Twenty-Eight

Hey family!!! I’m sure you’ve noticed today isn’t Saturday. I wanted to journey with you all today, however, because I’m closing out another chapter on my life. That’s right! IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!! Today I turn 28… I know I can’t believe it either… While reflecting on the last year, I think about my greatest accomplishments and my greatest failures. Hope you’re ready! Indulge & Enjoy!

Man, God had truly blessed me over the last year. Whether it be moving from one state to another, or simply waking me up to see another day, He has never lifted His hand from my life, and I am eternally grateful. I mean, name anyone in this world who would continue to love and support you, regardless of the times you’ve turned your back on them. You can’t! And, that’s why, though my relationship with God isn’t as strong as I desire, He will always be the author of my story and the navigation on all journeys of my life.

Now, during this 27th year of life, I can’t say I’ve accomplished everything I set out to, however, I’ve taken rather large leaps of faith, and the Father has been there to catch me every time I’ve fallen. What more could I ask for?

For me, the age of 28 signifies two different attributes of my personality that usually lay dormant in the background, FEARLESSNESS & BOLDNESS. For the last few days, I’ve felt the word fearlessness heavy in my spirit. And, I feel, this year it’s important for me to address it head-on!

Now, some of you, who know me personally are probably thinking… “ She picked up and moved to a whole new state last year. How is she not fearless?” And, your right, I did and that showed a level of fearlessness I want throughout my life!

This also leads me to the second part of my personality, boldness. I’ve always lacked the boldness that I’ve desired. Even in school, when answering a question, I would know my answer was correct, but still, say it in the form of a question because I was unsure. Not anymore!!!

I will be bold in my actions, words, thoughts, and feelings. And, if mistakes are made, I will be bold in accepting ownership and correcting my mistakes. No longer will I be the meek person waiting to be approached for an opportunity. I will show my interest in whatever is presented! And, if I’m not chosen I WILL CREATE MY OWN OPPORTUNITIES!

With all this being said, I really want to welcome you all into Chapter 28 of my life! I’m blessed to see this day and so grateful to share it with you all! I pray you join me on my journey of fearlessness and boldness as we encourage one another to be their true authentic self!

This will take the place of our journey for Saturday May 30th. I will see you all on June 6th!

Love yall!

And, Happy Birthday to Me!!!

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

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

It Takes Two…

Welcome to this month’s faith journey. Yes, I am a Christian, however, despite the walk of faith you’re on, I pray you to explore with me today and receive a little clarity about some of the spiritual roadblocks you may be facing, in the present moment. Ready? Me too! Indulge and Enjoy!

Communication:

— The imparting or exchanging of information or news.

— A letter or message containing information or news.

— The successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings.

(Definitions brought to you by our good friend Google!)

Communication can be difficult, at times. Especially when one party doesn’t exactly know how to communicate effectively. I mean, it should be simple right? One party (Party A) shares their feelings, concerns, thoughts, and opinions, all while the other party (Party B) listens. Then, only after effectively listening, Party B responds, sharing their feelings, concerns, thoughts, and opinions, while party A listens effectively.

Notice any keywords there? Right, EFFECTIVELY. Do we all know what “effectively” means? Well, let’s check back in with our good friend, Google, just to make sure!

Effectively:

— In such a manner as to achieve a desired result.

So basically, if I (Party A), enter a dialogue of communication, with Party B, with no desire to understand or actually hear what they have to say, my intentions in which I will be effective are now partial, and really of no value to this transaction. Makes sense? I hope so. Keep this foundation, we’ve created, in the front of your mind as we continue on this journey.

Here we go again… Me sitting here, telling You how much I’m trying to get it right… Telling You, it’s not my fault, I missed a Church service (even though it‘s live-streamed and I don’t have to leave my bed). Defending my poor choices by telling You, “internet church” doesn’t work for me.

