Hiya! I’m back.
It feels like eons ago since my last Currently Living post. How three months feel like ages is inexplicable to me, but it sure does.
And just like that, we are in the cooler months, and Washington D.C. is not an exception. I am not ready; I need a little more of summer. I didn’t make it to the beach this summer because wedding season took over, but I decided this would not be my story in 2018.
I stayed in D.C. for most of July, and was in New York/New Jersey twice in August and twice in September mostly for work with some fun sprinkled in. My last trip to New York City was at the end of September, and I made up my mind to sit still until next year. But then a few hours after reiterating to a friend my desire to stay in town for the rest of the year, I found myself online looking for November tickets to two cities. I can’t be trusted. :)
I want to be intentional about growing and deepening my value, offerings and network as a writer and storyteller, and as an event planner and project manager.
WRITER + STORYTELLER
WRITER - The Blog
To be honest, work and life got busy this summer, and I fell into a weird writing space. I hesitate to call it a block, because it wasn’t. I knew what I wanted to write, and I wanted to write. But I got so busy I couldn’t give myself to it [I have had seven weddings since the start of August]. I decided to give myself some grace when it comes to writing in general and for the blog until the end of September. I am back, and I’ll be writing and blogging again with intention. Bear with me!
WRITER - Story Pitches
One intention I set at the start of the 2017 in the aftermath of closing JostWrite was to pitch story ideas to publications – print and online. I wasn’t necessarily concerned with whether I get paid for an accepted pitch or not, my goal was to flex and strengthen my pitch muscle and my capacity to identify a good story, a great angle and connect it to the right publication. THREAD was quite helpful in developing and encouraging my capacity to do that.
Thus far, I have pitched six (6) stories ideas to five (5) publications, and three (3) were accepted. Two of the three are paid, and well paid in my opinion. It is such a win for me, after I constantly questioned if I can or should do this. I am excited and blessed, and I look forward to more flexing and evolving.
Pearls from Our Fathers (PFOF)
I haven’t shared much about Pearls from our Fathers (PFOF) here on the blog, and I plan to change that, because it is shaping up to be my baby. PFOF is a storytelling project of honest stories about fathers, present, absent, loving, abusive, incarcerated, deceased etc., told from their children’s point of view. I have been dreaming and talking about it for a little over six years without executing on it. Earlier this year, I decided this is the year to start putting one foot in front of the other in order to bring it to fruition. I will be launching it as an Instagram story project, because I want to start with what I have and I know, and to build capacity from there. I have a vision beyond IG, and I will share more soon.
EVENT PLANNER + PROJECT MANAGER
Project Management Certification (PMP)
I got my 35 contact hours in as promised at the end of August, and next move is to put in my application to get certified. I’ll like to apply and get approved to take the exam before the year is over, and maybe even take the exam and get certified by Dec. It cost money, but hey…
Starting Bloc Fellowship
I recently applied, got accepted and received a scholarship to the Starting Bloc Institute. I’ll be joining other Starting Bloc fellows and entrepreneurs for a 5-day conference in October. Yippee!
Forum on international Affairs (FIA)
In August, I led a discussion group on Chinese investment in Africa for the Forum of International Affairs (FIA). FIA’s mission is to organize off-the-record, inclusive, non-partisan and engaging discussions on global affairs at venues around the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
I grew an interest in the Sino-African relations a little over a year ago, and I began reading and researching to get familiar with the breadth and depth of the issue. I am by no means an expert or analyst, but I took the leap. The event was a success, and I measure that by attendance, level of interest and depth of discussion. It is a topic many are interested in. The executive director and founders of FIA said it was a great event, the most attended of all their events ever and that I kept the discussion moving and the attendees engaged. For a first stab at flexing my speaking and facilitating muscles, it was great to hear that. I wrote a post about my thoughts on the topic, and I will post soon.
I was asked a few days after to lead another event, and I am excited to dive in. I plan to bring African and immigrant related issues to the table, and I am excited to grow, learn, flex and shine.
Still binge watching House of Cards…I wouldn’t even call it binge watching, because I can only take one or two episodes at a time. It is slow but intense and a little dark.
I’m all caught up with Being Mary Jane, and I’m hoping to get caught up on the completed second season of Insecure. I was telling a friend recently that I relate more to Being Mary than Insecure...I just do. Speaking of relating, one of my dream this season is to be at the writer’s table for Yvonne Orji’s First Gen Show. I am African, Nigerian and Immigrant! Duh! I have a lot of stories I can contribute. PS: I am taking a screen/script/stage play writing class next year.
I still have Scandal on my radar, and also thinking about watching This is Us too.
I don’t watch TV really, so I’m thankful for Netflix and apps.
Currently reading Ego is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday
I’m in a reading rut too. I started the following books and dropped them to attend to life.
When Chicken heads Come Home to Roost, Joan Morgan
Questions for Ada, Ijeaoma Umebinyuo
Gun, Steel and Germs, Jared Diamond
Prisoners of Geography, Tim Marshall
The Truth About Awiti, CP Patrick
Neon Soul, Alexander Elle
My rut has nothing to do with the books really…more to do with me.
I’m taking it easy this fall and winter. I have a lot of work stuff I need to bang out.
I may go on a fun hiatus, and choose work and rest instead.
I celebrated my birthday with my friends at the end of July with dinner, shisha and dancing. Thankful!
Let me be honest…I am drained. I packed my calendar full of work stuff this past few months, and I need to get a grip on that. Here is to a low-key fall where I churn out work, but sleep and take care of myself as best I can.