Travel | Hello Trinidad & Tobago

It Feels Good to be Home

Although I left Trinidad for New York to pursue a college education and career opportunities, I can’t help but stress the idea that there’s no place like home. Ugh, I hate clichés but it’s so true. There’s nothing like the feeling of nostalgia when you’re back home hearing the rustling of the leaves or the crowing of the rooster in the morning. It might seem so corny but I enjoyed listening to the chirps of the crickets that I used to find so annoying when I was younger. DSC_0631I don’t really have to go too far but a few steps into my yard to enjoy some chill vibes. I never gave it much thought about how much I missed my home until I kicked my feet up and soaked up some good Santa Cruz evening sun.

It’s been about five years since I’ve been in Trinidad and it feels good to be home. It may seem like a short time, but so many things have changed since I’ve been here. Nonetheless, the one thing that has remained the same, is the relaxing and captivating floral and fauna around our yard.DSC_0639

DSC_0647Coming on this trip I was definitely looking forward to the mangoes, the oranges, the papaya but most of all I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on a coconut! A real coconut! Picked fresh from a tree in our backyard. Coconut tree

DSC_0533I probably had about three coconuts. The coconut water was so sweet, nothing like that force ripe artificial flavor in the coconut water from the grocery store. And the jelly, not too soft, not too hard, it was the perfect consistency!

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While my dreams, ambitions and potential may be greater now than I had ever imagined, I will always cherish and appreciate my small town Trinidadian roots. Once an island girl, always an island girl! 

I will do my best to take as much pictures as I can on this trip so stay tuned for more about my visit to beautiful Trinidad and Tobago.

In case you were wondering where in the world is Trinidad and Tobago, here’s a little perspective for ya. 

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Lifestyle | Spring Break Haul

Nature has been giving us a few sneak previews of the crisp air and warm sun that comes with Spring for the past couple weeks here in New York, but as we all know, you could never get too excited with this bipolar transition weather. But, it’s finally March 20th, Spring is here and I’m ready for it! My favorite season of the year. 

With every new season comes new fashion statements, makeup trends and new friends so I just had to do a collab with one of the most fashionable lifestyle bloggers I follow, the gorgeous Diva Named Dom. The self proclaimed cosmopolitan diva creates fashion, food, culture and lifestyle content that captivates her essence and desire to be the best version of herself.

Collab Feature | Domenique

Domenique’s blog and instagram feed has successfully maintained an attractive aesthetic to amass loyal readers who are always genuinely inspired by her content and originality. When she isn’t blogging, this Miami beauty enjoys relaxing at home spending quality time with her mother’s foster children and five Dachshunds. This spring, Domenique’s followers can definitely look forward to more amazing blogs and fascinating photography as she plans to shed her winter clothes and enjoy the fabulous Miami weather. Check out her latest post Spring Has Sprung.

What Have I Been Up To Lately?

2018 started off a bit rough for me but I’m finally getting my life under control. While trying to be a little more consistent with my blogging, I’ve also been tutoring part-time while still wrestling a crazy schedule this semester as I prepare to graduate in May, hopefully. Unfortunately, I’m about six credits shy of the required minimum necessary for graduation. However, through several appeals and permission from the English Department and the Registrar at Queens College, I have been permitted to attend commencement in May. Hooray for me! The pit of the prune is, I’ll have to return in the summer to do two classes to make up for my unfinished credits. Not too bad, right? I’ll knock those off by June.  

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That drama aside, spring blossoms also means Spring Break! Turn up or Nah? Throughout the past four years of school, I have never looked forward to Spring Break this much because I usually never go anywhere. This year though, I am destination ready headed for sand, sea and lots and lots of tropical sun. Although I didn’t go too crazy shopping for this spring break trip, I definitely picked up a few blog worthy affordable finds that I am excited to share with you. 

Mini Spring Break Haul

I absolutely fell in love with these cute flats the moment I found them. They seem so retro yet modern at the same time, a bit nostalgic, because I almost remember having a similar pair in brown as a kid. I also picked up these fab African inspired accessories that just brings out the Wakanda in me! And of course, you can’t go wrong with a good ole pair of trendy thrift store sunglasses.

