The “N” Word: Growing Up

​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.
                                                                                              –Forbes Magazine
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.”
                                                                                            –Forbes Magazine
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.
Empowered,
She
Advertisements
The “N” Word: Growing Up

Beauty in Many Forms

Some women I have come to crush on. Hard.

tracee ellis ross

Tracee Ellis Ross is the epitome of a woman comfortable in her own skin. She’s taught me to embrace my hair, my breasts and to be completely comfortable with what I bring to the table. I’m a big fan of Girlfriends, and her quirky personality continues to shine through in the form of her blog. In my head, we are friends.

sanaa

Besides being my older sister, Sanaa Lathan is such a classy woman. I’ve loved her in all the roles she’s played in (especially Love & Basketball, one of my favorite rewatchable movies) and to me, she’s still very underrated.

M_Tamia_031512

Tamia also falls under the category of underrated. She seems like a diva who put her family before her career, and has been happily married to Grant Hill for many  years. Watching one of her latest videos, Beautiful Surprise, makes me think “I want that body after kids!”

??????????????????

Jada is a woman who juggles parenting, fame and her career well. I love her acting, I love to hear her passion against human trafficking and I especially love to hear her speak Spanish!jill_scott_essence_oct_2012a

Jilly from Philly is an inspiration on so many levels! She’s a poet, a mother, a singer, a writer and her music is always filled with so much raw emotion. Her music always meets me at my point of need! Here’s one of my favorite songs: I am here.

lisa bonet

Lisa Bonet is effortlessly beautiful. That’s all.
Sade

Sade’s music makes me feel beautiful, sensual and worth more than gold.

Frida-21

I loved her in Slumdog Millionaire. Freida Selena Pinto, has a humble aura about her. I want to see her in more movies.

lianne

Lianne La Havas. The buttery voice, the cocoa butter skin tone. Can’t get enough.

Who makes your Top 3 list of most beautiful women, most importantly, why?!

Beauty in Many Forms

She’s a Bawse… (Videos)

Videos that scream BAWSE! by the lovely ladies who are in control.

(my fave part starts at 2:11)

(I love when J.Lo acts in her own videos. No, seriously I like when she pretends to be undressing through the whole video)

(Although hardly believeable that Da Brat enjoyed these gorgeous men touching her bod, this song was BAWSE when it came out!)

(There’s a difference between Hot Boys and Hot Boyz…)

If there is such a thing as a Woman’s Anthem, this should probably be it.

What in-control videos do you love by some of the lady artists?

 

She’s a Bawse… (Videos)

I Do

Psyched ya mind! She ain’t jumped the broom.

Wedding season has begun. I don’t know if that’s technically correct in terms of when most weddings get underway but at least for me, the season has begun. I am only planning to attend one engagement party and one more wedding this year, but it’s still hard to be 2 months shy of my 27th birthday and wonder When my turn?

It warms my heart to see young people get murried. Doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, black or white, I’m not the girl at weddings criticizing the decorations, color schemes, or even the plates I’m eating off of. As long as I’m celebrating people trying to do what doesn’t seem very popular anymore and I don’t get food poisoning…I’m gonna be there with a big smile on my face.

I enjoy people-watching at weddings. I enjoy checking out the groomsmen (and their ring  fingers), watching people interact and trying to figure out if I can read their body language to see who’s cuffing claiming who. I like to watch the bride and groom talk while having their first dance. I like to sit at a table where I don’t know anyone and meet someone new. I like to see two families come together and get along, even if it’s just for the sake of one day. I enjoy the spirit of being a witness to a sacred vow, and I respect those individuals who stand before God and take that charge–for it’s not something to take lightly.

Today I sat at a table with 5 strangers and experienced a roller coaster of emotions in a matter of about 3 and a half hours at a reception party. I sat at a table and wondered when the young man who eyed me all afternoon was going to get enough courage to ask me to dance. I sat at a table with 3 generations of women who all resembled each other and were beautiful in their own right. I sat at a table with a man who wore many masks to get along with all the characters surrounding us. I listened, I laughed, and I admired. I asked questions, I did some criticizing (of the DJ, who had to be the worst known to NYC), and I showed my support.

Sometimes weddings can turn into materialistic displays of status. There’s nothing wrong with that, but marriage is more than one day. I hope when it’s my turn, that there will be an excitingly delicious aura of passion, dedication, and love ooozing from the Mr. and I. That our love will be visible not merely in the physical sense but in those non-verbals…a knowing look, a sly smile, an inside joke. I want my well-wishers to leave full off that.

