Stranger In My House.

Day in and day out, I wake up to this woman. I fall asleep to this woman. I leave my home and return to her presence. Hell, she tends to even tag along at times. She’s like a fly in my ear at a barbecue, just buggin’ TF out of me. Her walk. Her talk. Her high yellow ass walks around like her shit don’t stink. Head all high with that damn smirk on her face and that one eyebrow raised. Phone rings, she got the nerve to look at the screen and put it back down like she can’t be bothered. The moment she opens her mouth, you’d assume she was a sailor. Cuss words coming from both sides of her mouth without a filter in sight. She has this confidence about her that’s too loud for me and I believe others are starting to feel it too.

Truthfully, she seems like a woman who’s unapologetic in who she is. She knows she’s made mistakes in her life and she’s held herself accountable. From those mistakes, she’s learned. She’s learned who is really there for her and who isn’t. She’s learned how to say “no” without further explanation. She’s learned to set boundaries and stand firm in them. What really trips me out is how she acts like she doesn’t need anybody. I guess you can say she’s learned how to enjoy her own company but if you ask me, I think she’s just gotten to be “too good”. She done removed the wool from her eyes and started seeing people for who they really were … now she’s out here, just cuttin’ everybody off. I mean who does she think she is? We all need somebody, right?

Honestly speaking, she’s who I’ve always wanted to be … who I was scared to be. I used to make myself smaller for others to feel comfortable. I used to belittle others with false confidence to make myself feel comfortable. She exudes love yet leaves plenty for herself. I admire and envy the way she loves herself loudly whereas I’ve looked for love in all the wrong people, just trying to fill that void. What I envy most about her now is her lack of fear. Whatever she thinks or feels, she does. She doesn’t ask for validation. She doesn’t look for reassurance. She just does it. She seems so free and that’s what I’ve always wanted out of life … freedom.

I always kept myself so confined in my comfort zone, never thinking I was able or capable of the things she’s accomplished. I was scared to go through the things she went through to get where she is now. I can only imagine what life came to look like for her once she removed those rose colored glasses. I cringe at the thought … it sometimes even brings tears to my eyes. Yet still, I wanted to be her.

It wasn’t until one evening, I was having one of my crying sessions, locked away in the bathroom though no one else lives with me. The bathroom always served as my safe space. She opened the door without knocking and I saw her hand reach into the darkness where I was. I sniffled and she said, “it’s okay little one. Come on out.” As I crept closer to the light, her face came into view and the stranger was …

Me.

Comfort Zone is Dead Soil.

This piece has not been edited or revised. This is literally my thoughts on paper (or keyboard, for that matter) as they form in my head. Enjoy the ride!

We are about a month and a half into 2021 and I must say … this shit is starting off pretty damn good *runs around knocking on every piece of wood I can find.* Though I still have my days, this internal work and healing is starting to pay off. Today I was sitting on my couch, sipping my tea and while driving down my boulevard of thoughts, I happened to look to the side and say to myself, “Self … are we happy?” Like, I really had to look around and think, “Is this contentment?” Trust, there is probably plenty of shit I can complain about but I just choose not to. So yeah, let me get to the topic at hand to help y’all understand how I got here.

Comfort zones. I have always been a fan of comfort zones until recently. Growing up, I was a full blown tomboy. I was comfortable in my jeans, tshirts, hoodies, and the newest pair of Jordans that had just been released.  I think the most girly thing about me might have been my joy in getting my nails done, Coko from SWV style. I floated through high school that way until I met my first REAL boyfriend. Even then, I still had no idea how to be “girly.” To this day, my “beat face” is some eyeliner, mascara, concealer, and lipstick/gloss. It does not go beyond that sis because I have no idea what the hell I am doing. I do actually want to learn how to do makeup though so please, if you’re reading this and you got tips, help a sister out. Please though, don’t let that tip be “just buy some makeup and go play in it.” So you want me to look like Pennywise’s illegitimate lovechild out here, huh? Don’t do that.

Moving on, this trend of non-girly shit followed me all the way to college. In my freshman year of college, I still had not a clue how to dress, do my hair, or anything of that nature. Think I’m lying? See the pic in the collage below of what I wore to my first speed dating event my freshman year. Don’t scroll now, finish reading first … RUDE. Anyways, as I was saying …

This is where my problem lied. I wasn’t confident in myself whatsoever. I chose to “play it safe” as I wasn’t comfortable doing anything that I did not feel okay doing. I told you a few posts ago that “sexy” and “Shayna” did NOT go together. Why? I did not feel good about myself!!! I sought validation from others and I was not giving it to myself. I was scared to step out of my comfort zone because I was nervous of what others would think. I treated my size as a hinderance for me to do things. I’m not even going to lie, I still have my moments of hesitancy because that little bitch “doubt” likes to creep her ass up on me from time to time. I had to let her know NOT TUHDAY SIS!

