June 29, 2019

shirts courtesy of https://www.blacknurseskillingit.com/

It became official on June 27, 2019! I'm now Nurse Cicely, LPN! I passed the NCLEX-PN in 85 questions and on the first attempt. I am also completing my first 2 weeks working at my first job as a Nurse in a Dermatology office. I truly enjoy what I'm doing and everything still seems unreal.

work attire

And because y'all KNOW I'm an overachiever, I was accepted into WKU's LPN to RN program and will begin class July 8 and then I'm slated for grad August 2020. Then, I plan to start my MSN program Spring 2021 at my 1st choice Northern Kentucky University or pending wherever I may live/want to live at the time.

It's still so surreal. This degree came through blood, sweat, and tears. I remember being at Dillard's contemplating the direction of my life and finally deciding to finish what I start. I remember a year ago being told I was being to put to part-time at Cos Bar and wondering how in the hell I was going to pay my bills! Remembering that at that point I promised myself I would never work in retail cosmetics full time again and that I was going to finish this damn degree and the next two degrees by any means necessary. Here I stand a year after deciding that my days giving myself full time to jobs that didn't value me were over and I can now get a job almost anywhere.

I try not to downplay the things I have been through because usually when I get THROUGH them and TO the other side I am just so relieved to be done that I don't want to reflect on the shit I dealt with to get there. But it deserves to be recognized and celebrated!

What I Lost:
A crumbling relationship
good credit score (because I didn't work full time for 6 months)
lots of sleep
my social life
time with my son
almost my sanity lol

What I gained:
the ability to work in my dream career
the ability to be the sole financial provider for me and Liam
rebuilding my financial stability and credit
the ability to move/work almost anywhere
a renewed sense of purpose
the reassurance that I truly CAN do anything
the confirmation that I'm on the right path in all areas
more confidence in myself and my abilities
a Nursing license!!! (1/4 hurdles to get to my end goal of being a Nurse practitioner with a DNP)

the smile you have when life ain't perfect, but it's worth it

So it continues...Cicely, RN loading :)

Until again,
Bougie Beauty Babe

Through the Fire...Almost Nurse Cicely

May 1, 2019

photo by: Amani Nichae

These last 16 weeks of my life have been hell! I tried to summarize them in a lighter tone, but there is none! Not a one. Med Surg I & II kicked my ass up and down the classroom. By the time finals came around in both classes, my grade was teetering on the edge of glory. That one last test stood between me and the rest of my life. It was by the grace of God and points for difficulty that I am standing here now.

I can say as of today May 1, 2019, only the NCLEX-PN stands in my way of true Nurse Cicely glory. I can NOT formulate the words to express how relieved, emotional, elated, proud, happy, excited, invigorated I feel.

Life has been tough lately. I recently saw a post on a friend's IG that talked about an episode of Grey's Anatomy where she stressed the importance of having people. We ALL need people, we were not meant to navigate this world alone and that struck a chord within me. While as I single Mom I shoulder the brunt of the work, my parents, my grandparents, my siblings, my friends, Liam's babysitter and so many other people that know and love us HELP. Luckily, since Liam has been in ABA therapy life with Autism has been so much smoother, but it's not always easy. I thank God for all the wonderful people that love and accept Liam just how he is. Despite and maybe because of Autism, he is a quirky, fun, smart, charming ray of light in my life and in the lives of others.

Without their help, this is NO WAY I could have done it. There is no way things could be as amazing as they are now. I have an amazing village of people. So many people tell me that I inspire them without knowing that a lot of the time without their encouragement, listening and just rooting for me that I don't always feel like DOING IT! My classmates, coworkers, former coworkers, instructors, clinical instructors, family friends, the man I've been seeing, family, Liam, my closest friends have ALL been pulling for me and pushing me when I didn't know if I had any more in me.

I got so mentally and physically exhausted sometimes. I got overwhelmed. I got frustrated. Nursing school pushed me to the limits and without my tribe, I truly don't know how I would have made it! Here I am still standing.

