Konfessions: That Time I Was A “Teenage Mom”

Alright guys.

You are going to think I’m truly crazy with this post.

I recently cleaned out my closet.

While I was cleaning and organizing, I came across a picture of a smiling little brown baby girl.

The baby girl was about 2 years old.

Flashbacks of my high school years began flooding into my head.

I stole that picture from a photo album at my grandparents house.

I didn’t even know who the little girl was or who she belonged to.

I decided, at 15 years old, that I was going to become a Mom.

A “Teenage Mom”.

Not physically, but imaginably.

I took the picture to school and slid it in the front section of my clear book bag.

My peers would ask, “who is that little girl, she is beautiful?”

I’d respond.

“Oh, that’s my daughter”

They would say.

“Wow, you have a daughter. I would’ve never imagined”

They would ask me questions about my “daughter”.

They would ask me birthing questions, mommy questions, baby daddy questions.

I would answer each question carefully and would beam with delight at the attention I was receiving.

As I sat in my closet, staring at the little girl in the picture, I couldn’t help but to ask myself.

“What were you thinking?”

“Why did you tell these folks that you had a daughter?”

“What if a classmate had run into you in the streets while you were with your Mom and asked where was your daughter?”

My mother would’ve looked at me like, what in the “ATTENTION SEEKING” is going on here??

At the time, it felt good that people were interested in me for a change.

They were interested in my life.

All of a sudden, I was the center of it all.

I was no longer the quiet kid that showed up to school sometimes.

I had sex!

I was a “MOM”!

I had delivered a whole baby girl!

The DRAMA (Who is her baby daddy?)

The KNOWLEDGE !! (they thought I had…)

The MATURITY!!! (if only they knew…)

They looked at  me differently.

The girls were looking at me in awe. (“You were actually pregnant and gave birth to a real child???”)

The guys were looking at my body like I was a snack (“Oh, you having SEX SEX?”)

I can laugh at it now.

But how sad was that.

How sad…

I felt like I was that much of a wallflower in all aspects of my life that I had to concoct a story surrounding a picture of a little girl that I found at my grandparents house.

Surprisingly my little lie never made it to my inner circle of friends.

What’s even sadder is that, the kids probably didn’t believe me.

I’m sure they talked about me and probably thought I was nuts.

I was never questioned about my carefully spun story.

No one asked how my “daughter” was doing.

No one asked for an updated picture of her.

As time went on, no one cared again.

I went back to being the same wallflower I was before I had become a “Teenage Mom”.

I had such low self esteem that I was willing to do/say anything for some sort of attention.

I wanted someone to talk to me and be interested in what I had to say.

I wanted to say.

“This whole teenage mom bit is a lie, but now that I have your attention.”

“LOOK AT ME!”

“I’m such A DOPE person!!!”

The problem was that I needed those people to validate me and tell me that I was a dope person instead of actually believing it myself.

Moral of this story.

Giving love, spending time, and showing support and respect for what matters most to our girls is paramount.

PARAMOUNT!

I started thinking about the things that could have prevented my brief “teen mom” episode.

I researched tips on how to  to boost a girls self esteem, ways to show love and how to reach the core of a girls identity from the start.

Juliann Garey from a Child’s Mind Institute gives 16 ways to boost your daughter’s self esteem/confidence and tips on how to show that you love and support her.

1. Model body acceptance. Moms have a huge impact on their daughters’ body image. Don’t ask, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” or obsess out loud about food or put your appearance down. Avoid what Dr. Steiner-Adair calls the “morality of orality”—talking about food and yourself as “good” or “bad.” As in: I was bad today: I had pizza. So I’m not going to have dessert.

2. Make your daughter media literate. “Watch TV with her and talk about what you see,” says Dr. Steiner-Adair. “Help her develop a critical eye through which to decode and filter media messages.”

3. Don’t raise her as a “pleaser.” Encourage her to stand up for what she needs and wants. “Create opportunities for her to use her voice,” Bogue advises. “Ask ‘What do you want?’ Let her make a choice and then honor that choice.”

4. Start team sports early. Research shows girls who play on teams have higher self-esteem. “There’s a very common correlation, in my experience,” says Bogue, “between girls who play team sports and girls who suffer less with low self-esteem because they are looking to other girls for their value, and within, as opposed to looking to boys for validation.”

5. Moms, don’t borrow your daughter’s clothes. “You want to let her have her own style, her own look,” says Dr. Steiner-Adair. “Especially, and this is a really hard thing, if you have a mom who by society’s standards is prettier or thinner than her daughter.”

