What Should We Tell Our Daughters?

What should we tell our daughters?  Our daughters who are the next generation, who walk beside us every day, looking for guidance, who, despite all the battles that have fought and won, are still growing up in a world where they are still being persecuted every day because of something arbitrary assigned to them at birth.  What should we tell these women in the making who are watching our every move while we sit on the precipice of total female genocide?

Do we want to teach them the importance of using their voices to stand up for themselves, or how to walk into a business meeting with confidence even though more than likely they will be in the minority?  Or do we want to tell them about how they might not have access to birth control in the future, or have to go into an alley to have abortions because some men in a nice suit who don’t have vaginas and uteruses have decided that they know better than all the women who currently struggle with trying to take charge of when they are ready to have children?  Should we tell our daughters about the terrible treatment women get in different parts of the world, the slavery and the mutilation, or the sex crimes perpetuated against them every day for simply wearing what makes them feel empowered?  How should we even begin to explain to them that society says that they must be sexy and virginal at the same time, and strive to have a family and raise children as soon as possible?

The better question is why should we have to tell them any of that?  How sad is it that this is what our society has become that we have to warn the future generation of women about walking down the street in broad daylight being afraid for their safety because of something they chose to wear something that makes them feel beautiful or that we have to teach our girls to have strong voices because one day they might have to scream to be heard in a board room?  Why should we have to be the bearers of bad news and hand the weight of the world over to the daughters of tomorrow when today we’re still fighting for a more equal voice?  Why should we have to teach them that they can be anything they want to be, when rigid gender and societal norms are telling them the exact opposite?

What we should be able to tell them is much simpler than that.

We should tell our daughters how love and family are simple, when you take the time to find the right person and not rush into it just because everyone else is telling you that you need someone to settle you down.  We should tell them how it’s okay if they don’t know exactly what they want from love, sex or relationships; they don’t have to know right away.  They shouldn’t have to force something just because they feel that they should follow someone else’s rules.  It’s more than ok if they need to spend some time with themselves in order to figure out who they are and what they want before they figure out who they will be with.  Spending time figuring out what they want from life is just as, if not more, important as finding someone to share it with.

We should be able to sit our little girls down and tell them that the only expectations that they should be following are the ones that they have for themselves, and that only they can decide what they really want.  No one else can look at them and say what’s best for them, and the walls that people put up are only there until someone tears them down.  No one else can tell them how they should look or sound or act to be accepted in society because they should develop their own uniqueness and beauty and personality.  We should teach our girls that their dreams are only limited by human possibility and there’s no reason that they can’t achieve any goal that they have if they work for it hard enough.  The world is open to them, open to them for anything.

Our daughters should know that all strong women need to ask for help every once in awhile, and that there is no shame in it.  In fact, it’s just another facet of their strength, to be able to recognize when they need someone else to help them.  Strong women are able to lean on other strong women, and use their strength to lift them both up.

What we should really tell our daughters is that they are people.  They are people who happen to be women.  And they should be forever proud of that.

Stay fearless, friends (3)

Book Excerpt, General, Life Talk

Love is Louder

The following is an excerpt from my book Love Letters to a Warr;or: A Journey of Self Love publish date TBA.  Just sharing thi


Love is louder than self-harm, than hate, than racism,

Than bigotry, than war and all the ugly redness that

Covers our society today and causes

Good people, educated, God-fearing, well-raised people

To throw around word grenades as simply as if they were

Balls of paper tossed around at lunchtime under a teacher’s eagle eye.


Love is louder.


Love is louder than the disregard for that person that you pass on the street,

Begging for something, anything from the cars that pass by,

Just another way to get them through that day,

Stay alive for another 24 hours, even though they have to do it all again in the morning.

They look grungy, undesirable, lonely, pitiful, ignored, forgotten,

Blending into the background, in desperate need of someone to ask them their story.


Love is louder.


Love is louder than the bullies on the bus, and, when we get older, the bullies that we live with.

All the people that try to cut you down and tell you that you’re worth nothing more

Than the dirt under their fingernails, tear you down just so that they can

Rise up themselves and take everything from everyone because they need to feel powerful.

The hurtful words that tear through you like a knife, the punches and slaps that take the

Shine away from you because they never learned what love is and means and looks like.


Love is louder.


