2019, how do I say farewell to a year that brought me to the highest of heights and it also brought me down to my knees in prayer? It was a good year, with lots of wins, but it also presented some challenges. Most years have their mix of ups and downs, but 2019 felt a bit more dynamic for me. The ups made me feel on top of the world, while the downs kept me up at night.
Nonetheless, 2019 is a year that taught me a lot. In fact, I believe that this year was a pivotal moment in my professional life, spiritual life, physical/wellness journey, and in my personal development journey as well. I’m happy to see 2019 end on a high note, but most importantly I’m ready to march into 2020 with my head held high, ready to grasp whatever life throws at me.
Without further adieu, here are the lessons that 2019 taught me.
Welcome to S&T’s #TBT! This week’s post is an official throwback post from 2015. I’m considering whether to re-release old posts on the blog every first Thursday of the month. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!
I remember when I found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real. I thought to myself:
Now, why would I ever believe that an oversized man in a big red suit fit down a narrow chimney with Christmas? How exactly did he fit? How could one man fly 24,901 miles in 24 hours around the world delivering gifts to 9 billion children? And how did he travel on an object intended for snow? Could he have at least rented a private jet?
But I did. And if you’re honest, you did too.
In fact, we’ve all believed menarche at some point in our lives. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we millennials have endorsed yet another lie.
We believe that if we follow our passion, then the money will come. Money’s not important as living our dream life.
Now, I’m not saying that money is everything, but to the person who invented this quote, have you ever not had any money?
Have you ever been broke? Now, I’m not talking the Awww-man-I-can’t-afford-to-eat-at-a-five-star-restaurant-broke, I’m talking the I-don’t-have-money-to-eat broke. I’m talking the should-I-pay-rent-or-should-I-buy-my-children-food broke.
I’m talking the I-can’t-attend-your-birthday-party-because-I-have-$10-in-my-account-and-can’t-even-afford-to-pay-for-gas-to-get-there broke.
I’m talking BROKE without the “K” or the “E.” You’re so broke, you’re BRO. Can’t even afford the last two letters of the word.
A 30-year old body is a rebel. It does whatever it wants to do, with little regard to what I want it to do. When I turned 30, exercise moved from optional to mandatory. I’ve taken on a new fun physical activity to stay in shape: road cycling.
Hubby introduced me to the world of cycling 2 years ago. He purchased a performance bike, began cycling with a group of people, and fell in love with the sport. His love for the sport was infectious. I purchased a road bike in April and started bike riding as well. Twice a week, we cycle with various groups in our neighborhood. Hubby, a more seasoned cyclist, rides with intermediate riders. I, on the other hand, cycle with other beginners. We usually meet at a location after our respective rides.
On one Saturday morning, I returned from my ride before hubby. I noticed a White man in his group and asked him whether he had seen my husband. In retrospect, iI had never seen this man before, so he probably had no idea what hubby looked like, but I didn’t even stop to consider that.
He responds, “Would it be racist if I asked you if he were Black?”Read More »
Last Christmas, my husband and I went to the movies to see Fences. We’re both huge Denzel Washington fans, so an opportunity to see his movie made the day enjoyable. This Christmas, Denzel’s movie, Roman J. Israel, Esq will be released, so obviously, I suggested we watch it. He showed some hesitation about going to a movie theatre on a holiday. His reason: Christmas will bring a huge audience to the theater, making it vulnerable to a gun attack.
I nodded sadly, acknowledging what life has been for us living in an era where mass shootings are becoming common. Nowadays, the simple act of seeing a movie in a public location is scary.Read More »
My boyfriend and I are approaching our 2 year anniversary and I just turned 30 years old. I understand why so many relatives and friends are becoming increasingly more curious about when will tie the knot. As my elder no-nonsense cousin so eloquently stated during the early stages of my boyfriend and my relationship, “You’re not 19. What are his intentions?” It’s a valid question for me to consider.
I believe people are asking from a sincere place. They genuinely want me to be happy and they believe that marriage is one way to achieve happiness. They also want to make sure that I do it fast before time runs out and I can no longer give birth to babies. Many unmarried women in their mid-forties, who were focused on their career in their early thirties, regret the fact that they did not settle down earlier. Perhaps they want to ensure that I do not make the same mistake.
I get it.
But what I don’t understand is how some people feel the need to pressure you into making such a huge decision. We all know what pressure sounds like from our loved ones:
When are you getting married? (asked each time you see her/him)
When will I have a grandchild?
My son needs a playmate. Please tell me you’re going to have children next year.
You’re not getting any younger. You don’t want a high-risk pregnancy, do you?
Hollywood is more than just glamour, parties, and paparazzi. In some cases, Hollywood can take the best of you and leave you at the edge of a balcony ready to jump, as portrayed in the movie, Beyond The Lights.
Before this movie, I did not understand the motive and circumstances behind celebrity suicides. I’m not saying that I am an expert on it now, but I will say that I have a slight understanding of the psychology behind a celebrity’s motive to end her life.Read More »
I met a woman at leadership conference in April and her story intrigued me. Like me, she graduate top of her class from Spelman College. She discovered the field of public health during her academic journey and threw herself into the field. She was heavily involved in public health internships, public health associations, and during her senior year at Spelman, she was accepted into the doctorate of science program at Harvard University, where she matriculated the fall after her Spelman graduation. In fact, she loved her program and mapped out her whole career during the second semester of her second year in the program: graduate from Harvard; complete a fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and work at the CDC for 35 years she retires.
Her dream became in reality: she completed the reputable EIS program, and was accepted into a highly coveted FTE (full-time employee) position at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She had been working in that position 3 years when she received a phone call that changed her life.Read More »
Shoshana Roberts, a 29-year old actress residing in New York City, recorded an experiment on street harassment. She installed a hidden camera and had it record 10 hours of her walking the streets of Manhattan. She experienced everything from the casual “what’s up,” to the more threatening act of being followed for several minutes by numerous men. She did not respond to any of these comments, maintaining her composure, a straight face, and avoiding eye contact, yet the comments continued. In a matter of 10 hours, she experienced 108 catcalls from men of different racial backgrounds.
As I watched Shoshana’s video, I remember my own experiences of being catcalled. Although I have been harassed on numerous occasions, I vividly remember one that was the most threatening to me. I was a sophomore at Spelman College at the time and meeting friends across campus one Friday evening. A man in a car with three other men approached me in a Black SUV. “Hey,” he said as he was driving alongside me.Read More »
I think Black American women are [ghetto], but not you, you’re different.
– My African Co-worker
Unfortunately, there are still people who endorse the belief that African American women are ghetto. It always amazes me that after all these years of the media exposing viewers to successful, educated, and refined African American women, people still believe the hype. Some of these stereotypes are laughable and unsurprising, but some of it rather shocking and a little disturbing.Read More »
As a first generation child born on the U.S. mainland, I pride myself on having a unique perspective of America and our global reputation. I’ll spare you on my soapbox (for now), but we’ll just say that my beliefs are quite different from other U.S. citizens. For that reason, I love talking to people who are new to America. I always attain some new insights whenever I hear a recent immigrant’s views on America.
I recently had the opportunity to interview a recent immigrant. He relocated here from Lagos, Nigeria, to attend graduate school. His first six months on U.S. soil was spent in San Francisco and the latter part of his first year were spent in Georgia. Here’s what he had to say about his time in America.
I chose the White Doll because she was prettier than the Black one.
– My Seven Year Old Niece
Black Friday sucks everyone in, even a second grader. For the past few weeks, my niece has been nagging her parents to buy her a “Baby Alive” doll for Christmas. She even dragged her dad to Toys R Us to pick out her first Christmas gift on Black Friday. See a picture of her selection below.
When I was a student at Spelman College, Imma need for you to do better, was a common phrase among my sisters. The phrase could be used to address anything – hairstyle, choice of boyfriend, exam or it could even be said in jest. Imma need for you to do better is how we reminded […]