When is the “right” time?

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When is the right time to take a leap of faith? When is the right time to make a change? When is the right time to jump into the abyss? The answer is never. There will NEVER be a right time to jump out of your comfort zone, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t…

For the longest time, or as long as I can remember I wanted to be a teacher. So straight of high school, I applied to a joint Bachelors Degree and Education Program, 6 years then 2 degrees: BA in English and French and BEd. However, in my last year of university, I decided on a whim to apply to Master’s program. By the grace of God, I actually got into a program very last minute with funding. I abandoned my dreams of teaching in a high school and pursued my new dream of teaching in a college.

The big difference between the two (high school and college) was the amount of freedom I received as a teacher. Becoming a TA and teaching first-year students English Literature was my dream come true. More than that, I was good at it and I loved it. Choosing the material. Making lesson plans. Teaching. Answering Questions. Marking essays and exams. Man, I could mark forever.

The issue is that once my courses finished, my thesis deadline kept getting pushed back. A one year program turned into a year and semester. I am currently still working on it, seems like it’s going to be two years. The further the deadline, the further my motivation went. I felt like I was chasing a pointless dream. I felt like I was chasing the dragon, chasing that first high that would never happen.

Thing is, even if my masters was done to teach at the college level you need minimum three years of experience. How do you get teaching experience if people won’t hire you? Oh, it’s a very simple answer, you don’t. Catch 22, you need experience, they won’t hire you, so you never get the experience. Thus, instead of working in the area that I love, I’m working somewhere that I don’t mind. It’s good enough money, and it’s simple enough, but it’s not what I want to do. I settled. Well, I can’t even say settled, I grew up. Similar to everyone else in this capitalist world, I have bills to pay and I need a job to pay those bills. But I think I’m ready to stop settling, to work in an area that I actually love. Not something I could be good at, or something that I could see myself doing, but something I want to do.

This is me making that change, and stepping out of my confront zone. Choosing to be inspired. Choosing to be excited and energized. I will finish my thesis. I will get my TESOL certificate. I will get teaching experience. I will teach in a college. My goals and dreams will come true, I just have to be patient and diligent.

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Black Hair in the Workforce

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Since I’ve started working at my current job, I’ve been wearing wigs. Honestly, it was easier to wear wigs in the beginning because I was still getting accustomed to the 9-5 adult lifestyle. After I was adjusted it just seemed easier to wear a wig instead of doing my natural hair.

If we haven’t guessed, I am a black female. I have 4C hair, which essentially means I have tightly coiled hair. It’s very hard to see my curl pattern unless I define it in some way, ie. twist, braids, etc. The other thing about my hair is that I shaved it. Well, not ALL of it, but most of it. I shaved off the sides and the back of my hair. However, in May I decided I was going to grow it back. Point is, right now, my hair isn’t that long. Probably 3 or 4 inches around the sides and back. But it is long enough to catch, and do styles.

So recently, I decided to take the plunge and do my natural hair. My coworkers have been asking to see my natural hair for a while, but I wasn’t sure what I would do with it. Last weekend, I was supposed to go out with my partner (they canceled), and I wanted to do something different, a twist out, which means twist my hair in two strand twist, undo the twist and leave it out – kinda like a curly afro. However, because I was no longer going out and I didn’t want all my time and effort to go to waste. I wore the twist out to work.

I must say, I was extremely nervous. There is such a misconception in the workforce that black natural hair is unkempt or unprofessional. In reality, it takes black females a lot of time to do our hair. Personally, it took about two hours to wash, condition, twist, and un-twist my hair. Even with all that time and effort, and the added bonus that I was looking mighty fine, I was still worried that my boss or coworkers would think that I looked unprofessional. How fucked up is that? Even in 2018, I worry about if wearing my natural hair would affect the way that others see me. Lucky for me, I was welcomed with compliments and commendations. I felt accepted, which means my natural hair will be making more appearances at work.

The reality for a lot of black females is –  natural hair can be a liability to one’s job. Wearing black natural hair in the workforce can be seen as an act of defiance against the white-collar work industry. The hair that literally grows out of my hair is an act of resistance and boldness. In spite of that, this is not why I decided to wear my natural hair. I wore it because I wanted to get over my fear. I wanted to get over the unspoken rule “wigs, weaves and straight hair for the interview, and natural hair once you’re in the door.” I shouldn’t feel obligated to change my hairstyle for the fear that my qualifications will be overlooked by my afro. I am remorseful and ashamed to know that I have done it in the past. Changed the way I looked – not for fun or because I can – but because I really wanted a job.

