News Flash: We’re Moving!!

Growing up, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else besides Washington, D.C. It’s home and all I know. Of course, I’ve visited parts of Maryland and Virginia, but I wouldn’t dare move there. I’m a city girl, my family is here, and I’ve experienced so much here.

It wasn’t until my senior year of high school, like many others, where my mind was opened to being some place other than D.C. It was time to apply for college. In the beginning, I only considered places that were closer to D.C.—Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. I had a full scholarship to a university in Oklahoma, but I could NEVER be that far from my family. Fortunately, I was granted the opportunity to go on a college tour with my friend and her mom in Florida. That trip changed my perspective on being further away from home. After that, I had my top three school choices selected. Miami, Florida, University Park, Pennsylvania and Greensboro, North Carolina were the places I wanted to be. Foolishly, I passed on the full scholarship.

My father really wanted me to stay home and attend a school in the area, but I refused. I wanted to break free. I felt like staying home would keep me in my comfort zone, and give my father the opportunity to spy on me. Sometimes I wish I stayed to have more time with him, but everything happens for a reason! I ended up attending Penn State University. It was away from home, but not too far. PERFECT choice.  Although being away for those four years gave me some of the best experiences, after my college experience, vacations would be the only times I would ever travel away from my home.

My husband on the other hand, yearned to move away. When my he became a truck driver, I cringed every single time he talked about it. From the very beginning, he said where we lived wasn’t trucker- friendly. I insisted on staying. I refused to be in a new place alone with our daughter and with no help. I also couldn’t imagine leaving my mother. When I left for college, two months later my father passed away. I always feared the next time I moved away, something would happen, or I would lose my mother. I talked to him about my fear and he compromised for as long as he could.

I eventually began to lighten up to the idea of moving to another state and gave my husband my list of needs. The main points were that we must visit the potential place for at least a week in order to see the area in depth and explore the school district in person. I also didn’t want to be too far into seclusion where it would be difficult to find help if there was an emergency. But still, I would always do my best to avoid the topic as a whole because I wasn’t ready to move.

As time went on, we compiled a list of places, and put a plan into action where we would we would both research different aspects about the place, and then we would go visit. It was a concrete plan, and I was very happy that we were both working toward the change instead of it feeling forceful or like an ultimatum. It was a way for us to both get what we wanted. 

In the mist of our search, both of our families experienced loss. We loss four people that were very dear to us in one year. Family became that much more important, and it reignited my desire to connect with my family in South Carolina. My father was born and partially raised in South Carolina. When he passed, I was able to meet his brothers and sisters who still lived down there for the first time. It was an indescribable feeling. They looked exactly like my father. Ever since that day, I wanted to get to know them. For years I would search online for them and try numbers, but they never worked. 

More recently, I pulled out my father’s obituary and went into private investigator mode. I searched all over and collected possible numbers for each sibling. I discovered one of my aunts passed away, and I immediately became fearful that I had missed out on connecting with the others. I felt like if they all died, my father was really gone. But I finally hit the jackpot. I found a working number for one of my aunts and I was filled with so much joy. She said that she lost our number after my father’s funeral but had been searching for us the entire time as well. She then passed my info along to one of my uncles and I was able to talk to him a little also. 

Soon after connecting with them, the opportunity for our family to move to South Carolina dropped right into our laps. While I wasn’t ready to move away, I felt like it was a sign from God since I wanted to connect with my family there. By this time, I had already made the decision to homeschool, so moving was more realistic for me at this point. South Carolina was also a great option because of the cheaper cost of living, space for our children to be free and play, and it’s not too far from DC where my immediate family is. At the max, it’s an hour and a half for a flight. 

So, we’re moving! It’s time to say goodbye to the DMV as my residence, but it’s truly only a “see ya later” because it’s forever my home. I’m still praying that once my mom retires that she’ll move down with us, but that’s a work in progress. She’s lived here for 61 years, so moving would be a huge adjustment for her. That’s the only thing that makes this move difficult. My mother is my heart. My truest and oldest best friend. But I know for sure that our hearts will forever remain connected, and her grandchildren will continue to see, visit and love on her as much as possible.

I have a sturdy circle of friends that I’m confident will remain through this distance also. They range from childhood, motherhood and business and I’m grateful that God made that shift in my life to prepare me for this new phase. I can finally say, I’m officially ready for this new season in life. Earlier this year I blogged about stepping out of my comfort zone in Comfort Zone: Contentment vs. Complacency, and it’s been happening ever since. This is major for me. Major for my family. 

Comfort Zone: Contentment vs. Complacency

I recently shared on Instagram that I’ve been going through an ongoing season where the lesson has been to “go through the process in order to grow through the process.” As of lately I’ve been receiving several signs telling me it’s time to step out of my comfort zone in addition to growing through the process.

