Welp, Glad That’s Over

So I finally graduated undergrad  and that was just what the doctor ordered. Really, once I finished my last exam, I felt relieved but when I crossed that stage, it felt like the weight of the world had been lifted.

I know I haven’t been updating the blog as much as I’d like and School has been a large reason for that. Of course, I post when I can, but lately it’s been feeling like the content is a bit stagnant. But I like blogging and want to continue. So bear with me as I reconfigure. But I digress…

Whoever said college would be the best years of your life, while not an outright lie, is incredibly misgiving.

I had some of my greatest moments in college, yes, but they were not a constant thing. They were more like the sprinkles on a shit sundae. Still tastes like shit but the presentation makes it look like it could have been something.

Looking back, I was actually wildly depressed for most of my college career. I’m not a drinker at all but sophomore and junior year, I drank my damn life away and my weed habit went through the roof. I still smoke on a regular basis because I do have anxiety and it does help to calm my mind down a bit but I can really go the rest of my life without taking another sip of alcohol and be just fine.

Going out was a thing that I had to accept that people did for fun. Why? I still don’t know. I have never woken up the next morning after a night of bar hopping and felt that my quality of life had improved in any significant way. But you look like an antisocial hermit if you don’t and plus, considering the line of work I want to go into, its helpful to at least look the part and play the game.

Moral of the story: College is a means to an end, not the other way around. I did not put myself through four years of depression, fatigue, and anxiety for a fucking piece of paper. I did it so that I could put myself in a position to do more and I feel like I’ve done that. These four years have given me room to think, explore, and ponder. Yes, a lot of resources, you will actually have to look for but they are there… if you have an idea of what you’re looking for.

To those coming up, college is not for the faint of heart. A lot of folks go to college (including myself) because it’s what you’re “supposed” to do but if you don’t find your own path along the way. Without cultivating some kind of sense of self, the bullshit that comes with college life will swallow you whole.

 

 

 

 

Ducks in a Row

As this semester draws to a close, the clock is ticking for me to get my shit together.

Graduation. A move. Grad school.

We’re now 4 weeks out from graduation and at this point, I’d really just prefer they hand me my things so I can just go. No need for the pomp and circumstance of a graduation ceremony.

As I type, I’m listening The Friend Zone and they have the Budgetnista on as a guest. I can’t say I was familiar with her before listening but she had some valuable info to share. Numbers have just always sort of made sense to me since I was young, so finance, on the face of it, was pretty easy for me to get.

Don’t spend more than you make.

Don’t take out unnecessary loans. It’s not free money.

Ideally, save half your check and live off the other half.

Simple enough in theory.

But oh bitch, when life starts life-ing, it’s a little bit more difficult to align practice with theory.

She gave an amazing tid-bit about student loans.

Income. Based. Repayment. It’s a thing. Basically, should push come to shove and you broke but still have that loan bill, you can essentially have your monthly balance reduced to $0.

I had a notepad out the whole episode. Can’t be caught out here slipping, especially in New York City. Of course, I’m planning for everything that I can plan for, living situations, jobs, a budget. I’m considering everything that I can think to consider. Obviously, shit will come up that I simply cannot account for, but that’s life. Unplanned things will come up whether I’m in Oxford, Hattiesburg, or New York City.

Overall, I’m stressing but I’m not. In my heart of hearts, I’m at peace. Change doesn’t really scare me. Of course, I’m going to put myself in the best and safest situations that I possibly can, and if some shit hits the fan, we gone chalk it up to the game of life and keep it pushin’. Ain’t no monkeys stopping this show.

It’s full steam ahead.

 

#100: A Weekend For the Books

#100: A Weekend For the Books

Even with only 2 classes this semester, I’m just exhausted. It’s like no matter how much I think I’m eliminating from my plate, it somehow manages to fill itself back up almost instantly.

We last spoke at the end of February and since then a lots been going on. As I type this, I’m flying 3000 feet in the air back to Memphis from DC after a weekend with my best friend, Reuben. As avid listeners of…

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Books Are Silent Films

I read somewhere that successful people read a lot. There were real numbers in that stat but the numbers aren’t important here.

