My Liberation: How chopping off my hair had unintended consequences

For those of you who are regular readers and followers of my blog, I must tell you that this particular post is going in a completely different direction. I’m not providing any political or news commentary nor am I offering any PR or dating advice. This post is focused on me and how a decision to cut my hair exposed some pretty ugly things about myself.

I hope you will continue reading, but if not I understand.

Yesterday, I made the decision to cut my hair. It had been a choice I had been battling with for a while. It wasn’t that I didn’t want short hair because I’ve had that before, but it was the “going natural” part that scared me.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “going natural” it is when a woman (particularly an African-American woman) decides to forego the chemical straighteners in favor of their natural curls or kinks. It can be done through a “grow-out” or “transition”  process which simply means you stop relaxing your hair and let the new growth (original hair) come in without cutting off the relaxed ends. Or you can do a “Big Chop” in which you completely cut off the relaxed part of your hair and just sport a very tiny curly haircut.

My intention was to do a gradual grow-out with mini chops along the way. It had already been awhile since I had a relaxer. I was previously wearing my hair in a weave. So I knew I had a lot of new growth and suspected that

 my mini-chop wouldn’t be that bad. After washing my hair, it was determined that about half of my hair needed to go. I was fine with that. That would have placed my hair at a length I rocked once before.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the true length that was to come. Stress affects everyone differently. Some people gain weight, others lose weight, some get acne, and others lose their hair. I fall within the losing hair category. What started off as a manageable previously known cut turned into a severe cut that was very very short.I was able to hold on and not let a tear fall, but it was at that moment I realized how attached I was to my “straight hair.”  I wasn’t attached to the length of my hair, but rather the texture of it. I would rock a short straight cut with no problem, but this new short curly cut was foreign to me and definitely frightening.

All of the stereotypes that I have heard in the past about black women and short curly hair came flooding my mind. I instantly felt less attractive and more masculine. I remember thinking I looked like Florida Evans from Good Times. If you’ve never seen that show, I suggest you find a clip of the show on YouTube. I digress.

If you’re part of the African-American community, you know and understand that often being referred to as Florida Evans is not a compliment in the context of hair. To summarize quickly, Florida Evans had the “bad hair.”  The texture of her hair was very coarse, thick,  and difficult to manage. On Good Times, she could be seen sporting a less than flattering afro.

In another blow to my already shocked system, I realize I was allowing my mind to engage in a self-hatred of people who shared similar characteristics with me. I was allowing my mind to perpetuate the idea that coarse kinky hair is “bad hair,” and women who have it are unattractive and more masculine. I often bash how “my people” portray themselves and tear each other down, but here I was because of a new ‘do doing the exact same thing!

As I sat there regretting choosing a new direction for my hair, I realized that  most of my insecurity had nothing to do with the length or texture of my hair, but it had more to do with me personally. With longer hair, I was able to hide my face with bangs or a bob. With shorter cuts, I always made sure I had some sort of bang that was able to “hide” my face.

With my new natural short cut, there was nothing to hide my face with (other than a brown paper bag). I was exposing my face and thus myself to scrutiny and rejection.  I was opening myself up, and revealing the me I’ve been hiding from most everyone. I was becoming vulnerable.

The haircut ,that was unintentionally scheduled for June 19 also known as “Juneteenth” the day when the slaves learned of their freedom, was supposed to be my liberation from chemically processed hair.  Instead I found I was free to show the “real” me.  Like some of the slaves who learned of their freedom, I prefered not to be “free.” Being enslaved to my chemically straight hair that was damaged was a much better alternative to this new and liberating cut.

The cut just forced me to see that no matter how much I try to portray confidence with  a  bang or angled bob, I still have many insecurities that aren’t tied to my hair. Until I effectively deal with them, no matter how my hair is styled I will always feel as though I’m not good enough.

The feedback from my new hairstyle has been overwhelmingly positive with many people saying it highlights the best part of me, my face. And while peer validation is important, I know that I will not be comfortable, free, or truly natural until I validate me.

