Power Up Your Position: Major Keys From The #NABJRegionIIChi Conference

The greatest investment is always the one you make in yourself.

In my most recent post, I talked about my experience at my first NABJ Conference that I attended in Chicago and I’m back again with some major keys that I picked up. Enjoy!

On Money Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make in the Gig Economy

“You have to crawl before you walk.” – Micah Materre

Moderator: Micah Materre, WGN-TV Chicago

Panelists: Khoa X. Ho, Vice President of Investor Services of Ariel Investments and Darryl Newell, Vice President of Seaway Bank

So as we know, the world of journalism/writing/media is based on gig after gig. You have to hustle. You will switch jobs often unless you’re lucky enough to find stability. Regardless, you want to be as financially literate as you can. The panelists discussed everything from paying off student loans to investing in stocks. They said a journalist needs 3 things to survive in the gig economy, such as

A) Time on your side (start budgeting and saving early)

B) You need to be disciplined when it comes to spending.

C) You cannot succumb to momentary greed.

As far as debt, both panelists suggested tackling debt with the highest interest rate first. They also suggested getting a credit card that has the lowest interest rate as possible, as well as making at least two payments a month on your credit card bill to reduce your principle. If you are looking to build credit, they suggested on starting out with a secure credit card.

Other tips included:

  • Don’t spend more than 15% of your gross income (money after taxes are taken out) on consumer debt (loans, credit card debt, etc.)
  • No more than 28% of your gross income should be spent on housing. Fellow attendees shared tips on saving on housing in different places including searching on Craigslist for apartments of rooms in a home that have utilities included.
  • You should have at least 6 to 9 months of an emergency saved up and don’t be afraid to save for retirement once you save up.
  • When it comes to stocks, you should only invest in what you know. Think of yourself as a business partner whatever company you invest in. And remember, when you are investing, the results will not be fast.

On the Student and Early Career Journalist Forum


Tonya Francisco, Anchor/Reporter WGN-TV


Audrina Bigos, Reporter from CBS 2

George Lara, Director of Internships and Mentorships at Chicago Public Media

Leah Hope, Reporter from ABC7

Darleen Glanton, Columnist from the Chicago Tribune

This panel was all about ways to build a solid career in the ever-changing journalism world of journalism and some really great advice was given. Since (most)  internships are now legally mandated by federal law to be paid, that means they are even more scarce. Below are some tips on how to get your name out there.

“Start out small and gradually work your way up.” – Darleen Glanton

“Pitch. Pitch. PITCH. That’s how you get better.” – George Lara

“In this business, you are NOT a single entity, so stay connected.” – Tonya Francisco

Audrina Bigos, the youngest on the panel talked a little bit about ageism.

“Even though I am the youngest, I bring something to the table. So don’t be discouraged by your age, because experience outweighs that,” she said.

We also discussed the work that goes into getting a great story. Darleen Glanton said that “You have to be able to talk to people and try to grab the essence of who they are. Be apart of that community and dig.”

“Think about what is the best medium for this story.” – George Lara

“Remember that every story has a different pace and different emotion.” – Audrina Bigos

“Create stories within your lives, your families, your communities. Start small and develop your voice.” – Leah Hope.

One of the attendees in the room asked a question about journalists pursuing graduate school after receiving their bachelors. Here’s what our panelists had to say.

“Grad school is an option if you missed your opportunity in undergrad, such as internships.” – Tonya Francisco *personal opinion*

“More than a degree, they want to see your experience.” – Leah Hope

“A lot of times, its fear that makes people go to grad school. If you’re driven by fear, turn that fear into action.” – Audrina Bigos.

 On New Jobs In The Digital Age and What You Need to Get Them

Moderator: Art Norman, from NBC 5

Natasha Alford, Deputy Editor of TheGrio.com

Kathy Chaneym Managing Editor-Print of EBONY Magazine

Felecia Henderson, Assistant Managing Editor of the Detroit News

Arionne Nettles Digital Managing Editor of the Chicago Defender

*Special guest: Dr. Renee Ferguson

This panel was full of Black Girl Magic and by far my favorite. You can watch the Facebook Live recording I did of it by clicking this link here.

Some major keys:

“Learn how to do everything, and learn the business side of the business.” – Kathy Chaney

“Understand all platforms. Be comfortable in WordPress and other content managing systems.” – Arionne Nettles

“Success has many different paths, it does not look the same for every person.” – Dr. Renee Ferguson

I’m so grateful to have been able to attend this conference. There is nothing more inspiring than being in the same room as those who started exactly where I am as a student of the craft and to see them excel and progress in their own ways. ♥

Were you at the #NABJRegionIIChi Conference? 

What did you learn while there? 

Who did you connect with?

Make sure you either answer in the comments or tweet me your feedback @KiaSmithWrites

My First NABJ Conference


Because nothing is better than your first time.


I had wrestled with the idea of going to this conference for weeks, ever since I saw some Facebook friends attend another one in D.C. earlier this summer that left me feeling jealous because not only do I love D.C., but the people they were meeting and assumed connections they were making made feel as if I was missing out on something important, my purpose. 

