Dating While Black & Female


Hi ladies and gentlemen,

I hope you have had a great week. If you haven’t, I understand wholeheartedly, There has been so much to deal with mentally and spiritually, with the pandemic and the racial injustice. The combination of the two is unnerving, but through faith in God, we will overcome this pandemic and the social injustice. I truly believe that progress is being made in both areas and the way time is passing, this pandemic will be over before we know it. Apparently there could be a vaccine at the beginning of next year, so let’s pray that this will come to fruition.

This pandemic has gotten me thinking about the lack of companionship in my life. I have friends, not a ton of friends, but a few close friends. One thing that I have learned in adulthood is that making friends is so much more difficult than it was when you are in grade school and college. I would be lying if I said I never get lonely. I’m an only child and have been by myself for most of my life. Actually, I enjoy being alone. There is so much freedom when you are alone. You can do whatever you want and you don’t really have to ask anyone whether they want to do something or not. You just get to decide what to do with no one to answer to.

Furthermore, I can make major life decisions and I don’t have to ask anyone if it’s okay, except for God (I’m really trying to do better about that, Lord). However, this pandemic has made me realize that being alone is getting to me more than it used to. The older I get the more I notice that I am alone most of the time. Outside of work, theatre, and school, I am at home alone. Honestly, I don’t like clubs, parties, bars or large crowds, so I enjoy being at home. For years, workaholic was my middle name, so I started hanging out with a few friends every now and then within the past year and even joined a church right before the pandemic.

Did you know that in NYC, you can go weeks without ever seeing your roommate? You live and learn, LOL! My roommates either lived in another city, traveled all the time, or worked a completely different work schedule than me. It’s crazy, but secretly I kind of like it because I get the whole apartment to myself and only pay a third of the rent. It has its’ perks, believe me! Since March, my roommates have mostly been away either visiting home, traveling, or staying with friends, so I spend most days at home by myself. I’ve gone days, even weeks without talking to anyone in person outside of work and that was even before the pandemic. One of my roommates still texts me workouts, even though I haven’t seen her since early May. Although working my job, spending time with the Lord, online church and bible study, working out, watching Hulu, and studying have made the time go by pretty quickly, the loneliness is starting to get to me more than ever.

A part of me would like an intimate relationship, but a part of me doesn’t want a relationship at all. There is a documentary called Black Love and it was very eye opening about the trials and tribulations of dating and marriage. These couples went through hell and back, but they remained together through the adversity. That’s beautiful, but scary! Even in high school, I could see that romantic relationships were work, work, and more WORK.  It seemed to me that you needed to have a certain level of maturity to be in a romantic relationship and I didn’t think that I had that yet.

Oh, and college was a complete culture shock for me. My white classmates were always talking about marriage and children and I felt like a cynical degenerate at times. I didn’t get it. We just got out of high school and ya’ll are thinking about marriage and kids. Excuse me!! I was shooketh! LOL!  This made me more aware of the difference between black and white families. I realized that black families don’t really talk much about marriage until after their son or daughter has a career. Apparently, it is expected in the white community to be married in your early to mid-twenties. Hey, I had no idea. My white classmates expected to be married or engaged right after college and for most this came true. When one of my friends said that she thought her boyfriend would be proposing soon, I was a little in shock. I shouldn’t have been surprised, they had been dating since high school, what else would they be doing right? I just couldn’t believe that people got married so young. Most women in my family married later in life or never married at all. In fact, the few black girls that I went to college with currently have good jobs and careers, but most are not married and a few just recently got engaged within the last year. Frankly, most of my black colleagues, friends, and associates have had very few, if any serious relationships at all. One of my black college friends got married last year and she was a senior when I was a freshman, so I know she is at least in her mid-thirties for sure. I’ve met so many beautiful, talented, successful black women of all ages, who have never been married or who have never had a real long-term relationship and it’s mind boggling.

Basically, I knew at 20 that I wouldn’t be married by 30. I remember saying that I would probably get married in my mid to late thirties. Since Sister, Sister was my favorite show growing up, I told my friends that Tia and Tamera did not get married until they were in their thirties. They are famous and super attractive so what hope did an average Jane like me have to get married in my twenties. My white college friends looked at me like I was crazy. My reality was that the black women that I knew got married in their thirties or forties or not at all and there were very few exceptions to this rule.

Dating as a black woman is quite an experience to say the least, especially when you are immersed in a predominantly white atmosphere the way I have been. ABC Nightline did a story on unmarried black women in 2009. Please watch the video above! It covers the plethora of issues that black women face when it comes to dating. From my own experience, I was never really asked out until I reached my mid-twenties. Since moving to NYC, I have been hit on quite a bit on the street, but I’m not trying to pick up a random man on the street. Who does that?

Here’s the thing, I wouldn’t mind dating outside my race, but I have never gotten much attention from men outside of my race.  All of the men who ever hit on me were black men, and one persistent Arabic male who worked at the local bodega. A woman in the ABC Nightline interview mentioned that she had had a great conversation with a white guy and she thought he would ask for her number, but NOPE, he didn’t. For the record, I have never been hit on or asked out by a white male EVER! Even on dating apps, I like the profiles of men of different races, but the only ones that respond consistently are black. The funny thing is is that I talked to several black guys through texts, phone calls, and emails, but we never even made it to a real date! So when an older white male did ask me out on Coffee Meets Bagel, I took him up on the date. This man was almost twenty years my senior, which was completely out of my comfort zone, but I thought why not, let’s go to dinner. He took me to nice French restaurant and we had great conversation. He texted me the day after and then CRICKETS. Sometimes I wonder, is there something wrong with me. One friend told me that I needed to put myself out there more, another said she thought guys think that I’m nice, but don’t see anything past my friendly demeanor and some people have said that I needed to dress or do more hair differently.

I have met men that I was interested in, but they were usually already dating someone. Most times it was a black male who had a white girlfriend. Black men date outside of their race way more often than black women. I think interracial dating is wonderful. However, I have heard some black men say that they don’t date black women because they have too much attitude or they are too difficult. Some black men say this aloud all too often and it sort of rattles my nerves. Isn’t that an insult to your black mother that you don’t want to date a black woman? I think YES! As I have grown older, I know that this is a symptom of systemic racism as well, but I will save that for another blog post. Now, if a black male meets a white woman who he falls in love with, that is awesome, but saying that you refuse to date a black woman intentionally is infuriating to me. White women tend to date black men, but you don’t see that many white men who date or marry black women. Yes, it happens, but it’s rare.  When I worked in customer service in Memphis and NYC, I would see the former way more often than the latter. Society doesn’t view black women very highly and most men of other races don’t feel like they can bring us home to Mama as one the ABC Nightline interviewees mentioned.

According to, “a 2014 OKCupid study found that Asian men and African-American women get fewer matches than other members. Furthermore, white men and Asian women appeared to receive the most matches. ” GO FIGURE!!

