5 Things I’ve Learned Since Graduating College


It’s been AGES since I’ve written on my blog and for that, I apologize. Adulthood hits you hard and fast and before you know it you’re halfway across the country with your husband and child filing taxes and figuring out how to make a budget. I’m getting ahead of myself let me explain why I’m writing this.

Three months ago I graduated college. I took a gap year (for personal reasons mentioned in previous posts) so I was a bit older than most of the graduates and thought I was well prepared for “adulthood” as I’d already had a child and husband. I didn’t realize how much more there was for me to learn. With that in mind, I thought I’d pinpoint the top five things I’ve learned as a post-grad (and PR Professional) and share them in hopes of preparing other soon-to-be graduates for “adulthood”.

That feeling of “now what” after graduation is completely normal!


I already had a job lined up when I graduated so most people might have assumed I didn’t experience this but that’s completely untrue. Whether it hits you right before graduation, right after, or even months later when you’ve started your new job it’s completely normal. We’ve spent most of our lives being told to do well in high school so we can go to college. Go to college and do well so we can graduate and get jobs. Most people don’t guide us much beyond that point.

So unless you’re going to grad school, it’s a strange feeling to settle into your life after college, whether you’ve just begun your dream job, have decided to travel abroad, or are still figuring out your plans. Remember you’ve achieved a major milestone and what you do with your life is now completely up to you. That kind of freedom can be scary but it’s a good thing.

Despite how many years you spent studying your profession you will still have a lot to learn in your first job.

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I was a pretty good student my last few years of college and by the time I’d graduated I felt confident that I’d be able to glide into my new job with ease. I survived the stress of my last semester of college by reminding myself that I’d soon be in my new job and things would be a lot easier. However, once I actually began that job I quickly realized I had a lot to learn. Becoming a part of a team, learning internal processes, learning how to communicate with clients and most importantly becoming confident in my own knowledge and skills were all just the beginning (to think I thought all of this would be easier).

The beginning of your career is much like freshman year of college. You’re meeting so many people, soaking in so much knowledge and learning about yourself each and every day. You couldn’t have convinced me three months ago that three months later I’d be THIS into Fintech and listening to cryptocurrency podcasts on the train to work. You’d be surprised at just how much more there is to learn, not only about your profession but about yourself in those first few months after college. You’ll make mistakes and that’s completely ok. It’s just part of the process.

Spending time seriously thinking about your goals and things you’re passionate about will be crucial

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This was important during college but only becomes more important after graduating because now is the time to make those dreams a reality. It’s easy to talk about the things you want to do but a totally different thing to spend each day actively working toward those goals. In college, your short-term focus is passing a class so that you can get the credits you need to graduate. Once you’ve accomplished that and have taken those next steps in life, the pressure to make those goals a reality becomes more apparent.

My first few weeks in my new job I had to take time to seriously sit and consider what my passions are and where I hoped to be in a year, five years or even 10 years down the road. You might find that your passions have completely changed or that you want to take a totally different an unexpected route but it’s important to at least sit and think about it (or even write it down). Knowing this will giving you guidance moving forward. If you’re unsure my advice is to pay attention to what you spend the most time talking about and thinking about and move forward from there. Even if it seems crazy, now is your chance to make it happen.

Finding balance is NOT easy!

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When I was in college I somehow managed to balance finishing my last two years of college while raising a child and managing a marriage. At the time it felt like the hardest thing in the world but now I’m glad I was able to have that experience because it prepared me for what life would be like outside of college.

For traditional graduates who aren’t married with kids (and probably aren’t even thinking about it), this will be a challenge. Remember how you felt when you had multiple social events, several projects, multiple tests and a part-time job to juggle in college? That feeling won’t go away after college (at least not if you work in PR like I do.) Work/Life balance is VERY difficult. As a PR Professional especially, I found myself working constantly the first month. Even after I’d get off and come home I’d continue to work. I really had to learn from my senior-level colleagues and boss how to manage. To be honest I’m still learning but I’ve found it’s important to learn how to focus on the present. Work when you’re at work, relax when you’re not. Don’t overwork yourself! It sounds easy, but trust me in those first months when you’re trying to prove yourself it can be difficult.

