Letter to Myself at 25

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You asked me what the point of living was. If I were to answer that question absolutely directly, with my response pinpointing what it was you were actually after, I would ask you a question in turn: When did you last feel really happy? I know you would have responded that it was when you were right smack in the middle of a community of like-minded, drama-queen teens during that youth exchange program and when you were studying classical voice in your first year of university. And I would’ve told you: Whatever you do, fight for that. Forget this big city university crap. Drop the airs of intellectualism. Forget being someone important. Do whatever it takes to get back to what makes you happy.

I would’ve saved myself a whole lotta trouble, I tell you.

Jens Moelle

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I felt truly compelled to write a post about Jens Moelle, the tall, skinny contribution to the not-so-well-known electronica group Digitalism.

I was watching a live version of their newest release “Second Chance,” in which he is featured prominently. If you get a chance to view the video, I’ll let you make your own conclusions. If you don’t, here’s my take: He reminds me of a karaoke singer. Let me revise that: He reminds me of a BAD karaoke singer. Is that qualifier really necessary? Tangent aside, I LOVE that he misses notes and sings off-key. For lack of a better adjective, I find it charming. Or maybe the better word would be ENDEARING.

We all want to do something, whether it be to start a cooking show on youtube that picks up a hundred thousand subscribers or to finally drop the excuses and find our better bodies. What stops us is often perfectionism, pummelled into our pre-frontal cortexes by criticism of the slightest fault by the media, family, friends and even ourselves. (Points for catching the grammatical error in the latter sentence… not).

What I like about Jens Moelle is that he represents the capacity to stand up and do something even being “not ready yet” or “not good enough” or whatever other hundred excuses and pre-packaged stallers a person might put in her way.

So here’s the challenge I put forward to me and to you: Drop the excuses. Watch a video of a bad karaoke singer if you have to to feel better about being imperfect but take your dreams seriously and take your first step. Enjoy it. Be like Jens Moelle.

Inspired by Brenda Ueland

Brenda Ueland has had a funny fate. As a writer, she’s most famous for a book about writing – most ironic. This is not so bad, however, when we realize that she was for a good part of her life a writing teacher.

Regardless, her writing has an amazing message for any type of artist: Create. Don’t create to (just) to make money or to impress people. Create because that’s the best thing you can do for your soul. Create because it makes you happy. Create because doing so helps you to understand who you are and what you feel.

Ueland also has an excellent understanding of what keeps people from expressing themselves through art. Other people, well meaning and not, criticize too much. They miss the beauty, the originality, the elements of raw self for triflings like spelling mistakes and errors in grammar. And she describes that the creatives with the most sensitivity therefore potential are the most affected by this behaviour. These creatives get killed off first, leaving the egotists to take their places as “bonafide” artists.

Create often and create much, she expounds. If you don’t know what to do, stay idle, give yourself the time to mull until something arises.

I don’t know about you, but I am totally inspired. Next, Chapter 4!

SharePoint Sample

molycorp_sharepoint_continuousimprovement

One of my current projects is web design for a SharePoint platform at my current company, Molycorp. The above is one of my proposed website banners for the site. I used Photoshop to apply effects and integrate the SAP logo and text. I have found SharePoint fun to work with. Most of my learning has come from instructional videos on Lynda.com, a site I recommend highly for beginners. In addition, I have learned some HTML and CSS from an also well-recommended site called CodeAcademy.com.