As y’all know, ya girl is tired! HA. Working that 9-5, weekends, nights, and every hour in between ain’t easy!
…And whoever told ya it was, they’re lying! HA. In fact, I like to call it, one big, fat, messy, juggling act.
Like many of us, I initially created this space as an expressive outlet, a passion project, per se, to wind down after the 9-5. I knew “the dream” of building an online community and meaningful presence one day would require tons of sacrifice… but dang, I really had no idea what that would eventually look like! And I think so many of us go into this blindly because we don’t actually have a frame of reference. We see these “glamorous” lifestyles of those in the influencer world while scrolling at our cubicles and wonder if we are destined for something greater. Blogging and IG gave me the freedom to explore those big questions and I am so entirely grateful. TIRED. BUT GRATEFUL. BUT I REPEAT, TIRED! HA..
At the end of the day, I DID ASK FOR THIS, we all did by signing up for it BUT since all I’ve ever heard were blanket statements as to how people really do make it work, I thought I would share the truth that I wish I heard, starting out.
The statements I always hear is that “time management” & “hard work” will be the trick! And althoughhh, there is truth to this, it is not always so black and white.
IT WILL VARY… IT WILL LOOK DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE! From the start of my social media journey through hitting 10K, I was working full time in an environment that was extremely low maintenance and flexible. I had the time to work on my passions while in the office without disrupting my role within the company. In addition to the time, I also had the energy and mental capacity to continue working once I returned home. And ultimately, I was able to attain that work-life balance everyone aims for. This was not to say, that is was EASY managing both my full-time job and side hustle, BUT it wouldn’t have been fair to share with the world that “time management” was my secret sauce in balancing the two, when in reality, it was my particular circumstances that allowed me to do so.
Now a days, that is soooo not the case! My current role is completely hands on and 10000x more demanding. I do not have the time to check my phone or work on my side projects while in the office. I work M-F, and weekends, 12 hour days, long commutes, and thats just my full-time position! Blogging and IG legitimately take up every single hour in between, excluding 1am to 5am. TEAM NO SLEEP!
HOW I DO IT: HUSTLE YOUR TIRED LITTLE HEART OUT
I’ve juggled, up to 4 jobs at once in my time but never have I been more exhausted YET fulfilled in my entire life. It is such a time consuming grind but this passion of mine is legit what sets my soul on fire! When you are creating with PURPOSE, all of your energies are put forth; physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional. So slap on an extra 50-60 hour work week, it is likely you got one tired being! But what has kept my spirit ALIVE is the love I have for my craft. The itch I have to create and connect with others, keeps me afloat. But I know this is not for everyone. The amount of sacrifice and dedication this juggling act takes, is insane. Free time, who?!?! HAHA.
But I know it will all be worth while! There won’t just be some late nights and early mornings, but prepare to have ALL of your nights be late, and ALL of your mornings be early. Ya girl is tired AFFFF but also sooo freaking happy that I found the path that God has chosen for me! In the beginning, I honestly had no effing idea just how much work goes into this! I mean, posting photos of yourself? How hard can that actually be? LMAO! ….HARD. When your intent is to build an authentic community on here, you have to be willing to open your entire heart and soul to the world. Not only are you aiming to create beautiful content, but you are exploring what exactly your purpose is, and what about yourself makes you stand out from the rest. Its an emotional rollercoaster at times, because these are pressing questions that may take a lifetime for some to discover. But if you know in your heart, this is the path that makes you happy, liberated, excited, challenged, etc etc, you must go after it! And with force, tenacity, faith, and purpose! YOU WILL BE TIRED, IT WILL NOT BE EASY, BUT IF YOU WANT IT BAD ENOUGH, YOU WILL WORK TOWARDS THE BIGGER PICTURE.
WHAT IS THE BIGGER PICTURE?
Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted a platform that served. I wanted to share my voice with the world. In those days, when I say voice, I actually mean, my vocal talents. My dad was a musician and his love for music had evidently passed onto me. As a baby, I would rehearse songs, before I could even make out full sentences. Up until college, this is what I knew for sure. I wanted to spread joy through my soulful sounds. But as college gave me other avenues to explore, my passion shifted into Sports and Entertainment Broadcasting. I fell in love with the idea of spreading relief from all of the ugliness in the world. But as I was finding my way in that industry, my morale suffered. That industry was a beast in itself. It wasn’t really what you knew, but who you knew. Although, I was working for a large network, the ability to move up the ranks seemed utterly impossible. What was the use of having so much passion for a field, and the desire to share my knowledge with others, when the accessibility to do so was so slim. Rejection offer after rejection offer, it came to a point where I said, “if I can’t find my way in, I will make a way of my own.” And THIS is where my life AND perspective shifted. I already had a following on social media, how about, I create a sports/entertainment podcast from my home studio? I had the necessary equipment but, as I was drafting ideas, my life was shook TF up by a dramatic break up. So, once the dust settled, I began a new chapter of my life, singlehood! Fast forward a couple of months later and then my dad passes away. It was a crazy ass time. As a way of coping, I began journaling my experiences. After some push from my best friend, I finally channeled those thoughts onto WordPress AKA this blog! At the time, I had no idea if anyone would even care what I had to say. Ah, two years later, here we are! I’ve connected with so many souls and it all started here. ..sharing my unfiltered voice and experiences with the world. This was what I was aiming to do… my entire life! This is where I am meant to be! I love it with my entire heart and soul! So long story long, my big picture, is to be able to do this full-time and inspire/connect with as many souls as possible! Until then…
CORPORATE WORLD-BY DAY
When I say, I have the best tribe out there, I truly mean it! I hear my phone buzz every few minutes and there is like this innate urge to want to respond and connect with every single message in that exact moment. But in my current workspace, 9/10 times that’s just not possible, UGH! This legit eats at me throughout the day. Ever since I was young, I’ve been notorious for “socializing” too much and like, not responding to my peeps in those moments, makes me feel just gross, HA!