Me the morning after my “Big Chop”

Signed,

Laniece D. Williams

PR For Dating: Be Selective

I guess one of the benefits of being a mother while still in my 20’s is I’m not tied into some sort of crazy biological clock that rushes me into relationships, down the alter, and into the delivery room before my “time” expires. I have my child and we are doing fine together as a team. Despite the mindset of some of my family and friends who believe “every single mother is looking for a father for her child.” 

Venturing off course for a second, I will say that is one of the dumbest things I have heard.  My son has a father and I’m not necessarily looking for someone to replace his father. However, I do want the person I am involved with to be a positive influence on my child and develop a caring friendship with him. I digress.

Back to being selective.  When it comes to my career in public relations, I don’t have the option of being selective. I am still trying to build my career, establish my connections, and gain more clients. I really cannot afford to be selective. Dating is different. Because I have the option of ignoring my biological clock, I am taking my time choosing a partner that is right for me and my established team. It keeps me home most Friday and Saturday nights, but my heart, mind, and soul thanks me in advance. I realize that this isn’t feasible for some and others just don’t want that option. That’s fine.

 If you want to be selective in dating, many of the techniques used by PR professionals when evaluating a potential relationship with a client transfer into the dating world. Freelance Folder offers 42 Questions that every freelancer (dater) should ask before deciding to work with a client. I’ve picked three questions they suggest freelancers should ask before signing on a client. Though these are for business relationships, I believe those of us who are single could benefit if we asked similar questions

1. What is most important to you? Quality or Speed? I ask this question of anyone I am thinking about offering PR services to, it’s also an important question to ask while dating. It offers you a greater insight into the values and priorities of the person. Neither answer is right. It’s a preference. If you rather take your time and produce quality work, then it’s not best to work with a client who wants the deadline met at all costs. This questions helps you to learn the priorities, values, and preferences of a person. Disclaimer: this should not be your only measurement for values and priorities.

2. How often do you want updates on my progress? Again, this a no-brainer for freelancers and PR practitioners alike. You’re probably thinking what does this question have to do with dating.  Rephrase the question. How often do you evaluate your relationships ?  I’m a firm believer that the best way to keep things steamy in a relationship is to do periodic “check-ins.”   Progress reports don’t have to follow a particular timeline nor do they have to be in-depth. But a simple ” is there anything on your mind?” works. I would imagine must of us do a progress report after date one. It  usually determines if there is a date 2, but what happens after that? Check-in every so often to make sure you and the other person are on the same page. It could save your heart later.

3. What is the best way to contact you? You’re probably wondering why this question matters. Every client has a preferred method of contact. Some want strictly phone calls, only e-mails, or just face-to-face interaction. If you examine yourself and your habits, you have preferences on how you want to be contacted, especially for a date.

I don’t necessarily like talking on the phone. Part of my current job function is talking on the phone to sometimes questionable people trying to resolve their issues. When it’s time to go home, the last thing I want to do is have a 45 minute phone conversation. I prefer face-to-face communication when I am in the beginning stages of dating someone.

Aside from my dislike of phones, I like face-to-face communication because you learn a lot about a person from the way they move their body.  Text messaging is cool  for a quick conversation to see how each other’s day is going, but text me for a date and I promise there won’t be one. Decide on your best method of contact and make it clear.

If after asking and receiving answers on these three questions, you find that the relationship may not be what you originally envisioned, be selective and show them the door. Unlike my PR career that I am still trying to build, I have the option to be selective in choosing whom I date.

Whatever you decide, happy dating!

Signed,

Laniece D. Williams

Day One: Good Luck Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney has recently released a new ad telling voters all the things he’s going to undo during his first day in office. Mainly everything Pres. Obama has already accomplished. I am annoyed with this ad not because he aims to undo some of the great work of the president, but because like most people, he hasn’t taken the time to realize that realistically, most of the things he wants to do or undo cannot be accomplished easily.

