Dreams

Tonight, I have made the decision to say ” Fuck this medical writing class.” As early as Monday morning I am dropping this course, and deciding to take some time off. My frustration has been rising with my current professional journey.  To be honest it has been this way for a while. I have always tried to squeeze my size 10 ass into society’s box . A small space that has restricted me from living the vibrant life that I know I am destined to live.  All of my accolades and goals accomplished for the last 32 years, did not belong to me. I did what I thought I was supposed to do. We were taught to work a job for twenty years, become a homeowner, get married, have children, travel if you ever have extra money, and die. We were taught to silence our dreams, and not to aspire to do more, as this would bring attention to yourself. I have been trying so hard to find my niche in the clinical research world. A world of scientist that are trying to find out why people of color refuse to participate. A world that is extremely technical with a hypothesis and statistic for everything, but lack research of people of my kind. I am a blog writer, a creative energy source that writes about her emotions and the toughest lesson anyone will learn…life. I am not physician, I am the patient. I’m in a class with physicians and medical workers focused on cardiology and musculoskeletal education for the emergency room.  The articles have no soul, no content, but papers of bullshit research. That is the problem with the world today, everyone believes in all things seen by the eye or tangible. However, everything that truly means something can’t be seen by the human eye or even be duplicated. I guess it angers me because I was that patient. That statistic that was left to follow the words of my physician because they were educated, and my words, comments, questions, and opinion were silenced by my intimidation. I’m tired of not being taken seriously. Every position I have ever upheld, I worked my ass off. I was the “token black girl”, the one who would do extra just to have them catch a glimpse of my dedication and hard work. I will no longer prove myself to anyone, including an employer. Every time I look at a job application, I cringe. I feel for the generation today. Every time I got the courage to ask for what I wanted from an employer, they would increase the requirements, or deny me because I did not prove to them why they should choose me. Our society is currently placing a cloud on the youth’s dreams. It is hard to dream when your reality says otherwise. We have a president that couldn’t care less about the issues of our country, aside from his intentions with money and businesses. Graduates searching for jobs to survive and landing positions that can barely pay to live, never mind pay for their schooling. We are taught to live in a box, we earn and purchase, and never really own. As much as I want to have more income as a single parent, I refuse to spend less time with my son. It’s already bad enough that I don’t have time for a social life. I can go on and on about this very topic. Today I decided to no longer prove myself to any employer, family member, spouse, friend, or associate. I will no longer do the very things that are “expected” of me. Instead, I am going to continue to work and fund my own dreams. There has been so much resistance between me and the path that I was choosing.  I chose the pharmaceutical  industry because it is lucrative however I am not passionate about it. From today on before making any decisions I will stop and ask myself why do I want this? I have my own mission, and my own goals. My resume is extensive and extremely diverse. I appreciate this journey, but it’s now time for me to live out my dreams. I’m breaking away from societies standards, and beginning to build an empire of my own. I no longer want to support someone else’s dreams. It is time for mine!

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The Miseducation of Postpartum Depression

Medical Blog

Postpartum depression/Postnatal Depression, also known as PPD, is a very common medical complication amongst new mothers. Our Society has created this perception that childrearing is supposed to be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life. Imagine the pressure of a new mother when she doesn’t feel those exact emotions. Confusion immediately sets in, and the mother fears something is wrong.  Little does the new mother know postpartum depression occurs more often than publicly mentioned. Starting a family is an exciting time, but new additions and responsibilities can result in more stress, and lack of sleep. Depending on the woman’s family support, economic status, and spousal support, these can all contribute to her depression and mood swings. This can occur especially if there is a lack within any of these areas.  The miseducation of depression, and the fear of being diagnosed, is the misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about the disease.  The truth about postpartum depression is that it is normal, and about half of women experience depressive moods after giving birth.

