Divorce Is Not A Bad Word

A while back I wrote a blog about divorce guilt. I talked about my own experience with guilt after I chose to file for divorce. I recently saw a post where a woman had taken a negative stance on divorce using her religious beliefs as the argument and it got me thinking.
Why is there so much negativity and shame associated with the process of divorce? The obvious reasons, im aware of, but let’s dive a little deeper.
Is it the fear of failure?
Shame?
Religious beliefs?
All of the above?
I too was the person who believed that divorce was one of the ultimate failures and disappointments to God before reaching a point where it was either leave my toxic marriage, or lose my entire mind. When it comes to divorce, it’s not what you envision as the end result when you get married. You don’t stand at that altar thinking, “hmm, one day we’ll get divorced.” That’s not how it works, but reality is, when it comes to the process of divorce, everyone’s views aren’t the same and when you express your desire to file, some people will try to guilt you into staying. Some people will also use scripture to support their argument. Remember, those aren’t your people.
Let me share a story with you, I can remember the point when my marriage was in complete shambles. I’m kind of hesitant to share this story but I hope it helps someone. I had already left mentally and had shared my intentions to file for divorce when one Sunday we were called to the altar. My spouse at the time, and I were called to the altar to have our marriage prayed over. A surprise altar call during a Sunday morning service… I have never in my entire life been so livid during a prayer. I can remember becoming angrier every minute that prayer continued. I can remember being pissed at every damn person who reached their hand towards that altar. My stomach began to hurt. My palms were sweaty. I was holding one of my children and I can remember my grasp tightening.
I didn’t bow my head.
I didn’t hold his hand.
I didn’t close my eyes and I think I may have been cursing in my head. No, I was in fact cursing in my head standing at that sacred altar.
In that moment, I didn’t want prayer to hold together a failing marriage that I no longer wanted to be in, I wanted prayer and support in my decision to leave.
Yes, prayer changes things, but sometimes we can pray for the wrong things. It was that very moment that my thinking began to change.
Dear church folk,
Please stop encouraging people to stay in toxic marriages after they’ve expressed their desire to leave. After they’ve told you they’re unhappy, and after they’ve turned down your offer for counseling and prayer. All in the name of God and your personal and religious beliefs! It’s selfish, and can be dangerous.
Let me be clear, my stance on divorce has no ties to my thoughts on marriage, and maybe one day I’ll talk about my thoughts on marriage.
I’ll end with this. The ability to file for divorce was MY ticket to freedom. The finalization of my divorce was my answered prayer.
Until next time…🦋
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2019, A Year of Lessons

Lessons, the best word to describe 2019. Without a doubt 2019 taught me several things about myself, and life in general. It also whooped my ass! You ever go through so much you question God’s intentions? Have to take a real good look at yourself? I literally said to God, “Bruh, I’m good on the lessons! I’m good for at least the next 5 years, easy.”

Here are a few things I learned in 2019:

  • Health is wealth only if you make it a priority
  • You can’t heal what you don’t confront
  • You can do a lot of things, but you can’t do all the things
  • More money won’t fix bad spending habits
  • The life you desire is on the other side of fear.
  • Age is really just a number
  • Parenting is a gift.
  • Saying no to things you hate is an act of self care.
  • Friends are a necessity.
  • A relationship is a partnership.
  • A spiritual foundation is a must.

What lessons did you learn in 2019 that will help you in 2020?

