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How to Stay Productive During COVID

We’re all processing the coronavirus. Everyday, news stations are reporting on both the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the death toll. We’ve all had plans delayed amid the pandemic. However, we can still be productive.

Think about hobbies or passions you want to spend more time on. Think about the things you’ve been pushing back for days, weeks or months. In a world where it seems like there’s not enough time to accomplish everything we want, it now feels like we have nothing but time.

Here are some ways I am using my time and some ways you can use yours.

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Health in Her Hue by Jovonni R. Spinner

Create a Vision Board

As a creative dreamer, I always fantasize about different stories I want to tell via blogs, films and television series. Since I wrote down my desires, I found pictures that mirrored my short-term and long-term goals including travel, screenwriting and my cultural influences.

If you are still figuring out what you want for yourself, write down what comes to mind. Find pictures in magazines or search Google Images. You can purchase a poster board at your local Walmart or Target store. You can also purchase it for $1 at Dollar Tree. If you have an empty box laying around, cut a piece off and use it.

Continue reading “How to Stay Productive During COVID”

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What’s Your Sign?

Welcome back beautiful people!

Knowing everyone is focused on self-care, New Year resolutions and manifestation, I’m not going to talk about that today.

A lot of people incorporate horoscopes into their everyday lives.

When I meet new people, one of the first things they ask is, “What’s your sign?” 

It’s a fun question because who doesn’t like being asked about themselves?

Continue reading “What’s Your Sign?”

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Greenleaf: Questions That Need Answers

Now that season four of Greenleaf has premiered, there are many questions that need answers by the season finale.

Lady Mae

Will the Greenleaf matriarch reveal both Grace’s paternity and her previous affair to Jacob and Charity? Will Mae reveal the sexual abuse she experienced from her father to her children? During season one, the family experienced loss after Faith, her deceased daughter committed suicide. It was confirmed Faith was sexually assaulted by Mac, Mae’s pedophile-rapist brother. If Mae were to reveal her innermost secrets, it could destroy the glass fortress (which she created) the family has lived in for decades.

Kerissa Greenleaf

Will Kerissa file for divorce from Jacob, file for joint custody of Winkie, and buy a nice home for herself? Since season one, Kerissa has invested 150% into Jacob to fulfill her ambitions of power, prestige and wealth. Unfortunately, she has reaped no return on investment during their 20-year marriage. Kerissa is a confident, educated and ambitious woman. Everything she has desired since marrying Jacob she can achieve on her own. Unless she thinks otherwise. Does Kerissa think she can only achieve her dreams through Jacob? If so, why?

Jacob Greenleaf

Will Jacob be more self-aware? Will he realize his repetitive poor decisions result in his family’s demise? He has an opportunity to be an associate pastor at Harmony and Hope Ministries and to become a life coach to troubled youth. Will being a mentor prove to be a promising career? Or will Jacob fall victim to his own naivete, ignorance, impulses and infidelity yet again? 

Bishop James Greenleaf

After learning Grace is not his biological daughter, being conned by a seductress who is the daughter of the man he accidentally murdered, getting divorced, losing his church and facing death, it seemed Bishop had clarity. He was at peace. However, a law enforcement officer questions James about the burning of his old church building again. What else is Bishop hiding?

Charity Greenleaf

Since season three, Charity has asked, “When am I going to get my fairytale ending?.”

Charity, what do you want? Since season one, Charity has been the spoiled, youngest child who gets the least attention. But what is your fairytale ending? Besides wanting attention and people to listen to you, what is your end goal? Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? How are you working towards that?

Zora Greenleaf

I love Zora. Zora is funny, clever, creative and stylish. I am relieved she left her abusive ex-boyfriend, returned home, and plans to attend college after high school graduation. Will she stay on track? Or will she fall for another bad boy…….or girl?

Sophia Greenleaf

Sophia dealt with a big blow last season. After discovering a benign condition that left her sterile, Sophia went from a budding Christ believer/Sunday school teacher to an angry teenager questioning her faith. Will Sophia go down a dark path similar to Zora? Or will she go down a dark path like her deceased Aunt Faith?

Grace Greenleaf

Grace. Grace has been the person holding the family together. Will she question her identity knowing Bishop is not her biological father? Will her and her half-brother Aaron continue to build a relationship?

During the season premiere, it is revealed Grace has an adult son in prison unbeknownst to Noah, Sophia and her family.  How will Grace navigate the repercussions of her actions?

We will see this season.

I’ve been ready since February. Are you?

 

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Let Me Reintroduce Myself

So………………I have been MIA for 18 days for a few reasons. It’s difficult to post consistently when you are trying to figure things out. I am looking for full-time employment (which has been a 6-month process) and preparing to start a real estate associate program in two weeks. In addition, I came back from Afropunk NYC a few days ago and needed to adjust to my normal schedule.

Since starting my blog in June, my sole focus has been television. After much reflection, I have decided to discuss whatever I want – film, television, and my personal life.

I am a woman of many passions. I love how TV and film mimic real-life family dynamics, exposes me to different ways of life, invites me into the story and prompts self-reflection. I also love how both storytelling forms celebrate fashion from different time periods.

