Pity-Party

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Have you ever felt defeated and just drained of the last ounce of hope and patience that you have? That’s how I feel today. I’m just tired. Tired of the redundancy of my job. Tired of school. Tired of not being appreciated. Tired of living a life that I don’t enjoy. Tired of waking up everyday dreading going to work, thinking of the task that I may be forced to face.

Maybe I’m writing this because I’m in a rather shitty mood,but everything I say is true,despite the fury in my words at the current moment.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for all that I have, even my job regardless of how much I currently dislike it. And yes, I’m aware that changing my life is in my hands, but that becomes  rather difficult when all the effort that you put into making a transition doesn’t seem to ever go in your favor.

Now I was fine this morning. My morning started with blueberry muffin and a coffee from Starbucks. I had my music blasting and enjoyed my Starbucks on the way to work.  I was even fine when I walked through the door at work, even though 99 people walk by one another and don’t bother to speak, but whatever! Then I got a missed a call. A call basically informing me that I didn’t get the job that I applied for.  It was one of those, please call back to discuss the next step of employment. I already knew it was a no, but my co-workers kept trying to convince me that I was wrong. I called back and that’s exactly what it was.

I can deal with not getting a job, but it pissed me off because I’m an internal applicant and they knew from day one that they weren’t going to hire me, but instead they put me through hoops giving me the illusion that I was eligible for the position. I understand formalities and all of that, but are you kidding me? Let’s just keep it 100 and not waste anybody’s time. The job was in another state and I think I just wanted so badly to move and to start over that it all together crushed my spirit and irritated the depth of my soul. After all this is the second time they’ve led me on about a job. I know what you’re thinking;Amber maybe you just suck. Nope,I got exceeds expectations on my last performance review and I’ve gotten three awards since being employed. I do my job, and I think I do it well. As my mother said, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.

Despite that shit storm, in general nothing seems to be going my way. Every job I’ve applied for, denied. Every query letter I’ve sent for my books, declined. I even suck at being in college. 120 credits but my residency requirement hasn’t been fulfilled;degree declined. Let’s not mention the fact that Donald Trump won the presidential election last night. That alone has me ready to dive off of a cliff. Like what theeeeeee fuck!?!

Let me have my 60 second pity party, y’all. I’m going to pull it together and I know things could be worse. I know that I don’t have it that bad and I know everyone has shitty days. I know that sometimes life just kicks your ass and you just have to rise up from the ass beating. I know, I know, I know. This isn’t my first storm and it won’t be my last, but it never makes the fall lighter or easier to rise up from.

So, in closing I leave you all with this and myself as well. Be patient. Everything that is meant for you will always be for you. You can only be defeated if you give up. Keep hanging on, keep floating, keep trying. One day, the very frustrations or troubles that you are facing at this very moment will be almost comical. Stay strong and keep fighting the good fight.

Sincerely, one pissed off person to another.

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Self Check

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I apologize that it has been a while since my last blog. For quite some time, I temporarily gave up on blogging and recording YouTube videos. I felt it necessary to reestablish my focus and my purpose for blogging and speaking to my YouTube subscribers. Heck, even my purpose for writing books and everything else that I find myself taking part in. My goal has always been to share my experiences and perspective whenever I blog or record videos. Nonetheless, lately  I feel as though I’ve been playing an adult game of Hide and Seek with my personal and career goals. One moment I’m in full force, prepared to take on the world and accomplish the impossible; the next, I’m stalled out, tucked away in my apartment contemplating exactly what I want to do in life.

I’m finding “adulting” to be really difficult at the moment. I appreciate having a job, but I’m struggling to find purpose in my position. While what I do brings some kind of fulfillment it is not what I want to do for the rest of my life, even though I’m not sure what I want to do for the rest of  my life with my life. Just going through life, repeating the same things daily has created a void. I wake up almost everyday dreading the thought of even having to be up before 6 a.m.and before I know it I’ve hit snooze six times. I always manage to pull myself together and face each day head on with a smile, but I can’t continue to go through life like this.

