Happenings & Hopes: January Edition

Happy New Year!

I spent NYE with new friends eating a delicious dinner at MOTO in The Gulch and drinking a great deal of Champs while having belly laugh inducing conversations and watching Nashville’s award winning fireworks from a supposedly ‘closed’ rooftop lounge. I’ll call it a win.

NYE

The next night I spent jotting in my ban.do Hopes + Dreams notebook about all that I want to happen in 2016. The list is long as I’m not known for brevity or lack of ambition.

Hopes and Dreams

The second item I wrote is that I will commit to writing at least 1 blog post per week. A daily blog is NOT my jam. Batch writing and scheduling posts is not my desired creation process. However, I can prioritize time during each week to crank out 1 meaningful post. I’ve drafted a list of topics for this month and the first week of February. I’ve chosen Thursday as my post day of the week. My hope is that this will lift the rock up off my shoulders that comes with people knowing I have a blog and then realizing that my posts have become few and far between. So, I’ll see you here on Thursday every week.  A new monthly series is Happenings & Hopes where I will detail what’s actually on my plate during the month and what I hope will happen during the month. Those are often two VERY different things.

So, welcome to January:

Happenings –Stuff that’s on the calendar– IT ALL HAPPENENED!!!

  • Junior League of Nashville ’16-’17 Board Retreat! 150 till I’m President Elect which means I’m a year closer to taking on the President role in 2017. Yikes!
  • Barre3 Challenge begins on January 4th! 4 studio classes, 1 online workout, and one yummy recipe-27 days of Barre3 immersion– completed 1 week…:(
  • Co-Facilitation of JLN Goal Setting Training Session
  • University of West Georgia Fraternity & Sorority Leadership Retreat- My first time being hired to create original curriculum and serve as Co-Lead Facilitator!
  • Beginning a Bible Study with lovely friends! We’re using Kelly Minter’s “What is Love?” I’m looking forward to this dive into the Word.
  • AJLI Winter Leadership Retreat in Austin, TX! Can’t wait to meet my President Elect-Elect Sisters!
  • My brothers’ birthday and he’s starting the MBA program at my alma mater, William & Mary!
  • Nashville Emerging Leaders Breakfast
  • College Panhellenic/Interfraternity Council Academy where I’ve been invited to facilitate an original session on Motivation and give an IFC Academy Talk!
  • I’m incredibly excited to begin my involvement with another fantastic training organization in Nashville that will allow me to further explore my budding interest in local politics. More details to come!
  • Oh, and I have a full-time job! We’re launching an new spring program and have some moves to make with campus partners. We’re also reapplying for our TEDxVanderbiltUniversity license and reimagining some of our existing programs.

I have NOTHING to do this month.

Hopes — Stuff that’s in my head and heart but if I’m not careful won’t make it’s way onto the Priority List

  • Purchase new personal business cards
  • Published blog post on a site I love dearly–Checking in on this piece
  • Holiday Thank You Cards
  • Eat out once per day and not three –> grocery shop–I lost count of the days and by the amount of receipts in my wallet from Panera, I’m not sure this worked out perfectly. I will say that I cooked more than usual this month which is a bit nuts considering that I was out of town 12 days.
  • Plan 2 friend moments
  • Engage in Sunday outfit planning for the week–whatever was hanging around once I finished packing was up for grabs
  • Finish at least 1 incomplete or untouched book already on my bookshelf–Nope!
  • Write a plan to tackle a piece of debt
  • Finish Season 1 and start Season 2 of Homeland
  • Begin planning 33rd Birthday trip for April
  • Finish developing the first and second session of S.A.I.L
  • Leave at least 1 blank night a week
  • Be in bed by midnight
  • Buy less stuff (Kate Spade bag w/gift card, mani/pedi/wax, Tom Ford Lipstick, Le Pens, Champagne, Hat, Wallet, Planner)
  • Marie Kondo my closet –Purses=Check!, Shoes= Check! Hats=Check!
  • To reach out to people when I think about them and not just shrug off the urge.-Ick! Yes, there were times when I did so and other times during which I put it on the backburner and never moved it back to the front of my mind.
  • To really use all that I learned during our mid-year reviews to be a better Director of my office and supervisor of my team.–uh, sure. Gosh, I have a staff member that’s decided to take advantage of another great opportunity and I think we had a great conversation about this change.
  • Pray for an open heart and mind when it comes to this season of my life. Pray that the Lord will give me the strength to embrace it and not let it lead me to lose my faith or hope in His promises. To constantly seek to be intentionally full of light, love, and laughter.– I really did the best I could with what I have. I didn’t dwell too much on my singleness this month, probably because I was running like a madwoman on the hamster wheel of life, and this also why I continue to run. I did have someone tell me that they just can’t ever see me being angry –gosh, I’ve got them fooled!
Some additional January Wins:
  • Announced as a Fellow for New Leaders’ Council
  • Solidified an opportunity to contribute a piece to an upcoming book for college students
  • Successfully designed and co-facilitated my first for hire retreat curriculum for the University of West Georgia
  • Met an incredible group of PE and PEE at AJLI Winter Leadership Conference in Austin, TX
  • Nominated for a Nashville Emerging Leader Award
  • A beautiful surprise shoutout for being a Panhellenic woman and  the first African American President of the Junior League of Nashville at CPC Academy
  • Nailed down 2 additional speaking/facilitation gigs for 2016

