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September 2020

Post #10: How to cut costs as told by a 20 something who occasionally spends money on stupid things 🤷🏿‍♀️

Okay, so by no means am I the queen of frugality. I have a bad habit of spending unnecessary amounts of money on eating out and other miscellaneous things. However, I try to save a penny when I can…sometimes

Here are three tips to save money on items:

1. Dollar Stores and Aisles When possible, shop for items at dollar stores or on the dollar aisle. For example, essentials like toothpaste, deodorant and soap can be found at heavily discounted prices. I use Lady Speed Stick deodorant and Crest toothpaste. I am able to find each for a dollar in these places.

2. Stop Being Brand Name Bougie All of the Time So I’ll admit, for some things, I am brand loyal. Examples of these things include Dove soap, Listerine mouthwash and Clear Care contact solution. However, I am more flexible with other things. I am a fan of buying store brands. At any given time, you will find store brand frozen and canned vegetables, eggs, milk, dry beans, cooking oil and baking ingredients in my home. I even take advantage of the generic forms of prescriptions and over the counter drugs. Often times, these significantly cheaper store brand/generic items are identical to name brand items in taste and formulation.

3. Store Discount and Rewards Cards Let me be clear, I am not referring to store credit cards. I am referring to store discount and rewards programs. These programs allow you to take advantage of the discount price on items or allow you to accumulate money through each purchase. Most grocery stores and pharmacy stores allow you to sign up for their programs in-store or online. The programs usually come with a plastic key card to swipe during your purchase. However, you can also simply enter your phone number to link you purchase to your discount or rewards account.

I hope that these three tips can help someone.

What are some of the ways in which you cut costs?

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August 2020

Bonus: Chadwick Boseman Forever 🖤

My heart broke when I learned of the death of Chadwick Boseman. He had battled terminal colon cancer for the past four years. He was such a phenomenal actor. Some of his most notable roles involved him portraying historical African American figures (James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson…). He brought such a dignity and depth to each role.

Undoubtedly, his role as T’Challa in Black Panther will forever be in the hearts and minds of everyone…especially African Americans. He managed to complete this movie while enduring numerous treatments for his cancer. I can only imagine the amount of pain he was in. I can only imagine his level of fatigue. Having watched my own mother battle end stage cancer I am just floored at his resilience and determination.

My heart aches for his family and friends. He is resting with the ancestors. Well done young sir, well done

Chadwick Boseman Forever
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August 2020

Post #9: I started today in tears…

Today is my mom’s 71st birthday. I wish my mom was still here. Grief is a never ending process. Some days I am happy and cheerful. Then there are other days when I am extremely sad and angry. The latter usually occurs around major holidays and our (my mom and I) birthdays.

My mom used to tell me how sad it was that some babies lose their mom at birth. One of my biggest fears was losing my mom. She was significantly older than most of my peers parents. My mom survived breast cancer when I was around 4 or 5. After my grandmother died (I was 15), I would have thoughts and nightmares about losing my mom. Those thoughts would make me extremely anxious and depressed.

I am grateful for the 27 years we had to spend together. I just don’t think that they were enough. I had so many things I wanted to say to her. I wanted us to start traveling together (she was never able to afford it). I don’t know if I will ever be 100% okay.

My mommy and my angel
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August 2020

Bonus: Why “Venus in September”?

Venus is the symbol for femininity and feminine energy. Romans worshipped Venus as the goddess of love and beauty. Also, it is powerful and related to the cosmic energy of the universe. The planet itself has a denser atmosphere and hotter temperature than Earth itself. From accepted research, it is completely uninhabitable save for the possibility of some extreme species of thermophiles.

Hottentot Venus was a “nickname” used to refer to Saartjie Baartman. She was a South African woman who was exploited throughout Europe. The exploitation related to the size of her body parts. She was touched and physically abused by individuals who paid money to exam her body. This example is only one instance of black women being abused and exploited by individuals in power (also look into the forced sterilization of black women and the gynecological experimentation on enslaved black women).

September is the month of my birth. According to my mommy, I technically was supposed to be born in October. My mom was in her early 40s when I was born. She had no other “successful” pregnancies. In a very short span of time, my mom had four miscarriages and one child who was severely premature and underdeveloped. It was not in the baby’s best interest to allow her (her name was Kimberly Dawn) to continue to live. I can never imagine the pain my mom had to go through to make that decision.

September is the 9th month of the year. In Christianity, the number 9 symbolizes completion. I have a lot of 9s in my birthdate. Often times when I have to give my birthdate, people remark about the repetition of the number 9. It’s not something that I’ve explored in depth but I am sure that it has some meaning.

