So, it’s almost the end of May and my internship is coming to an end (bittersweet). June is soon to follow and I will be starting my very last summer semester in grad school…after that, what’s next? Over the past couple of weeks, my mood has changed. You think I would be excited and optimistic about the future but in reality, I’m scared! I don’t know what’s to come and it is driving me crazy! For those that don’t know, I am almost done with my Masters program in Forensic Psychology. Well, in order for me to pretty much be successful in this field, I need to obtain some sort of licensure. And of course most of the jobs that I have been finding require you to at least hold a LPC (licensed professional counselor) and I’m not gonna have that for another few years! Am I gonna be another one of those very educated, ambitious, hard working individuals who can’t find a job? I have been trying to stay positive while trying to figure everything out, but is that enough?
any advice folks?
[This is a Candace T. rant...]
That’s the question I’ve been asking myself lately. Sure, I’ve heard the quote, “Anything worth having doesn’t come easily…” but sheesh, this semester is much harder than I anticipated. Sacrificing many things I love: free time, eating out, shopping, attending social events, and lounging every weekend, waking up stress-free, going to bed early guilt-free, going on week-day dates, watching television in excess, reading for pleasure, not having this huge weight on my shoulders when something’s due.. These are all things I’m currently sacrificing/experiencing while I’m in graduate school and it’s incredibly frustrating.
I’m not even sure it’s grad school itself that’s bothering me. I think it’s this one particular course, EDCC 600 (Research in Education), that’s giving me the hardest time. I have the same professor for both classes but in this class, I don’t understand ANYTHING. I always leave feeling defeated and worried. Worst of all, my professor is rigid and awkwardly distant. And okay, I get that this is grad school, we’re all adults, and we’re not going to be spoon-fed but come on, man. Why assign us a book with 37 chapters to read, never discuss it in class, and then give an essay exam where we have to “analyze” one measly section of the book? Like, who does that?!
Let me tell you something – if I graduate and end up not finding a job as a Counselor, or worse, still working my same 9-5, I’m going to be really pissed. I’ll lose my sanity. And let’s not get it twisted: the ONLY reason I’m in graduate school is because I can’t practice without credentials. And the only I’m not quitting school is because I’ll be mad at myself, and I HATE being mad at myself.
One of my favorite theories in Theories of Counseling is Reality/Choice Therapy which basically states that we decide and have control over our thoughts and behavior. Humans have the power to change our perception, and although we can’t always control what happens to us, we can control how it affects us. So maybe I should just apply that to my situation, eh?
Usually I’m all bubbly, happy, and optimistic. Not today.
A couple of years ago, I started reading Jeff Johnson’s book Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am, but I never finished the whole thing (Ugh, Sorry Jeff – love the Kanye track tho!). But I do remember the book having an exercise where you make some type of evaluation list, so maybe this is reminiscent of that.
More relevant, however, is my recent struggle to identify who, exactly, I am and why I don’t feel that I fit in with everyone else (or am not who everyone else perceives me to be), in that, it seems I don’t have any overwhelmingly common interests/experiences as most of my peers, even my closest friends.
But what I’ve come to realize is that with every perceived weakness comes a strength. And with every oddity comes something deeply fascinating. Thus, I am learning to take myself for what I am and embrace all the things that make me unique instead of mulling over why I’m different.
A la — a list: more or less, an effort to reassure myself that I do have some sense of identity in life, albeit, not as definitive as others may like.
