The tagline for Let’s Build Futures (One Millennial Mistake at a Time) isn’t just a catchy sentence meant to draw your attention. If you look closely between those lines you can see me kicking myself repeatedly; because if it’s one thing I’m good at, it’s making a really good mistake.

In my best imitation of being an adult I exercised my financial illiteracy like I was training for a triathlon. I enlisted TWICE without asking or receiving a bonus from the military for virtually 12 years of my life and I’ve stayed in an area that is perpetually economically lacking and disappointing. I did all this while patting myself on the head and crooning “Who’s a good adult…You Are…YOU ARE!”

Because I was…wasn’t I? I’ll let you be the judge.

Life has already been the jury and executioner in the matter but while it seems I’ve lost; I’m convinced that I’ve won. Valuable knowledge, unconventional wisdom and the ability to be relatable are lessons that didn’t come with a steep price tag but were born out  of innocence, ignorance and avoidance. I’m left with some obvious gems that I would love to share with you in hopes that you will get “it” sooner than I did. Gems like speaking up, utilizing situational awareness and moving on can help turn those “mistakes” into lessons.

 

Speak The F*** UP!

Gag that annoying little people pleaser in you and ask for what you want/need. In countless areas of life you aren’t being proactive in asking for more not because you don’t need it but because you’re far too concerned about preserving the self-sufficient, honorable image that you think others have of you. When in fact asking for something like a raise would not only help in other areas of your life but it’s probably overdue anyway.

So if it’s a raise, vacation time, or just plain respect that you desire, part those pretty little lips and let it rip. Closed mouths live off eggs and burnt fried bologna but open ones enjoy steak and lobster.

 

Open Eyes Get Fed Too

How can you run a race blindfolded? You got a glimpse of the track and then decided that was all the information you needed. Then the gun shot is fired and not only were your shoe strings untied from the starting line but there was a table set up on the side with useful things that would’ve helped you win, like water and proper running shoes. Now you’re running, tripping all over the track while everyone else is sprinting past you with their Gatorade and fresh track shoes.

You will trip up sometimes; so do that sh*t with flair like this guy!

Just in case this metaphor whizzed past your head then there’s this…

MESSAGE: DO YOUR FREAKING RESEARCH! SEEK HELP THEN TAKE IT! ASK QUESTIONS! EXPLORE OPTIONS! Love yourself enough to know that even with all your background baggage and innocence that the world will say “AWHHHHH poor thing” and exploit that sh*t.

 

The Fountain of Youthful Mistakes

Take a moment to inventory all of the mistakes that have come back to bite you in the booty; now kick yourself. Feel better?

No?

That’s because you didn’t solve anything, you just made yourself feel worse. Forgiving yourself is essential to moving forward and uncovering the real reasons your choices turned out wrong like discussed in Wronging Your Rights . What will also work is acknowledging that regardless of the magnitude of your mistakes, it’s never too late to fix it. Will it be easy, probably not. Will you want to throw in the towel after the first lap, probably so, but can you still make it to the finish line like a Boss? Yes! Shin splints, swollen ankles and all; we’re in this together! #LetsBuild 

 

What are some awesome things that you’ve learned from Your Millennial Mistakes? Comment below and Let’s Talk.

My favorite part of when people come over is when they leave. (Ha) I’m only half serious.

There’s something soothing about having a place in this world where you can escape the questions, expectations, pleasantries and clothing (nudist apartment anyone?) But it took me a while to really understand the value of physical space for the welfare of my mental and emotional health.

Not every situation is the same; so I fully understand people who have pleasant experiences staying with parents to save for the future but let’s give a voice to another side to living with the folks to save a buck, shall we?

Here’s some advice about not taking advice.

Golden Shower Advice

The mounting financial hardships we young adults face today, due to choices stemming from financial background or plain ignorance comes with a host of advice that is showered upon us from all directions. While some of the advice is rooted in sincerity, sometimes it doesn’t quite fix the situation of the individual listening to it. Sometimes those golden showers of advice just stink up the place like, well…like a golden shower.

Is that asparagus I smell?

 

Why did the chicken cross the road

Moving back in with parents after getting slapped in the face by the financial world is one of the more popular pieces of advice.

This of course is the logical choice for those who have it. Moving in with parents can definitely help you save money and give you time to get on your feet when done correctly.

However; I find that the logical choice often negates the mental and emotional one. As a society we value logic over all other personality functions and this leaves out a big chuck of what an individual may actually need. Could it be that the answer to “Why did the chicken cross the road” isn’t as simple as “because it needed to move back in with it’s parents to save $$.”

Is it possible that moving into an environment that no longer stimulates you is more harmful than not?

 

Money is the least of your issues

I’ve stated before that my relationship with money is toxic in nature. It doesn’t want me the way I want it and yet I still dress up nice, put on perfume, and try to be obnoxiously nice in my pursuit of it.

Usually I just find myself outside the window looking in.

So when I got a little money I was afraid to spend virtually any of it outside of food and buying my car once I returned home. In my mind it was better to save money staying in my parents house than to dip into my beloved, scared savings. No matter how long my unemployment spell lasted.

It wouldn’t be that long of a wait anyway with a degree and being a Soldier recently back from deployment; there was a wonderful job waiting around the corner, ready to pay me the big bucks right…RIGHT?!

Wrong

I had made a logical choice knowing damn well I’m an emotional person. Living in a rent free household, waking up to Saturday breakfast and being around people who truly loved me was a blessing. Wasn’t?…Yes, it was.

Until it wasn’t. Or was but no longer felt like it.

Having to deal with my own complex emotions on top of those of family members; having to deal with my own financial anxiety and troubles along with the ones of those I loved.

Having no quiet environment I could escape to

(as an introvert, can you imagine)

no privacy

(Dad can you knock HELLOOO)

Being dubbed the babysitter and transportation provider only added to the stress level I had no idea how to handle. What is the price for a peace of mind and having your own space in a world that crowds your every thought with uncertainties.

What is the price of your own mental wellness and sanity?

Just something to think about.

 

This can’t be life

I started having fits of incredible insomnia.

I was going through a quarter-life crisis like mentioned in an earlier post The Ghost of Crisis Past but also dealing with issues, deaths, and arguments within my family. I had become known as the confidant, the protector, and escape hatch from years earlier to my family. But this was different.

