“How To Work On A Cruise Ship”

Along with another cruise ship veteran, the blog host of Wandering Earl has written a comprehensive guide to finding employment on a cruise ship. It’s called How To Work On A Cruise Ship. This blog post from Live Richly gives a review of the ebook. Be sure to check out the following posts from Wandering Earl:

There’s a world of opportunities for those who seek them out!

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40 Responses to ““How To Work On A Cruise Ship””

  1. joyousnerd says:

    What a great idea! I hope some of the young ladies are going to jump on this chance. Think of all of the cool people from around the world you could meet, with zero living expenses! A great idea for sure.

  2. Evelyn says:

    Wow, this is definitely something I’ve never considered! It would be a great thing to try before I’m 30 in a few years, thanks for the suggestion, Khadija!

  3. BelleBijou says:

    Hey everyone! Hey Khadija!

    I’ve only commented here once or twice in the past (formerly as BelleCauchmare), but I just had to comment on this post!

    This is so timely for me, because I’m currently looking for some type of career choice–if anyone can remember, I commented here months ago on a post about language, explaining that I was going to study abroad in France. Well, I’ve been here for 5 months now, and an experience like this is absolutely priceless. It’s a dream, from the culture to the education to the men! I highly advise anyone that will listen that if they’re a college student (especially a young female African American college student) that they should really do whatever they can to study abroad.

    Through this exiting experience, I now know for a fact that I want a career that involves heavy travel, and speaking several languages.

    As a French major, I’ve learned that acquiring as many languages as possible is best for me, and this idea of working on a cruise line is really fantastic! I originally thaught of becoming a flight stewardess (something I notice A LOT of young women doing by the way). I’m definately going to look into this.

    Khadija, I just want to thank you for your clear and honest messages here–as a university student currently preparing for graduation(yay!), I feel like I’m armed with such good wisdom and information just from paying attention and reading your blog. I really feel like I have a leg up when it comes to certain aspects of life! I won’t have to waste a lot of time going over things repeatedly.

    Thank you, and please continue 🙂

  4. JoyousNerd and Evelyn,

    I would hope that every AA woman who might be interested in this look into this. Not just young women or women under 30. My point is for more AA women to actually investigate ALL the possibilities for lifestyle optimization. Instead of writing off various opportunities for what I feel are arbitrary “reasons,” such as being over 30.

    I’m NOT saying that either of you were suggesting anything like that. I just want to make this point clear to other readers who might have the knee-jerk assumption that something like this isn’t for them because they’re over 30.

    IIRC, the Wandering Earl bloghost has mentioned somebody who’s 40 who worked on a cruise ship. As a passenger, I’ve seen cruise ship employees who appeared to be in their mid-30s. Since these cruise ship contracts are apparently for a matter of months, it seems to me that any interested person who’s in good health and who doesn’t have anchoring sorts of obligations like children should consider it. There’s also the angle of getting an opportunity to save large chunks of money (since one’s room and board would be covered by the ship).
    ___________________________________________________

    Hello there, BelleBijou!

    You’re welcome! I’m so happy to hear about your experiences in France! Keep up the great work! 🙂

    I hope that more young AA women college students take note of other young ladies on the move such as yourself, and take advantage of the opportunities to study abroad.

    Expect Success!

  5. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    I wanted to cosign this. This is awesome.

    There were a couple of moments when I first started school where I was struggling and desperate. People would tell me to join the military. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I don’t want the US government owning me for the rest of my life and then my personality is such that – it wouldn’t work. Plus miltary peeps tend to suffer with afflictions of the “mysteriously vanishing” benefits syndrome.

    When I wanted to get away from home they suggested I become a Nanny.

    This would have been an awesome option and a much better one. It gives you more freedom. I agree that this is perfect for any BW at any point. Especially if you are “stuck”.

    Need to flee the BC bur your credit is messed up, you have no savings – try this. You can save your money, pay down your debt (no expenses remember) and have some money to make your deposit/downpayment whatever in your new DBR- free neighborhood.

    You get to travel – I was looking at the Bella Italia trips, but this may present a suitable alternate if the moneys funny-, learn languages as BelleBijou said, you may even meet some of those exotic, alpha males at various ports.

    • joyousnerd says:

      Yes, being an au pair or nanny is a great idea. Remember, ladies, if you are an American (or a Canadian, Brit etc) your native English skills have dollar value!!! So as a nanny you can provide the opportunity for kids to practice English at home, while you immerse yourself in a foreign culture and meet eligible men.

      I know a WW who moved to Greece with almost no education or qualifications of any kind. She spent years living quite well while working as a nanny.

      You don’t have to be 18-24 to take advantage of many of these things. In fact, being a bit older can be a selling point! Many wise women do not wish to move a young nubile foreign 18yo girl into the home. (You’d have to lobotomize me before I’d agree to that.) Being a bit older makes potential employers more comfortable because there’s less of a likelihood you’ll spend every waking moment getting drunk and/or naked and acting wild.

      It is best to take advantage of all of these opportunities before having children. I’m an old married lady, and I have 3 little kids to raise. My chance to go work on a cruise ship or be an au pair has passed (unless I could get the capital together to start my OWN cruise line… *scratch chin* lol) which makes me kinda sad.