2021 is when I decided to make changes for myself. I started truly investing in myself. I was already in therapy (checks that off the list). I purchased a self love planner and the first assignment was to write a love letter to myself. I believe that was the task that really set shit into play for me. I wrote it and when I finished, there were some tears but they were happy tears because I finally told MYSELF all the things I was looking to hear from others and IT FELT GOOD. Though we in a panny, I started venturing out and doing activities SOLO DOLO. My first solo activity was a socially distanced speed dating event and BRUH, the social anxiety wasn’t nothing to play with. Still, I went and I enjoyed myself. Though I didn’t meet the love of my life, I went out and allowed myself to meet new people and interact without the comfort of having a friend with me. 

The next event for me to step out of my comfort zone was a Valentine’s Day COED Sexy Lingerie & Pajama Party hosted by my big sister. I was all for it until I realized, “Bitch! You about to be ass out … IN FRONT OF MEN?!?!?” ***inserts dramatics*** My anxiety started kicking in. My overthinking started rearing her ugly ass head and I was losing it. It wasn’t until I was driving there and listening to music did I think, “Girl, you got this. You bout to look good as FAWK in this red lingerie!” Here’s where my confidence decided to exit stage left … PICTURE TIME. I looked the part but when it came time to pose, I was somewhat lost or if I did do anything, I felt awkward. Still, I pushed forward and honey, I DELIVERED! My sister, the other girls and even some of the guys were complimenting me. Did it feel good? Yes. Was I also screaming internally and anxious to take it all off? YES! LOL. I changed into a nice onesie and my soul was at ease.

Moral of the story is … step out of your comfort zone because life begins at the end of your comfort zone. We hinder ourselves from truly experiencing what life has to offer. Shit, we even hinder ourselves from reaching our full potential when we sit and “play it safe.” I told myself I can’t keep playing it safe because it leaves me stuck with no progression. My anxiety and overthinking has stopped me from doing so many things because of fear of opinions. I had to realize that what doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you. Try doing something that scares you everyday and watch how things begin to unfold. 

Step out of your comfort zone, baby … Nothing grows there.

Butterfly.

As the shit storm of 2020 comes to a close, I know there are a lot of us who are anxiously anticipating 2021 as we have hopes that things go back to “normal.” I am one of the few who is perfectly fine with my new normal and I have no want nor need to return to what I thought was normal.


2020 is the year where God finally took His chancla off and popped me in the back of the neck and head … repeatedly … until I received the sign I asked Him for so often.


I never looked at myself as a strong woman … I honestly just felt like I was built to endure. It wasn’t until I recently posted a before and after on social media had I realized the strength I was capable of. Most saw that post as a weight loss testimony … I saw it as my healing testimony. For so long I considered myself to be broken but I recently learned that true healing couldn’t commence if I continued to let myself be defined by my scars.


2020 taught me to stop playing victim to circumstances I put myself in or circumstances I even created. My therapist told me today that all of us will play three roles in our lives: the heartbreaker, the heartbroken and the fool. I immediately went to make my rebuttal until I humbled myself and said girl, you’ve broken some hearts. After getting my heart broken this year, I packed up all my hurt and ran right to what was familiar to me for the past 15 years. When it comes to my first love, I’m like a moth to a flame though my first love was my first heartbreak. It was in this moment that I became the heartbreaker and had to take accountability for my own actions. I was kindly told to get the fuck on and figure out what it is that I want. Though I was hurt and upset, I took heed to what was said, grabbed my hurt bag and went along my way. To this day, I hold a thousand apologies but a “sorry” doesn’t hold the same weight as a bandaid.


Bag lady. This is who I was for quite some time though I began to realize it wasn’t just my own bag that I was lugging around. I was carrying around so many bags that did not belong to me and wondered why I was constantly tired. I had to learn to let shit go and actually leave it where I left it. Those bags always contained the thoughts and opinions of others, and it’s this weight that I’m most proud of losing.