Back at those points I had space, and distance that helped me replenish myself and then pour good things back into my family. This was not possible while living home so I became resentful and withdrawn. I thought, this couldn’t be life and it didn’t have to be…I had just convinced myself that the logical financial choice trumped my mental/emotional wellbeing.

 

Do the Insane to Stay Sane

Slowly, I started changing the way I saw my options. That maybe it wasn’t enough for me to make logical choices like most other people because my logical choice landed me in an environment that drained me.

It made more sense for me to take into account my personality instead of removing it from the equation. The truth is mental health and emotional stability are discarded as if they’re not important when older individuals call themselves giving advice to younger adults. Being convinced of this advice was like trying to squeeze my size 9 problem into a size 5.

 

My feet needed more room so I moved the f*** out. (I have big feet) No roommate to split the bill or anything. I finally had enough quiet to listen to my loud ass thoughts without having to listen to others. Selfish?…maybe. And maybe selfish works. Space and peace were worth the money in rent because it all allowed me to figure out the next steps in my life. Which in turn led to more money.

 

Giving yourself physical space can lead you to creative, mental and emotional milestones. Don’t be afraid to say “F*** that advice, imma do what’s best for me.” I said it before and I’ll mention it again; sometimes financial stability happens once you stabilize other areas of your life.

Whether it’s living with your parents, roommate or weird Craig’s list roomie; make sure the mental/emotional truths don’t counter the financial gain. The same is true for all other supposed advice millennials receive for our host of issues; take that shit with a grain of salt because ultimately, you know what works best for you.   

Now when I get unwarranted advice I just escape to my lair, kick off my pants seconds inside the door…

and pretend the outside world can’t come in unless it knocks (You will learn TODAY Dad!)

 

#LetsBuild

 

Ahhhh, it’s that time of year again for the phrase heard around the world.

Come on. You know the one. You’ve even used it before.

NEW YEAR, NEW ME ringing any bells? Well, I’ve decided that instead of attempting to construct a new me; I will just revamp the ME that’s already here!

(I’m Pretty damn awesome already)

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CAUTION: Self Love often mistaken for Selfishness Ahead

 

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I don’t want to make a truck load of changes that I may or may not stick with. I’d rather dedicate this next year to focusing on the most important person in my life.

Again, ME.

Investing in the things that matter to my present and future self could make a world of difference this year.

I came up with this “brilliant” idea one day while contemplating all of the important things I had set up for my 9-5 in January.

All the meetings I needed to take, the phone calls/emails I needed to send out and the programs for the community that would make a difference in others getting a jump-start to their year.

But what about me? What about the real goals that I want to accomplish this year just for myself? Those are just as important. But those things need my TLC as well. Shit, I need some TLC!

So, I decided to not only be the worker bee but Queen Bee.

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I’m spending the month of January setting myself up for success by focusing on my needs, wants and everything in-between. Investing time and money into myself is what this is all about.

All while being unapologetic of course. I hope you decide to do the same.

 

Here’s the tea.

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Financial Empowerment

I started the infamous envelope challenge this December. Basically, I take cash out of my account for bills I don’t pay online. I budget reasonable amounts and place it into envelopes just for groceries, gas, eating out, personal care, rainy day car expenses, and my personal allowance.

NO Cross Sharing cash between envelopes!

I have to say that sticking with this budget isn’t easy but knowing exactly where my hard-earned coins are going has helped me develop a real relationship that treats my doubloons with respect.

Now I don’t get anxiety every time I swipe or constantly worry about being broke when I’m not. Instead, I think long and hard, REAL HARD, before handing over my precious.

This step is important in me getting the most from my money. Now, I actually check my bank account and open my bank statements rather than dodge them like I do the guys in Wal-Mart. My money is working for me now.

Finances and Anxiety under control (Check!)

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Boosting My Passions and Interests

New Blog Look Coming Soon!

Investing into something I am truly passionate about will be the best kick off to the New Year. I’ve placed money aside to upgrade my blog space (YAY) and I’ve also budgeted money to design informational packages for my Let’s Build Mentoring program. I will send these packages to guidance counselors and school officials attempting to garner a partnership.

If you have a business you’re interested in starting up or an endeavor you want to explore; DO IT!

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“But I’m broke”

Okay, listen Linda, tax season is around the corner so set some of that money aside to invest in your interests. OR save up, because it’s worth exploring what interests you and not just working for someone else’s dream or goals.

Making Boss Moves (Check)!

 

Getting My Mind Right

Mental health

I’ve found free sessions with a psychologist who can give me the tools I need to better overcome the mental blocks I face and the anxiety that I deal with.

*Military personnel or families of military personnel can get 6 free sessions for issues they face through military one source Phone: 800-342-9647*

I can get free sessions for anxiety and then turn around and get another 6 free sessions for grief or quarter life crisis https://letsbuildfutures.com/2017/12/12/the-ghost-of-crisis-past/

 

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Spiritual Health

Walks in the park, massages, reading in a quiet little coffee shop; all these things make me feel closer to God because they focus my energy inward. So, I’ve carved out time to do these things to keep my inner self happy and connected.

 

 

This past year I gave all my free time away like Krispy Kreme Hot Sign doughnuts. The more I gave, the more I was expected to give.

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but taking time for myself will give me the energy I need to fully be there for others when they really need.

For you it may be going to church, or hiking….either way make sure you give yourself ample time every week to draw on something bigger than yourself.

Happy, Healthy Me (Check)!

 

 

Ball TF out!

I’m that person who hesitates in spending money on myself but when it comes to my family I throw money and all my free time at them.

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Not this New Year.

I started taking better care of myself in 2017 but I definitely still held back.

I gave 110% to my civilian job

110% to my military job

110% to my family and friends

2% to me/my interests (OKAY….maybe I’m being dramatic but you get the point)

I will be blowing the dust off of my vacation days from work this year.

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I now realize that if I juice everything around me up and don’t give myself time to recharge then nothing gets done. It’s okay to take that mini vacation especially if your work ethic is on point.

My boss, My family and My friends will just have to understand. I will be a little more selfish than they’re use to this year. And it all starts with my birthday in which I will RUN TF OUT.

Because why not? I’ve never heavily splurged on myself because I’m always money conscious but as this birthday approaches I realize that I will only get one chance at my 20s; so why not make the most of them in working hard AND having fun?

“Krystal, you’re so extra.”

Me: “You damn right I am!”