I mean, if we’re being honest, I would like a billion dollars and the ability  to travel the world, blog about the people, experiences and food that I encounter on my travels. I guess that’s not the most realistic thing, or at-least a billion dollars magically being placed in my possession is a little far fetched.

As I approach the age of 26 I’ve been taking a great interest in setting new goals and making adjustments to goals that I’ve already established. I’ve been reading books about truly being who you are, without trying to meet the expectations that the world has placed on your shoulders. I’ve been working on stripping myself of all of the negative thoughts that both myself and others have cursed me with. That sounded strange, basically what I mean by that is breaking myself free my negative thoughts and words that have been spoken over my life. Removing all of the doubt from my mind that I can’t do certain things. Reminding myself that I am beautiful and that I am deserving of love, and support. I’ve had to not only take ownership of my flaws and face the woman in the mirror, but I’ve also have had to face the reality that I need to change some of these things about myself. Change the way I think, the way I behave, the way I react. I realize that I am sometimes very passive aggressive, I often times hold grudges and among other things, I allow fear to bully me out of things that I truly would like to do. I’ve learned to take ownership of my mistakes and to move beyond them. There is no point in holding onto what you don’t have the ability to change.

Overall, I want to live up to my own expectations, whatever those will come to be. I have to let down my guard and not be afraid to step into the woman I’m destined to be.

Searching

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Who am I? 

I know what I like to do. I know what makes me happy.  I know my strengths and my weaknesses, but what is the driving force behind the very things that define me?

I’m a daughter, a sister,an aunt, a student and a writer, but in the end none of these things define who I am. They add substance to my being and they contribute to who I am, but still they do not define my identity. I believe that who we are goes far beyond what we like to do and the titles that both ourselves and others label us with. Defining who we are includes how we treat others when they can’t do anything for us, how we act when we’re angry, who we are when people aren’t paying attention, and a variety of other things.

Discovering who I am has become a priority, but it is my opinion that self-discovery is a virtue and not a  destination. As we grow and as we change, we define and re-define ourselves. It is important to remain true to our character as we do so. Character is the foundation of our moral and mental qualities. I want to find and understand my purpose. I want to exude positive vibes and live up to my own metrics of success. I want to break down barriers of who I thought I was and focus on personal growth and new experiences.

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I complied a list of things that I believe to be important in finding yourself:

  1. Understand past events that have helped shaped you into the person that you are presently.
  2. Distinguish your thoughts from the thoughts of others.
  3. Find your confidence.
  4. Overcome bad habits and forgive yourself for your mistakes.
  5. Organize and prioritize your life. Put things in perspective.
  6. Remove pressures created by the rest of the world.
  7. Question yourself and the world around you.
  8. Be courageous. Understand that failure is apart of the journey.
  9. Lose yourself to find yourself, in the words of Gandhi.

 

 

“Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?”

-Danielle LaPorte

Don’t Shoot

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If you use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or simply watch the news, I’m sure you’ve heard about the killing of yet another unarmed black man, Alton Sterling.  The officers were caught on video by civilians in Baton Rouge. The video shows the two officers killing Sterling in cold blood. Sadly, this is probably another one of those incidents where the legal system will pull an excuse out of their ass as to why the killing was justified. Within the first three months of 2016, police killed 250 UNARMED people. What has been done? In most cases, nothing.

I can’t justify whether the police were TECHNICALLY right or wrong in the case of Alton Sterling,but time and time again it is proven that police apprehend black suspects completely different than white suspect.

As an African American Woman I feel like I have a target on my back. I know that all police officers aren’t racist and all police officers aren’t going to shoot without just cause, but they don’t come with warning signs on their foreheads. “There aren’t bad officers just bad people with badges”, as Dr. Jesse Jackson III stated. Whenever I see a police officer behind me in traffic I get nervous, not because I’m doing anything wrong,but because I don’t have to be doing anything wrong for them to pull me over.

