I’m Engaged!

This week the most amazing thing happened!

I said YES to the person that I haven’t known the longest, but to someone who I trust, love and can’t wait to experience the rest of my life with…

…my dream!

Yep, I’ve decided to finally, reallllllly marry my dream.

My dream of having a career in entertainment started at a very young age. No lie, I was probably six when Ma Dukes realized that I was an avid reader and talker and writer. I excelled in English and Language Arts but was horrible at Math (later I’d learn that most creative people are right-brained). When Living Single premiered in 1993, I instantly became a fan. Where else would I find a book smart lawyer with razor cut wit, a tough magazine owner, a stylish, but insanely shallow fashionista and a carefree hippie all in one show? And they were black women who looked exactly like the women in my family? SOLD.

I remember telling Ma Dukes that I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up — Khadijah! What I really meant was a journalist. And I wanted to go to Howard University, well, because that’s where Khadjiah went. I’d later to come to my HBCU-senses (hehe) and attend Grambling State University, but even after obtaining my degree from the best school in the world, I was far from a journalist. In high school I was Editor of the Yearbook and I had two years worth of reoccurring appearances as a High School correspondent on a sports news show on the ABC affiliate in Dallas-Ft. Worth, but I still didn’t know how to make my dream a reality.

While in college I became involved in the Grambling Sports Radio Network where I was the lead sideline reporter for four years. In that role I came across the opportunity to work for the NBA during the 2008 All Star Game in New Orleans. During my time in undergrad is also when I conducted my first celebrity interview. Unfortunately I can’t remember who it was, but it was then, on the 50-yard line, that I realized I had to find a way to transition from sports to entertainment reporting. While I’d miss walking around the Complex gawking at ridiculously gorgeous, half-naked 20-somethings, celebrities and entertainment news felt more natural to me. I was able to go off the cuff without wondering if I misusing all the sports terminology.

*insert wedding music* I realized how dedicated I was to my dream when the NBA called. It was my last year at Grambling and they wanted me as a Talent Escort. However, I’d have to miss a week of school AND find a way to New Orleans (which is about five hours away). I told Ma Dukes, she was cool. I told my Professor, she was not. I went anyway and escorted some of the biggest celebrities around. It was there that I fell in professional love with Deion Sanders’ humility and graciousness and developed a disdain for a popular but arrogant boxer (yes, him).

Fast forward a few months later and I’d graduated (ONLY by the grace of God. No, really. I sat in the wrong class allllllll semester long and didn’t realize it until two weeks before graduation. More on that in another post) but I had no job. I worked at my church for $7.25 an hour in the front office. For a year. With a college degree. I had no car and I was living at home. I was depressed. I wanted to quit and I was broke. I literally made $200 every two weeks. With a college degree. I stumbled upon a job for a nationally syndicated radio host who needed work while he was in Dallas on Craigslist (yes, Craigslist) and I immediately applied. It was only for two days but when would I ever have the chance to work with Steve Harvey ever again? I’d later learn that I’d have three more opportunities, from his team personally. I took off, made $300 for two days of work and was asked to come to Las Vegas a few months later to work the Hoodie Awards, now known as the Neighborhood Awards. Again, I had no idea but that dedication and persistence began my walk down the aisle toward my dreams.

During that time I was also FREElancing for a few popular magazines, still working at my church and taking every opportunity I could. I eventually found a job in HR and would spend the next few years making between $10 and $12 an hour. With a college degree. In 2010 I came across a tweet from a PR agency in Chicago that was looking for an intern. I applied and got it. I quit my job, drove the 16 hours to the city and began a three month internship. I was paid $300 at the end of the internship. I didn’t get an offer to join the company so I moved back home. The week of me moving home I saw a tweet about a radio host needing temporary help while his Senior Producer was on maternity leave. I had a brief interview process (with his Producer, who happens to work at the same company as I do now) over the phone and was hired before I even made it back to Texas.

*turns wedding music up a notch* The position with Michael Baisden lasted only two months before I was randomly let go. *wedding music fades* Thank goodness I learned early on how to properly leave a job, because they hired me back into my old position…only for me to quit again three months later. I was moving to New York! *turns up music three notches*

It was August 2011 and even though I had nowhere to stay and I’d be making $300 every two weeks, I was working for a HUGE name as a Public Relations assistant. IN NEW YORK CITY. Three months later I was fired and broke in the busiest city in the country. I had an interview with BET the same day I was let go. Nothing ever came of it and once again I found myself lonely, depressed, broke and HUNGRY. For two months I only left my apartment to go to the corner store to buy Ramen Noodles. In December 2011 I moved back to Texas. That aforementioned wedding music was completely inaudible at this point.

