The Shaz Show…Any Takers?!?

Hello readers,

It is 3 am here in Boston. And I am not well. I have work at 8 in the morning, but I made the terrible mistake of reading my past blog posts and it has made me feel down. I was having a lot of fun with the “delete” button. Does this ever happen to any of you? No? Okay I will go back to sleep then :0

Now that I am working and not in school, I have more time to write and read.

So I would like to know 2 things.

1.) What more would you all like me to post about?? As many of you know this is a inspiration/humor blog so mostly I talk about my experiences in love, family, health, work, and school. Occasionally I throw in some beauty tips (stay tuned for one in the next few days!!). But am I missing something?? What is one thing you wished I wrote about but I did not?

2.) Last year I launched “The Shaz Show”. In the summer I ask some talented bloggers to guest blog for me. Do you believe in the purpose of my blog of talking about real life matters and/or making others laugh? I want to hear from you!

And if I can ever be a guest blogger for any one of you, please ask πŸ™‚ I am always honored to do so!

xoxo.

S.

A Strange Week

Last Tuesday, I was sitting in Starbucks, sipping my latte. Procrastinating getting on the train for my two hour commute.

I look at my phone, see updates of my friends who graduated from my undergrad university. Including Prince Player, who finished up his Master’s there! I congratulate everyone, and I had congratulated Prince Player already briefly, but decide to comment on him no longer being a barista. He is moving on to a different career.

The reason I was able to survive grad school was because of coffee. I had a Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts EVERY DAY. We would bond over this. He responds “How are you?”

Oh. He wants to talk to me! We haven’t talked in months so I’m amused.

I tell him I’m good. That I’m working now. And how amazing it is that he is officially a Master’s graduate. He tells me I will be one soon too.

And that is where the conversation ends.

And it’s strange. Because. The date we talked, marks exactly one year since the day we19149146_1091380177664484_2336509902058088221_n said goodbye.

Perhaps that’s why we finally talked.

I rub my eyes, careful not to mess up my eyeliner and mascara and get back to work when I hear someone call my name.

That day at work we have an emergency preparedness meeting. I presented on my Suicide and Addiction Prevention plan. My boss points out someone to me and tells me to go network with him. I find this person, and share more about my project. I show him the pamphlets and fact sheet I made. He takes a look at my pamphlet.

“Hm. You should change this” he says pointing to a sentence.

“Why?” I ask.

“Because I am a two time suicide survivor. And that is not true” he says.

My eyes widen. “Other than that. This is awesome. Thank you for bringing light about this topic”.

I smile. He walks away.

OH MY GOD!!! When my boss told me “You have to be thick skinned in this line of work” on my first day, I didn’t realize how thick skinned I had to be. I take a deep breath and fix my errors. Individuals like the one I spoke to are the ones I am trying to help, so I have to listen.

On my way home, I decide to take a Lyft instead of a bus to the train station because it is easier from our conference location. In the Lyft, I start rubbing my eyes because of terrible summer allergies, and I accidentally press cancel on the ride!

“Shaz. Did you hit cancel?” the Lyft driver asks.

“Umm. I don’t understand what happened. I think hit something” I say.

He sighs. “I don’t think I’m going to get paid, but we’re so close I will drop you off”

I thank him many times and call Lyft. I explain what happened and ask them to take money from my account and pay him. They thank me for being a good customer and agree they will.

Meh.

When I finally reach home, I go to CVS to buy chocolate. I see Hershey’s Coconut Kisses are on sale. I grab those.

I walk up to the counter. “Ahh my loyal customer” the cashier says. This tells you how much I go there.

When I get into my apartment and bite into the kiss, I see the receipt. It looks pretty expensive for one item. THE KISSES WERE $5! Apparently, the sale was…buy ONE get ONE 50 PERCENT OFF. Nooooo.

And that isn’t the worst of it. I see a charge…for gummy bears. I did not buy any gummy bears. I call CVS. “Hi I got charged for an item I did not buy” I say. “Okay. Please bring in a bank statement” they say.

I raise my eyebrows. No. They can take my $2.50.

Oy.

