Tell Me Where Your Worth Lies: Weeks 3-4

So, hey y’all!

I know I was gone last week, but I’m feeling much better and ready to give you another recap of A Look in the Mirror, weeks 3 and 4.

Week Three

During Week 3, we talked about our emotions and reactions to the things that happen around us.  We played a little game of charades, where we examined what our emotions look like in action.  We talked about times that made us feel that way and discussed how to work through our emotions.

We also talked about perception vs. reality.  People will tell you that you are something that you’re not.  Ugly.  Fat.  Stupid.  But the beautiful thing about living life is that we make our own realities.  Who cares what people say about us?!  As long as we know who we are…we’ll be just fine.  The girls made affirmations that remind them of exactly who they are.

Week Four

This is most likely my favorite week so far.  We talked about self confidence and our worth.  I asked each girl to discuss their worth and how that relates to the people we choose to surround ourselves with.   All class we sat in a circle of positivity, so that we have can an honest discussion and so that we can see each other when we’re talking.

We talked about some tough stuff: school, bullying, confidence.  We also did the work.  We discussed what confidence means to us.  Each girl talked about what negative and positive impacts their friends have on them.  This allows us to really analyze who we’re surrounded by and how they affect our lives.

We ended class by sharing positive thoughts about each other.  Each girl stood in the middle of the circle and was given positive thoughts by the others who remained outside of the circle.  Admittedly, I had no plans on participating myself.  I felt like this was an activity for my girls, but they encouraged me to participate.  After a terrible work week and stressful home week (our home needs MAJOR repair after the hurricane) it was nice to hear such positive things from them.

This program has rejuvenated something in me that my regular work doesn’t allow: freedom to feel.  As adults we’re told to swallow our feelings, to keep it moving, to keep pushing and to keep making money, but following my dreams and having something to give to these girls has given me a joy that I cannot describe.

If you’re interested in bringing this program to your place of business you can do so using the link below:

A Look in the Mirror Contact

Sometimes I write…

So, sometimes I write short stories and poems.  I’ve decided to post some of my hobby on my blog as a way for me to come out of my shell.  Maybe this will encourage me to write more…who knows.  I took Creative Writing in college as a hobby class and did a lot of my writing during this time.  I reread a lot of the stuff I’ve written back then and realized that writing was a form of therapy for me.  I wrote a lot of this during my therapy and my sad time.  Anyways, I’m rambling.  The piece has no title:

Trace the outline of my tattoo with your finger as I caress your head.

Let your hands trail the length of my arm,

Gently grab my hands as I plant a peck on yours.

We don’t have to touch because you know it’s real.

Fill the silence of our empty words with jovial humming

That makes me remember why I’m here.

And if you ever forget…just look at how my eyes glow when we’re together.

And when I forget, I’ll just go back to the time you whispered “You’re perfect.”

Exist in a single monetary space…with me.

Here.

There.

It’s really doesn’t matter where.

It’s been a year…already.

I often describe love as a beautiful nightmare.  I know that sounds super morbid, but hear me out.  Love is so wonderful and so beautiful.  When you find someone who loves you so deeply it’s amazing, but it’s scary.  This one person holds your heart in their hand, leaving you vulnerable to anything.  They can both make your entire day and destroy your entire life.

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My husband and I have been on our journey together for almost 4 years.  We’ve had such wonderful moments together and we’ve had some terrible times together.  I’ve learned so much about love and life during the time that we’ve been together and I couldn’t imagine sharing my life journey with anyone else…he felt the same way…that’s why we got married.

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Marques and I got married one whole year ago today!  They always say the first year is the roughest and they’re probably right.  We’ve grown so much in this year together.  Marriage is as hard as people say, but being with him makes it all worth it.  He makes me smile on the inside.  He makes me heart happy.  He pushes me to follow my dreams and he works so hard so that we both can achieve our goals.  He makes me want to be a better person.  I couldn’t imagine being married to anyone else.

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Marques, if you’re reading this, thank you for being you.  Thank you for listening to my stupid stories and for putting up with my Friends obsession every night.  Thank you for pushing me to follow my dreams and to be the best I can be.  Thank you for all that you’ve taught me about politics and taxes.Thank you for spoiling me in your own special way.  Thank you for not stifling my independence.  You’re a wonderful husband and I love you more than the amount of words I could ever type.

 Happy Anniversary, babe.

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Tales of Innocence Lost.

