Archive | reverb

RSS feed for this section

Reverb Prompt 3: Owning my Time

Prompt 3 of Reverb12 is a heavy one, developed by blogger Curlypops who has been on a transplant list for 457 days.

 Travel is a priority for 2013.

Prompt 3:

Living life on a transplant waiting list gives you lots of reasons to reflect on what you’ve achieved in your life, and what you wish for the future.

Imagine a scenario where you only had one year left to live. What is one thing that you really wish to do that you just haven’t had the chance to accomplish yet?

What steps could you take (however small) to ensure that you accomplish this thing in 2013?

I would travel, hopefully not alone. I’d sell my belongings and spend 50% of my time exploring the parts of the world and this country I’ve always wanted to see and never did. I’d spend the other 50% visiting the places I’d seen and loved the most, giving hugs to all the people who touched my life.

(Map courtesy of World Atlas)

I had planned to go to France and Portugal in October 2012 by myself after a big contract ended for me. As I was planning the trip in August, I became tired thinking about all the travel I had done for business this year and realized what I yearned for was time to nest with my new Savannah friends. As we enter December, I know that was the right decision even though I had the time and money to accomplish this goal. Now I have enough free miles for a free international trip and am ready to use them once I figure out a few questions about my professional life for 2013. I am also eager to convince a travel partner to come along (hint, hint…).

What’s your priority for next year?

Reverb Prompt 2: Vroom, Vroom

Here is prompt 2 of 31 in the Reverb12 campaign.

Empowerment takes various forms

Prompt 2:

What was your most significant expenditure in 2012?

It doesn’t have to be necessarily the biggest expenditure, just the one with the most impact.

What difference has it made to your life?

Too easy!

On November 30th, I bought my first car, a 2012 Nissan Versa SL Hatchback. Yeah, my first car was a new one and I bought it at age 37. I got my drivers license less than three weeks ago.

Since age 16, I’ve struggled with a deep anxiety of driving. Nope, never been in a car accident (someone suggested that I must have been in a past life- yes, she was crazy). Lessons in various periods of my adult life and therapy made little dents, and a big challenge was living in New York City since I was 20 years old. Maybe it’s just me, but I found it difficult to get comfortable driving in a constant video game. It also became a crutch for years as a reason I couldn’t leave New York because I was afraid I would never be able to function anywhere else.

I felt stuck.

Moving to Savannah was a perfect place to take this on. Don’t get me wrong- it was still not easy. But I hired a wonderful retired drivers’ ed teacher who took me out driving four hours a week during October and helped me get better and most importantly, manage my anxiety. I also worked with my coach Thekla on limiting beliefs around my driving issues. With the encouragement of a small group of loved ones, I finally took the dreaded road test and passed.

Beyond the anxiety,  I felt guilt and shame about driving. Guilt came from having to ask people to give me rides, though Tina Fey’s Bossypants helped a little. Shame came from not seeming able to do something that even people who seemed 90% brain dead could accomplish. But the reality is that not driving didn’t matter as much as my fear led me to believe it did. I know lots of people who drive but they haven’t visited 28 states and 5 countries or flew 60,000 miles in a year. My biggest realization the day after I got my license is how little my life had truly changed, as well as people’s opinions of me.

I’ve lived in Savannah for almost a year and the resourceful NYer part of me finds it a place you can navigate fine without a car, but it was something I wanted for myself. The impact of owning this car is tangible for sure, including opening up more business opportunities in the Southeast. But the biggest impact of purchasing the car is probably the realization that stuck was a false emotion created by my brain and nothing more.

Wish me luck getting better at parking!

I bought my first car this year.

Reverb12 Prompt1: The Pros and Cons of Being Present

It’s time for Reverb12! While I don’t get to blog as much anymore as I manage my business growth, I must make an exception for Reverb.

Reverb happens every December when bloggers reflect on the year that has passed and start to manifest their dreams for the new year. If you’ve been around since the start of my journey into self-employment and small business ownership, you may have read my entries for Reverb10. My job is to help people reach their goals and maximize their personal and professional development. Not all coaches or “experts” agree, but I believe I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my own challenges and triumphs from my experiments with pursuing my own dreams.

