Too Thrifty Chicks


Dear God, I’m Here!


This time last year I had a lot of questions and no answers. I was in a grey place in a romantic relationship….that place where you’re technically broken up, but you’re still going back and forth about whether you did the right thing or if you can do something to make it work. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to finish my PhD. I was tired and directionless. I was feeling envious toward people who were gaining clarity in ways I was not–even though I was doing all the “right” things to get the direction I needed. My National Science Foundation grant funding for my research had ended, but thankfully I got a research job doing something interesting. I was trying to listen to the universe, but I was also very afraid of taking a wrong step.

Fast forward to 2014. I spent my birthday in Johannesburg, South Africa which was amazingly awesome…one of the best birthdays ever (we will have to do a post about the trip at some point). The next day, January 3rd, my sister told me via Facebook that my grandmother, one of the people who raised me, died. We had three days left in our trip, so I locked away the grief until I got home. But even when I returned, I felt not only my grief, but my (perceived and real) isolation from family. In March, our church did a Lenten fast called, “Surprise Me, God!” And oh was I surprised. In six weeks’ time, my car was broken into,  my laptop was stolen, I needed $1000 worth of repairs to my car, and I ended up in the Emergency Room.

March 30th was a Sunday. That morning, I decided I was going to go to church, even if I didn’t feel like it. On the way to church, a good friend texted me and asked if there was anything she could pray for. I responded, “pray that I can be still and know.” Got to church and the text for that day’s sermon was Psalm 46:1-11, which includes the verse, “Be still and know that I am God.” That, for me, was confirmation that though I had had a tumultuous twelve months, and 2014 was off to a rocky start, I was going to be ok. I just had to chill.

The next day I decided three things: 1) I didn’t really want a postdoctoral position I had applied for, even though it was a good fit on paper, 2) I was willing and ready to leave D.C. and 3) I was ready for (and needed) change. Around 4pm that same day, I got a call from the Dean at Rhodes College inviting me to participate in a Skype interview for a job that I thought I wasn’t competitive for, since I hadn’t heard anything in months. To make a long story short, I did the Skype interview, was invited to an on campus interview, and was offered the job in a span of about 2.5 weeks.

I accepted the job and it’s official: I’m moving to Memphis, y’all!

This post is not intended to be a “life was awful but now it’s good” kind of post. Actually, it’s a “life is always happening…good or bad and you have to roll with it” post. Sometimes crazy shit happens in succession and you cannot believe what is happening in your life. Sometimes good stuff is happening and you feel like, “man, I’m finally living.” But that’s not true. What I have learned over the past year is that you’re always living. Life is always happening. It doesn’t start or stop because something good or bad happens. Life is in all the details. In some ways, I am very excited about this move to Memphis. In other ways, I am pensive. Yet, even though it’s a major change, this year has taught me many things, one of them being that no matter how big or small the change is, I’ll be ok….because life is always changing. Always. I might cry, cuss, scream, smile, laugh, etc. at all the things that are happening, but that’s what we’re supposed to do, isn’t it? It reminds us that we’re present in everything. I look back to a year ago, and I can hardly believe where I am now. But as Miss Celie said as she left one life to start another, “Dear God, I’m here!”

Stay tuned, y’all. I have many stories to tell about trying to figure out this move on a budget….and I KNOW y’all wanna hear about my new place! 🙂


P.S.-If you know any cool people in Memphis, introduce me!

Author: A. Reese

UMBC Assistant Professor. Black Feminist. Food justice advocate and researcher. Lover of color, ruffles, stripes, and pockets. Your kids' flyest professor.

8 thoughts on “Dear God, I’m Here!

  1. Hey Reese. It’s been a minute since I talked to you! I’m glad to see this post. I was talking about this very thing with my cousin yesterday. Having to follow the course, when you don’t understand what, when and why. You have to keep it moving! Congrats on your new position and I pray that all goes well for you! God bless!


    • Hey Kenya, Thank you! And it’s true…you just have to keep it moving and have faith that all will work out….it almost always does. Please share this post with your cousin if you think it will help!


  2. Hey Reese! It’s been a while! Congrats on the new position. I enjoyed your post. I was just talking to my cousin last night about this very thing! Moving forward even when you don’t understand why life has to hurl you so much hurt and disappointment. Keep striving sis! The best is yet to come!


  3. Hello Reese, I enjoyed reading this blog post. I do believe that the “bad” helps us to appreciate the “good!” Congratulations and Godspeed to you. Btw, I’m looking forward to hearing all about your trip to South Africa. It’s one of my favorite places!


  4. Pingback: Breaking the Silence: Another Too Thrifty Update | Too Thrifty Chicks

  5. Hey Girlie,
    I loved your posts. This one was so motivating. I am a perfectionist in every aspect. I even have everyday planned out and get totally pissed off when “life happens” and interupts my plans (flat tire, not having enough money, etc.) Instead of being thankful that I have AAA im livid bc it happened. I struggle everyday but im learning to “just live, and let God.” When you are so open to express what you are going through it really gives ppl like me hope that everything is going to be okay….its just life. Im on a journey to accept the good and bad aspects off life and to just live it! Thanks again for being an inspiration!



    • Marchel, thanks for the love. It is sometimes really hard to share, but it is also really important. None of us are designed to be perfect, and one of the ways we can break free from it is owning it and sharing it when it feels like time to share.


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