Creative Writing, Featured, Motivation

Focus Friday: Losing to Gain Wisdom

As a “millennial,” I do believe I’ve been plagued by the “instant,” bug. I want it all and I want it all now. Granted my patience has been tested and without a doubt will continue to be tested  throughout my life. However, I still attempt to be in total control of the situations that occur in my life. Yet time and time again God and the universe remind me that the only control I can truly have is of self.

Aside from that there isn’t much I can do about outside or random circumstances. Of course I play a part in my present and future. I’ve also played a major part in my past but unfortunately there are things such as death for example that are inevitable no matter how much we attempt to delay it.

Yet time and time again God and the universe remind me that the only control I can truly have is of self. 

The other day after traveling all the way from Mexico and back to the northeast I noticed something had gone extremely wrong. On my way to pick up some food with my good friend Cala, I noticed my wallet wasn’t where I had assumed it to be. After dumping out the contents of my bag onto her car floor I broke down crying realizing that my wallet had more than likely been lost in the airport back in Mexico.

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I panicked like most would but the next morning I allowed myself to reflect logically. Not only am I privileged to have had the funds to travel to Mexico but I also landed there safely and returned home safely as well. There are so many unfortunate situations that take place when people travel internationally and nationally alike. Some people are robbed, physically attacked or worse. But not only did my friends and I enjoy ourselves, we also did that safely. Granted it’ll be a pain to wait patiently to see whether my wallet will be found and of course the process to replace those items will be irritating if necessary but at the end of the day I simply lost a thing not a life or person.

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So what does all of this even mean?

Things are replaceable. People are not. There’s this Drake line that goes “Wish you would learn to love people and use things.” Although not completely related to this subject, whenever I hear that line I am reminded that human life is way more valuable than tangible items. We complain about circumstances that can very well be adjusted with time, patience and work. A lot of us are afraid of all three of these things and the rest of us are too lazy to do the work. Then on the flip side, some of us hate not being able to turn the wheels immediately in favor of what we think we need and want in that moment. We want control. In fact our brains trick us into thinking that we need control.

Things are replaceable. People are not.

Losing my wallet really sucks, in fact it sucks a whole lot! Especially being in the current living situation that I am in, it won’t be an easy process to obtain some of my lost contents. However, while losing it was out of my control, gaining back what I lost is now under my control. Being someone who is extremely careful and responsible when it comes to important documents I am still baffled at how it went missing. But, it is not up to me to ruminate on the how’s and/or whys of it all. Instead it’s better I focus on solutions on how to retrieve it back or replace it.

Most of the steps needed have already been completed so the next thing I need to do is wait, be positive and continue going on about my life as normal.

These things happen. People lose things but people also lose loved ones. Yet I am blessed to say the latter did not occur.

We want control. In fact our brains trick us into thinking that we need control.

While this is unfortunate I am also reminded that things are replaceable and people are not. I am also reminded that God and the universe continue to find ways to teach me big lessons in small situations. Last year when I winded up in the hospital about 2 days before my college graduation I thought life was over. That thought was a lie. In fact, that experience was the cherry on top of my graduation.

I am continually being taught that I cannot control all external factors yet I still come back to this mentality that somehow I can. Regardless, no matter how much I may think I lose, in actuality I always win. I may lose tangible things but I gain intangible wisdom and life lessons to share with others around me. Overall, I thought I lost but I actually gained more wisdom than I had prior to this trip. Perhaps it’s not necessary to bring multiple forms of ID on an international trip or have them all in one place. So the next time I travel I will definitely be more prepared.

 

P.S. In the words of Fantasia…

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Thank you for reading! 🙂

If you’ve enjoyed this piece, make sure to let me know in the comments below. Have you ever lost something? If so, how did you react or did you just keep your cool. 

Also, although I didn’t specifically include it in my post if you have any tips on how to keep your cool in a situation as mine, please do share it below as well. I am sure other readers will benefit. 
Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 
Ms. Royale

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Black Blogger, Black Girl Magic, black women, Creative Writing

30 Days of Me Challenge: Day 24- Books Galore

One of my favorite hobbies growing up was reading and later came my love of writing as well. Anyways, due to my love for reading I have always been given books as gifts from family and close friends. So it saddens me that this challenge only asks for “3 books on my shelf,” because I have a huge collection of books (many of which I haven’t read just yet LOL but still). Below you will find the top three books on my bookshelf at the moment and the pictures of them as well.

  1. By Any Greens Necessary

I picked up this gem one of my favorite spots in New Orleans called the Community Book Center. During that time I didn’t fully consider the possibility of me going vegan but it was definitely a thought for me to at least try to be vegetarian at some point. Even though I went vegan back in July, I didn’t really start reading this book until early September.

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Anyways, not only is the title super catchy with its play on Malcolm X’s infamous “By any means necessary,” quote but it is also chock full of facts about the food industry, how to eat healthier through choosing a plant based diet and even has tons of recipes as well. If you are considering changing up your diet or want to learn more about how to revolutionize your eating habits this is the book for you!

2. Acts of Faith

At the beginning of this year I made a few goals, some that I’ve achieved and some that I haven’t which goes without saying. Nevertheless, one of the goals was to return to well balanced diet, start up a consistent workout routine and to read this book daily. Granted I started off shaky, as of the last few months I’ve made it a habit. The overarching theme for this year has been “To remain consistent.” So by taking about a minute or two at breakfast I read another daily meditation and try to keep it in mind through the day. I truly appreciate the wisdom and lessons that Iyanla shares through this book.

Also, as you can see from the wear & tear I really do love this book LOL. Don’t judge me 😛

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3. One Day It’ll All Make Sense

Last but certainly not least is a book I’ve had on my shelf for a few years now. Back in 2013 my college hosted an event with Common as the headliner. No, it wasn’t a concert which I would’ve loved to attend but rather Common dropped about an hour’s worth of wisdom through a speech which was followed by audience questions. I appreciated his authenticity and how willing he was to share details of his humble beginnings. 20131015_205633.jpg

Anyways, towards the end of the event we got the chance to purchase his book. After reading it I felt so much more connected to him, his story and his music. I had always been a fan of his music but after meeting him I became an admirer of his path to success. This book is definitely due to be read a second time.

