Tag Archives: SelfLove

Hashtag: New Year Evolved Me

How am I transitioning into 2018?

Pretty darn well I’d say!  As I sat in the house on Sunday, December 31, 2017 contemplating whether I’d switch up my  New Year’s Eve ritual and go out for a night on the town, or do what I know best and stay in, I soon was in a back-and-forth rebuttal with my aunt for some nightly festivities. Here’s the thing, I don’t do long lines and cold weather well. So while she was trying to sway me her way, I could only think about my freezing limbs and said NOPE!

Funny enough, the two of us played this extended game of “lets go out/lets stay in” for nearly two hours (even switched roles for a bit, lol!)

So what did we do? I finally joined #teamporscha and agreed to get cute for a night out. The thing is, after we’d found plans, got dressed, and were ready to go–we both had changed our minds back to my original idea. So like I’ve done for the past decade (or literally all my life) I brought in the new year indoors with a loved one.  I’m not much of a party-goer (anymore) so staying in for holiday’s doesn’t really bother me.

While inside relaxing, I started to manifest my immediate goals for the new year. Asking myself what I wanted out of 2018. All of my goals are intended to make me a better me, as goals should do.

Yes, I have physical goals I set (like last year’s pushup goal I didn’t meet…but I’ll get to it in 2018) and emotional goals, and career goals. All of which I intend to fulfill to live my B E S T L I F E.

This year I’m working on forgiving myself. I’ve talked about forgiveness for those who’ve hurt me many a time and how I’d moved past the pain. What I didn’t realize was that I didn’t forgive myself for the circumstances I had put myself in.

newyear

At my last coffee date with my girls, we were catching up on life: grad school, therapy,  new living situations, relationships, general ups  and downs. Through her story, my sister-friend was discussing her journey with forgiving herself and my brain was like holy hell! I started replaying every “regret” or triggering situation I had been in and asked myself why it was still something that could set me off. It was because I hadn’t forgiven myself.

Without even realizing it, I had still been living in the past,emotionally, and telling myself that mentally I was over it and was fine. And it was convincing for the most part, because I had told myself if I don’t think about it, I won’t get angry about it. But the honest truth is that real healing and forgiveness will allow me to think about a situation that I’d allegedly grown past, and not let it affect me. And that wasn’t happening.

So much so that the thought of certain memories literally caused a physical disruption. As cliche as it sounds, I’m leaving attachments and regrets in 2017. I’m leaving the fallacy  that I own the rights to others: meaning that I’m working on understanding the only persona I control is self.

I’ve shared that my favorite tattoo is probably my ‘agape’ one that’s on my finger. With that in mind, I’ve transitioned into 2018 revisiting my sole reason for getting that specific tattoo in the first place. I yearn to love unconditionally, and with the right tribe around me I’ve been able to learn so much about unconditional love. I’m happy that I have friends who unashamedly share themselves with me, the good, the bad, the stank, the ugly.

They’ve helped me know love–romantic and platonic– through themselves.


A few other things I’m working on in 2018:

  • Reading 1 book a month (already completed January’s read:  James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time)
  • Working out 4x/ week (a flat stomach is fine and dandy but I’m coming for definition in 2018!!)
  • Painting more
  • A second fitness certification (did you know I’m a certified Zumba instructor?)
  • Traveling of course (Austin, Dallas, Portland, Maryland, Philly are at the top of my list)
  • Publishing more books (simultaneously working on a few 😅)

Obviously these aren’t all my goals of the year, but some I thought you’d be interested in! What are you working on this year?

 

How I Got the Power to be a Care Free Black Girl

I laugh every time I see that meme about black girls doing the most whenever they see another black girl with natural hair, and how much it excites them. But, if I’m being honest, I do the same thing.

Let me see another black girl with a bomb t.w.a (or locs) and some poppin’ lipstick. My inner voice immediately screams yassssssss queen.  And then I awkwardly smile, trying to muster up the courage to give her a compliment.

As someone who struggled to really accept herself growing up, this moment in #blackgirlmagic is really allowing my confidence to flourish!

