Ask Toi: Personal Questions Answered Part 1

I have said before when doing these Ask Toi when it comes to personal questions I reserve the right to not answer questions that I feel are too personal in nature. I will answer what I can when I see fit.  So here we go:

What is the main reason for blogging?

I started my blog from when I got out of battling postpartum depression. This was after treatments, counseling, and medication. I needed to find a creative outlet. This happened to be one of the ones I chose.  I enjoy being creative and writing.  I have always wanted to write.  I want to be able to write a book too one day.

How did you feel becoming a first time mom?

It was scary. I didn’t feel as if I was financially or emotionally ready. I spent so much time in the beginning telling myself that I wasn’t going to be a good mom. However after some parenting classes I felt a lot more prepared. A lot of folks don’t know that with my first, I definitely took the time to prepare for my daughter. From parenting classes, to making sure she had what she needed. I did have 3 baby showers but I spent a lot of time gathering up baby items because my mom always taught me that having a baby it was going to be on me to get things ready and right for her arrival. I took Lamaze classes and did all I could to combat my fear.  After her arrival I felt disappointed because she was 6 weeks early. I felt like there was more I could have done to prevent her early arrival.

Have you ever gotten into physical fights with others?

Back in the day as a kid yes.  I have gotten into verbal altercations as an adult. I can’t remember the last adult fight I have had to have to be honest. That’s a good thing. Right now in the stage of my life the only way I am getting into a physical fight is for the protection of myself or my children. Outside of that, that extra agitated part of my life is pretty much over.  My parents had me in church for most of my life however my parents also taught me street smarts and survival skills. A lot of folks would be surprised to know that they definitely made sure I was ready for the world.  They did very little sugar-coating in my house.

Have you ever had second thoughts when you were about to get married?

Yes. I did the days leading up to my marriage. It was more of cold feet. I will say that any thoughts that I had I explored them. Instead of saying they were cold feet, I gave great consideration about if I wanted to be married for marriage sake or because it was the right thing to do.  I came to the conclusion that I really loved my soon to be husband and wanted to marry him and so I did. However that first year of marriage and adding that I was still being treated for postpartum and I didn’t fully understand it.  The only thing I wished I had done was delayed the wedding until after my treatment was completed. This way I could have entered my first year on a better wave length. That first year of marriage made me feel the most alone and it had nothing to do with my husband.  I would encourage others before getting married to be sure that you know what you can about yourself.

How strict are you as parents?

We are strict to the point there is a lot of things that my kids can’t do as far as sleepovers, or cell phones (for now) or just going to other folks home without us. I feel as if I need to watch them. If you ask my parents they would say I let my kids do whatever they want. I do balance some old school with new, but I do let a few more new ways of parenting like allowing my kids to express their feelings, or letting them have their own opinions that we weren’t allowed to do as kids. So far it works for our home, we haven’t had a lot of talking back or disrespectful issues. Our kids are generally good. So if its protection reasons we are going to say no. However we are open as much as we think is appropriate to discuss things as a teaching moment.

Would you quit working to blog?

Absolutely. My goal is to be able to blog full-time. There is a difference in working and quitting just to blog when there is no income stream or making my blog my income stream and doing it full time. I want to do the latter. So when the opportunity ever presents itself the answer will be super easy.

Why don’t I ever just become a celebrity blogger?

One I don’t feel as if i am in the arena to blog on celebrities. I only currently blog if its something that can be a lesson to us. So the few blogs I have done have been on highlights that appear that have nuggets that I believe are take aways.

Do you believe in sex before marriage?

I do if it’s with consenting adults. I believe that you should under the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of sex outside of marriage. It can be binding to be honest. This is why people stay in bad relationships because of good sex. So yes I was a virgin with my husband when he was my boyfriend. I made a decision to be with him. I made a decision with any sexual partner I have had. Nothing just happens. Nothing is a mistake. I learned a lot about myself through choices. I believe sex is a decision that you should think about before getting hot and heavy with a person.

Do you like to work with other bloggers?

Yes I have and I do. I’ve had some amazing collaborations with some amazing blogging friends. I hope to do more in the future.

How does your husband feel about your blogging?

I get this question often. He’s fine with it. He supports me and what I do. There is never a time, when he doesn’t have my back. He supports it even when blogs are about him. It’s a form of expression and 💯 we always talk about whatever issues so by the time I blog them if I blog then it’s already over and worked on and through.

So this is part 1 the questions that were way harder to answer will be in part 2 for Friday, January 11, 2019!!!