Here I am at age 30, a woman who has never had a serious relationship with a man and very few dates at all.  And yes you guessed it, I am a virgin and I do want to wait until marriage to be intimate with someone. There is a stigma about being a virgin in society, especially for men. It is okay to wait and it is okay not to wait, if that is your preference. I’m not shaming anyone who is not waiting. Do you, boo!! My preference is to wait and I will explain that further in another blog post.

Overall, I’m still pretty unclear on where the Lord is leading me in the love area of my life. I have a career in the performing arts and truthfully, I thought that I would have to sacrifice one for the other. This isn’t necessarily the case. Several actresses that I have worked with on stage and met in auditions in both Memphis and New York are married, and some have children too. You can perform and be married, but you have to have a super supportive spouse.

Last year, I read the autobiographies of two American opera singers and both books were so amazing, but recently I reflected on one major difference. Beverly Sills, a white opera star, was married for most of her operatic career with two children and Jessye Norman, a black opera star, had never been married and had no children. These women were both world-renowned opera singers with completely contrary personal lives. Jessye Norman wrote in the book about how people seem to look at her with pity because she didn’t have a husband and kids. She said that she was glad to have her many nieces and nephews and that she had had a happy, fulfilled, and fruitful life. When I read the two books, I wasn’t looking for this difference, but it makes you wonder. It seems like black women are damaged goods in society. Our unique features, such as our hair, our shapes, our full lips and darker skin tone are an acquired taste in America as well as the world. We look significantly different from women of all the other races, but at the end of the day, “Black is beautiful!!!” It is unique, exquisite, overflowing with rainbows of light, dark, and medium melanin glistening in the sun. The black woman is a provider, an innovator, a nurturer, with style, grace, creativity, beauty and intelligence with an ounce of sass and an extra spoonful of resilience.

All of this just makes me ponder if I am called to be married or not. I feel as though I could be, but I don’t know, only God knows the answer. I prayed about this the other day. Lord if it is in your will for me to have someone, open the door, but if not, then grant me a heart of acceptance. The world and sometimes churches teach that marriage is a given and you are not whole until you find a mate. The truth is that this isn’t biblical. There are people who are not called to be married. I’m an only child so I’m used to being alone and I have to remember that with God, I am never alone. Thirties peeps, remember that with God you are never alone! Until next week, in the words of Don Cornelius, “I wish you love peace and SOUL!!

This entry was posted on June 24, 2020. 1 Comment


Hi Peeps,

This week I made a Facebook Live video and for this week’s blog I thought I would share it on my blog for all to see. Hope you can relate!!! Watch Below!!! Enjoy!!!

Until Next Week!!!

This entry was posted on June 13, 2020.

White People Stand UP Please!!!


Hi everyone, I hope you are doing okay. I say okay because I know most people are pretty upset about the events that happened this week. I have remained silent on these things and I realized that it is time to speak up. Today’s blog is a response to someone on Facebook who denies white privilege and believes in being colorblind. His posts was length so I will not post his comments, only my response to the message. Reading his message really fired me up because so many people don’t believe that there is a problem and if you acknowledge the problem than you are buying into the leftist narrative. That is infuriating to me because even after I posted this, he still didn’t get it. He seemed like a nice man, but his views open my eyes to the fact that if white people don’t become more comfortable discussing race, we will never see the end of this madness of black men and women getting killed. Here was my response:

Yes a black man can achieve success, just like a white man, but that is not what white privilege is about. There are many successful black people who are scared to be pulled over by the police. White privilege is the fact that white people can do things and not get killed by the police or civilians, but black people don’t have that luxury. White people protest with guns and do mass shootings and they do not get shot. George Floyd, Ahmed Arbery and many over the years were unarmed and the police still killed them. I have seen videos of white people getting in the faces of the police and yelling at them and they still live. Meanwhile, if you make one wrong move when talking to the police as a black person, you are in danger. They see us as a threat no matter how rich, how poor, how educated or uneducated the black person is. White people keep calling the police on black people all the time for any and everything that black people do. If a white person doesn’t get their way, they call the police. I know not all cops are bad and not all white people are bad, but society seems to think of black people as a threat. Police are afraid of us and have been for a long time. All lives do matter, but that’s just it, America does not value black lives the same way it values white lives. Black lives matter is saying that our lives matter too, not that our lives matter more than others. The media talks about all types of murders, but these stick out because they were racially motivated. Ahmed was running like so many people do and gets shot. There have been incidents like this all the time.

The media does not follow me around all day. I live my life like everyone else, but when I walk into a room, I don’t know if some people will see me as threat for just being there. That is White Privilege, walking into an environment and not being seen as a threat. I understand that as a white man this is not your experience. But if a black person says that they live in fear daily, that isn’t the media. That is their personal experience. America is not the same for black people. It just is not.

My parents were kids during the civil rights movement. So it is not like my ancestors went through discrimination 100 or 200 years ago. My mother grew up during segregation. She was 11 or 12 when Martin Luther King died. I’m 30 years old and I work hard and have done okay. But I can reach the highest positions in life and I am still looked at as a black woman in America. I had a white girl move out after she found out I was her roommate. A kid told me he did not want to play with me because I was black when I was a child. Many white people fear black people. This is my experience not based off of television or the news. It is not victim mentality, it is my reality. I went to predominately white schools and in college, sometimes I could walk in a room of white people and the whole energy changed. I sang at a friend’s wedding and I was the only black woman there and I got questioned by guests about why was I there and how could I possibly know the couple basically. She grew up in a small town where they aren’t used to seeing black people at all. The white people who protested integration during the civil rights movement are still alive today. So to think that racism does not still exist is a choice. You choose to not accept the narrative because it does not influence your life or your family, so it is unimportant to you. There are black mothers who are sobbing because they don’t know if their sons will come home after being pulled over by the police.

It is the safest era of history for you, but it has never really been safe for black people since slavery. We were always considered second class citizens here. In the sixties, black people were hung and there were no charges against those people. Now people just use guns and call it self-defense because they feared for their lives when there was no threat. And guess what? They don’t get charged with murder. Now if a black person shot a white person, they would be thrown under the jail, even if they said it was self-defense. Besides, these recent videos were shot on people’s phones, so it wasn’t the media who even witnessed the events happen. The people in the George Floyd video tried to tell the cops to stop kneeling on his neck, but he wouldn’t. The media outlets got more information about the incidents, but the citizens are the ones catching these incidents on camera.

