#Commuteart

At the beginning of the year I decided to start doing more of the commuteart project that I completed last year since it was incredibly fulfilling. I intend to complete a full sketchbook once again. It was definitely more difficult doing one about coffee because there’s just such a limitation about what you can do with people drinking coffee.

So I’m drawing again based on muses. I recently finished off drawing Paola from @findingpaola.

paola

For future posts, I’ll attempt to incorporate art pieces into the entries.

Follow the current ones on my instagram @jerlynthomas

Best Birthday Ever?

I’m well aware that this idea seems a bit nutty:

Head to the airport, check my flight budget, choose an option out of 3-5 countries that I’ve never been, that I can afford, purchase a round trip ticket and figure out lodging plus essentials when I get there. Yup, meant for movies, but that’s what I’d like to do for my 30th—get out of my comfort zone.
While living in this city, it’s easy to get sucked into the cog of work life and not experience the world around me. I didn’t do a study abroad in college, couldn’t afford it, and I possibly missed out. So, as I reflected about what I wanted to do for my birthday I thought about:
Throwing a house party — but I knew I’d hate that. I don’t like cleaning up after people, I’d have to make sure everyone was having a good time, I’d get too much into my head about my place been impeccable. Also, not everyone would make it… I’d have way too many leftovers of food that I won’t eat, or not enough food, etc etc… Crowds that I can’t leave give me anxiety (I’m so sorry, now you know) and I’d loathe having to kick people out when I get overwhelmed (so stressful, I’m such a recluse). I wouldn’t want to have to make sure people weren’t getting plastered drunk from my cocktails… Yep, not happening. Some of my friends are so much more better at hosting (I know where my weaknesses are).
Meeting with my friends at a bar — the most difficult part about this is hanging with a mix of people from all walks of life and hoping that they get along. I did this Russian roulette idea of bar mixture for a birthday some years ago and it was regrettable. Once again I left overwhelmed and bawling my eyes out. Do I invite artists, runners, business people, etc? My circles are so diverse. I don’t know how people host so well. I’m always in awe!
Brunch, dinner etc… Is more of my pace. I’ll still do this to celebrate my birthday with a small group after this adventure.
So, how do I make all my friends celebrate with me? Simple—come up with a crazy idea and get them all involved despite who they are and make this the best 30th that I could ask for.
I created a GoFundMe on a whim. I was going to keep this all a secret and explain this after reactivating my Facebook but I activated it earlier and shared the idea. People loved it!
So far many friends are on board and my parents! What really shocked me was the fact that two of my ex-boyfriends even donated to it. I asked for people to fund me based on the cost of drinks that I actually would have had if they purchased me one. I drink beer, whiskey and wine. So that cost anywhere from $5-$20 in New York City.
The good thing about this is that I’m pretty frugal so if I raise more than what was expected from this “cushion” fund. I’m donating it to my charity of choice (Girls on the Run) which makes me happy!
Also, the big purpose of this is taking everyone with me. I’m going to document it on my blog. I do have a hope that the choice ends up being somewhere in Europe but so far I just hope it’s a country where I can either buy a visa when there or doesn’t need one.
The rules:
- Pack light in a simple carry on
- Carry all essential chargers
- Call credit card company
- Use money within travel budget only
- Ask for 3-5 options at the airport that’s flying out within 3 hours (for security and check-in) and the duration of the flight from JFK to country X can’t be more than 8 hours
I really want to thank all my friends who have donated so far even people like Joy, Steph and Joycelynn who didn’t use the gofundme but supported me offline. Some people wanted to remain anonymous so I’ll comment on the ones who are public:
Arthur - Thanks for rounding off the fund to an even number. It’s now $500 raised thanks to you.
Kenneth – I’m still awaiting my #kentomming invitation. Thanks so much for being great energy.
Elaine – thanks so much for this and now that I know you live just a couple of blocks over we should definitely hang out more!
Arlene – I can’t thank you enough! You’re the reason I had an art show first!
Gardenia – I’m so fortunate to came across you in life! You’re such an inspiration to me.
Beth-Ann – Thank you so much! I know how tough it was to do this! I won’t let it go to waste.
Christian – I really do wish I end up in Germany :).
Chemda – You’re such a lovely person, it’s funny that you believe that I inspire you when you inspire me! I’m so honoured that you’d support!
Lee – You’ve always supported my endeavors (no matter how silly they are) and I can never take that lightly
Those who chose to remain anonymous, I’ll send messages offline. Thank you!
GoFundMe does charge a fee for each donation so if the rest of my social network wants to participate, feel free to send via paypal: designladynyc@gmail.com or check the GoFundMe url :).

