This is a little back story on my hell bent year of 2016 and how I’ve switched it up for the better. I might turn this into a little series of ways I bounced back from modeling, relationships, and money woes. But for now I’m starting off with the little snippets of how it all started. By reading this, I hope you learn something valuable. *By the way if you are looking for grammatically correct sentences and order, find a new blog. It ain’t here B.*
*Also, this story post is only about how I was feeling during this time in my life. This should not be taken as something defamative, fact, or to be consumed as shaming someone else. There will be NO NAMES mentioned in my story! Find your tea elsewhere.*
End of 2015 – March 2016
End of 2015- beginning 2016 was crazy as hell! I had experienced the lowest of lows being a plus model/actor. Once I signed with agencies I gave up acting and took on modeling full time. Thinking I was going to blow up as they put it, I quit my part time job as well. However reality came in full effect. I was barely working, felt like my mother agency hated me, and I couldn’t afford my bills in LA. I became depressed, bitchy, and felt like I couldn’t do this industry or life any longer.
I did not wish to waste anymore time. After I got paid from my big campaign job, I packed up the little bit of things I had and jumped ship from LA to my mom’s place in MD in hopes of picking it back up in NYC. Well I tried…and it went terribly wrong. My portfolio was no where near up to par, I was too poor to live there, and I was incredibly unhealthy. I felt alone because my agents had no idea how to market me, I was clueless on the business, and no one could relate to my story since I was one of 2 fully black plus models on the agency boards.
I was lost and confused. I had put my all into this dream and now I am watching it wither away like some ash falling from a cigarette. How did I go from new model on the scene with an Evans campaign and Slink Magazine cover in my books to a depressed, even more poor, young adult? My heart was very dark and filled with pity for being so unbelievably naive. Being enchanted by every single “you have so much potential just trust us” has left me broke, mentally unstable, and lonely af. I finally gave up and took a leave from modeling.
3 months had went past. I’m working 2-3 jobs to rebuild what I lost and pay back my mother as she rescued me many times. I did like 3 modelling jobs total this summer. My mindset is a little better now as I’ve had time to regroup and process everything. We have a new member of the household: Sandy the fluffy white Pomeranian. She has me whipped and I forget my problems for a bit.
However, I still feel a bit empty. I’m stuck in my mom’s place, working extra hard, and not seeing any real benefits. (Not to mention I randomly get hit by a car and that just made my confidence drop more. Another freaking story to tell later.) But going through the normal motions of waking up for a 9-5 and coming home did absolutely nothing for me. What happened? That flame of passion blew out and now it is nothing left but a dark cold interior. Was there anyway I could bounce back from this?
Well a little more time went on and I finally realized I cant step away from my dreams. It was like an epiphany had hit and I’m struck with logic for once. I wanted a career, a peace of mind, and the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of my labor. But in order to do that I had to get my shit together.
So I read up on self help books, saved my money, and exercised. Modelling was back in the picture but I couldn’t just jump right in. I had to plan for success by following my gut. It was heavily ignored during this entire dream chasing process &it was about damn time I gave my intuition a chance.
I studied books on modeling. After that, I spent sometime reading articles on the business side of it all. Newly educated, I felt like an experienced trade guru ready to fight back! Whenever there was an issue with any of my agencies, I questioned it. I was no longer accepting the “trust us” method modeling bureaus love to do. That’s how new young models get destroyed (this story is the perfect example). If I wanted to make it as a model, I had to treat it for what it is: A business.
My main goal was to reinvent Brielle Anyea the model. Reinventing meant claiming the new me. I was fed up with living at home, not succeeding, and basically not accomplishing anything I said I would. I had to become who I wanted and claim everything I desire.
After saving a decent amount of money and getting paid from one or two modeling jobs, I bought a ticket to London. If I was going to reinvent, I was going to do that with a team that I felt has believed in me since day 1. It was time to spread my wings and test out the new air overseas.
