Motivation Monday: Jharrel Jerome Wins Emmy

Good Morning! I was so excited to post about the Emmys because the person I was rooting for most won. If you haven’t figured out from the title who that is, let me type in all caps so you don’t miss the memo: JHARREL JEROME!!! Many of you first became aware of him from his role in Moonlight and although I though he did a good job in that particular role, I didn’t really pay attention to him until June 1st 2019. I remember that day vividly because it was the day after my birthday but also the day where I watched a cinematic masterpiece “When They See Us” (directed by the genius filmmaker Ava Duvernay) with Jharrel’s heartbreaking performance in the forefront of my mind.

Even though “When They See Us” premiered on May 31st, I had birthday plans so I decided to watch it the following evening in the  comfort of my home. There were 4 episodes that felt like mini movies and while each episode touched my heart, the 4th episode is the one that made me break down and sob hysterically. The 4th episode featured Jharrel Jerome’s performance as Korey Wise, one of the 5 men previously known as the Central Park 5 who were tried and convicted of a crime that they didn’t commit. Since Korey was 16 at the time, he was tried and convicted as an adult and served time in a maximum security prison. Because of this, his experiences differed from the the other boys and Jharrel’s gut wrenching portrayal of Korey touched my soul. I was blown away by his commitment to the character and the fact that he was able to give the viewers a glimpse into what Korey went through (his solitary scenes and the scenes with his mom are the highlights of the 4th episode) gave me a better understand of how unjust the criminal justice system really is especially for people of color.

I knew he would be nominated for an Emmy and I was pretty confident that he would win but sometimes award shows become popularity contests instead of focusing on pure talent. Fortunately, Jharrel won and received a standing ovation so I believe it was a mixture of both, I loved his speech because it showed his humility, shock and appreciation. Even though he was more than deserving, he did not expect to win and I feel that he brought back the excitement and joy that award shows have been missing. He is a perfect example of when you give your all for someone you believe in, your hard work will pay off.  I can’t wait to see what is next for him and I know that he is definitely on his way to an Oscar. He’s only 21 years old so I can see it happening for him in another 5-10 years for sure! Gotta shout out Ava and the rest of the cast because even though they didn’t win, they showed the world the ugly truth about racism and prejudice from the past that people of color still deal with today. Hopefully the Golden Globes get it right 🤞🏽

Check out Jharrel’s acceptance speech below and let me know what you thought of “When They See Us” and the bigger conversation we need to have as it relates to race. New post will be up on Wednesday.  Until then, I hope everyone has a great week and remember to love and live luxuriously!

Lessons I Wish I Knew Before I Entered My 30’s

Good Morning! 2019 has been a year of self-reflection and making moves based on what makes me happy instead of what I feel is expected of me. I realized that in my 30’s, there is no more room for playing around. I have to get on my grind with no more excuses or apologies. Even though I have no regrets on any past decisions I’ve made, there are things I wish I knew before I entered my 30’s. Read on to see what my Top 3 life lessons are!

Your Journey Is Yours And No One Else’s
Ever since I could remember, I wanted to be part of the entertainment industry. I always assumed I was going to be behind the scenes doing A&R because I was shyer in my younger years and just wanted to work on artist development and help the artist reach his/her full potential. Around 2009, I started blogging on the Blogger platform and sharing my personal experiences as well as my poetry and someone suggested that I turn my blog into a website that goes into further detail about love, sex and relationships. I liked the idea and launched my website (then known as The Angielala Experience) in 2010. It was through the site that I realized that I enjoyed being in front of the camera especially when I was part of discussion panels and hosting events at my college. I  found my true calling and decided that I was going to become the Internet Oprah. I felt that I was on my way when I landed interviews with celebs such as Trey Songz, Chilli and Naturi Naughton as well as working for brands like Kodak while in college but by the time I hit 30, it felt like my career was at a standstill. I wasn’t fulfilled in my personal life or my professional life and it seemed like everyone had it together but me. By the time 2017 came around, I was at my lowest point.  I lost my father 3 years prior and my grandmother in October 2017 so that along with the fact that I felt stuck at my job made me feel like there was nothing to look forward to. After much thought along with the encouragement from my friends, I decided to go to therapy which was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Therapy made me realize that I don’t have to have it together right away and that as long as I was making the steps necessary to bring about change. Most importantly, I’ve learned that comparison is the thief of joy and that by focusing on what others are doing, I lose sight of my overall goals and treat the journey as a race when its a marathon. I am not where I want to be but I am much further than where I was when I was at my lowest point and that’s because I have tunnel vision and am only in competition with myself.

