Help Get me to grad school. I am working on finalizing my admission into grad school for human services. Help me help people. It’s that simple. Click the link and please donate. Peace.
In August I got a job that required me to almost always work 7 days a week for 8-12 hours a day. I was exhausted everyday but I had never seen my bank account look so good. I was making and saving so much money that I no longer had to do the shameful login to my mobile banking app on Monday morning after a weekend of spending. The fact that I was able to save hundreds of dollars each time I got paid kept me from continuously complaining about how sleepy and over worked I was.
About two and a half months in the contract for my position was negotiated and we were awarded a raise. However, the supervisors began to treat the staff like slaves. And looking back I’m sure they had always treated us that way but money had kept me blinded. I didn’t want to complain but going into the third month I started to feel like I was selling my soul. I talked to my coworkers in my office and other offices and they too shared my feelings. I felt like less of a human and I felt under appreciated for all of the work I had been contributing.
I found another job and put in my two weeks. Although the money was good I had a goal to become a teacher. I had to make a decision on whether I wanted to follow my passion and take a major pay cut or continue being over worked and well paid. I choose to continue my path to become a teacher.
Every week that I get my paycheck I’m extremely dissatisfied. I’m not saving as much nor making as much as I did a few months ago. This situation I’m sure happens to so many people. Where we come to a point that we have to choose whether to be successful in terms of making a ton of money or being successful in a way that means something to us. I chose the latter. As crazy as it sounds being successful for me isn’t a union job with great negotiations of pay and benefits. My definition of success looks like reaching the goals that I set and feeling well worth the work that I do. On my road to becoming a teacher I already feel that this sacrifice of money has been worth it. I have a classroom of young boys who I absolutely adore and who I feel benefit more from my presence than I could have ever imagined. My road to teaching is far from over but I’m glad that I chose my version of success for right now.
Why is it that so many people are forced to chose between doing something they love and doing something that pays well? I miss the money but I damn sure don’t miss the abuse.
Dictionary.com defines crazy as [krey-zee]
adjective, crazier, craziest.
mentally deranged; demented; insane.
senseless; impractical; totally unsound:
a crazy scheme.
After reading a blog post from fellow blogger Jahlil Tahree I have to say that I agree with his definition of crazy but I think there’s more to it. Let me elaborate a little.
I think there is an extremely thin line between “good crazy” and stupidity. “Good Crazy” in terms of relationships is going on adventures with your partner even when they seem out of place or believing in his/her dreams even when they seem far fetched to the “normal” person. “Good crazy” for relationships could be the thoughts you have when no one is around and you even think to yourself “I’m losing my mind” but somehow your partner relates in every way. The “good crazy” in a relationship is sticking by a person because somehow life just makes more sense together.
Stupidity begins to enter that scenario when those adventures or thoughts become damaging or somehow negatively impact the relationship. For example, you shouldn’t be stuck supporting someone who has caused you to miss out on your dreams or go into debt. That’s not crazy that’s just dumb. Like I said, thin line.
Good crazy has everything to do with a person’s state of mind though. On the other hand, I think the bad crazy is a mix of state of mind and actions. Negative, destructive actions and a mind set that sees absolutely nothing wrong with them. Where’s the good in that?
I will be the first to openly say that I am crazy. In a relationship crazy is best matched with crazy. But, I’ve heard some people say there’s levels to it. Are there?
If you can’t tell, I grew up Black. I grew up with 7 siblings. I spent my entire childhood sharing a room with my older sister in a cotton candy pink room. I didn’t get my own room until I was 18 during winter break and I was home from college. I only got the room because three of my older brothers had moved out. Even then, I felt like I was sharing my room because my niece was born and one of my nephews moved in and he refused to stay out of my room. But, that was family so who’s complaining? My nickname was Bighead. My cousins, aunts and uncles all gathered for holidays and pretended like it wasn’t awkward at some point. I was an honor student and a band geek. I went to neighborhood schools and was a neighborhood kid. A daddy’s girl and a brat. Sometimes we ate syrup sandwiches and sometimes we ate steak. My mom worked every single day and still cooked on her days off. She would come home yelling at us about how we tore up her house. On Sunday mornings our house smelled like bleach and incense. Oldies music or Quran blasting through the speakers. And as kids we all used to wonder “who’s coming over?” To which my parents would reply “somebody gotta be coming for you to clean?” In the winter we ate oatmeal or cream of wheat for breakfast.
Growing up Black for me meant hearing things like “pass me the remote, get me a glass with ice, go get my slippers, don’t be rippin’ and running through my house.” All phrases that we knew meant “this the last time I’m gone say it.” Growing up Black for me was being in the house before the street lights come on and taking your sibling with you to your friend’s house or the park because otherwise, you can’t go!
Growing up Black for me meant school shopping, layaway, and hand me downs. “You get what I give you or nothing, don’t touch nothing in this store, I brought y’all some so you bet not touch mine!” It meant “come outside and help me with these bags, wash the dishes and you better do the silverware.” A lot of my friends had Black childhoods similar to mine and many did not.
Words could never summarize the greatness that was my Black childhood but that’s why I have memories. Growing up young and Black taught me struggle, love, discipline, kindness, courage and everything that makes me who I am today. It was never a bad thing. We weren’t poor but by some measures we weren’t rich. But it damn sure taught me life lessons I’ll never forget.