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Getting a straw bag for a trip in the spring is an absolute must have. I was especially attracted to this reddish brown color not only because it matches these cute flat sandals and compliments my skin tone, but I also feel like the regular light tan straw bags are so ordinary. I’m a sucker for a good glow and some lashes so I just had to snatch up these Kiss ‘so wispy’ lashes and this Elf ‘sunglow’ illuminator. 

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I try my best to be a minimalist whenever I travel but I just gotta have a different shoe for every different outfit! So, the minimalist way to try to achieve this is to get the staple colors; white, brown and black. I can’t wait to get my toes freshly done to wear these gorg sandals. I also had to try these layered lashes from Kiss that I got on sale at a beauty supply store in Brooklyn, it was only $1! Can’t beat that bargain. I always get compliments on this floral embroidered crossbody bag so why not include it in the fun right? And it was only $13 on Amazon! Bargaaaaaaain!

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Shockingly I’ve become quite a sneakerhead lately. These suede mauve Reebok Classics are giving me so much life! I’m so looking forward to sporting them with my matching  headwrap this spring! My favorite sneaker brands at the moment are Reebok, Vans and Puma, mainly because they have so much unique colors in simple classic styles. 

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Last but not least, I just had to cop these crocodile hunter looking Under Armor sneakers for all the animal farm, camping, hiking and long walking trips that I plan to take this season. However, it’s just a shame that this picture isn’t doing this headwrap justice! I’m so looking forward to wrap my hair up in all its glittery and sparkly glory.

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I hope you guys enjoyed my quick mini spring break haul. Stay tuned for my travel updates within the next couple weeks, I promise you it will be amazing! Happy Spring! 

 

Skin Care | Winter Routine

PicsArt_01-15-10.21.20I love discovering new skin care tips and ideas so it’s my pleasure to be sharing my affordable winter skin care routine this week in collaboration with one of my favorite beauty bloggers Emily Burns. Her blog emilyburnsmua features make up tips, reviews and tutorials where she inspires her followers’ make up techniques and creativity.

Collab Feature | Emily Burns

Although most of us look forward to the winter season for enjoying the holidays with family and friends and playing in the fluffy snow, for some of us it also means dry, itchy skin, cracked lips and ashy elbows and knees. The crisp winter cold can be so harsh on our skin, that we lose moisture at a much faster rate, leading to the weakening of the protective top layer. It is very important that we take extra care of our skin throughout these cold winter months focusing on ways to help keep our skin moist and protected.

MiraBelle’s Winter Skin Care Routine

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1. St. Ives Apricot Scrub $5.49USD

I absolutely love apricot scrubs. As a kid, I remember seeing my mom using St. Ives Apricot Scrub as part of her night time skin care routine, I guess the apricot doesn’t fall too far from the tree. This blemish control oil free scrub is a great way to exfoliate away dead skin, make up and dirt giving me a deep clean leaving my skin feeling fresh and smooth. This scrub helps treat and prevent my acne and blemishes and it has  also  helped minimize the appearance of pores on my cheeks and nose leaving my skin looking smoother and clearer over time.

2. Proactiv Revitalizing Toner $24.99USD

I know, I know, I shouldn’t be mixing products, but this is one of the few toners that has worked well with my skin. I have tried Neutrogena, Olay and Clean and Clear toners in the past however they didn’t do much for me. After my first 6 weeks of using this proactiv toner I noticed a significant difference in the evenness of my skin and complexion. Fortunately for me, during the winter I rarely break out so I prefer to use toner no more than twice a week to avoid dryness and irritation. On the other hand, during the summer months I would break out almost every day so I would ultimately use it every day as well. 

3. St. Ives Collagen Elastin Moisturizer $5.49USD

Oh the woes of combination skin! During the summer my skin would mostly be very oily, especially in my T-zone, but in the winter time, it’s the complete opposite, my T-zone can get very dry and itchy if I don’t moisturize well. I have discovered that although collagen moisturizers are mostly used to help combat the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, it’s also a great way to add suppleness and moisture to cracked and dried out winter skin. 

