How I handle Stress…arrgh

S.T.R.E.S.S is…..ummm… stressful. The next two weeks are going to be a stress adventure.

I graduate on Saturday, I still haven’t packed anything in my dorm and on top of that I do not have insurance. I have had insurance my entire life, but it was removed when I turned 21. SO, I have spent the last 3 days trying to find low-cost alternatives for the un-insured. That was not fun. It took me A LOT of digging to find these amazing programs and I am so glad I took the time to find them.

On top of this, the Peace Corps is pressuring me to turn in my Health packet ASAP or I will be discontinued from the Application process! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Now I have to find money out of nowhere to pay for all of my upcoming appointments AND I found out I will be leaving before OCTOBER.

On an unrelated note: I have a splinter in my thumb (:

Its ok Mani..It’s going to be ok.

SOOOOO, I’m going to go through MY stress relaxing process:

  1. STOP
Don’t let the stress get to you. If it becomes overwhelming, TAKE A BREAK. Take your time.

Breathe…In and out. I know we’ve all heard this from everywhere, but it really works. I found a quiet place and I just relaxed and listened to my own breathing. I know it sounds cheesy but it removed a huge chunk of stress from me. Listening to myself breathing brings me to my next tip.


Be grateful for how far you’ve come and appreciate the fact that you are breathing. If what you are stressing over is that bad, take a moment to think about all of the good things in your life. I thought of my family and how I am glad that I have a source of happiness. I am grateful that I’ll always have somewhere to go if things don’t work out. I’m grateful for my health and I’m grateful for my life. Take a moment out everyday to reflect on your life.

I’m Thankful I have something to stress over.


I can’t do anything unless there is something positive driving me. Life is a challenge: accept it. I wouldn’t be anywhere if I lived my life through fear, not would I be going anywhere. Be your own mascot.


On my last day of my English Major Seminar, my professor offered a gift I had not anticipated: a speech. He spoke of the power of encouragement and offered words of wisdom for us. Towards the end he talked about how an endless cycle of encouragement can lead people to be the best that they can be.


Just get moving. DO anything. I’ve been walking like crazy and I’ve never felt so relaxed. Here are some of the odd (well, odd for me) exercises I’ve been doing:

  • Running with my Toy dog
  • Throwing pebbles across a creek
  • Going on a swing
  • Jazz Dance (I am the ONLY person under 30 in that class)
  • Zumba (AMAZING)
  • Golf
I think I’m going to take up Kayaking, I found an awesome class that is pretty cheap in Virginia (:
Mani (:
P.S. Don’t forget to laugh!



Yesterday was my cousin Quoia’s 19th Birthday. To celebrate, My 2 sisters, my brother, Quoia and I went to Chuck-E-Cheese and played games for 7 hours straight. We looked a “little” out of place because of the whole “we’re adults” thing and everyone else there was either under 10 or over 50. Still, it was fun to be kid again. Anyway, We collected all the tickets we won and gave her $100 worth of tickets. Then, Quoia bought this bright rainbow slinky with the tickets. Totally worth it! Soo FUN…..I am going to miss these amazing people when I leave for the Peace Corps (:

I survived today with no scratches

My beautiful Mom. She took this picture after finally shaving off all of her hair after chemotherapy caused some of it to fall out. (2009)

On February 24th, 2011 my Mother passed away after fighting Breast Cancer (Triple Negative Breast Cancer) for 4 years. She was the most amazing woman I knew. I am glad that she is no longer in pain.

My mother’s Birthday was on May 17th and she would have been 45 today if she was still alive. I began the day expecting to mourn her loss, but I did the opposite. Today was spent laughing, crying tears of joy and eating with my family.

I drove around singing out loud to nothing playing (My radio doesn’t work sometimes) with my windows down, not caring who heard. I HAD RED LOBSTER BISCUITS.

Today was not only my last day as an undergrad student, but it was also my Mother’s day. I spent the day happy, in celebration of her life. I no longer feel empty. I feel hopeful.

This is craazy

UPDATE: I figured out how to get my cap to fit on my head without betraying my natural hair. I did a twist-out. It twas extra cute…

Its been 4 long years. I will be graduating in 2 weeks!! That is insane.

My class size is only about 200 (probably less) and we threw a very awesome Senior Gala. I wore a white and black halter dress and I looked pretty dang good in it. 2 weeks and I will no longer be a college student. 2 weeks and I will be entering the “real world”.

College feels like an endless, awesome sleepover. I’m going to miss this freedom. I don’t know if there will ever be a time like this again. I danced, not caring what I looked like (see my post about my awesome dance skills). I had a Blast.

TWO WEEKS and I will have a diploma that says I earned something. Two weeks and I have so much to figure out. I’m ready (: Looking forward to the PC. Looking forward to whatever life brings me.

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.

Peace Corps Progress (:

Soooooo…I’ve accomplished so much! I have been (1) Nominated and (2) I am 33% finished with the health packet. I have Part 2 of my Dentist appointment next week (: Visit more often to see updates.

