A Queen's Diary
March 8th was International Woman’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It was a chance to publicly raise awareness about women who have blazed the trail and made a path for other women in the process. It was a time to show love and promote girl bosses and women who are inspirational and motivating. All over social media I saw women shouting out businesses, female business owners, athletes and celebrities. It was inspiring and moving to see women support other women in this way. Traditionally, we’ve been taught that other women are our competition. It can sometimes feel that way in this male-driven society, little there simply isn’t room enough for too many of us. A competitive spirt is not a bad thing. However, the competition is not the other woman. There is enough room for all of us to make it. The change will happen when we decide to uplift one another. I think it is important to tell other women we admire them and that they are doing a good job. It is important to encourage other women more often. If you think someone is a good mom - tell them, if you admire the fact that a woman has started her business – hype her, if you admire the way a girl overcame a major setback- encourage her to keep pushing. You may think it is a small thing to do, to offer encouragement randomly, but to the woman who needed to hear it, it's priceless. There have been days when a random compliment from another woman shifted my attitude. We should empower the women around us to succeed and excel in every aspect of their lives. We are currently in an era where women are being celebrated and are given opportunities more than ever before. Let’s not throw these opportunities away in an attempt to get ahead of one another. Let’s stop mistreating each other and encourage other women to make them stronger and more confident. This way when one of us wins, she can reach back and do the same for another girl.
February is the month used in observance of Black History. I am a woman of color, but what color? I was born in the 70’s on the Island of Hawai’i to a Black army soldier from St. Louis Missouri and a native wahine (woman), of a mixed race herself-Hawaiian and Chinese. My color? I like to call it a well-done golden McDonald’s French fry color, with extra salt. The salt being the confusion of growing up as a minority of minorities amongst minorities meaning, 'A female, whos’ skin color could be called a lighter tint of Black, that spoke Hawaiian, and had hair and eyes resembling that of an Asian woman.' With all of these exotic features encompassed, I did not want to be…Black. I wanted to be considered a Hawaiian and that was it. That was all I knew how to be. From the way I spoke, my cuisine, and hobbies; which included body surfing and laying out in the sun, which I still enjoy ‘til this day, is what a local girl on an island did. I recently discovered where this feeling originated.
According to The Hawaiian Journal of History vol. 22 (1988)- “While all racial groups in Hawaii in the late 20th century were minorities, Blacks represented one of the smallest populations in the State. In 1980, Blacks in Hawaii were counted by the United States census at 17,364 persons or 1.8 percent of the total State Population and was contrasts in 1980 with a total of 26,495,025 Blacks, comprising 11.7 percent of the total population. 86.4 percent of these Blacks were members of the armed forces or military dependents.”
Soon after a man by the name of Captain James Cook sailed an exploratory expedition in 1778, the Hawaiian Islands were opened to foreign visitors and new inhabitants, amongst them were the first blacks to sail to the islands as crew members of merchant ships in the early 19th century, many leaving their ships to become residents of the islands and were called haole ‘ele’ele or foreign black. In later years, marriages occurred with Hawaiians, and these people and their children became classified in census as Portuguese or Part-Hawaiian.
When Hawaii became a Territory of the United States, many American Negros that were brought to the Islands as members of the Army or Navy merged with the residents through intermarriage and association with local groups but did not separate and their identity as Blacks and were diffused with that of the other ethnicities of the Island like Asian, Puerto Rican and Chinese.
Kathryn Takara, an Instructor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaii wrote in the mid-1980s: “Because of the stigmas and negative stereotypes associate with descendants of slaves, some Blacks in the past chose to be identified with another race that was more acceptable and familiar to the local Hawaiian community. Blacks who called themselves part-negro in the 1910 census found it easier to become part-Hawaiian in 1920. Even today, a few fear the possible or imagined repercussions of being discovered of Negro origins.”
Even with my slanted almond-shaped Asian eyes, my wavy textured hair, my learned proper etiquette and speech, and well-done golden McDonald’s French fry colored skin, I am still Black and not only according to the United States Census, but according to society. My narrative now is that I AM Black and proud to be.
