Self-Love: Nobody Said the Shit Was Easy

 

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It is morning. I open my eyes and immediately the memories begin. Im flooded with montages of us walking hand in hand, strong kisses, his mouth when he laughs, our arms and legs tangled under the heat of cream sheets, the quiet of his apartment after secrets, fears and hopes are confessed and the dark brown of his sloping, sweet sad eyes. Hot tears stream down my face and tickle my ears. I want to scream. I want to go back to sleep. I want him.

I check my phone. Nothing.

After walking into the bathroom, I  read aloud the “post-its” pasted on the top of my mirror. “I make good decisions”, “I complete things that I start”. With a sigh, I study my face. My normally smooth, brown skin is adorned with small bursting white heads, my lips are dry and my eyes are still wet from tears. It has become more and more difficult to like my own reflection. It has become more and more difficult not to notice the darkness cast beneath my eyes, the unkept, misshapen curls atop my head and my complete disinterest in changing any of it.

I suppose this is natural when you are in mourning.

The heat from the stream of the shower feels good on my neck. I lather my soap and quietly praise the areas of my body that I am proud of like my shapely legs, generous hips and thin, firm arms which move mechanically over the areas of my body I ignore and try to hide like my small, sagging breasts streaked horizontally with stretch marks and my weak, pouch of a belly tattooed just the same.

I plan on working out now and really taking care of myself. I want to consume kale in every way possible, I want to wear skirt sets and have my belly show shadowed and flat. I have hopes that I will somehow feel how I  hope to someday look – healthy, confident and amazing. Someday, I tell myself.

I check my phone. Nothing. I check his instagram and scroll.

Instagram has become an inspirational guide for me. I scroll and “like” every post advocating themes of “Self Love”, “Fuck ‘em girl” and “This Too Shall Pass”. I have difficulty maintaining these sentiments after my head is raised from the white light of my screen and my phone is stuffed into my pocket.

On my way to work I daydream about him re-routing his path to catch me. Like a scripted movie, breathless, handsome and assured he will tell me he loves me, tell me he is ready, tell me I’m the one, tell me he misses me so much and he just had to see me or at the very least simply ask me to share a damn coffee with him.

I check my phone. Nothing.

At work, I serve many couples. Young, smiling, happy couples with nothing but their shared futures ahead of them. It doesn’t matter if they may be faced with sadness, deceit, anger, disappointment and loss. They are together. I hate them.

It’s late. I have had two glasses of wine. I want to call him. I want to see him. I want to lay next to him even though I know I will wake in the morning feeling like I have killed someone. The guilt, the shame, the emptiness would take me weeks to recover from. I look at my phone and wait. If he were to call or text, I know my ill equipped, third world walls of defense would crumble against his established power.

I check my phone. Nothing.

I am driving home. I need support, reassurance. I put on Stevie and he sings to me,

Little girl be fair show yourself you care Let others care for you before it’s too late ‘Cause time won’t wait till your heart’s no longer blue

Little girl be smart don’t break your own heart There is love waiting for you before it’s too late ‘Cause time won’t wait till your heart’s no longer blue

 The tears start again. They are hot and I can’t stop them.

I am alone in bed. I am alone with myself. I am still crying but I feel a stirring, soothing strength within me.

I cry until I fall asleep and have to wake to face another day.

Ladies (and Gents), 

What does self-love look and feel like to you?

Giuliana Responds to Zendaya With An Apology. Do We Care?

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E’s television host Giuliana Rancic recently made offensive remarks about  the young Disney actress Zendaya’s hair. Zendaya who usually rocks straight hair styles recently went for something different at the Oscar Award show. She wore a head of faux locs styled elegantly and reaching past her shoulders. 

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As a critique of the young actresse’s style choice for the evening,  Guiliana implied that the hair style did not fit Zendaya’s small frame and that she preferred the “little hair”.

She then went on to say that “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil. Or weed! Yeah, maybe weed?”

 

Zendaya took to Instagram to defend herself and admonish the words of Guiliana.

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Recently Giuliana used her television show to air a public apology to Zendaya and everyone else who may have been offended.

Do We Care?

Things That Interest the Around The Way Girl – Part Tres

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1. SaintHeron.com

Antoinette and I have a running joke. We always stop and  ask one another “Shit, how can we learn to be cool?” Well I got the answer! Troll Solange’s website “Saint Heron” and learn what’s what in fashion, music, arts culture, events  and everyday cool shit. I bet the really cool girls are rolling their eyes thinking “Ugh, we been knew about this. It’s been up for like 2 years.” Welp, my corny, motherly, trying to hold on for dear life to the vestiges of her youth ass just discovered it!

