Category Archives: Hustle Hard

NEW GOAL!

I want to retire my parents before I’m 30.

I have NO IDEA how I am going to do that given that I’m currently 6 figures in debt and not making any money….

BUT MAN I’m excited.

Imagine. My parents will have the freedom to do what they want because they can, and not because they have to.

I see myself:

Paying off their outstanding debts (mortgage, cars, student loans)

Giving them a nice lump sum of money and saying do what you want!

And after that, they can truly do whatever they want!!!

No more stress, worry, high blood pressure, insomnia, depression, anxiety, frustration!

No more being at the mercy of others.

They will be able to chase their dreams and live out their authentic and truest selves.

Sam Ovens, you’ve inspired me.

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Breakup Letter to Chipotle, Qdoba and Unnecessary Mid-Day Naps

Dear Chipotle, Qdoba and Unnecessary Mid-Day Naps,

Chipotle I’ll start with you first. You and I go way back. Since 2009 or something like that when I had my first fajita burrito. Wow I was so amazed by how delicious you were. Thus began my 8 year infatuation with you.

The funny thing about all infatuations is that they wear off with time.

I believe we’ve reached that point.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve eaten you thrice. Each time, I’ve ordered you with less stuff. No beans. No guacamole.

Qdoba you can jump in now.

So as I saying Chipotle, I’ve ordered your delicious burrito bowl with less toppings and have added Qdoba’s delicious queso diablo since your queso is quite the fail…. and expensive for no reason.

Nom nom nom.

All three times I’ve eaten you both I’ve induced a post-nom nap attack lasting 90 minutes.

That’s enough time to work on my business plan. That’s enough time to make $300 or more.

Don’t take it personally Chipotle, Qdoba and Unnecessary Naps but I am uhhhh…..

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Sincerely,

Boss Chick

 

I’m Getting Stronger Mentally

Dear Mom and Dad,

I’ve come a long way since that fateful day my junior year, when I told you I didn’t want to be a doctor anymore.

Your anger, threats, disapproval and mockery of me and my decision and my dreams just about drove me into a downward spiral of despair. My mind became fractured, and my struggle with anxiety and depression intensified.

I would try to think about my future, but each thought would be crowded out my millions of thoughts passing at breakneck speed, most of them thoughts of failure, fear, self-doubt and self-hatred. Confusion drowned my consciousness like embalming fluid submerges a corpse.

I could not think straight.

I began to live for one day at a time, so that I did not have to think so hard and cry myself to sleep as I did for months and months at first.

I wanted to die. I felt like I had lost my sense of self and I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Flash forward a few years….. a few more years of struggle with anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation….and then….and then….

ANGER.

I got angry at how much of my life was stolen away by my fear of your disapproval.

So I fought back. I told you the truth about how I felt. At times I stopped talking to you while I rebuilt my sense of self.

And here we are!

I’m living to pursue my dreams and God’s call on my life.

You still have your doubts. You’re still trying to persuade me to go to medical school. You still are worried that I will end up poor and financially unstable.

I know my current situation doesn’t bring you much hope for the future.

I know my current situation makes me look like a hopeless failure.

I know this has been painful for you to see me struggle and stumble my way through the first half of my 20s.

You laugh at me when I share my wildest, craziest dreams with you.

You shake your head at me when I imagine how my life could be different. How I could end up doing something different. How idealistic of me. How foolish and naïve of me to think such grand thoughts.

Mom and Dad, I don’t blame you for laughing. I’m not even mad at you anymore.

I no longer get angry when you suggest I go to med school.

Your disapproval of my choices no longer drives me to anxiety and depression.

I am stronger now.

I believe in myself.

And mark my words. The both of you will have first class plane tickets and front row seats to my success.

Mark my words.

Your Gift Will Make Room For You

Summer of 2016.

I’m sitting across from my cousin, hearing him share details of his newfound wealth.

He was just like me…well kinda.

Like me, he had a profound love for and interest in people, social justice, social reform and research.

Unlike me, he actually did something productive about it. He followed his heart in undergrad, studied what he wanted to, got amazing research experience, developed rich and awesome relationships, and then went off to grad school.

Like me, he had a period of financial struggle. Trying to figure out how he was going to make rent each month in an expensive city, while doing what he truly loved.

Unlike me, he was consistent with his dreams. He put in the work, did the hard stuff, and kept at it.

Summer of 2016 he sat across from me and uttered these words “Money keeps finding me. I have so much money now that I don’t even know what to do with it”.

He then started name dropping. Activists, leaders of movements, executives at Fortune 100 companies. They were all amongst his group of friends.

“Your gift will make room for you”.

I heard a voice so strongly, yet calmly in my head.

I hear these words when I study the lives and breakthroughs of others.

I hear these words when I’m watching someone using their gift.

I want those words to be true of me.

When others look at my life, I want it to be said that my gift made room for me and put me before great men.