Love is louder than the little voice inside you that says “you can’t”

The one that creeps into your nightmares and your daydreams

Curling around your wrists and ankles, ensnaring you in its trap

Of paralysis and fear and self-doubt.

That little voice might be loud at times, and berating while you strain

Against the shackles, but it can always be droned out because:


Love is louder.


Love is louder than the mistakes you’ve made along the way, the little slip-ups and messes and Downright disasters that you’ve sometimes caused in your journey.

Those reasons that sometimes you feel people look at you and think that you’re no good,

No good for the job, no good for the boy or no good for more than what you have now.

Think of all the times you look at your life and feel like there is nothing more for you to try

Because you’ll just mess it up anyway.  Always remember:


Love is louder.


Love is louder than the disgust that you feel when you look in the mirror,

The criticism that you always have for your figure,

And the neon lights you add to the parts of you that you deem ugly.

You’re convinced that everyone you pass on the street is pointing out your flaws

For their friends to notice and laugh about since they have never seen someone that gross,

Even though, in reality, you’re the only one who knows what you hate about yourself.


Love is louder.


Love is louder than your fears, your doubts, and your stresses.

Love will be there to drown out your objections, your questions and your misdirections

Until you stop looking down on yourself and find a way to show yourself kindness.

Love is there when no one else is, self-love, and by loving yourself,

You can overwhelm the haters and prove to them that you’re strong, you’re powerful,

You’re a fighter and that you know, you will always know:
Love is louder.




Stay fearless, friends (3)

General, Life Talk, Real Talk

I Learned a Life Lesson at the Beach

This past weekend, I spent some time on Tybee Island down here in GA, with some friends. It was a typical summer day down south, which means that it felt like 110º in the shade, and the sun was blazing from the time we got there at 8:30am to the time we left at 2:30pm. Now, the beach is not my favorite thing in the world, but I love spending time in the water, and I was hoping to read an entire book, so I went along for the ride.

For those of you that don’t know me, I’m a proud BBW, or fluffy, woman. Extra stomach rolling over my waistband, a couple of chins in most pictures, 1.5 chins on a good day, some arms jiggles and thighs that spread like water in a pie tin when I sit down. I have since come to terms with the fact that I will never be a size 2, and have even come to realize that it’s not an obstacle in my dating life, which I long feared that it would be. I am always upfront about my body type, and if men don’t like it, they don’t have to talk to me. It’s really that simple. Still, as much as I have accepted my appearance and who I am, and am still working on body positivity, I sometimes worry how I will be perceived in the world because of my weight.

Hence why this weekend was such a major win for me.

How to Have a Beach Body-

Going to the beach, I was wearing a sports bra, athletic shorts and a long t-shirt that I sometimes use as a sleeping shirt. When we got there, I was determined not to take my shirt off, even though I knew it was going to be hot and everything that I was wearing was designed to dry quickly. As far as I’ve come with comfort with my body, and can even take my clothes off and have sex with a man, I didn’t want to expose my naked stomach to a bunch of strangers and beachgoers. I had images of men, women and children, even the lifeguards pointing at my large stomach and yelling “ewww!” and “gross!” and all over varieties of things that would make me feel self-conscious and not welcome on the beach because of my weight and would send me running back to the tent we set up in shame and disgust.

I got hot, wanted to go in the water, and still wanted to have something to wear for the car ride home, so I decided to take my shirt off and go in the water. As I walked to the water, I just had all the words of hatred and disgust in my head, people screaming and yelling “ewww! why don’t you cover yourself up? there are children here!!” and other kinds of nasty things at me. There were moments when I wanted to turn around and run back to my shirt, just to silence the voices in my head. (And by the way, this was not a long walk to the water.) While I loathe saltwater, I wanted to hurry up and get covered so that everyone would stop staring at me (all in my head, remember). Every step I took, the farther away I was from the water or my shirt, was another opportunity for someone to notice me and be disgusted.

But no one said a word.

I walked to the water undisturbed, unharmed, and possibly unnoticed, just another beachgoer who wanted to beat the heat and hang out in the ocean. No lifeguards screamed at me for people at risk, no mothers attempted to shield their children’s eyes, and no men came up and spat in my face and told me they were never going to date me. Just a young woman, who wanted to hang out and swim, and enjoy her Saturday at the beach, and not bother anyone. I wasn’t told to leave the beach and get my disgustingness away from everyone, and I had a relaxing time in the ocean and on the beach with my friends. And, I’ll tell you a little secret, I actually enjoyed how my body and fluffiness felt in the ocean waves: all free and easy, flowing with the movement of the ocean, and just doing whatever it pleased, taking a day off for itself too, just like me.

