Let me just say, this is the longest amount of time I have ever spent on a blog post. It is a wide open door into a hidden part of me that I never thought I would put on a public platform. But this is my blog and this blog is about my life, regardless of where I am in the world. This post is a very long one, so grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine; I hope you stay along for the ride!
I should start by saying my story is no different than any other black girl or woman’s story out there. This is simply just my story. Over the span of my life, I feel I have been exposed to an incredible amount of positive representation for black women in media and in my life. I feel so empowered to be black and every day I am reminded how amazing black people are. But I didn’t always appreciate it this way. Like many other black girls, I grew up wanting my hair to be different, to avoid getting ‘too dark’, and to be less curvy. It may seem silly to some people reading this, but it may not to others. This is the story of how my hair journey led me on an identity journey. Continue reading “A Love Letter to My Hair”→
Before you ask, yes, that is me in 2009 either having an existential crisis or marveling the fact that I am on the shores of Barcelona on my first international trip. And yes, I am wearing a scarf I eventually owned in a variety of colors as well as the only item I purchased for myself on that trip: a basic white zip hoodie from the first H&M I ever set foot in in Paris. My parents were sad that I didn’t think I could spend the money they gave me and walked away with that €12 jacket as my only memento of that trip. Not photographed: my Ed Hardy tote. What a time.
Every time I think of 2020, I am instantly filled with excitement because it is not only a new year, it is a new DECADE, honey! Though I have obviously experienced a couple of new decades in my lifetime, this one feels different. It feels like the ultimate fresh start. But I couldn’t wipe the slate clean without looking back on some big highlights of the last 10 years: Continue reading “10 Highlights of the 2010’s”→
Ever since I can remember, I have always been excited to be 25. I didn’t have any feelings about 18 and even 21 didn’t feel significantly different. But something about 25 always felt complete. Now that I am 25, I can feel a difference, but I also know this change has been developing over the first four months of the year.
These days, my priority is learning to be unapologetically myself. Though I continue to freak out about little things, I am trying to develop it as a habit. I am undoing a decade’s worth of ‘performing’ for others. I somehow convinced myself that if I act how I think others want me to act (read: agreeable), people will like me, but that has never proven to be true. Instead, I was left with empty relationships wondering why they were not reciprocated and instead focusing on what I could do to convince them they need me in their life. This led to many, many mistakes and countless heartbreaks. Why should I convince someone they need me? How does it benefit me to beg someone to keep me in their life? It sounds like common sense, but once you get stuck in a pattern, it’s hard to pull yourself out. Now, I can see more clearly.
When I was picking a senior quote in high school, I settled on a different quote than my first choice by Judy Garland; I should have followed my gut because my first choice is now more resonant than ever: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
I like to think this quote burrowed itself in my subconscious because I knew there would come a time when I needed to be reminded of it: that time is now. I must admit that sometimes I catch myself wondering which part of my personality is really mine or, instead, long-term adaptations of people who have come and gone throughout my life. The important thing, however, is to focus on the person I am now and the person I aspire to be.
I know 25–and life after–is not going to be smooth-sailing, but I am looking forward to the new challenges in this next quarter of life. I am excited for bigger changes and pushing myself out of my comfort zone as I start to love and accept myself for who I am. I have wasted the bulk of my 25 years on Earth hiding, both literally and figuratively. But now is the time to have courage and live in my own skin.
I have absolutely no idea what happens next or why I even expect that something will happen. All I know is that if 24 marked the year of letting go, 25 marks the year of new beginnings. Or better known as, “The Year of Alexa.”
First and foremost, I should apologize. I am sorry that I disappeared without a trace after making a declaration about 2019. There wasn’t a particular reason except for the fact that I have not had any new content. Aside from continuing to regularly update my YouTube channel, life has been very slow and quiet.
Per my last post, I have been diligently trying to center in on improving the quality of my life, so I have been setting monthly goals. For January, it was all about fitness. I signed up with a gym after losing the motivation battle to work out at home and I have been loving it. I am still struggling to find the confidence to explore the weight-side of the gym because the other gym-goers are pretty intense, but this fitness journey is about small steps. Even on days when the workout isn’t great or I desperately want that extra hour of sleep, I am proud of myself for getting up and going. It has been two months of a fairly regular routine and I have reignited that desire to workout and no longer see it as a chore. Since this journey is about small steps, I am not measuring my physical changes so that I do not obsess over it and take myself down a self-deprecating path. But I like to think I am making strides.
I also decided to do dry-January just because. I don’t drink heavily and unless I am out with friends, I rarely drink at all. However, I wanted to challenge myself in social settings. I only went out with friends a couple of times that month and saw a noticeable difference in how I interact. It was at first a more negative response because I felt left out of the ‘social high,’ but I eventually learned to navigate it to where I still have fun and know when my version of last call is. I have a more well-rounded understanding of my social ‘battery life,’ for lack of a better description. While I can say I much prefer to join in on the fun, I am able to now go out in social settings and not give a second thought to the decision to stay sober. My body also thanks me the following day.
February’s goal was to go somewhere new. I had not been on a plane since October and I started to develop anxiety about flying again. Part of that anxiety, however, was because I felt an itch to get back out there. Since my job is in operations (a.k.a. no company holidays), I didn’t get that time-off refresher between Christmas and New Year’s. Not to mention, I was trying to save as much time off for a trip this summer (America, am I right?). I felt a little burnt out and needed to see some new sights. Unfortunately, all of my plans to hop on a plane fell apart, so I had to improvise. Technically, I accomplished my February goal on March 1st, but I still managed to go somewhere new: Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco, popularly recognized by Americans from HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” with Chip and Joanna Gaines.
I will have a post about that mini road trip on Thursday (March 7th), but I am actually really looking forward to this month. I have a couple of concerts I am going to and a potential international trip (fingers crossed!), so it feels like I’m finally starting to have a life again. I am making it a point to find things to write about on here because I have ideas, but I am curious if people would be interested. I really want to write more about pre- and post-travel experiences because there are obviously times like now when I am not traveling. Overall, I want to have relevant and interesting content. What do you guys think? I’d love to hear any suggestions you may have!! Let me know in the comments or on my Contact page 🙂
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