30 Days of Thankful Blogging

gratitute-turns-what-we-have-into-enough-imageI’ve been gone for a minute, now I’m back… with the jumpoff!

These last few months have been quite overwhelming with all of the changes that have been taking place. For instance, my boyfriend and I have been working through the transitions of our first year of living together; I have now taken on the responsibility of handling my grandmother’s finances; I have picked up responsibilities on my job and have even joined a board or two; and I am also enrolled in online courses so that I can obtain a diploma in Business Administration.  Ya girl is making moves, but those moves can become a bit much when trying to be everything to everyone and forgetting yourself in the process.  I had become discouraged, angry and bitter and I lost my balance that I had in my life.  I was eating healthy and going to the gym regularly at one point and then I hit that honeymoon stage with my man so you ALL- RETTY KNOW how that went.  On top of that, I like to eat sweets when ish gets real or I eat not much to very little.  And as recently as last month, I was at my wits end with feeling overwhelmed, overstimulated and overly emotional.  I was overthinking and overanalyzing like a mutha, so I legit put myself on punishment.  It doesn’t feel good to be overly consumed by your own insecurities and fears, so I got tired of my own self and decided to “cut off” the light switch and decided that I’m not about to allow myself to feel these things anymore.

Now that it is November, the holidays are around the corner, and I have cleared my head from a Case of the Doing Too Much, I decided that I need a reboot. I want to focus on what matters, I want to re-find the inner joy and peace that I had created for my world last year this time.  So I decided to do something that I would like to call 30 Days of Thankful Blogging.  For the next 30 days of November, I am going to write a post that explains what I am thankful for and why.  All jokes aside, I grew up in the church and have always been taught that we are to be thankful and content IN SPITE OF our current situations.  I don’t want to go into a new calendar year with old ish in my brain, weighing me down and discouraging me from where I am trying to go- 2018 is going to be a bomb year!

And to start this thing off, I am simply going to say that I am thankful for this platform, a medium to be able to express myself and read the perspectives of others. It allows for me to open my mind and also free my mind and share with those who think and feel just as I do.  This platform provides me with healing and it provides me with motivation.  I am thankful for any and everyone who decides to share in this with me!!

I encourage you all to try it and I look forward to sharing mine with you!! LET’S GET IT, NOVEMBER!


Where My Girls At?: An Ode to My Sistafrans

Girl’s Trip is THE ISH!

Like every other woman of color in the America of the United States, I too went to the movies to indulge in Girl’s Trip with some of my faves and we all laughed our asses off!  The movie was so damn good that I had to see it twice.  And, like everyone else, I compared myself and my SistaFrans to all of the women in the movie to see which character we most closely resembled. The more that I got to thinking about it, the more that I got sentimental just thinking about how truly blessed that I am to have the village of women that I do surrounding me. Don’t get it twisted- I ain’t no punk bitch! Lol.

Comprised of women from my childhood, my high school and college years, and just who I met along the way while growing in life, I have a village of sisters who have helped to raise me up and build me into the woman that I am today. There are some other women, like my Soul Sista Dionna, who I have known for roughly 2 years and it feels like we have known each other for a lifetime.  Or my childhood friend Trish who I met in kindergarten.  The Harriet the Spy to my Janie, we lost contact for many years and became reacquainted like we never left. These women are my loves, but for this particular post I am talking about those women who have for 10+ years, consecutively and consistently, seen me broken and bruised and have cleaned my wounds and helped me to feel whole again.  I thank God for them because they have raised me, teaching me lessons within our friendship that have helped me to be a better woman and friend.

