Odds & Ends

Why Your Plan Is Messing With Your Happiness

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 1.31.26 PMI have always loved the quote that says “What messes us up most in life, is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.” The reason I have always liked this quote is because I know personally I am the type of girl who without knowing it, plans how things “should be” or “should look” in the future. I feel like ever since I was 5, I was constantly looking forward to the next right of passage, or the next phase of my life. Everyone these days are in a constant hurry to check off the next box on their life plan- to make it to high school, graduate high school, get into your dream college, get your dream job, get married, have two boys, two girls and white picket fence and on and on and on. How sad is that? We’ve been so wrapped up in how things need to be in our future that we can’t let go and enjoy the present without wondering how this will affect the next step.

Over the past year, I have really began to realize how much “my idea of my future” is out of my control. God has a plan for each of us that none of us can truly comprehend. Everyone has had those moments where you’re like “WHYYYYY????!!!” “WHY MUST THIS HAPPEN TO ME?” “MY LIFE IS OVER BECAUSE….” blah blah blah. I have these conflicts on a daily basis just as all my friends and family do. But as I said before, the more life I’ve experienced (which I know still isn’t much), the more I realize that there is truly no point in having a plan. Sounds crazy right? All you “Type A” people are probably laughing/ beginning to feel anxiety overwhelm you when you think of the idea of not having a “plan.” Let me clarify…

When I say that I believe there is no point in having a plan I am not saying that I think it is pointless to make plans, goals or to think ahead. I think it is vital to make goals for yourself and to hold yourself accountable for those goals. What I am saying is that you should not restrict yourself to a straight and narrow path and or plan (i.e. meet mr. wonderful, get engaged to mr. wonderful,  marry mr. wonderful, have a wedding with mr. wonderful that replicates your pinterest dreams… you get it). Why are we so concerned with accomplishing these things? It’s because we believe that we are short on time. Just recently I’ve began to realize the problem is that we rush into everything in hopes of meeting these personal checkpoints. I began to realize this problem when at 20 years young, I realized that two years ago I wouldn’t have EVER believed that I would be where I am right now. It hit me then that life doesn’t pan out to be even close to what you had planned.

ENDLESS things have not gone as I have planned and although I wished in the moment that things would have gone my way, I am so happy with the outcome because I have learned an amazing lesson from these kinks in my “plan”- to go with the flow.

Rolling with the punches and taking in life a day at a time is definitely easier said than done. I am still working on accepting the things I cannot change and having faith that everything that happens is a part of the bigger picture. This mindset is by all means a work in progress and I cannot say that I have perfected the concept of not drifting into a day dream of how my future must look. But, I can say that the change I have felt since having this change in outlook has benefited me in such a positive way that I cannot describe through words.  I encourage y’all to challenge yourself to not look forward to the next thing you must accomplish in your timeline of life. Instead, try to live day by day, laugh at your mistakes, accept what you cannot change, and know that there is a reason you didn’t get that internship, or didn’t make the team, or have someone walk out of your life. It is all a part of the bigger picture.

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Odds & Ends

Different Point of View

As an absolutely, certifiably obsessed Beyoncé fan, this video series was everything to me. After releasing her self-titled visual album without any notice, Beyoncé continued to draw fans in with this five part series about how she brought together this album and what in her life has influenced her to be the artist she is well known for today. This video gives an inside personal look to who Beyoncé is- an interesting and different perspective in comparison to what most of us see of her on a regular basis.

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Odds & Ends

Inked

tattooDon’t worry Mom, THIS IS NOT REAL.

I can honestly say that I have never had the urge to get a tattoo. I hate needles, and more importantly, I hate the idea of anything in my life being “permanent.” For these reasons, I have never put much thought into what tattoo I would get if I got one.

Even though I would never step foot in a tattoo shop out of pure fear, I was told to “give” myself a tattoo for my visual communications class. No, not a real tattoo, a tattoo in Photoshop. We were instructed to choose a unique font and “tat” ourselves wherever we like. After over 30 minutes of contemplating, the image above is what I came up with.

I chose to place the words “aim higher” accompanied with an arrow pointing up, on my wrist. I liked this idea because it was simple, to the point and easy to read. To me, aim higher means always holding myself to a higher standard. Personal growth and achievement are two things I value very much in my life and always search for. My imaginary tattoo would constantly remind me, even on my lazy days, to not settle.

For this tattoo I downloaded a font that had a more “tattoo-esque” look to it to make the tattoo look more authentic. I also added in a sketch of an arrow to tie the concept together. I chose this font because it was crisp, bold and provided contrast from my arm. I also like how this font is elegant yet strong at the same time. I chose a script style font because the words were simple enough that I felt I could have fun with the letters.

Although I love the idea of “aiming higher” in all that I do, I don’t think I feel anymore inclined than I did before to get a tattoo. My real concern (besides the long needles beating into my skin- getting nauseous just thinking about it) is that I don’t think I can pull it off. Am I badass enough to sport a tat in plain sight for everyone to see? Absolutely. Not.

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Odds & Ends

Sneaux Day

les scene fixed

For my Visual Communications class we just began covering Photoshop and InDesign. Our first assignment was to make a scene combining five different photos. Given the current circumstances, I figured I would do something about the crazy LSU Sneaux days. I first focused on proportion and determined I wanted the almighty Les Miles to be the focal point. After all, only he could be responsible for something so great to happen to the LSU students. I loved being able to implement his famous clap into this scene. I used proximity to organize the photo, keeping the text together at the top of the scene. The emphasis of this scene is the lightning bolt coming from Les’s hands and the famous LSU logo. I aligned the text to further organize the scene with a center alignment. Also, I searched for a purple lightning bolt to tie into the rest of the purple in the scene and to provide contrast from the background.