Like, let me send out a couple of yasss queen’s for Issa, for Blavity, for Black Twitter, stories on For Harriet, and all the sistahs with #MelaninonFleek selfies on IG. I mean the list goes on.

And here’s why:

Growing up I was really, really, really insecure. Things I couldn’t change made me really harvest this self-hate that I had to fight in my early twenties.

I grew up in town with a small minority population.( Like, when  I moved there just before first grade the black population was about 4%. Yeah.)

*long sigh*

So when I moved to Liberty, MO I learned– very quickly–that I was unchangeably different, the outcast, from my peers.

I was chubby, black, and the daughter of a single mother. Whereas  most of my friends were white and skinny, and came from two-parent households.

Everyday I looked at these people, my peers, and grew really uncomfortable with myself. It was through daily interactions with a group of culturally ignorant individuals that became so annoying and draining.

I remember one time a friend’s mom, my BFF at that, came to me and said:

Her: so, what’s with you not bathing?

Me: *blank stare* Ummmm…I’m sorry what?

Her: Well, *insert name* said you don’t wash (she actually put that weird “r” in there which sounds like warsh) your hair every day, so you must not be bathing.

Me: *blank stare again* 

Because shower caps didn’t exist? Because its appropriate to say something like this to a child? Because ignorance is bliss, right? I really started to hate everything that made me, me. And looking back I did some really,  admittedly stupid, but age appropriate (maybe?) things to fit in. I targeted the “it” girl and then aligned my interests with hers. To the point that I liked things I hated, and hated things I liked. #C’monson!

Now, all I can do is laugh at how unfortunate, sad, and mildly pathetic I was. As I got older I started to develop a better sense of self. I learned to love the traits that made me,  me. Once I got over the being the “black girl surrounded by a bunch of whites” thing, I then struggled with body image. Yes, a “curvy” figure is more acceptable in the black community. But since literally everyone I was around had thighs that barely touched, the biggest obstacle was coming to a sense of body positivity.

Today, I am thankful for these new images that are trying to push a  societal shift towards diverse figures. Especially as a woman.

I got the power to be a care-free black girl by simply not giving two flying farts (will do my best to keep it PG) of what others had to say. I spent so much time trying to please peers, wanting to look another way, even wished I was mixed at one point because I thought mixed girls were winning more than me. I had to do a ton of self-care, used daily affirmations, and surrounded myself with positive people. I didn’t grow to accept myself over night. Now that I have, I can say I seek comfort in knowing just exactly who I am and what I stand for.

Looking back, I can see that there are three things that can be attributed to me becoming a care free black girl. The first was getting my first black friend. In third grade, Brandy, came up to me at recess and invited me to play with her. In befriending her I then got other friends that looked like me. I started to be around people who shared the same cultural experiences, and when faced with adversities, had someone who could relate. The next two  are kind of similar, but I feel played equal parts.

I went natural at 18, and by doing this I learned what my hair was like. I learned patience as well. Hair is often a sensitive topic with black girls, either its not long enough, its not thick enough, not straight enough, not curly enough, just not enough. Going natural I had to deal with what actually grew out of my scalp. Like, these coils are all mine. I can’t do anything to change the way it grows.  Lastly, doing a big chop after 2 years into my natural hair journey. I was at a point in life where I was really stressed out. I hadn’t done anything really off the wall like cutting all my hair off. So one Friday night I did it. I went to the bathroom, grabbed a pair of hair shears, and went to work.

I felt like women hide behind their hair. I realized how much of an accessory I was making hair. Don’t get me wrong I love a great mane, but when you have the time to look at yourself in the mirror, just bare faced, you can see who you are. My big chop taught me I couldn’t continue to hide behind disparities and continue to complain about things I wanted to change. I actually felt so empowered in this. I also saw how judgemental others were of me for having short hair. At the end of the day, you have to be accountable for you. Just think, wouldn’t it be great to live a fulfilling life where you put your opinion at the top of your daily list of cares to give?

If I had to give a personal statement to a young black girl in the same situation it would be this:

I want you, as a  young person of color, to feel safe in your skin. I don’t want you, or any other little girl to feel how I felt as a child. I want you to feel empowered, and realize that you have the strength and wits to be valued and encouraged.