Until next time…🦋

My Thoughts On Kevin Hart’s Documentary

Kevin Hart’s documentary, I want to start this off on a positive note. This man’s work ethic is superhuman. He makes you want to go harder and adopt a “by any means necessary” mentality! I also felt that way after reading his book which, by the way, was brilliant!
Now, the real reason for this blog. After watching the documentary I felt some kind of way when he discussed his infidelity.
“When did cheating became such a forgivable act?”
Cheating, the new acceptable norm. His wife Eniko said I’m about forgiveness. She says, I told him he gets three strikes and this is two. As I listened to this beautiful young woman speak through hurt and tears I hung my head in embarrassment and sadness for her because at one point in time I was that gullible, that silly. I saw the lack of her own personal self worth as she spoke about wanting her son to have the opportunity to grow up with his dad. I don’t speak from a space of what I would do IF it happened to me. I speak from a space of it DID happen to me. I too was that pregnant woman, that new mom who was a victim of infidelity. I know all to well the strong desire to stick it out for the kids, but on the flip side I know how staying can create an indescribable amount of anger, resentment, loss of self esteem and loss of actual self in that process.
Watching the documentary I noticed that there was a lack of accountability on Kevin’s part when it came to his cheating. I also noticed that no one in his camp held him accountable. From his friends, “we weren’t there to watch him, to tap him on the shoulder and say nigga what you doing?” Why on earth would a grown ass man need babysitters? Why would his behavior need to be monitored? What does this say? To me it says that this behavior is normal. The camera was placed in the room because that individual knew something was going to happen. Kevin Hart putting into a comedy routine what he tried to hide is NOT showing accountability, it’s a forced admission of guilt. He seemed more hurt and upset at the possibility of it being a long time friend exposing him, then he was publicly humiliating his pregnant wife! It truly makes my blood boil.
Hear me when I say, there is no amount of money, private jets, lavished vacations, long D or forced public apologies that would make me stay. Hell, I left broke.
I don’t think individuals think of how cheating impacts not only their spouse or significant others, but several others. In Kevin’s case, because of his celebrity status, his stupidity was shown around the world through channels that even his children had access to. I can remember seeing the tweets of people talking reckless about Eniko. Paparazzi all in her face asking about his infidelity, if she knew the girl, all while being super pregnant. Do people know how hard pregnancy can be without any drama? I can’t even imagine the level of sadness and humiliation this young woman had to endure.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, one does not accidentally cheat. Cheating is a choice. One chooses to dishonor their vows, spouse or significant other by stepping outside of the relationship. Also, cheating isn’t always physical but when it is, one doesn’t accidentally fall into some pussy the same way one doesn’t just slip and land on a dick. They CHOOSE to.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re being cheated on and are unsure of what you should do, know that you don’t have to stay if you don’t want to. Know that, if you leave your children will be okay. Know that God won’t love you any less (because some folks will try to guilt you into staying with “the word”). Know that you’re worth more than someone CHOOSING to step out on the marriage or relationship.
Until next time…🦋

