Rachel Discovers Happiness

my life and road to happiness

Archive for the category “Friends”

An Elegant Affair

This past weekend I finally got to go down to Southern California to visit my  big sister and stay at her pinspired apartment. Not only that, but I also had the honor of attending her best friend‘s wedding.

mehndi

The wedding was beautiful and Ayesha and E were absolutely stunning. I had never seen anything quite like this event and the only word that comes to mind is “wow.” They both wore traditional Bengali wedding outfits (I apologize for not knowing the correct words to describe the traditions, outfits, etc. but I will do my best) and most of the women in attendance wore beautiful saris. Ayesha’s hands were stained with mehndi – better known as henna in the US – and she wore the most stunning red sari and gold jewelry*.

the stunning bride

Throughout the night I got the opportunity to talk to E at dinner (he is one of the most intelligent people on this earth and just graduated with his masters, he is now looking for a job), dance to Bengali and American music (how those ladies of all ages were dancing so well in their saris I will never know, but I admire them), and generally admire the love that Ayesha and E have for each other and their new families. I won’t go in to all the details about the wedding because you should really read Ayesha and Caitlin’s posts about the event which I’m sure will be a lot more detailed than I can put into words; I will tell you, however, that I seriously felt so loved and blessed that Ayesha thought to invite me to her Bengali wedding.

To Ayesha, thank you so much for inviting me to attend such a magical night. You really did look absolutely beautiful and E looked wonderful in his elegant outfit as well. Seeing him dance with his brother was one of the highlights of my  night – it was so amazing to see how much fun they were having. I hope you enjoyed the night as much as I did. Can’t wait to read/hear about your thoughts now that the weddings are over and you officially get to start your new life. I already told Caitlin that you two (and Dev if she wants a break from med school!) need to find a weekend to come up and visit me in San Francisco so we can do a girls’ weekend together. I can’t wait ❤

Caitlin and Devery

*I tried to take pictures at the wedding but the lighting was very weird and I couldn’t figure out how to get the right color balance. Also, I gave up after a short period of time because I wanted to enjoy the wedding and take everything in without looking through the lens of my camera. I have it on good authority, however, that the photographer they hired is very talented and I’m sure she took some wonderful photos.

Sometimes Things Just Go… Well

This has been my first week at my new job (eek!) and I have loved it! The people I have met are so nice, they trust my judgement and have faith in my abilities. Although I’m nervous about starting a new job (talk about stressful) and I feel as though I might not have skills that are developed enough for the position, the fact that the people around me have faith in me is incredible. I already feel like part of the team and that is such a wonderful feeling.

Did I mention that I have my own office? With four walls? And a door?! And that I walked in to my office and had a gift basket waiting for me from the company? How sweet is that!

I made it through my first week and I can’t wait to see where things go from here!

In other news, I got a phone call from my big sister last night. She called to check in, see how my job is going, etc. because apparently my step mom had told her that I was doing really well but that she didn’t want to spoil it by telling my big sister instead of me. I was so glad that I got to talk to Caitlin and tell her all about what is going on!

Then, before we said goodbye, she mentioned that her BFF, my Blog BFF, invited me to her Bengali wedding on July 7. I almost cried! Okay, you caught me, I did cry.. but only in the way that like, your eyes well up and you’re so excited!

The first thing I did this morning when I had access to my computer was to book a flight down to LA for the wedding. Ayesha, this is me officially responding to your wedding on July 7 and I couldn’t be happier! Thank you for the invite and I can’t wait to be there 🙂

Okay, whew, that is all for now.

I hope your week went as well as mine!

P.S. We have music playing throughout the whole office today and it is fantastic. It seems like it has put everybody in a great mood. I think I’m really going to like it here. I hope they feel the same about me!

A Letter To My Blog Friend

Dear Social Media Friend (you know who you are),

I just thought I would tell you that I’m having mixed feelings about you getting married this weekend. I mean, I’m totally excited for you and E and that you get to spend the rest of your lives together and that I know you will be so happy, I truly am thrilled for you and all that, BUT…

I’m also going to miss the wedding blogging and all of the updates I get to read about week by week. It has been so much fun to watch the plans develop over all these months.

I know it’s kinda selfish, and I suppose it’s not so much that I am going to miss your wedding blogging (although I will miss it), but it’s more that I hope you continue to pin/post about all the beautiful crafts/decorations you talk about now. I realize that you still have the Bengali wedding in a month or so which means that I get to hear about that wedding until then, but what will I do once it’s all over?! I’m definitely going to miss it.

Now that I think about it, though, just because you’re married doesn’t mean you will stop blogging…

So I guess what I’m saying, in a rather convoluted way, is CONGRATULATIONS and I can’t wait to hear about the wedding(s) and read your future posts about married life and all the adventures you two will go on together.

