Daily Women Crushers

As we continue to celebrate women’s history month, I want to shout out all women who are crushing their dreams.  Wednesdays are designated as #WCW or women crush Wednesday.  However daily women are failing, dusting themselves off and getting back out there and making it all happen.

Single women who are lonely and longing for relationship and finding ways to enjoy their single days and taking trips, starting businesses, becoming sound individuals without someone in their company. Those are daily women crushers.  They want to be with someone but aren’t allowing the lack thereof to stop them.  Until love finds them, they are out here making life happen for them under their own guidance, salute.

To the married woman who gives daily to her husband and attempting to be united, you are a daily woman crusher.  People think that marriage is a cure-all but it’s not.  It’s hard work to put someone else above your own.  It’s a union that actually makes you confront a lot of who you are or who you think you are.  Marriage is being there for someone and trying to keep the spark going regardless if that woman is tired or not, salute.  FYI the same should be done from her husband towards her.  If you find you are in a one way marriage, there are a few talks you and your husband need to have.

To the mother who is tired and feeling overwhelmed and still continues to get up before her house, getting things in order, and making it look effortless, you are a daily woman crusher.  To the days when those around you takes you for granted, and forget to say sorry or appreciate what you done, salute to you.  Salute to you when you lose yourself and literally have to pick yourself up before you can give again, salute to you.  Salute to you as you endure your body going through hell and back to deliver, salute to you.  Salute to you as you almost sometimes die on those tables waiting to hear that first cry, salute to you.  Salute to the women who have lost life many times and feel like their worth is tied to being a mother and can’t.  We salute you.  Just know that is a real pain. A real fear.  A real cry.  A real emptiness and I stand behind you and with you.

To the business woman who has to have her work checked twice just because she doesn’t have the same “member” as those on her team, salute to you.  Salute to the woman who is making moves after she was denied financing, salute to you.  Salute to the woman whose ideas failed many times before it took off, salute.  Salute to the woman who while accomplishing her goals, had the very folks who now want to stand with her after the fact and those same ones laughed, talked about, and ridiculed for that venture to pop, salute!

To the woman who has or is facing many demons and finding herself alone as she pushes towards getting her life together.  The ones that seem and feel like constant failures while others around her is flourishing.  The ones who say why not me too but they seem to be saying this only to themselves and there is no one around who understands you.  We salute you.  We get it.  We understand because as a woman regardless of what we have all accomplished we have all been public goals and secret failures.  Trust the process, understand that it will work out. Even in the dark, there will be light.  At the second you go to fail, you find a solution. At the moment you decide today is the day you will give up, light shines.  You are purpose and you were created for purpose.  The world has something that you have inside of you.  We salute the process of growing in the dark with limited water and resources.  The best flowers sometimes have thorns but are the prettiest in the end.  Don’t give up!


Women’s Month, Year of the Woman: Stephanie S!

Thank you to the wonderful women who answered the call to be interviewed. It takes a lot to open up about who you are.  You are who you are and this process can be a little intimidating.  Thank you to all of my volunteers.  As women we all have unique situations that vary but collectively we go through much of the same things.  Not just for this month or for the #METOO movement, let’s all bond as one.

