10 Years Ago..

I made a choice to embark on a journey of lifetime sisterhood with some of the most beautiful souls I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

In 10 years, babies have been born, relationships have evolved, we’ve been apart of weddings, we’ve been there for each other no matter the distance or the time apart. We have become true FINER women; far from the girls we were when we started this path, and continuing to evolve into better women with each passing day.

We’ve evolved so much as individuals, it has done nothing but continue to complement our growth as sisters. We’ve got a little bit of everything between us, and I feel like that is what keeps us together. We truly embody our name, and there is no way to deny that we are truly distinct and unique in every way. Our bond is unbreakable, and our loyalty is unmatched. There’s never a dull moment whenever we’re together.

If there is one thing I always want you all to know; y’all will always hold a piece of my heart. My most memorable and one of my most greatest moments in life was finding out that you all would be the group of ladies I’d hold near and dear. No matter where life throws us, no matter the distance or the time; when you call, I will always answer. If you need me I’ll always be there. “Sister” is a word that carries heavy weight to me, and know you all were an integral part of me becoming me.

Thank y’all, and I love each and every one of you.

#5

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My Daughter Wanted a Doll that Didn’t Look Like Her; Here’s How I Responded.

My daughter and I made a promise. Two weeks ago, she saw a doll in Walmart that she wanted, but didn’t get at the time. Now, of course, she thought that she could ask for it the next day and receive. I told her no and made a deal that if she had a good week at school (which is pretty normal for her), we would go to the store and get the doll. She was excited and did very well with not mentioning it to me all week (I was more shocked at that part, lol).

So, fast forward to Friday. We are at the store and we prepare to pick up the doll. To my surprise, she wants the Caucasian doll. I was a little surprised at first, and thought that between the first time she saw the doll and Friday, she might have not cared about the color of the doll. To my surprise, she remembered exactly what doll she wanted, and despite my minimal efforts of persuasion to pick the brown colored doll, she refused.

So, we walked out of Walmart that day, Caucasian doll in hand and my child grinning from ear to ear. Did it bother me? Not really. I left that battle in the toy aisle at Walmart because when her mind was made up, it was made up, and I didn’t want to taint the experience of her receiving a toy “just because it’s Friday” on a petty argument about the skin color of a doll that she truthfully doesn’t even understand the depth of. I tried to ask her about why she didn’t want the doll who’s skin color matched hers, and she didn’t really have an answer (I didn’t really expect her to, but this kid surprises me sometimes); so I left the topic alone for the day, and let her enjoy her doll.

That interaction taught me something about my daughter that I didn’t realize was so prevalent in children at such a young age. Kynn does not care what color her dolls are; she only cares that she can play with one. She loves Elsa and Anna just as much as she loves Moana and Tiana. She has brown skinned dolls, and also Caucasian dolls. Kynn doesn’t pick sides, she’s just a kid and likes to play. She wants to be like the kids she sees on commercials and YouTube videos who have these toys, and if it is a white doll, she wants that doll; if she’s brown, she wants that doll. She’s very exact in her intentions and wants, and I can’t fault her for the specifications she wants on toys based on what she sees.

I felt a little guilty for trying to push the agenda of “why don’t you get the brown doll” on her, once I realized the oddly placed “what does it matter?!” look on her face, lol. For me, there was a deeper meaning to it all, but it also led me to a deeper realization about my daughter.

There are so many avenues of life in which brown girls are under- and misrepresented in society. I want my daughter to be able to see a doll that she identifies with, and if it’s not a doll that she identifies with via color, I believe a deeper understanding of what she’s exposed to daily comes into question. I notice a lot of the movies she watches, or YouTube videos that are viral and popular don’t have many girls of color. She sees the things she sees on television commercials or YouTube ads and wants exactly what she sees; and oftentimes that may not be a doll of color.

