Life

Hello Sunday

We matter!

Another week down. Moving on to the next. Last week was a bit much. It began with another shooting of a Black man by police officers. Another one! Just thinking about it is stressing me out again.

Last week I could barely concentrate for crying. I actually became physically ill. It was too much. I was mentally and emotionally worn. I kept asking myself– Why are we, Black people, still fighting for equality? To be seen as worthy? Why is it that our Black men are viewed as a threat at first sight? Why are we, Black women, “angry,” when do not feel like smiling, or are having a bad day, or just simply being? Why are little Black kids handcuffed for acting out? Why are we not loved? Why are we not valued? Why do we not matter?!!!

Last week, Doc Rivers, a former NBA player and now head coach of the Los Angeles clippers, voiced what we have all been feeling. Emotionally, he said, “It amazes me why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back.” I felt that. Just thinking about it now makes me want to SCREAM! Doc Rivers’ Interview.

We have been used, abused, and murdered. Yet, we still love our country. We have fought wars and given our lives for this country. Yet, we are seen as animals (usually monkeys), second class citizens, dirty, nasty, unworthy, illiterate, thieves… Believe me, I could go on and on! No matter what we accomplish, or how pleasantly nice we are, we are never good enough. We are never quite there.. Ha! Almost there.. but not there.

So for those still wondering why we are screaming, “Black lives matter!” it’s because, unfortunately, our lives do not matter!

Praying for a better week– a safe week– a week without tears (unless they are happy tears).

Be Blessed

Shaun

Life

My Facebook Memory: August 11, 2019

Hello! Here is a Facebook memory that I thought I would share. It was written on August 11, 2019, after a year of being in the doctoral program. This past March I decided to take a leave of absence, again (details included in the memory). This time it was the uncertainty of COVID-19 that had me stressed. I just could not focus on school. So I decided to take a year off. As I did last time, I have questioned myself about my reasons for pursuing this degree. Is it something I truly want? Glad I have a few more months to decide. Then we shall see what happens.

Here’s the memory (unedited):

Good Morning! No social media find this morning. I just feel like sharing.

Today’s the last official day of class. It’s been a year that I’ve been in the DrPH program. I’m not sure why I thought it would be easy. I’m still puzzled about that initial phone interview with my advisor. I was just so chipper. Why???🙄 I work at a university. I’ve seem so many students struggle through their doctoral program. Yet, somehow I thought things would be different for me. What was wrong with me?😩

A few days ago I finally really looked at my degree plan. Yeah, I never really reviewed it. I just started taking classes and going with the flow. When I saw how many hours I had left, my heart sank. The thought crossed my mind, “Will I ever have a life?” Y’all, this program is about to consume ALL of my time. I’m not going to lie, so far I haven’t been disciplined at all. I started off really disciplined. Had everything scheduled down to my “Tyler Perry Tuesdays” tweet time. Yeah, one hour to watch and tweet during the show and 1/2 hour afterwards to reply to tweets. I was serious. Then, life happened. It’s amazing how one little thing can shake you and your whole system crumbles.

I began to realize I used social media as a way of coping with the things happening around me. Whenever I wanted to get away, I would log on and mindlessly scroll down my timeline. Social media is a great distractor when you don’t want to deal with reality. At the time, I was going through the divorce. Somehow, in my little mind, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake and it wasn’t. Also, things at work were becoming stressful. It was just a lot. Then, on top of that, I had school. I had to post and respond to discussions every week. Honestly, it was all taking a toll on me. I finally realized I couldn’t take anymore and sat out the spring term.

During my break, I did a lot of soul searching. Was this program for me? Could I fulfill my purpose without the degree? Was my purpose even worth the struggle? Why couldn’t I just let everything go and just enjoy life like everyone else? I mean, I’ve already retired from the military. I’m sort helping my community through my research projects. Why not sit back and enjoy life? Why do I always have to make things harder for myself? Well, because that’s exactly what I do. I love a challenge. Something inside of me, no matter how hard I try to fight it, wants the adventure. So, when my advisor called me before the summer term began, and asked me if I was returning to school, I confidently told him I was going to finish the program.🤦🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️

So, here I am. This time I’m really serious about being more disciplined. I’m trying to narrow down my use of social media to things that will help me along this journey. I’ve discovered that the Twitter accounts I follow on my ResearchDiva site reflect were I’m going (UN in Geneva☺️). I’ve been able to use some of the information I’ve come across for my discussions and assignments. My Mississippi Thriving IG makes me feel like I’m still supporting my community. My blog, It’s Shaun’s World, gives me an outlet for sharing my random thoughts. And this page… y’all make everything worth it. I love logging on and seeing your smiling faces. Y’all keep me grounded.

I know this was long. I needed to get it out. So, if I miss posting a few social media finds, or showing you love, it’s not because I don’t care, I’m just trying to stay focused.

I love y’all!

GodIsWorking

BeBlessed 🙏🏽♥️

Thanks for reading!

