ve felt so centered.

I admit that I absolutely LOVE Classical Music. I love all kinds of music, but there is something so special, so unique, and so important about the way composers wrote (and some still write) for that genre. As much as I enjoy jumping around to a 4 chord progression in a cheesy pop-punk song by bands like The Starting Line, Say Anything and New Found Glory, it just doesn’t have the same effect on my brain.

It’s time to start singing again. Music led me to a good place once and I have to believe that it will happen again.

Mozart. Voi Che Sapete

When to Give Up

Lately I have been fed up with this lifestyle. Freelance work takes twice as much effort and, after taxes, pays about the same as a regular job. How am I supposed to work on my own business when all I do is worry about money and working enough hours? It’s a terrible cycle.

The other night I got to the point where I wrote, “I give up on this stupid idea” in my journal. I continued on writing, “My stupid business is just an idea, a concept or conversation topic. It is nothing. I am nothing.” Yes, it was mellow dramatic, but that is what journals are for. As I continued to write, my thoughts became a series of evasive questions.

Why is starting this business so important to me?
What am I really doing with my career?
Aren’t I just going to end up failing anyway?

Eventually I got to a point where I remembered my hidden light. “There is this ever so slight glimmer left inside of me. It sparkles in the back of my eye where only I can truly see it. The spark of hope, inspiration, courage, and love lives in my crazy idea.”

Do What You Love, Career Inspiration

Over the past few months, my social life has rolled downhill. My poor boyfriend has put up with a few too many of my mini-breakdowns. The balance in my bank account has shifted. And my skin looks like I’ve been beating myself up. Despite all of this, I’ve kept going.

I can’t go on living my life not knowing the end of this story, especially when it feels like I’m nearing the end of the boring intro chapters. I have no idea what it is inside of me that is driving me forward with such strong motion because it lies so deep that it cannot be explained – it’s just who I am.

Well, I guess that’s the answer to my question. I cannot give up until I know the end of this story.


Music Review

The M.I.A. song “Bad Girls” from 2012 is fun, goofy and makes you want to dance. Listening to it led me to search for her newest release – Y.A.L.A. She released the track on Sound Cloud as a teaser, and I listened to it a few times. The sound is totally M.I.A. style, which I love. The use of the synth is a little heavier than usual, so she may be diving further into the electronica sound while still inter-weaving her hip-hop vocal prowess. I guess we’ll find out more when the album is released.

M.I.A. You Always Live Again

Passion, Money, Success, and Chaos

Why did you choose your current job or career? 

Was it for the money and success? Was it for the expression of your passion and interest? No matter what reason for your choice, there will always be chaos and imperfection at times.

I believe that life should be full of passion. My significant other always tells me that he works hard so that he can do the things he enjoys most, and that the job (in the end) does not really matter. As long as he can be a high-performing team member, then the chaos is worth it. We often disagree about this point. While he claims to not necessarily “like” what he does, I think he secretly loves it. The level of detail in and organization of software development interests him, and it helps that it is a lucrative career. My love of music, art and creativity does not always tie me into lucrative roles. Though we do not always agree, I appreciate the fact that he questions me. I look closely at my driving force everyday because I am reflecting on the questions he pushes me to ask of myself.

Is it better to earn a steady paycheck now, and you can enjoy your passions during free time?

I could take a high-paying marketing role with an established corporation. It’s likely that I would enjoy it to some degree, and I would appreciate the safety of the regular income. But is that really the kind of person I am? Sometimes the best thing to focus on (other than income) is your ultimate career purpose. When I look back at my career 5 or 10 years from now, what will that picture look like?

life choices

It is hard enough to choose the right pastry. How will I choose the right career path?

Confidence and Negotiation

Own it – your future, your finances, your role in a company.
If you don’t own it, then it will own you.

When we are fresh out of school and excited about stepping into the working world, we are willing to be pushed around and told what to do. In some ways, that is okay when you are 23 years old and finding your place & your voice within a company. However, if you are 30 years old and still letting the company decide your future it is time to step up and own it.

Recognize Your Value

You bring something valuable to the company. Throughout your work, school and life experiences you have honed a skill that brings value and gains profit for the company. If you are in marketing (like me) then it is difficult to see that dollar amount, but I promise that you make a difference.

Professional Development

No matter how good you are, there is ALWAYS something new to be learned. Take the time to perfect your abilities and learn new complimentary ones.

  • Marketers – learn about your product inside and out. If it is a technology, then at least learn how to speak some of the lingo.
  • Developers – learn how to communicate with non-techies (please).
  • Designers – if you haven’t already, then learn HTML and CSS. Whether you like it or not, you will eventually need to know it.
  • Financers – learn more about the product/service and how the marketing and public relations teams interact with the public.
  • Account Managers – if you are not already managing projects, then learn more about project management. Otherwise, get more involved in finance and the client goals.
  • Creatives/Artists – learn about finance and management. I know you hate that stuff, but you will bring so much more value to the team if you understand it.


Before you start negotiating with a supervisor about money or positions, take the time to do the research. There are a plethora of online resources that can help you figure out your worth.  Make sure to account for the years of experience and city you are living in when you do this research.

Make a Plan

How long have you been working with this company? What is the trajectory for your continued growth? Where do you see yourself professionally in 6 months, 1 year and 3 years? Once you feel you know the answers to these questions, then schedule time to discuss your future with a supervisor or human resources. Take a deep breath and (in your head) repeat the mantra “I am a valuable employee and deserve to be treated as such.”

For more advice, check out this article How to Ask for a Raise


Music Review

Meiko (untitled album)

She has a pretty voice, but it reminds me of too many other singers. Her music does not feel unique to me, and I value musicians with a truly unique sound. I enjoy her music in the background, but I do not foresee going to see her in concert or spending money on albums.

Meiko, singer songwriter