Life is Good!

The last time I shared anything about my personal life was back in November, when I wrote that I was burnt out from school. First off, the feedback I received from that article was so encouraging, I really felt like I received 100 virtual hugs. For the next several weeks following that post, I had several questioning moments about my life’s purpose, my goals, and whether I was doing what God had really called me to do with my little life. I kind of trudged along throughout the winter and continued to struggle, but since April, my life has done a 180 and I’m now exhausted from being too busy doing things I love to do! So take this post as both a public testimony and a very scintillating personal life update!

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#WERK

Graduate School Updates

Um, so where to begin… I received my Master’s degree in February (wee!) and almost immediately after, I seriously felt like I could not read one more book or write one more paper, so I withdrew from all my classes and informed my school that I’d be taking a leave of absence for the rest of the semester, and the following year. I felt that I needed time to regroup and determine whether I could continue in my doctoral program. Some of my struggles were that my topic was no longer motivating, my classes were dry, and my department had a lot of drama that indirectly made me feel like it was hopeless to even have academia as an option in my future. In early April, I received news that I didn’t get a fellowship for people of color that I had applied for the past two years, and even got on the waiting list for last year (and for which my advisor sits on the review committee). This year, I got nothing – no waiting list, no honorable mention, and definitely no fellowship. I’m not about to pay for school out of pocket (and would HIGHLY recommend against doing a PhD unless it’s paid for), so I saw that as a sign that I was done with grad school. However, two weeks later, I got an email about a fellowship that I honestly forgot that I even applied to, which gave me more years of funding or more dollars! Ironically enough, while Fellowship A that I was expecting was the person of color fellowship for people whose work is in the humanities (my PhD program is history of public health), Fellowship B is for people whose work is in the sciences. Nonetheless, God saw that it was fit for me and he made it happen! With money comes freedom, so I won’t have to work for a professor in my remaining time in my program, which will give me more time to do all the other things I’d like to do with my life, such as…

Work Updates

Another thing I was struggling with was an unfulfillment in my professional activities. Anyone whose been in a doctoral program, or even a masters level one where you’re not working outside, can attest to the loneliness and boringness of reading page after page after page. All my life I had to read! I knew that if I was going to go back to my program, I needed to have something to do that actually fulfilled me. I had been volunteering as a reading tutor once a week, but I felt like I needed a part time job working with students to improve their health. After much searching and a few favorable interviews, I landed a job as a health educator working with overweight teenagers in Harlem! The students are a handful, but I really enjoy helping them make better health decisions as they navigate high school and beyond. Plus, it’s extra money in my pocket that allows for some other life upgrades that I’ll get to in a second.

Blogger Updates

While I was away from school I picked up doing Havana twists, sometimes taking 5 appointments in one weekend, and really had an amazing time not only mastering my technique and building a portfolio of work but also meeting great people! I could totally be a hair stylist just for the sheer amount of talking that I like to do, even with random strangers. Now that I’m working part time, I can no longer take new clients, but you can peep my work on my StyleSeat page. In terms of blogging, I was offered the opportunity to be a weekly columnist for BGLH – my favorite natural hair blog besides my own! – so you can check out some of my articles there, and I’ll do my best to share them with you guys as well. Haute Kinky Hair brought me on staff to plan the rest of their Protect Your Style Brunch Tour, and our first stop is going to be Philly this August! Stay tuned for more information later this week about how to purchase your tickets, but my friend Geraldine of GeraldinetheGreat is going to be in the building (remember that we did an event together when I went to Nigeria in December)! Based on my work putting together a Summer Protective Styling Brunch, one of the sponsors – Gaisie Body Essentials – asked me to help plan their NYC event as part of their launch tour this fall. As a matter of fact they’re doing their very first event in Baltimore in a few weeks that I’ll be popping into, in addition to my duties as a Blogger Affiliate for the Naturalista Hair Show that weekend. In terms of blog, expect more events and collaborations with companies, but I’ll of course continue to devote energy to this site, which is my biggest love! The 1 year anniversary of the site is quickly approaching too, and I’m not sure how we’re going to celebrate but we most definitely will!

