Making A Decision

I have always admired those people who wake up motivated and pursue career paths with determination. those same people who know what they want to be when they were younger and follow those dreams without a single change in their thought process. Ya’ll have my ultimate respect.

In January 2017 I set a goal for myself to attend graduate school. I looked at my peers who I graduated from undergrad with in 2015 and how far they *seemed* to have progressed in their pursuits. I felt unmotivated. I felt unaccomplished. I believed that I should be doing more for myself and that included pursing higher education. I applied to the graduate school near us and started shouting when I got the acceptance email. I was going back to school to pursue a Master’s in Social Work.

Flash forward to the Fall of 2017. I purchased my school supplies and ordered my books. Took my school ID photo. I was very ready to start school. I chose my internship site.

Throughout the semester I met some great people. I engaged in mentally stimulating conversations about social policy and amicably discussed typically tense topics with my peers. Despite taking night classes and working long hours, I felt useful again. But, again, everyone around me seemed to know what they wanted to do. Clinician. Mental health. Children and Family Services. LQBT advocacy. and the list goes on. and there was me. sitting in the classroom wondering where my passion had gone. I was questioning everything I had heard growing up about education and the pursuit of your happiness.

I decided to leave the graduate program in December 0f 2017. Not because it was too challenging. I know that I am more than capable of completing post graduate work but I often wonder if I REALLY want to. I am taking time now to evaluate myself, my goals, and what I really want. Graduating with my BSW is one of my greatest accomplishments. My dad says he always saw me going to law school and I always laugh him off. I have looked into starting paralegal studies. Having an undergraduate degree will enable me to complete the program with less debt and ability to even work part time doing something that I am passionate about. I don’t know how plausible law school is in my future and that is okay.

 

until next time…take care of yourself!

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A Letter to My Younger Self

I was recently inspired to write this post after a friend of mine posted a letter to her younger self on Facebook. I contemplated the things that I wanted to say as I reflected on my younger years. Here is what my heart wanted to say:

Dear younger me,

I wish you knew how great you are. I wish you understood the value that you possess. Please do not allow anyone to dim your light. People will doubt you simply because they don’t understand your purpose. People will cast you in negative light because they see qualities in you that will take you far and want to stump your growth. The pain you are experiencing will shape you into an amazing woman and I can’t wait for you to meet her.

You should have stayed committed to basketball and student government in high school. You dropped out knowing you had nothing better to do. Sticking to one thing at a time shows how serious you can be.

The boys should not matter. There was only one for you and you wasted too much time on boys who hurt you. claiming they love you. when there is only one. you will marry him one day.

Don’t let your anger and pain consume you. Remember your poetry. Write as much and as often as you can. It’s the closest thing you will come to therapy for a long time.

Play in makeup. Learn to use eye liner and mascara. Your mom wanted to get you contacts before you went to high school and you should have let her. I am sure you would have loved them.

most importantly, have fun. love your sisters. love your parents. their separation is not your fault. never was. never will be. it will hurt. it will hurt a lot. cry if you need to. scream, yell, whatever it takes for you to get through it. you are stronger than you think. love and honor God. above all – create as many positive memories as you can. make sure you take pictures, frame them, and hang them up. that way you can have them to look back on when you are older.

remember you are love. you can be loved. you can love. 

you. are. worthy. of. everything. the. world. has. to. offer. 

 

 

Influenster Dazzle Voxbox Review

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love getting free products especially hair and body products. I have known about a site called Influenster since my days in undergrad. A friend of mine received a box of stuff and I wanted to know all about it. Influenster is a community of people who write reviews, ask questions, try different products, and receive products in VoxBoxes (the name of the box that Influenster sends) for free.  The more interactions you have on the site, the higher your chances are to receive a box.

The Dazzle VoxBox includes:

  • Gold Bond Ultimate Radiance Renewal
  • Clairol Professional iThrive Keratin Rescue Split End Repair
  • Clairol Professional Jazzing Semi-Permanent & Temporary Hair Color
  • Coupons to be used at Sally Beauty

My first impression of the Gold Bond Ultimate Radiance Renewal was that it smelled fragrant. It is the perfect size to fit in a purse or small clutch. It says that it contains gentle exfoliants. I did not experience any discomfort when using the lotion which is a plus. I give this product a thumbs up.

The first thing I noticed about the Jazzing Semi-Permanent & Temporary Hair Color is the different ways you can process the color. I usually grab a box of permanent hair color and color my hair. I have been on a journey to stay away from things that can potentially damage my hair. I am excited to try this hair color because it can be a temporary hair color. Just pop it on and let it sit on the hair for five to ten minutes without heat. It does not contain any ammonia or peroxide. It claims to be gentle, shiny, and sheer.

My first impression of Keratin Rescue Split End Repair is that it designed to decrease the amount of frizz the hair experiences. My hair does not usually frizz up except on days where the humidity factor is moderate to high. I can see this product coming in handy this week when I blow dry my hair prior to getting a trim.

Overall I am happy about the products I received and look forward to seeing how they work for me. Definitely give Influenster a chance! Until next time xoxo..

