Welcome to 2020!!

Happy New Year!!! When I tell you I am so excited about what God is doing within me this year!! I mean, words can’t even begin to express the joy and humility in my soul! I am so honored to be the daughter of the Highest King.

So, on our last journey, if you remember, I explained, we have focused enough on the past and it’s time to explore the present and the future! Well, this week I’m going to share with you what this will look like. I pray you’re as excited as I am! Indulge & Enjoy!!

Alrighty, so 2020 is going to lead to us exploring a wider variety of journeys each month. I have broken the journeys into weeks. Let’s see what each month will look like to start the year.

Week 1: Creative Writing (Fiction/Nonfiction)

Week 2: All Things Beauty

Week 3: Spiritual

Week 4: Monthly Reflection

Week 5: Wild Card (When Applicable)

Please note, these journeys are subject to change periodically throughout the year!

Now that we have a little structure to this year, let’s dive into this week’s journey! So Beautiful. Passionate. Love. made a rather large expansion on the first of the year via Facebook (Follow us Beautiful Passionate Love— You’re missing out!).

Back in June, we explored I Like It-You Don’t Have To, where we discussed my new found love for makeup! Well, what I didn’t know was, my love for makeup is so much bigger than just me applying it to myself. I love all things makeup!!

From talking about it to showing others how to apply it, to getting dolled up and just hanging out around the house… I have a genuine love for makeup! So, on January 1st, 2020, B.P.L. announced we are expanding into the beauty world!

I am accepting 5-6 clients (models) to come on board from January till April for me to perfect the application process! Once the application process is perfected, we will roll out phase II of the beauty sector (late April, early May).

Now, future beauty journeys aren’t going to be wordy at all. They are going to be more so a look of the week, along with a product review (sometimes).

This will be where I explore my growth in the beauty world and how/if it impacts my day to day life. I don’t wear makeup daily so, once we have clients rolling in, we may also do a client spotlight.

I want beauty weeks to be super fun! I may even start recording myself applying makeup and letting you all critique me!

Remember, this is our journey. Therefore, share what you like and don’t like. Share what you want more of! Share your own journeys!

With all that being said, here’s our Look(s) of the Month!

See you all next week!

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

It’s A Wrap!

~Family!!! This is our last journey of 2019! Can you believe it? Neither can I! I pray this year has taught you to be okay with constant growth! As for me, well, let’s just say growth looks good on me!

Because it’s our last journey of the year, I want to share with you all some of my affirmations, used to keep me focused throughout the year. From there, we will go, where ever this journey leads us! Ready to explore? Indulge and Enjoy!~

Lift up your head, young one… You’re a queen…

Smile, beautiful, your kingdom is watching…

It’s okay love, tomorrow’s a new day…

You’re so beautiful…

You’re destined to be a wife…

You’re a masterpiece…

The daughter of a King…

This year, like any other year, was filled with a lot of ups and downs. The most frustrating part was, not knowing how to explain my low moments to the people around me. I was closed off and reserved, with relationships that may have been beneficial to my growth. Also, there were several moments this year that left me feeling empty.

With all this being said, 2019 was an amazing year of growth for me. I mean, I removed useless titles from my life such as “Side Chick” and I added valuable ones such as “The daughter of a King…” “Wife in the making…” and “Beautifully melinated queen!” I learned to remove the opinions, of the world from my life, and create my own.

I‘ve learned to love myself for not just who I am, but also who I’m becoming!

So, there was about a good month, month and a half, where every day I was asking myself, “Who are you?” It was legit crazy!! My actions seemed foreign to me. I found myself going out of my way, showing random acts of kindness to people I’d never seen before (and it felt great!!). I soon realized, this is who I am, just never felt safe enough to show it. The comfort I found, almost changed to fear when I moved late within the year.

Now, as most of you know already, I‘ve moved to another state. Everything familiar has been stripped from me. Yes, I have loads of family here, I don’t feel like I’m vibing with them the way I wished to, though. They’re awesome! I’m just not “comfortable” yet, I guess… So do I sit around and mope, or force myself out of my comfort-zone? (Guess which one I chose.)

I also started a new job! I mean, what an amazing opportunity, occurring in what I thought was an attack from the enemy! What threw me for a complete loop was, during the loss of my previous job, I had no worries about what God was doing in my life. I was content and confident in His ability to guide me to the jobs I, very much needed and desired. Guess what, he did just that!

