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I started writing this blog and expressing my thoughts and feelings on certain topics when I was preparing to go to South Africa. It started as an online portfolio for my work so that people across seas could see what I do creatively, beyond the Resume_TyealHowell.pdf.
I shared moments of adventure with some of my closest friends, I’ve shared reflections of all my college experiences coming to end, I shared what I experienced in South Africa and how I felt when I landed. I’ve shared a few things.
I want to share more. I’m realizing that as I continue to grow and experience life, expressing myself and my feelings through writing is therapeutic for me.
And I need some therapy right now.
2018 has literally just begun and SO many monumental things have happened to me.
I landed my very first full-time salary job. The building I work in is in one of the trendiest parts of Los Angeles–West Hollywood. Our office is on the 9th floor. I have a special key card (recently misplaced) to get onto the elevator and up to our offices. Once I’m up there, the outside walls are literally floor to ceiling windows overlooking Hollywood Hills. If I wear heels, they make that sophisticated click clack noise as I walk down the hallway. Don’t even get me started on the community snack closet. Lit.
It’s a dream. It’s a dream I’ve had for years to be honest.
My daydreams in high school were of me walking down busy city streets with a purpose, heading to a meeting or leaving the office. Being a professional woman, in a professional job, with a professional to do list.
I’m still a little shook about it and I’ve been here about 5 months now. I actually got a promotion about a month ago on top of all that.
Like these fire pics my photographer friend Serrandon took of me. :)
Lots of feelings about all that (good + bad) but just wait. There’s more.
When I first moved to LA I had $500 to my name. All my graduation card cash to be specific. I came for an unpaid summer internship. Where is the security in that? There isn’t any.
I had no family, no network, no friends. No clue what the heck I was doing.
Summer internship ended, I found a part time job with a YouTuber.
Since then I’ve learn about the career of social media influencers. The power of social media influencers. The danger of social media influencers. The facade of social media influencers.
Los Angeles is a crazy city in itself, because so many people have moved here to be “successful” and there are many different definitions of success. Specifically in the entertainment industry, people came here to be someone else. To act. The city is full of actors.
I digress, after I found this part time gig I felt a little more secure. Co-workers turned into friends and my waist was getting slimmer, I had a little bit more money to spend and things were really looking up a bit.
Part-time became 5 days a week and some Saturdays and then things were real good. I spent a year and a half there and there were talks of downsizing the team and I just felt like it was time for me to move on.
Back to the resume drawing board. How could I convince an employer that my time spent posting instastories and organizing a get ready with me video shoot for YouTube could add value to their business?
I learned that in LA, that’s easy. Social media is poppin right now.
So I landed this new gig. Came in with ambition and tons of optimism and got promoted shortly after.
Even shorter after, I signed a lease for the first time on a 2 bedroom apartment with an aspiring actress from Boston. My own room. My own kitchen. My own bathroom. My closet right now is the biggest closet I’ve ever had in my life.
Before moving here, I lived in an airbnb in the heart of Koreatown for 5 months. (not the trendiest part of the city– if you were wondering) Then I met a Lyft driver who happened to be renting out a room in his Grandma’s old house. I slept on the couch in his living room for a good 4 months, then a friend let me have her futon. Then he put a curtain up to give me a bit of privacy. Eventually, I got an actual room with a door. Big steps. Uncomfortable situations. I stuck it out for about a year and a half. The guy who owned the house has turned into a big brother figure for me. My LA big brother.
I broke down to him about missing my family, feeling overwhelmed, having too many goals and not enough money. He turned the basement into a studio for me to record Ryan and I's podcast. He really has been a life saver.
LOOK AT ME NOOOWW.
I’m looking at myself and part of me can’t even believe it. I spent so much time praying in agreement for things God was working on behind the scenes, having faith that the next opportunity was on the way and being so genuinely grateful for everything I had in the moment. I was grateful for the airbnb bunk bed because it was shelter that many didn’t have. I was grateful for the part-time instastory-ing job because it allowed me to eat.
I still don’t really have any idea what I’m doing. But God does. He knows what I’m doing now, what I’ll be doing a year from now and most importantly, why I’m doing all of this.
This wasn’t to boast about the recent accomplishments I’ve have. This was to share the behind the scenes. The real. It hasn’t been easy and I haven’t been twirling in pink streamers for the past two years. I’ve been praying and crying and working and working some more. A friend of mine said we’re supposed to put in these long hours in our 20s so that our 30s are smooth.
