The Hate U Give Book Review

Image result for the hate u give bookThe Hate U Give Book Review:

The Hate U Give was published earlier this year (February 2017) by Angie Thomas. It is a fiction book about a teenage, African American girl (Starr) who is somewhat forced into becoming an activist after witnessing her friend get killed by a White police officer after leaving a party. The story follows Starr’s reactions and experiences after her friend’s death – but Starr didn’t want her friend to just become a hashtag, she wanted and eventually made her friend’s life matter.

This book also tackles something that some Black Americans do every single day – code-switching. For those of you don’t know what it is, code-switching is defined as the practice of alternating between two or more languages or varieties of language in conversation. But in the Black community, I believe it’s a lot deeper than language, it includes mannerisms, tone, behaviors and more. (See this very interesting Ted Talk about The Costs of Code Switching – here. )  So with that being said, this was the first book I’ve ever read that accurately portrays this “code-switching” as a Black teenager. Starr has to balance how she behaves (and ultimately how she wants to be perceived) at her predominately White prep school with her “poor, Black”  neighborhood and upbringing. In the book, she struggles with keeping her two worlds separate. I remember literally living in this world (and still living in it if I’m being honest) so it was super relate-able for me.

This book is labeled as a Young Adult book, but really you should ignore that label – this is literally a book for ALL ages (well, maybe not too young because the book conquers some heavy themes that an 8 year old might not be able to handle). I believe that this book was very well written with a lot of character development. I really enjoy the style the book was written, entirely first person and revealing Starr’s inner thoughts. I also really enjoyed how the author moved time in the story – often times, I find with young adult books that the entire story took place in basically a few days which to me is too short of time to cram everything in. One of the main things that really gripped me about this book was its literally about what’s going on in America today, not a few days or years ago, literally today, right now. This book echos the messages of the Black Lives Matter movement and honestly gives a voice to so many people that experience the effects of police brutality in a way that was utterly unforgettable.

This book hit me in ways that I was not expecting. It made me confront my own feelings about my dear friend’s death (If you really wanna know about that – click this link here.). Many times Starr is riddled with the guilt of not being able to save her friend, I literally felt it. I don’t know if I was really feeling these things because the author did amazing job writing it or because I still have some unresolved hurt and issues surrounding my friend’s death.  Either way, this is a book you are going to feel deep in your heart. I would honestly just grab some popcorn, warm blankets, tissues (just in case) and maybe some wine if you’re of age and spend a day reading this book. It changed me… and hopefully it will change you too. I recommend this book to literally everyone! and I give it a 5/5 Stars! 🙂

What books are you currently reading – share below in the comments (I’m always looking for new books to read!!)

XOXO,

– Tanesha Renae

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Man Crush of the Month: Tavon

Happy November!!! This is one of my favorite months – not just because of Thanksgiving but because Tavon is our Man Crush of the Month! He is such a sweet guy, I really adore him so much. He is a single, 23-year-old from Warner Robins, Georgia. He absolutely loves being a dad! He also loves to cook and do spoken word. He also is a huge sneaker head and is addicted to shoe-shopping. Something that is interesting about Tavon is that he is a Chef, owns multiple businesses and is a movie junkie!

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How would you describe your personality in three words?

Giving, Goofy, Spontaneous

Which do you prefer to listen to your heart or your brain? Why?

My heart. Your brain doesn’t have that “instinct” to judge personal situations.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Fantasia – Country, Thick and Chocolate.

Who do you think should make the first move – males or females? Why?

I’m from the Deep South – where chivalry is extremely serious at least to me. So, males should make the first move in my opinion.

What’s the longest relationship you’ve been in? What did you learn?

6 years, sometimes it’s just best to walk away and not force things. Forcing something leads to resentment.

What motivational words would you tell someone on the come-up?

It’s not gonna be easy, but keep God first and push through.

What’s the most awkward date that you’ve been on?