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We always go into the New Year with intentions to change the things we don’t like about ourselves weight, food habits, that pinkie toe that’s a little weird-looking

BUT

why not celebrate what we do like and enjoy.

You don’t have to make a million resolutions you know damn well you’re not gonna stick with. You can, however, pick out the things in your life that bring you joy and focus on that this year because a happier you IS a healthier YOU.

 

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Answers Phone: “New Year, Enhanced Me…Who dis?!”

Loving on Myself (Check)!

 

I could’ve been mistaken for a divorcee soccer mom with a habit of drinking too much wine before 12 p.m. I felt as though I was completely lost in life, not knowing what purpose I was to serve, what talents I had and confused on why it was taking so long to get on my feet after years of hard work. I was barely 25 going through a mid-life crisis  quarter-life crisis.

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GIPHY:  Me. Any Monday morning two years ago

As millennials, we get called all kinds of bad names by the “grown-ups” like dramatic, lazy or self-centered but the reality is that a lot of the economic, mental, and financial stress we face has a negative impact on us getting a healthy start to adult life.

After pursuing higher education and working multiple jobs just to still break even, success whether financial or otherwise can feel like…it can feel like…Well. Like this…

 

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GIPHY: That oh shit wtf is going on moment

 

It can often feel as though if you don’t have everything figured out by the time you’re 18 then you’re behind the curve. But who the hell knows exactly what they want and how to get there at 18? (very few)

This inadvertent pressure put on us by societal expectations, competition mentality coupled with no real mentors leaves many young adults reeling from the lies they’ve been told.

“Go to school to get a good job and make good money,” THEY SAID

They didn’t tell us about the hurdles that exist in attempting to escape generational poverty/low-income households, obstacles millennials are facing in the job market due to the previous recession, or the other important things like how to network, team up or seek mentorship etc…

This leaves us feeling like failures and frustrated with ourselves in a world that doesn’t understand why we feel like we have it hard.

I use to stay in my room (I had moved back in with the parentals) drink wine, binge on Netflix and hiss at anyone who dared to knock on my door. I was a regular Scrooge in the middle of July.

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GIPHY: Me vs. EVERYONE

 

Safe to say that this was not healthy. Job hunts went from confident searches to desperate obsessions and it felt like a chore to even get out of bed most days.

For those of you who can relate, here are a few tips to getting back to being yourself so that you can ring in the new year with a better understanding of where you’ve been and how to move on from there. Kick this quarter-life crisis’ a**!

Tip #1

Put the drink (dank) or whatever down.

Some days it’s the only thing that felt like it alleviated the anxiety and depression but trust me you don’t want to become reliant on substances in dealing with difficult emotions. Find another outlet like taking a walk. Sunshine can make a world of difference as opposed to day-drinking in a dark room alone. Plus a bottle a day gets kinda pricey.

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Tip #2

Make a real plan.

When you’re lost it can feel like no plan makes sense but it’s dangerous to not have an idea of who you are and what you want. One of the things that helped me was making a list (and checking it twice hahaha).

I made a list of everything from my perceived strengths and weaknesses to what I wanted and needed out of life in order to consider myself successful. I went from not knowing what I wanted, to one day realizing that I could keep others from dealing with similar downfalls by starting a mentoring program.

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Tip #3

Don’t sell yourself short.

Don’t become so engrossed in getting a job or man or whatever that you aren’t paying attention to the quality and compatibility while in your search. Case and point? I was so shook by not having jobs lined up for me after returning home that I just started putting applications in for every job posting I saw.

The result?

I got into a job (s) that made my quarter-life crisis worst due to their incompatibility with what I wanted and was capable of providing.

Understand you’re still valuable regardless of where you are at this point in your life to avoid getting into situations that negatively affect you because you sold yourself short.

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Tip #4

It’s not just you.

I’m “a pull yourself up by the bootstraps” kinda girl or at least I was until I realized that I didn’t have any f****** boots to begin with!

When we’re down in the dumps it’s easy to be your toughest critic or downright self enemy but sometimes it’s because we had unrealistic expectations without understanding that the starting line was pushed back farther from our peers.

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In acknowledging your obstacles, you can empower yourself with knowledge and goals to overcome them. My situation was a 50/50 split. I had things I could have done differently and difficulties based on my circumstances that were never brought to my attention. It’s okay to fall but don’t let you or anything else keep you down.

Last thing.

It’s called quarter-life crisis for a reason. Apparently the feeling is not just exclusive to you or I but shared with some of our millennial kin. You will come out the other side with a new understanding of yourself and the world around you.

When I think back to the ghost of my quarter-life crises past, I do so with a respect for that moment in my life. It helped me to figure out where I went wrong and where society went wrong to have so many millennials experiencing this same thing. I needed to endure that time in my life in order to figure out myself, my life and my purpose.

So, get fresh air, scream in your pillow and know that you’ll be alright. #LETSBUILD

P.S. stop hissing at your loved ones. SORRY MOM!

 

 

PSST! check out this article on quarter life crisis

Cold sweats usually begin right under my arm pits and flow like a rapid waterfall just below my underdeveloped chest whenever I have to address a crowd or someone in a higher position than myself.

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At least that use to be the case.

Years ago, public speaking was something that had become extremely uncomfortable for me as my mouth often forgot the words I was attempting to speak and my mind fixated on trivial things like was my voice too pitchy or were my lips ashy?

It was mental agony in preparation for something that would probably only last 10 minutes. I loathed anything that brought extra attention. Yet, here I am attempting to develop a platform in high schools where I hope to mentor and speak publicly.

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Despite my earlier sweat fests, I would surprise myself with elegant addresses and handshakes that contradicted the fact that I was having hot flashes just moments before my speaking engagement. Having to speak to higher ranking military personnel, bosses, or in meetings, interviews, even asking for extra buffalo sauce in front of a crowd at Chick-Fil-A all flared my anxiety to unreasonable levels.

It’s true that I am what others call an introvert but I have learned the art of how to successfully navigate the world like an extrovert on their best day. Stick with me, I’ll explain.

 

Feisty Lil’ Thing

My mom has a host of memories about me as a child that she gushes on about sporadically.

Typical Mommy behavior.

Anyway, they include me walking the halls of the high school where she worked like I owned the place; I was 4. Apparently I had networking down to a science as I developed close working relationships with the big kids who would buy me cookies in exchange for my adorable presence.

