Life in NY: These Trains Scare Me

Hey Everyone! I hope your Friday is going awesome.

Before I talk about how these trains scare me, let me say that I love taking the train. I used to drive everywhere in Chicago, and that just became a drag after a while. But, riding the train is fun, because I get to explore, zone out (when needed), people watch (because, that’s always fun), think about life, pray, and all the cool things that come with being chauffeured around the city. Well, it’s not really being chauffeured, but you get my drift.

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entrepreneur + story: Altrichia Cook, How Her Desire to Create a Swimsuit to Fit Her Body Type, Led to an Entire Collection & NYFW Runway

Name: Altrichia Cook
Occupation: Founder/Creator, Allusions by A. Lekay Swimwear

A mother at 18, I have learned to appreciate my life’s journey so far.  I raised my son, worked two jobs and maintained full time student status at Florida State University for my Bachelor’s and Florida A&M University for my Master’s degrees- all because of determination! I had a lot of sleepless nights, even times where I literally cried myself to sleep. Life is not easy, and those who seem to have an easy life are constantly working and creating ways to expand. All in a short amount of time, Altrichia started her swimwear collection and landed an NYFW runway two years in a row.

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I Woke Up Like This: Am I Living Out My Dreams?

Wednesday morning (10/22) felt quite peculiar. My alarm went off at 7a.m., but I felt super groggy, so I hit snooze. It was really me against my body. Unfortunately, my body won the war, and I fell back asleep. The second time I woke up, it was 9:50a.m. This is extremely late for me to wake up. By this time, I felt like I had slept half the day already.

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Life in New York: Is it Really Dirty?

What is life like in New York? How are things going? How is your book doing? I get asked these questions pretty often by friends and family.

The one question that I really hear a lot is: Is it dirty in New York? Sometimes I think people, who have not visited NY think it’s one big trash can, full of rats…but I digress.

Life in New York is a constant transition, but an exciting one. I have always been a lover of the fast- paced city life. Bright lights, exciting events to go to, just a good time all the time.

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Howard University’s Homecoming Was a Total Culture Shock…in a Good Way

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Me: Far left. That cool guy is my cousin, and those lovely ladies are HU alum.

This weekend I took a trip to Washington, DC to visit my cousin and partake in the Howard University Homecoming festivities. I’ve been out of college for about five years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever attended another university’s homecoming outside of my own- I did party at other campuses though.

I’m not really sure what I expected, but I was totally surprised. A little back story- I went to the University of Illinois (Urbana- Champaign), which is a predominantly white institution. However, during homecoming, there was an African- American homecoming, which I attended. Definitely a great experience to fellowship with people who looked like me.

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Be present.

I don’t believe you can prepare for life.

Life is too random, too sporadic, too unpredictable… Not to mention often times unfair.

Life never gives you time to prepare, but it throws you a bowl of circumstances that force you to either sink or swim.

You better know how to swim.

What if I don’t know how to swim… Guess I’ll sink.

With little preparation… Life teaches you to be present. At some point, the very moments that we enjoy will transform into an uncomfortable situation that will leave you baffled and confused

Being present often leaves you vulnerable to any possibility, favorable and unfavorable. But what is most important is that you’re present.

Life often force teaches us to be fearless, however as humans we do the opposite and shrink with fear. We sink into a place of delusional protection. Then we become stuck.

Life is an ongoing process of losing control- letting yourself free fall into every experience, whether we like it or not.

The present is a gift.

-Jonnita

faith + story: Brandi Turpin, How She Quit Her Job & Relocated to NYC

You never know what you have in common with someone until you spark a conversation. Brandi and I were standing in line at Demetria Lucas’ book signing a couple Mondays ago, and she, myself and couple other women all seemed to migrate towards each other. We all conversed and learned so much about each other in such a short amount of time. That’s when I discovered Brandi had taken the same leap of faith like myself and relocated to New York. We pretty much moved around the same time.

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Photo + story : 34th Street- Penn Station

I live in one of the many cities in New Jersey, but luckily, I am about twenty minutes away from NYC. Every time I commute to the city, the gateway station is 34th Street- Penn Station, which positions commuters right in Herald Square- everything is right here. All of your favorite stores from H&M to Macy’s. It’s a few blocks from the bigger Times Square attraction. Depending on which side of Penn Station you enter or exit,  you can see the entry to Madison Square Garden.

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(Life After College): Jeff Osuji

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Name: Jeff Osuji
Graduation Year: 2009, 2011, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
College Degree: BS, Chemistry; MBA Marketing Concentration

What did you have planned after graduation?
After graduation I planned to work for a pharmaceutical company or a medical device company, possibly in sales. I felt this would be a good use of my undergrad chemistry degree and still enable me to interact in a business environment, as opposed to spending my hours in the lab as I did during my undergrad years. Unfortunately, due to the economy, I graduated jobless and spent the weeks after graduation filling out job applications, taking mentors to lunch, and shadowing successful people in my network.