      I did do lots of domestic traveling before settling down, but I missed the boat on international exploration 🙁 There are still ways for me to see the world, but it will be harder. I read about a woman who went and worked at a boarding school in Florida and was able to bring her son with her there. Opportunities like that DO exist for people with kids to care for, but there are fewer of them.

      If you are childless, no matter what your age, the world really is your oyster. Savor it! (and then come write scintillating accounts for us fuddy-duddies stuck stateside!)

  6. Oshun/Aphrodite,

    You said, “There were a couple of moments when I first started school where I was struggling and desperate. People would tell me to join the military. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I don’t want the US government owning me for the rest of my life and then my personality is such that – it wouldn’t work. Plus miltary peeps tend to suffer with afflictions of the “mysteriously vanishing” benefits syndrome.

    When I wanted to get away from home they suggested I become a Nanny.

    This would have been an awesome option and a much better one. It gives you more freedom. I agree that this is perfect for any BW at any point. Especially if you are “stuck”.

    I agree that this could be a very good way for an AA woman to get UN-stuck and save money for a major lifestyle RE-design (as you mention later on in your comment)! It’s unfortunate that more AAs don’t think beyond joining the US military or being a nanny in order to find a way to get overseas. More of us need to learn how to stop putting artificial, self-imposed limitations on our thinking and choices.

    Expect Success!

    • MissASP1993 says:

      I love children and would love to be an au pair over the summer in England or Australia! This post inspired me to research that again so it’s funny that that was mentioned! I will be 18 soon so it would be a great experience before college next fall. Now, I need to find a reputable agency and….convince my closed-minded AA family.

    • MissASP1993,

      Yes, you should definitely look into ALL the possibilities! 🙂

      Expect Success!

  7. Everybody,

    AAs’ cultural, knee-jerk habit of putting arbitrary and SELF-imposed limitations on whatever opportunities are available is a mindset that I’m trying to dismantle with this blog.

    Let’s consciously try to STOP coming up with arbitrary “reasons” why something is not for us. I’m amazed at how QUICK we are to eliminate ourselves from various opportunities.

    Let’s review a few of the self-imposed road blocks that we toss in front of our own fulfillment:

    (1) BEING 30+. So many times, and with so many things, I hear AAs automatically describe certain life-enhancing opportunities as being for “young people,” “the youth,” or people “under 30.”

    Meanwhile, there’s NO actual requirement that anybody be young, part of the youth, or under 30 to take advantage of these various opportunities. I’ll be blunt: This sort of self-defeating thinking is why many AA women 30 and over feel as if their lives are already over, and that they might as well be dead if they haven’t done/experienced certain things before they hit 30. This type of thinking often leads to a state of depression, defeat, and surrender to negative circumstances and surroundings.

    Life is not a race. Yes, the more good things that one can get/experience sooner in life is usually better. But that doesn’t mean that one is prohibited from enjoying various things at whatever age one is able to access them.

    Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve seen cruise ship employees who weren’t nubile young things in their 20s. Yes, many cruise ship employees are in their 20s. But there were significant numbers who were clearly at least in their 30s. And for all I know, some of these folks I assumed were in their 30s might have been in their early 40s. When I’ve been on cruises, I wasn’t focused on the employees like that. I just recall noting that not all of them looked like college kids; there were plenty of “been grown for a while” folks in the mix.

    (2) KIDS AND/OR BEING A SINGLE PARENT. Yes, it’s harder to do various things with small children in tow. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, or something that we should automatically eliminate as being plausible. The point is to actually investigate various possibilities before writing them off.

    (3) LACK OF MONEY. This particular self-imposed barrier always amazes me because we’re watching other people (including foreign Blacks) all around us who don’t let that stop them. We take ourselves out of the running while everybody ELSE is clamoring to scoop up these opportunities. Just consider all the folks from the 2nd world (poorer, former Communist European countries such as Hungary and Romania) and 3rd world working on these cruise ships.

    Consider that the man who wrote the book mentioned in this post describes 2 tiers of payment structures. One for 1st-world employees—umm, that would be US as AA women—and one for everybody else. Why in the world would we eliminate ourselves from being eligible to collect and save that sort of money? Meanwhile, folks from the 2nd and 3rd world are clamoring to get their turn at receiving LESS pay than what we would get as first-world (US citizen) employees!

    Tom Joyner has been organizing cruises for the Black folks in his NOT-upscale audience for years. So noboby can convince me that the cruise ship observations are completely unknown to “typical” AAs. There’s a significant number of so-called “ordinary” AAs who have seen cruise ship employees themselves. There are plenty of AAs—who are not middle-class or upper class—who have been on those cruise ships to the Caribbean. Those same Caribbean cruises that I’m trying to get more AAs to stop restricting themselves to, and instead go see some other places:

    LEAVE THE CARIBBEAN ALONE FOR A MINUTE, AND GO SOMEWHERE ELSE
    Too many African-Americans have the unfortunate habit of only traveling to places that large numbers of other African-Americans have visited. They’ve turned a path into a dead-end rut. I humbly suggest that following the annual African-American herds to vacation in the Caribbean isn’t doing anything meaningful for you. I’ve watched every African-American I know who’s gone to the Caribbean come back totally unchanged by the experience. By contrast, every African-American I know who’s gone to places the African-American herds don’t go to (such as Europe, Asia, or Africa) has come back deeply touched by the experience.

    http://sojournerspassport.com/transformative-travel/

    Ladies, let’s consciously work on keeping our minds and our eyes open to opportunities! 🙂

    Expect Success!

