Tag Archives: Self-Love

Whitney Houston (Facing My Reality)

13 Feb
The Greatest Love of All

Image via Wikipedia

Whitney Houston’s passing isn’t surreal for me. It’s very real. Bringing into question my mortality and quality of life, reminding me that tomorrow is never guaranteed.

It puts into perspective that which makes my heart sing; forcing me to acknowledge that if I had it my way, I would spend these moments with the love of my life, living close to the beach so walks along the shore would be a few short steps away. I’d want to fully indulge in the blessings of life, taking short breaks to write (because I adore doing so) and to share laughs with family and friends. I’d want to do so free from the anxiety and stress placed upon me by a chaotic world, that dictates my daily path by superficial faded pieces of paper with dead presidents’ faces imprinted on them.

Ms. Houston’s passing arouses the fear that I am anywhere but in this utopia of my dreams, and makes me question why not, as well as the possibility of such a world.

We all throw around phrases and mantras about tomorrow not being promised and the importance of living for today but I know I am not alone in being bound by the fear of truly doing so. That in some way by living each day as if it was our last, is acknowledging the possibility that it very well could be. We procrastinate because we hope and long for tomorrow and the years to come, and if we are truly honest with ourselves we aren’t living out our maximum potential because perhaps we are afraid to accept that at some point we will all breathe that last breath and continue to whatever destiny our beliefs have in store for us.
I do believe that Whitney Houston is resting in peace now, but I can’t help but wonder, if she had it her way, would she have rather her existence here on earth, to be as peaceful-overflowing with love, encouragement, joy, and the expression of her dreams as it has seemed to be in these subsequent days of her death; If perhaps she would have made different choices throughout her life had she known how brief it would turn out to be. I too have childhood memories of wishing I had a red and black tutu like Whitney Houston’s so I could belt out “I wanna dance with somebody who loves me”, but the mature adult in me is reminded of the reality that tomorrow really is not promised and if that is in fact the case (which proved to be true for our fallen icon), what am I doing about that truth today?

Dirty Laundry: Good Hair

11 Feb

Good Hair?! My heart almost stopped when I heard a few of my family members use the term. Why? Adults can choose to believe whatever they want about themselves. They can build themselves up or foolishly put themselves down by superficial traits such as hair texture, but it is serious issue when we transfer our warped vision to children.

Aren’t children in and of themselves beautiful just because of their innocence and unadulterated will to be happy and joyous; untainted by life’s criticisms? You can’t tell me that the hair texture is a determining factor in that. And it shouldn’t be. There should be no separation and discrimination based on the tightness of curl in hair just like there shouldn’t be a differentiation based on skin color. In a world where people are fixated on labeling in order to categorize a person to then decide how to deal with them, we do not need to place additional labels on ourselves that create division.

Whether Afro Puffs, tendrils, braids, waves, silky, kinky, nappy,curly, or bone straight all hair has its good and bad days and in whatever state it chooses to take on or be put in, it is beautiful. In these modern times, we need to focus more energy on the things that truly matter and since we have yet to hear that someone’s graduation rate or college acceptance was based on their hair, we have more important aspects of our community that deserves our attention.

A Pretzel Story

2 Feb
Typical brands of Potato Chips at a superstore.

Image via Wikipedia

So I’m sitting here, typing and munching on organic pretzel sticks. Not because I wouldn’t rather be enjoying a slice of pizza, but because my body isn’t as forgiving as it used to be, say when I was like 17. Sure potato chips would probably even taste better, but years ago after gaining a considerable amount of weight, I took the responsibility of educating myself on what I was putting into my body.

I approach diet as I would philosophy or any other course for that matter. I have intellectualized it. And although I do still indulge in foods that I like and do still get much pleasure from eating, I realize that what most American’s are probably missing is the educational part of diet. If you just listen in on a conversation about food and you hear someone rationalizing the low-fat cookies they bought so they could eat more or even the 100% fruit juice that they can’t live without because it’s healthy, you’d realize that people are misguided and misinformed about the food they eat.

Primarily I don’t think it’s the what, it’s the how much. However, they are related because if you eat the wrong things, you’ll be hungrier faster and subsequently need more. Now I’m not going to go into my tirade of diet and nutrition (yet) but here’s my advice. Make wise choices with food. Yes, you can still enjoy it, but read the labels and school yourself on what they mean. If a serving is 10 chips and you eat the whole bag, you ate more than a serving. Doesn’t seem like a big deal until you add up all the extra servings of everything you consumed all day. It only takes 3500 calories to make a pound! And only a few extra pounds before a new dimple or roll appears and your clothes don’t fit!

Confidence Saves

20 Jan
English: Algenist in Sephora window

Image via Wikipedia

It pays to have confidence. Or better yet, it saves!

As an avid patron of the beauty industry there are certain things I swear by when it comes to beauty products like Vaseline and Cocoa Butter Stick, but on one particular day I was paying a visit to Sephora in order to replace my a must have in my beauty arsenal. As usual the beauty consultant asked me if I was looking for anything specific or had any questions and I actually did. However it was more of a technical question about ingredients more than anything else. After about 30 minutes I left the store with a suggested regimen to address a ton of skin concerns that I didn’t even have upon entering the store. This list of suggested products was about double, if not triple the price of what I use now. I mean the woman even created issues that didn’t exist. I so badly wanted to ask her how old she thought I was only as a means to demonstrate that whatever I was using was apparently working because she like so many others, mistook me for younger than I actually am.

What I realized is that this industry is part of the machine that tells us we have an issue and must purchase something to fix it. Even if what we have, isn’t truly an issue (like my freckles!). What we need to do (especially as women) is be confident in our own machinery so that we don’t internalize problems that aren’t even there to begin with. We have enough to worry about and the necessity to exfoliate with papaya enzymes so that we defy age isn’t worth the worry and rarely, the price.

“Stripped”

12 Jun

Sometimes I am surprised by how well I am doing. Simply because a year ago my life changed drastically as I became naked and exposed and subsequently forced to truly examine my life.

Let me rewind. I was supposed to get married in September of 2010. I had chosen my bridal party and started making physical and mental plans to leap into marital bliss. Or so I thought. In retrospect, I wasn’t really ready at all and although contradictory, I was actually rescued when my world came crashing down.

Sometimes things fall apart to build you up. In this journey of becoming stripped by giving up my job, apartment, the hope of ever becoming Mrs. That Guy, I started the process of honestly looking in the mirror at the woman I saw, first acknowledging that my actions weren’t that of a woman at all but that of a girl. How blind and foolish I has become trying to hold on to something that wasn’t meant to be mine. Fighting the universe is most often a tiresome and pointless feat. Imagine swinging your arms at a tornado. Your best left hook doesn’t stand a chance in the eye of the storm. I needed the storm to remind me that sometimes I need to just let go. Let go of the notions of who I’m supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing and grab hold to who I really am. No matter how much you fake it, you can only squelch which is truly you for so long. These are the moments which build character and create a starting point from which to evolve into your best self. And why would anyone want to settle for being less than their best self?

In my nakedness, I now truly know myself: my values, strengths, and shortcomings. I have a platform for the work that has yet to be done as well as a marquee of my accomplishments. I used to wallow in my exposure, desperately trying to find anything to disguise my nakedness so that others couldn’t see my soul, hiding my heart’s true desires, but I now relish and revel being stripped because in it, you are actually seeing me. Not the essence of me, but who I truly am.