Life Lessons Straight from the NICU

One night at work, I was drawing newborn labs when I had a realization. Newborn labs are a mandatory procedure that we do on all babies where we stick their heel to obtain a blood sample. While most babies usually let out a little cry, they are normally easily soothed. However, on this particular night, my baby was screaming to the top of her lungs! All the other nurses were looking at me like I had done something wrong and looking at the baby wishing she would be quiet. I continued drawing the blood while she continued to kick and scream. I thought I’d comfort her by saying, “It’s okay baby girl, it helps to cry it out sometimes.”

I instantly stopped what I was doing and realized I was talking to myself. I realized that I was pressing through life so hard; I was stuck on being this strong, unemotional, black woman that I had portrayed myself to be for so long that I was numb to my own needs. I had given so much to other people that I was loosing myself. Those that know me know I cry over everything, but rarely over myself.

That morning I came home, sat out on my balcony and allowed myself to cry it out… and it felt so good! I was able to be vulnerable and get real with myself about all the things that I had been holding in. The older I get, the more I am starting to realize that suppressing emotions is NOT healthy!  I’ve recently started seeing the negative effects of holding on to emotional baggage and I vow to never do it again. As I reflected on all the things that life threw at me last year, I realized I never gave myself time to cope with them. Last fall was rough for me, but it was also very busy. I was working relentlessly behind the scenes for my blog release in January while preparing to step out on faith and start my new job in February. I never gave Tanisha time to work on Tanisha and my life was starting to reflect it.

So I did what any #girlboss would have done; I took control over the areas of my life that I could and let go of the things that I couldn’t. I took one month off to focus on myself and it was BEAUTIFUL. I was able to spend some much needed time alone figuring out what I needed to do to make sure I was happy. I worked out more, I got more rest, I drank more water, and wholeheartedly practiced self-love. I no longer allowed negative situations to harden my heart, I simply dismissed them.

Taking a step back from life gave me clarity on the ugly characteristics of myself and the strength to work on them. It also allowed me to fall back in love with the beautiful characteristics that I almost lost in the process of pleasing others. The biggest lesson I learned was that it’s okay to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time!

 

 

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The Ultimate Guide to Passing Your NCLEX

I was recently sharing some of my NCLEX tips with one of my girlfriends who’s in her last semester of nursing school. Midway through our conversation, she was extremely engaged and paused to say, “Umm Terry, all the things you’re saying are great, you definitely need to mention them on the blog”. Honestly, it never crossed my mind that people would actually want to hear from ME (the girl who almost dropped out of nursing school), but nevertheless, here I am! I’m sharing my tips on how I went from potential dropout to passing my NCLEX in 75 questions, flat!

1. Change Your Mindset and Victory Is Yours!
Seriously! Passing the NCLEX is 90% mental. First, you have to willingly accept that your life is on PAUSE until you pass this test. I graduated, celebrated for one weekend, and the following Monday I got right back into my books like nothing happened! For one month I didn’t go out, I didn’t do brunch, I didn’t go on vacation with my friends, I didn’t do anything because I was focused! In reality, what is one more month of no social life for a lifetime of credentials? Okay then.

2. Pick ONE Study Guide and Study It…. Religiously!
I swear by the Hurst Review. It provides a condensed manual for everything you need to know to pass the NCLEX. After I paid the $250 to sit for my exam and $425 for the review, I was left with a whopping $6 to my name, and I would do it time and time again. My school offered the live review for those who paid for the course, but honestly I didn’t learn much in class. I just watched the videos religiously! While watching the videos, I followed along with the Hurst review book and paid attention to every little detail.

3. Get a Solid Study Group 
I cannot imagine passing nursing school or the NCLEX without my girls Cece and Tamara! The three of us complied an informal “study guide” of which chapters we would study individually and we met weekly to REVIEW them. We did not study together, I really don’t believe that’s effective to anyone; we simply reviewed what we learned every week. We quizzed each other and got on each other when we were slacking. I appreciate those moments and miss those hot summers days sitting outside of Starbucks studying for hours on end. Those days made us.

