Blogaversary things 

Exactly one day ago today, I officially joined the world of blogging! Wow.  I remember clicking that post button for the first time and telling myself it’s ok if no one reads it.  I remember getting so many likes from friends and family on my first post initially and then being stuck on how I could possibly top that.  I remember nights when I had an idea on something I wanted to write about, but I wondered if it would be true to my blog or if my readers would even be interested in that particular topic.  It’s been such an amazing journey.  At first the blog was going to be a temporary thing , but I’ve decided to keep doing it and I wanted to stop and note the reasons why along with some things I have learned. 

  1. Writing is kind of like my catharsis.  When I write it comes from the inner most part of me and usually I feel twenty times better when I get my thoughts on a piece of paper or on a post.
  2. I’ve learned that writers all have different styles and sounds and that I don’t have find a niche.  I’ve learned it’s ok for my pieces to be different. 
  3. I’ve learned there’s a million different things to write about!! Yes someone else may have already written on it, but they haven’t done it the way I can. 
  4. I’ve learned to write for me and only me. Times when I’ve tried to tailor my writing to what I think others will like, it hasn’t brought me the same type of joy.  What brings me joy is writing about my experiences and what I learned and sharing that with people who may be going through the same thing and need some extra encouragement that it will be okay.  So that’s my main aim-a lifestyle blog about me…but to encourage you. 
  5. I’ve learned writing helps me reach people.  I’ve had people tell me about a post they’ve read that really resonated with them though they may not have liked it or commented.   Your piece may be exactly what someone in the world needs to hear. 
  6. I learned my support system is THE BEST.  Family around me, family back home in Zimbabwe, and friends from different corners of the world who keep up with my ramblings and I appreciate you all so much! 
  7. I learned internet friends are a real thing and they are a real AWESOME thing. 
  8. I learned reading other writers content is super inspirational.  Reading something new ALWAYS gave me new insights.

When I began this blog I was in a little bit of a dark and hopeless place. I had just graduated and I felt like I was the only person who didn’t have an immediate plan of success. I was running from grief over the death of a family friend and I was avoiding the feelings of being back home after being gone so long that home doesn’t feel like home. This blog gave me a place to put all that and if you’re reading it now as a new visitor or a regular know that it means so much to me!! The following quote from a Kelly Clarkson song sums up my feelings and seems like a good note to end on.

“Beat down on me beat down like a waterfall. Cuz I can take on so much more than I had ever dreamed. Baby I am ready to be freed. But Now I am invincible, no I ain’t a scared little girl no more. Now I am invincible, what was I running for? I was hiding from the world. I was so afraid I felt so unsure-now I am invincible.”

Thanks for reading. Thanks for the feedback and the support. Thanks for making me feeling invincible! 

PS some of you know I did join a new “group” blog of sorts. For all my sports fans if you’d like to check it out I’ll link it below.  Me and 6 other amazing women write on just about every sport you can think of. I mostly cover football and basketball so my articles are on those pages when you click the main menu, and they have my name on them. Have an amazing week guys❤️

Sports As Told by a Girl Blog

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Graduation SZN

Naaaaah nanana nahhhhhnuhhhhh nahhhh nuh nah nuh nah.  It’s that time of year folks. The time when everyone is humming that sacred Pomp & Circumstance tune. That’s how you know- graduation season has arrived.  East Coasters, I know most of you have already been graduates for almost two months but the West Coast schools are just now catching up.  All over the world the plethora of balloons are being bought, gift cards are flying off of shelves, flower bouquets are being spritzed with water, girls are buying that extra large bag of bobby pins to secure their caps, and guys are perfecting their dabs and dance moves for that famed across the stage.

So let me ask you. When you think of the word graduation, what emotion arises within you?

  • Are there happy memories with friends?
  • Sad memories of heartfelt goodbyes?
  • Nostalgia for what one was?  

Roughly a year ago, I began this blog as a frustrated postgrad with a degree that did not calm my anxieties about stepping out into the world.  Oh, the places you will go!!! That’s what everyone said.  Where I went was back to my parent’s house, into my bed for weeks on end-where i would battle with what I wanted to do, what my parents wanted me to do, and what I felt like the world wanted me to do.

After pomp and circumstance comes all the “What Now” questions from your parents and your peers, and the “When are you getting married” questions from your African aunties if your family is anything like mine.  It can get super frustrating.  But why is that?

