Surviving My Worst Week Ever

I’ve had shitty days before, but never really a week that was full of them.

Last week my work laptop was stolen, my SUV crashed into the El Paso Museum of Art by itself (read on, I swear it wasn’t my fault), work pressure was out of control, my social media wasn’t on point and a handful of other family issues.

No one really has a bad life. Not even a bad day. Just bad moments.

Here’s the officer fingerprinting my SUV after I reported my work laptop stolen. Little did I know that I live less than a block away from a homeless shelter AND a sex offender halfway house. Oy vey.

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This past Friday – I was mortified to hear that there was a glitch in my new podcast episode. It’ wasn’t that bad of a glitch, but still – it existed and I felt compelled to fix it. After a few failed errands after work, I decided to stop by the office to fix my show.

Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.

After about 10 minutes in the office, my beau (who now works with me) called me and hurriedly told me that my SUV had somehow crashed into a tree, pole and two bike racks, I ran out of the office and found out my SUV in this sorry state:

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The El Paso Police Department and my insurance agent are truly flabbergasted that my SUV travelled all that way on it’s own – I’m pretty incredulous too. EPPD suspects an attempted robbery; the emergency brake was on, the gear was in ‘park’ and my doors were locked.

Truck Accident

I’m counting my blessings:

  • I live and work downtown, my son goes to school and summer camp in downtown too.  Not having my vehicle has allowed us to slow down and smell the flowers again.
  • No one was hurt while my SUV went renegade.
  • Everything that was damaged is replaceable and is in the process of being replaced.
  • We’re okay – life will go on!

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.

 

Online-Reputation-Management

When Does the Personal Branding End?

Quick answer: NEVER.

Working in social media has taught me a lot in the last few years – the most recent lesson I’ve learned is to not neglect your personal brand. When I began to work at Visit El Paso, I decided to put all of that on the back burner – after all, my personal social media wasn’t paying the bills.personal brand

I’ve realized now that it was a grave mistake to make. Although most people know that I do something in social media, no one knew that ‘Crysti Couture’ was the person on the other side of the keyboard.

As a result, I’ve completely rebooted my own social media persona:

  • Deleted all 65,000 of my “personal” Tweets – started a clean slate with a more “professional” vibe. If you’re into social media talk & El Paso awesomeness, follow me there!
  • Deleted my personal Foursquare & Instagram – follow me here & here instead.
  • Deleted Stumbleupon, Last.fm, TV Tag accounts – I never ever use them.
  • I password protected blog posts on this blog that get a little too personal. 

This might seem like a lot of work – and it is. Over the next few weeks, it’s still a work in progress. The important thing to remember is that this world is full of millions of people competing for the same things that you want in life.  Any future potential employers will search for you online to determine your relevancy.

Crysti Couture Logo RedSocial media can also be the vehicle to your demise. Here are just some examples on how social media or online searches can ruin a reputation beyond repair:

What story will your online persona tell about you?

It’s also important to remember the keyword: persona “the aspect of someone’s character that is presented to or perceived by others.”

How do you find a balance to create a more relevant persona? Listen to this amazing podcast episode from SocialZoom for the lowdown.

Still looking for more info on building your personal brand? Here are some incredibly useful links to check out:

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The Dark Side of Single Parenting

It’s never easy to be apart from your children, but for the last two years that has been my reality. For a long time, my days were filled with the suffocating depression of solitude and feelings of inadequacy. Once I took charge of my life, that all changed and in less than a week, my son will return to me for the rest of his life!

A tiny back story: my son’s father and I separated in early 2010 – no amount of couples therapy could have helped us. I moved to El Paso, Texas – he stayed in Clovis, NM. Life was good in El Paso for my son & I – until all I could land were temp jobs. The temp jobs weren’t paying the bills, despite how minimal my bills were. Daycare was expensive & a growing boy needed a lot of food and clothes for his developing body and mind.

My wages were so low that I couldn’t afford my vehicle anymore, so it was repossessed. No problem – we took the bus and walked to places. It was kind of nice actually.

Reposession

The kicker came in 2012 when my temp contract wasn’t extended – not because of anything I did, but because I just wasn’t needed anymore.

At that moment, I found myself without a job, vehicle and unable to care for my son.  Did I mention that I also have no living relatives that could help me out?I was alone at the bottom of a pit and I couldn’t have my son go through that with me.

Despite our differences as a couple, my son’s father is an excellent parent and I’ve never felt any different about that. I told him about my financial predicament and he agreed to take care of our son for the next year while I found a stable source of income and got a better life established.

100_0173 2012 was a bad year but in retrospect – was somewhat of a blessing. I was able to find a job and had the time to build a career.

  • It forced me to think outside the box: I don’t have a degree and I didn’t know anyone that would would personally help me get a job. I do, however, possess many talents and I just had to find a way to get the people that mattered in the city to notice me.
  • It forced me to be competitive and confident about my skills. In a city of over 700,000 people, I had to prove that I am the best in my field – even without a degree.
  • Saying that I am the best isn’t the same as actually proving that I’m the best.  I did a lot of work for free to build my resume and to build a following and name recognition.

Take control of your life concept

The most important lesson I’ve learned about being a single parent is that you need to make yourself a priority.

You no longer have two sources of income or another set of hands to help with the day-to-day things.  You have to be able to confidently take the reigns on your personal life so that the rest will fall into place.

Despite my son’s young age, he understood the situation well and handled it all very maturely.  If there is ever a time in the future when he wonders why he spent so much time away from me – I can confidently say that this time apart has allowed me to build a better life for the both of us.

The BEST project you’ll ever work on is you.

Exploring Life. Experiencing El Paso.

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