Life...it's one of those things that you love so much but are also afraid of because at any given moment you can feel as if you've lost all control of it. A day just might come when you look up and realize that you've put in so much work and stayed consistent for so long only to see that you are in the same exact place...and it's a scary thought. So you begin to stress...
You start over thinking all occurrences and playing out every possible scenario in hopes that you are preparing yourself for success and avoiding any possible failure. While you may have convinced yourself that you're doing what's right by over analyzing...you are actually causing much more harm than good. I know first hand because I've been there before....I am there right now.
When things don't go the way we plan, we second guess EVERY. SINGLE. THING. Things that we were so certain about once before, all of a sudden become blurry and you look for ways to try to "enhance" whatever aspect it is. Lately for me it's been my career and my love life (go figure lol)...and of course I'll go into detail for you all...because I loves ya! So....
CAREER WOES AND TRIUMPHS
If you know me, then you know that it is my dream to become a broadcast journalist. I think I've mentioned it on here before. I would love to work for E News or something like that...ya know, interview the celebs, frequent the red carpet...yep, that's what I've always seen myself doing...in my mind. But when I open my eyes, my reality is no where near close to the vision that I've been having since a teenager. Even though I've accomplished things and have gotten close to my dream before, nothing has truly come into fruition for me. I was actually on national tv for one day of my life and I swear it was THE MOST FULFILLING EXPERIENCE.
I remember feeling like everything all made sense..."THIS is what I'm here for, I have arrived". I was doing what I love and the entire nation got to witness it. But that was almost 2 years ago now and I'll admit that what used to make sense to me, all of a sudden lacked all clarity. So, to try to become clear on my life and aspirations once again...I began to question myself and I decided that I would chase money instead of passion...because it's much easier to attain a check than genuine happiness. For a second, I gave up. I've worked all kinds of jobs and have definitely made money (not a whole lot though lol) and I can honestly say that, still, I was lost. My sense of accomplishment ONLY came every other Friday....every two weeks I'm reminded as to why I'm slaving daily...and I've made myself think that it's okay. And it's NOT! So I had to pray...I asked God to lead and guide me and show me what it really is that I'm put here to do.
To make a long story short...God made it clear to me that I am a story teller. My sense of purpose is at its strongest when I am communicating with someone and something good comes of it. There is a tingle that I get in my body when I'm doing what I truly love. Now, being a broadcaster would allow me to tell stories on a much grander scale (and God's plans are always grand)...but thankfully I don't have to wait until then. God spoke and said tell your story and use what you already have to do it. So here I am..and what do you know, I feel as if I'm moving again. No amount of money can compare to the feeling I get when I get confirmation that me simply being open and sharing helped someone. That's purpose. That's what it's like to feel like you're going places even though your surroundings say otherwise.
You have to look at your dream from another perspective....but don't give up on it!! I REPEAT DO NOT GIVE UP ON IT!! If I waited on ONLY being on television then I would be poor...financially and in spirit. Recently I heard life coach and author, Tony Gaskins speak and he said something that spoke to my spirit...."You have to learn to balance the dream and the job." Of course we all want to be able to sustain ourselves and we must work to live....but until your dream BECOMES your job you have to make time for both. Otherwise...you'll be stuck..and all you'll have to show for your life is check stubs and receipts. He said if you do what you're passionate about, the money WILL come so you shouldn't worry...so I'm not going to worry anymore and YOU SHOULDN'T EITHER. Whatever your dream is, whatever it is that you see that others can't....go ahead and start working towards it.
My downfall was that I was looking at the finish line and not considering how I could run the race...but God has his way of keeping you still so that you can look at life through the spirit instead of your carnal eyes. It was then and only then that I was able to see that the seed God planted in me to want to be on television is by no mistake. You see, he'll sow things in you and it's up to you to learn how to properly cultivate it. There may be times when you venture away from it, there'll be times when you feel you're out of your league....but you have to realize it's YOUR DREAM FOR A REASON. Try not to over analyze it or beat yourself up for not being where you think you should be....the truth is you're right where you're supposed to be. And if anyone asks you what it is that you do for a living...say with ALL the pride that you are a Gardener...because you're in the process of growing something amazing.
I hope this has helped someone who feels inadequate because of your career situation....just change your outlook and know that salary or status is not a direct reflection of the passion within you. Get back to what you love and what you love will eventually become what you live.
(Be on the look out for part 2 when I discuss relationships...or lack there of)
If you've ever summed up a relationship with someone as "having an understanding" then nine times out of ten, you my friend, have been caught up in a "Situationship". I know most of us are very familiar with this term, but for those who aren't, let me define it for you:
Situationship (noun): romantic involvement between two people which include, but not limited to, frequent dating, house visits, (possible) parent meeting, (possible) friend sharing, sex...lots of sex, and the catching of feelings by at least one person. However, there are absolutely NO titles established in this union. No rules, no regulations, no responsibility, NO BOUNDARIES!