Now that we are in a new year, stop playing the blame game so that you can grow! At some point in time through your growth, you realize that most of your problems were self-inflicted. You blame others for losing the job that YOU used to steal from everyday, your 12th relationship in 6 months failed, or you're screaming for a financial breakthrough after you've spent your last financial blessing in the casino instead of paying your bills ....but all I've seen in social media posts, and witnessed, was why it was never your fault. You have to face yourself! You cry out to God saying, "Lord, why is this happening to me again? I prayed for this and that, but You never look out for me." You begin questioning your faith. God is going to continue to teach YOU the same lessons, time and time again, until YOU learn the lesson!
You want a promotion on that same job you're stealing from... You're praying for financial breakthroughs but you spend your money for pleasure 13 seconds after that deposit hits... and then you're praying for somebody else's husband... let me hush...
Stop going through life mad at everybody else whether they did you wrong or not. I don't hold grudges against anybody who has done wrong by me. I simply thank them for doing ME a favor and allowing God to use them to elevate ME through the lesson learned. It's a new year! Unless you want to keep repeating the same lessons, you better evaluate yourself and figure out what it is that God was trying to show you the first 352 times. Stop forming weapons against yourself.
I remember that there was a time when I knew exactly what I wanted to do in life. Growing up, I knew that I didn’t want to be married or have kids. I was going to be rich before 25 and be a psychologist with my own practice. I had it all together, or so I thought. As I got older, life begin to happen. The things I once took interest in no longer interested me. I lost friends along the way and life was passing me by. I felt like I was at a stand still trying to figure things out. After multiple attempts at attending college, I decided to join the Air Force at the age of twenty-two. Even still, I didn’t have a plan for my life. However, what I did learn in the military and with age, is that it is okay to not always have a plan and you don't have to know everything in order to succeed in life. As long as you keep trying and moving forward, you will eventually find whatever it is that is meant for you. I separated from the military with two children and married far before discovering my passion. I am now thirty'four, happily married with two boys and about to complete my degree in a career that I didn’t even know existed. I am not where I thought I’d be at this age but I’m exactly where I need to be for God to keep blessing me and my family. It’s never where or how you start, but it's about the essence of the journey and how finish. Keep pushing Queen!! You’re time is coming!!
Black girl magic…. We’ve heard this phrase for a few years now and every day we are reminded of how magical we really are. We are women whose grandmothers, great grandmothers etc. have literally fought their way through life and have come out stronger and wiser than ever. If you really pause to think about all of the accomplishments we make on a daily basis, we would walk with our heads so high and have confidence dripping from our heels. We are sisters, wives, mothers, business owners, professionals, students and friends. We are so busy working our magic that we don’t even realize the magical impact we have on others.
Take some time to revel in the sparkle that you bring to this earth; get that pedicure, take yourself to lunch/dinner, or buy yourself that pretty black dress. We give so much of ourselves to others that we forget that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we won’t be able to take of others. It’s ok to get tired, even God rested on the 7th day. I sometimes have to remind myself not to feel guilty for enjoying a break and relaxing.
Also as black women, we need to learn to be confident in our sparkle while at the same time, not diminishing our sister’s sparkle. Have you watched a fireworks show during 4th of July and viewed all of the different rays of color shooting through the air and different types of fireworks? They are all beautiful together, every single sparkle is visible and appreciated. We as black women are beautiful and powerful when we work together, there is no need to diminish the light of others to be successful.
A few days ago, I fell victim to comparing my success in my business to another business owner by the success that I was seeing on social media. The next morning in prayer, I asked God to help my business be more successful and to connect me with the right people to grow my business. But, if I’m truly honest with you and myself, that prayer was all derived from the feelings of failure that I felt from someone else’s social media display of success. Two days later, the Lord spoke to me and told me to get it together, that person’s business success couldn’t be compared to my business due to our goals and paths being different. I was pretty much slapped for putting a limit on my success based on one characteristic of that person’s portrayed success on social media. I shared that story to say, don’t compare yourself to others. You don’t know their story, your goals and aspirations and blessings are predestined for you and you alone. Sparkle on ladies, sparkle on.
