I walked home from church one Saturday afternoon, after spending the whole morning writing scripts for our Sunday school’s upcoming lessons. I passed through Park Slope and debated if I should go to my favorite Chinese restaurant, Mr. Wonton. My stomach cravings got the best of me. I walked in and noticed a young, black woman, sitting in the corner, eating General Tso’s Chicken. She was alone. I was empowered by how carefree she was. I’ve eaten by myself before, but seeing her there, at that moment, reminded me how long it’s been since I’ve been a solo diner. I asked for a seat in back of her, not to be a lurker but her area offered the best seating in the restaurant. I ordered shrimp fried rice, and a shrimp roll. They brought over noodle chips with a bowl of duck sauce. I giddily enjoyed a delicious meal, and my fortune told me “If you can shape it in your mind, you will find it in your life…”
That simple moment, led me to think about how content I was. I am single. I’ve been single for quite some time now, however it was the first time in my life where I didn’t feel shame about my singleness or even, complain about it. I love myself. I really do, and it took such a long time to get here but I am here. I don’t want to settle in a relationship. I don’t want to attract men, with empty promises and their inability to remain faithful. I don’t want to compromise myself anymore. I don’t want to lose myself either. I don’t want to give and not get the same back in return. I don’t want to feel alone, even though I have the title of a girlfriend. I don’t want to be worried about where my man is or why he hasn’t called me all day. I don’t want to question if he will feel the same joy that I feel about my birthday or Valentine’s Day. I don’t want to push my man to make more ambitious strides with his life without the same support from him. I don’t want to teach a man how to be a man. I’ve grown tired of it all.
My table was set for two. I looked at the empty seat in front of me, but it didn’t taunt me. It represented the ghosts of the many men that came before, that just didn’t work out. It also represented the bright future ahead of me. I’ve given my love life to God. So while he does the work in me, I know there’s going to be many other times where I will be dating myself, and that’s okay. I am content in where I am right now because I know I am being prepared for a relationship that will last forever.
Taylor’d World is one of my favorite podcasts. So when Taylor, the host invited me on her show I was overjoyed. My first thought was “Finally”. Taylor and I went to school together, we share the same interests, and we’re both Pisces of course the connection was there. My next? What am I going to say? Ahhhhhh.
My experience on Taylor’d World was nothing short of amazing. The first half was about the beauty of blogging. We discussed the ups and downs of blogging. Some of the ways I get inspiration, and dealing with positive or negative feedback and trolls.
Before going into our second discussion, Taylor played a trivia game with me about one of my favorite shows of all times “Living Single”. I got 1 question wrong grrrr!
The second half was all about getting over break ups. We talked about everything from First Loves to learning how to love yourself. Post break up you have to immediately build yourself back up. Some of the things that I did was travel, dive into different hobbies and interests, and really start to view myself as a catch. His loss not mine.
I’ve been thinking about this idea of Self-Love. Society constantly tells us we must love ourselves. So I went on a quest to do just that a few years ago. However, this year, I am finding that there’s a thin line between loving yourself and being selfish. When I am juggling all the things that I am doing on a day-to-day basis, it’s hard to make time to check on others. I want to work on this more in 2016. I want to learn to find a balance in my life and among the people I care about. I feel like when we get so goal oriented, we forget that there’s people in the world who need a simple “Hello” just to know that we care.
Since it was easier for me to talk about this topic rather than type it out, I created a podcast for it. You can click the link below to hear it. The link will take you to my podcast page, feel free to follow it as well. Also forgive my sniffles I’m a little under the weather:
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I remember first going natural. My eyes completely opened to this new world of hair. I spent most of my life being ashamed of my hair and for the first time, I learned there was a community of women who had the same feelings, concerns, and hopes for this revolutionary hair movement. I no longer felt alone. It was a beautiful moment in my life, one that I will cherish forever, because it taught me how to love myself. I finally looked in the mirror after years of doing so and saw a beautiful woman staring back at me.
After 3-years of being natural, my hair completely fell out. I mean, fell out. It was gone. I worked so hard to grow my hair. I watched videos, moisturized, washed once a week, finger detangled, oiled every day and night, and even used a silk bonnet before bed. I thought my hair was strong enough to withstand heat, so when a hairdresser blow dried and flat ironed my hair I had no idea, it would break off only a few weeks later. I could blame it on the heat damage that weakened my follicles but the real issue was I was listening to all these natural hair “experts” internalizing what worked for their hair and thinking it would also work for my own.
Four years after my big chop and I am detached from the natural hair movement. All the information and misinformation began to get overwhelming. One article tells you Biotin and Castor Oil is great for hair growth, while another article tells you it’s not. One youtuber says mineral oil is the worst thing known to man (and hair), while another youtuber tells you there are some good ones out there. So many experts, yet no one is really an expert. It almost felt like the blind leading the blind.
The natural hair movement is one of the best and most powerful movements out there. I thank God it came into existence because I would’ve never known my hair. I would still be wearing weaves, thinking my hair is not capable of growing. I can’t thank the movement enough for my consciousness now but I’ve learned that MY HAIR is teaching me all that I’ve ever needed to know; Not a youtube vlogger or a blogger—the hair growing on top of my head. I can’t emphasize enough how important that is. Now, I am not as anal about my hair. I wash it 1-2 times a month and do a protein treatment when I do. I moisturize it with water every day and an oil of choice (now its coconut oil). I take my hair, nails, and skin vitamins every single day. I doubled my intake of water, which is huge because I was one of those people who thought water was “nasty”. I honestly just let my hair do the talking and I am so amazed with its progress! It’s not where it used to be but gradually getting there. When you first go natural, the excitement is there, and it should be, I never want to take that from anyone. But with time you will learn, like me, that your hair is the best teacher!