Category Archives: Women

Book Review: The Wait by Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin

Before I get into my thoughts about the book “The Wait”, I want to share the background on why I chose to read this book. For a few months… actually a few years now.. God has been dropping the subliminal hint that maybe I should consider celibacy in dating.

After numerous heartbreaks, I decided instead of dating society’s way, I might as well try it God’s way and see how I felt. Sure, why not?

So I pursued my personal relationship with God. It was a testing time, but it was rewarding. I learned a lot about myself. I learned about  my worth as a woman, my worth as a person. God’s love filled my heart. His love healed my past emotional wounds. It was empowering, to be in love with how God made you, and be content with what God gave you. 

Then God placed my boyfriend into my life. The ultimate test, because in a short amount of time we went through a lot of crap together. I met my boyfriend at a stage where he was coming back into his faith. God really pushed us away from each other because we weren’t ready, but we’re both so grateful for everything we went through. It makes you think some people are content with hurting you– you can say this hurts me and they won’t change. While others will acknowledge hurting you and make the effort to change– because a person’s heart is what’s most important. My boyfriend will say that I pushed him closer to God. But God did that, not me.

My boyfriend and I learned that we live on God’s time, not our time. We want it now. God says later. That’s why patience is important. Now that God brought us back together, we’re stronger than ever– with friendship and Godly love being the foundation of our relationship. My boyfriend and I are “waiting”– to respect and honor God, and respect and honor each other. We push each other towards God, and it’s really amazing.

I was really excited to read this book because celibacy is NOT easy, AT ALL, no,no,no, no, no, so I needed a testimony– I wanted to feel inspired by reading Megan Good and DeVon Franklin’s story.

I was definitely inspired in a lot of surprising ways!

 

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Book Review: The Wait

The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and The Life You Love by Meagen Good and DeVon Franklin, gives readers so much more than I expected. The media of course focuses on the celibacy thing, and that’s a huge part of it and why it works. Yet there are more powerful messages in this book. The book is an easy read, I read it in a day. I appreciate how vulnerable the authors are, it is not all good times and happiness, but they talk about what they struggled with as well. The book is real and raw. I loved reading it! I even gave a copy for my boyfriend to read. He enjoyed it too!

Four things I love about this book:

  1. This book is not on about waiting for sex, but waiting in general. Patience. Something our generation lacks (me included). We are a generation of instant gratification. The book touches on patience with your career, with finances, and yes patience in dating. Our generation thinks love is instant, but it’s not, it takes a while for you to get to really know someone. So we shouldn’t rush it. We can rush it with the wrong person and be stuck. For life. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce but the majority of marriages today are couples under the age of 25 and/or couples who get married after only dating for a few months. Many things fail because we rush into with without understanding it.
  2. Relationship advice. DeVon makes a claim that marriage fails because we don’t date the right way. The book offers a lot of great relationship advice. If your goal is to be married one day, it offers great guidance on how to know if you and the person you are dating are compatible enough for that next step. It offers insight on what exactly should we really be looking for in a life partner.
  3.  It has a guy’s perspective. I think men are criticized more for being celibate because society often defines a guy’s manhood on sex. This ideal that real men pursue sex constantly, how can they live without it? That’s kind of insulting to think that a man has no self-control? I digress. In the Wait, there is a whole section where DeVon speaks to the men. If women, money, power status makes you a man– you will fall as soon as one of those things falls. DeVon pokes at the insecurities of men in society today, and helps men overcome them and be more empowered. He gives a real definition of what it is to be a man. Clearly, a lot of men in my generation need to take notes.
  4. Empowered my decision on celibacy. Yes I am a Christian honoring my body for God, but the book made me feel very empowered in my decision and also very badass! If I can do this. I can do anything!

My grade: A-

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Book Review: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

 

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Bad Feminist is a collection of essays by Roxane Gay. Her essays are a combination of personal accounts and crafty critiques on our culture. Gay’s arguments are smart and witty. Although I do not agree with every point Gay made in her book, I still value her opinions. I couldn’t put the book down, I was so interested in what Gay had to say.