Stephanie S., is a mother to two beautiful girls.  Her oldest is actually her niece that she has raised since she was 13 until the age of 18 and her youngest is her biological daughter, she’s 4-years-old.  She’s been with her husband for 16 years and they will be celebrating their 9th wedding anniversary on May 9th.  She’s one of a few in her family to graduate high school and college and have gone onto graduate school.  She still has 3 more classes to go before she graduates. She was laid off in 2015 and found two jobs the following year in 2016, but she’s only working at one of those jobs and couldn’t be more happier.  She is finally in a place that she enjoys where she is currently.
What she would tell her younger self:
The life ahead of you will not be easy, but keep faith in God and trust that He will not give you more than you can handle.  Also, you need to relax more, things will work themselves out in the end. 
Lessons for her daughters:
Nothing in life is truly free.  Be honest, be kind, and the world will be yours. 
Love: Don’t rush into it.  If you truly want to know if your partner is right for you, please don’t be afraid to bring them to meet your father or me. 
Career: don’t settle for comfort.  Find a career that you’re truly passionate about and makes you happy to go to everyday.  In the end, if there’s anything in all three that you feel uncomfortable with, let someone know.  Don’t be afraid to tell anyone.
Our future and where we want to be should be something that we attempt to work at all the time. Nothing is simply going to be handed to us.  I asked where Stephanie sees herself in 5 years:
In a better position at my job.  I love my place of employment, but would like to advance to higher position.
What are the things you have accomplished:
Well, when it comes to personal accomplishments, I’d say, participating in art shows.  I love art and to be able to participate in art shows has been such an honor and a joy to share my own work with others who love art just as much as I do. 
Another personal accomplishment is that I decided to go to grad school to get my Master’s degree.  I haven’t finished my grad schooling yet, but I will soon or at least hope to. 
Career accomplishments, I would say is jumping into a position that no one else wanted and ended up being the best person they had done the job.
I think we tend to hold certain people in high regards.  This #METOO movement has allowed some of the ones we hold high to be seen differently.  No matter who it is, if you have sexually assaulted, harassed or abused another woman regardless of which roles you may have played, how much money you have, even if you are someone’s boss, it’s not okay.
What are your thoughts on the #METOO movement:
To be honest, I didn’t want to believe that some of the things being said about celebrities like Bill Cosby were true, but when you have so many women coming forward, then there must be some truth to the allegations.  It’s great that more women are coming forward and ousting their tormentors/abusers.  Women shouldn’t be afraid to speak out.  Value your self-worth before you value where your career can take you.  I feel my youngest is too young to truly understand what the movement means so I’m unsure of how I plan on using the movement.  The closest thing I can think of to tell my daughter would be, “If you don’t like someone touching you or you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to tell anyone.”
What are the things that Stephanie is looking to accomplish or crush:
The major thing on my heart that I hope to crush is completing my graduate degree.  When I do go back to complete it, I will have to pay for my three classes and I just can’t afford to pay for them right now.  So as soon as I can afford it, then I will complete my degree. 
Lastly what does self-love look like to you:
Accepting myself for who I am.  I am a person who is shy, but is trying to be more vocal when I need to be.  When having a rough day, listening to music every chance I get.  When I’m home, I wait until my daughter is in to bed to sit at my desk and write in my bullet journal or plan things out in my other planners.  And as silly as it sounds, I like to straighten my hair sometimes because it makes me feel good about my looks.  I chose to give up drinking sodas in order to care about my health.  I was drinking sodas to keep my energy levels up especially when I was at work, but I realized that as long as I’m laughing and staying productive at work, my energy is generally high or at a normal level.  Plus, I don’t get headaches anymore.  In place of sodas, I’ve been drinking more water.  Still working on getting to bed at a normal hour, but I will get there in time. 
Stephanie thank you again for participating.  I am sending positive vibes that you will get the funding you need to complete your master’s degree.  Do NOT stop just because you have this hiccup in the road. I hope your daughters know just how smart, how beautiful, how strong you really are.  I hope through your example that others around you will know continue to have purpose and move towards that purpose daily.
Another note if you’re looking for a photographer in central Pennsylvania, take a look at her information:

Women’s Month Preview

I enjoy women’s month! It’s one of the biggest traffic months. A lot of people have asked me why do I do the posts for the full month?! Simple, why not give a regular women a month to shine? March is women’s history month and women are changing history on all fronts all the time. These are women who might not have shared their story openly before and are ready to let you know that they survived the very things that was designed to take them out!

Think about it in this light, women need to know that as much division that is created among us, we are all connected. Think about a topic that women alone goes through. Bring that topic up and women who don’t know each other can relate and will openly share. This is why we need to tell our stories more often. We need to talk about the times we succeeded and the times we failed. We need to highlight our strengths as well as our weaknesses. There is a woman somewhere struggling alone when she doesn’t have to. She is somewhere feeling defeated because she doesn’t think what she has done, gotten herself into, or is nervous about, some other woman has been in those trenches, but we have been there and made it out in one way or another.

