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why my phone makes me smile for 2 seconds every day

I’ve been having a very bittersweet couple of months. My work life has been fantastic, and I feel that I’ve had some incredible opportunities as a writer and a professional. I moved to a new apartment in a new neighborhood, which has been really great. I had two weeks off at the holidays to spend time with my family and hometown friends. I also got to visit my college BFF in Austin, a city I’d been dying to go to.

Conversely, some not-so-good things have taken place. My grandmother passed away a week before Christmas, so it was a hard time for my family. I’ve had dozens of job interviews, but haven’t received any offers (note: I’m quite happy at my current position, but am always looking for the next best thing). I’ve also been struggling to come to terms with parts of my personal/dating life–more on that here.

I make a conscious effort to be a happy person. I exercise primarily for the endorphins. I eat food that I like. I watch TV shows that make me laugh. I write about my feelings, both on this blog and in a journal. But all of my negative, depressing feelings surfaced the other day when I was sitting at my desk at work. My heart started beating super fast, and I felt panicked and overwhelmed–by existence as an adult, my quickly approaching first solo trip, the guy who won’t text me back, my constant questioning of past life choices. I texted my mom and she told me to go outside, get some fresh air, and stretch my legs. Combined with an iced coffee, her remedy worked.

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Later that day, I decided that I needed some kind of mental sticky note–something to remind me to be positive, that I am great, that everything is ok. While I was setting the alarm on my phone for the next morning, I had an idea to set a kind of self love reminder. I set it for 11:30am, on vibrate, labeled “You deserve the world. Everything is going to be ok.” It makes me smile everyday, and reminds me that focusing on myself is the most important thing I can do right now.

Follow new york is my boyfriend on instagram.

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places, Uncategorized

no fail* travel tips

I’m not going to try to sell myself as a cool, hip globetrotter. You may or may not know that I spent a semester abroad my junior year and managed to visit 8 countries in ~5 months, and I’ve been to like 40 states in America (including Alaska and Hawaii, so THERE) thanks to my parents’ shared passion for domestic travel and national parks.

In my 22 years of traveling, I like to think I’ve picked up a few (almost) no fail tips and tricks for making every journey a success–whether you’re with your family or your drinking buddies.

1. For the love of God, don’t get on a tour bus.

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Ok, ok, that was a little dramatic. I’ve done my fair share of bus tours on family trips, and they definitely come with pros and cons. If you’re in a foreign country (where you don’t speak the language) for a limited amount of time, a tour bus could be a good option. You won’t have to spend time trying to understand the local public transit system, and if it’s a “hop on, hop off” kind of deal, it’s basically a free shuttle around the city. But OH MY GOD do not take one in New York. I don’t understand why anyone would come to NYC, look at all the traffic, and decide to hop on a freaking bus. Take the subway, rent a bike, or take a city bus.

2. Go where the Anthropologie is.

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This is a rule of thumb I have for finding cute shopping neighborhoods in large cities. And it doesn’t have to be Anthropologie (if you’re in Amsterdam, try Dille & Kamille), but looking up boutique-y stores like this will usually land you in a trendy, non-commercialized shopping district. Just make sure it’s not far from the city center, because then you’ll probably end up at a mall. Not the worst thing, but you know.

3. STAY! TOGETHER!!

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This is especially important if you’re abroad and can only iMessage/WhatsApp over WiFi! Organize your schedule ahead of time so everyone gets to see what they want without getting separated. And if you must split up, agree on a very specific meeting place. Not “outside of the Louvre” but “in front of the rightmost table at the outdoor cafe on the right side of the third pyramid at the Louvre.” Got it?

4. Back it up.

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My phone is constantly out of storage. Literally twice a week, I’ll try to take a picture and my phone won’t let me. To avoid this problem when traveling, be thorough and back up your whole phone to your iCloud/laptop/hard drive/whatever before a big trip, and then delete the photos form your actual phone so it has room for all your selfies!

Happy trails!!

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people, Uncategorized

10 reasons why tyra banks is the og role model

During middle school and some of high school, my after school ritual was going home to watch The Tyra Show. It was on every day at 4pm, and I’d watch it on the couch while doing tedious homework and eating popcorn. This show was a blessing–we never had anything besides basic cable, and this was one of the non-primetime shows I actually enjoyed. Tyra taught me more about confidence and career than anyone else did in my early teens. Here is why she’s a pioneer role model–and someone else who doesn’t get enough credit.

1. First of all, she invented the smize.

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2. She hosted a reality show for TWENTY TWO seasons. Like, before America was even obsessed with reality television.