Which brings me to my final reflection! My relationship with God! Man oh, man! I mean the relationship I have with the Father is one that I’ve only dreamt of. We laugh together daily. When I cry He wipes my tears and reminds me of the plans he has for my life. He tells me about my future husband, and the joys I will receive if I continue to serve Him. He opens doors I had never imagined before. And, He never gives up on me, even when I’ve given up on myself.

Well, there you have it! Just an overview of my 2019! I must say, I’m amazed to see what’s in store for 2020. I have to share some news with you before I go…

For the last year and 2 months, we have mainly used Beautiful. Passionate. Love. To focus on “The Journey to Discovering Me.” While this is a never-ending journey, it’s time for us to step back and look at other trails.

Starting in 2020, we won’t focus as much on the past, as we will the present and future. I’m so excited to share new journeys with you guys!

We will not be exploring together on 01/04/2020. Mentally, I just need a quick break. We well, come back together on 01/11/2020 for a new year and new sound!

Have fun ushering in the New Year! And, please, I beg you all, be safe and responsible!

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Perception

~What’s up y’all? I pray this week allowed you to see yourself from the viewpoint of someone else. So often, we create an unrealistic view, in our heads, of how others see us. We have to remember, the way we see ourselves is not how others see us. Also, it’s not right (nor is it possible), for us to impose our opinions, of ourselves, on to our peers.

Before we get started, I just want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas! Aside from all the amazingly wonderful gifts you receive, remember why we celebrate this season. Anywho, are you ready to explore? Perfect, let’s dive in. Indulge and Enjoy!~

I remember applying for my first job. My freshman year was coming to an end, and let’s just say I wasn’t on my best behavior. If you’ve been exploring with me, then you know from previous journeys, I wasn’t the sweetest in grade school. But, at 14 this was my first job, and of course, it was my first list of requirements.

So, I’m ending my first year of high school, and my mom is trying her best to keep me out of “trouble,” throughout the summer (easier said than done). At the time, there was a program called Summer of Opportunities, for the youth to get their feet wet with employment while school is out.

There were limited spaces, an extensive application process, and a lengthy hiring advancement. One requirement was a letter of recommendation. I had no prior bosses, and at 14, any adult I knew was family (which they specifically told us we couldn’t use). So who do I ask? Well, even on my worst behavior, a couple of teachers took an interest in me and drew me close to them.

One of the women who played a major impact in high school, (she continues to play a role in my life), was my history teacher. She’s like an Aunt… you know, the one that’s stern and refuses to allow you to “play yourself,” yet, you love hanging around her (even if it means assisting her with grading papers.)

Terrified, I asked her to write a letter of recommendation, on my behalf, knowing it would be tough to find good characteristics to speak about. To my surprise, she agreed without hesitation. The next day, she placed a sealed envelope in my hand, labeled “Alyshia-Mae’s letter of recommendation.”

YOU MEAN I CAN’T READ WHAT SHE WROTE!? I just knew I wouldn’t be getting this job. I didn’t have anyone else I could turn to, so I decided it was best to just submit her letter. A couple of weeks later, I received a letter from the city I lived in (also the city the program was through). Bam! I had a summer job to look forward to! I was elated!

Of course, I went to school the next day proud, and ready to share the news. Approaching the teacher that had written my recommendation, she must have seen the joy on my face. Right away she smiled and said, “You got the job!”

I confirmed and thanked her for the letter. Then I asked, why was she so confident I would be accepted. Smiling the entire time she said, “ You’re an intelligent, beautiful, poised, young woman. I never doubted your ability to success…”

Poise

/poiz\

Noun

Graceful and elegant bearing in a person.

I had never even heard the word poise before this conversation. If I did, it definitely wasn’t in correlation to me and my appearance. How did she see me as poise?

According to me, I was average, intelligence wise, and I lacked beauty. I was a young woman though. She got that part right.

So did she lie? To me, at that moment, she definitely lied! Now, over 10 years later, I realize she was giving HER perception of me. Mine nor anyone else’s mattered.

Yes, sometimes, my perception of me won’t align with my peers, family, and/or friends (quite often actually). This is completely fine! My goal… is to make sure I have no, well, very few, negative perceptions in the world!

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Something Different

~Hey Family! I pray this week has shown you just a glimpse of what your 2020 will look like! As for me, it’s safe to say I’m beyond excited to see what next year will bring!!

This week, I want to explore the many changes that took place in my life. And, of course, I’ll share how I feel about them and what they’ve taught me. Ready to explore? Let’s dive in! Indulge and Enjoy!!

Last week, I may have (intentionally) forgot to tell y’all I quit my job. After a year and 7 months, it was time to say goodbye. Did I want to? No. I didn’t have much of a choice though. My contract was ending December 20th and if I didn’t find a new job soon, I would be standing in the unemployment line.

So I had two job offers, I ended up going with the one I felt God had been guiding me to and, MAN!! When I tell you I am so impressed with this company!! For obvious reasons, mainly privacy and protection, I can’t give you guys the name of my new employer, however, I want to take this time to remind you all to never stop trusting God!

Lately, I’ve been paying close attention to the opinions of others. Not necessarily their opinion of me, (because y’all know I don’t care what people think about me) I do pay attention to what they think about people, situations and events surrounding us.

This week, I started my new position and my observation unintentionally poured into my peers. I realized how free everyone is to be themselves WITHOUT JUDGMENT. I mean not even the slightest hint of judgment! It was an amazing feeling.

Then, I started thinking about everyone I’ve encountered since moving here… So far, I haven’t witnessed nor have I experienced any judgment. Now, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page, I’m talking about judgment in the negative sense. (Gossip, slander, belittling, degrading conversations.)

Yes, people here share their opinion, even when not warranted. And, no, everyone doesn’t always get along. But, I’ve noticed a different level of respect here. I’ve noticed, people’s first instinct here is not to spread whatever you shared with them to the world. People know how to provide constructive criticism without destroying one’s confidence.

I’ve noticed a level of respect, I wish I saw more of back home. Here, we focus more on what’s right in our lives, rather than what’s wrong. We start conversations with laughter and love before we dive into “vent” mode. We end phone calls with, “I love you,” no matter how many times we’ve spoken to one another (this took some getting used to).

There’s a level of protection, I feel here, I wish I felt back home. My siblings genuinely care about how I’m adapting to life here. Family reaches out just because. If they haven’t seen or heard from me within a reasonable time, they become a little uneased.

My siblings desire to bond with me! Sometimes, at home, I felt like a social outcast. Like nothing I did was good enough for my siblings to want to “chill”. Here me just being me is enough!

And, this is the best part! My siblings encourage me to build relationships with their spouses/significant others!!! Back home, my brothers definitely weren’t a fan of this (even though my niece’s mom and I became, and still are, the best of friends).

I’ve always been big on family. And I love my family back home. I miss them daily. I just wish they would express, they missed me a little too…

Living here is definitely a learning experience. Sometimes even a culture shock, if I’m being completely honest. Thanksgiving was crazy for me because I’m used to only being around 5-7 people. So, to be in a house full of what felt like 50+ people (all family), I definitely became overwhelmed at one point.

I went to my car, called my mom, and cried for about 5 minutes. Then I put my big girl pants on, went back in there and genuinely enjoyed my family and their dysfunction.

Yes, they have their own dynamics and dysfunction, just as my family back home does. So I want to end this by saying this…

Change isn’t always bad. Different isn’t always wrong. New isn’t always fun. And, old isn’t always trash.

Learn to love what you have for what it is. This doesn’t mean you have to tolerate anything that disrupts your peace, it simply means accepting and reacting accordingly.

Thank you for exploring with me! I really love y’all!

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Staying True

~Happy December Family!!! It’s the last month of the year! I pray this month provides you with closure on the good, the bad, and the ugly of this year. As for me, well I’m praying the same prayer for myself!

This week, I want to explore Beautiful. Passionate. Love.! This won’t be a super long journey, however, I feel inclined to address a few things moving into 2020. Ready to explore? Let’s dive in… Indulge and Enjoy!!~

First, I want to say this space is my baby! Our journeys are therapy for me. One thing I’ve realized, within the last few weeks is, once I started sharing my faith, and allowing God to be visible on our journeys, I’ve lost a lot of views. So, I want to address this…

Beautiful. Passionate. Love. exist because God gave me a voice and a platform. When we first started exploring, I was afraid to openly discuss my faith because I wanted this to be a safe/free environment for everyone. I realized, within our first year together, if I continue to exclude my faith I would lose my transparency…

Yes, as you know, I’ve made a multitude of mistakes throughout my life, and continue to make mistakes daily (we’re all human). We all need something to give us strength from day today. For me, it’s my faith. Without my faith, I am no one. Without my faith I am voiceless.

I said all of this to say… MY FAITH is not leaving this journey!! I love and respect all of you, however, this space was created on transparency and me keeping it real. I will never intentionally disrespect anyone’s religious beliefs, but I will also never intentionally compromise my own.

Some of you may be asking, “Why is she saying this?” Well, mainly it’s because God had been dealing with me, this week. Because my views have been low I thought about embellishing our journeys to make them more “interesting.”

As I write this, I’m so glad I choose not to do so. Transparency… will remain key in our journeys. Honesty… will continue to lead us on our journeys. Committed… I will remain to Beautiful. Passionate. Love.! Numbers… will never define this space…

Sometimes, you have to remind yourself of your why. I think this week’s journey is more for me than it is you. You see, when you compromise your character for attention (good or bad), it changes you.

Have you ever thought about how life-altering lies are? I mean, once you tell a lie, you have to keep up that story, in order to convince everyone. Think about it, if I tell you I’m sad with a huge smile on my face, you aren’t even going to ask what’s wrong. But, if I’m crying when I say it, you’re automatically intrigued to want to know more.

Now that you’re intrigued, if I don’t have a captivating story to tell you, you won’t care. So, I make up one to tell you… Now, I have to make sure to tell everyone around me the same story and pray none fact checks the details.

I don’t know about you, but lying or embellishing is too much work for me. I’d rather be myself and attract genuine, loving, people who deserve my time and energy.

This week I’ve come to realize, now more than ever…

I’M ENOUGH JUST AS I AM!

&

YOU ARE ENOUGH AS YOU ARE!!

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE

Thy Will Be Done

~What’s up family! I pray you’ve been productive in planning out the end of your year. As for me, I’ve had to deal with some upcoming realities, however, I’m beyond blessed! This week we’re going to continue with the lessons of 2019.

Before we dive too deep into this journey please keep in mind, with next week being Thanksgiving, we will not explore together Saturday, November 30th. We will resume our journeys, Saturday, December 7th. With that being said, are we ready to explore? Indulge and Enjoy!!~

“It’s all about me!” I heard this phrase yelled so often throughout my life. Most of the time, it was from my mother. (Please hold the judgment and continue reading.) As a single mother of four, my mother rarely had time for herself. I can literally only recall two times, to this day, she actually took some “me time,” and did something she wanted to do. If she wasn’t working, one of her multiple jobs, she was with me and my brothers. Between the four of us and the many friends (of ours), she took responsibility for, her hands were always full…

**Story Time**

All through grade school, my older brother and I attended the same schools. Because he is only a year older than me, our friend groups would often merge. I can remember one year in high school, my sophomore year, his junior, the school made the mistake of having my brother, me, AND all of our friends in the same gym class. Of course, we got into some trouble and we immediately were escorted to the Principal’s office. As we sat in the office, my brother wouldn’t let me or our friends talk. He just kept repeating, “Call our lawyer…” every time the Principal asked us a question.

Thank goodness for Catholic school, because I’m positive our city school district would have called the police. Our Principal knew he was referring to our mother when he said “lawyer,” and we (friends included) knew our mother would get us out of this. So, they called her on speaker. One thing we all need to know is my mom does not play!! Man… Listen… She yelled at the Principal, the gym teacher, AND us!

Once she finished, the principal pointed my brother and me out of the group instructing us to go back to class and, she’d be calling the other students’ parents. Our mom quickly replied in and frustrated, firm, direct, tone, “I will handle all of them. You all better be at that school when I get there at 3:15. If I have to come find ANY OF YOU, there will be hell to pay. Do you hear me?” We all replied in unison, “Yes Ma’am…” Before she ended the call, she said, “Now, take ya’ll a**es back to class, and I better not get another call from this school today!”

No other parents were called and we were all sitting on the school steps when she pulled up…

This story is a perfect example of my mom taking on more than she needed to. I can go on and on with stories of my mom’s selflessness, but that’s for a future journey. What I really wanted to convey with this story is, yes, my mom yelled “It’s all about me,” however, her actions showed it was never about her. To this day, though my siblings and I are grown, it’s still not all about her.

I definitely inherited this trait from my mother. BOTH OF THEM. I’m always yelling at myself to be more selfish and focus on me. In the same breath, giving any and everything I can to my family and friends. I don’t have any children of my own, yet I always have children with me. According to the camera roll on my phone, I have between 7-10 children.

So many times, within the last few years, I’ve promised myself, “It’s all about me.” This year, however, I’ve learned it’s not about me at all. No matter how many mountain tops I stand at and shout, “It’s all about me,” God’s will for my life, will always redirect my path…

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned this year is… Thy will be done. All of us on this journey are not well versed in scripture so, I will explain “Thy” translates to “Your” and “Your” refers directly to God. In other words, God’s will be done.

Now, as a reformed control freak, I will say this has been my most challenging lesson to learn… I mean, I have thrown full-blown tantrums with God, because I don’t know his plan for my life. I’ve been upset with Him. I’ve been childish towards him. I’ve even flat out disrespected him (with my actions). Yet, he still loves me.

Instead of turning his back on me, he caresses my soul saying…

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

-Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

He accepts the parts of me, the world deems as broken, tattered, and useless and He tells me they’re perfect. He has welcomed me home, with open arms, every time I’ve ran away. He is the love that shines through me. He is the joy that beams from my soul. He is my heavenly Father.

This year I have grown from the defiant daughter, that refuses to obey their parents, to the mature young lady who turns to them for guidance. And, yes, I do turn to my mom and dad for guidance, have done so for years, but they don’t know my future either. So now, I address my Heavenly Father, I take heed to His direction and follow His word.

As His perfectly imperfect daughter, I thank and honor Him for never giving up on me…

You all should already know this by now, but feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE

Consistency

~Hey Family!! I pray this week has provoked you to plan for your future! Resolutions don’t have to wait until January. For me, I’ve been planning and acting on my plans all week! Our journey this week definitely aligns with planning for the future.

2019 is wrapping up rather quickly, however, it isn’t over yet. With approximately 5 journeys left this year, I want to start reflecting on the knowledge I’ve inherited. I also, want to start planning and speaking my blessings of 2020 into existence. With that being said, are we ready to explore? Let’s dive in. Indulge and Enjoy!~

Consistency:

Conformity in the application of something, typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness…

(Definition courtesy of our good friend Google.)

So, you’ve read the official definition which, if I’m being completely honest, when I read, I wondered, “Why is this thing so wordy?” In my opinion, this definition could say, “The INTENTIONAL act of repeating an action, until it becomes a thoughtless addition to your routine.” Okay, so my definition is the same length, if not longer, mine just makes more sense in my mind.

In my mind… Focus on those three words. One of the many lessons I’ve accepted this year is, we all interpret situations (words, actions, images) differently. So many times, throughout my life, I have been furious with people for lying to me, when in all transparency, they may have just been telling their interpretation. (This isn’t what our journey is about, however, my spirit is begging me not to delete it.)

Back to this consistency thing… This year I’ve learned so much about my consistency and the lack thereof. Being fully transparent, the most consistent aspects of my life are Beautiful. Passionate. Love., and my monthly nail appointments. Out of all the many activities I’ve done throughout the year, I’ve only done two consistently? In my opinion, this is extremely sad. So ya’ll know I have to reflect on why I’m so inconsistent.

Upon my reflection, I realized I’ve been pretty inconsistent my entire life. In school, my grades reflected my inconsistencies. I couldn’t figure out if I wanted to be an honor roll student or the class clown. I struggled to choose between loving the little girl I saw when I looked in the mirror, or hating her. I couldn’t get through my head whether my mother was hard on me because she loved me or hated me. And, I just couldn’t figure out if I wanted a relationship with my father or if I hated him.

As a young adult, My inconsistency continued. It reappeared constantly in my relationships with friends, family, and even my sexual orientation. Yes, you read that correctly. Almost my entire high school career, I flipped flopped between dating boys and girls, well one girl. Before we go any further, allow me to cancel any questions you all may have. No, I am not gay, nor am I bisexual. I was just a lost, insecure little girl.

Regardless of who I chose to be with, I allowed them to be inconsistent in my life. I’ve allowed inconsistency because it’s all I knew, at the time. My mom, whom I know never intended to be inconsistent, became inconsistent because she had to work so much to take care of the family. She wasn’t always there to feed us breakfast or to tuck us in at night because of her schedule. Often times, it felt as though she was only there to discipline me because those were the only times she was made aware of.

As many of you should know, my father wasn’t in my life until the age of 17. When we did reconnect, due to life happening on both sides, our communication was very, VERY inconsistent. I’m proud to say my relationship with my mother and father have improved immensely throughout the years. My relationship with both of my parents has been tough because I couldn’t just walk away.

Eventually, I’d have to talk to them, even if I didn’t address my issues. I believe being forced to leave the door open to our very separate relationships, made consistency mandatory. I’m so truly proud to say they both force me to stay consistent in our weekly journeys. Though they never know what I’m going to explore, they always remind me to be open and honest with you all. I love and appreciate them for that…

As my relationship with my parents grew to be more consistent this year, I’ve realized, I desire consistency in all aspects of my life. Why wait until January 1, 2020, to implement a change? This week, I’ve chosen to promise myself to be more consistent for the rest of this year and my life.

So, what areas am I focusing on? Well, of course, our weekly journeys will continue. However, I have to make time to focus more on my faith. God is such a huge part of EVERYTHING I do, and I don’t feel I give enough of myself to Him. My prayer life and worship time were so inconsistent this year and I refuse to take those actions into 2020.

Also, my hobbies have lacked consistency… I love reading. There used to be a time when I would read 2-3 books a week! Well, I am determined to get back there! I will, soon, be getting back on my fitness journey and sprinkle it throughout our weekly journeys. Also, next year I will be turning one of my hobbies into a part-time career! Keep journeying with me for more details!

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

A Love Letter (Second)

~Hey Hey! I pray this week has brought you clarity regarding the next path in your journey. (It did just that for me!) I really don’t want to talk about what happened though. I’d rather share what’s been on my heart. Ready to explore? Awesome! Indulge and Enjoy!~

Dear Future Husband,

Thank you, for an amazing night! After the week I’ve had, yesterday’s date night was a perfect surprise. I mean, there were so many roses! And what was the scent of that candle? (We definitely have to buy more of those). It’s funny to see the look on your face when the little things you do amaze me. Almost, as if you expect me to want more from you. But yet, you know me so well!

Between our work schedules, lately, we haven’t had much time to just enjoy one another’s company. A tub full of bubbles and a bottle (or two) of wine was the perfect way to do just that! Being around family and friends is always beautiful, however, I love my time spent with you and only you. You know, like when I can’t sleep. So, you hold me tight, my head on your chest, and tell me your plans for our family. I slowly start to drift to sleep, as your fingers tangle my already coiled hair…

Okay, so maybe this was just a dream. Maybe, the only joys pulling me through this week have been, my love for God, and my love for you. It’s been a while since I’ve written to you. I just need you to know, your visits in my dreams keep me grounded in preparing for our future.

Thoughts of you, fill my soul with joy beyond words. It’s as if you know just the right face to make to calm my forever racing mind. You know just how tight to hug me, to reassure my sense of security. And, you know just the right time to fill my ears, and heart, with prayers reminding me where our strength comes from.

Dreams of you balance me. They force me to remember, I will be perfectly yoked for the right man. They forced me to continue to push myself in all aspects of life. Most of all, they remind me to keep God at the center of all the things I desire, including you.

I use to believe, there was only one true love for everyone in the world, but, not anymore. What I now believe is, out of all the humans on earth, we choose the one we are most compatible with. We pray we’re choosing someone we can grow old with, in hopes of forming true love.

My handsome husband, you will not be my first love. You will not be my first kiss. You will not be the man who takes my virginity. But, what I want you to always remember is, you hold so much more than any of those men.

You are my perfect match. You are my swipe right. You are my fish out of plenty. You are the Christian I choose to mingle with. You are the One I choose to pour into, as you choose to pour into me. You are my forever love…

I love you,

Your Wife

As you’ve explored this journey, I pray, you remember how promising your future is. No matter your relationship status (single, divorced, or widowed) you’re special someone is patiently waiting for your paths to cross.

Remember to prepare yourselves for a love like no other. For a love, only God can ordain. For a love, greater than you could ever imagine!

I love y’all!

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Long Over Due

~Hey Family! I pray this week has made you realize how much your presence impacts others’ lives. It did just that for me. This journey will definitely be one of the most emotional ones yet. It honestly is long overdue though…

Before we get started, I’ve reached out to the person involved in this journey. I always said I would never ask permission to write my truth, however, this is a sensitive subject. She has given me permission to openly and truthfully discuss this time of our lives. Ready to explore? Indulge and Enjoy!~

I hurt you… I hurt you before I even had a chance to know you… I remember the day so vividly. The first fire drill of Sophomore year. You told me I looked like a cute dinosaur. You even referenced the fictional Barney character Baby Bop. (Years later, you told me we had been joking in the class prior, and I believe you, I just can’t remember the conversation.)

Baby Bop… I felt like you were attacking my physical appearance. I assumed because you transferred in from another school, you were trying to “make a name for yourself.” I remember vowing to make you cry every day for the rest of our high school career. But, I didn’t realize how impactful high school is on the rest of our lives…

I embarrassed you… I took a class assignment, in Religion class nonetheless, to air out a bunch of rumors I heard about you. If creating a PowerPoint wasn’t hurtful enough, I and, two other individuals presented it to the entire class. Laughing and looking in your direction the whole time.

I did everything I could, to assassinate your character… I mean, I can’t even remember all of the terrible things I said about you. The rumors I would hear through the grapevine and make sure they were continued. The hate, I felt for you… The hate, I felt for me…

After a year and a half (maybe a little longer), something in me clicked. I remember pulling you aside and giving you a generic apology. There was no explanation… No conversation… No ownership… Just I’m sorry.

The revelation that hit me this week, on the 10-year anniversary of the second month of senior year, is I still owe you an apology. You see, I apologized privately for a public crime. I ruined parts of high school for you and whispered sorry… Well, my beautiful friend (Yes ya’ll, after all this she accepted me as her friend, and still does!), this is the apology you deserved.

I am sorry… does not begin to remove the damage I inflicted on you. I’m sorry… cannot bring back the precious high school moments, that ended up being not so precious, because of me. I’m sorry… will not dry up the tears you shed, wondering why I hated you so much. There is nothing, NOTHING IN THIS WORLD, I could say to reverse the pain I’ve caused you, however, I pray, my sorry brings you just a little peace…

You didn’t deserve what I put you through. You are so beautiful, loving and intelligent! And, I promise, you were all of these things back then. Your confidence infuriated me. Your beauty intimidated me. Your bubbly, outgoing personality mocked my desires for me. You were perfect in my opinion, and you still are. I envied you.

When you compared me to Baby Bop, it destroyed the last seed of confidence I had. Because you didn’t know of my low self-esteem, you walked away unphased. That was the moment I chose to hate you. And no, none of this is me saying my actions were your fault. This is just how unhealthy my thought process was. No explanation I give will justify the words/actions I targeted you with, however, I pray, my explanation brings you relief.

What I need you to know is, you are one of the strongest women I know! There are high schoolers killing themselves to get away from their bullies. Not only did you fight through my tormenting, but you also excepted me as your friend once I stopped. You have never thrown any of my actions in my face. Your friendship is the definition of forgiveness. Recently, you said something that broke my heart… Your exact words were, “I wish I could see what you see, but thanks.” Allow me to tell you just a little of what I see…

Your smile is radiant, and it lights up every room you walk into (ALWAYS HAS). You are so ambitious! I remember when we were getting laid off at work. There was this specific job you wanted and you refused to accept any other offer. Guess what, you got it! You’re a wonderful mother!! The way you have taken on motherhood is so amazing to watch! You’ve exhibited an abundance of grace, in your new life journey!

To say, “I’m proud of you,” would begin to express my feelings towards you. I respect you! I appreciate you! I admire you! I am grateful for you! And, I cherish you! Keep shining bright, beautiful!

So often, we make the ugliest decisions, very publicly. When we realize how wrong we really are, we shoot a text and apologize, for our ugly behavior. Here’s the thing, the party we hurt deserved the same apology as the pain we delivered.

In a perfect world, none of this should have happened, but it did. I shouldn’t have been a bully, but I was. Because I couldn’t reverse my words and actions, being fully transparent, I should have called a pep rally to the auditorium, called her on stage, and apologized for my actions, in front of the entire school. But, I was a coward back then. For me, over 10 years later, this is the next best thing.

Allow me to be clear, I don’t know if she even thinks about the events of high school. I do, which is why we have explored this. I want everyone to take a few points from this journey:

Watch what you say.

Think before you speak.

Fix your insecurities.

And, own your words and actions (good and bad).

I love you all beyond belief!

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

The Right Way

~Hey Family!! I pray this week has reminded you, this is a lifetime journey, the work is never done. I’ve had an emotionally draining week, and I still can’t figure out exactly why. So, I need to walk through this with y’all! Ready to explore? I know I sure am! Indulge and Enjoy!~

As most of you know, I’ve relocated to a new state. This week I had to surrender my New York driver’s license, in order to comply with state regulations. I also, have to transfer my vehicle license plates. It has been a pretty smooth process, however, after the woman took my New York I.D. a flood of emotions rushed over me.

See, prior to this, my time in my new home has felt like an extended vacation, (especially working from home). But, after being here almost a month, switching my license became a huge deal emotionally. Why? Great question. I’ve been asking myself this since it happened. Here’s what I came up with…

I use to be a runner. Anytime an issue arose in my life, I’d run from it. All of my emotional scars, would never heal because I would constantly throw myself into another situation. I would become friends with people who had “bigger” issues than me, to block out my pain. It was my way of “coping”.

In 2016, I made the, very random and rushed, decision to move to Georgia. I was exhausted with life and felt leaving New York was the only way to “fix” how I felt. I knew only one person in Georgia at the time (my ex-boyfriend who had a girlfriend, now wife). Before ANYONE attempts to incorrectly narrate my story for me, allow me to share the circumstance.

When I made the decision to move to Georgia, I was in a really muddy space mentally. Late 2015 I was dealing with a man, I met online (we’ll talk about this in a later journey). Everything was going really well, for the lifestyle I was living at least. Truth be told, everything happened way too fast. We never went on dates or anything. I would just pick him up, and we would go to a park, so he could smoke a blunt while I told him about my day.

By the end of our first-week seeing one another, We had planned for him to spend the night at my place (dangerous, I know). After that, he stayed every night. I became addicted to him. Addicted to the way he controlled my body. Addicted to the false sense of security he provided. Addicted to having him next to me at night. A full-blown addict.

A few months into this relationship, or whatever you want to call it, he asked me to take him to Ithica the upcoming weekend. He claimed his Grandma lived there, but he didn’t know I overheard his phone call about a drug deal. I declined, saying I had plans, which I’m sure he knew was a lie. Truth being I wasn’t dumb enough to become his drug mule. But, that’s when everything changed for the worst.

He began to be very mean and violently aggressive. He was even more controlling and not loving at all. I had a stash of money, I stored in my bedroom (saving up towards moving out of state). He found it. He never asked me what it was for or anything. Every once in a while he would grab a few quarters and run to the store. Then the day before his trip to Ithica, I noticed all of the cash was missing. All $235!

I called him, he didn’t answer. So, I hung up and called about 30 more times. Still no answer… I was furious!!!! I ran down the stairs jumped in my car, with a can of dog repellant (mace is illegal in New York), and sped to his job. (This is where I, now, realize I was losing myself.) I sat outside his job for about 45 mins, calling and calling. Taunting him to come out. He never came out but he called me back, cursed me out and told me I never meant anything to him.

I was heartbroken. In my head, I replayed every time he told me he loved me. Every event he sat through just because I wanted to do it. All the nights he layed up playing in my hair just to make sure I fell asleep before him. I had given him all of me. All of my body. I cooked, daily, for him. I drove him everywhere. I paid all the bills. The only time I had ever told him “No” was the whole drug trip thing… How could he not love me?

Between the tears, remembering intimate details he told me, I’d plotted for revenge. I vividly remember skipping church that weekend. I didn’t really talk to anyone except one friend, and she made sure my fury outweighed my sadness. At some point that weekend, my runner mentality kicked in. I woke up that Monday, went to my job and asked them to transfer me. I explained to them, I was fearful of staying in New York because the mindset I had would lead me straight to jail.

You see, it was no coincidence I grabbed dog repellent on the way out the door. It wasn’t for my safety. I knew he had just had major eye surgery, a few months before meeting me, and if I sprayed him chances were he’d be legally blind FOREVER. I thank God for the pillar of angels He stationed around me that day. Wrapping this story up My job agreed to transfer me, but the only place available at the time was Georgia. I accepted and within 3 weeks I was gone. Most of my family had no idea it was happening until I was already gone.

There you have it… No, I didn’t move to break up my ex and his girlfriend. I moved to continue running from my pain. And in doing, I created even more pain. Needless to say, I moved back home 6 months after leaving. The whole time I was in Georgia, I never switched my Driver’s License, therefore I never surrendered my New York residency, which made it easy to run back home. But here, in Kentucky, I walked away.

I walked away from running. I walked away from pain. I spent 3 years working on healing my wounds, some of them are not completely healed, but I’m no longer running. The emotion I felt surrendering my New York residency, now, resinates as joy, whereas originally I felt trapped. I have joy because I see the closure in my life.

When I left home this time, I wasn’t sad, I was excited. Even now, I’m super excited! I realize I don’t have to hold on to my New York residency because I don’t plan on returning home. Of course, I plan to visit, however, I don’t plan on residing there again. It’s a beautiful feeling to start a new journey, knowing there’s no negative baggage holding you back.

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.