Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Things that make you go 'Hmmm'

Having a bit of a breather for the past few days at work -- after our big purse auction event --I've had some time to do some cleaning out and reorganizing around the office.

Yesterday I went through this big 80's style metal cabinet, and was shocked at the contents. Keep in mind, after 7 months of working here, I have never needed to open it, so once the door was opened I was VERY uncertain as to what I would find.

I started at the bottom and worked my way to the top. As I worked my way up, the importance of things (from a business perspective) dwindled and the eye-opening, 'OMIGOD!' thoughts magnified. The lower shelves contained annual reports, evaluations, by laws, etc. The things you would EXPECT to find in a filing cabinet. The upper shelves contained personal files like taxes and legal documents. First off, who brings these things to work?! Let alone, leaves them at an office they no longer occupy?

I puzzled over these findings for a few moments, wondering what went on before I entered the office I now oversee. I let these thoughts go as I left for the day, and tended to my own personal matters.

But then, as life often goes, those thoughts from yesterday resurfaced as in managing our website I had to answer the security questions set up on our account.

The first question: Which bank is closest?

Are you kidding me?! I can see the Bank of America sign from my office window. And I am sure anyone who wanted to hack our system could too! You have to wonder what one thinks when they set up security measures like that. I mean why even have a question to answer?

It scares me sometimes to think how little brain power people choose to use, especially when they are trusted to look after something. Consciention, please!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When did I get old?

Its funny the things that remind us of our age, and how much we have aged. Being at the ripe age of 33, many friends have shared stories of finding their first gray hair, or possibly the first signs of a wrinkle forming. Maybe a mysterious few pounds that seemed to form over night and won't budge. Or a few slips of the mind resulting in misplacing an important file or missing a dentist appointment.

All of the above, minus the first (knock on wood) have happened to me. I try to take these things in stride, as its simply life. Its simply getting older. It happens to everyone.

But then tonight I was working on a piece for our local newspaper, one that discusses popular and current cartoon characters. Now, it was my turn to draw a blank. Other than Curious George or Lightning McQueen, I could not think of ONE current cartoon character that somone under the age of 10 would be familiar with. My list included Garfield, Odie and Papa Smurf, and yet I can't remember the last time I have seen these childhood characters on TV or ever heard my 3-year old nephew talk about them. I am officially out of touch with what the youngsters of today know about. In their terms, I am old. Or at least my knowledge of things they care about is.

When the Today's show ran a special this week on 'Back to the Future' turning 25 years, it caught my attention. I remember when the movie came out in 1985. I was 8, and went to see it three times in the theater. I owned the soundtrack on cassette (!). I would sing along with the lyrics that boomed from my cotton-candy pink ghetto blaster. Today, I dont even own a cassette player or have a music player that is larger than my hand. (Thanks, Apple.) Technology has changed with the times, although I am not sure if anyone ever developed the flux-capacitor or whatever the crazy scientist created in the movie.

So much has changed in 25 years. I have changed so much in 25 years.

Then I was curious as to what I would be when I grow up. Now, while I still ask the same question, I am well into my career, I have lived in three major cities, traveled to over 10 countries by myself, and bought a brand new car with my own money. I am grown, and still growing. And yet, I have to wonder if I am still growing up? Or simply growing old? Or is 'old' simply a relative term to explain the difference between to two things?

At the scholarship foundation, where I am the director, I am surrounded by young people, and that is what they seem to me - young, and dreaming, a bit naive, but ultimately young. I know 15 years ago when I came to the same office as a scholarship hopeful, I looked just like them. Same age, same dreams, same hopes about tomorrow. And yet, now when they see me they see a woman, not a girl. I am older in my appearance, and my demeanor... and they probably put me somewhere close to their mother's age. Scary thought.

Its crazy how time trickles by. When we least expect it, our age is thrown at us, reminding us of our time spent here on Earth.

In the end, we all get older, and we all grow up. Tomorrow's generation will see today's generation as older, and eventually old. And the same for generations after that. I never really thought of it that way as I have always felt extremely youthful. While a simple search for current cartoon characters won't change my outlook on life, it does remind me that I am not the young whipper-snapper I used to be, and I know one day before I am ready someone (probably Ramsey) will refer to me as old. And in comparison to him, he will be right.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shaking it Up

I've always been a firm believer that the only obstacle in our lives is the way we think about things. If you think you are short, you are. If you think you will never get your dream job, you won't. And if you think its impossible to get moving before 6AM, most likely, for you it will be.

When it comes to life and how to live it, I think we should all take a lesson from the bumblebee. As science would tell you, an insect so fat with such tiny wings can never get off the ground and fly. And yet it seems someone forgot to tell the bumblebee, for it sure gets around on those tiny wings!

Our outlook makes or breaks us in terms of getting what we want.