4. Aloe Vera Vaseline $1.49USD

One of my biggest winter skin problems is having dry, chapped and peeling lips. It’s so unattractive and uncomfortable. The top most layer of our skin is called the stratum corneum,  this layer of skin is far thinner on our lips than it is anywhere else on our body. Our lips also don’t have any sebaceous glands to keep our skin stay moisturized, so the only source of moisture is saliva. Thank goodness for the wonders of Vaseline! Any type of petroleum jelly can be used as a great moisturizer to help soothe and protect our precious stratum corneum. My favorite petroleum jelly used to be Vaseline’s cocoa butter jelly but now I’m absolutely loving the fragrance of the hydrating aloe vera version for my lips.

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1. Dove Beauty Cream Bar $1.29USD

I started using dove bar soaps and body washes three years ago and I have not turned back since. They’re so thick, creamy and luxurious. I usually buy the 12 -pack fragrance free bar soaps for sensitive skin for about $9.99USD but I always wanted to try this pink beauty bar version so I bought a single box at the beauty supply store and it works just as well. 

2. Vaseline Pure Baby Petroleum Jelly $5.99USD

Of course I must also use this magical wonder on my body as well. Every morning after my shower and every night before bed I massage Vaseline onto the soles of my feet, my knees, my elbows and my back to keep these areas that are prone to dryness soft and well moisturized. 

3. Lubriderm Daily Moisture $10.99USD

I definitely appreciate the non-greasy thick creaminess of Lubriderm’s lotions that leaves my skin feeling super moist and hydrated. This daily moisture lotion for normal to dry skin is enriched with vitamin B5 and mineral oils which helps naturally restore softness and brightness with every use. 

4. Bath & Body Works Body Lotion $13.50USD

Since I usually prefer to use fragrance free soaps and lotions, I always have scented options on hand for when I choose to indulge in the amazing scents that bath and body works has to offer. This sweet and sensual black current and vanilla lotion from their aromatherapy collection is genuinely therapeutic. I usually use this particular fragranced lotion when I’m having me-time spa days at home and even on special date nights, yes they smell that good.

I hope you enjoyed this detailed outline of my affordable and practical winter skin care routines! Don’t forget, this is a collaboration so go check out Emily’s blog about her skin care routine!

Skin Care | DIY Cinnamon Sugar Scrub

 

IMG_3165editWho doesn’t love some good DIY fun? Especially when it caters to our pampering and relaxation needs! Have you ever noticed those expensive sugar scrubs that are used in those fancy spas? You could probably even find them in your local department or beauty supply stores, but one thing is for certain, they definitely do wonders for your skin.  Natural homemade sugar scrubs are becoming a trend among beauty bloggers and this special recipe will surely convince you too. This recipe is a perfect remedy for that dry, itchy winter skin that we all dread so much and it also has natural anti-aging ingredients as well.

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Cinnamon Sugar Scrub Ingredients 

1/2 Cup Natural Brown Sugar Acts as an exfoliant to remove dirt and dead skin 

2 Tbsp Coconut Oil | Natural moisturizer with antibacterial and anti-fungal agents

1 Tbsp Olive Oil Fights wrinkles and helps soothe itchy, inflamed or damaged skin

2 Tbsp Cinnamon Mild acne and blemish treatment for sensitive skin and also helps restore suppleness and elasticity to the skin 

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After using this awesome easy DIY Cinnamon Sugar Scrub your skin is left feeling soft and silky smooth! You can even store your scrub in an air tight mason jar for up to five days. I absolutely loved making this affordable sweet scrub and it isn’t just for your face, you can use it in the shower to exfoliate your body and feet as well.

If you liked this DIY post try it, send me pics and tell me what you think! And don’t forget to like and share this blog with your friends. 

