September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. I have never known anyone who took their own life, but I do know friends who have known someone who has. I really don’t know what to say. Every person has struggles and for some, it is hard to face life.
I heard this song from Cleo Sol. Listen to her words and know that it comes from my heart. “You are loved even if you don’t love yourself.“
You matter. I am wrapping my arms around you. I am here to pray with you, to talk to you, and to care for you. If not me, please talk to someone. The Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. Or, you can chat on https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/. Don’t hold your pain in. Don’t go away. You are loved.
I don’t know why I thought entering 30 was so bad. It’s actually quite great besides the back pain waking up in the morning. I am now 31 and it’s a new elevation. Through different experiences, I look back and realize I want to do better and live better for my single self.
Bianca in her 20s was people-pleasing and sought a lot of validation. I believe she wanted to be loved sooo much that she was willing to just forget herself most of the time. I really expressed my truth last year at the height of last summer. I told a lot of truths and personal stories that no one knew. Inside, I felt like I lied for a whole decade to many people. To be honest, I was just trying to survive. Surviving was enough…but fully living wasn’t something I considered.
Now turning 31, I am unlearning…unlearning a lot. Yes, I fall back into old habits. But you know what? I am a work in progress. Life is not about perfection but progression. Even as a Christian, I have to constantly remind myself perfection is not the goal but spiritual growth matters. God is not expecting me to be perfect but to be obedient when I fall short.
My Unlearning has been this:
I am learning what I do matters.
God comes first and Bianca comes afterwards and then everyone else.
I need to honor my time and space.
Toxicity hurts and does not help.
Outside voices do not live my life, thus they do not matter.
God’s truth is infallible. Man’s truth changes.
That’s what I got. Like I said, it’s progression. The more I realize, the more I elevate when I do something about it. I just want this post to encourage you to elevate no matter how old you are. I was growing in my 20s but this new decade has had its lessons. So keep elevating.
A person like myself wants to please often. I would rather limit my wants for someone else to be comfortable. #peoplepleasingproblems. I will alter my boundaries to accommodate someone else…at my own expense. And for what? discomfort and for my needs to not be met. Really Bianca!?!
To some like me, this is the norm but not for Simone Biles nor Naomi Osaka. It seems revolutionary but it is the essence of self care. Even at the height of greatness, choose yourself. They both choose self and self preservation over society. You would think to have fame, resources, and access would mean you are set and happy…absolutely NOT! If two beautiful, talented, great athletes need a break, then even little ole me, can figure out ways to choose myself.
Were people outraged? Yes
Were people disappointed? Yes.
Did they die? No.
No one lives your life. Ultimately, no one is living in your body but you. If saying no saves your life and sanity, do it. I’m learning to choose me. Whether it be taking intentional breaks at work, eating alone to recharge, saying no, therapy, breathing exercises, etc. etc…I choose myself. Some people are willing to take and take and take…and they could care less about your needs. Act on what you need. Now we are all not like Ms. Biles nor Ms. Osaka, but find a way to choose yourself in the spaces you inhabit. To some, you are replaceable. But you are only you for a moment in time.
I’d like to think I am superwoman. I can do anything and everything. I don’t want to seem weak or that I am incapable. I would rather take things on myself at the expense of depletion of mind, body, and spirit. At my expense, I thought I could hold together. But at my expense, I experience heartache, anxiety, depression, anguish, and pretty much the Devil’s lies.
In reality, I would be crumbling. My self sufficiency was my downfall. Pride was my downfall. I believe as a black woman, we, as a collective, have this narrative of being strong. But the thing is you can only be strong for so long. I would fake being ok. I would fake strength out of fear of being considered weak. That was the cycle.
Something I have uncovered in therapy is allowing myself the freedom of not being tired and worn out. Speak up.Why hold in what you can let go? The worst that can be said is “No, I can’t help you.” No one will die. The world will not end. And I will be no less Bianca than when I asked for help. I believe when I think of asking like that…it changes the narrative. It opens a level of vulnerability because I am allowing myself relief and letting people in.
