For the past few weeks, I have been sitting in on the stock market program we have started for the teens at my job. The idea was to expose them to something more than what the "low end" of Chicago has to offer them and since I know that this information usually comes at a high price, I decided to get in on the action.
Gary Harris is the financial advisor of the president of my job and also the instructor of this class. He is a well kept, charismatic gentleman who looks to be in his mid to late 40s. Three days a week, he comes to educate us for two hours, a service that he usually charges his well off clients $5,000/hour for. We started this program with eight teens. To date, only one is still actively participating. Sad, I know.
Today, we discussed net worth. The average net worth of a white family is $140,000; black family is about $5,000. The net worth for women fitting my demographic (young, black woman in her early 20s) is an unbelievable -$5. Yes, NEGATIVE $5. When he mentioned that fact today, I'm sure my face did a number of things ranging from "WTF?!" to "That is unbelievable". According to an article at NewsOne for Black America, a white woman's median worth is about 42 grand. Those numbers are staggering to me. I looked at it in terms of being kidnapped and held for ransom or even putting a price tag on myself and in actuality, I can't because research says I'm not worth too much of anything.
This class is teaching me a lot and a little further down the line, I see myself owning some stock. Just sitting there listening to him tell us of his story and how he acquired all that he did by striving to achieve more than what the average person is willing to work for inspires me. He is also growing my interest in increasing my net worth. I doubt that I am worth -$5 (because I don't have any liabilities) but I know for a fact that I never want to get to that point.
Just wanted to share that tidbit with you all this evening.
Do you know YOUR net worth?
Friday, November 4, 2011
Every afternoon once I get settled in my office, I pull out my laptop and charger and check out what goodies await me in my RSS reader. For about 30 minutes, I am glued to my seat, reading articles from some of my favorite journalists and the sites they write for.
Today, an article by Risa Dixon over at Clutch Magazine caught my eye: Doctor Claims He Can Permanently Change Eye Color From Brown to Blue. I was almost shocked, to say the least. The first question that popped into my head was 'Is that even safe?' Then I started to wonder who would want such a procedure done. Got me to thinking about how we as a human race are so mesmerized by the thought of being a better version of ourselves. Everyone has something(s) that they wish they could change about themselves, myself included but why? Why are we so obsessed with thought of looking like someone else?
In Dixon's article, she tells us of Dr. Gregg Homer and the "20-second procedure that removes melanin that will lighten eye color without affecting a patient's eyesight". She too questions if the procedure is necessary.
This article immediately took me back to my scholarly days where I had to read Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. If you are unfamiliar with the great literary work, Morrison allows us to get to know a young black girl by the name of Pecola Breedlove. In the story, she is enamored with the idea of having blue eyes like the adorable Shirley Temple. Pecola felt that if her eyes were blue, things would be a lot easier for her. Of course the novel explored other things than just blue eyes but that one stuck out to me the most.
Self-esteem plays a huge role, in my opinion, when it comes to self alteration. One really has to be in a low place, for lack of a better term, to actually want to go through with something as drastic as an eye color change. Like I said above, I have some things I wish I could change (like my pudgy fingers and short nail beds) but I would NEVER go through with a double hand transplant. I also played basketball for 15+ years of my life, suffering through more finger/thumb jams than I can count.
This self-esteem thing goes further for me than just altering one's natural appearance. It's also seen in the fashion trends of today. I've never been a "fashion whore" or someone who has to have the latest material thing. If it looks nice and put together, I'll wear it. Simple as that. I don't spend hours in the mall. I hate it actually. Too many people for me. But there was a time when I felt like I had to have a certain look to feel accepted but that soon wore off when I realized that I don't have to dress in this brand or in this style. I'm an individual and want to be seen as such.
Learning to be genuinely happy with the body and features that God took the precious time to make up the unique person that is you is a process, I know. I am constantly learning to be appreciative of my pudgy fingers and short nail beds. Even embracing my big head took some time but I did it. This is not something that will happen overnight but I'm asking that you start today, being thankful and embracing all that makes you YOU!
Besides, if you don't love and appreciate you, why would someone else???
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Things are starting to look up for me!! Well, I said that wrong because that would imply that things were down and they weren't. Either way, I have good news!
Last week, I joined the staff of a new online magazine (not going to give any names until the site is up and running)! A friend from high school thought that I would be a great addition to the team and called to ask me aboard and I said yes. This is a huge step for me in my young journalism career and I feel that this is a great opportunity for me to gain the experience and exposure I need in this business. It didn't even phase me that the magazine doesn't cover the genre I prefer because it's a start and I can't afford to be picky just yet.
I thank God for this opportunity as well as my friend for thinking highly of me to include me. I'm excited to see what will come of this venture and how it will help me grow as a journalist.
Short post but this was something I wanted to share with you all. This is only the beginning for me...*insert huge smile here*