In 2018, I've been challenging myself to be more vulnerable-- something that I my pride (that I didn't know was pride) shielded me from doing.
One thing that has always been a sore spot for me is my body. For the last 14 years of my life, I had an adversarial relationship with my body. Which means I had an adversarial relationship with a part of myself.
It started with realizing I was a little heavier than other kids, my body didn't look like theirs. My sizes were always in the double digits. I didn't look like the little girls in commercials. I specifically remember sucking in all the time in 4th grade, sucking my stomach in to look the way I felt it should at all times. My family made jokes. Everything was internalized.
As I got older the feelings didn't go away, they manifested themselves in other ways. I would spend countless hours poking and prodding at myself in the mirror. Paying extra attention to diet pill commercials and pining for the day when I turned 18 to get liposuction. I attempted purging. I didn't want to look the way I looked.
The summer before my junior year of high school, I decided to do something about it. I changed my diet radically and unhealthily. I would skip breakfast and only eat lunch and a snack when I got home. And would say "I already ate," at dinnertime. The one positive thing is that I started to only drink water.
But, my perfectionism began to overtake everything. I made stringent rules for myself, that allowed room for no grace. I would chew food and spit it out if it didn't fit the parameters, the same for drinks.
The constant stress, lies I told myself, the unbelievable standard I held myself to-unhealthy.
In college, I started to actively love myself. And even know I'm learning how to do it more. I'm learning how to do love.
And so now as a young adult, my body is becoming a woman too. It won't look the way it did when I was 16 or 18, and it will look different at 26 and 30.
I'm sharing this because I want to know that I'm not the only one; and I want you to know you're not the only one.
I leave you with a quote from poet Nayyirah Waheed.
be softer with you.
you are a breathing thing.
a memory to someone.
a home to a life.
"So what is it like?"
I've gotten this question more times than I can count since I've graduated. Adulting has been surprisingly... relaxing. All the pressure of college has melted away. However, it doesn't come without its own issues.
Having a Job...
Listen having a job is amazing. Well, having a salary is amazing. Knowing how much money you get every two weeks and being able to budget--so exciting. But it's also been great getting to show off what I learned in school and having people believe in my work without having to get a grade for it. Getting to get meet people with the same professional background who can give me tips or introduce me to new people, or just hang out with me is amazing.
Cooking... or well Eating...
Not having a meal plan or a ton of dining options-- sucks. Paying for every meal-- sucks. Having to plan out meals--sucks. But, being out of school has given me so much control over what I eat and making healthier choices. Going basically vegan for a month was a huge accomplishment and I felt great. And that's something that would have been five times more difficult in college.
Friends... like Kindergarten
It's been tough trying to maintain relationships when friends have moved away, or are still in college. It's really tough... I won't lie. But at the same time I have been able to see what relationships can power through distance. And meeting new people is so great. Especially in a place like Montgomery where there are so few young professionals whenever you meet someone it's like kindergarten. If you like each other enough you hang out invite more friends and everyone's friends-- like kindergarten without playing with glue or naps.
What has been the most surprising thing about "adulting?" What do you look forward to after college? Comment below!
Honestly, you can never know too much about me. Why?
But, seriously the lovely Jade Carson from Love, Jade Carson tagged me the #BloggerTag so here are 21 facts about me. So, here's to a more transparent and connected 2018.
New Year's Resolutions are SCAMS. If they were a person, they'd be Joanne the Scammer. Why do I say that? Because to completely change your life without any accountability or tangibility is lying to yourself. Don't play yourself. So, let's set.... GOALS.
Not like that really cute couple that you follow on insta, or like that closet or body you want to have. We're not coveting anything, but setting and measuring goals in 2018.
Think back to your leadership exercises in high school or college, and remember SMART Goals.
What are SMART Goals?
What are my goals?
Well I'll break them down for you a bit.
1. To Cutback on the Amount of Meat that I Eat
Kayla are you trying to be vegan? No, I'm not. But, I do want to start living a healthier lifestyle and push myself to see how creative I can be with food and see how disciplined I can be. So, for the month of January I'm not eating any meat. I already don't eat diary, so what's cutting out a few chicken nuggets?
