MY COCOON: I have gone through and am currently still going through quite a bit of change in my life. I'm questioning who, what, when, where, why, and how ... what am I willing to do, how far am I willing to go, at what expense/investment, and for what result? Right now, it feels like I am nearing the closing finale to my 4 year stay in my cocoon - and I am doing the final revision putting on the finishing touches to me. I am refining and working to fine tune the person I am. Post cocoon? I will come out knowing and liking the person I am, or rather, pretty darn close to whatever that answer is at the end. It's probably always going to be a work in progress...
ONE PLOW: The part that I am struggling with that's a big hurdle to my emergence from the cocoon is the idea of letting go - simply letting go and moving forward. Reminds me something I heard/saw recently - the imagery of a hard working farmer who is plowing his land. He plows his land in straight rows so he can plant his seedlings. He pushes the plow while focused on moving forward - eyes forward towards his next step ensuring a well organized and fruitful plot of land - that's what he wants. Yes, eyes on the prize. Now... say he upgrades or gets a new plow. To reap the benefits of his decision, he has to stick to it (his decision) and literally "burn" the old plow to move forward with the new plow. If he hesitates and continues looking back at the old plow as he tries to move forward - his lines will be crooked, his plot will be ugly, and he will waste a lot of energy. ... The only way forward is to "burn" the old plow and commit to only using the new plow to build and enjoy a plentiful harvest - eyes forward. I have to let go of all my past grievances against the infamous FF, my father, my headbutts with bosses, my angst in fighting the internals pangs of guilt when not following what I think others expect of me, my duties.... Is it as simple as acceptance, and moving on? I thought I did that... i thought I've been doing that.... .... haven't I?
I want to just be - be in the present, move forward with all of this weight lifted from my being.
I want to love with all that I am.
I want to let go.
Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be. ~Unknown
The world of startups and the world of love have so much in common, and I'm starting to realize that it comes down to two main things:
1) the world of startups + the world of love are based on the foundational pillar of Faith. Faith is the main pillar. Without it, everything else is nothing. It's a must. Faith in the dream, in the past/present/future, in each other. Assure your partner (whether it's business or love) with your words and behavior that s/he can have complete faith in you. Be open - whatever you do, do it openly and honestly. Don't play games. Don't do it. Look out for anything that'll weaken this pillar - kill any inkling or tiny bit of suspicion early and quickly.
2) the world of startups + the world of love is like a marathon. Assuming you've got Faith as a pillar that you are actively maintaining and growing - then it's about the marathon. Pace. Breathing. Stretching. Training. Growing. Working. Persevering. It takes diligence, hard work, and a common vision. If you've ever run long distances before, you'll totally get what I mean. Undeniable, unwavering focus.
I am a ball of stress lately - and I'm probably not my best when under this much stress. Taking a time out to calm and collect myself; tune into who I am again; ... slow down. [Actually, side story - my younger brother stepped in tonight and asked me, "how are you feeling"? -- This is a good question to ask your loved one every once awhile, we women appreciate it. He listened and then he went into the manly problem solving mode - and then he went into the manly protector mode - ... and then he came back to me and gave me his honest thoughts. He calmed me down. I'm quite impressed - my little brother is acting like my big brother.]
Anyways - perspective. When things get out of control - take a time out. Thought this song was a nice one to listen to... so I thought I'd share it with you.
Marriage to Me:
I totally want to be married some day - to the right man - who is honorable, respectable, and respectful. I hope he sees me as honorable, respectable, and respectful, too. In searching for Mr. Right - I'm super careful about who I will sign on with to be my lifetime partner. Is he good to his family? Is he thoughtful? Does he open doors and have good manners? Is he strong willed and independent? Is he caring and does he ask me how I am? Is he dependable? Is he secure with himself? Does he want kids? Does he smell good? :) ... I'm so excited to enter that chapter of my life some day - totally looking forward to it.
