Year 30

Top: American Eagle, Bottom: Target, Shoes: Nike

Photography by: Sharita Sims (IG: @browngyps)


I used to think that by the time I was thirty I would be living in NYC with my husband and two kids, having a thriving career in the fashion industry. To me, 30 meant having my shit together. Well... I turned 30 years young last Friday (June 23, 2017). I'm still living in Louisiana, single, grinding gig to gig, and can't even fathom the idea of having children right now. It's funny how I subconsciously put myself in a box. A box that limited the possibilities of having a full life of my own before having to factor anyone else in. It was like an imaginary time capsule of a picture perfect lifestyle that deep down inside, I knew I wasn't ready for. I hadn't earned that life just yet. I thought it would all just happen for me, effortlessly. Little did I know the self work that needed to happen for those ideals to even be an option.

My twenties were extremely rough. I went through repeated cycles of rejection, unrequited love, tragic loss, toxic behavior, intense relationships, surfing deep emotional waves... I thought I'd reached my lowest point at least 4 times over the course of 10 years. Though, sprinkled through those years were tons of lessons, awesome career opportunities, serendipitous moments, and a lot of smiles and laughter. I have no regrets, though there were many moments where I could've spared myself the turmoil. I've had to recalibrate my personal views of myself and the people I keep around, identifying more specifically what I truly wanted out of life.

I'm learning that the woman I originally thought I'd be is no measure to the woman that I am becoming. The woman I am now needed those breakthroughs, so that the woman I am becoming could stand a chance at living to my fullest potential. I've taken some time to figure out what turning 30 means to me, and what all I'd like to leave behind in my 20's. Three decades of my existence have passed...these are some lessons that I've learned thus far...

• Balance is essential in all matters of love and life

• My talents from my childhood are all being put to good use

• Friends come and go, and that's okay

• Friendship looks like trust, transparency, tough love, and acceptance

• Maintaining relationships with people is challenging

• People will always show you their true intentions, as long as you pay attention

• Everyone has layers

• My intuition is always spot on

• Discernment is the theme of my life

• I'm more of an introvert than I realized

• Depression is a bitch

• Abuse comes in many forms

• My anxiety has held me back in most situations

• It's easier to break cycles once you've recognized them

• I worry a lot ...TOO MUCH.

• My sensitivity is beautiful and I'm learning to embrace it

• Vulnerability has always been a challenge for me but I'm getting better at it

• My mind is overflowing with thoughts that I have yet to share

• I have deep rooted complexes about myself that I'm still figuring out

• I am unknowingly/unintentionally intimidating to a lot of men and women

• I have insecurities about my body, but I'm learning to embrace it

• I will probably always look at least 6 years younger than my true age, but I'm sure I'll appreciate it more 6 years from now

• I do not need anyone else's validation

• My happiness is measured by what I put into my life

• Marriage is sacred and should be taken very seriously

• I'm still single with no children

• Being single isn't the worst thing on the planet

• I have yet to give up on love

• I must always love myself first

• Self care is a priority

• My heart has been pieced back together so many times, that I've lost count

• My heart is much stronger than I knew

• Every rejection I've had, now makes sense to me

• I have the ability to love someone wholeheartedly from a distance

• I have not forgiven all who've hurt me [yet]

• I have no tolerance for bullshit

• I have a better handle on my anger nowadays

• I have severe back pains from carrying other people's weight

• I have clairvoyant abilities that I'm still discovering

• My dreams are still attainable

• I am more careful of what I speak aloud

• Life is precious and can be taken in an instant

• Life is nothing but lessons and transitions

• Death is a form of transcendence

• Being a black woman in America is exhausting

• Black lives matter to me, but not to the vast majority of people in this country

• Peace and Love are the cure to everything

• My voice is my weapon

• My mind is my guide to freedom

• The power of the Universe is REAL

• I have only scratched the surface of my life

Year 30, what's good?

To The One's Who've Broken My Heart...

You've put me through physical, emotional, and psychological pain

Wounds that I've barely allowed to heal

You've ripped my heart out a million times

And I've casually handed it right back to you


How had I allowed this?


I guess the beauty that I saw in you , I couldn't see in me

And I was blinded from the nastiness that you gave back,

You gifted me only a piece of yourself and I gladly accepted

Because my wide open heart wanted to fill in the cavities of yours


Though...You've taught me a lot

Without you, I wouldn't know that I shouldn't give my heart to just anyone

That I needed to love myself more than I loved you

Without you, I wouldn't know that as tender and fragile as I can be, that at the end of it all I would actually be able to breathe again


From you, I've learned that my significance is not measured by the attention you give.

Or lack there of...

I know that even though my light was dimmed, it still shined brighter than yours

I know that I can not fault you for me not loving myself enough

I've learned that my heart is far more flexible than the credit I give

That without you, I am a million times better

That without you, I am myself again

That without you, I am without grief, doubt, suspicion, insecurity...


Without you I am whole again

You broke my heart so that I could learn how to value it.  


Pattern Maker

Blouse: DVF Vintage by way of Buffalo Exchange, Pants: Forever XXI, Necklace: Vintage, Shoes: Elisabetta Franchi for Celyn b.

Photography by: Danielle "Lil Bit" Miles

I'm admittedly a creature of habit. I know what I like, I typically stick to what I know, & my behavior is seemingly predictable. I have somewhat quirky patterns, like voluntarily sleeping on my couch [because it's convenient and comfortable] and then relocating to my bed at about 5am every morning. I repeatedly watch every season of Sex and the City on DVD, because its my favorite show and I'm sick of reality tv [and I also don't have wifi *tear*]. I eat French fries after 11p almost every night, because duh...FRENCH FRIES! Every Wed. I go to Jamba Juice for Loyalty Day and buy a $3 Energy Bowl [because I'm devoted and loyal to places that offer solid discounts]...

Then there are some not-so healthy, more life-altering immediately stressing myself out about something before even attempting to see a silver lining. I give people waaaay too many chances, probably because I'm more patient with other people than I am with myself [the sensitive Cancer sign in me]. I overthink/over-plan EVERYTHING before going into it [ meanwhile life is looking at me like "Girl please"]. I'm extra hard on myself and often overlook the progress I've made because I'm too focused on the end result. 

I'm not perfect [cliche, but true], but it's important that I recognize my patterns in life: good and not-so good. By knowingmy patterns, I'm able to address and access them. I'm perfectly ok with watching Sex and the City everyday on repeat, but maybe sometimes I'll read a good book or do some writing instead. French fries will ALWAYS be my guilty pleasure, but cutting back a bit may do my body some good. I'll always be caring and considerate [its in my make] but I should probably be more assertive and particular about who I allow into my personal space. I'm a Type A personality, so order is necessary for me to function, but maybe I should put more trust in my instinct. It always steers me in the right direction [whenever I do follow it]. And maybe, just maybe I should cut myself a little...a lot more slack. I'm doing really well for myself and I am proud of my accomplishments in life thus far. 

The key to a healthy life is balance; In all aspects. Recognizing your patterns is the first step to changing them. I'm a creature of habit, but spontaneity and "going with the flow" can be quite invigorating. My reoccurring personal task will be to make a pattern out of breaking old patterns and trust in the natural course my life is taking. I will keep my eyes open and fresh. I'll take on new ventures and ideas. I'm blessed with only ONE life to live. It's important that I make it the best.