Ijeoma Kola in African print dress and twist out, smiling and drinking a cocktail

November Q&A – Postdoc Apps, Flourishing ‘Fro, and More!

It’s the end of the year and there is SO much going on! The past couple of weeks have been pretty hectic preparing my postdoc applications, and with the November Q&A questions I got, it seems you all want to know more. Keep scrolling to see what that’s all about, as well as updates on hair, Kenya living, mom life, lessons from God, and plenty more. Happy reading!

Academia & Careers

Q&A

  • What applications do you have due?

    I’m applying to several postdoctoral fellowships, which are 1-2 year university staff positions that prepare doctorates for faculty positions, while giving them time and resources to complete a few research projects and publications.

  • How do you feel about possibly getting back into academia?

    I’m excited about it! I’m obviously biased but I think I have a really cool research project and would love to be able to devote more attention to it, while seeing if an academic career is right for me.

  • Will a postdoc in the US mean you’re officially moving back? Good luck by the way!

    Thanks! And I don’t know if it would mean that we’d be moving back permanently, but postdocs are usually two years long, so yes. But who knows, life could still be virtual next year so maybe I could do it remotely!

  • Now that you’re applying for postdocs, has your perspective on academia shifted?

    Not really, academia is still problematic and toxic for Black women. But there are a few reasons I’ve changed my position on being in traditional academic spaces. Storytime/chit chat explanation video coming later this week!

  • What inspired you to do a postdoc and what do you hope to gain?

    Storytime/chit chat explanation video coming later this week!

  • Do you think that your PhD is useful for you?

    Absolutely. I don’t think that programs do a good job explaining what skills are transferable outside of the lab or classroom, but I’ve come to realize there are a bunch of skills I have that are useful outside of academia.

  • As a doctorally prepared professional and a Nigerian, what advice can you offer about the self-imposed pressure to constantly be the best or one of the best?

    Go to therapy! One of the areas I covered in counseling was my desire to impress and achieve. Yes, part of that is put on us by our parents, but at some point you have to own up to your own role in ideas about your self worth and value, and work towards addressing them.

  • What advice would you give to someone who wants to change careers for the sake of employment?

    I’m never one to tell someone to pursue their passions at the detriment of their finances. You need money to live. So if you’re struggling to find employment in your current field, and are confident a career change will improve your bottom line, by all means go ahead. Keep time on the weekends or evenings for your other, not so profitable/employable passions.

TKB & Motherhood

Q&A

  • What is your son’s name?

  • Will you teach your child both Igbo and Swahili?

    Yup.

  • Where do you buy your baby’s clothes and other stuff?

    Most of the things he has were from our baby registry, but I listed his furniture and some of the most used products so far in these posts. I’ve been buying clothes, books, and toys from this list too!

  • Do you give out or sell clothes and other stuff that TKB has outgrown?

    We’re hoping for another child so holding onto the things he’s outgrown.

  • What is your favorite thing to do with your son?

    I love walking outside with him. He’s a chatterbox indoors but once we’re outside, he’s so observant and just soaks everything in. We also love saying and waving bye bye!

  • Do you do TV time for TKB?

    During the week when our nanny is with us, he doesn’t watch any TV. On the weekends he’ll usually watch 30 minutes or an hour of a kids show, then play with his blocks and toys while we watch an adult show.

  • Are you still breastfeeding? If so, how do you keep your milk supply up?

    I breastfeed in the morning and at bedtime, but to be honest I don’t know if he’s eating or just soothing. He’s started to teethe so biting is now a thing. I haven’t done anything particularly about my supply. We’re at an age and stage with solids now that if my supply disappeared completely I think he’d be ok.

  • Do you want to have more children?

    Yup.

  • Wow about TKB pulling out your nose ring! Did it hurt? Will you be putting it back in?

    It did hurt and I do want to get it back! I can’t decide if I should let it heal completely first or just repierce it now.

  • How do you balance mom life, being a wife, and social media?

    I answered that in several past Q&As, check here!

Hair, Skin & Body

Q&A

  • Can we name your fro? It’s flourishing!

    Haha thank you. Yes, let’s give her a name, I’m open to suggestions!

  • What is your hair night time routine? How do you keep it moisturized?

