up all night

ok so, i had a string of bad dreams concerning family & friends & my money...like stuck on roller coasters, crackheads attacking everyone like zombies (which if it were a movie, i'd definitely watch, tbh), i'm still not positive what dreams mean or if they mean anything at all. i know it just depends on the situation or blah, but these dreams kept getting more & more real and i was shooooook, can't lie. but then i had one dream that changed my perception of it all. my aunts (jessica & cent) came to visit me. they were GLOWING, honey. just slaying my entire being. they brought on tears from laughter because they were both silly as all hell, but they also encouraged me to not let little things affect me as much and to trust that everything will be ok...i needed that message & will likely continue to need that message because i obviously keep forgetting. 

as a virgo, youngest & eldest child, first grandchild, greatest hype woman on the planet, i thrive on creating some type of popping legacy and i also can't help trying to make everything perfect at all times...at least keep it stable, ya know? i, honestly, don't think that's too much to ask, but in this unpredictable life of ours it's not the best idea for me to latch on to everything always falling into place. especially when majority of this stuff is out of my control. (i'm a recovering control freak, He ain't through with me yet). am i putting too much pressure on myself? it's possible, but pressure makes diamonds! and something great is definitely in my future. maybe that's what's scaring me into paralysis. idk. idk. idk. this is what keeps me up at night. the. FUTURE. ive replaced the on & off with terrified & excited, but little spottie(negative self) is flicking the switch every other second. 1. career moves? i have a couple ideas, but after applying and asking for help, it doesn't seem like anything i'm doing is working out quite how i'd like. which makes me think that i probably need to stay still...or is that just what "they" want me to believe!? (trippy) 2. family. y'all know ever since i moved to detroit people in my family have been dying at alarming rates. though i know it's completely unrelated to me, it still feels as if i'd stayed home then they would've done the same. what if something happens to me and them at the same time? what if i can't afford to go home in an emergency?? (which has happened about twice) 3. relationships. platonic & lovey dovey. am i a good friend? am i killing myself trying to hold onto bad friends/people? can i trust him? can i trust her? shit, can i trust myself? when these babies supposed to pop up? i want some little ones, lol, not at this second but kinda soon. i think these are the top 3 things that keep me up every other night.

…but there’s a fourth and its about how i treat myself. not necessarily self care, but kinda. i, nadia, am a toxic positive person. i used to think it was a great thing because, ya know, positivity is good! but i’ve realized that i will ignore all the signs, warning labels and full out bad experiences in the hopes of little glimpses of good. i’ll half way accept whatever i’m going through because i know “the fix” is coming soon and when it doesn’t, i’m still hopeful. i’m learning that i have to fully accept the bad in order to really get over it…like if someone did something terrible to me, i’ll make a million excuses for them because i do believe that people are good, but when i tell my therapist or friends what happened, they’re like “WTF.” in every aspect of life i ignore bad stuff every single day and then it hits me all at night, uncontrollable spinning of scenarios that may or may not be possible, but if i had been upfront about how it made me feel in the moment then i may not have these residual effects later. i’m working on it, marigold was created out me working on this, but there’s still some work to do.

suni & marigold

alright, so typically i’m never this late, but i was basking in my own cozy laziness since i refused to leave my house and enter into this polar vortex. but enough excuses, let’s jump on in it.

i wanted to round out this month with self awareness and acceptance with one last crucially important pill to swallow. it’s so difficult because it involves breaking a cyclic habit in human nature, but it’s worth the fight. self talk. it’s vitally important to rewrite the code in our own heads. obviously, i mean negative self talk. that little irritating, but very believable voice saying you’re incapable, incompetent, and unworthy. i’m constantly hosting a debate in my head with the issue being “is nadia good enough.” most of me knows i’m the sht and i can prove it with little effort, but the rebuttal is sometimes just as fierce, especially during episodes. my word, i can get so mean to myself & i hate it, but that’s why i’m fighting it! also why i’m telling you this so hopefully you fight it too.

periods/menstrual cycles SUCK. period. point. blaaaank. but with this last cycle i had a ton more emotion than i knew what to do with. this random occurrence made my head spin out with crazy visions that are likely to never ever happen and to worry about things that are so very far out of my control. as you can imagine, my little devilish queen of negative self talk (let’s call her “spottie” because she just pops up) had a mfn field day! she was hitting me with all kinds of bs about how i’m not doing what i want with my life, i’m getting attached to people who probably don’t care about me, i’m trying things that’ll never work, my money gonna stay funny because idk how to act. there’s plenty more, but i ain’t trying to make the spins happen again. spottie was going off and i had to call in back up because my queen of positive self talk (“suni”, for obvious reasons) was slacking just a bit. with the help of some beautiful people i was able to break the wall and let some tears fall to get it all out. i know i’m not perfect, but i damn sure am not as bad as spottie was making it seem. that’s how i know i’ve progressed because past nadia would’ve been wallowing in sadness trying to figure out how to make everything instantly better when in actuality, that’s not what i want. i want to be nicer to myself on this journey of self discovery. i don’t want everything to be fixed in 5 minutes, i want to continue towards my very own definition of excellence…still working on the definition, but still.