Gay’s humor in the book is a plus. It also makes her stories relatable. I lost count at how many “GIRL, I FEEL YOU” moments I had reading this book. Gay is a great writer. She engages the reader in her personal accounts to the point that you feel that you are right there with her. In her critiques, she highlights the great strides women have made in our culture while also seeing the opportunities the feminist movement misses. Gay writes these essays not only as a woman, but as a woman of color. That alone is refreshing.

Bad Feminist also made me put a lot of thought into the word feminist. A word that is both powerful and soft.  There is a need for the feminist movement in terms of equality, and reminding society how AMAZING women are, in a world that often puts women second. Yet the feminist movement often leaves out the injustices that occur with women of color. There is a lack of understanding and therefore a lack of effort for racial injusitce. Feminists should focus on race more. Inequality is inequality, don’t focus on one and dismiss the other injustices. A tech entrepreneur once told me, “Being a woman and being black is like a double unicorn. I have to push twice as hard for my breakthrough.” This is why I think Gay’s book is needed today. It’s a different kind of book–not only for women but for men also. It was more relatable to me than any episode of Girls on HBO could ever be.

I give the book a B+.

 

 

#SoulfulSunday: Book Recommendation 📖💛

#100DayProject Day 7 is dedicated to author/poet/entrepreneur Alex Elle. (For more on my project check to my Instagram page).

Blessed rising! ☀️ Just a #SoulSunday book recommendation: Words of a Wanderer and Love in my Language poetry books by Alexandra Elle. Writer to writer, she’s great and her words are healing. 💛 

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“To the Women of the Rodriguez Family” poem #100DayProject #Day1

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To the Women of the Rodriguez Family

Generations of broken women,

Shattered women turned into mosaic art.

Your battles molded generations,

Generations of cold women with gentle hearts.

I see myself in every single one of you,

Remarkable mothers, sisters, and daughters.

I’m better because of all of you,

Generations of strength, gracefulness and honor.

And as I go,

On my own journey

I know you’re watching over me,

Helping me

To become the woman I want to be,

I’m meant to be.

So To the Women of My Family,

I hope I make you all proud.

-Jessmialma

#CurlyHairTalk: Washing Curly Hair: Co-washing, Clarifying, & Conditioning

For washing your curly locks conditioner is your best friend, harsh chemical-filled shampoos are the enemy. The best way to show a little TLC (tender, love and care) to your curls is by co-washing during the week, and washing with a sulfate-free shampoo and using deep conditioning treatment once a week.

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THE ROUTINE: WASHING MY CURLY HAIR 

~ Curly hair flourishes when moisturized. Cleansing conditioners is one of my staple products. I co-wash during the week, around every two-three days, sometimes everyday. Co-wash as often as you like but keep in mind that your hair is the most fragile when it’s wet. Allow your hair time to dry completely before washing again. P.S. there is also a such thing as over-conditioning, so if you’re co-washing everyday and your hair starts to feel spongy or even mushy, you’re overdoing it.

~ I use a No-Poo Shampoo (conditioning shampoo) as my weekly wash to cleanse a bit more. However this is NOT the same thing as co-washing. If it says shampoo it’s a shampoo, so it’s a little harsher on your curly hair.

~ Because I added a cleansing no-poo shampoo to my regimen I only clarify about once a month (sometimes I clarify every 3 weeks depends on how my hair feels). Product buildup can weigh down curls and make them lose definition.

My routine works for me. It’s is important to have a routine that works for you and your hair type. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you have the right products for your personal curly hair routine.

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 Here are some of the products I use:

I. MY FAVORITE CO-WASHING PRODUCTS

1. As I Am Naturally Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner 

I love the smell. I love how my hair feels after: soft and tangle-free. It’s also a pretty big jar for around $8. Available at Target, CVS, Duane Reade, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and most beauty supply stores. Ingredients include coconut oil and castor oil. 

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2. EO Conditioner:

Yes this is a regular all-natural conditioner that has no silicone, thus it is alright to use as a co-wash. This product was introduced to me by another curly hair chick. Available at Walgreens, Whole Foods, and Amazon.com. Ingredients include coconut oil, quinoa protein, olive oil, essential oil blend, rosemary oil, fruit oil, aloe, vitamin E, etc.

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Co-Washing Tips

Tip #1: Smother your hair in the co-wash product. Seriously, be generous. I do around two hand scoops on my hair. Then massage your scalp with your fingertips. The best way is downward to not disrupt your curls too much

Tip #2: Some brands will put co-wash on their label but they are not actually a cleansing conditioner. Look at the labels and ingredients carefully to make sure.