Don’t expect to have everything figured out because that will NEVER happen. Ever.

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When I was a student I used to see professionals who would come to speak in my classes and think to myself how successful they are and how inspired I was by all of the things they were doing. I’ve now realized, even in such a short amount of time, that part of “adulting” is figuring things out little by little. I see my superiors at work still sorting out doctor’s appointments and figuring out how to manage work. It made me realize this is something I’ll always be doing.

You will never have it all together. Even those who seem like they do, don’t. We are all learning day by day. Give yourself time to figure things out and when you feel like you’re stuck remember that you will never have everything figured out. As simple as it sounds remembering this will keep you sane (trust me).






Travel Diaries: My Summer in San Francisco


In case you didn’t notice from seeing my adorable two year old in the photo above I spent my summer in San Francisco. Every since I can remembered I’d dreamed of going to California and this summer I had the opportunity to do just that.

Now this trip was not for play but for business. I applied for an internship at my dream Public Relations agency and after months of an extremely competitive application process and three phone interviews I found myself on a plane to San Francisco.

Due to the cost of living in San Francisco as compared to Arkansas my husband and son did not spend the entire summer with me (that’s another story for another time). It was very hard on me emotionally, as I had never been away from my baby boy. However, my husband was brave enough to drive all the way from Arkansas to San Francisco and stay with me for a week. I thought I’d share some of the places we visited.

Golden Gate Bridge


This one I’m sure you were probably expecting being that it’s one of the most visited places in the country but seriously you have to go. There are several places in the city you can go to if you want a great view. My husband actually found this tiny park area not far from North Beach. This spot was on all of our bucket lists.

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Giants Stadium


I am by no means a sports fan but everyone should have an experience like the one I had at the Giants stadium. Even if you aren’t into baseball the food is delicious (garlic fries are a must) and they have tons of places to take awesome photos as you can see in the picture above. They also have a beer garden, Coca-cola slide and Trolley.

I went during the dog days of summer and got to see a ton of ADORABLE dogs dressed (and painted) in the giants gear and colors. Cutest thing you’ll ever see! So if you go make sure to go in June when all the four-legged fans are there. (Here is a link if you want to see some of the dogs from this past summer).

Ghirardelli Square


If you have a sweet tooth like I do then you must go to Ghirardelli Square and get a sundae. The Ghirardelli shop also offers tons of chocolates and other sweets and views of the bay. My two year old definitely enjoyed this stop.

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Because I spent a great majority of time working I didn’t get to go to a few of the places on this list but my husband and son did some exploring of their own. Below are a few of their favorite stops.

Coit Tower


This beauty is located in Telegraph hill (just a few blocks away from my job so I saw it everyday but never actually climbed the stairs to the top LOL). This was one of the first stops my husband and son took since it was so close to the office. The tower offers great views of the city.


Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharfs


Definitely the most “Touristy” thing on this list. You can find tons of restaurants, museums and attractions here and it’s always full of life. My husband and son took a cable car down to Fishermans Wharf. If you like seafood you are in for a treat, if not there are a number of other options from street cars to In n Out burger (you must try their vanilla malt!). You can also find a ton of seals hanging out in this area.


So while my son and husband were out having all of the fun I was in the office.


*I will be sharing my internship experience in a later post*

Regardless of whether I was in the office or exploring the city it’s amazing to be able to share these experiences and continue to stay optimistic about where life will take me next. It was easy to fall in love with San Francisco and their are still a ton of great places  I didn’t get to visit, which is the best excuse to go back and I definitely plan to.

Until my next adventure, ciao!




Why I don’t plan to have more children


Well hello again and welcome back to my blog. I am sure you are curious about the title and I thought since my little man is now two and people have started questioning me and my husband about possibly having more, (a daughter perhaps) I thought I would address my feelings on the matter.


