7 Deadly Sins: Self-Doubt

Via Giphy

“Why can’t you see yourself that way that God sees you?” was a question once asked of me that still haunts me to this day.

To the outside world and online, I am seen as confident and well put together, courageously smashing her goals and always ambitious AF. Behind closed doors and in the depths of my mind, I struggle with a lot of crippling self-doubt.

I mean we all do, don’t we?

The answer is yes, but at what point does self-doubt become a problem?

Even better question: Why do we doubt ourselves in the first place?

Furthermore, what is self-doubt?

According to Collins Dictionary, self-doubt is the lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Well damn. What a way to make me feel shitty.


I’m not sure where self-doubt comes from nor how we develop that lack of confidence. Some may point to childhood, and say that if you had parents or other close acquaintances around you that criticized you quite often, then its likely that you would struggle with self-esteem.

But me personally, I wasn’t overly criticized by either of my parents. I was always praised for my performance academically or otherwise. But I know many of you reading this may have not been so lucky.

I really only received criticism from classmates and grew to hate the attention I received for being “so smart” because while I was not boastful about it, people still had something to say to me. So it was like a catch 22– at home I received support and reassurance but at school I was being teased, isolated, etc. On top of being an only child, it was hard for me to consistently believe in myself.

Like, I know I’m highly intelligent and gifted in a lot of areas, but when it comes to putting myself out there and letting people know, I get anxious about it.

What if they think I’m cocky?

What if they think I’m annoying?

What if they think my work is not all that cool?

Are these people laughing at me?

What if I’m not that great?

Am I really acting like a know-it-all?

What if I can’t pull this off?

And the questions continue.


Self-Doubt shows up in a number of ways, such as:

  • Procrastination
  • Never finishing what you start
  • Not being able to praise yourself for even the smallest things
  • Not pursuing opportunities
  • Talking yourself out of trying new things
  • Fear of rejection, so you don’t try anyway
  • Not trusting yourself
  • Feelings of imposter syndrome
  • Low confidence, so you look to others for constant reassurance
  • Automatically thinking you can’t do something
  • Actually being afraid that you are good at something because you don’t want the responsibility of maintaining it.

Imma stop right here. Because you know how we play ourselves.

I don’t think there’s a way to completely eradicate self-doubt because I don’t believe that there is a person on this earth who 100% believes in themselves and all their abilities…. unless you’re K*nye W*st of course.

Anyway…. I do think there are ways to control frequent feelings of self-doubt. Here’s a few methods that I try:

Balanced Reassurance

Alright so boom, there’s nothing wrong with seeking reassurance from others. There is something wrong when you seek it from people who don’t give a damn about you or if you do it too often. Who you have around you is important. The only cool thing about being an adult is that you have the power to choose who can be in your life. If you came from an overly critical family that did not speak life into you, choose friends who empower and uplift you. My group(s) of friends are honest with me and extremely supportive and encouraging. My wins are their wins and vice versa. We aren’t meant to do life alone and life is already tough enough, find a tribe of people who believe in you even when you struggle to believe in yourself.

Affirmations

As a writer and even as just a regular person, how you talk to and affirm yourself is important. To help control my self-doubt, I write down positive things about myself starting with “I am” even if it has not happened yet or I don’t always feel that way. Once I write them down, I keep them in places where I can see them such as the door of my bathroom, on my phone as reminders and the names of alarms and in my journals. By seeing these positive words every single day, my mindset begins to shift and I start to believe it. Once I start to believe, it becomes easier for me to kick self-doubt to the curb.

For example, self-doubt will be like: “Girl you are not even qualified for that opportunity, I don’t even know why you try.”

My affirmations counters that by saying: “I am confident in all my abilities. Why wouldn’t I try?

Start writing positives things about yourself, and see what difference it makes.

Let Fear Be a Motivator

Okay so, a large part of why we doubt ourselves is because of fear. This can be fear of rejection or fear of responsibility that comes with being good. Either way it goes, we have to learn how to let fear motivate us instead of hinder us.

