Unpaid? “No, Thank You”

As a Graduating Senior from Spelman College this May 20th, 2012 – the job search has become a real issue. There are two sides to the career coin: 1. Do I obtain a job that pays well based on my credentials? or 2. Do I take a position in which I am making a difference in my community, but that doesn’t pay as good? The battle becomes difficult when there are debt payments to be made for furthering my education and sustaining the basic needs of life in a capitalist society. I’m sure many of us have had and will continue to have to face the age old story of working at a firm because they pay well versus doing work that we are passionate about. That’s not to say that our passions will not pay us well, but it is fair to say that some of us have abstract dreams that do not always lead to great monetary returns as swiftly as others.

So as I venture through these last few days at Spelman College, applying to any job I can find that will utilize my skills obtained here at Spelman, I find myself battling the issue of passion versus paycheck. I’ve known from a relatively young age that I would in someway make a positive impact on this world that we live in. Being a role model back home in Bermuda through out middle and high school and even as I began my college career, it was clear to me that there were young people watching me – using me as their example for what they could do, wanted to do and needed to do. I didn’t realize it at the time but being a role model was Jah’s way of prepping me for the work he would call on me to do in the years to come.

The battle has always been there even when I was a young girl. Deciding whether to do homework versus playing outside before my homework was done. I was raised in a one parent home and there were plenty of opportunities for me to ‘tell’ my mum that I did my homework before I played, knowing that I hadn’t worked on it at all. However, there was always something innate within me that motivated me to set a good example. I am far from perfect, I do not know all of the answers, nor will I ever say that the way I did things was the right way. I will say that the only reason I chose to do things the way I did was because I knew there would be some young child out there like me who would be looking for an easy way out, an excuse to say “I didn’t do it because…” and I didn’t want them to find that excuse because I was able to do it, despite the odds.

I still struggle with the ‘passion versus paycheck’ dilemma. But I have found peace in the fight, through meditation and conversations with Jah as they both work wonders for the spirit. I’m far from super religious or knowing scripture inside and out but I do believe in having a profound relationship with Jah that allows me to accept things in my life as lessons and learning experiences. I have made the conscious decision to work in a field where I will make a difference in this world. One of Spelman’s mantras is “A Choice to Change the World” – I have yet to meet a Spelman Woman who does not take that mantra seriously.

In an effort to start my own personal change, I have decided to actively apply to positions from which I know I can start my quest to make an astounding difference in this world. That’s not to say that using the corporate world in that endeavor is not an option, but it will not be my first option. I have no problem with making just enough income to sustain my basic needs here on this Earth in order to genuinely make a change in this world. My mindset had to change in order for me to make that decision which is something some folks should consider doing. It was far from an easy thing to do, changing the mindset you have been taught as a young child – to be ‘selfish‘ when it comes to your education, income and wealth building. To be selfless is far more rewarding, giving a little piece of yourself to help the next person get to where you are or at the very least assist them in setting up themselves towards where you are.

So I challenge you, my reader, to think about what is you love – if it is to make money and not worry about the issues in the world then fine. I am not trying to  make you feel guilty for feeling that way because if that is what you feel in your spirit is right for you, by all means go for it. But if you have the feeling that there is something wrong in your community that you want to see changed, do it! I heard 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and the Father of Microcredit Muhammad Yunus speak over the weekend and both his speeches were just as profound as when I heard Spragga Benz speak on his interview with the DancehallNow Crew on DaFlavaRadio.com. I truly believe that Jah is calling me to fulfill my higher purpose, what exactly it is – I have no idea – but I am willing to go through the process of finding out. I hope you will do the same.  With that, I leave you with a quote that I reworded from Prof. Yunus, I hope it inspires you to continue, change or stop what you are doing if it does not resonates within your spirit.

Don’t try to solve the entire problem all at once, start by solving a small portion of the problem. Then move on to another part, once the first part is solved.” – Prof. Muhammad Yunus

Until next time

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Ignite Your Passion

Today I was talking to JusBus (@thejnation) and we were conversing about our life’s passion, what it is that we love to do. Now he had his down – he knew exactly what he was passionate about and he has been doing it for over a decade. Little ole Terri K on the other hand, not so settled in my passion. I figured it was because I’m still young and there is so much out there that I can do if I just focus on it and learn the craft but J dropped some knowledge on me that was definitely noted. He said “Consistency“. I’m not going to blog our whole conversation but when he mentioned the word consistency it dawned on me, that at 22 years old I was going through phases – trying out anything new that caught my attention because it was fun to do. Now, I really do not see that as a bad thing because doing something because it’s fun is actually pretty good but the issue comes when one get bored. Then it’s what is going to be my next interest?

