Trust Issues: Let's Talk About It!
Forced to be a single mother by the selfish and deceitful acts of her ex-boyfriend, Aiyanna Hayden is finally ready to move on. During the last six years, she has built a good life for herself and her daughter. With a thriving career, supportive friends and family, and a quasi-relationship, she should be satisfied. But she is plagued by her fear of loneliness and never finding her one true love. She doesn’t want to be single, but she refuses to settle. While enjoying an overdue vacation with her closest friends, she meets the perfect man, all-star NBA player, Channing Alexander.
Within weeks, a relationship most women could only dream of becomes her reality. However, Aiyanna soon realizes that her celebrity romance is cursed by a barrage of internal and external complications. Can Aiyanna look past the women, the haters, and her own insecurities in order to find happiness with Channing? She may not find the answer until it’s too late.
Happiness, love, friendship, and forgiveness: Aiyanna wants it all, but is it even possible? Could the old adage be true; must all good things come to an end?
*Excerpt from Amazon review*
"No Tears, Just Tea"
Happy Wednesday readers! I am back this week with a new read that was sent to me for review called Trust Issues x Berchet! Woooo chileeee...let me collect my wig as this book read my entire life! I am usually typically nervous about stepping out of my comfort zone with reading new reads by new authors, but I am so glad that I stepped out on a little bit of faith and a sprinkle of Black Jesus because this book was actually pretty good! Trust Issues is everything a story is made of, and what I loved most about it was that it took me on a wild journey! I love a good drama mixed with some suspense to keep me on my toes of what will happen next! The characters were alive and engaging, and I connected with Aiyanna so well throughout the read. I am Aiyanna. Aiyanna is me. I found myself silently rooting for Yanna, Rece and Channing throughout the book, and really was excited to see how the stars would align with them, and how their relationship will intertwine in the future. I absolutely loved Holly who reminds me of what true friendship looks and feels like. Let me tell you something. EVERYONE needs a Holly. A friend that no matter what crazy idea or thought you come up with, they are riding for you and supporting you. No matter how many dumb mistakes you make, sis is THERE okay?! That's what friendships are for!
I think the biggest critique I have given authors that request my feedback is when creating your characters for your novels, make them come alive! I want to relate to the characters in some way, shape or form. I want to feel like I am there with them experiencing their journey. THAT is what readers want! We want to go through a series of emotions when reading your book whether that means to curse, cry, laugh, smile, whatever! We want to FEEL. The FEELING is what turns a good book into a GREAT book! If I can read your book and rave over it, finish it in a span of a day, pull life lessons from it, AND my good wig is snatched all at the same time? That's a GREAT book! Good books are books that you finish and you're like okay, that was cool. It's like an "ok" date. You didn't hate it, but you know you're going to leave them on read the next day type of vibe. Also, what takes a good book to a GREAT book is the ENDING! It's the last kiss at the end of the date! Pop that tic-tac and go for the kill! Endings make or break books! I can't express how many times I have read a book that was SO good throughout that I couldn't wait for the end, GET to the end, and think, "What the hell is this?" It's like eating some tired runny Velveeta mac and cheese at Thanksgiving! NEXT! (Have I struck a nerve?) We ALL know that the mac & cheese makes or breaks the Thanksgiving dish! Think of that as your ending! Will I be invited to cook the mac & cheese again next year, or am I one bite away from barely being allowed to bring the plastic plates? C'mon SIS! As readers, we want you on the mac & cheese committee with the grandmas and the aunties, so MAKE US PROUD!
Overall, this book told an excellent story. It had me on the edge of my seat, and was definitely a page turner! The storyline was not over the top, but was believable! Of all the characters, my favorite was Holly. I loved her loyalty to Aiyanna throughout! Definitely reminded me of my best friends and the bond that we share together! I also loved Channing, because it's rare that loyal black men are depicted positively in novels, and I thoroughly enjoyed that! When I review books, I believe in honesty. Honesty is what you need as a new author, because you have to develop the meat and potatoes first. You have to see what people like or don't like. You have to build your writing tone and take time to develop those characters and tell that story. The art of storytelling is what takes you to the next level. THAT is what takes you to NY Times Best Seller level!
I would like to thank Berchet for allowing me to review this book and share my feedback! I definitely see amazing potential, and very curious of what she comes up with next! Thank you for allowing me to spill my tea and share my light with you! If you are into drama or romance, this book is definitely for you! Everyone has trust issues...what's yours? Thank you for reading!
Meet the Author!
Berchet is a native of Norfolk, VA. She holds a bachelor of arts in legal communications from Howard University, and a master of science in educational psychology from George Mason University. While she is "Berchet" to readers, two little people, her son and daughter, call her "Mommy". She resides in the District of Columbia metro area, where she is also the owner of a company that provides publishing and professional services. She is currently working on her second release, Kissing in the Dark, a collection of erotic short stories. Trust Issues is her debut novel.
"Writing has always been a passion. Over the years, writing has given me joy, healed my heart, and allowed me to express my craziest thoughts. I am a strong believer in the power of writing and reading. After reading my first Eric Jerome Dickey book, in ninth grade, I began to fall in love. What started out as a hobby, became something more. On my 24th birthday, I purchased a notebook from Target, and started writing my debut novel, Trust Issues. Working full-time, returning to school, birthing two children, and life in general, kept me from focusing on this dream for many years. But now, I'm ready."
