An Exercise In Duplicity

Last night I saw that a guy named Kevin Nguyen commented on an Instagram video I’d posted when I caught my dog watching cat videos with the concentration of a ninja. As it turns out, he’s part of this online video collaboration hub. Within seconds of my response, he emailed me a release form for the original video and told me he would let me know when it was posted. When he’s done editing, Quincy will be featured in one of these cute little compilations. Today I figured I would do a little more research and see exactly what Kevin and his company did.

First I googled his name. Ironically, I came across a post by the GQ Writer bearing the same name who had done the exact same thing. Of course, my next move was to go to the company website and see if he was listed. He wasn’t, but now I understand more about what I was getting myself (and my Aussie, Quincy) into.

Which leads me to my next point. Have you ever googled yourself?

Google Search

I learned some very important things about myself by performing this little experiment. First of all, I learned that Facebook is omnipotent. It always seems to take over whenever you search for anyone on the internet. I also learned that no matter how many times I spell my name correctly, the second search result is adamant about placing that extraneous E at the end. Thirdly, I seem to be a professor at Cornell. Who knew I was such an academic? I’m sure she shrugs every time she sees my makeup business come up in search results, but oh well… “Loosen your bone Wilma!”

The fourth and fifth results are actually me. One is my Linked In profile (probably more advertising) and then my makeup business, a result which I surprisingly didn’t pay for. I also found this cool chick and this one. Evidently a lot of REALLY interesting people have my name. And all this time I thought it was so boring & commonplace.

Ever since I was asked my name in grade school, I’ve been ashamed of it because I thought it was so “Blah.” I’m grateful that I didn’t change or alter it in any way back then since the names I found most appealing in my youth sound more like exotic dancer names to me now.

I’m pleased to announce that there were no criminals or any other sorts of shady persons uncovered in this little exercise. Thus, I can only conclude that people with my name are honest, smart, and creative. They are business owners, public speakers, award winners, academics… Performing today’s activity has only made me more proud to be numbered among them.

Image Search

We’re not such a bad-lookin’ bunch! (And no… I’m not in there anywhere, but I didn’t scroll either.)

Your turn!

Define Perfect

You may not know it if you’ve been to my house lately, but I’m a perfectionist. I will correct your grammar, tuck in your visible clothing tags and offer to groom your crazy eyebrows. I’m fine with change, but I like knowing that if something has my mark on it, I’ve done my best. This is one reason my storage closets are where old beauty products and tools go to die. If something works better than what I’m currently using, I have to have it. This usually comes at the cost of the cluttered graveyard of all products that have gone before.

Yesterday I had my interim review. For the past few years I’ve been immersing myself in MS access and VBA while being given all of the broken databases to fix. I was never trained. I just jumped in and learned. Now people are asking me their Access questions. It’s a goal of mine to learn as many programming languages as I can, so I indicated that and my Manager agreed. My next project is in C#.

I’ll be honest. I was a Technical Writer for so long that I got caught in a loop. I had no idea how to grow from there. My boss at the time took notice when I was finding so many bugs in the applications I documented that he suggested I try writing code. Who would have thought I’d enjoy it?

It really changes your outlook on the world when you’re given an opportunity for growth like that… knowing that every day you come to work, you’ll be challenged and learn something new. I used to struggle to get out of bed in the morning. I was unchallenged and growing complacent. Most of my energy was spent on my side hustle(s). I managed and fronted a band for almost 4 years and I’ve been a freelance makeup artist since 1999.

I put myself through Esthetician School when I felt it was time to take a hiatus from playing music live. I was exhausted. All of the marketing, website, newsletter, booking, calendar, music distribution (MP3 and sheet music), rehearsal space… pretty much everything was being handled solely by me. I spent late nights drafting newsletters, downloading MP3s and searching for sheet music. I got up early send out invites, draft Facebook posts and update our website. By the end my health was suffering. Having school as an excuse to put the band on hiatus was exactly what I needed.

Even in Esthetician School, I worked full-time and was a full-time student. But it also re-ignited that perfectionist fire in me. I graduated with straight A’s at the top of my class. I even got to wear an honor cord on my robe. To me, this brought out a lot of things that had been lying dormant. I was excited to graduate. I was excited to pass the exam and hold a license. I became excited about everything.

My enthusiasm must have been detected by my Manager, as his comments on my review were so good I told him that when I read them I wanted to hug his neck, but I’d spare him. He laughed and told me that I’d been doing very well and that he was looking for ways to get me promoted. This, of course, only contributes to my growing enthusiasm. As I sit here waiting for the IT guy to load my new software, I can’t help but think how far I’ve come.

But having perfectionist tendencies doesn’t always serve one well. It’s nice to have the lofty daydream of what you’d like your life to be like, but at some point it needs to intersect with reality. As little girls we all dream of finding the perfect person, having a perfect wedding with all of our friends as attendants, living in the perfect house… By comparison reality seems like a cruel joke. It’s up to us whether we dwell, laugh it off, or bridge the gap between what we want and what we choose to accept.

Never settle.