Processing Emotions

~Hey Family!! How did this week treat you? I pray it brought you plenty of peace and progress. How did you show your appreciation to your significant other on Valentines Day? Single? Me too! How did you show yourself appreciation? Don’t ever miss a moment to show YOU how loved and valuable YOU are to YOURSELF. Ready to embark on this weeks journey? Let’s dive right in. Indulge & Enjoy!~

When it comes to expressing myself, I’m not always able to find the right words. If I’m really frustrated, it’s as if I’ve hit an emotional roadblock, stopping my mouth from saying what my mind has detected within my heart. The words will be at the tip of my tongue, yet, I can’t form them. Yes, I’m a little stubborn, however, the real truth is, sometimes I’m just afraid…

Afraid to open up and tell the other party how I really feel. Fearful, if I share my true feelings, said party may think I’m attacking them. Sometimes, I’m so frustrated, because I know we’ve had this conversation before, that I just shut down. The worst, but most common, is when I assume the other party should “just know” how to fix my issue.

Can you relate? Not ready to admit it? That’s fine, however, let’s still address it. For starters, this is NOT a “feminine characteristic,” nor does it make you weak. Both men and women have moments where expressing their feelings are more difficult than others. Also, it’s not always bad to reserve your feelings. Depending on the time and place it may even be best.

Where over sharing emotions becomes an issue, is when relationships are affected drastically. We all fight with our friends and argue with our significant others, however, at the end of the dispute, we have to be able to answer and ask specific questions to establish a resolution. What do those questions sound like? Well, here are my main four…

-What am I really upset about?

A lot of times, especially in romantic relationships, it’s easier to fight over the little things, rather than finding the root cause of your frustration. To be honest, magnifying the little things could cause more damage to the relationship/friendship. I can assure you, socks on the floor, or dishes in the sink, especially, the cap off the toothpaste, is definitely not the real issue. So, instead of exploding over the little things, stop and ask yourself, “Why am I really mad?

-Is this a “me” issue, a “them” issue or a “us” issue?

Now, this question right here requires full transparency with yourself. Once you’ve found the root cause of your frustration, you now have to find out who exactly is responsible for fixing it… It is absolutely, 1,000 percent, not fair for you to make your issue the responsibility of the other party to fix. Also, you can’t heal the emotional wounds of others. Just as it isn’t their responsibility to fix you it’s also not your responsibility to fix them. No, you also can’t help them work on it. If you didn’t help cause the brokenness then you won’t be the solution in fixing it.

-Have I asked them what they need from me?

This moment of a conversation is very helpful when sincere. This question, all by itself, can break the tension while resolving issues between friends or your significant other. It shifts blame and, provided a balanced atmosphere for the other party. This is when you give your undivided attention to the other party, in order for them to share what you can do to make the relationship better. Once this question is answered, you should be given the opportunity to…Well, just read the next section.

-Have I told them what I need from them?

Alright, we’ve found out the real reason we’re upset/frustrated. We’ve determined who’s responsibility it is to fix it. We’ve asked the parties involved “what they need from us” to rectify this disagreement. So, the final, very important conversation we have to be open to is, telling the “offender” what we need from them to work on the issue. Before you start pointing fingers again, remember the offender can and maybe you! If it is you, it’s imperative you ask yourself this question. Yes, you need to sit down and have a conversation with yourself (out loud or written) and, sincerely tell YOU  what you need from YOU.

Over the years, I’ve learned not to speak from emotions. In most cases, when a person speaks from emotion, they aren’t heard. For me, these questions help to keep my mind focused on the real issues and not the emotions surrounding it. This doesn’t mean I don’t share how I feel, I’m just learning to share my feelings with words instead of reactions. These questions work in all relationship types, romantic or not. Oh, you don’t believe me? You must be new to the family because the BPL Family knows, on this journey, we only talk about what we’ve lived through.