We need more Dwyane Wades | Lesbian & Black

I recently watched Dwyane Wade’s interview on Showtimes All The Smoke podcast where he speaks very candidly about his youngest child coming out.
A quick disclaimer, this blog is NOT for the close minded individual, so if the topic of homosexuality makes you uncomfortable, stop reading here.
Homosexuality, such a controversial topic in several communities, especially the black and Christian communities both of which I can relate to.
When I came across Dwyane Wade’s interview on All The Smoke it made me reflect on my own coming out experience. When it comes to my sexual orientation, it isn’t what defines me, however it is a big part of who I am.
Identifying as Lesbian in the black Christian community has been both uncomfortable and unwelcoming and on the flip side, I’ve honestly never seen a higher population of closeted human beings in my life and the funny thing is, everybody knows and everybody is talking.
I shared my coming out story in a YouTube video, link here https://youtu.be/MwXfLrlwtZQ and I wrote a blog titled, “My Gayness Won’t Make You Less Christian”. Here’s the link to the blog https://talkingallthatjaz.net/2018/04/11/my-gayness-wont-make-you-less-christian/ In that blog I talk about my own unique experiences as it relates to being gay in the Christian community. (Check them out!)
100% of the parents I’ve ever spoken to, who have had children come out always tell the same story. That story, “I could see it when they were young”. We’re not talking 10 or 12 young, were talking 3 or 4 young. I’ll let you guys chew on that for a moment. The story Dwyane Wade shares is no different. He says that when his son was around 3 he noticed that he wasn’t on the boy vibe like his other sons. Now here is where it got interesting for me listening to his observation as a black man because in my opinion black men are by far some of the most homophobic individuals I’ve ever encountered. Black men/fathers absolutely shudder at the tiniest “gay like” tendencies in little boys and other black men. Not all but a big population.
“You ain’t go be no punk”. “Stop acting like a little girl.” “Man up!”. “Stop acting like a sissy”. “I’d be pissed if my kid turned out gay.” I’ve heard them all and I bet a lot of you have too. Sorry to disappoint you, those tactics won’t make the gay disappear. What it will do though, is teach them to be gay in private and suffer in silence. I speak from experience.
Dwyane Wade speaks about struggling at first, but how he chose to love his child through this very difficult process by educating himself. Not demean, not belittle, not shun, not mock, nor tear down. He says his child is stronger than he’ll ever be. Truth is, the bullying often begins at home. Fact is, we fear what we don’t understand and dismiss what doesn’t align with our belief system…but what if?
I’ve lost friends both old and new. I often encounter the what used to be friendly conversations between girls which turn into friendly reminders of their heterosexuality. I choose my comments carefully as not to make certain individuals uncomfortable. “Sis, my sexual orientation doesn’t mean I want you” (insert hard ass eye roll). Im still astounded at the number of absent minded individuals who only associate “gay” with perversion and or sex.
I can only imagine how different my life would have been if I had a Dwyane Wade. How different the countless numbers of other children’s lives would be and would have been if they too had a Dwyane Wade. I can imagine how many children could have avoided debilitating depression and even suicide.
I encourage parents out there, if you have a child that you suspect may be gay or is gay, love them beyond your limited beliefs. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. They need you. They need your love. They need your support. I applaud Dwyane Wade. I admire Zion’s courage! It’s truly inspiring and heartwarming!
I hope this blog helps someone to consider another way. I’m always open to respectful dialogue. Perhaps my story and experiences can help you navigate through your own journey with a child or a loved one. I’m here if you need me.
Here’s a link to the interview. He talks about his son around the 30 minute mark if you want to fast forward.
https://youtu.be/qqwBZqndDUg
Until next time…🦋

Weekly Style Roundup|Beauty Product of the Week|Where have I been?

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Where the heck have I been? Did you even notice that the weekly style roundups had disappeared? The beauty products of the week? Either way I’m back! Let’s get caught up! So much has been going on. I’ve been trying to figure out this blog situation; my blog identity, the whole nine. Where did I land? Well, LifeSTYLE, Fashion & Motherhood. That pretty much sums me up! I had to get clear on how I can best serve my followers/readers. I’ve already deemed 2020 the year of clear vision and I’m getting a head start.

A few months back I began posting Weekly Style Roundups and Beauty products which included an in depth look at my affordable looks of the week which I post on Instagram Tuesdays & Saturdays. It broke down the pieces, included links when available and pricing info. My beauty product posts were basically products I was currently using and obsessed with!

Now why did I fall off? Simply put, life. Things are a bit more settled and I’m getting my grove back! Just call me Stella!

I want to take this time to say thank you! Thank you to those of you who read my blogs. Share my blogs. Comment on my blogs. I appreciate each one of you! Thank you for sticking with me!

Now on to some recent exciting happenings! Through the process of defining my blog identity, I kept asking God for signs. This is something I do often when I’m struggling with a lack of clarity. I was asking what did Lifestyle blogger mean exactly. I mean, I know the literal definition, but what did it mean for me. Then I began to ask, what am I good at and who is my target audience? That’s when I came up with LifeSTYLE, Fashion & Motherhood. After I settled there, I began to question IF that was right…because OVER THINKER.

Went to bed one night and woke up to a bunch of Instagram notifications, one of which was from H&M. I honestly thought it was a joke when I read it at 3 AM because deep sleep…so I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and took a real good look. Y’all, it was a real notification from the real H&M! They had posted me, the not quite nano influencer, the small Lifestyle blogger on their Instagram landing page! Y’all, I was in complete shock! Remember, it was 3AM but I wanted to wake up the entire house and yell, “I’m famous!” I wanted to call my mama and tell her I made it! Yes, I’m that extra in real life, but this was a big deal to me! I had barely made it off the pity party train and woke up to this news!

Picture of me when I got the news at 3AM. I call these shades, “my extra” shades!

