The Journey to Marketable Millennial

For whatever reason, you ended up on this page. Here I go at an attempt to explain why I created this page.

The first time I created my own blog was via Xanga in 2003. Pre-pubescent me had no idea what I was doing, but I really enjoyed making glitter images and sharing my Dollz Mania creations with other folks on the interwebz.

Then comes MySpace soon afterward, and I began to truly see social media in action. I put things out into the world, I read what others are putting out into the world, I engage, I react, we create. My call to fame was creating  Rockstarr Layouts, a "layouts page" that quickly grew into a community of more than 18,000 fans who used my profile designs, indulged in chatter with one another, participated in contests, and joined my many rants of being a teenager. Rest in Peace, darling.

With the demise of MySpace, came Twitter, Tumblr and good-ol Facebook. While these were great publishing platforms, it was never enough for me. How was I supposed to complain in under 140-characters? Was that subtle image enough to get my point across? What the heck is a status update anyway?

I needed more. 

Years later, I created my very first blog: Don't Cry Over Spilled Green Tea. This space was intended to give my virtual soap box a little more room to truly story tell. As you can imagine, since I'm not an internet influencer with an audience of a million, every attempt at blogging quickly became overshadowed by all the offline work I was doing. Each time I got far, I stopped because #life. I'm not mad about it. I gave myself room to create the life I wanted for myself and all my early experiences with social media and the digital space fueled my career. It gave way to creating my personal mission:

Using communications as a vehicle to advocate for, and uplift, people, ideas and movements. 

This decade+ long story turned as-short-as-can-be, is here to tell you why I'm back to blogging. I have a voice, and I still want to use it. But now I have a purpose and that's pushing me to give my voice a new platform to help fulfill my mission. After years of working among some of the best leaders, changers and thinkers, I am also now inspired to use these stories to encourage others toward finding their voice.

What's this page going to be about anyway? 

Let's start with the basics: There's Thoughts and there's Lifestyle. 

Lissette Calveiro - Marketable Millennial.jpg

Thoughts: The rants, the epiphanies and the thoughts that help fuel my path. This is where we'll really get to talking about how to live and thrive as a millennial.

Lifestyle: Giving the people what they asked for. The places, experiences and things that make up my everyday life. The soft news, for lack of a better word.

What you're seeing to-date is a series of past published lifestyle articles traced to my freelance posts, old blogs and other internet ramblings. My short-term goal is to get back in the rhythm of long-form content and find what my audience wants to hear more about. In the future, I hope to grow this into a community to not only tell my story, but to make it a place where others can also share theirs.

Why "Marketable Millennial"?

When I sat down and thought about what people truly think of me for, it's been career or millennial advice.

Marketable: I knew what I "wanted to be" earlier than most, and I thrived at it (#selfpromo). This meant others were seeking my advice when it came to similar chapters of their lives, and I've loved being able to share my story to help others grow in their field. I built a brand around myself and want to help others do the same via their triumphs. 

Millennial: Time and time I've been dubbed the "token millennial" or "expert millennial" among my companies or friend groups. This all really translates to my ability to understand people and live as an early-adopter. I'm not any smarter than the other millennial you know, I just have a special way of observing, translating and looking ahead. The things I want to talk about are made for my generation (Disclaimer: Hey, it's a 20 year gap so forgive me if things are not always 100% relevant to you). 

And the reality is that many of you out there are "marketable millennials." You are the exception to the stereotype, you are the stories we want to talk about, and you are setting an example for the generations that come after us.

Let's continue this journey together.

Flying High, Defying Gravity

Something has changed within me, something is not the same.
Too late for second-guessing, too late to go back to sleep.
It’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap.
It’s time to try defying gravity.
I think I’ll try defying gravity, and you can’t pull me down.

Truthfully, I wanted to save this topic for later. But, after watching Lindsay Mendez perform and completely impress the audience with her rendition of Defying Gravity, I needed to express my upmost happiness for the direction I’ve decided to take in my life.

REALLY, HAS ANYONE SEEN ME HAPPIER?

New York City - Defying Gravity.jpg

As you all know by now, I’ve decided to try and defy gravity by taking my public relations toolbox to New York City. Here, I’ve discovered an incredible amount about myself, the future I desire and the world around me. I keep repeating, however, that there’s some sort of magic that surrounds my trip. The question is:

Is there magic surrounding positive risk taking?

Risk-takers make a small percentage of our population. This is because when we think of risk-takers we think about cliff jumpers and gamblers. When we think of risks we think of the negative consequences what could come out of them. But I’m an advocate for positive risk taking. What I mean is, taking a step forward without clear direction but knowing there’s only room for nothing but growth. 

Think about it. Had I come to New York empty-handed, no internship, no plan, I could still say I came to New York with my own resources, discovered new people and places and had a blast for the time being. I could’ve taken the time to learn more about the industry and what it would take for me to come back and kick PR butt. I would’ve felt just as happy because I took a “leap” of faith with myself and made a positive decision.

