So I finished my MBA Program

But I don’t think the realization has sunk in yet. The day I finished my final (June 15th), Lorenzo and I went out dinner to celebrate and I actually was able to have a full weekend to myself. I thought it would sink in after I saw the update on Blackboard, but even then I kept thinking to myself, “Is this for real?” Since my graduation isn’t until October, I guess I will have to get use to the fact that I don’t have homework any more, maybe then it will feel “real”.

Since then I’ve flown back to Jersey to spend some time with my family. My dad’s birthday was last week and my sister wanted to celebrate her graduation with a BBQ as well. Funny thing is we really didn’t have plans for the 4th of July. My sister and I took my nieces to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City because I get free passes with military ID. I really don’t understand where children get all that energy from. There were several times where my sister and I had to tell the girls to relax, calm down, and wait their turn to do things.  Don’t get me wrong, I wanted them to have a good time and get to run around and enjoy themselves, I just didn’t want them running over other kids in the process.

Maybe I’m just not used to being around children anymore. My youngest sister is going to be 23 this year, and I have younger cousin who is 8 or 9 whom I haven’t seen since he was 4. I live near my in-laws but those kids are into so many activities that we rarely get to see them. Since its summer time and I’m out of school I should be able to spend more time with them. We’ll see.

 

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Seeing the Finish Line

Finish LineImage credit 

Guys….guys…guys. I’m almost done with school. This week is going to end week 10 of 11 for my last class in my MBA program. I can’t celebrate just yet, I still have another paper to write, and a final, plus I have 3 days of military training this weekend, so I’ll have to do it all when I get home.

My graduation isn’t scheduled until October, but Lorenzo is already planning things for us to do to relax and spend time together. I feel like I have been almost ignoring him for the past year and a half. I’ve literally had to tell him one day not to plan anything for us to do without speaking with me first because there was always too much for me to do. So I know he is just as excited as I am.

Its been 5 years since I started my MBA program. After a really bad Economics class I took a semester off, which later turned into 3 semesters because I was spending my time looking for another job. I went back, and then took another semester off because Lorenzo and I had to move and were buying our house at the same time. I even took a break from my blog last year, so I really didn’t get to document any of it. Now here I am, about 10 days away from being completely finished. It makes me so happy because I knew that the time would pass anyway, and I’m glad that I stuck with it and had the determination to finish.

We’re not going to talk about my GPA right now because this class has been sketchy for me. I’m sure it will take a hit, but I am preparing myself to deal with that. Its not like they are going to put it on my the degree anyway…so….

But, its not like this is the end for me, there is still lots more for me to work towards, the first being a job that is more in line with my degree, certifications, and retiring from the military next year. So I’m still going to be a busy lady– just without homework.

Hair Update: 4 months

Recap: back in January, I let my friend cut my hair. In between salon visits I did my hair myself and used a blow out lotion to help keep it straight. Well, I’m pretty sure I used way too much product because my hair stayed bone straight for weeks, even when it was soaking wet.

Blowout Lotion

This works really well. Try it if you want to straighten your hair

I thought it was from heat, and I’m sure that had something to do with it, but wasn’t the entire cause. I laid off the heat for a few months and asked my friend to give me a trim. After I washed my hair I could tell the difference between hair textures, so I asked her to just chop it off. Since then I’ve been experimenting with different styling products, watching videos on Youtube when I had time, and finding suggestions and routines on Pinterest. I’ll leave my hair out for about a week, braid it up for a week or two and then wear it out again for another week or two.

I can tell that it’s getting longer. I haven’t straightened it at all and hardly used my hair dryer. Guys, let me tell you how curly my hair is… the back is made of up these tiny spiral-y curls and the top is these wavy, hill-y, sort of of up and down thing going on. I’m not really sure how to describe it but, I can’t even tell you guys how much I love playing in it. My sister told me to stop doing that but I swear I’m like a kid in a toy store with this hair. Lorenzo is just happy that I’m happy.

I can’t wait until it grows out a bit more so I can have more styling options. Here are some pics from last weekend. I’m learning how to make the curls more defined and how often I’ll need to do it.

IMG_1706

 

School has been taking up a lot of my time so I’m sure once school is over I’ll have more time to dedicate to taking care of it. I just love how curly it is. 🙂

Random Facts about Me

I thought maybe now would be a good time give any new readers a chance to get to know me a little better. I wrote my bio when I first started this blog and a few things have changed since then, so I was thinking that it might be time for and update.