  8. Joyousnerd says:

    🙁 I didn’t mean to whine or be self-limiting. I totally agree that there are tons of chances out there for people who look and then act.

    While we’re on the subject of international travel-related jobs, there is always the good old path of teaching English abroad. It may sound played out to some, but I’ll bet some lurkers on here have never thought of it. For some spots you need a B.A. or B.S. and a teaching certificate, but for lots of places merely some college credit and US/UK native-born citizenship. The pay isn’t the world’s greatest but the experience is really valuable because you get int’l work experience to put on your resume (and meet foreign men!)

    Other options for traveling include working for the U.S. State Department. There are many positions outside of the heavy duty foreign policy things. For instance, they are looking for more people to manage US embassies. If you can manage an office in the US, you can manage one abroad. They PAY for your dependents to come with you, you get paid in US dollars but live on cheaper currency usually, and they provide housing and lots of great benefits. People with other language skills have extra preference in getting hired.

    Other agencies in the US government are also active overseas and looking for workers. Secretaries, accountants, nurses, computer types… if you can do it here, you can do it over there.

    Check out Transitions Abroad magazine for great articles about creating an international life. I used to subscribe years ago.

  9. MsMellody says:

    To Joyous Nerd,

    Thank You THANK YOU for that info on “Transitions Abroad” magazine!! I went to their site and read A LOT of GREAT information..ran to the kitchen to pose this very viable prospect to my husband and he is ready willing and able and VERY excited about this information and for the possibility of teaching math/banking business and ESL opportunities for both he and I as a an “expatriate couple abroad!!”

    Thank you again, and much THANKS to Khadija for this wonderful blog! I am EXPECTING SUCCESS!!

  10. JoyousNerd,

    No problem! Keep in mind that when I say things, I’m including myself in whatever I’m talking about! Many of the mental habits that I’m asking people to break are ones that I’ve had to work to break. And some of these counterproductive, habitual thought patterns are still hanging on for dear life. LOL!

    THANK YOU for the info about Transitions Abroad magazine—I’m so thankful for the things I learn from the readers! 🙂
    ___________________________________________________

    MsMellody,

    You’re welcome and thank you for your kind words about the blog; I truly appreciate it.

    I’ve also been excitedly browsing through the Transitions Abroad site and was tickled to come across this:

    Speak English? Volunteer in Spain! by Nora Dunn
    Have all your expenses covered and meet incredible people in Spain; all simply for being a native English-speaker…

    Have all your expenses covered and meet incredible people in Spain; all simply for being a native English-speaker

    . . . Vaughan Town (also known as Vaughan Systems) is one of a few companies dedicated to helping Spaniards improve their English skills. English is very important to Spanish commerce and business, so there is a booming market in English instruction throughout Spain.

    This program differs from simple English classes though, in that Spanish participants are sent on a 5-day retreat where they are required to do only one thing – to speak English. Spanish participants are required to have at least a basic knowledge of English so that the conversations can flow relatively easily, since there is no grammar or vocabulary instruction – just conversation.

    Because English is important to Spain’s economy, most of the Spanish program participants attend these retreats on their company’s dime. A much smaller contingent of participants are committed individuals or post-secondary students for whom the program is incorporated into their curriculum.

    And the bill isn’t cheap either; the program fee covers not only the Spaniard’s accommodation, food, and transportation, but the expenses of the Anglos as well! The Anglos (as the English-speakers are referred to throughout the program) are rewarded for volunteering and committing a week to conversational English by having all expenses paid during the retreat.

    . . . Vaughan Town operates out of a few different locations around Spain, all largely within four hours of Madrid. Accommodation ranges from established hotels in small Spanish towns, to restored villages (such as Valdelavilla, where I volunteered my own time) that are taken over by the participants and transformed into quaint “English” towns.

    Each participant receives their own room with an ensuite washroom, and most locations offer some sort of internet connection and basic amenities. Some accommodations offer luxuries like swimming pools and tennis courts, while others are more basic but tap into the beauty of being nestled in the mountains with miles of walking tracks to enjoy.

    Great effort is made to produce a well-rounded menu, with a breakfast buffet, and 3-course lunches and dinners. Wine is complimentary during lunch and dinner, however additional drinks must be purchased at your own expense.

    Here’s the link for the entire article. http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/work/volunteer/articles/volunteer-in-spain-speaking-english.shtml

    Well, my goodness! Who knew that we could get our room and board paid to eat, drink, and go on hikes while hanging out with Spaniards? And speaking only in English? 🙂

    I’m sure that most AAs would say that no such program exists. The author of the article notes that,

    There is a concerted effort on the part of the program coordinator to ensure a wide representation of Anglos from all over the world with different accents, ages, backgrounds, and careers. As such, there is a formal application process for Anglos to qualify for the program. Most importantly, the Anglos must demonstrate a general love of people and conversation, since it’s your conversational skills that make or break your ability to enjoy the week and provide value for the Spaniards.