We’re all bound to have a disagreement, of some sort this week, whether it be with your significant other, parents, siblings, or friends. Approach the disagreement differently this time and try incorporating these questions. Let me know how they change the dynamics of the disagreement. If you have a process you use, similar or not, please share! I’d love to try your way of processing emotions…

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

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

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

Big Sis, Little Sis

~Welcome back, Everyone! What did this beautiful week bring you? I pray nothing but blessings and peace! For me, this week has been crazy busy. I’ve been trying to find a way to balance my work and personal life. I’ll keep you all posted on that…Today, we’re going to switch it up a little! Let’s talk about little sisters. Are you ready to journey together? Let’s dive in. Indulge & Enjoy!~

I’ll be the first to admit I, still to this day, struggle with ‘Little Sister Syndrome’. You’ve never heard of it? Well, please, allow me to explain… Have you ever interacted with a woman, no matter the age, who is playful, witty and definitely a little too demanding but, all in a way that doesn’t 100% push you away?

She always has an answer, no matter the question, and you better believe that the answer she gives will definitely be served with two sides of attitude. You can ask her to hand something to you and, she’ll do it, but she’s going to inform you of how easy it would have been for you to get it yourself.

When it comes to trouble, she drags you to it as you plead with her to leave you out of it. She creates drama in both of your lives, then she works her magic to clean it up, afterward expecting a thank you. And, God forbid someone brings drama to you, she’s right there, front and center, ready to defend you at any cost.

She doesn’t have to be younger than you. There are just qualities about her that make her the little sister. Got it? Great! Now that we’re done with the formalities, allow me to re-introduce myself…

HI! I’m Alyshia-Mae, and I’m the best little sister you’ll love to hate!

Now, another awesome quality us little sisters possess is; annoyance. We know the exact button to push at any given time to drive someone crazy. I hate to admit this, however, we find this extremely humorous. (I annoyed my oldest brother on my Mom’s side so bad, when we were younger, he LITERALLY pushed me off the front porch! I’m alive so feel free to laugh.)

Think about a Sour Patch Kids commercial, or click here to watch one, that’s us! We’re sour until we know you’re about to explode, then we do everything possible to calm you down and brighten your day…

Now some of you are very unappreciative of our many capabilities and harp on us being sour. You always forget about those times you come to us in tears and, walk away from us full of joy and laughter. You all don’t remember us putting our lives on pause to make sure you were at your best. *insert dramatic eye-roll*

To be clear, being an actual little sister is not the same as having Little Sister Syndrome. It is, however, the training ground. If you ask me, I’ve always been the best little sister in the world! The way I remember my childhood, I reserved the majority of my annoying powers. I didn’t yell my brothers name a billion times, him begging me to stop until he became so frustrated he pushed me off the porch… Oh wait, that’s exactly what happened…

So, as you all should know by now, the week of Christmas(2018) I went to Kentucky and met my Dad and most of my family for the first time. I had an amazing time, didn’t want to leave to be honest. While I was there, I met 5 of my wonderfully beautiful siblings, however, there was one that was just too busy to meet up the entire week. Get this, SHE’S THE YOUNGEST OF US ALL!

I never had a little sister growing up (I do have a little brother)and, I always thought it would be fun to have someone just like me to play with… That was until my 12-year-old little sister introduced herself to me January 8th, 2019. “Hey sis…. Ik I’ve never met you before…. but hey,” was the message I received with an upside down smiley face. Man, oh man, I never knew how hard having a little sister would be.

I mean, she’s sassy and spicy, just like me. She demands attention, just like me. She’s outspoken and charming, JUST LIKE ME. She’s a little boy crazy, just like I was at that age. She’s also super goofy. Now that I think about it, maybe I wasn’t the best little sister, maybe I was the best at being a little sister. It’s been so fun getting to know her lately. For the first couple of weeks, we talked basically all day with the exception of her being in school and her 9pm phone curfew. (I had the same curfew with the house phone growing up.)

Unfortunately, my free time doesn’t match her’s with all of my adulting and what not. I mean, both work and working out alone have me exhausted Monday through Friday. We haven’t been able to talk the way she wants us to the last week or so. Yes, I have been crazy busy and work has gotten more challenging, I also think there’s fear there as well. I’m afraid of how similar she is to me at that age. I feel responsible for making sure she doesn’t make the mistakes I’ve made.

See, she doesn’t have Little Sister Syndrome she is a little sister. She’s MY little sister, and that surpassed Little Sister Syndrome. She makes me want to set aside all of my flaws to make sure she becomes better than me. Now, I’m definitely not saying I’m cured of Little Sister Syndrome (impossible, I’m a little sister myself). I am saying, however, I have to find a happy medium. My desire is to build a level of comfort that allows her to come to me with all things, good, bad and, ugly.

