The best public relations practitioners are flexible, curious, and bold individuals.
My dear friend and fellow young professional Camille Mola, a suburban Springfield, Pa., native turned chic Philly gal, fits these adjectives flawlessly.
Camille has the role of PR and Communications Manager for the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia. The tuition-free institution is over eighty-five years old and is dedicated to professionally training singers to share their gifts with the world.
Mid-March 2020, the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic began changing life as we knew it. The global health emergency imposed stay-at-home orders and banned social gatherings forcing everyone to pivot and strategize how to move forward in the new normal. All performances planned for academy were cancelled and classes were suspended indefinitely.
“AVA was founded on ensuring singers can hone their gifts, I knew we could still do that. We just needed to adjust.”
Camille Mola on how COVID-19 impacted AVA
Camille has successfully headed the launch of AVA’s newly designed website in December 2020, an entirely virtual fall season of performances for 2021, and helped the academy adjust offerings while maintaining focus on students training.
The website redesign for AVA spanned from September to December and required a lot of brainstorming, collaboration, and precision.
“The new website is modern style with a classic, timeless accent,” she said. “The older design was not very user-friendly. I wanted to make sure the story and mission of AVA is crystal clear to all visitors.”
Outside of the semi-structured 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work week, Camille manages Positive Publicity, a lifestyle blog she established in 2012 during her sophomore year at Penn State University. Her mission is to imagine and create beauty in all forms and share positivity with the world.
Camille’s physical and virtual presence embody her self-proclaimed pursuit. Her solo apartment in the Spring Garden area of the city is decorated with funky wall art and eclectic decor from local artisan shops.
My favorite piece in her home is a Philly-esque Pantone palette from South Fellini. The piece features colors such as burnt orange and canary yellow, labeled ‘broad street line’ and ‘whiz wit’ respectively.
As always with Camille, our conversation took many detours ranging from her new living situation, woes of living as a young woman, recent work and life achievements, and aspirations for the future. Camille shared that she is excited to continue her real job and working to build her personal brand by staying active on her blog, social media accounts, and networking.
Follow Camille on Instagram to keep up with her latest content!
She also launched a free weekly newsletter, ‘why don’t you cry about it?’ You can subscribe via substack here.
I need to prioritize myself. I have to be my own biggest fan. Practice what I preach!
I’ve decided to use this irregular period of ‘open’ time to further invest in myself.
Give all the thoughts I’ve scribbled on pieces of paper and shoved in notebooks space to expand.
I’m a go-getter. I’m ambitious. All that good stuff that creates a somebody.
However, with positives come negatives.
I have a very difficult time relaxing. Chilling out — doing nothing.
Previously I felt that time spent resting, reading, watching YouTube videos, or doing “non-productive” tasks was wasteful. I could be working to make money, brainstorming blog topics, or building other skills!
Not doing things that allow your mind to take a break and rest, ladies and gentlemen, is how you burn yourself out. 🙂
I didn’t quite realize I was guilty of this until I listened to THIS Self-Made CEO episode.
This podcast created by, entrepreneur and life-coach, Adrienne Finch has changed my life.
I fell out of routine with listening to it and totally noticed a shift in my mood and productivity. Not for the better, haha.
Over the past month I have actively been working mindfulness, meditation, and gratitude practices into my daily routine.
Although life around me has been crazy, I’ve felt stable (for the most part) internally.
This may all sound like bullshit.
I get it — I was skeptical too!
But taking the time to introspectively evaluate yourself; who you are is so beneficial.
You are able to heal yourself.
You do not need anyone or anything to complete you.
You are whole.
Once you’re able to become your best self, you are able to give your best self to others.
I encourage you all to find one positive aspect of whatever you’re experiencing.
I know we are all experiencing change on a large scale, however, I hope after reading this you’re able to find at least one light in the darkness!
Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller stresses the importance of signaling change when beginning a journey of growth.
The world is signaling change. Begin your journey.
I’m a firm believer that everything will be okay in the end.
We have all gone through challenges and struggles before. The first time is always the hardest. Everything after comes easily.
During my senior year of high school, I participated in a dual-enrollment program with a local college. During the fall semester, I took Introduction to Sociology.