6. Direct your praise away from appearance. “I think that we need to make a very conscious effort to balance our compliments about a girl’s appearance with compliments about who she is and what she DOES in the world,” says Bogue. “Challenge yourself to match every compliment you give about your daughter’s appearance with at least two compliments about something non-appearance based, and do the same for other girls who cross your path — your daughter’s friends, nieces, etc.”

7. Help her build skills that are independent of appearance. “Get her involved in activities that build a sense of confidence, rather than focusing on looking good and acquiring things,” Dr. Rooney suggests. “Sports, theater, music, art. Anything really that can help girls express themselves through words or creativity or activity rather than through their appearance or what they’re carrying around.”

8. Speak up about your daughter’s school curriculum. Does it include a female perspective? “Imagine if you were putting together a family history,” Bogue says, “and you only asked the men about their memories, about their perspective. Think about all of the information that would be lost.”

9. Praise your daughter for her efforts rather than her performance.“Focus less on the outcome and more on efforts and the development of new skills,” says Dr. Rooney. Mastery is what builds confidence, and learning to tolerate failure fosters resilience.

10. Be careful about what magazines you have in the house. “Research suggests,” says Steiner-Adair, “that after 15 minutes of looking at a fashion magazine, mood shifts from curiosity and enthusiasm to comparing yourself and putting yourself down.”

11. Don’t trash talk other women. “And don’t let the boys and men in your household do it either,” adds Dr. Steiner-Adair. “Don’t let kids tease each other around food or looks. Do not let that go down in your house. It’s really harmful.”

12. Dads: Don’t treat your daughter like a damsel in distress.“When fathers treat girls as though they are these fragile, helpless, little beings, ” Bogue says, “the message is, ‘Your role is to look good so a man will sweep in and save you.’ Instead, give her the opportunity and the tools—to change her own tire, to use her voice and speak up for herself, to play sports, to be able to brush herself off and get back up. I think it’s a good measure to say, ‘If I would do it with my son, I should be prepared to do it with my daughter.’”

13. Make sure she knows you love her no matter what. She needs to know that you’ll love her “no matter how her appearance might change or how she dresses or how she might perform at something,” says Dr. Rooney. “Because even though kids are so reliant on their peers for feedback when they’re in their teens, what her parents think of her matters just as much as it ever did.”

14. Set aside time to spend with her. Try to find time in your schedule to do things with your daughter. Just you and her.

15. Pray for her and with her.

16. Hug her as often as you can.

I couldn’t agree more.

One thing that doesn’t change over the years is the need for our girls to know just how loved and cherished they truly are for who they are.

Now that I have a little girl of my own, I almost over do these things to ensure that she doesn’t end up in high school or even in life as a “teenage mom”.

My favorite motto now is:

When you know better, you do better.

 

 

 

A Prayer For Intrepidity

Intrepidity: Resolutely courageous; fearless

I follow some dope individuals on social media and in real life.

Purpose filled people.

Bosses.

Go Getters.

Business Owners.

Dancers.

Activists.

Bakers.

Chefs.

Deejays.

Stylists.

Pod-casters.

Artists.

Students.

I could go on and on.

Young and old.

Males and females.

I’m motivated by these people.

I stalk them with glee!

I say to myself often, “I follow some inspiring people”.

I want to inspire others.

I’m dope too.

I know my purpose.

I have visions that would serve the community.

I can be used for a greater good.

What’s the difference between them and I?

Well, my friends.

The difference is.

Most of the people I follow have intrepid spirits.

They aren’t afraid to chase their dreams.

They are determined.

They have faith the size of a mustard seed.

What happened to my intrepidence?

And is that even a word?

Why can’t I just take the bull by the horns and go for it?

Ive often heard:

“If you find yourself comparing yourself to certain people on social media, then you should unfollow said people.”

Well, in this instance.

I disagree.

Yes.

I’m comparing myself.

No.

I can’t help it.

It just so happens that.

The people that I compare myself to are doing great things in their communities.

Positive.

Intelligent.

Gracious.

Fearless.

Impactful.

Intrepid.

I’m intrigued.

Captivated even.

I aspire to be like them.

How do I get there?

Where do I start?

I know it’s in me.

I know I wasn’t created to just live an ordinary life.

I’m extraordinary!

However.

I lack intrepidity.

Say that word three times.

Don’t worry, I cant either.