*NOTE*: In a situationship, you will never ever be posted on each other's social media...ever.
So now that we've gotten that out of the way, I'll go ahead and school you on the dangers of being in a "situationship" and how to avoid it. Now, please remember that those types of relationships are never one sided. There's always the one that wants to have an establishment and the one who wants to avoid it at all costs and both end up feeling bad in the end...for the most part at least. And how do I know? Well chile, it's because I've been on BOTH sides of that fence...and it's no fun when it's all said and done.....
All Right, for the "hopeful, one day soon he or she will be mine" person:
The first time I fell in love, I was 100% in a situationship. I was 16, completely naive, and my nose was wide open. He could have tried to sell me air and I would have paid the strength for it. We talked on the phone every night, talked at school every day, you know back then this was enough to give your heart away so I did! I loved him! I was sure of it...and all I wanted was for him to be mine. But I'll never forget when I brought it up, he said to me that he didn't want to rush into a relationship with anyone. FIRST WARNING SIGN. I was disappointed but I was so head over heels that I was willing to accept whatever he gave me. I ended up giving A LOT of myself to him...y'all catch the subliminal message? Lol and needless to say he ended up breaking my poor little heart and it took me a while to bounce back.
Now, I know that I was very young when I experienced this, but the lesson has stuck with me throughout my life. If you happen to be the hopeless romantic like I was, here's what you should do:
1. BE VOCAL when the time is right. Now don't be weird with it and too aggressive, just simply state that you feel that at this point, there should be something established.
2. DO NOT SETTLE for anything less than what you want. If they say that they don't want to rush and you feel that there has been more than enough time invested, then you simply part ways. What you want should always come first. If you begin to put the desires of others in front of your own, you'll always find yourself on the back burner...only to realize that you did that to yourself.
3. BE CONFIDENT in your decision. I'm sure you like that person, maybe even love that person. But if he or she doesn't want to be exclusive with you, then obviously the feeling isn't reciprocated. Who wants to be in that type of relationship anyways? Know that you did the right thing.
4. BE CONTENT with the state that you are in after the fact. You are going to feel hurt and disappointed...but by no means should you feel discouraged. Eventually, the right one will come along! Unfortunately that's just how the game works...no one is obligated to feel a certain way about you just because you feel that way about them. It sounds harsh...but it actually helps to remember that when you are trying to forgive that person.
Okay, now let's get into the "we're just having fun, they know what it is, right?" person:
After my last relationship, 2 years ago, I decided that I would stay away from serious relationships. I said to myself, I'm going to chill, have fun, and just enjoy being single. I ended up meeting a guy about a year later, and we did EVERYTHING together. I mean I was really having a blast. I was over his house a lot, kicked it with the fam, played with the dogs, frequently went out on dates...and I kept saying to myself that we were just having fun. To anyone that asked we "had an understanding" and I really had no intention of becoming exclusive with this guy. Before you all chastise me, know that the entire time I had a sense of guilt because I knew he wanted much more than I was willing to give. And rightfully so. He had invested a lot of himself into me and for about 9 months I allowed him to do so knowing full well that it was going nowhere. Eventually, I couldn't live with myself so I ended the whole affair. I knew it would hurt his feelings, but it was killing me to fathom carrying on as if I felt the same. I thought back on where I was at 16 and had to break the news. Now let me say this, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be free and truly enjoy the single life, IT'S GOOD FOR YOU. But you have to be mindful of how you conduct your flings. So here are some tips for you thrill-seeking heartbreakers:
1. CHOOSE WISELY when looking for someone to have fun with. If you have the feeling that that person may catch feelings when you don't want them to, then roll with that feeling and save that person the trouble. Ask them questions to see where they stand as far as relationships go and make your decision based on that.
2. PACE YOURSELF when hanging out with someone. You have to be mindful not to spend TOO much time with them. Because while you may never say that you want to be in a relationship, your actions would suggest otherwise.
3. PAY ATTENTION to your "fun friend". If they start throwing hints at wanting more or becoming a little more clingy than usual, then you need to know that it's time for you to pull away. It's cold-blooded for sure, but you gotta do what ya gotta do!
4. BE HONEST out of the gate. Let that person know that you have no plans of becoming serious, that way you give them a fair chance to decide whether or not they want to kick it with you.
5. STAY TRUE to what you want. If you decided that you will stay relationship free, then do that and let your actions show it! Basically, prepare yourself for a dry phone, the feeling of loneliness sometimes, and the boredom attacks. Those are the reasons many of us "wild and free" folk get into situationships. We blame it all on boredom and wanting something or someone to do (lol)...but that should have been expected so its NO LONGER AN EXCUSE.
Even with all of this exclusive advice (lol), the truth is that you just might find yourself in a "situationship" with someone at some point in your life. If it does happen, DO NOT let it linger. You will only end up hurting yourself or someone else. People forget that, even while just dating casually, you still have to consider the feelings of others AND yourself! I know in both of my experiences they all ended with me looking in the mirror, shaking my head, and whispering to myself that "I ain't S**T" because I should have known better. Ya'll know the feeling!! But anywho, you live, you learn, and you grow.
So...if you've perused T.S.W. you probably noticed the blog I posted about my Invisalign treatment. I just wanted to make sure that I updated you all and possibly be of help to anyone who's interested in taking the Invisalign route to the perfect smile.
Let me not waste anymore time.
The picture above shows the gradual progression of my teeth thus far. The first picture was taken before I started treatment, the second picture was taken during the time I was wearing my 2nd tray, and the last picture was taken yesterday and I'm currently on my 5th tray!
As you can see, there have been improvements when it comes to the alignment of my teeth and I am EXCITED about it! Everybody thought I was ridiculous for wanting to straighten my teeth, but as you can see, it wasn't a bad investment.
So let's briefly get into maintenance....
Every morning, I take my trays out and soak them in the 3-minute polident. This gets them clean and gets rid of that ridiculous "spit smell". You know the smell chile. Anyways, while they're soaking, I brush my teeth and make sure that I floss! I don't want any food getting trapped in my teeth, especially with the trays covering them. Once I'm done, I rinse my trays and pop them back in!
Throughout the day, I take the trays out whenever I eat as instructed. Depending on the meal, I will make sure I floss afterwards before I put my trays back in. When it comes to beverages, I'll drink with them in depending on the staining factor of what I'm drinking. I usually drink water or Gatorade so it's fine to keep them in. However, tea, coffee, or certain juices I would opt to take them out.
At night, I rinse my trays with water, brush my teeth, pop them back in, and do it all over again. It's nowhere near as cumbersome as it might seem.
All in all, I can honestly say I'm loving my experience with Invisalign. I have 5 more trays to go so I'm halfway there! Once I'm done with treatment, I will then undergo a procedure to remove some of the excess gum tissue so that my teeth can all appear to be the same size. I'm nervous about that...but hey...it'll be worth it in the end. If you all have any questions about treatment OR if you're in the Memphis area and want to consult with my orthodontist feel free to let me know! He's awesome!!
Catch y'all later!
"For real, I'm gonna get fine this year."
"I promise I'm going to the gym...I gotta get these thighs and butt right."
"I promise I'm gonna start working on my summer body as SOON as the new year rolls in..."
If you utter those words every year, then you sound A LOT like me. Every January, I vocalize my big booty hopes and thick thigh dreams, only to not do anything about it. If I DO hit the gym, I'm not consistent enough. I'll probably go for 2-months consecutively and after that, well...I'm waiting on a new year so I can do it all over.
THAT HAD TO STOP
I'm sure I've mentioned it on here before, but I declared this the year that I invest heavily into myself. From time, to thought, and of course money, I'm shelling it all out because I want to be great in EVERY aspect...this BOD is NO exception.
Now for me, it's not motivating to post pictures of Teyana Taylor as my screen saver and have the Rocky theme song as my alarm tone, I mean that's nice and all but uh...NO. Unfortunately my will power to work out can diminish just as quickly as I say one of the aforementioned statements. But if nothing else will motivate me, I know ONE thing that will....and THAT is my hard earned cheddar. My dough. My guala...and whatever else the cool rappers like to call currency. Now I know you're thinking, "what do you mean? You're not stripping and calling that exercise, are you?"...don't worry, I'm not! It simply means that I had to dish out the bucks for a more expensive training program. Not a measly 10 dollars a month like Planet Fitness or even 20 dollars a month like some other places...I'm talking triple digits.
Currently, I am enrolled in a fitness training group and the cost is $200 a month! To some, that may not sound like a lot (and hello there, you baller you!) but to others, it may sound like an astronomical amount to pay for fitness. However, if you ask me...it's 100% worth it! Not only are the workouts effective, but when that 200 comes out of my account, it's the best motivation to get up and make it count! I'm not going to miss any class, if I can help it. Absolutely NO EXCUSE will get in the way of me working out....because my account tells me to get my butt up and be there. Now, if Jesus came down and said, "My child, don't goeth today, taketh heed" then okay...but otherwise I am PRESENT!
I've been going for almost a month now and I can already see results! I'm not trying to lose weight or anything...if you know me you know the goal is to have the ideal "twerker's body"...but that's besides the point. Speaking of "the point", let me cut straight to it....
I'm no millionaire...but I do have the means to support my lifestyle. I don't have many bills and I'm currently staying with my mom and dad, so I'm in a position to make positive moves with my money without having to take the extremely cheap route. Do not cheat yourself if you don't have to! You have to do what works for you. Besides, a lot of you buy gym memberships and go have the ultimate selfie photo session. OR you go with intentions of doing the right thing, but have no clue what to as to what you should be doing, all in there like "Hmmm...now what is this machine for?" Call me crazy, but there are different strokes for different folks. Some women save their money to buy designer bags and shoes...I'd rather spend mine on my health and fitness. It's as simple as that!
