Be Your OWN Biggest Fan

“I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.” ~Auggie, Wonder


I strongly believe in this statement. Some of us just want to hear, “I’m proud of you and everything you have accomplished.” We want to feel acknowledged and appreciated. We work hard and it would make us feel good if someone noticed that. I find myself often searching for this sense of approval from those around me.

I’m still learning everyday how to work on this, how to be secure with myself. Although it would make me feel good to hear someone acknowledge my efforts or how much I’ve done, one should be secure enough with themselves to know that they do not need the approval. Others can sometimes give us the approval we are searching for. Or they may not. They may disregard all of our efforts which causes us to continue searching for approval we may never receive. Almost like Gatsby in The Great Gatsby. He consistently searched for the approval, validation, and acceptance from Daisy, which he never received.

We should not place our self-worth in the hands of others. One should be secure with themselves that approval should not determine their level of self-acceptance. It is common for one to ask friends and families for their opinions on certain matters. However, you only get one life, so you need to live for you. Sometimes those people may have your best interests at heart, and maybe they do not.

I should take my own advice more often, but I also care too much about what others think. I want to be accepted by most. However, I’ve come to learn that the only important thing that matters is how you view yourself. No matter what you do, people will always have opinions about your actions. Therefore, we should only surround ourselves with people who do have our best interests at heart. They acknowledge our improvements and offer healthy criticisms when needed.

Especially during the pandemic, it is CRUCIAL to surround yourself with positivity and remain consistent with improving yourself whether it be reading or writing more, exercising more often, meditating, etc. It is easy to get lost down the rabbit hole and become overwhelmed with everything. But if we continue to work on ourselves and surround ourselves with likeminded and positive people, we will prosper.

Even if we are applauded or acknowledged as Auggie mentions in the movie Wonder, we should still not lose sight of ourselves, our goals, or the direction we are headed. Moments are fleeting. We are acknowledged for a brief moment and yes, it makes us feel wonderful. But in reality, people will forget that great thing you did a couple days thereafter. The point here is, without getting too depressing, embrace the acknowledgment, but never lose yourself while searching for that approval.

Life is too short. That has been evident throughout this entire pandemic. We can be here one day and gone the next. Don’t mean to be depressing here, but it’s the truth. We should work towards our goals, make memories with those closest to us, and cherish our loved ones.

But bringing it back to the main point of my post here, never let the approval or non-approval influence how you view yourself. Yes, it would make us feel worthy to be acknowledged for our hard work. But we should work hard regardless to reach our goals not because we want that approval.

And with that, I end this post on the following note, you are worthy. You are doing amazing things and you are noticed. Even when you aren’t, be your own biggest fan. Celebrate those victories, whether big or small. Keep crushing those goals. Do something today that future you will be proud of! Make yourself happy!

Until next time friends,

Dakota 🙂

The Future Is Unpredictable, Live For Right Now

Hey guys. I’m back again with a post. I’m sitting here at work, bored and hungry, and figured why not put up a blog post to use my time productively? It seems like I’ve been getting the bulk of my writing done at work. But whatever, I’m not complaining. Writing gets done when it gets done.

I opened my Instagram up for the first time after not having it for like 6 months. I needed a break. I’ve grown apart from social media and only use it now to keep in contact with loved ones or to share my work with the writing community. I really feel like social media is too heavily relied on and many people take it too seriously. I get it. We live in a time where social media is how people communicate, it’s how people grow their business, cool. I can understand that. But, what I do not understand is why people are so caught up in their phones. There are so many other ways we can spend our time like moving our bodies or feeding our brains.


We can be here today and gone tomorrow. Life is flying right on by. I came across an Instagram story recently and found out someone I knew from my high school years had passed. It’s devastating to think about because she was my age. We often take time for granted because we think we will have more of it. We are wrong. We should spend more time with our loved ones and use our time wisely. Imagine what you could do with the time you waste scrolling through social media? I’ll admit that I’ve done this and I’m not trying to come off as a hypocrite for doing so. However, I wanted to put up this post and explain why I’ve changed and how I’ve matured. I used to spend lots of time on Snapchat or Instagram or Facebook. I thought putting your every move on social media was the new cool, whether it was posting your meal, or the day you had at the gym, etc.