Although I was still freelancing, now making $35 an article at one particular magazine, I felt my dream slipping away. Real quick. In two years I worked at Enterprise and found my way back to HR as Recruiter at the largest staffing agency in the country. I hated my work life during that time. I was disappointed, mad at God and ultimately felt like a failure. Many don’t know, but I lived at home until I was 28. I just turned 29 this past June. That in itself was embarrassing for me.

So while I was in the midst of hating my work life and sometimes my personal life, I was told that something HUGE was coming my way. If your faith isn’t strong, you may have a hard time with this part of my journey. My Pastor told me on a Sunday in January 2014 that my dream job was coming. I quit my job about two weeks later. Yeah. I know.

I was unemployed for three months. I received an email from the VP of Marketing & Digital Properties from REACH Media, the company that owns the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the Rickey Smiley, Russ Parr and Yolanda Adams shows as well as a few others. That email came on a Sunday. That inaudible wedding music I mentioned earlier was suddenly blaring at alarming decibels. I accepted the position in March 2014 and am now staring my dream in the face, ready to be as committed and dedicated and persistent and fearless as that 20-year-old that left school for a week to work with the NBA, only to quit the same job twice to take opportunity by the horns.

How?

By trusting completely in God. By being able to say out loud and really believe that I’m favored and talented and deserving of good things. By working hard as hell. And I mean realllllly hard. Some of you only see the celebrity interviews and photos with said celebrity, but you don’t see me rolling out of bed at 3:30am Monday through Friday to be at work at 4:30am (along with the other things I can’t discuss. Those non-disclosure agreements are real. Lol). I’m not complaining though, this is the life l chose.

So now that part of my dream has manifested right in front of my eyes, I will continue to go after my next goal. In the meantime, I encourage you to take the path necessary to live for a living. To not let the fear of failure, lack of finances or people limit you from pursuing whatever it is you want out of YOUR life.

#MarryTheDream

…now if I could only drink more water.

It Ain’t Easy Being Me

I borrowed this title from my Pastor’s sermon last Sunday. It immediately resonated with me.

I’m going to be honest here – and with no disclaimer and justification.

You guys only see the things that I allow you to on my social media platforms. Instagram is probably where I’m most vulnerable, open and show most of my personality. Facebook is usually for pictures of myself (that sounds so vain). And this blog, chile I don’t even know what this is. I still haven’t figured it out yet.

But let me start with the reason I can boldly identify with the title of this post.

Y’all see the photos of different celebrities and I and you like them and comment with the nicest things.

MikeEpps

MarlonWayans

Jussie

Estelle

Erica

The last couple months you’ve even seen me talk to Jazmine Sullivan.

JazmineSullivan

..and Tyrese.

Tyrese

…and Ciara.

Ciara

…and Avant.

Avant

…and Marcus Spears (I’ll share that interview next week).

MarcusSpears

You all see the Glory but don’t know all the things I’ve been through to get to this point in my life. And that’s okay. This isn’t a woe is me post at all. I mean, I’m incredibly blessed to do what I do for a living.

What this is, is a place for me to vent (only to a certain extent though. Those non-disclosure agreements are real, Lol). Vent probably isn’t the right word. More like share. Okay, and vent.

This career I’ve chosen to be apart of is tough. The last few weeks at work have been extremely draining for me (despite two really great interviews). I’ve been faced with so many different obstacles at work and I literally found myself asking God the same questions.

– What am I supposed to be learning from all this?

– Am I really that bad?

– Can we skip this part and just fast forward to TV already?

– I know your plans aren’t to harm me, but…

– CAN WE SKIP THIS PART AND JUST FAST FORWARD TO TV ALREADY? (yep, I was yelling at Him)

While I still don’t have the answers that I’m looking for, I find solace in truly believing that He doesn’t want to harm me. I also find comfort in Him sending people to be my sounding board and offer some of the best advice (insert Mr. Big Stuff). I also remind myself that if I could do it in my own ability there would be no need for God.

Actually, I take it back. I know the answer to my first question.

I’m learning patience. I’m developing tough(er) skin. I’m learning even more about the politics of this industry. I’m making connections with some of the biggest names. I’m learning not to compromise. I’m learning (and putting into practice) how to keep relationships professional when they could so easily go another way.

