Dear You, From Me: An Open Letter


I haven't spoken out much since Donald Trump became our President-elect, mainly because I was personally trying to process the entire thing. Confused and unsure how to manage my feelings and anger. I went to bed that night feeling a great amount of anxiousness and woke up feeling nauseous. I can honestly say that I was naïve. I was naïve enough to believe that America had more common sense to elect someone with prior knowledge of how to properly run this country. I was also naïve to think we were a changing country, and far past being idiotic to make this big of a mistake. But, I was just that.. naïve. To be honest America, and many may disagree, but we messed up— badly.

Ava DuVernay's Documentary "13th" and the Importance Behind the Black Vote


This film could not have come at a better time. As the presidential election nears and many of us are stuck between what we're going to do with our vote because the whole presidential debate and candidacy is a complete joke. The importance held within the information of this documentary is something I believe we all, of all races, should inform ourselves on. Here's why.

Have a Seat at The Table and Sip On Lemonade While You Indulge In Black Girl Magic


Hey Sista, soul sista, go sista Knowles sistas.  I know, like everyone else knows that Solange's new album Seat At The Table is a true piece of art. It dropped just as epically as her big sis and I simply just can't get enough. Right now, I'm enjoying the time we're in and it's a time of love and reaffirmation for black women.

USC Still Alive In The South With a 41-20 Win Over ASU

10.02.2016 Los Angeles Coliseum

The past couple of weeks have been true tests of faith for the USC Trojans. With a shaky start to the season and doubt being thrown around about the potential of your team, it’s easy to fold. Regardless of what USC has faced early on in the season, they continue to stick by their slogan to “Fight On to Victory.” 

The Power of Forgiveness


Forgiveness, the most graceful attribute but hardest action to do. As I was sitting around today, I stumbled across a message by Bishop T.D. Jakes about forgiving and I instantly found myself intrigued by the truth behind every word and wanted to touch on some important key points. My attention was initially sparked by one simple question.. Why is it that we live in a society that celebrates people for being unforgiving?

Why It's Important to Fund Your Dreams Outside a 9-5


If you are anything like me, then a 9-5 isn't cut out for you. You are a creative, an optimist and constantly thinking of your next move. You have a vision of what you need to do, when and how you need to do it, always. You're endearingly passionate about your passion and there is nothing wrong with that, but when your passion is being pushed aside because all of your energy unwillingly goes into your regular 9-5— you get unmotivated, withdrawn and doubtful. There's a bigger picture to this aside how you may feel and it's time that you take notice that your dreams need to be funded too

Four Reasons Why You Should Keep an Eye on Michael Norman


Incoming freshman Michael Norman shocked the track and field world when he dominated his 200 meter semi-final heat by edging out veterans Justin Gatlin and Wallace Spearmon with ease at the Olympic Trials last month. If you weren’t aware of him before, you may want to get familiar with this household name.

Western Branch Track and Field: The Birth of a Dynasty


It's no secret that the Western Branch Track and Field program has been a force to reckon with over the years. Dominating the track and continuously building their legacy with back to back titles, this is easily one of the biggest high school track and field powerhouses. With as much success these young athletes have already seen, you can't help but wonder who is fine tuning and developing such talent.

Why I Think Linqup Is the Next Big App for Millennials

6.11.2016 Houston, TX, USA

In this day in age, we have complete access to just about everything we need right at our fingertips. All that we do and need surrounds itself by apps. However, what better way to see what’s going on right where you are, right now in a matter of seconds? That answer is quite simple, Linqup. 

One Track Mind: Dominique "Domo" Booker

When you have parents who were stand out track and field athletes in high school, college and at the professional level, it only makes sense for you to follow in their footsteps with your gifted athletic genes. They say the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree and Dominique Booker has followed each path. Now, this Olympic hopeful is preparing herself for a much bigger stage in Rio. However, her first stop is a place she's familiar with the Olympic trials at Tracktown USA.

Caprice Powell's Road to Recovery


Determination. That's one word that can sum up Caprice Powell's college career at Sacramento State. As a student-athlete, it's no secret that injury comes with the territory. For most, it's fuels their focus and hunger. Caprice Powell had that focus and hunger. Facing multiple injuries throughout her career, she overcame and claimed every goal she set. However, after graduating and having a strong finish with the Hornets, she finds herself redirecting her focus on preparing for a comeback.

Against All Odds: Kirk Spencer


December 5th, 2015, Grand Valley State faced off against defending champs, CSU-Pueblo, in the quarterfinal game of the playoffs. Coming off of a great season and knocking out their rival Ferris State a week prior, GVSU set the tone pretty early against the Thunderwolves. For senior running back Kirk Spencer, this was the day that not only his love for the game would be tested, but also his faith.

My Story: A Diary Entry


Passion. That's what this sport was to me. It was my love and the main focus and honestly a good reason for attending college, to begin with. It provided opportunities to visit places I probably would have never visited and introduced me to people who have made everlasting imprints on my life. I envisioned so much for myself as an athlete that I paid more attention to what I wanted from the track than what I wanted from Ashley. I thought this was who I was.

Taking It In Strides: Kenneth Jackson


Everyone's path to collegiate track and field is different. Some are able to earn a scholarship right out of high school, while others take an alternative route and decide to go to a junior college for a year or two, then later transfer. Like others, Kenneth Jackson chose that route. Starting out at Riverside City College and now attending Texas A&M University - Kingsville, Jackson is ready to show and prove that he can compete with the best in the sport.

