Of course this happens 

Well, on Sunday 05/22/16, I attend my first #weightwatchers meeting I planned to attend back in January. I felt very enlightened. I felt ready to begin this weight loss journey for the hundredth time. But then guess what?


Yup, I got hurt. Like literally the next day! I was participating in a team building activity at my work retreat and boom! I heard a pop! It was so much pain I couldn’t even deal with it. I went to the nearest hospital and I was informed I tore my calf muscle. Ouch!

So I’m now laid up in bed for the week.


I still am going to Texas on Friday, but now J have to sit in an aisle seat ugh 

However, I’m trying to make the most of it. My roommate when shopping for fruit, drinking lots of water, and hanging out with Netflix. I’m hoping that these next 4 weeks go by quickly!

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#socialworkerproblems : that one time I couldn’t find my kid .

On New Years Day at 10:30pm, I received a text saying that one of my foster children was not returned to his foster mother. I was getting ready for bed and I didn’t want to respond, but how could I sleep not knowing what is happening? So… I texted Ms.Todd*, foster mother, and asked her if he was still missing.

me: Is he still missing? Ms. Miller’s [birth mom] cell phone is off; here is her home number. I tried calling but no answer.
her: No, she still hasn’t dropped him off. I texted her, I called her, I called her mother… no response. I called the on-call and I am waiting for them to call me back. I hope everything is alright. I am beginning to get worried.

At this point it was 11:30pm, and I had no idea what to do. This wasn’t supposed to happen! I had just talked to Ms. Miller the day before about her progress… this will not go well!

Let’s go back a couple of days… it’s Tuesday 12/30/14, and Ms. Miller called me. She is asking for an extended visit with her boys. I had received her most recent drug screening and it came back positive for marijuana. I had a long discussion with her and stated that I would email our lawyer to see if they will approve the extended visit, but I also have to inform them about the positive drug screening.

The lawyers wrote back and they recommended to suspend overnight visits until Ms. Miller has consistent negative drug screenings. This was not going to go well. It took so much to get Ms. Miller where she is now and if we suspended overnights, I believed that Ms. Miller would revert back to not being consistent with her service plan. After consulting with my supervisor, we decided that we would allow one-night overnight visit with Ms. Miller and she would have to complete a drug screening immediately. Continuing over-night visits would be determined after the drug screening results.

I called and informed Ms. Miller of the denial of her request; I informed her to come to the office the next morning to pick up her son, Tyler, and to have a discussion about moving forward. She came bright and early; we spoke about the drug screening [I showed her the results]. She denied that she is smoking. I explained that I don’t know if she is or not, but that random drug screenings are a part of the service plan, so she needs to stop being around it if that’s what’s causing the positive screening. I explained that we will have to suspend visits if the next test is positive. Tyler arrived and they left. Happy New Years!

Fast forward to 01/01/15 at 11:30 pm and we do not know where the foster child is; we can’t get a hold of birth mom.

Are they okay? Is anyone hurt? I’m going to get in so much trouble!
Please… please let us find him. 

At midnight, I called the on-call since Ms. Todd has not gotten a phone call back. I was able to relay information and the supervisor stated she would call Ms. Todd. The supervisor stated that she’s going to tell Ms. Todd to file a missing person’s report with the police. I waited by the phone for Ms. Todd to call me. I couldn’t fall asleep. I facebooked Ms. Miller and her boyfriend. I was desperate to get a hold of someone. I was thinking about how traumatizing it’s going to be for Tyler if the police goes to the home and he is there. But what are we supposed to do?

Finally, Ms. Todd texted at 1:30 pm and stated that the police just left, they were going to Ms. Miller’s home, and she was finally going to sleep. All I could do was try to sleep. I woke up the next morning and rushed to the work. There was an email already in my inbox detailing the events from the night before. At 9:30 am, I received a phone call from Ms. Todd and she stated that Tyler was dropped off to her home at 9 am by Ms. Miller. Ms. Todd wasn’t able to speak with Ms. Miller.

Oh, thank goodness! He’s safe.