I am excited to discuss different topics such as embracing change and uncertainty, the long-term commitment to creating a work-life balance, overcoming fear, navigating career transitions and the childhood memories that shape us.

Though I have written episodic recaps, I will not discuss every moment in an episode. There are numerous bloggers and vloggers that do so already. I prefer to directly link characters’ evolution and characters’ stagnation to their present storyline in current seasons.

Moving forward, I will post twice a week. My endgame is to post four times a week. I commend writers who posts daily like Tamara Tattles. My long-term goal is to build a community of transparency, creativity, and vulnerability.

So enjoy the ride!

What keeps you consistent in your writing?

Major Changes: Adulting

Hey guys! Long time no see. I know. It’s been 3-4 months. I moved into a new apartment!

I am accustomed to calling my new residence home. I haven’t accidentally driven to my old apartment out of habit. The natural scented air freshener lingers throughout my dining room and living room reminding me the newly renovated apartment smell has not disappeared yet. It is my space to just be.

Decorations

I’ve decorated nothing. The thought of establishing a design theme for an entire apartment induces my anxiety. I barely decorated my previous bedroom. However, I know I want a medium-sized picture centered on my bedroom wall. I want it to be a statement piece that embodies my purpose and a reminder of what I am proud of. But I don’t know what it will look like.

Adjustments

There is a newfound silence. When I lived in my previous apartment, the silence occurred when TVs were turned off and everyone was asleep.

Here, it is peaceful at times that require focus. But sometimes, it can feel lonely.

Home Improvement

I was intimidated by the hundreds of home improvements materials I walked past in Home Depot. I know nothing about home improvement tools. NOTHING.

There are four types of people. The people who use the tools to build and fix things, the people who pay them to do it, DIYers, and the people who hand snacks and beverages to the DIYers as they fix and build things. I am the latter.

Now I know a few things after five trips to Home Depot. I know what aisle to find portable alarms, the type of sandbags to use for flood prevention, to avoid sandbags with bugs inside of them and to lay plastic in my trunk before loading sandbags.

What did you learn from your first move? Any decoration suggestions?

My Thoughts on the Current Movement

Trigger Warning: This post is about my thoughts as a Black woman witnessing the protests against racial injustice in America.

I have not been completely focused in the past two weeks. My feelings have varied. Fear. Paranoia. Anxiety. Stress. Anger. Disappointment. Rage. Resentment. Unapologetic. Enlightened. Aware. Inspired. Hopeful. Optimistic.

I am frustrated that some people and organizations on social media have excluded Breonna Taylor from the conversation.

Continue reading “My Thoughts on the Current Movement”

Exciting News!

I started this blog nearly a year ago. It has been an incredible journey engaging with you in this amazing, supportive community. I’ve learned so much from you all such as transparency, forgiveness, self love, and overcoming doubt.

I am excited to share that I launched my own YouTube channel. It’s something that has been on my heart since 2012. I am very passionate about my love for television, my love and disdain for characters and what keeps me invested in long-running series like Grey’s Anatomy.

I am very excited to discuss topics I’m passionate about and share lessons I’ve learned on both platforms. Most importantly, I get to connect with you on a more personal level.

Thank you for continuing this journey with me. I am forever grateful.

If there are topics you want to discuss, comment below. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Twitter @belladour.

 

My Favorite Throwbacks: Part 1

There’s nothing like pure nostalgia. It reminds you of the good ole days when you had little to no responsibilities. You felt like you had all the time in the world.

Life was easier when there wasn’t a goddamn pandemic.

Last Saturday afternoon, I pulled out my exercise step, threw on a long t-shirt and a pair of old shorts from 2008, and listened to my favorite throwbacks while doing some much-needed step aerobics.

I couldn’t help but smile. I wasn’t thinking about my anxiety nor my frustration with a family member. I was enjoying a 60-minute party.

If you’re experiencing feelings of loneliness and anxiety during quarantine, I highly recommend listening to your favorite throwback songs. It can motivate you in more ways than one.

For more resources on the positive influences nostalgia can bring to your self care routine, check out this Shine article.

Need some throwback motivation?

Check out my Saturday Playlist!

  1. You Know You Like It – AlunaGeorge
  2. To U – Skrillex & Diplo ft. AlunaGeorge
  3. Beats Steady Knockin – Skrillex & Diplo ft. Fly Boi Keno
  4. Jungle Bae – Skrillex & Diplo ft. Bunji Garlin
  5. Express Yourself – Diplo ft. Nicky Da B
  6. Calabria – Enur ft. Natasja and MIMS
  7. Tambourine – Eve
  8. 1991 – Azealia Banks
  9. Body Pump – Aluna
  10. Luxury – Azealia Banks
  11. Hey Baby (Jump Off) – Bow Wow & Omarion
  12. Together – Kaytranada ft. AlunaGeorge and GoldLink
  13. I’m in Control – AlunaGeorge ft. Popcaan

 

What’s your favorite throwback song?  What are you listening to in quarantine? Comment below or tweet me your favorite throwback song @belladour on Twitter.

 

 

Is My Booty Currency?