So I did a bit of thinking today and decided to share with you this post about passions whether they are career-based, relationship-based, life-based, or personally-based! I feel that this post is necessary for those who do not know exactly what it is they are passionate about and those who already know should read to ensure that their passion is truly what they believe it be.

Many of us were asked in our first year of school, Kindergarten, what do you want to be when you grow up? I’m sure many of us had some elaborate answers that were so farfetched but seemed so attainable that we acknowledged them anyway. From that first declaration some of us may be working towards that goal of being a Doctor, Teacher, Hair Dresser, Race Car Driver, etc. But for the most part, many of us have changed and changed our minds so many times people started to ask us “what do you want to be this month?” Then comes high school graduation and the decision to go for higher education or to enter the labor force and that’s when those childhood dreams either come to the forefront or get buried in exchange for another person’s dream for you. I won’t tell you which option is better because that is entirely relative based on the person who is asking him/herself that question.

However, I will say that coupled with the question of whether you will go to college or enter the labor market the questions of ‘what truly makes me happy, what am I passionate about, what do I go to bed thinking about doing tomorrow when I wake up and all throughout the day’ should be asked as well. Many of us ignore those questions because we have a family to take care of, parents to pay back for the 18 years they have been supporting us, we have teachers, professors and society telling us what profession earn the highest income and telling use what we need to do to obtain that job. But it is just that a JOB! My connotation of a job is a mundane activity that a person engages in weekly in order to pay the bills they incurred monthly in order to sustain a life that allows them to continue with the same routine day in and day out.

Now I know some people will say “<strong>But I love my job, I’m passionate about it” and that’s fine. I challenge you think about what it is about your ‘job’ that you are passionate about? For some customer service reps, it is their ability to help clients troubleshoot and solve their problems before the clients gets extremely frustrated and does not want to work on the issue any further. For some managers, it’s the opportunity they have to assemble their team and motivate them to strive for their best no matter the outcome. For the politician, it is the joy they receive when they are making a positive difference for their local community, the one in which they were born and raised. All of these are perfectly fine! There is so much more that could be said about these three examples and the slew of other jobs and careers that are available to us.

Mankind as a whole has gotten to a point where we are driven by titles and not tasks. Sure we have titles to distinguish one occupation from another but how many of us can say we know the exact task we are supposed to be performing at our job? Furthermore, how many of us can explicitly state which task it is that we do that brings us joy that ties into our passion and would explain why we wake up every morning (Jah willing) to complete that task each day? #FoodForThought

I’m not saying that I have a definite answer for the questions posed in this post but I am working on my own personal answers. I challenge you to do the same whether you love your job, you hate it, if you’re looking for a career change or trying to get that promotion. I challenge you to look at YOU in the mirror and ask yourself “What is it that makes (INSERT YOUR NAME) happy?” Do not say me, I want you to say your own name and internalize everything that you saying. Have you ever noticed that when someone asks you something with your name in it versus just saying ‘you’ you’re response is a little bit deeper? No. Next time you got to ask someone a question, use their name in the question. “So and So, what do you think of this?” then ask another person the exact same question but just simply ask them “What do you think of this?” You may be surprised at the way the persons respond. Of course they will have varying answers but it’s the way the respond that should surprise you. If it doesn’t, I may just be thinking a little too deeply for some of you and that’s cool! LoL

I hope that this post has encouraged you to really think about your passions and if they are not what ‘society, your friends, your parents or anyone in your life‘ thinks it should be that you will go after it regardless! At the end of the day, you have to live with you every single day and if you’re not happy no one will actively try to make that happen for you, no matter how much they may love you.

Until next time

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Universal Cure of Love

So I have yet to write a blog post about Love, probably because I am not in it and I have no guy in my life to gush about online. But then again, even if I did have one that’s one topic area I would not divulge into online. However, I have been musically obsessed with @ThemIslandBoyz ft. @CureAgain (Jah Cure)’s single “Kiss Me Girl” and I have found myself listening more and more to Lover’s Rock reggae music on a daily. So I figured I would write a post about Love in a general sense with a Caribbean-tone.

