ugly betty & i

August 20, 2014

Netflix is a blessing and a curse. Why do I say that? It allows you be anti-social and just binge on shows and snacks. And the only time you move is getting up to the pantry for more snacks. Tell me you haven’t done this.

Ugly Betty, stars America Ferrera as the Editor-in-Chief’s assistant with bushy brows and a big smile filled with braces. Anyway, I rather not go into full details of the show, but there was a particular scene that caught my attention that reveals a larger theme about myself and life.

Aside from the fact that Betty also wants to be a writer and to be published- story of my life, she also feels out of place in the industry she works in: fashion. The way she dresses, her short and full figure, her untamed hair and all these “flaws” that revolve around her physical image, which has nothing to do with her ability to perform her skills. She is constantly teased for her image and how awkward she can be at times.

ugly_bettyillustrationThere is always that sense of unwelcomeness and insecurity when working in certain industries. Fashion is a big one, based on personal experience. Remember how I mentioned how I was flirting with the idea of not wanting to continue to working the fashion industry? If you missed that post, click here

Although we may embrace our differences, including our sense of style, a part of us want to feel welcomed as well. To have that safety net and comfort amongst a group of people.

Side-note: I told my roommates, that Betty Suarez is my is my Spirit Animal and you know what they said? “That is a very Californian thing to say.” Anyway - 

Why am I crafting this? In the pursuit of my career, I am also trying to find “where I fit in”, as well as in New York. Where I can be myself, open to compromise my voice, but still produce creative and profound work. 

Although I merely touched the surface in how I see myself in Betty, as I continue to finish up the series (I am on the very last episode just so you know), she and I are are genuinely on the same path.

She’s an inspiration of where I want to be. I know, I know, she’s a fictional character, but whatever. She’s kind of real – I am sure she depicts a real person in some shape or form. I strongly resonate with her character from not fitting in the industry to striving for success from a minority background. There are so many details I can describe, but that will do just do.

Starting to believe that any character associated with fashion publishing is living the life that I dream of – or the career I hope to obtain in the near future. Such as Jenna Rink from 13 Going on 30 and Andy Sachs from The Devil Wears Prada

Closing up this entry with one final thought: I do belong in the fashion industry. As much as I try to deny, flirt with the idea that I do not belong, or my continuous questions and rants. Ultimately, I do want to continue to work in fashion.

Well, there you have it.

Thank you all for joining me today for this post and my ongoing reflections about myself, career and New York adventures. Really means a lot to me!

But… have you ever questioned yourself if you want to be working in the field you’re working in now? I’m not the only one, right? Do share, I’d love to read about it (:

Oh, and Happy Hump Day family & friends!

*Artwork by S.

this is for you & me:

August 18, 2014

This is one more piece of advice I have for you: don’t get impatient. Even if things are so tangled up you can’t do anything, don’t get desperate or blow a fuse and start yanking on one particular thread before it’s ready to come undone. You have to figure it’s going to be a long process and that you’ll work on things slowly, one at a time. – Haruki Murakami

I love starting my work week with inspiring quotes. I have a deep affair with quotes and all things inspiring to better myself and life.

This one resonated with me, and I say this because if you haven’t noticed, I get a little impatient and New York hasn’t made it better for me; and I tend to be on the move. This is a reminder to myself and perhaps to you, too, that some things are meant to move in slower paces to come complete.

As much as you and I want to hustle and get things going towards whatever it is, most times, not all things are instant gratifications. 

Plus, the wait does make our journey and the reward worthwhile. 

 

up to speed

August 15, 2014

In the course of five weeks, I managed to find a stable part-time job and a cozy loft with two easy-going male roommates. Yes, I said males. I don’t believe in luck. I believe in diligence and persistence.

There’s no such thing as luck. Luck is share when preparation meets opportunity. – Amy Hempel

And that’s how I got where I am today. I hustled.

My life right now is the epitome of what you call a “struggling artist.” My fellow artists y’all know what I mean.

As you all know, I came out here seeking work in the editorial field, but you know what they say about plans – some plans don’t go accordingly, and finding your career is a marathon, not a sprint. For most of us anyway.

The last time I worked in the food-beverage industry was in high school. From working at my local boba shop to scooping ice cream near a popular movie theater, and fast forward to present time and a degree later, I work in a French slash American restaurant owned by a famous chef in Downtown.

For now, it will do. I repeatedly tell myself all of this is temporary until the next step. A positive way to see how things will turn out, but all of this is still better than nothing. It’s all about your attitude when you encounter situations similar to this. 

Currently waiting for one opportunity that will change a lot of things… nervous indeed. Still being productive towards my goal. I vowed to myself that I came out here with a vision. Keeping my eyes on the prize. And although I currently have a part-time job and my living conditions are not exactly ideal, for now s’all good. 