Hi! My name is MargoLynette, and I am truly a free-spirited woman. I march to the beat of my own drum, and go wherever the wind takes me! I am currently building my brand, More Than Just Food w/ MargoLynette. This name speaks for itself! I always get asked about dope places to visit while I'm traveling. I decided to compile a list of my favorite places in these different cities, and share them with the world! My future goal is to create an atmosphere for people to socialize, network and just let their hair down! I want people to have the ultimate experience, and not just leave with a full belly. Be sure to follow me and my food journey on Instagram @justafoodiemln and please leave me comments and messages with suggestions on places to travel and new foods to try!
More Than Just Food w/ MargoLynette!
K: What is your inspiration behind writing?
M: Inspiration for me comes from anywhere. Most times I’m either reading a book or having a casual conversation with someone. Honestly, whenever I write poetry it either stems from whatever I’m feeling or a random word that I see. I know that sounds crazy but it’s true. My mom used to make me read the dictionary when I was younger, so I’ve always had a fascination with words.
K: When did you first discover your love for writing?
M: I discovered my love for writing when I was in the fourth grade! As students, my Language Arts teacher gave us a prompt about who our hero was. I wrote about my Uncle and how he was a Gulf War Veteran. I distinctly remember her reading my essay and crying. She pulled me to the side and told me how wonderful my essay was, and that it moved her to tears. I knew from that point on that I possessed a gift, and I have been writing ever since!
K: I know that mental health awareness is a huge trending topic! Why do you feel that mental health is discouraged in the black community?
M: To be completely honest, I feel as if our people don’t fully trust any medical personnel. You have to remember that back in the day black people were used for experiments, i.e. The Tuskegee Experiment, the story of Henrietta Lacks, and The Eugenics Movement. Not to mention, I think most of the time, my people rely heavily on religion to “heal” them. We’re taught to pray about our situation and let God handle it, but in the meantime we are waiting in vain and suffering in silence. We have to do BETTER! I’ve learned in my short-lived life, that there isn’t anything wrong with seeking help in moments of darkness.
K: In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up to tackle the world again?
M: Honestly, I used to isolate myself from the world because that’s what I thought would help me regain my focus. After taking a step back, I realized that in order to build myself back up I need love. I need to be surrounded by those who love, support me and have my best interest at heart. To go along with that, counseling sessions have helped me deal with some deeply rooted issues I’ve been dealing with as well. Most of my culture is against it, but I’m all for anything that helps a person stay in tune with their mental state.
K: What is your no-fail go to when you need inspiration or creative direction?
M: I had to think about this one because I gather my creativity from all types of things. For food/cooking, I watch The Food Network, specifically Chopped. I just enjoy how the contestants are given random ingredients and in addition, they must make a meal out of it in order to win the prize money. Writing is a tad bit different. Most of the time it stems from conversations with those closest to me, and things I see on social media or television. It really all depends on which direction I’m trying to take.
K: What quote or saying inspires and motivates you to be yourself and do what you love?
M: “If better is possible, then good is not enough.” I am not sure who the originator of the quote is, but my high school basketball coach would tell us that when we needed to step our game up! This quote reminds me that I can always do better. Better is in me. I just have to dig deep and accomplish the task at hand.
K: What characteristics do you most admire in other creative women?
M: I admire their tenacity! I love how they make lemonade out of lemons. I admire how they keep pursuing their dreams in spite of naysayers. Their drive and motivation inspires me to keep accomplishing my goals and dreams!
K: In honor of #SoulfulSunday, what are ways that you replenish your soul?
M: My favorite things to do are burn incense and listen to my vinyls. The smell of incense puts my mind at ease along with the sultry sounds of my old school R&B vinyls in the background. Talking to my love after a long workday makes my soul smile as well and gives me the extra push that I need to keep going!
K: Describe your cooking process! Do you have any fun, crazy routines that you do before each meal?
M: Ah man, so don’t think I’m weird, but I love cooking to slow jams! Haha! I don’t know what it is about that type of music, but I’m telling you that my food tastes so much better after I’ve listened to “Love Scene” by Joe, lol.
K: Are there any chefs of today that inspire your cooking, and how does it manifest in your work?
M: Lately, I’ve really been into Darius Williams. He’s a Chef and food blogger that has taken over the Atlanta food scene. His style of cooking evolves from soul food and he puts his own original spin on it. I think that reading his blog and watching his videos have opened my eyes and palette to try different ingredients in the dishes that I make. I try to incorporate international ingredients from various cultures with my meals.
K: Being apart of the cooking world, what do you feel distinguishes a good cook from a GREAT cook?
M: I feel that a good cook is well trained, doesn’t take many risks and doesn’t really go against the grain. A GREAT cook doesn’t play it safe, isn’t afraid to try new things and most of all they cook from the heart! Food made with love always tastes better!
K: Of all the places that you have traveled around the world, which place would you say has the BEST food?
M: I’ve traveled all across the world, but I think that Barcelona had the best food that I have ever tasted. Barcelona was amazing because they use fresh ingredients vs. here in the United States, we use more processed ingredients. This alone added that extra pop to each meal! I came across this local restaurant there a couple of years ago, and I ate the best tomato soup that I have ever tasted. Campbell’s better watch out!
K: So I know that you have your brand, More Than Just Food! What inspired you to create this, and what is the biggest sacrifice you've made in starting your new brand?
M: Truthfully, I needed a side hustle. The key to being a millionaire is having multiple streams of income. I figured that I would figure out what I’m good at and make it work in my favor. There are no sacrifices that I’ve made. I feel that sacrifices only focus on what you’ve loss and not what you’re gaining in return. Nothing is ever a sacrifice to me. I’m always getting back everything I worked for!
K: Tell us more about More Than Just Food! What do you want your foodies to know?
M: More Than Just Food is centered on food, drinks and desserts that I find while traveling to different places. I travel with my girlfriend a lot and we’re always on the hunt for good food. Why not create a list of the places that we’ve tried for others to enjoy? I feel that this makes everyone’s life just a little bit easier.
