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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Life After Grad School... Don't Ask... I'm Serious

As we steadily approach the 3 month mark since graduation, the proverbial "what now" floats through my brain at time where I would normally be doing homework. The time for celebrating has passed, graduation season is officially "over" and the questions about my impending future have continued to "pop up". I sit here, in the hallway, of an apartment I've lived in since age 9, and I wonder, what's next?


While scrolling through all of the news feeds on too many social platforms, soon after wishing I had spent my time doing something productive, I watch some of my colleagues I just graduated with do amazing things and what appears to be the time of their lives. Sure, I shouldn't take everything I see so literal. After all, it is social media. But that doesn't stop the thought of "what the hell am I doing with my life" from crossing my brain on more occasions than I'd care to admit. I make to-do lists, I apply myself at what I feel I'm good at, rationalize what I'm qualified for with this degree, etc. and so forth.


I have had several conversation with many different people about my my future and more often than not, these conversations can get awkward quickly because I have no clue how to answer them. So I thought it could be fun (but mostly helpful) if I came up with a small sampling of these "awkward" questions you may want to rethink when you're talking with someone who has recently graduated,... that is if you decide you want to ask them in the first place:

What do you want to do with your degree? Clearly I'd like to do something with it. What that something is exactly, I'm still not sure. I'm still trying to figure this out. Maybe when I do, I'll be sure to let you know... maybe.

Did you find a job yet? This question can be tough for some because not everyone may have been able to find the ideal job that directly correlates with the degree we've just obtained. Between the late night group meetings, Capstone presentations, all we were trying to do (in that moment) was graduate. Our thoughts beyond that, for some, may have been limited to graduation day.

You know you'll miss school, right? No. Actually. I won't. I won't miss working full-time while going to school full-time, and then having to go to meeting upon meetings when every brain in the room is beyond exhausted from the full days we just endured. So when I see back to school commercials, the only thing I'll miss is saving a bunch of money on school supplies. That's about it!

So what's next? I have absolutely no clue, but thanks for reminding me of the impending fear of inadequacy rushing in like a tsunami approaching the beach with no chance of escape. Yeah, it sounds dramatic, but it's also very VERY true.


In no way am I saying you shouldn't ask questions to a recent graduate, but rather than rubbing additional salt into a barely healed wound, it might help to ask questions to come from a place of empathy, maybe even offer a suggestion or two. Like "how's it going?" or "how are you adjusting after school?" type of questions. The blanket statements are tough to answer, as I imagine they must be just as hard to ask.

But here is what I do know. I have absolutely no clue what my next step is, and you know something? That's OK! Everyone's plan is different. My timeline is not in sync with anyone else's. So whatever it is my colleagues and I are going to do next remains to be seen. Whether we are making our lives look fantastic on social media, holding down several jobs to pay for our newly incurred student debt, just know that we (too) are trying to figure out this life outside grad school, and not to worry... we'll get there!*

xoxox

*If there are typos, or things don't make sense, here is my official apology. Hopefully, you get what I mean.😊

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016: All of the Travel... Domestically Speaking

2016 was a mixed bag of a lot of things. The one thing that stuck out the most: how much time I spent 30,000ft above the ground. I thought it'd be cool to "chronicle" my time in the air, and on the ground, and what may (or may not) be in store for 2017! ☺

Key West, FL - January 4th - 9th
First trip of the New Year. It was not the warmest weather that southern Florida could've provided for us, however it was fun. The hotel was right on a canal so we had a "water view" every day. The food was really good and I don't think I've ever walked up and down Duval St. as many times as I did within these 5 days. The Flying Monkey was the most commonly visited "spot", the Hemingway House was cool, but I can live without all of the cats that were there, and the ghost tours were cheesy but cool overall.


 

Seattle, WA - February 5th - 7th
I love this place! Despite having the most severe allergic reaction to the detergent used by the hotel we were staying at (it was BAD, Hitch-status if you will), this was a low-key, fun trip. Visited a few places I hadn't been to on my previous trips and even though it was rainy for most of the trip (duh), it was good to get out of Boston... again!

 

Los Angeles, CA - April 8th - 10th
The Boo's birthday weekend! It was a lot of fun. This was also my first time staying at an AirBNB. Ps, if you use them, be sure to check "Entire Home" option, do not leave it defaulted to the "Shared Space".  Went to Disney Land for the first time. It was fun to see where the "Magic" began but Disney World will forever have my heart. Met up with some cool folks and overall, California didn't disappoint!

 
 

New Orleans, LA - April 30th - May 4th
My 1st Trip to New Orleans! Met up with one of my homies (whom I so lovingly refer to has my BroMo) who showed me the ins & outs of the place she grew up. I wasn't restricted to the Bayou; we also went to Lafayette and saw a kick ass sunset at the swamp and went to Baton Rouge where I met a host of cool people. Did the "Touristy" stuff: went to Cafe du Monde and ingested WAY too many Beignets (which is basically fried dough, but don't tell the locals that!), went to the jazz festival in a thunderstorm, skated through the French Quarter even with signs that said "No Skateboarding" (oops!), rode the trolley, saw a sink hole (yeah, that was a "thing") and just had an amazing time! 

