Overcoming Post Grad Blues

Graduating college is an amazing accomplishment! Finally, no more homework, 9 am classes, and dining hall food. But if you’re like me, that excitement soon turned into anxiety. Because now, we’re living in the “real world.” Everywhere you go, people are asking you, “What’s the next step?” “Where are you going to work?” “Are you going to grad school?” And you’re just sitting there trying to come up with the best sounding lie because reality is, you don’t have it all figured out yet! Trust me, I feel you.

Here are 6 things that helped me out during my post grad blues and I hope these tips help you too!

Take life one day at a time

If you’re anything like me, you probably thought something along the lines of, “Okay… I graduated. Now I need to find a 6 figure career, buy a house, find a husband and pick out my kid’s names within the next 5 years.” But I realized that if I am always rushing to the next best thing, I will never truly enjoy life. Instead of stressing out about things that I cannot yet control, I would rather focus on the things that I can, and enjoy the chapter I am currently on. Sure, I am not yet where I want to be. But I am enjoying every bit of the process.

It’s okay to change your mind

I personally had a bit of anxiety about what career path I wanted to take. I graduated with a journalism degree, honestly because I love to write. But I realized after working at the job I had while in college, teaching a journalism course to kids, that teaching is something more suitable for me. I am also interested in counseling. So I created a new plan, and that is subject to change as well. You never know where life will take you. But learn to find the positives in everything you do. If I did not major in journalism, I wouldn’t have started this blog. If I didn’t have that job, I wouldn’t have known I love to teach.

Don’t fall back into old routines

Some people move into an apartment after graduating. Others, like me, moved back in with their parents. Being in the same environment from 4-5 years ago might mentally make you backtrack. I know for me, when I was living on my own I made sure I didn’t buy any unhealthy snacks or goodies for my apartment. My idea of a treat was a granola bar or yogurt! Moving back home was hard for me because I was now surrounded by all the things I deprived myself of. It is something that I still struggle with today but I am learning to make the necessary adjustments. We can’t control what others do, but we can control ourselves.

Redecorate

One thing I did to get myself excited for moving back home was changing my bedroom around. I bought new décor and I am currently in the process of painting my walls. This change makes me feel amazing internally. I love lighting candles, laying in my new comforter and just winding down from a long day in my room.

Make a Plan

You can’t expect for opportunities to fall into your lap. You have to work toward your goals. And if you still are not sure about the career path you want to take, look at your life and figure out what you like. What aspects of work do you enjoy? Even if you are working in retail. Let’s say you hate the job itself but you enjoy convincing customers to buy things. You might be an excellent real estate agent one day. Explore that option. Volunteer or apply for internships. And again, its okay to not have it all figured out right now. LIVE LIFE AT YOUR OWN PACE, NOT SOCIETY’S.

Pray for guidance

Constantly praying for guidance was crucial for me. I remember in college, when I would go to Christian groups and they asked for prayer requests, my response was always GUIDANCE, GUIDANCE, GUIDANCE. Because I knew I was going to experience a major transitional life period very soon and I wanted every step I took to be approved by God. Pray that God will give you visions, signs and confirmation for your future! Trust me; you ask it and you will receive it.

I hope these tips helped some of my fellow post graduates. Please send this post to any of your friends that you think might need it!

xo, Brittany Kayla

Privileged? I’m BLESSED

I recently watched a video called The Race of Life about white privilege. In the video, a bunch of kids were lined up of different races and genders. A man told them they were all going to race for a hundred dollar bill. But before they could begin running, they were asked a series of questions such as, “Have you never had to wonder where your next meal was going to come from?” and “Have you never had to worry about your phone being shut off?” And if the kid’s answers to these questions were yes, they had to take two steps forward. This resulted in the kids going from one single line to being scattered all over. A lot of the black kids ended up toward the back. The man concluded by saying, “We all know these people up here have a better opportunity to win this hundred dollars. Does that mean these people back here cant race? No. — The reality is if this was a fair race and everybody was back on that line, I guarantee you some of these black dudes would smoke all of you. And it’s only because you have this big of a head start that you’re possibly going to win this race called life.”

Now the definition of privilege is “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.” What this man was trying to get the kids to understand was that because the minorities in the group were not white, they wouldn’t have as many life advantages and therefore would be set back in the “race of life.”

But a key thing I noticed in the video was that, unless you were the kid all the way in the back, there was always someone behind you. Because whether we were born into a specific group or not, we are all blessed.

Sure you may not be rich, but do you have a home? You may not have a car, but do you have legs? You may not be society’s idea of beautiful, but do you have a mouth to say something that’ll change the social norms? You may not have money to help someone out financially but do you have the wisdom to mentally guide them in the right direction?

We are blessed! Whether it looks like it or not. And that is something that even I have to constantly remind myself of. There is always going to be someone behind me in life that needs a helping hand. I recently read a quote that said, “My life is someone’s dream out there,” and when I really processed that, it hit me hard. No matter how bad you think you have it, someone out there is wishing they could be in your place.

Sometimes we complain that the kid with the hundred dollar bill isn’t helping the rest of us, but what are we doing to help each other get to that kid’s place? We talk so much crap about celebrities not donating all of their money to big charities and fundraisers but we don’t even help the people we see on the daily.

And again, helping each other doesn’t always mean financially. There are people struggling physically, mentally and spiritually! Stop turning a blind eye to your struggling neighbors while looking at the “privileged” to help you.

I remember seeing a white woman going into a corner store and she looked overwhelmed and busy. She knocked some things over and cursed and yelled. A black homeless man walked over with a smile wide enough to brighten anyone’s day and helped clean up the mess while saying words of encouragement. Now that man had no home to call his own and probably wondered where his next meal would come from that night, yet he took the time to help out someone more privileged than himself. That man proved you don’t need a lot of money or a lot of privilege to help someone out. That man understands he is blessed to be alive. And I think when we all process how blessed we truly are instead of focusing on what we don’t have in life, we will reach the level of happiness that man had.

You may not be rich but you are blessed. And the only way we will progress as a whole, privileged or not, is if we lift each other up instead of waiting for handouts from the kid with the hundred dollar bill.

xo, Brittany Kayla

Beauty in the Struggle

I’ve dealt with insecurities my entire teen and adult life. I’d always find myself on some sort of diet and wearing some sort of makeup, needing some sort of confirmation. These insecurities were so intense that they affected almost every single area of my life. Life is exhausting when everyday you wonder if you are good enough. It wasn’t until recently, when I decided to find the root of these issues that my perspective of myself changed.

I went back to my childhood. I pulled out an old diary that I kept from elementary school through high school. I realized that my insecurities began as young as 3rd grade. Bullying started in elementary school. Not feeling good enough started in elementary school. Almost every entry was about wanting to start diets, wearing makeup, finding a boyfriend, or how I could become prettier.

As I read through the diary, I began to cry. I couldn’t believe that little Brittany was worried about these things when I should have been worried about things like making the soccer team. I felt as though I was robbed of my childhood. But I refused to let that little Brittany stay alive in me today. I made it my mission to find confidence within myself.

I asked God why He let me feel a self-hate so deep at such a young age. Almost instantly the answer came to my mind. “You are going to help other young girls that are dealing with the same things you had to.” I didn’t know that in a few months that promise would come to pass.

I was already working with kids but a position opened up at a new school and I took it. This is where I realized that I had to go through the things that I went through to truly empathize with the students, particularly the girls. These girls were dealing with bullying, insecurities, suicidal thoughts, depression and some were crying for attention from boys. I made it my duty to sit down with these girls in a therapy-like session to make sure they knew they were beautiful and that they always had someone to talk to. In one exercise, I had the girls write 10 things they loved about themselves and 10 things they didn’t. Most of the girls wrote with ease the things they hated. One girl wrote 12 things in particular, but she couldn’t find one thing she loved.

I almost cried when one of the girls, who reminded me of myself, explained her issues to me and said that she wishes she could be more beautiful like “Ms. Brittany.” I explained to her that she is beautiful and that when I was her age, I went through the exact same things she was. Then I explained to her my own story and she began to cry. Knowing that I am making that kind of impact in my student’s lives is the ultimate reward for me.

I say all of this to explain that we all go through hard times in life. Whether you have childhood trauma, mental health issues, financial issues, relationship issues, or you’re mourning a loss; something beautiful is in the making.

So hold on tight and keep your faith strong. There’s always a rainbow after the storm.

xo, Brittany Kayla

JUST FREAKING DO IT

“You are young,” he said, “go out and explore the world!”

I met him at a sushi lounge during a night out with the girls. He forever changed my perspective on life. I naturally worry about everything. And if you’re anything like me, you have a lot of great ideas but you’re not sure if you should follow suit because of the risks it could take or your level of comfort. But this night, I changed the way I would approach every new idea that comes to my head.

His name was Kerny and he taught me the importance of taking risks in life.

He told me that he landed a job at a prestigious university making over 100k a year, but he wasn’t happy. He wasn’t satisfied. He would rather live the life he wanted. One day he decided to quit his 9-5 and has been supporting himself as an artist ever since. (He’s amazing by the way). Now, he makes money doing what brings him joy and he gets to travel where he wants, when he wants.

“If I want to go to Dubai, hell, I’ll book my flight and I’m there the next month!” he exclaimed listing the countless countries he’s visited since beginning his journey.

It inspired me! Kerny quitting his high paying job to being an artist, something he actually loved, is one of the riskiest stories I’ve ever heard. And I’m sure he struggled in the beginning for quite some time but now he is genuinely happy and I could see it in his eyes. His risk led to greater opportunity. It led to seeing the world. It led to becoming the most radiant being in a dimly lit sushi lounge.

Life is about the risks we are willing to take. If we don’t take them, we will be complacent in life. We will be stuck in the same predictable cycle. We will always wonder “what if?” And that leads to misery.

So I encourage you to take the risk that’s been tugging at your heart. Of course, make sure it’s doable and not life threatening. But if what’s holding you back is fear of failure then, it’s worth the shot. I recently saw a quote that read, “Apply for that job. Date that person. Buy that plane ticket. Move to that city. Do the things that scare you because they’re worth it,” and I completely agree.

If there’s something you feel on the inside you should be doing but you are nervous, I say, just do it. It might be a scary thing to jump into, but that anxiety will be replaced with satisfaction. Either you will realize it wasn’t for you and now you know, or it was everything you’ve ever dreamed of. There’s only one way to find out.

Just freaking do it.

xo, Brittany Kayla

8 tips to accomplish that goal you’ve been struggling with

We’ve all said it. “This is my year! I will finally accomplish the goal I’ve procrastinated on my entire life!” And by the end of the year, we still haven’t done it. I’ve personally set aside a few goals for myself this year and I wrote down the steps that are going to help me accomplish them, as they have helped me in the past.

 1. ATTAINABLE GOALS 

A lot of people strive for things they will never be able to have. You can’t say, “I want my body to look like hers after the New Year,” because someone else’s body has a different anatomy and build then yours. A lot of us need to revise our goals to things that we can actually accomplish. Otherwise, you will be running forever with no finish line.

 2. BREAK IT DOWN 

Break your goals down into easy steps.  The reason why a lot of us haven’t accomplished our goals yet is not because our dreams are too big, but because they are too big to accomplish right now. You don’t say, “I’m hungry, I want a sandwich” and the sandwich just appears in front of your face. You need to make it, step by step and ingredient by ingredient. Be sure to come up with a plan that has clear instructions on how you are going to accomplish your goal. My blog posts are only step one of my personal dreams! What are your steps?

 3. WRITE IT DOWN 

After you’ve broken down your attainable steps, be sure to write them down on paper. This will assist in making your dreams a reality. It’s also a good idea to put your dreams down on a vision board. Fill it up with your goals, steps, and photos to keep you encouraged! I recommend using magazine clippings for the pictures.

 4. KEEP YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE 

The way I keep myself accountable is by journaling. I write down my feelings, my struggles, and my accomplishments. Let’s say my goal is to eat healthy. I’m going to feel real bad writing down the fact that I pigged out after lunch today! Although journaling is personal and no one is going to read it, trust me when I say, you will feel a lot better about yourself when you’re writing about how you accomplished today’s goal rather than messing up.

 5. ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER 

Find someone who is seasoned in the goal you are trying to accomplish. If your goal is to become closer to God and you struggle with remaining consistent in praying and reading the Bible, ask one of your trusted church leaders to text you from time to time to keep you accountable! It’s also good because your accountability partner can participate with you. They can study the Bible with you, they can work out with you, etc.

 6. MOTIVATIONAL VIDEOS

I watch motivational videos, TED talks, and preachings several times a week! They keep me inspired throughout my journey to keep on pushing. I also follow Instagram pages of other inspirational people who have already accomplished my goals.

