From Her

from her fridays: a journey of…everything

by lizzie & isaiah on December 4, 2010 · 18 comments

Image from Wide Open Spaces

Before I tell you what I really want to tell you, a little backstory. My 2008 New Year’s resolution (and the only one I’ve ever actually completed) was to read a book every two weeks for the whole year. Gave me some time in between to read quickly or take something slower. I read some of the most amazing books I’ve ever read during that time: Traveling Mercies and Bird by Bird, both by Anne Lamott, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller (which I could easily credit as the book that re-sparked my interest in reading), White Oleander by Janet Finch (still one of my favorites) and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, to name my favorites. All highly recommended.

I am a huge fan of reading. I love everything about books. I refuse to get an electronic reader because I love to mark up my books until they’re almost unreadable with thoughts sparked from another writer’s words.

I started writing what I was convinced would be my first published novel at age nine. I was going to be an author, I was absolutely certain of it. The childlike part of me doesn’t feel silly at all saying I still will be. The realistic Mrs. Hyde, however, is spouting off uncertainty because of the online publishing world and its cannibalization of the print publishing world. It would mean almost nothing to me to print an “e-book,” whatever the hell that means. That’s not to discredit e-books, but to say that I personally would feel incredibly anti-climactic being published online after putting years of work into a book.

That being said, Isaiah and I are writing a book, have been for almost three years. I am also writing a book, which has recently turned into an adult coffee-table book complete with Isaiah’s fantastic illustrations. The book we’re writing together is about a couple’s journey represented by music…which may seem narcissistic as it’s mostly modeled after us…but I believe I’ve heard the phrase “write what you know” more times than I care to recount, so we’ll go with that.

The book I’ve written is a collection of interactions with strangers and odd conversations…I’m not sure how loved it would be by anyone but me, but I got some outstandingly sweet comments on it from a favorite professor of mine who turned 180+ pages around to me by the next morning with comments galore on each page. “I couldn’t put it down,” he said. I cried. I’m sure you’re having a hard time believing that I cry as rarely as I claim, but I think I may just be recounting some of the more personal moments in my recent years…so you can continue on.

Anyway, the other part of this journey that has intertwined throughout the last eight years is music. Isaiah with his rock-band (for more than eight years) and I with my solo gigs and occasional features and collaborations. We’ll talk about that more on another day. The main thing is this: Our journey has so many roads. Music, design, art, writing, photography, owning a business, movies and all the ways we’re sure we can make it. We have to narrow down. The renaissance men and women of the world often weren’t known for anything but being renaissance men/women unless they committed to one aspect. They were later mentioned, “Oh, and did you know he/she did __________ too?!”

You can’t dedicate yourselves equally to all parts of what interest you, or even more painful to let go, what you’re good at. There’s an excellent book I got for my high school graduation gift called The Dip by Seth Godin. It’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten (hint hint with the holidays coming up). The books tagline reads A little book that tells you when to quit (and when to stick). It’s focus is to understand when it’s time to let things go and focus on things that have real potential for you.

What that means in terms of us and our (too) many endeavors? We’ll see.

I also think it’s notable (meaning I’m jumping up and down) to say that Isaiah was just accepted into school yesterday. He’ll be a full-time design student as of January. Well this just about sums it up, doesn’t it?

Image from We Heart It

I couldn’t be more proud. What do you think about over-committing and being too enthusiastic about too many different options?

{ 18 comments }

Freakout: Career Concerns part II

by lizzie & isaiah on October 30, 2010 · 9 comments

I have talked about my career concerns a little bit lately. My brain is going a little nuts chewing on (or masticating, if you love that word as much as I do) the possibilities of the future.

I recently got some great advice from a pro that your first job certainly doesn’t define your career path. I don’t know why this instantly clicked for me…because it’s pretty common sense. I guess I had a plan set for my career. Obviously, you can’t do that. Life happens. I don’t have any idea what I want to do after graduation, but I used to. I guess I thought my first job after college would have to be something fantastic to set me off on the right path.

I got my first job when I turned 14. I learned the value of hard work. I have a much longer story as to the reason why I started working when I was 14, but that’s for another day. I went to college with the dream of becoming a lawyer and majored in political science. I had a little too much documented fun in my life to become a politician, but I could debate (argue) with the best of them.

My heart was broken by law and political science. I was a dreamer (hippie). I only ever loved to write.

I changed my major to journalism, specializing in public relations because it’s all writing, all the time, but with a hopeful career at the end. I have had seven internships in college – two in radio, two in public relations, two in graphic design and one in writing and editing. Three of them have been with company’s that I completely love and in industries that I could definitely see myself in (radio & magazine publishing).

Sidenote: My mom is the VP of her organization and has always been entrepreneurial and a brilliant, hard worker. She’s also a fantastic, loving mom who taught me things I thought everyone’s mom taught them. Turns out I was lucky.

I’ve always had big dreams. I took the “You can do anything you put your mind to” message in its absolute literal sense.

