Pushing Through

~Hey Hey Family!! I pray this week was good to you. It was another rough week for me, however, I have faith that this is only preparing me for the blessings soon to come. Are you ready for this week’s journey? Let’s dive in! Indulge and Enjoy!

A few weeks ago, I told you all I was dealing with some stuff that I’m not ready to talk about. Truth? I’m still dealing with it and I’m still not ready to talk about it. (For the person asking, “Why bring it up again, if you still don’t want to talk about it?” KEEP READING!)

Being that I’m an adult with consistent bills and pricey desires, I don’t have the ability to just press pause because I’m going through some things. (Ohh… How I wish I could!) So, this week, as I continue to push through this rough patch, I begin to ask myself, “How do you continue to push through?” Great Question! Let’s explore it…

As each day passed this week, I thought about what really stops me from giving up…

My Faith

I know I’ve mentioned it sporadically in past post, however, I am VERY spiritual. Growing up, I was in church every Sunday and bible study every Wednesday. Of course, back then I disliked church as much as attending Catholic school. As a Baptist, at a Catholic school, with two Muslim best friends, my faith and knowledge base was definitely stretched. Every service I sat through and every religion class I pretended to pay attention in, has in some way assisted with the strength I possess today.

To be clear, the reason my faith is number one on my list, is not that suicide is a sin, or because, there are people in the world that are less fortunate than me (though both are very true). My faith keeps me afloat because when I am at my lowest, literally 2 steps away from giving up, I pray. I pour my heart out to the Lord and ask him to guide me through the emotional/physical pain I’m going through. He never fails to show up and walk through my mess with me. I remember He is the author of my story and He makes no mistakes…

My Stubbornness

Now, this one is a little funny, to be honest. While funny it’s also very important. Regardless of how positive you are, there is always someone praying your downfall. Family, friends, even a stranger, no matter their title in your life, there is a hater somewhere that doesn’t want to see you succeed.For me, this is the exact push I need to make sure I NEVER give up. I REFUSE to allow them to win. Telling me I can do something, or that I won’t succeed, forces me to prove the individual wrong at any cause…

My Destiny

I have a destiny that ONLY I can fulfill! How dare I rob the world of my greatness. I do not have the right to cancel my life mission because my emotions are overwhelming at the moment. “This too shall pass…” and when it does pass, I need to be ready to push forth and be great! I can’t do that if I’ve given up!

My Family

I love and adore my family. Though they may not admit it, I’m the most important person in all of their lives. Like, what would they do without me? With a little sister like me, no moment together can be boring. And, as the best big sister ever, trouble is always around the corner. On top of that, I’m an AMAZING daughter, the BEST auntie ever, the craziest cousin you could ever love, and the greatest friend you’ll ever have. With all the different roles I hold in these peoples lives, why would I force them to live life without me?

Working Out

Everyone needs an outlet. While writing is my emotional unload channel, working out has become my physical release. I use to literally cringe at the thought of becoming fit. Now, it’s as if I can’t have a good day without it. I work out Monday through Friday for at least an hour. I didn’t plan it this way, however, working out after the majority of my day has transpired is GENIUS! During my workout, I feel the stress leave my body and, the sweat is great at masking my tears when my day is extremely tough. I’ve had nights where I cry through the majority of the workout, however, when I’m done I always feel lighter! Fitness has become my reset button!

These are just the 5 drivers that kept me going this week. Depending on what I’m struggling through, they could slightly change. And, some of then just never change. We all go through hard times, some struggles last longer than others. What we all have to remember is this isn’t the end! Whatever you are dealing with will build and mold you for your destiny! Remember, no one can live out your destiny but you.

What pushes you in your tough times to never give up?

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.

Stages of Beauty

~Hey Beautiful People! I pray this week has been challenging enough for you to realize you are worth fighting for! Me? My week was definitely challenging, however, I made beautiful decisions to do what makes me happy in life! This week I am actually releasing ideas from a piece of work I wrote back in September of 2011. Of course, because it was so long ago, I can’t tell you why I wrote this but, I’d love to tell you what it means to me now. Ready to journey together? Well, let’s dive right in. Indulge and Enjoy!~

Cute, beautiful, and gorgeous… Three words, spued thoughtlessly to describe one’s physical appearance, yet their definitions are so much deeper (in my opinion of course). Many people don’t see the difference between the three because they never stop and think about it. I mean really… Have you ever sat down and asked yourself, “What qualifies a person to receive the title of being gorgeous?” Well, I have so, let’s talk about it.

