From Student to Unemployed

Hi Guys !

Today I want to talk about a topic which is very dear to my heart. I am sure there are persons who can relate and others who may experience this in the future so this may help you prepare. I hope.

University was great. Law school was not as great but life was good. Life was simple. Most of you like me would have been fed and financed by your parents. All you needed to do in return was to study and get decent grades and get the hell out of school so you could find a good job, right? Sounds easy enough right ?!

While studying you probably realised that the job market in most fields was saturated or that if you did find a job you would be working for a third of the salary you were expecting even with a fresh University Degree with Honours to boot.

But of course you believed you were special and would somehow beat the odds and be selected or that companies would be lined up waiting to hire you, right ? ! WRONG

You truly believed that you were now a wealth of knowledge and an asset to every company and based on this and your qualifications getting hired will be a breeeze, right? ! WRONG AGAIN

Or maybe you were the realistic type. You knew the economy and the country was saturated but you got a student loan just to finish your degree. It’s due now so regardless of how saturated the field was or how the companies were tightening their belts, there must be a job out there for you! You already know what comes next right?

I can go on but I think you get the picture…

A year and eight months ago. I was there. I had just finished all my exams and was eagerly awaiting bar call when I made the stark realisation that I had just graduated from the status of Student to Unemployed. So like any reasonable person I beefed up my resumee , made sure to add my newest qualification, made sure to put those 3 extra letters behind my name and kissed each envelope and sent out those budding applications.

For the first couple months I got no replies. I started to wonder if my applications were even received.But I didn’t have to wonder much longer because the rejections started coming in just as fast as the applications sent.

The one thing that stood out to me in most rejections was that I lacked work experience. This still baffles me to this day because you guys can correct me if I’m wrong but how can one gain years of work experience when he or she has been studying for 5 to 7 years straight trying to attain the qualifications necessary for the desired career?? I’ll wait!

I got rejected from every single law firm I applied to. I was angry , I was hurt , I was confused but more than anything else I was sad.

I decided as I always do to not be kept down! I was going to enjoy these months of freedom. So of course I travelled, I bought icecream every night, I joined some clubs, volunteered some more, of course I was at karaoke about 4 nights a week and at dinner the remainding nights. I was minutes away from being called a beach bum when it hit me that I was living my best life but my money was running out.

So I again sent out a few applications asked around some places and was met by more and more rejection. By now I was officially an Attorney, but a VERY unemployed attorney with a Student Loan staring me right in the face!

I honestly began to get very depressed and with each rejection it became worse. I would just lay in bed some days and stare at the ceiling and cry. I began to blame the society! I blamed the government! I even blamed myself for being so damn ambitious. Why did you have to go waste seven years of your life and spend so much damn money and run yourself in debt? Needless to say. I was a mess. I cried every single day. I prayed . I cried even more. I complained to friends. I had given up!

Most of my friends were experiencing the same situation so they were not much help at lifting my spirits nor was I at lifting theirs. My boyfriend at the time was so positive, always insisting that it would get better. I honestly hated that about him. I wanted to scream at him ” Dude , Just let me be unhappy! What the hell is wrong with you!”

He encouraged me to chanel my emotions into writing and I actually started a novel in the midst of my rut. That helped to some extent but on the other hand I had no job and a student loan whose grace period was slowly slipping away. Month by month, Week by week, Day by day.

Months passed. 7 months to be exact. I had given up on a legal career when a friend insisted that I come work with her doing Accounts. Anyone who knows me knows the thought of me doing anything involving numbers was extremely laughable! Needless to say, I survived about a week before being excused.

However, at one point during the week I lasted, I received a call. I had my first client. A family member had an issue and they wanted me to appear in court. I was scared, reluctant and intimidated because I could not let my family down. Despite it all, I made my first court appearance and I killed it !

Once I got a taste for the court I could not go back to my rut.From that moment I knew I couldnt keep staying at home feeling sorry for myself if I wanted to be an Attorney I was going to have to pick my butt up and make it happen. So I did.

I had actually met another young attorney in court who had inquired about where I was working. He suggested that I consider being self employed and coming to work at Chambers. I contacted the Chambers the Friday of that week and began working the Monday.

I said all that to say that I’ve been in the rut that some of you may be in or have been in but like my annoying boyfriend used to say it will get better BUT I will add only if you make it better.

I do acknowldege that being self employed is not for everyone, but it worked out well for me. Some persons work better with an employer.