Ladies it’s our day everyday. It’s our month every month. It’s our year every year but when we get to shine a little brighter, then shine! As a woman I am proud of those who have come before me. I am proud that we as women have failed along the way but still keep on going regardless of what has been thrown our way. I’m proud that women are learning how to embrace what they have and not make excuses or try to water it down. We are owning our place in this world, choosing the life we want, being sexually aware and unashamed and most importantly stepping away from the status quo to achieve any goal we want!

We are scooping up the younger generation and showing by example how it’s done. We are not restricting ourselves to make men feel comfortable. We are walking in lanes that were not always paved for us. We are learning to practice self-care and saying no when we need to. We don’t have to carry it all! We can take breaks! We can travel this world alone! We can work across the aisles! We can make our dreams come true!

I salute all women from every walk in life. From the women who feels as if her past has knocked her out of the running to the women who made every right decision and are benefiting from it! To the college graduate who is the first in her family to the drug addicted mother who cleaned her life up! I salute you all!!

Get ready for some amazing women with some amazing stories to share. Thank you for being brave enough to be vulnerable. It takes a lot to put yourself out there! It takes a lot to know that when you put your story out there knowing there will be some folks who think you aren’t worthy! This blog was made from those whispers and guess what just like you I haven’t stopped! Let’s have some fun, learn some lessons and get inspired to live our best life NOW!

We’re going to hear from business women, community leaders, wives whose husband have left them and they picked up and kept on building, single moms, college graduates, those working with offenders, all kinds of women.  So be on the lookout the month-long celebration will kick off tomorrow and end March 31, 2018!

Menopause Woes

As many of you know, I had a full hysterectomy.  With that surgery it sent my body into menopause.   For the most part it has been bearable.  It has been 4 months since the surgery and I feel like I am just getting my body back.

So let me take some time to answer some questions that some readers have asked me regarding menopause:

  1. How long did the pain take to manage-I would say surgery wise that took about 3 weeks to heal.  This is the initial pain that anyone who has had any uterus surgery goes through.  It took about an additional 5 weeks to be able to move about without the pain being agitated during the healing process.
  2. Hot Flashes, are they controlled-I have to say I think not.  I even with the hormone therapy replacement the flashes occur several times a week.  It is annoying since before surgery I was a really cold person.  The flashes can be overwhelming.  I find myself stripping clothes off as soon as I get home.  When I am at work, I immediately need my fan or I am in the bathroom with cold water compresses.  However I will take it over bleeding every month.
  3. Sex after the fact was extremely hard in the beginning.  I waited a little longer than I was cleared.  It was painful and different.  I think now I am doing a lot better and feel like my drive hasn’t changed from before surgery, but to say it was just so freely a great experience after surgery would be lie.  Some women experience pan, dryness, and lose their desire to even have sex altogether.  Every woman is different.  Do not compare yourself to how you are reacting to another woman.
  4. Swelly belly-this is when no matter what you do, your body has told you how much you are doing is too much.  You still at times look like a woman who has had a fresh baby.  It’s annoying to say the least.  I have come to terms that this is apart of the process.  On days where my belly is normal, I celebrate with a great outfit.
  5. Mood Swings-they do exist but in my case I feel like its less than when I had a bunch of unruly hormones guiding me.  I think the combination of self-care and the even dose of hormones through the hormone replacement therapy patch which gives me a low dose over time has helped.  I have been better off emotionally.

Do I regret the surgery?

Absolutely not.  I am 100% on board with my decision.  For one physically I feel so much better.  I do not have to be on guard about if a period is going to come or not. I do not have to carry unnecessary clothes in case of an accident.  The lack of bleeding every month has decreased my previous diagnosis of anemia.  I will get my final results by end of the month, but the test I had a few months ago was already looking great.  I had already had my tubes tied before surgery so having more kids wasn’t in the cards.  My husband supported that decision and to be honest it was the most selfish giving decision I could give myself.  Shout out to the women who have had or will have the surgery or go through menopause naturally and unfortunately can’t or won’t experience motherhood.  I do not take that gift of motherhood lightly.  I do however love the fact that my sister in love is about to give me my baby fix this upcoming Spring.

