I remember sitting in a grad school course one day and thinking, "I am bored out of my mind. Why am I here? I already have the job I want." That was the first day in my entire life that I finally understood why people get tired of school. Although I thought some of the social issues in elementary school and high school were corny (I'm an old soul; peer pressure didn't move me much) and was happy about summer vacation and no-homework days, there was never a time when I just couldn't stand school. But I was burned out by the time I got to grad school. I changed my major from Writing to Communications and then again to Public Relations. I'd go to work for eight hours and on my way home I'd study on the Red Line. I still recall dozing off on one Thanksgiving weekend and an incredibly good-looking man woke me up and complimented me for studying that hard over the weekend. (Fortunately he was gorgeous and
not a thief because I'd have definitely gotten my purse picked if not for him being the honest type. I was that tired.)In two years of back and forth at grad school, I'd self-published my first novel and started my second year as an Assistant Copyeditor. I finished my last course for the semester and never went back to grad school. Going to a private Catholic school was expensive, and I wasn't even interested in any of the courses I was required to take (minus one writing class). Not only was I professionally working in the publishing field, but I'd accomplished my dream to be an author. Did I really need the master's degree? I didn't think so at the time from 2005 to 2007. And five years later, I still don't regret my decision. So does that mean that those who have accomplished their career dreams should ignore higher education? I can't say I agree with that either.
College is more than classes, partying, Greek life, dorms and roommates. It's also a place for you to explore other interests you may not know you even have.
Beyonce's 'fifth-grade education' got her on the top of Forbes list.
There's nothing respectable about throwing shade at an artist who always minds her business, but Wendy gave me yet another reason to not support her show.
I should've written this blog when I turned 30 instead of 31, but last year at this time I was sleeping in LAX airport and missed my flight to Maui. Then I spent five days in Hawaii
so you already know I was preoccupied. This year, I was supposed to be in St. Louis sometime tonight but since those plans fell through, I'm in Chicago hanging out for my 31st birthday (on Sunday, Veteran's Day) so I have a bit of time on my hands. I started reflecting on my 20s and how they made me into the woman I am today. Here are the top five moments in my 20s that prepared me for my 30s.
It could be coincidental but I've noticed a lot of attention paid to dreams coming true and life goals lately. While watching Ne-Yo's "Behind the Music" on Sunday, he said, "Every dream that I've had has been realized. How many people can say that? Not very many."
Then I bought an Android phone and my horoscope for Wednesday was: "What do you want to be when you grow up, Scorpio? Whether you're eighteen or eighty-eight, this question may apply to you today. You've been thinking about your life and whether you are fulfilling your purpose here on Earth. If you haven't found your path yet, you may be wondering what direction to take. If you've made some major life choices and you're established, you may be thinking about changing your direction. Either way, the stars say this is an excellent time to embark on a journey of discovery to figure it all out."
To top that off, I was reading Gordon Livingston, M.D.'s "And Never Stop Dancing: Thirty More True Things You Need to Know Now," and there were lines about the future: "It turns out that few of us are living the lives we imagined for ourselves when we were young."
Now I'm seeing this stuff on my phone and in my book and on television, and I kept coming to the same conclusion: "I've accomplished every single goal I wanted as a kid." I used to get so agonizingly bored and the only way I found to regularly entertain myself was to read or to write. My goals as a kid all had something to do with reading or writing. That's it. I have never had any desire for children, was indifferent about marriage and never really thought much about where I'd live outside of wanting to visit New York. But overall I've accomplished all of the goals Little Shamontiel set out to do. So with that said, those are my five things I'm smiling about.
These are five goals I had as a kid that I can check off the list:
I've been a supporter of Amazon.com for well over a decade. The company was helpful in side income when I was in school (buying and selling used textbooks, selling collectible items and at one point electronics). I used to own an Amazon Store Card, an Amazon Credit Card, an Amazon Vine account, a Seller Marketplace account and an Amazon Connect account. So why would I boycott a company that I've been a supporter of for so long? Sometimes loyalty to a company won't matter to that company, especially if it can take your money and disregard your concerns in the first place. I have exactly 981 Amazon reviews on that site and have enjoyed reviewing books, music and movies over the years. I've also enjoyed networking. What I didn't enjoy was seeing a review about Toure's book "Who's Afraid of Post Blackness?" from this account.
Everyone has a right to his/her opinion, and I can deal with someone's opposing political views. What I won't tolerate is comments like,
"Blacks will still take the side of an obvious black criminal over the police officer who arrested him." (Inaccurate. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.)
