100 percent.

Everyone wants 100 percent of you.

Your job demands 100 percent, your bae, your kids, your friend that keeps calling and crying about the same guy she said she was gonna leave three calls ago.

They want your undivided attention, your time, your unconditional love. And you oblige. You slice yourself up like a pie and divide yourself into equal portions until there’s nothing left.

pie 1pie 1

Now you’re hungry. 

Now you’re drained and burnt out left wondering whose gonna help replenish you.

You take days off in the name of self-care but still end the day restless, anxious and unfulfilled. But here’s a secret I’ll let you in on…

Self-care is more than bubble baths and mimosas. Self-care is an attitude. It’s knowing that giving 100 percent to everyone and thing else, 24/7, 365 is not only impossible but a destructive goal. It’s having the courage to tell your boss no to coming in for overtime because you know your personal time is more important. It’s setting boundaries even with the people you love. Self-care is what you tell yourself when no one’s listening; the words that you use to mentally talk to yourself. It’s the ultimate relationship you have with who should be the most important person in your life…YOU.


True Love

It’s what you value and celebrate about yourself even when no one around you does. Self-care is self-love. How you care for yourself is a direct reflection of what you think you deserve. It is a parallel between how you allow others to treat you. At this point in my life, I treat myself well enough to accept nothing less than adoration from others hoping to engage with me on a personal level.



Self Awareness

Self-care is self-review in caring enough about who you are to fix the flaws that promote your self-hate. Doing what you need in the emotional and mental areas to feel your best. To BE your best.

Self-care is about surrounding yourself with people who share your values, celebrate your wins and encourage you in your losses. It’s allowing only those in your space whose intentions align with yours and knowing when to let go when they don’t.


The Little Moments

Self-care is the pep talk you give yourself before entering work. It’s the time you give yourself to cry when you’re feeling overwhelmed as a single mother. It’s the moments that you decide not to delay your gratification this time to buy the purse you’ve been eyeing. 

It’s choosing yourself every day, 24/7, 365.

Giving 100 percent of your love, time and attention to yourself too.

As we embark on this self-care week let us understand that it’s more than an Instagram post; Self-care is a way of life, a constant goal to strive for.

Hey Builders! Tell me how you self care, like, share and Let’s Build up Ourselves.




Phone dry.

Lips dry.

DMs dry.

Dry. Dry. Dry.


While everyone is out having a “Hot Girl Summer” my room temperature summer only heats up when I step outside and burst into flames at the actual 104 temperature. I am in a DRY season but aside from fighting the urge to hump the legs of random cologne scented males; I’m actually having a pretty great time. My focus, creative connections, and self-discovery have been keeping me entertained. Sorry inner Blanche…you’re gonna have to find a way to cool off ole girl.


Maybe I’m partially to blame for this Dry season; It’s not as if I don’t have the standard two to three unanswered DMs and friend requests every female possesses. I’ve said before in Single F*** the Mingle that I’m not at a point where I’m ready to date yet I’m not sure I want to just play around either. I need a strong flirt partner who takes me on unique dates and keeps me laughing. The prospects currently don’t fit those requirements so I’m left filling my summer with things that add to my own growth and happiness.



Call it pent up energy (cause oh Chillay, I NEED) but my focus is making a comeback. The trauma and stress of 2018 flared my anxieties to unparallel amounts. The result was that I found it hard to focus on anything for more than 30 minutes, I often abandoned great ideas halfway through and became so unfocused that I couldn’t function in the smallest areas of my life.

Now, I am successfully juggling work, a master’s program, and blogging. Somebody give me my damn props because it has truly been a journey to gain this focus back if I ever really had it at all. Not having male distractions has allowed me to dive deep into other areas of my life that have needed my attention for some time. My mental health is only a piece of the pie. Areas like creativity, intellectual insights and spirituality have been FLOURISHING this summer. I walk around feeling like…



Creative Connections

The soil of this DRY Season has been surprisingly fertile ground for my creativity; from amazing blog posts and interactions with the Builders to planning events, offering innovative ideas…my creative synopsis are firing at an all-time high and I am loving every minute of it. With the mental space and time to dedicate to my passions, I’ve been able to produce on a level that I never have before. These creative ventures have led to the self-discovery that I am, without doubt, a creative being. This is something I once doubted. Being born into a family of artists in the literal sense (drawing, painting, cooking, braiding); I didn’t have traditional talents that were easily recognized. The more time I spend with myself, the more I discover just how creatively in-depth I am.