Secret about me: 70% of the things I do or want to do, I be scared shitless. But what’s even more scary is staying stagnant and not being happy. So even though I’m scared, my impulsive side kicks in and I just do it anyway. Ya’ll know how the saying goes, it’s better to try some shit and fail than not try at all.


With that being said, I wanna stress a few things to you:

Overcoming self-doubt is indeed a journey but it is not impossible.

Sometimes you just gotta say “fuck it!” and do it anyway

There’s never a room you don’t belong in. Imposter syndrome can kick rocks too.

If you’re worried about not measuring up to others, please remember that you’re in competition with no one but yourself. Strive daily to be better than you were the day before.

Don’t listen to people who never accomplished shit. It’s a reason they’re projecting their insecurities on to you, and it has zero to do with you.


Let’s chat!

  1. What do you doubt yourself about?
  2. What does your own personal self-doubt stem from?
  3. What steps can you take to overcome self-doubt?

7 Deadly Sins: Self-Sabotage

“You make me wanna come thru, quarter after 2/just to put it down on you” ~ Summer Walker and Usher, Come Thru

The song was on repeat as I waited on his call, letting me know he was outside…. ready to enter into my home, enter into my bed, and into me.

“I shoulda known better…..” Summer sang through my speakers as I walked down my stairs to open the door for him. As he walked towards my door, my body felt tingly from head to toe…. let’s say it’s a feeling you get right before you know you’re about to make a bad decision.


Considering all that I’ve endured with this person, it was sick that I allowed him into my home again….. but I was a slave to self-sabotage. Whenever I felt like life got a lil too easy and and peaceful, I regressed back into my familiar, yet self-destructive patterns.

What are these patterns you may ask? Simple:

  • Fuckin’ with people I ain’t supposed to be fuckin’ with
  • Not staying disciplined to certain routines
  • Staying committed to detrimental routines
  • Purposely placing myself in tempting situations to satisfy my need for thrill
  • Not going after certain opportunities out of fear
  • Not walking away from certain people/things/situations that no longer serve me
  • Procrastinating on important things

The list goes on. This is self-sabotage.

Self-Sabotage is like opening Pandora’s Box…Once you start succumbing to certain habits, it’s hard to break them… and I be feeling like a reformed crackhead every time.

And truth be told, the addiction never really goes away… you just learn how to manage it.

But what happens when you can’t manage it anymore? When you don’t wanna manage it anymore? What happens to you when you keep repeating the cycle? Then what?

I’ll tell you what.

You and self-sabotage gone be staring at each other like:

And then you’ll question yourself, like damn…. why DO I keep doing this dumb ass shit? Ask yourself, am I engaging in this behavior because….

I feel like I don’t deserve better?

I actually fear a peaceful life because I am accustomed to dysfunction?

Do I actually have low self-esteem?

Is this behavior powered by another emotion that I’ve yet to address yet?


At this point of the story, I’m supposed to tell you how you should stop engaging in self-sabotaging behavior and work towards being your best self.

But honestly, I’m in the same boat as ya’ll…. or maybe not. Maybe you’re reading this and judging me. But I will say that over the last 5 months of consistent therapy, the only answer I have in regards to self–sabotage is that awareness is key. Now the step after recognizing?

Well, that’s up for you to decide. We gotta look in the mirror first.

Get out your own way. Stop self-sabotaging.


Let’s Chat

  1. In what ways do you often self-sabotage?
  2. Why do you think you engage in that type of behavior?
  3. What do you think the next step is once you acknowledge your behavior?

My First NABJ Conference

 

file_000
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.

file_000-1
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!

file_000-2
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!

thumbnail_img_9404
The SIUC Chapter of NABJ

fullsizerender
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.♥♥♥

img_9410
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.

img_9427
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.

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?

Thank YOU: What My Struggle Has Taught Me

Me, being oh-so-happy.
Me, being oh-so-happy.

I can indeed be described as an emotional being, but sometimes I experience a slight hardship when it comes to expressing those emotions, hence why I am eternally grateful that I was blessed with the gift of writing.

