“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”- Jack Canfield

For me, those words ring so true. So what’s on the other side of fear? For me, its vulnerability, openness, my dreaming waiting for me to make them reality. I started kinda late with the New Year New Me resolutions. They also weren’t really resolutions more of things I want to accomplish. One of the major things I want to accomplish in this new year is to be more open. Be more open? What does that mean? I know it kinds sounds vague but for so long fear has occupied far too much space in my head and heart and this year I have given it an eviction notice. It’s time for it to go and welcome in all the things that resides on the other side of it.

What am I trying to say?

Goal for this year is to be more open to what God has in store. Not to shy away from opportunities that normally would terrify me. To not back away from a love that’s waiting to be mine. To living life abundantly. To do the work that what I dream of requires me to do. To be vulnerable and if I get hurt because of it, knowing I will continue to bloom. ” The risk it took to remain tightly closed in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom. This is the element of Freedom. Fear keeps you constrained and restrained. Stuck in the mud. Fear is the thief of growth, of happiness. There’s no joy in fear. There isn’t even safety. Fear is only powerful when you give it power.

 

 

Moving Forward

My mom always used to say, “Timoun, lavi a pa fasil,” which translates to “Guys, life isn’t easy.” She was right. She was always right.

A few weeks ago my family and I remembered my mom who passed away two years ago to colon cancer. She was the rock and pillar of our family. She was like no other. There are so many words that could describe the person she was but it’s nothing compared to actually knowing her. She was fierce, smart, hilarious, eerily intuitive, loyal to her family, and a woman after God’s own heart. She was the real MVP.

In the months after her passing, I was consumed by a black hole and had very little desire to find my way out. It was tough. I was livid with God and I couldn’t understand why He would do something like that. I couldn’t figure out how to move through life without her. I watched life and aimlessly moved through it. I was lost.

I was terrified. How was I supposed to move forward without my guide helping me with every decision? How was I to know if the man I’m supposed to marry will turn out to be a “loser” or a good man? She was really good at weeding out the losers.  I was confused, lost, but had to start living. Her death forced me to leap without looking down. It was a push I didn’t know I desperately needed nor, at the time, really wanted. To begin living without fear. To discover the light locked away in the deepest parts of my soul. It was God’s way of telling me it’s time.

On a few different occasions, one of my sisters suggested I see a therapist. At the time I scoffed of at the idea of talking to some stranger about my business. My personal business. I was like, “Nah, I’m good.” But once I finally let go of my pride and started seeing one, tiny beams of light began to break through the clouds. I began to see the potential and purpose of my life in a different perspective. I no longer felt overwhelmed by grief and fear. I was slowly learning how to live without her while keeping her spirit alive.

For about six months after my mom’s passing, she would appear in my dreams about every two weeks.  Even now she still comes to me in my dreams from time to time. Seeing her in that realm gives me a small comfort and reassures her presence in my life. There are still moments and days when the grief, pain, and the emptiness are stronger than usual and I feel like I’ve forgotten how to cope.

And I often times think of how life would be if she still was here. Her reactions and facial expressions (the classics they were) to all the wonderful things that have happened in the last two years. I would give anything to see the joy on her face when surrounded by her three newest grandbabies. The pride in her seeing her daughters becoming mothers, homeowners, and doctors. To see her children growing into the persons God destined them to become. As much as I miss her and wish she was still here, she is the light guiding us out the darkness. She is the sun’s rays that break through the clouds and gives me warmth on days when the world is a little colder than usual. She is the smile that slowly spreads across my face when I think of her “mommyisms”. (A mommyism is a word or phrase that my mother would say as either a response to something her children said or a quick life lesson. Examples: “God of Abraham” and “Be de bridge.” She said a lot of random stuff that didn’t make sense but they were hilarious. Future generations will know the origins of the mommyisms.) Because of her I am brought to life and the light. Darkness has no hold over me. And I am no longer afraid because she is with me and I am with her. Always. 

New Year, New Me Update

Ello Mate!

So about a month ago I listed a few things I wanted to accomplish for this year. Well here’s an update of how its going so far.

