Self Care and Graduate School

As I wrote in my last entry, I began my last semester of graduate school. Even though I am excited and nerve wrecked, my mental state has began to go back to a dark place that I had been in last semester. Last semester, my mental stability took a hit because I was feeling alone and could not understand why. I honestly did not want to do any work and I was always crying. Even though I was going to gym and listening to music, I was not taking care of myself. Recently, I started feeling how I did last semester when I began to shut down completely. I have since learned several ways that I can take care of myself without feeling as though I am cheating my school work process, which is how I would feel when I was not doing my school work. So here are my four ways that I practice self-care daily.

self care pic 3

  1. Writing in a journal- in my journal is where I get real and raw. I write my deepest concerns and thoughts there. In this book, I can express what I cannot speak out loud. I try to write every day because it serves as a reminder that this is an option when I get frustrated. I recommend to anyone reading this to write your heart cries and desires. It can be in a journal, on sheets of paper or even make a video recording your feelings. I say write anything and everything.
  2. Reading a book- I can honestly say with my heart I am a book nerd. Books are always a great way to escape what’s going on in reality. Books have been the door to a portal that was necessary for me to go into. Since being in graduate school, I have learned the importance of reading leisurely because at my other college, I could not figure out how to fit it in, but now I have figured it out. I read non-fiction, fiction, business books, young adult and autobiographies to escape. I mainly use the library because I can explore and take out books that truly interest me. (Plus, I am on a graduate school budget) So run to your local library and check out a few.self care pic 2
  3. Meditation- Meditation has honestly been my saving grace because it allows me to just breath and have my mind at ease. Usually when I mediate I will sit on the floor, in my bed, or in the chair. I just take about five minutes to just breath and allow my mind to be at ease and at times I get great ideas. I would recommend people to meditate because it is a calming experience. You can personalize meditation anyway you want to by add music, candles or even meditating outside. The important thing is you take time for yourself to breath and just allow yourself the time to refresh.
  4. Walking- I love walking. Walking honestly has helped me to not only clear my mind but also to gain insight and new innovative ideas. Plus it’s just a good way to get fresh air, see your community and discover new things. I would tell you to walk because not only are you being active, and for my fellow introverts it gets us out the house but it provides a new perspective on so much.

These are my daily/ weekly self care things. I also do take myself out on dates to museums, shows, traveling, laying in bed doing nothing or dinners just to appreciate myself. But I do things four things frequently because self-care on the daily basis is essential for me and you to not fall back into that dark space. Some days I do multiple of these task and some days I do one. Just know you can create a self- care routine anyway you see fit and it does not have to cost a lot of money. The important thing is you feel great afterwards and feel ready to take on the world. Just remember to smile in the moment.


Back to School

I am excited to say that this week had my last first day of formal education. When I say formal education, I mean in terms of getting up daily to go to school and doing homework for teachers.  I will forever be a lifelong student because I enjoy reading leisurely about topics that will help to grow my mind, body and spirit. It is honestly a bitter sweet moment realizing that is my last first day of school.

back to school pic          School in general has taught me a variety of lessons. Those lessons ranged from the importance of knowledge, the power of connections and the significance of stepping outside of your comfort zone. However graduate school thus far has taught me the importance of truly stepping into who you are meant to be. This task I have always suffered with because I was constantly burying who I was due to pressure from others and from a fear of constantly being disliked. But this one year graduate program has really taught me thus far to step into who I was meant to be and to never let fear stop me. When we silence the fear inside of us, it allows for people to be able to complete their true desires. Some of my desires were going to the gym, but I had a fear of people potentially judging me about it. But while in school, I decided I wanted to feel good and eat better. By doing these things it taught me an important lesson of I can still care about my physical well-being without sacrificing for my educational well-being. Even if we cannot silence the fears completely, we should keep going with hopes realizing that life is about taking a fear and making the best out of a situation

Since I am going into my final semester currently, I have finally created a schedule that would work best for me and I am excited to see where this semester will take me. Even though I graduate in May and do not have much time, I know that I can accomplish all that I desire to do and have the skills from school to conquer them. So, cheers to the last semester …. Well may be for now😊

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New Year, New Me?

Happy New Year and I hope your year is starting off well. A new year is known to be the birth of something wonderful and be a rebirth for some. For me, a lot of the changes I would have made I honestly began to implement them last year such as beginning to work out and eating healthy. Also, I have even begun to feel a bit more confident since last year, which was a goal for this year. I honestly can say, that I do feel like a new me however I do not feel as though I changed.