And then today. Today, I wake up early morning around 6 with excruciating knee pain. It is so horrible I can’t walk. But I know I have to be up in an hour for work. So I do everything in my power including placing heat on my knee and taking pain medications and lay down for a bit.

I contemplate calling in sick knowing my commute is two hours and I don’t know how I can walk. But the pain slowly fades with the heat. Still, I use all my energy to get up and ready. I am running late.

I have not heard from my boss in days. We have an important meeting today and I have no idea where it is.

Before I reach the train station, I call him. I ask him where the meeting is.

“Oh I’m still out of the office. So I won’t be at that meeting. So if you would like to work from home today, you can” he says.

My jaw drops. What would have happened if I took my two hour commute, arrived there, and he wasn’t there???

Well, at least I get to go back home and rest up my knee. Must have busted it while working out.

Sigh.

What a strange week.

xoxo. S.

The Comeback

Readers, hello!

I am back for a hot second. Where do I begin? I’ll skip the whole “grad school is busy” spiel because you all know that by now πŸ˜‰

15823009_967414100061093_8560786218858704556_nIn the last post, I mentioned I was in finals week. And I guess all of our prayers worked because I did EXCELLENT on each one! I passed my law exam, nailed my pitch to the client for my management class, published my research study/curriculum for my preventing domestic violence class, and nailed my presentation for my managing disasters class. What a comeback!

Wow. As soon as that law exam (my last final) was over, I practically skipped the streets of Boston. I couldn’t believe it. I SURVIVED my first year of grad school. I don’t understand why everyone says “real life is busier than grad school”.  It’s rude. It undermines what a grad student who is paying for their work and not getting a ton of credit/compensation  for what they do! Grad school is no university friends.  I am working now, and I am very very very happy that my head is not in the books and I am getting paid for what I love to do. So that’s right! Right when I went home and thought I was stuck there for three months, I had an interview with one of my dream places- and they hired me! I am a health educator for the state government πŸ™‚ It is awesome!

But my life never comes without any obstacles.

When my mom was driving me back to the airport the day before my internship, she told me about something terrible. Similar to the family crisis I was dealing with my freshman year of college. I begin crying. I ask her how in the world I’m supposed to leave at a time like this. She says I have to. I hug her extra tight when I leave, and cry all throughout the plane ride.

I call my brother when I get back to my place. My mom told me not to tell him, but I have to tell somebody. Especially my brother. I don’t know how I can keep a secret like this from him. I have to tell him. He is much more sensitive than I am, so I must remain calm and mature and try to explain to him the best way I can.

As I have mentioned in the past, my brother and I are not close as we used to be. But that night, everything changed. I realize why I love him so much.

“What’s wrong?” he asks as soon as he picks up. I had texted him saying I really needed to talk to him. And he has serious telepathy.

“Oh nothing….” I say.

“Say it” he says.

I swallow. And tell him everything.

Of course he reacted the way I thought he would.

“HOW COULD YOU BE TELLING ME THIS NOW?”

“I AM GETTING ON A PLANE!”

“I AM SO UPSET!”

“I know. I understand. Mom told me not to tell you. But I tell you because I love you. And you are one of the only people I have in this world” I say calmly.

I hear him sigh. “It will all be okay Shaz”. He says his plane is going to take off, “I love you. Thank you for telling me”.

A few minutes later, I get a text from him. “Hey.  I didn’t mean to yell at you. You know how much I love you and mom and it just hurts me to hear when you two are hurting. I can’t tell you how proud I am of you for handling this so maturely”.

I smile. This is my comeback.

In life, we can choose our battles. I failed law last semester and did average in my courses- this semester I worked my butt off and did excellent in each one. 4 years ago when this crisis in my family happened, I let it consume me and take everything I loved. Now, I use the crisis to empower me to make change in our society and help other individuals dealing with the same crisis, I allow myself to have fun, I allow myself to choose my own battles.

And return with the best comeback ever when I lose.

Hope all of you are well! I am going to go ahead and use tonight to visit your blogs and read through what I missed πŸ™‚

Also, a very Happy Ramadan to all of you who celebrate! I have been observing as well and fasting is not easy in the summer, but it is calming my mind and soul so much ❀

xoxo. S.

