So Hard To Say Goodbye…

GoodbyeIt is only appropriate that I bid farewell to one of my best years ever by updating my blog. It has been a phenomenal year for me. I was unhappy with my life in December 2014 and in February 2015, I decided to make a change. I did what was necessary to make the change I was seeking. Not everyone was happy with the changes I made, but I knew it had to be done. I persevered. I am a better person for it. My transitions were not easy, but it was fulfilling; it encouraged me to grow and to learn more about myself in the process.

2014 posed questions; 2015 provided answers to those questions. I cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store.

If there is something you want to change in 2016, be that change. It may be difficult, but it will be worth it.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

 

Image Source: Forbes.com

 

On The Time Bullying Was A Good Thing

The radio can be a bully. How many times has a song played on the radio and you didn’t like, so you flipped to the next station that was playing the same song? No matter what station you found yourself listening to, the song was always on the radio. It was as if the radio is telling you, “I don’t care what you do, but you are going to like this song. I am going to force you to like this song.” This is precisely what happened between me and my local radio stations. But, a positive outcome occurred. I began to appreciate the words from the seemingly ubiquitous pop song, “Love Myself” by Hailee Steinfield. The song so closely reflects the message of this blog and I couldn’t resist posting.

The lyrics reflect a woman’s dedication to loving herself, and putting herself first. (There is a bit of a sexual undertone in the lyrics, but we’ll ignore that.)

It is the type of song I could imagine a woman listening to after experiencing a break up from her boyfriend. You know how women go into their post-breakup rants about how they could do better all by themselves? They don’t need a man. Yep, this is the song you’ll find on their Spotify playlist. But, this song is not only suited for post-breakups, this song could be applied to women in relationships too.

For the woman in a relationship, it is easy to forget to take care of yourself. It’s easy to forget to exercise, eat healthy foods, and to do the things you did before he entered your life. It’s also easy to forget to take time out for yourself and do the things you enjoy doing. Life can become hectic when you’re sharing it with someone else, so taking a step back and chanting to yourself, I love me, is a must.

Thanks, Hailee, for your self-empowering debut single. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see you on the Top 40 Billboard Chart.

Love,

Me

 

My First Boyfriend

I had my first “boyfriend” in kindergarten. I’ve place boyfriend in quotation marks here because I chuckle at how simple boyfriend/girlfriend relationships were in my childhood days. Feelings and commitment were foreign to me. My peers and I changed our boyfriends like we changes our socks. Boyfriends were only something we had in order to have something to talk about on the playground during recess.

“Do you have a boyfriend?” my classmate asked me one day on the playground. “No,” I said, “do you?”

Of course, my classmate responded as if I were an idiot to ask. I was a shy five year-old, but wondered to myself how I too can get a boyfriend. I started thinking about all the boys in my class. This one particular boy named, Carl, sat next to me in class. He was always so nice to me. He’d share his crayons with me in class and offer to help me with my arts in crafts. I liked Carl. He could be my boyfriend.Read More »

No Choice But To Change

When the time comes for you to make a change, to grow, to do your life in a different way, the universe will make you so uncomfortable, so unhappy, you will eventually have no choice. If you insist on staying in a place you no longer belong in, if you do not grow the courage to do what is necessary to propel yourself forward, you will suffer the consequences, whatever they may be.

-Iyanla Vanzant

Dating In Your 30’s Vs Dating In Your 20’s

You can always tell a woman’s age by her attitude towards relationships. Women in their 20’s are constantly second-guessing themselves; worrying about maintaining their crush’s interest, and obsessing about how cute or athletic their beau is. Women in their 30’s, on the other hand, are purposeful. They don’t waste time; they have a five-year plan (which includes marriage), and they do not beat around the bush when stating their wishes.

There is a striking difference between my friends’ dating habits in their 20’s and their dating habits in their 30’s. I sometimes look at them and think, “My! Have you changed.” Here’s the difference between dating in your 20s vs dating in your 30s.

In your 20s, your time is often wasted. You meet a guy and he’s not who you want to marry, but he’s cute and fun, so you begin dating. You believe you’re in a relationship, but he never gives you a title. You keep dating him anyway, until one day he drops off the face of the planet and stops returning your calls and you’re left eating icecream with your homegirl and wondering, What did I do wrong?

In you 30’s every moment is accounted for. At 30, dates are no longer a sport, you’re on a mission. You fire important marriage focused questions during the talking stage like, When do you want to get married? Do you want to have children? What’s your five year plan? If his questions align with your future plans, then you’ll go on a date with him. As soon as he shows signs that even remotely resemble any other bad relationship you’ve been in, you exit stage left immediately. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

In your 20’s, you live by the theme song, Girls Just Want To Have Fun. The most attractive personality trait for a man you date is one who loves to have a good time. He’s adventuresome. He’s also the here-today-gone-tomorrow type of guy. But that’s cool with you, because you’re not looking to get married at anytime soon. You just want to have fun.

In your 30’s, your theme song is Put A Ring On It. Women in their 30’s are focused on many things, but the most significant one is the engagement ring she’s hoping to obtain. Her life choices are dictated by the fact that she is going to find a husband and settle down. Her future goals drive the career path she chooses. It dictates where she chooses to live and what her living arrangements are. It especially dictates who she dates. She start asking questions like, Will he be a good father to my children? and Will he take care of me when I’m old? In fact that adventuresome guy you would date in your 20’s is longer attractive to you in your 30’s.

In your 20’s, you blame yourself for anything that goes on in the relationship. I’ve talked about my worst date ever on my blog before. The guy I was dating at the time treated me so poorly, yet I still blamed myself for his behavior. It’s amazing how women can find flaws in themselves, when the guy they are with is a true jerk. This phenomenon changes as one ages.

In your 30’s, you state what you want and achieve it. Unapologetically. Women become more and more unapologetic for who you are and what they want. As my 30-something old friend told me one time without any hesitation, “I don’t do broke. The next guy I date will make a decent living.” Three years later, she’s married to a physician who makes at least six figures per year. She knew what she wanted and she achieved it, without second-guessing herself.

What age did you have the most fun dating – 20’s or 30’s?

 

 

Country Music & Me: My Time Capsule To The Yesteryears

One of my favorite childhood memories is riding in the car with my mom on Saturdays, while listening to Kicks 101.5, Atlanta’s Country Music station. It was during these rides around my hometown of Marietta, where my mom and I would discuss the importance of self-esteem, earning good grades, and cultivating healthy friendships. Sometimes, my younger brother would join us and and our conversations would become more abstract, like discussing my brother’s interest in Gargolyes and Dragon Ball Z. Country music served as the background soundtrack to a time in my life when I didn’t have to worry about anything. Career goals were a thing of a distance future. Making friends was easy and my idea of establishing a long-term relationship was reduced to planning the most outlandish fairy-tale wedding possible. Life was good.

Nowadays, when life becomes challenging and decisions become overwhelming, I revert back to the days when life was simple. Music has an amazing ability to help us remember our yesteryears. Country Music serves as my personal time capsule, helping me travel back in time to when life was simple. I listen to Country Music daily. In fact, I not only listen to it, I sing along with it. Loudly. While driving around my city.

So, today, I’d like to welcome Friday by sharing my all-time favorite Country Music songs with you. I hope these tunes help you relieve the tension you may have stored up after a stressful week. And I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.Read More »

5 Things I Learned About Achieving Financial Prosperity

wealth-06In my post entitled, The Greatest Lie Millenials Believe, I emphasized how important money is. I emphasize that it takes precedence when pursuing our goals. Life circumstances has also taught me that it is more important to manage funds wisely than it is to make a lot of money. For, if you make $56,000 per year, but spend $35,000 per year, you are much better off than someone who makes $500,000 per year, but spends $510,000 per year. Saving and managing funds wisely is key. Read More »

False Choice Between Babies and Startups

A couple of years ago, I was interviewing for a position at a start-up. I had been on the job-hunt for several months and was becoming more and more desperate to land a job. The interview was going very well. The interviewer seemed impressed with my experience and credentials, and we were developing a good rapport.

Given the engaging conversation we were having, I didn’t think anything of it when he so casually asked me where I was living and whether I planned on moving away from home. In a sly manner, he added, “And you don’t plan on having children anytime soon, do you?”

It was so sudden that I didn’t even have a chance to think about it. I was 26 at the time, so having children was the furthest thing from my mind, for I was married to my career. I quickly answered, “No.”

He offered me the position the next day.

It wasn’t until several days later that I thought about the implication of his question.  Besides it being illegal, I wondered whether I would have still been offered the position if I told him that I wanted to have children soon.

I’ve read numerous articles on how employers discriminate on women in their late 20’s and early 30’s for fear that they’ll devote more time to their children than to the job. I always thought this was ludicrous and believe that women can indeed become superwomen. We can have it all. The article below, written by Mrs. Zuhairah Scott Washington, General Manager at Uber-DC, clearly articulates my thoughts.

The False Choice Between Babies and Startups

Honesty Ain’t The Best Policy

crossingfingersThey say honesty is the best policy. I suppose that’s true when it comes to things like, telling your friend that the outfit she’s wearing does not look good on her. It’s true when your boyfriend says something that hurts your feelings and you have to confront him about it. It’s true when taking an exam and you decide to share your own responses and not your classmates. In such cases, yes, honesty is the best policy.

But when it comes to all things concerning finances, honesty is not the best policy. There’s no need to be honest about your finances. No one wants to know when you’re dealing with a severe financial hardship. That’s none of their business anyway. If you cannot attend an event due to finances, simply lie and say, I have other plans. You’ll have a way better outcome them disclosing the fact that your car payment is due on the 3rd and you won’t get paid again until the 15th and since their event falls on the 10th, you won’t have any money. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Saying “I have other plans” shuts the door and gives no room for follow-up questions.Read More »

The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Life Partner

The article below articulates my thoughts on marriage and long-term relationships. Our choice of a life partner is the biggest decision we will ever make and as such, we should choose carefully, not hastily. Furthermore, our goal should not be to get married before our biological clock runs out of time, but to marry the right person. We should take our time; there is no need to rush.

The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Choosing A Life Partner

What To Consider Before Asking A Couple When They Are Getting Married

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?

Read More »

The Most Difficult Question To Answer

GHanaian American FlagThe most difficult question for me answer is “Where are you from?” It may sound like a straightforward question, but if you moved around a lot as a child or you are of a mixed race or cultural heritage,  this question can become complicated to answer.  Mix in the possibility that the race or culture that you identify with rejects or mocks you, you may be left to feel like an orphan.Read More »

Thirty

30That day is finally upon me. The day I turn 3-0. The day I enter a new decade.

I can’t believe this day is here. Wow. I am getting older. I am maturing. Things that used to be important to me are no longer important. Things that used to not matter as much are becoming my top priorities. The future is bright. I am more confident in myself and my decisions more than ever. This journey of self-discovery and growth lasts a lifetime, so this journey is only beginning.

The natural tendency for me to do as I age is to reflect. Where have I fallen short? Where have I thrived? What can I do better? What have done well? The perfectionist in me would point to the flaws and in all the areas that i have failed instead of where I have succeeded. Because, let’s face it, what I envisioned for my life at 30 is clearly not my reality. In fact, my life is completely different from what I imagined.

But as my co-worker so gracefully put it, “In order to jump that big hurdle, you just have to decide that you are content with your life and enjoy it.” So, that’s what I’m doing. Instead of focusing on the bad, I’m going to focus on what is working for me at this time in my life. To buttress that statement, I’ve created a list of accomplishments made in the past 29 years.Read More »

Hollywood’s Deepest Secrets: A Movie Review of Beyond The Lights

BeyondTheLightsPhotoHollywood 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 »

Kanye-Fidence: How To Land The Job You Want

kanye-west“Yo, Yaa Yaa,” my brother said, scrolling through his phone, “I got a text message about this cool startup company looking for people. You wanna work there?”

“Sure,” I said looking up from my MacBook filled with an inbox of endless emails from recruiters. I had been on the job hunt for three months. For the first time in my life, I was willing to step into something new, and for some reason, a startup seemed like the something new I was searching for.

“So yeah, let me get the contact person’s phone number,” my brother said, looking at his phone. “Just give him a call. Cool?”

About a half hour later, I called the recruiter. I mentioned that I was referred to this position. I mentioned my educational background, my strong interpersonal skills and of course, my previous experience working at a startup.

He was stunned. “I’m gonna let my recruiter know and give you a call back.”

Less than 24 hours later, his manager called me. “Yes, we’d like to interview you,” he said, “How’s tomorrow?”Read More »

If It Don’t Make Money, It Don’t Make Cents: My Journey To Financial Freedom

financial freedomThe American education system has not done its due diligence in making sure students are savvy in all things concerning finances. In grade school, I do not remember taking a class on interest rates, credit cards, investment portfolios and other financial concepts. It is no wonder many millennial are in over their head in educational debt; many people purchase homes they cannot afford; and America’s debt amount is larger than any other nation’s. The reality is Americans are not the most frugal with money.

I am no different. In fact, circumstances have forced me to take a long, hard, look at the way I manage my finances and I must say things need to change. My educational debt needs to change. My credit card debt needs to change. My investment portfolio needs to change. My everyday habits need to change. But, most of all I need to change.Read More »

How To Identify The Relationship With No Happy Ending

 

No Happy Ending
stock.adobe.com

Recently, my friend mentioned to me that she was done with relationships that are “long stories.”  We all have friends who answer to questions about their boyfriend with a statement that begins, “Girl, let me tell you what happened yesterday!” Then, she proceeds to tell her version of a long story. The story can include a plethora of events, mostly ones featuring her boyfriend behaving badly. She may mention that she caught a questionable text message in his phone; he hasn’t been home for the past two nights or that fact that she caught him in a lie. Long stories, according to my friend’s experience, never end well. Her advice: leave any man that gives you a long story and move on.

After she made her statement, I was trying to play devil’s advocate. I thought about my friends who are in relationships. Did any of them have a long story? I remembered a friend who got married recently. Her story was long until she became fed up with his foolishness and broke off the relationship. He changed and now, they are happily married.Read More »

From PhD to Burger King: Why Did My Life Turn Out This Way?

thecomingcrisis.blogspot.com
thecomingcrisis.blogspot.com

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 »