As I’m writing this, I’m in so much physical pain. I have gone 360 days COVID-free, no flu, no cold, nothing! And now on day 365 of 2020, the most trying year we have ever experienced, I am in pain from swollen tonsils and glands on the left side of my neck; this pain is unbearable! Yet, I am thankful that my first and only COVID test of 2020 came out negative! However, I would be remiss if I did not take the time to write about my personal experiences of triumph and pain from this year.
I have not written to you all since October and that is because of my birthday festivities in November, and the seasonal depression I have been battling with for the past 3-4 yrs every November after my bday celebrations subsides. Although I am still sporadically dealing with this, I knew the best way to let go of all of that and everything that was experienced this year, would be to write it out. Now, I must warn you, this will be a long post, but a unique one for me because I am writing with unapologetic transparency and less anxiety. I’ve come to a place in my life where I am more self-aware and because of that, I have found myself to be a bit bolder in my statements and with how I share my truths, so I hope you can bear with me, as I unpack some things with you from this tumultuous year of 2020; I promise it is not as bad as I am making it seem:)
November 2020: My Birthday Month
I knew that I wanted to celebrate myself this month. I first did so by launching my clothing collection under ACD called the D.O.P.E Clothing Collection a week before my birthday, and that got my birthday excitement juices flowing from all the positive feedback I received from the launch right away.
For my actual birthday, after coming to the obvious realization that I am a single, beautiful, ambitious woman that is learning how to love myself more and validate myself with no one else's opinions, it only felt right to celebrate my birthday alone this year. Anyone who knows me, knows that I absolutely love hotels and the NYC skyline, and so it was only right for me to book a hotel that gave me an amazing view! I booked a room at one of my fave Hotels, the W, but in Hoboken, where a close family friend, Claire, whom I refer to as my "lil sis," upgraded me to a suite since she worked in management at the hotel. The suite
overlooked the entire NYC skyline, and I
seriously could not have asked for a better, breathtaking view! That suite set off my birthday and I knew that my weekend was going to be amazing.
The next day, my birthday, November 5th, 2 days after one of the most grueling elections our country has ever experienced (definitely not talking about that because its way too stressful to relive), I set up a day in NYC with my photographer and we took amazing photos (that you have seen on my updated site and throughout this post) at The Edge and at The Vessel in NYC. Both made for the perfect backdrop to what I envisioned for my shoot. My hair and makeup was done perfectly, and my outfits were suitable for my style and what I was trying to convey through my pictures, which is a woman that is fearless, empowered, strong, and ready to take the world by storm!
After a long day of pictures, I had a steak dinner, popped one of my fave bottles of champagne, the Rose Veuve Clicquot, and reflected on MY new year and what I wanted it to look like, a picture that I am still trying to get into focus as we enter the much needed New Year of 2021. I knew without a shadow of doubt that I want to keep loving on me, and by me booking that weekend for myself, proved that I can do it. I even booked a masseuse to come massage me the day after on the balcony of my suite (because God blessed me with amazing weather for my birthday) before I went home to host a game night at my place with my friends and family; I went all out for me because I figured, if I cant love on me the way I want to be loved on by a man, then do I really love myself??
So, that became my focus, to love on me more than I have ever loved on me before, but unbeknownst to me, that would required some difficult changes to take place, and for some people to no longer be a part of my life. This was not an easy pill to swallow, but I knew I had to for the betterment of ME! Besides God & my family, I am ALL I got!
After the birthday festivities came to an end, I had a week of self -reflection and some more birthday brunches and dinners to attend with friends that were unable to help me celebrate the weekend of, and then went back to keeping myself busy. And then, boom! Out of nowhere, depression started to settle in, and I knew because I was finding it hard to get out of bed, going to bed late, eating food that I shouldn't, and became an extreme hermit crab. When this happens I tend to stay to myself, don't really want to talk to any of my loved ones, but what I do now is make sure I am not home alone in that dark place for more than 48hrs, because once day 3 hits, then it is extremely hard for me to get out of my funk. I sought out help from my therapist, tried to write out what I was feeling but ended up just binge watching a show most of the time to not face the feeling I was feeling. I have become more self aware and so I know this is something that I will be able to manage better later on, because I was not able to decipher before that if I was in that dark place for more than 2 days that it would be difficult for me to get out of it, so I celebrate that small win.
