Essence Fest 2016 (What It Is)

I had the privilege of experiencing Essence magazine’s Essence Fest for the second time this past 4th of July weekend. It was simply everything. I saw some of my favorite artists perform like Mariah Carey, Babyface, and a new favorite, Jidenna. Yet, anybody who really knows me knows that seeing the one and only Maxwell perform again (my first time was back in 2009) and posing next to him for a picture just made not only my weekend, but my entire life. He epitomizes real musicianship, style, class, soul, and individuality in a way that is breathtaking to me. I’m still in shock that I was standing right next to him even if for only a few seconds!

Even though I’m a huge fan of Essence Fest and hope to attend as many times as I can while there is breath in my body, I understand how it could look to the highly critical among us, being that I’m one of them. There were times when I waited in line after line at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center during the humid, NOLA days when I wondered if it was all worth the hype. Was it all just a series of marketing ploys and self-promotion? There were celebrities autographing recent book and CD-releases. There were vendors selling all types of wares and southern-styled meals. There were major hair and beauty brands giving away samples—ranging from small trial-sized packets to full-sized bottles of products. Sure, there were various empowerment stages, speeches, and sessions but were all of those amazing messages drowned out in a sea of marketing and consumerism? Was there really more lying beneath the surface of superficiality?

You bet your bottom dollar there was! Let me breakdown exactly what Essence Fest is…

Essence Fest is drinking a cool glass of lemonade on a blazing summer day (the Beyoncé brand).

It is that gentle breeze underneath your sundress when you’re drenched in sweat.

It is what it feels like to come home (the Diana Ross in “The Wiz” version).

Where else on earth can you go to find hundreds of melanin-drenched people in one place where it’s not only acceptable, but required to embrace the uniqueness and beauty of African American culture? Where you can eat as much fried chicken, collard greens, and peach cobbler as you want without the guilt of feeling like a stereotype? Where there is no doubt that black lives always and will forever matter? In fact, the question is redundant because it’s a given. Essence Fest is a type of nirvana for African American women where everything about them—their unique experiences, interests, goals, passions, and beauty—are all validated, celebrated, appreciated, and understood.

Although I left Essence Fest 2015 rejuvenated as well, I experienced a whole other level of appreciation for the event this year because of the many changes in my life and in my own personal development over the past year. I have been brought down to the ashes of the person I once was after losing my son and dealing with other struggles in my personal life, but Essence Fest 2016 has given me even more courage to hand my ashes over to God in order to become reborn like a golden, blonde-haired phoenix (check out the new “do”).

13606816_10102136852647350_1503668861340104304_n (1)

Chilling poolside on the rooftop of the Ace Hotel and having some amazing conversation on a day off from the hustle and bustle of Essence Fest events!

 

13585029_916521503278_7606683423535690328_o

What do you say to someone whose concert may be the reason why you and your spouse got married? You say the obvious, “I love your music so much!” and just cheese really hard.

 

13576903_916521393498_4757705549988782924_o

Uncle Charlie never disappoints and he almost bought me a $400,000 car! :-O

 

13567115_916521293698_2492309691087138472_n

The “My Black is Beautiful” booth gave away full-sized hair products, t-shirts, and printed photographs for those patient enough to wait in line for them.

 

13580629_916521388508_8443365803056480920_o

I loved everything about Jidenna when the “Classic Man” first came on the seen, but I have an even greater appreciation for him and his music after seeing him live in the intimate Ford “Hot Right Now” superlounge at the Superdome!

 

13568886_916521343598_4545256457778649809_o

Bishop T.D. Jakes talked about his upcoming talk show and almost started preaching before he stopped himself short! I don’t think anybody would’ve minded him going on, especially me. His ministry kept me going on many’a rough days recently!

 

 

13580564_916521473338_2110274651488523725_o

I loved the random celebrity sightings at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Eric Benet just strolled through with a few members of his crew/security.

 

 

13558993_916521283718_5491067276878929462_o

I grew up loving Mariah Carey’s music and Mimi did not disappoint. There was nothing like singing along to her hits and watching her in all her “diva-ness.”

 

13576915_916522720838_7440559319371040065_o

Another take-away from my Essence Fest weekend was a determination to finally check out Omari Hardwick in “Power.” The show was highly recommended by a new NOLA friend and even compared to “The Wire” so I’m intrigued.

