There’s no shortcut through the hard stuff. So stop running from it.
-She (October 26, 2015)
The last 5 days of school/work have been the longest days. I’m trying to be patient and focus on the paperwork+packing I have to finish as I transition out of this school. But I’m so distractible and everyone is annoying me. It’s too nice to be inside!! It’s been a tough week to say the least. But it’s looking up.
Here’s what is currently rockin’ my world:
Last Saturday was the 5 year anniversary of GlobeTracer. I wasn’t compelled to do the handwritten letter I usually do. I didn’t want to force anything. 5 years is a great milestone, I am thankful.
Burning Questions: Why do I want to fast-forward so much? I have to learn how to feel and be in uncomfortable places. It’s not fun, but I don’t gain what I have to when I’m constantly thinking about tomorrow, or the fall. Or 2017. Or when I live somewhere else…
I’m ready to do life with him. Being apart and seeing each other only on the weekend is starting to get to me.
I got a new couch! It’s mine and it’s new and it’s firm. How does one break these things in?
About 2 weeks until Chicago! 🙂 First trip of the summer.
Burning Questions: What if I’m not sure what I really want? How do I know when to trust what I want is really what is right?
I got a retirement plan. Talk about #adulting. In 30 years, I’ll be 60 years old? How????
I’ve only read 2 books this year so far, but this summer I’ll do better!
Now it’s your turn!!
Tell me what’s currently rockin’ your world!! If this is your first time here, please say hello!
If you’re a long time reader- what’s something you want to keep reading about on the blog? why?
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.
My clinical fellowship is over. It was a bittersweet transition, but one that will probably shape the outlook on my career for the rest of my working days. Shit got real. But I made it!
I’ve been working as a licensed, certified speech language pathologist for 5 months now. Back in February, I recorded 3 videos as I went through the course of a typical day. I had recorded one in the morning when I first got in the car, but I can’t find the video. The second video shows me transitioning from one site to another site in the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday. I arrived home after 7pm, and talked about how I would wind my day down in the last video.
The videos serve now as great time capsules, especially something for me to revisit a few more years down the road. For now, if you are interested in the field, or just want more information about what it’s like to be a speech language pathologist feel free to visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website.
I feel like a different me. And now I look like a different me.
I can say confidently that I am happy with the recent changes that I’ve made in my life. The decision to change my job wasn’t one that I took lightly. It was something that was building up for some time, and with a new school year approaching, I couldn’t wait much longer to either stay or go. I couldn’t sacrifice my self-esteem and happiness for another year. What does happiness have to do with it?
Every thang, as far as I’m concerned. If you’re happy in your place of work, everyone wins. But time after time, people stay in positions they hate because…(insert excuse here).
One of the books I’m currently reading (All About Love) talks about happiness and work. “Doing a job you hate assaults your self-esteem” and although I love what I do and the families I service, I could not stand the COMPANY I worked for. The amount of work and extraness was something I was not prepared for. I felt like I was playing catch-up since I started. I didn’t trust the authenticity of the people I was around. I felt like the environment was superficial, my well-being was a concern only to the extent that it would affect the company negatively. One thing about me is I’m a perfectionist. I self-assess way too much. It’s a gift for employers and a curse for people who can’t shut their brains off about what they could have done better. Either way, the decision was final.
And I am here now. The roller coaster of events that followed (spearheaded by a bitter and disgruntled boss) were a test of managing anxiety, of keeping “dramatizations” in my head under control, and of reminding myself that I would get past this. That I wasn’t crazy for wanting more, and knowing I deserved better.
Now I’m on the over side of that mountain. But the “what if’s?” are still present. As I delve deeper and deeper into my new position, I am getting an opportunity to learn more and more about myself and I am learning that finding the “best” setting for me is going to take some time. If I have to keep finding different settings to see what fits, that’s okay too. Plenty of people in my field do it, because they can. I’m not apologizing for my happiness.
MOTS: Don’t sacrifice your happiness because you think you’ll disappoint someone.