In summation, I guess the blog name derives from a large number of concepts. These include mythology, cosmic energy, black women, numerology, Christianity and my own life story. I plan to link all of these topics (and more) as I continue my blogging experience.

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August 2020

Post #8: Love languages

Okay so I know that this is going to sound cliché but being single is a great time to discover things about yourself. One of the most important things you can discover is how you receive and feel love. This is called your love language.

There are five love languages: acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch and words of affirmation. Upon taking the 5 love languages test, I discovered that my two main love languages are acts of service and quality time.

Acts of service involves a person assisting me with a task or responsibility. “Thoughtfulness” sums up this idea in one word. For example, planning my mother’s funeral was a truly hard experience. I barely had the energy left to exist…let alone plan her service and arrangements. With my father being of no help, I truly appreciated the help of my two cousins (I view them as being my big sisters). They stepped in without me ever having to ask for assistance.

Quality time is pretty self-explanatory. I feel loved when I am around people I care about. This can be friends, family or the person I’m dating. To me, it means something that out of the one million things someone could be doing, they made the choice to spend that time with me. We don’t even have to be doing anything special. Don’t get me wrong, I mostly like living alone and having my personal space. However, I value spending time with people I care about.

Learning your love language now can be super beneficial if and when you enter into a partnership and relationship. However, knowing the love language of your family and friends can strengthen your relationship with them as well.

What is your love language?

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July 2020

Bonus: Black is King

Beyoncé did an amazing job. I’m sure she had the help of many talented individuals.

The hairstyles, lighting, clothing, music and symbolism were breathtaking. Black is King is such a beautiful body of work.

“When it’s all said and done, I don’t even know my own native tongue. And if I can’t speak myself, I can’t think myself, and if I can’t think myself, I can’t be myself. But if I can’t be myself, I will never know me. So, Uncle Sam, tell me this, if I will never know me, how can you?”

I stan Queen Bey 🐝

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July 2020

Post #7: I wrote this on January 2, 2019…

My best friend, my angel, my mother…we were two peas in a pod. We argued like sisters sometimes because we were both so stubborn. Your sense of humor was unparalleled. You became a mother at age 42 because you never gave up on bringing me into this world. I wouldn’t trade these 27 years for anything. You always said that you asked God to let you live long enough to see me be old enough to take care of myself. You told me last year that you were confident that I would be okay and that you could leave knowing that. I know I’ll see you again some day. My heart is completely broken but I know that you aren’t suffering anymore.

Posted to remind myself that no loss will ever be as hard as the loss of my mother ❤️

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July 2020

Bonus: The End of Bad Religion 2013-2020

This marks the end of an era. The end of a seven year delusion. This time, I’m throwing it in a mound of sticks and setting it on fire. May it burn completely with even no ashes left to see. I promise to never go back to it again. I deserve better. We all do.

Today’s affirmation: I will practice avoiding things and people that do not serve me

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July 2020

Post #6: The COVID-19 Diaries Part 1

I have been social distancing for almost five months. As a single person, it has been difficult. I stopped talking to the guy I was dating at the start of COVID-19 (for various reasons). Nothing particularly bad happened but we were just not on the same page.

I have gone on a few social distancing dates but nothing has come from them. Getting to know new people is super exhausting. I just haven’t been in the place to navigate all of the early BS of getting to know someone. It gets lonely sometimes but I am taking each day one day at a time. I am thankful for friends and family.

I am blessed to be able to work from home. All of my bills have been paid on time. I even have some left over for frivolous purchases. I have plenty of food and things to keep myself entertained.

I wish that the world was open but I understand why it’s not. I wanted to travel this year but that’s not happening. So many festivals and concerts have been cancelled and rescheduled for next year. I’ll just continue to wear my mask and wash my hands. BECAUSE DUH…

How have you been dealing with loneliness and social distancing during COVID-19?

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July 2020

Post #5: Macroaggressions and cheese…

The working world is an interesting place for black women. I secured my first “real” job at 22. It was a research position. My PI was a polite and hardworking man with a thick English accent. That being said, there were other circumstances that made the job somewhat challenging. At the time, I didn’t have a car. The commute required me to take three buses to work. Often times, I would work longer than my scheduled hours. There was an incident in which someone posted an incredibly insensitive poster on the door of the graduate student office (I’m about 99% sure of who it was). The poster included an image of shackled AA slaves to emphasize “how PIs see graduate students”. Being the only AA in the lab, I complained and the poster was removed.

I can recount other instances throughout the years that have made my short working career pretty interesting. All I will say is that it adds another level of stress to already stressful jobs. I would be lying if I said that I am not envious of my coworkers who do not have the same struggles (be it due to race or gender/sex).

What are some macroaggressions you’ve had to deal with at work?