The Journey '16: Omar "Ope" Craddock


It's 2016 and finally Olympic year for athletes who have trained day in and day out since the last summer games in London of 2012. This is the year where it all counts. Meet Omar Craddock, a twenty-four-year-old from Killeen, Texas chasing his Olympic dream. Formerly a stand-out member on The University of Florida's Men's Track and Field team, which is also considered as "The University of Flights", Omar, who is now endorsed by Adidas is seeing much success at the professional level. After living in Gainesville, Florida for the past five years; Craddock is now back in his hometown of Killeen training for this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Things Didn't Go as Planned.. Is There Even a Plan Anymore?


"To the California State University, Los Angeles graduating class of 2015.. you have overcome great battles and today marks a significant core piece in the journey you've had here. You are now a part of the 30%, Congratulations -- you made it!"
*cheers and excitement and blow horns fill the air*

That last portion of the President's speech on my graduation day that early morning in June will forever stick with me. I remember feeling an abundance of joy because I was actually done with school. Excitement because I know that I made my family proud and relieved because I know all of the stress I endured throughout the whole entire process...  I worked my butt off to see this day.  There was a combination of emotions, but appreciation would probably be the best fit to describe it all. Simply because I was grateful for being able to attend a University and get my education for free by being a student-athlete. It was a long and overwhelming journey at some points. Juggling being an athlete AND a student isn't as easy as most may think.. there's double of everything and it can be overbearing at times, but the outcome and experience are well worth it all.

Now, fast forward to 7 months later (from graduation) and 10 months since I completed my undergraduate curriculum I feel as though the vision I had for myself after graduation is kind of.. diminished. Call me crazy, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who held themselves to a high standard or expectation for life post-college. See, I had a plan. Go to college. Graduate. Get a job. Build a career. Be successful. Be happy.

However, as we all know things sometimes just don't go as planned.

I know that everything takes time and you have to be patient for what you want, but I honestly feel like I'm just existing in this world.. when I want to live. I want to enjoy my life and actually feel as though I'm working towards something. I've been told numerous times that a lot of people, especially graduates, end up in jobs they completely hate before they get into the field they truly want to be in. Makes sense.. but I'm tired of doing that.

I went to school to ultimately pave my way into the Broadcast Media world (Plan A).. or work behind the scenes with the NBA/WNBA in basketball operations and communication departments (Plan B) .. but getting my foot in isn't the easiest of tasks. I apply to jobs almost every day so that I can start building the career path and the vision God's placed within me, some that I know I qualify for and even some I know I don't. I'm just trying to get myself out there.

I sit here thinking to myself like what's next? what are the next steps?...

I never imagined it to be this hard and this draining to get into my career. I mean that is why I got the degree, to begin with.. right? I didn't think I would be that person who wakes up completely miserable every morning because I have to go to a job for 8 hours that I don't even like.

I vowed that I wouldn't stay at the job I'm in now no longer than a year, naively thinking I would easily be able to get a position (any position) in the career I want within that set time frame. I'm now at month 8.. and sometimes I ask myself what I'm even doing.. what am I even working towards.. and sadly, what do I even WANT to do. I find myself applying to jobs that would be a dream come true that I'm qualified for, hoping that it'll all fall into place for me... but I also noticed that I was just applying to other jobs in hopes to get me out of the one I'm at now.. and I hate that. It's like I'm settling, but don't really have any other choice but to do exactly that and me being the person I am it drives me insane.

It's a shame how lost you can feel after such an accomplishment that nobody can take away from you, that you earned. A piece of paper that you dedicated sixteen or more years to get. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to even have a job, to begin with.. but I refuse to get comfortable and I absolutely won't allow myself to get complacent with where I'm at right now in life. I want more.

Now all the questions roam through my mind.

"Do I wait it out and pray on it and stick through how I'm feeling and wait for a position in my dream career?". "Should I just quit the job I'm in right now and go to grad school?". "Is a graduate degree in Journalism even worth all the trouble and money for the career I want to be in..?".  Back and forth, back and forth. This is an everyday thought.

Everyone's journeys are different. Situations turn around for others far before they may turn around for you. Something I try to remember. However, it's naturally impossible to not question when my time is coming when you see your friends and so many others post-college success growing. I'm at a point in my life where I'm ready to start doing actual adult things. I want my own place, but the cost of living in Los Angeles is ridiculous and my little job can't even cover that. Right now, I just feel like I'm wingin' it.

To put it in a more simple statement, I guess you can say that I honestly feel like I'm wasting time... at twenty-four years old I feel like I'm reaching near a quarter-century mid-life crisis soon. (let me not be so dramatic lol) However! Trying to get experience without anyone willing to give you the experience, because you don't have the experience has to be the most frustrating thing in the world. All I really want is a chance. I'm not really sure if others feel like this or if I'm the only one who feels this way, but it sucks.

Is there even a plan anymore?

I'm not a stranger to curveballs and bumps on the road at all. I've dealt with many.. just to get where I am now.

I guess the most important thing to remember is that even with all the curveballs you've been thrown and the many detours your journey takes.. the way you handle it will speak for what you've learned along the way.. the strength you gained from it all. No matter how hard it gets, no matter how lost I may be and no matter how much I may not know what my purpose is just yet. I can genuinely say that I will not give up. I might bend a few too many times, but I will not break.

..and if there's possibly anyone else who feels anything remotely close to this.. use this as a way to stay positive when your mind is getting poisoned with all of the negative.

Note to self,

It's okay if you don't have everything under control. It's okay if this isn't in your plan. God has something so divine and ready for you all planned out better than you could ever imagine. Let your faith carry you. Let him lead you on his terms, not yours. Let him bring you through once he feels you are ready. Let him prepare you for it all. So stop being a control freak. Everything will fall just the way it needs to. It's a journey, not a race. Enjoy the journey.

I alone need to honestly refer back to this myself and may we all see a breakthrough soon.

© Ashley Avenu. john 15:5 .