 
 
 
 

Port Angeles, WA - August 19th - 26th 
West Coastin' yet again! After a summer full of classes, I spent a week on the west coast. I met some new/cool people, and roadtripped about a 3rd of the state (or at least it felt that way). Went to a little German town called Leavenworth, which is absolutely gorgeous! Also visited a place called Winthrop, and no, it was not "by the sea", but actually in the middle of the desert! It was pretty cool! 

 
 
Phoenix, AZ - September 9th - 12th 
Birthday trip coupled with the 1st NE Pats game of the season, I took this trip with my friends from high school. In the kind of heat that would make the devil uncomfortable, I spent my days drinking by the pool, getting a tan I could never get in a summer back home, and reconnecting with friends I've had forever while cheering for our hometown team in a building that was (thankfully) filled with AC! With a Pats win (& this was without Brady), I'd say this trip was a success!

 
 
 

Dallas, TX - September 16th - 18th
Back on the plane a week later, I meet up with my BroMo (from New Orleans) while also meeting a crop of some really amazing people! Went to the NOH8 photo shoot, ate WAY too much good food, and went to the Pride celebration in 95+ degree heat. Slept on the most comfortable couch my body has ever laid on and overall just had a great time shootin' the shizz and making all of the memories!

 
 
 

Seattle, WA - November 11th - 14th
Back to the west coast, yet again! AirBNB'd it again this time... MUCH better experience! Went to a place called Snoqualmie Falls. It was absolutely breathtaking and worth the drive out there. This was yet another little weekend getaway from Boston and given that it was near the end of the semester, it was MUCH needed!

 

December - Stayed my @$$ home!
Finished my semester like a BOSS and figured that I'd chill on the traveling (mom said to) and start planning / saving for next year!
Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal!


Shoutouts!:
  • Thank you Erryca for introducing me to TSA precheck! This has LEGIT saved my (travel) life! Being able to go to the airport an hour before my flight, breeze through security and board the plane with minimal "wait" time is fanFRICKINtastic!
  • JetBlue for being the airline of ALL airlines! They are amazing, and yes I might be a bit bias, HOWEVER, they really are a kickass airline! Plus, the TrueBlue points come in handy, like WHOA!
  • To those I visited and let me stay with them while on my adventures! You all are the real MVP <3
Of course I already have stuff planned for next year (I think it's the Virgo in me).
Here are some places I plan on going to in 2017:
  • Seattle (duh)
  • St. Louis
  • New Orleans (again)
  • Virginia Beach
  • Orlando
  • The Caribbean
  • Huntington Beach 
Image result for that's it 

For Now... xoxox ☺

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Morning After...


As I scroll through my timeline and fight back the inevitable tears (and putting my fist through a wall… anger issues, I know. I’m working on them), I mourn and think, “Is this REALLY real life”? I didn’t think it was possible to feel so many emotions all at once. However, we knew this was a strong possibility and I’ll admit that I am not shocked by this result. That alone makes me so sad.

I’m afraid. As an African American, I’m not regarded as human because of the color of my skin.



I’m afraid. As a woman, I’m told by those who don’t have my body parts what I should be doing with my body parts.



I’m afraid. As an LGBT human, what the shape of my future family could (now) look like and those at the top exuding all resources so that they can prevent my basic human right to be happy.



I’m afraid. But I am not shocked. We knew in the deepest parts of our gut that this could happen. We knew that there were members of our families; our social circles that have made those comments months ago that made you tilt your head a bit. Or they said something that made you question your friendship/relationship. Today I ask those same members, what is it about being whom I am that made you hate it so much that you voted against it? 



I read on my timeline, hear on the radio and while walking to my building… “People are tired of a corrupt system. The system/government is rigged.” You know something? You’re right. For years our system hasn’t been perfect, but each and every day, we fight and live our lives to the fullest (some days being easier than others) and we do our best to live as decent humans.



Once again, I find myself taking a page out of my father’s tree-huggin’ hippie book and trying to find a space of love and peace. This is out of our control now. We can’t go back and change it. It is forever cemented in our history. There is no denying that today will be a rough day, but one thing is certain, as a unit, we are tough. We will (and must) find our way back to love. We will find a way to accept what has happened knowing we can't change it and find a way to keep it pushing. At this point, there isn't another choice.

So when the dust eventually settles, we’ll find our way back to some kind of normalcy. We'll find our way to love, to peace, and to an understanding that even though everyone may not have the same opinion, ideals, or vision, we can respect each other as humans and live our lives the best way we know how.

I'm trying guys. I'm trying...

But until that happens, my heart is heavy for those that look like me, those who fought so hard to be in a country to escape leaders LIKE him. So for those that voted for the misogynistic, bigot, racist, womanizing ASSHOLE, at this moment in time, I have nothing for you. 


Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go finish my homework. I have to focus on graduating so I can find a way to change the world… one day at a time!