The Upside(s) of Unemployment

Never in six million light years did I think this day would come. But alas, at the end of every tunnel is … no more tunnel. Here I am, about to end my jobless dry-spell and I almost wish it wasn’t over. Let me set the scene…

For the last few months I’ve been couch surfing with a friend. Thankfully my friend was insightful enough to realize I was in an terrible interesting traditional period and sorta saved me from packing it in and going home. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have given in, gotten an in-the-meantime job in retail, and by Black Friday be ready to eat my own fingers. On this couch I have cried in despair, screamed in anger, and spent (almost) every day trying to ready myself for whatever opportunity would arise. I’ve been given so much time to think; about my goals, my flaws, my drive, and my decisions thus far. I wanna get deep into analyzing the psychosis of unemployment, but I’ll save that for a separate series.

The Upsides

  1. Low-cost Fun. When your are “in between paychecks”, or as it is colloquially known, broke AF, you come to learn some really great ways to have fun on a budget. Whether it’s taking advantage of deals (on sites like Living Social or Groupon), eating BEFORE you have lunch with a friend, or restricting your travel to non-rush hour times to cut your Lyft/Uber costs (which in Miami is NEVER) you learn to pinch a penny… TIGHT! My personal favorite and most effective means of saving money has been to stay my ass at home!
    My mantra…
  2. Eating Healthy/Working Out. Honestly it’s perfect without the distractions of fast-food restaurants or being too tired from work. You can really focus on meal planning, maintaining a food journal (or use MyFitnessPal like me), taking regular walks, becoming a yoga master, and staring in the mirror until you hate your stupid unemployed face {said with glassy-eyes while smiling on only one side}.
  3. Reconnecting with Friends and Family. Having zero things to do really frees you up to talk to old friends and text all your extended family members; even your parents’ coworkers that you call aunt/uncle. WhatsApp has never gotten this much play from me before; I’m texting all my Canadian cousins! I really have taken this time to talk more often with my mom… its been a blessing and a curse. The other day she called to remind me that “…It’s almost December and you’re nearly 30, you need to get a job!” I know Mom, I know. {bleeds from eyes}
    You can’t explain this to a Jamaican parent… AT ALL!
  4. Building on Your Professionalism and Career Development. This has been the bulk of the work I’ve been doing, just in case someone does give me one of those elusive jobs.
  • Perfecting My Resume/Cover Letter. There are a bazillion resources online listing tips and tricks to get employer’s attention and how to format your resume/cover letter — I have read them ALL. Particularly, I was referred to The Muse, a career advice GODSEND! It addresses so many of the recent-grad questions and puts experts in touch with novices. It’s the Pinterest of job-stuff, sweater Gawd!
  • Engaging With Your Network. If you’ve held down a job or gone to school, or basically know any other humans, you have a professional network. It’s important to utilize those people when you’re seeking employment to changing career field. You never know who you know… and more importantly, who they know. That sounded snazzy, right? That’s just fancy-talk for “Ask everyone you meet, ‘Is y’all hiring!?‘”
  • Eliminating Procrastination. This one is a no-brainer. We’ve all been there, prioritizing  a series of completely unnecessary tasks in order to avoid what really needs doing. However, when you have LITERALLY NOTHING to do with your existence, it’s impossible to procrastinate. I’ve never been so productive! My mind is free from deadlines, restrictive authority figures, and pesky paychecks.
  • Getting in Touch With My Passions. Right about here is where I’ve been lately. Trying to figure out what my motivations are; my talents, my strengths. I’ve gotten really good picking things up with my feet and  binge watching shows in Netflix.
    Accurate.
  • What used to make me happy, and more importantly, can I make money doing those things? The Muse kinda helps with that too. 

While working on developing these things I put together a couple of habits and resources to get me through. I STAY reading, as a distraction, and to keep my mind from rusting over.    Currently reading…

There’s hope for the other employment-impaired souls.

I journal my thoughts and feelings regularly, and started what I’ve called a “Success Journal”; a log of my ideas, lessons I’ve gathered, goals, and general plans for the future. It’s also where I outline new cover letters and keep track of applications. I super suggest you adopt this, but it can’t be like undergrad. You can’t take the notes and not review them. You gotta refresh and reconnect with your ambitions.

 

And that’s how I did it. Survived unemployment with humor (although very dark at times), focus, and the support of friends and family. I’m really grateful to have you all.

In refocusing on my passions, I want to change up the blog. As you can see the appearance has changed, but I’m still looking for my style. I’m thinking a new domain name and maybe a new pen name. I wont always be negative, you know. What are your thoughts?

In parting I leave you with this,

I really do.

 

 

 

Check out a similar article at Elle Magazine!