4. When In Doubt, Pull Out Your Practice Questions
After you finish the content portion of studying, quiz yourself until you are nauseated! Pull questions from any creditable source that you can find: Hurst, books, apps, classmates, anything that is up-to-date and credible! In the last few days leading up to your NCLEX, you should only be doing practicing questions and reviewing your areas of weakness. Waiting at the doctor’s office? Practice some questions! In line at the grocery store? Practice some questions! Waiting on your ex to text you back? Practice some questions!

5. RELAX Girl, You Got This!
The day before the exam, I took one sheet of paper and put everything that I still didn’t know (but thought would be vital) on ONE side of that sheet of paper. The morning of my exam, I drilled those last minute things into my head. I walked into the exam feeling like a champion and I walked out feeling like the dumbest human to ever roam the planet. When the computer cut off at 75 questions, I KNEW I FAILED! I instantly started thinking of how I would explain this to my parents, how disappointed I was in myself, and how I would loose the job I had lined up. A few days later, I was browsing the Board of Nursing website and my heart sank when I stumbled upon the words: TANISHA TERRY, REGISTERED NURSE! Looking back, I regret all the anxiety and pressure I put on myself. The best advice I could give young Tanish is, “Relax girl, you got this!”

I hope you find these tips helpful. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to comment below or contact me directly. Please know that I am sincerely praying for each and everyone of you. Congratulations in advance, I can’t wait to celebrate with you!

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The Resilience of Black Girls

I pay tribute to my grandmother, my mom, my sisters, and other influential women in my life who have taught me the importance of resilience and the beauty in bouncing back from every situation! I have friends who have shared stories of losing family members in the worst of times, dealing with abusive relationships, and seasons of depression. While I am completely inspired by their triumph; I am not surprised!

We were birthed from adversity, our ancestors were slaves, and we were made to be resilient! I repeat: OUR ANCESTORS WERE SLAVES! We overcame slavery, segregation, and oppression! Who does that?! I’m not saying that other races aren’t capable of being great. I’m just saying, there’s something extra special about black girls and I’m happy the world is finally starting to realize it! Black girls have been lit before being lit was a thing. The world did itself a huge disservice by telling us what we couldn’t do; because that’s exactly what we’re doing! We are breaking through glass ceilings and destroying every limitation that was ever placed on us.

It’s a beautiful thing to overcome every obstacle that was meant to destroy you. People who wanted to see me fail have been given front row tickets to watch me succeed. I have faced adversity, I have been pushed to my limits, but I never quit! I am so grateful to be at a point in my life where are all my setbacks are adding up. Every time I receive new blessings, I gain an understanding of past mistakes.

This blog allows me to admit, “I’VE MADE MISTAKES AND MY LIFE ISN’T PERFECT,” but I’m making the most of it because the world wants me to stay down; but I refuse! Once you become a diamond, you’ll see why life had to pressure you. So I encourage you to keep fighting through whatever you’re going through. Keep grinding, keep shining, because we’re resilient black girls and…

“We may bend but we never fold.”

 

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Life Update

So I originally wanted to sit down and write about my trip to Denver (pictured above), but after further review, it turns out a life update is more appropriate!

1. Work Life

In short, work has been fun! It has challenged me in ways I never imagined so soon but I am loving every second of it! The other week, I attended a delivery and it was so crazy I literally got one of my braids pulled out my head. So, there’s that! This week, I’m meeting with my manager to discuss my upcoming promotion and my plans to sit for my RNC this summer! Ahhh! So exciting!

2. Blog Life

The blog has been keeping me busy but I’m enjoying it! Last week I had an event, a photo shoot, and was featured on two different nursing websites! Who am I?! I’m starting to grow a little community within the blog and y’all have made it so fun! Sitting at home responding to all your emails and DMs has been very rewarding. I’m learning that I need to start posting more content about my nursing school journey because y’all have A LOT of questions about it!

3. Home Life

As crazy as it seems, I’m approaching two years in my little high-rise and I’m ready for a new adventure! I have about a month to figure out what the heck I’m gonna do next! Should I move home and travel the world? Buy a house? Get a townhouse with my girlfriends? Do I wanna live close to work and be suburban? Or stay in the city like a normal 24-year-old? The possibilities are endless!

