Thankfulness Equals Happiness

Happiness-Hands1

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to happiness lately, which is admittedly a bit strange for me as I am not by nature an introspective person (something that I am actively working to change). I understand that awareness of one’s emotions is important to growth as an individual, however, and as someone who has struggled with depression most of my adult life, it is no easy task to adjust your thinking over night.

When I started my current job, I went through a serious bout of unhappiness, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I was surrounded by creative people, in a supportive atmosphere, working in an industry I love. However, for the life of me I couldn’t get myself out of the weird, unhappy rut I found myself in. It wasn’t until a co-worker made a comment one day about it that it even occurred to me that I was bringing everyone else around me down, it was that moment that I realized I needed to re-focus my energy and start being thankful instead of miserable. Since that day I have begun making conscious decisions on what makes me happy and what I need to avoid to slip back into ennui, and while it’s not easy, sometimes just taking stock of the good things in my life is enough to brighten my day.

While browsing articles on LinkedIn this morning, I came across this little gem from the SCP of People Operations at Google who gave a simple piece of advice on taking two minutes a day to reflect on what makes you happy, and actually writing them down. So in an effort to practice what I preach and in honor of the upcoming holiday here is my list of 5 (not just 3) things that I am thankful for:

5 things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

  1. My friends – I have an incredible network of friends around the globe that I can turn to for advice, a chat or inspiration at any given moment, it is because of them that I am who I have become, and they are my greatest source of true happiness.
  2. My family – My family is very small, in fact most of the the time it’s just my mom and I, we’ve weathered a lot together, but it has made our bond that much stronger. Sure, we bicker and argue as mothers and daughters do, but we also know that we are there for each other no matter what.
  3. My job – It took me a very long time to find a career that I felt comfortable in, and when I say comfort, I mean one that challenges me on an almost daily basis. My job has provided me financial stability after a year of trying to eek out an existence as a freelancer, but it has also rewarded me with deeper personal insight, creativity and professional drive.
  4. My cats – They are my source of job and stability, home is wherever my cats (and the cat fur) is. At 11 years old, they are creeping past middle age, but they still make me laugh, keep the bed warm and cuddle without asking anything in return (except for the odd ear scratch now and again). If you’ve ever co-existed with a pet, you get why they always make me smile, no matter what.
  5. My home – I have a great apartment, it’s quaint, quiet and in a lovely town on the river. I know that I am lucky to have found it, and in the (nearly) 7 years that I have lived there it has not only provided me shelter, but also a sense of home I have rarely felt in other places.

I know that just thinking and being thankful does not change my constant battle with sadness, I understand that every day is a battle I am fighting to prevent myself from slipping back into darkness. I am also fully aware that for some people this battle is much more than happy thoughts and thankfulness, and to them I hope that even on the dark days you can find one thing, anything to be thankful for and that it makes you happy.

Happy New Year, I Did it Again or How 2012 Will Rock the Transmedia World

You know, every year I promise myself I’m going to get better at my updates, and every year I fail, I suck, I’m sorry, moving on.

Anyway, today is more of an update on where things are in the world of transmedia, you’ll get thoughtful posts when I actually have more than 5 minutes to devote to my writing (I swear).

StoryCode update – First of all a special thank you goes out to the wonderful, Simon Pullman, whose post this morning about StoryCode on his blog, Transmythology, solidified our goal of identifying ourselves as not just “another meetup group” but as an independent entity being developed through member and sponsorship support. Secondly I want everyone to take a look at the StoryCode web page, this will soon be the home page for our brand new (very robust) website. Some elements we plan to include on the website will be information about upcoming meetups and events, case studies of projects presented during meetups and hackathon information.  We are hoping the new site will be live by mid-February, so bookmark the URL, Digg it, or just file it away on a twitter feed somewhere because you’re going to want to see what we have in store for 2012. Lastly, regarding the hackathon, some of you heard mumblings about us holding the StoryCode hack during this year’s upcoming NYC DIY Days, and though we appreciate all of Lance’s support and willingness to help provide a location and resources for us, the reality is we were just too short on time. Never fear though, we have only pushed back until late Spring and promise to keep everyone up-to-date as we know more details.

Transmedia NYC – In case you missed it yesterday, we posted our January meetup, Steve Coulson Presents GAME OF THRONES, it’s pretty self explanatory but to recap: Steve Coulson from Campfire will present “The Secrets of the Kingdom” a look behind-the-scenes at some of the techniques and strategies employed to promote the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, which combined unique sensory-driven experiences with an immersive fan-centric puzzle challenge. If you did miss the announcement and wanted to attend I regret to inform you that this highly anticipated event reached capacity in under 4 hours. The good news is you can still sign up for the wait list and hope that a few people have some last minute engagements to attend. One caveat about this event, unlike our past events, it will NOT BE LIVE STREAMED! Due to the sensitive nature of the content this will essentially be a closed event.