Love. One of the most beautiful words that someone can use to express their feelings of another person, but it can also be one of the most scariest experiences to fall into if you’re not ready or meant to be in love at that moment. I think it is safe to say that we have all felt ‘love’ before, whether it has been for our family, our closest friends or our significant other. The fact that there are different kinds of ‘love’ out there is what makes it one of the most interesting ideologies to me. The one that many of us associate our feelings with is the romantic kind of love.

Being fond of someone and being in love with someone are two very distinct things. I have had conversations with friends on the differences between the two and many of them do not differentiate them. They often combine the two together and use them interchangeably. “I love my best friend and I love my boy/girlfriend, so I love them both, right?” Many of them have said that statement or a similar statement, yet when they really think about it the love they have for their friend is different than the one they have for their spouse. That’s not to say that they don’t love their spouse as a friend as well, but it is difficult for some people to distinguish between the two because they miss out one very important word, and that is ‘in’.

Love is my religion. I’m sure if you don’t understand my culture, where I grew up and the music I listen to you may not really understand that. So I’d advise you to check out my blog post on “Love for Culture” after you finish this one. Besides our basic needs for survival, I truly believe ‘love for all mankind‘ is the most basic kind of love we need. Many of us have a desire to be ‘in love’ with someone who is in love with us back. Ladies want to find a King, who will protect her from anything and everything. Guys want to find a Queen, the one who he can come home to day after day, night after night and be amazed at her Superwoman abilities of making a home-cooked meal, doing the housework and taking care of their family with ease.

But many folks forget to love others as they love themselves. We’re so caught up in finding our soul mate before we start to get old and unattractive, we sleep around trying to feed our sex appetites, all while saying don’t judge me because you only live once, YOLO. This is true, you do only live once but claiming that you need to do every and anything you can think of all before you die defeats the purpose of truly living, in my opinion. The idea of YOLO seems rather selfish, because if you’re doing everything you can think of for yourself, what are you doing to help the next person beside you or those who come after you? Life is about choices, we all have the ability to make our own – whether right or wrong.

I firmly believe that Love is about choices as well. You can choose to love someone instead of being in love with him/her. You can choose to love everyone for their unique differences and accept that their differences are what you love, not that they fit your idea of “perfection“. None of us will know the ‘perfect’ love whether with family, friends or significant others because we all have flaws. Loving the flaws is what true love is about. To love the man who hurt your family by walking away because he wasn’t ready for the responsibilities and accepting that the love you show him will be passed on to someone else and other forms of heartache. Love is the universal cure. You would be surprise what a little bit of love can do for your life, the life of your family, friends and even the world.

With that folks, I hope that you have read this post and give some thought to the kinds of ‘love‘ you engage in within your own life. You may think the way you love is perfectly fine and that is amazing. It is my hope that this post at the very least invokes you to look at what you think Love truly is and practice loving in that very way with no exceptions for people who do not fit the mold you think loving someone should be in. I leave you with this quote on love:

Love is the way we show peace, Love sets us free. Love is the bond that joins us to our community. Love is the answer that we’ve been searching for. It lives inside all of us, just open up the door, and Love to find Peace.” – Robert Alan Silverstein

Until next time

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Fashionably Late

It’s hard to be a 22-year-old female in today’s society and not be a tad bit obsessed with fashion. There’s so much to love and dislike about fashion, from the sketches to the final products there is an aspect in fashion for EVERY fashionista’s dream. I like to think that every female can be a fashionista of her own style, but sometimes that is not always the case. Sometimes the ‘daring diva‘ fashionista takes it too far on campus and other times the ‘reserved damsel‘ doesn’t go far enough for the party scene. Nevertheless, the differences of people are most notably expressed in the fashion world.

This is not a blog about how to style yourself or what is a fashionista or modeling or the fashion world as a whole. I am simply going to share with you my latest fashion obsession.

I have been in on-again, off-again relationship with my ‘fashionista’ self. In Bermuda, it was not always easy to find the latest fashions at reasonable pricing. However, I had the pleasure of being granted an internship at StyleBermuda.com and I was introduced to the Art of thrifting and a slew of stores that had reasonable pricing – it was just a matter of actually finding those stores. So my love for fashion and being able to afford those fashion found it’s soul-mate in Style Bermuda. Collecting fashion magazine became another obsession of mines, clipping looks that I wanted in my closet and looks that I thought just looked amazing (which were too expensive for my budget but fashionable nonetheless) all collectively boosted my love for fashion that eventually became a passion of mines.

I have recently found that my deep passion for fashion is rooted in design despite my inability to draw very well. Hence, my latest fashion obsession – JEWELRY making. I found that it does not required that much drawing if any at all and I am more of a visual person anyway. I’d do better showing someone a design that I wish to create than to actually draw it. So sampling is where I can see myself.