The last 2 years or so have been a whirlwind and over the course of them, I’ve done lots of self-reflecting on my past mistakes, who and what I want to become, and the goals I still wish to achieve. I’ve lost many people over the years. People I loved and deeply cared for. I’ve lost family members, friends, and people I thought would be around for much longer. I believe in the value of a moment and creating memories with those closest to you. I don’t care for materialistic items or how much money one has. I care about creating life long memories. I’m not trying to get too depressing here, as this is meant to be an uplifting post, but when we all go to the afterlife, wherever that is for you based on your beliefs, what do we take with us? The memories or all the cars, purses, jewelry, etc. that we bought?


I’ve put my faith in people and have been let down. I’ve been vulnerable and loved people as best I could. I’ve been beaten, bruised, and defeated. I’ve faced countless adversities and have had people turn their backs on me. But I managed to rise through it all. I overcame my adversities. I am a fighter. This is how I was raised. To go in for that last round even when you don’t think you can.

I’ve held grudges. I have let years go by without talking to people over something they did during our childhoods. I’ve spent months even years not speaking to friends over minor arguments we had. We are human. We feel things. I feel things very deeply and that could be a good and bad thing.

But if there is anything we can learn from 2020, it’s this. The future is unpredictable. We can be here today and gone tomorrow. So I leave you with this.

Cherish your loved ones. Hug them. Let them know you love them. Be kinder. Don’t hold grudges. Forgive people so you can allow yourself to find peace. Work towards your goals. Use your time wisely. Call your parents often (I moved out at 22 and still call my parents everyday). Check in on your loved ones, especially during the pandemic. Do lots of self-reflection. Meditate. Focus on your health & well-being physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. Life is too short to be unhappy. I know this sounds like a total cliche, but it’s the best I’ve got right now. Tomorrow is unknown. Do your best today. Live in the now. Plan for the future yes, but live for right now.

I am still learning. I am improving. I am evolving. No one is perfect. I still struggle with doing some of the things I’ve mentioned above. But if you try to do and be better, this is what counts.

Well friends, that is it for this post. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week!

Until next time,

Dakota 🙂

Back From My 2-Month Hiatus: Self-Reflection During The Pandemic

Hi there! Well, it’s been a while since I’ve last posted. 2 months total, I believe. What can I say? Life is busy. School demands lots of my time. I needed to take a break from my non-essential work and focus my time & energy where it was most needed. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. You think your blog is “non-essential?” I know I have my followers and I appreciate you guys more than you know, I really do. Thank you for the support through it all. You guys are the best, especially the writing community on twitter. One of the best groups on social media, hands down. I’m sorry I’ve been absent. But this post will explain a little more of what I’ve been up to the past few months in quarantine.

So I live in Charleston, SC and everything pretty much opened back up. We have to wear masks of course, but it’s been pretty laidback. People are extremely happy to get out of the house again. I know I am. I’ve gone back to a gym routine and I’ve been spending as much time as I can with my pup, taking him on walks & doggy play dates. (He needs to get out of the house too, he’s a breed that loves to be outside.) He is a German Shorthaired Pointer and for those who do not know, those are hunting dogs. DJ is super hyper, playful, loves to jump, chase squirrels, frogs, and bark at birds.


It is safe to say many of us have gone through various obstacles and things have just been rough to say the least. Almost like we feel like giving up. This pandemic has led to a whirlwind of emotions. It has been a full-time job trying to maintain overall health & wellbeing. At first, I was content with staying home. I felt like it would give me a break, allow me the chance to spend more time with family, and just unwind a bit by taking time to do self-care. Well, how quickly that all fell apart. I started to realize I was more stressed out, I felt like a bird locked up in a cage who just wanted to be set free. I missed interaction with friends and just enjoying the outside world. We often take everything for granted and realize how fortunate we were when it is taken away from us. My fiancé and I quickly learned we needed space from one another. My pup even realized things changed because he was in the house more. My fiancé works from home & I go to school online. So you can only imagine what it was like being around each other 24-7. I think other couples can agree they have felt the same.