2. To Grow Spiritually
In the past year or two, I have grown stronger in my faith and am beginning to realize what being a Christian is for me. I want to continue this growth throughout the year, and begin to fully trust God. How can I do this? Well, I begin by going to church on a more regular basis. I also received a daily devotional for Christmas, so reading and meditating on one short passage every day is also a huge help.
3. To Live My Full Life
I was talking with a friend earlier about how this goal can be measurable, how can I stick to this? Now that I am embarking on a new chapter in life, I want to be free of the anxieties that hold me back. So this means, going with the flow a little more, stepping outside of my comfort zone a little more, staying out a little later, running a little further. Note how I say "little" a lot, because it begins with a little. True change happens little by little. So, he said that he would check in every now and then to see how that is going. Find an accountability partner, have them check in every blue moon. You don't have to do these things alone.
HERE'S TO A BIGGER 2018! Share your goals below!
If you've noticed anything on my blog, it's my love for the color pink. Boy oh boy, I love pink. For the past month, the rest of the country has too.
Ambria Berksteiner, Miss Black Savannah USA, did even more than love the color. She challenged her community to think critically about beauty while promoting breast cancer awareness.
"The motto of the Miss Black USA Pageant is "The Purpose of your Pretty." As Miss Black Savannah USA I am challenged to uplift and motivate young African American women by challenging them to ask themselves that question. What is the purpose of your pretty? I decided to take advantage of October being breast Cancer Awareness Month by combining the two. Breast Cancer is a disease that leaves many women feeling unpretty. Instead of using society's definition of pretty , what does being pretty mean to you? Is it being yourself? Is it motivating others? Or does it mean spreading love and kindness to others? You decide! "
Oct. 6 2017, Ambria challenged Auburn University students to answer those questions while promoting awareness of breast cancer. The results were outstanding, and she even posted several on her Instagram account that you can check out @ambriaberksteiner.
But that's not all the pink
Jaye Newton also released his album, "Real Men Wear Pink," this September. The album is, well I'm no music reviewer so let me cite them.
"While Jaye represents East Atlanta, his sound is far from the region’s archetype, and his debut effort puts that fact on display from start to finish. With production being handled by collaborator Bossman on all but one of the tracks, RMWP is a cohesive work that maintains its consistency without the overbearing and, often times, corny implication of a theme. Each track stands on its own, but make magic when forged together."
-- Milca P, Source
Now, I want to take a stab at this whole reviewing thing, so here are my completely amateur reviews, as I texted them to the artist:
Shoot Your Shot is a classic, I liked the addition of “Can You Stand the Rain.” (One of the only two samples on this album, I learned.)
Liquid Courage feels like reading old text messages from an old boo, and thinking about hitting them with a “you up?”
I love how Relate and Quit Frontin’ flow into each other. Quit Frontin’ is definitely one of my faves.
Bobby is good for me to get ready to, will definitely have that on while attempting to beat my face.
Paparazzi is def my #2. I feel like you put a lot of thought into that one.
Drifting reallllly gives me Big Sean vibes haha, but that’s good.
Days Like This is my favorite. The samples everything-- great. I get 90s without it being over the top.
Waltz was a really cool intro, I wasn’t expecting it.
But, don't take my word for it, listen to the album yourself.
Share your thoughts below, xoxo
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
I know that I have grown and changed through God and loving Him. I believe that, and I trust that. But, I get so angry with myself when I feel myself slipping.
The presence of worry and doubt, which plagued my every day, now make me want to sick with myself myself for even allowing them to be there. I get angry with myself for even feeling sick. It becomes this cycle.
Instead of reassuring myself, I knock myself down. That's perfectionism. That's not being free.
So, here I am. Freeing myself by casting all faith and belief on Him. That's the only way to truly be free. I am believing in his grace and mercy-- so that I can show myself grace, mercy and love.
So, create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Share your thoughts below, xoxo.
CONTRARY to public belief, I am not organized.
I'm a mess. I have things. I'm just learning how to use a planner. And a friend of mine wanted to know how I keep on top of things?
I use my phone all the time, so why not add things to the calendar? iCal has been my saving grace. I can always see the reminders and lately my favorite thing to do is to send invitations to my friends for lunch dates, or to those that I'm having meetings with for work, etc.
Outside of my phone's calendar, I don't do much. Am I an elephant that remembers everything? ABSOLUTELY not. I've forgotten more than my fair share of meetings, birthdays and anniversaries.
