On June 11, 2011 I published my first post on GlobeTracer. I was living in Costa Rica as a 26 year old adult, one of my bucket list items. I didn’t plan it that way. Life happened, and I ended up using this medium as a way to document how I got through one of the most difficult times in my life.
In a couple of hours, I get to see Costa Rica again. Thinking back to where I was 5 years ago, I couldn’t have planned the changes that occurred. In 5 years, I accomplished a lot. God has been good. I’m working and taking care of myself now. I’ve found a career, where I see myself growing and thriving. I am seeing a mental health therapist regularly. I am living on my own, paying bills, and plotting the next big goal. But before I continue to tackle life, I get to experience “pura vida.”
Letting go all my anxieties. Forgetting what’s waiting on me when I get back home. Disciplining my brain to be in the moment, to embrace the rain, to take in all the beauty that I’ve missed for 5 years. To put my phone away. To stop searching for a wi-fi signal. I’m thankful to God I’m going on my first trip of 2016. I need this!
For the next week, I get to share my country with the person that I love. I hope it’s love at first sight for him. I look forward to sharing new posts when I return!
I’ve been 30 years old for 7 months now. Not very long, but long enough to notice some changes between my late 20’s and the third decade I have been privileged to see. These changes include (but are not limited to):
The GYM is NOT an option. My metabolism has definitely s l o w e d. However, my commitment to the gym has been a pleasant surprise with additional perks. There are great benefits to keeping a predictable schedule and not letting my monthly membership fees go to waste. For one, my physical health and stamina is reaping benefits. I know what gym routine works for me. It’s group exercise. I attend at least two classes a week, and on a good week, three. I go often enough to see familiar faces (don’t know anyone’s names yet!) and I feel an unspoken camaraderie between us. I am also pretty familiar with the dance routines, which allow more of that sense of belonging. Going to the gym has added benefits—it helps de-stress, clear my brain, and take my mind off a busy day.
BEING CHILDLESS AT 30 sparks intrusive questions. I was at a house party recently and I had a woman incessantly probe as to why I wasn’t drinking alcohol. Bish, get out my cup. I had just met her. But apparently, when people are intoxicated and small talking they feel the freedom to ask very personal questions. I realize that I’m at the age where people are usually on their second or third child. I am aware that I have a “biological clock,” however I’m not here to beat a clock. I know if that time comes for me, it’ll be when it’s supposed be.
BEING 30 and looking 23 is a blessing. Great genes are the gifts that keep on giving!
Mental health therapy is for me. I treat my therapy the way I would treat a monthly hair appointment, or getting my nails done. It’s the way I maintain myself on the inside.
I can’t FAKE the FUNK, home is where the couch is. If I’m cranky and don’t want to be out anymore—I’m leaving. If I have already committed to something but get stuck on the couch, “I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to make it.” And in reality, even apologizing is soon to end.
I CAN’T BE OVERWORKED or STRESSED. I am a hard-worker by nature. Especially when it comes to my field, which I am SUPER passionate about. History has taught me that killing myself to make someone else money is not the move, and that “working too much” is not something I want to be known for. My life can’t be consumed by what I do and where I work. That’s just a part of me.
I PICK MY BATTLES. See previous point.
At 30, life continues to be filled with those moments that remind me how I don’t “look my age.” I’ve always felt more mature than the people who were my same age, and in my early twenties even hung out with people 5-7 years older than me. At 30, I think “10 years from now…where will I be?” How many passport stamps will I have? What coast will I be living on? Will I be happier? Will I have a published book?
These are all questions that have a direct bearing on right now. This moment. 11:44pm on a Tuesday night, sitting in front of the T.V. watching HGTV. Texting Brandon. Thinking about taking myself to the nail salon, because…I deserve pampering. The day-to-day moments that lead up to the life-altering ones.
I am not free. I remember this feeling from when I was younger. I was 16 or 17 years old and I attended church at least 3 times a week (there’s Bible Study, choir rehearsal, church services.) Sunday services were at least 5 hours spent in church in one day alone. I attended an A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal) church where praise was lively and boisterous. My family didn’t grow up going to church. Well, my grandmother (the matriarch of my household) was a God-fearing woman but as the years went on, she stopped forcing her children and grandchildren to subscribe to her faith. When I attended the A.M.E church, I used to have a fear that my mother would see me vigorously praising in church and that she would drag me by the hair out of the building. Because our family wasn’t raised like that.
I used to have that thought a lot when I was in a church service. It was a youth church, so the adults would sit towards the rear of the church…and I would imagine when and how I would be “yanked” out of the church. That fear never came true.
Fear is a common and popular sermon topic, it’s something I’m too familiar with– whether the threat was real or not. I always enjoy a good quote about battling “fears,” a good acronym, a helpful reminder on how faith should trump fear. Clever, but there is no step by step guide on how to conquer fears. Everyone’s road is unique.
Three decades on this Earth, and fear remains a personal battle. It’s fueled by doubt, the feelings of unworthiness, the unknown future. This is a big, bad, scary world. Sometimes, it’s easier to succumb to the thoughts. Some days are easier than others.
I’m in a mental prison…trying to free myself stone by stone.
The “N” word is a huge lesson I learned coming out of my last work situation/clinical fellowship. I was straight out of grad school, and very eager to begin working. I was living off the last of my student loan money, and had enough rent money to last through July.
Luckily, I had a mentor open her home to me in over-priced thriving D.C. while I secured my Clinical Fellowship position. Still, I was more than impatient through the job hunt process. I can’t even call it a process. It was a one and done. I interviewed with one place and did not want to bother with other interviews, not even for compare/contrast purposes. Dumb. Inexperienced, I know. I was in a desperate situation, however, I now realize I put that pressure on myself.
Negotiation was somewhere in my thoughts, but it wasn’t a pressing matter. Paycheck made the #1 slot. Paycheck satisfied the short term/immediate gratification goal, but I definitely regretted taking that job after knowing that position and all its taxing glory.
..about 7% of women attempted to negotiate, while 57% of men did.
The quote is taken from an article written for Forbes magazine (via the Daily Muse), highlighting the work of author Linda Babcock who studied gender differences in salary and negotiation habits. 7% vs. 57%…ain’t that about a….? Read that article here. Negotiation is a scary word. It’s even scary to type it with its endless vowels. Not only to me, but to many women according to studies. I’m sure there’s historical reasons for this (*clears throat* institutional sexism) I’m sure there’s a psychological basis for it. I’m just trying to very purposely go against those factors that be.
“The other problem is that women have systematically lower expectations.”
Me, asking for what I think I’m worth? Me, advocating for myself? Little ol’ me with limited work experience? YES. Ask away, honey.
Even if you don’t get exactly what you asked for, did they budge a bit? Yes? No?
What’s the worst thing that can happen?
You get a “No.” Then you get to decide if that’s a place you’d want to work. If not, it’s as simple as “Thanks for your time.”
Gearing up for this conversation gives me anxiety. Prepping for this conversation involves a script (because really, the art is in the persuasion and I’m perfect for fumbling over words), some guts and some assurance in my voice. I want to remind myself that I’m not trying to get over on anyone, I BE WORTH what I am asking for. A perpetual state. But, sometimes it’s hard to speak up, and be effective in doing so.
We womens needs practice!
The mentality shift I want in my life is: I’m not taking the first offer. Call me greedy. Call me ungrateful. You’d be lying. I worked very hard to get to where I am. No matter if you’re a Clinical fellow, 20 years in the field, or on the brink of retirement. Not everyone that has tried, has succeeded at speech language pathology. So why wouldn’t I look out for me?Companies look out for themselves. Bottom line. No one questions that, that’s “duh.”
So if I’m making money for your company– damn right, I’m looking out for me FIRST.