The Natural Search Experience

Friday, December 13, 2013

The "Graduate" Experience

If you have been following my personal journey... Then you are probably just as thrilled as I am to learn that I have FINALLY finished my Master's degree. 

I started this journey in June, 2009. At that time my goal was women's services. I wanted to open and operate a non-profit, transitional shelter home for women. This transitional home was to counsel and pamper women during their stay. So I sought God really hard about going back to school and getting training in this area because I was not doing anything with my current degree, Bachelor of Arts in mass communications. 

After prayer and discussing my dream with a few church buddies and getting their letters of recommendation, I moved forward with the vision. Despite being a single parent and becoming a first time home buyer that same year... The road to getting this degree seemed easy breezy! 

The degree was estimated to take two years to complete. When it came time for my practicum experience, I was stuck. Working full time, it did not seem possible to obtain a practicum and work at the same time. After stressing about it, I took a nice long 18 month break. 

During my 18 month break, the idea for Nattalicious was born. I have told you all about Nattalicious right? Well here it goes again, (lol) 

I went natural in 2009/2010 and started attending natural hair meet ups to learn more about my new hair. At every meet up, there was a common group of women who returned to natural hair due to sickness and diseases. So I thought, what better way to serve this population of women by "Giving" them products to help with the up keep of their natural hair. That way they can focus on getting healthier or learning more about their hair without having to stress about buying hair products. In the beginning I brought several product myself. No complaints, I loved it, but it was getting expensive. But  I was giving life to these women by allowing them to pamper themselves with quality natural hair products. 

As the word got out about Nattalicious, More and more women began donating new or gently used products to help! I am emotionally filled every time to see someone investing into God's vision. To learn more about Nattilicious and how to help, Follow these social media pages: 

Facebook: GirlsGoneNatty
Twitter: GirlsGoneNatty
Instagram: Nattalicious_info 
~ Instagram is a combination of my personal and professional experiences so enter at your own risk (LOL) 

After an 18 month break and touring with Nattalicious and networking with amazing women in the Natural Hair biz,  I experienced extreme favor to obtain and complete my practicum experience. I was entering my fourth year grad school and was finally able to start my capstone project. 

My best description of the practicum experience was to defend yourself against the Dr's and Proffessors of the course by completing eight papers. Each paper must be no less than eight pages. This process started in April 2013 and it took me seven months to complete. I knew the content, my delay was held up in the format, grammar, and flow of the paper. 

Yea, I hear your thoughts, A former journalist who do not know how to write a paper?! I wrote for my college newspaper during undergrad, and interned at TWO newspaper companies back in my day. Just so you know how terrible I must have felt trying to relearn apa and how to stop the conflict between my subject and verbs, lol! 

There were nights I would become extremly frustrated. I would emailed nasty letters to my professors, and basically told them to give me my degree because I was paying for it, apa should not matter when you are aquiring debt on top of debt with the education department, Lol! 

This all seem so comical to me now that I'm typing it, but the struggle was real! Ask my dog and my child, They were my sidekicks throughout this entire process. During those frustrated moments, I knew I had hit my lowest point during my educational career. I was missing church, stopped going to the gym, was isolating myself from my social activities, just to complete these assignments. I had NO LIFE! Like for real.. I had no life! It was work, research papers, and fast foods. When I was told that I had symptoms of depression, I was like NO WAY! I'm a Christian, I believe God, we don't get depressed?! I immediatly realized that I was under attack. But I did not stay "depressed" for long because I knew it was the set up for the come up. 

How else was I going to be able to connect with the depressed if I never experienced depression? How was I going to connect with those who felt like a failure if I had never failed at something? How am I going to write that book if I didnt get my writing issues under control? This was confromation at the end of the tunnel that I was on God's path for my life and the enemy was trying to break my focus. 

It breaks my heart to hear of people, especially women, to give up on their dreams because the load got too heavy. Stop making excuses, be honest with yourself, take a break, regroup, refocus, and finish your assignment. You should be your only competition. Seek God's plan for your life and begin to work your plan, not her plan, or my plan. 

Because I attended school online, I will not physically walk across the stage, but today I am graduating!! The joy is real. I'm getting my life back, Im able to watch tv again, I can leave my house on the weekends, and Yes! I'm having myself a graduation party! Lol! 

Super shout outs to every saint I solicited for prayers and agreeance. I lost count of the number of times I was at the alter, sowing seed, or sleeping with the phone to my ear during a prayer conference call, LOL! 

So what's next?! I can not tell you!! I'm going to follow Beyonce's advice and just drop my next project and hit you with that suprise button, lol! 

But I'm pretty sure wherever God leads me.. I will be lined up at the alter soliciting more prayers and sleeping during the prayer conference calls, lol! New Level New Devil. 

What I can tell you... Is that I want to be finish so bad in the degree department. Although I feel like God is trying to pull me to go further, I'm not trying to hear him on that subject right now, lololol! Maybe he and I can agree that i'll go back for a few certifcates to stay relevant, but no more degrees and no more Debt!!!!!!!

If your graduating today or my experience has touched you in anyway... Share your thoughts below! Whatever new chapter you are beginning in your life today, I congratulate and agree with you that you have a strong finish and to compete with no one but you. 

Share you natural hair photos with us by using #Nattalicious! 

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