My Life

Online Dating: The Craigslist Killer

He wasn’t really a killer, but he did kill the relationship. I don’t know if many people know but there’s a classified section on Craigslist where you can find someone to date, just like any other dating website right? Wrong. Many of the ads on Craigslist are spam and not real people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve posted an ad and got fake responses. Luckily, no information is given out. They email you through a Craigslist email that’s basically a bunch of numbers, but it goes directly to your email.

So, I met this guy who I found extremely attractive. He was a little older than me and shorter. Mind you, I was young and dumb at this time. This was back in 2012-2013 I believe. Anyway, I came over his house one night and we talked, had half a glass of wine and ended up having sex. Now let me tell you, he was not well endowed, but he was an expert at G-spots, if you know what I’m saying. Back-to-back mind-blowing orgasms, and those are hard to come by for me. Why is it always the crazy men who have great sex? For the life of me that’s mind-boggling.

So I ended up staying with him for a out a week. He didn’t work because he was receiving disability from the military. About 3 weeks went by and he began to show his true colors. He was manipulative, dominating, fascist, and demeaning. When he got angry, he would belittle me and treat me like a child. He even talked to me like I was one of his kids, who btw were my age (he had kids in high school).

Soon enough, I found out he was married, but separated and had a 2 year old daughter. I called it quits and never spoke to him again. After calling it quits, he blew me phone up for about a week until I blocked him. Lucky for me, he didn’t know where I lived. I also found out he had been homeless the year before.

This was not my first Craigslist dating experience. I’ll talk about the other in another post which will be much longer. I will never look to Craigslist for anything more than a job or to sell or buy something.

My Life

Plenty of Fish, but I’m Vegan

If you missed my post about Tinder, click here. Now I’m not new to dating sites, but I’ve had my fair share of experiences. I’m going to have a short series on the dating sites I’ve been on. You can check back each Friday over the next few weeks. Let’s start with POF, or Plenty of Fish.

The first guy I met on there turned out to be a trainer. Little did I know that he wasn’t looking for someone to date, but seducing women to come to his gym and work out, then pay for a membership. When he first asked me out on a gym date, I was hyped. At that time, I was looking to workout and a guy I could workout with was definitely on my list.

When I got to the gym, it looked like a whole in the wall. It was a legit gym but just not one I’ve ever been in. Definitely a small business. So we talked a little before and then he started me on different machines. I didn’t realize that he was actually telling me what to do and he wasn’t working out. He never once said he was a trainer. He was also short (being the same height as me is what I consider short), but he had killer muscles. His body was banging and not to mention, he was a real looker.

Midway through the workout, I began to feel lightheaded and nauseous. Did I forget to mention we were in an enclosed area with no AC? I excused myself to the restroom and vomited like nobody’s business. I came back out feeling much better and told him what happened. He said that my workout was done because I shouldn’t be throwing up.

We then sat down and talked about relationships and all that jazz. Then, out of nowhere, he begins his sales pitch in getting me to buy a membership. I was appalled but more so surprised at how clever this son of a bitch was. I got my shit and left, wondering how many women fell for that.

The next day he messaged me through the app asking about the membership, as if my up and leaving wasn’t a clue. I never responded.

The second guy I met on there was a Nigerian, and let me just put this out there, I’ve had my fair share of bouts with Nigerian men and it’s safe for me to say that I cannot date them. Here’s why.

I met this guy at a sports bar for a drink. I didn’t get a drink because I had stopped drinking and for it being a first date, I didn’t want to be inhibited. He continuously asked me if I wanted a drink the entire time we were there and I refused. He knocked back several beers.

We had great conversation but it wasn’t until it was time to go when shit got real. He walked me to my car like a gentleman, so I thought. Once we were out of eyesight of anyone, he immediately pressed me up against the car and started kissing me roughly. I pushed him away and asked what the fuck does he think he’s doing. He apologized and blamed the beers. I got in my car and started it. Next thing I know he’s climbing into the passenger’s seat. I jump, pressing my back against the door and he’s climbing over trying to kiss me and undo my pants. I kick him in the gut and scream for him to get out.

If I tell y’all he got out with the quickness, like he was the damn Flash! I put my car in reverse and sped out of there. The next day I received a message through the app of him being so apologetic and saying he never meant to make me feel uncomfortable. Apparently it worked because my dumbass agreed to go to his apartment. Why Moniqua?????

I get there and he immediately offers me a glass of wine. I pass. He then gets pushy saying to drink it so I can relax. Red flag right? I again refuse and sit on the couch. (Don’t judge my life, you don’t know me.) We watch the basketball game and he starts to touch me and kiss on my neck. I push him off and he gets mad, saying he invited me to his house and we should have sex. Mind you I didn’t even notice the condoms on the table.

I told him to fuck off, and not to touch me. This dude had the fucking audacity to say, “I should be able to touch your body since I like you. Your body belongs to me and my body belongs to you.” He says this as he runs his hand up my thigh, me stopping him before he gets to my cookie. I stand up and head towards the door. He follows me all the way to my car. He tries to kiss me and I push him away.

I never responded to any of his messages after that and ended up blocking him. I know you’re probably thinking, “This chick is stupid as hell.” I blame my age at the time. This was maybe 7-8 years ago.

After that, I closed my account. Aside from all the dick picks, these two guys were enough to make me get off the site. That’s what happens with free messaging and cheap ass memberships.

My Life

“…lookin’ like a right swipe on Tinder…”

Yes, I know the title may make you think of Cardi B’a song “Drip”, but this post is actually not about someone looking that good. About a week or so ago, I joined Tinder. I hear so much about it and I wanted to check it out for myself. I have to say I am somewhat not impressed. Let me explain.

For those of you who don’t know, Tinder is an online dating website. Many equate it to a hookup type site. All there is to it is to create an account and then start swiping: left for “no” and right for “yes”. Basically if you’re interested in the person or not. My disappointment in the app is that you can’t filter the kind of matches you get: by distance, race, occupation, age, height, etc., like a usual dating site. You’re basically going off of looks which is not good enough for me.