 

 

Happy Holidays| Single for the Holidays

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Being single for the holidays had never made me more certain that I want to have a family of my own someday. I literally feel like the Christmas grinch, but instead of stealing Christmas, I am being forced into solitary confinement while everyone else spends a holly jolly Christmas with their loved ones. My instagram feed is a constant replay of mommies, daddies and their kiddies in ugly matching pajamas, baking stupid Christmas cookies and decorating their dumb gingerbread houses. Ughh it’s so sickening and yet I want it all. Around this time, 25 years ago my mom, who was also 25 at the time, was celebrating her first Christmas as a family with my father and I. Shouldn’t it be my turn by now?

I’ve always heard that Christmas is for the children, and I am starting to agree, without any little kiddies around me to buy presents for, it feels like just anther day. I don’t mean to seem shallow, obviously Christmas is more than just a holiday for gift giving but it’s one of the things I love most about the season. Sharing tokens of love, whether its cheesy hand made DIYs or the season’s hottest doorbusters, the gift of gift giving is the gift that just keeps on giving. Not that I could afford any gifts anyway, as a full-time college student working a minimum wage part-time job, although my gifts may be limited to the shabby chic sale items in my nearest department store, I’m still eager to wrap it up with love.

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What am I going to do this holiday since I’m still away from my parents home in Trinidad? Although I’m stuck in New York’s cold, I still have the opportunity to visit a nearby relative and enjoy her family for Christmas.

So how else do I plan to enjoy a fulfilling Christmas holiday this year? Here are my top 5 ideas for enjoying being single during the holidays:

  1. Visit a relative or close friend
  2. Plan and cook/bake your favorite meal or desert (doesn’t have to be fancy!)
  3. Load up on stocking stuffers (if you love affordable gift giving)
  4. Donate seasonal clothing and blankets to those who may need
  5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen

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I may really need to consider dating seriously for the new year. I’m trying to avoid setting it up as a new year’s resolution, cause surely, judging by my progress in the dating world, this may be a resolution bound to fail.

Travel | When Your AirBnB Sucks!

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Traveling to the Dominican Republic had been long over due. On the agenda since 2015, on November 18 I was finally making my way to Santo Domingo. Just a disclaimer though, the above picture is just for visual appeal, because my real air bnb sucked! 

I admit, I absolutely love the idea of the AirBnb app, its innovative, easy to use and offers travelers the opportunity to immerse themselves directly into the local lifestyle and culture. Nothing against the big chain hotels and resorts, but when I travel, I want a genuine experience and not all the over priced bells and whistles that mask your destination’s reality and beautiful grittiness.

While preparing to arrange a reservation to Santo Domingo for 9 nights and 10 days, I probably spent three weeks filtering through rooms looking for decent, clean accommodation at affordable rates. Keeping in mind that I was traveling out of the country for my surgical appointment with one of the best breast reduction surgeons in the region, Dr. Mallol, I had to adhere to my planned budget for accommodation which was around $22 – $30 bucks a night. I eventually, decided to book a quaint little one-bedroom apartment for my mom and I to share which cost us $220USD for our entire stay in Santo Domingo. Judging by the pictures, it wasn’t anything fancy, just decent and comfortable enough for my stay. Once I have a clean comfortable bed, air condition and wifi, I’ll be satisfied. 

Prior to leaving New York, our host and I exchanged conversations about her apartment, and the purpose of my visit. Having been informed about the reason for my trip to Santo Domingo she became concerned about my dirtying her sheets and towels. Apparently, according to her, she had had a bad experience with a guest who stayed in the apartment who also had surgery. Understanding her concerns I promised in advance to be very careful not to damage any of her property. 

After my tediously draining 4-hour flight, I was finally on my way to my Airbnb, I had never been so excited to just crash into bed and sleep. Our host was very polite and she spoke English really well too. Opening the door to the apartment she began mentioning–as if she had only just remembered, “Oh, we are in a electricity controlled district. The power shuts off every day for a couple hours.” I wasn’t too bothered, although it didn’t concern me until it actually happened. 

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The next morning at about 10am the power shut off, and with that we had no air condition, no wifi, no sanity! The room became so humid and clustered that my mom sat out on the porch until the power came back on. My second day in the country and I’m getting the true experience of life in the Dominican Republic. I just wished she had mentioned this in her AirBnB ad. It’s ironic how one problem brought light to all the things that was wrong in the apartment. 

