Tag: self

My beauty

My mind is beautiful; you may not know that tidbit of information.

My thoughts are complex; however, they are sometimes quite simple.

My heart is beautiful or so I’ve been told

I care for many, even those I don’t directly know.

My character is intricate, not easily defined

It’s difficult to bind to words just how beautiful I truly am.

My beauty goes beyond my external facade.

Mental Health Days

During my days in elementary school, my mother taught me about self-care.

I do not believe that she was intentionally teaching my sister and I about self care when she would declare a random day – Mental Health Day.

Mental Health Day did not come often but when it did it was outrageously exhilarating to elementary me.

Ok so Mom’s Mental Health Day was a day of lounging, eating something healthy and fuss free, and enjoying board games with some sort of dessert!

The most fascinating part about these Mental Health Days is that we stayed at home from work and/or school on these days. We just enjoyed each other’s company.

If we watched something on the television, it was a family movie that we all wanted to see. Since there were rarely movies that we all wanted to see, we rarely watched television on our special days.

Looking back, I see now that my mom had to carve out time for us as a family. Time that she was not rushing to go to work or trying to rest up for the next shift at work. She knew that our school work and her employment would be there once our day commenced…however, she must’ve been acutely aware that the easygoing, laid back time we shared together would be limited.

My sister and I are adults now and even living in the same town, it’s difficult to carve out a day when we can just share each other’s company. Work, school, family, church, and so on and so on gets in the way.

Neither me nor my sister have mom’s ingenuity to select the perfect day as a Mental Health Day. We’ve tried but we just don’t have the special touch my mom did.

Now when we try it feels forced and we are often busy trying to connect to the outside world on our devices and we just don’t accomplish a Mental Health Day.

But we remember those wonderful days that we shared with our mother and we marvel at how easily she pulled them off!

Back then once our day was over and life as we knew it returned, we were refreshed. Practically skipping joyfully on our way to school and/or work.

Our behavior at school and home improved and our relationship with each other grew.

I didn’t know it then but now I know that my mom taught me that self care is vitally important and it does not take much money.

I’m pretty sure that these mental health days likely occurred on my mom’s days off and on those rare half-days at school because my mom wouldn’t just let us miss a full regular school day

However, back then I was simply ecstatic that we were having fun with each other and just relaxing.

As I mention, I don’t have the magic formula my mom had to pull off a perfect mental health day; but mom gave me the guidelines on how to take care of myself regardless of what’s going on in the world or even in my world!

Mental Health Days in my home embodied what is now known as self-care and my mom was the best at it!

Emotional Reaction

I hate you – at least that’s how I feel in this moment.

Hate is too strong of a word. One might say, but in the moment hate is the best descriptor I possess.

When I say I love you, no one tells me that love is too strong of a word.

Hate. Love. These words are often thought to be opposites. Some even suggest that there’s a thin line between them or perhaps they are on a spectrum…easily blurred.

If I tell you I hate you right now, will you even hear the words “right now”? Or will you only hear “I hate you”?

Does it even matter if you hear the entire statement?

Does the context matter? If I said it while I was upset or in the heat of the moment, does that change how you receive my statement?

I hate you right now, but I’m not sure what that really means.

I’m not feeling very lovingly toward you so does that translate to hate?

I won’t hate you during the next moment; but in this moment I do. Does that change how you receive my statement?

I hate you right now; but, perhaps I’ll love you later.

Does that matter since I hate you right now?

Breaking Point

If they paid any attention they would recognize that something was amiss.

If they listened they would hear that something was amiss.

If the knew her they would know that something was amiss.

She is slowly crumbling, albeit internally.

She appears put together externally.

She knows that she is at her breaking point; but those who say they love her and that they care are clueless to this very fact.

At this point she refuses to try and hold on.

She gave up many moons ago.

The only fight she has left is pure instinct. She only reacts now with a faint attempt to survive.

They don’t realize she is crumbling.

They fail to notice that anything is wrong.

If she ultimately breaks, in the aftermath they will suddenly recognize that she had been at a breaking point for quite some time.

They will compare notes to see whether the things become clues to her crumbling are really clues are just quirks.

Oh she is full of quirks and hard to get to know, so they disagree on what clues she displayed – this debate takes place in the aftermath of her finally breaking – and what was just her quirks.

They should see that she is crumbling, prior to her breaking…but they don’t know her well enough to truly recognize the clues.

