What is Your Definition of Success?

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I found an old journal from 6th grade this weekend. It was from my English class, back when we had to start the first ten minutes of class copying the prompt on the chalkboard into our journals then writing a paragraph or so about the prompt. I absolutely hated writing at the time. Partially, because I loved an in-person debate more, partially because I never felt people correctly understood what I was saying when I wrote. The second journal entry asked what is your definition of success? Back then my response was to own multiple homes in various parts of the world, to make Forbes list of successful people, to have millions in the bank, be married, have kids, and be on various television shows.

As I’ve gotten older my definition of success has shifted I still want to be on various television shows and in movies that will probably never change – but I also think having free time is the ultimate success. We trade so much of our time for money to provide for ourselves, our families, get the next big thing, or show off. I think the true definition of success is having enough money to live comfortably, own your home, be able to work on passion projects like volunteering for charities you love, spend quality time with your kids while they grow up, having a loving respectful marriage where you both share the household work.

anthropologie diffuser, green journal and mirrored dresserOver the years I’ve worked with so many “successful” people who were the angriest, most ungrateful, paranoid people on the planet. The kind of people that see others as stepping stones to their goals, unfortunately, every time they reach their next goal they are still unhappy. They think by making the next 10 million dollar deal for the company they will be fulfilled and get a pretty decent slice of the pie. Unfortunately, their idea of success keeps getting bigger and bigger. Three houses throughout the country, another midlife crisis car, frequent vacations to other parts of the world, a private school for all of their kids, college funds, and trust funds. All of these things are wonderful but can wear on one person when they are expected to keep bringing in more income every year to keep up with the family’s spending. (Lifestyle creep is real!) One of them admitted that he doesn’t consider himself successful because his friend has a net worth that’s 5 times the amount of his. They say comparison is the thief of joy and they would be right.

I think when we focus more on what makes us happy and excited, why we do what we do to make a living then we can appreciate our success. Instead of thinking of all the family members, or friends you want to impress think about what you really want to do. Where do you really want to spend your time and money?

What is your definition of success?

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Gratitude for Change

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As we go into this weekend I want everyone to think about gratitude. I want us to think of the things we are grateful for, the positive changes that are going to come out of this the hope we all felt when former President Obama spoke out this week. It reminded me of a simpler time, a time of hope, joy, and change. It reminded me of the excitement we all felt the night a brilliant, well-spoken, charismatic, black man from the southside of Chicago was elected President of the United States. I thought we were so far from our ugly racist history, but years of body cam and cell phone video have proved otherwise. We can and will make this country a better place by voting out problematic members of our government and educating our citizens. We can make this country safe for black people because there are so many people who are willing to listen and change. I am filled in with gratitude at the various people on social media, text, and phone calls that have asked for resources to learn more and be better. To stop sticking their heads in the sand and getting involved in preventing more senseless violence from striking the black community and disgracing our country.

This week I am grateful that we should not have to continue to live in fear of racism, or being shot in our homes due to a police error, oppression at work, financial oppression, and last but certainly not least no one should fear that their son will get shot walking home with his hood on and skittles in his pocket. I don’t know why, but Trayvon Martin’s story is still the one that cuts me to the core to this day. So much potential, light, and joy taken from this world. The fact that he will forever be a 17-year-old boy, not a man. We will never know what great things he could have accomplished.  I know so many amazing black men that could have been him. I hope and pray that no other man, child, or mother has to feel the devastation of burying her child due to racism and police brutality. To the good cops who are protecting and serving the community and holding their fellow cops to the same standard, I am thankful for you. The only way we can grow, heal, and change is by working from the inside out.

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I am grateful for how beautiful the weather has been.

I am grateful for the love that has been shared on social media this week.

I am grateful for everyone who is voting to make a change.

I am grateful for everyone who has taken the time to check on their friends and family.

I am grateful for everyone who has read someones story of injustice this week and been touched by the pain they felt.

I am grateful for everyone who listened to their friends completely and asked how do we help.

I am grateful for everyone who asked for resources to teach themselves and their children to be better.