In the past 6 months, I find myself continuously putting off the things I want to do most. I have my set routine each morning, with the gym and getting ready and getting to the office. In the evenings I let my life be as chaotic as it wishes with no set plans, other than my Tuesday night Spanish classes Jay and I are taking at Kennesaw. And yet, the one thing I want to do more than anything, is spend more time putting thoughts down on paper/screen. I love writing. I love telling my story. I love fitting words together so that the simpliest of ideas come to life in such a vibrant concoction.

Since my foray into a writers life that began in Spring 2009, I have not done as much as I wanted with this passion. I got sidetracked and way-layed with multiple moves, new jobs, significant others and all the other things that have filled my life the past six months. I made excuses, put things off, and told myself there wasn't the time.

The only thing that really happened was my dreams of writing have not happened. So its time to put them into action, its time to believe I can fly and I can do what I truly want. Its time to believe a little more like the bumblebee, and ignore timelines and deadlines and the pressures of the day to day that can get in the way of any dream imaginable.

So my morning routine, is getting a facelift. (or actually I will probably need one once I start waking up at 5AM for days on end). I am now awake at 5AM every day, hitting the gym to deal with my nervous energy, and then I have an hour to write and see what happens when words really do start fitting together.

For so long, I held onto this notion that the only place I could write was Spain. I loved the writers life I lived there, waking up and running first thing, showering and then writing at the cafe and then going about my day.

Well, here, its no different. I still have a story to tell, and there is no time like the present to tell it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Oh, to be David Jones.

The global CEO of the agency I used to work was one of the coolest people I have ever met. When I started at Euro RSCG he was the CEO of the New York office, and my role in new business had me working with him on an almost daily basis. He was simple, yet inspiring. Quick minded. Thoughtful. He knew what he wanted, and could always ask in a way that wasn't imposing but seemed like the natural order of business. He spoke multiple languages, and had a British accent. He had a beautiful family, and as often heard in the ladies room, he was quite handsome himself. He was very charming, very caring and knew how to do his job. He was fun to work with. He listened to ideas, and could always make the best decision.

Now, I am friends with David Jones on Facebook, and its interesting to see the pages of his life. He has traveled the world -- probably 40 times around. He is on stage with people like Kofi Anan and Bill Clinton. He thinks of projects that will benefit the world and puts them in action. He wins clients for Euro, and I think every year of his career he has gotten a promotion.

He is one of the few successful people you like to see succeed. It doesn't seem to go to his head. During the first week of my job at Euro, he asked me to his office to talk New Business. I was amazed at the decor of his office. Obviously someone had set it up with a Euro/Asian theme, but what I loved most were the personal touches. The surfboard in the corner to remind him there is more to life than what you do behind a desk. The drawings by his children that were framed and he claimed were the best print ads ever. The bottle of water and breakfast sandwich wrapper snagged from a deli because even people like David Jones have to eat.

There was a well known and too often true joke that went around the office about Mr. Jones. It went something like this: Mrs. Jones was walking her son Deacon through the park in Tribeca, and her son started waving in the air yelling 'Hello, daddy!'... She asked him, 'do you see your dad? where?!' To which he replied. "He's up there Mommy!" pointing to a plane.

And in perusing Mr. Jones's facebook page, I could see it. His photos are made by his blackberry. There are no friends or family in any of them. There are landscapes and cityscapes but no faces. 75% of the time he is on a different continent than his family, and rarely the same country. His children grow, learn, make new friends and adopt new hobbies -- much of what he doesn't get to witness. He spends more nights in a hotel than his own bed. That would be such a sad life.

There is a price for every happiness. And the exciting life of David Jones may have been that one day - exciting. But you wonder what is the price of such excitement, and if he could do it all over again which path would he choose. Sure, his business sense will allow a nice life and education for his kids. But I bet all of them would trade in learning one less language just to have their daddy around one extra day a week. And I bet he would be willing to trade a few million dollars a year to have more photos of him and his kids to share with the world.

You can be alone anywhere. Its the faces that make a place home. And I worry that for some with lifestyles like Mr. Jones, the familiar faces are those seen in the office or worse, on Facebook. Oh, to be David Jones.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where I've been.

It hit me on the flight to Roma yesterday that I have not blogged in a while. I haven't written at all, really. I've been to the gym a few times but its not working out for me. I've left New York and delayed my plans to Europe three times.

In the six weeks since I left New York, so much has happened, things that never happen to Paige Miller. Not in this lifetime so far anyway.

I have been happy to be in my hometown, day-in, day-out. I've loved seeing people that I have known since childhood. I've enjoyed seeing the families they have created. I've enjoyed seeing how the small town I grew up in has grown up and changed. Still far from a cosmopolitan place, but now there are drinking establishments and places to hang out in the evenings.