    My goodness, the opportunities that are still available even in the midst of troubled economic times are incredible—{smile}

    Expect Success!

  11. joyousnerd says:

    MsMellody I am so very happy that I could be of some assistance to you! *happy dance* That is awesome that your husband is on board. I am delighted for you that your husband shares your enthusiasm for this. You two can explore the world together; it’s beautiful. I wish my husband felt the same.

    I benefit so much from participating here, I’m glad I could share something beneficial with you ladies.

    Khadija-

    Thank YOU so much for posting about this retreat! Now that is what I’m talking bout!! Leave the kids with the grandparents for a week to go relax in Spain, yes ma’am! Expenses PAID too? I am seriously going to investigate signing up for this. The best time to go would be in the winter… get out from under this snow and hit up the sunny warmth of Spain.

    Single ladies…. this retreat sounds like a fabulous way to meet an eligible Spanish bachelor!

    You are right that most of us would assume we’d be automatically excluded somehow. Not everyone on Earth sees us in the negative light we see ourselves.

  12. Magenta says:

    Thanks for this information!!! Now that I am in my 30s, I too have felt like the “ship has sailed” when it comes to pursuing many things. Feeling like was often the result of associating with DBRs and ABCs. They just love telling other blacks that they are too old to travel, go back to school, pursue a particular career, etc. After a while the negativity rubs off on you ad you don’t even realize it. Which again is why I stress caution in who you dislose your plans with.

    I always thought staying in a hostel was for young people but after looking on the hostelling international website I realized that people of all ages (and even families with children) are welcome! More information can be found here http://www.hihostels.com/web/b-faq.en.htm

    For those that are interested in the Foreign Service, the State Dept lays out all the instructions on their website http://careers.state.gov/officer/index.html

    A white friend of mine also informed me about http://Couchsurfing.org a social networking website which matches travelers with host families anywhere around the world. All parties have been screened and if a match is made, you can stay with them for free!

    There are so many options available for those who want to travel. As log as you are flexible ad have an open mind, the possibilities are endless!

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      “Now that I am in my 30s, I too have felt like the “ship has sailed” when it comes to pursuing many things.”

      Magenta your report card is coming up and I totally expect all As! LOL

      But think about it though, most of us may live to be at least 70 esp if we take care of our health. If you are 30 something now – thats 30+ something years.

      That is a loooong time.

      To sit.
      And do nothing.
      Productive.

      That would make you soo vulnerable to any and every thing that came along as the world changed and moved forward.

      I am thinking this is a Jedi mind trick.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      And thank you for those links! I was looking into couchsurfing when I wanted to go to Africa, but I didn’t think to use it for other international travel.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      I wanted to add that when I run across BP who try to tell me the list of “cain’t dos” I ignore them and you are right to guard your goals.

      Whenever I hear people talking like this- I’m just so old and blah blah blah- about themselves or even about other people – I picture Ernestine Shepard in my mind. I know she is a “health person”, but that is still my “transferable skill template” of getting better with age.

  13. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    “Let’s review a few of the self-imposed road blocks that we toss in front of our own fulfillment:

    (1) BEING 30+. So many times, and with so many things, I hear AAs automatically describe certain life-enhancing opportunities as being for “young people,” “the youth,” or people “under 30.”

    This is so spot on. I think this is a huge one too. Age. Especially age 30. For some people 30 holds some type of deep mysterious metaphysical life zapping powers where all vital parts (mind body emotions) just clonk out upon reaching that particular birthday.

    I met a BW recently who was 27 who said that she wanted to be a judge. She was the cleaning person for the facility where I was.

    I know law was talked about on here before etc, but she kept going on and on about being too old for education and I kept telling her she wasn’t. I was trying to tell her that she should get her education and work to improve herself…etc no matter what.

    I kept explaining to her that college isn’t like that. In some schools you may be in there with a bunch of teenagers, but that seems to be rare to me. When I was in undergrad about 50% of all my classes were made up of grown folks. Not like I am 21 and can finally go to the club grown, but like I am well over 30 and I need to know are if we going to get out of class on time today bc I need to pick little Kaitlyn up from daycare and put the pot roast on grown. My husband of 10-15 years and I are getting ready to buy our “2nd home/investment property” grown.

    When I got to my upper level classes sometimes I was the youngest and now in grad school a lot of my classmates are over 40,50,60 (yes 60+). They have more work experience than I have years alive on the earth. Sometimes I learn a lot and sometimes I learn things I don’t want to know so I now fear baby boomers, but I digress.

    And of course all these people are not black and they used all kinds of creative financing to get their education paid for.

    At any rate I have sometimes fallen prey to the “racing to beat the clock” and I have had other BP bring that mess to me.

    My ex best friend’s mother was offering me some really nonproductive un-asked for bad advice once and she used the magic 30. I hung up on her. I know she was my elder, but the conversation was so fearful and so negative – I was getting physically sick and it was an automatic reaction. Looking back I can see it was a negative conversation, but at the time all I knew was that my body is violently screaming right now and my anxiety level is dramatically increasing and I feel like whale fecal droppings while listening to you and I have to make it stop asap.

