Beautiful.

What’s not to love about YOU?

SO…

Let me count the motherf*ckin ways.

Let’s start with your eyes and how their big shape swallows the light of the sun; reflecting every shade of brown from deep golden copper to milky chocolate. There’s little you have not been able to express through the beauty of those eyes that God so eloquently painted on your face. Behind them lies one of your most breathtaking features, your mind. The way it ebs and flows like the ocean one minute and rages frantically like a summer storm the next. Your ability to solve problems while you sleep, have a movie like imagination, and string the most minor details along until you formulate a completely new idea is amazing. Your creativity is a beautiful frenzy that makes it’s home in your thoughts, thrives in your imagination, and dances in your dreams. Your mind is so beautiful that sometimes after we have accomplished another task, executed another creation, or thought up something unique; I think of it in awe.

I love your brilliant, creative mind.

You write this at midnight because you once again procrastinated, not because you’re lazy but because sometimes you overthink even the simplest of tasks. But there’s still beauty in your flaw and your dedication always ensures you complete whatever you put your mind to. I have watched as you’ve learned how to be free in loving yourself this past year. You have unabashedly decided to celebrate all the things you were conditioned not to; and to proudly do so. You have always been brave in that way; being yourself when being you wasn’t popular or before Kantoinette was a persona. No matter what name you wear, you own it and make it yours in the truest, purest way you can.

I love the way there’s no one like you.

Now let’s talk about those legs and how they reach like skyscrapers above the necks of any who would choose to hate but even that is a foreign concept because your warmth and kindness draws even the strangest of strangers into your glow. The heart that pumps in your chest beats for the big and the small; simply put…you care and you care deeply. Not like a fake look at me care either. Not a “I’m like really nice” troupe but you actually care. You pray every time you see an ambulance for the person it may be for and the family that may be effected. You cry when you see tears of others, You lay up wondering if that plastic bag you used will end up choking some random fish, you still think about the babies in cages and those evicted during a pandemic. You think of random ways to make your loved ones feel special and when someone, anyone is having a hard time with esteem you are never in short supply of empowering words that would make anyone feel like they could conquer the world. You give your all. You’ve learned how to do that for yourself too.

I love the way you love. I love the way you self love.

Your childlike wonder at things always means you’ll find the whimsical side of life even in the darkest moments. You think of gentle breezes as hugs from God and you chase butterflies like a toddler because you’re fascinated by creation. You show God gratitude in the gift of life he has given to the world and for the world itself. Your relationship with nature is inspiring. You swear you can understand the way trees whisper to each other and in nature’s silence you find peace. I love how peaceful you are; how you can be fulfilled by a simple walk outside, a bike ride, a starry night of slow jams in the car.

I love your wonder. I love your gentleness.

Did we talk about that smile yet?! My God, what a wonder that is to see. You’ve struggled to find the beauty there because it is not perfection but that doesn’t make it any less infectious for all who see it. It was hard to celebrate a body you were being told to hate but you stole away love and admiration for what you knew was still worthy. Your struggles with your imperfections has made your self love resilient. And they make you uniquely gorgeous.

I love your imperfections.

Your spirit is like a universe, vast and beautiful. you hold so much there and yet still journey to discover more. Those who are lucky enough to feel you are left changed. You are EVERYTHING. YOU ARE ENOUGH and trust me when I say that’s more than most can handle. Those who dare enter your orbit must first know themselves or they are inadvertently thrust into a season of growth. You are like water. You nurture. You cleanse. Many around you drink and thrive; while some drown. In your tides you learn and grow. Your biggest storms only revealed your greatest strengths. You are POWERFUL. Thanking God for the hard seasons because you crave growth. Wanting to see yourself clearly and in your reflection is proof that God so loved the world.

How beautiful must God be if you are made in his image?

{The Best Love is Selfie Love -Kantoinette}

I was “good,” I was really good. 

I didn’t raise my voice too loud or ask too many questions. I didn’t probe or pry even when my curiosity wanted just a taste of the truth. I was always nurturing. Always ready to fix the broken thing. My flat chest would swell with pride whenever I heard someone refer to me as “the good girl.” I knew it would mean that I was revered. It meant that more effort would be put into the pursuit of me. It meant I was special.

What I didn’t know was that it would be a cage, a trap, and a way for others to not see the full spectrum of me as a woman. Years ago I killed the idea of myself as a “Good Girl,”

EF048DE4-3612-4E98-A455-819FAD441CD2

and it has been the most freeing decision of my womanhood.