When quarantine first started, I made a promise to myself to do everything I always felt I didn’t have time for. I would learn American sign language, read & write more, and just learn a new set of skills like maybe another language, etc. But motivation has quickly fizzled out. Some days I’m productive and others I can barely roll out of bed. This is okay. Our bodies and minds need rest. We don’t want to take on too much at once. I think that is my issue. I try to do everything at once and I burn myself out. I’m still learning how to pace myself.

Although I’ve been facing my own obstacles, I’ve done my absolute best to check in on friends and family to make sure their mental health was okay. But I cannot say they did the same for me which is extremely disappointing. It is always those closest to us that let us down the most. There have been days during this pandemic that I have felt absolutely defeated and hopeless. I do, however, want to thank those closest to me who have reached out and checked on me. That is what true friendship is all about. I’ve made sure to call my parents everyday since they live up in NY.

I think of it this way, “not receiving a message is also a message.” It is totally understandable this pandemic has impacted many people across the country, but taking 2 seconds out of your day to text a loved one to see how they’re holding up really goes a long way. I give people the benefit of the doubt and come up with so many ways to defend them, thinking of why they could possibly ignore or not send a text. But there is no way to explain or defend someone who is just being a crappy human being.

This leads me to my next point. You can be civil. You can try and maintain relationships with people. You can communicate until you’re blue in the face. And somehow it is never enough. I’ve learned over time that I’ve been watering many dead plants and by that I mean, I’ve been trying to salvage one sided relationships with people. I believe in any relationship whether romantic or a friendship, it is a TWO-WAY street. It takes two to tangle. One hand washes the other. Okay, you get my point. With this said, toxic is toxic. It has hurt me to cut so many people off, but it is for my health and well being. And you know what else? I do not owe anyone explanations for my decisions. They are entirely my own and I am justified in making them.


I’m still learning. I’m still evolving. Growth is an ongoing process. I am not perfect. I try my best. I learn from my mistakes. I try to be the best version of myself that I can be.

My fiancé and I talk about this often. He always asks me, “how come you do not try to be more social and make friends?” He means this in the kindest way possible, don’t get me wrong. However, here is my explanation. I am at a point in my life where I am very selective with my time, energy, and my selection of “friends.” I’ve had to cut off family members for the sake of saving my sanity. So I have absolutely no issue with admitting that yes, I do not have many friends, but that is how I choose to live my life. I choose to have few in my corner. I would rather sit with 3 genuine and sincere friends than at a table with 100+ people who I do not even know the names of. My fiancé is very personable. So am I. But it takes a lot for me to consider someone my friend.

Especially during this pandemic, I have learned a lot about people. I have seen who is truly there for you and who is not. I have gone months without talking to some of my closest friends. I’ve spoken to others almost everyday. Like I said, it takes two to tangle. Therefore, I’m done reaching out to those who do not even see if I’m okay. I do not waste my time nor should I have to. The crazy thing is once you stop reaching out, it is the same people who have the nerve to say you don’t reach out or talk to them anymore. Yes, because of YOUR actions.

It has taken me a lot of time, energy, patience, and emotional roller-coasters full of tears, yelling, and depression to get to where I am today. I have worked hard to get to where I am now. I have gone through the wreckage to reach the level of peace and tranquility I try to maintain in my life. And when people disrupt that balance, they can no longer be a part of my life.

These are very trying times. I’ve found myself to be a ball of stress in a constant state of panic and anxiety. But I have found ways to cope. I go to the gym. I write. I spend time with those I love. I’m trying to be better. But it is a process. I cannot expect everything to be how I want by tomorrow. Things take time. But the harder we work towards something, the more we appreciate it when we get it.

I will end this post on the following note, it is not about the destination, but about the journey. I hope everyone is staying safe during these times and finding ways to stay productive. I know it is hard some days, but I promise, if you get up and go do something like exercise or take a walk, you will feel a whole lot better.

Not sure when my next post will be since life is hectic at the moment, but I will try and write again sometime soon!

Until next time,

Ms. Dakota 🙂

Silence At The Dinner Table

The imperious sound of forks clinking against the china plates is what she hated most as a child.

