My first Instagram post was in 2012. I left the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and was over the moon excited to get home and blog about my experience and interviews backstage. A friend recommended that I share my blurry AF photo of Miranda Kerr on Instagram as a little sneak peek of what was to come on my blog. I was hesitant at first, mostly because I hate attention and I’m by no means photographer status, but the opportunity to promote my blog on a platform other than Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter was far too tempting to resist. I was so young and oblivious to the fact that this app was about to change everything.
Full disclosure— I hate traveling. This goes back to college, when I lied and told my friends and family that my major didn’t allow me to study abroad… I like my own bed, sue me. Nowadays, if a guy’s profile on Bumble says “I love to travel!” or “just got back from traveling the world!” I immediately block his account and continue to swipe left in fear. Clearly, I’ve known deep down that this isn’t an interest of mine but only of recent have I owned it.
I don’t like trips abroad, cooking, manicures, the beach or drinking… so if you scroll through my Instagram, you may decide I’m the least fun person you’ll ever meet. But at least I’m being honest. You can’t tell me that everyone on social media enjoys unicorn toast in the AM, followed by a Starbucks unicorn frappuccino and the real magic is getting to SoulCycle that evening. We make it clear what our passions and hobbies are but leave out what we don’t like because it’s uncomfortable. Disliking something will make us sound less fun, right?
I get it though. We want everyone to think we’re a good time. I used to think that confessing my strong disinterest in things like traveling would make me sound less adventurous, independent or more introverted than I already seem… But I realized how communicating to others about what doesn’t interest me can be just as important as telling them what does. No brainer? Maybe in 2004. Personally, I found it to be difficult when social media wants me to portray an image of what most people like to do in their free time. Here are some of my do’s and don’ts I’ve been living by.
DON’T commit to going on a hike if you despise working out or agree to go shopping when you are poor AF this month. The more you agree to doing activities you dread the more anxious you’ll feel before them and chances are you will cancel last minute.
DO make a plan you’ll actually look forward to. While this might take a little extra creativity and research you can’t expect worthwhile, special memories to come to life when you’re busy doing the same old, same old. More fun=less flaking!
DON’T try to force your friends to be something their not. It’s ok if they hate SoulCycle or don’t eat sushi.
DO look for others who share similar interests by getting involved. Whether it’s a writers group, a book club, dance class or volunteer work… great clubs exist even after college!
DON’T plan activities around what’s “Instagram worthy.” I went to this tea place in LA because everyone was posting the neon light sign it had inside. The place was a hole in the wall, not to mention the tea wasn’t that good and was totally overpriced.
DO switch things up a bit and go somewhere you aren’t allowed to take photos, have to turn your phone off… or can’t share on social media because it’s that scandalous ;) On the podcast, The Other F Word, Billy Baker talks about the struggle of getting his group of friends together so he thought back to when they were kids and what their favorite day of the year was. Naturally, it was playing hooky from school. He decided to plan one day out of the year where all his friends would agree to call out sick from work and enjoy a Friday off together.
DON’T compromise with those who won’t compromise. When I was in college I would agree to go out and drink, because that’s what my friends wanted to do. When the next weekend rolled around and they originally agreed to do something else they would bail last minute and continue to hit up the usual club. I stopped compromising with people like this and stopped trying to like drinking to keep the friendship alive.
DO compromise with those who enjoy your company, regardless where you are or what the activity is. Compromise is going to the movies with your boyfriend, even though you hate thrillers, and him going to a new museum with you, even though he doesn’t give a shit about art. Compromise is key and those who love you show it through their selfless actions.
It was the first Thanksgiving that I wouldn’t be with my family. Instead, I would be in the car for a long seven hours on the way to Santa Cruz with my LA bestie Annie to spend the holiday with her family. Annie’s appetite and desire for intellectual and meaningful conversations with others is just one of the many things I love about her—there’s seriously no better person to road trip with. But after chatting about ourselves for a long five hours and self evaluating one another to death, Annie decided to put on a podcast.
I always thought of myself as more of a radio person, or Spotify for that matter, but with much time to kill I figured one or two episodes could help pass the time. To my surprise, the next five hours flew by as we listened to various shows that kept us awake and sparked those intellectually stimulating discussions we both love.
Whether I’m depressed, anxious or too lazy to leave my bed to find the remote, I feel as though I can always turn on a podcast that will suppress each crazy ass mood and bring me back to life. Here’s a few of my favorite podcasts that you need to subscribe to.