I didn’t know she had a boyfriend, but we ran into him on our date. And she didn’t know her boyfriend had a boyfriend who happened to also be on a date. It was weird.

Where do you se yourself in the next five years?

Married and opening up my 3rd or 4th restaurant and opening up my 2nd or 3rd detailing garage.

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What do you usually do to let a girl know that you are interested in her?

I speak directly to her, Steph Curry at all times.

What is your favorite and least favorite things about yourself?

I love how outgoing I am and I hate how naiver I am (I think everyone is my friend).

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My dad, he taught me how to be a man before he was killed. Then my son, he made me a better man.

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What’s your personal theme song?

Don’t laugh, but it’s Rich Gang – Lifestyle.

What are you lifetime ambitions?

Just to be successful and be the best father I can be.

What are your career goals?

Build something that my family can keep running when I’m gone.

Why do men often overlook the average girl?

The generation we live in glorifies the wrong girl. We don’t know what a real woman is because we overlook them.

Why do guys tend to hide your feelings and not fully express them?

Pride. Simply put, it’ll make you lose out on a lot.

What are your forms of self-care?

I personally lift weights and play with my son.

What are you most afraid of living in today’s society?

Falling by the way-side. Not living up to my expectations or potential.

How do you seize and take advantage of every single day?

Take it one minute at a time. Schedules help you out a lot too.

What do you feel men aren’t recognized enough for?

Being fathers, fathers are automatically looked at as a “no-no.”

What is the most discouraging part about being a man? How do you deal with it?

We’re looked at as something we’re not a times. It’s okay for a guy to feel hurt at times.

What’s one thing you want the world to know about you and who you are?

I’m an educated black man and a full time father. I’ve made mistakes but I am not a bad person.

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Want to connect with Tavon – Here’s his social media:

To check out all of Tavon’s pictures follow his instagram

Tavon’s Adventures Via Snapchat and Via Twitter

Or Add him on Facebook – Tavon James

Everything, Everything: Book Review With Spoilers

 

So, if you don’t know I am one of those crazy people who have to read a book first before going to see a movie. When I saw the commercial for this movie, I immediately wanted to see it ASAP. I was telling my parents that I have to see this movie. And then I found out it was a book first, I literally couldn’t contain my joy. I love books – more than I can explain. Reading has always been a huge part of my life growing up. It makes me sad that I can’t read as much as I used to in high school, but I am trying to get back into the flow of reading.  Anyways! To the book….

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I started this book around 7PM on Thursday night and finished it Friday morning at about 9AM. It is a quick little read – very easy to read and get wrapped up in. There’s pictures and drawings throughout the pages and the main character Madeline is so easy to love. She’s a sweet 17 year old who’s very very very very very sick. So sick, that she has to live in a bubble to protect herself from her triggers. She has been sick her entire life. She loves to read (a girl after my own heart) and loves architecture and all things learning. Her life is pretty “content,” and then Olly moves in next door.

Let me tell you, Maddy and Olly’s interactions will literally have you blushing and remembering how it felt to be that young and in love. The book is so well written that you literally feel the excitement and giddy-ness of meeting a boy. In Maddy’s case, this is her meeting a boy for the very first time. Do you remember when you first started noticing boys (or girls) in a romantic way? I think I remember, in third grade I was in love with this boy named Morgan. Anyways. So Olly basically challenges Maddy in ways unimaginable. He even unintentionally causes her to leave her house for the first time and every time thereafter together. Olly has a great impact on Maddy, in my opinion. This was a great little read for someone who is into Young Adult fiction books and wants to get started reading with a light hearted, coming of age romantic book.

Here come the spoilers part.

I believe that Maddy and Olly going to Hawaii was literally the best thing. Like Olly says (and Maddy reintegrates) that chaos theory says that one little thing changes the course of everything else in a person’s life. I’m glad they went, even though Maddy almost died – had they not run away Maddy probably would’ve never learned the truth: that she’s not sick at all. I believe that what Maddy’s mother did was horrible. Just horrible and selfish. In effort to protect herself from feeling the loss and hurt from losing her husband and son, she literally gave her child this “rare” disease. She literally displays classic symptoms of Muchasuen by Proxy Syndrome. This is a type of child abuse that involves the exaggeration or fabrication of illnesses or symptoms by a primary caretaker. This is a type of mental illness that requires treatment, which the mother towards the end of the books sought.