I want to utilize my gifts and influence for the glory of God. For the betterment and empowerment of all people.

I know I need to get over myself. All my can’ts. Won’ts. What ifs. Should haves. Could haves. Would haves. All my fears, insecurities, burdens. They can’t come with me on this journey.

If my gift is going to make room for me, I need to make room for my gift to grow, develop and flourish.

Everything that doesn’t serve me, has to go.

Everything that’s holding me back, has to go.

Everything that causes me to doubt who I am and what I’ve got, has to go.

I will be who I am, unencumbered.

Cut the Bullshit Vol 2: 2018 vs. 2019 vs. 2020

Ugh. I think I struggle with anxiety.

I’m sitting here at my computer, thinking, thinking, thinking and my heart is racing and I feel sick. Just sick.

Why?

Because I want to start a business. I want to help young people navigate through the confusing, anxiety producing world of college admissions.

But I want to do so much more than that.

I want to help young people discover their voice. Discover the truth about themselves. Discover the beauty they bring to the world.

And I want to get paid for it.

I started reading some books on business. Starting making some plans. Started doing things and I thought to myself. Holy shit.

How am I going to run this business and get ready for this JD/MBA?

My mom and dad want me to attend law school in 2018.

I.don’t.want.to.

I said it. I don’t want to.

I want to build this business, make this money, change some lives…. pay off my debt…. travel the world and do some awesome shit! Live my life! And then have the space to breathe and do whatever. Write some books. Write some songs. Do me!

In fact if I can be very honest, now that I’m excited about this business idea, I wouldn’t mind doing school in 2020. I honestly wouldn’t. I have a mission. A vision. A plan. And maybe I’ll fall flat on my face and fail and fuck it all up. But I won’t be a failure for too long.

I know I have something amazing. I know I am destined for greatness. I just want the space to unleash what I’m capable of.

I don’t want to live in anyone’s box. I don’t want to live up to anyone’s standards. I don’t want to fall prey to anyone’s preconceived notions.

I don’t give a fuck about age. Yes there are certain milestones I would have liked to hit by a certain age. Yes it would be nice to be done with school by 30.

But man greatness takes time. Where the fuck is the rush.

Not to say that I want to live in mediocrity and struggle forever…. idk.

Here I am rambling. Rambling on.

If I can build a business and somehow go to law school in 2018 that would be fucking awesome.

But I just don’t see how it’s possible.

And it’s giving me anxiety.

Jesus help me.

Why I Want a JD/MBA: Things I Can’t Tell Admissions Committees

So I’ve been reading and thinking about my life and I’ve been thinking about my future…. and I have a lot of questions and obviously a lot of thoughts lol. I’m starting to wonder if this JD/MBA actually makes sense for me and why. Not to worry though, since this is exactly the thing I should be doing. I need to be incredibly certain when the time comes about whether this is the path for me and why. But it’s just strange to all of a sudden call into question everything I took for granted.

As I think about why I want the JD/MBA, I read profiles of people who currently have a JD/MBA and I realize that I am not a typical candidate at all. In fact, most people would look at my résumé and have several questions as to why on earth I would want to pursue a JD/MBA. I’m a social justice/reform, social policy, social welfare, education, criminal justice, juvenile justice, minority empowerment, economic empowerment do-gooder. No finance/accounting/consulting background to speak of. What the hell am I doing? Let me tell you.

  1. I want to learn how to think like a lawyer and how to think like a businessperson. The work I see myself doing in the future will draw from both fields, and while I don’t plan to be an expert in either, I want to be able to follow any and all conversations being had around me concerning law and business. I plan to hire legal and business experts. I need to know what I’m looking for and what I want when I have conversations with these experts. Blind faith doesn’t always work out.
  2. I want to find my tribe. Everyone always talks about how the value in the MBA is in the network, and how the value of the network increases the further out from school you are. I want to find like-minded, kindred spirits, across industries, across specialties, across time, across space, across place…. people with whom to build. I want to make new friends and I want to make them in school. I want people who will challenge me and inspire me to be even more awesome. I want to meet people who will invest in my future enterprises, and who will champion me. I also want to meet people for whom I can do the same damn thing. I’m the biggest, bestest cheerleader of dreams you will ever find.
  3. I want impressive signaling credentials. Yeah I said it. A JD/MBA from Harvard (oh did I mention I only want to go to Harvard? Ok now I did), speaks volumes and as a Black woman who wants to do the kind of work I want to do, I need people to know that I know what the fuck I’m talking about and doing.
  4. I want fallback options. Hell yeah I said it. If my journey through social entrepreneurship crashes and burns, I want to have something to go back to while I figure my life out. Currently, I am certified to teach secondary science. I hate teaching in the classroom and would rather do anything else but teach, but if I’m in a desperate position and I need to get money like tomorrow, guess where my ass is going? Back to the classroom that’s right. In terms of law and business, I can’t say that I hate either given that I haven’t had substantive experiences in either fields. But let’s say I finish law school and then take and pass the bar. I can work for BigLaw, or a boutique, or OPEN UP MY OWN PRIVATE PRACTICE. If I choose to go the business route. I can work for a management consulting firm, or honestly wherever doing what the hell ever. I went to Harvard. I got two degrees. I can do what I need to do while I figure out my life. But that’s only if my master plan doesn’t work.
  5. I want to gain skills in areas I’m weak. I’m not the best at accounting. An experience in undergrad scarred me. I’m also not the best at corporate finance. In terms of the legal field, I really like the way lawyers question everything. Yeah it gets annoying, but it’s great to be able to have the type of mindset where you can pick something completely apart and examine it from various angles. I need to improve my analytical thinking (yes I said it) skills.
  6. I want a redemptive school experience. Undergrad sucked. My Master’s Degree sucked. I want to be in school again and actually enjoy it!!!! And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that! I want to take advantage of all the resources Harvard has to offer and drain them dry. YEAH I SAID IT! They’re making a killing from my tuition! I’m going to use them until I can’t use them anymore! When I graduate with this JD/MBA I want to be able to say HELL YEAH I DID THAT! AND I DID IT WELL! I DID IT WITH STYLE! I did it my way 🙂