I was a library assistant in high school. And I know “niggas don’t read” is a nasty stereotype but them niggas really didn’t read. And it wasn’t even like we had a shitty library like you would expect of a public school. Our shit was stocked, but there were hardly ever any books for me to re-shelve so I had a lot of free time that period. What is one to do when surrounded by shelves of books and periodicals? Read them shits.

I was a nerdy bitch. I wasn’t popular, wasn’t cool, we’ve been over this but you better believe nobody could see me on those Accelerated Reading tests. You read a book, you take a test, and depending on how many points you accumulated, you could cash them in at the AR store. Now this was elementary school, and I was cashing those points in for Pixie Sticks and Airheads but it’s the principle, dammit.

Reading and reward.

Without further ado, these are some of the most influential books that I’ve ever read.

  • Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This novel is as entertaining as it is insightful. It tells the story of a Nigerian immigrant woman, Ifemelu, who comes to America for university. Throughout her time in America, Ifemelu blogs about her experiences in America and the conundrums that that brings with it. Race, hair, and identity are the core issues of the novel. Adichie paints an honest picture of 21st century America.

  • Siddhartha, Herman Hesse

Sound familiar? Siddhartha Gautama: the person credited with inventing Buddhism.

Well, this is a fictional account of young Siddhartha’s journey from wandering ascetic to becoming the Buddha. It’s a story of self discovery. Very existential and all that.

I read this in high school and I’m definitely going to find a way to get my hands on it again, soon.

  • 1984, George Orwell

A wise individual once said, “The world is turning more and more into a George Orwell novel.”

Oh that was me? Bet.

This is the novel I was talking about. I’ve always had a sweet spot for dystopian literature and I don’t know of too many writers who do it better than Orwell.

The funny thing about this novel is that he thought this world would’ve reverted to a dystopic state by the year 1984. He was a few decades off the mark but he made his point.

  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens (People), Sean Covey

I remember this got assigned for a summer reading project in middle school. I’ve had my copy for years and I often go back to it as a reference.

Even though it is a success guide for teenagers, Sean’s father, wrote a similar book geared towards adults but the information is essentially the same.

  • The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin

Baldwin’s writing style is so powerful it’s almost arousing. That sharp tongue taken to paper resulted in a gripping page turner on race in America.

The first time I read this was my sophomore year of college. The Black Lives Matter movement had reached a rolling boil at that point. It was around the time of Eric Garner’s murder and as a result, the weight of the present moment was heavy on my mind as I read.

After I read this I just had to take a moment to process the bomb that Baldwin dropped on my head top.

  • Start with Why, Simon Sinek

This book changed my life. I read it late last year to get my mind right for the new year. When people talk about setting goals and starting new ventures, the concept of starting with why is key.

Why? Why do you want certain things? Why did you set that goal for yourself?

If you’re trying to put your life goals into perspective, this is a must read.

He’s given many talks on his book at one conference or another. He is as much a great speaker as he is a writer.

Moral of the story: Read a book. You might get something out of it.

This College Life Ain’t Been No Crystal Stair

I’ve had body issues my entire life really. Dare I even say: dysphoria. I’ve always been a thickum and I’ve always had to be conscious of the things I eat so as not to gain any unnecessary weight. Not to mention, much of your social stock as a teenager is determined by how you look. So all through middle and high school, I worked hard to maintain a size 10/12. It wasn’t where I wanted to be but I had no choice but to work with what I had. It didn’t help that I wore uniforms all k-12, the epitome of unflattering.

Most of the girls found ways to dress it up. That colorful, plastic hair store jewelry was really popular in middle school and bitches used to come to school with those annoying ass bangles all the way up their arms. That was also around the time where the other girls started playing in make up and doing their own hair. Of course, as time went on, clothes got tighter and hair and makeup got more competitive. I still couldn’t keep up.

So, when I got to college I decided I would attempt to reinvent myself.

  1. By cutting all my hair off and going natural
  2. Dressing how I wanted

It was a new chapter in my life and I was trying to cast off the insecurities of middle and high school.