Haven’t given up on my writing, obviously. With consistent projects rolling and obtaining my personal outlet, I would say I am starting off “okay.” But there is great news: I am meeting with another Editor today! Super ecstatic and nervous since I haven’t done a meet-and-greet in awhile.

My PR skills are definitely kicking in where instead of pitching ideas, I am pitching myself, what I’ve done, and what I can offer.

Anyway, I couldn’t wait to hold off the photos for my place – for the most part, things are unpacked and put into places. A few things are missing from my room – like a desk chair, so please excuse the mess. I somehow managed to fit everything I packed – two large luggages, and then some into this room.

So here’s a peek into my personal space and when everything is complete and entirely settled, I’ll give you guys an updated post:

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loft outside Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetDSC00909

Proud of myself that I survived my first month in New York. See, it can happen (:

So now you guys are up to speed with me and my life. Thanks for tuning in this lovely Friday – I appreciate you all so much for taking a few seconds of your day to check in – whether it is through my blog, social feeds or personally contacting me, I really appreciate it. Seriously!

Big thanks, always. 

Happy Friday family and friends! (:

 

 

loyalty

August 13, 2014

I am observing if my voice transforms in my writing for the different publications I am working with. It dawned on me while I was trying to submit a piece for an outlet that I do have trouble with developing a different voice.

The only voice I have is the one that comes naturally to me. It’s this, whatever “this” is.

Is it bad that I cannot change it? What if it prevents me landing on different projects or getting published on larger outlets? …but I want to remain loyal to myself…

Must I conform to a certain voice to be published or to get hired as a Staff Writer? What does one do? What would You do?

I want to remain loyal to myself and my writing, as you can see, I care a whole lot about it. I don’t know about you, but it’s so hard for me to fake the funk. If I am writing about something I really don’t care for, you can tell the way it’s written or the way I talk about it in-person. I thrive off passion.loy

Writing for The Co Report has definitely challenged me creatively. From writing style to conducting thorough research. Although my Editor allows me to stay true to my voice, I also have to appeal to the masses. Definitely an ongoing transition.

The best compliment I’ve gotten from a publisher was, “You are more valued than you think.” This is not a humble brag, or anything like that, it’s more of a reassurance that I do have what it takes to be a successful writer! 

While I am going to and fro with questioning myself if I am a great writer or not, (if you missed that post, you can view it here), this was nice to hear.

I have to thank my supporters from Day Uno, which are you guys! The unconditional support system I have is phenomenal – you have no idea! Thank you for believe in me because sometimes I forget to believe in myself.

Sometimes.

I will keep personal updates for a future post, but thanks again for tuning in. It’s kind of sprinkling slash raining here in New York, so I am turning on Ugly Betty and making ramen noodles for myself.

Signing off with love!

*Artwork by S. 

Daily Snippets:

August 10, 2014

I know I haven’t written for over a week, but life gets in the way sometimes. However, now that this week is coming to a close, I don’t have much demands the upcoming week, and I can slowly do things I been putting off!

In the meantime for some ‘substantial content, wanted to share some photos:

Bowery East River

I love this scene here – East River Park. Locals laying out, soaking up the beautiful weather we had earlier this week. To the right, you’ll see Williamsburg Bridge. It’s my favorite one to run so far. I have yet conquered Brooklyn’s nor Mathattan’s.

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loft

My building’s elevator. Fascinated with the brick walls and artist-feel. If you take it up to the 7th floor – it goes straight to the landlord’s floor.

If you didn’t catch it on instagram: I signed a lease! Yay! However, I promised myself that I will only write about it until I am completely done with furnishing my room and unpacking.

Many great news to share, but first let me gather thorough thoughts and words. Have a goodnight, family, friends and readers! (:

 

Baby Steps, Deary

July 31, 2014

Small steps may appear unimpressive, but don’t be deceived. They are the means by which perspectives are subtly altered, mountains are gradually scaled, and lives are drastically changed. – Richelle E. Goodrich

I stumbled upon this quote on my Tumblr dashboard months ago, saved it and held onto it to repeatedly remind myself that these type of successes do, in matter of fact, count.

We often disregard our ‘small’ accomplishments, but what we don’t realize is that these small accomplishments are the stepping stones to our big successes in our near future. 

We are our toughest critics. But put that aside and acknowledge the fact that you are doing work and taking those steps to get where you want to go. 

In the past week, I took a step towards the direction of my goal. I came across a blog called CityElla, an entire website filled with stories by women from New York City. I instantly fell in love with the content and was able to relate, and decided to pitch myself and a story to them.

suWithin a day, I received a wonderful email regarding feedback on my piece, and inviting me to join their team. I was so thrilled! This is another opportunity to establish myself, build my portfolio and share stories with the public.

