Everything’s Bigger in Texas

Or so they say.

Today, I found out that in 2ish short months, I’ll begin my second rotation in Texas. Upon finding out and letting it sink in on my ride home from work, I was met with the same familiar feelings I had not too long ago. At that time, I was sitting at my part time college job and I read a short email that said my first rotation would be in Waltham, MA. Your thoughts start with, “Omgsh, this is going to be so amazing” and then the kindergarten fears of “Um..am I going to make friends? Will people even like me?” begin to settle.

And, so, today was no different. After dancing around, yelling a bit too loudly in the office, and hugging my coworkers, it hit me: I’m about to move across the country to a state where I know one person (shout out to my wonderful Aunt Joyce.)

But, there was one thing that made this time around different. Because, this time, I could look back on the past 6 months and be 100% sure that yes, I’ll make friends. Yes, people will probably get used to my loud laugh (or at least tolerate it?). And, yes, I’ll end up leaving Texas better than how I came.

Because, that’s exactly what happened here in Massachusetts.

I guess Mass and I have a love-hate relationship. Some days I have hated it, but in some odd way, it loved me. Tough love, but it loved me. I will always credit this as being the place where I truly began to grow up. The place where I went through some of the toughest days of my life to date but was able to crawl my way out of the jungle.

And, let’s not forget…this is also the place where I met the one and only Rox Fox.

Time to do it big in Texas, baby.

Tis The Season

There are a lot of things about adulthood that blow. But, like finding a needle in a haystack, I’ve managed to find one thing that does not.

As I started wishing some of my coworkers an early Happy Thanksgiving today, I realized it’s the first time in four years that I’ve gotten into the holiday spirit. (Note: this does not mean I will bumrush Target at some outlandish hour on Black Friday. It simply means I actually heard the Christmas music playing in the mall today and that is a start. It’s still only November 18.)

For the past four years, Thanksgiving break has only been the little tease before heading into a whirlwind of exams, 15 page papers, and late night study sessions interrupted by dance breaks to . I wouldn’t even realize it was Christmas until I got home around December 20 and rushed to buy some half way decent gifts for my friends and family.

But, this season, I’m well aware that the holidays are coming up. Maybe it’s because everyone is long overdue for a break. But, maybe it’s also because now that I’ve exited the unconventional world of undergraduate education, I realize how rare and important time with my friends and family is. (I also realize I have not had a decent home cooked meal in months so on Thanksgiving and Christmas I will be throwing down.)

The holidays tend to make us both introspective and grateful; two things I have certainly been after this past year. So, it’s nice that I can stop and appreciate the season instead of being inundated with exams testing my knowledge of commercial spanish or papers about visual rhetoric.

forever young,


Everything I Need To Know About Work (and life) I Learned at Chick-Fil-A

My first job ever was as a cashier at Chick-Fil-a. Yup. For 3.5 years, I donned manly black pants, a burgundy shirt, and a  silver nametag that prompted people to constantly mispronounce my name and creepily say “Thank you, Tyrese” when I handed them their combo #5.

But, in retrospect, that first job I had before all of the internships and legit jobs taught me quite a bit about work, life, and people. A few lessons:

  • Looking the part is half the battle.
  • Your name is important. It’s your brand. It’s all you’ve got. Learn how to politely correct people if and when they mispronounce, misspell, or misuse it.
  • Chicken and french fries are a great dinner. I don’t care what you say.
  • The people you work with will make or break your experience.
  • It’s never great for the company if you scream, “There’s a bug in this!” across the room.
  • You should never be so serious that you can’t take a 1 minute dance break on the job.
  • Bosses make mistakes, too.
  • ^But they are still above you.
  • ^Yeah, it sucks.
  • Wearing white socks with black sneakers is offensive.
  • It’s refreshing and necessary to see some of your coworkers outside of a work setting every now and again.
  • Sometimes, people will make wrong assumptions about you. Maybe they’ll assume you are uneducated or incompetent. Unless they are going to mean anything in your life a year from now, pass them their stuff and let them drive away.
  • If you’re on the bottom, wear your helmet. When something goes wrong, you’re getting blamed.
  • People have lives outside of work. They have families, friends, trials, and triumphs. That’s why we call them people and not robots.
  • No one works 8 hour days anymore.
  • The owner is scary. But his wife is scarier.
  • Working on Fridays is some sick joke life is playing on some of us.
  • Pay day is the best day. I don’t care what you say.
  • If you’re sitting at a drive thru window late one night and the food’s taking too long, just smile and say thank you. That cashier at the window has probably been there since noon and his or her ankles can rival those of a woman who is 8 months pregnant.

forever young,


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A Letter to Myself at Graduation


So, you’ve made it. At least according to the world’s standards. You have graduated from college.

