The Peacemaker of North Augusta

Listening to strangers vent might not be the average person’s idea of a good time, but for April Hill, it is! Hill is the owner of North Augusta Counseling located at 1417 Georgia Ave, Suite C, North Augusta, South Carolina. Hill was born in Tennessee but if you ask her where she’s from, she liable to say Africa. At 7 years old, Hill’s parents moved to Malawi, Africa for work. She and her family moved back to the states a few days shy of her 17th birthday after her father became gravely ill. As an adult Hill decided to settle in North Augusta, because the city harbors some of Hill’s favorite adolescent and adult memories with her best friend.

April Hill

“I love the peacefulness of North Augusta, it’s a beautiful city,” Hill said.

She has a thing for peaceful aesthetics! Her office is filled with affirming artwork, the aroma of verdant flowers, and the soothing sounds of an ocean wave playlist. Hill is very intentional about her client’s experiencing relaxation from the time they enter her office and after they depart. Her eager clientele waits to be seen at ease. Some could argue that the waiting room itself is a mental health escape. When the wait is over, Hill’s clients are met by her, a petite woman with a vivacious smile and soft voice.

Hill prides herself on bringing others their peace. She was inspired to become a therapist after experiencing her own traumas and traveling on her own journey to healing.

“I started therapy in 8th grade. Since then, I’ve wanted to help others,” she said.

Hill like most children experienced a rebellious stage. Her rebellion even got her kicked out of school. Hill’s parents sent her to counseling.

“I don’t really remember why I was rebelling; I just was.” She shared.

Where Hill might not be able to recall what sparked her rebellion, she does remember feeling ostracized and never wanting anyone to feel what she felt. In fact, that’s what inspired her to be a therapist.

Decades later, still true to her yearn to help others find their healing, Hill attended Liberty University and earned a BS degree in Psychology and an MA degree in Professional Counseling. She completed her psychological clinicals in a high max prison in Wisconsin. There she worked aimlessly on and off the clock to provide inmates with the proper psychological resources.

After witnessing the dispositions many underprivileged people face due to lack of psychological resources, Hill decided to make her counseling practice quality, and affordable for all. Hill feels that mental healthcare isn’t normalized in the way that it should be. According to npr.org, persons in or below the poverty line are at a higher risk for mental illnesses. Untreated illnesses can have adverse effects on the person with the illness and people closest to them. Mental health is being talked about more openly today and more people are getting assistance. Yet, the stigma that, “only crazy people need therapy,” is still a stigma mental healthcare workers rebuttal daily. This false narrative discourages many that need therapy not to acquire it. Alongside mental healthcare stigmas, there’s affordability, mental healthcare isn’t as accessible as it should be for the people that may need it most.

Though she is aware that everyone is not financially able to afford the mental healthcare they deserve, she encourages people to do what they can do to nurture their peace. For instance, Hill starts every day off with a gospel playlist and on more difficult days she blasts her favorite 80’s metal. She understands that there’s no one way to heal and she doesn’t want anyone to think their journey to peace should mirror someone else’s, because every journey is unique.

To accommodate her client’s needs, Hill offers an array of therapy treatments like: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and others. Hill doesn’t believe in band-aiding (temporarily fixing ) healing, she want her clients to address their traumas headfirst to guarantee they find a healthy resolution.

Hill explained: “ I want my clients to heal from bad experiences they never asked for, to finally feel a sense of calm, to know it’s ok to feel whatever emotion they’re felling, to learn to speak life over themselves, to be hopeful, empowered, and to know that at any time they can switch gears and start in a completely new direction.”

Due to Covid-19, North Augusta Counseling’s office isn’t open for face to face appointments but you can schedule a video or phone session via https://northaugustacounseling.com/ .

“Plantation Weddings: Thinking Through Where You Say ‘I Do.’”

AU Magazine’s “forgotten article”

In December 2019, the Civil Rights organization, Color of Change (COC), advocated for several wedding planning sites to remove the option to search or plan plantation weddings.

 “You have a multi-multimillion-dollar industry that makes money off of glorifying sites of human rights atrocities,” Rashad Robinson, the organization’s president said in a New York Times’ article, Pinterest and The Knot Pledge to Stop Promoting Plantation Weddings (December,5 2019.)

 Wedding sites like the Knot, Pinterest and Zola are among the few wedding sites that removed key words related to planation wedding searches and vendors of plantation weddings.

“Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things,” a spokesperson said in a New York Times’ article, Pinterest and The Knot Pledge to Stop Promoting Plantation Weddings (December, 5 2019.)

Taken from history.com

Holly Pinheiro, assistant professor of African American studies at AU said there is no excuse for not considering how plantation weddings make African Americans feel, “because truly comprehending the history of African Americans is understanding what it means and entails to be black Americans, back then and today.”

Cassidy Blackwell, a sophomore history major at AU, said when a planation is used as a wedding venue, it takes away from the history that should be taught and respected.

Blackwell said it feels as if slavery’s past is being forgotten and asserted that a lack of compassion and education about American slavery is responsible for the nonchalant behavior many people take towards holding weddings on former slave plantations.

Pinheiro concurred a discrepancy exists in the thoroughness of American history taught in school, as it pertains to slavery.

Pinheiro said the mistreatment of African Americans appears as though it was only a brief stint in time but, factoring in modern discrimination, it has been going on for hundreds of years.

It can be argued that racism and the lingering impact of the institution of slavery can still be felt, especially throughout Jim Crow, and arguably even today, said Pinheiro.

Jeff Bagley, owner of Chantilly Plantation in Washington, Ga., said that many guests choose to have a plantation wedding because of the scenery and romanticism that the Deep South provides.

Yet Bagley said he is aware that plantation history may cause African Americans to be uncomfortable.

“The porch of the front house is so high up. Guests can sit on the front lawn and view the wedding. It’s beautiful to witness. We encourage guests to walk along the pecan tree and magnolia trails. Plantations offer so much space and beauty,” said Bagley.

Dean Gosset Jr., a junior communication major at AU, said his sister unknowingly picked a plantation for her wedding location due to the allure of the scenery.

“When it was disclosed to her that the wedding venue was a plantation; I don’t think she gave it much thought because it [the plantation] had no reminisce of that,” said Gossett.

“The South loves to emphasize the antebellum resemblance to tourists because it’s a selling point–like Gone with The Wind in real life, but in the glamour of the South, many forget how the black character in movie played by Hattie McDaniel was portrayed,” Blackwell said.

“That movie and even its depiction of Hattie McDaniel are a prime example of how people get caught up in the love stories, and gloss over or ignore blatant racism,” Blackwell added.

Pinheiro said that regardless of the lovely and photogenic nature of these southern spots, “to have a wedding on a space that has a known history of violence, torture, misery, stripping down of humanity, monetizing off humans and selling of people, regardless of race is inappropriate.”

“The only people that can rewrite a plantation’s story should be black people,” said Tory Robins, a wedding and family photographer working in the Central Savannah River Area.

 Robins said, “I’ve done two photoshoots for black families at Redcliffe Plantation in Beech Island, South Carolina. Both shoots were powerful, because here stood two black families, descendants of slaves, doing what slaves never had the opportunity to do.”

 “Witnessing that [reclamation] and being a part of it made me think of a phrase, ‘I’ve seen my ancestor’s wildest dreams’,” said Robins.

I’m Scared.

It’s not that police brutality or the mistreatment of African Americans in America is new; it’s that before, I didn’t feel the same urgency to consider and protect, until I became a wife to a black man and a mother to black children. I’ve been black all my life yet I didn’t become vocal about black rights—human rights until I became pregnant with my son. It was in 2015 when I was welcoming new a life while many black parents like the parents of Sandra Bland were saying goodbye to a life.

Though pregnant, I hadn’t really comprehended what it meant to mother while black. I remember reading about Sandra Bland and acknowledging that her treatment was unjust, but still being unsure of the possible truth behind the evil accusations made against the police department. I couldn’t fathom such cruelty in modern times. I just couldn’t.

It wasn’t until I experienced the first disregard to my little black baby’s life that I realized, white society doesn’t feel the same urgency to respect or nurture black lives.

“It’s no big deal,” the nurse said to me rolling her eyes as I nervously ask her what was next. With little regard, the nurse pointed to the hospital gown I was to get dressed in and exited out the room. I dressed in my hospital gown to deliver my baby boy prematurely. Although Liam was full term, he was induced 3 days early due to lack of amniotic fluid.