About Falling Apart

It’s 18 days until my husband and I will participate in the March of Dimes March for Babies in honor of the life and death of our son Izzy who passed away on January 25, 2016 due to bilateral renal agenesis, a fatal birth defect when a baby lacks kidneys. I’m pushing myself to write and post on the blog each day until the walk—some days a little and maybe some days a lot—in hopes of shedding light on issues like miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss so that other women who go through these types of things know that they’re not alone. Please share this post generously to spread awareness!

There’s no avoiding it.

It may be after being on a motivational high all week. You may feel like you can conquer the world. You may feel like a true badass. You will refuse to be a tragedy. For 13 weeks you managed to carry a baby in your womb that you knew would die in your arms, if not before. You will pronounce yourself victorious because you have been through a type of hell on earth and survived. You will pat yourself on the back for being able to dream again instead of staring in the dark all night. You will declare yourself a survivor because your heart has been broken, but is still beating. You will praise God because you wanted to die, but found several reasons to live. You will tell yourself that you are the real M.V.P.

Then, out of nowhere, you will fall absolutely, ridiculously apart. Snot will run down into your mouth. Your eyes will be bloodshot. You will groan like a sick, old man on his death bed. You will hold your pillow desperate to hold your baby for a minute longer. You will want to crawl as far underneath a rock as humanly possible and completely disappear. You will feel like the trash at the very bottom of an Indiana landfill.

You will fall apart. And it’s ok.

“Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;
    when I fall, I shall rise;
when I sit in darkness,
    the Lord will be a light to me.”

                                 -Micah 7:8 ESV

My family and I would love for you to donate to our March for Babies campaign! Any amount no matter how small may help other families of premature infants. Click here and know that we’re so thankful for you!

Commit to Happiness No Matter What

It’s 19 days until my husband and I will participate in the March of Dimes March for Babies in honor of the life and death of our son Izzy. I’m pushing myself to write and post on the blog each day until the walk—some days a little and maybe some days a lot—in hopes of shedding light on issues like miscarriage and infant loss so that other women who go through these types of things know that they’re not alone. Please share this post generously to spread awareness!

Untitled

So I’ve heard that Tony Robbins is the stuff, but today I listened to an interview with him on the School of Greatness podcast with Lewis Howes in an episode called, “Tony Robbins’ Key to Success, Wealth, and Fulfillment” and now I see what all of the hype is about. There were so many great quotes and insights from this interview so I highly suggest that all of my POP people check it out, but one of my favorite quotes was “Commit to happiness no matter what.”

Robbins talked about how it’s inevitable that something will happen in our lives that deeply upsets us–loved ones will die, we may have health scares, we will make horrible mistakes in business, etc. His philosophy is pretty much that we know the road will be difficult, but we have to make the choice to be happy regardless. Even if the worst possible thing we can imagine happens to us, we have to choose to be happy because happiness is a decision. Happiness will not come when everything is perfect–if we get the job we want, a successful business, or a new house. Life will never be perfect.

So, I am challenging myself and I challenge all of you as well to take Robbins’ advice and “Commit to happiness no matter what.”

My family and I would love for you to donate to our March for Babies campaign! Any amount no matter how small may help other families of premature infants. Click here and know that we’re so thankful for you!

Turn LOSS into LEGACY

It’s 22 days until my husband and I will participate in the March of Dimes March for Babies in honor of the life and death of our son Izzy. I’m pushing myself to write and post on the blog each day until the walk—some days a little and maybe some days a lot—in hopes of shedding light on issues like miscarriage and infant loss so that other women who go through these types of things know that they’re not alone. Please share this post generously to spread awareness!

In Your Loss Think of the Legacy Quote

Izzy taught me that every life is valuable and that we all have a purpose. He taught me to appreciate each moment that we have because the next moment is not guaranteed. He motivates me to keep fighting through the obstacles of life because if I can endure the pain of losing him, I can handle anything.

What did your lost loved one teach you by the way they lived their life? Focus on what you learned from their life to help you cope with the loss.

My family and I would love for you to donate to our March for Babies campaign! Any amount no matter how small may help other families of premature infants. Click here and know that we’re so thankful for you!

Happy New Year from the PBWB!