I’ve lived my life for so long, constantly questioning and second guessing myself … constantly doubting my own damn magic. I could talk a good one but my walk told a completely different story. These last few months of 2020, I learned to create space for myself and bask in it with … myself. I like to think of this space as my own personal cocoon. I curled up in this cocoon and began sorting out my shit. I acknowledged my wrongs and held myself accountable. I acknowledged my own toxicity and held myself accountable. I acknowledged my own trauma and sought help without assurance from anyone but myself. In this cocoon, I humbled myself and began to start over.


I look at pictures of myself now and can’t help but be so wholeheartedly in love with myself. When you’ve spent a majority of your life unhappy with the skin you’re in, finding that self love is such an exhilarating moment. Please believe, there is still work to be done. Healing never stops … it continues as new scars will develop as we experience more of life’s bumps and valleys. Instead of watching every step I take, scared of what cracks I may trip over, I glide … hell, I even feel like I’m flying sometimes because I’m no longer worrying about what will happen next. When butterflies emerge from their cocoon, they’re not hesitant or nervous. They stretch those wings and leap right off that branch … leaving the cocoon of their past behind.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. – Maya Angelou 🦋

Growth.

Ever drove by a garden and saw there was one flower that was taller than the rest? Ever sat at a table and realized you no longer had an appetite for what was being served?

In life, we go through many phases and most of the time, we don’t have a name for these phases … these chapters. Hell, I can’t say how many times I’ve named this current chapter that I’m in, LOL. First, it was self, then it was healing, and then it was self-love … the list goes on. Ultimately, I landed on “Growth” today so bear with me because the shit might change tomorrow.

Lately, I’ve been catching myself in moments where I look around my place and I think to myself, damn … you’re alone again. It’s not too soon before those moments change and I bask in the feeling of my own company. The truth is I love being alone, I just don’t like feeling alone. Through these moments though, I have come to realize that I wholeheartedly enjoy the solace and peace my own company brings.

See, the “old Shayna” as I like to refer to her as, didn’t like to be alone. She didn’t like to upset anyone but she consistently did herself a disservice when she would lie and tell everyone, “I’m fine”. She often wore a mask of the woman she aspired to be … a woman who was strong, witty and took no shit. I think that’s the Shayna everyone had come to know and love until I lost myself. The “old Shayna” began to sink deeper and deeper behind the mask, keeping up a facade of strength and bravery when she was really scared, fragile, and tired. She stayed behind that mask for as long as she could until the pieces began to chip away the more and more she broke. She was hoping for a savior … for someone to help her with her own broken pieces but she’d worn this mask for so long that everyone thought she was fine. She finally realized that it was time to take the mask off, it was time to put the cape on and be her own hero.

Healing requires growth and lately I have been standing firm, damn near wiggling my toes in the dirt as I root myself. The “old Shayna” is buried beneath my feet and ain’t no resurrection for little miss “I don’t have boundaries because I want people to stay around.” Well let me tell y’all, the “growing Shayna” (ooo, I like that) has established boundaries and there are some people who absolutely HATE it!!! What “old Shayna” didn’t realize was a lack of boundaries invited a lack of respect. Having no boundaries caused people to take advantage of her and mistreat her, and there are some people who really believed that shit was going to continue. Well excuse me but this growth applies to YOU too! When someone is growing, you’re not exempt from the newness that they’re walking in but to those people, the old you was easier to manipulate and manage. Who the hell do you think you are letting them know what you won’t tolerate anymore?! What’s that quote say y’all?

“I don’t care what I allowed in the past … TRY ME TODAY!”

I tell y’all this because it’s time to start advocating for ourselves, being there for ourselves, and pouring into ourselves. It’s also important to start being honest with ourselves. Pretending to be okay when you’re not doesn’t just hurt but it’s absolutely exhausting. When you’re growing, you will realize that you are outgrowing old habits and even people but please be advised that you are NOT wrong for that. It’s not your fault if there isn’t anyone who wants to grow with you. Some journeys are best taken alone. 

Take your mask off and don’t be like the “old Shayna” because …

I was a caterpillar talking butterfly shit when I hadn’t even begun to spin my cocoon yet.

Forgiveness.

Before getting my sexy back, I spoke with y’all about experiencing different chapters in our lives. For those of us who are committed readers, how many happy endings did you come to before reading about the villain who came and fucked everything up? How many of us can actually acknowledge that sometimes we’re the villain in our own stories?

Through this transition, I’ve been doing a lot of self reflection, as I frequently do. I’ve never been the type of person to label myself as a victim or to even carry the title proudly as some do. I realized while processing my current chapter that I’ve been the villain in my own story on a few occasions. Many of the recent traumas I experienced were because I allowed them to happen and this revelation has lead me to kicking myself in my own ass … beating myself up for allowing such bullshit to not only occur but continue.