I see everything, big or small publications, as an opportunity to grow and build. This is the perspective I developed as I dived into the many internships and jobs in college. We may not register it at the time, but they teach us something – all of these opportunities. Here is my thing about opportunities, though. We cannot always wait for it to come to us. You go out there and make it happen. Make our own opportunities.

Never felt more confident and taking ownership of my identity as a Writer up until now in New York. I guess this is where I have recreated myself. 

Although, I have to admit, I am still figuring how to respond to the frequently asked question: what do you write about?

Lastly, thank you all for responding and reaching out from my last post. I have such a wonderful support system from all over and your words mean so much to me! Believe it or not, you all inspire me to continue to keep hustling for this dream! I have the best cheerleaders out there!

Interesting post coming up soon. I won’t shpill any details, but stay tuned. With lots of love from the East Coast!

*Illustration by S.

a struggling beginning

July 28, 2014

My first post introducing my new adventure was titled Starting Anew.

It sounds hopeful, welcoming and exciting. Trust me, it is! But I knew that I was going to start over, with everything: life, job, friendships, and so on. 

I don’t miss home yet. I was still connecting with friends here and back at home that gave me that wholeness and good feeling. However, going into my second week, I was overwhelmed and had a breakdown.

Almost three weeks in, now, I miss home.

I knew I had to start over, but I felt like I was in denial for the longest time, or just going with the motions, and how everything is here with no time to think about it. I was nowhere being situated, and it took me over a week to realize that and felt that pressure.

I am fortunate to have people here who are so welcoming and helpful. It makes it a little easier, like a piece of home is with me. But when I go out galavanting the bar scene, it’s somehow a reminder of how much I miss my friends. Holding back the tears as I write because it would be so embarrassing to break into a cry publicly.

I miss my family and friends, terribly.

As far as my career, the whole reason why I moved out here – I am considered to have minimal experience. Starting from the bottom, once again. I knew this was bound to happen, but to hear it from a professional that you are labeled as “Entry-Level” despite the numerous companies you’ve interned and worked with. That hurt, it pinched my self-esteem a tad and questioned my qualifications, but it was not a criticism, it was the truth. I will accept that fact.

stI had to remove the entitlement I felt. I know that, but a tiny ounce of me felt like I “deserved this.” With the direction of my career, I know I will have to work my way up to the top once again. Exposure, connect, build and experience. In all, I am fortunate enough to even land the handful of interviews I had back-to-back. Utterly grateful.

The bright side of this entire move is I have this opportunity to recreate myself. No one knows my story, and don’t need to share any of it if I don’t care to. I can be like a misfit from a small town in California. Ha! Just kidding. Well, my mom would probably agree to that statement. But going to stay authentically myself. Honesty is the best policy.

At this point, I feel overwhelmed. The feeling is inevitable and it was now or later on my journey that I would feel this way. However, I will say that I lasted longer than I excepted to have my first cry. I survived a week and a half before I began sobbing about how stressed I am, the loneliness in the City and ongoing problems of a twenty-somethings.

It’s going to take time, and I know I will be okay eventually. Things are brightening up though. Apartment hunting later this week. Who knows, maybe by next week I will be in my own room, matress-less for a couple weeks, but still a little room to myself. We shall see!

I must stick to my affirmations and positive thoughts. I will make it work out. I will! I am determined.

Hope you all are having a great Monday. It’s almost 6PM here, and I am sitting at a coffee shop while outlining some assignments for this week. Thanks for checking in, family, friends and readers!

*Illustration by S.  

culture shock

July 23, 2014

Before I moved, I told myself, “Brace yourself, Chary.”

Adjusting hasn’t been difficult nor a quick transition either. I am getting used to certain things, like my form of transportation, but not the ridiculous weather.

A short synopsis of my subway stories – (#charyssubwaystories on Twitter)

  • First day, I managed to survive the train to get to Target.
  • “Did you steal that Metro Card?!” a Lady NYPD asked. “No Ma’am. It’s mine, I swear. I just got lost that is why I am re-entering the station.” Yeah, that happened, too.
  • There are train performers, even kids who are rapping and dancing for money.
  • Nap time happens, all the time. Even when drunk. I, too, have been guilty of this action.
  • If you don’t have headphones, you’re screwed. People usually read or listen to music on their commutes. Or people watch (my fave).
  • This past weekend, a well-dressed gentleman’s package was nearly next to my face. So awkward. So awkward. Of all body parts, really?
  • Cute shoes can’t happen. Wedges? Maybe, but you’re walking up-and-down stairs and catching train transfers. Comfort wins!
  • There is no such thing as personal space. Shoulder-to-shoulder. Body heat. Maybe I should catch the next train Uptown…

Time is of the essence. They were not kidding about the hustle-and-bustle.

shock

I was explaining to family and friends that grocery shopping is difficult and expensive. I am used to purchasing a week’s worth and stuff it into my car and drive off. I don’t have the luxury anymore. Now? I usually get two day’s worth due to my train ride. Got to be able to carry it on the train and the walk home.