A Dedication to Mommy

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss

I intended to post this on 2.24.12 to mark the first year since my Mom passed, but I didn’t. So why not the first day of my Mom’s favorite Month? 

The thing that I found to be eerie and inspiring about this is that I wrote it around Midnight on February 24th, 2011 and I felt a strong emotional connection to something I did not understand. Later that same day my Mom passed away. I remember before I knew that she passed that I was excited to share this with her because I wrote it for my creative writing class. I always loved my mother, but writing this made me feel an appreciation for her that was deeper than I felt before.

One thing that I am proud to say is that I feel no regrets. I always let my Mom know that I loved her and we never hid anything from each-other. She was the most open and kindhearted person I know. I know people speak kindly of those who have passed but are only saying it to fluff up an image of that person. But I can say genuinely 100% that my Mother was the most amazing, open, and funniest person I’ve had the honor of knowing. The funny thing is I no longer feel a feeling of “loss” because I will see her again. I don’t feel whole, but I feel a contentment that only she could have taught me and that she continues to give me. I don’t like to talk about whats going on in my life, but I felt the need to share. 

Tell the people you love that you love them. Share with them. Be open. Live your life with no regrets. Do it now. Don’t put it off. We don’t like to talk about it, but we never know when our time to go is coming. While you are still here living, breathing and laughing…Share your laughter with others. I’m speaking on a simple level without regard to your religion, race, political affiliation or gender. No matter who you are, “Show” your love. When things don’t go the way you planned, you’ll wish you did. 

So here it is:

   Cradled by a dark-caramel colored frame, etched with hand drawn manufactured words of “Peace, Nature, Live,and Freedom” around it, sits a photo of my Mom, sister, and me. My Mom is at least 24 years old, Samaya is barely alive at 4 days, and I am 2.  My Mother is sitting high on the end of a bed scattered with floral patterns, holding both of us. A tan backrest pillow un-purposely leans against Mommy at the moment. No one’s eyes notice the camera-holder, or focus on the lightning flash of the disposable camera. No eyes can be seen.

My Mother (5.17.67-2.24.12). Me age 2. Baby Sis.


        All eyes are on Samaya. I sit with my back to the camera, my diaper hanging proudly out of my light baby blue pajama pants, supporting her head with my hand. Mommy’s arms are wrapped around the both of us. Her right hand meets her left fist, which is cradled awkwardly around Samaya to support her entire body. Samaya’s shoulder blades rest in the nook of her elbow. She doesn’t seem to mind. In this moment, her eyes look completely shut, but they are consumed in the new born. In this moment, we are supporting each other. Mommy is keeping me from tumbling from her lap and I am attempting to keep Samaya’s head upright. Her arms, wrapped around the both of us, are continuous in life and in spirit.

       Samaya’s hair clings to her like it’s been smoothed down in perfect black waves around her scalp. Her skin is bright yellow; the sun’s second cousin. Just bright enough to handle, but not too bright to go unnoticed. She’s newly-shriveled and soft, her face formed into a frozen scowl that shows some discomfort.  Mommy bought a white blanket that snugly envelopes her from neck to toe, wrapping Samaya in warmth. My head is covered in four large plaits marked with individual barrettes. My hair neatly shoots off in different directions divided by carefully greased and separated parts.  My head, turned away from the camera, blocks the mouth of my smiling Mother, only indicated by the rise in her upper cheek-bones.  Mommy’s bright orange-and green head band pushes back her hair in a mass of thick dyed almond and blackness that carries down to the tops of her earlobes. Her hair is has been tediously parted down the middle, sending fluffs of thickness on either side of her head. Below, a bright orange t-shirt accompanies her head band, highlighted against the white of my t-shirt and Samaya’s blanket.

       We are in my Mommy’s room, so the room must have a smell that you can’t quite identify, you just know it must smell good. It’s probably something flowery, but not overwhelming so that it lightly touches your nostrils, rather than send it into a fiery pit of stink. Mommy looks like the great pumpkin against the brown floral patterning on the wall, thoughtlessly scattered against a white background. She sticks out like a accidental Queen amongst these dead things. Everything is haphazardly tossed this way and that: the phone, the covers, the baby brush, and the bottle, but all within reach. I, myself, look like I’m on the brink of collapsing, but only forward, into Mommy.

      A tell-tale sign that we are all one in the same is the peak that breaches our hair lines, Mommy’s is the most defiant. It highlights either side of her face, this time her right. You see her long “roman” nose that I always dared to grab, her high eyebrows, the roundness of her face. When she was younger, she always tried to shave it off, finding it to be unattractive. I did the same thing, but I discovered that without it I feel bare. I feel that I am not only denying, but I am erasing a part of what makes me who I am. I know it’s a simple hairline, but it goes beyond that. I am my Mother’s daughter, and I am proud of everything that makes me. The little things that we forget are the big things that make us who we are, and for me it’s a hairline.