Everything I’m Not
Everything I Am
|I don’t read fashion blogs daily||I love shopping and I care about the way I dress|
|I’m more concerned (but not involved as I want to be) with local politics than national||I care about political issues that impact my immediate community and are most relevant to my everyday life|
|I don’t identify with any particular group of people i.e. women, mothers, blacks, etc.||“Ironically, individuality is not a trait shared by everyone.”|
|I’m not up-to-date on the latest hip hop/rap music songs/artists||I love the classic hits and greatest artists of all time|
|I’m not a health nut||I’m very cognizant of my water and vegetable intake|
|I’m not hooked on any reality TV shows on MTV, BET or VHI||I will give show on BRAVO a try|
|I’m not well-versed in anything enough to consider myself a legit activist, social commentator or expert||In the meantime, I have friends who are specialists who I can turn to for their expertise|
|I’m generally over the whole networking with young professionals thing||I appreciate meeting older professionals who have a deeper sense of intellect, wisdom and humbleness|
|I have a hard time reading whole books||I can get through several blog posts + I’m writing a book|
|I’m not a natural hair natzi||I love my natural hair|
|I don’t have any black women role models who I absolutely STAN for||One of my goals in life is to be a role model for younger (and older) women of color|
|I don’t love to wear heels everywhere I go||I look – and feel – good when I do decide to wear heels|
|I don’t subscribe to the whole ‘black love’ movement||I believe true love conquers all (or specifically, crosses color lines)|
|I don’t watch the news faithfully during the week||I listen to news radio in my car almost everyday and enjoy watching Sunday morning news best|
|I don’t have or am not currently concerned with pursing a college degree||I enjoy challenging myself to become educated through different mediums and types of individuals|
|I don’t work on capitol hill, in education reform – or have a traditional 9-5 for that matter||I’m professionally pursuing things I’m passionate about – writing my experiences in life, helping individuals in need and exercising my mynd|
|I don’t like sports||I love going to a live sporting events for the stadium food|
- C. Sturdi
I recently read an article which found that people are less open-minded to the fact that, over time, their values and personalities are bound to change.
Even considering a ten-year period, many adults proclaim that they will have the same morals, habits and perspectives in life as they do today. So a 25-year-old who can clearly see how they’ve developed from when they were 15, still has difficulties admitting the incredible potential they have to change by the time they’re thirty-five.
This, along with the surrounding marriages, pregnancies, career advancements and home-buyings being made by my peers, has led me to look over the past ten years of life my to discover, frankly, ish that I’m too old to be doing.
Here we go:
Getting Parking Tickets
For a couple of years now, I’ve had this illogical mindset that risking getting a parking ticket is more thrilling and less time consuming than putting change into the meter. What’s more, physically putting $3.25 into the meter is somehow more painstaking than paying a $25 ticket online.
Spending My Last Dime on Starbucks
If I have $4 left in the bank, the last thing I’m thinking about is making 1/20th of a contribution to my overdue phone bill – because, after all, that’s the perfect amount of money to fulfill my tall, white mocha desires.
Dashes into Starbucks to place my order, unpaid parking meter outside..
Having a Messy Car
Maybe I do spend an obscene amount of time in my car, however, the excuse for it to look like I’ve been on a cross-country road trip rather than making several 30-miles-from-home runs is beginning to create an undesirable commute for myself and moreover, those who have to endure my traveling travesty.
Being in Love with the Wrong Guy
Letting go of someone can be one of the most freeing acts in life. However, I am a witness that this can also be one of the lengthiest decisions to act upon. Pouring weeks, months and years of emotional commitment into someone who does not want the same things as you can cause a triple delay in the amount of time it takes to find the one who was actually meant for you.
Doubting My Abilities
No matter how many people tell me how skilled I am, if one person – one seemingly important person – totally shatters my abilities as a good writer, leader or professional, my whole life’s purpose comes under self-scrutiny. Allowing one person’s perspective to question years of affirmative progress can become harmful to my continuous growth in life. “Taking it with a grain of salt” has never rang so true.
- C. Sturdi
This was probably my favorite, most stress-free styling opportunity yet! It was a complete breeze being Cierra’s stylist for her baby shower. I shall note that on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 the little bundle of joy arrived! Congratulations Rickerra (Rick and Cierra’s names merged)!
Cierra (Cee as we affectionately call her) and I headed to Columbia Mall and we were in and out in less than 2 hours. Prior to the mall trip, I’d selected a simple burgundy, quarter-length sleeve dress from TopShop. The new mommy instantly liked it. The trip to the mall was for backup items just in case the online dress didn’t work out. In the end, TopShop won!
Special thanks to Rick for entrusting me to style his beautiful wife for their big day. Cee was extremely cooperative and allowed me to take full control during the shopping experience. For years, and I do mean YEARS, I’ve been trying to convince Cee to wear her hair in a high bun. She wouldn’t do it. So like usual, again I suggested she don the high bun which would compliment her dress and accessories. And to my surprise, she did it! Hair in a high bun, gold accessories and that cute burgundy dress. She was set! Check out the new mommy!