K: Are you working on any new projects that we can look forward to in the future with your brand?
M: Right now, I’m in the process of completing my ServSafe Certifications so that in the near future I can start my mobile bartending business. Following that, I would love to create a cookbook with some of my recipes! What can I say, I’m a goaldigger!
K: What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
M: My advice would be to hone your craft, whatever it may be. Always look for ways to build your brand. Seek advice from likeminded individuals. Set small goals. Always have a plan and never lose sight of it. Last but not least, never give up!
K: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
M: You all can follow me on Instagram @justafoodiemln to see more of my travels, restaurants and recipes. I love interacting with my followers, so don’t be shy, I don’t bite!
I would like to send a special thank you to MargoLynette for taking time out of her schedule to interview with me! It was super fun doing this interview, and I had a blast talking food, mental health, and more with such a free-spirited, amazing individual! Her wise words of wisdom and thought-provoking anecdotes has really strengthened and humbled me as a writer and entrepreneur of my own! I can't wait to see more amazing foods and awesome places to visit from you! Thank you for sharing your light with us! Below, check out some amazing foods from her favorite places from Instagram! I must say, D E L I C I O U S! Thank you for reading, and thank you for allowing me to share my soul with yours! Happy #SoulfulSunday!
Busy Bee Cafe, ATL
True Flavors Diner, Durham NC
Happy Sunday and welcome back! I know some of you are giving me the side eye like, "Where have you been?!" haha and I can explain, I promise! These past few months, I have been revamping and working with an AMAZING creative designer to do what I like to call, a majorrrrr makeover! I wanted to add a more fun, bright creative feel to the site, where you all can have easy access to everything! We wanted to create a more uniform feel to add that extra POP to the site that I felt was missing! We are also working to add a "Shop" section for those of you inquiring about apparel! Be on the lookout for more fun accessories such as mugs, journals, fun pens, buttons, etc to be added as well! Thank you all for your amazing suggestions! I'm listening, and I'm here for you! Thank you so much to all of you for being so patient and understanding during this crazy time of rebuilding, reconstruction, and most of all, RESETTING! Now, since that is out of the way...
#SoulfulSunday! Well if you have been following me for sometime now, you may remember #SundayRESET right? Still similar concepts, but this time I decided to add some soul to my attitude now baby! :) I decided to create #SoulfulSundays as a way to showcase amazing authors, writers, entrepreneurs, musical artists, visual artists, and more! There are so many amazing people right under our noses that we don't even know about! I wanted to take at least two Sundays out of the month to showcase these amazing people as a way to allow readers to connect! I LOVE interviewing, so it is truly a pleasure for me to dig deep and ask all of the burning questions! I find it so much fun to get to know other awesome people by digging deeper into their craft!
I want this experience to be a way for all of you to see that everyone has to start somewhere! No dream is too small, and there are so many amazing resources out here for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE! I love what I do as a blogger, but honey, I had to start somewhere too! A pencil and paper were not enough for all of these cooped up ideas, so here I am, and you can do the same if not MORE! Our first #SoulfulSunday guest is not only my best friend in the entire world, but my sweetie who is a PHENOMENAL writer/cook! It is always so amazing shooting with people who are super inspiring and amazing at what they do, and I can't wait to hear your thoughts! Our special guest is not only a great cook, but she is also a dope individual, and it was so fun shooting this interview with her! I hope you all have fun with this segment, but most of all, get inspired! Remember, the sky is the limit, and you are too far up to come down now! I hope you continue to enjoy Sundays and Wednesdays with me, and welcome to our first #SoulfulSunday of November! :)
FOR THE SOUL...
Get Yo Life, Be a Badass: A Book Review
Hi guys! Cheers to making it to yet another Wednesday! YOU DID DAT sis! *clink clink* and welcome to K's Get YO Life, Be a Badass (BITCHHHH) book review! I wanted to share with you one of my favorite reads that I have picked up thus far! I am not a huge fan of self-help books because usually they all start sounding the same, well at least to me. Although I typically feel this way about many books of this style, this book right here was TOTALLY different. I have been raving about this book to anyone that'll listen (and YOU BETTER LISTEN! haha) since I finished reading it, and it was also this month's book club selection! (Join now!) I came across this book randomly on snapchat by one of my friends, and first of all, the title itself snatched my edges IMMEDIATELY! I am one for a good title! I know they say "Don't judge a book by its cover", but honeyyyyyyyy I'm judging, because I got my entire life, the next life, and then some! I don't know what it is, but this book gave me AMAZING ideas and motivation to kick it into high gear, get my life on track and to not be afraid to engage in challenging goals! I felt like Jen read me for filth throughout this entire novel, and I loved it. So boom! Here's the tea:
Behind the Badass:
"Jen Sincero is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, success coach and motivational cattle prod who’s helped countless people transform their personal and professional lives via her products, speaking engagements, newsletters, seminars and books. Her #1 New York Times bestseller, You Are a Badass®: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life (2013), has sold well over two million copies, is available in twenty-plus languages, and continues to grow in popularity around the globe. Her follow-up, You Are a Badass® at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth (2017), also a New York Times bestseller, is written with the same inimitable sass, down-to-earth humor and blunt practicality that made You Are a Badass® an indomitable bestseller and Jen a celebrated voice in the world of self development." Basically, in a nutshell, she's A BAD BITCH. k?
Caution: Snatched Edges!