Common & I at the Common LIVE event at Montclair State University, 2013

As I reminisce on my feelings that night and after reading the book I truly am beginning to understand why I have had to go through certain things. One day it truly will all make sense, I may not receive an answer for it all but more likely than not I will have a reason for most of it.

 

P.S. Shout out to Common for telling me to “Stay Royale,” because I sure have done just that. Forever Royale ; )

Alright, your turn! What are three books on your bookshelf or what three of your favorite books?

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Black Blogger, Black Girl Magic, Creative Writing

30 Days of Me Challenge: Day 22- Who’s That Girl?

Today’s topic is actually quite interesting to me. “What makes you different from everybody else?” is such a broad and complex question for me. On this journey of self discovery and personal development within the last few months I’ve indulged in countless YouTube videos that discuss this topic. Many videos I’ve seen and posts that I’ve read often say that in order to make it in any industry you must be set apart. You’ve got to show the world your uniqueness. What makes you stand out and makes other want to draw near to you? Well, what happens when you have several things that make you stand out, then what?

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Don’t be a jack of all trades & a master of none…they say (Source)

Every time that I have thought about this question I honestly had no clue what to really say. I mean, I’m the child of Haitian immigrants but so are several of my friends. I’m from Jersey but so are tons of people. I’ve moved around quite a lot throughout my life. I come from a two parent family home but have also experienced living with a single mother as well. I grew up in a Christian home and while I still subscribe to those beliefs, I am also more understanding of other faiths as well. I have a college degree but once again many people do nowadays. Also, I’m pretty much completely in love with being a Black woman and Pro-Black especially because while growing up I didn’t fully see the beauty in being Black portrayed in media. I’ve always been heavily into media so this was a huge part of my childhood. Anyways, now that I do see the beauty of my culture I can’t get enough of it.

Now, while all of these details describe me quite well. It doesn’t really make me that different but one thing I have noticed about myself is that due to all of these different experiences I have developed a personality that is quite complex. Then again, I am a Gemini so it could have a lot do with that too or not. But on a serious note, as of late I have found myself confused about how I want my future to look.

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Artwork Inspired by Queen Rihanna who is definitely a Queen of Many Crowns (Source)

Random but related backstory: During high school I was definitely what one would consider to be a “jack of all trades,” or as I like to call myself “a queen of many crowns.” I not only was a part of JROTC but also participated in the annual fashion show. All the while still being on the E-Board of both Student Council and National Honor Society and being on the Tennis and Track Team. (Yes all of that & managed to have amazing grades in honors classes) This love for jumping from activity to activity didn’t stop because it followed me in college as well. From being on the E-Board of the Caribbean Student Organization to being a member of the National Honor Society for Psychology and at the same time being an RA with at least 2-3 other campus side jobs. I’ve always had a desire to do more than others. Not to compare myself or one up anyone but I seriously enjoy having my hand in more than one pot, it is fulfilling to me. 

I guess I’m saying all this because I recently discovered this summer that I am what some call a Multipotentialite or Polymath. There are actually several different words to describe this type of person. Regardless of the title, I now know I am one. I caught myself crying the other day because I couldn’t (still can’t) for the life of me decide exactly what I want to attend grad school for or if I even want to do so.

I have tons of ideas for how my future can go. I know what some of you all might be saying, “Girl, at least you’ve got ideas!” This is true and I value my creative brain, I do. However, it comes to a point where indecisiveness begins to weigh on you. Also, living in a society where specializing in one thing is still largely embrace or taught in schools causes me anxiety about how successful I can actually be in this world.

With that said, I guess what sets me apart from most people is that I am a Multipotentialite. I have ideas galore and though it appears impossible for me, I want to explore all of those ideas even in the slightest of ways. 

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Multipotentialite Defined (Source)

Before I go, I want to share with you all a message my good friend, Bria, sent me the other day as I was venting to her. She mentioned the multi-talented, Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. As I was venting to Bria, I expressed that there was no way I would be able to do everything I wanted to but she quickly reminded me that Donald Glover did. Donald whose musical stage name is Childish Gambino has done stand up comedy, he’s a rapper (with dope music), he’s been a DJ, a producer, director, a writer and the list goes on. 

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Donald Glover at the 2017 Emmy’s with two of his wins (Source)

Granted, he and I are not the same. Hell no one is, that’s what this post is basically about. But, one thing’s for sure we can look to others for inspiration. Below is what Bria texted me. It put things in perspective for me. Yes, it will take some pulling and pushing but if in fact I desire to be way more than what I am today I’ve got to step into the water whether it be hot or ice cold.

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The Text from Bria ❤

Donald Glover has tried it all and been pretty damned good at it all too. So why can’t I at least try to do all that I desire to do? No one is physically or even mentally stopping me from doing so except for myself. After all most of history’s greatest thinkers were also Multipotentialites as well (i.e Aristotle, Leonardo DaVinci, Maya Angelou, and Eleanor Roosevelt). 

P.S. Shout out to Donald Glover for making history at the Emmy’s as the first black person to win an Emmy for Outstanding Directing In a Comedy Series. We are all rooting for you to continue making strides in the industry of music, film, writing, and comedy too!

 

 

Alright, y’all I must apologize for this post being a little bit all over the place but I do know you got my point. Right? I hope you did LOL. Regardless, what makes you different from others? What’s the splendid part of you that no one else can mirror or copy? I would love to hear about it, so please share below 🙂

Also, for those who might feel similar to me, maybe you are also a Multipotentialite or as we were called in the old days “Renaissance man or woman.” You can click here to access more info about what it means to be one and take a quiz to see if you are. Chances are if you are thinking it then you probably are one. 

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Black Blogger, Creative Writing

30 Days of Me Challenge: Day 15- Everyday I’m Shufflin’

I am officially 15 days into my 30 days of me challenge and I am super excited. For those who might be unaware the reason behind this challenge is to enhance my consistency with blogging. Therefore I took it upon myself to make writing/blogging a daily habit.

Alright so today’s challenge is another favorite because it is involves one of my favorite topics which is MUSIC. It’s also very simple, all it asks for is to “Put your iPod on shuffle, First 10 songs that play.” Don’t mind the iPod comment, this challenge is clearly a little outdated LOL so I will be using my Tidal account for this since that is where I listen to my daily playlists. Anyways, this should be quite the ride as I have a varying taste in music. I will add the links to the songs just for some added fun. Here we go!