My relationship with journalism was indeed a difficult one. I have always struggled about whether or not it was something I truly wanted to pursue. And if so, what type of journalist did I want to be? I never felt like I fit in with what I call “traditional” journalism (the people you see on the news) and after a bad experience with my school’s newspaper a couple years ago, I knew news writing was something I had no desire to do either. 

Creative by nature, I’ve always enjoyed writing stories about anything that crossed my mind and the older I got, I became interested in blogging about topics that interest me. If you truly know Kia, whether it is in real life or based off of an online relationship then you know I’m opinionated and passionate about well….everything. 

Upon entering college, my relationship with NABJ has not been as consistent as it should’ve been. I haven’t been an active member in almost 2 years due to other obligations and other leadership involvement on my campus but with my fifth year of college rolling around, I decided I wanted to become a due paying member again. 

For those that are not aware, NABJ stands for National Association of Black Journalists and was founded December 12, 1975 by 44 men and women in Washington D.C. It is the largest organization of journalists of color in the world. For more information, visit nabj.org

When the current NABJ of my school’s chapter told us about the upcoming Region 2 conference on finance in Chicago, I knew I had to go. 

Luckily, this conference was only a 5 hour drive from my school and with me actually being from Chicago, I didn’t have to deal with outlandish hotel fees like many of my counterparts. The next two weeks leading up to the conference were dedicated to figuring out what I was wearing, updating my resume and putting in an order for business cards. 

Bright and early on Saturday morning, I boarded the red line to an unfamiliar part of downtown Chicago. It was raining this day, and I was honestly in a terrible mood but I pressed forward knowing that I was meant to be here.

Official like a whistle.

Walking into the Medill School of Journalism, I immediately felt a sense of being home. So many bright and beautiful black and brown faces both young and old greeted me warmly and made sure I knew where to go.
The first session was called Money Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make In The Gig Economy. It was facilitated  by Micah Materre who is a WGN Anchor in Chicago featuring panelists Khoa X. Ho, Vice President of Investor Services at Ariel Investments and Darryl Newell who is the Vice President of Seaway Bank.
Since this panel was all about money management for journalists, we learned plenty of information regarding savings, credit cards, and stocks and bonds. So much priceless information was given in this session and I even got a photo with Micah Materre!
She was so nice and personable!
The next panel, entitled Student and Early Career Journalist Forum was moderated by Tonya Francisco, who is a anchor and reporter on WGN-TV. This panel featured Audrina Bigos a reporter from CBS 2, George Lara who is the Director of Internships and Mentorships for Chicago Public Media, Leah Hope a reporter from ABC7 and last but not least Darleen Glanton, a columnist from the Chicago Tribune. In another post, I will go more in depth about what I learned in each session, because the jewels dropped in this session were too precious NOT to share!
The SIUC Chapter of NABJ
Art Norman and I, a legendary news reporter (with an AMAZING voice LOL) from NBC 5
 My most FAVORITE part of the whole conference was the panel entitled New Jobs in the Digital Age and What You Need to Get Them. It was moderated by Art Norman and was FULL of amazing and accomplished black WOMEN.♥♥♥
So much Black Girl Magic: Dr. Renee Ferguson, Natasha Alford, Kathy Chaney, Felecia Henderson, and Arionne Nettles. 
I heard these women speak and I knew that was table I wanted to have a seat at one day.
Much love to Kathy Chaney 

What truly warmed my heart was being in a room full of educated and passionate journalists of color, who were either just starting out in the business or veterans in this business.The advice that was given, the knowledge that was dropped! I can’t wait to share with you all about that but in the mean time… let me just revel in my moment.

This conference helped me figure out that my voice does indeed matter and that there is a place for me in the world of journalism and there are professional people in this world who know exactly how I feel and want to see me make it.

Moral of the story: The best investment you’ll ever make in life is always the investment you’ll make in yourself.

We Are Not OK

I am so tired of us getting murdered.. 

So on my way to work this morning, I tweeted this:

It is literally exhausting being Black at a PWI right now. To navigate these classrooms day by day surrounded by those who just don’t understand why we are upset, angry and feeling hopeless.. to have to comfort fellow classmates, colleagues and friends from having mental breakdowns cuz they are just so tired of the bs. 

It’s so easy for other folks to tell us to oh turn off the tv, get off social media, choose not to see color, etc.

But we can’t ignore it.

How can we ignore constant images and videos of our people getting senselessly murdered for simply existing?  How are we supposed to sleep peacefully at nigh knowing that at ANY given moment one of us or one of our friends/fam could be next?

We don’t HAVE the PRIVILEGE of ignoring this shit. So fuck you if you don’t get it.

Ya’ll tell us all lives matter but what the hell are you doing on behalf of everybody else?

And then to navigate this campus and these work spaces and having to hear people try to justify these murders…

That’s the sickest part.

And then ya’ll wanna bring it up in casual conversation, asking me what I think. Watching me to see if Imma explode. But of course I have to hold my composure cuz I’m either at work or in class and I can’t break down or be angry in public.