As you can see I still have a blog and I have a new post! Check it out here. Now that I’ve got this writing thing kind of under control, I have a lot of plans for this blog. I have a street style series coming up and a possible cooking series in the works. So stay tuned for those!!!

I’ve begun meditating a lot more and its helping me work through many of the fears and anxieties I mentioned in the previous post. Since I’m a newbie I’m still struggling with leaving my cozy bed to sit on the floor and be still for 15-20 minutes. Although, I must say, I do feel much more focused and calm when I do actually do it.  If you have any suggestions or books or apps to help deepen my practice, comment below.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t landed a permanent job but I’m working on it. I’ve been editing my resume and cover letters so there are in good shape. If you know of any open positions, please send it over to a sista. These bills aren’t gonna pay themselves.

Well that’s all for right now. I’ll back in next month with a new updates. See ya!

 

Does Bey Really Have Hot Sauce In Her Bag? I Doubt It.

Oh, Bey, you are a genius. Honestly, a true genius. If this woman ever retires from the music industry she should teach a marketing class on herself as a brand. She’d probably make even more money doing that than music. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks or don’t have internet access, then you saw that Beyoncé not only released a new video but also performed at the Super Bowl and announced a world tour.  Now if that’s not seizing the moment and opportunity then I don’t know what it is.

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“Okay, now ladies. Let’s get into a Formation.”

Her new video “Formation” has sparked a lot of controversy as well as the Beyhive’s ridiculous *eye roll* reactions to the message in Bey’s song. As I was trolling the internet, many people were reposting the video and commenting, “she slaaaaayyyyeed” or “Yaaas, Bey is back!” or whatever else people say in relation to all things Beyoncé. I, per usual, saw their excitement and exclamations and scrolled right on past it. I sensed zero urgency to immediately watch the video. It wasn’t until a friend texted me the YouTube link that I then watched it. After my initial watch, I, honestly, wasn’t all that impressed by the song but, I did love her sartorial pieces; she definitely slayed there. It wasn’t until I read a few analytical commentaries on the message and the video that I went back and watched the video a second and third time. It was there that I realized “huh she actually has a message and may be truly saying something: that I’m here for.” I also watched her halftime performance of “Formation” with the Black Panther costumes, the next day, and for those few moments, I could’ve sworn I was a member of the Beyhive. I was that person yelling “Yaaaassss Bey, get it!!!” at the TV while my brother and his girlfriend looked at me as if I was crazy. But as soon as it was over I quickly got my life and went back to being a basic, lowly fan. *Crawls back into lowly fan hole.*

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Yaaassss, hunnies!!!

Before deciding to write my own commentary on “Formation”, Beyoncé, and her Super Bowl performance I did some quick research on the general public’s (excluding anyone a part of the Beyhive or those a step below Beyhive status—biased party) thoughts and commentary.

You guessed it! The majority of the pale faces were NOT here for both the video and her Super Bowl performance. They thought it was “un-American”, “not family-friendly”, and my favorite, “anti-police.” If you ever want a good laugh, just take a look at white people’s blatant hypocrisy. The good news is that their opinion doesn’t matter!!! tumblr_m855017k1h1qhi3aoo1_250

When it comes to the black community we all know that most of them were, like me, affirming the message and yelling at the TV screen when her dancers came out. Although I did find a few who thought she wasn’t conveying a strong enough message via her video. Let’s not kid ourselves people, Beyoncé hasn’t ever been on that Kendrick or J.Cole level nor do I think she will ever be. My thoughts fall right in between the two. Both commentaries from the black community exactly pinpoint my sentiments about Beyoncé. I love Beyonce. I think she’s an amazing entertainer and puts out fun music but I also think she’s superficial and over produced.