I usually don’t let people into the inner parts of my mind and soul. It’s just easier. But at what cost? I am easily the friend to come to with your problems. A person can pour out their soul to me. But why do I not allow myself that openness and kindness to pour my heart to my own friends. That is what I am learning…asking for the help and the listening I give to others. It is preventable so I need to speak up.
Yes, guard your heart because everyone is not your friend. But lately, God has sent genuine people my way. For whatever reason, they check on me. They ask me what do I need. WHAT!?! Like really!?! Yes, little old Bianca can be cared for. So I challenged myself to speak up the past few months. I have been speaking up by asking for prayer, guidance, and a friend who will listen. And these friends have delivered more than what I could have asked for. It has done my heart well and mental health better.
It’s still hard to break the cycle cause I want to still be strong. But I know I am not strong without God’s help and guidance in the resources and people He puts in my path. However, I need to ask and be open and vulnerable to receive what I need.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”-Matthew 7:7
I wanted to thank you Bliss Fam! It has been five years since I started this blog. WOW!
My dear family friend suggested to share my wisdom and words of encouragement. I never thought my words mattered . I would have opinions here and there. I loved encouraging others in whatever platform I was in. I never thought it was a gift. I just thought it was just talking.
But, it became so much more.
It has been a gain. I have grown so much. It takes vulnerability and heart to write. I always want you, the reader to feel encouraged and loved. I consider writing as talking to a friend. I always want to give my best work from my heart. At first, I felt like it was a little blog but I am starting to call myself a writer. I write great content that I am proud of. I am still learning but it has been a great ride so far. Thank you all for staying for the ride. Here’s to five more years.
God holds it all together. Me, you, humanity, and everything under heaven. It’s hard to remember sometimes. This pandemic has shifted everything. Even in my life, I felt the pandemic messed up plans, hopes, and dreams. In my life, things have been delayed for whatever reason, even before the pandemic.
It’s hard sometimes. I feel like God has put me through the ringer. I had such plans for my life when I was a 17 year old high school graduate…boy, was I wrong…
But even in the disappointments and uncertainty, I held on to God. Now, I was not happy all the time. I still struggle today. It is hard to see friends and colleagues succeed while I was/am stuck. It is hard seeing the social media shimmer and shine while I am just trying to function and not have a meltdown. But I have to keep going. To stop living life is to lose. I was literally moving by faith hoping for God to change the circumstance in the valley. I have moments of mourning and anxiety when things go wrong. It just hurts. But like Job, I will not denounce God…I just try my best to live for Him.
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.-Psalm 26:13
Here comes this song by Maverick City Music-You Hold It All Together. The lyrics are so real. God always comes at the right time. God is still writing my story. Yes, my chapters are different from everyone else but that does not mean God is not working.
I know that God has good in store for me. I do get anxious. However, I know that my life is in His hands. He holds it together. God’s plan is for my gain and His Glory, not to my detriment nor expense.
Bliss Fam, we all carry so much but God still has a plan. Don’t give up. God is holding this crazy thing called life together. He loves us even when life is hard.
My favorite lyric is: God of my present, God of my future, You write my story, You hold it all together
He was always there, He is still there, and He will always be there.
Hang in there, Bliss Fam. God is still writing mine and our story.
I am such a people pleaser and seek to be validated. I always felt the need to serve and go above and beyond to prove my worth even at the expense of being drained and not being given back the same service. This is true in all facets of my life. It is the same vicious cycle.
I am not appreciated nor valued though my work is unmatched. My work ethic is solid. My energy is positive and good. So why do I sell myself so short?–probably because I do not think I can do better or I’ve been disappointed so much that I would take scraps than nothing at all…the need to be wanted. A whole lot of things…
Until a defining moment where I left a situation that did not serve me nor appreciate my abilities–it was scary but there is no reason to stay in the situation. I gave my all but came up with little. I received and accepted scrap metal when I was giving gold. I was physically, emotionally, mentally, and emotionally drained. Then my dear mom said, “Leave.”