To be quite frank. Being self employed is hard. It requires self motivation, discipline and tremendous investing in one’s self. My first couple months were really slow. I made the total sum of zero dollars and zero cents. I got discouraged on several occassions but I kept reminding myself that I am my brand and I am amazing and if I can’t take a chance on myself how can I really expect clients to.

Eventually it got better, Work picked up. I was getting calls and referrals and I longed for the boring days. I longed for those days when I literally had 3 hour naps at work in the afternoon. I had so much work I was literally up to my ears in it.

I know I’ve gone on about myself but honestly I learnt some difficult lessons during those unmcomfortable 7 months. I learnt that I needed to take respsonsibilty for my decisions. I chose to pursue a career in Law. No one made me. I now had to deal with the consequences of those actions.

I learnt to stop blaming others. Stop blaming the government , society, the companies. Just stop and take responsibility!

I learnt to lose the attitude of entitlement. No one is entitled to hire me or pity me. If I wanted a career I’m going to have to get up and fight for it. I was an adult now and it was time to start acting like it!

I learnt that no one really cares. Every person has been through a tough period in their life , has hit rock bottom or has felt like giving up and for this reason , no one wants to hear your sad stories. So keep them to yourself.

Finally , but most importantly for me , I learnt to handle rejection. I learnt not to take it so personally. They did not want me so what ? Move on !

If you’re reading this and currently are where I was not so long ago, “You are not alone”. It has been happening before you and will happen after you. Honestly, there are persons who finished school 2 and 3 years before me who still are not employed and the market is not getting any less saturated.

I wish I could tell you it gets better, but in some circumstances you have to take the initiative and make it better. So climb out that bed , Get out that rut and let’s get it !

Be Happy !

What makes you happy ?

I did a little research, i.e I googled the top things that make most people happy. Most studies on happiness confirm that family and relationships are the surest way to happiness. Following that was meaningful work and positive thinking.

Some find happiness in money and material possessions like their luxury cars or dream homes. They are those like myself who find sheer happiness in their ability to travel the world. Some find happiness in being surrounded by people while others find happiness in the silent moments when they are totally alone. Others find happiness in helping others, doing household chores or even in just exercsing (if I could only find happiness in this maybe I’d be in shape, lol).

Happiness is personal. 

What makes me happy won’t necessarily make you happy. A lesson I’ve learnt so many times. You guys don’t know this yet but I absolutely love karaoke. I truly believe I could be the next Whitney though I understand that everyone cannot appreciate my pure talent!

Likewise , I love moon gazing though most of my friends find it really boring and refuse to join me. One of my friends told me once that everytime she thinks about moon gazing she pictures me in a circle with weirdos singing Kumbaya. The sheer disrespect!

Personally, no one thing or person makes me happy. Icecream always makes my day , afternoon , evening or night but so do unexpected calls from friends I haven’t spoken to in a while. I love travelling and experiencing different cultures and this is just as fulfilling as game nights with family and friends.

Quality time with my family makes me especially happy as they are my everything but I’m also very happy just lying in bed blazing reggae music, which is what I’m doing right now.

I’ve learnt over the years that several things make me happy and I can’t attribute my happiness to any one thing. I also realised that I need to be happy with myself or nothing in this world will ever make me truly happy , they will all just be temporary fixes or moments of happiness but I’ll be left feeling empty when the music stops or when my friends leave.

This is a lesson that we all have to learn for ourselves. Too much of us look to things and people to determine our happiness. Lots of people allow a relationship to make them happy so when it ends or isn’t as fun they suddenly get sad and depressed. I’m not saying not to like or love people , but I am saying to NEVER allow another person to control your happiness.

Tonight, I want us all to stop for a second and think about this question. What makes you truly happy?

Take your time , take a notebook if need be, and find the thing or things that make you happy. Try as far as possible to do at least one of those things tommorow. If tommorow is not possible, make sure you find time during this week to do one thing that makes you truly happy.

Now I need you to do one more thing. Ask yourself, Am I happy?

I need you to be brutally honest with yourself. If your answer is Yes, that’s great , keep it up! But if your answer is No. Consider, what or who in your life is making you unhappy , and if you can’t get rid of it or them ; find a way to be happy despite it or them. I don’t care what it is ; be it a job , relationship or a dress you will never fit into again. Just get on with it and Be Happy!

Have a goodnight! And as far as possible, Be Happy!

How To Be Single

Those of you who followed my other blog know that this was my most popular post for 2017. Though I’m no longer single, I still believe I am very qualified to speak on this topic.