Many of the men don’t have anything in their bios, so you don’t have anything to go off of personality wise. My assumption is that it’s because it forces you to have to message someone to meet up and get to know them: face-to-face interactions. My other quam is that I only date men of a certain race: my race. It’s just my preference, just like everyone else has their preferences. There aren’t too many black men on there, more specifically black men of a certain age. They’re all in their 20s and your girl will be 30 this year. They say “age ain’t nothing but a number,” but it is when you have a child and need someone who is mature enough and ready for responsibilities. I don’t need someone to play daddy, because Boo has a father, however, I need someone mature enough to be around a child and help out. Men younger than, I guess 30, I don’t see as being mature. You know women mature faster than men.

Also, distance is an issue. Now the app asks for you zip code, but I keep getting matches in other states. I’ve tried long distance before and it’s not my cup of tea.

Now, I have seen some pretty decent, reputable looking men, but again, I don’t know their personality. I guess the next step is to send messages with the ones who equally swiped right on me. I’ll keep you posted.

My Life

Closure

Closure is the closing of one chapter and beginning of another. Close one door, another opens. However, don’t mistake closure as burning bridges because it is not, well, depending upon how you go about getting closure.

Closure is more than just relationships. You can get closure from a job, career, friendship, a car, partnership, college, you name it. It’s not just for one specific thing. It can even be closure from a fight or situation. It’s basically you saying that you’re ready to move on from something or someone: letting them/it go.

Closure is single handedly how I’ve come to be where I am. It’s really therapeutic and saves on going to therapy. I see closure as being the final “hoorah” in a sense.

I wrote a letter to my biological father, who is in every sense of the word, a deadbeat black father. I won’t get into details of the letter but I want to talk about how I felt after writing it and sending it to him.

The letter was sent through FB Messenger, only because I don’t have his number or any other way to contact him. I saw that he read the letter but he didn’t respond, and that’s totally okay. See, closure for me is getting everything off my chest: saying what I need to say and being done. Getting everything out in the open is freeing to me, whether the other person responds back or not.

Now, do I think he’ll ever respond? Probably not, but I put it out there for him to should he decided to do so. Am I open to building a relationship? Absolutely not. He’s had 30 years to build one and numerous opportunities to take with me trying. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to build a relationship with him and writing that letter to let him know that I’m done trying and not willing to try in the future, was the closure I needed.

I don’t want to keep hanging on to hoping that one day he’ll come around. I have a son now who has an amazing father. I don’t want to harp on the past or have any resentment. I don’t want Boo to see that. I want him to see the relationship I have with my stepfather and know that mommy has a father figure.

Hatred is something that requires a lot of energy, energy that I am not willing to give anyone. It’s also negative energy. I have never hated him, mainly because I don’t even know him. I don’t know his age, birthday, favorite color, choice of music, nothing. The one thing I do know is he wants nothing to do with me. In essence, he’s not worth any of my energy anymore.

It’s always said to write someone a letter expressing your feelings, but never give it to them. Burn it or keep it and revisit it later and see if you still feel the same. I call horse shit. Write that letter, and as my mother said, “Push the got damn button!” What’s the purpose of writing a letter, expressing your feelings and never letting the person know? What does that solve? Not a damn thing. You can’t have closure by just washing your hands of someone without a word. You’ll then always think about what you should’ve said or what you wanted to say.

I have no regrets in writing nor sending that letter. I felt like he needed to know how I’ve felt over the years and what I’ve dealt with with him being absent. I swore to myself that from this day forward, I won’t let his absence ruin my present and future when it comes to relationships and when it comes to my son and his father. I really pushed for his father to be around and he’s come through every single time. I hope and pray that it stays that way.

Was your father absent in your life? How did it make you feel? Have you let him know? Gotten closure? If it wasn’t your father, but your mother, same questions. Let’s get the conversation going.

 

confessions, My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Confessions of a Single Mom #1: Be Still, Cherish the Moment

There are times when Malakhai just won’t stop crying. Like today. We went to my apartment and it was his first time there. He cried and cried. I was trying to get things done with my blog, apply for jobs, plan new content, eat, and a cohort of other things. I started to think that he hated being there. Every time he would go to sleep, I’d lay him down and he’d throw an entire fit. He has never cried like that before and I was becoming frustrated. I changed him, I fed him, I rocked him, but what he really needed was my full attention and to cuddle with him. See, being at my moms house, we spend a lot of time cuddling and just us time. I haven’t really been trying to work like I did before I had him. Finally, I got undressed, cuddled him in my arms, got under the covers and laid down. He instantly stopped crying and went to sleep. So did I. In that moment, he taught me a valuable lesson. I have plenty of time to work but moments like that will soon go away, so I need to be in the moment, be still and just cherish it. Turn off YT, Netflix and Hulu. Put my phone down. Before I know it, he won’t want to cuddle anymore. So, I’m learning to take advantage of him wanting to be near me, close to me and just being still with me.

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My Life

Back to Interviews

I really thought that my last interview would’ve been my last interview for A while. No such luck.  Due to being on maternity rave and not qualifying for FMLA (family medical leave), my position was given to someone else. I am a teacher and since I had to take a leave of absence to have my baby, my position was given away.

It’s bittersweet to say the least. I’m going to miss my principal, coworkers and students, however, I do want to be closer to home. So, I went ahead and applied to the district I live in in as well as applied to teach homeschooled students online, which is something I’ve wanted to do since I started teaching. That way, I can be home with Boo.

The commute to my old school wasn’t terrible, and there was no traffic, but say if something were to happen with Boo, it’s a bit of a distance to drive, even though he’ll be staying with my mom while I’m at work.

Of course there were things I disliked, but that goes with any job, no matter how much you love it. Somehow, someway, I think this is some sort of blessing in disguise. Not exactly sure how just yet, but I know it is.

I am glad to have worked with such amazing people and even formed friendships. Now I guess it’s time to think about the future and what that may hold. I wouldn’t even mind getting a clerical or secretarial kind of position in the district.