Have you ever felt like, wait is this all I can do? Is this it? Have I reached my ultimate greatness? Well, after reading this book, I can personally say, HELL NO SIS! GO INTO THE LIGHT CAROL ANNE! You still have major ass to kick! In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, Jen Sincero highlights in her 27 bitesized chapters, hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy yet thought-provoking exercises, and the occasional around the way girl attitude, connecting with her readers on how to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that can stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you've never made before. (I'm HERE for that!) By the end of You Are a Badass, I finally understood why I am the way I am, how to love what I can't change, how to change what I don't love, and how to use "The Force" to kick some serious ass!
To Be a Badass, You Must First...
1. Appreciate how special you are: SISSSS let's face it! There will never be another exactly like you, so love yourself! You deserve it, you're a queen/king, and no one can take that away from you! You have created your own unique path, and self-love looks good on you! Accept it, appreciate it, love it, and confirm it! You're a big deal!
2. Create daily affirmations: Affirmations are key! If you don't believe it, you won't achieve it! No, you don't have to write them all over your mirrors or get a special notebook for them, but if that works, go for it! Figure out which affirmations you need to hear the most whether it's subjected around beauty, finances, career, and create that space to rewire your brain. Repeat these affirmations all day long in your head, in the car, while you're walking down the street pretending to be on the phone, whatever! Write them on post-it notes, chalkboards, dry erase boards, etc. Write down your favorite affirmations ten times every morning and ten times every night before you go to bed and say them out loud. For example, when I was studying for my North Carolina Board of Nursing licensure, I wrote down my full name with RN behind it all over my apartment to encourage me to continue studying and that I would pass on the first time. Long story short, affirmations work! I am now a registered nurse and have been for over a year and a half at Duke University Hospital. Believe in yourself. Believe in your goals. Believe in your journey.
3. Do your best where you are: Remember, no one wakes up rich. No one wakes up successful. Take Cardi B for example. No one knew anything about her until she made her debut on Love & Hip Hop: New York as the feisty Bronx firecracker with memorable shade lines that slayed your entire life. How can you forget her B A N G I N G anthem Bodak Yellow that took the world by storm, and had me patting my weave?! And NOWWWWW, she's sort of a big deal! Tyler Perry slept in his car while writing his hit plays featuring Madea. Oprah was fired from her first TV job in Baltimore. Yepppp Oprah got the pink slip too! Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. THE Michael Jordan you say? Y E P. Basically, what I'm saying is, kick ass where you are in your life right now. See each milestone as a stepping stone to the next goal, the next big thing. No matter where your first step lands you, if you want to keep moving forward, appreciate where you are! "Everything you do along your journey contributes to where you're going."
4. Remember: Your Brain Is Your Bitch: Our thoughts are the most powerful tools that we have. As Jen Sincero says, "It's through our thoughts that we create our realities." Basically, as my sweetie would say, your thoughts manifest. If you want to change your reality, you have to change your thinking. If you want to be a millionaire, you must have a millionaire's mentality. I can guarantee you that a millionaire isn't just sitting on the couch letting life pass them by. I always say, if Oprah is still creating, so can I! One takeaway that I loved from this book was that you must change your thinking first, and then the evidence appears. Our big mistake is that we do it the other way around. We demand to see the evidence before we believe it to be true. As Jen would say, remember, everything you need is right here, right now. You just have to shift your perception in order to see it manifest. P R E A C H.
5. Upgrade your environment: Upgrade as far as the people you associate with, your surroundings, your lifestyle, your EATING habits (I know I tapped a nerve on that one) and more! Surround yourself with people who are achieving their goals and are supporting your goals. You know the old saying, "You are who you hang around." Well, hate to say it, but it's true! So make sure that the people that you are accompanying are the same ones that are supporting you and your future endeavors. If you are thinking and imagining the change before it happens, do what you can to make some upgrades to where you want to be. If you are applying to a new job, dress for the job that you want, not the job you have. Get new furniture. Meet new people. Read new books from authors that you wouldn't normally read. Step out of your comfort zone! Don't just say you're going to make the necessary changes, do it! Show the world and The Universe that you're serious and you're not here to play games with your goals and your future. De-clutter your life S I S.
"In Order to Kick Ass, You Must First Lift Up Your Foot"-Jen Sincero
More From Jen Sincero...
Look At Your Neighbor & Say, Level Up!
Happy August everyone! Where has the time gone? It was just yesterday that January lasted a lifetime, and now we are into August! This Wednesday, I wanted to revisit goal setting! I know some of you are like, "Really Kiera? Goals...AGAIN?" but I cannot stress ENOUGH how important it is to set CONSISTENT goals for yourself on a regular basis. Whether you tell yourself, okay. I am going to do one load of laundry by the end of the week. That's a goal! It's something! Sometimes I find myself reaching the middle of the year and ask myself, "What am I doing? What am I supposed to be doing?" We lose sight of those goals and resolutions that we set for January, that we start to forget about them when we reach the middle of the year. I am here to tell you, I am right there with you! Those 10 pounds I said I would lose and that "snatched" body I said I would have by summer AIN'T HAPPEN. Still got rolls, still got the FUPA, AIN'T NOTHING CHANGED honeyyyy. BUTTTT. Yes, there is a but. I still encourage everyone including myself to keep those goals alive! Stop procrastinating and GET TO IT! Start small, but don't be afraid to go big! Goals should be continuous; a constant cycle of rebuilding and pushing yourself! As you kick off your August, and for my Leos, helloooo Leo season, check out below my favorite ways that I like to follow through with my goals! Happy reading :)
Push Through, Follow Through!
1. Divide & Conquer: MAJOR KEY...Divide your goals into a set of small, achievable steps. Pick one step, do it well, and move on to the next step! Don't look back! Set yourself up for success!
