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.

Big Girls Don’t Cry…

~Hello Beautiful People! I pray your week has been full of blessings and love. It’s that time again! Take a break and go on a journey with me. Indulge and enjoy!~ 

At a very young age, writing (especially poetry) became an outlet for me, I would never let people read my work though. My writing wasn’t a secret, the topics, however, were very up close and personal for me. I would write about the situations I was too afraid to tell my Mom,  the conversations that made me cry myself to sleep at night, the thoughts that constantly tormented my mind.

One day, someone told me “…don’t ever write something you aren’t ready for the world to see…” I don’t remember who I was talking to or the context of this conversation but, this one line has followed me my entire life. Along with not remembering the full conversation, also I don’t know what the individual was trying to tell me. My mind interpreted the statement to mean, “Once your thoughts are on paper you don’t have full control of them anymore…”  I do know, after this conversation my writing slowed down drastically. I no longer trusted the pen to accurately write my feelings or paper to keep my secrets. 

Not having a pen and paper as my confidant was rough. It’s like getting into a fight with your best friend, you want to call them but, are worried they are still upset. I would fight back in forth in my mind on writing down my thoughts but, I was too paranoid that somehow my secrets would get out. That’s when a friend introduced the idea of writing down thoughts and ripping them to pieces at the end. I tried it but, I felt and still feel by ripping the pages up when I’m done, I am discrediting and devaluing my own feelings and emotions. 

Now, I’m back to not writing at all. I felt my frustration level increasing every day I wasn’t writing but, what was I suppose to do? I couldn’t just sit down and talk about what was bothering me, people couldn’t be trusted. So, I decided to hold everything in. When someone asks how I was doing I would say fine, put on that fake smile we all have, and keep it moving. The more I did this, the more people saw me as “angry,” or having an “attitude.” 

   Side Note: The most frustrating feeling in the world is being asked why you’re angry when you’re not. Or to lose the attitude when you don’t have one. It makes you angry and creates the very attitude you’re trying to prove you don’t have.

But, all of the people asking me “Why do you always look so angry,” can’t be making it up, right? Why am I coming across so upset… am I actually upset? How can they see anger but they can’t sadness, pain, or even frustration? This week, I was looking for something in my email and came across a folder of poetry I wrote years ago. This particular poem proves while everyone saw anger and attitude, I actually felt fear and even abandonment. Take a look…

Big Girls Don’t Cry
I’m afraid to show you I cry,
I don’t want you to think I’m soft, 
I don’t want you to push me off,
That’s why I’m afraid to show you I cry…
I’m afraid to show you I cry
Because I’m strong,
I can take care of myself, 
I need no one’s help,
That’s why I’m afraid to show you I cry…
I’m afraid to show you I cry,
I don’t want to trust you
Because I know you’ll walk away,
I’ll show you my true feelings if you promise to stay…
That’s why I’m afraid to cry.
-03-09-09

Truth? I was… No, I AM, also angry. I’m angry because, with all the emotions I possess, all they see is anger. I’m angry because I’m holding years of hurt and pain. I’m angry because I feel my voice has been silenced the majority of my life. I’m angry because there’s a monsoon swirling around in my head that has nowhere to go. I’m angry because anger is the easiest to show, its the emotion I see the most.  

While blogging has been the most rewarding start to this journey, it is by far the only step needed. I have decided to take the next step…therapy. Yes, you read it correctly, therapy. Yes, I am well aware of the stigma surrounding therapy/counseling, especially in the black community and, no, I’m not crazy.  I have to unpack all these years of just letting life happen.  

What does that mean for Beautiful. Passionate. Love? More transparency! I will continue posting every Saturday, you’ll just get to see more of me. As I unpack in therapy, I’ll share it with you! This does mean you will feel more emotions in my writing. I will be discussing topics that I have never shared, with anyone, before. Some will be as hard for you to read as they are for me to write. What I will ask is that you all continue to respect my decision to be fully transparent in telling my truth. I am excited to voyage deeper into this journey.

With next week being Thanksgiving there will NOT  be a post next Saturday, November 24th. Remember to be thankful for whatever you’ve been blessed with and have a very Happy Thanksgiving! I love and appreciate you all.