 

1. Push It-O.T. Genasis                            

Man this song brings me back to my short lived time in New Orleans. I would legit play this song as morning motivation before work. Imagine your teacher rolling up to school with this playing, weird right? Welp I was that teacher. But you know what, it reminded me that I needed to “Push it, push it, push it and go get the money!” and that’s what I did until I left.

2. Just Wanna See You Dance-Lukay

Okay so this song gets me really hype for two reasons, 1) Not only does it sound great but it has an Afro-Beat/Caribbean vibe to it, and 2) It’s sung by my cousin who is a super dope artist based in Canada. You all should check out him out, I promise you’ll want to get up and dance! You can hear all his music on most if not all streaming platforms (i.e. Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music etc.) You can follow him on Instagram @lukaymusic, like him on Facebook @lukaymusic as well and check out more info about him by visiting his website.

3. Prepared- Jill Scott

I think when I saved this song on my playlist it was around the time that I had just quit my job or when I knew it was time to do so. Even though the lyrics kind of hint at a woman who is preparing for marriage, I took it as encouragement for me preparing myself for my future success. Society gets us all up in arms about finding love in others when the first person we need to find that with is ourselves. 

4. 24 Hours-G4shi

One day I randomly stumbled across this song and fell in love with its message. Yeah there is a little profanity but relax there is a good theme to it. I promise you it was on my gym playlist for a good two weeks straight. The hook says “We got the same 24 hours. If you can do it better than me then do it motherf*****.” The overall theme is really inspirational to me because it reminds me that when I compare myself to those who have reached their peak of success the only thing we all have in common is the amount of time in each day. It reminded me that if I really want what I desire then I need to use each hour of the day to its fullest potential.

5. LOVE- Kendrick Lamar, Zacari

This song comes from Kendrick aka Kung Fu Kenny’s latest album DAMN which I loved by the way. This one has such a smooth vibe to it that it reminds me of honey being poured into a hot cup of tea. No seriously, listen to it…now! It made me want fall in love. I literally listened to this every day after the album had dropped. Thanks for this one Kendrick; it’s definitely one of my favs off the album.

6. Alright- Logic, Big Sean

Logic is a new rapper whose music I am in love with. His flow is dope and no offense to other new rappers but I can understand each word he says. Anyways, overall this song reminds me to “Get my mind right,” as Logic repeats in the hook. If you’re a rap fan I’m sure you’ll enjoy this.

7. We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue- Curtis Mayfield

Alright so the next two songs are just a glimpse of my love for old school soul and R&B. Curis Mayfield, rest his soul, was one of the most politically and socially conscious charged artists. Most of my favorite songs by him involve the issues of Black life in American society. This song is 6 minutes long with good reason because it focuses on the issue of colorism within the Black community. Essentially it highlights the fact that regardless of what your skin tone is when you are Black you are just that. I appreciate this take on the issue and it reminds me of “The Story of OJ,” from Jay-Z’s latest album 444.

8. Best Thing You Did For Me- Dee Dee Sharp

Now this song I just discovered two weekends ago while listening to an old school radio playlist. I got sucked right into loving the song because the first line sums it all up by saying “The best thing you did for me was set me free.” When I tell y’all that part is all I needed! The first person that came to mind was honestly my ex. While washing dishes I really began to come to the conclusion that had I remained in that relationship all throughout college and my early 20s I would have no clue who I am or what it is that I want. So thank you for that. Thank you so much for letting me go.

9. Smile-V. Bozeman, Timbaland

One day at work I decided to find a feel good playlist and this is one of the songs that came up on it. I don’t care what kind of music you’re into, this song sounds good! V. Bozeman’s voice is so silky and powerful. Also, of course Timbaland added his magic touch on the beat and his own vocals complemented with V. Bozeman’s is just the right match needed to move the song along. It makes me just want to dance in the park dressed in a flowy summer dress.

10. Love Drought- Beyoncé

Last but certainly not least is this song by the lovely Queen Bey. Yes I am a member of the #Beehive so act accordingly LOL. Anyways, this was definitely one of my favorites from Lemonade. Honestly this is another song that makes me wish I had someone to dedicate it to but in the meantime it’s about me. As Bey says “The only way to go is up,” and she later sings “You and me could move a mountain.” I feel like those lyrics resonate with my current mood in life. I am a force by myself that can move mountains with my faith and I’m only going up from here.

 

Alright, so which one of my fellow music lovers want to join in on this challenge?

Come on, you know you want to! Put your music playlist on shuffle and type the first 5 or 10 songs that come on. I’d love to see how similar or even different our tastes in music may be. Also, comment below which song from this list is your new favorite or if one of these were already one of your favorites.

 

 

 

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Black Blogger, Creative Writing, Music

30 Days of Me Challenge: Day 10- Music Puts Me in Control

Today’s challenge calls for one me to focus on one of my favorite topics ever…MUSIC!!! Alright so as much as I want to go all the way in on this post I’ll refrain. I want to keep these challenge posts as short and sweet as possible. So the challenge asks for “Songs that you listen to when you are happy, sad, bored, hyped or mad.”

I’ve always been an avid listener and lover of a wide range of genres but one of my all time favorites is Hip Hop. So for the most part you can find me jammin’ to some old school rappers when I super happy or hyped. Sometimes when I’m sad I’ll flip on some 70s soul or Neo-Soul. There is something about soul music that tends to give me a sense of healing in some sort. Growing up in Florida my siblings usually had the radio set to Sunny 104.3 which played an array of classic rock, 80s music, and alternative songs as well. With that said, in middle school you could find me making CD mixes with melancholy type tracks. I know that some people find it weird, but I’ve always been the type to find songs that would help me cry. I guess now that I’m older I understand that desire to be a part of my healing process, it’s so cathartic.

As far as music when I’m bored or mad I don’t think I have much. Perhaps when I’m mad the go to would be songs depicting one’s anger about someone or something that upset them. Basically the music needs to match my mood. For example, I’ll never forget in high school when I won 2nd place for an essay contest. I was due to read the essay as a speech in front of my peers. When I tell y’all I threw my MP3 earbuds in so quick and flipped to Tupac’s “Me Against the World,” and instantly felt more confident. So if I am angry about something or someone chances are I’ll play some hardcore rap or smooth jazz to soothe my feelings out. Yup from rap to jazz real quick.