Usually when people think of innocence they think of a small child learning that Santa isn’t real or realizing the Tooth Fairy is just your parents leaving money under your pillow.  Some people even think of a person losing their virginity, but that’s not the innocence we’re discussing today.

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The innocence I’m referring to is the innocence that we all lose when we fall in love, for the first time or for the ten millionth time.  The first time I lost my innocence was in college.  I stopped believing in love because my heart was broken by a guy I thought truly loved me.  After he and I broke up I didn’t think I would find love anymore.  I’m generally an optimistic person, but when it came to love, I decided not to divulge too much into the reality of it, yet I was so intrigued by the idea of having someone who chose to love me.

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My interest in love and what love truly is led me to fall so hard for men who did not want to be with me.  Honestly, I felt a little harden.  I didn’t want to give my heart to anyone else just for them to break it again, yet I was still looking for the true meaning and wanting to experience what I saw in the movies. I’ve fallen for men who didn’t even know I was interested in them because I was fearful.   Losing my innocence the first time, believing in a love that didn’t exist for me, made me never want to lose it with anyone else.

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So many people, especially women, lose their innocence and never get back to that place where they’d want to lose it again with someone else.  All of my tales of innocence lost has led me to my one true love, and I wouldn’t change anything.  I’ve learned so much from my relationship with unrequited love and the pain of heartbreak showed me what love actually is.  Overall, I’m grateful that it didn’t change who I was.  I still remain the person I was before I knew what love was, only stronger and wiser.

Chile, Don’t Believe THAT Hype.

So, I was reading a very interesting blog piece when I performed a Google search a few years ago.  The Google search I conducted was “How to get a boyfriend when you’re fat” and the article focused on exuding confidence, while trying to get as skinny as possible so that the boy you’re interested in will like you.  Pause.  What?  That was the most terrible thing I had read in a long time, yet I was trying hard to follow that advice…

You see, Old Ash wasn’t as confident as Current Ash is.  She thought she was fat and ugly and not enough to be considered by any man…ever.  Drastic, I know, but very true…at least that’s what I thought.  I would look at body confident warriors on the internet and wish my parts were as beautiful as theirs and wish I could have the confidence they had so that a man can find me attractive. Chile, I was in such a dark place.

Nadia...my most favorite body warrior.

Nadia…my most favorite body warrior.

Lots of things contributed to the way I felt about myself, but the most notable was the affections of my “high school sweetheart” who didn’t want to claim me in public and who had affections for me, but only secretly and who was worried about being with me because I was plus sized.  These are things he told me verbally…romantic, huh? Eventually my self-esteem hit a dark place and it took the love and care of my best friend, Rutha to help me see that I probably needed to talk to someone about how I feel.  I started therapy sessions and they were the BEST.  Apart from marrying my heart, therapy was the best decision I ever made.  After my sessions I tattooed a reminder to myself on my body so that I’ll always remember that EVERY part of me is beautiful.  From my head all the way down to my feet.

Reminder...

Reminder…

When I started to be pursued by Marques I let it be known that I love me and that the only person changing this body was me. He fell in love with every single part of me and I love him even more for that.  If anyone ever told you that you needed to be a certain size to be pursued by a decent enough man, don’t believe them.  You can be whatever size you wanna be and whomever you are with will love you anyway, if they mean it.  If someone truly loves you, something like weight, which can change any time, would not hold them back.

Body. For Days.

Body. For Days.

I’ve become my own body warrior.  I think I’m great and I can do and wear anything I want and I don’t care what anyone says.  Most importantly: I love me.  Don’t ever let anyone make you think you’re not worth anything because of how you look.  Anyone can buy body parts, but no one can buy personality, compassion or individuality.

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You’re beautiful and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.  Don’t believe THAT hype.

My Heart Beat.

Mr. Hazell.  The love of my life.  My source of happiness and unconditional love (besides God of course). My best friend.  Most importantly, my husband.

DasBae.

DasBae.

Marques and I met at a nightclub, of all places.  He asked for dance and bought me a drink and the rest is history.  We married on August 1st and honestly, it has been such a great ride with this guy.   He’s a very central part of my life and my decisions.  We have our problems and arguments, like any normal couple, but we get through them together.

My Husband and I on our wedding day!

He pushes me to follow my dreams, encourages me when I’m down and supports me through my mess-ups and faults.  We’re each other’s biggest cheerleader.

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That’s life.  That’s love.  Das Bae.