Winding Down

And off we go, my last week of my first year at grad school.

Do you believe this???

This is a time I begin to feel major anxiety. The last two weeks are always the hardest. There is no way to prioritize all the papers, exams, and group projects due. Especially in grad school.

Slowly but surely I am moving along.

On Monday I published the big research project my research partner and I have been working on. Then I had two presentations. And next week I have my last final exam. Then that’s that. I’m done!

Crazy.

Wasn’t it just yesterday I left college?

When I get a break, I stare out the window.

I wonder how all my friends are. Do they miss me?

I wonder how Prince Player is. Is he happy?Β 

I wonder how my club is. Is there more structure now?

I wonder how my former students are. Did I give them everything they needed to succeed?

I wonder how my teachers and mentors are. Are they proud of me? Do they know what a difference they made in my life?

I wonder what would have happened if I stayed in Chicago, and then I wouldn’t have to wonder.

I shake my head.

Nothing I wanted would have happened if I stayed. Still, I think about my Chicagoans everyday.

I don’t have all the drama or gossip to share like I always do in my last week of school (“Prince Player” came to visit, I won the President position, “Heart” did not come to visit). None of that.

That drama has been replaced by hard work and accomplishments.

Things I thought would never happen!

So as my first year of grad school winds down, I am immensely proud. I don’t believe my first year was upsetting as I did at university, it was good πŸ™‚

xoxo. S.

 

 

I Am Woman

Although every week of grad school is hard, this one proved to be a challenge.

Thank you, Aunt Flo.

I knew my period would happen during a busy week. I knew the worst of cramps would happen on my most important day, Thursday. A.k.a presentation day.

I felt it about to begin on Tuesday night. My dad and I were just having a debate. I argued that women get paid less, he argued that this is because guys do not get “maternity leave” or “monthly things”. I rolled my eyes and told him these are things we as women cannot control! “Yes, you can. You can control pregnancy!” he said. I laughed. We debated for a solid hour, and my dad said, “Look. These are thing I noticed as global head. I hope you, are productive in your workplace regardless of life events, and get the pay you deserve”.

And just then, I felt a cramp. I immediately texted my research partner about looking over our work and making the necessary adjustments in our section so I can submit it (before my periodΒ  gets me unconscious). He never responds.

IMG_6103Wednesday, I arrive a few minutes late to my morning class because I spend some time making coffee. Having a period and B-12 deficiency is the worst, it’s like close to being dead. Thankfully, the class is really interactive and I stay awake. The whether has gotten really nice and everyone is wearing cute outfits. I look at mine. It is for cold weather, I don’t have any warm weather clothing that is professional. During my commute home, I order some clothes and shoes. I have 2 hours to rest before I have to go to night class. This class dragged on and on. But finally, it ended. When I get home, it’s time to prepare for my presentation and my cramps get really bad. I practice as much as I can and I allow myself to go to sleep at 2.

When I wake up the next morning at 8, I am cramping so bad. I breathe. It is presentation day- 10% of my grade, I can’t miss! I can’t wear the suit I planned to because it pinches everywhere I ache. I wear one of my dresses. Very professional and cute. I look in the mirror and wonder how I will make it through 2 meetings, 1 presentation, andΒ  a 3 hour class.

But somehow, I make it to my morning. It is a brief 1 minute, great. I have time to relax before my presentation begins. I tell myself I am crampy, tired, and sick and that it’s okay not to be a perfectionist today, that if I just make it through and do my best- I will be happy with myself.

It’s presentation time and I do pretty good. When I sit down, my two friends compliment me. “Oh, you pronounced a word wrong and I almost died” my friend Jeanette says.

“Oh my god. Uninhabitable?” I asked. I knew. I practiced all night.

She nods. I was so close to passing out I didn’t even notice I slipped up.

“Fuck” I say.

But I keep my promise. I let it go. I can’t be a perfectionist every single day. Especially on a day like this. I am proud I showed up and gave my best work.

The class is interesting. We talk about refugees, my favorite topic. But I have these horrible cramps that come and go. “Are you sure you don’t want to go home?” my other friend Gigi asks. I nod. “I have my planning meeting after class” I say. “Yea but you’re sick…” she says.