aside from using suni to fight spottie, my therapist encouraged me to also have another voice in my head that’s similar to a big sister or a best friend because you know they won’t let anything happen to you. i’m a super protective friend/sister to everyone else, but i tend to believe the negative stuff way too quickly! it’s annoying, but i’m working on it. i need a name for this voice, i’m thinking marigold because it’s my favorite flower and it sounds strong to me, lol. i’m so thankful for my therapist suggesting this to me because it’s easier for me to refute the negative and stand firm on the positive facts. being a ride or die friend to myself empowers me. it makes me much more confident in the positive side. give it a shot. build yourself up & fight that negative voice, i know i am.

own it

looooooooooooooook, realizing your faults is one thing, but ACCEPTING them is a whole nother story. (yes, nother)

i’m currently kicking back, catching up on sermons while i type this and my pastor said something that just stuck with me. just two words, OWN IT. whenever i think of those two words, i typically think of Oprah and how she owns everything and her fabulousity, but that’s not what he meant. he meant it in terms of owning our faults, mistakes and literally pointing the finger at ourselves. i know last week i discussed people not letting me know there is an issue, but this week i feel it’s imperative that i tell ya how i’ve learned to own it.

i take pride in my self awareness + emotional intelligence, but, tbh, i only got here through realizing how imperfect i am. growing up in the country i was the “golden child”, even though it felt like i literally wasn’t doing anything different from my cousins. the only thing that i can point out that was different was that i was always, i mean alwayssss getting hurt, lol. anyways, in that climate, i can admit i didn’t think my sht stunk, but moving to maryland for middle school and dramatic puberty humbled me with the quickness! (lmao, whew, if only yall knew) for the first time i was really challenged, not really educationally because i was always a nerd, but socially. my country accent got me super teased, which isn’t that big of a deal, but it affected me. my friends checked me on things i never thought could be challenged. i was corrected as was everyone else, but my mouth was so slick that i got it a little bit worse. so basically continue this trend of “correction” through life, i learned a bunch of wrongs in my thinking because i study myself harder than i study anything or anyone else. but with studying myself, i realized i was negating many experiences and life stories because i haven’t been through them, so i debunked my thoughts & beliefs that was hurting others.

challenging myself on different emotional reactions has helped me to be more understanding towards others’ emotions. to me, there’s a rationale to everything and if there isn’t then i say, “must not be for me to understand.” that doesn’t mean i don’t still try to crack the code, but it does put me at ease. but at this moment my major flaw is my financial management. i have an excuse for spending that never ever fails, FOOD. i love it & it loves me, but i probably don’t need to be ordering out every week, let alone twice a week. another major flaw is selfishness/entitlement, not sure which, but yall can help me figure it out. i realize that i do get upset when people don’t respond in a timely manner or don’t communicate properly, if at all. most of my being feels very justified in disliking those things, but the little bit realizes that no one owes me anything and could very well randomly decide to never speak to me again. this is what i think “owning it” is, instead of pointing the finger all of the time, i need to take responsibility for spending frivolously and allowing people’s actions to affect me so much. no one and nothing is going to improve unless i improve. so i have some work to do!

looking at myself & saying, “i fcked up, but i’m choosing to do better,” sheds all kind of shame off of me. it gives me my breath back. try it & let me know it works for you.

*smooches*

just lmk

i'm human, af. i accept my mistakes once i understand them, at least. i know i'm not perfect, though, i still strive for perfection because i'm not satisfied with mediocrity nor am i about to let down the people in my life that have pushed me to be my absolute greatest, but at what cost? i've been doing a better job of not allowing others expectations of me supersede my own, but that's a constant battle, ya know? 

i think, well i know, that i overthink my mistakes and faults not because i wish they didn't happen, but because i don't want them to reoccur. obviously, i think i'm very understanding, but it's even been confirmed with more than half the people i meet plus a few personality tests i took. so boom! *screams* why is it so hard to tell someone (me) to what they've done wrong? 

i hate the “in between” time before i find out what i did, but i definitely do this to others so maybe that’s why it happens to me? idk. i attempt to give each discrepancy enough time for me to digest before i go blurting out what i don’t even mean…i guess that’s my whole strategy, i have to digest the issue before i can speak on it when it really gets under my skin because maaaaaan, if i respond in the moment, that could get very very wild and disrespectful. i’m working on gathering my thoughts & responses to wrongdoing in a respectful manner to also be in a timely manner or even in the moment, but i’m sure i’ll still have at least a 30min delay, lol. that’s just me tho! as for others, can yall please please tell me whatever i did before you just start acting differently? i can sense vibes and tension like no other so i’ll know something’s not right, i just won’t know what it is…& i’m a CHAMP of overthinking and i rather not start that snowball.

let’s grow together + try out different methods to ease the conflicts.