It’s funny. Now that I’ve typed this all out. I feel better. The Lord always provides and sustains. Even in the simplest forms.

God specializes in the impossible.

It’s not faith if you can see it.

I’m going to keep going. Promise me you’ll do the same.

#TeamNatural — We Don’t Care!

Oh know she didn’t!

Girl, yes. I did.

I’m just gonna dive right in here.

#TeamNatural I’m over y’all.

But let me tell you who I’m speaking about directly and why I’m addressing this before you all go HAM in the comments section.

In the last few years the decision to go natural has become trendy. And I’m cool with that. You all have seen your favorite celebs/bloggers go for it so you decided to embrace your curls, coils and kinks and join the squad. Again, I’m cool with that. No argument from me here.

But you do know what/who I’m sick of? You perpetual #naturalhair hashtag abusers.

I’ve had a perm since I was six.

*insert finger wagging and mama-shaming here*

And guess what? I’ll always have a perm because that’s all I know. Nor do I care to discover anything else about my hair besides it laying down when and how I need it to.

But you know what I’m not doing? Hashtagging my pics #TeamCreamyCrack #RelaxedHair #TeamStraightHair. And do you know why? Because it makes me NO BETTER THAN ANYONE WITH NATURAL HAIR. Yes, I’m yelling.

I know, I know. Black women have been inundated with messages from the media to straighten their hair to fit “society’s” standard of beauty for years and now y’all are taking a stand.

Uh-huh.

But can I tell you what this whole “movement” is doing? It’s dividing us even more as black women.

Y’all have turned going natural into an elitist feeling. You often look down on those that wear wigs, weaves and have relaxed hair. For whatever reason society has made you believe that you are better than me because I coat (and slather and paint and massage) my hair with a chemical every six weeks, like bleaching and dying your kinks, coils and curls isn’t just as damaging.

Your antics even have white women looking at me like I’m an alien because I’m not natural. Seriously. My esthetician couldn’t believe that as a black woman in 2015 I had a perm (salute to her though because as I was slightly offended it took my mind off her ripping the hair out of my body). But you know where she got that from?

Y’ALL. Not society.

Hashtagging EVERY picture #NaturalHair is the equivalent to the ridiculously ignorant #TeamDarkSkin and #TeamLightSkin labels.

You are inadvertently or purposefully sending an ugly message to the those with relaxed hair that you’re better than us.

I know you’re natural. I have eyes. I don’t need your caption to tell me you’re #EmbracingMyCurls or #NaturallyMe, just like you don’t need me telling you #TeamSoftAndBeautiful every six weeks.

Let’s grow up and stop finding ways to exclude each other, and work together and do some real damage in the world (no pun intended. Lol).

Cicely is dope. Viola is dope. Solange is dope. Tracee is dope.

But guess what?

So is Krystal and every other woman in the world that makes the monthly decision to perm their kinks.

Signed,

#TeamCreamyCrack

I’m kidding, I’m kidding! But see how ridiculous that reads?

UPDATE: #FaithTalk

UPDATE: Look who read the blog!IMG_20150625_064927

Shaun Shaun Robinson has ended her 16 year career with Access Hollywood. She has inked a deal with NBCUniversal to produce scripted and non-scripted television shows through her production company Robin Hood.

Why is this important?

Growing up I only saw three women of color on television doing what I wanted to do:

Oprah.

Jacque Reid.

Shaun Robinson.

*FUN FACT*

I watched Jacque for years on BET’s Nightly News, now 15 years later she’s a contributor for the show/company I work for. We’re not going to even bring up the fact that I listened to my boss’ show all my life and now I work side by side with him (#goGod).

But back to Shaun.

She is single handedly one of the reasons why I thought television was/is an attainable goal for me and is a huge part of the reason I have a degree in Journalism.

I remember begging Ma Dukes to turn from Wheel of Fortune at 6:30p to Access Hollywood just to watch Shaun.

I know, I know. This news means nothing to you.

But for me, it’s not only a very clear sign but also a huge source of motivation.

I was told by a colleague earlier this year to keep moving towards television and not to get stuck just being where I am. Her exact words “they’re going to be looking for the next Shaun Robinson one day”.

Call it whatever you like but as a believer I don’t believe in coincidences. Like, at all.

You don’t accidentally do anything in life.

You don’t accidentally experience/hear things, stumble into places nor are you accidentally in the right/wrong place.