Love and wishes of eternal happiness to you and E 🙂

All the best, Rachel

P.S. I’m thrilled that Weddingbee selected you as a blogger – it means that the wedding mania gets to be even just a bit bigger and that I get to read about it just a bit more for at least a little while 🙂 congrats! (For the rest of you, look for Miss Genie, that’s her pen name!)

On Taking Risks and Making Your Own Luck

I have recently been practicing the act of spontaneity. I have been doing things that  scare me, things that I’ve never seen myself doing. I’ve been taking chances and making decisions all in an effort to make myself happier.

This guy saw me taking a picture and said "hey, take a picture of me!" so i did, begrudgingly. Turned out pretty awesome, actually. (contest photo)

I kind of like being spontaneous. It allows for me to step into somebody else’s shoes, or to be the person I could be if I didn’t have so much damn anxiety.

There’s something to be said for bravery and taking risks, embracing chances. You never know what will happen when you do something on a whim.

My photo of the Austin Sky (contest photo)

That’s how I won tickets to SXSWi. I signed up for a sweepstakes on Twitter and somehow won. I chalked it up to a fluke; I’m not a lucky person. I don’t win things. This kind of experience doesn’t happen to me.

Until it did.

Free lunch with Katie, one of my photo companions. (contest photo)

While at SXSW I decided to do a bunch of things that scared me. Simply being there was anxiety enough, but navigating Austin by myself? Well that was downright terrifying.

But I did it.

Katie's photo of me crowd surfing with Skype (contest photo)

I went to panels , listened to speakers, participated in workshops, ate free food and simply did whatever I decided to do. I didn’t really have an agenda or anywhere I had to be because anywhere I went would have been amazing.

One workshop I went to was PhotoCamp. It was all about taking quality photos with your iPhone. I met some pretty cool people in that workshop, some of which I’m still in contact with.

Photo by Katie - artists painting on canvas. She won one of their original pieces! (contest photo)

One of the great things about that session was that we took a chance and entered a contest as a group. There were four of us and the perimeters were simply that we had to use a specific app (RingReef) and collaborate on a photo project about SXSW. Our photos had to be cohesive and reflect how we viewed the event. There could only be 20 photos.

One of the most provocative marketing campaigns at SXSW (contest photo)

We were able to whittle down our submissions, although it was super difficult since we had so many good pictures, and somehow we won.

Frankie's photo - part of the Let's Get Naked campaign (contest photo)

Some of the photos included in this post are ones we won the contest with. What we won with those photos is pretty awesome – we each get a special phone cover that is magnetic and has different lenses, some other iPhone photo stuff, and last but not least, the new iPad.

Crazy, huh?

These kinds things don’t happen to me.

Ike's photo of a DJ at a party (contest photo)

I also entered a scavenger hunt contest with a company called FoundIt! which was based on Twitter. I won that too. I don’t know what the prise is, but it should arrive next week.

When I told Madeline at work the story about winning the ticket, the photo contest and the scavenger hunt and said that these kinds of things don’t happen to me, she laughed at me and said, “I don’t think you’re allowed to say that anymore.”

Another one of Ike's photos - I like the perspective. (contest photo)

And in that moment, when I said they don’t happen to me, I realized something: these kinds of things don’t happen to me because I never let them. I never enter contests because I don’t think I’ll win. I never put myself out there and take risks. I never make spontaneous decisions.

But look at what happens when I do! Maybe some people are naturally lucky. I think that, more likely, these are the people that make their own luck. They are the ones who show up and go for it, whatever “it” may be.

The Skype party

The bacon truck we rented for a client

TED Talk with Nikol, Robert and Phil - cross it off the bucket list!

a photo I took in our photo workshop

You know the Wayne Gretzkey saying, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” ? Well, as cheesy as it is, I now know what he meant.

I think I’ll start taking more risks and making more of my own luck. Apparently that’s the best way to do it.

You are you. Now isn’t that pleasant?

Isn’t it nice when you get to work, check your email, and see that you have a happy email rather than a long to do list of things that need to be finished before 5 (or 7, or 9… depending on when you leave the office which, in the PR world, could be any time)?

That’s how I felt today. I got to work, checked my email, and had an email from my best friend/roomie with a visual presentation of Dr. Seuss quotes. I liked it so much that I thought I’d share it with you 🙂

A little note about Roomie: she is so NOT touchy-feely, warm-and-fuzzy or drawn to inspirational stuff at all, but she knows I am; whenever she sees something like this that she thinks I would like she sends it along. And let me tell you , she finds some pretty awesome stuff!

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