Now that I think of it the music I listen to when I’m bored would definitely be 80s pop songs because they just have so much excitement to them. Plus I can sing along to nearly every lyric. There are also times when I’m feeling super nostalgic so I’ll play old Haitian band songs that my father would play on our family record player.

Lastly, but certainly not least I’ll play Gospel music in any mood. Of all the music listed that can help me when I’m sad, mad, hyped, bored or neutral. Gospel songs keep me grounded and centered with my faith in God. All in all I find music to be helpful in bringing me to terms with my emotions and just helps me to have fun.

P.S. I will definitely revisit this topic later on just for the sake of fun & my love for music 🙂

Alright so now it’s your turn!

What type of music do you all listen to throughout the day or that helps you in times of different moods? GO!!!!

 

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Black Blogger, Black Girl Magic, black women, Creative Writing, Featured

30 Days of Me Challenge: Day 7-Latest, Greatest Inspiration

There are several people who have inspired me up to this point in my life. I could go on for hours about the phenomenal women and passionate men within history whose stories I seek for refuge and comfort to endure life’s many trials. However, for the purpose of today’s challenge “A picture of someone or something that has made the biggest impact,” I will choose someone who’s work I am extremely passionate about in the present time. My latest, greatest inspiration is the lovely, awkward black girl herself, the queen of web series and the queen of taking her writing to the next level by securing a TV deal with HBO, the Issa Rae.

 


As a fellow awkward black girl who also happens to be a writer, Issa’s discography truly inspires me to never doubt small steps. In one of her interviews I recall her saying that her success took about 9 years. Me being the impatient person that I am, I often look at my 23 years of age as if I should already be established. However, thanks to people like Issa I am reminded that dreams, much like plants, need to be watered daily and touched by sunlight in order to flourish. So if I am truly passionate about my writing then time should mean nothing to me. I want to inspire younger generations of Black girl writers to know that their voices are just as important as the voices of anyone else. Thanks to Issa, I have that inspiration and I will continue on that legacy once I stop allowing doubt and procrastination to fill my head with lies. Just kidding, through my blogging this is just the first step to many more dreams to manifest.

Can Issa Do Any Wrong? The answer is no. She’s dope beyond words.

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Thanks Issa Rae for simply being you. I know you don’t know me yet, but you are my 5th big sister in my head and also my mentor. Thank you for ABG and thank you for Insecure, both shows reflect my life in ways I can’t even begin to explain. Perhaps you’ll never see this but the positive energy is out there and I hope it’s finding its way to you!

Love & Light,

 

 

Ms. Royale

 

 

P.S. For the readers out there, who inspires you and why? 🙂

 

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Black Blogger, Creative Writing, Featured

30 Days of Me Challenge: September 1st

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Alright so Day 1 is “A recent picture and 15 interest facts about yourself.” Here goes nothing…

  1. I am the 7th & youngest child of my family. 

  2. My first official language was Cringlish (A mix of creole and english).

  3. I’ve been a creative writer since middle school. 

  4. I’ve lived in five different states.

  5. My first semester of college I got kicked out.

  6. I was a teacher once upon a time.

  7. I graduated on crutches.

  8. My first visit to the hospital since birth was due to the above incident. 

  9. I’m obsessed with old school music.

  10. I didn’t get my license or really learn how to drive until I was 20.

  11. Speaking of driving, I forgot how to ride a bike. Yes it’s possible to forget, don’t judge or laugh. 

  12. My middle name is special & unique to me especially because it’s a spinoff of my father’s middle name and according to him he went back to the hospital just to add it onto my birth certificate. 

  13. I rarely if ever take my own advice (I’m working on it y’all).

  14. I’m a Gemini and no I’m not evil just very creative (most of the greats are). 

  15. I’m vegan which for a Haitian that is quite the anomaly. 

 

Alrighty! That’s all folks, I hope you all enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing this. If you’d like to make your own list and would like to share it with me please let me know in the comments below.

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Black Blogger, Creative Writing, Inspirational Quotes, Self-Care

Focus Friday: 23 Ways To Embrace Your Splendor

Our society is inundated with this blaring message that in order to find love you must first love yourself. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this message, my issue is with the fact that the journey of self-love is often tied with trying to find your “true love.” Why can’t we simply learn to love ourselves for the benefit of ourselves?

It’s key to love yourself not just so that someone else will love you, but also so that you can live a much more comfortable and liberating life. How can you go on living a productive and fulfilling life if you have yet to accept yourself fully? I’ll admit that self-love is a process, so do not be afraid to start that journey (if you haven’t already) because most of us will be on this journey for quite some time. But if you’re one of those people who have already embarked on this path to self-acceptance, and self-love then you are on the right page already.

So check out my 23, yes 23, Ways to Embrace Your Splendor.

  1. Daily Affirmations
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Gabrielle Union as Mary Jane in the Series “Being Mary Jane.” (Source)

These are honestly some of the best things to apply to your daily life. Think of a daily affirmation as your life’s mantra. Think of 3 positive keywords you want to be reflected in your life and state them daily in the mirror to yourself.

For example, “I am powerful, phenomenal and precious.” You can even go as far to say something along the lines of “I am a treasure and should be treated with the utmost respect.” For those of us who saw Girls Trip, we can link this back to the Regina Hall’s character Ryan who was constantly found repeating a self-affirmation in her time of distress.

Regina Hall as Ryan in the movie Girls Trip. Her Daily Affirmation was: “I am strong. I am powerful. I am beautiful.”

Although I’ve never really watched much of it but to those of you who are Being Mary Jane fans, I’m sure you all are familiar with her season 1 post its all over her mirror. If you practice this daily affirmation exercise, I can reassure you that it will help to boost your mood for the day. It’s especially helpful when you repeat and mediate on these words in the morning before going about your day.

  1. STOP comparing yourself to others

This is probably the worst thing one can do, especially in today’s society. Nowadays we are inundated with pictures, updates and such of others that we barely have time to look at ourselves. While that guy or gal might have what appears to be what you want, you do not know what they went through in order to get that desire. Your journey can only be compared to one person and that is…YOU.

