I did a thing. Sorry mama.
Last month my best friend Keshia who is also a great photographer in our area, did a special photo shoot as a birthday gift to me.
Disclaimer: Contrary to popular belief, I HATE other people taking pictures of me. Friends have gotten only a tiny glimpse of this. I get really insecure because ANGLES and I start sweating then…
We did a boudoir-esque birthday shoot.
This was my attempt at getting my sexy back after 2 kids and feel liberated and confident post divorce. She did an AMAZING job and I was so nervous, but we made it work! I got the pictures back, friends loved it, they truly are great….and…I still found ways to pick myself apart. Bad habit. My worst habit.
I have always been pretty self conscious about my body. I have huge feet (pray for my kids). I grew up being the tallest female throughout most of my schooling but eventually grew to embrace and love my height. When I was much thinner, I still thought I was fat. Now I’m a little fluffy and can’t see past that. I honestly think my face is shaped a little like a chocolate egg now. My hair is falling out and so I occasionally refer to myself as Cletus. I also really can’t stand how my…
See? Issa problem.
I follow a lot of pages geared towards fitness and overall body positivity so that I can try to appreciate where I am currently in this walk of life and love this here body. Has it worked? Hahahahaha.
No. Not quite yet.
Feeling comfortable in your own skin is a deeply personal journey. For me, seeing those pages is motivation for a fleeting moment.
“YASSSS. Love this body. It’s made LIFE. Stretch marks are your battle scars. Someone will love you just the way you are. Love yourself first. You are amazing!”
These things are valid and true, but until you put in that inner work, those words mean nothing. A genuine compliment someone gives you will feel like a total lie. I’ve come to grips that this will be so much harder than imagined. It’s more than just saying words that sound good and uplifting. It’s working towards being a person you love physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
One of my cousins told me earlier this year “Love yourself. Truly.”
Wait, what? Love myself for real for real? Not just social media for real? Not Snapchat filter for real? Get. Out.
It rings in my ears and has stuck in the back of my mind ever since.
Figuring out exactly how to manifest this real self love has been my goal and will continue to be. I believe we all struggle with our image/bodies in different ways and how we overcome those struggles will also be very different.
So next time I step in front of a camera half naked, I’m probably still not going to be comfortable, BUT I’ll be more in love with my real self and my body than the last time.
Love yourself. Truly.
*queues Beyoncé “Freedom”/kicks water*
Did you guess what the word is?
When a lot of people dream about getting married, that word never crosses their mind or it just gets pushed to the back of their head where things like “eat kale” and “clean the refrigerator” go.
Everyone hopes their love will withstand the test of time and they’ll grow into cute little prunes together. Rub each others arthritic knees with Bengay and watch your “stories” while your grandkids run around your family home.
Well, things don’t always go as planned. Man plans, God laughs right?
Life threw some pretty big lemons within the past few years, and for a while I did not make lemonade. Instead I stayed up at night Googling statistics for children raised in single parent households, I cried at night about how unfair it all was. I read any infidelity forum I could find hoping to find the steps that I could take to get over the nightmare and move the hell on. Ya girl was in shambles because although I made a choice to leave, I still felt out of control, angry, hurt, and like I had failed….and that’s okay. It’s okay to feel.
I convinced myself that I could turn the anger off like a switch, but who was I fooling? When something major happens in your life you will go through so many big emotions. Trying to suppress it is like keeping poison in your body. Why wouldn’t you want to let it out? I learned to get through it. Minute by minute, day by day those feelings change. They may not go away completely but they will fade and you will be able to see yourself from the other side.
These are a few of the things that helped me during that time:
- Staying surrounded by positive people who loved me
- Also knowing that it’s okay to just take time to just be alone
- Write notes in my phone of the angry text I wanted to send (I will admit…I did send actual angry texts…often, ha)
- Watch baby announcement videos (How can you stay made after 25 of those?!)
- Look at all the pictures of my children in my phone and gush over how cute they are
These may or may not work for some, but sit down and take emotional inventory and see what you need and how you can fulfill that or make your way there.
I am not perfect. I have not mastered co-parenting or navigated my way through dating again, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It looks pretty dim at first, but it’ll get brighter the further you get from the pain.
I know I made the best decision for myself and my girls and there are no regrets!
Cheers to more changes, more love, and more chances.
There are 3 more months until the end of the year. 3 more months until gyms are in membership heaven, reeling in the healthy hopefuls. 3 more months until Anti-New Years Resolutionists appear and the “New Year, New Me” declarations begin.
How has the year flown by so quickly already? January 2016 feels like it was just a few days ago and here comes January 2017 trying to make me proclaim what changes I will make in my life. Well let me tell you what *insert snap*
I can already let you know that 2017 will be a year of changes and firsts because these last 3 years have been a complete whirlwind that have led me to shed who I was, and rethink how I see things and deal with people.
Within the past few years I have experienced heartache after heartache and disappointments left and right. I kid you not, my life has been nothing short of a Tyler Perry movie. A 3 year long Tyler Perry movie. Actually, a 7 year long Tyler Perry movie if we are being honest (sips tea). I have been beaten up emotionally and mentally, kicking and screaming my whole way…fighting how unfair it all seems. Asking myself how things got here? How long am I allowed to be mad? Where the hell did I get so distracted? Dear Lord, why did Beyonce’s “Lemonade” have to get me in ALL my feelings like that? WHY? I have weeks where I am great. Super “Eye of the Tiger” type shit and I even eat breakfast. Correction: I even COOK breakfast. Then there are days where I feel defeated and feel like I am doomed to fail. No damn breakfast was eaten on those days.
It’s all been extremely traumatic and so incredibly angering, but it has also renewed me.
When you are stripped down to the bare bones, when you have to pick up the pieces of your life and rebuild yourself inch by inch, you come out on the other side a completely different person. Your mindset evolves. Your heart may beat differently, but it’s stronger. Your smile may be hiding your pain, but it’s still there. Your life may take on a whole new direction, but….guess who’s steering the ship?
I cannot cater to people or friendships that do not benefit me or help me grow. Luckily I have a solid few and a wonderful family, so no worries there. I will not waste my time arguing (anymore). I won’t keep material things in my life that are useless. I have no time for anyone else shit. I will eat all the tacos. I will say yes to opportunities. I will accept help. I will drink more wine (responsibly of course) and I will laugh and enjoy all the weird creepy things my beautiful babies do because…why not?
3 more months to go, but I am already here to tell you that 2017 is not only New Year, New Me. It’s New Goals, New Limits, New Job…NEW LIFE.
(note: I wrote this at 4 am while eating donuts and drinking Juicy Juice #Classy)