The Realist Dreamer

Lately I’ve been hooked on the show “Once Upon A Time”. I’ve been binge watching it on Netflix for the past 3 weeks and I absolutely LOVE the whole idea of it. The show takes a collection of fairy tales and stories that most of us are familiar with from childhood and applies a “real life” plot twist by giving the characters additions to their stories. They do so by applying realistic settings offering believable explanations as to why things happened in the stories the way they did. Watching this has given me the idea to write this piece because seeing those fairy tales depicted in that way reminds me that we are living out our own stories and while we can’t be our own authors, we can still attempt to live out our dreams with a little faith.

I know it may seem childish but at age 29 I am still very much infatuated with fictitious stories. Maybe I get so caught up because fiction is written by real people with real problems but their stories are symbols of real dreams and faith that dreams can come true.

As I watch this show, I recollect how I would read the many story books my mom bought me as a child. Not only did I own the story books, but you’d better believe my “puffy-case” VHS collection of Disney and other fairytales was stacked and packed inside the old school entertainment center.  It warms my heart whenever I think of the innocent enjoyment I got from watching those movies and reading those books. Although I didn’t know it then, I have always been a creative soul. With every blink of princess gowns and magical wands, my imagination grew: and so did my expectations for my future.

Fairy tales taught me that being imaginative also meant being optimistic. Being imaginative led me into so many realms of dreaming: day dreaming, night dreaming, dreaming on paper, dreaming with paint, and last but not least, dreaming with words. I would dream and to fulfill the Capricorn in me, I’d plan. I’d plan and dream. Dream and plan. I still do! I dreamt of my prom dress and just about every detail imaginable about my prom night. Then, I planned it. I planned how my date would be, what he’d take me to prom in, and I even planned his “prom proposal”. LOL! After dreaming those things, I’d even draw them. I kinda did the same for my career (which changed about 500 times over the course of my lifetime), future home, future family, future wedding, and etc. Dreaming and planning gives me a sense of fulfillment. Above feeling fulfilled, it’s just relieving to mentally escape and let belief take over the heart. Without a doubt I concur that believing delivers us daily from what seems like nightmares. Belief ties us over until we get to “happily ever after.” Without belief and some optimism, we’ll never get that “happily ever after” ending.

While my former self was imaginative and optimistic, growing up has offered me a reversal of those qualities that I have to fight off everyday: realism and pessimism. While I don’t believe in necessarily fighting off realism, I know that I must keep it in balance. Naturally, growing older means changing your perception all the time. You soon learn that there is no fairy dust, no horse and carriage, no happily-ever-after, no prince waiting for you with a promise to love you forever in that moment right after you triumph over one of life’s dragons. While I believe that these things are still very much possible for any woman like myself, I have also come to terms with the fact that fantasy and imagination can only take you so far

!I believe I have a soulmate out there somewhere, but I also believe that there is no such thing as “THE ONE.” I’ve dated some guys who I feel will always hold their own special places within me. There are several people in my life including some little ones, my deceased grandmothers, and my best friends who I also feel each have their own special places that no one could ever override. No matter who comes in and claims their share of my heart, as big as it is, they will never be able to fill those spots. There will always be rooms inside that red chamber in our chest that only certain people can live in. The only “The One” I can imagine of ever having in my life is GOD. He’s the only whole being that could encompass this whole heart of mine. He’s my true “prince charming”, “THE ONE”, my all–in-all.

Then there’s all those other “tiny” things in life. There’s those things that aren’t really supposed to matter but they do, you know, the details.. Details make EVERYTHING complicated. Even though they’re only supposed to be the supporting facts, when details don’t measure up to the emotions we feel, that’s when the true conflict begins. My details look like this:

  • 29, single, no kids
  • family oriented with a family that is not so much
  • damaged, but I still work
  • I live an isolated life, both physically and mentally
  • still figuring things out

Those are some of my details. What’s so conflicting about that? Well, there’s the fact that I don’t want to be single. I want children and a strong family unit, badly. I want to build something I feel I didn’t or don’t have. My family is great in their own way but I want to develop a closeness I’ve never had with my own bloodline, sharing traditions and making memories in new and exciting ways. I don’t want to be damaged, but I am. I’m confused and bent (not broken) by some of my life experiences. While I do enjoy my fair share of peace, my life can be way too quiet sometimes and that bothers me. I do tire of spending time alone and I have the tendency to not share my thoughts much, only because I don’t feel my truth will always be received well. Lastly, at 29, I’m still figuring EVERYTHING out. Most day’s I feel like I’m sitting at a desk with a 1,000 piece puzzle and I only have about a 4th of it pieced together, if that much lol.