IMG_0056

Happy New Year from the Popped Black Woman Blog!

Don’t you love the sense of promise and hope that’s in the air at the start of a new year. Yet, we all know that mid-January/February rolls around and many of us still feel stuck in a rut and forget about all the new habits and plans we had for the new year. Let’s not let that be us this year. Let’s make a realistic ambitious plan for 2016 that includes deadlines and monthly/quarterly goals to help us stay on track.

For me, my biggest project will probably be setting a solid foundation for by new business, Popped Handmade, and really turning it into a “business” (as in having profits and such lol). It’s only been about 2 months since my first vendor fair when I burst out my handmade whipped body butters at a school where I used to work. It seems like ages ago because I’ve learned so much since then. But, at the same time the amount of work that needs to be put in, the knowledge and experience that needs to be gained, and the contacts that need to be made in order to turn this thing into something that really makes an impact for my family and for social causes that are important to me are almost overwhelming at times. However, that overwhelming feeling lets me know that I’m going to have to grow in faith in order to surpass the challenges in front of me.

In fact, 2015 has been so challenging as far as believing in myself and trusting God’s plan for my life that I’ve declared 2016 to be the year of belief. I refuse to have limiting beliefs that limit my joy and personal success this year. Last year was a year for the history books in many not-so-good ways, but it’s clear now more than ever that we grow the most when we go through some things.  

A Few Things 2015 Taught Me

 1.      Bad things can happen to anyone. An unfortunate situation can leave us paralyzed or propel us forward. It all comes down to our response.

2.      Sometimes your dreams have to be denied (even if for a short time) in order for you to realize your full potential.

3.      You have to decide to win even if you don’t have a fan club to lean on.

4.      You have to find ways to encourage yourself on a daily basis. This is true especially if you don’t have a strong support system. Motivational podcasts have really carried me through the low moments of 2015.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.”-Zig Ziglar

5.      Accept when you don’t fit in or feel like the oddball. That should let you know that you’re on the right track. You’re called to be the agent of change, not to conform.

6.      If you have the ability to inspire others, you’re a leader—even if you don’t have any titles or don’t feel like it’s true. We all have the ability to lead.

7.      Growth requires expanding your knowledge, experience, and network. It can’t happen with you staying stuck where you are.

8.      Just show up. You may not feel prepared. You may be running late. More than likely, you will be glad that you showed up and will learn a thing or two.

9.      Life is happening now. It’s the struggle/the process/the journey. Life is not waiting until you have accomplished all of your goals; it’s what’s going on while you work at your goals. Don’t wait until sometime in the future to enjoy the life you have right now. Only this very moment is guaranteed to anyone.

10.   We have to change our mindset in order to change anything that we’re dissatisfied with in our lives. No change in circumstances can take place if our thoughts and perceptions don’t change. The change starts inside before it’s manifested outside.

Honestly, I could go on and on about the little nuggets of wisdom that I’ve picked up from my experiences and observations in 2015, but I’d love to hear about your mantras, goals, and affirmations both that you’ve gained from 2015 and that you hope to ring true for 2016. Do you believe that 2016 can be your best year yet? Do you have a specific plan for how to make that happen? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook. We got this!

3 Motivational Podcasts You Should Be Listening to Right Now!

build yourself up createHer

See below for image copyright info

Okay so I don’t know if you all are into podcasts, but if you aren’t, you’re missing out! I’ve found that motivational podcasts are great for building myself up and providing a positivity boost when I start feeling discouraged. There’s nothing like the testimony of other people that have achieved things that you’re hoping to achieve to keep your eyes on the prize. The best part about podcasts is that you can listen to them while you’re doing almost anything–cooking, doing laundry, working out at the gym, or commuting to work. Even though I consider myself a podcast newbie since I’ve only been listening and researching podcasts for about a year, I’d still like to share three podcasts that I’m loving right now that I think my positively optimistic & powerful readers will love as well.

3 Motivational Podcasts You Should Be Listening to Right Now!

  1. Happy Black Woman Podcast with Rosetta Thurman

I just discovered this new podcast today and I am already in love! The Happy Black Woman website has been on my radar for a little while now, but I had no idea that the website creator, Rosetta Thurman, recently started a podcast. The Happy Black Woman Community is all about helping women change their mindset, leave their 9-to-5 jobs for their own location-independent businesses, travel the world, and pretty-much “live their ideal lives.”