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Sister Naomi Letting You Know What Time It Is (Source)

  1. Write
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You Don’t Need to Write An Essay… (Source)

I cannot stress this enough. Writing has gotten me through some of the worse times in my life. You don’t have to be an Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, or Edwidge Danticat. Just get yourself a nice little notebook or hell a sheet of receipt paper (I did this at an old dining hall job I had). But whatever it is, just write how you’re feeling at the moment. Express yourself. Even if you just open up the notes app in your handy dandy device, just type a few words throughout the day to check in with yourself. Hell, it can be as simple as “You good sis?” Yes I call myself “sis,” sometimes. Don’t judge!

Nor do you have to type like this….

  1. Be Real With Yourself
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Just Be Real With Yourself (Source)

If you know that you cannot do a certain thing for whatever reason, don’t try to pressure yourself. Always push but don’t pressure. Be happy with you are at the moment and understand the importance of being transparent with yourself.

  1. Play Dress Up!
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Strut Yo Stuff Laverne! (Source)

Sometimes we just need a day where we slap on some lip gloss or even chap-stick. Do up our hair, put our nicest pair of clothes on and strut our stuff.

  1. Take a Media Break

This goes back to #2, we’re so used to scrolling, clicking and liking to the point where we set up certain standards for ourselves. These standards are often subconsciously developed from what we see on TV but nowadays it’s especially from social media. But guess what? You can control what you see on your newsfeed. Unlike the days when we were growing up with just TV as our main source of media, we can control what appears in our feed based off of who we follow. Regardless, there might be people we follow who seem to be doing better than us which can cause our insecurities to surface while taking a daily scroll. Don’t believe the hype!

  1. Strengthen Your Body
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Don’t End Up Like Mr. Potato Head 😦 (Source)

Sometimes the best way to be more comfortable with yourself is to tone up. While this doesn’t mean to develop a rigorous workout plan, some of us, myself included, needs this in their life. Set goals for exercise that caters to your specific body type, and your mind as well. This can be done by reading more, paying brain games and of course making physical activity a part of your daily life.

  1. Remember Your Story
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Even the Queen of the World Embraces Her Story, Good or Bad (Source)

We all have different reasons as of to how we got to where we are today. Remember the beauty in your past and the ugliness too. Those two factors are what have guided you to the life you are living now. Your story is unique and beautiful just like you are. You have just as much power to positively impact the world as the next person. You just being you is enough already.

  1. Switch Up Your style

This is not to sound superficial but if you want to love the skin you’re in more, then take more time to groom yourself. Now grooming can be different for various people. So don’t think it only means throwing makeup on or wearing the latest trends. Add a little bit more flavor to your usual style. Make it your own. Whatever it is, sis make it pop.

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Switch Your Style, BUT Don’t Steal or Bite From Others (Source)

  1. Accentuate YOUR favorite features

We all have at least one thing about our bodies or our personalities that we love. If you can’t think of it immediately, think about it for a little then jot some thoughts down. Whatever that thing is for you, find it, embrace it and accentuate it. It could be your smile, your legs or your humor. Take that splendid feature of yours and rock it like nobody’s business.

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Embrace Dat Ass Sis…even if it don’t exist 😥 (Source)

  1. Buy Yourself Something Nice

I cannot stress this enough. I understand that everyone’s financial situations are different but there is a helping hand in the app world called Groupon. During my short time as a teacher I used up Groupon to visit nearly every massage parlor, spa or nail salon in New Orleans. If you’ve never had a massage, trust me you are missing out on sweet, sweet splendor. So as my bestie Sam and I often say to each other “Treat yo self!” aka our favorite Parks & Rec line of all time.

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#ForeverMood (Source)

  1. Appreciate Your Differences

Perhaps you feel as if you are an anomaly of some sort or that you’ve never fit in (that’s me). Learn to embrace those differences. We must remember that no one in the world is built like us and therefore we all bring something splendid to the table. Your differences just might be the inspiration someone similar to you needs to see in order to build more confidence within their self.

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Twirl On Them Haters & Embrace Yourself! (Source)

  1. Stop Judging Yourself

Listen here sis, there are far too many struggles in this cold world to worry about. Judging yourself should not be one of those struggles. Let that judgmental mentality go and allow yourself to enjoy life while you can.

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I Know That’s Right Queen Latrice! (Source)

  1. Respect Your Body
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Sometimes You Just Gotta Hit That Body Roll Like Queen Serena (Source)

A lot of us treat our bodies like dumpsters. We dump all types of trashy foods into it as if it doesn’t take us from point A to B every day. Our bodies treat us so well but they’ll treat us even better the better we take care of it from inside to out. My advice would be to fuel it with the proper nutrients, surround it with the right energy and burn the right amount of energy  off too. Don’t just allow anyone to occupy your space, time or your body.

  1. Find What Makes YOU Happy

If that means binge watching hours of old episodes of Spongebob or Living Single while scarfing down some (healthy) snacks or going for a run. Find something that brings you joy in the day and specifically make it a part of your daily routine.

  1. Take Yourself Out
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Me too Craig…me too (Source)

This is another thing I’ve grown to love this year. Some call it masterDating and I love it. I’ve gone to concerts, dinners, and the movies all on my own. In fact, I sometimes prefer that because then there are no expectations that I have for others. I know myself best so I know that being in my company won’t let me down. Going out on your own can seem a bit scary at first but trust after the third time you’ll be a pro. Yes to masterDates! During your moments of solitude, you also get a chance to truly learn what it is that you love.

  1. Watch daily Motivational Videos
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Speak It Into Existence (Source)

I am a motivational video junky. Literally if you go through my YouTube video history or watch later list, all you’ll see is in relation to personal development or regarding living your best life. Trust me it helps. If you watch one everyday for at least 5 minutes before starting your day it can give your soul a nice boost of energy. It’s like an espresso shot for your mind and spirit. Some of my favorites to watch are Les Brown, Lisa Nichols and Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters).

  1. Sip a Splendid Drink
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How Else Do You Live Forever? Duh! Drink that Red Wine! (Source)

Wine? Daiquiri? Smoothies? Or a simple sweet tea on the rocks? Choose your flavor and sip your beverage in peace. If you aren’t already up on the smoothie wave, I urge you to get on it. I have one at least 3-5x a week. But, this is about YOU. Find your favorite drink, blast some music and sip that tea, wine, or smoothie.

