Friday, May 10, 2013

Cap & Gown, Wedding Gown or Hospital Gown: 5 Tips on Navigating Transitions

May is a season of major milestones and transitions. These transitions touch all of our lives. Whether it’s graduation, an engagement, a move or new babies, transitions are exciting moments in which we know life will never be the same. Here are five tips for navigating transitions.
1. Be present. During the heightened emotion and excitement of transitional periods it’s so easy for it all to become a blur. This is one of my own greatest challenges during a period of transitions–being still and taking it all in. It’s so easy to jump ahead to the wedding day, the moment when you’re holding a baby in your arms, or even to worrying about what life will be like after college. Be intentional about engaging in the present.
2. Take stock. Transitional periods are a great time to evaluate your life. Are you pursuing your goals or are you just kind of going along with the life that seems to happen for you? Are you on the path to the career, relationship, calling that you desire and are meant to pursue? Now is a good time to look around and make necessary bold choices to get to the place you want to be.
3. Talk with supportive friends. Transitions are times of increased stress. Nothing is more therapeutic than letting it out and talking with trusted friends and family. Let your inner circle be there for you.
4. Prioritize. Plan your time based on what is most important. Be intentional. Make time for the people who matter most. What are the most important ways for you to spend your time during this period? What will matter to you looking back? A grade? Quality time with a loved one? How wise you were with your finances?
5. Don’t make decisions out of fear. When forging through times of change it is easy to freeze up and not make decisions at all or worse– make decisions based on fear. Look fear in the face and articulate the “worst case scenario.” When you say it, you can extinguish its power. Move forward with courage.
What has helped you through times of transitions?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

3 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Inner World

If you’re like me you haven’t exactly been counting down the days to spring cleaning. It takes hard work to maintain a home but certainly is rewarding once everything is dusted, polished and sparkling.
While spring is a great time of year to get your literal house in order, have you thought about taking stock of your inner world?
March is a great time to have a check point on your life. You’re one-fourth of the way through the year. Did you make goals at the beginning of 2013? Where are you in the process of accomplishing them?
Here are 3 steps for getting your inner house in order.
1. Spend quiet time in reflection. With a journal or laptop review the goals you penned at the turn of the new year. Survey these goals and see what you have accomplished, what you are working on, and where you have fallen off the boat.
2. Articulate what you want to accomplish in the next three months. Taking quarterly stock in the direction of your life is a great way to make sure you are on track with your goals. Write down the changes you want to make. Keep it realistic!
3. Live with intention. To accomplish your goals and ultimately become the person you want to be, you have to take steps to achieve it every day. Keep your eye on the goal.
Andy Andrews said the definition of discipline is to be able to “make yourself do something you don’t want to do to accomplish a result you really want to have.” Are you willing to go for it?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

" The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

4 Totally Random Things I Am Learning About!
While I so rarely get the opportunity to sit down and write about things of my own interest, it is officially Spring Break so I am taking the time to write here about things that are of particular interest to me. Right now I am incredibly blessed to be spinning the plates of 5 different writing clients plus teaching plus studying, so writing here on ye olde blog takes the lowest rung on the priority ladder, but! here we are making a list (which is what we just LOVE.)

1. Self-discipline. Can you imagine?! Me? Self-disciplined? Well as the years creep up I'm hoping that I count as more mature than I used to be and a bit more committed to growth with every passing year. So self-discipline is slowly but surely making its way into my life. I'm beginning to be a more thoughtful eater. (My personal trainer's words ringing in my ears: "Do you WANT it or do you NEED it?") I'm committing to making sweating a priority since part of my career depends in large part upon physical fitness. In addition! I'm finding great success using the Pomodoro Technique when it comes to getting shtuff done. If I can knock out a shorter item off my list in the 25 minutes or less I feel like a warrior.

2. SEO. Do you even know what this is?! Full disclosure: I didn't know what it was until a year-ish ago. But it is a huge, huge integral part of making any sort of money by spending time on the internet. Messages on web sites with a little strategy can be optimized for maximum potential. Aka: the people who are searching for your product find it because it's popped up towards the top of their google search. Man, this is so key for world wide web work (alliteration!) and I'm finally GETTING it! Feels good. Feels a little tedious too. (But good.)

3. How to write a thesis. Oh man. A lot of the master's thesis stuff is straight up BORING but the good news is, you get to decide what you write about. Lucky for me I figured out a way to cover two things I'm ├╝ber passionate about: social media and the BROADway! As Sophia Grace and Rosie would say, "IT'S SO GOOD!" The whole kit and kaboodle should be completed by December. I will keep you posted. But, spoiler alert: it's gonna be awesome.

