What’s Rockin’ My World: Agosto

It’s the 8th month of the year! Wow… That means we are that much closer to the fall, then Thanksgiving…then we’ll be bidding farewell to 2017. This has been an unusual summer for me. It’s been actual uninterrupted time off, but no travel (sad face- #adultingforreal.) Instead, we put all our extra money towards the move. We’ve been in our condo for one month now, and we are pretty settled in. I love our space, and especially that it’s not my apartment or his, but it’s OURS.

My summer has been pretty low-key, and I am taking the time to get some depth projects up and going. The down side to having all this time is discipline. I try to put some intentions out for the week, so that I can have a list to check off at the end of each day. I am also a big fan of sleeping in, but waking up late (after 11am) makes me feel like I’m wasting the day. Pretty soon, I’ll have to start setting my alarm to get back into the groove of early mornings.

Here’s what else has been rockin’ my world:

Walter White

  • Binge-a-thon: After over a year of not watching, I’ve returned to Breaking Bad (up to Season 4 now.) I’ve also indulged in other shows like: Transparent (Amazon), The Keepers (Netflix crime-mystery drama,) and ratchet TV (Love and Hip-Hop Hollywood is back on.) I also finished Married at First Sight (and the Second Chances show) but I’m done watching that show for good, don’t know why it keeps getting renewed.
  • I am moving forward with the private practice on a part-time basis. Step by step and hoping to start seeing clients as early as September/October. #careergoals
  • On apps like “Let Go” daily, trying to finish decorating our apartment with things people don’t want anymore.
  • Cooking whenever I feel like and no apology when I don’t.
  • Looking for another part time job. If I go back to the schools, it will be on a part time basis only. It’s so freeing to have no ties, and scary at the same time.
  • Reading whenever I feel enthused. Finished one book so far this summer. Book review here.
  • I’m really thankful for having this time I know there may not be another summer like this, and for that reason alone I’m allowing myself to just be. #withoutjudgment
  • I still want to pierce my nose. Haven’t done it yet.

What’s Rockin’ Your August?

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What’s Rockin’ My World: Agosto

SHORTEST BOOK REVIEW EVER: THE MOTHERS

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This review contains no spoilers.

Author: Brit Bennett (@britrbennett)

Pages: 278

Gist: There are all types of mothers around us: church mothers, surrogate mothers, adopted mothers and biological mothers. This story set in a contemporary African American community in Southern California, and revolves around a young girl named Nadia Turner. The story doesn’t stay stuck on her, but it includes her community and how she evolves to a young woman in spite of betrayal, pain and suffering.

Best Lines: “In a way, subtle racism was worse because it made you feel crazy. You were always left wondering, was that actually racist? Had you just imagined it?

“A tragic woman hooks into an ain’t-shit man, or worse, lets him hook into her.

Recommend: Absolutely! It is a beautifully-written, sad story of a town not unlike one we may know or have heard of. The book felt real, the characters were interesting and I was invested. I probably should have read this faster than I did, but alas, I’m just glad to have added this book to my “DONE” pile.

SHORTEST BOOK REVIEW EVER: THE MOTHERS

Things I’m Passionate About: The Short List

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In no particular order:

10. The treatment and identification of children who speak dialects and other languages in the scope of special education.

9. The #BlackandMissing, including those young people forced into sex trafficking.

8. Writing a book/ Writing in General

7. Autism

6. Food and Cooking

5. Traveling off-the-beaten-path

4. Lack of diversity in providers of speech-language pathology services

3. Adoption

2. Family in the scope of mental health. My own commitment to self-care and self-awareness.

1. Books. But fiction is better. 🙂

And one more: cultivating and maintaining my friendships.

What are some things you are passionate about?

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Things I’m Passionate About: The Short List

Adjusting My Crown (5 Year Hair Journey)

Hair is a big deal to me. I’ve been natural for a bit over 10 years (which  means I don’t use perms in my hair) however sometimes I find it difficult to make drastic hair changes and try new styles without damaging my own natural curl pattern too much. I love short cuts. I especially love straight-hair pixie cuts (think Halle Berry.) It is very difficult to maintain these cuts when you’re not very good at styling your own hair and when you don’t have a perm. This is the shortest I’ve come to a straight short cut, a bob from 2011/2012.

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Circa April/May 2011/2012

I had a texturizer in my hair then, which is how I maintained the style with the least amount of effort on my behalf. The texturizer made it easier to straighten my hair and kept it straight in the humid summer. I miss that style but I decided to keep the real harsh chemicals away from my hair. I’m also very partial to short hair period, especially in the summer time.

I wanted to chronicle my hair since my move to the DMV area. It’s been 5 years that I’ve been in the area, beginning in DC for graduate school. Here’s my hair journey from 2012.

Aug 2012
Faux hawk AUGUST 2012

I got accepted into Howard University and that was THE NEWS of 2012 for me. I was starting graduate school at 27 years old on a fellowship and was moving out of New York for the first time in my adult life. A drastic cut was necessary. A new start required a freeing of myself, a detachment from who I was to make room for who I was to become.

