Spring

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,
    And a time to die;
A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
    And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
    And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
    And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
    And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
    And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;
A time to love,
    And a time to hate;
A time of war,
    And a time of peace.

Happy Spring….

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Hiatus…

There was a time I really used to think that going on hiatus was a bad, horrible, awful thing that you should never do… HA! That was until I went on one. For the last month or so I’ve taken a break from nearly everything it seems like. Social media, relationships, blogging, friends and family at times. I ate an abundant amount of carbs, didn’t workout at all, then again I never did, watched Game of Thrones on repeat for the 6th time and got alone with God and myself to really figure out what it is I was doing with this gift we call life.

During this time I really realized I was just doing. Doing this, doing that… but never really being anything purposeful. Growing up, in a lot of ways things just happened for me. I happened to go to an awesome college, I happened to start singing and playing guitar, I happened to fall in love with an idiot or two, I happened to move to North Carolina then to New York, then to California then to Florida and back again, all while happening to go absolutely nowhere all at the same time.

Something in me needed to change. Perhaps die is a better way of putting it. I got to a place in my life where my complacent, lackadaisical, all pray and no work attitude had to perish and I had to begin to accept the calling, the plan, the purpose and the will of God for my life.

I now live in NYC, a definite dream I’d always had since I first visited as a teenager. Not much seems to have changed on the outside, by meer glance some would say I appear to be worse off. However, I know that more than what appears to be going on externally there is something greater, more fruitful and more inspiring going on on the internally. And in due time the vine of my life will begin to blossom and the fruits will undoubtedly show.

Glad to be back…

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4 things I wish every interviewer would know… written by an interviewee

Having been on many interviews in my lifetime and recently having gone on several more, I decided to freshen up on my interviewing skills and do some research on the best interview etiquette and decorum. Yet, I’ve discovered in a few cases that after having put on my very best both aesthetically and mentally I was met by a least than favorable interviewer. So for all the interviewers out there here is my observation and 4 things I wish every interviewer would know when conducting an interview.

1) Have a personality

Whether you are interviewing for an Ad agency, a law firm, an auto mechanic or a cashier at Forever 21 be yourself. Don’t be afraid to have conversation and communicate outside the sheet of paper you check off like a script. I don’t know how many interviews I’ve been on and ended up leaving the interview feeling like, “Wait, who was that? Where am I? And was this position for the Walking Dead because right now I’m so confused” There is definitely a way to be professional and personable without sacrificing the purpose of our meeting.

 

2) Love  your job, brand, organization… or at least like it

Speaking of personality please be somewhat passionate about what it is you do or the brand you represent. Or at least attempt to make me think you sorta care. I’ve gone into a few job interviews feeling a bit on the fence about a position, perhaps because it’s a slightly longer commute, a lower rate of pay or longer hours than I would have normally liked to work but because the interviewer was so passionate, optimistic and sincere about what the position had to offer I  ended up accepting gigs from a few of them. And for the ones I didn’t  or couldn’t accept,  I was confident in referring friends and eligible candidates that would be a good, if not better fit, because the lasting impression was so positive. Conversely, I’ll never forget I went to an interview for a retail position and the manager spent 8 mins going on and on about how horrible the customers were, how terribly long the hours are and that basically she’d sold her soul to the devil. I mean, please be honest,  just don’t be traumatic. Afterall, I don’t wanna leave an interview feeling like I have a Phd in psychiatry. Unless of course you really do have to sell your soul to the devil, in that case, please let me know immediately and move on to point3.

 

3) Be honest. Be real. Nothing is perfect.

Nothing is 100% easy peasy. If it were everyone would do it (or so I hear). Every job or profession has it’s good days, it’s bad days and many days in between. If you deal with rowdy clients quite frequently because of your demographic or the services you provide say so. If often times employees will inevitably have to work many hours overtime, say so. If vacation time during the holidays is not an option, for the love of humanity… say so! Whatever the reality of your industry is, both pro and con say so and say so with honesty and clarity of what you expect from your employees. A new hire is less inclined to walk away when they know what they’re walking into. Actually that goes for any hire probably.

 

4) Listen…like… really listen.

In one of my recent interviews the interviewer would ask me a question, and as soon as I began to answer the question she would look down and start writing. I didn’t think much of it. I figured it was pretty standard routine. You gotta take your notes, no biggie. Next question. I begin to answer then she picked up her phone. “Well perhaps she has an emergency going on,” I thought. Then she giggled, and I was like, “I hope no one died cus thats an awkward response.” Next question. I begin to answer and she cuts me off mid-answer to ask the next question… sighhhh… Long story short, I didn’t take that job.

What Music Lessons Taught Me About Life

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If I’d known that I was going to get so much out of taking vocal lessons I think I would’ve signed up sooner. I’ve been privileged enough to work with an amazing instructor who is as honest as he is kind… and I will also say that since I’ve been working with him I’ve not only learned a lot about music and vocals but surprisingly I’ve learned a lot that I can also apply to my life. Here’s a few things I’ve learned along the way thus far:

  • Who cares what others think?

Standing transparent before others and bearing all you have can be kinda scary. “What will they think about me, what will they say?” I can admit I sometimes have to fight these thoughts whenever I choose to e authentic and sincere. But I’ve learned that whether they like it or not this is my voice, my song, my words, my life and my truth, so it comes with no apologies. Just as an artist stands behind his work even if it looks like goobly glop to others so I’ve learned to stand by the unconventional masterpiece that is me.

  • No one is perfect EVERYONE has weaknesses.

One of  the first things my instructor told me was not to worry. Everyone has strengths and everyone has weaknesses. The key is to enhance and amplify your strengths and improve your weaknesses. So the next time I feel a little unsure because of a weakness in an area of my life,  I remember, we’ve all got eum honey. No one is perfect.

  •  Strive for excellence not perfection.

And speaking of perfect, I know we’ve heard it a million times “Practice makes perfect.” Newsflash, it doesn’t…and that’s OK because what practice does do is make us prepared. When we prepare or practice with a spirit of excellence we give it our full effort, our best shot; we give it all we’ve got and leave the outcome to God. Sometimes we come out on the other side with the results we were looking for and other times we come out with something slightly different. Either way both are opportunities to grow, learn and develop. What more can you ask for when you give it all you’ve got?!

  •  Don’t compare yourself to others!

Ew the comparison trap, its an ugly snare. Truth is, there will always be someone or something that can seemingly do one thing or another better than you, more effectively than you or differently than you. That’s just the nature of this game called life. Your mission is to take those special, unique, and precious gifts that you’ve been given and use them as effectively and proficiently as YOU can, in whatever way God intended and planned for YOU to use it. NOT ANYONE ELSE.

  • Confidence is KEY…

Confidence comes from knowing who you are and living in that revelation… confidence is not only empowering to self it’s attractive to others. Remember, confidence is not defined by what you do or how good or bad you do it. Confidence is defined by knowing who you are and living in that truth to the best of your ability.

  • Stay Inspired…

Inspiration is all around us God is always speaking. I know that when it comes to songwriting I’m constantly looking around life for the perfect melody to call my own. Sometimes it’s in the good sometimes it’s in the bad but I know whether it’s in the sunrise or the tears that have stained my pillows there is inspiration all around. Look around in your life and ask God to open the eyes of your heart to see the inspiration, hope and lessons he is constantly whispering to you

  • Better Together.

We need others. As much as I’d like to do it all myself, i can’t. Any time I open up, humble myself and let those who are good at what they do come alongside me we can all do something great together.