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The shootings in CT made me think a lot about my mom and the state of mental heath care in America.  My mother was never a violent paranoid schizophrenic but at the same time if we had better education and knew what was going on in her brain, maybe she would be here today.

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You see my Mom was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in her early twenties at college so I am told.  My great grandma also was blessed with this disease as well and I fear if I were to have a daughter that it would be her turn.  I was lucky enough to make it through my twenties with it skipping me.

When I was eight years old, I was at a private school in Warren, MI and I was left there because no one had picked me up.  My mom was no where to be found and I was the last person to leave the school that day.  This was my first taste of what this disease is.

Up until I was able to drive my mom had disappeared at least twice.  When I was born, she was actually in another hospital because they had hospitalized her and then I guess I was in a different one.  I am not sure what happened there but that was what I was told.

When I was able to drive and being a teen who happened to get into a few accidents.  My Dad must have decided to not let my mother drive because soon after I was able to take care of myself my mom stopped driving.  She was a stay at home mom and she was always there for me and my events but I never really told anyone about her disease.

She hated Mt Clemens General because of their psych ward I remember.  She had been in and out of there and Crittenton throughout my childhood.  I remember her taking off to Pontiac once to escape home for whatever reason.  I also remember the week before she died and was sick and because she had been relapsing we didn’t give her the credit she deserved.

Do I blame myself for not listening to her?  It is hard to phantom what you are thinking.  She wound up dying of a Sepsis Infection probably from the cocktails of drugs she was on for decades, and other things on July 3, 2007.

I am a child of a person who had a mental illness and so much is not known.  We didn’t have great health care growing up and we still don’t understand the disease.  We don’t have the education to make better choices when dealing with people who have such a serious illness.

There isn’t anything to teach you on how to react or how to treat everyone as human as possible.  When they are having a good day it is great but when the psychotic episodes happen you are very unsure what to do or how to react.

This caused a lot of tension growing up.  The shootings and the holidays have brought up all these questions about the mentally ill in our country.  Being a child of a person who was mentally ill and knowing the episodes.  No one knows how to treat this and education is the key so more kids who become adults can have a better understanding of their childhood and of their parents.

I don’t think I ever told any of my friends about her disease growing up and I was always an outsider.  I am not sure what combination of my childhood made me be the outsider I was.  I had friends growing up and I sat at the table and everything but when they went places I was NOT invited.

I do know I had a chance to date someone who was clinically manic depressed and I chose not too because I knew I could not handle another person being mentally ill.  Growing up around it was enough education and I know that sounds bad but there is only so much a person can handle.

This country needs a better understanding of the mentally ill and really a better health care system in general.  But the mentally ill have been put to the side for decades and they really do need a voice.

2012, we have had too many suicides happen around the NFL and last year with the NHL.  These are probably due to head injuries and whatever other conditions.  I have had an acquaintance wind up killing his son (about five years old) and himself because of a divorce.

These people have problems and they need help.  We as a country need to find a way to teach everyone about these illnesses before someone gets hurt.  Some are hereditary and some are conditional but everyone needs a proper education and children of parents with mental illness need a way to learn how to deal with the person so the family is more sound.

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In the movie “Up in the Air” George Clooney’s character Ryan Bingham is constantly on a plane.  He is trying to earn 10M sky miles for being a prestigious frequent flier.  He is avoiding his family, not creating friends and basically living in isolation.

He downsizes companies for a living.  In one of the talks he gave to a person he was firing was, “Kids love athletes because they follow their dreams.” It is hard to believe this life was the life he dreamed of as a kid.

Filmmaker Magazine

What is technology doing for us today?  Are we basically using it to have contact with the people we want or to avoid contact all together?

Ryan Bingham  is stuck in his ways.  He loves the air and when he goes back to his apartment there isn’t any color.  It is sterile and less decorated than the places he visits.  It isn’t home by any means.  But when he discovers what true happiness is he decides to go after it. SPOILER ALERT: He is thrown a loop because the woman he is interested in is married with two kids.

With Skype available and all the social networks.  One of his quotes in the movie was, “I don’t think a Myspace page requires you to rewire an entire company up in the air.” Which has me thinking?  With  social media and companies adapting.  Skype could be used to seriously alter someone’s life.  Will there be the one on one contact which we used to have before we became hyper connected?

He ends the movie with this voice-over, “Tonight, most people will be welcomed home by jumping dogs and squealing kids. Their spouses will ask about their day, and tonight they’ll sleep. The stars will wheel forth from their daytime hiding places and one of those lights, slightly brighter than rest, will by my wingtip passing over.”

Do you use technology as an escape? Do you use it to weed out people you don’t want in your life? Do you hide behind it?  Is it part of your dreams or are you just along for the ride?

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I am generally an upbeat, positive person but I would be fooling you if I didn’t get depressed about this job market.  I am doing everything in my power to land a full time position in a tech related public relations firm as an account coordinator or even a marketing coordinator which is tech related.  I am looking to do something which involves New Media but is not the only channel they use to attract people.