 

You played yourself

I played into the idea. I wasn’t particularly voluptuous or well-dressed, but I could be good. I could people please until everyone fell prey to my kindness. I tried on the label like makeup, thinking it would enhance me in some way. I found that the act of being a good girl helped to place me on a pedestal in the minds of boys whose attention I was desperate for. It also meant that I would have a longer distance to fall once they realized I wasn’t perfect. I allowed myself to be trapped in the ideas that other people had of me. This meant that cursing was not acceptable; modesty in the way I dressed was expected, and I always needed to be gracious even when wronged.

68FE9651-00BD-4E11-B43A-45C3ED5C8D09

But ooooooohhh Chile, I got real tired of feeling like a couldn’t stretch the length of my personality, thoughts, dreams, and desires. And I realized that CONGRATULATIONS I had played myself all those years that I performed as the “good girl” because I was so much more than that label. I’ve allowed myself to be defined by a phrase that never captured the truth of who I am.

 

Peeling back the layers of the mask to reveal my truth underneath it has been shocking for many. I say FUCK now. A word that so clearly captures my mood but one that I just allowed myself to write and speak. I wear clothes many people think of as scandalous and I feel powerful in my sensuality because of it. I am not a “good girl.” I am the best contradiction you could ever hope to experience. Mellow and fierce. Shy and sensual. Soft and powerful. Trap yet contemporary. Introverted but assertive.

Most of all…I am a real ass woman, with real ass needs, wants, dreams, and feelings.

I shed the good girl label like a bad wig because there is no box that could hold the magnitude of my existence.

3D525D1F-41DD-42C2-8690-D566F48ABF5E

Take a STAB at it

The first stab came with my assertiveness. The second with my opinions. The third with my self-awareness and actualization. No one likes a mouthy “good girl” who challenges things and knows herself well enough to know that “good” and “girl” don’t come close to describing who she is.

I am a former “Good Girl” who has found power in my fullness.

To all my “Good Girls,” FREE yourself, kill that b****!

LBF STYLE

EAC97447-F753-4E82-9542-45EFD1268BB3

One of my favorite blogs, DAMN GIRL GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER or DGGYST, just returned from her hiatus with nothing less than a stellar post. It asks readers to take an inventory of the things they’ve accomplished in their life thus far. The brilliant writer behind the blog gave her readers a glimpse into the mayhem that unfolded during her 30th birthday in My Very Stabby Birthday . She discusses how she realized she’s a badass in sheep’s clothing by listing her accomplishments and then asks readers to do the same. So, here goes nothing!

From the ages of 18-27 I’ve made my share of mistakes the size of Santa’s list. I’ve checked my shit more than twice. What I’ve never done, however, is make a not-so-comprehensive list of my accomplishments like…

1. Learned how to put on fitted sheet after only 3 tries

2. Started eating breakfast in the mornings

3. Graduated college with a BA

4. Joined the military and somehow stayed

5. Deployed and somehow survived

6. Successfully fulfilled higher positions thrown into my lap

7. Brought first car that doesn’t randomly cut off in the street

8. Learned to forgive others

9. Added myself to that list

10. Learning difference between selflessness and self care

11. Stopped ignoring my successes

12. Started learning from my mistakes like never include my natural cleanser ,orange juice, with morning breakfast. Especially before commute to work.

Special thanks to DGGYST for calling out such a positive thing in her readers. Go check out her website you won’t be sorry! Click the link below!

DGGYST Damn Girl Get Your Shit Together

Ahhhh, it’s that time of year again for the phrase heard around the world.

Come on. You know the one. You’ve even used it before.

NEW YEAR, NEW ME ringing any bells? Well, I’ve decided that instead of attempting to construct a new me; I will just revamp the ME that’s already here!

(I’m Pretty damn awesome already)

giphy (1)

 

CAUTION: Self Love often mistaken for Selfishness Ahead

 

giphy-downsized (5)

 

I don’t want to make a truck load of changes that I may or may not stick with. I’d rather dedicate this next year to focusing on the most important person in my life.

Again, ME.

Investing in the things that matter to my present and future self could make a world of difference this year.

I came up with this “brilliant” idea one day while contemplating all of the important things I had set up for my 9-5 in January.

All the meetings I needed to take, the phone calls/emails I needed to send out and the programs for the community that would make a difference in others getting a jump-start to their year.

But what about me? What about the real goals that I want to accomplish this year just for myself? Those are just as important. But those things need my TLC as well. Shit, I need some TLC!

