Educate, Check-In, and Read During Quarantine

July was very eye-opening for me and it forced me to grow in a lot of ways. For the first time since the quarantine began, I had the desire to read again. I finished three books this month, and if you follow my bookstagram and Youtube, get ready for some content coming down the pipeline. My book drought was real and I am so happy it’s over. It was hard to focus on reading when I had so many things going on. But what I soon realized, is that I could escape in a really great fiction book and everything would feel okay.

This month I also watched so many virtual conferences, summits, Linkedin Learning classes, and masterclasses. I think my mind is going to explode with all of the new things I am learning (and this is a good thing). I have been taking so many notes, I am almost on notebook #3. I am also finishing videos that I start and not letting my self-diagnosed ADD get in the way. Some of the powerful things I learned:

  1. Perfect work is that career or business that we know, that we know, that we know, we are meant to do. It’s that thing that lights us up. It’s the risk we are willing to take. It’s legacy. – Renessa Boley Lane
  2. Before the global pandemic hit, multicultural women were leaving – or planning to leave  corporate America in record numbers, citing bias, and lack of support as main culprits. – Multicultural Women’s Conference
  3. The slave plantations that were developed in the Mississippi Valley were huge and resembled much more closely modern multinational corporations than we often think. It was a complex hierarchy filled with Mid-level managers and workers who reported into other workers who reported into other workers. Data tracking techniques were developed so they knew how much labor and money went into producing each veil of cotton. – 1619 Project Podcast

There’s so much more to share and I encourage each of you reading this to use this time to learn something new and help it inform your present and your future. However, I can’t stress enough, the 1619 Project Podcast was phenomenal, mindblowing, and educational, and I encourage you to listen. I am probably going to do a video on it in the near future because WHOA.

My TV journey is still going strong. I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries. My favorite, I must say was John Lewis: Good Trouble and The Rachel Divide. John Lewis was a civil rights legend and he passed a week after I watched his documentary. It was so powerful. He was really a good person, that had a penchant for chickens and fighting for civil rights. During bloody Sunday, he received a concussion at the hands of white officers  and he did so much for blacks in America, especially when it came to voting rights.

The Rachel Divide was also sad but eye-opening. I spent so many years judging Rachel Dolezal because that’s what everyone else was doing, but I never took the time to learn and understand her story and for that, I am ashamed. She’s been through a lot and obviously struggles with her identity, but the treatment she’s received was very harsh. I wish more of us had grace for her, including myself. I wish more of us took the time to understand the plight of others before judging with haste. As far as TV goes, I was hooked to Blood and Water on Netflix. Very good series based in South Africa and I can’t wait for season 2.

The 52 List Project (13)A lot of people in my life celebrated big wins, so I was happy that I could support them in some way, whether it was attending their event or sending a gift. Giving feels amazing. A few people checked in on me too which was so cool. I was able to connect with folks I haven’t talked to in ages over zoom. I also asked people that I’ve never met to zoom chats to get to know more about who they are and what they do. I joined a Chat & Chew event, that my friend Kadia has been asking me to join for over a year now, and it was really amazing. I also went to my first career coaching session. Other updates? My skin journey is not going great. My hair journey is going okay. I also launched my closet on Poshmark. If you’re interested in supporting, check it out here.

Finally, I started therapy. I had to confront the fact that I was functional and depressed, which I talk about here. I embarked on a journey to finding a black woman Christian therapist, that would serve as a preemptive measure for me during this time. Creating a list of black therapist that was in-network for me was a project in itself. I did so much research to land on the therapist that I have now. So far, so good. Therapy is helping me get back to myself and also to speak up and set boundaries.

Well, until next month.


The Wilderness: June/July Depression

The month of June triggered a depression in me that I have been trying to shake since the death of my dog, Charlie. I had all of the classic symptoms, not eating, not sleeping, not being as productive as I could, always crying, yet I was still functional. It wasn’t healthy and to be honest if it wasn’t for my praying mother, I probably would still be in that space.

Charlie was family. He showed unconditional love towards me. Out of everyone in the family, I think I was his favorite. We had kindred spirits and I miss him every single day. He rarely got mad at me, unless I tried to bother him while eating and after he snapped at me that one time, I never did it again (he also eventually apologized for snapping by licking my leg). I was the only person he let brush his teeth and I miss his sweet kisses and expressions of love. What I yearn for most, is hearing his knock on my door. When he was at my door and it was closed, he would stand up, scratch it, I would open the door and he would come in and give me a hug before being a brat and wanting to come on my bed (or maybe I wanted him on my bed). If I wasn’t there or took too long to open my door, he would sometimes wait for me at the door. The loss of Charlie, man oh man, it has been so hard.

But what I also realized, is Charlie’s death wasn’t the only thing that spiraled me into a depression. I had been hoarding a lot of feelings internally and not processing all of the things that were happening to me and changing in my life. I was just moving. Going fast, being busy, and not taking the time to be still.

Be still. It’s such an important lesson that God tries to teach us. I love in the bible when people end up in the wilderness. The wilderness sounds like such a scary place, filled with loneliness, solitude, and even darkness, but it’s not. It’s a powerful place that’s preparing you for the time when you come out of the wilderness and the powerhouse that you will be. It’s a time when even though it seems like you’re all alone, GOD is right there with you, talking to you, whispering in your ear and he’s the most important voice you need to hear. That’s how I am viewing this very moment in my life. The wilderness.

While in this wilderness, I am going to take time to practice radical self-care and focus on me. I am going to set boundaries. I am going to process the things I have not been dealing with. I am going to learn how to pray more. I am going to learn how to pray for others (it’s not all about me). I am going to therapy. I am going to disrupt to rebuild. I am going to say no a lot. I may also say yes. I am going to do whatever gets me back to a strong foundation.

As I mentioned earlier, if it wasn’t for a praying mama, I would still be in my funk and not have this much clarity. Some of the other things I watched were sermons. One sermon, gave me permission to have the same feelings towards God as Habakkuk did in the bible. Another sermon, emboldened me for the change that’s coming around the corner. Sharing all of the sermons that moved me below:

Sometimes God Makes Me Really Angry – Pastor Tim Dilena

Bible Project Overview: Habakkuk – Bible Project Makes the bible digestible

How To Get Your Fight Back – Bishop T.D. Jakes

Desperate for Jesus Conference Day 2

While this is an insane, uncertain time for everyone, I encourage you to find the silver lining. I will do the same.

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