Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Be A Dangerous Dreamer


  All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~ T. E. Lawrence


  I remember once, when I was just barely a teenager, I wrote a new poem about a doll coming back to life and admonishing it's owner about forgetting her childhood. I showed it to my mother, thinking it was just a kinda cute poem that I'd done, and she actually started crying. (Sure, mothers cry about things, but back then my mom didn't cry all that much). She told me that someday I was going to write songs that would change people. I've never forgotten that, even though I'm not great at music. My thought was, "It's just a little poem," but the look on my mom's face was something that would stay with me forever. It's a goal that was haphazardly set for myself. I apparently have a chance at making a difference for someone. So why not take that challenge?

  The madness, though, was that I didn't always know what path it would take to get there. What it that "difference" would even look like. What I was supposed to be doing.... I do so many things every day, and  have the drive to try new things and build something with them, that I'm a whirlwind of flying colors with no name. Back then I was just hoping that in all the chaos somehow I would figure out how to make a difference. In the end I'm just like everyone else though, caught in the middle of life's storm.

  I guess it's very simple, really. I did what I loved, and I kept asking the right questions--talking to the right people--and I waited. It's been said that waiting is the biggest part of life. But the deal is, while you're waiting, you have to be watching. You have to be a Hunter to get what you want. Work while you wait, and watch.... We are born with a place in the world, I believe. We were born to be conquerors, despite all the shit that happens in life--or rather in spite of it. So many lack faith. My deal was that I was weary with waiting--even faith is exhausting. The days can feel so long, especially when you're fighting for something. I will tell you though, that relief and joy when you know you're finally on the right path--it makes everything worthwhile. The little moments of victory are so freaking sweet.

  Don't lose faith. Honestly, your circumstances, your life, doesn't get the only say. You do. YOU have a say. Otherwise why do you even exist? We all are a component of the world, and that makes all the difference, when we realize it. We are of the same energy that shapes our surroundings.

  Be a Dangerous Dreamer, and dream with your eyes wide open. 


~ Nikki


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Monday, August 20, 2018

The Rest is Merely Tenacity ~ Back from the Dead



"The most difficult thing is the decision to act,
The rest is merely tenacity."
~Amelia Earhart


 I haven't written anything since January. What a hell of a year it's been already. And in a good way.

  •   I started a new, better job in January. Got a heck of a raise, WITH commission. 
  • Took two trips already this year. (SoonerCon, and a trip to Dallas to see Paul Simon in concert--more on that later).
  • Moved to a better, more affordable place. So much happier here!
  • AND...I FRIGGIN' STARTED SCHOOL. 
  I can't begin to tell you how blessed I am. I'm finally on the path I've wanted to be. It's been a roller-coaster, financially, but I'm still tight on the reins with making sure it's under control. I feel so blessed.

  I won't be able to go on a cruise later this year, but I think that pales in comparison to the fact I'm finally on the path to becomes a recognized filmmaker. Actually building the career I've been gunning for, for the last six years.

  Honestly, last Friday I opened the intro to my first online film class. I stared at it, and realized that six years ago, when I was 22 (I'm right about to turn 28) I realized I wanted to become a filmmaker. And I found a program that I thought would be right for me. Still took me a couple years to move out on my own (was still helping with the family at that point), but I was able to do that June 5th, 2015. Three years later I'm in the program, and already working with a mentor. In those three years I've:

  • moved out
  • gotten a full time job with a raise (making a living on a part time job is REALLY hard)
  • gotten a car
  • gotten a better job, with a promotion and raise
  • and started school

  How BLESSED am I? That is not a bad track record. Thank God I was born with tenacity. There is definitely pros to being a stubborn ass!! My mom will laugh at that.

  That said, I've been having a little trouble sleeping. I can't help but think of the days to come. With my drive, and my talents, I don't think I have an excuse not to succeed. The days will be full, and busy--life will be coming at me full force, and I will have a hard time making time for friends and family. But I'll find a way.

  Life just got a whole lot bigger, I think.


  ~Nikki


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Monday, January 1, 2018

Travel Ideas? Find the Right Travel Card ~ Ode to a New Year

For most of us, the New Year is a day of mixed emotions. The things we failed at last year, what we had hoped for--the joy that things happened, things were able to accomplish. Or the random things that make a year interesting. It was definitely a mixed year for me, as most of you would know. But it was a full one, and it put me on the path I needed to be. I'm much happier, and in a much better place. I have a lot to look forward to this year.

