All posts by Thee Kelsey Carter

Lit Review Part II

I have officially decided that I will be working remotely until this semester is complete. I REALLY need the peace and minimal distractions for this last month – literally 30 more days until the last thesis class!  

Last week I attempted to put together my interpretation of a literature review which was a complete fail. But that’s okay because it allowed me to ask questions and fix what needed to be fixed. Just as a FYI being a communications / broadcast journalism undergrad we never had to do a literature review, so I was pretty green prior to Dr. Nelson’s class. Since this piece is creative I had a hard time trying to connect my story to research, so I am hoping I got it right this second go round. I have below my Lit Review Part II -All comments welcome – but mostly how can I improve this, or is it good as is. 

Imposter Syndrome  

Sciangula, Antonella, and Marian M. Morry. “Self-Esteem and Perceived Regard: How I See Myself Affects My Relationship Satisfaction.” The Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 149, no. 2, 2009, p. 15. ProQuest Central.

“High self-esteem individuals generally feel worthwhile as human beings and respect themselves, yet they are aware of their faults. However, low self-esteem individuals feel deficient, unworthy, and inadequate as human beings and allow their perceived weakness to dominate how they feel about themselves.” (Sciangula and Morry 144-145)

Self esteem is something people will automatically associate with relationships, whether it be healthy or unhealthy. How we feel about ourselves is a true reflection on how we allow others to treat us, and the bases on what we will and won’t tolerate in a relationship. This article has allowed me to view a new perspective on the connection between how I view myself vs. what I choose to display about myself to my partner. This has me questioning myself if I have experienced being an imposter while in my romantic relationships. According to this research I should almost expect my partner to view me in an extremely optimistic way, when in fact that isn’t how I always view myself. 

I dated a man for a few months, we met through mutual friends at a social event, he was in his last year in college and I had taken a break from academia. Our relationship seemed healthy and I was under the impression that he and I would become serious in the months ahead. We didn’t have many arguments, we would hang out often and we got along very well. Him and I stopped dating due to him not being honest with me about another woman he had also been dating. A few years had passed by after our separation and he was now ready to take accountability for the cause of us no longer dating. During this conversation he was able to express that he was extremely insecure about how popular he perceived me to be. He wasn’t secure enough with himself enough to be comfortable with the amount of platonic male friends I had. He also felt like my nightlife, which at the time was equal to his, was too much for him to handle. This article allowed me to understand that at that point in my life I had extremely high self esteem, assuming that my partner would treat me as such, but in actuality my partner had a lot of insecurities that withheld him from taking our relationship to the next level. 

What I believe this article lacks is the scenario where you have a person who appears to have high self esteem, but really they are just covering up how they really feel about themselves, which would internally be low self esteem. As I was dating the man mentioned, there were absolutely no signs of insecurities or low self esteem, which led me to believe him and I could be equally yoked. However, years later it was expressed to me by him that he was able to hide who he truly was although he was fully aware. This makes me question how long does imposter syndrome actually last in a relationship?

I also believe that the article contradicts its own ideas. “Both high and low self-esteem individuals may be accurate or inaccurate in their beliefs about their own worth, success, or competencies and in their beliefs about how positively their partners view them.” (Sciangula and Morry 145) although throughout this article it states that negatively is associated with low self esteem and positivity is associated with high self esteem, it is also stating that these individuals may or may not be accurate about their own self worth. This leads me to believe that the authors could have just described this study as being situational, opposed to leading with putting high and low self esteemers into a box of how they actually view themselves.

Lit Review Drafty Draft

So the time has come for me to test out my literature review. Below is my drafty draft of my literature review. I didn’t go into deep for my categories because I am unsure if I am on the correct track. The purpose is to confirm so I can continue to flesh this piece out. I feel like I am on the right track but of course I would like honest feedback so I can continue. No pressure in reading and providing feedback considering I am posting day of. Any comments are appreicated! Todays goal during class is for Dr. Zamora to guide me with my Lit Review journey. The remainder of this semster is to write, both my story and the literature review, I believe after the feedback I receive today I will feel a weight lifted off on my shoulders of closer to completion. Highlighted in green is where I stopped at each section.

