My “Flyy Girl” Feature!

Yay! Audrey of Hey Girl Hey reached out about featuring me on her blog as part of her “Flyy Girl cropped-Peace.jpgFriday” series. I was obviously flattered and eagerly agreed to participate. Answering her questions allowed me to revisit the reasons I created this blog and reminded me why I shouldn’t shy away from it, even though I’ve found myself leaning that way lately.

You can read my feature at this link. Feel free to comment!

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Quiet Weekends Mean The World To Me

I’m an extroverted introvert, if there is such a thing.

I have no problem playing the part of the social butterfly in settings that call for it, but once the fun times start to fizzle, I’m secretly looking forward to returning to my cozy, one-bedroom apartment and keeping myself company.

QuietI’m getting to know me all over again these days and one thing I’m beginning to value more than ever is self-care. And part of my self-care regimen requires periods of solitude.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy spending time with my loved ones or shooting the breeze with coworkers or being in other group settings. I just understand that if I don’t take time to retreat to what gives me peace, I start to feel drained and am forced to run on empty.

I don’t like being that person. I’m not happy when I’m her and I’m certainly not at my best.

Which is why I enjoy having quiet weekends. No travel. No visitors. No obligations. Just me … indulging in some time away from the noise of the daily grind, the drama and anything else that demands that I come out of my shell.

It’s my time to be replenished – emotionally, mentally and physically – after letting the extrovert in me work overtime.

Are you an extroverted introvert? If so, how do you recharge? Feel free share in the comments.

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Newly natural? Avoid these 3 hair care myths

When you make the decision to step over to the natural side, you’ll have to face some trial and error before you perfect your hair care regimen. “You’re not going to know what works on your hair until you actually experiment with your own hair and see how it happens,” Annisa LiMara Mitchell, a natural hair and beauty vlogger, told 4c Hair Chick in an interview.

But it’s important to keep an open mind during your hair experimentation phase(s). Don’t get frustrated because your hair doesn’t resemble that YouTube tutorial you watched or Instagram post you saw.

“We kind of get caught up on idolizing other naturals that we see on social media and we forget to look in the mirror,” Mitchell said.

Continue reading my feature on 4c Hair Chick.

How Having a Supportive Community Helped Me as a Blogger

There’s one thing – barring extraordinary circumstances – I absolutely must have in order to create. SupportThat one thing is solitude.

Although I love being alone, it’s fulfilling when I realize that once I’ve poured my words onto the page for public consumption, someone other than me is engaging with the content I produce.

Here are three ways having a supportive community has helped me as a blogger.

Continue reading my guest post on Brown Girl Bloggers.

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I’m On MY Time, In Case Y’all Forgot

A few months have passed since my breakup and I’m becoming quite the optimistic. I relapse sometimes and struggle to let go of what was one of the most comfortable and familiar parts of my life, but the positives are constantly being revealed and I’m starting to accept them.

Although my heart and mind had me convinced, my world did not end. I believed that I wouldn’t be able to pull myself together enough to move forward. This thing put me on pause for sure, but I’m not wired to stop. There’s too much work to do. In the wise words of Big K.R.I.T.:

“Shit, I’m too fly to be touched, too hard to be crushed.”

My inner cheerleader is working overtime right now to keep me lifted, but that in no way means I’m not allowed to cry, hurt and cry some more. I’m done being hard on myself for not bouncing back as soon as I’m supposed to. I can’t keep internalizing everyone else’s expectations for my healing process.

I know my loved ones mean well when they constantly encourage me to go out and mingle and whatever else a conventional 20-something single does. But when I express my frustrations about figuring out my next move, I’m not always looking for an answer. More than likely, I just need an ear.

TimeI don’t need to be reminded of the myriad online dating sites that are jammed down everyone’s throats as a Band-Aid for the bruised and brokenhearted. I don’t need to be instructed to flock to OkCupid or Tinder or any other app to fix my “situation.” Some good, old-fashioned listening will suffice.