CUTE:

We are born cute. I mean that’s the go-to description for all children under five. Its the stage of not knowing right from wrong. You know, when we act up in a public place and our parents want to smack us into last week, but they can’t because everyone is looking at us going “Awww!” Remember when all you had to do was poke your lip out and you’d get whatever you wanted? Yeah, that’s cute…

We should never want to stay here for the rest of our lives. I mean, staying here would mean remaining ignorant to the world around us. Having no cares in the world, waking up eager to jump in the sandbox and build our next castle each morning. Unfortunately, many of us, male and female, don’t view cute this way. We, the human race, are programmed to desire instant gratification, therefore, if cute will get us what we want, cute is what we’ll be! This mentality is why most of us stay here for years trying to bat our eyelashes and poke our lip out all the way to success.


BEAUTIFUL:

A person becomes beautiful when they start to realize that the world is not all about them. This is about us maturing and finding our own place in this world. It’s when reality hits us, and we realize those stupid cliches are true. You know what I’m talking about… “You have to give in order to receive,” and “Nothing on this earth is free.”

To me, the stage of being beautiful is all about curiosity. As we explore and journey through life, we make choices that become apart of our character. We begin to be seen in a different light because we see others in a different light. Slowly, we’re beginning to realize, life isn’t all about what we can get out of people. We become interested in how we can use our talents to pour into the lives of people around us. Most people become comfortable here and remain complacent for a lifetime never even realizing it.

GORGEOUS:

This is the final stage of beauty, in my opinion. It’s about caring for others before we care for ourselves. You know, when you choose to put others needs, wants and desires before your own. It’s about giving love and being a friend to someone without expecting anything in return. At this stage, we are secure in who we are and our place in the world. We aren’t looking to be validated, we are looking to validate.

As we go through life, obstacles, beyond our control, are thrown at us, we have to choose to push our way to success. This doesn’t me we will be triumphant in all endeavors, however, we learn how to react to circumstances beyond our control. Our reactions become the blueprint to those watching us. Our positive vibes become the energies pushed into the world. How many of us can honestly say we are here?

In my opinion, I do not feel anyone is born in the stage of beautiful or gorgeous. Our stages blossom and present themselves as life matures us. Those of us who are told our beauty, accept it and aren’t humble enough to return it back into the world, lack all the beauty we once possessed.

Once a person’s beauty strips away their humility, compassion, and desire to positively pour into others lives, it is no longer beauty. At that very moment, their beauty has become a burden that will only drag them further from their destiny if not dealt with properly. (This is where the stage UGLY comes into play.) This I truly believe.

I’m sure reading this you were able to relate to each stage mentioned. The truth is all three stages are locked within us. It’s up to us to release them and let our beauty shine. As for me, I believe I’m lost somewhere in the stage of beautiful fighting with cute to stay behind me. Remember, this is all my opinion. I’d love to know what stage of beauty you see yourself in…

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.



Emotional Overload

~What’s up BPL! I pray this week has been good to you! If it wasn’t, remember, whatever transpired is behind you now. My week left me in deep thought, to the point of sleepless nights. Of course, I’m going to share what’s been on my mind silly, we’re family! This week will be shorter than usual though. You’ll understand why as you continue journeying. Let’s dive in! Indulge and enjoy!~

Being honest my mind is in overload… My creativity feels stunted. My desire to love what I do feels faded. It’s as if the river of imagination has been drained dry. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to write, that will never change (words flow through my veins), it’s just something is emotionally off.

Okay, so maybe I’m not being totally truthful. First, let me say I’ve gone through this creative drought before, only the last time, it lasted a little over 3 years. Yes, I spent 3 years bottling up everything life threw my way. On the verge of exploding at any second, this is when I started keeping to myself, socializing with almost no one. I REFUSE to let this transpire into the stagnation, loneliness, and emptiness I felt during those 3 years.

What’s haunting me you ask? Great question! I’m not yet ready to answer however, let me explain something. When you decide to make changes for the better, obstacles from your past will continuously reveal themselves in order to; pull you back into the mess and dysfunction you chose to leave behind. Now, depending on the person you choose to talk to about this, they’ll say “just stay focused and keep pushing.” Easier said than done is a drastic understatement!

