Ten Years Later

This past weekend was my 10 year high school reunion. It’s hard to believe it has been that many years since I was in high school. Sometimes it feels like it was just the other day we were walking the halls dreaming about where life would take us.  While we are all in a much different place in our lives, personalities had not changed much. It seemed like we all just grooved right back into status quo.

This wasn’t a bad thing, though. The typical anxiety you see people having in the movies was far from reality. It was rather nostalgic and far from the awkwardness I just knew we would experience. There were tons of laughs, drinks and drag shows. Plus I got to reconnect with some dear old friends. I’d say it was a success!  Just check a few of my favorite pictures from the reunion.

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High school reunion #hspva2006reunion

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Only at PVA! #hspva2006reunion

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Good For Them! (I Don’t Care…)

good-for-them

(Conversations with my mother)

Mom: Hi! Did you hear (random kid I went to school with) got a job at (random awesome place with high paying salary)?
Me: Really? That’s great.
Mom: Yeah! Did you see on Facebook that (random cousin I don’t talk to who recently got divorced) is engaged?
Me: Oh really.
Mom: Also (random girl who goes to her church that knows the third cousin of someone I know) just had a baby. She’s so cute!
Me: Good for them! (I dont care..)

 

Maybe it comes with age. Maybe I missed the memo and this is the type of conversation every twenty-something around the world is having with their parents.  Call me selfish, but I have my own life to worry about.The last thing I want to hear about is how Suzy Q is on husband number 2 and I can’t even get a 2nd date. Or how the grade school overachiever is on their way to financial success and I’m just setting up my first savings account. Why do parents think we want to hear about the lives of every Joe Schmo?

Perhaps this is their way of dropping subtle hints. I know my parents mean well and their intentions aren’t to add any additional pressure. However, when it’s just me on the other end of the conversation my brain’s first reaction is to compare myself to that person. If there’s one thing I hate most in life, it’s comparing myself to others, but Its something I find myself doing often. I start thinking, well why is that not happening to me. Am I not working hard enough? What do I need to change? Honestly, the whole self analysis thing is draining. It takes up so much of my energy I really don’t have any left to actually give a care about someone else’s life.

So from on I really need my conversations with my parents to go a little something like this:

Mom: Hi! How are you doing?
Me: Fine… (Long rant about MY life)
Mom: Everything will be OK!

The End.

Am I the only one with this problem? Are your parents constantly telling you about the events in other people’s lives that you could care less about?

 

 

Post Grad Activities

Like a good college alumnae I went to homecoming this year. In true late bloomer fashion and not-so surprisingly, this was my first time showing my face at a post graduate activity. Being away from Nashville for the last 4 1/2 years, I was just never dedicated enough or had enough money to travel for these types of events. But this year I put on red and blue grabbed my foam paw and went to homecoming to cheer on my alma mater’s basketball team!

 

I have to say being back on campus was a strange experience. So many things have changed yet some things were eerily exactly the same. This time instead of sitting in the student section I found myself on the opposite side of the arena. Instead standing the whole game behind Fratty McFratster, I was sitting behind my first year seminar teacher. The difference between the two sides of the arena couldn’t be on further ends of the spectrum. The student side is loud, feisty, and crowded. The other side of the arena was calm and had a refined sense of excitement. Not to mention comfortable. We weren’t packed in like sardines. To be honest, I think I kind of liked this side better. I could sit down and enjoy the game. Plus I didn’t leave hoarse with achy feet and back. Heck, I’m old now, I can’t hang like I used too 😉 !

While this atmosphere of homecoming was different some things were perfectly similar. One might call it traditional. It just a nostalgic feeling that brings joyful memories of being happy together! Only the cool schools stop in the middle of the game and start singing the Turtles.

 

Overall, i must say I had an enjoyable experience at my first event as a post grad. Have any of you gone back to participate in any events at your alma mater? What are some of your favorites?

