passion and marketing

anonymous asked:

blastr(.)com/2017-4-18/sexuality-sells-hollywood-capitalizing-lgbtq-characters-better-or-worse I love t100 getting dragged a year & 6 weeks later.

Bless this entire fucking article. This isn’t really about The 1OO, this is about the problem with media rep that I’ve been talking about for YEARS now and how y’all keep falling for the crumbs of rep every damn fucking time. 

…This, in and of itself, is not an issue. In fact, it’s a very good thing that creators are taking the opportunity to update older stories to fit a more modern view of the world.

The problem is that the sexuality of these characters is being used for marketing and not much else.

When a TV show or a movie introduces a gay character, two things happen without fail: there is a lot of press, and there is a core audience who will tune in, no matter what. LGBTQ+ audiences, generally, will see anything that shows even the slightest inkling of being a little bit gay.

There’s a particular way that LGBTQ+ audiences interact with media. It’s a kind of desperate need of representation akin to an abused animal. We want and need to feel like the media we consume cares about us and wants to represent us truthfully and compassionately. At the same time, we’re extremely well aware of the fact that that same media has mistreated us horribly in the past and continues to do so. If there’s a gay character on TV, you can bet that character has a legion of loyal fans simultaneously cheering them on and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Will the character be evil? Die? Both?

It’s that deep need and deeper fear that makes LGBTQ+ viewers some of the most passionate: perfect to market to, and dangerous to cross….

and fucking this…

Characters who happen to be gay have become a brand new form of tokenism. They are not, themselves, token characters - their characterization exists outside of their gayness - but they are being used to appeal to a certain demographic. Rather than serving the role of traditional token characters, Trini and LeFou do not support tired stereotypes or to allow the creators an out for borderline jokes at their expense. But, much like their token predecessors, these characters also do not exist because said creators think representation is important or meaningful. They get butts in seats, they stir up controversy, but they are inoffensive. You cannot rightfully fear them because they don’t do or say anything scary. You cannot hate them because they don’t actually do any of the things you hate.

But at the same time, you can’t really champion them, because they aren’t really doing or saying anything at all.

Read this article, then read it again thirty more times or until you understand that they’re literally playing you and that thankfully I’m not the only one pointing it out anymore. Every studio, every network, every showrunner. They are using you for ratings, money, and publicity without doing the work and you keep giving it to them. Stop falling for it. 

anonymous asked:

It's farmer's market season, and you're a plant-y witch! My market has all kinds of weird stuff I don't recognize and I can be afraid to branch out, so what weird stuff would you recommend? Magically or for eating? Thanks!!!

THIS IS THE QUESTION I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR AND I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW IT! I am so passionate about farmer’s markets! And plants! Ah! 

1. Live plants
This is not something every market has, but mine has a woman who is clearly a secret witch who sells little potted plants. But not the same basil/thyme/parsley every stall has, no! She has St. John’s Wort, verbena, catsfoot, cinquefoil, and on and on and on. (My beloved wormwood was originally purchased from her!) But even if your farmer’s market doesn’t have Weird Witch Herbs, still consider buying your kitchen herb live plants there–they likely have less pesticides than the same thing bought at Lowe’s or wherever, and the person who grew them will be able to tell you for sure. 

2. Less common mushrooms
This was my find at the market today! I can get oysters and chanterelles anywhere in town, but my community has recently gained a mushroom guy, a guy with a mushroom farm! He has both foraged and farmed mushrooms, some of which I’d heard of but never seen irl. Tonight I’m cooking up some lion’s mane mushrooms, which are fabulous and vaguely oceanic in flavor. I have never done magic with mushrooms–I’m sure it’s possible, but they always get eaten long before I could dream up a use.

3. Garlic scapes
I don’t know that these are “weird” because they’re so easy to grow, but they’re never carried at supermarkets–at least not where I live. You can use scapes in nearly any preparation similar to how you’d use green onions; I like to pickle them with red pepper. In magic, you can use them in place of garlic with similar protective and banishing qualities, its ~greenness~ adding a kind of catalytic speed to spell processes. 

4. Gooseberries
Goddamn I love gooseberries, and they are an underrated fruit. Tip to the wise: they’re often sold pale green/clear, and they will be exceptionally sour. I love them that way, but most prefer to cook them down with a lot of sugar. If you let them sit for a few days they turn purpley-pink and become much more palatable. Gooseberries are an ingredient in a number of folk remedies, and are also beloved of fae–do with that information what you will. 