Vino with GBE Flyer

Personal Life Updates

So outside of ALL those things, I’m doing a major life thing by moving into my very own place this week! If you follow me on Pinterest you’re well aware that I use it mostly for home decor purposes, but I’ve been on a planning and shopping frenzy to get my place all together. I’d love to share some photos on the site when I’m all done – because I’m hoping they’ll be Pinterest worthy – so stay tuned. To prevent any potential loneliness, I plan on buying a betta fish next month so if you have any tips for fish care, please leave them below! I’m totally anti pets so I kind of just want one for decoration and to have something to welcome me home lol.

Some studio apartment inspiration, it’s so bright and clean!
Hair Updates

If you got all the way down here, good for you! Right now, I’ve just been wearing my hair in twist outs and puffs while I prepare to move, but I’m also resting it because it went through a lot of trauma during my weave takedown. As I said in my last hair update, I accidentally cut off a chunk of my hair while taking out my weave, and on top of that my hair was ridiculously tangled. It took both a trim and a serious finger detangling session to get it to a point where it would behave again, so I’m just letting it chill. There are about 4 products I’m supposed to be reviewing so I’ll be sharing those with you guys as I have a chance, but styling wise, I’m probably going to be keeping it simple. I have been toying with the idea of a cut or more color soon – I’m REALLY feeling this haircut below but i don’t know how it would work on my hair since it no longer stands straight up. Maybe I can just change the direction I do my twists and braids… As for the color, I have an extra box of Shea Moisture color laying around that I didn’t use on my weave, so I may try it on my real hair just for kicks. If there’s a hairstyle you’d like to see on me, feel free to ask! I also know – trust me, I know – that I am very trifling and am a good 2 years late with an updated regimen video, but it will be the first video I film once I unpack all my boxes!

So that was a mouthful, but is the story of my life. I’m SO grateful for everything God has done for me, and for literally turning things around and giving me all of my hearts desires – maybe too much of them at the same time! Again, I’m grateful for all of your readership and support, and can’t wait to continue building and growing with you all! Even though my turnaround month of April – when 90% of these developments all happened – has since long passed, I’ll leave you with my unofficial song for all of my life’s exciting developments:

I’m taking suggestions for any and everything: the site, my hair, how to manage ratchet teenagers, how to take care of betta fish, what kind of events you’d like to see, etc etc. Please share below!

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Comments

  1. I like something reading things again because maybe the first time you missed something and caught the second time around. You will love the beta fish.

  2. So glad I checked out your blog! 🙂 what a beautiful testimony! I am currently working on 2 Master’s degrees and I am seriously giving thought to pursuing my DrPH! Do you have any advice about seeking/applying for fellowships?

    1. Thanks for coming and checking me out! Yes to your pursuit of knowledge!! I actually already wrote a post on going to school for free, it’s scheduled to go live this week or next!

  3. Yay for happy updates! It’s very uplifting to see another woman of color working to get what she wants and actually getting it! Congratulations 😀

    As far as caring for betta fish goes, I’m mildly obsessed with exotic pet care, and my degree was actually partially focused on managing fish and fisheries, so if you ever have any questions on what to do for your fish friends, shoot me an e-mail. I’d love to nerd out here, but I don’t want to blow up your comment wall about fish care, lol.

  4. This update put a serious smile on my face. I love watching you progress from afar. I wish we had gotten to know each other more during undergrad! I’m just stubbornly shy haha. Congratulations on everything. You definitely inspire me!

  5. Congrats on the new place Ijeoma! I am so glad things turned around for the better! God is good!This post was was very encouraging 🙂 Random {kinda} I would like to see you do a new photoshoot for your one year. And maybe for the photoshoot you can rock various hair styles with your own hair or new cut and some cute Ankara {I am doing alot here, only suggestions/my2 cents..lol}.The pictures on here already are so beautiful. I just thought it would be something fun for the 1year anniversary/summer. K I’m done..lol

  6. Congratulations on all of your blessings! It is amazing how God orders your steps and can create a path even better than you imagined! Congrats! #blmgirls

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