Black people have been killed ever since we were brought over here. The government required integration, but there were people who fought tooth and nail because they didn’t want that to happen in America and those people are still living, alive and well. You think those people aren’t passing on their prejudice to their sons, daughters and grandkids? Of course. I had a friend’s parents tell her not to date my black classmate because they were okay with having me over their house, but not okay with their daughter dating a black man. I normally stay silent about these things. I never respond to comments on facebook and this is the first for me. I’m super introverted, but I have been silent for too long. I need to start speaking up more about injustice and we need white people to acknowledge the problem, but since it doesn’t effect them, many won’t do that and this perpetuates the problem to continue. I am not saying the media is perfect because it is not, however, not everything is a lie either. The proof is in the footage, as a matter of fact, most of the videos are posted on social media first by citizens and then it gets to the major media outlets. The killing of black people never really stopped, it is just now we have more ways to capture the evidence. When the white woman lied on Emmett Till, he was murdered, but when the white woman lied on Christian Cooper in Central Park, he had evidence that she was clearly lying, so he lived. These videos get shared on Facebook first most times by witnesses, and then the media outlets respond. Now Americans can be the media because of technology. When a child gets bullied in school and nobody does anything, that is wrong. If you stand there and do nothing when another child is bullied, that’s not okay, but white people do it all the time when black people are involved. Sit back and say nothing. Black people say we are scared and white people say, “well that’s your problem. Pick yourself up and make something of yourself.” So Black people do pick themselves up and make something of ourselves, but at the end of the day we will still be another n word to some white people. One thing that I learned is that when race comes up, white people get real defensive and uncomfortable. It’s frustrating because it is the elephant in the room that people never want to discuss. The only way to grow in life is to be uncomfortable sometimes and that is how America can grow to be better. Ignoring the problems and sweeping them under the rug is not going to help our country become better. Anyway, I hope this helps you empathize more with the black community. Have a great day! Quote from my friend: Ignorance is when you don’t know any better, but racism is when you do know better, but don’t do better.

End of My Comment.

So basically, my white friends acknowledge that you can make the difference here. If you become an ally to black people then these things will stop. Black people can protest until we are blue in the face, but unless white people become our vocal allies, then we will continue to see the bodies of our black brothers and sisters again and again. Please be a friend and speak up about injustice, please. This is not a conservative or liberal issue, this is a life or death issue. Until Next Week!

This entry was posted on May 30, 2020.

The Journey to Healthy


October 2016, Disney Store, NYC


Hi All,

Hope you guys are enjoying your Memorial Day weekend!!! I’m off from work on Monday for the first time since February, so that’s exciting. I only have four more weeks left at my after-school job and I’m looking forward to moving on to the new job full-time job in July.

In the meantime, like so many Americans, I have struggled to eat healthy and exercise pretty much my entire adulthood. Growing up, I ate more balanced meals, but still had a huge love for sweets. I was never overweight as a child, teen or young adult. However, I think that may have been attributed to a high metabolism and the fact that I drink quite a bit of water and don’t like soda. So in terms of calories, I think drinking water may be some of the reason that I am not currently 300 pounds.

As a child, I never played sports, rarely played outside, or exercised much, except for physical education classes. My parents were never very active and I am fortunate that I have never been fat, but currently, I am closer than I have been in my life. My eating habits have never been very good. I recently discovered that I don’t even like real vegetables, since I grew up on canned vegetables. Spinach, mixed greens, tomatoes and romaine lettuce are great, but broccoli, brussel sprouts, beets, and carrots are an acquired taste. In other words, yuck!! Eating and working out seem self-exclamatory, but making changes, especially dramatic ones is very difficult. Now, I empathize more with overweight and obese people because living a healthy lifestyle is not as cut and dry as people make it out to be.

I started skipping breakfast in college and never ate breakfast again, except for the three years that I lived with my parents post college. One thing about living with my parents was that I had three meals a day within reasonable hours. Dinner time with my parents was between 3pm and 5pm, which is super early for most families. I ate dinner and dessert and didn’t eat again until breakfast the next day. After leaving home, eating became an epic fail. Many days, I skip breakfast, sometimes skip lunch, and binge at dinner. Particularly, on days when depression is hitting hard, I don’t eat all day, until like 7pm or 8pm. I just don’t feel hungry until later in the day. From 2010 until 2018, I have bounced between the same twenty pound range, 140 pounds to 160 pounds. December 2018 was the first time that I went past the 160 mark and I have bounced back and forth from 156 pounds to 165 pounds since then. At least, I’m somewhat maintaining to some extent. Now that I am strength training, I learned that the number on the scale is not as important as my bust, hip, and waist measurements. I have never been skinny. I just would like to be healthy and that hasn’t really happened yet. 

My roommate wants to be a personal trainer and applied for her certification, so she is using me as her guinea pig. She is super healthy and works out all the time. I have been working out for about 5 weeks now.

In 2016, I worked out with a trainer at Planet Fitness for about a year before moving to NYC and realized that I enjoy working out, especially strength training. I was more fit than I had ever been, but my diet was still not ideal. My diet has had its’ ups and down. I can eat healthy for awhile and go right back to poor eating habits. I have prayed about it many times and get frustrated with myself about it because I just can’t seem to get it together.

I know I use food as a comfort because I’m dealing with being alone most of the time. I’m an only child and I have always been alone, this is nothing new. So why is it affecting me more as a adult? I’m not sure, I think it is human nature to long for companionship. There is a part of me that loves being alone, but it can be daunting at times. I don’t long for a romantic relationship necessarily, but intimate friendships. Friendships have been more challenging as an adult than when I was younger. Food has been a reliable friend in a way, an unhealthy friend, but a friend nonetheless. Drugs, alcohol, marijuana, and cigarettes never appealed to me, so I guess food has been my go to.

Most of us don’t know how to eat healthy. When your schedule is busy and you are on the go all the time, especially in New York, you grab what you can and you don’t plan or cook your meals. Cooking is not something I enjoy or love. I have learned more from my two roommates about cooking in the last couple months than I ever knew beforehand. Both of my roommates love to cook and are exceptional cooks.

I’m a performer and I know that my body is a part of the total package, but I think I have gotten complacent with my eating habits because I haven’t had significant consequences for my poor food choices. But I’m getting older and entering your thirties means that the weight is not going to be as easy to drop as it was when you were in your twenties. I don’t want to end up diabetic, so I really have to do something now before I do irreversible damage. Besides, most of my relatives have only made it to their sixties or seventies. My grandfather is eighty-two, but he is one of the few to make it that far. Most of my family members have died from heart related problems. I have a great aunt with  muscular sclerosis and dementia, but she is the only blood relative that I know in our family to have an issue unrelated to the heart. In other words, I need to overcome my issues with food as soon as possible or I may only have about thirty more years left at best.

Steps to A Healthier You

Begin keeping a food diary!  You can write it out by hand, use fitness pal online, or type it daily in a Microsoft Word document. I chose the latter. Go back over the diary for the week. Acknowledge what you did well and see where you need to make improvements. The diary has given me insight into my eating habits. I usually don’t eat enough or I binge, and rarely have I had a solid 1200 calorie day since I started working out five weeks ago. I’m usually over 1,200 calories or under 1,200 calories. If you want to lose weight, you need to consume between 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day until you reach your goal weight. Then, you can increase to 2,000 calories a day. Counting calories is super important, however, you also need to look for the grams of fat, protein, and sugar. Nutritionist Kim Lynn suggests looking for single digit grams of fat, single digit grams of sugar, and double digit grams of protein when reading the nutrition labels on foods. Numbers are essential. If you do not collect the data, then you just consume calories, sugar, and fat without thinking about it and this leads to significant weight gain.