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This is me posted on H&M’s instagram page wearing one of their looks!

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So, while still riding this wave I received another message. Same week! This time it was from Ross asking would I agree to having my image posted in their marketing materials. I agreed of course and here I am again!

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I was so excited that I didn’t know what to do. I was also grateful for the opportunity! It definitely boosted my confidence and gave me an even clearer vision! I know what I want and THIS is definitely part of the vision! Stayed tuned folks because there is definitely more to come!

Until next time…🦋

 

Caring For Sick Parents ▎No More Capacity

If I told you how much stress I’ve been under the past few weeks, you wouldn’t believe me.

Have you ever been in a season that felt like a punishment? That tests your faith? That made you question God’s intentions and existence? In a season where you couldn’t even pray? That is the season I have been in. Now let me say, there have been some very exciting happenings that have occurred in my life recently and still so much good that exists and for that I’m so very grateful, but the load I’ve been carrying has been heavy!

Earlier this year I wrote about aging parents, but today I want to address SICK & aging parents.

On Friday November 22nd my father passed out on IHOP. He was taken to emergency, evaluated and admitted into the ICU that same night. Now, when I say things escalated quickly, they escalated quickly. He went from eating breakfast to the family making difficult decisions about his health.

I’ll give you a brief health history. Some years ago my father had major surgery after discovering he had six aortic aneurysms. Two were left behind because his body could not handle any more surgery. He’s been watched ever since. This man is like an energizer bunny! He takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’! Let’s move on.

As the go-to person when it comes to the care of my parents and my disabled brother this incident has added an extra layer and this shit has been hard and heavy! Days spent at the hospital, talks with doctors, procedure after procedure and sleepless nights. At one point, I stopped answering my phone and responding to texts. Why? Because I have to remain sane and I have no more capacity, literally.

Let me say this, my “stuff” doesn’t compare to what my father is experiencing so this blog is not for pity, but I want people to understand how heavy things can get when caring for sick parents or family members and what you can do to help.

When there is one “go-to” family member handling the care and day to day affairs of parents or a loved one, here a few simple things you (outside family members) can do that cost you nothing and will relieve some stress.

  • Ask them how they are doing.
  • Send an encouraging text
  • Offer food
  • Acknowledge what they’re doing by saying “thank you”
  • Save your unsolicited advice
  • Offer help if you can

These few things make a huge difference!

As of today, my father is still hospitalized but out of ICU. He may be able to go home soon, but he has a long road ahead of him! I pray that this blog encourages and informs!

Until next time…🦋

Just Call Me A Night Owl

I’ve never been a morning person and if I’m being completely honest, I’ve always been envious of those who were. They get up the second the alarm goes off. Some even get up a little before the alarm to take full advantage of the extra time.

Yeah, I can’t relate. I’m the snooze until the last minute person. The now I have to do my eyebrows once I get to work person.

I’ve tried everything. Books, changing habits and nothing has worked. I eventually gave up. Then I began to question why does it even matter? I mean, when I do get up early, I absolutely love the stillness and quiet of the morning. I love how watching the sunrise feeds my soul. How I always feel like I have so many more hours in the day. I find that I automatically get up early on days I don’t have to work. I could be on to something there…that’s another blog though.

Me in a nutshell…I’m definitely a night owl! I do my best work after hours…no, not that kind of work you dirty little minds. I’m my most creative at night. My ability to write is best, at night. My soul is also fed by the sunset. I’m calmed by the stillness that comes from a quiet house after it shuts down…well as much as it can with three teenagers and a young adult. I’ve embraced that mornings aren’t my thing. I’ve also made peace with the fact that I don’t have to be a morning person because it’s popular. I’ve read that early risers are more successful. My belief, an individual’s productivity and work ethic makes them successful, not the time of day.

Hello, my name is Jazmine and I love sunsets and late nights.

Are you a morning or a night person? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time…🦋

How To Stay Consistent With Blogging/Planning Tips

So many influencers/content creators are full time employees, I being one of them. We are also parents, wives and business owners. Do you ever wonder how they juggle it all?