I did what was best for my body.  I do not regret it for a second even with the worst flash, or tiredness or even the feeling of being overwhelmed comes over me and sometimes at the same time, I find myself taking a deep breath and thanking God that I am on the path of healing.

To other menopausal women both young and old who may be reading this thinking how much of a negative experience you may be going through, or think I may be going through, remember that every woman experiences this change in different ways. I could have healed faster than another, doesn’t make me normal and you weird.  What works for me may not work for you.  I would say that if you are going through menopause I would applaud you to find out what self-care looks like for you both before, during and especially afterwards.  Self care will refocus your thoughts as your body changes.  It’s like going through the awkward teenage phase all over again.  For some the changes in body odor, lost of hair or increase of hair, change in libido, lack of a period, or feeling like your body is experiencing a death from lack of having children even if children was never on your radar are all real experiences. How you navigate through will depend on you.  Do not allow anyone to push what you should do.  Always trust yourself and talk to your doctors.

One last thing is that going through menopause has made me realize that I can’t take my body for granted.  This is why I try to be mindful of if I am doing the things that I need to keep my body at the best shape of my life.

Menopause is a phase of life that women go through regardless if it’s naturally or surgically induced know my fellow women I am with you and I understand.

T.I.-Marriage is a distraction

I love T.I. but my love for him will never cloud my judgement on whether or not I think the words coming out of his mouth is right or not.  His marriage has been under fire for many years.  Recently it has come under fire when his estranged wife “Tiny” Tameka Harris filed for divorce.

I try not to believe everything in the tabloids.  For instance the reported infidelity on both sides no one really knows for sure but Tiny and TI.  However one thing that has been circulating is TI’s most recent interview where he states how he can be a better best friend to Tiny but not a good husband to her.  Now let’s explore this statement since I am a married woman if I heard that I was a distraction after giving my husband the best of me, having children and building a life regardless of what was going on I would be devastated.  I feel for Tiny in that aspect.

Should he stay just to save face?

However I wouldn’t have an issue with TI feeling and expressing the way he feels if he had this conversation with her privately and before the alleged affairs that took place. We tend to take the honestly out of marriage out. If your husband can’t come to you and be transparent even if it hurts that is an issue.  I know for my husband and I struggle in this area to be 100% vulnerable because we still feel the need to hold a person’s feelings when you discuss difficult situations.  It doesn’t mean someone is withholding information it just means that some things are difficult and may take time to bring to one another’s attention.

If TI feels that he can be a better friend over a husband as hard as those words are to hear, it’s better to have the words said than to prolong the inevitable.  However I do believe that tact should always be considered.  The timing on something like that is everything.  This means to Tiny that even if she thought they could reconcile things, he is not in the place to do so.  He no longer wants to do the things that husbands do.  She has to get pass that type of gut wrenching hurt. She could be doing that in her own way.  I think she is still struggling.  If my husband and I had that conversation and I saw him or thought he was entertaining someone I know for a full fact I would be okay to see that or have it thrown in my face all the time.  It would take some time to heal that the marriage was over.  Have my husband had some extremely hurtful things that hit and cut like that?  Absolutely if I am honest.

We tend to romanticize marriage.  We tend to think everything will just work out.  It doesn’t.  I do not like the ideal of divorce.  I didn’t marry to divorce but it happens.  You have to understand that going into it.  No you don’t look for it to happen but understand when it comes to the matters of the heart and will, things will never remain if the person you are working with stops working with you.  TI shouldn’t just stick it out for the sake of the kids, to make Tiny happy, or to prevent from divorcing altogether.  Somebody has to realize that a broken toy doesn’t always get fixed.  Women are lining their opinions on the matter and some not understanding what its like to be married.  Some are on team Tiny and reality is there is no need for Team anybody.  The team members that matter the most, one party doesn’t want to be married.  It sucks, it hurts, but I am sure like most strong women she is shattered but her pieces can be put back together.