The main thing Mitt Romney is promising to repeal  Day One is the Affordable Healthcare Act, better known as Obamacare (I hate that term by the way). Good luck achieving that one Mitt. 

Allow me to offer you a lesson in civics. The Affordable Healthcare Act was passed by CONGRESS. Not Pres. Obama. He pushed for it and signed the bill into law, but CONGRESS drafted and ultimately passed the bill. So what does that mean? It means it cannot be undone by a simple Executive Order, but it must be repealed  through more legislation that must go through Congress. If the last few years have taught us anything, it is Congress doesn’t do anything expeditiously, but will fight to the bitter end over matters as trivial as what size font to use. I may be exaggerating here, but I doubt it.

If you’re thinking that the Supreme Court can overrule this law, you’re partially right. The bone of contention in the law is the individual mandate that requires all Americans to purchase health insurance. If the Supreme Court only rules that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, but not the entire law, then the Affordable Healthcare Act still stands partially. In order for it to be completely repealed by the Supreme Court, they must rule the bill in its entirety unconstitutional.

The Keystone Pipeline may actually reopen on Day One because the regulations regarding drilling aren’t a matter of congressional law, but Executive Order. However, before you get excited, let me remind you that just because it CAN be reopened on Day One, doesn’t mean it will. There is a lot of preparation that goes into opening a pipeline and getting it ready to drill. Machinery needs to run and peopled need to be staffed.  Granted, all of this can be done ahead of time in anticipation of Romney issuing the Executive Order, but as recent polls show, it’s still to early to tell.  If by some miracle or sheer determination the Keystone Pipeline is reopened on Mitt Romney’s first day as President, it will still be a few days perhaps week before the average American sees any real benefit, if one exists.

I’m not a White House insider or an expert, but common sense tells me that trying to undo four years in One Day is a bit ambitious. It is feasible according to a recent CNN article, but highly probable is highly unlikely.  The Day One ad reminded me of the 3am phone call  ad Hilary Clinton ran during the 2008 primaries. It got people talking and it had them asking questions about Obama’s experience and whether or not he was truly ready to be the Commander -in- Chief.  But as later news reports showed at 3am, it’s not the president answering the phone, but a switchboard operator.

The Romney ad served it’s purpose. It created a lot buzz for the Romney campaign and got people thinking and some instances dreaming and hoping for a new and better government under Mitt Romney.  But when put to the test, I doubt this bucket can hold water. I could very well be wrong, but my research and knowledge tells me differently. But who am I to kill dreams?

Signed,

Laniece D. Williams

Why I’m a Christian Liberal

I’ve discovered over the past few years, mainly by accident, that I have a weird love/hate relationship for politics. I love the debates,the issues, and the ways people will argue passionately for a cause they believe in regardless of how asinine it may be in my opinion. I hate it because of the partisan gridlock and  blame-game that’s done each day at expense of suffering thousands. But like a good reality TV show, I cannot stay away.

I recently had a rather informative and semi-heated discussion with a co-worker about how Christians should vote in elections. My co-worker, who for the sake of this post I will refer to as Dean, argued that for anyone to call themselves a Christian and follow God, they must look to the Bible and vote for the candidate that most resembles God and His Commandments. In the case of the 2012 election, it would be the Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney.

He proceeded to argue the following points: the Republican Party, and thus Mitt Romney, believe in Pro-life, working for food, marriage between a man and woman, and unwavering support for Israel. He went on to say that by voting to re-elect President Obama,  is voting yes to abortion (a vote against God), yes to gay marriage (a vote against God), yes to people getting by on welfare ( a vote against God), and so on.

As I listened to him try to convince me to pick the more Conservative route, it  dawned on me that once again, people pick out portions of the Bible to promote whatever cause they are involved in at the present moment. There are more verses written in the Bible on how we should treat each other and caring for the poor than there are regarding homosexuality and abortion combined. By voting liberal, I am not voting against God nor am I  saying yes to Satan and corruption. If anything,  I am saying yes to God and His desires for mankind.