How do I insert this Black Girl Magic into the atmosphere?

How do I turn my inward confidence into an outward confidence?

Perhaps I’ll start off with this prayer:

“God, I want to be more confident. I’ve been struggling with self-doubt and ask You to forgive me for not focusing on You. I pray that whenever fear-based feelings rise up within me, You would help me reject them through the power of Your Word. I am capable of all things in Christ. And I choose today to believe I can do all You’re calling me to do. Lord, thank You for loving me unconditionally, and for guiding me to pursue Your amazing plans for me. I am powerful when I put my trust in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

A Poem About My Body

Chest poked out.

Butt sticking out.

Lips puckered out.

Confidence oozing out of my teenage frame.

 

Hips spread wide.

Breasts sitting high.

Eyes to the sky.

Thank God for being 25!

 

I’s married now.

Let eat at Mr. Chow’s.

My stomach no longer growls.

Happy Wife, Happy Life.

 

Two kids in.

Hair is thin.

Stretch marks win.

Kids are a blessing, but will I ever see my amazing body again?

 

My kids are tall.

My waist is not small.

I look like a ball.

Whose doctor should I call?

 

My titties have fell.

My belly’s facing hell.

I have double chins, can you tell?

 

I just turned 38.

Its time to shed this unwanted weight.

There’s no time for self hate.

 

My body is magical.

It’s baked two miracles.

Let me be philosophical.

 

We are women.

We are human.

We should be comfortable in our own skin.

 

Our bodies go through alot.

Let’s take it easy on ourselves.

We are not robots.

 

Take care of your body.

And your body will take care of you.

You are a HOTTIE.

You got this Boo!

 

Just remember one thing:

 

The problem isn’t with your body, the problem is what you think of it.

And what you think of yourself…

 

A Poem About My Body

By: Gemise K.

38 Life Lessons: The Birthday Blog Post

I turned 38 yesterday!!

What better way to celebrate than to list 38 lessons Ive learnt (yes, learnt) so far.

Here goes:

  1. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  2. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  3. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  4. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  5. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  6. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  7. Its OK to have Cardi B. and The Clark Sisters on your car karaoke playlist.
  8. Get to know your parents as people.
  9. Be accountable.
  10. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  11. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  12. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear hot pink and leopard print.
  13. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  14. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  15. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  16. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  17. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
  18. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
  19. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
  20. Wear your wig proudly!
  21. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  22. If you don’t ask, you don’t receive.
  23. Schedule and attend your annual checkups.
  24. Go with your gut.
  25. Express your feelings.
  26. Acceptance is the first step to freedom.
  27. You matter.
  28. Travel more.
  29. Pace yourself.
  30. Be careful what you pray for.
  31. Form your own opinions about people — don’t just believe what other people are saying about them.

  32. Talk to your family and loved ones as often as possible when they’re alive — because they won’t always be.

  33. Be present.
  34. Admit when you’re wrong.
  35. Be grateful.
  36. Embrace your failures.
  37. Get a good nights sleep.
  38. Go ahead, embrace your style. Wear socks with those heels!!!

 

What are some of the best life lessons you have learned so far?

Konfessions: My Name Is Gemise And I Have Abandonment Issues

“When loneliness is a constant state of being, it harkens back to a childhood wherein neglect and abandonment were the landscape of life. ” –Alexandra Katehakis

Childhood

When I was about 5, my father walked out on us.

He just up and left his family and moved to another state.

My father was someone I admired.

He listened.

He was playful.

I felt happy and comfortable in his presence.

One day, after an argument with my Mom, he packed all of his things and left.

I came home from school and my Dad was gone.

No explanation.

And I knew not to ask any questions.

I kept it inside.

I was devastated.

My parents divorced when I was about 7.

My brother and I were raised by my Mom.

Single Parent.

My mother hustled, worked hard and made sure that things were taken care of.

My mother had a lot on her plate.

She was preoccupied with a difficult divorce, young kids and life.

She was unable to really engage with me.

I have my father’s personality.

I used to think I reminded her of my Dad and I got on her nerves for that reason only.

I still think that she thinks that.

My father turned to drugs to self medicate.

My existence took a backseat to the marriage/divorce/self issues my parents were fighting through.

I never felt supported.

I never felt important.

My feelings did not matter.

No hugs and embraces.

I was not allowed to really express myself.

Frustrations were taken out on me.

I was blamed for most things.

No one ever asked me about myself.

My hopes and dreams lived only in my head.

