It's been over a month since my last blog. This doesn't mean I haven't been active and busy. Since April 25th so many things changed. It wouldn't have made sense to write any blogs last month because the month was so full of uncertainty. During this time I had to make several very exciting decisions. Realizing I haven't updated my blog friends with this new information, I thought I'd share these new amazing opportunities. I hope I can count on you to follow my journey in these new endeavors, while continuing to support my boutique services at Pryme Solutions LLC.
First, I'm proud to share I'm the new Executive Director at Artists Working in Education. Artists Working in Education, Inc. (AWE), is a non-profit organization that sponsors professional artists to nurture the imaginations of Milwaukee youth by bringing creative visual arts experiences directly to schools, community centers and informal settings such as parks, playgrounds, libraries and community events.
AWE artists guide children through the process of transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. Meaningful arts programming helps youth develop new ways of seeing the world, enhanced inquisitiveness, creativity, flexibility, imagination and confidence. As a jewel in Milwaukee, it is my honor to carry forth the work founded by Barbra Manger and Sally Duback.
I've also agreed to contribute leadership and lifestyle content to Sofianne. Sofianne (pronounced sof-yen, a French name meaning “He who walks fast”) is a South Bend, Indiana based company that invites everyone to pursue creative expression in all parts of life.
The Sofianne store features 145+ emerging, independent fashion designers from cities in every continent across the globe. The curated collection presents a highly creative, sometimes alternative, aesthetic that celebrates individuality and the pursuit of careful craftsmanship.All items are designed in startup fashion houses and some are hand crafted and made to order. Our collection curators travel near and far to give you unlimited access to authentic, avant garde designs, shipped directly to your door.
And of course let's not forget about #PopUpMKE, a collaborative effort to revitalize vacant commercial corridors in the heart of Milwaukee, backboned by LISC Milwaukee. This partnership includes one of my priority neighborhoods, Bronzeville Milwaukee. Special shout out to all three bids engaged in this effort Historic King Drive Bid #8, Marketplace Bid #32, and the Cesar E. Chavez BID.
May has been a catalytic month for me. The last few years can best be described as a highly predicted series of transitions and moves toward a more purpose driven career. I've lost associates and friends. I've spent a lot of time alone. I transitioned to looking inward more than I focus externally. Although much of this transition has been painful, pain is honestly the only way we grow. Some situations grow you up because you fell flat on your face. Be okay with the fall. My most recent series of stumbles feel more like a free fall tumble. But I just kept myself tucked and rolling all along.
There are a few themes I want to honor in this moment. The good thing about this blog is I'm not required to maintain a word count. So enjoy my free write on my self reflection. I hope it supports your ability to tuck and roll and fall, fall, fall into place.
There were months when I didn't know what I should be doing. Those were times when I had to be still. But I had to find ways to maintain my quality of life throughout this uncertainty. This forced me to flex muscles that had long been atrophied. Corporate careers provide so much support around leadership roles, but if your vision requires a break from the overall vision you must go that road alone until you accumulate the wealth to build administratively. I truly miss having a dedicated assistant most days. I'm a creative to the core, and I have bursts of creative energy. Other times I can be completely uninspired and struggle to check in with day to day. I had to build a short and long term maintenance model that was extremely lean. A valuable skill to have. Going forward I hope to never let that muscle go unattended. Co-dependency in this fluid workforce isn't wise. Anyone could leave at any time. Stay ready.
Having a high EQ starts with self awareness. So many people walk around unaware of their own triggers. Don't be one of them. Examining your own hurts will help you stop always accusing everyone else of hurting you. Sometimes you hurt yourself over and over again, but pride blocks you from realizing your projection. Stop taking everything so personally and realize everyone responds to pressure differently. Be sure to at least do your own work and know how you respond. More frequently you're experiencing your reflection.
Old Hurts Unaddressed
We're all flawed beautiful creatures. People have old wounds they've never addressed. Their wounds make contact with your wounds and they break the scabs. You never took the time to heal. You have to heal yourself. The things people do to you are rarely because they hate you. But it feels like hate. More often it's insecurity, lack of self reflection, poor preparation and void of empathy. Please try and be self aware. Spend time feeling through your feelings. If you don't have relationships where you can express what you've felt and not be honored in that space create as much distance as you can so you don't spiral into your own insecurities. And practice more self care than just manicures and pedicures. Seek social and mental supports from a professional. Don't destroy your working relationships by asking your peers to also store your baggage.
Generation X: The Super Hero Generation
Millennials. I love y'all. And Imma let you finish. But Generation Xers are the most influential and overlooked super hero squad of all time. You know why y'all get to brag about your socially focused careers of education based expertise? Because we went and got that expertise before you, and moved from jobs and careers our parents couldn't move from because far fewer Baby Boomers required degrees to get into their leadership positions. So many of us secured education that would allow us to be agile. I'd be willing to bet that most of you Millennials have a GenX hero that you worship in your professional background. Just always remember we are everywhere, we just don't tell you we're there.
We were the same arrogant "know it alls" you guys are when we first blasted off into our careers, being promoted ever so slightly above Boomers. And we suffered for our arrogance, but were able to land successfully. In many cases we were blessed with parents that worked blue collar jobs for more than 30 years and sacrificed so we could succeed and move as we'd like professionally. So please be grateful and remember, there's always gonna be a generation younger than you that corporations will overanalyze and predict that they will change the future in ways you never could. Happy career day!
Arts Feed My Soul
One thing I can say about my free fall is I landed where my heart belongs. I see art in everything. One of my favorite peers said to me "Of course you landed at Artists Working in Education because you're and artist working in education." It was the moment I realized that the fall was worth it. All the tumbling and bumps on jagged cliffs and potholes in the ground. I am proud that I didn't question God. I am grateful that the timing was perfect, even though I was often extremely impatient. And now I have roles and positions in places and spaces that feed my soul. Community, culture, collaboration and the arts. And of course you know how I feel about FASHION. I am grateful for these gifts. I am continuing to find myself and collect the pieces of me.
And next, I have to dedicate some time to flesh out the content of my book. There is a story to be told about the last 5 years of my life. I pray that I get the guidance to put my passion into words and give you all the wisdom I gained from this journey. There's a reason why I am named Firey Phoenix. I've been spiritually reincarnated so many times, and God gets the glory of every new thing, every new element of my life. I hope it sings a love song to His ability to truly rebuild anything he wants to build. Me. A unique, peculiar person, designed to be a life of praise to His greatness everyday. A reflection of the Joy that comes with being ONE.
"I've emerged, from the fire and I'm coming out pure GOLD." -Firey Phoenix
#BarbraManger #SallyDuback #ArtistsWorkinginEducation #Sofianne #PrymeSolutions #Agility #FailForward #PopUpMKE #LISCMilwaukee #BIDs #MarketplaceBID32 #CesarChavezBID #HistoricKingDriveBID8 #FireyPhoenix