Today is a glorious day. But before I get into the story of why today is so special, I must share the story of my struggle that led to my victory.

The Lost

The moment I realized that I wouldn’t be a college student for this upcoming semester didn’t seem real to me. In fact, I treated the reality as if it were a dream, or reoccurring nightmare that would soon go away.

But of course it didn’t.

And you wanna know why it didn’t?

Because in REAL life, avoiding things does not make it go away, nor does it make any situation better.

And before I knew it, I was in a situation that at the moment, seemed impossible to escape out of.

  • Not registered for school
  • Important on campus job(s) had to be given up since I wasn’t a student
  • And more bills than I could handle.

For weeks, I fought like hell to get enough money to register for school, and even had a temporary holiday job, but with my own bills to worry about, paying for school just couldn’t be a top priority.

Not to mention, I’m extremely stubborn and I HATED asking anyone for help. It is a vice that I am none too proud of, but one I desperately want to evolve from.

I struggled during this time in my life. I had many tear-filled days, sleepless nights, and I even had feelings of inadequacy.

Not being a student opened up new insecurities for me, simply because I was so used to being in school. Though the lack of my enrollment wasn’t because of academic reasons, I still felt stupid about my financial situation.

I temporarily lost myself, something that many of us may do when life gets too tough.

My spark was out.

But God ALWAYS has a plan.

The Campaign

February 2, 2015 is when it all started. It was the last day in my office, that included dramatic tears and a “woe-is-me” attitude. I was STRESSED on this day, and still stubborn, and outdone with life. I just wanted to leave campus, climb in my bed, and further isolate myself from the world.

As I was cleaning out my office, a person who I adopted as my big sister suggested something that was incredibly absurd to me at the moment. She suggested that I create a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money to get back into school for the next semester while I looked for a new job or 2 so I wouldn’t end up homeless.

Tell me why I was NOT for it, and came up with every excuse as to why I shouldn’t do it?

Big Sister ignored my excuses, and went onto the website, inserted my email, created a password, made the first donation and then said, “HERE. Now promote this.”

Though I STILL didn’t want to, I filled in the details about my campaign and forced myself to click the share button so it could go on my Facebook page. Then I emailed some people the link, and the rest took off from there. Besides myself, I had many other people spread the word using various forms of social media that included Twitter, LinkedIn, Snap Chat, Instagram, and of course Facebook, whom Go Fund Me is partnered with.

My goal to raise was $2,000 and in 24 days WE raised $2,115.00 from 81 different people.

I’m still in awe to be honest. I couldn’t believe that people were so generous, especially to little ole me.

The People

During the time of this campaign, people both surprised and disappointed me.

I won’t call anyone out, but a lot of my disappointment came from the fact that people I EXPECTED to be there, seemed extremely ghost. I won’t go into detail about what they didn’t do, but after many pep talks from my best friend, I stopped focusing my energy on those people. I continued to go hard, and put all my energy into the ones who were helping.

And there were MANY.

People really surprised me. I once had this mentality that people were “not shit” and that was because I witnessed people do terrible things to others as well as me and I just didn’t have that much faith in humanity.

But as I said… people really surprised me.

It’s not only  because they donated, but because they took the time to read my story, they promoted my campaign, they offered encouraging words, they prayed for me, and they simply believed in me enough to want to see me win. Even those who were unable to financially contribute helped me in the best way they could, and touched the hearts of people who had no idea who I was and led them to donate.

And remember when I said I was jobless at the beginning of my campaign too? Well, a wonderful person heard about my misfortune and she offered me a job doing something I LOVE, and I can honestly say that I am happy when I walk into work everyday.

I’m not sure what I did to have all these blessings and good fortune come my way, but whatever it is, I pray I keep it up so I can help others in the ways that people have helped me.

Thanks to YOU…

So as I said in the beginning of my post, today is a glorious day because…. I’M OFFICIALLY REGISTERED!

