April – May – June
If one can’t already tell by scrolling through my social media (or realizing that this post is a few months late) the second quarter of 2019 has been, in lamest terms, busy as fuck. Many goals have been accomplished, new routines have been set, & as the days pass I’m still trying to get a hold of who I am. Like everything else, it’s a work in progress but it’s getting easier while other things get a little difficult. It’s life.
One of the biggest goals that I had set for myself was finally accomplished but in order to grasp that I had to come to terms with leaving a few things behind, even if it’s not fully I don’t do well with change unless I mentally prepare myself & life doesn’t always give me that option.
The beginning of April brought upon some wild opportunities that I had second thoughts on taking because of certain brands & the people associated. All the years of hard work, tears, dedication & I was second-guessing myself because I didn’t know if I was ready to have ‘Giggles Irene’ associated with certain things. It was a few weeks of mixed emotions as I went through the process of landing my own show.
As the years go by, I continue to learn the many many layers of the industry, how things work & the cancel culture of social media. With that, I had to look at things from multiple angles before even saying yes to something that I had been working hard towards. Thankful for the support that I was surrounded by, I took a huge leap of faith & landed “Giggles Irene Radio” (because what else would I name it) on Dash Radio’s 1AM. (For the record that’s not what I wanted to name it, of course, you all should know that I’m not full of myself in the slightest but it was either that or a Cole mixtape & well. It is what it is.)
With the show came a new routine that I couldn’t wait to get started on! All these years of watching others flourish with similar ideas or having others pass on them, I finally gained the ability to bring it all to life on my terms, for something that would benefit my brand, my show, & the creatives I felt lacked on the support side from media outlets. I’m now able to promote, interview, create & get content without anyone else’s approval. Of course, I have to follow the rules & regulations of the station, but I’m technically my own boss with all the creative control I’ve ever wanted… And with that, all the work also ends up falling on me as well. It’s a slight curse but it’s mostly a huge blessing & then some.
I was used to the heavy workload, that was no different but I had nobody to fall back on or lighten it. Nobody to say “I’ll do it, don’t worry.” Within interviews, nobody to pick up where the conversation broke off, nobody to help break the ice, it all fell onto me, which is what I asked for at the end of the day, it just sorta smacked me in the face & again came the flooding emotion of “Am I ready for all of this?”
It’s been a few months now & that thought still lingers because my mindset doesn’t change overnight, but I like to think I’m doing pretty well. I have quite a handful of people say that they listen every week, whether it be when it airs or on streaming services. (Most of them want an interview too, so *shrugs*) I’m also learning to take compliments without tearing myself down & embrace my own mindset when it comes to certain things, so that’s a huge plus within itself. Being consistent was the most difficult part when I first started back in 2016, so I feel proud of my progress. I have high hopes that this will only get easier, & who knows what other tasks I’ll take on? Giggles Irene might become someone else’s team once I’m able to grow & hire people… I would really love for that to happen when the time is right.
Over the years we’ve all learned that I have no shame in supporting the artists that I love so passionately, but at times I felt sort of out of the loop when it came to the hype or viralness of certain artists. Having the show taught me that it’s more than okay to not fall into the trends of liking & overplaying certain artists or songs because one is “supposed to”. That within itself is what makes me unique as a person & a radio personality overall, right? I finally gained the confidence to fully embrace my taste of music with no shame & tune out the voices of others telling me who I should & shouldn’t be a fan of, because at the end of the day I don’t have to fall into the flow of what everyone else likes. It’s one thing to know it, & another thing to say it & follow through with it. When the opinions on who I should interview & play came flying in, I was reminded of why I wanted to get into radio in the first place; to shed light on the ones who aren’t getting radio play, the ones who aren’t about gimmicks, the cliche tracks, & trends. Sure, I understand that who or what I promote might not be for everyone, but it might be for someone out there & for that, I’ll stand by it. That was another goal accomplished within itself, reinforcing myself to fall deeper into my own opinions & stand confidently by them.
Within embracing things about myself, I had to let go of other things to make room so to speak.
Throughout this second quarter, I found myself feeling alone more than ever, which was a big fear of mine team-wise. With not being around Mittee Gang or Rosecrans so much I felt lost in a sense as if I had no home when I came into the city. Not that we didn’t continue to support each other, we still do. I gave myself the thought that I was bugging when I came around & felt out of place because initially, I’m the one that left. Even though I still help out from time to time, I left & that was that.
I had to come to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t be in the loop of anything from now on, asked to lend a hand as often, or be in constant communication because there was no need for that anymore. I had to begin to acknowledge when I wasn’t needed & not push to be used for the sake of feeling like I belonged for the night no matter what was going on. I embraced enjoying an event instead of working it & if it happened, letting things fall apart because it wasn’t my responsibility anymore. From being so hands-on & communicating with everyone every day to going weeks without even one text was hard to get used to but I’m alive. Overly sensitive & overthinking it still, but I’m here. Living & all that.
Remember that internship I was talking about during the first quarter? Well, I’m still doing that as well. Through that, friendships both old & new have grown into great bonds, I’ve learned tasks that I always dreamed of learning that go on behind the scenes. From shows, pop-ups, & club appearances, it’s all work & slight play at the end of the day. Work perks are what I call it online but it’s a phrase I use loosely. I’m embracing how to handle the toughest of situations within the industry from the strong women I’m surrounded by & I’m grateful for this part of my journey.
I’d like to think I’ve found a new home team, but life is unpredictable. As someone I look up to says, “People are fickle” & she’s right. I refuse to get comfortable within a space where I still don’t feel wanted 100% of the time, but I do love being around & lending a hand. It’s in my nature.
Within these past few months, I’ve done my best to check myself in all aspects. Especially my work ethic & confidence. One thing I’m sure of is that I work hard for everything I dive into & no matter the status(s) that I gain, I should never lack in that area. Whether it’s for myself or others, my work ethic should only grow stronger. My confidence has been a constant work in progress & although I’m able to take compliments a bit more now, I still find the need to check myself from to time.
In today’s world, especially with social media, is filled with a few things called hype or clout. I want neither. I wish to continue to bring my best foot forward & bring everyone the real me, no matter what room I stand in & who is in it. Social media numbers, followers, & anything else can be misconstrued, views can be manipulated, & really it’s a facade at the end of the day. If that were to disappear, I want my name to still hold good weight because through my hard work, I continue to gain true confidence. The more people I meet within the industry the more I’m aware & told that people are watching, whether it be via social media, my peers, or my mentors’ people are always watching. As I’m complimented or given praise, I want the praise I receive to stem from a great conversation from one of my interviews, how I handled a tough situation at work, how I was able to solve a problem, how I maneuver through this male-dominated industry with respect for myself & others. No matter the clout or hype, I plan to remain the same ol’ Giggles Irene with a slight confidence boost, yet a well earned one.
As I continue to set new goals & watch my mental health & care for the ones around me, life is a constant test that I’m studying for. Through these tests there were many changes, plenty I didn’t want & some I was eager for. As everything around me looks as it’s blossoming, another test comes about while the garden gets crowded. Although everything may look beautiful, a lot of it is just weeds asking to be pulled so I can focus. The third quarter is almost over as I finish with this post, but I promise that one will be on time. I’ve been working on it as the months go by… progress.