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Jackie Ash: First and foremost, let me commend you for being a selfless woman and placing family first. I can only imagine the impact of almost losing your parents must have had on you. It is okay to feel like you’ve lost yourself in the process because you are so busy taking care of everyone else you are forgetting the most important person, which is YOU. I am a firm believer in self-care because it is one of the only ways we can address our own issues. Life is hard and when we’re faced with adversity we need to develop effective coping skills to navigate through the stress. First things first, eliminate negative thoughts such as being used to bad things happening. If you expect the worse, how will you fully embrace the good? I’m sure you’ve experienced a lot which has caused you to become “emotionless” but think about the fact you’re alive. Each day you are blessed with another opportunity to walk this earth and breathe. You cannot change what has already occurred but you can definitely work on creating the life you want to live today and onward. Perhaps you may want to seek out professional services such as a therapist who serves as a confidant and will assist you with addressing what you are feeling. If you’re religious or spiritual, try meditation, yoga or any calming activities. Channel your energy into what will bring you joy and a peace of mind even if it’s treating yourself to a spa day. Just be sure to do something for yourself every chance you get.
School is not cheap, I know the struggle because Sallie Mae reminds me every month. Since you’re into designing, I say you take it serious. Write down everything you wish to accomplish and check off your list as you complete each goal. Study the market and create a niche for yourself. Your talent will create bigger opportunities for you and perhaps allow you to afford going back to school. You will never know unless you try. Fear is meant to prevent you from taking a leap of faith so take that leap girl! I hope to one day see your designs on the runways.
Amma: Yes, mascara is make-up and it does expire. I recommend not using mascara that is over 6 months old. You may also want to consider organic mascara, if you are someone who sometimes forget to wash it off and sleep with it. I highly recommend not sleeping with mascara on to avoid irritation to your eyes.
Cudjoe: Moving can be pretty darn scary, but it takes courage to make this type of change and I commend you for that. I will say, continue to keep a positive attitude, find like minded folks and keep working on the goals you had in mind when you decided to move.
Jackie: I can totally relate to wanting to dress conservative and still look your age. For work attire, I would recommend you try stores such as Zara, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, J. Crew, Banana Republic and H&M Modern Classic. You are not limited to just these brands and will be able to find business attire in most department stores. These just happen to be my personal favorites because I’m able to find pieces which speak to the professional look I wish to achieve. I hope this helps!
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