My university offers mid-semester courses that will start towards the latter half of this month and will continue to the end of the semester in mid May. I thought that I was going to have to sit out the entire semester and/or give up my full time job, but as I said.. God ALWAYS has a plan!

But none of this would be possible without you lovely people.

Lessons Learned

My struggle has taught me various things:

  1. Success is a journey not a destination.

There will be bumps in the road. There will be times that you want to give up. You may even temporarily give up. We all have our setbacks, but the joy is that we are always able to bounce back.

2. Keep the FAITH

It’s cliche, I know. And I was soooooo tired of hearing it. But one day, I realized how necessary it is to have faith when you are going through your trials and tribulations. Others may not see it but as long as YOU do, things will turn around for the better for you.

3. There is NOTHING wrong with asking people for help. NOT ONE THING.

I was under this false impression that adulthood means that you do everything by yourself and you’re not supposed to ask anyone for anything. If you did, that means you’re weak.

HOW WRONG WAS I??????

Closed mouths don’t get fed, and I believe that God has placed some really good natured individuals on this earth. Once I started asking, there were so many people that I knew and did not know who were willing to help me. Many people (like me) hate asking for help because they have dealt with individuals who have “helped” them for their own selfish reasons and have thrown their deeds back in their face. Or, they have dealt with people who make a mockery out of their struggle, thus making you feel bad for even asking, and now you may feel weak.

However, I learned that you are NOT weak for asking for help. Don’t let negative experiences with people scar you for life. There are STILL good people out here.

4. Everyone isn’t meant to take your journey with you

When you are going through hard times, some people are not meant to keep you lifted during that period. Once I realized that, I stopped being upset at the ones who I “expected” to be there for me. I knew it wasn’t because they didn’t want to, but because that was not an assignment that God have given them. Everyone in your life isn’t meant to be out on the battlefield with you when you’re going through a war. Use the energy to become appreciative of the ones who are already there, and embrace the new people that come in when you least expect it.

5. Embrace your struggle. It makes the victory so much sweeter

Of course no one wants to go through hard times, but if life was such a smooth sail, ask yourself how appreciative would you be?

We tend to take for granted the little things struggle can teach us. Struggle develops independence, it can develop faith, it can develop so much strength and survival skills we didn’t even know we had. Struggle develops your character. It’s interesting to see what type of people we become when everything we ever had is taken away from us. Do we evolve into greater people? Or do we stay complacent and still stuck on ourselves?

Moral of the story

I’ll never stop saying thank you. I’ll never stop appreciating the kindness of you all, and I will continue to pray that all the good fortune and various blessings come into your life on behalf of helping me. I will continue to pay your kindness forward, by helping as many people as I can, in whatever way. So on behalf of myself, I want to give a public thank you to you ALL. I will remember this time in my life as long as I live, and will never forget the kindness, encouragement, and positive vibes you all have sent my way.

I’m not sure if everyone who reads this believes in God or considers themselves religious, but I hope he blesses you anyway.

XOXOXOXO,

– Kia.

Vent to the comments.

1) What has your struggle taught YOU?

 

In 1913

1913 was such a pivotal year for Black women…. Here’s my spin on my favorite piece of history.

The year is 1931 and I am dying. However, it is nothing to be surprised about, because that is what old people do. Luckily, I have lived a fulfilling life. I worked hard, took care of my husband and children, and worked endlessly to provide justice for others. As I lay in my bed waiting to take my last breath, I reflect back to my proudest moment, when I and other Negro women participated in the Women’s Suffrage March more than 20 years earlier.

The morning of March 3, 1913 was cold. Colder than I imagined, though it is early March. I awoke feeling melancholy. For weeks, there has been talk around the town about women protesting in the streets to urge politicians to give us the right to vote.

Being a woman in these times is one thing, but to be Negro and woman is another. Racism is something that is often ignored in the face of fighting sexism. White women will force Negro women to do all the ground work while they receive the glory. They want our bodies physically there, but our thoughts and feelings are not validated, because in their eyes, we are not important enough to speak for ourselves.

