OH. EM. GEE. My trip to NYC for an Aerie live event was a complete “DON’T pinch me” moment cuz GIRL. I never wanted to wake up from this dream! Being an Aerie Ambassador has been one of the coolest, most rewarding, and most inspiring things I’ve ever done and I’m so grateful for the “out-of-this-world” experiences and opportunities it’s presented me.
Did I scream and dance around my house for hours after the news of this DREAM opportunity landed in my inbox? HECK YES! I couldn’t believe it — truly. Moments like these always feel like the stars are all aligned and the universe is reminding me that anything is possible. God probably laughs at me cuz I’m shocked every time, but I couldn’t be more grateful for these surprises.
But let’s be real — the excitement also came with some nerves. Fast-forward to me packing my bags (more like stuffing my suitcase) and boy did those nerves come creeping in. Don’t get me wrong — I LOVE being in front of people and crowds, public speaking, and working a camera, but I think the nerves and pressure came with the desire to do an amazing job and little feelings of intimidation, self-doubt, perfectionism, and everything in between… Y’know, all the things that make those butterflies feel like raging dinosaurs. (The Jurassic Park kind. GULP)
I can do nerves, though. I usually combat them with a good ol’ Lauren dance party or two (obviously 😉) but this time I didn’t have time for those. So I took some deep breaths, got on my flight, and headed for NYC. I have been to A LOT of airports and if there was an airport Oscar Award, hands down Laguardia would win. It was incredible — all the food options, were nice and clean, and they even had a water show. Imagine a rainfall with a projector sharing animated images while NYC-themed music played. It was amazing!
After taking in everything the airport had to offer (it was basically a tourist attraction all on its own!), I grabbed my bags, hopped in an Uber, and headed to my hotel, *Cue more jaw-dropping views* It felt like I had a private view of the city, right outside my windows and it was truly magical.
A few hours later I was on my way to meet with Kat, an extraordinary photographer, for an Aerie-inspired shoot. I wanted to capture every magical moment I could and, even though it was raining and cold, we had a blast doing just that!
It’s been a long time since I’ve last modeled for a shoot, but it’s truly my comfort place. GIRL, take the photos. Whether it’s a professional photo shoot just for you, something you do with friends, or a self-timer set up in the comfort of your home, having those photos is an amazing way to celebrate who YOU are, right here and now. We are constantly evolving. It’s so important to document that change in a way that encourages us to embrace the empowering, smart, kind, sexy, powerful, diverse, and strong QUEEN you are! Take the photos and allow yourself to believe in your power and love every. single. inch. of who you are.
After my time with Kat, I headed straight to the Aerie store on Lexington Avenue. Umm… can we talk about how GORGEOUS it was?! The entire store was filled to the brim with all sorts of Aerie Love. It felt like a whirlwind, being reunited with so many friends and meeting new ones. The Aerie team and fam are genuinely legendary! Being surrounded by so many magical and inspirational people was magic.
I got the honor of being styled by the uber-phenomenal and talented, Jordie Foster. When I first started creating content for Aerie, never in a million years did I imagine I’d be standing in front of Jordie Foster, in NEW YORK, surrounded by so many empowering people. What a dream come true!
Being part of the Aerie fam has helped me to grow in ways I didn’t even know I needed. I’ve learned to embrace my REAL, have felt seen and heard like never before, found a community in which I belong, and have had the opportunity to expand my platform and share my voice. The love that overflows from the Aerie brand, community, and opportunities is one of a kind — they continue to push societal boundaries and create real, positive change in our industry.
Part of the Aerie event was going live on their Instagram. Not gonna lie, I totally blacked out. I have no recollection of what I said until I watched it back (oops) BUT, what I do remember is my nerves totally disappeared and I danced a lot. Like a lot, A LOT, which, if I’m being honest, most likely helped. I was just so dang happy to be there — to be part of something that felt infinitely magical.
I spent less than 48 hours in New York but those few hours changed my life and made me realize that our goals, dreams, and everything in between, are all possible. They can happen even quicker than you think. Keep going! They’re right around the corner. 💙
Shout-out to YMC, the Aerie Team, Aerie Fam, and Ambassador sisters. There is no way I would experience this magic without you. I am so grateful for you all and love you immensely! Sharing my voice and these experiences with everyone has been a constant reminder that anything is possible! Thank you.
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