For me, being a little sister will always conflict with me having Little Sister Syndrome and there is nothing wrong with that. I just have to find ways to balance my overprotective Big Sister qualities as well. I actually have two little sisters, the other is 18. I want the same things for both of them… happiness, success, love and, countless blessings. If there was one thing I’d want them both to always remember…

I love you UNCONDITIONALLY, from Big Sis to Little Sis…

Feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. 

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

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

Quitting isn’t an Option

~What’s up, family? Happy February! I pray this week has poured into your life in the most positive way possible! For me, this week has been a journey in itself. This post will be brief so I’m going to dive right in. Indulge & Enjoy!~

This week, my spirit has been heavy when it comes to encouragement. So many people in my life are on the verge of giving up on something. I really just want to take this time out to encourage everyone reading these words. KEEP FIGHTING!!!

I know in some instances pushing seems impossible, however, you’ve made it this far so I urge you to continue pushing. If you find just a little more strength, your struggle will become your testimony! Your story could save someone for feeling how you feel in this very moment. (That in itself motivates me every day.)

A part of my life I haven’t shared with you all just yet is my fitness journey. (I know I’ve shared my weight being one of my biggest insecurities.) I started this lifestyle change December of 2017. At that time I was approached by a very established personal trainer, however, with my commitment issues, signing up with him was a no for me.

A side note about myself, I have a tendency of diving, head first, into activities, becoming discouraged and quitting not long after starting. So, when it came to getting a personal trainer, I told myself that I was going to have to prove my seriousness. All 2018, I was off and on, more off than on, however, right around the end of August, I got serious…

With all my working out and minor food changes, I LOST 30 LBS!! Proving to myself I’m all the way committed, the next time this particular trainer reached out to me, I signed up! Now, I have a personal trainer that is not only showing me the in(s) and out(s) of healthy weight-loss, he’ll also be there when it’s time for me to learn how to maintain my weight loss.

The reason I’m choosing to share my weight loss journey this week is that it’s a constant struggle. This is my first week following my personal trainer’s instructions and it’s much more difficult than I expected! I mean, from my meal plan to our boot camp style workouts, there wasn’t one day this week I didn’t feel like quitting. I pushed through though and I woke up this morning feeling A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

In one of our workouts this week, while working out, our trainer told us to find our why. At first, when I thought about it, everything was about me. “I want to love my body,” and “I want to look in the mirror and love the woman staring back at me,” however when I really thought about it, my why is so much bigger than me.

Not only do I have to continuously prove to myself I’m worth fighting for… I also have to break cycles in my family. I have to show women and young girls that feel their only choice is to live unhappy because of their weight, that they don’t have to. I have to show you all quitting isn’t an option…

This month has so much meaning depending on your walk of life. Black History Month… National Love Month… The coldest month of the year… However, if this post resonated with you in any way, I urge this February to be the month you find YOUR why! What do you want to work on? What changes do you what to see in your life? Set goals and make plans. Remember…

“You only fail when you quit…”

I love you all.

Feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. 

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

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

Beauty in Failure

~What’s up BPL Family!! Goodness, this has been a long week, however, I pray it brought you closer to the REAL you. When I tell you all I was so over adulting this week… I mean, work was crazy, my personal life felt nonexistent, and don’t even get me started on this weather!

For those of you who don’t know, I live in Upstate New York, where the weather this week just couldn’t make up its mind! We went from Monday which felt like -27 degrees to Wednesday which was 36 degrees. WHY!! Anywho, all and all, I am extremely blessed and thankful for the good, the bad, and the ugly of this week. Let’s embark on this weeks journey! Indulge & Enjoy!~

Sometimes, it’s difficult to see what everyone else sees when they look at you. It’s hard to process the difference in what you see, from what they see. The largest challenge may come when you have to convince yourself what you see isn’t true.

I mean, how can you tell your mind that what your eyes see is wrong? What type of mind games do you have to play in order to change what you see? Remember reading “Everyone Lies” from a couple weeks ago? Well, lets journey a little deeper into this mindset.