A reading requirement for the course was Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. This book was my gateway to self-improvement, business-oriented, entrepreneurial reading.
Gladwell’s writing style is easy to read. It’s casual while still maintaining structure.
If you like reading my writing, you’ll probably enjoy his. I take inspiration from his style, as well as a few other authors later mentioned.
OUTLIERS: THE STORY OF SUCCESS A ‘self-made’ success story is all-encompassing.
In this book, Gladwell explores the background of successful moguls such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Why do some people soar and others fail?
Did you know a Canadian male born in early January is much more likely to become a professional hockey player than a male born during the latter portion of the year?
If not, now you do. For other cool and obscure knowledge, read Outliers.
BLINK: THE POWER OF THINKING WITHOUT THINKING… You’re more equipped than you think you are.
This Gladwell piece dives into “thin-slicing,” better known as a gut feeling.
We have a conscious and subconscious mind both of which are tapped into during the decision making process. What many of us often forget is that our subconscious knows a lot.
More than we realize.
I’m sure you’ve experienced intuitive feelings regarding the character of a person or the elements of a situation that have immediately rubbed you the wrong way. Were you right?
If you’re interested in learning more about how crucial your subconscious is when it comes to quick reactions and decision making I would highly recommend Blink.
TALKING TO STRANGERS: WHAT WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE PEOPLE WE DON’T KNOW…
I have not finished this one yet. I am about a quarter of the way through and I’ve enjoyed it so far. Admittedly I’m not as hooked on this one as I have been on other Gladwell works. However, I started it during a rather hectic time so I do not have a vivid memory of it. I plan to restart the book sometime in the next few months to look at it with a fresh set of eyes.
Although I said the order of the books is arbitrary, this book, in particular, I would recommend the most. 😋
I may be biased because this was the first self-improvement genre book I dabbled in. Outliers is categorized as business.
Nonetheless, this book quite literally changed my life. Thank you, Amy Morin. I started reading in February 2019 and did not complete it until late May (??) 2019. Something like that. My copy is beat up.
Of all the reads this one took the longest for me. Oh but it’s less than 300 pages…
Yes, part of it is that I get lazy with reading. But also this book is dense with information!
After reading into one of the concepts I would take a break from the book to work on implementing the change in my life.
Although some of the concepts seem self-explanatory, there is something about reading it that makes it resonate and become applicable to you. Once I began to notice improvements, which sometimes took a while because not everyone is perfect, I would begin to dive into the next chapter.
As someone who has always prided themselves on their ability to do many things well this read made me rethink strategies.
I, along with others I have recommended the book to, believe the theory of essentialism would only exist in a flawless society where every individual acted highly selfish. ‘Selfish’ meaning they always prioritize themselves. But we all know that person who cannot say no. Maybe you are that person.
A truly essentialist society, on a large scale, is off the table. However, there are practices within the theories of Essentialism that when applied externally lead to a positive result.
While I love Mark Manson’s writing style and delivery, I do not completely agree with all his ides. That being said, the man can argue his point well.
The overall theme of the book is to not give a f*ck about anything more than you have to.
Essentially figuring out what aligns with your personal values and goals then pursuing that life.
Sounds lovely! However, not always practical.
If you’re able to get a bit creative in applying the concepts, there are some really valuable lessons to take away from this read! If you’re into sarcasm, cringe humor and a blunt delivery, check out Manson’s blog or other published works!
Welcome to 2020 people! I hope you all had an amazing time ringing in the new year. I spent mine, very lavishly, chowing down on house lo mein from my favorite Chinese restaurant, while snuggled up in bed. The life of a 21-year old gal living in the city!
This past week I reconnected with a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while over coffee. Funny enough, we have both been spending a lot of time reading; similar books within the same genre, if not by the same author! We got into conversation about Donald Miller’s, Building a Storybrand, which breaks down the framework of how to successfully convey a message. It’s a great read and I would highly recommend everyone check it out.
When I got home, I glanced over to my shelf and focused on Miller’s book. I noticed the corner of a loose paper peeking out and decided to revisit the notes I had taken while reading the book sometime over the summer. The loose page was scribbled with notes.