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Apart from the daily power loss, our host also chose not to provide sheets or towels. How in the world can you host a guest at your home and not give them sheets or towels? We also didn’t have hot water in the shower, and this wasn’t due to the power loss, the hot water didn’t work period! I know I said that I liked experiencing my trips in all it’s authenticity, but this was a little to real for me! At least she was courteous enough to have the maintenance come to try to fix the water heater. 

crocAnd I say ‘try’ because yet still on the fourth day of our stay we still didn’t have hot water. Imagine being hot and sticky with no air condition while also being to scared to take a shower in the icy cold water. We ended up having to boil pans of water to bathe which my mother hated greatly. 

When the going gets tough the tough gets going! On the fifth day yet another problem came up, the wifi stopped working. Our trip was beginning to suck, suck really bad! I was extremely disappointed. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions but I was beginning to like our host lesser and lesser with each passing day.

Not sure if this was just a way for her to make a quick buck, but the business of hospitality management isn’t for everyone. Taking on the responsibility of being a host to foreign visitors should be taken seriously, after all I did pay cold, hard cash. Had I just been staying there for free I wouldn’t complain. Shouldn’t there be certain standards that these hosts adhere to? I totally understand being in an electricity controlled district, it’s really not her fault, however hosts need to be held accountable for their integrity and honesty on their AirBnB ads. She could have inserted a disclaimer explaining the  true conditions of her apartment. I get it, it would probably affect potential guests interests, but you can’t advertise bread and cheese sandwiches and only serve bread! 

It all became a little too overwhelming, I had to check out of her sham of a lodging earlier than planned if I wanted to maintain my sanity. I contacted AirBnB for a refund for the balance of my reservation. I did appreciate though that our host wasn’t resistant and aggressive about our decision to leave. 

dreams-la-romana-resort-and-spa-23152457-1505313478-ImageGalleryLightboxLargeI definitely still stand by what I say, I always hope to have an authentic experience when I travel but I also like to know in advance what I’m getting myself into. So I guess when your AirBnb sucks you may find yourself having to upgrade to the fancy shmancy perks that I claim to not prefer, yet I will admit that perks aren’t so bad after all. Room service, breakfast buffet, housekeeping with clean fresh sheets and towels–I think I could get used to luxury traveling. Although, the last minute change of plans did put a major dent in my budget. Four nights and five days at the W&P Hotel cost us about $490USD, but when you consider all the carefree benefits, its a cost that’s worth affording. Bare in mind, I did say worth ‘affording’, because why stretch your budget if you’re going to go back home broke? 

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Who knows, maybe on my next adventure I will spring for the bells and whistles in advance. I really love traveling and I hope it’s something I could incorporate into my life at least once a year. Next destination on my bucket list is Costa Rica! 

Senior Year | Fall Midterm Jitters

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So I am finally a senior! It’s been five long years and I am so ready to cross that finish line. This year was supposed to be smooth sailing, I’d planned to finally have a social life, go parties, make friends, go out on dates and everything fun. Oh boy how was I fooling myself. As an English major I’m just stuck reading books and writing papers all day. I’m finding myself working overtime to get my gpa up after a horrible first year at Queens College.

My dedication throughout my first two years at community college rewarded me with my AA degree in Literature and Writing Arts and a 3.4  gpa but sadly life at a small school like Borough of Manhattan Community College was nothing life at Queens College. The classes are bigger, the work load is significantly heavier and the professors are less likely to make accommodations for the everyday circumstances of life. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t assholes but I’d wished someone would have warned me that things were gonna be so different.

