Today, as we approach the new year, I’m a changed person… and I bet you are.
We all know wallpaper 2020:
COVID-19, the 45th President of the United States, a racist uprising in America. My personal background included losing my beloved aunt straight away, tearing her lateral meniscus and going to emergency knee surgery and CURVYcon going hiatus due to the global pandemic. All of these things affected me deeply, but I will keep these stories for another day.
I learn from listening to the people around me. I implement what resonates with me to see if it works, and if it works, I learn – if I don’t.
You live you learn. You love to learn. You cry you learn. Lose learning. You bleed you learn. You scream and you know. – Alanis Morissette
A year of loving myself, 2020, let’s start:
I notice that when I find reasons to celebrate, God gives me more reasons to celebrate.
I live in New York City, and my family is thousands of miles away in California.
This is my first solo Christmas in New York, but I’m not alone. The love of my family is deep, and it is always with me. My goal for my first single birthday is to celebrate the love I carry in my life right now.
For those who love heart and soul, there is no such thing as separation. – Rumi
When I had my first big heartbreak in years, I remember feeling so embarrassed!
I felt it was my fault that I was single. I thought that if I was better, sweeter, prettier, prettier, thinner, he would have loved me enough not to let me go. I was too hard on myself. Every time I had to tell a friend that I no longer had a boyfriend, I felt like declaring that I had failed at something. Until one Sunday, when she quietly admitted “I broke up with my boyfriend” to a girl named Meredith at my church in Harlem.
“our end!” She said. Her perspective was like a breath of fresh air! The idea of celebrating a breakup was completely new and I loved it.
I still cried for weeks, but I loved it.
I’ve had my share of breakups since then and have found a way to celebrate every single time (even when it hurts). Sometimes celebrating a breakup is as simple as creating a flower arrangement for myself. Sometimes it’s as luxurious as a vacation, remember my trip to Cuba? This was a breakup celebration *blush*
Learning how to celebrate during difficult times may have started with a breakup, but it is a very valuable practice in times like these. I can create an individual birthday celebration, because I find ways to celebrate all areas of my life.
Here’s how I celebrate my first solo birthday:
First, I found the antique black nativity set. It’s like the one my mom brought home! I remember being a little girl shopping with my mom when I came across a black birth group. She was so happy and that made me feel so happy. In the past, I might have waited to inherit her delicate collection for sentimental reasons. But finding my own set is more fun. I feel like I’m following in my mother’s footsteps and making my own way at the same time. I like this balance.
Second, I make a small batch of my grandmother’s warm Christmas drink. Why “small batch”? Well, my grandmother had ten children + she and my grandfather, this is a family of 12! When I started making her recipes, I noticed that the portion sizes were huge! I’m a family of one currently, so I don’t have pots big enough for the amount of ferment I’ve made. This year I finally discovered a little batch recipe that tastes the same. I drink it now as I write to you, and every sip tastes like Christmas morning. (Want the recipe? Keep reading!)
Third, I’ve been dreaming about the concept of a floral Christmas tree for two years now. Last year, my flower tree was beautiful, but… it wasn’t the tree I imagined in my head. I hadn’t been taking flower-arranging lessons for a very long time, so I quickly realized that the flower tree I had in my head required an expert. I mentioned to my friend Jim that I was having a hard time finding a flower designer in New York City who could help me.
He reached out to his team at 1800 Flowers, they loved the idea of my flowering christmas tree and before I renewed it, the 1800 flower design team in my apartment was implementing my vision of pampas grass christmas tree with dried flowers.
God is so good!
My Pampas Grass Christmas Tree with Dried Flowers
For me, this tree is a celebration of my life as it is and a celebration of what is to come.
My tree is made of:
Sage To lift my mood and banish negativity
Nigella – for harmony and love
pampas grass For flexibility and creativity
Eucalyptus For Healing, Strength, Protection and Abundance
lemon For success and beauty
Roscos To think and be humble
grevillea For true love, calm and faith
Well, now back to the year of loving myself.