I sigh. “I’ll be fine. I don’t have class tomorrow so I’ll pass out when I get home”.

Class finally ends after what seems like an eternity. I meet with my group. One girl is very annoying and out of the loop because she never comes to our meetings, another girl rarely acknowledges me by name. But. It ends in a quick 25 minutes and I am happy about that.

Outside, there are therapy dogs. One looks exactly like my dog and rest his nose on my lap. I could cry. Hormones and dogs my god ❀

I get on the bus to commute home and stop at CVS. I pick up tampons, Almond Joy, and ice cream.

I pass out as soon as I reach home and wake up at 9:00 in the evening. Wow. I really need my B-12 medicine. I send an e-mail to my doctor about the B-12 mess up the company she sent my prescription to caused and how I haven’t had a supply in 3 weeks and feel like I’m going to die.

Right about now I start missing everybody. Especially “K”, “Heart”, and “Prince Player”.IMG_6109

I grab a mini white chocolate Magnum ice cream and call “Mr. Photography dude”.

“Oh hey stranger” he says picking up.

“I’m sorry” I say.

“How have you been?” he asks. “Alright. Not good now though” I say.

“Why?” he asks.

“Cramps” I say.

“Ouch. Which guy are you missing the most right now?” he asks. I laugh hard. He knows me so well.

“All of them” I say. “You don’t need them” he says.

“K used to take me out for steak and cheesecake when I had cramps!” I say.

“Really? We live in the 21st century. You could order those stuff in if you wanted!” he says.

“Yea but. I liked being spoiled” I say.

He laughs. “Of course you do”.

We discuss some updates and he tells me to feel better.

I begin working on my Law paper due on Saturday.

On Friday, my second day of cramps, my research partner has FINALLY decided to respond. He is very apologetic. I look through our document, absolutely nothing has changed. He has made no corrections/additions. I fix all the errors. “Sorry. I didn’t know what you meant” he says in response. I roll my eyes. At least he likes the corrections and I can submit it.

Today I work on my Law paper as it is due. I keep falling asleep due to my obnoxious health issues. I have received a response from my doctor who says she spoke with IMG_6114the company and is having them ship me my medication as soon as possible and how she is also upset the company did not address this issue sooner. I sigh. I am so exhausted.

Finally, I am done with my paper and submit it. Or at least I thought I did. I never got a receipt, and the dropbox closed. Oh no. I email it to my professor, who clearly said she will not be accepting emailed papers.

I close my eyes. I am woman. And this, is not easy.

xoxo. S.

Filter credit goes to Snapchat.

Something Just Like This

Every morning after I wake up and do my stretches, I like to make coffee (or run to Starbucks and get one) and drink it while I watch the Boston skyline.

And I close my eyes. Grad school is tough. Every day, there is some thing. Multiple things, multiple people, multiple issues that need my attention.

I open my eyes. I love it though. I love my school. And I love Boston.

This isn’t anything like Chicago. Ever since my first day of undergrad in Chicago, it never felt right there.

I close my eyes and think about my first year in university.

I think about the day my dad lectured me for an hour after failing my Biology exam. My mom sent me an article shortly after about a veterinarian who failed a test in undergrad, worked hard, pulled up her grades, and got into many good programs after graduating and today owns her own practice.

I think about the day where I layed in bed, wondering if I could die with no pain. But I opened up my email, and there was a poem my mom wrote about me. And a text from my brother, asking me if I was excited for his graduation. I stopped thinking about dying.

I think about the day my I went to my Biology professor to go over my exam, to show her I cared and I was trying. And how she made me cry by telling me I wasn’t trying hard enough (after paying $1000s of dollars for tutoring and studying for that class 12 hours a week with major ADHD).

Classmates who asked me why I wasn’t on the Dean’s list.

University counselors making me believe I had a mental condition that I never had before.

People that wouldn’t say my name, because they didn’t know how/want to learn how to pronounce it.

Guys that didn’t realize what I was worth.

I open my eyes.

I can’t believe where I’m sitting.