*smooches*

happy crying

Merry Christmas! + Happy Hanukkah! + Happy Kwanza! + Happy New Year!

i just want to shout a MEGA THANKS to all of you beautiful souls that make my diary a part of your day, it truly means the world to me!!

my holiday season was full of so much love and joy that the feels have run over into the new year & i’m praying they never end! i do wish that i could say that i didn’t have an episode or nothing bad at all happened, but that would be dishonest & ya’ll know i’m all about my transparency. so let me get to it.

twas two nights before Christmas and all i could do was cry. (internally singing etta james. if you don’t know the song, then please do yourself a favor and listen asap!) i barely made it into my moms house in maryland before i felt the weight of depression over me. it’s a weird, eerie & pressing weight that was sinking me into the couch. i felt paralyzed, to say the least. before a full episode of wayan’s brothers could finish, i felt tears staining my cheeks…which made it worse because IDK why they were happening. my mom may have a sixth sense or she just loves asking me to do stuff, but she called me downstairs & get all these gifts that needed to be wrapped before 8am service the next day. bruh, it was like 15 gifts for kids so i couldn’t say no. i take them all upstairs and get to work. i made it through about ten of them, but the weight reappeared only heavier this time. i tried to ignore it, at first, then i gave in and called a friend, but that made it worse because i felt i was wasting their time, just talking in circles trying to figure it out. i sat in silence for the length of a wild’n out episode and then a revelation happened. (weird timing, but i’ll take it) i i picked up my phone and typed my little heart out until realized that i was sitting in the middle of where my depressive episodes first began. in my moms house, feeling helpless, empty, alone and denied any opportunity to explain my “simple” woes. in this house i was felt tormented for years and if that wasn’t enough, i was also delivered most of the bad family news in the room where i had made a comfy little hideout. i was hiding from so much more than i thought. my attitude towards my parents was reverting to my teenage years when i hated everything about myself and others. though tears fell in buckets as this revelation unfolded, it was such a healing cry. with every half breath and full tear, a layer of sadness was being washed away. yall, i felt crazy, being so healed by letting tears fall.

the rest of my trip was seamless! well, for the most part, lol. all the travel and repetition of “work’s good",and, “i’m good” got REAL old real fast. but when you’re visiting a bunch of people that you don’t get to see, but around christmas time, you suck it up. my healed attitude was noticeable to everyone, i was constantly reminded of a glow i’m carrying around & tbh, that made me even happier!

i’m not gonna lie and say that everything is peachy keen, but my attitude has been tremendously better! i switched groups at work and i was terrified because, i mean, why do i need to be switched?? especially when i was having troubles with a few personalities in the old group. i was and still am suspicious of the abrupt change, but whatevs! this new group is dope!

so let’s try to have the best attitudes towards change, acknowledge the stuff that makes us feel negative and deal with it so we can get back to being positive and lit.

*smooches*

18 kudos

i’m going to try something that’s always been particularly difficult for me; bragging on myself.

everyone, or least almost everyone, knows i CANNOT take a compliment. at. all. it’s lowkey sad, lol. i always knew it, but i didn’t know it was this bad until i was at GHOE (greatest homecoming on earth @ the illustrious NCA&T). i was at a kickback with some peeps i hadn’t seen in at least 2 years and we're drinking, laughing and living our best lives! someone randomly decided to give me kudos about my site & my ig “brand”, naturally, i offer my typical response, “chilllllllllllllll, you’re so sweet! *insert compliment about them to take away the focus.*),” but this time she went right tf over it lol. she brought the focus all the way back to me & i was not only stunned, i was a bit embarrassed…like how you just gon hype me up more than i hype you up?! itried everything, i turned around, tried to walk away, then i just started sipping out of my cookout cup, lol. i’m not used to that kind of attention to detail & kudos, especially in front of others! y’all. i teared up, lol. this could’ve definitely been my alcohol intake, but since i still remember it like it just happened, i can gladly say i think i was normal as possible, lol. plus, it happened again when i was with my two best friends in michigan! i was legit trying to tell them a story & they just kept interrupting to hype me up. this is also when i found out my summer glow was gone because one of them told me i was turning red, *rolls eyes*. so now i’m going to attempt to hype myself & brag a bit because TBH, 2018 owes me nothing. i’ve grown so much & experienced soooooo much!

