Author Archives: Gemma B.

About Gemma B.

A place where I share thoughts on this journey called life.

Thick Thoughts On Life

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I had the pleasure of reading an upcoming memoir/collection of essays by Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom, whose previous work Lower Ed is a great treatise on the state of for profit colleges and how students navigate the various entries into education. The opportunity to read Thick was provided by NetGalley. If you haven’t had a chance to follow Dr. McMillan Cottom on Twitter, I would advise you to do so otherwise, you can find her work in a wide variety of public spaces.

In Thick, Dr. McMillan Cottom guides the reader through the thick lived experience that will resonate with many readers. Her voice is indeed thick like a nice glass of sweet tea that your aunt or grandmother would make with just enough sugar to make you feel like you could definitely have a second glass.

I was hooked by Thick after reading a few pages because the experiences described resonated with me deeply. The further I read, the more I was pushed to affirm myself and my own lived experiences. Each chapter was indeed thick in truth and wisdom.

I cannot wait to purchase a copy of Thick. As I read, I realized that each sentence would stay with me, in fact many sections are written on my heart but I need to have them highlighted just to bring them to memory.

One of the most compelling parts of Thick is how it gives the reader(particularly Black women) not only permission to be who you are unapologetically but it pushes you to not stop, it affirms you to say “Yes, you have been right all along and you have to keep going”.

Thick is not a quick read, rather it is a jolt of electricity to the heart that seeks to let you know that your voice matters no matter what you may face each day. While it touches on the truth that so many Black women have endured since the beginning of time, it does offer a new way of walking into our excellence.

In addition, Thick offers gems for various moods or seasons that you may find yourself in. It caused my deepest emotions to burst forth in a life affirming way. There were sections that made me howl with laughter and there were sections that made me weep in a way that only someone who feels seen can ever reach.

Although Dr. McMillan Cottom is a thinker, I would also put her in a category of preacher due to the life affirming words that she offers forth into the world and the refrain that serves as the hook to this swan song which puts freedom in our hands. The larger takeaway becomes what are you going to do after you fix your feet?

*I did not receive any compensation to offer this book review*

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2018 The Saga of Online Dating

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As you may or may not know, I got my feet wet in the online dating pool again. Although I have been online dating off and on over the years, I maintained my optimism due to so many friends who managed to find success across sites. I joined Match.com for the first time and rejoined Bumble. I decided to do this for the summer and see what came of it. It also served as a distraction from my ex who made an unusual reappearance in my life before I moved and a few weeks after. I think we both know that we would not be anything(its been too long and we still don’t see things on the same page).

My thoughts on both sites:

Match.com: Match has a lot of great qualities. Unfortunately, the matches are hit or miss. The site gives me Plenty of Fish vibes with a slightly newer interface. As of now, over 750 guys have viewed my profile but I don’t think even twenty guys have sent me a message. I did not renew my subscription(which will end in August).

Bumble: Bumble is a great site. Unfortunately, many of the matches seem fake. I appreciate the fact that the woman can initiate the conversation. Sadly, many men treat it as if it is Tinder and my initial conversations do not give off Tinder vibes.

A friend did look at my profile and suggested that I get professional pictures done but I do not think it is worth it(because I am not that kind of person). A lot of guys on Bumble do use professional head shots and I swipe left because they just look so fake.  So far I only had to report one person for being completely inappropriate and the site took care of it.

I haven’t went on any dates yet but I did have a few offers(I was supposed to have a date over the weekend, but the guy messed that up, another guy hasn’t set a date yet, and another guy made plans for this week), so we shall see.

Overall, guys like my profile and conversation but not enough to parlay into a date. So we shall see what the rest of the summer holds,

Thoughts About Online Dating

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So I had sworn off online dating in 2018. But once I moved, I started to reconsider. I’m praying about it. I have moments where I’m optimistic but when I think about all of the drama I’ve gone through, the optimism dissipates.

If I do jump in, I plan on being smart about it and being much more discerning. Friends were telling me to be more optimistic but I think it’s important to be realistic. When I say be realistic I mean being realistic about myself. I know I can be a piece of work and I know that I am not everyone’s cup of tea.

I also feel like I’m at an age where I’m not as desperate as I used to be. For the most part I have made peace with what will be.

2018 Ready To Run

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So this year, in an epic year of all epic years, I decided to run a 50 miler. I know, I know. But here’s the thing, all of my friends have run one. Also, the training plan is uber similar to a 50k plan. Also it gives me an excuse to run all of the distances that I haven’t been able to in a while either due to life or recovery(from leg stuff).

