I Listen To These Six Podcasts Every Week (and You Should Too!)

I realized when I was writing this post that I’ve been listening to podcasts for a long time. My very first podcasts were The Bob Edwards Show and the Answer Bitch show. Both were on XM radio (this was pre-merger with Sirius) and the only place you could get the episodes was from the iTunes store. I’d download episodes to my iPod classic and listen to them in the lab as I worked (so you see how long it’s been, since I haven’t worked in a lab since 2012!).

Over the past 2-3 years, podcasts have really exploded, along with the ways that you can listen. I use Spotify for 99% of the podcasts that I listen to regularly, and I keep Stitcher because that allows me to listen to This American Life. I’m sure you can also listen to podcasts via Apple Music, Soundcloud, Stitcher, or other podcast services.

My full podcast subscription list has 40+ shows, but I listen to these 6 shows every single week…


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The Read

I came to show late, like maybe Year 3 or so? It was around the time that Beyonce dropped the self-titled album. I was just coming around to the fact that I was indeed a member of the BeyHive, and Kid Fury and Crissle helped me feel comfy with that fact. Those two are my cousins in my head, and I love their commentary on what’s happening in pop culture, and their advice to listeners. New episodes drop on Thursdays and it’s the first thing I open on Thursday mornings. I love this show so much, that I traveled to Chicago to see them live back in 2017, and it was totally worth it. They also have really cute merch - the Break Up With Him sweatshirt is my personal fave to wear.


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The Nicole Walters Podcast 

I discovered Nicole when my friend shared one of her videos on Facebook. I’ve been following her on Facebook & Instagram and really loving her authenticity. When her podcast dropped, I was blown away at how timely it was for me, as a newbie entrepreneur. The episodes are about 30mins which is the perfect amount of time for me, and I really love the stories she tells about her entrepreneurial journey.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur, this is the podcast you should be listening to!


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Reply All

I stumbled on this podcast by accident but I was instantly hooked. I grew up on the Internet, back when it consisted of IRC chat rooms and AOL dialup, so a podcast about the Internet is right up my alley. They’ve done some great stories, like tracking down phone scammers in India, or how fraudsters work on Amazon, or figuring out how robocalls manage to make it seem like they are calling from your number. My favorite episode is the one that shows how easy it is to fall for a phishing scam.


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Stuff You Missed In History Class

I’m a history buff - if I hadn’t majored in chemistry, history would have been my next choice. There’s so much to learn and that’s why I love this podcast. Every episode is well-researched and there’s a variety of topics. I’ve learned about so many figures and topics that I’d never heard of thanks to the show, and even with people I was familiar with, I learned a ton more than I thought I knew. Also I really enjoy the hosts! This show has been around for a long time so I highly recommend going through their back episodes as well. It’s great listening on your commute, or on a road trip, and most of the episodes are family friendly, which is a plus.


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Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

I think I discovered this show when I was driving in a rental car that didn’t have satellite radio, so I stuck to NPR. Yall know I love a good quiz show, and I was delighted to discover a nerdy yet funny quiz show on NPR. Each week there’s a different panel of celebs who compete to see who knows the most about the news from that week. I tune in every week and I’ve even attended a live taping when the show came to Minneapolis. I’ve also met two of the panelists - Brian Babylon & PJ O’Rouke - and they were both gracious and delightful.


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The Pitch

The first time I listened to this show, it was at the recommendation of Rachel Miller, who sent a link to the Tushy episode to the APW Slack with a "YOU MUST LISTEN TO THIS” message. After listening to that episode, I went back and listened to the entire catalog. In this show, a startup pitches to a panel of investors, and you get to learn about a new company while also hearing the types of questions that investors ask. Not only am I learning about how to run a startup and how to pitch, I’ve learned about several new interesting companies.


Have you listened to any of these podcasts? What are you listening to regularly? Let me know in the comments!

This One Experience Taught Me Patience and Persistence

By nature, I am not a patient person.

I’ve always been this way so I can’t blame it on social media, or our instant gratification culture. It’s just my personality - I want what I want when I want it, and that’s usually right away. I think it’s because I’m a researcher and a planner, so I put a lot of effort into making a decision, and thus when I come to a conclusion, I want the payoff right away. I did all the work of figuring things out and making a plan, so I deserve the results as soon as I complete that work, right?

If only life worked that way. In fact, most of life doesn’t work that way. Everyday we do work that we don’t know is going to pay off. We might have an agreement that it’s going to pay off, or other people may have gotten a good result, but it’s not guaranteed that I’ll get the same result. Right now, I’m typing this on my lunch break at my corporate job - on Thursday, I expect to be paid for the work I put in over the last two weeks, but something weird could happen and I might not get paid. It’s an extreme example, but yall get my point.

