I remember the days when my summer reading list consisted of Babysitter Club and American Girl books. My, my how times have changed. Instead of reading to earn points for free pizza or colorful bracelets– I’m reading for the soul. Here’s a list of books I recently bought to enjoy this spring/summer.
Summer Reading List
Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This story is about a Nigerian couple who tries to flee to America *dramatic pause* post 9/11. The tone is a little more serious than the books I usually, but I’m always down for a dramatic, romantic adventure.
Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
A few months ago, I attended a discussion of Between the World and Me without reading the book. The conversation was great enough to make me want to own the book as soon as possible. You’ve probably read enough blog posts about my nephews to know they’re a pretty big part of my life. They’re the main reason I bought this book. Read below to find out why…
“In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race”, a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men.” (excerpt from the Publisher’s summary)
Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty
I’m behind in all the shows, especially HBO’s Big Little Lies. Reading the book obviously isn’t the same as seeing Reese Witherspoon and Zoe Kravitz on my screen, but it’ll do. If you’re unaware, Big Little Lies follows an investigation of a parent who wound up dead at an elementary school trivia night. Naturally, the investigation gets a little messy.
Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I love a good coming of age story. Purple Hibiscus tells the tale of a teenage Nigerian girl in search of freedom.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life – Mark Manson
For decades we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F*ck positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it.”
Ya girl loves anything that revolved around self-help and good vibes only, but life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. I can’t wait to read Ranson’s take on positive thinking.
“What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.”
― J. Sidlow Baxter
The Importance of a Positive Attitude
Your vibe attracts your tribe.
No one likes to be around a Debbie/Donald Downer. If you have a negative outlook on life, you will invite negativity into your space.
Helps the inspiration and motivation flow.
When you feel good about your life, you’ll want to continue to do the things that keep you feeling that way. Even if it’s deciding to take the healthy eating route or discovering a new hobby, a little passion goes a long way.
Being optimistic helps us find the good in every situation. Positive folks complete tasks without worrying about what could go wrong. So if things don’t gi exactly how you planned, there’s still a lesson or experience to be had.
It’s healthier for you.
Nothing good comes from being constantly stressed, angry or sad. Everyone has bad days and gets into funks, but holding onto those feelings won’t help the situation.
Brings more positivity into your life.
A positive attitude is the gift that keeps on giving. It unlocks gratitude for what you already have, which brings more greatness to you.
Despite what you’ve heard, being a server is a tough job. As long as you’re sitting in our section, we’re responsible for your happiness and your lives–if you want to get technical.
Every time I try to leave the service industry, something keeps calling me back. Maybe it’s the money, maybe it’s the family atmosphere or maybe it’s the hundreds of memories the job brings. Every food and beverage job is different, but here are some things the server in your life will relate to.
7 Things A Food & Bev Server Will Understand
When you tell guests to enjoy their meal and they respond, “You too.”
Table: *reads menu for 20 minutes* So what all do you have?
Explaining to your friends that lunch breaks don’t exist.
LOL, what’s a break?
Doing the math when a table leaves the total amount without specifying the tip.
Blaming the Back of House staff when you’re in the weeds.
Knowing “in the weeds” isn’t a drug reference.
I pinky promise it isn’t.
That moment when you’re ready to checkout, and remember you have side work.
Are you a food and bev server? Comment below with anything you’d add to the list!
A side hustle is a way for creatives and part-time entrepreneurs to make a little extra cash outside of their full-time jobs. After college, I started my freelance journey. It was exciting, fun and kept me busy. Fast forward to 5 years later, and I can’t wait to retire. When I first started losing interest a few years ago, I thought it was a combination of laziness and stubbornness. That was partially true, but as my life started to change, so did my interests and goals.
All the signs were there, so my journey will end this summer. If you’re a side-hustler trying to figure out your next career move, these signs might be helpful in the process.
5 Signs You Need To Break Up With Your Side Hustle
You’d always rather be doing something else.
Not your typical “I’d rather be daydrinking or watching Netflix”, but wondering why you even started this in the first place.
You’re only doing it for money.
Most people start side gigs because they’re passionate about something. Once that fire burns out, so will you.
Talking about your product/service gives you major anxiety.
