What’s the rush?

It’s been 4 months since I’ve officially returned home to the Bronx. As I spend countless days and nights updating my resumes; editing cover letters and refreshing my email only to face constant rejections. Life on a whole, meaning outside of my own personally developed bubble is passing me by. And now, looking 4/5 months ahead into the soon-to-be-here future, I’ll be approaching my quarter century of existence on earth. If you’ve asked the old Yolee where do you envision yourself at 24? I definitely wouldn’t have told you living at home with my mom as a dependent leech ,unemployed, and unmotivated.

After accompanying my dad to his eye surgery appointment, he brought to light the areas of my life a woman at my age is significantly lacking- a drivers license and career.

Here it is, I thought I live in NYC I don’t really need to drive, honestly after being a passenger-side driver and backseat driver I’m terrified to drive here. Now as  the inevitability of aging is becoming more apparent In my Dad’s physicality and health his urge for me obtaining my license is growing more impatient. Don’t get me wrong, I agree 100%, I just somehow kept failing the driving exam, 3 times to be exact. So much for three times a charm, huh? In my case, maybe it’ll be the 4th times a charm. I guess in a way you can say I accepted defeat, rather than dusting myself off and trying again (Aaliyah).

On one side of the spectrum, I’m advised this is New York City, you don’t need to drive. In opposition to that, I hear you’re 20-something and you don’t have your license, I’ve been driving since I was blah blah blah..

Well thanks assholes. I’m sorry my life is moving too slow for you. In the face of it all, I ask myself, what’s the rush? Apparently there ‘s a rush to get things done when you’re at a certain age, there’s a level of expectancy of where you should be in life and the things you should acquire by that point. Hence a driver’s license and a car.

On to another point in my current life where I seem to be struggling…still striving sounds better.

At the hospital  the nurse who apparently mistook me for a high school student made a comment about me not being in school. I didn’t perceive his statement as rude or offensive.  Matter a fact, I’ve actually grown accustomed to people making assumptions about my age. It either means I look younger than I am or it’s time for these damn braces to go. Yes, I’m 24 with braces-long story-but if you kept up with my blog posts, you’ll know why I’m the 24-year-old brace face. 

I simply replied with my usual response, “I’m finished with school”

“You’re done with school?”

“Yes, I graduated from college last year.”

He paused after my response, I guess he was either attempting to process the information given or he was trying to do a guestimation of my age.

And of course, the what-did- you-study question shortly followed. Per usual, I stated English.

The nurse suggested I enroll in a nursing program to obtain a nurse certificate in a year, I thanked him with a half enthusiastic smile which read: ‘thanks for trying to look out for my future, but I‘m good. No matter what you say won’t change my mind about my aspiration.’ Yes, I agree my process is slow maybe slower than others but who’s to say that or prove it. I‘m only walking in my size 7/ 7.5 shoes. I voiced my respectful decline, assuring him graduate school is part of my educational plan.  Yet, he insisted nursing is a high-demand job and of course my mom who’s a nurse sided with him, notifying him that she’s tried to convince me to do nursing. Being the stubborn individual I am, I became annoyed and rightfully defended my aspirations to show them I stood firm by my decision.

First of all, I would like to understand who the hell gave complete strangers the authority or the impression that it’s okay to dictate or try to deter someone from their passion. I get it, Yolee, you don’t have to take everything so serious and passion doesn’t always garner money, pay the bills or put food on the table. In the same instance, I know myself pretty well to know what is compatible for me.  If one thing doesn’t work then I can try something else. I remind myself of my current age, realizing that I don’t have all the time in the world to decide between what I want or don’t want to do.  Everyday I feel the pressure of time catching up on me and my biggest fear is ending up in a blue collar job- living paycheck to paycheck, clocking in, settling for benefits, scheduled days off and yearly vacations.

My Dad chimes in reminding me that time is passing and I need to find something.  I’m not going to lie, I was a little hurt by his comment becuase unlike my mom he’s always supported my career decision. His comment made me feel like I’m not even trying to alter or improve my current state. I want so much for myself and yes, occasionally I wake up angry with myself for not being where I’d like to be.

So what’s the Rush?

The rush is to align myself in a financially stable career, secure my future and prove to my parents that it’s possible for this dreamer to achieve the goals I’ve set. I’m not just a dreamer with unrealistic career aspirations, I know I have the drive to transform my dreams into realities.  Yea..I’m far-fetched, my head is in the clouds, but I trust myself and God/ the power of the universe, timing is everything.

We weren’t capable of planning our own births, so then tell me who has the power to control the timing of our success?

Questions to my readers/ blog supporters: Have you ever felt pressure from external sources to be something you don’t want to become? How did you overcome this situation?


Brothers Lessons

As a child, you teased me making sure my skin was tough enough for the cruel world and mean kids.

As a child, you showed me the definition of unconditional love.

