10 years after high school and then some …

Let’s start off by saying that my high school graduation was trash. It rained and we had to cram God knows how many people into our gymnasium. Woodbridge High School is cursed, LOL. Graduation was bittersweet for me because soon after, I was on my way to Baltimore, Maryland to start precollege at Morgan State University. I entered college undecided in my major because I had no idea what I was good at or who I was as a person, to be honest. My goal then was to get into college … CHECK, now what? I thought I wanted to play basketball. I had played since I was young, made it on the Linden AAU team and then my high school freshman team just to be cut the next year. I’ll never forget damn near crying in the gymnasium with my best friend, who was also cut from the team. Being who we were though, we flipped our middle fingers and moved on.

Anyway, I started precollege and passed all my classes, of course. I had made friends and created an image for myself as the light skin girl from Jersey with long nails and every pair of Jordans (My collection of J’s back then was serious since I was a Foot Locker employee, LOL). In the midst of precollege, your girl had her first love and her first REAL heartbreak. Not the 13 year old me crying and singing Amanda Perez’s “God Send Me an Angel” heartbreak but Bernadine from Waiting To Exhale heartbreak. I had been cheated on and everyone knew about it but me. Now, if the motherfucker had a car for me to burn his clothes in, I would have! Instead, I flipped my middle finger up (I do this often in life) and carried my prideful, brokenhearted ass back to Baltimore to finish what I started. Needless to say, I continued being on and off with this man for a few more years after this incident only to continue having my heart broken time and time again. A good eggplant and love will make you do some dumb shit. Eventually, I learned that a tiger never changes its stripes and moved on. I still had my share of shitty ass relationships afterwards because loving yourself and learning your worth was no overnight process. To this day, I still have some insecurities but in no way shape or form is your girl ugly. I have a FUPA but it’s meant to keep your forehead warm, papi! My goal from high school changed from “Lose weight Shay because they like skinny bitches” to “Love yourself as you are, just live a healthier lifestyle.” I used to have this uncanny fear of rejection because a girl like me ran the Welcome Committee for the friend zone, LOL. Eventually, I let that rejection nonsense go and began to flourish. I mean, at the end of the day, there are those out there who will think I’m ugly (and I could give a shit) while there are others who would like to eat my ass with a napkin tucked in their collar (shrugs). With that being said, DO YOU AND BE YOU BOO BOO because SOMEBODY’S GONNA FUCKING FEEL IT!

As for my friendships/sister circles go, I’m STILL running with the same crew from high school and college. I’ve made friends along these ten years who I now consider family. I’ve also let go of some friends as well. Since high school, I’ve learned that a friendship can be just as toxic and draining as a relationship. Instead of holding on to memories and longevity, I’ve let go and walked away with my lesson. Loving people from a distance is essential to keeping your peace. It’s a self care act that I practice heavily now as someone who’s used to be selfless. Recently, one of my best friends called me, “the strong friend,” but I realized I can’t be the strong friend if I’m not being strong for myself …

From high school to 10 years later to now, I can say I was young, naive, and dumb.I am still young and still dumb, on occasion but the Shayna I am now has a better outlook on life and knows exactly what she wants. I’ll be turning 30 on next Wednesday and you couldn’t tell high school me that I wasn’t going to be somebody’s wife and have two kids by now, LOL. Instead, I’m welcoming Chapter 30 with a different set of goals and a different mindset. Like I said in a recent IG post, “I do not apologize for how I’m about to move” because at the end of the day, who gone check me?

Being a “Yes Woman” …

I’m a people pleaser. I think it’s honestly one of my worst flaws other than my impatience. I’m a “yes woman.” I’m codependent. I tell people “yes” because it makes me think they’ll like me. I said yes because I knew it made others happy and in turn, I thought I’d be happy too. I said yes even when I knew making others happy was at my expense and I was sacrificing my own happiness and peace.

Recently, I was watching an episode of Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith and Gabrielle Union. The episode was originally about friendships but Gabrielle Union made a few statements that spoke to me. When Jada was talking about herself being a people pleaser, she asked Gabrielle how does she deal with that to which Gabrielle responded:

I SAY NO! And no used to be so terrifying because no means a boundary and if you put up boundaries, maybe people won’t come back.