But they just go back to smiling and laughing and ignoring stuff. I guess that’s how it is when you know your life matters.” @KiaSmithWrites

I’m not gone lie to ya’ll. I am all out of answers. In some instances, I feel completely hopeless. To see people who look like me death’s constantly get regurgitated on my timelines is enough to make me go insane. It’s like no matter what we do or say, if a cop wants to kill us, he or she will and to make matters WORSE, absolutely NOTHING will happen to them… Except paid leave. Protection from society. And the best lawyers that money can buy to get them off error free.

Meanwhile, the rest of us black folks are just in SHAMBLES, trying to keep our composure around people who don’t even get it. And its not that we are seeking sympathy but I just wish people would stop telling us that we are making a big deal out of nothing and then give us reasons why all these men, women and children basically deserved to die.

That’s insulting!

It’s infuriating!

And quite frankly,

It’s bullshit.

I’m not sure why the world hates us. I’m not sure what type of sick ass satisfaction the world gets from killing us. We done marched, fought back, protested and did everything in the book to try and stop this and its like nothing is working.

We can’t say that the system is broken, its actually working exactly like it was intended to.

I’m not okay ya’ll. We aren’t okay. I commend us for trying to be strong and resilient like we’ve always been, but something truly has to give.

May you all practice self care and unplug if necessary,

I’m out.

For Colored Girls Who Considered Giving Up When Things Got Too Tough

For Colored Girls

Hey girl,

How’s it going?

I mean, how is it REALLY going?

You’re stressed and overwhelmed with life right now ain’t you?

Don’t feel too bad, because we’ve all been there before. And in my most soothing, reassuring voice as possible, I’m here to tell you that it will be okay.

See, with the new school year starting I can understand the anxiety that comes along with wanting to perform well academically, pay your bills and rent on time, adjusting to a healthy work/socializing schedule and still figuring out time for you, your significant other and your family.

With so many of us coming from complex backgrounds we find ourselves complaining about adulting and looking for the nearest spot to turn in our resignation letter. If no one else gets it, understand that I truly do.

Thinking about my own journey, I reflect on a period of my life where not too long ago, I was so stressed and consumed with negativity that I felt like I lost myself. I felt like I was working soooooo much yet never had enough money to do anything besides pay my bills and even that wasn’t as consistent and as timely as I had wanted it to be. I was emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally TIRED and it still amazes me how I made it thru this summer.

Last week was my first week of class and nothing quite says “Welcome to Senior Year 2.0” better than some trying situations that really test your patience.

With as much adversity as I had been through in my life, I began to question if this life was even meant for me to live. Luckily, I snapped out of it and began to take another, more positive approach to the bullshit life dealt me.

First things first, I decided to start setting themes + intentions on the 1st of each month. August’s theme was “Patience + Perseverance” and those two things were certainly tested. But in the end I learned that great things take time and eventually, everything will work itself out. Despite the small amount stress that did occur, I am thankful that I didn’t have a major breakdown and that I learned to set my boundaries.

This month’s theme is to “Just Go For It” and its basically all about taking those leaps of faith that are necessary in order to grow. I’m a victim of self doubt and though I have so many dreams and aspirations, I am guilty of talking myself out of them just because I’m afraid of failure.

So I say all this to say sis:

  1. Yes, you are a strong woman.

But that doesn’t mean you won’t feel like bending from time to time. Usually the greatest tragedies birth the greatest victories

  2.I BELIEVE in you.

And no, I don’t have to know you, kick it with you or even know your name to do so. We don’t hear people telling us that they believe in us, and sometimes that’s all we need to hear to keep going. So if no one has told you lately, or if someone has never told you at ALL, I BELIEVE in you.

3.You’re actually doing much better than what you give yourself credit for.

You gotta learn how to celebrate how far you’ve come and where you are now so you can rejoice hard as hell in the future. So whatttttt things aren’t quite how you imagined them to be, at least you’re still striving.

4. None of what is going on is happening in vain.

I’m a firm believer in protecting your energy and that includes protecting yourself from your own negative thoughts! Do you think God would have brought you THIS far, just to be like “Okay, you can stop now” ? Of course not. This struggle that you are going through will be so worth it in the end.

5. Rely on your support system

When we are going through things, its not healthy to isolate ourselves and dwell alone. Whether your support system is an online community you’re apart of on social media or some of your closest homies, please reach out to them and allow them to help you if they can. We all need those motivating “keep-going and keep-your-shit-together” pep talks from the ones we love.

6. No matter how hard things get, giving up is NOT an option. 

You can’t give up girl. There will be harder obstacles in life that you have to deal with but just because things seem unbearable NOW doesn’t mean that they will always be this way. You have to stay positive and press forward cuz guess what: If you give up now, then that little girl who admires the hell out of you will think it’s okay to give up too. And we can’t be out here misguiding the babies now can we?


Moral of the story: You got this. I believe in you. And I’m so proud of you. Repeat those things and more to yourself each day until you start to believe it.


– A colored girl who considered giving up when things got too tough.