 

These are the six main reasons I want a JD/MBA. If more reasons come to mind I’ll update.

JTAL Limiting Beliefs: Health and Style

I’ve always had a hate relationship with my body. No love to speak of. I have big boobs, slender arms, shapely legs, a flat ass and a pudgy stomach with a waist that goes in and out…. although the definition definitely goes away the more weight I gain.

I’ve always despised the fact that I gain weight so easily in my abdomen. I’ve never enjoyed shopping for clothes because of this fact. And don’t get me started on my boobs. I went from flat to fat very quickly in late middle school/early high school. I didn’t know what to do with my boobage and I didn’t like the attention I got from my guys (lies. I actually liked it and hated it at the same time), so I started hunching my shoulders and doing what I could to cover up (cardigans, sweaters, jackets, etc). And let’s not even get started with the booty. As a Black woman, it seems that having a flat booty is anathema. Well…excuse me for not having a big booty! I’m still lovable….like damn. I had an experience in a city that shall remain nameless…. where I was walking in tights…. these middle school boys were walking behind me. This one boy said loud enough so I could hear “She ain’t go no ass. We should throw this bottle at her.” I shouldn’t have been so bothered but I was enraged and incredibly hurt. Objectification sucks. I’ve had other experiences where I’ve felt ridiculously uncomfortable under the male gaze and all I’ve wanted to do is run and hide.

I’ve been on a roller coaster with my body, with food, with my health. It’s been so annoying. All I want is consistency… of the good kind.

Current reality: I’m overweight. I tend to carry my weight pretty well though. With the exception of my 30 pound weight gain during my freshman and sophomore years of undergrad, whenever I’ve gained weight, people generally tell me it looks good on me. I don’t like the way I look though. I’m 5’8… I’m around 160+ pounds. I am wear a size 8/10 in Women’s although I can still fit into my size 6 Calvin Klein jeans (there’s hope hallelujah). I have horrible posture. I hate the way I look. Here are my limiting beliefs concerning my body and style:

  1. I will never lose all this weight.
  2. I will never get to my goal/dream weight/body.
  3. I can lose weight, but I can never keep it off.
  4. I can never maintain the progress I’ve made in weight loss for more than a few months.
  5. I don’t like my body.
  6. I like my breasts, but when I wear things I’m very self-conscious and worried that I look lopsided and off-balance.
  7. I’m worried that people will make me feel uncomfortable so I look for ways to hide my breasts, including hunching my shoulders.
  8. I’m so fat! I hate my stomach. I’ve always have stomach flab and I’ll never get rid of it.
  9. My flat butt is an anomaly in the Black community and therefore Black men will never be attracted to me because of it.
  10. My body isn’t enough as it is to attract and keep a man.
  11. I lack the self-discipline and willpower to sustain healthy life changes.
  12. My body (mostly my breasts) is inappropriate and should be covered up at all times
  13. If I wear anything that’s slightly revealing, I will not be taken seriously.
  14. If I wear anything slightly revealing, I will attract the wrong type of men.
  15. If I wear anything slightly revealing, I will be sexually assaulted.
  16. If I wear anything slightly revealing, I will signal to the world that I am a ho.
  17. I have no style.
  18. I have no sense of fashion.
  19. I’m attracted to boring clothes.
  20. I can’t wear cute clothes because I’m fat.
  21. Nothing looks good on me.
  22. My stomach prevents me from looking good in anything.
  23. I’m not beautiful without makeup.

 

With these attitudes, I can see how maintaining and sustaining a healthy life style change has proven to be incredibly difficult.

What I want in life:

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