2018         I know you may be confused about how I can make changes, yet I do not feel as though I am new. I really feel as though that I have just grown. Grown from the shy and easily manipulated teenager to someone who can spot mess from far away. I have been the person who was afraid to take chances and honestly, I still struggle with taking certain chances, but honestly, I enjoy pushing through those feelings of taking chances. But I still feel that I am the nerdy girl who enjoys reading books, writing and learning about the subjects I learned. I just feel as though that it is a new year and  all I am doing is uncovering who I was meant to be. I feel that I am stepping into the person who I spent so much time burying over the years. And I am enjoying uncovering who that person is. If you believe that it is a new you, that’s awesome. But for me I think that I am just becoming the person I was meant to be. In 2018, I am moving  closer to the person who I have been hiding from.


Why Did I Create This Blog?

As 2017 ends, I believe it is important to reflect on everything that has happened. I have been truly blessed over this year. This year I graduated from college, got a new job, learned more about myself and so much more! I know my blog has shown that I have gone through a great deal of changes, but I had to take a moment to question why I decided to write this blog.

Why did i create

I first started Khadijah’s Journeys because I wanted to write about my law school experience. About my successes and failures of applying to law school. That experience had more negatives (not writing but applying) than positives. The only positive thing that occurred was me getting accepted into my Master’s program. But it was not until after going through a horrible break up that I decided to try again about writing a blog. This time my goal was and still is to tell my story about going through graduate school with hopes of other people, especially women, know that someone understands. I understand that you stay up late at night crying about assignments, finances, your dreams, your goals, family, friends, relationships and so much more. I have cried over these things and still did not understand how I made it through the end of the semester. My goal is to make sure, the person reading this understands that they are not alone in this graduate school journey nor the journey after it.  I along with millions of other people go through this.  I created this blog for the woman who does not know what to do and just needs to see her feelings expressed in a public platform. This blog is for the woman who is crying over family troubles and they do not know the best way to reach out for support. This blog is for the person who does not know where to turn at 3am and just needs to know someone who has struggled through the same feeling.

For 2018, I will continue this goal and bring forth the issues that face people in graduate school and even after that. The issues do not stop when formal education ends, rather they continue. While most of them cannot be eliminated but it can be helpful to know that someone is going through the same problems. And possibly learn of new ways to handle these concerns. So here’s to 2018, bringing in a another semester and learning how to elevate to the next level of life.

If this blog speaks to you or you are just interested in learning some of the struggles that one may face with change or even how I cope with depression, please subscribe. Also feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me. Most importantly smile, even if it is to your-self or in the mirror.

Push Through Hard Times


Have you ever heard of the expression, everything happens for a reason? Over this pass year, I have experienced many tough times. I lost my wallet in Canada. My flash drive broke during finals. My kindle got stolen. These are the top three. I can honestly say that after each of these incidents I was devastated and did not know how I was going to handle each of these problems because I did not know what to do. However, at the end of those moments, I learned so much about myself.  The key lesson I learned was when things go wrong, it is time to go to the next level. The next level is always uncomfortable, requires elevation and not something one wants to do when everything seems to fall apart, but it is necessary to be the person you are meant to be.

When I lost my wallet in Canada, I was devastated. It was the winter and I fell into the snow crying about what happened, I did not care that I my jeans got ruined. I lost everything from my home keys, my school ID, my debit card, my gift cards and so much more. Thankfully the bus system allowed for me to get back to where I was staying and the person I was staying with gave me a few dollars to be able to make it during the rest of my stay. I did cry and before I asked for help from the person I was staying with, I had to make the decision of if I would complain or finish my trip. Many people in my predicament would have given up, but I could not. I chose to finish my trip. Thankfully my bank had a branch in Canada and I could transfer some money over to the bank in Canada. From losing my wallet in another country, I learned to push through and never let anything stop a trip. I became a stronger person and decided that nothing, including losing my money and identification, would prevent me from completing a task.

Push Through
How i went to bed after losing my wallet

When my kindle was stolen and my flash drive broke, I learned the overall lesson twice. With my kindle, someone came in to my home and took it. But on my kindle I had a lot of things on there that was not contributing to my advancing myself. As for my flash drive, I had always left it in my laptop as I carried it around, but this time the drive hit a wall and the piece where you insert into the computer got twisted. This flash drive had all my information and papers since high school. Including all my work from my entire first semester of graduate school and all the blog entries I had ever written. Thankfully, all of my papers had been submitted at this point except for one which I procrastinated and had not finished. I made many attempts to try and get the drive fixed, however it would be upwards of a $1,000. From this I took it to be a sign that it was time to upgrade my storage because I am going to have more task ahead. Unfortunately, my resume information was on there, all that means is I have the chance to begin something new. After these two incidents, I decided to be the person I was meant to be by making lemons out of lemonade. I replaced my kindle and filled it with books that would help better myself. As for my flash drive, thankfully I had an extra one laying around, but I decided to upgrade and get an external hard drive.


Push through photo 2
Be the best you even when things go wrong

From these experiences, I learned that sometimes bad things can happen, however it’s how you react to them that determines your next move. I choose to cry and be sad, but then I must fix it and learn a valuable lesson. From Canada, I learned the importance of moving forward despite losing something major. From losing my kindle and damaged flash drive I learned that material things can always be replaced, but to always take the lesson with you of either having several back-ups,  to not take anything for granted, and smile when things get tough.

