mental health, Self Discovery

Removing the Cape

So I was typing up the discussion for Black Girls Must Die Exhausted. 

Bumping Maxwell’s MTV Unplugged album- track 4. This Woman’s Work. Despite being tragically placed in the sex scene in Love and Basketball and many a first dance wedding song, the song is actually about death. 

In case you didn’t know. Go back and listen to the lyrics. And watch the video. 

So yeah.

Between the book, the music and the incense I was burning (which happened to be called “Black Woman”), I got in my feelings.

I got to thinking.

Finally, I have a job I don’t hate. An amazing apartment. Clear skin. Edges……..and in therapy. 

The insurance that I have through my job allows me to access for as little as $35 a session. I’ve been going weekly since December 5th. I went to my first session fully equipped with a plan. I wanted to commit myself to weekly sessions for at least one year. I even started a “therapy journal” last year to write down specific things I’d wanted to tackle when I finally found a therapist. 

We’re quite a few sessions in and I’m making a ton of progress. I’m telling y’all I came prepared to do “the work.” And I make sure to review all of my therapist’s notes after each session. 

The first culprit we’ve identified is PTSD (post- traumatic stress disorder). Primarily from childhood trauma. Now if you know me personally, this comes as no surprise. I’ve been pretty transparent about my upbringing. But I genuinely didn’t understand the extent to which it’d negatively impact every facet of my adult life and all of the relationships I’ve built within it. From family, to friends and lovers alike. 

The truth is. I’ve been tired for a very long time and now I’m fully coming to grips with why it’s understandable. Growing up being applauded for ensuring the wellbeing of others was not a badge of honor that I should have earned. Strength should never be rooted in anyone’s ability to put up with bullshit.


I’m tired of being the strong daughter

I’m tired of being the strong sibling

I’m tired of being the strong niece

I’m tired of being the strong friend

I’m tired of being the strong colleague

The strong everything for everyone else.

And thanks to therapy, I realize that it’s okay for me to feel that way. I had to be responsible for so much at quite a young age. Just juggling everyone else’s SHIT in addition to my own. Almost to the point where I don’t even really know where anybody else’s shit ends and mine begins. Lately I’ve been working on distinguishing between the two and creating more boundaries to protect myself….FIRST.

So moving forward, I won’t be available in the same capacities that I used to be. 

I’ve taken the “strong” cape off.

Discover, Inspiration, Motivation, Self Discovery

And the award goes to…..

In spirit of one of the podcasts that’s kept me afloat this year, The Brilliant Idiots, I think that this quote is reasonable.

If you think 2020 was your best year ever, you’re absolutely right. If you think 2020 was your worst year ever, you’re right too.

Many of us don’t even have the words for what 2020 was. 

Nothing I did was on my vision board. 

My planner looked like a kindergartener had scribbled through it.

I started a new job as a middle school teacher. 

I quit that new job and moved to Texas. 

We got hit with the pandemic quarantine. 

I made $1000 Instacarting one week. 

I got fired from Instacart. 

I had to ask my friends to help me pay my bills.

I finally have a bed after sleeping on a blowup mattress for months. 

I worked at the IRS for 2 days and quit. 

I worked at a hospital for a month. 

I fell in love again. 

If that isn’t Oscar worthy, I don’t know what is. 

2020 showed its ass. 

I’m actually eager to see what 2021 has in store. I’m rather used to this Jordan Peele production we’ve been in for 90% of 2020. 

I’m looking forward to all of the creative ideas being birthed from this pandemic. All of the healthy conversations that are taking place. People are reading again. People are writing again. Strangers are networking. Folks are finally pursuing their passions. 

I love to see it. 

Please do set intentions. 

Please do the shadow work. 

Manifest that shit!

2020. Deuces!

Discover, Inspiration, mental health, Motivation, random thoughts, Self Discovery, Uncategorized

Escaping Survival Mode

According to Psychology Today, “survival mode” is an adaptive response of the human body to help us survive danger and stress. 

