Live out Loud Too Blog

Is she too old for that TikTok mess?

 

TikTok has been around as a successful platform for about two years. At least for my knowledge. At first, it was a platform for dancing teenagers and voiceovers, now everyone has space on it. It took me forever to get into it, as I was very resistant to the idea of dancing or doing some funny stuff. I’m not very shy, but in all honesty, I think I’m.

The platform of instant Pandemic celebrities

The platform of instant Pandemic celebrities, millions and millions of views, and in my case a very diverse For You page. I learned that your page, most likely because of algorithms, will show what you like to see. I’ve seen all kinds of different content and I support them all. People forget that the internet is also a place where you can learn about different lives and points of view. Learn about people’s journeys and cherish their stories. I follow trans people, indigenous, lgbtq+, people of color, immigrants, and people who indeed need their voices heard and found on TikTok a safe space to share. My 35-year-old bum is there to laugh and learn.

I had different goals when I created the account

When I first created my account, back this past February, I did it with the intention of finally put the Shrubbery Show into a fast-paced platform, to have some visibility, as after I gain some followers, I would drag these people to youtube. Again, I was too shy. I had everything ready, the skits, the characters, the scenes, as I got ready to film I realized I knew nothing about the app. And I mean nothing.

My video editing learning curve stopped in 2009 when I used to work on Windows Movie Maker, putting files together, and sharing on youtube. It’s been so long, that at that time, you could use any kind of music you wanted to make videos and it wasn’t infringing copyrights. Today, if I sing in my video, they drop it, because I’m singing without permission.

The greedy people really ruined my Mariah Carey performance.

I also couldn’t keep up with the new software because one: I didn’t have a computer, I mean a decent one, two, I couldn’t afford the software. And 3 I always doubted my abilities to learn the software.

The Shrubbery Show got put aside, again when it may, we bought a 1995 truck camper to remodel and travel around Colorado. So I decided to change the name of the channel, to travel with the camper, and then change again to Live Out Loud Too – Travels, and next month when the app allows me, I will do it again. But I do feel that Live Out Loud too as my brand, should work fine.

I’m 35 and I can’t figure out how TikTok works.

The videos I’ve been putting there are short videos of our first trip, as I couldn’t figure out how to edit it properly. I don’t know how to put my persona out there, without feeling stupid, so it all seems too serious. It happens with my blog too.

I’m constantly held back because I’m afraid of being criticized by strangers, who are not always too nice with other people’s ideas, so I’m still testing the water. I have seen some people of my age group doing the funniest thing because they don’t care. I need to get on their level of confidence.

How much time do you need to be successful on TikTok?

I heard that to be on what the app considers a success level you have to post 3 videos a day. There is no way unless you are 16 this is your only job. You just dance away and get endorsed to show products. So I started to calculate that to be an influencer, you have to live a life on your phone.

Paris Hilton said in her documentary that she stays 16 hours a day logged in, and guess what? She just got her own cooking show.

Pinterest says you have to post 100 pins, IG said you have to make reels and post fresh content at least once a day. You have to have a Facebook Group and be active on it. Look how much you have to do, only to remain relevant. I’ve seen people who steal content from others, people who criticize people for being themselves, but I also saw some very funny people.

I’m the person who watches your video to the end, likes it, shares it, and makes comments on it. And I do that mostly with small accounts, just like mine. When it comes to creating videos, I rarely show my face on them. The other day, I saw a video from a Pakistani girl, who makes cooking videos. She talked on that video about how someone in the comments said her accent was giving headaches.

“I’m sorry my accent gives you headaches”

I felt so sorry for her, especially because of how nasty people can be when this is not our first language, and we don’t sound like we are from the Valley. If you read this blog, you know how much this type of attitude irritates me and my entire soul. I followed her immediately and commented on it. “Your English is amazing, please don’t let people discourage you, your accent it’s great too!”

I’m all here for all kinds of diversity creators. I’m too old to give a 16-year-old audience, just because she dances. I need more.

I need more cooking with accents. Trans people teaching how to fix things around the house, Indigenous people telling me how they feel, and talking about their culture. People who gossip about celebrities and make fun of movies.

Just because I don’t seem to have the app figure out yet, that doesn’t mean I don’t spend a good amount of time watching it. I wrote all that to say that, last week we went camping for the first time.

 

We went to Thunder Ridge Camp Ground, which is 2.5 hours away from home. These are the TikTok videos I created. The only thing I could think of was making a mash-up of Crib MTV and Pimp My Ride. The camper is from 1995, after all. As you can see, it was all filmed in one shot.

MTV Cribs and Pimp My ride.

I will post more about the trip on a different post. If you have TikTok and you follow me here, follow me there too.

Thanks for reading and keep up with my mid 30’s crisis! See you next week!