I’m down for that. It kinda sucks sometimes, but I figure it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Have patience and have faith that what you want will come to fruition. Because it will. The words you speak out loud are powerful, so speak life to the areas in your life that are draining you.
Watch happens next.
Confidence feels like the first smell of free, GOOD coffee on a calm and peaceful Friday morning... or late afternoon because you don't work Fridays and the bills are paid.
It feels like the absence of self-doubt in social settings.
Confidence feels like an adrenaline rush right after waking up in the morning realizing you're excited to be you today. You're excited to express yourself today. You're excited to try something new today. You're excited to meet someone new today. You're excited to be YOU today.
Confidence feels like I woke up like this but I know my brows are on point because of this new brow liner I just copped. Confidence feels like a wash and go with no care in the world of what other, non-wash and goers think of it. Confidence feels like shorts that are too big because you've lost weight since last summer but don't care to go buy new ones because... hello... you've lost weight since last summer and it feels good to know that. Confidence feels like looking in the mirror and seeing beyond your reflection and smiling because your heart and soul feel beautiful today.
Confidence feels good.
I think confidence looks like this:
In 2012, Table Mountain was officially inaugurated as one of the seven geographical wonders of the world.
Since the day I arrived in this city I've been in awe of the mountain that overlooks it all. It's gorgeous. I wonder if the locals realize the beauty that surrounds them every day because it's easy to take advantage of something you've always had. I've gotten a deeper understanding of that statement since I've been here as well.
I wrote this a couple years ago.
I think it still has some philosophical meaning to it. When I was living in Cape Town, South Africa for 2 months I thought about if anyone took the mountains for granted, every time I looked up into the sky.
Being so connected and close to the natural beauties in Cape Town made me feel so grounded and protected. That's why I LOVE hiking in Los Angeles. My friend and I go every weekend, it's amazing.
Anyways, the main point of this blog post is to reminiscence on the mountains of Cape Town, South Africa. I also wanted to remind you not to take advantage of the mountains in your life, you don't know what they could be protecting you from.
Going new places and meeting new people teaches you a lot of things. Some lessons are more magical and harder to describe than others.
I'm learning who I am in a deep and philosophical sense, but also in a real small detailed kinda way. Like, I now know that I perfer to pick up my luggage at the baggage claim area of LAX only when I'm listening to Touch My Body by Mariah Carey. I know that I get really nerdy inside of bookstores in Brooklyn and could talk to the people who work there for hours. I know that when Tyeal comes up with an idea that seems a little challenging to accomplish, she challenges herself to see how fast and efficient she can get it done. I've learned that I have this weird obsession with cleaning up any public space that I eat in, even at Del Taco, epesically when all the other tables are dirty... I like, wipe down the whole table and seat and throw all the trash away. I really like finding up and coming music artists on Twitter and tweeting them when I listen to their music. I'm able scroll on Instgram for 5 hours continuously. I own more shoes right now than I've ever owned in my young adult life. And I own 4 times that many notebooks and books. I know that I think Downtown LA is really cool. So is Venice Beach. I know that learning more about my natural hair makes me happy. I really really know that braiding my hair at night really makes me happy for at least 3 days in a row. My last braid out was bomb.
The isolation I've experienced in Los Angeles has taught me a lot about myself and it's pretty cool to learn more about who you are.
Pay attention to what makes you smile today. Pay attention to who you are. I hope you learn something new 😘
New levels, new devils.
Mo money, mo problems.
If you ain't got no haters, you ain't poppin.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
Alone time sucks, but I see how good for me it is. I'm a little less insecure because of it. I'm a little more sure of myself because of it. I think I'm a little cooler because of it.
Living thousands of miles away from my little brother sucks. Forgetting to call my grandpa sucks. Not hearing my dad play his guitar in the basement sucks. Surprisingly, not hearing my mom nag me about everything sucks. I stay on the phone a little longer now. I post more selfies on Facebook now. I like Ohio a lot more now.
Eating the same thing for lunch 5 days of the week sucks. It feels good to have food though. I spend more time on Pinterest in the recipe boards now. Boys that can cook are a hell of a lot more appealing now. (Should have retained more from that high school relationship)
Walking 2 miles home after a shitty Monday sucks. Walking 2 miles home after work 5 days a week sucks. My pants fit a lot better now. They're actually a tad bit loose now. I'm gonna start doing lunges more. Hopefully I can look in the mirror and tell my girls my butt is getting bigger soon.
