New York State of Mind
For a sense of renewed spirit and energy, most people will go on vacation to a sandy beach, or get a massage, but me, when I'm feeling like I need a bit of a pick-me-up, I head to New York City. Whether I stay for seven hours, or seven days, I always leave feeling energetic, optimistic, and like I can take on anything. Christopher and I have been working on this blog for the last three years, and this was the first year we've ever attended Fashion Week; we were also hired to help film some segments for the local news here, so it was cool to be there as both a blogger and a freelancer. It was quite a surreal experience, to be honest, being invited to shows in general felt like, "Wow! We're not invisible!" — I'm sure I'm not invisible, but, in an industry that usually caters to the already affluent or popular, to get invited as a tiny little blogger from Virginia, it just seemed crazy. Three years ago, when I started my blog, it was a way for me to do something creative, while showcasing my talent for design in my spare time. Around that same time, I was laid off from my job, as an Admin Assistant in Arlington, when the company had to downsize, instead of feeling down about the situation, I felt a certain freedom, and I sensed that this was my silver lining. I had already been feeling like corporate America wasn't for me, but, I wasn't sure how I could break out of something that kept my bills paid—then, when I got laid off, I just thought, "This is my chance," My first thought was, perhaps, I could finally find a job in the field I went to college for, which is Graphic Design, but, I had no luck. I've always felt like I was a good designer, so, not being able to find studio work in a field where I was already freelancing was a total bummer.
I thought, maybe it had something to do with my portfolio, so when I started The Glossier, I planned on my site serving two purposes: I could share my love of fashion and beauty with you all, and at the same time, I could use this blog as my portfolio. Here are my photos, my designs, my vision, my everything, in hopes that one day, I would have a huge online archive of all my capabilities and talents that I could show potential employers in the publication field. In a broad sense, my plan worked. The only difference is, instead of working for someone else, I work for myself (with Christopher as my partner-in-crime). The response we get from people about our photo and video content on this site has been great, and it's landed us opportunities to take on similar projects for other businesses and bloggers, including our latest gig at NYFW. It took me a really long time to understand that I wasn't getting those initial design jobs, because those jobs weren't for me. Those opportunities weren't meant for me. It's hard not to feel bitter about getting rejected from jobs you know you're qualified for, but that's because there's something bigger in store for you—just think, if I had been hired somewhere, what a difference it would have made in this story.
I continue to feel extremely grateful for all of this, even for being laid off, which was the catalyst for it all. I've grown so much in three years, and learned so much about myself. I learned that I can literally do anything I put my mind to—I've always felt that, but now, I know it to be absolutely true. Three years ago, there was this crippling internal struggle; should I carry on with a plan that I wasn't sure would work, or should I just continue to apply for jobs until I land something. Bills had to be paid, after all. The minute I chose one thing over the other, and focused all my energy into moving forward with The Glossier, is when I started to see a change. Everything was stagnant because I wasn't willing to make a solid decision one way or the other. I learned that you can't succeed in anything, if one foot is through the door going one direction, and your other foot is back trying to get you to go the other way—put your whole heart, both feet, and all your energy into something, and it's incredible the pace in which you will move forward.
New York is filled with great opportunity, but it's also a great motivator. It reminds me to keep moving—just because you reach one goal doesn't mean that you're done. Complacency will stop you dead in your tracks, so, never settle. The City is also so energizing, even when you're dead tired, you can't help but be swept up in its atmosphere. When I'm there, I absolutely feel like I'm just a step away from something more amazing than what I could ever imagine. On the surface, it's dirty and rough, but if you can see past that facade, you'll see a city of incredibly talented, motivated, and hard-working people. There's no hustle that compares to the ones in New York, and when I leave here, I'm always hoping that a little rubs off on me.
All I know is, when the odds seem stacked, and the pressure is heavy, that's when you just have to keep pushing, there is always something better on the other side of struggling. Struggling makes you tough, it teaches you to think fast on your feet, and more than anything, it makes you humble. I've never felt so much gratitude in my whole life, than I do now. So, I just want to pay it forward, by telling my story, which will hopefully encourage someone out there reading this to just keep going. Never stop, never give up, never quit, never lose sight of the bigger picture—look what happened to me! I'm not anyone particularly special, I don't do anything extraordinary, I just have a vision, and I do my best to execute it. I now have a full-time
job career that I love, I still get to blog, and I'm much happier, and much more confident about my future now, even though I don't always know what it holds. If this past week was any indication, I'd say, things are looking great!
Finally, my advice for those of you who aren't sure what to do to get out of your rut, I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes: "I don't know what I want, but I know what I don't want." — sometimes, we can't pinpoint exactly who or what we want to be in life, but we all can say for sure what we don't want, and maybe, sometimes, those are the things that have to drive you into the unknown, and onto something greater. It's possible for anyone to become anything, all you have to do is believe in yourself, and trust the process. It's never easy, in fact, this has all been incredibly difficult for me to deal with at times, but the alternative is going directly back to where I was before, and well, I know I don't want that.
A huge goal of mine was met last week in New York, and now, I'm ready to capitalize on that, and keep grinding! Thanks to New York for your endless energy and motivation to hustle, and a huge thank you to my family, friends, and even complete strangers I meet through social media who encourage me, and tell me I make you proud! You all keep me feeling like I can't ever give up on myself, and I can't wait to share what happens with you next!
PS. Show reviews, and recaps will come very soon! I'm editing the photos and videos as we speak!
Photography by Christopher Cain, Hey Bulldog Studios