Photos used:

Les Miles Clap

Memorial Tower

Stormy Sky

Lightning

LSU logo

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Odds & Ends, Uncategorized

Beats vs. Sony X

I love music therefor the way I listen to music is important. I have always been a fan of the ever popular Beats by Dr Dre, but I became curious about the newer Sony X headphones after seeing an advertisement for them on YouTube. Comparing the two advertisements, I first saw the different strategies each company focused on when presenting their product to an audience.

Let’s start with the Beats advertisement. When I first saw this ad on TV, I was captivated immediately. The advertisement doesn’t feel like an intrusive, annoying, disruptive ad. It was enjoyable to watch because it had a story line. Of the five ways that visual communication can engage an audience, this advertisement really focused on entertainment, persuasion and identification. The advertisement entertains an audience like a mini-series which captures their attention with the use of a celebrity athlete. The advertisement persuades the audience to hear only what they want and to use beats products to do so. The “hear what you want” with Beats products tagline is the message of this advertisement. Last, the advertisement focuses on identification. With the use of Colin Kaepernick, 49ers quarterback as the main character in this advertisement, the audience identifies Beats with big time athletes, celebrities and professional sport leagues. The audience for this commercial is probably sport fans or middle-aged men, although I think it appeals to a greater and more broad audience.

The Sony X advertisement was quite different than the Beats advertisement. Although I was interested in the advertisement because I am interested in the product, my attention was not consistently kept by the commercial because it was heavily informative. Sony focused on the informative and enlightening strategies in their ad.  The message of this ad was to introduce this set of headphones released by Sony and to talk about the features. I believe the audience is quite larger for this specific message in comparison the the Beats advertisement. This message seems to be geared towards really anyone with an interest in music which is strategic to sell their product.

As a consumer, I believe the Beats ad was more effective. The message was more simplistic and entertaining. Unfortunately, I think the Sony ad is too much information to present in one advertisement. If I were flipping through channels, I would easily skip over the Sony ad. I enjoyed the beginning of the Sony ad where different people both famous and unknown were talking about their passion for music. I believe the ad was dynamic in the beginning but then flat-lined once getting into the informative side of the product. The Beats commercial struck me as more emotional, captivating and truly gave me chills the first time I watched it. Unless you are against the 49ers, this ad has you feeling bad for Kaepernick and rooting for him the whole time. When the quarterback places the Beats on his head it seems to give him life after being put down by the hating fans outside of the bus. It is the Beats that give him his confidence back to walk through the pack of yelling fans.

If I were to change either ad, there a few things I would tweak. With the Sony ad, I would keep the momentum going in the beginning with the people talking about their passion for music. I would keep this consistent throughout the whole ad and have them speak about why they chose Sony over competitors. Also I would choose a song to put in the ad that will impact the audience and have them identify this song with the product- a song that the audience can enjoy. The only thing I would choose to change about the Beats ad is to maybe choose a more universal celebrity that can appeal to people who do not follow sports. I believe a different celebrity could expand the audience for the advertisement, although I really enjoyed Colin Kaepernick in the ad (and that song is just so damn catchy).  The “hear what you want” commercial is more creative, entertaining and appeals to me much more than the Sony X ad. In addition to the Colin Kaepernick ad, you can check out other “hear what you want” ads done by Beats by Dr Dre that have the same type of story line ad with athletes like LeBron James and Kevin Garnett.

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Odds & Ends

Writing It In Stone… Or Blog

How is it that it is just January and I already feel overwhelmed when I open my Lilly planner? I mean seriously people… I have been in school for two weeks yet I feel like winter break was months ago. It’s sad, really. Anyway, the point here is that I have some goals, you could even say resolutions that I need to put out to the world so I am held accountable. Somehow, I have let my resolutions go by the waste-side since getting acquainted again in Baton Rouge and since school started (the irony of it all).

Before I get into the body of this post including my 2014 goals (let’s call them goals so that it isn’t as cringe-worthy) let me just say, I know what you are thinking. I  KNOW that New Year Resolutions- I mean goals, are cliché and usually look a lot like crammed gyms for the first couple months after the new year, but just hear me out. I must put these goals of mine somewhere that is more concrete than a sticky note on my desk, so this is my platform. Also, one could say 2013 was a year of adjusting. I don’t want to say it was a “bad” year by any means, but the man upstairs sure did throw me a few- okay A LOT of curve balls. Because of this, I firmly believe 2014 will be a great year. To ensure this year will be one for the books, here are the mantras I will be living by, habits I will be breaking, and goals I will be working on for the next 12 months…

  • EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY. This is something I have a hard time telling myself and more importantly BELIEVING when things don’t go as expected. The most important thing I want to focus on for 2014 is to trust in His plan.
  • Speaking of His plan, stop making excuses for skipping church. Make time.
  • Convince my parents to get another Golden Retriever.
  • You are only 20, get a grip. I always catch myself getting caught up in the “timeline” I have in my head. For 2014 I want to focus on living in the present. Stop overlooking the past and the future.
  • Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard. No I do not have legs for days, and no, I can’t do 15 pirouettes at the drop of a hat. But I can push myself to continually improve and push my boundaries as a dancer (Sorry for those non-dancers out there. You are probably lost with this bullet point).
  • Take more pictures (just realized I am becoming my mother).
  • With that being said, get a nice camera.
  • Take more class- dance class that is. Travel for conventions. Find masterclasses. Whatever it takes.
  • Write more cards to my long distance friends and family.
  • See Beyoncé in concert again.
  • The classic new year goal- YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.

Here’s to sticking to the bullet points.

xo

Sammy

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