I admit, I was suspicious when members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association approached me to participate in their protest. I was settling in from my anti-lynching legislation tour, which took me around the states and overseas to London. However, I agreed until I received another visit that forever changed me.

How are you Mrs. Wells?” a member from NAWSA asked me. She sat awkwardly in my parlor room chair, and kept diverting her eyes from me, choosing instead to look at the painting of my family and me, hung above the mantel piece.

I’m doing well,” I replied coyly, sipping my tea. My husband was away on business and my children were away at school. The member was a tall and slender woman, which blondish colored hair and bright blue eyes. She sounded as if she was from the Boston area, because every word she spoke was nasally sounding.

She looked young, about 22 or so, and I learned that she had just graduated from college. The dress she had on was a nice green color, and she wore no makeup on her cheeks, unlike most girls her age. I noticed she had no rings on her finger, so I assumed she wasn’t married.

The reason I am here is to discuss the march with you that is taking place on Saturday” she said. Once again, her eyes diverted from me as she spoke.

Go ahead child!” I said with authority. One of my deepest annoyances is when people speak to me too low or don’t look at me at all. I expect anyone I come in contact with, whether black or white to award me the same respect I award them.

The young white woman, who I will call Sarah looked slightly frightened at my tone. I have a large voice, and most who know me understand that. However, this was her first time meeting me, so I made a mental note to control my tone, though I knew that I would be annoyed some more in the duration of our conversation.

Well, as you know, the march is in a couple days,” she started.

I’m aware. My group and I are grateful for the invitation” I said, and smiled sweetly. We weren’t exactly grateful, but it sounded good. I just wanted her to get on with this conversation because I had so many things to do.

Well yes, we are glad to have you but there is just one small change we need you to make..” she said, as her voice trailed off.

I sat straight up and slightly leaned forward and encouraged her to go on.

We have many women from all over coming down to support us, but many of them are southern women who are married to certain politicians and law makers. While we appreciate you and the other Negro women for marching with us, we are going to have to ask you all to march in the back” she said.

As soon as the words escaped her mouth, my mind went blank. In my activist work, I had met many types of white women who wanted to help end lynching. Many of these women were the children of abolitionists, and understood why Negroes needed rights. However, once this women’s rights stuff started, it was as if the true colors of many came out. To be frank, many did not want black women to be a part of anything. It’s like the only women who were allowed any type of rights were white women. It was frustrating fighting both racism and sexism within a movement that was meant to liberate all women.

I peered over my bifocals at Sarah, disgusted. “I’m sorry, but what did you say?” I asked.

Well it’s just that these women may feel upset that they may be marching next to women like you, and we really don’t want them pulling out this protest, because we need their support” she explained.

I stared at her, my mind going blank once again. Black women were forced to be at the back of everything since I’ve been alive. We have worked hard for this country, cared for children that weren’t ours, neglected the ones that actually were ours, and yet we are still treated like second class citizens.

I sighed deeply and silently counted to ten before I spoke again.

If we cannot march in the front with everyone else, then we do not wish to participate at all” I stated with venom in my voice.

Sarah looked mortified and said, “Oh no, we cannot have that! Don’t you understand?”

No, you all seem to be the ones who don’t understand. We are not cattle. We are women and we deserve to be visibly apart of that march just like any other woman” I said.

While of course I agree with you, I am just doing what I was asked to do. Please do consider,” Sarah said.

I think it’s time you leave” I replied.

Sarah and I stared each other down for thirty seconds before she got her coat and left my home.

I laid in bed that night, consumed in my thoughts, drained by the ever-going acts of racism. I was frustrated to think that just for once, Negro women would actually be considered important. The more I thought, the more I began to form a plan of action.

Two days later, I awoke bright and early. My husband sat up in bed and watched me brisk around our bedroom, getting dressed. I was filled with a large amount of vigorous energy, ready to stand up for what I believed in. I had decided to go to the march despite what NAWSA felt.

Are you sure about this honey?” my husband asked. I kissed him on the forhead, gave his hand a squeeze and said, “As ready as I’ll ever be” and marched out the door.

It was cold that morning, but you could tell that early signs of spring were approaching. Thousands of people were gathered in downtown Washington, all bustling about. I saw the NAWSA women and looked at them stone-faced. They were still under the impression that I dropped out of the march. Most members avoided eye contact with me, Sarah especially.

The march began. Women held banners and signs and yelled “GIVE WOMEN THE VOTE! GIVE WOMEN THE VOTE!” over and over. It was a captivating sight. When the Illinois Delegation passed I signaled for my members to push forward, and we landed right in step with that group, chanting “GIVE WOMEN THE VOTE!” as if nothing happened. I made eye contact with no one, because my heart was beating extremely fast, I can even admit I was filled with nervous energy.

Photo via biography.com

 

 

The white women around looked shocked, possibly because they have never seen a group of Negro women so bold. But I didn’t care. If women were to one day get the vote, I wanted to make sure ALL women were included in that.

I smiled at the memory.

7 years later, women finally won the right to vote. It wasn’t easy, and I knew that the fight for women’s rights still had a long way to go, but for once I knew I had done my race a service…

I died a happy woman that night, hoping that my legacy would carry on.

You Deserve More

An ode to the women in love with those who don’t appreciate them.

You deserve better Ma.

Beautiful girl, beautiful woman, don’t you think you deserve more?

More than those late night phone calls that require you to wake up out your slumber to accommodate someone coming to you like a thief in the night.

You deserve more.

More than being treated like a secret, only seen at night and never in the day.

Beautiful girl, beautiful woman, don’t you think you deserve more?

More than empty promises and lies and tears. Temporary pain shouldn’t last for years.

You deserve more.

The dates, the smiles, the gifts, and the I-love-you’s… Your days should be filled with joy, not the blues.

You deserve more.

When you ask him how he feels….

Actually, you shouldn’t have to ask. He should constantly tell you, make you forget about your past.

Beautiful girl, beautiful woman, don’t you think you deserve more?

Your love should always be reciprocated.

You deserve more.

You don’t deserve to get used. He’s not worthy enough to be in your presence, let alone be on the receiving end of your compassion.

Beautiful girl, beautiful woman, you deserve more.

More than what he can give you.

You deserve more.

More than what he tells you.

Beautiful girl, beautiful woman, don’t you think you deserve more? You deserve better.

THEY SAY…

Image

They say you’re not supposed to play with fire, but what if I like the burn?
What if I like the warmth the fire brings, even though its flame can be put out just as quickly as it was lit?

They say don’t trust…
But what if I like holding another person accountable for not hurting me, not lying to me, and just being a good person?
What if I like seeing them work hard to gain my trust, and work 3x as harder just to get it back if it’s been lost?

They say don’t love…
But what if I like the feelings that love brings?
The sweet gestures, the earnest words, the long kisses?
What if I like the connection between me and another human being, not knowing why we really love each other, but just knowing that deep down in our cores we do…

Why you gotta have a reason to love somebody anyways?! Why can’t it just be?

They say don’t forgive….
But what if I don’t like being angry, what if I don’t like being bitter? What if I wanna argue bad with you one day, and then make up with you the next like nothing ever happened?
What if I don’t like holding grudges? What if I don’t want people or situations having control over my life simply because I’m still mad?

Why is loving someone so easy, but forgiving them so hard?

They say a lot of things… But phuck what they have to say… I’m doing what I want.

Date A Black Girl – By Akira D.

167

So you want to date a black girl?

With her heavenly body, that looks as if it is God’s greatest creation.

The black girl with her sweet and charismatic language that leaves you in awe, when you hear her voice before your eyes greets her face.                                                                                     Her eyes are like two lovers who have been slow dancing in a room that reminds them both of their first time they slow danced together.

(Sings) If this world were mine, I’d place at your feet all that I own…You been so good to me if this world were mine
You love her hair from the kinky roots after she finishes deep conditioning her hair on a Sunday evening preparing for the long week ahead.