I became a quiet, timid child which manifested into an angry, frustrated, rebellious teenager.

As a teenager, my Dad would make promises to come pick us up and spend time with us.

Despite many let downs, I’d still be excited to spend time with him.

I’d wait all week, all day, down to the last hour.

At times, he never showed up.

No apologies.

No explanations.

No discussion.

The neglect was REAL.

Numbness set in.

Abandonment/neglect issues became the forefront of my life

The reality is.

I lacked the emotional conditions and the emotional environment necessary for healthy development.

Emotional abandonment in childhood can happen if the primary caretaker(s) is unable to be present emotionally for her child. It’s often because she’s replicating her childhood experience, but it may also be due to stress. It’s important for a child’s emotional development that the mother attune to her child’s feelings and needs and reflect them back. She may be preoccupied, cold, or unable to empathize with her child’s success or upsetting emotions. He or she then ends up feeling alone, rejected, or deflated. The reverse is also true – where a parent gives a child a lot of attention, but isn’t attuned to what the child actually needs. The child’s needs hence go unmet, which is a form of abandonment.

Abandonment happens later, too, when children are criticized, controlled, unfairly treated, or otherwise given a message that they or their experience is unimportant or wrong. Children are vulnerable, and it doesn’t take much for a child to feel hurt and “abandoned.” Abandonment can occur when a parent confides in his or her child or expects a child to take on age-inappropriate responsibilities. At those times, the child must suppress his or her feelings and needs in order to meet the needs of the adult.

A few incidents of emotional abandonment don’t harm a child’s healthy development, but when they’re common occurrences, they reflect deficits in the parent, which affect the child’s sense of self and security that often lead to intimacy issues and codependency in adult relationships.

Adulthood

I was once at a gas station pumping gas and my back was turned to input my credit card information. During that time, two guys pulled up alongside the passenger side of my car and opened the door and stole my purse clean off the seat. I was alerted of the offense by someone standing nearby who witnessed the whole thing.

Immediately, I was scared, angry, frustrated, hurt and ALONE.

Alone?

Why was I feeling alone?

I should’ve been raging with fury and ready to sprint after that car like Wonder Woman.

Instead.

I felt a need to protect myself from those I once trusted and I felt a sense of anger, hurt, and rejection.

I felt lost, alone, and bereft.

Abandonment issues come from being wounded when an important person in your life unexpectedly leaves you. Your abandonment wound must be acknowledged and addressed, or it will sit beneath the surface of your life, waiting to be triggered. 

The traumatic event of my purse being stolen was that trigger.

It triggered my childhood abandonment.

Issues that were never resolved.

They became a core part of my worldview.

My belief was that the world is an unsafe place, that people are not to be trusted, and that I did not deserve positive attention and adequate care.

After I drove my husband up the wall with my dysfunction, I decided to take some time to separate myself and get to the root causes of my abandonment/neglect issues and figure out how to resolve them and finally heal.

Through extensive therapy,  I’ve been able to face my abandonment issues.

If you have been hurt deeply by abandonment, you will usually deal with your pain in one of two ways: You might become overly needy and require constant attention and reassurance, or you might go to the opposite extreme and resolve to never allow yourself to become deeply invested in anyone ever again.

I am a combination of both.

My symptoms include:

  • Cycling through relationships. Some may engage in numerous shallow relationships. They may fear intimacy and find a reason to leave a relationship before the other person can.
  • Sabotaging relationships. Some may act irrationally to get out of relationships. For example, you may knowingly push away a partner so you won’t feel hurt if they leave
  • Commitment issues. Someone who is a serial dater can possibly have commitment issues, which is a sign of a greater abandonment issue. The honeymoon phase of a new relationship is appealing to someone like this, and they will often leave a relationship or sabotage it before the newness can wear off, or before the other person can, in their mind, get bored of them. People with abandonment issues often invent reasons to end the relationship, once more justifying their reasons with circular, self-sabotaging thought processes.
  • Needing constant reassurance. Some may constantly seek out a friend or partner, and demand emotional guarantees. They may regularly urge friends or partners to make broad statements, such as “I’ll always be here,” and then say they’re lying.
  • Criticizing my partner: Rather than focusing on the positives, you look for the negative aspects of your partner and the relationship. Your abandonment issues make you dwell on what’s wrong rather than what’s right. If your relationship does end, you console yourself by telling yourself that the relationship was not right in the first place. This habit would probably affect your other relationships as well.
  • Low self-esteem: When you have abandonment issues, you feel you are the real reason behind people leaving you. This results in your self-esteem going for a toss. You doubt every action you take or every decision you make. You feel your partner cannot possibly love you, leading you to withdraw from the relationship. You struggle to believe good things that your partner says about you and rebut them most times, which then distances them from you.
  • Social anxiety: Lower self-esteem can end in social anxiety. Fear of rejection from other people can make you shy and nervous around crowds and hamper your social life.
  • Repressing anger: Fear of abandonment can make you suppress your anger and frustrations over small things that can accumulate over time. You feel if you let your dissatisfaction known to your partner, he or she will leave you. This leads to the buildup of resentment over the years making your relationship toxic.
  • Excessive controlling: Most of the abandonment issues stem from previous relationships where there was a probable lack of control. Hence you end up trying to control every aspect of your relationship so that it does not go south. However, this can diminish your partner’s self-worth and bring problems in your relationship.
  • Self-judgment: setting unrealistic expectations, perfectionism.
  • Extreme reactions: reacting too much or not at all to difficult situations.
  • Borderline personality disease: Borderline personality disease or BPD presents itself as the last stage of unresolved abandonment issues. People with severe abandonment issues over the time develop extremely low self-esteem, become defensive to criticism and sensitive to negative emotions

And my WORST symptom of all:

  • A tendency to choose unavailable partners: You always tend to choose partners who are emotionally unavailable or incompatible with you. This tendency arises from your need to avoid emotional intimacy. You can justify not investing sufficiently in the relationship if your partner is unavailable.

A marriage separation, a host of unavailable toxic relationships, 2 years of on/off therapy,  10 pounds and 400 glasses of wine later; I’m finally taking accountability and action towards recovery.

My recovery includes:

  1. Acknowledging my feelings: The first step towards solving any problem is an acknowledgment of the problem. Acknowledge that you have negative feelings in you. Try to categorize how you are feeling; are you feeling low, insecure, jealous of your friends, etc. Reflect and meditate on what kind of thoughts these feelings bring in your mind.
  1. Letting my partner in: Once you have determined your feelings, talk to your partner about them. If trusting your partner with the more significant issues is a hurdle at first, start with the smaller ones. Eventually, open up about the more complex ones like what makes you insecure and how you would like your partner to phrase their criticisms. Keep doing what you can and make your spouse your confidant. You will be surprised how helpful it can prove to be!
  1. Creating an action plan: Make a step-by-step action plan and checklists. Assign yourself at least one task out of your comfort zone and mark it off the list once done. This will boost the sense of achievement in you, and you will be less likely to fall off the wagon. Besides, it will do wonders for your self-esteem on a task fulfilled.
  1. Finding an outlet for my anxiety and frustrations: Abandonment issues bring a lot of frustration, jealousy, or insecurity as discussed earlier. The best way to counter these negative emotions would be to do something productive. Pick up a new hobby or a sport or a group activity like soccer, badminton, Zumba, or arts and crafts classes. That way the people with you can become your support group, which reduces your depression and loneliness.
  1. Maintaining a journal: Journaling is an effective method of dealing with frustrations. Chronicling your thoughts and feelings will not only help you in categorizing them but also act as an outlet for the negative energy to flow out. Writing down positive things and small victories will help in reinforcing your self-worth. Your journal can become the shoulder to cry on when you need to vent.
  1. Rekindling old friendships and forming new ones: When you have abandonment issues, you feel nobody would want to be friends with you, and even if they do, they will leave you. Making new friends and going on dates with your partner will make your fears look baseless, thus reducing the fear of abandonment.
  1. Consider therapy or counseling: If you are unable to make any progress using the above tips, it’s okay to seek help. There are trained psychologists and counselors who will try different therapies to help you let go of your fears. You can also try attending counseling so they can help you out when you get overwhelmed. The sooner you seek help, the better your treatment will be!

And finally.

FORGIVENESS.

I love my parents.

Yeah they were emotionally unavailable at crucial times in my life.

Yeah, they could have done much better.

But.

They are human.

They made mistakes.

They are still here.

They are still alive.

I still have chances to get to know them as people.

And hear them out.

To understand the choices they made.

We all can benefit from that.

One day soon, I will read this post to them and interview them about their thoughts about it.

That should be interesting.

