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Write the things you need to hear:

You will be successful in your business.

Slow and steady consistency is the key. Successful businesses are not built overnight.

You’re a brilliant writer. Write when you are happy, when you are full, and when you need to be filled.

Holidays without family are understandably tough. This holiday season could be the start of new traditions.

Take time to enjoy where you are. You’re in a good place.

You are on a great path, enjoy the sights.

You are loved. People think about you daily, and pray for you too.

Pray for your family more. Pray for the country.

Make more phone calls.

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What About Your Friends?

For many women, friends are our primary partners through life; they are the ones who move us into new homes, out of bad relationships, through births and illnesses.

-Rebecca Traister’s book

Female friendships are a topic I’ve avoided writing about. I have so many thoughts around the subject and yet nothing I felt would add anything meaningful to this blog. It’s true that I become wholly self-aware and self-conscious around the topic. However I’m here, attacking my trigger.

Where do I begin? So let me say that the age of online friendships is a gift and a curse. I blame Facebook. With the click of a button, you “Friend” someone. Is that all it takes? A passive, mindless act? You may never personally message that person, write on that person’s wall, or even have to remember that person’s birthday (FB does it for you.) But you made a new friend. On the other hand, when I learned of my acceptance into Howard University, I took to Twitter. I couldn’t anticipate the people who extended themselves like @PeaceLuvNicole. We met within weeks, and that made the transition a bit easier. There are people who are eager about taking the relationship offline, and I love and appreciate that. I started becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that I could meet some quality people by just initiating the gesture. Although I dealt with general anxiety from moving to a city where I knew 2 people and had no family, Twitter peoples helped through the process. 

Everyone is quick to “like” my minor triumphs and “heart” my Instagram photos — passive interaction has become the default setting, the status quo.

-Felicia Sullivan

I can make friends easier online. You learn a lot about someone based on what they post. It’s not the ideal way, but it’s easy, less risky and convenient. It’s passive. Trying to make friends in real life involves risk. Meeting strangers hoping and praying it leads to something can be disappointing.

Does she like me?

Does she think I’m talking too much?

Am I talking too much?

She’s so fashionable. I wish I could dress like that.

I’m 30 years old, why is this so difficult?

Truth is, I have a lot of standards because I invest a lot when I care for someone. To me, my standards are like the bare minimum of cultivating and sustaining a friendship.

  1. Thou must not be flaky. I’ve experienced a lot of people that will make plans one day, then inform me the day of that they can’t make it. REPEATEDLY.
  2. Thou must spend quality time. This is my love language, not negotiable. It’s the main reason why I make the effort to see friends that don’t live nearby. We connect when we are actually together.
  3. Thou must show REAL LIFE effort. Check-in with one another, attempt to go out and do stuff. You know, real basic and mutual.

I understand that different people need different things from friendships. I’ve always wanted a group of “girlfriends” that I could count on to do life together with. My history with friends has never amounted to that. It’s not to say it won’t happen, maybe it will take some adjusting of expectations.

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Some posts worth exploring:

What the Market Will Bear: The Long Game of Female Friendships

Sorry I’ve Been a Shitty Friend: A Multiple Choice Form Letter

What About Your Friends?

Things I want to tell my mom

I think that a most special relationship is one between mother and daughter. I’m always fascinated to read fiction books about mothers and daughters, I tear up when I see special moments on TV, or even in real life. I’m aware of all the complexities that exist between being mothered, having to alter that relationship when daughter becomes an adult, and then possibly daughter becoming caretaker down the road. It truly does come full circle.

My mom became a teenage mother without having had a nurturing mother herself. There is a long list of qualities and knowledge she didn’t have, or possess when she became a mother. I can list many things I wish my mother did better. No parent is perfect. Instead of highlighting things that cannot be changed, I’d rather tell my mother some things I think she did superbly well.

mother-daughter
Lisa Bonet and Zoe.

Mom, 

I accept you for who you are. I don’t blame you for anything that you may feel you could have done better in raising me because I think you did the best you could have done with what you were given. Thank you for sharing with me about your past, I know it’s not easy for you to talk about after all this time.

I feel very blessed to have such a spunky and open-minded mother. I don’t have to worry about being someone I’m not, for you to approve. If I wanted to spend my days writing a book on a Greek island, I know you would support me. If I was anti-marriage, you would say “I understand.” If I decided to only eat red meat during odd numbered years, you would just ask “Are you eating meat this year?” with no judgment. You don’t try to impose your views on me and I respect that.

I know that we live States away from each other and you lead a very busy working life. I wish you didn’t have to work so hard, and I have big goals in my professional life to ease your load. As long as I can help, I will do so with no lament.

