Starting Over, and Over, and Over...

It's been 10 months since I walked across the stage to get my diploma. In that time, I've definitely had a little myriad of experiences that make me realize two things. 1. I need to make money. 2. I need to find my professional passion. It's funny, when I transferred schools to start at Georgia Southern, I was adamant that fashion design was my chosen field, and I was going to learn through my program and solidify a job in New York City upon graduation, and that was all she wrote. Well, I finished my program, was extremely involved, trail-blazed and redefined what it meant to be a fashion student on our campus, and didn't have not ONE job offer once I graduated.

"It's fine, I'm fine... everything is going to be fine." I moved back home and started my internship at a Costume Shop in Augusta. That was unpaid, so I had to work as a server again to be able to afford life. I worked my internship diligently for the rest of 2018. My internship was only supposed to last the summer, but since I could work 40 hours a week for free even if I wanted to, I had to extend it well past my date of completion. I started teaching in August and realized that I needed much more administrative support to be able to deal with the overwhelming nature of an inner city school. I was saved by retail and was able to get a full time key holder position at a store I'd worked at before.

I'm still working at the store currently. One day, an old colleague of mine was shopping in the store, and I remembered her instantly for her poise and I rarely forget a face. She remembered me as well, and we caught up quickly before she asked me, "Are you looking for part time work?" Honestly, at the time, the question took me a minute to process. Of course, I quickly said yes because, I love to work, and while working in retail is fun, I'm sure if she's asking me to do some part time work, then I would definitely benefit from it more. She told me, "my husband's law firm is hiring a part time receptionist. If you forward me your resume, I'll send it to him to review." So I sent her my resume as soon as I could get to my computer. And two weeks later, I was starting at the law firm part time.

Now, I realize that I went to school for Fashion, and I also realize that working at a law firm part time isn't going to make me all the money I want, but it is helping me find my professional passion. I've always had a passion for wealth, real estate, politics, and all of the things that come with it. Working in a law office is showing me the processes at which people obtain and transfer their wealth through generations. It's also showing me the ways at which law is essential to everything.

I'm still battling with negative self-talk, so some days I'm like. "Of course I can be a lawyer!" and other days I'm like, "You? A Lawyer? As if..." But one thing that's consistent across the board is that I'm proving myself at my job. I was just offered a soft full-time offer here, so that would mean that I would increase my responsibility, and also give me the opportunity to learn and grow more. What I'm realizing more now than ever is, it's not about how you start, but it's about staying in the race, and having gratitude for every step.

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Welcome Back

I never thought I'd be here again. Writing on this platform that used to give me so much joy. I could start by boring you with useless backstory about where I've been, and what I've been doing. But I don't really feel like doing that. Just know, I'm alive, I'm a college graduate, and I am a lovable hot mess.

I'm forever conflicted with writing. I feel like certain people can write and blog because they understand the barriers or boundaries that we place on ourselves to not expose too much of our personal lives. And while I somewhat understand it, I somewhat think it's bull, and that I should be open to being transparent on my platform. I also think that the lack of confidence about being transparent on my platform is what caused me to pull away. But NO MORE. My blog, my life, my time is all for me now. And that's all that matters.

I honestly plan to just write. Whenever I feel like it, and whenever something great comes to mind. I'm not looking to be an influencer anymore, and I think that was the goal of "TMP" when I initially started. Granted, if that comes as a byproduct of me writing and expressing myself, cool. But I am not writing to be validated as an influencer over my peers. I just want to give myself the space to write and express my thoughts and opinions.

The Mod Prep is and always will be the name, because, it is still the best way to describe my style. And now more than ever, I am slowly beginning to redefine my own definition of Mod Prep, and I can't wait to have this journey with you.

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College Recap, so far!

Happy New Year Everyone!

It's definitely been a wild time since the last time I wrote. So much has happened, good and bad, but honestly it was all worth it. I really want to start by saying that this is my hopeful attempt to finally commit to this blog. I've had it for almost four years now; it's really crazy to think that I started this as a freshman in college. How so much has happened in my life that has really changed me as a person.
How somehow now I am able to navigate somewhat life and the many challenges that have presented themselves thus far. How now, as a young man, I am becoming who I truly am supposed to be. By the way, it feels really good.

One thing I have dealt with for a very long time, is taking things one day at a time when dealing with life's stressful situations. I have had my fair share of freak out moments, or anxious feelings about situations, but it's really crazy how every day happens one at a time, and how this big monster calls life truly becomes smaller. I don't really feel like you all know me well enough. So, I think it's time for a quick chronicle of my 3.5 years of college. I'll do it by years, just to make it easier.

Started "Money for Teen$", a finance blog for teenagers.

Started college as a eager freshman who was ready to take on the world, or at least Augusta… 

Worked for Melissa Furman, one of the most influential people in my life.

Changed my major from Finance to Marketing.

Lived with two HS best friends, and the guy that put me onto Kendrick Lamar, and eventually slapped my glasses off my face.

Changed "Money for Teen$" to "The Mod Prep".

Met the love of my life, my best friend Madison, on a bus two days before school started. She really became my rock, and definitely still is to this day! I love that girl with all of me. 

Came out to a girl as she was changing clothes in my room.

Styled my first fashion show.

Screwed around really badly and had to drop a class. 

Bought my first fur and watched Yeezus.

Went from a really cocky high schooler to a regular person, in the blink of an eye.

Finished my freshman year of college. 

Became an Orientation Leader, and spent my first college summer welcoming in new students and parents.

Listened as my friend poured her heart out to me as she came out.

Saw Beyoncé and Jay-Z in Atlanta for FREE.

Crashed my car into a Goodwill. (…just watch this)

Cancelled plans to transfer to Georgia Southern University.

Did my first internship in food television. Completely blew it.

Lived with five Cross Country runners, and one upstairs girlfriend.

Became a Lead Orientation Leader.

Changed my major from Marketing to Public Relations.

Started working at the Augusta Country Club.

Turned 20 Years Old.

Left my birthday party to get on a bus to go to Kentucky.

Choreographed a dance that was performed in front of ~5,000 people.

Bought a new camera.

Painted my car Blue, and officially named him Point.

Applied for my first credit card, to Banana Republic.

Took a crazy and almost tragic trip to the beach with my family.

Completed another summer as an Orientation Leader.

Cried with my wife as I left Augusta.

Transferred to Georgia Southern University.

Moved Off-Campus.

Changed my major from Public Relations to Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design.

Photographed my Advisor's Wedding.

Got a job at Talbots, and found my Statesboro family.

Participated in my first styling competition, and lost.

Played Assistant Backstage Manager at a professional fashion show.

Developed a brand new group of sisters.

Started my YouTube Channel.


Exempted a major emphasis course.

Honored as an Unsung Hero by my church for Black History Month. (Of course I have the video)

Fell in love for the first time.

Started branding myself as Rickey Jones with

Turned 21 Years Old, and spent it at an empty club.

Experienced my first and probably last dive bar.

Experienced my first gay club.

Volunteered to be the President of a huge organization.

Planned to move to New York for the Summer. Didn't move to New York for the Summer.

Got a job at H&M.

Bought a new computer.

Had a terrible fall semester.

Broke my new computer.

Changed a tire (for the first time) on the side of the interstate at 10PM.

Started dating, I guess.

Won a really great competition, more details soon.

Got towed for the first time, ever.

If you're still here, Congratulations! You have successfully taken a pretty thorough roller coaster through my life over the past few years. After reading through that entire list a few times, I realized a lot has happened to me. I live quite an interesting life with a lot of different turn of events, but it's always good to know that I've survived through it all. 

I just realized, again, how therapeutic that was for me to do, so definitely be expecting more.

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Transitions with the Stewarts

Certain people come in your life for a really specific and special reason. My first week of college, I was a bold-faced freshman, ready to take on the school, but God definitely sent me a few guardian angels pretty quickly as a new student. Her name was Jessica Haskins, and she was definitely my biggest match. My overly-stroked ego decided to get the best of me, and Jessica gave me the biggest dose of reality I've ever experienced. Through some inevitable life lessons, I realized that Jessica was right, and my ego quickly deflated. She helped me to understand myself as a leader, and she helped me understand the importance of growth. Without her, I definitely wouldn't be the person I am today, and I hope I have many more adventures and learn more lessons with her by my side.

I met Jessica as a single young professional with a boyfriend. The first time we met Jessica's boyfriend, Lamar, he had this really chill personality. I met him with my brothers and sisters, Taylor, Jessie, Hannah, Cody and Xavier... it was a night at Panera Bread. Jessica paid for our dinner, and we really got to know Lamar. It was funny, because the quirks in Jessica's personality that we picked on, Lamar was truly captivated and in love with them. So when Lamar proposed to Jessica, we were SO excited, because now we got to know more about them.
Jessica and Lamar's wedding was definitely a highly inticipated thing for me personally. Mainly because it was the first time I saw a wedding come together from start to finish. Also, it was the first wedding where I got to use my opinion to help Jessica make VERY important decisions! Seeing as though my role in the Breakfast Club of Lead Orientation Leaders was the Fashionista, when Jessica showed me her wedding dress, it was almost like I was watching my sister get married, truly a very moving experience.

Jessica's justification of us attending her wedding was if we were to work, which I had no problem doing. Let me just say that while the entire wedding is planned, I moved to Statesboro and started at a new school. So this was all really exciting. When Jessica and I discussed photography, she told me that she wanted me to take photos as a supplement to the contracted photographer. I understood my position and wanted to make sure I did my best. A few weeks before, though, Jessica asked me to photograph her rehearsal dinner! For me, it was a time where I got to be intimate with Jessica and Lamar's families,  which I really enjoyed. It was good to see where they both come from, and who they were raised by, and how they fell in love through the eyes of their parents, friends and family members.

The main thing I can remember about the day of the wedding was being SO excited to get dressed. I bought a suit my sophomore year, and have had few opportunities to wear it, but I was so happy for this one. Especially since my suit matched the wedding colors. (Of course I would think about stuff like this.) Seeing Jessica and Lamar exchange their vows and the love that surrounded them was so magical, it was truly an amazing experience! Not to mention Jessica's personal vision was executed perfectly and I was so in love with everything!

Ok, now we have the present day! When Jessica asked me to take her Maternity and Newborn photos, I was acutally kind of shocked. I knew she liked the photos from the wedding, but I didn't realize she liked them enough to photograph the birth of her first child. That was quite the accomplishment for me, especially since this was my first Maternity & Newborn photo shoot. The Maternity shoot was fun because I just got to catch up with Jessica and Lamar, because it had been since their wedding that I had seen them. It was also great to hear about their transition from newlyweds to parents, and how much they've matured because of this experience. Lamar cares so much for Jessica, which he should, but it's really something that I look up to. Like every two minutes when we were outside in the Georgia heat, Lamar was making sure Jessica was hydrated, awake and taken care of... SO CUTE.

Driving back to Augusta for the Newborn shoot, I really was freaking out because I was so excited to meet baby Aileen! She is SO adorable. The fact that I have a personal relationship with her parents and now she has a life and I can be apart of it is really so exciting. She was so calm and protected and innocent and everything that a baby already is, plus 5000 points because she was so cute.

I said ALL of this to say that I realize the importance of taking life one step at a time. In today's society, so many people try to skip steps and have all of life's greatest things while they are really young. But seeing Jessica and Lamar fall in love, get married and start a family is really something that I understand to be a great way to live your life. I am so proud of them, and I can't wait to see where God takes them and Baby Aileen! Just know that my camera will be ready for ALL of their life's precious moments!

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Disclaimer: This post was written in April, and I just finally put the finishing touches on it to post... ENJOY THIS MARINATED, PROPHETIC WORD. 

I am finally back in Statesboro after a 10 day excursion to Augusta. No, it was not my Spring Break, it was Masters Week. What's the Masters you ask? The Masters is an international golf tournament that just so happens to take place in my hometown of Augusta, Georgia. People from all over the world come to Augusta to enjoy the lavish lifestyle that comes with Augusta National. This week for me was not spent lavishly soaking in Augusta, however. It was spent working at the Augusta Country Club, which next to Augusta National is the premier destination for fine dining, friendly comraderie and all things Augusta.

I started working at the Augusta Country Club as a sophomore in college, and left for Georgia Southern last July. In the wake of my internship and me needing money, I text my manager to ask if I could come back for Masters, and he said yes. It just so happened this week that my grandmother needed a substitute at the Augusta Chronicle, so I was able to assist her this week! Let's just say that this week has been filled with hardwork.

Lula Magazine
On my last night at the country club, a good friend of mine told me some very great words of wisdom. He was telling me about how his company does the Infographics for the Masters, and how busy he has been during Masters week. I told him about my internship in New York City and he was extremely proud of me. He also said something has continued to stick with me. He says the key to success is in 3 G's. Allow me to share them with you!

G#1: Good.
Alex says that to be successful, you have to be good at what you do. That's self-explanatory to some, but he put a different spin on it for me. He says that you don't have to be the best, just be good enough to get the job done well. That was such a huge burden off of my shoulders. In life everyone always tells you to be the best. Not your best, the best. And it was really reassuring to hear this extremely successful man tell me that my skills are good enough, was really comforting.

G#2: Grind.
Alex says that to be successful, you have to grind. It's funny, becuase I never thought of myself as a hustler, until my roommates started to realize that I'm up till 4AM a lot just working and trying to get better constantly. They told me that I have the grind mentality, and that stuck with me, especially after Alex told me that. I now know that my hard hard work is defnitely going to pay off soon!

G#3: Go.
This is the hardest G for me, just because I think I've always been a Big City person. I think that now with transportation becoming so accessible, I will definitely be able to expand my horizons to places like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and so many other amazing places where I can pull inspiration from! I'm really excited about the future.

I hope this really encourages someone to keep their dreams going, and knowing that the hardwork never stops!

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