Desk Note from the Heartbreak Diaries Series.
You're not his woman, nor does he have the desire for you to be. You're just filling space until the original owner comes back OR until he finds a better fit. You know, the one he’d be willing to put in the work for. Not you though. I call this position, the seat filler. There's nothing wrong with you, he just doesn’t see you as "the one".
Now think of the responsibilities of a REAL seat filler. They attend the award show, get called to a particular seat if they have a certain look or just next in line. They can’t get too comfortable no matter how good the show is. The star returns, and the seat filler is escorted back to the holding area. THAT’S what you are in his life.
If you are fully aware of when you’re in this position and decide to move forward anyway, understand that it’ll never be a win/win situation. You won’t get “camera time” (No social media sightings), no red carpet appearances (date nights), and you’ll never be welcomed to the stage during the highlights of his life. And at the end of the night, when your duties are complete, you’ll be sent to the back before the show is over.
Don’t invest too much in this position. It’s just temporary fun. And know that you do have the option to get up and sit in a section that is meant for you.
I've often found myself in this position. So much to the point where I started recognizing that I was a seat filler and became "ok" with it. I understood that any day the phone calls and texts would stop, no more "quality time", no more intimate hugs in pubic. Whether I'd be warned beforehand or not, there would come a time when I would be forced to let go. Then I had the nerve to be shocked about it. But the ending would appear out of nowhere. When I wasn’t ready to let go. Like a roller coaster stopping the ride after the first big loop.
Oh that’s it?!
Over time I realized that, in a way, I inflicted this pain on myself. I knew the risks and I knew the results but I kept it going anyway.
On an episode of The Golden Girls I remember Blanche telling Rose: "Sometimes life doesn’t work out the way we want it to, so we have to grab our happiness however we can get it". I used to live by this. Telling myself that if I couldn’t have him the way I wanted, I'd settle for whatever I could get.
But when does a person come to the point where the constant disappointment and heart ache is enough? If I’m just going to end up alone, why not stay that way. Why was I giving so much to someone who gave so little? Was I not worth more? Did he not understand that I’m worth more?
Doesn’t matter. I wasn’t it for him. For whatever reason, I didn’t do it for him. My only job was to “fill the space”.
So tell me. What section are you sitting in?
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Just give me a minute outside of this “New York Minute”!
The city moves way too fast. People are speed walking, cars going, trains moving (unless you’re late for work, then there’s a delay ugh). But all in all, you need a minute. Everything that should be a simple process causes hours/days/weeks/months of complication if you let it. Learning to adjust to it can be overwhelming but the beauty of the city makes it all worth it. While working out the kinks of getting used to NYC, it treats you to places and spaces to catch a breather. You must look for it or in my case, randomly run into it when life is keeping me on the go.
Why It’s Important to Take That Time?
You can’t allow the makings of a place defeat you. One would think that figuring out the train system is the key to the city. That’s only a portion. Simple gatherings of getting an apartment, getting a job, learning the areas, and even the makings of the people. All the while pursuing your dreams and keeping yourself above water so you’re not on the first flight home. For me, it seems as if every time I was stable in my adulting and I was on my way to get entrepreneurship endeavors together, something out of nowhere went wrong! Now I must take my focus off my dreams to fix something that should have stayed in an established state. That can be VERY overwhelming. So what can I do? Take a break. Through this city, I’ve not only found “Museums” but place of refuge to BREATHE. During these moments, I’m reminded of why I came here in the first place and the thoughts of running back to GA for good simple fade away.
Places like Central Park, walking down 125th seeing the booming businesses murals and the makings of Harlem. And even the building structures downtown can bring you right back to the spirit of the city! When I walk through the city without thinking of the pushy people, horns of impatient drivers, or the complicated measures for the most simplistic things, I say to myself "Now I remember why I came! THIS is what I live for!"
What to Focus on?
During these meditation moments, I think about what's going right instead of what's going wrong. Focusing on the blessings is a way to get back centered and not allowing a bad day or few minutes control me. Remember it's not a bad life, just a bad day. This also helps in regaining focus on the work I need to do. While my mind is in overdrive, I can't seem to remember everything on my "to do" list.
Take that time. You deserve it. Taking care of your mental health is essential in conquering the concrete jungle. You’re a survivor and you can make it. Just take a minute!
Where do you go to "check out" when you're overwhelmed?