I am grateful for the people that have let go of toxic beliefs and family members.

I am grateful for my fabulous LGBTQ friends who have supported the Black Lives Matter campaign this month and Pride. I love you all so much more than you ever know.

I am grateful for the celebrities speaking out against violence.

Black Lives Matter |More Justice and Due Process

Hello beautiful people!

More Justice More Peace

This is one of the few posts I’ve struggled with. As a black woman in Atlanta, GA my eyes have been opened to racism way more than I ever expected in 2020. When I moved to Atlanta it was because this was supposed to be where black people thrived. This was the land of milk and honey. Black businesses, lawyers, doctors lived and thrived here like kings. I could finally see myself reflected as one of many college-educated people working throughout the city and shopping at the mall. Instead of being one of the few people that looked like me older white women, employed as salespeople, followed my mom (dressed in a business suit) and I all over Nordstrom as I looked for a homecoming dress like we were going to shoplift. Now I understand that this is still Georgia, a very large conservative red state that loves to fly the Confederate flag. Trust me there have been many road trips through the backwoods of Georgia that I did not drink water for over three hours because I was terrified to stop in a certain area for fear I would end up missing. You all know I love south Florida with all my heart, and I can honestly say the few racist encounters I had over the years there growing up. Every time something happened, I felt hurt, disappointed, but I refused to accept hate in my heart for a few bad apples. I accepted that these people were probably raised ignorantly and did not have the bandwidth to learn about other cultures or ask questions (even though Palm Beach County is a huge melting pot).

I even had a close friend in college tell me racism was not real. In my mind, I was completely stunned, that a blonde-haired blue-eyed poster child for all American beauty would tell me that racism did not exist. I told her that it definitely does exist and that she would not notice because she was not the target of racism. Her boyfriend even stepped in to say he knew racism existed and did what he could for friends whenever he noticed it. He was always an incredibly empathetic guy and for that, I am so grateful. I told her about the microaggressions I experienced while dating in south Florida. I had so many white guys pursue me through Facebook message and text, spend hours talking to me on the phone, and at parties only to disappear into a crowd when we were on a date in public. Only to never introduce me to their close friends or family after six months of being in an exclusive relationship. It finally clicked in my head that they were more afraid of losing their family’s financial support, future trust funds, and being “made fun of” by people, they knew than treating me with the respect I deserved. I even had this happen in college when a guy I was dating walked by me like I was wallpaper with his friends on campus as I waved to him. He texted me later to say he was, “sorry”. I blocked his number. My high school sweetheart was Hispanic, and his friends and family relentlessly made racist comments to my face about my skin being ugly, my appearance to looking like a monkey, cockroach, and other asinine insults. This became one of the major tipping points in us breaking up because I could not marry into a family that does not respect me. I could not have children with a man that would not stand up for me. I could not risk letting some ignorant women call my child disgusting names and trying to make them hate themselves any more than the world already would. The irony of this is his family was Puerto Rican and darker in skin tone and thicker in hair texture than I am. I pointed out that contrary to popular belief we both have originated from Africa and that their comments showed a lot of self-hatred. I think every skin tone, hair texture is beautiful because it adds variety to our world.

In my first corporate job in Atlanta, I found out I was making five thousand dollars less than the previous white receptionist. She told me flat out that my test scores were higher than hers, and every other candidate they ever had. She also told me what she was making before she left so I would not be screwed over. (She also pointed out that I had a year of office experience something she did not). However, when I fought for that salary, I was told to take the lesser amount or walk. As time went on in the company my boss said at a lunch meeting that, “The south should have won. That they had far better leadership.” I felt I was not in a position to say anything for fear of losing my job and my only means of supporting myself. I choked down my burger and went to the bathroom to cry. The next year I moved up to an admin position. The new receptionist and admins complained about their salaries to me. I found out that the receptionist was making more than I currently was by nine thousand dollars and the admins by twenty thousand dollars. I finally realized it did not matter that I went to a private university, graduated with a philosophy degree, worked harder than everyone else, never came in drunk, did not complain and made everyone else’s lives easier, I was still a black woman in the south. These women while polite at times, came in late often, took two-hour lunches, left early, caused drama, ran off various analysts, associates, and receptionists like it was Game of Thrones. They had no problem screaming and cussing each other out across the bullpen while employees were on the phone with clients and drinking at work. They continued to make more than I did while doing less work for no other reason than the fact that they were blonde, and white from the same small towns in Georgia as a lot of the vice presidents and managing directors were.

