None of us saw it coming.
I’d just driven half way across the country to start my new journey in Texas.
Happy as hell to be working 2 jobs.
On the brink of my 30th birthday.
Finally adjusting to the hustle and bustle of Austin tolls and traffic.
Enjoying all the soldier eye candy at Walmart.
CORONA VIRUS! THAT SHIT IS REAL!
Just when I started feeling more inner peace again. Gotten my anxiety and depression back under control.
Just as I was preparing to show Texas just how ready I was to take it on.
A whole world epidemic. Like the whole world.
Now I find myself, the social butterfly that I am, being forced to sacrifice a bit of my “extrovertedness” for the sake of humanity.
Luckily I’ve been keeping myself informed, entertained and calm during this “new norm.”
As always, I wanted to share some ideas on a few things that you can do (mostly things I’ve been doing). Below is my suggested list of “things to do during Da Rona.”
Clean Up Those Emails
I don’t know when, why or how my inbox got up to 3,674 emails. I don’t know that many people. I don’t even conduct that much business. Since going through said emails, I’ve realized three things. One, I need to stop giving my email to the masses. The next time a store asks for my email, I HAVE to decline. Two, I need to check my emails more often. Read then delete. That way they won’t just collect. Three, remember that there is always an “unsubscribe” button or “manage my preferences” link at the bottom of the email. Use it.
Freshen Up Your Resume
COVID-19 served as a brutal reminder for many of us, our jobs aren’t secure. So, when was the last time you looked at your resume? Do you have one? If you had to explain what you do in your role, could you? There are hella resources available online to help and/or tweak your resume. Go even further. When was the last time that you looked at how much the job market is paying for your skillset? What if you find out that you’re being underpaid and overworked? What’s next?
Start/Create A Workout Routine
Umm. We may be confined to our homes but we can still go outside. You do know that the primary source of Vitamin D is the sun right? Even if it’s only for ten minutes. Breathe some fresh air. Walk to the mailbox. Jump some rope. Smell some flowers. Put your feet in some grass. Since being in the house, I decided to start walking at least a mile everyday since I’ve been snacking. Now is a good time to remember that summer body that you promised yourself.
Your 2020 Vision Board
Where the hell is it? It’s March. What’s checked off? What can be rearranged? What’s new since COVID-19 displaced your original plans? Have you decided to start a new business? Do you need to completely ditch your old vision board? Have you been inspired to create a new one? What are some habits that have hindered you thus far? How do you plan to address them?
What’s In Your Closet
When was the last time you took an inventory of your “drip?” What still has tags on it? I forced myself to toss everything that I haven’t worn within the last three months into a Plato’s Closet “sell” pile. The same goes for shoes. Purses. Hats. Scarves. Old bridesmaid dresses. All of it. I had to ask myself……do I really need all of these clothes? The answer is always no. Now everything is organized. Business in the front. Party in the back.
Learn A New Skill
Everything that you could possibly want to know is somewhere on Al Gore’s internet. There are plenty of free and paid resources online and of course my favorite go-to- YouTube University. Anything that you can imagine is likely readily accessible to you. Photography. Makeup. Basketweaving. I’m currently learning Scrum and Agile concepts to make myself more marketable. Can’t find what you’re looking for online? Ask an expert. Someone somewhere knows what you are wanting to learn. But don’t be showed if they require a fee. Be mindful that this can be considered a consultation. It’s business. Not personal.
Ask yourself, am I living the life that I want? Am I simply living and not existing? How and when did shit go left? Sometimes we get accustomed to the hustle and bustle of everyday life and now we are forced to sit still and self-reflect. This process isn’t easy even for folks that do it intentionally. Be gentle with yourself and remember that at any moment, you can change the narrative.
Phone A Friend
Using this time to catch up with friends has proved to be super therapeutic. If you’re anything life me, you prefer video calls over phone calls and texts. Apps and services such as FaceTime, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are clutch when you want to connect with loved ones. I love seeing faces. I’ve taken advantage of this time to catch up without having to wear pants or leave home.
Hi….My Name Is….
Are your friends considered “essential?” Are they stuck at work and you aren’t? What better time than now to meet new people…virtually and in passing of course. Keep those 6 feet. There are plenty of people online to strike up conversations with. It’s simply a matter of being strategic about how and when to initiate the conversation. And don’t be a creep. I mean, look at how many of us showed up for “Club Rona” online!
Take A Look, It’s In A Book
Remember when you said that you wanted to read more this year? Well. What book did you choose? There’s still time. All pun intended. If you prefer to read as part of a collective, there are a ton of online communities to be actively engaged in. Now, more than ever, I’m seriously considering revamping Pretty Dope Reads Book Club to be an online platform. Oh, and don’t forget Audible. Reading is fundamental but comprehension is the goal. Can’t find a book you want to read? Write one.
Again. These are only suggestions. It is also okay to rest. To relax. To do absolutely nothing. We have always lived in uncertain times but this shit here takes the cake. My prayer is that you stay safe but most importantly sane. For those of us with anxiety and depression, this is a very vulnerable time. Try to find the silver lining in everyday. This too shall pass.
Calm down. I’m not pregnant. It’s been a little over seven months and counting for my blog.
Let me begin by saying this. In no way shape or form am I a guru when it comes to this blogging thing. I can honestly say that when I thought about doing it five years ago, I didn’t think that it would actually come to fruition five years later. I could have started it eons ago. The excuse I kept giving myself was that blogging would be too much of a distractions from school. School finished five years ago. Still no blog. Then grad school started and I was back within the good graces of my excuses. Finished grad school and officially ran out of reasons. So I started it. Oh yeah, and my backup excuse was that I’m not tech savvy enough. And well, I’m not. Everything that I’ve created and designed thus far, I taught myself. Luckily WordPress provides templates with very detailed descriptions of cool things you can do to make it more personal. A majority of the material that I initially posted had already been written in advance and needed to be reviewed. Coming up with new material will begin to fry your brain over time. This was my attempt to stay ahead of the game. It’s also another reason why I only blog once a week. Writers block and burnout are real things friends. I get so excited about material sometimes that I rearrange my posting schedule a little more often than I should.
Started from the bottom now I’m here.
Now I’ve gotten rather fancy with it. I’ve got cards. International readers. A variety of content from ramblings in my head and childhood stories to book and album reviews. I’m constantly learning new features within WordPress. The coolest part was researching and discovering that there is an entire world of bloggers. Like we damn near have our own society. Finding and connecting with Black Bloggers United (Charlotte chapter) was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made concerning my blog. Shout out to my creative tribe! The connections I’ve made are priceless. GET CONNECTED!
Y’all know I’m one for lists but I’ll keep it short. A few tips for those that may be on the fence about starting a blog.
- GET THE MOLASSES OUT YA ASS: The content isn’t going to create itself! The longer you wait, the more likely you’ll be fishing the internet and stumble across a topic you wanted to write about. Trust me. It happens all the time. But guess what…….it still wasn’t YOUR perspective……which brings me to point number 2.
- IF YOU’RE STUCK ASKING YOURSELF WHAT YOUR BLOG WILL BE ABOUT, GUESS WHAT and refer to number one. Remember, this is YOUR space.
- PROMOTE YOURSELF LIKE HELL: There isn’t a conversation I’m having where I don’t mention that I’m a blogger or that I have a book club. At this point, not too much else matters to me. No one is going to be (or should be) as passionate about your work as you. Toot your own damn horn!
- DON’T FORCE IT: Give yourself a break if need be, but don’t give up. That my friends is how you keep the passion for it.