It has been 9 months since graduate school started. And none of the above things have happened here. I am finally getting the respect I always wanted.

Things are tough here, but the professors and staff are so much nicer. So much more helpful. So much more caring. So much more respectful.

I have waited forever, for something just like this ❀

Thank you all for being patient as I work hard and prepare for the next chapter in my life πŸ™‚

xoxo. S.

Where have I been?

I think my body has a blog clock- when I haven’t written in a month, it tells me I need to write. Just kidding. Actually, today, my good blogger friend Paul reminded me! He said, “Shaz! Where ya been? Hope you’re well!”

So here I am!

Where have I been?

I moped a bit. I have never felt SO happy after a break up. I guess “K” was really bringing me down that when I finally broke up with him, it was nice to not wait for someone or have my feelings hurt all the time!

But I moped for a second that “Prince Player” and I never worked out. I moped for a few minutes that I really adore the dentist that smiles at me every-time I pass him in the halls but I don’t have the courage to talk to him because he’s all over google and is better than me. I moped for a few days that the doctor from Harvard asked me out but I said no because, well, just because.

I moped that I’m growing up and I realize I have to figure out what I want instead of having all of these “temporary” relationships.

I went home for Spring Break. Ah, Texas was nice. One of my childhood friends got married and I got to wear a cute dress and go to his wedding. My whole family came with and we had a fun time. Unfortunately, because I had midterms the next week, I didn’t have too much fun outside of the wedding because I was studying :0

I had midterms. Please pray I did well on that one class I told you guys I had to retake. It’s not easy doing this at a grad-school level.

I’ve been working on a major research project. I am working on a research project developing an intervention to stop sexual assault and intimate partner violence in teens. Most of you know how I feel about this topic and I am so honored to be working with an amazing Professor and doing what I love.

I’ve been giving myself time to rest. I found out my Vitamin B-12 and D are low again! It’s making me very tired and achy.

I’ve been working. It’s recruitment season, and there’s no busier time than that for an ambassador.

I’ve been looking for an internship. Because I want to be prepared for the real world.

So that’s where I have been πŸ™‚ I miss you all. Really.

xoxo. S.

Don’t Play With Him

After the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, confirming my class schedule and taking classes I love, things were going really well. I fall in love with Boston more and more everyday. I love my school so much. And I have interviews for 2 different internships!

I’ve been busy lately because on top of 5 classes, I’ve been getting certified in Mental Health First Aid (I GOT CERTIFIED YESTERDAY!!)

3 of my good friends from last semester are in the class with me so they made these early Saturday mornings bearable. We talked about the topic of Valentine’s Day.

My Valentine’s Day was okay. “K” was busy as usual. He didn’t wish me until I wished him. He said we would go out on Friday and have a belated celebration.

Friday night came, and he was busy again. He said he could stay for an hour so he brought me pizza and wine. It was nice, but I wanted more.

“You look amazing, your trainer has been working you hard!” he says grabbing my waist.

I pull away. “Yea. You’ll think things like that when you haven’t come to see me in a month” I say walking away.

The last time K was over, we had an argument because K was uncomfortable I had a personal trainer.

“Oh what if I had a personal trainer that was a girl?” K asked.

“I would be happy that you were doing something good for your body!” I said.

K rolled his eyes and I was upset at how quickly he became jealous.

But back to Friday, K says how he is always busy with his business and family. And that as soon as my certification class ends on Saturday, we will spend the whole day together. And actually go out to a nice restaurant like the one he took me to for my birthday.

I was excited. So my friends revealed they didn’t do anything special for Valentine’s day and asked me what I did. I explained how K was busy and how he’ll take me out as soon as our class ends.

“OOOO get it girl!” they said.

I looked down and tried to smile.

“Why don’t you look happy?” my friend Cristal asked.

“I don’t know. He’s so…flaky. He rarely keeps his promises. And he gets very jealous” I say.

“No. Don’t fuck with him” my other friend Melanie says instantly.

I laugh.

“What she means is, stop talking to him Shaz. You deserve better. We go to a school of dentists and doctors that stare at you constantly” Cristal says.

I sigh. “I know, I know. I’ll make my decision tonight depending on what he does”.

