So, Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States of America. I know, take a deep breath. This is a moment no one could have expected. I woke up the morning of inauguration looking for a leftover bottle of Jack from last year’s birthday. If you live in DC or have a friend in the area, you probably know someone about to transition to another job or depressed at the thought of the foolishness that will transpire during this Administration. So, here is a list of things that may help keep you sane and prepared to handle the next four years…or months.
Update Your Linkedin Profile
This is such a DC thing. It’s pretty common to know someone that has not had a permanent job or some kind of fellowship without an official job description that lasts years. You know…the person that goes to all of the African American Museum and White House high profile events but they’re not in entertainment or much of a public figure. Sometimes it can be hard for employers to understand all of the nuances of a fellowship or life in DC, so we must be specific about our achievements. Linkedin statistics prove that listing your skills allows your profile to be viewed 13 times more than a profile without them. The way you know your profile is up to par is when you reach All-Star status. This can be done in one sitting at Starbucks after work.
Karaoke For Your Life
This has become a form of release for myself and others. Sometimes the happy hours can be pretty pretentious, but there are few karaoke nights where you feel like you stepped into an episode of New York Undercover during the closing credits. Plan a night out at places like The Meeting Place on Friday nights or Banana Cafe on Sunday and Monday nights. There are also a few more ratchet places in PG County, but I don’t do those. I’m classy (Mon-Fri between the hours of 9:05 and 5:50pm).
Write Until It Becomes Annoying
There will be more time for you since there ain’t no way the Trump Administration will be pushing much that people of color will champion over the next few years. You can vent your frustrations by writing. There was a wave of bloggers that began as the Obama Administration was taking shape, but they seem to have fallen by the way side since they were busy being entertained by natural hair and social justice workshops. Get back on track and begin writing in your blog or dust off that that manuscript that details your time in DC or wrap up all of these Facebook posts into a book that explains your social justice stance.
If you have free time in the middle of the day to crash random lunch and learns and networking events, eventbrite surfing is for you. I did this when I moved to DC, it allowed me to get leads on jobs and volunteer opportunities that were not easily seen in my social circle. I would search Eventbrite for any event that involved my professional area and had the word “black” in its title. Once I arrived at the event, most of the time I didn’t know anyone there and had a good time learning and meeting new people. Challenge yourself to do this once a month to help expand your network.
90s Soundtrack Binge
Nothing gets your day going like listening to the Waiting to Exhale, Set It Off, Jason’s Lyric soundtracks. These will take you back to the day when you had nothing to do but fill your backpack up with Pop Rocks and Now or Laters. For the older professionals you were probably busy planning your road trip to Freaknic. I so envy you.
Take a Day Trip To NYC
The older I get, the more I cherish my random trips to NYC. There’s so much foolishness expected to take place during the next four years, it may be best to push it out of town. If you are not as random, Amtrak has sales for $49 when you catch them 30 days ahead of your scheduled trip. You can also catch BestBus that leaves from Dupont Circle, Silver Spring or Union Station. For those that are more low maintenance, you can obviously go for MegaBus, but who wants to sit next to a dude that smells like Kenny Rogers’ chin for four hours? Flying is an option, but you’re going to need those coins to get out of town for the apocalypse after Cheeto President pisses off North Korea on Twitter.
Host Game Nights
These are low cost ways to build a small community of friends while also being in a safe space while indulging in adult beverages and conversation. Game nights are nice, but let the games just happen. Don’t be one of those people that force people to participate. One pointer for a lit game night–always invite your two most outgoing and craziest friends. Get them there at all cost. Tell them they don’t have to bring a bottle or a bag of chips. No one likes to attend a boring game night. Another pointer, don’t invite us using one of those fancy invitations unless we can sync it with our Outlook calendars. Ain’t nobody got time to input your ashy event details into our phone calendar manually.
Use Savings/Investment Apps
Okay, this is the more serious one. It’s easy to get caught up with splurging at Park at 14th on a Thursday night. Savings and investment apps are easy to manage. One major thing I do with every check is to invest in a stock that I am managing. You can also auto-deposit money into a savings account set up by your bank or through an app like Acorns that rounds transactions to the nearest dollar and places it into an investment account. This nest egg may come in handy for that last minute move out of town or early cancellation fee if you get an opportunity elsewhere.
Start Sangria Sunday
Listen…a quick bottle of E&J can go a long way with your CVS wine. Fix yourself a quick sangria and read a book. We all hear how self care is important. This is time away from the noise of DC, including your family and friends. Enjoy a drink, open a book, turn on some music and escape.
Become a Credit Stalker
Listen, while getting through an Administration that believes in fewer regulations on creditors and businesses, you never know what surprise fees you’ll miss that may affect your credit. This is why being a credit stalker is important. When the time comes to purchase a home or a car, these random credit issues will have an impact on your qualifications for these items. Apps like Credit Karma can help you keep tabs on your credit. Listen…dispute anything on your credit that is hurting your score. The new Administration is already making it harder to receive a tax break for being a first time home buyer, you never know how the market will shift and hurt your opportunities with new policies being enacted over the next four years.
Get into the Life Insurance Hustle
Okay, let’s have this discussion. We all have that one family member that loves to pop off on Facebook or sleeps in the living room in a hospital bed. Since you are the bread winner, it would behoove of you to inquire about purchasing a life insurance policy for their crazy ass. Many other cultures use this as a way to build wealth and start businesses. Remember, Master P began Cash Money from a $10,000 life insurance policy.
These are starting points, not a do all, cure all. Also, of course you could go to the gym and get buff during this Administration, but who wants to be muscular but depressed and unemployed with bad credit?