Have you ever been laid off from a job? What did you do? How did you feel?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

My Reason Why

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“Mom” is the best and most important title that I hold. It’s more than a job: it’s a lifetime of love, tears, trials and triumphs. When I became pregnant, I didn’t know how drastically my mindset would change. I think so much differently now. I don’t only think about myself, I think about my child first.

1. Malakhai is the reason I am on this debt free  journey. Getting out of debt has never been more important to me than it is now. I began budgeting towards the end of last year and I was even able to get my savings to 4 digits, which is something I have never been able to do before.

I’ve always been a spender instead of a saver, but now I think long and hard about purchases I make. I have a complete list I run through before I make a purchase, which I will share in another post.

I’m also doing this debt Free Journey so that he and I can travel. By the time he is school age, I want to be able to work part time in order to spend more time with him, teaching and traveling the world. I feel the best kind of education is done outside of the classroom. I want him to be well-traveled and know that America is not the only place there is.

2. Malakhai is the reason I eat healthier than I do prior to becoming pregnant. I now have to decide if what I’m about to consume is going to benefit him. It’s no longer about just benefiting me, but him as well. Since I’m breastfeeding, he consumes what I do.

3. Malakhai is the reason I want to work for myself so that he can see that he doesn’t have to punch in for anybody but himself, hence why I want to be debt free so I can focus more on my business and become a certified health consultant. I want him to be as open minded as I am and to think outside the box.

4. Malakhai is the reason I haven’t lost my shit after giving birth. He’s how I’ve been keeping it together as far as adjusting to motherhood. Looking at his sweet face and holding him, makes me feel like we’re going to be okay, that everything is going to be fine. I am an awesome mother and he is an awesome child. He is why I know I am going to be the best parent I can be for him.

5. Malakhai is the reason I want to better myself: mentally, physically and emotionally. Since he’s a boy, I’m going to have to be in the best shape physically in order to run around and play with him. He’s also more than likely going to want to play sports and go on adventures and I need to be fit to be there for every single thing. Raising a boy into a man, I am going to have to be emotionally and mentally stable to show him that there’s nothing wrong with asking for help or talking your feelings out. I don’t want him to hold anything in. If he’s having a hard time, I don’t want him to hesitate coming to me.

Malakhai is my reason for working towards living the best life I can. He makes me want to do better and be better. It’s amazing how having a child can make you see the world through different lenses.

If you have a child, how did they change you?

Health + Wellness, My Life

Fast Food for Standardized Testing? Nah.

Yesterday my students took their standardized test for the subject I teach (writing). Every year on standardized testing day, some fast food restaurant gives free breakfast. Now I’m all for free, however, the restaurants giving the free breakfast are terrible. This year, it happened to be the worst fast food place of all: McDeath…I mean McDonald’s.

McDonald’s has to be the worst fast food place of all fast food places. Their food is fake, full of chemicals, MSG, and a host of other things that should not be ingested. Everyone knows that they should not go there. Not only that, because everyone was waiting in line for their free meal, kids ended up being late.

Another reason I hate that these places give free fast food on testing day is that the parents will take their kids and give them this terrible food, which causes them to be sluggish, unfocused and sick. They won’t perform as well on their test because of the chemicals affecting their brain and ability to concentrate.

I really wish parents would stop giving their kids fast food. I have a student who gets donuts every morning for breakfast and for lunch they have some kind of animal on steroids because I have never seen meat that big. Then the parent wonders why this child is always sleep. The shit you’re feeding them is slowing them down and shutting their system down. To me, giving your child fast food is child abuse. People never think about what they’re feeding their child is child abuse. Child abuse comes in different forms but that’s a topic for another post.

How do you feel about children eating fast food? If you feed your child fast food, why? Would love to get a healthy discussion going.

My Life

Professional Quitter…

I’ve quit a great many things in my day. I would always get a great idea, start, get bored or become complacent, and then stop. That is what has happened with my journaling.

Growing up, I was an avid writer. I went through diaries like none other. I was an emotional kid who suffered from some trauma, and writing was my way of coping. As I got older, the writing became more intense. (Side note: I regret not keeping my diaries over the years.) It matured as I did. When I was in a dark place, which was often, I would write. It kept me from committing suicide several times.

Writing helps to keep me focused and allows me to pour out and dump my emotions on the page rather than in someone else. I hate dumping my emotions on others to where they now have to carry that package, passing off negative energy. Yes, it is true that there are people who get paid to be dumped on (no pun intended), but I just don’t feel that comfortable dumping on anything but a toilet.

Over the last few years I have started and stopped writing in my journal. I remember year before last that I wrote in it everyday. For some reason during my pregnancy, I just haven’t wanted to write in it and I think that may be because I’m actually happy. On the other hand, that’s no excuse to stop writing in it. I should write when I’m happy, mad, sad, depressed, etc. Why is it that we always nurse the bad moments and sonwuick to celebrate the good then move on? How backwards is that?

I’m not going to lie and say that I vow to write in my journal everyday, but I will be more consistent, even in my happy moments. Sometimes I may take to my blog for journaling sessions and that’s okay. It’s fine to want others to talk to that don’t know you but may somehow understand how you feel and what you’re going through.

Have you ever found that you start and stop something often? Or are you the type that others envy because you’re so damn consistent? Share you thoughts below!

xoxo,

Moniqua LaShae, aka the quitter

My Life

Thank You for 600+

When I started this blog back in college, it began as a news blog. Had you told me then that today it would be a thriving lifestyle and mommy blog, I would’ve told you that you’re crazy and to not wish that upon me. At one point I had over 2,000 followers, then I deleted that blog and all of my social media. I started over. I have actually started over numerous times over the years and have changed my blog name as many times as well. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I could no longer keep The Black Vegan Author. I knew my blog had to be more versatile.

As of today, I have 647 of you lovely people following, and counting. I am so appreciative and thrilled for all of my new followers and that you somehow found my blog. Many of you are email subscribers and how you found my blog, I have no idea but I am glad that you did. I hope that you find my up and coming content inspiring and helpful, as well as relatable to your own life. I want this blog to be about my experiences through life as a millennial mama, a vegan, an author, an editor, an entrepreneur, a debt crusher, an educator, a blogger, and a traveler.

