Review: ‘101 Fun Personality Quizzes’

When I was a teen, I was addicted to personality quizzes. After all, I had to know which Spice Girl I would be (Scary, obvi), which *NSYNC member was my soul mate (Justin, duh) and which Britney Spears song was the story of my life (“Overprotected,”hello. #CatholicSchoolGirlProblems).

Now that I’m an adult, I’m even more obsessed with finding out who I really am. I mean, why do any of us take those addictive Buzzfeed quizzes? With a couple of clicks, I can find out which ’90s pop queen I am … critical information!

So when I found out about author and pop culture expert Kourtney Jason‘s new book, 101 Fun Personality Quizzes: Who Are You … Really?!, I couldn’t wait to check it out! (Fun fact: I interviewed with Kourtney for a position at a teen magazine when I was fresh out of college. I didn’t get the gig, but we’ve kept in touch via social media.)

Quizzes

“Obviously, this isn’y Myer Briggs,” she says. “But it will be hours upon hours of fun. By answering a few insightful, fun and oftentimes, silly questions, you’ll uncover secrets and reveal truths about your life, personality, relationships and future.”

According to the “How Basic Are You?” quiz, I’m a “bit basic.” So I like PSLs and bottomless brunch. And yes, I’ll share pics of both on social media. Sue me.

Naturally, I had to take the “What Beyoncé Era Are You?” quiz. It’s also important to note this book was published before “Formation” snatched our collective edges. But, for the record, I’m “Single Ladies” Beyoncé. I’ll take it.

And, as it turns out, if I were a Disney Princess, I’d be Elsa from Frozen because apparently I have “the biggest heart,” yet I feel “incredibly self-conscious of what makes me special…” Not sure if I entirely agree with that, but whatevs. Besides, Belle is my fave anyway, so it’s all good.

Curling up with this book and a pencil was a relaxing Sunday afternoon activity. Because sometimes it’s fun to unplug and go a bit old-school. It also makes a fun, lighthearted gift for your gal pals

101 Fun Personality Quizzes is available on Amazon.

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Doing the Work vs. Wanting the Recognition

Growing up, I wanted to be a lot of things (doctor, astronaut, Janet Jackson’s backup dancer). But chief among them, I wanted to be famous. And not just a little famous, I’m talking Beyoncé famous. It wasn’t enough to just enough to be a writer, I wanted to be the BEST writer. I wanted the fame and glory that came along with being at the top of my game.

And, to be perfectly honest, it’s something I still crave. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with making a 30 under 30 list. Even before the Forbes 30 Under 30 list debuted earlier this week, I’ve been plotting how I could someday land on one of these coveted lists.

Seeing as how I recently turned 28, I’m on a bit of a tight deadline here. And while I know that the work I’m doing to encourage and empower young girls is more important than receiving the recognition for it, I suppose a part (okay, all) of me still desires to see my name in lights. It’s only human nature and I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with wanting that.

My downfall, however, has been allowing this notion to overcome my thoughts and emotions so much so that I feel twinges of jealousy whenever I see someone doing something similar to me and getting the accolades that I crave so much. It’s like that Dane Cook joke, “I want that, why not me?!”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not taking anything away from the people who are on these lists or saying they don’t serve their success. Not at all. I totally got my Taraji P. Henson on when I saw some of the bloggers I know and love in the media section of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and gave them their props on social media.

I truly believe that when one of us wins, we all win. And I definitely believe in supporting my sisters. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want my own shine every once in awhile. I am a millennial, after all, and patience isn’t exactly the most popular virtue among my generation. I want it all and I want it NOW!

Yet, I have to remind myself that I’m only 28. God willing, I have a long life ahead of me … more than enough time to do something great, whatever that may be. Conversely, if this is all over tomorrow I can say I’m content with the life I’ve lived and the legacy I’ll leave behind.

As my husband so rightly points out (and, man, do I hate it when he’s right), hearing a young girl tell me I made a difference in her life is far more rewarding than any list will ever be. It’s not tangible. I can’t add it to my LinkedIn profile, put in on a plaque or hang the certificate in my future office (still in cubicle-land for now), but the value is so much more significant.

Besides, “It’s better to have God approve, than the world applaud.” Okay, okay, I get it.

So, for now, I’ll keep my head down and focus on doing the work. The recognition will come eventually, or it won’t. But I’ll work on enjoying the process rather than focusing on the outcome. Because at the end of the day, life is really about using your God-given talents to make the world a better place. And besides, there’s always 40 Under 40! 😉

(Photo via CreateHERStock)

Saying ‘No’ to Others and ‘Yes’ to Myself

When I look back on 2015, I’ll remember it as a year littered with difficult decisions and uncomfortable conversations. It’s also the year I discovered my affinity for Kate Spade, but that’s neither here nor there.