2. Put Fear In Its Place: There will be scary moments when failure knocks at your door, and seems inevitable and all of your goals seem impossible, but guess what? DO IT ANYWAY! It's life! Don't let failure be the reason you stop shooting for your goals. Go for it! Ask yourself, what's stopping me? Why haven't I reached my fullest potential. Don't get in the way of you!
3. Expect Setbacks: Remember, a minor setback is only going to set you up for a major comeback! Setbacks are part of the process, not the end of it. Don't be discouraged when you don't meet your goals! Revisit them, revamp them, and RESET them! Rededicate yourself to your goals after each and every setback. One of my favorite sayings is, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
4. Learn Along the Way: Keep the practices and tools that work and get rid of the ones that don't! If it ain't broke, don't fix it, but if it's broke, find a way to learn from it and fix it! Unexpected challenges only open opportunities to learn new skills!
5. Shout It From the Rooftops: Tell someone who matters! Write it down! Record them in your notes on your phone. Whatever it takes! Find a way to keep those goals close! Do the unexpected! E-mail someone big and brand yourself! Apply for a job you're not qualified for! Revamp your resume! Pledge to make your goals a reality.
"Ki-Ki Do You Love Me?"
Hi guys! Happy hump day! We are halfway through the work week! Can someone say, Halleluuuuu?! *sips wine* I decided to create this post because I was completely inspired by a Sunday message from Pastor Andy Thompson of WOCC in Durham. He talked about Good Marriages: What It Is & What It Ain't. Now, I'm not married, so I couldn't relate so much with the married portions, but I could definitely relate to how some of the points connected with relationships in general. With this post, I decided to put my own little spin on it, and give y'all some TRUE tea about relationships from my experience. Straight talk, no chaser! Now, we've all been in relationships, whether good or bad, and you would think by now we would know what we want, but sometimes that's not the case! Sometimes, we think we met Mr/Mrs. Right and we get all giddy and cute and want to love on them, and BAM! We get played. It's life.
The TRUE tea is that many studies have shown that we only fall in love with three people in our lifetime. THREE. (Stop counting the side pieces) I SAID T H R E E! The first love is what I call "Puppy Love". You remember this love. Your high school sweetheart. Neither of you had a car, but you had each other. It’s the idealistic love—the one that seems like the fairy tales we read as children. This is the love that appeals to what we should be doing for society’s sake, and probably our families, but if you had a black mama like mine, you weren't dating until you were 30. Anyways...flashbacks lol We enter into it with the belief that this will be our only love and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t feel quite right, or if we find ourselves having to swallow down our personal truths to make it work because deep down we believe that this is what love is supposed to be. With this type of love, how others view us is more important than how we actually feel. It’s a love that looks right, but remember, everything that glitter ain't gold.
The second love is what I like to call the "Love With Limits". Now, this is the hard love. This is the one that teaches us lessons about who we are and how we often want or need to be loved. This is the kind of love that hurts, whether through lies, pain or manipulation. We think we are making different choices than our first, but in reality we are still making choices out of the need to learn lessons, but we hang on. This is the love where TIME plays a factor. You know they ain't shit, but you've already spent so much time investing in them, grooming them, molding them that you don't want to start over. Right? Sound familiar? Our second love can become a cycle, oftentimes one we keep repeating because we think that somehow the ending will be different than before. Yet, each time we try, it somehow ends worse than before. Sometimes it’s unhealthy, unbalanced or narcissistic even. There may be emotional, mental or even physical abuse or manipulation. This is exactly what keeps us addicted to this storyline, because it’s the emotional roller coaster of extreme highs and lows and like a junkie trying to get a fix, we stick through the lows with the expectation of the high. With this kind of love, trying to make it work becomes more important than whether it actually should. It’s the love that we wished was right. This is the GET YO LIFE love! K sis?
Lastly, you have what I like to call "A Love Supreme". This is the love we never see coming. The one that usually looks all wrong for us and that destroys any lingering ideals we clung to about what love is supposed to be. This is the love that comes so easy it doesn’t seem possible. It’s the kind where the connection can’t be explained and knocks us off our feet because we never planned for it. This is the love where we come together with someone and it just fits—there aren’t any ideal expectations about how each person should be acting, nor is there pressure to become someone other than we are. We are just simply accepted for who we are already—and it shakes to our core. It isn’t what we envisioned our love would look like, nor does it abide by the rules that we had hoped to play it safe by. But still it shatters our preconceived notions and shows us that love doesn’t have to be how we thought in order to be true. This is the love that keeps knocking on our door regardless of how long it takes us to answer. It’s the love that just feels right. Maybe we don’t all experience these loves in this lifetime, but perhaps that’s just because we aren’t ready to. Maybe the reality is we need to truly learn what love isn’t before we can grasp what it is. Possibly we need a whole lifetime to learn each lesson, or maybe, if we’re lucky, it only takes a few years.
Perhaps it’s not about if we are ever ready for love, but if love is ready for us. You have to ask yourself, "Am I ready for love?" Are you emotionally, mentally, and physically capable of loving someone? Do you love yourself first? I often hear people say, "Love is hard work! It's a job!" See, I disagree with this statement. Now, yes, it does take time and effort to develop and build, but it should never be hard. This love should be effortless, freeing, open. It should consistently remind you why you fell in love with this person from the beginning even through the arguments and disagreements. It should be healthy! Remember, a healthy love starts within. "You love yourself, you love others."-Pastor Andy Thompson
And then there may be those people who fall in love once and find it passionately lasts until their last breath. Those faded and worn pictures of our grandparents who seemed just as in love as they walked hand-in-hand at age 80 as they did in their wedding picture—the kind that leaves us wondering if we really know how to love at all. But I kinda think that those who make it to their third love are really the lucky ones. They are the ones who are tired of having to try and whose broken hearts lay beating in front of them wondering if there is just something inherently wrong with how they love. But there’s not; it’s just a matter of if their partner loves in the same way they do or not. It's about getting on the same page and staying there. Remember, just because it has never worked out before doesn’t mean that it won’t work out now. What it really comes down to is if we are limited by how we love, or instead love without limits. We can all choose to stay with our first love, the one that looks good and will make everyone else happy. We can choose to stay with our second under the belief that if we don’t have to fight for it, then it’s not worth having—or we can make the choice to believe in the third love. The one that feels like home without any conditions; the love that isn’t like a storm, but rather the quiet peace of the night after. Sometimes we have to think that maybe there’s something special about our first love, and something heartbreakingly unique about our second…but there’s also just something pretty amazing about our third.