My hope is that you will go on this journey with me and share anything that you think your loved ones, friends, family, or social media peeps need to see. Tell everyone you know about my blog and let’s keep the family growing.

When I continued to have my blog, I didn’t imagine that it would grow back to the 2k that I had before. I didn’t even think I would be as consistent about it. In all honesty, I didn’t even know why I had a blog until more people started reading posts, liking, sharing and even leaving feedback. It gave me even more reason to delete all my videos on YouTube and start putting them in posts on my site instead. Keeping my content in one place is easier for me and as many of you have mentioned, it is easier for you as well.

Let’s keep going and strive for 1K followers. Maybe I’ll even do a giveaway at that point. My first giveaway at that.

Thank you again for subscribing and following!

Moniqua LaShae

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

I Don’t See How You Do It

I seem to be getting this statement a lot from my coworkers being that I am 9 months pregnant and still working. To many of them it seems abnormal to still be working this long. Thing is, I am a parent who is single, therefore, there is no one at home to help me with the bills, and seeing as how I don’t get paid while I’m on maternity leave (which I find highly absurd), I have to work up until my due date so that I am not missing a lot of money. Luckily for me, I am a teacher, so I still get my summer pay, I just won’t get paid for the month of May. Also, the first 8 days of my maternity leave are paid PTO days, so in essence, I am not really missing that much, but still.

I always wonder why some women, and men, feel that a woman who works up until she goes into labor is something out of the Twilight Zone. I am healthy and active, and so is my baby. I don’t have a high-risk pregnancy and I have been active my entire pregnancy. I honestly believe that has a lot to do with why I am still able to work. Again, I am also a teacher so it’s not like it’s a lot of strain and I am able to sit, take breaks and have snacks. That makes it much easier, however, I still don’t understand why it was so difficult for my coworkers to be able to stay at work until they were ready to deliver. Then again, most of them had that option because they were married.

I think that staying active during pregnancy allows you to be able to work longer if you don’t have a physically demanding job. Along with staying active, drinking lots of water, getting a plethora of rest, and eating a healthy diet (I am going on 5 years of being vegan), can contribute to preventing things like pre eclampsia, swelling and fatigue. Now I won’t lie, I am tired, but that’s mainly because I am so far in my pregnancy that getting in a comfortable position to sleep has become rather difficult.

Something else that has helped me is not letting myself get stressed over things that are out of my hands. I don’t let the stressors of being a teacher weigh on my like some of my fellow coworkers and teacher friends. I am here to do one job and one job only: teach these kids to write to the best of my ability and to assist them in becoming confident and successful in their academic career. Everything else I tend to push to the side. I don’t have the time nor the energy for workplace drama, which comes with any job no matter, where or what it is.

If you are a mama who was able to stay at work until you went into labor, what are some factors taht you think contributed to that? Also, how did you handle people who constantly said, “I don’t see how you do it”?

All Black Everything, My Life

#BWWPCHOU Meetup

A few weeks ago I attended a planner meetup with my mom. We had an amazing time in this room full of black women who plan their lives to keep it together. Some of these women were hardcore planners while we also had some that just started. As for me, I’m in between, with only 3 planners.

I stumbled upon this group when I found the main Facebook page for the entire country and didn’t realize there were smaller city chapters. Now I don’t feel so alone. I used to think planning and planners were for white women but now I see it’s for every woman, especially those of us who are mothers. How else are we going to keep from losing our shit?

Planning has helped me in more ways than one. Being pregnant, I forget things often. It can be something that was said less than a minute ago and already I have forgotten. I’ve found that with writing things down, I can go back and remember important information.

Budget planning helps to keep money in the bank. I have never budgeted j til now and when I sit down at the end of each month, I see where my money is going (mainly to food, shh).

I also have a teacher planner because, well, I’m a teacher and we have all sorts of dates and deadlines for things. I can’t keep up with all of that so what I do is take the district calendar and write down all the dates as well as my school’s calendar.

Below are some pics from the festivities. Definitely cannot wait until the next planner meetup.

My Life

JOMO

I listen to the Minimalist Moms podcast every morning and one thing they talked about that pertains to minimalism is JOMO: the joy of missing out. I have to say that I have a severe case of this because missing out on things does not bother me. When friends cancel, I don’t fear that I missed something. I am overjoyed. When friends have a get together or when I see my friends doing so many great things or going to events on social media, I don’t have a fear that I’m missing out or that I missed out on anything.

What I’ve learned on this minimalism journey is that I don’t have to attend every event. This also reigns true for my debt free journey. There will be plenty of times where I will miss out but who cares? What’s important to others is not always important to me and vice versa.

People tend to make fun of those who are homebodies, which really comes from their lack of understanding of why someone would choose to stay at home over going out, getting drunk, gossiping, living the wild life. I prefer to only attend functions that benefit me in stimulating conversation, networking, collaborating or a means to increase and better my business. If it has nothing to do with those, count me out.

Now that I have a baby boy on the way, I’m sure my priorities and wanting to go out will change, meaning, I will be more willing to go out to the park, meet up with other moms for play dates, and when he gets older, take him to places like an indoor trampoline park. That type of going out will benefit me in a way that my son is having fun and I am spending time with him doing something that he enjoys or that we enjoy together.

Do I feel like I’m missing out because I see my friends have sleepovers and I’m not invited? Absolutely not. I didn’t even go to sleepovers as a child (maybe one or two that I rememer). I feel as though I would be awkward in that type of setting.

I think the thing is is that I haven’t found a small number of women near me that share the same interests such as veganism, children, health, politics, racial issues, the universe, meditating, spirituality, creating (blogging, business, planning), etc. I have many interests that a lot of women that I know don’t share. Nowadays it’s Love and Hip Hop, the Kardashians and other people and things that are irrelevant to my growth and life.

It’s been said that it’s not okay to not have friends. I agree to the point that it’s not okay to not have friends that share the same interests or are on the same path. It’s not oaky to have friends that bring you down and would rather see you fail than prosper. Those types of people are the ones who give me JOMO because I know that whatever activity they are partaking in, I’m not with it.