 

 

 

 

Non-complacent, Nancy

 

 

 

Update: 10 Random Things

Hello you guise! Welcome to 2014! I know I’ve been gone and it has been a struggle-and-a-half just remembering my password, but I am back and already it feels natural. Like no time has passed; like it was just yesterday. I had so may things I wanted to discuss, to share. Last semester was a nightmarish blur and here I am, on the edge of the real word; staring down the barrel of my last semester ans an undergraduate student. Crap!

As much as I want to get mushy and wax poetic, I just haven’t the time. Here’s what’s been going on in a brief, but informative list.

1. Be true to yourself. Even if/when it hurts you. The truths you stifle and swallow now, will come back as burning bile.

2. I have hair. It’s not what the naturalist-as have it cracked up to be. I miss clippers.

3. Clean up your iTunes; if Fallout Boy doesn’t represent you anymore, it’s OK.

4. Stop saving those clothes for “the right occasion”, you may eventually get fat. Wear a ball gown on campus.

5. It’s HARD to live in two times at once: fulfilling your commitments in one chapter (college), while preparing for another (whatever’s after college, IDK Starbucks!?)

6. I have no idea how to file taxes, and at any rate I’m too poor to.

7. Do what fulfills your soul, what best befits your personal growth path.

8. Growing up sucks BOOTY CHEEKS!!! Big Ole Cherokee (yes, the adult film star, no this is not an invitation to ask me about my business) butt cheeks! … but I wouldn’t (not that I could!) have it any other way.

9. Depression is REAL! (yes, this includes black folks) … but so are all the reasons not to be. 🙂 You can’t do any of the things I mentioned if you can’t forgive yourself first.

10. Pick a role model; for deep reasons, for shallow reasons, for career advice, or how to learn the eyebrow-concealer trick! Have a few, have a bunch, but always be wanting MORE from yourself and life. Enlist the help of someone who can show you how! You are worth it!

I missed this space, this freedom. I will try not to leave you guise for so long. I was away, but I can bring you too!

Nancy Not-So Negative

P.S. LEAVE ME ALONE PHONE!! I’m threatening to move into a cave!

I’m A Pretty, Pretty, Butterfly!

What’s up ladies and gentlefingers!
I’m back from my shame fueled guilt cocoon, Oh how I have missed thee! So much has happened in the last few weeks. The spring semester wrapped up, I’m now #teamiPhone, it’s summer time in my corner of the world and everyday is palm tree hell!!!!

Real quick question:
If the predicted temperature is 90 degrees, but the “real feel” is 94, then isn’t it 94 degrees!?!? I feel heat, I don’t imagine it!!! Curse you weather men! [angrily shakes fist]

I’m learning so much in such a brief period of time. The last few weeks have been filled with repercussions and rewarding lessons. Personal development can come from so many directions and in so many forms. Failure is an excellent teacher; however it depends on what you take from it. You can learn to exceed your own expectations, or drown in your misfortunes. Either decision is easy to make and equally life changing. Depression has taught me a lot as well. It reminds you of your shortcomings when the sky is most grey and your will fails you. It also shows you who cares for you, and speaks volumes about your inner strength when you climb triumphantly from the fathomless pit like Bruce Wayne and save your own Gotham city.

Finally, taking chances, doing something you’ve never done to get something you’ve never had, bolsters your heart in ways I could never describe. God, I hope these aren’t temporary gains! I want to stay this hopeful, this confident and this motivated! For the first time in a long time I am SUPER WINNING!!! [ SShhh!! Don’t say that too loud, the universe might hear!]

Ok, I’m done writing Hallmark cards. I had to spill for a second and tell you what I’ve been up to…

Here are a few less mushy lessons I’ve picked up:
1. Poofreading is a skillet.
2. Have an up-to-date copy of your résumé ready ALWAYS!
3. You gotta know your limits, ask for help when it gets too bad. (Your circumstances, your behavior, or your emotions.)
4. Every iPhone has a little of Steve Jobs’ DNA in them. That’s what gives em magic. (I named my baby Morris, cause he’s dark chocolate like Morris Chestnut)

Racist joke from my black friend:
“You should get the black iPhone, it runs faster!!!”

Someone I care about called and wished me a happy Mother’s Day. Like any non-pregnant woman of child-bearing age, I took offense! He sweetly turned it around and told me it’s because he knows I’ll be a great mother. {awwwww *dies of cuteness*}

I got the sexiest internship in all of life!!! I’ll probably speak about it in-depth in another post. Just know that the stars aligned to make all of my dreams come true on this one. I REFUSE to sabotage myself again and cukf this up!!

I’m like a Brown Bear/JD hybrid! That’s all the hint you’ll get!