By the end of 2012: it is my goal to have launched a jewelry line and to be selling that jewelry under the name “Fashionably Late Designs“. There’s no mystic, deep meaning behind it. Although I can create one: however, simplicity is what I promote. So readers be on the look out for updates on this site, which will feature the first line of designs created by me in the upcoming months and do spread the word because exclusive deals will be given to the early supporters!

Until next time

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You Never Know

I’ve heard from many sources that it is not so much about what you know anymore as it is about who you know. For a while, I was puzzled as to what this meant. I thought “But how can my being in school not matter as much or more than who I happened to know“. I can’t remember exactly when I first heard that notion, it was probably when I was transitioning from middle school into high school; the naivety I had to actually think that in upcoming years the knowledge I had would actually outweigh the people I knew and their ability to assist me was evident. Sure, in a perfect world one’s educational attainment would have more of a bearing on various decisions than who the person knows. But then again, is that even a perfect world? Who says that because someone received a higher education they are of more value than someone who did not receive the higher education? Then again, what about one’s innate ability to understand simplistic versus complex concepts?

The way of the world today is somewhat scary in that out of the 100% certainty behind a “Yes” answer there is more than 50% which is relied solely on who you may or may not know. Did you know the interviewer, did the interviewer know you, did the interviewer know someone who knew you, and etc. etc. etc! I can come up with a slew of  “who knew who” that is used as justification for saying “Yes” to someone rather than saying “No”.

However, the initial reason for this post was to explore how sometimes we as people forget how to be humble for knowing whomever it is that we know. I had a personal encounter in this regard last week Friday. Story time!

Last week, I asked a friend of mines to start me in lessons on the turntables. I’ve been wanting to learn how to mix for years now and I finally said to myself: “It’s either now or never to learn so just go for it!” To skip the play-by-play and to give you the moral of the story, a negative comment was made about a company that I am affiliated with, DaFlavaRadio, and I took offense and defended my position, Radio Personality, at the company but there was an awkward moment after that comment was made.

The hot-tempered Island Woman could have come out in me and I could have flew off the handle something major, but I chose not to. I figured it would make a great blog post and a lesson to anyone affiliated with the person, Chiney K, and the company, CaribVibesRadio, from which the comment was made. Personally, I went to the event not really knowing what to expect but I am a very open-minded individual and I believe from every experience a lesson can be learned. Additionally, networking is always an option when meeting new people. I would never walk into anyone’s establishment and disrespect their craft or what they are doing.

When I started by talking about it’s who you know more so than what you know, it lead into this issue. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but it would serve you well to humble your opinion to take the form of constructive criticism versus sounding like you are being disrespectful. At the end of the day, no one knows what opportunities or challenges he/she may face tomorrow and by choosing to think before you speak can do you more good than harm.

I could have not named where the comments came from or who they were targeted towards but honestly it was said, an apology was given and this post is not to disrespect anyone but to shed light on the fact that if you are not humble in all that you do, your arrogance, cockiness and overt confidence can hurt you more than it helps you.

So I leave you all on that note with the following two quotes below. Please feel free to comment or spread the message.

Teaching is the highest form of understanding.” – Aristotle … “Humility is the gateway into the grace and the favor of God.” – Harold Warner

Until the next post

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Love For Culture

If you have meet me in person or seen my tweets on Twitter you probably know something about what I love. It’s really no secret, my Twitter profile tells you “CARIBBEAN music enthusiast” and that is the honest truth. Granted, the island I hail from is not considered to be a Caribbean island but you couldn’t visit Bermuda and not notice the Caribbean cultural influences in the way we live our lives, the way we carry ourselves but especially in the music we listen to. For that reason, I consider myself and my culture to be Caribbean-influenced.

We’re a laid-back people, Bermudians. For the most part we’re not as fast paced as the major cities of the United States or even London from our Colonial Power, Great Britain. But do not take our laid-back characteristic as a weakness, we as a people know exactly what we want for ourselves. Personally, music is what I want! I cannot really express how much I love music, more specially Caribbean music such as Reggae and Dancehall. Initially, I believe it was because my mother used to play music at home every chance she could on her record player; it wasn’t reggae, however. But seeing how much my mother loved the music she played, I think that intrigued me into finding out why she loved music so much and finding a love all my own. Sounds kind of corny, but looking back on my childhood that is exactly what I was trying to do.