But college proved to be nothing but a recurring nightmare of broke-ness and anxiety. I had always been very much an introvert and being in places with a lot of people was not my cup of tea. I hated going to the campus gym because it was always packed and smelled like feet. And that cafeteria food is not the most nutritious. And of course, you can’t eat healthy when you’re broke.

In all my years, I feel like I’m finally getting to a place where I can start working towards being the person I wanted to be back in middle school. I’ve had a gym membership of my own for a few months now because I’m willing to pay money in order to avoid the risk of social interaction while I’m working out. I pay rent for a home that has an amazing kitchen where I actually have room to prepare health(ier) meals for myself.

Long story short: I feel like this is the most control I’ve had over my life and destiny in my entire life.

Personally, I’ve always thought new year’s resolutions were a bit disingenuous. But I’ve set some new goals for myself to achieve as we move in to month two of 2018. I’m tightening up on you hoes. My hair is flourishing, my wardrobe, my health. In hindsight, these college years, I was really scraping the bottom of the barrel so the way I see it, there’s nowhere to go but up.

Black Twitter Strikes Again

The new year brings new energy to the Twitter-verse.

The hashtag Black Hogwarts surfaced earlier this week and what’s come of it has been nothing short of gold.

K-12, I was one of maybe five black kids who had read the Harry Potter series in its entirety and seen all the movies. I really have strong attachments to the books I read as an adolescent. I can associate specific memories with books and the Harry Potter series came to me right as puberty was rearing its ugly head.

Personally, Hermione was my favorite. In hind sight, I definitely had a crush on her – the character that I’d envisioned in my head as well as Emma Watson. But there were also a lot of valuable lessons that I gleaned from that series that helped me see past the bullshit that was middle school.

Some rules need to be broken. Never trust niggas in cloaks. Beware of niggas that’s hating for no reason. It’s usually better to be the bigger person. Sometimes it really be your own people. Believe in your damn self.

All lessons from a children’s novel. Verbatim.

I tip my hat to you once again, internet. Zingers fly fast here.

Bardi Season

So, the video for “Finesse” came out and quite honestly, I stopped watching it after Cardi’s verse. But from what I did see, my bitch Cardi looks like she’s just getting started.

Cardi B: I like her. I like her attitude. She’s fun. Personally, I was never one for the whole reality tv world in my youth, so I’ve really only been exposed to Ms. Cardi in the last few months. My first time actually hearing words come over her mouth in full sentences was her interview on The Breakfast Club last year. I’m swear I’m not making this up lol.

Her thing with Offset is cute. She did an interview on Fallon, which was absolutely horrid, but she handled it well. I don’t really know much else about her outside of what I’ve laid out for you here.

Now, the good folks at The Read addressed her latest personal scandal. Thanks to a very recent follow to the Shade Room, I already knew what that was about. And Cardi is… lacking in the ability to not give a fuck about the opinions of others. This fame thing ain’t no joke and it’ll just take some getting used to.

I’ve never been famous, but I can imagine that it can be a bitch sometimes.

But she’s on a role and if she can keep up the momentum, I think she’ll learn to relax into her glow up.

She’s on my list.

Watch out for Cardi in 2018.

Tis the Season for Addy fueled All nighters

October went by in a fucking blur. Glad that’s over. Evidently, people have taken the liberty to dress up for Halloween all damn month.

I’ve never observed Halloween too much, myself. Not even as a kid. It always seemed a bit dumb to me.

One time my mom thought it would be fun for me to dress up as a ghost (i.e. a lil bitch in a white sheet) and go trick or treating at the mall. I kept stepping on the sheet and my eye holes kept sliding around. At one point I lost my mom in the mall and was surrounded by a bunch of weirdos in costume. From that day on, Halloween got a strong “no” from me.

I live for Christmas time though. I’m looking forward to some egg nog and some frosty chrimus trees (if you know what I’m saying) and most importantly, the end of my undergrad career.

I don’t know how many times I’ve eluded to this on here but… Fuck School.