I somewhat understand why Maddy’s mother did what she did… She just lost two of the loves of her life and the third was gravely sick. I get it, she’s scared… BUT I don’t think it was right for her to contain her daughter in the way that she did. Grief and love for that matter can make a person do crazy things. I do think it was a waste of settlement money from the accident. All that containment equipment, air filters, glass, and decontamination things – waste of money.

Overall I would give this book like 4/5. It was a great, quick little read. However I do wish it went into more detail about the characters after this discovery and more of their lives.

If you’ve read the book (or seen the movie), share below in the comments about your thought?? And If you have any book suggestions – Share those too.

XOXO,

– Tanesha

Drowning & How to Stay Afloat

Hello Beauties, I’ve missed you all so much and I know this blog post is coming to you late and I’m sorry about that. I am entering (well almost done with) my sixth week of my graduate school fellowship!

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About two weeks ago on Tuesday, I became extremely overwhelmed about the upcoming application season, my research project for the fellowship, and all my “adult” responsibilities. I’m not sure why but application season this time has become an extreme source of fear and anxiety. I really want to get into a specific PhD program – like more than anything. And as the time to apply gets closer and closer – I was just feeling so scared. I literally feel like I was drowning in my own created stress.

But I realized that it’s because I am trying to handle too much all at once. I am not superwoman and I don’t know why I try to be either. Its truly baffling. But I came out of that week of stress and figurative drowning knowing a lot more about myself and who I want to be. I realized that as I get older and more advanced in my career that the stress is just going to increase. Also, the way that I am handling the stress now will influence how I handle the future, more intense stress that is bound to show up.

What I need to do is stopping letting these stressors and fears get the best of me. First of all, I refuse to let these stressors and fears cripple or stop me from achieving my goals. Sure, they might cause me to pause for a hot second, but it wont hinder me from getting everything I need to get done, done.

So here are some new ways I am conquering my stress levels especially within the world of academia and I hope that they will help you conquer yours as well.

  1. Get the stress out of your head. This is actually something my mentor suggested here at school. She said, “instead of having all that stress in your head, write it all down. Every little thing that is stressing you out on to the paper. Once its all out of your mind, take a few moments and reflect on the items. Are these things you can change? If they are, change them. If they are tasks, finish them quickly so you won’t have to worry about them any longer.”
  2. Prioritize. One of the main things that helps get my stress when I have a lot to do in check is if I put tasks that need to be done into categories. I normally do three categories: urgent, can wait, postpone. Urgent means the task needs to be done first or within 24 hours. The Can wait category is for things within that week that need to be done, and postpone is for things that can be put off until the following week.
  3. Take breaks. I was told once that for every 55 minutes of work you do, you should take a 10 minute break. I really try to follow this unless I am on a roll in a project. During my breaks, I often go outside to walk my dog or sometimes I’ll watch an episode of my favorite show or just sit there with my eyes closed (just be careful not to fall asleep!). Also with taking breaks, whenever I feel like my stress is bubbling up out of control – I literally stop everything I’m doing and take a few moments just to breathe and relax. This stress is not the end of the world.
  4. Consider the stressors from your past. Thus far, you’ve conquered every stressor and problem thrown your way. You’ve survived every bad day, every bad situation that you thought you would never get out of, every negative interaction – you have conquered them all. I try to always remember that I have overcome a lot of stress and obstacles in the past so this one before me is not going to ruin my record!
  5. Talk it out. Take caution with this tip, but I’ve heard that talking about your stress to someone often helps. However, for me, sometimes when I tell people about my stress I feel like they diminish my problems and that stresses me out more. Find people in your life that you can go to about these stressors and that can help. For example, my grad and faculty mentors at school have been great sounding boards for my stress, but my friends not so much…

I strongly believe that stress is a necessary part of life but that it doesn’t always have to be a negative experience. Sometimes, at least for myself, stress propels me forward into success that I didn’t even imagine before.

