Over the past few weeks I’ve had at least 10 people DM me on Instagram and ask me what I do for a living. My first thought is “Whaaa? My profile says ‘Design director in NYC, and writer/author’ Pretty clear no?” But then it dawned on me that for a person that writes about life, and other people’s issue I haven’t really shared many of my own. Who IS this this person that posts quotes on Instagram, and what kind of design director? And why do you feel the need to give advice online? What’s my name!? ha-ha
I wrote a book about my life, and while it’s personal, juicy, and inspiring, and showcases a lot of whom I am, it’s very hard to convey that through a daily blog because a blog is instantaneous, a small breath in a lifetime of experiences. But I am realizing that’s Ok.
For everyone who likes my humor, the quotes I post, who reads a random blog post of mine from time to time, or maybe they just follow me for my outfits and travel, who knows… I am an apparel design director by day and a writer by night. My days are really long, a 12 hour work day is normal in New York City, if not 14 or 16. I’m sure my life via social media seems glamorous, traveling the world and posting many hilarious videos with my assistant, but in all reality it took me a really long time to get where I am, and now that I’m here it’s still exhausting ha-ha.
Most people don’t know that I came from nothing, less than nothing really, it was just myself and my little sister for a very long time. When it came to the point for me to put myself through design school with no way, and no how it was just another challenge I had to overcome. I never saw it as something I couldn’t achieve, couldn’t do- I viewed the impossible like everything else in my life, something that had to get done because I didn’t have a choice. I didn’t have parents to fall back on, or a rich uncle to bail me out, I had no one teaching me what a 401k was, I didn’t shop for sugar daddy’s on weekends, or look for easy ways out, I never imagined myself living an ordinary life. I had dreams, I wanted more for myself, I wanted more for my little sister, and so I pushed forward. Forward through adversity, through an alcoholic mother, an absent father, a stint as a professional childhood singer, a latchkey adoption, having a guardian of another race, learning that love is not black and white, and neither are people or experiences.
This level of drive and ambition has followed me throughout my career, has lent a hand to the voice that I utilize when I live my life. I work really hard, I learn very quickly, and I’m not afraid to speak up if I see something that goes against my moral values- job be damned. I now spend on average, about 55 hours a week creating and growing new brands for a large e-commerce company in NYC, and when I get home I write. I have been writing my entire life, but only now does it feel relevant, because now I have something real to say, a book’s worth of life lessons to lean on. The amazing thing is I’m still growing, still learning. The writing doesn’t feel like work, because it’s more of a showcase of my soul than anything else.
My hope as a writer, my goal, is that I can inspire you and make you see that regardless of your upbringing, any challenges that you may have faced, and any calamity that has followed you, you can shift the direction of your life by shifting your outlook, shifting your purpose.
From one imperfect human to another, with a coffee cup to my lips, I wish you an amazing week! And next time you say hi to me on Instagram, hopefully now you understand what is it that I do, because I am not a travel blogger. ha.
It will all be OK, Oni~