Be safe, Stay healthy!

J.S

 

The Impostor Syndrome and self-sabotage are best friends forever.

A lot has been said and discussed in the past couple of weeks. Mostly with my coworkers and my outside of work friends about the impostor syndrome and the self-sabotage most of us suffer from. Some of us suffer in silence because if you say it out loud, you make it real and a problem to be solved.

I’m the queen of self-sabotage. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s because I rather play it safe, than take the risks I need in order to get things done. You can see it clearly in my writing. In my mind, I already failed too much, too many times. I keep thinking that the clock is ticking and I’m getting nothing out of life, when in fact, I’m just protecting myself from another failure.

That’s how I was raised. I was never good at school, so why would I even try it? I was always mocked by family members, until recently, when I decided to go to Culinary school.

“You never cooked. Why do you want to try this now? What are you gonna cook by the way?” they said with a smirk on their face.

Life passes by me because even though I’m not a great mastermind, I still can get things done when my brain it’s not being interrupted by self-consciousness. I saw a meme on Instagram the other day saying “I can cook, study, be a good mom, a good employee, a good wife and so on” and one of my friends said “I can also do all that, but I’m not good at any of it” and that’s exactly how I feel.

The pressure to be good at everything these days is exhausting.

I have been looking for help in podcasts, my horoscope, my close friends, people that know me from childhood, and it’s been very helpful. Being an immigrant also aggravates the impostor syndrome to its highest levels.

It always feels like I’m trying something I’m not supposed to be doing.

Then there is always an American who will get more done at work or will get more of what they are doing in life in general. Sometimes I freeze, thinking I’m trying too hard.

Another reason why I always end up working in hotels, even having experiences in different areas, I’m never confident enough to venture out of my comfort zone.

Why would I actually get a job I’m passionate about, instead of staying in a position where I know how everything is going to unroll, day after day, year after year? It’s the commodity of not taking chances because again, you don’t feel capable to compete on the same level with others, so you don’t apply.

Maybe because you don’t have all the qualifications they ask from you, not all the software, not the 5 year+ portfolios.

The impostor syndrome has been haunting me since I moved to the United States. That has a lot to deal with the people you surround yourself with, and how they are going to push you forward.

If you grew up in an environment where people kept doubting your abilities to do anything other than what it expects from you, you have the tendency of thinking you are not worthy of anything. That only got worse when I saw how competitive with everything Americans really are. I couldn’t keep up and I still can’t keep up with it.

My job was to wait tables, endlessly. I never saw my value outside of the restaurant industry.

For a great number of years, I only thought I was a great server, and a great server only. My job was to wait tables, endlessly. I never saw my value outside of the restaurant industry, because, in my mind, that was the only thing I was able to do.

I learned along the way that my value is not based on the job I’m good at. One Day one guest at the table I was serving asked me “Are you a server and what?”.

At first, I didn’t understand the question, but then I realized that he was asking that because everyone in that field is getting ready for something else.

Either a music career, to be a nurse, or a photographer. In my case, I told him “I’m server for now, but soon I will be a writer”.

That phrase alone gave me goosebumps. For the rest of the night, I questioned if  I would ever indeed write something worthy and if I was ever going to be ready to be a writer.

That’s where the self-sabotage and the impostor syndrome hold hands and plot against me.

The self-sabotage works in destroying my confidence, and the impostor syndrome works to show me I will never be good enough. But I’m good enough, and so are you.

What I’m trying to work on now, is take it day by day, without thinking too far in advance, so I don’t sink my own plans along the way, as I usually do. Take small steps and make sure you are moving forward. Make plans and be sure to be true to yourself and what you want.

If it’s working as a CEO of Google, fight for it, if it’s to have your own business, go for it. If it’s to write a novel, go for it. Don’t let anyone trick you into thinking you are not good enough. I had to work so hard to keep this blog alive, because of all the doubts I had about writing in a second language.

I was scared to sound fake, to look like I was trying to use a cause I defend so much my anchor, and/or why would people want to read something from someone whose first language is not English?

Until the day I found my voice and here I’m today saying, if I could do all that, in a second language, so could you. I wrote a few other posts about that, that I’m gonna link here so you can tag along on how I did it. One of my favorite posts I wrote so far is  https://liveoutloudtoo.com/papercuts/ 

also https://liveoutloudtoo.com/you-are-enough/

XXX

I just realized today that I have more followers on this blog than I expected. And for you, I’m thankful. I’m just an immigrant trying to live out loud, in all the complexity that it is to leave away from my home country.

I also know that are millions and millions of us out here trying so hard. Crying in our sleep, sending money home, buying unnecessary stuff to keep us happy.

Don’t you ever feel like you don’t belong!

Thanks for reading! I see you somewhere out there!

J.Snelly

 

Therapy talk with my coworkers.

