hey amber rae

twenty-ten in rewind: wow, what a year to remember! 

nearly a year ago i quit my job, sold all of my belongings, and jumped on a plane to new york. with little certainty of what was next, i was on a mission to experience the answer.

from freelancing with some of my favorite internet companies to co-starting Nightowls to meeting wonderful people & playing with them excessively to seeing momma bear in-between, it’s been the most passionate, scary, expensive & fulfilling year of my life. i.wouldn’t.change.a.thing. 

i feel so eternally grateful for Amit pushing me to follow my heart, for me ignoring everyone else when I felt they didn’t understand, and for my visceral dislike of “maybe” when I knew “hell yes!” was in sight…  

too often I feel we settle due to fear & uncertainty of what’s next. in the last year I’ve learned that staying true to you is the most critical part of growing. if you know who you are and what you stand for, anything is possible and decisions are easy.

this video captures some of the best memories of my past year. <3 <3

the only goal with every person you meet is to love them. whatever that love means or becomes, it’s always about true love.

everything in life begins with love. in all relationships, in our work, in our encounters with random strangers, everything is connected and we should love accordingly. we only give when we love. 

I recently asked my Twitter friends: “What fear is holding you back?” Their responses included:

  • failure
  • abandonment/rejection
  • intimacy
  • success
  • being broke
  • not being good enough

I think the last one — not being good enough — is actually at the root of all the others. We fear we’ll fail because we’re not good enough. We fear we’ll lose our relationships, that we’ll be abandoned, that we’ll be rejected … because we’re not good enough. We fear intimacy for the very same reason — we might get rejected because we’re not good enough. Even the fear of success is based on the worry that we’re not good enough.

Do you have this fear? That you’re not good enough? I have, for all my life, and I still have it today.

But here’s the thing: having the fear is natural. Letting it stop you from going after your dreams is a tragedy.

(via zen habits & h/t willie)

When you’re a kid, it’s simple. Christmas is magic. It’s a time of miracles, when reindeer can fly, and Frosty never melts. Then you get older. Somehow, things change. The magic begins to fade. Until something happens that reminds you, at Christmas time… miracles still can be found. Sometimes in the most unexpected places.

The Wonder Years (via ericazucco)

On living outside your comfort zone

There’s a distinct difference between doing what feels right and feeling slight discomfort along the way & doing what feels wrong and feeling torn up in the process.

Slight discomfort means you’re growing and opening yourself up to situations that challenge your comfortable behaviors. These experiences will help you learn and grow in unprecedented ways. You may question yourself but you’ll eventually learn to trust, keep calm and carry on. You’ll realize that feeling overwhelmed actually indicates how much you’re growing.

On the other hand, feeling torn up is your body’s way of telling you “PAY ATTENTION!” and “LISTEN!” These experiences are eye-opening and when recognized, provide equally meaningful insight into your behaviors and decisions. They’ll remind you what not to do again in the future.

I think we’re sometimes afraid to walk away from wrong and potentially damaging situations for fear of being a quitter or seeming indecisive. At least I’ve experienced this in the last year. But in times of uncertainty, I like to remind myself that a month from now the uncertainty will be of little importance and the change I’ve encountered between now and then will be worth it.

I’ve learned there’s something to saying no when it’s not right & passionately pursuing until timing, experience and opportunity intersect.

Help Me Bring My Momma to New York!

Chicago is nice but it’s no place like New York! 

My mom is an incredible entrepreneur, flooring contractor and new development specialist hailing from Chicago. I feel like her time in Chicago is long-over and I’m eager to have her join me in New York! The good news is that she’s very open to living in the same city as her baby, especially if I can help her land some work. That’s where I need your help! 

Momma Bear, also known as Beverly, specializes in high-end residential and commercial work. She’s owned a flooring business for 23 years where she pioneered the South Loop of Chicago, turning the film district into a thriving and beautiful part of the city. She’s been involved with the construction of thousands of new homes and commercial properties, and she also has a knack for rehabing old warehouses into beautiful loft projects. 

Here’s some examples of her work:

What she can do:

  • Contract and install all flooring/granite/wood floors/tile, etc. (so places look like the photos above)
  • Interior selections with buyers to help them pick the right look and feel for their home
  • Manage the entire project, working with the General Contractor and crew of installers
  • Maybe it’s a new high-rise, maybe it’s a big commercial rehab, maybe it’s a new tech incubator that is dying for a high-tech and modern look & feel… this woman knows interior beauty!

Have any leads that will help get Momma bear to New York? If so, email both me @ heyamberrae.com and blambke @ creativeinteriorworks.com 

<3 <3 <3

experience the answer

crazy is staying comfortable in the familiar. irrational is doing work you don’t enjoy. unrealistic is thinking that you can’t evolve, change and grow as you go.

life is a colorful adventure made of happy yellows, sad blues, romantic reds, mysterious blacks and many more colors in between.

we can’t predict what will happen so we might as well start experiencing the answer instead.

There’s no one right way to do things

When I applied to be part of The Domino Project, Seth Godin’s new brainchild, powered by Amazon, the application process was inspiring yet intense. Most of the questions came fairly easily and actually helped provide some clarity for me in terms of where I’ve been and where I’m going.

There was one question specifically that annoyed me as it made my head hurt a bit:

Skill testing question #2 *

A turtle and a giraffe leave Cleveland, walking in different directions. The turtle walks at 5 meters per second, the giraffe at 12 meters per second. What color is the street sign?

At first, what I thought I was supposed to do was analyze the question, figure out what elements were not important and then possibly do some research on Cleveland signs. But no, that made my head spin and didn’t feel right. 

I skipped the question until I finished the rest of the application and by that time, was low on energy. I took a short food break and came back to the question again, with revitalized energy and a different approach this time. I told myself to answer the question in a way that felt right to me. So instead of analyzing the answer, I began to imagine one. Suddenly a story began pouring out of me and this answer turned out to be my favorite of the bunch.

The color of the street sign doesn’t matter. The characters in the story and what they stand for do.

Turtle spends his life looking down on the objects right in front of him. He sees what’s immediately next but lacks the ability to look beyond at what’s possible. 

Giraffe spends her life with a head up in the sky. Prone to acting out-of-character when separated from her natural environment, she sees what’s possible but is afraid to act.

Turtle, a young boy from Cleveland, has much potential but little direction. Giraffe, an inspiring young gal, feels a desire for something but isn’t yet sure what that is. 

They’re both searching for a sign, a green light, and a signal for what’s next… it’s a message they are looking for. The color never really matters.

The lesson is that sometimes we have to look at things several times to discover the right way for us. There’s no one right way to do things and we don’t have to live, or answer questions, how everyone expects us to.  

Relationships either work or they don’t. You either treat each other like gold and it feels good or it doesn’t feel right at all. When it’s right, embrace. When it’s wrong, let go. It’s better to walk away from situations that aren’t right than hold on for something to change or magically evolve. You’ll end up closing yourself off to new and better beginnings.