    “This sort of self-defeating thinking is why many AA women 30 and over feel as if their lives are already over, and that they might as well be dead if they haven’t done/experienced certain things before they hit 30. This type of thinking often leads to a state of depression, defeat, and surrender to negative circumstances and surroundings.”

    Cosign. Then comes the settling or making due with scraps.

    I refuse to even listen to stuff like this. My DBR brother told me it was a blessing to get older on my last birthday in Oct. You would have thought I had turned 80. Gave me this long speech filled with much DBR gravitas (lol total tongue in cheek).

    I am not saying its not a blessing to live a long time – I am grateful for being alive, but the tone was abnormal i.e. hey I ran the streets all my life and all my DBR peers are either disabled, in prison, or dead. Gee, what a miracle life is… (when only 20% of the people I know live past 21)?!

    But I noticed that other groups have to be dragged off the stage with a hook. When they want something they will jump in and do it – even when others are giving them the side eye.

  14. Magenta,

    You’re welcome! You said, “Now that I am in my 30s, I too have felt like the “ship has sailed” when it comes to pursuing many things. Feeling like was often the result of associating with DBRs and ABCs. They just love telling other blacks that they are too old to travel, go back to school, pursue a particular career, etc. After a while the negativity rubs off on you ad you don’t even realize it. Which again is why I stress caution in who you dislose your plans with.”

    The modern AA cultural indoctrination about time and age is designed to make BW vulnerable to exploitation and destroy BW’s quality of life:

    (1) On the one hand, the AA collective encourages BW to be complacent about matters that really ARE time- and age-sensitive—such as maximizing one’s odds of getting married and pregnant (in that order) during one’s childbearing years.

    (2) On the other hand, the AA collective programs BW to put ARTIFICIAL time- and age-related barriers on things that have NOTHING to do with one’s age (education, lifestyle optimization, etc.).

    This type of thinking is profoundly self-defeating; especially for a woman. And this cultural programming is similar to an airborne contagion—it’s all around us, but yet hard to see. In many ways, many BW are choking on these invisible toxic fumes, but can’t see the source of their distress.
    ___________________________________________________

    Oshun/Aphrodite,

    You said, “Especially age 30. For some people 30 holds some type of deep mysterious metaphysical life zapping powers where all vital parts (mind body emotions) just clonk out upon reaching that particular birthday.”

    I’m going to be not nice and say some REAL talk about this. For an increasingly savage collective of people (modern AAs)—

    —who are avidly REDUCING their own life spans both individually and collectively through:

    +so-called “Black on Black” violent crimes,
    +sexual irresponsibility (HIV & AIDs), and
    +self-poisoning (negative food choices, the resulting obesity, and obesity-related diseases))—

    —it’s not surprising that such people increasingly see attaining the age of 30 as some sort of longevity feat. I expect that point of view to become even more entrenched among AAs as the self-inflicted, early fatalities continue to increase. A review of human history shows that savage peoples generally don’t have pleasant OR long lives. Instead, they have lives that are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” (Which is how Thomas Hobbes described life without a social contract.)

    You said, “At any rate I have sometimes fallen prey to the “racing to beat the clock” and I have had other BP bring that mess to me.

    My ex best friend’s mother was offering me some really nonproductive un-asked for bad advice once and she used the magic 30. I hung up on her. I know she was my elder, but the conversation was so fearful and so negative – I was getting physically sick and it was an automatic reaction. Looking back I can see it was a negative conversation, but at the time all I knew was that my body is violently screaming right now and my anxiety level is dramatically increasing and I feel like whale fecal droppings while listening to you and I have to make it stop asap.”

    Good for you that you hung up on that bs. We are entitled to protect ourselves from individuals who are trying to crush our spirits.

    You said, “My DBR brother told me it was a blessing to get older on my last birthday in Oct. You would have thought I had turned 80. Gave me this long speech filled with much DBR gravitas (lol total tongue in cheek).

    I am not saying its not a blessing to live a long time – I am grateful for being alive, but the tone was abnormal i.e. hey I ran the streets all my life and all my DBR peers are either disabled, in prison, or dead. Gee, what a miracle life is… (when only 20% of the people I know live past 21)?!”

    Again, this is a reflection of savagery. As the AA collective descends further and further into barbarianism, this view will become more entrenched. After all, the norm among AAs is to have lives that are increasingly “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, AND short.” Which is the bottom line reason we must get far away from wherever AAs are clustered—mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

    You said, “But I noticed that other groups have to be dragged off the stage with a hook. When they want something they will jump in and do it – even when others are giving them the side eye.”

    That’s right—and it’s something that I admire about other folks!

    Expect Success!

  15. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    “The modern AA cultural indoctrination about time and age is designed to make BW vulnerable to exploitation and destroy BW’s quality of life:

    (1) On the one hand, the AA collective encourages BW to be complacent about matters that really ARE time- and age-sensitive—such as maximizing one’s odds of getting married and pregnant (in that order) during one’s childbearing years.

    (2) On the other hand, the AA collective programs BW to put ARTIFICIAL time- and age-related barriers on things that have NOTHING to do with one’s age (education, lifestyle optimization, etc.).”