i guess the thing that i’m most proud of is creating a way for some type of art to flow through me and be shared with the world! i was chosen as the newsletter chair for one of the major employee resource groups in my company, which is sooooooooooooo dope! i get to converse with leaders of different levels all the time and not just because i’m asking for something, but because they love (that’s right, LOVE) the work i produced. the feedback from taking this over has been overwhelmingly positive and just about every person is appalled that i’m an engineer and not in marketing or something. *flips hair* by taking on this monthly project i found that i really have a knack for it, which i already knew, but i wasn’t aware that i’d enjoy it this much. it kind of started the thoughts of creating a blog. what stopped me from creating one was a lack of purpose and direction/end goal…but then one day, a light bulb smacked me & i realized that i just needed to start. i made my site within a 2 day span, lol, if that. once i got an idea, i just followed it and kept following until i just hit the fuckit button & revealed it to the world. now i have a weekly release that doesn’t have an over-defined or constrained scope. i use two rules, 1. it has to be true (obvi) & reveal a different layer of me 2. consistency(i tried to take a break from writing & just felt something was missing so i started writing, lol)

*screams to the heavens* i’m a published model! ya girl made it to an online magazine & no one can talk me out of that being a big deal! plus i had the time of my life at that shoot. even fooled a ton of people into thinking that i was actually married, lol. i’ve booked more modeling jobs than i actually thought was possible for a 5 foot 5ish girl. i put myself out there to connect with so many people with one constant thing in my head, “the worst they can say is no.” or not responding, lol, but i got over that. i also secured ambassador roles with two detroit based companies and i’m already working on two more that are out of state! a major one happened from a simple dm, lol. oh, my cards! my cards have helped define my end goal a bit more as well. even though i’m still not positive of the ultimate/perfect career, i know i want to include these parts of me in the grand future career.

coachella, greece, st. louis, atl, nyc, toronto and probably a few more locations that i’m forgetting at the moment easily have been a major highlight of the year! the views, experiences, food, cultures & trouble i was able to get into in each place has a supreme spot in my heart! i definitely want to continue to travel, but this year was a peak into different parts of the world and i just loved it!

ok, so on the extra personal tip…i’ve chosen MYSELF over everyone. i got back into therapy & have increasingly protected myself from energies that weren’t the right fit for mine. i became single, i also came out, i lost my aunt cent, i gained new friends and deepened friendships, i’ve started speaking up for myself and i’m excited to continue! currently, life is teaching me to let go & trust what God has planned for me, which is much easier said than done, but imma do it anyways because the stressful alternative ain’t even worth it!

there could be a few more things that i’m leaving out, but shit, oh well! lmao, this will suffice this go round.

*smooches*

talking talking

let’s talk about talking…

i wanted to say it that way because it sounded really cool, lol. seriously, though, we don’t discuss “talking” enough. it has sooo many meanings! but this week, i literally mean talking as in speaking in order to give information or express ideas or feelings; converse or communicate by spoken words.

i’ve been wanting to write about this topic for a little while because it’s always interested me. the words on chooses to communicate their thoughts and feelings are incredibly important because they frame the message the message they’re trying to deliver.

tbh, depending on my mood and some other factors, i talk way too much, lol, only to come back and give a concise and clear version of what i was trying to say, originally. it’s weird, but it often helps me to just ramble for a few minutes to get the thought as clear as it needs to be for someone else to understand. this method works for high pressure situations in my life especially when i’m trying to figure something out. every other minute before speaking i spend a considerable amount of time sorting out which words to use, depends on the audience, ya know? obviously, i can’t speak to my coworkers the same way i speak to my cousins, but i also don’t speak the same way to different groups of friends. i don’t change my message, but i do change the delivery.

let’s look this example, this is how i answer, “how are you?’

to friends on the outer ring, i’d say, “i’m alright, been a little down, but working through it.”

to friends on the inner ring, i’d say, “tbh, i think i’m going through a lot more than i want to talk about. i’m ok, i guess, but definitely not good.”

same message, but one is much more transparent than the other. even with my inner ring friends, i still meditate on my message before speaking, lol. i was telling my bestie about my granny being in the hospital, but i was talking way too quickly & i said, “my granny got her knee taken away.” we immediately burst out laughing because that doesn’t make sense & that definitely wasn’t the full story! i want to challenge everyone to focus on their message for an extra minute before you say anything. if it doesn’t help your lessen your misunderstandings and even arguments, then please let me know! (but i’m pretty positive it will!)

