WHY IT'S OKAY TO LOSE YOURSELF AT TIMES

 
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This blog post has been a long time coming. But even with that said, it's still difficult to write even as I am typing these words. Let me first say, that I am so thankful to have this platform to be able to be raw and open with y'all. And I've always said that no matter what, I will keep things real on here even when it's not pretty. After all, my goal of this blog is to write about REAL life and how we often find that we are 'REINVENTING' ourselves. 

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This year has not been my best. I had high hopes for what would be to come and what I would accomplish. If your new here, let me back up a little to the Summer of 2015. I had just left my comfy corporate job here in the city after deciding that I wanted to explore other options. At the time, I didn't know what those other options were. For the first time in my life, I left a job with no plan as to where I would be next. The month before I left, I started my blog Reinventing Rae NYC. Initially the blog was a way to connect with friends and family since I had just moved to New York six months prior. I knew nothing about blogging at the time, but I had a passion for writing. I had no clear vision of where the blog would eventually go, I just knew I wanted to write about life here in the city and real things happening in my day to day life.

In late 2015, I started to play around with the idea of starting my own business. Although I wasn't sure what exactly it would entail, I was excited for the possibilities. Fast forward over the next year, after talking to a friend, ideas started to come together for a product based business. Products that would include drinkware (coffee mugs, wine glasses, tumblers, etc., with a plan of eventually adding party accessories and stationary. I have a passion for putting together gifts for friends and loved ones as well as planning any type of event or social gathering. This was my brain telling me to put all of my passions to good use and make it profitable. In August of 2016, I started to put plans together and collaborate with a friend who had the talent I needed to make my ideas a reality.

But early on in 2016, my personal life was falling apart. (Well, at least that's how it felt anyways) I was struggling with myself in this new found free time on my hands and the lack of structure in my everyday life. Although it would be my busiest year yet, having friends and family visit me in the city almost every month. Not even kidding. This kept me distracted in a lot of ways although I welcomed it most of the time. Which also allowed me to be less accountable for myself, claiming that I was "too busy" to do anything else. And on top of everything, my parents decided to divorce after 26 years of marriage. And even though it wasn't a complete shock, the aftermath hit me hard. I am not one to adapt to change very well, especially when it involves those closest to me. And this would prove to bring a lot of change that I was in no way prepared for.

Over the course of the year, I quickly lost focus of my business planning and started to loose sight of what my goals actually were. I was struggling to be happy and stay in a positive place when I felt like so many things were falling apart. This continued into 2017, even though I set out to finally conquer my fears and get serious about starting my business. This year has been full of ups and downs. I would take several steps forward and then I would take even more steps back. I even sought out a business mentor and completed my business plan. And with the push of friends and family, I made the bold move of ordering physical products in hopes to launch and start selling in the Fall of this year. But when those products finally arrived, they were less than desirable. There were more mugs with imprint errors, than there were ones that I could actually sell. It was a huge disappointment. Luckily, I was able to return the product (all 446 mugs) and received a full refund. Everyone was busy reassuring me that things like this happen and I could easily begin again. But I felt like something was missing all along and that maybe this was a sign. Even with all the progress I was able to make throughout this year, I was still holding myself back from moving forward with everything.

For the past 6+ months I have admittedly been depressed. Which is something I have battled with before. However, it is never easy to openly talk about. And I think that several factors have contributed to my depression this time around. As time has gone on, it has proven to be difficult to stay motivated and be productive while at home full time. Structure is something I never realized I relied on so much until I had to create it for myself. And with lack of a consistent schedule, my sleep habits were a mess. I have gone through periods of staying up all hours of the night with little to no sleep to days where I barely function before noon. I've questioned what I really want my career to look like and IF I have the ability to make it happen. I've allowed fear and insecurities to take over even when I had all the resources. And my family and I continue to try and adjust to a new "normal". 

It wasn't until a few weeks ago, that I finally opened up to a few close friends with all my recent struggles and everything I had been going through. It was hard to put into words at first, but I felt relieved to talk about it openly. And it was in those conversations when I started to realize that it's okay to lose yourself at times. Nobody is perfect. We are all human. We all have shitty things that happen to us in life. And we all certainly go through difficult times. We can't expect ourselves to always keep going when we feel like breaking down. And sometimes you just need to listen to your gut and take a step back. 

I somehow started to build up walls in order to protect myself, but in reality those same walls have made me closed off from the people and things I love most. And I know now that often times you have to break down to get back up. And most importantly, give yourself the chance to cope with things. I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason. And maybe you have to go through the real tough shit in order to come out better than you were before. 

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Now, I am more determined than ever to pick up the pieces and keep moving forward. I still have a lot of things to consider and work through. But one thing I know for certain, is that I really want to focus on my blog over the next year. I put so much hard work into building a new website this past April. And I feel like I ended up neglecting the blog over these past few months. Writing has always been such a great outlet and I want to continue to share things that I'm passionate about with y'all. I've already started working on lots of new content for the coming months. 

We are never as broken as we think we are. So, if you're going through a season of change or feel like your life is in chaos. Remember this. EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY. 

