Tag Archives: #LifeLessons

My Ode’ to 2016

Oh, my 2016…

You were kind to me,

Dear year.

You were patient with me, too.

You offered great clarity and even opened my heart when I didn’t realize it needed to be.

You, 2016, were awesome.

Yep, its that time where your timeline is inevitably filled with year end recaps and high hopes for the year to come. And while some of y’all like to hate on people setting goals for the new year, I on the other hand am rooting for my fellow goal-setters.

I think it’s important to close a season of your life and look onward with hopes to improve where you see fit.

Ya’ll know that meme circulating about how trash 2016 was? Im sorry, but I can’t relate (Politics aside of course). For me, this year was goal filled, and all-around great!

This year I:

  • I traveled with friends to Brooklyn for AfroPunk
  • Went River Rafting for the first time
  • Went to the beach for the first time
  • I acted in 2 productions for professional theaters
  • Started a new hobby (photography)
  • I mastered using my planner for daily life
  • Cooked more at home
  • Revisited my yoga practice
  • Ran my second 5k
  • Participated in Wanderlust (mind/body triathlon)
  • Completed 3 more books than I did in 2015
  • Quit a job that wasn’t emotionally healthy for me
  • Took on a new work role
  • Taught myself to play a song on my guitar (so what if it’s only twinkle, twinkle little star)
  • Celebrated my 25th birthday (cheers to my fellow #QuarterCenturyLiving folks out there!)

I already have my 2017 planner and have begun setting my goals for tomorrow. As I write this, I am thinking of whats most important to me– self-awareness. You have to know yourself, and be honest with yourself in order to make SMART goals you can achieve.

So, I wish you all a happy new year! I hope that you realize the power of self-dominance you contain as you transition into the future. Speak life into your situations, and be realistic. I am spending the last day of 2016 with some of my family in STL and I hope you enjoy your’s!

What are your goals for 2017?

Peace and love!

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Dear Mama: An Open Letter Apology

In second grade my teacher assigned our class a book writing assignment. Each student wrote their own book and illustrated it themselves. Like a good author, I made sure to dedicate my book to someone. Instead of my mother –who I’d later learn I would gain my desire to write from– I dedicated it to my teacher.

There was nothing malicious about what I did, but still the apparent hurt was there when she read the words “Dedicated to Mrs. Graves” where she assumingely felt hers would lie. I always saw my teacher, so I felt that was the obvious thing to do.

I was wrong.

There was something about parenting that  my young mind couldn’t understand. All I knew as that my mother was always working. When I say always, I really mean ALWAYS. Even to this day she’s working tirelessly.

She’s Dedicated.

Selflessly she did her best to make sure I was straight. Once in her care, I can’t really recall a time I lacked for any tangible possessions.

What I did lack, was quality time. In it’s absence, I understand the bittersweet truth of our reality. I understand that you did your best to provide for me. I understand that as a young parent, you were still growing while parenting. (I can’t imagine being a parent in my early 20’s!!) I get it. Though it was tough, and emotionally trying between us, I get it. I want you to know I am forever indebted to you, naturally.

So, I’d like to take this time to let you know the following:

  • I admire your kindness, and your ability to always see the “potential” in things
  • Thank you for teaching me to see animals in the clouds
  • Thank you for allowing me to be outspoken
  • Thank you for growing with me
  • Thank you for always asking how my day was and what I ate at school
  • Thank you for admitting your wrongs
  • Thank you for persevering through parenthood

And in the act of appreciation,  I ask for forgiveness for every time I was inconsiderate. For every time I was ungrateful, and unpleasantly disrespectful.

And I’ll admit it took me hating you to appreciate you. Even though you’ve always told me “don’t be like me, be better than me” I want you to know I will try my best, to be like you when I’m a parent. I will work to be selfless as you often are, because a mother’s work is never done.

It takes a village to raise a child. So while I thank my mother, I also want to thank my village who helped support her as well. If you can relate to this, take a moment to thank your single parent. You don’t have to wait until the honorary Spring holidays.

Peace and Love.

I love you, always.


Finding Love in My 20’s

I love, love.