4. Cooking! Again, can you even believe?! With the advent of the boyfriend's move to the Hill City (yes my name is Hil and I live in the Hill City.) I have the motivation to cook some solid meals. One of my new year's resolutions was to learn how to cook 3 new meals and I think I have done just that! Thanks Real Simple, Pinterest, Sister and Mom!

So tell me...what are you learning about?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

7 months later thoughts. :)

Well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I haven’t blogged in 7 months. 
And it’s kind of an awkward place to begin. Well, it’s awkward to try and figure out what to write.
Here are things that I’ve been thinking/have been going on. 
Illustration by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co.
After a solid year of long distance somehow I get to live near my boyfriend now. It’s magical and warm and fuzzy and an adjustment--in the best way. I love having him to hang around with. He is so sweet and supportive and what-you-see-is-what-you-get. His presence in my life makes me a better person. For sure. It starts with just illuminating the parts of me that need to grow. 
I’ve never been so cognizant of my own need for growth. Don’t confuse that for self-loathing or something. This is an accurate, unemotional knowledge that my natural, first inclination is to do whatever I like. And sometimes--no, maybe all the time--the most rewarding, best, most honorable thing to do is the total opposite. And it might even make you happier than you thought the thing you so wanted to do did. This is stuff I’m chewing on these days...
It’s been a year and a half since I performed in a musical really, really. I miss it so. What’s wrooong with me? Most people stop doing that by age 12 and don’t miss it. Why does soaring music and touching storytelling mean so much to me? Why do I so passionately love something that I will probably never make a decent living doing? What then, bright-eyed millenials?!
I’m still in love with the internet. Maybe more than ever. I think I could qualify as a Twitter evangelist. Never in the history of the world have we been privy to so much knowledge at our fingertips. You there, with your computer, can learn about virtually anything you want today, with that. That’s inSANE. What kind of privilege/responsibility is that?! Aren’t we supposed to be doing something remarkable and world-changing with this kind of tool?
What am I doing to leave the world better than I found it? 
2012 is off to an unusual start. I think this will be a great year. A year of growth, maturity, goals being reached, milestones achieved, celebrations, and love. 
Don’t forget: you’re living your story. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My 9th post. Or "The One where she rants and tells you her vision statement."

 O. M G. Well HEY!

Lookie there it’s July 21st and we haven’t chatted in like, EVZ!

Geez, it’s been a busy summer. It’s been a fantastic summer!

In fact, I don’t think I can adequately absorb/digest/weigh this summer until it’s over. So I won’t try to. But, I’m pretty sure it’s the best yet/ever.

I’m trying to not be too tired. And I’m also trying to do everything I want to do.

After I left New York in January I knew upon my return I wanted to make use of all the opportunity for growth/improvement/skill-strengthening that New York provides in a way that other cities just don’t. So I enrolled in dance classes, voice lessons, and even a stand-up comedy class.

Now if you’re confused and you’re all “But Hil, like, aren’t you in grad school studying communication? What the what? I don’t get it. Just decide already! I’m bored of you not fitting in a specific category. Auguagh!”

First, slow your roll. Second, here’s my explanation. My BHAG if you will: (Oh snap. Yep, she did!)

I’m not satisfied with the explanation that to be an actor you have to love acting and nothing else. I’m not satisfied with my only option other than performing being waiting tables. I like other things and I will go criZAZY knowing that for the rest of my life I’m performing a fraction of the time and doing something where I don’t have to use my noggin and sick vocab skills (alright I could benefit from a Word-A-Day. I said it.) Do you get what I’m saying? It just doesn’t seem to be that out of the question to get a master’s degree in communication, build my expertise on topics like social media and cognitive dissonance theory, and still pursue performing and artistic-like things too. So for right now I’m in the “off season” of my performing career. I can’t audition hardcore because I’m committing the next 9 months to grad school. Even though the idea of booking something random does indeed sound more fun when I look at life big picture-style I know I want this master’s degree and this is the best time to get it. So when I’m finished with it I will be more knowledgeable academically and practically in the communication field and I will have also been working diligently to be ready to audition professionally again. When I come back to the pro acting scene next year I want to get an agent and start auditioning for both legit and commercial work. There is a great big world out there and the possibilities are endless. By gauging where I was mentally and experientially circa four years ago I can predict that I’m going to run across some really unimaginable opportunities in the next few years.

