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Archive for the tag “public health”

Pushing toward purpose

I won’t even fake.

It’s been a long and emotional week. Me and my friends said goodbye to a friend who passed away, we spent time with one another, thankful we are still living and healthy and making our little way in the world. I spent time with my parents, I laughed, I cried.

I helped one close relative put an end to one chapter in their life and watched them step out on faith to start anew. I was scared for them, but also proud of them too. Life is really unpredictable and complicated and we are all on this path to trying to be happy and it’s one of the most difficult things to accomplish because you basically can’t be happy all the time.

I’ve started prepping for my grad school classes that start this week and I’ve already learned about a whole lot and the material is exciting to me. One of my classes started out talking about the cells in our bodies and how these cells do nothing but try to help us stay balanced. The world is made up of all sorts of stuff that is in fact, trying to break us down and disturb our homeostasis, and all our body and mind wants to do is maintain that, but the environment that is around us, the air we breathe, the food we eat, our stress levels, the things that stress us out they continue to wage war on us everyday, and our poor, brave cells are fighting non stop to keep us mentally and physically balanced.

Isn’t that wild?

Life. That’s what it all is, trying to maintain balance, being cognizant of a whole lot of stuff that inherently attempts to break us and stop us, but like those cells, we fight. On a cellular level, even if it seems like we’ve given up mentally, our bodies are programmed to still fight until it burns out (cell death– which leads to ultimate breakdowns in health and eventually our own demise).

See? I’m learning stuff.

So I was up late last night prepping for my classes after driving five hours back from NY, and meeting a younger cousin visiting from Mississippi for dessert, dropping him off at a friend’s house. I was up until one a.m. and was deeply engrossed in the material I was studying. There were studies about the “weathering” effects on black Americans and that a middle-aged black person has an equal amount of wear and tear on the body and emotions as a very elderly white person. Disparities and injustice are real. And to see studies, and documentation confirming things black folks felt like the world tends to ignore and that we just have to live with it first affirmed me, then it made me sad, then it made me furious.

There are even terms for how black people are high functioning copers. That black women, no matter their economic status are the most highly stressed even though recent articles have said we have now become the most educated group in the country right now at really high rates.

Reading all of this at first made me proud, like yup, look at us we still achieve we still go higher. But then I got sad and upset. Why can’t the rest of the world see what I see, and even what these academics have found? But instead a lot of people see something else. Something completely different.

I do like that these courses are asking people to look at the complexities of society and the implications of things like racism, and classism and how it does affect the greater good.

I found myself in the texts, my brain working and wondering how I can craft solutions to these problems, to this calling I have to help women and children and people of color and the disenfranchised. I found an energy even at one a.m. I knew I was tired, but I knew I picked the right path.

I’m going to be exhausted. This is going to be tough. But this certainly feels like the right thing to do.

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Back from Vacation… Back to School?

Hey folks.

I’m feeling refreshed, brand new, beautiful, and did I say refreshed?

Spending the last six days on the lovely island of Curacao was exactly what I needed. Seriously. Having a real vacation will open your eyes. Usually, I’m always trying to add a day or two to a weekend, thinking that’s going to really do something.

WRONG.

A real vacay is basically a week. Gotta take that time. It is essential. Our culture has it so twisted. We work and work and we think it’s honorable to work ourselves into the ground. But we mistake hard work ethic and spending hours and hours at work and staying late with being better and a good worker, but we have terrible health.

We don’t know how to relax and enjoy our lives.

What are we working for?

Every morning I’d wake up and go to my balcony to pray and thank God for being there and having such a wonderful opportunity. I asked for clarity and direction in my life and to find the same peace and happiness when I returned home. I prayed for the ability to see the beauty in my everyday life and live it.

So that led me to thinking about things that I’ve loved to do and things I enjoy. Projects I’ve temporarily abandoned, things I’m scared to do, things I thought I’d be doing. Things that will feed my soul.

So I’ve come to a few conclusions.

The T-shirt company has been left undone.

My novel. But I don’t want to finish. I’d rather write about something else now.

And a master’s degree in public health. It comes to me every six months, this urge to go back and pour myself into study, education and learning.

I do not want the debt, but at the same time, there’s this part of me that feels like studying public health will lead me to my greater goal of becoming a mental health advocate and combining my skills in communications with that.

USC has an online program and it may be worth looking into. It’s among the top MPH online programs. It’s only two years of my life, and when I think about what I’d been doing with the last two years, well. Yeah. I probably should have thrown myself into a program two years ago. LOL.

Every fall it seems like I go through the dance of should I go back to school.

I think now is the time.

I’m not married, I don’t have any kids. It’s really time to pour myself into something hardcore and have a large goal to accomplish. It’s time. I’m scared, I don’t want the debt, but it’s time to open myself up and really push to another level.

Welp, I’ve already gotten return calls from admissions offices at USC and George Washington U. Looks like I’ll be studying for the GRE…

Oh boy.

I promise to do a more in depth review of my vacation. I just got distracted by this life-changing school decision stuff…

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