This experience was an eye-opening one for me, in a different way than normal. Everyday, I walk around with this body type, in clothes and dresses that make me feel beautiful, and people usually notice the confidence that I have, if they notice me at all. However, walking on the beach, with nothing on but a sports bra and some shorts, I felt exposed and open in a whole new way. But still, no one said anything. I realized that people have their own lives, their own families, and their own things to focus on other than one person walking down the beach leading with her stomach. While looking at the internet, you see people shaming large people all the time, most people in their daily lives don’t really care all that much whether or not the person walking past them is overweight or not. The voices inside my head are the things that hold me back the most, not the people on the street who make comments about my weight because, honestly, most people don’t care. I spent so much time worrying about whether or not people were taking time out their lives to look at me, when I should have been concerned more with myself and how I was feeling. I was taking a huge risk by exposing my naked stomach to the world, and I should have been proud of myself for that, and only thinking of the positive things. And, after realizing that no one else really cared but me, I was proud of myself. I took myself out of my shell a little bit, and I was ready to show the world how confident I was.

Size doesn’t matter as much as I think it does. Weight is a personal choice, and a personal thing. People have a lot of other things to worry about than what I look like. I am proud of myself, and proud of who I am. God gave me a big personality and He gave me a big body to hold it all in. And I thank him for it every day.

Stay fearless, friends (3)

Faith, General, Life Talk

#GodsPlan: The Story of a Social Worker

Standing in front of a classroom full of teenagers, all ready to judge and whine whenever I ask them to do something more than listen to me, can be terrifying any day of the week.  But, this is what I signed up for when I started as an employee for the Prevention department of my local rape crisis center.  And in 4 years, I have never looked back.

I never wanted to be a crisis worker.  I didn’t have visions as a little girl of growing up to be sitting next to a hospital bed at 4am, dressed in whatever presentable sweatpants I could find and the comfiest sweatshirt that didn’t double as a sleeping shirt, next to a crying woman because she was being subjected to an invasive gynecological exam, only this side of more intrusive than the rape she just experienced.  There were no big dreams at high school graduation of talking people into revealing details of their most recent sexual encounter, their deepest fears, their innermost demons, just to get them to a place of a cool calm in order to get through the rest of the day.  Never did I think that I could spend hours of my life desperately fighting back my own fears and insecurities to check on a stranger and help them stay alive just one more night.  And yet, here I am.  All because I answered the phone.

Standing on the stage at my high school graduation, I was bright-eyed and looking to the future, planning to go to college to be an English major, following in the footsteps of my heroes like Rory Gilmore and Ryden Malby (and yes, I know they are both Alexis Bledel characters), in order to be a publisher like Ryden and my 9th grade English teacher once dreamed of being and discovering the next great American novel.  I would have one of those college romances that my parents had and grow up happy and secure with all my dreams coming true and never having to be afraid where my next paycheck was coming from.  I was going to turn into the real-life version of Alexis Bledel and be glamorous and suddenly my blue eyes would be brighter and more electric and boys would trail after me and I would love it all.  Simple right?

God decided that there was another path for my life to take, even though it took a while for me to realize it.  College was a period of change for me, and I changed my study goals from women’s studies to criminal justice, trying to find the right spot for me.  Eventually I landed in the human service studies field, only because I wanted to be a police officer, and that was the closest field of study that I could major in and still get the skills I needed.  I was in the throes of learning how to help people and about all the different facets of the community, all in the pursuit of catching the bad guys and solving crimes for the victims, when God intervened.  He sent me a phone call, one that had a victim on the other end, and I learned what I was truly capable of.  I learned how much of an impact one person can have just by being a voice on the other end of the phone, a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand in the lowest time of someone’s life.  And I was hooked.

I learned a new part of myself, the helper, the healer, the steady rock that could be next to someone hurting so deeply.  And learned my own strength, and the support that I can offer another human being.  I have never known that part of myself.  Now, I’m addicted.

4 straight years I have been in social work, and I am constantly finding new challenges.  Now, I have moved on to helping people, as well as teaching Prevention education, with a crisis line volunteer position on the side.  Words cannot describe how amazing it is to spend so much time with someone, helping them through the darkest times of their life, only to make it a little bit brighter at the end.  The world is a dark and lonely place, where people struggle every day, and I relish my job of being a shoulder to some of the hardest times and having a front row seat to the true strength of humankind.

Stay fearless, friends (3)

General, Life Talk, Real Talk

I’m Back, Y’all!

Wow… I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I’ve written a post on this blog.  And y’all, I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve opened up the WordPress writer, looked at the multiple drafts that I have saved and tried to write one of them.  And yet, I always stopped, put it away and moved on to something else.  And now I sound like my blogosphere isn’t important to me, and yet, y’all so are! So, despite my prattling, here we go with some updates.


I have recently decided to give up one of my jobs, which allows me to have more time to look for a job that makes me happier, but also gives me the fear of quitting one job with no backup plan as to how I’m going to make up that extra income yet.  Still, in the last two weeks, since I turned in my resignation, I have been happier at that job, and actually feeling like I have something to work towards, now that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  Nothing against my co-workers and bosses; I just got tired of the things that I was doing and being in a job where I know that’s not going to be a career choice.

While I am absolutely terrified that I will soon be losing a source of income and will soon have more free time on my hands that I can so easily waste and while away all throughout the day while I attempt to figure myself out, I know that this was the right step for me.  God was right behind me, guiding my hand, and showing me that if I took this leap now, He would be beside me, helping me see the path that He has chosen for me.  While I am scared and confused right now, this was a necessary step towards the true happiness that He has set aside for me and the opportunities that will soon come my way.


In the past month, I have been to 3 different states besides my resting town of Savannah: New Jersey (my native state!), Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.  Each state offered different opportunities and laughs, disappointments and feelings.  I went to see my best friend graduate from college, and spend some time in my hometown, and interview for a job with my college sorority.  So much emotion and happiness in all three of the instances, despite not getting the job.  I love traveling to different states, especially when there is so much love and light on the other end, and I got to see the sunset from 2 planes and 2 beautiful heights.  It was quite magical.

Blog Changes:

I’m feeling like some of the things that I have planned for this blog aren’t going to be as amazing as I initially thought them to be.  So, some slight revisions coming our way soon!  Anything you wanna see?

More posts and updates coming soon!  (And hopefully I finish Cheryl Strayed’s Wild in the process).

A quote that I love oh so much always

Thanks for sticking it out with me!

Stay fearless, friends (3)


Self-Care Sunday: The Beauty of Music

Walking through the outlet mall with my roommates yesterday, I was struck by what a perfect Saturday it was.  Georgia weather was cooperating with the month of May, and it was sunny, no hotter than 75°, with a gentle breeze blowing, making it just cool enough to wear a sweatshirt, but also for this Jersey-born girl to take it off and walk around in a tank top and yoga pants.  Separated from my roommates by something shiny in the Vera Bradley store, I took advantage of the opportunity to walk around by myself, earbuds in my ears, listening to some music that I have recently downloaded.


I have been playing with the idea of creating music playlists based on moods: one for happy moods, pensive moods, maybe for a depressed mood and definitely for the mood when it is a perfect Saturday in the springtime where the weather is cooperating and you just feel peaceful and calm and like your life is aligned exactly how it’s supposed to be.

For me, music has always been an escape.  One of my favorite things to do is drive around where I live and blast the music while I drive with the windows down, or bring earbuds on a long car drive, just to pass the time while the world flies by outside.  No matter where I’m at in my life, I can always find music to describe what I’m feeling, what’s just happened to me, and where I might have found myself on a given day.  So, today, for this Self-Care Sunday, I wanted to share some songs that are speaking to me right now, and hopefully they will give you some inspiration too.

  1. Almost There by Anika Noni Rose
  2. Quarter Life Crisis by Olivia Lane
  3. Drinking with Dolly by Stephanie Quayle
  4. Own It by Bailey Bryan
  5. Livin’ a Dream by Sara Ann Garrison
  6. No Such Thing as a Broken Heart by Old Dominion
  7. Saltwater Gospel by Eli Young Band
  8. Speak to a Girl by Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
  9. Welcome to the Party by Kelleigh Bannen
  10. Odds Are by Kalie Shorr

This eclectic mix is keeping me afloat right now, and maybe you will get something from these songs too!

Happy Sunday!

Stay fearless, friends (3)

General, Life Talk, Real Talk

A Conversation… On Stories

-When you talk, you are only repeating what you know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.--Dali Lama

For the past week, I have been listening to Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, where he describes what it was like growing up as a mixed child in South Africa during apartheid and its aftermath.  Trevor’s father is white Swiss German, and his mother is black South African, which was illegal under apartheid.  So, much of his audiobook is centered around his struggle to fit in with the other kids and even his own family, due to his skin tone, his social class, and even which racial group with which he chose to identify.  I’m not going to give it all away, but it introduces an interesting perspective into the racial divide, not just in the United States, but throughout the world.

Speaking of the United States, I recently heard of an incident that happened at my alma mater, one that greatly saddens me, and makes me once again reconsider whether or not the school that I chose and loved so much for 4 years was really the magical place that I thought it was.  Basically, a fraternity chapter president used a racial slur against another student outside a party, and has since shocked my student body and alumni community.  Nor is it the first time that I have heard of something like this happening at my school.  My freshman year, in fact, just weeks after I started college, incidents of racial slurs where happening across the campus.  And I know that this has been happening before then, and since then, to marginalized groups across the country and the world for centuries.

I found out about the fraternity incident while I was at work, and I suddenly started thinking about if I were in the shoes of the administrators.  What would I say?  What would I do?  How would I find a way to relate to people who are so different from me?  Reading the previous paragraphs, you might be thinking that this post is simply reactionary, another supposed “activist” responding to an incident that happened at a school she loved, and that might be so.  Some of you might think that this post is just another white girl trying to prove how “open” she is and just putting the attention on her while marginalized groups are getting their problems swept under the rug.  And with all the attention-seeking people in the world, I don’t blame you.  But, I’m hoping that at least some of you reading this will take in the spirit in which it’s intended, a young woman looking to learn more about the world around her.

Now, as a white, straight woman who was born into the upper middle class, I don’t pretend to know what people outside that specific group of humans have experienced.  Nor will I try to speak for anyone who isn’t me, especially someone whose life experience I don’t know anything about.  But, as a straight, white woman, I very well know that I know nothing about anyone’s experience outside of mine, and that I have been very lucky to have been sheltered from some of the unpleasantries that marginalized people have had to experience.

I have always said that when I went to college was the first time that I realized how sheltered I was growing up.  Not that my parents didn’t try to teach me about diversity and what makes people different, they did, but the circumstances where I grew up prompted not too, too many of those lessons to go to heart from 5-18.  I grew up in an upper middle class suburb of New York City, mostly white and Asian, very few Black kids.  In fact, the one black kid in our class was a bit of a side show sometimes.  But when I went to college was definitely when I learned that people have voices more powerful than that of the white, straight man, and that we can stand up for each other.  But still, with all these incidents happening on my campus, and on campuses around the country, to racially diverse, to LGBTQIA, to women, to the disabled, I stop to wonder.  (I know I talked a lot about race in this post, but all groups are marginalized and I am thinking about all of them.)

My question is this: where is the outrage?  Where is the sitting down and listening to each other, hearing each other’s stories?  I’m looking at you white people, straight people, men.  Everyone who enjoys the privileges of being at the top of society in some way, shape or form.  Marginalized groups have enough outrage for 3 lifetimes, and they have every right to be so outraged.  But yet, where are the people rioting in the street saying “why are we continuing to do this? Why are we giving them more reasons to be upset and furious instead of being upset that we are still acting like cavemen?”  We should all be infuriated that we are still living in the days when people who are different from us are marginalized and treated as inhuman.  Why do we not care about this?!?!?!

So, here’s what I want to do.  I want to understand.  I want to learn.  I want to take some time to hear your stories and experiences, things that are different from mine and things that I may have seen growing up.  I want to hear what it was like growing up gay, bisexual, transgender, Black, Asian, Muslim, Jewish, Libyan, Iraqi, Buddhist, anything.  Share them in the comments, share them in my contact page.  Help me learn.  I want to learn more about the differences between myself and my fellow humans, and learn to appreciate, understand and cherish different experiences.

Much love my friends

Stay fearless, friends (3)