I read something that said “Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows from it.” I immediately said “yasssss” and took a screenshot. But when I thought about it more, I had a different outlook on that statement. I believe that our comfort zone can be both positive or negative. It can either be a place of contentment or complacency. For example, if one has a career as a singer and doesn’t want to pursue an acting career as well, I consider that being content. If you have found your niche and know what works for you, being in your comfort zone is a positive thing. Where I find the negative is when you remain in your comfort zone out of fear or you lack ambition to move forward. You desire a change, but you’re complacent because you’re stuck in a place of fear, or refuse to leave your place of normalcy. You make excuses as to why you can’t move forward, and keep putting things off to a later date. My biggest fear was rejection. I wouldn’t apply for certain jobs, share ideas, heck I didn’t blog for years out of fear.

I’m taking time to think about how I got to that place, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

– I allowed my place of contentment to evolve into complacency.

– I let motherhood be an excuse for me to not go after what I wanted.

– I compared myself and my journey to other people.

– I let my own insecurities and lack of confidence darken my thoughts on how I would be received by others.

And the list goes on…

What I’ve found important on this journey is fueling my soul with books, podcasts, music, women, etc. that will continue to motivate and push me in the right direction. So often we believe that those things have little value, but they can nourish your soul when used correctly. I’ve connected with many womenpreneurs/mompreneurs through Instagram alone. I can only imagine what my network will look like once I step out of my comfort zone and shake hands with other successful women and men. I’ve signed up for webinars, conferences and attended personal events in order to get myself moving and to keep myself moving. Surrounding myself with people and tools that will support me on my journey to living in my purpose is vital. Over the years,  my circle has become small, but I have learned that I have to expand that circle in order to meet like-minded individuals that will nurture my road to true growth. I want to be around people I will learn from, people who inspire me to level up. Making those changes have already yielded positive results.

As I stated earlier, I used motherhood as an excuse to not go after my dreams. Instead of using it as my fuel and motivation, I used it as a scapegoat. I didn’t want to face the fact that I really didn’t know what direction to go in anymore. After quitting my job, being a wife and mother were the only things I knew how to do. Many of my close friends are not mothers, so I found myself solely talking motherhood with my mother, mother-in-law and other older women. It’s beautiful to hear from wise women who are experienced, but I needed to be with other moms my age. Other wives my age. I became proactive and joined a few ministries at church in addition to all that I’m doing for my career. My family will always be my first priority so I want to make sure I have support from women who are juggling being a wife, mother, and  keeper’s of their homes successfully.

I don’t expect my journey to be smooth the entire time. After all, it is a process and I have to grow through it right? I wouldn’t say this is a how-to blog per se, but I hope this helps at least one person. We can’t allow our comfort zone to cripple us when it comes to going after our desires. Whether it be a weight loss goal, moving to a new area, career goals, family goals and more, you have to make the choice to truly go after it. What I will never do is rush. I am a firm believer of never moving forward unless you have God’s peace. I had all confidence in what God wanted to use me for, but still didn’t move because I was frozen by fear. I had to push through it.

I’ve found myself battling with balancing getting sleep and doing the work needed to grow my brand(s). I’m still breastfeeding my six-month-old on demand, and sleeping through the night doesn’t seem like it will be happening any time soon. Finding that balance has been key for me; when I actually get it right. There are some days when I haven’t slept at all, but I got some work done. Others, I’ve finally taken naps and caught up on sleep, but I didn’t get as much work completed. What I’m proud of is that I no longer bash myself when I don’t get it right. I acknowledge my growth and effort, but take note on the actions that need improvement.

 

My first blog post was about being lazy versus procrastinating. Internally I feel like I’ve been lazy, but I’m famous for mom-shaming myself. I’m confident I’ve been procrastinating. Putting off reading, working out, starting a business, going out having fun, etc. I feel like I’ve been delaying my life for the past year. I’m challenging myself to make some changes. I am my daughters first example of a woman, and I don’t want them to witness their mother afraid to live life.  My oldest daughter is already watching my every move.

Time to step out of my comfort zone so that I may blossom!  Cheers to dropping the lame excuses and getting sh*t done!

#QUEEN

 

Healing and Letting Go Gives You Your Power Back

How many times have you been told, or even told someone to “Let go, and let God” “Forgive and Forget” or “In order to move forward with your life, you have to let go of the past?” I know for sure that I have said all three of these statements and other renditions of them to my loved ones or even random people who I meet and converse with. It’s much easier to give this advice out than to do it yourself.

I typically remember EVERYTHING. I mean everything down to the time it happened, where it happened, and what I was wearing when it happened. With that being said, the whole forgetting portion of “forgive and forget” is tough for me. Lately I’ve realized one of the reasons forgetting is difficult for me is the trauma that came along with that moment.

