happy accident

20140107-014505.jpg A couple of weeks ago, Steve and I were strolling around downtown Palo Alto, when we heard some music coming from across the street. We looked over and saw a girl on the sidewalk with her violin and amp. And I thought, Cool. Good for her. Street performers are always fun. But violins aren’t really my thang, so I was ready to keep on keeping on.

But this chick? Was amazing.

We found ourselves crossing the street to watch her more closely. Recording her. Throwing money into her violin case. Leaving to get coffee, coming back, pulling up some pavement, and sitting there for half an hour for an impromptu concert on the street.

Like I said, violins aren’t usually my thing. But this girl played with such emotion and style. I was transfixed. The passion with which she played, the confidence to play on the street and put herself out there like that–it was inspiring.

Check out some of her amazing performances at www.gabiholzwarth.com.

the crazy ones

IMG_4899-300x300So, went to see Jobs on Sunday. I heard beforehand that the movie received lukewarm reviews from critics who claim, in short, that the movie didn’t do Jobs justice. I can see their point, having read Waltar Isaacson’s biography on the icon–the movie barely scratched the surface of his complexity. Still, I was on the edge of my seat for half the movie.

While Steve Jobs was alive, all I knew of him was that he was the big wig of Apple and that he had a notoriously bad temper. Nevertheless, I did feel a sadness when he passed because on some level I knew the world experienced a loss, even if I didn’t fully comprehend what that loss was.

Then I read the book.

I read Steve Jobs by accident. One day I spied my husband’s copy laying out on the coffee table. I was intrigued by the impact that Jobs’ death had on the world, and so out of curiosity, I started flipping through the first pages. And for the next few days, I couldn’t put it down. I read it day and night. I was completely enthralled. Sure, he was a jerk. But, man, was he a fascinating character. Even his temper tantrums impressed me–he was THAT passionate about fonts?? Homeboy was totally crazy town, but in such a mesmerizing, inspiring way. I loved what a creative, free spirit he was. Sitting there in the theater on Sunday, watching his story come to life on the big screen, I found myself leaning forward in my seat like I was trying to get as close as possible to this man who changed the world because of his crazy intense passion. I was physically drawn to him, even the Ashton Kutcher version of him.

I went home that night and scoured the internet, looking for the perfect print of his famous “To the crazy ones” ad to hang at my desk.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

His philosophy on life and creativity and dreaming big is right on with how I want to live. I want to be a crazy one.

everyday courage

IMG_6215Sometimes I feel like I can write a book, or at least a lengthy blog entry, about How Not To Be a Successful Blogger. The first chapter would be “Stop and Restart Your Blog At Least Twice a Year”. My sophomore book would be How To Have As Little Social Media Followers As Possible, with “Change Your Username Every Other Month” as the opening chapter.

I started this blog back in 2003. The ten years since have been full of false starts. Good intentions gone awry. Over the years I’ve contemplated giving up many, many times. Wouldn’t it be easier to just go to work, come home and chill with my family, without some pipe dream hanging over my head? Flip through fashion magazines and watch reality t.v. in my free time instead of racking my brain for new blog posts? But no matter how hard I try to let go of my dreams, my dreams won’t let go of me. So I dust myself off and try again.

I’ve stopped and started so many times that I feel like I’m failing. Flailing. I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s a bunch of trial and error. Mostly error. And, truthfully, sometimes I get embarrassed about how little I have to show for a decade of blogging. And although none of this seems to stop me in my pursuit, it doesn’t make me feel any less of a failure. But then I read this quote on Twitter or Facebook or somewhere:

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. – M. Radmacher

And I felt like, Huh. I do think it takes some courage to keep on keeping on, failure after failure. To pick yourself up for the fifteenth time and believe that the sixteenth time’s the charm. To power through the discouragement and doubt I face each day, pursuing a dream I’ve had since the sixth grade. And suddenly I don’t feel so much like a failure anymore.

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