We live in a world where most people are afraid to be themselves. They feel pressured to fit in because of the fear of being left out. Instead of being the person they truly are on the inside, they pretend to be this other person on the outside. Why do they do that? The answer is simple. They want to fit in. Societies as a whole has grown accustomed to judging people and making people feel inadequate or unworthy if they do not think, dress or act a certain way. Some can be brutal. Just imagine the number of people who have spent or shall I say wasted their lives striving or trying to be something they are not. I myself cannot imagine living a life with that much of regret.
I find it alarming how so many people are changing their outward appearances just so they could look like this person, that person or the next person. News Flash! Being someone other than yourself is not only pretending, but it is lying. One of the worst things a person can do is lie to themselves. If a certain individual or group of people cannot accept YOU for being YOU, take that as a hint that they are not meant for you. There is no need for you to change who you are because I guarantee you they are not going to change for you. Living your life and being who you are is one of the greatest joys in life. Life is much more enjoyable when you are freely being yourself. I wake up every morning just being me and let me tell you, I would not have it any other way. When I wake up every morning, I do not think about how I can fit into this group or that group. I wake up every morning striving to be the best person I can be while being a positive influence on others.
Individuality is amazing because there is so much of beauty in being different! Be you because you are Be-You-Tiful!
I was asked recently why I chose to write about bullying in my short story entitled Spurned. My answer is very simple. It is because I experienced childhood bullying myself. Bullying can cause unspeakable damage to a child as they are growing up and trying to find their own place in this world. When you add bullying to the mix, it makes life even more difficult to deal with. I honestly struggled with the idea of writing about my own bullying experiences in this book because I did not know how my raw and brutal honesty would be perceived. I have never liked sugar coating the truth, so as a practice that is something I do not do. If you ask me, honesty is the best policy no matter how difficult or uncomfortable it may be. Besides, bullying has become such a terrible epidemic that I felt it would be beneficial to share my own story. So many children and adolescents feel that suicide is the only way to deal with bullying, but I want them to know that there are other ways to deal with bullying. Not only that, I want them to know that someone other than themselves knows exactly what they are feeling and what they are going through.
I was teased relentlessly because I had short stubby hair, was tiny, skinny and wore glasses. There were many nights when I wished I could pray my “ugliness” away so the other kids would not pick on me. It took me years to appreciate me and what I stood for and to be honest, I have some regrets because of that. It is my hope that children and adolescents who are currently being bullied will appreciate themselves now rather than years later. I am determined to encourage as many bullied children as I can through Spurnedby doing all that I can to get this short story in the hands of bullied children. Anyone can check out a free sample of Spurned on Amazon. If you feel like this would be a good story to encourage a bullied child, please direct them to this book. If you know of a bullied child on the verge of suicide, please reach out to me so that I can provide them a copy of Spurned for FREE. We do NOT need to lose any more children to suicide because of the painful stings of bullying.
There is life after bullying and I want every bullied child to know that with determination and courage they can overcome bullying. Take it from me, what does not kill you makes you stronger and people who know me will tell you that I am one heck of a strong lady. Keep your head up because YOU have so much of YOUR life ahead of you to live.
Have you ever done something you wish you never did? Said something you wish you never said? I know I have. We all have. We are human and we are imperfect. We are bound to make mistakes. That I tell you is inevitable. There are some things in life we just simply regret, and then there are certain things in life we bear no regrets. Two things I have never regretted are writing and my style of writing. I believe in telling it like it is so I do not sugar coat or tap around sensitive subject matter. I am a straight forward type of girl so beating around the bush is not my style. If I want to write about race, racism, prejudice or hate, then by golly I am going to write about it. Why would I not? It exists does it not? Do you see my point? Every story I write is either inspired by things that have happen in my life or those closest to me, specifically my intermediate family.
Life does not always end happily ever after. People do not always get what they deserve. The bad guy does not always get caught. Justice is sometimes never served. I have a long family history that is deeply rooted in pain, heartache and severe struggles. If you really want to know the truth, I write to help cope with the anger and pain. As a matter of fact, I wrote about some of our struggles in my debut novel Poka City Blues. Does that mean my books are strictly dark and depressing? Absolutely not. We may have a long history of struggling, but we have a longer history of overcoming and surviving. We are not victims of our trials, we are SURVIVORS.
So you see, I have no writer’s remorse when it comes to my writing because I know that someone somewhere has been through or going through some of the very same things I write about. The way I see it, I am giving hope to those who may feel like there is no hope and I am giving inspiration to those who desperately need it. So why should I feel remorseful about that?