Unlimited Self Discovery

While nostalgically, reminiscing of Hot Girl Summer’s past I appreciate what they gave me in those moments. Amazing sex, great adventures and female liberation. At one point I thought I needed to have the kind of summer that’s expected for single, twenty-something women but this remixed version of “Hot Girl Summer” is giving me something different. Something I’ve needed for some time, growth.

I am being liberated in my creative and intellectual field like no other.  Granted the environment I need to truly become the very best version of myself. My focus is simple, me. Discovering every inch of what makes me amazing. ‘Cause let’s face it, even on the nights when I’m a little hormonal and lonely, I am still using my creative skills to take care of business. So, in the voice of the greatest Meg the Stallion that’s “Real Hot Girl Shit.”


Hey Builders! Tell me about Your Summer and Let’s Celebrate amazing Summers together!

I watched the movie Wild (yes, I’m the movie not the book) after I lost him. Uninterested in everything, I aimlessly scrolled through movie selections on my fire stick desperately trying to find something, anything to distract me from how I felt or the random memories that would pop into my head. The movie was a great choice, I watched as cinema in its best form portrayed how I felt inside. Lost as hell, unstable, in indescribable pain…removed.

In the scope of a year I had been sued, thrown into power struggles at work, lost the most important man of my life only to get into an accident days later. Life was spiraling and the biggest part of me wanted to give into the chaos and not fight against it like I’d done all my life. Exhausted was an understatement. I felt like a zombie, like the life had been sucked out of me and I could never rest again. “Life” was an elusive concept and the living dead was my reality as I felt no range of emotions. Just tired and numb. After I watched a version of myself reflected in the movie Wild I got an itch to get out-of-town. Little did I know that itch would translate into a 4 day solo trip to New York for the first time.


Solo Trippin’ or just Trippin?…

In my excitement to change scenery and get some distance I informed a select few of my plans to venture into the concrete jungle as a country girl, solo. The reaction was overwhelmingly the same “wow, wait…you’re going by yourself. I don’t know about that, people are crazy.” My mood changed from excitement to apprehension as I pondered whether it was actually a good idea to go on a trip solo or was I just tripping. But I knew I needed to get some distance to begin to feel like myself again or find a new self that could enjoy life. My confidence in myself and outlook on everything needed to be revived and taking this particular trip seemed like the perfect  idea. The background noise had to be silenced and it was when I brought my plane ticket.


Insight and the City

With metro card and luggage in hand I called an Uber from the airport to take me to my air bnb. It was rainy in the city on the first day and as I arrived to my room I settled completely into the best sleep I had gotten in a long time. Sunshine woke me up from the huge windows and I decided to stroll down Brooklyn streets to have brunch. Afterwards I went from visiting the Brooklyn museum to tackling the subways for the first time, then to having a glass of red wine with steak by the Brooklyn bridge. I was then scoped up from the subway station by a high school friend who took me bar hoping all night long. Needless to say the trip was off to a great start. I walked the Brooklyn bridge, had coffee in lower Manhattan, and even took a boat tour around the island. I went from feeling like the movie Wild to feeling full-blown Carrie Bradshaw.



In “Wild” the main character had lost her mother and found herself spiraling in a very destructive way. She decided to hike one of the hardest trails alone and it took months to complete. On her journey she began to process her grief, rediscover herself and look into life with different eyes. I took my trip because I needed that enlightenment…I craved that release. I knew I wasn’t dealing with my very real pain in any real ways and I could feel myself slipping into a destructive thought pattern. My zest for life was nonexistent because what was the point of life in the mist of so much pain and death?  I needed to find the answer.

What I discovered about myself during the trip is that I’m capable of navigating the world in a way that works for me. I did things that marveled me and left bad experiences behind. Being able to make a decision so many people would not make for themselves was empowering and reminded me that it wasn’t the first time that I had done it. I am brave in more ways than I usually give myself credit for. My view of the world expanded and outside of death I began to once again see life. My heart was full when I saw the statue of liberty in person and not on a screen. I was immersed in creativity when random songs and beats vibrated off the subway walls by people hoping to make it big. The skyscrapers seemed bigger than life and my problems. I was small again in a world that seemed big with possibilities.