Image result for you are not alone postpartum depression

PPD occurs in 15 out 100 women within the first three months. Half of the women have mild to moderate cases of depression.  PPD can also be a more severe case, such as postpartum psychosis which is very rare. PPD symptoms are much stronger than the usual “baby blues” and last longer than the first couple of weeks postpartum.  The symptoms of postpartum depression are as follows:

Anxiety

Lack of sleep (Insomnia)

Loss of appetite

Poor Concentration

Not being able to enjoy your usual favorite activities/No energy or Motivation

Low Self-esteem

Feeling down/Crying spells

Thoughts of harming the baby or yourself

Postpartum depression is not dangerous, and without treatment symptoms will decline within four to six months. New mothers have been found to have thoughts of harming their newborns or themselves. Postpartum depression becomes an issue if the mother acts on those very thoughts. This is when the disorder turns to potentially dangerous to the child and the mother. If the mother is acting on these thoughts, or feeling suicidal, it is important to contact the OBGYN or primary care doctor. The Pennsylvania Suicide hotline and the Emergency 911 are resource available for those with an immediate assistance need.

Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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In the past, hormones theoretically were the belief behind postpartum depression. Hormonal changes affect the brain chemistry that is responsible for our emotions and mood changes. There is minimal clinical research to prove this belief. There are many contributing factors that may increase a new mother’s susceptibility for postpartum depression. The factors include being previously diagnosed prior to pregnancy with anxiety or depression. Women with a family history are likely to have depression.  A woman who experiences high levels of stress during the pregnancy, and after the childbirth can contribute. Having unhealthy relationships with domestic partners and family members can also ignite the disorder. It is important for the expectant mother to focus on both her physical and mental health, as she is bringing forth a new life.  Non-judgmental emotional support can minimize depressive symptoms, and create an environment for the expectant mother/new mother to express her true emotional state.  It is important for her to know that she is loved and supported.  Unfortunately as women we carry the burden of taking care of the family, but we can only do so if we are in a good physical and mental state.  Treatment begins when we acknowledge there is an issue.

So what do you do if you are experiencing these symptoms?

Contact your OBGYN office and make an appointment immediately. Total Women’s Health provides an extensive amount of resources and information for postpartum depression. There are many different treatment avenues for a new mother to choose. Counseling and anti-depressants are possible options for mild cases of post-partum depression. There are some holistic ways in treating depression as well. Simple things such as changing your diet, incorporating exercise, aromatherapy, massages, acupuncture, support groups, and light therapy.  Postpartum depression can seem like a lone experience but this does not need to be the case.  This is a fight you don’t have to fight alone. Contact Total Women’s Health today for resources and potential treatment options. Fear is because of the miseducation of this disorder, educate yourself.

 

 

Written by Kieona Fairley Founder of London’s Prints LLC

Cloudy mirrors

For some of us, the way we see ourselves is not truly who we are. In fact the ego really creates this facade of greatness and lack of shortcomings. A true person on the path to self discovery has endured the emotional rollercoaster of seeing through a clear mirror. Everyone that we attract is a reflection of who we are or what we are at that very moment. The very things that are highlighted to you through the negative behaviors of another, is you  finally seeing through a clear mirror. Everything vibrates on a frequency, what our mind thinks we attract. Trust me it’s a hard pill to swallow but every circumstance and situation we unconsciously attract it. Your baby daddy that you reallly dislike, or girlfriend that betrayed you is all a reflection of your internal thoughts. Wiping the mirror clean takes a lot of self-reflection and pain because of the truth being revealed. That very thing that you dislike about someone, and you continuously encounter is a lesson for you to learn. I had to learn the hard way, about the things I don’t want, to become clear with the things I do want. My emotions have always been valid, and the answers have always been internal. I have sought out answers through books, loved ones, and others through experiences, only to realize every situation and circumstance is tailored to you. Just you! The truth hurts. The best advice I can give is to spend time evaluating those who frustrate you, because deep down they are a reflection of you and the reason for your cloudy mirror. Getting an understanding of them, clears your mirror of the debris. So you can make the appropriate changes of thought to create a different life for yourself. One without doubt and support of the ego. Stop looking at yourself through that cloudy mirror.