Introduction

“Maybe it’s Me” is a nonfiction novel written with the intentions of releasing personal emotion and needed closure that will completely allow me to analyze specific situations within my romantic relationships in order to understand myself better. The purpose of this is to be able to look in my past and use those experiences to create healthy relationships for my future. During my therapeutic writing sessions, I have been able to discover some of the cause and effects of why I am the way that I am. With that I have identified categories that have been tied into my stories, these topics are; Love Language, Abandonment Issues, Attachment Issues, Counseling, Soul Ties, Imposter Syndrome, Filling a void, Growing up with a single parent, and Dating and social media. With the help of scholarly sources, television and film, books and my real life experiences I have been able to dig deeper into the sentimental meaning of my thesis. 

Does anything additional be added to my introduction?

Love Language 

Defining our love language is something that helps navigate how we need and want to be loved. I must admit, during my dating experience I had never taken the time to understand my love language, or any of my partners. In hindsight if I had been more self aware of what stimulates my romantic emotions I might have been able to have more happy and healthy relationships. I’ve now taken the Love Language quiz by Gary Chapman twice, and I would say it has allowed me to be transparent about why things haven’t worked out, and now I am better prepared to navigate what does and doesn’t work for me in romantic relationships. Your love language isn’t just about what you want and need, but it is also a tool to understand what your partner is yearning for, and to make it possible to love them the way they need to be loved. 

My love language percentages are as follows;  

Quality Time 30%

Acts of Service 27%

Receiving Gifts 23%

Physical Touch 17% 

Words of Affirmation 3%

“In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality Time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.” (Chapman)

Definitions of the other love languages 

Abandonment Issues

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of abandonment is; to be left without needed protection, care, or support. I never personally felt that I ever had any abandonment issues until I watched episode seven of Euphoria, “The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed.” (Levinson) This episode highlighted Cassie, one of the supporting characters. “Cassie experiences various difficulties during her childhood, including disturbing interactions with male relatives after she hits puberty, as well as the tense divorce of her parents, which was followed by her father’s descent into drug addiction and poverty.” (IMDB)

 Cassie’s character was known for being a promiscuous teenager, raised by her alcoholic mother, and absent father. Cassie is shown to have an extreme case of insecurities.  Although she has a steady boyfriend she often feeds into other teenage boys giving her attention based on her over sexulized appearance. This particular episode took us through a timeline of her backstory with her father. Cassie’s parents had gotten a divorce while she was in elementary school. Her and her younger sister spent their weekends with her father until he got into a severe car accident and stayed in the ICU for 20 days. While in the hospital he became addicted to pain medication, which spilled into his life after his accident. This put a strain on his relationship with his daughters and eventually became an absentee father. From then on Cassie started to seek male attention she was missing from her father from boys at school that were praising her for her sex appeal and easy access to getting her in the bedroom. 

Tie my abandonment issues with an example from Maybe it’s Me

How is it November?

A few nights ago as I laid in bed and began to write out my to-do list for the next day I decided to switch things up and write out all the tasks that I had accomplished. Instead of feeling stressed at looking at an overwhelming to do list. I felt excited that I actually saw what I was able to get done in a day. I know that I am extremely hard on myself and it causes a lot of stress, so day by day I am trying to change my ways in giving myself a break.  I am not ready to completely give up my daily to-do lists but I think incorporating writing out the tasks I was able to complete really helped me sleep with a piece of mind. 

In other news – where the hell did October go? I know it feels like this as every month comes and goes without any warning. Even though it has always felt like crunch time, it feels like the pressure is on now. At this point I don’t have time or energy to waste on being stressed, as my nephew would say “ you gotta do what you gotta do” even if that means stealing time at work to get your grad assignments done ( as I am doing now lol ) 

I can’t lie when I say I am more than ready for Thanksgiving, Vacation, Christmas, and to be completely finished with school foreverrrr

But until then let me go and get my work done. I didn’t quite make my goal of having all chapters finished by yesterday, but that’s okay I feel like I am still in a good place! As I wrap that up within the next two weeks my next step will be literature review, how long do you think that will take? Anywho, I can see why it can take a person years to complete a book.

How is it November?