“No big deal,” I thought. If it was no big deal, why was I being wheeled across the hospital and being told to remain calm? Why did my baby need to be born today if this was in fact, “no big deal.” It was in that moment when my body was consumed with fear, my mind monopolized by hypotheticals, and my family still 2 hours away from comfort that I realized, I, the black mother of this black baby had to advocate for his life—our life. The nurse with her biases treated me and my unborn child as nuisances. In those moments I quickly grasped the meaning of what mothering while black would entail.

That interaction shaped how I parent and love my son. It shaped how I maneuver in life. In that same hospital days after my son’s birth I remember a doctor’s astonishment that my son had a present father in his life. “Oh, he has his father’s last name,” the doctor asked with a raised brow. Liam, my sweet baby boy hadn’t even settled in this world, yet somehow society had already written his story.

So when I hear of stories about sweet brown baby boys now black men like Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, my heart doesn’t just break, it shatters. These men’s mother’s looked at their babies the same way I look at mine. The bond between mother and child is well established before the child enters the world and being a black mother to a black child enhances that bond times 10. Everything leading up to birth has been calculated, well thought out, and understood. For instance, black mothers know that the maternal rate for them is abnormally high. So a lot of consideration goes into choosing the best hospital to deliver. Black mothers understand that schools aren’t picked based solely on zoning. The school your child goes to has to be racially diverse enough to empathize with black plight, but white and wealthy enough to offer better opportunities. Black mothers understand that although they bring life into the world, they too have to acknowledge that there’s a possibility that at anytime life might be stolen from them by the hands of authority.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to let my babies grow up, “as if I have a choice.”

I’m scared.

I’m scared to let my babies “just be a kids,” “as if they have that choice.”

I’m scared.

I’m scared to send them out into the world, “as if I have a choice.”

I’m scared.

I’m scared for white society to be scared of them because of the color of their skin, “as if they have a choice.”

Times like this I question God. I do. Why? Why is this happening? Why is this still happening? Why is it happening to people of color?

My son matters. My husband matter. My daughter matters. I matter.

Today I have no powerful words or insight to share, because the truth is, I’m just scared.

The Journey to Becoming the Mother I Never Had

Coming of age memoir

The first vivid memory that I have of my mother is when she sent me to stay with my grandmother after my brother was born. The memory serves as small flashbacks; suddenly, my mother was rushed to the hospital to give birth to my baby brother, at one point I was asleep on a visitor’s chair in the hospital lobby. Next, I was handed a box of orange juice by a nurse, and the last thing sketched in my memory is my aunt’s car pulling out my grandmother’s driveway, and me, a newly promoted sister, 5 years old, watching as the car sped away. No one really explained what was happening. I was left to assume that mommy had gotten a new baby and no longer needed her old one.

Before my baby brother, my mom treated me somewhat like a burden. She took me places, and she bought me things, but often times, it felt like a tired routine that she was over performing.

I remember walking into my grandmother’s house the day my mom welcomed my new brother. The blinds were open to let in sunlight, but the eerie of truly believing that my mother was getting rid of me tented my vision with the darkest gray. Grandma’s house was dark both literally, and figuratively. My mom and my grandmother were never close. My mom had made it clear that she didn’t approve of my grandmother’s parenting. Knowing this while standing with my luggage in my hand at my grandmother’s front door solidified the feeling that my mother didn’t care about me.

Feelings of abandonment, and uncertainty consumed 5-year-old me, and even after my mom retuned to pick me up from grandma’s house (after what felt like a few years later,) the feeling of rejection never subsided.

I spent the latter part of my childhood desperately trying to gain attention from my mother. Any attention was welcomed, no matter how it was rendered. I gave my mom a hard time in elementary school, talking out in class, and constantly finding myself in disappointing situations. Although I didn’t always know why I behaved the way did, I remember just wanting to be seen, heard, and loved.

Old age and spankings quickly taught me that good behavior offered the best attention given to me by my mom. So, I took heed, and became an angel child. My favorite pastime was being around my mom on those “good behavior days” in front of company.  An audience fed my mom’s desire to appear as a doting mother, and with every ounce of praise she received, my mom performed harder.  These performances never mattered to me. I was always overly eager to indulge in any affection offered to me by her. This temporary acknowledgement that came with these shows was always worth it. People would eat up her act, and that made her perform even better. Our relationship was never organic, but situational. I knew this, but I didn’t dare accept it.

When I became a pregnant with my first child, I remember feeling lost—mostly unsure. I knew failed parental relationships dwelled deep within my family. I understood that the only way that I’d know if I had inherited this cancerous trait was after I too became a parent, vulnerable and new. It was only logical that I address my childhood traumas with my own mother before I could ever be someone else’s mom.

