What a difference 4 years can make. In the midst of the storm … I somehow gained another strength within myself that I never knew I had. 4 years in Houston. WOW. Time flies. Let me just say that the “Grown Woman Au’Vonnie” would not be who she is now without having moved to Houston. Within that time I have fallen but gotten back up many times. Lets see… what have I been through in that time ? Well … went from a great relationship to a not so great one. (But learned to love myself A LOT more during that last little one) 2 car accidents, one which was serious. Took public transportation for a year and a half in the sun, rain, storms. Moved 3 times. Lived with rodents just so I could have somewhere to lay my head. Got my house broken into. Lived off of peanut butter and cup of noodles for months at a time. Made 5 bucks stretch in the bank accounts when deemed necessary. Had some negative bank accounts just so bills could be paid. Denied to my dream school … and then some. However, since then, the come up has gotten much better. I have gone back to school. Written a book. Begun the process of my non-profit and scholarship fund. Traveled to different states and countries. Met new friends. Lost a job but gained a “career” and honestly became a better me. A stronger me. People always tell me that it seems that I have it easy now, but don’t know what is has taken to get here. Lots and lots of tears and setbacks. I still have a long way to go to be exactly where I want to be but I am forever greatful. Greatful that after living in Orlando 5 years ago; me choosing to leave California after that; picking up and leaving everything I was comfortable with and all that I knew to start aknew; All within a span of 9 months. I still laugh at telling my parents “Yeah. I’m moving to Houston, gotta go”. Folks were so mad. That period of time was hard. Best decision I have made to date though. Being stagnant and complacent have never been me. I have always been ok with traveling alone and just up and leaving. The world has so much to offer. Life has so much to offer. I never want to be that person that looks back in years and say “I wish I would have done this or that.” I say all of that to say, seeing the growth of self is dope. Change is dope. Being scared is dope. Living life and learning is dope. I wouldn’t change my experience(s) in my life for anything in the world. It may seem hard during the times when you are going through whatever it is, but the outcome is so much greater.
One of my goals in life has always been to Inspire people. To Motive people. To Encourage people. To Captivate people with my words and my stories. To remind people that they are important. They are valued. They are able to do anything that they put their minds to. Remind people that they can overcome any and every obstacle that may come their way.
My goal, One of my main goals, has always been to have my presence felt and always remembered in a good way.
I have always said, when I leave this earth, I want people to remember me for the things that I have done without a doubt, but more so for the things that I say. I can only hope that when one meets me and engages with me, that they are elated and take something from me. That my words are felt and not taken lightly.
God puts us all here for something, and I believe that he truly put me here to bring joy and to be the light that shines bright in peoples lives the same way people have done for me.
I say all this to say … You may be going through something, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You may be feeling low, but that feeling doesn’t last always. You may not have everything that you want right now, but you are living and have what you need.
Continue to press forward and let nothing or no one stop you in your journey. We all are here for a purpose. We are all here for a reason. Let your light shine, and you will go far. Sometimes, that may mean standing alone, but that’s ok. Because later … you will be able to look back and say, I DID that. I made it.
Instead of constantly seeking acceptance from others, give acceptance to yourself. Accept who you are wholly without reservation. Accept your own brilliant and unique value graciously and gratefully knowing that you are one of a kind. Accept and embrace that. You are inherently worthy, whether anyone explicitly tells you that or not. Give acceptance to yourself, and you will have no need to seek it from others. Accept the goodness that you know is in your authentic nature without hesitation and you will never have to validate yourself for anyone other than you. Accept who you are and revel in it. “The privilege of a lifetime is being and accepting who you are” – Viola Davis
“You can always tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building one another up, instead of tearing each other down.” ~ Author unknown
I love being a black woman. No one will ever change my mind. From our beautiful skin tones of caramel to mahogany and our curvaceous bodies, black women are the epitome of beauty. We have a long history of being devalued, ignored, ridiculed, stereotyped, called ugly, promiscuous, invisible to society, and the list goes on, yet we are resilient and continue to rise and shine in our many talents and unique ways.
Dealt an impossible hand of gender and race intersectionality, black women, both traditionally and currently walk an unpaved path on bare feet. All the while, she emerges as the epitome of the rose that grew from concrete. Words fall short in defining my pride of being born both black and female
So while I do not rejoice in the circumstances of which I am predisposed too, I enjoy being a bearer of an incomparable legacy.
Reasons Why …
Our ability to make something out of nothing
Stolen from our native land, we have built ourselves up from the nothing cast upon us by western conquerors. While we all may not be born into monetary wealth, as kings and queens of the motherland we are born into the royalty of our history.
Our Timeless Beauty
We age like fine wine, Call it karma’s form of reparations…
The Face, The Body and The Hair
From our strong nose and our full lips and to our strong thighs, our beauty is as rich as the past that beholds us in its memory…
I also appreciate that as black women we come in a variety of skin tones, body types, hair textures and facial features. We are truly “every woman” just like Chaka Khan said.
The combination of these features enable black women to encompass and master the duality of beauty and sensuality- a hauntingly fascinating feat.
Maybe it is the confidence, may it is the walk. Nevertheless, no one works an outfit or a room quite like a black woman.
