Join the Movement: Walk on Water

Walking on water seems almost impossible right? But, fortunately for you, anything is possible with God.

Today is the perfect day for you to start. You will never know what is on the other side of impossible, unless you take the first step and walk on the path.

One choice today: I WILL START (you fill in the blank).

I’ll share with you how I took one step. All I knew was that I wanted to obtain more opportunities as a writer, and I believed that New York was the place for me.  So, I packed my belongings, I quit my job, with a little money saved (less than $500), sold my car to my bestfriend Sher, I called my cousin asked her to let me stay with her until I got on my feet. I had no job prospects. I just knew I had to take one step. My other bestfriend bought my one-way plane ticket to Newark, New Jersey and here I am 9 months later writing this post in New York.

 

All things are possible with God on your side.

For with God nothing will be impossible.- Luke 1: 37

Retrospection: Write the vision and make it plain

One of my favorite scriptures right now is Habbakuk 2: 2-3, Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay

I’ve always been big on writing things down, because I believe that words are extremely powerful. Life and death is in the power of the tongue. Also, I believe when you write things down it gives your plans life. When you think about it, documentation is a way of the world. Businesses, agreements, licenses are all represented through documents. If they weren’t documented, it would be no way to back up the idea.

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Get her out of New Jersey and into New York City

Finding a place to live is stressful. Finding a place to live in New York is even more stressful. Finding a place to live in New York when you are under a time constraint is beyond stressful. I can’t tell you how many people I emailed, and out of my entire search, I literally only saw four apartments. Considering that I am just getting on my feet in NY, I opted to have roommates to cut costs. The only problem with that was everyone that I actually know in NY already has a place, so I would be living with total strangers. That was already a scary thought.

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Thank you for reading my site. I really appreciate you.

First, hi to all my new followers!! I really appreciate all of you. Of course, thank you to all my veteran followers for reading my posts. I have been absent for a while from my site, and that is because I needed inspiration, and I am also in the re-branding process. So, a lot of things are changing. I literally think about this site all the time, and I needed a mental break to refresh myself. I have not stopped writing at all, and I’m still in NY. In fact, I officially live in NY (I initially lived in Jersey). Finding a place will be a post by itself.

 

I really hope that you are pushing towards whatever dreams you have. One thing I learned while searching for a place to live in New York is that you can not stop. Whatever it is, whatever you are doing, you can not stop. You can change directions, change the plan, but you can not stop. I kept searching for a place, and eventually an apartment came right to me, and it was the perfect fit. You can’t put yourself in a box at all. I had to learn again to trust the journey in finding a place, and be stable in my belief that God had an apartment just for me. Of course, he came through as usual.

Til next time.

-Jonnita

 

happiness is the choice.

We are 19 days into the new year, and it seems like time is flying already. Of course, life is already throwing curve balls my way, but I think I’m learning to curve the curve balls- meaning not letting the fear of the unknown terrify me.

So, with that in mind, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on how I desire to live in 2015.  I mean really live. I decided that happiness is a top priority for me this year.

Naturally, I am a happy person. I’m always being silly, and making people laugh, but at the same time I get distracted with discontentment.

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I stopped looking for opportunities that I could create myself.

Writing has been a serious pursuit of mine, since about 2008. After a conversation with one of my college friends, during the summer of 2008, I decided I would go full force with my writing.

So naturally I started to pursue writing opportunities of all sorts. I wrote for my college’s newspaper, I worked in celebrity gossip, I’ve worked for AOL and Groupon. All opportunities which have come and gone.

Nevertheless, I have always been looking for writing opportunities, ultimately overlooking the fact, that I could just write. Simple as that.  Searching for writing gigs is tedious within itself, so why not just create my own lane.

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i had to learn to be still.

Being still has been a struggle for me since I can remember. From childhood, every time my mom told me to be still, it’s like my world would coming crashing down.

Having to be still would literally stop me from getting into everything I wanted to get into- some things which would ultimately lead to trouble, but I didn’t always know that. I just knew I didn’t want to be still.

