Two Pictures Worth 1,000 Words

I came across two pictures that currently matter to me:

 The Tea Party and the Occupiers: Can They Just Get Along?

This Venn diagram is from a great Slate article on the similarities and differences between Occupy Wall Street and the Team Party movements. Why this matters? After the head scratching  three-hour brainstrom session in which I tried to narrow my research choices, I found inspiration in the latest news cycles. Seeing as I’m supposed to either believe that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are a bunch of rude, dirt-encrusted ne’er-do-wells who just want to rob the rich or they’re the noble, progressive alternative to the crass and crotchety Tea Party, I decided on a textual analysis of the media coverage both groups received in the first 30 days. After presenting in class, I feel secure that this is simple enough to be manageable but could still be expanded upon in the future.

Personally, I would love to explore the lack of minority representation in both of these movements. As a black woman solidly within the demographic fit of the Occupy Wall Street protesters (middle class, college educated, etc.) I and several people I know like me is not going to spend precious time camping out in public to hold up signs and be a spectacle for media searching for a story. I’d rather be looking for a job and interviewing (if that was my issue like some of the protesters) or networking or anything other than standing still.

The second image that is of interest to me has to do with my industry.

According to the 2011 IBM Global Chief Marketing Officer Study (via Marketing Profs), there is a significant gap between the number of executives who report an high expected “level of complexity” in marketing and the actual number of those executives who feel prepared for this complexity. As the graph handily points out, this is a 31 percent gap. The rest of the report details the following slightly troublesome data:

  • 82 percent of CMOs plan to increase the use of social media but 68 percent of CMOs reporting unpreparedness for social media. I wonder how they plan to get past this 14 percent deficit between those who recognize the need for more social media and those who are not prepared to do just that.
  • Some communication folks may be tired of the “content is king” trope but it appears to be true. Categorized as “data explosion” and explained as “the increasing volume, variety, and velocity of data available from new digital sources such as social networks,” 71 percent of respondents indicated this as an area of unpreparedness (seeing a pattern here?).
Sadly, a lot of these areas of need can be filled by adequately training the less senior positions but companies are trying to be so “lean” that training and actual experience to teach employees is lacking.



The sunrise and sunset always make me feel closer to my source of life. Since I’m far from a morning person, I have to use the evening to gain perspective. Often I’m stuck at my desk all day, and leaving work is my first taste of fresh air in eight hours. So get your deep breath! It gives you something new.

It’s All a Process

I think I hit my first wall this week, when I sat down to write my research proposal. As my boyfriend said, “It’s like telling someone they can go on vacation anywhere in the world but they can only pick one place.” I sat for three hours and felt that old frustration from undergrad. No, actually it was worse. In my early 20s, time wasn’t as valuable as it is now. You work on something, you nap, you play online, you watch a marathon of “Law & Order” and then you get back to work. Now it’s  you work for actual money, you hustle for additional ways to possibly make money, you keep up on the news, you keep up with your friends who are becoming increasingly distant due to marriage, kids and their own work, you try to sneak in some TV and then you work on extra stuff like grad school.

I’ve had some frustrations this week, and I’m not quite sure when they’ll be resolved. As I mentioned previously, some days just aren’t for it. We all have them. The other day, riding and listening to NPR (also known as mental down time), they reviewed a graduation speech that the recently deceased Steve Jobs gave back in 2005 at Stanford. In it, he says:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

I was moved, to tears. How beautiful to have a death sentence over your head, and to live with such grace. I’m not sure what I’ll do with my frustrations, but I know I have control of where I’m going. I will not let the “noise of others’ opinions,” which can often be quite loud and press in from all sides, be the story of my life right now. Chin high, shoulders back, carrying on.


How I Get Past “Might Don’t Make It”

Try as we might to avoid it, there are just some days when you wake up and you just don’t see it for that day. No one thing, person, idea, statement has set you to the left of pleasant but you feel a niggling sense of “Don’t try me.” Now, some folks try to cover that up with a smile and a mental push toward the center (known as “meh”) or all the way back to pleasant. I do believe that positive thinking will determine your mind frame but that’s more of a meta statement on how you live your life. Doesn’t really work for me on those sulky days.

This morning, just wasn’t seeing it for the day. Even after an amazing concert last night with a group of good friends (Hip Hop & Love Tour, check it out when it comes to your city), when I woke up this morning my immediate wish was for it to be Saturday. Sadly, I’ve yet to discover the method of moving time forward so I had to get up.

It’s karmic that when scrolling through my Twitter timeline this morning, I saw this post appropriately titled “How To Have A Crap Day And Not Piss Off The Rest of the World.” Peter Shankman outlined some great points; namely, no one aside from your inner circle cares if you’re in a bad mood. Work still needs to be done, calls and emails must still be answered and life moves on and around your sourpuss expression. He gives some great advice on how to press on despite a desire to hiss at the world and my favorites are:

1. Put down the device – We are an over-sharing culture on such an increasing level that I reconsider Facebook on a nearly daily basis. For every person that truly engages, be it business and personal, in a respectful and productive way there are those people who tend to use their accounts as a confessional. Despite your best intentions to share what you think is important, your bad attitude isn’t something that others find fascinating. It just makes you look negative.

3. Hit the gym – Pages of research have been written on the rush of endorphins and other feel-good hormones that rush through you when you get moving. Be it a brisk walk, a full out sprint or pressing some weights, moving will help you push past your own mental block. At one of the most stressful points of my life, I was also in the best shape of my life thanks to a can’t-miss midday weight class that became the highlight of my day.

4. GTFO – I will be traveling to New York because I’m absorbing way too much of what is going on around me. The past weekend with my mom and some QT with my dog-cat definitely helped center my brain. But Halloween in the craziest city in the country will be awesome. Bon voyage!

7. Go spend some money – I’ve managed to avoid the mall since I decided to go back to school. The change of the season is managing to draw me back, with the rich colors and cool temperatures of the fall.

And last, and most importantly, at 10. Know that this too, will pass. The truest and best part of life’s trials and tribulations is that God never promised us peace but he did promise to get us through it to the other side. Have faith!

My time off is approved for New York. The travel advice about Tuesdays being the best days to buy flights may hold true, as my flight price has gone down seven dollars since late last week! Up and away for me.