Let’s discuss a few facts and statistics:

Education

Education is suppose to be an equalizer,right?  African  Americans are twice more likely than Caucasians to not finish high school. It is also more difficult for African Americans who graduate from college to find a job compared to Caucasians with the same level of education.

Legal System

Let’s say a Caucasian man kills an African American and an African American man kills a Caucasian man. Both crimes were committed in the same manner, in the same state. The Black man is more likely to be charged with felony murder. Black youth are also more likely to get charged as adults than White youth. But, White privilege doesn’t exist, right and the justice system is equal,right?

I hate walking into a store and being followed because the owner is under the assumption that I’m going to steal because I’m Black. I hate being spoken down to because people assume I’m not intelligent because I’m Black. I’m tired of working ten times as hard to earn something that was just handed to someone because they are White.I’m tired of being scared for my life because I’m Black. It’s almost as if Black people are being hunted. We get harassed if we’re in certain neighborhoods because people think we can’t afford to be there because we’re Black. We get pulled over and searched simply for being Black.

I try to tell my family members, friends and social media followers not to harden their hearts to an entire race of people. I try to keep people uplifted, letting them know that we can’t harden are hearts and exhibit hate. It is important now more than ever to pray for one another, to look out for one another and to speak up for ourselves and for others. In case you haven’t realized by now this is why the movement #blacklivesmatter is so important. Not because our lives are more important than others, but because they are equally as important and we do not deserve to be shot down in the middle of the street like dogs.Our lives matter because we are HUMAN-BEINGS. I would also like to add that while I understand that we need to highlight these meaningless killings, I do not agree with making a video of HOMICIDE go viral. Have we forgotten that people like Alton Sterling have children and family members?  While police brutality and these deaths are no secret, I don’t believe that we should sub-tweet,re-tweet, Etc these gruesome videos in respect for ones family.

April 30, 2014: Dontre Hamilton (Milwaukee)
July 17, 2014: Eric Garner (New York)
Aug. 5, 2014: John Crawford III (Dayton)
Aug. 9, 2014: Michael Brown Jr. (Ferguson)
Aug. 11, 2014: Ezell Ford (Florence)
Aug. 12, 2014: Dante Parker (Victorville)
Nov. 13, 2014: Tanisha Anderson (Cleveland)
Nov. 20, 2014: Akai Gurley (Brooklyn)
Nov. 22, 2014: Tamir Rice (Cleveland)
Dec. 2, 2014: Rumain Brisbon (Phoenix)
Dec. 30, 2014: Jerame Reid (Bridgeton)
March 6, 2015: Tony Robinson (Madison)
March 31, 2015: Phillip White (Vineland)
April 2, 2015: Eric Harris (Tulsa)
April 4, 2015: Walter Scott (North Charleston)
April 19, 2015: Freddie Gray (Baltimore)

What is Life?

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At twenty-five years old most would think that I have a clear plan on what I want to do and how to go about doing it. Nope, not at all.

I know writing is a passion, but trying to figure out what to do with my writing abilities is a task in itself.

I love cooking, but I don’t think I want to be a chef. I already succumb to way too much pressure simply trying cooking for people that I know. I guess I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to cooking and baking. I once baked the same cake four times trying to make it perfect.

I’ve thought about being an actress, but I probably couldn’t amuse a group of children reading Little Red Riding Hood, so I think that’s out as well.

Some days I consider selling all of my worldly possessions to travel,but I think considering how much student loan debt that I have, I better chill with that idea.

I considering being  an English teacher, but I don’t have the patience to learn the appropriate way to use commas and other forms of punctuation. I can’t teach others to misuse punctuation. What can I say,I write, I don’t edit!

Often times I have considered starting a publishing company, but I don’t think I would last in that arena.