Even as an adult, I find it hard to actually sit still. Sometimes I rock, shake my leg, or twiddle with whatever I can find. I just have to move at some point. Standing in any line can be complete torture, because if I move, I lose my spot in line. **blank stare**

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New Year. New Beginnings.

JONNITACLife is all about change. Throughout 2014, I became more courageous in sharing my life with you, which has essentially become my testimony.

This year, I hope to continue sharing my journey and I pray you are inspired to be bold wherever you are in life.

So, welcome to jonnitacondra.com

2014 was one of the most rewarding yet challenging years I’ve had.

2014 was quite the year. When I say I was totally pulled out of my comfort zone, that would be an understatement. I promise you, every situation has really forced me to change the way I look at life.

When things went wrong, my natural instinct would be to throw a pity party, but this time around I had to fight for a new state of mind. I just refuse to believe that all the adversity I have faced was to take me out the game. I have come too far by faith to accept that this was all life has to offer me.

I had to grow up spiritually.

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Patience taught me to persevere

There is nothing like waiting.  One of my least favorite things to do is wait. It just takes so much patience. Waiting in line, waiting on food (especially when I’m hungry), waiting on people (that’s a real hard one), waiting on things to take place in life, just waiting in general is a task. But, I can say waiting, which ultimately takes patience has taught me that even though things take a long time, it’s okay.

As I was reflecting, I thought about a few things waiting has taught me.

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Everything around you is an idea.

Everything around you is an idea. When you look around, and really pay attention to what you have, you will come to the realization that everything you utilize came from an idea. Someone, no different than you and I, had an idea in their mind; they decided to build on that idea and make it grow into something.

Something as simple as the lipstick that women wear came from an idea to enhance the woman’s appearance. The hair brush, wall paper, the refrigerator, air fresheners, cars, etc.  All the little things that we use everyday, came from someone building on one idea.

At some point in our lives, we come across ideas that would probably make someone else’s life easier, but sometimes they never leave our heads. Just think if Steve Jobs never would have moved on his idea to create the Mac/
Apple brand- none of us would be using an iPhone or any Apple product for that matter.

You can even start by looking at yourself in the mirror. I can guarantee that in your reflection, you will notice you have on an idea. When you
really think about it, some individual had to come up with an idea that led to a breakthrough in technology, fashion, entertainment, etc. Any industry you can possibly think of.

We are all literally walking around full of ideas that could lead to the next big thing, which ultimately leads to wealth. Just think, your one idea can instantly change your entire life. You have the power to change your current situation, just by starting on one idea. Once you release that idea, the universe has no choice, but to bring you what you need.

Excerpt from, Five Ways to Get Your Ideas out of Your Head, Do You Have an Idea?

Click the image to order your copy today!

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It’s the 1st of the Month: Make the last 30 days count

It’s the first of the month…cues Bone Thugs-N- Harmony.

December 1st is symbolic for a few reasons:

1) It’s the first of a new month: New beginnings!

2) It’s the first of the last month of the year, which leaves us exactly 30 days until 2015

3) It’s my birthday month! 12/14 🙂

Most importantly, within this last month, let’s make the journey to the end of the year really count.

It is not too late to set goals and get them accomplished. It’s not about how you start, but how you finish.

Finish strong. Write out your goals today, and make them happen. Whatever the goals are- anything as simple as cleaning out a closet, get to it.

I am creating something for all my dreamers out there! I will be announcing in a few days!

 

Extra Stuff:

*I partnered up with Alysse Dalessandro,  the lovely creator of the Ready to Stare accessory collection to create The Dreamer Starter Kit.

Order here, grab one for yourself, a friend, anyone you know trying to get their dreams out there.

The Kit Includes:
– Custom Ready-to-Stare “I Woke Up Like Dis T-shirt”
-Handmade DOPE Brass Ring
-Copy of the Beginner Entrepreneur Handbook, 5 Ways to Get Your Ideas out of Your Head, by Jonnita Condra

TheDreamerStarterKit

 

Small Business Saturday: Special Offer for You!!