I’m also not very persistent. I think it’s because growing up I was allergic to everything outside in nature, and I loved books. So instead of rolling around in the grass, I just wanted to stay in my room and read (also I wasn’t allergic to the books, but I was allergic to the grass). While my brothers spent years pursuing athletic pursuits, I had short stints in karate and volleyball before I gave them up for pursuits that came easier to me.

For years I walked around believing that patience and persistence were not in my wheelhouse. I have lots of great skills and qualities but patience or persistence were not among them. I told myself this story for YEARS. Until one day, I realized that it wasn’t actually true anymore - I just simply failed to recognize what patience and persistence looked like in my life.

What made me realize that I had these talents after all? I had an “aha!” moment when I reflected on my natural hair journey.

I spent most of my life relaxing my hair, and I decided to go natural in 2008. Originally it was simply a goal to grow out my relaxer and get to know my natural hair texture, and then see how long I could grow it out. By 2011 by natural hair reached my brastrap when stretched and it was a major time commitment to detangle, wash and style it every week. So in October 2011 , after much research, I decided to start locing my hair. I knew that it would take some time to get the gorgeous locs that I saw on other people, but I was commited to the process. I spent two years battling frizz and shrinkage, and trying to make my hair look presentable while it went through the initial locing phase. In that time, i learned to look past what my hair looked like day to day, and to trust the process. I didn’t know when it would happen, but I knew eventually I’d have the type of locs that I initially coveted. I grew so detached from the process, that I didn’t even realize that I’d achieved my goal until a friend pointed out to me how long my hair had grown. I’d survived the shrinkage phase and come out on the other side with the hair I’d always wanted. I’m now 7.5yrs into my locs journey, and I regularly get stopped and asked about my hair.

During the two years of the “ugly” shrinkage phase, I could have given up. I could have said “forget this!” and combed them out. Or I could have stressed myself out worrying about how my hair looked, and felt bad about myself. Detaching from the process, and making the active decision to just stay the course, is what allowed me to have the patience and persistence to go through the difficult time.

So why have I been thinking of myself as someone with no patience or persistence? Because the one place where I’ve struggled with this the most is with my body acceptance journey. Over the years I’ve had periods of weight loss and gain, and judge myself over it. I’ve tried lots of different strategies - tracking, daily weighing, challenges - and while I’ve had periods of success, nothing has really stuck. I know what to do, I just struggle with consistency and continuing to stay the course.

Thinking about my hair journey has allowed me to reflect on the type of person I really am, and what works works for my life and my personality. Giving myself more credit, and also grace, has gone a long way in changing the narrative that I’ve told myself around patience and persistence.

Serena Williams Can't Believe She Has A Kid, And Neither Can I

 
Me and my girl...
 

A few weeks ago, Serena Williams, aka the world greatest athlete (don't debate me, debate your mom) had her first child, a baby girl. We all got a chance to see little Alexis via Instagram, and also the sweetest video chronicling the months until her debut. From the video, it's apparent that both Serena and her fiance are complete saps, which I appreciate because I am also a sappy mama. 

Wait, let me go back. First, let me tell you that I love me some Serena Williams. I remember my high school days, knowing exactly one thing about tennis, and still spending hours watching whenever Serena or Venus was on the screen. I've spent years rooting for Serena, even waking up at the crack of dawn to catch her win the Australian Open. Beyond her dominance on the tennis court, I admired her fierceness and her determination to not be "just" a tennis player. She's not just the best tennis player ever, male or female, she's probably the best athlete out here, male or female. We can have a debate about it if you want to, but you're disqualified if any of your arguments are rooted in sexism. 

Anyway, my kinship with Serena got a million times stronger when I saw she tweeted this:

Immediately I thought, "OMG IS SHE ME???? HOW DOES SHE KNOW MY LIFE?" Apparently I'm not the only mama surprised that she did indeed grow another human and is now responsible for them. 

It's such a strange feeling to be in a place that you never expected to be, and that's me when it comes to motherhood. I truly never pictured my life with a child in it, until I met my husband. Even during my pregnancy, as BabyPi kicked me constantly, I didn't have a good grasp of what it would be like to be someone's mama. Like pledging or marriage, you truly don't know what it's like until you're in it and experience it, I suppose. 

I've had so many moments of "oh shit, I'm someone's mama!" in the early months of my daughter's life. I'm still not used to it, and it's still kinda weird(?) to think of myself as a mother. When I think of who I am - who Jareesa is at the core - "mother" is not the first adjective that comes to mind. Not defining myself as a mother first, or solely as a mother, is extremely important to me and how I view myself.. but at the same time, I'm so amazed that I have that title at all. Is this what it's like when you win the Powerball or something? Like you assume something is unattainable and then it happens and you're just...in a constant state of "did that just happen?" 