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**Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary for testing purposes**

five years natural…

february 5, 2013. that is the day that I sat in my friend’s dorm room as she cut off all my relaxed hair. I initially cut my hair due to expensive cost of maintaining relaxed hair in the south on a college student budget. it has transformed into a source of pride for me. I learned to care for it over time. I spent countless hours watching YouTube videos. I have spent countless minutes in conversation with other women about hair and the hype that surrounds it. When a former coworker was curious about going natural, other coworkers were coming to me to give her the knowledge they assumed I had. I am a self proclaimed product junkie. I recently went through all my hair products and said “WOW.” I am subscribed to CurlBox which is a monthly subscription box of hair products that comes directly to my front door. It is practically Christmas every month.

does the natural hair thing get tiresome? yes. I can be honest and say that sometimes I get frustrated with my hair. I feel like I have something to prove by staying away from the creamy crack. don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret cutting my hair. it is currently the healthiest it has ever been. but I will be honest and say it is truly a journey. my hair journey has been filled with lots of trial and error. figuring out what works for me. do I really need to throw coconut oil on it for it to thrive? why does almost hair product have shea butter in it?

I have spent enough money on hair products. I even started joking that I should start buying stock in some of these hair companies that I routinely support. even though it has taken years for me to fully accept my curls and learn the art of versatility I will say that I understand why it is important. I get so excited when I see women rocking curly hair in movies, commercials and just in general. ordinary women who decided that returning to their natural roots was more important than societal pressure. mothers who decided to rock their natural hair as a movement of empowerment not just for themselves but for their daughters. WHOLE companies have invested in producing quality products for women of color because they recognize where we want to spend our money and rock our hair. ordinary men and women have started companies in their kitchens and now gross millions of dollars in profits by catering to women of color.

hair is personal. it is one of the first things people notice about me and use to formulate an opinion of me. despite all the benefits of being chemical free I refuse to look down on a woman who desires to color her hair and or maintain a relaxer. the main point of the natural hair movement that I take away is the ability to choose the hair style that works best for the individual and her lifestyle. sometimes I even miss my relaxed hair days. my hair moved in the winds and glistened in the sun. I wrapped my hair at night and that was it.

the tapered cut I got in September 2017 is already growing out. the ideas of what is next for my hair are constantly spinning in my head. i’m looking to learn as much about makeup in the coming months that I do about hair in general. like I said it’s personal. a journey unique to the individual and can’t be replicated.

so cheers to five years in this journey so far and to many more…

remember hair is hair. it grows back ❤

To Marry or Not to Marry

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I posted a FB status yesterday about Jennifer Hudson’s recent personal drama and her ten year engagement to wrestler David Otunga. This status garnered quite a bit of attention and commentary from my FaceBook friends. One of the comments caught my attention because it brought up the idea that marriage is a liability for the rich and the poor avoid it to cheat the system of welfare. Society has reduced marriage to a contract and a process of selfishly satisfying one’s individual needs. People are less concerned about building a foundation with another person. They are more concerned with what they can get from the other person. Unfortunately in the process children are born into these relationships and experience trauma due to being born to parents who can’t be cordial long enough to coparent the kids.

Despite what society has turned marriage into, I have to believe and have hope in the institution of marriage. I witness healthy people in healthy marriages building something so great together that they inspire me on a daily basis. I’m so inspired, not because I am married myself, but because trust, fidelity, respect, love, and everything else that marriage is designed to provide are positive. Wholesome. Not what we see in Hollywood because the very same people who are in the movies with the #relationshipgoals marriages are unable to stay married long enough to consummate their marriages it seems. I believe in love especially BLACK love. Husband and wife say I DO and commit to living and loving with each other forever. Finding those role models and people I can talk to when I need advice. Being able to talk about the common struggles that married folk experience from child bearing, buying a house, finance management, dealing with in-laws, and so much more.

Everyone should have the choice about whether they want to be married or not. Marriage is not a definer. Women who are married shouldn’t be put on a pedestal over women who are single. Men and women, regardless of marital status, should be treated like equals. However I believe that we need to take a hard look at what society and the mass media have been teaching us and our children about relationships and what healthy relationships look like. What dating and sex look like. How Christ-centered dating and courtship looks like. What relationships look like when the two parties are not engaging in sexual intercourse.

I want to model a healthy marriage for my future children. I want them to build a solid foundation with someone they love and be happy. I want to teach my children about healthy emotions, the importance of mental health, and how a healthy marriage can make all the difference.

Every one has the right to choose whether they want to marry their significant other or not. But it doesn’t take 8 years to determine whether you want to marry someone or not. Nine times out of time you already know. Let’s stop making babies with people we can’t even stand. Let’s stop allowing people to access marital privileges in our lives without the position. It is more than sex; you are making a permanent connection with someone.

My parents’ separation during my senior year of high school hurt me and I have come a long way. THANK YOU JESUSSSS! *praise break* However I want better for my future generations, my future godchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Marriage is not the issue. The issue is two people who get married and realize after the I DOs have been exchanged that they had absolutely no business being married in the first place.