For instance, my godsister Amber is my Mother Hen. She’s the one that I go to when I am emotionally hurt and vulnerable and need to be comforted.  Talking with her always makes me feel like I can feel the floor again when the figurative rug has been pulled from under my feet.  However, when I feel overwhelmed and need a solution I call on my bestie Ree from high school and a fellow Musketeer, the Souljah.  Yes I spelled it that way on purpose because she’s a professional and a thug at the same time. LOL. Real ish though my bestie Ree is my friend that I go to when I need resolutions and she’s willing to fight for me and with me if it goes down that way. She’s my Rider.  Lizzie, my other love from high school and the third piece to the Musketeers, is my Motivational Speaker.  Whenever I feel like crap about myself, Liz always feeds me, uplifts me and encourages me to see myself in all of my regality.   That would explain why my girl is so damn bougie lol*insert side eye emoji* She knows she’s a Queen and reminds me that I am too.  Raica is my Vision Partner who gives me a boost in morality and development whenever I need it.  If I have a vision that I need to get off of the ground or a dream that I am working on, Raica uplifts me to feel as though I’ve got this in the bag. JoJo is the Devil’s Advocate, challenging me to view the other perspective when I come to her with a problem with someone, but her loyalty has it so that she will eff somebody up for me- right or wrong.  Christina “Green Glasses” is my Prayer Partner- whenever I need a reminder from God about where my life is going and where He has brought me, Chris brings that reality check to my spiritual side. And Moe, the daughter of my mother’s identical twin (my cousin) and the first best friend that I could ever ask for, she’s my Rational Thinker/ Personal Buddha.  She brings me calm and rationale when I am unsure of what I should be doing or when I am questioning myself.  Her opinions matter to me that I am doing the right thing.

All of these women carry the same characteristics in them- they all motivate me, encourage me, give me the other perspective, remind me of God’s glory- but each woman brings her special flavor to a specific area of my life. And the crazy part is that these heifas all LIKE EACH OTHER!  When your team fucks with your team, how can you get a better village than that?  I salute my girlfriends because at a time when loyalty is low and this “what can you do for me?” attitude is high, these women give me them selflessly and without restriction.  The love is unconditional.  And while some friendships within this bunch have been directly challenged or been challenged by distance and time, the love stays real and it continues to grow.  Like Dina said in the movie, I LOVE YOU HEIFAS AND I WOULD DIE FOR EVERY ONE OF YA.  And don’t you forget it.

I Think that I Think Too Much

No, but for real. Last Saturday I had an emotional moment and just broke down and cried.  In my car.  With my cousin and my aunt there beside me.  And when it was all said and done, tears dried and I felt the release of weight being lifted from my shoulders, I realized that I was deeply sad and also deeply overwhelmed.  And it was because I made it that way.

Just a moment ago I had to stop myself from thinking about all of the trips that I am planning to take this year and when I should be saving for them and how much and I need a new dresser for this here bedroom and oh shoot I gotta get a new shower mat and damn when am I going to have time to get this noise in my car checked out and will I have the money to pay for it and what the hell could it be and… yeah. My overanalyzing has even seeped its way into my relationship.  Being that I am a couple of years older than my Boo, his family jokingly calls me a cougar, but after a while I found myself being extra aware of my clothes and my hair and my weight and whether or not he still found me to be attractive after living together for almost a year and will this argument be the reason why we break up and truthfully… I watch too much Love and Hip Hop lol. But seriously though… he had to sit me down and be like “yo what’s good with you?” because it was beginning to affect my attitude towards him and my attitude about myself.  I was creating trepidations in my mind about our relationship that he wasn’t even feeling or close to thinking and the confident woman that he fell in love with was becoming needy and insecure.

Part of the problem is that I feel like I’ve got something to prove and it’s honestly to nobody but myself. The other part of it is that I know how I want to be seen and who I want to view myself as and I feel that I have been working on becoming her.  But instead of growing daily and living my life, I have been strategizing it and placing too much pressure on myself.  After that cry I literally had to tell myself WHO THE FUCK CARES?? My mom told me once before that life is not as complicated as we can make it and I didn’t understand what she meant until now.  I am not superwoman and I am nowhere near where I would like to be, but I am already the woman that I want to become.  Instead of strategizing who I want to be, I should just BE HER.  I should just LIVE.  Every aspect of my life does not require a game plan.

I woke up that following day, Sunday, and I reminded myself that I need to be kind to myself. Some shit is just going to fall apart at the wrong time, but that doesn’t mean that all is lost. There are going to be some situations that are out of my control- that’s not my business.  It’s easy to get riled up into emotions and thoughts and get overwhelmed, but there is something so peaceful about differentiating between what you can handle and what is outside of your hands.  Knowing the difference between those two will alone bring you greater peace and less mental frustration.  I literally just told my little sister Deja that part of being a responsible adult is knowing when to ask for help from the right people.  Welp, being a responsible adult also means knowing when to let go, let God, and let live.  I’m going to not think so hard about doing just that- living.