It’s my fantasy,

She

Feel free to share your thoughts on weddings and the like…

I Do

Thoughts During Zumba

Click Image for Credit

I should warm up.

 This is mah song!

I should’ve bought some water.

That’s such a cute outfit.

I should get a cute outfit.

I can’t believe I got that wrong on the test.

Only 15 minutes in?!

I wonder how my butt looks.

Who sweats there?

Smile!

Who shimmies in real life?

I need to shave.

This is the white-girl ‘go to’ move.

I should get some bright sneakers, too.

That’s not the way this song goes.

Why does my face look like that?

Is she wearing a thong? That must be so uncomfortable.

I need some water.

She’s got that move down way too fast. She probably goes home & practices.

Don’t look at her butt.

I can’t see any {straight} guy taking this class.

If I hear ‘Gasolina’ one more time…

Aoowww!!

20 more minutes.

And now for the Cool Down,

Zumba Lluvia

Thoughts During Zumba

“I’m Drinking, I’m Drinking”

I never knew I had so much power as a woman. The concept of going to a bar and having strangers buy me drinks has always made me a bit uncomfortable, basically because I don’t know what the expectations are. What kind of sign does a woman send when she accepts a drink?

‘Yes, I’ll give you some attention’

‘Yes, you’ve sparked my interest’

‘Let’s converse’

‘Yes, if you’re offering, I’ll take it’

‘I’ll dance with you’

‘I’ll be your dedicated dance/flirt buddy tonight’

‘I’ll consider leaving with you, 4 drink minimum’

I am plagued with all the possible signs of accepting a drink so to make things easier I stick to purchasing my own drinks. That way, we can spark conversation, dance and I don’t have to feel bad if I rather talk to homeboy next to you. The thought of men wanting to procure some sex in exchange for drinks disgusts me, and I never want to send out that signal.

However, I was in a bit of a dilemma in Bocas del Toro, Panama. I walked into Barco Hundido (Sunk Ship) bar on Sunday night with a dollar to my name. I unsuccessfully tried to find the ATM at about 10:30 at night, and after walking off the main street for about a block and not finding it, my antennas advised me to turn around and figure something else out.

I walked into the bar to scope it out; see what kind of folks were there, listen to the music. I realized when I sat down that I was one of about 8 girls to 20 men there. First time I ever seen that in a bar. The music was popping, so I sat around the bar chilling. The bartender came over to me so I just confirmed that they indeed did not take cards and that there was only one ATM in town. So I sat. I figured I could take a cab to the ATM, for about 50 cents, and come back. But I didn’t move.

Eventually, a Panamanian Man who was sitting across the bar left his spot. Moments later, he’s standing next to me.

Panamanian Man: Hola.

Globe Tracer: (shy smile while trying to size him up) Hola.

PM: De donde eres? /Where are you from?

GT: Soy Tica/ I’m Costa Rican.

PM: Quieres tomar algo?/ Do you want a drink?

GT: No, gracias./ No, thanks.

PM walks away.

PM wasn’t really my type, and so I learned that maybe he felt if I wouldn’t take a free drink, then I probably wasn’t interested.  Got it.

I decided to see where the whole drink scenario would go, so I stayed with my dollar in my wristlet and began lip-synching and dancing in my bar stool. One of my songs came on (something about Put it down on me, Put it down on me) and a group of young tipsy white boys were talking stuff and standing in front of me. One made blurry-eyed contact with me and when he saw me lip-synching in English he came over to me. When he gets close enough so that I can see his face, I approve mentally.

White Guy: Hey girl, you here by yourself?

GT: Yes… I came out to the bar alone, sometimes you just have to be open to meeting new people.

WG: Well, that was a mistake! A pretty girl like you shouldn’t go anywhere alone. You want a drink?

GT: Sure!

Score! Over the span of 4 drinks we begin conversing, shared a couple of dances (surprisingly he had ‘some’ rhythm) and he tells me that he’s a 23 year old ‘Intelligence Communication Specialist’ with the US Coast Guard. The military is in Panama for a couple of days. Then it hits me as to why there’s so many men in the bar, and that most of them are not even locals.

I feel pretty confident leaving the bar that morning when the music ends around 3am. I had me a good time, but most importantly, I left with my dollar bill intact.

Now I’m opening up the floor:

LADIES, what are you giving up (dance, company, convo?) in exchange for accepting a drink? Do you just go with the flow, or do you think about the verbal or non-verbal signs you send out?

MEN, whats the least you expect when a woman accepts a drink? Do you get upset if a woman ends up only flirting with you and then moving on to another man for another drink?

Accepting drinks (from either gender, lol),

She Traces

“I’m Drinking, I’m Drinking”