    You know Khadija – you are right again and this is so crazymaking! Its like you go from having all the time in the world according to Black people esp (regarding marriage and children) to having one foot in the grave and the other one on the banana peel overnight.

    In my mind mind I anticipate that my 30s will be good. I think someone in their 30s to 40s is young enough to still have stamina to do stuff (if they are healthy) and they hopefully have some wisdom, better thinking skills, and life experience (similar to what Joyousnerd said) in order to make sound decisions. Those are assets. I would think that would be valuable.

    Beckys and others aren’t hanging it up in their 30s and 40s. It seems to me that they are aware of certain things (like how you, evia, and others have mentioned the marriage/conception reality), but they still keep it moving no matter what happens and they seem to exercise a certain kind of shrewdness as they move forward.

  16. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    “I’m going to be not nice and say some REAL talk about this. For an increasingly savage collective of people (modern AAs)—

    —who are avidly REDUCING their own life spans both individually and collectively through:

    +so-called “Black on Black” violent crimes,
    +sexual irresponsibility (HIV & AIDs), and
    +self-poisoning (negative food choices, the resulting obesity, and obesity-related diseases))—

    —it’s not surprising that such people increasingly see attaining the age of 30 as some sort of longevity feat. I expect that point of view to become even more entrenched among AAs as the self-inflicted, early fatalities continue to increase. A review of human history shows that savage peoples generally don’t have pleasant OR long lives. Instead, they have lives that are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.””

    Savage..that is so upsetting…but you are right and it is what it is. Lord, analyzing this stuff and really grasping the craziness makes the bulk of bp seem like feral animals.

    This explains a lot though. I can remember when BP were encouraging me to have OOW children and the refrain was always “you don’t want to wait until you’re 30 to have children”. And they would say other craziness like asking “don’t you want to grow up with your children” or “at 30 you won’t be able to keep up with them”.

    This was puzzling to me because my mom had me when she was almost 40 and I wish she couldn’t keep up with me when I was writing on the walls in permanent marker and holding my barbie heads over the burner on the stove.

    Now again, I am not advocating the time wasting for BW regarding children and marriage. I agree that a woman should capitalize on everything that you and evia have mentioned.

    But for me personally I think 29-35 would be a nice age to start having babies within marriage. In my mind hopefully you have made some strong inroads into your career/business, you have some sense – basically you are not at square 1 and you hopefully have gotten all the crazy out of your system so you don’t feel like your children are cheating you or you are missing something.

    But if being 30-35+ and just now starting to look for a husband is a particular BWs case due to the BC Jedi mind tricks then jump in and move forward.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite,

      Yes, these are some harsh and ugly statements about the current state of the AA collective. But that only reflects the harshness and ugliness of current realities among the AA collective. A lot of AAs are in denial and are whistling past the mass graves that are cropping up in Black residential areas.

      Most AAs ignore the steady drumbeat of fatalities among us. We ignore the majority oow birthrate and the majority single parenting that is the logical result of oow. We pretend that the things that go on within the AA collective are normal. They’re not. And what we’re doing as a collective (majority oow, expecting women to raise boys to manhood, mass obesity, etc.) is unprecedented in human history. These mass behaviors are unheard of in human history because they DON’T work—they lead to the utter destruction of any collective who’s foolish enough to engage in that behavior on a mass, majority level.

      Folks can keep tripping, and acting as if they, their individual family, and their friends are representative of the AA masses if they want to. When you read the book “Defiance” (that the movie was based on), you’ll see there were a lot of Jews who were living in denial during the Nazi roundups and mass killings. Even as other Jewish people in nearby areas were being rounded up. Some of them lived in denial of reality right up until the moment when they themselves were killed.

      The AA “dead-enders” are not my problem, or my responsibility. They can stay in denial and die if they want to. God respects free will, and so do I.

      Expect Success!

  17. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    “The modern AA cultural indoctrination about time and age is designed to make BW vulnerable to exploitation and destroy BW’s quality of life:

    (1) On the one hand, the AA collective encourages BW to be complacent about matters that really ARE time- and age-sensitive—such as maximizing one’s odds of getting married and pregnant (in that order) during one’s childbearing years.

    (2) On the other hand, the AA collective programs BW to put ARTIFICIAL time- and age-related barriers on things that have NOTHING to do with one’s age (education, lifestyle optimization, etc.).”

    I have been meditating for a minute on this and I realize just how evil and low down this is!

  18. focusedpurpose says:

    hi Khadija and all-

    Khadija, i have to tell you, your blog speaks into my life in ways you can never know. even as i write to say it, there are no words to truly convey how deeply grateful and appreciative i am of your efforts.

    after reading a comment of one your guests, i revisited my original desire to move abroad. as a recent empty nester i realized that NOW is the time to act on the information i have been collecting for years.

    my son’s senior year in high school was no joke. whew! he turned eighteen BEFORE graduation and the war of the wills ensued. it was no small feat to manage his concept of being “grown” and still have him walk across that stage on time. WHEW! after graduation, he decided to move across to the country to go to college. i freely admit, i spent a few months looking at my new freedom all wrong which led to a minute of depression that i managed by working like a fiend.

    once the cloud lifted, i realized that i had lost nothing, but gained a great deal of freedom. truth be told, i had to take some time to get back in touch with the woman i am. i had forgotten. being a wife and mother had been my focus for so long.

    in remembering, i reconnected to that part of me that always wanted to travel. i remembered that prior to becoming a wife and mother i wanted to be a flight attendant. i applied, went to several interviews, was hired by an airline and then the country went in search of Manuel Noriega which resulted in my new, exciting, much anticipated position being eliminated. then i met my husband and my life took a different turn for eighteen years.

    i am back! LOL. your blog has been a great source of inspiration as i move forward powerfully onto the next leg of my journey. as you instruct, i do expect success and feel it already!

