New York, New York!


Wow, so it was two months ago that I made my journey to New York City official! Between ending two jobs in late June to performing in FOUR shows of ‘For Colored Girls’ as the “Lady in Orange” at local theaters in Philadelphia, the past few months were just busy for me. But all of these things were truly blessings after how my year of 2015 ended. (Read here if you’re interested).

Moving to New York City has turned into a reality and no longer a dream. A dream I should mention came about when I was in the 7th grade and a college recruiter came to my school to talk about the importance of higher education. I remember the man showing us a bunch of brochures, one of them being for NYU and I read one word: Journalism. I remember feeling like, “Ah, ha! This is where I want to be!” It just felt right. Of course when it came time to apply for colleges and hear back from them, NYU told me a flat out NO. I was devastated, my poor 17 year old self had this dream since middle school but God had other plans for me. My college experience at Arcadia University was more than I could ask for, filled with trips abroad and I was involved on my campus, it was just right for me at the time. But back to New York.

The past two months has piled on more busy work and me feeling unbalanced, exhausted, and confused about my own to do list! As a new kindergarten teacher I am paired with an experienced teacher who has embraced me fully. The trouble is organizing my plans as my role requires more than just teaching, there are lots of other items on “the list.” I try VERY hard to not complain because moving to New York is what I’ve prayed for the last 3 years since being laid off from my first job out of college. I’ve worked jobs I didn’t want to work following that, I went without much money and health insurance, I sacrificed a lot.

So the past 3 years of praying for a new beginning, a good paying job WITH benefits, and in New York City? He answered my prayers because I trust in God that it is the right time. I just want to tap further into my purpose and really utilize and share my talents.

I’m back in action with this blog and my plan is to post at least twice a week. Coming tomorrow check¬†out the ‘Labels’ section for a poll on the reemergence of the “Dashiki.” Plus on Thursday, head over to the ‘Love’ section on my experience of finding love in New York. For today, explore the ‘Living‘ page as I share my opinion on women receiving some “PTO” when it’s that “time of the month.” Y’all know what I mean! Hey, a girl can dream, right? ūüôā

Glad to be back. From my heart to yours.

Elishia

#BlackGirlMagic

In case you missed it – Black girls are winning right now! I mean let’s just start with the most recent news of Army Reserve officer Deshauna Barber winning the Miss USA 2016 title! Though I didn’t watch the show (I generally don’t), I was still very excited when I saw the news that a poised and intelligent black woman had won the competition. Hailing from the District of Columbia (D.C.) the 26-year-old IT analyst briefly took off her military uniform for a different one, beautiful gowns and now a sparkling crown to match.  I tuned into some footage from the show and I immediately knew why she won. I didn’t play the race card or think, “Oh they picked her because it was the competition’s time to pick a black girl,” the way it generally happens every few years. But I felt in the few minutes of listening to Deshauna Barber answer questions and tell her story of coming from a military family but blazing her own trail for honor and respect, that she deserved to win.

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Her response to a question on political correctness and women in the military, Deshauna responded:

“As a woman in the United States Army, I think it was an amazing job by our government to allow women to integrate into every branch of the military. We are just as tough as men. As a commander of my unit, I’m powerful, I am dedicated and it is important that we recognize that gender does not limit us in the United States.”

In my opinion it was refreshing to not only see a woman of color earn the crown but I honestly was surprised at what her career is, I thought it was cool. I didn’t expect such a young woman to be making positive waves in the military the way she is. I am not saying the other contestants didn’t have “cool” careers or that if Deshauna did something different it wouldn’t be as interesting, but I hardly ever hear of any WOMAN for that matter in the military that exuded such a positive aura.

The #BlackGirlMagic trendy hashtag is not just a fun social media ploy for likes, but it really is becoming a virtual movement of sharing positive images and videos of the good stuff. As a black girl, I love it. Celebrating the good increases more to follow. This world we live in is crazy, it can be sad even painful. However, we as consumers and viewers of what happens around us have the capabilities to share power, not problems.

I believe in the magic of black girls. Because I can!

-Elishia

Compete or Empower?

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Do you feel the need to compete with others or do you aim to empower? The question pops into my mind as I embark on new journey’s of my own and observe others reactions. I am the type where I will see something a person has accomplished, or has done something simple like went on a vacation and an inkling of me will envy it. Yeah, being envious isn’t the best trait but I am being honest. Most times it isn’t that I¬†want what they have specifically but I may want something I’ve always aspired to receive.

But I’m done with that!

I know deep down that I have achieved lots and some things are on the way, because I believe in the possibilities. No need to be competitive or “one-up” the next person. I mean, for what? Personally, I wouldn’t gain anything from it.

So I say, EMPOWER! The competition should be with yourself, crossing things off of your to-do list, finishing that task you’ve put off for months or a year. There is no race for success. One should think of their desires and wants as a continued bond, where the finish line is more of a stepping stone to the next task.

From social media “likes” and “follows” there’s too much competition out in this virtual world we live in. I mean at least be different, try something no one else is doing, or put your own original spin on whatever you’re passionate about. Honestly, some people have the nerve to compete with others for selfish reasons, not because they want to uplift others. Of course there’s the saying, “Every man for himself.” But on the real, share the wisdom, spread around sense not shade.

Think of yourself, do you compete or empower?

-Elishia

 

Detox and Diamonds

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It’s the beginning of May, a new month, and I am not more organized than I was last month! Honestly, where has the time gone? I find it hard to embrace and take in each day because it feels like when I blink – it’s over. Though I can say many blessings have come my way even when it seemed doubtful. This year of 2016 so far is a mix of rough patches and new experiences, but also allowing me to find my niche and what works for me.

 

Everyday a new challenge arises even if it appears to be something small, but I am doing a better job with not letting every little thing get to me. Instead I work towards incorporating things that matter and benefit me.

This week ahead I am thinking a lot about the need to detox and wanting myself and other women around me to be treated like diamonds. Let me explain the diamonds part a little further. Sometimes I feel like someone very close to me has not been treated in a the way I believe they deserve to be treated. In my eyes they should be treated like diamonds. This woman that is very dear to me, I think of her like a diamond. To me she shines, and her journey to where she is now is much like the process of how diamonds are made. But too often she is left unpolished, and undervalued.

These thoughts just had me thinking, why can’t women feel like diamonds? Check out the “Love” section tomorrow as I poll other women on their thoughts.

Check out the “Living” section¬†here for a brief video on a new “challenge” I am trying out!

Happy May to you all, here’s to more progress!

Love,

-Elishia

Am I too nice?

Am I too nice?

As I “March” into this new month I have to say first, I am thankful. I am not just thankful for the positive but also the ways that I have handled situations that could’ve brought me down. I am thankful that I have a relatively “can-do” attitude about where I am in my life right now. Nothing is ever perfect, and I have done my very best to not complain or be bitter, even when some days can get harder than others.

I am actively working towards improving who I am, and it can be a struggle. I like to think of myself as a person who can get along with anyone and be consistent no matter who it is. But as I often think about my growth over maybe the last 15 some odd years, I think about if I am a little too giving. Since elementary to high school I was dubbed either the quiet, shy, or nice girl. There isn’t anything wrong with those adjectives but it makes me think about who I am today. Have I changed? Do those descriptions still fit who I am? I don’t mind being called quiet or nice but I wonder if it really means anything to those I encounter.

Sometimes I’ll catch myself doing a gesture for someone else, and then I don’t always feel like I get the same in return. Most times I think it’s just me being kind, while other times I’m not sure if I am being overly nice. I am not desperate for anyone to like me. However, there’s apart of me that does contemplate if I am seeking some sort of gratification or gold star for my own self. My niceness happens often with family, friends, and more and more at work. I don’t aim to be the ‘yes man’ or er, woman but it does happen.

There are occasions where I really want to say “No” but I may not want to disappoint or upset someone. There are also moments where I feel like a family member or friend just assumes I’ll say yes anyway. When did I become so predictable? It would certainly be a change of pace to be known as someone who’s a rebel, party girl, or the cool friend that’s down for whatever without morality kicking in, which is typically how I operate.

But¬†I know I’ll never really be known as something like a rebel. Though going out of my way to be so friendly has become scripted, making me want to say,”Hell no” or not extending olive branches to those who don’t reach for it. Far from a pushover, but neck and neck as an easy mark. Which begs the question, “Am I too nice?

-Elishia

The nice girl

Keep ya head up

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Hello there, did anyone tell you today how awesome you are? Nope, me either. But hey, I ain’t mad! I’ll tell you why, because more everyday I am recognizing my gifts and the light that I have. Sometimes many of us can get caught up in wanting approval from others too much. From “likes” on social media to competing on the number of followers you have on Instagram. Let’s face it, will those 200 to maybe 2,000 followers really help you grow? I mean REALLY? Will they be there for you at your lowest of lows? Or will they tell you “Don’t worry, I got your back,” or tell you how great you are?

True, realistically you won’t have contact with that many of your followers or Facebook friends. But honestly, where’s the love beyond the heart shaped button on IG? Social media has reinforced the way many of us communicate, and I get that. It has also become a pillar to help millions launch businesses, reconnect with old friends, help distanced family members come together, and many other wonderful things. But for those who use social media to belittle others, or not use the opportunity to uplift someone else, grow up!

Like really, where is the love? I just wonder, “Ooh child,” will things get easier?

While I ponder on that thought it brings me back to what I wrote in the first paragraph. You (and me too) have to recognize the gifts that you possess and release them. Share them for YOU, or perhaps for a person or people in the world who don’t have the same platform or confidence that you have.

Let me tell you, I post on my blog, my writing IG, post videos on YouTube, and share articles that I’ve written constantly, and not always do I get the response or acknowledgement that I would hope for. But I keep doing it! I admit, I get frustrated when I work so hard on an article or spend time to edit a video and the views are limited, but I have to keep going. In my opinion my talents are more unique than what’s “popular” or “trending,” but there’s a whole world of content out there. Mine is just a sprinkle of all of the ‘stuff’ online and on social media.

But I can’t concern myself with who’s liking, viewing, or even reading. Merely keeping my own self current and consistent is the best “double-tap” of love that I can give myself.

I’m cool with that. Like the 1993 classic 2Pac song title says, “Keep Ya Head Up.”

Word.

Stay tuned this¬†week for¬†my 3 B’s of progress:¬†Beginnings, Balance, and Blessings. A¬†new month of March starts tomorrow!