  1. Treat Your Body
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You Know What Time It Is (Source)

You don’t even need a spa for spa treatment. YouTube and Pinterest are stock full of DIY spa ideas for your home. So if you’re an introvert like me you don’t even got to leave the comfort of your own humble abode. You can even hit up your local pharmacy for some mini facial packets. I’ve used a few that are so relaxing and rejuvenating for my skin. Another way to treat your body is to cook yourself a good meal…or order one. But, if you are not a big cooker, trust me it can be relaxing once you get the hang of it. Not everyone is the kitchen friendly type and I understand.

  1. Laugh More
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Find some friends to laugh with like this guy! (Source)

Did you know it takes more energy and muscles to frown than to smile? I would insert a link with stats about this little fun fact but I’m too tired to do so at the moment. So google it. Anyways, there is so much to smile about in this world and to laugh about. Yet we tend to get some caught up in the circumstances that make us cry so much more than those that can bring us tears of joy. I tend to laugh a lot because I make silly jokes to get myself through the day. You can find standup specials everywhere or if that’s not your wave watch Teletubbies (I promise you won’t stop laughing).

  1. Take a Damn Nap

Enough said. Sleep. That is all.

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I Feel You Sis! (Source)

  1. …Just Breathe

There’s a song I would hear on the radio as a kid that has always been a favorite. Basically there are times when all we need to just do is breathe. Part of embracing the skin your in is accepting your life for what it is. Now if you are trying to get to the next level you should being making strides towards that. However, it is okay to just breathe and take a break. Give yourself a break when it is necessary.

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Okay maybe not like this but you get the point…(Source)

  1. Drink Water

Look, I ain’t bout to play with you sis. Drink your damn water and go! People out here having all these different conditions and come to find out some of y’all just parched. Quench your thirst, love yourself and moisturize.

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DRINK UP SIS! Moisturize Your Insides LOL (Source)

 

 

 

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

 

 

Ms. Royale

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Black Blogger, Creative Writing, Featured

stuck in these damn 20-somethings

For Your Enjoyment While Reading 🙂

Remember how as a child your first real dream was to just be 18? Then your next dream was to be somewhere in your 20’s. It never really mattered the exact age but you just knew that once your hit your 20’s it would be lit asf (as fuck…for the digital age illiterates *insert eye roll emoji.* We dreamt up all the things we would have done by now. If you wouldn’t be a super famous songstress or fashion icon, at the very least you’d already been in college or have graduated by now. A doctor? Tuh, you would be one by 21 duh cause that’s how life works, right?

SIKE!

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Meanwhile most of us are living like this gif…(Source)

In your 20’s you’d be able to drink, and party to no end. You’d be privileged with all of those adult friendly fun moments that adolescence simply couldn’t afford you with. Your 20’s? You mean the “age of paradise right?” cause that’s exactly what it would be…that’s exactly what you thought it should be. But here you are. You have arrived. If you’ve been granted another birthday and landed somewhere in these 20’s you are blessed. Not too many people make it to this age or any age but out of trillions you are here.

“Your 20’s? You mean the ‘age of paradise right?’ “

So as of late I’ve had endless conversations with some of my besties, homegirls, and such about how we are feeling at this age. For myself, I am 23 years old so of course most of my friends range from about 21 and up. A recurring theme I’ve found in our conversations is one of anxious filled-depressive-fearful-sad-unfulfilled thoughts, feelings and actions. We’re either ruminating about it all on our lonesome assuming that no one else will understand or can relate. Then on the other hand we begin to get so consumed by these feelings of hopelessness. Those same thoughts and feelings soon manifest into actions which are often self destructive or harmful to others.

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How A Lot of Us Look Before Bed or At Lunch tbh (Source)

A lot of us are just starting out in these new careers, grad school, new jobs in general, new environments, and just new everything. High school may have given us some consistency and college too. We had a routine down pact with nothing to really affect it (unless of course like myself you had to keep moving from place to place during your teenage years & essentially was homeless in college so every summer you bounced from place to place….that’s a long story though).

Regardless, I had a routine and it kept me grounded and sane. For the most part I had some type of status in school. My teenage years were filled with accolades from peers, family and teachers alike. These accolades continued in college as well. For some of us, this may have never been the case but just having a schedule that worked or the freedom of adolescence gave us a certain type of peace.

Now we hit this “golden age” of I am now of age to drink and once I hit 25 I can also rent a card, fuck yes! Then once I get to my late 20s I should definitely be married. But most of all I should be happy? After all, I’m an adult now. Right? Right? Isn’t that how it works? Wait…it doesn’t work like that…does it?

NOPE! Newsflash, growing pains is still a thing and welp we are all grown up now.

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Meanwhile… (Source

There are so many expectations and assumptions for these damn 20-somethings that we over analyze every part of ourselves to see what is wrong with us. Why haven’t we gotten to the next level or step of success in academics, love, spirituality or personal development? Why are you still living at your mama’s house and you’re 26? Why hasn’t s/he proposed yet? There’s gotta be something wrong with you.

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Maybe Max had a point (Source)

Why are you still single and you are damn near 30? Hell why aren’t you dating and you’re 23? There’s got to be an issue with your approach, your style or a major flaw in your personality. Maybe your chakras ain’t right sis and you’ve got to work on readjusting them. It’s got to be something wrong with you!

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Married by 20 Something? Ha yeah right! (Source)

But in reality, it is not you. It is all of us. All of us 90’s babies, and yes even some of you 80’s babies (88-89). We all have this constant sinking feeling that we “aren’t doing enough,” or that perhaps “we’ve failed ourselves,” or even our family. You haven’t got that big white picket fence with an American standard family and a dog named Spot (yet). You’re watching everyone on your timeline get engaged, married or at the very least enter into a very serious relationship. You’re watching people at your age even buy houses or go back to school. You said you’d go back to school by 24 but you haven’t even applied (shade at myself). Anyways, once again this is not just you. It is US. All of us are here stuck in these 20-somethings trying to figure it all out. Also, just because you see people “seemingly” having their lives together does NOT mean that is a fact.

