The Number

***

The number those asterisks represent that had me almost in tears. The number of failure for me this morning. The number I avoid purposely (I’ve thrown out all scales in my home). The number that brought to this page, to my pen. The number that made me feel defeated. The number that isn’t that much different than it was 3 months ago, but enough different that it feels like a knife shearing through my heart. The number that represents my relationship with gravity. The largest relationship I’ve ever had with gravity. The number that I’m not even sure I can share with you all.

Today is a bad body love day. Today may even be a bad self-love day.

I consider myself a body positive advocate. I no longer post pictures about my workouts, runs, weight loss, before and after pics, or dieting plans. I think this is damaging. It makes women, young, old, accomplished, and everything in between, doubt who they are, think themselves less, and wonder why not me. It is also is quite boring to me. I’m tired of talking about diets, exercises, thighs, fat blasters and all in between. If that is your thing, go ahead! I don’t care what you do. Just don’t do it with me please. I also suffer from a history of disordered eating patterns, distorted body image, and likely undiagnosed body dysmorphia and an exercise addiction in the past (and I can diagnose myself because I’m a licensed counselor J). So, participating in those conversations are triggers for me and bring about serious self-doubt and pain. Like you have no ideas how many hours I can spend dedicated to speaking about that. According to my past therapists and researchers on ACES (adverse childhood experiences survey), it is also all likely a symptom of PTSD. Isn’t that bitch? Haunted by things that are not my fault and yet I still try to find it ways to make it my fault – enter all of the distorted images of self. Well, fuck. Either way, because of my experiences and experiences of my clients, I’ve realized that for some people, these images and talk are highly damaging, or at the very least demoralizing. It’s made me feel like a personal failure many times (me: why can he/she/they lose so much weight, and I can’t? brain: Must be a person defect.) So, I usually don’t any more.

Today is different. I took this picture below of me because I was disgusted and disgusted I was disgusted and needed evidence for this blog. I needed everyone to see an unflattering picture of me. I needed you to see some of the blooper reels. And then I needed to post it because I needed proof that I’m still human and loveable and all those things. And that fat people work out too, to be perfectly honest.

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And after that picture here is a running reel of things going on in my head as I worked out:

  • Your belly, do you see and feel how full it is? That’s probably why he disappeared after making out with you; he was probably disgusted.
  • Your doctor is going to poke at you on Monday and you’re going to feel awful.
  • Speaking of which, no need to bring in the concerns of your digestive system or any other ailments – it’s all your fault anyway.
  • You look awful in that t-shirt. Remember when it was loose?
  • When you go home, everyone will notice your weight and realize what a failure you are.
  • Two months ago, things were fitting looser. You’ve failed.
  • You are not pretty
  • You will never find love.
  • Some people are larger when they are younger, they are allowed to occupy bodies and look amazing in whatever size; You are not allowed that, because this isn’t your body type.
  • Why can everyone else lose weight so much easily? Did you see all those summer bodies online last night? HA, not you.
  • Why are you reading this book on radical self-love? Do you really think you are allowed that?
  • Your walks around the park aren’t enough twice a week. You know better. You know you need multiple days of intense exercise for 2 hours to lose weight. We have been here before.
  • The wine. It’s the wine. Also, the birthday fun. Nope.
  • You’re not worthy.
  • You’re not sexy.
  • You will be alone forever.
  • You should be embarrassed.
  • You are not enough.

As, I listen to India Arie as the soundtrack to this blog post, and reflect on the words and thoughts I had today, I feel even more ashamed but then it moves to sadness. Timely, she is is currently singing “Just let it go. Set yourself free. Healing is in your hands.” If I reflect on the past few months, this has been the first time in maybe 3-4 months that these voices have been this strong. I suppose that’s progress, although they have transformed into other lies about my incompetence (my work, friendship abilities, partnership abilities, and my intelligence). Even so it demonstrates that I have the capability to heal, I just need to create the capacity.

Speaking of capacity, I haven’t had much of that lately. I have been traveling a lot for work for a few months now, spending the majority of most weeks out of town. In fact, I am writing this from a hotel room in Lansing, MI. I can’t say that it has been fun. It’s been difficult to find food that makes me feel nourished and is nutritious. Workouts are hard to come by. I’m exhausted and not sleeping well. And I’m so very bloated all the time or gastritis is flaring up all over the place. I have had little time for reflection, painting my nails, a social life, or just play. I don’t feel like myself. I’m moody, my patience is low, and I miss my “me time.” On top of this, I’m making some major life changes right now and managing feelings of inadequacy and incompetence isn’t easy. But it’s familiar. It’s my limbic system’s way of dealing with threatening or stressful situations. I’ve started drinking more ginger tea (stomach issues) and my favorite is the Yogi teas. The Yogi teas come with inspirational messages on them, and every single one has been about compassion. Reflecting now, I think that this is the universe’s way of telling me that the person who needs my compassion most right now, is myself.