Choosing a Business Partner(s):
When choosing a partner to go into business with - it should be taken with the same kind of gravity and seriousness as a marriage proposal. I've literally been proposed to more than three times in the past few weeks - to go into business with people I know (flattering, really - but it's made me really think a lot about this lately). When asked, I literally think in my head (and sometimes, my inside voice comes out and I literally say it aloud): "are you proposing to me?" Going into business with someone is very much like marriage (minus the feelings of the romantic love and tingling excitement down my spine when I see my boyfriend/husband - for me, that's reserved for the relationship-kind-of-a-marriage. Lots of hearts and warm fuzzies spinning above my head).
My Current Partners:
I look at my business partners today and we've had our ups and downs. We fight sometimes, we get frustrated, we have fun, we miss each other, ... and at the end of the day no matter what, I see them as honorable, respectable, and respectful people. We've signed up to be partners in the business sense - and in the human-person sense. I trust that their intentions are good for the team and our investment - you can't do it any other way. Consider your current and potential business partners very seriously - it's serious business, like a marriage.
I welcome your comments and feedback,
So which one are you? I find that in general, most people fall into one of these four categories (Pardonez moi... I'm a big "J" as an ENTJ - things need to be put into buckets.) --> this isn't meant to offend anyone, but to put some perspective on how we interact (incoming + outgoing actions).
I: Don't Care + Unaware = dangerous, living in their own world of bubbles and themselves. I have trouble taking them seriously. Another name for these folks is "waste of space". Stop breathing my air.
II: Care + Unaware = well intentioned with terrible (or less than good) execution. You can't help but love them. Endearing.
III: Care + Aware = empathetic to the world around them and moved to do something to add value. Big hearts. Doing something about it (it can be the problem, a project, challenge, life, whatever it is).
IV: Don't Care + Aware = pure selfish. Will cut you off on the road, keep you waiting when your appointment was half an hour ago, the world revolves around them. Ego issues. I don't think we can be friends.
Perspective, perspective, perspective. Again... the question comes to: are you a career woman or a woman-with-a-career? What are your priorities? If you have to make choices - what is more important to you? Can you be a career woman AND have it all? Do you want children and a family? What do you think? Do women need a man? Is Julia Yarbough crazy? Did she wait too long to try to find a husband? Is this her due "punishment" for putting career first? We hope the best for you, Julia - We hope you are doing well and think it's great to take the time to take care of yourself. Personally I don't believe in chasing men - but taking the approach in taking a breather, giving yourself space to be introspective - and giving a good man the opportunity to come into your life and find you - that works. (The full story, here.)
As I was giving my schpeel a couple days ago to this great community organization that helps at-risk youth, Community for Youth (http://www.communityforyouth.org/) by providing dedicated adult mentors to the kids - another reason came up that I wanted to share.
2b. We're less connected than before [continuation of 'Connecting Hearts' from my previous post]
With all the tools we have out there to connect us more: pda's, cell phones, text messaging, emailing devices, twitter, facebook, myspace... and the amount of time we spend physically alone in our individual cars, apartments, and cubicles... we're less connected than we were 50 years ago, 100 years ago. Human beings are social beings - we were meant to talk face-to-face, to touch and hug, to be social. Now with all this technology - I can work anytime, any where... all the time. Even now... past midnight, I'm sitting here writting on a blogger...
I'm tired. Tomorrow I'll get up, check my email in the morning. Walk my darling fuzzy dog, Mochi in the morning. Play a few rounds of fetch. Feed her. Hug her. Love her. Get in my car and drive my self to work where I'll set up camp at a contractor's station and sit behind a laptop all day long at my client site. I'll have a couple meetings here and there. I'll drive my self back home. I'll walk my dog again. Play more rounds of fetch with her. Feed her. Hug her. Love her. Get behind the computer again... I'm still tired. I'll text and facebook friends inbetween in an attempt to share some love. It's just not the same as a real live in-person meaningful hug. It just isn't.
So that's another reason for you. Real hugs are better than virtual ones. Wish my fuzzy dog would wake up and give me a damn hug right now...