After my son was born, I fell into the deepest love with him. He was perfect in every way; I awaited the moment that I would fail to make him feel loved in the same way that my mother did to me. Late feedings would end with me mesmerized by a face belonging to a being that I loved more than myself. Acknowledging this admiration for my child, conjured unanswered questions as to why my own mother didn’t feel this way about me. The ache of not knowing the answer to my question began to haunt me. I was never alone in my thoughts, because every moment I was granted time to think; the ghost of, “why” persisted a fixation. The question “why” took the form of my child. Despite my baby being alive, they question, “why” haunted my child’s very existence. My son became a ghostly reminder of the love I always wanted but would never get.

Liam and Zora

 I didn’t know what to do, so I continued to do what I had been doing for the past couple of months; I nurtured him, I fed him, I talked to him, and most importantly I loved him—so much. My haunted baby might have become the Casper I never wanted to encounter, but still, I couldn’t fathom even a ghost feeling alone. So, I became a ghost whisperer and as soon as I started to accept my new norm, something happened. One day, I looked down at my son’s face, he once Casper, no longer looked ghostly. In fact, he looked new. It was as if I was meeting my son and he was meeting his mother, for the first time.

In this realization, I felt as if chains had fallen at my feet–invisible shackles broken. The ghost that once consumed my child was gone. Before I could fully wrap my head around what just happened, I had an epiphany. In that moment of cradling my baby boy in my arms, I realized what that ghost symbolized. It was a ghost from my past, a generational curse. When it realized that it had no place in my home—my life, it concluded that it had no ability, no power! By giving my son the selfless and pure love that I never had, I was discontinuing a long viciously and unhealthy family cycle. Selfless love had broken my family’s generational curse. I was free of burden! We all were. The ghost of my past no longer had a place to fester or feed. So, when the ghost and I realized that, I was immediately emancipated.

On that day, that’s how I became the mother I never had.

Liam & Zora’s Christening And Why We Waited So Long To Dedicate Liam

Romans 12:21

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

This is the Bible verse I chose to dedicate the children to. I chose this scripture because, one day, the kids won’t live under my roof and when they no longer do, I want them to understand that although they’ll come in contact with evil, their GOOD—God’s GOOD will always conquer that evil. I want them to stand firm in this truth.

With Liam, everything was trial and error. As years passed of his life, I felt like we had forgot to do something major. It all became clear when we welcomed his sister, Zora.

Haha, my husband and I had forgotten to dedicate Liam to Jesus. No worries. Rest assured. We were told that it wasn’t too late, and that we weren’t the only parents that dedicated older children.

We learned that the most common misconception is that baby dedications are just about the child and have to be done when the child is an infant. Dedications are more so about the parents and their willingness and commitment to surrender their children to the Lord and His perfect ways. Any child too young for baptism with eager parents wanting to dedicate them is eligible for dedication. Don’t be intimated to bring forth your toddlers! It’s not too late! During the ceremony, the parents confess publicly that they are dedicating their children to Christ. It’s such a special moment.

So, with this new knowledge, I didn’t feel too bad about forgetting to dedicate Liam sooner. Frankly, dedicating both kids at once made the moment even more beautiful.

Both kids were dedicated March 1st and we are elated!

Both outfits are from Amazon and eligible for Amazon prime!

The scariest part of parenting is knowing that one day, you have to send your babies out into this evil world. Cover them! Cover them with Christ! Don’t no blanket cover you like the blanket of Jesus!

Xoxo,

Christian

How A Nikki Giovanni Quote Gave Me The Confidence I’d Been Longing For

Putting your art out for the world to critique is hard. It’s one of the most vulnerable things I’ve done in life. I always knew that I wanted to explore and nurture my artistic side, but I allowed my low self esteem to dictate my vision.

Time and time, I would map out these life plans and dreams just to find every excuse in the book not to follow through. I became a first class quitter. I mastered quitting and I had grown comfortable in defeat. This was all until I learned the definition of defeat. Defeat means to overthrow. All along I had been allowing negative thoughts to OVERTHROW my purpose.

Taken from lifechrome.com

On one of purposeless days , I came across an old video of Nikki Giovanni interviewing James Baldwin. The video had resurfaced online.