My newest venture is getting journalists, bloggers and public relations professionals together for a #Journchat Live Detroit session. The mission of #journchat has always been to improve the relationships between public relations professionals, journalists and bloggers. Together we’ve created a safe environment to explore each industry and ultimately how social media is influencing all of us.

I have been networking at many events around town.  I am not sure if these are working.  I keep asking people how they got there first job out of college and they say, “Networking.”

I finally wrote for the PRSA Technology section.  It took me long enough I have been having some doubts but I am glad I overcame them and was given a chance even if I thought I might have some problems.

Richard Stockton College of NJ Alumni News

Richard Stockton College of NJ Alumni News

As I said before, I would love to stay in Detroit if possible.  I am entertaining the thought of NYC.  I had an interview with ESPN and I think I have a shot as long as I follow through.

I talked with a person from work at the Tigers. I told him people do business with people who they know, like and trust.  I guess he didn’t believe me engineering is a business.  He said, “I am an engineer.”  Well even so you have to network to build your reputation and he still hasn’t sent me his resume so I can pass it on to a recruiter I know and other links I have as resources.

Marathon Books spa

Marathon Books spa

I hit rock bottom a few nights ago but at least I can only go up from there.  I had a good cry and I feel better about myself now.  I guess sometimes you venting frustrations is a positive.  Life isn’t always positive but it is how you handle the negative which makes a person  a WINNER.

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I am a young professional… Well young into my career anyway, I took the LONG road through my college career and currently I am working 2 jobs trying to find my ENTRY LEVEL position in either Public Relations for a Tech related company or Interactive/Marketing Coordinator.

There was a time in my life not so long ago, when I would have LOVED to have moved out of the D.   I am a born and bread Detroiter! I will LEAVE if the opportunity arises and I am networking IN and OUT of the state.

I have been networking a lot on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.  I have made connections through #BlogChat which might help me if I do get a chance to demonstrate my abilities to the Red Cross in Washington, DC.

But why would anyone want to stay in MI? Why wouldn’t you want to leave?  As one of my friends stated, if I was going to make my break away it would have to be RIGHT now.  I would never make it, moving away from my Red Wings at the start of the preseason.  To most people preseason, does not matter but to me… Well I have a hockey problem.

I have started networking… I do it every week.  #tweetea has been a staple and something I plan on.  I was invited to a Menu Tasting at Olga’s Kitchen today by another group of people,  who started Eat Ups.  Which I was totally impressed with.  Everyone should eat food with Joe Foodie! He knows his stuff!

I have never been to Olga’s and it is a MI staple which has been around as long as I have been alive.  I met one of the people, who were in charge of the event, he is a coach for Team in Training which helps benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Through Twitter I made the connection during my early days of campaigning for LLS.  Small World.

The food was fantastic.  The service was great and we were treated like Rock Stars!  I would definitely go back!

Why Detroit is home.

My family is small.  I am an ONLY child, my Dad, Godmother, and aunt are here.  I would like to be closer to my cousins and hopefully the social networks will allow this to happen.

My Mom who passed away 7/3/07, grandma (06) & uncle Dennis (01)

I have rediscovered some old friendships, made new ones, and well I am not sure if I can handle moving.  I am fine with doing things on my own but moving cross country or elsewhere.  I don’t know.

I don’t want to be part of the brain drain.  I would feel guilty with all the relationships I have worked hard to create, build and maintain.  I am not sure if they feel the same way.  But I like this networking thing!

I have broken out of my shell and actually am organizing something which I never thought I could do.  I am planning a #journchat LIVE meeting, Aug 17 from  7:30-10  p.m.  Plus, I am writing membership profiles for PRSA Technology section. I am doing things I never thought I would have the leadership for.  In the past, I would just let things go and never contribute.  Now I am working on leadership skills.

I don’t want to leave the D.  Can you help me stay here? I do not want to be part of the brain drain.

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People may not think or relate to creating an opportunity through a blog comment.  If you are in the New Media sector you know this is part of your arsenal in creating a growing brand.  But what does this have to do with your job search and how can it help?

FireShot capture #8 - 'The Simple Job Search » Blog Archive » The Job Search System That Never Fails' - www_thesimplejobsearch_com_blog_2009_05_14_the-job-search-system-that-never-fails

Through Kevin Donlin’s Blog, on his website, The simple job search.  I wound up meeting him in Detroit, getting interviewed for a podcast about how I got   my New Media internship with LLS and then he referred  me  to a reporter at the Christian Science Monitor.  Though she did not use my interview  in her newspaper.  It was a chance I would not have had, had I not commented in the first place.

Through his website, he noted another person named A. Harrison Barnes. He is a great writer and has really useful stuff.  But his blogs are way too long and if it were up to me, and I had a chance to really talk to him about it,  I would really shorten them.  They average about 1000 or more words and by the end you probably have to take a break or two.  They are just way too long.  But I digress.  I connected to him on Facebook because I had been the only one commenting.

This led to a possible job opportunity.  He liked my blog and things but things just weren’t going to work out between us.  As much as I liked the opportunity it just wasn’t a great fit.