Graduate school prepared me for many things clinical but this past year my job prepared me for lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom. Life lessons. Namely: contracts, work environment, and overall satisfaction.
Back in July of 2014, I promptly accepted my first job offer as a clinical fellow in speech language pathology. At that point, I had been out of school for one month and ready to begin working. I moved out of my first over-priced apartment in DC, was sleeping on my mentor’s daughter’s bunk bed, and was so ready to begin the road to supporting myself on my own income! I now consider all the factors and pressure I put on myself at that time, and wish I would have taken my time before signing my name. Simply put, I rushed in and made mistakes.
I decided to write this post to offer some tips on what to do AFTER you rock the interview and receive an offer letter/contract. I made mistakes so you don’t have to!
1. Listen to that little voice! I cannot stress the importance of TRUSTING yourself. That voice rises up when something doesn’t sit well, sound right and cannot be explained to your satisfaction. Heed to your intuition. It normally doesn’t steer you wrong.
2. Let a seasoned professional/mentor read your contract. Find someone who has no ties to the company (unbiased), and has more experience with contracts than you. They can draw you to red flags, and explain language that may elude you so that you understand exactly what you are getting into. Contracts are generally hard for lay people to read, unless you’re versed in lawyer talk. Don’t feel bad asking for translation. If you still don’t understand, ask the hiring manager for clarification until it makes sense to you.
3. If you need time to decide, don’t be pressured into deadlines. Employers use this tactic to try and get you to commit to something before you’re really sold or have had enough time to thoroughly understand the contract. Be wary of any company that gives you a tight deadline (i.e., 2 days) to make a decision on something so very important. Kindly request more time to make a decision, if they seem antsy to lock you in, this should be a red flag. Clearly this is also very important when it comes to waiting on other offers and when you’re trying to consider the pro’s and con’s to particular positions.
4. Speak up for what you want/Develop a Back Bone. Contract negotiations can be a bit intimidating, but in the field of speech language pathology, therapists have an advantage. Currently, there’s a higher demand than licensed and qualified professionals and when there’s an offer in your hand remember that THEY NEED YOU. You, however, have the advantage to choose from plenty of jobs that are available. This mindset helps develop the confidence you need to get exactly what you want.
Fridays are supposed to be my day off. Keywords: supposed to. One thing about my current schedule is that I work on Saturdays. I don’t really enjoy that but I’ve gotten quite used to it. I use Fridays to plan care/doctor’s visits, grocery shop, sleep “in,” dream about working out, and pay bills. Believe it or not, I do need a whole morning to pay bills. Planning, setting up payments, browsing online, and deciding what my “splurge” will be that pay period takes time.
Yesterday, my day went a little different.
I woke up and went to work from 9ish-2:15ish. I work at a middle school and yesterday I had a pretty good session with a bilingual (Spanish-English) 8th grader. She requires support formulating sentences that are clear in meaning and grammatically correct. She basically writes the way she talks, in a “stream of consciousness” that tends to leave the reader confused because her thoughts run all together. I am trying to work with her in a way that she can understand that there are certain things we can say but not write. That there’s nothing wrong with the way she speaks, however, when we write we have to stick to conventions. We revised an essay she had previously written, and she seemed to trust me and enjoy the editing process. I enjoyed being able to code-switch and hopefully give her some functional strategies whenever she has a writing assignment. I’m thankful that I’m able to work with students supporting them academically, and teaching them that writing is a beautiful thing and not something to be feared or detested.
I don’t know if you caught that a couple of month’s back I glazed over the fact that my new iPad mini was stolen at the middle school. Before lunch I got a call from a gentleman who said his son bought an iPad for $100 from someone, they took it to someone to try and “unlock” it and my “stolen property” message popped up with my number. He decided to Do the Right Thing like Spike Lee. 🙂 Let’s pray this intention has a happy ending.
Lunch was a nice free treat. I got to choose from this spread.