    THANK YOU for creating such a positive, straight no chaser, common sense, safe place for so many intelligent women to come and share ideas for lifestyle optimization. i have learned a lot in my time of listening. those times i have elected to speak, in different places, were strategic in nature. LOL. i will leave it at that. lol.

    thank you sis. i love you and stand in solidarity. may more bw, all ages, seize the many gifts, blessings and opportunities that are everywhere.

    Oshun/Aphrodite-

    your comment @ 2:27pm had me rolling. so true, so true. folks needing to be yanked off stage was PRICELESS.

    as bw, we actually have been tremendously blessed. safe guarding our health through wise choices and practices will allow us to enjoy LONGER not less. i am not yet forty, closer to it than to thirty though, and i have to tell you, folks think i am lying when i tell them my age. my son REALLY hates it when folks think he is my man and not my son. LOL. casting off mental chains IS the business. we are free to live, be, laugh, and enjoy our lives on our terms.

    blessings all

    • FocusedPurpose,

      You’re most welcome, and THANK YOU for being one of the BW blogger pioneers in whose footsteps I’m following! I’m always delighted to hear when someone has gotten something of value from these conversations. I know how much my life has been enhanced by the many things I’ve learned from listening to you and other readers.

      Lately, I’ve realized that my thinking has been undergoing another quiet shift. I’ve tried reading the handful of (non-BWE) Black blogs that I used to frequent. But it’s become very difficult for me to focus my attention—for any amount of time—on the strife, struggle, and madness that is the staple of many “mainstream” Black blogs.

      I find that I’m more interested in reading about the personal experiences of:

      Adrian S. is a married man in his forties with two children who used to have a conventional life in the US suburbs. In 2007, the family sold their house and many of their possessions. They started touring the country looking for an ecovillage to join, but their journey left them with more questions than answers. Due to his frank statements on some unpopular topics, Adrian has decided to use pseudonyms for everyone in the family.

      Jennifer Barry: Thank you for agreeing to the interview.

      Adrian S: Oh, it’s my pleasure.

      JB: First I want to ask you about your exciting life change; I think that’s what people will be very interested in. Your family was living in a nice house in the suburbs and you had a good job with a major corporation – and then what happened?

      AS: Well, there’s a lot of reasons why we made our break. My answer to a question like “Why did you do that?” depends on who’s asking. If it’s a little auntie in an elevator, I give the answer that I just wanted to spend more time with my family. But if it’s someone like you who’s a little more worldly, I can share the more truthful reasons that we pretty much saw that the housing crash was coming, it had already begun in 2006. Once we decided to sell our house in very early 2007 we got out at the last moment, it seemed. We just did whatever we had to do to sell the silly thing.

      Because the suburbs began to feel like a trap. I was in a stressful job and I would have trouble sleeping and walk around my streets at night, past one identical house after another. And I realized – anybody that’s living in the suburbs should do that a lot – you realize that there is nothing special about those homes. It’s such an absurd way to live….

      From Part 1 of the Stranger In His Own Land series of posts.

      An American of Italian descent (his parents were born in Italy) who relocated to Italy. See the “Coming Home” series of interviews with Donato Miranda.

      There are simply too many real-life examples to study of “ordinary” people doing all sorts of fascinating things for anybody to have their mind on lockdown (and caught up with the doings and sayings of undead AA zombies).

      Sis, you said, “may more bw, all ages, seize the many gifts, blessings and opportunities that are everywhere.”

      Amen!!! 🙂

      Expect Success!

  19. joyousnerd says:

    On the subject of black women seizing the reins of their destiny and going international, I present for y’alls perusal (lol) the story of American BW opera singer Barbara Hendricks.

    http://www.thelocal.se/30898/20101217/

    If the link gets messed up just go to thelocal.se, and click on the article on the right side of the page titled “A US-born Swedish singer looks to spread the spirit of Christmas”. (See, they’ve accepted her as a Swede!)

    This Arkansas native was singing opera on stages around the world when she married a Swedish man who whisked her off to his homeland. She got Swedish citizenship when she married him (hint, hint) She’s also got a sensational 15-year long singing career in Sweden, two daughters, and has kept her looks to boot! She looks really young.

    She’ll be delivering a Christmas concert in Stockholm that will be beamed all over the country for the folks who can’t make it to the city.

    I don’t know why it took me 3 days to think of telling you ladies about her, but I hope she can inspire you as much as she has inspired me. I love seeing beautiful, talented BW make it in this world.

    Which one of you ladies will be the next Barbara Hendricks?