Tip #3: Yes you can use regular conditioners to co-wash but make sure the conditioner you use to co-wash is silicone-free. Look at the labels!! Many of these ingredients are easy to identify, look for ingredients ending in -cone. Many silicones are synthetic (not natural) additives to make the hair “soft”. Therefore, these silicones are not water-solubleand require regular shampooing to wash out. If you co-wash with any regular conditioner, the end result can be yucky build-up on your hair and scalp.

A good conditioner you can use to co-wash is Tresemme Naturals Conditioner.300

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II. MY GO-TO NO-POO SHAMPOO

I use a no-poo shampoo once a week, it cleanses more and is stronger than most co-washing products. It doesn’t sud up like a co-wash but it is better at removing product build up. Unlike co-washing I use a light Shea Moisture conditioner after the no-poo shampoo.

1. Hair Rules No-Poo Shampoo Available at the Hair Rules Salons, Ricky’s NYC, or online.

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III. FAVORITE WAYS TO CLARIFY MY MANE 

1. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo w/ Shea Butter & Apple Cider Vinegar (adding any deep conditioning treatment is a must after clarifying)

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More Clarifying Methods… 

-Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse: 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, 2 cups of water. I usually do this after I wash my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo, I do the pour the rinse over my hair, massage my scalp, then rinse under the water briefly then apply my deep conditioner.

-Baking Soda: Instead of shampoo, I’ve heard baking soda is good to clarify buildup on the scalp. 

-Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps 18-in-1 Cleanser in Peppermint (all natural ingredients)

-Tea Tree Oil Shampoo from Trader Joe’s

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IV. MY FAVORITE DEEP CONDITIONERS & MASQUES

1. Dominican Magic Nourishing Deep Fortifying Conditioner (has coconut oil, jojoba oil and avocado oil). This leaves your hair incredibly soft.

2. Deva Curl Heaven In Hair – I use this usually after Dominican Magic to add much needed moisture to my hair, but doesn’t leave my hair as soft as I like if I use it by itself.

3. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Treatment Masque – I LOVE this line of Shea Moisture products! The masque has shea butter, Jamaican black castor oil and peppermint (it also has coconut oil and avocado oil). I use this with the shampoo Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil shampoo.

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Next up…. my favorite styling products 💆. Look out for that post!

**Always check out the blog for more products. Any new cleansing, treatment or styling products I try (and love) I will post on the blog in the future!** 

#CurlyHairTalk: How to Style Your Curly Hair in the Winter ❄️

What Does Winter Do to Your Hair?

-Winter weather is harsh on your hair. The cold air dries it out from its natural oils.

-It also dries out your scalp; you suffer from itchy dry scalp more in the winter.

-Dry hair = more split ends.

-Shedding: Cold air dries hair out from all its moisture, so your hair breaks easily and you tend to shed more.

*On the bright side, there’s little to no humidity in the winter, so your curly hair can still be great.*

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Solution: The L.O.C. method helps keep your hair moisturized during the harsh winter weather. I found this method on naturallycurly.com and I’ve been doing it all winter on my curly hair and I can say that it actually works!

L = Leave-in Conditioner

O = Oil

C = Cream

You can do this method after washing your hair or when refreshing your dry hair make sure you spray it with water to damp your hair a bit.

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Step 1: Apply leave-in conditioner. My favorite leave-ins are Kinky Curly Knot Today or Jane Carter’s revitalizing leave-in conditioner. Jane Carter’s leave-in is also great for refreshing curls. The spray leave-in’s are also good if you fine hair, it won’t weigh your hair down.

Step 2: Apply a thin layer of a sealing oil. Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, work well because they actually penetrate the shaft of the hair and not sit on top coating the hair. Coconut is my favorite. I apply a bit of Jamaican black castor oil to seal my ends.

Step 3: Apply a moisturizing cream. Creams work best in the winter because they moisturize curls best. Cantu products are my favorite because they smell amazing, provide good hold and moisture, and define my curls well.

Step 4: It’s optional to apply another styling product. But steps 1 -3 do the trick for me.

Feel free to play with this method. I go very light on the leave-in and oil for my hair and skip step 4 completely. But some hair types may need all 4 steps.