I deactivated my Facebook account

Facetune-20150106-712386204I’m not going to really give reasons why like it’s distracting, or blame people, etc. I had a very testing 2014 so I wanted to take a break to come up with a plan for this year (especially since I’m always late with resolutions). I also just wanted to see what it would be like and whether Facebook actually has an effect on my life. It does. However, it’s not exactly what you’d expect because I actually love Facebook. I loved it so much that I ended up screening the movie The Social Network and writing about it.  This time, Facebook‘s absence is simply to envision my brand.

I don’t know what I really think about the term, “friend.”

Facebook calls everyone on your list a friend. I started having an issue with this especially last year when I noticed that the friends on my friendslist weren’t such good friends. I think this is where I adore Google+. Google allows you to differentiate. I am able to have acquaintances, coworkers, family, etc. After last year, I really wanted to explore the true meaning of this title: friend. I’m happy to say that a few people who noticed that I wasn’t posting sent me emails to ask whether everything was ok. Friends? Yes, if you were my “friend,” you would have to been able to google my name to find my email address or blog, tweet at me, comment on my blog or IG—or know someone who has my number.

Every website that I wanted to access wanted a Facebook OAuth.

After a full day of not being on… I’m certainly envious of people who have never signed up for Facebook. I’m noticing that their lifestyle might not be quite like mine though. On the very first day, I attempted to do my daily research of trends in my industry (I have to know what’s going on). It was difficult. Every website I used expected me to authenticate my account with my Facebook credentials. Although tempted to log in just for the content, I concluded that if it’s information that I really needed to know, it wouldn’t be that difficult to access. During the subsequent hours at work, my coworkers also sent me advertising campaigns which were all on Facebook. I concluded that it was simply white noise and irrelevant… I’m sorry but know your audience. I always figure when things don’t work in my favour from a campaign, I’m not the demographic—totally fine with this.

Download your Facebook data if you’re curious

Before I decided to deactivate my account, I did a quick download of my data from Facebook. I was shocked. No wonderFacebook had been targeting certain ads to me. It assumed that I was in relationships with people that weren’t accurate (oh you know, my April Fool’s jokes where I talk my friends into being in relationships with me only to encourage curious bachelors to message me admitting their ever-lasting adoration of me). It also had data from pages that I liked for campaign or curiosity, not necessarily because I liked them. No wonder I wasn’t happy about the content being served. Facebookdoesn’t know me at all. My gender is “Other” I asked to be called “Neutral” as my pronoun. I first signed up for facebook on Sunday, November 14, 2004 at 11:12pm EST.

Where am I going with this?

Oh I don’t know. To be honest, I’ll be back. I mean, my birthday is in February, I’m making 30 and I love having birthday wishes posted to my wall from people I hardly talk to. Besides that, my klout score is going to be hugely affected.
Have you ever deactivated your profile? Are you one of the few who’ve never been on Facebook? I want to know!

Toast to resolutions

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I thought I wouldn’t officially start my resolution list on January 1st, and of course, I didn’t. I’m stubborn. I had to take time to think about it and the first day seemed appropriate.

