Archives for the month of: September, 2014

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I attended TEDx Phoenxiville this past Saturday. It feels really cool to be saying that considering I wrote a blog on the same annual event last year! I’m very happy and honored to have been a part of the Unveil Your Brilliance blog team for over a year.

Anyway, on to TEDx! TEDx Phoenixville was a TED event that was independently organized by locals of Phoenixville, PA to share ideas worth spreading.  It was amazing. Not that last year’s event wasn’t good, but this year’s event was noticeably a step up.  The theme was Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll.  The talks ranged from a dictionary editor discussing about the roots and semantic intricacies of the phrase “Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll”, to an intimacy counselor discussing female sexual shame, to a man working to radically change how patients engage in clinical trials, to a bunch of kids doing a rock and roll performance.

It was simply wonderful.  There were so many great talks laden with great ideas, but I’ll give you some of the highlights for me:

  1. The kids. Erin Riley, the owner of Rock & Roll After School gave a talk on the benefits of giving a kid an instrument instead of a game or a device. She had her students perform a couple of songs that they wrote.  They were so young and SO talented.  They made me tear up while they were performing.  Here’s a link a song that I love!: http://bit.ly/1vrYeGS
  2. Jennifer Gunsaullus. She talked about female sexual shame in societies around the world and urged us all to take a stand against it. I liked this one because it made me think of my own sexual education both at home, at school, and around my friends and how inadequate it was.  I think the points she brought up really highlighted the problems different societies have, specifically in that they attempt to control female sexuality by making it a shameful subject.
  3. The after party. By this time, everyone’s brains were overloaded with new ideas and connections. The discussions that happened in this relaxed environment were truly remarkable.  People met each other, shared ideas and business cards, and most importantly laughed together.  Many people who went to this event didn’t think their ideas were better than the next persons—and that they could laugh and joke together was proof.

In all, I think most of the talks boiled down to a common theme this year which was communication, whether that is between patients and drug companies, the words in the dictionary and yourself, or the performer and her audience.  It’s a practice.  And isn’t that why we do what we do? (i.e. write blogs every week or get up every morning and talk to people at work or read the news.)  It’s all a practice in communication with ourselves and the people around us in order to foster meaningful connections in life so that we can all learn and grow and create great things.

This is going to be a semi-instructional post (sort of?). To begin, I want to disclose that I’m one of those people who can never sleep well on Sunday nights. I’m sure it’s from a mix of sleeping in over the weekend, unconscious concerns for the week ahead, and anything else that’s rolling around inside my noggin at night. Well, I made an egregious error this past Sunday night by not only going to bed later than I should have, but also doing that with the full knowledge that I’m coming down with the sniffles. I came back from a beautiful vacation in Aruba on Saturday and while I was there I developed a bit of a stuffy nose (from the humidity, I think). So, while I was freaking out internally about going back to work after missing a whole week, I was also not caring for my body properly and allowing the exhaustion, stress, and illness get worse. DON’T DO IT! Don’t be like me! Listen to your body–it will thank you for it.

I was fine at work yesterday until around 10am. One of the worst headaches of my life began around then and it didn’t go away all day, despite the fact that I ate lunch early and drank a lot of water to try and combat it. My eyes were starting to blur from fatigue and I couldn’t concentrate as well around 2pm. Boy, did I regret going to bed late for the rest of the afternoon! Not only was it so much more difficult to get any work done, but I was also not myself. I remember praying that I wouldn’t have to meet with my supervisor or manager during the day so I wouldn’t come off like a sloppy, drowsy weirdo. But in all honesty, I didn’t enjoy not feeling like myself almost as much as I didn’t enjoy feeling slightly ill and tired.