4. Love Life

Lol life is just crazy ya know!? One day I’m in love, the next day I get nauseated at the thought of being tied down. Just be in prayer I find balance, thanks!

5. Travel Life

Denver was a blast! I suggest anyone who appreciates the outdoors and loves adventure to add it to your bucket list! As our uber driver stated, “There’s no sense of urgency” in Denver. He was so right! People just aren’t in a rush to do anything, I couldn’t live in a place like that but I really enjoyed my visit! We woke up late everyday, lost track of time, and just went with the flow. It makes sense that such a beautiful place like Denver has that vibe; there’s so much to see, you have to slow down a bit to take it all in.

P.S. Y’all know I live for little life lessons. So the other day I walked in the nail salon, and my regular technician wasn’t available. Tragic. The owner proceeds to sit me down while I picked my color. I look up, and this tall, extremely masculine man sits in front of me and starts doing my nails. I want to leave at this point because I had such an eventful weekend coming up. How dare they let this new man do my nails?! Welp, just as fate would have it, I let him do my nails, and it was the most perfect shellac manicure I have ever received! So, learn from me and my lessons from the nail salon. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Let the linebacker do your nails and thank me later!

 

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Coffee and Conversations

   Last weekend I had the opportunity to sit on the panel at Charlie Marcol’s Coffee and Conversations! The day was filled with powerful women, stimulating dialogue and coffee with friends. Three key points that we shared were #1. Love yourself before committing to loving anyone else, think before you leap. #2. Marriage is ministry, treat it as such. #3. In your season of waiting, make sure you are preparing yourself for all the blessings that are to come! For those that missed Coffee and Conversations Part 1, I can’t wait to see you at the next! Follow the host: Charlie Marcol via Facebook and Instagram @charliemarcol to stay in the know!

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Will Work For Louboutins

3b481816857c7c8b97e7d1719a310e76Since I was 17 years old, I have always wanted a pair of the most coveted Christian Louboutins. After landing my first big girl job, reality set in that I was no longer a poor college student and that I could actually afford them. One Friday evening, I walked into Neiman Marcus looking like I belonged at A’gaci and picked out the all black, patent leather, “So Kates.” The salesman came over to me as said, “One can only dream of owning those shoes.” I smiled and asked, “Do y’all have them in a size 38?”

Some would consider it overly dramatic that I tried on the shoes and literally felt like Brandy from Cinderella. The shoes fit perfectly and I knew I had to get them. Buying my first pair of Louboutins was monumental!  It was my unsaid way of telling everyone “I WILL WORK FOR WHATEVER I WANT…AND SO CAN YOU!”

I’ve never been afraid of a little hard work because I’ve always reaped the benefits. Being a #girlboss means you are in charge of making YOU happy! I’m a firm believer in making myself happy….unapologetically! As long as you are living within your means, you are entitled to spend your money however you choose. So ask yourself, what makes you happy, $700 Louboutins, a $2,000 Gucci bag, a lavish vacation? Whatever it is, “Beat the odds, do numbers and remain humble!” Cheers to all my fellow hard-working ladies with no sugar daddy financing your lifestyle, you rock. Don’t ever change!

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21 Times Black Girls Slayed

1. TGFLOTUSTEDO (The greatest FLOTUS to ever do it, duh) Mrs. Michelle Obama!

2. Remember when Simone Biles completely slayed the entire Summer ’16 Olympics? Baby girl is MAGIC!

3. If you’ve never seen this picture, these are TWO DAUGHTERS AND ONE MOM! They broke the internet with this picture that had people all over the world debating which one is the mom, and I STILL don’t know!

4. Mae Carol Jemison is an American engineer, physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African-American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992.

5. Iyore Olaye graduated as the only black woman Chemical Engineer In Cornell University’s 2016 Class and I cried real tears reading her Facebook post.