From the outside looking in, many people would assume that I had an overall healthy childhood and adolescence. I was raised by my grandparents in the country. I got good grades. I never came off as disobedient. My yes mams and no sirs were always polished. Despite being a “good kid” raised in a super religious household, my life has never been exempt from trauma and dysfunction. I am almost certain that I’ve suffered from depression for years undiagnosed. 

I recently read and shared an article that discussed the immobilizing effects of depression. I recognized myself immediately. I wasn’t in a position to get out of the environment that I was in so I mentally became immobile. I don’t remember how I learned to control my rage. How to play along. How to seemingly “fit” into that world until I could get out of it.

Fast forward to now.

At 30. Far removed from the people, places and things that brought the trauma and dysfunction into my life, I still catch myself functioning in survival mode.

It is very difficult to escape this mindset.

I’m constantly reminding myself. I question my decisions alot. Why am I doing this? When it’s time for me to make important decisions I ask myself if I’m doing what I want to do or what needs to be done? Anything involving money and I’m asking if I’m buying an item from a headspace of lack.

Whatever helps right?

To the person that resonates with this blog:

  1. How are you or have you been working on escaping a mindself of survival mode?
  2. What has been your biggest challenge?
Discover, Inspiration, Motivation, random thoughts, Self Discovery

In Case You Were Wondering

As many of you may know (or don’t know), I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety and depression in November 2015. Since then it’s been a colorful rollercoaster to reduce the number of panic attacks, suicide attempts/thoughts and breakdowns. I’m grateful to everyone who’s tagged along, supported me or literally saved my life.

Moving forward Pretty Dope Right?®️ will be a blog dedicated to sharing my journey according to my anxiety and depression. How it’s defined me, allowed me to define myself and forced me to find a functioning medium.

Thank you for reading


Discover, Inspiration, Motivation, Self Discovery

Write the blog sis!

I’ve been slacking. I’ve been challenged. Most importantly I’m making changes for the better.

Slowly but surely I’ve gotten away from myself and more specifically, my writing. It bothers me more than I care to admit. Not only am I letting myself down, but I also feel like I’m letting down my fellow writers and those that depend on me to keep them motivated.

So just in case you needed a mid-week or mid-life friendly reminder…….




The world is waiting

Inspiration, Motivation, random thoughts, Self Discovery

An Open Letter to Assata Shakur

Dear Assata,

I hope that this letter finds you in the comforts of your freedom. I won’t take too much of your time.

One day (about a month or so ago), I visited my favorite herbal apothecary. I picked up a 21 day guided journal and I as gifted a bracelet with “Exist Like Assata” etched into it. I am a firm believer in the intentions of the universe. I took it as a sign that during this current time and space in my life, I was supposed to be learning something from you. Prior to receiving this bracelet, I had no idea who you were, what your impact was or how much you’d change my life. All I knew was that I was being encouraged to “exist” like you….whatever that meant.

Being the bookworm that I am, I decided to begin with your literature. I’ll be honest, I typically finish reading books in about three days. Your autobiography took me over a month to finish.

As I read, I researched. I researched words. I researched locations you mentioned. I researched the Black Liberation Army. Your autobiography was my first introduction to it. In the history of my education, it has NEVER been mentioned and after reading, I fully understand why.

As I read, my blood boiled. I became frustrated. The frustration led to anger. The anger led to feelings of such helplessness that I cried and had to continuously put the book down until I pulled myself together.

Assata, I am in awe of your spirit, strength and the courage that carried you. Thank you for inspiring me to make greater efforts to be an advocate for our people. Most importantly, I thank you for sharing your truth. I wish you continued freedom, light and love.