In my opinion, graduating high school in 2017 is major because of how few people even get that far.  If you tack on an undergraduate degree, you’ve survived about 16 years of school give or take!!!  It seems like a crime to NOT stop and celebrate for at least a month.  In my case, I pursued my secondary degree right out of undergrad and let me tell you. it was tough.  It was worth it, but I think you can manage to take a brain break and celebrate a little, while also preparing to go back to school

I got to watch the babies I tutored in middle school get promoted to high school and listened to some of them tell me their parents didn’t even get that far.  They were commended for that.  If you are a high school graduate, celebrate that too! Realize that those sleepless nights cramming for tests paid off and spend the summer commemorating that with your closest friends before you part ways for college.  If you are a college grad, I know the IRS will be sending those letters to your house soon, but that also means you’ve done it!! You’ve  suffered through those Statistics courses, gained the freshmen 15 and rebounded, gotten curfew violations in the dorm, tuned out boring professors and saved powerpoints from the ones you’ve loved- you conquered ALL of that.  What can you NOT conquer going forward?

When the bright lights of graduation fade out and you realize that you have no idea what’s coming next, realize that that is the most exciting part. It’s okay to say “I don’t know”.  You won’t know if something fits until you try it- SO TRY IT ALL.  I’ve been working really hard to try new things, go out more, and surprise myself more lately.  I was the quiet, hard-working, study all night, go to school and work all day student and so taking risks is not what I’m used to.  But let me tell you- Its a lot of fun.  For all my 20 somethings, no matter when you graduated, look back and ask yourself- what have i accomplished since that day? Am i doing what I love? Am I spending time with who i love?  Am i building now for the future that I want based on what I want or what people want for me?

It’s been a crazy year for me and I wanted to share those thoughts with some of you who may be in that dark and confusing postgrad place where I once was also.  I was unemployed, I quit social media for a a bit because FOMO (fear of missing out) is real, I got a job I loved though people told me it didn’t pay enough, I took my first solo trip, I got of toxic people in my contact list, started a blog and read tons of books!

  • You can do it too- success doesn’t have to be immediately after grad and if its not for you, you are not a failure.
  • Push through the I don’t knows, yo  My fellow psychopaths also pursuing grad degrees- Keep working and remember your end goal!!!! Go out when you dont wanna go out.  Walk down the street and talk to three strangers- see what they teach you.  Work the job with the long hard hours tha tkeep you from friends on the weekend, but isntead save that money for a big trip to celebrate you because you deserve it.  Write more, read more, and LOVE more.  Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  The rest kinda falls into palce by itself.  I will leave you with this- There is no map of how you are “supposed” to do life- you decide and only you.

Looking back and Looking Forward 

So I know I promised you a follow up post on the lessons I’ve learned from grief but I just don’t wanna begin the new year in that note. Anticipate that soon though! 

I wanted to begin on a note of gratitude and appreciation to all of you. When I began this blog I was lost and confused and I didn’t even really know what I was writing for, or about.  You all embraced that confusion and at times inconsistency, and you never stopped reading and giving me feedback so thank you for roughing it out with me! 

2016 was a rough year for me along with many others but I think it’s important to remember the amazing times too.  I don’t believe any one thing is entirely bad or good so I wanted to acknowledge all the moments of growth, happiness, love, and warmth I felt in 2016 and use that to spring forth into this new year.  I didn’t really make any resolutions but I do have goals in mind- some big and some small, things like texting back people faster, making more of an effort to call my loved ones, writing more, keeping in touch with God more- the bigger picture of all that is that in 2017 I want to LOVE MORE. 

As that is the theme of this blog, I hope to post more about things I love, things you love, ways we all can love more, and ways I have experienced love daily as a 20 something postgrad just trying to navigate life.  I hope and pray you guys will join me as well!! 

That being said I’ve gone through my extensive picture library and chosen pictures that span times I felt love and happiness in 2016 and included them here just for reflection and to share with loved ones! I’m so grateful because all the smiling faces in these pictures contributed to the great parts of my year and there are many more who went unrecognized. My heart is so very full and five days into the new year, I know it’s only going to get bigger this year as I find more reasons to love! 

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below as usual if you want. What are your resolutions? What are you most looking forward to in 2017? 

So the last one wasn’t so happy hahaha but it was a great game to watch. So many memories and so much love. Happy New Year friends

-Jo❤️

ALL thing work together for good (Life Update)

So I’ve done a really, really terrible job of writing on here lately. Lol and for that I apologize. 

Originally, I began this blog during that Pivotal break time right after I graduated undergrad. I had no idea what was coming next, I was depressed, unemployed, and someone suggested blogging as an outlet. Since then a lot has changed and I had to reconsider the direction of the blog. I honestly didn’t think I’d have as many readers as I do and for that reason I think I’ll keep doing it. The scheduling is going to get a little interesting though. 

