Posted on November 21, 2017
Well, today marks the countdown to 30. I'll be 30 in exactly six months and I'm ready.
My last post was a little after my birthday and I've been through a lot in 2016 and 2017 and I just couldn't bring myself to dedicate time to this space once again.
I wouldn't call my rut "writer's block". I'm extremely critical of myself and I get in my own way. I'll have an idea just to shut it down in the next breath because it's not good enough. I don't like to get too personal about my struggles online, but being stressed, depressed and sometimes anxious can really take a toll on you. You can have all the ambition in the world and plans to execute your vision, but those feelings can stop you dead in your tracks. I know I'm not alone and I don't want anyone else to feel like they're alone.
I try not to blame my problems solely on being an adult. While that's part of the problem, I don't mind being an adult. Being a kid was cool, but I've gotten used to not having to answer to anybody. The problem is I became an adult at the wrong time. The recession happened in 2008 when I was 20. Fast forward a year later and print headquarters for magazines and newspapers are closing left and right. This wasn't good for journalists, or those of us going to school for journalism at the time. Fast forward to 2011 and I'm graduating from college. I knew it would be no walk in the park as far as finding writing jobs, but the workforce, in general, is a doozy. They either want you to have a degree with 5+ years of experience or they don't ask about your degree at all and will pay you $30K a year.
I'm in no rush for homeownership, marriage or children. I figure it'll happen when or if it's supposed to. If I can't live comfortably right now at 29, childless with one income, what good would I be with a child I can't afford? I can't even afford to take a vacation. I have yet to use my degree and my salary is nowhere near the price of my degree and it's all very frustrating and stressful.
I did all this ranting to say, I have to keep going. Even while I'm stressed out trying to pay bills and figure out how to pay for my 30th birthday trip in May. I have to do this. I talk myself out of writing, but once I do it, I feel so much better. I just want to be good to myself and stop putting things off because it's not "good enough" or I'm not "ready". You'll never be ready if you don't start and I've wasted enough time.
I want to seek therapy (more on this later) to get clarity and resolve ongoing issues (see: breaking generational cycles).
I just want to stay out of my own way and allow myself to grow with no interference and hope something good comes from it. That's all I want moving forward.
Posted on May 30, 2017
I can't stand my job. The thought of being there stresses me out once Sunday night rolls around or an extended weekend is coming to an end. Since this month is Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to share some of the things I do to relieve stress in hopes of helping someone else.
Take a personal day. My mom calls them, "mental health days". I keep my PTO stacked for days when I just don't feel like being there. I like to extend my weekends when we have paid holidays too. There's nothing wrong with taking a day off to sleep in or get things done that you normally wouldn't have time to do. I had a mini meltdown a few weeks ago on a Sunday night and I made the executive decision to call in that Monday. I just needed an extra day to gather my thoughts and relax. Working a full-time job is already stressful, but working a job that you don't like or having to work overtime can be taxing. Save up that PTO for a rainy day!
adult coloring books with more intricate illustrations or you can keep it
simple and buy a kids coloring book for nostalgia’s sake.
Take a bath.
Showers are quick and more convenient during the week when you’re trying to get
ready for work or go to bed, but every now and then I like to take a bath and
use one of my Lush bath bombs. I turn on some music and chill for a little bit.
make you feel a million things. Create a playlist of relaxing songs or
write as often as I should, but when I pull out the journal, I feel better.
Sometimes I like to vent without talking to an actual person. I don’t always
want feedback and I don’t like bothering people with my problems all the time,
so journaling helps me release my feelings with no worries. It’s also a great
way to look back on how I felt back then and currently. I still have a
diary from the fifth grade and it’s hilarious every time I read it.
noticed that when my house is messy, I’m more stressed and overwhelmed if there’s
clutter. When you get some free time, make sure you vacuum, wipe down your
counters and put away those clothes that have been in the hamper for two weeks.
A clean space makes a huge difference.
walk or a drive. When the weather is nice, I love opening my windows to let
fresh air into the house. I do the same when I’m driving. If you’ve got
sunshine and a breeze, girl take in some of that fresh air!
water and healthy eating habits improve my mood. There’s nothing wrong with
having a few Oreos or a bag of chips in moderation, but healthy eating is
better in the long run. Junk food is okay in moderation, which is why I try
not to keep sweets in my house all the time. I have the worst sweet tooth.
I love candles. I can’t tell you how much money White Barn/Bath & Body
Works has gotten out of me. Burning candles are very relaxing. If candles
aren’t your thing, you can burn your favorite incense or add a few drops of
your favorite essential oil to an oil diffuser.