Before the Beyhive comes in and shutdowns my blog, I am not a Bey hater. If you read anything above this sentence you would see that. But I will say that I don’t think I could ever authentically stan for her the way I see plenty of people do. To me, there are several things about her and her brand seem extremely strategic and lack a sense of authenticity. Besides the photos of her mean mugging dancing face from her Super Bowl halftime performance two years ago, I can’t think of a time when I truly felt like “Beyoncé: Stripped”. Maybe it’s because I don’t follow her on Instagram (although those pictures seem a bit edited too) or that I don’t care but I’m still waiting to see the real Beyoncé. “Formation” seemed like it gave us a small glimpse into her thoughts on current matters that related to her, but,I hate to break it to you, Bey has already told and then reminded us that she’s from the hood, reps Houston’s Third Ward hard, is flawless, and runs the world. Let’s be honest, the last has some truth to it: the woman pretty much does run the world.  But in “Formation” she adds her devotion to her husband, her love for her daughter’s hair, and addresses that Illuminati nonsense— aka hater’s gon’ hate. Which all have been topics of dispute among her fans and the haters.  I’ve noticed that when Bey puts out a social commentary or a “socially conscious” type songs, I find that sometimes the intended message most times gets drowned out by the less substantive lyrics. But we all know that most of us will most likely remember “Formation” more for its powerful imagery and the few lines addressing rumors.

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Okay…

Yes, I know; by now it sounds like I’m a Bey hater but I assure you I’m most definitely not. Take a look at my Itunes playlist and you’ll see several of her songs and albums are in there. Heck, I have one playlist that is strictly her music. Beyoncé is great and at the top of her game. Is she the greatest? Eh, no but she’s very good and maybe one day will be amongst those deemed the greatest. But for me, the work she puts out seems to be more market-based and strategically planned rather than original and inspired art. Part of me wants to accept everything she does as the best thing ever but the more objective, sensible part knows that there’s always more going on than what the public sees.

While the woman is an amazing performer we also know that Bey is an opportunistic business woman. Like, come on, the woman released a video, performed at the Super Bowl, and announced a world tour in a less than 48 hour period. That’s clearly a very carefully and strategically plan marketing scheme and I don’t fault her for it. There’s nothing wrong with being a great entertainer and an impeccably savvy business woman but sometimes it would be nice for her to let that persona go for a change.  That’s not to say she needs to be basic or homely looking, which could almost never happen cause she’s Beyoncé, but more so genuine, so to be able to relate to her as another black woman on her grind and doing what she loves.  I just want to see her in her rawest form: without the whole production, the makeup, the weave, and everything else. Not being the genius marketer or the extremely hard worker, or the great entertainer: Just Bey, flaws and all.

New Year, New Me…Sorta…Eh We’ll See

Happy New Year all!!!! I hope your New Year has gotten off to a great start. Thanks to everyone who read my first post. If you missed it, read it here. Your support means a lot. Thanks!

So I’ve  been in Haiti for the past two weeks and while I was there I tried writing/drafting some posts. It was a total fail which I kinda knew from the beginning but ignored it. I started three different posts with virtually the same theme. I would write a good chunk of it and then either leave it or start something new. I realized I just wasn’t really feeling any of them. Finally, I said “f it” and decided to wait til I got back home to really write. But when I got back, the cold and miserable weather  aided my already severe procrastination habits. But alas at 4:55 AM on a Sunday I’m finally writing my second post.

I kinda find this time of year to be funny and annoying at the same time. Everywhere on social media everyone from the basics (New Year, New Me) to the Instagram inspirational quoters who think they’re saying meaningful shit but it still has a touch of basic to it. See example below:

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Don’t forget #blessed #nonewfriends #haters in the caption too

 

And I know plenty of you have liked a handful of those pictures too! Don’t front!

So  here’s the thing about resolutions. We make them only to drop them a month later, maybe two if you’re a bit more disciplined. I use to love making resolutions every year. It was usually always the same thing: lose weight, be cuter than before. It never worked before cause I didn’t stick to it nor did I make a plan of how I was going to change.

Also, bouche mwen bonne. (Sorry non-Haitian Kreyol speakers, no translation here.)  guy-in-donut-bath

Don’t worry though! Cause now

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Shout out the all the pears

At one time (last year) I was like those people you see at the gym this time of year. Honestly, I can NOT stand those people. And now that I’ve earned my gym rat status, I look at them with slight annoyance and say in my head ” Ugh, why are you here? Go away.” I usually give it a month or two before they were gone, never to be seen again until maybe around the end of April/ beginning of May. I totally understand the desire to do better and be better but that can’t happen if talk about it, do it for a little while, and then abandon it to collect dust in the closet.