Do you have the case of the JOMO? Why or why not?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Issa Gender Reveal!!!

January 13. 2018 was my gender reveal. Even though I already knew my baby was going to be a boy, my family and friends didn’t. I wasn’t excited at first about having a gender reveal, but as it came closer to the day, I got really excited. My mom did a phenomenal job and I am anxious to see what she does for the shower. I was happy that it was a small gathering and that everyone that was there was someone that I knew.

Introducing, Malakhai Lee!

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Thoughts on being a Single Mother

Never did I ever think that I would be a single mother, nor did I ever think that I would be pregnant, but, here I am. As for being a single mother, I am not depressed or upset by it because I know that there is a man out there who will love me and my baby. Granted getting pregnant under the circumstances wasn’t ideal, I am so glad that I am going to be a mom.

I used to always look at and judge single parents, women mostly, despite the fact that at one point my own mother was a single mom. It wasn’t until I started realizing the situations that makes a woman a single mom and becoming pregnant myself, that I understood.

Reasons a woman becomes a single mom:

Boyfriend/fiancé/husband dies

Divorce

Abuse

Incarceration

Irreconcilable differences

Rape

Man is married

Prostitution

Stripping

One night stand

Incest

And the list goes on and on and on. There are so many reasons and it’s crazy because women get judged for being single mothers, but men don’t get judged for being single fathers. In fact, they get praised (ain’t that some shit?).

For me, being a single mom and my baby isn’t even born yet, I have become such a stronger person. Decision-making has become so cutthroat for me and I don’t even care anymore. If it does not benefit my baby or brings negativity, it’s gone. My only concern nowadays are staying healthy, stress/drama free, birthing a healthy baby and being an amazing mom to a dark-skinned child. If you are not trying to help with any of those things, keep it moving.

I have yet to go to any single parent meetups because I honestly am not comfortable just yet, and that has nothing to do with me being ashamed of being a single parent, because there are millions of single parents. It more so has to do with me being an introvert and also being asked the situation with my child’s father. The situation I know many women have been in (no it’s not rape, abuse or incest, nothing like that), but I am not ready to talk about it more so because of embarrassment because I used to judge women in this situation and now I am one of them.

I have a cousin who is a single mom and despite her situation with the father, she is a damn good mother and has been doing it on her own for a few years, by herself (of course with the help of our family, hey Azia!). I also have a cousin (Azia’s brother) who was a single father for some time. I come from a family of strong individuals, and the amount of support they give, you never feel alone, even though I do feel alone at this point since no one agrees with my decision to have a midwife and have a water birth (that will be for another post).

Being a parent used to mean that my life had to stop and that I couldn’t do any of the things I want to do, which is why I never wanted kids. But having met and watched through social media, some of these amazing, black, single mothers and how they are manifesting on their own with their child(ren), I can’t help but to believe that I can still do everything I want, and still be an awesome mom. Having a child by yourself does not have to be an obstacle or barrier in the way of you are your dreams. Life does not stop when you have a child. It tends to accelerate and you have to go with it.

My time management skills are so on point that, that I know I can continue to be a blogger, YouTuber, writer, and entrepreneur even after my baby is born. Single motherhood does not define who I am. Yes, I am single and a mother, but I am also so much more.

My Life

2018, Keep Doing Your Job Boo

2018 has already been taking care of me by exing people out of my life who don’t need to be there and to be honest, I can’t say that I am not happy about it. It’s nice when people remove themselves from your life and save you the time, energy and trouble. Even if you have been friends with someone for so long and have been family since birth, if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be.

I made a vow to myself and my baby that we would not tolerate toxicity, negativity or anything that only brings drama and unnecessary bullshit. We are only 3 weeks into the New Year and all of that is weeding itself out. I have already made new mommy friends and nonmommy friends and it’s exciting.

When you are living for you and only you, you tend to not care when people leave your life. If they aren’t there to help you live in your purpose, they aren’t for you. I learned this through a very close friend of mine.

It saddens me how someone can believe that when people don’t like them or they stop associating with them, these people are automatically jealous. Honey, you have nothing that nobody wants and you need to get over yourself. I have ran into too many people like this in my life and it’s sad that you think you have something that someone else wants, but clearly you don’t.

People who are so unhappy with themselves and the situations they are in, projecting this unhappiness on others, is truly absurd. You can’t blame anyone else but yourself for the way your life is set up and for the things going on. You chose that path and the only person that can change it is you. Maybe what you did in your past is now coming back to you: karma is a stank bitch.

I’ve learned that we and only we are responsible for the things we allow to happen to us. We can’t keep complaining about the same old thing, every single day and not do anything to change it, yet expect it to change through complaining. Sweetheart, it doesn’t work that way. You want a better life? Get off your ass and make it happen. Also, become a better person. That always helps.

I know this post is all over the place, but I hope it touches someone or motivates someone.

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Getting an Abortion

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was devastated. During that time, I was set to move to China and start a new life and career. I had my visa documents and everything. All I was waiting on was my plane ticket. Then I found out I was pregnant. That brought everything to a screeching halt.

I was getting medical checks regularly because you have to be in good health. The doctor kept saying my blood pressure was high and I have never had high blood pressure. I thought maybe because I was stressed and I also didn’t like her. Unbeknownst to me, I was pregnant.

I found out I was pregnant on August 13, 2017. My period was late by a day or two and I just knew I was pregnant. I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive. I laughed it off and took another. It came back positive too. I immediately stopped breathing. I literally felt my heart stop. I wasn’t ready to be a mom nor did I want to be one. I didn’t want kids.

My first stop was to my mother’s house because I was going painting with her and my grandmother that day. I told my mom through my tears and trying to catch my breath. If you know my mom, you know she was hella excited, this being her first grandbaby and all. I also told my brother and stepdad who were there. They were all supportive. Then I told my baby’s father and that’s when things changed.

We agreed upon me getting an abortion because I had life plans and so did he. I was going to fucking China!!! So, I called the abortion clinic and went the next day. I just knew I was doing the right thing until I got there. I won’t mention the clinic but it was small and not very attractive. I waited in the waiting room for what felt like hours.

