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Creating Your Own Path

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So much has been written about the path to success. Just head to your local book store or type "career" into an online search field. You will come across hundreds of books about how to be career-oriented and have it all -- all while mastering a healthy work/life balance.

As we know, the quest for the perfect career doesn't begin in our 20s or 30s. From a young age we're often herded into one corral over the other. "Suzy loves her science classes, so we'll tick that box on the 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' form. Billy, on the other hand, can't keep his nose out of books, so let's assume that he'll be a teacher someday."

It seems as though things have changed since I walked into my high school counselor's office to decide on a career before I had even taken my driver's license test. I'm coming across more and more people who are learning to create their own career path. Many haven't necessarily followed the dotted line they set in motion at the ripe old age of 16 and most would argue that they're better for it.

Everyone I've encountered has an amazing story to tell. Because these innovative, brilliant beings inspire me on a regular basis, I'd like to share their stories with you all.

Yes, there's a new series in the works, my friends.

Stay tuned.

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Tag: Creating Your Own Path

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Inspiration + Goal Refinement

I have to tell you all, I've spent the first 9 days of this year completely inspired. How, you ask? By whom? Well, mostly by people just like you. I'm inspired by the community that comes along with blogging and {some} social media interaction. I'm inspired by so many of you who reach out in the comment section or through various other channels to say thanks or share your experiences. My friends and family members are also incredibly inspiring. I'm surrounded by creative people and that can only lead to good things.

I've also recently stumbled upon several different indie publications, of both the online and print variety, that take my breath away. I'm not being dramatic here folks. I get goose bumps while devouring the delicious articles, interviews, essays, videos, recipes, photography, short stories and more. We have some seriously talented people on this here planet.

Seeing the world through the artwork of others -- through their perspective -- makes me so excited to go out and create more, collaborate more and share more high-quality work. I desperately want to create as much beautiful, helpful and engaging content as possible this year. I'm on track so far thanks to my pledge to explore my creative side at least a tiny bit each day. You've all been holding me accountable and offer up regular encouragement, which keeps me both motivated and humble at the same time. Thank you for that.

My small daily exercises have resulted in a few beautiful moments, including the making of the photos below:

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I looked out my front window a few mornings ago and saw droplets on our tree out front. The sky was a bit hazy with low clouds, which led to nice, post-sunrise light. Not caring what my neighbors might think, I bundled up, went out front and started snapping away. I'm so glad I took the time to notice the tiny droplets and seize the photo opportunity. If I hadn't, I may have missed out on much-needed practice time and photos that make me happy.

Thanks to the focus on small moments of creative time, I've even been motivated to organize my thoughts a bit. It's tough to truly visualize success through a vague lens, so I've refined my creative goals based on different types of content:

  • Write and submit at least 10 articles and/or essays to publications both near and far
  • Take more thoughtful and well-composed photos specifically for my Society6 Shop
  • Create at least 5 well-shot and edited videos for various outlets {and, let's face it, for practice!}
  • Blog more about the region I know and love: the Sacramento Valley

That's a good start, right? I hope? Just writing these goals so close to a button that screams "Publish!" is making me nervous. However, I know that putting it out there in the universe will help me see my goals through.

Thanks again to all of you who have continued to read and participate. I'm thrilled to be doing this and you all make it so worthwhile.

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If you have any tips on nurturing your creativity, finding inspiration and refining your goals, please feel free to share in the comment section below.

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Change is Good

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As the new year approaches, I can't help but reflect.

Over the last several years, and even more so in the last several days, our world has become so...loud. The constant stream of opinions, judgements, facts, misinformation, deeply personal stories and meaningless drivel I've opted in to (and, yes, participated in) has become overwhelming.

I find myself less interested in turning on this big, beautiful hunk of an iMac to write due to the noise I find just one browser tab over.

So, I'm opting out of certain things. I won't cut all ties, but those of you interested in following this blog on Facebook after the new year will be out of luck. I'll be deleting my account completely in the coming weeks.

While Facebook is an amazing tool for some businesses, I'm finding it less and less effective for sharing blog content. Sure, I can post a link, but very few people actually see it in their news feeds. Pictures generally elicit a response, but garnering "likes" on a photo stored within the Facebook platform has done very little to grow readership on this blog.

If you follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook, you may have seen my (and a TON of others, I'm sure) early concern regarding the new Instagram Terms of Service. While they've attempted to quiet the masses, I'm still not sure it's the right platform for me anymore. I know they have to monetize their business and have always figured that advertising would be part of that. My personal preference is usually to pay for a service, rather than have my content sold against without recognition or compensation. So, I'll wait to see what Instagram has to say about their "confusing" language (which, let's face it, was actually quite clear) and decide whether or not to move on. The good news is that we have choices. We always have choices (thank you, tireless app developers). I'm checking out the newly updated Flickr app and EyeEm. Feel free to join me here and here, respectively.

That said, I'll still be sharing blog goodness and other fun stuff over on Twitter, Pinterest and Everplaces. As always, you can follow this blog and get new posts sent directly to your email like so:

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You can also subscribe to my RSS Feed.

As far as content is concerned, I'm excited about the possibilities.

I purposefully titled this blog People + Places + Things so that I could cover a variety of topics. Admittedly, I've been really focused on the places as of late. The bottom line is this: I've had the unique opportunity to travel more over the last year and I took full advantage of that. Thus, the blog reflected my trips and adventures more than it did the people who inspire me. That will definitely change in 2013. As for the things... well... we'll just have to see how I address that part of the blog in the new year. I wouldn't expect an abundance of gift guides and the apocalypse will surely come before you'll see a "what I wore" post. There are bloggers who do that well (exhibits a, b and c). I am not one of them.

I look forward to the changes in store. I also look forward to having much more peace and at least a bit more quiet in the months to come.

I'll catch you on the flip side, friends.

Happy Holidays.

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Thank You

Yeah, I'm talkin' to you.With Thanksgiving just days away, I find myself grateful for so many things. I won't list them all here, because that would just take too long.

However, I would like to tell you how happy I am to have you all as readers. It means so much to be able to share and have people respond in such a positive way.

What I'm trying to say is: you all ROCK.

So, I'd like to leave you with a little ditty to show my gratitude. It's one of my 90's faves:

It's the kind of song that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. That is, until you realize five hours have gone by and you're still singing it.

For that, my friends, you are welcome.

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Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Eat a lot of food!

Be thankful!

Hug your people!

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