A few nights ago as I laid in bed and began to write out my to-do list for the next day I decided to switch things up and write out all the tasks that I had accomplished. Instead of feeling stressed at looking at an overwhelming to do list. I felt excited that I actually saw what I was able to get done in a day. I know that I am extremely hard on myself and it causes a lot of stress, so day by day I am trying to change my ways in giving myself a break.  I am not ready to completely give up my daily to-do lists but I think incorporating writing out the tasks I was able to complete really helped me sleep with a piece of mind. 

In other news – where the hell did October go? I know it feels like this as every month comes and goes without any warning. Even though it has always felt like crunch time, it feels like the pressure is on now. At this point I don’t have time or energy to waste on being stressed, as my nephew would say “ you gotta do what you gotta do” even if that means stealing time at work to get your grad assignments done ( as I am doing now lol ) 

I can’t lie when I say I am more than ready for Thanksgiving, Vacation, Christmas, and to be completely finished with school foreverrrr

But until then let me go and get my work done. I didn’t quite make my goal of having all chapters finished by yesterday, but that’s okay I feel like I am still in a good place! As I wrap that up within the next two weeks my next step will be literature review, how long do you think that will take? Anywho, I can see why it can take a person years to complete a book.

Blog 7

In a perfect world right now I would just be a student. No work commitments or other priorities that don’t give me the time, space and energy to just focus on one thing at a time. But as we all know there is no such thing as perfect. So I am here, currently at my place of employment, drained from a two hour meeting attempting to switch gears and start doing some grad work. I am actually tired of complaining and just want to know if anyone can share some tips that have worked for you. I am looking specifically for how to shut your brain off from work ( or 1 task) and complete a new one (school) . Is that even possible? Are many organized breaks needed? Or do I actually have ADHD? I almost feel like my brain is overwhelmed. This isn’t the time or the place for that. My 11 year old nephew always tells me “ you gotta do what you gotta do.” I should also mention that I do work well under pressure, like a crazy person.

I am still in writing mode and as I said previously I am giving myself until Nov 1 for my draft stage to be over. Short and sweet but also to the point.

Also I will always vote for using class time to write!

And yes Amber this has been groundhog day for a year now lol. For me at least

WHen life throws you lemons…

What a week! You never really know what role you play in a family emergency until the emergency hits and everyone is hysterical. Then you have to make a split second decision of are you going to choose hysteria or are you going to be the calm one to figure out a solution. Ironically me being the youngest I had no other choice besides being the calm one. Without going into deep detail because I truly don’t want this to be the topic of conversation during class. My family just needs prayers! With every negative situation I try to see an opportunity. I have been spending my time as a visitor in the hospital, and I purposely bring my laptop to continue to get the job done. In this case the job is school. My job job has been great with not bothering me during this time, but I think I will be good to work remotely starting tomorrow (Monday) as I anticipate remaining as a visitor in the hospital for the rest of this week. 

Last week I decided to go to class to get a break from the hospital to hopefully get my mind off of the reality that is in real time. I have to admit I wasn’t really able to fully focus but I did get some organizing with marking up my already written work with my thesis. I am also so happy I came and was a part of voting YES to dedicating half of the class just to write. Man on man do I need that writing time! With that now my plan is to write extensively  ( which I have been doing while in the hospital ) and during class I will be editing. That gives me 10 writing days and 2 editing days. That makes me feel good about completing my goal of having 5-6 chapters completed by Nov 1st. 

It’s safe to say more than 2 hours of writing, with breaks of course daily ( besides Saturday) and then during class I will have printed copies to make edits. Currently I have 6 men ( chapters) That I will be working on for the remainder of October. Writing and editing. 6 sounds like a lot but I will still be comfortable if only 5 are complete as well. Each week I have been feeling better about my plan and progress, but today I feel GOOD about where my thesis is at and where it is headed. 

I do want to be transparent and say my stress is literally through the roof currently. If I seem unusually quiet or to myself, please don’t take it personally. I am pushing through the best way I know how.

SHort & Sweet – But Trust me Im working!

In my personal life I am STRESSED! My job .. remember the one that didn’t give me a raise? Is becoming much more unorganized then it should be, and I am getting annoyed! My mom is in the hospital, but when I think about it she has been in and out of the hospital for her health issues since I was in high school. It never gets easier but as we both grow older it becomes more alarming. My twin nephews who were raised by my mom, my sister and myself ( they are my older brothers’ kids) have been stressing me more than normal. We sent them both off to college at the end of August. One surprised us recently by saying he is dropping out and showed up at my moms doorstep. And the other is struggling to adjust and find his way on this huge campus 3 hours away from home. But at least he is trying! This generation seems so different from what I am used to. I honestly blame Tik Tok.