Hurricane

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Its been heavy on my heart for the past few days, to talk about the recent extreme changes within our weather. I don’t watch the news for my own personal reasons, but have followed hurricane Irma. The news has been filled with so much tragedy and sorrow, I felt the need to speak on it. Growing up, I wasn’t forced to go to church, but God, and Christianity was a big part of my upbringing.  I recall my mother telling me the story of the end times, and how the bible explains it in detail. I used to fear this very thing because death was once my number one fear. As I have become older and wiser, I realize the symbolism of the bible and the stories told. I do believe these are the end times, but not for the existence of the world and the beings within it. The end times is a catastrophic event that occurs that changes the way we function and shifts the way we think. Things around us are falling apart forcing us to work together as a people.  When I found out my son was to be born stillborn, my world stopped. The news hit me like a hurricane, unexpectedly and damaged how I viewed life, and affected all of the loved ones close to us. That very traumatic event changed my life, and forced me to value life on a deeper level. A level in which I became obsessed with my personal growth and living in a purpose. A purpose that was outside of myself and one that would be a service to others. The world around us and our environment is speaking to us. The universe is bringing a halt to our lives and reminding us all of what truly is important. When tragedy hits, nothing of material significance matters. Not the house, car, or even your title matters at that moment. We have all seen in the past few days, peoples lives being completely flipped upside down. They are losing everything they have ever worked hard for, but many still have life. The violence, crooked politicians, and events occurring amongst us are a sign. A sign that we are not living right. We are being forced to work in unity and to help our neighbors. Our society has lost sight of what life is all about. We cannot control everything, However, we can control ourselves and our own actions. This shift and the destruction of what we thought we knew, is an opportunity to be reborn. We are being reminded of what truly is important. Love for humanity, for self, and our environment.

Clean Space …

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love my space nice and clean. From studio apartments to becoming a homeowner, my living space is my sanctuary. A house is not a home without the energy that is placed in it. Before I bought my current home, and after my divorce,  I redecorated my two-bedroom apartment I once shared with my son’s father. This was important to me as I had to rid myself of the toxic energy we filled our home with. Love didn’t live there anymore, but while I resided there, I made it a point to rebuild a new love there.  I am the woman who doesn’t leave to go anywhere without her home clean. Vacations, work, or just a night on the town, coming home to space and clear energy is important to me. My home decor and scented candles add the touch of serenity, and peaceful vibe. Depending on what visitors I may have had that day, you may even catch the stench of previously burned white sage. That when I have to clear out the negative vibes. My window sill holds a rose quartz crystal, that is placed directly in sunlight to invite a loving environment. Everyday it is not like this. Being a mother to a crazy, energetic four-year old, and all the other titles I withhold, maintaining this household can seem impossible. I manage, because my home is a reflection of my head space. When my space is cluttered or unorganized my creativity ceases to exist. I don’t feel like myself. It’s as bad to me as having the wrong outfit for a big event.