Once I was called back, I sat in this hallway with a bunch of other women. The woman sitting next to me was telling a woman who was crying that she’ll be fine. She had had several abortions with her boyfriend and she turns out fine every time. That’s when reality set in. Women actually do this to fix what they consider a “mistake”. Some even do it repeatedly with no remorse. At that point I wanted to leave, but I stayed. Something told me to stay.

I looked a few seats down and there was this room I kept seeing women come out of with a nurse. These women were in a daze and could barely walk. That’s when I realized we were by the operating room. We were also by the back door where the women went out of once the abortion was done.

I started to really panic. By that point a nurse called me in to get an ultrasound. They couldn’t find the baby on the screen. I began to breathe hoping that meant those pregnancy tests were wrong. Then they made me take a pre test and blood test. The pee test came back as a light positive and I had to wait 24 hours for the blood test.

After that I went and saw a counselor and she explained to my how the operation worked and how the pill worked. Both options sounded horrific. I was mortified. I made my appointment for two days later, on a Wednesday. I came out and passed this room that was dark and I saw all these women in there. Some curled up, some crying and some sleeping. These women were waiting for their rides to come pick them up. They had already had their procedure. I quickly left the building.

I cried all the rest of that day and that night, into the next morning. I was scared and didn’t know what to do. One thing was for sure. I can’t remember at which moment it was: the woman telling about her numerous abortions, the operating room, the counselor or the room full of post-op women, but I knew I was going to keep my baby. I knew for certain I was not going to go through with the abortion. That morning the clinic called me back to confirm my blood test came back positive for being pregnant.

The morning of when I was supposed to get my procedure, I got a phone call from a school to come and have me interview for a teaching position. I ended up getting an interview and hired the same day. I realize now that had I gone through with the abortion, I wouldn’t have gotten this job. I would also be in China right now. This job was a job I had been wanting: it was a writing position. I was going to be teaching writing and I was happier than anyone could ever know.

I share this story because I know women contemplate abortions every second of every day and I know women who actually go through with them. Either way, both are difficult decisions: either keep or get rid of your baby. Ultimately, my decision to keep my baby was that there are no mistakes. I knew the outcomes of having unprotected sex with no birth control. This baby is not at fault and therefore, having an abortion, was not a solution because being pregnant wasn’t a problem. This was an unplanned planned pregnancy, meaning it wasn’t intentional but I also didn’t try to prevent it.

Now, almost 7 months later, I am in a better, happier place. I have an amazing job, a new car (not fancy though), a new apartment and a bundle of joy who will arrive in April. My child’s father is now on board and excited about having a child. This is a first for the both of us so we will be learning as we go. We have the support of family and friends. Even though I am single mom, the relationship I have with my child’s father is going to make for an awesome coparenting relationship.

Every time I feel my baby kick, I get more and more excited. I’m at the stage in my pregnancy where the baby is moving around a lot and making their little presence known. I know as I get into my third trimester, I will feel the baby kick and move even more. I keep thinking what if I had gone through with the abortion, what my life would be like now. Then I think about how my life is now and I’m happy. I can’t keep living in the what if’s or the past.

Granted, I could’ve still gone to China with my baby, but being a single, FTM in a country that I’ve never been to, that just didn’t seem logical. Plus, here, I have the help of family and friends.

It’s interesting to look back on how I started at the beginning of my pregnancy and how I felt, to now. I feel like I’m a completely different person. I’m already in mommy mode and my baby isn’t even here yet.

If you have a story to share, share it below or feel free to contact me if you want it to be private.

I want to let women know that they are not alone in whatever decisions they make. There is always someone who has been through or is going through the same thing. It may seem scary right now and like it’s not the right time, but everything happens for a reason. I think me getting pregnant and deciding to keep my baby, is going to make me a better woman, someone whom I never thought I could or would be.

So this is my story and I hope that it helps someone else.

My Life

I’m back!!

The holidays have past, and school has started again. These past couple of weeks have been nice being off from work. I am not one who cares much for holidays, but I do love spending time with my family. December was our first cold winter in a while. With temperatures in the 40s (that’s cold for us southerners). I stayed inside most of the break, which is what I normally do anyway.

I spent a lot of time working in my planner and getting things ready for the new year. I will show details of that at a later date in a YouTube video. I have recently gotten into heavy planning to really get my life together. I have a baby coming soon and I need to be prepared for their arrival. This will also help me to keep myself on track so that nothing changes when the baby gets here.

I also created a vision board (which will also be shown in at a later date in a video) so that I can visually see my goals and keep track as I achieve them. This method holds me accountable. I had a vision board on Pinterest but it just didn’t help because that meant every time I wanted to see it, I would have to log in to my phone. I should have created vision board before now, however, life sometimes gets in the way.

I have created a schedule for blog posts and YouTube videos, as well as planning out how I am going to work my Instagram. I have deleted a lot of photos (I have less than 100 now) and I want to start posting with intention, instead of how I was doing before (just posting to be posting). I want all content that I create across all of my platforms to be intentional and informational for those who watch, read and follow. I consider these to be leisure activities that provoke thought. I want to stay on a schedule and that is why I am intentionally planning with my planner.

Debthas been a burden on me for many years and now that my baby will soon be here, I have to stick to a strict budget in order to pay off debts and give my child the best life possible. I don’t want to struggle. Even though my child’s father is supportive and I have my family, I still need to be able to do things on my own so when my child grows up, they will know that mommy worked her ass off to make sure that they want for nothing. I have a budget planner, a debt thermometer and a snowball calculator to keep me on track and hold me accountable. I have already input my data for all of these tools as well as my projections for savings each month. I will succeed.

The above items are what I have been working on over the past couple of weeks to make sure that I entered 2018 with clear intentions, a set plan, a changed mindset, and a confident attitude.

What are some things you have been working on in order to make sure 2018 is your best year yet?