They would have family dinners and not speak to one another. Her siblings spent most of their time at their friends’ houses, and her parents always fought. It was rare eye contact was made and silence would loom over the table. Everyone would part ways and go to their own rooms when the silence would become too overbearing. Her mother was unhappy often so that meant being locked away in her room when she was not cooking or cleaning. Their father was mad at the world and took his personal failures out on the family.

Isabelle, Izzy for short, dreamed for a normal environment. Her life had been like looking through a window. She would observe others and their family dynamic wondering what she did wrong that she could not have that. She fenced herself in for all these years. She had built her walls so high due to all the emotional abuse she had to endure. She wanted to be free, but she was frightened. For so long, she did not know what it meant to live.

Her brother turned to drugs when he realized their home life was complete shit. Izzy thought he would be the most successful. Justin had it all together. Athlete, girlfriend after girlfriend, straight A’s, he had the world at his fingertips. The switch flipped. Something in him changed. He did not have the motivation or the courage anymore, letting life get the best of him. Things took a turn when she thought her brother had taken it too far. She knew something was up with him when he would come home, barely able to stand up straight, eyes bloodshot red and hardly open, he had no clue where he was or how he got home.

Justin would fumble towards his room, but he would find himself in the bathroom passing out on the floor. Their mother was sealed away from the rest of the world. She never checked on them or their younger sister, Morgan. Izzy would talk to Justin often and explain how if he got a scholarship for college, he could leave this place for good and chase his dreams. Justin wanted so badly for their mother to give a shit. He wanted to feel a connection with her, and he never did. Their mom was lost, a mere body with no soul.

Justin would hang out with the wrong crowd. It started with weed and Izzy always knew when he walked through the front door because she thought a skunk had found its way into the backyard again. The drugs offered Justin feelings he could not get at home. Izzy wanted so badly to help him, but she was struggling too. Their mother refused to see that the kids were a mess. The toxicity in the house was a stench that would never go away.

Izzy was at school in her English class, which kept her the sanest. Her phone buzzed. She slipped her hand into her jean pocket, taking her phone out carefully as her teacher would not see. She held her phone under her desk reading the name that popped up on her screen: Nathan. He was Justin’s best friend. The message read, “You need to get over here now.” She immediately gathered her belongings and slipped out the back door. She drove her mom’s old Honda the 20 minutes to Nathan’s house. He lived on a crowded suburban block. Families there always seemed to have it together, children playing out in the yards and riding their bicycles. Must be nice to have a normal family, Izzy would think to herself. She worried about her older brother and she had to care for her younger sister. She became the mom when she so badly wanted to live her life too, but she had no other choice.


Nathan was the one who introduced her brother to weed. He was a good kid, but he did not come from a stable home life either. He had started a a huge fight in the courtyard of their high school one day with Justin. Anger was common among the two of them. Izzy did not remember the story well, just from bits and pieces she heard from Justin. Her brother had been in the parking lot walking to his car, and in the process, he ran into Nathan and his band of misfits who were known for causing trouble. They hung out in the back lot by the dumpsters getting high and causing chaos for anyone who passed by.

“Hey man, you know you’re not supposed to walk through here.” Nathan yelled.

Justin kept walking to his car with his head down and his hands in his pockets. Nathan approached him and said it again grabbing his arm this time. Justin broke out of his grip and said, “Listen, don’t touch me.”

“You got the wrong dude.” Nathan responded with a smirk.

That was it, downhill from there. They fought and somehow from that fight they ended up becoming the best of buddies. Weird what brings two people together, Izzy thought, but it worked.


When Izzy got to Nathan’s house, the stench was overwhelming. The mix of weed and Tostito pizza rolls was one she knew all too well. Nathan lived in the basement. Not sure how because the chill was unbearable, she always wore a hoodie when she knew she was going there. It was always 15 degrees colder down there than the rest of the house. He slept on a beat-up couch with a lousy pillow and flimsy blanket. His TV was situated on the floor with a few DVD’s. There was one large window which sunlight seeped through. Pills were sprawled across the coffee table. Nathan was in the back-corner hovering off Justin. Izzy ran over.

