#winning

 

Contrary to the title of this blog I feel like I’ve been losing lately. Over the course of the summer I was hit with harsh life situations that, in review, I did not handle well. Death of relatives and friends, money issues and the stress of filming and financing my first commercial all took a toll on me. I spent a lot of time feeling shitty about myself, and how I was handling life. I felt like I couldn’t roll with the punches and I was failing hard. I was ashamed of what my life looked like and anxious about paying my bills. I believed that I was trapped in a situation that I could work myself out of. Problem with that is, I was working but not getting anything done. My time wasn’t being spent well, so I was working hard, but working dumb.  Side hustling made me feel less anxious but I wasn’t really solving my money issues.
I got to the point that I couldn’t enjoy life. Summer is my favorite time of year. I feel like my city comes alive in the summer. Instead of going to rap concerts, hiking, hanging with friends I was working all the time. Despite the grind, the problems weren’t going away. My stress grew. My shame grew. My anger grew.
I was falling the fuck off.

 

I was scrolling through Facebook this week. I saw Issa Rae, Jackie Aina, Lena Waithe and started to feel bad. Jealous of their amazing growth and shine, my curated feed of black girl magic was killing me. I felt like trash. Not sure if I mentioned this, but I listen to a lot of podcasts. One of the many mentioned Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and it sparked a memory. In the book, Gladwell introduces the concept of 10,000 hours. Basically, to become the master of a craft you must invest at least 10,000 hours in developing their skills. I started this business 3 years ago. 1 hour on average a day x 365 days a year x 3 years =1095 hours. I want the shine. I want accolades. I want sales. I want security based on my creative gifts, but the reality is I have work to do.  It’s okay to be sad, or anxious, but it’s not okay to quit. This is the life I chose for myself. As my mom says this it’s the price you pay for the life you lead.  Losing isn’t being broke. Losing isn’t messing up. Losing is quitting before you win.
I have a renewed energy. It’s not some infomercial scam where I sell you the secrets to my smile. My energy is rooted in the realization I have I work to do. It’s wrapped in the reality that some days I will be straight trash and fail at everything. I am energetic because I am accepting that my imperfections and passions live in the same heart.

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I Ain’t Mad- Why I am giving Shea Moisture the benefit of the doubt

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I’m a black woman with an internet connection so I heard about the Shea Moisture ad debacle. In case you haven’t heard, let me give you a brief synopsis. For black women hair is the biggest of deals. Mainly of us are pressured by our families, employers and romantic partners to straighten our hair. In the last decade with the help of online communities there has been a resurgence of black women backing away from dangerous chemicals and expensive weaves and embracing their natural hair.  During this movement Black owned  companies have emerged to support the unique needs of natural black hair. These companies have strong cult followings. One of those companies is Shea Moisture.

With their new campaign, many black women felt that Shea Moisture was trying to act brand new. No longer reppin’ the girls that helped them build their business, the new commercials featured 2 white women and light skin black woman with bouncy ringlets. All the women were beautiful,  no shade.  But this reminded me of those commercials from the 90’s that made  me ashamed of my tightly coiled hair. I didn’t look like the ethnically ambiguous girl in the Pantene commercial who proclaimed that her hair was so healthy it shined.

 

 

I’m grown now. I am confident and filled with self love.  I like my hair in twist, afros, weaves, braids and flat ironed to Michelle Obama perfection, but I get understand the sting. Many times black women feel like we get trends poppin’ but don’t reap the benefits. Creatives and capitalists use our support as fuel to fly far away and never return. It kind of looked like Shea Moisture was doing the same.

I believe something else though. As an black entrepreneur I want Shea Moisture to win BIG. I want them battle to Unilever and Procter & Gamble. Ten years from now I want them to be a titan that can invest in their customers as they develop new ideas. I want a black owned deodorant company and a black owned contact solution company and a black owned nail polish  all at Walgreen’s. We aren’t going to get there without companies like Shea Moisture. So after we snatching edges with shade on Twitter, let’s snatch some market share. I am excited to watch their beauty company grow. It helps me to my open my mind  on where my company can go.

 

When Life Gives You Lemons, LEMONADE, PTO and Dope LadyArtist friends……

beyonce

(photocredit : Frank Micelotta/Parkwood Entertainment)

Rebellious self care is constant work. I usually tell myself that I shouldn’t indulge in an activity because there is work to be done. And when I see an amazing opportunity that I want to be a part of, I beat myself up by thinking of all the things I should have done to be ready for that opportunity.
Well, that doesn’t work. I just feel bad. I don’t move forward.

Nowadays I try to keep things balanced. I stay focused on my grind and work hard, but I also fit in fun. I have been finding that the fun is replenishing my spirit in new ways. Not only am I happier, but I am super inspired as well.

Went to the album release party for SassyBlack‘s solo project. DOPE! Besides being motivated by her creative progression, I ran into a plethora of amazing women that I don’t see often enough.
Then I attended  the Formation Tour with my bestie, sister, the majority of my high school, all the women at my day job and half the black women in my county. No, we did not all have seats together, but we were certainly in attendance. The night was amazing!  The homie saw DJ Khaled! There were flames, and fireworks and confetti (not made from the teeth of side chicks)! Don’t take my word for it. Check my snaps:

 

Always inspired by Beyonce’s professionalism and work ethic, I was in awe by her joy. On stage wasn’t just woman at the top of her field, in full control of her career. We got to see the dreams of a little girl brought to fruition. You could tell she was having fun and enjoying the performance just as much as any fan in that stadium.

Picking up on that joy I was filled with the desire to create it in someone else.  I want to make someone’s favorite something! Knowing that I could create something to trigger emotion in someone else has been my dream since day one. The tour made me me long for it even more.