Know Yourself, Know Your Worth

I know that I am loved, but I didn’t realize that I am treasured.  There is a difference.

The way that I see it, a person can genuinely love you and care for you, but that doesn’t necessarily stop them from hurting you, lacking consideration of you, or just plain ole’ appreciating your presence. I have been loved by many a men and friends, and I am sure that the love was real, but there is something missing when a person chooses to treat you in a manner that doesn’t resemble what love should look like or feel like.  Stick with me for a minute.

When you are treasured, there is a built in respect that comes with that, a built in loyalty that seeps into that. There’s an appreciation of the energy and vibe that you bring, a love of your light and the aura that surrounds you.  When you are treasured, people listen when you speak, whether it’s to impart some type of wisdom or to express a pain or concern.  When you are treasured, the love and honor is present in how people treat you, interact with you, and invest in you.  I knew that I was loved, but I didn’t realize how treasured I was.  This is why it is so important to know your worth or else you will find yourself taking others for granted.  I realize that I have taken so many relationships for granted because of how I viewed myself.

My sister graduated from Pace Law School on May 14, 2017 and I couldn’t have been more proud! I drove from Rochester to White Plains because I knew that this was an event that I wouldn’t miss for anything.  I was there throughout my sister’s journey, from the time that she was about 9 or 10 to now, educated and decorated and ready to take the Bar exam.  She would call me when she doubted herself or when adulting got hard and she just needed some guidance.  I was there when times were great and I was also there when times were bad and the same could be said for her as well.  We have a bond.  But it wasn’t until it was time to take pictures with everyone at her graduation and she had the world looking for me (I had went to the car to grab a drink and a bite to eat because a sista was getting a headache) that it dawned on me how much I mattered.

And it sounds corny and it sounds dramatic- why wouldn’t you matter to her after all that you two have been through?  But when you have been dismissed and pushed to the side often, felt as though your voice gets silenced or you get glazed over when expressing to another how they have hurt you, loved hard and invested in folks only for them to shade you and trade you from the very person you helped them to get over – it’s easy to feel as though you are easily dismissed.  I carry that complex within my spirit- that I am unimportant.  And because I feel as though I am replaceable, it doesn’t dawn on me how dismissive I can be in how my family and tribe of friends actually feel about me.  Just yesterday my Nana made up an excuse to get me to the house simply because she missed me.  My best friend calls me at 5:30p on the dot after a work day because she can’t wait to talk to me.  This same sister who graduated law school drove 5 hours after an exam one year just to attend my birthday bowling party.  I had to take a look at the bigger picture and realize that I feel that way about myself because I focus on the wrong shit.  Instead of worrying about the relationship fails, I need to hone in on the actions of those who are around me and loving on me every day.  I am a treasured being because the right people treasure me and are in my life.  And that made me also think too- I’m pretty dope, why wouldn’t I be treasured??

In the words of Drake, Know Yourself. Know Your Worth.  I’m just now figuring it out.

Don’t Jack my Black Magic

Whoopi Goldberg needs to have several seats.

On last Thursday’s episode of “The View”, Whoopi Goldberg shared her view that cultural appropriation can also include “wearing White lady hair” and insists that if we are going to have a conversation on cultural appropriation, then we (Black women) should wear our natural hair. First of all, in the words of my favorite Kid Fury, Ms. Goldberg is LOUD and WRONG. It is not considered to be cultural appropriation to wear your hair straight or to put a weave in it.   In fact, straight hair is not race specific as I have White girlfriends who have hair that is curly, some are wavy, some kinky and some straight.  Also, many Black women who do choose to wear weave are not buying White girl hair, but are purchasing Peruvian, Malaysian and Brazilian everything-  I have yet for a woman to come into the salon that I work at and state that she has bought some White Girl hair bundles.  Nah Bruh- miss me with that.  Taking it a step further, the use of weaves, hair clips and hair pieces are actually used to provide protection from heat damage to your natural hair or to add length and fullness to your hair for better styling options and choices.  That isn’t a race thing- that’s a Woman thing.  But I digress. What is both annoying and extremely disappointing is the fact that the counter argument to cultural appropriation always falls back to Black women wearing hair weave, but the issue is so much deeper than that.