“I, I, I don’t know what happen. He was fine, then started acting strange, and then fainted.” Nate said.

The bags under Justin’s eyes were dark and consuming his face. His hair was disheveled, and his body felt cold. Izzy lowered her face to his checking to see if he was breathing. He was, but the breaths were low and sporadic.

“I’m so sorry Izz, I didn’t know what was going on until I saw the pill bottles.” Nathan said as anxiety overcame him.

“I don’t want to hear it, Nate. You don’t think I know what you guys are doing?” Izzy responded as the fear made her voice crack.

They both managed to pick up Justin struggling to bring him to the bathroom.

“Nate turn the shower on,” Izzy croaked.  As the ice-cold water dripped from the shower head, Justin was sitting upright against the wall, as Izzy proceeded to stick her finger down his throat. It took 2 times, but he managed to vomit. Justin slowly came to consciousness after coughing uncontrollably, as his pale face regained its color.  

“Damn it, Justin, you could have died.” Izzy muttered as her voice raised another octave.

Nathan brought Justin some crackers to settle his stomach.


Once Justin started to come back to reality, Izzy drove the Nissan home. She parked the car in the driveway lopsidedly, left the key in the ignition, and just sat there in silence with her brother. Their mom was home locked away in her room again because the light was dim but seen through the curtain. Luckily their dad’s truck was not there.

“I’ve never done that before. I didn’t know my limit.” Justin managed to say breaking the silence.

“You scared the hell out of me.” Izzy responded as the tears began to form in her hazel eyes.

Another long pause of silence.  

“You’re the only one I have besides Morgan. I can’t afford to lose you too. Mom is completely lost, and I need my brother to help me through all of this.”

“I know Izz, I’m sorry. I’m just trying to work through my own shit. I know I lost myself for a while and this has been taking a toll on you.” Justin said as he looked towards the floor, fidgeting with his hands.

Izzy stared out the window of the Nissan focusing on the dim light coming from their mother’s bedroom. The light that somehow foreshadowed her mother’s cry for help.

“We have each other and we will figure all this crap out. I want to get mom and us out of here and work towards a better life. Just give me a chance to make the changes and do just that.”

Izzy looked at her brother. Justin looked drained, like this life had taken all the color from his face.

Okay,” Izzy mumbled.

Moving Forward

I was taught at a young age that being strong meant big muscles and hitting the gym every day. Little did I know as I got older mental, emotional, and spiritual health would be more of a focus. How can someone go to the gym if their mind just isn’t in it that day? We are not motivated to move or get out of bed. We all have those ‘off’ days and this is okay. Self-care is of the utmost importance.

I let go of lots of dead weight over the years. Lots of friends, family even, and relationships I thought were good for my health and I was wrong. I was blind. I just wanted acceptance and that social interaction. With all the experiences I’ve been through I have come to realize that if someone or something is weighing you down or is not allowing you to grow, making you feel inferior, this is unhealthy. I would rather be alone than in bad company.

I was burning in the fire and everyone stood by and watched. Instead of grabbing my hand to help me out, they threw more gasoline on the fire. I was choking and could not breathe. The smoke was too much to bare. Why was no one helping me? Why were they all just standing there?

But that’s the thing, right? You have to trust the other person with your heart, and you are taking the chance to be vulnerable. You show them every aspect of yourself and they take advantage of that. You choose to surround yourself with a certain crowd and you expect them to be the ones you trust most. And they often turn out to be the ones who break you down. In my experiences, I have been holding myself back for so long. Letting go of certain goals and wishes that I so badly wanted because someone else told me it was a waste of time. Or I would speak about something, my passion seeping through my words, and they would respond with a mere, “Oh that’s cool,” or “Can we talk about this later?” This whole time I have been searching for validation from others, I did not see that I am my own person, I should not feel guilty for wanting something or feeling like it’s merely a waste. I have chosen the wrong people to be in my circle. Jealousy is often the root of this issue. They do not want you to be better than them. I have quickly learned that you need to surround yourself with people who challenge you and want the absolute best for your future.

I am trying to reconstruct myself. I was so influenced by social media and other girls and society’s rules. I thought I needed to be what everyone else needed to be.