For oils that will energize and uplift, check
them out here
For more calming and relaxing oils, click here
Candles are great, but I definitely plan on
investing in a diffuser soon so I can reap the benefits of natural oils. Essential
oils can also be mixed into soaps, body butters, etc. so they’re an excellent
Unplug from social media. Social media is great, but it can also be a hinderance. It's good to go off the grid and unplug from time to time. Don't announce that you're taking a break. Just don't log in. I find that I'm more active on Twitter during the week, but I go missing on the weekends. Between the news updates on our "president" and the great $200 date debate, all of it wears me low and that's when I know it's time to go missing.
What are some healthy ways you like to unwind and relax? I’d love to
hear about them below!
Labels: Awareness, Lifestyle
Posted on May 21, 2017
Today marks the last year of my 20s and I’m still trying to
figure out where the time went.
Yesterday morning I didn’t want to be bothered or go out.
After reflecting on my last eight birthdays, I felt like I had squandered them
away. I haven’t had any extravagant birthday bashes or trips, but I’ve grown a
lot over the last eight years. Looking back on my 20th birthday all
the way up to today reminds me how far I’ve come. 2008 seems so long ago, but
it feels like I just turned 25.
After being in my feelings, I had to remind myself that
there’s no timeline on life. You won’t have it “together” at age 25 and you
won’t have it all figured out at 29 either.
I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I have another
chance to work towards it. Extravagant birthdays are nice, but lessons are
great too. I went into my birthday weekend thinking it was gonna suck because
of the rainy weather and it ended up being sunny today. I’m grateful for all my
friends and family who sent love my way today.
The last year of my 20s will be about me trying to become a
better version of myself as always. Eating more veggies, taking my ass to the
gym, not renewing a library book five times, ya know, little things.
So here’s to another year of growth, discovery and more life. 🌺. Sorry,
I had to do it. I love Drake and he just gets it. Deal.
Anyway, here’s to Year 29!
Labels: Discussion, Lifestyle, Misc
Posted on April 1, 2017
Five years ago, I was at my best friend's baby shower and one of
our high school friends asked, "Jaida, when are you having kids?" My
response was, "No time soon." She dismissed my answer and replied,
"Girl, that's what I said too." She was about three months pregnant
at the time. That was in 2011 and I was fresh out of college (three months, to
be exact). Fast forward six years later and my feelings haven’t changed.
We’ve been conditioned to think we’re “supposed” to get a college
degree, get married and have babies by age XX. I don’t want to have kids right
now and I’m not going to pretend I do because society says I should.
I'm at a place in my life where I'm still trying to figure things
out for myself. All of that goes out of the window once you become a parent.
I’ve literally been with my mother her entire adult life. She had me at 22 and
my sister at 25 so she had to figure things out pretty quickly. My parents didn’t
have a chance to fully focus on themselves until we were grown.
A lot of young people jump into parenthood when they’re not ready
and it ends up affecting them and their children. I wouldn’t want that for
anybody. Not only that, but I wasn’t put on earth just to become a mother. That
isn’t my purpose.
I’m having a hard enough time trying to figure my life out alone.
I couldn’t imagine throwing children in the mix. These are my years to be
selfish. I don’t have anybody depending on me. I don’t have to take childcare
and school districts into account when deciding where I’ll move next. As a
single, childless woman, I’m stable for the most part. Besides, there are
plenty of children in my life whom I can spoil and love on before sending them back
to their parents.
Women are not obligated to have babies. Stop asking women when and
if they’re going to have children. Some women do not want children. Some women
can’t have children. Stop forcing that responsibility on us. I’m lucky to have
parents who haven’t pressed the issue of wanting grandchildren. They understand
where I’m at in my life and they respect it. If you want random women to have
children so bad, go adopt a child in need of a loving home.
People don’t have to become parents due to some imaginary
deadline. Leave people alone and mind your business.
Labels: Discussion, Lifestyle
Posted on March 8, 2017
March 8th is our day on the calendar, but I make it a point to celebrate us year-around. We're a force to be reckoned with. Continue to shine. Continue to make your dreams come true. Don't let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. Be fierce. Be soft. Be hard. Fight for what you want. Cheers to some of the women that I love and aspire to be like: Beyoncé, Solange, Viola Davis, Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Janelle Monáe, Zendaya, Yara Shahidi, Aja Naomi King, Ciara, Cardi B, Jourdan Dunn, Jackie Aina, Jessica Lewis, Whitney White and many, many, many more! Girls are everything. Women are everything. I love us and you should too. If you want to see non-stop girl power, and a virtual collage of some awesome girlies, be sure to follow me on Tumblr.
