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.
In 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. Continue reading “5 Things I Learned About Achieving Financial Prosperity”
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.
They 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.Continue reading “Honesty Ain’t The Best Policy”
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.
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?
The 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.Continue reading “The Most Difficult Question To Answer”
That 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.Continue reading “Thirty”
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.
“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.”
The 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.
Every now and again, I’ll stumble upon an article that describes exactly how I am and how I process information. This article, 16 Habits of Highly Sensitive People, describes me to a T. Sensitivity has its drawbacks but the silver lining is my writing. My ability to feel pain, sadness, happiness, and anger result in some of my best blog entries. I can’t complain.
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.Continue reading “How To Identify The Relationship With No Happy Ending”
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.
We met when I was 8 years old. Old people referred to it as puppy love, which my 8-year-old mind did not comprehend. I was not a puppy and neither was he. I turned to him whenever I needed to vent or whenever I needed a good laugh. He always provided an outlet for me to truly express myself.
I showed him off to others, whenever we were together. My parents liked him; my three-year-old brother played with him. My classmates and teachers appreciated him and my grandmother encouraged him. I don’t know what it was about him that intrigued me. We continued to share a close friendship until I went to college. Then, we drifted apart.Continue reading “Love Affair”
I thought I knew all the hot brunch spots in Atlanta, until I stumbled upon a gem in South Buckhead called Egg Harbor Café.
My family and I decided to host a holiday brunch on the Sunday before Christmas. When the prices at our first-choice breakfast buffet shot up to $32 per person, we decided to expand our horizons and try a new (and more affordable) breakfast restaurant. My dad casually suggested Egg Harbor Café as being a fallback option and I am glad he did. Once I perused the menu and discovered how delightful the items listed appeared, I knew I had to try it.Continue reading “#WhatsForBrunch: Egg Harbor Cafe Edition”
I thought I was being heartless, but apparently I am not the only who is without a heart. Many people feel the same I do and in fact, psychological studies have demonstrated that this way of thinking can be generalized to an entire population. In other words, I am totally normal!