I’d always been a Nikki Giovani fan, but I’d never watched or listened to her interviews. In the video clip I watched, she was beautiful and confident. There she was interviewing a legend, she a legend too, and she conducted herself with so much boldness. Seeing this made me fall in love with her even more. Giovanni dominated that interview, but not in a negative way. She asked questions and received the answers, but she never gave the impression of demure.

Sometimes, when in the presence of a powerful man, we women feel the need to stifle ourselves or hold back out of reference. It’s been ingrained in us since birth to always let the man lead. This is ok sometimes, but never ok ALL the time. In the interview, Giovanni didn’t do that. She conducted herself like she knew she deserved to be there, and she did! Nikki didn’t let James Baldwin or his status intimidate her and that…

That’s what I wanted for myself.

Afterward, filled with newfound excited, I searched for a Nikki Giovanni quote to post on my daily agenda. I’m really into beautifying quotes thanks to my favorite fictional journalist, Mary Jane Paul from the series, Being Mary Jane. In the series, every episode starts off with a profound quote.

One of the first quotes I found of Nikki Giovanni was, “I am so hip even my errors are correct.” The quote is so simple, but to me, it represents everything Nikki Giovanni is to me and taught me to be—unapologetically fierce! She taught me with that one sentence to embrace my flaws—failures, because owning them makes me who I am.

There’s no better time than now to pursue your dreams! Write! Love! Do whatever it is that you’ve been putting off!

You’ll never live the life you want if you dwell in defeat.

Xoxo,

Christian

My Husband Wasn’t My Type. Well, I Thought He Wasn’t

As a young girl, I spent countless hours dreaming of my wedding, future family, and spouse. I still have some of my dream wedding gown sketches from 6th grade. I was young and my thoughts about marriage were pretty shallow. It didn’t help that my parents were divorced and couldn’t stand to be in the same room with each other. I didn’t have the best examples of what a healthy marriage looked like, so I dreamt of what I wanted my my ideal marriage to look like—be like.

When I met my husband for the first time, it was a weird encounter. He wasn’t my type. He was socially awkward, and we had nothing in common. (I thought we had nothing in common.) It’s safe to say that we both shared relief when the date finally ended.

It wasn’t until I needed a roommate that I reached out to him. He had room and he was never home. Perfect, I thought. We tried our hardest to dislike each other and remain at a distance, but the intimacy of living together forced us to learn a lot about each other. We saw each other’s dates, saw each other sad, angry, smelled each other’s poops, and saw each other drool in our sleep. Living together made having our guards up impossible to do.

One day out of the blue, my husband told me that he was deploying to Afghanistan. He was really causal about it, but he wanted me to prepare to find a new roommate. I don’t know what shifted, but in that moment, we both felt the need to protect each other. It was apparent that we both really cared about what happened to each other next. I had been saving for a car and hadn’t reached my goal. “I’ll add $1000 to your car fund,” he offered. “Where are you going to go,” he asked. “I’ll write you everyday,” I promised him.

Before he left for Afghanistan, I visited him in Virginia. Did you know that Virginia is called the love state?

We spent a weekend together, holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes. It felt right. We’d never behaved like this before, but for some reason we fell into this flow.

On the way back home, my friends and family checked in. “Did you tell him?” “Tell him what?” “That you love him…”

It took a deployment for us to realize that we were in love and had been for a very long time. I prayed for a safe deployment, but God had other plans. My husband ended up not deploying.

He came back to me and the rest is history.

You don’t make love. You grow it.

Xoxo,

Christian

My Son’s Thirst For Christ Lead Us To A New Church Home

I’ve only been a member of 2 churches as an adult. Similar to finding you’re forever spouse, searching for a church home is just as a special process. I was a member of my last church home for about 7 years, and after marrying my husband, he joined my church too. Our young love grew, so did our family, and our love for Christ grew deeper, but something changed.

Last year, my son began to ask a lot of questions about Christ. His thirst to know and understand Him brought forth my own feelings of harsh realities. I hadn’t been honest with myself. Deep down inside I knew that I had outgrown my current church home, but feelings of disloyalty filled my heart. This church had been apart of my life for so long and I felt guilty for waning to venture out. My son’s newfound interest in Christ held me accountable for how I introduced Him to my child. When your enter that sacred spiritual space with God, you have to make sure to neglect all outside distractions to ensure that you really open your heart to Him.

