New American Dream | Where's the Money, Honey?

via Flickr’s R.estLooking out over a very gloomy harbor … I’m reading the NYTimes re the collapse of American bailout talks (for now, we assume) and the U.S. government’s seizure of  Washington Mutual. Perhaps I should just hunker down under the covers.

This is not an option for any of us. We must carryon, yes! It’s time for deep thinking.

Today the headlines demand fear or optimism.  I choose my rose-colored glasses, but I’m deeply concerned about America. It’s time for a change … we must grow up. I adore frat boys, but our reckless pyramid schemes are wreaking havoc around the globe.

Where Is Dagny Taggart? Not Ayn Rand, Dagny please. Dagny soars over Rand herself, being everything Rand wanted to be. We need Dagny.

Temporary Detour

There’s a mini fight going on in my brain. Rhapsody swings my mood, but then stops to adjust my glasses.

Looking at the wet pavement below, I must see reality outside my New York window, because it’s dire. Suddenly I’m thinking of my United high-flying, first-class life at Victoria’s Secret.

Goodness knows, I need a dose of American optimism this morning. Living in the heart of Wall Street, there’s a famous print of the Wall Street bull on the living room wall. 

Rhapsody’s about going places and accomplishing major goals — the all American story. A young woman in Minnesota, playing “Rhapsody in Blue” in a piano recital, I knew that I would fly that coup, too … a birdie in the wind, flying Eastward to this place … my adored New York.

She is there, lying on her stomach turning the pages of the World Book encyclopedia, pouring over the same New York photos night after night. What a dreamer!

Herbie Hancock & Lang Lang - Rhapsody in Blue

At Victoria’s Secret I was flying high in United’s Rhapsody skies. There’s a good luck star over my head, making the world my oyster. 

Leaving the Gilded Cage

I’m thinking of the night in 1995, out over the Atlantic … a glass of Johnny Walker Black Label in my hand and the ocean below. Four women in a three-room Gulfstream jet … the smell of fine leather … a private steward, doubly trained as the plane’s mechanic.

We were a rare, exhiliarating sight in American business (at least for women).

via Flickr’s Diorama SkyI was squirming in my seat that night … looking into the depths of the setting sun (in back of the plane, of course, flying East to Paris). Two of my colleagues were building gorgeous new homes. Women in love with interior design and a strong dose of the good life, we scanned brochures of water faucets.

In fact, our discussion centered around the merits of the perfect gold water faucet.

Looking out the window, my own heart was tight with emotion and mental discomfort. I asked myself a simple question: “Ms. Linda (then), how is it that you came to New York, a starry-eyed young business woman with a big heart and strong social conscience … how is it that with all the subjects you want to discuss in life … you are Paris-bound; your regular driver waiting to take you to your $500 a night hotel room; and you are talking about gold water faucets high over the Atlantic in a private jet?”

Mind you, I am not being judgemental about gold water faucets. I visit frequently. We have a section on Anne of Carversville called Beautiful Life, and it features luxurious experiences. I’m expanding this section … but probably no water faucets. More likely eco-safe safaris.

My conflict centered around the fact that we weren’t talking about ideas or solutions to global problems . No talk about art, ideas or music.  Frankly, our president wasn’t so engrossed in the topic either. At moments like this, it’s difficult for me to feign interest. I become quiet and reflective.

I couldn’t answer the question that I asked myself out over the Atlantic… how had I arrived at this high-flying, Victoria’s Secret life — and was I happy in it. This chapter was a wonderful accident in my existence, one that opened my eyes to the whole world. But it was time to get off the roller coaster because it was unreal. I was living the good life with other people’s money. This was a charade.

One should leave any job at the top of her game, in my playbook. I had an apology that mattered to me, and I was ready to pack my bags.

Next Challenge, Please

When our plane touched down at Le Bourget airport, and I descended the steps to our driver waiting with the car, I knew — like it or not — my life was on a new course. It took over a year to navigate my departure, but I was gone from Victoria’s Secret when that plane landed … adrift again in the strong currents of life.

Dropping anchor has taken more time than I anticipated. When I look at each year, I see the progress … intense progress actually but always using the skills I knew best — corporate consulting. Today my life is headed towards bedrock.

Digital Lifeline

The Captain is happy to report that her little life boat intact.

My ride this morning is a prime example of the effect of digital experience on deep thinking and self-affirmation … by strangers.  I wrote about this reality two week’s ago, with my NieNie blog about Stephanie Nielson.

Dreams With Momentum

I’m a dreamer but for better or worse, I’m also an executor. In reality, I avoid willy-nilly daydreams. Anne seeks action and execution, when brains are sparking sparks and neurons on fire.

The wonders of cyberspace often involve taking a new turn. We can become lost  easily… tied up in our own proverbial silk panties, never reaching the destination we sought in the first place.

Good luck was mine this morning, staying on course … just dropping out of the sky in my deep thinking parachute. It was a perfect, on-my-feet landing, crisis or no crisis outside my window.

You, Too, Have Dreams

via Flickr’s vaXzineDo not fret over what is lost forever … think about your life and what you will DO next. Most things are possible, with focused baby steps. Don’t aim for a grand slam and then quit when you strike twice, fearing the third one putting you out of the game.

If I allowed the pitcher to rattle me . . well, I’d be on the front porch of some little house on the prairie. Nothing wrong with that life choice… but it’s not Anne’s best script, for herself or others in her care.

We must look this damn economic spitball straight in the eye and not flinch. It’s my belief in Dagny Taggert that gets me through this worsening economic reality. 

I obviously thrive in this game!!  I’m still a wild child … you should see me dancing on the elliptical machine. It might be hailing golf balls, and I still get a groove on! MWAH!