I just call these moments growing pains now. I know I'll have a brighter day tomorrow. In 2 weeks I'll forget about this shitty Monday.
I'll be better because of it.
If you're not afraid to die, you won't be afraid to live.
When I first heard that quote it hit me really hard. I've always took pride in not being afraid of anything, but death though? That just sounds so abrupt. The end. It's over.
However, if death will inevitably happen to us all then what do we have to be afraid of?
In knowingness it makes sense; living without fear is the ultimate level of freedom.
My definition of living is creating, as I believe I was created in the image of an artist. Creating is a part of what makes me come alive, whether that's writing, drawing, or even editing a photo. It's creative and a creation made by me to fulfill life.
So I'm not afraid to die and I'm not concerned with the final destination of life because I believe it is already taken care of. I didn't know I'd be where I am today, living out my dreams in Los Angeles, California, but what I did know is that I had nothing to be afraid of. My dreams will become my reality, my art will give me life, and my goals are attainable.
So I am not afraid to die. I'm ready to live every single day of my life with the most life possible. In 2017, I want every day to push me as forward as possible to my goals.
When I wake up in the morning I want to change my routine. I want to practice notions that will elevate my mood and create the best energy for the start of a productive day. On my commute to work, I want to listen to music that is inspiring and podcasts that discuss things that I ought to know in order to reach my goals. Before I go to sleep I want to read books and articles that will give me more knowledge than how I started the day so that I might end on the same frequency, if not greater, than how I started. On the weekends I want to really take the time to invest in my self care and re-energize myself for the next week to come!
If you can relate to my desires then let's hold each other accountable to manifesting this lifestyle. I want to use my blog as a platform of encouragement for people like me. I want to live for the day and make the moment I am in, truly count. So, what are you afraid of? What is the worst case scenario of your fear? Is the worst case scenario really THAT impossible to live through?
I'm interested to know if this has inspired you or at least made you think about facing your fears. Tweet me, text me, call me, or slide in my DM's... even though, I am kinda over our generation's obsession with social media communication. I genuinely want to know if you found this inspiring, so let me know :)
I passed out two business cards at the last networking event I attended in LA. I also swapped IG names with six people. I've realized I'm way more likely to stay in touch with and connect with those creatives I now follow on Instagram. I can see the work they're doing and events they're hosting as soon as they post them. Business cards just don't give you instant updates of someone's activities. I promise I can look at your IG and make a better business judgment about your products and services than I can from your business card these days. Times have changed folks. Social media is not a game, it's a business and an art. If you're not hip, I hope I can help. 😝
❤️ WHY I LUH THE GRAM❤️
I don't post many selfies and I don't really monitor the number of likes I get, but I really do "luh the gram." I can get sidetracked SO easily, as I'm sure you do too. My favorite thing to do on Instagram is look for artists. If you're an artist of any kind, Instagram should be your best business friend, BBF. If you create ANYthing; clothes, words of poetry, photos, videos, paintings, drawings... anything, IG is where you need to be! There is SO much potential for marketing yourself on Instagram, but here are
5 WAYS TO MAKE IG YOUR NEW BUSINESS CARD
The "Contact" button
First and foremost, thank the IG saints for the contact button. 🙏🏾 Straight to business, no DM's necessary now that we have the contact button. If you're selling anything or even offering services that require consultations, switch your IG account to the business profile so people can contact you directly via email.
Visual Story Telling
I audit my IG on a regular basis. Tap that profile icon in the bottom right and take a look at the visual story your profile is communicating to people who follow you. Is your work showcased? Is there a good balance between personal and business? Can people tell what you do? If you want to inspire people, are your captions thought provoking? Do you post quotes? Are your quotes branded? Can people tell where in the world you are? What's your story?
Really though, can people tell where you are? Not your home address or frequently visited locations 👀 but what city in what state are you located. If you travel a lot, that's super cool! Use the location tags so people know you're on the move. If you're a photographer, try using more location-based hashtags under your posts so people can find you when they search the hashtag.
If your connections are heavy you better let the gram know. Tagging your dope friends on Instagram instantly gives people an insight into your network. As you know, "your network is your net worth."
Bio & Website URL
The bio section of IG is super crucial. Space is limited and creativity really stands out. You only have so many characters here and this is the space that defines all those pretty photos underneath. It defines you, and I know us millennials hate being defined, but it is what it is. Choose your words (and emojis 😏) wisely.
Here are a few screenshots of IG's that I think are flawlessly curated. Let me know your thoughts!