You see, I had been battling with many conflicted feelings at my old church. I wanted a media accessible church. Living a busy life with my phone always in hand, I wanted to be able to feel connected to my church at all times, even when I was out of town. My old church didn’t have those amenities. I also dealt with feelings of alienation. My husband and I were one of a handful of young married couples. Sometimes, well a lot of times, I felt out of place. Although no one intentionally set out to make us feel “too young or out of the loop,” we did feel that way. Lastly, a scholarly children’s church and nursery was important to me. My old church didn’t have a nursery, and sometimes mommying my little ones took away from mommy’s praise and worship.

Although I love my old church and everyone in it, with the new seasons of my life, my spirit became weary. It needed to be fed a different way and my son saw this–he felt this. I knew that his first intimate introduction to Christ was a monumental moment. I didn’t want my son to think that he had to stay in one place of worship if it wasn’t where he wanted to be–where he needed to be.

So, like a mother duck leading her little ducklings, I decided to ventured out for a new church home. The decision wasn’t easy. In fact, I went back and forth. I felt guilty for leaving the church that reared and shaped me, but I couldn’t dwell in my unhappiness.

Pharisees get back, I had conversation with my old pastor. I expressed my reasoning for leaving his church and like the wonderful man of God he is, he smiled and gave me his blessing. (I love you PG & First Lady!)

So, back to my little spiritual child Liam. We got lucky and found our new church home on the first visit! What solidified my choice was Liam’s excitement to go! He yearned for his new teachers, friends, and Bible lessons! The kid came home reciting Bible verses and wanting to reenact Bible stories. This made my heart so happy!

Another plus was that my little Zora had her own friends and class too! Our new church also has an app, YouTube page, and a plethora of ministries to get involved in. The other exciting part is, I know a lot of my church members from school, which means, I don’t feel so socially awkward! (Yay millennials!)

Our new church fulfilled everything I wanted–needed. My husband and I were finally able to really focus on getting fed the word! After a couple of Sundays, I noticed a change within my house. We were all so full–full of Christ!

There’s a church for everyone! If you don’t have a church home, visit some of your local churches and find your home!

Xoxo,

Christian 

Graduating On Time Or Early Isn’t Necessarily A Good Thing

The most talked about thing in college is graduation. It’s like people bypass the college experience and immediately jump to post grad life. The problem with that is, many college students don’t take full advantage of what their institution offers. So yeah, you graduated on time or early just to be struggling to find a job after graduation. How crazy is that?

Taken from Pinterest

Every major has an academic track. A vast majority of students go for the easier track meaning they take the bare minimum, and some others end up taking classes irrelevant to their post graduation goals. Why? Sometimes our parents heavily influence what academic route we take. Sometimes we feel pressured to follow in mom and dad’s footsteps and we get all the way to finish line and realize that this isn’t what we want to do. I know it’s uncomfortable, but you have to remember, the only person that can live your life is you.

Taken from Pinterest

Class selection and experience is key. Take classes that are beneficial to you. Also, gain as much experience undergrad as you can. For example, I’m an aspiring journalist so to gain journalistic experience, I’m working for my university’s magazine. Prior to landing that job, I wrote for my university’s newspaper.

Because I have a blog and brand that I hope to expand, I’m taking marketing classes as well. Marketing classes aren’t mandatory for my major, but I’m choosing to take advantage of classes that will help me in the future.

I know it’s easy to become obsessed with the idea of graduation. After a challenging semester, it’s almost all you want to think about. These obsessive thoughts cause you to be unrealistic about what you’ll do after graduation, because now you’re driven by frustration instead of progression. The workforce is competitive and one must be able to stand against the toughest competitors!

Taken from Pinterest

Another thing we sometimes forget to do as college academics is networking! I’m huge on networking. I always speak when I enter a room. You never know who’s in the room! I also make sure to surround myself with likeminded people. Having a circle like that pushes me to strive to be better. For example, I ended up making friends with my now boss on the magazine, all because I talked to her on the first day of class the semester prior. I didn’t know who she was. I just sparked up conversation.

Since I’m not a traditional student (remember, I’m a wife and mom) I don’t over exert myself on frivolous play. I understand that I don’t have the leisure to do so, but that doesn’t stop me from showing my face and making my presence known when I need it to be. I know that sometimes it’s hard to muster up extra motivation to get involved with things on campus, but remember, networking is key. Many universities have guest speakers. Check out those events! Network! Network! Network!