September – October 2016:
I was nervous and scared. I tried to chicken out by attempting to make it work in LA again so I wouldn’t have to go to London. That was a fail because I went to LA, had no jobs lined up, and had a week stay cancelled to fly back to the east coast for a job. Thousands of dollars wasted and I’m back in the same position: having to go to London to get this career push I desperately needed. I practically had no genuine support on this London decision. My mom was flip flopping on if it was the right thing to do or not. And I honestly felt like my mother agency basically gave up on me. So I was praying to every type of God that this would work out. Thank heavens my best friend was cheering me on or I would’ve exploded internally.
I finally arrive to London and I am instantly bombarded with castings, go sees, and jobs. It was as if someone put a bunch of call this number for free consultation flyers all over the city. I was in such shock on how much I was working. It was a mini buzz going around town and I was loving every minute of it.
But it didn’t stopped there. I told my London agents of the troubles I was having in the states and how I just wanted to be myself and in control of my modelling career. They understood and gave me just that. I was given creative control over my portfolio! They guided me by picking the photographer and style board. But I could style, move, and do everything I wanted to do in these images. The first set of final edits came out amazing. But it wasn’t enough. I wanted more black girl Brie Brie to shine so I could proudly bring it back to the states (for the culture!). They gave me a photographer and I did everything else. In return, we had imagery that captured everything I am. A strong willed, black, curvy, curly haired model ready to take on the world.
The images were so inspiring to me. Everything I was or wished to be was in that picture. But one thing was for sure. It was only the beginning.
Coming home to the same old shit reminded me why I went to London in the first place. I wanted change. I didn’t come back to be the same person, deal with the same annoying crap, and float back to the miserable/depressed Brie. That teaser in London re sparked the flame that I was desperately trying to rekindle. It was not remotely enough, so I was going to change my life once in for all.
I took sometime to myself to create a break down of what made absolutely no sense in my current life. After reviewing, the main thorn in the rose bush was my living arrangements.
I didn’t get along or shared the same views as my mom so it didn’t do us any good of me staying in her home. So I made a financial plan to get myself out of the rut. I decided to finally start my plus size business and work hard to gain more clients as a plus model. I invested nearly all my money into my business and put a portion aside to go back to London. I had no idea what I was doing but I knew I wasn’t going to spend another day doing nothing towards my new goals. I paid my mom back finally before I left for London and got the semi final stages of the business done. Before I boarded the plane, I prayed to myself with all the things I wanted to accomplish out here. This was going to be the year that I bounce back for good.
Fast forward to the current day in London. I am still working(sike i’m fucking slaying in my own right), building my business, and tweaking my brand. I feel so happy for trusting myself. Leaving the nest and putting effort towards my goals has been the best decision. I got so wrapped up in the wrong that was happening that I almost got swallowed in the negative-my-life-is-so-damn-over-pit.
If there was anything that I learned from 2016, it was definitely the power of resilience. Getting beat up by life, shaking it off, and then beating it’s ass back. That was the only way I could find the light at the end. I still have a lot more to accomplish but damn it feels good to have a major start.
If you are an in a rut and feeling like you can’t bounce back from it. Just read my story and know that you can totally bounce back from anything. But it starts with your perspective on YOUR life and what you are willing to do to change it.
Tip While Bouncing Back:
You will come across people that try to make you feel guilty for taking control of your own life and putting yourself first in the process. They will no longer reap the benefits of having someone that is doing worse than themselves. They also may feel like you are leaving them behind or that you don’t care. Anywhere from close friends to blood relatives. Do not fall for this trap, I repeat do not fall for this trap. This is simply not true. For you are realizing your errors, or realizing that you want better for your self. As you are leveling up, you are changing everything about you that has had nothing but a negative impact. That includes people. You made your mistakes, learned from them, and helped out to fix what was damaged. Now it’s time to move on and do you! New you, new circle, new life baby!
Make this the year of the bounce back.
*My plus size shop is plumsandcherries.co launching this year! Sign up now for exclusive member only discounts and launch coupon code. This is not sponsored as that would be dumb because it’s my business shout out.*