2019: Year of Compatibility

Today marks two weeks of travel into the new year. Exactly fourteen days of reflection, goal-setting, and a lot of backsliding. I’m digging in: committing to making my one and only life work. In the last few weeks I kept hearing a word come up in conversations, in books, on screens. My new theme.

Last year…

2018, for me, was defined by a particular word. A running theme that spanned 365 days of challenging, irritating, and patience-building circumstances.

That word was resilience.

From relationship woes to impending unemployment. From seeking to securing to adjusting to a new and more exciting job.

From stress-induced fender-bender to a car accident that totaled my baby Harriet (Tubman because she freed me). Crying for months on the phone with – and in the offices of – unaccommodating car catastrophe-related personnel.

I had to tough it out. Find stores of resilience in myself because no matter how inconvenient and painful, ultimately not one in that series of unfortunate events, would kill me.

There’s something both empowering and disheartening in knowing that you can survive more. In knowing that you can -and one day will have to- be even stronger still. To my genuine dismay I’d have to make it, and keep making it until I encounter something that actually could!

2018 brought me my first major loan/credit debt-builder while simultaneously rewarding me for my fastidious and measured money management. That gave me the chance to buy a new newish new-to-me car without a co-sign.

2018 brought me a new apartment and a supportive and enjoyable new roomate. Desperation forced our hands, and leases loomed, but a great new friendship formed with each passing month.

Finally, 2018 brought me a new job and plenty of opportunities to learn more about coworker relationships, leadership, and the bureaucratic entities that govern worky-desky-sitty jobs. I’m learning to detect and define my red flags: in romance, in myself, and in my past.

This Year…

In all that I experienced last year, the greatest lesson, and this year’s word, is compatibility. Too many times I’ve forced interactions, and ignored red flags. I’ve wanted things and people more than I’ve wanted peace and flow. I’ve sacrificed compatibility thinking it would yield results in the long run while suffering daily. Living in-authentically. Incompatibly.

I’m committing myself to effortlessness. No matter how contradictory that sounds. 🤦🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️ I’m working everyday to create a free-flowing life. Disciplining my time and my life to allow in the types of opportunities that I want to experience and take advantage of. If I can nail down my habits, I will have the discernment necessary to adjudicate over delicious new experiences with the time and preparation to appreciate them. What I’ll need is discipline.

Plot twist: Discipline is this cool new form of self-care where you follow a schedule, prompt yourself, and do things that benefit your life. Get this, if you push through your reluctance, and fatigue and keep to your word, you actually see your life improve! Crazy, right!?

My new Mantra. It gets me out of bed. Out of the car for work. Into the gym despite this unusual cold snap. I mumble it to myself in traffic, and as I set my alarms. “Discipline is love. Discipline is love. Discipline is love.” In the shower when my mental to-do list at work gets disparagingly long, “Discipline is love.”

Discipline is the new hygge. Discipline is the new pilates, hot yoga, and cycling combined. For the last two weeks I have set a schedule for myself and begun sleeping at a certain time, setting particular days to work out or study for class. I’ve taken specific steps to make myself ready and remove excuses.


Shoutout to @Amaa_Official on Twitter for Inception inseminating my mind!

Ways that I’ve been utilizing discipline to increase compatibility in 2019:

  • I speak immediately on the things causing me anxiety and don’t murder myself by over thinking the outcomes and avoiding difficult conversations
  • I put my clothes out the night before AND check the weather
  • I schedule my workouts and don’t stress if I miss one. I just resume immediately at the next scheduled opportunity
  • I meal prep to save money, keep on diet, and feel like a grown up
  • I try to do things at the same times each day to create routine and run on muscle memory
  • I can spend time with friends and family more often if I make them shorter outings. (for instance, I can say yes to a party without anxiety because I know be there for no more than 120 minutes)
  • I let my phone die on Saturday mornings, and don’t power up again until the evening. A whole day off the grid to work on my blog, homework, connect to loved ones, work out, get domestic, or just relax
  • I refuse to be inhabited by guilt so I leave work at a reasonable time and wake up early to recap before I sit at my desk. No more unfocused late nights churning out half-assed results from a foggy anxious brain drain

I want to be calling things, relationships, experiences, and opportunities toward me. I want to create a space where growth, love, and contentment are welcomed. I want to have room for change, and be the person with the mindset to make use of that change. Discipline is love. Love for me, for my friends and family, love for my readers, and the individuals I serve. I want to love my life more, so I need to discipline it.