Some of us are just having kids and I know for those of you have children that transition into parenthood is quite difficult. I may not understand that struggle fully but I see it for my siblings and friends. Granted, years ago many of our parents had several kids by their 20s, our generation is slightly different. A lot of us are having children much later. Regardless, this whole idea that you should already be married, barefoot and pregnant by a certain 20-something years old is hella scary. I may not fully relate to the struggle of men but I’m sure for some of you your parents are starting to ask when you’re going to pop the big question to that special person in your life. Your mom wants grandkids damn it! Give the woman what she wants. Your dad is ready to give you endless words of advice on the road to marriage.

Everyone is waiting for YOU to get YOUR shit together. What are you waiting for?

Truth is, no matter how much you may feel that others are waiting on you to accomplish all of these things, many people actually aren’t. In fact, most of these thoughts of failure are simply misconstrued ideas we’ve been conditioned to believe must happen by or before certain age. All that is bullshit. Just like many of the shows and movies we’ve seen growing up that largely hammered in the idea of “romantic,” love being the ultimate goal. As if any other type of love is irrelevant or silly to work on.

Just because you haven’t found your “disney inspired prince charming or princess beauty,” (those terms are largely problematic btw but that was on purpose) doesn’t mean you haven’t accomplished much already. Also, there are other types of love! We need to show the beauty of all types of love, whether it be familial, platonic/friendship, or most importantly self-love.

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Friendship Love Matters Too. (Source)

This is going to sound bizarre to some people but to be quite honest for some of us just being here and making it each day alive is an accomplishment. Some of us battle with depression on the daily and it takes everything in us to keep going. Some of us are constantly targeted as threats to society based off of how freely we live our lives or simply for being born with a certain amount of melanin in our skin.

“All of us are here stuck in these 20-somethings trying to figure it all out.”

It is fucking hard out here and I came here to remind you that “you are enough,” even in all your 20-something anxious filled-depressive-fearful-sad-unfulfilled thoughts, feelings and actions. You are quite literally not alone whatsoever in this fight. This battle is not yours to fight alone. Of course we have to face our own skeletons and issues alone at a point BUT don’t hold it all in until you feel ready to break.

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Don’t Hold In Your Emotions, Get Them Out (Source)

There are many people like myself, your friends, and others you can find in an online community who are battling the same issues. We’re here ready to embrace you with open arms about the issues you’re going through. Life can be pretty hard and I know for a fact that generations before us struggled a whole lot. In fact, some may even argue that they went through more than we did. Plus, they didn’t have access to “life guides” like some of us may seem to have through blogs, vlogs and think pieces galore. But regardless of all this access to information being alive can be quite difficult to begin with. A guide won’t do much to change anything if you don’t even have the will to live or try.

But I want you to remember that we don’t have to be stuck anywhere. Not a dead end job. Not in a fucked up ass relationship. Not in a difficult ass grad school program. Not around people who don’t have our best interest at heart. We are not obligated to struggle or suffer in our 20s. We are obligated to make the best out of it. We are obligated to stop with thinking about “where we should be,” and we must learn to embrace where we are right now.

Meet yourself halfway. Give yourself some credit (you should be building credit though if you haven’t already lol….no but for real though it’s helpful for a whole lot). Anyways, we might feel stuck right now but one day we are going to look back and be like “damn my 20s were poppin’, why was I complaining again?” or if you’re like me you’ll say “man that shit sucked I would never go back to it.” (just jokes)

“But I want you to remember that we don’t have to be stuck anywhere. Not a dead end job. Not in a fucked up ass relationship. Not in a difficult ass grad school program. Not around people who don’t have our best interest at heart.”

Listen! You may feel stuck right now but there are ways to get unstuck. For starters “GET OUT YO DAMN HEAD,” cause we magnify our issues by constantly putting them at the forefront of our minds. This is not to say that you must ignore your problems but it is to say that you cannot continue to dwell on them. Give yourself a break. Drink some water. Go outside. Twerk a little, hell do something -constructive or self-care worthy- that will help you get through it but please do not ruminate over it for too long.

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Go out with your friends! Twerk somethin’ (Source)

“We are not obligated to struggle or suffer in our 20s. We are obligated to make the best out of it.”

You deserve to be filled with joy even in some of those sucky moments. Yes this sounds like a contradiction but if that’s the case, I’m a walking one and that’s cool with me.

OKAY! So this post got way longer than I thought it would be at first. But before you go, here’s a few things I want to leave with you. If you didn’t get shit else from my rambling, remember these top three things:

  1. Stop ruminating about your problems all day every day and for the love of the WorldWideWeb…STOP googling those damn articles about why this or that ain’t working out (MAYBE IT’S NOT FOR YOU RIGHT NOW OR EVER…just relax basically)

  2. You cannot find your life’s purpose or passion by constantly putting it on a measuring scale with others your age. STOP that shit like right now.

  3. You are actually really fuckin’ dope and I need you to acknowledge that.

Now, I need you all to do me a huge favor. If you read this, skimmed through or hell just liked the concept of the title please, please, please share this! If it impacted you in anyway share it! Even if it just made you giggle or smile share it 🙂

Share it on all your social media or just one at the very least. Send it as a message to a friend who’s going through something rough. I want this message to reach at least 5 people, that’ll be enough for me but if it reaches more or less I’ll still be content.

P.S. This post was largely inspired by a few close friends and you all know who you are. I’ll tag you when I share this. Also, SZA’s song 20 Something was the creative force behind this idea as well. If you haven’t heard her album CTRL by now you are doing yourself a disservice. So go stream/buy it now. 

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Queen SZA (Source )

Also, quick plugs for the show Insecure and Living Single which were used in some of my gifs above. Those are two awesome shows with a main black cast that are extremely essential for the 20 Something soul! You won’t regret indulging in them both 🙂

As always…

 

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

Ms. Royale

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Creative Writing, Featured, Motivation

Focus Friday #6: Unleash Your Power

So now you know what you’re good at and you’re ready to take a hold of it by both hands. You are ready to flourish! But there’s one element missing. You’re not sure how to make it all work.

Well let’s start this off in the right lane, slow ya roll. The first step should be for you to consider what are some ways that you can actually apply your craft to the world. A lot of us may think we are creative beyond belief but that doesn’t mean anything until we make it work. No movie is any good trapped within the grooves of its creator’s brain. Allow yourself to perfect your craft through daily practice. No one can know who you are or what is that you bring to the table until YOU make them notice that.