Thank you for sending me to California and South Carolina during some summers and exposing me to life outside of New York City. Thank you for making Christmases special and taking care of the cats I always wanted but didn’t want to actually clean after. Thank you for simply being there. Thank you for not accepting sub-par penmanship on my homework. Thank you for sending me greeting cards for every occasion and even for no occasion. Thank you for giving me a chance against many odds. 

With Love,

your daughter.

Things I want to tell my mom

I’m Nesting…

Hi you all lovely readers!! I’ve neglected to write in sometime, but I’m glad to see my page visits haven’t totally flatlined… Since my last day of work in a school-based setting (June 13th) I had searched and searched for apartments/townhomes/condos, packed and purged almost ALL of the paperwork I was carrying around since 2011 (finally!), signed a lease, and am ready for the next chapter. My boyfriend and I will be officially living together. We are moving to a new state. We have come a long way to get here. I feel blessed.

The glo’ up is real! Summer is officially here and I am ready to eat all the foods. I am ready to ride on some roller coasters, drink some wine, visit a new place, frolic in my bathing suit, and make plans for the next major trip. I am ready to celebrate 32! SO many great things to look forward to as I enjoy the summer off. I started this blog when I was turning 26! It’s been 6 awesome years, and so many accomplishments since then.

So, back to the title of this post. No, I’m not pregnant (as far as I know…) I was trying to find the word for the intense feeling you get when you move into a new place and you want everything clean, readied and perfect! I am in love with our new condo! It has nothing in it and it’s perfect. We are not officially moving until next weekend but my feeling is because it’s already paid for… I want to be there right now, every minute, every hour…even if it’s sleeping on an air bed, drinking out of red Solo cups with no Wi-fi. I want to make the place my home. There should be a word for that. What do you think?

Minimalism-the-less-that-owns-you.

Besides that, this move has really gotten me to start thinking about what I really want for our space. I want a minimalist space. Right now, I don’t have minimalist tendencies so this is the issue (I currently have a mental list of the things we NEED for our space.) We get a clean slate with a new place and I really, really want a Less is More attitude and feel. I’ve started listening to the Minimalists podcast to guide me. There are so many perks to embracing this lifestyle; spending less, focusing on more important things, getting on track with finances and saving…I’ll keep ya’ll updated on the status.

In the meantime, I wish ya’ll a happy Fourth!  Enjoy family, friends, and stay safe!

Cheers to new beginnings,

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I’m Nesting…

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

changing

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

Work, Work, Work, Work…

a-goal-without-a-plan-is-just-a-wish-5

Last night, I stumbled upon a great article on Tactus Therapy about transitioning settings as a speech language pathologist (from schools to medical.) It’s very scary to think about making drastic changes, but I’m learning the older I get that without risk, there’s no reward. I think the most stifling feeling when it comes to work is the thought of being “stuck” or that you don’t have any options. Every speech language pathologist I’ve come in contact with, has chartered their own path. I love listening to “how I got here” stories. I’ve met veterans in school systems, private practice owners, doctoral students, clinicians who aspire to effect change on the state and local level by being active in State organizations, and I’ve read about SLP’s who have landed dream jobs abroad. Many hats, same passion.

I am also a Reddit lurker, because sometimes one can stumble upon the most provoking threads. In our field, sometimes it’s hard to find the answers you’re looking for by searching a simple Google question. I remember a big question that my graduating class had was realistic salary expectations coming out of school. I know there are many factors to consider (setting, hours, productivity, etc.), but I think having that information is empowering (especially in a female-dominated field where the N word is difficult.)  Salary is not something you go up to a professor and discuss casually, and we (as a class) got the feeling that it was neither “proper” or “professional” to expect a direct answer or number. But it sure would have been helpful. In my experience in reading Reddit threads, people are more willing to share numbers to strangers across the interwebs. The transparency is just one aspect that we may lose in the spirit of “decorum.”

I’m writing this because I’m recognizing very early that the school setting is not a long-term reality for me. I’ve learned a lot in the 3 years (one year CF, and 2 “on my own”) from 2 different school districts. I have a lot of respect for everyone involved with keeping schools running, however, it is not for everyone. It is a tiresome, thankless job that no one does for money. But you’ve probably already heard that tune. I think the most exciting question to answer is… so what’s next?

The aforementioned article closes with the the thought that one should “travel toward what excites them, not away from what scares them.” In other words, it’s all about perspective. Recognizing what’s NOT for you is just as important as what is. The journey is the fun part, and the plan is what drives the goal. This year, I am embracing the plan and not becoming overwhelmed by big tasks. I’m striving to take a step every day towards not settling, committed to staying fulfilled, motivated and present.

How do you stay motivated when finding the right work setting?

I remain,

She

Work, Work, Work, Work…