* So, what type of things do you do or say to stay motivated? Talk to me in the comments!*

* Want my opinion or advice on something? Email me whether its anonymously or whatever at kiasmithwrites@gmail.com and I’ll answer it on my blog*

Ending It Before It Ends You

Ending It Before It Ends You

You find yourself in the middle of your floor, once again wiping your tears of heartbreak, frustration and anger.

Here you go again, crying over the same old shit.

You can’t call on your friends because they’ve listened to you until they reached their own breaking point and to be honest, they are tired of giving you advice you refuse to take.

“You gotta leave him alone”  is what keeps replaying in your head, something that has been told to you countless of times and something that you told yourself more than a million times before.

But you can’t.

You seem to have an unbreakable addiction to someone who is simply no good for you.

You go through the tortuous cycle of saying you’re done and you even keep your word to yourself for a couple days, weeks, even months and then suddenly that person may call or text or ya’ll might talk because you initiated the conversation and suddenly everything you said you wouldn’t do goes out the window.

Of course you’re drained emotionally behind this, but no matter what– you can’t seem to close this chapter in your life.

Your personal situation may not be exactly what I described above, but I know for a fact that if you are reading this, you may have issues in ending certain things and moving forward.

I will also say that it is something incredibly terrifying about letting someone go.

Toxic people are kind of like our favorite books: We keep re-reading the same stories over and over again because we feel connected to the characters, we know the entire story line and plot twists and overall, its honestly a good read. We can curl up with that book anytime we please and even though we may read other books from time to time, we come back to our favorite because we enjoy the familiarity of it.

Something else I have noticed is that most of us have a hard time letting toxic people go because of all the time and the energy we’ve invested into them.

To put it simply, you may feel like if you leave them alone for good then that means you have wasted your time. You may not want to see them with anyone else, because you feel that no one deserves to know them like you do, feel what you’ve felt from them, or simply be able to bask in their presence. You may have been their shoulder to cry on, their ear when they needed someone to vent to, their number 1 supporter in all their endeavors, and so on and so forth. You feel like you built them up so you stay, going against everything your mind is telling you.

But… there’s always that little tiny voice in your head.

You know deep down inside that person doesn’t deserve you.

You know deep down inside you should treat yourself better.

So where do you find that strength?

Where do you find the balls to end things before it ends you?

First things first: Be real and I mean really be R E A L with yourself and acknowledge that you settled bruh. Stop sugar coating the situation and shed the light on what’s REALLY going on.

Here are a few things I constantly have to remind myself so that I can keep moving forward:

  • The amount of time you have spent with someone should not be an excuse for their mistreatment. Stop holding on to those pleasant memories because you refuse to face reality. As a habitual daydreamer, I’ll be the first to let you know that you can’t live in fairy tale land forever. When people  show you their true colors, believe them!
  • Stop thinking you need closure! Sometimes you have to leave situations and people exactly where they are. You may be “done” but the moment you tell yourself that you need closure will be the moment that you re-open the exact same door you were struggling to close. Toxic people are experts at emotional manipulation, so they know exactly what to do or say to keep you in their life.
  • Stop putting yourself in the position to make the same old mistakes. Nobody is perfect and we all have slip ups, but you must be able to hold yourself accountable as well. Discipline yourself! So for a while, you may not be able to kick it with that toxic person, hang out in the same friend group, respond to their phone calls or texts or be friends with them on social media. Your best bet is to stay away from them until you are completely out of your vulnerable state.
  • If you are a praying person, you must CONSTANTLY pray that you stay strong and break your addiction to this toxic person. Pray for your heart to be healed and for your mind to stay sane. Allow God to fix the emotional damage you’ve experienced. There are a lot of things I KNOW I can’t handle on my own no matter how hard I try, so I had to learn to leave it at God’s feet.
  • Lastly, you have to forgive them AND yourself. Forgiving them will truly free you from the situation, but that does not mean they deserve to be back in your life.Set your boundaries! In the spirit of accountability, you must forgive yourself for allowing yourself to be mistreated for however long and settling for less than what you knew you deserved.
  • I’ll conclude by saying this: There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving someone unconditionally. But when that love you have for someone else is compromising your sanity, morals, and own self value, then its best to end it before it ends you!


#WriteYourselfALoveLetter: Dear Kia…


Dear Kia,

First of all, I must admit how awkward it is to write a letter to myself but even more awkward for me to let everybody and they mama read it LOL. But I created this challenge for a reason, so I must play by the rules.

As you know Kia, this letter comes at a time when you haven’t been feeling like yourself. Your energy has been off, you haven’t felt loved, you haven’t felt inspired or inspiring, you haven’t felt pretty enough, you’ve been feeling used and disrespected. You’ve been feeling stuck and unappreciated.

But somehow, despite what you may feel, you look at each day as an opportunity to start fresh and new, and that is something I really admire about you Kia.

I love you because your heart and your spirit is one that can transform the world and touch the lives of everyone you come across. I love you because your love is the fire that will ignite anyone, the passion to fulfill any dream and all the words needed to uplift and encourage. You love so openly, yet you protect yourself because you know how fragile and valuable your heart is.

