Supposedly “you’re never too old to learn.” Granted, I’m not old – actually a couple years younger than my literary crush – but I feel like I may be beyond the age and point in my life where I can make such a drastic change in my career. Comparing what I seemingly don’t have to someone I don’t even know created a strong, and maybe a healthy (?), sense of doubt....Can I really change the course of my life? Can my dreams truly be realized in a such a competitive market as journalism, writing, and the likes or does my lofty dreams equate to that of a 30-something dude still hoping to become the next great rap star (c’mon you know a few)? Thing is, some of those 30-something dudes do make it – 2-Chainz, what up? Can I do it (not become a rapper, a writer/author)? How?...I’m not sure that I fully believe that this dream can come to fruition.This blog post struck me because it reminded me of myself a few years back. I don't remember precisely where, when, or why, but one day, out of the blue, an alarming thought popped into my head: "If I haven't become who I'm 'supposed to be' by now, then I never will." I was 33. Nearly two years later, I'm still not who I'm "supposed to be" - rich, famous, renown, etc., etc. And, maybe I never will be. (Seriously, unless a lotto hit is in my future, I don't see the rich part happening anytime soon.) The dreams of my childhood (to be an actress or a singer) don't quite fit into the reality of my adulthood, which includes student loans, housing, and car payments. (Plus, there is also the issue of a lack of talent *giggle*) I've actually made peace with this...yet, it's lead me to ask myself anew: What exactly IS my dream and how can I achieve it? I ask myself these questions almost everyday. Through all of my navel-gazing . . . er, blogging, I think I'm getting closer to finding an answer. But I wanted to toss the question out to you, dear readers. Can you grow "too old" to achieve a dream? How have some of your dreams changed over time? How have you incorporated those dreams into the reality of your life today?
“It is difficult for an employer to slam the door in your face if you are among the best. I have seen too many of my people blame every problem they have on racism. There’s no doubt it exists and one of the best ways to deal with it, is to make sure your ‘shit is tight.’”While excellence is certainly the best remedy against allegations of inferiority based on your gender, weight, race, etc., it doesn't quite address how to handle distinct situations in which you may experience discrimination. One tip I learned at Ms. JD's She Leads conference was to use any uncomfortable moments as an opportunity to establish rapport and disprove any stereotypes the aggressor may hold. So, for instance, suppose you are meeting a client for the first time face to face. Up until that point you've only communicated by phone and, of course, you were your most "articulate and bright" self. However, once you enter into the meeting, notice that the client gives pause. It's that awkward moment when the client thinks to him-/herself, "Oh. She's black/fat/young/other-stereotypically-negative-trait-in-business." I know that I have certainly had this happen to me. Now, in that moment, you have two choices. You can either get angry and indignant and express as much (even if only through your body language). Or, you can behave in a congenial and even dignified manner so as to completely defy and ultimately debunk such stereotypes. Yes, I know. You shouldn't have to be the "bigger person" (um, no pun intended). To once again, swallow your pride. But, as I once read on Twitter, "The definition of a professional is a person who does their best, even when they don't feel like it."
You may never be able to change someone's mind about a particular group against which they hold a bias. But you aren't responsible for doing so. At the end of the day, you must not let someone else's ignorance cost you your job. After all, you don't want to end up like this . . . .
Warning: Foul language to ensue. Do not listen if easily offended.When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong
"A shift is commonly confused with a sheath, and the two words have more in common than the way they sound. Both refer to uncomplicated-looking dresses that end somewhere around the knee. The difference is that a shift tends to be less fitted around the waist and hips. Its straight lines are sweet and waifish in a way that the sheath, with all of its body-clinging tenacity, never will be."According to Fashion 101: A Crash Course in Clothing, the sheath was so named because it straight lines resembled a knife sheath. Huh. For me, the best way to remember the difference is that a shift dress actually shifts - with the bottom having a wider skirt than the top; meanwhile, a sheath dress is narrower, with pretty much identical measurements at the bust and the knees. Here is a visual tool to help illustrate the difference:
Triangle, I was so grateful to finally learn the difference. These days I skip trying on the sheath dresses altogether (as they never fit me quite right) and to make the shift dress a staple of my business wardrobe. UPDATE! Recently, I've discovered the perfect solution for rocking a sheath dress with a curvier, bottom-heavy frame: knits! Check out this post for more ideas about how to style a sheath dress using knit pieces!