You are a strong, stress handling boss and I believe in you! Share below some of your stress handling tips!

Until Next Time,

Tanesha

Man Crush of Month: Charles

This month’s man crush is Charles and it is also his birthday month – so Happy Birthday Charles!!! I met Charles about 3 years ago, during an internship at Stanford University. He’s is one of the sweetest and kind-hearted young man I know. He is a single, 23 years old, from Amelia, Virginia. He works for the Cumberland County School District as a substitute teacher for three different schools. It is there he enjoys outing a smile on the faces of the next generation of workers and scholars. He is also the head coach for both the Varsity Wrestling Team and Varsity Boys’ Soccer Team. However, this is not Charles’ end goal – he plans on becoming a high school guidance counselor at a rural community high school. During his free time, Charles likes to play video games to unwind and watch professional wrestling shows. He is about to begin a training program that might allow him to make it into the larger professional company of WWE. A fun fact about Charles is that in his younger days, he was called an Oreo until he began attending college and truly discovered the meaning of Black Culture.

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How would you describe your personality in three words?

I’m a Paradox

 

Which do you prefer to listen to your heart or your brain? Why?

My heart. I’m a hopeless romantic so sometimes, the heart knows best what the brain does not.

 

Who is your celebrity crush?

Candice Patton

 

Who do you think should make the first move males or females? Why?

I don’t feel like the first move should be classified under either sex. Sometimes a woman will see what a man cannot when they first see a man and it’s the same with men – sometimes we see something before a woman will. So really either sex can make the first move and it’s deemed alright.

 

What’s the longest relationship you’ve been in? What did you learn?

Three years. That people grow and sometimes that means they grow out of the person you fell in love with.

 

What motivational words would you tell someone on the come-up?

Always believe in yourself because when you start to make it, the people who pushed you will become the people that will try to pull you back down.

 

What’s the most awkward date that you’ve ever been on?

Haven’t been on a date so I don’t even know.

 

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

In five years, I’m either wrestling professional or working in someone’s high school making a difference in a child’s life. Hopefully, I’m engaged or married and waiting for the right time to have our first child.

 

What do you usually do to let a girl know that you are interested in her?

I tell them, “Hey I am interested in you and I was wondering can we get to know each other better?”

 

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about yourself?

My favorite thing is my commitment to whatever goal I set before myself to get it done. My least favorite thing is my height, I just want two more inches so I can date and not have to worry about a young lady being taller than me in her heels.

 

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My mother.

What’s your personal theme song?

Rose Golden by Kid Cudi feature Willow Smith

 

What are your lifetime ambitions?

To have a family and be one of the greatest fathers and husbands to ever be imagined.

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What are your career goals?

To be a high school guidance counselor in a rural high school

 

How are you changing the world?

By giving even the worst labeled students a chance at a better life and believing in them.

 

What’s one thing you want the world to know about you and who you are?

I’m just a blunt honest Black man, who is a hopeless romantic that just wants to love and cherish the people in my life.

 

Why do men often overlook the average girl?

Because men want more. A man will always want to find the best as a trophy to show everyone and say “hey this is mine – look but never touch it.”

 

What are you most afraid of living in today’s society?

Jesus coming back before I can start a family.

 

How do you seize and take advantage of every single day?

By waking up and just trying

 

What do you feel men aren’t recognized enough for?

For caring for someone openly.

