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They Lied; I’m More Than Enough

I’ve been told that I’m not enough. 

My frame is too curvy. My hair is too kinky. My teeth should be straighter. My smile should be bigger.

My stomach should be flatter. My waist should be smaller nonexistent. My breasts should grow a cup size or two.

I should fit the mold for what society deems attractive, desirable and palatable.

I’ve been told that the way I already show up in the world is not enough.

Continue reading my guest post on No Lies Told Then.

Heal

You didn’t ask for it to end, but it’s over.

The plans, hopes, daydreams — the lifelines to them have all been cut. The anticipation of one day stepping together into greatness has been gutted. The safe bet, the sure thing you had with him is no more.

Sit in that reality for a while.

Allow the news to blind side you. Let yourself be combative and refuse to accept the loaded yet empty manner in which he chose to walk away. Permit the years of beautiful and bad memories to resurface from the vault.

Cry your eyes out. Drown your sorrows in whiskey and wine. But keep it together just enough to get through each workweek.

Write those petty and pain-filled journal entries when the anger is too much to contain. Recount how much you’ve invested — emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually — into this thing. Let it fuel you to later be extra careful about who and what you give your energy to.

Hope that one day he’ll realize he screwed up and find his way back to you. Pray that you’re tough enough to dismiss him and repay the hurt.

Ask God to heal your aching heart. Beg Him to help you get over this guy.

And then, just as life does, you move the fuck on.

Shed fewer tears as time passes. Dwell on what used to be a little less frequently. Love on every ounce of the melanated beauty that you are. Focus on being authentically and unapologetically you.

Chin up, Baby Girl.

WYAO April 2016This post is part of the Twenties Unscripted 10-day writing challenge, Write Your Ass Off April. Find other posts from the challenge by searching for the hashtag #WYAOApril. 

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Ascend

“You’ve reached your destination.”

I had arrived and set up shop at a plateau for what felt like an eternity. I was stuck.

I lost faith. I stopped believing that another wave of forward movement would find its way to me. Circumstances outside of my control affected my day-to-day more than usual. My creativity suffered personally and professionally. The lack of inspiration lingered much longer than anticipated.

Nothing comes close to the sense of defeat that hovers over you when you’re stagnant.

I eventually uncovered the truth about my relationship with this plateau. I had allowed myself to accept complacency and it in turn overstayed its welcome. My spirit was screaming at me to stop permitting my life to play on a loop.

I ignored the screams for a while but they had become so overwhelming that I was forced to finally listen.

I had two options: Either leap, or lose. I chose the former.

No more settling for what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. No more being afraid of the unknown and compromising my happiness as a consequence of that fear.

It was time to abandon my stint on the plain that had inadvertently become my home. It was time to ascend.

Onward and upward.

WYAO April 2016This post is part of the Twenties Unscripted 10-day writing challenge, Write Your Ass Off April. Find other posts from the challenge by searching for the hashtag #WYAOApril. 

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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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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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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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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!
-Crissi

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Looking Ahead to 2015

I’m participating in my first link up ever (yay!), which is hosted by the lovely Alisha, of The Alisha Nicole. Time to set my sights on 2015 and speak greatness into existence!

2015One of the things on my to-do list for this week was to write out my blogging goals. I think it’s important that I have some direction for Crissi Untangled and the things I would like to accomplish with this platform.

But it’s also necessary for me to consider the personal goals I’ll be working on in the new year. I plan to hit the ground running in 2015 and continue my evolution as a young woman, but there are some tangible things I need to tackle in order to keep moving forward on my journey.

My blogging goals for 2015

  1. Improve my social media presence.
    I’m totally content with Twitter; I think it’s the easiest and most user-friendly of the social networks. However, I should branch out and create other accounts to promote the blog. I have my eyes on Instagram, Pinterest and (possibly) Facebook.
  2. Create a working editorial calendar.
    Planning ahead is probably the one surefire way that I can sidestep procrastination. My goal is to be more forward thinking with my blog posts and not just write something when the mood strikes.
  3. Start a weekly and/or monthly series.
    I’m still in the beginning stages of this and will be fleshing it out in the coming weeks, but I’m eager to see where my creativity takes me.

My personal goals for 2015

  1. Eat healthier.
    Not that I eat junk all day everyday, but I could stand to cut back on a few things and substitute some of the other items with cleaner options. I have a carb problem!
  2. Maintain a workout regimen.
    This is so challenging for me. It happens over and over: I’ll start a workout routine and then lose motivation after a few weeks. I also struggle with consistency. That changes in 2015, no excuses!
  3. Read more.
    My book collection is getting out of hand. I need to stop buying books and start reading the ones I already have, and reading them faster. I get lazy with books sometimes.
  4. Practice positive thinking.
    Negative Nancy can’t come with me to 2015. This will take some work, but I have to take better control of my thoughts and let positivity in. I have to stop focusing on the bad things that could happen in any given situation and concentrate on the good. This will tremendously improve my mood.

What is your vision for 2015? Head over to The Alisha Nicole and participate in this awesome link up!

The Alisha Nicole

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Goals for the Week of Dec. 15

Happy Monday, y’all! I can’t believe Christmas is just 10 days away; this year flew right on by.

I’m working on ending the year on a productive note so that when 2015 rolls around I can stay motivated and keep the momentum going.

With that said, here are my goals for this week:

1. Publish two more blog posts.

DeskI know, I know. This was one of my goals a few weeks ago and should actually be a weekly goal. I’m still working on making this happen, which honestly involves me managing my time better. I get lazy in the evenings after working all day! Instead of defaulting to Netflix binge watching when I’m not feeling creative and struggling to come up with anything I think is worth writing about, let alone worth reading, I should be using that time to write until I feel confident in what I have to say. I’m always reading tips on blogging but if you’re reading this and have any pointers, you’re more than welcome to leave a comment below.

2. Write down my 2015 blogging goals.

As I’ve mentioned before, I really would love to see Crissi Untangled blossom into something great. I think the first step of seeing this come to fruition is setting up some goals, of which the main one is ramping up the blog’s social presence and extending its reach. I also want to start a recurring series or two, feature other writers and maybe even begin reviewing natural hair products. So many ideas are always running through my mind and leaving, so it’s best if I capture them when they show up. Maybe I should consider creating a vision board.

3. Begin reading “Bad Feminist: Essays.”

I bought Roxane Gay’s “Bad Feminist: Essays” a few weeks ago and I have yet to turn the first page. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it and now it’s time for me to crack it open. There will probably be tons of things for me to take away from the book before I even finish it, so expect a “Bad Feminist” related blog post soon! I also have “An Untamed State,” which is Gay’s debut novel, but I’m saving it for later.

What are you up to this week?

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