Last year I when I started school at QC, I wanted to be involved on campus, I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself, I wanted to be a sorority girl! I thought it would have been a great way to make friends and build life long connections, someone should have also told me that Greek Life, given my age, personality and circumstances, wasn’t the way to go. I was a 24-year old pledge among bubbly playful 18 and 19 year olds but I figured that some way, some how we could still build a bond beyond the constraints of age. Wrong again! I was able to become acquainted with a few of the girls, I had a mom, a big and a twin of whom I was happy to get to know and love but after being unable to afford to pay dues, I saw our friendship fade away. I never became a sister but at least I thought the girls in my pledge class would still be willing to be my friend but, you guessed it, wrong! I was so disappointed, and looking back now, I’m disappointed in myself that I allowed that situation to affect my mood and also my gpa. I even tried to pledge again in the spring when I was more prepared financially but, they didn’t give me a bid, denied! I thought at least I would get a bid because they knew me and we did get to build some kind of connection, but maybe paying for friends wasn’t the way to go.

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It’s fall again, and no, I’m not pledging but I did join the yearbook club and I have been trying to be present at meetings however the schedule of a working college student isn’t as free as the average college kid. I can’t believe it’s almost midterm of my senior year already and the jitters are here too. I hate to admit it but I have been sucking up and kissing ass lately. I need these As! Do you know that you need at least a 2.0 gpa to graduate? Having a 1.7 gpa and being on academic probation really puts the odds against me but fortunately there’s a great possibility that my two INC grades  from the spring may be a bitter sweet opportunity to push my gpa over the borderline. It’s not going to be easy but I am determined to get all As this semester. My math isn’t all that great, but if my calculations are correct, if I get at least three As this semester and 3 As next semester I will be able to graduate with at least a 3.0, not too shabby for a girl who spent both of her entire junior and senior years on academic probation right?

Hope without work yields no results so I need to be consistent in my efforts toward my academic success. Although it seems like I may never get the oh so amazing college experience that I’ve always wanted, I value my long term success way more than a few shallow friendships and frat parties.

Love on the Brain | Love on the App?

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Dating apps? Has it really come to this? Am I that deep under my rock that I have to resort to swiping through virtual perceptions of people instead of interacting with real ones the way “normal” people do? I can’t help but feel alien on this thing. Obviously I shouldn’t because there are tons of profiles to scrutinize, yet I can’t shake that feeling of queerness. Is it realistic to think that I can find a serious relationship or are these apps just a quick easy way to find casual hook ups.

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So there are options to describe what you’re looking for on the POF dating app;

  • hang out
  • long term
  • dating
  • friends

and then there’s another section describing your intent;

  • I’m looking for casual dating/No commitment
  • I want to date but nothing serious
  • I want a relationship
  • I’m putting in serious effort to find someone
  • I am serious and I want to find someone to marry

If I were to be honest I would say I’m in it for the long term because I am serious and I want to find someone to marry yet that seems so desperate and needy right? Am I overthinking this?

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I ended up selecting long term/I want a relationship but I still felt like the guys who messaged me were just interested in a one night stand, if long term, they probably just wanted a friend with benefits. I would think that they’d read my profile before messaging me to assume the likeliness of compatibility, but the majority of them would always end up asking “So what are you looking for?” That question was the red flag for me, clearly I spent time filling out this profile for a reason!

While most of the guys did appear to be just f%#k boys, I did come across a few decent, well-mannered, respectable men. Although they could just be putting up a front, I am doing my best to try to be a little more optimistic.

I was quite nervous but I still decided I’d dip my toes in the lady pond, although I had never been in a relationship with a woman, I have often experienced those sweaty palm, tingly feelings that I’ve swept under the rug for years. When again would I find a better, less revealing opportunity to flirt and meet women? I did notice that the women I’ve come across aren’t as forward as the guys. For ratio’s sake, I’d probably gotten ten messages from men for every one message from a woman. I am so used to guys pursuing me that I can’t seem to find what to say when I want to spark a conversation with another woman. It was very strange.

Over the past couple weeks swiping through “my matches” have become less and less queer. I have grown to actually find fun in browsing through this online dating buffet. I like some, skip some, reject some, ignore some, respond to some, I even had to put some guys in check who didn’t seem to know their place. It’s only been a week, I haven’t found anyone to meet up with in person yet, but it might not be long. I have been flirting with a few people, and even if they don’t work out, there is still more potential out there, just a swipe away.