This is me, scared to say no because of how others would react and how it would affect me. Scared that they would leave and I’d be alone again. See, being codependent is unhealthy and it’s even unhealthier when you’re codependent on people. I’ve had to come to the harsh realization that at some point, everyone leaves. Nothing lasts forever … or so they say. I’ve also had to realize that not everyone you lose is a loss.

During Therapy Thursday with Nikkiesthoughts, (check out her IG and podcast), I asked her about my people pleasing dilemma and boundaries. She kindly read me for filth and let me know my boundaries are for me and all I’m doing is getting in my boundary’s way. She asked me how do I feel after I say yes to someone when I didn’t really want to? What feeling do I go to sleep with at night? What feeling do I get when I look in the mirror? She advised me to surround myself only with people who would do the same for me as I would do for them. Matter of fact, be around people who would go above and beyond for you.

I realized I needed to reach a level where I only concern myself with people who believe in reciprocity. I should not concern myself with how others might take offense to me when I tell them no. My main focus should be me and my peace. I’ve come to realize that your growth tends to weed out the bad seeds you were letting sit around while they tried to steal and absorb your light. These people need to go. I’ve always tried to hang on when I needed to let go, not realizing I was only hurting myself more in the process.

It’s time for me to enter a new level where I let go of this fear of people not liking me. I’m letting go of caring and putting others before myself. These changes may anger a few but like Gabrielle Union said, “It’s difficult to take control of a healed, evolved person.”

I Loved Love When Love Didn’t Love Me Back.

I loved love ever since we first met.
I loved love when it made me feel special.
I loved love when love made me feel I was the only girl in the world.
I loved love when love swept me off my feet.
I loved love when love made empty promises.
I loved love when love forgot about me.
I loved love when love felt my feelings didn’t matter.
I loved love when love made me feel I wasn’t pretty enough.
I loved love when love told me I wasn’t good enough.
I loved love when love made me feel as if they were doing me a favor by being with a “big girl.”
I loved love when love broke my trust.
I loved love when love compared me to other women.
I loved love when love took my innocence.
I loved love when love hurt me.
I loved love when lied to me.
I loved love when love used me.
I loved love when love left me.
I loved love when love made me cry.
I loved loved when love had me contemplating my own life.
Then I realized … that wasn’t love.
I WAS LOVE. I AM LOVE.
Because I loved love when love didn’t love me back.
But now …

I LOVE ME.

It Couldn’t Be Me …

How many of us have ever heard or seen someone in a situation and have been quick to say, “couldn’t be me?” Let’s be honest because I’ve been one of those people as well. There have been plenty of times where some of my friends or coworkers have vented to me about a situation and I’d say girl, you’re better than me because I couldn’t deal with it. I’ve had this way of thinking until it actually was me …

Read Moore

I Have No Idea.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot on what the next chapter of my life will include because I honestly have no idea what the hell I am doing. I followed the rules and went to school … twice. I’ve recently completed obtaining a Masters degree and now that I have it, I’ve been pondering over whether or not this is what I want as my career.

Read Moore

I’m a Lover, not a Fighter …

Who were you before they broke your heart? Do you remember? I think I was less tainted … my perspective of love being what I thought I saw in the movies. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t going to have a love like Monica and Quincy. (This was back when I played basketball, now I look at that movie as a crock of SugarHoneyIcedTea.) Then there was Martin and Gina … other than being obsessed with the show, I LOVEDDD their relationship and swore I was going to be in love and have a relationship like that, until …

Read Moore

Apologetic.

im sorry

Every now and then, I like to take time for some self-evaluation. During these moments, I affirm myself, choosing things that I admire and pinpointing when I’ve done something good for myself. Also, I find things that I’m not happy with and do my best to work towards changing them. Instead this time, I’m not conforming myself to fit in where I never was meant to. I’ve tried and failed plenty of times when it comes to being someone more acceptable, more normal, more lovable but there is something I’ve always failed at to which I’ve opened my eyes abruptly:

I’M ALWAYS APOLOGIZING.

Read Moore!