The Fear of Growing Up

For the past few years I’ve been longing to reach new milestones. To me, reaching these new chapters would mean that I was growing up. I would finally be growing into an adult. I dreamed about getting an awesome job, moving out of my parents house, and becoming completely independent. In my mind, once I achieved these goals and entered into this new chapter of life, I would feel this overwhelming joy and I would be happy.

In just a few days, I will be starting that awesome job, moving out of my parents house, and starting my journey of being an independent adult. Becoming an adult means I have no choice but to take risk. I have no choice but to independently make life changing decisions on my own. Although I know my parents will still support me, it is now all up to me to take care of myself. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time now. I’m excited, but I’m also scared out of my mind.

As I prepare to make this move, I have felt every emotion possible. I’m super excited to be starting this new job and seeing my friends in Nashville, but I am also sad to be leaving my friends and family in Houston. I’m scared about the unknown, optimistic about the future, yet fearful of growing up.

I know that the gamut of emotions I have been feeling lately are just growing pains, and all pain eventually subsides. This new chapter isn’t scary, its just different. Its change. Change can be a lot to handle but eventually change becomes the norm.

 

Big Girl Job

Your first “Big Girl Job” is a rite of passage. It’s the start of a new beginning. The start of legitimacy. This is the job that is going to shape your career. As you walked across the graduation stage this job is exactly what was on your mind. You are excited to send out applications and honored to be called in for an interview. Some of us get the ever so revered job right away while others spend time trying to find the right path. The process of obtaining your Big Girl Job can be stressful, discouraging, and disheartening but it is so worth it when you finally get it. You are so excited to start the beginning of your future you can’t wait to tell everyone about your awesome new opportunity!

SO…

BIG NEWS!!! Continue reading

26, Unmarried, Childless, and I Secrectly Love When You Ask Me About It

For the past few days I have seen this article 26, Unmarried, and Childless shared up and down my Facebook news feed, tucked ironically in between engagement announcements and photos of infants. I remember reading this article when it was first written late last year and it seems since then every few months one of my fellow generational sisters tells her experience about not being at society’s expected stage of life. Being that I too am at the same stage I have fallen trap to reading every single one of these outcries. I found that their stories usually take one of two point-of-views. Either the girl takes the, “I’m not conforming to societal pressure, I’m single and fabulous” stand, or the, “I’m content with life but I secretly wish I was married with kids”. These are both valid view points and at some point in my mid 20’s I have felt the same way, but reality is, just because we are childless at 26 doesn’t mean we are the only ones getting hassled with aggravating questions.

Our 26 year old, married, with 3 kids, friends are getting asked the same questions- only theirs sounds like, “Don’t you think you had kids too young” or “Remember that time you got a business degree but decided to be a stay at home mom”.  Yes, these questions are irritating, unwanted, and ill-advised, but not getting asked those questions is worse than a few minutes of displeasure. Yes, you read that right, not getting asked those questions IS worse than your temporary annoyance. Now you are probably thinking, “Girl, please”, but before you hit the little x on the right side of this tab allow me to explain.

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How to Avoid Losing High School Friends in Your 20’s

high-school-friends-hspva

As we enter our twenties we are bombarded with tons of propaganda about how we are going to lose all of our high school friends. We are told that those relationships will fail because we will grow apart or something about us changes. While some of that can be true, the real reason those relationships don’t last is because we don’t put in the necessary effort.

Every relationship takes work, friendships are no different. I can honestly say that I am guilty of not putting forth the necessary effort.Throughout my life the friends that I’ve had can be categorized by certain chapters. Rarely having any of those friends played a major role in a multiple chapters. My friends from elementary at this point are simply a faint memory, but most of my friends from high school merely exist on the yearbook pages of my mind.

Its not because I think they are not important or that I don’t cherish those memories. We didn’t “grow apart”; despite whatever has changed in our life the core of who we are has remained the same. Its because after we went our separate ways no one ever made the effort to continue the friendship. As the years go by and more time passes it seems like the window of opportunity to reach out closes. Eventually those friendships become something of the past.