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving! In honor of Small Business Saturday, Alysse Dalessandro, owner of the Ready to Stare jewelry collection has teamed up with myself to create a special gift for you.

Put a little pep in your step with The Dreamer Starter Kit: it includes an I Woke Up Like Dis T-shirt, a handmade adjustable brass ring that reads DOPE, and a copy of my book, Five Ways to Get Your Ideas out of Your Head.

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Life in NY: Do You Know Chief Keef?

The very cool thing about not being from NY is the interesting encounters with native New Yorkers. For the record, the generalizations about Chicago are so extreme in the eyes of those who aren’t actually from the city.

Here are a few things I hear on  a regular :

1) You know Chief Keef?
-Chief Keef is not the leader of Chicago. I really didn’t grasp who he was until Kanye West released the Don’t Like remix. I have only seen Chief Keef on one occasion about 2 years ago, when I was walking down north Michigan Avenue. Unfortunately, I didn’t even know who he was until my 15 year old cousin pointed out he was Chief Keef. That explained why other teenaged girls were running up to him snapping pics. So, no, I do not know him.

2) You sound country.
-I guess the opposite of sounding aggressive is country. No offense to people from the south, but to me that’s the definition of country. I know I don’t sound like that…I don’t think. I’ve heard a variety of New York accents, some that are really cute, and then some are really aggressive. I really don’t know how to pinpoint those accents.

3) I heard it’s crazy in Chicago, like you can’t even walk outside. You from Chiraq?
-People really think Chicago is a real life war zone. I have to explain to them that Chicago has dangerous areas just like any other place. Chicago is relatively safe, it just depends on what neighborhood you’re in.

-Please do not call Chicago Chiraq. It is nowhere near the equivalent to Iraq or any war zone.

4) That’s where President Obama is from.
-That’s about the most positive thing I’ve heard about Chicago. Shout out to President Obama!

5) It’s so cold in Chicago.
-But, it’s only cold in the winter though, just like it is in New York…lol. Granted, the weather is a little crazy in Chicago sometimes with the fluctuating temperatures. I still didn’t forget that crazy winter from last year, with a blizzard like everyday.

It’s actually really funny to see the ideas people have developed about Chicago. I still can’t really pinpoint why they think I sound so country. I thought I had a cool Chicago accent up until now.

faith + story: Alysse Dalessandro, creator of Ready to Stare shares the ups and downs of having her own business

The message behind Ready to Stare is all about following your  passion, loving yourself and inspiring others to do the same. I want someone to feel empowered and confident when they are wearing Ready to Stare. I want my brand to challenge society’s standard of beauty and be a part of changing the way that we talk about bodies and body image.

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I started and lost a job all in one day.

We all know the excitement that comes with a new job…why? Because, it’s a steady form of income. So, you can only imagine how discouraged I was after losing this job. So, here is the story.

It was an early Monday morning. My work day started at 9AM, but the HR manager requested me to get there by 8:55AM…not a problem. I felt like I did everything right on this particular day, so how could life be working against me.

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Life in NY: New Yorkers will risk their lives just to cross the street

I have always been intrigued by the fast- paced life, but these New Yorkers are too fast for me. Slow down…what is the rush?

Every time I’m in the city, I witness so many people running into the streets, when they do not have the right of way, just so they can get across the street. I mean cars will be coming full speed, and these people have no worries…except to get across the street.

Naturally, I am a fast walker, I just like to get where I need to be, but being here has made me the total opposite. Anytime walking is causing me to be stressed, something is wrong. So, now I take time to enjoy the scenery. NY is still very much new to me, so everything I see pretty much intrigues me.

Then, it’s never that serious that I would jet out in front of moving vehicles just to go 500 feet, if that.  That is one NY culture trend I will not be participating in. Don’t accidentally walk in front of anyone, without paying attention, here that is equivalent to just punching someone in the face. It’s like a daily battle between pedestrians and the people driving. I know sometimes you’re in a hurry to get to a destination, but it’s never worth risking my life.