I did my practicum (final clinical rotation) in the Brain Injury unit of Cardinal Hill which was a complete deviation from what I originally picked, but it really worked out for the best. I got to have a pretty awesome preceptor and meet some wonderful patients and reconnect with some former classmates. So while women's health is still my passion, I certainly learned a lot and have a newfound respect for the nurses and techs in BIU.

I really can't believe the 2nd chapter of my Nursing school journey is coming to a close and it's still surreal to know that May 3, 2019 (about 6 years to the time when I originally started my RN journey) I will be a Nursing school graduate. It's wild.

#IssaNurse photo by: Amani Nichae

Vibrating Higher - The Art of Leveling Up

February 25, 2019

Working from within, glowing from within

Thanks to Ciara, the phrase "Level Up" is back full force in our daily vernacular and her message couldn't possibly be more timely in my own life. I took a cold, hard look at my 2018 and said "Biiiihhhhhh, you gots ta do better". I have always worked hard towards my goals and even when I have fallen short, I have always been one to find the silver lining in my mishaps. 

2018 was a year filled with lots of Ls. The majority of them were personal. At the close of 2018 "I said self, we are going to do things differently. We are going to get our shit together this year and come for everything you've ever dreamt of and more. From now on, it's go-mode towards my wildest dreams" 

Leveling up to me means being more positive and optimistic, being the best mom to Liam I can be and also elevating myself to the highest vibration I can. All of these things are something I have to work on daily. At 31, I am finally in a place where I am investing in and working on myself on a regular basis. I want to share with you some of the practices I believe are essential to propelling  forward and vibrating on a higher level: 

1) EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) - I was introduced to the Tapping Wizard, Brad Yates via a friend back in 2015 via YouTube. I had heard of tapping, but it was never really on my radar. I use it daily to get myself in a positive and receptive mindset. If you don't know what EFT is, it is a technique used to balance your energy system. You literally tap on pressure points in your body with or without repeating mantras that clear blocks and elevate your spiritual vibrations. YouTube Brad Yates. There are many gurus and professionals out there, but I have grown accustomed to Brad and his style and had the chance to see and tap with him live in Cincinnati, OH in October 2018 with my friend Kristin. 

2) Workout/Physical activity - there is no better way to look, feel and be better than to work and work out your body. Since being back in organized workouts these past two weeks, I feel so much better. I am not as fatigued and emotionally I feel light and more positive. Those are all wins in my book. I said this semester that I would make the effort to workout to help with my mood, fatigue and memory/retention of material. 

3) Personal development - this can take many forms. This can be as simple as reading a book that teaches you about your personality type, taking a course on Psychology, learning how to love better, how to and self-help books, you name it. There is no wrong way to engage in personal development, I strive to learn something new and non-Nursing related daily. My most recent endeavor was to take a 6-week course from relationship coach Crystal Irom called Magnetize Your Match. It was an amazing experience and I got to dive into a lot of deep self-work and truly make some progress towards one of my prominent goals this year: meet my life partner, husband and future father of my kids and Dad to Liam. For more information on that program, click here  Crystal Irom Relationship Coach

4) Self-care - I love this topic so much I wrote a guest blog post on it here: SELF LOVE SERIES: TIPS ON SELF CARE. I truly think caring for your self is the crux of being able to be the best version of yourself and also in being able to level up. Being full is important so that you can pour into others.

5) Embrace, indulge and participate in your hobbies. For me, that meant this year choosing to be 1/3 of 2 other amazing women co-hosting a newly founded podcast: #MTG the podcast. It is such an amazing experience and I'm so glad I get to share this with Danielle & Brittany. I also started working out again and I have returned to my blog. I am taking time to do things I love and that makes my spirit happy. 

I recognize that leveling up looks different for everyone, but the aforementioned items are what works for me. I don't have everything figured out, but I truly believe when you put your self in the space to grow and allow for mistakes. Thanks so much for sticking with me guys. 