Bonus (confidential to my Eastern US witch buds): Pawpaws
Sorry to everyone else, but I’ve never heard these discussed or sold outside of their native range. I’ve heard these called custard apples before, but most know them as pawpaws, not to be confused with papayas. They’re kind of mango-like, kind of banana-like, and a completely unique experience in their own right. My gran’s old books are filled with pawpaw recipes, both magical and mundane, as seems to be true of every Ozarks folk witch or herbalist of her generation. The flesh or juice of the fruit can be used in love spells; the seeds in curses. 

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Ask more five minute witchcraft questions here!

300+ followers to celebrate! I never have been one to care for keeping track but there are just too many of you that I appreciate for any of you to go unnoticed. I thank you all so much for sticking with me and my muse for Tamaki as we venture through Tumblr together. Now let us celebrate with a few notable shoutouts to my baes! 

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not to act like a snob and regular wiki of ice and fire reader but every time some media outlet raves about new villain in got which this series is not even about or even new lady who SLAYS bc femmism by doing shit that contradicts her whole characterization it makes me root for the great other even more

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Misty Copeland 

anonymous asked:

How do you keep the motivation and inspiration to keep making Beastlies?? I can only make, like, three things on my own before I end up trashing the idea completely!

Oh hello, Anon. I know you probably think you’ve asked a light, relatively straight-forward question, but in actuality, you’ve stumbled dangerously close to the territory of Things I Think A Lot About, so we’re going to get ALL UP IN THIS NOW. BUCKLE UP.

You didn’t give me any details about where you are in your life/career or what it is you do, but it sounds like POSSIBLY you’re tinkering with the idea of turning your creative interests into more than just an occasional hobby. Maybe? I’m for sure reading a lot into a couple words, but that’s where the interesting stuff lives, so we’ll go over there.  Let’s pretend my assumptions are correct and say that you’ve got an artistic drive and you want to DO something with it, something more than sketching for fun at the end of the work day.  But you don’t really know what you want to do.  

You, I don’t know, let’s say you took at a stab at painting portraits of owls, because owls are neat. But after a few portraits, you were totally bored and owls lost their appeal.  You ditch the owl-painting business.  That is not a failure. That is a success.  If paintings of owls are not the thing that you’re totally obsessed with, then it’s not what you were going to want to chain yourself to.  Your goal is to find yourself, creatively, and you’re probably not just going to decide on it right off the bat. You’re carving a giant marble sculpture of yourself as an artist, and you’ve got to knock a lot of chunks of rock off to get to the thing inside. Owls was a chunk. Congrats: it’s gone. Maybe you even made a few bucks on some owl paintings in the process, or even better, you improved your painting skills.  These steps are totally necessary, even if they’re frustrating.

Now, if you’re trying to make this your career, then it’s more complicated. So let me repeat a thing that’s an old idea, something a lot of people have said a lot of different ways… Andy J Miller is an artist who does a podcast that I recall talking about this, and he sums it up as “The right path is the center point balance of your skills vs passion, market demand vs internal calling.” I’ve also seen it as a venn diagram, like this: 

(Don’t be too intimidated by the idea of “what the world needs.” If you’re an artist, that’s an overwhelming requirement, so think of it more like “what connects with people.”)

The trick is the balance that’s there in the middle. And when you’re starting out, sometimes you have to veer too far into the land of “what you can be paid for,” and out of the “what you love doing” area, but have faith in yourself enough to not get stuck there forever. Keep angling toward work that is unique to you, work that really matters to you, and force yourself to have the confidence to believe that people will connect to it when it gets there.  

If they’re not connecting to it yet, you may not be there yet. People respond best to things that are true.  When you’re doing the work that’s somehow true, it is more likely to resonate with others. Look, I know that sounds so pretentious, but it’s not as fancy as all that. I mean, look at me: I’m either making pop-eyed little goobers or weird lizardy-dog-lemur-manatee things. I’m not writing Moby Dick over here, but these things I’m making are insanely important to me and weirdly true to my soul in ways I can’t really explain.  Will I be making the same work in 10 years? No. Maybe it’ll still be Beastlies, maybe it won’t. But even if it is, it won’t be the same. Maybe they’ll be one more owl-shaped chunk of marble I knocked off, or maybe they’ll just keep evolving until they’re very, very close to the middle of that chunk of marble (sorry, lost the metaphor there). Anyway, it’s a process that doesn’t end for as long as you keep creating. And that is what I believe strongly enough to write a whole big thing about it.

anonymous asked:

Daf! i have an job interview in two days. any tips? please

Youve come to the right person.

