Thoughts on Ferguson

I have started this post four times, and couldn't find the words to say. My eyes and heart are weary, but I keep reading about Ferguson. I find article after article, reading all the way down to the often misguided comments.

The fact that African Americans are still fighting this fight to be looked at as human is discouraging, and I am angry at how often minorities are asked to prove that racism still exists. It does.  On the way down to Vanderbilt, my family had an experience that felt like we were in a time warp. We entered a restaurant hoping to get some breakfast to-go. The staff ignored us. We called them out on it. They still made no effort to serve us, so my family and I high-tailed it out of there. Racism isn't always that overt, but I can assure you that it is still more pervasive than you think.

One would hope that Christians would be different. That servants of the God who loves justice and his Son who sought out the disenfranchised would stand up against injustices. Instead I hear... well, nothing. (Or defenses of prejudice, but that is a whole other issue.)

I'm not going to write a political analysis about Ferguson. The police were wrong to shoot an unarmed man six times. Mike Brown was wrong to steal from a store. The people in his community were wrong to loot. Satan is busy whispering lies of hate and indifference. And the church is buying it.

Ferguson; racism; James; christianity
James is the book of the the Bible that I go to when I need a kick in the pants. I started reading it to jumpstart my senior year, and was surprised by the parallels between James and the situation in Ferguson. James condemns favoritism (read prejudice.) He tells the church that faith without deeds is dead and that believers should actually do what the Bible says. (Do you know how much the Bible talks about justice? A whole lot.)  If you are a believer, I encourage you to prayerfully read through James and let the Holy Spirit speak to you.

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Senior Year in Six Words

I am a senior in college. At first, those words were scary to say. Now they're a bit more familiar.  I'm starting to like how they sound.

It's been eight months since I've seen this place. Eight months since I've hugged my friends. These past few days have been a blur of God showing me that I am loved much. I'm thankful.

This will be the last year that all of my friends are in one city, on one campus. I surely won't waste it. Here are my senior year goals in six simple words:

1. Seek God

2. Slow down

3. Show love

Taylor Bryant; College Senior; back to school; goals
From my Instagram

I hope you'll join me in figuring out what living these goals looks like!

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Swerve: Back in Business and Better than Ever

Taylor Bryant; entrepreneur; lifestyle blogger; nashville; chicago; digital marketer
view it here
Summer is generally my time of renewal. In the past, I referred to summer as the season where I am myself. That wasn't the case for most of this summer. Working a full-time internship, commuting for at least two hours each way, and juggling freelance jobs made for an exhausting fourteen weeks.

Through it all, I was trying to ideate a business. It's been a dream to be an entrepreneur. I came up with a concept that I spent the summer tweaking, demolishing, and completely reworking. My passions and a business failed to line up, no matter what I did.

Something changed this week. I realized that these skills I took for granted were valuable and that I was passionate about living into them.

Words flow out of my fingers incessantly. I'm always editing down my sentences, making sure they are saying just enough. Talking to entrepreneurs switches my brain into strategy mode. These people are living their dreams and I immediately want them to be successful at it. I tend to give entrepreneurs a few tips just because I believe in dreamers. My friends come to me for advice in the job search. Every well-worded email counts, right?

 I'm not starting a business so much as sharing myself. This website was a chance for me to define and organize that work that I already love doing.Visit my new website to learn more about how we can work together.

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Networking Authentically

Friday was the last day of my internship at Allstate. I'm convinced that working full time makes the months move faster. Allstate is a Fortune 100 company with somewhere around 75,000 employees across the country. And this summer, I made a goal to learn as much about it as I could.  As an intern with no idea what kind of career I want, I saw networking as the easiest way to gain insight into Allstate and my career path.

Networking can get a bad rep. Some people automatically associate it with people who are only concerned with, "what's in it for them." And that is the way that some people network. However, networking at its core is about building connections. Here are a few ways I went about networking this summer:


1. Talk to your friends

In talking to other interns this summer, I realized that they were doing work that excited me. My friends were then willing to introduce me to people in that department. I'd connect with people in that department and they'd tell me that I really should talk to so-and-so. The cycle continued until I'd met a host of wonderful people who helped me learn more about what I wanted from a career.

2. Get out there

The corporate world is a lot like high school. There are all of these extracurriculars to get involved in. I would go to an event with the goal of finding one person who I would like to get to know more. Later we would meet at Starbucks and chat.

3. Use your time

If you already have a meeting scheduled with someone, try to take 5 minutes to ask them about their story. How long have they been in their role? What was their career path? What's one piece of advice they have? People were more than willing to share their wisdom with me.

After leaving Allstate, I feel like I made genuine relationships that I plan to continue even when I'm away at school. That's the power of networking.

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