As I stepped out the train platform early Tuesday morning, I came across a group of singers sponsored by the MTA- Music Under NYC . Unlike other days where I am maneuvering NYC subway traffic during rush hours, this time I found myself glued to the platform as the group sang  Lean on Me by Bill Withers.

My reaction caught me off guard as tears started to fall down my face partially ruining my makeup. Where was this coming from?  Why the sudden tears?…I was being reminded of how far I came as an individual, how far I came to accept that “failure” is not the end of it all but a lesson and that life is a roller coaster. You see this girl couple of years ago,when faced with life hurdles would keep to herself and handle business as usual. I had the tendency of blocking whatever was going on in my life and putting on this poker face. It was natural and easy to deal with and plus I was never fond of having people in my ” Business”.  I always figured that people had their own things to deal with , why would they want to hear mine? But, when you have a circle of people who LOVES you, they notice unusual patterns, such as being MIA or even the little things like your smile.

Life planMy lack of disappearance from social events, became a red flag to my friends and family and they quickly reached out. It was then I realized that I can’t go through life alone. What was I stressing about ” Life” It wasn’t going how I planned it to be ( Bratty Nat)  I wasn’t satisfied with my job amongst other things. However, even though I complained I managed to  be grateful for the things that were going well.

So as the group sang “Lean on Me” it was a reminder of where I was a year ago and how I managed to push through. If you are out there and you are having a hard time I pray for you.I pray for every twenty somethings trying to figure “life”out; just remember you’re not alone. Just learn to embrace your journey, because later you will realize that it was all part of the process.

Put aside comparing yourself from others virtual prosperity and focus on your goals. All that I ask of you is that you find someone you can lean on, a friend a family member, if anything you should always lean on the word of the Lord for comfort. At the end of the day, we aren’t meant to fight our battles ourselves, reach out to someone.

Love Always.

Nathalie C.

Learn How To Shine in Your Professional and Personal Life with Brand Maker, Rana Campbell

Industry: Marketing

Hat: Founder and Editor-in-Chief, RanaCampbell.com

School: Princeton University

Major: B.A, Sociology


Rana Campbell realized early on that in order to live a purposeful life, one must have balance in their professional and personal life, if not it can be overwhelming. In fact she set forth creating a Blog( Ranacampbell.com) to help others SHINE and be successful in their journey. Besides managing her blog and a full-time job as marketing specialist, Rana’s passion for writing has opened up endless opportunities which lead her work to appearing on The Huffington Post, Princeton Alumni Weekly, etc. Let’s find out more about her.

1.Where were you 6 months after graduating from college?

Luckily for me, I had a job before graduating from college. I was three months into my fellowship at the Vera Institute of Justice. However, I was navigating the world of what it meant to be a young professional. It was during those stages that I started both my branding consultation and writing freelance.

2.What are 3 Job search tips you have for current college graduates?

A- You have to get out there and meet people, both (online & offline). Get to know people in the industry you want to be in. Do your research and send emails. Definitely, don’t be afraid to make new relationships but most importantly be open to talk to people who are not in your industry as well. It’s usually those 3rd degree connections that are better at getting you jobs rather than your first degree.

B- Have a passion, have something that you can show/talk people. Find something that is memorable. Pursue something that is important to you

C- Think outside the box. Make your cover letter/ resume stand out. Reach out to the employer by picking up the phone.

3.How can one stay positive when life is hitting you from all sides?

I am not the best at it but I am still learning. My friend has a tattoo that says “This Too Shall Pass.” Meaning whatever you’re going through is only temporary and it will get better with time. No matter how big you think your roadblock may be, you have to step back from the situation, collect yourself and think about the positives.

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I Get it from my Mama: 12 Things I’ve Learned from Her

I get it from my MAMA! Her smile, her walk and her intelligence. As we spend today celebrating our mothers, I want to take this time to highlight a few things I’ve learned from watching my mother work her magic over the years.

1. Dance when you’re happy, dance when you’re sad.

Dancing is rejuvenating and I’m glad my mother taught me how to move my feet. When was the last time you came across an angry dancer!? Think about it

2. Treat everyone equally and with respect.

I mean from the President to the homeless, everyone deserves respect because everyone is a human being.

3. Have 1 on 1 time with God.

I was raised in a religious home. However, my encounter with God didn’t really take place until I was in my late teens; that’s when I realized that I was not in control of my life as I thought I was. Whenever I’m in doubt, I just reach for my Bible just like she taught me.

4. Be Grateful and don’t  apologize for your blessing.

Know when to say please and thank you. My mother has taught me, that no matter how big or small the gesture may be, you must always say thank you.

5. Tunnel Vision 

She’s always reminded my sister and I to focus on what we’re doing, and not what everyone else is doing.

6. Have YOU Time

Treat yourself, take care of yourself and make sure you enjoy your company. If you don’t, who will?

7. Sacrifice is part of Life

I’ve watched this woman go from having an Engineering Degree, a successful  career in NGO’s, and switch over to the Medical field when we moved back to the States.  She manages to keep both her professional and  family life in line. She’s always been about the next move and as I’m writing this, she’s currently planning her Bakery Business Plan. (Need I say more?)

8. Be Optimistic

No matter how bad things may seem, there is always a new day around the corner.

9. Wear the dress, don’t let the dress wear you.

It doesn’t matter if you bought the most expensive outfit or the cheapest, it all depends on how you let your personality shine through it.

10. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Both my parents believed in me and taught me to believe in myself and I love them for that. When I had trouble in school, my mother found a way for me to remember my citations by singing them to me.

11. Do not let anyone else dictate your happiness.

“Nope not even your mama!” she will say.

12. Be Classy at All Times

When people compliment me on my sense of fashion, ambition, poise and craziness, I say thank you but in reality, I want to tell them to thank my mother and all the beautiful women that raised me.  From time to time I would peruse her album and get ideas, asking her,  “ Why didn’t you save these dresses for me?”

A holiday cannot begin to compensate for all the sacrifices our mothers have made, so remember to always celebrate your loved ones, not just on holidays but everyday.