Until again,
Bougie Beauty Babe

31 Lessons in 31 Years/31 Thangs About Me

February 1, 2019

When you grown. Photo by: Erica Lee Photography (2018)/ MUA: Makeup by Kristin Gray 

My favorite national holiday has circled back around another year: my birthday! I saw a post on ScaryMommy.com that inspired this blog and title. I wanted to share 31 truths I've learned in my 31 trips around the sun and mix in some fun facts about me. 

31. I can do bad all by myself.

30. "What you seek is seeking you" - Rumi

29.  Nothing happens before it's time. This is such a hard lesson to accept. But as I get older, I am more at ease. 

28. Quality ALWAYS outweighs quantity of friends. I have some of the best people in my circle and it is only a select few. 

27. "To thine ownself be true" - that sums it up for itself

26. A "no" doesn't mean forever, it just means right now. Be open and receptive to other options and possibilities you weren't considering. 

25. Nothing can ever happen if you don't take a chance. The older I get, the more hesitant I have become about making exciting, new, promising decisions. This was not a problem in my youth. I chalk that up to being a single mom in a single income household and bearing the brunt of the responsibility. What I have learned thus far in my womanhood/motherhood journey is that what works for me is usually what will work for Liam. If I can see the benefit for me and us as a family, then that's the green light. My parenting goal in this life is to raise a child/children who don't have to get therapy to recover from childhood trauma and to be present in my children's life. 

24. I have a secret desire to own a mini farm lol. I want a cow, about 3 dogs, 2 cats, chickens, a garden and a good size house on about 5 acres. Now, I don't know how to farm or garden, but I'm willing to learn lol. 

23. Motherhood for me has been one of THE most stressful, fulfilling and life-changing adventures and aside from having more money, there is absolutely nothing I would change.  

22. I used to have constant anxiety about providing for myself and my son, but EVERY TIME things work out for the best. "Won't He do it?!"

21. My favorite color is Cerulean.

20. I was born on a Monday.

19. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk is my absolute favorite foundation (My color is #10 if anyone is feeling gifty lol).

18. I prefer lipgloss to lipstick, but love them both.

17. I am NOT a cat person, but my pound cat (got her from Lexington Human Society) Luna is my pride and joy lol.

16. My mama is one of my favorite people in this world. (That don't mean I don't love my Daddy because I certainly do)

photo by Christina Terrano/ HMUA: me

15. I know with certainty in my heart that I will meet my soulmate/life partner this year. Don't ask me how I know, but I do.

14. I'm intuitive and as I like to joke, ALMOST psychic. I have a way of sensing/feeling things that I usually can't explain. I am an ENFJ personality.

13. Liam was on my short list of baby names and when I saw him for the first time, I knew the name I picked fit perfectly.

12. This is year 10 for me as a single mom. I'm a whole decade deep!

11. I've never been married, but come close...

10. I believe working on yourself is key to getting better in all aspects and to helping those around you.

9. A dream/goal of mine is to have my own talk show a la Oprah meets Ricki Lake with a dash of Cardi B lol

8. Nursing is a 2nd career for me.

7. I'm a candle junkie. I love candles. Check out www.hausofhoodoo.com and www.poshcandleco.com

6. I like to surround myself with positivity and flowers (I often by myself flowers)

5. Outside of childhood, I've only had two good Valentine's Days. But this year that will change (because I'm taking matters into my own hands)

4. I recorded my previous weight loss journey on Youtube...it's still up for you to see lol

3. There are very few people you can rely on in life. The ones you can, be sure to cherish and honor them while you have the chance. 

2. Be thankful/grateful every day. A positive mindset and outlook always spawn positive actions in your life. This is NON-negotiable. 

1. No love compares to the love you should/need to have for yourself. You have to love you first to love anyone else. That doesn't mean that you won't have your bad days and days of doubt, but you need to know that you are a BAMF all day erryday. Okuurrrrrrr? *Cardi*

photo by: Christina Terrano/HMUA: me

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