I was so angry; I was so tired. I wanted to cry; I was so scared for both Ms. Miller and Tyler. But I wonder how Ms. Miller felt. I wanted to know where she was coming from, what determined her actions, and how can we support her as we move to suspend her overnight visits. I know that when we meet I will have to explain the facts of the night before; I will have to explain why overnight visits are being suspended; and I will have to tell her that trial discharge is delayed. All of these topics will be hard to discuss with her, but it needs to happen.

This career field is no joke and we will have surprises like these all the time. What I have to remember is the ultimate goal… keeping the children safe. As long as that’s at the forefront, whatever we do, whatever we say… it will always be what is in the best interest of the child.

At this time, the best interest for Tyler is to suspend overnights. 

*All names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.

2015: Put Yourself Out There … and you might not get the answer you want ! It’s okay .

At 11pm last night, I headed to my best friend’s boyfriend’s place in Brooklyn. When my roommate and I arrived, we were greeted with happiness and love. My best friend truly is the best host. My roommate and I looked on point and enjoyed the short time we were in the home. My roommate didn’t feel so well and she asked that we discreetly leave after the ball dropped so she could get into her bed as she had just arrived at 7pm from Alaska. As I am not a party person anyway, I thought it was the best idea.

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12/31/14: My roommate [Melody] and I

However, I saw this guy I have never met and he was uh so handsome. Now readers, I’m usually quiet and suck at small talk, but I had to know who this guy was; so when he came over to introduce himself, I asked him “who are you friends with?” This sparked a 40-minute conversation where I learned he was a first generation Dominican-american, an electrical engineer, and we had similar backgrounds with family and poverty. He was super sweet and seemed interested in the conversation [plus he had a gorgeous smile].

At midnight, all the party goers cheered and had a glass of champagne. Happy New Years was said and hugs were had. I started up a conversation with a friend from the past and it was great to catch up with her. We are both working with children in similar situations, so it was great to have someone to talk to about the struggle with trying to make a difference in these young people’s lives. By 12:45am, my roommate nudged me and said it was time to go. Now, for the last 45 minutes I had been contemplating to give this guy my number [I was able to stealthy ask my best friend if he was seeing anyone; she said she didn’t know]. So as we were saying good-bye, I finally got to him and we hugged and he said that it was “nice to meet you”.

me: It was nice to meet you too. Hey, come here for a sec. [walked to the table, where no one was]. So I never do this, but I wanted to give you my number and was wondering if that would be cool.
him: [smiling his gorgeous smile] Oh, actually, I’m seeing someone.
me: oh, that’s cool.
him: but I mean I’m pretty sure we will see each other again. And if you move to Brooklyn, I know we will see a lot of each other [starts going in for a hug again]
me: no, for sure. It was awesome to meet you again.. see you soon [smile]

I get to my best friend and start talking about the cab situation, but inside I was so hot and I could feel my cheeks getting red; I was so embarrassed. I have NEVER done that before and I couldn’t believe it was a no-go. I was totally calm and collected though. I smiled, laughed and just acted like everything was cool, just in case he was paying attention.

Seriously, this is why girls don’t do this!  

My roommate and I went outside and I broke down [not crying but just over expressive]. She was surprised because it didn’t even look like I had done that and I played it super cool. Well, that’s a relief. I did send a text to the bestie.

me: he said he was seeing someone.
her: [sad face emoji]
me: lol I can’t believe I just put myself out there like that.
her: I love you for being so brave.
me: lol ugh I’m embarrassed
her: Don’t be. You are a bold and confident woman and I love you best friend.
me: love you!

So, I rang in the new year with a new experience that didn’t go in my favor; however, I did learn something about myself. I am a strong and brave woman… that might have been the whole point after all.

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12/31/14 : The girls on New Years Eve !

2014 Goals [reviewed]

At the beginning of the year, I set forth [10] goals for myself for the year 2014; I went through so many changes and I feel that I did pretty good [even though I didn’t reach them all]. Let’s see how i did:

1. Graduate [magna cum laude] with my Masters in Social Work [MSW] – On May 3, 2014, I was finally hooded with my MSW hood; it was one of the best feelings ever. After four long years, I reached my goal. My PhD will have to take the back seat for a while.