Coming to Atlanta the birthplace of civil rights, home of the Civil and Human Rights Museum, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home it is disheartening to see the work and sacrifices of so many have pushed us forward very little. I do not understand why it is okay for someone to walk into a church, murder nine people, permanently traumatize so many more and walk out in handcuffs without a scratch, without a knee to the back or throat. But a black man running through a neighborhood can be gunned down in the street by two citizens and they never received an arrest until Twitter had to create a national outcry MONTHS after the murder occurred. To see that four police officers pinned down George Floyd a man who was not holding a weapon, did not threaten or shoot anyone thrown on the gravel with a knee pinned on his forty-six-year-old neck. I do not understand how anyone can say this is anything other than racism.

I am heartbroken for every person that is terrified to be pulled over for fear of getting killed. I am heartbroken for every person that has false reports made against them. I am heartbroken for every person that has been told they deserve to be treated like a criminal because of their skin tone. I am heartbroken for every person that just wants to live their life equally like everyone else but cannot because of arbitrary ignorant fears and beliefs.

Yes, I know there are riots and crime and utter chaos happening in our metropolises. I do think a lot of the violence and crime have been caused by other races using this movement to cover up their actions. People are angry. Everyone has lost their jobs, some of their homes, and they want someone to blame. I think this movement was the perfect time and opportunity for people to loot under the guise of the Black Lives Matter movement. A time to commit crimes because “everyone else was doing it” and it will be hard to hold people accountable. I have seen many videos of black people begging people of other races to spot spray painting, breaking, and setting fire to things. Crying out that this is not the support we are asking for! That this only fuels the negative narrative the media has already spread. I’ve seen videos of black people volunteering to clean up areas that have been damaged the next day. I have seen the heartbreak of people going to a peaceful protest only to walk back and find their own car has been spray painted or their business looted. I am not saying this is positive, but thankfully our material things can be replaced. We can rally around and rebuild, but we cannot gain back the lives of people who have been killed. This country of mine has a history of killing young black man falsely such as George Stinney Jr. who was fourteen in 1944 when he was sentenced to be executed by an electric chair. He was accused of killing two white girls age eleven and seven. He was held in solitary for over eighty days without seeing his parents and they were not allowed at his trial. He was treated as though he was guilty before even getting the right to due process. He has since been proven innocent. Stories like these are the reason why we as a country need to change.

There have also been peaceful protests for years. Kneeling to the flag during the anthem at NFL games, the Black Lives Matter movement that was immediately disrespected and watered down by the blue lives matter and all lives matter comments. The difference between blue lives matter and black lives matter is you volunteered, trained, and get paid to be a cop. Black people never asked to be born black. While we love and celebrate the skin we are in, we never asked for systematic hate, racism, and disadvantages.

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What can you do to help?

  1. Take an educated look into each elected official for local government. I’m talking county and city, senate representatives, and the huge primary presidential election. Vote for the greater good. You are never going to agree with everything a candidate supports, but if there is a greater candidate of the two picks the one that will do the least amount of harm.
  2. Donate to lawyers that are offering to bail out protestors. (If you have five dollars to spare, we all know how hard and tight it is for everyone financially).
  3. Actually, listen. Listen to your friends from other ethnicities when they mention dealing with microaggressions as well as physical aggression. Do not dismiss them look at your phone or belittle their feelings and concern.
  4. Be an ally. Have the awkward conversations when someone at work makes a racist joke or a family member does at dinner. The same as you should if someone used a gay slur. We all need to stick together and demand that everyone be better and more empathetic to one another.
  5. Teach your kids to judge based on character, not appearance. Children are the future and buying your kids dolls and storybooks of other cultures teaches them about all the beautiful people in the world. It breaks down stereotypes and walls so we can teach the next generation to be even better than us.