Lately, as I have been aiming to get back to happy, I have spent some time reflecting on some of my most cherished moments. None of those times would have happened without the presence of friends. This got me thinking, I should really reach out to an old friend. So I did just that.

It had been years since we had really spoken to each other. Sure, we are Facebook friends and occasionally we will like each other’s status, but it had been at least 7-8 years since we really talked. In that time a lot has changed. We have both matured and our personalities have evolved, but the core of who we are remains the same. Its fascinating how quickly we were able to fall back into the rhythm of genuine friendly conversation. It felt so good to around someone so familiar.

So you want to know how to avoid losing your friends from high school?

The answer is simple, just make an effort to keep in contact with them. No matter where life will take you never allow the doors on your friendships to completely close. But if you are like me and you let 8 years has past, I encourage you to reach out. You will be surprised how rewarding it feels to reconnect with old friends.

The Day I Had an Emotional Breakdown

It happened on a gross muggy Monday night. I had just spent the whole day anxiously waiting a response for a job I had applied for in Dallas. I wanted that job sooo bad, I had even rearranged my schedule just before Easter weekend so I could go up for a last minute interview. This was my dream job, I thought. The big break I had been waiting for. The past week I had been constantly checking my email and phone hoping for a response from the company.This Monday was no different. The whole day had past and I heard nothing. I had just finished watching The Voice and decided instead of watching Castle like I normally do, I would go to bed early. It was 9:00pm. Before I got up to go get in my bed, I checked my email one last time. There it was at 9:03pm, the letter I had been waiting for. As I read the subject line I instantly knew it was a rejection letter. A form letter. A poorly constructed one at that. It read:

Subject: Thank You
Dear Latrice,
Thank you for the interest you have expressed in the Social Media Specialist-Dallas position and in employment with Dallas. (It would have made more sense to say Dallas office, or even the company name)
At this time, we have decided to concentrate our attention on other candidates who we believe best meet the current needs of our organization.  Please be assured that your application was given full consideration. ( Duh It was given full consideration, I had multiple interviews)
If you have applied for other positions, please note that this message is only in reference to the Social Media Specialist-Dallas position located in Dallas, TX.  We also encourage you to visit our website for information regarding other available positions. (I swear form letters SUCK, at least try to make it a little bit more engaging and less robotic)
We appreciate your interest in our company and wish you success in your career search.
Regards

I read it and cried. And cried some more. I probably cried for a solid 30 mins. Defeated doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. In the past 2 months I had applied for TONS of jobs. Most I never heard from, some I got rejection letters with no interview, but there were 5 positions where I had multiple interviews each. I was rejected from all of them. This job in Dallas was my last hope.

After an hour, my tears had dried up but the pain didn’t go away. The pain of feeling never good enough. The pain of feeling like this nightmare is never going to end. Then the tears came back and every frustration I have probably ever had came rushing in. I felt angry about things that happened in high school, hell I was mad about things that happened in elementary school. I was just so so angry and broken. Every single thing around began to annoy me. The light from the chandelier above me was shining too bright. The sound of Jennifer Lopez’s voice on the tv was beginning to make my eye twitch. I needed air but there was no fresh air outside in the humidity ridden Houston atmosphere. So I went into the bathroom, turned out the lights, and sat in the cold porcelain bathtub, then cried myself to sleep.

About an hour later I woke up in that dark bathroom still sitting in the waterless tub. It was then I realized I just had a full fledged Hollywood style emotional breakdown. I felt spent, yet free. Heavy, yet light. Everything that I had been holding in was finally free. I REALLY needed that cry. Although it was dramatic, it was oddly enough necessary.

So I got out of the tub and took a deep breath, ready to face the light after spending time in the dark. I walked out of the bathroom door,  sat down at my computer and began to write this post.

As I write this, I’m unsure what’s next for me but I know tomorrow is a big day. Tomorrow, I begin searching for a job again. I’m sure I will be rejected much more than not, but I can only hope that eventually I will find something.