Love on the Brain | When Love Isn’t Enough

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Isn’t love lovely? It’s the most euphorically stimulating experience that mesmerizes our inhibitions. At least that’s how I felt. I wanted to spend every moment of every day with him; and it seemed like we did because we worked together and when we weren’t at work we talked endlessly on what’s app. I still remember the way he smells, I loved the way he smelled. I loved the way his beard tickled my forehead when we laid next to each other. I loved listening to the vibration of his smooth voice as I laid my head on his chest. I loved how willing he was to make me laugh. I loved our dates. I loved his kisses. I loved our deep conversations. I loved that he supported my dreams. I loved that he wanted to be with me. I loved all these things and so much more that I thought we were meant for each other. I thought we’d be together, if not forever, at least for a long time.

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Our coworkers thought we made the perfect couple, I was proud to be his girlfriend. One coworker, who I thought was my friend, even got extra petty and bitter with me when she found out about our relationship. He became my drug. I hate to admit it now, but I was addicted to his voice, his touch, his embrace. I wanted to be around him so much that I was willing to skip school to spend time with him. I’m not going to pretend he didn’t have faults, there were moments when we didn’t agree, but I was willing to look past whatever to make things work between us. I opened up to him, I let him in, I shared with him things about myself that I’d hidden from my closest friends. I was my most affectionate and submissive self with him. I tried my best to do everything and anything within reason to show him my love. We’d joke about moving in together until we started to make plans about our potential future when we’d move to Texas after I graduate from college. I was really convinced that our love was blooming.

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I never questioned his feelings for me. It had only been just over four months, but I never noticed any signs to trigger suspicion. We weren’t spending as much time together as before because he started  a new job but whenever our schedules matched we spent it together. One afternoon he came over after work and I was so happy to see him. He started telling me about an altercation he faced with an ex-girlfriend showing me the scratches on his face and neck. I couldn’t believe, in this day and age, that women still went savage on men when they didn’t get their way. I believed his story. I trusted him.

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A few hours later, when I checked my facebook, I had a message waiting for me from, let’s call her Clara. Clara didn’t waste any time getting to the point. Of course I am paraphrasing but she basically told me that she was “fucking my man.” Apparently she was the savage he tried telling me about but clearly he left out the most important detail. Of course he denied it at first but eventually he told me the truth. Not the whole truth, but enough to make me feel willing to forgive him. He made it seem as though it happened when we just started talking. I didn’t get too upset.

A couple weeks later, Clara texted me while I was at his house, telling me the same old tale and I explained to her that it was okay, its in the past and its over; until she told me they were together recently, in his bed! After he denied it again I called Clara and started making plans for us to meet with her so we could put all her accusations to rest, to which he admitted to his cheating. I was extremely hurt, embarrassed and upset. Despite my frustration, his tears made me willing to forgive him again.

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Although my relationship was falling apart before my eyes was I still willing to do my best to pick up the pieces. I loved him so I was willing to work on whatever it was that was gnawing at the trust we built. I was willing to overlook his disloyalty and lack of judgement for the sake of love. Unfortunately, I was the only one trying to fix our broken relationship. He started pulling away, he’d say he wanted to work on us but his actions continued to contradict his words.

After a couple weeks he finally broke up with me, but I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to give up on a relationship that I had invested so much time and energy into. He had become my best friend, the one I wanted to spend all my time with. His absence made me feel incomplete and depressed. I’d call him, and he didn’t want to talk to me, He started ignoring my calls and my messages. I became so desperate that I had my best friend call him to play relationship counselor, that didn’t work of course. He didn’t want me anymore. He wanted nothing to do with me. When he’d finally pick up the phone I’d beg him to explain why he didn’t want to be together anymore, and to this day I still don’t know because all he’d say was, “I have nothing more to say.”

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Unwilling to give me the explanation and closure I so desperately needed, I was left to fix my broken heart alone. I was so ashamed, when my coworkers would ask about him I’d feel so awkward, I even pretended like I was unbothered by my failed relationship. Although I was crumbling inside I had to smile and act like everything was alright.