MY details don’t look ANYTHING like I’ve dreamed or planned. They  never do, but I’ve grown to be okay with that! I do have to work daily to not feel down about that but I have acquired a growing faith and I still have my imagination and my fantasies to keep me going! Being a black woman on her own has proven to be difficult every waking day. Every day there’s a battle I have to face alone. Sometimes that battle is as minor as having to check my tire pressure on my car lol. When things go wrong that involve a man I have to figure out who I’ll call and what to do about it. That in itself can momentarily strip me of happiness because it’s a reminder that my details still don’t match my dream or my fantasy. It sounds crazy but this is my learning experience!

The older I get I’m drawing more strength and more faith from my struggles and that is what life is about. I believe we are given the dreams and the fantasies, but we are given the struggles to match because nothing is handed to us and there is no value in things that you don’t have to work for. Who wants to be granted with things that won’t be appreciated? I’m thankful that I grew up wide-eyed and bushy tailed, believing I am a princess with a prince and castle waiting for me because I have the faith that it’s still going to happen and when it does, it won’t easily be broken by “the details”. I’m happy that stories reinforced the notion that the only weapon I need is belief and I can slay any dragon that steps in my way. I’ve done that and will continue to do so! I can honestly say that while I don’t enjoy every moment of my “right now”, I do take the time to appreciate and enjoy the enchantment that does come along in the season that I’m in! I don’t need fairies, ballgowns, or a prince to help me understand how blessed I am..

I’m a realist, but I have faith. And I still dream. And I always will.

#LoveVeeKay

Refreshed, Renewed, RESTORED: My Pinky Promise Conference Experience

 

Pinky Promise is a movement originated by renowned Pastor Heather Lindsay for women of all ethnicities to join in spiritual sisterhood with a common goal — to live whole-heartedly for Jesus in every single way.  This organization promotes sisterhood and wholeness while encouraging women to honor themselves in Christ.

I’ve followed Heather Lindsay for quite some time now and there’s no doubt in my mind that she has been called to lead in ministry.  She often preaches how she “falls at the feet of Jesus” and her character provides witness to that. For years I’ve been blessed by her teachings, e-mails, videos, books, and her walk of life so eloquently documented on her Instagram account.  img_7036

One of my long-time friends, Erica, introduced me to her about 6 years ago by loaning me the first book Heather had written titled, “Pink Lips and Empty Hearts”. Reading this book was the pre-cursor to my soon-to-be developed relationship with God.

Erica and I had been discussing going to the Pinky Promise Conference for soooooo long; I mean we’ve talked about it for at least 3-4 years. Here it is, 2018, and we still hadn’t gone prior to now. One day, Erica and I were texting and she asked if I wanted to go this year. *PAUSE* I felt bad for saying I couldn’t because we made a verbal agreement in 2017 that we were DEFINITELY going in 2018! Truth is, I wanted to go, but money was tight and I was (and still am) going through all sorts of transitions; a failed job, piling debt due to that failed job, having to move, and coping with anxiety.

It’s funny how God shows up when you least expect him to because Erica paid for my ticket without me asking. As much as I hate to take a handout (my pride can be a monster to deal with), I knew that it was for the best being as though my relationship with God had been struggling in the months up-to-date.

June 7, 2018, Me, Erica, and two of our other close friends, Jasmine and Bianca, all headed to Atlanta’s Downtown Marriott Marquis to join thousands of other women in prayer and worship.

The hotel was beautifully filled with women, majority African-American, crowned in braids, curls, locs, ‘fros, bundles, and every versatile hairstyle a black woman could possibly rock on her scalp! Upon entering I could feel a shift in the atmosphere. There was a calming spirit that rushed over me and I could not WAIT to kick off the weekend and receive whatever God had in store for me. What my friends did not know is that I needed to be there more than I needed anything, to eat, to sleep, or even breathe. I NEEDED something that nothing on this earth could provide. I was dying inside, I was numb. I needed some REVIVAL.

After we arrived, we hurried to the room to get dressed for our first worship experience that night. Listen, Thursday night QUICKLY 

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(L to R) Erica, Jasmine, ME, Bianca

taught us that if we wanted good seats, we’d have to get to the events at least an hour early. Worship service was amazing. The air was filled with voices, music, and prayers being lifted into heaven’s corridors. The spirit of God came right in, within minutes, and I was already beginning to feel a sense of relief. From that night forward the music ministry was MIND-BLOWING!!! Every night during praise-n-worship I felt like I was at a concert and Jesus was the headliner! I especially enjoyedimg_6792_dvd.original Johnathan Traylor’s selections because not only were they spirit-filled but they had enough “bop” to them that they kept us dancing all night! Lol! We spent countless minutes jumping up and screaming “FILL MY CUP! FILL IT UP! FILL IT UP! FILL IT UP SO HIGH! SO I CAN POUR! I CAN POOOUUURR IT OUT!!”

 

Friday was pretty BUSY! The girls and I got up early to attend the Zumba session and burn off some off those calories we had been packing on since we got there! The gag is, the room they had chosen for Zumba was about 2xs too small because they had twice the turnout they had projected. Just imagine about 400 women in a room designed to hold about 200! The crazy thing is, WE MADE IT WORK AND WE WORKED IT OUT!! Our instructor opened our session with a prayer and followed up with a fun-warm up session. Yaaaassssssss, our Zumba instructor was LIT and the christian music she used for the routines matched the energy of everyone in the room! My friends and I laughed, sweated, and hit a couple of bad dance moves out there but it was all in good fun, good health, and in the name of the good Lord! We closed out Zumba just as we had opened, then went back to the room to prepare for the rest of the day.

Jasmine, 4 years married, and Bianca, who’ll soon be married in a few months, attended the session for married women. Erica and I attended the singles’ session. Unbeknownst to us, Heather Lindsay was the speaker. In that session, Heather explained the wisdom in NOT having a “build-a-man” mentality in the season of singleness. I could heavily relate as she explained the way us women can nit-pick over the smallest of flaws, possibly img_7037missing out on our potential husbands! Using her pot of soil and pumpkin seeds as visuals, Heather explained how we can plant seeds little-by-little, to cultivate the things that may need refining. My biggest take-away from her message was to become a student of your spouse, practice agape love by taking up the heart of Abigail (1 Samuel 25:3-4, 10-12, 18-23), and that once seeds are planted on a solid foundation there will ALWAYS be a harvest to reap. NOW THAT’S A WORD!

Afterwards, I was off to the Entrepreneurial session. I was blessed to hear the tips that Heather had given because I’ve struggled with monetizing my work and taking my ideas to the next level. I was overcome with comfort and a sense of belonging as I sat in that large room filled with like-minded women. It felt good to know that I wasn’t the only one struggling with start-up, consistency, support, etc.

Leaving that session I was sure of 3 things: One, to be faithful over little because if I show myself faithful over small, God will bless me to become a steward over more! Two, I should always remember that everything I do is for the glory of God and with that understanding, He will take what’s in me and make MULTIPLE streams of income, just as he did with Paul (Acts 18:3), and what he’s doing with Heather. Three, it’s okay to feel alone in my journey. God calls EVERYONE for their purpose. Just as doctors, teachers, lawyers, accountants, etc. are called to do their jobs, Entrepreneurs have been called as well. Often times, they were called in the bible (Like Moses built the Ark) to work for God and had gotten ridiculed by people simply because they didn’t understand the visions God had given ONLY to those he called– just as HE has given my vision to ONLY ME. Although it may take more time for me to be ok with not being completely understood, I can now stand firmer in the knowledge that all I need is my vision and my God.

That night, we were LITERALLY PUSHED into the doors of service being as though Sarah Jakes-Roberts would be delivering the sermon that night!!! I know Sarah’s sermons are poppin’ and are blessings to fall upon any pair of ears, but her presence brought the OTHER spirits out of women that night! I guess everyone wanted a seat close enough to catch the sweat off her prayer cloth or something, I don’t know but it was a hot mess! Lol.

img_6762_hd.originalimg_6765_dvd.originalRegardless of the rough start, Sarah delivered a message so convicting that it left very few dry eyes and very few people left sitting. Sarah began her message explaining the story of Eve and the serpent. In Genesis 3:15, God declares a feud that would forever go on between the woman and the serpent; the serpent shall bruise the heels of Eve’s seeds and Eve’s seeds shall crush the heads of the serpents’. She used this scripture as a metaphor, declaring how bruised heels can still crush serpents heads, meaning, no  matter what you go through in this life, you still have the ability to defeat your demons. She goes on to tell us how our very existence carries seeds to crush the serpent’s, or the enemy’s heads, and that we each have personalized serpents with our name on them that only we can crush.

Still in the scope of that message, she talks about Mary and how she once thought she had lost her seed, Jesus, when it turns out she had never lost him at all. Mary’s seed, Jesus, had just out run her and was out of her reach for he had taken his position as the Messiah. Mary, still perceiving Jesus as the child she raised, was not ready to receive Him as such. However, God was there to snatch Mary back and reveal to her the seed as she needed to see it.(Luke 2:41) Mary needed to be molded into the woman that could once again reach her seed. Sarah advised us that in order for us to take back our seeds, we could no longer perceive them through worldly perception but to seek God for it’s the only way we could retrieve them. She explained how looking for our seeds by way of the world causes us to make demands from our seeds that it was never supposed to serve us with. She then goes on to tell us “Snatch your minds back” and to only serve what GOD DOES and not what he COULD DO. Circumstances out of our control are no longer our business to attend to.img_6763_dvd.original

This message convicted my spirit in such a way that I could literally feel my soul being washed, entering spin-cycle, and then hung up TO DRY. For as long as I can remember I’ve always stressed over things that I simply cannot control. I’ve stressed and cried over so much for so long that I’ve completely shown my mistrust in God. Three years ago I started to experience symptoms of anxiety– racing heart palpitations and insomnia. Three years later, I’m still struggling with insomnia but now chest-tightening and urges to cry even when I’m not experiencing any emotions. Depression has joined me on this journey several times and while I long for medical assistance some days, I pray every night and that has kept me thus far. However, that night, I felt a stronghold loosen. I felt the demons of anxiety and depression grow weaker. Since I got a hold to that word, each day has been a bit better. Although it’s not easy, I’m so blessed to say that I’m SNATCHING MY MIND BACK. I’M SNATCHING MY GOOD SPIRITS BACK. I’M SNATCHING MY JOY BACK. I’M SNATCHING BACK EVERYTHING THE DEVIL HAS TAKEN AWAY FROM ME. That numbness and loneliness I carried weeks before hearing that message is here no more. God has been healing me and he’s helping me snatch my soul back little by little. I know God placed me in that very room at that very time to hear that very message. Every time I feel myself beginning to drown in sadness I hear Sarah’s voice say, “Depression and anxiety is A LIE!” And I’m quickly reminded to SNATCH IT ALL BACK.

Saturday was pretty chill. The sessions being held that day didn’t readily apply to us so we used that day to kick back and hang out. Although we anticipated hearing Heather that night in service, we were all starting to feel a bit sad since It would be our last night in that atmosphere together.img_6793

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For the first time that weekend, we got really close-up seats! Lol. Heather’s message was self-explanatory: BLIND FAITH. She assured us that God had a plan for us, although we often cannot see what He’s doing, we should take up his hand and trust him BLINDLY. She encouraged us to continue building our relationship up with God as the more we talk to Him, the more we’d trust Him.

As Heather called those to the alter who hadn’t been walking in blind faith for a special prayer, I was hesitant to go. My friends were moving to head up there so I followed along. As we all stood at the alter, heads bowed and eyes closed, I felt the Holy Spirit take up room in my heart.img_6789_dvd.original For the next twenty minutes I trembled in my heels while standing in the need and in the midst of prayer. img_7028For the next twenty-something minutes I prayed and thanked God and prayed some more. For the next twenty-something  minutes I cried and declared out loud that I knew where my help cometh from. I prayed for forgiveness, for my sins and for not fully entrusting my father with my affairs. I prayed for my well being and familial relationships. I prayed for my friends and those I’m not friends with anymore. I prayed for my finances. I prayed for people I knew and people I didn’t. I prayed. I prayed. I prayed. And I know that God had taken it all up in heaven. Hand-in-hand with Jasmine, I finally broke. I can’t tell you of every demon that had been loosed just yet, I haven’t worked my way up to sharing that. But what I can share with you all is that I left that conference in a better mental and emotional state that I had been in for a very, long time.

In closing, I just want to thank Erica for allowing God to use her heart for kindness in securing my seat at that conference.

I want to thank Bianca for grabbing my hand at every service, allowing God to use her heart for empathizing with me.

I want to thank Jasmine for having my back at the alter, allowing God to use her as my back-bone during that time of vulnerability.

And although she wasn’t there, I want to thank my mom for all the extra expenses lol. Without her I wouldn’t have made the trip at all. She’s my rock.

After service, we went to the pool to reflect on our weekend. We discussed our strengths and weaknesses, high and low points, what we had learned and what we’d do going forward. That night, we vowed that in moments of weakness we’d learn to lean on each other instead of falling victim to our same old shortcomings.img_6771

I can’t speak for the other girls but that weekend intensified the love I have for them and the love I should always have for myself. The nights of burnt Domino’s pizza, turkey sandwiches, moscato (don’t trip, even Jesus drank wine), hot wings, trapped gas, and laughing ’til we almost turned blue went by WAY TOO FAST.

As I grow through this life God continues to reveal his goodness to me time after time; each time in a way I had never seen before. I’m not perfect and I’ll never portray myself to be, but I can say I’m better than what I used to be. And I’ll always pray to get better so that I may be seen fit for the Kingdom of God. I still get impatient, frustrated, annoyed, upset, hurt, and mad when I can’t seem to exercise control. But It’s such a relief to know that no matter how I may lose sight of my seed, God will always snatch me back! as long as I continue to practice blind faith in HIM, I will continue to CRUSH EACH SERPENT’S HEAD that the enemy has laid out before me. I have officially been refreshed, renewed, and RESTORED.

I LOVE YOU GIRLS & I’M GRATEFUL FOR EXPERIENCING THE SISTER-SHIP WE BUILT IN THAT CONFERENCE! IT’S IN MY PRAYERS THAT MORE OF MY FRIENDS GET TO EXPERIENCE THIS CONFERENCE WITH ME!! UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!

#THEPINKYPROMISEPACT

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*check out my pup Logan! LOL!*

P.S. I CAN’T WAIT TO GET STARTED ON OUR BOOK & I’LL SEE YALL NEXT YEAR IN MIAMI!!!!!!!!

I included some clips from the sermons I talked about in the article below. Remember girls, JESUS LOVES YOU LIKE CRAZY!

 

3 HARSH (but necessary) Truths I’ve Learned in 3 months

3 months may not seem like a very long time but when you’re REAL LIFE “adulting” out here in these streets, 3 months can feel like 3 YEARS. November 9, 2017, that was exactly 3 months ago in which my life started to change, for the better. No, there’s not significance in that date, except it’s exactly 3 months ago. I just know it was the beginning of the END of an era that I’m not EVER going to miss. I’ve closed SEVERAL chapters in my life since then and in retrospect—there were no better choices I could make.

I’m not here to take up too much of your time today. So let me drop these 3 hot and harsh truths that life has curve balled me with:

  1. NO ONE WILL SUPPORT YOU, UNLESS YOU SUPPORT YOURSELF. 

Actually growing a nerve big enough to start a brand, cultivate a website, place myself in the spotlight to one day become a public influencer—-that took much longer than what some may think. As I’ve mentioned a few times before, Being VeeKay was birthed in 2015 but it took it a while to come to light. I knew what I wanted but I felt like no one cared or would understand. My best friend saw all this within me before it ever came into fruition. I slept on myself for so long it was second nature. He constantly reminded me of my snooze pattern and that I needed to make a move. Whenever we discussed our ‘future plans’, he made it his business to let me know that I was basically wasting time. It’s not that I wasn’t listening, I really just didn’t believe in myself like I knew I should. In turn, that made me feel like no one else did. Well, when I finally had my moment of awakening, I realized that the whole time I was missing a key component, FAITH. With each day, as I get busier with placing more and more focus into my brand, I finally understand that while I was waiting on someone to cheer me on, I should’ve been doing that for myself all the while. So now that I’m finally out of the sunken place, I still have moments where I feel a lack of support. However, I’m learning not to read too much into that for several reasons. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter anyway. Because I support ME! I recite mantras everyday to keep a reassuring voice in my mind. I make sure to stay spiritually inclined. I follow positive accounts on all of my social media handles; that’s to keep me up and feeling great about myself! So here’s the harsh truth: NO ONE CAN TRULY SUPPORT YOU IF YOU DON’T SUPPORT YOURSELF. No one can hold you up if you don’t try to stand on your own. Yes, people will be there to boost your morale but you must have an ESTABLISHED confidence in who you are and what you do. I mean really. A fan needs good reason to support you. Beyonce did not gather a BEYhive because she stood still. People are attracted to confidence.  So a little advice to whoever may need it, BE PROACTIVE IN BELIEVING IN YOURSELF. Build a confidence bank by depositing into yourself ev-e-ry-day!

2. NO ONE WANTS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. 

As I pinch the space between my eyes while contemplating this, I’m nothing short of disappointed in myself for taking this long to truly grasp this. I found myself in a few situations here lately where I found myself apologizing when I truly felt I hadn’t done anything wrong. It was all to keep peace. Was the peace kept? Nah. Not really. As an adult, I absolutely have no issues with owning my own shit. NO PROBLEMS with that. However, in my experience, most adults DO have an issue with that. I’ve never understood why people choose their egos over being practical in fixing a conflict. I’m not sure if pride is the culprit or if some people really are in that dire of a need to be seen as a non-conforming, straight up-n-down, I don’t care one way or the other individual.  People like that, in my opinion, probably shouldn’t have too many interactions with anyone. Anyway, I said all that to say that I’m never apologizing or feeling bad for others’ who are Ray Charles to their own bad choices or behaviors ever again. I’m not a psychologist, I’ll never try to pretend to be or become one. What I do know is that most grown-ups are only children in adult bodies — including myself. The difference between others and myself, though, is that I would rather choose to be the child of peace. Something like a lil’ Hey Arnold. But I’m also no fool. So moving on!

3. NO ONE CARES.

I didn’t mean to sound so grouchy lol. But this is one of those hard, adult lessons everyone learns sooner or later. Yes, there are a select few in your lifetime who will care about you and your livelihood. However, there’s more people who won’t. Now, I grasped this by observing and living through the bs that’s gone down in a former place of employment. Y’all, I’m not the first it’s happened to, but it happens all the time, too much of the time. BUDGET CUTS, LAYOFFS, POOR TREATMENT IN THE WORKPLACE…These are just examples of how a person can quickly become a pawn; a pawn in someone else’s game. Look at the judicial system. It’s horrible. Several scenarios come to mind when thinking of how this world DOESN’T  care about one another as much as it should. (BIG SIGH)

 

(BIG ASS SIGH)

 

That’s another post for another day. And even though we live in a world where people would rather not care for other people, spread love anyway. If more people practiced the medicine of love, there wouldn’t be so much evil poisoning and killing off souls!

 

Hopefully you all got something from my harsh realizations. May not be so shocking or harsh to some of you but that was definitely the experience for your girl. SO! LIKE, SHARE, AND PLEASE COMMENT. TELL ME WHAT YOU LIKED, HATED, OR SOME OF YOUR OWN HARSH TRUTHS IN THE PAST 3 MONTHS OR 3 YEARS IF YOU’D LIKE 🙂 Come back on Vee-Day, I mean Valentine’s day, for a special treat! Thanks for reading!

 

#LoveVeeKay

 

5 Things Rihanna Taught Me

ROBYN “RIHANNA” FENTY.

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Beautiful, dope, crazily amazing artistry, iconic fashion sense. A majority of us know her as RIHANNA. She also goes by the predisposed alias of RiRi and the well-deserved nickname/social media handle, @BadGirlRiRi. My first connection with Rihanna was similar to everyone else’s. She was the new, Barbadian girl on the music scene with the pop song “Pon de Replay”.  As time has passed, Rihanna’s music has evolved since her fun and innocent debut. While she still carries a light-hearted, girl-like, sweet, and carefree demeanor, she has since then elevated into a superstar with ALL the bad ass qualities to match. From her ability to make record breaking, chart-topping music in EVERY genre she steps foot in, to her flawless and effortless style; I think it’s safe to say that Rihanna is one of the biggest stars this world has ever known.

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Here are some of her accomplishments:

  • 9 Grammys
  • 12 Billboard Music Awards
  • 12 American Music Awards
  • 8 People’s Choice Awards
  • Icon Award (2013)
  • Fashion Icon Award (2014)
  • Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award (2016)
  • Harvard University’s Humanitarian Award (2017)
  • Over 10 million albums sold in the US
  • Ranked the best-selling digital artist in the country, breaking a Guinness world record for digital singles sales of over 58 million
  • the ONLY artist to surpass the 100 million cumulative singles award threshold
  • 3rd best selling female artist this CENTURY
  • Named the second best-selling female artist in the country, trailing behind only Madonna
  • Second only to The Beatles for the most million-selling singles in the UK of all time and the list goes on. 

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After reading her accomplishments, you’d think that’s ENOUGH of a reason to be a fan. Not for me. True enough, her grind is admirable and one could only look at these things she has attained, and use her accomplishments as a tool to jumpstart their own #lifegoals, but there’s so much more to Robyn Fenty. She is multi-faceted in her stardom. Not only does her work-ethic, rule-breaking music, and star-studded name alone make her someone to look up to, but her UNAPOLOGETIC lifestyle and resonate beliefs really do it for me.  Even the name of her fan base has the deepest of meaning to it. The NAVY ain’t called “The Navy” for nothing. Rihanna, with a past as a cadet in a military program, leads this fanbase as THE NAVY because like herself, they are fighters. The name came about after the release of her fourth studio album RATED R. Now if you don’t know, let me tell y’all how #BLACKTWITTER (yes, it’s a thing) can get. One thing you don’t do, YOU DON’T ATTACK ARTISTS WITH A GLOBAL FAN BASE, especially if they’re Rihanna. They will digitally and socially behead you honey. Rihanna’s fans simply did NOT go for the backlash RiRi got behind her new sound. You better believe, the Navy fought for their H.W.I.C. (Head Woman In Charge). They drew blood and took names later. That’s what a navy sorta does right? Alright then. There ‘ya go.

I’ve followed RiRi for quite some time now and I can honestly say that I’ve applied some of her life philosophies to my own. Not only that, I’ve found myself in several situations in which I’ve had to come out of my own and adopt another persona that in the past I didn’t readily carry. That persona embodies a fearless, confident, life-grasping individual. As I’ve grown, I’ve come to know that in this lifetime, if there are things you want, you must GO AND GET THEM. There isn’t much time to be meek or mild, not when you’re trying to change your life! In my past life, sometimes now as well (depending on the situation), I was that quiet, timid, unprotesting individual that hated conflict or speaking too LOUDly. I hated being in the spotlight, still do more times than most, and I simply just didn’t know how to OWN a room, let alone own who I was. Ok, here’s a secret, Rihanna has been a major part of my “glow up”. While some may see this as sad, I see it as much needed brilliance that changed the way I view the world; the way I view myself. I’ve had SEVERAL W.W.R.D. (What Would Rihanna DO) moments and guess what, THEY ALL TURNED OUT GREAT. Yes, I’ve had other influences, mostly spiritual, that aided me in becoming who I am as well, but with Rih’s help I’ve changed several of my perceptions since I was inducted into the Navy. Rihanna taught me:

TO WORK, or WERK, if you will.

“When you realize who you live for, and who’s important to please, a lot of people will actually start living. I am never going to get caught up in that. I’m gonna look back on my life and say that I enjoyed it – and I lived it for me.”

Those W.W.R.D. moments I mentioned earlier? They changed the course of my life and how I make decisions. I used to make decisions based on what I thought people would accept or not accept about me.  I began to think for me and only me. I began to do things based on how I felt about them and how I would feel about them later, NO ONE ELSE. With that new attitude came a new me. To follow suit, I began to  wear that lipstick that I thought would be too bright for my skin and I ROC’d IT OUT without worry. I’ve gone into venues, whether it was a night out with my girls or a job opportunity with a potential employer, and I was confident about who I was. See, Rihanna taught me that it’s not JUST about who you are, but the way you carry yourself in knowing who you are. And to carry yourself in a way in which others will respect, you HAVE TO BE CONFIDENT IN YOUR OWN. You have to know what you’re willing to accept and not. You have to know what things you’re great at and you’ll be damned if someone told you differently. You have to know that there is nobody who does YOU better than YOU. Even if the next can do something similar to you, she’ll never be able to do it quite like YOU. This is what you have to KNOW. And once you know these things, you find yourself living for you, and that being confident in pleasing yourself is FIRST. Watching Rihanna, I learned this and I’m damn happy I did.

In my glow up process, I knew that if I truly wanted to love myself, I’d have to learn…

TO EMBRACE MY SKIN.

“Thank you so much for celebrating us in a world that doesn’t celebrate us enough.” 

“The minute you learn to love yourself, you will not want to be anybody else.”

“All girls rock. Black girls… We’re just on another level.”

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A few of her words from her acceptance speech at 2016’s Black Girls Rock. There was a time when I found this very hard to do. Being a little dark-skinned girl from the south will do that to you. Especially when you’re surrounded by a community of others who look similar to you but are brain-washed by the poison that is COLORISM. It took me a LONG time to get here. But dear God, I’m HERE! (In my Celie from the Color Purple voice) Rihanna has spoken against self-hatred in the black community and has even gone as far as blocking a fan on Twitter who tweeted her with an enhanced photo of herself, except it had been filtered to make her appear about 5 shades lighter. The caption said something about she was more beautiful that way or something within that same line of insanity. After one block on Twitter and NO MENTIONS from Rihanna about the lady years later, she is STILL embracing all shades of her part African descent. And what better way to embrace your lineage and ethnicity than to create a whole makeup line designed for girls that look like us? As a girl who swears by beauty both inner and outer, it was heartbreaking not seeing any major, sole-proprieted, commercialized beauty lines made for black women. I’M ESTATIC THAT FENTY BEAUTY WAS BORN! THANK YOU RIH.

Major right? As if that wasn’t DOPE enough, RIH taught me to..

LIVE OUT MY DREAM, UNAPOLOGETICALLY.

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“I always believed that when you follow your heart or your gut, when you really follow the things that feel great to you, you can never lose, because settling is the worst feeling in the world.”