As the years go by, says the twenty-three-year-old, I want to present my truth. I want to be the truest form of myself. It seems as if accepting my natural hair in all of its glory is the first step of many steps.

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Okay, so maybe the title of this post is a little much. Very hyperbolic, but I really DO have a dream. I’ve been toying with the idea of making a scholarship for international students for quite so time. However, I’m not sure how to go about it. There is so much to consider. Funding. Donations. Deadlines. I really have no idea where or how to begin.

It’s one of those cases where you know you have so much to do, but no idea where to start. So instead of starting, you let yourself become overwhelmed. Again that wordoverwhelmed – shows up.

Despite my static state, this is something that I want too and will accomplish within the next few months. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, I am all ears. I will welcome any help I can get.

 

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Happiness is a mood, not a destination.

The Mandatory “New Year” Post

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It’s officially 2018, which means it’s time for the mandatory “new year, new me” post. Although it is cliche, a new year really does mean a new beginning for some. For others, 2018, does not mark change but rather signifies just another year – same shit, different day. For me, the new year symbolizes hope, change, and resiliency. But let’s put aside what a new year symbolizes for a second or what it means to you. Let’s focus on one word – self-reflection. 

The New Year is an amazing time for self-reflection. To evaluate what we have, what we want, and what we need. These resolutions are important because they allow you to reevaluate yourself. They may be the same resolutions you didn’t complete last year, but that doesn’t matter. You may try and fail again, but at least you tried.

So, instead of this being a cliche New Year’s post, this will be a post about my reflection of 2017…

From January to April, I was in Nova Scotia completing my courses for my masters. April – June, I was in Toronto, completely unemployed. June – August, I was living in Downtown Toronto working as a Residential Manager. August – December, I was working my first full-time permanent position, which is where I am today.  Although there were a few transitional periods in my life last year, I am happy that I ended the year with some sort of stability.

With that being said, I didn’t accomplish all that I wanted too in 2017. In 2018 –

  • I hope to find the motivation to finish my thesis.
  • I hope to teach an English Literature class.
  • I hope to become the person I need to be, the person I want to be.
  • I hope to change my mindset and become more forgiving and trusting.
  • I hope to change the decor in my house.
  • I hope to communicate better with my partner.
  • I hope to be patient with myself and partner.
  • I hope to make more time for my family and close friends.
  • I hope to make more time for myself.
  • I hope to take my health more seriously: meal prep, less fast foods, and more gym.

With all of these hopes and goals, the thing that means the most to me is being resilient. With this in mind, my final vow is – I will remain resilient.  I will keep fighting for myself. As long as I am resilient, I know I will accomplish all that I hope for and so much more…

 

 

It’s Offical… I’m the Grinch.

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the grinch

Now, I’m not the Grinch because I dislike Christmas. Although I must admit, it’s not my favorite holiday. I’m the Grinch because as he so articulately stated,

Help me…I’m feeeelinnnggg.

There is something about the holidays that makes people joyful and hopeful. Maybe it’s the thought of gifts from loved ones or the knowledge that the New Year is among us. Whatever it is, it does make us appreciate some of the things we take for granted.

This year is the FIRST year I celebrated the holidays at a workplace or organization. The feeling is unlike something I’ve ever felt. Co-workers I acknowledge with a slight nod, walked up to me with small gifts in hand. Yes, I’m aware the generic card in their hands was probably given to even one else in the workplace, or that the message could pertain to me or Cindy Lou. But the point is, they tried and that’s more than what I can say for myself.

While they took their time thinking of others, I was thinking about how ready I was to runaway. Runaway from my responsibilities, from work, and from most of my coworkers. Nonetheless, receiving small gifts of appreciation, well-written Holiday cards, and hugs from the same people I acknowledge with a slight nod gave me the feels.

At the end of the day, while I was locking up my office, I couldn’t help but think about another Grinch thought…

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!

This Holiday season, I urge everyone to think about the things that do not come from stores. The “little bit more[s]” of the Holiday season, the things that cannot be duplicated or reproduced. The things that touch your heart.