~ Tequesta DeSouza
The 13th of October marks 9 years since you were called home. Everyday without you is hard, but this month seems to be filled with much more pain because it's breast cancer awareness month . Even though you didn't have 'breast' cancer, in my eyes, cancer is cancer! Seems like just yesterday that I received the life changing news, which what was first diagnosed as a gum abscess that had swallowen into the size a golf ball knot in your throat. Later after testing, the results said that it was cancer. Oh how my heart ached that day and with no knowledge or understanding of what we were up against or what was to come. I watched you fight day and night. From months of chemotherapy to radiation treatment... Then the 'big chop' .....but you wore it boldly and beautifully. I remember you calling every night that the pain wasn't too hard to bare to pray with the girls and I. Being strong for them because they were too young to understand. I've watched you go through so much and witnessed you overcome so many trials in your lifetime, so I knew that this was just another stepping stone. Little did I know, that in four short months, God would call you home, releasing you from the pain and cares of this world. I don't care what anyone says, you could never be prepared to lose someone you love. For years I've had my moments, but I honestly don't think I've fully grieved. October seems to be the worst month ever. Pink ribbons and t-shirts seemed to honor what took you away for us. However, as I got older, I came to realize that we live our life for others and we overcome and heal from sharing our experiences with others. Cancer has affected so many families and I want to do my part in raising honor and awareness. So what's usually a not so good month for me is a reminder that your battle was not in vain and somewhere someone is overcoming. You are proof that pain and even fear pushes you to do some amazing things. I wear pink and walk in honor of you mom, because even pain, as bad as is hurts, has a purpose.
Love you Mom!
Ladies do yourself a favor, when ex-wives and ex-girlfriends try to warn you of extreme insecurity and controlling behavior...don't ignore them! Don't ignore the very obvious red flags that he shows to you. Don't convince yourself that these things will get better because they will only get worse!! When all is said and done, you'll realize that person has managed to successfully alienate you from your friends and even your own "family". They manipulate you day by day and will use your past traumatic experiences and sheltered childhood to disguise the reasoning for their controlling. I grew up in a very nice area, and Syracuse could NEVER come anywhere close to where I'm from. This whole area was just ghetto and trashy to me. Well that was his key to scaring me from going anywhere outside of our home; not to Walmart or even the library. I would go to the mall from time to time, but I'd be prepared to video chat him on demand after he evaluates what I'm wearing and tries talking me out of going to the mall by telling me people are robbing, shooting and stabbing each other there.
I had a traumatic experience a few years ago that he was aware of. That was his golden ticket to justify why he was abusing his police powers by looking up any and every male that crossed my path, including my coworkers and classmates. He took pictures of male coworkers license plates and screenshots of Facebook profile names to run their information at work which was the "norm," once he got comfortable. If he was truly doing this in good faith, he would've look up females as well.
3 weeks ago I realized if I allowed this extreme insecurity and controlling behavior to continue, I may become a missing person in the future. I say that because this behavior wasn't getting better, it was getting WAY worse! That is when I told him I wanted a divorce. There have been many happy times, but overall, this relationship has been the most miserable and stressful relationship I've EVERVbeen in. Yes we took happy pictures, but that goes to show you, you never truly know what goes on behind closed doors. I'm very strong-minded and independent. I'm not one to be controlled, but I allowed it without even realizing it. I can only imagine how bad things would have been if I didn't have my own income, and solely depended on him.
The truth hurts, and people aren't always who you think they are. I'm was normally pretty private about my relationship problems, and he was QUITE the opposite. I've asked him to keep this private, but he couldn't wait to tell the whole world. I've been biting my tongue through his false accusations of me in his attempt to justify his extreme insecurity and controlling issues. I've been trying to keep the peace and play nicely through this divorce, but I'm done being quiet to protect his image and keeping the peace for him. I'm DONE!