She is slowly crumbling and losing her ability to fight it.

Unfortunately they won’t realize anything is wrong with her until the aftermath of her breaking completely.

Do better, be better, pay attention, get to know one another…don’t wait until the aftermath to realize what’s been there all along.

Imposter syndrome

Many articles are available about individuals experiencing the imposter syndrome.

The imposter syndrome is basically the idea that an individual feels he is unqualified regardless of the credentials he holds,

That’s the dirty version of it…trust me there’s more to it. For instance, certain individuals with certain group memberships are more likely to experience the imposter syndrome.

Right now I’m in a waiting season…seriously😫! One phase of my life has ended; yet the next phase has not started. So I wait.tick, tock, tick, tock…time continues to pass.

The more I wait, the more I have to confront my inner feelings about everything.

Let’s just say, on paper I’m qualified to do many things…but I struggle to feel that I’m qualified to do anything.

I’ve dealt with the imposter syndrome before, many times. However, never to this extent.

I have no answers but I acknowledge that I feel like I don’t belong in spaces that I’ve worked hard to gain the access papers to join.

I’ll grow personally and professionally during this time.

One day I’ll realize that I’m not an imposter. I indeed belong.

Until then, I acknowledge that I struggle with the imposter syndrome.

Living with ME

ME…I’m not referring to myalgic encephalomyelitis which is also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

I cannot begin to fathom what it’s like to live with that disease; however, I know all about life with myself.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I get on my nerves. Seriously, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t irk my nerves at least once.

If you’ve read any of my prior post, you know that I have an unquestionable love for myself although I struggle to describe who I am. So this diatribe about getting on my nerves is not a cry for help or some of the other things that you read about in online communities.

No, it’s simply a fact that I get on my own nerves. To put it another way, my behaviors and attitudes annoy me at least once a day.

Case in point – it annoys me that I even have the nerve to write this blog post. It’s even more annoying that I actually believe at least one other person will read it and another person will relate to it!

I told you, life with me is annoying.

On one of those shows that people watch because “that’s what intelligent people do”…you know the shows I am referring to? The ones that enlighten and educate you…keep that visualization in mind! Now laugh, while I make my point (see life with me is annoying!)

Ok so this particularly enlightening show suggested that in general, people prefer individuals who will just come out and say that they are great. So I bring this up because something else that annoys me is that I often tell people how I’m great!

Seriously, I say and/or write that I’m great in the same fashion that someone says, Today is {insert day of the week here}…trust me, it’s one of my most annoying habits! It should go without saying but I honestly believe that it’s a privilege for anyone to know me. Don’t take this personal, but it wouldn’t be far from the truth if you thought that I am one of those people who believes that you are blessed to read my posts!

I’m not narcissistic; however, my confidence about my talent and gifts (especially in spheres that matter very little in the grand scheme of things) is quite stable. Plus, it’s humorous to see how uncomfortable loving myself makes others.

We are often told to love ourselves and to think highly of ourselves, but when I express just how highly I think of myself – I am side-eyed!

Life with me is interesting to say the least.

I’m a great person and most people would describe me as a kind, intelligent, charitable introvert who is a bit weird. Very few would know just how much my quirks get on my nerves!

This post is really just comic relief! Its important that we laugh at our quirks some times.

I’m embracing every part of myself and I’m loving it!

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!

Where’s my job?

If you’ve read any of my posts lately, you likely know that I recently completed a PhD program and I’m currently looking for a job.

I’ve read much of the employment research and I purposely tailor every cover letter and resume to each position. I also apply to positions that I believe I would actually enjoy doing, in places that I wouldn’t mind living.

I assist others with writing cover letters, resumes, CVs quite often; yet, my supplemental application materials needed some serious help!!! It’s extremely difficult for me to highlight myself in a succinct way.

To combat this issue, I started reading my cover letters, CV, and resumes as if they belonged to someone else…someone I was assisting with presenting their best self to an employer! I know it may be strange, but this has definitely helped me write better supplemental materials.

Now I know that the materials I am submitting in this phase of applications are quality and they highlight me! As I’ve told you before – I am great!

I know, I know, you wonder how do I struggle to highlight my best self and fit for a position when I constantly remind my readers that I am great on this blog? It’s quite simple really, my blog posts are really informal and although there’s a chance that employment can arise from this sphere – that’s not the intended purpose!

