Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I believe that most people have some sort of daily routine that they follow. Be it personal hygiene, fitness, work day...everyone has a routine. I happen to be one of those people that perform best when I have a set routine. In fact, I sometimes feel lost and scatter-brained if I'm off track and not following my set schedule for the day. Being unemployed for the past six months has done nothing to help me stick to any existing routines that I had or to encourage the implementation of new ones. Not to say that I haven't held on to any of my old habits - for the most part, I still wake up and go to bed at the same time most days and I get ready and dressed in the same order every day. I've even put into practice a study schedule that has been pivotal in helping me to earn A's in my new medical classes. Even still, I feel a little off course and am yearning for more structure in my life. Instead of cursing this extended vacation and letting it waste away, this is actually the perfect time for me to start adding things that I’ve always wanted to do and never had the time to do into my daily routine. I guess this is where self-discipline is supposed to come in. It’s time that I put my foot down and focus on a routine that will make my life flourish.

As I look at my 2010 goal poster and reflect on things that I want to accomplish this year, I see that some are well underway and that some need a little work. One of my goals is to complete my Medical Assisting certification – so far so good, I’ve got A’s in all of my classes. Another is to better budget my money – this one is sort of easy seeing how I’m on a fixed, modest income until I find another job. I can check that one off. Where I’m lacking and where I can use some more routine is in working out, eating healthier, volunteering and nourishing and growing my natural hair.

I will be posting blog entries in the coming days to elaborate on those goals, the plan of action and how I’m able to employ a structured routine that will allow me to achieve those goals while adding normalcy and a set track for my days. Stay tuned…

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I haven't made a post to my blog in a while and was reminded of that when chatting with a friend last night.  I try to post positive, encouraging and uplifting things since, generally, I am that sort of person.  However, I've been a little down lately and didn't want to be a Negative Nancy and dump on anyone.  I realize though that hard times fall on everyone and that the purpose of the blog is to share my experiences, good and bad, as I make my way through this transition (or quarter life crisis as the DMN so eloquently put it an article I was interviewed for).  So, I'm going to keep it real and post my thoughts and feelings they way they should be posted...raw! 

In light of my current situation, I've been battling a lot of emotions.  My most recent struggle is with pride.  Pride is an interesting concept, isn't it.  It's something that is good and encouraged in certain situations and is frowned upon in other situations.  Pride is something that is instilled and deserved in some and delusionally self-imposed in others.  Some say it's self-esteem, others say it's a sin.  It's both a virtue a vice.  Unfortunately, my particular brand of pride is definitely a vice.

This week makes 5 months that I've been unemployed.  At first I was okay with it because I had a plan.  I was okay with it because I had unemployment benefits to pay my bills, which had been drastically reduced since moving home with Mom.  I was okay with it because I was returning to school to pursue a new career.  Most importantly, I was okay with it because I knew it would be temporary.  I got my first job at 14 years old and have always been employed since then.  The longest I've gone without work and the longest I've actively searched for work, before now of course, is about 2 weeks.  Maybe I was delusional or too confident in my abilities but I was so sure that I would have found something by now, even with the transition into a new field and having no experience. 

Needless to say, that hasn't happened yet.  I have applied for what seems like hundreds of jobs.  At first my search was health care specific.  I know that I won't be finished with my Medical Assisting and Phlebotomy certifications until later this year but thought it'd be pretty easy to get a job as a receptionist or front office clerk in a medical office.  As it turns out, that's not so easy.  Who knew that one needed 2 or more years experience to answer phones?  After months with no luck, I decided to include Advertising and Marketing positions in my search since that is what I've done for the last 7 years.  Unfortunately, with the economy the way it is, there are no jobs in that industry available either.  Finally, I decided I should start applying for any and everything.  I thought, who cares if it's not something that I love, it's only for a few months until I'm finished with this medical program.

Herein the lies problem...I've got a ridiculous amount of pride that is hindering me.  It's bad enough that I was laid off, moved back home and can't find a job.  But now the only available jobs out there are those that pay $7-$8 per hour, part-time, and include cold calling or side orders of fries and the inevitable taking of crap from the general public.  I didn't mind taking crap from my clients at the ad agency because I was getting paid pretty well to do it.  But having to take crap from some Joe Blow because I'm calling his house in the middle of King of the Hill or because his order wasn't super sized is not my idea of progress.  As petty as it is, I am really bothered by this.  I keep thinking, what if I'm at the register checking someone out and look up to see it's someone I went to high school with who never got to see me in my glory days (i.e. fab job, fab apartment, fab life).  Or, what if the Decaf Grande Nonfat Extra Hot Light Foam Caffe Latte that I'm preparing is for an intern, now executive, that I once trained.  The thought of it makes me want to find a hole to hide in. proud to get a hourly position to pay my car note.  It's ridiculous right?  Pride doesn't pay the bills and beggars can't be choosers.  That said, I've swallowed the big pill that is my pride and am looking for a job wherevere I can be hired.  That includes the Starbucks around the corner although I feel there's something a little sad about a 30-year old barista.  It also includes the new grocery store being built in the area for which I'm attending a "cashier career fair".  It's time to put the pride aside.  I will continue to aggressively seek a job in health care but won't turn down any other opportunities that come my way just because I don't want to wear an ugly uniform.