 

To the, 300.00 of 4 bundles of 18in Brazilian wet and wavy hair she just purchased that makes her feel beautiful.

You love her from her hair follicles all the way to her toe nails you say?

Dating a black girl is more than dealing with the attitudes and insecurities about the way the stretch marks hug our ass cheeks.

They are like zebra stripes, which will not be our favorite beauty mark when we shed off our clothes for you.

But, we will be self conscious of the vines that wander around our thighs, hips, and ass.

As if they were tattooing our body to become your guide to exploring our body with the lights on.

As you try and figure out why don’t we love them, because you believe they are the most important thing a black girl can have?

Her sweet language and slick mouth will be the reason why you fell in love in the first place.

Because you love a woman with a little sass in her walk, a woman whose confidence radiates her skin, and caresses your glance long enough to ask her, her name.

You will learn to appreciate the sound of her voice, the walk, the independence, her sensuality and her being seductive when she doesn’t even try.

Dating a black girl is more than just a love song or a bad hair day.

Dating a black girl, is her showing strength even when she is ready to set it off.

She is more than a fat ass in a hip hop video.

More than a female addicted to retail.

More than her stereotypes.

More woman than girl.

She is more than a lover, who’s allowed men to play her heart as if it was some sort of instrument.

Her body is more than a sexual object; it is a wonderland that has vines tattooing themselves, scars dancing on her legs and fingerprints that leave autographs on her inner thighs and on her pelvis bone.

Dating a black girl is realizing that some wars she will never return home from.

Dating a black girl is realizing that loving her every imperfection allows her to love herself even more.

 

Akira D. is currently a Communication major with a specification in Radio-Television Broadcasting. She aspires to have her own nationally-syndicated radio talk show and hopes to open a center for the performing arts for youth. She began writing and performing poetry at the age of 8 and through the support of mentors and family writing became one of her many passions. Akira D. 19. Lover of Music, Intellect and Beauty.

Follow on Twitter: @TheeNaturalWay
Follow on Instagram: @TheeNaturalWay_

 

Love Rehab: Chapter 1 – The Beginning

download (1)

ADDICT

(ADIKT)

n. One who has a conformed habit, as the overuse of drugs.

1. Cause addiction in

2. Devote or give (oneself)

Ya know…. this killin’ ya self shit ain’t no joke. I think a person deals with more personal conflict trying to do themselves in, than they do when life is good and they believe everything is okay.

Nevertheless, I’m either gone down this whole fuckin’ bottle of Zoloft or I’m gone take the painful way out and slit my fuckin’ wrists.

I mean… it .ain’t like I got shit to live for no way. After constantly getting shitted on by a nigga, 4 miscarriages, 6 different STD’s, and countless of ass whoopings, I ain’t got shit to lose. No job, no personal money, a few friends, and barely any family, I feel that killing myself would be the best thing for me right now.

I’m sick of the crying, the internal and external pain, and I’m tired of feeling alone in this world. Only one person matters, but shit my dumb ass manged to fuck that up too. The one person who truly loved me and I screw it up by not being able to trust, not being able to love….. At this point, I really believe that I’m a waste of space and the world be so much better without me…

BANG! BANG! BANG! “DESIRAE!!!!! OPEN THIS DOOR MAN! I’M NOT GONNA LET YOU DO THIS!” BANG! BANG! BANG! came the loud knocks and screams from Dre.  After the last time we saw each other, he specifically said he didn’t want shit to do with me. And now he’s here? Ugh.

One pill… Two pills… 3 pills…..4….

The bangs and screams continue and I continue to swallow the pills.

Suddenly, my head begins to feel woozy and I curl up into a ball on the cold bathroom floor, seeing my horrible life flash before my eyes… I oddly felt at peace, knowing it would all be over soon…

The bangs continue. “DESIRAE! ” Dre continued to scream.

But it’s too late now…. I take my last breath, and realize that it’s all over….