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You can’t do that.

It was a phrase I’d become all too familiar with since I had moved to the United States.

I remember hearing it when my mom went to the bank to open a bank account. I remember hearing it when we tried to get an apartment. I even remember hearing it when I was in college and wanted to look for a job off-campus. And I definitely remember hearing it when I tried to enter a local casino with my friends on New Year’s Eve last year due to an expired ID card.

Like I said, it was a phrase that I’d become very familiar with…and had come to dread.

And there was only one reason that phrase had permeated my life – it was because I am an immigrant.

Every decision I made, and every step I took, had a domino effect. My legal status determined what I could and couldn’t do, where I could and couldn’t be, and how I could or couldn’t do something. Kind of depressing right?

BUT it didn’t determine who I could be, and when I realized that, I realized that I had to play the hell out of the cards I was holding to get where I wanted to be (thank Cheryl Strayed for the terminology).


Creating My Lane

I’ve been asked countless times why I chose to blog, pursue a business and build a blogger network. The truth is, I had no choice but to boss up and create my own lane.

Yes, I had limits based on immigration law to adhere to, including being forbidden from “engaging in business” while I was in school. However, I also had access to seasons of opportunity, like being able to establish a business and work for myself while on OPT, aka Optional Practical Training – a period of up to 12 months when an international student can be an entrepreneur provided the business you’re actively engaged in is a business related to your degree.

So, during those time periods (and that’s plural because I received 2 opportunities – one after my BA and another after my MBA), I focused only on my next right move. The result? I started this blog, established a fashion business and co-founded a blogger network for Caribbean gals with Nia of Creative Smart Girl.

They were baby steps towards my financial freedom goal but that didn’t matter. Baby steps still move you forward.

[bctt tweet=”Baby steps still move you forward.” username=”baydiangirl”]

This taught me to be my own cheerleader, which probably explains my recent obsession with my leather pom pom hat.


A Pom Pom Hat Outfit

Pom pom hats, or beanies, was one of the biggest trends in 2015. However, I think that it’ll never get old. It takes almost any outfit from 1 to 100, creating an effortless off-duty look. Plus who can resist the furry and fluffy faux fur at the top of the cap? It’s the perfect selfie accessory lol.

Pom Pom Hat Outfit Winter  Print Pants Outfit  Faux Fur Pom Pom Hat Leather Cap  Ballin - A Pom Pom Hat Outfit  Black and White Print Pants and Leather Jacket  Black and White Outfit

Are you still here for the pom pom hat trend? Let me know in the comments below!

Tamara Sykes
Caribbean-Born Gal. Always Plottin' My Next Hairstyle. Encouraging women with a creative spirit to color outside the lines and live a life they love.


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