At least once a day I have a moment where I'm amazed that I'm a mom, and usually it's because Phi giggled at me, or grabbed my face for a kiss, or did some other adorable thing. She's such a joy and even when she's fussing, I'm reminded that she's my joy, my baby girl, and I'm her mama. I know we'll have so many more moments in the future, that will make me equally proud and happy to be Phi's mama. 

Progress On My Stuff To Do In 2017 List

I wrote this list back in February I think? It's July so that's a good time to check in on the progress I've made against this list, right?

This is version 2 but expect to see numerous updates of this list throughout 2017...and if you don't see updates you have my permission to ask me why the fuck I haven't updated my list. Accountability and whatnot...

  1. Finish Phi's baby blanket (this is kinda cheating cause it's like 90% done but I'mma put it on the list anyway) - DONE! AND SHE LOVES IT! 
  2. Post on BGU at least once a week - I'm trying 
  3. Find freelance writing opportunities - DID IT! 
  4. Pitch freelance writing opportunities - DID THIS TOO!
  5. Try knitting socks using the two circular knitting needles method - STILL SCARED
  6. Go see my family so they can meet Phi - DID IT AND THEY LOVE HER TO PIECES
  7. Finally try knitting a hat on double point needles - BOUT TO DO IT
  8. Get pretty and take photos of already knitted items 
  9. List already knitted items on Etsy
  10. Update my LinkedIn page with my APW internship. - DID IT!
  11. Apply for opportunities in Atlanta - STILL DOING IT, NO LUCK YET 
  12. Search for homes for sale in Atlanta - HAD TO STOP CAUSE I FOUND TOO MANY I LIKED
  13. Convince Meg that I should be Chief Data Officer for APW - I'll start off as "Data Guru" tho...ok maybe not "guru" cause all the startups use that term and it's corny...but basically I wanna be the queen of all things data & sales & marketing for APW, I just need a better title than "queen of all things data & sales & marketing". - TRUST ME, I'M TRYING
  14. Take a girl's trip - no baby, no husband.
  15. Help my cousin soror plan her wedding
  16. Get ordained to do weddings in Georgia
  17. Convince someone to let me officiate their wedding in Georgia
  18. Go to Elise's yoga class twice a week - STILL TRYING
  19. Take the baby to Bring Your Own Baby yoga class at Blooma - WASN'T REALLY INTO IT
  20. Pay off my last credit card that carries a balance (I'm actually really proud that I'm down to 1 credit card that's carrying a balance, trust me this is an accomplishment) - MAKING PROGRESS!
  21. Find a reliable babysitter so I can go out with my husband to stuff - THE HOMIES HAVE FILLED IN HERE & WE'RE GRATEFUL
  22. Book a cheap flight deal so we can take a trip as a family, preferably an international trip so Phi can get a passport stamp. - STILL LOOKING!
  23. Go back to the Primal lifestyle, at least 80% (I'll be shooting for 100% but I know that's unrealistic for me) - I'M LIKE 50% SO FAR.

Shit I Will Do Or Make Happen In 2017

This is version 1 but expect to see numerous updates of this list throughout 2017...and if you don't see updates you have my permission to ask me why the fuck I haven't updated my list. Accountability and whatnot...

  1. Finish Phi's baby blanket (this is kinda cheating cause it's like 90% done but I'mma put it on the list anyway)
  2. Post on BGU at least once a week
  3. Find freelance writing opportunities
  4. Pitch freelance writing opportunities
  5. Try knitting socks using the two circular knitting needles method
  6. Go see my family so they can meet Phi
  7. Finally try knitting a hat on double point needles
  8. Get pretty and take photos of already knitted items
  9. List already knitted items on Etsy
  10. Update my LinkedIn page with my APW internship.
  11. Apply for opportunities in Atlanta
  12. Search for homes for sale in Atlanta
  13. Convince Meg that I should be Chief Data Officer for APW - I'll start off as "Data Guru" tho...ok maybe not "guru" cause all the startups use that term and it's corny...but basically I wanna be the queen of all things data & sales & marketing for APW, I just need a better title than "queen of all things data & sales & marketing".
  14. Take a girl's trip - no baby, no husband.
  15. Help my cousin soror plan her wedding
  16. Get ordained to do weddings in Georgia
  17. Convince someone to let me officiate their wedding in Georgia
  18. Go to Elise's yoga class twice a week
  19. Take the baby to Bring Your Own Baby yoga class at Blooma
  20. Pay off my last credit card that carries a balance (I'm actually really proud that I'm down to 1 credit card that's carrying a balance, trust me this is an accomplishment)
  21. Find a reliable babysitter so I can go out with my husband to stuff
  22. Book a cheap flight deal so we can take a trip as a family, preferably an international trip so Phi can get a passport stamp.
  23. Go back to the Primal lifestyle, at least 80% (I'll be shooting for 100% but I know that's unrealistic for me)