Let’s take all the commandments and verses out of the argument and let’s just examine the type of relationship God wants to have with us. From the moment God created Adam, it was his desire that WE would come to desire a relationship with Him.  He made it very clear that He would not force us to do anything, but we have free will to do what we want.

Yes, God created commandments (laws)that outlined proper behavior and what the consequences would be should we fail to follow the commandments. To my knowledge a verse doesn’t exist that says God will make you follow him and His laws ALWAYS. This is however is different from predestination.

So back to my discussion with my co-worker Dean. I listened to his arguments and simply asked his opinions on free will. He agreed with free will and as a Republican-leaning Independent, it was something he was in favor of. Dean believed that the government had grown too large and had invaded many of  the personal liberties the Founding Fathers had fought for.

And there was my in.  When Dean wanted to argue the points under the Old Testament, I agreed that Jesus’ coming did not  override the Old Testament and commandments, but through Jesus we had direct access to God. Because Dean was so focused on God’s commandments and adhering to God’s law,  I pointed out to him the story of the Jewish Leader who tried to trap Jesus by asking him what is the greatest commandment. In response Jesus surmised that the greatest commandment is that you would love your neighbor as yourself, shortcomings and all.

When Dean proceeded to say that Christians like me were part of the reason this country was in such moral decay, I prayed real quick and remind him of  our primary responsibilities as Christians. I told Dean that this commandment along with free will does not let Christians off the hook in regards to spreading the Gospel and promoting Jesus Christ and salvation. The Bible clearly states that it is our responsiblity to warn the people (what a life without salvation will mean to your soul) and by warning the people, the blood is no longer on our hands. However, failure to warn the people (spread the Gospel) means the blood (or the reasons for their damnation) would be on our hands. We are responsible for telling others about Christ and the path to salvation. We cannot save them, that is their choice and God’s business.  Furthermore, I had to remind Dean one of the primary reasons Christians have such a hard time promoting Christianity to non-believers is because we tend to focus on the commandments and condemn people for what they are doing wrong. To fully be more Christ-like, we needed to meet their needs first and then through our actions and loving approach begin to introduce them to Christ.

I digress.

As a Christian, I will tell you my opinion on any issue you may find important to you.  I may even reference a scripture and tell you how my relationship with God impacts my opinion. I will even offer you the consequence of your choice as God states it (if relevant), but I will  NOT condemn you for your choices. I will still love and respect you. My job as a Christian is to lead you to Christ, not brow-beat you into forming a relationship with him. That goes against what God desires, for us to come into relationship with him freely.

So to summarize, I am a Christian Liberal because:

1. I believe in helping the poor. Now, I do not believe that people should stay on welfare forever and receive handouts when they are perfectly capable of working, but in some instances, it is necessary to lend someone a helping hand.

2. I believe in the concept of free will. For a party that touts personal liberty and promotes a more limited government, I have a hard time reconciling why it is important for the [Republican] government to legislate what I can and cannot do with my body, who I can and cannot sleep with, and what I can and cannot smoke. Especially when I am a full functional, rational, working adult.

3. Because I believe in people helping people. No explanation needed.

In two-party America, neither party is perfect and neither are going to give me all that I ask for or think would work best in running this country. But from my standpoint, I am going with the party that is more concerned with choices and fair share than the party that looks only at the moral conduct portion of the Bible.

For these reasons, I am a Christian Liberal.

Signed,

Laniece D. Williams

I took a nap

Yesterday, I celebrated another birthday. For the weeks and days leading up to my “big day,” I was extremely nervous and not all that excited. It wasn’t that I was turning another year older (I’m 26 by the way), rather it was I didn’t want a repeat of my birthday last year.

Last year I had an enormous celebration that ultimately changed the course of my life.  This year, I was just trying to avoid bad decisions and more regrets. Friends and colleagues kept asking me what I was going to do. When I responded with “go to church,” I was met with curious and skeptical glances. I didn’t want a fanfare. Just a quiet day with a good slice of cake.

