New Year’s Eve Reflections

Trey, vacays and learning how to truly live: 2017 in a nutshell!

Good Evening! It has been over 6 months since my last post and there is a very good reason for that: I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with “Amore Luxe” or if I even wanted to blog anymore. I feel like I have been pretty honest with you guys as it relates to what’s going on in my life and my feelings about everything but for the past couple of years, it just feels like I have gone through the motions and living life with no real passion or purpose. I still wanted to help others be the best versions of themselves by sharing my stories and experiences but because I wasn’t in a good place mentally, I was just going with the flow instead of finding new experiences that would help me feel more confident in myself and give me the passion and fulfillment that I craved.  My full-time job as a Director of a daycare center wasn’t what I envisioned for myself and as a result, I felt like a failure.  I wasn’t being an entrepreneur I feel that I am destined to be because I felt stuck in a 9-5 position where I wasn’t growing or evolving. This brought about negative thoughts and feeling and because I was miserable, I wasn’t able to be the best version of myself for the children. parents and staff that depended on me. I would come home emotionally drained and dread doing the same thing the following days ahead.I knew that there was more to life than what I was experiencing and an epiphany moment right before Thanksgiving was the catalyst that helped me restart my life in a different direction and  led to me make a few life altering decisions.

I thought about where I was in life, where I wanted to be and what steps I would need to take to get there. I was at a job that I stumbled into instead of working hard to get to that position and while I was a diligent and reliable employee, that passion and purpose that I desperately needed wasn’t there and when I realized that, I knew I had to move on.  I decided that December 22nd would be my last day because I didn’t want to start 2018 in the same space physically or mentally. After making that step, I knew I would have to figure out how to supplement unemployment with other sources of income. I manage social media platforms for businesses on the side and help college students with their essays/terms/thesis papers and plan on promoting these hustles more because it is something that is flexible and beneficial as it relates to what I want to do with my life. The last step was getting my mind right. I lost my paternal grandmother in October and her death added to the deaths of my other grandparents and father in the past few years was a breaking point emotionally. I just felt like I had no control over anything in life and didn’t know how to properly cope with the fear of that. I finally womaned up (lol) and decided to go to therapy. While I never judged anyone that chose to seek counseling, I always thought that I would have to be suicidal or at rock bottom in general to even consider talking to someone about my issues. I don’t have a problem sharing my issues with others but I always thought that in itself was therapy and I could fix things by just thinking positively and hoping for the best. When that failed time and time again, I felt like therapy was the only way out because I didn’t want things to get any worse than they already were before I got myself together. It turns out that therapy was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I am able to talk to an objective source about my life and my issues and receive feedback from someone who knows what they are talking about and does not judge based on someone’s current circumstances. My therapist helped me understand that a lot of my issues stem from things I never really dealt with in the past. I would talk about whatever was bothering me with someone and then that would be it. I would push it in the back of my mind and try not to think about it instead of tackling my emotions head on and being okay with things not being okay. I hate silence unless I am reading or doing work so sitting there for a minute or two and absorbing what had been said. It was a different approach to handling my issues and it has proven itself to helpful in all areas of my life.

Now that I’m in a better space mentally, I want to also work on the physical so I plan on joining a gym within the next couple of days. I feel like this is the perfect time to do so not only because of all the New Year’s promotions going on but I have the free time to commit to it and can also work on eating healthy to make sure that I will be in the best shape of my life! I’ll be honest with you guys, I am still unsure of exactly what direction I want to go with the site but it will still be confidence based but I’m in more of a vlogging than blogging space so expect more Snapchat/Instagram videos that will be reposted on here in addition to live chats and a podcast that I’m working on with a friend of mine 😉

2017 was a transition year for me and I am looking forward to the new beginnings that 2018 has in store for my life. Thank you so much for your support and always remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

 

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I am not my hair…at least that’s what I keep telling myself!

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On the left: how I normally wear my hair On the right: the curly, wavy, poofy madness I’m currently rocking!

