Nobody warned me about this New York heatwave!
The month of June hit, the weather was heating up, which was a relief because of the never ending cold season. My crop tops were ready to come out and play. I spent the first sunset of summer chillin at Riverbank State Park as the beautiful colors of God’s creation painted the New York sky over the Hudson River. July came around and it started off good. Warm but not too hot. My box fan in the window, along with breezes climbing to my fifth floor, served me just fine.
Why did I have a fan and no central air nor an A/C? Welp in NYC some older building aren’t equipped with central heat and air and in order to cool your apartment down, you need a window unit. Didn’t buy one for my apartment because, as I said, the box fan served me just fine. Plus it’s New York, it’s mostly cold throughout the year. So I thought…
As the temperatures rose, the fan worked overtime to blow out hot air. Since my skin is so sensitive at the wrong times of the year, I suffered from clammy skin and heat bumps. In addition, letting my windows up not only allowed for sporadic breezes to flow, insects felt it was an open invitation to come join my “hot” party. Seeking refuge in my apartment as well as seeing me as a snack. And not the “snack” that’s sweeping the social media comments and captions.
One day while standing in front of my open freezer, I couldn’t take it anymore. I humped it around the corner to a local outlet store and found a window unit A/C. I’ve seen these things get installed before, no big deal right? Well before then, I had to get it home and up my 5-floor walkup. Taking my strength to walk it across the street, I realized that carrying this heavy cooling system was a no-go. Uber to the rescue!
Now it was time for me to get it up the stairs. Usually the walk-up doesn’t bother me but man I needed an elevator for a day like that. All in all, I took a deep breath and carried the A/C up the stairs, no breaks, no one randomly in the hallway asking if I need help. Just me. Reaching the door, I dragged that sucker in.
Installation time. My living room window was too big for the small unit. Didn’t realize that until I tried to screw in the final bolts. My bedroom window was the last resort. However, there was a road block. Bars screwed from the inside of the window, used as a guard for small children to prevent them from going out on the fire escape. Understandable but useless for me. I’m a grown up I don’t need it. After unscrewing the window guard I was ready to install the A/C. Late afternoon turned to evening as I adjusted, re-adjusted, and adjusted the A/C to make sure this thing wouldn’t fall out the window and break.
The big relief came when I plugged it in and the cool air flowed. After all my struggles, the cruel summer inside of my apartment was at an end. Well almost…
Remember the bug party? Well New York seems to have a different breed of mosquitoes that are uncommon in GA. And uncommon to my sensitive skin. One or two bites turned into allergic reactions on my legs. GREAT! So now I sit here, doused in calamine lotion hoping for this irritation to clear up before a modeling gig. A modeling gig that consists of me wearing summer wear and a swim suit. Will the madness ever end?
Definitely looking forward to the Fall. I shall never complain about a long winter ever again. I LOVE summer don’t get me wrong, but it can turn cruel on you in a split-second. Just when you’re getting comfortable. Stay cool peeps!
What’s your “Cruel Summer” story? Please share!
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?
Welcome the HEARTBREAK!
Tap into the heartbreak and engage in the conversations many are too afraid to start with lovers...
Learn more about the Heartbreak Diaries Series!
Staying on Task. Going for your Dreams in the NYC
Walking through Manhattan, busy streets, people moving quickly, buildings on top of buildings filled with art, business, beauty, fashion, and God only knows what else. Passing through places like Brooklyn and Queens admiring the murals, small businesses, and the various cultures who all had a hand in building these boroughs. Experiencing these wanders first-hand, how can you NOT get inspired to want something for yourself?
We all know that NYC is a hustle city.
You must hustle to survive financially, spiritually, and even emotionally during the MTA mishaps, awkward encounters with people, and the weather that will leave you shell shocked if you come from the south.
The spirit of NYC ignites a fire within the dreamers who relocate here looking for more opportunities or to start over. I don’t see how anyone could move here just to be here. There’s always another door to knock on, and more pavement to pound. However, it doesn’t come easy. That’s where the hustle has to kick into over drive.
Staying the course.
Now, it is easy to come here and get caught up in the nightlife, people, and events. If you’re not careful, you can lose focus. This is why it is imperative to always have a reminder of why you came here in the first place. Enjoy the town but understand that while you're sleeping, out partying, or just getting taken away from the views, there are thousands more who are moving past you to get things done.
Here’s a few tidbits I’ve picked up on how to stay focused within a city that has so much going on:
What do you do to stay focused? Comment below!
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 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!"
- The Blakk Dahlia