No, it is not because I dislike being a mother, being a mommy is the best thing that has happened to me and I adore my baby boy so much, but pregnancy was AWFUL for me. Let me explain in a bit more detail so maybe I will stop getting the “when is the next one?” question from now on.


Because I do not come from a big, supportive family like many people I know, when I found out I was pregnant no one was planning a baby shower or any of those fun things for me. I didn’t have many people to celebrate with and it was a little lonely. At the time I just told my husband and a few relatives. My husband, on the other hand, does have a big family who all seemed really excited, so we decided to go to Belgium to have the baby. I was young, pregnant, lonely and in a foreign country where I did not speak the language and it was rough. I’ll add that this is the summer after my brother died and I was also struggling a lot mentally so I had dropped out of college and was quite depressed but that is not even the full story… allow me to go into the pregnancy itself.

First Trimester

My first trimester I had hyperemesis gravidarum, which is basically 24/7 morning sickness. I vomited constantly… It was miserable. I could not smell food cooking without vomiting and even when my stomach was empty (which was 90% of the time) my body would try to vomit which led to dry heaving. The only things I could manage to get down on occasion were apple slices, oatmeal and sometimes soup or crackers. I also drank a great deal of apple juice. I was weak because I could hardly eat and basically lived in bed.

At some point, It got so bad and I got so weak I almost fainted and had to go to the emergency room. I was then given an IV and prescribed medicine to help with the extreme morning sickness. It helped a bit but not enough, I was still sick constantly. I remember trying to walk through the city with my husband so he could show me around and literally having to walk into an alley to throw up. Not fun at all! I lost over 10 pounds during this trimester.

Second Trimester

During this point in my pregnancy, I developed what is called sciatica. This is when pressure is put on the sciatic nerve that leads to radiating pain throughout the body, particularly the lower back and hip area. It was excruciating and I have a high pain tolerance so that’s saying a lot. There were no medications that I could take for this while pregnant so I had to just make myself as comfortable as possible.

Around the same time I developed this problem, we started to have issues with some of Michael’s relatives and were put on the street living from home to home due to the severity of those issues. I was having to walk a lot and sleep on floors at times and the pain got worse. I also developed pelvic girdle pain, this happens when the joints in that area become unstable. It literally felt like my hip was popping out of place when I walked at times. It became painful just to roll over in bed, I would literally cry ( I didn’t even cry during labor) and as the baby grew more and more the pain became worse and so did my mobility.

Third Trimester

So at this point in the pregnancy, my extreme morning sickness had subsided but the sciatica and pelvic girdle were really bad and because my belly had gotten big it became very difficult for me to walk.

Around this time we were still living from house to house and struggling with the family conflicts. We were being threatened and harassed and my stress level was at an all-time high. I started having contractions at around 30 weeks and went into preterm labor a week later. I was taken to the emergency room where I was monitored, given a steroid shot and other medications and put on bedrest. The entire time my husband and I were in the hospital we were still receiving threats from some of his relatives, so while doctors were telling me to relax, I still could not. The hospital staff even locked the door to our wing because they were receiving calls and asked if we wanted to contact the police. I can’t make this stuff up, it was stressful.

I returned to the home we were staying in at the time and had to stay on bedrest for the last six weeks of my pregnancy. I was given medication that was supposed to stop the contractions and prevent preterm labor. I could only get up to use the bathroom or take a shower (I had to sit on a stool in the shower because I couldn’t stand). Because of my lack of exercise, my sciatica and pelvic girdle pain became ten times worse and I now needed help to get around. I could not walk properly. I had to go to my doctors’ visits in a wheelchair at this point. I was honestly worried it would not improve after labor and that I wouldn’t be able to walk normally again.


I went into labor at 38 weeks, a few weeks before my actual due date. This was actually the easiest part of my pregnancy and for a lot of women, the opposite is true. I was in labor for around 33 hours. I wanted to have a natural birth so I gave birth in a room with a jacuzzi tub, but because I had a high-risk pregnancy I wasn’t able to have a full water birth and had to get out of the tub once it was time to push. Everything went perfectly, the pain was awful but bearable… at least for me. I spent the majority of the time trying to meditate and do deep breathing practices. The intimacy of the room was incredibly nice and my doctor and midwife were great! I loved giving birth in Europe because they do not intervene as much as American doctors.