I wasn’t afraid to ask questions, explore and venture off into the principle’s office just to see what he was up to. I was a boss. Around this same age period is when I strong armed my way into my favorite speaking part in a school play. I had gotten a small part in which I felt was dull while one of my classmates had gotten the part I really wanted.

Up on the stage the microphone was passed from student to student as each said their part. It was now my turn and I said my one line elegantly and uneventful then passed the microphone to the classmate beside me with the “good” part. I willed her (telepathically) to say the part with enthusiasm and spirit. Instead, she mumbled what she knew and stood near tears having forgotten the rest.

No worries! (plays superhero theme music) I was right beside her to save the day. I swooped in on the microphone and said the part line for line in the best character voice possible. Once I was done I heard laughter and applause from the audience and a loud “THAT’S MY BABY!” I could only assume it came from my dad lost in the sea of parents. My mom’s face was completely red even though she was smiling. I was 4.

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GIPHY: “ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS…”

 

 

Two Sides, Same Coin

She reminds me of this because it’s one of her favorite memories. Mine too. I was an extrovert who took command in places public and private. I was sure of myself. So what the hell happened to make me an introvert in the later years of my life? It is possible that bullying, financial disparities compared to my peers and dealing with death at an early age caused me to close up inside myself like a clam.

It is also equally possible that I have two distinct aspects of myself that I have only recently learned to unveil in the proper contexts. In my youth I could command an audience, in contrast, I could also spend hours silent to the point of pure creepiness. I have mastered being an introvert with extrovert tendencies. In doing so, I’ve embraced a natural gift in speaking to others individually or in addressing large sums of people. I only reveal this pearl of a talent whenever necessary.

It is now easier to hold meetings for business partnerships, network and interview whenever I remember the bravery of 4 year old me under the eyes of strangers. Most introverts I know would rather curl up with a book or take a quiet walk in the park compared to networking or speaking publicly. Yet, these things are a necessity in the workforce and even in education (public speaking 101 anyone?). Here’s some tried and true ways I’ve learned to harness my inner extrovert power while remaining very much an introvert.

 

 

Practice your speech, interview, elevator pitch, meeting topic etc…Honestly, I find myself giving random speeches about (whatever) in my car or at home while I’m cleaning. As weird as it sounds I’ve done this for as long as I can remember. Flashback to being 8 years old in my room giving an acceptance speech for a nonexistent award to a nonexistent audience. Using voice projection, natural pauses, and witty examples have all developed from me giving phantom speeches in which no is present for.

I got accustomed to hearing how my voice sounds when I’m passionate and calm. This has created a baseline for me to refer back to whenever I’m in front of strangers feeling completely naked. The mental muscle memory has acted as a antidote for my anxiety in public speaking and allows me to deliver in meetings, speeches, and networking regardless of the sweat war happening inside my blouse. Some people say I’m talking to myself; I say that I’m preparing for my future award.

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Remember they’re just people. This is so important to keep in the back of your mind because sometimes we have a tendency to place people on an extended pedestal simply because they hold a certain position. Similarly, we see a crowd of people and immediately become self conscious about everything.

The problem with this is it creates a mental barrier for you in which you aren’t allowing yourself to approach them with the same passionate thoughts, issues or questions you would in other situations where you aren’t nervous. Take the time to calm yourself before you give a speech or try to network with an individual/ business. Anticipate questions so that you’re not thrown into an “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” moment where you mind goes blank and your stomach goes sour.

By reminding yourself that those you are engaging with are people it helps you to find a link in which you can speak to them on a level they can relate to and understand. Trust me, no one wants to speak with or hear someone who talks stiffly or rehearsed. They’d much rather feel your own interests through the passionate presentation of yourself or your venture. Remind yourself that people are more or less just, people and nobody likes a sweaty hand.

Research saves lives. I recently had a business meeting with an organization I was unfamiliar with. I had made the rookie mistake of reaching out to this organization based on an assumption that I knew what they were about without actually researching the facts. The title “The Women’s League” sounded pretty straightforward to me but 40 minutes before the meeting it dawned on me that I had ample material to talk about my business without knowing much of theirs.

Needless to say I spent those 40 minutes finding out everything I could about the history of The Women’s League and what this particular group had done in our town.

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The meeting went a lot more smoothly having already prepared myself to speak from a place of knowledge on what they had done and could provide.

Researching is just a sub-section of preparation. Just as you practice those acceptance speeches you should prepare yourself by researching your audience. It could be one person or 200 people. Regardless, knowing your audience whether its an interview or public speaking platform will help to tailor your words to the expectations of those who are listening.

 

I have mastered being an introvert with extrovert tendencies.

 

Discovering these little speech hacks has helped me to blossom from an introvert into a commanding force right in front of my very eyes. I hate the way anxiety and anticipation makes me feel so I do these things to keep me sharp and ahead of the game. Being an introvert is lovely, we like to take our time with the small things in life. We prefer quality time with our favorite things which tends to be ourselves.

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GIPHY: “Fajitas for one please!”

However, for us to be successful we must embrace the 4 year old in us who was never afraid to ask questions or talk about our passions. In unleashing that part of ourselves we can do great things and conquer the art of public speaking and networking.

 

 

 

I found myself sitting in the chair opposite my immediate boss participating in an exit interview after barely two months. “I just want to touch base with you to understand any improvements that we can make to keep people here,” he said. Apparently, there had been several people over the course of a few years in and out of the position that I was now returning back to the company like a bad fitting pair of shoes. I didn’t have the courage to tell him that my feet hurt; literally and figuratively.

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The Truth was…

I didn’t tell him that it was the lack of properly training me before throwing me into such a fast paced environment that was making me leave. I didn’t mention the 10 hour days with no break, the un-organization that I got blamed for no matter how much more organized I made the place since I’d been there.

The virtual babysitting of grown men. I didn’t even refer to the demotion I felt I had received after turning down the offer of a higher position which would’ve required even more of my time and sanity. Instead, I took the cowardly approach in saying “Oh, it’s just… I need to focus on some family issues.” There was some truth in there…somewhere. Maybe.

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But the real truth was more intense because it included mornings I woke up feeling unrested, unfulfilled, and unappreciated. Being a hard worker is something that comes natural to me but after a few weeks, I stopped caring about my work ethic at this place altogether. I then knew something was wrong. I had just come home from working my a** off overseas and didn’t think civilian work should be more draining than that but it was.

