Before I start: You might have seen a couple tumble weeds flying around my blog this month, and I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you that I'm sorry. I tend to fall off the map sometimes (my friends and family know this all too well) but know that when that happens it's because I feel like I'm getting too wrapped up in things that don't matter, I'm losing focus, or I'm just not inspired at all and need time to myself to find my muse. Last time I got personal on the blog I mentioned that I was frustrated and annoyed at the world, and I was in dire need to go somewhere else to be around people that share my vision & interests and blah blah blah (Read full story here). Well, since then I booked a solo trip to NYC for 10 days in hopes to figure out what the hell it was that I was looking for, and here's what happened. Let's start with the bad news first, shall we?
- Constantly being "on the run" wasn't all that glamorous. I booked my trip to New York almost a week before I left because #yolo. And didn't know where I was staying until 2 days before arriving- for all I knew I was going to be a homeless tourist. LOL
- Staying in 5 different places in 10 days was EXHAUSTING. And to top it all off, this Miami girl got terribly sick in the midst of a cold front she wasn't prepared for. Seriously, if you don't follow me on snapchat you missed the drastic measures I took to keep myself from dying. (I built a fort, lmao). So please do me a favor and add me on snapchat so you don't miss my ridiculous attempts at well... living, really. @zeinabc
- Hostels really suck sometimes. Location is not everything people. Remember that. No wifi in my room so I always had to be around people in the common area while trying to get work done. I love people, I really do. But when I'm trying to be productive and forced to engage in stupid small talk at the same time. UGH. No.
- I felt like I could barely keep up.... Being in New York for work related reasons put a crazy amount of pressure on me to keep up with the fast pace of the city. I'm still trying to figure out if that's something I liked or hated. I was definitely uncomfortable though.
- I learned that many people have little to no regard for the work freelancers do. Before you think I did this for fun, I came to New York to take the next step in my freelance career- an investment I knew I needed to make in order grow both my platform & my business. I had meetings with various clients & potential clients alike. For this particular trip I was meeting with people that hired me for different reasons: social media consulting, branding, digital marketing, videography and photography (Call me superwoman). However, after having conversations with several strangers and potential clients that know very well I do what I do for a living, some of them actually had the nerve to try to convince me to do work in exchange for "exposure". Like really, are your 100k followers on instagram going to pay my bills? LOL BYE FELICIA. Another harsh reality is that people really have no regard for your time. Being on my own and not having a steady 9-5 job has really made me recognize the value of time, and the importance of it NOT BEING WASTED. It's frustrating when you make plans that include an entire day's worth of work and a client cancels the day before just because, when you could have used all that time & energy to go after another project instead. Thankfully I take these things as lessons and will be taking precautionary measures to make sure that never happens again. :) #liveandlearn
And now, THE GOOD NEWS :D
- I was aligned with people that recognize the value in my work. This topic deserves an entire blog post, but point is: Life aligned me with people that see my potential and know my work is worth more than a free handbag or 100k likes on instagram. If you're a freelancer, or creative, don't let anyone undermine you, period. I'll explain more about this later I promise. (Subscribe to my newsletter).
- I finally got the chance to meet people I befriended on instagram. Over the summer I had been in touch with some lovely ladies I met on instagram, who, also shared a love for lingering in beautiful coffee shops, brunching, conversation, and reading kinfolk magazine :D . Definitely one of the highlights of my trip and something I'll go in depth with in another blog post this week lol.
- I conquered my fear of singing in public. All I'm going to say is that it involved a subway, a stranger, and it was epic.
- I grew a willingness to adopt a stronger work ethic. "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them." -George Bernard Shaw. // I can't find this to be more true especially at this point in my life. Being alone in a place like NYC surrounded by people who are always trying to get a step ahead made me realize one thing: If I want the opportunities of a lifetime, I have to create them. No excuses... I blame Miami for a lot of things: not having an environment that fosters creativity, not having enough people that don't want to settle, a city that is notorious for jumping on trends- leaving no room for inspiration, etc. I kind of hate this place, sometimes... But I have to realize that I'm not making my circumstances better by complaining about them- I have to do something about it. Think there's not enough of an original creative scene in Miami, Zeinab? Go find it, create it. No instagram gang like there is in NYC? Sh*t then go start that too. I've come home with a different perspective, and where I once saw gaps I now see opportunity.
- I have a newfound appreciation for home. I never thought I'd say this, but every single time I travel I leave with the intention of wanting to never come back. I think 10 tough days alone in a city like New York taught me to appreciate what I have right here, right now. Although Miami's definitely not the place I want to spend the rest of my life, I know that for the time being it's exactly where I'm supposed to be.
- Inspiration. All my trips serve a purpose to inspire- after all that is the main reason I travel. I've come home with new knowledge, new friends, & a whole lot of creative juice.
So what's next for me?
October was all about gathering inspiration for a new season of blog content and kickstarting my career in full gear. I've had plenty of time to dream up bigger & better things and now it's time for me to put all these ideas to work. I mentioned on my snapchat that I'm going to try to focus on posting more QUALITY content rather than pumping out 5 articles a week because that worked for like 10 days before I started getting bored of my own rambling. I'm going through an exciting time in my life- so much is changing and right now all I want to do is document it all so you guys can get a clear picture of what's going on every step of the way.
Amongst a bunch of other things- I've taken active steps towards branding myself as a visual artist- fusing my love of art & music to create beautiful captivating videos that I hope will inspire people to feel something. I'm working really hard on launching a vimeo account with all my artistic "mini films". I'm not going to screw myself over by giving you guys an exact date but I pinky promise it will be epic when it's all out. **Which by the way I might as well mention that I'm looking for subjects- Miami, Chicago, NYC, and Berlin. I'm visiting soon and need your beautiful creative souls & faces. So if you're down please, let a girl know.
In the meantime, I've compiled a short playlist of songs that have been fueling some of my recent ideas. Music has always played a huge role in my life and I credit almost all my creativity to the songs that run through my head on a daily basis. So in honor of that I thought I'd give you a little glimpse as to what's been going on in my head the last few weeks. It's amazing how you can get a real feel for who someone is through what they listen to. I'm curious, what songs are currently feeding your imagination? I love discovering new artists and want to know who my readers are :). Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading my incohesive rants on life, and for your undying support. I love you guys.
Till Next time