"For every Obama there are 10,000 black underclass who are dangerous to the wider community but especially to the black communities in which they live." (Absolutely no credible source to back up this random [and more than likely made-up] statistic.)
"According to Ebony Magazine, the three most respected black leaders in the black community are Jackson, Farrakhan, and Sharpton, three of a kind, anti-white, anti-semitic, and empowered through grievance." (I asked for a year/date of publication from him considering the rest of his review was so anti-black and I doubt he's ever picked up an Ebony magazine. He could not provide one. I also don't think that standing up for the rights of African-Americans makes you "anti-white." Al Sharpton for one has been very persistent about there not being a "black America" but a "United States of America."
)Now I can't stop someone from having an opinion, but if Amazon's policy is to not accept
reviews that are "obscene or distasteful content
" or "profanity or spiteful remarks
," then I don't understand how that review passed through. I've observed Amazon take down reviews from people for just not reading a full book, but a review saying "Only when this pathologic sense of grievance is left behind will the black community be able to join the rest of the civilized world" is okay? So we're not civilized either?
I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker about surveys that ask for race. She said it shouldn't matter and she usually will put "Other" so she doesn't have to answer. I got where she was going with it; people shouldn't classify your responses based on race. I can't say I agree though. We jokingly talked about how I would not only check the "African-American" box but would put a grinning photo of myself next to it to make sure they know I am. Although I laughed, I'd have absolutely no problems doing it. I am as proud to be black as I am to be a woman as I am to tell my age, my political affiliation and even my religious affiliation (although I do tend to hesitate with religion because I know my response will more than likely turn into an argument, specifically within the African-American community who is heavily religious). For the record, I'm 29, black, female, lean more towards Independent than Democrat (and I've voted for Republican and Green party candidates but mainly for Democrats) and I'm agnostic.
So why is this stuff important? Who do surveys care? Why is it any of their business? And why do I always do surveys in person or via phone whenever anyone asks me to. My main reasons are because of my background: I took several psychology courses in college and I used to work for a radio research firm in high school. I realized how quickly people's opinions sway companies and studies.
For the life of me, I just can't understand why somebody would complain about how bad their own neighborhood is and then move into another neighborhood to screw that one up, too. If you like being in the hood, stay there! (Yeah, somebody's going to be mad I said that, but I bypassed caring last month when my mail was stolen
. I'm still mad about that.) It's aggravating to watch a neighborhood being ruined from folks who could care less while others who do care either have to move or watch their block go straight down the drain.
One thing that I've loved the most about living in the neighborhood I've been in for over seven years was the decrease in ridiculous approaches I got. By approaches, I mean guys walking up to you spitting game that doesn't work on anybody but rats. Yeah, that might sound harsh, but it's the truth. Within this past year, there's been a significant change during my train ride (folks are selling candy to make-believe organizations, opening train doors jumping from car to car, putting their legs up on seats, blasting music without using headphones) and now I'm seeing folks hang out by my nearby el stops and just walk around randomly loitering. One perk of my own building was this beautiful set of flowers and freshly mowed grass. There's no porch. There's no stoop. So it's strictly for show and nobody hangs out. I came home one day to see two teenagers flopped down on the ground in front of the door. Extra tacky! Why would you need to hang out by the door when there's a lakefront and a beach a few minutes away? Although I preferred peaceful, quiet rides on the el station once it passed the downtown area, and I liked walking down the street with folks getting off of work, walking their dogs and working on their lawns, the neighborhood is changing. And to be honest, I don't care for it. One of the things that I really loved about living on the north side is the diversity and the peace. My mother has joked a few times about how she thinks I'll never move. I told her I genuinely liked the area. I like being able to take a walk without worrying about what neighborhood I'm going through.
I like being able to jog at night. I like being able to go to a beach not overcrowded with litter and not being concerned about somebody shooting somebody else on the basketball court.
When I read "With more white parents adopting black children, hair care for them is a needed lesson
" last week, I cracked up laughing and remembered my college days. I had four roommates in college, three of which were white. My freshman year roommate was Margaret, and she is (to this day) one of the funniest people I've ever met. She was the kind of funny that didn't even try, and although she had some quirky ways (like wanting me to live with two kittens and two guinea pigs in a 12 x 12 room with her), she was cool. Outside of always wanting her boyfriend around (who I thought was VERY cool but I just wanted some privacy), the only thing that drove me nuts about her was she loved to brush her hair by the closet. I was always going to class yanking long, blonde hair off my clothes. I never did get her to knock it off, but she was so cool that I didn't care.