In other words: I’m being mentored by a female professional comic who was a finalist on Last Comic Standing and we’re kind of related and I didn’t even know her when I watched her on Last Comic Standing when I was 18.

The world is one beautiful possibility.

So anyway, now that I’ve written all that I’m recognizing that my vision may be better shared across a table in a coffeeshop with a warm vanilla latte in hand but hopefully you’re catching on.

In addition to my slow and steady approach to performing that I’ve been doing lately, I’ve also gotten to do some freelance writing. That is always good. I would really love to do that in a that’s-how-i-pay-the-rent kind of way. One day I hope I do. Right now it's more like, the utility bill than the whole rent but hey, at least it's paying for my showers! And too, right now I’m doing more than I did last year so I think that’s a step in the right direction. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I may or may not be the guy who writes telemarketing scripts and I LOVE IT. It’s the ultimate persuasive conversation! I’m into it.

What else can I tell you…

Today the heat index rose to 105 in New York and I’m officially o.ver. i.t.

If I have to be side-swiped by one more sweaty stranger I may karate chop someone. I’m sick of it! I’m so sick of being so close to people who I don’t know! I have a strong sniffer and these people don’t smell that good! I just don’t like it and I’m ready to go back to having a car and personal space. Please and thanks.

It makes me wonder: would I go bonkers living here for more than 6 months straight? I’ve yet to do that. Could I survive? Would I just be cranky and pushy all the time? These days I’m going for “sweet.” (Full disclosure: Since my boyfriend is the ultimate sweet I’m really realizing I’m more sweet ‘n low than sweet so I’m trying to become more sugar/spice/everything nice) And I just don’t know if “sweet” and “Hil in the city” can coexist and live in harmony! Ah, musings.

Come ON! Gorge.
In other news my fashion taste is officially evolving into something less bare feet/flowers in the hair and more Kate Middleton classic princess. I just can’t help it! I think my style honestly fluctuates between flower child and classy dame and right now I’m totally on classy dame! Give me a true waist and a classic periwinkle to the knee and I’m yours.

This blog post has been all over the place but I think this is me apologizing but saying “NO APOLOGIES.”

Come see me perform at Gotham Comedy Club on August 1st at 9:30pm? I’m SO EXCITED and SO PETRIFIED!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Feelin It! Ep. 1

1. One of its founders is my career/fashion inspiration:
This is Zooey D. (duh.)
And it's just so fun, funny and cute!! Check it out. It's one-stop shopping for hours of procrastination.

2. Hitting two birds with one stone. For me that is dance class! Exercise, endorphins, and getting better at a marketable skill (for an actress) feels so great! I am so not wasting my time! I'm utilizing it! Huzzah!

3. Stand-up comedy class! I'm taking a stand-up class with my incredibly talented cousin Cory Kahaney. And while I've never written jokes before I'm suddenly incredibly inspired by every absurdity I encounter on a daily basis. Pigeons! Nutella! Gay ex-boyfriends! Therapist mothers! Minister fathers! Jewish Grandmas! LAWYER SISTERS! COME ON!!! I'm love love loving looking at the world with this perspective. So much of life that incites some sort of reaction in us is really funny if you're looking for it. Whoot!

4. Being in a couple! Who knew weddings were FUN? I mean, I love a party and I love to dress up. But I didn't know how fun it was to have someone specifically to slow dance with or take pictures with. JC and I have 2 more weddings in the coming weeks and I'm all for it. Bring it on! I already love the cake--now I love the rest of the festivities too. 

5. Drive. I've been reading some inspiring texts lately by Dale Carnegie, K. Callan, etc. Here's a grrreat quote from Will Smith. Wait, you know you're lucky you're about to read this, right? Ok, I'll share as long as you're grateful. 

(Ok, backstory: Will Smith's dad built his own refrigeration business. One summer he remodeled his ice house, tore down its old brick wall, and told Will and his brother to build a new one.)

"I couldn't believe it. He wanted us to build a wall 50 feet long and 14 feet high. I remember standing there and thinking, 'There's no way I will live to see this completed. He wants us to build the Great Wall of Philly!'
I remember hoping my father would get committed, because if he were in an insane asylum, then we wouldn't have to finish the thing. But finally we did. And I remember my father standing there looking at us, and all he said was, 'Now don't ever tell me there's anything you can't do.' 
He'd been waiting six months just to deliver that line. And I got it: there's nothing insurmountable if you just keep laying the bricks, you know? You go one brick at a time and eventually there will be a wall. You can't avoid it. So I don't worry much about walls. I just concentrate on the bricks, and the walls take care of themselves."