As always, 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.

What I See- Is Not Me

~Hey BPL Family! I pray this week has brought you beauty, passion, and love. Let’s jump right in! Indulge and enjoy!~

I need a favor, grab something you can see your reflection in. Got something? Good, now look into it.  What do you think about the person you see? How do you feel about the reflection staring back at you? Why do you associate those feelings/thoughts, good or bad, with yourself? Are they yours or have they been fed to you over the course of your life? Do you even know?

Okay, let me start by saying this post is going to take you being honest with yourself. I mean, it’s not like we’re sitting in a circle, in the middle of a room, staring into mirrors shouting what we hate about ourselves to the person across from us. So seriously, take a deep breath look at your reflection and record(write down) what comes to mind when you look at yourself.

Looking at my reflection, words such as broken, damaged and unworthy come to mind. Feelings like sadness, discouragement, hurt and anger fill my heart. But why… While in reflection, I think about the first time I felt diminished. A very unintentional event taking place all the way back in Kindergarten, where children’s only concerns should be making friends and snack time. I remember, literally like it was yesterday, being in recess with my best friend Tess, my cousin Jonathan, and his best friend Dallas.

We were having the time of our lives trying to evade nap time, riding those red tricycles, that were in every school back in the 90s.  We had a couple of lunch monitors on the playground with us while our teachers, I assume, were off having lunch of their own (or maybe naptime). One of the “lunch ladies”  wanted to know what we all want to be when we grow up, a 5 or 6-year-olds favorite question. Now, I don’t remember how Tess and Dallas answered this question but, I’m almost positive my cousin said he wanted to be a firefighter. No, he has not yet fulfilled his childhood dream, but there’s still time! (He probably doesn’t even remember it to be honest.) I waited for my turn to come along, as patiently as a 5-year-old could.

Back Story Break: I’ve been on the heavier side for as long as I can remember. Definitely since before I started school. I skipped pre-school, which is why I say I don’t know how to play well with others, and while my mom was at work she would have her Aunt watch my little brother and me. My cousins’ nickname for me was “Fat Mama Lu-Lu,” which I never understood because the nickname was 10x longer than my real name. I understood the reference though because it focused on my weight. Looking back at it, them being in their late teens and early 20s, I don’t think they intended to hurt my feelings but they did. Wow, this may actually be the starting cause to my low self-esteem.

Back on the playground, it’s my turn to share, “I want to be a Beautiful Ballerina,” I shout with excitement! The lunch lady looks at me. With no hesitation or thought, she responds “Well, you’re going to have to lose a lot of weight for that to happen.” I remember my heart dropping, of course at the time I had no idea it dropped, I just knew what she said wasn’t nice. I didn’t know how to respond. Johnathan, Tess, Dallas and I continued playing, I’m pretty sure they never thought about it again. I did though.

Now,  I’m not an expert on children nor are either one of my degrees in behavioral studies but, I believe, the most critical time of finding out who you are and what you like as an adolescent is from 4 to 8 years old. These are the years of discovery that will lay the foundation to who you will become. The question, “Do you like to color or solve puzzles?” Will one day become, “Are you more artistic or logical?” Children, at this age, should still be operating in the mindset of “Anything is possible,” to ensure they don’t set premature limitations on their future.

Before the age of 10, I was made aware of the “not being good enough” notion, and how it applied to my life. I was too big to be a beautiful ballerina. For me, “anything” was no longer possible, my naivety was stripped from me and I was jolted to reality. What can I be- became what can’t I be- and doubting my ability became normal to me.

Though I wasn’t directly told I couldn’t be a ballerina, the doubt had been planted. Even worse than doubt being planted, my appearance was criticized.  I became aware that you could be too big to do certain things. How does a 5-year-old process she can’t be whatever she wants because she’s too big? INTERNALLY.

Though my Mom is an AMAZING mother, she was always tough on me and didn’t like cry babies. I didn’t feel comfortable going to her with what the lunch lady said. I also never to her being called “Fat Mama Lu-Lu,” by my cousins, really hurt my feelings. What I did instead was “suck it up.” I’m sure most of you are familiar with the term “suck it up” but, if you look it up in the Urban Dictionary, one of the most common definitions is to endure a period of mental, physical, or emotional hardship with no complaining.