First, let’s start with attire. Dress professionally, but not boring. And by that I mean this: most people just stick to one color for their business suits. Grey….black…THAT DOESNT STAND OUT. You can still look super super cute and professional by mixing in some pastels or whites with gold buttons. I’ll reblog a photo of my last interview gear for you. Most of the items I got at Banana Republic, on sale. 

ALWAYS carry a smile. Not a fake smile either, but the kind of heartwarming smile that says “you’d love working with me in the office for the next 5 years.” If you think about it, HR’s job is to hire the most qualified people who fit into the company’s culture. And qualifications aren’t always solely based on skills. You have to be a pleasant person. Do not cuss (you’d think that’s an obvious one, but my friend is in HR and professional looking folks CUSS).

Treat the interview like a regular conversation between two/three people. At my last interview I was getting questioned by the HR lady and the head of the Marketing team. First it started by her asking me questions about school etc, then we got really into talking about the company culture and I started asking THEM questions. It makes them happy that someone is SO intrigued that they ask questions back.

Don’t be afraid to show emotions (ESPECIALLY when they ask what your passions are/what skills you’re good at and would like to pursue). If you’re excited about something, SHOW IT. I was squealing like a child, expressing my passion for marketing with hand gestures and body language… My eyes were FILLED with excitement. It was as if I was reading a very dramatic children’s book to my little cousin. I was super animated and pumped.

If the company you’re interviewing with is a startup then you’re in luck. Most of them mold a job to fit your skill levels and passions rather than sticking you into a job category with responsibilities you find dull. 

THEY WILL be asking you about team experiences, like “when did you and a team face hardships and how did you overcome them?” Google some interview questions. Be prepared. Sometimes at an interview when the answer wouldn’t come right off my mind I’d scrunch my face and say “Hmmmm” out loud and laugh saying “Oh wow, you got me with that one, let me think about it for the most recent answer” hahahaha. Just so I wouldnt look like a frozen piece of ooggly eyed mess. TRUST ME, I’m always super nervous. 

I landed my dream job and so can you!! Just chill, make the conversation flow and SMILE A LOTTTTTT. Be pleasant. 

Life Next Door; Chapter 8~ You're Family

Sorry I haven’t updated in a while, I’ve been super busy. But thanks for the support, it means the world! Feedback is always appreciated. ~Brooke

—————-

She couldn’t tell you when her life began to take a completely different turn. Somewhere between her and Maks laying in the forts they made in each other’s living rooms to slowly letting each other become a part of each other’s passions, her perspective began to change.  Even going grocery shopping was a different experience, where she would be in the produce aisle and see cucumbers and remember how much Maks hated them.

Her favorite thing about her new life, was that for the first time in her life, she was learning what it meant to discover something new consistently. For most of her life, it had been pretty consistent. Which is why she was the way she was; obsessed with order and not coloring out of the box. Here in New York, she was discovering something new everyday, whether it was a new place to go to or a new food or learning to be a part of his studio.

His studio.  Ever since that day, the day she came to his studio for the first time to assist him, things changed. She stepped into his world and it was unclear when, or if she would ever leave it.

The thought of the studio reminded Meryl that she needed to get ready to go to work.  She rose out of bed and slipped on a white blouse and a pencil skirt. It amazed her, even though it had been almost a month of her going to the studio to help out, that she was going to a dance studio in general. Never had she ever seen herself doing that. Going into the bathroom to brush her teeth and fix her bedhead, she thought back to the night Maks asked her to come back.

She had been sprawled out on the couch with Maks and Alex and Val sitting Indian style on the floor eating Chinese food when Maks dropped an unexpected proposition for her.

“So did you enjoy today Mer?” Alex had causally asked, after stuffing his face with a forkful of moo shoo chicken.