The one we never see coming.
The one that actually lasts.
The one that shows us why it never worked out before.
a love supreme.
And it’s that possibility that makes trying again always worthwhile, because being with them is worth the wait. <3
When Poetry Meets Pain...
Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week full of love, light, and positivity! As many of you may know and some who may not, I LOVE poetry! Poetry is definitely my favorite genre of reading with mystery being a super duper close second! I featured this picture that I took Monday in my living room (shoutout to my iPhone for the angles!) because I really love each of these authors! I believe that they are each a force to be reckoned with! I have been writing poetry for many many years and it has always been my comfort zone. Sometimes, I find myself going so deep that I am crying by the end of the poem, but that's okay because with poetry, every emotion must be REAL. It must be YOURS. It must be BELIEVABLE! Because I know there are so many amazing poets out there, I wanted to hold an "A Dose of Poetry" contest for a chance to win a fun self-care bundle filled with amazing prizes! Read below for the tea!
guidelines & rules.
I love to keep things positive and fun, but I also understand that pain is an extremely important part of poetry and most importantly, healing, which is why I love poetry so much. Each of the amazing authors that I featured in the above photo exemplified a piece of pain, a sense of longing, heartbreak etc...which made their work relatable, believable, and most of all, moving. For this contest, I want you to dig deep and reveal your deepest pain in the form of poetry. I want to FEEL something. I want to be in that moment with you. I want to cry. I want to heal with you. Don't hold back those painful emotions or feelings.
release. feel. heal. repeat
What We Not Finna Do: A Word!
Hi guys! Cheers to making it to Wednesday! *sips wine* I wanted to share with you an AMAZINGLY relatable and real book that I came across by Erin McLaughlin called What We Not Finna Do: The Broken Girl's Guide to Love. I am not usually a fan of these types of books because they can always be so biased and outdated, and they typically remind me of the Steve Harvey books, you know the Think Like a Man and Straight Talk, No Chaser "guide" for women on how to find love. Coming from a man of many divorces, I would always ask myself while reading those books, "How can Steve Harvey, a man that obviously wasn't successful at love on numerous occasions, guide me?" I mean the blind can't lead the blind. Come on somebody! (Love ya Steve, but got to keep it real). Although I typically feel this way about many books of this style, this book right here was TOTALLY different. I felt like I was kickin it with the girls talking about our trash ass past relationships, sippin wine, and GETTIN MY LIFE! I felt like Erin read me for filth throughout this entire novel, and I loved it. So boom! Here's the tea:
What We Not Finna Do: The Broken Girl's Guide to Love is a lover's guide filled with ten chapters of advice focused on the actions women need to take in order to break unhealthy dating habits in relationships. In this novel, McLaughlin shares many inspiring and hilarious anecdotes of her dating past and her muse of writing this novel; heartbreak. What I love that she talks about on her website is the concept that so many women go through shitty relationships, whether they are casual "situationships", friends w/ benefits, or down to the abusive, manipulative "You won't find another me" bullshit that women go through each and everyday. I can speak for myself on that matter. Thinking that he was ALL I had, and that I would never find better because that's what he told me, and like many women, we believe that. We honestly and truly believe that we will never find better, and it's sad. BABYYYYY let me tell you, there is ALWAYS better. There is always someone willing to do what someone else won't do. There is someone out there where you don't have to beg for your expectations to be met, they just meet them. So, don't believe anyone when they say those tired bitter lines. Next, the healing process is null and void and as women, we don't have a clue where to go from there. Some women don't even know what they are healing from or why they need healing. Others don't see an issue, and that my friends, is an ISSUE. So what happens is we go through this continuous cycle of "Am I the problem?" "What am I doing wrong?" and we end up finding ourselves right back in those same fucked up situations again and again because of comfort. (I'll talk more about that later, so grab your wine, hide your kids and hide your wife!).
See What We Not Finna Do Is...K's Get Your Life Tutorial:
1. Stop Thinking That Every Person You Meet is THE ONE: SISSSSSSSSS...how can you know if he/she is the one, if you don't get to know them? The ins and outs of them, how they move, how they treat their family/friends, their gestures, hell do they brush their teeth? Do they even text back? Does the fart shoot out their ass a certain way? I mean really! Sooo many women mess up because they are so ready for somebody to put a "ring" on it, but yet they have no idea about the person and vice versa. Hell, I need to know if you know Martin lines before we can even make it to the first date! Come on somebody! Every person is NOT relationship material. Check the hood of the car before you out here riding around thinkin that's your man/woman and they don't even know you exist! Okay sis? You feeling what I'm putting down?