Not every problem has a clear-cut solution.

Society requires us to believe that single people are undesirable and should all be on a mission to be cuffed, but I don’t need to jump on the shallow validation bandwagon.

I’m on the pursuit to find and enjoy the glorious parts of single life. Like not having to give two fucks about what a person I’m romantically involved with is doing when we’re apart. Not concerning myself with another person’s problems and making them my own. Not having conniptions about calls and texts going unreturned.

I lost myself in someone else for years. To the point that living any other way was foreign to me. To the point that change was knocking but I was too resistant to let it in. It’s time to recoup my losses.

Being single has freed up so much of the time, energy and love I have to give. But before I let another guy come into my space and receive those things, they are being funneled straight to me.

And as I move on, everything I choose to do will be done on my time – not a second sooner.

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Things No One Told Me About Blogging

Starting a blog comes with its share of personal assumptions (some of which I’ve previously shared), Not Told About Bloggingrealities and surprises. In the short time I’ve been a blogger I’ve managed to gather a wealth of knowledge that will help me on my journey for years to come.

Here are four things no one told me about blogging that I’ve discovered along the way.

Continue reading my guest post on Brown Girl Bloggers.

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What My Mane is Teaching Me About Life

One of the most frustrating, but often fulfilling, things about being a naturalista is that you basically become a part-time hair stylist – without pay.

LifeUnless you hit the salon every week, you are responsible for making your own tresses look presentable. Which is reason No. 1 why I usually default to protective styles. Sometimes I just. Can’t. DEAL.

But there are other times when I enjoy spending time with my hair. I usually dread wash day, but yesterday was different, maybe because I tried a few new products including Shea Moisture’s African black soap purification masque and Gold N Hot’s conditioning heat cap for deep conditioning, and Camille Rose’s nourishing cream leave-in. My hair is happy now, and so am I.

As I was taking the time to care for my mane, I thought about the ways it’s teaching me some life lessons that I will carry with me always:

It’s best to work in sections.

I have Type 4 natural hair which means it’s much more kinky than it is curly, and the shrinkage is REAL. In order for me to manage my hair (and not just stand in front of the mirror sobbing uncontrollably about how I don’t want to deal with the drama that my wet hair brings), I have to break it up into smaller sections and tackle it one section at a time.

The same method can be applied to life. If you have areas of your life that you want to work on, you will get overwhelmed if you try to handle them all at once. Keep it simple and improve one area before you move on to the next.

You can’t get definition without help.

My hair doesn’t “clump” together in curls like other hair types, so I have to rely on butters, creams and pomades to get the curl definition I desire.

In life, you won’t learn everything on your own. There will be people who come into your space to teach you lessons – both good and bad – and help you make sense of things. Yes, independence is important, but you will often have to rely on your relationships with others to gather meaning.

There is no one-size-fits-all.

Snapchat Stoplight Selfie!

Snapchat Stoplight Selfie!

My hair is not like anyone else’s. Just because a certain combination of products or a hair care regimen may work for you does not mean that it works for me. It will take some trial and error before I get it right for my situation.

This is also true in life. As I’ve said before, my journey is my journey. I can most certainly soak up advice and inspiration along the way, but my route is custom-made and I’m more than fine with staying in my lane.

Has your hair taught you any life lessons? Feel free to share in the comments.

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5 inspirational gems from ‘Her Crown’

I mentioned in my last post that I’m reading the self-love book “Her Crown,” by Shana Bea and J. Chavae, this week.Her Crown

I’m not quite finished with it yet (confession: I’m a procrastinating reader), but I wanted to share a few of the many quotes I’ve highlighted that will serve as reminders to always remember my worth, hold myself to a higher regard and never compromise on the dreams and aspirations I have for my life because they are all valid.

Here are five inspirational gems from “Her Crown.”

1. “Strong and wise beyond measure, she knows to never give up. She trusts her heart, she understands her mind, she knows her own strength and she walks with her head held high.”

