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Day in the Life: You Can Do It

September 28th, 2009 · 10 Comments

  Boakyewaa Glover 

 

It’s 11:00 p.m. on Sunday and I’m cautiously scanning my blog entry for errors. I post once a week on Sundays, and I’ve already received two texts from friends wondering when I’m going to post. It’s my last night in Chicago. I head back to Atlanta the next day and I’d rather be with my cousins discussing world politics or lamenting the pains of the recession. But this is the life I’ve chosen, to be a full-time employee and a blogger on the side. There isn’t much room for anything else.

 

Because of the recession, everyone is working extra hard, putting in time and effort to be noticed, to be appreciated and just to help your company out of the pits. On top of that, I’m an Associate, entry level, so I have such a long way to go and so much more to prove. My work hours are often long. I can’t remember the last time I left promptly at 5 p.m. I think back to early 2008 when I was a student, and no one could reach me after 10 p.m. because my motto then was 8 hours of sleep or nothing. But now, it’s more like “6 hours, wow, great, I can work with that.”

 

It is so much harder than I thought it would be. Blogging is brand building. You set a standard, an expectation to your readers and you can’t renege on that unspoken contract. Each Sunday, my readers expect a certain standard of writing. They expect engaging and thought-provoking topics that make them pause, think and contribute. I’ve gone from 50 unique visits a day to 200 and counting. Each week as the blog grows, I have to push myself harder, be innovative and be true to my brand. It’s a headache. But it’s completely, absolutely worth it.

 

My career to date hasn’t been a conventional one, and I suspect that’s the way it’s going to be for a very long time. My resume reads like a combination of two different people.

 

My first job was as a TV Presenter. I co-hosted an entertainment show for four years. During the same four years, I wrote my first book, a science fiction novel called TENDAI, and joined my mother’s management consultancy firm. By the time I was in my second year at undergrad, I was working at my mother’s firm, co-hosting and co-producing the entertainment show, writing for a children’s TV show and maintaining a 3.9 GPA. After undergrad, I signed on full time to a management consultancy firm and landed a gig as a News Anchor and Broadcast Journalist on the very same day. My life was crazy for a long while.

 

Then I started graduate school at NYU and things changed. I just had no time to pursue my interests. My first year at Stromberg/Ketchum was no different. I just could not find the space or time to even write in my diary. I hadn’t written anything in two years. I decided that in some years, when things were slower, I’d find my way back. And then the recession hit and everything was literally falling apart. One Tuesday, I was listening to our EVP talk about two difficult lay-offs we’d just done. As I stared at him and watched his lips move, I knew, I just knew, this was it. There would be no later, no perfect moment, no perfect nothing. If I wanted to write, I had to do it now. I went home that night, picked up my computer and started writing my romantic novel CIRCLES. I haven’t looked back since.

 

I agree it is hard to pursue your interests in an economy like this. It is hard to think about joining that part-time band whiles you’re barely holding onto your job. You struggle with the notion you can’t do both. Everything becomes a chore, a necessity to earn money. You don’t typically hear about lay-offs and think, great, let me start voice lessons again! But trust me; there will honestly be no better time than the present. That elusive perfect moment you’re waiting for just won’t happen.

 

It’s been a long difficult year. I’ve worked hard at it all. And one of the greatest lesson I’ve learnt is I can do it. Simple. I know can do it. It’s a cliché and it’s corny – but that is because it is so true. Instead of fighting against what sounds ‘idealist,’ just embrace it. Idealism, realism, they’re just terms. No one should tell you what’s real, what’s plausible and what’s not. Whatever it is you want to do, I believe you can do it. No matter how impossible and drastic it may seem, it can still be done. Maybe that is why Nike is so successful with its ‘Just Do It’ slogan. It resonates within us and our inner struggle to be who we want to be.

 

In the end, I’d say enjoy it all. Make it fun, for yourself. I truthfully didn’t enjoy it for the first few months. It was tedious and I was drained. But now, I look forward to coming into work, sitting at my desk, and figuring out how to tell a company’s brand story to employees. I love lounging in my sofa at night, checking my blog and cracking up at the ridiculously funny comments on the posts. My readers are hysterical, complete class acts and I love them to bits.

 

I love every single thing that I am doing right now. And as long as I enjoy it, I’ll keep doing it.

 

Boakyewaa Glover is the author of the upcoming book CIRCLES.  Boakyewaa lives in Atlanta where she’s an Associate Consultant at Stromberg Consulting.  Her self-titled Life and Relationships blog can be found at www.boakyewaaglover.com.