A mega watt smile formed on her face, “Yes! I can’t believe how much fun I had,” she admitted. “Who knew I’d have that much fun?” Truth be told, she had had so much fun, she would’ve loved to come back for another class, but she didn’t think it was her place to ask the guys of that. She knew it was a business, not just some fun thing to for Meryl to crash.

Maks looked at her, suddenly shy. She felt his gaze on her, and turned to him asking, “what?”

He looked at both Val and Alex, who nodded their heads in agreement. “Would you be willing to come back for a class or two and help out? We’d even pay you, because you would be like an assistant instructor.” He stopped, taking in her shocked face and suddenly panicked. Did he ask her something that made her feel awkward? He silently prayed he hadn’t over stepped, the color in his cheeks rising.

Meryl apparently picked up on his nervousness, because she leaned over resting a hand on his arm to calm him down. “Relax Maks!” she laughed. “I’d love to, I was hoping you’d ask me to come back,” she said winking, before leaning over to give him a kiss.

The four of them decided that she would work at the studio only two times a week, allowing her time to tend to the other commitments she had made previously.  She was to work on Thursdays and Tuesdays. It made for a hectic schedule, but she had had so much fun dancing there; it was another thing she was slowly discovering about herself.

The thought of her schedule made her exhausted just thinking about it. Along with her new dance commitments she made to Maks and the boys, she had work. She groaned out loud. Work and Meryl were not friends these days. She had gotten a job the minute she thought of living in New York City back when she was in Michigan. She wanted to make sure she was financially stable and secure before she took a major risk. Her job, an office job in marketing, wasn’t making her too happy. Sure it was money, but where was the fun? The passion? As far as Meryl was concerned, there was nothing passionate about marketing.

She mentioned to Maks that she was on the hunt for a new job, but between the two of them, neither of them could think of something else she could do that would be as financially stable as the job she currently had.

Looking at the clock, she yelped out loud. 7:50, crap. And she had to be at work at 8:15. She grabbed the brush off her bathroom counter and started ripping through her hair frantically making an effort to look presentable.

As she ran into the living room to grab her purse and leave, she stopped at the door pausing for a moment to think of her schedule for the day. Work, dance studio, ice house, and dinner with Maks. With one step, she was outside, locking the door, and running down the street to hail a cab to start her day.

———————–

“Arrggghhhh,” she groaned as she stepped into the Dance With Me Studio.  

Alex took in her disheveled appearance. He hadn’t known Meryl for too long, but he knew her well enough to know that she wouldn’t be walking around looking like she just woke up, if she hadn’t had a bad day. “Long day?” he asked sympathetically from behind the front desk.

“The longest. Work was annoying, my boss yelled at everyone on my floor because someone messed up the paperwork, and I spilled coffee on my shirt,” she groaned, pointing to an evident coffee stain at the top of her blouse.

Another employee walked into the lobby, stopping in her tracks when she laid eyes on Meryl. “Mer, what happened?” she asked stunned, her eyes getting bigger by the second. Meryl buried her face in her hands in response, walking straight into the dance studio that she and Maks danced in.

She found him leaning over, trying to figure out how to connect an AUX cord into the sound system. His reflection in the front mirror was evident, his brows furrowed in frustration. She quietly crept up front behind him, and covered his eyes with her tiny hands in an effort to surprise him.

He was so used to the shape of her hands, her soft skin, and her touch that he wasn’t confused as to who had covered his eyes. Playing along, he asked jokingly, “Is it Alex?” Her giggle filled the room as he gently took her hands off his face so he could see her.

She looked exhausted. She looked beautiful. He leaned down to kiss her, his lips tingling as they met her mouth. “What’s wrong?” he asked, his lips against hers.

She pulled apart, sticking her head in the crook of his neck. “Long day at a job that I don’t enjoy,” she mumbled, burying her head farther into the crook as if to escape reality.  

He took her hand, leading her to the bathroom, where he motioned her to get changed and ready. As she closed the door, he turned on his heel to head to the front desk. Alex and an employee that they had just hired, Gisselle, were arguing rather loudly.

“But Gisselle,” he heard Alex argue as he approached the corner, “You can’t just do that. We have a reputation around here. If a customer is nasty, it doesn’t matter.”

“Is there a problem here?” Maks questioned, raising his eyebrow at the two of them.