I can’t imagine what it feels to be in Tiny’s shoes.  She can’t even grief the marriage because she is in the public eye.  I am sure that Tiny and TI have had good moments.  I am sure they keep things together for the children.  I am sure that they are trying to work on things to get them to the point where they can be cordial.  I am also sure that is not without pain and not without hurt.  Tiny has been there for TI even during the time of his incarceration.  He I am sure has been there during difficult times as well.  They lost a child together, they have been through Hell and back.  People think that in marriage you won’t change but marriage changes people.  Some for the better and some it can go left.  I know couples who take years to get to this point still holding on to what was. Loyalty is pricey.  This is why its hard for people to give it to just anyone.  They know that you put yourself out there and the return on investment can be everything or nothing at all. Marriage is work but it takes both partners willing to make it work for it to work.  I wish them both well.

Women’s Month: Who is KJM?

I have had the unique opportunity to come across some really unique blogs over the years. I find that I usually lean more towards the one that tell it like it is.  I am not saying I don’t like the flowery ones for a good read.  However, at the end of the day, I need to hear the black or white and less gray.  So when I came across this blogger it was for personal reasons.  I know the blogger personally but even in knowing her personally her blogs  holds literally no punches.

Blogging can be time-consuming to say the least.  The amount of time even when the inspiration just spills out can take a toll.  There is the actual typing of the blog as well as the editing.  Then just putting your voice out there can be intimidating too. So I wanted to know who is KJM?  What is KJM and what is in the works for KJM.  Kingston Jael Michaels is a blog that was started a little over a year ago.  It is a blog that deals with all kinds of topics but it deals mostly with KJM the author pretty much making fun of herself.  She allows herself to be the butt of her jokes in hopes of helping others.  She says what you want to say but are too afraid and too politically correct to say.  She is just plain old funny.  Find her at http://www.kingtonjaelmichaels.com for more hilariousness.

I asked KJM why she began her blog:

For the last 15 years, I have had people come up to me and ask me to co-write a book with them plus I have been editing other’s works for the last 20 years! Whether it was a school paper, thesis, or just something they were writing for someone special.  I was always humbled by their requests but never gave it a thought until my friend, Michelle Monique Johnson, passed away. She unexpectedly died a week after my 34th birthday and the last thing she said to me way…”it’s time to start your blog! Fly butterfly fly!” And  so my journey began September 2015…her birth month. I write in her honor and I pray I have made her proud!

I think that death can always bring new life.  In my own personal experiences I have seen where bad situations birth such greatness when you are open to itWhen you blog like I said before it allows you to expose yourself in ways that simply can either make or break you.  I remember when others found out I was blogging.  I got mostly good reviews but from family the most that I didn’t even see on a regular basis their critique was much more harsher.  Glad that I didn’t need or rely on the lack of weight their opinion shed.  I wanted to know what she has learned about herself in this process.