Now, I’m not telling you to book a trip to Europe in search of what you should major in college. What I want, is to inspire people to defy gravity. I want people to learn that by planning ahead and taking positive risks, there’s no such thing as a “fall.” Gravity pulls you down, but a solid vision for what you want and need in life will lift you up. And as all this is happening, life rewards us by adding a little magic in our endeavors — if we keep a positive attitude, too, of course.

Now, when people ask me why I’ve gotten “so lucky,” understand that there is no luck involved in my recent good fortune. It took a leap of faith in myself, determination and a positive outlook in everything that gets tossed my way. Book that flight, put some gas in your car or put on the thinking cap… it’s time to take a positive risk and defy gravity.

Everyone deserves a chance to fly.
And if I’m flying solo, at least I’m flying free.
To those who ground me, take a message back from me:

I’m flying high defying gravity. And nobody in all of “Oz,” no wizard that there is or was, is ever going to bring me down.

Been trying hard not to get into trouble, but, I’ve got a war in my mind.

Character flaw No. 8: I am vengeful, by nature, and can hold a grudge for eons.

grudge (noun): a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury

Synonyms: spite, malice, resentment, negativity and plain stupidity

I’ve been trying this new thing called “being a better person” and I come to a roadblock every time I’m stuck thinking about ways to “get back at someone.” Maybe it’s the fact that shows like Gossip Girl and Dexter are among my top 10, maybe it’s the fact that I was raised to “stand up for myself” to the point where I’ve become extremely vengeful, or maybe it’s my screwed up notion that the universe needs to be in constant balance.

Sky.jpg

But, lately, I’ve realized that these lingering grudges are what have been preventing me from moving forward.

For example: I’m feeling good, I’m feeling happy. I read a tweet from someone I am not fond of. I “subtweet” them back. They subtweet me back. I’m angered. I’m childish. I’ve taken a step backward.

It’s said that “holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” I couldn’t agree more! By holding on to a grudge I am poisoning my very being. I become dark, vengeful, angry and negative in every form. In reality, I make a fool out of myself in an attempt to make a fool out of someone else.

But wait, what about the benefits of holding a grudge?

Some argue that by holding a grudge you “burn your past” or prevent yourself from getting hurt once more. I mean, think about it, if you tell yourself time and time again that someone is a “horrible person,” you will consciously and subconsciously avoid all interaction with this person and potentially eliminate that pain from your life. Also, if people know you’re vengeful and great at taking things deep and to the heart, they will probably steer clear from your path.

SAY “HELLO” TO A LIFETIME OF NO MORE PAIN AND SUFFERING

No. No. That’s actually impossible.

See, I quickly started to realize that the cons of holding a grudge definitely outweighed the benefits. What if the person I was holding a grudge toward had the potential to transform into a great friend? What if people are so afraid to “cross my path” that I miss the opportunity for new experiences and friendships? What if holding a grudge is preventing me from living as an optimist? Most importantly, aside from all of those wishy-washy questions, how is holding a grudge affecting me physically?

That’s an interesting concept Mayo Clinic had a lot to say about. According to them, by “letting go” you can experience:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

Well, that explains my general anxiety disorder and desire for drink specials…

Clearly, I came to the conclusion that grudges are bad for you. But that didn’t mean I’d stop holding on to them.

I started by eliminating my social network wrongdoings. I blocked a couple of people I knew would cause my heart some trouble. The thing about grudges, too, is the fact that it came to the point where I only held them out of emotional backfire. The moment I saw someone offend me via the internet I immediately sent out some sort of comeback because of some silly frustration.

All was well until someone gave me some intense “baby momma” news.

“This girl must hate me back so she did it on purpose. Let’s make fun of her and torture her life some more.”

FREEZE.

Dear Lissette, you sound immensely crazy. Please stop.

I am so thankful for the fact that my phone was blasted with the news. This really became a turning point in my life.

“Holding a grudge is like picking up a piece of red, hot coal in your bare hand and throwing it at the person you are holding the grudge towards. There is certainly the possibility that you will hit, and hurt the other person. But in order to achieve that potential end you are definitely going to hurt yourself in the process.”

I had a choice. And I chose to let the coal burn from the pit it came from and walk over to this person empty-handed and open-hearted. I wrote to her congratulating her and acknowledging that regardless of all the pain we’ve caused each other the time had come to move forward.

How to let go, you ask?

1. Acknowledge the pain: Denying the fact that you were hurt can only make things worse. 

2. Speak to the offender: Let the person know how you feel and the process you are going through.

3. Eliminate high expectations: Learn to accept the fact that people can, and will, make mistakes.

4. Choose peaceful and productive thoughts: Think happy thoughts. Attract happy moments.

5. Let go: Move forward knowing you have made a positive impact in your life, and someone else’s.

As cliché as this sounds, life is definitely too short to let negativity hold you back from being living a healthy and happy life. All the time we spend thinking of ways to harm others that have harmed us, we can spend laughing and building bright memories with those we love and those we have yet learned to love.

And with that, I say: Cheers to a future without hate, negativity and grudges.

What are your thoughts?