“Yes there is,” Alex started. “She cursed out a woman who was being difficult and-”

“Okay, I’ve heard enough,” Maks interrupted. He turned his back to Alex and faced Gisselle. “Gisselle, we have a reputation of having a good relationship with all of our customers. Even if we didn’t, you can’t just curse someone out. We have a zero tolerance policy of being rude to a customer and you’re new here, so I didn’t think you would open your mouth and curse someone out, right off the bat.” He gave her a steady stare, his voice remaining very low.

“But-” Gisselle started, only to be cut off by Maks.

“No buts,” he said calmly. “I’ll have Nicole write you a check for the hours you did and you can be on your way. And for future notice, wherever you end up working next, I can guarantee that cursing out a customer or anyone you work with, won’t work to your benefit.” He met her with another hard look before she turned away to receive her last check.

Alex sighed, “Man what are we going to do? We need a full time person to do the paperwork, and it’s going to take so long to find someone who can handle people and is qualified to do everything we need.”

He nodded. It was going to be hard. He couldn’t hire just anybody. There were a lot of qualifications. Besides being good at office like things, they needed to somewhat care about dance. It was a dance studio after all. Meryl caught his attention, her happy face could be seen a mile away.

“Meryl,” he said out loud suddenly. He looked at Alex, silently asking the question. Alex’s face looked shocked. Why hadn’t he thought of this originally? It would solve both their problems. Meryl would have a job that she would enjoy and the studio would have someone reliable. But what about that saying? Don’t mix friends with work. Pleasure with business was something people always said to avoid. He silently argued with himself, telling himself that she would be perfect for the job, regardless of what happens to them in the future.

He suddenly felt a pair of warm lips graces his own, a feeling that was beginning to become familiar, as her fingers touched the side of his cheek. He looked at her smiling down, but puzzled look came upon her face.

Alex’s laugh broke the silence. “You zoned out Maks,” he smirked. “I tried getting your attention like, six times, and then I gave up and told Meryl to kiss you. I knew it would work,” he teased, making kissy noises as Maks grabbed Meryl’s hand and dragged her away from Alex to get ready for the upcoming class.

——————-

“Bye Shifra, you did great today,” Meryl waved to the last of her and Maks’ students. She walked over to Maks, who cleaning up his self made mess that developed during the course of the class. While him and Meryl had been teaching Salsa/Samba dance moves, throughout the hour, it got really hot. So naturally, he felt that he had to take off his shirt. Meryl and the other ladies weren’t complaining though. She sat down and admired his muscular back. His shoulders were so broad and inviting, just waiting for her hands to roam across his smooth skin.

Peeking at the mirror, he saw her staring at his back. He looked over his shoulder, catching her staring and made her blush. But when she blushed, she blushed everywhere. From her nose to her toes. It drove him crazy.

He leaned over to kiss the top of her head, when Alex walked in followed by Val.

“So Meryl,” Val started. “How’s your new job?” She gave him a look that said, what do you think? He stifled a laugh, thinking of how much he liked having her as part of the family. Maks seriously lucked out finding her and hopefully, the studio would luck out too. “So, we just had to fire an employee who had more for the office type responsibilities, rather than dance ones. And I know that you aren’t too happy with your current job. If you’re willing to, you can have the job and work here full time for us.”

She stayed still, soaking in the offer. Work at the studio? How awesome was that? She’d be able to see Maks more than she did now and on top of that, she’d be getting paid to hang out with her friends.

“I’d love to!” she said, jumping up to give Val and Alex a big hug. She did a happy dance around the two boys, only to be picked up by Val and thrown over his shoulders.
“Vallll,” she shrieked.  She pounded on his back with her tiny, yet surprisingly strong fists. “Put me down! Maaakksss!” Maks and Alex were bent over laughing so hard, that they didn’t realize Meryl marching over to the two of them and hitting them both playfully for effect. She continued to smack Maks on the arm until he grabbed both her hands and pushed her up against a wall to quiet her down.

“Wait,” she said, pushing Maks off of her to face all of the boys. “This is a family studio. I’m not part of your family, I can’t work here,” she said, shaking her head.

“Mer, anyone who can put up with my brother and like him and tame him is family,” he snorted. “Have you met the whole fam yet?” She shook her head. It was true, she hadn’t met them, but she had heard a ton about them from Maks. She heard of a Tony, a Nicole, whom she knew from the studio. Maks talked about his parents like they hung the stars in the sky, which was technically true. He said that they made his dreams come true. If it wasn’t for them, he wouldn’t be the man he was today and he certainly wouldn’t be here in America if it weren’t for them.  

