On this first day of Spring, I was waken up to the most beautiful surprise. My orchid baby bloomed!
This is significant to me in so many ways:
I love plant life, and so does my entire family. This was yet another plant that brought me even closer to my family, and of course I got instantly homesick.
This orchid was given to me as a housewarming gift by my current housemate a year before we even had a discussion about us living together.
This orchid took nearly two years for the second generation to bloom since I pruned her. Just because the one stem turns brown, the leaves and roots continue to hold the life. It helps me stay grounded, literally.
Although I wasn’t there when she was first born, I was there when she was born again. This is a symbol of all of the new starts I have done this year after pruning out so many extra activities and people. I know my life is moving in the right direction.
God continues to lead me, and continues to give me confirmation along the way!
God bless the lovely “Colored Computers” and Hidden Figures author, Margot Lee Shetterly, for bringing to light the significance of diversity in STEM fields. In addition to the women spotlighted in the book and movie (Katerine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan), there are so many other successful women, and I am proud to be one!
Hidden or Nah? – my group as a Test Engineer
I graduated from the University of Michigan in Aerospace Engineering with a Minor in Mathematics. Yes, it was difficult, but I knew I could do it because people had done it before me. I just have a problem solving kind of brain! I always tell my students that Engineering is simply problem solving, but instead of using guess-and-check we must use math and science to prove we have the best solution! Since seeing the movie on opening night, I wanted to share my own insight and perspective about what it’s really like to be a Hidden Figure in 2017.
Things that have changed since 1961
No skirts and no pearls! Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a reality so I must wear pants everyday along with my safety glasses and steel toe shoes. (I plan to create a women’s line of steel toes!)
I barely have to touch a door. My male counterparts will stop in their tracks, reverse and re-open a door for me on the regular.
My coworkers and me strive for not only diversity, but also inclusion in my African-American Employee Resource Group.
Influencing skills are Imperative! Instead of working behind the scenes, I have to be in the forefront and lead a team to improve Change Management once we arrive to a solution.
My company president knows my name, and I have a private office, Boyee!
Things that haven’t changed since 1961
There are still Amazing bosses that will encourage me to do better than my best! Although unstated, “Don’t embarrass me” is not just a reflection of my manager, but also a representation of my race and gender.
Restrooms are still less available for women. My second closest bathroom in my last 2 departments is at least 100 feet farther than the second closest men’s, but it’s always empty!
I have continued to hone my communication style, which is basically to let the guys talk in circles and in one sentence re-direct them to the solution. “Guys, Push the Green button.”
Family and friends have No clue what I do at work, and they just call me a rocket scientist even though I work as a Sr. Quality Engineer on Oil and Gas Turbines.
Strangers are continually shocked at my career as a full-time engineer, full-time MBA student, and ’emotionally full-time’ entrepreneur leading Adorn The World, LLC.
I love being an engineer. I love being a female engineer.
I love being a black female engineer.
I am not hidden. I was created to SHINE!
My first 30 years have been amazing, but the good life is just beginning. I’ve had some years of building and transition, but this year has been better than I ever imagined. I did not have a 30 by 30 list of goals, but even if I did, I would have had much lower expectations. Lucky for me, that’s right in line with my favorite scripture, Ephesians 3:20. I often recite the affirmations below and I truly recognize Favor aint Fair!
I donate, tithe, and seek ways to be giving to others.
The last time I wrote about happiness was 5 years ago before going into 25, and little did I know there was so much room for growth. It hasn’t always been easy, and there were plenty of time conflicts, delays, and burdens along the way. It is my prayer that the coming years are even better, with more sleep & less stress!
This is my visual response to people who asks me this question including the end.
Quick rundown of the things I have going on right now:
Full-time Turbine Test Engineering Career
S.T.E.A.M. Education business owner and entrepreneur
Women’s Church Ministry Leader Ages 18-35
Middle school girls robotics coach
Applying to M.B.A. programs (and GMAT Prep)
Meetup Social group organizer
Planning our first family reunion
Styling my hair
Dating for Marriage
Artsy fun with painting and theater
Re-gaining beach body fitness
20s Living with my girls
Starting this summer, I’m actively going to do better with free time. I will be on travel most of July, so that will help me transition quite nicely. One major time management and stress reduction technique that I use is to make a checklist everyday. I list 2 things that I want to complete for work, and 2 things that I want to complete outside of work. For major things that may roll over, I list them at the top of my planner page as 2 goals for the week. Also, I can only commit to one after-work event per day, reserving one weekday as a chill day at home.
I seem to manage everything pretty good, but I know stress is on the horizon when I double-book events on the same day, don’t wash any laundry that week, stop exercising/ dancing, or stop writing. These are my warning signs before the physical ailments of sleep-deprivation, vocal cord dysfunction, or a sinus infection.
Pray for me yall! While I love being busy, it’s not good for my health, and I’ve learned that it distracts me from my purpose. We are all here “just enough time to do God’s Will”. I never want to be too over-worked and over-stressed to be winning at this thing called life.
We are Living Single. In a millennial kind of world,
I’m glad I can Skype my girls!
They took the picture in exactly the right order! Awesome.
I am so happy that I get to see my girls next week at Homecoming, so I decided to dedicate this post to them! Of course, we aren’t identically like the characters in Living Single, but we are pretty similar.
Beneque (Khadijah) – Very work focused, smart, success is a journey, high speed.
Currently seen: Moving & Shaking
Jasmine (Regine) – Hair queen, serial dater, entrepreneur, unpredictable schedule.
Currently seen: On the Go
Wynter (Maxine) – Hilarious, career loyalty, independent, home owner.
Currently seen: Telling somebody off on Twitter
Allyson (Synclaire) – Eternal dream catcher, loves school, peacekeeper,
Newlywed with Mr. Charismatic whom we love.
Currently seen: Multitasking
Keep your head up; whenever this life gets tough, you gotta FIGHT. I love my friends and you should too!
Most people don’t know this, but I have kept a journal since middle school. Only about 5 percent of my thoughts and journals make it to social media. I currently have a business journal and a Christian journal. Unexpectedly sometimes, the two overlap. This is what happened today while documenting some business scope clarity. At a high level: I kept wanting to pilot some of my business concepts with a group where I hold some influence. However, God keeps showing me that since I am not leading that group, I must continue to be submissive to my leadership. This past weekend, it was made clear that I should stop trying to pilot the concepts with that group and continue following God’s vision of doing the activity with a completely separate (and currently unknown, yikes) group of people. While writing this, I wanted to make a distinction that my company will be other-person centered and just stammered out the Mission Statement. Then I paused and thought, “Wow! That’s Good.”
I then proceeded to figure out if it actually was the Vision, Mission, Values or Purpose and used the Harvard Business Review to help me through it. For extra credit, I studied on a Credo too. I was in LOVE! This was so exciting for me and just took my breath away. Now I know all of business school won’t be like this. Yet, I saw this as a good time for me to announce that I am so excited to start my MBA pursuit Fall 2016!!
I hope to one day have a man that makes me this happy… Until then, I guess my degrees will keep me warm!