Ever have someone tell you you're too nice to them? It doesn't matter if you were being "too nice" to a boy, to a girl, to a man, to a woman, to a friend. Ever have someone say they don't deserve your love? Has it happened to you? If so - run. Run far away in the opposite direction of the person that just said it. If it's happened to you recently, ... run! That's a big [big, big] red flag - and it usually means, that recipient of your niceness and love doesn't deserve it. A girlfriend whom I met on the eve of 2007 told me this one time as we were sitting on the floor of my living room chit-chatting away about life and love. She said, "You know what I dislike the most, Arry? I really dislike it when someone says You're too nice." ... and her words hit me hard. It was like someone took a gong and slammed my heart against it. I used to hear those words often. You're too nice. What in the word - I'm too nice!?!?!??? Why can't a person just be kind, nice, loving just because? Ah... well, experience...Because the undeserving person will take advantage of you. I heard these words again in the past year - and against my better judgement I stuck around a little way too long. It means I have to be careful of who I spend my time with, with whom I open my heart to and allow in, ... but the idealistic romantic in me wishes I didn't have to be so careful... and that the deserving one will appreciate my gifts to them.
Congratulations, Zach... on your engagement. Read full TechCrunch story here.
That seems to be the theme question of the week, "Arry, why.... why are you doing all this?" Why... why... it's ingrained in my blood. I want to change the world - make it a better place for everyone. I want hearts to feel, intentions to be good, good people to meet other good people, ... Isn't it everyone's reason for doing what they do? I'm literally sitting here after a three hour brainstorming and planning session for my next big event that's coming up this summer... I am so so so excited to put this event together. A lot of my close friends are worried - because I'm putting a big chunk of skin in the game for this... But really, why? I don't know... or maybe I do. It seems like a fun thing to do... Well, why comes down to these three core values:
1. Selfless Service:
At an early age, my mother had me playing the piano and violin for the elderly and church every weekend. Sometimes I wanted to sleep, go out and play instead... She said if you've got a gift, it's your duty to share it with others. And really, being able to touch the hearts of the forgotten elderly left in nursing homes ... that was a gift all in its own. I get a high when I meet hearts-of-gold. I'm touched to the core when I see selfless acts of love like a father spending time with his child and when a person gives "just because".
2. Connecting Hearts:
Here's a memory I can share with you. In college, I became really excited about the cause around multicultural-diversity and acceptance. There was one evening where I was being a bookworm at our local Barnes and Noble when I was home in upstate NY for the Christmas holidays - and I heard this really cool folksy-hip chick (who was from Seattle!!!) playing the guitar singing in the cafe. I thought... wow: MUSIC... music is a common language that everyone understands. ... I found a way to raise money through the Cornell Student Affairs office and Office of Minority Affairs to bring the Seattle folk chick to Ithaca- and put on a concert for all the students. The concert provided a forum for people from all walks of life, of different colors and cultures, to sit together, listen to music and share the experience. The event didn't make any money. Anyways... Music is one of my first loves... it's the language of the heart. I saw it work then in connecting hearts... and I hope to see it work again this June...
3. Servant Leadership:
At the end of it all, it's about servant leadership - where giving is from the heart, and not about the ego. Leading in a way that makes human sense for the greater good. For those that are also engaged with community and nonprofits, you know that to really give back, you have to walk into that community/nonprofit with an open heart and mind; the ego is nowhere to be seen, the badges/diplomas/age/gender/... all those ego-related "things" have to be left behind when you enter the world of Giving. I heard a slightly funny story about an extremely intelligent, smart, wildly successful man who walked into a community organization with the intention of volunteering and giving back. The intent was good - points there. He was assigned the lowly position of filing papers for his first "project" - and he was shocked. He couldn't do it. In the world of giving, you have to think with human-sense - you have to get to know the organization, the people and earn the right/trust of the people. Ego has no place in giving.
Reminds me of what my mom said a bunch of times to me growing up that you may have heard me say - and it really rang a bell in my heart. Arry... no matter how rich you may be, how smart you are, how successful... it'll never bring you love/peace if you have neighbors that are suffering. (Of course, she said this in Korean... but you get the gist). ...
And hey... isn't this what love is about? Love is selfless, accepting, and giving.