Taken from Pinterest

Internships are another way to gain experience and land jobs post grad! Most universities have specific places their majors intern, but I’d recommend venturing out to other places. Interning places outside your school’s connects makes pitching yourself a little easier. I know a few people that ventured out and are now working their dream jobs! Think about what you really want to do. Put yourself out there and see if the company you’re interesting in has interning opportunities. Also, use your professors as tools! A lot of your professors know people that can connect you to where you want to go, your professor might even be one of those connects. Reach out to your professors!

Sometimes I get caught up on my graduation date, but I have to remind myself that by doing everything I listed above, I’ll be more than prepared for the workforce!

Not taking full advantage of college life happens to a lot of people. Some people don’t take full advantage of the college experience and then they end up having to return back to college for another degree. Those people blame the degree when in actuality, it was the lack of work they put in to be successful before they graduated. It’s sounds harsh, but it’s the truth.

I think we as people have this idea that if we graduate with a degree, jobs should fall at our feet. This is partially society’s fault. We’ve all heard, “you can’t do anything without a degree.” Someone somewhere always rebuttals, “they’re successful people that don’t have degrees all over.” That someone is true! Those successful people are successful, because they took advantage of the space they were in. We college students have to do the same! Take advantage of college just like SallyMae takes advantage of interest applied to our loans! Woosah and laugh.

At the end of the day, you’re paying for college. Some of us are even in debt for it, my philosophy is to take everything college is willing to give you! Then take some more! Make college work for you!

Good luck!

Xoxo,

Christian

Are Kids Allowed? If Not, I Can’t Come…

As a young mom, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like I was missing out on certain aspects of my life when I can’t go to certain events because of the kids. Any mom that says motherhood is ALWAYS rewarding, or that it’s a walk in the park has either A) not been a parent long enough or B) is afraid to be honest.

Sis, it’s ok. You’re safe here. Sometimes motherhood sucks. Calm down, I said sometimes.

Taken from memeologist.com

It’s those days when your kid is being a complete butthole, or “you just can’t get it right,” that further fuels your feelings of failure as a mom. These moments make you question if you were really made for parenthood. We’ve all passed a mom having one of those days. She’s usually in the grocery store. Her kid is belting at their top of their lungs. We pass her with an encouraging smile while secretly thanking God that it’s not our own kid. The mom is usually visibly tired and overwhelmed, and although this lady is a complete stranger, you feel like you’ve known her your whole life. Why? Because, she’s you, we’ve all experienced one of these days.

taken from fempositivity.com

When I see my peers partying or traveling carefree, I can’t help but to wonder if I started my journey of motherhood too soon, or wonder if I wasted my youth. I usually snap back to reality and remember that even when I had the leisure to do the things my peers do now, I never did.

Why? Because it wasn’t me–it’s not me. God knew I was meant for wifehood and motherhood before I did.

So, I love being a mom. It’s a title–job, that I take seriously, and conduct with so much pride! It helps that my kids are super cute, and know how to win over mommy’s heart when they lock eyes with mine too! I’m a sucker for those big brown eyes, and they know that.

Even still, I’ve found myself flustered with balancing mommy time and mommy’s free time. I’ve gotten so wrapped up in motherhood that I forget that a lot of my friends aren’t moms yet. Although they love my kids, they’re not always down to censor their language, change location, babysit, or change plans for me and the kids. They don’t say it outright, but I can tell. So, what do I do? Don’t say, “find new friends.” That’s not logical.

What I’ve chosen to do is, sit some events out. It sucks sometimes, especially when it’s career related, or when mommy just needs a break, but I understand that motherhood comes before everything.

So, to any mama that’s feeling what I’m feeling, I don’t have the answers yet. Although, you love being a mommy, the feeling of feeling like you’re missing out won’t lessen, and it’s not fair to bypass those feelings. They’re real.

The truth is, you will feel like you’re missing out on things, and guess what, sometime you literally will miss things. It’s ok. You just have to know that no other job compares to motherhood! It’s the hug at your knees that your toddler gives you after a day you thought would never end. It’s the smile your baby does when she’s sleeping on your chest at 5:00am, because she’s refusing to sleep through the night. It’s on those hard days when you feel like you’re failing the kids that you overhear your kid telling someone that you’re a superhero.

It’s those moments that are priceless! It’s in those moments you realize you’re only “missing” out on superficial things. Your true meaning in life calls you mom.

So in conclusion, if the kids can’t come, neither can this mama.

Xoxo,

Christian