I had a sweet eight year old girl tell me how much she hated her own hair. She said her hair was ugly and that she wished she had someone else’s hair. That conversation is still on my mind which is why I have decided to blog about it today. The dislike of one’s own hair is echoed a lot in the Black community and it broke my heart to know that this little girl could not see the beauty in her own hair. To be completely honest, when I was her age, I felt the exact same way. There was a time when I thought my hair was a nuisance and a bother because I have so much of it. Even now it takes me hours just to wash, detangle and style my hair. Wash day for me is something serious, but enough about me. Getting back to that eight year old girl, I wanted to dedicate a post specifically aimed at little Black girls since so many find fault, error or shame with their hair.
This is not a post bashing anyone who chooses to relax or alter their hair in any shape, form or fashion. What you do is your business. This post is meant for all the little Black girls who feel disgruntled about the hair they were born with. First and foremost, your hair is an extension of you. Second, the hair you were born with is just as unique as you. Whether your hair is straight, wavy, kinky, curly, or if you are like me, you have a combination of all, your hair is one of a kind. Third, your hair, just like you is priceless and it is a thing of beauty. No other hair on earth is as versatile as Black hair and that is a proven fact. So you see, what you have growing on your head is something to be proud of because Black hair in itself is a phenomenon! You may not be able to see it now, but your hair is a crown of glory and it is a thing to behold. Take care of it, cherish it and as you get older, you will see just how wonderful your hair is.
Many, many years ago when I was a shy and timid child, I had something intriguing happen to me when I was in the first grade at Mayport Elementary in Jacksonville, Florida. I can remember it like it was yesterday because I will never forget how it made me feel. It was in the month of April, in the afternoon during our “free time” and I can still recall what I was doing on that very day. I was off in a corner, by myself, scribbling down a story that I had running around in my head. I was so wrapped up into writing down my little story that I did not realize my solitary behavior was causing a concern for my elementary teacher. First, she wanted to know why I was off in a corner with my back turned and second, she wanted to know what I was doing. Before I could tell her what I was doing, she politely picked up the scattered pieces of paper I had sprawled across the class room table and started to read what I had written down. As I sat there quietly with my hands folded and tucked in between my legs, I began to wonder if what I had written down would get me trouble.
After she finished reading what I had written down, my elementary school teacher looked me square in the eyes and told me that I should be a writer. When I asked her how do I become a writer? Her answer was sweet, plain and simple. She told me to keep doing what I am doing and just write. For years I toyed with the thought of being a writer, but I would always dismiss it because I did not think I had what it takes to sit down and write a story. With school, work and household responsibilities, I just knew that job title was out of my reach. Life was pulling me in so many directions that I could barely keep myself together! As the years came and went, I often wondered if I really had what it takes to be a writer. I just knew that one day I would have to give it a shot or else I may end up regretting it. So in the fall of 2014, I cast my doubts aside, gathered some pens and paper and started to write. I was going to write the best story that I could think of or die trying. Whether I succeed or fail, I can at least say that I gave it a try.
Fast forward to March 2015 and the birth of my debut novel Poka City Blues was born. In December 2015 my short story Spurned was born. Since I embarked on my writing journey, I have encountered a number of people who also want to delve into writing, but feel that they are incapable of writing a story. To those very ones, I give them the same advice that I was given. Just write. Sit down and write the best story you can think of and go from there. Never give up because you never know where your journey may lead you. I cannot wait to see where mine will take me.
I am thrilled to announce that in a few more weeks Spurned: A Short Story will be released! As I sit here anticipating its debut, I can’t help but to wonder how readers will react to it. After all, it is a story that touches on bullying, peer pressure and low self-esteem. You may have already guessed that this is not your average cookie cutter short story, but it does have its “sweet spots.” Although it is a fictional story, there are elements in this story that I pulled from my own life. I was once bullied, struggled with low self-esteem and of course I had to deal with peer pressure, something that we have all experienced at least once in our lives. Seeing how bullying has quickly become an epidemic in schools, not just here in the United States but all across the world, I found it necessary to share some of my own experiences in this story. Make no mistake, bullying is not just physical harassment; it can be verbal, mental, and even emotional.
It is my hope that readers, especially those who are being bullied, will draw inspiration from this story because I know just how painful bullying can be. I want those who are currently being bullied to be determined to rise above their bullies and to keep on succeeding because in the end, after all has been said and done, they will be on the winning end. For those of you who are being bullied, I added a special encouraging segment just for you at the very end of this story, but you’ll have to read the story to find out what it is.
Poka City Blues is now available on Amazon and I am extremely excited seeing how this has been a long time coming. It is my hope that Poka City Blues will resonate with the minds and hearts of readers and inspire those who have experienced severe trials or hardships. Poka City Blues is about finding the strength and courage to make it through tough situations while never losing hope or sight of who you are.