Ask yourself why you are eating? Are you hungry, bored, sad, or lonely? Most times boredom, depression, and loneliness can cause overeating. Quarantine has increased boredom and depression for people, so food has become a crutch for many of us during this time. Food is for nourishment and to keep us going during the day, but not to fill holes of emptiness or deal with stress or emotions. Journal, workout, read books, or watch movies or television shows to calm your stress or get out your frustrations and feelings. Acknowledge your feelings instead of stuffing them down with food or other substances.

As a Christian, I’ve been thinking about how we are only given one body and I have been treating my body like a trash can. God helps those who help themselves and you can’t treat your body with disrespect and expect it to keep going with no issues. Eventually bad habits will catch up with you and it is better to deal with this now before it becomes a serious medical problem later.

The food diary and working out are the first steps to getting my body to a healthy weight. Does this mean that I have everything together? No, I don’t. I am struggling daily with my diet. I am visiting Memphis on June 20th, so from now until June 20th, I plan to keep working out 5 days a week and only cook my meals from home. This will reset my body. I want to come out of this quarantine a physically healthier person and an emotionally healthier person as well. Keep taking care of yourselves!!

See you next week!!

This entry was posted on May 23, 2020.

Singer! Actor! TEACHER! OH MY!

Hairspray photoshoot

Hairspray 2015, Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, Little Rock, Arkansas

Hi Peeps and Home Slices,

I hope you all are doing okay. Things are super strange and crazy! I have lived in NYC for 4 years in August and it has been a wild ride. This quarantine has been quite a bit to take in for all of us. I feel okay most times, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that it hasn’t gotten to me at times. I only have 5 weeks left at my current job and I’m Zoomed Out. I had bible study for the first time online this week and I had a hard time focusing because I was already on zoom for my job all afternoon and I was over it. I love bible study, but I am on zoom several hours a week now, so I’m beginning to burn out. My students are starting to burn out too. I feel really bad for them because I think they really want to go back to school and be with their friends.

Furthermore, I just found out this week that my new job training for the charter school will be online instead of in-person until mid-August. So basically, I am home bound until at least mid-August, which made me a little sad. This was the first time that it really hit me hard, that life is not going back to normal anytime soon.  I am beginning to prepare myself mentally to be teaching at home until January 2021. I am so grateful to have a job when I know many people don’t have jobs, and I thank God for that daily. My bills have been paid in full and I am not stressing financially the way I had been thanks to the stimulus package. We are almost halfway through the year and in some ways it has gone super fast and in other ways it seems like it has been 5 years instead of 5 months.

On the bright side, I was accepted into Relay Graduate School to get my Master of Arts in Teaching. As a teacher-in-residence at Achievement First Elementary, I am required to get certified and enter grad school, so I have one step down. I got accepted! The state of New York requires all grad students to take the GRE and I still have that on June 6th. I submitted my GRE registration with my grad application, so I was accepted on the grounds that I would take the test before September. Actually, I would have taken the test today, but it got cancelled because of the pandemic, so I had to sign up for an at home test.

I am looking forward to starting this new job in July. Financially, I will be abundantly blessed with this job, but I will be taking on a heavy workload along with grad school. Working online is no joke. Currently, I’m working part-time and working way harder than I did when in-person. Working full-time and going to grad school will be exponentially harder in the fall if it is online only.

However, the Lord was looking out for me because if I had not changed jobs last year, I would still be working in NYC with the public daily in customer service. If I had booked a performing job, I would currently be laid-off. The Lord really does work in mysterious ways. It wasn’t my time to perform yet and that is okay. I do have my moments where I feel a certain type of way about not being where I wanted to be with my performance career. It’s hard not to compare myself to other people who are my age and who started a similar journey with me, and have exceeded way past me in their careers. But like my friend Crystin Gilmore Ndiaye says, “What is for you is for you and what is for someone else is for them.”

The theatre door closed for a reason, especially since it doesn’t look like the performing arts will be opening  up anytime soon. Theatres are already closing permanently and I don’t know how long it will take some major opera companies and theatres to recover from this financial loss. Artists are troopers and will push through, but some of these theatres were hanging on by a thread and this could send them over the edge. I pray that my theatre and opera friends will continue to make a living in the arts as soon as possible.

My plan is to teach full-time, at least for the next three to five years until I feel ready to audition for full-time opera companies in the future. I”m still pretty young for opera and I have time to develop my voice further. I have a voice teacher and a vocal coach, but currently can’t afford it at all. So this new job will give me the opportunity to take vocal lessons and vocal coachings on a regular basis while balancing full-time teaching and graduate school. Whew, I’m really going to have to lean on the Lord to get through all of this.

Thirties friends, if you are feeling overwhelmed about the future, ask the Lord to show you His will for your life. Understand that a closed door doesn’t always mean you should quit, it could just be the wrong time or maybe you just need to develop more as a person for that dream opportunity to come to fruition. Hold your head up high and keep pushing!!

Stay safe and healthy!!

This entry was posted on May 16, 2020.


Skyline Bridge

Hey Fellow Peeps,

I hope you all have had a great week!! This quarantine has definitely brought a wave of emotions for all of us. Most days, I feel fine with this, but some days are a little unnerving. Stay encouraged and prayerful during this difficult time.

I’m sure we have all been longing for the companionship and camaraderie of family and friends. I miss the hugs and seeing familiar faces regularly. Since we have been quarantined, I have literally only seen my two roommates. Whew! One good thing is that I have gotten to know my roommates much better during this time. We have had so much quality time and that has been a blessing. I have also seen the faces of my students daily and that has brought sunshine to my days. They can be super funny and I enjoy working with them. I have called family and friends on the phone and that connection has been nice. On Sundays, I have been asked by the pastor to sing one or two hymns for the church on Zoom. I have been able to share my gift with the congregation and learn new hymns to prepare for service each week. I only have six weeks left at my current job and then I go home to Memphis to visit at the end of June. I haven’t been home since December 2018, so it’s time. I have lived in NYC since 2016 and I have only been home twice. Coincidence, sort of, it was somewhat financial, but also sort of by choice, a combination of the two. Since my mom is a performer, I have seen her more than twice because she has performed in New York three times since I moved here.

Memphis and I have always had a strained relationship, if I’m honest. I was born in Hampton, Virginia, but I might as well have been born in Memphis, because I spent my whole life there until I was 26, almost 27 years old. I went to college in Murray, Kentucky, which was about three hours away from home. I remember wanting to leave Memphis when I was a kid. I just never felt like I fit in there. Funny thing is, people always asked me where I was from all the time, even though I was raised there. It was weird, strangers would ask this question because they said I spoke differently. Excuse me!! My whole family is from Memphis, born and raised, so why I am I always getting this insane question.