  20. joyousnerd says:

    Oops, it looks like the newspaper messed up, Barbara Hendricks and her husband have 3 children! And check out some more about her, taken from her website at http://www.barbarahendricks.com/home.htm

    She’s got a charitable foundation, won multiple honorary degrees from universities across Europe, and been a guest of honor at practically every special concert given on the continent of Europe in the past 30 years. I am bowled over by her greatness!

    No wonder European men are more likely to marry us than American men are… it seems the BW who cross the pond are not the knuckle-draggers but rather the ones who have talent, ambition and intellect to spare. Women like Mrs. Hendricks have made a favorable impression of American BW in Europe for multiple decades. And here I had never even heard of her until this week. (Things that make you say hmmmmm…. you would THINK with all the black history month initiatives we’d be informed of living and breathing black folks who are handling business.)

    I just had an idea! I’m going to buy one of her CDs to give as a gift (though it might not get here before Christmas Day 🙁 ) as a way to support her! I needed to buy presents anyway, I may as well support someone who is (albeit inadvertently) supporting me.

  21. joyousnerd says:

    OK this is my last comment for tonight (lol) I promise!

    Look, she didn’t even start training for opera singing at the usual time, as she was planning to either go to medical or law school when she was discovered.

    Check this out:

    “Although lyric soprano Barbara Hendricks stepped onto the opera stage later in life than most of her peers, her natural musical talent has made up for lost time. She began her voice training in 1968 at the relatively advanced age of 19 and went on to make her American opera debut with the San Francisco Opera in 1975. Seven years later, Hendricks made an impressive Paris debut as the female lead in the opera Romeo et Juliette.

    A master at performing French art songs and classical German songs of the nineteenth-century known as “lieder,” Hendricks has become an international celebrity. She has more than 50 recordings to her credit and has sung with almost all of the major orchestras in the world. Though the modest artist has downplayed her fame, Hendricks has received worldwide critical acclaim for her voice, working with such noted conductors as Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Georg Solti, and James Levine. According to Ebony, von Karajan compared Hendricks to the legendary Maria Callas “in passion and interpretive possibility.”

    “When the lyric soprano Barbara Hendricks sings, the first word that comes to mind is not powerful but beautiful or even pretty,” proclaimed Dennis McFarland in the New York Times. “What you hear is near perfect intonation, clear diction, and the lovely variety of colors that characterizes a pleasant speaking voice…. You have the feeling that Ms. Hendricks is singing with the voice she was born with, not with the one she has made for herself.”

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/barbara-hendricks#ixzz18coH9pJj

    So NO, there isn’t some arbitrary cut-off date after which it’s just too late. There were probably people telling Mrs. Hendricks that she couldn’t do it, she was too old, blah blah blah. But she didn’t listen, and now she’s an international celebrity and my new heroine (I hate the term “she-ro”)

    Feeling Awed,
    JoyousNerd

  22. Hi Khadija, thank you for mentioning my blog and making all these links to it! 🙂 I’m glad you are finding the interviews inspiring.

    I hadn’t heard of your blog before but it’s compelling. I was particularly interested in your post on “28 Signs Of A Domestically Violent African-American Male.” As a former therapist, I am glad you are getting the word out that women need to trust their gut and protect themselves. It reminded me of the TED talk by Tony Porter about the “man box” and how this can lead to violent behavior towards women.

  23. Hi Jennifer!

    {waving}

    You’re welcome! Thanks for your kind words about the blog; I truly appreciate it.

    Yes, I’ve found your interviews extremely inspiring—thank you for the great work you’re doing, and the wonderful information that you’ve been putting out. Citizen-reporters like you are giving the rest of us the opportunity to hear life-enhancing information and insights that are not covered by the “mainstream” media.

    You said, “As a former therapist, I am glad you are getting the word out that women need to trust their gut and protect themselves.”

    Indeed. More women need to clearly understand that if something feels wrong, it most likely IS wrong.

    You said, “It reminded me of the TED talk by Tony Porter about the “man box” and how this can lead to violent behavior towards women.”

    I hadn’t heard of this particular TED talk before, I’ll check it out. Thanks for mentioning it!

    Expect Success!

  24. geekgrl says:

    Khadija and Joyousnerd,

    Thanks for the links. I’m having a lot fun reading the pages and planning.

  25. Sandra77 says:

    Karen: thank you for posting that wonderful link to the Barbara Hendricks interview in Switzerland – substantive and so articulate. Miss Hendricks does BW proud nationally and internationally.

  26. ***Note to Readers***

    In making this new site the kind of project that’s sustainable for me over the long-run, I’ve had to streamline how I handle certain things. The comments section is one of them. What this means is that I’ll give substantive responses to those folks who enter the conversations early (as I did across the board at the previous blog).

    After each post is a couple of days old, I’ll generally continue to publish new comments from readers. (That meet the commenting guidelines as set forth at the previous blog—those who are unfamiliar can read the comment “box” at the previous blog.)

    But, after a each post is a couple of days old, I generally WON’T continue responding to new comments.

    [In other words, I’ll continue to publish comments to this post, but I’m not going to reply to anymore comments in this thread. FYI.]

    Expect Success!

  27. […] an earlier post, How To Work On A Cruise Ship, the point of today’s post is to emphasize that there are all sorts of surprising opportunities […]