Celebrating 27 Years of #BlackGirlMagic

Sunshine! Fall weather! Bubbly! Brunch! These are a few of my favorite things. To celebrate my 27th birthday, I decided to indulge in my favorite things with some of my favorite people. Since I was almost a Halloween baby— I was born on October 28— I encouraged costumes during my celebratory birthday Boo!ze Brunch. Though I was certain many people would not dress up, I still planned to go all out with my costume. Afterall, when I do things, I do things well!

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After struggling for a few days, I finally decided to dress up as a unicorn! While searching for DIY ideas, three thoughts came to mind: 1) I don't own a lot of white clothing, 2) There is a dearth of unicorn makeup ideas for black women, 3) Why are unicorns so white? Yes, the image of black unicorns exists. But the images of black unicorns are so dark and not happy or innocent looking.

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 4 Detail Photos, Courtesy of  Martin Uwah

4 Detail Photos, Courtesy of Martin Uwah

In honor of my melanin, I decided to become the physical manifestation of #blackgirlmagic by dressing as a black unicorn for my 27th Birthday Boo!ze Brunch at Down the Street Bar. The brunch was delicious! The orange-tinted bubbly and grapefruit bellinis flowing! The weather was a little nippier than expected— so we partied inside. All in all, it was a very merry, BOO-zy time! Thank you to all of my friends and co-workers who came out!

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Here are several “Aha!” moments that I had during my 27th year of life:

  1. I discovered that my work “uniform” consists mainly of pencil skirts paired with a blouse.

  2. Myleik Teele, the creator of CurlBOX, is one of my favorite entrepreneurs.

  3. I actually enjoy hiking and would love to hike more often.

  4. Cartoons make me very, very happy and help me to cool off when I’m very, very upset.

  5. I am still very obsessed with floral flavored desserts.

I discovered that my work “uniform” consists mainly of pencil skirts paired with a blouse.

One morning, I noticed that I have an insane love for pencil skirts and wear them to work often. Only when I want to switch it up, I opt for crop pants or structured, career dresses. Once I recognized the foundation of my career style, I have been able to avoid bad work fashion purchases and focus on exploring my signature style outside of the office. Plus, having a work “uniform” makes getting ready for work simpler. I literally mix-and-match a skirt with a blouse then follow my 10-minute makeup routine— which I have perfected down to 5 minutes. I get compliments often, and no one ever notices that I literally wear the same skirts and blouses every week. Creating a capsule wardrobe for work still remains a goal of mine and it seems to be even more achievable!

Myleik Teele, the creator of CurlBOX, is one of my favorite entrepreneurs.

I seriously wish that she was my real-life mentor or big sister. My friend suggested that I should listen to Myleik Teele’s podcast #MyTaughtYou. I never really listened to podcasts, unless it airs on NPR, before. But, I’ve been a faithful subscriber ever since Day 1 of listening to Myleik's podcast.

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I actually enjoy hiking and would love to hike more often.

During my trip to Costa Rica, I felt so invigorated and renewed after hiking about 6.5 miles through the rain forest and ending the day soaking in natural hot springs. I'm still crazy afraid of bugs and certain animals (e.g. snakes). But, nature is so beautiful and relaxing. Sometimes, the best self-care you can give yourself is to just actively explore the earth while admiring all that God has created.

Cartoons make me very, very happy and help me to cool off when I’m very, very upset.

I can’t remember what Jacob and I were arguing about—must not have been important and must not be an issue anymore LOL— but I remember becoming very, very upset. Instead of continuing the conversation, I decided that I was going to watch The Minions. By the end of the movie, I was not fuming anymore, we were able to resolve the issue, and I was able to sleep peacefully. Now, I know that whenever a conversation gets intense, before we continue working to find a resolution, I can go watch cartoons. I don't know why, but it is something about watching a Pixar or Disney movie that is just really soothing to me.

I am still very obsessed with floral flavored desserts.

Lavender. Earl Grey. Matcha Green Tea. Rose. It is no surprise that I ate sooooooo many macarons this year. My obsession and craving for floral-flavored macarons is not a new fact to me. This year of life, I've had several months when I would leave the office to go search for macarons every week. Easily devouring about a dozen each week! The Aha! moment is that if I had to do it all over again, I would have eaten more! #noshame

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Now, onto a few of the biggest lessons I learned during my 27th year:

  1. Reflection is key. So, is planning ahead. Do both with intention.

  2. Your happiness is your responsibility. If you need professional help, get it!

  3. Build systems. An undefined system is a system of chaos.

Reflection is key. So, is planning ahead. Do both with intention.

I purchased an Erin Condren Life Planner to use this year and managed to only use it for a few months. I eventually abandoned the life planner, purchasing the Best Self Co SELF Journal— thanks Mia for the recommendation. Within just one week, I saw the difference in how my days flowed when using the SELF Journal. The Erin Condren Life Planner allowed me to squeeze too many “to dos” into each day, and I found myself unable to accomplish all that I planned. Basically, it allowed me to brain dump. The Best Self Co SELF Journal forced me to prioritize my “to dos”, plan out each hour of my day, and reflect. Collectively, the SELF Journal activities prevented me from over committing. Basically, I learned that when planning you must plan intentionally and be realistic that you only have 24-hours in a day. I also like the fact that the SELF Journal provides me space to practice reflection through gratitude, self-improvement, and wins of the day.

Your happiness is your responsibility. If you need professional help get it.

This year, I started going to therapy because I was not coping with my stress— work-related and social— well. Therapy has been a great choice for me so far. Seriously, my friends and family were starting to grow tired of hearing me complain about the same things over and over. In therapy, I am learning how to be more reflective, non-judgmental of my feelings or thoughts, and view my experiences from a more realistic perspective. Now, I still have many days where I just feel “blah” or anxious. However, I am happier and more optimistic knowing that I am being active in maintaining my own happiness.

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Build systems. An undefined system is a system of chaos.

After reading “Got Systems? How to Hustle Hard Without Giving Up Your Life” by Courtney Sanders, aka Think and Grow Chick, I felt convicted. I read this post the same week that I was starting to feel miserable—clutter seriously affects my mood— because I couldn't see my bedroom floor. *yikes! Reading her words:

If we’re ever experiencing results that feel out of control, we have to remember that those results are simply the logical outcomes of the systems we currently have in place.

I realized that I enabled many dysfunctional systems around the house. Instead of tossing my work clothes and shoes on the floor after work, if I’d just take 5 minutes to put clothes in the hamper or shoes in the closet, I would have a cleaner room with less effort. Instead of letting the dishes pile up in the sink, if I spent 5 minutes before cooking dinner to unload the dishwasher, my clean up time afterward will be easier and the kitchen will remain clean most of the time. If you want a healthy work-life balance, you must build and maintain systems. This spans across all aspects of life: career, health, home, friendships, marriage, spirituality.

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Jacob was having so much fun capturing the moments of my birthday celebration that we failed to get a picture of us together. #facepalm. Thanks love for being my photographer!

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