Today I’m going to share with you how I’ve managed to consistently blog since January 2018, maintain a full time job, be an amazing partner, and parent to my four super dope kids.

Let’s Begin!

Planning & Prioritizing

This is one of the most important pieces to staying consistent. The ever so famous quote says, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Planning for me looks like planning everything from blog and video ideas, meals for the week and charging camera batteries. When it comes to writing blogs and filming videos, I like to write down what I plan to write and what I plan to film and the days I’d like to post it.

This is where a handy dandy planner comes into play. My preference, an actual handheld planner. I like to write it down. I purchased a personalized planner from personalplanner.com and I love it! If you’re more of a digital age individual, there are several amazing digital apps compatible with IOS and Android devices. Below is a link to an article detailing the 9 best planning apps of 2019.

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/best-planner-apps-4174743

Writing, Filming & Photos

Dedicate a day or a few hours on multiple days to write, film and shoot. I dedicate Sundays to all three. My current posting schedule is;

  • Tuesday & Thursday affordable looks of the day posted on Instagram
  • Wednesday- Blog
  • Thursday, Friday & Sunday videos in YouTube

A lot right? Here is how I do it. Because I post photos twice a week and there’s 4 weeks in a month, I shoot a month’s worth of content in one day. This consist of putting together all of my looks, packing them into my car and dragging my youngest son along who is my photographer to shoot the looks. Quick changes in the car and driving to different locations. Yes, this takes a few hours but, the time saved is priceless!

Batch Writing – when it comes to my blog, I usually write multiple blogs in one sitting. Now this goes back to planning and prioritizing and writing down topics. By far, subject is the most difficult part of this process for me. When you’re posting a blog or two a week, topics can be challenging so I make sure to have brainstorming sessions with myself. This usually takes place in the evenings after the kids are in bed. All of this allows me to write my blogs in WordPress and schedule them. I love it!

Filming – this process is very similar to writing. If I’m filming, I try to film a week ahead. That means three videos. If I mange my time properly, I can film two video in one day. Yes, that means changing looks and sometimes backgrounds twice and n one day, but it goes quickly when you know what you’re filming. Part of this process includes editing. If you’ve ever edited videos then you know that the process can be laborious. I like to edit in the evenings, but if I can squeeze it in on my Sundays, then I do!

Being an Influencer/Content Creator is definitely my favorite work and the tips I’ve shared makes working my full time corporate gig, being a mom/partner and maintaining Talking All That Jaz possible.

How do you manage it all? If you have an additional tips, feel free to share in the comments!

Until next time…🦋

Success is NOT Tied To Age

How many of us have set goals based on age? By 21 I’ll have this. By 30….this, and when you don’t meet those goals, you began to feel like you’ve failed?

I’m raising both of my hands! I had so many age specific goals it was crazy. Now let me say this, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but don’t let it be a reason to get discouraged, stop pursuing, or allow it to make you feel like you’ve failed. Now let’s move on.

By 26 I was a mother of 4 and at that point I can remember thinking, dang I really wanted to have x,y and z completed by 25, but I missed that so let’s aim for 30. Before my 27th birthday I was a divorced mother of 4 entering the workforce for the very first time without a degree. At that point, all goals had gone out the window and I immediately went into survival mode. I had developed a “by any means necessary” mentality. Before I knew it, 30 had come and gone and the thought of goals were nonexistent.

It took me years to forgive myself, to give myself grace. I started seeing so many stories of later in life success stories. College graduates in their 40’s, 50’s and 69’s. People starting successful businesses late in life. If you’re alive and you have a goal you want to achieve, it’s possible at any age!

I started this blog in January of 2018, three months before my 39th birthday. I started the blog as a means to get things off my chest. I planned to write my way out of depression and anxiety, and if in the process I was able to help and encourage someone else, I’d be happy! As of today, I’ve been able to do that and more!

Now that I’m 40, I’ve discovered my why and I’ve found my purpose. I also know that my success is NOT tied to my age. So today, if you’re questioning whether or not you should start that business, or finish that degree, or write that book, the answer is YES! Do it at 20. Do it at 30. Do it at 60. Just do it!

Until next time…🦋