Sucking it up” was introduced at such an early age by this time in my life it was already second nature. What I never knew was, all the obstacles I was getting through by “sucking it up” I would have to be dealt with one day or they would only get worst.  Today, I am the result of the latter.

So, you know how I felt about the person looking back at me and you know some of why. What’s even more important to know is, those thoughts and feelings aren’t me! They aren’t even my own to think or feel. From the age of 5 until now, I’ve heard so many negative things about myself, I held on to all of them and, replayed them constantly. But, what happened to all the positive things I’ve heard throughout my life? I held on to them also, I just forgot to press play!

It’s time to press stop and delete on the negative and press play on the positive! As always, 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.

The Strength of the Voiceless

~Hey Family! I pray this week has been absolutely amazing! I’ve been racking my brain all week as to what I wanted to share with you. Usually, it’s easy but, this week was a little tough. Anywho, this topic hit me and I think you’re going to love it! Indulge and Enjoy!~

For as long as I’ve been old enough to knowingly voice my opinion, I’ve never thought it held much weight. (I touched on it a little in Who Am I??) I question if people care about what I think and say. I also hold back my thoughts and opinions out of fear of being rejected. Well, this week and last week have taken my opinion of being voiceless to an extream. I mean, I LITERALLY HAD LITTLE TO NO VOICE!!!

Let’s start from the beginning. The Sunday before last, October 21st, was my first Sunday singing in front of my whole church. I was nervous as heck mainly because I don’t hear what everyone else hears when I open my mouth. I genuinely don’t feel that I can sing, though I love doing it. I wanted to join the praise and worship team the moment I  joined my church but, because of my fears and insecurities, I remained in the crowd. A member of the team asked me to come to a practice 3-4 months back and I’ve been committed ever since!

So, here I am, Sunday morning, I wake up and can barely talk. Still at home, I open my mouth to practice the songs we will be doing in service one last time, and NOTHING CAME OUT!!!  I was devastated! So, I reach out to my praise and worship teammates for any remedies they had to at least hold my voice until service was over. One of the leaders said, “Drink warm tea and a tablespoon of olive oil,” I didn’t think twice. I run to the kitchen, mix up this little concoction and start sipping away. I finish getting dressed and head to the car. No, I didn’t finish the tea. It went down the drain on my way out the door.

(Side note: The whole time I was trying to force this tea down, I’m wondering how people drink this grotesque mixture. At the same time, I was like, “Man this oil is doing something for my lips if nothing else!” Upstate, New York can be rough of the skin, so I wasn’t mad at that at all.)

I get to church we do our set and we were absolutely awesome! I struggled on several parts because I couldn’t hit my note but it didn’t seem to bother me, the congregation or the team. Once we were finished we congratulated each other and quickly chatted about how great the newbies were. I lowkey don’t like that term but, I am new to the team after all. We settle in for the rest of the service and it was great. I felt a shift in myself that day and, I’m still trying to figure out what exactly changed.

Throughout the week my voice gets worst and worst. At a practice, I asked my leader how he drinks the disgusting recipe he prescribed to me. He looked at me and said “Its just tea...”  Confusion began to flood my mind wondering “what happened to the olive oil?” Then it hit me… WATER AND OIL DONT MIX.

I know someone out there is wondering, “What’s the point?” By now, you should know there’s a method to my ramble. I mean we learn that water and oil don’t mix in like 5th-grade science class right? So why, at 26 years old, am I trying to mix them? And what does it have to do with not having my voice?  And what did this teach me? Well, here we go…

If you have a cup of water and pour oil into it what happens? The oil remains at the top of the water and you may even see some oil bubbles within the water but they definitely don’t mix. Don’t believe me? Google it! Or better yet do a quick science experiment when you’re done here. For me, this is the perfect depiction of my good and bad emotions. Water being the good, oil the bad.