I do find comfort in knowing that 6 or 7 months from now the economy will be on an upswing (hopefully) and that with my new certifications in Medical Assisitng and Phlebotomy I can once again join the professional workforce.  My journey won't end there...I will go on to continue working towards my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and apply to PA School, Pharmacy School, hell - maybe even Medical School.  And that's something to be proud of!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Is Here!!!


Pronunciation: \ˈnü
Function: adjective

1: having recently come into existence
2 a(1): having been seen, used, or known for a short time (2): unfamiliar b : being other than the former or old
3 : having been in a relationship or condition but a short time
4 a : beginning as the resumption or repetition of a previous act or thing b : made or become fresh c : relating to or being a new moon
5 : different from one of the same category that has existed previously
6 : of dissimilar origin and usually of superior quality
new. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

I don’t know about you but I am very much looking forward to this New Year! I’m ready to leave 2009 behind and embark on an unfamiliar journey in 2010. I’m glad that this year will be something other than the former or old. And I’m thrilled about a chance at a fresh start. For me, 2010 is about new beginnings. At almost 30, I’m beginning to know and accept myself like I hadn’t before. I’m beginning to better appreciate all of the love and blessings in my life. I’m beginning a new educational path and a new career. I have a lot of plans for this year. Shoot, I have a lot of plans for this decade! And it’s time to work these plans!

Goal Setting:
We did an exercise at my last job where we created goal posters by cutting out images and words from magazines that were reflective of the goals we had for the New Year. At first, I thought it was really cheesy and just a crafts project. But I learned that having my goals posted at my desk where I could see it every day really made a difference. So, I just made my 2010 goal poster and have it hanging on the wall beside my bed. My sister calls it a Prayer Map and that is just as fitting. It is to be a daily visual reminder of the things that I want to accomplish this year and motivation for me to make them a reality. It is not enough to just have a goals…putting them on paper gives them power. It’s a way to review and reflect on these goals and holds me accountable.

Guiding Principles:
What’s more important than having a goal is understanding the guiding principles from which your goals are formed. In looking at my goals, I see that they are all based on a couple of guiding principles:

• Faith – in God, in myself

• Health – physical, mental

• Education – academic, career

• Wealth – financial, spiritual

I am so glad that I was able to grasp the importance of the goal setting exercise and really utilize it in my life. I suggest that you do the same. What are your goals for 2010? What guiding principles drive you?  Whatever they are, I pray that you have a blessed and abundant New Year!

Here's a great link to an article on personal goal setting:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ready to Rumble

As I look back at the past several months, I notice that 2009 has been a tough year for me. I didn’t really notice how tough until recently. I had literally been “rolling with the punches”. But this past week has been particularly rough. This week, we lost the matriarch of our family and buried my 80-year-old grandmother. The hardest-hitting blow of the year came this week.

Prior to this extremely sad occurrence, there were a few other rumbles with life this year. I got a blow to my ego when I packed my things and moved back in with my mother in order to go back to school. Losing my job in the midst of a heavy recession knocked me down. A couple of health scares and ER visits for my family members struck hard. There were other bouts, personal and professional, here and there and I felt like I was on the ropes sometimes. But through all of this, I’ve learned so many lessons and truly believe I am stronger because of it. I’ve developed a strong defense and a sharp offense. I’ve learned to bob & weave and stick & move. I’ve learned to be a fighter. My Grandma Hazel was a fighter. My mother and sister and aunts are fighters. Having strong women in my life and following their examples is all the training I need.

I remember coming home from school one day and telling my Mom that some girl wanted to fight me. I was in junior high and I was scared! I had never been in a real physical altercation before (and I still haven’t, cute girls don’t squabble!) and I didn’t know what to do. My mother told me that while she didn’t condone fighting, that if the girl insisted on fighting me I shouldn’t just lie there and get my butt kicked. She wanted me to stand up for myself and fight back. So I went back to school and told the girl that I wasn’t scared of her and would fight her if she fought me. Luckily, the girl had detention or something at the time of our scheduled match and her desire to beat me down fizzled after a while (whew…close one!). But the point that my mother made when I was 13 was a good one and one that I need to remember at almost 30. Don’t just lie there and get your butt kicked!