Anywho, I think I just needed to get that out because I am trying extremely hard to refocus my mind, because I do not handle stress well.

In regards to my thesis status, I have gone through all of my comments and notes since my presentation and I am in heavy writing mode, which I will remain for the last half of this month. As per usual I am happy I decided to come to class last week. Dr. Zamora reminded me that my book doesn’t have to be 100% finished by the end of this semester, which sounds very relieving to me. For some reason I had in my head that I needed, or should have my entire book completed. Which is something I just needed to hear from the boss herself that I only need about 4-5 guys (chapters) and I am very happy with that.

This week I have been more disciplined, but it is still hard with this half in person half remote work situation, but also have been giving myself grace. I am learning that I need to pour more into myself then I do others. Overall I am feeling better.

My last & final Thesis break

Blog 3 & 4

Friday Sept 24th

Two hours of reworking one chapter, and wow I feel like I am back!!! A breakthrough if you will. I am honestly a person who needs structure, and real organization in order to be productive. I guess I learned this about myself during this pandemic.

With clear direction from Dr. Zamora, I was told to stop being so hard on myself. Apparently once I told my boyfriend this he agreed and claims he has been telling me this forever! I guess I am striving to be some sort of perfectionist that doesn’t actually exist.

Anywho, now that my refocus is back on track, let me share some progress.
I facetimed who you all will know as “Roman” just to check his temperature and to secretly reminisce about some details of our history that might have been cloudy for me. Most importantly though, I love to get the males perspective so my story telling can have somewhat an aspect of both sides of the story. Sometimes I want to ADD another layer, almost like both sides of the coin in order for my story to not seem so one sided. On one hand I am thinking this will be great, and also add another layer of my imagination to it. On the other hand will this discredit the authenticity of my story. I think after I present on Wednesday I will pose this question to the class.

Monday / Tuesday-

Preparing to present by making last minute touches to my Roman chapter that I am going to share with the class.

Thursday / Friday Sept 30th & Oct 1st

My presentation went as expected! I am never nervous about telling my story so my nerves were holding up well. I decided to have a print out so that all of my cohorts can give REAL feedback that I can take my time and go through while I am making my next set of edits.

I haven’t been able to go through them yet, because Samina’s class has me in a chokehold right now. I must have picked the most dense reading on the list, and with my presentation being tomorrow I am almost losing my mind. However I did some extra digging and went on youtube for a better breakdown of the piece, because it was tough to get through.

I said all of that to say this week was my last and final break I am taking from my thesis. Once tomorrow’s presentation is finished I am back to the grind.

Friday I will start by going through each of my handouts to see how I can improve my chapter and hit the ground running again. I will be using Dr Zamora’s plan of 2 hours a day with Saturday & Sunday off from my thesis work. Even though my 2 hours sometimes go into 3-4 hours I do give myself breaks in between. I mean when a girl is in writing mode she can not be stopped. In other news I feel much better about my thesis since I have presented. I think I need to stop and read it aloud to remember that “ girl, you is doing a good job” I will have my Master’s in 10 weeks yall! The countdown begins.

Slow Start, but I am starting, seriously.

This weekend I started to feel like myself again when it comes to my old work life balance. I went out, I ran errands and I was just busy. Which I actually enjoy. Busy for me usually means I am getting shit done. I did take Dr. Zamora’s advice and took a little break. ( notice the blog post being submitted the day of class, this is so not like me) At first I thought I probably should speed up but that might be the cause of rushed work. I had to change my environment, I do apologize if this sounds like I am complaining but for me the energy and environment matter. I absolutely love my loft apartment my boyfriend and I share. It’s nice and huge, two floors, clean and it just feels like home. What causes confusion in my brain is when I have to do work from home, school from home and home from home. I know I have expressed that many times before but yesterday as I was in what was supposed to be a 3 hour in person strategy meeting, it turned into a 6 hour in person strategy meeting. Annoyed the entire time, it hit me. I need to bring my ass to the office daily and work on my thesis here! Our office is brand new, bright, and very quiet. Today I layed out my stuff in our conference room and have been editing my work like crazy. Usually I would apologize or be doom and gloom about my current pace I have been going but I have to be kind to myself and I am grateful I figured out how I will make this work. So to be transparent, my progress is that I have found my working space. Now I honestly feel I can get to gettin with my thesis, for real this time! 

Take a Deep Breath & lets do this.

The first few days of my last semester are starting off rough to say the least. I want to be transparent and get all of my complaints off my chest. My Mac blacked out on me Sept 1st and has been back and forth with repairs ever since. Luckily I am able to use my boyfriend’s computer but that is just like starting from scratch. It’s not an apple so I feel like a senior citizen trying to learn technology for the first time, and all my work and school files are on my Mac that is locked away at the Apple hospital. 

As I expressed on the first day of class, my job is really getting under my skin due to my denial of a pay raise, especially considering my duties are becoming more time consuming. The biggest elephant in the room is that I have been home bound for 18 months and out of nowhere I am expected to be back in person for work and school. No type of easing my way back just all at once. I find it odd that nobody is talking about this, then again I’m thinking maybe this really is a me issue. Covid-19 has been dodged by me by the grace of God even though it is creeping closer and closer to home. How can I not have real life anxiety of the culture shock of being thrown back into the real world. To sum that up, I feel lost and distraught, but I am here now and I have to face what is in front of me in order to reach the finish line. 

My thesis is bitter sweet because it started as a book that I knew needed to be written, read, and sold. I always had the stories and the ideas, just never the ‘time’ or courage to really sit down and write it out. Luckily for me,  with the amazing feedback from Summer 1 Writers Retreat I had no idea this could be bigger than I ever imagined. As of right now I have about 22 unedited pages that I will be working double time to focus on not only what story I am actually telling but also incorporating my research. This summer I wanted to dive into it and I would be lying if I said I was able to get that done. My brain power has been at a zero, it’s scary because it makes me feel like I am not really that great at adapting to global pandemics. 

The theme for this 4th quarter for me is DISCIPLINE. Something I have to relearn, and begin immediately adding large doses back into my life. I have to literally change my attitude or I will get nothing done, and that just isn’t an option. 

Something I will be borrowing from one of my favorites Issa Rae – she breaks down her days into sections, days for creative work, filming etc. 

Monday & Tuesdays – Writing, Class Prep, Homework 

Wednesday & Thursdays – Heavy Work days / Writing

Fridays – Blogs, Reading & Editing 

Saturdays – Writing 

Sundays – Writing & Research 

Everyday is a writing day, at this point that is what will make the most productive sense. Since I don’t have class or physically working past 3pm on Mondays and Tuesdays I will make these days for class prep, starting on Monday and if I need it to go into Tuesday as any sort of refresher. My job can be alot but I think I found a way to get most of my tasks done within two days max, which will be Wednesday & Thursdays before class. Friday’s will most likely be remote working days that I can dedicate to reading and editing ‘Maybe it’s Me’ – It might sound crazy but I am going to put myself on a 8 hour schedule with appropriate breaks as if this was a job that I am getting paid for ( which I will soon) Saturday’s will be light writing, consuming of ideas, expansion, and anything else that is needed. I annoyingly never sleep in on weekends, it’s just how my body is programmed. Sunday’s will be heavy on the research as well as writing. 

What I have learned about myself is I need structure, I thrive off of lists. Also I have been really playing with the idea of making ‘Maybe it’s Me’ short stories opposed to full on chapters, this is something I want to discuss with the class and my group tomorrow. At this point I am unsure on how long I want it to be in total, I just want to get my stories out, that’s probably why my focus hasn’t been how long or how short. I am feeling the pressure of having each chapter intertwine with the previous one. When most of these tales can stand on their own, hopefully that makes sense in the way I am writing it vs. how I am thinking about it in my head. The beauty about writing something you lived is you can make your own rules. 

Sorry if this blog sounds a bit doom and gloom. I am actually very excited and happy that this moment is finally here. Thank you all in advance for your advice and support on not only my Master’s journey, but also being a part of me being a New York Times Best Selling Author ( yes I am claiming it now! )