End of Year Assessment. Say it with me...ACCOUNTABILITY!
Every year around this time resolutions, goals, and personal changes take over my mind and spirit.
Then six months into the New Year, old habits creeps in. Those New Year declarations become a distant memory and/or an “I’ll do it next year” task. How can one be so pumped for making a change for the New Year then allow time to pass by with no real work towards the goals?
Don’t get me wrong I’ve accomplished goals set but the personal changes have been hard for me to stick to. So how does one make a change for the upcoming year and commit to it!?!
I’ve done the vision boards, the list of goals, but that’s only half of the work. For me that was the easy part. One thing I had to do was seriously hold myself accountable for the changes that were not made in previous years.
Of course life happens and some goals had to roll over or be placed on a lower priority temporarily. But, mostly, I was in my own way and don’t even realize it.
Creating excuses and/or procrastinating were my biggies. It only takes one time to skip that yoga session or nightly routine of writing. A day turns into a week...a week turns into a month. You know the rest. My habits or lack thereof creating good habits, gave me a one way ticket to lost resolutions.
I had no one to blame but myself.
Also in my personal assessment, I found where I gave up too quickly, allowed that one rejection to change the goal, or I didn’t take the necessary small steps in between time. Rejection is part of any process. Yea yea yea we’ve heard that before. When you’re dealing with it, it’s the LAST thing you want to hear. Instead of turning that rejection into a blessing/lesson to learn from, I allowed the negative emotions to fester. This festering was a full-blown pity party and while I had the desire to move forward to reach goals, the party of pity was way more comfortable than trying again.
Here comes the REAL change.
Making small changes to fit our lifestyles to our goals for the New Year is a great way to start in sticking to your goals for the New Year, throughout that New Year. It’s easy to fall back into our old routine because that’s where the comfort lies. Slowly moving out of that zone will help in creating a change that lasts.
What small changes can I make daily to push me towards what I want to accomplish this year? In my list of goals, I started listing the small steps/changes I could make to achieve them. This helped in getting me on an organized path versus having the goal and no direction; making it easy to slip back into old habits.
Yes we make the goals but what about the steps in achieving them. We tend to forget about this important element because this is where you will find the discipline and endurance to maintain the tenacity to stick it out when things tend to go south throughout the year.
So the advice I’m giving to you (AND to myself), list the goals AND make note of the steps you can take to keep you on the right track.
Learning to be more patient with myself.
Getting here I wanted to hit the ground running. Book shoots/gigs for modeling, book auditions, get job interviews lined up, have an apartment ready, and just live like I’ve been here for years. But in changing locations (and costs of living areas), it takes time. I found out the hard way. I did well on the job front as I was able to do a few phone interviews from Georgia, that way once I was permanently in New York, I was already moving forward to the next process. With modeling, I was proactive in applying for various gigs that coincided with my relocation dates, a roof over my head was already in place prior to me leaving so that was done. Good job at me being proactive right?!? Well sort of…
Visiting NYC and actually living here are two different things. It wasn’t as if I was on one of my Fashion Week trips where I could splurge, hangout, and return home to my normal life and job. I had to figure out how I was going to survive. And in that, I had to remind myself “Heffa, you are not on vacation, YOU LIVE HERE!” when I found myself over-indulging.
New York is a constant hustle, which is one of the many reasons for me relocating here. So many opportunities to expand on what you’re already doing, while starting something new. However, if you’re not built for it, you can easily get lost in the shuffle which leaves you with an empty bank account and no direction as to what to do next.
Even with my proactive tasks, I still found myself not gaining the necessities I wanted within MY timeline. I had hoped to line up a job, get connected with a talent agency and be established within the first month. Crazy right! I had interview after interview but no job. Meanwhile, I dealt with my GA money not living up to NY costs. On top of that, it was harder than I thought to join the crowd of thousands of other dreamers who come here to pursue modeling and acting. I had to become more competitive with my marketing materials. More time and money needed. I felt like I didn't even pack enough warm clothes for this 20 degree weather!
When things didn’t go as planned, I felt like I was on my way to failure. Luckily, I had a close friend who constantly reminded me “Well you’ve only been there a month…you’re doing fine.” (Thanks Jazmyn!) It’s nice to have those reinforcements so that you don’t stay in your head feeling like you’ve made the wrong decision.