I love you because you’re giving. Whether it is a listening ear or aiding someone in need, you give without ill intentions, without throwing it back in someone’s face. You give without conditions and your heart to serve others is boundless.

I love you because you are unafraid to make mistakes and learn from them. Your flaws have made you who you are at this very moment, and they give you a unique story to tell. I love you because you strive to take care of yourself mentally and that you encourage others to do the same. I love you because you are growing to be very unapologetic, and that even when people don’t like or agree with who you are, you don’t try to please them.

I love you because you seek to define yourself to yourself. You don’t allow yourself to be put into boxes, and you embrace how multifaceted you are. I love you because of your complex layers, for they bring you a special surprise each day.

I love your humor. I love the sound of your laugh. I love the lines that form around your mouth when you start smiling, and the way you throw your head back when something is hilarious to you. I love the way your eyes sparkle when you look at people and how brown they are. I love the way your eyelashes curl and I adore the shape of your eyebrows.

I love the way you think and your curious intellect. Not only are you book smart, you are filled with so much wisdom too. I love how you ask questions, how you form your opinions, how open your mind is. If there is one thing that no one can take away from you, it is your ability to think for yourself, regardless of what anyone else is saying.

I love how both introverted and extroverted you can be.. It means you understand the tranquility of being alone, but you also know the power of being around like minded people.

I love you because you understand how much of a loving, beautiful, and valuable woman you are. I love how you refuse to let anyone or anything stunt your growth, how you won’t allow others to mistreat you and how you refuse to settle for less than you deserve. Sometimes its hard for you to believe because you may make the same mistakes over and over again, but then you snap out of it and realize that in life there are truly no mistakes, only lessons learned.

I love how dedicated you are when you truly want to achieve something. You never give up, you keep going no matter how long it takes. You don’t wait around on others to anything, you have always had such an independent and innovative spirit.

I love you because you value healthy relationships with both friends and family. I love that you will go above and beyond for them while still holding on to your sanity, yet love them fiercely enough so they don’t want have to question you. I love how you strive to always love them unconditionally, encourage them and support their dreams.

Speaking of dreams, I love that you believe in the power of your own. The things you want to do in your life will change the hearts and minds of many, but I love that you believe that if you touch at least ONE person, you know that your work matters.

I love how you support others. It literally brings a smile to my face to see how you will show others that you care.

I love your passion and intensity. In a world where so many will force themselves to be robots, I love how you will show your anger, your temper, your love, your sadness… It shows that your heart is working and that you care.

I love how you are constantly growing. You are not the same person from 1 year ago, 5 years ago and I am sure that you will not be the same person 15 years from now.

I love you because you command and demand respect everywhere you go, from everyone you meet. If you are disrespected, I love how unafraid you are to correct that person and go about your day.

I love you because you will always stand up for people and stand up for what is right. No matter if people disagree with you.

I love you because you are working on having a more forgiving heart. It is not easy, but you are trying and I commend you on the effort.

I love you because you are beautiful, but not only because of the way you look. It is more so because of the way you make yourself feel, and how you touch those around you. You are inspiring. Own that. You are inspiring. You may not see it right now, but I see it everyday.

I love you because you know that there is sometimes “good” in goodbye and how you will protect yourself from negative energy by any means necessary. I love how unafraid you are of hard work and how you adapt to change so well.

I love you because you don’t let your life’s circumstances define who you are, hold you back, or keep you down. Though you’ve been in some tough situations, you always bounce better than ever before.

I love the fact that you are a writer, and that you know your pen can take you places. I love how you let it describe your feelings, how it has told amazing stories and how it has healed you.

I love you because even in the midst of life’s storms, you manage to find peace within you.

I love the woman that you are but I know I will really love the woman that you are becoming..

I love you simply because you are you.

Kia Smith.

Kia Cherrice Joy Smith to be specific.

Filled with sugar, sass, and a whole lot of class.

Who is about as multifaceted as they and as outspoken as she pleases.

Who loves God and herself.

Who loves herself and others.

I love her. And I love you.

I love you Kia and don’t you ever forget it.




Write Yourself A Love Letter Challenge


Hey everyone!  I know it has been a while and I honestly have so much to share with you all but before I get into all that, I come to you all with a challenge.

Often on social media, I notice how easy it is to compare ourselves to others. It has always amazed me how easy it is for us to to make our lives seem so perfect on the camera.

How many of us find it hard to be confident in ourselves due to that person on Instagram with the thousands of followers, that girl on Twitter with the pretty hair, or that person on Facebook that is always sharing their success stories?

Though there is nothing wrong with people celebrating and affirming themselves, I know how much of toll that can take on people who may not feel as confident.

You may not feel pretty enough.

You may wonder how that person affords to go on so many trips.

You may wish your body looked as good as someone else’s.

You may wish you were as inspirational, funny, wise and witty like your social media faves.


I get it. We’ve all been there before. Hell, I have even been there before.

Therefore I have a challenge.

Why not celebrate you?

Why not affirm yourself instead of pointing out your flaws?

Why not share with the world what makes you so great?