The definition of cultural appropriation is as follows:

Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture. … This view distinguishes outright theft of cultural artifacts or exotic stereotyping from more benign borrowing or appreciation.

 Or, in other words, you’re jocking Jay Z. There is a taste of mockery that comes with cultural appropriation, like you’re enjoying my culture and spitting in my face at the same damn time.  Like my cultural expressions are good enough for you to enjoy, but not good enough for you to acknowledge their realness and origin.  Take the Kardashians, for instance.  Their name is often brought up in conversations of cultural appropriation because they are the prototype for sleeping with Black men, getting surgeries to make their figures and features look more full and supple like that of women of color, and will turn around and be quiet on Black issues.  A true love of culture and of a people would result in the participation in both the good parts of that group’s culture, but also the bad.  You cannot wear the look of a group of people, but refuse to wear their issues as well.

I see what Whoopi was trying to do, but I am not here for it. All that we Black women are saying is this:  admire the Magic, respect the Magic, and don’t come for the Magic if you can’t handle the Magic.  Or at least that is what I am saying.  I’m not against interracial dating, I’m not against White women and men wanting to wear Timbs or listening to rap music or basking in anything that is Black culture, hip hop culture or whatever.  But while you’re enjoying that aspect of our culture, also be aware that we are REAL PEOPLE with REAL ISSUES going on within our communities- stand with us in our struggles while you stand beside us enjoying our Gold.

via Daily Prompt: Jolt

Paradise and Hell

I was chatting with one of my girlfriends yesterday and I had asked her if she enjoyed her trip to Hawaii that she took a couple of years ago. Ever since my trip to the Dominican Republic in June, I have been thinking of locations to put on my bucket list of travels- Hawaii is one of them.  Although she told me that she had an awesome time, she also told me that it was full of homelessness and it got me to thinking:  how is it that we can live in a world where Hell and Paradise exist at the same time?  Rock with me for a minute…

When I went to DR, I truly enjoyed my experience.  Although it was freaking hot (my goodness), the sun was shining, the air was clear and the water was turquoise and see-through.  I went to DR with my two best friends and we stayed in Punta Cana on a resort with flamingoes and peacocks just chilling in the various ponds; I drank unlimited amounts of pina coladas at the beach; we had a beautiful room with a marble bathroom; and overall, just being in that water and in that air brings something different out of you.  It was relaxing and peaceful.  It was paradise.

At the same time, my besties and I were extremely aware of the poverty that is present in the Dominican Republic.  We were aware that the maids who were preparing our rooms may be struggling to feed their families while they cater to our needs while on vacation; we could see the land fenced behind the resort, torn down, infertile and full of sand dunes from construction, that were probably filled with the homes of families whose livelihoods may not have been considered for the sake of the tourist dollar.

Even when I went to the Bahamas on a cruise for my birthday this past December, when walking through Nassau, Bahamas heading to the beach, the streets were filled with merchants attempting to make a dollar.  My cousin and I were constantly met with conversations and calls to buy seashells and water corals and coconut water; we were encouraged to buy scarves with “Bahamas’ embroidered on them and handmade jewelry.  You could see as plain as day that that area was struggling… and I was there to bask in “paradise”.

How is it that we can live in a world where folks will pay their money to enjoy what is considered to be a tropical vacation, and yet, the inhabitants of that paradise can’t afford to live there?  How is my paradise your hell? (Figuratively speaking)  That thought makes me so completely grateful and it humbles me to think that those who are serving me, someone who can afford to take a vacation, could very well be going home where they can barely afford their bills.  It makes me sad to think that there could possibly be a resentment attached to this dynamic of tourist and server because I am in their land spending my money to enjoy their home for the sake of fun while their home leaves them trying to make it from day to day.

Don’t get me wrong- I am aware that this may not be the case for every tropical or exotic vacation destination… but what if it is?  My besties and I took extra considerations on our vacation.  We made sure to not create too much mess in our rooms and if we made it to the room while our rooms were being serviced, we attempted small conversation in Spanish and were sure to express our sincerest gratitude for their assistance.  We were even sure to leave those two ladies a generous tip at the end of our stay.