*bonus*

listen to understand, not to respond! take in and digest what the other person is saying and their full context before responding. I attended the Michelle Obama event and this is one thing was amplified throughout her message. if we understand the full story of a person we have a greater chance of understanding the true issue and resolving it!

deal breakers

love is love is love. but how do you really know you’ve found the one? or that you definitely have found the wrong one?

i’m going to spend a little time on the latter…just so y’all can learn from my mistakes instead of repeating them. this might get lengthy, so be patient.

iight so boom, i’ve learned these lessons at least three different times so i’ll just scream it real quick.

  • IF YOU SEE SIGNS OF MANIPULATION OR ABUSE, in any form, RUN.

+

  • “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou

there’s no easy way to figure out your deal breakers. unfortunately, you have to go through some hard shit to learn how to avoid the bs or just learn the signs to protect yourself (and even then it’s easy to slip up). my deal breakers are: manipulation/abuse and sever insecurity. this is how i learned them.

high school - i was cheated on.

college* - i was abused & manipulated.

college + post grad - manipulated.

i had it all written out, but it hurt like hell. i’ve forgiven these people and myself for all of it. going through it was terrible, obviously, but i learned what i’m willing to put up with and what are absolute hell TF no’s.

i’ve doubted myself. i let myself go in every sense that you can imagine. my spirit, health and sanity was in someone’s hands. i let that happen all while believing that i was in control. i don’t wish any of this on my worst enemy.

every time i’m asked about past relationships, i always shy away from the bad parts…but not this time. i’ll capture the college* one. I’ll call him steve. steve was a cool guy. the first guy that i ever met that was smarter than me, lol. of course, it started all sweet and innocent, but there were signs early on that we both weren’t ready for this. the first sign was this incident that didn’t even involve me, lol. he, his ex & another lady had a love triangle going on while steve and i were spending time together. i’m extremely honest, so much that it gets me in trouble. i told him about other people that i was flirting with, but he never told me anything about this triangle thing that apparently almost came to blows. being childish and competitive, i let him believe i knew nothing about it and continued acting normal as can be til i gave him an ultimatum, “ask me to be your gf or i’m outtie.” to me, this would prove to those other girls that i was the one he wanted, CHILDISH. he asked, though, with the cutest scavenger hunt and i said yes. the first months were full of cupcake love….i still don’t remember my 19th birthday and it’s not because i was lit, lol. i’m sure something crazy happened, but i’ve blocked it from my memory bank.

spring 14 is when things turned for the worse and continued to worsen. i went off for an internship in freezing, snowy ohio all by my lonesome. the job, location and new loneliness gave me a bunch of issues, personally, that leaked over into our relationship. steve began ignoring me and spending every second with his friends even when i expressed my need for attention and a listening ear. i flew down to nc for our first anniversary to surprise him & he still wanted to be all around his friends, i should’ve paid attention to that, but i considered these people my friends as well so i didn’t mind. he also spent his spring break in ohio with me, so it wasn’t complete turmoil 24/7, but when it got bad, it got really bad.

the following summer & school year proved to be too much for him & to handle. my 20th birthday was the biggest incident. he blacked out drunk & put his hands on me. he didn’t hit me, but he threw me against the wall and immobilized me while screaming an apology in my face. i don’t remember screaming, but i must have done something because his best friend burst in the room to hold him back and allow me to get away. i only stayed away for 5 min, crying in the hallway in complete disbelief. after that, i tried to give him rules to keep the drinking in check, but i was only met with attitude and dismissal. if i ever said anything about his drinking while out in public it became an argument that i didn’t want to have. i was terrified. but i started to live my own life without him and that was also an issue. i wasn’t sure what to do…i gave it my all, but it just kept getting worse. he was depressed and would blame me. i’d voice my discrepancies and he’d threaten to hurt himself if i left. while in the relationship, i didn’t realize that this was toxic manipulating behavior, but now i know better. sex was different…it was scary. i felt my voice was stolen from me and i was this new nadia that i hated. i wasn’t eating, doing anything for myself, he was always first. i was trapped until some epiphany happened. i think it was a movie or a book, but i connected the parallels to my life and decided to make a change. i had to go. he had to go. oh, btw, he thought everything was fine.

that was the one that broke me. i lost myself. i became a doormat. a “good” girlfriend, i thought. now i know better. i see the signs from a mile away. by no means am i perfect, but i know my worth. & through the bs and hardship, i learned my deal breakers.