#winning

 

Contrary to the title of this blog I feel like I’ve been losing lately. Over the course of the summer I was hit with harsh life situations that, in review, I did not handle well. Death of relatives and friends, money issues and the stress of filming and financing my first commercial all took a toll on me. I spent a lot of time feeling shitty about myself, and how I was handling life. I felt like I couldn’t roll with the punches and I was failing hard. I was ashamed of what my life looked like and anxious about paying my bills. I believed that I was trapped in a situation that I could work myself out of. Problem with that is, I was working but not getting anything done. My time wasn’t being spent well, so I was working hard, but working dumb.  Side hustling made me feel less anxious but I wasn’t really solving my money issues.
I got to the point that I couldn’t enjoy life. Summer is my favorite time of year. I feel like my city comes alive in the summer. Instead of going to rap concerts, hiking, hanging with friends I was working all the time. Despite the grind, the problems weren’t going away. My stress grew. My shame grew. My anger grew.
I was falling the fuck off.

 

I was scrolling through Facebook this week. I saw Issa Rae, Jackie Aina, Lena Waithe and started to feel bad. Jealous of their amazing growth and shine, my curated feed of black girl magic was killing me. I felt like trash. Not sure if I mentioned this, but I listen to a lot of podcasts. One of the many mentioned Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and it sparked a memory. In the book, Gladwell introduces the concept of 10,000 hours. Basically, to become the master of a craft you must invest at least 10,000 hours in developing their skills. I started this business 3 years ago. 1 hour on average a day x 365 days a year x 3 years =1095 hours. I want the shine. I want accolades. I want sales. I want security based on my creative gifts, but the reality is I have work to do.  It’s okay to be sad, or anxious, but it’s not okay to quit. This is the life I chose for myself. As my mom says this it’s the price you pay for the life you lead.  Losing isn’t being broke. Losing isn’t messing up. Losing is quitting before you win.
I have a renewed energy. It’s not some infomercial scam where I sell you the secrets to my smile. My energy is rooted in the realization I have I work to do. It’s wrapped in the reality that some days I will be straight trash and fail at everything. I am energetic because I am accepting that my imperfections and passions live in the same heart.

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New York State of Mind

I had a crazy weekend! I went to New York for a little work and play. I will make another post detailing what I learned about sourcing in New York soon. Right now I want to reflect on my free time in the city.

I stayed in an AirBnb in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York, during the trip. While the subway trips to Manhattan were long, it gave me an opportunity to explore New York’s second largest borough. As a kid I definitely romanticized the hometown of my favorite rappers, but it had more depth then I imagined. Brooklyn is basically a city on its own. It  has nicer and rougher neighborhoods, shopping, museums, families, parks, singles, bars, an oddly large quantity of churches, public housing projects and beautiful historic brownstones. I don’t think you could call this place one definitive thing, other than stimulating. Brooklyn is not boring.  I met up with a childhood friend and he showed me the sights in Fort Greene, which he taught me was an actual fort during the revolutionary war. I shared with him  my teenage dream of going to FIT, working for BabyPhat and owning one of those iconic brownstones the neighborhood. Refocusing on those old goals help to remember my  reason for building my business.

Another experience that helped change my perspective was attending Spike Lee’s Bk loves MJ block party. The city honored him by naming the block where he shot “Do the Right Thing” after the film. For the last 6 years he has been throwing a Michael Jackson themed block party to celebrate Jackson’s birthday. Dancing in the street with beautiful Brooklynites as Sway Calloway and Spike Lee  joked on stage was awesome! And more importantly it didn’t happen overnight. 27 years ago Spike released the controversial film on a small budget. Today he can use his business and celebrity to bring joy to his neighborhood. The shit is going to take the time that it takes. When your done you can dance in the sun to “ Rock With You”. Hell, I would even advise dance breaks at the beginning and middle of the journey as well, but always remember that it is a journey. It might take a couple decades to be an icon.

Lastly the intoxicating cultural experience known as Afropunk. I bought tickets to the two day festival at Commodore Barry park and it was money well spent! Afropunk is  black, indie, inclusive, and creative. The loving vibes and amazing talent displayed gave me life. Below are some of the beautiful souls I met. If you see yourself pictured email me so that I can link to your work, Instagram, SoundCloud, whatever. Peace Brooklyn. Thank you!

 

Feelin’ Myself

I’m neither a member of the Beehive or a Barb, but time must be taken out for the this video. Because, reasons.


#FashionGoals

I NEED AN ODB HOODIE NOW!!! It’s so me! According to Clair at Fashion Bomb Daily it’s by Post Game

#FitnessGoals

I just got back from a run because I want a Barbie doll body to cover with a jersey swimsuit this summer. Preferably a late 90’s Supersonics home jersey. I look good in white ya’ll.

#VacationGoals

One of my OG homies is so deep in the beygency, I can’t give her name. It would ruin her cover in the real world. When I shared the video on my Facebook, she said all she saw was us on vacation, because with who would you rock fur coats in swimming pool? Your bestie, that’s who.

Ego

I haven’t been doing a very good about celebrating my small victories, but this week I purchased  sample fabric and secured a photographer and makeup artist for my lookbook fashion shoot. I need to be feelin’ myself, right now.

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Starting is Not the Hard Part

Spoke to a friend today. I am trying to inspire her to jump start her career. Maybe I’m a hypocrite. I have a day job and haven’t even completed the patterns for my line. Shit, I don’t even have blocks, but I have a dream. And I have been trying to match the dream with action.


Recently my mantra is “Do one thing…everyday”. One thing toward the line. One thing toward health. One thing toward happiness. I have this 5 year plan, but I feel if I do one thing every day toward it, I will meet every goal.


For me it is about consistency. I want to learn to be consistent. Not just for success, but peace. It’s the highs and lows that wear me down; make me ill. I want the best quality of life. I want to achieve my dreams and be here to enjoy the fruits of my labor.


With my friend, we discussed a plan for her to visit for a couple weeks and job hunt. I don’t have it all together, but I am a good starter. Hopefully I can pass that on to her. In the process, hopefully I can learn to be a better finisher as well.