Why Being a Teacher is NOT the Answer to My Employment Woes

Unsolicited career advice is something that every unemployed individual encounters. Very seldom is the advice anything profound or even useful. Countless times I have been asked, “have you thought about teaching” or “why don’t you substitute teach”. Literally, I want to scream every single time I hear someone ask me that question, but instead I hold back the urge to roll my eyes to no return and simply say, “I’m not sure teaching is the right path for me”. However, even with that statement said people still try to encourage me to teach.

I may be in need of a job but trust and believe teaching is not the answer. I have made a short list of the 5 reasons being a teacher is NOT the answer to my employment woes.

1. I Don’t Want To
Its really that simple. I don’t want to teach.

2. Kids are Evil
Ok, maybe evil is a bit harsh, but you have to admit there are some seriously wicked kids out there. Have you seen the behavior of kids these days? The bullying and violence in schools is out of control. It takes a pretty strong person to handle the Denis the Menaces and the Bébé’s Kids of this new millennium . Seriously though, grade school was not a joyous event for me. I hated it and I’m sure it hated me. Why would I ever willing to go back to that torture?

3. Teaching is a God Given Skill that I Don’t Possess
I may not want to be a teacher but I really hope we never underestimate their importance. Teaching is an important skill set many of us don’t possess. There is a special craft to this profession. Just because you are smart doesn’t mean you will be a great teacher. I have had some teachers that were experts in their designated subject but had NO earthly idea how to convey that knowledge to a group of students. A great teacher is someone who can relate to young minds, is patient, can inspire, and most of all love their job. I honestly don’t believe I have the patience to be that nurturing teacher.

4. I’m Not Emotionally Equipped
A teacher’s job doesn’t only entail helping kids learn how to count or read. They are key influential figures in a child’s life. Teacher’s are supposed to be someone a kid can trust and talk to about any problems they may have. Also they have to have the ability to recognize if a kid is in need of help or counselling. Out of the teacher’s I have talked to most of them have encountered some very sad situations; from seeing students that come from abusive homes,ones that can’t afford to eat lunch, and those who have undiagnosed learning disabilities. I don’t know how teachers don’t go home and cry every night, especially when they know sometimes there is very little they can do to help a child. I know I am not emotionally equipped to handle those kinds of situations.

5. I Don’t Want To
Yes, this was also the #1 reason but this point needs to be emphasized. Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I’d be a fool not to follow his advice. Teachers have a very important role in society, a role that I shouldn’t be trusted to fill.

What Does it Mean to be an Adult?

 
I am 26 years old. So I’m an adult, right?
I have a college degree. So I’m an adult, right?
I did my taxes by myself for the first time this year. So I’m an adult, right?
I’m in debt. So I’m an adult, right?
About 50% of my friends and associates are married with kids. So I’m an adult, right?
 

But…

I live at home with my parents…
I don’t have a career…
I’m never been on a first date
I still watch Sesame Street weekday mornings
I may or may not fangirl over pop groups like Fifth Harmony

So at the end of the day am I an adult or not? What does being an adult really even mean? According to Webster it means:

Adult  adjective ə-ˈdəlt, ˈa-ˌdəlt
1. fully grown and developed
2. mature and sensible : not childish

I find the word adult to be highly subjective. It can be interpreted as simply a physical state of being or a mental one.

When you think about it, many people have physically developed by age 16, but we all know a 16 year old is for from an adult. Therefore being an adult can’t just be about someones physical development. To me I find the meaning rooted in mental state but much more complex. An adult is not only mature in terms of personality but also in behavior. When I think of an adult I think of someone who is completely independent. This person can support themselves financially, they have at least a somewhat clear career path, and they can engage in mature social relationships. Basically, an adult is someone who has their (excuse my french) shit together.

So am I an adult….

Honestly, I don’t think I’m there yet.  I feel like I’m in the purgatory stage of life.

What about you all? What is your definition of adulthood?

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