The only people who truly understand introverts are other introverts. There are a lot of misconceptions about what introversion means. It does not mean that we are shy. It does not mean that we do not like to socialize. It does mean that we need our own space to think. We are energized by being alone, and often have to take a little alone time to recover from social situations. My daughter and I are true blue introverts, and I often laugh at some of the things that we say. In this post, I’ll share with you some things that come only from the minds of introverts.
Don’t misunderstand. Introverts love people, but it’s definitely quality over quantity. We value genuine relationships. Introverts are cool people to know. We’re often very intuitive and analytical. We’re creative and conjure awesomely innovative ideas (think Bill Gates). We can put on the extrovert hat when necessary, but it can be draining. You’ll often hear of introverted performers/public speakers adopting alter egos to characterize their public persona (think Beyoncé/Sasha Fierce). Because we spend so much time thinking and creating, the mind of the introvert can be an interesting place.
Do you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert, or a little of both? Feel free to add to this list of ‘thoughts’ from the mind of introverts
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The discussion of hair among Black women (and by others about Black women) is always a huge topic. Reason: hair means different things to different women. For some, it’s one way in which they express their love of our ethnicity. For others, it’s all aesthetic. I’m sure that if you ask ten different women what their hair means to them, you will get ten different answers. In this post, I’m sharing my take on the subject-what my hair means to me.
But first...here's an update! This post was originally published on 09/18/15. Today is 06/24/2018. Eight months after writing this post, I went natural. I have been natural for over 2 years now (but I still wear my wigs, lol). It was a personal choice. I reached a point of realizing that I had never known the true texture of my hair. It's a process of embracing more of me...that's all. In addition, relaxers were no longer having the same effect on my hair. It was time to move on from them. Do I still see hair as an accessory? Yep! Does it define me? No. I'd be just as beautiful with or without it.
India.Arie sums it up best…
I am not my hair. To be quite frank, I see hair as an accessory or an expression of how I feel at any given point in life. Depending on the occasion, the mood, or my outfit. I wear many different hairstyles. Braids and twists are convenient. For some reason, during the summer, I love curly styles. I reach some points at which I just want to cut it all off (been feeling that way lately-change may be coming soon). I do get bored with hairstyles and I change it often. I absolutely love having the option to change it up whenever I want, however I want. My hairstyle is not among the characteristics that define me as a woman. If I had no hair, I’d still be Antoinette, the same on the inside, looking a little different on the outside.
For those who consider their hair an extension of their cultural pride, I totally get it and I LOVE to see it. Pride in oneself in whatever form (not including any act done in the name of pride that denigrates or harms others, of course) is a beautiful thing. I’ve never been one to consider my hair as a measure of my blackness. Neither is wrong. For me, my pride is expressed through my love and appreciation for my ancestors and all that they sacrificed, striving to honor their legacy in all that I do, and ensuring that my children understand and are informed about our history. Even if I, at some point, decide to rock a bone straight, blond wig/weave, I’m still the same immensely proud, beautifully melanin-infused woman that I will always be.
I also have major respect for those who have given up the ‘creamy crack’ simply because it’s not healthy. I agree with that sentiment and I have tried…three times y’all. My hair is the epitome of 4C, and in its natural state, it’s a lot of work. So, yea, for me, certain hairstyles are a matter of convenience.
Unfortunately, there are women who are defined by their hair. They will NOT be seen with their natural hair, ever. It’s a huge topic that I won’t delve into too deeply. It’s one of the reasons that we have to teach our young ladies about their self-worth—those things that should define them and those things that should not. It’s something that I insist on with my own daughter—that she have a love and understanding of herself that is so strong that it cannot be uprooted by minor, aesthetic issues or the opinions of others.
So, for me, hair is…
Another update! You know what truly annoys me? Those who assume that, because a black woman straightens or colors her hair, she is trying to be white. That's such nonsense and I wish that it would stop. Those who see hair choice as an indicator of self-hate have so much to learn about women and what drives our fashion and beauty choices.
Tell me. What does your hair mean to you? I look forward to the discussion.
Though the last day of summer is September 22, 2015, for many different events signify the unofficial end of summer. Some consider the first day of school as the unofficial end of summer. Others see Labor Day as the season’s finale. For me, summer ended with the cool air that greeted me when I walked outside to get something from the car on Sunday night. This has caused me to reminisce about this season’s events. Here are a few highlights from summer 2015.
My nephew graduated from high school, with honors!
My son, Zy, has always dreamed of attending USC (SC), and had the opportunity to attend their summer football camp. He was sooo excited!
My daughter, Christal, happily volunteered with the YMCA.
I learned that there are still people with very beautiful spirits in this world.
The care that my son received during his stays at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital (Columbia, SC) and Levine’s Children’s Hospital (Charlotte, NC) was second to none. The nurses and staff at both hospitals were so caring and attentive. Some would even call on their days off to check on his progress. I could not have asked for a better experience.
What are some of your favorite summer moments from this summer?
On September 23rd, we will welcome the fall equinox and a brand new season of opportunities and experiences. I wish you all the best during this last quarter of 2015.