🙂

Life, misfortunes, isolation, abandonment, poverty are battlefields which have their heroes; obscure heroes, sometimes greater than the illustrious heroes. -Victor Hugo

 

Thats Life

shallow focus photography of pink flowers
Photo by Deena on Pexels.com

This life is a wonderful gift .. accept it, embrace it.
It starts with a new day .. wake up and greet it.
Life is a challenge .. take it head on and meet it.
Full of opportunity .. use it, don’t waste it.

This life is a mystery .. unfold it, solve it.
It starts with meaning .. wake up and understand it.
Life is a goal .. take it head on and achieve it.
Full of promise .. fulfill it but keep it.

This life is a tragedy .. face it, accept it.
It starts with pain .. wake up and help numb it.
Life is a struggle .. take it head on and fight it.
Full of sorrow .. sorry, just overcome it.

This life is precious .. hold it, treasure it,
It starts with hope .. wake up and feel it.
Life is a choice .. take it head on and make it.
Full of knowledge .. use it, don’t abuse it.

This life is adventurous .. enjoy it, explore it.
It starts with a duty .. wake up and perform it.
Life is love .. take it full on and love it.
Full of beauty .. praise it and behold it.

That life is life .. live it, learn and grow
Life is good .. be good with all that you know.

Poem by Danny Joyce

My Top 5 Favorite Podcasts

I’ve never been a fan of audio books and podcasts. It wasnt until my girlfriends and I created our own podcast called 4 Girls And A Bottle, that I started to pay attention to what podcasts were really about.

And even then, I never listened to outside podcasts on my own.

My girls and I decided to not continue with 4 Girls And A Bottle.

But.

For some reason.

I kept seeing reviews on various podcasts on social media and I became curious.

I began to search and seek out podcasts that I could possibly relate to.

After discovering a few, I’m now totally into them.

I listen every morning and every evening during traffic.

I love podcasts relating to life (motherhood, family, relationships, friendships, marriage, work, goals, etc).

In very blunt, transparent ways.

I love to feel like the pod casters are my friends in my head.

I laugh with them, cuss with them, cry with them.

Needless to say.

I’m hooked!

I picked the following top five podcasts that I’ve been listening to this year.

 

Ratchet and Respectable

I’m in love with Demetria Lucas. I’ve been in love with her since her reality show days (Blood, Sweat and Heels). She is truly my best friend in my head and she is from PG County, MD.  Her articulation, relatability and transparency makes her podcast my favorite. I look forward to my weekly dose of Ratchet and Respectable.

She just gets me!

One of my favorite episodes: Homecoming, Homegoing and Hard Choices

Nickie’s Thoughts

You ever have that friend that gives it to you STRAIGHT. When you are wrong, she is the one who genuinely respects you, protects you and will hurt your feelings all in the name of love. That is Nickie. She provides a transparent wisdom that is ALWAYS needed. Her podcast intro music alone wakes me up on the way to work. Unapologetic, opinionated, free-spirited, and amazingly straight forward, this life coach gets me all the way together. Life can get you down. Some people just need a swift kick in the ass to keep going.

I am people.

And that’s why Nickie’s Thoughts is one of my top favorites!

One of my favorite episodes: Dealing With Toxic Parents

Fun Time Moms

Two honest, unfiltered, sexy Mom friends who discuss relatable Mom s**t!! Ashley and Alicia navigate all facets of millennial parenting. I laugh with them as they share candid real life stories about motherhood, marriage and inappropriateness. They are from Baltimore (my hometown), so there is a nostalgic element of “home” when I listen to them. I love when they introduce the drink meter each week. They ask, “on a scale of 1-10, how many drinks does your week equate to?” I find myself answering the question out loud in my car!

I’m like this week is a 10 drink week!!

And that’s why I’m a Fun Time Mom!!

One of my favorite episodes: Lets Talk About Sex

So Shameless

Now you know we always need that male perspective. Tahoe is that male perspective. A perfect mixture of masculinity, transparency and humor. Tahoe hosts with cohosts Daja and DJ Trauma. Laughter out loud is real in my car every time I listen to this podcast. The transparency, the hostility, the New York accents, the raw and shameless banter!

My guilty pleasure!!!

One of my favorite episodes: Damn, Mike Really “Touched” Everybody

Small Doses

Amanda Seales drops gem after gem in this podcast. Side effects include: Wokeness, Laughter, Positive Perspective, Femininity and Insight. Her side effects are on time and hilarious. This podcast makes me proud to be a black woman.

 One of my favorite episodes: Side Effects of Narcissists

 

 Would love to hear yours below!

Konfessions Of A Fashionable Mind

Konfashionable Mind.

