Yoga, yoga, yoga. We all know that dreaded four-letter word right? Whenever I see or hear the word YOGA, my honest first thought is tall slim white women with cleavage coming from their fitness bras, pelvic bones protruding from their Lululemon pants, and long blonde hair in a messy bun.
"Stop letting fear paralyze you." I remember sitting in my cubical, surfing the web and reading blogs when I came across this quote. This quote really uplifted my spirit. First off, I wasn't suppose to be surfing the web reading blogs, but I hated my job so much that I couldn't focus on what was in front of me.
Every second of the day I was on my iPhone researching and reading about young influential girl bosses and how they took a leap of faith and made it happen. I knew this current job (Corporate IT) wasn't my passion, but hey it paid the bills and rent for my studio apartment. I was blessed to be able to do all of this at age 22 but something was still missing. I've always wanted to move to Atlanta, GA. I was inspired by so many young black girl bosses flourishing in their 20's and even 30's who live in Atlanta. There was something about this city that has never left my heart.
Growing up in Newark and Jersey City was my comfort zone. I tested the waters senior year of high school by applying to almost every college out of state. I've always wanted to explore states outside of Jersey and college was my chance. Although my loving grandmother was always so afraid for me to leave the nest, mommy and daddy encouraged me to go out and do what they never got to experience. I took that risk and had some of the best experiences at my HBCU Virginia State University.
Moving back to Jersey after college was the biggest mistake! I never really wanted to return home, but I had no job and retreated into my comfort zone. After being home for a year realizing this is not the life I planned after college and going through severe depression, I decided to focus on me and to figure out my path.
I forgot to mention I was in a 3 year relationship and that was one of the main reasons I returned home, as well. Sis, never base your goals off of a relationship. You don't want to stop working on your goals and 6 years later wishing you did what you always wanted to do. Your goals are more important!
Jersey was no longer home for me. The same people I left 4 years ago when I went off to college were doing the same exact thing. My close friends started leaving Jersey for grad school and career opportunities; things just weren't the same. Staying in Jersey for one year after graduation showed me a lot about myself and I wanted so much more!
If your dreams don't scare you they aren't big enough...
Y'all remember that saying, right? Well, that was my life. I had many naysayers who gave me every excuse in the book to why I shouldn't move to Atlanta, such as the high percentage of gay men and the ridiculous traffic and many times it had me second guessing myself. After a Memorial Day weekend vacation in Atlanta with my line sister, things changed immediately. My sister knows me more than anyone and she said to me "THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO BE! Your slowly breaking down because you're letting any and everything stop you from chasing your dreams!"
Set a plan and a date and leave anything that's toxic in your life behind. I took a risk told my leasing office I wasn't renewing, took a flight to Atlanta to apartment hunt and saved up 3 months of rent, (I would definitely recommend saving more). I left my job and coincidentally the company lost a huge client that same month. That moment made me realize that we can't rely on Corporate America for financial stability or growth. We, as millennials, are out here creating and hustling because we know this.
After that, I packed up my car and drove 14 hours alone to Atlanta. Let me add I told most of my family 2 weeks prior to the move to avoid anyone from trying to hold me back. I know, I know, I was wrong for that.
But here are some of the things I learned while moving to Atlanta:
- Allowed me to become more independent
- Adaptable to new surroundings
- Learn who you are as a person and building up your confidence - when moving to a city alone, you don’t know many people so lots of things you explore will be alone.
- Be bold and fearless - allow yourself to accomplish anything after achieving one of your biggest fears. You build that courage to make things happen
- Focus on your goals 10 times harder
This journey has not been easy, but yet worth it! If you're looking to move to a new city, I would love to hear your story! Are you nervous? Are you excited? What's holding you back? Please feel free to comment below!
I had the pleasure of connecting with this beautiful spirit Mrs. Arion Long! While networking, we connected and she has this AMAZING product that I am just TOO excited about! Arion is the founder of #FemlyBox!
If you’ve followed us on twitter, you’ll know that I’ve already begun raving about this subscription box. Femly, is a monthly subscription that *drum rolls* IS FOR AUNTIE FLOW!
Femly is an organically made sanitary product for us. Arion, had been diagnosed with a cervical tumor, which prompted her research and studying when she found that her symptoms were reactions from sanitary products that we buy in the store.
Now this, is big for me because I suffer from benign ovarian cysts/tumors and am often told “we won’t bother it unless it bothers you”. Her story alone, makes me wonder if this is why I have the issues I have.
Upon looking at Femly’s site, I figure this would also be a great thing for my daughter who’s going through puberty. Where I wanted to go and buy her a nice little “it’s my time of the month” kit, I saw that Femly had everything she would need.
Why? Because it gives her body an opportunity to go through the process without the toxins being sent into her young body, it’s discreet; the upgraded subscription comes with body care goodies and SNACKS (LOL) and it’s got cute packaging. Seriously, I don’t know about y’all, but cute sanitary packaging kind of helps to ease the pain and the agony. (Seriously, I buy Kotex in the box because the wrapping is pretty).
Femly uses anion technology which is a strip in the pad that helps alleviate cramps, odors, itchiness, discomfort and fights off bacteria. So yeah that smell and that wet feeling, boop, gone.
I’ve stated before I want to provide a network of resources that aids buying black power in the black community, but to also look out for us women as a whole!
Currently, Femly is going through the manufacturing stage and is raising money to keep the subscription boxes low, and affordable. You can pre-order your box catered to your flow for as low as $8, with free shipping! Bundle packages are available as well and again, if you upgrade, THERE’S SNACKS! (I’m really excited about that part, lol).
The other big deal to this is, Femly will be housed in Baltimore which means, MORE JOBS!!
Please check out her site, support her movement and spread the word! It can save a life, seriously! #SupportFemly
February 1, 2017, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Before that, I struggled with anxiety and depression for YEARS without getting the help that I needed. Extreme worry, restlessness, and irritability became the new normal for me.
I thought it was something I could handle on my own, not realizing that trying to handle everything on my own is how I got here in the first place.
Growing up in a black home with a Christian mother, I was always told that there was nothing that prayer and going to church couldn’t fix. Imagine my frustration with my mom and God when neither of those worked for me. I was going through something that I didn’t understand and no one around me took it seriously.
Throughout the years, there were plenty of times when I tried to tell my mom and a few friends about what I was feeling. I was called dramatic, told that I was worrying about things that all adults worry about, and offered marijuana to help me calm down on more than one occasion (insert eye roll).
It wasn’t long before I gave up confiding in others all together. After all, it’s hard to understand something you’ve never experienced and it’s even harder being the one misunderstood. It took two trips to the emergency room, two prescriptions for Hydroxyzine, and a referral to a therapist before anyone took me seriously.
I said all of that to say, when someone is crying out for help, be there for them. I believe wholeheartedly that if someone would’ve taken me seriously and been there for me in the beginning, I wouldn’t need a prescription to help me calm down today.
Anxiety and depression is real and it’s something that no one should have to go through alone.
Just listening to someone vent for a few minutes can make a difference. Lucky for me, I do have a friend now that I can call when I’m having a “moment.” I’m not comfortable talking to a therapist yet, so he’s the next best thing. He doesn’t know this, but his superhero complex is what saved me. I’ve never been suicidal, but I was definitely in a dark place when he came into my life.
To anyone currently struggling with anxiety, you are not alone. I know how frustrating not being able to control your thoughts and emotions can be and a pill can only do so much. Don’t try to handle it on your own.
If you’re feeling depressed and nervous, talk to someone. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, my contact information is all over my blog. I don’t want anyone to feel the way I’ve felt for years, so I’m more than willing to lend an ear.
It’s still a struggle for me. Some days are definitely better than others. I’m still coming to terms with everything and hopefully one day I can say I’ve conquered this. I hope that by telling a smart part of my story, people realize that even the strongest person needs a shoulder to cry on and it is okay to not always be okay.
Ask Nayirah Waheed and she’ll tell you, “A friend is someone who supports your breathe.”
Ask Ryan from Girls Trip and she’ll tell you that there are some people who you cannot hide the truth from because they see it anyway; the people who remind you of your worth when you forget it and allow you to be your best self through the laughs, challenges and tears. These are the people we call our tribe, our sisters, whether it’s biological, social or spiritual.
Do you have folks who check you when you’re selling yourself short, celebrate you when you reach your goals and support you when you don’t see any reason to continue pursuing your dreams? Those are the basics of your tribe checklist right there.
If you have a sister, you have lessons from day 1 on how this tribe thing works. My sister is the one who will forever remind me how I slapped her earrings out of her ear when I was two, but never hesitates to let me borrow the earrings out of her ear or the shirt off of her back. She’s the one who’ll advise you on grapefruits and “protecting your peace” all in one sitting. She not only supports my breathe, she is the prelude to my breathe and understanding of true sisterhood.
The true test of time is the connection that we keep with the friends that we made before college. That best friend from the first day of 3rd grade (Hey Tiff!) or your little sis from high school, Nana.
Your Nana is the one you ran track with, ran the school newspaper with, went to the youth church services with and got your first job with. She was the cause of belly-aching laughs, real talk, prayers, advice, tea, all that. Souls as pure and wise as hers are rare these days and are sometimes called back to paradise way too soon. Cherish your Nanas.
If you don’t walk away from college with anything else, you leave with your tribe (and hope fully a degree): The girls who you made your best and worst decisions with, who you pulled your all-nighters with plotting get-rich-quick schemes instead of studying, the ones who prepped you for your interviews and edited your papers.
To this day y’all know which one you can’t trust to make your drink if you’ve got work in the morning, or the one who reminds everyone to stay hydrated and says a prayer for the madness that’s about to ensue, and the one who can’t stay away from those $2 shots in that alley off of Bourbon Street. Yet still for some reason they are the future aunties of your babies, your spiritual solace and the earliest supporters of your wildest dreams. (Y’all know who y’all are)
The truth is everybody is a good time after a couple of drinks, but the real ones are there after a couple of failures, heartbreaks, mistakes and tough decisions, to support your breathe – your getting up again that 8th time to show folks the greatness that your sisters saw in you all along.
Make sure your tribe supports your breathing, your living, your thriving, your magic. The way this life is set up, you’ve got to keep the real ones by your side and check yourself to make sure you’re reciprocating the realness.
Being at the start of our adult lives, sometimes we forget that tomorrow isn’t promised and you don’t always get a heads up before a sister becomes an angel. Call up your God-given sisters, and the ones He’s sent your way on the journey; check in on them, do brunch, support their endeavors and pray for them. While everyone is going through something behind the scenes, you never know when the physical, emotional or mental burden may just be a bit too much for them to carry alone. That’s where we come in.
Sisterhood is not only good for the soul, it’s a rejuvenating necessity. No one is limited to one tribe, you might belong to a few. Regardless, everyone needs their own Nana in their corner: that person that sees where you are struggling and is not afraid to check you, send you encouragement, laugh at you and with you, and continues to pray for you whether you’re asking for it or not.
Shout out to all of our tribes, all of our Nanas, the real ones who see the real us regardless of the situation and never stop supporting our breathe, our goals and our magic.
Dedicated to: My Big Sis, My Tribe & My Little Sis, Nana, RIP.