I diary every morning
As I continue to create the life I want, I’m learning that the greatest luxury of all… is time. As a struggling barista and actress, I was constantly running after myself while trying to pursue my dreams and pay my rent here in New York. I was broken and had no luxuries, especially time. I only had time to make a Frappuccino, acting/singing and boys…oops, I mean sleep! (You know my mom reads this).
Anyway, thank God I live a different life now.
I honor God’s blessings by being intentional with my time. I get up around 5 am every morning to write in my diary.
But I’ve been talking to God for so long that if you look at my life I think He’ll talk again – Kanye West
This is how I feel about my blogging practice. I’m sure my life is a reflection of all the early morning hours I spent with God, my diary and a cup of coffee. I write about trust, wellness and love.
Starting in March, I will be teaching my personal journaling style to a select group of women within The Curvy Girls Guide. Our focus for 2021 will be dating.
You may have noticed that I’ve been very private about my dating life for quite some time. I’m happy to teach you everything I know from “how to date on your standards” to “what to do with your shape when things happen” get *ahem* steamy…but I have to do it on my own terms, in a safe private place. This is why I created the Curvy Girls Guide community.
I guess I was waiting for a wedding to give me an excuse to celebrate love. I don’t want to do that anymore, it’s too much pressure. I might get married, maybe not. I don’t have a perspective on how to get engaged or married, because I haven’t done these things yet. But I have a perspective on what it’s like to celebrate life, build self-confidence, travel, create a small closet, make an impact and income, have a nice Instagram, and date great men along the way.
This is what I plan to teach starting in March when the Curvy Girls Guide opens to a select group of women.
My “Plan A” for my life was to follow my mother’s path. She went to college and fell in love with a man who is still in love with her after more than 40 years of marriage. My father proposed to my mother and she got married at the age of 24. My mother gave birth to three children at the age of 41, a Ph.D. at the age of 50, and is about to retire to her dream consulting life at the end of 2020.
When I graduated from college without a boyfriend, I knew my schedule wouldn’t match my mom’s streak and that it was time for Plan B.
The life you see me living now is my Plan B.
If you like the feelings that I experience in my life, I will be happy to answer questions about how to create the North Star for myself based on what I want. Listen, I love my dollhouse lifestyle but it’s not easy to do it alone. My North Star guides me and helps me make decisions for myself.
If you make plans for your life based on what other people want for you, I understand. You may feel like you want to be more focused on yourself. Perhaps it is difficult because you see the needs of everyone around you and want to help.
I totally understand where you’re coming from. You have a big heart, but you still suffer. I know how you feel. We’ll talk about this more when The Curvy Girls Guide starts in March 2021.
Interested in what a celebration of health, confidence, and love looks like? I invite you to join The Curvy Girls Guide waiting list. Doors open in March 2021.
Mother Rosa Broadus’ Christmas Syrup recipe | Mini version of CeCe
4 lemons (sliced)
64 ounces tea (Lipton type)
64 ounces apple juice
64 ounces caramel juice
1 46 oz pineapple juice
6 cinnamon sticks
sugar as desired
Mix all ingredients. Boil the contents. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes or more. Serve hot.
As kids, we also loved that it was served cold. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat.
I stop working and start building
I support myself in doing work that I enjoy.
I’m not embarrassed to say that when I’m not working, I spend my time doing the things I really love, like writing a diary, singing, learning floral design, and soaking in hot bubble baths sprinkled with my custom blend of flower petals.
I am happy to spend hours painting my nails in different shades of red until I find the perfect crimson for my skin. My working hours are important, that’s how I support myself, but as soon as I earn my money for the day, I stop working and start innovating.
This is how I came up with the concept of pampas and a dried flower Christmas tree, making time for creativity and my imagination. it is fun!
You may find that when you spend more time at home, it is more difficult to find the space where your work life ends and your personal life begins. I understand how easy it is for ambitious women to blur these boundaries, especially if you don’t have a husband or children. If you feel like you’ve always been working – the odds are correct!
If you don’t want to work 24/7, but don’t want to spend extra time scrolling on dating apps, you might benefit from a few things we’ll be discussing when The Curvy Girls Guide starts in March.
When you clicked on this post, my prayer for you is that your next year will be full of love, success and joy.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Thank you 1800 Flowers for everything!!!