2. Ain't Nothing Wrong With a Good ol Friend Zone: One of the biggest takeaways that I got from this book is something that I am ALWAYS preaching to my friends and something I live by for myself; be friends first! That whole "talking" phase is trash because there still are no boundaries set, and you still have the potential to be out here looking stupid. Going into a relationship without romantic intentions is KEY! I don't know how many times I've gone into a relationship thinking that's my man because we're "talking" and then I see them on Instagram posting another woman or thinking that we are going to be something and the something is actually nothing and then you find yourself out here slashing tires and going on stakeouts. NO SIS! NO! Not worth the time! Friends first not only protects you, but you can really look at the person through a fine toothed comb. Some of the BEST relationships stem from friendship that blossomed, and turned into beautiful and healthy relationships in the end. BABY STEPS. Crawl before you walk. Or in adult terms, eat before you drink! Got it? Creating a platonic relationship for as long as you can will really help you feel them out before jumping into anything serious. You both not only save time, but also less heartache in the end, so don't be stupid!
3. Stop Dumping Your Life Struggles on People: I'm sorry but WE DON'T CARE! I don't know how many times I see people on social media ESPECIALLY Facebook dump their entire lives onto people they don't even know! Yep. The entire world now knows that Ray-Ray getting evicted and didn't pay the rent. Okay, okay! I get that social media is an outlet for some people, but if you need to talk about your second baby daddy who is not paying child support, GET A JOURNAL! Same, when meeting people. Stop dumping your life story onto the people that you meet. This is not Keeping Up With The Kardashians. A lot of people don't really seriously want to get to know you. They are just nosy. They want any reason to escape from the bullshit that they are going through, so your problems are intriguing. Instead of truly helping you or listening to you, they are actually taking notes of when to throw it in your face the next time you don't respond to their "Can you do me a favor?" text. It is not uncommon for people to dig into your personal life solely for entertainment, but there are also people who are actually genuine and DO want to get to know you and listen to you. Know the fine line!
4. Settling + Comfort = Get Your Life: A lot of the reasons that I find that people go back to the same thing that they are used to is because it's comfortable, convenient, readily available. So many people are afraid of starting over, but would you rather start over with someone fresh or consistently deal with the same baggage of the person you keep going back to? Sadly, many people including myself at one point, choose the baggage. Why is that you may ask? One word. COMFORT. It's easy, they already know how the person moves, but the part that consistently gets skipped is the fact that it's toxic. Why keep indulging in someone who you know ain't shit, you've seen ain't shit, but for some reason, you think they are going to miraculously "change". First of all, change is a choice. People will change on their time and sadly, when they are with someone else. I used to always say, "I'm basically teaching him how to be a better man for the next woman" and yeah, you kinda are, especially when you continue to wait for the "change" that isn't gonna happen. For those of you who continue to stay, ask yourself, "What is the incentive for staying?" Why do you feel that this ONE person out of about 8 billion people is worth your time being consistently wasted? If it's sex, quick reminder: you can get good sex anywhere. Hell, even escorts are offering low rates (hey, keeping it real). Remember, you can get sex anywhere, but sanity? That comes a dime a dozen. If you can answer those questions without a shadow of doubt, then stay. If you have any form of doubt, you are on the right track to K's Get Your Life Tutorial.
5. Love Yourself Girl Or Nobody Will: I repeat...be your own person! Still go get brunch with the girls or play basketball with the guys. Still have ladies night with Netflix, gossip, and tequila! Still BE YOU! If you went to church before you met them, continue to go to church when you're with them! Don't stop your day to day activities and the things that made you who you are for ANYONE! I love that Erin says, "Your partner or even someone you're talking to isn't obligated to be up your ass about everything all the time and include you in everything that they do, but they do need to be thoughtful from time to time and make the effort to include you in their lives if they are serious about you." That's so true! If they truly want to get to know all parts of you, they will make an effort to do so. There needs to be a balance between the both of you having lives of your own, but also including each other in those important moments of progression. As Erin says, "You have to learn to function and live your own life by your own standards and rules without the constant validation and inclusion of your partner." In other words, BE YOU!
Thank You From Me to You!
I would like to send a hugeeeeee thank you to everyone who came out and supported my first social book event! I had a blast, and it was so much fun meeting new faces and grabbing some awesome reads! I am super excited to have created something that so many people enjoyed, and could relate to! Creating my first book event was scary, but A M A Z I N G! I smiled the entire day, and it was awesome seeing some of my friends support my brand as well as my event! Another huge thank you to Palladian for allowing me to have this event, as well as the amazing promotion! I can't wait to continue to create positive social events for all of you, and I must say, if you did not come, you missed out! It was a blast full of positive energy, dancing, and good vibes through the exchanging of great books! I am working on creating this event again since so many people would love for me to host this event again! Thank you all for making my first social book event a success! I am truly humbled by this experience, and I can't wait to continue allowing my blog to grow! Check out some of the fun pictures that we captured from the event, and again, THANK YOU!
books, mimosas & more!
"The BEST time that I have ever had!"
"I floated to the surface with my heart's message in a bottle. I survived you."-K.Y. Robinson
About the Author...
K.Y. Robinson is an introverted writer based in Houston, Texas. She received a B.A. in journalism and M.A. in history from Texas Southern University. She has loved words pressed against pages since childhood and has been chasing them ever since. The Chaos of Longing is her first published poetry collection. Robinson draws from personal experiences as a woman of color, trauma, and mental illness survivor, and hopeless romantic.
"The Chaos of Longing is a brutally honest poetry collection exploring desire--physical, emotional, and spiritual. Organized in four sections (Inception, Longing, Chaos, and Epiphany), this collection explores what it is to want in spite of trauma, shame, injustice, and mental illness. It is one survivor's powerful testimony, and a love letter "to those who lie awake burning."-K.Y. Robinson
Let's Talk Mental Health & More With K.Y. Robinson!
K: What is your inspiration behind writing?