Can’t wait to let y’all know how all this went down or didn’t go down in February.

This may seem like A  LOT to some folks, but y’all, I am so thankful for all of the opportunities that He puts on my plate. Everything that I’m doing means something to me and is helping me be more of who I already am in this world–because that’s all I want–to be as ME as I can possibly be in this world without any apprehension.

These posts also serve as an accountability tool. You’ve unknowingly signed up to be my accountability partners. Thanks y’all, you’re so good to me. Breaking things up into monthly patterns will help me work towards the bigger picture without being too overwhelmed.

Now, I’m going to carve out time to put my Hopes on my calendar along with my Happenings.

What about you? What are your Happenings & Hopes for this month?

Can’t wait to see y’all each Thursday!

Krystal “Fighters Gotta Fight” Clark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 21-June 21 Goals

Perhaps I should have posted these at the beginning of May but as I think Lara Casey would attest to there is really nothing special about the first of the month. It’s a day that we’ve socially constructed to mean the beginning or starting point but who says you can’t start on the 21st? Throw away nonessential rules!

Nashville Bucket List –My list of things to do in my favorite city this summer. I envy those people who say things like, ” I summer in The Hamptons.” You know folks got bank when seasons become verbs. I haven’t reached baller status so for now #isummerinNashville.

Fruit Name

Update my Retirement Plan–I’m 32 and it’s never too early to get this party started. I have great employer matching benefits and I want to make sure that I’m taking full advantage of every opportunity to save for retirement.

Restaurant Crawl– Dinner at Lockeland Table and I still have 2 reservations to secure for a dinner date and a group brunch. I’m also working on a visit to Biscuit Love.

Sunday Gratitude Time– I have a ton of Thank You Notes and Love Letters to write to special folks in my life. Time to get it started! –Fruitful Summer!

Mail God

Summer Reading List– Diving into Spinster by Kate Bolick and Do Over by Jon Acuff

The Nashville Zoo

The Peach Truck

Fitness Goals

Use my Fit Factory Nashville Groupon. I purchased a months worth of classes. Can’t let that $39.00 go down the drain. IP

Yoga on the Field!

Begin the Barre3 Anywhere Challenge on June 1. The first challenge was the best fitness experience ever for me and I’m looking forward to getting it done again.

– Pick 3 new recipes from Soul Food Love and Oh Gussie! to prepare.

Professional Goals

Present at the National Conference for College Women Student Leadership at my alma mater, University of Maryland, College Park.

Participate in Mid-Level Managers’ Institute taking place right here in Nashville. So thankful to have been selected for this PD experience.

-Hold action oriented meetings for PREVAIL and TEDxVanderbiltUniversity

– Transfer Student Recruitment for EVOLVE

Summer Leadership Challenge! First 3 challenges.

Peculiar Pearl Goals

3 Posts per week

Build instagram following over @peculiar_pearl

Get new business cards

Develop a Business Plan

Email Rachel about training with Liz

– Craft Key messages/services

Orientation at Nashville Entrepreneur Center

Faith Goals

Continue working through the Wholeheartedly Devotional

Attend the Belonging Co.

– Continue seeking and praying about a Bible Study/Small Group

I think that might be enough. I’m excited and tired –is there a word for that?

Krystal

6 Things You Need to Have in Your Toolkit to Thrive as a YP

Moving to Nashville in 2011 was the beginning of a whole new life for me. The YP Community in this city is strong and the city takes an interest in engaging and developing the 23-40 year old population that eagerly roams around this thriving metropolis. Check out YPNashville .