Why not…. write yourself a love letter?

You heard (well, read LOL) me right.

This challenge is an idea I came up with so I could help people have healthy perceptions of themselves using social media. As I stated above, social media sometimes distorts our view of other people’s lives and may cause us to doubt ourselves. While constantly looking at the lives of other people, we may begin to question ourselves and point out our flaws.

In my opinion, that’s not healthy. You shouldn’t compare yourself to others because you don’t know what another person is going through to achieve a lifestyle that looks good on camera.

Also… no one else is YOU, and that fact alone is exactly what makes YOU so great.

If you kept reading this far, I’m sure you’re wondering..


It’s super simple. All you would need is.

A pen, pencil, crayon, or anything else you use to write with.

A piece of paper or whatever you use to write on.

Now here’s where things get interesting.

You can either TWEET a love letter about you using the hashtag #WriteYourselfALoveLetter

You can use a mirror and record yourself reciting your love letter on either YouTube or Twitter or Instagram. Or even Periscope if you use that. Please use the hashtag #WriteYourselfALoveLetterChallenge

You can choose your favorite picture (preferably a selfie) of yourself or a collage of pictures of you and post it to Instagram or Facebook, and copy your love letter in the caption.

Whatever you choose to do, please remember to link back to my blog. With your permission, I will post your love letter to yourself on my blog weekly or bi-weekly.

I will post my own love letter to myself, which will be dropping very soon… *winks*

This challenge is open to everyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality, etc. There is no time limit on this challenge, and the only rule to remember is that this challenge is to promote positivity, self-love, and healthy perceptions of yourself. No negativity, no pointing out your short-comings… Just all love.

Happy love letter writing everyone! I can’t wait to read you all’s letters..


The Myth of The Power Couple


Once upon a time, there was this girl who was MADLY infatuated with this guy because she was obsessed with being a power couple with him.

She was a writer, and he… well let’s just say he was an upcoming entrepreneur as well. He was talented, attractive, and deeply engrossed in his grind. Literally nothing stopped him and every obstacle he was faced with, he overcame.

Needless to say, she was enamored with him. She thought they could be the next Jay-Z and Beyonce, Kim and Kanye, hell even the next Meek and Nicki… powerful people making powerful moves while loving each other and looking good while doing it.

They started off as friends and she was one of his BIGGEST supporters. She was there for the long days and nights, supporting every event and giving him pep talks when he needed it.

She decided she wanted to BE with him, although he made it very clear that a committed relationship and settling down wasn’t something he wanted for himself at the moment.

She didn’t listen and she definitely didn’t care.

She figured she could MAKE him want to be with her, so she gave herself to him: mentally, sexually, and emotionally. The more she got attached to him, the more he pulled himself away.

Because nothing she did seemed to work, she began to question herself.

“Is it me? Am I not good enough?” she asked herself aloud one day.

Her feelings constantly got hurt because while she was infatuated with him and made herself available to him whenever he wanted, he carried on as if she didn’t mean much, as least not as much as he meant to her.

She began to get angry and presented him with many ultimatums.. All which he didn’t care about. So she decided to fall back to see if he would come to his senses.

She wanted him to see how great of a woman she was.

She wanted him to realize that she was “the one” for him.

She wanted all her hard work that went into getting him not to be in vain.

She wanted him to reciprocate what she poured into him.

She figured that since he was a man with dreams, he needed her as a woman with vision.

She wanted him.

But the sad reality was, he didn’t want her.

So again, she began to question herself.

Then one day, she began to examine herself and him.

And what she learned about herself was mind-boggling.

She learned that she was awesome just the way she was.

What she learned about him was that although he was attractive and ambitious, he was not the one for her mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

So while it hurt her in a way that she couldn’t explain, she knew she had to let him go for good.

It’s always a weird range of emotions when you figure out you and someone else aren’t on the same page. You may feel angry, you may even feel hurt– not because of the honesty, but because she realized they were NEVER on the same page.

And probably never would be.


  • If someone is sleep on you, it is NOT your job to wake them up.
  • Self-love is important. You should never have to MAKE anyone want to be with you.
  • If someone is TRULY meant for you, they will recognize how great you are off bat.
  • The concept of being a power couple is cool and all, but are you and that person equally yoked in other ways besides your individual success stories?
  • Stop ignoring the signs and LISTEN to people who say and/or SHOW they don’t want to be with you. Otherwise, you set yourself up to be taken advantage of.
  • Don’t settle. You’ll only end up getting your feelings hurt in the long run.
  • All relationships take WORK to maintain and the truth is, everyone isn’t cut out for the job description.


It was a hard lesson to learn, but eventually she caught the drift and moved on with her life. She figured that once she knew better, she had to consistently DO better and KEEP doing better.

And while some days she wished he would’ve came to his senses sooner, she knew in the end that them not being together was for the best. True love loves you back, and she now knows that there’s more to being a “power couple” than just having great things going for yourself… You have to be a great person as well.

What My Exes Taught Me

A conversation with one of my sisters about ex-boyfriends and loving yourself first has me thinking a lot on everything I’ve been through with the opposite sex. Though I’ve had many heartbreaking moments, I’ve had many hilarious ones as well. Sometimes I think my love life or (lack thereof) is a television sitcom or reality show with everything that goes on. One thing I can say for sure is that I don’t regret any relationship or situationship (Ok, maybe that ONE) I’ve ever been in because I learned something.

Before I take ya’ll down memory lane, here are a few #MajorKeys about my love lessons:

  1. If you try to love someone more than you love yourself it will always end in disaster.
  2. Being single is not the end of the world, it’s just a time to figure yourself out AND what you want in a partner.
  3. Some men are simply just bored. A man truly interested in you will act way different than a bored man.


With that being said, here’s what my exes taught me:

Middle School Love Lessons

I debated if I was going to add middle school dating because who really takes relationships serious at 11-13?

Well apparently, I did.

5th or 6th grade brought me my first boyfriend and not much happened except I received my first of many kisses and that two months after going together, dude left me for my “bestfriend.”

I guess that’s what I get for dating the popular guy in school huh?

I remember feeling embarrassed and insecure about myself because I was very self conscious about my looks and body. I remember being pissed he and my friend betrayed me in such a way, I guess you could say I was heartbroken.

Lesson here: You can manipulate yourself into being any type of woman a guy wants you to be, but at the end of the day he will do whatever he wants to do. You might as well just be YOU. Also, I learned I should pick better best friends.

In 7th grade, I met a guy that was a much better fit for me than my ex, the problem was that a few months into our relationship (we dated the whole school year up until he graduated 8th grade) I began to become uninterested in him. He was very nice and sweet to me (I recall us telling each other that we loved one another) but I also wanted to be single again, especially since he was going to high school before me.

Lesson here: Sometimes you outgrow people no matter how good they are to you. And that’s OK.

High School Love Lessons

Everybody wanted a high school sweetheart and I sure I would be apart of that.

A girl can dream, right?

My first high school relationship was with a guy that I should’ve left in the park I met him at LOL. What’s worse is that I used to LOVE that boy with EVERY cell in my body. I wanted to marry him, have his babies, the whole nine yards. Unfortunately, he had a problem with staying faithful and I had a problem seeing that I was too young, intelligent, and beautiful to deal with that foolery.

Lesson here:  First of all, life is too short to wait on a guy to act right. Second of all, your body is yours and yours only, if you don’t feel comfortable doing something don’t be afraid to say no. Lastly, I learned that you should never get caught up in the potential of someone. You literally cannot force someone to change, they have to want to do it themselves. And another thing, abuse comes in MANY different forms, not just physical. Educate yourself on the signs and decide if you want to put up with it. If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t.

My second boyfriend in high school came from after months of being single and deciding I would give love another shot. Not much happened in this relationship except that he was real messy and girls liked to play on my phone asking me about him LOL. Eventually I ended it after three months of dating, because I was bored with where things were going AND I was tired of getting confronted by different girls 24/7.

Lesson here: Give yourself time to grieve a bad breakup and just because you’ve known someone for a long time doesn’t mean you NEED to get into a relationship with them!

My third relationship in high school was interesting. This relationship was probably one I should’ve never pursued either, but you live and you learn right?

What started off as sweet and promising ended up leaving us both bitter and angry, I suppose. I won’t blame everything on him though, because he was a young man that was brought up never to express his emotions, and the only ones he WAS allowed to express were the anger and rage. Our arguments were over the top and unnecessary, but we stayed with one another because we felt like we needed each other. It was no longer love between us, but dependency. When he and I both turned 17, he began to change, to find himself I suppose. We started growing apart and I began to cling more. But when I started not to feel him anymore, he began to cling to me. It was a very toxic cycle.

Lesson here: If a person does not love themselves, they cannot truly love you.

After those relationships, I stayed “single” throughout the rest of high school. In high school, I also got into the first of many situationships. I went on dates and talked to a plethora of dudes but had no one to call my own though I could have had another boyfriend if I wanted to. I think I settled for situationships because I just wanted to HAVE somebody, without the headache of HAVING somebody, if that makes sense. Needless to say, I’m a serial monogamist who didn’t like being alone.

Lesson here: Just because you’re having sex with someone doesn’t guarantee you a relationship. Also, if a relationship is something you want, then stop settling to be someone’s sexual conquest and hold out. Lastly, being single isn’t the end of the world.

College Love Lessons

College is the place of hookup culture with a person like me who just wanted love like Whitley Gilbert and Dwayne Wayne.

My first college boyfriend was a situationship turned relationship. Dude was cool, but he was very controlling and didn’t like the fact that I was learning so many things and getting so many new ideas, you know GROWING as a person like you’re supposed to do when you go off to school. Something I noticed about the controlling and the manipulative types is that they always prey on the most vulnerable and with me having semi-low self esteem + a mix of personal issues I was an easy target. I got tricked into thinking I needed him cuz I went through a period where I thought no one would want me except for him. It wasn’t until I cheated on him that I figured out I didn’t. Call me what you want for cheating, but I eventually ended it because I couldn’t take it anymore.