The Power Couple:
Accessories: Aldo Accessories
Clutch: Michael Kors
Have an upcoming event? Need styling tips? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org !
CashFlowMoe, choice management, DJ Zelly Zel, future generation clothing, Izze Sparkling Juice, Party Divas, PEDX Baltimore Lifestyle Boutique, pert mcfly, pop-up shop, Tammy Rimpsey. alcohol-infused cupcakes, Vitamin Water
On Saturday, October 27th, I headed out to Bmore with the BFF for a pop-up shop, featuring Future Generation Clothing, hosted by Choice Management.
The event was held at the trendy, PEDX Baltimore Lifestyle Boutique, owned by Garth Young. The boutique was set up to stylishly to display Future’s clothing, including T-shirts and sweatshirts for both men and women.
I stepped outside with Future’s designer, Kevin Lattimore, who shared with me his tiring attitude toward most brands of today—which prompted him to start his line in February 2009. He wanted to produce something meaningful for himself and his peers. The strength of his clothing, in his opinion, is the quality material, plus the overwhelming compliments he receives on the brand’s logo.
Back in the boutique, the young, energetic crowd got a taste of the night life with sounds by DJ Zelly Zel, before recording artist Pert McFly hit the stage (or middle of the room) with CashFlowMoe.
After a very lively performance, I chatted it up with McFly about firstly his name – “Pert” a derivative of his born name Percy and “McFly” which is grabbed from one of his favorite movies as a kid, Back to the Future. Then, the self described, “cool, humble dude” (I concur) informed me of how he’s moved to write and perform about his personal life’s experiences, which are relatable to his audience.
The 21 year-old, who’s been rapping for the past 7 years, sees himself moving from his native home of DC to LA in the coming years to share his voice with the West Coast. Much luck to him!
And before I made my way out of the venue, it was a must that I stopped passed the goodie table where we found beverages by sponsors Vitamin Water and Izze Sparkling Juice, plus uber-scrumptous, alcohol-infused cupcakes by the lovely Tammy Rimpsey, owner of Party Divas.
Overall, the event was a success. Congratulations to Future Generation Clothing and Choice Management for showing us a good time!
Check out more photos from the event in our FB Album!
- C. Sturdi
“Do you feel liberated?”
My response, “Uhhhh.. Yes!!!!”
But seriously folks, liberation was probably the least of my feelings. Perhaps my thoughts about “the big chop” could be more appropriately associated with nervousness, uncertainty or… FAT (the less hair you have, the wider your face becomes?).
But liberated? No.
Liberation was the feeling I had when I quit my job last October. When I broke free of the full-time, 9-5 and fell into a struggling state of financial insecurity, bill collectors, i.e. my parents, ringing my phone all day and lacking first-world essentials, like meals from four-star restaurants and new clothes.
In all of its downfalls, that situation was still liberating for me.
But this feeling does not simulate. I did not break free from my hair like I broke away from the bondage of “the man” holding me back from my dreams. Cutting my hair did not bring forth the bliss of being able to make my own decisions, manage my own time and accomplish my own goals.
Most major decisions in life can be made with or without hair – straight, wavy or nappy (or tightly curled as my BFF says) – am I right?
So, then, why did I do it?
1. Because I like some natural styles and they didn’t look that great on my hair in the state that it was in.
2. My hair was damaged and everyone knows when you go in the salon for a trim, they give you a c-u-t, instead.
3. I wanted to take better care of my hair, so I may as well start over from the roots.
Am I going to sit around and watch natural hair videos on Youtube all day? I refuse. Am I going to join a natural hair club and become Chair of the advocacy committee? I highly doubt it. Am I going to wash, condition, moisturize and wrap my hair in a silk scarf every night? I’ll try my darndest, but I’m kinda lazy.
And, of course, no shade to those natural hair beauties who behold the experience like joining a doctrine religion. If it brings you joy and satisfaction, then I totally support you.
But for me, it wasn’t liberation. I just cut my hair, yo.
- C. Sturdi