All posts tagged: Advice

Catch-all is More of a Hodge-podge

I think that if I started this blog all over again I’d name it hodge-podge. Originally I thought of it like a catch-all dish that accumulates little odds and ends. Bills, bobby pins, loose change, buttons, political stickers, gum. It’s astonishing how many of those catch-all dishes I actually have in my apartment. They start out being useful, but quickly become piles of both important and unimportant things. I end up avoiding it all until it’s time to clean my catch-all dish out and start over again. But this Catch-all has become more of a hodge-podge. It’s like the area of my apartment where I’ve placed shoes, empty picture frames, books, and my old violin I’ve been meaning to donate. It’s my go-to spot for big things that don’t go together but have nowhere else to go – which is kind of like this blog. … As much as I want to pinpoint a specific direction for Catch-all so that I can actually try to reach an identifiable audience, it’s becoming clear that it’s just …

The Two Rules I’m Trying to Live By

Somehow life has gotten easier and more difficult the older I get. I’m very comfortable with myself, but constantly battling with questions of the future. Where’s my “career” going? What about my personal life? On top of that I’m living in an America that’s in decline, and a tech-driven world that’s oftentimes difficult to navigate. These are modern problems that we’re all dealing with, and it’s complicated and messy and weird. Never take anything personally I’m only partway through Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements, but this book has already had an influence on how I try to exist in and move about this complex world. It’s a valuable read for anyone who’s open to it, but I do think being “open” is key. Ruiz calls everything into question – who we are, what we are, why we are – so it requires a willingness to listen and reflect. All four of the agreements that Ruiz presents are revelatory, but the one that’s stuck with me the most is “Don’t take anything personally.” Wow. How …

A Few Things I Learned as a Freelancer

Until very recently I was a part of the “gig economy,” along with millions of Americans in my age group. The experience was exciting, but if I’m being completely honest it was also terrifying. The stress of finding work – consistent work – and being able to earn a living wage is something I could write an entire essay on. For now, however, there are plenty of other great articles out there on this subject already (including Why Freelancers Are So Depressed by Anya Kamentez). Instead, I want to share some of the healthy habits I cultivated while leading an on-again-off-again work life. Being a freelancer can be fun and rewarding, but also exhausting, depressing, and isolating. Because my work was inconsistent, when I wasn’t on a gig I often found myself feeling unmotivated, frustrated, and lonely. In order to overcome that hurdle, I needed to create positive habits, which I wish I would have realized earlier. So for the days when you don’t have a gig, or if you work freelance from home, here’s my …

Getting Lucky

I used to work for a person who was a total jerk but gave me some sound career and life advice: You create your own luck. While there are numerous factors which may impede both our daily and long-term pursuits (race, gender, class, disability, etc.), we can always be our best selves. As someone who is motivated, though often scared of truly putting myself out there, sometimes I seem to get in the way of my own potential. I second guess my ability and worry about what people may think of me or my work, and as a result, I usually play it safe. But if you pay attention to many of those with successful careers who weren’t born with immense privilege (Queen Oprah comes to mind), at one point – or more like many – they put it all on the line. They certainly got lucky when making their way to the top, but they had to work hard to get lucky. What is required of someone who creates their own luck? They’re assertive, confident, and driven. They are unflappable and unafraid …

Words of Wisdom from the Wisest of Them All, Oprah Winfrey

Today marks the 30th anniversary of The Oprah Winfrey Show, which premiered on September 8, 1986. The series, which is considered by many to be the best talk show of all time, lasted 25 seasons, running nationally from 1986 to 2011. The show’s host, Oprah Winfrey, is an icon and a national treasure whose wisdom, generosity, intelligence, and strength shines through all that she does. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of her talk show, here are just a few of Winfrey’s greatest quotes: “Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” “It does not matter how you came into the world, what matters is that you are here.” “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” “The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.” “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” “The biggest adventure you …

Video of the Day: Success

We all seem to be constantly striving for success, but what does it truly look like? This charming short film animated by Lara Lee and narrated by Alain de Botton provides an enlightening way to look at success and what that may mean for you. Success was featured on The School of Life, one of my favorite educational YouTube channels. Be sure to check out their channel when you have the chance!

Moving Away From Home & Easing the Transition

It doesn’t matter what point in your life you find yourself, moving away from home can be extremely difficult. Although I’ve been in Los Angeles for four months now and absolutely love it, I’m still dealing with the complications of a transitioning lifestyle. I thought moving to California would be a simple change because I came with my boyfriend, already knew a few people in the city, and am just a quick flight away from home. I visited often enough to be absolutely sure that I wanted to call Los Angeles home (thank goodness I didn’t move and discover I hate it), but I completely underestimated the fact that such a substantial change would come with a few bumps in the road. No matter how old you, where you’re going, or where you’re coming from, uprooting and forging a new path can be complicated, lonely, and stressful. Based on my experiences thus far, here are a few tips I have for anyone moving away from home: 1. You will probably be spending more time alone, and that’s okay. Before moving, and especially during college, I was …

What I’ve Learned Thus Far: 24 Things in 24 Years

1. In everything you do, stay true to yourself. 2. Embrace your mistakes. 3. Know that people act in their best self-interest. 4. Don’t waste your time on those who bring you down. 5. Understand that life is not fair. 6. Make the most out of what you have. 7. Always, always, always be grateful. 8. If you are a person of privilege and advantage, you must help those who are less privileged and disadvantaged. 9. Respect your elders. 10. Confidence is key! Fake it ’til you make it. 11. Don’t sweat the small stuff. 12. Self-love is essential. Take great care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. 13. Make an effort to see and do as much as you can. 14. Set many goals, and constantly be working to achieve them. 15. Know that failure is a part of success. 16. Don’t compare yourself to others. 17. Be there for those you love. 18. Embrace what makes you, you. 19. Say “I love you” often. 20. Do something nice for someone else, daily. 21. Stand by what …

Recommended Reading: Ava DuVernay On How to Stay in Control

From Indiewire’s Shipra Harbola Gupta → Tribeca: Ava DuVernay’s 8 Tips to Filmmakers On How to Stay in Control. Ava DuVernay is quickly becoming one of my favorite people to listen to give advice on just about anything – but in particular, filmmaking and living a creative and fulfilling life. Her SXSW Keynote Speech was beautiful and truly informative, and her talk with Q-Tip at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival was no different. It’s so refreshing to read about a woman who is a filmmaker, is making things she believes in, and is doing things her way. Shapira Harbola Gupta breaks down DuVernay’s talk with Q-Tip into 8 tips for filmmakers on staying in control of your work. Check it out here.