 

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Want to connect with Charles – Here’s his social media:

To check out all of Charles’ pictures follow his instagram

Charles’ Adventures Via Snapchat and Via Twitter

Or Add him on Facebook – Charles Franklin Taylor Jr

Man Crush of the Month: Trajuan

Happy Labor Day And The First Monday of September 2017! Can you believe we’re about to enter the last quarter of the year (well in October)? This year has literally flown by! Anyways, it is my pleasure to introduce September’s Man Crush of the Month: Trajuan Briggs.  He is an educator on the football field and in life. He coaches football at the University of New Mexico and is also pursuing his Masters in Sports Administration. He loves to read books to grow mentally and spiritually as well as go out to bowl. The only thing he believes is unique about him, is his mother is Nikywa Prevost – he states, “No one else in life can say that.”

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How would you describe your personality in three words?

Bowl Of Gumbo.

Which do you prefer to listen to your heart or your brain? Why?

Heart: I personally feel the brain will tell you what you want to hear. Your heart gives you that punch in the Soul if you know you’re doing something wrong and cannot dodge it.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Amerie… Can y’all tweet her this? I feel like we can be great in life together

Who do you think should make the first move males or females? Why?

Both. If you find interest & want to know that person get off your high horse and get your boots muddy

What’s the longest relationship you’ve been in? What did you learn?

1 1/2 years. If she says no she don’t want anything to drink or eat…. Buy her something anyway.

What motivational words would you tell someone on the come-up?

Life is full of stepping stones. Don’t be content in the now when you know there’s more to come across in the future.

What’s the most awkward date that you’ve ever been on?

The one where my date’s mamma invited her date inside but mine left me hanging at the door. No more double dates.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Coaching College football and helping guys realize you can be an All-American on the field and in the CLASSROOM

What do you usually do to let a girl know that you are interested in her?

Text her “Hey Big Head”

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about yourself?

Favorite: I never take life too seriously

Least favorite: I don’t take life seriously enough lol

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My little sister. Has really turned my mental around about having kids, treating women, and reevaluating my purpose.

What are your lifetime ambitions?

Be the best son, father, and husband that’s ever walked this Earth.

Why do men often look over the average girl?

What’s an average girl? Every woman is special in her own way whether it’s negative or positive. Don’t put yourself on a scale.

Why do guys tend to hide your feelings and not fully express them?

I can only speak for myself. Men don’t like to seem weak or if they are needy for affection. Plus personally I get weird around emotions being thrown out there it’s just like “ok well what now?”

What do guys do to make them feel better after a long day? What are your forms of self-care?

Watch ESPN or read. I can’t speak for everyone.

What are you most afraid of living in today’s society?

Having to whoop some young kids ass for breaking my sister’s heart… Kids be cold against they elders these days

How do you seize and take advantage of every single day? 

Ask myself all the time “What is your WHY?” You keep that in mind the things you dread doing to make you better become worthwhile.

What do you feel men aren’t recognized enough for?

Actually TRYING.

What’s the most discouraging part about being a man? How do you deal with it?

Well for me I played college football, I’m a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and I’m a black man with a beard. So from the jump, the identification of being heartless, a player, and someone not to be taken seriously is irritating as hell. I’m no angel nor the most innocent but I can’t stand judgment off the jump.

How are you changing the world?

Letting others know that they can make the change. Can’t do it by yourself so why not teach others in return?

What’s one thing you want the world to know about you and who you are?

I’m not Fijian lol. I’m a black man so stop asking what I’m mixed with.

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Want to connect with Trajuan – Here’s his social media:

To check out all of Trajuan’s Pictures follow his Instagram

And to check out his adventures – check out his twitter

Tanesha’s Guide To Back To School (Tips & Tricks)

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I don’t know about you, but I am super excited for this new school year! Not only am I in an amazing grad program, I am able to get back to my first true love: learning (in school)! For some, I know a new school year causes a lot of anxiety because you want to be organized and want to start the new year off on the right foot! I would like to say that I am generally a SUPER organized person, at least when it comes to school work. I am going to share some of my best tips and tricks!