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My graduating class . 

2. Arrive in New York City [Manhattan] on July 19, 2014 – Due to finding a job sooner than I thought, I actually moved to NYC earlier [June 28, 2014 to be exact].

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One of my favorite spots in central park. 

3. Successfully move into a 2-bedroom Manhattan apartment with my best friend – Well, i didn’t meet this goal as my best friend needs to stay in her apartment until the end of her lease [April 2015]; however, I met another Alaskan through her, and now we are rooming together. She has proven to be an excellent roommate and one of my very best friends in NYC.

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My roomie [Melody] and I going out on the town.

4. Apply to a minimum of [2] job postings a month starting January 2014 until I have a job – I definitely applied to numerous jobs in and out of my field. I thought it was never going to happen because most positions wanted people with experience. however, I found a program [NYC Children’s Corps] and they accepted me into the program. i have met some amazing people and now am a full-time employee for a foster care agency. This program really saved me in my job search.

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Ten Key Points from CC Training.

5. Spend the next 7 months saving as much as I can for my overall goal of $70,000 before moving to New York – Well i saved as much as i could and I got a huge nest egg for my move. I’m trying really hard not to touch it as much as possible… but it’s not as easy as I thought it was going to be. #nycisexpensive

6. Attend WW meetings every week until June 30, 2014 – umm… this did not happen. I was consistent for a few months, but it just got hard with all my other responsibilities. I didn’t lose weight in Alaska, but I totally lost weight while in NYC. I see it in my face… what do you think?

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From June 2014 [left] to December 2014 [right]

7. Study for and pass the LMSW and NCLEX tests – I passed the LMSW test on December 6, 2014; I am officially a licensed master social worker in NYC. Next up… studying for the NCLEX. This will probably happen in 2015 as I need to enjoy this first victory!

8. Travel more – Although the plan was to travel more to different places, I had to make an emergency trip back to Alaska in October for a funeral and then I went to Texas to visit my mama and nephews for Christmas.

9. Read more – I totally met this goal. This year I read [15] books … however, most of them were from the Pretty Little Liars series. oops!

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I’m obsessed [so happy I have more to read in 2015]

10. Get healthy – “I want to lose some weight”. Yup, that statement is true. I didn’t lose the amount I wanted to lose this year… although I lost some weight since moving to NYC, I want to get fit. I get jell-y with all the beautiful clothes I see all over the place!

Now, I have to think of my goals for 2015. This should be interesting!

#tbt sorority get together 2013

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I love hanging out with these ladies ! #alphas #happyhour

[25] Random Facts

Just a few facts about myself to help you learn more about me as we get better acquainted.

1. I had a DVD collection [over 500] which was always in alphabetical order and my closet is always color coordinated.

2. My nephews are the love of my life and I would do anything for them … They are set with their college fund.

3. I’m a better writer when I’m under pressure! 

4. Watching Glee makes my heart happy!

5. My boss has saved me from my bad girl tendencies more than once.

6. My life would be worthless without Jesus.

7. Alpha Sigma Alpha is the best community I ever joined!

8. I’m the luckiest girl to have the 7 best friends in the world!

9. My dream is to move to New York!

10. Being a graduate student has taught me how to prioritize.

11. My biggest weakness is falling in like [hard]!

12. I know my husband will be dark chocolate or white chocolate ! Either way , there will be some chocolate in there somewhere! =]

13. I am allergic to all animals … yes even fish.

14. There are always two things on my mind at all times … money and weight!

15. I get high on statistics ! I’m the best at data analyzing!

16. I love singing and plan to take lessons in the future!

17. I used to eat out everyday . I probably spent a whole year without turning on my stove!

18. Being a nudist is normal in my family. 

19. I wouldn’t be able to live without my family . My life would literally end if something happened to any of them.

20. I was always scared to get a tattoo; but, in 2012 I finally got one and it wasn’t so bad.

21. I am known for my hugs ! I am called the hug master.

22. I don’t like spending money … at all , but I never check prices.

23. I will make a positive difference in this world.

24. My house will be flooded with teenagers when I’m older ! I want to adopt teenagers!

25. Some nights, I like to just drive around town listening to audio books.

my god-daughter

I remember 10 years ago, laying beside my best friend and she said, “if you had to choose, would you want to be my maid of honor or my child’s god-mother?” I was like , “well since you’re probably going to get married first… maid of honor.” She said, “ok , well I’m pregnant.” I said, “oh no! I’m the god-mother!”