Let go of any excuse you have and get out there and DO IT! If you're self-motivated, then grind it out...if you're not, pay someone handsomely to help you grind it out! You deserve the best...so why not treat yourself to a BOMB BODY if you can?
Be Well Ladies
Hello class! If you would, please, have a seat pull out your pen, paper, and your black book with all of your solid potentials. Today, we're going to discuss dating...the modern way!
If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably saw me post about an article entitled "18 Ugly Truths About Modern Dating" by Christopher Hudspeth. The title is self explanatory, but to sum it up for you, he touched on the things that you really don't have time for while dating, but should anticipate anyway because our society is so messed up. Pretty much. (You all should check it out! http://thoughtcatalog.com/christopher-hudspeth/2014/04/18-ugly-truths-about-modern-dating-that-you-have-to-deal-with/#wEdjTot252llguM7.01 )
That particular article inspired this post because it was all so true! However, it doesn't have to be for everyone! There are ways to possibly avoid all the unnecessary while dating and I am here to school you! Oh and don't worry, you can thank me later.
The very first ugly truth Hudspeth listed read, "The person who cares less has all the power. Nobody wants to be the one who's more interested." I can attest to that because I have played that game to the DEATH before! You know, you meet a guy and you really feel him...but you REFUSE to show it. I mean you bite your nails to keep from dialing his number. You wait like 30 minutes before you reply to a text because you want to look busy...when really all you're doing is watching the clock before you text back. You even turn down a date once or twice because you don't want to seem too available. All the while you're hoping and praying that he likes you as much as you like him...it's possibly the most absurd phenomenon in the history of the world.
How and why would you expect someone to like you if you're not doing anything to suggest that you feel the same?! As I've gotten older, I've decided to make it a point to let a guy know if I'm feeling him or not. MEN NEED REASSURANCE LADIES, more than we do if you ask me. If he approaches you, then that should send a signal to your brain that he is interested in you. Now, exactly WHAT he's interested in, you won't know yet, but that's why you have to be clear with your intentions. It's perfectly fine to show someone that you are interested...just as long as you're not being creepy (I gots no love for the creepers). Now, I hate to reference the booty warrior but the man is profound..."I likes ya and I wants ya." That is a quote that I live by. Of course, I don't repeat that phrase verbatim, but in a super charming, sexy way *wink*, I will tell a man that I am, in fact, interested. Now when I say "tell", don't think I'm out here giving speeches to guys...I just simply communicate that with my actions. I'm going to text back promptly and agree to go on a couple dates, some of them can even be sporadic...because I want it to be obvious that I'm willing to make TIME for him. If I give you my time, I give you my attention....now what are you gonna do with it? Moving on...
I feel as if the first ties directly in with the 9th ugly truth which is "Some poeple just want to hookup and if you're seeking more than sex, they won't tell you that they're the wrong person for you. At least not until after they score your prize. While human decency is ideal, honesty isn't mandatory." I stated before how important it is to be honest in the beginning. Your truth should not vary depending on your desires of a person. If you want to pursuit a courtship, show it and let it be known! And if you just want some booty, well, by all means ANNOUNCE IT! There's no point in beating around the bush (no pun intended...well not that much :-) It doesn't make you a bad person to only be interested in a physical relationship...it's like that sometimes. However, your character becomes questionable when you lie about it. Like seriously, don't tell someone you want to be with them and make time for them but you "just have a lot going on", but yet all of your troubles seem to disappear when you're about to get some! What happened to your weary mind then?! You can't take them on a date, but you can drive for miles all in the name of a booty quest?? Something just doesn't add up! Don't be that person...just politely call them up and say "Hey, I think your mind is pretty cool, but your body is far more enticing, may I tap that...please?"....HA! I'm kidding...definitely don't say that. However, be clear that you aren't looking for anything serious. And for the people who encounter the ones who aren't so truthful...just beware of the signs. People will be misleading, it's a fact, but you are responsible for knowing whether or not you should put out. You can't play the victim always. You've been coming to his house for months and haven't even met the dog....girl....
The last ugly truth I'm going to discuss is probably the most factual and hideous one of all "You aren't likely to see much of someone's genuine, unfiltered self until you're in an actual relationship with him or her. Generally people are scared that sincerely putting themselves out there will result in finding out that they're too safe, too boring, not funny enough, not pretty enough, not some other person enough to be embraced." Do you know how many times I've been on a date and said a curse word and acted like it slipped?? "Oh, I'm sorry excuse my French..." my French?? FAKE! I curse...in English, and while it's not the most lady like thing in the world, it's something that I have mastered and enjoy (lol). YES, DAMNIT I USE PROFANITY! (Hey, It's better than posting twerk videos or stripping *shrug*). I've just decided that I won't hold back on a date because I'm afraid that he'll think I belong on a VH1 realtiy show. He needs to see that side of me so he can make a fair decision. Now, I've not met anyone who has admitted to being turned off by a woman that uses profane language, but there may be some out there and you don't want to give him any surprises. That goes with EVERYTHING! Be who you are 100%, raw and uncut from DAY ONE! You don't want to give any false impressions of who you are as a person. Because all you'll be doing is having someone fall for a lie. Think about it, if you were being yourself, uninhibited, then you could better determine who likes you, FOR YOU! It makes no sense to talk to someone for months, catch feelings, and THEN you see who they really are. At that point you realize you hate them, you cheat on them, but you're stuck because you've invested too much already. It's the most notorious waste of time. Just be honest about where you are in life, your real goals, your real take on relationships,education, religion and everything else that contributes to who you are. Tell a joke or admit that you're not funny if that's the case! IT. IS. OKAY. You have to be confident in yourself and know that SOMEONE is going to like it, love it, and want it forever. And if you happen to be having chicken wings with a delicious sauce for dinner while on a date, go ahead and lick your fingers mid convo! You know it's better that way! And when he asks can you cook, you tell him "I do what I can..." unless of course you can really cook....then you just continue to be great girlfriend!
Be sure to click the link to check out the article and let me know what you think about it! In fact, tell me about some personal experiences you've had with an ugly truth! Remember, be clear, be honest, BE YOU!
Are you having problems with acne? Do you feel like your face is being petty for having the nerve to break out? Are you looking for a quick fix to those unsightly pimples? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then I have just the thing for you!
How did you like that intro? I should SO be in commercials...but I digress.
I have struggled with acne since the age of 15; it has gotten a lot better since I've gotten older, but depending on the time of the month or if something changes in my routine, I can experience some pretty intense breakouts.
After trying different acne washes, masks and everything else under the sun, I decided to try a more natural alternative. Lo and behold, I found just the trick! Tea Tree Oil and all natural Witch Hazel astringent.
So, this is my skin just this past Monday. As you can see I have pimples all over my jaw and chin area, they were raised and very red at this point. LAWD this definitely takes me back to the 10th grade, my skin REFUSES to act its age....but I digress.
My remedy for this is simple: 1. After I wash my face with a basic cleanser (not for acne), cleanse it further with the Witch Hazel (on a cotton ball)
2. Apply tea tree oil directly to the pimples (with fingertips or a q-tip)
3. Apply shea butter for moisture (this is optional but the shea butter helps my skin to stay soft)
After just one night I always see instant results! It's almost like a miracle...the dream team for acne fighting, if you will.
So here I am today! Three days later and it has started to clear up nicely! The redness has gone away, they are much smaller, and if I choose to put on make-up, it will cover it up smoothly! Now, if you pay close attention a couple new pimples popped up because of my monthly visitor; for whatever reason she doesn't want me to be great, but it's cool though...she won't be welcomed in about 40 more years anyway.
Let's get into why tea tree oil is ideal for acne, shall we? According to wikihow.com,
"Tea tree oil can be applied directly to pimples for an effective and natural acne treatment. It contains natural antibacterial properties which make it an excellent alternative to harsh synthetic chemicals. Just a small amount of oil will penetrate the skin to unblock the sebaceous glands, disinfect pores and dry out whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and other blemishes."
But what about the witch hazel A.C??..... I was just getting to that girl!
Witch hazel in its pure form, is a natural anti-irritant, cleanser and refresher, has anti-inflammatory characteristics, and it leaves the skin moisturized instead of drying it out! The best part about both of them is that they are INEXPENSIVE!
I got the oil from Whole Foods for about 7 dollars and the Witch Hazel you can find at any drug store for about 3 dollars or less!
If you are experiencing problems with your skin do yourself a favor and try these items out! Also, if you have another all natural treatment you want to suggest, let me know!
We all want to feel beautiful in the skin we're in! If yours is childish like mine, let's train it up in the way it should go...y'all know it takes a village!
Collectively we are some of the most powerful beings that I know of. The obstacles that we overcome are nothing short of something you've seen in a Transformers movie; shoot, I've most certainly had to Optimus Prime my way through a storm. Being able to adapt to to whatever circumstance with style and grace has been a trait that the Black woman is notorious for. We are trained soldiers in this battlefield called life...God's secret weapons if you ask me. We are fighters and rightfully so, but there is a bittersweet factor that has developed because of that mentality.....we do not know how to be sisters to one another.
I find it crazy that many of us share similar stories but are so judgmental of the next woman. For whatever reason, the Black woman does not want another of her same kind to be GREAT. I'm not sure how we can end that...but the time is now.
In my 24 years on this earth, I have experienced first hand how detrimental our behavior is to our livelihood. We fight so much that we forget to show love to one another...we have managed to drown ourselves in an ocean of hate and envy. We are all battling for air, for light...but I guess if we're all on the same level of disparity, then everybody's happy....right?