    I wear a bonnet and go to sleep lol. I remoisturize and retwist or braid maybeeee once a week, but really just if I have a shoot coming up. If I’m just in the house and not going anywhere, my hair will be shrunken and dry and I don’t care.

  • What has your experience been with coloring your hair? Mine hasn’t been very good. Your hair is lovely!

    I’ve loved having my hair colored, and I miss it! It’s important to go to a color specialist — not everybody knows how to color without damaging your hair. Here are some more tips for healthy hair color and some of my FAQs about hair color.

  • How did you manage your acne? What products worked for your skin type?

    My whole skincare journey can be found here, but here’s how I cleared up my cystic acne.

  • How do you deal with hyperpigmentation?

    I’ve done everything from microneedling to laser therapy to light chemical peels. Ultimately, controlling acne is more important than dealing with hyperpigmentation, because you don’t have to lighten spots that don’t exist. Daily sunscreen and vitamin c use is also helpful.

  • Your body is goals! What’s the secret? And what are your waist and hip measurements?

    This question makes me uncomfortable. Though it’s meant to be a compliment can we not comment anything — good or bad — about women’s bodies, especially online? You never know what body image issues people are dealing with. I’ve become more content with my postpartum body by tracking my meals using WW.

  • How tall are you?

    5’6 and a half! I’m taller with the fro 😀

Life in Kenya

Q&A

  • Are you planning to stay in Kenya long term?

    No clue. We’re taking it a year at a time.

  • What is the most peculiar thing you have learnt about Kenyans since your move?

    Well before my move I could not wrap my West African mind around the fact that Kenyans don’t like to put seasoning, especially pepper, in their food. Since the move, I’ve observed some interesting speech patterns. For example I’ve heard Kenyans double their pronouns, saying “me, I’m going to the store,” or drop noun articles like “I went to hospital” instead of “I went to the hospital.”

  • Have you found new things you like about Kenya?

    Yes and I’m enjoying the process of discovery! I’m currently loving finding Kenyan furniture and home decor makers and designers (surprise surprise lol).

  • Why don’t you show more about your life in Kenya?

    I don’t live my life for the consumption of others. If you go back to my YT videos when I lived in the US, I rarely vlogged, I mostly did tutorials and chit chats. When I’m 80, I want to look back at my life and remember me actually living in the moment and experiencing my memories, not recording them so other people could watch. I could never, and have no interest in, vlogging full time for that exact reason.

Content Creation

Q&A

  • Have you thought about creating content incorporating other Kenyan YouTubers?

    Yup, I have. But we’re still in a pandemic, so I’m not actively meeting new people or even connecting often with people I already know right now.

  • Would you be interested in collaborations?

    I do collaborations all the time! Just email me with your idea to start the conversation.

Marriage & Relationships

Q&A

  • Where are your wedding bands from?

    From Ken & Dana Design in New York! I love them so much, they’re so timeless.

  • In a long distance relationship, do you think it’s okay for the woman to go and meet the man first? And why?

    Whatever works for y’all! When we were LDR Jonathan visited first because he came back to take the GRE, then he was broke so I visited. There’s no right or wrong way to approach it as long as the two of you are on the same page.

Personal & Other

Q&A

  • What one thing do you think God has been teaching you this year?

    To LET GO and let him be in control. I feel like that’s the lesson everyone was forced to learn — whatever plans we had for 2020 were basically thrown in the trash. But he’s still in control and still working on our behalf. Also that my worth is not tied to my achievements.

  • What kind of bible do you use?

    The Bible app. I haven’t opened my physical Bible in months.

  • Favorite books?

    I shared a list of my favorite books earlier this year!

  • Do you have a specific rule of thumb when it comes to budgeting?

    My one rule is to never spend what you don’t have. Even when I buy something with a credit card (which is often, because I love racking up points!), I only buy it if there’s money in the bank to pay the bill completely. Some more money advice can be found here.

  • When you order items from the US, how long do you usually wait for delivery?

    If I ship using DHL, about 1-2 weeks. If I use another company, it takes around 3 weeks.

Thanks so much to everyone who submitted questions, and hope you guys have a wonderful December! In case you missed it, I’m doing VLOGMAS this year, so head over to my YouTube channel to see what I’m up to!

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