Today, I can say I am a complete lover of Reggae music. Culturally, I was raised with Caribbean traditions and music was a prominent part of that. When I listen to reggae music at home, using my iPod or in the car I get an amazing feeling, literally it feels like chills. That is a feeling I have been chasing since I was a tiny tot but I never could explain it, I just knew when I listened to music I wanted to feel amazing! Again, kind of corny but it’s my reality.

My dream job, the career I want to build, is based within the Reggae music industry. I used to think I wanted to be in the overall music industry but my love for Reggae trumps all other genres and Reggae music does not receive the International success it deserves. SO THAT IS MY GOAL! It may even be my mission and reason for being, but I shall tackle that info at another time. For now my love for reggae is all the motivation I need to pursue a dream I’ve had since a little girl…that is to be a true lover of music and do whatever I can within the industry.

I hope you will do the same whatever it is you are passionate about. I leave you with two quotes that have inspired me to constantly do whatever it is that makes me happy…

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” – Aristotle … “Become who you are!” – Friedrich Nietzsche

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President Obama Is A Snob!

This morning as I was getting myself ready to head off to work when I found myself staring at my television focused on the Morning Joe show. Mika, the co-host of the show, was talking about a story which involved a comment made by Rick Santorum stating that President Obama is a snob. Please view the video listed below before you read the rest of this post if you do not know what comment I talking about made Santorum:

Now, whether you are Republican, Democrat, an Independent or you choose not vote, I would hope that you do not agree with Santorum’s outlandish statement that President Barack Obama is a snob! Even if you are not the biggest fan or supporter of President Obama.

For Santorum to blanket President Obama’s #SOTU goal of affordable higher education despite socio-economic background as one that meant that every college-aged student would have to attend college; for Santorum to say that the President is a snob for wanting students to be able to attend College if they chose; for Santorum to say that President Obama wants American citizens to be made in his image is by FAR the most outrageous thing I have heard in the 2011-2012 GOP race to date.

Santorum’s foundation for that comment is that President Obama’s goal to have every American in College is further from the truth. When I read the #SOTU address last month, President Obama stated that he wanted to make it so that aspiring College students would have the opportunity to attend, if they wanted, with additional federal aid made available to them. The Colleges and Universities that displayed an effort to keep tuition and fees at a reasonable level would receive federal assistance as well.

I’m trying to figure out the last time any person who was consider a snob cared about anyone but themselves. By definition a snob is one ‘who dislikes people or activities regarded as lower-class.’ The last time I checked President Obama worked to give benefits to those of the lower-class, he constantly and consistently advocates for those in the middle to lower economic classes in the United States. Snob would be more equivalent of a term to bestow upon Mitt Romney before President Obama.

We know that it is election year, the slander and libel statements will be heavily promoted and publicized this year. But for Santorum to have thought in his mind that President Obama IS in fact a snob and then to utter the word on national television is by far one of the most surprising things I have seen on TV since the Grammy’s & Nicki’s performance! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I am not in any way trying to change Santorum’s opinion of President Obama what I am trying to figure out is what made him think to say it out loud?

But that’s not even the end of my rant on Santorum. He stated that President Obama was looking to make aspiring College students in his own image. THAT TOOK THE CAKE!

First, as a young woman who believes wholeheartedly in the Almighty Jah, I know for a fact that I was created in His image. Both Santorum and President Obama are men of a religion, the specific ones are not as important as the fact that anyone who believes in Jah, knows that they were created in His image. As African descendants, myself, President Obama, and others like us have been told for centuries that Jah was white. (But I’ll save that for another post). The point is that there would never be a time that someone who believes in Jah, knowing that he/she was made in His image, would ever think that someone else should be made in their image; be it their child or someone else’s child.

In essence, Santorum is saying that President Obama holds himself on the same level as Jah. In all honesty, there may be some people who truly believe President Obama is a God send for African Americans and other minorities in this country yet there are still others who do not think that highly of him, African descendants and other minorities. But Santorum definitely has no merit in his statement on any of the three points I outlined.

President Obama does not want ALL students to go to College, he simply wants to make it affordable for all students, particular who may not be able to afford college on their own or who may not obtain scholarships or loans. Secondly, President Obama is far from a snob. Would a snob fight so hard against a Congress that does not want to pass anything he puts forth that will make life easier for those in the lower socio-economic classes? And finally, President Obama is not trying to make anyone in his own image but himself. So Mr. Santorum, please note that you have sincerely bothered me with your comment.

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