The Other Far Worse F Word

To my joy and delight, my article, ‘The Other Far Worse F Word” was published in Elephant Journal, an online publication with over 14 million monthly views. The content on Elephant Journal is dedicated to living a mindful, authentic life. I’m a huge fan of the content so when I took a bold chance and submitted my work, I was thrilled when they said yes!

As of today (May 13, 2015), the article has had over 16,000 views and was moved to the front page of the site within 3 hours of being posted. I’m humbled by the response for my article.

The original article can be found at: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/05/the-other-far-worse-f-word/ but a short cut is below!

Apathy

The Other Far Worse F Word

To the chagrin of my mother, I like (no, love) the f-word.

I realize that it isn’t Namaste appropriate and I probably make my third eye angry when I blurt it out loud, but at times there really is no better word to fill in the blank, to express an emotion, or to tell someone where to go. I do my best to not drop the infamous f-bomb in social settings where I am required to wear a name tag, but I can’t promise that I do not think it or secretly direct it at some idiot on a regular basis.

With no filter between my brain and my mouth, the f-word and I have created many memories together. When I recently turned 40, I decided I was old enough to no longer apologize for dropping my favorite adjective and noun at the drop of the hat. With what my heart endured in the last decade, embracing the f-word without abandon seems like a free gift with purchase.

There is another f-word that I believe does more damage than the f’er I have constantly on the tip of my tongue. The word that excites me as much as a wet noodle is “fine.” Even when it rolls out of my mouth, I start to gag. Have you noticed that nothing good ever comes from the word fine?

How do I look in this dress? You look fine.

Are you mad at me? No, I’m fine.

How are you? I’m fine, thanks.

Ironically, the definition of “fine” can vary between “high quality” (adjective) or “pleasing manner, very well” (adverb). If fine is the mistress of positive, how did it become the word that yields a response as exciting as chips with no guacamole? Fine is now the filler word we use when we don’t really have anything else to say. When our emotions are dragging on the floor, it’s all we can muster.

I hate fine; I hate everything the modern generation has allowed it to become. I strongly dislike when I feel fine because that means I am content. At the ripe old age of 40-ish, content is like making the B-team instead of being selected as an all-star. Content and her cousin, fine, are the bridesmaids—never the bride.

Being fine equates to getting sucked into the Alanis Morisette song, Ironic; “It’s like a black fly in your chardonnay.” It’s still fine to drink, but you lose interest because Jeff Goldblum took a diver in your glass. (Will the younger generation understand the movie reference I made there?)

So in an attempt to turn my frown upside down, I’m campaigning to rid the world of fine. If you are living in a life that you didn’t design, going to a job every day that doesn’t fill your soul and/or in a relationship that feels like you are wearing a heavy coat full of burden, you are a fully paid up member of the Fine Club. In case you need a smack in the f’ing face, you are bordering between the neighborhoods of content and just getting by. Believe me, I was the mayor of this town for a long time! I realize I can’t point my finger at you without pointing three back at me.

In spite of every great intention, when I rounded into my 30’s, I found myself in a very high profile job in corporate America; I regretted it on the third day yet I stayed five years. I landed in a relationship that started as a casual friendship yet became emotional abusive; it lasted two years and 11 months longer than it ever should have. And I found myself existing in a world that went from colorful to dark gray because the architect of my life apparently took a hiatus. It should come as no surprise that I look back at my 30’s and can’t help but think, “f*ck off!”

It’s easy to point fingers at my ability to choose the wrong job, the painfully wrong man or the wrong life; being the victim allows for so many excuses. The honest reason my life fell off the rails is because I let it. I didn’t allow the inner voice that spoke loudly, on the third day at my fancy corporate job, to completely derail the American dream of having a consistent paycheck every two weeks.

Regrettably, I closed my ears when my intuition raised its hand and started campaigning for the end of my relationship the first time he used the c-word. As my life imploded, exhausted from being in a place of crisis of management versus thriving, I shut down completely. The only answer I could muster up when asked how I was doing was always the infamous “fine.” Life was winning against an opponent that was no longer in the game.

They say time heals all wounds, and as much as I believe that, I have come to learn that giving yourself permission to live the life you want really is the best remedy. When you start to view your life through a selfish lens, you can no longer live with the rose-colored glasses of fine.

I realize that the use of the word selfish may shock some but it’s really the crux of the solution. I’m not giving you permission to be selfish so you can have the biggest piece of cake (in your 40’s, your metabolism slows to molasses so, believe me, leave the cake alone!) Instead, selfish is meant to be a rallying cry so that you put yourself first. There is a reason the airlines tell us to put our oxygen mask on first before we help others. When we do not allow our heart to explore the vocation our life intended, we experience turbulence. And this turbulence doesn’t come with complimentary peanuts.

The next time you utter the word fine, I implore you to do a gut check. If fine starts to pepper your daily language, it’s time to call in the architect of your own life and start to make plans for a major overhaul. Scary, sure; doable, absolutely! Please don’t ever get to a position where your job, relationship or view on life is just “fine.” Take it from someone who lived far too long in that space; life is winning when you get to that point.

With self-initiated permission to design the life you want to live, I promise there is a whole lot of “f*ck yeah” ahead!

~

Author: Nicole Matthews

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Photo: Flickr
About Nicole Matthews

Nicole Matthews is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and champion for living your best life. As a global event, travel and lifestyle concierge, she helps clients to enjoy the playground of life. Her new book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live is available on Amazon. Nicole craves humor and storytelling, as much as the perfect accessory to accentuate an outfit. Deep down, she believes her days performing, at the age of 9, as a showgirl in Las Vegas, have prepared her for when Dancing With the Stars calls.