Now, I’m no longer beating myself up. I’m accepting the lessons I decided to learn the hard way and forgiving myself as well.

I forgive myself for losing myself while helping others find themselves.

I forgive myself for trying to be the peacemaker even though being the peacemaker isn’t always peaceful.

I forgive myself for meeting someone at their potential rather than accepting their reality.

I forgive myself for settling for less than I deserved.

I forgive myself for thinking I deserved less.

I forgive myself for doubting my self worth.

I forgive myself for feeling as though it was my obligation to heal someone.

I forgive myself for placing myself and my feelings second to others.

I forgive myself for being a rehabilitation center for others instead of using my own tools to rehabilitate myself.

I saw a meme that said “no one tells you this but the healing hurts more than the wound” and I’ll be damned if that ain’t the truth. Your healing is your responsibility. There’s going to be the good parts, the bad, and the ugly … because when I cry, I give Taraji a run for her money with the ugly cry LOL. It’s all apart of the process though … you can’t skip these parts and don’t try to as you’re only hindering your process. Keep pushing y’all … and forgive yourself because there ain’t one of us out here who’s perfect.

Bringing Sexy Back.

Today I saw a quote on Facebook that said “Being called ugly all your life then having people attracted to you in adulthood is weird”, and I immediately felt that. Growing up, I was always chubby, heavy set, overweight … whatever the hell they wanted to call it. I never knew what it felt like to be desired or wanted in middle school and high school. My tomboy ass was on the basketball team and rocked straight back cornrows like I was Cleo in Set It Off. I rocked Jordans like it was my job and the most girly thing about me were my SWV nails, LOL.

Life changed when I got to college and I started receiving compliments which I couldn’t take to save my life. One of those compliments were “sexy.” My awkward ass didn’t know ANYTHING about being sexy. SEXY?! I was the type who would try winking at a dude and ended up blinking but each eye was delayed. Embarrassing much? Lap dance? HA! Excuse me while I fall over your legs and step on your toes .. SEND HELP SOMEBODY! I need Meg the Stallion’s knees!

Reclaiming your “sexy” is no easy task, especially after a bad relationship or a string of bad relationships where your confidence took a hit. Remember last week when I spoke about chapters … well, bringing sexy back is apart of my “self” chapter. I recently spent a weekend with my sister tribe and we enjoyed some libations and laughs. Apart of the soirée was to wear some sexy lingerie and I, for one, have never wore sexy lingerie. First of all, some of the shit be complicated as hell. Where does this string go? This snaps to what? F*ck it, be happy my bra and panties match sir 😂

I am in a space where I get sexy for myself and I let my definition of “sexy” be what it is. I’m awkward and I’m funny therefore that’s what comes along with my “sexy.” Sometimes I will prance around my apartment by myself in my little sexy numbers with music playing and wine in my glass. When I pass by a mirror, I hit reverse and say, “DAMN GIRL … YOU KILLIN’ EM!” I say all of this to say, embrace your sexy again ladies. Do it for yourself and enjoy it because regardless of your size or shape, you look good girl! Don’t you EVER forget it!

In conclusion, I can write some sexy shit so I’m blessing y’all with a little something …

 

BEG ME

There he stood, with eyes glaring at me from behind black-rimmed glasses and a smirk on his face.
Meanwhile I stood before him, motionless and wondering how on Earth did I get to this place?
I’ve fought these feelings, this temptation … date after date,
Thinking back to that movie like “90 days girl, make him wait.”
But the sexual tension began to build higher than the wall I’ve made,
and the anxiousness I’ve been feeling, I can no longer escape.
He took a step forward and pulled me into his chest,
so close I could smell the cologne he wore through his vest.
Our eyes met where I could see his lust and desire,
my breathing quickened, preparing for what was about to transpire.
He grabbed the back of my neck as our lips met,
and our tongues danced as my hands tugged at his pants.
He broke our kiss and released me suddenly,
as I stood there … hot, bothered, and ready.
”Tell me what you want,” he said as he walked over and sat on the bed.
”I want you to fuck me”, I replied, looking directly in his eyes.
He smiled and laid back with his hands behind his head and said, “I want you to beg.”
I walked over to him and sat myself on his lap as I pulled him up and wrapped my legs around his back.
He grabbed me by the hair, pulling my head back as I heard the hooks of my bra unsnap.
My neck was exposed and the trail he left with his tongue to my earlobe resulted in the curling of my toes.
I couldn’t fathom some of the sensations he’s awakened,
as he licks and blows, my body shivers with every breath that I take in.
As he continued his assassination of my will, the urge increased for my juices to spill.
I could no longer withstand his tease and the last thing I remember as he slid his fingers in me was my moaning voice cry out …

 

PLEASE!

