Far From the Shallow

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I’m not talking about the Oscar-winning song or the 3 foot end of the pool.

I’m referring to people who lack depth.

The people who only see me for what I look like.  The people who are driven by status.  The people who are more concerned with job titles than the purpose of what they do.

I’m not interested in your money, your condo, or where you got your degree- I want to know you as a person.  I don’t care where you work, but I do want to see past your ego.

I recently met someone who never asked about my writing, my recovery, or my job.  Sure, they complimented me on my appearance, but they cowered when I mentioned serious things about my life, and seemed to forget I don’t drink.  Ouch.

They didn’t want to know me- they wanted to me to be what they wanted me to be.

This is common in today’s society.  In a world of Real Housewives and Kardashians, it can be hard to find people who want to sit and have meaningful conversations.  It doesn’t have to be serious, but I do want to know what’s underneath the exterior (and I’m not talking about getting someone naked).

I want to know where someone is at spiritually- and I want to have a good understanding of who you are– not what I want you to be.

I’ve come to a point in my life where my own boundaries and self love are greater than putting on appearances to be accepted- I would rather be rejected than be untrue to myself.

Purpose Over Popularity

We can’t please everyone, can we?

While running errands over the weekend I passed one of best things about Central Square- Graffiti Alley.  Although it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s some of my favorite street art in the city.  Every time I walk through the magical rainbow covered walls, I notice something new.  What did this mean to the artist?  What were they thinking?

Then, as I reflected on purpose and meaning, I stumbled on this message today:

Purpose Over Popularity

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose.  To me, purpose doesn’t have to be something grand or extravagant, but it has to be meaningful.

Purpose is what fills your soul and makes your day worthwhile.  Purpose is what gets you out of bed in the morning.

Graffiti Alley made me think about my own purpose- speaking to others through my own writing and art.  It’s only natural for any writer or artist to fear rejection, criticism, or naysayers- however, the purpose of my work is to connect with those who understand. 

Art tells a story, whether it’s a mural or a song.  Although not everyone will understand the work an artist shares with the world, the art can have immense meaning; meaning that is unique to each individual.

Each time I receive an email from a person who relates to my struggles, has walked in my shoes, or needs someone to vent to, I am both overjoyed and humbled.  Connecting with others on a deeper level means everything to me.  From being a young girl who was bullied in school to someone who can be the voice to stand up for others, I wouldn’t want to be liked by everyone.

I would rather connect with one person on a meaningful level than 100 people for something shallow.

So, the next time I walk through Graffiti Alley, I’ll ponder the thought that went into each splatter of paint, brush stroke, and word.  We may not understand the meaning that went into the art, but remember: it could mean the world to someone.

Congratulations, Hoda!

I used to be a part of AOL’s Style Network (once called StyleList) of bloggers while living in New York.  One of the perks was attending exclusive events, including the Build Series.  Two years ago this week, I had the pleasure of attending Hoda’s talk, who was at the AOL Headquarters promoting her book Where We Belong (I got to see Sam Waterston that day, too!).  The book came at the perfect time, as I had accidentally deleted my fashion blog six days before (a happy mistake), wondering “what now?”  My fashion-focused self had been much of my identity for years, but I knew it was time for something more meaningful and authentic. Little did I know, January 2016 would be the beginning of my actual writing career… or at least the foundation of it.

I took Hoda’s talk to heart that day; her stories of strength, failures, and divine timing hit close to home.  Sometimes opportunities fall away or push you out, all because they weren’t in alignment with your soul’s passion.  I identified as a fashion marketer and blogger for so long, that I didn’t even realize that is was okay to chose a new representative.

On to the good news!  This morning it was announced that Hoda will be replacing Matt Lauer on the Today show!  I couldn’t be more thrilled.  Hoda will bring amazing energy to the show; even in just the short hour I was in the room with her, she had the ability to make everyone feel like her friend.  That’s exactly what Today needs after Lauer’s departure… and is further proof that the future is definitely female.

Congratulations again, Hoda! From a small town girl in Virginia to a news reporter in Mississippi, she is a true inspiration to anyone following their dreams.  You never know where the path will take you… but keep following your heart.