Anyways, I thought since I’ve been gone for so long it was only fair I update you all on what I’ve been up to, for those that care &I have been asking lol 

So I got into a graduate school program and I’m coming up on the end of my first quarter. It’s been a very interesting adjustment because as I’m sure many of you know undergrad and grad are very different. But the details of that will come in another post lol my program is a dual program and that’s basically why I chose it. I’m shooting for a Masters in Counseling with an emphasis in School Psychology. I had the option of adding more specializations and right now my interest have been in marriage and family therapy. I think for the most part I’ve figured out the age group I wanna work with is kids between 14 and 18 really, the formative years. I’d love to do it in a school setting but I’m so intrigued by family counseling that’s an option too. So  I attend classes three days during the week at night basically it’s not too bad.

I also got a job! That’s a major accomplishment because those of you who spoke to me during summer knew how hopeless and bored I was sitting at home with my degree doing nothing lol I applied many different places and even turned down a few jobs. Prayed about it and got advice from a lot of different people to wait on the right job to come and it did! I work at a public middle school in the Riverside Unified Achool District and my official title is a math tutor. So basically I work everyday in a classroom assisting one of the math teachers. The idea was that incorporating common core into the CA school systems made lessons go a little faster and one teacher cannot exactly teach and attend to the questions of 30 students at one time. So while she’s teaching I’m basically walking around clarifying for students who are a bit slower in understanding, working out problems step by step and making sure they’re on task. Honestly I love my job. I love watching a student begin to understand something that wasn’t so clear before, I love joking with them and learning their names outside the classroom. It comes with lots of responsibility too. With this past election it’s been especially hard because they have so many questions and I don’t have all the answers. When a 12 or 13 year old is asking you questions that they aren’t getting answers to at home, you have to be very careful how you proceed. 

So really between work and school I’m getting used to adulting but very, very slowly. lol omg ores all the time-I don’t necessarily have time to watch all my shows or keep up with my sports teams until the weekend.  I can’t complain though because God has blessed me in ways I could never imagine. 

And so if there’s something you’ve been praying about, some decision you’ve been struggling with, or a job or discussion you’ve been avoiding I just want to take the time to encourage you and tell you patience makes all The difference. It’s hard to wait, I know that more than anyone. But life has a funny way of working itself out. In the meantime, it’s okay to be sad or anxious or frustrated. But don’t let it discourage you.  Talk to the people around you, practice doing there things you love in the meantime as you wait. 

If you need a bible text for encouragement my go to is always Romans 8:28.  I hope you guys have an amazing week! I’m gonna work on being on here more! As always feel free to question or comment below! 

-Jo❤️

Five years later…


Let me just say I personally get such a kick out of this “on this day in history” capability that Facebook developed. Ever since I was little I’ve always had an immense love for writing, reading, and anything that had to do with words really. I have probably a million and one journals lying around my house filled with past anxieties, reflections, and poems, but they’re a little hard to follow chronologically.  I think this is cool because it gives you a chance to reflect on your own personal history and what you were doing in the past…or at least whatever you told Facebook you were doing. 

So today, August 29, five years ago was my first full day of college. That’s so mind blowing to me because it feels like just yesterday. Being 17 years old, moving from CA to TN, and saying goodbye to a lot of what was familiar to me. I remember getting lost even though my college didn’t have a “huge” campus. I remember huddling like penguins with my girl group of four because we weren’t sure what everyone else would think or say about us. I remember the first time I got locked out of my dorm room, I remember losing my ID card and feeling like the world was ending. My first crush, my first heartbreak, the first day I figured out what I wanted my future to look like. Those five years were some of the most adventure-filled, awkward, painful, difficult, hilarious years of my life but I learned so much about myself.

So where am I now? Five years later I have a degree and a whole lot of lessons learned. I feel like I’m back at an intersection in the road just trying to figure out which turn to take. It’s been difficult navigating the job market and being drop kicked into the real world, but I have to keep reminding myself to be patient. It took almost two or three years in college before I truly figured out my calling in life. So I guess what I learned is plans are great, but life kind of has its own plan so you can’t be too fixated. Be willing to adjust, but also know what you will and will not compromise for. I’ve also learned that your circle matters. There are more than a few people who have changed my course in life and without them things would be very different. My friends are like the bandaid that covers a wound until it’s all better and I thank God for them daily.