So, I decided to not only be the worker bee but Queen Bee.

giphy-downsized

 

I’m spending the month of January setting myself up for success by focusing on my needs, wants and everything in-between. Investing time and money into myself is what this is all about.

All while being unapologetic of course. I hope you decide to do the same.

 

Here’s the tea.

giphy-downsized (3)

Financial Empowerment

I started the infamous envelope challenge this December. Basically, I take cash out of my account for bills I don’t pay online. I budget reasonable amounts and place it into envelopes just for groceries, gas, eating out, personal care, rainy day car expenses, and my personal allowance.

NO Cross Sharing cash between envelopes!

I have to say that sticking with this budget isn’t easy but knowing exactly where my hard-earned coins are going has helped me develop a real relationship that treats my doubloons with respect.

Now I don’t get anxiety every time I swipe or constantly worry about being broke when I’m not. Instead, I think long and hard, REAL HARD, before handing over my precious.

This step is important in me getting the most from my money. Now, I actually check my bank account and open my bank statements rather than dodge them like I do the guys in Wal-Mart. My money is working for me now.

Finances and Anxiety under control (Check!)

giphy-downsized (1)

 

Boosting My Passions and Interests

New Blog Look Coming Soon!

Investing into something I am truly passionate about will be the best kick off to the New Year. I’ve placed money aside to upgrade my blog space (YAY) and I’ve also budgeted money to design informational packages for my Let’s Build Mentoring program. I will send these packages to guidance counselors and school officials attempting to garner a partnership.

If you have a business you’re interested in starting up or an endeavor you want to explore; DO IT!

e-commerce-2897798_960_720

“But I’m broke”

Okay, listen Linda, tax season is around the corner so set some of that money aside to invest in your interests. OR save up, because it’s worth exploring what interests you and not just working for someone else’s dream or goals.

Making Boss Moves (Check)!

 

Getting My Mind Right

Mental health

I’ve found free sessions with a psychologist who can give me the tools I need to better overcome the mental blocks I face and the anxiety that I deal with.

*Military personnel or families of military personnel can get 6 free sessions for issues they face through military one source Phone: 800-342-9647*

I can get free sessions for anxiety and then turn around and get another 6 free sessions for grief or quarter life crisis https://letsbuildfutures.com/2017/12/12/the-ghost-of-crisis-past/

 

giphy-downsized (9).gif

Spiritual Health

Walks in the park, massages, reading in a quiet little coffee shop; all these things make me feel closer to God because they focus my energy inward. So, I’ve carved out time to do these things to keep my inner self happy and connected.

 

 

This past year I gave all my free time away like Krispy Kreme Hot Sign doughnuts. The more I gave, the more I was expected to give.

giphy-downsized (6).gif

but taking time for myself will give me the energy I need to fully be there for others when they really need.

For you it may be going to church, or hiking….either way make sure you give yourself ample time every week to draw on something bigger than yourself.

Happy, Healthy Me (Check)!

 

 

Ball TF out!

I’m that person who hesitates in spending money on myself but when it comes to my family I throw money and all my free time at them.

giphy

Not this New Year.

I started taking better care of myself in 2017 but I definitely still held back.

I gave 110% to my civilian job

110% to my military job

110% to my family and friends

2% to me/my interests (OKAY….maybe I’m being dramatic but you get the point)

I will be blowing the dust off of my vacation days from work this year.

giphy-downsized (7)

I now realize that if I juice everything around me up and don’t give myself time to recharge then nothing gets done. It’s okay to take that mini vacation especially if your work ethic is on point.

My boss, My family and My friends will just have to understand. I will be a little more selfish than they’re use to this year. And it all starts with my birthday in which I will RUN TF OUT.

Because why not? I’ve never heavily splurged on myself because I’m always money conscious but as this birthday approaches I realize that I will only get one chance at my 20s; so why not make the most of them in working hard AND having fun?

“Krystal, you’re so extra.”

Me: “You damn right I am!”

giphy-downsized.gif

 

We always go into the New Year with intentions to change the things we don’t like about ourselves weight, food habits, that pinkie toe that’s a little weird-looking

BUT

why not celebrate what we do like and enjoy.

You don’t have to make a million resolutions you know damn well you’re not gonna stick with. You can, however, pick out the things in your life that bring you joy and focus on that this year because a happier you IS a healthier YOU.

 

giphy-downsized (4)

Answers Phone: “New Year, Enhanced Me…Who dis?!”

Loving on Myself (Check)!