(Old Instagram Post of the room ^^)

My son and I had skin to skin for the first two hours of his life and he was kept by my side the entire time. The only mishap was that I tore (TMI) during labor and had to have stitches. I honestly did not feel a thing until later. I was up and walking like normal the next day and my sciatica and pelvic girdle were gone. I literally felt like giving birth was a miracle and I was so grateful my pregnancy was over. The recovery went fairly well minus the stitches and my baby boy was perfectly healthy.


(After labor^^)

And so…

I have no doubt that I could get through labor but I am not sure my body can stand another pregnancy. I was told several of the issues I had are sometimes even worse the second time around and that seriously concerns me. For now, I am content with my little man. Adoption is something I have always considered and always wanted to do and something my husband and I will discuss more in the future but for now, I am completely content with just one.

I hope this puts things in perspective for you. If you’re reading this and you are a mom what are your thoughts on having more children? Do you feel pressured to have more? If so comment below and let’s talk about it!

Thanks for reading!


I saw my Civil Rights Icon: Ruby Bridges


Growing up black and southern I heard a lot of stories of the difficulties many of my ancestors and family members faced 50 or so years ago. Ruby Bridges’ story was one of those stories I always grew up hearing. My family owned the film created in honor of her and I watched it all throughout my childhood. I was not able to understand what she faced and how significant it was until I was much older and now I can fully appreciate everything she experienced.

On Feb. 2, 2017 I was able to see my childhood icon share her story in person in the auditorium of my very own campus at Harding University. It was a historic moment as I, an African American woman at a historically white university, was witnessing a woman who helped break the boundaries to allow that to happen. Needless to say, I was extremely excited.

The event began with a formal introduction of Ruby Bridges along with a video that shared a bit of her story. We were then introduced to her and were able to hear her story in detail. Afterwards, the President of Harding University was able to sit with her and ask her a few questions. This was the only part I didn’t quite enjoy because I was unable to see her from where I was seated. After that she stayed on stage to sign copies of her book, which were available for purchase prior to and after her speech. I unfortunately was not able to get a photo with her but being able to hear her speak was incredibly rewarding. I really loved that even with the amount of people who showed up, everyone was incredibly respectful and courteous. She had several standing ovations and just had a way of speaking about a difficult experience with such grace.

Several of the things she said have been engrained in my mind. One of my favorite quotes from her that night was: “Evil doesn’t care what you look like. If you open yourself up to it, it will use you to do the work that it wants done. And if evil doesn’t care what we look like, why should we if we consider ourselves good?”

I hope these are words we all take to heart. All in all it was an event that I and many others will remember for a lifetime.

Five Signs You May Need Some Alone Time!


Lately I’ve been feeling irritable, cranky and tired constantly. I dread every time my alarm clock goes off in the morning, and Monday’s, oh Monday’s are the absolute worst!

If this resonates with you at all you may need some “YOU” time.

Now I’ve heard it all before, but it really clicked for me once I took the time to consciously consider my behavior and what it meant. Maybe that lightbulb will go off for you as well, and after reading the list below you’ll actually make time to do something for yourself.

Every little thing starts to irritate you

Now I’m a naturally impatient person and you may be too but this is different. You find every little thing starts to annoy you REALLY fast! I mean I even had a moment where I wanted to scream at my tv because Netflix paused for too long… yea definitely NOT normal person behavior right there. If you find yourself screaming at your tv, laptop or other inanimate object or maybe just snapping at the people you love… maybe just maybe you need a little break.

You’ve lost a great deal of motivation

Sometimes we all get a little worn out. Have you had those moments where you just don’t want to get out of bed. Maybe you have a huge to do list that you keep pushing off or maybe you’re just not feeling your daily routine anymore. Hey, I’ve been there! In fact I’m there right now so I feel you. Maybe it’s time to take a mental health day (can we make these mandatory please) and go for a walk or run alone, see a movie, visit a spa or pool or just bathe at home with a bath bomb and some candles. If you can’t afford to take a day off plan an evening just for you! You will thank yourself for it later.