Lesson here: As you journey through life, everyone is not meant to take the ride with you, not even the ones you thought you would love forever. Also, most of the men I dealt with respected me as long as they were able to have me. Once I wasn’t “theirs” anymore, I was disrespected just like any other woman. Lastly, it takes TWO people to ruin a relationship. Instead of cheating on dude, I should’ve just ended it.

Prior to getting with my college boyfriend, I was in another super messy situationship. Basically, dude lived a double life and somehow, I became a side chick LOL. I didn’t love him, but I did love his companionship and he was a pretty cool guy, just a habitual liar who used me.

Lesson here: Listen to your intuition girl. You are usually not wrong. I knew something may have been fishy about him, but instead of listening to myself I continued to let him into my space mentally, physically, and emotionally. Next thing you know, I’m looked at as a homewrecker LOL.

My last college relationship is still a complicated work in progress…. I say this because this person is someone I was with for the last two years but no matter how hard we try(ied), we just can’t get it right. It’s evident that we love and care deeply for one another, but sometimes two people need to work on themselves before they can work together. Like I said, this breakup is fresh so out of respect I won’t go into detail (mostly because he’ll read this) but here’s what I learned from him:

  • If I don’t love me, I can’t love you.
  • The words you say to people are important. Use them to uplift, not tear down.
  • Communication is key.
  • Situationships are stupid if a real relationship is what you want.
  • We say we want honesty, but its the truth that really hurts.
  • Again, situationships are incredibly stupid.
  • Sometimes you may be better off as friends.


With that being said, I’m grateful that I learned these things from my exes. While many situations were hurtful, I have learned that you can’t force love out of people. I’ve learned that everyone has baggage, you just need to figure out which baggage is worth unpacking. And lastly, I’ve learned to work on me first, put me first and love me first before anyone else.


What lessons have your past relationships taught you?

15 Things 2015 Has Taught Me

img_3817-2Of course I could’ve tweeted this, but who doesn’t love an end of the year list? For me, the year of 2015 was a year of revelation, reflection and restoration. With that being said, here’s what I learned this year.

15. Stay prayed up. Prayer changes things. This year, life really challenged me & within those challenges I had to develop a more serious & consistent prayer life as well as a better relationship with God. Prayer really works y’all. I learned that God will NEVER forsake you and never leave you alone. All you have to do is reach out to him.

14. If you’re going to pray for something, make sure your actions align with those prayers. Actions will ALWAYS speak louder than words. For example, you can’t pray for a financial increase if you are still spending frivolously. You can’t pray that negativity gets removed from your life if you still dwell in it. Make sure you are in the position to receive the blessings you are praying for.

13. Be more proactive, less reactive. This applies to fighting for social justice. When we fight, we want to be clear what we are fighting for & PROACTIVE in the strategies we use to fight injustice. Simply reacting out of anger with no clear plan only leads to unproductivity.

12. You don’t have to clap back all the time. The energy we use to drag the ignorant is energy that can be used to do something else. Block, delete and move on with life.

11. Don’t compare yourself to others, your journey is yours for a reason. Success is a journey, not a destination. We may see those around us succeeding in areas we want to succeed in and wonder what’s wrong with us. But there is no reason to compare yourself to them. You don’t know the things they go through, or what they have to sacrifice. Just continue working hard, things will fall into place in due time.

10. Stop living in fear. What’s the point in wanting something out of life if you are too scared to really go get it? The only person in your way is you. If your dreams terrify you, then GOOD. That means that they are exactly what you need to get out your comfort zone.

9. Give people room to grow & change. People can change, people can grow. Stop bringing up the old them when they are trying to do so.

8. Practice self care. If you are someone who takes care of a lot of people, make sure to take some time out for yourself as well. Learn what makes you happy, and indulge in it often. I promise it will keep you sane.

7. Setbacks often mean something greater is coming. I got rejected from a lot of things this year, but I believe that it is because something better was in store for me. Rejection hurts of course, but it’s not the end of the world.

6. Give yourself time to grieve. When something traumatizing happens in our life, we never really take the time to process it. But if we are to be mentally whole individuals, then we must grieve properly.

5. Counseling works. Sometimes you need more than prayers & encouraging words. If you have access to affordable counseling services, use them to get to the root of your problems.

4. Love yourself before you love anyone else. This is pretty self explanatory. Show yourself some love. Heal from that past pain and bitterness. Your future relationships will thank you.

3. You are never too old to learn and unlearn. You are never too old to learn something new and you are never too old to unlearn something problematic. Give yourself that room to grow.

2. Your circle is a reflection of you. Check yourself, check your friends. Are you all good accountability partners toward one another? Are you all uplifting and inspiring one another? If not, make some changes.

1. Be mindful of who you let into your space. More than anything, pay attention to who you let into your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual space. ENERGY IS TRANSFERRABLE, and everyone will not have your best interest at heart, no matter what they say. Pay attention to actions. Never settle on anyone and anything that may not be good for you.
So now I want to hear from you! It doesn’t have to be 15 things, but what are some things you learned this year?