The biggest thing I think I’ve learned in the last five years is the importance of your mindset or your beliefs. You decide how you respond to your circumstances. You teach people how to treat you, even how to love you. I’ll touch on love in the next post because I’m thinking that’s my new theme for this blog. 

Currently I’m looking for a job and trying to decide if I should settle for a minimum wage job because bills need to be paid, or if I should wait for something I truly love to come along.  Working while trying to get a second degree poses some interesting options. It wasn’t easy and I’ve often felt like that person on freeze watching everyone else just on the go. I’ve just learned to trust myself and to look back at where I’ve come from to find that confidence.  

Point being, if you’re like me and you have a ton of huge decisions to make in the near future, or even if it’s just smaller daily decisions, take your past into account. Reflect on where you’ve been- what went right and what went wrong. Your future lies in your hands. What are you doing with that power today? What are some of the decisions you have been struggling with? Feel free to sound of in the comments! Thanks for reading! 

-Jo❤️

Now What? 


Years and years of school.  Endless assignments procrastinated, countless sleepless nights, fighting the urge to skip class and nap, TONS of money spent on textbooks you may not have used more than once. By the time you walk across that stage and get a diploma you’re pretty much fed up and ready to get out of there ASAP. Or at least I was. But the minute I got home and all the excitement wore off, I wasn’t sure exactly how to feel. 

Being drop kicked into the real world isn’t easy. In fact, school was much easier because it was within a formatted schedule where you knew exactly what to do to succeed. But life doesn’t exactly have a sylabus. If you’re anything like me what comes after graduation is a state of panic, a sudden urgency to get out ahead of your peers and make sure your life is the quintessential picture on a Facebook posts that gets over 100 likes. You know the white Pickett fence, husband and 2.5 kids, and the dream job. In my reality at least that’s taking a whole lot longer. I don’t have the answers but I do have a few insights I thought I would share. 

Realize that no one has it figured out. Sitting in your room watching scandal for 16 hours a day and opening snapchats of people traveling Europe and getting pinned with nursing degrees makes you feel like you’re the only one struggling but you’re not. 

If you have a relative who is an older, more traditional African like my father you know the questions about your future never end. It jumps from “when are you graduating” to “where is your husband” in 2.5 seconds. But what I’ve learned is that it’s okay to say that you’re not quite sure yet. Trust the process and give yourself some time to figure out where exactly in life you want to go. You don’t have to become a millionaire today. 

Take it one day at a time. Take more risks, go places you’ve never been before, eat things you’ve never eaten, travel, get that cool haircut you’ve always wanted. Up to this point you’ve made it through what, 16 years of school give or take? And you survived it! So you can survive this new stage as well. And honestly limit your time on social media. Most times it just amplifies the loneliness you’re feeling because your school friends are now spread out across the state/country doing their own thing. 

I’ve had to take a lot of time by myself to just sit and answer that question, now what? It hasn’t been easy but you have to cut out all the other voices and really learn to listen to yourself. As terrifying as it is, I think the 20s were meant to be a time period full of not only self exploration, but also intentional decision-making and planning for the future. Everyday you wake up in the morning, invest in yourself– make at least one good hoofs to put yourself on the path you want to be on. And if you don’t know what path that is yet that’s okay, take your time. And don’t let anyone tell you that Netflix marathons are only for lazy people!! It’s not exactly a cheat sheet to adulthood, but I hope it helps relieve some of the stress for all my post grads out there! I figured I should begin with a somewhat positive post before the struggle ones about applying for jobs and graduate school paperwork stresses lol What are you having the most trouble with after graduation? Feel free to leave some thoughts in the comments below

have a wonderful Wednesday!

-Jo ❤️

First Post Anxiety 

So I finally did it! I started a blog. God I thought this was an incredible idea and the the anxiety hit. Like how do I know anyone is gonna care about what I have to say or even keep up with it? I guess I won’t.

So bear with me while I figure this out. I will say I started this blog for two reasons. 1) venturing into the adulting world after college has been SUPER stressful, intimidating, crippling, and anxiety-inducing for me. I figured I can’t be the only one so I wanted share some of my thought on that. 2) just to share some encouraging thoughts. I feel like the world we live in today doesn’t do enough encouraging, uplifting and just loving on one another and I’m hoping I can do that for one or two people God willing. 

So I’m gonna ponder how o wanna do this but I was thinking of doing two posts a week. One midweek “seashell” of encouragement (to go with my theme- see about pg) and something fun on the weekend? 

Idk really lol if anyone has any suggestions feel free to jot them down below:)