 

If you’ve read this far thank you. Thank you for trying to understand. Thank you for listening. I hope I gave you some idea of a way you can help and make a change.

Using Music to Uplift Your Mood

Hello Beautiful people!

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Yesterday I was feeling a little down, overwhelmed, and frankly concerned. I tried to focus on some tv shows I’d been meaning to watch (Bluff City Law and Games People Play) but found myself overwhelmed with thoughts of everything I hadn’t done and other ways to supplement my income. Many ideas I had set into motion are on hold, for obvious reasons. While I was trying to pivot and clean out my iCloud (since when will I have the time to do so) I found a video from the Post Malone concert I went to back in March. Austin Richard Post took the time to tell us we could be anything we wanted to. Not to let fear hold us back, that he was sleeping in a friend’s walk-in closet before he was discovered. I got inspired to look up some of his music videos on YouTube. I then ended up going down a YouTube rabbit hole of great music.

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I don’t know about you, but I’d forgotten the days of using YouTube to play music videos and dance around in my house instead of watching another makeup tutorial, clothing haul, or Amazon round up. I sat and listened to my classics from my iPod via YouTube, Wonderwall by Oasis, Mr. Brightside by the Killers, I Miss You by Blink 182. This moment of nostalgia reminded me that this too shall pass. So often we get stuck in a loop thinking we are always going to be exactly where we are or feeling hopeless but it’s all temporary. Hearing these songs reminded me of sitting in 2nd hour A.P. English Literature after finding out I did not get a role in the play after two rounds of callbacks. At the time I tried not to feel sad about it but after the first round of callbacks, I could taste that role. I put my heart into the performance, only to find that it was not enough. However later that same day a classmate I was not particularly fond of told me, “I just want you to know you killed it yesterday. I told two other people at callbacks that the role should have been yours, but it’s politics.” In the strangest way, this made me feel better. After all, art is subjective. Sometimes you don’t get the role because they already picked out the kids or the husband and you don’t look enough like the two of them to fit the story.

For some reason listening to some of my favorites reminded me how we are constantly moving and changing. How one moment can feel sad and devastating the next you are moving on to other bigger opportunities and making or meeting lifelong friends. I say all of this to remind you, if you are feeling low, don’t be afraid to pop on some of your old music. There is nothing better than music to distract, inspire, underscore a story, or shift your mindset. You are loved. You are badass! You will get through this.

What are some of your favorite songs to listen to when you need a pick me up?

One Positive of the Quarantine for the Film Community

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Hello everyone! I hope you are doing okay. Happy belated Easter! He has risen! I hope you all were able to enjoy a virtual service and get out for a walk.

I know this has been incredibly strange for everyone. I will say I think the positive thing is we will all appreciate human contact so much more. Maybe when we go out to dinner with friends and family we will actually look everyone in the eye and appreciate the time we are with them. Instead of checking for that next email, text or social media like.

 

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The one major positive I’ve seen from the acting standpoint is the playing field has opened up. Allow me to explain, in this industry we use 3 major casting sites that our agents submit our headshots and demos to casting agents on. Most of the time I am seen by a decent amount of casting agents, but there are some that work in NY, Chicago, New Orleans or even a few Los Angeles agents I have not had the opportunity to submit to. Why? Sometimes they do not have a part I fit or they already have actors that fit the same type. Which I completely understand since its often who you know. During the quarantine, we have all seen a major trend on Instagram and two of the three casting sites, where you can submit for virtual open calls with these agents. Many are letting you submit two contrasting pieces of your choosing; others have material for you to choose from and are letting you pick one piece.

This is huge! This has never happened in the age of online submissions and will give so many unknowns the chance to make a great first impression on a casting agent they never would have met. I know personally, I am beyond grateful for any chance to perform so this is such a beautiful gift in an otherwise disjointing time.