I started off doing something that’s not out-of-the-norm: Embracing life. If you know me, you know that I do not hold back. You are most likely to have me try anything (except drugs) that I hadn’t done before because of intrigue. So, this year, January 1st—I decided to join my running team for 7 miles and do the polar bear plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, jumping into freezing water appealed to me. My only assumption was that it would feel similar to the Tough Mudder Artic Enema obstacle (It wasn’t). I packed my Go Pro (watch the video here) to prove that I did it and was on my way to meet them at 11am.

Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge

I’m so happy that I did it—despite assuming that I would chicken out last minute. Somehow when I started removing my running gear to strip into my bathing suit, I felt warmer. I jogged into the water, dunked in and came back out. I almost thought about staying in to swim a little. Like I said, I was happy that I did it. It’s unfortunate when I read commentary by people on my social network wondering why I had done it. Or, they would never do it. So resolution number 1: Remind myself that the things that I do, and the reaction of others to it (good or bad), in no way should affect my feelings on what I made up my mind to do.

This one was tough but I had to make it official because last year was extremely chaotic. I allowed myself to succumb to situations where I cared what others thought when I wasn’t usually like this. In the end, to be me: I do cool shit—or what I consider cool shit—I do things because as an adrenaline junkie it makes me feel like I’m living life. I’m embracing every moment. I’ll always have a story and those stories will be worth it. That always makes me happy. When others doubt, it doesn’t leave me space to be happy.

Anyway, there’s certainly some things that I’m looking forward to improve or start during the new year. To do this, I had to really think about last year. I had to look at the things that I won’t change ever about myself and take an honest look at what might improve my well-being.

I’ll love more – I do date often, however, I’m in no way generous about how I feel about others. So, I’ll be careful about how I approach dating this year. I’m turning 30. I do not want to waste time anymore.

Travel more - I was relying on either traveling with friends or meeting someone to travel more however, I’ll miss out on time that I can’t get back if I do this.

Volunteer my time more – whether it’s for charity or just giving a listening ear. I’ll try to touch/influence people as much as I can this year.

Stop running – This is more of a metaphor, because I’ll never stop running as long as I am capable. I’ll stop using my running as ways to being an introvert. I do lots of solo runs because I love being in my head. I’ll try my best to accompany others even if it’s meeting with my ultra running buddies.

Become the fittest that I can possibly get – When is this ever not in progress? Since I’m training for a 50-mile race this year, I’ll have to do this no matter what.

Stay focused - Figure out my goals and stick to them. I don’t really talk about being depressed (one day I’ll blog about this), however, I believe this influences my decisions a great deal. So, I’ll try my best to stay focused on all my goals.

Blog more – I have a few more resolutions that I’m missing. However, since I’m at a cafe blogging away and I’m being distracted, this is to be continued. I’ll blog more and hopefully become a better writer. What are your resolutions?

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Peace out 2014! Lookin’ pretty promising there 2015.

What a year! I know Facebook had its year-end wrap up but this has been a ritual for me for the past  years (2008, 20092010, 20112012, 2013)  so I decided to design another based on last year’s review. I’m foregoing Facebook’s. There’s so many things I would miss. The most tedious of this was going back into Facebook archives to see what was great for that month! If you’re wondering how I choose the colours: I select Pantone’s colour of the year and end with next year’s colour. I’ll try to be more sophisticated in branding in the future.

I’ve had so many things happened this year that I almost forgot the bad things like the breast cancer scare, the incident where I had to call 911 and various drama that caused lost friendships. I loved that I got to write a list and follow most of it. Run my first, second, and third ultramarathons. I skydive, placed at a couple of races, finished an entire sketchbook, allow myself to love. Sewed my own national outfit, ran TCS NYC Marathon for the first time. I’ve made so many great memories and met so many wonderful people. I didn’t even get to add the people I met like Josh from the Goodwife or Adam Levine from Maroon 5. Or, my two new projects that I’m starting off in 2015! I really hope 2015 would be amazing (without the negative parts). Hope you enjoy this!

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