I’m Super-Obsessed with Being Black

Like I said, I’m super obsessed with being black.

Last night I spent about 2 to 3 hours pouring over the archives from the blog Racialicious. And I found this stellar article about how women of color (woc) tend to be get treated by white males. It’s amazing how the article talks about when a white male sexually assaults a brown skinned woman, there’s never an uproar. Take for instance when Andrian Brody sexually assaulted Halle Berry – more people cheered than anything.  While all women’s bodies are perceived as property, when a white woman is violated – there tends to be more anger.

I’m fascinated by being black because there are so many issues that originate in race. I’ve been reading a bit about white feminism, and it really bothered me how when women talk about women’s issues – they’re really only talking about white women, who have had much different rights than WOCs ever did. I graduated from an all women’s college that was predominantly white not only in terms of students, but in regards to professors as well. A lot of the women identified as “feminist” and women’s studies was a really popular major at my school. But as time went on, I began to associate feminism with whiteness and white women who didn’t think their race gave them privilege and that being a woman was somehow “enough”.

After reading the article I linked to above, it made me realize the fury I possessed. I never considered myself a feminist because I didn’t want to align myself with an ideology that seemed racist. And I want to learn more from and about black feminist thought. But it’s not just that – I want to learn more about black (feminist) lesbians, and what they have to say about the world we live in.

It’s not just dicussions I want to have with people, because all the issues are there. We see all the problems manifesting themselves in different ways each and every day.

The question – what am I going to do about it? What kind(s) of solutions will start to heal the problems?

Using Personality To Find the Right Career

I didn’t get a job opportunity I interviewed for because I “failed” the personality assessment. I wasn’t within the parameters of what the company wanted, so I couldn’t be hired. In an effort to make myself feel better, I tried to Google angry posts about personality tests to determine job placement, but couldn’t find anything. But it still bothered; what was it about my answers that did me in? Especially when according to Penelope Trunk, retail is the new prestige job for post college graduates, and I wondered how I fit into this equation.

As I brooded for a few hours, I realized that I didn’t like retail. This sort of thing should be really obvious, right? How can you forget what you don’t like? Because I just wanted any BS job I could get. Naturally, I applied to places where the store benefits would rock, or even just to work at a major chain to have on my resume. My friend spent two years working at Starbucks, and he told me how that was a constant topic of interest whenever he interviewed. But I forgot because retail hasn’t traumatized me in the way working at Friendly’s did when I was 18. I felt that I could bear retail life because I needed the cash flow, and I knew I could do the work – but apparently no one else did.

It’s difficult to keep job compatibility in mind when all I want is a paycheck. But a job should be more than that, right? It should give me the lifestyle I want, or the opportunities that I want. If I’m going to spend the rest of my life working, then I should do something I like. That seems reasonable.

And all the Penelope Trunk I’ve been reading, among all the other career/life atfter college blogs I’m stumbled across like Jenny Blake, Rebecca Thorman or Ms. CareerGirl have broadened my perspective. It’s enlightening, enriching, and empowering to find young women bloggers who have achieved so much in their careers by not settling for jobs they didn’t like and by being willing to trust themselves enough to take that career (and personal) plunge.

I want that for myself. And I think that’s a good first step, although I don’t know exactly what I want to do – looking at my personality is a start. I’m an INTJ, my Enneagram is a 5, and according to the PrincetonReview.com color quiz, I’m a blue. And I’m definitely buying What color is your Parachute? to help in my job search.

Even if my next job isn’t THE job, or the most perfect, I don’t want to settle just for retail.

How Labels Can Help You Find Direction

I want to be a nerd.

That seems like an odd thing to say; I want to be a nerd. People get really irritable when you mention the concept of labels and categorization, but in truthfulness, that’s how people relate to one another. Surfer guys hang out with other surfer guys because they have a common passion. Equestrians hang out with other equestrians because they’re likely to hang out in the same places. I’ve never had a label before, and I’ve always had a hard time making friends.

But now I want one; and I want to be a nerd. To me, nerds are representations of experts, people who are insanely knowledgable about their passion. When I went to the comic book store to find some new titles to read on my quest to become a Nerd, there was a customer who probably knew more than the guy who worked there. Instead of being irritable that this random dude was interrupting my conversation, I became entranced by how much information he possessed.

I decided, I want to be like him. I want to know things too!

Right now, I’m kind of a Jack of All Trades – which I don’t enjoy. I want to have a meaningful connection with my interests and be able to talk about them at great length. I want to contribute to conversations. Luckily, this is a huge perk with blogging because niches give out labels that help us connect with one another, and to know when we’re out of comfort zone (and to explore that too).

And there are some definite labels, some niches, I want to explore with my blog. To embrace my label of Nerd so that I can be as well versed as the dude in the comic book store.

  • Comic Books – I want to read more, particularly indepedent (ie: anything not DC/Marvel).
  • Video Games – I have a PSP that needs to be played more often. Even though I don’t have a console, hopefully I can get one!
  • Films – Even with a minor in film studies, I’ve forgotten quite a bit on how to look at and analyze film. I also want to watch more classics.