What does this mean? It means you are given the opportunity to perform in front of talent agents that cast for major network television, feature films and miniseries (a predetermined limited number of episodes). In the words of Lizzie McGuire, this is what dreams are made of. Are there any other unique opportunities you’ve found in your industry?

Where’d You Go Bernadette Review!

Hello beautiful people!

Where'd you go Bernadette
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Back in November I took a trip to Chicago and had the pleasure of viewing Where’d you go, Bernadette? on the plane. Synopsis an architectural genius loses her passion after sacrificing for her family. She puts aside her fears and pursues an adventure that terrifies her, but ultimately leads her to find herself. This movie is about 2 hours long I was only able to watch about an hour and 30 minutes of it and was left on a complete click cliffhanger. I was desperate to know does her family find her?

 

During this time at home, all I could think was this is the perfect time to search for this film. I’d tried before but it came out in 2019 so it hadn’t come out in 2 Amazon Netflix or Hulu just yet. Luckily I googled it and saw I could watch it via YouTube, Amazon or Hulu for 3.99 rental. Where’d you go Bernadette is about an architect who raises her daughter Bee while her husband works for Microsoft. Bernadette was one of the youngest most brilliant female architects in history. She is incredibly eccentric and doesn’t get along with their neighbors. Throughout the film, we see Bernadette in an incredibly anxious state about many aspects of her life but especially about being around people. She rants and raves throughout the film about various subjects to her virtual assistant and an old friend.

The reason I love this film is that it passes the Bechdel test. The Bechdel test states that two women have to be on screen without a man and not discuss a man. It is also very appropriate for these current trying times when everyone is in a state of panic and kind of renting ranting and raving about what should we do next? Who are we really? What is our true purpose?

Throughout the film we see Bernadette struggle to work on the house they bought. Since she is such a world-renowned architect you would expect that finishing the house she bought (that basically needs to be condemned) would have been an easy task for her, however, we discover there are more intricate reasons for her hesitation to work on the project. She also points out that she’s an artist and she has to be inspired by a lot of information – such as how many people are going to use this? Are they male or female? Can I see the space that they’re going to be living in? She someone who has to kinetically touch the space as well as visualize all the potential so she can come up with solutions to multiple problems that other people wouldn’t necessarily see.

I think in a time where everyone is feeling upside down due to the current pandemic, Where’d You Go Bernadette? reminds us that sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself. Bernadette set aside her fears of people and of travel all for the sake of not letting down her daughter. In her drive to go to Antarctica to be with her daughter and husband, her husband and daughter realize why she has been so riddled with anxiety and sorrow.  As a result, they are more open to supporting Bernadette emotionally and supporting her to find her next project.  When they find her she has already accepted an amazing architectural endeavor but vows she will turn it down if they want her to. This film reminds us it’s okay to take a break, then come back reenergized.

Women in Film Seminar

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This past rainy Friday I had the honor of joining a bunch of women for a Women in Film symposium. Even though I was incredibly stressed on the way there due to the traffic caused by Trump visiting the CDC. (Yes, I too I’m surprised that he actually came considering he originally cut funding to the CDC but that is beside the point)! At the Women in Film seminar, we all spoke about the fact that we need to start creating more quality content on our own. Stop waiting for the perfect audition to come along and choose you. We are all storytellers and now is the time to start sharing those stories.

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The following women headlined as speakers Christine Adams from Black Lightning a series regular reoccurring – a dream role for many of us. Charlene Fisk a director and cinematographer who created a beautiful short film about her own coming out story. Caroline Slaughtera producer, writer, director, and actor who created a short film about the women who lead actresses to Harvey Weinstein. Sara Elizabeth Timmins the producer for the 6 part mini-series documentary Mcmillions. I’ve watched two of the episodes of McMillions and it really pulls you in. Listening to Ms. Timmins speak really made me think about investigative journalism. It’s a branch of film and gives the producer the opportunity to create the B roll that guides the story along.