My Life

Goals for 2018

A new year means new goals. I don’t believe in resolutions. I believe in goals, something to work towards. I do these posts every year on this day because it’s something to look back on. My goals for 2017, crushed majority of them. I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store. Without further ado:

  1. Have a happy, healthy baby.
  2. Run a successful lifestyle and mom blog.
  3. Pay off half of my student loans.
  4. Put a down payment on a house.
  5. Have a fire post baby body.
  6. Continue to be a writing teacher or write full time.
  7. Featured in Black magazines/YT channels/blogs.
  8. Make Forbes list.
  9. Do more freelance work.
  10. Fall in love.
  11. Travel.
  12. Work from home.

These goals are very attainable (Forbes list is a stretch but dammit it will be one of my goals until I make it). I always tell people when setting goals, make sure they are logical and within reason (also have one or two that are a stretch, something to work harder towards).

What are your goals for 2018?

My Life

3 Things 2017 Taught Me

We are always learning lessons, more so as we get older. This past year has been a whirlwind of learning and life events. Not all have been good, and not all have been bad. I have to say 2017 was a pretty damn good year.

  1. Budgeting. I have been on a strict budget and I have to say, it has paid off, literally. I’ve paid off a good amount of debts this year and it showed me that I can manage my money. I used to be this huge spender, especially when it came to food and clothes. I’ve become more frugal and minimalistic and that has been a money saver. I don’t buy anything that is not an absolute need. If I leave something in the store and the next time I come back and it’s not there, that means I didn’t need it. I always used to confuse my needs and wants ( not really, I just needed everything I wanted lol). Needs are things that you can’t live without and I had to keep that mindset.
  2. Consistency. I think 2017 has been my least consistent year when it comes to my blog, YT channel and novels. I have slacked so much this year and I now realize that that contributes a lot to me falling further and further behind of becoming a full time creator. Had I been as consistent as I know I could’ve and should’ve been, I may be in a different place right now. I let outside distractions deter me from my goal, and now I am paying for it. Could I have been a full time blogger and creator by now? Damn skippy, but I let all of these outside distractions occupy my mental. I remember when I first started my blog how dedicated I was, posting almost everyday. I have now set a schedule to where there are at least 2 new posts a week. I would let the ways of others and how they run their blogs influence my moves, but now, I know that techniques don’t work the same for everyone and don’t fit every situation. I have to run my business the way I see that best fits me and my consumers (that would be you, the person reading this).
  3. Love. Love is not just for another person of the opposite sex. I have learned that love can be for anyone. I fell in love this year and I know in 2018 I will fall deeper in love when my baby is born. I never knew how being pregnant can open your eyes to a different kind of love. Feeling my baby kick is the most beautiful thing and knowing that I am doing everything in my power to make sure my little one comes out healthy, there’s no greater love than that. I always equated love to being something I would feel with a man, not knowing that love is family, children, friends, etc. There is not one definition of love nor one person whom it’s for. Love can be for anyone. Do I still want love from my mate one day? Of course I do. Who doesn’t? But I had to learn that love has no number (person).

What is something, or some things, that 2017 has taught you?

My Life

The Snow Has Fallen…

It doesn’t typically snow in Houston, in fact it’s been about 9-10 years since the last time it snowed. I woke up Friday morning to the ground, trees, cars and rooftops covered in a white powder. Surely this was not Houston.

The snow was beautiful while it lasted. Within a few hours of the sky brightening up, the snow had melted, as if it were just a mirage. Many of my students had played in it before coming to school, for they had never seen real snow. It’s times like this that I appreciate Houston giving us all a once in a lifetime memory to share.

Health + Wellness, Minimalism, My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Veganism, Minimalism, and Spirituality

I was listening to a podcast the other day (Minimalist Moms) and they were talking about minimalism and spirituality. I consider myself a spiritual person and that more so came to light after my transition to being vegan. When you realize that all these animal products, processed foods and fake foods are not needed to survive, it makes you wonder what else you can live without.

I think after the first year, I began to realize that I had way too many things. I lived with my mom at the time and we lived in this big two story house that had 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, an office, huge living and dining room, 3 car garage, the works. I was grateful, but I began to feel like I was drowning. That is when I decided to start giving things away. The Purple Heart would come to our house and pick up any donations we had, and every time they came, there was plenty to give away. Even my mom was giving stuff away.

Once I got ready to move into my first apartment, I had bags and bags full of stuff that I was not taking with me. Once I moved and set up my new apartment, I realized that I had so much empty space. I lived in a nearly empty apartment for 14 months. It was depressing. I rarely invited people over because I was embarrassed. I had this huge apartment and nothing to fill it with, nor was I going to fill it.

When my lease was almost up, I went on the hunt for a much smaller apartment. I was elated when I finally found the perfect one. The living room was much smaller and it had a separate dining area; the closet was half the size of the old one; the bathroom was also smaller with a smaller linen closet and smaller garden tub; and the bedroom was about the same size.

Once I had moved all of my things in, I realized I did not have enough space for everything, and again, I had to give and throw things away. Every cabinet and closet is full to the brim with necessities (which is not a lot given how small everything is). Even though I have a baby on the way, there is enough stuff for their things to go. I’m just going to have to let the grandparents and family know to keep things to a minimum.

Being vegan opens your mind to societal norms, values, and morals, and makes you see how everything we’ve ever been taught was a lie. We are told to work more so that we can buy more things. We are manipulated into wanting a bigger house to fill it with expensive things and nicer, fancier, expensive cars. We are told we need all these things to make us happy and to live the “American Dream.”

I often times think about people who are homeless or those who don’t have many or any valuables, and how many of them are happy. There are homeless people who are actually happy; one of them is a friend of mine. I watched his journey moving from Houston to New York. He lives in a homeless shelter and all of his things fit in a backpack. He is the happiest person I know and it amazes me at his spirit and joy. We have talked on several occasions, and I follow his blog, YouTube and social media.

I do plan to live in a tiny house one day soon, but we will see how things go.

Spirituality

My spirituality changed when I became vegan because like I said before, when you realize that you have been told lies all your life about food, what other lies have we been told?

I began to do my research on the history of Christianity and Jesus Christ and what I found out was disturbing. During the times of slavery, Black people were only allowed to read the bible, and only a select few at that, mainly Black men who were appointed pastor by the slave master to keep the slaves in check. The slave masters would drill these lies about Jesus Christ (a white man with blue eyes and brown straight hair, sometimes it was blond, with white skin), and how if we don’t worship him, we were going to this place called hell (funny thing is we already live in hell).