  I'm already on track with getting out of debt, (very happy about that--should be out of credit card debt by the end of April, if not March--and will have paid off my online classes by end of June!!) and I should be able to hit my car payments hard after that--get at least much of it paid off. And on top of that...I'm endeavoring to save for a cruise at the end of the year with my friend Kenia. So that is exciting!
via wikipedia

Which made for good timing when Ashley from U.S. News and World Report reached out to me about a topic that I've actually been studying about for awhile. I LOVE to travel, so anytime I get to visit someplace new (which isn't often) or anything, I take the chance. If I can feasibly make it work, I will find a way.

  Around the end of August or early September my friend Kenia asked if I'd be interested in going a cruise. Well YEAH. If we can pull it off, sign me up! So after figuring out what this year was going to look like, I told her that we needed to start making concrete plans and setting savings goals. I'm so excited. Which puts us on the subject of money....

  Honestly, this is something that differs with people. I, however, am a fan of having a reliable card/cards that will enable me to travel and enjoy myself hassle free. (And if you travel abroad DO NOT forget to tell your bank!!! Don't don't don't forget!) It is better to have a travel-oriented card that has less transaction fees, good security, and overall a good rating among customers. I've been planning on applying for one in particular--the Chase Sapphire Preferred--because I have heard so many good things about it for years. (First from Nomadic Matt, years ago--and it is especially covered in his book How to Travel the World on $50 a Day--LOVED that book)!! And this article from U.S. News and World Report covers a lot of the questions/issues that are still being raised about the best cards to look for. We still live in a time where most people think that only the rich can travel, although that's changing. Whenever I mention travel, almost always someone says, "Oh my gosh it is SO EXPENSIVE to travel. You better save up a lot of money." Sure, I like savings. I do that. But these people forget that there's a lot of information out there, and a lot of opportunities offered because more and more people want to get out and discover. Perhaps if these types of articles were shared more socially, more people would have an open mind about travel. (And would get so grouchy about being home, haha).

  You see, it is so much safer to use a credit card abroad, and then use the money you saved to pay it off. If something happens to your card, it's not coming out of your bank account. No one is stealing that particular info. And a lot of credit cards--the really good ones--have stellar security attached to them.

  If your dream is to travel--even if it's just here and there--then do your research. Save yourself that hassle of making a possibly costly mistake. I've inherited my credit card sense from my parents, because they taught me well, and I've furthered my own experience. This article from U.S. News and World Report covers so many bases when choosing a card. Check it out!


  ~Nikki



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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Paperless Post Review ~ Good Thanksgiving Wishes

  I was contacted recently by Paperless Post, with the offer that I try out there digital print cards. Of course I'm always excited at the idea of working with someone new, and I took a look at their card designs. So cute! And so many of them are customizable. At first I thought I'd have the option of printing the ones I liked--no, the offer I had from the company was for emailed cards. Which was definitely still cool--at first I was going to print Christmas cards and send them off--but when I realized it was an emailed card, I was like, "Hey, instead I'll just send off Thanksgiving cards for like the first time ever. Omg this one is so cute and funny!!"






I was very happy. Not only did I find a card that was both vintage-y and humorous, it was super easy to send it to everyone, within the time frame I needed. It was just a matter of getting all the addresses, listing them, and then hitting the send button. Mass mail. For cutesy holidays or birthdays, or just to say hi, I think these cards are a great idea. I love getting physical cards for Christmas, especially since this year is the first year that I'll do an annual letter. I LIKE sending mail. I love the art of letterwriting. And sending cards. I love receiving them--that thought, that someone thought of me enough to write me a personal note.

  Paperless Post has print options as well, with many designers cards. It is definitely worth the look guys! Next year I might choose my favorite Christmas design that is customizable with a personal photo. I love the ivy trim around it. I just don't have the photo right now, I'm too freaking busy with work and cramming time with friends and family. The ONE time I scheduled a photoshoot I got sick the day before, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Rudolph's nose is cute, but not when it's on my face and it hurts. And I looked like trash. So needless to say I canceled my appointment. Perhaps next year!

  If you try it, please let me know what you think of your experience! I really enjoyed the ease of Paperless Post.


  ~ Nikki


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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Taking on the Credit Beast ~ Imma Cut Ya

Well I finally did it! I cut my first credit card! Well, with scissors. Not the first time I've canceled one--not that I'm canceling this one. I don't have a ton of credit cards, and I know that the amount of credit available to me--not necessarily the number of cards I have--effect my credit score as well. So I want to stick to the amount I have now, and just pay them down.