I missed Reverb11 because I was in the midst of moving myself 900 miles from New York City to Savannah, GA, last December. Inspiration to move first came to me through the understandings about myself and my goals that I gained through Reverb10.

I can literally confirm that participating in Reverb changed my entire life.

If you want to sign up for Reverb yourself, you can sign up here to get the prompts. Also follow the hashtag #reverb12 on Twitter to read what other people are discovering.

So here we start with Prompt 1 of 31.

Reverb12 has me present.

Prompt 1:

How are you starting this last month of 2012?

Take a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself the question: how do you feel…

… in your body? in your mind? in your day job? in your creative life? in your heart?

One of my favorite songs in the world is As Is by Ani DiFranco and today I found myself singing one the lyrics at the top of my lungs: “…cause when I look down, I just miss all the good stuff. When I look up, I just trip over things.”

I feel that way and that is why I am starting December present in my life.

2012 has been a year of personal growth and change that started with relocating to Savannah on January 2nd after 15 years as a neurotic, overstretched and dissatisfied New Yorker. Today, December 2nd, I took a road trip to Tybee Island in the first car I have ever owned with my boyfriend who I met this summer, and a friend I met in an entrepreneurship incubator who happened to find herself in this corner of the country. I stood at the edge of the water in my sundress on a 76 degree day in December and breathed in deep and thought of the person I was three years ago. I wondered what her reaction would be to me right now.

Honestly? Probably “Who the f*ck are you?”

I have decided I am okay with that.

Enjoying the beach as part of Reverb

Being present also gives you a chance to recognize what’s NOT working in your life. That would be my health. Since August, I have not felt in control of my body- it has been throwing me unexpected and unwelcome surprises. Some of what I feel is a physical cost of having reached what I wanted in my professional life so quickly, some of it is my denial of changes that come with age, and some of it is “just because.” I don’t have any immediate solutions, but I know that this is something I need to focus on in 2013.

I am enjoying my present because I set big audacious goals for myself in 2010 and I met almost all of them. Enjoying my present so much has made it difficult to figure out what other big and audacious goals I want to pursue in 2013 beyond more of the same. “The same” is a temporary place and I can’t wait for the Reverb12 to steer me in the right direction.

Reverbing in July: New Habits

This month’s latest Reverb prompt is resonating with me.

July prompt- What new thing will you try this month?

(This would have made a great lesson for my Avoid a Cruel Summer eCourse. Damn.)

Reverb10re

In the big picture, there is a chance (emphasis on chance) that the next three months may be the last three months that I spend in New York for a while, if not permanently. I’ve been in NYC for 15 years but the list of things I’ve never done is a mile long. What should I be doing that’s new?

But these days I’m concerned with small details and when I read this prompt two weeks ago, I decided the new thing I would commit to is waking up AND getting out of bed at 6 AM every day in July and not getting on a phone or computer until 7AM. I can go for a walk, meditate, clean, read a book (out of bed)… whatever. It just can’t involve the web or email.

It’s hard to deny that the irregularity in my schedule is taking its toll on my body. For those of you who have corporate jobs or kids, this may seem crazy that I don’t have a good schedule. But some of my greatest strengths have always been my agility, stamina, and the flexibility to adjust my schedule to whatever is required. That usually means working very hard one day to finish a project and recovering the next day. The flip side of shining like that is burnout (paraphrased from Danielle LaPorte) and I am feeling the burnout, people!  I’ve lived some version of this for the last four years and like most people, I do my best work in the mornings. I truly believe a schedule change will make all the world of difference in my quality of life so I decided to go for it.

But it’s Day 19… and I’ve failed every day at this. I’ve set the alarm, but I can’t get out of bed right away, and the days that I do, it’s because of the draw of something waiting on the computer. What is the secret sauce for early rising? Anyone?

What new routine could you try that might make a big difference?