 I am naturally raw with my thoughts. And it’s not for shock value! It’s naturally who I am! Through my writing, I become this naked and vulnerable woman…something that is so hard for me to be in everyday life! I always have to be strong for others…and myself. When I’m blogging, I can rest the S on my chest and just be me…insecure at times…vulnerable…yet still strong. And I love that I have discovered that part of myself. Blog life has changed my life forever!
Where is KJM going in the next few years?  What is the vision?
 I pray it grows into a huge EMPIRE and that KINGSTON JAEL MICHAELS becomes a household name…from my books to my television show! Lol. Hey if you don’t aim high and believe in your talents…who will?! So I know first hand the stock I am made of. God-given talent runs through my veins. That talent allows me to transform myself…everyday.
When you blog do you know there are many times where I have written or have deleted a blog by worrying about what my audience thought?  I wanted to know if I was the only blogger who went through this?
When I first launched, I would write and then delete. Hoping to make everything perfect. Truth be told…writing is at its best when it describes imperfect human moments. I was afraid of being judged for my decisions and my views. But then I soon learned that not every day is a great blogging day but that does not mean I should erase the imperfect for it makes me who I am…and I am so in love with who I am and who I am becoming. I am a mess at times but who isn’t? You will get many things from my blog (www.kingstonjaelmichaels.com) but perfection is not one of them!
As a blogger who unites and makes great relationships with other bloggers, who was some of your inspiration?
I follow many bloggers including ToiTime but to be honest my inspiration are writers, producers, and creators of earth shattering controversial books, shows, and movies. Oprah and Shonda Rhimes are two of my greatest inspirations. Black women who build as they create. I am in awe of them! 🙌🏽
What is your message for women.  We all have something that we can take from one another even if we are in different stages than others around us.
Do not be afraid of your God-given talents and never dim your lights for anyone. Shine! Support one another and just be. Lay in all your imperfections and do not erase those moments where you are vulnerable. There is strength in vulnerability. Lastly, love yourselves first…even as you find romantic love. Never leave yourselves behind because…if you cannot count on yourselves….who can you really count on? You are everything! You are beautiful! You are the QUEENS of this earth! Walk in that destiny proudly and never apologize for it! Never apologize for being you.  One Love, KJM
Blogging is beautiful.  However do NOT expect it to go so perfect.  It takes a lot behind the scenes to make things happen.  Never judge another blogger because you as an outsider don’t understand why something is being said in a certain way.  Trust me the writing process is not only a beautiful thing but its therapeutic at the same time.  The way its sad sometimes is necessary to free others as well as the author. KJM keep doing your thing.  I look forward to hearing and reading more from you.
Follow the blog at http://www.kingstonjaelmichaels.com or on twitter @kingston_jael

What it Means to be a Woman

The statement of what it means to be a woman is so complicated. Some would answer this in relation to their status meaning a wife or mother but the reality is being a woman when you strip the titles is much more than who were are connected to or what connects us to others.  Being a woman is one of the most liberating yet most scariest thing ever.

We don’t get the respect that we deserve.  Find any woman it doesn’t matter if she is CEO of a large company or a stay at home mom, she is under appreciated  She is expected to be everything to everyone all the time.  She is to be dressed to the nine, fierce, show strength but not too much strength if there is a man present.  She is expected to wear a lot of hats but not show emotion because emotion is considered a weakness.  Women can be all of those things.  We as women define us and that definition of who we are changes as the things within and around us change.

Image result for women are strong gif

We are able to make things happen on small and large scales.  We can handle a lot of things that come our way and are one of the most resilient creatures you will ever know. We don’t always get the chance to come back and get it right.  Often times we have to be reactive due to whatever is being thrown our way.  Women are beautiful no matter the shade of color.  We are beautiful no matter what we own or don’t have.  The beauty of a woman is to remain who she wants to be even when the world wants a certain reaction from us.  We are in control.  So what defines one woman may not work for the next.  Let me give you an example.  Every woman is not a mother yet motherhood isn’t what defines a woman’s womanhood.  As long as she is a woman she is a woman.  She doesn’t need to bear children to be accepted into this invisible club that she already was either birthed or in this day paid to be in.  It’s that simple. I really get tired of all of non mothers who have to go through the 4th degree as to why.  Yet there are women having, killing, or throwing babies away getting passes.  Most of this even comes from other women and we have to do better.

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Women are complex and beautiful.  So for women’s month my goal is to highlight that.  I don’t want to give you just the stories of women who are all making it but fail to showcase the failures it took to get to where they are now.  There are so many no, falls, screwups, second chances, etc that take place and sometimes with the filters of social media all we see is the beautiful side. So when you as a woman are going through your dark side you feel alone.  You feel like a loser when we all have these same moments.  We all cry.  We all hurt.  There is a woman with fabulous still being dogged out by someone.  There is a woman somewhere being told that she is less even though she is giving her all, failing, and then left feeling deserted.  So ladies, ease up on all the judgments.  We all trying to do our absolute best.  So for women history month and beyond this blog will always showcase women in a positive light.  We may always deal with the negative things we need to do better in but we will always deal with them in the manner where we all win.