Secondly, I got the white girl label from family and friends, which kind of annoyed me, but I let it go. There was no denying I was different. I was a nerd who loved school, reading, and was socially awkward. I was super sensitive, which was not cool in the black community. I cried often, but don’t ever really remember being comforted when I was little.  I spoke properly and had no street smarts whatsoever. I grew up listening to R&B music, but never really listened to much rap. I was not athletic at all, and most people didn’t even know I could really sing until I was in college. Then, I started singing opera and musical theatre, which is obviously a mostly white entity.

I felt ostracized by black people at times in Memphis and felt like sometimes I was more accepted by white people.  Let’s be real though, I wasn’t always accepted by white people either. In the fourth grade, this little white boy in summer camp, told me he wouldn’t play with me because I was black. This was my first encounter with this. However, I do remember that I was initially uncomfortable with transferring to a predominantly white elementary school in the 1st grade. At that time, I had only been around black people until 1st grade. 

Thirdly, I love my family, but if I’m honest we were never that close. I talk to my mother almost daily, and I have always been super close to my grandfather and aunt. Other than that, I rarely saw my relatives more than once a year, sometimes even longer and we only lived between 5 to 20 minutes from each other.

When it came time to apply for college, I only applied for out-of-state schools, but my mom told me I had to apply for the University of Memphis and I did. However, if I lived on campus at U of M, the cost would have been more than Murray State. I did THE MATH! Since I didn’t go on college visits, I had no idea how few black students attended Murray State until I arrived for school in the fall. I got a four-year academic scholarship and there was  a tuition discount for people who lived in Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. So MURRAY STATE IT WAS!!! However, Racism reared its’ head again in college. I went to my friend’s dorm room freshman year, and there was a girl there who was clearly uncomfortable with my presence. She just keep staring at me and it was strange. Junior year of college, I moved in my dorm and met a white roommate. She seemed nice, but the next day she moved out without saying anything to me. I think she was super uncomfortable with my race. I mean I have lived with people many times and I have never had any complaints about me being a bad roommate. I’m pretty quiet, neat, and keep to myself mostly. Murray was like my first home though and I loved it. There were a few cringe moments though, but we’ll save college for another blog post, lol! 

Furthermore, I had observed that most of the people I encountered in Memphis were extremely negative. If I had an idea about something or thought outside of the box, it was shot down immediately. My college professor was one of the first black people that I had met with such a bright, bubbly personality. I am super bubbly, but I felt like people didn’t really like it growing up and maybe they thought it wasn’t black enough to be bubbly. Most black people that I was around were in survival mode, which now I know is systemic. I guess when you fear for your lives daily, then you would be pretty negative too. When you have only had your civil rights for about 50 years with significant limitations, then I guess you wouldn’t be so bright and bushy tailed either. I get it now, then I didn’t. RIP Ahmaud Arbery.

When I graduated college, I bought a ticket to NYC and wanted to never return to Memphis if I could. However, I moved back after about three weeks, not because I was homesick either. I stayed for three years until 2016. I didn’t really experience Memphis fully until I lived there as an adult. It really is a cool place to live. It is super affordable and people can be positive if you look outside of your front door. I met some amazing friends during my last years in Memphis. I joined a church and my church family became closer than my real family. I still keep in contact with them to this day. They were all very positive and innovative thinkers and it opened my eyes to the fact that there are some beautiful gems in Memphis.

So why did I move again? JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, they are far and few between in Memphis. This is one of the reasons why I moved the second time because if you want to make more money or get a better job, your options are limited in Memphis. Most people there work in education, government, the airport, health care, offices, or warehouses. Fedex is one of the best job opportunities there. I applied there and got no response. I went to the Clark Towers and offered my resume to offices on all 33 floors and asked if they were hiring. I did get a catering job out of that, but it wasn’t consistent enough. I tried to get an office job, but even the temp agencies didn’t help me get a job at an office or even a warehouse. I was working multiple jobs and I still couldn’t afford to leave my parents’ house. I sold insurance with AFLAC and didn’t make a dime. My first real paycheck after college was from performing in The Color Purple at Playhouse on the Square. Crazy I know, who would have thought that my first payment after college would have been in theatre of all things. I did work at a private school part-time, worked at Cracker Barrel part-time and taught vocal lessons, while still performing in shows around the city of Memphis.

I love the theatre experience that I gained during those years and I loved my church family. But I still wanted out, badly. I decided in 2016, to get another job at Olive Garden in addition to my other three jobs, so that I could save money to move somewhere, ANYWHERE else. I saved money and sold my car and was out by August 2016. I found a job within a few weeks, a full-time job at the Disney Store in New York. In Memphis, you can be potentially out of work for months and even when you find a job, you don’t get enough hours to pay any real bills. Minimum wage is still $7.25. Yes it is affordable to live there, but you can’t live off of that, even full-time, let alone part-time. Initially, I didn’t plan to go back to NYC. I was looking at moving to Atlanta, Minneapolis, or Boston. Then, I got into AMDA, so I chose New York. Memphians looked at me like I was crazy when I said I was moving to New York, especially since I had failed the first time.

Lastly, Christmas 2015 further prompted my decision to leave Memphis. Yes I had my church family, but I was still so disconnected to my family. I went to Christmas dinner and just felt so alone. I didn’t have the connection the way the other family members had with each other and I was closer to them when I was younger. My family knew little girl Dominique, but not adult Dominique. My family didn’t even know I could sing until I was grown. I was a complete stranger to them and I felt really sad. I remember crying in my car because I felt so alone, even though I was in my hometown. But Memphis never felt like home to me because I never felt understood and I felt like I never fit in, EVER. This was telling to me because if I feel this alone at home, then what would be different about moving somewhere else. I seemed to make better friends anyway. In this moment, I told myself, you have to leave and 2016 is going to be it. When I first moved to New York, I didn’t miss home for like a year. I didn’t go home for a year and a half. I missed my church family more than I missed my real family, even to this day. My family has lived in Memphis all of their lives and never wanted to leave, including my mother, but for as long as I can remember I wanted to leave. A few relatives have moved away, but very few. I just found so much freedom by moving here and I am finally coming into my own. NYC is not perfect, but once my mother and grandfather are gone, I see no reason to visit Memphis. Yes we are getting hit hard with the pandemic, but we also have a significantly larger population in NYC.

I know this was super raw, but it is my truth. I don’t want offend or condemn anyone, but this is my reality. Memphis is a great city and I made my peace with the city when I lived there for three years after college. Family is blood, but I always feel like I need to protect my mind, body and spirit and family can be complicated. I don’t think it is as cut and dry as people think it is. I have no ill will towards anyone, I want success for everyone and I love my family, but from a distance. I have made connections with my cousins in Connecticut. I am trying to build a bridge there because I don’t have much family left. I’ve been to their house many times and I have spent two Christmas  holidays there and I prefer it. My cousin’s wife’s family is more welcoming than my own. She is Dominican and I think family is super close knit for them. She says that they have had their problems, but at the end of the day, family is top priority. With my family, I don’t know if anyone’s first priority was family. They say it is, especially if you mention leaving, but I don’t know if they mean it.

Do I get lonely here? Yes, but I would rather feel lonely in a place where I don’t know many people, then feel lonely in my own hometown. I wrote this because I think this is reality for many thirty somethings. If you aren’t married with your own family at this point, it can be hard if you are not connected with your extended family either. Many young people that I have encountered in NYC, have cut their families off completely, which is shocking to me. See, I would never do that, but for some people they do it for their own protection. I’m writing this to let you know that forgiving people doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be super close. Just because you are family doesn’t mean that you will always be understood. There is this misconception that all families are super close and it’s horrible if you are not close to your family. People assume you must be doing something wrong, if you are not close to your family. Truth is is that friends can become your family and be just as supportive if not more supportive than family.  I reached out to many family members, but it is not always reciprocated. Yet, I still reach out. I have gotten more calls and messages in the last few months from friends more than anyone else. I’m here to let you know that this is more normal than you think and it is okay if you feel isolated from family. Welcome to ADULTHOOD! I will leave you with this, if you want to connect with your family reach out to them first and don’t wait for them to reach out to you because you will be waiting forever. Just Kidding, sort of, LOL! Seriously though, continue to reach out whether it is reciprocated or not because you never know, you may get surprised one day. Most importantly, reach out to God if you believe, because at the end of the day, your Heavenly Father is your most important family member!

Stay safe and prayerful!!


This entry was posted on May 9, 2020.

Confidence or Pride, Humility or Self- Deprecation, That is the QUESTION?


Hello Thirties Peeps;

I hope you guys are remaining safe and sane during these times. For anyone that has lost loved ones or has sick family and friends, you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

This quarantine has given me so much time to reflect and spend time with the Lord. I have been reading devotionals on You Version about confidence and being a woman of purpose. Through these devotionals, I discovered that I can be prideful often. It’s so easy for me to think that I am better than someone else because of their actions and this is not Godly at all. Honestly, I can be really judgmental and I am becoming more aware of it through prayer. I am a sinner and we all are, but when you find Christ, your goal is to move away from sinful actions. I confess and repent, but I still struggle with my flesh daily.  I have dealt with an inferiority complex since I was quite young, so I never viewed myself as prideful. Self-deprecation was my middle name and at times it still is.

The question is how do you balance having confidence without being prideful and having humility without being self-deprecating? Pride becomes an issue when you want to be right all the time. I try to be more cognizant of my thoughts. I try to think first before I speak and try to understand that everyone’s journey is unique. So maybe that person’s decision didn’t make sense to me, but it’s not about me. I haven’t walked a day in that person shoes, so what makes me so special that I have the audacity to condemn that person.  I make so many mistakes and have made many poor decisions. However, I have also made great decisions for myself, that others still criticize to this day. Humility is referred to in Luke 14:11

11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

As far a confidence goes, you have to find this in the Lord and not within yourself. Remember that God created you flaws and all, but He brought you here for a purpose and you are meant to fulfill His will for your life. Your existence is not in vain and you have to fight the negative thoughts of the enemy daily. Find strength and hope through the Lord. This is where true confidence exists, it is through Jesus.

Whether you believe in the Lord or not, I suggest writing positive things about yourself and posting the notes in your home. When you get a negative thought, reflect on it and counter it with a positive thought. The mind is powerful and can take you down some dark holes, if you let it. Thirties friends, the line between humility and pride is thicker than we think. Focus on doing the right thing and you will find humility. Focus on your purpose in life and you will find confidence. See you next week!!!

This entry was posted on May 2, 2020.



Hello Quarantine Peeps and Home Fries,

So I know that we are all locked up and looking for things to do. I have been working out with my roommate this week. She is trying to get certified to be a personal trainer and my other roommate and I are her guinea pigs for 30 days. I worked out 5 days this week and I feel really good. Working out is great, but another way to pass the time is to READ. I read this book called the Four Agreements a couple of times. The book is short, sweet and it can be read within a few days.

The Four Agreements is a book by Don Miguel Ruiz, a Mexican author and spiritualist. The agreements are the following;

  1. Be Impeccable with Your Word
  2. Don’t Take Things Personally
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions
  4. Always Do Your Best 

Be Impeccable with your word! Ruiz means to be honest with yourself and others. If you say you are going to do something, DO IT. Use words to speak life about yourself and others. Avoid gossiping and speaking negatively about other people. The bible discusses this as well. Mark 12:30-31 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” Proverbs 18:21 says, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Basically, your mouth can make or break you. Do I struggle with this? YEEESSS!!! I can be really quiet, but when I get to know you, I am extremely talkative. Sometimes, I say the wrong thing, and once you do that, you can’t take it back. Since I have been taking my walk with Jesus more seriously, I feel more convicted about things that I say. Honestly, I should probably pray before I open my mouth EVERY TIME.

I try to encourage people, but I don’t know if I’m being supportive or not. The struggle is real. One of the things I learned in bible study is that love is not always rosy and peachy. Showing love also means saying things that people don’t want to hear. Figuring out the line between being loving and not be loving is still a mystery for me. As far as being a person of my word. When I say I will do something, I usually do it. However, I gossip sometimes and I know I shouldn’t. I’ve been way more convicted about that lately. You don’t want to say negative things about people, but sometimes you just need to let out your frustrations, concerns and feelings. The best way to do this in a healthy way is to journal. Journaling is cathartic and keeps you from saying words that can hurt feelings. It gives you time to reflect so when you do confront a person, it is done with thought and not in the heat of the moment. It is not good to hold in your feelings all the time. You can’t be Pollyanna, but you shouldn’t be a tyrant either. Find a balance, think before you speak and be a light for Christ. If people who don’t know Christ, see you being mean, and careless with your words, then how do you think you can lead someone to the Lord. We are human and we make mistakes, but you have to strengthen your relationship with the Lord or whoever you believe in, so that you are more mindful about the things you say and do. When I notice that I have hard feelings against someone, I pray for them and I focus on the positive instead of the negative. I also pray for the Lord to take away my negative feelings toward this person.

Don’t Take Things Personally & Don’t Make Assumptions: Woooo, chile, these two are sooooo difficult. I think these two go hand in hand. We take things personally, usually when we make assumptions about why someone did something. When other people make daily decisions, we always make it about ourselves. If the woman in line cuts in front, we think that she has just stomped on our hearts and we become angry and reactive to the situation. This escalates the problem and you leave mad for the rest of the day. I witnessed this occur so many times at my customer service jobs, especially in New York.

In my life, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I assume the best from people, until they show me differently. I give people more chances than I probably should, but hey, remember Jesus said to Peter in Matthew, “forgive seventy times seven.”  However, forgiveness doesn’t mean you need to tolerate poor behavior, especially if it is effecting your self-esteem and self- worth. You can forgive people, but I don’t think being a doormat will solve your problems either. Balance is key to everything in life. If you feel someone has done something to you, ask them about it. Go to the source instead of slandering someone to another person. Choose your words carefully, you may be surprised that their actions had nothing to do with you at all. Yes sometimes, people are untruthful about their motives, but it is better to ask someone about their intentions than assume they are going to come for you in the middle of the night with a hatchet and slaughter you. Super vivid example, I know, but internally we assume the worst of others motives and create this big scary monster of a person out of a minor action, detail or flaw. If someone is getting on your nerves, say something. It’s not what you say, it is how you say it. I think we all know how to speak with tact to one another. We are in our thirties now, so let’s act like it guys. LOL!

Seriously, taking things personally has been a huge issue for me and it is a work in progress for sure. People think that change happens with big events or life milestones, when in reality it is in the the small daily decisions that creates change. If you notice that someone didn’t speak to you, speak to them and ask them how they are doing. You might find out that they have alot on their minds and just didn’t hear you say hello. It’s happened to me a few times. People said they told me hello, and I really didn’t hear them. I didn’t ignore them on purpose because if I hear hello, I always respond. Funny thing is is that I used to be so scared to say hello to people when I was younger because I was afraid that they wouldn’t respond to me and it would hurt my feelings. Now I have made an effort to say hello to people more often and sometimes I am surprised at how open people are to you when you show interest in them, even for a second. You can make someone’s day just by smiling at them and saying HELLO. Even New Yorkers, will surprise you and say hello, if you say it first. I think it shocks them that someone would even say HELLO, at all. LOL!

Lastly, but certainly not least; Always Do Your Best. I always tell may students this, but can I be frank? I work hard, but sometimes, I don’t always feel like I am doing my best. I always think I could be doing more, I could be singing more, I could be planning my lessons more thoroughly for my job. I could work harder and make sure I blog every SATURDAY. I’ve been working out this week and trying to eat better, but I feel like I could have done more. Finding the line between doing my best and pushing myself too hard has been challenging to say the least. In the last year, I have tried to have more fun and not work so much. Even though I was working so much in the past, I’m not sure I was always doing my best. I always tell people that I try my best, but I’m honestly not sure. I think sometimes, I give a good effort, but I am still trying to figure out what is MY BEST and not someone else’s best. Since I would take on so much, I don’t know if the quality of my work was as good as it could have been over the years. I feel better when I have less balls in the air and I can focus on a few things at a time. This seems pretty unrealistic, especially in NYC where everything is go, go, go all the time. The quarantine has slowed us down, but maybe we needed it. This time has given me a moment to really reflect on my life and figure out how to make to most of it when I begin my full-time job  in the fall. Regarding doing your best Ruiz says “Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgement; self abuse and regret.” I guess I’m still a work in progress on this one and all of the agreements if I’m honest. That’s life though, it should be a work in progress, constantly working toward growth in all areas of our lives and once we reach a milestone, celebrate, and then set new goals. Do YOUR BEST this week and stay safe everyone!!!

This entry was posted on April 25, 2020.





Greetings Thirties Peeps & Home Skillets,

I finally entered the 30 club almost six months ago and so far it has been quite a wild ride. Obviously, we have all been dealing with the shock of the pandemic, the lost of normalcy and the loss of loved ones and friends. Honestly, I was looking forward to turning 30. 30 somethings seem to be more confident to me and they seem to have a better sense of self. Finding a sense of self is so much harder than I thought it would be. I have been in NYC for almost 4 years and I know that I have grown, but I still have a long way to go. I haven’t really seen much of the world, and this is definitely not the best time to try to see the world. Meanwhile, this quarantine has gotten me to think about how sheltered I have been my whole life. Obviously, I was super sheltered until I moved here, but I still have lived in a bubble, even here. Yes, I went to auditions, went to therapy and discovered quite a bit about myself and how to interact with the world. But I have never been out of the country, I have never really dated or had a real relationship, and I have mostly kept to myself, even in NYC. I worked, auditioned, and went home. I only just started to socialize a bit more with a few co-workers in the last year or so.

Over time, I have realized the significance of the phrase, AGE AIN”T NOTHING BUT A NUMBER. My numerical age is 30, but I am nowhere near where I would have pictured myself at this age. I was hoping to be on Broadway, or performing on a national tour. The funny thing is is that if I had been on Broadway or on a national tour, I would have had to stop doing that due to this pandemic. Maybe things really do happen for a reason. I wanted the world and I wanted it now like the little girl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But was I really ready for the world, mentally, spiritually, socially, or physically? The answer is NO.

I have worked on my mental health quite a bit in the last few years, but that has brought it’s ups and downs. I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder when I was 24 years old. I have attempted to get off of my medications twice, but regretted that decision both times, the second time was as recently as late 2018 when I decided to join the NAVY. Yes, I failed my hearing exam, but with my mental illness, I never should have made it past the application. I lied, am I proud of it, no, but I wanted it so badly and since my talent manager wouldn’t let me out of my contract for three years, I thought it was the only option at the time.

Getting off of my medications basically set me up for a rough 2019. I knew it might, but I did it anyway. When you get off medications, you cannot just start taking them again. You have to basically start over from scratch with the doses, so it took months for me to get back to the normal dosage that I had been taking. I was extremely depressed and for a person who usually had superb attendance at work and school, I started to miss work often because I couldn’t get out of bed to do anything at all, let alone work an 8-hour shift. By the time I had gotten back to the correct dosage, I had quit my job abruptly and was out of work for three months, a pretty scary thing in NYC. I had been taking voice lessons and even got a vocal coach, but I could no longer afford it and honestly, couldn’t handle the anxiety of voice lessons anyway. Voice lessons have always given me anxiety, no matter how great the teacher was. Socially, I have always had so much anxiety because I want to please everyone and be accepted all the time. I still don’t speak up enough, and I still haven’t quite found my real voice. Honestly, the only time I don’t feel some type of anxiety, is when I perform onstage. Performing became an obsession for me and most times, I only felt complete when I was onstage. I was so unsure of myself off stage and people seemed to like me better in a show than in real life. So I obsessed over that goal for years and put my time, energy, and fulfillment on whether I booked a show or not. I was devastated when I didn’t get cast and elated when I would get cast. It was a constant emotional roller coaster and when you already don’t think very highly of yourself, it can exacerbate your inferiority complex to the tenth power! My depression was so bad that my therapist and I made a safety plan around this time last year because I was having suicidal ideation and was thinking seriously about taking my life.

Truth was I was also insecure because I was not living authentically and I am still trying to work on that. I haven’t told many people about my diagnosis including my family. Mental illness is not embraced by the black community and I knew my family wouldn’t understand. Also, I didn’t want people to think that I just wanted attention, so I mostly kept it to myself. I know there are many young black women who struggle with mental illness, but feel they must push through and ignore it because they don’t want to feel judged by family or friends. You have to take care of you and if your quality of life is impaired by not going to therapy or not taking medications, or not taking proper care of yourself period, this can be dangerous. Yes, I believe God is a healer, but God helps those who help themselves. If you think you have mental illness, seek attention from a psychiatrist or psychologist. Many people are diagnosed with mental illness, but refuse to be medicated. Bipolar II patients have a higher rate of suicide than Bipolar I patients. Staying medicated can be the difference between life or death and this is REALITY.