 

 

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Ask Toi: What do I do with an ex that won’t stop contacting me?

Ex boyfriend and ex girlfriends can vary from easy-going to super annoying. I would suggest if the communication is unwanted tell him/her.  Direct communication from your part in order to get direct no contact should work. However if your ex is the type that doesn’t take no for an answer, than block them. I think adults should be able to say hey I moved on and so should you, but if that doesn’t work you can’t stop them from calling but you can control what you answer.

One you block an ex, leave them blocked. It doesn’t always work out.  My husband was an ex at one point but I wouldn’t suggest people going to their ex just because it happened to work out for me. There was space and time between us to work ourselves out. However the mere fact that you don’t want contact means you need to close the door altogether.  If for some strange reason, you find your ex, blocking their number to contact you, or making a page on social media to follow you, please note that you may need to reinforce the I am not interested in anything anymore. If need be for safety reasons, police contact. It would be nice to think that just like back in the day where you could break up, be mad, call your girls for a night of fun, or call your boys for a night out and move on. There have been a lot of violence towards men and women during the break up phase. It doesn’t mean it will happen every time, but you have to be able to make safety your number on goal. Be an adult!

Also there has been times when I have had to get a male family member or friend to step in to assist. Whatever you do be sure to close the door. IF you really are done, be consistent in ignoring messages. Do not play the games when your mouth says you’re not, but your actions say something different. Say what you mean and mean what you say. It’s never a good thing to have to end it, and even in times when you feel like you have to be with this person, do what’s best for you. End it if you are done, and make an attempt to work it out if you can. Note that not all situations will be saved. You may always have much love for an ex but your lives just aren’t meant to be. That is okay. Speak authentically to your previous partner and voice your desires, to be left alone. If you find yourself and you are reading this to be on the other side where your previous partner has asked for space or has told you they aren’t interested, leave them alone.  Ain’t nobody got time to convince you to respect folks’ space.

 

Monday Motivation: National Weigh In Day

Good Monday morning to you. How are you working through your first week of the New Year? I am hoping your motivation is still going strong. I hope to use this platform to encourage you to live your best life. With that in mind, let’s talk about National Weigh In day and how that can be a great motivation for this fine Monday.

For one Weigh In day is about checking in on your weight. Although you can be any size that you want to be, we all know that a healthy lifestyle filled with balance is important. Skinny doesn’t always equate to health. Skinny folks can be super unhealthy. How you manage your weight will have an adverse affect on the quality of life that you lead. I know some folks that their weight prevents them from enjoying life. They can barely walk without catching their breath, can’t go to amusement parks, have a slew of health related illnesses that could be better managed or even eliminated. With that in mind, there has to be a way to be able to step it up.

blue tape measuring on clear glass square weighing scale

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I have shared many times before about after the birth of my youngest who by the way will be 5 in a month, I struggled up and down with my weight. There is no such thing as baby weight once the baby is no longer a baby. We love to say that because its true having kids takes your body through it. It takes more than 9 months to restore your body back to pre-pregnancy weight. Beyond weight being an issue for me I found my body not responding to things the way I needed to. I was miserable. I wanted to wear my clothes better and everything was “when I lose weight, I would.” However many years later I still had this baby weight that was being compacted by depressive moods and unhealthy eating habits. I went to work and at  a health fair and almost busted out crying after realizing I was over 200 pounds. Regardless of BMI, I knew I wasn’t healthy. So after that devastating blow, I got into action. I changed my eating habits and on my own lost 20 pounds.  I decided I needed more support so I joined Weight Watchers and lost more weight until overall I had lost almost 60 pounds.

It felt great to see my feet. It felt great to be able to see my body change over time. It wasn’t a quick fix. It dropped it  over time and that is how I have been able to maintain it. I still do weekly weigh ins on myself. I still watch how I eat and the reasons behind it. I have had a few stressors happen in life and anyone who eats for emotional reasons know that you have to be vigilant about your emotional and mental health in order to forego eating for the wrong reasons which is usually the number one reason behind gain weight. Food doesn’t solve your problems. Food isn’t going to help you if eaten wrong.  It will make things in your body go left real quick. The freedom that I feel now that I have a healthy relationship would food is amazing.

How can this motivate your Monday?  Attack your weight head on. As devastating as it to see that number, get on the scale and find out where you are. Once you know the number, what is your plan? Do you need help? Can you change how you eat? The answer is yes you can. Meet with your doctors and get a physical. I did that right off the bat. Knowing my numbers and what I needed to do was great. My doctor supported me through my whole process. I was able to be honest and open with her and myself. That honesty helped me to get my life in check.

Beyond the Scale

What I learned in Weight Watchers is off scale victories. Sometimes that came in with how my clothes felt on me even if I got on the scale and didn’t see a big decline in my weekly numbers. I learned that my new bad wasn’t as bad as my worst. So when I found certain weeks eating more than one treat I didn’t beat myself up. Also getting my emotional and mental health in order actually helped me a lot further than counting points for chicken and any other food I ate. Eliminating things in my life that triggered me was key. Eliminating bad snacks from my sight and packing my food for my full day to prevent me from letting the fast food demon take over, was key.

Also what weight is on your heart? I attended counseling, a lot of it, over the past 2 years. I needed help to see people in a different light. I needed time to really get over some pain and hurt that I wasn’t doing a good job getting past. Anytime you find yourself snapping out, speaking out of a disrespectful tone, etc. its time to face the music. I did that and together I would say over the weight of a scale, I was able to conquer me.

What do you want to under control? What areas are you overweight in? Work? Relationships? Stress? Work on those areas. Work on yourself. Work on what you need to be successful!

Happy Monday! It hurts to be honest with yourself about the things that are weighing you down in all aspects of life, but its necessary to deal with and put a real life mirror up to the areas that you hide behind. Work though them and know it’s not an overnight process.  It’s going to take some time but you got to take your life back! You got this!

PS. I know going to the gym is scary but so is that number climbing up each week. If the gym gives you anxiety do work outs at home. There are cds or even YouTube that can assist you but you have to be vigilant to get them done. When you get home, don’t sit down. Get right into your gym clothes and do it before the “I’m too tired” to work out excuse takes over.  Dedicate and stick to a schedule and do not take NO for an answer!

Sunday Message: Speak into existence with action

I know we still in the New Year glow. We all have our plans and list going. However what we don’t get is that just simply writing things down helps you focus, it doesn’t do the work. You have to put work into your speech.

marketing man person communication

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It’s not just naming and claiming it anymore. You have to have action behind words. You can’t go to the car dealership put your hand on the car and walk out. You might want to also clean up your credit, have a job in place to support the payments, and be able to pay for the maintenance. This is how you can write down getting a new car as 2019 goal and act towards it. How about saving money up for a down payment? You can sell items you aren’t using it. You can use skills to bring in more income to get it as well. Action.

So now it’s not what are your resolutions? It’s what are you willing to work towards? What are you willing to get in alignment with to bring the very things in your life. Can you just obtain by asking? Yes. I have sent an email to ask to inquire about things and got the best news of my life.  This happened because I asked. Sometimes asking for help is action. It never had to be about you being able to have all of the answers, resources, and know how. You just have to be willing to do something to make your dreams happen!

reach for the and blue moon neon signages

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Will action plans into your life in this season.  Whatever you work towards if you don’t give up even at a closed-door or a no will work itself in its season of your life. Remember that no can be a protection for you! NO can shift you into where you need to be!  Just don’t sit there simply day dreaming instead of actively working towards!

Surviving R. Kelly; My Thoughts

Let’s cut to the chase on this. There is so much to unravel! These are my thoughts:

R. Kelly is a sick. He really is. There is zero doubt about that. No excuses!! No bull. It is what it is. He was molested himself as a child and that’s so super unfortunate. However he then inflicted pain on others. He doesn’t get to get a pass for his sexual misconduct that had been brewing for years. There comes a point when you even in your pain still have to take responsibility for your actions.

Aaliyah

First of all my heart goes out to her. She is a victim. There are a lot of boys let alone men with money and influence that manipulate girls and women all the time. It’s wrong. So it’s not far fetched that she too was manipulated. My anger resides with R. Kelly being an adult. He knew better. I’ve heard theories that he was sick in the mind due to his own abuse endured but it doesn’t mean he wasn’t aware of what he was doing was wrong. The mere cover up of her age means he knew better from a legal standpoint.

My second place of anger is with Aaliyah’s parents. I’ve read the statement about them stating that they were with her and that at no time had she been alone with R. Kelly! However they weren’t there when she got married. The documents were forged and I get that. What I’m saying is there had to be a financial gain for them to allow their daughter to have this “best friend” in R Kelly who was grown. My child is monitored on friends her age let alone my husband would lose his mind if he found out there was a grown man who was her best friend hanging around her. What in the actual world could you have in common with a child?

I hope every parent put yourself in the place of Aaliyah and the other parents of children who were assaulted that you take a firm against such behaviors. I pray that you don’t have to be known as someone didn’t have your children’s best interest at heart!

The ideal that Aaliyah was wise beyond her years or that she was fast or that she was pretty much the reason why she was groomed towards this is completely out of pocket. Aaliyah was a child and her parents failed her and R. Kelly was WRONG!!!!!!!! He was and is disgusting and it’s disgraceful!!

I get you don’t want to speak ill of the dead so since she’s not here it would be in their best interest to rely on a Non disclosures or that $100 they or she was given for her silence. It doesn’t change the marriage being done. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again he married her to sleep with her without others having a legal issue. Anything done that is based on a lie wouldn’t last. Yes it was annulled. I do understand that but what type of relationship could I have with a man who took my daughter to marry her and hence sleep with her even if I wanted to maintain that I was a loving and doting mother?! Even if I wanted to distance myself and make myself be a victim I would want to protect her and therefore would not cover for him. I would be attempting until his dying day to end him. I pray I never allow my daughters to be compromised and I pray that my daughters never feel the need to be tempted to succumb to anything in any realm such as this!!

Family Ain’t……

His family and friends who knew and now are speaking up about this all should be locked up. They all NOW claim how horrible they feel. They feel so bad but did the checks dry up? When benefits did you receive that would okay seeing girls that could very well be the same age of kids you should have been protecting. All of them don’t get how self incriminating it is for them to place themselves in these circles with him and want to push blame on him alone not seeing how complacent they are and were and how they too have a large responsibility to the victims of whom they thought very little of. All of the adults that knew and can recall such details failed each child they came in contact with and knew of R. Kelly’s mess as it unfolded!

Multiple Tapes

We know about the infamous tape where R. Kelly and I’ll use the legal “allegedly” filmed himself doing down right things to this child but the parts that stuck out to me are as follows:

The back up singer knew and saw him “allegedly” sleep with Aaliyah at age 15 but is crying and upset about him in the tape with Sparkle’s niece who was 14. My question is does she feel this pain now or was she feeling that at the time?! I really want to know because I catch you in the act once I wouldn’t be shocked seeing it again. I would be mad but not shocked!

Separate the man from the artist

R. Kelly had been known to tape his encounters, there are more than the infamous tape out! I’m sure there were more than just the children they were discussed on this series. This is why I don’t get why people don’t believe that he really is the man he is being painted to be. The ideal that you can separate the man from the artist….

How can we separate this musical genius from the fact that he literally has a network of enablers that literally helped him to abuse kids. Like are these people void of care? The ones that have kids scare me the most. Like watching this has reaffirmed my ability to make sure that I don’t allow my kids to be groomed like this. Despite the fact that he was so influential, others like him are in our very own communities. They say the things that young people want to hear. They scare them into silence. They abuse them into fear. It’s scary. I’ve been teaching my kids good and bad touch since before they could barely talk. The thought that I could know my children were sexually abused but sit with the abuser of my kids for any reason is overwhelming.

Am I supposed to be like well it ain’t my kids, let’s step in the name of love?! That’s basically what it sounds like. Let’s just keep the party going cause it’s unfortunate that kids that don’t belong to me went through horrible things but it ain’t my issue. If I read a story online I get moved. Kids should be off limits. Kids should be protected and I for one stopped listening to him and stopping the playing of his music around my family. My choice but to keep money flowing into R. Kelly’s pockets as he continues to “allegedly” imprison and groom women (who knows if they are underage or not) would be misguided for me as a woman! What am I doing at a concert as he parades knowing he likes young girls?! Aaliyah was not fluke. Aaliyah wasn’t this special child that he just bonded with. She on her own outside of him was phenomenal but the relationship of Aaliyah wasn’t isolated. R. Kelly doesn’t see anything wrong with having sex with children.

There are way too similar allegations for me to pull a Stevie Wonder. If there is smoke there is fire. I personally am disgusted by the whole documentary thus far.

R. Kelly is like the predator that you know but people tell you he’s not as bad as he seems. It’s like a group of people with evidence of abuse and documentation of abuse but we have to support him and for what? Music. As iconic as his music has been, he is equally flawed. He is problematic. He is an abuser. He is a manipulator. It’s disgusting!

I think the more you know you bear the responsibility of walking in life better. Having R. Kelly the musician’s craft block out years of abuse toward women as a woman myself and definitely as a mom isn’t a price I’m willing to pay. The fact that most of the forgiving fans have been women worries me. Do women lie about such things? Yes. Is everyone telling the same lie? I highly doubt it and I believe them. Not everyone is telling the same lie. Some of these women have been attempting to speak up way before Lifetime produced this series.

