Two Suitcases, A Lifetime


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I showed up here roughly a year and a half ago with two heavy suitcases in tow and an array of other bags slung over my eager and determined shoulders. Sidewalks were pounded, apartments were scoured, temporary homes were squatted in, subways were hesitantly navigated, and after two months or so of this frightening carousel, I settled in to a cool and spacious home in a little neighborhood called Williamsburg. It was then, finally, that I began to think I could make a home of New York City.

And I did make it my home. I discovered things with my own feet and eyes and ears and nose that had been discovered by so many before me but for the first time were being recorded in my own consciousness. I wandered bookstores, traversed avenues, chose favorite benches in parks, and began to wear the paths of my own feet familiar. I made new friends and then I made more new friends and each one had more and more in common with this new self I was creating. I turned 30 years old, published a book, drank too much sometimes, missed my good friends far away, traveled out of the city to get perspective. Perspective that looked like the Manhattan skyline disappearing and then reappearing days or weeks later looking exactly the same. This is a city that changes by the minute and yet is completely timeless.

I rode a bike that didn’t go anywhere twenty-some times, sweat dripping even from my eyeballs, just to prove to myself that I could. I jumped off a platform holding only onto a thin trapeze bar and let go at the precise moment a stranger in flame-printed tights caught me by the hands. I fell in love with a man who lived far away from the city, in my past, and one day he showed up and said, “I live here now too.” And the city was anew again with springtime and love and new tastes and sights and flutters of the heart. And now I’m leaving, full and happy, like I’d just finished a luxurious meal course by course which has made me sleepy and euphoric. I am satisfied. This city has fed me bitter, savory, rich, and sweet but never bland.

What will I miss most? It’s hard to say yet, for the imprints on my memory are still too close to see the whole picture. Will I come back? Absolutely, though I’ll be changed yet again and so will bewhat I discover when I come. Can I be happy somewhere else? Surely, for I am a nomad, an adventurer, and my home is within myself.

Tennessee was a wild horse that I tamed and made my own. New York is a wild bull that bucked me off, but only after my eight seconds were up. I’ve had my ride. I have no regrets; nothing was missed; not a moment was wasted, even the rough ones.

I leave here today the same way I came – with two heavy suitcases in tow and an array of other bags slung over my triumphant shoulders – and yet I’m completely different.

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This entry was posted in Inspiration, Love, Random Chatter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2013



The Ooh La La Life is Moving!


The Ooh La La Life is moving to the new KimberlyNovosel.com! Don’t worry, you will be notified of new posts just as you are here. I need your help with something though. I am sharing the best posts from the past 2 years there as well – will you tell me which posts you loved most? Which ones inspired you or stuck with you? Please comment below!

Also, if you want to be included on emails about my next book, speaking engagements, self-development seminars and other news, sign up here!: Subscribe!

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This entry was posted in Inspiration, News on July 11, 2013



Meet Sunshine + Skyscrapers & Other News


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I hope you’re all enjoying your summer! June 1st I launched a new site called Sunshine + Skyscrapers with partner (and my bicoastal bestie) Heather Anderson. We’ll be sharing all kinds of goodies on wellness: fitness, food and my personal favorite, self-development. If you’ve been enjoying my self-exploratory style posts here on The Ooh La La Life, watch for more of those coming from me on S+S!

Also, a new kimberlynovosel.com site is coming later this summer and The Ooh La La Life blog will go live there! Reread through your favorite posts here in the meantime. They may not all move to the new home – just some of the top stories.

Thank you as always for being a loyal and encouraging reader! It’s really lovely to have such support as my brand continues to evolve.

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This entry was posted in News and tagged adventure, brand development, fitness, kimberly novosel, self-exploration, self-sevelopment, wellness, writing on June 21, 2013.



Patience is a Virtue…Sometimes


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The key word here is “some.”

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about patience. In general, I need to practice it more regularly. When something needs done, I want to do it. When something is wrong, I want it fixed, corrected, edited or healed right away. When something needs said, I want to say it. This is often called “drive,” “ambition,” or being a “go-getter.” And none of those things are bad.

At least, not when the results are actually in your control. In a relationship of any kind – romantic, friendship, on a team at work, more often getting results is not completely in my control. (Ugh.)

So, at what point does patience come into play, and at what point does patience become settling? Think about it this way. The career I wanted wasn’t happening for me as I worked at someone else’s company waiting for an opportunity to truly shine and be fulfilled by my work, so I left to start my own company and created my dream job. There, lack of patience could have prevented me from settling, waiting, and either wasting time before finally being happy with my work or maybe never having found that happiness at all.

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer here. I think the first thing to consider is how much you can control in the situation. If I want to spend more time with someone who is not available, I can express that frustration but it’s up to that person to make a change in their schedule, or for me to wait patiently until they’re able to do so. My control there is limited. If I want to launch a new project and my time is limited to prepare it, it’s up to me to either shift my priorities in my schedule, or put the project on hold if other priorities take precedent.

This is how I’m going to approach drive and patience now: Is patience the necessary grace here, or is it complacence? Do I take action now, or is there a better moment to pounce – or is this in someone else’s hands? And when patience is the answer, there’s only one place I know to get it. (Hint: not from within myself, that’s for sure!