The last couple of weeks have shown me that the volume of my voice doesn’t matter.  My first week of having no voice, I literally couldn’t do more than a whisper. In that week, I got more accomplished at my job than I had in a very long time. I went from hating the company I work for, on the verge of getting fired, to helping new members get started on the team and even worked on backlogs that needed to be completed.  My managers were thanking me for going above and beyond in a time that I could have been an even bigger burden.

(Side note: I wasn’t getting fired because I couldn’t do my job. It was the sad/angry coat of oil that was layered over my happiness. I was coming across as angry no matter what I said or did. I couldn’t see my wrongs so I blamed everyone around me, the customers, my managers, even my coworkers. At the end of the day, it was me.)

I realized it became more about the strength in my voice and the action behind it. My co-workers were listening to my whispers. My friends appeared to be gravitating to me, opposed to “not wanting to get sick.” Everyone was finally seeing me.  At a moment when it would have been so easy to fade into the background, even more, I was finally sanding out and in a good way.

Two weeks in, and my voice is almost back to “normal” and something in my heart is telling me, “You will never be voiceless again.” Now, this doesn’t mean I won’t ever feel like I can’t be heard. What has happened is now, I have a moment that I can reference when I do start to feel voiceless. If they can see and hear a woman who literally has no voice, then they can see and hear the woman with a voice. Remember, not only did they see and hear me but they cared about what I had to say.

So, back to the water and oil. No, they don’t mix, however, think about what happens when there an oil spill in a large body of water? THEY FILTER OUT THE OIL. That’s what I’m choosing to do with my life, filter out the bad and submerge myself in the good.

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, Thank You. Please know you’re voice has strength behind it and as long as you never lose your strength you will never be voiceless. As always, 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.

The Master Plan

~Hey there!! I pray your week has been amazing thus far! Before we get started, I just want to take the time to remind you IT’S OKAY TO LAUGH! I laughed at myself constantly while writing this particular post. Looking at me today, you’d never know the mess of my yesterday. Enjoy!~

Ever since about the age of 16, I’ve had a master plan for my future family. I planned to be engaged by 21, married by 25 and pregnant by 26. I wanted a huge wedding where my Grandfather, who was also my Pastor, bound my husband and me together forever. We would have 3 children: first, our boy, then our girl, and the sex of the last child didn’t matter, we would love it just as much as the other two…

If your wondering who I planned all this with at the age of 16, the answer is… NO ONE!!!! I’m pretty sure was single at the time and if I wasn’t, it couldn’t have been anything serious because I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 18. (I know my mom was extream.) Now that doesn’t mean I didn’t date or experience heartbreak, that just means I had some serious “pholationships,” phone relationships,  oppose to up close and personal ones.  I never discussed marriage or being with them forever because I usually only saw them at school.

So, let me tell you how serious I was about this plan… Here I am fresh out of high school, going to MCC, a community college in my area, in my first official relationship. He was a pretty decent guy, a year older than me, in college and working. He didn’t have it all together, like me, but he was on track.  Literally, less than 6 months in I tell him about my master plan and he was like “Okay…”  Now for those of you that don’t know me, “Okay” means yes to me.  So in my head, I was 100% engaged!

Now, fast forward to the year and a half mark. things between said guys and I are going smooth. Lowkey, I have my entire wedding planned, just no ring.  Mind you I’m working at a jewelry store in the mall so all I do is look at rings! Pretty sure you’ll know what’s about to happen next. Yep, you guessed it… I start dropping hints. He would walk by my kiosk and I’d make sure to be standing at the ring section, or I’d be cleaning a ring that just happens to be my size and of course I’d have to try it on! I’m positive he noticed but he intentionally ignored me. I can be pretty annoying at times.

At our two year anniversary, I had just turned 21, I knew for a fact that he was giving me the ring of my dreams. I mean, I had already purchased it and  placed it on his side of the room with a note that read, “Pay me back after you propose.” (Please don’t sit here reading this and act like you’ve never done something absolutely insane!) We pull up to the restaurant of my choice, Chili’s, hold the judgment, we were still college kids and money was tight on both ends.

