You are a woman. A mama. A fran. A sister. A daughter. A dope chic. - You are resilient and beautiful. Your story is one of perseverance and strength. You should be proud of the person who have become. Two little humans call you mama and you have managed to turn your dreams into reality. God is not done with you. Go look into the mirror and affirm your beauty and greatness, both inside and out often.
I am so proud of you for not giving up on yourself when your back was against the wall and when you fell to your lowest. I am so proud of you for being honest with yourself when you needed to do and be better. Strength doesn't come from doing it alone- it comes from asking for help.
Im glad you figured out how to moisturize your skin, cause being ashy ain't cute lol. I know you made jokes about not being ashy but I realize that was just a way to remind yourself that self care is important. Never stop taking care of yourself...because mama or not if you are not good you are no good for your children.
You took a lot risks leading up to this day...but take more. Stop over thinking and live in the present. You can't change the past and the future hasn't happened yet...LIVE!!!!
Realize you are NOT superwoman. While you do some amazing things- realize and accept that some stuff simply wont get done- and it's ok! You are still going to be a dope chic and a great person. NO is a complete sentence.
Love with out conditions. Expect nothing. If its genuine in nature the universe will repay you. Just be you, unapologetically.
Remember that life happens outside the comfort zone- so try and step out there more often.
I know that you nervous, scared and even uneasy about what 30 years old will look like. But I need you to remember...You got this. You have all the skills to be great. Like ya sistafran always says...God be knowing.
Trust his timing. Trust HIS plan.
30 looks good on you.
"Everyone is a butterfly, they start our ugly and awkward and then morph into beautiful graceful butterflies that everyone loves." Drew Barrymore
The glow up is real. Im just 1 day away from the big three oh.
Im excited and nervous for what this era will hold for me. My journey thus far has taken me through both high and lows times. Im often asked how i make it... well i leave you all today with a few steps i use to living your best life:
1. Take care of your health ( mind body and soul)
1a. mental health, work out and get you a strong village
2.Live in the moment. Instead of focusing on the things beyond your control focus on the present.
3. Ask for help.
5. Say & Think kind things- your self is listening
6. Keep red lipstick on deck
7. Have private parties...often. enjoy your own company.
8. Build a solid village that loves on you AND holds you accountable.
9. Say NO.
10. never second guess your intuition and hold true to your standards.
**bonus- READ and reflect as much as possible****
"When she transformed into a butterfly, the catepillars spoke not of her beauty but of her wierdness. They wanted her to change back into what she had always been. But she had wings" - Dean Jackson
"The paradox of parenting is that it moves in both fast speed and slow motion"
My mama will tell you that she remembers the day i was born like it was yesterday. She can spit my weight and length - i wouldn't be surprised if she knew the time of birth too.
Every year I love to sit and listen to my mama tell me stories about my birth. I feel like with every year i find out something new. I know that my mama drove herself to the hospital and labored with me naturally. Once I was born my birth made the newspaper becuse I was the only baby born in the hospital on a cold Monday in February (29th). I was born on a leap year which meant i wouldn't get another calendar birth date for another 4 years.
Once i made earthside i tons of family waiting to greet me..my dad being the proudest. So proud that we name Symphony.
fast forward a few days and I will approaching 30 years young, Im floored at how fast that went. I vividly remember many elementary, middle and high school experiences like it was yesterday and I've been out of high school 12 years....omg!!!
My mama will officially have a 30 year old child. Im not old.. she is. lol
As I reflect I continue to think about my journey of raising two little humans. I can't help but think how fast will the next 30 years go?!!
I'm blessed. I can say my parents never missed beat when it came to being present in my life. For that, Thank you!
"Mamahood: The days are long but the years are short"
I get it now.
#melanatedmama #mamablogger #mamasworld
"As you become more clear about who you really are, you'll be better able to decide whats best for you- the first time around" Oprah Winfrey.
Things I love about myself:
My legs, 100m hurdle, track star, looking good in heels
My weird fashion sense, I dress in what makes me happy
My ability to piece together a bomb ass outfit from goodwill
The why my minds visualizes possibilities ( I'm a visionary)
My heart, its ability to love again and again and again
My mind, always open for more
My Lips, big and bold. Especially when they are covered in red.
my art and hows its transformed through time
my views on failure, its a learning tool for greatness
Today is Valentine's day and just like yesterday on #blackloveday I am choosing to indulge in self love. Im celebrating me. No I don't have a partner, a bae or boo... No I don't have an elaborate date planned ( with a man) INSTEAD Im choosing to love on my village.. my crew- my girls.
Im dressing up, hooking up my make-up and loving on the people who love on me consistently.
If social media will serve as a trigger for you, stay off. Write a list of what makes up happy and do it.
Love yourself extra hard today.
"aint no body gone love you if you don't love you" my mama.
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare" Audre Lorde.
Today is #blackloveday!
I had the honor of meeting the creator, Ayo Handy Kendi, a couple of years ago while celebrating a born day in DC. It was amazing to hear her talk about why this day was so important.
#blackloveDay or BLD is the 3rd nationally, commemorated African American holiday wholyday.
It is an observance of atonement, reconciliation, celebration and 24 hour demonstration of Black love, showing 5 Tenets (specific acts). They are love towards the Creator, for Self, for the Family, within the Black Community and for the Black Race.
Today, for me, is ALL about self love. I don't think I began to fully understand what Self- Love was until about 1year ago. I have always been a outspoken individual who did what I wanted- but that doesn't mean that behind closed doors I struggled.
I exisited in a head space that centered my self-care on the needs of others... particularly men.
Until i decided to (fearfully) stand in front of the mirror and approach myself.
#myjourneyto30 I now understand that I am the only person worthy of approval. If anything disrupts my peace - I chuck you the Peace sign.
I had to learn to love myself, without conditions.
I had to learn to love myself even with my crooked smile, the acne scars, my short fingers, my large lips, the stretch marks...
I had to learn to carve time for me and to be unapologetic about it. Even if that mean getting a baby sitter. I learned that one can pour from an empty vessel.
It took for me to become a mama, before I started taking the act of self care seriously... mind body and soul.
It was hard work facing that mirror, but oh so worth it.
The work is not over, how I approach the selfceare work has changed for the better.
" I am deliberate and afraid of nothing." Andre Lorde.
"He who forgives, wins the argument." African Proverb.
Asé. (And so it will be).
My son made his presence known to me while in the womb at 19weeks. Prior to that, he existed inside my body undetected. When I found out i was pregnant at 19weeks I realized that I had about 3 months to plan my LIFE for another child... as a single mama.
3 and a newborn was about to be my new life.
I was shook. and embarrassed.
I had made a personal vow to myself to not have anymore children until i was in a healthy relationship with someone who loved and respected me and my daughter.
But King was coming, whether I liked it or not.
After Marli I was mean, angry, sometimes violent, depressed, and felt like I was stuffed into a corner. I hated the very being that helped me earn one of the most important titles I'll ever have, mama.
I loved him. I hated him. I loved him. I hated him. That emotional rollercoaster was one i rode for years until one day I stopped.
King gave me hope. I felt magical with him, blessed to be the woman he choose to restore my faith back in men. Of course God would give me a son. I was at the peak of hating all men... my daddy included. I felt betrayed. I was pregnant with my son, my piece of peace. Charged with the task of raising a young king to grow up and be something different.
And so it will be.
I stopped the argument. I choose to forgive.
We went about a year with out really communicating. I backed up, released expectations and allowed him to be a dad on his terms...not mine. THAT, was huge.
I was intentional about my healing.
I'm posting this photo as a testament of our journey as co/parents. We have come a long way. in 2018 we can now sit in the same room and laugh at jokes, we can converse about the "special" person in our lives -(Im single, now) and really just be present in the moment for our children. Im grateful for that.
If i've learned nothing else, I've learned that "If you wish to move mountains tomorrow,you must start by lifting stones today" African Proverb.
"The way you speak to yourself matters."
For years I used my words to fight my battles. I was never a fighter so my spitfire word game was perfected. My ability to take a shortcoming and use it to make someone feel low was perfected. My new life as a (career working) single mama made me very angry and depressed. My dreams and expectations of a fairy tale life women are forced into believing is "the way" was off to horrible start. See, I had graduated college, met a guy whom i thought was amazing ( but wasn't cause I had on my "he's got potential frames"), got pregnant and thought next was the wedding and happily ever after. Blah blah blah, cause geese I was wrong.
Because my expectations were not met, I slumped into a 3 or so year pit of depression. I was a wreck. I could not understand why anyone could pass all this up.. and by this i mean the dopeness that is me!
Anyway, my life changed- and I resented my children's father ( and every other man). My body changed, which resulted in a constant love hate relationship, AND I was now responsible for a little human whose whole existence relied on my ability to care for them.
I was angry.
But Black Women saved my life.
It took me to be intentional about my healing before i started to see and feel change. There were(are) high days and for sure low ones.
Fast forward some 4.5 years Im a different woman. I look at my reflection and see beauty, strength, love and a few stretch marks that serve as reminders of my journey. I don't look at myself and speak negativity. nope. I know that those words have power. I instead look at my reflection and speak life.
Im the original #dopechic ( well 3rd generation cause Big Ma and My mama are super dope).
My journey wasn't meant for everyone. I am everything i am because of it. Im dope because I SAID I AM. I no l longer care about the opinions of others. If it (meaning men, events, friends, family, jobs, etc) doesn't protect my peace.... ha, I'm chucking you the peace sign!!! lbvs.
I am beautiful.
I am confident.
I am enough.
Speak life to yourself.
Puma, The MelanatedMama
I will not be another flower, picked for my beauty and left to die. I will be wild, difficult to find, and impossible to forget." Erin van Vuren
"Deep breaths are like little love notes to your self. "
Saturday. Probably my favorite self care day of the week especially when it involves a grown up girl's night!!! Every other day is filled with pre-filled work, community service, art and mama duties. The one day where i don't need an alarm clock is SATURDAY.
As I prepare for 30, Im especially excited about TODAY!
I vowed that this would be the year that I conquer my own fears, no matter how big or small. I made a list of 30 things/experiences that i avoided because of fear.
Today, is Speed Dating. ( insert dramatic music).
Let my homegirls tell it... I have a a "type" of man I gravitate to.
Im trying broaden my horizons, so putting myself out there for a Speed dating event is my way of conquering this fear of getting back into the dating scene.
Im beyond nervous but excited to putting myself back out there, again.
my turn up is natural, no wine or other bubbly drank needed.
Any moment, without my children, where I get to dress up is WIN for me. So if you see me in these streets just know - Im happy AF- don't kill my vibe.
So, tonight I'm preparing to do my hair, mositurize my skin (#teamnoashyin2018), hook up my make-up, marvel at my fully put together outfit in the full body mirror and sashay out the door.
Watch me work.
Do you see these legs?!
"I told myself that i was going to live the rest of my life as if it were Saturday" Chip Gaines.
"Children have never been good at listening to their elders. But they have never failed to imitate them."
Today was tough in mamahood. My daughter made some poor choices at school that i took personally.
Listen, taking care of little humans did not come with a personalized handbook. There are some days when I absolutely feel like I'm failing as a parent, and others when I feel like the single mama superwoman who undoubtedly "got this!"
Early in my journey of mamahood I believed that my daughter was my remix, I had a long list of things I wanted her to do, I had an idea of what I wanted her personality to be like, her style.. her vibe etc. But as we grew to learn about one another I realized, she's her own little person. That was a hard pill to swallow.
Everyday is a lesson. Everyday I'm faced with a new task to overcome. Every day she reminds me that I aint always got this!- the a ha moment is to remember that its ok!
I beat myself up often because I feel like i suck as a mama. But I have to remember Im doing the best i can. There are days when my daughter doesn't listen, she ignores me and completely behaves in a way that goes against all i've tried to instill in her. There are some days I literally want to scream, pull my hair out and hide in the closet away from my children.
But my daughter is watching. My son is watching. No matter how tired, defeated, frustrated, worn out, happy, joyful (insert any other emotion here) I can't forget... I have 2 sets of eyes watching.
The journey ain't easy. And I'm reminded by my mama that I'm getting all that I gave her. ha!
Mama's, its ok to say you are drained. Or that you are tired of mama-ing - yes i made up that word! Our children need to see that we are taking care of ourselves.
Take a moment to deep breath, self care and come back. Guide them, love them. It will all work it self out in the end.
"What you help a child love can be more important than what you help her to learn." African Proverb.
Puma, The MelanatedMama.
Road to 30.....
"When you educate a man you educate an individual. When you educate a woman you educate a generation" African Proverb.
I remember growing up in a house where reading was expectated and highly encourages. Books were every where in my house, Saturdays were filled with trips to Central Library or Half Price Books. Summers I was always a super reader, i even wrote a few of my own ( as a child). I vividly remember grabbing a new book every morning during breakfast. I LOVED to read. Babysitters club, Books on Marcus Garvey, Egypt, Art etc. Sadly, however, somewhere down the line with college, life and mamahood reading became lower and lower on my priority list. So much so that that i went years without actually reading a book cover to cover.
My personal collection of books is crazy. I simply LOVE books, fiction, non fiction, art, history, self help, graphic novels.. i love them all. I LOVE the way they smell, the cover art, the physical space they occupy...
Currently I'm reading 2 books.
1. Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America, By: Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden
2. Whole Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
I also have a running list once I'm finished with those. This year Im going to read 30 books.
Can you name a book that transformed you and your life?
For me it was Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters (Elementary School) & Marcus Garvey Life and Lessons (high school)
"True teaching is not aaccumulation of knowledge. it is an awakening of consciousness" African Proverb.
Im the mama of Marli Amor and Kingston Ase.