Black women are hesitant to compliment the next sister not because she's undeserving, but because they don't want to "boost her head up" or they don't want to "look like that girl". JUST WHO IS THAT GIRL? To me she seems like a woman who appreciates another sister for being above average, because she knows that exemplary women are few and far in between. To me, she seems like a woman who is confident within herself and knows that a confidence booster, no matter how it's received, is a valuable thing to give. Who wouldn't want to be "that girl"?
We have gotten so caught up in this competitive mentality that we try to set ourselves apart from everything. Whether it's good, bad, or indifferent the story is always "Yeah, she did that...but I did it better." I have heard women BASH another woman for keeping her baby for the third time and brag on how they got an abortion the time they got pregnant. It's like okay, I guess you didn't have premarital sex when it happened to you either?? GET OUT OF HERE! If anything that is a time to be supportive. It's a time to encourage and commend someone for having the strength to do something you were fearful to do. But we're content with allowing her to feel the shame and guilt all alone, because "she obviously makes bad choices."
And please don't be attractive and have a promising future. There are women that are waiting for the opportunity to tear you down. It's like they're saying "How dare the Lord bless her with good looks and a beautiful mind, there has got to be something wrong." There are some women that HATE to see a woman be a reflection of something they don't see when they look in the mirror. In a world where twerking and showing everything but your inner labia is common, you would think that we all rejoice when we see a woman actually WORTH VIEWING. But nope. They can't be humble and admit that they admire someone, they can't thank the sister for being an inspiration. Oh no, honey. Instead, they're trying to find their way into her closet to get every last bone and speck of dust out for the world to see. Does it physically hurt to celebrate someone? Do you gag at the thought of showing up to a party that may not always be for you?
From my personal experiences, I have learned the importance of being there for a sister because there were some that were there for me. There were women and girls in my life who thought highly of me and expressed it and it's because of people like them that I have confidence. It's because of women like them that I, too, can show love to another woman. Not because we're besties or related...but because she's African American, like me. It's because I can probably assume without talking to her that she's had some struggles. She's probably experienced family issues, funds being low, and being disrespected. She's probably dealt with bodily issues, pain, heartbreak, and betrayal. She's probably gotten way outside of her character once or twice in her life...but she'll never have to confess to either because I can relate; the color of our skin alone speaks volumes.
If we chose to uplift instead of tearing down, we could be invincible. Just like when the Power Rangers joined forces, the enemy knew that defeat was fast approaching. Try this for an exercise: the next time you see a sister or even a picture that you are in awe of....give a compliment. You never know when a sister could really use some kind words. You know first hand what it feels like to hide behind a smile when you wanted to cry. You have to assume that there is another woman out there going through the same thing. We are front line soldiers....but the war shouldn't be with one another. We are killing each other everyday mentally and spiritually...but it's time that we speak life into one another. Let's reclaim our worth. It starts within us. BE A SISTER.
You can get it partial, or full... long or short. Malaysian or Brazilian. It's highly possible that you could get it from any overseas country you could think of. Either way, it has you feeling like a brand new woman at the end of the day. What am I talking about, you ask?....You guessed it! The glorious sew in.
A lot of us opt to get extensions either to give our hair a break as a protective style, to switch up our look, or because we're simply not happy with the hair God gave us. No shade.
Whatever your reason may be, I must warn you that you have to be mindful of the stress that sew in extensions can cause on your hair and scalp.
I hear many women say, they want the braids to be flat and the tracks to be sewn in tightly so that they can get the maximum life out of that style. They want to be able to swang and bang with the best of them for at LEAST 2 months, and I get it. Just don't be surprised if you find that you are missing a couple strands of your real hair by the end of it all.
Those who know me personally may be wondering why I'm writing such a blog. I usually rock my own hair in all of its frotastic glory, but there have been times when I felt like painting with all the colors of the wind. "Let me get 3 bundles of your finest Pocahontas Virgin Indian Body Wave please..."
I've probably had about 5 sew ins total, and none gave me any issue except for the last one. The last one...changed my life forever.
It was around the time fall transitioned into winter when I decided I wanted another sew in (I always put my hair in a protective style around that time to shield it from the dry, cold air). Now, I usually left a little hair out in the front, but this time I wanted a full sew in. I was going for the whole 9; it had to be flawless and I knew just the person to do it.
I went to her on a Friday. I had my bundles in hand and my iPhone charger close by so that I could grace Insta with my new do upon completion. My hair was already shampooed and blow dried so that all she had to do was braid me down and sew me up. Easy peezy.
Now, I always anticipate a little discomfort when I'm getting sew-in extensions...but the pain I felt this day was UNUSUALLY UNBEARABLE. My head was pounding as if there was a ratchet convention being held on my scalp. I mean think of thousands of people twerking, bucking, and Nae Nae'ing all across your head. Yes...I shed real tears.
I asked her more than once whether or not the pain was normal and she assured me that it was. I took her word because she was highly referred and I've never seen her do bad work. Also, I had never done a full sew in so I assumed the intensity was heightened because I wasn't used to it. I was wrong.
Let me say this, my hair was FLAWLESS by the end of it.
Wasn't it gorgeous?! She really did not let me down, it was natural looking, the cut was perfect....however....behind that smile I was seriously writhing in pain. I know you all may be used to my over exaggerated wording by now, but I promise...I could barely stand while taking that photo. It was THAT bad.
I kept thinking to myself, "The stylist told me the pain would subside over night, you can make it through the night...just press through." I had to have a sweet hour of prayer with the Lord, I fasted AND had communion just to go to sleep!
Needless to say, when I woke up, the pain had not gone away. In fact, my lymph node had swollen up in my neck and I was having chills. There was also a stinging pain coming from the top of my head where the closure piece was. It felt as if my strands of hair were being pulled out one by one. I know it sounds unbelievable, but I wouldn't dare make this up. I was miserable.
I went on like this through the weekend... Friday through Sunday. Three days of the sexiest agony that anyone could ever witness. Despite my scalp torture, I was still EXTRA cute with my hair.
That all ended promptly at Midnight (Sunday night or Monday morning...however you want to call it). I was lying in bed restless because I couldn't sleep due to the pain, so I decided that I was going to take it out of my head. That's right, about 500 dollars gone down the drain. I was fine with my decision because I knew that if I didn't, I would have a more ridiculous struggle with my real hair...and ain't enough time on the clock for that.
It felt like Easter Sunday when I finished taking that hair out. My scalp and I suffered on Friday but on the third day WE ROSE and GLORY TO GOD I was free! However, I did find sores and pus at the top of my head. That's where the stinging pain came from. I was sad because I knew that I had suffered some damage, but I didn't know to what extent.
I ended up calling the stylist and informed her of what happened. She was very professional and apologetic and assured me that she had never had that happen to a client. I believed her. No one ever had anything bad to say about her or her work and I was pleased with the style myself. I just should have opted not to go through with the sew in because, for whatever reason, it was just way too much for me. She worked with me though and we settled on an agreement that left both of us satisfied so that was a blessing.
I hate having regrets, but I really wish I would have stopped while I was ahead. Here I am now:
After just three days of continuous tension, that sew in managed to take out a whole patch of hair. It's just now becoming long enough for me to grab it. Of course it was absent when I first took the extensions out, but it's growing so that's all I can ask for at this point.
Ladies, listen to me you SHOULD NOT force yourself to tolerate discomfort when it comes to your hair. If it's too tight, take it out of there. I hate to say it, but that's why a lot of y'alls edges are on vacation. I saw some of y'alls edges on cruises, first class on planes, All Star weekend....honey everywhere but on your heads!
Being too tight isn't always the issue, if you get sew in extensions too often that can cause the same type of effect on your hair. Your roots are only meant to support so much. If you are consistently having them pulled on, please believe that over time you will notice thinning of your hair.
I love you India, but I just MIGHT be my hair a little bit. I want it to look good and most importantly I want to have some of my own! I know this is the case for many women out there. So ladies, don't sacrifice your natural for the perks of the superficial. It's really not worth it.
We all want him. The guy that sends you flowers just because. He tells you the pic he begged you to send is beautiful when you know good and well you could have done better. He's smart. He has a sense of humor. AND he has a good job. HE IS EVERYTHING.
Well let me tell you, I met him...and he was THE WORST. I mean Jhene' Aiko worst.
I know you're probably thinking how in the heck could that be?! To be honest, I am too...but I'm going to attempt to make a long story very short...here we go:
So I met this guy a couple months back. The thing that attracted me to him most was his approach. I tend to honor the men who know how to come correct to a sista, after all that in itself is hard to come by. He told me that he admired me and thought that I was "perfect" AND that if he EVER got the opportunity to get to know me, he would seize it. I was immediately intrigued. He had ya girl feeling like a million bucks and some change! He was good looking as well, so I appropriately responded with the best game I could think of and my number so he knew it was real...oh and an emoji *wink*
He called me, we chatted. The conversation had that Mississippi flow. I was feeling him! I wasn't head over heels or anything, but it was enough to determine that I could go forward with conversing with him.
One day as I was headed to work, I got a call from there saying that I had a package. I was like "A PACKAGE?! WHAT KIND?!" I'm so paranoid I'm thinking maybe its a bounty hunter there to collect my debts I owe to the hospital back at school or somebody just playing entirely too much.
To my surprise, I had a vase full of red roses awaiting me when I got to work. Now, my associates didn't know, because I was too cool to show it...but y'all....I LITERALLY felt like a room without a roof. (Shout out to Pharrell because those were my sentiments exactly). Believe it or not, I don't get romanced often so this was new to me! The note read: "I hear that the happiest girls are the prettiest." So. Freaking. Sweet. And of course, it was from "him".
Keep in mind that we hadn't even gone out on our first date so he was winning on a grand scale before we even became face to face. Now a small part of me was a little leery of him sending flowers so soon...because it had the potential to not be genuine, but I allowed it to be the sweet gesture that it was. HOWEVER, I should have put all my money on that small part of me. The woman's intuition is fool proof...but let me carry on...