  • I’m a grad student. As of April 2018 I am one class away from getting my MBA. I started school about 3 months after I moved to Atlanta in 2013 (somewhere in there I took a year off) but will be graduating this year. All the homework I get sometimes keeps me from posting as frequently as I would like.
  • I come from a huge family. I actually have 7 siblings, all younger. While most of my family lives in New Jersey, 2 of my brothers have moved to Atlanta as well. Because of our work schedules, getting together is often difficult.
  • My husband, Lorenzo also comes from a large family, he has 6 siblings; most of them are older than him. One sister lives here in Atlanta about 3 miles from us.
  • While I’m the only person in my family to join the military, most of Lorenzo’s siblings (except for 2) and a few of his cousins has served as well. His father was also a veteran.
  • I love to travel and and Lorenzo loves to eat. It was one of the things that I thought was great about him when we met. I’ve always envisioned a life with a partner that loved to travel and explore new things as much as I did and it helps because he is willing to try new foods as well. I had a hard time dating guys who never stepped out of their comfort zone of cheeseburgers and corner store Chinese food.
  • Lorenzo and I met via a mutual friend. We both knew the friend separately for years; I met her in the Army and Lorenzo met her in college. I guess Lorenzo went through something with a woman that our friend didn’t like, so she decided she would introduce him to me.
  • Our relationship was long distance for the first 2 years. During that time we would travel to see each other when we could so we could spend time together and meet each other’s families.  He proposed to me the day before we moved into together.
  • A friend and I unknowingly got engaged on the same day. She was on vacation when I moved to Atlanta so she couldn’t come to my going away party. While on vacation, her boyfriend proposed.
  • I’ve been in the Army for 19 years as of March. I want to retire next year. Its been a great run, but I think its time for me to move on to let it go. Lorenzo has been in the Marine Corps. for 18 years, he wants to retire when he reaches 20 years also.
  • I’m trying really hard to convince Lorenzo to get a dog. He’s a afraid of leaving it alone in the house and it scratching up the floors. He always uses how much we travel as an excuse, but honestly, we don’t travel as much as he acts like we do. I’m still working on it.
  • I went natural when I moved to Atlanta and not by choice. The stylist I started seeing recommended it. I don’t regret it, but I’m STILL trying to figure my hair out. This might be a separate post for another day.
  • Of all my siblings I only have 2 nieces, and one of them was just recently born a few weeks ago. While I have no immediate plans to have my own children, I want my siblings to have a bunch of them. I always knew I wanted to be an aunt.

That’s all I can think of for now. I’m sure I’ll do another one of these again soon if I ever get some free time after my homework.

My Husband is my Life Coach

Sometimes I don’t give Lorenzo enough credit. I always let him know how much I appreciate him, but I don’t think I give him enough credit.

I always thank him for the things that he does, even the little things because I want him to know that what he does is appreciated. In a past relationship, I was told that I don’t appreciate anything which I took kind of hard and didn’t want to bring a negative habit into this relationship. Granted this relationship is way better than that one, it’s about give AND take; it may not always be equal but the intent is there.

I sometimes give Lorenzo a hard time because he works so much and rarely ever makes time to enjoy himself, which sometimes includes spending time with me. One day when he was working from home I had somethings on my mind and I decided to tell him what was bothering me. He listened attentively and didn’t get defensive or angry. He told me some things that he was feeling (things I didn’t know) and then we came to an understanding that we will both try to do better going forward.

I wanted him to relax more and have more fun, especially with me. He wants me to focus more on my work and getting a new job (I’d expressed a great deal of contempt for my previous employer and he wanted to support me with my goal of finishing my degree and looking for a new job). So we both came to an agreement that we would put more effort into what the other was asking.

One major thing I am grateful for is that he is very strategic with his life. Sometimes my lack of patience causes me to rush into things without thinking it all the way through. Before Lorenzo, I used to say that I wanted to date a man who could teach me things, and for this I am indebted to him because patience is a valuable tool when used correctly. Lorenzo is also the definition of “unbothered”; I’ve never seen someone who is so above any pettiness that I want to copy that same behavior. This is not to say that nothing bothers him, but when I say his reactions to other people’s foolishness is simply outstanding. It actually makes people approach him differently because they know he won’t feed into their craziness.