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Why are you in such a hurry…

Everyone is in such a rush these days. We rush relationships, weightloss, career paths. This generation is all for instant gratification.

I am even guilty of wanting things instantly. I released my first book, Five Ways to Get Your Ideas out of Your Head, last month, and sometimes I’m like, I should be a best-selling author by now. Then I hear a still, small voice that tells me, be patient.

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Are you selectively social?

I have always heard the saying, be careful how you treat people, because you might be entertaining an angel. I tend to keep that in mind, when I encounter strangers.

Being totally transparent with you, sometimes I don’t always feel like conversing. I have my reasons, because sometimes those encounters are really weird, or I fear that I may have to say something to a person that may not be what they want to hear (this is usually the case, when men try to hit on me, and I am just not feeling it).

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golden + gems: words from celeb blogger, Rae Holliday

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Before I go into the advice Rae Holliday shared with me at the Essence Block Party (see post, here), I just wanted to give a little back story to this post- and the many to follow. On occasion I run into individuals who are reflections of where I aspire to be in life, and they share kind words that push me along my journey- so I want to share those words with you too :)

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See you later Chi- City.

Not a goodbye, because I will be back one day. I’m moving on to the next phase in life. For the last year, I have been talking about relocating, but it was just a thought. I thought about it countless times, but I never really acted on the decision. Finally, in December of 2013, I decided something has to change in 2014. I love my city. All of my experiences here have molded me into who I am today. But, it is time to move on.

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artist + spotlight: Maryann, Love Trap

Over here at Yur Storee, we love to support and showcase people going after their dreams. The artist being featured today is Maryann, and she brings a pretty a dope sound. The multi- talented singer is also a videographer and graphic artist too. Getting her start on a track with Talib Kweli, she has been consistently putting her music out there. This is her latest single, Love Trap,  from her sophomore album, Futuristic Always.

Follow Maryann on Twitter: xtraordinaryann

 

Are you an artist? Submit your work here.

(Life After College): Jennifer Ollie, University of Illinois Alum

This week Yur Storee is introducing its Life After College series. As a college graduate myself, I know what it’s like to go to school for one thing, and somehow find yourself on a totally different path during or even after college. So we decided to share a collection of post- college stories in hopes to show you that life is full of changes, and you have to just roll with the punches.

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Whatever You Desire…It’s Already Yours

What does this mean? The very moment that you are hoping for already belongs to you. In my adult life,  I have spent so much time searching for opportunities…just always searching. I’ve spent so much time searching, because I didn’t know what I had. I was living in a mindset of lack (and  sometimes I still do). I was living like I didn’t have anything. Like, my dreams were unattainable. Like I don’t have the power to make things come true. Like I don’t have any resources around me.

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IV: The Truth is…I Believed I Would I Fail, Before I Would Win

Part IV.

The law of attraction is real. PR opportunities were coming to me left and right. I put it out there I was a writer, and the opportunities were coming to me.

I’m thinking, this entrepreneur life is pretty good.  These were unpaid opportunities, of course, that I believed would eventually turn into paid opportunities.

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Part III: I’ll Just Go the Safe Route

…One night, I remember holding on to my mother’s leg like a baby. My heart was beating so hard, but this time I was not afraid. The whole time, I just kept saying thank you Lord. I literally praised him until it stopped. I remember my mom just rubbing my back, and I kept whispering, thank you Lord. I didn’t know when that episode would end, because it felt like forever- but I knew I had to trust God. That was the night I was healed. I didn’t know it at the time though.

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Have You Ever had Glimpses of Your Life?

There have been many instances where I’ve had situations occur in my life that seemed to be snippets of my future. I am talking about meeting and exchanging information with editors from high profile magazines that I want to work with. Or even, high profile publications reaching out to me, but something just never seemed to go all the way.

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Part 2: When My Faith Turned to Fear

….The feeling I had, when I sat down with my team lead, as I slid him the envelope with my two week notice. The strange thing is, he was actually puzzled as to why I was doing this.

I didn’t care anymore, I was moving on. Finally, I can do my site full time! Even though I still had no job prospects, I knew God was carrying me.

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My Journey: Two Years Ago is Why I’m Here Today, Part 1

Consider this a formal, but informal introduction. I am Jonnita, the face behind YS Mag Live. I created this site to share the stories of many overcomers, but somehow I neglected my own story. So, here is my story.

Two years ago, I made one of the most challenging decisions ever. I left my comfort zone. Meaning, I left my steady form of income, and we all know how important that is.  I left my job. I was not happy, and no longer willing to settle.

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