Take a Dive: Going All-In on One’s Desires

Take a dive and go all-in.

I won’t lie to you. I’ve spent most of life playing it safe. Instead of taking my dreams and goals head on, I’d approach them indirectly. I’ve known for a long time now what I wanted to do with my life. It’s my dream, my calling if you will, to tell stories. My greatest wish is to share my imagination with the world through stories.

You’d think that within all this time that I’ve known, I would have progressed towards that profession in some way. Honestly, I haven’t done anything that is significant long term. Of anything, I have been going the opposite direction. This past week I’ve reflected on the matter and have come up with several reasons why I (and perhaps you) have not been successful in certain ventures.

  • You’re tripping off of what everyone else thinks.

Everyone has an opinion and everyone is entitled to it. That’s America for you. Yay first Amendment! With that said, everyone is going to have something to say no matter you do. No matter who you are people will let you know how they feel about you and your actions. Whether you fail or succeed, the Chatty Cathys and Talkative Toms will be there to spread the word. Therefore, as cliché it sounds, you’ve got to do what’s best for you. In simpler terms, like what Madea says, “It ain’t what people call you. It’s what you answer to.” Oh yes girl, I went there.

Take my approach to my education for example. Currently, I just got my A.A. in sociology. When people asked why I chose sociology for my major, I’d tell them, “Can’t make people laugh if I can’t understand them”. True but if I’m not directly applying the material that I’m learning, it’s just as useless. On paper being a sociology major was a great experience and opportunity to learn about people. Not only that but it also pleased the ‘rents if you catch my drift. In reality though, it was an was a way for me to play it safe instead of going directly after what I really wanted. It was a curtain for me to hide behind. Studying as a sociologist, I was able to learn facts and crack jokes with them every so often. It was somewhat close to what I wanted to do so I went along with it. After all, everyone would tell me that instead of being a storyteller and learning to perform, getting a legitimate degree in sociology would be better when being a storyteller doesn’t work out. I know now that this is incorrect. I can never be a storyteller if I’m too caught up in sociology. Just like a glass of water doesn’t pour itself. If I don’t put in the work to become a storyteller and instead put in the work as a sociologist. Odds are I’ll be a sociologist (and homeless. A little sociology major humor if you will.) Which leads me to another point. . .

  • You’re not prepared.

prepared

Get ready, stay ready. Skill doesn’t appear out of thin air. (Unless you’re playing Sims and use boolprops.) From the simplistic, repetitive ones to complex, applicable ones skills have to be developed. Were you born with the skill to make your own PB&J sandwich? No, you had to learn how to digest solid foods, appreciate the deliciousness of the PB&J, get other people to make it for you, watch them, and practice. Initially, you might make the mistake of using a knife for the jelly and a spoon for the peanut butter, you crazy animal you. Use too much jelly or not enough peanut butter. Both equally terrible sins in the sandwich making community. After a while, you get the hang of it. And when you get to be a professional like myself, it’s now like clockwork. You can even sprinkle some style over it if you wish. I like to use three pieces of bread when I make my sandwiches. You read that right. Sue me. Point is that you’ve got to be willing to put in the work and learn what’s necessary to level up to the next stage.

  • You’re too caught up in what was and/or what isn’t.

Rome was not built in a day and neither was the iPhone. Let us take a moment to fathom the amount of time that has passed in between the two events. Crazy, right? Imagine how people in Roman times would have reacted had they known the possibilities that were open to future generations because of the the decisions that they made on a daily basis. What would you have been like back in those times? Granted, you wouldn’t have the same opinions as you do now during that time. Thus, there has to be a reason why you were born in the time that you were. There’s a reason why you experience what you experience when you experience it. So you can take advantage of the current possibilities and reach your fullest potential. You are here now to experience now. Don’t let it pass you up. And don’t forget to laugh. Laughing gives +2 points towards happiness and success.

happy dance

How to Survive Your First Year of College

By Jessica Daniel

So here you are, starting your first year of college. You have already applied and been admitted to the college or university of your choice. You enrolled in your classes. Now, it is time to prepare yourself for the big day.