When times are tough and life is hard, it’s easy to make yourself a victim and give yourself a big ‘ole pity party. It’s easy to whine and sulk and channel Eeyore, thinking that everything is happening TO you.

I know that I’ve been guilty of it, but I won’t be anymore. I’ll remember what my mama told me. I’ll remember 1 Corinthians 10:13. I’ll remember that there is no testimony without a test. Most importantly, I’ll remember my Grandma Hazel – her life, her fight and her victory!

I had lost my positive outlook for a little while. I had lost sight of the great things life has to offer and the blessings. I had gotten tired and lost my will to fight. But only for a moment y’all…I’m back! I’m challenging my positive energy. I’m living in great expectation…asking, believing and receiving.  I’m looking forward to a fabulous and fruitful 2010…two weeks to go! And I won’t let life just hand me butt-whippings, I’ll go the distance!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

Where does a 29-year-old, single, unemployed woman go? A woman that has decided to make a change, go back to school and pursue a new career? She goes home, of course! At least that’s what I decided to do. After mulling it over for a while, seeking advice from friends and ironing out the details with Mom, I decided to pack up my things and my puppy and I moved back home. You know what? Dorothy was right, there’s no place like it!

I have to admit, I was MORE than a little apprehensive at first. I have been living alone since the age of 22 and had a roommate for the three years before that. I was feeling like Miss Independent, having finally gained control of my life. I had a good job in Advertising, a nice place in pretty cool part of town and a cute little ride. I was traveling regularly, dining out frequently and overall just enjoying my life and my friends. But all of that can change overnight. The next thing you know, I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do with myself after being laid off. It just so happens that this was the third lay-off of my seven year career in Advertising. My first instinct – jump ship and get out of that industry. I’d had enough of the ups and downs that go along with the Ad business and wanted off the roller coaster. That then begged the question, “what now?” I had a hunch that my job was in jeopardy and had already begun working on Plan B, which included professional school and a new career. But how would I get from point A to point B? Could I go to school and work full-time? Obviously I wouldn’t be making the same salary I had been starting at the bottom in a new field – how would I support myself? What about my bills? These questions and more began to swirl around in my head, almost to the point of eruption, when my Mom had an idea. She asked me, “why don’t you move home?”

Why don’t I move home? The thought hadn’t really crossed my mind. I had already left the nest, could I go back? The more I pondered, it sounded like a great idea - I should move home! I’d be able to take a lesser paying job because I wouldn’t have expensive rent to pay. I’d actually be able to save some money. I’d be able to concentrate on school without the weight and worry of making ends meet. What a blessing to be able to move back home! I was decided, I was home bound. That excitement lasted about two weeks! Those were the first two weeks of unemployment when I was a busy bee – I had personal business to get in order, errands to run that I never had time to run before. I also enjoyed a little me time, it was like a mini-vacation. But then it hit me…I have no job and have to move home. Not sure when the situation changed in my head from “choosing” to move home to “having” to move home, but it did. Enter my drama-queen, depression phase – “I’m a loser!”, “I’m almost 30 and have to move home!”, “I’m a burden!”, “What happened to my life?” The most important points were evading me. I was so blessed - I had a future, I had a plan…and the very most important, I had a home to go back to! So silly of me for not wanting to take advantage of an awesome opportunity to further my education, gain experience through volunteer work (and hopefully a real job soon) in a rewarding field like Health Care and to enjoy my Mother and being able to bond with her.

Technically, I don’t have to be out of my apartment until the end of this week. But knowing there would be a significant transition period, not just for me but for my Mom and puppy too, I thought it best to ease into it and try make it as smooth as possible. So, I brought just a few things over on Thanksgiving. We enjoyed a happy holiday with friends and I settled into the guest room for the night. And the next night. And then I brought more things over. And then stayed over again the next night. Here we are on the fourth night and so far so good. No one has killed anyone. There’s enough space that we’re not getting on each other’s nerves. Even the puppy has gotten acclimated. And mom, who’s not a dog-lover, has found a soft spot for Roman (I think).  I complete my move later this week and then it will be official.

So yes, there is no place like home. Home is familiar, comfortable and safe.
H – home is Heart and where love is.

O – home is Open and welcoming.

M – home is Memories and a place to make new ones.

E – home is Everything good.

I am so grateful to have a place to call home!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Color Complex

Okay, I've said it before and I'll say it again...there are A LOT of black folks out there with a "color complex"! Wait, I retract that statement.  It would be more accurate to say that there are a lot of people of color with a complex about complexion.  Specifically, dark complexions.  It's disturbing really.  This "complex" became evident to me as a child.  It became even more evident to me as a teen when I began dating.  Even now as an adult, I am often offended when I witness someone infecting others, even worse their kids, with their own personal hang-ups on color.  The interesting thing is that this complex isn't exclusive to the African-American community.  I've learned that other minority groups - Hispanics and East Indians, etc. - have the same issue with dark skin.