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

A Reverb Entry: Everything’s Okay

I’ve been thinking about this prompt from the Reverb campaign that I never tackled and I thought today (July 12) would be a great day to post it as it’s the official first birthday of The Opportunities Project, LLC. (Yay!)

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Author: Kate Inglis)

Recently, I was open about my personal struggles with getting my business launched on a blog post by Rich DeMatteo of Corn on the Job.  Right now, money is flooding through the door, I have more emails than I can answer and my goal is to keep it that way (knock on wood). But one time this March, I was completely despondent about my finances and the state of my personal life because of my inability to get my business where I needed it to be to survive. Also, someone I’d been loyal to professionally for over ten years had screwed me over without a second thought. I went to a friend’s apartment and just cried for hours in her arms. I’m not a super emotional chick, but I felt like I had nothing left.

Reverb10manifest

When I went to my friend’s apartment, I brought a bottle of wine that I’d received as a thank you for sitting on an education panel a year before in March 2010. The education panel wasn’t just any event, but one where I was asked my opinions about President Obama’s education policies and hosted at the prestigious Yale Club in New York City. On my way to the room where the panel was held, I bumped into George Pataki (literally almost sent him flying) and saw tables of well-known New Yorkers and others dining and making things happen. I’d finally felt like I’d arrived.

I’m not sure why I decided that my friend and I needed to drink that bottle of wine that night- I’d been saving it for something celebratory. But I did and the next day everything picked up.  No, that wine did not have a magic serum. But it reminded me that everything will be okay- no, not perfect, but okay, because I have it into me to change things. Things will be okay because…

– I have loved ones.

– I know valuable stuff and can do valuable things.

– I keep up relationships.

– I put myself out there.

I remembered all those things the next week and I was hired for three major jobs and speaking engagements based on a combination of those four principles.

It’s important to remind ourselves that we can make choices to bring things closer to okay. Another time when I was wondering what was next for me, I attended a wine tasting class that I bought dirt cheap through Groupon one afternoon. I planned to make it a solo pity party, but when I got there, I decided to start conversations with every person at my table. One of those conversations led to my first four figure client. I put myself out there. I know valuable stuff and can do valuable things. Everything will be okay.

What do you do to remind yourself that things will be okay?

Photo courtesy of Mr T in DC on Flickr

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

2011 Reverb Update
: Achieving

As my readers know, I participated in the #Reverb10 blogger campaign in December 2010. During December, the campaign sent participating bloggers a daily reflection prompt in order to help you manifest more good stuff in 2011. I found the campaign mid-December and posted ten blog posts that covered 18 of the 31 prompts. I drafted posts that touched upon most of the other 13 prompts and still hope to publish those when appropriate, like today.

Reverb10manifest

In February, I re-categorized my blog to improve the overall performance of the site. The project included re-reading almost all of the 50+ posts I had written since I started blogging in fall 2010. When I re-read the Reverb posts, I felt a series of warm emotions.

– First, I was proud of myself for being so open and setting my intentions to the world.

– Second, the prompts made me do hard work on myself and think about what I needed to change for 2011. I am not sure I would have done it as effectively otherwise.

– Third, while I try to keep my personal and business lives separate, I shared most of the Reverb posts on my personal Facebook wall and it brought me closer to friends.

– Finally, I believe that what I shared can help people I don’t know. I am thankful that Reverb prompted me to put my experiences out on the big, bad internet for that reason alone.

I’ve received emails that Reverb 2011 is starting with monthly prompts. Since I’m still going at my own pace, I’ve decided to take on the February prompt and a December 28th prompt from Tara Sophia Mohr because they go hand in hand. Tara’s also been on my mind. She is launching a Playing Big coaching program this month and it looks exactly like what I wish I’d had when I decided to start my own business. If my professional development resources and time weren’t tied up right now, I’d be enrolled and am jealous of all the wonderful women who will participate.

The Prompts

December 28 – Achieve: What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. (Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)

February 2011: One month into 2011, what question(s) are you living? Are there any prompts/questions that arose during #reverb10 that are still resonating in your life? Are you living new questions?

