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.

Mending the Past

~Hey Family! Notice anything different? This week has been a beautiful mess! While writing this post, I questioned how ready I was to share this stage of my journey. The final decision was to share because anyone embarking on this journey with me deserves transparency and truth. I honestly pray you CAN’T relate and learn from my mistakes. 

Before we dive in, I promised you all a therapy update! Even though there’s not much to share, I want to keep my promise. It was a really comforting first session. Definitely informative, we talked about a little of everything. I’m not going to say I left feeling awesome because I didn’t. When I left, I was in deep reflection of my past. I guess that’s where this blog stems from… Indulge and enjoy!~

The hardest part of this journey is admitting how much destruction I’ve caused people around me. I’m being forced to reflect on circumstances that I’ve become numb to. Acknowledging that I was a horrible friend. Take ownership of my actions and how it changed the position I held in their lives.  Allowing them to tell THEIR TRUTHS without taking offense. Asking for forgiveness with no expectation of receiving it. And, allowing them the time they need to reflect and decide they are willing to allow me access to their lives again. 

I’m being forced to humble myself and put my ego aside. I can’t approach the conversations in defense mode. I have to be silent and really hear how I hurt some of my closest friends, my best friends even. Realizing that even if they choose to forgive me, they may never allow me to be as close as I once was. 

Keeping it real, I was blessed with some amazing friends! Like my best female friend, I mean at this point she’s my sister, but she has been to hell and back with me. Granted throughout the time we’ve been in each other’s lives (10+ years) we’ve had some amazing times! We were each other’s support systems. Because of the points we were in our personal lives, we supported each other in different ways. I was her physical support (like helping with my niece), but she supported me emotionally. 

Emotional support sounds easy, right? WRONG! She had to deal with my raw emotion, which isn’t pretty at all, trust me. She was the call that was made 2 seconds after my heart was broken, or in the midst of making a dumb decision. My voice of reason. But, what happens when you’re too broken to accept words of wisdom. You run…

Her life became my personal revolving door, popping in and out when convenient. No matter how many times I disappeared she was always there with open arms to deal with my next crisis. Sometimes, I ran because I didn’t know how to sit and listen when she needed me, other times I ran because I knew she was telling me the right thing to do.

The last time I walked away was in early 2017. When I came back, late December 2017, I found out I have a nephew!  I was shocked, confused, heartbroken even. I couldn’t believe it had been that long, but I had missed 9+ months. She welcomed me back but it took us a long time to “get close” again. We had a lot of generic conversations in the beginning. And, I know she would deny it however, I believe my inconsistency is a part of the reason why I didn’t meet my nephew (in person) until just a few days ago.  I honestly can’t blame her though. 

Though I’m so thankful she accepted me back into her life, everyone isn’t that easy to forgive. If they do forgive, they aren’t that quick to move forward. I met my female best friend through her brother, my male best friend.  We connected my freshman year of high school. He knew everything there was to know about me. Literally the ONLY guy my mom would let me hang out with.

Our friendship took a lot of twist and turns, we always bounced back though. Well, when I move to Georgia, we’ll talk about this soon, I was so damaged that I allowed what I knew to be altered. Our entire friendship became blurry. I allowed my male best friend to be portrayed as my enemy.  Instead of standing firmly in the facts, I built up anger, hate, and rage for someone I once loved.  That caused me 4 years and counting of friendship with him. I finally reached out to him and we talked for about 2 hours.

The end result being he forgives me but doesn’t know if he wants me in his life. He’s unsure if mending the past is worth it at this point. For me, I understand why he’s so hesitant, I just want him to be able to enjoy my healthiness the way he had to deal with my pain. Did I tell him that? Of course, however, he is a strong-minded person and there is nothing I can say or do to sway his thoughts. I have accepted that there is nothing further I can do and, I can’t make the decision for him. I will respect whatever decision he chooses. 

To think about all the lives impacted by my insecurities is overwhelming at times. I wish I could sit down and genuinely apologize to each and every one of them. I understand and accept that I could only offer them who I was in that moment. It just saddens me to know that all I could offer was brokenness…

You know what to do from here! Feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Beautiful Passionate Love

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

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