Playground Chatter with Anthony Bollotta, Owner of Bollotta Entertainment

Welcome to Playground Chatter! Our new blog series, where we get to profile and chat with some of the best executives in town! Sure, we could ask about all their fancy business stuff but since we are fun monsters, we want to know how they spend their spare time on the playground of life!

__________________________________________________________________________

Your Name:    Anthony Bollotta

Your nickname?   Admittedly some friends call me Princess, which I suppose is only slightly more impressive than Tony Bologny, the nickname I grew up with; which BTW, was sung and included the tag… Fat Macaroni.

What is your grown up job? I’m the proprietor of Bollotta Entertainment, but I’m still not sure what I’ll be doing WHEN I grow up.

How can we find you?
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/anthony.bollotta.1
Twitter:  @AllottaB
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/abollotta/
© 2014 Daniel Scherl

Tell us where you spent your childhood years. Is there one year you remember most? I was raised in North Miami Beach, Florida, in a quiet middle class neighborhood. We were the only Italians on a street comprised of Jewish families, so I’ve suffered an identity crises my entire life. I still want to be Bar Mitzvah’d! I recall my happiest days being those BEFORE I entered grade school. I didn’t know I was fat then.

Favorite part of the playground to hang out in? The living room with the TV and my board games.

Lunch pail, brown bag or did you buy lunch?  50/50. I usually bought lunch, and boy I can still taste that salisbury stake. Our grade school offered a little incentive… if there was a red line drawn in with a marker, on the bottom of your lunch tray, you would get free dessert. I considered that much more fun than the PBJ or bologna (no relation to the NN) my mother would pack. Especially if it didn’t include (as it often did NOT) that tasty Little Debbie treat, I loved so!

What would be your ideal recess today? Anything not related to my hairline!!!!

Does your company encourage recess for their employees? No, my boss is a tyrant! Although he does advocate for life balance.

If I deemed you Playground Monitor for the next 15 minutes, how would you rally your employees? What activity would everyone participate in?  We’d play Jacks. Why? It’s fun, and requires no physical strength whatsoever!!!!

What rules did you learn on the playground that you still utilize today? Fairness. Team play. Being last comes with absolutely no perks, so try not to be last.

When does time disappear for you? Talk about your hobbies. Other than answering emails? Playing Words with Friends or Scramble with Friends, listening to a Broadway score or sleeping. Time seems to slip by fastest when I’m engaged in the latter.

What is one area of your life where you need more recess? I need recess from my brain, which goes nonstop! It’s exhausting!!!

What is your authentic intention (that thing that you really, really want to do or accomplish?) What are you doing to get there? I guess to make people laugh. It’s my love and I continue to find ways to do it, albeit on or off stage! Are YOU laughing yet?

What can you do to design your life to better incorporate more recess? (Pinky Swear).  I could stop working earlier in the evening, and stop taking responsibilities on that which should belong to others.

Marsala – Pantone Color of the Year

Designers, event planners and creatives alike wait patiently at the end of each year for the announcement of Pantone’s Color of the Year. For 2015, the folks at Pantone have chosen Marsala. With it’s rich, hearty and natural earthiness, Marsala will translate through all areas of design, fashion and event production.

The Versatility of Marsala

  • Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
  • Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to color for beauty, providing enormous highlight for the cheek, and a captivating pop of color for nails, shadows lips and hair.
  • Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors
  • An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury.

Pantone_Introducing_Color_of_the_Year_Marsala_bannerThe event world will start to incorporate Marsala in design elements, flowers, menus and wine pairings. Be on the look out! This beautiful color will reign in 2015!

Permission – Wow Reviews!

thc_bookcover_finalWhen I wrote my first book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live, I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming support and positive reviews. To write a book is a very personal journey, and although I wrote very quickly (over 200 pages in 6 weeks), I found the process resonated with me long after. I’m very proud of the fact Permission seems to be striking a cord with readers and audiences as I share my story.

Here is just a sampling of some of the reviews I’ve received:

One may think that Permission is meant mainly to inspire and encourage young women to take command of their lives. Well, I am a male twice Nicole’s age and I am inspired and encouraged by this book, too. I recommend it from three perspectives. First, the storyline is so fascinating and Nicole’s writing style almost puts one in her skin as one feels the intense joy and pain of her personal and business lives. Second, important points are well articulated: like authentic intentions, followed by aggressive pursuing, risk, and trying are what brings good fortune, along with sound social advice, such as dropping basement dweller “friends’. Nicole’s ultimate success proves that her advice works. Third, the ‘how to do it’ portions are helpful.The theme, Permission, is all pervasive as we confront authority, ego, self-concept and will. I found the book persuasive and a good read.
-Rick Kaylor January 10, 2015

 

Nicole made me laugh and cry (at the same time) … she has a delightful way of telling stories that I could completely relate to. So many women (and men) will enjoy this book and probably feel exactly the same way. Nicole’s life has such inspiration and aspiration, I loved reading all about her experiences and successes. The fact that she has a great network of friends and family and a real “go getter” attitude has made me look at my life and give myself Permission to seek the life I want to live. Thank you for such a great read, I will tell everyone I know to read this book! – Kelly

 

Permission! is an engaging and inspiring read. Nicole Matthews’ voice is at once both strong and vulnerable, and offers those of us who feel like we have to do it all the guidance to lean on others to help us accomplish our goals. The raw, personal stories Nicole uses to illustrate her ideas for achieving success connect the reader in a way that makes this book hard to put down. -Christene

Check out the rest of the reviews on Amazon.

Thank you for all of the Permission support and love!

PS – Need a little more Permission inspiration – check out my Permission board on Pinterest!