Soon after that, we went out on our first date. We had a great time. He was poised in person and looked me in my eyes as he spoke. His conversation was consistent with those that we had over the phone, so I was pleased. He made me laugh (that's vital), so all was well. In fact, it was at that moment I decided that I liked him! I may not have got it all back like Stella, but I definitely got a portion of my groove back that night.
After that we talked every. single. day. Ya girl was getting good morning texts AND good evening texts! I was living on a high....but would you believe me if I told you that was the last time I ever saw him? The FIRST and LAST. Here's how my sweet turned sour:
We were supposed to go out again a couple weeks later. It was on a Saturday, I'll never forget. The plan was for us to meet up and go out on the town. Honey, I was excited! I had my hair, my fit, and face snatched and ready to roll. So I called him around the time we scheduled to link up and don't you know this man never answered the phone. EVER! From Saturday, through Sunday, all the way to Monday morning! I didn't hear from him. I had officially been stood the hell up.
When I talked to him on Monday this is what he said "had happened": "Alondra I'm sorry, I got pulled over and they took me in. They put me in a holding cell because I didn't have my license on me and they said I fit the description of a man they were looking for. I had no way to contact you."
Now everything in me...mind, body, and soul...all agreed that this was BULL SH*T. But I got counseling from a friend who suggested that I give him a second chance. So I said, fine...I'll give him a second chance. Maybe they did Rodney King him but spared the beating. But to be honest, I was actually worried about him during his absence, I prayed for him and everything so it was good to have him back.
I SHOULD HAVE MAYWEATHERED HIS A**
He asked if he could take me out again. This time I was apprehensive to agree to go, but he assured me that he wouldn't let me down, so I said fine. We were SUPPOSED to go out on a Friday...I'll never forget.
The Thursday night before, he mentioned the date that was forthcoming and told me that we would go out to eat and have drinks. I was glad he brought it up because I refused to! I was not going to ask this man if he was still going to take me out. See, the way my pride is set up....
Anyway let's jump to Friday, and stick with me because I'm going to give you a play by play of how it all went down.
At 7:30 a.m. he sent me a DICK PIC and the catption read "I woke up like this"
At 7:40 a.m. I responded "Well...good morning, I wasn't ready" (Y'ALL KNOW I HATE DICK PICS)
At 2:45 p.m. I texted him and said "I'm ready to see you this evening" because despite of his unwanted peen pic, I still was looking forward to the date
At 6:45 p.m. he texted me and said "You're not going to see me tonight."
*INSERT RECORD SCRATCHING SOUND*
I could not believe my eyes! I couldn't text him back fast enough. I swear I pulled a muscle in my right thumb the way I was working those keys! Needless to say, I gave him a piece of my mind in the most articulate way possible...ask me if he responded, ever??
HE DID NOT. He posted a picture on Instagram that evening though, straight flexed on me.
And just like that I was dissed for the first time in my life.
Now, I have to admit...I was extremely curious to know why that happened. I mean, we seemed to hit it off. I was really trying to determine whether or not I did something wrong. It totally messed with my psyche. I was belting out "How Come You Don't Call Me" in the shower everyday. On my Adele and Jazmine Sullivan tip for real!
But of course, the story doesn't stop there.
It was 3 weeks later when he popped out of the blue and called me...it went a little something like this:
"Alondra I want to explain myself. You see, I just got out of a relationship 4 months ago (I didn't know this) and I was beginning to think that I was putting myself in a rebound situation with you so I decided I wasn't going to take you out....but I miss talking to you..."
Now I was already over the whole situation well before he called. But I just had to pick up to hear that ridiculous excuse. You know women always need closure...even if it's already beneath us.
Anyway, I told you all this story to remind you to be extremely careful when dating and to keep your eyes open. Men will use things like flowers and sweet messages solely to pull the wool over them.
In the case of the flowers he sent, that was the "seal the deal" gift. Something like an advancement check. He probably sends those to multiple women just to ensure that she's going to like him before he goes forward. Men know that women are suckers for gifts, so for him it seemed like a no-brainer. "Imma hit her with these flowers, I know I got ha a** now"
Now of course he couldn't hide behind that sweet facade forever. That's where that dick pic came in. Poor horny thing couldn't even help himself. He wanted me to want his peen just as bad as he wanted some cake! But me being me, I politely played it to the left and WHAT DO YA KNOW....he played me right along side his wee wee. It was obvious that he just wanted to have a little fun since he had just broken up with his girl, which is fine. But men, they sometimes choose the wrong one. And I, was in fact, THE WRONG ONE.
Now I'm not going to categorize all men, but there are some who will jump leaps and bounds for a few minutes of bootay. Beware of them. Not every gift is meant to make you smile and not every good morning text is meant to make your day. Take it slow. Think it through.