“I am not the voices in my head. I am not the pieces of the brokenness inside. I am light.” –India Arie, I Am Light

Why Telling Black and Brown people (especially women) “You Must Work Twice As Hard” is Damaging, No Matter How True

I am a self proclaimed (and proclaimed by others) perfectionist. Not perfect, far from it, but perfectionistic. You know her, the inner bitch that kills you slowly and deliberately by your own doing, fed by shame, fear, and personal & historical trauma? The one that amplifies every failure and mistake to equal your worth, and cripples you with her harshness?

Today I want to focus on the historical and generational trauma impact of perfectionism. For many of us Black and Brown people, this impact is killing us very deliberately. For many years, as people of color, we have had to work harder. We have and are seen often as less than our counterparts, it’s been demanded we work harder to prove our worth and value, and honestly, it sometimes still never feels like enough. Put the identity of “woman” on top of that and it’s a double whammy. It’s a lot to endure.

What has been a peculiar strategy, one born of group preservation and desire for growth, is that we as Black women impose these same standards and pressures onto one another. We regularly tell one another “to work twice as hard, look better, act better, anticipate mistakes. Be better. Be better.” We model this. Long hours with no reprieve, neglecting our own needs, being a martyr at the expense of our own self preservation, taking on every single task under the sun, and being particularly harsh when our humanity kicks in. And we look at our fellow sisters and tell them, be the best too, sometimes putting down the ones that fall into this form of self hatred that was passed down to us, with things like you don’t dress well enough, not enough degrees, not articulate enough, not enough. Never enough – a direct reflection of what we think of ourselves.

One time, I attended a conference. As for most of us in higher ed, I work(ed) in a very white space and was so excited to connect with other Black women and men of color. I attended as many sessions as I could to learn and grow, to feel connected to my culture, to feel renewed. I left instead feeling heavy. That I had so much to do to even be perceived as worthy by most of society. There were ample messages around you have to get more degrees (a master’s degree isn’t good enough), you need to work longer hours (I was regularly working 60 hours already), create, innovate, and find all the Black businesses and support them today. All while nicely dressed, perfect brows (all the women did), and in high heels. I was overwhelmed and spent many days warring with myself, anxious, and exhausted. To be fair, these messages had been passed down to me since I was young. I think it was just I need affirmation I was on the right path. And instead received a very condensed and intense version of “be better” and it confirmed my worst fears – I’m really not doing enough, or at least it will never be enough due to my identity. Later, I broke into tears.

I’m a pretty high achiever (most perfectionists are), but by definition of my perfectionism, imperfection or lackluster achievement (which means a B+ instead of A) are not tolerated. And any messages about that, fuel me to action and often burnout. And then I had these thoughts:

Why are we perpetuating a message handed down to us meant to keep us inferior and assimilate to a culture that wasn’t created for us? Why are we killing ourselves with a perfectionistic ideal that says that we will still never be good enough? Why are we, Black women, denying, and frankly, obliterating, our humanity in the name of being the best? Will respectability politics actually get us respect? Is this all we are?

The outcomes are clear, racism, especially when internalized, are killing us – quite literally. Racism is strongly correlated with higher blood pressure, chronic disease, and the silent and hidden ailments like depression and anxiety in Black people. We have got to change this narrative.

Listen. I’m not saying that we should be lazy and not work hard or reach our dreams. I’m saying that we should not make that work ethic dependent on proving our worth and at the detriment of our health, soul, and spirit. It should not be the first priority. We should be that first priority.

Today, as I cried in a meeting with a superior (and then feeling ashamed for showing weakness, but that’s another post, for another day), and confessed that I have to prove that I’m good enough, successful enough, especially because I’m one of few Black women in the room, metaphorically and physically, I realized perfectionism is getting me more C’s in life and less happiness. Realizing how deeply I’ve come to see failures as the only confirmations of my worth, and hearing how loudly the voices of “be better, twice as better,” and feeling twice as worse, I realized I’m doing what the oppressors always sought to do to me – destroy. It hurts.