I’ve pretty much had the same type of jobs since I graduated high school and I haven’t explored other options outside of volunteering and personal trial and errors. I haven’t found anything that I’m like,yeah I could do this for the rest of my life. I get confused and often redirect my attention to new goals and new plans. Perhaps I try to bite off more than I can chew, which has prevented me from tapping into my full potential. I have so many great ideas in my head,but sometimes I struggle acting on them. I often times don’t know where to end or where to begin. I know I can come off as a cluster f%#k, but I’m trying to figure things out. I’m trying to define my own meaning of life instead of being jaded into societies definition. I finally came to the realization that it’s okay to not know, it’s okay to be a work in progress. It’s okay to not be  okay.

Day by day, I try to be better than I was the day before and that’s all any of us can do. I had to learn to stop comparing myself to other people. I had to stop measuring my success next to other people. I had to strip myself of labels and define who I am. I had to understand that despite my age, I’m still growing, I’m still transforming.

What is life? Well that’s entirely up to you!

…be successfully you

 

 

30-Day Challenge

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There are a lot of 30-day challenges floating around these days. As you all may know,well if you frequently follow my blog you are aware that I completed a no meat challenge back in February 2016. This month through June, I’m trying something a little different. On May 22, 2016 (yesterday) I started a 30-day journal challenge. The challenge will run through June 22, 2016. The goal is to journal something everyday. The journal entry needs to be your 100% raw (unfiltered thoughts/feelings). Literally, no holding back! At the end of the 30 days you are supposed to go back through the entries and reflect.

I usually journal every night, but those entries are more so prayers. I have two notebooks that I already use as journals; one is for prayers and the other is for scriptures and Bible notes.  I purchased a simple spiral notebook that has 30 pages,if I need more space, I’ll buy another notebook. I think this challenge will be good for me and I’m hoping that it will help me sort out my thoughts and regain my focus on my actual book writing. I initially thought about making it a 30-day blog challenge where I publicly wrote the journal entries as blogs (I’m not sold on that idea).  By the end of the 30-days I’m hoping to have learned something about myself and to have overcome some of the day to day issues that I seem to struggle with. This shall be interesting.

 

 

Show Time

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I’ve finally decided to put my big girl panties on and have a book signing. Since I wrote my first book,When the Past Comes Knock’N, I have wanted to host a book signing, but I was too shy and fearful to do so. Since authoring and publishing my first book, I’ve written two more,”Legit and Twenty Something. It is simply time to get my feet wet and it is time for me to step into the true essence of the life of an author. I can’t be scared to step out on faith and I can’t keep delaying the process.

I’ve looked into a few venues (free spaces). I intend to look into libraries near my home and as a last resort I plan to speak with my employer to see if I can host my event at our school.I don’t want my book signing to be thrown together, but I’m defiantly aiming to have it sometime over the Summer. My friend suggested that I ask my guest to bring a plus one to help add to my audience. I would like the book signing to be intimate seeing that it is my first one,but nonetheless still want it to be professional. This will be my first time hosting an event and it will be my first time speaking publicly about my book. I’m nervous, but this is something that I need to do, its a step in the right direction towards not only achieving one of my goals as well as overcoming a fear. I’m excited and I’m hopeful that this will be one of many book signings. I’ve done some research about how to host a book signing, but in the end I can make it what I want to be.

My friend keeps reminding me that I’m an author, that I’ve actually written books and have them published. I spend a lot of time discrediting myself and not taking pride in my accomplishments. I’ve never been confident in announcing that I am an author, that’s a constant battle.I’m working to over come my doubts and fears in myself and with that, I hope this post serves as a boost of confidence for someone else. I know how scary it can be to follow your dreams, but you just have to swallow your fears and walk in faith. Even if you fall, God will catch you. Even if you fail, at-least you tried.

It is time to be fearless and claim the victory!

 

 

http://www.amberjgraham.com