Tag: maturity

Romantic relationship role models

Ok that’s a mouthful but coming of age I did not have couples that I could model my future romantic relationships after. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that everyone around me were in bad or toxic romantic relationships; but, I am suggesting that I didn’t see enough of any romantic relationship that would eventually serve as a model.

This is partially because I was raised under the ideology that “children should stay in their place” which led to me never really knowing anything that was happening in the adult world.

For much of my youth, outside of weddings or other special occasions I didn’t observe adult couples being affectionate. Occasionally, I eavesdropped enough to hear the adults discuss finances or household responsibilities that were often gendered based.

Until I was an adult, I don’t recall my parents ever having date night and I definitely never heard about how any of the adult couples came to be a couple!

I can’t tell you how my parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles met their romantic partners. It’s funny. I watch a lot of cheesy romance movies on a popular television network that’s known for the cheesy!

I am glad that the adult couples I observed when I was coming of age didn’t try to present the cheesy television network’s version of romantic relationships; however, I do wish I would’ve received a more full picture of romantic relationships.

Fortunately, I know that even if I observed a detailed version of romantic relationships when I was growing up; I would still have many of the same issues. Quite frankly, every relationship is different and the individuals in the relationship are unique; therefore, no roadmap or model would ease my issues with relationships.

I do believe that the privilege of observing real life romantic relationships can help or hurt your development as far as your receptiveness to love is concerned…but I know that relationships take work regardless of your starting position!

Some people have a healthier idea of relationships than others. Others have fanciful ideas of relationships and then there’s people like me who are simply going with the flow because we really don’t know!!!

It’s ok to not know what you’re doing in your romantic relationship – no one really does or else there wouldn’t be so much “help” available for our consumption!

Remembering Me

While refining my job search I’ve thought a lot about myself as a child. Particularly, I’ve thought about the things that defined my personality as an adolescent.

One thing all of my family and most of my friends would agree on is that I was the very definition of weird.

I was always that odd child who embraced my oddness, which made me weird according to many.

Rewind – I was born premature and spent a lot of time in the NICU, this impacted my early life. Furthermore, I suffered many illnesses as a child which endeared me to many.

I point this out because it explains why all of my cousins and my sister had to go outside to play but I had a choice. It explains why I spent so much time with adults and often out of school during my entire elementary and secondary school years.

My beginning impacted the advantages and disadvantages of my life as a youth. I wasn’t exactly a spoiled child; however, I was possibly a bit sheltered. Specifically, due to the health related challenges I faced during my youth, my family made exceptions for me often.

I spent a lot of time with adults because I was unwell and receiving medical treatments. I also had a lot of doctor’s appointments that interrupted my childhood.

My cousin who is only a few months older than me taught me how to read and ignited my love of reading. We would enter the annual reading challenges hosted by our local library and attend storytelling sessions. Our parents and grandparents enjoyed this particular hobby of ours.

Not only was reading one of the least expensive hobbies at the time; my family was certain that our love of reading would translate into us pursuing and obtaining higher education and eventually careers that would spare us from many of the financial challenges they faced.

I loved reading everything…but I only stayed in the library for hours because my cousin (at the time she was the closest thing to a hero that I had) enjoyed the dusty place!

Really, she loved reading books in the library and then checking out other books to take home. I preferred to go to the library, choose books, return home, read books, and return them the following day.

She was my hero-peer mentor so I stayed at the library many times pretending to read the book I would check out to read in the comfort of my room.

This doesn’t sound weird to many of you I’m sure, but loving to read alone was not exactly cool!

Let’s talk about how I read. I mentioned reading in the comfort of my room, well there’s more to it than that. I sat in the corner – same corner every time – to read. I also put headphones (initially ear muffs) to block out the outside world while I read.

I still like to wear headphones when I read. Partially because people think I can’t hear them and I saw it on tv as a child and thought it was cool!

I didn’t like the outdoors so reading in the park – also something I saw on tv – was not remotely cool to me.

Another consistent theme in my youth is that I always spoke out for people especially when I felt that they were not being heard.

I spoke out for my family members regardless of their age in comparison to my own. I spoke out for my peers when I thought the teachers or even their parents ignored them.

I wrote letters to agencies when my snack cake wasn’t good lol! I’ll have to tell this one particular story later.

To be continued…remembering me

On the job market

It’s no surprise that being on the job market is less than exciting and potentially stressful

I spent most of my young adulthood years in school…3 successfully completed degrees and one almost doesn’t count attempt at a degree

I have a bachelors, a masters, and a doctorate…I attempted another masters degree whose incompletion ruins my academic resume

PAUSE: I’ve seen many (more than I ever imagined plausible) academic resumes with incomplete degrees listed so I know it does not ruin things but it certainly hiccups the reading flow.

Ok so back to my point – I have these degrees and considering my background – I am ecstatic about that very fact!

Backstory light: I am an African American cisgender female from a rural, working class town. I am the first in my family to complete any postsecondary degree…so it’s a big deal that I have the degrees…in that respect at least!

You may notice that I digress a lot, I should look into storytelling!

I have a research doctorate in case you’re wondering…I loved research as early as my second year of my undergraduate studies and I still love the research process…especially when studying the complexities of a phenomena.

Hmm, what was I discussing? Oh yeah, job hunting.

Naively, I assumed that once I finished my dissertation – actually before I finished – I would have these beautiful ideas in mind about what’s next for me! Oh that was so naive.

I failed to consider just how draining, the dissertation process is and more importantly, I failed to see my personal and professional growth.

Eh! What are you talking about? That’s likely the question that you wish to ask me now.

Bear with me, I’ll explain…eventually

Just joking! Here’s my explanation:

I was so invested in finishing my doctoral program with a decent dissertation that I did not see myself.

I did not see how over the years I went from an overly optimistic, naive 20-something year old to a 30-something with a more balanced view of the world and how I fit in it.There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic; but my optimism was of the fairy tale world type. You know thinking that my fairy godmother (read someone who admired me immensely) would pop into my life, pay my bills and give me the freedom to cultivate my talents.

I’m not sure what those talents were but you see…my optimism left out me actively working to cultivate my talents.

One good thing is although I was overly optimistic, I didn’t simply sit around waiting for fairy godmother to appear with her magic dust! One sprinkling of it and my life would be forever changed.

No, I worked. I worked hard but I was still out of balance. So now as I approach the job market with ideas of the impact I’d like to have, I am working hard to keep a balance.

There’s a lot more to me than some fancy pieces of papers that take a long time to receive and I aim to convey that person when I apply to jobs.

So often I’ve met individuals who allow titles to unbalance them and that’s the person I would’ve been if the 20-something year old me was on the job market; but the 30-something year old me knows that degrees – although every owner of them should be proud – are not a testament to how well an individual can do a job.

Oh, if you haven’t noticed – my mind is all over the place – that’s definitely not helping my job search!

Thankfully, I can blog to center my thoughts.

Before I go – I have many emotions and thoughts as I search for and apply to jobs; most of those are fear-related, but none are that my degrees make me more than any of the hiring managers or recruiters.

Although, since I’m being honest with you – a fairy godmother who could place me in a job that’s a good fit for me would be welcomed…but that’s not how the job market works.