I can't believe it has been so long since I've updated the blog! This is really unlike me, and I don't like it one bit! I haven't written a blog post here or anywhere else (gasp) in about two weeks. Even before that, I was only updating about once a week. And for that, I'm sorry. I know many of you look to my blog as a resource for thoughtful, honest, and helpful content about natural and transitioning hair. For that, I am grateful.
Please don't abandon me!
The truth is, I've been super busy because God has been blessing me immensely in the career department. I know I don't really talk too much about what I do outside of the blogosphere, but I wanted to give you guys a sneak peek into Christina Patrice beyond The Mane Objective.
Let's do a little rewind. Back in 2011, I made a return to my alma mater to become the full-time director of a non-profit program aimed at helping at-risk youth pursue higher education. I loved every minute of the work (even if some of the office politics got on my last nerve). My heart was filled as I laid the foundation for my staff to be able to engage and support youth across Inglewood and Hawthorne. But then reality set in around November/December 2013: I was on a contract. A contract that was expiring in July 2014. What the heck was I going to do? Pursue another program management-style position? Try to go back to school (which I am absolutely dreading)?
At the same time, things for The Mane Objective were really taking off. The pageviews were rolling in, I got accepted to the Glam Contributor program (from which I had been rejected at least 3 times prior lol), I was creating content like crazy for Black Girl with Long Hair and NaturallyCurly.com, companies were knocking on my door for collaborations, and more. I started doing math in my head (not the best idea, FYI) around my bills and saving goals, and figured that if all else failed, I just might be able to make it as a full-time blogger. So as my contract at UCLA was coming to an end, I focused almost all of my energy on creating content and being about that blogger life. I applied for jobs here and there, but my heart wasn't in the process.
Once July hit, I was nervous and a little afraid. What the hell had I just done? Can I really do nothing else but blog for the rest of my life? Was that even a thing that people did (and not just pretended to do for the 'gram)? For the first 3 months, I was good. I absolutely loved being in charge of my own schedule, writing whenever the creative muses took hold of me, having fun on social media, and more. Then I began feeling run low around month 4. Blogging full-time had lost its appeal. It began feeling forced as opposed to fun. Watching waves and waves of "natural hair bloggers" crop up out of nowhere began to irk my nerves for some reason. Seeing people take my style (and sometimes my content too) without credit started making my left eye twitch.
I wanted out. I needed out. I felt myself taking blogging too seriously, and it was becoming a source of anxiety instead of a creative outlet. At the same time, my investment in understanding social media began to blossom. Analytics became my new best friend. Instead of looking at the who of blogging, I started focusing on the what, when, where, why, and how. And oddly, it was fun. So I kept at it, kept blogging, and started applying for jobs in a completely different career direction: content creation and social media strategy.
It was scary, intimidating, and didn't go over too well with those closest to me. Could I really change careers so drastically? Would anybody take me seriously enough to give me the chance? Am I gonna make enough money? Lawwwwd, what about my bills?!? Luckily, there was a solution for all my nervous uncertainty: prayer. I began praying about this new direction. I talked to God, and asked for peace. I wanted to ask him for a lot more -- a job, money, a sign, a sneak peek at His plans for me...but I know that He's not my cosmic wish-granting fairy Godfather. Many of us have committed Philippians 4:6 to memory, but didn't bother going on to verse 7. Verse 7 doesn't say that God will grant us everything we want, but rather that our hearts and minds will be guarded with His peace that surpasses all understanding. Knowing that, I could only ask for peace and for my own faith to be strengthened in this process.
Let's be clear: none of this means that I didn't worry, or grow concerned, cry, doubt myself, or want to quit and slide back into my comfort zone (education/program management). But when I tell you that every single time I fixed my mouth to complain, God came through...believe me. Whenever bill time was coming up and I thought I'd be short, He pushed through one or two (and sometimes three) sponsored opportunities. When I got frustrated as all heck and started doubting Him, I backslid into what I have a bad habit of doing -- thinking I know more about what's better for me than God does. I started trying to strong-arm situations, started trying to bend His plans to my will. I even started applying for jobs only in my comfort zone areas, and guess what? I haven't heard back from a single one of them to this day.
But when I finally snapped back to reality and realized that He had set me on a certain path, the friggin' floodgates opened. I mean so much blessing that I've literally and figuratively run out of room enough to receive it. Since March, I've been offered 3 contracts to work with clients in developing and executing their social strategy, forged a long-term partnership with a brand, and got offered a job with a digital marketing agency in Southern California.
All. Without. A. Background. In. Marketing.
If that ain't God's favor, I don't know what is.
This post may be getting long and a little preachy, but I can't come this far and not give God His proper dues. I also wanted to do more than the run-of-the-mill "sorry guys I been busy with life, but good things are happening" post. Most of all, I wanted to be an encouragement to those of you who still stop by my blog, share my content, comment, follow, and engage with me on social media.
With God on your side, you can do anything. He will open doors you never thought possible, and take you places you didn't ever think you could go. All you have to do is be open and available. My pastor said something nearly a year ago about God using people who are "unqualified but available" to fulfill his work.
I'm a living, breathing, 2015 testament to that word.
Stay blessed, be encouraged, and talk to me in the comments section! I missed you guys!