The moral of the story is in a down economy there are different ways to find a job.  Plus, you need to know your worth, don’t sound desperate and to not take the first opportunity which comes around.  You could wind up working in a place which you hate and you could be miserable.  When you stick to your passion and you find a way to combine it to make an income.  Then you probably won’t ever want to leave work.

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This has been a time coming. I guess since I went out on a couple of dates with someone that I met through Linked In. I discovered that it was a better way of connecting. Though there was never a relationship but it taught me a few things about connecting with people.

Through social networks you can find common ground, discover their interests, and communicate with them FREE. The thing with some of the better dating sites is that you are charged a fee to talk. If you meet someone that you think is a business contact, you add them to build your network, with Linked IN. Then if it transfers over to something like facebook, to be more casual, it could then transfer over to something “James Bond” like but you at least have stable ground and two way conversation.

These forms of communication are an oxy moron because what makes them so great in the beginning is a double edged sword most of the time. With so many networks out there and being available communication signals are often crossed. See my take on this subject.

The advantage to the social network way of meeting is that you already have a sense of who their friends are, able to communicate, what their interests are, and almost everything about them. There isn’t a flashy ad that is trying to sell you something. If they are genuine then you can tells straight from the bat.

I am exhausted with the personals and I do not really believe that it is the way of going. Just like a job search, if you come off as desperate then you will attract the wrong people, and no one wants to do that. So send a tweet, interact, and be engaging… maybe that is the way to meet the right people.

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The World Junior Championships are taking place in Ottawa, ONT Canada from 12/26/2008 – 1/5/2009 and it will be a story of a dreamer that fulfilled one of his dreams of representing his country. Over the years Team Canada has had a wealth of talent. Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman, Wayne Gretsky and even Dan Cleary.

Dan Cleary and Angelo Esposito have a lot in common. Cleary became the first NHL player from the province of New Foundland to win the Stanley Cup. He had been cut from the World Junior team 3x and he finally fulfilled his dreams. He often credits his wife for the change in his attitude.

Angelo Esposito may NOT be the dream player that John Tavares is and not the shiniest start on the team. He was determined, held strong, and would not take NO for an answer. The two of them represent what it takes to fulfill your dreams.

Persistence is often a hard thing to come by. The things that we often want most are harder to find and to be focused enough to center of your dream, have faith that things will go your way, and work hard to fulfill it. That takes guts and determination.

Whether or not you are a hockey player playing in the spotlight. Things often don’t go your way. Heck, no team wanted Cleary after the lockout. They passed him up because of his lack of work ethic, he used the time to go to California and train and got a recommendation from Matthiew Schenider to try out out for the Wings. He not only excelled but had a new role and a second chance and now he has his name on the Cup.

Angelo Esposito got cut from Team Canada and his rights have been traded from Pittsburgh to Atlanta before he even got a chance to play. He knew what he wanted and where he had to go to make a difference in his career and perception. So when the team is shining and trying to win the Gold. Just think of how much determination and perseverance some of these hockey players have been through.

Sometimes it isn’t all its cracked up to be. They both were high draft pics and they both got passed up on because of poor work ethic or just injury and bad timing. Change can happen if you believe in yourself and believe in your dream.

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The Red Wings usually have the traditional New Year’s Eve game. It has happened as long as I can remember. I started going to Cheli’s Chili shortly after it opened downtown after working the game. It was a fun tradition but since the NHL is trying to create a new tradition sometimes we have to adapt to change. We will see the Red Wings play the BlackHawks at Wrigley Field instead on January 1, 2009. This Winter Classic II is an outdoor game that started a few years back and the idea is a great one. The idea of playing a sport outdoors for thousands of people where the game originated is appreciated. Though, the NYE game will be missing this year, this new tradition and being able to share this with the entire region is something special. The first Winter Classic was played between the Buffalo Sabers and the Pittsburgh Penguins on a snowy day on Jan 1, 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park. It was blizzard conditions and there was some ice problems but it was still worth having the game. This was the first game on USA soil the Heritage Classic on November 22, 2003 and was between the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadians at CommonWealth Stadium.

Wings get ready to take on the Hawks for a PRE Winter Classic collision!

Wings get ready to take on the Hawks for a PRE Winter Classic collision!

Nothing in life is ever constant. You can not go through life with one complete tradition. Life events usually change things for people. My Mom passed away July 3, 2007 and that first Christmas with her gone was a rough one. My Dad, Aunt, and I went to the Bone Yard for Christmas. I picture the holidays as a day spent with friends and family not spent at a restaurant.

This year I am cooking dinner. My house has never held a party, and I have never thrown one. So this should be interesting. I feel traditions can change but sometimes you have to keep the spirit of the family and the home cooked part of the holiday. That is the best part of the holiday and when you lose that part.

Every tradition can be tweaked and changed for a year or so but as long as things can go back to somewhat the way they were for a day it is great to keep the spirit. As we get older, it is less about what we receive but what we can give to one another, these hard times that we are experiencing should be a lesson that our family and friends should be appreciated and not taken for granted.

So keep the tradition’s alive and remember that things can change for a year but you can you can also create new memories. Nothing ever comes easy and everything that is worth having is worth doing. So keep that in mind during the holiday season. It isn’t what you get but what you can give to other people that matters.

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