 

What does it take for you to have time for yourself and do things you love doing it?

The 4th of July weekend for all of us who work either in retail and the travel/hospitality industry means nothing. What I mean by that is, while all of our friends are out to party, enjoying each other’s company having fun, we are stuck inside, serving other people, under neon lights.

We get home so drained, all we want to is eat, be in total silence, and stare at the tv until we pass out to do it all again the next day. Some people do it for 20, 30 years until they are too old to enjoy whatever is leftover from their energy levels.

One of my coworkers and I were talking about this past weekend. He said he loves to play music and read books under a tree, just relaxing and feeling like he is enjoying his hobbies since during his regular workdays there is no time for relaxation. The pandemic gave him time to enjoy his life, as it was not so exhausting to live.

Life shouldn’t be a burden.

We are not all fated to work for a corporation, make someone, which is already probably rich, more money, so they could enjoy their lives, while we hate ours. While the pandemic changed most of our mindsets, there is still someone out there telling you to wake up earlier, work harder and don’t drink coffee, and eat better. Please, stop following the coach of absurdities on social media. They are draining and they are hungry for your constant state of unhappiness.

There has to be a balance between working and having fun.

And I don’t mean to get out on a Friday or Saturday night, get drunk spend Sunday getting ready to go back to work on Monday. That has been happening to me on my days off. Not the getting drunk on a Friday night at a bar. I still have to work Saturdays and Sundays.

I have a day off the next day, go home, and get into that state of mind that I only have a certain amount of hours until I’m back in that place, to work for another five or 6 days, sometimes even seven, and I’m supposed to work part-time. I can’t relax at all.

America normalized being more at work than being at home.

They rather have someone exhausted and with no productivity left in them than have an employee that does well for the company. Time is money and if I can take all your time and YOU make ME all the money, it works. If you die, you die.

Have you ever talked with people that worked for Amazon? If not, you should. The exploitation of people is real. When did we normalize this? At what point it became ok for employees to pee in a cup to not interfere with productivity, while the boss buys a 40 million dollar yacht and is not even getting taxed for it? Come on!

I always listened “but you choose to work in hospitality, get used to it” and I always fought back.

The problem too is the people that accept the work conditions because they need it to work. I have always been a rebel and I got fired a couple of times because of that. Because I fought back for my right and management didn’t like it.

I can’t be quiet when I see people working 13 days straight and when the day off finally comes, they are called in. Please! It’s because of people like you that we end up with no right whatsoever. It’s not hospitality, it’s the overachiever employees that make us look lazy for wanting a day off.

The weekly hours in the Netherlands are about 29 hours a week, which means 4 days a week. That’s why Europeans seem more relaxed, they have a life/work balance. I found my middle ground.

In Brazil, the week is about 44 hours, but it goes to 50 very fast, because you never leave work on time. It looks good on you to show you can stay an extra hour every day. Countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium are the best countries with work/life balance.

Finding balance is important and necessary.

I feel like Americans are mostly unhappy and unfulfilled because they always work too much to get by with all the expenses they choose to have. First, you put yourself in debt with a car, because when you are 16, you start driving, so you have insurance. Next, you apply for college, expensive again, a little further in life you would want to buy a house and if you live in a big city, like New York, or California, probabilities that you get one is small.

At some point in life, people will have a car payment, insurance, rent/mortgage, and student loans and that alone is a lot. An average person makes about 50K per year, even with all the degrees and if you add all the payments, you have the answer to why they have to work so hard. Why are they all a hamster in a wheel? Overworked, stressed neurotic to the bones.

I promised myself I would not do that. I did it while living in Sao Paulo and I promised myself when I moved here, I would enjoy my life. If I can work part-time or work enough to pay my bills, I’d be happy. Life is too short and you are not your job or your position at the company you work for.

 

You are much more than that.

Another reason why we bought the camper was to get away from everything and have some time to enjoy the outdoors life. I will drop everything and make a youtube channel of our trips. That would be a dream job. Travel, film it, edit and share it. Because I can’t forget why I went to Tourism and hospitality in the first place. Not to burn out by the job, but to not considered traveling a job at all.

And of course, I will keep writing my scripts and participating in screenwriting contests.

My tip for this week is: focus on what you love doing. Don’t give everything to someone else’s company that can replace you in a blink of an eye.

Keep doing what you love and keep yourself grounded, not letting overachiever people drive you insane. You are enough.

See you next week

XXX –

JS

 

 

You are Enough.

You are enough.

Following the last post about being a failure, this question came to my mind, after listening to a podcast, of the actress/comedian Cristela Alonzo, where she addresses the situation of never being enough. I’m not done listening just yet, but it gives me a great idea to write this post.