Hello!? Are You listening? So, You’re just not going to say anything? Okay cool. Look, I know I’m not the perfect daughter but I try. Thank You for never giving up on me. Your continued Grace and Mercy are very much appreciated.

So, I know I haven’t 100% followed through on everything you told me to do, but I need your help. See, I’m struggling mentally and emotionally, with problems that aren’t even my own, but I need You to help me carry this weight load.

Oh, by the way, I miss intimacy. I miss talking to someone on an intellectual level and sharing my inner thoughts with them. So, I was thinking about reaching out to one of my exes. Now, I know this isn’t going to help with the emotional baggage I still haven’t worked through but honestly, I’m bored…

Anyways Father, it’s been great talking with You tonight. We’ll definitely have to chat again soon. I love you! Amen!

Okay, so how did reading that feel? Pretty one-sided right? Now, by the Grace of God, this isn’t a sample of my direct communication between me and the Father, however, I cannot begin to tell you how many conversations I’ve had with Him, without ever giving Him a chance to speak.

Sometimes, when I try to communicate with the Father, I forget to let my guard down. This lays a huge role in being effective with my words. I have various communication channels with Him (singing, journaling, verbally praying, meditating, reading my word, worshiping, and so many others), but my channels don’t matter if I’m not open to being receptive!

Listen, communication is a two-way street. It doesn’t matter who you’re trying to communicate with, you have to be ready and able to communicate effectively. With the Father, effective communication is crucial! He wants to speak to us just as much as He listens to us. It takes time and patience to hear what He is asking of you. Moving too fast may cause you to miss the very step leading to your next blessing or deliverance.

That’s all. Continue to be blessed!

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

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

March Madness

Hey family! It’s the last Saturday in this crazy month, and can I just say… THANK GOODNESS! So much has transpired for me this month, (some good, some bad, and some not yet categorized), I feel it’s necessary to this self-reflection journey, and fully close the door on a few chapters in life. Are y’all ready to explore with me? Indulge & Enjoy!

My Past…

You seem to creep up on me when I least expect it,

Reminding me, I’m not far from where I started.

You encourage me to give up,

And, revert back to the sins I used to love.

You wrap your arms around me,

As a reminder, I’ll never be free.

Yet, daily I push on…

And on, I will continue to push.

Today, I officially say goodbye to you. No more trying to fix relationships that just won’t work (romantically or platonic). No more holding on to moments, unworthy of my attention.

Today, I change the locks on my heart, to make sure your key no longer works. I accept you, I love you, and I appreciate you. Please don’t “drop by,” or “check-in,” I promise I’ll always be okay… Be blessed.

My Present…

I constantly ignore you,

As I check-in, to see who’s come back around.

I pretend it’s not that serious,

As I slowly drift back to my old ways.

I always repeat this cycle,

Walking away from you to reminisce.

Yet, daily, you push me to push on…

And on, I will continue to push.

I’m here! I’m presently present! I want to pour into you and admire our time together. We both know this isn’t going to be easy, but I’m here. I promise to be committed to you and appreciate what you have to offer.

I know I’m a lot to deal with, and at times I’m all over the place, so thank you for never giving up on me. Please, continue to force me to keep my head up… I love you!

My Future…

Damn, you are always in the back of my mind,

Knowing every choice I make alters a different time.

I wish I could see more of you,

Just to show me what it is I need to do.

To give up my past is such a risk,

What if I don’t enjoy the unknown that doesn’t yet exist?

Yet, daily, we push on…

And on, we will continue to push.

I do not own you, therefore I promise to let you be and to stop trying to control you. I also promise, to enjoy the precious moments that are passing me by. I know it’s not easy for you to sit and watch me make the same mistakes over and over again, so I’ll try to make better choices in life.