.Did You Know? You can also use a similar method on your skin?! The best way to keep soft skin in the winter for me: 1. Apply coconut oil on my body before applying my lotion. 2. Apply jojoba oil on my face before applying my face moisturizer.

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Other Winter Healthy Hair Tips

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-It’s recommended to do protective styles in the winter to prevent breakage in the winter, such as braids, twists, up do’s that have your ends protected from rubbing against clothes or anything that can cause breakage.

– Don’t go outside with wet hair. Make sure your hair is at least 90% dry.

-Stylish hats, hoodies, the hood of your coat, scarves around the head, always have something to cover your head when the temperature is too cold.

-Wash your hair in the evening to give your hair enough time to dry.

– When home: silk scarf or silk bonnet. Best way to seal moisture while you sleep: silk pillowcases!

-At the end of the day, curly hair needs moisture !!! Here are some tips from Essence Magazine that where helpful for me: “The Worst Ways to Moisturize Transitioning Hair”.

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SO NOW THE ONLY THING THAT SHOULD STRESS YOU OUT IN THE WINTER, IS LOOKING AT YOUR WEATHER APP EVERY MORNING. ☀️

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Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Still I Rise 

By Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

Phenomenal Woman Full Poem

Phenomenal Woman

BY MAYA ANGELOU

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Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
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RIP Maya Angelou
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Amy Schumer’s Powerful Speech About Confidence

Earlier this week at the Gloria Awards and Gala hosted by the Ms. Foundation for Women, comedian Amy Schumer gave a speech covering issues all women go through, including regrettable sexual encounters, crises of confidence, and tips on being one’s own fairy godmother.

Powerful and inspiring.

Here’s her speech in full.

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Here I go, and if it doesn’t go well, please just don’t blog about it.

Right before I left for college, I was running my high school. Feel it. I knew where to park, I knew where to get the best chicken-cutlet sandwich, I knew which custodians had pot. People knew me. They liked me. I was an athlete and a good friend. I felt pretty, I felt funny, I felt sane. Then I got to college in Maryland. My school was voted number one … for the hottest freshman girls in Playboy that year. And not because of me. All of a sudden, being witty and charismatic didn’t mean shit. Day after day, I could feel the confidence drain from my body. I was not what these guys wanted. They wanted thinner, blonder, dumber … My sassy one-liners were only working on the cafeteria employees, who I was visiting all too frequently, tacking on not the Freshman 15, but the 30, in record-breaking time, which led my mother to make comments over winter break like, “You look healthy!” I was getting no male attention, and I’m embarrassed to say, it was killing me.

But one guy paid me some attention — Matt. Matt was six feet tall, he looked like a grown-up von Trapp child, and he was five years older than me. What?! An older boy, paying attention to me? I must be okay. Uff. I made him laugh in our bio lab, and I could tell a couple times that we had a vibe. He was a super senior, which is a sexy way of saying “should have graduated, but needed an extra year.” He barely spoke, which was perfect for all the projecting I had planned for him. We grew up in the same town, and getting attention from him felt like success. When I would see him on campus, my heart would race, and I would smile as he passed. I’d look in the mirror and see all the blood rise to my face. I’d spend time analyzing the interaction, and planning my outfit for the next time I saw him. I wanted him to call. He never called. But then finally, he called.

It was 8 a.m., my dorm room phone rang. “Amy, wassup? It’s Matt. Come over.” Holy shit! This is it, I thought. He woke up thinking about me! He realized we’re meant to start a life together! Let’s just stop all this pretending that we weren’t free just to love one another! I wondered, would we raise our kids in the town we both grew up in, or has he taken a liking to Baltimore? I don’t care. I’ll settle wherever he’s most comfortable. Will he want to raise our kids Jewish? Who cares? I shaved my legs in the sink, I splashed some water under my armpits, and my randomly assigned Albanian roommate stared at me from under her sheets as I rushed around our shitty dorm room. I ran right over to his place, ready for our day together. What would we do? It’s still early enough, maybe we’re going fishing? Or maybe his mom’s in town, and he wanted me to join them for breakfast. Knock-knock. Is he going to carry me over the threshold? I bet he’s fixing his hair and telling his mom, “Be cool, this may be the one!” I’ll be very sweet with her, but assert myself, so she doesn’t think she’s completely in charge of all the holiday dinners we’re going to plan together. I’ll call her by her first name, too, so she knows she can’t mess with me. “Rita! I’m going to make the green bean casserole this year, and that’s that!” Knock-knock. Ring ring. Where is he?