B Cards

I quickly had to learn the ropes of navigating Music City to accomplish my ever present goal of being a “mover and shaker” as well as the specific goal I set upon my departure from Durham, NC to “attack the city in which I live”. I’m a firm believer in giving back to the place in which you live and work and have fully embraced the life of being a “residential tourist”. Nashville is blessed to be changing everyday and I haven’t gotten bored even once during almost 4 years. I’m a total tourist, like, I go to the Tennessee State Museum to check out the new exhibits type of tourist.

During this adventure, I’ve discovered 6 things that will give you a better chance of thriving in a city like Nashville. A place that networks, has junior boards, numerous fancy dress pay parties, over 20 organizations solely for YP, and a city you think is big until you find that you run into the same people all the time.

1. Resume. I know this sounds obvious but you’d be surprised the number of people who don’t have an updated resume. I update my resume on a weekly basis. For many things that you apply to be a part of in the city whether it’s a leadership development program, an awards program, a member of a board or committee, oh, and if you’re applying for a new job, you will need to submit a resume. People want to know your skillset, where you work, what you do, and how you spend your time. If you have a great conversation with a person at a networking event and they ask you to “send me your resume”, it’ll make life a lot easier if you’ve already got that taken care of on your desktop. Check out the link above to get some tips from Levo League about how to make your resume pop.

2. Business Cards. If you’ve been issued a standard office B-Card that’s totally acceptable and you should applaud yourself for achieving that professional milestone. There’s something sweet about receiving a box of 500 fresh business cards that confirm you’re a part of the team. However, for my life outside of my office, I decided to invest in cards that showed off a bit more personal style. The cards contain my personal contact information and details about my Nashville involvement and official side hustles of speaker/facilitator/presenter/blogger. These don’t have to be expensive. Check out MOO.com or VistaPrint. People react well and always smile when I offer a warmer and more personal version of the stale and often tossed white and sharp edged business card. More tips at the link above.

3. Social Media. Have a presence. Keep it clean. You don’t have to engage on all outlets but pick one or two that you can commit to keeping fresh and representative of who you are or what you aspire to become. People will check. LinkedIn is great for professional networking, Twitter, because I enjoy live tweeting events and it is an efficient way to get speedy personal and professional development nuggets as you move throughout your day. 140 character sound bites always add fodder to a conversation. Facebook is my place to affirm my brand through daily motivational posts and it allows me to keep up with the largest extended network from college until the present. Instagram is the preferred medium of most these days. Love the visuals. You’ll never find me on SnapChat. 

4. Bio. Yes, you’ve got a resume but you’ll often be asked to submit a bio to be used in an event program, to use as a method to introduce you to an audience, or just as a concise way to get to know you. Here’s my bio:

Krystal Clark, M.Ed. is a native of Portsmouth, VA. Her undergraduate degree in Sociology/Psychology was earned at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA and her M.Ed. in College Student Personnel was obtained in 2007 from The University of Maryland, College Park. Upon graduation, she moved to Durham, NC and worked in Fraternity & Sorority Life at Duke University. Krystal came to Nashville, TN in May of 2011 to work as the Associate Director of Greek at Vanderbilt University. In May 2013, she began her adventure as the Associate Director of the newly created Office of Student Leadership Development at Vanderbilt. Krystal is the Vice President of Membership for the Junior League of Nashville, Reader for Book ‘Em/Reading is Fundamental, a member of the Junior Board of Women in Numbers, a volunteer for the YWCA, a former Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, a past member of the Board of Directors for Girls on the Run Nashville, a member of ACPA (College Student Educators International) and currently volunteering for her 10th year College reunion. Clark was a finalist for the Nashville Emerging Leader Award in the field of Education in 2012 and is the 2015 YP Nominee for the Nashville ATHENA Award. When she’s not working at Vanderbilt she serves as a speaker/facilitator at college campuses across the country. In her spare time, Krystal enjoys partaking in the music scene, blogging at peculiarpearl.com, is a Barre3 enthusiast, and strives to be a residential tourist taking in all that Nashville has to offer.

5. A smile. Seriously, when you’re floating around a big-small town you want to be someone that people are happy to see. I moved here without knowing a soul and a smile coupled with a hello got me through a lot of situations and made me some fast friends. A smile and a handshake moved me through my first networking event. A smile and a hug (this is the south) connected me quickly to a cause. A smile and a willingness to help is everything. A smile and a hand raised to ask a good question. A smile and a head nod to signal authentic engagement in a conversation. Smile. It makes you approachable. It makes you interesting. It makes people feel like they already know you. Smile.