What led to me write about this today is a recent picture I saw on the internet of Sammy Sosa.  I know you've probably seen it and read all about it, but just in case, here is Mr. Sosa before and after...

I don't even need to post pictures of the late, great Michael Jackson because you all know what happened there.  While Mike blamed the drastic change in his complexion on Vitiligo, Sammy attributes his lighter skin tone to a cream meant to soften (the bleaching is supposedly a side effect).  I had a friend in high school who used skin bleaching cream to lighten her skin.  I saw an episode of The Tyra Banks show where a woman admitted to washing her children's faces with Clorox to lighten their skin.  We've all heard of the brown paper bag "test" they used to do back in the day.  It goes on and on...     

Anyway, my question is this - what the hell?!?!?!?  Seriously, what is going on?  Some say that this loathing of dark skin goes way back to the days of slavery and the light "house negro" vs. the dark "field negro".  Others say it's a function of Society and the idea of beauty that has been imposed on us.  Really???  Can we not get past that?  Will we just continue to let this ignorance destroy our self images and those of our children and grandchildren?  This has gone on long enough and has created a significant divide in our communities.  As cliche as it sounds, black really IS beautiful!  I know plenty of gorgeous dark skinned women and handsome dark skinned men.  God made us this stunning array of color for a reason.  We aren't meant to all look alike.  Furthermore, we are made in His image so however we look is exactly the way He wanted us.  Let's embrace ourselves the way we are.  Let's encourage others to do the same. 

Here are some examples of the ignorant crap I've heard over the years:

  • "Coffee makes you black"

  • "Dark skinned people are evil"

  • "You're pretty for a dark (or black) girl"

  • Dark skinned people can only wear blue

Let's put an end to this B.S.  The fact that it remains such a prominent issue in our communities is ridiculous.  Can we move on please???

Sunday, November 8, 2009


So...I decided to start a blog. Why? Not because my life is particularly interesting or anything that a complete stranger would be compelled to read.  And I don’t find myself to be incredibly deep or feel that I have some prolific voice that must be heard.  I decided to blog because I’m experiencing a great deal of transition in my life right now and thought that this would be a great outlet for me and a way to document all of these changes. A friend of mine recently started a blog about a new personal journey that she’s taking and I got inspired. I actually read quite a few blogs on various topics and thought to myself, “Hey, I can do this!” So, here I am...maybe someone else will read my words, relate to my situation and be inspired themselves.

You know, I actually really enjoy writing – it’s what I used to want to do with my life. When I was younger I wrote poetry and short stories. I used to keep all of these diaries and journals. Tragically, I trashed them all after a bad college breakup. This dude’s name was scribbled all too often throughout roughly three years worth of journals. I didn’t want him, or my thoughts of him, to linger. Too bad though…I’m sure the journals would make for entertaining reading now. I could have written a book.  Seriously, mine was the original “He’s Just Not That Into You”!  But anyway, since happened, I pursued other dreams and I never got back to writing like I used to.  I'm glad to start putting my thoughts on paper (or in this case, out in cyberspace) again. 

Not to mention that I have a bit more time on my hands now. I was laid off from my job in Advertising a couple of months ago (wow – can’t believe it’s already been a couple of months). I would say that I’m suffering from the loneliness of unemployment but…that would be...dramatic (and the last thing I am is dramatic, right?) I am used to keeping super busy though and am having to adjust to this slower pace.  I’ve decided to make a career change and get out of “the biz” (not that there are many Ad gigs out there now anyway). So, it’s a little slow moving. In the meantime, when I’m not looking and applying for jobs, not studying (yep, back in school at damn near 30) and not volunteering at the hospital (yes I'm a germaphobe and yes I'm going into healthcare) …I have all of this time to sit, stare and reflect on life. I’d love to call up my boyfriend, my friends and family to share all the theories and epiphanies that I’ve come up with but guess what?  They have jobs that keep them busy all day!  I've already been reprimanded for excessive texts during working hours!  But seriously, I’m now pursuing a path that will actively utilize the left side of my brain and I’ll need some sort of creative outlet to balance it all out.

So, what to blog about? Hmmm, how about...everything!  Life, love, work, play, body, mind, spirit...I'll talk about it all.  I don’t know if there are rules about blogging or if I’m supposed to stick to a central topic or something. But life in general is a series of random events and my posts will likely be random too. So, to whoever is reading…enjoy my random musings!