Writing a curriculum vitae is REDONKULOUS!! (Basically a curriculum vitae, for those you who do not know, it is a super in-depth resume that caters specifically to the job you’re applying for. A CV is particularly necessary in fields associated with high-brow professionalism, such as higher education or medicine. Here’s a link that explains the difference between a run-of-the-mill resume and a CV http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/curriculumvitae/f/cvresume.htm ) Professionalism takes work! I’m picking up the subtleties as I go along.

Well Jews and Gentiles, I think there may be hope for me yet. I may not be a professional slacker after all. I don’t think the world is ready for a fully functional, successful, and positive Roze. I’m not sure that I am. Life is kinda thrusting me into things now with or without my consent, and I’m beginning to think that’s better. I won’t stand in my own way.

Look out world, I care again!

Internships and internal shit,

Nancy Negative

Miscellaneous Check-In

These last few days have been full of quirk and flashbacks, old habits and even older favorite songs.

1.

…. popped up randomly on Pandora.

2.

… a friend typed the lyrics on Twitter and it’s been in my head all day.

3.

… if I could have been old enough in the 90s, me and my Timberland-wearing boyfriend would have held hands listening to this on our Walkman radios!

4. Last, but most certainly not least,

Words cannot explain how much bogle-ing I was doing to this song today! [in my head OF COURSE!] “What’s the BOGLE you ask!” … [you probably didn’t ask…] Like to see it? Here it goes!


The professor with a heart of ice is starting to warm to my charms [… and by charms I mean up-sucking]. Less than two weeks left in summer school for me. Job hunt in progress. Thinking about this LONG, VAST, EXPANSIVE ,NEVER-ENDING time between now and the fall. {shrug}

ENC 3301, Old school jams, and the BOGLE

Summer’s Around the Corner…

… and I’ve been thinking about the end of the semester and how my summer will go. I still have three finals to attend to as well as courses to take over the summer. the month of April has kept me busier than the hamsters (poor lil tired furry feet) that run the internet. I want to finish strong but I just really wanna be done. I’m kind of feeling like this…

Well, not exactly like this… GWAR kinda went a little left with it…

I have a Summer To-Do List (one of my many ongoing lists)

1.  Get back into Yoga! I miss being flexible and centered; one with the universe and all that jazz. Really I just used to get up in the morning, read a Bible verse, do some yoga, and drink a glass of OJ. It was my quiet time to get my day started. But I’ve been “rippin’ and runnin’ ” (as my Mom would say) so aggressively these last two semesters that I’ve really fallen off with my discipline.

2. I want my blog to be taken seriously, so I WILL post more consistently. At LEAST every three days.

3. Little known fact: I don’t have my licence, so I want to FINALLY get that. (tired of “Oh you can’t drive? What’s wrong with you?” commentary… *frown*)

4. Work! Work! Work! … and Save! Save! Save!

5. Get crafty and start on all the projects ion my head! (I’m a little homemaker, tall and thin, here are my scissors, here is my glue!)

6. Network More!! I’m friendly and resourceful, why aren’t I better connected?

7. Go to the beach! It get;s kinda played out in Florida so believe it or not, I haven’t been in about a year!

8. Get in SHAPE!!!!

9. Travel! I want to go somewhere on my own time. I want to visit and appreciate at my own leisure, not when you’re on a family trip and the only parts of Brooklyn you see are in your grand-aunt’s house.

10. Stop cursing! I don’t do it too often, but I’m too complacent with it. It slips out comfortably in conversation like it belongs. (GET BACK IN THE BASEMENT, EXPLETIVE!!!!!!) It betrays my labyrinthine vocabulary! I want to be better!

11. I want to read WAY more often. Not just required text. Mounds of homework over the years make you shirk from literature like vampires from the light. Somebody, please recommend me some a good read!

12. Look ahead to the fall semester and plan out my involvement and career goals. i need to get serious about what I’m going to do in the coming years. I wont be in college forever (no matter how it feels now). Will it be grad school? A 9-5 job? Med School? Will I pursue my passions and roam the world for a while?

Ok so… what else?

I met Finesse Mitchell (yum) when he came to our school! I got a couple of pictures with him, the one I’m using as my background is definitely the BESTEST!!!  went to a leadership conference which was enlightening and great! I learned about motivation, goal-setting, and working with others. This week went by super fast!!

Summer, GWAR, and Finesse Mitchell’s ole’ sexy self!!!!

Fresh Haircut! #2012Leggo

A New Year means new hair, so this afternoon in Miami I set off to the barbershop. After waiting for around half an hour, battling staring patrons and barbers, I was finally called. Half an hour later the mimi-fro is gone and my scalp doeth heartily rejoice. Also I think the creepy quiet dude that cut my hair was hitting on me. Why did he need to know if I had kids? Then, after inquiring about my invisible boyfriend, he asked if we could be friends…. ummm is HELL NO an option?