1538643_793389868823_1898111331_nInessa Ofiu , my sweet little one, turned 10 years old today. She has grown up to be the cutest little Tongan baby ever. When I see her, I am so happy. It’s amazing that 10 years has passed… I remember when she was just a little girl.

2014-01-08 20.53.26I love her to the moon and back.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

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The photo challenge this week is to show what [beginning] means to me. As the new year began, I have done a lot of self-reflecting and this quote has resonated a lot of personal thoughts about how I really doubt myself. I’m too hard on myself. I’m so concentrated on being perfect and that right there destroys me. It confuses the way I think. I find myself crying sometimes just because I put so much pressure on myself.

I just have to be perfect. 

So this is my beginning; I am going to destroy this. I’m going to work on myself this year. I’m going to work on not being so concerned with being perfect. This will be a challenge for sure, but I have to start somewhere.

picture source

Day 3 – Confessions of a Broken Heart [poem]

As I write this poem, it’s the perfect moment not to delay
Visiting that sweet girl of yesterday.
For so long she had been kept safely hidden
In a place where others had been forbidden.

No one could understand how she and I connect
For I was the one present during the crime and neglect.
Someone who cared had finally set her free
The sweet little girl that I used to be.

Many don’t know that I sometimes stay home and start crying
To scared that if I told them the truth, they’d think I’m lying.
My childhood was filled with abuse and betrayal
But to be honest with you, that’s a very long tale.

Instead I’ll give you some tragedies that I endured
For many years feeling so unsecured.
I’ll share the events that have determined my life
Always looking toward the future to maybe one day becoming a wife.

It started when I was young, the oldest of seven
Loved being around my siblings, it felt like heaven.
But one day that all turned around
The whole time thinking, I wish I would drown.

Regardless of the abuse, I still had many responsibilities
Only to wish people knew of my disabilities.
I tried to tell my mom what was happening to me
All she ever said was “Aisha, stop bothering thee.”

Until one day, my mom told me he was going far from home
A sign of relief from me that I was finally going to be left alone.
At bedtime I kneeled and said my nighttime prayers
Thanking God for taking care of my dark affairs.

Now you’d think it all ended there
But come on now, who said life was fair?
As the years went by, alone my siblings and I were left at home
Being the eldest, I looked, smiled and said, “Don’t worry; just go grab that comb.”

They all began calling me their mother
Me as their savior and no one other.
Through my teenage years, I never went out
My role determined for life without a doubt.

When I was accepted to college, I finally felt free
Only to experience crap, I wish I could foresee
At first I told the youngest, that I’m going in the right track
But she began crying and asked, “When are you coming back?”

I felt selfish and needed a change
However, in the back of my mind, something felt really strange.
I went wild and was put in harmful situations
Where it brought back my childhood relations.

Alcohol and drugs, parties and sex
Never knowing what was going to be next.
In love with the release, my memories and trouble were flown away
And I finally felt like everything was okay.

Walking in darkness was where I headed
Scared to wake up, which of course I always dreaded.
But finally I found the answers I really needed
Now knowing I have truly succeeded.

Putting my faith in God, I have found my salvation
I was finally delivered; what a great sensation.
I found a support system that put me at ease
Pushing me toward God with their expertise.

I began nursing school after I recovered
However, something in the air was waiting to be discovered.
I went through school thinking this is what I wanted to do
Not realizing until later that I missed all the clues.

My sister became pregnant at the worst possible time
On drugs, a worthless man, nothing but a dime.
She wasn’t ready and put my nephew through some things
Trust me, nothing made for the king of kings.