DO NOT IGNORE EX'S AND RED FLAGS!
-Queen Jacquelene Ivana
Through it all, I smile. I’m a Queen, a mother, a fiancè and an entrepreneur. At times, it gets overwhelming, it gets hard and there are so many distractions in society. As a teen, I became a victim of rape by a close family member. Having to see that person continuously afterwards, and not being able to just take myself from that situation, I make it my business to pay attention and LISTEN to my daughters. I make it my business to make them feel comfortable enough to come to me about anything. I’m still healing. It’s still a fear of mine that their innocence could be taken away by a heartless human being so I hold them tight. I turned my pain into passion. I write, I make natural healing soaps, I express myself to help heal and free others out of the dark places that I once experienced. I’m going to be the one that breaks the generational curses in my family. I have young Queens depending on me to make their situation better. Although, I’m not where I want to be financially, we have each other. I moved my babies away to give them better and I won’t stop until they’re in a position to win. I teach them that their voices are more than just words. They are out here to make a difference. In everything we do, we LOVE and thank God for all we have and are at peace with all that we have yet to receive. I teach them the importance of gratitude and being thankful. My journey is tough. I experienced many trials along the way but this is just God's way of preparing me for what I deserve. I will keep going because He gave me a gift with a purpose fueld by passion as an outlet. Crying and continuing to push through my pain has taught me patience. I've learned to be happy in the midst of my journey, otherwise I'd miss out on life thinking that happiness is in the next place. I come up with plans and I keep my faith as I follow them. Q.R.E. creations was built on pain and I made it my passion which became my outlet. My daughters saved me. Q.R.E. creations saved me.
C.E.O. of Q.R.E. Creations
I’m Tired. I am living “the dream”, well, “my dream”. I remember in my early teenage years when I use to daydream about what I’d like my future family to look like and what I wanted my life to look like. I dreamed of being married to a man that loves God above everything else, and having boys, yes, I dreamed of having boys! I also use to dream about creating an atmosphere of peace for my family, I remember praying that my home would be a “safe place” –one that whenever we needed a peaceful place to be, we would think of “home”. God has giving me that. My name is Adrihen, I have been married for almost 10 years and we have two amazing, very energetic boys. Our home is our safe place, and no I’m not referring to a physical place, our home is us, family. So, yes, my life seems to be close to perfect and I am eternally grateful to God for the gift of my family, but the reality is that most of the time I feel exhausted. I feel tired. Not tired of my family, just tired all together. It’s as if the responsibility that comes with this amazing blessing was almost too much to carry. I love my boys, but oh if I can just have half of their energy! I often struggle with my own exhaustion, because you know: “ I should be smiling and glowing with content that my life is so blessed, I should be more grateful, I should focus on the positive, I can’t break down or I shouldn’t, come on Adrihen, get it together, you have no right to complain”.
For many years I have been in “superhero” mode. Whenever I felt tired, I wouldn’t verbalize it (I mean, that’s weak, right?), whenever I felt like I needed a break, I would shake it off and keep going, I would even throw in a bible verse to justify my actions (like “I can do all things through Christ”). The truth is that culture thought me that I shouldn’t feel this way, “every woman does it”, no one seem to complain, so I have no right to feel like I reached the end of myself. On top of it all, hubby helps a lot, so there you go, what excuse do I have? Suck it up and keep going right? This was my line of thinking for so many years. Too many unspoken emotions; too much hiding my feelings, too much energy wasted in trying to keep an image of holding it all together. I was bone tired. All of this made me bitter after time, even resentful. But something happened. God intervened. You know there is a problem when your own son asks you constantly, “Nom why are you angry at me?” Even more surprising, I was surprised to hear him say that! “I was fine, I felt normal, I wasn’t angry”. It’s interesting the way that living with everything bottled up inside can become so normal to us, that being constantly exhausted and drained has become so normal in our society that we are not aware of the damage it’s causing us and our family. But after a few of those episodes I had with my son I started questioning myself.