After hours of eating, laughing, and exchanging gifts, we paid and left the restaurant. HE NEVER EVEN MENTIONED THE RING OR THE NOTE. You know I had a WHOLE attitude right? Now we’re driving home and he’s trying to ignore my eye rolling and teeth sucking while singing Lotus Flower Balm by Wale. The song was big at the time but, my attitude was bigger!

We get home and are supposed to be watching a movie. I’m on Facebook writing subliminal messages about how all guys are the same (Blah Blah Blah)… you know how that goes. He finally gives in and asks me what wrong and I explode! I told him I would not spend another day with him without a ring. I know… childish but in my head, he had no choice but to give me my ring now… Absolutely wrong, he had other choices, I was just too stubborn to see them. I woke up the next morning and he had left me a note… “Return the ring and maybe we can talk…

I’m sure someone reading this is wonder what the point of this story is… There are tons but I’ll give you a couple. This generation (my generation) is so stuck on all things happening their way when they feel it should. That mindset is the very thing crippling us! Clearly, I don’t have it all together, I mean  I’M ON A JOURNEY TO DISCOVER WHO I AM. I say that to say this, I don’t know it all and will never claim to know it all. What I do know is some of the mistakes I’ve made and the obstacles those mistakes have caused me to go through could have been avoided.  Here are two things I’ve learned to stop doing…

  • STOP TRYING TO PLAN EVERY SECOND OF YOUR LIFE.

Take a second to realize how much life you’re missing out on by trying to plan everything. Until the age of 25 I found myself trying to get back on track with this master plan. I remember even thinking, “If I’m not married by 26 I’ll just have a baby so that I will at least fulfill one of the steps in my plan.” How crazy does that sound? I was okay with risking being a single mother as long as I stayed on schedule. I’m so thankful, I didn’t risk my children’s future for structure. An even more frightening fact is, about 4 years after he and I broke up, I did get engaged. In that engagement, I wasn’t happy to be starting my life with someone I loved, I was happy that I wasn’t too far off track. What type of marriage would that have been if we had gone through with it? (A short one…)

  • YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE MINDSET OF ANYONE BUT YOU.

I thought by giving him an ultimatum that would change the fact that he wasn’t ready to get married. All it did was change his decision to be with me… Now, I’m not at all saying he and I would be together to this day if I hadn’t done what I did, I don’t believe that to be true. I do, however, believe that we could have learned a lot more from each other about ourselves. I know I could have at least. The truth is, we remained friends for about 4 years after our breakup and it was one of the most genuine friendships I’ve ever experienced. I watched him grow into a completely different person than the one I originally met! He’s actually getting married on October 31st and I wish them nothing but love and prosperity!!

Now, at the age of 26, I look back and admit I was in NO WAY ready for marriage back then. I’m still not ready if I’m being totally honest. The thought of marriage is still so beautiful and precious to me and I know the me that I see today isn’t ready for that precious gift, AND THAT’S OKAY!!!! I use to say “I can’t wait to get married” now, I realize I am very excited about that time/journey in my life but, I can and will wait. I often reflect on the choice I made to embark on this journey– discovering me– and I wonder, “How was I going to marry someone when I have no idea who I am…

Thank you for spending some time with me today! As always, 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.

War Within my Mind…

~ Before we get started I have to announce our FACEBOOK PAGE!  Make sure to like Beautiful Passionate Love for updates on the fun to come! ~

Have you ever been in a room full of people and felt that no-one could see you? Like everyone in the room is the best of friends and then there’s just you?  They look in your direction, you respond with a gentle smile or a soft “hello,” but they continue on with their conversations as if you weren’t there. Did they see straight through you? Should you be offended? Who do they think they are?  Thoughts start to bombard your mind as you find yourself in a corner sulking while still trying to maintain your composure.