K.Y. Robinson: So many things inspire me: black womanhood, trauma, heartache, love, lust, and music.
K: Why did you become an author? What drives you?
K.Y. Robinson: It’s always been my dream to become an author. I’ve been writing since I was about 11 years-old. I initially wanted to write romantic novels, but I became more drawn to poetry instead. The need to tell my story drives me. I didn’t think my story was worth telling until I start reading poets like Nayyirah Waheed, Warsan Shire, Yrsa Daley Ward, and Rupi Kaur. Their work made me realize that there was room for my voice too.
K: What was your muse behind writing The Chaos of Longing?
K.Y. Robinson: The Chaos of Longing started off as a collection of unrequited love poems after a failed relationship. I was so heartbroken that I wrote day and night. I wanted to know why he couldn’t love me. I wanted to blame him for the demise of the relationship. After I noticed that I repeated certain toxic patterns in other relationships, I knew I had to dig deeper. I realized that there was chaos within me that I had to confront like past sexual trauma, mental illness, and low self-esteem. I was trying so hard to make others love me when I didn’t even love myself. I guess the book was about putting a mirror to myself and not just my past lovers. I finally removed the rose-colored glasses and saw things for what they were.
K: What do you want your audience to take away from this collection of poetry?
K.Y. Robinson: I want the reader to find order in their own chaos and take a journey towards wholeness, whatever that might look like for them. It could be self-love, self-care, to leave a toxic relationship, to use my story as a cautionary tale, etc. Art is subjective, so the book will mean different things to different people.
K: Describe your writing process! Do you have any crazy funky routines?
K.Y. Robinson: My writing routine is erratic. One day I could wake and write for hours. There are times I can only write in my bed at night. I could hear a song, or a phrase and have to squeeze a poem out of it. My process is all over the place.
K: What is your favorite poem from your debut? Why?
K.Y. Robinson: My favorite poem from my collection is “melanin”. Every time I read it I feel nostalgic. It’s like I’m falling in love with my muse all over again. I can smell and taste the first time I laid eyes on him.
K: How do you feel you have evolved creatively as a writer?
K.Y. Robinson: Reading a variety of writers helped me a lot. I used to write poems that rhymed and were very cheesy. I began experimenting with metaphors and became more honest in my writing.
K: What was one of the most surprising moments you learned in creating your book?
K.Y. Robinson: I was surprised by how much I revealed about myself. I’m such a reserved person. I would never say half of the things I wrote aloud to anyone.
K: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
K.Y. Robinson: Be yourself. Write from a place that’s rooted in passion and authenticity. Don’t try to be the next so and so. Read other writers. Don’t think that you can’t learn from anyone else.
K: As an author, why do you feel mental health is not openly discussed in ethnic communities?
K.Y. Robinson: The stigma frustrates and saddens me. I can’t count how many times conversations about my mental illness was swept under the rug or minimized. There are so many people suffering in silence because they feel like they can’t talk to anyone.
K: What was the hardest part about creating this book?
K.Y. Robinson: I was worried about others would perceive me. I opened up about trauma and living with mental illness. Many loved ones weren’t aware of those things, but they’ve been so supportive.
K: What were the early influences on your writing and how do they manifest in your work?
K.Y. Robinson: My earliest influences were Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and She by Saul Williams. I could relate to young Maya’s trauma, sexism, and the black struggle. The honesty and imagery blew me away. I think all black girls should read this book. I read She religiously in my 20s and I still pick it up now and then. It’s a vulnerable journey about the ending of a relationship. Williams weaves words so beautifully and cleverly. His work helped me with metaphors and how to hide meanings in my writing. I’ll never be as talented as these two but they were my early inspirations.
K: Who are your favorite authors to read?
K.Y. Robinson: A few of my favorites are Pablo Neruda, Lucille Clifton, Maya Angelou, Saul Williams, Ocean Vuong, Nayyirah Waheed and Warsan Shire.
K: What book or books have had a strong influence on you and your writing?
K.Y. Robinson: I would say Maya Angelou books. I draw a lot of inspiration from her raw honesty. A lot of her poems felt like a warm hug and made me feel like I wasn’t alone.
K: It's #WineDownWednesday w/ K! Do you have a favorite wine?
K.Y. Robinson: I used to be a Moscato girl but now I’ve fallen in love with Riesling.
K: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
K.Y. Robinson: To discover more about me and my work, they can follow me on social media—iamkyrobinson on Instagram, Twitter, Tmblr, and Facebook. You can also find me at kyrobinson.net.
K: What can we expect to see next from you in the future? :)
K.Y. Robinson: More books! I also would like to be more active in mental health spaces, especially with the black community.
I would like to send a special thank you to K.Y. Robinson for taking time out of her schedule to interview with me! Her wise words of wisdom and vulnerability has really strengthened and humbled me as a new writer, and I can't wait to work with her again! Mental health is an important topic, so please make sure that you are not only tapping into your mental health, but reaching out to those who may be struggling with their own. Everyone is fighting their own demons, and you never know when you may be in those same shoes. Please take the time to acknowledge and listen to someone, and also if someone is speaking of harming themselves or others, that it is taken seriously with a clear mind and open heart. If you or anyone you know is thinking about committing suicide or inducing harm in any way, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. I hope this post touches someone in some way, and I hope to continue spreading positivity in many lives. You are worthy. You matter. Your life is worth another day with us. You are loved. You are beautiful.
QTNA: In what three ways do you take control of your mental health? How has this strengthened you as an individual? Leave comments below!
Welcome to the launch of my new book blog! Thank you all soooo much for reading and I can't wait to hear your thoughts, ideas and comments! Enjoy! :)