The site as well as the label Saint Records is committed to ” feature, highlight and align a new movement of contemporary, genre-defying R&B visionaries, which will serve as a segue into the diverse evolution of these independent artists as they share their voices and words as only they can – through pure, unadulterated music.”

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2. Ibeyi

20 year old Parisian twins with Afro-Cuban roots (father was a member of the Buena Vista Social Club), haunting vocals with percussion, piano and a mean beat from production! What?!  I give you my most recent music obsession – Ibeyi. I am not quite sure how to pronounce the group’s name, I don’t know what they are saying when they sing in Yoruba but I love them anyways. They make me feel things and I love feeling things. Plus they are aesthetically beautiful. One twin has long wavy, straight hair while the other rocks a mane of kinks and curls. Take a listen here in their video “River”

3. The Poetry of Nayyirah Waheed 

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Her poetry again, makes me feel things. Things that sit deep down in the heat of my stomach or are fluttering to escape wedged between my lungs and heart. She makes me feel emotions I never knew I had until only after 3 sentences I find myself weeping or I feel just a little less worried, or anxious or sad or angry. She makes me feel as if she knows me. She is me and I am her. She is an incredible writer. One that I admire so much. You have probably seen her quotes shared on social media. Her two published books of poetry are “salt” and “Nejma” both available on Amazon. Inspiration station right there.

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4. Beyonce Untouched

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God, is that you God? Are you trying to let us all know that nobody is perfect by leaking these photos personally? Are you trying to let us know that Beyonce isn’t your chosen one and that we can all start focusing on more important things rather than being obsessed with Beyonce and making ourselves “perfect” by going to the gym and getting a lace front or nah? Nah? Oh, okay.

Whats New Ladies? Anything New that Interests You These days?

Alex Elle in Philly

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Recently, I went to go see writer and social media personality Alex Elle in Philadelphia. For some reason, I entered the venue feeling a little nervous because I was all alone. There was no side kick to keep me enveloped in the “no new friends” zone. Instead, I was given the choice of remaining open and friendly or quiet and guarded. I teetered on both spectrums by smiling at strangers but never really striking up any conversation.

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Yusuf Yuie on the left and Curran on the right

Shortly after the audience filled in, promoters Yusuf  Yuie and Curran Swift Yusuf stood and introduced both the moderator and Alex Elle.

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Alex came out unto the stage confident and calm. She was everything she seems to be via social media and her writing. She was poised, sweet, present and ready to share.  The audience was very quiet, so quiet that Alex’s first sentence addressed to us was, ” Ya’ll look scared.”  I suppose we were all nervous. We were a room full of young twenty-somethings wanting to understand how to get just a smidgeon of what she  appears to smear on everything she touches  - success and happiness.

The moderator probed Alex with questions about love, work, motherhood, sex and writing. All of her answers were the same, no different than the affirmations she shares through her writing. In order to find success in love and life, you must go inward. You must work on yourself gently and consistently. 

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When it came time for questions, I was amused by the inquiries. It was very telling of who we are and what we want. Everyone wanted to know about Alex’s hard times; drama with her child’s father and single mother hood. I suppose that’s how we connect with one another. I must admit that I felt so encouraged when I learned that Alex was also a young mother, estranged from the child’s father and yet she still found love.  It’s more comforting to know someone’s pain and struggle versus happiness and “success”.  To understand the struggle from which one came, makes other’s feel like their own destinies aren’t so bleak. They too can rise up, push past the pain and be happy. 

Alex Elle for me, through her writing and existence  is a reminder that the human potential for change and creativity is real and in all of us. The potential for success is not only alloted to prodigy, white people, college educated and childless folk but it extends to us all even if we are brown, women, single mothers, ridden with daddy issues and have no idea how we are going to make it. We are all entitled to happiness and the fruition of our personal successes.

Thank you Alex for the reminder.

Our Daily Prayer

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God, make me brave for life:

Oh, braver than this

Let me straighten after pain, as a tree straightens after the rain

  Shining and lovely again

God, make me brave for life; 

much braver than this.

As the blown grass lifts,

let me rise from sorrow with quiet eyes,

knowing thy way is wise.

God make me brave,

life brings such blinding things.

Help me to keep my sight;

Help me to see aright

That out of darkens comes light.

-Anonymous Author

Rest In Peace Mike Brown

Preview of Philly’s Beauty Bazaar Vendors

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Philly Native Areeayl Goodwin is returning with her bounty of beautiful, imaginative and unique jewelry for your hair, eyes, fingers, ears and body

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“Our products are formulated for coarsely textured hair. We strive to use only top quality ingredients that aid in the overall health of Type 4 natural hair.