I have seen both my mom and sister on a bi-weekly basis. THIS has not happened since high school -- EVER.

I realized there was mouse in my house and caught it and handled it myself. Even after 7.5 years of living in NYC I NEVER learned to do this.

I have been hanging out with a SOUTHERN BOY for the past two months (every single day), and after those two months, I like him more everyday since day 1. We get along like 'peas and carrots' and I actually miss him when I have not seen him in several hours. We've talked about the future, and I haven't gotten scared... once!

I have a new job I am excited about, and proud that I will finally be helping others attain a higher education vs. trying to come up with strategies to hock jaguars and shampoo.

The biggest thing though, is I am putting together a life I want in all aspects -- job, friends, family, love, me. Sure it may not be in the location I expected, but the way the sum of the parts add up there is no feeling that a city can provide that beats it.

Its all coming together in ways I could not imagine, and I could not be happier.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Yes, I'd like NYC. But in a size L. And no skinny-jeans, please!

This morning has brought with it a series of mixed emotions. Cleaning out my email box at Euro - one that has remained the same for the past 5 years - I am flooded with memories of a life lived well in one of the best cities on Earth.

In reading through emails exchanged with friends, glimpsing travel reservations that have taking place, recipes shared in prep for a celebration, and photos taken on various occassions, I am overwhelmed at the life that has been mine in my days here.

This city has been my home, its been my entertainment, and its been my best friend. These streets have witnessed every emotion I have known -- from happiness, to sadness, to excitement to bewilderment. Its all been there. My life has happened here, and I am growing a bit teary eyed at knowing I could be leaving and never coming back.

Given the time spent here, I can safely say moving to New York is my biggest adventure to-date. Being here has helped me find myself, and figure out what I want in life, and in my life. The one thing this city has not provided for me is love. Real love. Not to sound like Carrie Bradshaw, but "real, awe-inspiring, incovenient, all-encompassing, can't live without you love", and that is what I want. Sure I've had 'love' in my life, but none that I wasn't willing to throw back as I knew something better was out there.

While the city never gave me the love I am looking for, it did provide everything I needed in other ways. Challenges to make me stronger. City-streets to wander for hours as I sorted myself out. Experiences that you read about only in magazines. Friends who have anchored-me and yet encouraged me to dream. Mentors who have been inspiring. Diverse cultural offerings to grow my passion for the arts, for food and wine, and the world in which we live. And too many fun memories to count. New York has been so much to me.

But as I told Time Out New York last year, "I want it all". I want all the city provided, plus the real love I seek. I believe I will find it, just not here in these city streets. My journey is leading me past that, and encouraging new directions.

New York taught me what I am, and what I want. And now I must go into the world to find the one thing I want most. I know without a doubt, that will be the biggest and most exciting adventure of my life. And I am more than ready for it to begin.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Listening to the Voice Within

Happy New Year, all!

What a wacky year 2009 was. It was one of the most amazing years of my life, full of every emotion under the sun. A true life-changer. As fabulous as those 365 days were, I am so happy to be sitting on this side of that year, and ready for an even more fabulous time of my life.

My current location in the world is San Pedro, Belize. I am waiting on a fresh cup of Belizean coffee to finish brewing and I am writing from the little table in my guest cottage with fantastic views of the overcast sky. Mornings like this are made for writing.

Getting to this exact moment has taken all of me - physically, mentally, emotionally, all of me. Every moment of last year led me here - from ending an engagement, cancelling a wedding, running a marathon, finding an apartment I adore, running all over Southern Europe, meeting some of the most terrific people in my life, and learning to just be me -- all of me.

I no longer worry that 'all of me' is too much for people. For some, I am a handful. And I now know that is okay. The thing I am most proud of in 2009 is learning to be myself, and learning to love who that person is - regardless of what that means to others.

As I look back on 2009, there was always a hand guiding me forward. Showing me signs, leading me to where I am. The path wasn't clear at the beginning, but in hindsight its as clear as day.

I am happiest in moments like this, letting my thoughts fill a page, telling a story for some sort of purpose - with a tendancy towards being long-winded. I know I am meant to write. The path has been there my whole life, but I always wanted to ignore it and chase other dreams that made sense for other people. But now, after getting a taste for a writers' life during my time in Europe, and trying to make the whole "advertising thing"work once I returned, only to be told my job is ending in February, I know my time is here.

By the end of 2010, I will have a manuscript to publish. That is my only goal for this year.

When the voice inside calls, we must move forward. We can ignore it, we can hide from it, but it only comes back to you later. At 32, the time has come to listen and to act on what that voice says to me.

Sure, at 32, I would like to pursue other things -- relationships, dreams of family and a more settled lifestyle -- but I know that will never happen if I don't get on with what I know I am meant to do. The path has been there all along, and now I must go where that path leads. Life is simply too short to be less than we were meant to be.