This year has been filled with numerous highlights and proud moments. Why? I finally made the decision to own my confidence and live out my dreams. I have always loved writing, but allowed it to go to the wayside over the years. I have always wanted to model, but self-esteem issues got in the way. I can recall, since childhood, having an overwhelming sense of feeling unworthy. I felt that I wasn’t outgoing enough, not pretty enough, and the list goes on. Throughout the years, any dream that would require me to be in the spotlight, was placed on the backburner. I just didn’t have the confidence. But toward the end of 2014, I reached a turning point. I began to feel miserable. My children were growing up, and did not need me as much. I found myself with so much more time to myself, and I didn’t know what to do with it.
After much prayer, I decided that it was time for me to stop running from my dreams. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to model. In 2015, I am proud to say that I am doing both. This blog, Truly Charmed, was born November 22, 2014, and is a labor of love for me. I thoroughly enjoy providing content that has and will inspire others to live their dreams. Antoinette the Plus Model was ‘born’ in January of 2015, during my first runway show. I was so very nervous to attempt it, but once I hit that runway I was hooked.
I can honestly say that I have never been more satisfied with life than I am now. I have never been as confident as I am now. I would encourage others to fight any obstacle that is keeping them from their dreams because owning your life’s desires is a beautiful thing. I am totally looking forward to all that’s in store for both my modeling endeavors and writing career.
What are your dreams? Are you working toward them? I am certainly rooting for you. Throw caution to the wind, and go for it!
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At the age of 24 I was diagnosed with hypertension and placed on medication for the condition. This was not a surprise because, of course, hypertension often runs in families. That is the case with my family. I’ve always hoped that there would be a day in which I did not have to deal with a chronic condition, and I certainly dislike the idea of being prescribed medication for the rest of my life. So, throughout the years I have tried every fad diet there is hoping to lose weight and correct my hypertension. As of yet, I have not been successful. Honestly, with each try I became easily discouraged and we all know that fad diets simply don’t work in the long run.
At this point, the health of my family is now top priority. Change is no longer an option. Should it have always been this way? Yes. Old habits die hard, and sometimes it takes a brush with reality to give us a push in the right direction. Since his accident, my son has now become hypertensive and is on medication. I’m sure that moms and dads reading this would agree that there is no motivation like that of a parent determined to improve their child’s circumstances. So I am now on a mission to improve the health and well-being of my family. On September 1st, we started the Truly Fit Family Challenge, and invited other families to join us.
The Truly Fit Family Challenge is a six week nutrition and exercise journey in which we are gradually making changes that will hopefully improve our health over the long run. We’ve had a great time over the past week trying new recipes and engaging in fun fitness activities as a family.
Read on to learn more about the challenge….feel free to join us…
Follow Truly charmed on www.facebook.com/trulycharmedlife to keep up with our progress, and to tell us about your family's healthy habits! We look forward to hearing from you.
Let's get fit together!
Be careful how you treat people. You never know who you will end up needing. These are words that I have said many times, but never have they rang as true as they do now. During life’s most critical times, strangers can become heroes. Friends can become more like family. You learn who really has your back during those times in which life causes us to ‘put up or shut up’. Let me tell you! Over the past six weeks I have found that my family is surrounded by genuine heroes and beautiful souls.
On the morning of July 8th, I experienced a parent’s worst nightmare. I received a call that I would wish on no one. My son collapsed at football practice. He went into cardiac arrest. His lungs failed. The doctors told me that it was very likely that he would not leave the hospital. I wanted to wake up and continue with life as normal. Unfortunately, this was real life, and the hardest experience of my life and my son’s life. Those who know me will tell you that I am very independent. I don’t like to ask for help. I am the poster child for the Superwoman Complex. But this situation, I absolutely could not handle it alone, and I didn’t.
My family carried me, figuratively (at times, literally). My mom. My rock of a sister. My brothers. They were ‘my everything’. Not only did the Lakewood High School coaching staff save my child’s life (thank God for their quick action, thinking, and presence of the AED), but they have been there for us, non-stop, through it all. They have become family to us. People who I have known for only a very short time became a part of my support system. Acquaintances visited, called, and most importantly, prayed with us. I was overwhelmed by the support, by the genuine care and concern.
I have to say that I am touched by the love that we received from strangers throughout the entire experience. Doctors, nurses, therapists…they didn’t just do their jobs. They cared and it was genuine. They would even call to check on my son on their days off. They prayed with us. See, this is why we have to be cautious about how we treat others. That person who you flip off during your morning commute…that person who you grumbled at because they held up the line at the grocery store…could by some twist of fate become someone who you may need, someone who could help you. Or they may need you. Who knows what battles they are fighting? The world is so much smaller than we realize, and you never know whose path you will cross from one day to the next. This entire experience has taught me so much. I am thankful for each lesson.
Always let your loved ones know how precious they are to you.
Be nice to people. It may seem so simple, but one kind gesture could mean so much to someone who is going through tough times.
It’s okay to admit that you need help. Some experiences in life are too much to endure alone.
I have to give another huge THANK YOU to everyone who supported us and prayed for us during this ordeal. Zaire is doing very well. My family is doing well. I am grateful.
Comment and let us know what or who you’re grateful for!!
Antoinette C. is a blogger who delights in all things that foster unity and growth in women. After all, if the woman is happy and fulfilled, so is her family and community. Through Truly Charmed, Antoinette will introduce you to women who have inspired her, and who will, hopefully, do the same for you! Here's to your charmed life!