For when you need to stop being pessimistic: The Other F Word
This was the second podcast I stumbled upon and instantly fell in love with. The hosts of the podcast interview celebrities, athletes and industry leaders who might seem to have made it without any struggles or “failures” along the way. Those who are interviewed discuss their careers and how they’ve gotten to where they are today thanks to their past failures. I enjoy this podcast because I’m a big believer in that our failures mold the type of person we are and help to build resilience… not to mention make for a good story. From “failing” at breastfeeding to being a middle-aged man and coping with loneliness… there’s something inspirational for everyone and I personally take away a little something from each episode.
Well, the honeymoons over. I find myself daydreaming while sitting in traffic on the 101, wondering if the west coast is truly the best coast for me and how many years I’ll be living here. It’s been about one year that I’ve been in LA and honestly California has begun to lose it’s new glow. Much like the start of a new relationship or job, I’ve been feeling that 1-year itch and struggling to keep the love alive for this sunny city. Palm trees are just basic trees nowadays and while the weather is nice I could honestly go for a snow day every now and then. It doesn’t help that I can’t answer everyone’s question, “so, when do you think you’re moving back?” If only I knew. In desperate need for a road map of where my life is heading, I decided to seek therapy. While I thought it would be much harder to find someone local who accepts my insurance, having a therapist in Los Angeles is more common than having a pet or lip injections so no big problems there.
I hardly came up for air during my first session. I felt the need to fill her in on the past year as quickly as possible so we could get down to business on building my future ASAP and she could tell me if I should move back to NY or not. After taking her through my move, the breakup and new job within 60 minutes I’m positive the poor thing had to schedule her own therapy sesh that evening. It’s been about 3 months now and the cool shit my therapist says has helped me tremendously and I’ve become less concerned about seeing the final destination on my road map and instead have been working on figuring out how I can enjoy this ride no matter how many twists and turns come along the way. Here’s some free advice straight my therapist, you’re welcome.
“It’s normal to crave the chaos.” In June of 2016 I remember telling my coworker how I was ready for the next big change—BRING IT ON! She urged me to sit the fuck down and to enjoy the moment and absorb everything that had just happened. Truth is, I became used to using my fight-or-flight responses and being on my toes that when it finally came time that I could stand still I didn’t know how to keep both feet on the ground. My therapist said it’s normal to crave chaos, of course we’d rather keeping moving than focus on fixing the present. I know now craving that chaos doesn’t suddenly make me spontaneous or fearless, in fact, there’s courage and strength in practicing stillness and fighting your demons and deep-rooted issues head on.
“Hey Dayna, come see how cool the new toilet flushes!” my dad said when I came home for my brother’s 30th and Fashion Week. Some things never change…
When I was in New York I subconsciously was looking for that “ah ha moment” where I’d feel like, this is home and this is why I love NYC. That would’ve been easier… knowing that one day I’d come back and be closer to my family and friends. But I never had that moment of clarity.
Did you ever have that feeling of excitement coming home from college, that, “it’s good to be home” feeling as you drove around wowed by all the little updates in your town? It felt as though New York and I were growing together and I loved that. But this time was different. I drove around lovely Long Island (sarcasm) and didn’t feel a thing. In fact, the most “exciting” upgrade in my hood was my dad’s new toilet.
Before I begin I want to say that I am so incredibly grateful to have had such experiences being backstage at previous fashion shows. I know there are a ton of girls who would love to have been given those opportunities… which is why I am making room for them. This was my last year attending New York Fashion Week.
My first year at NYFW was in 2010 when I was in college. Since I studied fashion, I was presented the opportunity to work a few of the shows, one being BCBGMAXAZRIA. I remember working the door and feeling so fucking cool… even with my worker’s shirt on. As I was finishing help those find their seats, one of the PR girls was freaking out that two seats in the 2nd row were empty. This doesn’t look good for designers and wouldn’t appear nicely in photos captured of the show. Naturally, a friend and I were happy to fill in the gaps. I recall sitting there next to her and listening to her gasp and afterwards say it was one of the coolest moments of her life. I agreed it was cool, but deep down I really didn’t give a shit. I should’ve know at that moment that maybe fashion isn’t my calling.
Fast forward a few years later when I wrote about the models you should follow on Instagram and featured fun GIFS (or as everyone calls them now, boomerangs) of the models backstage. I wrote these articles because I felt like for those like me, who might not be totally inspired by the latest trends, can at least see that there is more to the women who walk the runway and that’s why I enjoyed being backstage vs watching the shows. Without knowing it at the time, I was starting to transition from a fashion blog to more lifestyle content.