As you can imagine, This post isn’t for married couples, those in committed relationships or those desperately waiting or searching for “The One”. This is for persons who are absolutely comfortable and happy being single and plan to remain that way.

So without further ado, Here is how I’ve mastered the art in the past.

  1. Have extremely high expectations

This is stated first because it is critical. Once you master this step you will be well on your way.

Set your expectations high and do not lower those expectaions for anyone. I don’t care how cute or charming he/she may be. Once you lower your expectations easily or begin settling simply because you are lonely, needy or want to be loved you will probably get into a relationship. But consider this, Do you want the cheapest product or the best product?

I personally have a non-negotiable list, which includes things I simply won’t tolerate from a partner like smoking or cheating. I’m not suggesting that you walk around with a notepad and go on dates and be like ” nope that’s on the list and you just did that so sorry dude, you’re out”. You must know personally what you want and what you can and cannot tolerate. If you don’t know or have no standards or expectations you should be creating some not trying to get into a relationship.

So, to remain single, keep your expectations high.

2. Accept that you do not need a relationship

You may really like or love someone. But a relationship is simply not a necessity.

I’m the chick who wants to get kissed by my partner at midnight on new year’s eve so that we’ll have a great year, and I am still longing for my eiffel tower kiss. But, that’s simply a want not a need.

If I don’t get kissed I won’t die and it’s been proven because I’ve had some quiet new years eve celebrations on my couch cuddled up with my teddy bear, popcorn, icecream, wine of course and a live broadcast of the ball drop and other new year celebrations. Likewise, a relationship is not a necessity.

So, to remain single, accept that you are fine alone and do not need a relationship.

3. Stop comparing yourself to persons who are “boo’d up”

Alot of times, persons go on social media or watch hallmark movies and somehow begin to feed into the notion that a relationship somehow will transform their lives or that you will die or be shunned if they are still single while all their friends in relationships. God forbid if you aren’t married or have kids by 30.

I would honestly rather be alone with no kids at 30 than to be in a miserable , argumentative or abusive relationship. Too many of us don’t seem to understand that persons post the pictures on instagram after they have put on makeup to hide the dark marks or dried their tears.

I’m not bashing relationships at all , after all I am in a relationship but the reality is we place alot of persons on pedestals because we do not see them behind closed doors. Married couples and persons in 10 and 30 year relationships all attest that relationships are really hard work and the one attribute you must develop is patience.

So my advice is please do not judge or compare your life to that of any other. You can be single and happy. Be happy for your boo’d up friends, attend their weddings , like their photos , but accept that you’re not ready or you just haven’t met your person yet and that also is fine.

So, to remain single, accept that it is ok to be single and do not compare yourself to those in relationships.

4. Be too comfortable

If you want to remain single just be comfortable with who you are. Accept yourself flaws and all. Never try to hide them or make an effort to impress. Just be you and let persons take you or leave you. This will also help you build confidence and self love.

However, this can go both ways because being comfortable is encouraged in healthy relationships. The person who loves you will prefer authenticity over anything else. The right person will love you for you flaws and all.

But to remain single, just get way too comfortable or be comfortable initially. I am an expert at this because with me what you see is what you get. I’m literally the chick who has to take pictures of my hair fresh out the salon because I guarantee you by the next day my curls would have flopped, edges will not be laid and the list can go on.

I’m also the chick who never wears makeup, I honeslty don’t need it nor do I have the extra time it takes to get dolled up, the most I’ll do is lipgloss because I can’t be walking around with chapped lips in this climate. I never dress up when people stop by or say they are coming over to chill. I’ll be bright eyed and smiling in one of my brother’s shirts , shorts, socks and a headtie or more likely my hair in a hot mess , like nobody’s business. Most guys can’t handle the authenticity which is why in most cases it’s a guaranteed way to stay single. Authenticity always runs the fakers anyway. So be real and you’ll be fine.

I personally am too lazy to spend 2 or more hours doing makeup and then another hour on my hair. That would require me waking an extra 3 or more hours early and even typing that just made me feel sleep deprived. If there’s one thing I value in this world , it is my sleep. But I do commend the ladies who do so each and every day y’all are the real MVP’s. But for me personally, it’s too time consuming and time is money! But trust me if you doll down this is another way to remain single and also get rid of the fakers.

So, to remain single, Just be your comfortable, authentic self.

5. Wait on God

This is very important.