Discipline is love.

TIRED of Being Broke: No Money, Mo Problems!

Image courtesy of skiptothis.com

[sings Al Green-ly at top of lungs]

“I’m so tired of being broke,

I can’t pay this on my own,

Won’t you help me Mom,

Just as soon as you can!?”

I’m sitting on another curb tearfully waiting for a tow truck; the second one this week.

Lyfting across Miami costs me about a month’s worth of gas, and my lil red hooptie Harriet is no closer to being fixed.

I try to hide my face from the residents of the overpass under which I overheated. We are now essentially in the same water-free boat.

Update: Bought a new car in August. Still broke though 🤦🏾‍♀️ Car buying is an emotional 🎢

I get it. I’m a quasi-recent grad. I’m young. I “should” be broke. It’s expected. I devoted my first few years after graduation to service, and the non profit sector is so named for a reason. Got it.

Big booty BUT though … now I’m settled in another full time, fully benefited, office based, salaried job with all the assurances and insurances that I previously coveted, and I’m still broke. Still proportionately the same amount of broke.

Brick. Brack. Broke. 💆🏾‍♀️😒🙃

I don’t have to bread you in the many work, income, and finance woes that face the average millennial. You know then well.

1. We’re living at home longer which means we buy homes later.

2. We are SADDLED with unprecedented educational debt.

3. We inherited an awesome economy.

4. Will invariably end up working deep into our golden years.

Ultimately it all just feels like…

A memoir.

Chapter 1.

Where’s my mom now with her threats to take me out of this world she so lustfully brought me into!?

I’m tired, boss.

Plus insurance still costs you money and I don’t understand why I’m paying twice to not be sick!

Every-flipping-thing! Bills, insurance, loans, water, the waves that travel through Al Gore’s Internet, breathing, eating animals, not eating animals, education, avocados, air, everything.

Do these headliner tidbits sound familiar?

1. “You should have three months of bills (not just rent) saved up!”

3. How many emergencies can you fund?

Cake cannot be both eaten and possessed simultaneously. The same quantity of money cannot be both saved and spent. It’s not a question of how much I spend, or how aggressively I budget.

I don’t make enough. Thats it.

The rent at my new apartment is $75 less expensive. Our utilities are lower. I eat out less often than ever. And just as I might see addendums to my pockets, I have had 3 emergencies since August. There goes my profit margin.

Credit card balance hovers like a David Blane stunt: inscrutable and racially ambiguous.

{enters stage left} … the side hustle. Which thus far feels more like an internship.

But…

How are y’all escaping the clutches of poverty? Glucose guardians?

Email me!

Lessons in Adulting: Imposter Syndrome

When you’re a baby, no one shames you for not speaking English. Or any language besides cooing and burbling. {Actually no one should shame anyone for not speaking English, but that’s neither here not there! Heck you, xenophobes!🤚🏾🚫} So why is it that once you you pass through the invisible doorway to presumed adulthood, are we suddenly expected to know everything!?

It’s like I’m reviewing a book in a genre I’ve never read. Like I’m writing an instruction manual for a device I’ve never used, seen, built or even heard of. I’m a first-time adult.🤷🏾‍♀️🙃

[Rod Serling, writer and host of Twilight Zone voice] Enter into evidence the phenomenon know as ✌🏾imposter syndrome✌🏾

According the great and reputable peer-reviewed source know as Wikipedia, imposter syndrome is defined as:

Not to be confused with Capgras delusion which seems far more prohibitive and problematic.

I’ve been battling with I.S. in waves for the last 8ish years. Here’s my theory!

Roze’s I.S. theory:

1. Well meaning parents haphazardly program their children with fixed mindset ideals (ie. “Look how well you did. It’s so easy for you. You barely study. You’re naturally bright!”) and reward innate talent disproportionately 👩🏾🧔🏾👩🏾‍🎓

2. External value is attributed to success (ie. Honor roll, deans list, trophies and certificates) and intrinsic value is not deliberately cultivated 🏅🏆📓🔖

3. Difficult to navigate workforce rewards inflated resumes and applications (ie. Entry level pay and position requiring years of experience and certifications)

4. Supervisory practices support less dynamic and diverse workplace of antiquity (ie. supervision doesn’t survey strengths or accommodate learning styles)

5. No immediate access to HR, EAP, or mental health resources within workplace structure (ie. report/address supervisor, mitigate stresses influencing productivity, feel comfortable taking time away) 👩🏾‍⚕️ 🛋✍🏾

I’ve theorized that a wealth of factors contribute to the phenomenon of I.S. For me, I find that my I.S. is triggered in comprehensive projects with deadlines, multiple changing factors, and no clear rubric; also known as wicked problems.