The constant feeling of running around the clock, being always good in everything you do, and having great ideas all the time stress us out. Social Media tells us all the time we should get better, either trying to sell us beauty products, weight loss products, and trendy clothes. It’s like we are some sort of experiments for marketers, that gather all of our information, likes and dislikes, to sell us stuff. And make us feel bad. That’s only the portion of beauty standards. There is also the part of success standards.

In my last post, I wrote about how society wants us to be a certain way. Be married by a certain age, have a good job, either have your own company or be a CEO of someone else’s company, have saved money, travel to cool places, drink wine in Italy or Greece and post the sunset picture of these places. It sure feels like you are not doing it enough. We are not Paris Hilton.

It feels like, no matter what you do, you are not doing it enough. Not putting enough hours in your writing, not putting enough hours in your business, not making enough money. While all the worry happens in your brain, you open your IG, and there it is a broker who just sold a million-dollar house, traveling to the Bahamas, with her beautiful family, in a perfect setting. I know I’m not supposed to care about a stranger, but my brain goes to “What am I doing it wrong?’

Being a writer is a long way until you succeed if you ever. Some people are great writers and they can’t get past the fact that they will also have to promote their books, market, network. Unless the person is a personality, who already tackles the fame part. The book is just a bonus for them. I heard many times “Oh you are a writer! Do you have a book yet?” and the common answer is “I’m working on it”. Either on my brain, or I already put some pages out on my computer. Why do I always have to be explaining to look like I have my life on track? The answer is: I don’t.

I keep trying it, but somehow, I always get derailed by some wacky circumstance. Moving, not having enough money to invest in the apps I need to work. Having money to invest in the apps, but then not having the time to work on my projects, since I’m selling my time to a company. It all seems to be working against my projects.

Having to be convinced that all I’m doing is working the way it’s supposed to be, it’s a hard job. We are constantly interrupted by tweets saying “look I have a new amazing job!” or “Travelling around the world and film it to youtube. I already got paid for!” and all you did was eating cookies seating on your couch, while you scroll your phone endlessly. Remember, you are enough.

If eating cookies on your couch while you plan your next move, or dream about what you want next, is enough for now, is all good. Who knows if all that persons posting those photos wishes, were to be seated down, eating cooking while watching random shows on tv, in peace at home. Instead of being frankly posting about their life on the internet to please others.

It’s all about the point of view.

In the age of the internet instant famous people, it feels like you are always behind a new trend. The 30 something age group feels lost and creates animosity against the younger kids, who grew up with a phone in their hands and had plenty of time to learn how to use it. We, the folks that had to work for something, can’t keep up. That makes us feel like we are never doing enough to get the success we are aiming for.

Last year, I stop looking for jobs at LinkedIn. The pressure to succeed is enormous and in that platform, we get one kind of people: The coaches that shove in your face that if you didn’t get what you want, you didn’t work hard enough, woke up early enough, didn’t invest the coffee money. Sometimes you did, and most of still do. Some of us work super hard, but sometimes, we have to do it all alone and it takes longer than someone who had investors. Some of us slept more because we were tired from the day before. Some of us wanted that coffee to have some peace of mind before the day starts.

We are overwhelmed.

Raise your hand if everything was great for you during the pandemic, if you didn’t freak out about having your plans canceled, scared of losing your job, of loved ones getting sick and dying, of never being able to see your friends in person.

My mental health went down the drain and I’m still working to gather all the information we’ve been receiving, with all that happened last year, like a hurricane, spinning the house around and landing on the witch. The witch in this case was the plan I had to keep moving on.

You are not a failure and you are enough. You are doing enough. Don’t let anyone tell you you are not. Get suspicious when you see too much happiness on IG, a nice house and a great job are not always a sign of happiness. Most of the Americans I know are always after assets. These people work their entire life, endless hours, to get a better tv, a better house, a better car, a better education, and so on. The American dream convinces you to work hard to have the best of the best, without measuring the consequences of all this, like the levels of stress and the unhappiness all this pressure can bring. Society makes you feel like you are never doing enough

More! More! Always More.

Work more and show your boss your absolute devotion to a company that is not even his. Make other people feel bad to not work as hard as you. Make them feel behind in life, because your work your butt off, and they didn’t. Life is not always easy, but what everyone forgot is that it might not be easier, because of how you feel about others people’s attitude towards you.

In my culture, we work hard for everything we have, but we also know how to enjoy life the way Americans can’t. We barbecue, we dance, we gather friends and family every time is possible and instead of working hard for stuff, we put it on the credit card and make debt. Just like Americans, but lighter. Josh loves going to Brazil and eat good food and have fun.

We are enough.

You are enough.

Stop for a few minutes and be thankful for just being alive. Make time to appreciate your surrounding.

Thank you for reading it.

I see you around on my social media, while I post pictures of my coffee cup and pie.

JS