mommys mom

This week, my mother decided to come down to visit her grandson. My house was clean but it was not orderly. I went to the office as usual on Thursday and made sure I instructed her not to do anything while I was gone. We attended happy hour at a local restaurant with my little one in attendance. Micah was so happy to go to happy hour, he was looking forward to seeing some excitement. My poor child kept asking the waiter is it happy hour yet, he was disappointed when he realized he was unable to partake in the adult festivities. After dinner we headed home. Upon entering in my home. it is routine for everyone to take their shoes off. I have carpet throughout my home, so this maintains the carpet between the cleanings. I walked throughout the house to see everything neat and orderly. The house was not a mess before we left, but laundry and my room were always a bit out-of-order. My mother who is not always physically well, took the time to make sure my house was just the way I liked it. I had to tell her how much I appreciated her help, as this was a gift that I truly appreciate. I don’t ask for much, but when people take the initiative to do things for me without asking, mean the world to me. I had to express my appreciation for what she did, and told her how much that meant to me. Her face lit up knowing that she did something to ease my busy life/schedule. As I walked through the house, I realized the symbolism of this very act. It wasn’t about the fact she spent her whole day organizing my home. It was that finally my relationship with my mother was a clear space and at peace. You see, we never had a good relationship during my teens and early adulthood. The maximum amount of time we could spend together in a room without arguing was an hour. There was always so much tension and anger from the past that we just could not move past. I didn’t understand her decisions and choices as a child, and she felt me voicing my opinion was a form of disrespect. As a mother now, I understand she did the best she knew how. Our relationship is not emotional and there is little to no affection. She explained to me her experience with her mother and how she tried differently with me. My grandmother was not the type to say “I love you” or hug and kiss her children or grandchildren. My mother yearned for this, but once she had her children she slowly showed her form of affection. My mother does say “I love you” but the physical aspect is very limited. As a mother, I am more affectionate with my son because of this.  I had a successful week with my mother because I decided to change the way I dealt with our relationship. I forgave her for my experience that I had with her, and learned to accept her for who she is. Not the mother I wanted her to be. When we focus on who we think someone should be, we bring more attention to their flaws or the attributes they lack. This blinds us from seeing the positive aspects of the individual. Her clearing my space was beyond organizing my home. She made room and space within my head and heart to grow. When we have these toxic relationships with loved ones, they can put a halt into our growing process, and limit our ability to love. She cleared a space that no longer is cluttered with negative experiences and resentment. I am able to view her as she is right now. My desire to change for my son, and his innocent love, has allowed a space for all those who love him to grow.  We came together for one purpose, and that’s to show and love this young black boy to the point where societies view of him will not validate him. Instead his cup will be filled with love, and his space will be clear to allow him to flourish to the best of his ability. So since my home was clean, I was able to organize and sit and share this with you. If I were to die tomorrow, I would be content with the extent of effort I put into my relationship with friends and family. A lot of people leave this world with cluttered spaces of pain from their past. Not being able to say the things they wished they could have said, if only they took the time to clean their space.

My Lesson from Speed Dating

just me

First of all, I was very hesitant about going. Anyone that knows me, knows I wait for no one to have a good time. I bought the ticket a few weeks prior to the event, as I always told myself to try everything at least once. I tried on a million outfits, and did a complete transformation from what I looked like while working from home. I had to apply heat to my hair, and wear my snug fitting denim during my first few days of my cycle. Mother nature decided to join me a few days prior, and I was feeling beyond bloated. Before the event I sat and ate nachos, and procrastinated the transformation process. The process of me changing from the pauper to Cinderella. I wasn’t in the mood to get “dolled up”, but when you don’t want to go, go. Every time that I am resistant to attend an event, I always end up having a good time. There was no fear, but as a perfectionist, I wanted to be prepared. The outfit I had in my head the last two weeks, failed me. I had no idea how the event would go, or just initiating conversation with a complete stranger could be awkward. Philadelphia is an hour away from my home, but is the central place of entertainment. The event was to begin promptly at 7:00 PM, and I left my home at 6:45 PM. You do the math! I made a few phones calls to receive some moral support. I really wanted someone to talk me out of going. Everyone has that occasion when they call someone just to confirm or validate their issue. Unfortunately, in my particular case, I only surround myself with people who hold me responsible for my own decisions. Of course,  I chose them for a reason. I didn’t need them to promote this event tonight. I wanted them to say turn back around and spend some cuddle time with your son. The first call says “Do what you think you should do.” Then my mother, my new hype man, “Girl go, I’m praying for you!” Praying for me? I’m not about to die, I’m going to speed dating.  Her prayers where for me to find someone who makes me and my son happy, because she believes I deserve it. Every mother wants the best for their child, but this woman has seen my struggle. She knows me beyond her daughter, but also as the woman I have become. Fuck it! I decided to keep driving.  I came late but I wasn’t the only one. I was number 78 of the women. I was one of the very few women in attendance by themselves. Most of the women appeared to grab their work buddies or single friends to provide support. I didn’t go to look for love. I attended the event to network and meet professionals. I did find love though. I did not know this photo was taken and found it on the promoters Facebook page this morning. This photo symbolized the very lesson I learned last night at speed dating. In a room of over 70 women, I felt such a sense of security within myself as a woman. No competition, as I am a rare commodity. My sense of individualism, and uniqueness exuded beyond the crowd. My ability to stand alone and connect with other spirits. It was beyond the flat-ironed hair, and the outfit that made the cut. My spirit shined that night. The faces the men made when asked “what do I do?” I sensed that I’m not for everybody, and that’s okay. I am beyond this vessel, my accolades, or current position. I am a woman driven by purpose, with the healing ability of a Goddess. I have loved beyond societies surface love. I gave to others when I was broken. I have taught lessons while still learning. As unique as my fingerprints, I stood beyond the crowd. I allowed my light to shine, and attending speed dating I found love within me. I stayed for a little beyond the event, and decided to skip out before the speed dating portion was over. There were a few guys that seemed intrigued with me and my presence, but like Cinderella I left with very little information available to them . I advise everyone to try it one day. It was very interesting and a great way to network with other individuals. These were my lessons learned from speed dating!