These four years have been some of the most unpleasant, unsavory, foul, pointless, disappointing years of my life. My. God. Looking back on it, I only see a devastated minefield of shattered dreams, relationships, and grade point averages.

And ironically enough, here I am applying to grad school.

‘‘Tis the season for addy fueled all nighters.

Personal statements, writing samples, references, allat other bullshit. Plus trying to make sure I pass the rest of my classes so that I can actually graduate in May (which I’m actually trying hard to do since my momma and nem already booked hotels for graduation weekend).

I must say though, apartment hunting in New York is fun. I plan to make another trip back up that way for the New Year to scope out some prospective neighborhoods while also linking up with – you guessed it: Reuben. Then, pending my acceptance to grad school, a bitch will be moving on up to NYC come July.

But until then I have to manage to tread through the rest of my shitty undergraduate career.

Silver linings.

Life is Funny Enough Without Your Bullshit

Listening to this recent mailbag episode of The Read has me thinking…

In particular, the question called “Trump stole my swag” or something like that. It was a man writing who had just recently been married. Evidently they had hats made with a hashtag and the hats were red and the print was white. Just like Trump’s campaign hat. 

Fury and Crissle told him to retire that shit though he seemed reluctant to do so in his letter. Just because Trump took his swag, so he says.

One of my many random ass obsessions is symbolism. I mean if we think about it, that’s all that differentiates us from any other animal – the capacity to impose meanings on symbols or objects to organize our thoughts, communities, and cultures. The alphabet, our number systems, our vocabularies, our cultures are nothing but commonly accepted meanings that have been imposed onto arbitrary shapes that early people drew into the sand. 

Now look at us now. 

I said all that to say that symbols are powerful, and that red and white hat is one that tightens my sphincter anytime I see it. 

It was the horocrux that Trump imbued with a piece of his old and rotting soul, and thus I’ve come to see the hat as a symbol of ignorance, xenophobia, egoism, and out right fuckery.

Sometimes it’s not even a Make America Great Again hat. Even the color and style of it is enough to make me roll my eyes.

Now, I have a motley bunch of associates of all races. And some of them (who I really don’t know that well) think it’s cool to wear that shit “ironically.”

“You know I don’t really think that way in real life.”

*rolls eyes*

My thing is…  there’s plenty of things in life that are actually funny.

I think it’s funny how I’m in 20K worth of debt for a goddam degree that everybody told me I needed. 

I think it’s funny how bitches think they can try me in Walmart and cut me in the checkout line. 

I think it’s funny that some of these people out here really thought Donald Trump would be a good president.

The material is endless without you going for the lowest hanging fruit for a laugh. 

Bitch, THIS ain’t funny. This lunatic is going to kill us all. 

And the thing about symbols is that one they are assigned a meaning, it usually sticks and it’s hard to change it. 

So even people who wear the hat just for shits and giggles, or have a similar looking accessory at home, just retire that shit and have a seat. It’s okay. 

Besides, it’s probably best to let it be. The red and white trucker hat has been tainted for all eternity. It ain’t cute any more. 

Cynthia is my Soul Mate

If you haven’t been watching Chewing Gum, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.

It’s so fucking funny.

I take so much delight in knowing that I was on this shit before it got popping. I was watching season one on YouTube when it was still only on BBC programming. I feel like if someone made Do The Right Thing into a comedy series set in modern London, it would be Chewing Gum. Aesthetically, the show works. So many colors. So many interesting locations. Interesting character. It makes even Tracy’s estate (I assume what we’d call project housing, here) look appealing and vibrant. It makes you want to be in her world, if only for 22 minutes.

Plus, I’ve developed a new appreciation for British slang and comedy. It’s so unique, yet vaguely familiar.

It’s just something about that melanin. Lately I’ve really been exploring the whole idea of this “African diaspora,” the dispersion of melanated people across the globe as a result of centuries of colonization. And it is continuously becoming evident that no matter how far spread across the globe black folks are, it’s just something about that melanin that’s interesting, exciting, and worth exploring.

Chewing Gum gets two thumbs up.