Saying It vs. Doing It

Let’s face it. I talk mad shit. Let me rephrase. I talk mad shit until I get whatever I’m supposed to do done. Now this is not to say that I don’t get things done: I do. I just take twice the amount of time it takes and in between that time I talk mad shit. If you want to become an expert procrastinator or just avoid doing something, here’s your first MAJOR key: talk mad shit. You’re welcome.

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After identifying my procrastination habits, I decided to make some changes and for awhile I thought I was progressing. The lack of real progress showed me that I was still stuck in the same place and had no sense of clarity. (FYI, I’m still in that place.) It wasn’t until recently, through a  conversation I had with my sister, I realized that I was just like the basics on social media. Liking and posting all these inspirational pictures but doing nothing inspirational. (Okay, maybe not just like but exhibiting similar tendencies.) I wasn’t making any progress because a) there are too many unnecessary distractions going on in my life: my phone. b) I wasn’t ready/ didn’t think I needed to do the internal work necessary to see any real progress.

Yo, personal growth is hard and will suck for ninety percent of the time you’re going through it. But it’s better than being stuck in the same place and having the same conversation year after year. Yeah, no thanks.

So let’s kick the New Year’s resolution trend to the curb and let’s get deep! No more basic tendencies! No more liking inspirational quotes on Facebook, IG, or Snapchat! Seriously,  social media is the biggest procrastinating tool ever invented. The “connecting with friends and family” is pure bullshit.

Sidenote: Please don’t suggest I follow DJ Khaled on any social platform. He’s not a motivator, just a smart fool making money off of everyone who follows him.

Anyways, on to 2016 goals!!! While I’m no longer here for New Year, New Me, I am all about goals and actually accomplishing them. And in order to be kept accountable, I’m putting them here. I’m will absolutely regret doing this when I’m likedownload but at some point in my life, I’ll be happy that I did it.

Goals for 2016:

Write more (Got a blog- check)

Meditate (My parents are expert meditators yet I still have no clue how to do it without falling asleep.)

Land a permanent job (Gotta get those benefits/ be a real adult- so lame)

Work through some fear and anxieties (hey, we all have them and most of the time they’re what’s holding us back.)

That last part was real journal-like but meh,  but it’s for the sake of growth. I’m gonna try my best to keep you updated throughout the year about my progress. Feel free to check in on me if you’d like or check me if you see me slipping  (Notice I didn’t say “come for me and my life” cause I will make you regret that, mkay?)

What are one or some of your goals, resolutions, or aspirations for the new year? What inspired  you to make these changes? Comment below.

Until next time, deuces!

P.S. Since I am trying to no longer be about that procrastination life, below is a book I recommend everyone to read. It’s the first book of a three-book series on time management and creativity. It will change your outlook on how to use your time and get the most out of your creativity. If you’ve already read it let me know what you think!

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Ugh. This makes me nervous but I can do it. I’ve never been one to enjoy writing, specifically writing for school. I hated it. I would get anxious every time a teacher would assign a paper. I never understood the people who preferred writing a paper over taking a test. While I wasn’t a fan of tests either, I would always choose them over a paper. More personal forms of writing, like poetry, journaling, and creating my own stories was more of my speed. I didn’t feel like I had to have the right answers and whatever I wrote was good in its own right. If I dislike writing so much why am I writing a blog?  Well, a) I’m not getting graded on this so who cares if I have a shit ton of grammar mistakes? (Jk, I’m such a grammar snob and totally care) Also, I’m not writing for school, therefore, there isn’t any anxiety or pressure looming over my head.