I really just want her to be able to understand that dolls of color hold a special place in our hearts. To look on shelves and see a doll in the likeness of our favorite Disney princess, or our childhood idols is a privilege that some thought we’d never see, and I want to be able to represent that in my household and in any way that I can. But, I also have to understand that as a toddler, Kynn does not understand nor care the importance of that just yet, and in time, she will evolve and understand.

With children, if you want them to identify with something, you have to expose them to it. I believe that one should not force certain things in children, because they are very smart and can form opinions about that type of behavior quicker than we think. I think it’s about immersing your child in all cultural opportunities, paying attention to the things they enjoy and show them the many sides to it, and even embracing what they choose; even when it’s not what you want them to choose.

RIP Nipsey Hussle..

Today was the day the nation was privileged to witness the homegoing celebration of Nipsey Hussle. I watched the majority of it, and it was very emotional to watch.

I will admit that I was not a Nipsey Hussle fan, per se. I didn’t listen to all of his music, but this is not about me speaking on him as an artist; I am speaking on behalf of the person that has been described and represented.

Since 3/31, there has been an outpouring of love and admiration for Nipsey that has made those who weren’t avid fans become fans. It’s not often that someone is praised to this magnitude; to see someone who actually rapped and talked about truth, followed up on his actions and several other things. You can tell that this man was and still is highly respected in his community.

To see so many people come together to honor him as a person, someone who was just more than a rapper or gang member, was beautiful to see. His family spoke of him with the utmost respect and dignity. Lauren was a strong and fearless woman, who honored her true love the only way she knew how. One of my favorite things she said, is when Nipsey told her that you “experience” people. And so many people were privileged enough to experience him in this lifetime.

It is truly a painful loss to have someone taken from you so soon; especially someone who was so integral to their community and neighborhood. A senseless act took this man’s life for no reason, and the world along with his family is devastated by the loss.

Fan or not, it has shown that Nipsey’s impact or just the knowledge of his contribution to this world will have a lasting effect in people. I hope it brings about more positivity and shows those younger than him the positive results that can come from being a product of your environment if you work hard and stay humble to your beliefs and values. No matter what your upbringing or your exposure to the world may be, you can always come out on the other side the right way if you choose to.

#RIHNipseyHussle

Image: @nipseyhussle on Instagram

The Power in a Silent Presence

Sometimes, silence is truly golden. It is a lost art form in some; however, what many don’t realize is sometimes silence is all someone needs to obtain peace.

There are times when words cannot be expressed. Sometimes it’s just not the right time, or the right words do no form.

Sometimes, you just need presence. No judgement, no advice, not even deep-level understanding. Sometimes you just need silent presence.

Silent presence to someone who needs it most still shows that you care. It shows that even if you’re not sure of the right words, you’re willing to be there in case you’re needed.

And being needed could mean lending your shoulder to cry on, your hand to hold, even your ear to listen, your eyes to read something someone couldn’t verbalize. Sometimes, you’re just needed, and it’s just as important as anything else.

Just wanted to send this out to anyone who needs a presence, and to anyone who feels lost in how to help a friend in need; sometimes we just need you to be there. It’s a lot simpler than you think 🙂.

🖤

Letting Go and Letting the Universe Handle it

How many times do we hold on to the stress and weight of others’ burdens?

Why are the individuals labeled “strong” not allowed to be human?

Sometimes, letting go is a means of survival. It is a stress reliever, it diminishes levels of anxiety, etc. The simple art of letting situations go and allowing them to be what they are going to manifest into is like very good for the soul. I found even in myself that some situations I have to let go in order to maintain a level of sanity and peace.

When I was younger, I would NEVER open up and let things go. I would usually hold everything in; I would become very silent and completely bottle up all my emotions and never really express them. Now that I have grown up, I’ve experienced a lot of things that have effected me mental,y, physically and emotionally. Because of that, I’ve learned that certain things you have to let go in order to be at peace with yourself. If not, you will continue to fall down a negative path.

So, I think we owe it to ourselves and our mental stability to learn to let go of certain things, and let the universe take ahold of our negativity and handle it. Let peace come into your life and be free of negativity. 🖤