Discover, Entrepreneurship, Motivation, Self Discovery

Book Review: Roadmap: The Get It Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life by Roadtrip Nation

Roadtrip Nation began as just that, a road trip amongst friends- Nathan Gebhard, Brian McAllister and Mike Marriner. In 2001 they set out on a journey to discover the next steps for their lives. Since then, they have traveled the country in a bright green RV interviewing people that have created their lives around their personal interests.

Pretty dope right?

As a matter of fact, their journey was so dope that it turned into a docuseries, books and an online portal for helping others (like myself) figure out how to create a roadmap for their lives.

This is by far one of the best books that I’ve read in 2018 (although the book has been out since 2015). The title couldn’t give away anymore of its purpose.

Broken into three parts- let go, define and become, Roadmap isn’t your typical “figure it out” workbook. I was forced to acknowledge some pretty self limiting habits that I wasn’t even aware of and how much I had been conditioned to believe that working for an unfulfilling job was the norm and that creating a lifestyle based on interests was going to be a struggle to go against the grain. This book is filled with regular degular folks (like myself) giving us the knitty gritty about their fears and obstacles experienced along their roadmaps.

This book has helped me to identify my foundation and core interests. It’s opened my mind to a world of possibilities that I hadn’t considered before and I am looking forward to sharing it with the world.

But you don’t have to believe me. Create your own.


Diet, Fitness, Self Discovery, short stories, Uncategorized

Let Me Get Some Skrimps Please

It only takes twenty one days to start or stop a habit. It only takes twenty one seconds to order a three wing dinner at Bojangles, a Cajun chicken tray, double onion rings and lemonade with light ice at Cookout. I, with confidence and sound mind and body, decided to say my final goodbyes to meat on July 8, 2018. It takes ninety days to start or stop a lifestyle and I have thirty seven days left.

This is by far the longest that I’ve stuck with a diet of any sort. There was that one time that I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Netflix. I went and purchased a $200 juicer only to last for a half day at work Skinny, Hungry and Nearly Passing Out.

Since that experience, I still get lightheaded when I think about juicing all of my meals. If you’ve tried it and it worked for you, kudos.

I’ve been researching other diets and lifestyle changes since then. There is wayyyyyy too much material online to sift through. There are 10,000 people doing the keto diet, 100,000 people going vegetarian and 1,000,000 vegans swarming the farmers market. I didn’t feel that I was disciplined enough to give any of those a try.

I only knew a handful of pescatarians and my younger cousin Ashley was one of them.

We were both raised on the same foods, fried everything, “chittlins” and pig feet. Now, here she was willingly walking away from everything that she knew. Not to mention that she’s also a full time college student. If she could make the change, I literally had no excuse.

Oh wait, what the hell is a pescatarian? In a nutshell, a pescatarian is a vegetarian that eats seafood. I know I know there is a name for everything. I prepared myself by eating all of the meats from my fridge and freezer. I removed every ounce (all pun intended) of temptation. I found a handy dandy pescatarian grocery list on Pinterest and hit the grocery store.  For once, I’m not being extreme with this diet. I was never a vegetarian and I’m still in the learning process on exactly what is off limits. I know there is more seafood in the world than fried flounder, grilled shrimp, crab cakes and smoked salmon, but that is all I currently consume. If you have any suggestions, please submit them. I beg you!

Everyone wants to know……how do you feel?

I feel alive! I’ve actually never felt better. I forgot to take before and after snapshots. I feel lighter. I have zero bloat and I’m noticing more definition in areas that I have been focusing on in the gym.

I have more strength for kickboxing. I don’t tire as easily and I’ve noticed that my overall mood has improved as well. Personally I don’t think that I’d have such drastic results without the combination of the pescatarian diet WITHOUT kickboxing. Physical fitness and nutrition have and will always continue to go hand in hand. I don’t try to convince anyone to ditch the meat and hop onboard nor do I criticize you meat eaters. I can only speak for (and feed) myself. You continue to enjoy your steak and I’ll continue to enjoy my salmon (the L is silent by the way).