6. Headshot. No better way to show off that smile than in a headshot. No more photos with the hand of a cropped out buddy lingering in the background. Most of our senior pictures at this age already look dated. Some companies offer headshots to employees and with the quality of cameras and camera phones these days a skilled friend could make this extremely economical for you. I’ve had three professional headshots taken and they have made all the difference. I feel confident about my appearance, the lighting is great, and a professional photographer knows how to pull the best out of you. Model or not, you can have a beautiful headshot. It just makes your social media and documents look polished. Try not to wear anything that will quickly date the photos. I’m in the market for a new shot due to my ever changing hair. Stay tuned.

Clark119bw

There you go. 6 items that can beef up your journey through the city as a YP. All of these can be done economically or you can certainly splurge if you have the coins. I promise you that all of these items are worthwhile to add to your life toolkit as you’ll come back to them repeatedly.

What did I miss? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading.

Krystal

Let ships be ships.

Angela Jia Kim, Founder of Savor the Success in her Daily Action Planner adheres to the philosophy of  “ships”, specifically 3 ships. The concept of ships is pretty basic in the sense that when ships go out to sea we typically wait for them to return to their origin and hope that something of value to us is on the vessel. Ships usually always return to their dock or harbor (I don’t speak nautical) and if not, then it is often because of a mishap.

Angela educates her clients to send out at least 3 ships on a daily basis. Send out something everyday that will eventually bring something back to you. Invest in sending out ships and you are bound to have a return on 1 or more of those investments.

So, what’s a ship? An email, a phone call, an application, a proposal, a chapter of a book, thank you note, and a blog post, etc. A ship is anything that can bring good stuff that you want or need back to you. The lesson is that the more ships you send out the more likely something good is going to come back to you.

In order to achieve your goals you’ve got to send out ships. Daily ships. EVERYDAY you should be putting something out in the world that could possibly bring you profits or other fruitful opportunities and resources.

I’ve been working on adopting this philosophy as a part of  my life. I looked at my 2015 goals and I made a list of ships that I would have to send out in order to make what matters happen.  Who do I need to call, email, visit, write, or submit items to in order to get stuff done? There are now regularly 3 ships or more  on my daily to-do lists. I ain’t too proud to ask, y’all and if need be, I’ll surely beg.

Bottom line: If you don’t send it then you’ll never know what might be on the other side. “If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.”

2f23fa427b67a967a947ca1fcad48c6eFor 99% of you, building your ideal personal and/or professional life might just include needing the help of other people. The ships will alert them of your presence, your passion, your gifts, your purpose, and how they can help you live your best life. Many of your ships will be mutually beneficial and folks will be happy that they showed up on their side of the coast. Once you’ve put it out there, you no longer control the ship–you’ve given up navigation, you must let it go and play the patience and faith game while you wait for it to make its way back home.All ships won’t come back and all ships won’t come back with a pot of gold attached AND that’s okay. Everything in life can’t be and shouldn’t be a yes. Celebrate those ships that do.

Swallow your fear and courageously send out 3 ships a day. What do you really have to lose?

What are your ships?

Here’s a few of mine for next week:

– Mid Managers’ Institute Application

– Proposals for the NCCWSL (National Conference for College Women Student Leaders)

Prevail Planning Team email

– at least 3 blog posts

– daily Facebook posts

theoryTalks follow up email and Social Change Model reminders

– Christmas Thank You Notes

-Email to Caroline from Well Placed Smile

– invitations for campus partners to participate in EVOLVE

– proposal for two possible student programs

Bon voyage! Thanks for reading.

2014 in review–Thanks for reading!

Nice to get an annual blog report. This helps me set goals for 2015. I know that I need to be consistent and instead of pushing myself to post 5-7 days a week, I’m committing  to posting on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Those are the days that make the most sense to me and are the most doable. I’ve also pledged to post my entries on my personal Facebook page and not just my PeculiarPearl Facebook page as this will provide me with more exposure. I’ve been a bit fearful of doing this BUT I gotta push through that fear and hit SHARE. My goal is to be able to utilize my blog as an arm of my speaking/facilitation career that I have also pledged to build this year and it serves as an alternate form of providing knowledge through my role as a leadership educator. I share my full self and I promise that when I post, I’m being my most authentic self. You are getting the stories that occur at the intersection of all my identities. This blog has been a part of my life since 2011 and it has helped me make meaning of my life experiences. It is the most effective form of reflection that I have in my life. Thank you to those who have taken the time to read, like, comment, and share. I hope you’re just as excited about PeculiarPearl in 2015 as I am as I type this post.

Thanks for reading!

Krystal aka Peculiar Pearl

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I said “no” and it was all okay.

no 2

 

I said “no” and it was all okay.

Recently, I stepped back from a commitment. I’d thought about it for a few months but I kept plugging away because I’m not great at stepping back–I’m a step forward kinda girl.

After a while I realized that not only was I doing myself harm by not backing down but I was also doing the opposite of a good volunteer and I was actually hurting the organization. I wasn’t fulfilling my end of the bargain.

It all felt like an obligation. Life has too many obligations that we should not be in the business of adding more of the “o” word to our plate. I want to want to do everything that I commit my time to in this world. I want all my “extra” in life to feel like an opportunity or a privilege. I don’t want it to be painful. When I fail to prioritize something time and time again, that is a clear indication that I need to let it go. Please don’t start singing that song from Frozen. I actually am the only person in the world who doesn’t get the obsession with the song or the movie.

It hurt to write my goodbye emails but it also lifted an extremely large burden off my shoulders. Now, I don’t have to feel bad about not wanting to do it and then actually not doing it.

It is my opinion that organizations would rather have a clear “no” than a weak and noncommittal “yes”.

no 3

Don’t worry about being perceived as a “quitter” and don’t walk around thinking that the organization will fail if you walk away. Everyone in an organization should be replaceable. If not, it has bigger problems than you no longer wanting to be involved. Walking away doesn’t mean that you don’t care about the cause and in most cases, it doesn’t mean that you can’t ever be involved again at a later time. All it means is that you are taking the opportunity to take care of yourself —own that moment and honor it.

Look at your plate. Is there an item or item(s) on it that you need to bow out of graciously? Think about your exit strategy.

Why are you backing away? Don’t think about this too deeply because it could be as simple as  you just don’t want to do it anymore. Maybe you want to devote yourself to other activities. Maybe you became too involved too fast and need to examine whether or not this activity meets your overall vision and mission for your life.

Who do you need to tell that you’re taking a time out? The chair of the committee, president of the organization? Maybe you want to send private emails to those folks who you’ve developed relationships with that you don’t want to have hard feelings about your departure. You can still stay connected to these folks. No need to burn bridges. The world is tiny.

Is there any transition that you need to assist with upon your departure? Should you set up a meeting to pass along materials and engage in any knowledge transfer to keep this aspect of the organization stable and poised for success? Don’t just leave the organization high and dry. Also, make sure that you update any communications that have you listed as a member of the group such as your email signature, LinkedIn, business cards, and other social media profiles.

What does the conversation sound like when you communicate with others that you’re no longer involved? You don’t owe people an ounce of an explanation but it would be wise to not bad mouth people or the organization. Perhaps you can recommend others to get involved. Maybe you decide to still support on some level (fiscally, low key volunteer position, and social media promotion, etc.). Don’t be afraid to tell people that you needed to clean up your plate of life. Your freedom to admit and live your truth invites others to do the same.

no complete sentence

Relax! Breathe it away and keep it moving. Think about how you’re going to use this extra space in your life. Maybe you just need to do nothing with it except binge watch a show on Netflix and make it to Barre class more than twice a week. Doesn’t that sound awesome?

If you’re anything like me than you are often the last person on your to-do list AND this right here, the art of stepping back, is helping you to move yourself up spot by spot until that one magical day when you find yourself in the #1 slot.

Say “no” or “goodbye” and watch how your life changes. I am living proof that you can say these words and it all be okay. If you need some help with saying no in a way that feels better to your heart and mind check out this list below:

helpful ways to say no

I encourage you to say “no” today.

Thanks for reading.

Lata Y’all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you doing in the next 1,001 days?

I took some time today to update my 101 in 1,001. I still don’t have 101 things on my list. I need to think more outside the box or just take notice of those times throughout the day when I go, “Wow, I wish I could do that.”

Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post and Thrive, inspired me when she stated that one can easily complete a task by simply taking it off your to-do list. Magic! There are times when I put things on a list and then after a while I wonder, “What was I thinking? That doesn’t matter.” Instead of still working to get it done or just keeping it on the list and feeling like a failure, Arianna just says “Get rid of it.” Done and Done. On to the next!

This list all started with Design Darling. I read over her new list to borrow a few ideas. Check out her blog and her cute boutique. She’s lovely.

https://peculiarpearl.wordpress.com/101-in-1001/ –Check it out! Any suggestions?

Later Y’all.