Afrotasticlady Turns Three

Afrotasticlady Turns Three

Three years ago, I was mentally preparing to begin a Master of Social Work program. Even though I had been accepted into the program, I was afraid that I would not survive it. I wondered if I was smart enough and if I would fail at my coursework.

Three years ago, I created afrotasticlady.com. I have always possessed a grand love for writing, and I desired to have a space where I could express myself. I also desired to have a space where women of faith and women of color could be encouraged. A space where these women could read about God’s love and natural hair. A space where these women could learn about my personal joys and challenges in my journey and where they could reflect on their own lives.

It’s amazing how I stuck with graduate school and my blog. I could’ve quit school so many times. And I could’ve stopped writing in my space, because I hadn’t reached fame as a blogger. Yet, I persevered through the stress of school and graduated with an MSW. And while I am not a top name blogger, I realized in my blogging journey that I did not have to be. If I can encourage myself and other women, then I have achieved success. In this world, success tends to look like a gold trophy and acclaim. As a child of God, success is when I follow His ways. God’s ways are exploding with love, and I strive to share that love with others.

When a young or older woman stops by my blog, I pray that they experience God’s love and gratitude. I hope that they know that they can be themselves and that they do not have work to be someone else.

Yesterday was officially my third blogoversary. I thought about all the posts that I’ve written, and the family and friends that have encouraged me to write. Authentic family members and friends will point out your gifts and tell you not to waste them. They won’t allow envy to dictate their words or actions towards you.

I love that these same family members and friends told me that I would graduate from school. When I was exhausted and dragging myself to classes and internships, they prayed with and for me. When I finally graduated from school, they celebrated with me through their kind words in cards and spending quality time with me.

I tend to not like to write in clichés, but both journeys have come full circle. Now, I am a social worker and the founder of a three-year-old blog.

I am also an advocate of God’s love. And my aim will continue to be to encourage women to see their own beauty and to fulfill their God-given purposes!

Happy 3rd Blogoversary to afrotasticlady.com! 😊 Aye aye! #Yass!

Family/friends, thanks again for reading my words for the past three years! And for believing that my words are mighty!

Cape Cod

 

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#Yass: My Final Year of Grad School

my-final-year-of-grad-school

This past Tuesday, I started the third year of my grad school journey. Despite the stress of school, I have enjoyed the learning process. I have learned effective strategies for engaging and assessing clients. I have grown in self-awareness. I would consider myself a self-aware person already, but I have discovered the pros and cons of my thought processes. While I hold high standards for myself and strive to do well in all of my efforts, I need to become comfortable in making mistakes. Several wise instructors have informed me of my role as a student-learner. Hence, I do not have to excel at everything. It’s actually impossible to excel in everything anyways.

Grad school has led to emotional and intellectual growth. I have been given opportunities to explore various clinical interests, and I have met compassionate and intelligent colleagues. I have also trudged through my studies when I wanted to quit. I can recall numerous days where I felt incompetent or I wondered if social work was the right career choice. Yet, my parents and friends looked into my weary face and confirmed my intelligence. They encouraged me to finish school, and they saw me as a social worker when I viewed myself as an imposter.

But social work has become so ingrained in me. Now, it is challenging for me to even watch a TV show without assessing fictional characters for mental health conditions. Whenever I talk to a friend about a problem they are having, I will often use phrases such as “It looks like you are dealing with_____” and “It sounds like you are _________.”

Despite my own insecurities, I believe I am well-suited for this career. I am passionate about supporting clients as they work towards making personal changes in their lives. I am excited about pointing out the strengths of such clients and watching them realize that they have always been beautiful and resilient. Though, I am nervous about which agency, city, or even state that I will be in after I graduate. But I have recently been praying that I will follow Jesus’ guidance. That I will obey if God directs to remain in my hometown for a little while. Or if Jesus calls me to another New England city or even out of the New England area, I will also obey.

“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me besides the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3 (KJV)

The above Psalm is a familiar passage to me, as I have read it often in church services. Spiritually, I am a sheep and God is my shepherd. God is interested in answering my questions and helping me with my concerns. But regarding my post grad school life, I see the relevance of these verses. If I allow God to lead me, He will lead me to the job that is best for me. He will allow employers to give me favor. He will give me good things, because that’s what He does. He knows what I need.

 

school-commute

My commute to school

 

I know this last year of school is going to be busy and even grueling, but I trust that God will give me the ability to endure. I will have those letters after my name: MSW, LCSW. Eventually, I will also have LISCW after my name. But I realize this entire journey is not just about having those letters. It is about surrendering every area of my life to God, even when my flesh yearns to live in my own way. My way is not right, but God’s way is wonderful, splendid, and adventurous!

Friends, I would appreciate it if you kept me in your prayers this year and post-graduation. I will be meditating on the following songs about trusting God: “Lead Me” by KJ Scriven and “The Voyage” by Amanda Cook. These songs minister to my heart, and I pray that you find them edifying as well.

Blessings,

Monica aka afrotasticlady