I still want to be better and still am dealing with the shame of not being as fearless, wonderful, and perfect as my sisters around the world and my ancestors were. But perhaps, maybe, just perhaps, my ancestors can be proud of me being good enough. Not twice as good, but just as good, and trying my damn hardest. Maybe they will smile when I give myself a break and say, this is what we worked for. Maybe they can still think I’m beyond their wildest dreams, without the self-hatred of a historical perfectionism not meant to make me soar anyway, and taking breaks to refill my cup.

I dont know. Maybe I’ll find out someday when I disengage from perfectionism.

Crossroads

But why not me?

I stand at the crossroad

Of uncertainty and rejection

Far too often

To be asking the road to answer

Such a silly question.

She doesn’t know.

If so, I’m not sure how she could explain away

The aching of feet

Tired of a repetitive journey

That leads nowhere

But back to hours of standing

At this crossroad.

The road thinks I’m hopeless.

But why NOT me?

I wonder aloud to the crow

Always circling this crossroad

Waiting for me

To rip my heart out and leave it

For death and his dinner.

He thinks I’m foolish

To carry it around,

Alive

Beating

Hungry.

But WHY not me?

I ask the couple in the

Old beat up Chevy.

Always passing by to their home –

On the other side of the cross road

Of course.

They flash me looks of endearing pity

They could not know.

They wonder how I got here

Get here

Every time.

They think me broken

And never stop to wonder,

As to not be

Cursed in my presence.

But why not ME?

The sun hears me

And my pain is the only thing

Strong enough

To shy her away.

She will not know,

Disappears and sends

Rain.

But even rain isn’t enough to wash away

The dirty traces of shame.

BUT WHY NOT ME?

Thunder roars

He can keep up.

But he cannot settle down

To answer me.

He thinks I’m weak.

but why not me?

This time barely a whisper.

And she stirs within me.

Because.

You are the universe

That cannot be contained.

It will always be you

And yet, never you.

She thinks I’m strong.

I choose my road.

It’s Time to Chill TF Out: Signs that You Need a Break

I suspect that many women feel that they must take on the world and never set it down. That we can’t give up, must take care of everyone, be impeccably groomed, and the rock of literally everyone. As a Black woman, I feel this even more, because there is this extra burden that you’re taught, and is reinforced by others forever, that you must work twice as hard for the same thing. That if you complain without perfection, then your complaints are unworthy (and trust me, people will throw this in your face), that you must put on a brave face everyday, and be the epitome of Black Girl Magic. You work extra hard to be “passionate” without an attitude, (even when anger is warranted), code switching and checking yourself along the way and being “strong” like every matriarchal figure in your life has ever told you. You fight relentlessly. And you’re supposed to do this effortlessly and with grace.

And then when you find yourself like me today, going to the wrong airport because you’re exhausted from all of the above, recovering from flipping through your exes happy ass pictures with a beautiful woman not because you want him back, but because you’re wanting your happy, and feeling defeated wondering if your work really challenges the wrongs of the world and uplifts those who need it, feeling defeated from trying to help others see that, missing the empathy and caring from people that makes you whole and feeling weak for needing it, and you doubt your magic and queendom, and you want to curl in a ball crying.

But you can’t. You gotta push on. Or so you tell yourself. But maybe you don’t? Maybe it’s time to chill TF out. Maybe your magic needs to be replenished. And since no one else is going to say, “hey girl, maybe you should take a break, maybe, that’s what you need to do for you.”

And so with that, here are my top telltale signs that you need to chill the fuck out, written from my own experiences:

1) you’re forgetting things, small things but important things. Like your keys, the correct airport, passwords. Your brain is working on overload. It can’t keep up with your work plans, figures, and facts AND your keys when it is exhausted.

2) You are forgetting to eat or in my case, eating the least amount necessary to exist and not have low blood sugars. Because even though you love to cook, the energy to heat up a stove will lose to a pre cut salad kit (the best invention since sliced bread) or a bowl of granola every time.

3) Speaking of things you loved to do. You haven’t done them, cause yeah sleep. You’re too exhausted. Not to be confused with depression where you don’t want to do them, but simply feel overwhelmed by the amount of energy needed to complete the task of doing that thing you like. Plus, you can’t find the things to do it.

4) And you can’t find the things to do because cleaning your house is non existent because you’re out saving the world. And you come home and sleep so as to not deal with it and feel like a failure.

5) You are lacking empathy in your life, perceived or otherwise. You’re not giving it to yourself and it feels like others can’t give it to you either. You’re likely either spending too much time with people who can’t fill your love tank (strangers on buses and planes, associates – nice people like coworkers or staff at a favorite bar – but not your tribe), not engaging enough with your tribe, or trapped in a cycle of perfectionism that doesn’t exist (lacking self compassion). If you’re anything like me, that will empty your emotional bank account quickly.

6) You’re skipping mascara. Or moisturizer, or your brows done or glitter. Whatever  is that thing for you that makes you feel like yourself and is a musthave to feel ready, you’re not doing it. Because you probably slept an extra 5 min.

7) You’re having stress dreams. You are dreaming about work and trying to do the work, and conflicts at work; you’re dreaming about saving Wakanda (no lie I had this dream), you’re running for your life but you’re running in slow motion or keep falling (one of my favorites), you’re dreaming about missing flights… all signs of time to chill the fuck out.

8) You have no patience to hold others ‘ pain. Time to pump the breaks for sure. You are not the sole provider of hope and care to people you know (I’m looking at you, Self!!). It is insane to think you could be. Time to practice “no.” Here are some suggestions “no, nope, not at the time, hell no, fuck no, *chuckle and walk away*, ignore the call or text, not today, satan, I really wish I could, but I can’t, I really wish I could, but I don’t want to, that’s a naw for me, I’ll pass, good bye/good night.” Maybe I should do a post on saying no?

9) You want to cry in the middle of an airport. Or in the middle of any neutral place. You’re tired and deserve a sick day or 5.

10) You are wearing a too big, white wool coat because your coat that fits lost all its buttons because you kept meaning to replace or fix them or something like that, and now here we are, looking crazy as hell. This metaphor is easily transferable to *insert anything here you need to do but didn’t and now you regret it but you’re gonna live your life either way*

11) You haven’t said “yes” to yourself and what you want to do. Wanting to go on a date with that hot guy from OKC, but can’t fathom giving up your only night to sleep, clean, do laundry, wash your hair, call your mom, you bff, respond to personal emails, enjoy a cup of tea, and pretend you will sew your buttons? You’re doing too much if you have to fit 3 weeks of activities in 12 hours. Also, you’re going to hate your life.

12) You want to curse people out for peopling. You know like walking too slow, stopping in the middle of an aisle or walkway (I’m sorry by this is rude AF even when I’m recharged) and taking  in the sunshine, for talking about stupid things behind you, for having on a dumb hat, for breathing… you know peopling.

13) Cake starts sounding like a viable option for all meals. But then you eat it and you throw it away because all food tastes nasty to you. This is a new stress induced response I got after getting…

14) You get gastritis. Now it flairs up at any sign of trouble. Gastritis is a nice little friend that gives you significant pain if you eat, don’t eat, eat too much, too little, anything spicy or coffee. It’s like the little demon friend you never wanted.

15)You feel unhappy and unfulfilled. Yes, you’re busy, but you’re not happy or fulfilled. Your purpose may feel a little muddled. It’s time to chill the fuck out. Why? Because you need some time to reflect, so you can make the next right move. And then you need time to act on it. Because being tired is lot more tolerable when you’re doing what you love and are called to serve the universe.

So my dear beautiful Black women, I want you to know we deserve to chill the fuck out. And it’s soooo hard. I’m struggling right now. I know it can make us feel like we failed, that everyone is going to see how unworthy or what an imposter we are, that we will let down our families and communities, that we will be the wenches that history has written us as, or the nobodies that our traumas want us to believe. None of that is true. I write this on a train with tears welling up and heaviness in my chest. We gotta believe that being human doesn’t diminish our light, our worth, or our black girl magic. Instead we have to know when to say, enough is enough. And extend that magic to ourselves and chill the fuck out.

Just “Regular” Black

Often, the first things people notice about me are my  face full of freckles (that seem to take over my body the older I get) and my greenish eyes. It’s particularly jarring an noticeable to people because I’m just “regular” Black. 100% Black, nothing else and 100% proud.

Growing up, people constantly asked me “what was I?” Or complimented me on how I looked like a “white woman” or at the very least mixed. As I got older, redbone was the compliment of choice by men, who were always fascinated by my “exoticism” and wanted to know if my mother or father was white. Family members also often told me that I looked mixed, if only my hair was a silkier (My hair is the give away. In its natural state, it is a beautiful kinky, jet black, ball of wool – nothing European about it.). And as I got into weaves and wigs, this was even further solidified. I grew up thinking being Black wasn’t good enough, that it was a good thing to be lighter skinned, asked “what are you?” and to be mistaken as only half negro. Although I didn’t necessarily see it as better to me, I realized that it was compliment in the world I grew up in. And so I allowed it to happen, smiling sheepishly as I responded (gross).

After constantly being asked this question though, I began to get annoyed, quickly. I became confused every time someone’s face fell when they learned I was just “regular” Black. As I learned more about paper bag tests, and doll experiments, and well, colorism in general, I grew angry. When I realized my fellow sister friends with beautiful skin were often disregarded, felt inferior, and men trashed them, I was disgusted. And when my own siblings told me about hatred for their  darker skin and wishing they had mine, I felt incredibly sad and heartbroken. And then I realized that in a very complicated world of color and race, in some ways, I have privilege. And in other ways, I’m very much the victim of racism. And that either way, I had to shift my thinking and what I allowed others to say or do around me.

And so began my bitchy remarks to those who questioned my ethnicity. “I’m Black mixed with Black,” I replied before it was a popular t-shirt. “Redbone isn’t a compliment to me, and I’m actually offended that you would insult my fellow sisters like that,”  I replied every single time a man would send me a message complimenting me on my light skin and how he prefers that.  I try my best to affirm others about their beauty and advocating when I can for others when I can. I intentionally use a rainbow of shades in my presentations. I remind people that being multiracial is wonderful, but simply being Black is wonderful too.  Most importantly for my own self, I will not accept any compliment that is about how exotic or “other” someone finds me.

I’ve also learned that my skin color comes with down sides too. Many people think I’m a “safer” type of Black, and are surprised and annoyed that I’m afrocentric and speak about racism often. Men expect me to be a little less opinionated. I’m “pretty for a Black girl” in some white spaces. I’m sometimes stereotyped as stuck up, not down, or self-centered. I work hard to disprove these things, but I try to not get caught up in that, because I know for every time those annoyances happen, a darker skinned woman is denied a job, a relationship (you don’t need him or her though honey, you too good for that), stereotyped,  “pretty for a dark skinned woman” or humiliated. I’m so sorry you go through that. I’m so sorry if I have ever been part of that problem. Please know that I stand by your side and am an ally today.

I cannot change the color of my skin or eyes. I love my freckles.  However, what I can do is claim my Blackness, never back down or allow slick shit  people say to slide, and be an active participant in dismantling colorism in our community.

So to answer your question,  I’m 100% Black queen goddess mixed with Black strength. That’s it. Just you know, “regular” Black.

I think I’m over white men…

I’ve been known to only talk to white guys. Not because I only like white guys, but for some reason my attraction just always flowed that way…. But…

I think it’s happened y’all…

It’s happened. My attraction to the Caucasian race has subsided.

It feels like it happened overnight…

How?

Well, let’s start from the beginning…

So my preference in men has never really been that picky. It’s mostly been just genuinely nice, good looking, (mostly white) guys who are about the culture. And what I mean by that is that they are for black people. They know that black lives matter. They understand their privilege. They aren’t there to satisfy some freaky fetish. They are truly into us.

And some people probably think that I’d never talk to a black man. I mean…before this recent stint, I’ve talked to 0 black men seriously and maybe messed around with not even enough to count on my right hand.

I had a type… obviously. So what changed?

I don’t really know to be honest. On Tinder or Bumble, I’ll come across a profile and think to myself, “hmm, another attractive white guy…who’s probably not attracted to me”. Yes, this has been my actual thoughts, because it’s kind of my actual life. I’ve noticed that most of the white men I’ve swiped right on, do not swipe right on me. And I can’t help but wonder why. It’s not like I only post one picture of myself and don’t include any information about myself in my profile. I make decent money and my Instagram is damn interesting!

Like yo, I’m a catch!

I can’t help but feel that most of the white gay population is not here for me, or anyone like me. Unless I had washboard abs with a chiseled chest and sculpted arms. Oh, THEN AND ONLY THEN will my brown skin get me that right swipe. Funny thing is that the same white man that will swipe right on the muscled body black man, would probably swipe right on the average white guy with the dad bod and nothing going for his life.

Why do I feel like I have to have a higher standard to get your right swipe? Is this a thing? 🙄

I’ve become numb to it. Numb to being ignored and swiped by.

Again, I’ve dated white men who were down and showed nothing but love for black skin and they’ve proved it to me extensively. I appreciate them for it. They are there greatest guys. Those are the type of white men I want to date, yes, but those are so few and far in-between and sometimes you just don’t have a romantic connection. It’s not enough to match with 1 out of thirty white men, especially when you’re surrounded by them constantly.

There is a sea of white people that come across my tinder every day, and I would swipe right on a lot, but when I looked at my matches, I only saw beautiful black faces. There’s nothing wrong with this, but when you think about it, it does hurt a little.

At that moment, I had an epiphany; Why am I wasting my time and emotions and expectations on men who want nothing to do with me? Obviously most want nothing to do with me, so why am I mad? I really don’t know, to be honest. But to the ones who are down for me and my people. I love yall. I love my white guys who love my brown skin. I appreciate you and I understand that not all are like this and the ones that are, are jackasses. It just sucks when you feel like you’ve been written off and not dateable because you’re black. Don’t let the ignorance fool you, it’s a real thing.

And no, I’m not upset anymore because I’m not matching with my white Prince Charming. Despite popular belief, I’m pretty sure Prince Charming could be white, black, latino, asian, whatever. I’ve learned to get over it a long time ago and I couldn’t care less if I found him and now when I find him, I won’t be surprised if he shows up with some ethnicity. It just sucks that you aren’t able to connect with someone you are attracted to and you want to get to know them on a deeper level but can’t, because of your skin color.

I’m Tired of Myself Not Showing Up and Out for Myself

A few days ago I posted a pic of me in a pink jumpsuit and everyone was kind enough to give me compliments about it out the wazoo. I almost didn’t post it, because I thought I looked ugly and fat. Last week, I posted a post about how my spiritual journey is not what most people expect and my beliefs don’t align with majority of the people I know. I almost didn’t post it because I was fearful of rejection. I am making some major life changes and am doubtful at every turn and tell little people about it because I’m afraid I look stupid or flakey. I set boundaries that are healthy for me and then feel immensely guilty because people don’t agree. I don’t want children because it isn’t for me, but feel constant pressure to explain why, and so I never talk about it, missing out on opportunities to inspire others because I’m worried about others opinions or being seen as less desirable as a romantic partner.

I could go on and on with examples like these. But what I really want, is to never have another example like this in my life. I am beyond done with not showing up and showing out for my own damn life and living it on my terms. My whole job as a therapist is centered around telling others to show up for themselves, why the hell do I not do this for me? I am tired of being bound by shit that has no positive or fulfilling purpose in my life.

My body image has held me back for years. I don’t pursue the men I want, I sometimes don’t wear the clothes I want, I avoid pictures, and I have spent too many days crying over fat rolls, doing only certain exercises to decrease fat, apologizing when I eat a donut, ans comparing myself to beautiful women. Today, I declare myself beautiful, with fat rolls, and worthy. Fuck your beauty standards I’ve internalized. I can be active and overweight and healthy and eat donuts.

I’m tired of playing small in every aspect. I will assert my truth, I will not stop talking about Black things, I will not stop talking about equity, I will not stop when you are uncomfortable, call me an angry Black woman, tell me to be sweeter. I will not stop sharing my ideas. It’s not me to be quiet or small. It’s not my soul. It kills me when I do it. I will not commit soul genocide anymore.

I’m tired of settling. I will go for jobs in my career that invigorate me, challenge me, and call me to step into the leadership position that I am called to be. I won’t be anyone’s entry level anything anymore. I will walk in my strengths humbly, but not self deprecatingly.

I will not settle with men. I deserve what I want. My body will not be used for pleasure unless I say so, and I will not settle for a man that does nothing less than challenges me to be better, loves and cares for me, can hold his own, and also is what I want. No more nice guys with potential, and certainly no more fuck boys here to waste my time. No more half committed, empty words, me chasing you, you being too cool. Stand beside me, be ready to commit, or get to walking. Also, this isn’t only your descision; I actively get to choose. I’d certainly rather be alone than to deal with any BS.

Listen. I’m ready to show up and show out for myself. I am tired of playing it safely and diminishing my light. I am soft and fierce and courageous and change maker and I no longer have a choice but to live up to this. And I’m excited AF.

So please know, I am showing up for myself in a big way and I hope you join me. But if it makes you uncomfortable, IDGAF.