Whipping out his phone, Val walked away from the group, seeming to make a phone call. “Mama!” he exclaimed, his voice traveling through the quiet studio. He began excitedly talking to her, some parts in English, but most of it in Russian. Meryl wasn’t fluent in Russian, but she had been surrounded by Russian judges for most of her life and had a Russian coach. She could only pick up certain parts of the conversation. Dinner, girl, and family. Her ears perked up when her name was mentioned. She looked at Maks questioningly, who shrugged back in response.

Val turned towards Meryl, covering the mouthpiece of the phone, “When are you available for dinner Meryl?”

Completely caught off guard from the random question, she looked at Maks. “I… I don’t know. Um, whenever really,” she replied, thinking it would be in a week so she would have time to freak out and prepare to impress the family.

Val spoke into the phone a mile a minute, the language sounding like a lot of words and sounds being mushed together. He cupped the mouthpiece again, and asked, “How about tonight?”

———————-

Meryl gripped Maks’ hand as they drove through the streets of Fort Lee. Her nerves were as high as when she first got back onto the ice. Only this time, she was going to be judged on whether or not she was right for Maks.

After Val asked if she could come for dinner, she had to have a reality check. It would have to be earlier than usual because she had to be at the icehouse at 8:30. Meryl only had about an hour and a half to make herself presentable and to get some form of food or dessert ready so she wouldn’t show up empty handed. Maks had showed up at her apartment just in time to watch her run around the kitchen in an effort to make a quick cake. He observed her trying to find an outfit that would have the balance of looking nice, but not trying too hard. Causal, but not sloppy. When he had finally convinced her that she was fine and that they had to leave, she yelped, realizing that they needed flowers. That was another trip they had to make before they left the city to see them.

Finally in the car and almost at the home, her nerves were more apparent with every mile they got closer to the house. Val sat in the backseat with Alex, clearly amused. “Don’t worry Merylchka, they’re gonna love you. The worst thing that could happen is that they don’t like you and make you feel uncomfortable every time you come,” he said teasingly.

Maks gave him a dirty look from the rearview mirror and reached over to massage Meryl’s knee. “They’re gonna love you. I promise.” She met his eyes with a nervous smile and turned her attention to the house that he pulled up in front of. Putting the car in park, he took one of her hands in his, and leaned in to whisper in her ear. “Don’t worry,” he said softly. “You’re amazing. I’m so very proud I can introduce you to my parents.” He ignored the shit eating grins from Alex and Val and quickly kissed her before getting out.

The front door swung open and a woman with a smile that met her eyes, hurried towards the four. She grabbed Val and smothered him with kisses, Val pretending to be manly, but clearly happy to see his mother. She did the same to Alex and when she saw Maks, she pulled him into a big hug.

“Now, where is the beautiful Meryl I’ve been hearing all about?” she questioned the boys. Maks stepped aside to reveal a shy and uncertain looking Meryl from behind him.

“Hi, Mrs. Chmerkovskiy,” she said sweet, but timidly. “It’s so nice to meet you. You have a beautiful home.” She stuck out her hand, but Larisa waved it away, pulling her into a warm hug.

“Nonsense Meryl. You don’t think you can get away with just a handshake do you? I’ve heard so much about you and by the way, you can call me Larisa. Mrs. Chmerkovskiy makes me feel old,” she said, winking at her. She beckoned the four of them to follow her in, where they were bombarded by the whole family.

Two hours later and stuffed with food, Meryl sighed happily. Within the two hours, she met everyone in the family, blood and non-blood, all equally important. There was Russian chatter and English chatter filling the room. She had charmed both parents after she had shyly handed them the flowers and cake that she had made, both Sasha and Larisa raising their eyebrows at each other in approval. Maks’ grandmother had taken a particular liking to Meryl, when she saw her affectionately touching Maks face during a moment when both of them had seemed to forget that there were people around.

Meryl was in the middle of talking about a major skating competition that she had skated in with Charlie, when Maks interrupted her, telling her they had to go if she wanted to get back to the rink in time. She apologetically looked at the group of people she had been talking to, before excusing herself.