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At the seminar, we discussed how we all have so many stories to share and that we can’t sit and wait on Hollywood to come up with them, unfortunately, the majority of writers is not female therefore we need to be proactive in writing our own stories even if it means doing it on a smaller platform such as YouTube or spending the time to try to get on to Amazon or into different indie film markets. One fascinating way to go about doing that would be to think about the causes that really matter to you. I’m very passionate about Mercy Ships which is a charity that performs surgery on children that need their cleft lip to be repaired, helps with leg deformities, tumor removal and gives these children the ability to live a healthier life. If I was to do a movie involving a child with a cleft palate I could potentially reach out to Mercy Ships an ask if they would also like to Co-sponsor/promote said film this would be a great way to spread the message further and hopefully you get more people interested in the cause. Which would ultimately have a bigger positive impact for everyone.

I almost didn’t make it to the seminar because I was so stressed due to traffic and being an hour and a half late. If you know me I’m very punctual. It completely stresses me out to be 10 minutes late. I always like to come at least 15 minutes early if not half an hour. However, something in my spirit told me that I needed to be there that night and not to just skip out because I was stressed. That it was better to walk in late and be slightly embarrassed but receive the message meant for me then to stay home and wonder about what could have been.

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The symposium was in honor of International Women’s Day and I was very empowered to be around a bunch of women of multiple cultures all proud to gather and share how we can improve our film industry in Atlanta. How can we get more women working behind the camera? What do we need to change to help women become better writers? One guy even asked for tips on writing female characters. One woman brought up that we all have a nurturing side and an aggressive side a feminine and a masculine and that he just needed to listen to that side. We also brought up the Bechdel test, and that you do not need to use a rape scene as a way to make the character “stronger” or give her an arch. That women can build character through other trials and tribulations the character goes through. We can all implore to be better in the film industry whether that means learning how to edit, become better behind the camera learn how to execute sound instead of the usual costuming position or being in front of the camera. It was awesome to have a bunch of men also in the symposium since the only way to move forward is to have allies. I ran into my friend Brittany who I shot a short film with. We both agreed that we need to write and update our material because we work so well together.

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As I drove home I felt light. I realized I was meant to come to the seminar that night. I ran into a good friend I hadn’t seen in over a year and now we have a project we can work on together. I met a couple of great women who are working on a play and may need some help directing, casting a role or backstage – which would be really fun and great for my resume. After all, I always love the intimacy of a black box theater the buzz of the energy in the room as the audience anticipates the show that’s about to begin. So often we let the stress of the day and the little things block us from our blessings. I just want to remind you to not allow the little attacks to detour you from your true purpose.

2019.

Hello beautiful people!

Keri Elaine at Cloud Gate in Chicago, beautiful black woman in the city. Actors who travel.
Nighttime in front of Cloud Gate

Can you believe it, we finally made it to the end of 2019. This year has been the most fulfilling thus far. I think we all know it has been a complete dumpster fire with student loan debt at an all-time high, a reality star running the country one Tweet at a time and mental health issues increasing. I for one have taken this year to focus on being as healthy as possible mentally and physically. Sometimes that meant ignoring social media for weeks at a time since I was too busy working, working out, and going to acting class. I maximized my time by reviewing lines for my self-tapes on my lunch break and shooting them as soon as I got off. I’ve seen my self-tapes grow leaps and bounds in the shortest period of time. I’ve auditioned for various roles, Networks and directors I have admired for years and only dreamed of having the opportunity to work with. I’ve managed to juggle a full-time job, auditions, submissions, partner work, weight loss, networking, catching up with old friends and travel. I started a Youtube channel since I’ve wanted to for ages and thought it would be a fun way to dive into film. If you want to see the world through my lens please subscribe to my Youtube channel