Recently, I had a physical and finally found a doctor in California. It was right around the corner from work and it was an easy in and out—didn’t have to experience that deadly long wait at a doctor’s office. When the doctor called me in she asked me a few questions, the usual, “are you allergic to anything?”, “do any health problems and/or diseases run in your family?” all that boring stuff. Then she asked me to step on the scale so she can get my weight…. I gained 10 lbs. TEN POUNDS.
I didn’t think of the 4th of July cupcakes I enjoyed all by myself or the fact that when I do go to the gym I just chill on the elliptical and watch Bravo because I only get basic cable at home. Nope, instead I questioned the doctor, asked her to check again, then calmly suggested, “Maybe I have a thyroid problem? Or could it be the medicine I was on when I was sick? Wait! I think I am getting my period soon?!” The doctor smiled, probably holding back her laughter, and said, “I think you’ve just have had a stressful last couple months and need to work out…” That. Bitch. But you know what, this time has been stressful. Living in a new state, starting a new job, bills galore… I’m not going to stress over this too. A six pack and a tight ass hasn’t been my main focus and when I’ve tried being more active this is what happened. Just a few struggles I faced when I’ve tried to get my gym on…
- I got a trainer, just for one 1 hr. session in attempts to stop watching TV at the gym, but canceled on him 4 times already. Most recently it was because my makeup was on point, the night was young and my face needed to be shared with the world. Sadly, I just hung out at Starbucks blogging. On a positive note, I think the coffee got my heart rate up ;)
- Because my friends at work feel me on the gym struggles, I downloaded this app called Bvddy. Bvddy seemed like a good idea at first because you get to connect with people around you who are interested in working out together. I selected all different activities I’d be interest in. Tennis, volleyball, running… even freaking badminton. Unfortunately, the guys on the app treated it like it was Tinder 2.0, messaging me inappropriate things and chose the sport “other”. I politely responded that I’d rather be fat and hit the gym alone.
- I’m sorry, but I kind of blame California. When I lived in NYC I was walking everywhere. That was my workout! Now I’ve become one of those people who drives 2 blocks to get a juice. 50% healthy, 50% still lazy.
- This might sound like a lame excuse but I’m sure many girls can feel me on this one. The struggle is real when you have long hair. When I decided to be a good girl and go to LA Fitness after work I realized that I forgot my bobby pins to pull my bangs back and a tight hair tie. If I can’t pull my hair up, god knows my workout isn’t going down. This left me with 2 options, watch Bravo on the elliptical instead of running on the treadmill or go home. Excited to say that I stayed at the gym and that Bethenny Frankel and Sonja are on better terms now. YAYYYY!
I’ll have to let these things (aka excuses) not get in the way of my workout routine this month. But for now, it’s much more fun to embrace the real life struggles of hitting the gym :)
Marnie was, and still is a total roller coaster on the HBO show, Girls. We all know when she claims to be “okay”, girlfriend is sooo not okay. Marnie and I both do this thing where we put on our happy face and hold things in. I’m fully aware of this now because I realized I am indeed this character on Girls. Sooner or later, we burn ourselves out when we do this. Case and point, my semi breakdown this week that totally screwed up all the goals I put into place this month. However, unlike Marnie, I see that I might’ve pushed myself too hard to escape my emotions. Therefore, I feel zero guilt for these 4 epic fails this June
FAIL #1: Start a healthier diet
This past Wednesday I was grocery shopping and saw the most adorbs 4th of July cupcakes and figured I’d bring them to the office for the girls along with a bottle of wine. I told my bestie, Olivia who lives in NYC, about my sweet gesture but naturally she calls me out saying, “Dayna, you don’t even eat cupcakes!?!” And I thought, “Well, I can’t just bring wine, can I?” Anyways, she was right. I don’t do cupcakes. Or brownies. Or anything unhealthy really because I’m a freak who was once gluten-free and enjoyed juice cleanses (bless my 19-year-old self).
That night I wanted something delish after dinner and usually a piece of dark chocolate does the trick but the little bastards were looking at me and I couldn’t resist their cuteness. I tried to look away and think about the healthy new diet I decided to get back into this month. But, low and behold, I guess I fucking eat cupcakes now.
The next morning my coworker, Annie, noticed my blue tongue and said, “cupcakes for breakfast?..” But hell this is coming from a girl who eats string cheese like it’s her job so… Needless to say the cupcakes and wine didn’t make it to the office this week.