 

Somethings Gotta Give

So, why care about providing top shelf performance when they could care less about me? I’ll work, you’ll pay but don’t expect anything extra and especially don’t expect me to stick around.This was the mentality I had developed for jobs notoriously known for their low wages and high employee turnover rates.

Every night I would go home to refine my resume and spend at least 2 hours searching for jobs in my area. EVERY. NIGHT. Every morning I would listen to inspirational sermons and videos on YouTube about people leaving their jobs with or without a backup plan simply because it made them miserable. EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. This lasted at least a month until I finally wrote my notice.

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Quitting is not something that’s easy for me. My hard work ethic was a source of pride and nothing could take that away or so I had thought. I had been down this road before and was determined to value myself even if my employers didn’t. You want to know why millennials job hop? Why employee turnover rates are forever high at Burger King? (or wherever) Here’s Why.

 

What the Hell do you Expect?!

It always fascinates me when I see the inner workings of places that offer low waged pay. Productivity must always be high! They demand this even if that means going into a zombie-like trance after scrubbing the ice cream machine that doesn’t work for two hours on a slow day. Time theft is real. I get it.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE ALWAYS WORKING!

Meanwhile, as I’ve leveled up into more professional jobs, I’ve found that with better pay and an understanding that I am actually human, and not a robot, productivity and high turnover rates are not issues my employers are faced with.

Productivity doesn’t have to mean constantly moving. It took me being at my current job for months before I knew it was okay to sit at my desk without fear of backlash from my very sweet manager. And, alas! my productivity, contributions, and creativity are at an all time high.

I’ve been in some high points during my working history like being given an A/C cooled suburban truck to drive in the desert for work, while my superiors were walking in 140 degree weather. And low points like being a waitress for a restaurant after earning a college degree because I couldn’t find better work and rent was due. The high points vary but there are so many similarities in the low ones like…

No respect for schedules. If there even happens to be one. Sometimes I seriously think those things were suggestions. Just save the paper then.

No work/life balance. Due to the lack of scheduling you can virtually be called in or asked to stay. Whatever you had planned can wait because apparently your job should come first. YOUR JOB IS YOUR LIFE. Saying no too many times is unwise. I don’t know about you but No life + hella insomnia + crap pay makes me a very grumpy girl.

 

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No real raises and promotions are few and far inbetween. I was 17 working at burger king when they raised the minimum wage from $7.25/hr to $7.50/hr. Big deal for me but not such a big deal for a mother of a young son in sports with rent, insurance, groceries, phone bill, light bill, water bill, gas, and let’s just hope she or her son doesn’t get sick. Rent continues to rise despite low quality housing, grocery prices are crazy, and gas companies are trippin’.

Side note: I’ll never understand how we can justify paying people crap money for our convenience appetite/services but we’re okay with paying congress and other elected officials like they should all enjoy summer homes and country clubs. Meanwhile, they do a government shutdown almost every other year in which Soldiers don’t even get paid. Remember that next time you go order that #3 with cheese and a tea, it comes with a side of attitude for a reason.

Resuming…

No authentic relationship with bosses high up. I always hated that mad dash to make sure everything was in tiptop shape for store owners or whoever. Fake smiles and fake concern accompanying them through the door. In my eyes, if you bleed red then I can talk to you about real issues and try to come up with solutions.

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Putting owners/bosses/superiors on a pedestal because of their position is just doing them and you a disservice because you’re not gonna be real with them about what you want and need to be the best employee. I’m not saying ask for a $10 raise but do mention the ice cream machine stays broke because they keep sending a mechanic to fix a 25 yr old machine instead of replacing it. It’ll save you getting cursed at the drive thru everyday and make them more money than they spent replacing it.

 

No real concern for who employees are. I had one boss who I had several great conversations with. Customers gave him glowing reviews about me and still he couldn’t remember my name even after 12 hour work days, coming in when called and with a name tag on. Apparently, KRYSTAL wasn’t significant enough to remember though I  earned regular customers due to my performance. It really is the little things that matter. Sometimes employees don’t want a trophy, they’d just like to actually be acknowledged as a vital part of your operations.

 

No real reason for me working hard besides making money. “If you take pride in your work it makes me money and that keeps your paychecks coming.” Yea. Okay. That’s all dandy but while you’re taking a break in your office eating for the 2nd time today, employees who have been on their feet for 8 consecutive hours with an empty stomach feel unappreciated. Sometimes, making you money just feels degrading especially considering my minimum wage paycheck after taxes.

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No real solutions to fix issues. Getting called in early for meetings always erked me. Not because I’m opposed to meeting and talking about what to expect but because I’m not here for the fake pep rally. Generally, you just wasted my time because the meeting didn’t address real issues or provide any solutions. We’re just meeting for the sake of saying we did.

 

No communication skills. I am not your child. Do not speak to me as such. I’ve watched as employees (other than myself because they knew better than to try it) got berated and “talked down to” by managers, owners, or other staff. “Everyone here can be replaced.” There’s no quicker way to get me out the door than hearing that. If you think just because you’re paying someone that you’re doing them a favor instead understanding it’s a mutual relationship then you’re in for one wild turnover roller-coaster ride baby.

 

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Personally, when there is mutual respect with the people I work for there is almost nothing they can’t ask me for that I won’t trip over myself to make happen for them. I do this because they’ve proven that they’d do the same and more importantly, I’m valued. So, you need a kidney sir? I GOT YOU!

Often immediate managers or bosses deal with their share of these things, so they could care less about your complaint OR they’re so far removed from this with their set schedules, weekends off, and higher pay that it really is no concern of theirs whether you feel valued or not because they’ve been shown that they are.

It’s up to workers to know their own value. Once they come to this realization many leave. Those blessed enough to have savings or fall back support would rather deal with no job at all than to deal with some of these incompatible, hectic, and unimpressive conditions. Those not so lucky are explained in the book Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America  which is one woman’s take on the poverty situation in capitalistic America. The book is truly amazing in so many ways in explaining the plight of those unfortunate enough to be low income or impoverished working in America. It was partly an inspiration for this post.Hand_to_Mouth_-_Living_in_Bootstrap_America_(book_cover)

 

 

 

The real inspiration, however, was for the young adult reading this wondering whether to leave their current crappy job. I can’t answer that for you.  I was that young adult a year ago. I went from one stifling job to the next. This process is referred to as millennial job hopping as mentioned in one of my earlier posts https://letsbuildfutures.com/2017/10/20/the-glass-slipper-job-hunt/

I don’t know if the reasons are the same for the corporate world but as a former (slightly current) low income young professional I understand. When starting from the bottom and working my way up, it was always weird to hear the shock companies express when discussing high turnover rates. Nobody wants to be miserable at a minimum of 8/hrs a day for 5/6/7 days a week for $8.50 an hour!! Not even for $10! Saying, “thank God I even have a job,” wears off  when the job puts more of a strain on you than unemployment did.