Shaun

Life

Hair Woes: Part 2

Y’all, the saga continues…

I am really struggling with this hair. Social media star and actress, Tabitha Brown named hers. Perhaps it is time for me to name mine. Maybe something like Charlene, Missy, or Tina. I am kinda feeling Charlene. Can’t y’all hear Anthony Hamilton singing Charlene? I can. Lol

So, once again, Charlene and I are not getting along. Guess I need to confess. She is probably mad at me. You see, the day before my birthday, I decided to relax my hair. If you read part one of Hair Woes, you would know I had Dark & Lovely on standby for two years. Well, thanks to my birthday, Dark & Lovely was rescued from that shelf and ended up on Charlene.

Y’all, I just could not take being natural anymore. I believe most of my problem came from not being able to get a haircut. I am more afraid of getting COVID-19 than trying to have my hair styled. Also, I had three different textures going on and it was driving me crazy. Needless to say, I was fed up! I knew that I wanted my hair to look halfway decent for my birthday pictures, so I relaxed it. I was feeling good as I blow dried it. My hair was as light as feathers. Then I curled it with the flat irons. Y’all, I had forgotten about the smell of burnt hair and how I hated it. I could not get rid of that smell. Now, that was, and still is, what I hate about having straight hair– the smell of burnt hair.

For those saying, “Just wrap it or use rods,” umm… focus on your own hair. I am having a pity party right now. Let me be.

Anyway.. Do I like my hair any better than before? Not really. I am still having the same issues– minus the three different textures. Honestly, there is not much I can do with my hair besides– curl/flat iron it (again, I hate the smell), wear a headband, hat or scarf/bandanna, or let Charlene go wild. Most of the time I choose the headband.

So what is next for Charlene? I do not know. Last week actress/comedian, Tiffany Haddish shaved her head after her big chop. I am not going to lie, I have thought about doing the same plenty of times. But why? Only to wake up one morning with the same problem– Charlene… rather.. missing Charlene. Lol.

As I stated in the beginning, the saga continues. Will I ever be happy with my hair? Probably not. But at least she now has a name. Thanks, Tabitha!

Impromptu Zoom meeting. Threw on the headband and some lipgloss. Gotta keep that lipgloss handy, too! Oh.. and I keep eyeliner near as well. Lol

Shaun

Life

My Love-Hate Relationship with Twitter

I have this love-hate relationship with Twitter that is driving me crazy. I created my first Twitter account a little over six years ago to follow other registered dietitians, celebrity chefs, people in academia, and a few colleagues. Slowly, I began adding celebrities, television shows, and began following my followers. About a month later, I recognized I needed another account to separate my professional life from my guilty pleasures of tweeting during my favorite shows. Sadly, those two accounts have transformed into five accounts. Yes, I have five Twitter accounts. This is where the love-hate relationship comes in.

I love Twitter. Y’all, it is my favorite social media platform. I love it because the interaction is constant, especially while live tweeting during shows. Also, unlike Facebook and Instagram, I only know a handful of my followers. Which is what originally drew me to Twitter. I saw it as a place where I could freely express myself and not worry about being judged. Hmm… So I thought. Here is where the hate comes in.

So, why do I hate Twitter? Well.. not necessarily hate, because hate is such a strong word, so dislike.. why do I dislike Twitter? Twitter seems to magnify my insecurities more than any other platform. Honestly, I feel like I am always being judged or scrutinized based on my tweets, replies, and retweets. Since about 90% of my tweets are related to my shows, I feel like an imposter (yes I suffer from imposter syndrome) when attempting to tweet something serious and meaningful. This has really affected the way I interact with followers on my professional accounts. Anytime I attempt to tweet something of worth, I feel like I am being judged. I also have to admit (being very transparent right now) this is one of the reasons I stopped blogging professionally. I began to feel like an imposter.

Right now, I feel like I am at a crossroad. Like I have to decide between professionalism or my guilty pleasures. Tweeting during my shows is my outlet. It is when I unwind. It is where I feel most comfortable being myself. However, I realize it is hindering me professionally. I need to start tweeting more from my professional accounts. I need to start blogging professionally, again. I have so many decisions to make. Is it possible to do both and not feel less authentic? Life…..

Shaun

Life

Can I SCREAM, Now?!

Scream: To give a long, loud, piercing cry or cries, expressing excitement, great emotion, or PAIN

I say that I want to scream, but I believe I need to scream. I am so frustrated, right now. Honestly, I have been frustrated– BEYOND frustrated– since my brother passed. People have said that I need to give myself time to process his death. HA! Easier said than done.

But to be completely transparent, yeah.. because who am I kidding, that whole divorce thing did a number on me. After my divorce was final, I thought I was finally free and about to live my best life. My birthday theme was “46 & FREE!” I was posting, “New beginnings” all over the place. Then three months later, my brother died, unexpectedly. Y’all, what a blow! We were supposed to be together until we were old and grey. But God had other plans. Now, here we are in the lovely year of 2020. Speechless.

Y’all, can I SCREAM, now???

The only visual I can give you of how I am feeling, and what I want to do… correction… what I NEED to do, comes from Michael and Janet Jackson’s video Scream. Soooo…

Shaun