As I was saying, 2015 was a year of personal growth. There was the time I (unsuccessfully) attempted to negotiate my salary. And the time I initially turned down my dream job, only to change my mind a week or so later. As it turns out, I’d rather make less money and be happy than just coasting along collecting a paycheck.

There was also the time I wrote a letter to a friend after a falling out and later addressed the issue in person. And the time I confronted our upstairs neighbor about the loud noises directly above our bedroom. Or the times I stepped down from writing or working for other organizations.

I’d spent so much time helping other people with their passion projects and making their dreams come true that I had nothing left to give myself at the end of the day. And, as a result, my projects and dreams were placed on the back burner.

Long story short, this was the year I finally decided to stand up for myself and it felt pretty damn good. A couple of years ago, my work husband at the time told me “people pleasers die at a faster rate than everyone else.” I tried to laugh it off, but deep down, I knew he was right. The stress I put myself through to bend over backward for other people and exceed their expectations would no doubt lead me to an early grave.

Growing up, I was the quintessential “good girl.” I earned good grades (so much so that I skipped fourth grade), respected my elders and sent handwritten thank-you notes because it’s the polite thing to do. That innate “desire to please” carried over into my adult years, but instead of being rewarded for it, I found that it often led to people taking advantage of me. They mistook my kindness for weakness and I didn’t exactly correct them nor did I defend myself.

Well, the buck stops here. Because as my mom is always so quick to remind me, “if you don’t stand up for yourself, no one else is going to do it for you.”

In 2016, I vow to say “no” to others and “yes” to myself more often. I’m going to do things because I truly want to do them and not just because I’m “supposed” to or I feel obligated to do so. This will be my year of saying no without explanation, without guilt and without apology.

So while everyone else is busy living a “life of yes” (here’s looking at you, Shonda Rhimes), I’ll be saying…

beyonce

What’s your New Year’s resolution? Let me know in the comments or tweet me at @LTintheCity!

(Feature image via CreateHERstock)

#GirlBOSS: Hosts of Joblogues

Admittedly, I’m a bit new to podcasts (okay, very new), but I dare to say Joblogues is my favorite. To paraphrase Drizzy Drake, they’re speaking my language.

Hosted by childhood BFFs Joymarie Parker and Cortney Cleveland, Joblogues is everything you didn’t know you needed in a podcast. From colorful commentary to candid career convos, they’re weekly show is an entertaining and educational resource for young professionals. Fact: I downloaded the Gratitude Journal app after listening to one of their mini-sodes and it’s a game-changer.

Check out my interview with the digital divas and be prepared to take notes (I know I am!).

I first came across Joblogues on Twitter and now I’m hooked. How did your podcast come about?

JP: When I first moved to New York City, I had a really tough time landing a full-time job that fulfilled my career interests but also paid the bills. A lot of my motivation to keep pushing came from conversations with peers, colleagues, friends and, of course, family. I created Joblogues earlier this year as a platform to highlight those candid career conversations to inspire others in their professional journeys.

I love that! What do you want listeners to take away from your podcasts and minisodes?

JP: The most successful people have other successful people behind the scenes, in their corner, and that’s what we want to be for our listeners. We want to remove the stigma that comes with discussing certain work topics and have real conversations about the challenges we experience daily. Sometimes those conversations make us laugh, other times they make us think, but hopefully, they always inspire you to feel like you can achieve anything you set out to achieve.

CC: I love talking to people who make their own way in life. Creative entrepreneurship is a common theme in my writing and telling their stories in a new way is what sealed the deal for me to come on the team in August. Giving people a platform to share their work and inspire others to do the same is what makes Joblogues really special to me.

That’s awesome. You ladies feature inspiring guests on your show. What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

CC: The common theme of great advice I’ve received is that your career path is very hard to plan for. I know few successful people who knew they would end up where they did at the start of their career. But, they were ready when opportunities presented themselves, and they were aware enough to recognize an opportunity when it presented itself. So I would distill that into, stay ready (so you don’t have to get ready), and keep your eyes and mind open to what your next move will be.

JP: True leadership is about impact. Taking a project, owning it, and getting credit for your work is great, but you know what’s better? Equipping others to do the same and watching your legacy unfold as those people go on to achieve their own aspirations. Sometimes, that means leading from behind.

You seem to get along so well on your show. What advice do you have for young women who want to start a business with their friends?

CC: As with any relationship, communication is key. Be clear about what your roles are. When I came on in August, Joy made a point of emphasizing the bare essentials of what she needed from me, and I tried to be clear about what I could offer. That clarity is essential to managing the expectations we have of each other, and ensuring our work relationship is a mutually beneficial one.

JP: Enjoy the opportunity to constantly learn from one another. Cortney brings such amazing energy and insight into this project that I didn’t have before – she’s a natural storyteller and writer. Every time we get together is a learning experience. Be open to that.

So true. We can all learn from each other. What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? How did it pay off?