Looking back I wish I would’ve had the balls to tell my manager the real deal, respectfully, as to improve the environment for employees coming after me and especially for the poor sap replacing me. How can I expect them to improve if I don’t point out places in need of serious repair?

If you know your value and have the ability to move on. MOVE. Don’t apologize. Don’t berate yourself. Just move on and be honest with your ex-job about why you’re leaving.

Now, I had some savings which allowed me the luxury of hopping but a week later I ended up in another terrible work environment just to ensure I had money flowing in. Eventually, God looked out and placed me in a job I don’t just tolerant but I LOVE.

Coming for lower income beginnings can place us in some pretty uncomfortable jobs at first but we have the ability to aim higher, for better and land closer to that Cinderella job. So throw those deuces✌🏾 when you need to and #LETSBUILD!

 

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“Girl you need to eat!”

“Naw, Imma put some more on your plate.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that comment from family and friends and how many times they’ve been thoroughly cursed out in my mind while I forced myself to smile sweetly. Now that I’m older and have actually developed confidence that’s not dependent on others I can laugh at the ignorance in those earlier years of my life.

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Ever hear of fast metabolism? or genetics?

Seeing the fixation with curves today leaves me wondering about how the skinny, dark-skinned girl in the back of the class is handling it all. I WRITE THIS ONE FOR YOU GIRL!

Growing up black is hard. Growing up a girl and black is harder; but there’s nothing to describe growing up skinny, black while female. Torture. Torture would probably come the closest. This topic is meant to be funny but it does shed light on a truth that many teenagers and young adults face daily.

Almost everything about our culture today supports the idea of a voluptuous woman, who’s 5’3, “light skinned” with loose curls. Emphasis on the voluptuous part.

Hell, I love looking at curves too in a non-homo, kinda, slightly homo way. But the truth is not every female is gonna be thicker than a PB&J with peanut butter on both sides of the bread. Some of us have the comparison of peanut butter you had to scrape the bottom of the jar for and there’s not enough to completely cover the bread.

There’s a hint of peanut butter when you bite into your sandwich enough that you can faintly taste it. The same is true for being petite. Enough of a curve that you know it’s there. So cut the skinny girl some slack. She knows she’s small and doesn’t need reminding every time you see her. Stop wishing she’ll gain weight when she has kids just because you did and NO! she doesn’t need a damn cheeseburger!

 

 

“That natural hair ain’t for everybody.”

This comment was probably made by some unmoisturized  young man with a crooked hairline but even if it comes from someone decent it’s never okay. I love the natural hair appreciation movement that has swept black communities across the nation. What I don’t like is the division of praises among different hair textures and skin tones. That queen with the coarse fro and dark skin should be just as proud as the one with the loose coils.

Look, some people don’t like the natural wave. That’s totally cool but understand the power of your negative comments. One negative comment can take a young woman starting her natural journey from excitement to embarrassment. I’ve seen it.

Surprisingly, I see a lot of middle aged people singing similar tunes. “What’s going on with your head?” “That doesn’t look professional.”

Just because you love the way a good relaxer and press looks doesn’t give you the right to discourage the pride that a naptural woman has. Fix your hairline first and then your heart.

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“Why your mama didn’t just get you the Iphone?

My 13 year old niece was asked this by one of her friends.

First of all we’re broke, second of all mind your business. It’s easy to question why someone doesn’t have this or that as a teenager because you’re all about the now. Keeping up with the Kardashians (literally) is your life. But outside of that self-centeredness is real life in which some kids don’t get everything, or some of the things they ask for. They probably knew not to ask in the first place. So try a little empathy (or teach your kids) because you’re only one wrong drop away from a shattered screen and not having an Iphone X either.

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“You’re kinda tall for a girl.”

Well damn. I thought girls came in an assortment of shapes, sizes and colors like Valentine’s candy. I didn’t realize that being 65′ or barely 5’6 would be considered too tall or masculine. Let me just shrink myself for you and while I’m at it let me help you find the balls you lost while feeling threatened by my height. Oh, there they are. My kitten thought they were raisins.

 

“Females should keep their hair, feet and nails on point. No excuse.”

This is low AND high key expensive. Depending on where you go, getting your hair and nails done every two weeks can run you a couple hundred. And even though I have a thousand bottles of polish, sometimes I don’t feel like painting my nails just to have it chip and fade two days later.

Sometimes I don’t feel like twisting my hair or shaving my legs. My eyebrows are currently caterpillars because I have to carve out time to go get them waxed and that is perfectly fine.

Meanwhile, the male who said this has on his favorite pair of Spongebob underwear that’s 10 years old with holes in it. The female who said it has a sugar daddy and bad credit. Stop letting Instagram tell you how to be a woman or a man people. 😂

Let’s just all try to accept the many differences among us because no one is perfect, not everyone is balling and preferences are relative.

 

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What are some annoying statements you hear others say?

 

What are the milestones and achievements that solidify you as an adult? For me that wasn’t the age of 18. Or 21 OR 25 for that matter. It wasn’t when I brought my first car or joined the military. Completing a degree didn’t do it for me either.

I had specific mental thresholds that outlined adulthood  that I needed to pass in order to consider myself a part of the gang.

Everyone defines what it is and means to be an adult differently. It’s interesting to look at how I only really considered myself an adult a few years ago and still sometimes don’t consider myself one at all.

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Society defines adulthood in many different ways by placing an age limit on the things citizens are able to do. You can’t watch adult movies until 17 or buy cigarettes until 18. At 18 you can enlist in the military and vote yet you are not able to drink until age 21. Some “grown n’ sexy” nightclubs require a minimum age of 25. Insurance doesn’t decrease until age 25 either.

 

So when the hell does one become an adult? Seems as though we’re all a little confused ourselves. Adding society’s many definitions with our own only makes the question When do you become an adult?  all the more interesting.