There are little markets on every corner, “bodegas” they call it. I still don’t understand it entirely, but a little bit of deli + groceries? For larger grocery markets, there is a long line outside of Trader Joe’s just to enter, and Whole Foods gets expensive! This happened: I went into a small corner market, looking for lemons. Three lemons for two dollars – what in the! Can’t get over that. 

It’s very interesting when it comes to the food culture here. People dine out more often than cook at home. There is a Seamless ad that reads “People call it take out. New Yorkers call it dinner.” A Seamless meal can be equivalent to a piece of salmon from Whole Foods. I don’t know how or why, but it just is. They were not kidding about the cost of living is pricey here. Who grocery shops? Who cooks? A lost art…

Everyone is so diverse and there is a sense of community amongst the different cultures. I’m so used to being surrounded by many Asians, but not so many I’ve seen. And Chinatown does not count. Heard they’re populated in Queens though! I’ve came across Jewish, Dominican, and Puerto Rican backgrounds. 

New Yorkers have that attitude - I am assuming it’s the Don’t-mess-with-me and Get-out-of-way attitude. They’re not rude, just in a rush. Me? It’s rubbing onto me a little.

Oh, briefly put: party life is way different than in LA. Does not stop at 1:30 – 2AM. Reminds me of Vegas, where you party when the sun comes up. Me? I like my sleep, thanks!

As far as the neighborhoods and City itself, there are many history, culture and street art. It reminds me of another great city, San Francisco! And it’s a little dirty. When I said this to K, she said, “You sound like a total Californian. ‘Oh my gosh, it is so dirty!” Clearly, mocking me.

The vibe is different, but I like it. A lot. This is my new normal.

worldtradecenterny

I overlooked the City, and I thought to myself, “I really live here.” It’s going to take time to fully transition and adapt, but by far: I love you, New York.

*Artwork by S.

*For my daily sights of the City, check out my Instagram @charypie.

a touristy weekend

July 21, 2014

Hello and good morning!

It’s Monday and my body is aching from this past weekend’s adventures. One of my dearest friends were in town and I am playing tour guide. I would say I didn’t too bad. We got lost on the train like three times, but that’s not terrible.

smorgasborg DSC00743 DSC00746 First stop: Food at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg in Williamsburg. It’s kind of like a flea market for food. Or 626 Night Market, but every weekend and during the day with such a great view of NYC.
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Got to celebrate National Ice Cream Day! Free vegan ice cream by West Elm.

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A hearty breakfast before we head out to more touristy spots. Found out about Black Seed Bagels through First We Feast. My oh my, I was not disappointed.

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I can’t believe I live in such a beautiful city. Do you see the tallest building there? That is the One World Trade Center.

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foutain

New York has many parks and they vary in sizes too, but Washington Square Park is probably my favorite so far. The ambiance, the people, and just the location makes me enjoy it even more.

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She wanted to conquer all the attractions – I cannot believe I did the entire thing. Y’know the whole Times Square, Empire State Building (from afar) and all the historical places.

I am having difficulty in trying to describe how exhausted I am from these past few days. Staying up late and getting up early can be so dreadful. Honestly, how do people do it? They say the City never sleeps…

I will save a full on update about everything soon for next time. Stay tuned! Thanks for stopping by!

ny nomad

July 16, 2014

I feel like a nomad with big baggages, literally.

I somehow managed to condense my entire life into two suitcases and a backpack. Thought I was being an exceptional minimizer until I hear other transplants coming to New York with only a carry-on and a duffle bag.

WHAT? How does that even work? Oh, they made it work.

Living conditions are rough due to uncertainty and instability. Although these are rough patches down my adventure, I need to see the positives when these things unfold.

There is a rush of excitement when I deeply think about it – I have all the liberation in the world. With no address, I feel as if I am off the grid.

I can pick up and leave whenever I want…

Ultimately, I know myself that I cannot live this kind of lifestyle. I have to establish myself soon. My goal is to figure out a stable living condition by next month, and well, I don’t have a choice. So grateful to have friends that provide a roof over my head thus far.

noadIt’s weird because I have always been the type to have something concrete, a solid plan and this entire experience so far, almost to a full week, there is nothing tangible or definite. Everything is “up in the air” and I just go with the flow.

Something I was not a pro with doing, but getting used to now. Comforting myself to that idea. Who am I becoming?

Sending lots of love from New York to all my friends, family and readers!
*artwork done by S.