While dealing with my sporadic bouts of depression, then I had an unexpected falling out with one of my closest friends of the last 10 yrs where our friendship is completely over, and that alone took me by total surprise. I thought dealing with a romantic breakup was bad, this was equally as bad, but it didn't hit me right away. The loss of that friendship hit me after Thanksgiving going into December when I realized that it was really over. I am still dealing with that, and pray that all is well with her but not sure if it is a friendship that will be or is meant to be repaired. Only time will truly tell. So that was my November, a rollercoaster, right?? Well, December is not as bad....
December 2020: Last Month of a Challenging Year
By this time, I have the depression managed for the most part, where I deal and push forward; that just has become the cycle. However, I implemented a way of overworking to help me stay productive instead of just sitting at home doing nothing. While that was beneficial for my pockets, it wasn't the best on my physical body, hence why I think I am currently sick.
This month kicks off with my Dad, best friend Lorraine (both pictured on the left), and aunts birthday, all which fall on the same day. Unfortunately, I was unable to celebrate with my bestie in Miami and DC because of the celebrations for my dad and me having to look after my neighbors cats while they are away, but I made sure to make her feel special the best way I knew how. Nonetheless, I felt horrible about not showing up because she did for me last month, but she didn't make me feel bad about it at all, in fact, she was quite understanding. I have a horrible habit which I wish to break in 2021, which is overthinking, and creating the worst narratives in my head. These things has led me to believe that someone may feel one way about me, but their thoughts or feelings about me doesn't come remotely close to what I have orchestrated in my mind. Do any of y'all do the same thing?
Each day I looked at the calendar, counting the days to 2021, wondering how will I do things differently next year? How will I really love on myself more? How can I commit to myself without getting sidetracked or falling into temptations? With each question, God revealed a different solution with the people He started to highlight, and then bring into and remove from my life. I am now equipped with some powerful, spiritually driven women that want to help me on my journey of self- love and actualization because they too have been through this journey and I have seen how God has blessed them.
I started to have more intense, powerful, thought provoking conversations with these women that challenged the thoughts I have about myself, especially when it comes to the world of dating. I am a 38yr old single, beautiful woman with no kids, a beautiful apartment and cute toy poodle, and the only thing missing is my dream career, bank account, car and man! But, I know that with me remaining obedient to God, focusing on myself, my finances, my creativity, and my mental health, all things will fall in line for me, but I must trust the process, practice self-control, patience, and be consistent.
All the things I desire are on the other side of the fear that I have. A fear of being successful, which sounds so weird but it is actually a thing, it is a part of that dreadful Imposters Syndrome. I know I possess all the greatness inside of me to be very successful but I hold myself back with my thoughts, and lack of action due to fear, but no more!! One thing 2020 has proven to me and many others is that if you want it, you have to go get it, and do not let anything, anyone, or even a pandemic get in the way of that! I have so many friends that has celebrated new jobs, promotions, new love, engagements, babies, houses, cars, businesses, and more this year, and it is all because of their confidence and audacity. Two things, I have seemed to drift away from, but I am back and I am ready to show up for me!
So, you will see more creativity from me in forms of video, podcasts, and with my writing. I am going to challenge myself and what I can do with this amazing brand I have created. I know God did not allow me to create this for no reason, therefore it is time to put some fuel to this fire and get this thang going!! I hope I can still have your support along the way so you can help me celebrate next year as we approach 2022.
I want to thank you all for your love and support of my brand, this blog, my new clothing collection, and with my Haitian Cremas sales. Nothing goes unnoticed, you all truly inspire me and I look forward to challenging and loving myself more in 2021.
Happy New Year and God Bless you all!
See you in 2021!