You stick 'em with the pointy end

Me – Isn’t this why you people come here, you want to hear about MY life, about MY thoughts? I didn’t think so, but in case any of you WERE wondering about what little ol’ me is doing besides steering the StoryCode ship, here’s an update or two:

  • The Migraine Project is is a feature documentary film in the making whose goal is to pursue the history and mystery of Migraine and its remarkable place in the human condition. My role as the social media strategist is to help garner public donations and community support through social media channels including twitter (@migraineproject) and facebook. If you or someone you know suffers from migraines or cluster headaches I urge you to donate and help these amazing filmmakers get this project made.

The Migraine Project

  • Ride5 Group – I have been acting as a social media consultant with Ride5 for over the past year and a half and have had the opportunity to work on some interesting projects including our own transmedia event Shoe Power. Recently we have gone through a re-branding which showcases the separate entities of the company which include Creative (social media), Film and Technology. The new structure allows us to be more transparent with our projects while ensuring that our clients are receiving the best possible service.

 

  • Zenith – Or as I like to call it, “the little pet project that won’t die”, is finally winding down a bit on our end. We are currently in the process of writing and editing the case study and soon hope to have a completed piece to share with the transmedia and independent film community. This case study, like all case studies, is an important part of the creative process as it will outline our successes, failures and discoveries as we move forward on our next projects.

Stop Zenith - transmedia project

Well, that pretty much sums things up for now, I still promise to write a less informative and more thoughtful post at a later date. Happy New Year everyone, here’s to starting 2012 with a bang!

Where the Transmedia Girls Are and More Importantly, Where I’ve Been

I recently wrote a post for Tribeca’s Future of Film blog entitled Where the Transmedia Girls Are, I’d paste it here, but Chris and Kristin do such a great job of handling my writing over there that it’s best to just link to it and let them have some of the glory.

I’ve been on one of those career roller-coasters lately, if you’ve ever worked as a freelancer you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve had several requests for proposals in the past few weeks, some big jobs, some smaller ones, and have been happy to spend a few hours on each one researching, gathering information and meeting with the potential clients to ensure I have all of the details ironed out before I develop a proposal and send it out. The problem of course isn’t in the proposal development process, it’s in landing the actual job. I know a lot of individuals and small companies are still reticent to hire on anyone with “Social Media” in their title, but why ask for the proposal in the first place? I rarely give away any info with my proposal’s (i.e. I never write a deck until the first check is in the bank), and have undercut my pricing to a point where it’s almost not worth it, but a girl’s gotta eat, and every little bit helps…or would help, if only they would sign on. My question is, have you, my freelance friends, been having similar problems? If so, have you found a solution, or is this just another example of our horrible economy?

Well, enough about work, let’s discuss some of the fun happenings this month…

It’s the holiday season, do you hear sleigh bells ringing? Me neither, though I’m still pleasantly surprised by this weather; today I think topped out near 60, I’m not complaining mind you, I’m just unnerved and having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit. I did however see lots of cars with trees strapped to their roofs on my drive home today, good to know I’m a bit ahead of the pack however as my apartment is all festively decorated (yay tree!)

I actually enjoy the holidays, sometimes
I actually enjoy the holidays, sometimes...

It’s party season, and I’ve been invited to my share this year, the most highly anticipated one of course being the Transmedia NYC party at Max Fish. What’s more fun than hanging with a bunch of creative people and drinking? Nothing really, so if you’re free that evening you should defintiely come out and join us. December is also, unfortunately, my birthday month (but ssshhh, don’t tell anyone), there’s something rather aggravating about having a birthday that’s so close to Christmas and which this year happens to fall on the FIRST day of Hanukkah. I have expressly forbidden my friends to do anything for my birthday and if work allows it I will be out of town that whole week anyway (fingers crossed). What are all of your plans for the holiday, going out of town, staying in, getting drunk and prank calling your exes Christmas eve? (I’ve never done that, I swear!) If I don’t write before then, I do hope y’all have a Happy Holiday season and I’ll see you in the New Year.

Introducing, StoryCode!

Last night’s TransmediaNYC meetup was one for the record books. First off was the highly informative panel between “The Art of Immersion” author Frank Rose and transmedia director, Nate Goldman; second was a case study on the Fanfan2 project presented by Sylvain Leroux from Orange in France; lastly was a 5 x 5 presentation by Zach Lieberman. The turnout itself was amazing, as we had a packed room at our new location in the beautiful Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center. After wards, our gracious sponsor, Lincoln Center provided a cocktail reception for our attendees. However, the best part of the evening by far (for me anyway) was the announcement of our new non-profit arm, StoryCode and my involvement as the managing chairperson. But, don’t take my word for it, check out my friend James Carter’s post on last night’s festivities, and enjoy some photos compliments of Mo Krochmal of Social Media News NY.

Frank Rose Presentation
Nate Goldman and the Undead End
Zach Lieberman
Aina & Mike
Susan & Sasha
The audience
Brian & me