When I got lost in the treacherous subways for two hours it was a reflection of how I actually felt in life; like people were moving past me, knowing exactly where they were going and I was stuck. Confused and alone. When I thought my way through the whole ordeal to finally find my way back to where I needed to be, it helped to show me that my ability to withstand and overcome is amazing.


Return to Sender

Coming back home was bittersweet because while I enjoyed the city for a few days; there was still so much I wanted to see and do. Yet, the thought of a nice bubble bath and my own bed was appealing after a great trip. I felt rejuvenated and ready to take life as it would come. On the trip I had started to process my grief a little more, my feelings of low self-esteem and restlessness. I found myself once more willing to fight for the life I wanted and not get lost in the painful moments  because there was so much life still left to live and experience.

Hey Builders, what is the best solo trip you’ve ever taken? Comment below and Let’s Talk!



Hey Builders, Issa BONUS POST!

In honor of celebrating the end of National Mental Health Awareness Month, I would like to share all the things I’ve discovered after completing my first round of counseling sessions earlier this May. Mental health is intertwined with emotional health and sometimes in order to address the very real issues going on inside your heart and mind you need a licensed professional. Seeking help for your issues doesn’t mean you’re subsidizing your faith or your own personal strength but it is instead indicative of being willing to accept the help and guidance available to you.


Need to Know Basis

In the beginning of my sessions I found myself open to help but not necessarily open to share. For those of us out there who pride ourselves on being the “Go-to-impromptu-counselor” for our friends and family; we may find it difficult to be fully transparent with our own internal issues. I dealt with my counselor for the first few sessions on a “Need-to-Know” basis. She only knew what I chose to tell her because I still needed to be in control of my emotions and her perception of me. Nothing catastrophic was happening in my life when I began my sessions so I thought that all the emotions/thoughts of past events was of little importance. When sh*t really hit the fan in my life I came undone and had to reveal all the little nuanced emotions and experiences that I had been reluctant to share in order to get the help I needed. Seeking help with your mental health is only part of the journey, fully accepting the help through transparency is the only way you can begin the healing process in a real way.


Therapists Are People Too

Finding the perfect therapist or counselor is like finding the perfect church or partner; it doesn’t exist. I stopped counseling sessions one year prior to this one because I felt misunderstood and over talked by the counselor. I don’t respond to the “tough love” method. I didn’t discuss the issue with her and when she asked if I felt she was being too hard on me I meekly said “No ma’am.” Shortly thereafter I stopped setting up appointments and answering her phone calls. The experience confirmed my attachment to avoidance, a quality that my current counselor called me out on. In efforts to open me up and connect, my counselor shares her personal and religious experiences with me.

Again I would often feel like there was no room for my issues in the mist of her talking but I stuck it out and discovered that she stepped up to the plate exactly when I needed; she discussed herself mostly when I was closed to her in our sessions. She as a person feeds off the energy I bring into our sessions; if I am closed to talking then she is open to talking in order to make me more comfortable. When I am open to talking she is prepared to listen. If I had not given her a chance I would never have discovered that she is like many of us in the same situation.


It’s Not ALL in My Head

There’s a piece of mind with knowing that No, you’re not overreacting…that yes, you actually have some hard things that warranted your emotions. Prayer and having a good cry are much more effective in moving forward after you’ve had the time to talk about it without the fear of someone immediately telling you to “Pray about it” or “Cry it out.” There’s power in a listening ear that addresses each issue and emotion with concrete methods to deal with them.


Preventive Maintenance

Performing preventive maintenance when it comes to mental health is much like getting an oil change on your car or rotating the tires. You may be in a season of your life where things seem to be on the up and up but once one thing happens here comes the rush of dormant emotions you never dealt beginning to surface. Not every session is meant to highlight the bad, ugly and difficult. Some sessions will be about celebrating your good news or happy feelings. Being counseled through the good parts of your life helps prepare you for the difficult ones just like any good preventive measure.

Let’s Focus on building healthier futures through properly caring for our mental wellness too!


FYI: Military personnel are entitled to 12 free sessions per issue i.e. stress, grief, anger every year through military one source. At no cost to you get the help you need.

Call 800-3429647.