I’m just ranting. NY is always a good time, I’m just capturing all my experiences here.

Til next time.

-Jonnita

Fin: My Life Timeline is a Testimony to God’s Faithfulness

Fin.

August 31st: I woke up at about 6AM, got dressed, and closed my suitcase. My suitcase was so heavy, I couldn’t even pick it up. My God-sis and I literally struggled to get it down the stairs and into the backseat of my car. I said my goodbyes and I left. I drove to my bestfriend, Sherrie’s house, because she was my designated driver to the airport and I was giving her my car. So, our drive to the airport was cool, I just gave her the last run-down about my car. We arrive at the airport, she takes my suitcase out the car…we hug, and then we just start crying. I really didn’t want to let her go, because up until this point, she was the last part of my comfort zone I had. We finally let go, I watched her drive away and then I was by myself. Life got real.

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Part II: My Life One Year Ago, A timeline from October 2013 until Today

Part 2.

April 2014: Around this time, I was just counting down until I was leaving Chicago, I could quit working at the loan store, and I could just have new surroundings. So, I was still trying to save to leave Chicago, but it seemed like as soon as I got a paycheck, it was gone. The leave Chicago fund was slim to none, but I was still leaving. Atlanta was the move. I was just putting things in place.

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My Life One Year Ago: A timeline from October 2013 until Today

As I was sitting working on my laptop, I started to think about my life one year ago. A lot has happened in one year. So, I will share with you.

Today is November 3rd, so my life one year ago went like this…

October 2013: This was a month of separation. Everything I was attached to seemed to be detaching from me. My comfort zone was being stripped away from me. This was also the month, I unknowingly created the outline for my book. I created a PowerPoint presentation for a college career day, and I never did the presentation, because no one showed up.

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Life in NY: These Trains Scare Me

Hey Everyone! I hope your Friday is going awesome.

Before I talk about how these trains scare me, let me say that I love taking the train. I used to drive everywhere in Chicago, and that just became a drag after a while. But, riding the train is fun, because I get to explore, zone out (when needed), people watch (because, that’s always fun), think about life, pray, and all the cool things that come with being chauffeured around the city. Well, it’s not really being chauffeured, but you get my drift.

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entrepreneur + story: Altrichia Cook, How Her Desire to Create a Swimsuit to Fit Her Body Type, Led to an Entire Collection & NYFW Runway

Name: Altrichia Cook
Occupation: Founder/Creator, Allusions by A. Lekay Swimwear

A mother at 18, I have learned to appreciate my life’s journey so far.  I raised my son, worked two jobs and maintained full time student status at Florida State University for my Bachelor’s and Florida A&M University for my Master’s degrees- all because of determination! I had a lot of sleepless nights, even times where I literally cried myself to sleep. Life is not easy, and those who seem to have an easy life are constantly working and creating ways to expand. All in a short amount of time, Altrichia started her swimwear collection and landed an NYFW runway two years in a row.

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I Woke Up Like This: Am I Living Out My Dreams?

Wednesday morning (10/22) felt quite peculiar. My alarm went off at 7a.m., but I felt super groggy, so I hit snooze. It was really me against my body. Unfortunately, my body won the war, and I fell back asleep. The second time I woke up, it was 9:50a.m. This is extremely late for me to wake up. By this time, I felt like I had slept half the day already.

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Life in New York: Is it Really Dirty?

What is life like in New York? How are things going? How is your book doing? I get asked these questions pretty often by friends and family.

The one question that I really hear a lot is: Is it dirty in New York? Sometimes I think people, who have not visited NY think it’s one big trash can, full of rats…but I digress.

Life in New York is a constant transition, but an exciting one. I have always been a lover of the fast- paced city life. Bright lights, exciting events to go to, just a good time all the time.

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Howard University’s Homecoming Was a Total Culture Shock…in a Good Way

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Me: Far left. That cool guy is my cousin, and those lovely ladies are HU alum.

