(I wish) I Woke Up Like This

We all know those people. The ones that practically skip out of bed in the morning. At 6AM when their internal alarm clock rings from the depths of their subconscious. They have run five miles, done 75 squats and 50 lunges, and had a nutritious high protein, low carb breakfast all before 7:30AM, when most of us trudge from our beds to our bathrooms as if there were hundred pound shackles bound to our feet.

Photo credit to the cool things Colleen Leddy has at her amazing bachelorette party.

After breakfast, this person sits down to spend an hour on their personal project. They are the writers, philosophers, entrepreneurs, makers, creators. The enlightened ones, if you will. They are the masters of their own lives. They had a dream at one point (and yes, MLK would also be considered one of these SSs), and are either on the very well paved path to achieving it, or in the midst of the surreal splendor of it.

For the luckiest, this one morning hour turns into many hours. They spend their day building the landscapes and skylines of their future.

All my life, I’ve tried to be a Self-Starter. I set goals for myself, and I achieve them momentarily. Writing every day for two weeks straight. Opting into initiatives like the 100-day program. Taking classes and feeling the rush of anticipation in the moments before, and the flood of satisfaction in the moments after. Enlivening characters I fall in love with, rooms I want to occupy, and storylines I want to share with everyone I possibly can.

I do it! And I love it! And then comes a moment when I stop. When the path to achieving my dreams becomes so convoluted, like a maze in the dark, in the middle of a large expanse of land, surrounded by nothingness. So even if I were to ever emerge, I’d only find another harrowing obstacle.

The self-starter has this same moment. When they stop and evaluate. But, these f**kers (excuse my French) just happen to be Eagle Scouts who know how to use the crap on the ground and friction to create a bright and fiery torch to light their way. They have to push through and persevere, too. Even though we might feel that by sheer will-power they can light-up the world.

So all you Self-Starters out there. Can you please take some time from being incredible, jealousy-inciting humans to give us all some advice on how in the world you do it?! Also, sorry I called you all f**kers (excuse my French, again). It comes from a place of love and admiration. Promise.

XX,

A

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Goodness. TGIF, am I right? This week has been an intense one. Who would’ve thought 2015 would get off to such a crazy start! In honor of a weekend off to play, explore, and get inspired, we wanted to share a few things that we’ve been loving lately.

A

Since the only places I’ve been exploring lately are my work email inbox and my client’s conference rooms, I’ve been low on the Jointly-acceptable fun-stuff. But one thing I’ve still be on, is stalking my favorite personalities on Instagram (primarily during plane taxi-ing). Here are a few profiles I’ve been loving (both new loves, and old loves):

1. R.M. Drake brings poetry into the world of Instagram. He’s a writer and Etsy shop owner, and his work is just beautiful. Such a welcome interruption to the regularly eye-candy oriented content. Makes you stop, read, and consider life.

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2. Witchoria does the same thing as @rmdrk for me. Makes me break out of my idle scroll. Her content is just as haunting as it is beautiful. It’s dark, but I’m okay with that. Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and I appreciate people who can address the good and the bad.

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3. Protect Your Magic is actually an online shop with amazing products that all don the line “Protect Your Magic.” A friend of mine from Mother actually re-grammed a photo recently, and I spent the next hour (and stayed up way too late) looking at all of the awesome products in the PYM shop and pondering her message:

We all have a magic about us. A magic that we should project but protect at the same time. Mine is my loyalty.. thats my magic. Whats your magic and how do you protect it? 

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K

1. This face map that tells your exactly why you have that random breakout

2. Can you imagine cuddling in this sweater, wooo-eeee!

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3. This empowering article for women and minorities found on Cleveland Craine’s – it’s just a perk that it’s about my dad!

4. Thanks to my lovely friend R, yesterday I discovered that the Apple Store hosts a ton of great events. I switched my night plans around yesterday to attend Eating with Your Eyes: Chicago Food Authority. Basically this was a Q&A hosted by the super charming Samantha Roby. Topics covered included, but were not limited to – her path to creating Chicago Food Authority, how to take the best photos for Instagram, and how to not give a sh*t when you have to stand on a chair at a 5 star restaurant to get a good photo. As I like to say, #doitforthelikes.

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While I can’t say that I learned anything new, it was super inspiring and exciting to be in a room filled with many of Chicago’s finest content curators. That being said, I’ve already cleared tonight to attend another similar event!

Hope you find some time to get inspired this weekend.

Jointly yours,

A & K

Questioning Success

Are there certain writings/sites/blogs/publications you read every day? The newspaper? The New Yorker? A religious text? Buzzfeed? 

I’ve always been a big fan of Brain Pickings. Are you guys familiar with it? It’s Maria Popova‘s amazingly written, beautifully curated, “one woman labor-of-love,” as she calls it. A site that began as a weekly newsletter of interestingness that she sent to seven friends. 

Her mission is simple, and refreshingly self-centered. To chronicle her intellectual, creative, spiritual growth, and examine what it means to lead a good life. Amazing, isn’t it? 

Of late, it seems Maria’s been pondering the concept of success. The difference between a starving artist and a thriving artist. The liberation of following your dreams, versus falling victim to societal expectations of what’s next. The importance of “being a good one,” whatever you may be. 

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How amazing are these illustrations? 

But success & expectations, and looking inside myself to understand what MY take on these two words mean, have been weighing heavy on my mind these days. Thus far, success has always been predicated on how much I’ve has accomplished. Where I went to school, if I graduated with honors, where I worked, where I lived, money (ick). But what about happiness? What about just leading a life that ends in a peaceful night of sleep. Or a day that is serene. Or being present to experience the small, magical moments in life. Or waking up and feeling excited for the day ahead. Why aren’t those factored into “success?” I don’t know, but I’m trying hard to change the way I think about it. Because otherwise, I’ll never be setting myself up for success! I’ll be setting myself up for discontent, feelings of insecurity and insufficiency. And that’s just not cool, guys. If we’re not our own biggest advocates, who will be? 

Just a thought. x

A

It Takes a While to be Amazing.

This video has been floating around among my brilliant ad-colleagues.
It’s the perfect part II to yesterdays “On Rejection” post.
A pleasant kick in the ass before we embark on the weekend.
During which you should DO SOMETHING AMAZING.

(Sorry the video isn’t embedded here, but you can click on the picture below, or here, to watch.)

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And please send my little sis good, healing wishes! She’s getting her “whizzies” (as she’s calling her wisdom teeth) taken out today. Eeep.

Love,
A

How To Deal: When You Become an Unintentional Workaholic

I would have never considered myself a workaholic. Work-life balance is gospel to me. GOSPEL. I need to have a healthy bit of life in my life, in order to feel normal. God only knows why I chose to go into advertising (I blame 21-year-old Ambika), but alas here I am. And I love what I do. I really truly love it. But strategizing, and then noodling your strategy, and then re-wording your words, and re-visualizing your visuals can get gnarly.

And considering that even on a normal 9-7pm schedule, my brain turns to mush by EOD, I’ve been living a nightmarish, brain-dead, extreme.

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I know people out there can do it. I have friends who have done it and continue to do it and more power to them because Lord, it is hard (although I guess if you’re making bank it’s probably easier to stomach, i.e. why investment banking still exists).

But regardless of my trials and tribulations, I’ve been doing my damndest to stay positive and on top of my life game. Because with a wedding to plan, a guy to love, and a family that will never stop calling (please don’t, I love you!), no one’s going to let me off easy.

Here are some ways I’ve been staying afloat:

1. Retreating to my work besties. Often.

There is nothing better than a work BFF break during a long work day. They’re like a pool of cold water in the Sahara. A lone umbrella in the rain. A pair of mittens during a blizzard. Those peeps are important peeps, and they will save your sanity time and time again.

2. Planning what I’ll do on my day off when the crazy ends.

This is what I’m thinking right now. Take a day off. Go to Brooklyn. Find this new creepy cool new age store that I’m intrigued by. Purchase a book. Purchase a fancy lunch. Sit and read. With my phone in my purse on DO NOT DISTURB MODE (which if you haven’t discovered I literally don’t know how you live).

3. Getting something really tasty for lunch everyday & keeping treats at my desk.

I had enchiladas FOUR times this week. This is not an exaggeration. And each time, for some reason, my meal got the slightest bit bigger. Oh Guac? Of course! I need chips with that! Oh an ELOTE appetizer? Please. Game over.

4. Sending my fiancé work-selfies.

K can attest to this. I have ONE documented full-face selfie. That shit’s just not my thing. But when it comes to making weird faces at my fiancé – I just can’t resist. And even if he doesn’t respond (which he doesn’t), at least I can have a little (or huge…) laugh at myself and realize that life just isn’t that serious.

5. Not making any plans after work.

For some people, this isn’t a thing. In fact, they need to go to a fancy dinner and then drink cocktails until 4 am to feel better. Not this gurl. I need a cup of chai with fresh ginger, and my bed. Enter apartment. Change into PJS. Wash up as fast as possible. And in.to.bed. NETFLIX.

6. Journaling moments in my crazy as F days that give me a sense of fulfillment.

There are some really good moments in my bad days. Moments when I finally crack a tough question, or figure out the perfect chart (1. you know you’re a strategist when…) to fit the campaign architecture in my head, or help a brudda/sistah out. I can’t lose sight of the things I love about my job. They make the crazy hours feel less crazy.

7. Using whatever downtime I have to write blog posts like this that will make light of my situation.

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Even if it is just plain crazy.

Hope you’re all staying afloat!

Love,

A

Hello & Welcome

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Jointly. A blog through which we will share our lives, our loves, and our musings, both separate and together, as sisters.

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Writing is a huge passion of ours (perhaps through the blood of our journalistic, freedom fighting, and small-town famous maternal grandfather). And while we’ve both stumbled upon our love for it different ways, we’ve reached a point where our wordsmithing dreams have collided.

We should correct ourselves here, though. The love is not just for writing. But also for food, music, relationships, adventures, work, and all the other things that make life life.

We’re hoping you’ll bear with us, and learn with us, as we navigate through some of life’s biggest experiences this year – carving out a career path, making a new home, planning and having a wedding. This shit’s no joke!

Please come back and hang with us, share with us, and teach us a thing or two on Jointly. Looking forward to getting to know you all.

Jointly yours,

A & K