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Above was the growth in 2013 (February-November.) I survived my first year in graduate school, I visited the beautiful island of Haiti, I witnessed a good friend get married and I gained more confidence in my clinical and professional skills.

2014 brought graduation (YAY!) and at end of October/ early November, #ISwipedRight and meet my current boyfriend. I also covered my blonde highlights with black. 2014 was a great year.

September 2015 brought continued hair growth and the tried and true pony tail. The problem with long hair for me is my “go-to” is the ponytail. The ponytail is A) boring and B) forehead-licious.

By 2016 I needed something new. I also missed the courageous person who just walked into babershops, under the bewildered eyes of men and women, and got rid of her hair. I chopped, but not too much.

After the chop, I also needed some bold color.

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2017 has been a low key year in terms of hair. I’ve been focused more on better maintenance habits (namely more conditioning), and growing my hair out. I think I’m finally ready to grow out my hair without major cuts for at least 2 years. I’ve been inspired by this beautiful hair blogger named Jewellianna whose hair is envy-worthy. I learned about her channel when I was reading about how some guy cut inches of her hair off and she’s been recovering from that loss. Right now, my bob is growing out which means the back of my hair is shorter than the front. The back takes thee longest to grow out, but I’m patient. I also know I want to eventually either get some layers in my hair when I get more length in the back. For now, I’ve been enjoying my big hair through twist-outs and rods as well as occasional blow-outs. I’m excited for what’s next!

2017 July
July 2017

Thanks for joining me on the journey!

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Adjusting My Crown (5 Year Hair Journey)

Spiritual Laws for a Distracted World (Part 1)

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I’ve been trying to continually read and be intentional during this time off. I began reading The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success (thanks to Cliff for sharing the link) by Deepak Chopra. I usually don’t stick with books like these for long, something about the new terminology, the synthesizing and then figuring out how to apply the suggestions to my life can be become a bit much. To be honest, I like things in plain language when it comes to self-help. But there were some things that spoke to me as soon as I started trying to decipher the wisdom in this book. The first Spiritual Law it touches on is the Law of Pure Potentiality and the difference between self-referral and object-referral.

To quote the book, to experience the pure “Self” or self-referral basically means that you refer to your own soul/spirit (not your ego) for a point of reference, as opposed to being affected by things around you. In object-referral, you guessed it (you’s smart!), you are not referring to Self, but are affected by objects; people, experiences, situations (a.k.a things you cannot control.) In self-referral you experience your true being (void of fear, full of respect and humility) and in object-referral you feel an intense need to control or to have “power” over those things that drive the ego. Cool. Makes sense. But how exactly do we operate in the Power of Self daily? I’m glad you asked.

The first tip the book gives is…tapping into creativity through consciousness. What does this look like? Daily practicing of “silence, meditation and non-judgment.” Oh, sounds easy enough, right?

Silence. Withdrawing from speech and basically letting your mind run miles until eventually it quiets down. And it will.

How am I trying to apply these principles?

I already mentioned that I’m on a self-imposed Twitter break. This past week, I noticed myself just scrolling for scrolling’s sake and posting things just because a thought came to me. But what am I really talking about? Is it worth posting? Do I have to post everything I think about? Although I do prefer Twitter because I don’t spend hours on it, how much time am I really “not wasting” if I’m opening the app every 10 minutes because I’m wondering if I got a a new notification, or for FOMO(fear of missing out)? I don’t like the feeling of being addicted to the screen, or being out with friends and having to record everything we do. But what happens after I take 30 days off Twitter? I get right back on and build back up to the same habits that lead me here in the first place. Something has to change.

Besides the social media silence, I have experienced silence at home this past week. I’ve had minimal TV intake. By nature, I’m not a big TV watcher, I tend to prefer doing more creative things when I’m motivated. Sometimes I’m just overwhelmed and I need to do something that doesn’t require much effort, so I turn on the TV. I actually finished watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix last night and I was disturbed by some of the scenes. What happened to the time when events were inferred and not necessarily filmed? I’m reminded that everything everyone is watching might trigger certain things for me, and I should be more prudent before I consume. Same goes for the things we are subject to “auto-play” on Facebook, Twitter, and the like.

The book goes on to point out what silence brings out of us.

What happens when you go into this experience of silence? Initially your internal dialogue becomes even more turbulent. You feel an intense need to say things. I’ve known people who go absolutely crazy the first day or two when they commit themselves to an extended period of silence. A sense of urgency and anxiety suddenly comes over them. But as they stay with the experience, their internal dialogue begins to quieten. And soon the silence becomes profound. This is because after a while the mind gives up; it realizes there is no point in going around and around if you the Self, the spirit, the choice-maker are not going to speak, period. Then, as the internal dialogue quietens, you begin to experience the stillness of the field of pure potentiality.

Silence is powerful. We lead very distracted lives. Can we control that? I believe so. It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible, if we are intentional.

-She

Spiritual Laws for a Distracted World (Part 1)

Staying Home, but not on Vacation

Every vacation at home is not necessarily a “stay-cation.” This week I got to stay in my house and do what I wanted. Except, I looked at my to-do list and it read all these things EYE didn’t necessarily want to do:

  • Finish Progress Reports
  • Work on IEP’s
  • Update my blog
  • Finish current book
  • Start a new book
  • Submit resignation
  • Take a break from Twitter
  • Finish listening to the podcast Missing Richard Simmons
  • Find a new OB/GYN

You get the idea… Basically, I’m still busy, just in a different setting. As far as how to manage the time, I tried my best to reduce my TV intake (even though I’m falling behind on a lot of shows!) and attempted to do the least-desirable things first. Well, that didn’t work out too well. I really wonder how people who work from home get anything productive done. I guess for money’s sake, it gets done.

Firstly, I looked around my apartment Tuesday and decided I could not relax in mess. I had to clean the living room, take care of the bathroom and finally clean out the trash bin (you know, get all in there and wash out those smells.) After that, I didn’t want to do anything else that day. I cooked the night before, so that covered us through Tuesday.

On Wednesday, I overslept and was feeling off. I really hate waking up close to midday, as it feels like I almost lost the whole day. I talked to my cousin in Costa Rica, as she happened to take some “sick days” and is usually good with cheering me up. Then I texted my therapist (“I know I said I was taking a week off…but…”) I ate some cereal, however really did not have much appetite. I spent most of the day scrolling through Twitter, thinking, I really need a break from this. I caught up on some paperwork, and looked at my work email. There was a request in there. I dismissed it, annoyed.

Today, I woke up in a better mood. I took my braids out, put a little make-up on, time for a new vlog! I spent over an hour trying to get the video right, but my iPad and its shitty storage had another plan for me. Then I had to go from 12 minutes, to 8, to a little over 6 minutes. After the 6th take, I still posted the vlog. I’ve also started this new habit where I want to run around my complex at least 2 times a week. I know this will get a little harder as it gets warmer, but it’s a nice challenge as my complex is about 1.3 miles with hills and the like. Right now I’m doing a combo of fast walking and a little running. I’m hoping to build my stamina. So I ran today. And I was reminded how social media really takes us away from the moment before the moment even happens. For example, before I even laced my sneakers I thought about how I was gonna Snap my scenery. For Who? For the stalkers SnapChatters. For Why? Because. I want people to know I’m out here doing stuff. It’s all for show. So I’m back on a “scrolling” break.

I did cross some things off my list this week, but it was nothing close to a vacation or the most productive week off work. Just a break from waking up early, getting dressed, working my magic, and passing out after work. Which was needed, God knows.

Staying Home, but not on Vacation

What’s Rockin’ My World: I’m here

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This is my second post of the year (sad face, kind of.) That’s just the way it’s supposed to be, I imagine. I’m trying to get my life, ya’ll!

I didn’t plan it that way, but I am also very much about not forcing what is not coming organically. Writing is my happy place, not my deadlines and forced writing place. Occasionally, I did feel that nudge to get something down on paper, but I also don’t like writing just to write. I am very much about content, not just about post numbers. 2017 is bringing a lot of changes, and I’m both excited and ready. Here’s what’s been rockin’ my world thus far:

  • In the tune of self-care, I have decided to cut down my work hours per week. I currently hold a full-time and part-time job, and I used to work 3 afternoons a week, but as of January I cut that down to 2 nights. Yes, I’ll miss the money but I really love having my Monday nights back.
  • I am gearing up for the next physical move in life. I’m saying adios to the DMV! I’m hitting on 5 years in the area (come August), and I’m ready for something new! More details to come… #newcity2017
  • I have to start DISCARDING stuff from my apartment. Namely my paperwork and things I’ve accumulated from graduate school. To prepare for this, I’m reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (audiobook.) https://www.amazon.com/Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering-Organizing/dp/1607747308
  • Speaking of books, I have a 6 book goal for 2017. That sounds like an elementary goal, but it’s realistic for me and I make no apologies for it. Work is the main thing that keeps me from leisure reading, and the other part has been that I “consume” a lot and have no desire to read outside of that. I’m working on it, because I do miss getting lost in books.
  • Work is work. There’s peak high and low times, I’m currently about to hit the peak “pre-spring break” time. IEP meetings galore, therapy, testing and everything in-between happens crazily in the days leading up to spring break. This year, we have spring break a little bit later in the year, which means the weather will be getting nicer and hopefully we won’t have any crazy snow storms. I don’t mind the days off, I just don’t want to extend the school year past June 12th! The good thing is when we come back from spring break, it’ll be almost May, a less-than 2 month countdown to the end of the school year.
  • I want to pierce my nose. I have always liked nose piercings, but wasn’t sure how professional this “appeared.” I think nose piercings are more accepted now (even those septum piercings are very common) and so I’m going to go ahead and do it! #newpiercing2017
  • I’m tired of working for other people, so I’m going to slowly and surely start my own contracting business. Nothing to it but to do it. This has been on my mind for almost a year, gotta set it in action!
  • Love has found its way back to me. We are making it work with effort and transparency. I’m happy.

What’s currently rockin’ your world?

-She

What’s Rockin’ My World: I’m here