As a child, it was you who taught me to fight with my hands, making sure I protected myself at all times. Protect myself from the bullies and people who tried to test me.  

As an adult, It was you who taught me to refrain from physical confrontation (unless necessary) but instead retaliate with my intelligence, wit and words. Always advising me not to allow anyone to be in control of my emotions. 

As a child, you told me to stay away from boys by saying “they only want one thing” Of course I didn’t listen, but i never once forgot what you told me and eventually had to discover the truth on my own. 

As a teenager, when you sensed I was getting a little too rebellious you purposely embarrassed me in front of my friends to keep me in line.

As a teenager you gave me “the talk” which you admitted was awkward and difficult to have at the time. Nonetheless you didn’t shy away from it, and in fact stood your ground. As a pre-teen venturing off into high school you taught me to observe my environment, most importantly the people surrounding me and not become “that girl”.

As a college student, you went against guy code and gave me the emotional insight of a guys mind. Sharing with me that males and females are actually more similar than society tends to make it seem.

As a college graduate you taught me to not undermine my degree and not allow terminations from temporary jobs tarnish my determination. You told me to stop bawling and go back to the drawing board. 

As a college graduate, you told me to hold my head high and be persistent, constantly reminding me “Yolanda you have a Bachelors degree, you’re one step ahead of so many other people”. You told me NOT to give up, but instead continue searching and diversify my options. 

As an adult, you supported my decision either way between packing it all up and returning home or sticking through the difficult times and living on my own.

As an adult, you advised me friendships change, people change, while assuring me it’s all apart of life. All that matters is that I do not allow those external factors to break my spirit and ruin my self perspective or self esteem.

As an adult, you told me there’ll be moments in life where I’ll feel alone, but I have to get through those times to discover and understand myself.

As an adult, you told me I have to create my own happiness by finding my happy song and playing it even on my bad days

As an adult you told me to stop trying to impress others and just focus on myself.

As a child, I wanted to be like you. As a child, I felt protected and safe in your presence.

Now as a woman I want to thank you for every new life lesson you ALL teach me

As a little sister, (the wash belly) and the last of the bunch, I’m not exactly sure what I’ve taught you all. I just hope whatever it is, it was worth it. 

Even if I had the option, I wouldn’t have changed anything.

Thank you for the brother lessons.

Am I ashamed to call on your name?

On Christmas Day, at the dinner table I found myself making the most pitiful and hesitant attempt to gather my family together with an announcement about prayer. I know and I am sure of my personal connection with God, but in the moment I became unintentionally reluctant to call upon him and openly thank him in front of my family. My brother teased me for the sad attempt I made with my low-tone, almost incomprehensible prayer. Interrupted by him and my own embarrassment, I stopped. I quickly turned to my right, where my mom was standing and asked her to bless the table filled with dishes of baked Mac and cheese, vegetables, ham, oxtail and BBQ chicken. I was embarrassed of how I cowered in the midst of my Brother’s innocent mocking. Most importantly I felt ashamed of myself and ashamed for disappointing God.
Now I’m looking back at Sunday, December 25,2016. Feeling haunted by my lack of bravery, my poor attempt of initiative to gather everyone and openly express my gratitude to God. When did I become such a coward?  I call on God in the silence of my mind and speak to God in the loneliness of my room. Yet, here it is I couldn’t even find the courage to announce a simple prayer or orate a simple thank you in front of my family. The family God blessed me with. There’s no shame in praising God or expressing gratitude, so why did I lack courage that day?

Have I become detached from God, that I’m ashamed to call on him in the presence of others? Maybe, I’m just trying to prove to the world that I’m not a pious, religion imposing saint trying to secure my spot in the kingdom of heaven. I’m not overtly Religious. I don’t  practice a specific religious belief. I am spiritual, in the sense that I acknowledge the existence of a higher,powerful being. This may seem confusing to some, however, my belief and preference to associate my self with spiritual belief particularly derives from life experiences. Also, believe it or not I was once a Sunday school regular. I don’t ever try to impose my thoughts or beliefs on anyone. I simply, believe what I believe and I encourage others to do the same. Yet, for some reason I lost my voice that day. 

I’m sure God wasn’t please with me, and now I’m openly expressing my apology, hoping that he forgives me for being afraid and ashamed about acknowledging his presence in my life. 

God’s Instructional Kit

When the Lord created me, there is no doubt in my mind that he didn’t send me to earth without an instructional kit.

They say we can’t choose the families we are born into. Somehow, The Almighty saw it fit to provide me with both a mother and father, who are more than equip for the tedious task.

I ask, how can two people love and care for me so much?

How do they deal with my constant injuries? attitude? and moods?

My parents, in spite of the imperfections are nonetheless,the perfect  parents for me. I couldn’t imagine myself growing up in anyone else’s arms.

I Thank you for their unconditional love and support.