You are so bright and beautiful. You have so much potential! Don’t let me or anyone else dim your light! As the days, months, and years pass the one thing I always want you to remember is, I love the strong, vibrant, beautiful, woman you grow into daily. The best is yet to come…

March showed me some really dark days. At times, I felt as though my voice had been taken from me, again. I struggled to see my beauty. I struggled to feel loved. I even struggled to love myself. In the midst of all of my struggling, I knew if I just continued to go through the motions I would feel again.

If this month was a struggle for you, I want you to journey through why. When you have your why(s), I want you to sit down and truly reflect on them. Are they true? Are they changeable? Can you change them? Can you remove them from your life? From here, make the necessary changes to protect your peace. No one on this earth can overcome your struggles but you. I love y’all.

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

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

The Unknown

Hey Family! With everything going on in the world at the present moment, I really just wanted to let this journey be an encouraging one. I want you all to explore with me and leave seeing at least a little light at the end of what feels like a long dark tunnel. Ready to explore? Indulge & Enjoy!

So, lately, all we’re hearing about is sickness and death and, honestly, it’s exhausting. Life as we knew it has been halted and most of us are staying in the house (with the exception of a quick store run). Some of us are terrified while others are trusting in the Lord to see us through this difficult time. I’m pray we all come together on one accord, and continue to walk this faith journey together. Listen, I don’t know what tomorrow holds. What I do know is, if we keep our faith and continue to worship the Father, we will be alright.

I’m not an expert on this faith thing, but I know, times like this are when God is looking for us to stay faithful. No, I’m not saying this is a test from Him. What I am saying is regardless of why this virus has shifted our lives, we need to allow it to build our faith. God has not forgotten us, and he has not left us here to suffer. Pray, worship the Father, stay in your Word, keep your communication to the Heavens open. He wants to hear from you. He wants to know we are still trusting Him.

Let’s try something… Do you remember your first heartbreak? How did you feel? I’m certain words such as discouraged, confused, betrayed, and alone come to mind. But, for how long did it last? Did you allow it to dictate your entire life? Just as that heartbreak, this too is not permanent. No, neither one of us knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. Nor do we know what next week, or next month, will look like. But, I know by the grace of God we will adapt and we will thrive! What I know for a fact is this…

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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

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

Misconception

Hey Family!! I want to take the time to thank y’all for rocking with me! This is our second spiritual journey, and to be honest, these may be my favorite journey!

So often, as Christians, the notion of getting it right is forced on us. We are made to believe there is no room for error and if we do make a mistake, we’re doomed to hell. (Now, don’t get it twisted, neither my current or previous Church is teaching this…)

This week we are going to journey through the misconceptions of giving your life to Christ. Indulge and Enjoy!

Before we proceed, I have to give credit where credit is due. About 2 years ago, I started removing secular music from my playlists and began listening to more faith-based music. There was an artist, by the name of Lecrae, I had a little bit of knowledge on from a song, he released in 2006, titled Prayin’ for You.

I decided to binge listen to him and I came across a song titled Misconception Pt 2. This song blessed me tremendously! I immediately added it to my daily rotation to encourage me to keep pushing on my journey to Christ. Check it out! Really pay attention to the chorus…

Chorus:

We’re flawless, and we think we’re better,

Its official, got it all together,

We don’t want em getting the wrong impressions,

Cause that ain’t real that’s a misconception,

Been a struggle, only Jesus kept us,

And we still fall, so it’s hard to get up,

We don’t want em getting the wrong impressions,

Cause this is real ain’t no misconception…

Did you listen to it? What are your thoughts? For me, this song helped to remove the stigmas society forced on me as a Believer. I was reminded, even with Christ in my life I’m still flawed. There will never be a day, I wake up sin-free, yet I strive for it daily.

Some of the world expects us to have it all figured out the moment we accept the Lord as our Savior. Well, guess what… it doesn’t work like that! I gave my life to Christ at the age of 9 and recommitted my life to him in October of 2017. I still don’t have it all figured out. I’m trying though. I will never stop trying…

I guess what I’m saying is Believers struggle too. It’s not above us, and it doesn’t mean we’re hypocrites. It means we’re human. Stop trying to force yourself into the box of perfection. You will never fit!