Here is a list of things Lorenzo doesn’t have time for:

  1. That

Its pretty awesome. Sometimes I want to get angry for him during times where I feel like he should be upset. He just explains to me how he feels and I just look at him and think to myself, “You’re either a unicorn or a robot, but I can’t decide which.”

birthday

 

Sometimes its Good to Say ‘No’

Personal Story:

One of my sisters used to think I was mean. She used to tell me I was too hard on people and that I was too mean to one of my brothers.

I used to tell her she had a “Mother Theresa” complex and needs to stop trying to save everyone.  She disagreed.

Ten years later she is finally gets it.

My sister and I are complete opposites. She’s loud, hot-tempered, intimidating, but funny, extremely nurturing, and entirely too trusting. I’m quiet, determined, I’m “the nice one”, but I trust no-one, and I say no with a smile on my face.

I’m the kind of person who will move on from someone if they betray me in some way just one time. This took strength, because I used to keep people in my life that never had my best interests in mind. So maybe it hardened me some. My sister is the kind of person who will trust you and forgive you multiple times until the damage is severe. Sometimes she’ll even forgive after that.

We’ve had conversations about this over the years, how our behaviors differ from each other. I recently told her that even though it’s great to help others, she needs to learn to take care of herself first and there is nothing wrong with that (the saying ‘you can’t give from an empty cup’ comes to mind). There are some people in the world who you just can’t help because they will ALWAYS need it. They will rob you of your resources, energy, time, and patience and then blame you when things don’t go their way.

I don’t mind helping people, even when it comes to giving money. I just have rules that I go about before I do those things. For example, I never give anyone money that I might need later on; if I’m going to need it, I don’t have to lend out. I’m picky about who I give money to as well; my younger sibling who works and just might be falling behind this month, sure. My unemployed adult cousin who I don’t speak to very often and always seems to find money to support their bad habits, probably not. I’ll offer time, help, and advice, or just flat out say no before I take on the financial obligations of another adult.

So its not that I’m mean or just like saying ‘no’ for the sake of it, I’m just making sure that I can take care of my own obligations before I’m giving my last to someone else. Especially to someone who cannot reciprocate the favor if the shoe was on the other foot and I was in a bind. It may sound crazy to some, but I will say that it has saved me a lot of time, money, and awkward situations with people.

Three Signs In Male Fists Saying No, No and No Isolated on a White Background.

 

Why its Time to Retire… A Letter to my Future Self.

March 3rd marked the 19 year anniversary of when I joined the military. Just the paperwork portion of it, I didn’t actually go to basic training until a few months later. Every year on that anniversary I usually post a picture on Facebook or something and every year someone whom I’ve served with will jump in and encourage me to stay in longer.

I’m so sick of that.

Of course it happened again this year, and I think that no one believes me because I’ve been saying I wanted to get out for years and I kept re-enlisting. Once I hit the 14 year mark, I knew that I would stay long enough just to get my retirement. I figured if I completed 20 years, I can leave with no regrets because I did enough to finish and if I stayed in any longer than that it would be purely because I wanted to.

But I know me. I know that I will second guess myself half to death and end up staying out of fear (fear of what? I have no clue) and re-enlist again and ending up miserable. So I’m going to write a letter to my future self to remind me of this feeling I’m having right now and I’m going to put a reminder in my phone to check it also.

Dear Pat,

Enough is enough. Twenty years of your life is enough. You’ve been saying for years that you are tired of doing this, and you mean it. You have nothing left to give. The only way I can justify staying is if you’ve found another job that is relevant to your civilian career (which I doubt you’ll do in less than a year). Your back hurts, your knees are getting worse, you never really liked doing push-ups, you HATE running, and the food is terrible. Don’t be afraid to let go, don’t be afraid of the unknown. You have other things you want to do with your life so its time to move on.  You’d be doing a disservice to anyone you’d have to lead or mentor because you know your heart isn’t in it (and lets be real, you don’t even like half the people you work with anyway). You want your weekends back. You want to be able to plan a trip that’s not around their schedule. You actually want to travel to cool places, not middle-of-nowhere Arkansas. You can make extra money doing other things that won’t have you end up in the hospital because you threw your back out again, or because your asthma started acting up. You shouldn’t feel this way about your job. Don’t let anyone else convince you that you need to stay because they chose to stay. There was a time when you loved it, but I think that time has passed and now your heart is pulling your towards something else. If you decide to stay longer than planned stay because you want tostay because you’re happy, not because you feel like you don’t have any other options.  CREATE other options.

Love, Pat

Time to create some options…