PS: if I dated a barber this would be so much easier… but not him, he was like 38.

Zombism: A Threat Undetected

As you read this, millions are at risk but are blissfully unaware. As you read these lines those millions are preoccupied with their YouTube and Facebook accounts; with their sensationalized newspaper headlines and they are content with their bustling and for the time-being satisfying lives. Each of them is only acutely aware of an indescribable danger. We feel it when we turn on the news and see ravaged people in other countries suffering other fates, from other diseases; but not here, and not us. Not in our hometowns and not to our neighbors. We have institutes and precautionary systems with haughty acronyms and emergency alarms so we need not worry. However, a threat waits on the vanguard of disaster, one for which we have no plans, no precautions. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should include in its archives the danger that an outbreak of Zombism (the condition of being a zombie) would pose and take measures to protect United States Citizens if ever reanimated corpses infected with a flesh-eating, mind-controlling virus were to rise up against us.

First we must inquire as to why the CDC would be the best organization for such an undertaking and not a faction of the armed forces. Zombism is most like a bio-terror threat and hails from a viral or bacterial origin. These types of dealings are well within the realm of knowledge of the CDC and the mechanics of an army of the undead, more correctly known as “life-impaired” (Maynard), would best be addressed through this healthcare perspective.

Currently, the CDC provides information about diseases, epidemics, and pandemics (Office) and classifies the level of danger for each outbreak of a threatening disease. The CDC also presents information about the symptoms, cause, and preventions of ailments and even steps in to quell incidents of disease too severe to be handled by simple individuals or area hospitals. In the tomes collected by the CDC chronicling a cornucopia of diseases, not one mention is made of the threat of Zombism (I should know, I checked. The only “Z” word is Zosters).

Although the CDC is one of the most reputable and efficient glossaries providing information on everything from “African Trypanosomiasis” to “Zosters” (Office), it fails to protect us from one of the most fabled threats featured in Science Fiction the world over. Although out breaks of Zombism have been vastly unreported it is hardly impossible to think

that a combination of ailments under the right conditions could bring to life the utmost of horrors. The CDC could at least step in and rate this as a plausible threat so that observers can be made wary and prepare. In the case of the swine flu (also known as the H1N1 Virus), the CDC previously gave it a Phase 6 rating meaning that it was on its way to becoming a global pandemic (Division) and interceded with measures of quarantine and testing as well as international travel restriction. Why couldn’t such a step be taken in the way of the Zombie threat?

You may be thinking to yourself, “Well how can I spot and/or prepare for a Zombie epidemic?” and “What if a legion of the Life-Impaired are already noshing on my skull cleft open like a hard-boiled egg?” For the latter I have absolutely no advice. For the former, however I urge you to research the symptoms and precursors. Here is a brief overview: First there must be the initial death necessary for the epidemic to ensue. There must be one or more unusually gruesome casualties (Maynard). These newly dead will serve as the drones. We may look toward a bacteria that already exists and causes the death of many in a seemingly pre zombie manner. This bacterium is known as Necrotizing Fasciitis, also known as the “Flesh-Eating Disease” (Vorvick). Perhaps somehow the bacterium has the potential to become mobile by using the body of a host to consume the flesh of others. My theory is somewhat vague in its explanation for the reanimation process but there will be no need for explanation when the life-impaired (Maynard) individuals are walking the streets. There will also need to be the defenseless or isolated living inhabiting a post-war or post disease world for zombies to attack and obtain fresh flesh from.

Fear not. Well, fear less, because there are measures that we can take. There is a buzz amongst some that prompts them to be prepared for all sorts of disaster-related, apocalyptic, instances. These overly cautious, paranoid, shut-ins believe that “Disaster[s] [are] going to happen … and …will strike without warning” (Preparedness) and have put together kits for surviving a wealth of circumstances along with instructional videos and books. In these kits you can find rations for food and water as well as batteries and impromptu shelter (Preparedness). As a personal addition, I feel that hand washing can be a simple but efficacious weapon against impending doom of all shapes and sizes. Proper and frequent hand washing impedes the motility of microbes than can be transmitted through mucus membranes and into the body (Staff, Mayo). There they may result in a cold, flu, or a bloodthirsty, drooling agent of the damned. If nothing else, it makes your hands smell nice. Who wouldn’t enjoy a pleasantly fragrant hand?

To conclude, the threat is indeed somewhat real. Zombism, although a stretch, could be a viable danger to the world as we know it. As it stands, we have no established protection from such a hazard and would be left entirely dumfounded in the face of a mobilized unprecedented evil. The dead should stay that way and no amount of “Quality-of-life” arguments could change my mind. The CDC needs to take responsibility for its constituents and provide in its database public information about the symptoms, causes, and preventative measures entailed with zombism.