 

We equate age with maturity level but often many do not fit into such strict categories. I know younger individuals who are just as or more mature than I am. I know older individuals who I look at and wonder will they ever “grow up?” I look at myself and ask that question all the time.

Some people define adulthood as leaving the comfortable nest of their parents to become financially independent. Others define it as the American dream complete with the white picket fence, house, two car garage, two 1/2 kids, boring job, and a dog that resembles Lassie.

 

I define adulthood as a series of contrasting experiences that teaches you about yourself and the world around you. The more I learn about my purpose, finances, society, and pretty much everything; the more Adult-y I become.

I also equate adulthood with wisdom even though I know a lot of adults who missed that train. Ha.

These different definitions are neither wrong nor right but merely a perception of what it takes for me to consider myself an adult.

The idea of someone being an adult is a very fluid concept because it changes based on the mindset of the determining person. Even more in depth is the idea of being a “good adult” which I am guilty of using as a mental weapon against myself when I choose to spend money for fun rather than save.

 

In my mind I needed to secure a place to stay void of a roommate, buy a functional car, and work in a professional career to consider myself an adult. Now that I’ve made it past those thresholds I still can’t imagine not watching cartoons and eating junk food with my future kids. Does that make me less of an adult than my mother?

I asked several friends and associates “When did you become an adult,” and listened in anticipation as their answers took flight. Here’s what they had to say…

 

“When I realized that things I do or do not do ONLY effect me. When I went away to college, not going to class, not eating vegetables, or drinking water…not cleaning up stuff. Not wearing my head scarf or waiting last minute to pay my phone bill. Thinking I knew what was best and then realizing…Like, I was only made to do that stuff for my benefit and that it hurts no one but me if I don’t. That’s when I’m like ugh I’m an adult (emoji) no one cares if my edges are gone, phone cut off, and I’m dehydrated.” -AGE 24

 

“Probably when I moved off campus and instead of blowing my refund check I budgeted it so I could afford rent and other bills until I got a real job…Man earlier I was thinking I would love some new tires for Christmas. I was like…damn. I got excited thinking about new tires, I’m an adult” (Emoji)” -AGE 26

 

“I feel like an incomplete adult because I don’t have my masters yet and I’m not in my desired career yet.” -AGE 26

 

“When I moved out and started paying my own bills, had my own place and I had just come back from overseas. You couldn’t tell me nothing. I was working and in school, had my new truck. I was an adult.” -AGE 33

 

Adulting aka paying bills, and securing a job seem to be the biggest factors in how many of us identify adulthood. Childhood lifestyle advances and taking care of oneself medically also seem to enter into the definition of what it means to be an adult.

Personally, I am both childlike and adult like. I take care of myself financially and otherwise, but I still get excited at Christmas or when the fair comes to town.

 

The idea of someone being an adult is a very fluid concept because it changes based on the mindset of the determining person.

 

Holding onto such vague concepts like adulthood only pressures individuals into living up to a standard that isn’t clearly outlined. While it has its purpose as a guiding light from adolescence, don’t let it be too much of a defining one in your life. Layman’s terms? It’s great that you’re a working professional but don’t feel bad when you still enjoy going to Chuck E Cheese. I wouldn’t suggest going without kids though because that’s high key creep alert.

 

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OR NAW

I have an awesome idea. From that idea comes 1 or 2 sub-ideas, then from those 1 or 2 sub-ideas comes 1 or 2 sub-sub ideas. Someone is talking to me about what happened on a show last night and it gives me an idea and from that idea comes 1 or 2 sub-ideas, then from those 1 or 2 sub-ideas comes….Frustrated yet?

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That is what happens inside my brain almost EVERY. SINGLEDAY. That is what TMIS is. I’m no expert on it but after stopping to google “I have so many ideas I can’t focus” because I was in the middle of writing a blog post and literally had about 10 different, amazing ideas; the term TMIS popped up. I stopped writing that post to start this one by the way.

Now I’m not a big fan of the LABELS. ☹️ Not every kid has ADD just because they’re active or not everyone is clinically depressed because they’re sad. However, as soon as I saw that there was a name for this I had the Oprah “aha” moment because now I knew I wasn’t crazy.

It now all made sense why when my friends were discussing something with me I’d struggle to focus because from the moment they said “Krystal…what do you think about blah, blah, blah;” I immediately went on a mind tangent of sub-ideas and sub-sub ideas followed by a question to them that has nothing to do with whatever we were talking about.

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I started thinking maybe I had ADD but the symptoms weren’t adding up because it only happens when I’m being creative,  brainstorming or when someone triggers an idea thread. I’m anal with planning and organizing but my mind is like Hurricane Katrina when it comes to brainstorming.

So, what’s the problem with having ideas? NOTHING! Having ideas is awesome!

Having 10 and not knowing where to start, or how to write them down before another idea pops is the problem.

TMIS sounds cheesy AF, I know but as someone whose dealt with it since childhood I honestly appreciate knowing that it is actually a thing.

The problem with having multiple ideas in a short time span is you can’t focus on completing or planning one before the details of one idea leads you down the road of another new idea. (Deep breath) exhausting concept.

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Many times I have great ideas but I don’t know which one to start with first. (Gift and Curse) <<< that phrase in parenthesis was one small idea I had that I wanted to incorporate into this post for later but had to write it down now so I didn’t forget it. SMH shatter brain much?…apparently yes, yes I am.

Each idea feels like a treasure you just uncovered.

How do you choose which idea to start to build on first?

Often, I’m so exhausted with the thought process that I say *&^! it and grab my goobers, milk and watch Teen Titans just so my brain will settle down in the nonsensical funniness of the show.

This is a problem because either I’ll start multiple ideas and won’t finish or I won’t start at all because I have no idea how to choose between all the wonders my brilliant mind vomits. Joking…kinda.

 

In all seriousness, I hope this post helps someone with a brain that just won’t sit still. Below are tips on how to tame that awesome brain of yours so that you can proceed in conquering the world.

 

1.Find a system that’s great for releasing your ideas. It may be sticky notes, or a notepad, cell phone, word document. Whatever your outlet make it accessible and practical. And please for the love of everything choose one method because doing all of them will only add to your drama. I know because I’ve tried.

 

2. Go back to your list to chew over your ideas after a few days of releasing them. You may often find that some of those ideas aren’t as tasty as you thought they were after actually looking at them from a more realistic eye. Once you allow the idea to settle you may just throw it out altogether.

