Those pictures were me..before the journey to ME. Almost 3 yrs ago, I had come to a place in my life where I had everything, but I still felt empty. I would do things that would only keep me happy temporarily like shopping, traveling, eating out, kicking it, etc. only to come down and still feel so lost.
In a prayer then, I told God that I wanted to see myself. I said that I am willing to SEE. It is so true when they say be careful what you ask God for.
It all started with me being cut away from my cushy 8-5 corporate job. I was working for Boeing. I was making about $1200 a week…a little under $60k a yr. YES..in a city where the cost of living is pretty cheap. For a single woman with no children, I was DOING IT baby lol
I lived in a 2 bed/2 bath 2 story brand new condo by myself right by my job. I was the first person to live there. My kitchen was laced with all stainless steel appliances. I even had speakers built in to my living room walls for the home theater experience. There was a loft hallway upstairs where I had a baby piano sitting. AND..I had a garage that I pulled my 2007 C230 Black Mercedes Benz into everyday. My hair changed weekly…sometimes every 3-4 days. I kept my acrylic nails done. I went shopping every other day. I never was a name brand person as far as clothes. It didn’t matter who it was made by, if it was cute, I bought it and rocked it. I had soooooo many clothes and shoes, I could go months without having to do laundry except for logical things like panties, bras, socks, and my house clothes. I didn’t have to cook so I dined out all the time.
I was living so abundantly (I thought) that when me and my close friends would go out shopping or clubbing together, I would buy their stuff too with no problem at all.
Then, BOOM! I got laid off. I lost EVERYTHING including my relationship. Ever since I started dating in my late teens, I have always been in long term relationships. I’ve never been in a relationship shorter than 3-4 yrs. My first love and I were together for 5 yrs all the way into my 2nd yr in college. So dating and being single as an adult woman..I knew NOTHING about that!
I had to move back in with my mother. I was so distraught and depressed I didn’t even have the strength to move my things. My family had to do it for me. I had become so stressed out about the loss that I started having severe panic attacks. I was in and out of the hospital being diagnosed with severe anxiety which brought on heart palpitations. I’ve learned that anxiety comes from not having any control. It’s something going on that you’re trying to control but you can’t.
I was getting unemployment but it wasn’t nothing compared to what I made working. I struggled to find a job. The job market is horrible. It used to be that when you got an interview, you were most likely in the door. Hmph..not today hunny. That’s why there are so many phone screenings now. They have to weed out so many people. An interview doesn’t mean anything. So many people are out of work that the competition is at an all time high.
Alot of people don’t know this because I gave people other reasons why I lost weight. But this drastic change was the case of my first weight loss. I was so depressed that I lost my appetite to the point that I had to get medical attention. Me and my family thought that maybe my appetite loss was due to another illness that had gone undetected. Nope, it was severe depression.
Let me tell yall something…that was one of the scariest things. When you’ve struggled with emotional eating, eating when you’re sad, happy, blue, yellow lol..whatever to your appetite being completely gone..super scary. During that time, I prayed night and day for God to bring my appetite back.
I was in such a dark place. I was so far away from love that I thought I was going to die. I didn’t even want to talk about anything that had to do with the future because I literally thought I was going to die. I was in so much emotional pain.
I know now that I actually WAS dying. I was dying to be reborn and awakened.
My best friend Swan was there for me every step of the way. She would come and pick me up just to get me out of the house. She would be there in the middle of the night when I needed someone to talk to or cry to. She even was with me at the hospital a few times. I was really hurting. I had never been so low in my life. My family had never been so concerned about me ever than then. My door to my room stayed closed and I’d be in there crying or just laying staring into space..day in day out. All I wanted to do was sleep. I thought it was never going to end. Mind you this wasn’t just going on for a few days. I was going through this for months.
I remember getting called for a temporary job during that time and I accepted it. I couldn’t even make it through the first day. I had a nervous breakdown in my new supervisor’s office. I told her everything. I’m sure she thought I was crazy. But she even had tears in her eyes and sent me home. I couldn’t even drive myself home. Swan came and picked me up and took me home. I never went back.
You know people say that they can’t see how someone could commit suicide. I used to say it to. But if you’ve never experienced depression on a severe level, don’t say that. Now I get it.
But I have to say one thing I held on to was my faith in God even when it was the size of a mustardseed. I continued to praise Him in my private time because I knew there was a reason why I was in this place.
God stripped me of EVERYTHING..the tangible things that is. I didn’t realize how much I depended on material things for my happiness until then.
Remember I told God I wanted to see myself. Oh..He wasn’t through yet.
The unemployment allowed me to at least keep up with my beauty maintenance. So I was still looking good on the outside, but still remained empty on the inside. Eventually, my unemployment ran out. I mustered up enough will to start singing fulltime and live off of the funds I made from gigs. That still wasn’t enough to really maintain bills, not in the midwest. I was paying the bare necessities. I had so many clothes and shoes, I started selling stuff or giving it away. I was down to the bare necessities.
But without a day job, this brought on more time to grow and see myself. I got tired of being sad and worrying. So I began to allow what was happening to happen. I began to just embrace this time in my life. I began to do the work, the work on ME which most people don’t do. They just get into other things like excessive drinking, drugs, dating lots of people, sex, spending too much money, overeating, etc. to avoid doing the work on themselves.
My prayer was being answered. I was starting to SEE myself.
