It’s been a while, since I’ve been “really real”; and, usually, that happens on Twitter. What better way to get everyone to understand than by writing a personal piece while I’m literally PMSing and plotting more? Just so we’re clear, and so it’s stated for the record, women can be “worked up” and factual; I can PMS and still make sense; I can be a woman and *shocker* still get my work done without my emotions getting in the way. Got it?
I graduated from Hofstra University with my bachelor of arts in broadcast journalism, minoring in public relations and photography. Some believe it’s a waste of time and money, while the rest, including myself, appreciate the real-world knowledge and by-the-book process it takes to become a true journalist or publicist. You’re also forced to get an internship in my field, so I appreciate being exposed to different worlds including radio, independent film, “electronic-music journalism”, beauty blogs, crime reporting, etc. In a nut shell, I got a great education from an accredited university, but life has had me floating around in terms of my “career” with good reasoning.
I’m the creator of a blog that I designed all on my own, I’ve done a number of film-photo series that have appeared in galleries, I’ve interviewed probably more DJs than actual “witnesses for a story”, and I’ve covered more “EDM” shows than the illest groupie. I’ve been a radio host for four years, transitioning from alternative rock to top 40 to a hip hop show, and I’ve even–not so surprisingly, considering my father was a DJ and so is my boyfriend–mastered my genetically predisposed talent of spinning on a turntable. I’ve been a part of releasing and organizing some really amazing independent films featuring award-winning actresses including Chloë Sevigny and Elizabeth Banks, and I’ve even worked events alongside Jennifer and Mario Lopez. At the beginning of this year, I worked with senior publicists on accounts such as Lana Del Rey, Modest Mouse, and Mathew E. White; I’ve dealt with journalists from every large outlet you can possibly think of, which should be a job in itself. And, now, aside from all of my music and nightlife endeavors, I manage a millionaire’s life.
In a previous post, I’ve downplayed how much I’ve actually done for myself–only acknowledging the monetary successes in my life. It’s not that I’ve never realized how much I’ve done, I’ve just never seen it as that important because it was all so random. It was never just ONE job with ONE income. I’ve always worked multiple jobs and had multiple incomes to make up for what most people around me were ranking in all at one shot. If it sounds like I’m bragging, maybe I am? Is it a problem to be proud that I had to work numerous short-end goal jobs to get the experience I need? Is it a crime to be proud of myself for not settling? Either way, I’m damn proud of my accomplishments for a 23 year old Hispanic woman from the Bronx, who was raised by a “teen mom”.
Sadly, having a boyfriend–that went to the same exact school for a degree he doesn’t need to use professionally–who gets paid to do what he loves and deserves, occasionally brings me back to that “monetary success only” mind frame. Now, this is not to downplay him or rant about how much more he gets than I, because the truth is that is false. And, regardless, we both build each other up and have high/low points that coincide with each other almost magically. When he’s down, I’m usually up and can lift him; vice versa; it’s almost as if the gods up there placed us into each other’s lives for that very reason.
The issue I’ve been dealing with, and quite frankly haven’t even discussed with anyone, is the idea that I must be so lucky and proud to have someone as talented as him to call my own. Let’s be very clear, I am extremely proud of the man and artist my boyfriend has become. I’m more than elated to watch him flourish, having seen him practice endlessly in a tiny, sad excuse for a dorm room (more like a makeshift walk-in closet). There is nothing he has received in his career world that he has not worked for, earned, or deserved. None of these are in question on my end.
What’s in question is the whole, “you’re so lucky”.
Luck? As if I just went to the casino, rolled some die and won a dream boy. Or, as if I rubbed a magic lamp and asked for a man in my same college, who loves music just as much as me, but takes it a bit further with DJing. As if, my personal accomplishments and gain aren’t more important (if we’re talking about “luck”) than the fact that I “scored” me an increasingly successful boyfriend. Yes, he does all these amazing things and includes me in on some of them such as our monthly #HOTACTiON parties, our weekly online radio show REQUiRED MONDAYS, and random mixes or b2b’s (back to backs). We make an insanely talented team and are quite frankly unstoppable, when it comes to achieving what we set our mind to; he pushes me, and I push him.
However, for example people see “Hot Action” and think of him. They see all of these flyers and ideas and artists on the lineup, and they think of him. Rightfully so, as he rejuvenated this throwback party series and fostered relationships to snag things such as venues, guest DJs, and hosts. What people don’t see, and it’s partially my fault, is what I bring to the table. This isn’t a “stomp and cry” post and nag about not getting the recognition I deserve–because I do deserve it–it’s to shed light on how we naturally gravitate towards rewarding and congratulating a male without realizing the female that’s nine times out of ten the engine behind it.
I know I don’t have to tell him what I do that helps HIS business, because he rewards me and makes me feel appreciated every. single. time. I think it’s the circle around us that praise him and hold him on a pedestal, while merely acknowledging me as the “good girlfriend who helps out so much.” On his end, he’s “so lucky” to have me because I love music just as much as him. He’s “so lucky” to have a girlfriend that can party with him. He’s “so lucky” to have a girlfriend that doesn’t always need to go out to the clubs with him, but also won’t nag him via text.
Let’s throw away this “luck” and discuss some facts. You know that degree in journalism and pr that I was talking about earlier? Sometimes I think I don’t use it often, but in reality when it comes to OUR music and nightlife ideas, MY degree and MY knowledge help shape, define and solidify the outcome of everything he gets praise for. I put on my nice little dress or skirt or skin tight pants, post up at the “door”, collect the money from patrons, and watch as people pat him on the back. I’m merely a prop in this sick fixation people have with our relationship; I’m “the help”. Now, don’t get me wrong, we have our close friends that know exactly what I bring to the table, but this is for those who don’t. This is to clear the air and make it blatantly known that the party, the radio show and anything else we do together would not have an overall theme, concise planning, marketing tools, social media, or even something as simple as an email account without my doing. Granted, I would not have to do any of this if he didn’t think of the general idea… but do you see where I’m going?
We work together. We brainstorm together. He brings his ideas, I help make them come to life. I bring my ideas, he appreciates and adds it into his plan. We’re a team, but we also have our own skills, our own goals, our own lives. We are individuals that should be treated as such, when praising is involved. He gets his credit, I get mine. He’s not lucky to have me, and I’m not lucky to have him. We’re blessed to have each other and acknowledge the fact that we both can work in the same world and drift off into others simultaneously. He’s a wonderful human being that has taught me more than anyone else about nightlife and music and partying. But, I’ve also taught him about how to run businesses, how to properly plan and execute, how to push his music through the right mediums and at the right time, and much more. Of course he doesn’t always take my input and sometimes my ideas are stupid — but they’re just that: mine.
I’m constantly plotting more to benefit us, him and myself. I’m constantly plotting more ways to be creative, stay ahead of the curve, learn from other people and listen to the veterans. I’m also constantly plotting on how I can let the world know that I am my own person and I’m not just someone’s girlfriend that helps out here and there. “I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit.” All I ask is that people respect it.