Almost numb to your surroundings, tears start to weld up in your eyes as you wish, even pray, for just one person to approach you and simply say “Hi.” While you wait, people walk by you full of joy and laughter. “CAN YOU SEE ME,” a voice cries out in your head yearning to be heard but, no one looks your way. A piercing “NO,” echoes in your mind, halting any sense of hope you’ve been holding on to. “Why would they be able to see you,” the voice continues, “You don’t belong here…”

Maybe I’m the only person who has these experienced. (I doubt it though.) Mind wars happen more often than we think or even want to know. Often times, we disregard situations that don’t seem right for a plethora of reasons. Maybe we don’t want to appear nosey.  Sometimes, we’re too busy with our own problems to check in and see if we can assist someone else. Or, the worst of them all, we don’t know enough about them so we just assume “that just who they are.” I can honestly admit I’ve NEVER done any of these!!! Okay, okay I’m actually guilty of all three.

It’s unfortunate to say but, we can become so self-absorbed that we never stop to wonder what’s really going on with the people around us. Our world so transactional that we expect responses to be generic. A “Hey, how have you been,” is expected to be met with a “Good, how about you?”  But what if I’m not good? What if I feel like I’m going crazy inside?  Most people fighting an internal fight, try their best to “keep it together,” for appearance sake, and sometimes we’re really good at it too, other times, it shows in everything we do.

Personally, I always felt as though I had no choice, so I would sit in my messy emotions and allow them to continue to pull me down. I didn’t know how to fight my thoughts. Lately, I’ve been noticing, dealing with them head-on has an immense amount of reward in return (Beautiful. Passionate. Love. being the biggest one yet), but you have to be ready to grow. I was ready!

I didn’t learn to fight back by myself though, I wasn’t strong enough– I tried for 25 years. I hate asking for help PLUS the people around me weren’t conducive to the change I desperately wanted, so once again I felt stuck!  It is very important to have a community that is willing to push you forward and keep you focused.  By no mistake at all, I was invited to a Church.  Months later they became my community.  They have been such a huge part of my growth and a large reason why I started this journey.

Once I had a WHOLE community backing me, I started seeing/feeling a difference.  When I first started going, members, who knew nothing about me, would display “random acts of kindness” to pull me out of my mind. Things as small as suggesting I move up a seat, stopping me just to give me a hug as I’m walking out. One lady even pulled me aside and bluntly(yet so lovingly) told me “We can see you.” (At the time I had never shared with anyone how invisible I felt, not even a journal.)

I still struggle with the war within my mind often but, I PUSH THROUGH! My most recent battle was Saturday (October 13), and it literally tried to take over this whole week. At practice, I felt this heavy cloak of invisibility on top of me, which left me yet again asking, “Can they see me?”  I even felt like I wasn’t good enough to be on the Praise and Worship team.  But then one of my team members approached me and pulled me away from the group.  Once we were alone all she said was, “I just want to check on you.” Those are the little gestures that mean the world to someone at war with their mind.

CHALLENGE TIME– Follow the one applicable to at the time of reading (feel free to do both).

Whichever challenge you accept, make sure you are SINCERE! You never know, you may make a new friend!!

  •  GROUP SETTING— Look around you, regardless of if it’s a group of friends or strangers, there may be someone in this group who is literally at war with their mind. Struggling to feel content with what life has blown their way. I challenge you to observe their actions (or lack thereof) and make a difference in their life. It can be as small as a smile the next time they look in your direction, asking them how their doing, compliment them, anything to show them that you see them.

 

  • ALONE— Now, reading this alone does not give you a pass! Think about a person that you see and often looks sad or uncomfortable. Are they alone most times? When they are included in conversations, are their contributions brief and simple? They could be at war with their mind. So, I challenge you to make a difference also! The next time you see them, make a small gesture. Smile, give them a compliment, ask them how their day is going. Show them that they are valued and aren’t invisible.

 

Please, let me know if you accepted the challenge and how it went for you. Do you feel you’ve made a difference? Have you made a new friend?

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.

Who am I??