The latest Happy Black Woman Podcast episode that still has me on a motivational high is Episode 001: Changing Your Story and Breaking the Lies featuring Dr. Venus Opal Reese of Defy Impossible, Inc. Dr. Reese went from being a homeless teen on the streets of Baltimore to a formidable millionaire motivational speaker and mentor. You will definitely end up taking notes by the end of this episode. I know I did!

2.  Black Entrepreneur Blueprint

This is one of the very first podcasts I discovered when I really started listening to podcasts about a year ago. It has definitely been the main one I turn to for inspiration on becoming a black entrepreneur. The podcast creator, Jay Jones, is a serial entrepreneur who loves sharing his knowledge to help aspiring and current entrepreneurs “launch, build, and grow successful businesses.”

I have many favorite episodes of Black Entrepreneur Blueprint, but one of the latest ones that really got my juices flowing was Episode 61: Battlefield of the Entrepreneurial Mind, in which he talks about many of the internal and external influences that may hinder us from success as a black entrepreneur. Check it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

3. The Ash Cash Show

The Ash Cash Show is another recent discovery of mine. (I swear I prayed and hoped to find more motivational podcasts and they just started popping up for me.) I actually stumbled on this podcast through the creator’s Instagram page (who says social media is all bad!). Ash Cash, a banking professional for over a decade, personal finance expert, motivational speaker, author, among other things, along with cohost Tashima Jones, discuss everything relating to financial advice and motivation. I especially love that just from the very few episodes I’ve listened to so far that it’s clear that Ash has a holistic approach to financial success; his slogan is “change your mind, you change your life.”

Recently, I really appreciated Episode 14: Millennials Revealed with empowerment speaker and millennial expert Tru Pettigrew seeing as how I’m a millennial (hey what’s up with the bad rep we’re getting nowadays?). Yet, this podcast is not only great for helping millennials understand ourselves in relation to our spending habits and professional engagement (amongst other areas), but it’s great for helping other generations connect with us a bit better.

Do you currently listen to any of these podcasts? Do you have others that you’d recommend? I’d love to know in the comments or on Facebook!

Image by I’sha Gaines of HoneyBeNatural Magazine. Location: Dallas, Texas at Main Street Gardens. Courtesy of CreateHER Stock. Licensed under (CC BY-SA 4.0)

A Little Rain Never Hurt Nobody

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain. – Vivian Greene See below for image source.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain. – Vivian Greene. See below for image source.

Growing up, I was taught to avoid the rain and stay inside on rainy days. Whether it was because I wasn’t supposed to get my hair wet or because it was feared that getting rained on could cause a cold, I’m not sure—probably both of those things. However, as an adult, I’m learning not to fear the rain. The “don’t want to mess up my hair” reason doesn’t work since I’ve been #teamnatural for the past 7 years. Seriously, shrinkage is as normal as breathing and nothing to get worked up over anymore. Plus, now I understand that a little rain can’t hurt as long as you’re prepared for it (Isn’t that true for anything in life?).

In a light drizzle, all you might need is a jacket to keep you warm and a hood to cover your head. Of course you’ll need a bit more in case of a downpour like a warm raincoat/water-resistant jacket with a hood, umbrella, and rain boots. Preparation makes all the difference. It allows you to go out singing in the rain, instead of cursing under your breath.

We had one of those gray, rainy days in the Chi yesterday. Despite the grayness of the sky and the light drizzle outside, I took L-Boogie out for an adventure to the biggest library in the city via public transportation. We’d been cooped up inside for the past few days and simply needed to get out.

When we first stepped outside and I felt the small raindrops, I thought about taking her back inside. I thought about how we would have to take the bus and the train. I thought about the fact that I couldn’t find an umbrella in the house. I thought about how I wouldn’t want us to get caught in a major downpour that would cause us to both get soaked and God forbid…sick! But, I stepped out on faith—faith that even if the rain came down harder, we could find shelter or buy an umbrella from a drugstore, faith that even if one of us got the sniffles from being cold and wet that it wouldn’t be the end of the world. We would drink orange juice and eat soup; we would be ok.