Finally, the door opens. It’s Matt, but not really. He’s there, but not really. His face is kind of distorted, and his eyes seem like he can’t focus on me. He’s actually trying to see me from the side, like a shark. “Hey!” he yells, too loud, and gives me a hug, too hard. He’s fucking wasted. I’m not the first person he thought of that morning. I’m the last person he called that night. I wonder, how many girls didn’t answer before he got to fat freshman me? Am I in his phone as Schumer? Probably. But I was here, and I wanted to be held and touched and felt desired, despite everything. I wanted to be with him. I imagined us on campus together, holding hands, proving, “Look! I am lovable! And this cool older guy likes me!” I can’t be the troll doll I’m afraid I’ve become.

He put on some music, and we got in bed. As that sexy maneuver where the guy pushes you on the bed, you know, like, “I’m taking the wheel on this one. Now I’m going to blow your mind,” which is almost never followed up with anything. He smelled like skunk microwaved with cheeseburgers, which I planned on finding and eating in the bathroom, as soon as he was asleep. We tried kissing. His 9 a.m. shadow was scratching my face — I knew it’d look like I had fruit-punch mouth for days after. His alcohol-swollen mouth, I felt like I was being tongued by someone who had just been given Novocain. I felt faceless, and nameless. I was just a warm body, and I was freezing cold. His fingers poked inside me like they had lost their keys in there. And then came the sex, and I use that word very loosely. His penis was so soft, it felt like one of those de-stress things that slips from your hand? So he was pushing aggressively into my thigh, and during this failed penetration, I looked around the room to try and distract myself or God willing, disassociate. What’s on the wall? A Scarface poster, of course. Mandatory. Anything else? That’s it? This Irish-Catholic son of bank teller who played JV soccer and did Mathletes feels the most connection with a Cuban refugee drug lord. The place looked like it was decorated by an overeager set designer who took the note “temporary and without substance” too far.

He started to go down on me. That’s ambitious, I think. Is it still considered getting head if the guy falls asleep every three seconds and moves his tongue like an elderly person eating their last oatmeal? Chelsea? Is it? Yes? It is. I want to scream for myself, “Get out of here, Amy. You are beautiful, you are smart, and worth more than this. This is not where you stay.” I feel like Fantine and Cosette and every fucking sad French woman from Les Miz. And whoever that cat was who sang “Memories,” what was that musical? Suze Orman just goes, “Cats.” The only wetness between my legs is from his drool, because he’s now sleeping and snoring into me. I sigh, I hear my own heartbreak, I fight back my own tears, and then I notice a change in the music. Is this just a bagpipe solo? I shake him awake. “Matt, what is this? The Braveheartsoundtrack? Can you put something else on, please?” He wakes up grumpily, falls to the floor, and crawls. I look at his exposed butt crack, a dark, unkempt abyss that I was falling into. I felt paralyzed. His asshole is a canyon, and this was my 127 Hours. I might chew my arm off.

I could feel I was losing myself to this girl in this bed. He stood up and put a new CD on. “Darling, you send me, I know you send me, honest, you do …” I’m thinking, “What is this?” He crawled back into bed, and tried to mash at this point his third ball into my vagina. On his fourth thrust, he gave up and fell asleep on my breast. His head was heavy and his breath was so sour, I had to turn my head so my eyes didn’t water. But they were watering anyway, because of this song. Who is this? This is so beautiful. I’ve never heard these songs before. They’re gutting me. The score attached to our morning couldn’t have been more off. His sloppy, tentative lovemaking was certainly not in the spirit of William Wallace. And now the most beautiful love songs I’ve ever heard play out as this man-boy laid in my arms, after diminishing me to a last-minute booty call. I listened to the songs and I cried. I was looking down at myself from the ceiling fan. What happened to this girl? How did she get here? I felt the fan on my skin and I went, “Oh, wait! I am this girl! We got to get me out of here!” I became my own fairy godmother. I waited until the last perfect note floated out, and escaped from under him and out the door. I never heard from Matt again, but felt only grateful for being introduced to my new self, a girl who got her value from within her. I’m also grateful to Matt for introducing me to my love Sam Cooke, who I’m still with today.