Everyone has tried to change me. Tried to make me act differently or think differently. Why can’t I just be myself?

All this time I have wasted allowing others to tell me what to do.

I refuse to live a mediocre life determined by someone else’s vision.

I choose to make it extraordinary, as in the words of Robin Williams.

The Outcast Learns Acceptance

For as long as I can remember, I have felt like an outcast. Like people did not understand me. People resented me for reasons I do not know. Whether it was family, friends, outsiders I barely knew. People have always felt the need to label me or tell me why I was not good enough. I have felt like I was fed exed into this family. Being half Hispanic and half white, things never felt like they connected. My mom is from Puerto Rico and that side of the family speaks fluent Spanish. I grew up listening to Spanish music, eating Spanish food, and being around my relatives who were of an olive complexion and here I am, a little white girl with pig tails who felt like she did not belong.

My mom would tell me stories about how people in the family would say I was too white. I would have uncles and aunts who commented and cousins too. I tried so very hard to fit in, but what was the reason? Family is supposed to accept you and love you, right?

My dad’s side of the family is white, hence my name. I juggled trying to connect these two parts of myself because I am constantly greeted with doubt, hate, and uncertainty. “How can you be hispanic with that last name?” I had extended family members in Puerto Rico even ask me why my mother married a white man. Most of my relatives have dated or married into a Hispanic family; not my mom. She chose my dad. They were a blind date set up by friends of theirs; they met at a Halloween party. My mom tells me stories about how my dad was not her type. When she first saw him, she said he was short and showed up late which she did not like because my mom is a very punctual person. She said she was attracted to his personality and how he included my brother with lots of activities like going to the movies, etc. My brother and I come from two different fathers. Hence, another reason I feel like an outcast. We both have different names that are on two different ends of the spectrum. He has a fully Hispanic name and looks like my mom. Here I am, white girl with a completely white name. People would comment and whisper things like, “Is that even your brother? You must have been adopted. You guys can’t be related.” This would make me so angry. I did not care if he had a different skin tone, different name, different father. HE was MY brother and that was that.

My mom’s side of the family speaks fluent Spanish. My dad’s side does not. The relatives on my father’s side mostly married another Caucasian person. There was always a disconnect between my mother’s side of the family and my father’s side. It felt like an all out war and I did not understand the cause. I felt like I was standing in a field, while both sides of the family stood at each end waiting to attack. I stood there trying to decide which side I wanted to fit into most. I wanted so badly for both sides to come together.

We would get together at family parties and what not. But it never felt right. I had relatives on my mother’s side look down on my father because they saw him as this white man that my mother should not have married. My grandma did not choose sides. She did not resent my father or me. She welcomed us in with open arms.

My brother would often make hurtful comments. He never claimed me as his sister. He always made me feel rejected because of the father I come from. The pain from this has been unbearable. I have aches in places I never even knew existed. People in this family have looked down upon me because of the man I call my dad.

I have had people cut me out of their lives, resent me, talk badly about me, and not even give me a chance to form my own identity because I always lived in his spotlight. People assumed I was the same make as him, they wrote me off like I was nothing and I did not even have a chance to prove I was different. When I was a kid, I always felt like I was treated differently and I always wondered why.

I remember one Christmas party at my aunt’s house and I was 9 years old. While everyone exchanged gifts, my cousins received the best gifts any kid could ask for. I received a card. Kids love gifts during Christmas and here I am at 9 years old wondering why I was not included. I felt the tears start to form in my eyes. But even at 9 years old, I did not like to cry in front of others. My dad would tell me that was a sign of weakness. My mom saw I was upset and took me outside. I was always on the backburner. Always the after thought. My mom embraced me in a hug and said, “It’s okay mama. You will understand when you’re older. I can’t explain why people act the way they do. You have to be strong.” I wanted so badly to be strong, but how strong could I have been at 9 years old?

There has always been a disconnect with both sides of the family, struggling to connect both sides of my nationality, and trying to juggle the day to day pain of me feeling like I do not belong.

“Oh you’re just a little white girl, what do you know? You have a white father, you aren’t Hispanic. Why did your mother marry a white man? She could have done better.” These comments have been sketched into my memory and I want so badly to forget.