When I woke up yesterday morning, it didn’t feel like my birthday, but just another Sunday. As I began to embark on my Sunday morning routine, I briefly got depressed because I realized that my life was so different from the life I sketched out for myself when I was 7.

While sitting in church, once again it hit me how truly blessed I am. I have an amazing family, and I am blessed with an incredible little boy. I have had the opportunity to travel to some great places and meet even more wonderful people. I’m not married nor am I where I would like to be professionally, but I know that where I am right now is where God intended me to be.

My mother asked me after church what I wanted to do for my birthday. My response was simple. ” I want to take a nap.”  Being a new mother, sleep, especially naps, come at a premium. She agreed to watch my son and for three hours I got to sleep uninterrupted. My best birthday present ever!

When I woke up, I sat in my bed and thought for a little while. I can’t undo my past mistakes and I can’t keep reliving the moments that led to some of my regrets. All I have is this day and this moment to do something different. It doesn’t have to be grand or life-changing, but something different from my ordinary.

So in my 26th year, I resolve to do the following:

  • Laugh more and cry less
  • Forgive others and forgive myself
  • To live life just as God intended me to do:Fully and enjoyably
  • And to take a few naps so I can gain a fresh perspective.

And yes, I got my slice of cake.

Signed,

Laniece D. Williams

The Return of PR for Dating

About a year ago, I briefly introduced a series I titled “PR for Dating.” The various posts featured concepts that many PR professionals use everyday and how those skills relate to the world of dating and relationships.

As life got hectic, I strayed away from the posts and dating altogether. PR Daily reposted an article in January by Tom Chambers on “How to Date a PR Professional.” The post featured four key things potential mates should know  before embarking on a dating relationship with a PR person.

I chuckled as I read the list because I found that although it was  not comprehensive, it was fairly accurate.  As with horoscopes, I don’t think that a person thinking about dating someone in the PR profession should strictly adhere to it, but it does offer a good starting point.

As a PR professional I am returning to the dating scene. After a crisis in my life and major shift in my plans, I am returning to the dating scene with a renewed spirit and fresh hope.

For starters, I guess  I should use my experience in media pitching to somehow “pitch” myself to potential suitors. Join me on what is sure to be a hilarious journey.  If you have any advice, I’m open considering my previous relationships have teetered on the disastrous side. Here’s to happy dating!

Signed,

Laniece D. Williams

Stories You May Have Missed This Week

Just a list of some  interesting news stories you may have missed this week.

Human Impact-

  •  Woman dies in jail after being kicked out the emergency room – A Missouri woman died from blood clots in a St. Louis jail after she refused to leave a hospital she was in for treatment for a sprained ankle and other medical issues.  She leaves behind two children.

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Medical

Let’s Talk Politics

In life, we all need a little entertainment

7 Things Trayvon Martin Can Teach Us

Over the past few weeks, the tragic story of Trayvon Martin has dominated news organizations and social conversations.  Although many of the facts are still in question, one thing reigns true, a young man died to way too soon.  As PR professionals, Americans, and individuals, what can we learn ?

1. Social media has tremendous power.  This is not a surprise. We’ve known it for a long time , but every once in a while an event will take place that reminds us of the global influence it has.  Trayvon was shot on February 26, but the country and the world didn’t learn about his story until almost three weeks after the incident had occurred. Through various tweets and Facebook posts from his supporters, news influencers became aware of the story and started to report it. Since then, there is not an hour that goes by where Trayvon isn’t tweeted or posted about.

2. In a crisis tell your story, and don’t let anyone tell it for you.  The Sanford Police Department broke the number one commandment in handling a crisis. They have let the media dictate the direction of this case and how they handled it.  As details about the case begun to emerge the Sanford PD has had to react to certain allegations of impropriety.  From the first accusation, Sanford PD should have been the main source of information.  Many of the details about the case have come from outside sources making it appear that the police have something to hide. unfortunately because of this, no matter what the special investigation uncovers, the Sanford PD will be considered a corrupt police force unable to properly investigate crimes.