I started asking God, to look into my heart and show me what was wrong, and he did! I was never good at verbalizing my feelings or thoughts. For one I thought people would think I’m losing my mind, and second, I just didn’t see how it would change anything). God started teaching me, the first thing God showed me was that the weight of my blessing, the responsibility of my blessing was indeed supposed to be too heavy for me to carry. You see, it I was never designed to carry it alone. God will never give you something that will make you “independent” of Him. He told me, “daughter, let go, and let me in, you were never created to carry that weight. That is why you are so tired, so weary, so drained.” The bible says: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest – Matthew 11:28. Life can take a toll on us, sometimes it just seems like too much, other times it’s just too painful, and it all can seem so dark. But the peace that I discovered when I received the revelation that God, The Creator of the universe is interested in every aspect of my life, He is interested In my day to day duties, he cares about what stresses me out, and he desires for us to live a healthy, peaceful, joyful life. No, I don’t have to have it all together, I just have to believe that He has it all together for me (Romans 8:28 reads: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God).
When I am tired, I take a break, a break from it all. It seemed so hard at first, I mean, how would things get done, or I would think that everything would fall apart if I took a few hours to recharge. Leaning on God and letting go is a hard process to learn, I’m still learning. I still find myself in “superhero mode” from time to time, but when I realize it, I stop myself from going any further. The world will not stop spinning because you stop to take a break and breathe. I learned that in reality I was only causing harm not just to myself, but to my family as well. I can serve my family better when I am at my best state of mind, I can be the best me when I am recharged and rested. Yes, it is normal to get tired but it is not normal to “stay tired”. There is nothing wrong with admitting that we are not superheroes, we don’t have it all together, it’s ok to breakdown, it is ok to be weak (in 2 Corinthians 12:9 the bible says: My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness).
Let’s ask God to change our mentality and ask him to give us the mind of Christ, a mind that understands that we depend on God for everything and anything. Let’s pray for a mind that has the ability to grasp the fact that we are in this world, but we are not from here, we are here on an assignment. Let’s pray that God enable us to see further than what our physical eyes can see, and that we may not fall for the devil’s scheme which is to distract us and make us weary, to make us constantly exhausted with our day to day tasks so that we are too tired to fight the “real battle”. Yes, there is a real battle that we are fighting daily whether we are aware or not, the battle is against your purpose, the battle is against your destiny, the battle is against your family. I was too distracted in my own world, I was too distracted in my exhaustion, BUT GOD!! I pray today, that God may awaken the warrior in you, that he may open your eyes and give you the courage to get up and be the woman God created you to be. Lean on Him, don’t carry the weight of life on your shoulders, let go, and let God.
Queen Adrihen Genao
Wife, Mama, Blessed
It's funny how we could easily fall into bad habits but it takes so much more to get out of them. It's like allowing your grades to slip in school and having to work 10 times harder to get them up. It's so easy to fall of course from your plans, patterns and schedules. We become so consumed with the agenda we've written out for our lives. Some of us have our days planned out in our minds and if one thing fails to go the way we planned, our whole day is ruined. We have to learn that plans are just that, plans! Plans can and will change along life's journey. Our idea of the achieving each goal in our plans may not be the correct protocol. Some plans change for the good and some plans change just to get our attention. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you shouldn't have a plan. I believe we all need guidance in our lives or we won't know where we are going and what steps that may be needed to get us there. The older I get, the more I realize that I have to allow things to fall in and out my plans and just adjust to them. It's better to have a blueprint than to be caught up in life without one. Let's just say you spilled a cup of coffee on your rough draft, or worse, you've misplaced your rough draft right before an important business meeting. It's ok to start over! it's ok to plan again! Plans are our ideas of achievements leading to our end goals. Although things happen and plans change, unexpected realignment will eventually put you on the right path to get you to where you are supposed to be. We have to keep in mind the motivation that fueled us to make these plans in the first place.