  1. Time Management is the MAJOR KEY to success! I attribute all my success in undergrad at Hampton University to having great time management! I wrote about time management before on the blog (click here). But I wanted to recap and add some other things I’ve learned since this post.
    1. Set A Schedule (and stick with it!). There is literally no point in putting together the perfect schedule if you don’t follow it or if you don’t put everything in it. I personally like to use my iPhone calendar because it syncs across all platforms. I have multiple calendars going at once. For example some of my calendars include: Tanesha’s Calendar (for events), Pittsburgh things (for school), Family Calendar, Ladies&Co Calendar, Renae’s Calendar Schedule, and even one for birthdays!
    2. USE A PLANNER. It really doesn’t matter if your planner is digital or an old-fashioned handwritten one. It helps to have a planner so you don’t forget assignments. No matter how amazing you say your memory is, be sure to write down assignments and things you need to do. Not only will this keep your organized but it will help to physically see all the things you need to do. I used to put my assignments in my phone calendar but it began to get to cluttered, which is why I switched to this system. However what I will do is schedule time to study/do homework on the calendar which would be based on my assignments/things to do in my planner. Get it?
    3. Self-care and Rest are apart of your schedule! You cannot run on empty you must set aside time to just relax and get yourself together. If you are running at 100% all the time, your body will literally give out on you. Trust me, mine has done it before. Your body giving out might be you getting sick a lot more, headaches or fatigue. Everyone is different – some people need just one day a week, while others need a little time everyday. Listen and care for your body! Just be sure to have a good balance of being productive and taking care of yourself. Also, during this self-care time – be sure to set aside time to work on the things you’re interested in. Work on knitting, video games, blogging, vlogging, etc.
  2. Take Effective Notes! For me, I like to take physical notes in class and then as a study method I go back and TYPE my notes on Microsoft Word or Microsoft OneNote. When I type my notes, I use the textbooks to supplement my notes and fill in any gaps or things that I wasn’t understanding. When I am writing my handwritten notes in the margin I often write questions and if I don’t ask the teacher, I will use my textbook/google to find the answer and put it in my TYPED notes. But I suggest you use a note system that works for you! For me, Microsoft OneNote has literally become my lifeline! I absolutely love that I can use it across multiple platforms: my MacBook, my iPad, and my iPhone. Especially if I want to study on the go or on the bus, I don’t have to whip out the huge laptop. Just a little tip tho, make sure you are paying attention in class and taking really great notes! This will make studying a breeze!
  3. Make an assignment check sheet. What I do when I first get all my syllabi, I like to write down all my assignments in Microsoft Excel (or Microsoft Word) and sort them by due date order. So I normally make a table with Assignment Name, Course, Points (or the percentage it’s worth), and Due dates. I then print out the list and put it in my planner and remember to makeGo thru your syllabi and write down all your assignments in excel, then sort by date! Mark off as you go so you can see your accomplishments!

I think that is it! If you have any questions or even have some tips of your own – Share below in the comments! I would love to see your tips too!

XOXO,

– Tanesha Renae

Growth.

Growth.

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The crazy thing about growth is that it is almost inevitable. There are very few things in life that stay exactly the same from birth till death and most of them aren’t even alive. August it’s the eighth month and I’ve heard that means it’s the month of new beginnings. I’ve seen so many posts about I’m ready to grow, this month is going to be all about growth, growing and glowing, etc.

However, I haven’t seen very many posts about people being ready to be stretched in in unimaginable ways or being uncomfortable for seasons (not just one but for multiple seasons). In your season of growth you may have to let go of some things that you have been holding onto you so that you’ll be able to grow. These are things such as friendships, relationships, outdated goals and even your comfort zone. Holding onto a negative relationship or friendship stunts your growth. You won’t be able to grow in the way that you need to by holding onto what you want – you need both hands to be open to accept this newfound growth.

I think about a flower, if the flower is in a bad environment it won’t bloom. This is the same for you if you’re in a bad environment or surrounded by bad things or people you won’t be able to bloom to your fullest potential . Sure you might grow a little but it’ll never be as much as you could’ve. The conditions have to be just right for that flower to bloom, and even then the little seed is stretched and expanding in ways that were previously unforeseen. You could even think about a little caterpillar in the same way.