Furthermore, George Zimmerman has yet to release his own statement regarding the incident. Instead he is relying on his friends and attorney to recount his version of the event. While they can attest to his character, only he can provide answers to critical questions .

3. Your past, sometimes unfairly, can harm you. Over the past 48 hours, troubling stories have emerged about Trayvon Martin.  Information about his suspension from school for an alleged drug offense are beginning to tarnish(intentionally or not) this young man’s reputation.   As a professional under the communications umbrella, I believe that all sides of a story should be investigated fully and accurately. Facts should be reported in such a manner that is informative and does not condemn. Regardless of Trayvon’s past indiscretions, the ugly truth is he’s dead and the focus should be on justice. Whatever that happens to be.

4. When there is a national tragedy, people will find a way to capitalize. Nothing horrified me more than to read that the New Black Panther Party had put a bounty on George Zimmerman’s head.  Like many Americans I am upset about the handling of this investigation, and I want to see justice served. By seeking revenge on Zimmerman, the New Black Panther Party is perpetuating the cycle of vigilante justice. You don’t have to agree with Zimmerman’s actions, but he is entitled to due process under the law.

Moreover, the New Black Panther Party is not helping to bring positive awareness to their organization and the causes they represent. This move just solidifies in some minds that the Black Panther Party, no matter how “new” is a radical organization whose sole mission is to bring about change through violence.

5. In an election year anything can become fair game for politicians.  With all the problems facing this country, it saddens and enrages me that Trayvon Martin has become another bullet point in campaign speeches and rhetoric. 

Last week, Pres. Obama responded to a question from a reporter about Trayvon Martin. He responded by saying “you know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin.”  He went on to that this is a time when all Americans should do some soul-searching about how something like this was allowed to happen.

It wasn’t long before GOP candidates  began to criticize Pres. Obama for his comments.  Santorum and Gingrich accused the President of playing the race card and making statements that were “disgraceful” and “divisive.”  The truth of the matter is Pres. Obama is an African-American male who in one degree or another has been in Trayvon’s shoes. He was not being divisive, but rather he was giving Ian honest non political opinion about an issue that has gained  national attention.

7. This too shall pass.  Remember Sean Bell, Jena Six, or Troy Davis? These are just a few of the cases that gained some degree of national attention in recent years regarding race and justice in America. For days and even weeks, they placed the country in an uproar with demands for sweeping changes in the judicial system and greater accountability for law enforcement. Sadly after a few weeks of hoopla, we as a nation forgot about their plights and our crusade for “liberty and justice for all.” As a result, there are more Sean Bells, Jena Sixes, and Trayvon Martins.

We cannot continue to ride the wave of justice during high tide and then leave when the fervor behind it has died down. For any real change to take place we must continually work for and seek out justice. Not only for Trayvon, but for the thousands of Americans, red, yellow, black and white who have been denied the right of justice guaranteed by the Constitution.

Signed,

Laniece D. Williams

I didn’t get what I wanted, but I got what I needed

I prayed to God for more money. He showed me how to consolidate more of my bills so my money would last longer than my month.

I asked God for a new job. He decided to make me a mommy.

I asked God that He would enlarge my territory and He showed me people who needed my help.

I prayed to  God that He would send me someone who would love me as much as I would them and He gave me a son.

I asked God to help me be kinder and more patient.  He left me in my current job.

I asked God to give me better friends. He took all my friends away so I could learn that He is a friend like no other.

I didn’t necessarily get what I wanted, but God gave me everything I needed. He didn’t change my situation, but instead He changed me. That’s a blessing and an answer all by itself.

Signed,

Laniece D. Williams

What being pregnant has taught me about PR

If you read the tagline of my blog, it states that this is “what I’ve learned while working in PR and what I’ve discovered about life along the way.”  It’s funny how some of my personal life experiences can translate into the same situations I find myself facing in my professional life as I strive to establish a career in PR. From dating experiences that I have used to in PR to establish proper communication techniques for various audiences to the different personality types I have encountered that taught me who wouldn’t necessarily be the best person to run a social media campaign.