Black Girl, Interrupted …

The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes self-love as to “love of self” or “regard for one’s own happiness or advantage.”

“People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel and want. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than on what others want for them. Act on what you need rather than what you want. You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs.”

How old were you when you first heard of self-love? How old were you when you actually learned how to engage in self-love? Let’s be honest, they didn’t teach us how to love ourselves in school. They didn’t teach us the concept of conceit and egotism. They taught us bullshit like “y = mx + b” because finding the slope and y intercept is sure helping me address my mental health and past traumas along with Sallie Mae who won’t stop calling my phone. (BITCH, I DON’T GOT IT!)

I decided to write this post because NO ONE TALKS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY, and if they do, they’re not being real or transparent. Well, for those that know me, I’m giving it to you straight up, no ice nor chaser, JUST TAKE THIS SHOT!

Sunday, February 24th was a monumental moment in my life for me. I was alone in my apartment when my depression got the best of me. I said “alright Shay, let’s go have this good cry,” (if you haven’t gathered what a good cry is, look up Dane Cook’s “Vicious Circle”) except this good cry was different. I cried and cried … and cried because I kept saying to myself, “I don’t want to be here anymore.” Now my dramatic ass has had these moments before but not to the extent where I actually started formulating a plan. My fellow mental health professionals know what “the plan” is and means. I even started writing the letter I’d leave behind in my head. Out of nowhere, I stopped and got up off the floor (told y’all I was dramatic, LOL). I looked in the mirror and thought, “holy shit, I’m the 2007 Brittney Spears.” I had completely and utterly lost my shit for a moment. I broke down after constantly bottling my emotions and telling everyone that asked I was okay when I wasn’t.

Not too long ago, one of my best friends told me that I was the “strong friend.” I had to agree because I am selfless. I’m the type to talk someone off a ledge while my world is collapsing beneath me. I always put others before myself. I was always the type to invest in everyone else’s happiness except my own. Then February 24th happened and I realized that in that moment, all I had was me. I looked at my phone but then realized what time it was and said, “Girl, ain’t nobody going to answer the phone.” For the first time, I had to be the strong friend for myself because when you’re up at 3am crying like Taraji in Baby Boy, all you have is you and God.

According to the American Association of Suicidology, there were 44,193 suicides in 2015 alone with 5,491 of them being youth aged between 15-24. The association conducted a study in 2008 which researched the impact of low self-esteem and lack of self-love and its relation to suicidal tendencies and attempts. They defined self-love as being “beliefs about oneself and beliefs about how other people regard oneself.” It concluded that “depression, hopelessness, and low self-esteem are implications of vulnerability factors for suicide ideation” and that “these findings suggest that even in the context of depression and hopelessness, low self-esteem may add to the risk for suicide ideation.”

I say this to say, IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY! It’s okay to think ‘maybe I should find someone to talk to.’ Your friends won’t always have or know the right thing to say, and it’s not their fault. It’s not fair to put that type of pressure on your friends. You don’t know what they may be going through. I have a best friend who checks my mental state before we talk about his shit and I’m thankful for that because some days I’m like “not today, bruh.” I’ve learned to stop answering the phone when I don’t feel like talking. It’s hard giving others a feel better speech while you’re broken inside. So for my black and brown people, ain’t nothing wrong with going to therapy! If you’re going to try and get your shit together, you might as well talk to someone who doesn’t know you and won’t judge you. I’ve been through two therapists so far and I myself as a mental health professional do not like that “So how does that make you feel?” approach. Talk to me as if I’m your sister, let’s have a real conversation! This is why I love April Nichole because she honestly whipped my ass back into shape mentally. I haven’t signed up for one of her therapy sessions yet but I have listened to her podcast, “Nikkie’s Thoughts” and have gotten the READ of my life, LOL.

Love yourselves. Get out of your own way. Life isn’t a walk in the park. Hell, life is like a walk through Jurassic Park honestly but you can make it through. Just believe in yourself, be patient with yourself and trust the process!

Moore or Less …

KEEP YOUR FOOT ON THE NECK OF DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, OR WHATEVER THE WHOLE MOTHAFUCKIN’ WAY!!!

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