This really hits close to home because I have always felt marginalized. There were certain family members who welcomed me in with open arms and made me feel included, like I was not crazy for thinking that I was an outsider. I just wanted people to accept me. Not look at my skin complexion, or my last name, or the fact that I am half white. I always wanted to belong. To something. To a group. To a family.

I guess this is why I am so big on family. When I have my own children, I will never allow them to feel less than or like they are not good enough. It should not matter the color of your skin, or how ethnic your name may be, or what family you belong to, or how many friends you have. You should be accepted for you and no one should make you feel inferior without your consent.

I have battled hating myself for who I am and where I come from. I have hated my name. I have wanted to feel more Hispanic. I felt this need to rid myself of my white name to feel more Hispanic. To prove to this family that I do belong. I have wanted to climb out of this skin. I have tried to claw my way out. To breathe. To feel something.

I am a person. I am a human being. Because I do not share the same skin complexion as you or the same last name, I am very much a part of this family. I have struggled with accepting who I am and the family I was born into. My thoughts matter and my voice matters. What I have to say matters and I want to say these things because this has been boiling to the surface for almost 24 years of my life. So I sit here in my kitchen, with the sunlight seeping through the dining room window, and I write. And man does it feel good to tell this story. As I release these thoughts I feel a sense of healing. A sense of acceptance. A sense of grieving. A sense of finally realizing what truly matters. As the saying goes, you cannot choose your family and you cannot control the actions of others. You can choose how you respond to these actions and whether you want it to have power over you.

I choose to be strong. I choose to be me. I choose to be whole entirely on my own without the approval or validation of anyone. I stand tall because I can. I accept myself because I can. I no longer wish to allow these people who never gave a damn about me anyway to have power over me. They have no right to say these things. I have found comfort in the arms of friends who have become my family. God has given me these obstacles to learn how to love myself. To have hope. To stand tall. To make my voice heard. He has given me this talent to write so I can tell my story and hopefully inspire someone else to share their story.

All these years of wanting to fit in and you know what I learned through it all? I choose to be the outcast. I choose to be different. You do not like me? You do not accept me as your blood so be it. Life goes on. It has been an all out war trying to accept every aspect of who I am. You think I will allow others to make me feel less than when I already struggle with acceptance?

You never claimed me as your blood then, do not claim me when you see the success I will create.

Resilience

~ for anyone needing a little pick me up

when we are in the moment

feeling everything so very deeply

being consumed by this sadness and our thoughts that will not shut off

completely hopeless feeling like we cannot take one more step forward

this is when we need to fight like we’ve never fought before

as hard as it may be, take your time

time heals all wounds

let yourself feel, but always try and keep fighting

as cliche as this may sound, it is the truth

as much as it may hurt right now, that pain will end

your heart is still beating

you are resilient

you will overcome this and find something so much more

just hold on a little longer

this I promise you

this photo is not my own.

~ if you have made it this far, you can make it through this

Colorful

You have brought vivacity to my world

I no longer see the world as black and white, it is no longer colorless

You are my sunrise, sunset, and everything in between

You have so many infinities within you

You are vulnerable and share them with me

–is this love?


this photo is my own.
5am Sunrise in Charleston, South Carolina.

Alone



There is beauty in learning how to be on your own, like sitting alone in a coffee shop

Endings lead to new beginnings

And they can be better than we ever expected

Being able to go somewhere new

Being able to breathe again without the baggage of the past lurking among you

You can start fresh, start over

If something is meant for you, it will come

Do not rush the process

–breakdowns often lead to breakthroughs.


this photo is my own.
Restaurant in Costa Rica.

Sanctuary


Home was always wherever you were

I found sanctuary within the four walls of your apartment

I felt safe, protected, and loved

I would lay in bed as the sunlight would seep through the peach colored curtains

The breeze would sweep across the room

There was a certain beauty within the stillness I felt when I was home with you

You were such a light in this darkness

When you were taken from us so suddenly

I could no longer find that light

I know you are here with me in spirit

I carry you in my heart

What I would give to be in that apartment with you once more

–this is the broken heart of losing a loved one


this photo is my own.