I’m a big believer we all have something to offer this world. We all have to know our value and should bring that to each day. T3 Micro asked me to be part of their Power Within Campaign and I was honored to say yes! This campaign is about sharing our unique story and experiences defining who we are. They asked me what’s my “Empoword”, aka what ignites my inner spirit and inspires me to feel confident. The word empowering me most is hustle.
For as long as I can remember, my parents taught me the best thing I can do is work hard, really really hard. Not only did they teach me this, they lived it. My whole family immigrated to the U.S. from Communist Vietnam. My Dad, a former South Vietnamese soldier was in a concentration camp. When they arrived in Texas, they immediately started working. My Dad worked at 7-Eleven overnight while attending college. My Mom worked as a tailor at the Crescent Hotel while also going to school. They both raised three kids while doing this. When my Dad was able to get a better job, his 7-Eleven had to hire seven people to replace just him. Now that is hustling. You cannot control how much raw talent you have or your abilities, but you certainly can work extremely hard to make up for it.
In 2014, I left the comfort of my family and Texas lifestyle and moved to Central Nebraska to pursue reporting by myself. The power within gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams. I had only been to Nebraska once and that wasn’t even the city I would be living in. A few months in, I was shooting, writing and editing my own news stories for the NBC affiliate while producing content twice a week for my blog and training at least an hour a day for the Miss USA Pageant. I believe in pursuing your passions and not having to choose. Being able to do all three things I love empowered me. It got me through the days of lugging all my reporting gear in the hot Nebraska sun. Through the late nights of writing blog posts. It got me through workouts that made me want to throw up they were so hard. I felt like a boss babe all right and I still do.
Working hard isn’t a chore for me. It’s part of my DNA. It’s all I know. And I don’t mind working hard and hustling because I enjoy what I do. Even now, I have days where I’m like a duck in water: smooth up top, but underneath the surface paddling like crazy. Working as a TV Journalist isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t glamorous. There’s the hustle when you’re on the scene of breaking news trying to get as much information as you can confirmed before you go live. There’s the time when you’re working when you’re not at work to look for story ideas. My bosses and colleagues say I’m one of the hardest working people in the newsroom. They respect my work ethic and know I put in 100 percent. For me, at the end of the day, knowing I put in my all, into everything I did makes me feel accomplished. That’s the power within.
I feel powerful. I feel empowered.
Now, let’s talk about hair! As much as hustle makes me feel strong, there’s something about a good hair day that really lights the power within, ha! Y’all may be familiar with T3 Micro as I’ve posted about them previously here.
Not only are their styling tools stunning, but so effective. I have their interchangeable base, which I love because you can swap out the barrel. Depending on what I need, I snap on the barrel to help me achieve that look. For the soft curls, I rely on as part of my signature work look, I use their polished curls barrel. I start with the curling iron higher up, then release the clamp, go down and curl more. I like to put the barrel on top of the hair and curl away from my face. If I need to touch up my curls for the weekend, I use the loose waves barrel. Finally, if I want tighter curls, I use the undone waves barrel, which is one inch thick. Whenever I am using a wand, I always try to lay hair flat against the barrel and make sure it’s not twisted.