You’re feeling sluggish and fatigued

Your body will be the first to let you know that you need a break. We live in a noisy culture, between Iphones ringing and bosses or schoolwork we never get true rest. I’ll add that just because you may physically be alone doesn’t mean you’re necessarily getting the alone time you need. If you’re at a computer or on the phone the majority of the day you will still feel worn down. Our bodies react to stress and it has a great impact on us. Sometimes a little quiet time is important. If you’re like me and you have a child then quiet time is necessary to stay sane trust me. If you have a spouse or family to babysit schedule time during the day that you can use to have a little rest and this doesn’t necessarily have to be sleep. Just be sure to unplug for a bit and have a little quiet time.

You’re not enjoying your company

Do you find yourself forcing conversations lately? Do you cringe when your phone lights up or someone shows up at your door. If you’re not enjoying hanging out with the people in your life it may be that you’re just not getting enough time for yourself. It shouldn’t feel like a burden to be around your friends and family (unless they are insane). It is okay to say no sometimes and explain that you need a little rest. If they really care they will understand. If not, you’re better off anyway.

You’ve been extremely busy

Sometimes it’s just that simple; you’ve been working way too hard. Remember, we are humans and NOT robots. It’s okay to be proactive but when you start to experience the things above it becomes unhealthy. Sometimes staying busy is a coping mechanism. Take time to rest and consider what’s really going on. Maybe it’s nothing and you really just need rest or maybe it’s something deeper and you’re distracting yourself from it by working day and night. Taking time for yourself allows you to reflect and dig deep, without having time to do this we lose touch with ourselves. So take time to stop and rest!

I hope after reading this you decide to take a little time just for you. It is not selfish to think of your needs from time to time. Your body and mind will thank you for it later!

Comment below with some of the things you do to relax when you’re feeling worn out!




How to reach your mental health goals in 2017


When we tend to focus on our physical fitness goals for the new year but overall wellness requires more. If you’re like me and struggle with poor mental health this post is for you.

I’ve struggled with low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and intrusive thoughts for numerous years. While things have improved a bit I’d be lying if I said they were completely better.

A huge goal of mind is to truly heal and grow this year and here is how:

Connect with others


This won’t be easy. If you’re like me and tend to distance yourself from others this will be your biggest challenge. Find support from others. I’ve learned nothing is more healing than having someone you can really talk to about the things you struggle with.

A key factor in this is finding someone who understands which I’ve found to be hard.

For example I can’t talk to others about the struggles I feel about being a black woman if they have no experience with that. They may be able to sympathize but not show true empathy because they don’t fully understand. Same goes for whatever you struggle with. If you struggle with depression or body image issues it’s helpful to talk to someone who has also dealt with that because they are more likely to understand.

It always helps to open up and to let what your feeling be known and have a safe space to do so.

You can seek people out in a group setting, therapy, church or other spiritual gatherings.

Find the root of your struggles


Sometimes but not always poor mental health is caused by underlying pain that hasn’t been fully addressed. I understand this isn’t the case for everyone and in some cases it can simply be genetic or caused by chemical imbalances in the brain but for some it’s caused by trauma.

Being unsure of the cause of your pain is very conflicting and can make things more difficult. If you believe the source of your struggles is trauma, dig deep figure out exactly where these thoughts and feelings stem from and go from there.

This is something that will take years and years of work. Therapy helps in many of these situations but also finding others who can relate (as mentioned above). Knowing where you were in your life when your mental health started to take a turn is important because it allows you to understand your triggers and understanding your triggers can bring growth which brings me to my next point.

Avoid Triggers

Easier said than done but once you understand what triggers you and why they trigger you it’s easier to avoid situations that will cause you harm. This is difficult because those around you are not aware of your triggers, they may not understand how your brain works and this is not the same for everyone.

