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Transitions!

21 April 2010 26 Comments

I’ve been, to say the least, a bad blogger lately. It’s easy to lose track of things and who I’ve told about what between the Facebook fan page, Twitter, and the podcasts. So let me update you all so that I don’t start getting “where the heck you been at, Thembi?” messages and everyone can bear with me during this frantic time.

About a year ago I put up a post with this same title. At the time, I’d just been accepted into the University of Southern California’s Specialized Journalism Master’s program, so I was like wow y’all I’m moving to Los Angeles! My joy was pretty short-lived, however, because the financials of the situation just weren’t working out. It was a hard decision to defer my acceptance but after a short period of saltiness I decided to focus all of my energy towards getting one of the coveted Annenberg Fellowships in 2010 (as in full tuition plus a healthy stipend for living expenses). My ammo? I told them I want to study black pop culture and write definitive works on black images in entertainment (which we call Good Hair Gone Bad and Obscure Black C-Listers around here). The strategy? Keep writing and and speaking and proving that the program, where I would take about half of my classes at the School of Cinematic Arts/School of Music/School of Theatre and the other half in the School of Journalism, is a perfect match for what I do. The odds? They give out 100 fellowships to about 5,500 eligible graduate students across three schools and dozens of degree areas. That little extra? I got my Deepak Chopra on, visualizing myself getting this fellowship and eventually believing that it was already mine. I took it a step past the audacity of hope to the audacity of entitlement and only half-heartedly made a Plan B for the next year.

Last Tuesday I got the great news that I was chosen as an Annenberg Fellow and broke into the heartiest combination of The Butterfly and some sort of colored shuffle that one ever did see. For the next year I’m going to be studying black pop culture and entertainment and getting paid to do so. I’m too legit to quit! Break at the knees! I was totally this guy:

I’m still so impressed with myself, and not just because I’m usually so (charmingly) self-important. The pursuit of this master’s degree represents a full change in career for me; my comeuppance has finally arrived! Those of you who’ve been reading WWTD for a while know how much I hated my desk job, but it wasn’t just because of the soul-sucking cubicle or the moronic co-workers. I wasn’t happy as a “Proposal Manager,” at an education company because that’s not what makes me tick and is not what I’m supposed to be. My career title has yet to be determined and I know I have a lot of work to do but this feels way more like my “real life” than anything I’ve pursued in years. WWTD pointed me in that direction first occasionally, and now professionally. I say all of this to thank all of you for your continued support! Your interest in what I have to say is what makes it credible and I feel so fortunate to know that my future endeavors will be supported by at least a handful of like-minded folks out there. I sincerely appreciate every single pageview, comment, retweet, Facebook thumbs up and podcast listen.

The Beverly Hillbillies. I like to think that I'm fresher than they are, though.

That said, please stick with me as I transition to the West Coast! The next few weeks are going to be super hectic: my podcast will be on hiatus and posting will be erratic as I drive cross-country to California with my little brother and more pairs of sneakers than I should be bringing along in tow. We’re driving through the South, meeting up with family, and going into the desert over the course of 10 days. I usually can’t stop myself from sharing links on the Facebook fanpage and I’m definitely going to write some diary-style posts about the journey so keep your eyes peeled! If nothing else, I’ll see you back here when things get back to normal and that “real life” of mine finally gets started.

Thanks again for hanging in.

26 Comments »

  • afrobella said:

    CONGRATS!!!! That is HUGE. So proud of you and can’t wait to see what comes next. Watch out, Cali!!

  • Leana Pina said:

    you go girl!!

  • regina said:

    Yaaayyyy!!! CONGRATS to you Mama!! What an awesome (albeit exhausting) time this will be for you! That is what I call being faithful and steadfast! You knew what you wanted and you went after it, AND THEN you prevailed! (Folks who say they want stuff, want to do stuff and then never work toward anything irritate me…). I look forward to reading what comes next!
    Stay Blessed Lady! (have a safe journey)
    Regina

  • itzdabuttafly said:

    I’m so excited for you. I know this is the beginning of more awesomeness for you. Looking forward to what’s next from you!

  • msladydeborah said:

    YAY! This is good news Thembi! Have a safe journey and keep us up to date on where you’re at.

  • Tafari said:

    This is a very exciting time & I cannot express how happy & proud that I am of your accomplishment. You really worked them to get that fellowship so this is just AWESOME!

    I look forward to your mini stories as I KNOW there will be many good ones. The trip to CA sounds like fun & long. It would be awesome to have video recordings. Just saying & demanding.

    Anyway, you go boo! You are truly apart of the Educated Negro Elite with Ghetto entertainment tendencies.

  • Stacy said:

    SOO excited for you!! Congrats– what a wonderful honor!! Can’t wait to hear about your new adventure!!

  • MommyMel said:

    This is huge. Well done. Kudos to you for setting the goal and achieving it.

    I look forward to more.

  • Nancy said:

    This is thrilling! I am so excited for you and it is a BIG. DEAL. that you got that fellowship. You truly, truly deserve it!!!! I am so happy that you are coming out here!

  • Dee El said:

    Thembi,

    Long time reader, first time commentor. Congrats, do you and represent!!

    Dee El Sends
    P.E.A.C.E.

  • Cardenie said:

    Congrats! Also a first-time commenter. Wishing u all the best.

  • otilia said:

    Very happy and excited for you, Thembi! Congratulations!!

  • Luvvie said:

    THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!! Congrats!!! *does the Bro Franklin* GET IT THEN!

  • martha said:

    thembster, i am SO excited for you and happy for you and LOVING how you keeping pushing for the dream, even while you’re still figuring out what it could be. you are inspiration woman. loves it. and congratulations on the fellowship!!! you’re also badass. as you know.
    xx

  • Rhome said:

    And Negronia rejoiced…

    I’m sure David Mills is proud.

  • Denise said:

    You are going to love, love, love USC!!! Congratulations, my dear, you are a wonderful writer and humorist and I look forward to your great works!!

    You must be floating on air!!

  • Tiffany said:

    Congrats!!! Do ya thang!!!

    Peace, Love and Chocolate

  • Bree said:

    I’ve loved this site for a while, but this is my first comment posting!

    Congrats!!! That’s an incredible accomplishment! Wishing you all the best.

  • Lovenia said:

    Wow! This is soo INSPIRING! CONTRATULATIONS AND MUCH SUCCESS TO YOU!!! I will definitely keep your posts on my radar…

  • Corporate AfroPuff said:

    You’re the ****!

  • HaJ from Tickles.Tv said:

    CONGRATULATIONS! You are too fabulous! Stay brilliant.

  • gumbogirl_West said:

    Congratulations – that’s wonderful news! Best wishes for a good experience during the fellowship. It’s great that your talents are being recognized.

  • Sabrina said:

    Congratualtions!

  • ShonQuayShah said:

    Congratulations! Have a safe trip! Please be careful when you get there because you know that USC (University of Spoiled Children) is in the middle of the ghetto, right?

  • Butta said:

    How exciting is this and how excited am I for you! Can’t wait to hear about the next chapter in your life–as you write it!

  • lola gets said:

    I know Im late, but congratulations!

    L

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