I started going to church more, really praying, and studying my Word. I began listening to messages and reading more inspirational books by authors like Eckhart Tolle, Abraham Hicks, Deepak Chopra, Mastin Kipp (The Daily Love), Christine Hassler, and listening to my dear sister Helen Marie among other inspiring people. I began to get in touch and appreciate nature more. I started going on walks and having picnics by myself in the park. Even in the cold weather, I would go for walks in the park just to appreciate nature in every way. I’d go to the zoo and museums by myself. I began to appreciate being alone and taking myself out on “dates”.
Speaking of dates, in all of this I dated a few people here and there but nothing serious at all. In being so engrossed in doing the work on myself, I purposely have not been intimate with anyone in a pretty loooooooong time. It makes it all better to not have any distractions and be totally free of “impurities”.
I cried a lot. Not because of being sad, but because I knew I was changing and being purged of my old self. It’s very painful to face yourself. Things come up that you never thought were there. But it also feels good because it’s healing.
But with every tear shed, slowly but surely, I was starting to feel a little piece of happiness again. Joy was on the horizon. The light at the end of the tunnel was peaking through.
I began to read up on the Universal Laws. The most important one is The Law of Attraction. Your thoughts and your words are very powerful. Your perception in how you see things is powerful. Positive attracts positive. Negative attracts more negative. Your world around you only is a reflection of your thoughts and beliefs including the people you choose to be around and even your mate.
So fast forwarding to recently, being that I had been continuing to work on being a better person on the inside, subconsciously my outside was beginning to follow suit.
I first decided to stop wearing acrylic nails and nurse my own nails back to health. Mind you, I had been wearing acrylic nails since I was 14 yrs old. This was something I NEVER thought I would do. I just woke up one day. I went to the nail shop and said, “Soak em off. I’m done doing this.” What’s so ironic about this process was that it was just like my internal stripping. My nails went through a very ugly phase because my old damaged nails had to grow all the way out. They were very unhealthy, thin, and brittle. It took about 3-4 loooong months. Being able to embrace my own nails has been so freeing. I used to spend $30 every single time I had to get my nails done. Now I can get a manicure AND a pedicure for that much. I get compliments all the time. I LOVE my nails..and their MINE lol
Next, I stopped wearing eyelashes. I used to hate being without them. If I didn’t have my lashes done, I wasn’t going anywhere. From wearing them so much, my own eyelashes were almost non-existent. I still wear the strips every now and then when I have a gig or a special occasion. I don’t wear the individuals anymore. Now my lashes are full again. I only use mascara. That’s all you need.
Then, the ultimate..MY HAIR!! lol Now if you know me, my hair has always been my thing. But going through that depressing time, my hair broke off really bad so I cut it into a pixie cut. I still was relaxing it and getting weaves though.
Because of the relaxers and weaves, it got even worse. So I decided to cut it all off. </a
I’ve always wanted to go natural but I was afraid of what people would think. Being a female entertainer, the way you look is so important. But from all the IN-ventory I had been doing on myself, I didn’t care. I wanted to do what I wanted to do and what was best for the betterment of my hair so it could be healthy again. I absolutely loooove my hair. I love my curl pattern and what going natural has done for me. The more it grows I just love it more and more. I do still wear protective styles but I am taking care of the health of my hair. I will never go back to the “creamy crack”.
The things that going natural has done for me and enlightened me to even more will be a whole other blog post. It’s something about embracing the hair that grows out of your scalp just the way it is. It becomes more than just about hair.
My move to LA was next. I’ve already told you all in a previous post why I chose LA and how much I love it. Just in short, being in a place by the ocean and where the sun shines 90% of the time, naturally does something to you. It’s like a plant that gets a lot of sunlight and water. I’ve been thriving and coming into my own.
Last for now at least, the process of my weight loss in a healthy way. Since I relocated to Cali, I have been inspired to really take control of my health. I love myself too much now and I want to be comfortable in my own skin. I started changing my lifestyle. I’ve always been able to cook but I wasn’t a fan of it lol But I’ve fallen in love with it and trying new recipes excites me. I rarely eat out now because I like to know exactly what is being put into my food. I have begun to workout regularly while eating reasonably. I loooove working out. I always have. But this time, I’ve just been in a zone. It’s like I’m shedding the last little bit of that mess.
I feel so good and have lost almost 20 lbs which was my first goal. So I’m halfway to my ultimate goal!!! That’s a whole other blog post too lol
I literally have been transforming myself from the inside out. I’m not perfect and there are still things that I continue to learn. We have to always remain students to continue to grow and be better.
I wanted to be better for myself, the man who will be my husband, and our future family. You are what you attract and with all the work I’ve done and continue to do, I deserve the best. He will get the BEST me yet.
My main reasoning for wanting to create this blogsite was because I needed to release some of the things I’ve learned along the way in hopes to inspire and help someone else. You are not alone in your struggles and triumphs.
And God knows. He knew from the beginning. He is so AWE!
If I had never gone through any of those things, I wouldn’t be able to sit here and write my story to share.
My story is still being written. I’m still a student.
So I titled this post, “Do You Really Want To See Yourself?” Well do you? Are you willing to go through the process of a stripping? Are you willing to do the work it takes to be better? Are you willing to shed blood, sweat, and tears to get to the core of your being? This is not a quickfix thing. It won’t happen overnight. It’s a process but a process worth going through.
For the past couple of days I have been singing and humming the old hymn, “I Surrender All”. It’s just been in my spirit. It says at the beginning, “All to Jesus I Surrender. All to Him I freely give.” How fitting is that?!
I lost a lot…even so-called “friends”. I’d like to say that God just removed a lot of dead weight away. I shedded a lot. But in all, I gained MYSELF.
I say all this to say, I told God nearly 3 years ago that I was willing to SEE myself.
I’m still learning. But today, I looked in the mirror and said to myself in tears, “I finally see YOU.”