It’s been awhile since I posted a playlist on my blog. As autumn (although it’s still summer in South Georgia) is officially upon us, I want to share some tunes that have served as the current soundtrack to my life. The tunes range in genres and contain some of my favorite and current favorite artists.
So without further ado…Here are 13 tracks that recap my September and serve as a soundtrack to the beginning of your autumn.
There are times when there is something I want. Whether it be a career move, a personal move or something that is more material, such as more Fenty Beauty. I get excited and I foresee it in my future. I imagine how my life would be if what I want were to happen. Then all of a sudden, doubt creeps in. I stress out. I talk myself out of something good. Have you been through this before?
Today I want to inspire you to take the risk.
There are times where there are things that aren’t for us. That God puts a stop or a hold on. This is not for you. This is not the goal right now. Revisit it. Stay the course. Sometimes we hear these things and we get discouraged. Sometimes we receive news that makes us doubt, question our faith. Sometimes we give up. We get mad. We cry. We wonder Why me God? AGAIN? Will this ever work out?! The answer is…
Yes. Maybe. Possibly. No, girl. Not now, not ever. Listen, I’m not God, so I can’t give you a definite answer. What I do know is that God knows the desires of our heart and He knows what is best for us. I can tell you if it is meant for you, no devil in hell or person on earth can stop you from your blessing. I can tell you that your faith is what is going to get you through. I can tell you that you have to trust God when you can’t track him. I can tell you that your praise and prayer is what will keep you going.
I can tell you that you have a purpose and you are worth it.
Take the risk.
No matter the outcome, go for it. Don’t be the person that wonders What if…? Do it. Go for it. Work for it. Get your courage up. Build your faith. Take that risk! If it’s going to help you get to the next level, do it. If it’s going to build confidence, do it. If you know it’s a God thing, do it. If you know it’s a good thing, do it. Take the risk.
Let me know in the comments below what you’re doing to take the risk.
Let’s get personal for a second – throughout my time on the interweb, I have been very transparent about my personal struggles with depression and anxiety. I have posted variousblogs, deleted various blogs (lol) and reached out in different ways. I wanted to be transparent because one, I didn’t want to feel alone and two, as a Black woman/Black person it’s important to say ‘Hey! We aren’t alone! YOU aren’t alone!’
Sometimes I hate putting myself out there because I don’t want to just bond with you all in misery. (I also don’t want to sound like a leaky faucet that never got fixed.) I want to bond and celebrate in joy as well! At times, I often wonder if I have been using depression and anxiety as my identity, as a crutch. To make a platform solely on that stance? With an attitude of defeat? That is not something that I want. Ever.
While I want to be real and transparent, I don’t want to give so much of myself that I don’t know who I am anymore. For the past 5-7 years, I have been in a transition phase. I feel that I have been searching for something. Something to define me – that defines me. How I define myself… What I’m saying is is that this constant state of transition can make you wonder who you really are. Although I’ve mentioned this before, I believe that I am comfortable enough to say that although this transition phase is challenging, it is necessary, rewarding, uplifting and slightly nervewracking.
Regrets, I try not to have them. But, if I’m being honest, and I am, I have regrets. I think of all the things that I had control over and how I didn’t care for them, how I didn’t care for myself. How I let things fall, myself fall when I had control over it. How situations happened and because I was weak, I bartered my soul. How I followed the crowd when I’ve always been told to stand out. How I followed standards instead of setting and following my own. How I trusted various people but yet they have put so little trust in me. How I am still packing things from years ago right now. How I’m learning to unpack them right now.
I am so thankful for a God of unconditional love.
I don’t have all the answers and I’m still taking things one step at a time, but I am finally in the releasing stage. God has been too good to me and so many good things are happening around me, to me. I have to remember to take a breath and enjoy and have gratitude for where I was, how far I have come and where I am now.
I truly believe that being positive is the key to success. Sure there are other things, such as passion, motivation, speaking things into existence, but it all starts with having the right mindset. As someone who has experienced depression, I am quite aware of how the smallest inkling of doubt can turn into a massive plague that can start to destroy your mind. During these times it can be hard for me to find peace. Peace is so important. It’s important to be able to tune out the chaos around you, focus, and find your center. While I haven’t figured out the key to always obtaining peace (or how to get airlines to give me plane tickets for free…), I do know that relying on my faith is the way that I weather the storm.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes, scriptures, “reminders” (as I affectionately title them) that I use to help create a peaceful atmosphere when I feel the waves are crashing around me.
Hello to this body that I have trouble loving – my body. My body that is big and fat and causes me so much strife yet joy at the same time.
Hello to this body. This body that I want to love and embrace. That I want to flaunt and decorate, yet I hide because I am oh so uncomfortable and terrified.
Hello body. My body. My body that takes me places. And that keeps moving. And keeps going. And warns me not to overeat, though I do it anyways. Hello.
Hello body. My body. The body that I hurt. The body that hears harsh words and endures bruises and feels intense stares of hatred.
Hello body – my body. You are mystical and magical and even though we have this love hate relationship, mostly me hating you, thank you.
Thank you for never giving up on me. I appreciate you. Today and always.
— 18 March 2017
Body image is something that I am constantly & consistently working on. Just a minute ago, I was on Instagram comparing my body to other women. What’s funny is sure, a size 2* would be great especially when shopping, I am comparing myself to other plus size ladies wishing I was them. A more slim stomach. more toned thighs, less flabby arms…the list goes on and on. I think it’s so easy when your down to nitpick every single thing about yourself. Because I do have issues with my body especially with the weight I gained, I am taking measures this summer to get back on the path of health and well-being. Here are some simple (thinking positively!) steps that I am taking in order to better myself and my health for myself.
Walk more. | Parking further away from shops (unless at night), taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for walks
Using the Uni gym while it’s still “free”. | VSU is getting my money and I haven’t spent any time at the rec center. When I attended UT Arlington (Go Mavs!), I was at the MAC whenever I had the time. It’s time to put those fears aside and go work out.
Utilize my resources. | This also ties in with the step above, but sometimes the gym can give me anxiety. I kind of just walk on the treadmill and call it a day. YouTube has so many free videos that I can watch and do workouts at my place.
Eat for health, not for emotions. | I’ve always had an interesting relationship with food – and not in the best way. I know that it may take some time to revamp my relationship with food, but it’s something that I need to do if I ever want to make a lasting change in my life.
Out with the old, in with the new. | This applies to thoughts and feelings, but in this case, it really applies to my wardrobe. I have been trying to make a change in my wardrobe for years now and I haven’t curated a wardrobe that I can take with me into my future. In the past, I enjoyed all different types of colors and prints and big jewelry, and while those things are okay, that’s not really my style anymore. I enjoy pops of color and more street fashion looks, but I also enjoy very minimal, very black and neutral wardrobe styles. Slowly but surely, I want to donate clothes that no longer make me feel happy and bring me job and replace them with basic staples that make me happy.
This is for ME. | I tend to be a person who cares about what everybody thinks about me. Am I pleasing family? Friends? Random strangers that I will never see again? Are they proud of me? If I do this change, say this, want to live here, ect. will everyone be okay with it? It’s so annoying and I end up depressed, stressed and worrying and overthinking and overanalyzing everything. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS YA’LL! I’m working on reminding myself that my life and my choices are mine. As long as I make choices that I can live with and I am trying my best to please God, then that’s all that matters at the end of the day.
These are just some of the ways that I am going to start working on my body issues. I feel that these also apply to other aspects of my life, but I know that they will all connect and help me in the long run.
What are you all doing to better your mental health?
*I am by no means body shaming anyone. I am speaking of my own personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings.
The #PureClayMask series features three clays – Kaolin, Montmorillonite & Moroccan Lava plus an extra nature sourced ingredient that aid in giving you the best skin as possible!
(From left to right)
• Detox & Brighten | Featuring Charcoal || This mask helps to draw out impurities, dirt & pollution, reduce dull skin, even out skin tone & increase luminosity. While using this mask I did notice the effects immediately! While charcoal has become a staple in more and more products, I find myself using them more and more because of my oily, acne prone skin.
• Exfoliate & Refine Pores | Featuring Red Algae || I really love this mask! It helps to unclog and tighten pores, exfoliate dead skin cells and smooth imperfections as well as refresh and allow skin to breathe. Before this mask, I hadn’t introduced any products with red algae to my routine. But, I love how the Red Algae helps to really help my skin shine! What I also love about this exfoliator is that it isn’t too rough on my skin. It does a great job of truly exfoliating without being too harsh.
• Purify & Mattify | Featuring Eucalyptus || This mask feels like home – a home that I always want to dwell in! My mum used to always have these Eucalyptus plants at home that would instantly calm me, so at the smell alone, I was already hooked! This mask helps to absorb impurities, unclog pores, reduce excess shine and allows your skin to look amazing! As someone who has oily skin, this mask is great to use especially before a big event or on a daily basis. Out of All of the masks, this is definitely my favorite one!
• Affordable (In Wal-Mart & Target, near me, they retail for ~$9.50 – $10)
• Actually lives up to their claims
• Great packaging – glass jars with a secure lid; detailed info about masks on the box
• Comes in two options – glass jar or squeezable tube
• Would love if it came with a brush of some sort to apply the masks for the jar option
Thank you so much to BzzAgent & L’Oreal Skin for these amazing masks! Have you tried them? What are your thoughts? Let me know below!