And whaddaya know? The light drizzle stopped and we returned home bone dry; we were completely fine. We had lunch at Panera. We picked out new books at the library and L-Boogie played with giant Legos and blocks. I have to say it was a good day. I’m definitely glad that the gray sky and a little rain didn’t stop us from getting out and having a little adventure. Neither should you 😉

Photo credit: “Jumpin’ in the Rain” by Tony Fischer. Taken on ‎June‎ ‎27‎, ‎2008 Flickr via Creative Commons CC BY 2.0 I have no rights to this photo. No changes were made.

Do I Have an Enemy Within? (Am I My Own Hater?)

”When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” – African Proverb (courtesy of happyblackwoman.com)

”When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” – African Proverb (courtesy of happyblackwoman.com)

A few days ago, I found the African proverb above on the Happy Black Woman website (the post “67 Inspiring Quotes by Black Women on Happiness, Perseverance, Fear and Success”) and it just immediately stuck out to me. It seemed like a lightbulb went off in my head. Do I have an enemy within?

Many of us have a little voice inside of us that we constantly have to silence. It tells us all the things we can’t do or all the reasons why we aren’t good enough. More often than not, we probably can call those nagging thoughts into question and continue about our business. But, sometimes those little, lying voices may win in casting a cloud over us.

I’ve been a bit down in the dumps off and on for some time now and the proverb above made it clear that I have to cast out my enemy within.

It’s true that sometimes we really do have haters, but we have to be careful that the hater in our heads is not making us believe that someone on the outside is a hater when they really aren’t. I’ve realized that it’s very possible that a lot of the rejection we feel from others could be the projection of our own internal enemy out into the world.

It can be tough being a stay-at-home mom. Yes, I don’t deny that it is a privilege, honor, blessing, and pretty much every good thing that you can think of. When I went back into the workforce when my daughter was about 7 or 8 months, I immediately dreamed about the day when I could get back home to see her go through all of her major milestones without missing a beat. That day came sooner than I could’ve imagined and I was thrilled. Yet, every stay-at-home mom knows the challenges—isolation from the adult world, the blow to your ego and maybe even your self-esteem when those checks stop coming in your name, and the misperception about what you do on a daily basis (and don’t forget the misperception about your financial situation) from the outside world. It definitely can throw your sense of value and confidence threw a loop. Living simply and valuing other things over fortune, fame, and independence (gasp!) is so contrary to what society tells us we should want that we tend to look at ourselves sideways when we don’t live according to society’s standard of success.

However, the proverb above made me realize that if I have an enemy within that thinks very little of myself and my place in the world, every glance and remark from others—no matter how unrelated to me personally—will be filtered through the beliefs of my enemy within. If I’m my own enemy, I have no chance in the world no matter what endeavors I pursue. We all have to be our own biggest fans. We have to cheer ourselves on when the going gets tough and know that we can make it even if we are the only fan that we have.

So to all my positively optimistic & powerful people (in process) cast out the enemy within and build yourself up daily. You may use affirmations, inspirational podcasts, scripture, or self-help books. Whatever you need to do to get that enemy within out of your mental space and spirit, do it as often as you need to. This is oh so necessary in order to keep it poppin’ 😉

Happy World Suicide Prevention Day!

Disclaimer: I have no rights to this photo. Copyright by asboluv, "tortured soul (asboluv - stencil on cardboard)" CC BY 2.0

Disclaimer: I have no rights to this photo. Copyright by asboluv, “tortured soul (asboluv – stencil on cardboard)” CC BY 2.0

This Thursday, September 10, 2015 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Actually, September is National Suicide Prevention month. Because of this, I would like to take a little time to write about suicide since it is one of those topics that is still pretty taboo in most circles. We rarely even think about it until it affects us personally, professionally, or if we happen to see a news headline about it. However, I was surprised to find out, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), that

WHO has implemented a Mental Health Action Plan that aims to reduce suicide worldwide by 10% by the year 2020 and I definitely encourage you to check out their “Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative” brochure. Drawing from the information I gathered from WHO’s website, other online resources, and just my own 2 cents, I’ve come up with a few simple things that can help each of us work towards reducing the global suicide rate in our daily lives:

  1. Educate yourself about suicide risk factors, signs, and facts. This post doesn’t even skim the surface of the multitude of information available about suicide. The National Institute of Mental Health, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and HelpGuide.Org are great places to start to understand suicide, identify someone who is at-risk, and learn how to help a loved one that may considering taking their own life.
  2. Don’t perpetuate the “all suicidal people are weak or crazy” stigma when discussing suicide (such as in the news) when talking with friends, coworkers, and family members. You never know if someone in your midst is going through a difficult time. It’s a lot harder for people to reach out for help when they feel they will be ridiculed or not taken seriously.
  3. Take care of yourself. Even if you’ve never struggled with mental illness and are very resilient when life throws curveballs your way, never be afraid to reach out for help if you think you may need it. Talking about your feelings with someone that will support you can make a seemingly unbearable situation a lot more bearable. Eating well and exercising can do wonders for your outlook as well!

As in the words of Mr. Stevie Wonder, it’s my hope that “everything is alright, uptight, outta sight” for all of my positively optimistic & powerful readers out there. If it is, I’m hoping you show the people around you that you love them and support them on this World Suicide Prevention Day and everyday thereafter!

If you are in a crisis and are unsure where to turn, hit up the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). According to their website, someone will take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Let’s Not Get Serious

Even though it still feels like summer and won’t technically be fall until September 23rd, I think cool breezes, pumpkin patches, and autumn leaves are on everyone’s mind this week. The start of September means Labor Day weekend is coming up. Better fire up that grill while you can! Plus the last batch of kids are going back to school soon if they haven’t already. I don’t have any kids in school yet, but I’m oh so ready for the kids near where I live to be at the school house all day, ya feel me.

I’d been feening for summer long before it arrived, but now I’m at peace with cherishing the summer memories that were made and I’m ready to embrace the beauty of fall. In addition to looking forward to all the fall activities that I get to do with my now 2 years old, L-Boog, I’m also getting a little anxious about my bday in October. I’m really getting into these late 20 years and while it’s a little scary, I’m also full of anticipation. I’m curious about all that good ish that’s supposed to happen in your 30s—you’re supposed to be more stable, more comfortable with who you are, or something like that—but I’m in no way trying to hurry it along!

I love to reflect on how I’ve changed and grown over the years during my birthday season. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how important it is not to take myself too seriously and to learn to brush those awkward/uncomfortable/”what just happened?” moments off right after they happen instead of looking back and having a pity party. I definitely enjoy being silly and relaxed when I’m in my element with my besties, but more often than not I would say I’m more serious-natured or intense. Blame it on my Scorpio-ness. (Um, did I mention that Scorpio season is coming up? Just wanna make that clear.) However, I’m getting better and better at this as the years roll by, but I will say it’s a lot easier to laugh at my old self than the me I am today, but I’m getting there.

One time of my life that I have no problem laughing at is my phase of beauty/fashion experimentation during college. Man, oh man the pictures I could show. Like most people, I came to college ready to try new things and experiment when it came to my appearance. I went natural. I got a nose piercing. I coordinated thrift store/co-op jackets with most of my outfits. And…cue the music…I made my own wigs. Gasp! This would not be a big deal if I was creatively-inclined when it comes to things like that. I’m not the worst with hair, but let’s just say I don’t think I should try to do hair professionally…at all. I would watch countless YouTube videos of girls making wigs and thought “I can do that!” Did it, I did.

Why do I look like I should be at the casino instead of a college dance?! This thing made me look twice my age...smh

Why do I look like I should be at the casino instead of a college dance?! This thing made me look twice my age…smh

Thank God that one of my apartment-mates/besties was really into hair and could make some of the horrible wigs I made look decent-looking. I still crack up to this day when I see certain pictures of myself wearing one of those wigs in college. I think to myself, “Wtf was wrong with me?!” It feels good to laugh about my beauty and fashion faux pas now, but I probably would’ve burst into tears back then if someone said something about them.

Hey, it’s true that you live and you learn. As I countdown to my bday, I’m grateful to God for the entire part of my journey up until this point—the good, the bad, and the hilarious. All the mistakes and blunders I’ve made so far (whether physically, socially, or professionally) have made me who I am today no matter how cliché it sounds. I’m just glad that nothing was so tragic that God’s mercy couldn’t cover it and that I can shake my head and laugh at it now.

Do you find it easy to laugh at yourself and keep it moving? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook!