Mom, thanks for seeing me.

As many of you all know, I moved! I now reside in Greenville, SC and with all moves there are adjustments. I know this well, as I’ve moved a good bit. I got my own loft apartment and it’s lovely in every way. My mom is living with me and getting a feel for the city. She has been really supportive of me as I make this space home.

One of the hardest parts about moving, which I knew would come, is leaving my friends behind. My best friend, my sisters, my “mom” friends, my married friends, all the people. And it was especially hard to leave my single friends behind, I worked hard to cultivate friendships with my single friends. Oftentimes, these were friends from different “groups” or even phases of life. But individually I’d kept up with them and we would meet up to hang out and talk life and dreams and everything else in between. I knew I would be giving that up. And I know “you’ll make new friends” is true but that takes time and intentionality to cultivate.

My mom and I have been exploring the city and learning more about Greenville. Today, I was tired and in a “food coma” from the locally made pasta I ate, it was delicious.

She walks in and told me she has a surprise for me.

She hands me a flower and says “I know people will be focused on all the mothers tomorrow, I wanted to say happy Mother’s Day to you as you’ve been motherly to your nephew and other children. You’ll be a mom one day too”. Cue the water works and the tears from a deep place, often left untouched. She gave me my favorite snack and a plant for my new hanging pot, all in effort to say, I know you’re hearts desires and I see you. You can never underestimate the power of kindness.

So to all the aunties, god-mommy’s, sisters, friends, etc. I see you. You’re valued and loved. May you know just how important you are on a day where some celebrate and many mourn. There’s a place for you too.

Mom, on a weekend that’s supposed to be all about you, thank you for seeing me. Happy (early) mother’s day to the realest mom a girl could ask for.

Mom, your heart beats in mine.

Dear Mom-

As I get older I realize how much I’ve taken your love for granted.

Late nights.

Endless phone calls.

Heartache.

Heartbreak.

Joy.

Sadness.

Depression.

Shame.

You’ve seen every beautiful part of my soul. And you’ve walked with me through every valley.

The good book says, where can I go and you’re not there.  I know this scripture was referring to God but somehow it feels as if it was referencing you. I carry your heart. I am the living representation of you. I am your legacy. Fully Faitth with two t’s but full of characteristics, genetic similarities, and boldness like you. I am your daughter.

I’ve spent years being embarrassed of your loud laugh and quirky personality.

Little did I know that in the years to come,  I would desire to be like you.

You are uniquely, you. Unbothered and Unmoved by the opinions of others. A force to be recorded with. A beautiful and courageous black woman. The essence of class and grace. The wind beneath my wings and the one who brings my soul joy. You are air and life itself. Without your breath to fill my lungs, I struggle to speak.

You see me.

Unfortunately, I haven’t always seen you. Your sacrifice. Your love. The tears shed privately when I hurt your feelings. The pain you too feel, when I am heartbroken because now your heart is broken too.

Your heart is in mine and mine in yours.

You are a treasure to behold and a woman I hope to be like one day.

You invested your life into mine and the fruit from my life is a fulfillment the tapestry you knit on my heart.

I’ve been convincing you to take spontaneous adventures with me since I was 11. As we go on yet another adventure to celebrate 27 years of my feet touching this earth, I am humbled you let me bring you to Paris with me. The city of love with my mother, the one who taught me all about sacrificial and generous love.

xoxo

FaitthB

All this Weight.

I wasn’t always thick or chubby (as I usually say…when referring to my weight). In fact, I remember thinking I would never be thick, my metabolism wouldn’t betray me. And I could continue my life during college eating what I wanted when I wanted it. I mean, I tried to work out on and off during college but I wasn’t fostering a healthy lifestyle but it didn’t matter much since I wasn’t gaining weight. 

Then junior year, everything changed.

I was leading a trip for some students to Thailand and I was so stressed. It was then that I discovered I was leaning on food to cope with the stress. I ate when I was happy or when I was sad. I began the longstanding pattern of rewarding myself with food. “Faitth you killed that test, eat!” “Faitth you made it through that stressful week of work, EAT!” “Faitth life has sucked and things are stressful, EAT! “Faitth have some wine tonight…wind down”.

Every day was a cause for celebration. Food was no longer eaten for my health it was my pleasure. All the food, all the things, all the time.

When I moved to Austin for almost 2 years, I was constantly stressed. Food was my go-to cure for all the drama I was facing at work, the stress of being a case manager, and every little moment of happiness I felt. I consoled myself with food and by the time I moved home I re-gained the weight I had worked hard to lose after college, plus some more.

40+ lbs gained post-college and I am stumbling my way back to health. The key word is stumbling.

This is a journey I struggle with. I am not a super athlete anymore. My metabolism has slowed way down. Losing weight is not nearly as easy at is once was for me at 21-23 years old.

I find myself trying to “balance” loving myself and my body- in its current state and chastising myself for not trying harder to lose weight. The balance between health and not moving into an obsession with my weight. I’m also learning to truly love my body. This is an ongoing process.

One thing’s for sure, I am moving away from rewarding myself with food and instead, I am working out more, making healthier food choices, and reminding myself of my value and worth no matter what the scale says. But let’s be real, that’s hard. So while I’m seeing all of these weight loss posts and get “your summer body” products, I’m reminded that I’m not alone in this journey. Most people have “all this weight” and are trying their best to accept, love, and workout their bodies. 

There’s a story behind all this weight and I plan to keep overcoming every obstacle because when I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t want to think about the season of depression that I “medicated” with food. Instead, I want to see a fighter, willing to get back up and keep trying ❤️

Baby Kadyn 

My heart is filled with love.
Tuesday, I met my new little love; my nephew Kadyn.

Somehow his little life lit up mine. All my priorities fell by the wayside. The world stopped. I barely watched the news and I didn’t care about the political climate (this is rare) because a new little man graced this earth. Jesus breathed life into his soul and with every breath he takes, I’m reminded that God still performs miracles.

My brother is a father now. A role I knew he always wanted. A role I knew he would excel in. His loving and tender heart now has someone else to love and motivate him for greatness. He has a new role and responsibility to care for his son. Watching him care for his wife is something to behold. Falon is a champ for carrying a 9 lb baby to full term. They are great parents already. I am forever grateful to have a front row seat into his life. I’m grateful for family because you get built-in best friends.  The people I love and cherish, they are people who make my heart soar.
So cheers to new life entering this earth.
Hope restored.
And new beginnings.
Xoxo

Faitth B

Self-Care 

A lot of people have asked me about how I am handling my full schedule. If you don’t know this already, I have a fiercely loving and supportive tribe. This means that I get questions all the time about how I am doing or am if I’m getting burned out. 

I decided to write a blog about self-care and how I’ve managed to keep myself healthy during this season of life. There’s been a lot of trial and error but I’ve learned what works for me and it’s been life changing. 

1. I am only committed to two things. My internship (for grad school) Monday through Thursday 8-5pm. Plus, traveling for work on the weekends. That’s it. I’ve made the hard decision to say no to a lot of things. I’ve chosen to occupy my time with these two things plus working out. That’s it.

2. My body. I have had a love hate relationship with my appearance for a while now. I’ll get on a health kick lose 10 to 15 pounds, life happens and I stress eat (I’m an emotional eater). There goes my weight loss. Now I am back to square one. This is been a cycle in my life since I graduated from college in 2012. After hearing my friend Angela Davis talk about the connection between the body and the spirit, I decided I needed to make a change. Angela always says if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you. My problem was that I was avoiding all the challenges because life is hard enough right? I was challenged in a lot of other areas of my life and the last place I wanted to be challenged was physically- in the gym. And I did not want to challenge my eating habits. 

A little over a month ago my friend Julie invited me to try out this kickboxing gym called  9Round. I almost died in that first work out, hand to the heavens, I almost died. I thought I might pass out. I felt so chubby, unhealthy, weak and embarrassed. But something awakened in my soul after that workout, I wanted to go back. I wanted to challenge myself, in spite of the deep embarrassment I felt. So I went back. I killed my second workout and the owner of the gym looked at me and said, “you seem drastically different from how you were yesterday, I’m surprised you came back.” She said, “what’s the difference between now and then?” I said “I made up my mind.” And then I joined the gym.

I made up my mind. I decided to take back my body. I decided that the soul work that I have been doing in therapy is just as important as me taking care of my body. It’s just important as the feeding my spirit and connecting to God. My body is my temple.
So now I go to the gym and I work out 3 to 4 days a week. And I feel stronger, happier, healthier, and fulfilled. 

3. I take care of my emotional health. I have a therapist. I do monthly check ins with my therapist. Please people if you need a therapist get one. It’s the best decision I have ever made. Best investment.

I also have a wonderful truth telling mother, she prays for me constantly, cheers me on, and speaks the truth to me all.the.time. She is far more than an accountability partner, she is my sounding board and one of my best friends. 

Have a great brother and sister-in-law, a supportive dad, plus a whole host of amazing friends. In the words of Drake, “I got a really big team, and they need some really big rings.” I couldn’t do when I get to do without my tribe. They love me, feed me, and support me. 

4. My spirit. I choose to read life giving books, uplifting messages by different pastors I enjoy, and read scripture. I have made more time for reading/audiobooks. I have also spent my time watching informative documentaries when time allows. I can’t forget music, I love listening to good music while reading a book. 