Yesterday, my mother told me about her meeting with an old friend. “She lost weight in her butt like you did. But she’s happy.”

It was a simple remark. But it led to a thought spiral.

Let’s rewind.

Three weeks ago, my mother approached me. “Your father and I noticed you lost weight,” she said softly.

Initially, I didn’t believe her. But yesterday I noticed several pairs of pajama bottoms hung off my hips. I lost weight and knew why. During my previous job, I ate Cheerios and instant oatmeal to power through 10-14 hour workdays. Also I ate them as breakfast, snack and dinner. I had experienced weight loss before.

In 2016, I lost weight from eating cereal excessively throughout graduate school. But this time it was different. I turned to the side and scrutinized my body in my bathroom mirror. Did I lose weight in my butt? Do I have less butt? Do I have less curves?

Continue reading “Is My Booty Currency?”

Worry Spirals

Have you ever experienced a worry spiral?

It can last a few minutes or a few hours.

For me, it was several days.

Last Friday, I woke up with an itchy nose and couldn’t stop sneezing. By Saturday afternoon, I was experiencing throat sensitivity, chills and fatigue. Although my symptoms felt like the onset of a cold, I panicked.

I thought about people who had few symptoms that were now fighting for their lives or had passed due to coronavirus. I thought about hospitals’ morgues overflowing.

Cue the spiral.

What if I have it? Do I need to get tested? I don’t want to die. I can’t leave my family. They can’t afford a funeral. I can’t abandon my sister. I’m not finished with life I’m just getting started.

These dark thoughts led to paranoia. I was afraid to fall asleep.

I don’t have the coronavirus. I just need more rest and suffer from pollen allergies.

When I discussed it with my therapist, she recommended I recite what’s happening around me to be present. For example, “It’s 11:40 pm EST April 23, 2020. I’m laying in my bed with the lights out. I should be sleep but am typing this post. I can breathe. I am resting my head on my pillow. It’s relatively quiet. I hear my father snoring in the next room.”

Being present can break worry spirals. For specific strategies, check out this Shine article.

How do you manage your worry spirals?

What’s Next?

We’ve been inundated with free course/webinar offerings, how to level up your career during a pandemic, how to start a successful side hustle, how to build a brand, etc.

Although there are many options to choose from, the influx of content has become overwhelming.

Where can you start if you don’t know?

Consider a few things.

1. What skill(s) do you need to improve on?
2. How can you leverage it within your personal and/or professional life?
3. What skill or subject matter are you most curious about? Why?

Self-reflection can help you set your intention and determine what works best for you.

Here are some free course offerings:

Coursera has made 80+ previously paid courses free for a limited period of time. You can explore subject matters like public health and social psychology.

General Assembly is now offering free Friday workshops from April to June. These workshops range from career development to entrepreneurship to personal development.

 

What skill or subject matter are you exploring? 

Things To Do During Quarantine

If you’re a procrastinator like me, there’s no time like the present to complete the tasks you’ve been pushing off.

We have ample time so no more excuses!

Here’s my to-do list and potential ideas to consider.

Revise my resume.  Making a career transition into a different occupation and a  different industry is an exciting challenge. It takes time to craft an exceptional resume you feel confident enough to send through 10-20 job application portals weekly.

Update your resume with your recent work experience and highlight your accomplishments. Check out The Muse for resume tips.

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Learn how to style my natural hair.  As an impatient perfectionist, I’ve viewed hair maintenance as an arduous task my entire life. Now I’m forcing myself to learn how to both two-strand twist and cornrow. I told myself I would spend 15-30 minutes per day practicing twist techniques after watching tutorials. If you have any tips for beginners, comment below.

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

Finish reading one of several books I purchased.  One of the meetups I joined is reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming. They’re hosting a book discussion April 30th which forces me to finish the last half in 15 days.

Open that book you’ve been meaning to read. Reread your favorite book you haven’t read in awhile.

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Clean my entire apartment. I am a semi-hoarder. There are several college textbooks and folders sitting in a large, black bin under my windowsill. I thought I’d use them in the future but never did.

Decluttering your home creates more space.

Start with one task. Whether it’s throwing away papers, worn accessories or unused items.

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Choose what screenwriting project to finish first. There are several unfinished stories sitting under my desk dating back to 2013. My goal is to finish one this year.

If you have unfinished projects, revisit them. Look at where you left off and go from there. Start over if you want.

What have you been putting off? 

Jealousy in Friendships: Truth Serum

Last night, Raven Symone and Kiely Williams had a 22-minute conversation on Instagram Live regarding their relationship dynamic during The Cheetah Girls. Ultimately, Raven forgave her for their past issues and Kiely issued a half-apology.

It was obvious Kiely was the guilty party, the jealous one and refused to take full accountability for her actions that made Raven feel ostracized nearly 20 years ago.

The conversation made me think about jealousy and resentment in friendships.

How can we hold ourselves accountable if we’re the jealous party?

Nobody wants to admit they’re jealous of someone. Let alone a friend.

jealous

hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage: ENVIOUS

(according to Merriam Webster dictionary)

Continue reading “Jealousy in Friendships: Truth Serum”