My love, my loyalty, my forgiveness, my trust wasn’t enough. I used to think that I wasn’t enough, I wanted to know where I went wrong, foolishly I questioned my self back and forth, combing through everything I did and everything I said trying to figure out why I wasn’t enough, but it has taken three years for me to figure out that even though I felt like I wasn’t enough, it was him who fell far short of worthy. It’s easy for me to look back now and criticize how stupid I was, but I’ll accept it as a learning experience.

You can’t force someone to see if they refuse to open their eyes. We give our all to the ones we love yet they refuse to appreciate our commitments. Despite a woman’s nature to hold it down and hold it together, sometimes we have to be strong enough to let go. We need to stop allowing people to make us feel insufficient, insecure and incomplete. We’re too strong to allow men to make us weak! We deserve the best and nothing less!

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The Daily Post | Launch

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What do you want to be when you grow up? Every kid is probably asked this question a few times throughout his childhood long before he even has to start making direct decisions in pursuit of his dream. It’s quite normal for a person’s foresight to change throughout the different stages in his life. There’s our kindergarten fantasies, elementary and middle school curiosities, high school dreams, college goals and then were expected to have our life’s plans.

The average college freshman enrolls with an undeclared major, relatively undecided about what career he wants to pursue. Maybe after taking his rudimentary college courses, by the time he is a sophomore, he should be able to make a fair guess about what journey his life’s path involves. Although, as a senior in college I’m still not too sure about where my life is going. As an English major/Studio Art minor, I was leaning toward journalism and editing however, after working in an after school program, I gained interest in education. I could see myself motivating and inspiring young minds like Hilary Swank in Freedom Writers, but then again I’d have to go back to graduate school for education certification, not impossible but surely quite costly.

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Since I’ll be graduating in the spring, by now you’d think I’d be preparing for internships, and I am, after all the purpose of this blog is to create a portfolio, yet I still find myself applying to internships within the education field. Can I be an English teacher by day, Essence Magazine columnist by night? Is it possible to be efficient and successful in two careers simultaneously?

Just like NASA’s largest rocket of all time, set for it’s 2018 launch, designed to take astronauts further into space than ever before, I too have my own 2018 launch to prepare for after I graduate. For anyone, like myself, who can’t seem to define a clear path to follow, it is imperative that we work extra hard to gain the accomplishments we desire. Put in that overtime! We have to work twice as hard to launch ourselves as far as possible into the magical realm of success and happiness that we’ve been fantasizing about since childhood.

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Success isn’t made overnight! A lot of college students fall into the post graduation syndrome trap due to lack of planning. Its quite easy to fall off the hype of being a college grad into the pits of unemployment and frustration. Thankfully, many colleges offer workshops, seminars, job fairs and career days for their students, some of which are exclusive to upcoming graduates–where you’d find the most opportunities to help with devising strategies to approaching internships and jobs.

Start applying to internships and jobs you see yourself having after graduation during your senior year. Although most jobs may require that you must be a college graduate, be sure to create a telling resume and cover letter expressing your experience, knowledge and favorable attributes. Be assertive and confident, yet willing and humble in your cover letter describing your drive and eagerness to gain hands on experience. Even though you may not get a response every time, some employers admire proactive applicants and they may even offer you an interview.

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Practice makes perfect! Many websites have generic sample interview questions that you can use to practice. With consistent practice answering these questions in detail paired with some research about the company or industry to which you are applying you’d be able to gain confidence and it would also help relax those silly interview jitters.

So far, I have been to two interviews for positions within education. One interview went extremely well, but I couldn’t land it just yet. Although I had the experience and recommendations, I didn’t have the necessary teacher’s assistant certification. My most recent interview though went horribly wrong, the complete opposite of the first. I had the qualifications, yet I didn’t have the appropriate experience. Nonetheless, since it was a group interview, I did get to meet some great people and learn about their different experiences throughout their careers working with children.

I have not been discouraged, and as I continue to seek out journalism internships, I am determined to publish articles on my blog nurturing my writing style as well as building my audience as I prepare for my 2018 launch into success.

The Daily Post | Launch