I haven’t been training on purpose in a bit(especially after the accident) but a week or two ago, I was really going through some stuff and I went for a nice 8 mile run and felt much better, that was when I realized that I needed to get myself in gear and I wrote out my training plan. I also have a strength plan(mostly body weight stuff at the moment).

The funny thing about this new training plan is that Monday is a rest day. Other than that, most of it is just the usually mix of distance and speed. I don’t really do a lot of speed stuff but maybe that will change in the upcoming months.

Happy Running

 

2018 The Journey Continues

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Greetings from 2018! I mean we are almost one month down.

For months I told myself that I would write some blog posts(because at the time I had so much swirling around in my head) and what would you know, I never wrote them.I have no excuses because just in case you had not heard, I graduated in December of 2017 whoop! Which was pretty awesome and definitely makes the journey worth it.

As I was working on my dissertation, I made more of an effort on the job hunt. I applied far and wide and to all kinds of positions. Out of a ton of applications, I managed to snag a few interviews(I was excited about all of them). Then, I was selected for my dream job(if you looked at the job description, my name was all over it) and now I am winding things down and wrapping up loose ends in order to take the next steps in the journey.

None of this would be possible without all of my friends and family both online and in real life. Support matters no matter where it comes from. All of the laughs and tears result in adding to a life that I can be proud of.

I even had a come to Jesus moment with Sgt. Pepper and I boldly told him that it is best for us to hold on to the good memories we had and not move forward(whoo, I even looked at myself like levels).

I’m still thinking of how exactly I am going to write my memoir. A friend just told me about creative non-fiction. So, I definitely have some ideas swirling in that direction. I think that it will turn out the way it should turn out when it will turn out.

I have to get a bunch of research ideas down, so that I don’t forget them.  A great professor said to have a research box(kind of like a prayer box) where every time you read a paper and a question comes to you, you write it down and put it in the box(or in my case, box, spreadsheet, and blog lol).

So here’s to a continuation of the journey!

 

Academic site

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Hey blog readers,

Just wanted to update you on my academic and professional updates. I now have a professional page that you can check out at:

https://jewelbarnettphd.wordpress.com

 

Thank you!

2017 Online Dating (The Struggle Continues)

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Hey blog readers,

As many of the faithful readers know, this is not my first rodeo when it comes to online dating. It can kind of be like a fun house at times where I am just running to get to the end.

I have a lot of friends who have found much success and happiness through online dating. So after hearing about some good news from a highly respected friend, I reached out to her and she suggested, you guessed it, online dating. So I decided to create new profiles. These profiles are okay and pretty light(in my opinion).

Immediately, guys wanted me to come over to their homes that night(which I politely declined). One guy politely asked for a date days in advance(which I agreed to). This afternoon I spoke to another friend who is online dating and she gave me some tips. It is okay to have standards and be honest about what you are looking for(since I am not looking for anything casual, I can’t put short term relationship on my profile).

So, this morning a guy messaged me and we had basically an introductory convo. Well, after a few back and forths, he mentioned that he was only looking for something casual because he had just gotten out of a long term relationship. I feel like this is the line that most guys who are online dating give to me, so I told him, that was what I was expecting(because I hear it so often) and that I was just looking to date. So, of course, I mention this to my friends online. Well, when I brought it up to my friend who is online dating, she said, no, not all men were looking for something casual. That in fact, some men are looking to settle down. She said that the only men who contact her, are those who are looking to settle down. So, while my friend clearly made me change my mind, the guy messaged me and mentioned some other “criteria” that he was in search of, which I did not fit, so alas, there was no match.

I can’t see women’s profiles but men’s profiles range from empty to unicorn status(meaning they are looking for someone who doesn’t exist or someone who isn’t single). The response time is interesting as well. Some will reply quickly, some take a bit of time, and others not at all(I guess that is the name of the game). So, my goal this time around, is to see just how long I can last(3 months, 6 months, 1 year?) because usually I bail after a week(or after Sgt. Pepper’s profile pops up). Now, years ago, I think the longest I had profiles up was 6 months or so(don’t quote me).

Now you might be asking, “But didn’t you denounce online dating?”, and the answer is “Why, yes, yes I did”. But here’s why I can’t completely let go of it(for now), I am not meeting people in every day life and no one is introducing me or setting me up with people in every day life. So, I really don’t have many options. Now am I open to meeting someone in every day life? Absolutely.

Life is just like a roller coaster and sometimes all we can do is hold on for the ride.