And, really, you should be proud of yourself. College graduation is no small feat.

I don’t want to be the first to monsoon on your parade, but I want to let you know that in the months ahead, you’ll face things that your warm and safe bubble of College Park could’ve never prepped you for. You read a slew of advice from Kelly Cutrone and Ellyn Spragins. As the day you would move to Massachusetts inched closer, you wrote quotes on your white board to keep you inspired and motivated. But, not even those small gestures could equip you for this thing called adult life.

So, if you remember nothing else, remember this: no matter what, you are going to be more than fine.

Adult life isn’t glamorous or always fun. And, those MTV producers did a really shitty job of naming that show “The Real World” because those people are partying all the time and that does not happen in the real world. The real world is waking up early, working, coming home and doing it all over again punctuated by weekends, trips here and there, and whatever else you can do to keep yourself sane.

So, I encourage you to do those things to keep yourself sane. Don’t lose those things that make you Tyece. Don’t stop dancing in the middle of your living room, even when your best friend isn’t there to do it with you. Don’t stop watching mindless TV. Don’t stop listening to music at every possible moment. And, whatever you do, please don’t stop writing. It will be an anchor for you when everything starts rocking and swaying and you feel like you can’t hold on to anything or anyone else.

Stretch outside of your comfort zone. Go to places where you’ll know absolutely no one. But, know that there’s a difference between going outside of your comfort zone and doing things you just don’t like. Don’t do things you don’t like. That’s just plain silly.

Maintaining your friendships will become more difficult. But, if you work hard to maintain them, you’ll see how rewarding they are. Maybe you’ll call one person every Monday or one person every other Sunday. But, talk to your best friend and your sister every day. Because, you don’t know what it’s like to go a day without talking to them and that is how it should always be.

After the newness of your apartment has worn off and the glow of your freedom has waned, you’ll get homesick. Very homesick. You’ll realize that Maryland wasn’t ever as small or as lame as it seemed and you didn’t outgrow it as much as you believed. You’ll doubt yourself and your decision. And you’ll scare the bejesus out of your parents when they hear your voice waver and think you want to quit. Here’s the point where I’m supposed to tell you not to quit. But, I don’t even have to say that. Because you won’t. Because just like Christopher Robin told Pooh, “You’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”

And, then the heavy things will come. The personal battles that you couldn’t have anticipated even if someone gave you a crystal ball and your own personal psychic. The bulldozers that will knock you down and force you to crawl before you can even think about walking again.

And, when those things happen, don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be afraid to let it hurt. But, above all else, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t put a bandaid on your wounds and try to keep it moving. Some parts of you need casts; they are broken. But, if you nurse them properly, they will heal and be stronger than they were before.

Aside from the serious stuff, don’t feel bad when something in the fridge gets moldy or you eat take out 3 nights in a row. Nobody ever became an adult overnight and if they tell you they did, they’re a bold faced liar. It’s OK if you eat dinner off of a fold up table that costs $8.50 at Walmart. It’s OK if you fall asleep at 10pm on a Friday night. It’s OK if you still want to sleep all day on a Saturday like you did in undergrad or if you are scrounging pennies the day before pay day because paying rent absolutely sucks. It. Is. Ok.

All of those trivial things mean nothing. You have a roof over your head. You have something to eat at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You have something called a job to get up and go to. You have incredible people in your life. In the grand scheme of things, you are doing absolutely amazing.

So, if you remember nothing else, remember this: no matter what, you are going to be more than fine.

5 months into this whirlwind called adulthood,


P.S. Boys still suck. I don’t know when that ends.