Projecting: Achieving

I’ve talked a few times about a strategic change I made in 2011 to work with a time management and productivity coach. There is so much to do when launching a new business and I needed professional support to help me develop systems for making better decisions. I am always fascinated when she tells me something I told one of my own clients earlier in the day, but I just couldn’t see for myself!

After working with my coach for a little over two months, I feel that I am more productive on a day-to-day basis and when March 1 rolled around, I could see and feel growth in my business. I suddenly understood what could happen if I start thinking even bigger. “Feeling” growth is not comfortable to me- I need to express things in a very quantifiable way. So I am in the process of setting big, measurable goals for The Opportunities Project and myself between now and December 2011. It all came together once I had control of my time and focus.

With the haze cleared, I know that in 2011 I want to achieve two things – making my business its own “being”, and finding someone to share my life with. I am not sure how comfortable I am in talking about my love life on my public business blog, but it’s important to me and I need to start putting it out there. So it’s out there. On the business side, a quote that keeps resonating with me is from Michael Gerber about the difference between working ON your business and working IN it. He actually talks about business owners neglecting to work ON their businesses versus in them. At this point, I feel the opposite. I spend so much time on marketing, content and planning for the future and I want to switch so I am devoting more of my focus to client and service delivery. I want my business to be in a place where it starts working for me. Achieving this will make me feel secure and yet free. It will also allow me to devote focus to what I want to achieve in my personal life.

So what are ten things I could do or beliefs I could have to achieve my business goal?

1. Outsource and ask for help. (DONE- see an upcoming post.)
2. Be honest with people in my life about my intentions.
3. When looking at my To Do List, concentrate on the things that will bring me money ($)  or happiness ( :) ).
4. Put my current clients first before future clients.
5. Ensure that what I do everyday connects to my goal of creating a functioning business and is not a distraction.
6. End relationships that are not helping me with points 1-5.
7. Believe in the value that I bring to clients.
8. Remember that the whole is always more important than the parts.
9. Love and care for my whole self and not just my mind.
10. Understand that my personal goals are just as important as my professional goals and are often interrelated.

Reflecting: Lingering Questions

When looking at the Reverb topics I delved into, there are still some things that linger after three months. It’s good to look at them so I can re-prioritize.

The Wins…

Writing and Action: I’ve made great strides in organizing my writing, committing time to it, and producing content. I’ve created new systems for collecting ideas so I can focus on what’s open and ready to be completed.

Letters to Myself: I think that I’ve been better about intuition. I started the year off strong by not reading so much, but that’s crept back in. Interestingly, I was at a conference in February where I was confronted with people I used to hang out with in the year 2000, as well as the regrets I have about not taking the same paths they took. It was sobering, but it made me realize that it’s time to move on and pay attention to what I want in the here and now. I am meeting more people every day who have goals similar to mine.

Wisdom of Letting Go: This is a resolved. Even if entrepreneurship does not work out for me, I have no doubt that I made the right move at the right time.

11 Things to Leave Behind: To varying degrees, I’ve left grudges, procrastination, obligations, and impatience behind. The things to leave behind that I’ve been struggling with are related to personal/professional balance… which brings me to…

My challenges… Also known as my Next Wins!

Parties, Travel and Pleasures: Definitely not enough of this and when I think about how to bring this into my life, I see chaos and feel anxious. How can I have fun with such limited personal time and money? There’s a way, I’m sure. I am going to New Orleans next week with the NYU crew. It’s a work trip, but I Must. Involve. Fun. And. Beignets.

Big Wonders and Ordinary Joy: One of the down sides of clearing out the haze has been being stuck on very tactical things. I guess one of the big wonders I’ve felt is beginning to realize the power of social networking and what can be accomplished with it. This floors me every day.

Make: Use Your Artistic Side: I’ve definitely been using my artistic side to write more, but haven’t painted the sign for my door that I referenced in this post. I am in the process of clearing out my home office of paper as I am moving everything online, and also reorganizing the layout of furniture. I am eager to take the sign on as part of this office project.

You Are Your Best Investment (body integration)
: Next, please.

My Word for 2011
: I chose the word Living. I don’t feel like I am honoring this commitment the way I should and the February prompt is a good reminder to me. Again, it’s about thinking big, right?

How is your 2011 going?

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Five Minutes of Memories: Reverb10

There are 4-5 more posts I’d like to do for Reverb10, but I am finally admitting to myself that I won’t finish them in 2010. As the last one that WILL be finished before the new year, I thought the following prompt would be most fitting.

 

December 15 – 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)


Oh my. Setting my alarm for five minutes (excluding some quick editing), here is what I came up with for the last 12 months.

January through March

January 2010: Going to a talk on taking risks in your professional life and signing up with my first coach to help me become an entrepreneur.

February 2010: Battling snow to attend classes on how to start and own a business. Telling the first person in my life that I was going to leave my job at the New York City Department of Education to open The Opportunities Project. Buying my domain.

March 2010: Telling my mentor that I was thinking of starting my business and getting his approval. Putting down $1,500 for my first conference as a career coach. Facilitating the worst professional development session of my career. Going on a retreat with a women’s empowerment group and making two amazing friends. Getting my coach certification.

April through June

April 2010: Going to Boston on my last teacher recruitment trip. Wondering about teacher layoffs and how they would impact all the work we’ve done in New York City to improve teacher quality. What would my legacy be? Buying my first Mac.

May 2010: Attending the AERA conference in Denver, my first time in that city. Seeing one of my dearest friends I hadn’t seen in 3 years there. Traveling for my first weekend at my Fire Island house for the summer. Putting up my website and publishing my first blog post.

June 2010: Attending the NACE conference in Orlando, FL and feeling good about it. Appreciating that I had friends from high school that lived all over the country. Turning 35 at a party that was better than Carrie Bradshaw’s. Getting my headshots in Brooklyn Bridge Park. More Fire Island. Coming back to the Teach for America community, thanks to Peter Rider.

July through September

July 2010: Making my debut as a career coach at the Working NYC Event. Getting my LLC and bank account. Experiencing the return of an amazing friend to New York City.

August 2010: Leaving the DOE as Director of Teacher Recruitment- officially and finally. Networking with Brazen Careerist. Spending days on my website and learning how much I didn’t know.

September 2010: Participating in the Fast Trac Entrepreneurship program. Landing my first paying client. Hosting three networking events and conducting two workshops. Getting my company in the press for the first time. Lots of Fire Island.

October through December

October 2010: Handling one of the most stressful months of my life. Dealing with identity theft, non-paying clients, and a very ill pet. Spending three days on a deserted island writing. Visiting my best childhood friend in Savannah.

November 2010: Taking care of my apartment and nursing my cat back to health. Spending lots of time on my computer. Launching a great business partnership with eBranding Me.

December 2010: Deciding to get serious about my business. Setting up meetings with strategic partners. Cutting back on non-coaching work to make them happen. Meditating on my personal goals for myself, including love and health. Doing my first career management workshop for 250 young professionals. Attending multiple fantastic social events with friends.

(Luckily, in August, I started using OhLife.com to journal daily about my life. Sometimes, I briefly write a sentence about my day, but it’s more than I’ve had in years. And it keeps me honest to what I am doing because it sends me back old entries. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking at my list and determining if they could recite a year in the life in 5 minutes.)

Have a wonderful New Years weekend and I look forward to helping you meet your goals in 2011!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Writing and Action: #Reverb2010

During the holiday break, I watched the movie Julie & Julia with my mom. The movie is about the woman who blogged about making all the recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook in a year. I actually liked the movie a lot, but it made me think about my new role as a “blogger” that I took on when I started The Opportunities Project. While Julie Powell seemed to experience all love, it’s been equal parts love and hate for me.

Before I actually started blogging, I thought I always wanted to be a blogger and had very romantic fantasies about it. For someone working in a relatively high-level position in a government bureaucracy, writing what you wanted on the Internet for the entire world to see was not an option. But because I couldn’t, it made me really want to do it! Now that I am blogging for my business, it’s not all unicorns and liberation. I can’t keep up with my ideas! In addition to blogging, I am working on other writing projects that I am not making great progress on, including e-courses, workbooks, invited guest posts and articles, my well-outlined book on teacher recruitment with a pitiful 30 pages completed, my dissertation proposal and an academic paper for a conference in April.

It’s enough to say AGH! I am glad for these Reverb10 prompts to get me focused.

#Reverb10 Prompts 

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

December 13 – Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

December 25 – Photo. Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and and what it best reveals about you. (Author: Tracey Clark)

Writing

The number one thing I can eliminate that doesn’t contribute to my writing is procrastination. While there is some fear involved as to whether what I have to say is worth it, a major struggle I have is switching from task to task- meaning it’s very hard for me to switch from writing my book to answering emails at a designated time. I have a hard time letting go of a task in-progress when I am in a groove, even if there is a more pressing (um, clients) issue to tackle. I also seem to face difficulty going back to unfinished writing projects because other demands come up. Both habits often prevent me from really starting writing projects at all. The only way I am going to make it as a solo-preneur with income streams based on writing is to establish the focus this task switching requires.

Action

I need to take action to get my writing to the next level. I’ve hired a time management coach for the first three months of March and addressing my issues with procrastination and writing is my first priority. Even without her guidance, I am writing all my ideas for blog posts on index cards with notes, putting them in some order, and making sense of them so they become doable.

Photo

One of my favorite blog posts that I did write this year involved a picture, the headshot I am using for The Opportunities Project. During the summer, I was interviewed for The Los Angeles Times about my experiences with curly hair and my thoughts about how you present your identity in the business world. I wrote about my experience taking the picture on my blog and facilitated a great discussion about it in the LinkedIn Career Explorer group. I love how my headshot truly reflects me and the love that my friend Wendy Glickman used to take the pictures that day, as well as do all the necessary editing. If you’d like to read how the picture was taken, please read the post and let me know what you think. Here are other fun pictures from that day, too.

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Letters Between My Future, Present and Past #Reverb10

Here is a great and hard #Reverb10 prompt from Jenny Blake of Life After College.  Unrelated, this was a #genychat topic this week and I liked reading everyone else’s reflections.

December 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake)

So let’s start talking to my 25 year-old self first. It’s sad that I don’t remember how I spent my New Year’s Eve that far back…

The Present Is Calling…

Hey Past Tracy!

The new year is already upon us so I am going to be concise as possible to you in bullets. I really wish I could go back and give you a hug… and then smack you silly. Here are my notes for you.
– You have a great instinct about people. Trust it and act on it when those moments come.

– Time is not infinite. You will be sad about time you wasted.

– There are many ways to achieve your sense of mission. All of the friends you’re close to now in the year 2000 will take different paths from yours to do that. Pay better attention to their examples.

– You think dignity is overrated. You’re generally right. That being said, be pickier about who you get involved with from the beginning.

– Some girlfriends will last and some will not. Who lasts and who doesn’t will likely surprise you.

– You never know who is going to step into your life. It will always be when you least expect it so don’t shut yourself down when you feel disappointed.

– Don’t cancel your job interview in Washington, DC on September 13, 2001. I am tired of telling people that I regret that.

– You’re so much stronger than you think. I really wish you would know that between the ages 27-30. When your biggest fears come to be real a few years later, you’ll stare them down and never be the same. Better, I think, but definitely not the same.

– Be nicer to your parents. Take care of yourself. Save more money.

– Journal- my memory isn’t as good as it used to be.

Hugs and Smacks,
Tracy

And Now From 2015…

My Dear Rocking Superstar Tracy,

Congratulations on making big changes in your life the past year. It took a lot of courage to do what you did. I know as you begin 2011, you realize this change was just the beginning and now the fun and hard work starts. The next year is going to exciting and hard. As you meet your goals for your company’s impact. I just have a few bullets of advice as you get going with 2011.

– Your current self told your past self that you have a great instinct. Now your future self (confused yet?) is going to remind you of that. When in doubt, ask yourself how you really feel.

– You were right- there is much more to life than being the New York City single girl. You’ve identified the obstacles and the ways you can overcome them. Just like leaving your old job to start The Opportunities Project, it’s not going to fall in your lap. Schedule those obstacles and get them out of the way.

– Stop reading so much and just do it.

– Start going back to Yankee Stadium. They miss you.

– The mother on How I Met Your Mother turns out to be…. Just kidding. :)

– I know you hate spending so much time at home on your computer right now, but focus and the written word is going to get you closer to your professional and financial goals. You’ll be glad you spent the time.

Life is great here. Be strong and join me,
Future Tracy

If you’re not totally confused, do you relate to my future and past lessons?

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Pleasures of Life: Party, Travel, and Food for #Reverb10

This is an easy blog post for #Reverb10- just some quick hits on pleasures that I enjoyed when it comes to parties, travel, and food. While it is a simple list, it did make me realize how important all three are and how I need to actively plan these things in 2011.

(And for those of you who found yourself here wondering what this #Reverb10 stuff is about, I joined a campaign of bloggers- 3,320 to be exact- who have dedicated their December blog posts to reflecting on 2010 in the hopes of manifesting even more greatness in 2011. This is my 7th post for the campaign. Check the rest out!)

December 9 – Party: What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

There were three types of parties in 2010 that “rocked my socks.” The first was the kind where you can’t run fast enough to your computer to untag yourself from Facebook photos. Hello, Eve’s birthday in July! As a “grown-up,” I fortunately only had one of those types of parties this year. The second type of party was the type where I led its direction. What can I say- I always feel more comfortable in charge of things. The last weekend on Fire Island, my friend and I went to a bar to have one drink and the next thing you know, I just happen to lead people in a dance to Thriller and then dancing my way home eight hours later. Like the first type, pictures are hard to come by my conscious and deliberate design.

AERA Conference But the third type were my favorite parties in 2010 and they were with my colleagues and dear friends from my doctoral program at New York University. I went to three parties that involved Adriana, Kadidja, Angus, Mike, and/or Rosa- one in Denver, one in Brooklyn, and one in Queens. When I am around these people, I feel a tremendous sense of peace, love, intimacy and that I am exactly where I am supposed to be in the world. While the dissertation is still hanging out there (working on it!), I am just so happy that the program brought these wonderful people into my life.

December 22 – Travel: How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (Author: Tara Hunt)

Other than my Fire Island weekends, I didn’t do a lot of travel this year because I was saving money to launch The Opportunities Project. Among the places I did travel were Denver, Colorado and Savannah, Georgia, cities in two states I’d never been to before 2010. Both were great! I also took some business trips, including my first business trip for The Opportunities Project when I went to the annual conference for the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE) in Orlando. The conference overlapped with my 35th birthday so I was very lucky that a friend from high school, Jeff, lived there and helped me celebrate. When I wasn’t networking at the conference, we had a lot of fun meeting some very interesting characters!

December 26 – Soul Food: What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author: Elise Marie Collins)

I feel like I am forgetting a really good meal, but two stand out right away. One was a fantastic dinner at Turner Fisheries in Boston on a teacher recruitment trip with my colleagues Marsha and Lauren. It was the kind of meal you take a picture of with your phone (I’ve since deleted it). Growing up in a Massachusetts fishing town, I love seafood but am particular and barely eat it in NYC. Shellfish and white fish are what I want- none of this salmon and sea bass nonsense. At Turner Fisheries, I had amazing oysters and a baked haddock with a creamy lemon caper sauce and it was perfect, as well as the company.

The second best food experience I had in 2010 was on Fire Island. I should start by saying EVERY meal I have ever participated in  on Fire Island is great. Our meals are communal and the manager of my house is an amazing chef. But there was one weekend where it was all girls and we had some fantastic conversation that only women in their mid and late 30s can have. More than anything, the dessert is what I remember. We all shared one piece of cake from Rachel’s Bake Shop for dessert with a little ice cream and Godiva liqueur on the side. It was the epitome of awesome woman bonding and I thank all the women who shared it with me.

Here’s to more parties, travel, and food in 2011. :)

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog