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Chescaleigh’s “Draw My Life” Video Preached My Life

I’d seen a couple of Franchesca Ramsey’s (Chescaleigh) videos but I didn’t get familiar with her until last year when Shit White Girls Say About Black Girls came out. I loved it, just like everyone else because we all identified with it and it was so doggone funny. And I think I started talking about it and we followed each other on the Twitters.

Then, we ended up on a panel together at BlogHer, with Dr. Goddess and Issa Rae. That panel was so fun and we kicked it afterwards. And then a real life version of Shit White Girls Say happened to us. Since then, Chesca has been the homie. We’ve been on another panel and we even roomed together at SXSW.

But I didn’t realize how similar Franchesca and I’s background was until I just watched her “Draw My Life” video. She used cute drawings and spoke about her journey to becoming who she is and where she is today.

It was amazing. Watch it below.

She straight preached my life. PREACHED IT, I say. There are many parallels in our stories, from the separating parents to the going to a new middle school and being teased for being a nerd. Not only was I a nerd but I also had a Nigerian accent to boot so all the “LOVETTE MON” jokes got tired really quick.

In high school, we both learned that humor disarms people and used it to our advantage once we found out we were funny. Also, like her, I had to cut all my hair off sophomore year because of a bad perm so I was rocking a TWA (teeny weeny afro) ALLLL year. I even identified with the part where she became a bitch and lost friends. In college, I lost a lot of friends from my own self-centeredness and some from theirs. Growing pains, I guess. We both went to Big Tens (her to Michigan and me to Illinois) too.

At that point, I was all:


She did, though.

Our paths got REALLY different after college. She pursued standup and I got into… NONPROFIT MARKETING! Social justice and nonprofit work is one of my passions for sure. But I started blogging while I was in college and she started making YouTube videos. The main difference is that she was committed to making the funny work and I thought it was just a hobby.

But when I watched Chescaleigh’s “Draw my Life” video, I really was like “GIRL SAY THAT” when she started talmbout how she’s basically at this fork in the road. When your creative work barely allows you to pay your bills and the prestige is bigger than your pockets, sometimes you think maybe your dreams should be put on hold. But you know you have the support of those closest to you no matter what.

Franchesca is at a point where she’s wondering whether she should get a regular job or keep pursuing her dreams. This is a cycle I’m perpetually in. Being self-employed is incredibly hard, and doing what you want on your own terms doesn’t always come with beaucoup bucks as compensation. So you wonder if you should just be a regular adult with a 9-5 and health benefits and a steady paycheck.


I don’t think a week passes where I don’t check LinkedIn for jobs. In case I’m tripping and there IS a job that is EXACTLY what I want out there, allowing me to do what I want when I want. 3 years after my last fulltime job, I can say there isn’t. Because I want to do a lot (write, make folks laugh and teach about technology). And I’m good at a lot. And I want to do a lot of it while in pajamas. And red pumps.

Our problem is that we get overwhelmed and feel like failures because we KNOW we’re so talented. When that talent doesn’t bring in money to let us LIVE, we’re like WTF? I should go work at K-Mart. Womp. I already wrote about the Quarterlife Crisis and how it has us in this loop but yeah.

When you want to be successful on your own terms, you take a lot of losses. When you insist that your work will be good, instead of cheap, you spend more time on it than most. And to be honest, quality isn’t always appreciated in the world we live in. So our rewards for our work don’t always measure up to the effort we placed in making them happen.

Thanks to Franchesca for sharing her story and in turn, helping me to see mine clearer. I think it takes guts to be that open.

Chescaleigh Luvvie2

Loc-Rocking at SXSW!

I respect her work so much and her videos are always great (and hilarious to boot). Shoutout to the fact that she actually has a camera that isn’t the one on her computer. And she uses more than iMovie to edit. Some of yall wonder why I don’t do video more. It’s because I hate editing. And I don’t wanna buy a camera. So if I do video, expect it to look bootleg. This is your warning.

Franchesca, your commitment to what you do and the hard work you pour into it doesn’t go unnoticed. Don’t stop what you’re doing now because your voice in this space is important. As a writer and comedian, you’re reaching so many people with your words, and inspiring them just like you’ve inspired me. The road to success might be long and zig zaggy but stay on it. It shall be well, Chesca!

That is also a reminder to myself. Anywho, you can check out Chescaleigh on YouTube and “Like” her Facebook fan page.

Did ya like her “Draw My Life?” And to my self-employed peeps. What keeps YOU going?

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  1. May 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I LOVED “Draw My Life”. I really think you and Chescaleigh are “at a fork” because you’re paving new road. That takes a lot of work.

    Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without my relationship with Christ. Plain and simple. After that, I have a crazy supportive family and quality friends who encourage me, but also scold me when I need to do better.

    Great piece, Luvvie!

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      ‘I really think you and Chescaleigh are “at a fork” because you’re paving new road’

      Damb. You just blessed me with some GOOD WORDS. Wow. Didn’t e’em think about it like that at all. My faith keeps me going to and the love of my blood goons (family). Thanks, Obehi!

      • May 8, 2013 at 3:41 pm

        that’s a tweetable. totally writing that on a sticky and putting it on my computer screen.

  2. May 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I love this Luvie. Thank you so much for sharing. This resonated with me so much but what an honest testimony. She is so talented!

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      My pleasure. 🙂

  3. aisha
    May 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    her video was great! i saw that she posted it, but i don’t have much of an attention spam past 3 min (workin on this) so i didn’t want to take the time to watch it, but i’m glad i did!

    i’m definitely in my quarter-life crisis right now. should i stay in L.A. to pursue acting or should i just give it up for a minute and go teach in spain or china? it’s an everyday debate with myself that i just need to somehow get in order. i’m all about pursuing your dreams no matter what they are because life is just to short to just…be…and not truly enjoy living.

    to all you self-employed folks, i applaud you. keep on keepin on!

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      The struggle is real outchea. And we seem to have to make all these decisions allatahm. Whatever you pick, it is what you were SUPPOSED to. You got this.

  4. Keleigh Crigler Hadley author of Revenge, Inc.
    May 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    This mantra keeps me going: Money does not = Significance. I can make money and be successful but all successful people are not significant. I also think God knows me better than I know myself and I probably wouldn’t grind this hard if my pockets were full.

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      Money certainly doesn’t equal significance but ya know. You need SOME to live and be an adult and pay bills. But I getcha.

    • May 8, 2013 at 10:52 pm

      Preach! Yes, my goodness yes. I know for me personally though I have fun at work and appreciate my job I really want to be doing work that is of more significance. Well, said. I full-time with a side job, but I truly believe it’s possible to make a full-time income fromt he internet so I’ve just been putting my head down and plugging away. I work 9a-5p for the man and 6p-1a for me. I don’t know when, but I know it will.

  5. Zelle
    May 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Hi Luvvie, I lurk about your social media accounts pretty regularly and I had to chime in on this post. I’m a 20-something four years out of college and I’ve never had a fulltime job, but not for lack of trying. Right now I am a content fulltime freelance writer and communications odd-jobber. It’s a pretty piecemeal life, and it’s scary sometimes, but I’m glad this was the hand I was dealt because I’ve learned a lot this way. But I’m also beginning to feel like a jack of all trades—and a master of none, which is the end of that phrase which no one acknowledges.

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you and Chescaleigh for being awesome and sharing both your gifts and your struggles. I think there’s a place in the sun for all of us as long as we stay true to what we were put on Earth to do. I keep a copy of The Alchemist above my head to remind me of this.

    Keep being fabtastic.

    • Zelle
      May 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      ‘scuse me, *ennehweighs 🙂

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      Aren’t we all jacks and jills of all trades? I certainly feel like one. I think it’s part of what makes us all so awesome. The fact that we have so many interests and skills.

      Also, you reminded me to re-read the Alchemist. It’s been a coupla years.

  6. May 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I’m lucky to have a decent job, but unlucky enough to have no real passion for it. I feel like a sell-out failure every day that I’m not using my creative talents. But I know that if I were to quit my job, my life would literally fall apart. I have too many people depending on me to be financially stable and successful. My dreams are officially dead. So I applaud you both for trying.

    • TiffTalk
      May 7, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      Girl stop cuz you just posted my life. Seriously, don’t give up. I am raising my nephew (10) and niece (3) so I understand about having people depending you. But when I took on my kids I made a promise to them and myself that, while keeping them my focus, I would still reach for my dreams. We owe it to ourselves to be awesome as Kid President would say.

      • May 8, 2013 at 3:38 pm

        Clearly, you’re amazing. And yes, we must keep on keeping on!

    • jazzsingerlady
      May 8, 2013 at 8:35 am

      Same here… I’ve got a husband and a little one and a long term illness that requires super awesome amazing health insurance. I’m so grateful to be able to work and serve my family in this way but I would love to be able to tour, rehearse and perform as my main source of income. I do agree with TiffTalk, however, and am determined to find a way to be a musician and follow my passion even while tethered to a 9-5.

    • Randomly Jazzy
      May 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Yes…I started a blog while I was in grad school, and it was my way of expressing myself. I was also trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life instead of being a permanent student, wife and mother. I wanted to find my niche in life, but here I am employed and bored feeling like a robot. One day I do hope pick up blogging again, and to start my catering business (home girl loves to cook like Princess Tiana lol).

      I applaud you and people like you for pursuing your passions!

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Your dreams are NOT dead. Is there a way for you to pursue your passion AFTER work? I don’t believe that your dream is dead. Unless your dream is to become a unicorn. Then yeah… that’s prolly a wrap.

      • May 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm

        Well, there goes my unicorn dream. *kicks can*

        I’m struggling to figure out where to put all of the things that I actually want to do. I volunteer with kids, for example, but so much has come up that it keeps getting squeezed out of my schedule. At this point, I’m still working to get things settled before I can even think about the things that I “want” to do. I’m still trying to dig out of the rubble of a turbulent life that just won’t quit. I’ve become less of a dreamer and more of a realist after watching almost everything that I’ve ever wanted and worked hard for go down in flames.

        At this rate, what people call dreams, I call wishful thinking and potential hobbies. At my age, by the time I’m able to focus on anything, I’ll be beyond my prime, in a virtual rocking chair, thinking about what could have been. lol

        I don’t know. I’ll see what happens. I’m just starting from scratch, because I don’t know what I want to do anymore, and I don’t know what’s possible.

  7. May 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    What a wonderful story from both you ladies. Thank you for sharing. I’m an entrepreneur too, in my early 50s. Been a business owner for four years now. You’re so right, it’s hard some times, but what keeps me going is my closest friends are business owners too so I’m in good company. But I also think that after working for others for the majority of my life, I think this is JUST what I’m supposed to be doing at this point in my life, and it WILL work out. Best of everything to you. Peace always.

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      Thanks, Andrea! Props to you for starting your own business. Preciate the words!

  8. She Who Must Not Be Named
    May 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I greatly appreciate the honesty in Chescaleigh and Luvvie’s stories.

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      Thank you! It’s not always easy but sometimes, it’s worth it.

  9. May 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    i feel like i’m constantly at the fork of following my dreams or getting a real job – plus, i have 2 kids (and one on the way) to add to the equation – i’m lucky that i have a husband with a real job and that a second income isn’t necessary (though wouldn’t it be nice!)

    the thing that keeps me going is posts like this one – whenever i start to get discouraged, something like this (look at God!) finds its way into my FB or Twitter timeline and i decide to keep going – but like you, it doesn’t stop me from periodically searching the web for my “dream job”!

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      Just LOOKATGAWD work!

  10. May 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    While you are young and can still bounce a quarter off your butt, GET YOUR LIFE!!!! Follow those dreams and dream as big as your imagination can handle. You should live your life in such a way you won’t need a bucket list when you are older and settled. Take it from somebody who is older and much, much wiser!

    Luvvie, you and Chescaleigh are the kind of gals I would have loved to hang around with. BTW – I had those body issues (built like Olive Oyl all the way) and awkward because I was a bookworm, glasses-wearing nerd. But I never lost a game of the Dozens (Yo Mama joke-offs for the uninitiated) and managed to keep laughing through all the pain jackasses caused me growing up.

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      LMAOOO at you Roz, talmbout “while you can bounce a quarter…” I love the idea that life should be a journey where we’re continuously checking off that bucket list. My bucket list refreshes everyday and it’s pretty cool.

      I’m also built like Olive Oyl so I feel you there. BUT whatevs! YOLO and whatnot! 😀

  11. May 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I can tell you that I thought I was alone in this process. Standing holding my degree trying to get people to hire me for jobs I don’t really want to do, and I thought I had done something that would keep me creative for the rest of my life!!

    The hardest thing in the World was turning my back on what could have been a lucrative career and telling my parents, “Thanks for the University education, but I’m going to write!”

    They’re still reeling from our conversation about it.

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      You are definitely not alone. Sometimes, we gotta follow the path less traveled.

  12. May 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    As uncomfortable as it was to share this video, I’m glad I did. I’m still figuring it out, but it’s nice to know I’m not completely alone, and there are other talented artists out there that are feeling the same way. Thanks for all the kind words of support and encouragement guys! 🙂

    I’m so glad the internet brought us together Luvvie! You’re an amazing friend and inspire me and make me laugh every day.

    • May 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      Yay for you getting married! I love seeing good people get together, plus I bet there will be some hilarious wedding moments! Good luck and God Bless you!

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      I’m so glad you shared the vid too! You da bess! 😀

  13. Jabari
    May 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    @Chescaleigh: I just loves you so much now after this video and I know that you will eventually have the cance to live your dream out the way you want to.

    Peace and blessings, luv!

  14. May 7, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Awesome article ..and the video was GREAT as well.. Thanks for sharing ladies! @Chescaleigh @luvvie

  15. natchralli
    May 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Chescalocs fan for a year. Love the new drawing video. Appreciate the introduction to Luvvie. Reminds me of the spiritual edict to help someone else reach their dream in order to reach yours! Good idea to collaborate and encourage one another.

    So, what’s the name of your organization, ladies? Naturally nappy nerds? I’m in!

    I’m in my 50th year so I hafta tell you that the global recession combined with climate change has everyone short on cash and anxious about how to proceed. Do the next right thing even if it’s scary–both of you are already blazin new trails as my sister said above.

    I’m a writer trying to convert the skill into cash after getting sidelined by lupus at 32, ironically from my hard won health profession. Sayin that because it came out of the blue one morning with no warning.

    Tomorrow’s not promised to be as familiar, graceful, or connected as it is today for any young person so carpe diem! Like Maya Angelou, “I wouldn’t take nothin for my journey”, but I would have done some more of those scary next-right-things so I would be more financially secure at a premature ‘retirement’.

    Love y’all!

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      HA at “Naturally nappy nerds.” If only.

      Thank you for your words. And I really hope your dream to be a (paid) writer comes true. And you won my heart w/ that Maya quote.

  16. mizzpicklezz
    May 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    I have been watching Francesca for quite a few years now! I love that she was so honest and open, but that is just her personality very open and honest. All her videos are that way- she is an awesome graphic designer and has creativity oozing from her pores. Her Scandal recaps are hilarious too. You and her should do one together with her friend De’ would be HILARIOUS!!

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Yesss her vids are everything. A Scandal recap between us would be awesome. Maybe one day if I’m in NYC after an ep airs.

  17. May 7, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    I want to apologize in advance for how long this comment is. I TRIED TO SHORTEN IT!

    OMG! I loved this video! And your post! I haven’t been following Chescaleigh as long as I’ve been following you but I’m inspired. You inspire me almost daily. I’m always sharing your posts with my mom like, “SHE’S SO AMAZING!” I look up to you (even though we’re the same age lol). 🙂

    With that said, I don’t work from home. I’ actually on the opposite end of the spectrum from you two! I have a full-time job with great benefits and a salary that I’m happy to have. I’m not ballin’ but I’m comfortable. For me, it was possible to have a job with many of the benefits people who work from home have (without many of the cons). I’m an advertising creative. The road to getting my current job was NOT easy. It took 4 years of college + 2 years of advertising portfolio school + almost 2 more years of job hunting. One thing about my career is that it’s important to creative outlets outside of work. With 2 years of job hunting, I had plenty of time on my hands that allowed me to try new (cheap) things out. Most didn’t pan out but I love trying new things. So I started a creative blog where I’d post nonadvertising creative projects. I also write (neverending) stories. Like I have notebooks that basically represents my life since the age of 12 (I’m 27). I love to write! Ironically, I am not a copywriter lol. But I never could figure out how to use it until last year when I started my fitness blog!

    I shared all that to say, I’m in the middle of trying to balance my “primary” career with my passions. It’d be great if I can turn my passions into careers as well but I’m taking it slow. I think it’s amazing that the two of you were able to find ways to turn your passions into careers. Being on the opposite side of the spectrum, I say don’t compromise. If you take a job, take one that allows you the TIME to be you. We work a lot in my career, like sometimes there is no weekend or going home at night. This leaves people drained. So drained they end up hating something they used to love. You never want to get to that point.

    I guess the short version is, always find a way to make time for yourself and your passions, no matter which path you choose. 🙂

    • Randomly Jazzy
      May 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Oh let me just give you a big ol’ e-hug!

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      No need to apologize for the comment. You are appreciated! Thank you for all the love and the shares and the support. and don’t forget to keep building your empire as you build someone else’s.

  18. paintgurl40
    May 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    thanks for the post luvvie! i have been following your blog for 3 or 4 years and i get a good laugh all the time. i only saw chescaleigh’s shit white girls say… but i thought it was funny. this post spoke to me. i’m in my early 40’s and right now i work in a job i can tolerate while focusing on my dreams. i’m blessed that i make enough to pay my bills and i have a husband that lets me be me. i just need to get over myself and stop being afraid because fear means lack of faith. anyway thanks for the post of encouragement and that i’m not the only one feeling like this!

    • May 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      Dang, you’ve been following a G for a long time. I love it! The leap of faith I took was forced on me when I was laid off my job 3 years ago and it was the perfect opportunity to see if I can just go for what I want. Fear doesn’t mean lack of faith. It’s just that we’re human and going outside our comfort zone freaks us out.

      I hope you get the strong footing you need to pursue what you want, with the support you want. But I understand if you’re hesitant. Sometimes, you gotta jump and the wings you need will come as you fall.

  19. Kali
    May 8, 2013 at 6:06 am

    We’ve all been there. I’m a bit on the opposite end. I have a full time job as a pediatric nurse, but I’m writing a book on the side. You can follow all your dreams. Ya’ll are both amazingly talented and I have no doubt that success will continue. This video reminded me of all the RSA Animate videos on YouTube (which I love!) It’s an awesome way to tell a story!!

    • May 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks, Kali!

  20. tamara
    May 8, 2013 at 7:26 am

    WOW…thank you for sharing ladies. I love both of you and follow you on these interwebs…

    I am sorta kinda at the same place in my life. I have a regular job, doing something I did not go to school for. The past five years (yes 5 whole years) I’ve been having the same convo with myself: “Should I take the leap and leave a regular income to pursue my dreams”

    I’m sad to say I haven’t worked up enough courage, but I am happy to see other young women who have and are loving it, even with all the constant #wallsofjericho syndrome…

    Love your work and keep at your happy <3

  21. Sarah
    May 8, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I’ve been a secret Stan for you for a few years now. (Don’t worry, this is not gonna be a Lifetime movie moment lol.) Secret because I don’t trust myself enough to let my voice be heard on social media on a regular basis. At any rate, I enjoy your ratchetry and Scandal rundowns tremendously but I admire your heart much more. People like you and Chescaleigh resonate because the real you is very visible, something that is a rare commodity these days.

    I, too, am on the cusp of settling for life or chasing my dreams and it’s blogs/people like this that give me just enough strength to inch toward my dream one day at a team, to keep nourishing and rehearsing my vision. (Lovely run on sentence, you’re welcome.)

    Just keep swimming!


  22. May 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    In many ways, I took the opposite path from you and Chesca. After graduating with my undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, I went straight into corporate America and later got an MBA. The security of a salary, medical benefits, and retirement plan are nice, but not a day goes by when I wish I had a job that let me fully live my passions of technology and minority advocacy. I applaud you and Chesca for taking a chance on your talents. It takes guts, and I look forward to seeing more of the beauty of you two continuing to live your truth.

  23. May 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Great post and loved the video. Needless to say, AHHHHH, this is my life in so many ways. And self-employed? It. is. TOUGH. It’s the extreme ups and downs that are hard to take. When I first launched my web series five months ago, I thought I’d flip out from the stress/exhaustion of constantly promoting while creating. Ultimately, I found more balance, but it’s still hard to maintain a consistent level, when you’re broke. There’s such a glut of stuff out there, it’s very difficult to get people to pay consistent attention to your videos or blog posts. The flip side is, the ups are probably some of the most thrilling moments of my life!

    Whatever both of you end up doing, I hope you still continue blogging/creating.

  24. May 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    This speaks to my life. When I was single, not having a constant 9 to 5 didn’t bother me so much. It was just me and I could make ends meet. But being married and having kids changes the game. My husband is SUPER supportive of my dream but I feel guilty and not fully grown because I don’t have a 9 to 5 and can’t contribute to our family financially in a substantial way. I’ve always been able to fully support myself. I bring in a little money through contract work but my husband’s salary supports us. And I never saw myself as women who would be fully financially supported by a man. When I was single I could get 9 to 5 at the drop of a hat that allowed me to time to pursue my dreams. Now I can’t even get a job at Victoria Secret! And I work on my dream everyday like a 9 to 5 but the guilt doesn’t subside. But I’m glad to know I’m not alone..

  25. Shannon
    May 9, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Thank You so much for this post. Im graduating college in a week and continuously struggle with whether to go all out with my creative talents or just settle for a 9-5. The industry I’m trying to break is riddled with unbalanced power and dirty politics. But I cannot let that stop me. It’s up to us to realize our priorities and what is truly worth it. I can honestly say now that I will regret not chasing my dreams. This post has prepared me for the struggles I’m sure are to come post graduation. I can’t let fear cripple me from doing what is my passion.

    Once again, Thank You and Chescaleigh for sharing your inspiring stories. I could not have read this at a better time.

  26. May 9, 2013 at 7:35 am

    i appreciate this post SO much. both you and Chescaleigh are my big sisters in my head! i worked for a company for almost 3 years out of college and i hated it with every bone in my body. i stayed because that is what i thought i was supposed to do. “get the degree, get the job, get married…ect” but that was not for me.
    i am happy to say that 6 months ago i quit and went to teach english in china and although this new journey has not been with out hickups. i still wake up every morning and thank god i had the opportunity to follow my heart and live in a place most people will never see.
    i applaud you both as being bright beautiful black women and i know the best is yet to come!

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