“You must signal change,” stood out of me. My mental wheels began to turn, thinking of all the ways I want to better myself entering the new year. One of them is spending more time with people who challenge my mind and push me to think outside of the box. However, when you are so accustomed to one way of living, making a major change is not going to be easy.
Falling into old habits is easy. Much easier than establishing new habits. To live your most impactful life, you must ensure you are happy!
As I have touched on in other posts, the way to be happy is to understand your individual needs and meet them. For me, I have to be active daily. Whether that be stretching, going to a workout class, strength training or walking around the city! If I don’t get my daily sweat in, I begin to feel “off.” By this, I mean a minor irritation which can build up to become a major irritation. Small things add up.
When I get into these moods, I feel unmotivated or unhappy or some other negative feeling. Being able to identify these needs and why you are feeling this way is key to being your best, most productive self.
Once I have identified what I’m lacking, I work towards correcting it. Like many others, my regression tends to have a domino effect. Why? Because falling into old habits is easy!
Hitting the snooze button repeatedly on my alarm, rather than waking up to have coffee and read is a very easy thing to slip back into. Especially when it’s so cozy and dark in the morning. BUT this is not a productive way to do things. I know once I take off the blanket, I will be up. The more times you break your old habit and replace it with the new one (sitting up and putting your feet on the floor after your alarm goes off), the easier to becomes to retrain your brain to have an automated response. Yay for minimal brain-power required to perform habit loops!
Although breaking the habit is difficult, when we pair the disliked thing (waking up early) with something we enjoy (morning coffee), the brain is even more likely to create the new automated response. It’s similar to a reward system in the way that we do something we don’t like, then get a treat for doing it. Our brains like that.
While I am by no means able to provide a specific method for which to follow, I hope to have at least planted an idea to help further your growth. ☺️
I hope you all had a wonderful December 25th, whether you celebrate the commercial scam that is Christmas or not! 😊 This is my final post of 2019, which I am floored by — where is the time going??
I was debating closing the year with a summary of what I learned in 2019. Then I started writing it out for the first six months of the year, and already had a seven-page document…
Rather, in the spirit of moving forward and continuing along the path of personal growth, I am going to mention a bit of what 2020 has in store! I’ve come to realize all the drama and nonsense of this year was the necessary “grunt work” for 2020 to be smooth…ish. I am incredibly excited to close 2019 and start with a clean slate. So if you want to hear about the #goals I’m achieving this new year, read on.
I am grateful to have the peace of mind that: a roof will remain over my head, I will have a solid support system to fall back on if need be, and I will not go hungry. Not everyone can say that. Knowing I have these things allows me to focus on being a student. I have discovered I am a lifelong learner. I’m curious — always have been. Since I could talk I have asked questions and wanted to expand my mind. However, there was a point in time that I was solely supporting myself and I had to prioritize shifts at work to pay bills over doing homework assignments or studying. I intend to continue my prioritization of knowledge in 2020. As you may be aware, I started this fall semester at a new university, and I am proud to say I’m happy with my performance! The amount of knowledge I have absorbed and the ways in which I have gotten to know myself is truly astounding. Something I will be doing next semester is going to professor’s office hours and making more in-depth connections. The individuals I have met are some of the most authentic, genuine and intelligent people I know. Creating another support system is important, especially when it comes to education. You never know who knows who.
2020 has tons of exciting stuff happening through my pursuit of personal branding. For the first time in my college career, I have a winter break (which is insanely long)! I’m taking advantage of it by preplanning a bunch of content (blog posts, social media, campaigns, etc.) I have also created a relationship with the founder of In Between Rivers, Briana. She is an awesome boss lady who I am going to be working with a bunch in the next few weeks. Looking forward to some awesome content (Briana is an amazing photographer) and exciting networking opportunities!!
How ironic this is the final point I touch on, but in 2020 I am going to prioritize myself. The year is packed with super awesome stuff, and I have to make sure I am promoting my best self throughout the process. What help are you to others if you can’t even help yourself?