The One You Are Meant To Be With Will Come Along When The Time Is Right

I was never the type of woman who liked to date. When I like someone, I tend to get attached and want to settle down and be in a relationship. I am picky so if I fall for someone, its because I see something in them that makes them stand out. Unfortunately, the bad has outweighed the good especially in my last situationship and instead of letting go and moving on, I stuck around and tried to make things work because I didn’t want to be alone. As I stated previously, I don’t have any regrets but staying in that situation held me back from being the best version of myself. How can I promote confidence when I am in a situation that has me doubting myself and what I deserve? When you know better you do better so instead of trying to convince him or change his mind about us, I finally let him go and decided to use that energy to get my life together. It feels so refreshing to not worry about someone who in all honestly didn’t put that much energy and time into worrying about me. I know now that I can only focus on what I can control and that’s the decisions I make and how I see myself and once I realized that, things started to fall into place. I know that the right man will come along when I am ready to see him and receive him but until then, my physical, mental and emotional well-being are my priority and though I am single, I am not lonely because I am using this time to fall in love with myself!

 

You Have To To Make Self-Care A Priority

When I was in my 20’s I was thin and could eat just about anything without worrying about gaining weight but as soon as 30 hit, I noticed the pounds coming on and by the time I was 32 in 2018 , I had gained a good 15-20 pounds and while I love the extra weight in my boobs and thighs, the stomach pudge has got to go! I haven’t been as consistent with diet and exercise as I should have but I will get it together! Most importantly, I had to take time out to pamper myself like giving myself a mani/pedi and meditating to ease any anxiety and stress. Going to the spa helps as well and I’ve been a few times in the past few years and plan on making more trips. I also want to do yoga but I’m not trying to spend money so I’m considering doing it from home for now. Although these activities are nothing major, they make me feel better about myself and when I feel good about myself, I can conquer the world!

 

What are some life lessons you wished you knew before entering your 30’s? Let me know in the comments section below. New post coming on Friday so stay tuned for that! Until then, always remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

Being Brutally Honest With Myself

I know it’s been a minute but I had a lot of things to get off my chest so forgive me if this post is a bit all over the place but I wanted it to be read in its purest and rawest form without trying to sound perfect or profound. I’ve been MIA for a lot of reasons mainly because I was feeling uninspired/unmotivated/depressed/down on my luck, etc. I wanted to present the best version of myself and I felt that until I could do that, I was going to stay away from blogging and mainly lurk on social media with the occasional snap or ig flick. As a result, I gained social media envy and just felt like my whole life was a complete failure compared to that of my former classmates, family, friends and influencers. I knew deep down inside that you can’t take everything on social media at face value and that people usually  present the best versions of themselves but I still allowed it to control the way I felt about my life and all the losses that had occurred.  At the end of last year, I started going to therapy after my grandmother died because I was feeling lost and unsettled. My life felt like it was in shambles and I had no control over it. I was at a job that I didn’t like and I felt like I was settling and being complacent. My therapist made me realize that I had to take a leap of faith to see change so I decided the first thing that I had to let go of was the comfort and security of my job.  I left my full-time job to follow my dreams of being an entrepreneur (social media marketing maven/blogger) but those old feelings of inadequacy came creeping back in. Though I was gung-ho at the beginning of the year and initial launch of “Amore Luxe Media”, the energy and steam wore off when I didn’t receive immediate results and the cycle of feeling uninspired and unmotivated started yet again. What made it worse was that I didn’t have a good excuse to not try harder. My closest friends were making moves, taking chances and pushing themselves past their comfort zones. They were living their lives unapologetically and even though sacrifices had to be made, they knew that the result would be worth it. If you watch the hit HBO show, Insecure, I felt like I was Issa and Issa is me. She was the one in the group of her friends that was at a job that didn’t fulfill her and was watching her life spin into chaos while the ones closest to her were living their best lives. I didn’t wanna be the “Issa” of the group so I had to have a brutally honest conversation with myself to figure out what to do to not suck in life lol