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6. Hazel Winifred Johnson-Brown was a nurse and educator who served with the U.S. Army. In 1979 she became the first black chief of the United States Army Nurse Corps.

7. Zim Ugochukwu is the beauty behind Travel Noire; her pictures are breathtaking and always give me extreme wanderlust vibes.

8. Gabby is my spirit animal and living proof that “Black Don’t Crack”. Homegirl is 44 y’all! NBD

9. One of my favorite bloggers, Courtney Brand posing for “Fashion Weak”. She is beauty, brains, and boss all wrapped into one on Thebwerd.com.

10. Rosa Parks was an American civil rights activist, whom the United States Congress called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. #RedLipRosa

11. Remember when Kerry Washington wore this white cape on Scandal?  Yes Oliva, handle it!

12. Angel Rice is a two-time World Cheerleading Champion and a USA Gymnastics National Power Tumbling Team Member. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never seen this beauty, so I introduce to you: Angel Rice…  

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13. Taraji P Henson at the SAG awards, I die.

14. Remember Ms. Racia Poston broke the internet with her graduation photo shoot? Baby girl is a Tennessee State University Alumnus and is also: in the U.S. Army, a member of Delta Sigma Thea Inc., Student Government Association President, a former Miss Collegiate 100, and a first generation college graduate!

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15. Ruby Nell Bridges Hall is an American activist known for being the first black child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana.

16. My fellow Black Girl White Coat Lauren Lacquer is a Harvard grad, wife, MD, mother of three, and blogger so lets all just take a second to appreciate her greatness.

17. Meet Mikaila Ulmer, the 11-year-old girl who scored an $11million deal with Whole Foods to
sale her Lemonade.

18. It should be no surprise that my sweet Sister-In-Law, Craneshia made the cut. She is beautiful inside and out and was flawless on her big day!

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19.  Marjorie Harvey is the epitome of style and grace! “C’mon on Marjorie, give ’em legs, shine on!”

Beautiful cream and red plus size prom dress:

20. I included this beauty on her prom night because 1. She’s gorgeous and 2. She’s flaunting her curves and using them to her advantage!

21. Misty  Copeland is an American ballet dancer. In 2015 she was promoted principal dancer, thereby becoming the first black female principal in the 75-year history of the American Ballet Theatre. *cough cough* #blackgirlmagic

We are a dominate race; and when you come from dominate genes… you tend to dominate things!

 

 

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Lessons From The Big Apple

This past week, I was in New York visiting my forever friends Hannah and Elizabeth.  After 10 years of friendship, we have learned one valuable lesson from each other: friends don’t have to see each other everyday to remain best friends. In high school, these girls and I were ATTACHED AT THE HIP! I thought I would die when I moved away to college without them. We lived in separate cities, with different majors, new friends, new hobbies, and new lifestyles, but we always knew we’d have each other. We are the friends that go months without speaking to each other, but will drop anything if either of us were ever in need; and there is much to be appreciated from friends like that. We met my freshman year of high school at cheerleading tryouts and have been best friends ever since. Elizabeth later went on to graduate from LSU and currently lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Hannah graduated from Texas A&M and lives in Manhattan! When we were 16-year-old high school girls, Hannah always talked about living in NYC, and I am SO happy to see her dreams become reality!

Pictured above: Carrie Bradshaw aka my BFF, Hannah

Needless to say, Liz and I jumped at the opportunity to visit our girl in her new city! We arrived in New York and got straight to exploring! While Han was at work (big girl probs) we visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum and were blown away with how excellent of a job they did memorializing the events that took place. While walking though the museum, the emotions that the victims and their families experienced on September 11th, 2001 overcame us, and we left feeling extremely patriotic. We later met up with Han for dinner reservations and had a wonderful evening catching up on some long overdue girl talk. The following morning, we started our day with a class at SoulCycle! We had such a great time and I don’t think either of us have worked out that hard since our high school cheer days! After feeling rejuvenated and 13 lbs lighter we went to SoHo for some well deserved shopping! We got some cute items and I added another purse to my Louis Vuitton collection….unapologetically ( I blogged about that concept here).  My college roommate and other best friend, Tasia was in NYC for the weekend so we linked up with her for the night.