The Versatility of our Talent
Madam CJ Walker to Lisa Price
Dorothy Dandridge to Kerry Washington
Dorothy West to Toni Morrison
Audre Lorde to bell hooks
Beyonce to First Lady Michelle Obama
Black women have demonstrated the ability to be beautiful, talented, intelligent, and classy leaders of our society.
From being millionaires to being great mothers. From being nationally acclaimed scholars to entertaining in arenas around the globe, we as black epitomize what it means to be multifaceted. We have never and will never be just one thing.
So as we celebrate Women’s History Month, I would like to take this moment to toast black femininity as our struggles represent the true dynamics of “woman,” a term that initially excluded us as females of African descent.
I love you. Broken. Bruised. Insecure. Scared. These are the things that eventually made you who you are.
Once a blank muse and now a beautiful creation. A masterpiece if you will.
Who knew that within your years of living, you would have gone through so much to mold you into who you have become today.
It wasn’t always roses and beautiful sunsets, yet dark clouds and storms all the way around.
Cold nights and empty spaces.
Cold nights and empty heart.
Lost and confused not sure of what to do.
You made it. You’ve grown.
I love you.
I love you because you are smart. Intelligent. Important. Someone who may have fallen down 10 times, but stood up twice that.
I love you because in-spite of the negativity that may come your way, you choose to fight on. You choose to be prosperous in the middle of the storm.
Although things may not always be easy, you make a way to push through and let nothing stop you.
You are strong. You are more than a conqueror. A concrete rose if you will.
I love you, continue to fight on.
“In the end she became more than she expected. She became the journey, and like all journeys , she did not end. She simply changed directions and kept going”
Before 2016 was up, I decided to do one thing that I never thought that I would do. I mended a relationship with my Biological Father. After 15+ years of not seeing him, giving excuses as to when I would, why I would not, and giving the “maybe one day” speech a billion times, I decided to give in and do what I preach about all the time. I decided to let the anger, the past, the hurt, the frustration go and just give the guy a chance.
For years I was hurt because 1. I was embarrassed. 2. I wanted the father like you see on T/V. You know, a Cliff Huxtable, an Uncle Phil, a Carl Winslow, a Lester Jenkins, you name it. I wanted this life that I saw on T.V rather than what I actually had. 3. because I really had no man around growing up to tell me how it would be dating, how to deal with men, how to deal with heartbreak, I never went to a father daughter dance, so on and so forth. After letting all that go, and talking, it was … a breath of fresh air.
I am not saying things are perfect, however … I am saying that it can get pretty close to it. I told myself that this year would be the year to just go all in with every aspect of my life and see where it takes me. That was only the beginning.
I can say many cliches as to how this year will turn out. I can name many New Year Resolutions .. but I wont. Because well, let’s be honest … who sticks with those the whole year anyway ?
I will however say, I plan on making this the BEST year yet ! This is the year of Can instead of Can’t. Will instead of Won’t. This is the year of Speaking up and Speaking out. This is the year of not dwelling on the past but making room for the future.
Last year, we all know was hard for me, but I am choosing to look forward. I do not want to die and people remember me for the hardships that I spoke of, but yet making it through them and choosing to live in my truth.
So with all that being said, Cheers to a New Year. Cheers to life. Cheers to change. Cheers to peace. Cheers to painful endings. Cheers to new beginnings. Cheers to Self. Cheers to mending. Cheers to finding love and keeping it. Cheers to whatever and whoever God throws my way. And Cheers to starting anew.
She was Unsure. Insecure. Not Reassured. The opposite of everything people assumed her to be.
I just want to say that I’m glad you’re gone. I know that might sound harsh, and please don’t take this the wrong way because I am really proud of you. I’m just glad that you seem like a different person to me now. You grew up. You changed. You found yourself again. I hope that you’re proud of who you have become because I finally am.
I’m really glad that I can look in the mirror and smile now. I know that you were never unhappy with yourself, but you weren’t really happy with yourself either. I’m glad that I can see more than the breakouts and split ends when I stand in front of the mirror in the mornings. I’m glad that I can look at myself and see someone smart, funny, caring, and genuine.
You are independent. You are beautiful. You are worthy. I know you never felt that you were — I remember that feeling. People care about you, so don’t worry about where you are now. You will have a few friends that you can talk to for hours, who will stick with you after anything. At the end of the day, you don’t have to worry. Take each day by stride. Live. Laugh. Love. When it’s hard to get up, get up anyway. It’s a new day for you to conquer the world and show what you are made of. When everything around you seems to be falling apart, laugh because that’s the best type of medicine for those who feel broken—you aren’t. When those who try to hurt you do, show them love. Give them the grace that they may not deserve; it may just shock them.
Recently I have learned a lot… I learned that things don’t always turn out the way you planned, or the way you think they should. And I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you.
I know that in life we do things. Some we wish we had never done. Some we wish we could replay a million times in our heads. But they all make us who we are. And in the end they shape every detail about us. If we were to reverse any of them we wouldn’t be the person we are today. So JUST LIVE. Make mistakes. Have wonderful memories. But never ever second guess who you are, where you have been, and most importantly where it is you are going.
I am beautifully bruised, scarred, and a much better version of myself. So my friend, I hope you understand I had to let go of a huge part of myself, but that was only to let a better part in. You will be missed, and I will always remember the person I used to be.
But still, good riddance, old me.