Now I feel strong and beautiful. I walk proudly down the streets of Manhattan. The people I love, love me. I make the funniest people in the country laugh, and they are my friends. I am a great friend and an even better sister. I have fought my way through harsh criticism and death threats for speaking my mind. I am alive, like the strong women in this room before me. I am a hot-blooded fighter and I am fearless. But I did morning radio last week, and a DJ asked, “Have you gained weight? You seem chunkier to me. You should strike while the iron is hot, Amy.” And it’s all gone. In an instant, it’s all stripped away. I wrote an article forMen’s Health and was so proud, until I saw instead of using my photo, they used one of a 16-year-old model wearing a clown nose, to show that she’s hilarious. But those are my words. What about who I am, and what I have to say? I can be reduced to that lost college freshman so quickly sometimes, I want to quit. Not performing, but being a woman altogether. I want to throw my hands in the air, after reading a mean Twitter comment, and say, “All right! You got it. You figured me out. I’m not pretty. I’m not thin. I do not deserve to use my voice. I’ll start wearing a burqa and start waiting tables at a pancake house. All my self-worth is based on what you can see.” But then I think, Fuck that. I am not laying in that freshman year bed anymore ever again. I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you, and I thank you.

Source: Vulture.com

Dear Daughter,

The beautiful art of spoken word poetry. Poem below is by Kay, a poet and the founder of Project V.O.I.C.E. (Vocal Outreach into Creative Expression), promotes the use of spoken word as a tool for reaching the world. The poem is called “If I should have a daughter”. Right on. I dedicate this to my future daughter who I hope reads my blog years from now, see all the work I have done, and will be proud to call me her mom. Below I wrote out the poem. The poem is 3 minutes long but keep watching to learn more about the poet Kay.

If I should have a daughter.

Instead of mom, she’s gonna call me Point B.

Because that way she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me.

And i’m going to paint the solar systems on the back of her hands.  So she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “oh I know that like the back of my hand.”

And she’s going to learn, that this life will hit you hard..

in the face. Wait for you to get back up.. just so it can kick you.. in the stomach.

But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs

how much they like the taste of air.

There is hurt here. That cannot be fixed with bandaids or poetry.

So the first time she realizes that Wonder Woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows,

she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself.

Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small

to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried.

“And Baby,” I’ll tell her,

“Don’t keep your nose up in the air like that…

I know that trick, I’ve done it a million times.

You’re just smelling for smoke,

so you can follow the trail back to a burning house,

so you can find the boy who lost everything in that fire….. to see if you can save him.

Or else find the boy who lit the fire in the first place….. to see if you can change him.”

But I know she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boots nearby.

Because there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix.

Okay there are a few heartbreaks that chocolate can’t fix.

But that’s what the rain boots are for.

Because rain will wash away everything, if you let it.

I want her to look at the world through the underside of a glass-bottom boat,

to look through a microscope at the galaxies that exist on the pinpoint of a human mind

because that’s the way my mom taught me.

That there’ll be days like this.

There’ll be days like this, my momma said.

When you open your hands to catch, and wind up with only blisters and bruises;

when you step out of the phone booth and try to fly,

and the very people you want to save.. are the ones standing on your cape.

When your boots will fill with rain, and you’ll be up to your knees with disappointment.

And those are the very days you have all the more reason to say thank you.

Because there is nothing more beautiful

than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline,

no matter how many times it’s swept away.

YOU will put the WIN in win-some… lose-some.

You will put the star, in starting over, and over.

And no matter how many land mines erupt a minute,

be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.

And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting… I am pretty damn naive.

But I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar…

It can crumble so easily, but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it.

“Baby,” I’ll tell her, “remember your momma is a worrier… and your papa is a warrior..

and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes,

who never stops asking for more.”

Remember that good things come in threes….. and so do bad things.

And always apologize when you’ve done something wrong.

But don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining.

Your voice is small, but don’t ever stop singing.

And when they finally hand you heartache, when they slip war & hatred under your door,

and give out handouts on street corners of cynicism and defeat,

you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.