Leave? I thought my mom was crazy. But there is truth in that one word.
I am learning I don’t need to stay where I am not wanted nor valued. If people do not understand, you do not owe them an explanation. Just leave.
I wish it could be easy to do. I wish I could tell you that all answers will be solved. I wish I could say there will be an easy transition.
All I can say is to trust God and yourself for the next step. You have to leap in faith and know that God’s got you . Sometimes you need to leave to see and know your worth. Hold your head high and move forward. Leave and know your value and be brave to leave something that does not add to you.
It’s ok to leave when something doesn’t serve you.
I am experiencing a harvest that I did not expect.
Year 30 has been an interesting start to a new decade of living. Last year, I turned a new age at the height of the pandemic. I was in an identity-crisis like everyone else, just trying to navigate life and figure out, “What am I going to do?” I thought that it would be fruitless to be honest. I thought that I would be in waiting for a harvest. But you know what? I was yielding a harvest I did not realize. I was growing, changing, and evolving.
Mental health was a defining moment for Year 30. Going to therapy was a BIG STEP in my growth process. To divulge hurts, disappointments, and traumas that I knew or did not realize that I kept in. I LOVE MY THERAPIST. I do believe God hand-picked her for me: a black Christian therapist. She has been a great, guiding facilitator in my growth and development. I do feel a sense of ownership in my narrative.
Knowing my worth is a lesson in all facets of my life. I made very big decisions to walk away because I realized that I deserved more. I did not deserve to be ostracized, criticized, nor belittled for who I am. I can eliminate the situation or the person. I don’t need to feel bad at all for protecting my soul. My worth is defined by God in every facet of my life as a black, Haiti-American Christian. So I can hire and fire people and situations accordingly.
My story is worth telling. During the pandemic was the height of racial tension and reckoning. I had two choices: hide and destroy myself internally or be about change and open myself up. It was hard to be honest, sharing racial traumas in my life. I had people reach out because they honestly thought I was fine but I was just trying to survive. Yes, people gave me flack and tried to explain away my experiences but I stood in my truth. I had to let go and it felt good in the end because I had real dialogues with people about race and gave people perspective. My hope was to make people think.. and I believe I did that.
I am curating my quality tribe. I have had great people come in my life in Year 30. Quality, salt of the earth people. I am learning to ask for help and prayer. Not just be a friend to someone but allow my friends to be my friend (or at least rise to the occasion). I am quite stubborn with friendships; I give all of myself but I don’t allow people to do the same. But I am trying to be better. Not everyone who is my friend on social media is my friend. There are levels of “friendship” but then there is my tribe and village. That is special to me and I am curating that. They know who they are. I feel loved and supported by them. It’s pretty awesome.
My life has teachable moments for others. Alongside my story is worth telling, my story is worth helping others. I guess I am old enough to give wisdom. God has given me opportunities to invest in the future generations. Young adults and kids are listening and looking up to me for advice and guidance. I was once in their shoes so it is amazing how God can use “little old me” to show me how far He has brought me.
***BONUS***– Back pain is real in your 30s. Like I have to give myself a moment to prepare my body to wake up. My body is changing I guess.
That is my 30 Year Audit. It’s been a great start so we will see where it goes in Year 31.
June is Black Music Appreciation Month. It was initiated by President Jimmy Carter for June to honor the contributions of black artists and musicians (a new fact I learned). It was initially called Black Music Month but President Obama changed the name to Black Music Appreciation Month. In the spirit of that, of course, I had to make a playlist. I have to say it is lit…it’s music to vibe to, to dance to, and to just chill. I have recent artists that I have discovered and love right now. I do pay homage to the legends like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Sade. I have music that I grew up listening to. It’s really great. IT’S BLISSFULLY APPROVED! So happy listening.