Tuesday, February 16, 2016
I feel like I always come back to this. I'm reading a book right now called Anything by Jennie Allen. A very powerful book. Convicting to say the least. I love how she just pours her heart out, almost like you're right next to her having a deep conversation over coffee. I'm really enjoying every minute of it. It's brought me a little bit of peace too, and I love hearing about other people's walks with God. I'm tough, all around. I have a lot of fear, fear of not getting what God will give to me. Fear that I will fail. Fear that I'm not good enough. Fear that I'm not smart enough. Fear of truly, truly suffering worse than what I've ever experienced, which is not bad compared to most. Fear of being single for the rest of my life because I'm not deserving of ever being a Wife again. It's overwhelming. Yet, I ask myself, "why would I know any better than my Creator?" I don't. Period. There are so many things I would love to still do and see, I pray that things work out for the best. I also know I do have purpose. Something bigger than just myself and doing the everyday mundane. I have more to offer. Or don't I? Again, that insecurity creeps up on me and makes me doubt what I have to GIVE. As I sit here in one of my favorite restaurants in the city, Atlanta, I find myself thinking about all of this. I start a new journey on Monday, I hope it works out and that I absolutely LOVE it. I figure I'll give Atlanta one more shot. I mean what's the worst thing that could happen? I move back home in a year? Work at a winery in my hometown and get to travel more maybe? Who knows what God has in store for me in 2016, I just have to have Faith and trust that my journey will be exciting and filled with new things, things I can learn and be excited about. I'm adventurous, love to travel so I should probably not be so resistant about what is to come. But. But, what if it involves suffering? Am I willing... willing to suffer for Him?
Friday, February 5, 2016
After reading this story, a lot of things really hit me. Like, what I wanna do with my life. The direction I want my life to go in. How important is it for me to have a Career, because society tells me I SHOULD have one. What drives me. What makes me absolutely cringe. How much I truly hate the corporate world, and so on & so forth.
In my old life I wore Ann Taylor suits and heels, and raced from my apartment in New Jersey to New York City's Penn Station every morning. I never would have imagined the way I live today. Let me back up. I was in advertising by age 23 and soon worked on some of the biggest accounts in the business- Playtex, Hasbro, Allergan. It was exciting and competitive. When I took a communications job at Maersk, one of the largest shipping companies in the world, things got even more intense. I'd jet off on business trips every other week; I slept with my BlackBerry under my pillow. After three years I felt very successful. But I wasn't fulfilled, and my personal life was falling apart (at 30 I was getting divorced). I worked even harder yet felt stuck. Then in April 2009 one of Maersk's ships was hijacked by Somali pirates, and the captain, Richard Phillips, was taken hostage- you probably know the story from the Tom Hanks movie. The company sent me to be with Phillips' wife, Andrea, in Vermont to handle the deluge of press. She was incredibly worried about her husband, but she's such a sweet woman that she was letting local female reporters use her bathroom! In the middle of the international media firestorm, I found myself drawn to the family and their tight-knit community of neighbors, who kept dropping off food. Meanwhile, I kept preparing for the worst- I knew I would be the one to break any bad news to them. When Richard Phillips was rescued after five days, everyone was beyond joyful, and he and Andrea asked me to stay on to help manage his overnight fame. Looking around at this family and the beautiful Vermont countryside, I realized I didn't want to go back to my corporate job. So I called my boss and quit. There's so much pressure to stay on the career track, it felt like ripping off a Band-Aid. That summer a friend of the Phillipses set me up on a blind date with a dairy farmer whose name was- of all things- Ransom. He lived just 10 miles away, and within a few months I moved onto his farm. After the Phillipses I took other work, and in 2011 I found a job at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets dealing with farmers, which married my old communications skills with my new way of life. At first the closeness of the community that drew me to Vermont was hard to get used to. I remember going to the hardware store for a can of paint stripper to redo the kitchen cabinets. This woman behind the counter says, "You'll need two cans." I'd never met her, but she knew who I was, and she'd clearly been in my kitchen. It was so awkward I went home and cried. And it was hard to override old criteria of success- to me, a high-powered corporate job. But I started to feel successful in other ways. I learned to garden and help with the animals; I've made new friends. And I love that whether I'm at work or the grocery store, I'm connecting with people meaningfully-people who are going to be a part of my life for a long time.
Alison Kosakowski Conant, 37
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
These are all too predictable. We should know the difference between an ordinary gift and something truly unique. Give an experience. If the person you're shopping for loves food, find a cooking or wine-tasting class you can take together. Tell your love about it over a bottle of wine on February 14th, but book it for a later date. It will feel much less contrived. Or if your significant other loves the mountains, plan a trip for a day/night and take a little road trip together! Play Tourist. Treat your own city as if you're a visitor, and go on a tour. Do that thing you keep saying "we should really do." It could be a scenic and romantic adventure or a playful one. Use your insider knowledge. If you know someone, whether it's your significant other, or best friend (if you're single) who loves macaroons, cupcakes or donuts, put together a box of favorites! For me, it would be a mix of all the above! Not to mention, there's something romantic about giving your favorite book (or theirs) with a note in it as to why you or they may love it. Happy Valentine's Day, ya'll!
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
A month in to the new year and I'd say it's been so far so good. I don't think it's been too bad of a Winter for anyone, except maybe the Mid-West of course. I don't know about you but I still struggle with really dry skin this time of year. I've tried many different types of skin treatments, and I'm still.... STILL a huge fan of Philosophy. I use the whole Purity line and my favorite moisturizer is the Miracle Worker because you can use it for day or night, and it feels very velvety when you apply it to your face. Rodan + Fields skin care line I've heard is very good, Shiseido's Ultimune Eye Power Infusing Eye Concentrate is incredible, and Chanel's Sublimage La Creme Yeux is amazing if you aren't on a budget. Everyone has different skin types, and most of us try and drink as much H2o as possible to help with hydration... But. But, sometimes it's just not enough. Depending on our genes, how we are taking care of our bodies, etc., sometimes it may never be enough. There's still Hope! I truly believe once you find a product that works with your skin and makeup, it's totally worth the price of having to take care of your skin and spend that extra few dollars. Trust me. I'll be 35 next month and I can't stress how much I am looking forward to taking care of myself that much more. Not just my skin but my body too! It's time. Time to make a toast to 2016!