 

The “Insecure” scene that changed everything .I REFUSE to be the Issa in my group of friends 😂 😂😂

I came to the conclusion that I need to set out specific goals for myself, attack them ONE at a time and be consistent and persistent. I am the type of person who expects to see instant results instead of being patient and continuing to put the work in even when I may feel like wanting to give up or feel like I am heading towards failure. Between watching Oprah and Will Smith inspirational videos, I’ve learned that failure is inevitable but it is how you handle to  that makes you a true contender in life. I was running away from my challenges in fear of failure and not attempting to give it my all is worse than any feeling that failure brings. I know that it’s a journey and it’s going to have its bumps and battles but giving up can no longer be an option. Excuses no longer cut it and while perfection is ideal, it shouldn’t be the main focus of everything that I set out to do. In order to live, I have to learn and embrace whatever is coming my way. I am strong enough to fight the battles and smart enough to know that failure or rejection isn’t the end but just another challenge I have to overcome to get what it is that I dream of. I have so much that I want to accomplish and normally I would list it all but for now, I’m keeping a few things to myself and will share them with you all as I make them happen.

  “You don’t become what you want, you become what you believe.”

     ― Oprah Winfrey

 

“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.”

― Will Smith

 

For those who have supported me since “The Angielala Experience” days, I love you and I appreciate everything from the positive feedback, constructive critiques and every like/share/comment on social media. I am still in the process on what direction I want “Amore Luxe” to go in because I feel like it’s all over the place at the moment but I know that I still want confidence to be the focus and I hope that this post and all that follow it inspire and urge my readers to take chances to make the necessary changes in life.  I know it’s tough but you can do it and I believe in you just as much as you believe in me and going forth, I promise that I will make sure to provide content that will help you be the best you. Let me know what you think about this post by liking/commenting/sharing. Much love to you all and always remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

Black Panther Review *Spoilers Included*

Good Morning everyone! I know its been close to two months but I’ve been working on my side hustle “Amore Luxe Media” that I will be discussing within the next few days. Working on that project has taken up most of my time but I said in my last post that I would start posting more content so I’m gonna do better in 2018 I promise! I figured I’d start this year on a high note and what better way to do that than to discuss the year’s most anticipated movie. I am talking about Black Panther of course! I have been dying to see this movie for over a year now and when it was released in theaters 10 days ago, I made sure that I had the perfect seats and that I purchased 3D tickets because I had to experience Wakanda in all its glory and  I am very happy with my decision.  Black Panther was such an amazing film that I ended up seeing it a second time. I wanted to wait at least a week to discuss my favorite parts but I couldn’t wait any longer so if you haven’t seen it, close this tab now because I’m about to tell it all or at least the best parts lmao

 

spoiler alert

First off Wakanda is such a beautiful world.The mountains and waterfalls are what dreams are made of! I wish it was a real place so I could save my coins to go visit! The only thing that competed with the scenery were the people. I loved the different tribes that were represented and their attire and I enjoyed knowing that the beautiful people on the screen with their rich brown skin were being portrayed in a positive light and were a part of the most advanced nation in the WORLD! Now when have Black people ever been associated with anything remotely close to that level of magnificence in mainstream media???NEVER that’s what but seeing them reminded me of how great we are and showed the rest of the word that there is more to Black culture than slaves, maids and gangsters. The fact that the rest of the world underestimated the power and intelligence of Wakanda and thought it was just another third world country made it even better.I like being seen as the underdog because people will never see what’s coming when you finally decide to showcase your talents and abilities!