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When have you struggled to call upon patience? When have you been able to act instead?

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This entry was posted in Faith, Inspiration, Random Chatter and tagged action, ambition, drive, humor, inspiration, kimberly novosel, motivation, patience, self-development, thoughts, writing on May 14, 2013.



The Only Answer is Love


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It’s impossible to think I could organize all of the emotions I feel tonight after hearing the horrific news of what happened in Boston today. As a runner, as a daughter and a sister and a best friend, and as a human being, it’s impossible not to be affected. It’s impossible to understand what happened, or who could possibly be responsible, or why, or how long and far the ripples of this day will go. I don’t believe we’re meant to understand what happens in this world – neither the beautiful nor the ugly. It isn’t our purpose to understand. It is our purpose to love. Spread love. As far and wide as you can.

The only solace I can find is in the one thing that is possible. GOD. He is big enough and bold enough and at the root of all that is love, and that’s what we need in every moment, on every day. Love. He is what makes it possible to hope for healing from such a tragedy. He is what inspires those who have and will step up to help, and who rejoices in our prayers.

There isn’t a lot we can control. But how much love there is in the world? We can contribute. Pray for Boston. Send love everywhere.

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This entry was posted in Faith, Inspiration, Love and tagged boston, faith, God, god is love, hope, love, pray for boston, spread love on April 15, 2013.



6 Things Inspiring Me Today


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I don’t know if it’s because it’s Friday, or because I started drinking caffeine again this week (though that might not last), or maybe the sunshine, but I am feeling INSPIRED today! One way to celebrate the good things in life is to take notice of what inspires you, even the littlest things, so here’s my little list for today:

  1. SELF Magazine’s new look. As a fan (and business owner) of branding and design, I noticed SELF’s new look on the stands last month. I’d never picked up their magazine before so whatever they did has worked. Loving the look and the content.

  2. Candice Kumai’s adorable glasses. One of my favorite chefs and social media buddies Candice Kumai posted this photo yesterday of herself in some nerdy chic frames, and now I’m itching for a fun new pair of specs. Thanks (but no thanks) Candice! B)

  3. Making new friends. Some of my oldest Nashville friends now live in New York too, which is lovely, but I’ve been here a year and have made very few new friends, until now. I’ve tapped into a new network of girls who are sweet and strong and awesome, and on top of that I’m remembering and practicing one of my favorite hobbies again and reaching out organically to meet some women with similar interests. And my web is growing once again!

  4. A new project. I can’t say much about this yet, but it involves my best friend and all kinds of happy things and I think you’re going to love it. In the brainstorming stages now, I’m getting to play in “blue skies” – my “if anything is possible” mode. Such a fun place to be!

  5. Shopping for new running shoes. I’ve started wearing my sneaks more days than not, whether or not I’m running. I don’t want to wear out the ones that I do actually run in, so I’m looking for a second fun pair to run around the city in. And I don’t mean like that girl with her dress clothes and her sneakers (ew), I mean like with my wunder unders. Nike has a tool that lets you design your own, and you can put words on the tongue of each shoe. I’m thinking “sweat daily.” (I wanted “sweaty sexy” but they don’t allow the word sexy at Nike.)

  6. Another project in the brainstorming stages, I’m thinking of following up Loved with a workbook type book on self-development, using lots of fresh material and maybe some material from this blog’s past few years. What do you think?

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This entry was posted in Random Chatter, Shopping, Writing and tagged, branding, design, fitness, inspiration, kimberly novosel, lululemon, making friends, new york, nike, self magazine, self-confidence, self-development, wunder unders on April 5, 2013.



Breathing Butterflies


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I’m not good at saying wrong things and shrugging it off. A fairly calculating person, I tend to think before I speak or not speak at all, to wait before I do especially if my action affects another person, and to take in my surroundings before I settle in. Even further, as a writer the words I choose are extremely important to me, even if not to anyone else. So when my guard is let down and the filter between thinking and speaking becomes ghostly or nonexistent, it’s possible that I’m going to say something foolish or choose my words wrong.

This happened recently. I wasn’t hurtful by design, and what I said was really only a passing thought, but the person who it was directed towards heard me differently than I intended. Later in the day when I learned this, the unintentional misstep bothered me. My guard went back up. I scolded myself. I felt like stones had fallen out of my mouth and become shackles at my feet, the weight of not being able to erase what’s said out loud causing my steps to be slow and hindered.

The next morning, still reflecting on my inability to “fix it” beyond my feeble attempt to explain better, I made a decision. Those stones aren’t weighing me down unless I let them. I’m the one holding on to them, storing extras in my pockets and allowing myself to be reminded of their presence. I still don’t like saying a wrong thing, but I have to be able to move on from it – especially if the other person has. So I found myself imagining butterflies coming out of my mouth instead of stones. Pretty, multicolored butterflies finding their freedom from me and being carried away on the wind.

I don’t know how to let my practiced guard down around someone and be ok with all of the results, but I can try to learn to breathe butterflies.

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This entry was posted in Inspiration, Random Chatter and tagged being guarded, being misunderstood, being vulnerable, dating, foot in mouth, letting things go, missteps, opening up, relationships, saying wrong things, self-expression on March 15, 2013.




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