Off and on throughout my life, I struggled to see the beauty I possess. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had trillions of moments where I felt pretty. I’ve taken plenty of pictures that family and friends marvel over. My Mom would take me places and people would tell her how beautiful I am and, “She looks just like you.

“What’s the point in lying,” I would think to myself while smiling and thanking them for their kind words. As the conversation continued, I would wonder “Why don’t I see what they see?” That was before puberty took over. As a teen, my response to complements changed.

You know those people we consider ‘Negative Nancy(s)? The ones that you complement and they respond with a “Yeah, right…” or “You’re just saying that… You’re the pretty one.” In this day and age, we even refer to them as ‘Attention Seekers‘. Well… I was that person… I didn’t see it as being negative though. I also wasn’t seeking attention.

Makeup has never been my thing. Honestly, I can’t remember actually wearing it, outside of cheerleading in high school. For me, it was more about my hair. In order for me to feel beautiful, my hair had to be done. By done, I mean I really had to be feeling myself!

By the age of 11 or 12, I wasn’t feeling the straight braids to the back or quick “up-dos” my Mom did while rushing out of the door for work. Right around this age, my Mom and I got into a huge blowup that resulted in her refusing to do my hair anymore. That’s when I learned, being “beautiful” was hard work.

Surprisingly (to me and only me), I didn’t have too many moments of beauty when I was doing my own hair either. It was pretty difficult until I taught myself how to braid and, secure weave ponytails. I still had to depend on my Mom for perms and hot combs though. When I tell you I thought my mom was going to burn my scalp!!! (Lucky for me, my mom wasn’t as petty as I was.)

When I say it took me decades to see my beauty I mean it. It was two decades to be exact! After high school, I went straight to college (full-time), while also working full-time. Most days, I didn’t have enough energy to pick out an outfit yet alone do my hair. I felt hideous…

A friend of mine, Kita, convinced me to go natural, meaning no chemically treated hair, and for some reason, I thought I would instantly feel beautiful. WRONG!! I literally had to learn my hair all over again! During this time though, I started to see my beauty while learning my scalp. (Scalp is such an ugly word.)

For those of you who aren’t familiar with natural hair, there are quite a few twist-outs, wet & go(s) and protective styles. Now, believe me when I tell you they are way harder then they sound. To be honest, I’ve yet to succeed at a natural style, and April of this year will be 5 years natural!

Here we go, someone is reading this thinking, “If the style didn’t come out right, why don’t you just take it out and, start over?” To you I say. welcome to the family and we’re glad to have you. keep reading and you’ll find your answer.

Though twist-outs sound easy they are pretty time-consuming. When setting a twist-out the hair is usually damp and there is some type of styling cream or gel that is applied throughout each section. The hair then has to dry, be untwisted and then styled.

So usually, I twist my hair, allow the twists to sit overnight and then style it in the morning. Therefore, I don’t know that I’ve failed until I’m getting ready to go in the morning, By then, I have no choice but to turn this failure into a masterpiece for at least that day!

This week and last week, I was in deep thought. After putting myself in the driver seat of life last week, I felt like little Alyshia-Mae was nagging me almost. Throughout all of my thinking, there was one question that remained on my heart. “Do you see it yet?” At first, I was annoyed… Then confused… Finally frustrated.

While in my frustration, I happen to be getting ready for work. As I looked in the mirror, the question weighed heavy on my heart. I was forced to stare at the woman looking back at me. My goodness was she beautiful! it was in that emotional moment the question, “Do you see it yet,” was replaced with a simple statement…

So, you finally see our beauty?!

If no one has told you today, you are beautiful! No one is more beautiful than you! If you can’t see it, then you have some work to do… I urge you to start now!

Feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. 

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

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

I’ve Got Us From Here

~Hey Beautiful People! It’s been a crazy week but we’ve made it! I’m sure something about this week wasn’t perfect but, it’s over and, we can’t change it now so, why are you still worrying? Take a deep breath and get ready to embark on this journey! Indulge & Enjoy!~

Dear Beautiful Little Girl,

Knowing you, you’re probably locked in your room reading a book or journaling a plan for the future. I’m sorry to interrupt your flow, however, can I have just five minutes of your time? I’ve been trying to find the best way to articulate how I feel to you and, it finally hit me, you find power in words.