Posted on August 13, 2016
So you’re done with high school and you’re starting college
in a week. I know you wanted to go away for school, but you have some maturing
to do. You’ll get to leave, I promise. You may feel stagnant sometimes and
things might get tough, but you’ll get through it. Besides, you’ll be busy as
hell three years from now in a totally different environment. All of this is
temporary. Just knock these prerequisites out and keep it moving.
Well, you did it. You graduated from college. You thought
the day would never come, but it’s here! You were a totally different person
when you came to TSU at 20-years-old, but you’ve learned valuable lessons and
made lifelong friends in the process. When you think of this place, think about
what it took for you to get here and never take it for granted. You gained much
more than a degree.
Even though you matured and learned a lot about yourself,
college was still a safety net. It’s gonna be scary and stressful trying to
figure out what’s next, but do yourself a favor and relax. Listen to Dad. He
may sound insensitive now, but you need to go home. You didn’t have a plan
mapped out for post-graduation so the best thing for you to do is go home. Go home
and enjoy not having to do anything for the first time in five years. You’ll be
able to eat home cooked meals again and the days of sleeping in an extra large
twin bed and dragging your clothes to the laundry room to
wash clothes are done! Appreciate the little things.
Be prepared for growing pains. Be prepared to feel lost.
You’re gonna argue with Mom and Dad because parents don’t get it. Take
everything as a lesson and apply it in the future so you know how to navigate
it or help someone else navigate it. The same way you had to fight to get your
degree, you’ll have to fight even harder to find your place in the "real world". Oh yeah, start a savings account. You'll need it.
And last, but not least, do not put deadlines on your life.
Don’t stress yourself out because you aren’t living in a condo in NYC by age
25. We’ve been trained to think we have to set all these unrealistic goals by a
certain age in order to be “successful”. Five years from now, you won’t even
wanna move to New York. It sounds crazy now, but trust me on this. Be thankful
for the things you have and continue to work for the things you want.
Last thing, don’t become complacent, because that’s not who
you are. Be good to yourself and stay encouraged.
Posted on January 16, 2016
So here we are with an update – six months later. I’m
terrible, I know. As if I wasn’t already a slacker, the last five months of
2015 had me all over the place and overwhelmed, but here I am and happy new
year! I hope the first couple of weeks of 2016 have been good to you. They’ve
been okay and I feel a lot more driven this time around. I know in the past
I’ve said that this year would be “the year” that I did this and did that, but
I’m not gonna do that this year because it hasn’t been effective thus far.
I’m a procrastinator who gets so overwhelmed at the thought
of all the things I want to do that I end up doing nothing at all. Simply put, I
want to put an end to that this year. I acknowledge that I suck at resolutions
so I chose to stray away from that this year. I wrote out my goals for the
year, big and small. Things such as using my library card and drinking more
water are things I want to do.
(By the way, I’m participating in the Goodreads 2016 Reading
Challenge. Feel free to follow me here
I’m open to reading suggestions! I’m almost finished with #GIRLBOSS
by Sophia Amoruso. Next up is, Leave Your Mark
by Aliza Licht.
I also have major goals, but I’ve chosen not to speak on
them out loud. I’d just rather work towards them little by little. My friend
pointed out making monthly goals for herself instead since she doesn’t do well
with long-term goals. I’ve decided to give that a try. Because I get
overwhelmed to the point of not doing anything at all, I’ve decided baby steps
are better than no steps at all. You have to start somewhere. I realized that
if you sit idly waiting for the “right time” to do something, you’ll be waiting
“Don’t talk about it, be about it” is the mantra for my life
this year. Too much talking and complaining won’t get you very far. Believe me,
I know firsthand.
I really had an epiphany during the last week of 2015 and it
got my gears turning. All I really want is to be intentional with my actions
this year so that I can grow as a person. Try not to get caught up in social
media. Some of it’s real, some of it isn’t. It’s so hard not to compare
yourself to friends and peers when you see people getting promotions and taking
trips to the Dominican Republic.
I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t do it! Been
there, done that. It doesn’t do you any good. Besides, I got my passport last
April and it’s valid for 10 years. I’ve got plenty of time to stamp it up. Baby
steps sis, baby steps.
While I’m not working on being intentional and purposeful, I
like to run my mouth on social media. You can catch me on Twitter
What are some ways you go about accomplishing or tracking your
goals? I’d love to know! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment
section or leave me a tweet or comment on the ‘Gram.
Labels: Discussion, Lifestyle