Traveling is like God’s gift to me. It’s my therapy of sorts. I love the airport, still. People ask me if I’m tired of traveling yet and the answer is no. I’m not tired of it at all. Traveling is my “me” time. I spend all week with people. Traveling alone gives me time to think and refuel- Time to “be still”.  Time to pray and reflect. Plus I have a new favorite travel outfit that is beyond comfortable. Thanks to lululemon for these pants sent from heaven, this comfy Star Wars t-shirt from Wal-Mart, and my new pull over sweater, plus my teva’s. My time is very occupied in this season with what I’ve chosen to commit to. I am focused on those things only. I’m behind in dinners, lunches, and coffee dates I was planning to have. I have missed numerous social functions. And I’ve said no to mostly everything. But that’s okay, because I’m caring for myself. Mind, Body, and Spirit. I cannot care for myself well and be present everywhere. Some seasons you pick things up and some you let things go. I’m learning to be content with letting things go and picking up the things that matter right now. 


Take care of yourselves, friends. Especially during this election season 😉

Xoxo

FaitthB

Dear “Supermodel” Me

**So I was searching my drafts, I have over 20 blogs sitting around that I’ve never published. I’m not sure why I didn’t publish this one two years ago. Maybe I felt it was too vulnerable, I’m not sure. But I love the raw honesty so I figured this was a great blog to share with you all, today.**

Dear “Supermodel” Me,

First off let me tell you how hard I am working to measure up to you. Its pretty tough. You have set a huge standard that I am hoping I will measure up to. Your slim body, flawless skin, gorgeous face, are truly something to behold. With a body like yours, you receive plenty of attention and praise from men. You are so desirable, who doesn’t love you? Your fashion is impeccable. You are everything I am not.

There is just one problem.

I can’t be you.

Somedays, I desperately want to be you. I want to get the attention you do. I want to be desired like you are. As much as I want those things, I want my sanity more. No matter how much I run, eat right, or dress well, I won’t be you. I will look in the mirror and have a choice to make- love my self or belittle myself. It seems almost sad that I compare myself to my imaginary supermodel self. Since I have grown up as a “good church girl”, one would wonder why I desire to be you, when God loves me as I am. This is where reality meets a mask and honestly, this talk is long overdue. I compare myself to you and all your “supermodel” friends that guys seem to swoon over often. I take one good look at myself and wonder if these passions, heart, and vision are enough? They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and sometimes I doubt if my beauty is beheld at all.

Here’s the thing. I am tired. I am tired of chasing after you and hiding in your shadow. My pursuit of your perfection leaves me settling time and time again. Let’s face it, this is too risky. I trade my emotional stability to play a game I will never win. This is tiring. I would be remiss if I thought it was just girls playing this game because along the way I have seen a few guys join in too. Wondering if they are tall enough, wise enough, handsome enough, make enough money, or are worthy to be desired. It’s a problem many of us struggle with-men and women.  This is a problem that will change when I decide to change it and talk about it. Sure I may slip up and compare myself to you again but deep down inside I will hang on to the truth.

I am enough.

Supermodel Me, this is so hard to write for the world to see but it’s time I called you out. I have some big dreams and living in your shadow won’t get me to my desired destination. When someone says I am beautiful, I want to believe them 365 days of the year. Instead of dismissing the words spoken over me. 

We are all enough. Just the way we are. 

Xoxo

Faitth B

Hey. Let’s go to Austin.

If you know anything about me, you know that I love an adventure. I’m all about packing up and getting on a plane ASAP. Last year, I really wanted to get away so I called my friend Julie and told her we needed to find a place to visit that day. And at 9am we decided to go to ft. Lauderdale. The flight left at 4pm. I immediately packed all my stuff and drove from Austin to Houston. We barely made the flight but we got to Ft.Lauderdale. We spent 24 hours there and it was a trip to remember. 

Fast forward to today, I was telling Julie about some stuff I needed to take care of in Austin but I could only do it in person. Typically I’m the spontaneous one out of the two of us but this time Julie said “let’s go get your stuff done today”. So that’s exactly what we did. We arrived in Austin at 5:45 and left by 8:45pm to head back to Houston. Everything got accomplished and we had a lot of fun in the process. Julie is one of the few people I can travel with and have an absolute blast. I also got to see my friends Zeeke and Tasha. 


Life gets busy but Julie and I always make time for an adventure. Life is short. We will only be young once. I plan to soak up my youth and travel the world. 

BTW, everyone needs a friend like Julie. She is loyal, fun, organized, and she helps me keep my life in order. Julie, I’m glad you started working out 3 years ago so we could be friends 😂 (one day I’ll tell the full story). Cherish your tribe friends and love them well. 

Xoxo 

FaitthB