Let’s be honest, I’ve been awkward my whole life. I’ve laughed at the wrong time, floated off in conversation, tried to slink away while chatting, misspoke with like some odd fact or joke, and all kinds of other hilariously dumb things. I’ve done a pretty solid job at managing that part of myself, but now I’m facing a new challenge. Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of really cool stuff, and one thing I’ve been struggling with is showing up completely and authentically in these fabulous newfound situations and just…showing up confidently. This might sound like a humble brag but please understand, when you’re naturally awkward, life can get weird real quick.
It doesn’t help that the people I’ve met over the last few months, I feel, are completely out of my league. They’re accomplished, ridiculously educated, influential, powerful and in many ways STOOPID wealthy. In conversation I find myself staring over their heads (or at their nose) and asking, what do I have to offer here? I know I should feel confident in the moment because at the very least, I’m well-dressed and have a cool role I can speak on. But yeaahhhh, that still doesn’t stop me from feeling all insecure high-schooler or like an outsider.
Am I crazy? Do you ever think about any of this stuff when you’re around “important” people? What do I have to offer? It rings like a church bell in my subconscious, but now I’ve been forcing myself to do a gut check. Smart– check. Amazing dad jokes– double check. A pretty interesting background– triple check. Ding ding dingggggg, I’ve got a lil sumn sumn to work with here!
It’s hard to believe channeling self-confidence can be such a challenge in the moment, but it is. Imposter’s syndrome is live and well in these streets folks but I refuse to let it take me out the game. And no more yelling “RETREAT, RETREAT!” or suffering from word vomit when people are simply trying to have casual conversation. I am aggressively working to just be. How? By slowing down, doing my gut check, and practicing these 5 things I picked up between my therapist and my mentor:
1. Take a deep breath.
2. Straighten your posture.
3. Pause to think before you respond.
4. Try to recall something you’re proud of yourself about. (You’re validating yourself here.)
5. If you get really nervous…excuse yourself to a quiet space to breathe a bit and gather your thoughts.
This all might sound a bit goofy, but social anxiety is real and manifests differently for people–especially if you feel weighed down by expectations from others. Getting more comfortable in your skin and confident takes work, but it’s well worth it. I’m finally starting to get a glimpse of the other side and it’s absolutely liberating.
Have any of you dealt with social anxiety, imposter syndrome, or even just being plain awkward? How do you deal? <3
You guys might have remembered I referenced my good friend Ameerah in my articleEvery Little Stepa few weeks back. She’s a true gem and one of the most phenomenal people I know. Not only is she a beautiful wife and mother, but she’s a fabulous business woman who is taking the world by storm. This past weekend, Ameerah invited women across Houston Metro area to join her in a private brunch at Sak Fifth’s 51Fifteen in celebration of sisterhood and her lifestyle event series…Brunch and Slay.
There was champagne and appetizers flowing from the very start of the experience. We were practically waited on hand and foot. Droves of beautiful women dressed to the nines were literally EVERYWHERE you hear me?! If someone wanted a wife, Ameerah held the key to the treasure box. I kid you not – the style was on point, the hair was on point, the ambition was on point and the positivity was overflowing. The assortment of women in attendance varied in all shades of hues and backgrounds. It was the one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
But back to the actual event…it started with a networking cocktail hour, then we were moved into the dining area for our first course and a fashion demonstration by stylist, Ashley Kahn.We mingled a bit more, ate our second course and then moved to the bar area for desert and more mimosas. After a bit of more chatting we were ushered into the event space to hear the panels.
Ameerah created a lavish experience for her guests. I can only imagine what she’s going to come up with next. If you’re into unique lifestyle events, make sure to visit her website for more information HERE. I clearly had a blast. <3
From left to right: JJ, Quiana, Ky, Crystal, and Ashley.
I know, I know. You’re probably wondering how quitters could possibly win but I’m here to tell you quitters can indeed win. Quitters can win when they quit the dead end jobs that hold them back from pursuing more fulfilling and financially lucrative livelihoods. At least that’s what business coach Miara Shaw proposed to a room full of super fly and ambitious women on last Saturday.