My soul has been begging me to reach out to you, I couldn’t figure out why so, I refused. (Yes, I’m still stubborn.) This week, however, I’ve been emotionally cornered and I knew the only way out was to write to you. So, here I am. I guess the very first thing I want to say to you is, YOUR BEAUTY IS RADIANT.

Sweet baby, the next time you look in the mirror I want you to count every freckle on your face, love them all because there’s more to come. Look at your lips, the natural lip liner that traces them, and know they are perfect. Touch the noes that your friends call a bell pepper and you refer to as Squidward, now, embrace how your nostrils flare when you’re angry. Caress your stomach as your eyes focus in, turn to the side, I need you to see the beauty in your shape. Whenever you look in the mirror I want you to know, the features you deem flaws, are actually what make you flawless.

Your name is your identity, chosen specifically for you! It’s just as unique as your blossoming personality. Yes, I know it’s long and spelling it takes forever but, I need you to promise me you will wear your name proudly. Nicknames are fun from the right people (friends and family) but, stop allowing people to shorten your name, justifying it by saying “it’s too long.” Stop allowing them to shame you into changing the very characteristics that make you unique.

I need to tell you I LOVE YOU! Right now you feel you don’t deserve to be loved. If we’re being honest, most times you’d rather not be loved because you’ve been conditioned to view love negatively. Love is not a curse word. Sweetheart, the sooner you accept that you are loveable, the sooner we can both enjoy being loved. This will be difficult because you have to shift your way of thinking. Love has nothing to do with sexual contact, that’s actually lust. You and I both know why you see love the way you do, however, I give you permission to press reset and learn what real love is.

Your yesterday will define you for as long as you allow it to. So, today I beg you to let it all go. You hide behind books because you feel your damage is visible to the world, it isn’t. You hang your head low because you feel the people around you are blaming you, they aren’t. Stop blaming yourself for the unfortunate events that continuously try to steal your joy. Hold your head high and, take back your childhood! Go to the park, play tag with the neighborhood kids. (Yes, I know, the boy in the light green house has a crush on you… it’s okay… I promise he won’t hurt you.)

I want to THANK YOU, for never leaving me. Baby girl (I know how much you hate to be called that… remember, we’re moving on), you have been here with me through everything and I am so appreciative, however, its time for you to retire. You’ve done everything you can to keep us safe. You grew up way to fast, sacrificing your childhood to protect us. Aren’t you tired? You stay up all night and worry. You’re alert all day, still worrying. It’s finally you’re time to rest. I want to give you your childhood. I want you to stop worrying. I need you to step down.

I’ve got us from here little one. I can picture the emotion on your face. You’re hurt, you feel like I’m pushing you away, I’m not. I am, however, asking you to be the child you never got to be emotionally and mentally. I need you to know it’s for our own good. Now you can enjoy our adolescent years. Get out of the house, play, color, go on an adventure, make memories to last forever. I’m not afraid anymore, I can guard us now. I’m not asking you to go away, I’m just asking you to switch places with me. Let me drive while you ride shotgun. I PROMISE we’re going to be just fine…

Relax angel and trust me the way I’ve trusted you all these years.

I LOVE YOU FOREVER.

Thank you, as always, for embarking on this amazingly rewarding journey with me!

Feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

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

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

Everyone Lies

~Hey BPL Family! I pray this week has been full of refreshing love and understanding! I’m excited to share this weeks topic with you so let’s dive right in! Indulge & Enjoy!!~

So lying is inevitable right? I mean we all do it, right? We tell our friends, we’ll call them in 10 mins and never call. We tell our bosses, we’ll pick up extra shifts and then call in when the time comes. We throw around the “L” word (love) in relationships that we don’t really care about. We tell ourselves that we’re going to wake up early to workout or do something else productive and then snooze our alarm 15 times. (Super Guilty!)

Our society breaks it down for us though. We’re conditioned to believe the things mentioned above are “little lies” and don’t matter as much as real lies. “It’s only a white lie, how much damage could it do?” What we never seem to remember is EVERYTHING we say and do impacts someone in some way. Our little white lies usually have a negative impact even if it isn’t immediate or as large as other lies.