love their brother/sister relationship…couldn’t find the “What are those?!?” gif so I settled for this one lol

Now onto my fave characters: Princess Shuri is absolutely amazing! She was my favorite character because she was intelligent, witty and funny and black girls usually aren’t portrayed as such in mainstream media. She brought out the playful side of T’Challa who is normally very serious and stoic and made him more likable. She saved the CIA agent’s life (while reminding him that he was a colonizer lol) and ended up being his boss sort of speak when its usually the other way around in most movies. She had heart and hella jokes and even though I’ve never read the comic books, I’m sure Letitia Wright did the character justice.

Now my second fave character is a toss up between Okoye (played by Danai Gurira) and Erik Killmonger (played by Michael B. Jordan) Okoye is the definition of a strong, fierce, loyal bad ass woman. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and she didn’t succumb to a man because of love and valued loyalty and honor above all else. And she’s an amazing fighter and dare I say it, better than Black Panther when it comes to pure martial art like skills! I bet he couldn’t beat her without his suit on…I would put money on it :p Now as far as Killmonger goes, this was some of Michael B. Jordan’s best work yet. I was never impressed with him as an actor but he really committed himself to this role and I loved his fire and passion even though Killmonger’s approach was all wrong. The line at the end where he said “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, ‘cause they knew death was better than bondage.” was so profound and prolific all I could do was say “Damn!” Like even while dying, he still remained true to himself and his beliefs and I respect that. M’Baku who was the leader of the Jabari tribe was funny too and really came through in the end as far as saving T’Challa’s life and protecting the throne. T’Challa/Black Panther and Nakia were good too and their relationship was kinda cute but they didn’t stand out as much as I thought they would…there’s always hope for more character development in   the sequel fingers crossed

Okoye in all of her fierceness/badassery!

Okay so I have to talk about the bomb that was dropped on us courtesy of Sterling K. Brown (Randall from This is Us). Now I knew that Sterling was in the movie but I didn’t realize that he would play such a pivotal role as King T’Challa’s uncle Prince N’Jobu. We find out towards the middle of the movie that N’Jobu was killed by T’Challa’s father T’Chaka,  the former king who died in Captain America: Civil War (I only watched the scenes with Black Panther’s character so I could understand the back story better lol). That was crazy enough but then we find out that the “villain” Killmonger is actually N’Jobu’s son who was abandoned so that T’Challa’s father’s secret wouldn’t be discovered…Mind Blown! That made the plot so much more interesting because it went from brother vs. brother to cousin vs. cousin and two points of view as far as how to advance as a nation. T’Challa believed in isolation as a way to protect Wakanda and its people and Killmonger believed in killing and conquering to help Black people who are struggling around the world. Killmonger’s passion along with Nakia’s reasoning influenced T’Challa to abandon the traditional way of thinking and share Wakanda’s resources with the rest of the world. Looking forward to seeing a sequel (if I keep putting it out in the universe, I can will it to happen lol) and how the world responds to the fact that Wakanda is so much more than what it appeared to be.

Killmonger was militant and violent but I still emphasized with him…crazy right!

I hope that seeing a Black Superhero with a majority black cast will show Hollywood that Black led films do well in the states as well as internationally. Black Panther has broken all kinds of records and has grossed more than 500 million worldwide in a weeks time. Now if that isn’t showing how much the world (not just the black people in it) wants to see diversity on their screens, I don’t know what else can be done. I also look forward to seeing what Ryan Coogler (the director of Black Panther) has up his sleeve because he has shown himself to be an amazing director and visionary so I know this is only the beginning for him!

What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments below:)

Stay tuned for my “Amore Luxe Media” announcement and always remember to love and live luxuriously!