In the nonprofit and academia spheres, we are inundated with wicked problems: poverty, healthcare, education etc. The stress from attempting to address these problems can reek havoc on the rest of our lives.

In an I.S. spiral I tend to think back to the many mistakes I’ve made in my burgeoning professionalism and forget to count the many more wins I’ve been privileged to have.

I’m stricken with a pain in my stomach and my thoughts race while Im possessed with the idea that I’ll be found out. I am a dummy, I have performed as promised, and I don’t deserve this job.

At any moment my director will come flying through the door; simultaneously ripping it off its hinges and banshee-screaming that I’m fired. 🚪🏇🏾🤺🐉 That’s insane. My director is a nice lady who can hardly run much less fly.

Why do I feel this way? What can I do? When should I quit?

I feel this way because it’s my first. My immediate family’s first college grad. One of my first full time quasi-traditional jobs. I’m being asked questions about retirement, paying for my own benefits, and considering, for the first time, to pinpoint what I’ll be doing in five years. I feel this way because there’s a lot riding on this and on me. Because I’m officially in charge of my life, but I want nothing more than to step down and politely decline.

Check out Cendino’s photography here!

What I can do is my best. I can pick out each day and it’s 1000 objectives and truly (not fakely) give each one whatever “my best” looks like for that day. That way I can watch Netflix, and work out, and spend the rest of my time authentically engaged without the lingering guilt and self-applied pressure that is my spiraling workweek HELL!🔥👹 I deserve to be genuinely present and invested in this one life I get.

More tangibly, I’ve recently started an achievement journal. Today’s Shine Text calls it a “brag book”, where I periodically list all the things I’ve accomplished in a day and marvel at how gifted and Beyoncé-like I am!

When should I quit? Tomorrow. I can quit tomorrow. It’s always an option. Always on the table. But today I’ll try. I’ll stay late if I have to. I will rack my brain, ask for help, go for a walk if I have to. It may be tough today, but I can always quit tomorrow.

Check out this quick read from a helpful source.

I love a good mantra 🙏🏾🕯📿🧘🏾‍♀️. Try this on for size if you’re battling some serious Imposter Syndrome! Repeat to yourself in the midst of a panic, or use it to start your day.

“I am not an imposter. I am more than qualified. I will work to prove it to myself. I deserve the rewards I have been blessed with!”

Go forth into your workweek and prosper 🖖🏾, even when your to-do list has been fruitful and multiplying. You’re not an imposter. Do your job. LIVE YOUR LIFE.

#Throwback Thursday Deliberate Action

I’m learning bit by bit to be more aggressive in the pursuit of my wants. They are important. To communicate quickly in self-advocacy. My adversities are valid. To be wholly present in the moments that I dedicate to myself. My me-time is crucial.

Most of all, I’m realizing that my advice is for me too. It’s actually mostly for me. I need it.

lftu

Life is a generous teacher; giving you multiple opportunities to to learn lessons and retake tests.

Read more at the link above!

Continue reading “#Throwback Thursday Deliberate Action”

Happy Half-Birthday, 2017!

… well, belated, at least.


Allow me to read you this poem I wrote!        {stands Wonder Woman-ly in bathroom mirror, sort of shouting }

More than half way there, and your feet are so tired, but trust me, you’ll know when you know. Half of 2017 gone, oh the places you can still go! With more that 180 days left, there’s pounds to shed and seeds to sow. You can get a summer body DURING the summer, to the gym you must go! With the finish line ever closer, now the staples in your calendar show, you can reassess your goals, perhaps a-traveling you’ll go! You’ve been dissatisfied all around, and your zeal is running so low, maybe you’ll quit your job to seek entrepreneurship. To the unemployment line you’ll go! Maybe you’ve had a bug in your ear, and you want your thinker to grow. Maybe you’ll just work up the nerve and saddle that debt, maybe back to school you’ll go! More than half way there, and your feet are so tired, but trust me, you’ll know when you know. Half of 2017 gone, oh the places you can still go!