  However, this is the first time I've cut one. I need to remove the temptation of swiping it at work. Because even those vending machine snacks, those awesome gardening deals, don't help me reach my goals. I need it to be out of my wallet until I get my spending and debt under control. If I so wish I'll get it reissued after I reach that goal. My idea though, is that I'll keep it as it is, and just run my basic bills through it, so that I have a payable balance each month, but usable for nothing else. Not using your credit card doens't really do much either--using it responsibly does.

  I have to say though--cutting that card in half felt SUPER GOOD. I couldn't help but smile. Because I had finally done what needed to be done. Goals come first--and I need to remember that.

  And now I'm watching Confessions of a Shopaholic. I thought it was fitting.

  Here's to a better year next year. And please forget the corny blog title.


  ~Nikki



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Thursday, October 5, 2017

When Autumn Comes In Life

There are days when Autumn comes, normally or just in a time of your life, and it can feel like just a season of change. It's good, it's refreshing. And then there are the days where you don't want to get out of bed for two hours, because you don't want to do anything. Nothing but lie there, and think. Be inside you head while the morning moves on grey and dripping. It's relaxing, but it won't move your your soul to action. Only necessity does. It's a mixture of a grey serenity, and your own depression. And with us women, our emotional spectrum is always off the charts. One day we can hop out of bed feeling we can take on the world. Then the next, we miss so many things, and we're overwhelmed by so many things, we can't bring ourselves to get out of bed.

  Until the meowing of the cat or the fact that your fish's bowl is dirty makes you. The fact that you have to eat makes you. And the fact that you have to go to work, or you won't make rent, makes you.

  And the biggest thing of all--your own future needs you to. You still have plans, you're hanging on to what life can be. You're fighting for its possibility.

  Currently I'm (again!) going to have to work two jobs. I need the extra cash to pay for bills that got out of hand, and I don't like asking for help unless it's really necessary. I need to get out of credit card debt, pay off my car, and find a way to provide for film school. I don't know how it will all work. I do know that I have to start at the beginning (again--I always feel like life is sending me back to the beginning on things, and it's incredibly frustrating. One doesn't live forever, or have all the time in the world to keep starting over) and just fight for each step. I honestly don't know what else to do with my day.

  I can just keep getting out of bed, and going to work. Finding moments to really enjoy. Fight for each step towards my goals. It's a reason to keep going anyway. What else is there, except our goals, our hopes? You never know where life will take you. What your day will look like. But at least we can picture what it can be, even on the days we can barely make it out of bed.



~Nikki


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Sunday, September 17, 2017

True Identity ~ What Is Truly Uniquely You

powerful identity quotes
~ Bhimrao Rhamji Ambedkar


  You know I was just looking at this custom fragrance that I was able to create on Waft.com. I'm not sure if I'll get it, as things are still financially tight. (I do love my perfumes, and get one every other year or so--I don't go through them quick enough). But I was just thinking about what they're really selling--it's something that is uniquely you. What you like. How you want to create yourself. The idea that you can have this modern, beautiful bottle of scent with your name on it. It can signify what you are. Someone can walk into your bathroom and think, "Oh wow she even has her own personal scent! How very posh and confident...I wish I could do that."

  I just sat and thought for a minute. I had only created the scent because of a link I saw on facebook, and thought it might be interesting. But after thinking about all that--the allure of having something uniquely mine, saying "This is me," I couldn't help but think of the minor, materialistic mindset of that. Sure, there is something genuinely alluring and great about the ability to create your own scent. But I was also recognizing that I tend to use too many "things" to define me. From the fantasy swords on my wall, to the vintage furniture, to the movie posters--to anything and everything. All these things are good--and should be a reflection of who I am. But not so much that I want to get them to feel like I'm defining myself. My real definition is in what I do. What I make. It's all about perspective....

  It's cool that I can make my own perfume. Maybe I'll get it, and love it. I'll have a lovely bottle on the shelf with my name on it, my quota. It'll be beautiful because it came from a confident woman who knows herself, not because the scent makes the woman though. And people say this all the time, but every truth, individually experienced, is still nonetheless potent and incredibly real. And the way we experience them effects our individual viewpoint, and can also effect others.

  I want everything in my life to be a reflection of my confident self. Come from a place of self-knowledge, and celebration. Not materialism, or a crutch of expression. Because sometimes I get things for the wrong reasons. They can be good things. If I need reminded of who I am, getting a book, or a perfume, is not going to remind me. Building a fortress with a label on it, so I can sit in there amongst all my "defining things" will never satisfy me.

  I think that is one of the hardest things though. To know yourself. Honestly that is the journey of life, and sometimes at the end we still don't completely know. We are our own greatest mystery. But their is beauty in the times of discovery.

  Just wanted to share that.


  ~Nikki


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