Knowing that I had a duty to my nephew and his well-being
Many people couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
My sisters and I took my nephew from his mother
Realizing that if we didn’t, he could become someone’s foster brother.

I finished school, and trust me it was hard
I had many roles; one being my nephew’s guard.
At the end, I knew nursing wasn’t for me
So here I am looking for a higher degree.

With my experiences I knew social work was the way
Duty to the client always and never will I betray.
I was destined to help others on a different level
Passing medication was not a revel.

The ecological theory focuses on the fit between people and their environment
Realizing that the fit between the two could be bent.
Communication difficulties, role changes, and crisis events
These human problems are where it presents.

To help those in crisis we need to do an assessment
To gather information for the person and agency investment.
Showing empathy and care to those in need
Will sure help us social workers with supportive interventions indeed.

Research states that social support systems are imperative
I truly believe that; there’s nothing comparative.
In crisis, one needs to be able to confide in another without opinion
More like a friend who doesn’t have a dominion.

It’s important to advocate for social change
The role of those in authority should rearrange.
If they knew what the disadvantaged really felt
They would think less that those are how the cards are dealt.

Now I know that I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders
But I’ve dealt with a lot so nothing gets older.
I understand that this profession is no joke
But I want to change lives so I will provoke.

I believe that children should feel love and security
That the elderly should be respected for their maturity.
The homeless should have a hot meal and a place to stay
That the mentally ill should not be locked up and left for decay.

Minorities should be given a chance to the American dream
Foster care teens should be granted high self-esteem.
The inmates in jail should be given an opportunity to repent
Rape victims should be told that it’s not their fault, sex needs consent.

Social workers are depended on to provide some advance
To help those who think they don’t stand a chance.
The client and worker, work from beginning to end
Hoping that their feelings and situations can mend.

The images of my past still come from time to time in my mind
Sometimes hoping that I can press the rewind.
However, I will be a great social worker; this I promise, you can believe in me
Because that sweet little girl always whispers, “Don’t forget about thee.”

© Future Manhattanite [Aisha Merced], 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Future Manhattanite [Aisha Merced] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Top [5] Annoying Behaviors at the Gym

Now, it’s not like I go to the gym all the time. But when I do, I just notice that people do not have manners. I am grossed out on a regular… the worst part is that I go to the women’s club. I have had this membership for many years and I get a little ticked off when I notice these people:

1. People who don’t wipe down their equipment. How can you think it’s ok to sweat profusely and just walk away from your area without wiping it down? Your hands have been all over the place [machine, face, sweat, buttons] and then when you’re done, you leave without a care in the world. Germs are disgusting and that’s how people get sick. Please, consider others and wipe down your machine when you’re done.

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2. Staff members who tell their whole messed-up life story. This happened today specifically. There is this new employee [who should get fired for her unprofessionalism] who likes to talk with this group of older Asian women and starts talking about how her husband cheated on her, left her and took the kids; how he’s this and that; and how she’s going to “take him to the cleaners”. But the thing that made me fume is when she’s done, she goes around and says, “If you heard any of that, I’m sorry.” Well of course we heard you… you have a loud mouth. Just shut up and clean the floors.

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3. Girls who dress up to go the gym. This is the thing: I go to a women’s gym, no men at all. Why are you wearing make-up at 8am in the morning to go on the treadmill? We get it… you’re skinny, you’re cute, you’re going to do 10 miles in 10 minutes. But there is no reason for getting all dolled up to go to the gym.

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4. People who take over the sauna. After a really good workout, I enjoy going into the sauna and cooling down. The hot air just relaxes all my muscles and I spend the next 20 minutes reflecting. But… then incomes the older women, with their body products, and start to lotion up with their smelly stuff, and just take over the sauna. I’m sorry, but you’re not supposed to do that in here… they don’t care.

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5. People who weigh before AND after a workout. One of the main reasons people go to the gym is lose weight. I totally get it. But why do you think you have lost weight after a workout? I think you might have gained weight since you just downed 16 ounces of water. Plus, the gym scale sucks. You’re not going to get an accurate reading. Just dedicate one day a week to weigh in so you don’t make yourself crazy.

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