Ya girl is going to make time for an awesome skincare routine and morning meditations. I am going to push myself to read and workout more. I forgot how much I love doing those things because I stopped prioritizing them. Life happens! We are all guilty of falling off and struggling to get back on. I have been saying it, but this time I’m doing it — time to get back on my bullshit.
I hope you guys are as excited about the new year as I am! In the spirit of manifestation, comment a goal you will achieve in 2020. ☺️💫
As always, thank you for reading. Have an amazing close of the year with the best projection of your future.
Call me a hopeless romantic — or a person who took control of their life — but I love finding silver linings. Having the ability to accept that certain situations in life are outside of your control is the key to inner peace and true happiness. Or so I’ve found. My worldview used to be much different than it is now. I largely attribute this positive change to my ability to search for whatever positivity lies in a heap of negativity. Even if you have difficulty finding something, you maintain the hope that something will be found.
The concept of “silver linings” has always been present in my mind. I have developed the ability to look at something that can be perceived so poorly by others, find the hope within and do my best to strive towards it. This was not always the case — I have chosen to view life this way.
Perception differs from person to person. Two individuals can experience the exact same event, yet exhibit completely different responses. This is because external factors play a large role in the development of our perception. However, what is important to remember is that perception and reality do not always coincide.
David Eagleman explains this disconnect between perception and reality in the simplest way. Look in the mirror. Move your eyes to the left, to the right, then back to the left. You never see your eyes move.
Although there is no evidence of gaps in your perception, critical parts of the experience have been edited out such as the visual experience of your eyes moving side to side.
An individual’s perception of the world is composed of previous experiences, expectations, context clues and other outside stimuli. Although these external factors are able to influence the way an individual views a situation, it is not the determining factor. Perception is able to be altered.
Not to toot my own horn, but I’m doing pretty well for where I’ve been. Early on in life, I was repeatedly faced with incredibly trying circumstances that many other people in my situation may have let consume them. Being an angsty and misunderstood youth, I often wondered why this — for lack of better term — BULLSHIT was assigned to me.
I stole a bobblehead from pre-K once and I returned it the next day, okay! WTF, world?!
I am not attempting to compare tragedies in life, but just to give you a synopsis of a few major ones so you know I’m not bullshitting this post…
I am legally an orphan in the state of Pennsylvania. I spent a portion of my childhood living in an unstable, toxic home environment. I have less than five immediate family members. And I was displaced from my childhood home, allowed only a few hours to gather my belongs, losing most of my irreplaceable childhood memories, aside from what I could fit into a cardboard box. And, fun fact, that home is now a settlement used to facilitate the re-integration of individuals with criminal backgrounds.
I think it goes without saying, but that shit SUCKED. However, here I am — still standing! Despite December trying to kill me. Much of my sanity I attribute to humor. In life, you must be able to laugh at yourself and the situations you encounter. Otherwise, you will be miserable and bitter. Believe me, I’ve been there. This is where searching for the silver lining will help you maintain your mental facilities! Seeing as I do not know what is plaguing you, I am going to tell you about the positive aspects I have found from the sucky circumstances I mentioned above.
Although it sucks not having your biological parents on this earth to see you flourish into the best version of yourself, I WOULD NOT be who I am without what I have experienced. I know I would not have been able to: attend my (at the time) dream school; have such a compelling personal essay topic; or apply to seven colleges and universities for free. Another positive aspect that is rather f*cked up but true is that whoever has the ~honor~ of ending up with me won’t have to deal with in-laws! Plus because of my incredibly small (relevant) family, when I eventually write and publish my book there won’t be many people to offend!☺️☺️☺️
These events also taught me crucial life skills some people do not develop until much later in life, if at all, such as: dealing with loss, becoming accountable for yourself, facilitating communication, and altering perspective.
If there is one thing you take away from my tangent here, look for the positive aspects in negative situations. It’s going to be hard at first, and I am not going to lie and say it becomes easier — you just become better at finding the needle in the haystack of nonsense. Remember to laugh at your failures, shortcomings and unfortunate situations! Do not fixate on or become consumed with negativity. For more tips on that, check out an older post of mine, eliminating negativity.
The topic of imposter syndrome has been incredibly relevant in my life within the past few weeks. Not saying my feelings are unique, but I had no idea a name for this feeling existed and was shared by so many people! In short — imposter syndrome refers to one not believing they are as capable, or competent, as others perceive them to be. Imposters fear being exposed as a fraud or phony.
Living in the digital age with social media depicting the perfect lives of others, it is easy to get sucked into the delusions thrust upon us. However, keep in mind someone may be looking at you, aspiring to live your life. Okay, maybe you’re thinking, “Me? No way.”
Aside from social media, the demeanor in which you carry yourself sets the stage for how others perceive you. People may look at you and think, “Wow! They’ve got it together,” meanwhile you’re in your head thinking, “don’t mess up, don’t mess up.”
A few weeks ago I asked you guys to send me topic suggestions on Instagram. A friend of mine from college, Emma, is the amazing individual who requested this. I only mention this because she is one of the people I credit with my mental health journey. Emma, bless her soul, met me when I was a silly freshman in college going through sorority recruitment. The stars aligned — I was recruited to the same sorority and we were paired as big and little sisters.
Emma took that role seriously. She was one of the first people in my life to tell me things I didn’t want to hear. She brought me to terms with realities I did not want to acknowledge whether it came to boys, social drama, life before college or everything else you can imagine. Emma is someone I have always admired when it comes to juggling the nonsense life brings, and so being requested this topic from her made me reflect that much more. I feel like an imposter writing this! Haha.
Although an oversaturated phrase, “Fake it til you make it,” still holds true. Maintaining a positive, affirming mindset is incredibly healthy. Imagine how you speak about yourself to others. Many imposters “suffer from chronic self-doubt” that roots in low self-confidence. Those who lack self-efficacy, viewing themselves as individuals not capable of great things, speak lowly of themselves. How do you expect someone to believe in you when you don’t even believe in yourself?
Individuals practicing a healthy mindset are more likely to share accomplishments and engage in other confident behaviors. The laws of energy say similar energies stick together, which is why it can feel like when one bad thing happens more follow. We are allowing that negative energy to dominate and attract like forces (other negatives). However, if we rechannel the negative into positive, we will attract better energy into our lives.
Struggling with self-doubt can be even more difficult when those closest to you are not the most helpful at building you up. Friends and family, although they carry so much love, are not always the best at expressing it. Over the years I have been working on affirming myself rather than seeking affirmation from others. When you take control of your happiness, it is liberating! I wrote more about this on a blog a few weeks ago, if you’re interested in some tips for eliminating negativity. Prioritizing time to explore my passions allows me to grow into my best self, which shows through to others.
Stay kind to yourself through positive affirmations and other forms of self-love. Try your best not to compare your life to others, because you never know who is comparing theirs to you saying, “I wish.” Keep in mind that everyone is a little bit crazy. Some just camouflage it better than others.
Hey there everyone! I want to share an idea that was conveyed to me through a book I read this week, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Lessby Greg McKeown. The theory is that we, as humans, do not prioritize enough time to allow our minds to “escape.” During these periods of creativity and/or rest, the brain activates synapses outside its typical radius, allowing the individual’s conscious mindset to expand. Yes; rest, because sleep is amazing!! McKeown mentions “Sleep Is the New Status Symbol,” an article in The New York Times highlighting that the most successful people in the world get 8+ hours of sleep. (both awesome reads)
McKeown hasinspired me to make a few lifestyle changes as we transition into the new year — 2020! I am feeling amazing about ending this final month of the decade and entering a new period of life. The remained of 2019, I am prioritizing creating space for uninterrupted thought in my daily life. Proudly I can say I have done this every day of December and plan to continue until it becomes a seamless habit.
During this 5 or 10 minutes, I will journal or meditate.
Yes, it sounds lame — I know. Just give it a shot. Allowing yourself time alone with your thoughts can seem daunting, but remember you are in control. During this time it is important to be aware of your breathing. Being in control of your breath is the most important aspect of being present.
When I am taking my time to escape, I spend a few moments working any stress out of my neck or anywhere else I may feel tense. Then I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I am always astonished at the capacity of the lungs. Feeling the expansion within my chest brings my attention to the shallowness of average breathing. Each inhale fills my chest with air, like helium in a balloon, with each exhale releasing some helium.
The goal here is for the balloon… (you)… to float… (relax). And while this works for me, this may not work for you.
Try at your own risk. I also make sure to set an alarm because sometimes I fall asleep. 😋
Yeah, I wanted to keep this week’s post short and sweet. Remember to be present at the moment and focus on the now. I have found taking control of my breathing to be incredibly helpful in centering myself.
As always, thank you for reading.
Talk to y’all soon!
You are the author of your own life, whether you accept it or not. Independent writers, such as yourself, have the creative freedom to create whatever they want to play out in their pieces. One of the many attractive qualities of writing are the various styles and types — a single text may include more than one writing style! A new chapter can begin whenever you choose.
Since realizing my role as author of my path, I have begun to break down my life into short-stories. For me, this has been the best way to prioritize what changes need to be made and work towards that progress.
Throughout 2019 I have expanded that collection by quite a few works, haha! The [theoretical] writing process of each new addition aides me in furthering my character development. But what we haven’t talked about yet is that all this brainstorming, planning and writing is hard!
I want to share a few tips and tricks I have discovered along the process thus far. I want to help those who truly are looking to restart life on their terms by sharing my personal trials and tribulations.
— THE FIVE-SECOND RULE —
No, not the one having to do with dropping food.
We spend way too much time wondering, what if about so many things in life, when we have the power to figure out what if it did. The next time we want to make a change but something seems to be holding you back, count backwards from five then do it.
I have really been loving listening to podcast series lately, which is how I discovered this concept created by Mel Robbins. The Self-Made CEO, one of my go-to series at the moment, discusses this rule often and argues incredibly valid points. We often hesitate to make a decision which leads to overthinking and overanalyzing the situation. The longer we wait to make a decision, the less authentic that final decision becomes. When we make a decision out of fear (over thinking, over analyzing, over complicating, etc) we are not necessarily making the best choice for ourselves; we are making the choice which is most comfortable for us.
How does it work?
When you are ready to make a change but do not have the motivation in the moment, countdown from five then do it.
Go read. Go to the gym. Dust your room. Take a walk.
Whatever it may be, do it.
Remember it is okay to fail. Doing something when you do not feel the motivation is really difficult. Use the failure to better yourself for next time.
Tomorrow morning, you are going to wake up early. Count down then get out of bed and take on the day!
— SIGNAL CHANGE —
“You taught others how to treat you. Reteach them.” – Costar Astrology
Generally speaking, most people have to be told to do things. This is why call to action buttons (email, phone, website) are so important. They tell people what to do next! New York best-selling author, Donald Miller, stresses this in his book “Building a StoryBrand”.
How does it work?
If you want other people to understand you are rebranding yourself, you must make it simple and clear. I have found being direct with close people in my life to be most helpful because it adds the aspect of accountability.
For example, if you tell your roommate you are going to exercise four times a week but you do not, your roommate is likely to ask you about the goal you mentioned earlier in the week. I am a self-motivated individual, however, I do find having someone hold me accountable for my goals to be a major help. Especially at the beginning of your journey!
— CONSISTENCY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN GOING HARD —
Consistency = Change
It doesn’t matter if you work your butt off in the gym on Monday morning if it only happens once that week. I’m sorry, but it’s true. You will see more results if you work moderately for 20 minutes each day, than if you work yourself to death for an hour and a half once a week.
I have found implementing routines to be helpful in establishing consistency! Planning out my day the night before is what I found to be the best for optimizing my time. Another plus to implementing changes into your routine is the 21/90 rule.
How does it work?
If you commit to a goal for 21 days it will become a habit. Continuing that habit for 90 (total) days will integrate it into your lifestyle. Remember failure is not worth beating yourself up over. Grow from it.
Realize your faults and weaknesses, embrace them then improve.
I hope these three tips help you along your journey! I have found these to be the most important insights I’ve yet to discover when it comes to beginning a new chapter of life. If you’re new here or missed my past blog about lessons I’ve learned throughout life so far and ways in which I have started over, you can check it out here! If you have any tips or tricks please share in the comments below!
As always, thank you for reading. I appreciate each moment spent on my work.