“Konfessions + Fashion + Inspiration = Konfashionable Mind”

This was the tagline for my blog.

The definition of what my blog is about.

The goal was to create beautiful, plush pictures of myself in fabulous fashion finds.

The goal was to post fashion/beauty tips.

The goal was to travel and document my adventures.

The goal was to encourage everyone to attend tea parties.

The goal was to share all things that inspired me.

Truth is.

Those goals were frustrating.

They were unrealistic, given my resources.

They were not genuine.

Those goals were created based on someone else’s blog goals.

Unauthentic.

Truth is.

I was confused.

I desperately searched for my voice to help steer me in the right direction.

It was very difficult.

Digging deep within yourself to figure out the “Why” is not easy.

Why did I create Konfashionable Mind?

Why should anyone subscribe to Konfashionable Mind?

How will Konfashionable Mind serve others?

What is your goal for Konfashionable Mind?

I asked myself these questions and sent myself into a tail spin.

Truth is.

I was not clear on the goal for my blog.

It took me a year to realize that I was going in the wrong direction.

A year to find my voice.

A year to discover my writing style.

A year to acknowledge the fact that this blog is bigger than me.

I didn’t create Konfashionable Mind.

God created it.

Konfashionable Mind was created to discover my worth.

Konfashionable Mind was created to increase my confidence.

Konfashionable Mind was created to reveal my purpose.

He created Konfashionable Mind and He blatantly told me that no one was interested in ME and MY experiences.

He said that people cared way more about what I could teach them.

Don’t you just love our relationship?

God gives it to me straight, no chaser!

He knows what to say so that I receive the message.

Instead of working with God’s purpose for Konfashionable Mind.

I created my own purpose.

Doing things my way.

Then wondering why I was so confused and frustrated.

I surrendered…

My vision for Konfashionable Mind has changed drastically since its onset.

The focus is no longer on creating beautiful, plush pictures of myself in fabulous fashion finds, posting fashion/beauty tips, traveling and documenting my adventures, encouraging everyone to attend tea parties and only sharing things that inspire me.

Me, Me, Me.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

Beauty and all things fashion are still my passion.

I will still post beauty, fashion and things that inspire me.

However.

My perspective has shifted.

I’m living.

I’m writing.

I’m focused on sharing my life experiences with you.

Good or Bad.

I’m not only writing about what inspires me.

I’m writing to inspire you.

I’m writing to motivate you.

I’m writing to encourage you.

I’d like to re-introduce you to…

Konfashionable Mind

 

 

The Blend Book

So.

I recently read the book “Blend: The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family” by Mashonda Tifrere.

Not familiar with Mashonda Tifrere?

Well basically:

Mashonda was married to rapper Swizz Beatz. They welcomed one son. They were married for 6 years. Towards the end of the marriage, Swizz Beatz began dating singer, Alicia Keys. Alicia Keys was labeled a homewrecker. Swizz Beatz divorced Mashonda, and quickly married Alicia Keys. Mashonda was left bitter, angry, depressed and single. Mashonda and Swizz Beatz could not get along. They were both angry, frustrated and co-parenting was a dysfunctional mess. Their son suffered and it showed. Mashonda decided to end her pity party. She sought wise counsel and 6 years later she turned her life around. Ultimately, turning all of their lives around.

Through therapy and time, Mashonda realized it was best to work with her ex husband instead of working against him.

She met face to face with Alicia Keys and they both got everything off of their chests.

 

Mashonda and Alicia became friends.

 

Swizz Beatz and Mashonda became friends.

 

THEY ALL BECAME FRIENDS.

 

And eventually.

 

They became family.

 

They matured and let everything go for the sake of the children.

 

They checked their egos.

 

The children are the focus.

 

Happy Parents, Happy Children.

 

Right?

After I read the book, my husband and I had a discussion about it.

We have surfed the waves of marriage separation.

Marriage reconciliation vs. marriage dissolution.

It’s hard.

Marriage is hard.

Separation is hard.

Divorce is hard.

Life is hard.

My husband and I casually sat down and we each painted the picture of what we thought post divorce would look like.

My Husband: If we divorced. No friendship. No family dynamic. Cordial relationship is acceptable. Discuss kids only. You live your life separately. I live my life separately. Don’t look at me. Don’t think about me. Rah. Rah. Rah.

Me: If we divorced. We focus on the children. Strive for friendship and healthy communication. Respect new spouses and possibly new kids. Welcome a blended family dynamic. We all become family. “Have you ever read the “Blend” book by Mashonda?