HAPPY HALF BIRTHDAY, 2017!! Everything is possible!




Find YOUR Half-Birthday!

Mine is May 1st. I will be celebrating it from now on. Also, it carries all the weight of a full birthday! I expect 🎁!

Roze Goes,

{says to self and readers} I love you. There’s still plenty time left. Don’t go rounding up!

Let’s #MarchInto This Month!

Today is the 74th day of this year. We’ve got more than 80% left to laugh, live, travel and  try!

day 74

Everyday is a chance to #marchinto your goals, dreams, passion-projects, new jobs, savings accounts, blogs/vlogs, relationships and whatever else we want to do! Last month was #febYOUary What can you achieve this chapter?

Use the hashtag #marchinto and tell me in the comments below what YOU want to achieve in days 75 – 365!

I want to #MarchInto more fulfilling and consistent engagement with readers through purposeful content curation!

Love you,

Roze

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FebYOUary Lesson #2: Don’t Hide!

It has been many moons since the last time I was in front of a camera. It’s also been many moons since I really felt creative. I’ve been carefully squirrelling my light away under a bushel. I’ve been calling that bushel “adulting”. This immovable obstruction pressed so firmly against the base of my skull that I can hardly get oxygen to my creative cortex.

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I miss my bald head! #goodknocking #usf 

I’m lying. I’m a liar. I lied. I’m hiding.

Out here in the “real world” (a saying that WISH teachers and well-meaning advisors would stop using IMMEDIATELY! It minimizes the experiences of adolescents and students that haven’t yet been thwarted by the pressures of life! #rant) the support of your student organizations and friends just ain’t what it used to be. Bills need paying and passion-projects don’t contribute to your 401k (don’t even get me started on how horrifying a concept saving for your retirement is!). I so often wish I was still her, lil’ Roze, as I affectionately call my former selves. Before the newest updates. The new fears. The grownup challenges. So I hid(e) in old memories relishing. “In undergrad I used to…”

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Look at my smug lil’ no bills havin ass face! 

Sure, I kept up with the blog, but I haven’t been taking chances. Haven’t had as many firsts in the years since matriculation. But I don’t want those parts of me to rust. Spoil. Die.

Somehow conversely, I think I’d been idealizing a potential 24/7 non-stop musing life. Some dopamine-fueled Issa Rae ecstasy dream where I only ever do what I want. Make what I want. Live how and where I want.

Hiding. Hoping. Not crafting or creating.

I want to be more Issa and less cubicle drone worker-bee, sure. But I also don’t wanna have to find individual health insurance on an open market. *gag*

So this is the middle road. Invest just a little more over time. Churn out better quality work more consistently. Collaborating. Saying loudly and proudly what I’m passionate about, and sharing/connecting with others. Taking MYSELF seriously. My talents seriously. Because I don’t want those parts of me to rust. Spoil. Die. Considering my day job, as just that; a temporary gig. I’m not trapped if always have creating as an out.

So here goes something new. I’ll admit I was a little uncomfortable reacquainting myself with a camera. Knowing it would capture my new adult body a little less forgivingly. Knowing that I’m still writing and rewriting my definition of sexy on a thrift store etch-a-sketch.

Heck it!

SaFALLri

Wise Kouture and Roze Goes meet up to create a lookbook to help you work furs, camouflage, (p)leather, camel, and olive green into your wardrobe. Might just be the inspiration you need to put together your Black Panther opening weekend outfit!

safallri photoset

Camo Pants OOTD from Rozeena Taylor on Vimeo. Check out my boo Wise Kouture!

Some faves!

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This one I call “The Wakangregation”!

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Here I’m definitely dubious about the occupants of this sabal palm.

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The Sun is my best friend!

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I am just an icon living! 

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“Don’t make me come down to that school!”

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Perhaps you should speak to me more softly then. Monsters are dangerous and, just now, kings are dying like flies!

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Fin.

I’m also considering improv! Took a drop-in course at the Villain Theater. It put a lump on my throat and a race in my heart. It felt uncomfortable, new, perfect! I’ll be back for more.

Check Wise Kouture out in a previous post! Art Basel 2015! Friends support friends.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? What was it? What’s keeping your light under a bushel? Finances, lack of opportunity, time? Share below, because I need more new. More firsts. I can’t be done already!

I don’t want those parts of YOU to rust. Spoil. Die. Eat the world! If even in tiny bites!  Love you,

Roze

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