So there is a lot to unload. These are my raw feelings. This is how I feel. It’s hurtful as a woman to watch this. It’s almost triggering. It was difficult and is difficult to watch. It’s hard and I made triple certain that none one of my kids were up as I watched this. Although I talk to them for their age to prevent as much as I can with the help of God no way would I allow them to hear that a grown man made kids do the things that R. Kelly is being accused of. I’m grown and it was hard to hear that some of the very beloved songs actually meant more than we imagined. It’s hard! As more men are being held accountable, I pray that even if R. Kelly feels or felt like he is getting away that karma steps up and does her thing.

I hope you make your own decisions if you have an opportunity to catch the series. My opinion is not to make you believe what I believe. Personal choices on whether or not to support R. Kelly, is just that, personal.

There are countless women and men to be honest watching this and having this all hit is a lot! A lot of the stories we knew about. R Kelly has been accused since I can remember. He has been known to mess with young girls. But seeing the lengths that not only he took to cover it is jaw dropping. To see the network unfold in how he would have his own wife in the house suffering abuse while still continuing his life is crazy.

Here is a clip from the Boondocks that pretty much had it right (I do not own rights to this episode; trigger for strong offensive language):

R Kelly Boondocks Trial

To victims of abuse especially sexual abuse who have never told their story and need support, or even the ones who find themselves triggered:

Ask Toi: What do you think of Meek Mill saying women need to take wigs off in 2019?

A reader wanted to know my thoughts so here we go:

Meh. A man telling a woman about hair is neither here nor there to be honest. Meek can have any opinion he wants. He has a right to voice that opinion but Meek isn’t a hair dresser or someone of an authority of hair so I saw what he said and kept scrolling. I don’t follow him and he doesn’t influence me one way nor another. It doesn’t mean I don’t like his music.  I do like his music but as a fan of music I don’t allow celebrities that I don’t feel have authority on a topic to speak into my life-like that.

meek mill

Who knows why he said it? It could be a dig on his past love Nicki.  It could be encouragement for women to embrace natural hair or healthy hair. Either way what he said didn’t give me life. As a woman who is natural and has had a perm and a weave at points in my life, my hair will be whatever I choose. I am grateful for being diverse and it is what it is. He like many other men state they don’t want a lot of things and still gravitate towards them so when he stop messing with women with wings and weaves than maybe I will take what he says into consideration.

End of the day any woman who is with him should be of concern to him.  I know folks gonna email me with the “even if I was dating” comments. Listen what’s best for you. I never allowed folks that I was dating to dictate to me how my hair was worn. I cut my hair off when I dated my (boyfriend) husband back in the day and he hates short hair. He is still here so end of day preference shouldn’t dictate a person but you can consider them if you are at least married to them. But hair advice from men who don’t know a lick of hair and would smash someone with wig in hand if their ass was big enough, can have a seat!

That’s my thoughts on that one…..

Ladies do you!

Ask Toi: A man I’ve been dating for months has gone stale in communication, what should I do?

This sounds like he’s ghosting you. Ghosting is when someone you’re dating or dealing with no longer answers calls or text messages and is unavailable.

First of all, understand that some folks avoid difficult conversations. He is definitely not interested or has more on his plate and is unable to or doesn’t want to add you into the equation. There could be a thousand reasons why. It’s not your job to figure him out. Your job is to not take on his lack of communication as means of figuring out your worthiness of being in a relationship that meets your needs.

I can share that I’ve been ghosted in the past. However when I went back and thought about the surrounding signs that I paid no attention to it made sense. I had been ghosted by someone who didn’t have his stuff together. He didn’t have a place of his own. He was almost nomadic or basically going from one spot to another. So I didn’t fit the bill of fostering that situationship and was ghosted. It was cool while it lasted. I spent more time than I should have worrying about what I could have done for someone who wasn’t worthy of the amount of energy I gave. Don’t be Toi in her 20s. Be smarter than I was. Know your worth and add tax. Dating was hard in my 20s and it’s harder now!

This man may never reveal his why. You may have to gather yourself and move along. It’s hard! It sounds easier said than done but it’s definitely necessary. Chalk it up to dating in this world with inconsistent players.

Going forward pay attention to the signs. When something sounds off, acts off, or behaves off, it could very well be off. You would be better off without the headache.

If it’s that he isn’t being as consistent as he once was in terms of communication, Ask. It could be that he does have a legitimate reason. But don’t be fooled into I was bust explanation. Busy people still prioritize their wants.

Good luck!