However, no experience to date has taught me more about a career in PR  than learning that I was pregnant.  This nine month journey is almost over, but the lessons I have learned have made my life journey a bit easier and as time goes on, hopefully it  will make me more successful as a PR professional.

Even the best laid plans can go awry:

I am the type of type of person who likes to plan things down to the smallest detail. I try to account for every scenario and all the things that could go wrong and have a plan to combat it.  But what I’ve discovered is that even when you plan everything “perfectly” and even when you think you have accounted to every possible scenario, things will still go wrong. What you do after that and how you handle the setback is what makes the difference.

The show still has to go on:

So your “perfect” plan has gone horribly wrong and the first instinct may be to panic or even cry. You can do that, but at the end of the day, you still have a job to do and you must do it in a way that maintains standards of excellence and integrity.  Your client or organization still expects you to communicate their message to a particular audience.  The website that was redesigned to focus on a new product or service has crashed two minutes before launch. Okay, it sucks, but what can be done in the meantime? Can you use social media to showcase some of the features? Can  the existing website still be used and some features quickly added while you wait for the new website to be completed? Perhaps there is another announcement that may have been pushed to the back burner because of the latest announcement that  is still important and exciting. The great thing about PR is opportunities are always around. Sometimes there are the opportunities we seek and at other times, there are the opportunities we find because we don’t have an alternate choice.

I don’t think anyone was more surprised by my pregnancy than me. I definitely didn’t plan it and I thought I had taken all precautions to prevent it, but even still my son will be here soon. 

In  an honesty moment, I will say this. When I found out I was pregnant, I was scared and angry. I had so many things planned for my life and so many things that I wanted to do and so many things I needed to do that I could not fathom a child, my child, coming in and being able to fit into all of this organized chaos.  At the time of my discovery I was and still am trying to establish a career in PR.  It’s hard to find a job period nowadays. Add the stress of a new baby and it’s twice as hard.

But at either rate, he is coming and I still have a life to live and a career to get on track. One monkey (baby) can’t stop my show. With my son coming, I am even more determined to be successful and still do all the things I want to do and need to do to prove myself as an example to him. Life hands you setbacks, but you have to keep moving.

Even when the best laid plans go awry look for the lesson and/or the opportunity:

As I mentioned before, PR offers a variety of opportunities sought after or not. Each day is a learning experience.  Your speaker or industry expert has suddenly gotten ill or had a family emergency 90 minutes before he is to give a highly sought after television interview. The opportunity here may be to give another person who has been trained the chance that they have been waiting for. If there is no other person, the lesson here could be to always have multiple people who are trained that can deliver the same message on short notice.

Perhaps a community event you planned didn’t generate the response you predicted or generated a response from an unintended audience. The lesson could be to establish better research techniques before embarking on such an endeavor. The opportunity could be that now you have access and a chance to connect with an audience that you haven’t previously considered or that has been largely ignored. Whatever it is, make the best of it.

My pregnancy has forced me to learn a lot of lessons and is causing me to seek out new opportunities that I didn’t necessarily want or were too afraid to embrace. I’ve learned life rarely goes as planned, just because you have a master’s degree doesn’t mean your new and improved job is going to come and people sometimes disappoint you and hurt you without even realizing it.  Those are just a few. 

But on the flip side and even brighter side, I’ve found that my original passion hasn’t died and even though PR isn’t yielding the professional results I hoped it would at this point, I still have time to make things better. The opportunity? Branching out on my own and using my experience and education to help companies deal with a sometimes underserved  necessity of employee communications. 

I’m not sure where I will end up professionally or where I will end up on the parenting scale. What I do know is my original “perfectly” laid plan has failed and the show has to  go on. How it ends, well, that’s up to me.

Signed,

Laniece D. Williams

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