I always fantasized loving a man in the way that girls did on tv and in those videos. I would always listen to the sappy teenage love songs and imagine this incredible boyfriend. This boyfriend may, or may not, have been an idolized celebrity or two. I would literally daydream about what it would be like for me to–FINALLY– have someone by my side.

Someone to pick the crust out of my eye. Someone to text me “good morning beautiful” and it be the first thing I read in the morning. Someone to intentionally fall asleep on the phone  with because neither one of us wanted to get off. Someone whose plate I could finally eat french fries off of! Someone who didn’t make me nervous or self-conscious while being around him, as many other guys did.

And when I finally got it, I realized the obvious life lessons that coincide with loving someone; patience, empathy, and communication are key!!!!

Being in love is one of the best things that can happen to someone. There are so many teachable moments within the journey.

The two of us started out as friends. We actually had  kind of  an off-and-on communication stream. We originally met in dance class as teens. We never really spoke outside of a simple “hi” or head nod. What he doesn’t know is that a small part of me always inquired about him. I really wanted to know more about him as a person. And I admired his dancing!

After high school, I believe in 2012, we ran into one another on a few occasions and eventually exchanged numbers. At this time, I was in one of the most toxic mental and emotional states of my life. So naturally I friend-zoned him. I wasn’t interested in him outside of having a texting buddy or coffee date.

Until one night, admittedly after having a few drinks, I called him very angrily and mentally discombobulated, ranting to him on how he and other guys are only out to hurt women. Did he deserve this, hell no! But I was harboring the emotions of my aunt’s failing marriage, the left-over heartache from my own situationship, and even the abandonment of my father.

I was lying on the floor venting to him, asking him to be there. Maybe it was fate? All I know is he was there at one of the lowest points. We then begun hanging out, but I still vetted him. I wondered was this it? Had I finally found a safe place with someone. Just after my 23rd birthday we became “official”.

There it was, finally a connection with an individual. I found comfort, solace, energy, security in him. Even made it past that “one month” curse I had been festering with. One month then became two, then three and so on.

I remember going out-of-town for spring break. The entire time we fought. Literally we only smiled when we were eating (they have really good vegan food and food makes me happy) and the other times we were a mess. It got so bad that I thought of ending it, as did he. In hindsight, all of the arguing we did was ridiculous and unnecessary. And after speaking to friends I learned it’s common for that first out of town trip to be rocky.

I wasn’t looking for love, but I found it. It was hard in the beginning, really hard. I had to learn that I couldn’t change someone. As a control freak, and only child, this was hard for me. I had to learn that everyone is raised differently, they learn differently, and that they love differently.

I learned, too, to appreciate the unsaid. I learned that our love is weird, and young. As two opposites, we do the best we can to love each other. We balance one another out.

If you’re looking for love, my advice is to stop. When you put pressure on yourself to love and be loved by someone else you force yourself into things that are inorganic in nature. I am a firm believer in what is meant to be will be. When loving yourself you’ll become well acquainted and know what feels right to you.

It takes confidence to love, wholeheartedly. And a prospective partner will recognize that.





Welcome: Everything I Wanted To Say

You’re probably here to find out what Everything I Wanted to Say is about. The answer is that it’s a lifestyle blog. Yes, I know, seems like everyone is starting one these days and while it may seem highly saturated, I still decided I needed my own.

Even though this is my first blog of this nature, I’m not new to blogging! I actually started a food blog, Save a Cow Eat a Carrot several years ago. I’ll be honest, I haven’t updated it in over a year. As someone who only enjoys cooking around the holidays, I’m not really certain why I decided to have my first blog be a food one! Aside from Save a Cow Eat a Carrot I have been  contributing editor and writer for Khorage Magazine.

And while both of these blogging endeavors are enjoyable, I’ve been wanting to blog on more personal subjects. Ones that I’ve either written in my journal about, or kept in my head.

There’s a lot I want to share. Here you’ll find my thoughts, read my experiences, mistakes and memories. You’ll learn my moments of unapologetic behavior. You’ll learn what I’ve been too scared to admit, even to the ones closest to me.

A poet, whose name has left me at the moment, once said “as an artist, it is my duty to be transparent with you”. And this blog, Everything I Wanted to Say, is my form of transparency.

So, welcome to my head space.