How do you stay focused when the tears are weighing your eyelids down, and the only thing stopping you from crying is joking with a coworker who knows hardly anything about you… How do you keep pushing when in a room full of people, you feel unseen… How do you keep your head above water when you feel your sins tied around your ankles creating a huge boulder, pulling you deeper and deeper… Yet you get up daily and continue to push through.

Well, this is exactly what I’ve been dealing with. We talk a little about my past weekly so, you all know, like everyone else in this world, I’ve made a multitude of mistakes. While this journey is titled, “The Journey to Discovering Me,” a major part of this journey is working through my past. As memories or circumstances arise, I dissect and deconstruct them to see what I’ve learned from it and how not to repeat it. Then, I let go

But, this week, letting go isn’t as easy as in weeks prior. mainly because I’m not ready to let go. I don’t want to forget. While yes, the situation brought me a lot of pain, it also taught me strength. Though I’ve forgiven everyone involved in the situation, I still hold the facts very close to me. I hold on to the pain to make sure nothing or no one can take that strength away from me…

I know my thought process is not 100% logical when it comes to this matter. It’s almost the same feeling of getting a tattoo. We wince as the needle pierces our skin over a thousand times, yet, as soon as we think we’re about to give up, its over, and we’re already planning our next tattoo with the artist. Only, in this case, God is my artist, He won’t allow me to quit, and my input doesn’t hold much weight. Also, my tattoos are only visible in my actions and reactions.

If you’ve made it this far, I just want to say thank you for embarking on this rough journey with me. I love you all and promise to see you next week.

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.

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.

Angel On Earth

~Hey Family! I pray blessings and love to you and your families this holiday season. This week is going to be very different. A close friend was killed this Tuesday and I will not be able to attend the funeral so this post is my goodbye to him. Relax and explore some very raw emotions with me. Indulge & Enjoy.~

I remember the first time I saw you playing, with my big brother Anthony, on the playground at Holy Family Elementary School. My first thought was  “He’s too old to be playing with my brother…”  I couldn’t understand how a third grader could have gray hair, probably because I was only a second grader. I soon found out you and my brother were the best of friends when you ended up walking home with us one day. From then on you became another brother…

You were always so nice to me. Even when my biological brothers were jerks. You would tell me, “That’s what brothers do,” and convince me I had no reason to be upset while still acknowledging my feelings. I remember being upset with you once because you laughed at one of their jokes about me. I’m sure I was being overly emotional but, as soon as you noticed you apologized and promised to never do it again… to my recollection, you didn’t. When my emotions got the best of me you always gave me the biggest hugs and told me not to cry. For some reason that was enough.

From failed relationships to me deciding to move to Georgia and, not knowing how to manage being so far from family, you were there. Oh wow, I just realized I never even said thank you. You caught so many of my tears. Even when we hadn’t seen each other in years.

You were entirely too perfect for this world. A man willing to give anything and everything to help the next person. I literally, have never heard you raise your voice in anger. I definitely remember how you filled the room with laughter and joy though.

It’s eating me up that you had to suffer. It’s pissing me off that I’m writing this post. I keep telling myself that God had to take you because you were too perfect to live among us selfish individuals.

I am so sorry that life happened and I couldn’t get out of my mess long enough to be the friend to you that you were to me. I’m sorry I missed your call on Thanksgiving and never made time to call you back. I’m sorry our hearts wasn’t as big as yours.

I don’t have to ask you to forgive me for being flawed, because I know you already have. The lessons and conversations you have taught me will remain in my heart forever. I promise to do my best at smiling as bright as you and spread as much joy and you did in your short 28 years of living.

It’s crazy how the world works. The kindest, most people seem to deal with the most pain. You literally are the most genuine person I’ve ever met. I’ll never forget all of the nights, I use to classify as annoying, watching you and the boys playing video games. Dragonball Z and wrestling were always the topics of discussion, while you drank like 4 glasses of Nesquik Chocolate Milk and tell corny stories, that seems way funnier now…

It’s so hard to believe your gone. Even harder to try to make sense out of a tragedy that will never make sense. I’m not ready to say goodbye, none of us are. I don’t want to end this post because it seems too soon. No, it is too soon…

I know your family misses you immensely. I promise to check in as often as they allow me to. I promise to help them continue to shine your bright light through this dimly lit world. You will always remain in our hearts.

Thank you for being the amazing angel you are.

In memory of

Joshua Santos

August 6, 1990 – December 18, 2018

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