Begin to do your research to see where your niche can be applied. Perhaps there are industries in dire need of your expertise or simply based off of who you are they have a space that needs to be filled. Use that to your advantage. However, it’s okay to create your own lane from the ground up. You just have to be okay with knowing it’ll take a whole lot more work than finding an already built up company.

“No movie is any good trapped within the grooves of its creator’s brain.”

Either way there is work to be done. Unfortunately in our society the easier route is to just fall in line with all of the other workforce employees. While there is nothing wrong with that and I do believe that God grants us all a purpose wherever we are meant to be in life. I also believe that some of us are far too eccentric to remain within the 4 walls of someone else’s dream or stuck in a tight cubicle next to Jan who is obsessed with her cat Gary.

“Begin to do your research to see where your niche can be applied.”

Once we figure out what in life is our passion, we are on our way to finding our purpose in life. Then from there you can begin to flex those purpose filled muscles with pride! You can help save the world in your own way by unleashing your superpower into the world.

If you are a writer, why not start that blog or start writing that book? You’ve got to finish that book though so stick to it until it is COMPLETE (oh don’t mind me…I’m just scolding myself). If you are an athlete make sure you conditioning your body as much as possible within the limits and needs of that sport.

If you are a student…STUDY (no the word “study” is not equivalent to ST.udent DY.ing). Instead it stands for Striving To Uplift Discipline Yearly. Now that might sound weird when you first see it but really meditate on that for a second. Every single day we should be elevating our minds, bodies, and souls through the necessary means we know are good for us.

So by making sure that you are building yourself up along with your craft, by next year and every year after that you should be on a new level. If we remain on the level we are on at year 1 in year 5 then we have done ourselves a disservice. So every single year we should strive to uplift or better our discipline to focus on our craft. Make focus your main habit!

Unleash your power in the proper place. Do what you must to get what you desire and deserve.

So we’ve now established two things so far:

1) Find Your Superpower

2) Find A Place to Unleash Your Superpower

For more on what you need to in order to live in your purpose with passion stay tuned for next week’s More to Life Monday post! 🙂

PS This was initially meant to be just one post but I’m feeling like I want it to expand beyond that so make sure you check out the first part of this series by clicking here 

 

Serenity, Positive Vibes & Smiles,

 

Ms. Royale

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Creative Writing, Featured

Are You Ok With the Struggle?

There’s always this part of me that is full of regret when it comes to my talent or creativity. I’ll think to myself well I’ll be damned folks like Keke Palmer are literally my age doing the things I’ve always desired to but I’m nowhere near their status. I really love and admire Keke by the way. She’s one of my favorite people in the industry and in general. 

Anyways, I think to myself “Man what if my family had the means while growing up to truly invest in my dreams. Where would I be?” Then I also consider “What separates me from those who dreamt it and achieved it?” Perhaps money is a thing. Perhaps it’s the connections. Perhaps it’s my lack of clear direction now as an adult. Perhaps as a child I could have been more vocal in my desire to be an actress and a writer. 

However, I must also recall that these outlandish dreams didn’t really make sense to me as a kid. I didn’t see too many fellow Haitian creative or actresses on the TV. Of course there were was Garcelle and Wyclef (two people whose talent I truly do admire) but in my direct line of vision people like me didn’t go out on a limb like using their talent for work. Rather I was accustomed to seeing my parents and other adults in my community go to their hardworking jobs simply to provide for their families. While this isn’t an issue per se, it limited my faith in a way. 

I didn’t and even still sometimes don’t believe in my ability to be different or make a career out of my dreams. Rather I become focused on simply going back to school to obtain another degree because that’s what “I’m” supposed to do. Plus it will afford me an ordinary career. 

So I get wrapped up in this world of confusion where I want to exert all my energy on manifesting my true dreams BUT also fearful those dreams aren’t stable enough to afford me an at least decent life. 

I become almost involuntarily immobile due to the focus on what can go bad. Instead of considering all the good that could come out of my attempt at success, my mind (usually caused by my depression)  helps me to fixate on the negative. 

Well that’s honestly what most creatives and humans in general struggle with. We constantly feel like we’re running out of time or that we’re not good enough so we cower in fear from even the good in life. Afraid that it’ll be ripped from our grasp as soon as we receive it. 

We fear so much that we can’t even see that before we try our dreams already die. No legend or great person in history was known for their awesome couch potato skills (don’t mind me, I’m dragging myself here). 

Every single thing in life is a process. Your birth was one, the thing before your birth was one as well (but let’s not get sidetracked here). The truth is we can’t expect to get anywhere without putting some miles in. Like the memes say, Beyoncé wasn’t built in one day! 

Folks like her put in time and effort to achieve their level of success. Whether you like her or not that’s a fact jack. So for those of us who are rushing to get somewhere, just what are we in a rush for? Trust me in life there are stop signs, red lights and hell sometimes even yellow lights cause we need to SLOW down. 

But one things for sure you should always be on green in your efforts. Always be on go! Of course there are times when you may mentally, emotionally and physically need a break BUT never stop imagining and working on how to get to the next level. 

Overall, we can’t expect to simply hop in a car and reach the next street. It may be quick to get there or it may be slow but either route will involve some sort of process. Keys gotta be in the ignition, cars gotta go from park to drive and you’ve gotta put your foot to the pedal consistently. 

Yes there’s going to be some mountains to ride around, a few potholes here, there and damn near everywhere (especially if you live in Jersey or New Orleans…ijs). But that’s all apart of your adventure to achievement. It’s cliche yes but it’s also try to say “Nothing good comes easy.” If it did we sure wouldn’t appreciate it much. Imagine walking into college the first day and getting your degree the next. Boom 4 years in 2 days, where’s the parties?? The booze?? The free food and t-shirts?? The all nighters? There’d be no stories of triumph to share. The degree wouldn’t even be worth it at that point.

So tell me, are you afraid of your struggle? If so, when are you going to stop fearing it and begin the process of appreciating it. In the words of one of my fav rappers, J. Cole, “There’s beauty in the struggle, ugliness in the success.” 
Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,
Ms. Royale 

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