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

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

January’s Reflection

The 4th Saturday of the month already? Geesh, Where has the time gone? Well., Welcome to our First monthly reflection!! This is where we will journey through the highs and lows of the month. Also, this is where any questions regarding previous journeys throughout the month will be answered.

We don’t have any questions to answer thus far this month, so this week will focus more on my feelings throughout the month. Cool Beans? Well, let’s explore! Indulge & Enjoy!

New Beginnings…

What better way to start a new year than with a new exciting business venture? Well that’s exactly what I did when I introduced the beauty aspect of B.P.L.! I was Over the moon excited to share a talent I enjoy so much with the world (still am). The truth is, it didn’t take off the way I wanted it to.

At first, I was discouraged and frustrated. I wanted to post random rants on Facebook. You know like, “Support those who support you…” and blah, blah, blah. (Petty, I know.) I’m so glad I didn’t though. This expansion has taught me so much about myself! I realized how fearless I am and how resilient I’ve become.

Foundations…

With every journey you embark on you should always start with building a foundation. What are some words that come to mind for you, when you think about the foundation you want for this year? Here’s a few for me: strong, faith, growth, humble, courageous, focused, and consistent.

The relationships blooming in my life are amazing, and a solid part of my foundation! A few years back, in New York, my Pastor, at the time, would always advise on the importance of community. Honestly, at that moment in my life, I was content with being alone, therefore I didn’t take his teachings to heart. Now, here I am in 2020, telling myself, and anyone who will listen, the importance of having a Godly community! (If you’re reading Pastor Mel, thank you!)

Faith…

My goodness! I can’t even begin to explain how amazing my faith journey has been this first month of the year! I’ve become more honest with myself, which allows me to be more open with you all. Not that I wasn’t open before, but I will admit I feared being judged by readers who didn’t understand where I was coming from or where I am going. But now, I’m free! Judge me, love me, hate me, adore me, I couldn’t care less!

I’ve learned to trust God in all aspects of my life (another lesson, I could’ve learned from my previous Pastor had I actually listened). One of the greatest flaws on my walk of faith was, only giving God access to what I wanted His help with. So, I would give him access to my finances but not my relationships or give him my relationship with my parents but not my significant other. Well, towards the end of 2019 I gave him access to my entire life and it was the greatest decision I’ve ever made.

Future…

Would you believe me if I told you I don’t really have a plan for this year? I’m not going to say this is the year I’ll lose 100lbs, or this will be the year, I meet my future husband. I don’t know what this year will bring my way… What I do know is with God by my side, I know it will be a year full of blessings and amazing opportunities!

Well, I guess I do have a plan for the year… Move out of God’s way and let Him work!

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

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

He Chose Me

What’s up, family? Welcome to our first Spiritual journey. Here is where I explore my raw, uncensored, and sometimes uneasy walk of faith, with you all. If you’ve been exploring with me for a while, then you know I’m a Christian. You also know I’ve made a multitude of mistakes in my life, and though I strive to be more like Christ daily, I’m still a very flawed human being.

On these journeys, you will get to see me pour my passion into my faith. You will see first hand the common misconception, “being a Christian is easy,” be discredited. It’s a daily struggle to be in the flesh, but not live in the flesh. So, like any other journey we explore, I promise to be as transparent as possible.

Now that all of the formalities are out of the way, get ready to explore! Indulge & Enjoy!

It feels weird lying here, desperately knowing this is not where I belong… In this bed, my bed, with this man I know, but don’t really know… In his arms, declaring my love for this man I don’t even really care to know. Is he my husband? The answer is no. But, I refuse to loosen his grip on me and tell him he needs to go… Why? Because sinnings no fun alone.