No Dating For One Year

Throughout my life I have never chosen the right man nor has the right guy chosen me. According to many people, that is how one get to find their prince charming by going through several wrong ones to get to the right one. Honestly, I have been going through the wrong guys since I was fourteen, when I believed I had found the one. He was my first “real boyfriend” and I loved him. But he told me he did not love me anymore. I was devastated, but I never gave up on finding my prince charming.
The final guy that I tried to have a serious relationship with, who honestly inspired this change, made me feel as though everything was my fault. He would constantly accuse me of lying or cheating on him. We had not been together long but he always made me feel as though I was sick or I was lower than him. I honestly never felt so low in the month of getting to know him. When it ended, I was honestly shocked for about half a day and decided to move on. Then a week later I was depressed and did not understand why I was attracting guys who were not what I deserved or wanted. That’s when the idea occurred to me that it’s not them, but its me. The reason why I say it was me because I saw the red flags of their actions and yet I ignored them. I knew that things would not change and yet I hopped they would. So, I decided to make a change for the better. I made the decision to not date for a year. This means no dating apps and if a guy asks me out on a date I must decline. If a guy were to ask me for my number then I can give it to him, but once it starts crossing into the potential dating scene then I must tell him that I am not pursing a relationship at this time. I have now been doing this for almost four months and I have learned so many things about myself. Here are the four things I have learned thus far during these four months.
1. The strength of my intuition: I have always ignored the little voice in me because I thought at times she would be wrong. Quite the contrary, the bad feeling or little voice was always right when I needed it to be. I always wanted to see the best in people, when my intuition was telling me to run. Since choosing not to date, I have learned to get fully connected with my intuition and begin to heal the abuse that I gave that little voice by constantly silencing it. I now fully understand how powerful that voice can be and the great impact it can make.
2. I’m unique: I know many people may think, well so am I. However, the uniqueness I am referring to are the things that make me different. I have always tried to compare myself with others and it has constantly failed me. Over these past four months, I realized that I am beautiful in my own way and the things that I was ashamed of people wished they had. By accepting me for me, it helped to unleash a great amount of confidence that I did not realize that I possessed.

No dating for a year pic
3. I am in control: Throughout my dating life I have always dated guys that could be at times manipulative. When I decided to be single four years ago I wanted to take back control of me. However, I did not take control back until four months ago because I was not making myself a priority. Yea I was living my life, but for most of that four years, I was hoping to find a man that would be my missing piece. I was only taking control of a portion of my life. Now I have a grasp on my entire life. I am living it for myself and not allowing people or a man try to take a portion of it. I’ve learned a man who truly wants the best for you will add, not take away and destroy.
4. The importance of change: change is honestly the hardest part of life I have had to deal with. However, it is essential. By choosing not to date, I’ve made several changes. I started wearing contacts, going to the gym and going out by myself to enjoy my life. Even though in the past I have gone out alone, the difference is I do not get the feeling of I wish I had a boyfriend. I did all this for me and no one else. I have lost some people along the way, but I gained so many more. I am happy, which is all that matters at the end of the day.
This has been my journey for the past four months and I am enjoying it. My advice to anyone reading this is do what makes you happy no matter what anyone says. Be sure to smile and be magic

Finals and The Holidays

The holiday season is supposed to be the most fun time of year. A time for family and friends to get together and enjoy each other’s company. However, if you are in college or graduate school, most likely you despise this time of the year mainly because of final exams. Most of us are stressed because we may have procrastinated on certain assignments or our minds have not fully prepared for the mental strength required to get through this season. Personally, I am going through the same motions as everyone else. I honestly do not want to finish any assignments nor do I feel like studying. Plus, it does not help when your Master’s program is one year, which means next semester is my last semester. I am basically a senior getting a major dose of senioritis.
However, I am not blind to the fact that many students, including myself, are battling internal battles. Some are worried about failing a course, if they will graduate, where they will go after the semester is over, the depression coming at sometimes the worst times and so much more than I can possibly list. I just want to say to the people going through more than one challenge during this season, just know that I understand that you spend many nights crying about what to do next. I know that your pray and hope for guidance as you try to figure this part of your life out. Don’t believe that this is end, rather give yourself another chance to begin. Learn from the things that have gone bad and prepare for the good that will come. Anytime something bad happens I always tell myself, for every bad thing that happens a good thing follows. But to see the next best thing that’s coming, I must be willing to keep going past the bad that is happening at this moment.
To everyone reading this post, even though this can be one of the not so jolly times of the year, please remember that you are awesome in your own way and your light is needed. I have spent a little time trying to make sure I fully understand this concept as well. Give the semester one last shot and afterwards you can relax. I know I am. Just remember when one door closes, another door opens.