P.S. That beautiful chocolate thing in the stripped shirt, in the middle of the room…that’s me!

 

Insecure…

Last night at a Caribbean night club, I was moved by my purpose. I decided to take a trip to the ladies room to pat down my oily skin with some toilet paper. Ladies that have the oily T-zone area understand my issue. I wanted to check my makeup, and make sure that all the dancing wasn’t catching up to me. My goal when going out is to look the same way I looked when I came in. Especially when the club shuts down and the lights come on.  When you find your purpose, you encounter situations and individuals everywhere that may need your spirit. The women’s bathroom is a great way to connect with other women, especially at a club. I never thought to have the conversation at such an ungodly hour and while under the influence (of alcohol of course). There was a young woman in the bathroom clearly intoxicated. She wasn’t hovering over the toilet but seemed a bit emotional. She was celebrating her 26th birthday and obviously she was having a blast up until she made that bathroom trip. She was standing in the mirror fixing herself up. I’m sure she had the same goal as me to keep up the look she had when she came to the club. Unfortunately, in the state she was in that would have been impossible. She was dressed in a very provocative piece, a very short and see through dress. The dress left very little to imagination, and reminded me of something Beyoncé would wear for performances. She had bright red hair like Rhianna, and a curvy body that women would pay for. She was fixing her undergarments and exposing her backside. I kept praying that someone wouldn’t walk in on the woman. At that point, she seemed to not care especially with her doing so in the presence of a complete stranger. Maybe at that moment I was a stranger, and her intoxicated state allowed her spirit to feel out my energy. She began talking about women’s bodies and how we go through so much physically and mentally. She talked about how she was the mother of two children, both a boy and a girl. She explained how she had them both via C-section and the damage it caused her body. I told her that I had a C-section as well, and knew how insecure the damage had made me. Anyone that knew me prior to having children, knew I loved wearing two piece bathing suits to the beach.  She was at the club with a love interest, and I had spotted them both on the dance floor prior to our bathroom encounter. Reality began to set in when she looked herself in the mirror. It wasn’t just her birthday, she was realizing that she was a year older. Every birthday most of us evaluate where we are, and how far we’ve come. We also recognize that in some areas, we may not be where we thought we would be. As she looked back and forth between me and the mirror,  she became vulnerable and poured out her insecurities. She began to tear up and tell me how hard she is trying as a mother. You could tell she had been hurt by the men in her past, and feared the new love wouldn’t last. Here she is a single mother of two children, insecure about her body, love, and life journey. I was there in that moment to reassure her, that she was not alone. I assured her that I too battled with insecurities with my parenting. We can only do the best we know how. I am reminded every time I stare in the mirror at my naked body, my experiences of childbirth. I struggle in love, and fear loving because of the hurt of my past. I know what it feels like to fear being happy in a relationship, because your waiting for the ball to drop. In that very moment, my spirit connected with a complete stranger to remind her that we all are insecure. We are all the same. No matter how beautiful, successful, intelligent, and strong we are, we have insecurities.  Within a span of five minutes,  both my business card and hugs were exchanged. My purpose of me spreading my words of encouragement, and promoting women empowerment has moved beyond my blog. It’s beyond sharing a word, its inspiring others. To those who wish to do the same, to live in your purpose and inspire others, I’m the reminder that following your dreams doesn’t mean you can’t be insecure. It means that through all of your insecurities,and flaws, your able to uplift others in their time of need. I am far from perfect, but through my mistakes, and life’s lessons, I have been able to return faith in others when their faith is being tested. I am a living proof and a walking representation of resilience. Spread love through your insecurities. The best counselors are those with experience.