This weekend I took a trip to Washington, DC to visit my cousin and partake in the Howard University Homecoming festivities. I’ve been out of college for about five years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever attended another university’s homecoming outside of my own- I did party at other campuses though.

I’m not really sure what I expected, but I was totally surprised. A little back story- I went to the University of Illinois (Urbana- Champaign), which is a predominantly white institution. However, during homecoming, there was an African- American homecoming, which I attended. Definitely a great experience to fellowship with people who looked like me.

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Be present.

I don’t believe you can prepare for life.

Life is too random, too sporadic, too unpredictable… Not to mention often times unfair.

Life never gives you time to prepare, but it throws you a bowl of circumstances that force you to either sink or swim.

You better know how to swim.

What if I don’t know how to swim… Guess I’ll sink.

With little preparation… Life teaches you to be present. At some point, the very moments that we enjoy will transform into an uncomfortable situation that will leave you baffled and confused

Being present often leaves you vulnerable to any possibility, favorable and unfavorable. But what is most important is that you’re present.

Life often force teaches us to be fearless, however as humans we do the opposite and shrink with fear. We sink into a place of delusional protection. Then we become stuck.

Life is an ongoing process of losing control- letting yourself free fall into every experience, whether we like it or not.

The present is a gift.

-Jonnita

entrepreneur + story: Alechia Reese, How She Started Her Business In the Midst of a Divorce

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                 Failure is merely greatness in its infancy! – Alechia Reese

 

Name: Alechia Reese
Occupation: CEO/President, The Girl Rethought Project & Executive Director, 360 Gateway Brand Management

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faith + story: Brandi Turpin, How She Quit Her Job & Relocated to NYC

You never know what you have in common with someone until you spark a conversation. Brandi and I were standing in line at Demetria Lucas’ book signing a couple Mondays ago, and she, myself and couple other women all seemed to migrate towards each other. We all conversed and learned so much about each other in such a short amount of time. That’s when I discovered Brandi had taken the same leap of faith like myself and relocated to New York. We pretty much moved around the same time.

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Photo + story : 34th Street- Penn Station

I live in one of the many cities in New Jersey, but luckily, I am about twenty minutes away from NYC. Every time I commute to the city, the gateway station is 34th Street- Penn Station, which positions commuters right in Herald Square- everything is right here. All of your favorite stores from H&M to Macy’s. It’s a few blocks from the bigger Times Square attraction. Depending on which side of Penn Station you enter or exit,  you can see the entry to Madison Square Garden.

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(Life After College): Jeff Osuji

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Name: Jeff Osuji
Graduation Year: 2009, 2011, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
College Degree: BS, Chemistry; MBA Marketing Concentration

What did you have planned after graduation?
After graduation I planned to work for a pharmaceutical company or a medical device company, possibly in sales. I felt this would be a good use of my undergrad chemistry degree and still enable me to interact in a business environment, as opposed to spending my hours in the lab as I did during my undergrad years. Unfortunately, due to the economy, I graduated jobless and spent the weeks after graduation filling out job applications, taking mentors to lunch, and shadowing successful people in my network.

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Why are you in such a hurry…

Everyone is in such a rush these days. We rush relationships, weightloss, career paths. This generation is all for instant gratification.

I am even guilty of wanting things instantly. I released my first book, Five Ways to Get Your Ideas out of Your Head, last month, and sometimes I’m like, I should be a best-selling author by now. Then I hear a still, small voice that tells me, be patient.

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Yur Storee is Your Platform.

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As much as I enjoy sharing bits and pieces of my life with you, I really want to know your individual stories as well. This site could not possibly be called Yur Storee, without your stories!

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Are you selectively social?

I have always heard the saying, be careful how you treat people, because you might be entertaining an angel. I tend to keep that in mind, when I encounter strangers.

Being totally transparent with you, sometimes I don’t always feel like conversing. I have my reasons, because sometimes those encounters are really weird, or I fear that I may have to say something to a person that may not be what they want to hear (this is usually the case, when men try to hit on me, and I am just not feeling it).