Actually, this isn’t my first rodeo in the blog-sphere. I started one the summer after I graduated from college. I was so inspired by the rise of fashion/ style blogs that I wanted to have one too or so I thought. I wasn’t really committed to it (I maybe had one post  in  its entirety) and so it failed and now is floating somewhere in the Internets. Why are you trying again? You’re not the biggest fan of it.  True, but to quote Aaliyah, “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off  and try again.” I want to give myself the chance to not only get over my fear of writing but also to share my thoughts with whoever wants to read them. I know I am capable of doing something good and meaningful in this world and this is where I start to do that. This is my opportunity to create, express, and discuss all the things I am most passionate about in this world.

Like I had mentioned earlier I previously started a fashion blog because honestly, I’m obsessed with it. Anything fashion, beauty, or style related, I’m all over it. I blame my mother’s incredible sense of style and her desire for her and her children to always look like a million bucks (or, at least, half way decent before leaving the house). I live for it. But as I got older I developed interests in things other than anything fashion related. Namely, food! After college, I moved back home, so I was bored, like all the time, and I had no friends.(I don’t know why but I find that last part hilarious, lol) I decided to take up baking and cooking and once I really got into, I realized, “Yo! I make bomb-ass desserts!” *Hair flip* And now I’m a huge foodie. I’m often checking out the latest dessert recipes and if I feel like it will whip it up for my willing test subjects ( my siblings). While I am a lover of food, my body prefers the slower track when it comes to metabolism. And because of that, I now have a strong love/hate relationship with fitness. I love working out as long as you don’t make me do reckless stuff, i.e burpees and sometimes running. (There are those who can attest to that.) Along with fashion and food, I’m obsessed with traveling. I, honestly, think I was born with the travel bug. Ever since my first plane ride to Haiti when I was eight years old I wanted a career that allowed me to travel the world( I thought flight attendant was the best way to go. My parents made me change that track after 9/11.).  Lastly, as a woman, especially a woman of color,  I’ve realized we’ve been doing epic shit for centuries now. I know people would try to say that men have discovered most of the world’s modern marvels  but ummm excuse me boo boo but you wouldn’t have been discovering anything if a) your mother didn’t give you life and b) had said mother encouraged you to follow through with your crazy idea. So boom,  there you go. You’re welcome. So, I went to an all-girls high school and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. (Yes, I had a chance of where I could go to school.)  Our school motto was “Courage and Confidence”. And while we walked around the school halls in Adidas sandals and sweats, our minds were being molded into becoming today’s leaders. Women’s empowerment has played a huge part in my life and I want to be able to teach other women and girls that they too have courage and confidence to conquer the world. I realize these are a lot of topics to cover in a blog, but they play such pivotal roles in my journey to discovering my true self. Plus I know you’ll be able to keep up.

Trying to come up with a title for anything is hard, especially a lifestyle blog that hits on so many different topics. You don’t want something that’s long winded and people will stop reading after the first word. What makes it even harder is that I’m a perfectionist. I knew that I had to let some those perfectionist ways go in order to get this blog going. So I landed on BlackHoneyGold. For me, the words encapsulates not only the very spirit, essence, and intention for this blog but also the spirit and essence of the black woman. They describe who the black woman is in her truest form. She is black like a panther searching for it’s prey in the darkest hour of the night. Her soul slow and body sweet like the trickle of honey. And the gold woven into the fibers of her being makes her shine brighter than the high noon sun and illuminate the darkest depths of man’s soul.

I came up with the idea for Black.Honey.Gold sometime over the summer and it took me months to develop the concept. Once I had that figured out, it took me another month to actually start writing this post. If you’re a professional procrastinator like myself, you’d understand. Of course, I’m not on any particular deadline but I was determined to make this happen. The hardest thing about starting anything is trusting that you are capable of  doing everything and succeeding in anything. There were plenty of times that I wanted to scratch the whole thing and forget about it, but there was something inside me that never let it die. You can call it intuition or courage but whatever it is I’m glad I stuck with it. I’m excited to see where writing this will lead me and if that’s still living in my parents’ basement then so be it. I’ll still be saving money;these loans are real life! But honestly, I look forward to sharing my thoughts, opinions, and observations with you. And I hope you’ll enjoy reading what I have to offer. Welcome to Black.Honey.Gold.