Blame Game…

Everyone has played this game at some point in their life with a loved one. It is an unfair game that consist of insecure players. Players that are aware of the moves they made,  but not how it affects the emotions of their loved ones. I believe they are aware, just at the time their selfishness kicks in. Their need to win or be right, trumps their loved ones emotional state. We have all played this game, and even blamed others for our own decisions. It is easier to point the finger at someone else, than to hold yourself accountable. Understanding the part you play in the game, and the results of the relationship, is beneficial to your personal growth. Everyone has been talking about cheating in all of our popular television shows and media. This day and age, cheating and infidelity has becomes so easy due to technological advances. The dating apps that are specifically for hookups, and direct messaging, allow for emotional connections to be made via technology. Those emotional connections then lead to physical meet ups and eventually trust broken between a committed relationship. Once caught, there are those players that find themselves easing their conscious by blaming their partner. Blaming their partner for the decisions that they have made. When it comes to infidelity, the only person to blame is the one who acted out the behavior/action. It is important for the person being blamed, not to own this. When a person goes outside of the relationship, and makes the decision to break their commitment, they should only blame self. Even if there are issues within the committed relationship, communication should have occurred stating the issues within the relationship. The player should have also evaluated the pros and cons of their decision prior to acting on an immediate desire. Blaming someone else for your shortcomings denies you of the valuable lesson of self-discipline. Instead of confronting the players issue, they rather pass on the bucket to the loved one.  A bucket filled with all of the players personal issues for their loved one to carry. Outside of infidelity, there is the blaming for your current situation. The player blames their parents, family, job, or just about anything for their current circumstances. The cards you were dealt with all are a result of decisions you have made in the past. When confronted with them, it’s easier to pass on to others, as opposed to face the underlying issue…you! Blaming others is a lack of self-love. It is avoidance at its best. Until you stop blaming others for your lack of success, will you realize you hold the key to your future. Children result to the blame game in fear of being disciplined by an adult. Adults result to the blame game in fear of facing their underlying issues. It’s a temporary fix for a long-term problem, and until confronted, the cycle of blame will repeat itself.  The person will continue to encounter the same situations with different people, and the same results. Until they realize they are responsible, they will remain stagnant. The player of the blame game will always lose in the end.

 

Cinderella 

Definition…

1. A Young woman with a lack of familial support. She is known to be a hard worker but lacks direction in life. A kind soul that wants different from the life she was brought up in. She spends her life trying to clean up after others. Carrying the burden of others and not enough time spent on her own personal dreams and goals. She is forced into adulthood with little guidance. But find fairy godmothers, people that love like family along the way.

Cinderella was what some of my friends used to call me. A term they used to make fun of my adult responsibilities as a teen. I didn’t understand at the time, but I realized I was different from my girlfriends. Different upbringings and different responsibilities. While many of them were just responsible for being a teen, I was worried about working and providing things for myself. At eighteen, I was kicked out of my father’s house over some chores not being done. I’m not going to lie, I was what adults would consider disrespectful. The only problem was they didn’t realize me growing up so fast led me to believe I was on their level. I called the adults out on there wrongdoings. I learned at an early age that just because your older doesn’t make you right. I was adulting while my friends were away at college. The interesting thing was watching them all after school. Graduating with degrees they wouldn’t use and learning about the world while I was doing it backwards. I always had my own place, worked a full time job and handled life on my own. I got a head start but did not always make the right decisions.   I spent enough money on rent that I could have owned a house by now. Screwed up my credit because when things got hard I could only rely on myself. There was no one to clean up my mess. I decided to write this because I know of a few young girls that fit this glass slipper. It may not look so pretty now and no Prince Charming is not going to save you. My advice is to use the tools that you have obtained through the struggle to succeed. In your current circumstance you are being taught a valuable lesson so pay attention. You will have a gift of indescribable gratitude because you did it all yourself. Unlike the Cinderella in the story when your time comes you will know how to keep it. You learn to be disciplined and learn from your mistakes. There will be plenty evil stepmothers and wicked step sisters. People who will try to bring you down. Keep dreaming and aspiring for a change. One day all your hard work will pay off! #Cinderella

Natural 

A couple of months after giving birth to my second son, I decided to do the ” big chop”. If your not aware of what this is, you must be sleeping under a rock. The “big chop” in the African American culture is cutting all your relaxed hair off, until your left with your natural hair. I decided during this time that I wanted to return to my natural curl pattern. It sounded like such a great idea and something easy to manage. This was normal for me because I used to cut my hair every time I was going through a break-up or wanted a little change. It seemed easy, but I had no clue how attached we women are to our hair. The first day I cut it and went to the jail to work for night shift, I hid in the locker room during road call. I already was tired of explaining the diversity of my hairstyle to my Caucasian male co-workers. They would always notice a change, or new hairstyle, and seemed to think I had this magic hair growth serum. This was when I was going between my natural length and 18 inch weaves. That night I did not want to explain why I looked like my newborn son, with about two inches of tight curls on my head. I knew eventually I would have to expose this new do, but I preferred to hide in the dark and listen to the inmates roast my new do. For about a month, I tried to find ways to conceal my nakedness. I felt like I was baring my soul, without my hair being able to cover my ears. Time passed and my curls and length were in a not so awkward phase. I enjoyed flat ironing and seeing the true length. Soon I was ready to be adventurous and try other healthy hair straightening ideas. I decided to hit a local hairdresser and get a silk press. A silk press is a flat iron, and a under dryer wrap that leaves kinky tresses silky straight and flowing. I didn’t do much research on the hairstylist, but figured she was black and knew how to deal with my hair type. I was so wrong! After one silk press and twelve months on a healthy natural hair journey, my curl pattern was gone. No deep conditioner, or hair treatment could bring back a year of very minimal heat and gorgeous curl pattern. I was extremely disappointed but what I did afterwards was an example of lacking self love. I figured since it was damaged that I would just continue to do so. All it took was one person to damage the progress I made within that year. I was finally where I wanted my hair to be and looking forward to the years to come. I sacrificed and dealt with some serious emotional attachment to something that never made me Kieona. Similar to my natural hair journey, we as humans go through situations in life where one person, or situation can occur that takes us off our path or goals. They can put you in situation where you have to hit the restart button. What about that diet and exercise you have incorporated in your life the last three months? You have been working so hard and one cheat day led to five. All the weight you worked so hard for you gained back. What I learned from my natural hair journey, is to not be so hard on myself. There are going to be some major setbacks when you make commitments to make changes. It’s not the fall, it’s what you choose to do after falling. If someone has hurt you and your heart was broken, is it smart for you to continue allow others to do the same. We have a choice when the downfall occurs to either get back up, or continue to damage the very thing we allowed another outsider to do. To make a long story short, I plan on going back to my curls. The process is going to be a little easier emotionally because I plan on slowly cutting away the damage ends. It may take longer but this time around I will know better. Take it as a lesson learned an opportunity to do better the next time around. We all have been there, failed school and worked harder when given the second chance. Maybe failed at the first marriage and learned more of what to expect for the next. How to pick your battles and appreciate the process. My natural hair journey wasn’t just about my hair. It was returning back to the very thing I once was. It was to celebrate the hair God gave me. It was about returning to my natural state. #Natural