We all struggle differently but something sets us off. Whether it be a comment, someones tone of voice, failure… any of those things can cause a breakdown.

However, it’s also important to note that some triggers can’t be avoided and we simply have to learn effective coping mechanisms to deal with them in a healthier way. This is one of my biggest goals as I tend to lash out either internally or externally when I’ve been triggered.

Being connected to those who understand is helpful but we also have to be able to cope with those who don’t or can’t understand and that’s where things get a little complex. In order to do this you’ll need to work on building healthy coping skills.

Learn to cope


This is something that you’ll learn as you heal but how you react to triggers is vital and in some situations can be the difference between life or death especially if you’re one who struggles with intrusive or suicidal thoughts. This is a tough cookie to swallow for those who don’t struggle with poor mental health but have close relationships with those who do because for them everything is an “overreaction” or they simply don’t understand.

My suggestions (other than the ones listed above) are to meditate or pray (if you’re religious). For me this is my go to coping mechanism when I’m triggered. Though I personally believe quiet time is important in general whether you pray or not because it gives you a safe space to clear your head.

Working out is also helpful. It’s actually incredible what exercise can do for your mental well-being. Ever heard of runners high? Yea that is a real thing.

Focus your energy into something you love. This can be therapeutic. For me it’s writing and dancing. Simply writing this post is helpful for me as I’m able to express myself. Find things you enjoy doing and in times where you find yourself really struggling do those things.

I want to remind you I am not a doctor or therapist or psychiatrist at all so these tips are just based on my opinion and what helps me personally. Everyone is different. If you find yourself in serious need of help please talk to someone you trust and seek real help. In the meantime if there is something I can do to encourage others who are struggling I will, that is why I write.

Thanks for reading.


New Year, New Opportunities


HELLO cliche blog post!

I can’t believe it’s almost 2017. 2016 flew by but so many things good and bad have happened. Though that’s interesting and all that’s not what I want to talk about, I want to focus on what’s next.

I always see the new year as a perfect opportunity to start fresh and while I believe you can do that anytime, there is something about the calendar changing that motivates me to really push myself to make positive changes.

This next year here are a few things I hope to see happen in my life:

Good Health

I know I know I sound like a fortune cookie but this is something I’ve actually struggled with. All of 2016 I’ve felt sluggish, fatigued and recently I have even suffered hair loss.

This next year my first goal is to successfully change my diet making sure I have all the vitamins and nutrients I need and also address any underlying or chronic health issues I have. This begins with finding the right doctor but also taking better care of myself.

This also includes mental health which brings me to my next goal.

Better Self Esteem

In the new year I hope to spend more time focusing on the things I love about myself. I’ve realized I spend a great majority of my time focusing on the things I dislike about myself, some of which I can do very little to change.

I hope as I get healthier I will also become more secure with who I am. I want to be more vocal about intrusive thoughts and body image issues and hopefully not only help myself heal but also help others who may be struggling as well.

   Career Opportunities

Next year is my last year of college and I will (hopefully) finally graduate with my bachelors degree. I want this new year to be a year of opportunities. I don’t know where I will end up but I love writing and I whether or not I get accepted for a job that allows me to do that, I still plan to write.

One thing I’ve always wanted to do was write a book and/or book series and It’s something I plan to start in the new year.

I also plan to purchase my own domain and design my website. I hope to increase my design skills maybe even get certified in various software tools.

I am excited to see what opportunities arise next year but I know none of it will come without hard work.


This is what I’m most looking forward to in the new year. My husband and I have come to a place where we are both mentally exhausted in the current town we live in and we are ready for a change.

We want to raise our little boy in a place that is diverse, open-minded and lively and sadly we currently don’t live in a place with those qualities.

It’s been particularly hard on my husband whose family and friends are on the other side of the world in Europe. We hope next year we have the chance to visit but we also have big hopes of moving west to California. Wish us luck!

I know none of these things will come easy and I’m determined to work hard to make these goals a reality but it’s exciting to take time to list the things I hope to see happen. I would love to hear what you guys have planned for the new year.

Feel free to share in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.