 

 

House Parenting 101

I CANNOT believe it has been a year since I left my state job in Florida to become a house parent along with my husband!!! We discovered a job market where agencies hire married couples to work with at risk youth. The agencies offers different benefits depending on the size of the agency. Our agency offers us an opportunity to save and to live comfortably. I won’t disclose the location of the agency due to confidentiality. We work with four young men. We manage large portions of their schedules and transport them to a majority of their appointments/meetings. We meet with our supervisor(s) once a week to go over the household and to have a sounding board with any issues that we may experience. I enjoy working with my husband. The job teaches me about myself and exposes areas where I need work. Communication is a big part of the job. As my husband is my teammate, I have to communicate with him all day long. Sometimes when it’s just the two of us, it can be challenging to talk about things other than the boys and what is going on with them. Despite these minor challenges I believe we are in a good space. I have gone back to school to purse my Masters of Social Work and it’s been a long time coming. We have six days off each month and we use these days off to relax and get our minds right. We travel, catch up on phone calls, and maybe get a massage or two.

I am grateful that this job market came our way. I believe that there is still a lot to learn about ourselves and how we can effectively help the kids we work with. We have the potential to mentor, teach, and model positive behaviors for them. I believe that our being with the agency is a blessing and a divine intervention on our behalf. And I am so grateful!

Is Modesty Really The Issue?

Ayesha Curry sparked a huge debate recently when she tweeted that she would rather keep herself covered and save her body’s display for her husband’s eyes only. I watched women respond so negatively to Ayesha’s personal opinion and choice of lifestyle. This caused me to wonder if modesty is really the issue. I have had this topic on my heart for the past couple of weeks and I did not know how to approach the subject. Things tend to go downhill rather quickly when someone decides to talk about modesty and a woman’s duty to cover her blessings.

I really want to know what is wrong with  a woman wanting to keep herself covered. I don’t argue with women who decide to put their physical attributes on display. That is your personal decision and you have to deal with the consequences. But why did Mrs. Curry’s comments ruffle so many feathers? I believe that society and the independent woman ideal has created a belief system that women are able to create their own standards of living without any consequences. That God’s design and purpose for our lives and bodies are on the back burner because we have been fighting for so long for the right to do and say as we please. It is so sad to see young girls, babies even, dressed with literally nothing on. We, as women, should be teaching our children especially that it’s okay to be modest and that modesty can be beautiful. Modesty does not make you less beautiful. It actually enhances your physical attributes. Your appearance says a lot about your character regardless of your words, actions, or thoughts. I have always been taught that the first impression has an everlasting impact on how others view you.

1 Timothy 2:9 & 10 says “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” If you are professing to be a Christian then you should live as such. It shouldn’t be a debate about your attire once you start walking in the light.

I remember wearing a dress as a teen to church one Sabbath that showed some cleavage. I didn’t think anything of it until a young man sat next to me and was “looking” at my bible. From that day forward I have been very conscious of what I wear to church, to work, to school, and even to Walmart. We shouldn’t be debating about why women should dress with sophistication and class. We should NOT be debating about why mothers should raise their daughters to be fierce and modest.

I observe how the people I know and interact with raise their sons and the kind of men they marry. Those sons wear bowties to school and dress in three piece suits for church before they can walk. But when it comes to the mothers, wives, and daughters there’s a discord because God said to be modest and inspired the word about the Proverbs 31 woman.

I believe women have a responsibility to themselves and their future generations to uphold a standard of righteous living. To carry themselves with respect and dignity. Women like Ayesha Curry shouldn’t be a dying breed……

The Search for Inspiration

I recently had a conversation with a good friend of mine who couldn’t understand the small size of her support system. She also couldn’t seem to wrap her mind around the fact that a lot of the advice she receives for her life issues come from people in our age group such as myself. We are young, fresh out of college, and trying to find our way. We didn’t realize how hard “adulting” would be until we graduated and we were thrown into the real world. We subscribe to the blogs and podcasts of young professionals such as Myleik Teele of http://www.mytaughtyou.com and Courtney Sanders of http://www.thinkandgrowchick.com. I find myself forwarding their emails to my friends to ensure that I spread the knowledge with my friends because I’m sure I am not the only one trying to figure out life beyond the cradle of college. Read more

Submission vs Independence

It is common in our society for women to go far in the pursuit of their goals and aspirations. They will stop at nothing to achieve them. They’re told to go to college, get a good job, and make lots of money. They’re also taught, subconsciously, that they don’t need men to support them. The problem with this mindset is that a lot of women try to diminish the role of the man in society and in the household. They want to hold all the cards and never seem to care about submitting themselves to the ways of the men in their lives. These women could be married and fight to their dying breath to be independent.  Read more

Proactive Growth? At What Price?

When I started my last year of undergrad I honestly thought that progress and maturity would come natural to me. I assumed that my five year plan would carry me and continue to inspire me. I assumed that if all fails I’d still have that plan secured. I assumed that the vision I have for myself would just fall into place. All of these assumptions have come to a halt within my mind. The light bulb went off. I realized that chaos occurs when your responsibilities/goals change but your priorities don’t. I have financial goals, health goals, marriage goals, and life goals. All of these goals mean nothing if I don’t prioritize my resources to accomplish those goals.  Read more