Once upon a time, I thought there was something wrong with me. I thought I had an inability to be grateful for any job that the good Lord had helped me to get. I say this because I hated 80% of them. With time I’ve learned to be content with anything I had that helped me to supply myself with my wants and needs. Aside from that, I also used to think that ‘being more realistic’ was the only way I’d survive in this world. Let me just praise the fact that I’m no longer BOUND by that LIE. The things that lie within you that constantly scream at you, begging you to let them out into the world, is not a mistake. It’s called PURPOSE. Although I’ve never denied the fact that I wanted to write and that I should, I placed everything, SCHOOL, JOBS, INTERVIEWS, in front of the one thing I knew I could DO without hesitation, insecurities, over exhaustion, or hatred. I got tired of putting it on the back burner. Although I’m still not a place where I can say my passion is my source of profit, I can say that it’s no longer hidden due to the fact that “I have more important things to worry about.” THIS IS MY IMPORTANT THING. Writing to inspire WHILE making a profit will one day be my reality. And because of Rih, I’m a firm believer of this.

Life has called me to be hard a number of times, simply because being soft wouldn’t have worked in those moments. Being hard almost ALWAYS couples with the idea…

TO GO HARD.

That’s all I could ever hope for, to have a positive effect on women. ‘Cos women are powerful, powerful beings. But they’re also the most doubtful beings. They’ll never know – we’ll never know – how powerful we are.

FOR EVERYTHING I BELIEVE IN, I NEED TO GO HARD. I once heard a quote by Oprah in which she states, “I never did consider or call myself a feminist but I don’t think you can really be a woman in this world and not be.” Like Oprah, I don’t think I ever considered myself a feminist but I have adopted a duty to make sure that every woman I ever come into contact with will gain some sort of knowledge, strength, and value within herself. Hence, BEING VEEKAY.  That’s going hard. Taking what you believe and doing something about it. As a woman, I’ve visited and revisited the issues that come along with my gender. Most of them are issues that stem from birth, caused by insecurities and just down right disrespect from what we know as “The MALE.” Because I was born female, I am automatically made to make less than a man in the same field, even if I have more experience and/or education. But that’s another topic for another day.  Just know that Rihanna backs up my beliefs and I back hers. As a woman who’s disadvantaged in several areas of life simply because of my reproductive organs, I will always GO HARD for women. I hate to say this but there are some areas I could clean up before deeming myself a full-fledged feminist like doing away with demeaning rappers who spit woman-hating, misogynistic, lyrics. I’ve done away with most of them but I could do much better! When I learn to dodge the dance floor when stuff like “Taking over for the 9 9 and the 2000’s” comes on, I’ll then say I AM FEMINIST. HEAR ME ROAR. Lol.

Perfect time to say, BEING “Woman” comes with COUNTLESS, most times, silly insecurities. Rih helped me understand that as a woman…

COCKINESS, I should LOVE IT on me.

You have to just accept your body. You may not love it all the way, but you just have to be comfortable with it, comfortable with knowing that that’s your body.

Firstly, let me say that EVERY WOMAN SHOULD BE COCKY. To a certain degree. I know cocky is originally a negative term. But it stems from a very positive place. Cockiness starts with Confidence. It only becomes negative when one is OVERLY confident in themselves, coming off as arrogant and narcissistic. Oh how these type of people annoy me. DON’T BE ONE OF THESE PEOPLE. Nothing is sexy about it. However, to be confident is both beautiful AND sexy. And as we have seen Rih transform from skinny, to heart eyes THICK, she still loves every curve she’s gained. Because she truly loves who she is. I think that’s a lesson that all us women could learn. If you’ve seen any pictures of her from this past Grammy’s season (I’ve included some above), then you’ll see Rihanna flaunting pounds she didn’t once have. Too many of us go by unrealistic beauty standards that society has made us to believe and live by. Whether we were size 6 and now 16, or were once 16 and now 6, your body image is just that, an IMAGE. It doesn’t make who you are. Only you decide that. Not your measurements! Not your bra size! Not your pants size! And definitely not anybody who makes you feel bad for being whatever size you are!

Alright y’all. I could honestly go on with another 10 or 15 things this beautiful ICON has taught me, but I decided that these are probably the most IMPACTFUL. I hope this piece did you some justice. I hope this piece makes you feel better about who you are and where you’re going. These be the things that Rih has taught me. Now go ‘head girl, put on your crown, “SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND.”

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I want to hear from YOU! SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH ME! PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT OR TWO DOWN BELOW! Let’s have a discussion. I’m open to all suggestions and comments.

Thanks for reading y’all! Continue to #GlowYourOwn destiny until next time,

#LoveVeeKay.