I have personally just came out of what I believe to be a tremendous season of growth. Growth seemed cool until I was actually going through it. I’m not gonna lie and say that my season of growth was perfect. I was praying for God to grow me in “tremendous ways,” but when I was actually being stretched and growing – I was low-key miserable. I was upset and I felt like things were not getting better and that my situation was actually getting worse. But as soon as I accepted the fact that this was a type of growing pain, things started to change for me. My outlook on the situation changed immensely. I started looking for things to push me more outside of my comfort zone than I already was. I figured since I’m already out of this box I might as well keep going.

The hardest part was actually realizing that this season of growth was not going to kill me. As much as it hurt, as uncomfortable I was, as unhappy I was – THIS WAS NOT GOING TO KILL ME. I think once I realized that I wasn’t going to die things started to turn around for me. I really had to realize that some of the best things are born of the struggle. And honestly if I had been given them, the first time I even asked for them – I wouldn’t have been appreciative of it. I would have just looked at it just another thing.

Basically to summarize, if you are looking to grow, be prepared for the growing pains that come with them.

Are there some areas in your life that you are looking to grow in?? What are they? Share below in the comments! I would love to hear about them!

XOXO,

– Tanesha Renae

Tanesha, What Happened??

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Okay y’all, so I know with the last life update I said I was going to do better with posting And then I barely did any better! I promise this time I am really going to get better with this! I have already started scheduling out posts! (If I don’t get better, send me an email and yell at me. Well don’t really yell because I’m sensitive).

I am so so sorry, but sometimes life happens! Good news is I got accepted into this wonderful, incredible, magnificent Post-Baccularaute/ Graduate School Fellowship! Basically I had a little less than a month to get everything ready and together for me to move to *drum roll* Pittsburgh! So basically I moved 7 hours away from my home and family to embark on this wonderful (yet scary) adventure.

If I were to tell you that I was not feeling any anxiety about this, I would be lying to you! Moving out has been more difficult than I gave it credit for. Not only is moving physically exhausting (like I never want to move again, ever!), but its also mentally exhausting for me. I wanted nothing more for over a year to be able to move out into my own apartment away from my parents. But, the reality of it is I am very lonely without them. I really thought I was ready, however, my emotions proved that was lie.

I am slowly getting adjusted to being on my own though, and it is proving to great. It takes time to get used to new things. But if I would’ve waited until I felt I was ready to do anything, I would still be standing on the side of the pool and never would have jumped in.

If you are waiting to do something, this is your sign to just do it! Apply for that job, reach out to that old friend, look into grad school programs that you consider to be out of your league, shot your shoot with someone you’re interested in! JUST DO IT. The results will astound you. You owe it yourself to at least try. I am rooting for you!

Talk to you soon.

XOXO,

– Tanesha Renae

Man Crush of the Month: Tra’von Armond

August is my favorite month of the year! The weather starts to break and it is not awfully hot anymore. It is also my pleasure and honor to introduce this month’s man crush Tra’Von Armond Williams or Tra’Von Armond formerly “Traykash.” I first met Tra’Von during Honors Visitation Weekend at Hampton University in 2011 and it has truly been an honor to watch him flourish. He was literally the Big Man on Campus that everyone wanted to either be like or get to know. He’s 22 years old from Columbia, South Carolina. He’s taken (sorry ladies)! Tra’Von Armond is an brand manager, and entertainment connoisseur who is passionate about elevating artistic talents into professional careers. He is involved in assisting talent with the necessary backing in order to propel their brands to higher levels. He has also worked with television and radio networks, and small businesses, which all provided the much needed experience that lead him to collaborate with several notable companies on an array of marketing campaigns to include Revolt TV, and Atlantic Records. With his charismatic personality, humble nature, and determined mentality he is sure to “shake the industry.”