 7. PRAYER

Prayer is so important throughout your entire journey. Pray for guidance, pray for strength, self-control, and discernment. Pray, pray, pray! When you keep God first in life He will always help you out.

 8. GET BACK UP!

If you fail today, try again. If you fail tomorrow, keep going. If you ate badly at lunch, don’t use that as an excuse to eat badly at dinner. Don’t stop! Consistency will get you where you want to be.

Your boo is cool and all… but do they VALUE you?

When someone values you, they WILL act right! And you won’t have to beg, plead or bother. Because no one wants to lose a thing that they truly value.

I can’t imagine life without my family. I talk to them every day, I see them every day, I’ve known them all my life, and they’ve contributed to molding me into the person I am today. I value them. And because I value them, I wouldn’t intentionally hurt them and I think twice about making decisions that would affect them. However, some of our family members haven’t been in our lives forever. Perhaps your mother raised you and you don’t speak to your father. Your dad would probably be of lesser value to you than the rest of your family members. Just because someone has a title that should be valued, doesn’t necessarily mean they are.

The leading factor to valuing someone is time. Someone you met two weeks ago might tell you, “I know we just met a short while ago but I value you SO much and I can’t imagine my life without you.” But don’t believe everything you hear. They were living without you a couple weeks ago and they were breathing just fine! Don’t be shocked when your boyfriend of three weeks, who you already did everything for because he said he loved you, ends up hurting you. It really does take time to truly value someone.

Now be mindful of what they value you for. Do they value you for you, or for what you could do for them? What are you giving them? Because you might have mistaken being used for being valued. Your new boo might treat you amazingly if you’re giving them everything they want or need at the moment. Gifts, money, sex, and even an “image” might keep someone around for the time being, but trust me, that won’t last forever! Make sure that whoever you are dating values you for who you are.

Time will tell everything. Give it time before committing to someone new. Give it time before showering them with gifts and giving them the world. Give it time before believing every word they say. Patience is a virtue. So why rush something that is meant to last forever?

With love,

Brittany Kayla

“I’ll be happy once I get there … right?”

For a long time I’ve wanted to lose weight. I had a specific number in my head, and I knew that if I could just get down to that, I would finally be happy and content with my body and myself again. After working out and eating clean, I can confidently say that I’ve reached my original goal weight.

However, I quickly realized that losing 33 pounds was not enough. I was still unhappy. I would look in the mirror daily, picking out every flaw that I could find within myself and I quickly created a new and improved goal weight.

Today, I looked in the mirror and thought about the Brittany that was once 30 pounds heavier. I thought, that Brittany would be so proud of who is standing in front of the mirror today. That Brittany wasn’t even sure if I would make it this far or not. But here I am, and being the ungrateful person that I could sometimes be, I am still not happy.

I decided to pick out the beauty in my body. I started to view myself through the eyes of the Brittany that was 30 pounds heavier, and I actually began to like my body.

I realized that a lot of us do this. A lot of us set these big goals for ourselves, and say, “When I get there, I will finally be happy.” But we realize that when we get to that point, it’s still not enough. We are constantly trying to advance our progress. Now, there is nothing wrong with striving to do better in life. However, when our happiness depends on the amount of success we’ve achieved, we will never be fully satisfied, because we’ll always want more.

I am the biggest advocator of setting goals to become the best version of yourself possible. Your goal might relate to weight, or a business venture, or you might even strive to become a celebrity of some sort. However, there are even celebrities who have everything you could imagine, that still feel empty on the inside. The success was not enough.

You’ve got to learn to appreciate the now. You’ve got to appreciate today. Look at the things you’ve accomplished in life and appreciate how far you’ve come. Embrace the person you are today regardless of whether you’ve achieved your goals or not. Life is too short to be waiting on success to bring you happiness. You could die tomorrow, and will never be able to say that you were fully satisfied with life because you were too busy waiting on the day you achieve that goal. You were too busy working and too busy beating yourself up, that you never really appreciated earth’s beauty, never really appreciated the people around you, never really appreciated your body, or you just never really appreciated your life. You can die tomorrow unfulfilled because you were waiting on success to bring you happiness.

Learn to appreciate the life you have today. Keep setting goals for yourself, but don’t allow your inability to achieve them right away, to affect who you are or how you feel. Take a step back, look at your life… and enjoy it. Because you only get one.

xo, Brittany Kayla