I knew my days as a freelance social media manager were coming to an end when networking events became dreadful. (Even the ones with alcohol.) I hated explaining what I did, because I had no idea what I was doing.
Being unorganized doesn’t bother you.
Like any job, organization is a major key. If being unorganized causes your side hustle to be a hot mess, and you don’t do anything to fix it–you need to let that go.
You have no interest in building or investing.
There’s always room for growth, it’s up to you to take advantage of them. Resources like workshops, classes, books and videos exist for a reason. I know being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you’re rich, and sometimes you have to spend money to make money. However, Google is free and so is the library.
Did you ever have to break up with your side hustle? How did you know it was time to move on?
I thought of this idea for my DIY Gratitude Jar while having a Sunday solo dance party in my room. It’s not much different from my first gratitude jar, a recycled wedding party favor, but I put a little more effort into it.
Mason Jar. I’m pretty sure you have a mason jar, or some type of jar that can be used to store all this positive energy. If not, a quick trip to the Dollar Store or Target can help. I conveniently got 3 mini mason jars from a moonshine tasting, so that’s what I used.
Pop sickle sticks. Either buy them from the store, or eat like 30 freeze pops. I bought these rainbow themed ones years ago.
Sharpie. Again, you might have a few at home *cough* or work.
Last but not least: gratitude.
What I’m Grateful For
Clarity and growth.
Yaaaas for personal growth and hair growth! When I started using a gratitude jar in November, I was unemployed and unimpressed with everything around me. Shortly after that, things started to slowly turn around. These days, I’m happily employed and able to make sense of life’s circumstances—even the really annoying ones.
New job/work friends.
Working part-time has helped me afford all the fun things that make life fun. It also gives me a reason to get from behind my computer and interact with humans face-to-face. I haven’t been part of a close, fun work-family since college. This is the same job I randomly applied for while on a “date” I hesitated going on. The same job where I almost let my overthinking talk me out of accepting. But here we are! Which leads me to the next thing on my list…
For lack of better words, “I be knowing”. My third eye chakra was a little fuzzy for a bit. With a (usually) positive attitude and less social media, my intuition is on fleek.
You’ve probably read about the unfortunate retirement of my MacBook. My aunt blessed me with a computer, and it’s made the freelance and blogger life easier. ALSO, my future niece (due in April) and godson (due in August) will be here soon! More kids to add to #AuntieAce’s squad. I’m honestly grateful people trust me enough to love their kids. 🙂
My dreams are starting to scare me, in a good way.
I’m referring to my goals, purpose and passions – not nightmares. It’s almost mind-blowing how the people and opportunities I’ve connected with lately are aligning with my purpose. It’s time to stop focusing on how hard I thinkit might be do achieve something, and just do it.
Do you have a gratitude jar? What are some things you’re grateful for this week? Comment below!
Oshun (also spelt Osun) is a beloved West African goddess known as the goddess of love and sweet waters. If you’ve watched Lemonade or Beyoncé’s Grammy performance. you’ve been exposed to the Oshun goddess.
“Oshun is regarded as a healer of the sick, the bringer of song, music and dance, as well as prosperity and fertility. Oshun is also depicted as a teacher, who taught them the art of divination, using cowrie shells, as well as songs, chants and meditations.”
Ain’t nobody got time for that fertility stuff, but YASSS to meditation.
What was I doing at a full moon party? I mean, why would I not be at a full moon party? Right before the holidays, I started working at a supercool bar in Charleston. One of the many things this bar is known for is their Lunacy Full Moon parties.
Why I chose Oshun.
Other than wanting to create a costume with what was already in my closet, or what I could wear again—I was really feeling Oshun’s vibe. Also, it’s Women’s History Month and I wanted to #DoItForTheCulture.
I fell in love with a drawing by Shannon’s Art Werkk about 2 years ago. In an Instagram caption, Shannon explains that Oshun: The Goddess Next Door is associated with “love, abundance, attraction, compassion, & beauty.” After showing her my pictures, Shannon wrote in a separate caption that it was so fitting for me to dress as Oshun during a full moon in Virgo. She associates Oshun with Taurus & Virgo energy which is CRAZY to me. I’m a Capricorn, and every zodiac compatibility “test” or prediction, pairs me with a Taurus or Virgo. Beyonce is a Virgo, so there’s that.