This is one of those ironic stories because I wasn’t really expecting to go, I already had plans. I didn’t find out about the panel until the week of and if you know anything about Houston and this last weekend, EVERYTHING was going on. I knew that Pride was going to be a big deal and that I had a scholarship banquet to attend, but when I saw the flyer, I knew I needed to be in the room (thanks Ashley)! I had to make it happen however I could. I rushed from my great-aunt’s banquet (even at the protest of my mom), waited 15 minutes on valet while observing colorfully dressed and scantily clad people excitedly heading to the parade, and then zipped over The Star off of Rusk for the big event. It was less than five minutes away from the banquet location and there was complimentary valet. I’m telling you, it was meant to be.
Miara dropping jewels.
The building was beautiful, so I knew I would be in for a treat. I, sadly, was a little late but popped in right while introductions were being made. As I walked through the small audience, I saw bright smiles and fabulous outfits. Everyone was dressed to the nines. I was greeted by a sweet woman in yellow, who turned out to be theMs. Miara and immediately took my seat. There sat life coach Quiana Larae, media personality Ky Meyer, (athlete, author, and Ebony/Jet Magazine strategic partnership manager) Crystal Hadnott and my buddy (founder and president of Medley Inc.) Ashley Small in living color. Mediating was Miara and media personality JJ. It was so cool. I had seen these women working different projects and events all over the city but now had the opportunity to sit in on a super candid conversation about their moves from traditional career paths to entrepreneurship.
They didn’t wast any time either and dug right in. The topics ranged from transitioning from your old job to tips on strategizing your new work flow for entrepreneurial ventures. It was like they were there just to tell me how to run full speed ahead into my new life. They gave in depth perspective on living purposeful lives, branding, confidence boosters and all kinds of other cool topics as well. Everyone felt so familiar and kindred. And when it was close to wrapping up, they encouraged us all to network and to get to know one another. It was a blast. I met so many new faces and got re-acquainted with familiar ones.
The intimate “Quitters Do Win!” panel at The Star.
This panel was definitely the boost I needed to keep my stamina up for this season of my hustle. I’m so glad I was able to attend and I’ll definitely continue to invest in myself by popping in to more meaningful networking events like these.
Is there anything that you are doing to motivate yourself while working at your current job or preparing for a transition into another field? Please share, I’d love to hear all about it! <3
So I’ll start with, I’m super grateful my little sister Deangela thought her big sis was cool enough to roll out with her to Houston’s very own summer par-tay, Free Press Summer Fest last weekend. It was set for June 3rd-4th from 11am until around midnight-ish each night at Eleanor Tinsley Park but as you might have read, while following my tweets, Mother Nature had other plans. It sucks because the line up was pretty cool too. It consisted of local acts like DJ Fredster and Khruangbin to nationally recognized artists like Solange Knowles, Charlie XCX and G-Eazy.
As soon as we stepped out of our Lyft, we felt rain. I immediately grabbed for my poncho, and yes… it was only sprinkling. I didn’t care. While walking up to the entrance, we annoyingly sang a couple rounds of the most appropriate song for the weather… “Bad and Boujee”, affectionally known to me as “Rain drop, drop top.” And so it begun…
In predictable festival fashion, everyone had their own version of the uniform. There was body glitter, shirtless bros, tanks, net stockings, Jurassic Park hats, backpacks, several variations of Jaden Smith, Yonce’ body suits with an extra side of cellulite on the side, and all the jiggly bits from up-top to down-below ready to be tanned and admired by college kids aka toddlers (ok they were like 18 but whatever). Let’s just say it was interesting and I felt like a dinosaur. We opted for the “happy to be here folks, this is how we normally dress” option. It didn’t go viral or anything but hey, nothing fell out (if you get my drift).