They shrug.

After the class, I text him. He says he may get held up.

I swallow. For some reason, I already know he won’t be coming so I don’t even shower. I nap and when I wake up, there are no texts from him.

I text him multiple times and see he’s read them, but no response.

Unbelievable. He doesn’t even say “sorry, I can’t make it”.

I go to sleep. Expecting something in the morning.

But nothing. I text him asking him to explain what happened last night. Maybe after a good night’s rest he will say sorry and that he can make up for it today.

But not. He says, “I told you I would get held up”.

I ask him if he plans to see me anytime soon. “Hopefully, when work slows down yea” he says.

What. the. absolute. fuck? My jaw drops. I feel sick. This is like “Prince Player” all over again.

I can’t do it anymore. That’s it. I’m done.

I remember what Melanie said, “Don’t fuck with him”.

For the first time. I do something I have never had the guts to do with a flaky guy.

stars“You know what. I can’t do this anymore. I’m loyal, I’m beautiful, and I’m smart. I deserve someone that will cherish that. Not someone that will make me beg and wait for his attention.”

I press send. He reads it. AND DOES NOT RESPOND.

And so there it was. I take it as a sign from God.

I delete him from Snapchat. I delete him from Facebook. I delete him from WhatsApp.

There goes the longest serious relationship I ever had.

Boy bye. My mom was right. I am too good for you.

xoxo. S.

Self-Care Tips for the Lonely, Busy, and Anxious

It’s really hard to find time to de-stress when you are a busy, lonely, and anxious individual (hence the title of this post).

You all know I’m busy. From being a full-time graduate student taking 5 classes, working out 4x a week, and being an ambassador for the school…um…I pray things don’t get busier.

Unfortunately, when you leave college (and you move), you kind of lose your friends :0 You become too busy to socialize. I know this is sad. If you all end up working in the same city, this likely will not happen to you. But I, out of all my friends, was the only one to leave. Therefore, I am alone.

And ah. Anxiety. I’m anxious about my classes. I’m anxious about my boyfriend. I’m anxious about money. I’m anxious about my weight.

So, I present to you my list! A special exclusive list I ONLY made for people who are busy, alone, or anxious.

1.) Take a shower- I’m serious. Sometimes, if you get major anxiety, you can be in bed for so long that you forget this. But do it. It’s an instant pick-me up. And you’ll feel all fresh πŸ™‚

2.) Drink lots of water- This is especially important if you cried.

3.) Write it out- Sometimes, I make a list of what’s bothering me. And then I check it a week later, and I’m like- “No way. I was worried about that???” and smile that I overcame it.

4.) Exercise- This is one of those things you MUST make time for. If you have health, you have everything. So take a simple 30 minutes or so and get active.

5.) Talk it out- A friend, a family member, a mentor- it helps to get a second opinion.

6.) Take a walk outside- How does that old saying go? You need to “stop and smell the roses”? It’s true. Get some fresh air!

7.) Say “no”- So this is why I felt very depressed during undergrad. I ALWAYS SAID YES. When I suffered burn-out and couldn’t get out of bed one day, I learned the horrible horrible horrible side effects of being nice. Once I started saying “no”, I was surprised with how much less I had to deal with and how much more things I got to do for myself.

8.) Say “yes”- Okay and now I have contradicted myself. But in this case, I mean say “yes” to new things. If a friend wants to go to a concert, new restaurant, a game but you normally don’t like to be around too many people- go and check it out. You never know. You may have had a great time and made new friends.

selfAnd lastly, unattach yourself from social media until you feel better (YES I MEAN SNAPCHAT TOO). This is a silent killer. And I learned this the hard way. Absolutely NOTHING more important than you has happened while you were taking a break, and if it did- you’ll see it on the news.

What are your favorite self-care tips for when you just don’t have the time or energy? Comment below!

And if you are in the U.S (or you love football)- Happy Super Bowl Weekend! What an honor for me to finally be a Boston resident as the Patriots play πŸ™‚ Whatever I do tomorrow as part of celebrating the Super Bowl…will be included in my self-care hahaha. ❀

xoxo. S.