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3. She won two Daytime Emmy awards for Outstanding Talk Show, Informative. And boy, was it informative.

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4. She does it all–the girl can act, model, sing, and write.

 

5. Tyra founded her own production company.

6. She completed a management program at Harvard Business School, and was a guest lecturer at Stanford. Oh, s-nap.

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7. One of her most impressive feats is the TZONE program, which Banks launched to empower young women to be leaders. She also created a scholarship fund at her Catholic high school.

 

8. She’s been an advocate for body positivity before it was trendy.

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9. Tyra talked openly on her show about walking away from abusive relationships

10. Her beauty start-up makes a lipstick shade called “Ask for a Raise.” Like, how f***ing badass?

“My mom never taught me to be waiting for some prince on a white horse to swipe me off my feet.”

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Uncategorized

5 things i learned after 5 months of freelancing

Even though I have a regular 9-5 job working at a magazine I’ve always admired, my side hustle has been especially lucrative lately. I’ve been doing a lot of freelance writing, simultaneously bulking up my portfolio as a writer and making some extra spending money. There’s something wonderfully appealing about freelancing…you can work from home (or anywhere in the world with an Internet connection), have flexibility with deadlines, and get to write about things that interest you.

I know some people do this full time–I’m not sure I ever could, since the money varies month to month, but so far it’s been a great way for me to profit from something I’m passionate about–and something I’d literally be doing for free, anyway (cue: this blog). Here are five things I’ve learned since stepping up my freelance game in June.

1. It will take forever to get paid.

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Between waiting for invoices to be approved and checks to go in the mail, expect to wait a month until you see payment for your story.

2. Keep track of EVERYTHING.

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I write for multiple sites, and it quickly became difficult to keep track of who had paid me and who I still needed to send invoices to. I use Google Sheets to keep track of every story I sell, and note within this document which pieces have been invoiced and paid.

3. Follow up.

follow-up

Editors are busy–you’re probably one of many writers they deal with, so if you don’t hear back for a few days, don’t take it personally. Don’t be afraid to follow up…especially if they owe you money.

4. Use a dedicated workspace.

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Some people are good at working from home, and while I like the idea very much, I’m not one of them–though that may change once it gets colder and I don’t want to leave my apartment. If I have an overwhelming amount of work to do, I take my laptop to a local coffee shop and stay there until the battery dies.

5. Pitch as many ideas as you have.

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I send dozens of pitches a week, knowing that only a handful will get picked up. I’ve learned that I have a better chance of getting more stories picked up if I pitch more in the first place!

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the latest

interning 101

I’ve previously talked about how important my internship experiences were—I learned so much, and in addition to beefing up my resume, the jobs themselves were invaluable.

I got my first internship after my first year of college, when I still thought I was going to major in Art History. I emailed a local gallery in my hometown essentially offering to be their intern/provide free labor, and they took me on one day a week. Looking back, this was not a valuable use of my time—this position isn’t even listed on my resume because aside from being irrelevant to my career field, I didn’t learn or do much.

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One of the biggest things I’ve learned from my experience as an intern is that the quality of your experience largely depends on your supervisor—how willing are they to give you work? Are they going to teach you how to do new things? Will they trust you to do more than stick stamps on 400 postcards? Regardless, from my various internship experiences I’ve picked up several tips and learned a few unspoken rules that all interns should follow.

Take notes.

If a co-worker asks if you can help them with something, write down what they’re asking you. Try to ask all of your questions while they’re showing you how to do something or giving you instructions for a task so you’re not emailing them from the Duane Reade to confirm what size bottle of liquigel Advil they want. This is especially important if you have an editorial internship—why would you ever not have a pen and notepad in your hands at all times?!

That being said, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

I’ve always naturally been a bit introverted and shy, but I can guarantee that your boss would rather you ask five questions and do a perfect job than ask no questions and make five mistakes.

Be confident.

If you wrote a cover letter, had an interview (or two or three), and did an edit test or some equivalent to prove your worth, you deserve to be there. It’s kind of crazy how many people are fighting for the same unpaid internship, so when you get that offer you should feel pretty proud of yourself and know that you have a right to be there, and your boss clearly thinks highly enough of you to want to see you everyday.

Be on time.

I think this goes without saying.

Ask for what you want.

At the end of my final college internship, I didn’t want to leave. I spoke with my boss about the possibility of getting a real, grown-up job there, but unfortunately, the timing just wasn’t right. Even though I didn’t get what I asked for, I expressed how much I loved working there and I think it strengthened my relationships with my supervisors and coworkers long after I left.

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