Good Afternoon! I knew that I was going to talk about my love/hate relationship with my hair since Sunday when I decided to wear my hair in its natural state. I haven’t had a relaxer since 2011 but I always wear my hair straight because it’s how I’ve worn my hair since I could remember. Whether it was a “doobie” (roller set hair that is taken out then wrapped around the head and secured with bobby pins) or a “silk press” (hair is flat ironed straight to look like relaxed hair), I have always rocked a sleek and polished style. I’ve worn other types of styles such as curly weaves and braids but I’ve never dared to wear my real hair in its natural state. After trying to manage my hair this summer with the heat and humidity and creating more heat damage as a result, I told myself that I would attempt to wear my hair in its natural state. So this past Sunday I shampooed and conditioned, then put two strand twists in my hair (well had my boss do it for me lol) and let it set overnight and took the two strand twists out the next morning and rocked the curl/wave that it made. When I took my hair out, the only way I could describe it is poofy lol! I wasn’t used to the increase in the volume of my hair and the curls were al over the place. I wasn’t sure if it looked bad or not but I knew I wasn’t comfortable with the style itself. It felt weird not embracing my natural hair and it made me feel like I was brainwashed by society because I feel inadequate unless my hair is straight and appears to be more manageable. I wanted my curls to look bouncy and lush like all the YouTube naturalists that I watch on a regular basis but I was left with undefined waves, curls and poofy madness! My hair wasn’t what I envisioned it to be but I wanted to get over my discomfort and rock this look so I have been for the past 3 days and slowly but surely, I’m embracing it!

I know that for many women of color, managing hair in its natural state is a process in itself because we have to find products that work with our hair type and texture as well as stay within a certain budget (hair products can get expensive!!!) and find the time to do our hair because it can take all day depending on the style. I don’t know if this is a look I can rock ALL the time but I’m definitely going to try to do it more often especially in the summer cause straightening my hair every few days isn’t an option for me. I’ll keep you guys in the loop with my progress 😉

Make sure you tune in tonight at 8pm EST because I will be live on Facebook. The topic is “Eliminating Limitations” and I will be discussing the limitations I’ve tried to eliminate including the ones related to appearance! Hope to see you all in the chat! Also, like/comment/share so we can spread the love and positivity! See you back here on Friday:)

 

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

Fun Friday: My fave video of the moment!

f36c72b540a9677bd0c44b7e07a8b45bGood Afternoon! I’ve had a bit of writer’s block the past few days but I told myself that I would post as long as I felt that it would be inspiring and/or entertaining to my readers. I then remembered what day it was: Friday. It’s the end of a long work/school week and at my job as director/after school program supervisor, Friday becomes “Fun Friday”. It’s all about relaxing and having fun because the kids don’t do homework at the program on Fridays and are able to play with toys, do art projects or play games on their tablets instead. It’s a great way to end the week so I figured I could create a “Fun Friday” of my own on here! Every Friday, I’ll post something or someone who made me stop and smile/laugh in hopes that you will feel the same way!

This week, I was obsessed with watching a little 4-year-old boy dance on “Ellen”. He was dancing to a song called “Juju on That Beat” and while I was shaking my head at the title and lyrics (guess I’m showing my age!), I couldn’t stop smiling because not only could this little boy dance, but you could tell that he really enjoyed himself and would put on the same performance regardless of if anyone was watching. As adults, many of us worry about what others think of us so we are hesitant to say or do things that we feel will get a negative response from others. It’s hard to be true to yourself when you feel like you are always being analyzed and criticized but try to remember a time when you were young and didn’t really care about others opinions because you were happy and in your own little world. I’m not telling you to act like a child but capture the essence of the joy and carefree spirit that kids have and spread it around because it’s contagious. Check out the video below and be sure to share your own videos using the hashtag #funfriday so I can see what make you guys smile!

 

 

New post coming on Monday and I’ll be live on Facebook on Wednesday night at 8pm EST so stay tuned!