When we try to intervene and take matters in our own hands we will make the wrong choice.

I know you may feel lonely sometimes. But consider this , the right person is out there feeling lonely too. Patience is a virtue!

Use the time to spend with your family and friends and do some self examination; so that when the right person comes along you are actually ready for them. Who knows he/she may be stalling waiting for you to get your life in order.

These are my 5 steps to remaining happily single. Again , it’s not for those who don’t wish to be single. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to like and comment. I hope 2019 started great for you! All the best !

Lessons from 2018

It’s January 1st 2019. So first let me say Happy New Year to one and all.

On the first day of a new year I like to reflect on the year that has passed. 2018 has been a bipolar year for me. I’ve had alot of ups and downs. I lost loved ones and gained a new appreciation for my friends and family. I felt as though I would lose my mind a few times but thankfully I did not. I started dating an amazing guy who loves me and actually puts up with ALL my crap. I lost alot of weight and put back on some of it during the Christmas season, sighhh.

I invested in myself and started a job which has continued to challenge me everyday but the joy it gives me makes all the challenges worthwhile. I began volunteering at a nursing home because I just enjoy interacting with older persons. I usually sing songs, read bedtime stories or newspaper articles or do their hair and nails ; whatever it takes to to put smiles on their faces. It’s also a constant reminder that sometimes the things I get worked up about are very insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I became a pescetarian to lose weight but now I’ve adopted a healthier lifestyle and I eventually plan to become a vegetarian! I travelled,sang karaoke ,wrote poetry, worked on my novel, ate icecream, laughed , cried but I made it through. Through it all I’ve learnt some valuable lessons but I just want to share 3 valuable lessons on relationships today.

Lesson 1: Cherish your family while you still have them.

Recently, I got the devastating news that one of my closest family members is really ill, possibly even terminally ill. The feeling that overtook me was overwhelming to say the least. I cried, I prayed and I cried some more and then I accepted that I have to cherish the time I have left because there is a possibility she won’t recover. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m big on family. After God, my family easily takes second place in my life. I’m the chick who is constantly planning family game nights, movie nights even karaoke nights and dinners with the ones I love the most. I’ve lost alot of family over the years and sometimes sickness or death comes so unexpected you don’t get a chance to say goodbye. Trust me , cherish them now you still have them.

Lesson 2: True Friends are family.

I can truly say that I have been blessed with amazing friends. The type of friends who I can call at 4 am cause I’m going through a bad breakup or I just need to talk. Friends who volunteer to be my travel buddies just because I wanted to witness the balldrop in Times Square. Friends who will harshly or gently remind me I have no money for that a trip to Paris simply because I’m having a long day at work. Those who will support me 100 % when I’m right about something but will call me out on my bs without delay.

The type of friends who are genuinely happy for me when I succeed and genuinely hurt when I’m hurting. Friends who hold my hair back while I cry over some guy whilst quietly reminding me that it’s his loss. The type of friends who proof read every single one of my blogs. The ones who I sometimes don’t see or talk to in months but when we link up it’s like we stayed in touch. Friends who are irreplacable. Friends who have become my family. The type of friend I strive every single day to be.

Lesson 3: Some people aren’t meant to be a part of your life.

Some people who started your journey with you won’t end it with you and that’s ok. I dropped alot of persons after law school because I realised they were not contributing positively to my life. I realised that if we are truly the product of the people we spend the most time with I simply could not associate with them anymore on a daily basis. With that being said, I did not cause a scene , we do not hate each other. If I see them I will say ‘hi’ and smile but there is the understanding that it does not go beyond that point. Maturity dictates that you don’t have to be mean or disgusting to someone to cut them from your circle.

I’m sure some of you may be able to relate but for the earlier part of my twenties i’ve been super hung up on an ex. I would compare every guy I dated or every guy that had some interest in me to him and because I was in love with him they would all fall short. I would always talk to him about current relationships and run to him when they weren’t going as planned. For a few years he was basically my back up plan. I knew deep down no guy would have a fair chance nor would I have a fair chance at love again until I cut him loose. I just stopped messaging or calling and eventually it faded. Again I have no hard feelings , his season in my life has just come to and end.

So I’m just saying, Associations are important but sometimes in order for us to progress as people we have to cut the bad ones from our lives. My experiences are proof that it can be done maturely and effectively.

Just my little two cents. I am no expert on relationships. Truth is , I’m still navigating my life. I look forward to 2019 being a even better year for me. I wish you all the same.