 

3. Prioritize which ideas are your best and most effective in whatever you’re trying to accomplish. Doing this will further weed out your loser ideas that you had at 3 a.m. after a night of partying at the local Taco Bell.

 

4. Set a cap on how many ideas you’re going to plan or try to implement over a week or month. You need to adjust how many things you’ll actually work on. If you try to juggle too many ideas at once you’re just gonna burn yourself out and get nothing accomplished. Pace yourself and treat each idea with the special attention it deserves at this point.

 

5. Relax. Having a great number of ideas is its own gift. At least you’ll never be bored with yourself. Is TMIS an actual medical/psychological term?..Who knows but what we do know is that we’re not the only ones out there with chain reaction brains.

 

 

Just think of this as your little quirky superpower with the potential to launch that nurtured idea into the stratosphere and possibly make you some money in the process. It may be a curse at times but it should always be seen as a gift. (See I told you guys I’d use that phrase later; I’m getting better at this idea completion thing.)

Great Article on TMIS: http://www.jessicaeley.com/too-many-ideas/

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When did school become so geared toward the traditional idea of success that it abandoned the teaching of actual basics?

First comes graduation, then comes college then comes the career without the baby carriage.

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Home Economics in high schools provided tools for developing young adults capable of knowing the most basic ways to take care of things at home. A home econ class revamped toward building great adults would do more than even the previous model. I’m sure the course lacked in areas but instead of taking away the program for budget cuts why not take the foundation earlier versions have laid a step further?

I believe a home econ class for today’s generation is needed because so many young adults today definitely could have used it. Myself included. Learning things the hard way when it comes to changing a tire or understanding student loans is a little unnecessary when you’ve spent years in school learning information you may not ever use.

Imagine a course that would go beyond cooking lessons to the garage where it shows students how to change a tire. This course could cover down on all the things schools aren’t teaching right now like how to do your taxes, or how to open a savings and banking account. It could go beyond sewing lessons to teach budgeting, how to price compare consumer products, networking, investing, and more.

A course designed to help students learn things that they will use on a daily basis would benefit the communities in which they are implemented because students would be given the tools needed to become knowledgeable adults in a host of areas. Knowledgeable young adults could then make conscious, informed decisions that could potentially elevate the economy as a whole.

For all of those out there saying “school is not supposed to be responsible for teaching students what parents should” or “Isn’t that what college is for?” then let me further explain…

1. Parents are only able to pass on the knowledge that they have readily available, in many circumstances, parents are not able to give their children certain information on things like taxes, loans, and banking because they do not fully understand it themselves. Factor in the growing number of students that come for low income families and you should realize that there is a knowledge deficit in many American homes toward basic information.

2. Too often students learn a plethora of things in school and never understand how it’s relevant or how to apply it to daily life. Throughout high school and college I zoned out in my required general classes to ask myself “When the %*&! am I ever going to use this?”

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And despite the groaning from all the educators out there, it’s a valid question. If you don’t relate/show how understanding basic math is incorporated into things like finances and cooking then young Tiffany will continue to see math as a language she doesn’t understand.

Young Tiffany will then make basic mistakes in finances due to her lack of understanding that will affect her life for years to come. Now, Tiffany is on government assistance, she can’t cook, and doesn’t know how to put air in a tire but at least she remembers y = mx + b from high school algebra.
OK, Ok, I know that was a little dramatic but you get my point. You can’t not give a generation the tools they need or make getting a college degree a luxury item but then complain that they aren’t being good stable citizens. Speaking of college it brings me to my next point…

3. For the “isn’t that what college is for?” crowd, please understand that college is not for everyone and if a young student doesn’t learn the basis of loans, interest, networking, budgeting etc…then they are only going to end up like young Tiffany even if they attend a higher education institution.
Even if they don’t the main issue is not whether high school should be responsible for teaching these things but the real question is; Why wouldn’t you want your tax dollars invested in a course that would build a foundation in becoming a stable adult for those who will be responsible for taking the torch from you.

Our communities are not what they were 50 years ago. Little Aaron may not learn networking from his father at the barbershop because his father may not be present for various reasons.

College for many young adults is an avenue for self-destruction once they enter without the tools necessary in understanding what they are getting themselves into financially, economically, and educationally. The following is an excerpt from a Forbes article that articulates the disparity of high school preparation brilliantly.

Millennials do demonstrate a sobering measure of hindsight, though. 57% report that they now regret how much they borrowed and, more sadly, over a third say they wouldn’t even have gone to college if they had realized in advance the true price tag of their education. Both stats point to a glaring knowledge gap in the high school to college pipeline that ostensibly focuses on preparing students for college academics, but neglects to inculcate any understanding of the economic realities of this path.

 

Full article:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jmaureenhenderson/2016/04/07/the-scary-truth-about-millennials-and-student-loan-debt/#729fab4665fa
So, little Aaron went to college, took out student loans, got decent grades but didn’t understand networking or the impact of loans. Now he has a BS in biology working at Best Buy. He has $40,000 in student loans because he was told he needed to go to college to be successful but wasn’t given the tools or “how to” before he got there. Schools at the earliest levels are institutions for learning but can you really say you taught someone something if they don’t know how to apply it to life outside of school?

 

Some states still implement a home econ course in their high school curriculum as a part of a student’s general education. I remember stories of the home econ teacher at my local high school (S/O Mullins, SC ) from my older sisters. I couldn’t wait to take the class only to find out that they had gotten rid of it. So when buttons were falling off my favorite coat and my boyfriend expertly sewed it back on for me; I tried to take the shock out of my voice when I asked him how he knew how to sew. His reply…home econ in high school.
It would be wonderful if the same response were true for other skills that would actually uplift young adults. I believe a class like this could assist in deterring the ever growing mountain of debt that my generation unwittingly and necessarily accumulated. Millennials now have accumulated 1.2 trillion dollars in student loan debt as a result of the ever rising tuition and college expenses. We are now holding off on things like purchasing a home,  a new vehicle, and investment because we simply can’t afford it.

Would it be too much to think that students should graduate with the skills needed to combat some of these issues by understanding the realities more?

Is the concept of a course geared toward this information overzealous? Let me know what you all think. Comment or contact me at waltonkrystal@ymail.com

Found this article that says a lot of the same things and almost shouted because now I know that information I put out is real and relevant: