The Culprit: A Short True Story


I keep getting these emails from my apartment complex reminding me not to break the rules; particularly, rules that have nothing to do with me. They can’t single out people directly for fear of backlash, so whenever something goes wrong, they email everybody. Hence I was reading yet another message about cleaning up after one’s dog, not running water across balconies and proper trash disposal. It was like primary school all over again. I don’t even have a dog or balcony and we always throw trash away in the proper areas like capable adults.

Not that I blame the complex for messaging everyone. As nice as it is living here, there are some real slobs living here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen puddles in the elevator left by people who went swimming. Or worse, their dogs peeing in there, GROSS! Imagine slipping in the elevator and landing in dog urine. Crap like that deserves a monetary penalty or eviction! I wish they’d had an elevator camera to catch them fiends. Why can’t adults be decent humans and good neighbors?

Today I witnessed one of these rule breakers in action. I was sitting by the pool, reading a book and just trying to breathe after finally being able to spend an afternoon at home after months at my day job. As I got through a few pages, I started hearing something that sounded like a sprinkler. No, not a sprinkler. Rainwater? I looked up from my pool chair. Two floors up, a middle aged lady was walking back into her apartment from her balcony. Moments later, she returned with a water bottle and began pouring it out onto her planters. These planters apparently have no trays beneath them because the water was just cascading over the edge and splashing onto the balcony below. Afterwards she leaned over the edge of her guard rail as to assess how much water had fallen below.

That right there, my friends, is why humans can’t have anything nice. SMH.

I will always ‘take a chance’ on myself. I am worth the risk.


Last time I got on here I mentioned that I’ve decided to live by a new set of affirmations. Since I’m sitting in a dealership waiting area, I figure now is as good a time as any to start sharing them on the blog.

I will always ‘take a chance’ on myself. I am worth the risk.

I know my slogan is to have courage but I often find myself going out of my way for others to be dependable. However, I haven’t been doing that for myself. I haven’t been taking risks (small or otherwise) in order to see what I can make outta a situation or my goals. So I’m starting small by putting myself first. It started the other morning at a One Million Cups meetup. I was there to hear a few presentations and then network before heading into my day job at 11am.

Once it was over, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to chat with the two people I was most interested in before I needed to leave. The bookworm in me wanted to cut my losses and get to the car but then I thought about my affirmation; I will always ‘take a chance’ on myself. I am worth the risk. Instead of rushing off, I decided to stay and talk with both of the people I had my sights on. And you know what happened? I spoke with the creator of Jobbertunity, an app that helps locals connect with other local artisans. These services are searchable in the local market by distance, not by paid ranking. By the end of our conversation, I’d signed up to be a beta tester. I also made a connection with the founder and managing editor of Underest, a web publication for underserved entrepreneurs! I told him my vision for my company expanding into doing photography for brands via monthly retainer and he said he’d like to be my first client!! I’ll be meeting with him this evening.

See what happens when you take a chance on yourself? 🙂 If you see an opportunity, big or small, and you have even the slightest desire to pursue it, do it.

Have courage,
Elle

 

Chapter 32: Things are gonna change


I’m almost 32, what! Seems like it was only a few years ago that I was about to be 24. I often forget I’m even in my 30s in general but with my birthday coming up, I decided to do some thinking about my life and how I approach it. You know, it’s hard to just be genuine to oneself for women. We are groomed to please others, think of other’s feelings over our own and say yes to others even when we really don’t want or can’t do something. This is not fair and I’m calling BS on the whole thing! From this day forward, I’m going to put a conscious effort to make decisions based on my own ambitions and desires.

This is the part when most people add a disclaimer about not being arrogant or meaning to sound self-absorbed because we’ve often mistaken confidence and self love as a negative personality trait. Who told you it was wrong to want something or to say no? If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it! They will survive, they will get over it and you’ll be calm and have a lot less anxiety because you didn’t sign up for more work than you can handle. And by you, I mean me.

To keep myself in check when I start reverting back to an unhappy yes woman, I came up with some affirmations for chapter 32 of my life. If these inspire or strike a chord with you, feel free to say them everyday in the morning. Since I came up with quite a few of them, I’ll be posting each one as its own post with some additional details and ideas. I hope you enjoy!

Have courage,
Elle

Yellow Flowers on the Side of the Road


I only ended up getting through 44 days but I enjoyed the journey. I don’t feel guilty or like I failed. I will try it again some time. Simple as that. 🙂 Meanwhile, I’ve got to keep reminding myself that if I want to try something, I should try it. If I don’t finish something, it’s ok. If I look kinda silly or odd but I’m happy doing what I’m doing, that’s reason enough to keep going. Sometimes living with courage means focusing on your feelings and being honest without worrying about how others think.

I was walking with Brandon the other day around 8pm when we spotted a happy bed of yellow flowers on the corner. For a split second I thought I’ll just photograph the flowers because if I get down on the ground for this, I’ll look crazy. Then I just said skip what I look like, I’m going to get on the ground and take this selfie! As I got up and looked at the pic, I was so happy that I pushed aside the concern about others watching because I loved the result.

Elleword-sunflower-pic-on-the-side-of-the-roadThis inspired us to walk into a housing development and wonder into a model home. No one was there, I was a little nervous. As we looked around the home, we were loving everything we saw and it dawned on me that our current apartment is pretty tiny in comparison LOL. No we aren’t about to go house hunting but I’m glad we looked around and did something spontaneous on our walk. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but I felt free in those moments.

Have courage,
Elle

44/365 Gotta Fly


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44/365 Gotta Fly

When I was a child, I wanted the ability to fly. Peter Pan was one of my favorite movies to watch and I often imagined that if I jumped off the swing at just the right angle, I’d somehow defy gravity and just keep going upward. Well, I never managed to figure that out but this year, I flew! I did indoor skydiving with my husband and felt the sensation of flight, minus the arm flapping or amazing views of the landscape. It was invigorating. With the new year approaching, I want to fly in other ways.

One of my personal challenges is asking for help or seeking opportunities where I’ll be working with others. Group projects were the bane of my existence in school because I usually got paired up with people who weren’t focused. As an adult, I’ve learned that there are still plenty of people out there who aren’t pulling their weight on projects but expecting some kind of awesome turnout. But there’s also some passionate hard working people who are doing incredible things with others. I was inspired to try more collaborative work after working with my friends on a styled shoot this year. I’m still concerned about finding the right people to work with so my projects don’t fail. I’m still unsure of my own consistency or confidence. I’m still moving forward!

43/365 A Little Light


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43/365 A Little Light

I don’t usually sit around in dark rooms staring at my phone but I thought it might be cool to try and put a spotlight on myself using my phone. I’m laying on my bed in this shot but with a few setting adjustments on my camera and post work, you almost can’t see it! Seems like my best shots thus far feature some sort of cool lighting.

40/365 Lean Into It


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40/365 Lean Into It

I’m at the point in this 365 project where taking a pic each day is a little bothersome but I’m going to keep going. I’ve realized that I’m most happy with the project when I use my DSLR instead of my phone. It takes a lot of mental effort some days since I have to set my camera up on a tripod, prep the remote trigger and try to figure out what to do in the pic. Not to mention, my tripod is literally falling apart! woo sahhhhhh.

It’s time like these when I try to shake things up with lighting and location. I’ve been shooting in my apartment most of the time but as the weather changes, I will make it a point to get outside for more colorful shots with plenty of background details.

39/365 Glow in the Dark


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39/365 Glow in the Dark

Sometimes you just gotta keep going, keep working, keep trying, even when the sun goes down. The more productive I become, the more proactive I realize I need to become. Next year, I want to put myself in front of hundreds of couples and women via pictures and videos. Anyone whose had to make videos alone knows that it’s a time consuming pain in the butt. But (hahah) people love to watch videos because they make us feel like we are getting to know the person on the screen. Hence, I just have to woman up, record, edit and post my work consistently.