After I left the middle school, I headed over to Howard University to attend the Honors and Awards Program for the Senior Dental, Dental Hygiene and Postdoctoral Dental Programs. While at Howard, I worked and became very close to one student doctor in particular. All dentists are not “people dentists,” some could really use some lessons in bedside manner. My student doctor taught me that first and foremost patients are people. This has been something that I know firsthand as a speech therapist but now I hold other professionals to the standard. Dr. Brown is the sweetest person and most gentle doctor I’ve ever worked with. I had to go support. I’m a baby about any dental work, therefore, it’s not often that I acknowledge someone is gentle, knowledgeable and all-around great as she is!
After I left Howard, I needed a place to go and do some paperwork. Coffee shops tend to be the go-to places, however I had picked up a flyer about this new-age “shared work space” called Cove. When I typed it in my GPS, there was one location like 8 minutes away at 1624 14th Street in Columbia Heights. I’ll write another post soon as to why this is my ideal “productivity” place. Whoever thought of creating this space should be making big bucks soon because it appeals to: artists who are suddenly struck by the muse and need a quiet space to release, self-employed folk who can’t work in the busyness of coffee shops, academics who need “group-friendly” spaces for studying and or writing dissertations, ANYONE who is perpetually distracted at home, and a person who travels around the City for work and needs an “office-on-the-fly.” I sat in my corner of productivity for about 3 hours. All because the first trial was free. Thanks Cove! Check here to see if Cove has arrived to your city!
All in all, I can say that although it was a “busy” day, it was a good day. I didn’t spend the day dreading about work the next day, and I got to enjoy the day at my own pace. Every other Friday is also payday and I can’t be mad at that!
Looking forward to more productive Fridays, on my watch!
It’s really hard to say how I feel about the beginning of 2015. It’s only 20 days in and its come in like a storm. I’m learning how to cope with some of the news, and some days are good while others I don’t care much for getting out of bed. I’m still a part of the group psychotherapy however I’m starting to feel like I would benefit from individual therapy for a couple of months. I’ve even considered being evaluated for anti-depressants. The group has started to feel very crowded (there’s a total of 8 members) and although all 8 don’t come for every session, I always feel like my quiet demeanor gets lost and I don’t feel like competing for the “floor” right now.
I’m not in crisis mode. This year won’t get the best of me. I plan to make vacations a priority, even if it’s a small get-away every other month. Also, I will be 30 this year. I really don’t know where my 20’s went. However, I plan to bring in this birthday doing something DIFFERENT. No party. No exhausting birthday dinner where the check comes and everyone is calculating how much they owe down to the last penny. Just me doing something I love with those I love. Das it.
In no particular order, here’s what’s rocking my world:
The “documentary” Light Girls premiered on #OWN last night. I hadn’t watched the sister show “Dark Girls” but I was very much interested and curious on what the conversation would be about. Black Twitter, of course, had a ball going in deciding on what women on the show could be considered “Light” and which ones were actually “Medium.” I’m not here for that conversation. I really did want to hear the narratives and what topics would be uncovered. Here are just some tweets from last night:
Most people seemed furious over the show. I do admit, with good reason. The documentary seemed all over the place and not well-organized. Mostly, they had so many random “speakers” from comedians to celebrities to random doctors and I just couldn’t follow. I think they tried to “touch on” too many subtopics that they didn’t master honing in on one topic and expounding on that. I’m not sure if you watched or what you thought, but feel free to share.
I am more than halfway through my Clinical Fellowship. Hallelujah. I’ll be certified this year!
I didn’t get to take the mother-daughter trip I wanted to in December like I wanted to. I planned it too late. However, we are heading to Jamaica in April and I’m uber excited about it! I’ve decided on Montego Bay!
I know what my book is going to be about! Just have to get on a schedule to start and work through it!
I start re-paying my student loans next month. I know this is a big step for me. Budgeting has to be a priority now.
I cannot wait for Spring! This winter hasn’t been too brutal so I just hope it stays that way!
I haven’t seen Selma but I heard amazing things about it. I’ll think about going to see it.