Multicolor couch bag, beautiful fashion blogger, black girls who travel and Chicago. Grey sweaters and black ankle boots.
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This year, I finally understood what my favorite acting coach was trying to teach us about life. So often we try to understand the lessons God is teaching us quickly so we can move onto obtaining whatever thing we are chasing – whether that thing is love, financial freedom, a promotion or a materialistic item. While I completely agree that these things are important the question, I always ask myself is what makes your heart sing? What do you truly feel drawn to? Sims always said, “Life is a journey, not a destination. You all are so quick to get the destination you skip over the whole journey.” While we all knew he meant we should stop and smell the roses, I truly believe it is so difficult to sit still and observe the world when there are so many distractions. Even as I went out to dinner with friends, we observed every other table in the restaurant on their phones while out with their spouses, children even the grandparents playing candy crush instead of engaging with their grandchildren. Honestly, it’s no wonder there is a mental health crisis. How can you tell if someone is struggling if you haven’t even noticed their change in body language, behavior and lack of communication? I for one am thankful for the group I have that enjoys taking the time to talk eyeball to eyeball and people watch while discussing our future plans. 

As I flew to Chicago to join a friend on a last-minute girl’s trip, I realized I felt completely peaceful. I felt centered for the first time in a long time. Proud of the work I’ve done this year in my acting career and the shift in my day job. I stopped allowing other people’s comments to affect how I act and feel. I allowed everything to roll off my back like beads of water on a duck’s feathers. I feel hopeful that even though my love life can often be a dark comedy at times – that my person will come when he’s fully ready. I met a stranger who confirmed to me that he is coming, God just needed to work on him a little bit longer. Which immediately lifted a weight off my shoulders that I did not know I was carrying.

Foggy Chicago view of a beautiful young black woman in Chicago. Black chunky ankle boots and a cheetah sweatshirt.

I am so grateful to God for safely allowing me to travel to Mexico and Chicago, to continue to love the woman I have become, pay off my car, and one of my student loans. I am so excited to end this decade and began the next one with 2020 vision as I carry all the lessons I have learned into the future. Cheers to you all! What are some of the lessons you learned this year?

Valentine’s Day

First and foremost Happy Valentine’s Day darlings! I think Valentine’s Day is a beautiful reminder to appreciate the ones you love. Even if that means just calling them to say two things you love about them.

Red Abercrombie and Fitch dress and off white tufted chair

I picked up this fabulous off the shoulder side tie red dress from Abercrombie and Fitch.  Which is on sale btw! This looks completely different than the Abercrombie and Fitch I worked at eight years ago, so shout out to their new buyer this linen dress is so beautiful!

Red Abercrombie and Fitch dress and off white tufted studded chair

I recently finished reading a book called The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo and it made me rethink my perspective on love. At one point in life I thought love was very black and white. Now I know there are tons of gray areas with love. Times where you are so drawn to someone that it is entirely magnetic and other times when you just get butterflies. Then just complete admiration for another person. You can read some of the reviews here to get a good summary. By nature I am a complete hopeless romantic. I love nothing more than great conversation, when a guy plans out a unique date and remembers the little things I even forgot I said. This always shocks my friends, because I’m often single and dating longer than I am in a relationship. I’ll be honest with you all, it’s because I have been afraid of commitment. Why? When I am in a relationship I am one hundred percent invested in my person. I use every spare minute I have to do what my guy wants, shop for the perfect birthday gift for him, plan a party, hang out with his friends and sometimes his family. The thing is in the past this has not been reciprocated. My ex’s have often been insecure due to rumors their “friends” made up, comments about me being out of their league or allowed their families to dictate who they can date and make racist remarks to me. The only thing I wanted was quality time with my man, who loves and trust me unconditionally and would stick up for me with his family/friends.

Red Abercrombie and Fitch dress, long brown hair and off white tufted studded chair

This past year I have taken the time to completely fall head over heels in love with myself. I have planned trips, taken acting classes, laughed with old friends over lunch, gone to viewing parties for my fellow actors, had drinks with some interesting people and honestly loved every minute of it. Ironically I had a four-hour conversation with a stranger about love, life, and marketing. Our conversation basically reminded me that through everything, I still completely believe in love. The kind that is patient, magnetic, passionate, selfless and comes when you are completely happy with where you are in life.

Laughing in a Red Abercrombie and Fitch dress and off white tufted studded chair

This year my Valentine is my fur baby who loves me unconditionally and I am completely fine with that! Do you think there are different types of love?

Red Abercrombie and Fitch dress and side ties with a grey cat