Have a great weekend and always remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

 

Insecure

Yup, that's me with the poofy hair and glasses lol

Yup, that’s me with the poofy hair and glasses :p

Hey everyone! Before I get into today’s topic, I just want to let everyone know that I will be live on Facebook a week from today on the 26th. The topic is “Eliminating Limitations” and I will be discussing how I am trying to eliminate all the limitations that have stood in my way. I want to hear your thoughts on the subject so hit me up and I will share them on air next Wednesday! Now back to today’s topic! I am OBSESSED with YouTube vlogger and now TV star Issa Rae and her new show “Insecure” If you haven’t seen it, here’s a summary of what the show is about:

Created by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore, the comedy series Insecure explores the black female experience. Rae stars as Issa and Yvonne Orji stars as Molly. Over the course of the season, Issa attempts to figure out what she wants out of life and how to take control of it, while fumbling her way through this journey. Molly, a corporate attorney who appears to have everything together professionally, struggles inside as she looks for external ways to fix her life.

Meanwhile, Issa’s boyfriend, Lawrence (Jay Ellis), who has fallen victim to complacency, works to get his own act together. Frieda (Lisa Joyce), Issa’s overeager white co-worker, whose enthusiasm is both annoying and endearing, is at the crux of Issa’s racial frustrations at work. 

Issa Rae wrote the New York Times bestseller The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, which was published in 2015. Her web content has garnered more than 25 million views and over 200,000 subscribers on YouTube. In addition to making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list twice and winning the 2012 Shorty Award for Best Web Show for her hit series Awkward Black Girl, she has worked on web content for Pharrell Williams, Tracey Edmonds and numerous others.

Insecure was created by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore; executive produced by Issa Rae, Prentice Penny, Melina Matsoukas, Michael Rotenberg, Dave Becky and Jonathan Berry. (courtesy of hbo.com)

 

I watched the premiere episode last month on demand and I was instantly intrigued. It’s rare that I find characters that I can relate to on television especially ones that put their insecurities on display. As a teen in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, I grew up watching shows like Family Matters, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, 90210 and Boy Meets World among others. Even though there was teenage angst, the teens on these shows always solved their issues in one episode and looked flawless while doing so. If only real life were that easy! Their insecurities seemed so insignificant compared to mine and being young and naive, I thought that I was the only one that had issues with my looks and overall demeanor. Like Issa, I was an “awkward black girl”  but my awkwardness consisted of a skinny frame, glasses and braces. If I was cast on a tv show, I’d be the quintessential geek that always seemed to fade into the background. The geek on tv wasn’t the one that had the attention of the opposite sex so she usually just stayed to herself and buried herself in her books (or in my case my Usher VHS tapes and magazines). In my mind, no one could relate to what I was going through so especially since all the black girls on tv were beautiful and cool I kept my struggles to myself. Then a few years later when I was in my early 20’s, blogging and social media sites became mainstream and my life changed forever. Through blogging, I was able to share my stories and connect with others who had been through similar experiences. I could spread the word through sites such as Twitter and Facebook and I could even stream live and post videos on YouTube. This took the Internet to a whole new level and I had the opportunity to meet people who I would never come in contact with under normal circumstances and was able to express my thoughts and feelings as well as enjoy others forms of expressions. Now this is where Issa Rae comes in!

I was familiar with Issa’s YouTube series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” but didn’t really pay attention until I heard about her semi-autobiographical series “Insecure” being picked up on HBO. I thought to myself “Who is this woman and how did she get a series deal with HBO?” I just had to investigate and find out more. Through my investigation, I found a woman who was perfectly imperfect. She was quirky and weird but it worked for her. I admired her honesty and transparency and although it was content created for YouTube and television, it was authentic and most importantly, I could relate to all of it. I too tend to talk to myself when I need to vent. I also feel like everyone is doing better in life than me and as far as relationships go, I’ve had bad luck with men just like Issa (that’s why I’m abstaining from all things related to the opposite sex for now lol) Finally, I found someone who gets it, who gets me and even though I can only see her through my laptop/phone/tv screen, I know she is speaking to me and other women like myself who embrace our quirks, awkwardness and even our insecurities and not let these things hold us back from feeling confident, beautiful and successful. Issa is a prime example of how being who you are and not fitting any particular mold is the right way to go in all aspects of life! One of my goals is to tell her all of this in person so stay tuned for that epic moment 😀 Dream big or not at all!

 

You can view the trailer for Issa’s new HBO series “Insecure” below  and check back on Friday for my next post! Much love to you all and always remember to love and live luxuriously!