I wish people would understand that you can get sick in your brain just like any other part of your body. It doesn’t make it any less important than physical illness. There is a general stigma about this and one of the future aspirations that I had written last year was that I wanted to get people to understand mental illness and become educated. What you see on TV is not reality for every mental health patient. Bipolar II patients don’t have psychotic episodes or engage in reckless activity as much as Bipolar I patients. Bipolar II patients are hypomanic for long periods, which can feel wonderful. It is euphoric and you think you can conquer the world.  You start all of these projects and sign up for all of these activities. Then you hit a wall and the depression sets in and it can be really devastating. Depression in Bipolar II patients is usually worse than Bipolar I patients. The Bipolar I patients are usually depicted in TV and movies more often. Their mental illness is more visible to the public and they act in obviously irrational ways frequently. Bipolar II patients never reach full blown mania. Hypomania just looks like high productivity and high energy and can look completely normal to most people. I had so many hypomanic episodes in college, signing up for 19 hours every semester, and auditioning for all the plays and musicals, participating in choir and opera workshop, staying up all hours of the night, and even pledging a music fraternity, all at the same time. But then, I would crash and I would have angry outbursts ending in tears and I would lose it in class often. This actually started in high school, but it got really bad in college and post college. My junior year of college was the worse, I had an episode in the middle of my recital hearing and flunked my hearing for the annual junior/senior class recital. I sang this French song and I messed up and I just started singing whatever out of anger. I would do these things, but not recognize that there was a pattern that had been going on since I was a teenager. 

The diagnosis has made me more cognizant of my mental, spiritual, social, and physical well-being. I have learned to spend time with God on a regular basis. I found a Brooklyn church home and I have attended bible study every week until the church was closed for the pandemic. Since we have been having church online, the pastor has asked me to sing solos every week, which has been really fulfilling. I pray almost daily and I feel better now than I have in a long time. Walking and exercising has helped me at least maintain my weight and release some stress as well. I have been on the same dose of meds for close to a year and I feel better than I have in years, maybe even ever in life. I became obsessed with school, then college, then my career and that wasn’t healthy. I WAS A WORKAHOLIC! So I started making some time to meet with friends, obviously not now, but I had been doing this for the past year.  

You know, leaving my job may have been the best thing that came out of 2019 because it led me to apply for teaching artist positions and I got a part-time position as a teaching artist for the Coalition for Hispanic Family Services. After working this job, I decided to apply for full-time teaching positions at the beginning of 2020. I applied and interviewed right before we all had to quarantine. I was offered a full-time position as a teacher- in-residence at Achievement First Crown Heights. God’s timing is amazing because if I had waited longer to apply, I wouldn’t be able to interview for positions now. Furthermore, my current job told us on Thursday that we are basically laid off after June 30th due to Coronavirus. I start training for my new job on July 1st. God is truly a provider and I am so grateful for this opportunity. I have been able to work from home with my current job and I am still getting a paycheck, when I know many people are out of work including my roommate. I never really knew the power of God until now. I decided to teach for a few years so that I can afford vocal lessons, vocal coachings, masterclasses, summer programs, and opera company audition fees in the future. Pursing a career in opera seems like the best option, but I think teaching would be a great stepping stone to assist with this career aspiration.

In closing, the biggest thing you can do in your thirties is to live your truth, be unafraid of taking chances and stop caring what people think. I have bipolar, but I am not defined by that, I have accomplished many things before, during and after the diagnosis. However, I was in denial and not living my truth. Keeping secrets and not showing all of yourself, the good, the bad and the ugly, will hold you back from many things. Revealing your truth can not only be healing for you, but inspiring and motivational for many people. You could save lives, help people overcome fears, and give them the catalyst to begin to live out their personal truths fearlessly and unapologetically.

Break free and enjoy your thirties guys!! See you next time!

This entry was posted on April 18, 2020.

Comparing Yourself to Others-The Other person is awesome, but You are too!!


I have gotten more serious about my business in the last few weeks, but this week brought its’ challenges. I want to succeed, but I am still struggling with consistency and time management. I think there is something holding me back and I think it is still my belief in myself and my abilities. I realize that you have to be extremely personable and confident when working your business and this still does not come naturally for me. I see my friends communicate and it seems so easy for them, but I have to really work at my communication skills, which means that it may take me longer to build my business.

I think network marketing is great, but many videos and webinars say that you are punished for the way you lived your life before you entered network marketing. And for me, this is a reality check. I had a few friends, but not many close ones. I didn’t really talk much to people and so most of my relationships with people are not very strong. I didn’t realize I should have gotten to know people when I was growing up by asking them questions about themselves. Now I know that asking questions is the best way to get to know someone, but it still takes time to build rapport with people.

My confidence is growing, but it is a struggle at times still. Please know that not everything in my life is all roses, I just try my best to present a positive attitude to the world because it’s important to do that. I am not quite where I would like to be and I do get frustrated. I was hoping to have left Memphis after college and now it will be three years since I graduated college in December and yet, I am still in Memphis. It seems like everyone is doing great things like getting married, pursuing their dream job, having children, or traveling the country, and the world. But I realize that many of these people have their own challenges as well.

I have had goals these last three years, but they haven’t worked out. I wanted to be in grad school this year, but I wasn’t accepted last year. I wanted to work a year round theatre job, but I missed out on a couple opportunities because I thought I was going to grad school. Well, then I thought I would be teaching music again this year through my private business, but the school cannot afford a music teacher. Last year, I had more voice students and now I only have one. I had moved out of my parents house for 5 months this year, but had to move back last month. I am working my MLM business, but it’s going to take time to bear fruit. I have stayed really positive though and I try to focus on the things that I am grateful for. I am grateful for my parents, my job at Cracker Barrel that helps pay my bills while I am building this MLM business, my supportive friends and church family, theatre jobs, and my network marketing business. Whenever, you feel discouraged, just think about the things that you are grateful for and thank God for those things everyday.

Many times, I still find myself comparing myself to others though, especially my friends and former high school and college classmates. I remember wishing I could be one of my classmates as early as middle school,  and I still have those thoughts today, just not as frequently. I used to think that if I had another person’s personality or talents that more people would like me, but now, I know this isn’t true. If I would focus on other people and not on myself, then more people will like me because I made them feel special. It’s natural to think about yourself, so it will take time to begin to think about others and for many including myself, it doesn’t come easy at first. But, I know how awesome I felt when someone made me feel special because it didn’t happen often, so I need to do that for other people. Remember to make people feel special and they will like you automatically, just be the person God made you to be and everything will be okay. Good luck building your business and building yourself along with others in the process!!

Hope this helps!!

Dominique Duarte

This entry was posted on October 25, 2015.