Knowing about film is more “cultured” than “nerdy” but the three are intimately interlinked as games and comics are frequently being made into movies.

So even though I don’t have a clear sense of direction yet, having the desire to be a (cultured) nerd who loves visual story telling can be a step in the right direction when looking at what kind of career I want.

Choice and Change

I’m sitting here with an immense sinus headache and an Icy-Hot on my shoulder because I pinched a nerve while stretching.

Talk about a wake-up call.

So I’ve been spending a bit of time trying to figure out what kind of exercise regime I wanted; something I can do at home, doesn’t require a lot of equipment and isn’t that far from where I live since I’m not driving yet. When I was here last, I went to an awesome Yoga studio and took an Ashtanga Yoga class which I couldn’t stop talking about. It’s more aerobic than the Hatha yoga I’ve taken in the past, and I preferred that since it would help me build my muscles faster, and allow me to focus on what I’m doing . I have a very active mind, constantly thinking, so anything slow paced is just another opporunity for me to think and daydream. Participating in faster paced activity won’t allow me to really daydream – or at least I hope so.

Taking care of my body is something I overlook constantly. It’s easy – I don’t have any chronic pains that constantly draw attention to my lifestyle, or make me painfully aware of how fragile my body really is. When I stopped doing yoga in my spare time, my body almost immediately started to shut down, reverting back to its original, flabby state. A few weeks ago, I ran down the street to catch my bus and when I got to the stop to realize it wasn’t even the right one, I was light-headed and about to vomit. I chalked it up to a lousy bowl of cereal posing as my breakfast, but I couldn’t ignore the fact that I hadn’t been exercising for months.

At the yoga studio I found, a 30 day pass costs $100, which is pretty decent if I make the effort to go frequently. And it excites me because I’m looking forward to having a schedule, for establishing a routine of things I enjoy doing. And consistency is another thing I need to work on since it’s easy for me to become distracted by other very unproductive things like sleeping all day, or rereading old manga chapters for Bleach.

Exercise is an active, constant choice to bring positive change to your life. And it’s important  to start those habits early instead of when my body is slowing falling to pieces from neglect. And I can’t wait to get started.

Sense of Life

Earlier today, Rebecca Thorman asked me what my highest value is, and how a blog can help fulfill that. After a conversation with my friend earlier this evening, my mind drifts over to “careers” and how they’re so integral to our identities (or maybe it’s just an American thing).

To me, my career would be the extension of how I see myself. My values, my belief system. It would represent how I wish to be seen by the world.  This is why blogging for your career is so important because you can control how and what people see about you. You shape your own image.

A friend of mine wants to work with a very well-known company. Apparently it’s very well to-do. I am not impressed but my friend’s values don’t reflect my own. From our conversation and from knowing him, I’ve gathered that he wants to live “the high life”. Traveling internationally, staying in nice hotels, working for a company that everyone knows (although I had never heard about them before he told me about it). When I asked him why he wanted to work for them, he didn’t mention the company’s ethics, their statement of purpose; he just talked about all the perks of living in exotic places. Although he didn’t say out right, I got this impression that his underlying purpose was to be envied by others.  

And it makes me think of my own sense of life. Ayn Rand describes it as “The integrated sum of a man’s basic values is his sense of life.” This isn’t to say that wanting to work a glamorous job, or live a glamorous life is inherently vapid, or immoral. It’s an issue of priorities, of what appeals to us and what resonates with how we see ourselves. This is probably why people used to have a mid-life crisis, or why the quarter life crisis exists now – not knowing who you are can really dampen one’s spirits.

I’m writing this post because while I don’t necessarily agree with my friend’s motives for wanting to work with this particular company – because they don’t align with my own sense of life - I need to realize that’s how he sees his life RIGHT NOW. It might change down the line, or it might not. But what it DOES help me do is figure out where I stand, what my own values are because my work will reflect what I believe. And while I don’t know exactly what kind of work will reflect my values (or entirely what my values are), I can learn by looking at the choices my friends make, and looking at the advice (or criticism) I give them in return.

And that’s where this blog comes in.

Welcome to my Blog!

Hey, welcome to the blog!

My name is Tatiana and I’m unemployed. I just graduated from college and it’ll be a year this coming May. And it’s incredibly overwhelming because it seems like everyone is going something, and I am not. My friend is going to Japan in a few days (her agency said yes despite the disaster), another friend is working at a start-up in NY, and another person I know is going to graduate school while living with her fiance.

So while I eventually want to take this blog to newer, and greater heights, my focus will be on my current state of joblessness and what I’m doing in the interim.  It has been suggested that a person do something with their time, versus sleeping all day (which is what I’ve been doing) or spending all day applying to jobs online (another thing I’ve been doing). And today was the first day I started the process: going to volunteer at the Alliance de Francais and looking at specific agencies so I can understand what I need to do to become a copywriter.

I’m hoping to make some friends as I do this, and I definitely hope you’ll join me.

Thanks for stopping by. :]