My Husband: That’s absurd. If we could be a family, then we might as well had stayed married. We can co parent without being besties. The dynamic between Mashonda and Swizz Beatz is not realistic. Mashonda never remarried. That’s the only reason it works. The minute she remarries, that dynamic will go down the drain. Are we here to appease children? How many people do you know that have that divorced family dynamic. None.

I totally disagreed with my husbands’ logic.

Although, I may know all of two friends who have lived this family dynamic; it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a vast majority out there who live this way.

It may not happen over night.

But.

It most definitely can happen!

Families can blend and coexist in love.

It takes mature individuals who receive extensive therapy and mediation, heal themselves, remove egos and bitterness and focus on love and the well being of their children.

It involves hard work and effort.

Mashonda writes:

“It took two years into our blending to make it happen, but when we did it was like turning the light on,” Tifrere says. “We realized we could minimize the impact on our children by reducing the conflict we had with one another. There were never any big blowouts. There were times when we didn’t fully agree, but we were all comfortable just letting it go.”

Alicia Keys chimes in:

“We did it!” “Mashonda and Swizz and I worked and prayed together and allowed the space for everyone to be heard. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of.”

Children who witness love from their divorced parents and from their new step-parents in a blended family situation is rewarding.

I’m not saying that this will happen in every situation due to personalities and past hurt.

Every situation is different.

But to strive towards this dynamic would bring peace to all parties.

Not just the children, but the adults as well.

Vacationing together.

Spending holidays together.

Having dinner together from time to time.

Family meetings when there is an issue.

Am I crazy for believing in this?

Do you agree with my husbands view?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

The Montell Williams Show

The infamous.

Montell Williams Show.

I appeared on the Montell Williams Show when I was 15 years old.

The topic was about young girls and strained relationships with their mothers.

How could we effectively communicate with our mothers and have better relationships moving forward.

Visibly, I looked innocent and childish.

I mean, technically, I was a child.

I wore overalls and Princess Reeboks.

Little did everyone know.

Physically, I was a hot, rebellious, grown ass mess.

I was involved in things no one would ever believe.

I was smoking weed.

I refused to go to school.

I was on the verge of failing the 9th grade.

The neighborhood boys were the only things on my mind.

And when Montell Williams point blank asked me if I was having sex.

I stared him straight in the eyes and lied.

I told him I was not having sex when in fact, I was creeping outside every night to engage in sexual activity.

A mess.

Searching for affection.

Searching for acceptance.

Abandonment issues.

Longing to fit in by any means necessary.

Could you believe I was doing all the things listed above, however, I was on the show talking about “my mother won’t let me go outside?”

Who could blame her!

I could not be trusted.

I was too young to realize it back then.

I lacked big time.

I was crying out for attention.

The show also featured 3 other girls alongside me with the same issues.

One girl was pregnant and had to tell her mom on the show.

One girl complained that her mom rather spend time with her man than spend time with her children.

And the last girl was abandoned by her Mom, forcing her to take care of herself and divorce her mother legally.

All of us were suffering from the same things and it manifested in different ways.

We were all young and:

Searching for affection.

Searching for love.

Searching for acceptance.

Longing to fit in by any means necessary.

Suffering from abandonment issues.

We turned to our mothers to provide these needs.

When in fact…

Our mothers were also 15 year old girls who were:

Searching for affection.

Searching for love.

Searching for acceptance.

Longing to fit in by any means necessary.

Suffering from abandonment issues.

Our mothers had not healed from whatever traumas they encountered as young girls.

They had nothing to offer us at that time.

I watch my show every year and I take something different from it each time.

I often wonder what ever happened to the girls who were on the show alongside me.

What ever happened to their Moms?

Were they ever able to build relationships with each other?

Did they all find the affection, love and acceptance they were all seeking?

Did they heal their abandonment issues?

As for my update:

I’m now a 37 year old, mother of 2.

One son, one daughter.

The relationship with my mother improves each year.

It gets better.

This is due in part because I’ve chosen to:

Love myself.

Accept myself.

Take care of myself.

Be honest with myself.

Trust God.

Im human.

I still have issues.

However.

I no longer look to my mother, or anyone else, to provide these things to me.

I’ve chosen to get to know my mother; be curious about her as a woman.

It’s definitely a process.

I’m on this healing journey so that my children will have a whole woman as a mother and not the 15 year old girl that appeared on the Montell Williams Show.