About a year ago, or even 3 months ago if you asked me “Who are you?” I would have CONFIDENTLY spit out a brief blurb that probably sounds very similar to my Myspace profile’s “about me” section…

“My name is Alyshia-Mae, I’m 26, birthday is May 27th. Single no children. I have 3 brothers on my Mom’s side and 7 siblings on my Dad’s(have yet to meet 6 of them), Favorite color is blue, I have an Associates and Bachelors  Degree, VERY Independent and SECURE in who I am…”

That is usually more than enough to progress the conversation to the next level. Take a wild guess at what that is… Exactly! “What do you like to do?” I’ve always hated this question because I never really knew how to answer it. My hands would start sweating while my mind ran a 50 miles a minute trying to connect the dots. I imagine my mind working very similar to the Spongebob Squarepants episode when “they” (the little people in his head) throughout his name, take a look.  (Click hyperlink–ITS OKAY TO LAUGH)

After my brain stops throbbing, from agonizing amounts of confusion, I usually come up with several activities I know I’m half decent at and string them together, “Well, I like to sing, write poetry, read, go on trips, and take long walks through the park.” Sounds good even slightly romantic right!?

WRONG!!! All the while I’m explaining what I “enjoy doing,” the truth is I haven’t done most of those things in YEARS. When I really sit down and think about it, I have no idea what I enjoy. See, I’ve always been the type of person to go with the flow, for the most part. I mean, growing up the only girl of four, my ideas were a definite no go! By about six, my mom gave up on asking what I wanted to do because she became tired of the boys teasing me about being too “girly,” whatever that means.

What my Mom, brothers and even myself couldn’t see is that every time my thoughts and opinions were skipped over, internally they registered as not good enough. Since they weren’t good enough, I started keeping them to myself.  Naturally, as I mature and became older I continued “going with the flow.”

Yeah, you’re right! I hear exactly what you’re saying, “There’s nothing wrong with going with the flow.” I agree with you, AS LONG AS THAT FLOW IS YOUR OWN FLOW. With me, I never created my own flow. I did what everyone around me wanted to do. Even with my friends, whom I love dearly, I rarely give my opinion on what we should do or where we should go, out of fear that someone will override my idea.

No, my friend’s aren’t jerks,  in all honesty, they’re finding out how I feel at the same time you are. When they ask what I want to do or where I want to eat and I always reply, ” You know how indecisive I am… How about you pick,” and even if I don’t want to do what they choose, I do it.

So, a week ago I woke up and deep in my soul, there was a question burning to be answered… WHO AM I? My initial response was “too old to be being asked this question,” but then I really thought about it.  In high school, I remember writing a poem, for a creative writing class, “I am the sorrow, the sadness, the darkness, the pain that cannot be replaced…” (I know, I know, I’ve always been deep.) The title of that poem is “I AM,” so that has to be who I am, right? I mean I did write it.

But, I smile way too much that bound by as much sorrow, sadness, darkness, and pain the poem describes. So, who am I? Hmmm, honestly I still can’t quite put my finger on it. What I can share are some of the small revelations I’ve had thus far!

  1. I am a writer! (Hence this blog)
  2. I sing Soprano! (Yes, I’m on the praise and worship team)
  3. My favorite color is ORANGE! (Thought it was blue for 26 years and 4 months)

Thank you, for taking a minute to relax and embark this journey with me! See you next Saturday!

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

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

Featured

Taking a Chance

Staring out of the window at work I think to myself…

Do you really want to do this? Are you going to invite anyone who wants to read this into what may be one of the most personal journeys of your life? Will you be transparent enough for them? Will anyone read it? If they do read it will they care? If they care will they understand? What will you even write…

The longer I looked out the window the more I felt an urge to just close my computer and buy a journal. “I mean you love to write anyway so just write it out,” I thought to myself.  What’s the point in making your thoughts feelings and life available to the world? No one wants to read about your problems.

I mean these thoughts of mine are making a ton of sense! What will I gain from sharing snippets of my story?  A voice, a platform to help others, some sanity from all these thoughts roaming so freely? There are enough people ranting and raving about their problems on the internet, mine definitely don’t need to be there.

But who said anything about complaining? This isn’t a place to voice my problems! It’s a place to celebrate my wins! To openly express to everyone willing to read that I’m nowhere near perfect AND THAT’S OKAY. I will definitely struggle and have moments where I want to give up! The best part is you all have a front row seat to watching me push through!

I invite you to kick back with me weekly as I step out of my comfort zone into my discovery zone. Welcome to Beautiful Passionate Love (The Journey to Discovering Me).

See you soon!

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

 

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