During the few free moments I have while in the office, AKA water breaks, restroom breaks, etc. I’m like a ninja. It’s almost a game of mine, at this point. How many messages can I get to in the 1 minute walk to the restroom? How many comments can I respond to while sitting down on the toilet? How many emails can I sort through while buying food for lunch?
Once the work day is over, and after the almost 2 hour commute home, the real work begins.
From 6:30pm-1am is work mode.
There are so many nights, where the work day has physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually depleted my energies. Some nights, all I want to do is Netflix & Chill with my little family or legit just knock out. But I understand, that is no longer an option. If I want to live out this dream as much as I say I do, I need to put in the work. But again, this is not to say, “time management will be key” but more like, “be prepared to spend every waking hour, grinding towards your dream!”
Once I walk through that door, I change hats and begin the blog grind. Dinner is usually eaten with both my laptop and phone in hand. Many times, if bae and I know we are crunched for time and especially if a post is due at a certain time that evening, dinner is often pushed to the side lines.
I usually schedule out my posts for the week, but this can vary depending on the commute home, brand approvals, etc.
Lets say a post of mine is scheduled for tonight at 8pm. All day, bae and I are sending edits of the photo back and forth. Once, I am home at 6:30, I finally get the chance to truly connect with y’all! In the midst of this, we are sometimes, frantically getting the post ready.
Once the post goes live, I reply to DMs & comments/working on a blog post until usually midnight. From midnight until 1am, I am responding to emails and/or bae and I are planning our next shoot.
In an industry where, lighting and looking glam is everything (well not everything but uber important) shooting after work, post sunset and/or when you look entirely wrecked after a long day, is not really an ideal situation. And this is not to say, many of us don’t find ways to shoot M-F buttttt again, it’s not ideal.
SOME WAYS THAT WE HAVE SHOT DURING THE WEEK:
+ Take note of when your office will be having early closures. Mine usually has one 1x a month so its not common but when they do, I try to schedule one massive shoot before sundown.
+Transition into shooting indoors. Again, the lighting or lack thereof, can be an issue here but I would suggest either purchasing professional lighting equipment for your house or shoot first thing in the AM. For our recent Valentine’s Day Shoot, we did just this. Since bae and I both work long days, we were not able to style this shoot until 9PM. We finished setting up at 1AM. 4 hours of ballon blowing, measurements of the roses, taping, light testing, etc. Since it was getting late, we decided to leave everything on the bed, sleep on the couch and shoot before we left for work in the morning. Needless to say, we only slept a few hours in order to get the shot in time! LOL, the full time struggs!
So again, it is doable but if you are a full-timer, weekends will mean everything!
I usually work every Saturday so yet again, my weekends are limited… but I try to schedule my shoots for the weekend on Friday evening. Depending on how many collabs I have to shoot, I either split my outfits between the two days or solely shoot them all on one. I try my best to give myself one full day of “rest” but working Saturdays, kind of eliminates that option. Sundays are usually the day, we wake up early, location scout, shoot, edit, and post in the evening. And the process begins again for the week.
LEARNING WHEN TO SAY NO AND REST
UGH! So although, the hustle is real! So is fatigue and burnout! I’m really the last person who should be giving advice about this but I am here to tell y’all that I’ve FELTTTT the repercussions of not properly doing this. It can actually be really scary, how quickly your body and mental health can deteriorate. I see it like this; if you are constantly “producing” and “creating” you are pouring a bit of yourself each and every time. But if you are not watering the pot, nourishing it with Vitamin Sleep, soon enough, it’ll leave you dry. Dry of creativity, motivation, etc etc. We are NOT machines that just “do,” we are physical beings that require regeneration. And I, along with many others, associate rest with unproductiveness, especially when we have a lot on our plate, but this is the biggest fallacy. When I actually force myself to stay home and rest, (yes I say force) I legit feel lighter. I feel refreshed. And just inspired AF. So rest thy body, sis!
So, do I have this bullet point list on what you can do to juggle both? NOPE. Because it will vary on a case by case basis. And I’m still trying to figure it out. SOME WILL HAVE IT EASIER THAN OTHERS! SO DON’T GET WRAPPED UP IN THE COMPARISON GAME. Your productivity does not determine your worth! And for a long time, this “balance” may not be ideal, hell, there might not even be real balance at all…but I’d like to think, this is a work in progress. What I can say is that, though, this will take so much sacrifice, if you give this every single thing you have, it WILL all be worth it! I just know it! So, whatever it is that you’re in pursuit of, manifest that sh*t every single day and watch it unfold! OKURRR.