I still have Hawaii on my bucket list of destinations that I would like to attend, but I will also strive to carry with me an extra sense of gratitude, care and thoughtfulness.  It made me realize that there is so much more going on in the world, so close to the tips of my fingers that I could bump into it and not even realize how close I was to the problem.  It’s amazing the paradoxes that exist.

via Daily Prompt: Fortune

Love and Basketball… and Life

         large_zQoCjIInTAmt7LTLRNOiPMAeb8E   One of my all time favorite movies is “Love and Basketball”, which happened to be playing on the TV this weekend.  If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s the story of Que and Monica, two kids who absolutely love basketball.  Monica wants to be the first girl to play in the NBA where she is going to be “number 22, like Magic” while Que thinks that he is going to be the next hot shit just like his famous basketball playing father Zeke McCall, whom he idolizes.  These two start out as childhood neighbors and frenemies, but as the movie progresses it chronicles the ups and downs of their relationship together while also showcasing their individual struggles and journeys as they embark on their their basketball careers.  I guess I love the movie so much because Que and Monica’s love story plays out the way that real life happens and in some way watching that movie answered a question that recently has been on my mind: am I doing this shit called “Life” right?

            I know that there is really not a right or wrong way to live your life or to experience life.  There are different strokes for different folks and not everyone can ride the same wave.  But to some degree, I find myself wanting confirmation from somewhere that the decisions and movements that I am making are not wasted efforts; sometimes I just want to know that when I made the decision to cut off Person X, Y or Z that the decision was made with my best endeavors placed as a priority to me by me.  I want to ensure that the type of woman who I am in real form is close to or a growth towards the woman that I would like to be and be remembered as.  I want to know that I am in the right career or that years from now I will see that I made the right choices in my personal life.  That piece of me that wants to be in control of everything is afraid of failure.  I am afraid that one day I am going to look up and find that nothing that I did worked out to become what I wanted for it to be and in the end, I will find that I wasted my life away.  That’s a bit drastic and dramatic, but those are the fears that permeate my mind.

            Watching that movie brought something to perspective for me though.  It made me realize that life is not a static thing and that I can still accomplish what I intended to even if it’s not done in the uniform way that I once imagined. Monica intended on being the first woman to play in the NBA; Monica found herself playing basketball overseas in Italy for some years and when she returned home her love of the game has waned and she began working at a bank with her father.  Que tore his ACL while in college and had to endure intensive physical therapy.  On top of that the father that he idolized was found to have been cheating on his mother and even may have fathered a baby therefore leaving Que crushed and confused.  But if you have seen the movie, then you know that in the end everything works out the way that it is supposed to.

            That movie gave me hope- I can achieve the same accomplishments even if the path doesn’t look the way that I envisioned it.  Oftentimes I get discouraged by the fact that I spent so many years out of school after college, but now I see that it isn’t the end of the world and I can always go back to get my Master’s.  Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like if I were already married with a child to my ex of 10 years (on and off as that relationship was), but I find joy in knowing that the man who I am with now pales that past relationship when in comparison to this new love.  And if I don’t get married and have children until 5 years from now instead of just 2 years from now that the world is not going to end. Perspective and persistence is the key.  Easier said than done, but at least I got some peace to my question, which is: it can only be as right as I allow for it to be.  Instead of running from the struggles and confusion, I can lean into them and use the hard times as motivation to excel later on in life.  One day at a time.

I’ll keep holding on until I make it where I want to be.

via Daily Prompt: Record


Back in the days when I was young… I’m not a kid anymore

o-kids-playing-outside-facebookI am so tired of adulting.

When I was 29 and getting ready to turn thirty, I viewed my 30s as milestone years.  This was going to be the time that I nurtured and worked on growing into the woman that I desired to become.  I wanted to be more responsible especially with my finances; I wanted to improve on my skillsets and truly master what all I do; I wanted to step my game up in accomplishing the various personal goals that I have; and overall,  I wanted to be better than I was before.  Thirty for me was going to be the beginning of my level up years and I was ready.