My Pastor always says, “God won’t expose you to things he doesn’t want you to have.”

Steve Harvey taught me how to ride my first ATV in 2008. I hung out with his family in their Dallas mansion for a week. I currently work for the biggest name in black radio. I’ve witnessed my boss drive his Rolls Royce to pick up his  brand new Lambo. There are also countless other scenarios I could add here.

My point?

While Shaun’s departure saddens me professionally, I’m excited that one day soon, little girls will watch me on television with the same admiration and passion as I did Shaun, Jacque and Oprah.

When you hear/see the aforementioned names you’ll recognize another one.

I’m excited to inspire someone, young or old to push toward their dreams.

Keep going.

God specializes in the impossible.

I Can’t Sleep

Bereolaesque

The last two weeks have been hell.

I have way too many tabs open in my head at once.

Ideas. Situations. Relationships. Goals. Worries. Concerns.

…just, life.

My prayer recently has been for direction.

I moved around through life pretty aimlessly right after college.

I picked up and moved across the country twice in one year. I’ve taken countless opportunities in other states and cities to further my career, etc.

And I make no apologies at all. I was unmarried with no kids.

I mean I still am, but life [and bills] has a way of slowing you down. Just to ensure that you’re moving in the right direction and not solely on emotions.

I’ll still peace out of here at a moment’s notice, but now only when the Lord says it’s time.

That prayer isn’t just for my career though.

It includes relationships — both platonic and romantic.

I’ve got a guy who I’m totally obsessed with and makes me feel more than just a physical attraction toward him, something I haven’t felt in such a long time. For privacy purposes we’ll refer to him in this space as Mr. Big Stuff (which my friends are going to totally love). But even in that relationship I have to make sure that I don’t rush what God is doing. I’m praying for patience and understanding, especially since he’s a bit older and has lived so much more life than I have.

I have the same prayer in platonic relationships.

I’ve recently learned that any relationship that causes me to dim my light in order for theirs to shine bright [or ease their insecurities] is a relationship/connection not valuable to me.

It was literally my aha moment.

For years I inadvertently dimmed my natural light to please others.

I didn’t even realize I was doing it!

Now, though…chile, please.

I have a huge personality. I dress well. I have a cool job. I have an amazing support system. I’m likeable and I don’t hate myself when I look in the mirror.

There’s more that I could add but those are just examples of some of the affirmations I say daily.

It’s important to know yourself fully so that when unfavorable situations are presented you know how to firmly present who you are without making apologies for it.

And even still. With all that confidence I still can’t sleep.

Mr. Big Stuff says I need to cut off all electronics and rest my mind for at least 30 minutes before bed. Him so smart. And cute.

I agree. But even beyond all that I still need direction and I need to make good decisions. If for nothing else so I can sleep peacefully.

Anybody else have a hard time sleeping at night?  

I Think I Started A Blog

#deepsigh

*waves nervously*

I think I started a blog…finally.

I’ve been toying with the idea of this for probably about five years if not more. In reality it makes no sense. I have a degree in Communications. I work in entertainment and I’m incredibly active on all of my social media accounts.

But before social media existed and even before college, I was a talker. A reader. An avid dreamer. A spontaneous brat kid that had the biggest personality but often found herself at the center of self-induced controversy.

After a series of pops in the mouth from my mother growing up coupled with an immensely huge love for reading and writing, I remember thinking to myself, “I’m gonna make a career out of talking.”

Fast forward some years later and that’s actually what I do.

Cool huh?

That’s all God.

More about Him later.

While I’m late to the blogging party, I’m right on time personally.

Was telling a friend just today, it is extremely important to me to be very mindful about what I say, especially as my social media influence/audience grows.

So while I may have had the desire to blog years ago, I couldn’t. I was a mess. I was erratic in my decision-making and probably would’ve neglected the whole thing.

So here I am. Three weeks from 29, 11 years out of high school an eight out of college.

It is my hope that this space allows you to learn a little about me, beyond my highly opinionated 140 characters on Twitter and fly photos on Instagram.

My thoughts, ideas and feelings about life as I live it as an almost 30-year-old woman living in what some call the “best years of your life”.

I can’t promise everything here will be neatly wrapped with an I-got-it-all-together bow, but I can promise growth. And that’s all life is really about anyway. You grow, make better decisions, find someone to love, encourage others, pay it forward and repeat.

Welcome to #wordswithkrystal.