Christianity was forced upon slaves in order to keep them dependent upon the white man and the slave masters, to make them feel that they are all they have. That translates into today. Many Black people work for the white man and are dependent upon him for a paycheck. I did more research and came to the conclusion that church really wasn’t for me. When I lived with my mom, I went to church because that wasn’t an option. I first started going to her church where the pastor is a white man (oh, the irony). I quickly realized that that wasn’t the church for me. I went to two other Black churches and I felt like a slave, being brainwashed into believing the lies coming out of the pastors’ mouths.

Do these pastors not know the history behind the negro church and why only Black men are pastors? Does that not strike them as odd? When I moved out, I immediately stopped going to church and created my own altar for me to worship my ancestors, meditate and journal. It felt right, right from the beginning. I turn on my oil diffuser, meditate for about 10 minutes and then journal. It gives me a sense of peace. I do this normally every Sunday morning, and other times when I feel I need to (mainly when I’m stressed).

I’ve found that more millennials have taken this route of spirituality, letting go of Christianity and the Black church. Our parents and grandparents don’t understand, and even find it demonic or heathenist or witchcraft, but little do they know that when they pray, that is a form of witchcraft. Praying is the same thing as reciting a spell. You pray for things you want, the healing of others, love, righteousness, happiness, etc. That’s casting a spell.

Back to the minimalist side, I keep my altar fairly simple. If you would like a tour, click here. I have updated it and added a couple of new pieces. I will do another post later on with the specifics of everything and why I have everything on it.

Veganism, minimalisim and spirituality go hand in hand.

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Dear Bitter Moms

Since I’ve been pregnant, you have been projecting your opinions and oppositions at me. It’s like once women have had children, they always feel like experts, but that’s not the case. Not every woman is the same, nor is every birth or pregnancy. Just because I choose to have a different birthing experience than you, does not mean that I don’t know what I’m talking about, or that I’m young and dumb.

I made a post on Instagram about hospital births and one bitter mom said that us “young moms think (we) know it all.” She went in to say that she’s been a mom for 15 years and that “medications are in place for a reason.” Well, that’s how you feel but not how I feel. It’s almost as if it’s wrong to have a difference in opinion.

I feel like FTM are always getting attacked because we want something different for our experience. To be honest I don’t plan on having more kids, so I want this experience to be memorable. My age has nothing to do with my knowledge and I think that’s where you “bitter moms” get things twisted. Just because your birthing experience with medications and what not was great, that is not the case for everyone else.

Now before you get your panties in a twist and let your fingers pull the angrily typing trigger, I’m not saying that having babies in a hospital is bad, or makes you a bad parent, or that I’m better than you. What I’m saying is, not everyone wants that. If that’s what you felt was right for you, then by all means it was right for you. It’s just not right for me.

People tend to go along with what they’ve been taught, have always known/seen, or just with what society says. If you follow me on social media, you know I go against the so-called “norm”, especially in the black community. It’s not normal to be black and vegan, non-religious, having a midwife and water birth, and practicing natural remedies for healing.

Why should I conform to black societal norms when I can live my life the way I see fit for me and my baby?

In closing, to all you “bitter moms”, keep your opinions to yourself. Just because you have had experience being a mom and giving birth, does not mean shit to me. We are nothing alike; we aren’t even on the same damn frequency.

Signed,

A fed up FTM

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Midwife and Water Birth

I have been searching and searching for months to find a midwife (specifically a black one) to deliver my baby. I have always been interested in a water birth and I have seen hundreds of videos. Yesterday (November 20) I met with Afua Hassan, owner of The Birthing Place, in Houston, Tx. Soon as I stepped in, I knew immediately that that is where I wanted to have my baby. It’s so welcoming and the scents from the essential oils is what really got my attention (I’m an essential oil junkie).

She gave me a tour of the center. It has two bathrooms, two birthing rooms and two birthing pools. I was sold. She is very personable and attentive. We talked for quite some time and I knew that when I left, she was going to be my midwife. I didn’t know how I was going to pay her, but I knew she was it.

A water birth resonates with me because they baby is in water for 9 months (actually 10), so why not have the baby born in water? It just makes sense. She went over the transfer procedure, in case I need to be transported to the hospital. She basically settled all my doubts and fears, and answered all of my questions.

Though I don’t have much support in this decision, I have to do what is best for me and my baby, and having a midwife and water birth is best.  I am all about energy and vibes, and I don’t get positive or energizing vibes from the hospital. I wait for 2 hours in the waiting room just to see my OB/gyn for five minutes then pay and leave. I want and need an experience that I will remember and can tell my child when they get older.

I am excited to work with Afua and bring my baby safely, and naturally into this world.

My Life, Uncategorized

4 Years Vegan!!

I can’t believe it has already been four years that I have adopted a plant based lifestyle. I remember like it was just yesterday (it was actually last Friday that made 4 years, November 17). It was right before the thanks-for-killing-millions-of-Indians break, and I was so sick. I had spent the weekend in Huntsville, Texas, on a field trip with some of the kids from the YMCA that I was working with. I was vegetarian at the time and that weekend was full of just cheese pizza. When I came back, the constipation was so real.

On November 17, 2013, I made the decision to give up all dairy and eggs. No transitioning or anything. I didn’t like the constipation and stomach pains, and I really had no reason to continue eating dairy and eggs. My family thought I was crazy and didn’t think it would last, but here I am, 4 years later, thriving and about to have a little vegan human soon.

I won’t say that being vegan has been easy; there were times that I slipped and ate something that was made with dairy or eggs. Funny thing is, I couldn’t finish eating it because it tasted so different and weird. Once your taste buds become accustomed to not having something and you finally have it, you don’t want it anymore. Meat is the only thing I have not slipped up and eaten simply because the thought of it makes me want to vomit. Although, I still love the smell of bacon cooking.

If you are having doubts or wondering about this journey, check my shop page for my guide to veganism and meal plans.