Black and Blessed
It’s been over a year since I’ve posted anything on this blog. There’s been family issues, car issues, work issues, money issues, school issues etc. However, when life gets thick for me I always refer back to my writing. A time where I actually had time and things ran smoothly for me. Here I am hoping that the time for smooth sailing has come once again.
Since June of 2015 I’ve had over 5 different jobs in a number of fields and there’s no telling how many interviews I’ve been on. Since that time I have also acquired an Associate’s and a Bachelor’s degree in a field that I thought would carry me into the career of my dreams. WRONG. Life threw a curveball and at one of these jobs I found my calling, Teaching. So, since this realization I’ve been taking the necessary steps to rebuild my game plan but also land me into the career field where I want to be.
Often times I found myself looking at my peers and seeing how some of their lives seemed to be “on track” and running “right.” WRONG. The best advice that I could give to myself looking back is to “never judge your progress based on someone else’s timeline.”
The best thing for me and any person to do is to focus on yourself and your strengths and reaching your goals. At the end of it all everything leads back to YOU. I’ll admit that I became worried when I graduated twice and didn’t immediately have a job lined up and didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. But that was ok. What works for someone else didn’t work for me. Only I can pick and choose the perfect path to guide me to my goals.
Right now I have an outline of a plan (nothing is ever perfect) and I’m executing that plan one step at a time. I’m starting yet another job but this time I feel passionate about the field, the people and the work. That’s something that I’ve never experienced before. I’m excited for new peaks, highs, lows, goals, and success. I’m going up. I just have to trust myself.
Today is Father’s Day. I imagine that an enormous amount of blogs posted today will be about fathers. I imagine that people will reminisce on lessons learned and memories created with their fathers. But, I also imagine that many blogs will be about mothers that some feel have acted as fathers. This blog is not the latter. The days are separate and I feel they should always be treated as such and simply out of respect for the mother’s and father’s who play the role and wish to celebrate the day. Let me be clear, I have nothing against a woman who has raised a child on her own, but to me, that doesn’t make her a father. I know some people will not agree but hey… What probably bugs me even more is that some women who feel that they have been fathers to their children go on to down men as if all men do not accept responsibilities and parent their children. I saw that Hallmark even made a card for mothers on Father’s Day, later removed due to it being placed in the “mahogany” section and some felt that Hallmark was insinuating that only black homes have single parents. Nonetheless there are men, parenting their children. The fact is that there are two days for parents. One for each. Let the day be for who it states. I rarely see men bash women on Mother’s Day. Some may equate that with the fact that not many men are sole providers of their children but I equate that with respect. Men respecting a holiday made for strong creatures that are women who bear the children of the world. People should exhibit that same respect on Father’s Day. I know many, and when I say many I mean more than a handful and more than some, men who are terrific fathers; both young and old. I salute those men. One of them happens to be my father Mr. Red Beard himself. My father met my mother when she had five children and they had three additional after. Each of my siblings calls my father Abi/Abu (Arabic for father.) My pop is a father and I feel that if I celebrate the day at all and if he celebrates the day at all that it belongs to him!! May is for mothers. I want people to acknowledge men and the role that many of them play in their child’s life. I do understand that women may be sole providers and that they may be primary care givers but that does not make them a father. It does make them a strong mother though. For those women who have had children with men who aren’t quality fathers or don’t care for their children at all, let’s celebrate the day for the ones that do. Let’s commend and respect the men who are a part of their child’s life. Today is Father’s Day, and this blog is for the fathers.
I wouldn’t be an artist if I wasn’t controversial…
Caution: unless you have a really good reason, don’t miss acknowledging the day I was born!
Anyone who knows me and knows me well knows that I’m big on birthdays. And not for the fact of receiving gifts or getting drunk, or partying. But mostly because it acknowledges the day that someone you care about was brought into the world. Now, some of my favorite gifts received include t-shirts, underwear, socks, and my personal favorite, cards (The simple things). As a writer I know the struggle of finding the perfect words. So to me the effort of finding a card to essentially say how you feel about someone is a precious gift. It’s thoughtful and fun to do.
Now that my nerdy interest in birthdays has been revealed, let me follow that up by saying if someone misses my birthday, we are no longer friends. Now let’s be clear on what I mean by that. I’ll take one missed bday (rarely). I’ll even take a late “happy birthday” text. What I will not tolerate under any circumstances is someone who claims to be a good friend of mine but does not acknowledge my birthday. I find it extremely ass backwards to be a friend and not acknowledge my birth. I don’t care if I haven’t seen you in years or spoke with you in months. What’s probably a bigger pet peeve to me is that I don’t forget birthdays even if that means adding them to my personal calendar. I tried an experiment on Facebook where I used the hide feature for my birthday. You wouldn’t believe the lack of text, calls and emails. It was terrible. But it just made me think that social media hinders us from being genuine to our friends. Is it possible that unless we receive the notification we would never remember our best/good friends birthdays? That’s disgusting to me.
I say all of these things to say that technology is ruining our lives at the same time it makes them better but also to say that I sadly no longer speak to people who I thought were my friends.