On May 11, 2017, during my second pregnancy, I was involved in a hit-and-run accident. It was three days away from Mother’s Day, and I was four days away from being five months pregnant. It was raining, and I was on my way to pick my daughter up from her aftercare program. If you know me, you know that I’m pretty much late for everything so I made sure I left out in enough time to not drive crazy in the rain. I was five minutes away from my house when I stopped at a red light. I was in the right, turning lane, but still had to wait til the oncoming traffic ceased in order to go. As I began to turn my car, an off-white Chrysler 300 slammed into the back of me forcing me to turn the corner. Just as I put my car in park, the man driving the car backed up from the rear of my car and drove off. My heart was racing as I did my best to study his license plate and dial 911. I was in total disbelief. My car was fast enough to track him down, but it was raining and who was I to chase a man down who hit someone and drove off without a care? I would be putting myself in more danger. I have asthma so I did my best to keep my breathing under control, which was a struggle.

I began to panic because I couldn’t feel any pain and I thought that the adrenaline pumping through my body was covering the damage that had been done to my unborn child. There were other cars around during the incident, but only one guy stopped to help me. His name was Angel, he gave me all of his information and offered to stay until help arrived, but I told him thank you and he could leave. I didn’t want him to stay out in the rain, and to be honest I’m not that great at receiving help and support from total strangers. I hate feeling like a burden.

At this point, I’m holding back tears. After getting off the phone with police dispatch, I call my mother-in-law, tell her what happened and asked her to go pick up my daughter instead. Once the officer arrived I broke down. I told him, “I don’t know what to do! I’m four months pregnant and that man hit me!” He told me to calm down, we drove to a residential parking lot nearby and he proceeded to help. I gave him the license plate number and he went to search for it. While he did that, I called my insurance and gave them the rundown. Simultaneously, the insurance representative and officer told me that the plates had to be fake or not registered because nothing came back for them. I was devastated.

My husband was the last person I contacted. He was driving over the road at this point and I didn’t want him to hear me in the mist of my ugly cry. When I told him he was so hurt. “Are you okay? Is the baby ok? Where’s Taniya? Was she in the car? Did you call the hospital? What did the dude look like? What direction was he driving in? You need to go to the hospital!” and then we ended our conversation. He needed some time to digest the fact that his pregnant wife had just been involved in an accident and he was nowhere near. He didn’t have control over the situation so his go to was, tell me what he looks like so that I can find him when I get home. I’ll take care of it. At that point, I was all game. Usually I don’t want him to be my bodyguard, but in that moment, I wanted my husband to demolish the man who put me and my girls in danger. All I could think about is my daughter being in the back of the car if it had happened 45 minutes later, and that I would possibly see blood in my underwear later as a sign of my baby being hurt during the accident. Thank God my daughter wasn’t in the car, thank God the baby and I were fine, and thank God there was no damage done to our car. God really works. The bumper of our car should have been a mess, but it wasn’t.

I have to go through that light every day. And each time I’m staring in the rear-view mirror paranoid that someone will slam into the back of our car. Every time I see a white or off-white Chrysler I’m staring to see if it’s THE car. That accident was ruling my life. I just couldn’t come to terms with how that man could have ruined my life that evening, and he drove off and went on with his life.

Well, I got what I wanted. I was sitting at the light on the opposite end headed home with my girls in the back and I saw the car. His light was green so as he drove past I still attempted to catch the numbers on his license plate, but couldn’t get the last few because of the other cars around him. I couldn’t run the red light to catch him either. That was my moment to get justice for what he had done to me mentally and emotionally. So many thoughts ran through my mind. If I could just see where he lived, my husband could beat the crap out of him once he got home from work. If I could get his license plate I could report him to the police and they could get him for what he had done. If I could just have one civilized conversation with him, I would tell him how he could have taken the life of myself and my unborn child had that accident been any worse. But I had to sit at that red light and watch him get away AGAIN.

It was in that moment where I realized it was time for me to let go. There will be many times in life where someone will do me wrong and I will not be able to do a thing about it. It’s totally out of my control. I felt weak all over again watching that man drive past me, and I didn’t want to feel that way again. I’m over here distraught while he’s driving around without a care in the world. God blessed me the day of that accident regardless of the pain I endured so I knew that it was not my job to deal with that man, it was God’s. I felt my baby’s first kicks three days later on Mother’s Day. My baby told me she was ok. Why do we have to deal with the initial hurt of the situation as well as the pain you feel as you are healing and letting go?

To whomever is reading this post and is holding onto hurt, I pray for your release. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. For your sanity. For your future. For your loved ones. True healing and letting go of that hurt gives you your power back.

Let go Queen…