 

XO, Rae 

JORD WOOD WATCHES: THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT

 
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The Holiday Season is officially upon us, which means it's time to start thinking about gift giving for friends and family. I'm always looking for unique gifts that stand out from the crowd. And this year I'm excited to be partnering with JORD Wood Watches to help you gift the ones you love, a unique and timeless gift. 

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Speaking of gifts, I must have been on the NICE list this year! Because I received an early Christmas gift of my very own wood watch from JORD. I'm wearing the CASSIA walnut and vintage rose  and I'm OBSESSED. This watch is not only GORGEOUS and FEMININE. But it's also stylish and makes for the perfect accessory to compliment any outfit. The CASSIA women's watch features a full roman numeral dial with a metal and wood interlocked band. JORD watches are so unique because they each feature 100% natural, hand finished woods. And they offer styles for both men and women, making it easy to get all of your holiday shopping done early. 

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And as a special offer for my followers, JORD is giving you 25% OFF toward your holiday purchases. You can sign up here to receive your 25% OFF coupon code instantly via email. But HURRY, because this offer expires December 15th, 2017!!

You can shop the men's watches here: 

 https://www.jordwatches.com/shop/men/#reinventingraenyc

You can shop the women's watches here:  

https://www.jordwatches.com/shop/women/#reinventingraenyc

Can't wait to see which JORD watch you choose to gift!! Who are you shopping for....Mom? Dad? Boyfriend? Best Friend?  Or are you thinking of treating yourself?! Let me know in the comments below! Make sure to follow along on Instagram for more special offers like this one! 

 

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This post was Sponsored by JORD Wood Watches. All opinions are my own.  

 

XO, Rae

5 THINGS I'VE LEARNED FROM BLOGGING: 2 YEAR BLOGIVERSARY

 
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This past week, I celebrated the second anniversary of my blog 'Reinventing Rae NYC'. What started out as a way to let friends/family get a glimpse into my life here in the city, soon became more than that. Writing has also become an outlet and has allowed me to connect with so many amazing people through my blog and social media. I learned so much in my first year of blogging. And this year has been more trial and error. I focused more on social media, being more intent with my content, as well as design. My website underwent a huge makeover last month and I decided to change platforms using Squarespace. It has been by far the best investment I've made with my blog. This year I also realized that blogging is something I really want to start treating as a business and I've learned a lot along the way. 

 

1. BE AUTHENTIC

My goal from the very beginning has been to be 100% real when it comes to the content on my blog . And I've always said I wanted to share the good with the bad and even the messy parts of my life. This has proven to be something that my audience appreciates. Often times it's when I write the most real and vulnerable blog posts, is when my audience engages the most. It's easy to only want to share the pretty stuff, but life isn't perfect and your readers don't expect for you to be either. Your audience will want to follow your journey even more if they feel like they can relate to you, perfect or not. 

2. DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER'S

Now days with social media, it's easy to get caught up in the comparison trap. And often times with so many bloggers out there, it's hard to feel like you stand out from the crowd. But I've learned that there IS enough room for everyone, including myself. Every blogger has a different story and purpose. And that's what makes it great for bloggers, we all bring something different to relate to. So don't waste time comparing yourself to someone else out there. People will follow you for being YOU.

3. ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE

In my first year of blogging, I wasn't consistent enough with engaging with my audience and it was definitely something I wanted to change. I didn't always know how or what to say to get people to want to comment on my blog posts or Instagram photos. So one thing, I've done differently is ask more questions with each blog post and social media posts. This has helped in getting the conversation flowing. I also try to comment on other bloggers content and social media as often as I can. For me, one of the best things about being a Blogger, is getting to interact with followers and other creatives.

4. DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP

There is so much more to blogging than just writing great content. There's choosing a platform, social media, photography, networking, promoting, collaborating and lots of planning in between. It's impossible to know how to do everything because blogging is constantly evolving. Thankfully Facebook groups exist, where like minded bloggers can ask all the questions and get advice on areas where you may not be as knowledgeable. One of my favorite Facebook groups is Think Creative Collective. I've learned to stop trying to learn it all on my own and ask for help when needed. Because trust me, no one has it all figured out at first! 

5. DO WHAT YOU LOVE

Being a blogger means getting to write about the things you LOVE. Whether it be fashion, beauty, lifestyle or the city you live in. And getting to share my life here in New York with complete strangers is pretty amazing. Blogging for me, has given me the opportunity to share life stories, connect with amazing people and has often been like free therapy in the process. It's true what they say, if you love what you do, then it doesn't feel like work.  

 

What would you like to see more of on the blog!? Drop your ideas in the comments below.

 

XO, Rae

WELCOME TO 'REINVENTING RAE NYC

 

Hi, My name is Dana Rae, I'm 32 years old and I recently moved to New York City after all signs pointed me here. You can read more on how I got here and why I decided to make the big move, very SOON. 

Blogging is NEW for me, but what I hope to create is a LIFESTYLE BLOG full of real life stories and experiences. Sharing everything from friendships, life in your thirties, travel, beauty and of course all things New York City. 

I hope you will follow along on this new journey of mine. Oh, and I should mention that we will drink lots of WINE along the way. So, grab a glass (or bottle) and let's get started! I'm so happy you're here. 

 

XO, Rae