Tags: Day in the Life · Guest Post

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 JS // Sep 28, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Nice one, Boakyewaa. The difficulty, I think, is combining working extra hours and the ever-present-but-exarcebated stress with the opportunity (so to speak) of/for finally doing something you always really wanted to do but never pursued. Hopefully we come out of this time all better and equipped to touch our dreams.

    Best,

    J.Sen.

  • 2 Kristina Allen // Sep 28, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Hi Boakyewaa– I too am juggling many different activities including an entry-level position, part time internship, blog, grad school, and freelance projects. It’s sometimes hard managing such a full schedule, but it’s my passion that gets me through. Friends and relatives often ask why I put myself through so much- but I don’t see it as a negative the way they do.

    I’m always so glad to hear about others who are driven by passion to do a million things because it’s all stuff we love. On long days the negative voices can sound persuasive, but we will persevere!

  • 3 Boakyewaa // Sep 28, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Wow, Kristina, you sound like you have your hands full! I admire that you’re doing this during grad school. Seriously, grad school was crazy for me!
    I started my blog primarily to promote my book, and get readers familiar with my writing. I keep asking myself, once the book is launched, am I going to keep blogging? I think so. I’ve kinda grown attached to my readers, and gotten used to the stress of it all. I’ve completely lost my Sundays, but who cares?
    And you’re right J.Sen, its difficult, but I would be an even more stressed and bitter person if I didn’t at least try.

  • 4 Mike // Sep 28, 2009 at 11:36 am

    You are passionate about the things you get involved in so it is no surprise you are able to do so much and successfully too.

  • 5 Maxine // Sep 28, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Hi, Boakyewaa, you have quite an impressive resume there! It can be quite difficult to pursue your intesrests but I think all those pursuits are what define you as a person. Sometimes I wonder if my passion really is in the healthcare field or perhaps I should go the route of journalism!…hmmm

  • 6 Edward // Sep 29, 2009 at 5:16 am

    Thank you Boakyewaa for showing some love for your hysterical readers. This is really appreciated .

  • 7 Boakyewaa // Sep 29, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Maxine, you have a great blog. You can probably keep doing it alongside nursing. But nursing is also very time consuming and challenging. Its the kind of field that I believe you need to love completely. You must have passion for it to do it. I know a couple of doctors who ended up in medicine because they were smart and figured it was the thing to do. I think thats a shame. So hey if your heart really isn’t in it, and deep down you really wanna do something else, go for it. It’s never too late to start!

  • 8 Eli // Sep 29, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Thank you for those lovely words of encouragement. I spend the little time I have encouraging the youth through my own example that there is nothing that they can’t do if they set their mind to it. In my MBA class at JHU, I am the only mother, let alone mother of 5. I have a management position that is challenging and requires me to work overtime everyday, and I am in an accelerated part-time MBA program. I take my role as mother ever so seriously, because my childred mean the world to me. If I manage 4 hours of sleep a night, after cooking, household chores, kids’ homework, office work and school work, I’m so grateful and I wake up every day with a big smile on my face, waking my kids up with hugs and kisses and promising them that today will be a wonderful day. When people ask me, “how the hell do you do it?” I just tell them to imagine being sick in the hospital and being told that they will never be able to walk or do anything again? What would you do? You will make a pact with God that if He gave you back your capabilities, you will do it all. We have the capacity to do so much more than we ever imagined. With the belief that we can, and faith in the almighty God that he’ll let us, nothing is impossible. I have stopped writing for several years, but there is still poetry, beautiful poetry within my heart, love stories formulating for the time when I can write again, and I know that time will surely come again.

  • 9 Klorkor // Oct 1, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Boakyewaa, another inspiring piece. Your drive and determination is worth emulating. I am right with you – your hard work will pay off and it already is manifesting results. I am editing my poetry collection…hopefully i do not get sidetracked with work. no more excuses!

  • 10 Boakyewaa // Oct 4, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Wow, Eli, 5 kids, I don’t even know what to say. You are truly amazing. I really admire what you’re doing – with work, school and the kids. It’s not the easiest thing ever, so its not like you can snap your finger and everything you want to do falls neatly into place. Just like you said, Eli, getting 4 hours of sleep is most often a blessing. It’s never easy, but honestly, it’s worth it, if those things you do make you happy. You summed it up pretty well – we have the capacity. And I know most people think phrases like ‘believe you can’, ‘have faith you can’, and ‘you can do it’, are silly cliche notions of ability, but I think such words are also powerful and can translate into actions. Good luck to us all!

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