Plus I absolutely love writing and the idea that someone, somewhere is reading my thoughts is quite flattering, to say the least!!!

Back to my job search…as you may know I’m acutely interested in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in higher education, access to higher education, and social justice and diversity related issues as a whole and believe it or not my job search highlights some of my interests.

I’ll explain in a moment; however, it’s imperative that I point out that when I think of underrepresented groups, diversity, social justice; I think that these constructs are dynamic. I believe these constructs are dynamic because for instance, depending on where you are located who is underrepresented in higher education changes. Also I believe that there are many types of diversity and the construct is short changed when we only focus on one aspect of diversity and/or social justice.

Of course, as a researcher I’m well aware that in order to complete a project scientists often have to pinpoint particular characteristics to study…however…it’s important that we remember that there’s more to these constructs than our operational definitions.

Ok so I’m always good for a detour! Now back to how my job search highlights issues of access to higher education and etc!

It goes without saying that I apparently had access to higher education since I have a PhD so that’s not my point.

Sigh! This is not one of those arguments lol!

As you’ve read, I’m living in the rural town of my youth in Midwestern USA. One of five of the adults in this town live below the poverty line and less than 12% of the population has attained a bachelors degree or higher.

Why does this matter? You may ask and what does it have to do with my job search and/or higher education access?

If you’re so inclined take a moment to get to know the population demographics of an area and then examine the type of jobs available in the area. Take it a step further and look at the types of education available in the area. Then ask yourself is this related to access issues? And if you had a PhD in said region, what type of job is available to you?

Even when I look at some social mobility programs, they often cater to more urban areas with less infrastructure issues to combat. Unlike the rural area in which I call home, many of these areas that receive an influx of services, programs to improve social mobility have existing resources to address transportation issues and they actually have high speed internet access!

I do not have the answers of how to serve my community with my education while still making a modest income. I’m not sure if there’s a job in this area for me, but I definitely want to use my skills to help my hometown in some way. Even if that means I will join in with others who are researching higher education access and the rural communities.

Where’s my job? I don’t know, but I know that it’s out there!

Hobbies, Anyone?

A hobby is something you engage in regularly for sheer entertainment.

We are often asked what our hobbies are; especially, when we are first getting to know someone.

I’ve struggled to answer this question every time it was asked.

Not because I dislike fun, entertainment. But because many of the things I do enjoy are ingrained into my lifestyle….therefore it is difficult to identify these things as hobbies.

Part of my problem is my construction of hobby! I think of hobby and I think of an activity that’s far more entertaining than anything I actually enjoy. Plus I seem to believe that one must have numerous hobbies in order for it to count!

This is a terrible misconception, although it’s one I choose to continue to believe. At least I know my logic is flawed…that stands for something right?

I don’t enjoy the “big” hobbies like the ones that incorporate physical activity or those that involves instruments or tools. I didn’t name any particular hobby, yet you envisioned some by my hollow descriptions, right?

Even before you begin to read this post…the title invoked imagery of hobbies! The mind is interesting like that.

I enjoy reading and that’s the only thing I identify as a hobby of mine! Sure there are other things I like to do; but, leisure reading is the only thing I regularly do for entertainment.

I’ve tried expanding my hobbies without much success.

Hello dear reader, my name is Amber and my only hobby is reading! How about you?

This job thing

Sigh, I don’t understand how anyone enjoys job searching but I imagine that someone does…I’m not that person.

It doesn’t help that I have training as a researcher – trust me that training helps and hurts my job searching!

For instance, I find a wonderful job, according to the ad it’s my dream job. So I do what any wise job hunter would do…I look up the company and read more about the position.

This is good, however…instead of the quick skimming search that most people would do; I end up looking at things that are slightly connected to the actual job and/or the organization until eventually I fail to remember the job

Remember at one point this job was my dream job??? Next thing I know the application deadline has passed and my dream job is no longer available.

Then I would become distraught because once again my dream job is gone because I got caught up in the details and missed the big picture.

Remember, I’m still supposed to be applying for jobs but I’m losing Energy on the job that never was!

Then I laugh…I realize the dream job wasn’t really a dream job but I was unable to divorce myself from my idea so I found unnecessary information to miss the deadline.

This job search has been enlightening; yet, draining and I need to write more to release the stress and anxiety when I become overwhelmed.

Job searching is far from fun but I’m learning more about myself everyday and I believe I’ll find a position that works for me.