The remainder of our trip was filled with endless girl time and lots of eating…naturally. That Monday as I was flying back to Houston, I couldn’t help but be thankful for this life and the lessons I learned from “The Big Apple”. I was SO grateful to see my high school best friends doing great things with their lives. I learned the importance of “doing you”. Elizabeth, Hannah and I aren’t attached at the hip anymore, and that’s okay! We are each living completely different lives and doing exactly what we want to do. Nothing brings me more joy than watching my girls live the life they have always imagined. My dream for this community is that we grow as women who love the lives we live, and are able to stay connected to the people who have watched us grow from girls to women.

Major key alert: Eat with the people you starved with!

Liz, Tanish and Han Circa 2010

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You’ve Got to Jump

Since releasing the blog three weeks ago, my life has been CRAZY! I am overwhelmed with the amount of love and support I have received. I had my first live interview with The University of Connecticut, been invited to several speaking engagements, and I have partnered with nurses across the country that I considered role models just three short weeks ago. I am completely humbled by all the prosperity.

After taking a moment to reflect on where I expected Black Girls White Coats to be, I realized things could not have been orchestrated any better! God has been the ultimate plug and is writing my success story far better than I could have ever imagined! After reading Steve Harvey’s, “Jump”, I have been inspired to go after everything that I want out of life. I have adopted a lifestyle of “jumping” at everything that terrifies me. I am not scared anymore, for I know God is orchestrating my life just as He sees fit! This newfound courage led me to apply for an amazing job as a neonatal transport nurse at Houston Methodist Sugar Land (my hometown hospital) and much to my surprise, I actually got it!!!

I LOVED my previous job, I had amazing coworkers, a great boss, and a steady workflow. But deep down inside, I knew I needed more…so I jumped! With this move I am ready to live outside my comfort zone and face my fears of being the least experienced nurse on the unit. At Houston Methodist Sugar Land, I will be surround by other nurses who have specialized in neonatology longer than I have been alive, and that scares me just as much as it excites me! I’m going into this new opportunity with an open mind, ready to receive all that these seasoned nurses have to teach me!

My story is no fairytale. I am just a girl who decided to trust God and go for it! If you too are feeling content in your current job, situation, or relationship, I encourage you : JUST JUMP!

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Block His Number and Love Yourself

Sis,

Let me be real and raw with you, 2016 was a rough year for me! The heartaches, the aftermath of an ugly breakup, and all the “randoms” in-between left me drained. I was literally just proud of myself for going through it all and still remaining loyal and true to myself! At the end of 2016 I had zero people on my block list. After hours of reflecting and goal setting I realized that needed to change. I’ve always been a woman of second chances (and by second, I mean 27,501,948). But I finally decided enough was enough!!

One of my favorite bloggers, Heather Lindsey defines a “random” as a person you KNOW you’ll never marry but you date them to fill a void because you’re lonely or bored. A random is that ex boyfriend that is still trying to EMOTIONALLY connect with you. A random is an unhealthy relationship.

I had the realization that every relationship that I was not growing from was hurting me, whether it seemed like it or not. I realized that each time I dated a “random”, went out with someone for a free meal, or entertained a man I KNEW I had no future with was draining me. Each time I let a “random” in and out my life they left with pieces of me…and I was tired of it!! So one day I woke up, and I decided I was ready for a change. I made a vow to myself to block the “randoms”, STOP stalking my exes on social media, and love myself! After months of debating the situation and giving excuses as to why I should continue to entertain certain men, I just cut it, and it was really that simple!

Moving into the New Year, I am excited for what is to come from making these changes. I am excited to get back to doing the things I genuinely love, as well as focusing on myself and the woman I want to be for my future husband. I rest on God’s promise that “What God has for me is for ME, and there is nothing that anyone can say or do to change that.” Meaning, my fate has already been decided. So why should I waste my time jumping from random to random when there’s a whole world out there that needs to be conquered?  In short, I know that I BRING THE TABLE TO THE TABLE and I’m not afraid to eat alone!

 

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