This ish right here, though, is overwhelming.  These past few days, maybe even couple of weeks, I have been feeling slightly off about my life.  In other words, I haven’t been feeling very accomplished and I have been wondering “Am I even doing anything with myself?” I’ve been seeing many of my younger peers from my college days obtaining Master’s Degrees and moving on to their Doctorate; former classmates and even closer friends are getting engaged, married or having babies which is the greatest desire of my heart; others are going on various vacations and getting fit and fab and living it up.  I had to deactivate my Facebook because I found myself being envious and wondering “when is it going to be my turn?”  I know that each person has their own journey to take, but sometimes I honestly just want for my piece of the pie to be actualized already.  It’s almost like the world keeps moving and shaking and I got stuck standing still.

Make the best of it.

I was talking to one of my older co-workers the other day and was just venting to her about my frustrations.  She admitted to me that she has the same frustrations and concerns, but she also said to me that this is what it is.  Her thought process is- this is where I am at, I can only do what I can do with it so let me make the best of it.  Looking back on it now, I have to admit that I am always mentioning what successes that I want, but am oftentimes complaining when rocky terrain appears.  How can I ever be a diamond when I cannot handle the pressing process?

My childhood minister used to always say that in order for a mother to give birth to her greatest blessing- her child- she had to go through labor pains.  He likened this imagery to the struggles that we Christians will face.  The same can be said with life without the religious context to it.  It order for me to accomplish my  goals, I have to go through some labor pains and I realize that this time right now is my labor pain, my climbing season, to get to the top of this year’s mountain.  Maybe I need to stop thinking about this season as such a negative thing and lean into it with the intentions of learning.  You won’t know that an umbrella works in the time of a storm if you’ve never had to walk through one.  When you know better, you do better, and this is another season or me to learn and grow.

View the bigger picture, take small steps to get there.

Nothing great was ever built in one day.  I do realize that, but I think that I am impatient.   I have to remember to slow down and work with what I can while not tripping over what I can’t.  It’s such an easy mantra to think of, but harder to practice in real life.  Nothing that I truly want to accomplish is going to happen overnight and I just have to remember what my bigger picture is to get me through.  I remember when my besties and I were saving for our trip to DR, I remember how good it felt when we were finally purchasing our tickets and we each received the confirmation.  That moment showed me that with a little time and patience and saving that I could do what I wanted to do and the same applies to all areas of my life.  As long as I have a clear idea of what my tiny goals are and I know what the bigger picture is that these tiny goals are working towards, then I should use that as my motivation.

Relax… and stop thinking so hard.

Ok so for real… I think that I am being low- key hard on myself. I just don’t want to be a failure.  I don’t want for life to pass me by and I look up and realize that I am basic as hell and settled with my life.  But the truth is that I am also probably setting some unrealistic standard for myself also.  My goals may not be unrealistic, but my internal timeframe for when these goals will be accomplished is probably a bit extreme.  I have to remember that one day at a time is all that I have to offer and to lighten up- life is to be lived alongside being responsible.  I cannot live my life like it’s a job itself.

All of the time when I was a kid I wanted to be an adult and now that I am an adult I want to go back to being a Toys R Us kid lol. Life was so simple when I was a kid, but now that I am an adult I can honestly appreciate the control that I do have over my existence.  I have final say over how I live my life and what I want for myself, so truly the gift and joy can be found in simply having that type of freedom over myself.  My prayer for myself is that while I go through these stepping stones that I remember that fact.

You’ve Got to Live Your Life

This past June, my two besties and I went on a much needed vacation to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and returned home to the States to take in the Queen of Slayage- Beyonce- at Citifield in New York City.  Can I just take a moment to explain to you how completely EPIC that vacation was for me?   Before that trip I did not have a passport, so Canada was the only place that I had been to outside of the U.S.  And that water… omg that water, that air, that beach- it definitely did something to me.  And then to experience Beyonce live and in color during her Formation tour was an experience in and of itself.  I had never been to a Beyonce concert and have always wanted to go.  When it was all said and done and the vacation was over, something inside of me had altered and made me realize that I was not living my life to the fullest.

Cuz I slay.

