It’s My Party……

And I cried because I NEEDED to,

You would cry too if you walked in my shoes.

Yesterday was my 31st birthday.

It was yet another year of celebrating life in the middle of this pandemic. Unlike most birthdays before last year, I wasn’t genuinely excited.

I knew that this year would be somewhat different since I now live in Texas and most of my family and friends live in North Carolina. 

It began as one of the most “un-birthday-est” birthdays ever. 

I’m used to celebrating throughout the week amongst friends, family and strangers alike. 

Karaoke.

Dinners.

Bar hops.

Vineyards.

Smoking cigars.

Kayaking.

Connecting with nature, 

Hood rat shit with my friends.

This pandemic forced me to do some serious shadow working.

I have had breakdowns galore. 

I have had some rough wild nights.

My support system is A1. 

This revolution around the sun is propelling me forward. I feel it. 

Leering go of the things that torement me. The things that kept me bound. The things that lived rent free in my head for far too long.

It was hindering all that I was trying to manifest.

And on my birthday things changed. 

There was shift. The good finally about to outweigh the bad. 

I got that message very loud and clear. 

Yesterday was an entire party just for me.

And dammit I cried!

Thank you all for allowing me to share this space with you in this lifetime. 

Time to rebrand.

Deep In The Heart of Texas

*clears throat

I was born and raised in Townsville, NC.

At one point I thought I’d die there, but that’s another blog.

I have survived 17 long and excruciating winters on occasion.

I have some beautiful memories of hs having no power, no water for days at a time,

But still being able to beat thanks to the wood stove

Or filling a bathtub with water

Pipes bursting

Well water frozen solid

Silence and only the sound of Mother Nature

Swarovski diamonded snow with the reflection of the sun

Made snow families with my own family

Frigid times for sure.

BUT I AIN’T NEVER SEEN NO SHIT LIKE THIS!

Escaping Survival Mode

According to Psychology Today, “survival mode” is an adaptive response of the human body to help us survive danger and stress. 

From the outside looking in, many people would assume that I had an overall healthy childhood and adolescence. I was raised by my grandparents in the country. I got good grades. I never came off as disobedient. My yes mams and no sirs were always polished. Despite being a “good kid” raised in a super religious household, my life has never been exempt from trauma and dysfunction. I am almost certain that I’ve suffered from depression for years undiagnosed. 

I recently read and shared an article that discussed the immobilizing effects of depression. I recognized myself immediately. I wasn’t in a position to get out of the environment that I was in so I mentally became immobile. I don’t remember how I learned to control my rage. How to play along. How to seemingly “fit” into that world until I could get out of it.

Fast forward to now.

At 30. Far removed from the people, places and things that brought the trauma and dysfunction into my life, I still catch myself functioning in survival mode.

It is very difficult to escape this mindset.

I’m constantly reminding myself. I question my decisions alot. Why am I doing this? When it’s time for me to make important decisions I ask myself if I’m doing what I want to do or what needs to be done? Anything involving money and I’m asking if I’m buying an item from a headspace of lack.

Whatever helps right?

To the person that resonates with this blog:

  1. How are you or have you been working on escaping a mindself of survival mode?
  2. What has been your biggest challenge?

Children of Blood and Bone

Initially I didn’t want to read this book.

Not because it’s not one of thee most magical books I’ve ever read.

Not because it was 525 pages.

Not because of its name.

I didn’t want to read this book…..well…..because everyone else was reading it.

Super simple. Rather dumb. But I didn’t want everyone ruining the book for me.

This book was the last book that I purchased in store at Barnes and Noble before they close their doors because of COVID-19. I could not have been prepared for the life changing experience that took place between the covers of this book.

This year has been all about personal accountability and this book continued to provide it for me. I began seeing bits and pieces of myself in each of the main characters.

In Zelie, I saw my fears constantly haunting my thoughts and sorrow in my memories. Forgiveness that I owed to myself for not being stronger than I was. I saw my doubts in my ability to lead because of my past. I felt Zelie’s frustration as she struggled with knowing how powerful her gifts were. How draining it was physically when she used them to get her closer to restoring magic in Orisha.

Zelie’s doubt in her strengths reminded me of my own. I still struggle with it sometimes. The imposter syndrome. Other people see and believe in them, but most days for whatever reason, I tend to focus on my weaknesses. Even after bringing magic back (not quite the way she intended), she focused on all fo the things that went wrong. That she failed to accomplish such as protecting Baba. her focus remained on everything she didn’t do along the journey without giving herself credit for the bravery it took to begin the journey.

Tzain reminded me of how strong I always felt the need to be since I’m the oldest sibling. It’s an unspoken responsibility. We aren’t expected to show weakness. We should always lead by example. We have to figure everything out first. The eldest are the protectors. Sometimes that backfires. This happened when Zelie had her first experiences in love with Inan. Sometimes we are forced to sit on the sidelines to allow them to experience life. No matter how much we try to forewarn them. They are bound to make mistakes. I was right there as Tzain gave up the fight and watched Inan break Zelie’s heart. It was even painful to read. But when Zelie needed his reassurance and support, Tzain was right there.

We are all children of blood and bone.

All instruments of vengeance and virtue.

Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi

Through Inan I remembered how hard I fought to maintain my religious upbringing even when I no longer identified with it. Knowing that what you were taught no longer makes sense but still feeling the guilty need to honor it as a sign of loyalty and respect. Inan resented his magic based on the fear that he was taught. I was afraid of my spiritual path because of my upbringing. For the longest I rejected the supernatural things that kept happened to me. Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to question anything religious. I wanted to be able to question why I could ask questions but was never bold or brave enough to stand up to my folks.  Saran taught Inan and Amari to hate magic. I was raised to believe that people that didn’t go to church couldn’t prosper in life. Those views didnt change until I started meeting people that didn’t go to church that were living prosperous lives. I began meeting people that not only didn’t attend church, but people that had closer relationships with God than the people that I knew that went faithfully. It wasn’t until I had a mental breakdown that I decided to allow my spiritual journey to begin freely. Since giving up the fight, this is the healthiest that it’s ever been. I too, have plenty of friends (like Kaea) and family that don’t understand it. And I’m completely okay with that.

Although I wanted to read this book as pure fiction, I simply couldn’t. I lost track of time. I allowed my imagination to roam freely in Gombe during the festival. I dreamt about maji pulsing through my veins.

I am beyond grateful for the messages I’ve received while reading this book and ordered Children of Virtue and Vengeance before I was done with Children of Blood and Bone. I look forward to the journey continuing for Zelie, Tzain and Amari now the magic is back!

I apologize if you read and assumed that this would be a regular book review. This ain’t that. This isn’t one of those books. You literally have to experience it’s magic firsthand. It’s deeper than fiction.

Read the book? Wanna discuss it? Contact me!

This is 30

Happy New Year to me!

30 is supposedly that pivotal age where you’re supposed to have it all figured out. I always thought that I’d be approaching 30 as a young woman thriving in the career of her dreams. With the love of my life. In a loving home. With a few rugrats running around said home.

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Man. Let me tell you about 30.

As 29 was coming to a close, I did a ton of soul searching and reflecting. I’d lived in NC my entire life. I had a few “almost” attempts to leave but never actually went through with the decision.

One day, I had a purely honest moment with myself.

Rock. This ain’t it! This isn’t the life intended for you boo.

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Here I was. 29. No husband. No boyfriend. No kids (well Milo). I felt STUCK. Stuck in a job that was surely leading me to an early grave. Gifts and talents that weren’t being put to good use. And degrees that were collecting dust. It was time for a change.

30 had to be different.

Today is my birthday. I gifted myself with an entire new life in Texas. I am happy. I am grateful. This is by far the most peace that I’ve had in a long time.

Everything I thought I wanted. Everything I thought I knew.

All out the window.

Despite the thought of living with my sister and brother-in-law at 30. Despite not knowing how long I’ll be here. Despite COVID-19. Despite not knowing what the future holds for myself. Or those that I love. Or you reading this blog.

30 is a reminder that at any moment, you can change the narrative of you life.

30 is a reminder that no matter how much you think you’re in control, you’re not.

30 is a reminder that 30 looks, sounds and feels different for everyone.

30 is a reminder that I’m stronger than I think and wiser than I give myself credit for.

30 is a reminder that it’s never too late for what you deserve.

This is 30. And it’s pretty fuckin lit.