One of my biggest mental struggles is paranoia. Relax, it’s not the level of paranoia where I think everyone is out to get me or that something tragic is bound to happen to me. My paranoia mainly focuses in on lies, meaning, regardless of the dynamics of a relationship, I expect to be lied to. It doesn’t have to be a love interest or even a direct friend of mine. I just always find myself inspecting conversations and reading between the lines to find any discrepancies.

Now, I know someone is reading this saying, “This doesn’t sound too bad,” or “I need to be more like you,” I have to caution that thought process. I’ve dismissed a multitude of amazing people from my life because I felt I was lied to. With my extreme fear of being lied to, once I detect what I conclude to be a lie, I begin cutting that person out of my life completely. Even if it’s just a “little white lie…”

Being as paranoid as I am isn’t leading to any of the proactive precautions some of you may have in mind. At this level, I’m not protecting my heart or making sure I don’t allow the wrong people in my life. What I am doing, however, is ruining potential relationships (on all levels), and not allowing myself to grow socially or emotionally. I shut people out for minuscule mistakes. For example, You tell me your favorite season is Spring, then talking to a group of friends I overhear you discussing how much you love Fall and that you think that’s your favorite season.

Most people wouldn’t register (or care) about the minor discrepancy. Me? Oh, I take it to a whole nother level. My paranoid self will have a whole attitude and bring it up to you when the time is right. On top of all that, I’ll say something along the lines of, “If you can lie about something as small as your favorite season, what else are you lying about?” Then, I’ll begin to think about every conversation we’ve had and question your sincerity and truthfulness.

Monday morning (1/7), I woke up in deep thought. My soul asked my heart, “Why do you allow us to be isolated?” I immediately felt myself become defensive. Yes, I was ready to defend myself (by any means necessary) against myself. (If no one else had my back, I sure did.) But, then my thought process switched as my mind asked my heart, “Why does my soul feel like this?” That’s when I realized, I was creating the damage and hurt I’ve been trying so hard to protect myself from.

By being so obsessed with the fear of being lied to, I have stunted my own growth. I have unintentionally created stagnation in my life. I’m pushing everyone away because of my interpretation of untruthfulness. I’ve realized this week that I don’t like large crowds because I can’t process and keep track of all of the conversations going on. As this realization emerged, my soul asked another intriguing question, “Why do we want to process and keep track of them?”

With me, once a conversation registers in my memory bank, there aren’t any clean slates. I literally remember specifics of conversations from decades ago just because “I detected a lie.” I store the conversations as “evidence” if needed in the future. (And I wonder why have headaches some days…) Suddenly, my heart sadly speaks to my mind, “I don’t want to live like this anymore.” My mind agreed and my soul rejoiced!

I spent the rest of the week working through how to perform a master reset on my memory. Then it occurred, first, its impossible to just wipe out specific parts of my memory (without tragedy or trauma). Second, I shouldn’t want to. It’s perfectly okay to remember an event or conversation. Frustration begins to creep in as I start to feel like this whole week has been a waste. I felt like running through the library of my mind knocking down every book and shelf insight! Then these words hit me:

“Moving forward I will NO LONGER walk through life expecting to be lied to…”

I’m so thankful you are embarking on this journey with me. Feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. 

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

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

Closing a Year, Opening a Lifetime

~Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope this past holiday season has taught you something surprising about yourself. If it didn’t that’s okay, we have a whole NEW YEAR ahead of us! Before we get started, I urge you to shake off anything that’s blocking you from engaging these words… Need some help? 

Repeat after me (Confidently!!): 

I AM SOMEONE VALUABLE!

I AM BEAUTIFUL/HANDSOME!

I AM MORE THAN ENOUGH!

I AM NOT MY YESTERDAY!

Say it as many times as you need to. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…
It’s imperative you hear the truth in those words.  

Feeling better? Good! Let’s move on. Indulge and Enjoy!!~

First, let me start by saying I pray you had an amazing Christmas and a blessed start to this New Year! Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas? I know I did. This year was different though. Unlike previous years, I had no wants or desire for materialistic nonsense. I mean, I received some beautiful gifts and I am grateful, however, they were nowhere near the highlight of my holiday season.

This year, I made a nerve-racking decision to celebrate Christmas with family on my Dad’s side. Doesn’t sound like too big a deal right? Well, I’ve never met them before so, it was pretty huge for me. In my short 26 years, I can only remember spending an hour, back in April of 2015, with my Father prior to this Christmas. (Before you begin forming opinions and assuming, read the rest of the post.)

My father, my siblings and I got in contact approximately nine and a half years ago, when I reached out to one of my older brothers via Facebook. When I went searching that day, my intentions were to find my Father, however, I bumped into my brother first! So, I sent him a message telling him who I was and, he connected with our father to confirm.

Fast forwarding this story a little. We all have been communicating for years now, but I have only really met, spent legitimate time with, my brother I originally contacted. The rest of us kept in contact mainly through social media and sporadic conversations. One fact remained consistent, no matter who I spoke with was they all wanted to meet me and soon.

Around Christmas time (2017), while having I’m sure a random conversation with my Dad, he asked me to choose a holiday (Christmas, or Thanksgiving) to spend with them next year. Knowing my mom and brothers aren’t big on holidays, choosing one of the two wasn’t difficult. I mean, keeping it all the way real, a part of me wanted to pick both.

One thing, well person, forced me to really think about the decision I was making. My Mom. Now, when I say “forcing me,” I don’t want anyone thinking she told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t do so in this very moment. Truth? The last time my Dad was brought up, in conversation with my Mom, was when my Mom first found out I was in contact with my brother. To say she wasn’t happy was an understatement. She said quite a few things in the heat of that discussion and I didn’t know how serious she was.

My biggest fear is (and will always be) losing my Mom in the process of building with my Dad. Being that my Mom did the best she could to provide for me and my brothers, I don’t think she understands my desire to want a relationship with my Father. She feels like because she is the only parent I’ve known (or consciously remember) that I shouldn’t need my Dad but, the truth is I do.

So far throughout my life, my Mom has given me all the love she could, yet, I still managed to break emotionally and mentally. Let me be clear, in no way, shape, or form do I see my damage as her fault. I don’t ever want my Mom to feel like anyone can take her place in my life. I also don’t want her to feel that anyone can taint the love I have for her. I do see, however, now that I’m on this journey of building, I  have to do what is needed to become whole. For me, a part of that was meeting my Father.

Throughout 2018, I knew of my intentions to travel to Kentucky and spend it with my Dad’s side of the family. What I didn’t know, was how to tell my Mom without hurting her. So, once the ticket was purchased, I withheld specific information. I told my Mom I was going to Kentucky for my siblings only and negated any reference to my father. Now, this wasn’t the biggest lie in the world but, it was a lie none the less and I definitely felt bad. This trip just meant too much to me to turn down though.

Once I got there, after checking in with my Mom, I IMMEDIATELY began falling in love with everyone and everything around me. The first person I saw was my Father and I felt an elevated level of love. (I remembered writing a paper, titled “Loving a Man with no Face,” in college, and all the emotions the writing process brought me.) This was everything I’ve ever desired wrapped into one! While I’ve seen numerous pictures of my father, since contacting him, and of course I’ve had tons of phone conversations I still hadn’t really had much one on one interaction.

The week flew by! Gathering after gathering… Hug after hug… I met what felt like hundreds of people. The connections I already had with people I had never met in person before was unimaginable! From vibing out over drinks with my oldest brother and sister (you know I can’t hang right), to arcade games with a few of my other siblings, one thing was certain. EVERYONE WAS COMFORTABLE IN THEIR OWN SKIN!

Being around a bunch of new people for such a major holiday was a little rough in the beginning. At first, I didn’t want to make my own plate in front of a bunch of unfamiliar people and I definitely didn’t want to leave the sides of the few people I did know.

Even though my quiet and more reserved demeanor was very obvious, everyone welcomed me with open arms and included me in everything. They even got me to play multiple rounds of Uno and even arcade games, which is huge for me! The best part was they did it without making me feel forced out of my comfort zone.

2018 has been so eye-opening to who I am as a person and what I need to work on to be the best me I can be. To end the year meeting the other half of me has been so wonderfully amazing! To say this was the best Christmas ever would be a drastic understatement. I’ve always heard people say Christmas isn’t about gift giving or receiving but, I never understood it until now. I can’t wait to get together with my FAMILY again!

Remember there’s only one person on this earth in charge of your destiny and that’s YOU! Do not allow anyone or anything to stop your path to greatness this year.

Happy New Year!!

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