It can be a very exciting yet scary time as you make that transition from high school into your freshman year of college. Depending on whether you are going away to college or staying close to home, the challenge of getting familiar with and adapting to a whole new academic environment can be very overwhelming. Here are a few tips for freshman to get through their first year of college.

The first tip is don’t panic! Remember that there are many other freshman at your college, in the same position, that are feeling just as scared and overwhelmed as you are. Make friends with them as you help one another get adjusted to the campus.

Second, set up an appointment to see a counselor at your college to help you stay on track of your educational goals. Your counselor will talk and guide you through your first year and help you pick a major and the classes you need to take to complete your major and G.E. courses to get you on the right path to graduate.

The third and important tip is not to procrastinate. Many college students make the mistake of waiting until the night before to complete important assignments that are due the next morning. As a result, if there is a test on that same day, students become tired and unable to function very well. Be sure to manage your time wisely and give yourself enough time during the week to study and finish up that ten page research paper a week or two before the due date and get plenty of rest the night before a test.

Last, but not least, have confidence in yourself. Believe that you can make it through college and accomplish anything you set your mind to.

So there you have it. Those are just a few of the many tips that college freshman can follow to help make their first year a successful one.

Plight Of A Single Mother

In today’s society the family structure has shifted, almost twenty years ago the rate of single parents wasn’t as significant as it is now. There are plenty of factors that tie into the reasons of why several women are becoming single mothers at alarming rates. Sometimes, things happen, such as death, divorce, etc. Plenty of women are single mothers by choice. But there are those that exploit the view of the positive single mothers.

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post
Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

Society truly has a skewed view on the existence of single mothers. Most believe that single mothers are the result of whoring around and trapping men with babies to continue with a façade of a relationship. Or that these women want to just live off of the government welfare system forever. This has given a black eye to the truly undeserving individuals who need to rely on the help of the corporate government to feed their children as oppose to those who abuse the system or look at gaining child support funds from a guy.

images56

The media doesn’t make these women look any better especially with TV Shows such as with “Maury Povich,” where we usually 9x out of ten see young black women portrayed as loud, ghetto, ignorant and often clueless as to who fathered their babies while America gets to sit back and laugh at their shame. What satire this is? While on the other hand their are shows on MTV such as, “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom,” that actually glorifies in my opinion the acceptance of white teen girls getting pregnant at young ages.  The racial double standard is kind of sad and disgusting.

How single mothers are viewed on this show
How single mothers are viewed on this show

Sometimes, single mothers must work two jobs to support the household. It is rough but it has to be done. Although, single black mothers are at risk for falling into poverty their are plenty of successful single mothers in the world that are holding it together without the father in the home. While all the blame is often put on the women for breeding with men they may not have known wouldn’t stick around what about the men who abandon their children? Child support doesn’t get issued to all single mothers. Their are plenty of fathers who just back out of the parenting role altogether. Some claim that it is too much responsibility for them to handle or just plain haven’t grown up yet. I believe, however, the biggest reason why single parenting may exist outside of death or divorce, etc. The black family structure has been broken down. Black men are leaving the home, or being incarcerated thus leaving the women to take care of things.  This leaves some boys to grow up without fathers and lack the knowledge of what it takes to be a real man in today’s society.

images1

The good gets mixed in with the bad often times. Most of the time when society thinks of black mothers they believe that we are ignorant, uneducated, extremely poor, inadequate parents, living off welfare with two or three kids by several different men. Nobody thinks that perhaps some mothers want more for their live and kids. Some mothers who not only work two jobs, are putting themselves in college, running their own businesses, or sending their successful kids off to college for the first time. The same could be said about single dads. But the media is so focused on devaluing the African American culture it’s ridiculous.

Official-Obama-Family-Portrait-barack-obama-8762958-2560-1707

Positive news in the black community goes unreported all of the time because no one cares to see positive images of the black family structure in media. But until people can decipher the difference between entertainment and reality things will probably never change within our society.