Maks watched as she wrapped up a conversation with Nicole, his heart bursting with pride over the beautiful woman whom he had brought home. No girl he brought home ever had such a positive response to his intense family. And his family had often made it clear that they hadn’t liked past girlfriends. He watched as the two of them exchanged numbers, amazed at how well she fit in. She came up to him, taking his hand in hers, and the two of them walked up to his mother to say goodbye.

After enveloping Maks in a hug and planting multiple kisses on his face, she turned her attention to Meryl. “I’m so glad you could come Meryl,” she said warmly before enclosing her in a hug. Whispering into her ear, Larisa said softly,  “I’m so glad that Maks met you. He’s truly an amazing man. And now that you’ve met all of us, don’t be a stranger because you’re family now.”

Meryl’s eyes filled with tears, overcome by how accepted she was by all these strangers. Who knew she would gain a new family full of amazing people?

———————

The loud noises hit Meryl the minute she stepped into the icehouse. She had made time to go on the ice with the other up and coming skaters. Most of them were young, but it didn’t matter to Meryl. She just wanted to make sure that she was surrounded by children who could control themselves on the ice and wouldn’t bump into her every second.

Maks held her bag in one hand, him insisting he come and watch because of how much he loved watching her in her element. The two walked towards the benches where she would put on her skates and where Maks would be able to settle in and watch her.

“Meryl?” a voice probed though the noise of the screaming kids, causing her to stop dead in her tracks. She craned her neck in search of who called her, her body going cold all over.

“Vinny?” she whispered, staring at the man across the room. He stared right back, a devilish smile slowly ascending upon his face.

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newfangledvideo’s passion project: A short documentary focusing on current Star Wars hype and comparing it to the historic lead up to Episode I

How Melissa Got Her Groove Back.

When I was 24, I walked into an interview for my first corporate job. I had a sprinkling of various marketing related part-time jobs on my resume from my college years, but I actual knew very little about marketing. 

They asked me if I knew what the company did, and my response was, “I know Red Hat has something to do with Open Source.”  I cringe now, thinking back to my lack of preparation for the interview. But somehow - in spite of myself- I was able to convey to them just how hungry I was for a chance. 

I was hired under the umbrella of marketing to do a very unglamorous job. I managed a database of software applications that were compatible with our product. I spent my days reviewing software partner requests to be added to the database and digging through massive, product matrices from large technology companies. It was about as boring and mind numbing as it sounds, but I was so excited to be working in the corporate world that I didn’t care. 

Slowly, I was given one off opportunities to learn “real” marketing. I started creating marketing documents for our software partners. I wrote and distributed a newsletter. I started planning small events. 

The role grew and so did I. I got promoted and received raises. Over the years my role changed from managing an online database to managing strategic relationships with some of our largest partners and then eventually I landed in a field marketing position where I supported our sales organization and got to be involved with all kinds of events and creative marketing campaigns. I fell in love with marketing and I knew it would forever be a part of my life in the working world. 

But something happened when I moved to San Francisco. I became the sole remote member of an east coast based marketing team. I was 3 hours behind and had to work twice as hard to be heard, to be seen, to feel like a contributor. It was at this same time that some major life events were also happening - I’d just gotten married, was exploring an intoxicating new city and then learned I was pregnant. There were distractions everywhere, and being so far away made it hard to feel connected.

I enjoyed the work I was doing, but my confidence started to lack. Sometimes, being so far away and constantly feeling disconnected to the hub of the rest of my team, I felt invisible. I remember laying in bed many nights convinced that I was going to be fired. It was the heaviest feeling to know my family was depending on me to succeed and that I was certain I was failing them. I doubted that I was capable enough to be impactful. I began to think that perhaps everyone I’d worked with up until that point had overestimated me. 

We moved back to Raleigh after Everly was born and I felt re-energized as I was given the opportunity to manage our field marketing efforts in the North East and Canada. I loved working with the sales organization and once again felt that passion for marketing. But things were changing- over the course of the next year, the entire marketing leadership in my department changed.

I felt like I was treading water as our goals and objectives shifted and refocused under a new structure. Nearly half of my immediate team was let go in an unanticipated layoff. There was so much work to do and not enough hands to do it. I also had new managers that I hadn’t yet built up enough rapport with to ask the hard questions and express my true concerns. All my old doubts on my abilities crept in again… I hesitated to contribute in meetings. I questioned if the work I was doing was significant and meaningful. I wanted to live and breath marketing the way I once had but saw no clear path to getting there again. 

