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Yes, I'm still here.
Posted on September 9, 2018

I normally try to post every year on my birthday, but I didn't this time.  I turned 30 on May 21st.
I wanted to bring in my 30s right and get out of Cincinnati for once. My sister and I went to New Orleans. It was my first time there and it's such a beautiful, resilient city. The food, the people, the architecture, the history, the culture,  all of it was amazing and I definitely plan on going back. It was hot as all get out, but I enjoyed my time there. It took a lot of long hours to be able to save for that trip, but it was worth it.

While we were riding around NOLA, my sister gave me a mini pep talk about being deserving and she said, "No buts!".  Acknowledge who you are and what you are without any 'buts". Don't detract from what you've done. I really needed to hear that. I love my sister to death. No matter what happens, my sister has always been there for me. If nobody else understands me, I know she does and I thank God for her. I can go on rants about things I'm passionate about or vent about how frustrated I am and there's no judgment.

I'm not where I would like to be in certain aspects of my life, but this year hasn't been terrible. It's been a lot better than 2017 and for that, I'm grateful.

During the last couple of months leading up to my 30th birthday, I did some reflecting and made some promises to myself.

"Try not to get so overwhelmed that you get stuck and stop (I'm still working on that and it's so hard).  Your time is coming. The same way you turned things around at 20, you will at 30 too. It's okay to be down sometimes, but you have a purpose. Some days you may think you know your purpose, other days you'll second guess it. It's all a process." 

I started writing this post 2 months ago and I'm just now posting it because of self-doubt, stress from my wack job and so on. I'm so critical of myself about this whole writing thing that I don't even give myself a chance to just do it and let it go. Whenever I write, I feel better so I want to make an effort to do it more just because of that. Closed mouths don't get fed so I have to work on not having several posts sitting in my drafts for months at a time.

Aussie Miracle Curls Review
Posted on March 19, 2018

Aussie recently released their Miracle Curls line and I picked up the majority of the collection. CurlBox had 6 out of the 7 products from the line for $10, so I took advantage of the sale.

Note: The collection is sold out on CurlBox.com.

I’ve been using Aussie since 2010 so I’m no stranger to their products. I’ve been using the 3-Minute Miracle Deep conditioner and Hair Insurance Leave-In spray conditioner since I had relaxed hair in 2010 and my natural hair loves it too.  The thing I love about Aussie is the bright purple packaging, the affordability of their products and the moisture it gives my hair. 

The Miracle Curls line has 7 products:

·      Shampoo
·      Conditioner
·      Co-Wash
·      3-Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner
·      Leave-In Detangling Milk (This is the only product I don't have.)
·      Crème Pudding
·      Nourishing Hair Mask

Photo courtesy of: CurlBox

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Countdown To Year 30
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. 

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10 Ways To Relieve Stress
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!

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Year 29.
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!

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I'm Not A Procreation Machine
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.

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International Women's Day
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. 

Letter To My Younger Self
Posted on August 13, 2016

August 13, 2006 (Age 18)

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.

August 13, 2011 (Age 23)

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.

Love, Jaida

Be Intentional In 2016
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.

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