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you have to start to be great.

It’s amazing how as children we see the world with so many possibilities, and as we age those possibilities seem to become smaller and smaller. I appreciate this four minute reminder from a 6-year-old to go back and imagine the many possibilities that life offers us.

 

golden + gems with June Ambrose

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So, last Monday during NYFW, I had the pleasure of meeting the awesome June Ambrose. I’m hardly ever star struck, but her stardom struck me.  She was super sweet, and funny.

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celebrities are human.

I usually stay far away from mainstream news, but the constant commentary and coverage regarding Ray Rice and his wife has really been on my mind. Between the media frenzy and social network commentary, somewhere down the line, the fact that these people are human continues to be neglected.

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NYFW: PRSVR Destination 14′, Fight or Flight

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If you have not heard about PRSVR, you need to get in tune. I have been following this brand for about two years now, and their evolution never ceases to amaze me.

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golden + gems: words from celeb blogger, Rae Holliday

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Before I go into the advice Rae Holliday shared with me at the Essence Block Party (see post, here), I just wanted to give a little back story to this post- and the many to follow. On occasion I run into individuals who are reflections of where I aspire to be in life, and they share kind words that push me along my journey- so I want to share those words with you too 🙂

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NYFW: Essence Street Style Block Party

How do you kick off being in New York? With a block party during New York Fashion Week! Major shout out to Essence magazine for putting this awesome event together. I truly enjoyed being amongst such a variety of people- so many stylish entrepreneurs walking around. So, here is my recap from the pordee.

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(Life After College): Aaja Corinne, The Brand

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Name: Aaja Corinne
Graduation Year: 2011, Columbia College Chicago
College Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Fashion Studies
Current Occupation: Image Consultant & Brand Stylist, Merchandise Coordinator

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See you later Chi- City.

Not a goodbye, because I will be back one day. I’m moving on to the next phase in life. For the last year, I have been talking about relocating, but it was just a thought. I thought about it countless times, but I never really acted on the decision. Finally, in December of 2013, I decided something has to change in 2014. I love my city. All of my experiences here have molded me into who I am today. But, it is time to move on.

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artist + spotlight: Maryann, Love Trap

Over here at Yur Storee, we love to support and showcase people going after their dreams. The artist being featured today is Maryann, and she brings a pretty a dope sound. The multi- talented singer is also a videographer and graphic artist too. Getting her start on a track with Talib Kweli, she has been consistently putting her music out there. This is her latest single, Love Trap,  from her sophomore album, Futuristic Always.

Follow Maryann on Twitter: xtraordinaryann

 

Are you an artist? Submit your work here.

(Life After College): Ryan Johnson

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Name: Ryan Johnson
Graduation Year: 2008, University of Illinois (Urbana- Champaign)
College Degree: Bachelor & Master’s of Science, Journalism
Current Occupation: Communications Director,  American Heart Association

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(Life After College): Nick Brown

Name: Nick Brown
Graduation Year: 2011, University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)
College Degree: Masters of Science, Architecture

(Life After College): Jennifer Ollie, University of Illinois Alum

This week Yur Storee is introducing its Life After College series. As a college graduate myself, I know what it’s like to go to school for one thing, and somehow find yourself on a totally different path during or even after college. So we decided to share a collection of post- college stories in hopes to show you that life is full of changes, and you have to just roll with the punches.

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In the Mean Time…

The distance between now, and that moment when everything comes full circle literally feels like an eternity. Why is it so far away?

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Whatever You Desire…It’s Already Yours

What does this mean? The very moment that you are hoping for already belongs to you. In my adult life,  I have spent so much time searching for opportunities…just always searching. I’ve spent so much time searching, because I didn’t know what I had. I was living in a mindset of lack (and  sometimes I still do). I was living like I didn’t have anything. Like, my dreams were unattainable. Like I don’t have the power to make things come true. Like I don’t have any resources around me.

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