Feels like Magic

Yallllllll! I’ve been gone for a minute! Two months to be exact, but I’m back and I have much to share.

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First off, let me just say that mental health days are extremely important. I took a mental health day today because I have been so overwhelmed with school. I think it’s gotten so bad that my brain has tricked my body into believing I am physically ill. I am not used to educational programs being so intense, but this doctorate program has proven difficult. Although its not easy, I am learning plenty and am becoming a better researcher because of it. I have always questioned everything (my brothers hated me growing up) but now I am learning the right questions to ask to get the most useful information.

Can I also tell you that I have mentally grown in the past two months? I am learning to be more tactful to protect the professional relationships I am building. Its challenging though because some people’s personalities get under my skin. I seriously dislike (I wanted to use “hate” but it is truly a strong word, and I am trying to change my life) people who must be right, even when they are wrong. I feel like I get twitchy trying to suppress my annoyance, but I overcome. Baby steps though.

Above all though, the experiences from the first two months in my program have helped me further realize my purpose and the steps I need to take to achieve my goals. I also recognized that, even though I’ll be knocked down a few times on this road, all I must do is get up and keep moving.

If you can’t recall my previous blog, I am currently at the University of Houston (UH). Go Coogs! The best things about UH is that it is extremely diverse.

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Our colors are red and white, so if you wear red on Fridays you can eat in the cafeteria for only $5; the food is worth much more. The caf that I visit has a Mongolian section, Italian Section, Mexican section, American section, Sub section, extensive salad section, plus much more. Anyway, JC and I visited one Friday and it seemed that each table had people from different countries all over the world. There were so many different skin tones, facial features, and languages being spoke in that place. It was exciting and invigorating, being as though I spent the last three years at a predominately white institution.

Speaking of change, getting acclimated to Houston life has been tough. Work and school has taken much time, but I am trying to be intentional about having a social life.

 

I have met people; I just have high expectations for friendships. I have this thing in which I can’t deal with “sometime” friends. You know, like you have your brunch friend, or lounge friend, or traveling friend. Like, if we can go dancing but I can’t talk to you about my goals and get some type of feedback other than “that’s good” then I just can’t. I won’t. I’m all about quality over quantity.

And as far as quality friendships, this weekend reminded me of how blessed I truly am. I attended The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (we call it A&T) and if I could go back and make the decision to go to a different undergraduate school, I would never. One of the main reasons is because I’m blackity black, and I love being around my people.

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I had a conversation with one of my friends about HBCU homecomings and she said that she had never been to one. She shared that she doesn’t feel comfortable at black events. She feels out of place. Yall, I was like…

Just because going to an HBCU was such an important experience for me. She shared that she has been labeled “bougie” and has been told she “acts white” by other black people. She shared that coming from a low-income family and then becoming a middle-class adult makes her feel isolated from those she grew up around. Her points are important to acknowledge, although I shared with her that mine are different mostly because of my HBCU experience. I explained to her that the benefit of attending an HBCU is that you meet so many different black people with different backgrounds but one common mission: to level up. Going to an HBCU gave me a special viewpoint of not only my generation, but my culture. Because of that experience, I can be around any type of black person (because we are a complex people) and see our beauty.

Although, being humble also plays a huge role, because humbleness makes the difference between being labeled “bougie” and “classy” but that’s a topic for another blog.

The reason why we were even talking about HBCU homecomings is because my homecoming, the Greatest Homecoming on Earth (GHOE), was this past weekend. People from all over the country come back to Greensboro, a small city in North Carolina, to witness GHOE weekend (#GHOE2017 on Instagram if you want a small sample). GHOE is unlike anything you have ever witnessed. The air is different. You’ll have a natural high the entire weekend, and withdrawals the entire following week. All that black girl magic and black boy joy in one place will have you praising Jesus that you were specially blessed with melanin filled skin.

I made memories to last a lifetime with people who will forever be in my life. My tribe. Those girls shine so bright! I don’t know how many pictures were taken, videos were filmed, songs were sang, or laughs were had this weekend, but I am forever grateful for the time.

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Although school has been stressful, I had such a revitalizing weekend with my girls. I appreciate having a circle of women who work hard, play hard, and outwardly show love.

Now, I am back in Houston, and ready to tackle the rest of the semester. Well, I will be ready once this withdrawal wears off.

So, until next time…

Xoxo

Sandra Renee

 

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