As he sleeps peacefully, I lay there… Wondering if he feels the warm tears sliding down my cheek, gently dripping on his bicep. No, he didn’t hurt me. Nothing happened tonight that I didn’t want to happen. Honestly, if you ask him, I’m sure he’ll tell you I initiated it… And we definitely had a good time. So why am I crying?

Praise and Worship was amazing… I’ve never known Your presence to be so strong. Or maybe I didn’t want to. I feel You moving within me. I know You’re trying to show me, there’s an easier way to do this thing called life. I just don’t think I’m ready… I’ll see You soon… I love you.

It feels strange to be back here again. A different man. No he’s not my husband, but let’s just pretend… I never knew I could love someone as much as I love him. No, I don’t know much about him but who cares? He’s my everything. I feel like I can’t breathe without him. If I give him my all, and do exactly what he asks of me, maybe he’ll stay.

As he sleeps peacefully, I lay in his arms, wondering when the tears will fall. They never come… As anger washes over me, his embrace begins to become cold. Attempting to calm the anger, I think about things he and I have in common. There are none. Wait maybe there are… Maybe it’s just, we haven’t had enough conversations to connect them. Or, maybe this is not where I belong…

Man, the Preacher was on point! You showed up and showed out! I haven’t heard preaching like that since my Granddaddy died. I never knew Your voice could be so loud. Or maybe I didn’t want too. I hear You speaking to me. I know You’re trying to show me, there’s an easier way to do this thing called life. I just don’t think im ready… I’ll see You soon… I love you.

It feels uncomfortable to be here once more. My body pressed against his, as my mind wanders somewhere far away pretending he’s not a different man (yes a different man). Of course he’s not my husband, but what if he was? How would that sound? Alyshia-Mae… Wait, what is his last name? Did even tell me? Did I even tell him my real name? Oh my goodness, he thinks my real name is Keisha…

As he sleeps peacefully, the war within my mind rages on. What number is he? Please don’t make me count. As the rage build up to tears as a voice yells out, “You’re ruining your life!” I yell back to the voice in my head,“Don’t judge me.” Wait, both voices were my own. So, am i judging myself? WHAT IS GOING ON! This is definitely not where I belong.

“Is there anyone here that has not accepted the Lord as their Savior?” Please don’t make me. You asked me to come… I came. You asked me to open my heart… I opened it… Now you’re asking me to surrender my life to you? I just dont think im ready… I’ll see You- – -..

….

It feels strange standing in the second to last row of this Church, confessing to the congregation words that my mind aren’t processing. Everything seems random, yet perfect. Tears stream down my face, as my soul reminds my lungs to breathe. But isn’t that my brains responsibility? “Yes, but I had to turn it off, I needed you to hear Me…”

God? Is that really you? “Yes My child, don’t be afraid” But, I’m still not ready! I’m too dirty to serve you… “Give your life back to Me and I’ll wash you clean as new.” But, I’m not ready- -… “My child, I created you. I know you’re every move. I know your thoughts before you think them. I know what you’ve been through. Please trust Me, you are ready.”  I’m not ready… I’m not qualified… Pick someone else…

I confess with my mouth, Jesus is Lord. I believe with my heart, God raised Him from the dead… I give the life You breathed into me back to You. I ask that You use me to edify Your Kingdom. I am Yours. My life is Yours. I still don’t think I’m ready, and if I keep waiting, I never will be.

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

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

Welcome to 2020!!

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

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

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

Week 1: Creative Writing (Fiction/Nonfiction)

Week 2: All Things Beauty

Week 3: Spiritual

Week 4: Monthly Reflection

Week 5: Wild Card (When Applicable)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you all next week!

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

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

It’s A Wrap!

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

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

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

Smile, beautiful, your kingdom is watching…

It’s okay love, tomorrow’s a new day…

You’re so beautiful…

You’re destined to be a wife…

You’re a masterpiece…

The daughter of a King…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.