So my advice to anyone dealing with a change of location or any type of change, GIVE YOURSELF TIME! It doesn’t all have to work out at one time. Break down your goals into steps and one by one cross them off your list. Not that you can’t work on multiple goals at once, just don’t get upset if it all doesn’t come to pass at the same time. Take every step that doesn’t work out as a lesson and come back stronger. It’ll be okay. Also, it’s pretty cool to find the fun in the journey to where you want to be. So I find a way to laugh at the times I get lost on the train and take the bad interviews as a BLESSING and a lesson (But I did land a good gig THANK YOU JESUS!!).
I’m not going anywhere anytime soon, so I better make the best of it!
“I ask myself what am I doing here?...” – Alessia Cara
The Thoughts of Failing. My third night in New York, the fear started to set in. As I laid in bed, in the dark, I kept asking myself, “What am I doing?” “Why am I here?” I came up here with a plan, but…was it a SOLID plan. Given the history with some of my past “plans”, they tend to fail. I didn’t want to fail. I felt like failure was waiting right outside of my bedroom door, ready to greet me with his presence.
The Fear of the Unknown. Throughout the process of planning and executing my “faith move”, my doubts were overshadowed by my excitement of FINALLY getting out of GA. But once the plane ride landed, the day of exploration was done, and reality settled in, fear popped up and said, “Hey girl, Hey!”
With any new venture there’s always the “what ifs” and possibilities of falling straight on your ass. I was afraid that falling would send be running back home with my tail between my legs. Not that I care a lot about what others think, but I didn’t want to let myself down.
The Talent Agency Meeting. In my journey of continuing modeling and pursuing acting, I’ve dealt with agencies here and there in Atlanta. It’s been rough but in order for me to reach my goals, I knew I needed a good machine behind me to help in my development and to keep me competitive in this new market.
Booked a meeting with a talent agency, step one complete right? I thought I’d walk in, flash a smile and put on my southern charm as I explain what I’ve done (I do have a pretty good resume), in turn, they would tell me areas of improvement and how they could help me. WRONG! I’ve never felt so unprepared in my life! The questions flew at me like a flash of light. By the time I answered one, another was being thrown at me. Not being ready for the fast pace conversation made me feel like I’ve never even took an important meeting such as this before. I’ve been signed, I’ve taken meetings, and I’ve had opportunities afforded to me. So why was I acting like a beginner?
As the meeting went on, I knew I was done for. The agent was not fond of my head shots, I had issues pulling up my previous work, and the monologue that I’d been reciting at my cubicle, in the car, and throughout my apartment in Marietta was not coming to me when I needed it to. Let’s just say I blew it.
Walking out of the office, hearing the “We’ll let you know” phrase that really meant thank you for wasting my time, ringing in my head pulled my mood all the way down. So down that only a rum and coke with a call to my best friend would only help pick me up. But after the disappointment dust settled, I decided to take it as a learning opportunity. I’ve done great work and I can take what I had and use it to push me forward.
One mistake I made was that I didn’t walk into that office with the confidence that I KNOW I have. I got into my head, got in my own way. It wasn’t Alexcina Brown, the model/actress in that office. It was plain old Elana “maybe I’m in the wrong place” Brown standing in front of him.
With future meetings, I have to give myself a pep talk, rehearse my monologues that I KNOW I can deliver and walk into any office showing them that they need me on their roster. I appreciate my agency meeting bomb. It was just the practice and preparation I needed for the next big meeting.
The New Outlook: I’m NOT Going Back Home. In this moment, I had two choices. Allow that fear to take over and run back to my comfort zone OR actually give myself a fair chance. In this fair chance, I took on the understanding that everything isn’t going to be perfect or even go my way from the start. But, in making the decision to take whatever comes my way with an open mind and an opportunity for growth.
So here I am, sticking it out. It’s not easy, though the pictures and status updates may appear as me living my best life (don’t get me wrong I am living it up), everything isn’t peachy. Money doesn’t stretch as it did in GA, adjusting to the workings of a new city and its people can be frustrating. On top of that, the hustle of the city can eat you alive if you allow it. But in order to reach higher heights, you have to do what you’ve never done before.
Tell me...What do you do to combat fear, when you're embarking on a new journey?
E. Alexcina Brown
I just like to write and create stuff. These are the diaries of how I'm living in NYC with sprinkles of life lessons I've learned along the way!