CC: My early twenties were full of them. Moving to New York with no job. Leaving an unfulfilling job with no back-up plan. Looking back on it, I can’t even believe my decisions. The YOLO approach definitely set me up to make my life harder than it probably needed to be. But, it taught me a lot about dealing with uncertainty. My faith in myself and the universe is rock solid.

JP: Same. I’d add Joblogues to that list, too. Starting was easy. Relinquishing control and working with a team? That was tougher. It’s easy to want to baby your ideas and be defensive or overprotective, but opening myself to other perspectives has paid off with a better sounding product that I’m convinced is exponentially better than anything I could have created on my own.

Millennials are known for having various #SideHustles. How do you balance multiple passions?

JP: I get bored easily and tend to thrive when I have multiple projects that feed various passions. For interacting with youth, I have my volunteer mentoring program; for client-facing work and experiential projects, I have my day job; and for content creation and curation, I have Joblogues. Aligning myself with projects that feed specific passions helps me to have a high level of enthusiasm and energy towards each one.

CC: To-do lists are the GOAT. It’s sound too simple, but making a list is organization and goal-setting in its simplest form. I start the week making a list of what I want accomplish, then every day I decide which items I want to tackle.

I live by to-do lists, they are lifesavers!What words of wisdom would you share with your 17-year-old self?

CC: Don’t worry so much. You got this.

JP: Stay focused.

Excellent advice! I have a not-so-secret #GirlCrush on you two. Who is your #GirlCrush and why?

CC: Ava DuVernay. Poised, talented and gutsy.

JP: I’m into everyday role models (boring, I know). Women balancing motherhood and work. Women dominating the boardroom and collecting their coins. You, reading this – constantly working on improving self and supporting other women doing the same. I love that.

Everyday role models are severely underrated. What is your life mantra and why?

JP: Whatsoever you do, do it with all of your heart. – Colossians 3:23. Legacies aren’t built simply because we “put in the work.” This verse reminds me to work with heart and passion, always.

CC: It changes every year or so. But right now, “it is what it is” rules my world. It reminds me that whatever I’m going through, I can handle it. It wouldn’t be happening to me if I couldn’t.

Do you know someone who should be featured as a #GirlBOSS? Email loreal@ltinthecity.com for consideration!

Why the Gratitude Journal is My New Favorite App

For as long as I can remember, I’ve eagerly anticipated the “next best thing” in my life. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teenager. When I was a teen, I wanted to be an adult. When I was dating, I couldn’t wait to be engaged. Now that I’m married, I want to buy a house. And, every so often, when I see Facebook friends announce their pregnancies or post cute pics of their little ones, I daydream about our future family.

And I’ve applied the same…ahem, ambition…to my career as well. When I was an intern, I couldn’t wait to be on the masthead. When I was a reporter, I wanted nothing more than to be an editor. When I became an editor, I said “just kidding” and switched to nonprofits. And now that I’m a media relations manager, I’m doing everything in my power to someday become a director.

Ever since my birthday, I’ve been mildly panicking (okay, like a lot) because I only have two more years to qualify for a “30 Under 30” list. Meanwhile, it seems like everybody and their mama made a recent “40 Under 40” list of women here in Chicago and I can’t help but wonder, “what about me?!”

Yes, I know the work that I’m doing to empower young women is more important than receiving recognition for it; however, the millennial in me would appreciate a pat on the back every once in a while. Or perhaps it’s panic that I haven’t accomplished anything worthy of said recognition. I’m not quite sure…

The point is I’ve never been satisfied with where I am and I’m always looking ahead instead of enjoying the moment. While listening to my new favorite podcast Joblogues (okay, the only podcast I listen to right now…hey, I’m new to this genre), one of the hosts, Cortney, talked about gratitude and remembering to “be content with the space in the middle and enjoy the ride.” Umm…how did she know my life?!

Cortney also mentioned how using a gratitude journal helped her focus on the here and now. It was the second time I’d heard someone reference a gratitude journal as a valuable resource (the first was while reading the latest Princess Diaries book on my honeymoon…don’t judge me), so I figured why not? At Cortney’s suggestion, I downloaded the Gratitude Journal App even though I don’t normally pay for apps (call me cheap), but I figured I’d spend at least $2.99 on a physical journal, so it was worth the investment.

The idea is to write down three to five things you’re grateful for every day and you can also add images. At the risk of sounding cliche, I immediately noticed a shift in my mindset. I began intentionally seeking things to be grateful for and realized “hey, my life’s not so bad after all. In fact, it’s pretty great.”

It’s so easy to take what we have for granted: our family, our friends, our significant others, our health. But it shouldn’t take a tragic event for us to take stock of how fortunate we really are. Count your blessings every day.

I may not be exactly where I want to be right now, but I’m learning to find fulfillment where I am. As my mom always tells me when I’m feeling less-than-stellar about my current situation, “what God has in store for you, nobody can take away.”

So here’s to being happy with the here and now and learning to enjoy the ride, even when it seems like we have a long way to go.