But it's okay, so far my Bando planner and I have made it through-- however we're always looking for help.
How do you stay organized? Share your thoughts below, xoxo.
There’s a Beyoncé song for everything.
Taking a bath, eating lunch, contemplating which bath bomb to buy at Lush, breaking up, making up, realizing that you are ten million times better without them, I could go on and on.
You’re a little skeptical— I will prove it to you.
Here are seven scenarios (out of the infinite many) matched with their perfect Beyoncé songs.
1. Procrastinating when You should Definitely be Studying for a Test or Writing a Paper
"Schoolin' Life" - 4
Who needs a degree when you’re schoolin’ life? So who cares about that term paper, life goes on! Sometimes you just have to let go. Schoolin’ Life is absolutely the best song for just getting your emotions out. It’s happy, it’s fun, it’s for 20-somethings to 50-somethings. Honestly a deep-cut that needs far more recognition, and should’ve been a single from “4.”
Honorable Mention: 7/11 - Beyoncé (More Only)
Seven twice, man, seven twice. That should be enough for you to be down for this song. Tons of GIFs and Halloween costumes and memes were created from this video that was nothing but Beyoncé having fun. If Queen Bey can have fun, you should too!
2. Trying to Flirt your Crush Without Being Over the Top
Kitty Kat - B’Day
“You know I hate sleeping alone, But you said that you would soon be home, But baby, that was a long time ago, I’m not feelin' it,” if that AIN’T speaking to you, I don’t know what will. Sometimes people can’t pick up on the hints that you’re giving. We’ve all been there. Sometimes they need a little extra nudging.
Is it Unrequited?
Deja Vu - B’Day
“Baby, I can’t go anywhere without thinking that you’re there,” when you want them— but you’re not quite sure if they want you (or even know your name) we’ve all been there. When you put on your best outfit and you don’t even see them out. It’s the worst. Just power through because you’re not the only one having Deja Vu.
3. Feeling Sad and Wanting to Cry Even though You have Nothing to Cry About
I Was Here - 4
Just feel like sobbing? Beyoncé pouring her heart out on a ballad remembering Sept. 11 on the 10th anniversary will always do the trick. I don’t really have too much else to say other than I get chills every. time.
Bonus— Feel Like Crying Happy Tears?
Blue - Beyoncé
This song confirmed that I was a true stan. Really seeing and hearing an intimate part of the Queen’s life will put you all in your feelings. Bey just sounds like an angel on the track, and the gifs of baby Blue?! Just rip out all of your heartstrings. (Sidenote: the song comes right after “Heaven,” that many speculate is inspired by her miscarriage as well as the death of one of her mother’s friends.) So, hearing her love for Blue Ivy immediately after should have you in a puddle on the floor.
4. Wanting to Go Off on Driver that Cut you Off, But just Yelling in Your Car Instead
Ring the Alarm - B’Day
Hollering Bey is honestly in my Top 5 of favorite Beys. You don’t even have to be hollering at a not-worth-nothing man to get hype. The beat, the yelling— the entire song is just really cathartic. Just yell it out sis!
5. Leaving your Phone at Home and Realizing how Much of an Impact it has on you Life
Dangerously in Love 2 - Dangerously in Love
“I can’t do this thing called life without you here with me.” Leaving your phone at home—SUCKS. I mean it’s not like people just carry around newspapers and books now, so you have to sit in silence with your thoughts. (And who wants to sit and contemplate life when you can double tap away?)
6. Getting Out of the Shower and Passing by Your Reflection and Seeing how Fine You Are
Ego - I Am… Sasha Fierce
FEEL YOURSELF SIS! (Sis is a gender-inclusive term, y’all are all sis.) Yes I know “Feelin’ Myself,” would have been an obvious choice, but it isn’t actually Bey’s song— she’s features. Have a big ego, know your worth and add tax. Talk and walk with strength and pride because you can back it up! Nothing wrong with a big ego as long as it’s in check.
7. When Everyone in the Group Message Moves on from a Topic you were Heavily Invested In
I Care - 4
I know you don’t care too much, but I still care. You know when you’re in class for 45 minutes and come back to full conversations and dinner plans in the group chat? It’s the worst. Then you have to catch up and miss out on some of the details. It’s not FOMO, it’s caring. And Beyoncé still cares, so you should too.
Yes, I’m a stan.