Archive | November 2012

Remember Those Who Came Before You

A good friend of mine shared this quote from singer Janelle Monae from her most recent music awards which I share here.

#PARENTS If you have little girls, please read this speech:"When I started my music career, I was a maid. I used to clean houses. My mother was a proud janitor. My stepfather, who raised me like his very own, worked at the post office and my father was a trashman. They all wore uniforms and that’s why I stand here today, in my black and white, and I wear my uniform to honor them.This is a reminder that I have work to do. I have people to uplift. I have people to inspire. And today, I wear my uniform proudly as a Cover Girl. I want to be clear, young girls, I didn’t have to change who I was to become a Cover Girl. I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness.Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable." - Janelle Monáe

“When I started my music career, I was a maid. I used to clean houses. My mother was a proud janitor. My stepfather, who raised me like his very own, worked at the post office and my father was a trashman. They all wore uniforms and that’s why I stand here today, in my black and white, and I wear my uniform to honor them.

This is a reminder that I have work to do. I have people to uplift. I have people to inspire. And today, I wear my uniform proudly as a Cover Girl. I want to be clear, young girls, I didn’t have to change who I was to become a Cover Girl. I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness.

Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable.” – Janelle Monáe

Gardenias

I’ve always loved flowers and especially roses or anything resembling a rose. About half a year ago, I bought a gardenia plant from a fundraiser. When I bought it, the gardenia plant had one fully bloomed flower on it and no other buds.  The tag that came with the plant said to make sure the water was moist, to fertilize the plant every 2 weeks and to make sure it gets lots of sunlight. I thought, “Okay, sounds easy enough. Pretty much the same kind of care that other plants require.” 

It was probably about the beginning of spring when I first bought the plant so I kept it inside while the weather was still starting to get warm. Later, my  mom moved my gardenia outside and ended up putting it in a shady spot and I didn’t realize  it until about a week later and moved it into the sunlight. Despite fertilizing the gardenia and making sure it got lots of sunlight, I didn’t see any other buds and the plant started looking less and less healthy.

Earlier, I looked up how to care for a gardenia plant and realized it is a lot more challenging to take care of than I had thought. The thing my gardenia tag failed to tell me was that gardenias like humidity. Tomorrow, I’m going to re-fertilize my gardenia and figure out a way to create more humidity for it. A few of the websites I looked at suggested placing a drip tray with some wet rocks in it under the plant.

It’ll be a challenge to figure out and practice caring for my gardenia properly but I am determined to make it bloom!

Data

Today, at work, I was online looking for data and statistics to update our college planning workshops with. Earlier this year, a colleague shared some data from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce on post-recession economy projections with our organization. Since I was looking for similar statistics (educational attainment and income), I decided to check out more of their reports. It’s been a while since I’ve done anything really relating to data and numbers and I’d forgotten how much fun data and statistics could be!

Georgetown’s reports were really easy to read and digest. They have very cool graphic representations of the results and their reports are not dry; there’s even a hint of humor in there!

The two reports I ended up using from their website: 

  1. The College Advantage: Weathering The Economic Storm
  2. Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018

You’ll Find Me At The Intersections

I’ve been feeling so lazy these past few weeks. I don’t know if it’s because I just finished planning my big Make a Difference Day event or what. Lately, I’ve been staying up late and not catching up on sleep. I like sleeping but I guess I’m just a night owl. No matter how tired I am at night, I just can’t bear to lay down in bed and close my eyes. I feel like there’s something else I could be doing besides sleeping. I don’t know if I’m necessarily a night owl either because I also really enjoy seeing the sunrise and the feeling of being awake during the first few hours following sunrise.

I got a good amount of sleep last night and woke up feeling refreshed this morning. Yet, why do I feel so lazy and unproductive?! I always have a hard time getting back on course unless I stay on course. It’s hard for me to take a break from anything because then I lose my focus. I’d rather power on through until the end. I can be a workaholic sometimes because of that but I enjoy being busy and having something to work on all the time. Yet, sometimes I just want to stop and push everything out.

It’s hard for me to figure myself out sometimes. Besides the whole night owl or early bird thing, I don’t know if I prefer being around others or by myself. I find solace in being by myself, surrounded by my own thoughts and the peace and serenity that comes with it. At the same time, I also yearn for the companionship and comfort that comes with being with another human being.

I used to describe myself as shy but I don’t think that adjective describes me very well now. I don’t think of myself as an extrovert either but I am pretty sure an introvert is not who I am. I have no problem with getting up in front of a large crowd, being loud, outgoing, and sometimes even obnoxious. Yet, when I’m with another individual, I find it hard to figure out what to say?

Maybe I’ve just learned to adapt to my situation too well that I can’t figure out what part is me and what part is my adaptation skills? Or maybe I’m just thinking too much like I usually do? I’m slowly understanding what everyone means when they say you’ll find your own path and who you are in life because I’m slowly discovering that for myself. Sometimes I want to escape my life, go somewhere where no one knows me or my background and experience life and the world through a different lens. Who will I become then or will I only come closer to finding out who I really am?

“Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.” – Dr. Alexis Carrel