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Now on the rest of the interview!

Do you have any interesting fun facts about yourself?

As a kid, I enjoyed watching shows like Dragon Ball Z, The Crocodile Hunter, 106 & Park.

How would you describe your personality in three words?

Personable, Understanding, Motivated

Which do you prefer to listen to your heart or your brain? Why?

I prefer to listen to my heart. I believe that God speaks to us through our hearts, and not our minds.

Who is your celebrity crush?

She was on one side of the screen and I was on the couch, and ever since we laid eyes while I watching ATL, Lauryn London has been my lady. Of course she doesn’t know this special moment, but I remember it just like yesterday !

Who do you think should make the first move males or females? Why?

I think men should make the first move. If a man and woman are both in the same room, and the man doesn’t make the first move, it simply means he isn’t as interested as he could be.

What’s the longest relationship you’ve been in? What did you learn?

The longest relationship I been in wasn’t consistent but it lasted off and on for over six years. Through my mistakes, I learned how to be a man and not a boy.

What motivational words would you tell someone on the come-up?

My favorite quote is, “Don’t complain about how much is on your plate, when your goal was to eat.” I use this because we oftentimes want to reach success, however we sometimes fail to realize with on our journey towards success the roads can become overwhelming.

What’s the most awkward date that you’ve ever been on?

Ha, I’m an awkward person, so a typical awkward date in my eyes was a very normal one.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

In the next five years I see myself finishing all of my professional schooling, and beginning to live out all of my dreams.

What do you usually do to let a girl know that you are interested in her?

Not to sound like a creep but I try to be in the same environment as her as much as possible without acknowledging her. I promise not a stalker lol, maybe this answer did not come out the way I intended it to !

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about yourself?

My favorite thing about myself is that how determined I am, and my least favorite is that I oftentimes care what people think of me.

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

Behind God and my mother of course, the most influential person in my life is Sean P.Diddy Combs. I admire his work ethic, his own determination and his success.

What’s your personal theme song?

My personal theme song is Hustler Musik – Lil Wayne

What are your lifetime ambitions?

One day I want to be able to impact the world on a global level. It would be amazing to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

What are your career goals?

Honestly, I want to either be a CEO of Universal Music Group or Viacom, and I wont stop until I make it.

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Why do guys tend to hide your feelings and not fully express them?

Guys are conditioned to not show feelings or show their emotions because society deems that as not being masculine enough.

What do guys do to make them feel better after a long day? What are your forms of self-care?

I can’t speak for every man but I know for me SLEEP is everything. I feel much better after a good nap.

What are you most afraid of living in today’s society?

A Trump society, literally !

How do you seize and take advantage of every single day?

I seize and take advantage of every single day through organization. Recently I purchased this black journal from Office Depot. This journal serves as an organizational tool providing a place to jot down my “to-do list”, notes, ideas, and biblical inspirational quotes.

What’s the most discouraging part about being a man? How do you deal with it?

The most discouraging part about being a man is the burden of trying to fulfill societal expectations of being a good man.

How are you changing the world?

I believe I am changing the world by giving young men a proper role model to admire and strive to be greater than.

What’s one thing you want the world to know about you and who you are?

I want the world to know, that if you get a chance to get to know me, I am not the person you may have heard about. Get to know me for me, and not for what you have heard. I promise you will not regret it !

Do you have a brand? Share what it’s purpose, mission and goals here –

Well you guys are the first to hear it but I am in the process of rebranding from “TrayKash” to Tra’VonArmond. Still stay #PluggedIn for what’s to come. I am still the same me, just the documentary from a different angle. Meanwhile you can follow me @Tra’VonArmond ( I think this article will release after the big switch)

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Want to connect with Tra’Von – Here’s his social media:

To check out all of Tra’Von’s Pictures follow his Instagram

Tra’von’s Adventures via Twitter or Snapchat

Check Him Out on Facebook

travonarmond.com COMING SOON

The Armond Foundation a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization COMING SOON