MILK + HONEY, meaning prosperity, has a mission to educate women with Type 4 hair and to provide premium products exclusive to this unique and beautiful texture. We invite you to join the movement of women who are confidently embracing their natural hair.”

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originallogoOur favorite vintage girl is coming to extend her eye for brilliance, style and grace with just the right hint of grit.

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KingsRuleTogether-300Philly’s Royalty Kings Rule Together Will be Present

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Mascara that will make your lashes POP! 3D Fiber Lashes

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This is a FREE EVENT for the public. It is a beauty bazaar meets end of summer block party with live music and food!

For more information on becoming a vendor please contact Shanti at aroundthewaycurls@gmail.com

Blissful Curls Blogger’s Brunch Recap

acSj2o8EcpgC3k-hk9NQRa2D6FRYVQzwTyTUjbnPx9w,ZWyWfP6Sc8_EYZPePIdUtLqTPauU6OFExtQAMe2Gt-s     Antoinette and I were invited to celebrate on the Blissful Curls Blogger Brunch tour created and sponsored by Curls. Being as though Antoinette and I don’t see each other often, I came into the city a day earlier and had dinner with her and some friends. We were very responsible about not staying out too late before our early brunch but regardless we both woke up really tired the next morning (not to mention that Antoinette was set to perform some songs from her new album).

Early Sunday morning, we whipped ourselves into shape and got ready. Antoinette skillfully beat her face to perfection and warmed up her voice while I slammed some blush up the side of my cheeks and felt nervous about the premiere of my accidental Malcolm X red hair color.

We arrived at the port early, boarded the boat and were met by a crew of busy, beautiful women with curls and kinks prepped and poppin’ for the event setting tables. Once the commotion was all over, the room was set really beautifully, guests started to flood in and Antoinette began to sing.

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We had some really awesome company at the table where we were sat. We sat next to Whitney of Naptural85, Mahisha Dellinger owner and powerhouse behind the brand Curls, Julian Addo, a hilarious, bright, open woman who was the organizer of the event, Jenell of KinkyCurlyCoilyMe who moderated and a duo of two very handsome, gregarious men whose names I never remembered caught.

After we grubbed on some really delicious food and cocktails, Mahisha spoke to the room of guests and bloggers and shared her intentions for the brunch. Mahisha expressed that she wanted to extend herself personally as the woman behind the Curls brand. She felt she was now ready to share her story with others. She began to share with us her very turbulent and real obstacles she faced before getting to where she is now; abuse, poverty, single motherhood, racism. Many women in the room (myself included) fought back tears as she shared her dark past and the motivations which fueled her need for autonomy and self reliance. We were all attentive and inspired.

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Mahisha Dellinger is a powerhouse and now I understand the history and significance of why she has a no hold bars way of being. She is confidence and competence personified. When we first met her that morning she walked into the room in 6 inch, bedazzled, chunky heels, with her necked draped with Chanel necklaces. With her right arm cocked back to support her oxblood red Alexander McQueen purse she extended her left hand weighed down by a large diamond engagement ring for a handshake. Her makeup  was flawless and her eyes were bright and direct. With her smiling red lips she talked with us. She knew of us and expressed her respect for our “Around The Way” brand. We felt happy to be noticed and recognized. It felt good to know there was a real passionate and experienced person behind a brand we both support.

After everyone had their Doctor Phil moments, we broke out onto the deck and did what bloggers do best - we took mad pictures.   0ZSH7WV5sMGPA48irHW_hxBR_fa9rFoDXS6phF85R7o,GDf0pFQW8QzPWQcXUsIgf7F0dVJ3Gs7bJcwkTwcHe-o

 Antoinette and I with Curls’ owner Mahisha Dellinger. The look like bosses. I look like a genie.

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The awesome blogging sister duo Shalleen Kaye and Seanna-Kaye behind Natural Hair Does Care

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Hotties Tanya from Clothesconscience, Renee of Own by Femme, and Shine struck sitting pretty in red with a mix of other beauties I am unfamiliar with.

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Usies

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Whitney is the absolute sweetest, dopest, cutest lady around. We love her!

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 Taren Guy and Marisol of  MamaNaturalista

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Curly Girl Models and Reps for Curls showin off

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Renee and us faking the funk. Fake laughs make great shots though huh?

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Whitney being ratchet

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Antoinette being cute. Ain’t she cute?

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Me being even more rachet.

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And we out…..