I’m writing on the defensive today, if you haven’t noticed..I don’t often defend my actions unless I feel they are being questioned. Has anyone ever said anything perfectly normal to you, but with tone that makes your blood boil a bit? One of those, “Well I’m willing to work hard” statements that automatically makes you go: “What, I’m not?”

Since that’s exactly the phrase that was said to me…and I feel like defending myself and explaining who I am a bit further, here’s this:

I can work hard (deep breath). I’m not delusional about owning a business. I saw what 80-hour workweeks look like. I don’t think it’s going to be penguin slippers and hot cocoa while I work from behind a computer in my comfy fabric-softened-comforter (we just did laundry).

I’m questioning entering corporate America, not because I can’t work hard and give it all, but because I don’t want that life. Public relations is completely unappealing to me now. The industry seems to be made up of entitled girls (yes, mainly women) that saw Sex & the City too many times at an impressionable age. If it’s not “that” girl, it’s someone spreading buzz words like “engage. synergy. communicate. connect.” until they’re meaningless.

Beyond that, I know that owning a business with your partner is not always a good idea. I think it takes a rare kind of couple to be able to work together. I’m not tooting our horn at all, in fact, the fact that we’re one of those couples means something else horrible: That we get jobs away from each other in the name of practicality. Then, because we’re apart for extensive periods of time, we end up fostering an increasing hatred for our jobs (the reason we’re apart) until we’re miserable.

I realize how unhealthy that reads, now that I’ve typed it out. I just want you to know that. But why is it that way? We’re deciding that this is the person you want to spend forever with…why should it be crazy to say you don’t care for being away from each other much?

Anyways, this post has taken a turn for verbal-diarrhea territory.

My point, in as few words as possible: I changed career courses because of the change in my life plans. I didn’t expect to get married. I didn’t expect to want to live my life with another person’s heart before my own.

I have a tendency, when I work, to dedicate everything. I know that if I found work that I was good at and enjoyed, I would work as much as possible. I get attached to company goals. I get attached to ideas and want to see them through to the end. I would work 60+ hour workweeks, I just know it. That’s not the life I want.

I find Isaiah far too ribbiting to want to be away from him for 60 hours per week.

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Feminism and the Adaptation of Isaiah's Last Name

by lizzie & isaiah on September 25, 2010 · 20 comments

Might be a touchy topic for some, I promise any opinions I share are just opinions I chose for myself…not opinions I hope to projectile spew all over you and your decisions.

I have never wondered if I was going to keep my last name. Okay, for like a day – Isaiah and I talked about it. I never thought it was conceding any of my individualism to adopt his last name. I thought it was an entrance into his family, a sign of honor and love…not the loss of Lizzie, part I, part II = the rest of my life in submission or something.

I wrote a paper my sophomore year of college about my ambivalence toward feminism, called “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar?” I went through the whole semi-extreme phase of feminism…until I picked up this book: Manifesta.

I couldn’t have disagreed more with the principles of the book. It was a hot-mess of gender inbalance. Maybe if I read it now, with my not-so-impressionable mind, I wouldn’t be so “eek!” about it, but when I was 18, I thought that book was everything I didn’t want to be…a hardened, anti-men, assumed-to-be-lesbian-all-the-time woman.  This is no, I was calloused toward the thought of men before “he” came along! Isaiah didn’t free me from the cage of feminism by any means.

Who would’ve thought Family Guy would ever clarify an ambiguous thought in your mind into one concrete sentence for you? In an episode I watched yesterday, Lois said, “To me, feminism means choice.” She was talking about choosing to be a wife and mother and what not.

This post is not about feminism. That’s just a can of worms for a whole other day.

I’m talking about how I don’t feel Isaiah’s last name is some kind of assault on my femininity. I don’t think taking it means I lose any of who I was. My parents split when I was 12, I have no attachment to my last name. Isaiah basks in his last name’s glory. He loves the way it sounds and is really happy with it. The first time he introduced himself to me – it was a first, middle and last name introduction. (Yeah, I know)

I’m all about equality and choice, feminism. And maybe I’m just traditional in some arenas, but I base a lot of my big life decisions on how they feel – before and after.

  • I don’t want my future children to have a different last name than him or me.
  • I haven’t established myself under my maiden name yet.
  • I want to give that to him, join families and names.
  • I don’t have any inner-gut resistance to the idea.

I’m sure this all just blubber now. I guess my number one fear in relationships has always been to be an emasculating woman. To make Isaiah feel small and like I’m in charge is on my list of don’t-do’s, although, unfortunately, it’s my natural reaction sometimes. I want us to have the same last name. I refuse to make/ask him to take mine. Ergo – I’ll have to get my plethora of monogrammed towels and robes changed when I marry. (kidding). I aspire to have equality in our relationship without competing for top-dog, which is what I think, sometimes can happen.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes – by Joan Baez: “Instead of getting hard ourselves and trying to compete, women should try and give their best qualities to men – bring them softness, teach them how to cry.”

Did you take your husband’s last name/are you planning to?

Why/why not?

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From Her Fridays: Double Dutch

by lizzie & isaiah on September 18, 2010 · 12 comments

Image: Corbis Images

Okay. It’s officially Saturday. My apologies.

This semester is going to be listed next to the definition of bananas soon. It’s my final semester in school and life is seeming more and more like double dutch every day.

I foolishly signed up for 18 credit hours to graduate in December. Two of those classes are the two upper-level public relations classes and are extremely project-intensive. I’m in another PR course that requires 36 hours of shadowing professionals throughout the semester, a.k.a. = bananas. My favorite class, by far, is magazine production…having a blast. My story is falling to pieces as the event I chose to write on is going down with it…and while it’s absorbing all of my time, I’m having a great time going down in flames. Lastly, environmental science, which is blowing my f*cking mind-hole and rubbing sandpaper all over my skin every day. Interestingly enough, this class doesn’t give you credit for all of the hours you spend feeling guilty over your environmental impact on the world.

I’m working three internships – all unpaid, and I’m PR director of my student organization. Hoping to take on a paying project in the next week or so, more on that later.

Isaiah and I are also trying to fit in something that resembles a normal relationship in that schedule and I like to see my family every once in a while.

My schedule is f*cking – * + u = bananas.

I am having a great semester, however, having a lot of fun and keeping busy. Maybe too much fun. I don’t want to drop any activities, but after graduation, where will I be? Joining the completely over-saturated PR market in Dallas, Texas?

I’ve always looked too far ahead. So far ahead – that sometimes I forget to enjoy the moment. I’m always planning and getting the next project rolling. I don’t want to spent the last semester of college thinking about the “next semester,” the next chapter…but, because of my unpaid intern status, graduation will be the double dutch act of focusing on school and continuously looking for a job this semester…preparing.

The wedding planning feels that way now. We don’t have jobs. We’re utterly unemployed and for far too long now. Our savings is starting to have that whole – “I’ll just take a sliver of pie and my mom won’t notice…Maybe just one more,” before-you-know-it-the-whole-pie-is-gone – effect. (Don’t pretend you haven’t done it).

We’re in that whole credit-cards-are-scouting-us and begging us to go into suicidal amounts of debt to “save us” from the impending doom of our financial woes phase. Should we be planning a wedding right now? How responsible is it to plan for a future while our present looks the way it does? It feels a little bit like putting money away religiously into savings when you have a huge credit card bill collecting interest.

Double dutch. Jumping in at the right time and being sure we don’t bust-face on the pavement from being too early, too late.

My mom is the ultimate voice of reason, urging us to wait until we have some options lined up to continue planning the wedding. Maybe I have too much faith in Isaiah and I, but we’re both young, able-bodied, intelligent and hard-working people. I am really not tooting our combined horns here, I just think it’s not ridiculous to think we could continue planning (a.k.a. start planning) on the basis that we will have jobs within the next year – our tentative date.

What do you think about the double dutch of life?

Were you in a great spot when you got engaged/started planning?

Any advice/consolation/ideas welcome…

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From Her Friday: Clutter.

August 27, 2010

Isaiah is starting classes in October at The Art Institute of FW. We’re so excited for him to be back in school and in such a great program that fits his interests. I have an interview for an internship with the school’s radio station, which definitely fits my interests. Unpaid, however. Which is definitely going [...]

6 comments you know you wanna read more..

From Her Fridays: Perspective

July 9, 2010

I had an interesting run-in with perspective this week. For a week, I didn’t drink any pop. I am a fiend for some soda. Same as, for a week I didn’t have any cigarettes. I reintroduced pop, for some reason. I was doing great with only water, and it has been a goal of mine [...]

35 comments you know you wanna read more..

From Her Fridays: Missing Toofers

July 2, 2010

I had my wisdom teeth removed this week. It was my first “surgery,” IV, experience with a scalpel in general. I have a bit of an irrational fear of needles and have never had anything worse than a tetanus shot {knock on wood}…To be honest, somedays I get a little nervous that my next tetanus [...]

18 comments you know you wanna read more..

From Her Fridays: First Date

June 25, 2010

We met in Chicago almost six years ago. The recap on that story: We met as friends in Chi and he moved to Vegas. Both of us were kind of “Uh…” We weren’t dating or anything, think it was kind of a quiet thing. While he lived in Vegas, we talked on the phone each night [...]

19 comments you know you wanna read more..

From Her Fridays: On the Air

June 18, 2010

I’m going to try to tell you the following information really calmly. I was on the air at the radio station I intern with yesterday. Yes, I know. It’s pretty cool. But with no holding back, I loved it. I totally dug it and I’ll pass it on to Isaiah: “If someone told me she [...]

15 comments you know you wanna read more..

From Her Fridays: Two Nice Things

June 11, 2010

Getting wrapped up in wedding planning is all too easy to do. I’m loving the increasing number of “Remember the Reason” posts talking about love and bringing it all back down to Earth. Isaiah and I have a tradition I would love to share with you. It started when we changed our lifestyles back in [...]

17 comments you know you wanna read more..