2. “Unfortunate situations that you find yourself in are only temporary. Remember that your crown doesn’t weigh you down it helps you to walk boldly.”

3. “You are your first priority and everyone and everything else outside of you is secondary.”

4. “Self-love is the best love and aids you with an outstanding opportunity that allows you to understand completely that you’re worthy of everything that you want, need and desire.”

5. “If you stay true to yourself, no matter how hard things can get, you’ll always be moving in the right direction.”

Do any of the quotes above stand out for you? Leave a comment below.

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Confessions of a New Brown Girl Blogger

I’m just shy of tScreen Shot 2014-12-30 at 7.17.26 PMwo months into blogging, but I have learned several lessons and can already tell I have much more to learn. While I didn’t decide to create a blog as a path to fame or fortune – but as an outlet and a way to connect with others who could relate to my personal experiences – I’ll admit my expectations may have been a bit outrageous at times.

Continue reading my guest post on Brown Girl Bloggers.

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What 2014 Has Taught Me

The last day of the year is here, but I don’t believe it to be a representation of things coming to a close. The days that follow when the clock strikes midnight won’t be a “fresh start” for me but a continuation of the work I’ve started of reveling in personal growth, positive vibes and self-love.

2014 knocked me down and picked me up more than a few times. It was a year of risks. I took a risk by launching a magazine – something I have always made a goal of mine but would let fear step in and disable me with the usual “what ifs” playlist on repeat. But enough is enough. I grew tired of the self-doubt.

2014I think being fed up with doubting myself and succumbing to fear also led me to step out of the comfort of living with roommates and venture out on my own. I was scared as hell for the first month but I wouldn’t trade the solitude and serenity, which can only be found by having your own place, for anything.

I also think my newfound penchant for taking risks allowed me to muster up the courage to create this blog. I sat on the idea for months and it never evolved past that stage until one day I decided to take action. It wasn’t enough for me to just write in my journal. I needed to create a space for myself to drown out the insecurities and dive headfirst into unearthing who I was, who I am and who I’m becoming.

Taking the time to reflect here on the many lessons I’ve learned – some of them brutal, all of them necessary – over the past 12 months will probably take what would feel like an eternity to outline, but there are a few things worth highlighting.

My four takeaways from 2014

1. Too much planning means too little action.

I’m notorious for over-planning and over-analyzing things to the point of talking myself out of trying something different or taking on a new challenge. But after I read Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz’s “Fail Fast, Fail Often” book earlier this year, I am forever changed, especially after reading this sentence:

“If you wait until you are free of anxiety and doubt, then you are going to spend a lot of time doing nothing.”

2. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t prepared, life is happening.

Throughout this year there have been times when I was ready to quit after being handed more than my fair share of bullshit. Being personally and professionally overwhelmed simultaneously is enough to make most want to cower in a corner and wait for the storm to pass. I don’t have the luxury of sitting idle. I’ve learned I have to roll with it because there are so many things I stress about that are simply out of my control and I need to conserve my energy for what truly matters. If I have to keep a bottle of Merlot on deck for the days when I’m hit hardest with emotional, mental and physical exhaustion, then so be it.

3. Heartbreak doesn’t discriminate.

It doesn’t matter how certain or secure you are of your romantic future, you can’t steer a relationship to success on your own. Reciprocity is key. You want someone who will give you the same unapologetic, unconditional and unmistakable love they’re expecting to receive. Until then, fall in love with YOU.

4. Finding your voice is essential to finding happiness.

I chose to stop walking on eggshells so much this year. My feelings, opinions and thoughts are valid and I needed to start living as if they are. Repressing the baggage wasn’t doing me any good and was bringing me to a breaking point. I had to learn to speak up for my sanity.

All of these lessons are coming with me to 2015; I’ll need them as I navigate another 12 months filled with new opportunities to make my mark on this world. Next year isn’t my chance to start over; next year represents my obligation to keep moving in the direction I’m destined to go: forward.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

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