So I took a leap. I interviewed for a new role at a new organization. I landed the job. I left the comfort of what I knew and walked into a role that I knew was more visible and carried high expectations and would require me to do things outside the scope of my job experience.  It was a chance at a clean slate. Early on, those old whispering thoughts crept in as I tried to soak up all of the new information being shared with me. 

I was trained on 7 different systems in the first month. I jumped head first into the middle of marketing a large executive event and worked to get up to speed on supporting a customer retention organization. In the beginning, I was on information overload. I remember feeling like my new team believed in me more than I believed in myself. 

I had been there two weeks when I was surprised to see that a bullet point on a big meeting agenda had my name next to it. I felt unprepared but quickly jotted down a couple things I felt might be relevant and tried to quiet the beating of my heart in my ears as I waited for my chance to speak among a large group of new colleagues. 

That evening, there was a call on my voicemail from my new manager. I sat on the floor outside Everly’s room at bedtime and pressed play. “Several people stopped me to say how impressed they were with your knowledge in the meeting today. Keep it up.”

I sat there thinking about how long it had been since I had heard words like that from a manager and I just felt so flooded with the desire to make it happen more often. Week after week, my confidence grew. I found myself leading projects, heading discussions in meetings, speaking up often. Late last year, I was even given the opportunity to drive the marketing on a major new corporate project. 

My passion for marketing exploded. That voice that had allowed me to undervalue myself for so long was silenced. 

This past year has give me a new voice, a renewed love, and a stronger point of view. Never again will I allow myself to believe that I’m not capable of being a leader and a change maker. Never again will I shrink.

The move from Red Hat to SAS represented a clean slate - a chance to grow and start over, but this next move represents so much more. Now, I know I’m capable of making impact. Instead of starting from zero, I’m excited to push forward with my current momentum. I am hungry to make gains, to drive business, to take on projects that scare the hell out of me. 

I don’t lay in bed at night, paralyzed by the fear of losing my job anymore. Instead, I swim in a thousand thoughts of how much potential lies ahead. 

And it feels amazing. 

Love,

M

anonymous asked:

I'm in college, I'm trying to figure out career-related things, and I recently figured out I'd be best at something involving history or writing. I'd love to do that, but I've been trying to teach myself to focus on "shoulds" and "needs" instead of "wants," and to be more practical. I want to be fully comfortable with settling. This is partly a reaction to having my dreams crushed a few years ago. Is this good, or is career searching a situation where I should consider what I want?

I am going to let you in on a secret, Anon:

Outside of a very few fields, your college major is probably not going to have a ton of influence on your job prospects. You know what will, though? The ability to communicate well in writing, critically analyze and contextualize information, and apply those skills to a wide variety of circumstances.

Yes, you need to think practically–but a lot of thinking practically in your case involves figuring out how your strengths and passions translate to marketable skills. And they do.

I mean, look, Anon, I double-majored in English Lit and Creative Writing. Any reasonable person will tell you that this is a professional dead end. And yet, I have never had a job that did not use the skills I picked up in those fields and while working at and later running the undergraduate writing center at my college. My spouse has a B.A. in Psychology. He is a sysadmin, and while his degree isn’t directly germane to his work, there are components of it–and stuff he got out of college as a whole–that he applies every day. I know people with hard-science backgrounds who work in the arts, social workers with B.A.s in classical literature, and a large number of brilliant folks in all those fields who don’t have undergraduate degrees.

Study what fuels you. It will translate.

Finally: When I was finishing up undergrad, my advisor gave me a piece of advice that I’ve found pretty infinitely useful: There’s no such thing as the rest of your life. Here’s what he meant by that: It’s never too late to change your mind. And he’s right, Anon. These four years may feel final and absolute to you right now, but a 4-year diploma doesn’t represent a hard-stop to your capacity to learn and grow, to develop new skills. You don’t have to have your life planned out by the time you turn 21. You just need to be able to pay the rent. 

You can always change fields. You can always go back to school. You can always try something new. And it’s always okay to do that, whether you’re 18, or 88.

School is starting soon. It soon will be time to emerge in preseason robotics. Cover yourselves in the passion of marketing. Love the new freshmen like your children. (Or just, you know, have fun seeing your old friends and be nice to the new people)