The point of this “instructional” post, my fellow millennials, is to be at your best at all times. We’re adults now (as scary as that may be), and we have to take responsibility for ourselves. I can no longer pull an all-nighter and still be able to function the next day. I cannot eat pizza, pasta, and ice cream for a week straight and not have it affect me negatively. It’s just not possible, and I’m okay with that! I feel much better mentally, emotionally, and physically when I’m well-rested, made an effort to eat well (because I am so not able to resist chocolate :)), and am able to fit some physical exercise into my day. I know it’s hard to accept that we, as millennials, have to put our college days behind us but it is true. Be good to yourselves!

Does anyone have horror stories about functioning on little to no sleep in the workplace? How does not treating yourself well affect your performance at work?

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My view at the beach last Friday.

Steering Wheel Vintage Ford

I’ve been thinking about this question a lot recently because I drive four to five hours each weekend.  And boy, do I come up with a lot of great ideas while doing it.  But why?

When pondering this question this weekend while driving (haha) I realized that this doesn’t happen just when I’m driving.  It happens in the shower, it happens when I’m exercising, it happens when I’m on trains, it happens during a good conversation with someone…

What are the common threads here? I am not looking at my phone for long periods of time.  I am usually listening to music or engaged in conversation with another person.  I am not thinking about things I should be doing, I am just concentrated on thinking about what I want to think about.  Just typing out all of these things is making me happy and less stressed.

Sometimes I feel as though when I’m not doing anything in particular, especially at home, I need to check my phone or go on facebook because I feel like I don’t have a choice.  But when I’m driving and I am forced to sit with my thoughts and listen to music, I can think with more freedom and creativity.  The same goes for trains, good conversations, exercising, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have come up with some great ideas because of the weird timing of a phone call that interrupted me, or a word someone used in an email or text, but in general I find my best ideas come when I am able to disconnect from technology and really be myself.

Even though I recognize this, keeping to a routine of checking my phone constantly and being on my laptop all day is easy to slip back into.  Being aware of the conditions in which I thrive is the first step to being able to take control of the habits that prevent me from doing so and eventually change them.

Ariana Huffington has some great ideas on this in her interview with Marie Forleo.  Check it out:

Hello everyone! Since the last time I wrote on this blog, I’ve moved into an apartment with a friend :-). What I didn’t mention in my last post was that we had submitted an application for a place we saw over the weekend and really liked–and now we’re moved in! This past Saturday was the big day and it went very smoothly, despite the sweltering heat. I’m pretty sure everyone that helped that day is going to be busy whenever we move out again (haha), but they were such a big help–we could not have done it without them. So far it’s been great–we’re just getting settled in, buying things we need, slowly decorating, cooking meals, etc. It’s a big step and I feel that I made the right choice.

Even though I’ve only been in the apartment for a few days, here are just a few observations for anyone who is considering moving out:

1. It’s expensive–do you have hand-me-down furniture or do you have to buy everything? What about pots and pans and cleaning supplies? Decorations? Cable and internet? We couldn’t have moved in right now if we didn’t already have furniture and other things from both of our families; we would have had to save for awhile. We also bought a lot of small things that we needed for the kitchen and bathroom from the dollar store to get us by (utensils, broom, cutting board, etc.) until we need better quality stuff.

2. Can you live alone or do you need a roommate? I know I couldn’t have lived alone and neither could my friend. Especially in the areas we were looking, it just wouldn’t be possible. Also, I like to be alone but I realized how lonely I would be without someone around. Luckily my roommate and I have been friends since 5th grade and we know each other’s quirks, which brings me to my next point…

3. Respect your roommate’s space. We can sit in our living room and not speak for three hours if we both just need quiet, and it’s not weird. We can also talk seriously, joke, or spend time alone in our respective bedrooms. I know plenty of people who could not live with their best friend, so I guess I lucked out–we both have a good sense of the other’s space. Setting up boundaries is important in the beginning (especially if you and your roommate aren’t close to begin with and don’t know each other’s idiosyncrasies).

We’ve only been in our place for three days so this is all that I can report on right now, but I think you learn a lot moving out for the first time. It’s a big decision, so there’s no rush! Don’t take it lightly but if you feel ready, then go for it 🙂

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