So after actually entering the gates of the festival, we saw a Taco Bell truck and a village or Port-O-Potties we swore to never step foot in. As we walked, we eyed a variety of trendy food trucks and bars lined up to perfection. They definitely wanted to make sure you were full in more ways the one. I never got to actually hit the merch area but it was there, tucked away between the food. The park was beautiful and hot. It literally felt like being in a greenhouse with the sun set right over you in every direction you might try to escape. After baking for a few minutes, we walked underneath a canopy of trees and heard DJ Fredster who was definitely killing it. His energy and music was that of something you’d hear spin in Vegas. The crowd was a little bit more grown up and super chill so naturally I asked for wine… and I found it. They had $9 baby cups of Chardonnay ready, along with a few other well drinks and cocktails for their grown and sexy bunch. Walking back, a kid (literally like 15 or 16) asked me to buy him a beer. I looked at him, took my sips and we went off in search of my buddies Khruangbin who were about to start their set.
I was so proud to see Mark and DJ. Their performance was full of funk, soul, and experimental sound. It was inviting and felt familiar. The crowd ignored the broiling sun and danced all over the lawn of the Saturn stage. It was just downright fun and a solid impression for folks like my little sister who were experiencing them for the first time. I’d definitely recommend you taking a listen if you’re into old school vibey instrumentation.
It was after Khruangbin’s set when I saw a huge rush of people headed to the Neptune stage. I’m a bit of a wanderer so I yelled for my sister to follow the crowd. Best decision ever. We heard the drop for DJ Mr. Rogers of 93.7 The Beat and knew it was about to get crazy. The crowd jumped and dived all over each other. I eventually found a small field with flowers and trees (ok… yes shade, there was shade) and went for it. You would have to, it was hot!
They rapped every single lyric he played and then the main dude, Trill Sammy, came out with his entourage shooting huge water guns for the hyped and thirsting crowd. They. Went. Crazy. I mean like Kanye West just declared his run for presidency on MTV again, crazy. Mind you, we (my sister and I) don’t know this guy at all, but instinctively knew we were supposed to be partying like we were at a frat house before the cops came. Speaking of cops, they were there saving folks left and right. For future notice kids…don’t do drugs, drink, and jump around on each other in sweltering 90 degree weather. You will fall out and possibly get arrested for possession. That’s a thing.
Anywho… the afternoon went on and we were getting hungry so we stopped by the main stage to check out another act, Jon Bellion. He has quite a few radio hits under his belt and was definitely fun to watch. The set had good energy and a massive crowd so it was definitely cool. I will probably check out more of his music this week. He wasn’t too bad at all and had some really catchy tunes with nice tracks backing him. Towards the end of his performance, we went ahead and called a Lyft. Dee snapped this shot on our way out…
We had perfect timing because this is when the sky decided to unfold and shut down the festival for a few hours. But guess who was inside, eating nachos/tamales, and drinking margaritas in the nice air-conditioned restaurant? Deangela and me, that’s who! Clearly we’re the kind of girls to go glamping. Don’t ask us to stay outside for extended periods of time. And my logic was, if we were going to suffer in Houston’s humidity, we might as well be happy about it. Back on track here, El Tiempo did not disappoint. We ate, talked and waited for them to open the fest back up to catch G-Eazy. It was night and crazy humid/muddy, so no pics of that. Sorry. But you can check out my delicious plate!
So fast forward to day 2. We were SO excited because this is when all of the more popular pop acts were going to perform. But guess what… some kind of monsoon happened in the late afternoon and shut down the remainder of the festival. There were barely any updates so we remained hopeful for a few hours until we got the notice that they would be “cancelling the rest of the performances due to the inclement weather.” Sigh… So this was our day two… Two sisters, pitifully siting at home, on the couch waiting to hear the news that the shows we dressed to attend weren’t happening.
Overall we had a good time and enjoyed each other’s company. We had fun at the performances we were able to catch and were happy we got to slow down and catch up on each other’s lives. So there it is… my first time at Free Press Summer Fest. <3
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I’m a Houston Texan living in Silicon Valley as content creator and URM advocate in tech. I have a passion for creating and writing music and am a food lover to the max! Welcome to my space where I get candid about life and share my opinions on EVERYTHING.
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