            I am just as dope as Beyonce is and then some.  Women are constantly being held to this commercialized standard of what beauty is supposed to be, to the point where even I was starting to struggle with how I viewed myself.  I don’t look like Nicki Minaj or Draya Michele or even Beyonce for that matter.  But I was starting to feel like if I don’t, then I am not attractive.  Men seem to glorify in “bad bitches”- women who have their own and handle their own bidness but are fine as hell while doing it- but it was starting to seem like the women that these men desired looked like the women on TV and not the everyday woman like me.  I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s hard for me to juggle working 40+ hours a week and still figure out when I am not too tired to make it to the gym.  I’m too busy trying to NOT live paycheck to paycheck, so who has the funds for bundles?   It just wasn’t a realistic look for me.

   What I loved about Beyonce’s concert and the feeling that it left me with is that I, in my extraordinary glory, slay just like these other women slay.  Beyonce is BEYONCE, but listening to her lyrics live, dancing and singing and getting my life all brought to my mind that I am just as dope as I want to be right where I am at. And if there is anything that I feel needs to be changed with myself, then who is stopping me from doing it?  Beyonce is who she is today because of the hard work and dedication that she puts into her craft.  I realized that there is nothing stopping me from doing the same.  I may not want to be an entertainer, but I can go hard in everything that I do in my personal life to get to where I need to be.  Beyonce will tell you herself that she is winning, so I needed to develop that same type of confidence and just go for it and conform it to the life that I was living.  Not everybody is going to see me the way that I do, but it starts with how I view myself.   And, dammit, I SLAY.

I am mine FIRST.

            Working 3 jobs and still trying to be a godmother, sister, friend and girlfriend are the devil. Like, I don’t even have any kids and I oftentimes feel like I done took care of an army.  But I wasn’t taking care of myself.  Being on a tropical island with no outside communications will sit you still for someone who is always on the go and that is what being in DR did to me.  I fought so many urges not to think about how my godchildren were doing or to not feel guilty for not being able to speak to my Love while gone.  I had worked so hard on trying to be a good everything to everyone else that I wasn’t taking the time to be good to ME.

            This is so dramatic, but on the last night that we were in DR, I stood in that clear blue water, looked at the sunset and vowed to myself that I would take more vacations.  I promised myself that I would take breaks when I need to, slow down on working so many hours or even add the word “no” to my vocabulary. I had gotten to the point where I no longer belonged to myself and having 3 days and 4 nights to sit on a beach and do nothing, but swim and sunbathe and eat- it brought to my mind that I am mine first.  In order for me to be a great ME, I have to first invest in ME.

 Life is what you make it, so make it great.

           I don’t know why I have been so closed- minded these years concerning where I could go and what I could do, but being in DR made it clear to me that there is more out there than what I see every day- being in DR ignited my desire to travel.  In the past it always felt like I was watching what I wanted my life to be through the adventures of other folks.  In my mind, I didn’t have money like that to take trips to the Bahamas or Jamaica or any other exotic island or place.   It’s actually part of the reason why I deactivated my Facebook- I had to stop comparing and being discouraged by the life that everyone else was living.  I get it now.

            If I want something, I have to go out and get it- the impossible is really not that far- fetched.  My girls and I planned our trip roughly a year in advance and decided that by such and such month, we would need to have a certain amount saved.  Saving is not my strongest suit, I will just admit that right now, but the key is that I had a goal and a plan and I wanted to make that happen.  In the end I made it and the reward of the save is what made me realize that it can happen.  If I plan and play smart, I can allow for any experience in my life to exist.  And every vacation or experience does not have to be tropical and out of the U.S.  I have a bucket list of locations that I would like to travel to and visit.  So what is stopping me?  Nothing that a little planning and saving won’t hurt.

            Sometimes life can become so overwhelming and frustrating.  I get into a zone and I just move move move, but that experience in June will stay close to my heart because it re-directed the way that I thought about myself and the direction that my life was headed in. I didn’t want for the day to come where I have kids or I have passed on and the trip down memory lane of my life is dull and restless.  That trip made me truly consider: where do I want to be in 10 years?  What experiences do I want to have under my belt?  How do I get there? What all is it going to take for me to get where I am going?  Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle sometimes with remembering to cater to me first or to make time for myself or even to keep up my confidence.  But when those moments creep in, I remember where I have been and what I did and remind myself that I have somewhere to go- this is the only life that I have to live, so I’m going make the best of it.